Archive | December 2013

Because I don’t have enough to write – a meme

From [personal profile] recessional.

Put a ship (either of a fandom I at least know about, or in my own ‘verses) in the comments and I will tell you a bit about how each of the following scenarios would go down for them:

Fake dating
Sexpollen/fuck or die/aliens made them do it
Secret kinks
Their first kiss
Meeting the parents
Moving in together
A crossover of your choice
An au of your choice
If you like, another trope/scenario of your choice

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

Bingo: Row (technically a column)

This is a fill for my Dec 12 2013 card. I’ve been using the card as a prompt call; one of the stories has been posting.

Column O Prompts (five stories) – Magic, Home, Promises Broken, Under Pressure, Knowledge

Title: An Argument of Magic
Series: The Aunt Family
Prompt: Magic
Rating: G
Notes: Evangaline and her relatives have different ideas about teaching magic

Title: Making a Home
Series: Colonies/Space Verse
Prompt: Home
Rating: PG-13
Notes: There was no coming back from Alken Five, but perhaps there was a going forward

Title: Promises Broken
Series: Planners
Prompt: Promises Broken
Rating: G
Notes: The Elder of the family and the head of household have made promises. One of them is going to have to break a promise

Title: Under Pressure
Series: Dragons Next Door
Prompt: Under Pressure
Rating: G
Warnings: none
Notes: Jin needs to make plans for his future. His first step? Getting his parents on board

Title: Passing Knowledge
Series: Planners
Prompt: Knowledge
Rating: G
Warnings: none
Notes: Adeline needs to pass knowledge along to future generations; that’s part of being a Planner. She believes in redundancy in that knowledge, too.

Four Three of these stories are still open to buy. Buy all three at a discount:

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

Passing Knowledge

Story: Passing Knowledge
Prompt: Knowledge – to Orgfic Bingo
Series: Planners
Summary: With the same characters as Promises Broken

Knowledge, the various ways the Planners pass it down


Adeline stood in the kitchen, surrounded by children of a certain age – old enough to learn, and not so old as to feel the need to pretend boredom. Today, she was teaching them how to bake a loaf of bread.

“…and that’s how we grind the wheat. Now, we will do a little more in the manual grinder, there, Penelope, take your turn, but we have the electric grinder available here, too, for when there’s power.”

“There’s power today.” Darren might end up being a problem-child, but right now he was just a child.

“There is.” Adeline kept her voice calm and level. “And when we’ve each practiced with the manual grinder, we’ll do the rest in the electric grinder.”

“Some people buy flour in the store.” Hilary was already on her way to being more than just a problem.

“And so do we. But today, we are baking bread from scratch Carl-Sagan style.”

“‘If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.'” Several of the kids quoted it at Adeline, and she smiled. They might not care to learn how to grind wheat, but they learned nonetheless.


“What are you doing, Adeline?”

Elder Brice was bored, and a bored elder is never a helpful elder.

“I’m taking inventory.” They were down in the sub-basement, the LED lights burning eerily over their shelves of supplies.

“Don’t you note everything down as it comes out of storage?” He picked up a can and put it back in what Adeline was going to assume he believed was the right spot. “Why would you need to waste time on an inventory?”

She took three deep breaths. “First, my time is not subject to audit, Elder Brice.”

“I’m not being formal here! I’m just asking questions.”

“Second, there is always human error involved in everything.” She very carefully put the can he’d moved back where it belonged. “I am not always the person taking things out of storage. Products get moves. Things do, sometimes, go bad.” She shifted a bin of grain.

“Hey, what’s this?” The old man took the bin of grain and read the careful notes and diagrams written on the side. “‘Carl Sagan bread recipe. First, plant the grain…’ What, you forget?”

He was sneering. She hated it more than most things when her grandfather sneered.

“I am not always going to be the person pulling grain out of this storage facility, Elder Brice.” She took the bin back from him and put it on the shelf where it belonged. “And if I am not, someone else may need a refresher.”

