Long Game – a fic for Thimbleful Thursday

“That investment is a long shot, you know.”  The broker frowned across the table at Freida.  “It won’t pay out for decades, maybe even longer.  Now if you want something that’ll give you some money to play with-”

“Decades is fine.”  Frieda knew what the broker was seeing – a young woman, maybe in her early twenties, who was going to get bored with this whole thing too quickly and demand greater returns in the short term.

She also knew everything he wasn’t seeing.

“Well, how about we split the difference? You put half into something like this, the other half into, say-”

“If you’re not willing to make the investments I’m interested in, I can find another brokerage firm.  I don’t need money next week.  I want this money to be growing for my posterity.”

She snipped the words off shortly.  She never was good at acting the age her face said she might be.  Then again, she never was good at patience, either – in anything except this.

Except her money.

“Well, if you’re sure.  I just have this contract-”

She smiled.

She could stand having the conversation once every hundred years, could stand the ten or twenty years of tight money for each  century.

She could handle the long game for the payouts that were coming.


Written to August 26th’s Thimbleful Thursday prompt and 217 words long.

Three and a Half Oaks

Based on a prompt found here.


Between the blink of an eye, in a heartbeat, in a breath, in things that stopped mattering, the world stopped – or at least we did.

People froze. I froze. Animals froze. Insects froze, I think. 

It was – when I thought about it clinically, it was fascinating.  My body didn’t hunger, didn’t ache, didn’t have any needs.  My eyes didn’t dry out.  I’d been sitting in the park.  The others in the park seemed the same – stuck in a single moment.  They didn’t fall over, even if in mid-jog.  The squirrel hung in mid-climb.  The ducks stopped in mid-nibble. 

Nothing moved.  Nothing but plants.  Nothing died, nothing rotted, nothing breathed, nothing but plants.  Continue reading



This story is a follow-up to Fishing Day, is as dark as that one, and is from my Fishy Prompt Call, as the original story reached 7 comments (the last time I counted). Not sure I actually answered anything, but I carried on without any more on-screen murder, at least. 


The fish fought the line.  She pulled, reeling it in carefully.  There were police coming up behind her.  She finished reeling in, carefully unhooking the fish.  “Officers.”  Her bucket had three fish in it already; she checked the size of this one and dropped it in with the others.  “I heard screaming a little while ago.  Is everyone okay?” Continue reading

Train Rolls On….

From writing prompt found here.  


“Did you give me this note?”

The train was rumbling on into night time, so I’d been getting settled into “my” sleeper room when the woman came in wielding a note on a lined index card. 

I took it from her carefully, using two fingers on the corner, and gave it a glance. 

Whatever you do, don’t get off this train until it arrives at the final stop. Continue reading

Fishing Day

Fishing Day

New prompter!  Also, this story involves murder. (Attn new Prompter: you can either ask for a continuation of this story or give me another prompt, as you wish)


“Shit.”  She was trying to get calm, get mellow, to enjoy the sun on the lake and the breeze in her hair.  Her mind kept coming back to the body in the swamp, just a couple hundred feet away.

She hadn’t meant to kill the man.  Well, man-thing.  She hadn’t meant to be killing anything today, it was a fishing day. 

Fishing days were sacred.  She got up before dawn, headed out to the lake, and stayed until past dusk. 

If she happened to catch something? Bonus.  Continue reading

The Night Fishers

the night fishers

So this story feels a lot like Things Unspoken, but it wanted to be modern-ish every time I had anything that would set an era, so I’m not sure. 


“The fish have been getting mad right before dusk.”  Murphy lingered, not yet packing up the gear for the day.  “And I swear, when I go diving just as the sunset touches the water, I find the best things.  It’s got to be the difference in lighting, but I gotta ask – why don’t you stay a little later?  I mean, I see you, and you’re out of here the moment the sun sets.  And this is just a summer job for me, isn’t this – like, isn’t it your livelihood?”

