Tag Archive | giraffecall: august2017


Written to kelkyag‘s prompt.


The pay at the Lab was really good, and the benefits were literally unbelievable.

Jess reminded herself of that whenever she started feeling like she needed a Henchman t-shirt or an old lion-tamer’s whip and chair.   She had two kids of her own and a niece at home; the Lab gave them a place to live that was probably the most secure three-bedroom house on the planet, had a top-notch school, and paid Jess enough that she could take them all on a really good vacation every year.

Which she needed, because right now she was supervising a slap-fight between two interns who just happened to be handling vials of what she thought was probably a neurotoxin.  Continue reading

Swift of Hands

Written to sauergeek‘s prompt, in a ‘verse that I just created.  


Defekisal was running.

This was not an actually common experience in Kisal’s life, because when you did things right, you didn’t have to run.

But luck had not been with Kisal today, and so it was time for pounding sandals on flagstones and the terrifying feeling when fingers almost caught on the back of a tunic.

There was another tunic under that one, just in case, but it was a blow to pride to get caught, on top of the ridiculous pride-ding for getting made in the first place.

Kisal skidded under a fence.  If they ever fixed that fence… but the fence-owner was a Sister and wouldn’t repair it unless the Guard or the Magistrate forced her to.  Which they might; Kisal had to remember not to run this way again for a while, and tell Podefemide to avoid it too.  Femie got made a lot more often than Kisal.  Something about the way she looked at people; she couldn’t quite hide the challenge in her eyes.

The fence wouldn’t hold the guards for more than a couple seconds, but that was all Kisal ought to need.  She grabbed a rain-gutter at just the right spot and swung herself upwards.  There was more than one reason to stay slender and keep in good shape, and throwing oneself bodily up onto a shed roof was one of the best.  She slid down the steep roof, caught the flagpole, and hurled herself over the next fence.

Her shoulders ached, but she was nearly away now.  She ducked into the nearest temple – a lowercase-T temple, the sort that were safe but only allowed on suffrage by the big-T temples – and dropped the outer tunic into the donation bin it had come from.  The rag tied over her hair became a belt that looked far nicer when turned inside out, and a wash at the charity fountain cleaned the dirt and make-up off of her face.

The back door of the temple held a selection of scarves; she dropped three gold walek in the bin and wrapped one around her waist as a skirt, the other around her head for a pretense at modesty.

She meandered down the road, stopping at a vendor to buy a posod-fruit and pass on a message.  The Guard hurried by her, never even noticing her.

Kisal picked up another old tunic at the next temple down the road and went back to work.

Want More?


Written to an anonymous prompt, with nods to kelkyag’s prompt.


“Evangeline, what is WRONG with your sugar?”

There were too many people in Eva’s kitchen.

“Aunt Eva, where do you keep your star anise?”

“What do you need star anise for, Bellamy Jane?”

“Her middle name isn’t Jane…” Continue reading

Find Me?

Written to kelkyag‘s prompt


She had a lot of earth to work with.

Estella had walked half a day in each direction and not seen another living human.

She’d found more than a few who weren’t alive anymore, and done what she could for them as she went, wondering all the while why she had been left alive when nobody else seemed to have.

The radio made static and sometimes a whimper, but nothing she could consider company.  The power was still running, more or less, but the TV was showing Please Standby on all stations and the internet – well, it was there, but she found only bots on twitter and only advertisements on Facebook.  Reddit was a ghost town. Imgur’s last photos were of The Event – dozens, hundreds of photos, and then nothing.  Not even a downvote.  Continue reading


Two takes on sauergeek‘s prompt, and continuing to work out the kinks in cross-posting


None of the plants in Addergoole’s grotto were, technically, toxic.  That is, they might cause you to have convulsions, visions, insomnia, narcolepsy, or possibly just a warm and fuzzy feeling, but they would not kill you — or, at least, they wouldn’t kill an ordinary human or Ellehemaei child.  Some of the Changes, normal air would kill them, and Valentina could not speak for her plant life in those cases.

She enjoyed encouraging experimentation and enjoyed more watching the results of the experimentation.  After all, every plant in the grotto was the result of“hey, what happens if…?” — Hers and Laurel Valerian’s, mostly, although students other staff had put in their ideas from time to time.  Isabella Even-hand in the kitchen had the most brilliant ideas.  Most of her plants lived up in the orchard or the sunlight gardens, but there were a couple, including the Angry Peach, that deserved their place in the grotto — and made the most aggressive desserts.

“Hey.”  One spikey-haired first-year student flopped down on the soft moss next to another first-year, lanky and dark-clad and serious-looking.  “Have you tried chewing on the purple leaves?  They make sort of a tingling feeling, and then you just don’t feel anything at all for a while.”

Emotional numbness, Valentina wrote, in her unseen perch up in a prickly-pear tree. She’d been growing the purple-leafed plant for its bark and the bast fibers in its stem.

“Don’t feel anything at all?  Sounds better than those yellow berries.  Give it here.”

Long-term effects?  She’d have to keep an eye on these two.

🥗 Continue reading


Written to clare_dragonfly‘s prompt.

Caroline’s adviser liked to leave her notes.

She almost never saw Dr. Comey. There was the big lecture on Mondays and the team meeting on Wednesdays, of course, and then sometimes there was the all-department meetings, which Dr. Comey sometimes deigned to attend, but the Dr. – who was so old the legend said that when they’d rebuilt the faculty wing of Ivy Hall, they’d just picked up Dr. Comey’s office and built the new building around it – preferred to work in late nights and early mornings, and Caroline’s schedule was such that she worked in the lab generally late mornings and late afternoons.

But Dr. Comey would leave her notes: combine experiment A with experiment B. Note results. Ask Sally to enter request for life test subjects again.

All Dr. Comey’s administrative help were “Sally.” The current one – Crystal – confided that they took it like a title, “Current Sally for Dr. Comey,” and took no offense from it.
Continue reading