“‘First, grow the grain?'”

“A very thorough refresher.”


“What are you doing, Aunt Adeline?” Penelope crawled up on the stool to watch her aunt. “I thought we sealed up all the dried fruit last week.”

“We did. One moment.” The vacuum-sealer ran with a sucking whirr noise for a moment, and then stopped. Adeline trimmed the package and put it next to several others that looked similar. “I’m storing books.”

“Books?” Penelope peered through the plastic packaging. “‘Good to the Grain,’ that’s funny. Tas…'”

“Tassajara Bread Book. That’s the one we used last week. A different copy, of course.”

“But your copy has all the notes you and everyone else made.”

“And I copied every single one of those notes. One moment.” The machine whirred and stopped again.

“‘Flour Power: A Guide To Modern Home Grain Milling.’ These all have funny names.”

“They do.” She added the last book to the stack.

“Why didn’t you just seal up.., oh, then you wouldn’t have it.”

“And the grease stains and such in the book might damage its longevity.”


“Longevity. Long life.”

“So… these are for me, when I’m a grown-up?”

“Or your children, or their children, or so on. Yes. They’re for someone I can’t hand my grandmother’s books to myself.”

“And you’re sealing them to preserve them from moisture and air? Just like the apples?”

“Just like the apples, very good.” She patted Penelope’s shoulder. “That way, if there’s ever any question about anything in the storage vaults, there will be books there to explain everything.”

“Just don’t forget scissors to open the package.” Penelope grinned. “Like the can openers.”

“Exactly.” Adeline added a freshly-oiled pair of stainless steel scissors to the pile, finding herself smiling. Penelope may never need these books, but if she was quoting the unofficial house motto – <i>never forget a spare can opener</i> – she would do well in any crisis.


Under Pressure

Story: Introductions
Prompt: Under Pressure – Orgfic Bingo
Series: Dragons Next Door
Summary: Directly after Now and Then.

“Mom, Dad… this is Bianna.”

There were a hundred things Jin wanted to say; there were at least fifty that Bianna wanted him to say, and probably forty-five of those overlapped. He could guess at a double dozen his parents wanted to hear from him, and twice that his siblings would want to hear.

But all of that had to wait on that sentence. Jin knew how this worked. He understood a thing or two about becoming an adult, and he understood more than that about his parents, and how you had to deal with them, especially if you were their child.

So simply: “Sorry I’m late… Insert excuse here… here’s the girl of my dreams.”

Which, when you were Audrey and Sage’s child, was a little more of a statement than it would be from a human.

There was a pause, a heartbeat, another heartbeat, another one. “Bianna, welcome. You’re just in time for Jin’s birthday party.” Jin’s mother stood up and greeted Bianna, both hands enclosing the younger woman’s hand in a warm greeting, while her eyes stayed on the girl’s face.

Jin found himself breathing again. “Bianna is in my class at school; we ended up spending the prom together, after the, ah, incident.”

“Pleased to meet you, Bianna.” Jin’s father stood up and bowed, deeply, the sort of thing he saved for formal occasions. “While I’m saddened to have not heard of you before, I’m very glad to have you here now. As Audrey said, it’s our Jin’s eighteenth birthday celebration.”

Jin was holding his breath again.

“So I heard.” Bianna had a winning smile, the sort of bright and sharp-toothed thing that had made her family line famous. “And I’m so excited to get to meet you finally. I think Jin was worried that you wouldn’t accept me.”

And, just like that, she dropped the bomb.

And, just as handily, Audrey caught it. “Nonsense. Of course Jin has reason to be worried – we’re his parents, and we fuss – but we’re happy he brought you home to meet us.” This time, her gaze was assessing, what Jin thought of as her professional glance. “Do you eat greenery, dear? Baked goods? If not, we have plenty of meat on the table as well. Please, do, pull up a chair.”