Faulkner gave a rueful head-shake.  “You’re still so new.  You fit in so well down at the pub or up at the gods-house, or at the end of the week at the dances, I forget how new you are.”

Murphy tried not to bristle, but it was hard. “Yeah?  You think I fit in – except at my job? I mean, I guess it shouldn’t care, it’s just a summer job-” Continue reading

The Bellamy, Chapter 18


In another world, Veronika might have been a little surprised that she was having tea with a gorgeous woman with horns curling out of her skull.  In this life, and especially today, she was rather impatiently waiting for said woman to answer her. 

 Why was she doing this?  What was this test all about?

Was it really trying to kill her?

“The answer is at least three fold: If you cannot handle small things, like, say, the skeleton room, you cannot work here, because those things are an everyday fact of life in this place.  If you cannot, if not get along with, at least manage to not get in a screaming fight with, most of the members of the staff already here, then you cannot work here, because we all have to work together.  If you cannot accept that this place has supernatural elements, well, then you just do not belong here, and we would likely have given you a strong recommendation to a more mundane location.  And.”  She was clearly stalling.  This time the little sandwich she picked up was a clearly-chewy one and she took her time with it.  Continue reading

Do Not Walk Away

Okay, so in the shower this morning I was thinking about Ursula K. Le Guin’s “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” and then I got cranky, as one does, and then I wrote this.  It could probably do with a an editing pass or three, but for now, I present it to you as-is: Those Who did Not Walk Away (but neither did they turn away).

Content warning: there is a lot of sacrifice mentioned in this story. None of it is described in any detail at all.


“So you want your little town to thrive.”  The demon lounged inside its summoning circle.  It looked comfortable, relaxed.  It did not look human, which was a blessing of sorts.  Its legs were too long, its skin too leathery, its horns – well, it had horns.  And a tail.  But it looked humanoid, and that was nearly enough. “I can do that.  You know I can, of course.  That is why it was me that you summoned and not some other being.”

Either the thing was flattering them or it had garnered that much from the carefully-researched phrasing of their request.  Dr. Hoge, the putative leader of their group, nodded.  “We know you can.  To thrive within the definitions we’ve provided here – good health, good lives, good chances in life as per the outside world, good opportunities to help others.”  That had been a very important point in all of their arguments leading up to this discussion – they needed to be able to do good outside the town limits if they were going to do this.

“I can do that, exactly as you’ve asked, and with no loopholes, no traps.  Of course, there will be a price.” Continue reading

All the Worthy People

From writing prompt found here.  Um, warning, discusses the violent end of the world. 


“You don’t understand!  I’m just an orderly.  There are plenty of doctors, plenty of scientists, plenty of people who can do a lot of good-”

They didn’t sedate me.  I didn’t argue with the point at the time, because if I was only restrained, maybe I could get out somehow, but they had gotten me trussed up really good and they were dragging me onto the ship.

All around me – separated by a very tall fence of chain-link and razor wire – people were shouting that they’d take my place.  I kept adding to their shouts.   Let them go instead of me

They were in a hurry; I understood that.  They were working against a literal doomsday clock; in less than 2 hours, the world was going to end. Continue reading

Hair-Ball Season

This one is all Cynth’s Fault. 😀 😀

“Are you sure it’s supposed to be a game?”

Theo was always the most uncertain of the three of them, or, if not uncertain, then sort of filled with a generalized nervousness.

Merit rolled her eyes.  “Base-ball.  Foot-ball.  Hair-ball.  Now, you two have a natural advantage, so hold still.”

Normally, it was Oli who was trying to climb on top of Merit.  Today, Merit reversed the roles, climbing up onto the long-furred grey-and-white cat and beginning to groom him aggressively.

As was normally his wont with Theo, Oli, after a moment of enjoying the feeling of someone getting the spots he couldn’t, twisted his head so he could groom Merit in return.

Being the unfriendly thing that she was, she growled at him immediately. Continue reading