Archive | April 1, 2013

Deep in the Autumn Air

To [personal profile] wyld_dandelyon‘s Prompt (here ).

After Cloaked.

The wind was blowing, just chill enough to make the wearing of cloaks pleasant. The sun was shining thinly through the clouds; although it was only a couple hours past noon, two moons hung low on the horizon already.

Cole was singing. Where he’d gotten the lute, Josie didn’t know; where he’d been hiding that singing voice, she didn’t know either. And she certainly didn’t know where he’d gotten the lyrics to the song he was crooning.

“Her eyes were sky-blue, her skin porcelain-fair.
Flowed free her magic, natural as her hair.”

Josie had once like to thing things like that. Like “Her magic flowed as free and natural as her hair.”

“Hey!” She thunked Cole in the back with her satchel.

“Hey, I’m no poet.” He turned and winked at her. “But the party needs a bard.”

“Here, give me that.” She took the lute from him and played a few chords.

“Three fair ladies went a-walking, deep in the autumn air.
Three dour lords walked a-side them, deep in the country fair.”

“Dour?” Aerich glowered at Josie, which just made her laugh and sing some more.

“Through the hills and through the valleys, into the worlds beyond,
through the stories and in the mysteries, o’er vale and pond.”

“Oh, come on, Josie. Vale and Pond?” Xenia laughed – but Josie didn’t mind. There was something about the air here. Something about the magic hanging suspended like pollen in the thick autumn air.

Like magic flowing as natural and free as Josie’s hair.

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Magic Mondays: Dragons Next Door and Jin

[personal profile] kelkyag asked: How does Jin do magic?

The oldest child of Audrey and Sage, Jin is quite an interesting specimen. It’s no wonder the Tower wants to get their hands on him.

Many denizens of the Tower are the result of a dweomer-human union. As such, their magic is buried beneath the surface and must be coaxed out.

The Tower sorcerers use complex rotes and rituals, diagrams and dialogues, scripts and spells, to complete their magic; each line in each spell is designed to pull the sorcerer closer to the magic and thus manipulate it.

The Tower is only half of Jin’s legacy, however, and the magic of the Pumpkin is much more organic. Although still relatively untrained, Jin uses a combination of his mother’s witchery and his father’s sorcery in a manner that is both innovative and dangerous.

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Ax Fight, a story of Stranded World/Autumn for the Giraffe Call (@anke)

For [personal profile] anke‘s prompt.

“Have at thee, varlet!”

“Nay, I’ll have at thee, wench!”

Autumn and a man she knew only as The Grey One swung their wooden axes at each other, thunking and clanging in true stage-fighting fashion while they splashed up mud everywhere. A light mist was enough, after a few minutes outside, to plaster clothing to skin; Autumn and The Grey One were dripping.

“I did not know this was to be a wet-blouson contest,” The Grey One jeered. “If you’ll hold for a moment, I’ll even those odds as well.”

“I’ll hold.” Autumn stepped to the edge of the ring. “If only to see thee in thy skivvies.”

There were very few people at the Faire today, mostly die-hards and a few long-distance travelers who had not planned on rain when they booked their flights. Many of them made a loose circle around Autumn and The Grey One as they bantered; now they were whooping and hooting as Grey took off his grey jacket and grey doublet.

He did look dashing, Autumn had to admit, his linens plastered to his chest.

“Alas, I fear I shall not be able to match you on this field, or the Sherrif may lock me up.” Her bodice was keeping her in place. Barely. “And now the crowd dost truly love… duck!”

She couldn’t explain what it was she saw; it wasn’t a crisp image of the strands or even a drawing-overlay. She was not that connected to the Grey Knight (she thought). But nevertheless, she had enough warning that he and she both ducked.

The flying axe imbedded itself in Autumn’s booth, carrying with it a hank of her hair and three splinters from The Grey One’s ax. Someone had brought an ax to an ax fight.

Next: Mud Fight

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Teamwork, a story of the Faerie Apocalypse, for the Giraffe Call

For [personal profile] eseme‘s prompt, after Short/Cut.

“Solange, stop playing with him.”

Zelda perched on a tree branch, watching the fight below. Her sister-in-arms had been fighting the creature for at least an hour.

But she’d been in a strange mood lately and insisted on splitting the opponents up fairly – Solange got half, Zelda got half, and they only backed each other up if they were running into some sort of trouble. Zelda had, this time, gotten the easy one; he was bound and unconscious at the foot of the tree.

“I am… not… toying.” Her breath was coming ragged and unhappy. Zelda whispered out a healing spell, focusing on the lungs and windpipe.

To distract Solange from what she’d done, she added another taunt. “Come on, you’ve ended dragons in less time than it’s taken you to wear this one out. What’s up with you lately?”

“Your complaints are not helping.” The monster glared up at Zelda with glowing red eyes. “If you would silence and wait your turn, this could be over.”

It was a long enough distraction for Solange to get in a good gut-stab and then, before the creature could recover, a heart-shot. Or, at least, in a human, it would have been a heart shot. The monster just laughed.

“You will make a fine addition to my collection.” He grabbed Solange’s hair and yanked backwards. “Both of you will. I have been looking for someone new to entertain me.”

“Not yet, Zel.” Solange did something quick and complicated, that ended up with her holding the monster’s hand with one hand and kicking him in the wounded gut with both feet.

The creature might not have had a heart where it was supposed to go, but it had intestines in the right place. Well, it had. Now its guts were all over the ground.

Solange spat out another spell, bringing a sharp wooden blade to hand, and chopped, and chopped again. The monster fell over in a surprised heap.

Zelda kept her hands over her mouth to cover the death spell she’d whispered.

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Yes, a drabble of Luke and Myst (@kissofjudas)

After Finale, Turnabout, after Finale.

Luke had been through battles. He had held his own entrails inside his body while waiting for a healer to get to him. He had sat waiting, the endless breath-holding, to hear if his nation was at war.

All of that was a heartbeat, a moment, a breath compared to waiting for Myst to answer. In his head, Mike taunted him. Keaira taunted him. Wil didn’t taunt – she never did – but she shook her head slowly, amused.

When I said ‘don’t be an idiot,’ Bird-brain, this wasn’t what I had in mind.

“Of course I will, Luca you idiot. Returned gods, I love you.”

Myst’s voice chases away all the others. She was hugging him, sobbing into his shoulder, so, slowly, sluggishly, he held her against him, patting her back. That was a yes. She’d taken the ring. She’d said Of course. He kissed the top of her head and tried for words.

“I thought you’d never ask.”

He laughed, more than a little embarrassed. No need to tell her that he’d thought he’d been asking, building the house. Not right now, at least. “It was time.” he took the ring out of her hand and, as carefully as if he was defusing a bomb, slipped it on her finger. His wings were flared wide, and his heart was perfectly at peace.

Nearly perfectly. He reached out an arm to the children. “Icarus. Chavva. This is about you, too.” It would always be, forever and ever, about family.

Family. He pressed Myst close to him. It was a nice word to be thinking of again. It was a nice thing to be being, again.

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