Archive | February 16, 2013

The Purple, a (rather strange) story for the Giraffe Call

This was written to To wyld_dandelyon‘s prompt. It didn’t turn out quote the way I wanted, but it’s kind of neat anyway.

When the days were at their shortest and the world growing cold and nothing would grow, a member of the reigning family would don the purple and sit on the throne. And there, there they would hear the needs of the people.

For this purpose, the reigning family was brought up to be wise, educated, calm, and unflappable. They were treated as kings for the spring and the summer, treated as emperors for the autumn, because in the winter, one of them would don the purple.

In a mild winter, the duty was not onerous. A mild winter after a fruitful summer, especially, made for light sitting on the throne, and a purple that sat lightly on the shoulders. And the world had had, in this time, many light years.

And the reigning family grew in number, and in strength, and in wealth. One in particular, Astarte, was most favored among the people. Even in fair times, the wisdom of a monarch is sometimes needed. Even in fair times, the people have needs. And though she was young, this woman had the wisdom and the strength to see her people through troubles. And her parents watched, and were proud, and worried. And the world watched, and was pleased.

As such things go, the summer became lean, and the winter became cold fast and hard. Cattle died. People hungered. And they came to the reigning family. “Hear our needs. Let Astarte hear our needs.”

And Astarte donned the purple, the raiment that became her, and sat in the throne, the chair that engulfed her. She set her wrists in the cupping briars and her ankles against the blades.

“I will hear your needs.”

They came before her, those who needed her wisdom, and she gave them her judgement. The purple wrapped tighter around her shoulders.

They came before her, those who needed sustenance, and she gave them of her life. The throne held her a little closer.

They came before her, who had adored her, and she loved them. You could see, then, only her eyes and lips, for the purple and the throne holding her.

One, who had no need but knowledge, found a finger, one fingertip of Astarte, peeking out of the steel. He touched it, carefully, for her finger was very thin. “Why do you do this?”

“For love.” Her voice was reedy. “I have been loved, and I love.”

“But it is killing you.”

“That is the price we pay, when the world grows cold.”

“But you bear it all alone.”

“It was my turn.” Even answering cost her vital energy now, but he was of the world, and he asked it of her, so she gave it.

“But if you could share it…”

“The world will take as many as we give it. It will devour us all.”

“Then let it be so.” The throne opened, so very little, to allow him to sit. The purple wrapped around his shoulders. The prickers and the blades drank his life.

“Why do you give your life for her?” the people asked. “She has been feted and feasted her entire life.”

“I do it because of love.”

The world scoffed. This was the time for the reigning family to give. This was the time for the world to take what it needed.

But one, barely past childhood, sat down beside the man.

Shamed, another sat down.

The throne stretched. The purple stretched. “For love.” The briars and the blades drank. The world brought their needs. The winter stretched on.

But for every hundred people who had a need, one would sit. For every thousand, the throne had to stretch further. The purple wrapped further. And blades and the prickers drank.

When the spring dawned warm and bright, when the summer brought fresh crops, Astarte was thin, and old. They were all thin, and old, even the child who had sat there. But they lived.

And never again did a member of the reigning family sit the throne alone, or wear the purple alone.

This entry was originally posted at You can comment here or there.


This was written to To moonwolf1988‘s prompt.

Addergoole has a landing page here; Porter and Bel are from Addergoole: Yr9

“It’s just…” Bel fluttered one hand. “Everyone assumes. It’s not just because people here know my parents. It’s just…” Her hand gesture took in a body and a face that were, by all objective standards, beautiful. “There’s this. There’s this, and I’m friendly. And people assume friendly means… friendly.

“And then you’re here,” Porter picked up. “Here in Addergoole, where sex is practically an obligation and the primary after-school sport, and everyone, everyone is looking to hook up.”

He looked down at his hands. “And it doesn’t take someone offering to Jas up your Hugs-” He paused to let Bel giggle, a little desperately, at his mangling of the Words for repair and emotion. He gave her an echoed smirk, and then continued. “-for you to start wondering ‘is there something wrong with me?'”

Bel nodded, her blonde curls bobbing. “And you wonder… well, I like the dating things. I like the romance. Maybe if I just tried…?

“And there’s no shortage of people to try with, really. Not here.” Porter leaned forward over the table.

“Not anywhere. Everyone’s ‘doing it.’ And it’s all so… sorrid. And what I really wanted…” Bell was fingering the tip of one of her horns.

“…Fairy Tale romance. A story of love. A story of flowers and wine and devotion and a hand to hold.”

“Exactly. Exactly!” Bel leaned forward, now, until she and Porter almost bumped foreheads over the table. “Exactly.” She looked Porter straight in the eyes, and then, her nose nearly touching his, started giggling.

Porter’s lips twitched in an nervous smile. “What?”

“Come all the way to Addergoole. Come all the way to Addergoole to find a boy who doesn’t think friendly means sex.”

This entry was originally posted at You can comment here or there.

Signal Boosting Story

This is the signal boosting story for Today’s Giraffe Call.

If you have boosted, leave me a note, and I will write an additional ~50 words.

There are people who will tell you that you never know what you’re getting into when you… when you anything, really. Enter High School. Go to college. Get Married. Start a new job. There’s always some creep leaning over your shoulder, “Oh, you’ll never know what it’s like until you’re there.”

And of course you never believe them.

This entry was originally posted at You can comment here or there.

February Giraffe Cal: Shades and Hues of Love

The call for prompts is now OPEN!

I am now taking prompts on the themes of Love

Love comes in many shapes and sizes, many colors and shades. Tell me about it. Prompt me about it. What sort of love shall I write about today?

Leave one or many prompts, and I will write (over the next month) at least one microfic (150-500 words) to each prompter (prompts may be combined)

Prompts can be related to one of my extant settings (See my landing page-landing page) or they can be for something completely different.

Prompting is free! But Donations are always welcome.

For each $5 you donate, I will write an additional 500 words to the prompt(s) of your choice.

Donations are earmarked towards our foyer right now: It’s currently stripped-down drywall. I want to make a new bench, a storage area, and a slippers-for-guests arrangement. It’s an 8×4 space; budget is $300.

If I get two new prompters or one new donator, I will write a setting piece (setting chosen by poll) explaining something about one of my universes.

At $30 in donations, I will buy the awesome mug featured here, fill it with doctored hot cocoa, and post our recipe for such with a picture.

At $40 in donations, everyone who donated will get an additional microfic written to their prompts. I will choose 1 non-donater at random to receive an additional microfic as well.

At $50, anyone who donated $7.50 or more will have a copy of “Alder by Post” mailed to them if they wish.

At $50, I will buy the hardwood boards for the front of the storage area and post my plans for such

For every $50 donated, I will do a one-hour livewrite on Etherpad or googledocs during the next month.

At $80, I will write two extra 500-word continuations – chosen by prompters picked by random number generator.

At $100, I’ll buy the accessories for the storage area. And post pictures!

At $120, everyone who donated will get an additional (3rd) microfic written to their prompts. I will choose 2 more non-donaters at random to receive an additional microfic as well.

If we get to $120, I will take suggestions for further incentives!

For more information on Giraffe Calls, see the landing page.

Donate below

I also take payment by Dwolla

This entry was originally posted at You can comment here or there.