Archive | September 30, 2014

The Manticore

She lived in the center of the Rebuilt City, in an apartment high in a tower that had once held offices. Although the city was called Rebuilt, the place where she lived was still more ruin than reconstruction, and few people ventured that deep into the former metropolis.

She was not often seen, not by people who reported back to others, of course, but there were rumors of her from time to time. Sometimes, adventurous people did not bother her, and thus could sight her and leave without danger. Other times they simply escaped.

She could fly, some said. She could run faster than any human ought, others whispered. She could rend flesh effortlessly, with claws or teeth: they showed the proof of that, sometimes, in wounds that festered and rotted. She could poison you with a flick of her tail.

And yet they also said she was a beautiful girl, a young woman who looked small and vulnerable, who would be found sunning herself high on a balcony, overlooking the ruins.

They said she ate people – those who escaped, those who had never been there. They said she devoured them whole, unhinging her jaw like a snake. They said she was a monster. And it was true that those who vanished into her territory were never heard from again, nor were any signs ever seen – not hide nor hair nor clothes nor weapons.

They called her the manticore. And they either loved her or feared her, but none knew her true.

Written to [personal profile] anke‘s prompt

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Hard Hat and Easy Choices, a ficlet for the Genderfunk call

Written to [personal profile] clare_dragonfly‘s Prompt to my gender-funk call. More gender than funk, but still fun

“Excuse me, Miss, you can’t – Oh. Oh, excuse me.” He wasn’t really recognizing her; he wasn’t even reading the name on her pass. He was just looking at the green bar across the top of it that meant “money.”

“No worries. Here.” Andy fit the hard hat – custom-made and screaming of “money” as much as her pass did – over her ringlets. “The boots are steel-toed and, yes, I can climb in these jeans.”

“I’m sorry, Miss, Ma’am, it’s just…”

“I know.” She air-patted near the man’s shoulder. It wasn’t kind, she supposed, but she’d run into this enough times that it had gone from amusing to just tiresome and back again. “Look, I’m Andonia Carter, and this is my building. I just need to get up to the third row of balconies, all right?”

He looked flummoxed. They always did. She’d found if she was going to do this job, it was the only way to get what she wanted without sacrificing anything she didn’t want to lose.

“Ma’am, Miz Carter, you can go right up. I’m sorry, it’s just…”

“It’s always just.” She patted her ringlets, just to hammer home the point, and swung into the construction elevator. She’d have to go through it again tomorrow, probably – but eventually, word would get around.

It would have been easier to just dress like they did… but then she’d never make an impression at all.

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