Archive | October 2012

Bad Puppy, a continuation for the Giraffe Call

This is for [personal profile] lilfluff‘s commissioned request for a continuation of this story.

Davyn was quiet. Good puppies were quiet.

Good puppies were also lost, squished, and confused, not to mention terrified. He couldn’t completly stop himself from whining, a terrified little noise at the back of his throat. As long as he didn’t get too loud, the pain didn’t come again.

Even without the punitive jolts of pain, his situation pretty much sucked. The kennel he’d locked himself into was upended, leaving him mushed into the bottom, leaned against some sort of cart, rolling…

…well, he really didn’t know where they were going, which was more than half of the problem.

He curled up the best he could in the tight space, nose to knees, and tried not to cry. Not only was crying loud, maybe loud enough to get zapped again, it was embarrassing. He was sixteen, not a kid anymore. Adults didn’t go crying like that. Even if they were trapped.

It really had been a dumb plan. What sort of jerk locks himself in somewhere and doesn’t remember the key? But his parents were pretty stupid too. What sort of parents wander off and leave their kid, time after time? Was he a bad kid? Was that why they’d rather have the dog?

This time, the whine surprised even him. He was a bad kid. He wasn’t a very good puppy, either, but he was definitely a bad kid, or his parents would have come to find him by now. Even the nanny hated him. She had to have noticed he was gone by now… so his parents had to know he’d stowed away. And they weren’t doing anything at all! They were letting him get taken!

His parents were getting rid of him. They had finally decided he was a horrible, rotten kid and they were taking advantage of this stupid prank of his to get rid of him. He whimpered, and turned around again, trying to get comfortable. He’d been thrown away.

“There, there, puppy. It’s all right. We’re almost home.” Her voice was strange. She was trying to sound soothing, he thought, and it almost worked. He felt better and worse at the same time. A crazy woman had kidnapped him, but she said it would be better. His parents had thrown him away, but someone was making calming sounds.


The punishing pain came again before he remembered he wasn’t supposed to talk. He yelped, yelped again as the pain redoubled, and then settled into whimpers at the bottom of his cage. He’d be good. He’d be a good puppy. Please? The last was almost a sound, a long whine. She didn’t zap him when he whined.

“There, there. I know you’re trying to be good, but you have to be quiet a little bit longer. This isn’t a good neighborhood, and I don’t want anyone to steal you. You don’t want that either, do you?”

He didn’t want to have gotten stolen once! He settled down. They were going to be home soon. Once they were home, she would let him out of the cage. Once he was out of the cage, he could figure out how to get home. Or, if not home, somewhere where someone didn’t zap him randomly, somewhere where someone didn’t think he was a puppy. He was at the very least a full-grown dog!

Where had that thought come from? Adult. He was a full grown adult person. Davyn held on to that thought as tightly as he could. He was a person, and people – what did people do that dogs didn’t? They did math, right?

Davyn was not very good at math, preferring classes that weren’t so much like the stuff his parents did, but he tried. Algebra. Trig? Maybe he could remember some of his trig. figure out… the hypotenuse of the kennel door. If every cage grid was an inch…

…He had come up with three answers, and started scratching numbers on his skin, when the kennel stopped moving and thumped back into a flat-on-the-ground position, sending him tumbling. He yelled out, “hey! Watch it!” and then slammed his hands over his mouth.

It was too late, of course. The pain ripped through him, toes to nose and back again, worse than it had been ever before, until all he could do was curl up and whimper, all math forgotten.

The cage door opened, but Davyn didn’t have it in him to move. He was still in pain, every single one of his toes hurting with separate agony. The girl had locked something around his wrist before he even noticed she was touching him.

And then the pain stopped. “There, puppy. Come on out of your kennel like a good pet.” Her voice was cooing, soft, almost incomprehensible. “I have a nice sandwich for you if you’re good.”

The pain tapered off, enough for Davyn to make out her words. Sandwich. His stomach rumbled. It had been a long time since breakfast. “Food?” he offered.

