Small Fry & Broken Wings I

Small Fry & Broken Wings

So.  This began from Bilge Rats & Puppets. That is: in Bilge Rats and Puppets, you have Evil?Charming and DeckHand!Hook(*) in a situation where they are completely in the control of an Evil Snow White. 

And then I was thinking “so what if this was in Fae Apoc?”

Which meant deciding how I was getting them into a situation where they were from separate “groups” (in this case sects of Ellehemaei) and then getting some evil queen’s hands on Charming’s heart — 

Wait, not actually in Once Upon a Time, getting some Evil Queen to Own Charming and Hook, or rather, David and Killian.

This is set, thus, in Fae Apoc in the middle of the apocalypse.  It should be readable without knowing that setting, however. 

Charming looks like Charming from Once Upon a Time and his characterization is based on that character – and on the character in Puppets and Bilge Rats, the fic which inspired my Bilge Rats and Puppets. 

Hook – Small Fry – is based on DeckHand!Hook more than normal canon Hook – here’s the gifset I referenced in Bilge Rats.  

(*) See https://fanlore.org/wiki/! to explain the trait!Name style of naming.  I put a ? in Evil?Charming’s name on purpose because it’s not clear either in canon or in the fanwork whether Charming is actually evil, and in my fic he is not particularly evil. And here is another link on the same topic. 

Okay, once again I have written an entire fic’s worth of introduction.  Have at!

Charming

The rubble hit  Charming in the head while he was still trying to stop the blasted wyvern from eating a police officer.  He had managed to get the thing pinned down, a piece of rebar through its neck, but it was still moving. 

He missed fights that weren’t in the middle of downtown and didn’t involve massive swarms of wyverns. 

He missed not seeing more than one wyvern in a month and he definitely missed not having to protect civilians who were trying to protect him at the same time. 

“Watch out!” someone shouted. He aimed his Force shield over and around as many civilians as he could while the wall came falling right into him. 

The rubble hit him in the face; he went down still trying to shield as many people as possible.  Continue reading

Saving the Cult (if not the World), Chapter Thirty-Eight

Saving the Cult (If not the World) "It's time." Manfield Lee knew he was good at sounding authoritative even when he didn't know what he was talking about - he'd turned a fortune into a megafortune doing just that, after all, not to mention running the Organization - but right now, he DID know what he was talking about. After all, it was just a date, wasn't it? And if the date turned out to be wrong, well, then he knew exactly what to blame it on, and that blame would fall on the scholars and the psychics, not on him. The other thing Manfield Lee knew how to do was to place the blame in very specific ways that were not him.

Lina couldn’t quite focus her eyes, so she put up a hand in the direction of the voice.  She blinked a few times, until she could see the woman in front of her.

“Oh, it’s you.”  She barely managed not to sneer at the power-company woman.  She did turn her back on her, seeking out her people.

Jackson was on her left, Ethan on her right.  “Dylan…?” Continue reading

Lucky Dice

“Watch.”

The tavern was old; it had been old for longer than the country around it had existed.  It was made of stone and wood so old and so saturated with smoke that it might as well be stone; it had never stopped being heated with wood, although the design of the hearth had changed from time to time.

Behind the bar, the old bartender and the new bartender watched – as per the old one’s command – as in the corner the best lit by lanterns (these were battery-powered and left out in the sun all day to charge, rather than fueled by whale oil, but the look was otherwise the same as it had been since the inn & tavern were first built) – three people older than the bartender, possibly (although it was unlikely) as old as the tavern itself, began another round of dice. Continue reading

Eralon Discovers

The Restrictions of Foros

This is written as part of my NanoWrimo 2020 Compendium of Completion. 

It is part one of three or four (depending on how I divide it up) and comes after The Second Restriction and Eralon Explains.

Some oracles of the temple were suspected to be not that well connected to the deities, if at all. Some of them used a voice that, among the cloisters of their dormitory, they called The God Voice – that was, those who were remotely in control of themselves during their time on the Oracle’s chair.

Some, however, were truly taken by the god. Continue reading

Bilge Rats and Puppets, Chapter Three

Bilge Rats and Puppets

Chapter 3 of my continuation of the fanfic set in an AU of the Author’s AU in Once Upon A Time.

Chapter 1

Chapter 2.

The original Fic.


Charming had his hands in Jones’s hair, getting the last of the soap worked through the mess of it, when someone knocked on his outer door. 

The pirate had been bathed, in a manner of speaking, a few times since he’d been jailed, but at no point since that first time when he’d first been taken to Snow, had, as far as Charming could tell, soap been involved. 

