Archive | November 12, 2013

…This turned out a little creepy…

The new fighter was tough, and, more than tough, he had that fire that the desperate often had.

He hadn’t learned how to hoard his strength, letting it out when he needed it. He hadn’t learned how to control his attacks, or understand his opponent.

If he survived, he’d learn all that in time.

In the meantime, Marri had to survive him.

His swings were wild, but they were getting too close to her, too often. She was trying not to kill him – it made the handlers frown, if they killed off the new meat before they had a chance to build a reputation and a following – but he was giving her no such courtesy.

He caught her in the leg, the big axe he was using smashing the plate of her armor. She went down onto one knee, shit, shit, swung low with her blade and caught him just under the pit-issue breastplate.

Her next swing was timed to move with his fall, and he ended up on his knees with her sword at his throat.

The audience roared. The Oligarchs in their box seats clapped. The fighter dropped his weapon and put his hands up.

She saw him going for his wrist-blade before he knew he was going to do it, and smacked him hard in the head with the pommel of her sword. He went down, and she rose, bleeding, to collect her lauds.

She managed to stay on her feet until the pit-servants bundled her out of the arena. She was particularly proud of that.

“Hold still.”

Marri held still. She was, above all, obedient. And Biccon was not exactly tolerant of disobedience.

She hadn’t been ordered to be silent, however, and she hissed as the antiseptic washed over her wound.

“You should be more careful.”

“Nalon should be more careful. He’s a brute.”

“And a dishonest one at that. There.” Biccon finished wrapping Marri’s leg in bandages. “You should have hit him harder.”

“As my patron commands. Next time I’ll break his teeth.”

“I’d like that.” Biccon had already peeled off most of Marri’s armour. “Tch. He dented the leg plate. I’ll have that re-done before your next match.” The leg plate went in one pile, the chest plate and the greaves in another, Marri’s shift and padded cuirass in a third. That left Marri standing in her collar and nothing else – the way Biccon tended to prefer her.

“My patron is too kind to me.”

“I’m as kind as I want to be. Lay down.”

Marri, of course, laid down, following the hand gesture to sprawl gracelessly on Biccon’s huge bed. She turned her face until she could look out the window; the tower overlooked the whole of the city. From here, she could see all the way down to the tenth circle.

“You fought very well today.” Biccon put a hand on either side of Marri and straddled her. Somewhere in the last minute, he’d lost his robes. It was surprising they’d stayed on this long, honestly. Marri fighting always made him… affectionate.

“Thank you, my Patron.”

“Marri, can’t you call me by my name?” He pressed his lips to her navel, and again to the bottom of her ribs, where he had, in times past, bound two other wounds. Biccon liked her scars. On a good day, Marri liked that he liked them. She liked his, after all, when she was allowed to touch them.

“I can do whatever you wish me to, Sir Biccon Arinstalla Gedon Rock-face.” She softened it with a smile, because he really was being kind.

“Of course.” His hand trailed up the inside of her uninjured thigh; she spread her legs further in response and closed her eyes. She could still see the city, stretching out beneath her. “You’ll do whatever I ask you to.”

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First and Last Words: Yesterday

First Line:
“And girls? I saw that Saydrie wasn’t the only one swinging punches.”

Last Line:
“I don’t feel tubular.”


Yesterday, I wrote 4,018 words (although the last 208 were footnotes),
Bringing my total to 36,348 (out of a goal of approx. 54,000

My average/day is 3331.6; at this rate, I will finish on Nov. 16th

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Piano on the Seashore, slow-start-to-the-day writing exercise

I was brainfarting so I asked for prompts. Here’s SkySailor’s.

Bracken has shown up a few times.

“I’ve always wanted to do this.”

“What are we doing?”

Nick followed behind Bracken, because, after all, that was what he did. But he had this puzzled look on his face that was echoed in the set of his shoulders and the tone of his voice.

“We’re doing that thing, you know, in all the music videos…” She tilted her head at him. “You remember music videos, right?”

“I’m older than you.”

“I know. By like decimal points. That doesn’t mean you remember things that happened in the middle.”

“Yes, I remember music videos. Bracken…”

“Almost there.” She gave the dolly one last shove and then muttered a Working, pushing the repaired piano onto the beach.

“Is this why you’ve been sneaking off to Addergoole for the last few months?”

“It’s hardly sneaking when I have to ask you to teleport me.” She owned one dress. She could repair anything – she could repair everything – but she’d had to go out of her way to find herself a proper dress.

She sat down at her piano, the waves just lapping at her bare feet, in her cocktail dress that revealed more of her than anyone but her lovers saw. She sat down, put her fingers on the keys, and she played.

Some time later, Nick no longer looking remotely confused, they recreated the other part of those iconic music videos. The surf felt like another caress as it washed over their skin.

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Enrie Prologue for Edally Academy

“Now, remember, Enrie, you’ve got to get good grades at the Academy, and you can’t goof off the way you did at the provincial schools.”

Enerenarie’s mother fussed with Enrie’s braids, the lay of her vest, the way her shirt sleeves sat, and, finally, with the triple poof of her skirt. Enrie held still for it, because there was only so much you could do when Diplomat Arezhlyiarezha decided she was going to do something.

“Be respectful to your teachers, keep the pranks to a minimum and, by all that the Three oversee, do not light anyone on fire. We had to finesse more than a few things to get you into this school, and you need top marks at Edally to see you through into a Diplomat position.”

“But what if I don’t want to be a Diplomat? What if I want to be a sailor, or an Engineer, or a courtesan?”

She watched her mother’s mouth pinch, her father’s chest rise as he drew in air, the way her mother reached for the long dangles of her sleeves as if getting ready to do something strenuous. She waited until they’d built up a head of steam, and until she could tell they were just about to blow… and then she laughed.

“Relax, relax. I understand my situation; I know I have to do well here and not set anyone on fire.” She imitated her mother’s tone with the ease of practice – and a large number of hearings of that particular phrase to boot. “And I certainly, absolutely, with no doubt know that the choice ahead of me is to be a Diplomat, or some very rich man’s very attractive way to add a vowel to the beginning of his children’s names.” Which did not sound that fun to her – even less fun than the other options. “After all, what else do surplus royal cousins do?”


“There’s no use sugar-coating it, Arezha.” Enrie’s father was so much more practical about these things. “Enrie knows what the score is.” Instead of more lectures, he hugged her. “Do well, daughter. I know you can.”

And that struck home more than any lecture. Enrie coughed to hide a sniffle. “Yes, yes, of course.”

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