Archive | February 2, 2016

Groundhog Day, Faerie Apocalypse, Part VI


Part One: Dreamwidth ~ Live Journal
Part Two: Dreamwidth ~ Live Journal
Part Three: Dreamwidth ~ Livejournal
Part Four: Dreamwidth ~ Livejournal
Part Five: Dreamwidth ~ Livejournal


Fran surrendered herself to Gorjarn, then watched as he destroyed Jackson anyway. She woke gasping for breath, the feel of the blade he’d killed her with still chilly and painful in her chest.

She paced the town from dusk until the moment Gorjarn for shouted her, noting everything, and then let him kill her again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

The teenager watched her through every incarnation, her eyes so wide, her jaw so set. Fran watched the teen, in turn. It was a shitty way to make a plan, but it was what she had.

She woke up at two past midnight, her chest burning. Gorjarn didn’t get any more creative with his murder, at least.

She was ready.


Next: DW~LJ


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Groundhog Day, Faerie Apocalypse, Part V


Part One: Dreamwidth ~ Live Journal
Part Two: Dreamwidth ~ Live Journal
Part Three: Dreamwidth ~ Livejournal
Part Four: Dreamwidth ~ Livejournal


Fran woke in the motel room as the sun was just starting to come up. She snuck up into the bell tower and hid, watching as the people of Jackson looked for her and failed.

She watched as they were overrun by Gorjarn’s people, each of them led off in chains. As they led away a skinny teenager, the girl looked directly at Fran, her eyes wide and terrified.

She woke early, shaking, curled in on herself from the way she’d fallen asleep in the bell tower. There had to be a better way.

She woke the villagers early and chivied and coaxed them out of town. They watched from a ridge miles away as Gorjarn burned Jackson to the ground. The teenager looked at Fran and shook her head.

Fran woke stiff and unhappy. She grabbed her gear bag and staked through the streets, looking for weapons. Spears, sure. Pipe torches, check. Baseball bats, check.

Jackson had three hundred adults and a third that many young children. If they could be armed…

…if they could be armed, it turned out, they might still be snuck up on by Gorjarn’s scouts, coming through the holes in the wall. The teenager screamed “Ranger”, a moment before Fran fell unconscious.


Next: DW~LJ


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Groundhog Day, Faerie Apocalypse, Part IV


Part One: Dreamwidth ~ Live Journal
Part Two: Dreamwidth ~ Live Journal
Part Three: Dreamwidth ~ Livejournal


Fran forced herself awake early. The night was still dark, but she could feel that the leaves she’d gone to sleep in had already transformed themselves into a cheap motel bed.

She’d done every protective Working on herself she could think of before going to sleep. It hadn’t worked. So someone very powerful was transporting her back to Jackson during the night…

…or someone was turning the clock back on Jackson to the day before. She swung her legs down, missed running into her gear bag this time, and headed out into town.

The antsy dog was sleeping in front of the supply depot. The weak spot in the wall was restored. The tree overhanging the wall didn’t have the raw place anymore where she’d scraped the bark. Far out on the horizon, she could see a force of people growing closer.

She woke the Mayor. They woke the defense force, such as it was. The pitiful force gathered in front of the gate, ten people to Gorjarn’s fifty warriors.

“Give us Franciszka the Denier!” Gorjarn shouted. The townspeople stared at Fran. Her, they could take. She was an easy target.

As she darted towards the wall, she saw one skinny teenager staring at her, eyes wide.


Next: DW ~ LJ


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The Good Hunt

Written to [personal profile] inventrix‘s prompt

The prompt call is still open! Leave me a prompt: here

I should probably warn: this is on the grimmer side of Addergoole stuff, not for AG itself, but for the apocalypse around it.

Shush had been following the hellhound since lunch.

The ‘hound was in three classes with Shush, only one after lunch, but the school was small and it wasn’t hard to figure out where the hellhound had gone. And after class, well, it was every man for themselves, and Shush had had no problem at all following the thing.

