Archive | February 13, 2012

On the River

This story is safe of all slavery and/or Ellehemaei Law, although it does include some small magic and a guy living through all of US history.

For Friendly Anon’s prompt.

This takes place from the late 1600’s through 2011


He’d built one of the first houses on the river, and tried to pretend it was his home, which he’d left so far behind.

At that time, there hadn’t been all that many people around, so he’d cut corners here and there – lots of here, and a little here, as his mother would have said – pulling up the beams, bending them from small trees into large ones with Workings, preserving those giant straight maple beams so that they would last forever.

He was no good with earth, so he’d moved the rocks for the foundation the hard way until another exile had come by, and then he’d traded favors – his skill with wood for Constance’s skill with stone. Their houses had looked like everyone else’s, but they were sturdy, solid, watertight, and built to last the ages.

After all, they were exiles in a strange land, and they didn’t know how long they’d be there.

He moved on, as the territories opened up, leaving the house to his son and Constance’s youngest daughter, with a promise of “you’re-always-welcome-Father” so he’d have a place to stay. He moved West slowly, looking for a place that felt like home, staying in a city for maybe thirty years, then heading back to visit his family and meet the newest generation, then heading out again, further west every time.

Gannon was fond of feminine companionship, and so he found himself making friends with women – usually human women – in each new territory, so that, after a century or so, making his way back to Albany took him quite a while, visiting every solid-beam house he’d built over the years, visiting each new generation of children. Telling them all sanitized stories of The Good Old Days, stories of the secrets he’d hidden in the houses, stories of their grandmothers, their grandfathers, of the way their city had been.

It took him from 2000 to 2011 to make it from Washington to Albany, and, at that, he rushed the last three family visits.

The house was still there, sitting on the Husdon next to Constance’s place, two stone-and-maple houses in tall, sturdy groves of maples and oaks. The city had grown around it, flowed around them like the river around rocks, the road bigger then he remembered it, the place a bit shabbier. There was a cemetery across the street; he remembered when there had been a church there. Down the road, there was a Kwik-E-Mart and a strip mall, but the stonework on the strip mall looked familiar. Constance? Or one of his descendants? The carving on the beams, too – Gannon recognized his own style, but not his own work.

And, he had to smile, the clerk in the gas station had eyes he remembered from what had to be her ancestress, and, he was willing to bet, probably the same tail, too. “I’m Gannon,” he told her, glad to be home.


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In the Jam, a story of Fae Apoc for the Giraffe Call

This story is safe of all faeries and/or slavery.

For [personal profile] inventrix‘s prompt. Faerie Apocalypse has a landing page here here (and on LJ).

This takes place during the apoc, ~2012-2013

They called it the Great Traffic Jam, although it was much more Jam than Traffic.

When the people had started fleeing the city en masse, inevitably, someone had realized that they could move faster walking than in their car. One person and another abandoned their cars, until those who had stuck it out driving had to walk, too, because they were, in effect, parked in.

This wasn’t the only city this had happened in. In some others, they had brought out the earth-movers and the bulldozers to clear the highways, turning their medians into junkyards. But this city had been one of the first and worst hit, and there was nobody left to clear the roads, and no reason to do so. So the cars remained.

Eventually, as it became clear that the gods and monsters were not coming this far out, people, some people, stopped walking and simply colonized the cars, those the furthest from the city, on a stretch of highway where there was, for several miles in every direction, very little except the cars and a couple farms.

Kota had been born in the back of an SUV, a giant gas-guzzler that had given up the ghost early on, run out of gas on the side of the road. A bank of four of them made up their colony’s hospital; her sisters Exie and Essie had been born there too.

She learned to read from a shipment of books overturned on the side of the road; she and her sisters grew up in the back of an RV. Their colony’s dearest possession was a grocery semi of canned goods.

And now that Kota and Exie were old enough, they were going exploring. They had heard, from travelers, that there was a tanker truck stuck in the Jam. If there was still gas, they thought, maybe they could move the Jam.

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Midnight, Summer Solstice, a story of the Aunt Family for the Giraffe Call

For moon_fox‘s prompt

Aunt Family has a landing page here on DW and here on LJ

The bonfire had died down to embers by midnight. The children were asleep, the husbands and brothers drinking beer and playing poker, and the sisters-in-law settled off watching the children.

Most of the older aunts and grandmothers had drifted off, too; this wasn’t really a time for them. This was a time for the middle generation; this was the hour to let their hair down.

Evangaline took the lead, with a literal pull-pull of her hairsticks, letting her bun release and fall down her back. “Well,” she smiled. “and the world keeps turning.” She lifted her beer with a smile.

“It does,” her cousin Suzanne agreed, as she finger-combed out her braid. “Blessings on it.”

“You know,” Beryl commented, imitating Suzanne, “the neighbors think we’re witches.”

“Let them,” Hadelai snorted. “They have as long as they’ve known we exist.”

“The air of mystery is good for us,” Fallon agreed, smiling. Her hair was cropped short and practical, so she shed her cardigan instead. It was summer solstice; she hardly needed it, even after dark. “And they do like our yard sales more.”

“Well, that has something to do with the occasional lucky trinket Aunt Asta used to ‘accidentally’ seed in, too,” Hadelai laughed.

“Or the ones Aunt Ruan would put in?” Suzanne chuckled. “Oh, I grabbed one of those one year – mom smacked my knuckles so hard, I couldn’t hold a pen for a week!”

Eva grinned, and then, catching movement out of the corner of her eye, looked up. “Janelle,” she called, because if she didn’t, one of the others would send the poor girl away again. “Kids asleep?”

“Like logs,” her sister-in-law agreed. “The men, too, and Mom Ardelia. Everyone but you guys.”

“Welcome to solstice,” Fallon laughed dryly. “No-one else can be bothered to watch the world flip over. Come on, pull up a rock and watch the fire with us.”

Eva hid her smile in her beer. She could always trust her sister to follow her lead.

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