Running in the Bear Empire 25 – Magery

First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: The Bear

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“I suggest,” Deline murmured, her voice as low and her body as still as she could manage,” that you try to stay relatively still until I move.  Also, if you are prone to praying, now would be a good time for it.”  Behind him, she move her hand very slowly towards the biggest cluster of berries.  “And when I move – hold your breath.  It would be a good idea to close your eyes, too.”

He grunted in the affirmative. She watched the bear, hungry and ponderous, shifting towards them as it sensed that they were actually prey.  She could hear Carrone’s heartbeat, his breath that he was struggling to keep even.  She got her hand as far as it would move under the cover of Carrone’s back.

Please, Mother Bear, she prayed again, and in one quick movement, she grabbed the berries, crushed them in her hand, and threw them at the bear’s eyes.

With her other hand she grabbed Carrone and hauled him backwards.  They tumbled back together, running before they got turned around, and dove into the cave. Continue reading

NanoWrimo Counter

~

“You think maybe Verve isn’t always going to be reading so maybe she can take a turn on dishes?”
“Afraid not,” Jenivere deadpanned back at him. “I am going to be reading until I die. That’s the problem with being a wizard — you literally can’t stop reading.”

~

She paused by the settee. One writer had spent a particularly long time describing this piece of furniture, in particular the way that is had cachobons set into the arms and three into the back of the piece. While the writer had not assumed they were magical in purpose or nature, such things had not been quite such common knowledge in the Harve i’s time.

~
She’d also ordered take-out from the one place willing to drive out to the middle of Nowhere and Cowsville, a pretty decent pizza-and-pub-food place in the nearest town. The pizza sat on the counter next to a soda; she wasn’t going to get pizza grease on Aunt Asta’s journals, even if she was subjecting them to heat, chemicals, and a light dabbing with distilled water.

OC-Tober, Week One

The idea of OC-tober (here) is to create something featuring one of your OC’s as a listed creature.  This is 6 of the first 7 days. 

2. Vampire

The alley hadn’t been any different from any other alley she’d found herself in: grubby, dark, lined with dumpsters, just out of sight of Leo and Zita doing… whatever it was they did.

When she’d turned around and seen a set of eyes that seemed to draw her in, her last conscious thought had been oh no, not again. Continue reading

Funerary Rites 29: Service

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It took them another fifteen minutes to calm Chitter down that time, during which the tea and coffee – and Chitter’s soda – arrived. The maid bringing the drinks made things either better or much worse by looking Chitter in the eye and apologizing for being late. “I had to feed the moat creature, you see.”

“Moat creature! Moat Creature! Wait…”

Five minutes later, Senga had managed to convince Chitter that there was no invisible moat and no moat creature. Five minutes after that, with Candavish’s amused help, they’d managed to calm her down.

“Honestly. You could have just told me that you were kidding,” she huffed.

“I believe I did. Twelve minutes ago. Although-” Continue reading

“I Feel Like Killing the Tzar”

The Oalderapo had a tradition:  If you indicated your intentions and nobody stopped you, you were free of any repercussions for those actions, unless the entire town suffered with you.

Over time, this had evolved: one could not, normally, simply say “I feel like killing the tzar” and have nobody stop you, but one could paint a very clear picture of one’s self killing said tzar and then wait twenty-four hours.

That had only happened once.

The next tzar had banned literal representations of crimes in paintings, sculptures, or drawings.

Three tzars later, interpretive dance and poetry of criminal act were banned.

One could go back to saying “I feel like killing the tzar tomorrow;” one could try to say it very sarcastically. One could write allegory, or plays.

Or one could run with idiom.  For instance: Most ships where an Oalderapaline served had a ship painted on the starboard deck and a broom painted on the port.  One could indicate by a simple game of hopscotch if one planned to jump ship or jump broom.

On the ship Epalanano, named for the tzar who had banned paintings, there was also a drawing of a grave, a nice one, and a piece of chalk, although the current Tzar’s name had taken up near-permanent residence.

