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Table of Contents, 101 Apoc Nights

  • 101 Apocalypse Nights, I This is my camp nano project.  Enjoy! The Lord of Penn’s Land  – the warlord, although he preferred to be called ...
  • 101 Apocalypse Nights, II Tisha shook her head and smiled a sort of long-suffering smile.  But the one with beer – a woman who ...
  • 101 Apocalypse Nights, III Around them, all over the campground, she could hear the noises of people doing the same: settling in for sleep ...
  • 101 Apocalypse Nights, IV The first thousand people to get to Tax Day were given tokens, 1-1000, and they would be the first in ...
  • 101 Apocalypse Nights, V They picked up the last of the mess from breakfast, tidied Candice’s camping space, and played a game with tag ...
  • 101 Apocalypse Nights, VI So there I was, making a deal with a fae and holding my breath while I did so.  Fifteen steel, ...
  • 101 Apocalypse Nights, VII “Of course it’s your turn,” the older of the pair coaxed, but the younger man wasn’t quite willing to believe ...
  • 101 Apocalypse Nights, VIII The man whose camp was on the other side of Candice’s who had brought jam and fresh berries for breakfast ...
  • 101 Apocalypse Nights, IX Now this wasn’t the easiest route –  certainly not by row boat. For one thing, you couldn’t see quite looking ...
  • 101 Apocalypse Nights, X The tale-teller returned, rolling his shoulders and smiling, with an amber bottle and six glasses that seemed to be ...
  • 101 Apocalypse Nights, XI When the stew, such as it was, was simmering away over Candice’s stew pot, they had collected two more people, ...
  • 101 Apocalypse Nights, XII They broke their fast the next morning as a group, none of them wanting to separate.  There was a small ...
  • 101 Apocalypse Nights, XIII The booing had stopped, and they had all had their share of food, eaten slowly and uncomfortably while they waited ...
  • 101 Apocalypse Nights, XIV “And you’re not done yet,” Candice pointed out.  “Sit for a spell, have something more to drink, and then finish ...
  • 101 Apocalypse Nights, XV He bowed to them all, and they applauded him quietly.  The line had been moving as they spoke, a little ...
  • 101 Apocalypse Nights, XVI Warning: a bit of horror.  He took another long sip of rum, he walked around their group twice, pacing, but nobody ...
  • 101 Apocalypse Nights, XVII The next morning found the warlord’s staff moving around with warm drinks and warm pastries.  Everyone had their share; the ...
  • 101 Apocalypse Nights, XVIII “Does this story go anywhere except ‘I found talking animals and they didn’t kill each other?’” “Well, eventually…”  The woman looked ...
  • 101 Apocalypse Nights, XIX I was beginning to feel as if this was a long walk to a short death, their tale-teller continued.  I ...
  • 101 Apoc Nights: the City of Glass Story Continued “Now, where was I?” Anastasia cleared her throat, and then she continued forth.   The roads were, of course, difficult to ...
  • 101 Apocalypse Nights, XX Anastasia bowed to her new friends, to everyone she had met along the way, all as if she may never ...

 

Funerary Rites 37: Throw in (a) Towel

🔑

Senga was sitting between her friends, eating the same pizza they ater every week, soaking up the warmth of people who understood her – at least, who understood everything she had been that didn’t involve this house and –

and

“Chitter?”

“Yeah, Sang?”

“… Did Erramun go to talk to the cook in a towel?”

“Yes, yes he did.”

“Well.  Do you think I should rescue him?”

“Senga, he’s an assassin, he’s older than you, and he’s a tough man.  I’m sure he can take care of-”

“This is the Monmartin family staff, though,” Ezer cut in.

“-you should go rescue him.” Continue reading

Safe

This did not turn out quite like I intended.  Like, within a mile of it. 

Post-apoc fae apoc, Cya (the woman), and an unknown viewpoint male fae.

🚐

He was not, not exactly, stalking her.

For one, he already knew where she lived.

Everyone in this area of the world knew where she lived.

They might not have put one and one together and realized that she was who lived there, but she did not always bother with a disguise, and that particularly red hair was like a flag.

