Tag Archive | giraffecall: micro

♪When the dog bites, when the bee stings…♫

A very small continuation of ♪Brown Paper Packages♫ and …Tied up with String.

It’s Addergoole, so all AG warnings apply. Suggestions of [former abuse] (highlight for spoilers, if those count in a 125-word ficlet).

Ackelea walked around the boy twice. He was vaguely familiar – she hadn’t been hunting this year, so she hadn’t spent that much time looking at the younger students. He was pretty rather than handsome, beardless, his black hair braided and twisted into a bun at the base of his neck.

He had scars, she noted. Scars on his neck, scars on his wrists. She walked around hi a third time and he stayed entirely in pose, but he was trembling.

“All fours,” she ordered lazily, just to see what he would do. Without hesitation, he shifted position. He had scars on the back of his thighs, too.

“Sit comfortably.” She fell into a cross-legged seat in front of him, never mind the kilt. “Tell me something about yourself, my dear.”

Tip Package 😉

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Giraffe Call Summary

This month, rather than a single prompt, I had several small prompts.

I don’t think it worked as well as a single prompt, and probably won’t try this again.

I do not think I had any new prompters (If I am wrong, please let me know), and the call earned $25 – enough for T. & I to get take-out this weekend!

MicroPrompt One: Mushrooms
Wise Mushroom (Fairy Town)
Trip-Tripping through the Apoc (Fae Apoc)

Fairy Rings (Fae Post-Apoc)
Fairy Ring Shortcuts (Fae Post-Apoc)
Terroir (Fae Post-Apoc)

MicroPrompt Two: Circles
Like Wolves (fae post-apoc)
Artist Wanted (Planners)
What Comes Around (Addergoole)
Oh, No, Not Again (fanfic)

MicroPrompt Three: Packages
Brown paper packages… ♪♫ (Addergoole)
Itty Bitty Package

MicroPrompt Four: Variant
The Three of Guldenton
Take Me, Unicorn/Factory
A Game (Space/Colony)
In a Fashion, Science!

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Take Me, a ficlet of Unicorn/Factory for the giraffe call

I asked for prompts regarding Variants here for The MicroPrompt Giraffe Call. This is written to Ysabet’s Prompt here.

It doesn’t properly have an ending, because I could not make it come to an end.

Content warning – suicidal/depressed thoughts and intentions.

She went down to the river on what her gran called a bad day, a grey-clouds-in-the-sun day. She made herself get dressed because she would have to answer questions if she walked down the path in her shift, and she smiled at the villagers she passed, because they knew, by now, that if she could not smile, that she might need to be stopped, to be coddled, to be chivied back to her room.

Smiling felt like pasting a bright paper flower on funeral greys, but she did it anyway. She had learned how to step through life without touching too much, how to slide through the crowd and not really be seen.

If her Gran had seen her, her Gran might have known. But her Gran had found solace in her own way, and, today at least, did not see.

Kayla was supposed to go down to the river; she had drawn the lot, and her family had four daughter still living, including her. But they had lost Lize to the river the year past, and Kayla, Kayla was bright and smiled like the sunlight, like flowers all over and your name-day dress, and Kayla loved Tobert, with eyes like the sky.

So she went down instead, Jiranne with eyes like a storm and a smile that was never real. She took the back path, moving as fast as she could make her plodding feet go, and she knelt in the mud, staying clear of the altar. You could see the altar from the town square, if you knew where you were looking. They had built it that way, to remind them all of the price.

The unicorn surged from the river like he lived there, like he had been born from its current. He glared at Jiranne, and huffed out air and water droplets.

The ones they didn’t like, they savaged. It would be slow – but it would pay the price whether they liked her or not. “Take me.” One thing she could do right, because even failing would do it. “I am the price for the river, the price for the air. Take me.” She had heard the words every year, every cousin and sister and friend. “Take me, as the price for your works.”

The horn glinted wickedly in the sunlight. The stallion dropped to its knees. Was it supposed to do that? Was it supposed to… “Take me,” she cried. “I am giving myself to you freely. Please…”

The stallion rested its head in her lap, its wicked horn just barely missing her. It whickered, softly, and because there was nothing else to do, she petted its mane.

“Take me?” she whispered. The stallion huffed breath at her in reply.

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A Game, a story for the Giraffe Call

I asked for prompts regarding Variants here for The MicroPrompt Giraffe Call. This is written to Kelkyag’s Prompt here.