“I can murder the occasional salad.” Bianna’s teeth were, of course, meat-rending, but Jin had seen her eat vegetables and even sometimes a bagel. She took the seat Audrey indicated, waiting the half-heartbeat so that she and Jin sat at the same moment. “You’re both so kind.”

“I imagine,” Sage’s voice was quiet, “Jin wasn’t the only one worried that we’d accept you. Please don’t worry, Bianna. We do strive to be welcoming here.”

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

Unicorn/Factory: the Unicorn Bride Rebellion, Part I

This begins with this introduction and keeps going. It’s, ah, still a bit drafty. It wasn’t where I planned on taking this story, at all.
The Factory and the Town were beginning to have problems.

Easton was the fifth of the Factories, the fourth of the Towns connected to Centon City and to the villages by the Silver Road. The other Towns had settled into the factory work, to the shackles of the Silver Road, to the puffing of the smokestacks and the red dust that landed on everything. There had been no reason for the governors or the administrators to believe that Easton would be any different, and, indeed, for the first five years it hadn’t been.

The strange things had begun with unicorn sightings in Easton. There weren’t supposed to be unicorns in the Towns; most townfolk believed the unicorns to be nothing but a myth. The new Administrator had been appointed for the factory, a new Mayor was elected for Easton, and the factory burnt more coriander and planted cilantro all around the buildings.

That was, unfortunately, only the beginning of their problems. The coriander kept the unicorns out of the town square and out of the Factory, yes. The new Mayor and the new Administrator kept order in Easton and the Factory respectively, yes. Curfews kept the Villagers and the Townsfolk from mingling too much, yes. But the factory workers hadn’t all been born in Easton, and you couldn’t stop people from moving out of the Town, at least, not yet.

It had started with rumours, whispers, hints. It had started with gossip over coffee at the market, conversation over clotheslines, stories sent home in the mail. It had started with people talking to each other.

It ended up with guerilla warfare.

In between, there was a mess on the hands of the Mayor and the Factory Adminstator, and a lot of misunderstanding to go around.

But it came to a head when one young woman with a rounded belly knocked on the gates of Easton.

The guards at the gates were not trained that pregnant women were a threat.

If they had been so trained, they would have rejected their training. The towns, Easton, Weston, the others, were not so far from the villages as all that; pregnant women were their mothers, their sisters, their wives (and sometimes, rarely, themselves).

But they were not spared the training only because of their sensitivities; the Mayor’s staff and the Administrator’s staff in Easton understood the threats far differently than the villages did, and perhaps did not expect nor understand that a pregnant woman could be dangerous to their town and their stability.

All that being said, the man at the gate that day did what he could, given a lack of instruction and a general cultural bias.

“Miss…ma’am, do you have your papers? Only it’s not a market day, and Easton is closed except on market days.”

“I have no papers.” She tilted her head, looking up them in a way that seemed more beast than woman. “I am… here to see my agéd grandmother?”

There was no doubt it was a lie. There was absolutely no doubt she was unicorn-touched. Her eyes glowed white and shimmery; the guards had only heard about such things.

Only heard about such things in stories from their own agéd grannies.

The guards coughed and let the woman in. “Do remember to bring your papers next time. And our greetings to your agéd granny, ma’am. Best wishes on the baby, too.”

“Ah. The foal.” She blinked those white-opal eyes at the men, and then she was gone into the gates.

The guards tried their best not to think about it, and had it been a one-time meeting, they probably would have, in due time and overdue wine, forgotten it entirely. Even in Easton, the unicorn-brides were not unheard of. In this day in age, there was no place in the land that the unicorn-brides were unknown.

The second one came two weeks later, just long enough that they had started to forget the first. She, too, was here to see her agéd grandmother, and, again, the guards let her through.

The visits spread out over almost a year, long enough that the guards took quite a while to come to any conclusions and even longer to say something. It started with two on night duty, bored and rather embarrassed to have noticed the beauty of the woman they’d just allowed through.