Like a beacon.  Continue reading

Haunted House 34: Friends

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous:  Thank You

🌳

Mélanie woke next to Jasper and found herself smiling before she had even come fully awake.  He was warm next to her, his arm thrown over her to hold her close in a gesture that seemed less possessive and more cuddly.

She looked up at the ceiling and the very nice light fixture.  “Why?” she asked, very quietly. Jasper was still asleep. She wanted him to get as much rest as he needed.  “Why did you try to stop me?”

There was silence in the house.  This house, she realized, was never completely silent.  It made little groans and squeaks, the branches brushing too close along the outside, the wind moving an old foundation.

Right now, it was making absolutely no noise.

After a moment, a voice barely a breath came to her.  “I wanted to keep you safe.”

Mélanie froze.  The house – the house didn’t like talking.  It had said – written – as much!

But the house was talking to her.  Or, at least, had talked to her.

“Thank you.”  She kept her reply as quiet as she could.  “I’m still glad I saved him.”

Again, silence.  And then, in the same whispered breath, “Me, too.”

She wasn’t going to push the house any more than that.  Mélanie snuggled against Jasper and enjoyed his warmth. If he was going to cuddle her in his sleep, perhaps she’d sleep a little longer.

~

His waking woke her, and she nuzzled against his neck, murmuring things that made no sense against his skin.  He seemed to understand anyway, and nuzzled her back. THe lights dimmed, the curtains thickened, and they had privacy to enjoy each other’s company.

~

Mélanie snugged the robe around her.  Having baths whenever she wanted was a luxury she could get used to very quickly.

She looked at the bathroom mirror. “You don’t have to answer, but I wanted to say thank you again.  I understand, or at least, I think I do. I’ll try to stay a good enough friend to deserve that treatment.”

A moment went by, and then, in the steam in the mirror, a word was written: Friend.

A smiley face came soon afterwards, just beneath it.

“Friends,” Mélanie agreed.  She added her own smiley next to the house’s.

There was a warm feeling in her chest.  She found that she was grinning. After a moment, she said, hoping the house wouldn’t take offense – and that was a sentence that would never been part of her life 2 weeks ago – “this – you’re the first friend I’ve made in, well, since a while before I was captured, and well, it’s kind of funny that my first friend is a house.”

There was a pause.  Then a crude house shape was drawn under the smilies.

“House-shaped person,” Melanie guessed.  “And a very good friend.”

The smilie was traced over, becoming clearer.

Melanie giggled.

“I should-  I should go out and see what Jasper…”  She rolled her shoulders. “Is this for real?  Is he – is he going to get all beastlie now that we’ve, now that-“

In the mirror, the words were written slowly:

He is a good person with some bad habits.

This is for real.

A moment later, the mirror was cleaned very thoroughly.  Melanie combed through her hair until it looked presentable and turned to leave.

A very cute dress appeared in front of her – along with the required underthings.  Melanie giggled.

“All right, all right.  But I’m going to work today.  I hope you know that. There’s a lot I can still do, you know.  There’s a lot I could do to make you more comfortable, too. So let me, okay?  Unless he says I can’t work, and I hope he doesn’t.” She dressed herself and checked again in the mirror.  She looked very 1940’s, and, aside from the bare feet, rather sharp.

“You have good taste in dresses,” she told the house. “Or he does and you pick stuff out well.  Thank you.”

She tried to pretend that her heart wasn’t in her throat – the house had told her this was for real, after all; the house had told her it was okay – as she bounced down the stairs into the kitchen.

Jasper looked up from the table, where he was  – oh, no, he was reading her notes on the slavers.  Melanie’s heart sank, but the smile Jasper gave her lifted it slightly.

“Good morning, beautiful.”

The blush creeping across her face distracted Mélanie from her trepidation for a moment.  Just for a moment, though. She cleared her throat.

“Good morning,” she wasn’t so much feeling daring as not having any idea what one was supposed to do in this case, “handsome.”  After all, he was.

His eyebrows went up and for a moment, before the smile on his face seemed to match the blush on hers, she thought she’d done something awful.  “I could get used to this,” he admitted. “Here, there’s some breakfast and some coffee. You know, the house likes you a lot.”