Whenever Asata traveled to a new place, she included in her weight allowance a proper set of Chatha pieces. The board was woven cloth, the tokens polymer scrimshaw, and the cards tissue-thin, but she had yet to find a place where it did not pass muster as a Chatha set.

It lived nestled in her always-on bag, next to the first-aid kit, the wrinkle-free change of clothing, the emergency rations, and the treesilk towel-slash-sarong-slash-hijab. And she’d found that, of every item in the little bag, she’d gotten the most use out of the Chatha set.

The game in its core was simple, but nobody – except people like Asata, interstellar anthropological diplomats – played it in its core format. Every town, every colony, every station had their own variation, and every variation told you something about the people playing the game.

In Hosier and Calbranta, none of the pieces were female, and the female cards were replaced – with trees on Hosier and with animals on Calbranta. Landri and Tolmecha did the opposite, replacing male cards with minerals in one case and more females in the other case. Asata’s deck had new cards for every variation she encountered, and her notes on the culture began, each time, with at least four games of Chatha.

And now she was landing on a new colony, a Lost Colony that the Federated Empire was only now re-contacting with. They were not first down, but her team would be the second contact the colony had with the greater space-faring humanity.

And it would begin with a game of Chatha. Asata studied the first-down team’s notes, and got ready to play.

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The Three of Guldenton

I asked for prompts regarding Variants here for The MicroPrompt Giraffe Call. This is written to Rions’s Prompt here.

“You don’t want to go there.”

The vagrant stood at the crossroads, leaning heavily on his staff and turning, slowly, from traveler to traveler.

“You don’t want to go into the mountains.”

“And why not, old man?” He looked weak, and frail; he could not stop them if he wanted to. And yet the travelers waited for his answer. “That is the way to Guldenton, isn’t it?”

“Oh, it’s the way to Guldenton, but you’ll not make it going that way, no.”

“And why not, sir?” One among those travelling had remembered their manners.

“That’s where the triplets live, you see.” The man sat down, spry as a child, cross-legged at the center of the crossroads. “That’s where the three live that caused all the trouble.”

To a body, the travelers sat, forming a ragged half-circle around the old man. None but the child noticed that they stayed, every one of them, on the side of the crossroads away from Guldenton; none but the child noticed that they hadn’t meant to sit down.

“The triplets?” It was not the child that asked. “The triplets, sir?”

“Ah, you have not heard the story yet, I see.” The old man leaned forward, grinning his toothless grin. “The story of the three born to Guldenton gold, the three born on the moonless night, the three born of the storm and the rain and the morning dew.”

They were born, (he continued, and only the child noticed that it had begun to grow cloudy) in the last days of spring on the night of a black moon. Three of them, the first born to the strike of midnight, the second born to the lightning’s blast, and the third to the first rays of sun.

And they were born identical in every feature, their skin dewy and their eyes wide, lovely the way children always are, lovely more than children ought to be.

And yet (and here his voice dropped down low, and only the child noticed that they all ducked, every one of them), yet they were different, so very different in their natures.

“Not done yet!”
Correct, it is not! If you want more – and there is more to be had, I’m certain of it – drop some pennies in the jar.

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Brown paper packages… ♪♫

I asked for prompts regarding Packages here for The MicroPrompt Giraffe Call. This is written to Rix_Scaedu’s Prompt here.

♪♫ Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things… ♫♪

It sounded like her doorbell, if Ackelea had decided on the world’s twee-est doorbell. It sounded like a weird prank for late in the evening the day after Hell Night. It sounded like she ought to open her door, because it had just moved on to

♪♫ Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles… ♫♪

and the Dead Gods alone knew what schnitzel with noodles was supposed to be.

“I’m coming, I’m coming, intercom on, I’m coming.”

♪♫ Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things ♫♪

“Dead things and intercom off blasted gods stop ringing already I’m on my way” She yanked the door open, remembering only then that she was wearing her oldest pair of shorts and her bra, because who visited anyone on the evening after Hell Night?

♪♫ Brown paper packages tied up with strings… ♫♪ The doorbell cut off as she opened her door, which was a small blessing at least.

“Well, that’s a brown paper package,” Ackelea said, mostly to herself. She wasn’t certain the package could hear her. “And it’s definitely tied up with string. Hope it’s not butcher paper, I don’t think that stuff breathes.”

On her doorstep, wrapped up in almost more string than paper, was something the general size and shape of a human being – or a fae – complete with a tag sticking out.

