Archive | September 19, 2015


He’d tried “no,” “fuck no” and “no way in a billion fucking years.” Doug had tried everything he thought he’d work and a few things he’d known wouldn’t, but in the end, he’d lost anyway. His father had put his foot down, and Doug had found himself sitting in his own office, staring across his desk at a new student.

“I’m going to be your Mentor.”

She glared back at him and worked her mouth for a moment, like the whole idea tasted bad. “They told me. Thought we were supposed to get a choice.”

Doug swallowed most of a laugh. “Yeah, me too. Guess we blew that one.”

She raised her eyebrows, raised her bic, and lit up a tiny flame. “Rock on.”

Un-slump-me prompt call

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Character building: Rand (a drabble)

This story contains allusions to non-consensual everything

End of Year Five.

Rand didn’t go out to Maureen’s much, but the day the Second Cohort left, he found himself leaning on the fence with a bunch of other dads, trying to pick his kid out of the tumbling toddlers. She’d be blonde, probably. That didn’t narrow it down all that much. Maybe about, what, a year old now? How big were one-year-olds?

A hand slapped across his back. He didn’t need to turn to know who it was. He’d always know her touch.

“Cheer up, kiddo.” Acacia was laughing at him. She spent a lot of time laughing, she always had. “You’ve got two more years left. You’ll find someone who holds still long enough.”

Rand bristled. “It was just-“

“Or,” she continued, that way she had of talking right over him, “it’s not like you don’t know what to do to make them hold still. I thought we taught you that much, at least.”

And she was gone, leaving Rand staring off into the Village at her ponytail. Following after her, the way he always seemed to.

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A Wedding, a drabble

Two of Arinyanka’s younger cousins were helping her dress, while a third and fourth stood behind her on a stool, braiding ribbons into her hair.

On the other side of the room, two more of her cousins were doing what they could with Girey’s hair and beard. He was reading, holding the ancient scroll carefully while layers were draped over and around him. There was no complaining. He hadn’t spoken, as a matter of fact, since she’d handed him the scroll.

He looked up. There were eight other people in the room with them, but he looked directly at her. “This isn’t in any of the Bitrani histories.”

Rin opened her mouth to answer, but he beat her to it. “It wouldn’t be. We – the priests removed so much as heresy.” He set the scroll down with the reverence it deserved; a cousin stepped in immediately to clasp bracelets on both Girey’s wrists.

He cleared his throat. “I -” He shifted to Bitrani and tried again. “I understand.” His gesture, short as it was, took in the finery he was wearing, the Bitrani royal colors a repeated note in clothing that was otherwise entirely Calenyena.

“You don’t mind?” It was a foolish question, but the Girey she was wedding this week was so different from the one she’d kidnapped. She found herself still expecting some complaint, some whining.

He smiled crookedly. “Of course I mind. But I was always going to go to a state marriage, before. And this… this is a state marriage all right. Just… gaudier.”

Rin chuckled quietly. “Don’t tell me that Bitrani get married in mud and dirt colors, too?”

“Mud and dirt,” he agreed solemnly, “and don’t forget dust.”

“I’m afraid you’ll have to settle for getting married in silk and finest linen, then.” Her shoulders settled and Rin found herself smiling. “Not even itchy army-issue wool.”

“I suppose I can live with it.” The cousins were looking at him strangely. Girey laughed, a short sound she still didn’t hear often. “For you.”

Anti-slump prompt call

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