Hidden Mall 74: Progress

The next two days went so smoothly Abby was beginning to believe that things could just, well go smoothly.

They would travel to a Mall, talk to it (if it would still listen or could still listen, which some of them simply couldn’t), and, if they were lucky, get an affirmative answer.

They cleaned out two fountains, did some really nerve-wracking window-washing (the inside roof of a food court), dripped three drops of blood each into a circle, did some intense and obstacle-course-based mall-walking, and fought some wild dogs.  They also filled out surveys, gave out their phone number, and wrapped presents for a couple hours. Continue reading

Haunted House 54: Wasps

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

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

Running in the Bear Empire 48: War

 

First: Running in the Bear Empire
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Deline considered their prisoners, the wounded, the dead, and those in between. “Who of you who’ve surrender have medical training?”

One person cautiously raised their hand.

“Carrone?”

“Just basic field stuff.”

“Okay. So. If you have surrendered, you are now under the care and aegis of the crown of the Bear. You belong to the Bear until your trial. I am going to put you to work seeing how many people we can save, do you understand?”

Two of them nodded, including the one with medical training. Continue reading

Accident Prone (A Blog Post)

I’m beginning to worry that my boss is going to think that I’m accident-prone.

I mean — looks at bruises —  I AM accident-prone, but that’s different.  That’s what my dad liked to call “navigating by the bump method.”

I mean more, “oops, it’s been a year, Lyn got in another car accident.”

I’m fine!  I’m fine, Mr. Thorne is fine, the people in the other car are fine, everyone is fine. 

(Balrogie, my car, is… not quite so fine, but he’ll be okay!)

In short: the intersection was a mess, nobody could see anything, and someone ran a red light into me.  Continue reading

The internet paid for my book to be published – a guest blog post

This is a guest post written by Victoria Corva – https://tootplanet.space/@vicorva


People keep asking me to talk about how to run a successful kickstarter, and I guess I did that — run a successful kickstarter, I mean. But it feels disingenuous to say it. My kickstarter was a success because it fully funded, but the amount I was looking for was not high, and I don’t feel that the credit lies with me. I wasn’t looking to launch a bestseller career or get my name in articles or anything like that, and that’s just as well because I didn’t.

What I was trying to do was to get together enough money to publish my book. A small, specific dream. To cover proofreading, cover art, and ISBNs. I needed about £1000 to get all three, but I was so desperate to publish that I figured I would ask for just enough to cover proofreading (about £700) and would somehow pull the rest from my already drowning bank account.

That might not seem like a risky thing. £700 might not seem like a lot to ask from friends and family, and kickstarters regularly fund with thousands of pounds. But I knew my chances better. Continue reading

The Tuesday House

The house was only there sometimes.

Pau had first noticed it on a hunting run on a rainy day and had, when the rain became too intense, hidden under its very broad overhangs.

The next time up the mountain, Pau tried to find the house — but nothing was there.

Pau didn’t go up the mountain every day, only when food was needed and the weather was supposed to be good (or when food was really needed and the weather wasn’t supposed to be horrible ), and not on any particular schedule, since sometimes the hunting came down the mountain on its own and sometimes a trader passed through their little settlement and then they had things like cheese and sausage and, sometimes, spices. Continue reading

Hidden Mall 73: Answers

She came out of the shower feeling a little more relaxed and a lot more certain. The Olivias were waking up,and Abby noted that they had found some small wheeled suitcases and packed up all of their purchases — except an outfit laid out for Abby.

Liv knew her tastes.  She smiled and changed while the three stretched and moaned.

“That,” ‘Via muttered, “is the best night of sleep I have ever had.”

“Ditto.”  Olly touched her toes and reached up to the ceiling a couple times. “Wonder if there’s breakfast before we head on.”

“I feel like — I feel like we’re being bribed,” Liv admitted. Continue reading

Haunted House 52: The Raid

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

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

Read Me Elsewhere

Hello! If you’re only reading me  here, you’re missing things!

On Ko-Fi, free for anyone to read:


Hedging ItI’m sorry but this tree is not allowed…
Ornamental – The ornamental gardens had been a work in progress for well over a century.
Tangent – The books were a huge find.
Dead Crossing – Not nearly as dark as it sounds. 

On Patreon – those that are free are marked with a * – This month is Dragons Next Door; last month was Borders, Gates, and Crossings. 
🅿️
With the Freaks – if you love them so much, why don’t you live with them?
Blanket Fort  –  Every child’s blankie has magic.
The Meter Problem –  a story of Science!
The Eastern Gate – a story of the same gate from About the Gate
Drawing a Line – a line was growing in the sand.

The Haunted House – a yard diagram

The Expectant Wood – Nimbus’ Journey continues with Chapter 39: Tadpoles on Fish. Water Under Stones. and
Chapter 38: Too Many Questions

On Archive of Our Own – free to read and ongoing.
🗄️
Exchange Students – Harry is going to Addergoole. Porter is coming to Hogwarts. Nothing could possibly go wrong!
Reconstruction – The war is over, and yet Harry, Hermione, and Ron, Neville, Luna, and Ginny find they have another war on their hands. What’s more, Harry appears to have an enslaved Draco on his hands.

On Mastodon – free to read and fun to join; super short fics
Cake Walk, weird.

On Sufficient Velocity – an interactive Fae Apoc Quest
Rhiannon was not expecting any of this.  But now she’s got to figure out what to do while a bunch of jerks keep attacking her city. 
This has continued on quite entertainingly!  Stop in and vote in the quest.

And while I’m having trouble keeping it updated:

http://www.edallyacademy.com/ 

Hidden Mall 72: A Breather

They turned a corner to a hall they hadn’t been in before to find a Relaxation Center, which appeared to be a series of beds in the back and massage chairs in front.

“Now this,” Abby mutters, “every mall needs.  Let me tell you, when we get out of here, I’m going to get rich — somehow — and then I’m going to build a mall with a hotel attached.  A little one. But attached.”

“When we get out of here,” Olly retorted quietly, “I am never going into a mall again.  I might even avoid strip malls. Shop online. Buy from local boutiques in stand-along buildings.  Although, with all the shopping we just did, I might not need to shop for a few years.”

Abby flopped down on a bed.  “Guys, I’m sorry. I’m sorry I’m so – so miserable.” Continue reading