“Food,” she agreed. “Come on out of there, puppy.”

It was only as he was slinking out of the stupid kennel – it really had been a horrible plan – that he realized what she’d done. There was some sort of shackle around his wrist, and it was attached to a chain. The chain was attached to something else – his eyes followed it until he found the bolt in the floor – and gave him about six, seven feet of room.

“There you go!” She was unceasingly chipper, so much so that it hurt his ears. “All nice and settled in. And I have a nice collar all waiting for you. It says ‘puppy!’” She picked up the collar – it was pink, pink – and showed it to Davyn for a moment, before wrapping it around his throat. “All set. Now, puppy, you settle in and meet your new family, and I’ll go get you that sandwich.” She skipped off a few steps, then skipped back to pick up the kennel. “You won’t need this. Go on, puppy, be friendly.” She prodded him lightly with a toe. “I’m Circe, by the way.”

Circe. Circe. He knew that name. Davyn whined quietly, and heard the whine echoed from around the room. His new family, she’d said. Circe, she’d said.

It really had been a horrible plan.

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100 words each – Agatha after school, Baram at Thanksgiving

For @KissofJudas and @AlphaRaposa’s requests.

End of Year 5 of the Addergoole School
Aggie smoothed her skirts and stared at her luggage. Her parents – her foster-parents, she now knew – had sent her a plane ticket, a train ticket, and a bus ticket. Dartmouth. There were worse places.

She glanced over at Tolly. He hadn’t picked up her suitcases yet. He hadn’t even said anything, since they left the school. “Anatoliy?” That voice always worked. Even since that mess.

He looked down at her, as if seeing her for the first time. “Good luck with your life, Agatha.” He stood up taller. “I won’t be part of it.”

For once, she had nothing to say.

November, Year 11 of the Addergoole School

(This is a prequel to the Baram’s-Elves stories)

“Going to celebrate Thanksgiving?”

The girl who worked the desk at the shop was chatty, always chatty, even with Baram. He shrugged at her. He didn’t bother smiling. Nobody thought it was friendly.

“That this week?”

She laughed, although she was smelling nervous. “Tomorrow. You really didn’t know?”


He stumped home, thinking about turkey. Squash. Smiling families. Not his thing, not for monsters.

There was a girl on his porch, a skinny girl with long reddish hair. Holding a suitcase. Not looking scared.

“Are you Baram?”


“I’m Jaelie, du’Briar Rose. I’ve heard about you.”

Baram tensed. The girl smiled. Smiled. “I’d like to work for you.”

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Holiday Cards!

Hey, it’s that time of year again!

If you would like a holiday card from me, please let me know.

If I don’t already have your address, please send it to me.

If you would prefer the card not say “Christmas,” please let me know that, too.


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Storm-Safe but sick

FrankenSandy passed over the Finger Lakes yesterday, bringing with her a run on the stores but, AFAIK, no real damage in our immediate area.

On the other hand, I’ve been sick since Friday, so I’m mostly a lump. A dry lump, though.

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What was Right

This is a continuation of The July Linkback Story and its continuation here by [personal profile] rix_scaedu‘s commisioned request.

She thought it was right.

Bowen chewed over that while they went through the checkpoints – those were new, or maybe they were just there because they were entering through the Village and not through Luke’s elevator – and parked the car in front of the motel.

“Addergoole has a motel?”

“Addergoole has all sorts of things they don’t bother telling you about.” Phelen tilted his head at the tidy little two-story motel. “This thing. The crèche. The cake shop.”

“Crèche… no.” Bowen shook his head. “I don’t want to know.”

“Happens to guys here more often than you’d think.” Rozen wandered up beside them and doled out four room keys – actual keys, each with a room number painted on it.

“They get used as a turkey baster and dumped?”

Rozen snorted. “Lots do, here. And lots of women take off with the kids as soon as they can.”

“Addergoole isn’t exactly known for fostering loving long-term relationships.” Phelen was a mass of drippy shadows. Bowen glowered at him anyway.

