These are a few microfics, written to prompts for my Renovations Prompt Mini-Call (which is still open as long as I keep getting prompt).
Claim the Sun
The tree was ancient, the sort of monster that managed to live through a convergence of luck and good soil, best placement and the weakness of her neighbors. She had sucked up all the sunlight for what seemed, to the younger trees, like miles. And she had, in turn, sucked up lightning blasts.
It had been the last one that killed her, cutting through old scar tissue and toppling her in a crash louder than any thunder.
For years, the younger trees stretched up, up, grabbing all that sunlight that the ancient tree no longer claimed.
And then, to their horror and surprise and joy, they saw that she was growing again.
From the stump of the ancient mammoth tree, the mother to half the forest, there came a new sprout. And into the great clearing left by her old body, she grew up, up, taller than she ought, nursed by her own body, once again claiming the sun.
“There is no such thing as being over-prepared.” That was the motto. I suppose it let us survive, while many people, MILLIONS of people, did not.
The thing was, we needed maybe 1% of our preparations, & we needed them for maybe 4% of the time we thought we would.
We saw a disaster coming; we thought it would have long-lasting consequences. Both of those things were technically accurate. But there’s a lot of wiggle in technicalities.
TECHNICALLY, a disaster DID strike. TECHNICALLY, its effects will be felt for 100s of years.
But it struck silently and with no fallout, lingering disease, or property damage, nothing but the ashen corpses of those who didn’t find sufficient shelter. It left us a complete infrastructure and enough people to run it.
We survived. Now what to do with the shelters, food storage, & bunkers?
We’re turning it all into a theme park.
The angel had been looking over the headstones of children in a lovely side grove for ages, until vandals had done what time & weather couldn’t and broke the angel’s wings & arms.
I spent hours with the angel, repairing the damage until she looked nearly new, filling in old worn-down feathers until they looked ready to take flight, fixing a finger long-missing.
When I returned, the angel was standing in front of the grove, a sword she had not had before drawn.
Like a House on Fire
“Come on.” Phoerin was still in hatchling-squeaking. “It’s not like I did it on purpose. It’s not like you didn’t do it last time!”
“And I’ll do it next time.” Phoellia toed at the charred remains of their nest with a foot-claw. “Although my last rebirth wasn’t so… spectacular.”
“Come on, I was an EGG, you can’t blame me for what I did when I was an egg!”
“I’m not blaming you. I’m just saying that maybe next time, we take my idea and go with a stone nesting site.“
The place had burned, fallen apart to cinder and ash.
It had burned for a week, nobody available to put it out. After all, more important places were on fire. Places with more people, richer people living there were on fire.
When the fire died down, there was nothing left but a few twisted bars of metal and ash, so much ash.
For weeks the ash was too hot to touch. They knew nobody was left alive in there; they THOUGHT everyone had gotten out in time. Thought, but could not find everyone.
So they waited.
And when the ashes were cool and their temporary shelters were built – none of them had the wherewithal to leave, or they wouldn’t have been in this godforsaken place to start with – they began combing through the ashes.
They didn’t know what they expected to find. Maybe a photo, a piece of jewelry. A can of food – their supplies were running perilously thin.
What they found was a miracle.
The first sign was a small seedling of a tree, perking up from the ashes.
And then another one.
And a third.
And past the triangle of those little trees, they found a piece of roof that had fallen just so, a piece of wall that had leaned against it, a shelter formed by a thousand chances.
And in that tiny shelter, no bigger than six feet on the side, thy found a girl none of them knew, clutching the baby of a woman nobody had seen in weeks.
Sprouting from every surface in that shelter were plants, a thousand plants, fruit, a hundred fruits. And a trickle of the clearest water any of them had ever seen fell down in a tiny stream by the girl’s side.