Archive | April 19, 2013

I is for the Individual, a story for the Giraffe Call

To [personal profile] thnidu‘s prompt, with help from [personal profile] lilfluff‘s prompt and [personal profile] kelkyag‘s prompt

Probably fae-apoc-post-apoc.

“We hold that the individual must always be more important than the institution.”

Iancu didn’t so much explain his position as he declaimed it, his long, elegant fingers twirling outward in a poetic swirl. Below the dais, Irene rolled her eyes.

“Surely you must have some form of government, some form of rules. Infrastructure? Education? Legislation?”

“There is no law, no teaching, no road that can bind the individual to the institution.” This time, Iancu pointed at the road-sign-like icon they had nailed to a tree: a single figure, standing in a green field. It looked to Irene like a prewar sign for the men’s room. “From this we take our stand.”

“But you have a stand. As a group. Someone must speak for you, for there to be a stand.”

“There is the individual, speaking for the individual. No-one may speak for another.”

“Then how do you get anything done?”

“Well, the individual does it. Sometimes many individuals do something while working near each other. That is how we built the road.” Iancu gestured to the lane in question.

Irene looked around the elven settlement. Houses were built in a myriad array of styles, but all were tucked away, barely visible from this central clearing. The clearing had any number of the independent “elves,” a subspecies of fae that she had not previously encountered (and hoped to never encounter again). Relics and icons of the world long gone hung in the clearing – not just the single “Individual” sign, but many others. One looked to her agéd eye to be a “school crossing” sign; under it, three elves were debating. Perhaps whether this suggested travelling in groups of one adult with a number of children. The lane, at least, looked well-built – if you allowed that it was seven lanes running next to each other. Irene pitied the wagon that tried to drive down that road.

“So there is no-one with whom the nation of Arista can negotiate?”

“No-one,” Iancu agreed. “Or all of us, one individual at a time. Such is the way of my people.”

“Then on who would we declare war?”

The gaggles of elves across the center clearing silenced. “War?” She thought Iancu’s voice might squeak.

“If we can not negotiate, we will go to war. Such is the way of my people.”

She watched Iancu’s Adam’s apple bob up and down. “I suppose you would go to war with each of us individually.” He coughed, and looked around the clearing. “Perhaps, as a convocation of individuals, we can appoint a speaker to negotiate with the Arista.”

“Wonderful.” Irene smiled. If they negotiated like they built roads, her people were going to get everything they wanted.


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H is for Holy Hot Hell Night, Batman

To wyld_dandelyon‘s prompt.

Æowyn is a character from Addergoole: Year 9. This is set in Year 11.

The AC was broken in the halls of Addergoole, and the halls were, consequently sweltering.

Æowyn stripped off a layer, leaving her in a tank top and boxers, and tied her hair back in a ponytail. Things did not break in Addergoole, not like this, so it had to be someone’s idea of a prank.

Æowyn didn’t mind, not really. She wasn’t cold-blooded, not like some of the snakey Changes she’d met, but neither did she mind the heat. Some of the others, however, were clearly having a harder time of it. Eluned looked flat-out miserable, and Kendrew, a Cohort after Æowyn and Eluned and with a Change and power based on ice, looked as if he was going to melt.

“Holy Hot Hell Night, Batman.” She muttered it under her breath to amuse herself, and didn’t expect an answer.

“Holy hot snake ladies, Robin.”

“Holy… what?” she turned to follow a voice she didn’t recognize yet. Almost didn’t see him, as he’d managed to blend himself into a niche in the wall so well he was almost invisible.

“Holy hot snake ladies. Is Hell Night the day when they turn up the heat to see if we still sweat?”

Æowyn found a smile growing. He was cute, in a blonde-and-scruffy sort of way, if you could look around the edges of his apparent camouflage power. “In a manner of speaking. Do you?”

He wiped a hand over his brow. “Seems like it. You, too?”

“Despite the scales, yeah.” She looked at him, dripping in a corner. She could feel her fangs against her lips. “Something spook you?”

“Don’t tell anyone?”

“Cross my heart.” She made the gesture across the center of her chest, and felt the settling-in of a promise.

“I thought I heard horses galloping. When it turned out to be a centuar…. I freaked out.”

“Ah.” She smiled. “So you do sweat.”

“I just said… oh. Oh, it’s that sort of day.”

“Yeah.” Æowyn remembered her first Hell Night, and the way another blonde-and-scruffy boy had terrified her. “It’s that sort of day. Tell you what. ‘Come with me if you want to live.'” She held out her hand.

“Terminator. The heat really is on, isn’t it?” He studied her hand thoughtfully.

“I know a way to get out of the kitchen.” She kept her hand held out, not entirely certain what she was going to do.

“I’ll take it.” He slapped his hand into hers and squeezed. She squeezed back, and led him out of the heat.

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