Tag Archive | nila

Home Sweet Home

Written to Anke’s tweeted prompt: “building a shelter in the wilderness”.

This follows:Leaving Town, A New Flower, and Outnumbered. I don’t write about these guys very often <.<

Despite being Fae Apoc, no warnings apply.


The four of them had been walking for a while. To hear Nila’s son Allan tell it, they had been walking forever. Finally, they had come into the mountains proper, into places which had been, before the war, relatively uninhabited.

It had been over four days since they could see the city at all, and longer than that since they could hear it. They were moving slowly, but they were moving, and after the first attackers, people were, for the most part, leaving them alone. Perhaps it showed, on their faces, that they’d stand for no threat to the children. Perhaps they just looked too poor to bother. Nila wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth.

She was, however, done walking. She led her little crew – she was carrying Allan right now, and her companion Tros was carrying her infant daughter Susan – off the narrow road and down an overgrown driveway. Nobody had come down here, from the looks of things, in at least a decade. They could camp here, and see what they could find.

What they found was two walls of an old stone house and a chimney, the rest of the house having fallen to the ground. Said ground was littered with the old rocks, but the surviving walls would make a nice wind break. It was going to be getting cold soon, after all. And from that… from that, maybe they could build a proper house.

There was an old car rotting to the side of the small clearing, and a half-collapsed well house. Nila leaned against the wall and smiled. “Home sweet home. Or, at least, it will be.”

She popped her pop-up tent up in the lee of the walls while Allan got to work picking up small stones and Tros scavenged for firewood. Their tent was a bit worse for wear after the days on the road – and a couple attacks – but it was still better than nothing. If it rained – and it looked like it would – they’d need more.

She got Allan picking up pine boughs instead of rocks while she cut long sticks from the surrounding trees. She still had some rope in her pack, enough to work as lashing. The sun was setting by the time she was done, but by the time it kissed the horizon, they had a roof over their little shelter and Tros had a roaring fire going in the pit he and Allan had made.

“Home sweet home?” he asked, softly, when both kids were tucked away in the tent, fast asleep.

“Well.” She looked at the rough roof. “It needs two more walls and a proper roof. But then it would be ours.”

“Ours?” He was supposed to be passing through, watching them for ten days in return for the healing Nila had done for him. But she watched him rolling over the word in his mind. “Yeah. We could make it ours.”

If you want more, I’m sure I can manage more of this one! Just drop me a tip.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/941546.html. You can comment here or there.


To [personal profile] eseme‘s prompt to my January orig-fic card. This fills the “Outnumbered” slot.

Nila, Tros, Allan and Susan are part of my Fae Apoc setting; its landing page is here.

They’ve shown up in Hey you Kids get off my lawn!, Leaving Town, A New Flower

“Asset count.” Nila stepped back against the cliff, putting her children behind her.

“We have a cliff,” Allan offered. “And you have your spear and your gun and Tros has his sword and knife. And I have a stick.”

“Good, kiddo. And they have -”

“Twelve people and a truck.”

“Very good. Now, can you see anyplace for you and your sister to hide?”

“There’s this little cave back here.”

“Atta boy. Take Susan, there you go.” She made sure her kids were wiggled into the cave, then looked over at Tros. “Well.”

“I promised to help protect your kids and watch your back. These people don’t look like they’ll be nice to your kids.” He was trying to sound brave, but she could see the way his knuckles were turning white as he gripped his sword.

“This wasn’t in the deal. I’ll release you from your promise, if you want.”

“No.” His retort was sharp. “I promised. And you healed me. So… what’ve we got?”

“A cliff, a sword, and two small children. And they’re coming.”

“Right. Back against the cave and here we go.” She started chanting. When in doubt, her Mentor had taught her, hit them as hard as you could before they knew you had a fist.

Nila was a healer and a gardener; Tros was a wood- and stone-worker, an artist. Neither of them had trained primarily in combat. The team in front of them looked paramilitary, headed by someone who wasn’t bothering to Mask, and with two other obvious fae in the team.

Healers could do some pretty terrifying things with bodies, and with two people Working wood in their group, they had quite a bit of control of the fae-poisons of hawthorn and rowan.

The hedge grew up around their attackers in a split second, and kept growing, taller and tighter and most of all thornier. Blood spurting from the attackers fed the hedge, which only grew hungrier.

