Tag Archive | character: summer

Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkin Patch (over a picture of the same)

This story is the first one to my Squish-Squash, Pumpkins and Gourds Prompt Call. Summer, Bishop, and Melinda are part of the Stranded universe and first appeared as a threesome here.

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“So why is it a pumpkin patch and not like a wheat field or a rice paddy?”

Bishop had the front seat. Like normal, Melinda was driving.  She liked to drive, so on short trips, it was normally her. 

Summer was wedged as far up from the back seat as she could without making Melinda uncomfortable.  She’d spent a lot of her childhood in the middle of the backseat, so it wasn’t unusual, just… not really what she’d thought she’d be doing with adulthood. 

There were things about being part of a threesome that didn’t come up in the literature. 

“To make it sound cute? Like you know, it’s the part of the garden, it’s a wee home-town pumpkin patch?”  Melinda hissed at the four-way stop.  “I hate these.  I hate these, nobody does them right… right, it’s my turn now.  It’s my turn now, stop.”

Summer threw a little curse at the car who was ignoring the rules of the all-way stop and a little blessing at the car and at Melinda, who was probably already blessed enough that she ought to be floating.  

Of course, with the way Melinda got when traffic annoyed her, the car ought to be floating, too.  

They made it through unscathed and un-honked-at. 

“I don’t usually like twee things,” Summer admitted.  “Like, orchards, fine.  Like two weeks ago.”  The apple-picking had been great; the hard-cider drinking when they got home had been wonderful, and two weeks of apple desserts had been amazing.  “Orange groves.  Peach…”

“Pits?” Bishop added playfully. 

“I think they’re orchards, too.  We grew up next to peach and apricot trees.  And nectarines.  I can almost taste them…”

“Little late for peaches,” Melinda pointed out.  “When we’re on our way to a pumpkin patch and a maize maze.  Now it’s mmm mulled cider and your mom’s pumpkin pie recipe and your brother’s pumpkin ice cream recipe and… your sister’s…”

“Pumpkin ale.  Or Peyote pumpkin seeds.  Depending on which sister you’re talking about.”

“Pumpkin patches,” Bishop cut it.  “Makes me think of cabbage patches.  And why you don’t find kids in pumpkin patches instead of cabbage patches.”

“It was lime trees in countries that didn’t have cabbages.”  Summer’d done a paper on this last year.  “I think it’s the leaves.  Pumpkins have smaller leaves.  You could fit a kitten or two under one.  But you can’t fit a kid under one.”

“Where did the stork get involved?”  Melinda took a turn at a sharp right.  

“Places where it wasn’t a witch-woman or a woods-nymph.  My mother – some kids down the street, their mother told them that the Old Woods Lady brought the babies, the way her mother had told her, and they came up to Mom and asked her where she got the babies from.”  Summer chuckled.  She was pretty sure she hadn’t told her partners that one, but after five years together, they’d all repeated a few tales. 

“So… Not much chance of finding a baby in the pumpkin patch unless a stork touches down or your Mom comes out of the woods?”

There was an interesting catch in Bishop’s voice.  Summer glanced at him, but he was doing a good job of hiding his expression. He usually did.  They were always too good of actors, all three of them.  

“No, just some jack-o-lanterns.  And then pies, and pumpkin seeds, and mulled cider.”  Summer paused.  “If we’re looking for babies, we’re going to need a different patch.”

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Sunshine & Summertime

Sunshine and Summertime

I was driving home from my writing retreat in August, listening to this song…

The only thing on my agenda is
Beers and sunshine
Bonfires and summertime
Back porch nights in South Carolina
And I started thinking about Summer and… well, she has this power.  How does she use it?
Sumer is a character in my Stranded World Setting.  She is a perpetual student.  Tad here tells us pretty much everything else we need to know about her – i.e, you can read this story without knowing anything about the setting except that it is modern, magic exists, and most people don’t know about it.

“You gotta help me.”

Summer tilted her head at – she was pretty sure she knew his name.  Brad? Chad?

Tad!

“I have to help you?  Really?”

“You gotta help me! Look.”  He lowered his voice to a whisper that probably couldn’t be heard in the next county over.  “I know you do the hoodoo.” Continue reading

Straw Man

Straw Man

For the sake of continuity and the fact that I did say the pandemic existed in this universe, this story is set the year before this.

Summer has been in a relationship with Bishop and Melinda for several years.  This story comes after “Graduation… or not” on Patreon (opened for all to read); this is where they were first introduced as a trio. 

This was prompted in my Bisexual Visibility Day prompt call.

