Archive | June 23, 2016

The Expectant Wood, Chapter Five: The First Rescue


Chapter One: Trouble at the Stamen
Chapter 2: The Stamen End
Chapter Three: A Slippery Stamen-End
Chapter Four: The Sharp Exit

Chapter Five: The First Rescue

“Nimbus! Billow! Can you hear us!” Didda sounded, NImbus realized with some surprise, worried. Panicked, really.

“Nimber, Billbill?” Nimbus wrinkled her nose as Pearl resorted to their baby names.

“We’re here!” she called out, careful to shout over Billow’s head and not into her ear. “We fell into a — into a stomach or something. Careful! The wall openings are full of prickers!”

“Oh, my babies…” Mem sounded miserable.


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The Florence Charm and Captain America, a fanfic/Aunt Family crossover beginning


Okay!

So this references and quotes from Asta’s Journal (free for everyone, on Patreon) and references/comes after Even a Locked Chest Must be Unlocked. Everything in here that does not directly reference Captain America is canon for the Aunt Family ‘verse… which, if you’re new to it, has a landing page here.

Enjoy!

There were diaries everywhere.

Evangaline had – with her niece Beryl’s help and sometimes her nephew Stone’s and another niece, Bellamy’s; with, sometimes, more rarely, the other cousins’ less diligent help – been cataloging all of the diaries — thousands of pages of notes from all those who had predecessed her — in her attic. In the case of some of the oldest, they had been scanning them in, using the best archival techniques they could read up on and handling the crinkling paper as carefully as possible.

At the moment, they covered every spare surface in the public rooms of the downstairs. The dining room table had three Aunts’ worth of old journals stacked by Aunt and by year – there was some overlap, as a few Aunts had started writing long before their tenure in the old house on the corner where Eva now lived. The kitchen table held two more. In a corner, Beryl had Aunt Asta’s diaries out, scanning them for interesting content with a now-practiced eye.

“Hunh,” was all she said.

Something about the way she said it caught her Aunt’s attention. Eva looked up, set down the book she was currently taking notes on — one of Aunt Sarah’s, crinkly and smelling of dry-rot in the leather and racier than a summer paperback — and cleared her throat.

Beryl glanced up. “Mmm? Oh!” She flushed and set down the diary. “It’s just… um. Aunt Asta. Everyone in the family says she was…” She flapped both her hands, both explaining nothing and explaining everything. “When I read this, she doesn’t sound like that. She sounds… rebellious, I guess. When she was young. She sort of reminds me of Stone.”

“Stone?” Eva frowned. “I wouldn’t think of Stone as rebellious.”

“Well…” The look Beryl gave her was sidelong and a little uncertain. “You shouldn’t. I mean… you’re the Aunt, no offense.”

Eva coughed. “None taken.” She considered what Beryl had said — all of it. Beryl’s brother Stone being rebellious, that was something she could table for the moment. He was a good kid either way, as was Beryl. Things the Aunt “shouldn’t” know… that, she’d have to take up with Beryl at some point. She knew the family didn’t always respect the position of Aunt-with-a-capital-a, but if the kids were withholding knowledge…

Later. Right now they were working on diaries. “Asta’s diaries sound rebellious?”

“Yeah! Yeah, and…” Beryl shifted directions. “Like this bit. ‘I have joined the WAAC, despite argument from every aunt, grandmother, great-aunt and casual adult female relation I have (and the ten percent of the male relations brave enough to voice an opinion on our family, including my father, my uncle Thomas, and the strange Uncle West, who should say nothing, as he is also enlisting).’” She was flushed and not quite looking at Eva, even when she set the book down. “She wanted to thumb her nose at authority. How did she end up so…” She flapped her hands again. “It doesn’t make any sense.

“Well, but perhaps it does,” Eva answered slowly. “You said she was young in that diary, and she’d have to be, if she was just joining the WAAC. Can you imagine, if you were fighting against the family every day, even before you became an Aunt — back when they weren’t really sure you would become an Aunt?” Eva pursed her lips. “Sometimes the rest of the family can be just as bad on the women that don’t as they are on the men. I think we get all tied up in knots, and then we just pass those knots on to the next generation.”