“You got a pretty good deal out of it, didn’t you?”

“I did.” He clearly saw no point in arguing it. “But it’s not like I haven’t seem other people fuck up, or get fucked up.”

“Enough girl chat.” Baram laid a meaty hand on each of their backs. “She’s this way.”

Rozen followed their not-entirely-willing progress with a deep laugh. “That man has radar for pretty girls.”

“It’s Addergoole.” Even being shoved along the road, Bowen felt brave enough to try a joke. “Finding a pretty girl is mostly like ‘walk out door, point.’”

“Or just ‘point.’” Phelen was inordinately proud of himself. Just because he’d gotten a girl his first year – and his second year. Okay. Bowen would probably be proud of that, too.

“You got lucky, squid butt.” Rozen punched Phelen in the arm. Bowen had to be a little impressed at how much Phelen didn’t flinch. Being punched like Rozen was like being hit by a Mack truck.

“I got skills, Drow.”


“Nobody’s ever called you a dark elf before?”

“People don’t call me a fairy.”

“Kai.” Baram punched them both in the arm, which made both of them, it looked like, struggle not to flinch. Baram was the whole train. “Be fairies later.”

Rozen grumbled a few choice insults, but it looked like talking about Kailani was enough to shut him up. Bowen made a note of that. The big man had a weak spot.

“Everyone,” Professor Fridmar had taught him, “has weak spots. Trick is to learn where yours is, and guard. Not to not have weak spots. That would be stupid.”

Bowen had been determined never to be trapped again. He still was determined: nobody would ever collar him. Nobody would ever have that sort of power over his emotions, over his mind again. Nobody would ever cut his tail off again.

Professor Fridmar had given him quite a few words on the subject. “Don’t be rock. Rocks get broken. Be tree, bend.”

Bend. Bowen didn’t want to bend anymore.

“Come on, lambkins.” Rozen grabbed his shoulder, shaking him out of his memory. “Time to go. You can moon off at the scenery later.”

“I wasn’t…” He didn’t want to explain that to these guys. “Coming.”

The Village was as ridiculous as it has always looked.

Bowen didn’t get it. Regine and her people could have made it look like anything; they chose to go for as close to Norman Rockwell bullshit as they could. "Normal Americana." Right. They were anything like normal. They were even anything like human.

The motel was just off Main Street, with its little storefronts and its freaks pretending they were normal. Nobody Masked out here, not in the summer. There were no new kids to scare, nobody but the denizens of Freakville.

Bowen liked the word denizens. Professor VanderLinden had taught it to him, perhaps in an attempt to apologize for the monster that was its Student and Bowen’s Keeper. Professor VanderLinden had taught Bowen a lot – and Bowen had, for the first time, discovered he could enjoy English class.

Denizens. And any of another handful of words Aggie hadn’t thought to forbid.

"I wouldn’t have figured you for a space cadet. Reminiscing?" Phelen’s voice was soft, barely more than a whisper.

"Kinda." Bowen shrugged. "Guess it wasn’t all bad. Magic. Good teachers." Something like honesty compelled him to add, "Tolly and Dysmas weren’t all bad. They just wouldn’t do anything to stop her. ‘Just go along with what she wants and it’ll be easy.’" He shook his head. "Always wondered if she had some sort of mind control going. Couldn’t have been Keeping them, right, since Dysmas had Nydia and Tolly got collared? But maybe some sort of Working…?"

"People are sometimes loyal for really stupid reasons. Shiva being loyal to Ty, for example." Phelen shook his head. "I’m not saying it wasn’t magic, just that maybe it was just stupidity. We’ll see what Dysmas is like without her around." His shadows imitated a shrug. "What Shiva’s like, too."

"Hunh." Bowen wondered about that, but what was he going to say? Not his business, really.

"Are you two ladies having fun back there?" Rozen had plenty to say. Then again, Rozen always had plenty to say. "Come on, we’re almost there."

