Archive | March 12, 2017

The Uncle re. an Aunt

First: Visiting the Family
Previous: The Powers that Be

Uncle Willard let Eva’s words hang in the air while he opened up his sun porch to them and brought in a pitcher of cold lemonade.

There was something like a ritual to it, the clean glasses, the glass pitcher, the cold, sweet-tart fresh lemonade. In the winter, it woudl have been tea. Their family had things that they did, and they all did them more or less the same.

The thought made her smile, her lips just starting to curl up as Willard answered.

“I think Asta was a changing of the guard. She had a lot of things she did. None of them, well, were any use to me, but I think they might be of use to this nephew of yours.” He sat back in an old armchair and lounged, looking at Rosaria and Eva over his lemonade.

Eva wasn’t fooled by his nonchalant glance. This, too, was a test.

She was growing a little tired of tests.

“Let’s see. Asta left Aunt Rosaria free to pursue a different path, one that involved a family, which places Aunt Rosaria as the tale-teller. That’s not a small thing. She let the older generation get complacent, because she let them push her around, and yet, if you read her diaries, she was supremely good at doing what needed to be done, when it needed doing.

“So she wasn’t holding on to as much power, probably – the legacy has a feel to it, you know, and she passed down a smaller part of it. Then again, the whole thing about the legacy is that it comes from the family, and that’s been changing in the last few months.” Eva took a breath. “But Asta holding less of it left more of it in other hands.” She lifted her chin. “Do I pass, Uncle Willard?”

He laughed, cheerfully but with an edge. “You’re an Aunt, all right.”

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Cat’s Mystery – the beginning of a story of the Aunt Family

This is entirely because of the way Stone has been shaping up in my mind
There were any number of mysteries to Cat’s new school.

Some of them, she’d been expecting: from things she’d heard, and from the last two times she’d changed schools, she knew that every school had its own slang, and that every locale – city, town, village – had its own places that you couldn’t find on a map. The Quarry. The Old Grocery Store. Down by the Tracks. This one, Demville-Latta, was pretty rural, a good thirty-forty minute drive to the nearest so-called city, so in addition to needing a Demville-to-English dictionary, you pretty much needed a car to get to any of these mystery places.

Her parents were not yet convinced of this necessity, which meant that her mystery-detangling was pretty much limited to school and the bus, at least until either her parents gave in or she made some friends with cars.

Among the other mysteries were Track, really? This school’s only good team sport is track? and What the heck is going on with the Cunningham-Bauer-Talbot-Green-etc. family? That family encompassed two teachers, a bus driver, and, at last count, at least ten students, nine of whom rode her bus. They were the closest-knit group of cousins she’d ever seen – and yet sometimes they seemed just like any other family, arguing and sulking and teasing each other.

She’d been warned on day one not to “mess with” that family. That, of course, only intrigued her more.

That would be a nut she would take time to crack. Not too much time, of course, because, after all, she didn’t know how long she’d be here, but enough time that she didn’t come off creepy, stalkerish, or needy.

(By this point, she had how-to-deal-with-new-schools down to an artform. The problem was, new schools didn’t really have how-to-deal-with-new-kids down to anything but a mess.)

The mystery she decided to focus on first was much simpler, although it touched tangentially on that Cunningham-Bauer-Talbot-Green-etc. family mess, in that Miss Cunningham seemed somewhow to be involved.

It was: What is Mrs. Realle doing on lunch break, and why does it seem like Miss Cunningham and Mr. Fentner are involved?

It wasn’t so much that she thought it was anything bad, it was just that she was curious, and she learned far more about a place by sneaking around than she ever did by just going to classes.

So she slipped out of PE and went down to the girls’ room instead of to the cafeteria, which put her in the right place to walk back into that hall with teachers’ offices, the maintenance closet, and an abandoned classroom with 50’s-era science equipment. She slipped into the classroom, hid behind one of the giant lab tables, and waited.

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Landing Page: The Hidden Mall

Abby and Liv were just trying to get away from their least favorite bully, Vic Carter, when they ducked into the back hall of their local mall.

Now they’re more lost than they’ve ever been, and they may need Vic’s help to get home.

All The Stories

Consumer Worldbuilding 

  • nothing here yet.  Ping the author if you want to know about this world!

Lady Taisiya’s FIRST Husband – a ficlet

This is based off a bit from the beginning of Lady Taisiya’s Fourth Husband:

“It’s all right to be nervous. I was nervous, the first time I wed. And the second,” she added wryly.

Sefton peeked at her. “Nervous?” He had never heard of women being nervous at their weddings!

“Oh, terrified. My first husband, he was much older than I was, and he had lost his entire family. I was barely older than you are now, and I was meant to be Honored Wife over a man who could have been my grandfather.” She wrinkled her nose, and then let the expression slide into a wistful smile. “We became friends, eventually. It was he who found my second husband.”

Her husband had no family to stand up with him, and she, the Honored Wife, was meant to stand on her own.

Her mother and her fathers, her sisters and their husbands, they all sat in the audience, because this was her First Marriage, and it was meant to be an important step out of her natal family.

But Diafel walked himself down the aisle and bowed before her. “Lady Taisiya, I come to you.”

