For Friendly Anonymous’ prompt.
Passiansi was going home for the summer, which was just about forever in pixie years, but her mother had insisted, and her father had shaken his fist, and that had been it; Passiansi was packed up and shipped out Home.
Never mind that she had been born in the Big City and lived her whole life in Smokey Knoll, and her parents and their parents before them; never mind that “Home” hadn’t been home for their line of pixies in fifty years or more, sometime around their fifth birthday, the summer before they were officially adults, the family decreed that every young pixie had to visit Home, the pixie city down in the southlands.
The twelve-hour bus ride – the bus driver seemed uncertain about having a pixie on the greyhound, but shrugged and took her full-price ticket. “You paid for a full seat, you get it,” the rotund human – or maybe an ogre – had declared, and Passiansi had rode the twelve-hour drive in absolute luxury – dropped her off at an elaborate gate, huge by pixie standards but, to a girl who’d gone to a human school her whole life, not all that impressive. It wasn’t even as big as the school doors.
But it was where she was going, so she flew through it. So this was Home, then? Tiny, with aspirations to some sort of Big-ness? Hidden off the side of the highway where humans wouldn’t even notice it? A doorway between two stone walls?
She hit the shimmering line of the glamour, and was knocked backwards, nearly falling back out of the doorway. “Woah.” She hovered in place, trying to take it all in. It was a carnival and a madhouse and an explosion all rolled up into one, the buildings climbing up into the sky, stacked on top of each other like Christmas presents, the roadways sometimes just tunnels, sometimes nearly as broad as a human street. And in the streets, in little floating carts – how did they get them to float?! Were they hanging from wires? How did it all work – were pixies of every color selling what looked like just about everything.
Passiansi felt for the pocket-full of pixie cash her grandmother had handed her. “You’ll need this to get down the rue-rue,” she’d told her. “Save the rest for later.” Feeling its hard jingle, seeing the thousand beautiful carts, Passi was sure it wouldn’t be weighing her down long.
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I’m pretty sure I know what race(s) mom and dad are, and will reveal it… later
“I’ve been thinking of having another child.”
Andromeda dropped that over breakfast, while their three kids were distracted with the busy work of devouring calories for the day and elbowing each other out of their personal spaces. Her husband studied her, eyes half-lidded, cautious.
It was a trueism that every child was a blessing, but in a mixed-race family, where having a child required magical intervention and a very very careful laying-in time, it was nothing to take lightly. The second of their three had nearly killed her in the second trimester. But now all three were in school, and she was getting broody again.
Alon, whose people did not, generally, mate for life, was more than a little uncertain what to do with his wife’s seemingly insatiable need for children. But over the breakfast table was not the time to discuss it. “Talk to your mother about finding an egg shell, then?” he offered, “if you’re sure….”
“I’m not,” she admitted. “Aloysius, stop bolting your… what are you eating?”
“Grilled oats with steak?” Their oldest looked up from his meal, grinning ear to ear with teeth that had come in sharp as needles. “Coach says I need to gain some weight if I’m going to wrestle.”
“Are they making up a class for you?” his younger sister taunted. “Scrawny nags who bite?”
“Take it back, Anna!” He poked her in the second set of ribs. “Take it back!”
Andromeda sighed, and met her husband’s eyes. “Really not certain,” she repeated, even as she reached out her third arm to tug their older children away from each other. “No biting at the table, kids.” She tugged Agnella to the other side of her. “It’s the clutching instinct, I’m afraid.”
Alon picked up their youngest bodily before he could bite his brother’s foreleg, and held Afram upside down, four legs waving wildly, a hoof nearly missing his father’s chin. “Maybe we could… get a dog?”
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This is for @skysailor99’s prompt in my call for prompts: Make up a gender and have a character’s partner learn to understand it.
I’ve never made up a gender before, so I mad-libbed from friends on Twitter nouns, adverbs, adjectives, and, thank you barbary, a gender name:
This is in the Dragons Next Door setting, but NOT the narrator family or the smiths. Elkin were going to be elf-kin, but I liked the typo better.
I think it’s fair that I thought Farnah was male.
He was – pardon, zad was – the first elkin I’d had any real experience with, and he – zad – had, when naked, something that really looked like a penis. And functioned like one, as well, or at least close enough. Elkin are far enough from human that I didn’t worry about babies (it takes magic, a stork, and the remnants of a dragon egg to make an elkin-human cross), so I didn’t think, all that much, about the fact that zad didn’t have testes. I aways thought they looked silly on human males, anyway.
We had been together for several months when zad finally explained to me – after the age-old argument about toilet seats, no less, that zad was not male. Zad was hagadab, and, it turned out, the elkin have seven genders.
I, personally, sometimes thought two was more than enough, but I really, really liked Farnah, still do, and so I tried to learn more about my lover and zas gender.
They tend to be sloppy, I learned that first, but only in the nest. In the field, they are meticulous (I already knew this about Farnah. We worked, often, side-by-side, and spent most of our time in my apartment.) They like high spaces (the elkin are, after all, naturally alpine), and, it turns out, are the reason for the kendar myth. Already things I already knew about Farnah; shorter than me by half a foot, zad had picked the tallest chair in my apartment as zas and stacked pillows on it to make it taller.
The hardest part, as we adjusted to our cross-species romance, turned out in the end to be the easiest. The hagadab are the providers of the elkin family group; they hunt, they gather, they bring home Things. Zad didn’t mind that I earned money, but me bringing home things made my poor Farnah bristle every time.
I never liked grocery shopping that much, anyway.
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