“Hey, Rand?” The first guard had been a guard since Easton began hiring them. It was better work than the Factory, paid better, and he was single, anyway, so had no family to miss. “How many agéd grannies do you imagine Easton has?”

“That’s not the sort of question you want to be asking, Chenner.” Rand could have been a manager-sort, but, like Chenner, he preferred the quiet nights.

“But it’s the question I’m asking.”

“Don’t.” He moved away, but his fellow guard followed.

“Why not? Don’t you think someone ought to ask the question?”

“If someone asks that question, the next one will be, why did we let them through, when obviously they’re not all coming to see their grannies, and then comes ‘and where are they going, then, if not to their grannies’ houses?’ and then come more questions. And I don’t know about you, Chenner, but if their are people I don’t want to anger, it’s unicorn brides and their grannies.”

“But we said they don’t all have grannies.”

“Do you want to take that chance?”

It was a fair question. Chenner shut his mouth.

For a minute, at least. “Rand?”

“What is it this time, Chenner?”

“We let in five women last week to visit their agéd grannies, right”?

“Right.” Rand tried to make his voice suggest that there was no more conversation to be had there, but Chenner, once he had hold of a thought, did not let go.

“Only four left.”

That might have been a turning point in the war. The guards could have warned someone that there was a problem; the Mayor and the Factory Administrator could have put into play emergency plans developed for just this sort of situation.

But it was too late, the guards too slow to engage pregnant unicorn brides and their theoretical grannies. Because just as Chenner was about to say “and the week before…” things began to explode.

The first firebomb hit the Factory’s distribution center in a wave of cinnamon-scented flame; by the time Chenner and Rand had gotten there, the entire factory district was in flames, and there were invisible shimmering blockades at every street.

“Unicorns?” Chenner whispered the word. The shimmer in front of him moved closer, a prickling shivering through Chenner’s chest.

“Don’t say the word. To say it gives them power.”

“They’re invisible and they come with three-foot-long piercing weapons, I’d say they’re plenty powerful!” Chenner reached out, cautiously. He was no virgin, though he was no great lover of anyone; he was not the pure soul that he’d once been, either. Once, in a village, down by the river…

but he had been a child, and a boy child at that.

“We are come.” The voice boomed through Easton. It was a woman’s voice, echoing with something that sounded like unicorns looked – like pearls, Chenner thought, and like blood, and how weird was that? “We are come. We are here. And we will no longer be victim to this stupidity.”

Chenner didn’t look at Rand again. He didn’t need to. He stepped forward, knowing deep in his gut exactly where the unicorn was.

“Chenner, Chenner, you moron, what are you doing? What are you doing?” Rand grabbed him, but it was too late. Everyone who had an agéd granny knew what the unicorns did to those who weren’t pure enough.

It could be said that Chenner’s was the first blood shed in the war, but it was hard to say for what side he bled. Certainly the unicorns weren’t saying; just as certainly, Rand wasn’t saying. There was no corpse to return to the family by the time the monsters were done, and, besides, Rand had died in the same attack.

It was said that the Silver Road that bound the five cities was unicorn blood and unicorn tears. If so, then a new road was paved as the war began, the red road, and the bricks glistened and shined with it all throughout Easton and beyond.

We have come. We are here.

They had always been here, the unicorn brides, the unicorns.

We are here. We are standing firm.

They had been the thing in the background, for all those decades.

And we will no longer be victim to this stupidity.

It was far too long before someone asked which stupidity?

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

Promises Broken, Orig-Fic, Planners

To kelkyag‘s prompt to my orig-fic card. This fills the “Promises Broken” slot.

This is set with new characters in my Planners setting; its landing page is here.

“There is a a reason we only have one Head for each House.” Adeline stood with her hands loose at her sides. Her chin was up and her lips were a firm line.

“And there is a reason I am an Elder.” Brice folded his hands in front of him and stared at Adeline’s forehead.

