Archive | August 19, 2014

Kittens, a story for the Giraffe Call

Written to [personal profile] anke ‘s prompt.

 "I miss my kittens."

"I had kittens once, and it was no fun."
Ocelli leaned back in her chair until it nearly toppled and stared at the ceiling, because if she stared at Group, she would laugh, and then there would be the meds again.  
"Would you care to clarify, Celia?"  The doctor had the warning voice on, the one that meant she wasn’t Cooperating.  Good Girls Cooperated. 
"It’s Ocelli. I got it changed legally and everything."  She thumped her chair back onto the ground and glared at the doctor.  "Ah-chell-lee."
"Like an Ocelot, you’ve said.  Wouldn’t that be Ah-seh-lee, then?"
"It’s my name. I can pronounce it like I want to and you could do me the same courtesy, Dr. Wordstrum."  The mood shifts weren’t what had landed Ocelli in here, but if anyone had actually been paying attention, maybe they should have.  She wasn’t stifling laughter anymore, now she was nigh-on snarling at the doctor, her hands flat on her lap.  She would not attack the doctor.  She would not attack anyone.  She would not…
"Your given name was Celia, however.  And I believe that this new name is a symptom of your disease.  Thus, we try to bring you back to Celia,  to…"
Ocelli stared at the ceiling and counted to twenty.  It wasn’t her fault the damn doctors couldn’t see. It wasn’t her fault they were Blind. 
"I had kittens once."  She fixed her gaze on the one who missed her kittens.  "It was no fun at all."

Writer’s note: I know that the doctor is being horrible and running group very badly. 


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

And We Are Not Monsters

First in this story: Unwelcome Guests
Previous: The Clean-Up

1016 words, to Rix’s commissioned continuation.

“Come.” Viatrix led the her new Kept into the back yard, murmuring what she thought of as “Addergoole Standard Kept Rules” as she went.

She didn’t look at the girl until they reached the stone circle that, in some other owner’s time, had been a back patio and outdoor kitchen. She didn’t need to; the way the orders were spun, there was little the girl could do.

When she reached the center of the circle, then, she turned. “Kneel.” A Word awoke the fire in the grill. “Give me your wrists.”

Her Kept did as she was told, although she was clearly fighting it. “Mistress… bitch.” She forced the word out with a snarl.

Viatrix found herself grinning. “Yes. Both of those. What name are you called?”

“They Called me Red Mage, but my father named me Rohanna.” She held her wrists out, but her hands were trembling. “What are you going to do to me…. you bitch?”

The swearing was twisted out of her mouth, forced out around heavy breathing and eyes that were wider than they ought to be. Via grabbed both wrists in one hand.

“You’re Mine for the next year. I want to be sure you don’t forget it.”

She could see the moment the girl’s eyes landed on her own wrists, on brand she had never bothered to heal. “You…”

“We’ve all done our time.” She muttered a Working that would shut off the pain, and made the branding in one quick motion. “And we are not monsters.”

“This way.” Baram led the boy into the house, pausing only to knock the safe-knock on the basement door. Aly wouldn’t thank him if he didn’t let her out of there as soon as possible. She was almost as good with kids as he was.

“My room.” He had the biggest room in the house, the biggest bed. It was, after all, his cave. “Yours, for six months.”

The boy fell to his knees again, his hands tucked behind his back this time. “Sir.”

It reminded Baram, uncomfortably, of the people in the trap-basement, of the time at school. “Get – no-.” He sat down on his bed with a thump. “I don’t need you kneeling. I don’t need you sirring me.”

“Sir?” The boy’s eyes went wide & he slapped both hands over his mouth. His “sorry” was muffled, what showed of his expression terrified.

Baram growled. “Come here… shit.” The boy was skittering over without getting to his feet. “Fine. Damnit.” He looked down at the boy, who looked terrified. “I’m not going to hurt you.”

The boy glanced up, swallowed, and looked back down at the floor. “Sir?”

“I didn’t take you to hurt you. I took you to hurt them.”

“Sir?” This time, it was a squeak. Baram grumbled. Words were hard. Orders were harder.

He scooped the boy into his lap instead, and, as if he was touching a newborn, ran his fingers down the boy’s back. “You have a name?”

“Lots – lots of names, sir.”

“One of those, hunh?” It was an effort to remember how to be gentle, to be that careful. Baram’s girls were so tough, so thick-skinned. He set one hand over the boy’s hip. “My name is Baram.” Start with the simple things. “This is my house. The girls – they work for me.”

