Archive | May 11, 2012

Planting and Raking… Homeowner joys

Today, I planted three of my 6 butternut plants I started from seed. The ground where we’re planting them is all rocks and sand, so I dug a big hole for each and filled it with composted manure and peat moss, watered well, and prayed it doesn’t snow again.

This was going to be a longer update, but after planting and raking (first mowing was a bit late)… I’m going to fall down now.

ALso? [personal profile] kelkyag? Thank you!

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To the Gate, a story of Fairy Town for the April Giraffe Call

For flofx‘s Commissioned Prompt. Fairy Town does not yet have a landing page.

After “Spring”

Anton Barren moved slowly in front of his students. “Fade, look around. Do you see a doorway?”

“None.” He was back to sounding bored. That was good. Anton didn’t want the girls to freak out. He didn’t want Fade to freak out, either… or himself.

“How about an arch or a gate?”

“Over there.” That was Lilah, bouncing a bit. “Mr. Barren, what’s going on? Why are the animals looking at us?”

“I chose an imperfect time to bring us here.” He had chosen an imperfect locale, more accurately, hoping for a small amount of danger to shake them out of their complacency. This was not going to be a small amount of danger, not if the Animals were looking at them the way it seemed they were.

He focused his sight. He could see their shadows, if he looked hard enough. There would be a cost. But he would pay it. He always did.

“The bobcats…” Anya whispered. “Mr. Barren, the bobcats…. they look hungry. And it was a long and cold winter, wasn’t it?”

“Coldest in decades,” Lilah answered. “I was shoveling snow every day and… oh. The deer looks hungry, too. I thought deer were herbivores.”

“Deer are. These are not, exactly, deer.” He reached for their hands, school regulations be damned. “Fade, take Anya’s other hand. You can worry about cooties later.”

“I’m not five.” He could sense the boy moving to obey him, complaints aside. “How bad is it?”

“If we are lucky, even a little lucky, it won’t be too bad. Lilah, where did you say you saw this gateway?”

“It’s an arch. About … mm… thirty feet? To my right.”

“All right.” The deer seemed to be milling closer in their interrupted dance. The bobcats? Probably pacing back and forth in front of them. “When I give the word, children… run.”

“But I don’t understand. I thought they were celebrating.” Lilah did far too well as complainer.

“They are. But every celebration needs food. Now run!”

They ran, Anton herding them in the direction Lilah had pointed, while the bobcats gave chase, lazily, not wanting to catch them yet, and the deer shifted their dance, running ahead, cutting in front of them, only to double back. The Animals were playing with them. Anton could only hope that they would get distracted in the game and forget the gate.

“So, let me get this straight,” Fade panted. “You brought us into another world. To be dinner for a bunch of animals. What kind of Biology teacher are you?”

“The kind that believes in realism?” Lilah joked. She was closer to the mark than Anton wanted to admit.

“The kind that believes in field experience,” he countered. He couldn’t see the gate, but, then again, he never had. If he didn’t know where they were, he had to rely on younger eyes than his to see. “Lilah, that arch…?”

“Just ahead, Mr. Barren. Just ahead. Hee, I always thought that was funny.” Her breathless giggle sounded a bit hysterical. “Barren, the guy teaching about life.”

“Ironic.” Fade’s mumble sounded like he was losing energy quickly.

Anya hadn’t paused, but she was watching Anton’s face far too clearly. “No.” She shook her head, and a bit of panic began to cross her face. “No… it’s not irony. It’s just honesty. The Fae call themselves what they are, don’t they, Mr. Barren?”

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Poll Poll Poll

Theme Poll!

The Theme poll is up for tomorrow’s (wow) Giraffe Call.

“Origins & Creations” is winning by a tiny margin (one vote) over “Things Man Was Not Meant to Know” and “Monsters.”

I will close the voting tomorrow morning when I open the call!

I don’t exactly have a clear margin on The April Continuation Poll, either; “The Empress is Dead” is winning with 2 votes over 1 for almost everything else.

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As Safe as Houses, a story of Fae Apoc for the April Giraffe Call

AfterHousewarming, from stryck‘s commissioned prompt. Dodger is from When the Gods Attacked..

“We need a place to stay.”

“We don’t need a place that talks to us.”

“Better than a place that bites us. Or a place where the other people stab us.” They were keeping their voices at a low hiss, hoping that Bethseda was busily distracted talking to Sana and her children about her garden.

“What’s to say she won’t start biting?”

“I don’t think this is like Hansel and Gretel, Clare.” Tobias flopped into the far-too-comfortable armchair in his room- his room! and sighed in exasperation. “Running water. Food. A door that locks. A bed all to yourself.”

“What’s the point of a lock when the house is alive?” Clare shook her head. “I mean, she says she’s not like those monsters…”

“Come on, Clare, you know we’re not that different.” That, he barely mouthed out loud.

“We are NOT like those things!” Clare didn’t have a quiet setting, not when she was upset. “I’m not!” she insisted, her hands clenching into fists. Tobias imagined what those hands looked like, under her Mask, and hurriedly crossed the room to force her hands open. Small lines of blood dripped down her fingers.

“So maybe neither is she.” He wrapped his already-stained handkerchief around one of Clare’s hands, and patted at the other one with a tissue. “What do we know about any of that?”

“The monsters came and turned everyone crazy. Crazy enough that a talking house sounds sane. What else do we need to know?” She batted his hands away. “What else do we even need to think about?”

“What we are. What she is. What it has to do with the monsters.” He shrugged, as always on the defensive when it came to Clare and… what they were. Whatever they were.

“Look. Dodger told us what we were. He told us to hide from the monsters. What else do we need to know?”

“Everything?” He stood to pace. Maybe he could think better that way.

“Well, I know that we’re not hiding very well from the monsters inside a talking house.” She stood up. “Come on. I’m leaving.”


“Look, don’t you want to know if we even can leave?”

“Clare, what I really want is a warm meal and a bed to sleep in. If she’s not going to let me leave, well, at least I’m not dying cold in an alleyway. Which in my book puts this place one hundred percent above any other place we’ve stayed in the last three years.” He stood anyway. Once she got her mind on something, there was no stopping her.

“I don’t like feeling trapped, Toby.” She threw the rest of her clothes into her backpack. “You know that. It’s why we didn’t stay in that shelter.”

“In any of the first seven shelters we had as an option. The eighth and ninth had the creepy people and the tenth had fleas. Clare, we’re down to sleeping in doorways – or this house. I like this better.”

A knock at the door startled both of them. “Excuse me,” the house’s voice called. “Perhaps I can be of assistance.”

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