Archive | September 2019

A Poll!

After the commentary on “What’s Next?” here and here, I decided a poll was in order.

PLEASE NOTE: while at the moment, all of these options are something I’d like to write, I reserve the option to change my mind once the poll closes.

(Which it will do in one week or if I have a clear and decisive winner I like before that.)

 

Last to Die

Whose blood will spill, whose heart will break
Who’ll be the last to die for a mistake

– Last to Die, Bruce Springsteen

~*~

There had always been battles.

Leander thought there were memories before the fighting, but times like this, they were hard to pull up.

He hadn’t expected this to blow up into a full blown war. He hadn’t thought the crew of soldiers, Aelfgar’s crew, would be standing shoulder to shoulder with the U.S Army.

At least not openly. He’d served, not army but Marines. So had much of Aelfgar’s crew, before they took on the job of fighting Nedetakaei who got out of hand.

Now there were monsters on both sides of the battlefield and Leander was doing his best not to side eye the Oath-Breaking assholes. Continue reading

Spoils of War 19 – The Talker

First: Spoils of War I: Surrender

In the front of the room, a man stood, taller than everyone else, taller than people ought to be and made mostly, it seemed, of leg, and he was speaking, but she couldn’t hear him.

He was still speaking, even though the floor was shaking. He looked straight at Nikol and glared.  Even though she had no idea what he was saying, his presence seemed to surge through her. 

She sat down.  She didn’t pay much attention to where, just in the nearest chair.  Clearly he was saying something very interesting.  If only Nikol could hear it.  Continue reading

Hidden Mall 82: Misplaced Friends

“You’ve always been a coward.”

The voice – her own voice – chased Abby as she walked quickly down the mall hallway.  She knew where she was going. She knew she had her Livs with her, and several others, some Sandies.  No Kevins, no Vics. Not yet. 

“If I have always been one and you know it -” Abby looked over her shoulder but kept walking; kept walking, kept walking.  She could tell in her gut that it was important, but she also knew she didn’t want this other Abby to follow her.  “-then it’s because you’ve been one too. We’re all the same at the root, aren’t we?”

That was so different from what she’d been telling her Livs that she expected ‘Via to yell at her.  Instead, ‘Via smirked at her and, to her other side, Olly squeezed her hand. 

“You’re full of bullshit!  I’m nothing like you!”

“And you know nothing about me.” Continue reading

Running in the Bear Empire 56 – His Grace by the Claw of the Bear Herself

 

First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous:55: Coming Home
Next: 57 – Chief of the Claw of the Bear, Wife to the Emperor
🐻

“You can’t tell me you’re not nervous.”

“I can tell you that,” Deline contradicted.  Carrone’s hand was sweaty in her own. “But why are you nervous?”

“I’ve been sleeping with the Emperor’s second wife,” he muttered, “in case you didn’t notice.  And — and here is your bracelet on my wrist saying that I’m pretty much stuck with whatever you want…”

“Which means that nobody is going to yell at you, even if someone was going to, for sleeping in the bed I wanted you in,” she pointed out.

“I’ll note you didn’t actually say you weren’t nervous.” Continue reading

In Even Paris & Rome

I was listening to “Home” on the radio last night – turns out it’s originally Michael Bublé but I listen to country – and, not for the first time, it struck me that the narrator sounded a little cursed. 

So here we have this. 

🛬 ✈️ 🛫

The taxi smelled strongly of mould and smoke and seemed to hit every bump on the way from the airport to  the hotel. Blake tipped the driver $20 anyway. It was probably not the lady’s fault, after all.

The hotel was a nice one — they always were — but the building next door was undergoing demolition.   The banging followed Blake up the stairs — he’d learned, about elevators — to the tenth floor and into his room.

His next plane tickets and hotel reservations were waiting for him.  Only once in all his time had they not been there, and that time didn’t bear thinking about. 

He shook out his clothes from his carry-on — after losing checked luggage three times, he’d given up — and hung them in the bathroom, put a laundry bag put for Housekeeping, and sat down at the rickety table.

He picked up the room phone and dialed.  555-908-7857. He’d dialed that number so often he called it in his sleep.

In his dreams, someone picked up.  In the good dreams, she picked up.

“The number you have dialed is unavailable.   Please hang up.”

Blake hung up.  He pulled a tiny bourbon from the hotel minibar — legit Kentucky bourbon,  here in… he checked the hotel stationery — Rome. He drank it straight straight from the bottle, finishing it in two swallows, before he considered the hotel stationery again. 

He pulled the curtains open to look at the demolition,  opened the window, and let the dusty air wash over him.

The hotel-branded ballpoint pen worked.  He pulled over a clean sheet of paper and began.

Aug 12, 2011

Rome looks like dust today,  but the sky is bright blue, like the river down past Johnson’s where we used to fish.  

I want to come home.

I slept well on the plane, despite the crying baby.  I feel bad for the kid. It wasn’t her fault.

I want to come home.

All in all, it’s a good day.  I hope yours is going well, too.

I miss you,

Why won’t they let me go home?

Blake. 

 

He folded up the letter carefully, smoothing each crease.  He dug the box out of the bottom of his carry-on, a cookie tin he’d bought, sharing the cookies with the pigeons in — he thought it had been Paris, it might have been Versailles — until he had the perfect size for his rubber-banded stack of letters. 

He had to push the lid shut over the letters now.  It would be time for a second tin, soon. 