Rozen was a little funny about Kailani. Bowen had never seen the big guy looking that impatient, or that – it couldn’t be nervous. Rozen would never be nervous. Would he?

Baram, at least, just looked like Baram. And Phelen was back to looking like a creepy cloud of shadows. Bowen elbowed the shadow-mass. "The creepy look is totally going to ruin my thanks."

"Bah, it’ll just make it all the more cool." Phelen pulled the darkness back in, though. "You gonna try to make this good?"

"I dunno?" Bowen shrugged. "I mean, I gotta do it." He nodded his head at the impatient mass of Rozen ahead of them. "And she did…" Shrug. He didn’t like saying "she pulled my mutton out of the fire," but it was true.

"All right. Here’s what you do then. I might be cy’Fridmar, but I barely missed being cy’Drake, and you learn a lot about the formalities." Phelen continued in a low whisper as they walked across the Village.

It was formal all right. But Bowen knew, too, that it was the right thing to do. Like Kailani rescuing him because she thought it was the right thing. Like him helping her stop Aggie later, although that had been at least fifty percent revenge.

"Here we are." It was a pretty cottage, like most of the things here, made to look like something safe and innocuous – another VanderLinden word, innocuous – and human. This one had a moat, which was a little different, at least. And a wide wooden door with a lion’s-head knocker.

Maybe she wouldn’t answer. He knocked anyway. Some things, you really didn’t have any choice about.

Knocked, and then, when she opened the door, knelt on one knee. "Kailani cy’Regine, I owe you a debt of honor." The words were awkward, but they were right. "I owe you deeply, for the good you did me. I humbly request that you tell me what I can do to repay this."

He really didn’t expect her to start crying.

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Unicorn Strokes

To flofx‘s commissioned continuation of Stroke the Unicorn.

Unicorn/Factory has a landing page here.

100 words to the first person to guess my favorite line in the entire story 😉

Content warning: discussion of maiming & rape

The woman with the thick waist and the black dress cradled the drink as if it were a lifeline – or, nobody wanted to think, and everyone did, a child.

“Unicorns don’t – traditionally – touch men, or allow themselves to be touched by men or males.” She stared into the depths of her drink for a moment, and then swallowed it down in one long gulp.

The rest of the tavern looked at Jakob. Jakob picked up his mug and swallowed it down. The rest of the tavern gulped theirs down or, in the case of the teetotaler and the two who believed in moderation, they drank a long swallow of water.

The bartender filled their mugs without question. The woman was silent for another minute, but nobody thought to prompt her to hurry. Nobody wanted her to hurry, truth be told.

“In most villages, they want virgins. Everyone knows that.” Her lace sleeve flapped like the lips of an open wound. “And everyone knows that sometimes they…” Another flap. “They turn down the girls sent to them.”

They all nodded. Like Jakob, many of them had sent daughters to the river. One of two of them stared down into their mugs and said nothing. The rest let them back. Fost’s daughter hadn’t come back. By’s had raked her wrists across the unicorn’s horn. Sometimes that happened. Sometimes they just pretended it had.

“They have standards.” Her lip curled in what looked like aristocratic disdain. “What they think of as ‘pure.'”

To a man, boy, and child, the tavern tried not to shrink backwards. The matters of purity were not things they touched – not tavern wenches, not pot-boys, and certainly not the men of the Villages. Purity was a matter they left to the women, the grandmothers, mostly. They said yay or nay to a girl going to the river, yay or nay to a girl stepping out with a young man,and no man would think to naysay them Not a man who valued having a house to come home to, at least.

It was Jakob again, who remembered that this wasn’t about them. He lifted his drink in toast to the woman in black. “That’s beyond our ken, Lady.”

“The secret is, it’s beyond even the grannies’ ken.” She pinned the skinny barmaid with a glance for a moment, as if daring her to say something. The girl, wiser than that, blanched and stepped back behind the counter. “Certainly, a wise woman can learn from trial and error and nosy questions what will satisfy the unicorns who frequent their riverbeds. They can learn what will clean the waters, and what will…” They always spoke of such things in euphimisms. You sent the girls to the river. The unicorns cleaned the water. “It all cleans it, did you know that? Whether they send the girl back whole or broken.”