“We don’t have room for the Mason family, nor for the Stouts.”

They did not know if this was The End – no, not “the end;” the planners didn’t acknowledge that word. They didn’t know if it was The Cataclysmic Event. At the moment, it was just – just! – a long-running power failure with a side of some food and gas shortages. Family policy was to treat any disaster lasting longer than three days as if it could indeed be The Disaster.

“Make room.” Brice moved forward, just one step and a bit of a lean. He was no longer a young man – of course – but this particular branch of the family was a true farming household, and you did not retire from farming; Brice Whitehall was a large man with biceps like steel.

Adeline did not budge nor flinch. “That is not family policy, nor is it your call. Tell them they’re going to have to make other arrangements.”

“Why don’t we have room?” Another step forward. Any closer, and Brice was going to be talking to her forehead. “We have those three cottages in the alder stand in the back. Plenty of room in this season.”

“I have an arrangement with three families from town. Two of them have children who are in classes with our kids.” Adeline held still, held her ground.

“You think kids…!” The step that took him to talking to her forehead. “When I made a promise man-to-man…!”

“Yes. Because if this is not The Disaster, then those kids’ friends will be resources, PR, understanding. Make another promise, Brice.”

“Elder Whitehall.”

“You’re in my office, Brice. You’re going to have to break your promise.” She turned her back on him before he could press the issue.

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

OrigFic Bingo – Colonies/Space Verse

Story: Making A Home
Prompt: Home
Series: Space
Summary: There was no coming back from Alken Five, and those who were sent there were not expected to thrive, hardly to survive. One ship declined to be thus punished, and chose instead to make hell a heaven.
Notes: 600 words buy-now

Click below to buy now!

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

Pirate Nano January 2014

Skull and crossbones

I’m going to write 25,000 words in January on Addergoole: Book One (rewrite)

What are you going to write?

(P.S. It’s “pirate” because they get cooler flags than rebels, and I don’t wanna wait ’till Camp Nano)

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


To Raka Metz’s request on Facebook in response to my December Drabbles call.

Mid-Year 6 of the Addergoole School

“No! No, I’m not going to… let go of me!” A flash of lightning ripped through the hallway; the lights flickered and burnt out, leaving only the dim “Hell Night” red emergency lights.

“I think you should leave him alone.” The lights flickered but did not turn back on, as a second voice – one that bore a strong resemblance to the first – chimed in.

“She might seem nice now, but she’s not stable, and it’s not a healthy situation.” The third speaker released his quarry, however, and stepped back until he was silhouetted against one of the red lights. “Rory, I’m just saying…”

“Do you think I don’t know all that?” The boy – Rory – backed up another few steps. “What’s more, do you think it matters? Really? Of course she’s unstable. Wouldn’t you be, after what she went through?”

“I’m just trying to help…”

“Don’t.” This time, the two boys standing there spoke at the same time.

A third voice chimed in, right on their heels – feminine, but sounding much the same. “I’d listen to what they said.”

The upperclassman sighed. “I don’t want to see anyone get hurt.”

The lightning flashed from three sets of fingers. “Maybe you ought to back off, then.”

“Backing off… but I’d fix those lights before Luke gets here.” With a much-put-upon sound, the upperclassman – Nikolai – took his leave. If the Aelfgar-get wanted to stay in bad situations, he wasn’t going to take on a whole family of electrical madmen to help them.

Rory muttered up a light and stared at the two other Sixth Cohorts. “Thanks. Now, um…”

“Um, indeed.” Arnbjorg looked up at the lights overhead and muttered a Working. “I think you just blew a fuse.”


“It could be a lot worse…” she glanced at the third of them, their half-brother (or at least they all assumed.) Leo was staring at the light fixture, grinning. “Right. So, if it’s a fuse, we just need to Idu our way to a fuse box and hope we beat Luke there.”

“Too late.” On the plus side, at least the gym teacher sounded amused.

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