Archive | May 9, 2015

Æ is for Ash

From [personal profile] thnidu‘s prompt here in honor of the Things Unspoken landing page

They called it the Unburnt Tree. In Corthwin, which had burned thrice in known history, and, from the records in the places not yet rebuilt, appeared to have burned at least three times before they began counting such things, there stood an Ash Tree. It was unbelievably tall – the tallest thing in the city – and incredibly wide. And nobody built within a hundred meters of its spread in any direction.

They called it the Unburnt Tree for good reason. By all indications, the tree had been growing for longer than Corthwin had stood. In a city which had burned so many times, in a land where massive forest fires had once ranged, the Unburnt Tree stood. When the Empire had taken over the nation of which Corthwin was a major city, the Unburnt Tree stood, unharmed, untouched, even when the catapults flung burning pitch over the walls. When an earlier Emperor had, soon before he was quietly helped to the next life, sought to eliminate sources of “superstition” throughout the Empire and ordered the Unburnt Tree cut down, the axes had bounced off.

What was more, scions of the tree or seedlings grown from its seeds, all of those that survived to be saplings or larger took on the properties of their ancestor. Now, surrounding Corthwin, there grew a wall of trees, some no thicker than a finger, but all of them bearing the promise: the world might burn, but these trees would not. And, what’s more, all those who sheltered under their leaves would be safe.

The Unburnt tree could not protect all of Corthwin. But with its children, it could protect the people.

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

Flipped, a story of Tír na Cali

Edit: Forgot to cut for content- slavery, unwilling, and revenge-slavery.

“No! You can’t! It can’t be you!”

He had not been the best master, but he had also not been the worst.

“No! What are you going to – oh, Goddess and – ow!”

He had not been dumb – was still not dumb – which had made organizing things so that he lost everything and she managed to get both freed and enriched by the situation quite difficult.

“Right, right. I’ll behave. I’ll behave. You don’t have to – ow!”

She’d been motivated, slightly smarter than him, and she’d had outside help. So now, it was her passing over her credit card to the nice lady at the slave shop, and it was him kneeling there in the cell, the thick plastic slave-shop collar around his neck and the plastic manacles around his wrists. He kept looking up at her; the guard kept pushing his head down. And he kept complaining. That was new, the whining.

“Get him up and into my car.” She nodded at the guard. “I’ll take it from there.”

“How do you have the mon- Ow!”

She smiled cheerfully at him. She found this part immensely fun, more fun than only ruining him had been. “It turns out that the Agency is immensely interested in what I can do. And they pay very, very well for hazardous duty.”

“No,” he whined. “You belong to me…”

She held up her hand, stopping the guard from striking him again. “Try again. Or you’ll spend your first month as a slave muzzled.”

“No,” he said again, much more quietly. “No… mistress.”

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