Archive | October 7, 2014

Jumping Rings: A Story of the Circled Plain – Chapter Eight

Valran, by Mellama photo unnamed_zpsa9b5ef54.png

Chapter Eight: Valran

Come

“Come.”

The female voice, again. Valran didn’t move.

“Come, Valran Servus. I am buying you.”

He risked looking up, now. It didn’t seem like the wisest idea, but there was something about her voice that demanded attention. So up Valran looked, into eyes like amber.

Keep reading on the webpage!

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Natural Prey

Eamon had made his share of enemies in four years at Addergoole.

Everyone did, he supposed. Everyone got in somebody’s way, everyone pissed someone off. He liked to think that he’d done right, at least. He’d made the bad guys angry, made almost all of the really bad ones somewhere between furious and spitting mad, and generally protected the small, the weak, and those who didn’t know better yet. But that didn’t make him any fewer enemies – that just made the ones he had stronger and more ruthless.

He watched his back his first year out of school. It was 2012, so there was a lot of watching to do, anyway. Watch out for the army, watch out for the monster-hunters. Watch out for the monsters, in at least three varieties. Help who you can.

He was actually pretty good at helping people, too. He was naturally gregarious and made more so by his Change; people liked him. He was a nice puppy. Big, friendly, affable, and nobody really thought too much about how big he was when he was helping them out of a jam. He made a bit of a name for himself – helping people out of difficult situations, playing fireman or EMT or whatever and then moving on while people were still grateful. It was, he hated to admit, fun. People liked him.

By the time he woke up with a splitting headache, he’d actually forgotten all about watching his back from school enemies, and he’d almost forgotten about watching out for the other threats. The world was done ending. It had been a few years.

And he was staring up at someone straddling him, trying desperately to remember how he’d gotten here – and why she was smiling.


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If you’d like to see more of this story, there is SO MUCH more to tell. Just drop a tip in the the tip handcuffs:

Written to [personal profile] kissofjudas‘s prompt

Eamon is a Year 14 Addergoole Student. This is his first appearance.

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The Rescue? Continues? – a continuation for the Giraffe Call

Previous: A Rescue, of Sorts

Daxton had dealt with mercenaries before – there had been the month of assassination attempts, and then there had been the border skirmishes, since his father’s Duchy butted up again the Red Queen’s land. He had learned, unpleasantly but quickly, that you did what you were told by the people in armor, or, Duke’s son or not, they made certain you did what they wanted. He fell quiet and held still.

“This’ll just take a minute.” She pulled a leather roll from her belt and, from there, pulled a set of tiny tools. “Just hold still…” One slim tool went into the key-hole of Daxton’s shackles, followed by another, this one at an angle. “Hold still…” Daxton hadn’t moved, but, then again, she wasn’t looking at him, she was looking at her work.

Three clicks later, the shackles had released. “Can you walk?”

“Yes.” He was fairly certain he could, at least. “But-“

“Hsst, come on.” She hauled him to his feet and shoved her shoulder under his arm. “We’ve got to get out of here before – well, we’ve got to get out of here.”

He couldn’t very well let her go back to his father and tell the Duke that his son had refused to leave the Red Queen’s dungeon. “Very well. I can walk…”

“And I can support you. You’re a year’s wages on legs, man, come on. I expected this.”

It turned out that “I can walk” was slightly more of an exaggeration than Daxton had believed, but, luckily, he supposed, the mercenary’s claim that she could support him was completely true. They headed out of the dungeon, the hair on the back of Daxton’s neck prickling.

They were moving quietly, but slowly. Daxton was sure that at any moment, the Red Queen’s guards would jump out and resc- and capture him back. He’d feel bad about the nice mercenary woman, of course, but she’d known it was a high-risk job. Dukes do not give out rewards like the one Daxton’s father was reportedly offering for cakewalks.

“Almost there. Hsst, gotta hold yourself for a moment. Can you do that?”

“Where… yes.” They were in a dusty, musty corner of the white-stone castle. He hadn’t seen much of the place in his captivity, but he was pretty sure that nobody had seen this room in years, possibly decades. Certainly nobody with a mop.

It had some old papers, a lot of mud – and most importantly, a door. It looked stuck; the mercenary leaned heavily on it, shoving it one finger-width at a time.

The guards were going to be here any minute. They were going to hear the soft scrape of the door on the wood, or follow some trail or some track. They couldn’t just lose him. Could they?

And they’d put an arrow through her, right off, but if the Red Queen was telling the truth, they’d make sure to only cripple her. She liked thieves to die slowly, very slowly.

“Can you hurry a little?”

