Archive | February 9, 2014

By the Time Anyone Noticed

This is to [personal profile] librarygeek‘s prompt here to my February Giraffe Call.

The Addergoole setting has a landing page here, although Cleone is a new character.
Short summary of the setting: there is magic and people who can use magic (modern fantasy, and then post-apoc fantasy after, well, the apoc) The school, Addergoole, has a long-standing contract by which students tend to graduate with two children who then go to Addergoole themselves in their late teens.

This is placed somewhere after the apocalypse.

By the time anyone noticed, it was far too late.

Cleone took her children from Addergoole, walked with them out into the world, the younger on her back and the older toddling along as best he could.

She walked until she found a place she could live, and set about making it a home.

From that home, she set up a way-station for other Addergoole graduates, or so she called it, a place where those wandering could rest their weary feet and have something to eat and drink before moving on.

And from that home she set up a small school, a place to educate her children and the children of nearby people (and the children of those who passed through).

She set up fields to grow food and fiber, and bakeries to bake bread, and a game preserve in which to hunt, so that her children and the other children were well-fed and well-clothed. She had the roads in the are well-paved, so that carriages could carry the surplus to other areas, so that no child would starve nor suffer, and to carry educational materials and such as well.

She made certain the road from Addergoole to her little home was kept in very good repair indeed, and made sure that the school was always kept very clean and stocked with the best books and the best food she could acquire. Everyone in her area was very well taken care of, especially her children.

Except that nobody left.

Oh, humans came and went and just seemed to decide to stay around. Children grew up and left town and came back with wives or husbands or both. And the Addergoole grads that wandered through… stayed. Just stayed.

By the time anyone noticed, it had been a decade, and it was almost time for her oldest to go off to Addergoole.

By the time anyone noticed, she had quietly amassed an army, willing or no.

By the time anyone noticed, it was far too late for them to stop her.

They Have to Notice Eventually

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The Good Fight, a story for the Giraffe Call (@anke)

This is to [personal profile] anke‘s prompt here to my February Giraffe Call.

Warning: violence and war.

I do believe this is fae-apoc post-apoc, but it could be any apoc.

The boy prepared for battle. He strapped on his sword and his knife and his small, sometimes-reliable pistol. He strapped on his armour, scrounged and shaped and above all strong (and heavy), and his helmet, he kissed his wife on the lips and his mother on both cheeks.

His mother straightened the straps of his breast-plate. His wife adjusted the guards he wore over his shins, and the heavy gloves he wore. His father murmured advice from a world ago and decades ago, advice that still held true.

That was all they had time for. They had to hit the enemy, fast, before they knew what was coming, before they could react. The enemy was so much bigger, and so much stronger.

They hugged the boy and kissed him and sent him out to fight.

The mother and the wife watched. The father had seen more than his share of battles and had no desire to watch his oldest boy go out to war, but the women…

…they held each other’s hands for a moment, and then the wife, ensconced in a blind behind layers of armor, set up her rifle. Her firearm was far more accurate than her husband’s, because she had far less chance of it being taken away from her.

He walked to the edge of the forest, knowing that his wife and his mother guarded his passage. He moved quietly, for all the armor, nearly silently, and stepped with long-practiced caution around the minefield that bordered their lands.

Two hundred feet of naked earth in all directions, and he had to cross it to complete his mission. Once, this had been farmland. Once, this had been their farmland.

He ran, knowing the path by heart now, trusting that the enemy had not placed more mines in the cover of darkness. They watched this border, but the guards were lazy, made complacent by weeks of silence and the mines which they thought protected them.

He darted in through an opening in their walls they did not know existed, slipped in, lithe despite the armor, because it had been built to allow him this movement.

The wife watched the city through the scope, even when she couldn’t see her husband. She watched the plume as the building exploded, and watched, again, when her husband appeared, sooty but still in possession of all his limbs, to dart back, slow, too slow, across the minefield.

Her bullets guarded his passage and heralded his return; his mother wrapped him in her arms, soot and all, when he limped back into their home.

And he would do it again next week.

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

Back Around Again, a vignette

This is to [personal profile] clare_dragonfly‘s prompt here to my February Giraffe Call.

Warning: rough situation, very unpleasant, even if the characters are baddies.

Ardell and Delaney are characters in Addergoole, and relatively unpleasant ones, at that.

“Hungry.” Del’s voice was soft, barely a whisper.

“Silence.” They both flinched, Ardell and Delaney, and they were both silent.

“I’m sorry.” Ardell mouthed it; Delaney knew those words by heart by now. She shook her head. No. No, this wasn’t Ardell’s fault. They’d thought it was a good place to settle, both of them. They’d thought the town looked comfortable and more than willing to trade safety for shelter and food. They had also, of course, thought they were invincible. Twenty years of surviving – thriving – after the apocalypse had not yet proven them wrong on that one, on any of those points.

They had not accounted for the man on the mountain. They had not accounted for the village already having a protector, one who did not want others horning in on his business.

They had not accounted for the fact that he might be more powerful than they were, even combined.


Delaney twitched. More than anything, she hated the praise. She hated the warm rush through her and the sense that she was doing right. She looked down at her knees, at the cold stone floor under them, and said nothing.

“Now.” The man – he had not given them a name; he had not given them anything, yet, except collars and chains and a cold stone chamber. “You’ve been here a while. Are you ready to listen to sense?”

Sense? Delaney’s tongue darted out and she licked her lips. What was sense, here?

She looked at Ardell, thinking about the last time they had been chained and naked and kneeling. She looked back at the man and wondered what sort of sense he wanted to pretend he was making, wanted her to pretend he was making.

She nodded, slowly, and mouthed the words Yes, Master. She would do what he wanted. That’s how this game worked.

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