“I know.”  She sat, noting that he’d gestured at a seat but not said sit, and noting that the fare included steaming-hot cinnamon buns.  Cinnamon buns!  She couldn’t remember the last time she’d had something so rich and sugary – very possibly before the world had fallen apart. “We’re friends.  I like her too.”

“You’re-”  He took a long sip of coffee that was clearly too hot for that and sputtered around the heat while a glass of water appeared at his hand.  He gulped that down and looked at her. “I’m glad. I’m really glad. I clearly chose well at-“

A towel hit him in the face.

“What?”  He looked less irritated and more confused.  “What did I say this time? I’m happy. She’s friends with you.  Friends.  That’s a lot better than the last one!”

Melanie could guess, but it wasn’t her place to say anything, especially not with the towel buffeting Jasper from all sides.

“What? WHAT? You didn’t pick her?  Come on, you have to admit that you like her! You already said it!  Well, implied it!”

Mélanie chuckled. “Come on, House, legally, he’s right.  Me being impressive and you getting along with me is all about him.”  Feeling a little wicked, she added, “after all, isn’t everything about him?”

 

Want more?

One Hell of a One That Got Away

What can I say?  Country music makes good Addergoole songs.  This one’s light and sweet, as such things go – content warning for discussed violence. 

~

He knew within ten minutes of starting to go after her that it wasn’t going to work.

Oh, he had no doubt he could get some of her time.

He was charming, he knew how to listen – or to at least look like he was listening, but he found with her he didn’t have to fake it much – he was good looking – which around here was like saying he was breathing; everyone met  certain base qualification – and they shared three classes.  He had plenty of time to chat her up. He just wasn’t going to get her.

He already knew it was doomed when she agreed to a date.

He made the plans anyway. Continue reading

Haunted House 33 – Thank You

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: Promise

🌳🏚🌳

The kitchen door was lit up with more lights than Mélanie had thought it had, twinkling and shining like it was welcoming them home – which it might be, Mélanie admitted to herself.  There were even curtains in the door window that she was fairly certain hadn’t been there before and, as they walked up to it, the door swung open.

The short walk from the stable to the kitchen – Jasper was holding her hand, and she found she didn’t want to let go of it – was enough time for her to start thinking.  “You know,” she told Jasper, as they closed the kitchen door behind them, “that may be the first time I have actually made a decision – I mean really decided to do something and done it – since – since – since I don’t know when.” Since I was free.

“Then I am even more honored and pleased that you chose – made a decision of your own free will – to rescue me, and I am very proud of you.”

The warm feeling as Jasper hugged her, the rush as the praise – praise she had genuinely earned, even if having free will was not the sort of thing that people normally praised their slaves for – it was like a blanket all around her.  Mélanie smiled up at her master, feeling a little weak in the knees.

“And look, the house has given us some warm tea for the late evening.  Here, this chair.”  He directed her to a chair and, between the very-nearly-an-order and the way that her knees felt a little wobbly, Mélanie had no problem in sitting down.

She watched Jasper until he, too, was sitting down and had picked up his tea before she picked up her own.  “You’re proud of me?”  And now she was most definitely fishing for praise – but she also wanted to understand.  “For-”

“Well, I suppose the easy part to get is that I’m very happy you came after me.  That was fortunate indeed for me.  And yes, Mélanie, my dear.  I want you to understand… Hey!”  A napkin had hit him in the face. He huffed and put the napkin down.  “Mélanie – can I talk to her, or are you going to hit me again?”

No more napkins lifted.  “It was very impressive, that you not only made the choice to come after me and made the plan to do so, but that you – uh.”  He cleared his throat.  “Please forgive me – both you and the house here – if I sound condescending; that’s not my goal.  But I’m very pleased that you made a decision at all.  I know that it can be difficult, when one has been under the collar – metaphorically – for some time, and I know you’ve been collared for quite a while.”

Mélanie swallowed and blinked at her owner.  The feelings rushing over her threatened to bowl her right over, and she thought she might be starting to tear up.  “Sir… Sir.” She cleared her throat. “Sir, I did what I had to.”

“And I am very, very pleased with you.  May I give you a hug?”