“Except us.” Beryl looked thoughtful. “I mean, I think?”

“I think we have our own knots,” Eva admitted. “Like… whatever it is you’re not telling me about Asta’s diary.” She held up great-great-etc-Aunt-Sarah’s diary. “It can’t be worse than this.”

“It’s not worse, it’s just… was Aunt Asta…” she made a loop around the side of her head. “I know Aunt Bea is, sometimes. She blames the cats, but I don’t think it’s just…”

Aunt Asta had been Evangeline’s direct predecessor, but the two had never been close. “I think… I think she was sane. I never heard her say something that wasn’t firmly rooted in reality — or, at least what stands for reality in this family.”

“Really?” Beryl stared at the diary in front of her. “Because this… this says she met Captain America. I mean, more than met, although less than… Um. Less than Aunt Sarah’d.” She glanced up at Eva uncertainly. “She thinks he was very cute. And she says she did the Florence charm.”

“The…” Eva swallowed slowly. “You’re sure?”

“Here. See?” Beryl turned the diary around, her finger just under the line in question:

He will come back. That much is certain. And his bloodline could do so much for the family. I don’t know about this Peg of his — or not his, not really. And, in the end, as much as I want to feel bad about it, I did what I thought the family needed.

I wouldn’t mind if it was me he came back to. Even if it’s not me, I’ll be pleased to have him coming back to us.

The page was marked with a faded ribbon. Eva could tell it had once been yellow.

“Isn’t…” Beryl looked both worried and curious. “Didn’t he… Did you see on the news? They thawed him out just a little while ago. He came back.”

“He came back,” Eva whispered quietly. “Oh, Asta, what have you done?”

next: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1142805.html

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A #ThrowbackThursday for Pride Month

June 23, 2006: If I recall correctly, I had a lyric from Sweet Southern Comfort, by Buddy Jewel, stuck in my head. Out of that, we got this little piece:

Kissing Gary Williams’ sister in the back of the arcade after prom while our dates played Street Fighter… what a way to start!

It all started innocently enough… okay, it didn’t, but it looked innocent, at least. The two of us, dressed to the nines, with $50 hair cuts and 4″ heels, rained out of the traditional post-prom miniature golf and three games past pretending to care who was winning. We sighed nearly in unison.

“I thought there’d be more kissing,” she confessed.

“I thought there’d be necking in the back of Gary’s car,” I countered.

“That’s my brother!” she exclaimed (not for the first time), shocked and titillated.

“That’s okay,” I grinned, “I like you better anyway.”

She had eyes the same amazing, dangerous grey-blue as her brother, I noticed, tiny wrists, and the most beautiful collarbones I had ever seen. I put my hand on the back of her perfect neck and kissed her the way I wanted her brother to kiss me.

It wasn’t until I pulled back, several heartbeats later, that I thought to be nervous. It was an excruciatingly long second before she looked up at me with a stunned look… and tilted her face in a way that I had no doubt meant she wanted me to do it again.

Our dates found us an hour or so later, entangled in each other in the landscaping by the 5th hole, soaked to the skin and loving it.

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A Solution, a continuation ficlet of Doomsday Academy

Acquiring Students
When my tablet runs out of battery…
The Crew Continues
Crew, Continued
The Day
A Pact
The Pact Slips, Part I
The Pact Slips, Part II

Doomsday Academy, a couple days after “The Pact Slips, Part II”

Content: implied sexual suggestion

They had devolved into shouting the minute Kerr walked in on Astarte and Sunny together, tangled up nude and very engrossed in each other’s company; Aron had followed a moment later.

There was plenty of blame to go around. The volume rose and rose, Sunny’s cy’ra finding other places to be as the tight-knit crew threatened to dissolve.