It didn’t stop them all, of course, and more seemed to keep coming, attack after attack. But Tros was better with the sword than Nila had expected, and she was getting very good at cutting the enemy’s feet out from under them.

“You cheat.” The soldier was missing half of his body, but it didn’t stop him from fighting. Nila danced out of his way and poked at him with Allan’s stick.

“We were outnumbered six to one. Now… we’re not.”


This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/668520.html. You can comment here or there.

A New Flower

For Friendly Anon’s prompt.

Fae Apoc has a landing page here.

This comes after Hey you Kids get off my lawn! and Leaving Town.

Tros had a feeling she wasn’t the sort of girl you brought roses and wine for, and besides, there wasn’t any place around here to buy wine, or roses.

So he settled for helping Nila with everything he could, scouting ahead, scrounging for food, making sure when he brought down game, he gutted it out of her daughter’s line of sight.

It was puppy love, he knew. His Mentor had, more than once, accused him of that, scolding him for the attention it took from more serious matters.

But his Mentor was not here, and, it seemed to Tros, Nila was pretty much the most serious matter there was right now. She’d promised to heal him and keep him fed in return for his service; therefore, his service was the most important thing in his life for the ten days he’d pledged her.

Comfortably justified in his obsession, he spent his evening watch carving tokens from deer antler: a bunny for Susan, a small saber for Allan, and, for Nila…

That took more thought, and more time. Not wine and roses, certainly. He was unsure if, despite her two children, the girl had ever been romanced. She didn’t seem to look at him as a man, other than in that “another warrior to guard the camp” sort of way. If it hadn’t been for the kids, he would have guessed lesbian, or, like his former crewmate, just-not-interested.

The kids meant he might have a chance. So her carved her a flower, following the patterns of her ears and her markings, a Nila-flower from the remains of his kill.

Looking at it in the dim moonlight, he had to smile. That, that seemed like the perfect gift for this fucked-up new world of theirs.

Note: The views expressed by the narrator are his and his alone and are not necessarily endorsed by the writer

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/292620.html. You can comment here or there.

Leaving Town

For the 30 Days Meme Second Semester, for the prompt “23) write a scene that takes place in a place that is war-torn”
From dailyprompt: “highway” and “that awkward moment when…”

Set in Faerie Apocalypse.  You can find Nila also in Hey you Kids get off my lawn!


The city lay in ruins. Nila didn’t know when, if ever, Michael was coming home. Power had gone out a week ago, and the looters had come through the neighborhood like locusts. She’d held them off when she could, hid with the children when she knew she couldn’t, but it was time to leave.

She settled Susan in her Kevlar sling and from there into her car seat, and made sure Allan’s backpack was balanced and light enough, taking the far heavier pack for herself. She checked all of her weapons and both of Allan’s, stared for a while at the note to Michael, and led her children out of their home.

The highways were buckled and bent, twisted like a ribbon in ways that would be unbelievable, if you didn’t know that god-monsters walked the earth now. Nila took the back roads near there, keeping an eye on the gas gauge. If she’d planned this right – yes. The car ran out of gas just as they reached the edge of the worst devastation, past the mobs and the crazy people, past the banks of less fuel-efficient cars and the toll-takers.

She settled Susan on her back and held Allan’s hand with her left, and sited a path south. South, she’d heard, the devastation was less complete. South, the winter would be warmer and more survivable.

She focused on the path in front of her, on her children, and tried to ignore the ruins around them that had been home.


They had been walking now for three days. They had to take it slow; Allan was sturdy for his age, but he still tired easily, and Nila couldn’t carry him, not and Susan, too. The kids were taking it like champs, but she could tell, as the sun began to inch downwards, that it was time to stop.

She was focused on the children, ignoring her training in a way that would have horrified her former Mentor, ignoring the surroundings, when they rounded a bend in the long country road and found it blocked.

There was a long awkward moment when she stared at the man-creature and he stared back at them. “Creature” because he was clearly not entirely human, “man,” because the part of him that was looked like a boy in his mid-twenties. “Awkward…” because the thing was clearly trying to decide if they were a threat. Them, a twenty-two year old girl and her two young children. She took a long look over him, cataloguing his injuries, noting that he wasn’t Masking the things that marked him as inhuman – or perhaps no longer had the energy to?

His doglike ears canted in her direction, and she dropped her own Mask, letting him see the flower-like patterns that swirled across her skin, and the blue “petals” of her ears. “We just want to pass,” she told him carefully.

