Archive | May 15, 2015

Home Sweet Home

Written to Anke’s tweeted prompt: “building a shelter in the wilderness”.

This follows:Leaving Town, A New Flower, and Outnumbered. I don’t write about these guys very often <.<

Despite being Fae Apoc, no warnings apply.


The four of them had been walking for a while. To hear Nila’s son Allan tell it, they had been walking forever. Finally, they had come into the mountains proper, into places which had been, before the war, relatively uninhabited.

It had been over four days since they could see the city at all, and longer than that since they could hear it. They were moving slowly, but they were moving, and after the first attackers, people were, for the most part, leaving them alone. Perhaps it showed, on their faces, that they’d stand for no threat to the children. Perhaps they just looked too poor to bother. Nila wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth.

She was, however, done walking. She led her little crew – she was carrying Allan right now, and her companion Tros was carrying her infant daughter Susan – off the narrow road and down an overgrown driveway. Nobody had come down here, from the looks of things, in at least a decade. They could camp here, and see what they could find.

What they found was two walls of an old stone house and a chimney, the rest of the house having fallen to the ground. Said ground was littered with the old rocks, but the surviving walls would make a nice wind break. It was going to be getting cold soon, after all. And from that… from that, maybe they could build a proper house.

There was an old car rotting to the side of the small clearing, and a half-collapsed well house. Nila leaned against the wall and smiled. “Home sweet home. Or, at least, it will be.”

She popped her pop-up tent up in the lee of the walls while Allan got to work picking up small stones and Tros scavenged for firewood. Their tent was a bit worse for wear after the days on the road – and a couple attacks – but it was still better than nothing. If it rained – and it looked like it would – they’d need more.

She got Allan picking up pine boughs instead of rocks while she cut long sticks from the surrounding trees. She still had some rope in her pack, enough to work as lashing. The sun was setting by the time she was done, but by the time it kissed the horizon, they had a roof over their little shelter and Tros had a roaring fire going in the pit he and Allan had made.

“Home sweet home?” he asked, softly, when both kids were tucked away in the tent, fast asleep.

“Well.” She looked at the rough roof. “It needs two more walls and a proper roof. But then it would be ours.”

“Ours?” He was supposed to be passing through, watching them for ten days in return for the healing Nila had done for him. But she watched him rolling over the word in his mind. “Yeah. We could make it ours.”

If you want more, I’m sure I can manage more of this one! Just drop me a tip.

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Linguistic Tricks, a story for the Giraffe Call

This is a sibling piece with N is for Nereid, O is for Octopi, and P is for Poinsettias, and follows after R is for Rituals.

It is set in the Things Unspoken ‘verse, and was written to [personal profile] chanter_greenie‘s prompt here to the current Giraffe Call.

Eliška Konvalinka had been in Scheffenon for less than a month, and already she found herself learning a new language.

One of the key skills looked for in potential Informers – next to a keen eye for detail and a flawless memory – was a good ear for languages and dialects. Eliška’s primary linguistic family was the West Torvaldic, of which Cornesc, the language spoken in Scheffenon, was a key example. That was one of the reasons the Informers had placed her here. In three days, she was speaking Cornesc, if not like a native, then like a long-time visitor.

And it was once that she had Cornesc firmly settled in her mind and on her tongue that Eliška began to hear another language.

A large portion of the Informers’ job was to mingle, to shop and to listen. Informers did not have servants run errands for them, although sometimes they dressed in the garb of the Informers’ Embassy to run those errands. Informers listened, and they learned.

And what Eliška was listening to was a small but notable minority of Scheffenon who were speaking in an utterly different language. Not a different dialect – this language was not even of the same family as Cornesc. The r’s were rolled in a way that only the far-Western languages did, and the s’s were soft and susserated, the consonants languid.

It took Eliška a week to place the speakers – not all of the speakers, but the ones who spoke it the most languidly, with the smoothest trilled r’s. The men wore elaborate head-scarves, while the women went bare-headed, their hair parted three times. The women wore small sheathed knives on necklaces; the man wore very loose pants. And they all averted their eyes from the mermaid fountains and octopus murals that were splashed all over Scheffenon.

Eliška was fascinated. She made notes in her logs; she added a paragraph to the teaching poem of Scheffenon. And she began to listen in earnest to this new language, so strange in the harsh-consonants lands of the West Torvaldic linguistic family.

If you want more, Eliška’s story has plenty more coming! Drop a tip in the tip pack below.

Giraffe Call rates apply: $1/100 words.

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White Flag, a story beginning of Fae Apoc for the Giraffe Call (@Lilfluff)

Written to lilfluff‘s prompt here to my Giraffe Call!

Set in the world of Fae Apoc, sometime in late 2011/early 2012.

Mossliden’s spine was twitching. Her hands twitching. Her wings were twitching. But she raised her chin and very carefully held the white flag visible.

The Ashanevai were camped in a small, inaccessible cavern, very defensible and almost impossible to sneak up on. Mossliden approved, and she was not trying, at the moment, to sneak anywhere, but it still made her very uncomfortable.

A bearded man – humans would probably think him about 50, because he had grey in hair and beard and lines on his face – stopped her. “I know you.”

Mossliden nodded her head carefully. “We fought last week, at the waterfall. You took my left hand.” She waggled the healed fingers carefully at him. He was a fierce fighter. This entire band were hard fighters, or Mossliden ‘s people would have won already.

“Ah, yes. You fight pretty good for a Nedetakaei.”

“You fight pretty fiercely, for an Ashanevai.” Mossilden bowed her head again. “My leader sent me to talk about peace.”

“You mean surrender.” He grinned at her with yellowed teeth.

Mossliden didn’t take the bait. She’d been chosen to carry the flag in part because she was very good at not taking bait. “I mean peace.”

“Give your word that this is not some sort of trick.”

“I swear I’m here only to talk about peace, and for no other reason.”

“Hrrmph. Stay here. I’ll get the boss.”

Mossliden waited, as patiently as she could, pacing in short loops around the very small entryway. They kept her waiting. Of course they did. They wanted to be certain that they weren’t being ambushed.

When the leader came out, followed by a thin, stoned-looking mutt with greasy hair, Mossliden forced herself to a polite smile. Halfbreeds, all of them, of course. Not for nothing were the Ashanevai called that. But Mossliden’s people had a need now, and thus she must talk to them.

“I come to talk peace,” she said, carefully. Even more carefully, she repeated the words in the Old Tongue. “These come-lately ‘gods’ threaten our world. They threaten both my people and yours… and the humans. My Queen sent me to offer truce.”

“Shit.” The tall woman in front of Mossliden – all horns and fangs and dreadlocked hair and leather – cleared her throat and smirked. “Well, shit,” she repeated. “The world really is ending.”

If you want more, I’m sure I can manage more of this one! Drop a tip in the tip pack below.

Giraffe Call rates apply: $1/100 words.

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