Finally Sunny held up her hands. She and Astarte had not bothered to dress, and in the gesture, she dropped her sheet. “Okay! I have a solution.”

Everyone looked at her. Sunny was fine with that.

“So. I slept with Star. Star slept with Aron. Kerr and I slept together…”

Kerr cleared his throat, but it was Aron who answered. “Him and me, too.”

“So the solution, clearly, is for me to sleep with Aron, and Star with Kerr. And then maybe all four of us together, just to wrap things up.”

They had gone from looking at her to staring at her. “But the pact…” Astarte offered.

“Well,” Sunny smiled crookedly. “Let’s try something we can actually stick to.”

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The Weasel that Saved the Empire, a story of Reiassan for Patreon

“I’m looking for something new.” The Princess Orenienarena didn’t so much walk into Tailor Kentor’s store as she snuck in, a long fitted jacket covering up her imperial silks. It took the tailor a second glance to recognize her, her head covered in a thin scarf in the way of tradesfolk and her face bare of her customary jewelry.

She spilled a double handful of buttons onto the tailor’s counter. A glance told him they were hand-carved of stone and bone; a quick look with a loupe told him they were well-done. ”I am looking for something a bit more buttoned-up.”

Tailor Kentor frowned thoughtfully at the buttons and the Princess. Without looking, he batted his weasel Nagyar away from the pile of buttons. Nagyar, like all of his kind, was a notorious thief…

(read on…)

So I said…

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And Rix said…

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And I was low on Reiassan prompts, so here you go. 3000 words: buttoning structures and weasels in waistcoats.

Become a patreon now and give me your own prompts! 🙂

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Transported, a story for #ThimblefulThursday’s #TellMeTuesday

After/in the same world as Earning your Keep

Content warning: slavery, humiliation, other things of that ilk loosely hinted at.

It wasn’t the sort of place in which you got packages, and it wasn’t the sort of time when the mail came. The mail, Fed Ex, UPS – none of them had come in over a decade. Nobody had shown up to Aeron’s house in over a year.

And yet there was the carriage, the purple carriage with the pink-and-teal trim that Lady Delta so loved, parked in front of Aeron’s private little preserve.

Aeron remembered Lady Delta… oh, so well, so badly. There was nothing to do but go down and receive the driver, see what he wanted and see how quickly he could be gotten rid of.

But the driver was already unloading a crate, sliding it down a ramp until it landed right in front of Aeron’s very sturdy gate. “Delivery.” He saluted as Aeron closed in on the gate. “The Lady says ‘You’ve been alone too long. You need a reminder.'”

Aeron swallowed a curse. All these years free, and yet… the freedom was just an illusion, wasn’t it? “Thank the Lady for me, please.”

“Right.” The driver half-bowed and headed off before Aeron could even start to disassemble the crate.

Well, it came with a handy latch. Aeron wondered for a moment what had brought the Lady’s attention this way. It had been three years. Three years of quiet, living under the radar, three years of trying not to bring any attention at all to this little compound.

Lady Delta had a far longer memory than that, Aeron knew. And yet still…

The crate opened with a thump when Aeron released the latches. Inside was…

Aeron cursed quietly. Been alone too long, indeed. The man — boy? No, man — was wearing a collar and a muzzle, and sported a piece of paper hung off the collar, a pen helpfully attached. Aeron read the paper twice.

“Well.” The pen worked nicely; of course it did. Everything that Lady Delta owned or gifted worked nicely, which would presumably include this young man. Aeron signed with a flourish. “I suppose you belong to me now.”

The man — the paper said “he called himself Brock” — leaned forward, slowly setting his forehead to the gravel. He was far too skinny, and there were bruises along his back and buttocks.

Aeron let out a small sigh. “Here. Stand up. If her Ladyship believes I’ve been alone for too long, I suppose I ought to see if you can be proper company.”

They left the crate sitting in the gravel. That hadn’t been part of the gift.

Written to June 7th’s Tell-Me Tuesday: “What’s in the Crate?”

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