The boy looked at him, and swallowed. “The Black ‘Blazers called me Tommy. But… but my mother called me Kavan and my Mentor called me Wild Eyes.” He ducked his head suddenly. “Sir.”

“I can call you Kavan.” He patted the boy’s back. “So, you’re an adult?”

A snort of laughter, surprised, escaped before Kavan slapped both hands over his mouth. “Oh gods. Sir… sorry. Yes. Yes, I’m an adult. Nearly fifty.”

Baram barked out a laugh. “Older than me. So, old enough to understand.”

Another swallow, and a peek through those fingers. “Sir?”

“That there are monsters in the world.”

“Yes, yes sir.” There was no where for Kavan to go, perched on Baram’s lap and trapped, Baram’s hand on his hip holding him there. But he looked like he was trying to shrink away to nothingness.

He wasn’t a child. But that didn’t mean he wasn’t fragile, did it?

“And there are people who aren’t monsters.” He tried to sound gentle. It was hard; he had to sound like he was whispering, mostly. “And we are not monsters.”


“There are things you need to know about us.” Jaelie sat perched on the top stair of the trap-basement, Aloysius standing guard behind her. Their “guests” couldn’t make it out of the trap, not the way it was set up, but that was no reason to be incautious.

“Do I like I give a shit about your things?” The woman, Delaney, was snarling, fierce like a wild thing. Jaelie was glad she’d gone into the trap calmly, because fighting her would have been interesting. “Let us the fuck out of here and let us talk to Baram.”

“If the boss doesn’t want to talk to you, there’s nothing I can do about it. There are things you need to know about us.”

It wasn’t the first time Jaelie had given a speech like this one.

“I told you, I don’t give a-”

“Del.” The other one, Ardell, was soft and slick of voice. “Please continue, jae-”

“I’m called Briar Rose, sa’Diamondback. The things you need to know start with this: we are not on the side of angels.”

The woman, who had fallen silent for a moment, burst into laughter, fake and bubbly. “Who is, these days? I didn’t see them coming down for the war.”

Jaelie grinned, not because it was funny, but because the woman hadn’t realized she was in trouble yet. “We’re not on the side of devils, either. We’re on our side.” She met the man’s eyes, because he seemed to be paying attention.

He nodded slowly. “That’s the first thing to know. What’s the second?”

Now Jaelie was grinning. “That we are not monsters… and this isn’t where the monsters live.”

Next: There Are Always Choices.

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

August 12-August 19 in the apocalypse

The Apoc

In the end of May, 2011, strange things started happening all over the world. Follow along with [personal profile] faeapoclive, [ profile] faeapoclive, and [ profile] faeapoclive as the apocalypse unfolds


TOMAHAWK, Wisconsin; FARMVILLE, Virginia; CYPRESS, Texas(AP): What started in june in fort valley, Georgia with one man, Glen Carlson, has been spreading across the country: people creating giant five-pointed stars into their property, or, in some cases, into public land.

In Tomahawk, Wisconsin, Arlene Brady built the star, which she calls a “devil’s trap,” out of old pallet wood. In Farmville, Virginia, Lucas Gibson cut it into his wheat field. And in Fort Valley, Georgia, an entire family worked together to lay the star in white stone in their back yard.

What, exactly, the purpose of these stars is remains to be seen.



ATHENS, Greece(AP): Rioting began Friday around the Acropolis, and has only worsened since; Greece news sources are reporting at least seven dead, although the Grecian government claims “only minor injuries.”

With the influx of visitors and opportunists seeking to visit the so-called “Zeus” who has taken up residence on the rebuilt Acropolis, Grecian police sought to maintain order. They declared a curfew and started forcing loiterers off the streets at dark.

The tourists – and, some say, the Athenian people as well – responded with violence. Overhead photos show at least a city block on fire, and tanks in downtown Athens.
Neither the Grecian police nor Zeus could be reached for a statement.


CHACO CANYON, New Mexico(AP): an enclosure nearly a mile on a side has been constructed around the historical site here at the Chetro Ketl Great Kiva.

Rumor and local witnesses say that a portal – a “glowing circle of light in the middle of the air” – was discovered here in early june, just as many of the other portals were appearing.
But the black-suited individuals, who will not reveal their affiliation, have had the place on lockdown ever since. Nobody except their people get within the perimeter, and they don’t leave, taking deliveries at the gate.

Last night, locals report seeing a series of seven “eye-searing” flashes of light come from within the enclosure.