They were all things, of course. It hadn’t taken him more than a heartbeat to figure out he was in a school full of demonspawn. They were all around: the Pretty Ones and the Fierce Ones, the Fancy Pantsers and the Horror Shows. But a hellhound had killed Shush’s sister, so he was going after the hellhound first.

It looked like a girl. It looked like a short girl, not even five feet tall, with pretty blue eyes and warm brown skin. It had been trying to make friends with Shush the whole week, helping him find stuff in this maze, telling him secrets about the other students. Shush was already indebted – stupid, stupid, but he’d never known a demon to look so much like a person before.

The first thing he and his sister had learned about the demons was don’t get indebted. They’d watched their neighbor end up the thrall to one of those things, because Mr. Morrison had thought having running water and power was more important than his independence or his brain.

The second thing they’d learned was kill with rowan. A hunter had driven through, killed off the demon controlling Mr. Morrison, and left, leaving behind rowan daggers for Shush and Sahanna.

The third thing they’d learned was demons lie. They lied, and they hid their faces, and it wasn’t until they’d let the refugee women into their house – scraggly and feral looking, but human, he’d thought – that they’d turned into Horror Shows. They’d left Shush and Sahanna alive. They’d been after their parents.

He hadn’t had to learn that demons killed. He’d known that since the first day they showed up on TV. The hellhound that followed Sahanna home had been another page in a lesson book that was already too full.

Shush hadn’t been able to get his rowan dagger through security – no surprise, since the head of security was another demon, old-school bat wings and all. But the thing that had been calling itself Ema, the hellhound he was chasing now, she’d shown Shush the grotto. And in the grotto, it was a pretty simple matter to find the rowan tree.

The hell-hound rounded a corner. There was nobody else around. Shush followed the thing around the corner and stabbed his makeshift rowan blade through its chest.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1060848.html. You can comment here or there.

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Groundhog Day, Faerie Apocalypse, Part III


Part One: Dreamwidth ~ Live Journal
Part Two: Dreamwidth ~ Live Journal


Fran woke with a start. The world was too soft. She’d bedded down in an old substation, barricading the door behind her. She opened her eyes cautiously.

The polyester curtain was hard to see in the moonlight, but she recognized the pattern. Likewise the awful blanket over her. She swung her feet down, hitting her gear bag. That was the same place it had been the day before!

How was she here again? Fran hadn’t met anyone in the town good enough to pull her out of a concrete box without her noticing. What game were they playing? Time to confront them with it.

She grabbed her bag and headed out of the motel as if she belonged there. It was well before dawn, and only a few people were on the street. They smiled at her, as if nothing was wrong. Fran smiled back, wondering how they planned to betray her.

A teenager skidded up from the direction of the front gate. “There’s bandits up there! Gorjarn’s army! They’re demanding fealty!”

What, again? Fran frowned. This was all wrong.

The mayor patted the teenager on the shoulder. “We’ll get through it. We always do. What are they asking for this time.”

“The Ranger.”

All eyes turned to Fran. She spun on her heel and started running.


Next: DW ~ LJ


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February Theme Poll!

Hello! It’s time for the February Theme Poll!

These polls determine the theme for Patreon writing for the month, spurring the prompt call and from there several stories.

Want to check out my Patreon? Look here.
For just $1, you can read all the Patreon stories; for $5/month, you can prompt in the prompt calls!

Don’t have Dreamwidth? Please feel free to vote in the comments.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1060312.html. You can comment here or there.

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Attrition

The table in the middle of the Dining Hall was empty.

Corneille had been been at Addergoole for three weeks. His first day here, the table had been over-full: eight of them at a six-person table, the four of them that had caught the flight in from Philly, two they’d met at the airport, two more they’d met at the first assembly…

read on

This story is free for everyone to read!

Support your friendly neighborhood writer at Patreon.com/aldersprig for as low as $1/month and help bring even more stories to life!

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1059967.html. You can comment here or there.

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Groundhog Day, Faerie Apocalypse, Part II


Part One: Dreamwidth ~ Live Journal


Fran woke before the sun to the distinctive creak of polyester bedding. She pried herself up onto an elbow… ugly curtains from the 80’s. Uglier bedding from the same.

