Archive | November 2017

The Hidden Mall: 👭 Pairings

They ran through the smoky halls, looking behind them for the source of the rumbling, looking ahead of them for Rue 21.  They were dodging obstacles they could barely see in the haze, looking for flames they couldn’t see, and holding hands, Abigail so she didn’t lose yet another Liv – Liv, presumably, for the same reason.

Neither of them saw what grabbed them and pulled them through a door.  But as the floor shook and shook and something outside crashed, Abigail decided that whoever it was, was probably a friend.

She wiped her eyes, turned around, and saw two Livs and Vic Carter.

She turned to her side.  Liv, skinny-and-clean Liv.  The one on the left there, that was probably her Liv – she was wearing the same clothes, at least.  The one on the right was clinging close to Vic Carter and staring at her in horror.

She took three measured breaths. “Liv?” Continue reading

Me, Myself, and Only I

The headline reads 100,000th “Multiple” Power registered.

I hadn’t realized I’d let myself get so big.  I might have to pull things in a bit.


I always wanted to be a shape-changer. I guess, in a way, I have, even if all I can change into was myself.

It was the Golden Age of Superheros, back then, when the comet hit and many of us turned into something a bit different.

Me? I turned into several of me.  Four, at first.  There’s still a few stories of that first me around, The Quartet.

We sang four-part harmony pretty well.

But then I figured out how to replicate – or not – changes done to my body when I multiplied.  And I figured out how to choose where the damage went.

The Quartet died.  They died kind of old, and rather heroic.

I lived.  Dyed hair and a change of costume.  People don’t look too deeply.

There was Multiple Man – that one was a trick.  Then there was Quantum Lass.

I can get old.  But aging is damage, and there are ten of me in a nursing home, cheerfully playing cribbage with each other.

I wonder who was number 100,000.  What was her name?  Her schtick?

I’ve lost track, you see.  I don’t even think I’m the original anymore.

And if I called them all back into me, I don’t even know what would happen.

But that’s all right.  Because three of me are billionaires, and I can live in comfortable semi-retirement as Plurality, playing chess with myself and





Written to WritingPrompts’s prompt:

In a universe of superheroes and sidekicks, Multiples are one of the most common powers, with roughly 100,000 individuals in possession. But the truth is, there has only ever been one Multiple. You.

The Testing

Part two of The Testers.


The testing seemed to go on forever.

Kelly didn’t remember it being that long when she was 15, or before that when she was ten, but this one was supposed to be the biggest, the most important, so maybe that meant it was the longest, too.

She answered questions on things she couldn’t remember ever learning.  She performed first-aid on a very creepy dummy that seemed to breathe and sweat and bleed.  She sewed together two pieces of fabric.

The screen continued to ask her questions through all of it.  Some were personal: when was the first time you had sex?  Do you sleep with your partner-parent?  Where do your children sleep? Continue reading

♪Glee Club♫

Addergoole, after year 9 but before year 13 (2004-2006), early in the school year.

I, uh, might have been watching a lot of Glee recently?


“Why would you ever want something like that?  Not you, Kairos.”  Director Aconmorea’s gesture was dismissive.  “I know that you’re interested in anything musical at all. But you… Rose… why ‘Glee’?”

“I want to be a Broadway star.” Rose, who had been named Rusiko but refused to be known by that, lifted her chin and stared evenly at the Director.  “I need extracurriculars to have a chance at a good arts school and, more than that, I need practice.”

“But there are so many more productive things you could be doing.  You are…” The Director trailed off, then caught herself.  “You are Ellehemaei, fae.  You have an amazing repertoire of possibilities at your disposal, and your Word selection could point you at any number of very useful and lucrative careers.  So why – singing?” She did not bother to hide the distaste in her voice.  Continue reading

Patreon Posts!

A bonus post, because I was entertaining myself.


The series of follies – small buildings, in other situations often in formal gardens, designed to be decorative while often resembling some purpose-built building – known most commonly as The Red-Tree Follies dot the landscape in a wavering set of ovals from east to west, providing lovely places for a picnic, for an evening’s rest, or for a small wedding.

Red Tree Follies I

And II

This story is set in 1864, one year after Abe Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday. Parties take time to plan, dontcha know?


Luke knew Mike had set him up the minute he walked into the party.

The way the fancy people in their expensive dresses turned to stare, the whispers that he couldn’t imagine he wasn’t supposed to hear:

Read On!

Originally posted January 3, 2012.