♪♫ …These are a few of my favorite things… ♫♪

Tip Package 😉

♪Tied Up With String♫

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Itty Bitty Package, a story for the Giraffe Call

I asked for prompts regarding Packages here for The MicroPrompt Giraffe Call. This is written to Kunama_Wolf’s Prompt here.

“I’ve got you, I’ve got you.”

Pretza had carried easier things. She had, for one, carried the entire team’s gear up the side of a mountain. She had carried an injured teammate down the side of a mountain. She had once carried a carriage, albeit only for five feet.

She had carried a Edenian tiger “cub” back to its mother – without getting mauled. She had carried Westerosi killer flesh-eating viruses across a lava field. Once, she had carried a bomb through enemy lines, on Narnia, near the Terebinthian front.

All of these things had been easier than this. She was a trained courier; courrying things was what she did. “Easy, easy. You are bouncy, I thought that was just a thing people said.” She adjusted the three layers of Kevlar and wished that the job had been, just this once, not somewhere tropical.

Or that it had come with a bulletproof car. She had never, ever, wanted so badly for her package to not get jostled, and she had carried things that could destroy a planet – if not a solar system – if they were jostled. “Shh, shh. Oh, please, shh. We’re not in safe territory yet.”

She had, once, led three schoolchildren to safety through a mountain range that had no name except Death in any language. That had been nerve-wracking. This, this was harder. “Come on, little one, how about a finger for now? Here, I know it’s not green, but it’ll have to do.”

The Thalassan royalty had paid Pretza very well. They would pay her three times as well if she got her little package across the border and into the Orion Free Territory – well enough that she could, if she chose to, easily retire. If she failed… and Pretza had never failed… they would not need to punish her, because she would already be dead.

“There you go. There you go. Shh, now, that’s a girl. Just a few more miles.”

Next: Courier Duty

Tip Package 😉

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What Comes Around…

I asked for prompts regarding Circles here for The MicroPrompt Giraffe Call. This is written to Rix’s Prompt here and is set in the pre-apoc of my Addergoole ‘verse.

“Yeah, man, I’ll see you tomorrow. Par-ty!” Aluph pumped his fist, hoping he sounded enough like the other guys. Joining a frat may not have been the brightest idea he’d ever had. It might have been one of the dumbest ideas that he’d had, actually, but…

…well, but college was weird after Addergoole. And having a frat around him wasn’t quite the same as a crew – wasn’t anything at all like a crew – but it was something, at least. And the way…

…no, even he couldn’t make the way they treated the girls okay, and he’d had four Kept in three years.

…but he didn’t have to do that part and he could play the role most of the time, when they weren’t drunk or stupid or… well, it hadn’t been his best idea.

But he was a little drunk and a little high and none of that really mattered right now. Although the way the dogs in the area all seemed to be whining was a little distressing and the way the streetlights were all going out was a little too funky for words.

Aluph found himself hurrying a little faster. The frat house was up the top of the hill, which wasn’t fun on a good day, and it was up through some of the creepiest houses, which was sometimes fun but not at two in the morning. And there weren’t that many dogs here but right now they were all over the place, whining and whimpering and getting closer and closer… Aluph was running. He’d left that shit behind with Addergoole. He’d left that shit behind with…

His leg went up in the air before the rest of him, and then he was swinging in mid-air under what had to be the giant maple tree in the creepiest house on the hill. He started to spit out a Working, because fuck that shit, only to find that his throat wouldn’t make sound.

“Well, isn’t this fun.” He knew that voice. How did he know that voice? “So Aluph -” Shit, whoever she was, she knew who he was. This wasn’t a random targeting. “You’ve got two choices.”

This wasn’t going well. Being upside down wasn’t helping Aluph’s fuzzy mental state at all, either. “Choices?” he tried to say. But right, he had no voice.

She knew who he was, and she’d shut off his voice – so she knew what he was, and she was probably something similar. This was really bad. Aluph fought against the rope. Damn. Sober, maybe he could’ve gotten down. But he was a long way from sober.

“You can agree to be mine… or I can leave you for the dogs.” As if on cue, the dogs growled, far closer than the last time he’d heard them. “Your call… but they’re hungry.”

He couldn’t see her – who was she? He knew that voice. He knew that… He nodded his head.

“You’ll agree to be mine?”

He nodded again. The dogs sounded very close; he nodded very quickly.

“All right. Say anything else and it’s the dogs.”

Aluph swallowed. “One year.” His voice was rough, but he could talk. “I’ll be yours for one year.”

Tip Circle 😉

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