Archive | January 2, 2016

Education and Collars, a further continuation

A Change in Routine
[personal profile] inventrix‘s Let’s Pretend
Class is in Session
A Brief Reunion
[personal profile] inventrix‘s Unexpected Visitor
Lessons in the Dojo
[personal profile] inventrix‘s from RP logs

Dinner with Leo had been… Interesting. Educational, Luke decided, like every visit to the Ran- to Boom’s place. Wherever Boom’s places were.

For one thing, it had taught him that he needed to visit Howard, or maybe talk Shira into doing so.

For another, it had taught him he owed Apollo an apology. So, sitting in Cynara’s living room while Cynara and Leo made small talk about their students, he looked Apollo in the eye. “I shouldn’t have split your crew up. I’m sorry.”

There was a pause while Apollo processed that. Then, “Yeah. No biggie, I guess.” Apollo tugged on his collar and looked away.

Luke coughed. That. “I’m not going to apologize for asking jae’Red Doomsday to Keep you.”

Apollo glanced at him sideways. “Why not?”

“Because you needed it. Because being here is good for you.” He could see Apollo readying a scoff. He kept talking. “I failed you as a Mentor. But I’ve seen what Cyna- Cya can do as a Keeper.”

“Yeah? Have you seen her collar collection?”

Luke snorted. “I’ve watched her pick her Kept for the last sixty years. If I were Regine I could tell you their survival percentages…”

“Please don’t,” Cynara murmured. When Luke glanced over, she was once again chatting to Leo about something one of their Students had done.

“…I can’t. I’m not that good at numbers. But I’d bet you anything it’s higher than that of the rest of the Addergoole grads.”

“Anything?” Apollo leaned forward, a fierce twist of an expression on his face. “Would you bet a year under this collar yourself?”

Cynara and Leo stopped talking. For a moment, it seemed to Luke that the entire city stopped talking.

It was a fair question. He glanced over at Cynara, only to see that she was studiously watching a patch of wall over Leofric’s shoulder.

“Well,” he started to hedge, “there’s the problem of my teaching job…” No. He needed to give the kid a fair answer. “Yeah. Yeah, I’d be willing to gamble that.” Mike would kill him. Slowly. But it wasn’t like there was much danger of it. “But are you sure jae’Doomsday is interested in being gambled with?”

Apollo glanced guiltily back at his Keeper. “Um. Well. She Keeps someone every year. You said it.”

“All students just out of Addergoole, all of them. Hell,” he added with some frustration, “there was a good chance she would have picked you up without my intervention.” The boy certainly had the look, and that was something Luke wasn’t going to say out loud in front of any of the three of them. “I’m not exactly her type.”

“She doesn’t need a ‘type’,” Apollo retorted with some frustration. “She has Leo and Howard.”

Oh. Well. Luke coughed. “Anyway. Yes. I’d be willing to gamble on that if jae’Doomsday would be willing to be gambled with.”

And the dead gods help him if he was wrong.

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Warm and Cozy

to an anonymous prompt. It kept going, so I guess I was having fun with it 😉

The wind had been blowing hard all day, and the snow had not so much been coming down as coming sideways, stacking up against the house and making stripes of drifts along the yard.

It wasn’t a day to be outside, but Anya finished the last of her chores anyway. The ducks had to be fed, the firewood needed to be split, and the mailman got cranky if she didn’t check the mail at least once a week.

It was on the trudge back up the driveway that she noticed the strange way the snow was drifting near her front porch. It shouldn’t be lumping like that; the bushes she’d tried there hadn’t lasted through the last cold winter and there was nothing in that garden but ferns and moss now. And yet… there it was, a drift clearly pushing the snow up against something a couple feet away from her porch.

Something peachy brown. Something peachy brown with a tuft of… black? On top that could, sure, be some sort of junk or debris but could also be…

“Shit.” Anya didn’t so much live in a neighborhood as five miles outside the closest thing that could be in any way called a neighborhood, the sort of place where even the local radio DJs sometimes joked about dumping bodies. Nobody had actually done it, at least not in living memory, but there were always the stories.

First things first, check the crime scene. She’d watched enough procedurals to know that much. There was one set of footsteps, quickly being filled in. She snapped a picture with her phone, and another of the body.

The body moved. It wasn’t much, mostly a shudder. Anya jumped, yelping. The body twitched and moaned.

“You are not a body.”

A head lifted out of the snow. Blue lips croaked out the beginning of a word, lost in racking coughs.

“Right. If I don’t want you to become a body right here on my yard, I’m going to have to warm you up.” She knelt down beside him. “I’m going to pick you up. Don’t fight it, okay?”

She was answered by another hacking cough.

“I’m going to take that as a yes.”

He was heavy, but he wasn’t much heavier than a dead deer. She got him up – she was going with him, although she hadn’t gotten enough snow off of him to be sure yet – in an awkward carry, inside in a series of stumbling heaves, and dropped him as gently as she could on her love seat.

“Hypothermia, hypothermia.” She thumbed through her phone until she found what she needed. “Right. Off with your – snow, I guess. Are you wearing clothes?”
He shook his head.

“Right. Goddess, when I said I wanted a man, this is not what I meant. Towels, towels.”

The towels were easy; drying off a naked man who could barely cooperate was harder. She read over her phone again and stuck some water in the microwave to warm, talking all the while. “You’re supposed to shiver, if you can. Here, have a blanket, and here’s another.”

He was skinny, when she got the snow off of him, tattooed all over in patterns like a drunk man’s paisley, and his hair had gone shaggy. Wrapped in a plaid blanket and sipping on mint tea, he looked a bit like a hipster. “If you say you were freezing before it was cool,” she muttered, “I might just throw you out in the snow again.”

He held up his hands in surrender, and she got a glimpse of what his smile looked like. “Good, good.” The house was warm, but she put another log on the fire just in case. “Get settled in.” She talked to the ducks, she talked to the snow and the cats. Talking to another human being that didn’t seem to talk back wasn’t even close to strange. “Get yourself all warm and cozy. Once you’re up to temperature, we can worry about things like clothes… and how you ended up in my front yard.”

There were scars hidden in the tattoos, and a long mark she thought was probably a brand. She had a feeling it was going to be a long story. Anya glanced out the window; the snow had covered over the last of his tracks and the road was a foot deep in white. “We’ve got time,” she assured him (and herself). “Nobody’ll be bothering us for quite a while.”

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Grafitti of the prophets…

(xposted from facebook; sorry to the 3 people that’ll get a double post 😉

So, I was listening to Disturbed’s cover of Sound of Silence1, and I got to thinking about these lines:

“The words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls”

And I thought, what if it’s not “the prophets” but “The Prophet,” the book by Kahlil Gibran2? Then it becomes a lot less deep of a line, ’cause let me tell you, when I was in school, the words of The Prophet really were written on any blank space of wall.

1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aN8wSwmqjpk
2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Prophet_(book)

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