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“Just one party?” Summer coaxed.  “I know you’re both busy, I know everything is a little nuts, but one party?”  

Her partners shared a glance.  Melinda looked over at the pile of books on the coffee table.  Bishop glanced over at his laptop.  They looked back at Summer, raised eyebrows at her, and then, as one, sighed.

“Matched costumes?” Bishop started. 

“-and not the frat parties?” Melinda added. 

“Oh, yeah.  I have some ideas, but you had a couple great ones last year, Bish, and I thought maybe we could try one of those?  I’m taking advanced costuming this semester…”  Summer’s smile was infectious, but the slight uncertainty was heartbreaking. 

Bishop wrapped her in a hug seconds before Melinda did, both of them kissing the top of her head.  “Sum,” he whispered.  “Sum, I promise.  It’s Halloween.  You never have to beg us to go.  No matter how busy I am-“

“-no matter what we’re doing,” Melinda  put in.  “We’ll always be with you for the holidays.  Always.”

“-but I am not being the Scarecrow ever again,” Bishop joked.  “That straw itched.”

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Family Distancing

Why, no, I’m not going through all my settings and seeing how they’d reacting to a pandemic.  I mean, well, maybe a little.  Any you want to see?

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Winter, Autumn, Summer, and Spring.

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“6 p.m. Eastern,” Summer was saying as Autumn logged on.  “You were early, Winter, of course.  Spring’s late, of course.”

“She is on the West Coast,” Winter retorted mildly.  He was wearing his work shirt and tie sans jacket and he’d loosened the tie.  The whole image looked very professional against his home bookshelf, if you ignored the fact that he was holding Tortuga, his half-grown cat, while Myrrh, his ferret, climbed the bookshelf and Dehradun, his kitten, napped on the laptop keyboard. 

Autumn giggled, even though it might not be kind. Of all of them, she’d have expected Summer to be the pet owner, not Winter. 

“She is,” Autumn agreed, “and being on time would disagree with her.  How are you both?” Continue reading

The Summer of Discontent

This is a Summer story and it turned out a little… um.  Not quite dark, but with dark-adjacent bits. While nobody in the story is either depressed nor suicidal, there’s frank discussion of both in the story.

Summer is Autumn’s middle sister; Bishop and Melinda are her partners.  Add first appears here. This story is contemporary with Graduation… or Not

“Summer’s sitting on the roof again.”

Add barely looked up from their homework. Med school was a bitch, and it left them impatient with dramatics of any sort.

“House roof or Bolsch Hall roof?” The house roof was lower but steeper and slicker, being the slate-shingled roof of an old Victorian in Collegetown.

“Bear Hall roof.” Melinda didn’t really have any more time than Add did, or than her partner Bishop did — he was at the library right now — or their other roommate, Carney. But it was her girlfriend, their girlfriend (but Bishop was busy) and something had gone weird with Summer in the last couple semesters. Continue reading

January 2018 Stranded World on Patreon

Hello my friends!  It has been an immensely weird month, but I did post a lot on Patreon.

Below is everything Stranded World I posted in January – some stories, some meta, a little more meta, and some links.  Winter featured heavily this month.  I find that interesting.

Free Posts

Mending Strands
The room felt wrong.  His sisters, Winter thought, might have said that it was creepy or oogy or sick, although sometimes sick was a good thing.

This Guy and Autumn could compare notes…
 5 Tips for Planning (and Surviving) a Mega Road Trip

Talk about a quest. Two years ago, Mikah Meyer set out to become the youngest person to visit all 417 U.S. National Park Service sites. Since then, the 31-year-old…

Metaphor for Stranded World?
There are not really enough pictures out there of strings of light or strings connecting people, so when I’m looking for pictures for Stranded World, I come up with some pretty interesting things.
All right, let’s talk about Summer’s clothes….
Winter’s Clothes
First, two notes:

One:  I think that Winter engages in a combination of actually knowing how to tailor his own clothing and using strand-working to make everything lie Just So, because I do not picture any of the RoundTree siblings particularly rich (Summer might be, eventually, but who knows?) but damn, the man dresses like a million bucks.

Autumn at the Ren Faire
I was playing around a little with Pinterest and Image Search today. 

Here’s some pictures that are pretty close to Autumn’s garb at the Ren Fest, although her costumes are almost always in red, orange, gold, and brown. 

The Stranded World
If you’re new to my settings, you may be wondering what this Stranded World is all about.

So here are a couple worldbuilding reposts talking about the magic of the Stranded world!