“Sir, you own – hey!” It was her turn to be hit in the face with a napkin.  She considered the question as fairly as she could.  “Yes.  Yes, please.  I’d like a hug.”

He walked around the table to her and enveloped her in a tight hug that still somehow didn’t leave her feeling too constrained. “Thank you for rescuing me, Mélanie.”

She hugged him back, pressing against him, and tilted her head up towards him. Towards her Master, her Owner.  Towards Jasper. “Thank you…” she spoke quietly, still not completely sure that this was the best idea, “for being worth saving, sir.”  She stood up a little taller and pressed her lips to his.

He responded, at first chastely and sedately, and then, when she showed no signs of pulling away, with more enthusiasm.  He drew out the hiss, his hands resting on the top and bottom of her back, until his hips were pressed hard against her and he was groaning softly.

“Mélanie.”  He looked at her with an expression far too much like rue for her comfort.    “Mélanie, I would love to – I would love to – to carry this on.   But until you can look at me as a person and not as your Master, I don’t think it would be – ow, hey!”  Another napkin had hit him in the face. “What was that for?”

“Well…” Mélanie looked up at him and smirked a little, even though it was giving her a twist in her gut to think about it.  “If I had to guess, I’d say because the house wants you to remember that you are my Master, and that it would be stupid and rather delusional of me to think of you as not my Master.  Jasper.”

He was looking rueful again, but this look was a little less sad.  He tilted his head down and kissed her, lightly and gently but with definite purpose behind it.  His hand on her lower back slid downwards; his hand on her upper back stayed where it was.  Feeling both brave and affectionate, Mélanie put her own hand on the middle of Jasper’s back.

“Perhaps,” he murmured into her ear, “we should go upstairs?  There is a bed there, and I did tell you that I would rest.”

“Is it rest that you’re thinking of?”  She had looked up at him and ginned before she’d even realized what she’d said.

“Well, a bed, at least…”

“Then lead on.  A bed sounds like a good start to me.”

Want more?

Using Magic

Okay, so I watched The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and I was thinking about teenaged fae in Fae Apoc – non-Addergoole ones – and how they might deal with having magic and here, have a story.

🌪️

“Can I use magic now?”

“Are you freaking kidding me?” Continue reading

Funerary Rites 36: Stages of Grief

🔑

“Will it help?”  That was sigh-worthy, so she did sigh.  “I don’t know, not about the long run,” Senga admitted.  “In the short run, what it’s done is, uh. You saw.”

“Mistress everything,” Chitter agreed. “He’s like — he’s like some sort of puppet or something.  Like he’s pulling his own strings.” Chitter wrinkled her nose. “I don’t like it.”

“I don’t either.”  Senga took her friend’s arm and led her down the stairs, whispering softly. “I don’t want to talk about it where he might overhear, okay? Because it might make it worse.  And I don’t want to talk about it where anyone else can overhear, because it might give them something-”

“Geeze, what, do you think I’m an amateur? I’m offended, Senga.” Chitter wrinkled her nose up at Senga. “Come on, ‘no eavesdroppers’ was like the first Working I learned. Did you really think I wasn’t going to use it everywhere around this place, with the creepy butler and — hey, why didn’t you quiz the maids?”

“They’re…” Senga stumbled. “Shit.  I should have quizzed the maids. It’s just, uh.”

“They helped raise you, when you were a baby, didn’t they?  But it’s not like uh. It’s not like the butler guy didn’t do the same thing, and you—”  Chitter looked at her wide-eyed. “Oh. You didn’t. So why didn’t Erramun quiz the maids?”

“That’s a very good question.  Maybe he is waiting to sneak up on them unawares.  I mean — did I just say ‘unawares?’”

“Are you reading mystery novels again? Because you know that makes you see crazy men in rubber masks everywhere we go.”

“No, Chit, that was you.”  Nobody else could get away with calling Chitter Chit.  Ezer had almost lost his nose to it once.  But Senga and Chitter went way back, more than the rest of the crew did.  “Remember, after that cartoon marathon…?”

“Yeah, well, you read all those mysteries, and you remember what happened then.”

“We actually found out who was behind…. Chitter.”  She stopped on the bottom step of the grand staircase.  “Someone murdered my great-aunt.”

