Archive | September 2019

Hidden Mall 84: One of These Things is Not Like the Other

“We’re all different, and some of us got the short end of the stick.  Clearly, you’re one of them.” Abseil did not turn around. She didn’t dare.  If she did, if she saw there were guns pointed at her, she’d run and never stop running. She lifted her chin instead.  “But even you know shooting people from behind is pretty damn stupid.  It makes you look bad. I mean. You’re here to shop, right?  Starting a massacre in the middle of the mall is a good way to get kicked out.”

Now she tried to make her voice sound trivial, like none of this mattered. She remembered trying this with Vic one other time, and it hadn’t gone great, but on the other hand, it hadn’t gone too horribly either.  Continue reading

Purchase Negotiation 17: Unicorn

First: Purchased: Negotiation
Previous: Broken


If this was supposed to be making him feel better, Leander mused dryly, it was doing a lousy job.  He was feeling differently, sure, but mostly he was feeling confused.  His owner — there were other words for it, but Leander didn’t use Master even in his own head if he could avoid it and Keeper was the sort of word people used who though Fae was its own society instead of just leeched on to humanity.  — His owner was making fun of himself, inviting Leander to do the same, and telling him it’s okay to have negative opinions about himself

Leander twitched and tried not to think about hos this could go sideways, but his lips did something, he was sure, something like yeah, right. Continue reading

Running in the Bear Empire 58 – Husband and Emperor

First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous:57 – Chief of the Claw of the Bear, Wife to the Emperor
Next: 59 – Debreif

“-And then we made our way here.”  

Deline took the drink that the bath attendant – Tandio, her pick for the position and quite good at both ends of the position – offered her and sipped it slowly.  It had not been a quick report. Her Emperor was now robed and sitting comfortably on a divan while the other bath attendant brushed his hair and braided his beard. Carrone had spent much of the early part of the report eyeing her with some surprise and, occasionally, some worry. 

“You have indeed had an interesting trip.”  Mesaruxenne nodded solemnly at her, although his lips were turned up with a bit of a smile.  “I am – I am very glad you survived it, Dedenarrion. If I had known –“ Continue reading

Patreon Theme Poll

I can’t make the embed feature work right now, so I’m afraid you’re going to have to click a link. /Woe/

… Or it could do that. Hunh.


Knit Together

Originally posted on Patreon in September 2019 and part of the Great Patreon Crossposting to WordPress.

This story was prompted by this toot here – – and is technically the last “Very short” (shh) story of the July Patreon theme, “arts and crafts.”

It is set, in my mind, in the Fae Apoc ‘verse, but while Esther uses a little bit of magic to …. nudge… things, it’s all very low-key.



Esther was knitting people together.

She was not all that good at hunting, having tried it twice and not gotten anything at all, but she was good at helping the hunters prepare the food they brought in and she wasn’t squeamish with the carcasses.

She had a bum leg and ankle, no matter what she tried, that meant that she couldn’t really do that much scavenging, though she went along when she could and she knew better than some what the good places would be around here and which should be avoided. Continue reading

Spoils of War 20 – Aftermath

First: Spoils of War I: Surrender

When Aran tapped her on the shoulder, Nikol hadn’t realized that she’d been asleep.  Asleep sitting in the middle of the road in a trapped town. She muttered a couple curses at her stupidity.

“Eat,” he insisted. “I’ve been standing guard.  You — I figure that’s the second time you saved my life.  Oh. And — I found this one. She says you’re an idiot.” He was holding up a cat. 

The cat.  A pressure Nikol had barely noticed lifted.  She took the grumbling cat from Arran and, very carefully, set about petting the beast.  Behind the ears, top of the head, shoulders, spine but not too far back, back to the shoulders.  

“I gave her a magical flea-and-tick treatment as a thank you and fixed her worms and the sore place in her left hip.  I figured that was the best I could do. The ones travelling with us — they’ll tolerate her, but they’re not going to share a saddle with her.”

“This is her home, anyway.”  She petted the cat behind the ears again.  “Thank you for paying my debt to her.” Continue reading

Bright Lights, Small City (a blog post)

I’m generally the sort of person that likes to have plans, well, planned out well in advance. 

But sometimes a friend drops a link in your chat box and says “do you guys want to go to Binghamton tomorrow?”

And… well.  It looked good  — the link, the hanging out with close friends, the relatively short drive (1-½ hour or so).  And we didn’t have anything urgent to do that Saturday, and…

So we drove to Binghamton. 

Binghamton is… well, let’s start.  NYState is in the Rust Belt, which I’m sure you know if you live around here.  It has a lot of remnants of former glory — for instance, I grew up in (near) Rochester, which is the birthplace of Kodak, Xerox, and Bauch and Lomb (film cameras, photocopiers, and eye care/vision enhancement).  You can see not only, say, the Eastman House (George Eastman founded Kodak) but the old Kodak building, the Xerox tower, the great mausoleums for all these people, then Gleason (works) and Strong… hold on I need to google… oh ha.  Henry Alvah Strong, first president of Kodak. Via Helen Strong Carter, his daughter, First Lady of Hawaii in the early 1900s, go Rochester. 

…Strong Museum of Play, it turns out, is a totally different Strong family.   Continue reading

Landing Post: Space Colonies

A series of loosely connected stories involving space colonies and all of the issues therein.