She checked her arms for needle marks, her head for lumps. Nothing. She’d fallen asleep high in a tree twenty miles from Jackson, on her way to get reinforcements and make a report.

She slipped out of bed, nearly landing on her gear bag – exactly where she’d left it. She wouldn’t make that mistake twice. From the sounds of things, the town was already awake. She snuck out of the motel the back way.

She could hear people talking, just on the other side of the motel. “…gates can’t hold…”

How were the gates still holding? How had they lasted a day?

“…trade the Ranger…”

No, still not doing that. She moved quietly, sticking close to the building. She couldn’t get to the weak spot in the wall from here, and they’d probably protected it, but there was an overhanging tree on this side…

“Franciszka! Give us Franciszka the Denier!”

They were still shouting for her? She shimmied up the tree as the townspeople started to yell.


Next: DW ~ LJ
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Trouble in Cloverleaf, Continued, for @InspectrCaracal, 379 words

First part here
Second part here.

This story is of questionable canonicality – it probably happened, probably about 100 years after Cya & Leo graduate from Addergoole (or about 93 years after the end of the world) – but the exact date is up in the air, as well as some details.

It follows the Apollo/Boom stuff you can find on top on the Boom tag by about 2 years.

There were students everywhere in Leo’s dojo, and yet everything seemed both calm and happy. Leo was in his normal kimono and pants, the gold of the collar even more glaringly obvious in real life than it had been in the picture. He was in the middle of instructing a young student; several others were sparring or working on forms with each other.

Another student was being held off at the end of Luke’s outstretched arm, and two more were trying to stop him from entering and failing completely. He moved them out of the way as gently as he could.

Leo looked up, noticing Luke’s entrance. “sa’Hunting Hawk.” He wasn’t smiling anymore. “I wasn’t expecting you.”

You should have been.

“I imagine you weren’t,” he growled instead. Leo never thought ahead. Cynara had probably been expecting him.

“And definitely not expecting you to come frighten our students. Maybe we should talk somewhere else?” Leo glanced around the room.

Luke followed his glance. Some of the students looked frightened. A lot of them – this was a dojo, after all – looked ready to fight. Luke tamped down the part of him that wanted to fight all of them, just to take a little of the edge off.

“Sounds lovely.” It came out as a snarl. That was fine. He felt like snarling, and he wanted Leo to know exactly how pissed he was.

“Just a second, then.” He stalled, calling over one of his students and giving him instructions. The student’s eyes moved between Leo and Luke and back again, but Leo didn’t seem to notice.

Luke shifted his weight. He was in the heart of what might be enemy territory. It made his back itch. It made him want back-up.

He reminded himself forcefully that the reason he had come was to be certain Cloverleaf weren’t becoming enemies. If he’d brought back-up, it would have been seen as aggression.

Leo took the time to gather his shoes, then and only then gesturing to the door. “After you, sir.”

Somehow, telling himself to calm down just made Luke more on edge. “Where can we talk that isn’t hers?”

It was rude. It was against protocol. And if it was going to start a fight, he’d rather know now than later.


Next part: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1062426.html

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Groundhog Day, Faerie Apocalypse

The sun rose. Fran woke to the dim glare coming in through curtains that would never rot. There was something to be said for the way cheap motels had used polyester for almost everything. Ten years after the End, and this one was still running.

She wasn’t here to rate hotels, though. She headed into the fortified town, barely missing an angry guard dog. Something was wrong; she could smell it. She was a stranger, sure, and everyone here hated strangers, but the Rangers were legitimate and she was legitimately here on Ranger business.

“…Gates…” she heard someone say. The town was walled, and not badly-done, either. Any town that had wanted to survive was walled. “…Trade the Ranger…”

Shit! That was it. It wasn’t distrust, it was betrayal. Fran started running. Somewhere on the gate, someone was shouting “Franciszka! Give us Franciszka the Denier!”

She skidded up to the weak spot she’d seen in their walls before anyone managed to catch up to her and clambered over. Rangers helped the townspeople, sure. But they could only do that alive.


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