He stepped out of the way awkwardly. “I won’t stop you.” From the way he was swaying, he couldn’t if he wanted to.

Nila sighed, and set her pack down. “Swear you mean me and mine no harm.”

The List:
1a) the story starts with the words “It’s going down.” (LJ Link)
1b) the story starts with the words “It’s going down.” (LJ Link)
2) write a scene that takes place in a train station.
3) the story must involve a goblet and a set of three [somethings]
4) prompt: one for the road
5) write a story using an imaginary color
6) write the pitch for a new Final Fantasy styled RPG (LJ Link)
7) prompt: frigid (LJ Link)
8) write a scene in the middle of a novel called “The Long, Dirty Afterwards” (LJ)
9) prompt: mourning dead gods (LJ)
10) write a story set in three different time periods. (LJ)
11) Write a movie trailer style trailer for a story, existing or not-yet-written. (LJ)
12) prompt: sweet iced tea (LJ)
13) re-write a story that everyone knows (LJ)
14) write a vanilla story dealing with kinky subject matter (LJ)
5) prompt: ascension (LJ)
16) write a scene that takes place at the end of a long road trip. (LJ)
17) write an uncomfortable story (LJ)
18) prompt: a step too far (LJ
19) write a story in which something goes BOOM. )LJ)
20) Write the end of the story ‘The Purple Bag. (LJ)
21) Roll a d20 twice. Combine the themes of the two previous stories for those numbers. (LJ)
22) Prompt: White Knight (LJ)
23) write a scene that takes place in a place that is war-torn

15 minute ficlet: Hey you Kids get off my lawn!

Originally posted here in response (well, it was supposed to be in response) to the prompt: “The fight’s begun, but not yet won / And I won’t become one more casualty.”

Fae Apoc, Apoc era.

There was a wounded godling in Nila’s back yard. This close to the city, you got the fights overhead sometimes, the wild aerial battles that looked like something out of a pre-gods movie. Sometimes you got debris falling nearby, telephone poles in the road, the occasional falling corpse or near-corpse, so Nila always kept the kids inside, just like when they’d lived out in tornado country. The way she figured it, godling fights came somewhere between act-of-god and natural disaster. You didn’t get in the way, you just tried to ride it out and clean up the damages afterwards.

But now the damn thing was flopped over like a dying fish, half in her carefully-tended koi pond, half in the flower garden that bordered it. Its wing was torn half-off, and it was bleeding into the pond and twitching, making more damage with every spasm.

“Damnit,” she muttered, peeking out between the shutters at it. “Get up, move on. Get off my yard.” But it wasn’t getting up. If whoever it had been fighting came down here to finish it off, there was going to be a giant battle in her backyard, and her garden would be torn to shreds. She needed the damn godling out of there before it was found.

She grabbed her weapons from the cabinet, sheathed them all except the broom, and shrugged into the reinforced leather biker-jacket. It had been a gift on her eighteenth birthday (that and a Kevlar baby sling); it looked like bravado rather than armor and could stop a bullet and slow down a small godling. This monster looked down and out, but she’d learned before the gods came back never to think that a wounded animal wasn’t dangerous.

She strode out to the pond, ignoring the old ache in her left hip and walking like she owned the place (since, after all, she did). “You,” she said firmly, when she was within easy earshot. “Out of my pond.”

It twisted, its broken wing flapping pitifully, and stared at her, a skinny girl carrying a broom. “Human,” it hissed. He hissed; up close, the thing was clearly male, and, if the part of him not covered in blood was any indication, not all that bad looking.

“Close, but no cigar.” She poked him in an open wound with the rowan broomstick, and was gratified by its hiss of pain.

“What do you want, little human,” he grumbled, shying away from the wood that was poison to his kind. His left ankle was twisted badly, and there was a bone sticking out of his right leg.

“Get out of my pond,” she reiterated.

He barked a laugh at her. “You are in the presence of a god and you worry about your fish?”

“I am in the presence of a fucked-up elf-fairy-alien, and it’s my goddamned yard. Get out of my pond or I’ll move you.”

“Little human…” Whatever else he’d planned to say was cut off by a rowan broomstick to the mouth. Nila played baseball on the weekend to keep her swing in shape; he toppled back into the pool, grabbing at his jaw.

“I keep telling you…” She grabbed his less-injured leg above the twisted ankle and dragged him out of her pond, trying to damage the flower bed as little as possible. “I’m not human.”

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/41291.html. You can comment here or there.