Archive | December 10, 2019

Smooth Criminal

🌌

When the Illamorrow Confederacy no longer knew what to do with someone, they gave them one last wish and then put them on a derelict ship with sufficient fuel to leave Confederacy space. 

When the Illamorrow Confederacy no longer knew what to do with someone, it generally meant that all their corrective measures had failed, that all of their warnings had fallen on deaf ears, that all of their attempts to enforce their laws had met with absolutely no repentance or apology. 

The Illamorrow Confederacy was not very good at dealing with outliers, but say this for them, they did try.  They tried over and over again, until sometimes they simply needed to cease trying. 

And then – 

Then you had someone like Fothitwo Twinshee Pren, who had broken, in alphabetical order, every law the Illamorrow Confederacy held dear, and then had broken every restriction and every punishment the Confederacy attempted to apply.   Continue reading

Other Duties As….

I sort of mushed two of Anke’s prompts together and thus we have this!

⛏️

“Call Dr. Takori.  Now, please.”

Dr. Felin’s admin assistant looked up from her work, stifled a mutter about not doing anything at all, of course not, and dialed Dr. Takori with a push of her fingers before handing Dr. Felin the phone. 

“Yal.  Yal, I need you to see this.  No, I’m calm, what are you talking about, I’m not on blues, Yal, that was a decade ago.”  Dr. Felin’s voice dropped to an annoyed hiss. “Come on, Yal, don’t be like this.  I need you to see this – fine.  Fine, Stana, could you come out here, please?  I promise I won’t throw a fit about any belated procurement, not even the Stygian Cheese Powder.”

Stana swallowed another sigh and followed Dr. Felin, suiting up with the skill of someone who had spent the last 5 years on interstellar digs, out the airlock and from there, to the dig. 

At least this rock had nearly breathable atmosphere, so it could be terraformed – and likely would be, and soon, which meant that Felin was in a bit of a hurry.  It also meant that if there was a suit accident, it wouldn’t be quite so immediately fatal and they had a chance of getting inside before they suffocated on sweet air. 

“Dr. Felin-?” Continue reading

Felis U

Um. 

🏛️

“Okay, I have to admit that was fun.” Samaya glanced back at their History classroom and then looked over at Reggie with a hopeful smile. 

“Mmm.  Fun.” He was definitely not smiling. 

“What do you think they’ll do next?” she tried. 

Reg – who she’d met yesterday at orientation – was so far less enamored of Felis U’s idiosyncrasies than Samaya was. 

Then again – They’re willing to give you a full ride, and they’re accredited and they’re decently known.  You know we can’t afford to pay for college for you, not with your father being ill…

Samaya had just been glad it hadn’t turned out to be some sort of thin veneer over a work camp or something even worse. But she sort of wanted someone else to be enthusiastic with her. 

“Mm.  Maybe a dog?” Reggie shrugged, still unimpressed. How he could be unimpressed was beyond her, but maybe he was made of rock.  Continue reading

Impromptu Prompt Call

Hello!  Yesterday, in a bid to finish a time-limited quest in 4TheWords1, I asked for prompts on Mastodon2 and Twitter.

And then I posted the first bunch of stories on Ko-Fi as I wrote them.

These are those stories. (Dun-dunn3).

A Light in the Dark – The nights were long and dark and the days were cold and grey.

The Real World – “Stand and Present arms!”

The Two Kings – “There isn’t meant to be a thief king!”

D.F. Claudine Davenport & other authors – “I do have one question.  The fact that you credited your cat as a co-author.  Is this a nod to F. D. C. Willard?  If not-”

Atsidasauron Minimus – Every ship that went into space, every one since the first to leave the solar system, the Virginia of Sagadahoc, had one thing in common: they all carried at least two cats.

 

  1. 4thewords.com – a writing game where writing words fights monsters – my referral code is ZUZXW97294 – your first month is free & if you use my code, both you & I get goodies & I can send you more!
  2. tootplanet.space; JoinMastodon.org – Mastodon is a twitter-like social media site with no ads.
  3. (law and order sound)

71st day

A story of holidays! 