“Well, yeah?  She was dead, right?  Fae don’t just uh, fall over. And you checked to be sure she was really dead, right?  That’s just Cartoon HIjinx 101.”

“I checked.  I did check. And so did Erramun and — you knew my aunt was murdered?”

“Well, I figured, yeah.  I mean, like I said. We’re fae.  We don’t really drop dead from old age; okay, I’ve heard of three cases of that, but that means that that’s the exception that proves the rule,” she flapped her hands.  “So the point is, I figured you were processing. I mean, she was — is, let’s be honest,” she thumped the railing “– she’s a huge part of your life. I mean. She killed your parents.  She kept you safe. We know all this. So I figured you just needed some time to chew on it before you really accepted it. Grieving and all.”

“…Oh.”  Senga tried to work her mind around that.  Had she been – had she been even thinking about the whole thing?  People trying to kill her, yest, but that was nearly comforting and familiar in her line of work.  Generally, it meant they were getting close to something interesting. “I… guess I was having trouble processing it.”

“Well, to be fair, you also moved back into your childhood home and… got a boyfriend?  A new pet? What is even the way to say that? I mean…” Chitter shook her head so much her whole body shook.  “A new guy, either way. So there has to be uh, a little bit of a distraction going on. Anyway. Someone murdered your great-aunt.”

“They did.  They killed her.  And they very well might have uh.  They might have gotten something in her will.”

“Considering it really looks like she likes attaching strings to everything, I kinda hope they did.  Something with a caveat like ‘if you killed me, this will blow up horribly and you will never know why.'”

“Chitter, have I told you recently that you are a dangerous woman?”

“Not in at least the last week.  So, come on.” Chitter took Senga’s hand.  “Pizza. Come on. It’s in a not-entirely-fancy dining room and everything and Ezer already has paper spread out all over the place.  It’ll be just like home.”

“Ha.”  Senga shook her head.  “All right. Here we go.  ‘Just Like Home.'”

She remembered the informal dining room, or, at least, her feet did, although it took far fewer steps than the last time she’d been here.  She remembered the table, and the place where she had accidentally broken a table leg while riding on her tricycle around the downstairs.

She remembered the way her father had spoken to her, calm and soft, and shown her the magic that mended the table leg.

She remembered him showing her a Working that would make her tricycle have a “bumper” of air in front of it so that she wouldn’t break any more legs, table or family or anyone else.

She blinked her eyes, pushing away tears that she did not want to deal with, not now.  Not in front of everyone, not-

The smell of pizza and wings assaulted her nose.  Senga caught her breath and straightened herself up.

🔑

Want more?

Haunted House 31 – Promise

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: Care

🌳🏚🌳

Mélanie looked at the brute. She looked at Jasper, still shaking on his feet. She looked at the house.

The storm had died down as suddenly as it had come up.

“She was going to torture my – she was going to torture him. And Keep him, if she could.” She sounded shaky, she knew. She felt shaky. She was still invisible – she thought she was, at least – but she wasn’t going to let that stop her. What was one more ghost in this place, right?

“Yeah, well,” the brute didn’t seem to have a problem talking to an invisible woman, either, “it’s not like he was nice to us.” Continue reading

Funerary Rites 35: Pizza?

🔑

A short nap and a long shower in – in her  new shower – found Senga unwilling to stop cuddling Erramun.  

Which was, she supposed, kind of ridiculous.  She had things to do. She had places to be.

She had a man who was amazing in bed, who could handle what she did, who had a mind.

Maybe that’s why Great-Aunt Mirabella had done this.

And maybe pigs flew. Continue reading

Haunted House 30: Care

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: Teamwork

🌳🏚🌳

“Anan, I’m not going to – I’m not going to do that.  For one thing, I don’t think he can live without those.  And for another thing – ew.” The brute sounded, Mélanie thought, both worried and squeamish.  How could she be squeamish when she’d been planning on taking Jasper home and torturing him?

But she definitely sounded it.  “I mean, ew. And, well, if I do that  – then he won’t be able to tell us anything, or to agree to anything.  Anan, are you feeling okay?”

“Mm’fine.  M’… more than fine.  Wonderful. Everything is wonderful.” Continue reading