The rest of the words were supposed to be spoken to his mother and father, but Diafel was long past his eggling days, and his parents had no sway over him – if, indeed, they still lived.

“Diafel, I accept you. Come into my home and stand as First Husband over my lands.”

The ceremony was short. Diafel was meant to steady her, not to join her with other families or to create an alliance. He was meant to educate her in manners her mother felt she hadn’t let been taught, not to grow her household.

She brought him home in her carriage, driving herself. He said nothing, watching the scenery go by. She said nothing, uncertain what a girl like her said to an old man like him.

His hair had gone grey! He had been married his first time when her mother was still an eggling! He was still strong and still handsome, yes, but he was old.

“So.” He cleared his throat as they neared the home that would now be theirs. Hers. “It isn’t within protocol for me to speak first, and for that I apologize. But now that we’ve done what everyone else wants – the question is, what do we want? Which comes down to – what do you want, my Lady Wife?”

Taisiya turned and stared at him, utterly without any idea what to say.


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Trying again, Cya

After Cya gets ready for a date and Almost Out the Door for a Date.

The first date was… awkward.

No, the first date wasn’t. The second one was awkward.

The first date, he’d looked at her, dressed up instead of the way he’d met her, and cleared his throat in a sort of panicked noise. “I didn’t realize you were the Mayor!” He stood up so quickly she thought that he might have a speed-based power. “I, uh. I have to go – I have to go. I’m sorry. But I – no. You’re the Mayor.”

She’d gone running after that, back into her “plain-clothes” with her hair twisted up in a scarf so its trademark red wasn’t visible. The guards along the city wall knew who she was, of course, but they weren’t going to gossip about the Mayor and the angry look on her face. They liked their jobs.

The second one, then. She’d been a little poised for trouble. She’d made sure he knew she was the Mayor. She’d picked a place that her power said he and she would both enjoy.

And she’d Found him, after all. He was someone who could like her, who she could like.

And they found they had almost nothing to talk about. She worked in education, urban planning, and the explosive business of protecting her territory. He was a wanderer, a vagabond, who fixed things as he wandered through. “I like your city,” he said, and probably meant it, “but how do you – I mean. Don’t you get bored, being in the same place, year after year?”

“But it’s not the same place,” she’d protested. “It’s always changing. Always evolving. That’s the trick. A city, one with people, is never static.”

They’d stared at each other in mutual incomprehension and found safer topics to cover until the check came.

The third one had lasted several dates and a few trips home. The fourth one had even met Leo.

This time, she’d let one of her friends in the Guard set her up. It couldn’t, she figured, be any worse than her own attempts.

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Now on Patreon: Like Queens, The Tale-Teller, and Why Addergoole?

Like Queens

In Firrset, as in many places, there are poets. The legend goes that even in the First Days, when there was no food to eat and no time to do anything but hunt, plant, gather, and store, there were poems they would tell each other across the field.
But the greatest poet of the time came quite some time after that, but in a time still mostly buried away from history’s records.

Free for Patreon Patrons!

The Tale-Teller

The thing was, she was both the tale-teller and the story. She was both the portrait and the model. She was the song and its subject.

There were theories about that, of course: theories and theses and stories and myths. Stories have a lot of power, after all.

And storytellers have a power, a mystery, all of their own.

Read On!

Why Addergoole?
I wrote this several years ago as an in-character explanation of why the school was named Addergoole.

“I’ve been wondering, Professor. Why Addergoole?”

It wasn’t the primary thing on her mind, of course. They were studying an array of Change descriptions and, of apparently more interest to her Mentor, “inherent non-Working abilities,” something that Kai hadn’t really been aware existed.

Read On!

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Worldbuilding Month Day 5: Permanent Enchantments

March is Worldbuilding Month! Leave me a question about any of my worlds, and I will do my best to answer it!
This Fourth one is from [personal profile] inventrix:
Faepoc: Are there any Workings or Words that can’t be used when creating a functionally permanent enchantment on an object?

i.e. the enchantment doesn’t have to be maintained consciously; having to be refreshed every decade or century would count as functionally permanent for this question.


Okay, now I have to figure out how to get 200 words out of this answer.

Enchanting an object – or a person – requires that a) you have the Words required to cast the enchantment and b) you have access to the Word for the object. In a tongue-in-cheek example: Leo could easily enchant a strand of Cya’s hair to change color based on her mood, because he is very good with coloring hair (a Tlacatl Working) and very good at reading emotions (Hugr).

Likewise, if you were really good, you could enchant a stick to throw fireballs, or, say, enchant a collar to deliver a mild electric shock in a situation where the wearer said certain words or evidenced a certain emotional state.

The thing is, anything wherein you are putting your Workings in an object takes a lot of energy. A first-year student could manage to enchant something for maybe a couple minutes. later, for a year or two. And doing so takes considerably more energy than simply doing the Working.

That is why there aren’t more magic fireball-throwing swords around.

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A Poll! What should I continue?

Okay, in the last couple days I wrote a LOT of short fiction.

I’m willing to write some more on a couple of them, not in the least because I’m still grinding for leaves.

(And I’ll probably go back to the prompts, since you all left me so many lovely prompts).

What should I continue?

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