Yesterday, I was trying to finish a quest in 4theWords (and I did!) and I asked for prompts – here on Mastodon and here on Twitter. (Still open if something strikes your fancy; I’m having fun with writing prompt stories right now). 

🎃

She’d done so well.

It was nearly dawn on the tenth of December and Xamira was sitting on her porch, watching the world and, perhaps, gloating a little bit.

Moving it earlier had been the easy part.

The pumpkin spice had been a boon, she had to admit. Xamira sipped her latte and licked the slightly-cinnamon-flavoured whipped cream off of her lip. She owed her sister in the coffee industry a favor for that one — now, even if they had never tasted a proper pumpkin pie or carved a jack-o-lantern, people started thinking Pumpkin as soon as the first chilly night came.

The crafts industry had been a big plus, too. Xamira had three blogs where she talked about autumnal crafts, autumnal cooking, and costume-making. Her Gluten, Nut, and Dairy-Free Ladyfingers (shaped like real fingers and with only natural food colorings!!) were such a hit that at least once a year her server crashed. Ditto the $10 Costumes that look like $100+ and Beyond the Sexy Everything: looking Hot on Halloween without Fishnet.

There were even posts up now on r/HotHalloween — Started to plan next year’s costumes (yes plural). What do you think about the librarian from the Mummy?

This year, Xamira hadn’t even had to start the planning-for-next-year posts; they’d just popped up organically.

That part — and Seven Spooky Wreaths You Can Make in a Weekend, and then My Husband Decorated My House for the Holiday, Can You Top It? — those were all her, no favors to a sister or cousin needed, and Xamira  was pleased. The cinnamon on her tongue tasted like victory, like that PTA meeting where she’d first suggested they hold Practice Trick or Treating the week or two weeks before in the school, so kids “knew what to expect.” (which turned out to be mostly more candy). Xamira had done a lot on her own.

Of course, she did have a cousin in inflatables who had pushed the first “spooky” lawn decorations for the season — Xamira smiled across the street at the neighbors’ yard, where a dragon taller than their first floor puffed menacingly at passers-by. And once you got people to decorate, especially outside, then inertia would help everything along and those decorations would stay up longer, and longer…

Xamira had managed to take a small holiday whose influence lasted a few days at best to a season-long extravaganza of pumpkins, candy, and being someone else for a while.

She sipped her latte again as the sun crested the horizon, and sighed as a sort of pepperminty swirl touched her tongue. 70 days. She had managed 70 days.

But on the 71st day, no matter what she did, Christmas reigned.

Across the street, the neighbors’ dragon became a giant tree. Xamira wrapped her shawl around herself and headed inside before the cold really came.

70 days was quite impressive, she told herself again. Nobody else had managed that much.

Maybe next year she’d aim for a post-Labor-Day sale. Back to School with Pumpkins?

Dress Up for your First Day … as a cat!

She had time. Even redditor CostumeFreak only had two sketches and one costume prototype done yet.

Want more?

For non-USians, Labor Day is generally considered the end of summer in the US. 

It’s the first Monday in September & is one of our Federal Holidays.

Inflatable Dragon.

Inflatable Christmas Tree.

Ladies’ Fingers.

Pumpkin Spice Latte – now earlier than ever!

The Summer of Discontent

This is a Summer story and it turned out a little… um.  Not quite dark, but with dark-adjacent bits. While nobody in the story is either depressed nor suicidal, there’s frank discussion of both in the story.

Summer is Autumn’s middle sister; Bishop and Melinda are her partners.  Add first appears here. This story is contemporary with Graduation… or Not

“Summer’s sitting on the roof again.”

Add barely looked up from their homework. Med school was a bitch, and it left them impatient with dramatics of any sort.

“House roof or Bolsch Hall roof?” The house roof was lower but steeper and slicker, being the slate-shingled roof of an old Victorian in Collegetown.

“Bear Hall roof.” Melinda didn’t really have any more time than Add did, or than her partner Bishop did — he was at the library right now — or their other roommate, Carney. But it was her girlfriend, their girlfriend (but Bishop was busy) and something had gone weird with Summer in the last couple semesters. Continue reading