Archive | April 16, 2013

Mud Fight, a continuation of Stranded World for the March Giraffe Call

To [personal profile] inventrix‘s commissioned continuation of Ax Fight, and following directly on after it.


Autumn’s duck turned into a slide across the mud. The Grey One’s crouch turned into a tumble. The ax flew. The audience cheered.

They slid across the mud until they were nearly touching, their wooden weapons locked against each other.

“Show, go on, yadda, yadda.” The Grey One whispered it under the cheers.

“Yep.” Autumn hopped to her feet, her ax held in a guard position. “Avast! What scallywag intrudes on our fair duel?”

Somewhere in the crowd, someone complained about pirate talk. Autumn ignored him. She wasn’t even getting paid for this.

“Indeed! Come forth, you villain, that we might see your face before we smash it in!”

The crowed made a low ooooo noise. They liked The Grey One. Possibly because of his killer biceps under the thin shirt.

“Art thou to cowardly to come forth?” Autumn shook her ax. Something, something, there had to be something in the strands. Somewhere. She reached out with her free hand, making it look like a dramatic gesture. “It is the most cowardly of things, to fight from-“

She was expecting it this time, and made a smooth dive of her duck. A second ax embedded itself in the wood next to the first.

“Grey,” she muttered, tilting her head that way. He nodded, and walked casually behind her. She pitched her voice to carry. “Back up, folks, if you would, a performance such as this requires air. The first three rows may get bloody; we have leeches on staff if there be a problem.”

Grey yanked the axes out of the wood, and handed one to her. They twirled their new weapons, getting a feel for them, the heavier weight, the much more deadly edges.

Autumn let Grey take lead. Somewhere out there, someone was doing something. Someone was attacking them. “Come, thou coward! What say thee? Why would you hide such skill, such grace with a weapon?”

“Art thou besotted with his throwing with never having seen his face?” The Grey One moved forward, stalking their invisible prey.

“Besotted? Nay. I simply wish to thank him for the fine blade. And it may be a she, thou knowest!”

The strands were always twisted at a Ren Faire. People cared, deeply, and those people laid thick lines on the earth. Other people came and went, leaving thin lines, quickly fading. Someone throwing weapons into a crowd… “Oh bless us with a hammer.”

“Mmm?” Grey asked the one sotto voce and then threw out a bellow of laughter to cover it. “A woman? Nay, for there cannot be more than one as wild as thou and as sharp, not in all the land.”

“You flatter me, Grey One. Surely a woman could – duck!” They ducked and rolled in sync, coming up near each other on the other side of the clearing. “You know tanglers?” she hissed. “A woman could sow chaos as well as any man!” Her voice went back up for the challenge.

“If it is chaos we’re looking for -” They both looked, dramatically, at the hammer, a Mjölnir replica, sitting next to Autumn’s booth. “-well, then, a woman I’m sure it could be!”

“A woman,” Autumn taunted, “or a man lost in the liquor.” Someone was trying to create havoc. Terror, perhaps? As benign as her sister was, Autumn knew that was not always the case with tanglers.

The Grey One was doing something complicated with his off hand. Autumn kept up her banter to pull the attention away from him. “For as we all know, the men of the species are more messy than the female!”

Some of the crowd booed. Some cheered. But they were still listening. Still watching. Autumn shifted her feet, knowing she wasn’t going to be able to get solid footing in this muck.

“Aye!” The Grey One had finished his twisting; she could see the way an errant set of strands trailed out from his hand, now, like a flail, a magical cat o’ nine tails. “Aye, the male is messier, certainly.” He scooped up mud with his ax and flung it over Autumn – spraying some of the crowd with the splatter. “Thou’rt as clean and shiny as a fresh-minted coin, aren’t thou?”

“Why, you, you…” Autumn scooped deep with her ax and splashed muck up, intentionally missing Grey with most of it. If she aimed correctly – there. “And down! Thou varlet!” They ducked in time as a long spear came flying at them; they ducked, Autumn turned it into a roll and dive, and Grey threw his strand-handful: not a flail, but a bolo.

Their hidden attacker went down, suddenly visible and very much tied up. Autumn landed on him, pinning him shoulders-and-knees. “And I’ve caught thee, vandal!”