Just let me come home

“I want to travel the world.”  He tested the words. They sounded dirty, dusty now, now like they had when he was twenty and full of himself.  Forget this stupid town.

Who knew the elders of his hometown were quite so temperamental — or quite so magical?

According to his tickets — and they were never wrong — he’d be here for almost three whole days.  Blake changed his shirt and headed out for a drink, giving the tin of letters one last pat on the way out. 

 

What Next?

Hello!

You may have noticed that I have come to the end of Haunted House!

This leaves me with a slot for posting things and being uncertain what to work on next.

So I thought I’d ask you guys!

Options include:

  • Leave the slot open and work on getting Haunted House edited and ready for publication
  • Leave the slot open for rotating prompt calls of short stories
  • Pick up one of the following:
    • Beauty-Beast
    • Purchase Negotiation
    • BeeKeeper
    • Post-Scar City
    • Post-Scarcity Mystery
    • Catboys in Cages
  • Pick up something else (your suggestion)
    • Portal Closed has been suggested & seconded
    • Desmond’s Climb has been suggested & seconded
    • Bee-pocalypse has been suggested
    • Science! (the Chickens) has been suggested
    • Fairy Town: Whitney & the Crossroads Park, or Katydid’s series
    • Space Accountant
  • Start a new serial (your suggestion)
    • Dragons next Door
    • Aunt Family
    • Things Unspoken

Note: I have Kael’s Tower earmarked to work on when I finish Hidden Mall, and Funerary Rites was giving me a lot of trouble the last time I tried to work on it, thus why they’re not on the list.

 

Post-Scar City – continued

So … let me know what you think about this one?

The Earthers that greeted them as they disembarked were nothing like Adeline had expected. 

They were wearing clean, smooth skirted jumpsuits that were clearly some sort of uniform, little booties with flat heels, and masks covering their noses and mouths.  They immediately handed Adeline and the other Habitaters with her the same sort of masks. 

“It can take up to three weeks for the immune system boosters to completely kick-in,” one of the Eathers explained.  “Until then, you want to avoid as much fluid-to-fluid contact with new people as possible.”

Adeline shared a look with Geordi.  As if they didn’t know basic health protocols! Continue reading

Read Me Elsewhere

Hello! If you’re only reading me  here, you’re missing things!

Or at least some things. 

On Ko-Fi, free for anyone to read:

City Meeting – The Tinies are going to a meeting….
Lost & Found – In the city of Dragons next Door, the Tinies often find the lost. 
Ferry – If you arrived at the Landing, a ferry would be waiting. 
Checkpoint – Abby & Liv(s) weren’t the only ones trapped in the Mall

On Patreon – those that are free are marked with a * – This month is up for grabs
Last month was Holidays and Lazy days; July was Arts & Crafts. 
🅿️
Duck, Duck, Mall* Photos from my weekend
Postcards  –  Photos! Of my postcard collection
Going Somewhere….? “This year,” Gilda declared, “We’re going somewhere.”
A Much-Needed Break – “You,” Mike declared, “are taking a vacation.  All three of us are.” – Addergoole
🏖️
Bomb* – The “Gardener” series – the statue to Damkina’s husband was now wearing a kilt.
CurriculumAddergoole, Year 10: “I hate this place.”
Electives – Every member of Bellamy’s family took at least one extra Art Class and one extra shop class.

Snacks – If I  had thought Girl Scouts was difficult, I  had not remotely been prepared for summer camp. 

On Archive of Our Own – free to read and ongoing. (all Harry Potter ‘verse)
🗄️
Exchange Students – Harry is going to Addergoole. Porter is coming to Hogwarts. Nothing could possibly go wrong!
Reconstruction – The war is over, and yet Harry, Hermione, and Ron, Neville, Luna, and Ginny find they have another war on their hands. What’s more, Harry appears to have an enslaved Draco on his hands.
New on AO3:
Inherited – Severus was dying, and he was dying free.  Then everything went wrong. 
A Solution, of Sorts – my take on the Wedding Law & Harem tropes.

On Mastodon – free to read and fun to join; super short fics
Silver Rain – on Podka, it was said to rain silver.
Orange Sunset Parlay – The Imperial Captain wants to talk to Yonpler. 
Rooftop – Jasper and the House converse. (Haunted House)

On Sufficient Velocity – an interactive Fae Apoc Quest
Rhiannon was not expecting any of this.  But now she’s got to figure out what to do while a bunch of jerks keep attacking her city. 
This has continued on quite entertainingly!  Stop in and vote in the quest.

And while I’m having trouble keeping it updated:

http://www.edallyacademy.com/ 

Running in the Bear Empire 55: Coming Home

First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous:54: This Means W-
Next: 56 – His Grace by the Claw of the Bear Herself
🐻

The capital city was one of those cities that didn’t so much as rise into sight on the horizon as pop up suddenly when you rounded a bend in the road.  Nestled in the middle of the Bear Mountains, the city had been stopped from expanding further by the need to keep the pass clear through the entire year, including the six to eight months a year where the pass might be covered in snow.  There were buildings carved into the sides of the pass, but by regulation and army enforcement, those buildings were forced to stay back from the edges of the track far enough that even the widest wagons could head through with no problems, even in the worst weather. 

Thus, they went from the vendors leaning over the edges of their balconies, calling down to them about their fine wares, better prices than in the city, of course, and better quality of manufacture as well, around a corner where no vendors had managed to carve homes, into the gates of the city with the buildings looming up above them.  Continue reading