Tag Archive | library

Vocabulary Fic: Sedulous

I took this vocabulary test, and was, being me, a bit miffed at the words I didn’t know. But I wrote them down, so I have a new word-a-day for the next month!

Today’s word is sedulous:
1: involving or accomplished with careful perseverance
2: diligent in application or pursuit

Origin of SEDULOUS
Latin sedulus, from sedulo sincerely, diligently, from sed-, se without + dolus guile — more at suicide
First Known Use: 1540


So, taking off from our earlier story

One of Cash’s teachers at the Tower had called him “sedulous,” which had annoyed him until he’d found the dictionary section of the library. He wasn’t a quick learner, but he was dogged, stubbornly sticking to a subject until he’d mastered it.

Warfare had not been a subject that had particularly interested him…

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Breaking In

haikujaguar has begun a writing challenge for her Words of the Day: take the four from Mon-Thurs, and work them into a paragraph/story/poem/etc.

This is mine, for the words lenity, cerement, yataghan and adamant. I meant to make it funny, in contrast to the stories that kept wanting to come out of swords and grave-wrappers. I think the words weighted it on me.

“Hey, Cash, what’s this say?” Anemone jabbed a finger at the metal placard on the broken case.

“Yataghan,” Cassius read, “a Turkish saber found in…”

“Cash! What’s this?”

Of the eight, Cassius was the only one whose parents had paid for his schooling at the Tower, and thus the only one who could read with any skill. This old building they’d found, half-buried under the rubble of another one, the gate buckled open just enough for a skinny teen, had him running all over the place, translating for his friends.

He jogged to the other side of the room, staring at the rotted linen Roma was yanking on. “Holies, Rom, don’t do that. That’s…” He peered at the plaque for the correct word. “That’s a gravecloth,” he temporized, “a cerement.” He braced for Roma’s helpful…

“It ain’t cement.”

“Cerement,” he repeated. “They wrapped it around the body. The dead body.”

“Oh!” Finally getting the point, the bigger boy dropped the length of cloth.

“Ca-a-sh!” That was Ona and Ursa in concert, the way they often were. They had no lenity in them, no forgiveness if they were ignored. He jogged down the buckled and cracked floor towards the twins, Roma following him, wiping his hands on his pants and asking questions.

“What is this place, Cash? Some sort of place like the Tower, a Library? What’s with all the broken glass?”

Cassius skidded to a halt by the girls, Roma stopping abruptly behind him. “No,” he said, ignoring the quaver in his voice and the doom his friends would bring down on him for arguing. “No.” He made his voice hard, adamant, even as he backed away from the artifact. “No, it’s…”

“Cash,” Ona snapped. “Read it for us!”

He didn’t need to. He recognized it from the books, from the ones in the room labeled “Never Again.” He didn’t think, here, in the open like this, it could hurt them. Then again, vandals had broken every other case, stolen anything of use, except this, still sealed in its glass.

“It says ‘death,’” he snapped.

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Ants, Grasshoppers, Magpies.

From dailyprompt: “The future is now,” misc. post-apoc, well, apoc, the same setting and Foundation as The Cathedral (LJ Link) but some time earlier and from a different POV.

The future is now. We spent our whole lives, as our parents and grandparents and so on did, planning for the future, building the world around us as best we could, “giving back to the community,” the way people would have said a year or two ago, building up our own fortunes only to carry others along with us, in the best tradition of charity and, at the same time, in the best paths of cleaning up your own backyard first. That is: we made sure we were well off, that our neighbors were comfortable, that those in our town weren’t going hungry, and that those in our county did not starve.

And amid all that nest-feathering, we put away for a rainy day, planned for a dry season, put a little of our wealth aside in jars in the back yard and boxes under the mattress; we squirreled away supplies and never threw anything at all out that we or our descendants might use.

We were the world’s biggest pack rats, saving everything we could get our paws on in case of a long, cold winter.

And now? Now we’ve reached that winter. We’ve come to that point we were reaching for, our family, our Foundation, our mandate. And here I am, ankle deep in paperwork while outside our gates, our neighbors risk starving. And the biggest argument I’m having with the rest of the family?

Not how much should we share?. That would make sense. But can we dig into the supplies now, so that we have something to share with those who have not saved?

Ants, grasshoppers, snakes and scorpions. We talk about animals, but no-one is brave enough to say magpie while we cling to our shiny things, merely because they’re shiny.

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