The room was transfixed. The room, however, also needed a drink. They lifed their glasses. They drank. They stared at the woman, never saying a word.

She lifted her glass. She drank. “I thought I was pure. The grannies certainly thought I was pure. That’s what you have to remember. No girl, no girl will go to the river willingly, if she doesn’t believe herself pure. We all know the cost. We’ve all see the price paid.

I asked.” She continued so quietly that they had to lean in to hear her. “I asked, when it was done with me. I asked it what I’d done wrong.”

Even Jakob could not have spoken, waiting to hear the unicorn’s answer. But the Lady only sobbed, and, more drinks in her than a grown man could handle, sank gently to the floor.

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Home-Sick Lazy Livewriting

I am in a lazy state of being today and will be working on my projects here – – in a public titanpad, if you’re curious to watch me write.

I have a list of 10 projects I’m rotating through, and 40 more to fill the gaps if I actually finish one of those.

I’ll be in and out throughout the day, as I try to pick the house up a bit, too.

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Dunk, a vignette

The summer between Years 5 & 6 – late summer

“Why do I have to be in the dunk booth?”

Jamian looked at the swimsuit in some concern. A childhood of covering up his body had not entirely been erased by a year being Kept by Ty.

“Because you look hotter in that thing than I would. And people will pay for the chance to get you all wet.” Melchior grinned toothily. “Nobody’s going to pay to see my 6-pack.”

“It’s a nicer 6-pack than mine, though.” Jaya gave in to the inevitable. Saying no to Mel really didn’t work. “So I sit up here…”

“And I call them in.”

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Newcomers, a story of Fairy Town for the Giraffe Call

to flofx‘s prompt.

Fairy Town has a landing page here

“I don’t know.”

“It’s a little strange.”

“It’s more than a little strange is what it is.”

“No, it’s just fucking weird.”

Three boys turned and looked at the fourth. His hair was shaped into a foot-high mohawk, his nose, lip, and both ears pierced, and, although it didn’t show right now, he had a tattoo covering his entire back. He looked back at them, just as levelly. “What? It is.”

“Olin, you’re a, a, uh…” Judson trailed off. Olin was a lot bigger than him, among other things.

“So? I can’t say something’s weird? Just because I’m a, a, uh,” he imitated the younger boy. “It’s not like you’re not an uh, too.”

“We’re all uhs, okay?” Joe interrupted, before it could get out of hand. Olin was big, but Judson was sharp. “And Olin’s right. Even if we’re Strange and Wyrd, that… is just fucking strange.”

The new house on the block had a white picket fence. Most of the houses had white picket fences; nobody around here wanted to be the guy with an iron fence, or even an aluminum one that looked iron. It had a concrete sidewalk and an asphalt driveway, like most of the houses. It had a white metal roof and two adorable dormers like eyes, looking like the same floorplan of every house on the road. It looked, to whit, ex-actly, down to the tilted brick chimney, like the house that had burned down there, two years prior.

And the new family, moving in? Looked like clones of the dead or gone Fouriers, lost in the same fire.

“…Fucking weird,” Judson agreed.

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Thank you! Arm warmers and other Incentives

The recent Giraffe Call reached the get-takeout incentive level.

This month, instead of get-takeout, I decided to get-warm: armwarmers!

Thank you for your support!

We also reached:

* Alder by Post – if you donated and would like a copy mailed to you, send me your address (If I don’t have it already).

* Livewrite – one one-hour session: please let me know, if you’re interested in watching me write, when would be good for you.

* Setting piece – what would you like to see? What setting? Anything in specific?

In Addition

A lovely anonymous donor donated 3 500-word continuations to three random prompters. gave me:

Please pick up your prizes at the courtesy desk!

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