Small Town, USA
Autumn spends a lot of time in really small towns.  I mean, some of that is just that’s what she seems to like, but you’d think she’d spend more time in big cities that have big craft festivals, wouldn’t you?  I mean, she’s trying to make enough of a living to pay for the occasional inn or motel or Bed N’ Breakfast room, and those aren’t cheap.

I like small towns.

A long, long time ago
I can still remember how
Maggie’s Ell Jay made me think
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make words sing and dance
And maybe make them think, too, for a while
.♪♫♪

Ahem. 

A long time ago, M.C.A. Hogarth posted something in her LJ about tropes she’d like to see.  One of them – which I have tried more than once to write – was about the young male (it might have been a mage?) recruiting the older female (fighter?)

Everyone gets their inspiration from somewhere; every setting has its seeds in something.Stranded – well, Autumn – came out of the book Blue Highways.

According to Wikipedia, this book came out in 1982.  I don’t think I read it that early at all – I would’ve been six – but someone recommended it to my father, and I read it.  I was probably in my early teens.

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For a portion of every year, Autumn lives out of her van, travelling from Craft Fest to Ren Faire to City Historical Days, selling her art and sometimes solving mysteries.

The first time Byron RoundTree saw the strands, he thought he was tripping.To be fair to By, he had been partaking in some interesting substances for the last forty-eight hours in a mostly-peaceful tribal gathering of people deep in a national park.

Curtains
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Winter wasn’t surprised when he came in to find the new temp crying.

Their job wasn’t the sort of place that lent itself easily to short-term or temporary help, and yet their supervisor, intent on getting caught up on her filing, kept trying.

 

Continue reading

Visible Bisexuality: Stranded World ficlet

This is #BiWeek2016. Today, I’m looking at Stranded World and the sub-setting of Summer’s unnamed college.

See “Still Gay? for an earlier story in this setting featuring the same theme.

Summer’s threesome debuted here; their roommate Addison first appeared here.

Summer and Mellie and Bishop were snuggled on the loveseat, Summer in the middle, the way she so often seemed to be, munching on the homemade popcorn Mellie had just made. Add was curled in the chair, flipping channels idly, their eyes on the trio as much as they were on the screen.

“That,” Bishop called. “Stop there.”

That was an old, old episode of Baywatch. Add raised in eyebrow in Bishop’s direction, squished as he was next to both his girlfriends.

Bishop grinned back at them, entirely unabashed. “Mellie likes to watch the slow-running,” he explained, “and I’m pretty fond of young Hasselhoff.”

“Ah.” Add had a feeling their eyebrows were doing something wriggly. They set the remote down and reached for the chili-and-chocolate-coated popcorn. “Variety is the spice of life, aah?”

“And we do like things spicy,” Summer agreed.

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Leftovers, ficlets of the Stranded World, are available on Patreon for all to read

The story that began with this little series…

The RoundTree Siblings Prepare for Thanksgiving

The Family That Knots Together

A Family Tree

…is completed here on Patreon.

“Your mother is something else.”  Marina glanced at the back seat of WInter’s sensible and spacious sedan, where Mila and Henry were sleeping.  “Your family is… is something else.”

Winter smiled, because he thought it would make her uncomfortable if he frowned.  “Is that a good thing?”… (read on…)

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Leftovers – A Patreon Story

This is the requested continuation of the following stories:

The RoundTree Siblings Prepare for Thanksgiving

The Family That Knots Together

A Family Tree

“Your mother is something else.”  Marina glanced at the back seat of WInter’s sensible and spacious sedan, where Mila and Henry were sleeping.  “Your family is… is something else.”

Winter smiled, because he thought it would make her uncomfortable if he frowned.  “Is that a good thing?” Continue reading

Private Party, a story of Stranded World, now up on Patreon for patrons

The story that began with this little series…

A Wink…
Nothing Could Possib-lie Go Wrong (Summer)
Places One Doesn’t Go (Winter)
At Home (Spring)
Sight and Sense (Autumn)

…is completed here on Patreon.

The man glared at Summer through the tilted fence panel. He wasn’t a pleasant-looking man; he had stringy hair and a weedy beard, a greasy, pallid complexion and notable body odor. But he was an important man, at least at the moment. “This is a private party!”

Summer’s cheeks were flushed and she was just about ready to die. She’d gone through this fence before — with her mother, when she was very young, then later with Winter and Autumn, and later still, all five of them together. She’d stepped a little sideways, and… what had gone wrong this time?

She coughed. “Sir, I’m sorry… (read on…)

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