It was amazing Snow had been willing to bear the stench of him in her chambers.  Although, Charming had to admit, he didn’t stink nearly as badly as he ought.  

He dunked his hands in the bathwater to wash them, grabbed a towel, and strode to the door.  He would not call “come in” just to have someone find him massaging the pirate’s hair. 

He was unsurprised but pleased to find Dr. Talisman standing on the other side of the door, her medical bag in her hand.  She was wearing a crisp, clean, white apron, so she had taken the time to change from her last patient. 

“The staff tell me you have a patient for me.” Continue reading

Beauty-Beast 46: Clarity Arrives

FirstPreviousLanding PageNext

Here’s two of three chapters of Beauty-Beast thanks to Anke’s commission!  

🔒

There was a moment of silence.  Not the whole lounge, thank whoever might be listening, just their little corner.  Signy was staring at Ctirad in obvious horror.  Timaios squeezed him tighter to his side, a quick gesture and still clearly affectionate.  Sara Florentia was looking at him as if he’d just gotten interesting.

“Ermenrich liked to make sure I wasn’t going to slip and say anything,” he explained to Signy’s horrified look. “Because I – because he didn’t think I was that bright.” It took effort to phrase it that way, to put it in Ermenrich’s court and not on his own shoulders, but he knew it would make Timaios happy that he hadn’t put himself down, and he thought it might explain things better to Signy. Continue reading

The Great January Rebloggening Challenge!

Home Site HouseKeeping

Good morning! (Good afternoon, good evening, and good night)

It’s been a good week for web housekeeping!

Let’s see: I covered my work on the Fae Apoc Landing Page in last week’s post, even though that was in this week.  This week, I also worked on the Microfiction Landing Page!

Because a lot of my tootfiction was lost(*) when TootPlanet migrated to Ping.the-Planet, my Microfiction landing page has been a bit of a mess of broken links. Continue reading

Potions and the Apocalypse Volume 3

Potions & the Apocalypse

 

A collection of tootfic which was originally published on Mastodon.  Volume III is set in the same locale as Volume II, but focuses on CJ and her cats.

Kitty, Kitty

The cat circled around CJ as she was painting runes on the sidewalk.

“Careful, Kitty.”

The cat was big, black… sparkling?  Glittering as if it had been dusted in iridescence.  It looked up at CJ, looked at her runes, and deliberately placed a paw on the Ur she’d just painted.

“Kitty!”

CJ repaired the rune and, as she painted it, began the chant that would seal the spell here.

The cat looked at her again, meowed, and placed a paint-smeared paw firmly on the ground just after her Ur.

CJ stuttered in her chant; the cat meowed again. Power surged from its sparkles and from the pawprint to join CJ’s magic in the shield.

She finished the chant to meowing accompaniment, dug in her pocket, and found a jerky stick to share with the cat.

The shield protecting their air was stronger than she’d ever cast before, and its black-blue sheen glittered. “Keep that up, kitty, and there’s some tuna in it for you.”

The cat meowed.  CJ took that as agreement and moved on to her next spell-site.

Necro-Kitty

“Magic doesn’t raise the dead.”

CJ was forever surprised how many people Knew What Magic Did (and Didn’t) when, a year ago (7 months and 12 days ago), most people hadn’t known magic was real.

In this case, Paz DID know at least something about the subject and was not entirely wrong. Still.

CJ kept painting her a line of runes – two classical sets, her personal runes, and her cats’ runes – around their makeshift morgue.

“No,” she agreed. “Human spellcasting or potions have never definitively raised the dead.”  She rattled a box of kibble. The calico appeared a moment later, tail in the air. “This-” CJ poured out a measure of kibble “-is Necrokitcy.”  She added two more piles of kibble and, like magic, a large black cat and a fluffy grey one appeared.  “Sorcatty.  Encatment.”  

She finished another line of runes before she gave Paz her attention again.  “Human magic doesn’t raise the dead.” Necrokitcy delicately dipped a paw in grey paint. “These guys, however…”

In truth, it only worked if the targets were MOSTLY dead. But the theory, at least, was sound. As was the catosophy.

En (cat) ted

When communicating with cats, it was easy to get oneself heard, harder to get oneself listened to. 

Cats who could enchant things were proving to have exactly the same challenges.  

CJ laid out the four squirrel-meat piles at the corners of the building she wanted protected. It was in good shape, tall; the riots had bypassed it

“Okay, Encatment.” Tin of blue paint on the ground.  Paintbrush, the first runes lined. “Ready?”

