Running in the Bear Empire 46: The Nameless Claw


First: Running in the Bear Empire

There were twelve soldiers — without uniforms, but Deklegion and Haloran from the looks of them— rushing towards Carrone and Deline.

“Halt!”  The commander – had to be the commander, the way he was talking – pushed forward, pushing Teshone in front of him.  Teshone clearly didn’t want to be moved, and the commander was using a sword and two of his cronies to do the forcing.  “I’m not joking around, Carrone, I will push your friend into whatever trap you have next.” 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

Hidden Mall 70: Better than Others

The stores moved behind them.  Abby tried not to turn around, but found herself peeking.  She could see the Little Panda grind to a halt halfway between the Little Italy and the Subway.

She turned back to the security office, feeling absurdly guilty. “They wouldn’t move when there were people here.  They don’t like being looked at.”

“I’m not sure if that’s more or less creepy,” Olly admitted.  “It makes them like Weeping Angels that are… shopping.”

Abby took a breath. “I am not thinking about that right now.”  She opened the door to the security office, half expecting to be hollered at by some guard who had been watching — well, not the mall, clearly.

There were cameras; there was a door.  There were control boards like a sound room.  There was a chair. But there was nobody in there. Continue reading

Haunted House 50: Secrets of the House

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

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


A ficlet of Fae Apoc and probably Addergoole East. 


“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

Hidden Mall 69: L-Space 📚

Abby shuddered.  We are in a horror movie.  “We – we really are.  Okay. This way, towards the security office, and let’s hope that it’s still there when we get there.”  She started walking, pulling her friends closer and wishing idly that she had more hands.

Better not wish that when I’m going through a door, she mused, or I might end up with four arms or something.

They walked straight down the middle of the hall.  Nothing in front of them was moving or changing, but they could hear something shifting behind them.   When they reached an intersection, Olly toed the line of tile between the two halls. “Look. It’s a slider.  The whole mall is like one of those puzzles.”

“Shopping in here must have been a challenge,” Abby mused.  “Imagine going in the changing room and coming out in a different store?”

“Heck, trying to find where your mom parked the car.” Liv snorted. “Or  — well, anything else. Where’s the food court?” Continue reading

Running in the Bear Empire 45: By The Numbers

First: Running in the Bear Empire

“So there were fifty of them,” Deline murmured.  They stood ready, weapons drawn, listening to the shouts and screams.  “How many do you think we’ve taken out?”

“Over half,” he murmured back.”  The shouting stopped; they fell silent.

Somewhere on the other side of the boulder there, a whole bunch of people were trying to kill them.  It should have probably frightened Deline. They’d already blooded her here, for one. She found she was smiling.  Carrone’s traps were nasty and amazing. The spell-work she’d been pulling out of nowhere was exhilarating. Continue reading