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Haunted House 54: Wasps

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
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One guard was heading for the slave factor’s house; the other was heading for Mélanie’s distraction.

Mélanie trailed back from the stalking slaver-guard enough to whisper a Working that would shake the grasses and make a lot of noise in  a slowly retreating stream and then one that would throw her own voice all over the place. Then she followed Neil into the house to the side of the slave pens, swallowing the bile in her throat.  She hated this place, even if she’d never been in it.

He let himself in — probably not fae; she wouldn’t give someone like this an open invite to her house if she had him in her employ, but humans weren’t limited by thresholds the way the fae were — and headed upstairs.  She waited on the porch, since she couldn’t go into the guy’s house without an invitation, and focused on making the noise outside the gate distract Neil’s partner.

The slave factor came down the stairs several minutes later and out the door, trailed by Neil and a slave.  The factor was buttoning his pants; the slave was wearing a blanket as a sort of wrap, a collar, and a nervous expression. Continue reading

Haunted House 52: The Raid

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
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It was a strange feeling, even after the little trick she’d done in the wagon, walking up to someone while completely invisible and inaudible.  

Mélanie did it anyway, because Jasper had agreed to let her come along, and this had been the thing she could do better than him (or than Kearney, but since, as far as they knew, Kearney had no magic, that wasn’t as much of an accomplishment.

Kearney was, in the meantime, sliding through the back in a gap in the fence that was too small for an adult or even most children — Kearney was very good at moving in tight spots and didn’t have much fear of getting caught on the wires.  A lifetime ago, Mélanie might have asked but shouldn’t we worry about DNA?, but here, now, there was nobody with the resources to pull that blood off the wires and run it through the right machines, even if Kearney left any blood. Continue reading

Haunted House 52: Perfectly Safe

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
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She was doing her damnedest not to be miserable.

Mélanie bit her lip. “It’s going to be dangerous,” she offered carefully.  The kitchen seemed too small, too tight; Jasper was getting ready to go out and she wanted to wrap herself around him and make him stay.

“I think it’s worth the risk.”  Jasper’s smile was still bright; he wasn’t looking at her right now, so she could look as worried as she wanted without bothering him.   “Besides, it’s not going to be that dangerous.” Continue reading

Spoils of War 12 – Flee!

First: Spoils of War I: Surrender
Previous: Animalia

The slug. Aran was looking behind them, where the slug-thing was still screaming on the salt. I feel bad for it.

Nikol swallowed a It wants to eat us and then a Well, for fuck’s sake, come on, and then, for good measure a Are you fucking kidding me?

What the hell was she supposed to say to that?

She stared at Aran while she considered those options and a few others and then, finally, decided to dump it back in his lap.

“What can you do for it that doesn’t endanger us?” Continue reading

The Tiger and the Tree Girl

This is just a story piece that came to mind whilst driving.  Fae Apoc, about 15-20 years after the apocalypse. 

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There was an accountant in the slave market.

Vepki was fairly certain that the man wasn’t actually an accountant, not some fifteen or so years after the world had ended.  There were probably still places that needed such things, but Springfield wasn’t one of them.

The accountant was reading the signs above the cages – rather like a zoo, Vepki thought, which was more appropriate than most would know.  He smiled, a snarling expression that would probably scare away the accountant.

That was fine.  He didn’t particularly want to be purchased, anyway. Continue reading

Dictator, Dic-TAH-tor…

After I wrote Council Meetings, I wasn’t 100% satisfied that I’d fulfilled the brief, err, written well to the prompt. 

So I wrote this.  This is Fae Apoc, Cloverleaf; the viewpoint character is Nathen, the star of Lightning in Autumn and the novel I am writing based around that story. The era is after that novel wraps up, a little bit into Cloverleaf’s time. 

Written to Eseme’s prompt to my Third Rail Prompt Call

☘️

Nathen had eaten more scones and muffins in the last 4 weeks then he thought he had in the 40 years previous, possibly excluding that one year where he was dating a baker. That have been a good year.

“I’m telling you, she might call herself a ‘Mayor ‘ but she’s a dictator!”

“There’s a Council…. Some of them are elected…”

What he was finding was that sitting in a cafe, possibly this specific cafe, was a bunch better education on Cloverleaf then the tours he’d been given. Not that the tours had been disingenuous or flat-out lies, it was just that they only told him about the bones of the city, and Nathen had always felt that learning about its heart and blood were more important.

Don’t give me that. I’ve watched her — watched her, she’s not even ashamed of it — overturn the council’s decisions on a whim!”

“…on a whim? Are you sure?” Continue reading

Haunted House 50: Secrets of the House

First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
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Washing the House with Jasper was surprisingly fun. It was also hard work, because the House had years of embedded grime in her shingles. “Did you somehow roll in the mud?” Mélanie found herself accusing the house at one point. “And… in a pine tree?”

The House bumped one set of shutters in her direction.

“I can’t tell if that’s a yes or a no,” Mélanie admitted. “But I need some sort of brush that can get up here under the shutters. Maybe a butter knife, actually. “

Jasper frowned at the scrub brush he was holding. “I could–“

A window opened and a butter knife slid out into Mélanie’s hand. Continue reading

Council Meetings

This is a ficlet of Cloverleaf, written to Eseme’s prompt to my current “third rail” prompt call. 

🚂

Sometimes, Cya seriously regretted having made Cloverleaf a semi-representative government.

Generally, those were council days, when she was sitting at a table with the chosen and voted-in representatives of all three circles.

Being a dictatorship would be so much easier.

She listened carefully to everyone’s arguments.  She asked the question she made sure to ask every time:

“Do we need a law for this, or is it a matter of personal choice?” Continue reading

Mapping

A ficlet of Fae Apoc and probably Addergoole East. 

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“What are you doing?”

Chlodovech looked up from his work to see a woman glaring at him.  “Surveying.” Wasn’t Amalasuintha supposed to be keeping people away?

“What for?”  The woman looked aggressive.  She was holding a pitchfork in a way that was clearly not ready to pitch any hay and her eyes were narrowed.

Chlodovech straightened up.  “It’s a school project,” he tried.  Truth, right? Truth was good? Useful?

“School project.”  She narrowed her eyes even more.  “You’re mapping my town for a school project.”

“Well, technically, we’re mapping all of former Pennsylvania.  It’s going very slowly,” he added ruefully. In part because of things like this. Continue reading