Today, there was quite a bit of dancing.


Written to October 4th’s Thimbleful Thursday Prompt: https://thimblefulthursday.wordpress.com/2018/10/04/thimbleful-thursday-prompt-54/ 

Hidden Mall 42: Rescued

The walkway dropped, stopped, and shifted.  Abby grabbed tightly to both sides of the walkway and started moving as quickly as her rocky footing would allow.  “Hurry,” she gasped. “¡Arriba, Arriba! ¡Ándale, Ándale!”

That was not going to help, but it was all she could think of at the moment.  She pitched herself off the walkway and onto another square, this one seeming much sturdier.  As soon as she landed, she scrambled to get out of the way for her friends and hauled herself to her feet.

Liv was off the falling bridge; Liv was almost there.  She lept, turned, and grabbed Vic, catching the last girl as she leapt from the dropping walkway.

“We.”  Abby panted. “Need.”

“-to get out of here,” Liv finished.  “Hey, we found the map.” Continue reading

Haunted House 27 – Turnabout

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

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Mélanie caught her breath as the two horses provided the distraction she so badly needed. Bless these beasts. She spat out the Workings she needed as quietly as she had ever managed to speak and as quickly as she’d ever strung words together, the sounds of the two brutes shouting at the horses and the sounds of the jangling harness covering over not one but five Workings.

She leaned against the side of the horse nearer her, hoping that he wouldn’t get annoyed and push her off.  Her light-footed Working was starting to fail her. She had to get back into the wagon or be left behind. And her invisibility Working was probably in need of some touching up, too. Continue reading

Running in the Bear Empire 24 – the Bear

First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: Revelations in the Bear Empire

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Deline spent a few minutes focusing on her breakfast.  The bread was actually quite good; she’d have to remember to mention the place to other Claws who happened to be in this corner of the Empire.  Assuming, of course, that the man didn’t sell them out to the bounty hunters.

Carrone was hung up on false pretenses and she wasn’t about to kill someone just to prove to him that she was, as a matter of fact, willing to kill.  So there was no point in arguing that with him.

The cheese was good, too, and the sausage was actually very nice.  She sipped water from her canteen and considered him.

“I don’t expect you to like it,” she said, when her mouth was empty.  “That’s never been a requirement. I don’t think you’d like being dead, either, or being actually enslaved.”

“What do you call this?”  He shook his cuffed wrist at her.  “Seriously? I can’t go against your orders!”

“I call it being bound into the Bear.  Being tied to the totem. Being my unwilling companion.  If you were my slave, you’d be wearing a collar and shackles and be doing a lot more work,” she added dryly.  “So far, mostly you’ve just had to walk a lot.”

“And save your life a couple times,” he added.   Continue reading

Funerary Rites 28: Catching Up

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It took half an hour to get everyone settled down.  When Senga managed to get Candavish and Erramun to stop sizing each other up, got Allayne to stop fussing over the staff’s uniforms, which, it appeared, had a fashion of their own, got Ezer to stop whining and acting like his head was going to explode, and got Chitter to stop looking for trap doors from which the staff could have arrived – all of this while trying to ignore her own pounding heart and the confused twist in her chest – she sat down with a thump in the Casual Lounge.

“I…  Okay. Candavish, Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Collier, please come sit with us.  Could, ah, someone get me some coffee? Coffee, everyone?”

Her crew were looking at her like she’d grown a second head.  “Okay, Allayne will have black tea with a hint of mint, if we have it.  Ezer drinks his coffee with enough cream and sugar to bring it to beige caramel.  I drink mine black with one ice cube. Chitter likes soda; if you don’t have that, she’ll have water.  Erramun?”

He looked surprised she was asking his opinion. “Black tea,” he managed.

“Black tea.  Thank you.”

One of the younger maids – younger than her! – scurried off. Continue reading