The grey-and-white ball of fluff sniffed the meat, looked at CJ, and deliberately looked away. 

“Not hungry?” She sighed. “Or does it need sprinkles?”

An ear twitched in CJ’s direction. 

“All right, all right.” CJ sprinkled some home-baked cat treats over the carcass. “There you go.”

A few messy minutes later, Encatment started the first yowl of the spell chant and plunked down a cat-paw rune in exactly the right place.  CJ breathed a sigh of relief. 

Still easier than working with some human enchanters, she had to concede. 

Fishing

 The cats – the magical ones, at least – had leared how to fish in the river.

Before the catastrophe, that had been, at best, a (ha) fishy proposition, the river tainted with run-off of too many sorts. After the catastrophe, after the dam had broken, it was another sort of questionable, the run-off in the water magical or… whatever the dust had been… and the things in the river were now, well, different.

The cats brought back things to share, fish long enough that they dangled on the ground on both sides while the cat lifted its head to carry it, fish whose scales were mosaics telling stories, fish who tasted and smelled like beef when cooked. The humans told them they were good cats and shared in other things they’d cooked, too, and brushed their fur until it gleamed. It was a good arrangement, part of the broader agreement they had with the cats who could sing spells and sniff out strange dangers.

When the cats brought in a mermaid- two of them working together as the being was still alive, fighting, and longer than most humans were tall – then they had to do some negotiating with the cats. They had brought food, the cats seemed to say. Why were the humans… talking to it?

It took a great deal of work before CJ could convince the cats to talk to the mermaid, and even longer before the mermaid would talk to the cats. But then, eventually, they had an ally in the river, and the cats learned that the fish with arms – MOST of the fish with arms – were not for eating.

🐟

It helped that the mermaids could find tasty little morsels deep in the river that the cats could not.  

It helped that the humans – at least some of them – and the cats could cast charms to clean the runoff before it hit the river, to even start to clean the river itself of some of the weirder contaminants. 

CJ was finding herself spending a lot of time by the edge of the river. 

Cat Nap

 “-when I’m done with that, we’re going to go check out the river and see what we can do there.  I know there’s been side effects from that round of ashfall we got last week, and I want to be sure the stuff we’re pulling out of there is still edible. Maybe another filter-net if you can get Bek on it tonight?”

CJ paused halfway up the ladder to the roof. She felt like she had been going non-stop for weeks.  Years?  “And um, someone has to check out that, uh, Glinda over in the South Wedge?”

“CJ.”  Sen patted her calf.  “We’ve got it. Check the roof, then – then take a break.”

“After I check the river,” CJ offered.  “I promise.”  She headed upwards before Sen could argue, the cats swarming up before and after her. 

The roof of their rehabbed factory was covered in protection runes. They had to check it every week, every rainfall, any time the ash fell again. 

CJ stood in a clear space and looked around.  The sun was shining brightly.  

There was a blanket up here, where Paz liked to watch the stars. 

Sorcatty, the biggest of her three cats, put his paws on her chest and pushed.  Encatment twisted between her legs.  

She sat down with an awkward thump and laughed as Necrokitcy climbed onto her lap. 

“A cat-nap it is, then,” she agreed ruefully.  “Since it seems I have no choice.”

As she lay down, Encatment curled up next to her head and purred. 

 

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Kofi

 

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Potions and the Apocalypse Volume 2

Potions & the Apocalypse

 

A collection of tootfic which was originally published on Mastodon.  Volume II begins the story of the Factory Settlement

Protec

Even before the Dust came, they had protection runes on the old factory. 

Then, it was because the cops & some factions looked poorly on unlicensed spell-work. 

Early-Dust, they painted protection over every inch of it: Red lines for a spell of clean air. Potions poured on brick to make it impervious. Orange lines of warmth, comfort. 

Inside, they added blankets and cots, cleaned & repaired windows, swept out years of grime.

Outside, CJ repeated the runes for safety & murmured ancient words-making the hideout a refuge for all.

That done, gas masks & gloves on, they moved towards the neighborhoods. Potions poured on roads to clean groundwater, runes of protection sprayed on intersections, spells of let us breathe cast down the yellow lines.

A cop stopped CJ. She panicked—’til he handed her fresh spraypaint & took up guard. “Protect,” he offered. “And serve.”

They made sure the police station was within their blue line, the spell that said life.

And still they worked outwards. 

Breathe Free

When the Dust started to fall, when it showed what it could do, when it first transformed someone and then transformed some/thing/, CJ closed her eyes and remembered.

