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Putting Out Fires (and Lighting Others)

This one is just sort of silly.  Maybe an intro to something?

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Perfect is the enemy of Good

That’s engraved on the lintel of our headquarters.

Well, it would be, but what’s really there is Firehouse 14.

It’s a good building, and the fire company has since moved somewhere else, bigger place, I think, more poles.

We moved in the way we do most things – quickly, efficiently, with a minimum of excess energy.

Which means, of course (of course) that I’m sleeping in an old firemen’s dormitory and so are the other seven of us.

We put out fires, after all.  Sort of. Sometimes we light them.

We’re the Cleaning Team, which is kind of a funny name for us, but it’s what we came up with while drinking vodka one night.  We get things done.

We don’t get them done cheaply.  We don’t get them done elegantly.  We get them done on time and well. (You know: on time, in budget, in scope, pick two.)

And we get them done – if not cleanly, then “cleanly.”

That is.  If it is illegal or questionably moral, It will never come back to us.  It will never come back to you.

If it is shining and bright and just needs to be done quickly, you will get all the lauds and we will be invisible.

Just don’t ask questions.

That, we actually have a sign for, on the front desk, next to the “Quick And Dirty, Done” sign that our secretary came up with.

(We do actually have a “don’t kill the client” clause in our (unwritten) contracts, but that one has its own escape clause (Our contracts are the one thing we didn’t do quick nor dirty).)

Perfect is the enemy of Good.

And let me tell you, you want it done, we can get it done Quick and really, really Good.

 


Written to May 16th’s Thimbleful Thursday Prompt.

Want more?

Thimbleful Thursday: Here and There

“But who are you?” The woman at the gate was staring at the interloper. “What is your name and what are you doing here?”

“What I am doing here, I have already told you.” The woman popped up her umbrella as an unseasonable and unexpected rain began. “I am here to speak to Madam Thare Oliphant.”

“The current mistress of the house is not Thare Oliphant, and hasn’t been in two hundred and seventy-two years.”

“You’re remarkably well-informed for a gate guard.” Continue reading

Thimbleful Thursday: Envelope

“What…. what is it?”

Esuyp had been locked up in the old building for months on end, emerging only to do her required part of the settlement’s labor and fix the things that needed fixing, sometimes to eat and even more rarely to sleep.  Qiameth had been running back and forth between Esuyp’s workshop — so they all assumed it was — and the old school buildings, muttering to herself.

Now the thing — the result of every minute of leisure time for two people for over half a year in a settlement where everyone was working steadily — was out in the middle of the Green and the whole settlement was staring at it.

“What is it?” repeated the Eldest.   Continue reading

Reformed?

Okay, this was supposed to be short.  It is not short.  It is a riff off of a comment from a request for dark fic prompts from like 2 months ago. 

It took a while.

Superhero on Twitter Twemoji 12.0

Damon Rudd had not meant to reform. He had been living a perfectly happy life destroying anything at that pissed him off, thwarting people who got his way (heroes with overdeveloped moral senses usually, Golden Hawk and Wise Ibis and the like), being amazingly rich and getting richer, and more or less doing whatever he wanted to do. This had been working fine, until, walking behind one of his businesses, he found a woman and two children digging for food in his dumpster.  This, Damon found, pissed him off.  But because he was not an idiot, he was able to see that what pissed him off was not the woman.  Continue reading

Been to Middle Earth; Do you speak my language?

Okay, this is entirely because DaHob sent me the link to Talk Nerdy to Me

Woman Elf: Medium Skin Tone on Twitter Twemoji 12.0

When Nat first saw the ads shouting  “win a trip to Middle Earth,” she assumed it was just another studio amusement park, like “spend a weekend in the Wizarding World” or “Cruise on the Black Pearl.”

It wasn’t until she was lured by a clickbait article that she caught a clue as to what was really going on.

“Portal trips to other universes: are they as safe as they seem?”

It turned out that the answer was a firm no, something hammered home as Nat’s native guide physically moved her out of the way of a swinging mace and dropped her onto the back of a sturdy pony.  “Tourist gold, they said,” he muttered.  “Bringing fresh eyes and fresh treasure to Middle Earth!  Nobody said they’d be idiots without the sense to come in out of the rain!”

“Hey!”  She shifted on the pony and let it carry her away from the orcs.  “Let’s see you come to my world and see how you do in a strange place with strange dangers, hunh, Gladrin son of Gladuil?”

“Maybe I will, maybe I will,” he retorted.

“Good!  I look forward to it!”

Then, because she didn’t want to be the reason that the Ugly American trope was carried to another universe, she added, much more politely, “thank you for saving me.  Do you think, for the rest of this trip, you could perhaps show me the things that you like the best about your land?”

She thought from the expression – the beard made it hard to tell – that she’d surprised Gladrin.

“That I will, little human,” he consented.  “That I will.  And perhaps we can return you to your land intact, mmm?”

The Seventh Estate

In Seldith stood seven estates.

There were many houses, of course, some of them large enough to be considered manors, many buildings and homes and a great number of farms and plantations – but there were seven Estates.

From East to West, the first was the home of the Leader and thus whoever lived there had the First Vote, which was most powerful.  The second home was for the Head of Priests, who held the second vote. Continue reading

Feast of Sterha

New setting or one-shot, just an idea that came to mind, slightly inspired by The Exiles Trilogy and slightly by my inability to stop singing Good King Wenceslas.  

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“So let today hereby be named the Day of the Martyr Baloran, with all due pomp and ceremony, and let us remember this day by, hrm, bu picking up rocks from our neighbors’ fields and using them to help build the walls between fields, on my authority and honor as the leader of this colony-”

“Ah, honored one?”  Gerilip did not like interrupting the Leader, but her job lead her to need to quite often.  “Today is the day of the Blessed Epolitie.”

“Ah.  What about Baloran’s birthday?”

“The day of the Blood-Consecrated Delfikin.”

“Ah, hrm. The day Baloran joined the Service?”

“That’s the feast of the Holy One Relian.  Honored One,” Gerilip cut in, before this could get quite silly, “there is only one day left open on the calendar.” Continue reading

Bad Fight

Written to a prompt I found here

Superhero on Google Android 9.0

Red wasn’t supposed to be out on his own yet.  He was supposed to be a sidekick.  He was supposed to be following Blue around still, maybe cracking wise and maybe just mopping up the henchmen that got away.

But that wasn’t what he’d signed up for.  That wasn’t what he’d been training until all hours of the night for, sneaking out of study hall for, spending every minute he could in the lab for.  No.  No, he was a meta, a shining new example of the Modern Superhero – that h Continue reading

Rise

This is written to a prompt I encountered on Pinterest from here.

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We had never come up with a cure.

Instead, we had come up with ways to deal with it.  I say we, but it was my grandparents and their parents who did most of that work.

The rest of us just learned what we had to do and got on with the work of rebuilding the world.  By the time I was an adult, you could barely tell that there had been a world-scarring, population-destroying mega war in my grandparents’ time.

And then, of course, the fucking aliens showed up.

They had spacefaring tech that we were only beginning to develop.  They had weapons that were, frankly, amazing, and, from a biologist’s point of view, also horrifying.  They had ships parked in our atmosphere.

We had zombies.  Continue reading