Tom looked at the knife the girl had given him, if you could call it a knife. He didn’t look long; there was a monster in front of him. There had been a lot of monsters in front of him lately, since the – well, since whatever the hell had happened.

Read On!

AU Ponderings: The Council has no Authority

Okay, this started out when I was trying to write a story for Patreon (Legends and Myths, Fae Apoc) and sort of failed, but I had this idea about the Council (the ruling body of the “Good Guys” fae, the Shenera Enderaei, the Children of the Law), inherently having no authority to do what they do.  And since I’ve played with the idea of Cloverleaf/Boom/Cya facing down the Council before…

This is set some long time after the founding of Cloverleaf, and is non-canon.


“We are here to see how well you are abiding by the regulations of the Council.  Your position as a pro facto dictator here raises a red flag in our books, and we will be here until we have passed judgement or removed you from power.”

Cya looked at the people in front of her.  She looked at the woman standing to her left.  “This is a ‘Man on the Moon’ situation,” she told the woman.

The woman nodded and vanished.  Cya smiled.  The expression was small, polite, restrained.  People who knew her the best — and only them — knew that it meant she was absolutely furious.

The space of three heartbeats passed.  “I do not acknowledge your authority to judge me,” she told the people calmly. Continue reading


This story brought to you by the fact that I kept misreading Lilfluff’s prompt “a baker” as “a banker.”


The old bank smelled delicious.

Of the village that had stood here before everything had collapsed, seven buildings remained and seven new ones had been constructed from the wreckage of the old.

In the center of everything, the bank was an anchor, not a window broken, not a tile out of place.  It had withstood storms before.  It would withstand more than that in the future.

And in the middle of the bank, Geraldine Atwater and Clementine Smith had built their ovens.

They kneaded bread on the old marble counter-tops and stacked it for display on the check-signing stations.  They took deposits of money or trade goods or ingredients and gave receipts in bread and rolls and pastries, anything they could figure out how to make with what they had.

They’d gone back to the old traditions: The brewery hadn’t stood, but they’d rebuilt it, and they used the yeast from the brewery for their bread.  The area was littered with millstones and old museum replicas of mills.  They’d used them as a blueprint for a new mill, right next to the bank-cum-bakery.

The area had never stopped farming.  They had to borrow from the Amish and the Mennonites to get things back to an old-school way, but they traded with everyone they could still reach, and in the end, Gerry and Clem had enough for their bakery, and the town had enough to eat.

Today was a special day, and today they were baking up a storm.  The ovens had been fired since three hours before dawn and now, the bread for the village and the rolls for their sandwiches baked, they were twisting up the braids and the swirls of a grand confection.

Today marked three years since their first loaf had been baked in their new oven.  And it marked three and a half years since the day they’d all stepped out of the Great Storm.

The bread sculpture wouldn’t show the storm, though.  Four feet tall and seven feet long, the sculpture would show hands.  All of their hands, the whole village, the Amish, the Mennonites, the crazy hermits up the hill.  Hands, and a mill wheel, and the framework of a building being pushed into shape.

“Should we call it Thanksgiving, do you think?”  Gerry twisted the gnarled knuckles of Eli Schneiderman’s old hands into the dough in front of her.

“Nah, that already means something.  Call it…. Call it Friendship.  No.  Community Day.”  Clem added a line of cinnamon to the millwheel.  “The sweetness of a true community.”

The Testers

Written in part to prompts from Wyste and Lilfluff, clearly not finished.


“And when you turn twenty,” Thomas whispered, “the Testers come and they take you away.  And if you’re very very lucky, they take you to a good place, and if you’re not, they take you to a bad place.”

The younger children shivered.  Kelly was supposed to be watching them tonight, but she was letting Thomas tell his stories, even if they weren’t at all helpful.

She’d be twenty tomorrow.  She remembered when they’d taken Aaron.  And before Aaron, Jennifer, and before Jennifer, Keisha and Min and Lad and Petyr Continue reading

War Prize

Written sort of adjacent to Inspector Caracal’s prompt. 

This is set in a earlier era of Reiassan than Rin/Girey and definitely earlier than Edally, although really we see almost no markings of era in the story.  


They had been walking for four days.

At first, Gianci had preferred the walking.  It had to be better than sitting in a prison tent waiting to die.  It had to be better than being dirty and sweaty, fighting on the front lines because he’d pissed off the wrong person in High Command.  It had to be better than dying with a Callenni spear through his gut, the way he’d watched Tierri die, the way he’d thought he was going down when that tiny dark soldier had hit him with something in the gut. Continue reading