The cheers of the audience were deafening, and they only served to strengthen the ties around their captive. Autumn sat back on her heels and bowed from that position, grinning from ear to ear.

It ought to rain at the Ren Faire more often.

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Giraffe Call Still Open! Halfway There!

My Giraffe Call is Open!

I’ve gotten 11 prompters and 2 donations, bringing the total to 13 prompts to be written this time.

We’re $10 from the wood for the foyer, and $25 from a randomly-chosen second story for someone ($50 from every donator getting a third prompt)

Tell your friends! Donate a buck or two! Come prompt if you haven’t already! I’d really like to get up to 26 and be able to do the non-English-Alphabet prompts as well!

The Call

Prompts Already Written:

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F is for Friend Fiend Forgetting

To [personal profile] imaginaryfiend‘s prompt

“Noornian. You know you’re not supposed to do that.”

“Know.” The fiendling ducked its head. “Know. Forgot. Sorry.”

Janet had been almost eight before she’d figured out that other peoples “Imaginary friends” hadn’t been twee mispronunciations of what hers was – an fiend powered on imagination. By then, it had been too late, and the whole school knew that Janet had an “Imaginary demon friend.”

Which was fine, really, except that, unlike (most) of the other students’ imaginary friends, Noornian was visible to other people. Not all the time, no, but when it forgot to cloak itself…

…well, then the more observant of Janet’s classmates would see her with a “dragonet” or a “little shoulder demon” or a “lizard of some sort” draped around her shoulders, where Noornian spent most of its time. And then the teachers would get upset, either with the students, or with Janet, or, in a few specific cases, the teachers.

Mrs. Contori had held Janet after class. Again. To scold her demon.

“Noornian, are you sure you ‘forgot?'”

“Forgot!” The fiendling waved both front paws in an urgent gesture. “Noornian good. Friendly. Forgot. Wanted to say hello to cute fire-haired boy.”

Cute fire-haired boy. Janet felt her own cheeks burning. She spoke up before Mrs. Contori could. “Noornian, it doesn’t sound like you forgot. And you know what I told you would happen if you dropped your cloak on purpose again…”

“Forgot! Forgot! Noornian will be good and not forget again!” The fiendling was flailing with four limbs now. “Only – maybe can meet fire-hair boy?”

Damnit. Janet stole a glance at Mrs. Contori, to find that the math teacher was smiling. “Janet, I think if you invited Justin home to study with you, he might be amenable to meeting your fiendling. You know,” her smile was conspiratorial, and she reached up to her shoulder to pat her own fiendling, “because it is good to keep our shoulder-demons happy. Lest they ‘forget’ more important rules.'”

“Noornian forget.” Sounding entirely smug and pleased with itself, the fiendling settled down on Janet’s shoulders to groom itself.

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E is for Euphoric

For Rix_Scaedu‘s prompt.

“What did you do, Eustace?”

“Why does it have to be my fault?” Said at-fault fella stepped back, hands raised, trying to look innocent. He wasn’t very good at it. It was the thought that counted, right?

“Because there are two of us who live in this apartment.” Emily clearly wasn’t counting thoughts. “And I know I didn’t do it.”

“Maybe it’s a burglar?” He tilted his head towards the couch, and the mess all around the coffee table.

“A burglar that, what, came with a key?” Emily, in turn, tilted her head towards the locked and deadbolted door, the windows with their security grates, the view indicating that, as they had been yesterday, they were still on the twenty-ninth floor. “Or flew?” She looked down at their unwanted guest. “Well, I could believe flew, if the windows were open.”

“See? See?” Eustace flailed with both hands. “See? It could entirely have been not my fault.”

“Eustace. There is a stoned elf on our couch.”

“Euphoric. It’s not stoned, it’s on euphorics.”

“Why are you calling it it?”

“Have you looked under its fur?”

“….no?” Emily wasn’t quite that curious. “Besides, since when do elves have fur?”

“Since when do elves ride the Metro? I’m not entirely sure it’s an elf. You can get the ears tipped by any good cosmetic surgeon.”

“And what about under its fur?”

“Well, I can’t think of a surgeon that would do that, but maybe an angry girlfriend. But I think that explains the euphorics.”

“…Eustace. You’re saying that the euphoric elf on our couch is… a eunuch?”


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