NEW YORK CITY, NY(AP): Despite there being no legal precedent for such a thing, the vote of no confidence against New York Mayor Michael Bloomburg went forth as scheduled yesterday.

The votes are still being counted, but new candidates are already beginning to campaign.

Foremost among those candidates is Hera sheh Rheah, whose corporation, Peacock, Inc., poured millions of dollars into the campaign to depose Mayor Bloomburg.



CROSSVILLE, TN(AP): Reports have surfaced of ghosts walking the streets in this Cumberland County city.

People across the city have called in to the radio stations, posted photos on Facebook, tweeted out about the news – the are seeing the dead walk again.

One woman, known as @cumberlandbeauty, tweeted: “Just saw my grandmother walking down the street, just where she walked every day. She’s been dead five years.”

Another man, Ronald Smith, posted photos on Facebook of what appear to be translucent Civil War soldiers walking through the cemetery.

In normal times, this would be assumed to be some sort of citywide hoax, but, as the reports keep flying in, this reporter can’t help but wonder if the dead really are walking in Cumberland.

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

Where the Stars Went Out, a ficlet of Fae Apoc for the Giraffe Call

Written to [personal profile] alexseanchai‘s musical prompt, and set in my Fae Apoc verse, round about the apoc.

There was a week where the stars went out, and that may have been the most terrifying week in any of our lives.

Except the Captain, of course, because nothing scares her.

But I’m starting in the wrong place. I do that. The Captain says it’ll be the death of me, though I can’t see how.

The place to start, if you ask me, would be back when the city flooded and they started the lynchings.

I can’t really say I blame them – I mean, the city was flooding, and it was the fault of monsters, if you look at it a certain way.

On the other hand, it wasn’t us that did it, and it was, or had been, our city too. And it’s hard to be sympathetic when there’s hemp around your neck, if you know what I mean.

There were five of us on that platform, all of us suddenly finding our Masks that hid us from humanity not as, well, mask-like as they used to be. Something about the returned gods – but what it meant to us wasn’t godly, unless hemp is sacred now.

Is hemp sacred now? That would suck.

And we were about to – well, probably die, maybe just be really, really uncomfortable. I’m not sure. There was the satyr and the fishie girl, the selkie and banshee and me, and only the gods know if it would’ve killed any of us – and they’re too busy making chaos to share any information.

And up the river comes this ship, this beautiful beautiful boat – I mean ship, it’s a ship – with Maidenhead painted on it, and at the helm was this beautiful kitsune lady.

Ever been rescued from a lynching by a fox girl? I have!

And when she had swashbuckled us all onto her boat, she gave us all an offer: Sail with me, because the land is no longer safe for our kind. Sail with me, and we’ll rule the seven seas.

Well, who can say no to that? (The banshee, that’s who. But that’s okay). We sailed with her (everyone but the banshee…) and it was beautiful and fun.

Until the week where the stars went out…

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

A Hero of Reiassan – patreon post

“They teach you about heroes.” The teacher dropped into story-telling cadence as she hopped onto her desk. “They tell you about Empresses. They tell you about scholars. But do they tell you…”

Her voice became a whisper, “about Dirvodirvan and the Sword of Fire?”

The class stared at her. The teacher smiled.

“Dirvodirvan was born to a goat-herder, back in the cold times when the world was hard. He was born in the winter, on the coldest night, he was born to a world so cold the midwife’s hands near froze to him.

“And from his cold birth came a man of fire.” The teacher dragged out fire as if she were savoring the word. “A man of iron, a man of blood.” She grinned at her students, and they shrank back in their seats. “A man who would break chains with his bare hands.”

“I heard he was a slave,” one student piped up, certain of himself.

“In that day, all the Calenyena were slaves.” The teacher’s answer was smooth and sure. “The Bitrani owned the land and the boats, the goats and the weapons, and doled them out only as they saw fit. They kept the wheat and the grain, too, so that all the Calenyena had to eat were river-grass and marsh-root, seeds and moss. They kept the Calenyena hungry and needy, so that they could not fight for the need to farm, could not ride for the need to eat their goats, could not sing for the need to breathe.”

She had leaned forward as she spoke, and so had they. She leaned back, now, grinning once again. “But Dirvodirvan broke the locks. Dirvodirvan set us free. Dirvodirvan, clever man.” She sat down on the edge of the desk and held her arms wide, “found food where there was none and steel where only stone had been, fed and armed the Calenyena using nothing but his wits.” She waited for a count of three. “He broke the first link, and warriors did the rest.”