She’d been two when the tear gas flew. Her mother hadn’t meant to bring her to a protest; the protest had come to their neighborhood and CJ had run out to join the shouting people.  Their shouts seemed to make sense.  Their complaints seemed fair.

Her mother’d had just minutes, pushing aside protesters and working with a giant poster marker on the faded pavement and sidewalk.  CJ had watched the runes form.  Edol, she’d said, over and over again, because that was her favorite rune, the one her mother had painted on her bedroom door as a work of art.  Edol

She was much older when she learned that one meant Shield. But the ones she remembered more now, the ones her mother had carefully taught her during a particularly bad flu season, Omil and Paru, those meant “breathe” and they meant “free.”  Together, together they cleaned the air. 

CJ pulled out her own poster markers and began writing, her eyes open but the memory still clear in her mind.  Shield. Protect. Clean Air.  The place she and her parents had lived – first that block and then the whole neighborhood – had never suffered from either tear gas nor the flu nor smog.  Clean air. 

“Edol,” she whispered. Breathe Free, her runes, writ large on every surface, shouted. 

Discovery

They had cleansed the courtyard of Dust with potions of clean-water and spells of breathe-safe and stay-calm and root-form, but damage had been done before they got there. The trees sometimes moved on their own, and creatures slunk through the bushes and decorative plantings.  

They’d cleared out the most malicious things, but a former lawyer now haunted the biggest tree as a dryad. ryad and some of the creatures that slipped here and there had once been more mundane things — rats and squirrels, pigeons and frogs. 

CJ sat in the middle, legs crossed, and listened. It would take a while, it always did, but if she was still and calm and rooted —

She smiled, almost too excited and almost too bouncy, but still, the gremlins clambered out of their burrow.  Five of them; the littlest came over to sniff her while the biggest headed for the nearest telephone pole. 

She fed them scraps of her sandwich and watched as three more emerged.  The gremlins might be a nuisance creature — there went the power again! — but she still loved them. 

Spring

The city wasn’t empty, even still, but some places definitely seemed it.

The others had helped with clearing away the rubble, the pavement, and the trash, but now Joy was alone on a lot that had once held a tailor’s shop. 

She’d started seedlings in March; now that the snow was finally gone and the sun seemed to have finally come back, Joy wanted to return the favor and bring life back to their land.  

She was safe here. They’d cleared all the unfriendly strange-beasts out of the area; there was a mostly-friendly goblin watching her from a perch on the nearest surviving building. She was safe here.

Joy dug a tiny hold, poured in a dose of a potion Paz’d made her for this, and set in a tomato seedling. She patted the dirt around the seedling, poured a second potion over it, and slid a collar made from half a soda bottle around it.

Over and over, until the lot sparkled with potion and was dotted with green. 

The goblin sitting on the nearby building smiled broadly in approval

Pumpkin Spice

 The potions lab was the most well-ventilated room in their compound, and still, most days it smelled faintly unpleasant or slightly weird. Mona still went in there – to make sure Paz ate, to fish out a cat who wasn’t helping or a child doing the same, to ask if Paz needed anything or put in a request for a specific potion.

Today, the lab smelled like – like –

Mona breathed in deeply, no matter how unwise it might be here. “Cinnamon,” she murmured. “Ginger. Nutmeg.”

Paz swirled a dark, thick fluid in a beaker.

“Pumpkin Spice hot cocoa. Bonus: it keeps you warm for up to 12 hours. Second bonus: bats and black cats love you.”

Mona peered into the beaker. “Happy Halloween, Paz.”

“Just wait ’till you see what I’m planning for Thanksgiving.”

Discovery II

There was a woman painting tiny letters on the road. 

The past weeks had been insane: spores from the sky, people, animals, even plants acting weird. Sen, who had been hoping there was still something left at the store, was hurrying, a wet bandanna tied over her face. She stopped dead anyway.

The woman was masked, goggled, gloved, painting. They weren’t Roman letters.  Sen didn’t know what they were. 

“What-?” 

The woman held up a finger. Chanting softly – not English – the woman stood, stretched, stepped over the line of letters, stopped. 

Behind her, a flickering wall – the color of the paint, a shiny blue – rose upwards. 

“That’ll help the air.”  She bowed.  “I’m CJ.  What’re you doing this far west?”

Going for food, Sen didn’t say.  CJ had eyes that, improbably, matched the paint.

“I-Falling in love.”

With the mask, Sen couldn’t tell the woman’s expression, but her eyes squished up like a smile.

“Magic does that. Come on, I’ll get you someplace safe… and maybe show you a bit more.”

 

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Kofi

 

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