“If I hurry, it makes noise. It makes noise…”

“Okay. Okay. Quiet is good.” He leaned against a wall. The guards would find him. Nobody had even got as far as the dungeon before. He wasn’t even sure the stories the Red Queen told him were true. But if they did find him – if they didn’t find him –

“There. Come on, the horses are right outside.”

“This is insane.” He hobbled through the narrow opening into a courtyard as disused as the room had been. “How did you-“

“I do my prep work. Here.” She dropped to her knees and gave him a leg up into the saddle. Daxton found that muscle memory took over, even if his strength was lacking. “Now, now is the time where we have to really run.” She mounted her own horse much more quickly, grabbed the reins to Daxton’s horse, and, in a moment, they were bent down over their mounts’ necks as they sped towards the border.

They were really leaving. They were really going home. Daxton closed his eyes and concentrated on not falling off. They were really out of the Red Queen’s palace. He squeezed his eyes a little tighter and clutched the pommel.

The mercenary didn’t stop them until they were up in the foothills, past the Red Queen’s territory and almost to Daxton’s father’s duchy. A tiny hunting cabin stood waiting for them. “You can clean up here, and rest. We’ll go back to your father in the morning, and I can collect my reward.”

Her reward. Daxton swallowed. “I really appreciate all the trouble you went to, but I-“

“-have as much interest in rutting as you do in learning how to be a pig farmer. I know.”

“You… what?” Daxton gaped at her.

“I do my prep work. And my research.”

“But my father offered my hand in marriage to the merc – or woman of the merc’s choice – that rescued me.” He could, he supposed, run back to the Red Queen’s dungeon. But that would be pretty obvious.

“So?” The mercenary grinned at him. “You’re not the only one who’d rather do anything else than rut.”


My Dungeon & Cave Call is open!

If you want more of this story – and there is still more just dying to be written – drop a tip in, ah, the tip handcuffs:

This story written as [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith‘s commissioned continuation

Next: Probably a Rescue.

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Other Duties As Needed, a story for the Giraffe Call

“Miss Myers, when you I said I was willing to do anything…” Danny wiped sweat from his brow. He should just shut up. He kept talking. “I suppose the tone of your voice led me to think that, maybe, since you were looking for a ‘personal assistant’ and it was going to be work in my degree field…”

“You thought perhaps the work would either be sexual or related to business. I understand.” Lilliam Myers sat down on stone wall with a practiced skirt-smoothing gesture that did not help Danny’s concentration. She was fifteen years older than him and a thousand times richer and more successful. And he worked for her, and she was talking about sex. “You weren’t expecting to be laying walls and mowing my lawn. It doesn’t appear to be forwarding your position any, am I right?”

“Exactly.” He picked up another brick and slotted it into place.

“But you did say you’d be willing to do anything.”

“I’m doing it, I’m doing it. It’s just – “

“Not what you expected.” She was laughing at him, wasn’t she? He should have stayed quiet. He should shut up now.

“Not really, no.”

“So what you want is the ability to climb in society, not to build the walls that holds society’s lawns together. But in reality, all that we do is build walls for other people to sit on.”

Danny finally listened to his inner voice and shut up.

“We do a lot of dirty work. Yesterday, while you were working on the bushes, I know you heard the entire conversation between Mr. Donaldson and myself.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He hadn’t known that she’d noticed him.

“And did you learn anything?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“There will be a quiz later. For now, go use the bathroom next to my bedroom and clean up. The wall will still be here tomorrow… and, in a couple hours, we have a charity ball to go to.”

“In a…” The look in her face was unmistakable. “Yes, ma’am!”


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If you’d like to see more of this story, I bet there’s more to be written. Just drop a tip in the the tip handcuffs:

Written to [personal profile] thnidu‘s prompt.

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Scrum Tuesday Morning

Work has been doing a scrum-style meeting every morning (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrum_(software_development)) for admin, so I thought I’d do something similar for me.

So, yesterday, I:
* Worked for 8 hours!
* wrote 1775 words, including a Giraffe Call prompt, a Genderfunky prompt, and parts of two Giraffe Commissions.
* made this:

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(which is a number chart for tracking food and exercising)
* hung my mirror in my bedroom (finally)
* hung my bulletin board in my cave to have a place to put the above velociraptor count
* with T, hauled and stacked one wagonload of wood into the house
* took a ~ 25-minute walk with T

Yay~

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Just so you all know..

When I post “*GRIN*” in response to a comment, it’s because you’ve actually gotten a face-stretching happy-emotions-making grin out of me.

Thank you for all those times.

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