Archive | April 5, 2016

Road Trip Write-Up the Beginning of a fic

This was supposed to be a blorp of description and then, well, this happened. This happens a couple years before the current Regine-visits-Cya story.

It was a nice time of year for a travel: early autumn, and a mild one at that, not too hot and not too cold. The roads were solid and smooth from Cloverleaf all the way to what had once been Denver; the first week went quickly. Not only were the roads smooth, but they were relatively safe; Cloverleaf had a long arm, and was known not to tolerate bandits.

Past Denver, that all changed. A week’s travel was as far as Cloverleaf maintained the roads, and thus was as far as their protection was assumed to reach. The roads got bumpy – nothing a couple quick Workings couldn’t smooth out, but that took time. And the bandits got brave – nothing the sight of Leo couldn’t handle, in most cases, but that, too, took time. Sometimes they actually had to fight some thief or slaver whose ambition was greater than their sense.

Outside of what had once been Des Moines and now was a collective of small city-states around Crater Lake, they ran into a different sort of threat – bureaucracy. The toll-booth takers wanted a tithe to use the one paved, clear, safe road, and they wanted written statements of intent, and a tithe of any profits made while in the Crater Lake region. What’s more, they didn’t take Cloverleaf clovers for payment, muttering something about “fairy money.”

It wasn’t the first time they’d run into things like that, so they paid the toll in more acceptable currencies and made mental notes about the situation. They could probably conquer the Crater States, but there were easier, cleaner ways to turn people’s opinions around. If trade didn’t do it, culture might. If that didn’t, maybe education. And failing that, well, they could always send a small team of their ambassadors.

It had been a few years – decades, really – since Cya had been running Cloverleaf actively, but it was still her baby, after all.

Just outside the mess that had been Chicago, they ran into a slaver ring. That took a day off of their time, but, while Cya could tolerate the existence of slavery, there were certain types of slavers that made her skin crawl.

Besides, it didn’t hurt to leave a reminder. Cloverleaf might be nearly two weeks’ travel away, but they would interfere where they wanted to, when people were doing awful things.

The Find Cya had done was sending them quite far afield indeed. They traveled through the night to get around once-Chicago, then settled for a day in a quiet little patch of forest to rest. Then it was on to Detroit.

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Birthday (2), a continuation of a story written to @lilfluff’s prompt

begun here.

It hadn’t been Cathleen’s intention to disrupt her staff and throw a monkey-wrench in her own birthday party. She liked her staff; many of them had been transferred to her house when she came of age from her Lady Mother’s home, and thus had grown up with her. Her landscaper, Cahir, had played tag with her in the labyrinths behind the Baronial manor. Her chatelaine, Elva, had been her nanny when she was little. She wanted to take care of them all; she wanted to protect them from her Lady Mother, as much as she could.

And now Elva was giving Cathleen a look much like she had when Cathleen was very young and had gotten herself muddy and bloody just before a big event. Cathleen looked up at her chatelaine, sighed, and looked back at the boy. “It’s his birthday too,” she tried, and it was; that had been what had caught her eye.

Elva just clucked. “Wash your hands, my Lady. I’ll make sure the birthday boy here gets plenty to eat – and a bath. Tomorrow you can tell me what you’re going to do with him. Today…”

Cathleen sighed. “Today,” she allowed. “I’ll deal with my Lady Mother today.”

And then tomorrow she could do as she’d always done, and get all muddy and dirty in her own private unbirthday celebration. By then, the Baroness would have moved on to other things, and Cathleen – and her new co-birthday acquisition – could celebrate in peace.

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A Wink, a story of Stranded

Written to [personal profile] inventrix‘s prompt to my Very Small Prompt call.

There was a man at the festival with an eye-tattoo that winked.

Autumn hadn’t been sure the first time. There were several beautiful pieces of ink wandering around this ‘fest – it was pushing a hundred degrees out, and everyone was wearing just about as little as they could get away with. And there was this man, topless and wearing short khaki shorts and Birkenstocks, and the eye centered on his spine had a perfectly-shaded iris. And then it was closed. And then there was the pupil again.

It had been a long day already and it was only noon, the first time she saw the tattoo. Autumn’d gotten herself some water, stepped into the shade of her tent, and munched on a nectarine.

The second time the man wandered by, she had a small set of strands laid out over the pathway. Dozens of people had stepped over them without knowing, brushing through them, hardly moving them.

The man with the eye on his back paused. Deliberately, he turned his back to her.

The iris was blue, the ice-hue that always tripped her up. It was looking straight at her.

The eye-tattoo blinked again and was back to a black-and-grey drawing. The man turned around, looking straight at Autumn. Deliberately, and with a sardonic grin, he winked at her.

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April Patreon Theme Poll!

Hello! It’s time for the April 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.

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