Yoshi loved his parents, he really did, but sometimes he just needed to get out into the world and get away from them. The same was true of Dáirine, with whom he had a strange sort of on-again, on-again relationship that neither of them quite understood.
To get away, he’d taken to wandering the world — a family trait, it seemed. There was a lot of world out there to see; Yoshi had a feeling that he could travel for a century and not see half of it. But he made a point of checking in every year or so. There was nothing more embarrassing than having your mother appear out of nowhere because you hadn’t remembered to visit.
It was on the way back “home” — to Cloverleaf, which had never been home but was the place his family lived — that Yoshi encountered the little village. It was friendly to a passing stranger, something not all towns would do in this rough age, but their friendliness had a cautious edge to it. Continue reading
The ads weren’t working, and, worse, Richie’s last ad had gotten pulled as being “borderline obscene” — and without a refund.He had tried the newspapers, the online apartment sites, the personals, the dating sites — and all he’d gotten was a sternly worded e-mail from gregslist and a small hole in his budget.For rent: 3-br, 3-bath house, all but 1-br. $5/month, contingent on your willingness to treat me as your slave.
I do not seek an intimate/sexual relationship, but I prefer being under the control of another.
He hadn’t thought it was all that unreasonable. It wasn’t prostitution; it wasn’t illegal; there was nothing directly against gregslist’s TOS in the ad. The site’s morality police had apparently felt differently. And nothing he’d posted anywhere else had gotten so much as a peep. Continue reading
Thursday and Friday
Ariana gave her target a full day’s head start.
She wanted to give him plenty of time to clear out of the safe house she’d set up for him; she wanted to make sure he presented sufficient challenge to be interesting.
When she was ready – when she thought he was ready – it was no issue at all to slip out of the house. Her family had no interest in her activities, as long as she made the obligatory social appearances and stayed away from anything potentially embarrassing for her Lady Mother.
When she’d first gotten out of the service, she’d been bored and chafing under her enforced leisure time. Now – now she had something to do, and the last thing she wanted was for people to notice her. So she was quiet about her leaving and made sure to leave a tolerable excuse with the staff.
Her target wasn’t in the cabin anymore and he’d done a very good job of covering his tracks. She found places the dust had been wiped clean, however, so someone had been here. Chances were her prey had taken her peace offering.
The rain had been coming down in random but heavy showers, as it had been for the last three days. If she’d been trying to track him by scent, he would be well covered. But just tracking with dogs – that was for amateurs and sports-people, not for Ariana. Continue reading
It is a beginning, not a complete story. You can always commission more of any story if it piques your interest!
This is set in a previous generation of Tír na Cali.
Nobody knew where he had come from, and among the Queen’s courtiers, this was a strange and unheard-of occurrence. He was tall, like an American, fair and freckled, like a Californian, polite and brilliant, like a politician. He sat by the Queen’s side in meetings of state and he spoke, quietly, and only when he was asked to. He, it was said, counselled Her Majesty on all matters.
He wore no collar and no ring, he claimed no title, and he acknowledged no mother’s name. He was called only Peter, in a land where almost everyone waved long names like flags displaying their wealth and their lineage. He claimed no honors at all, except Queen’s Councilor, which was a position that had not, until that day, existed.
He had been here for months, but now, every whisper and every rumor was coming up again, louder, barely hidden. Continue reading
Daxton was captive again, struggling not to take it in ill grace. This time, it seemed unlikely that Esha could rescue him.
It was a captivity far more posh and sometimes far less comfortable than his time in the Red Queen’s dungeons. Nobody, as far as he knew, was dying because of him, which was very pleasant. He had his own bed to sleep in, baths as often as he wanted them — and then some — and very nice food, occasionally in excess of what he could either want or need.
It was beginning to seem, however, that he’d had more freedom when chained in the dungeon. For one, the Red Queen had often left him alone — sometimes for days on end. For another, although there had been a script to follow with the Queen, it had been an easy one, and involved very little actual lying. It had helped, too, that he hated the Red Queen.
Daxton didn’t hate his parents, and he certainly didn’t hate their staff or any of the other people complicit in this captivity. There were courtiers, hangers-on, and installations, people who might as well be furniture for all they could budge, that he felt less than entirely fond of. But even the worst of those, bumps on the log of his parents’ court, Daxton did not hate. In his life, he’d only truly hated the Red Queen and sometimes, on bad days, her guards. Continue reading
A story of Stranded World for the April 2015 Theme – this is more the beginning of a story (possibly a novel) than a stand-alone tale, and introduces a new character.
The sun was out and, therefore, so were the students.
They sprawled across the quad, some of them making an attempt at reading, but many of them soaking up the first real warmth of spring without any concern for academics.
Isaac was out, too, skipping Sociology 101. He wandered aimlessly through the quad, following the most interesting Strands.
Everyone had Strands, everyone. They made up every connection, every place people rubbed together with each other or with things, every stressor and every happy moment. Many people had very boring Strands straight and smooth and direct, and, because it was in his nature to Tangle things up, Isaac liked to reach into those Strands and add a little chaos.
“Let me guess.” A pretty girl, not someone he recognized from Freshman seminar, sidled up to him. “Art major, minoring in Theatre.”
Isaac smiled. “Math Major, minoring in poly sci.”
He was going to have to find either a new look or a new major soon; the O-face of surprise was getting less and less exciting.
“Hrrm. And you…” She was wearing short-shorts and a thin tank top, carrying a kindle, with a very big backpack. “Education, minor in… Nutrition.”
Now THAT was a fun one. Her mouth opened up and she squeaked. “You’re awesome. How did you do that?”
“Elementary, my dear Watson.” He tapped the air three inches from her nose. “For one, you have that harried look only education majors can truly manage. It’s practice, I suppose, for when you have all those little students wandering aroun-”
Something was wrong with her Strands. She had plain, direct Strands, and he’d been just about to tangle up the three closest to her roommate and best friend.
But there was a knot tied up in something very close to her heart, and, hidden in the knot, at least two cut ends.
“—wandering around making a mess of your life.” Isaac managed a smile at her, and tangled up a couple things just to muddy the trail. “I’m sorry, I do believe I’m going to be late to class.”
He hared off before she could notice that, at twenty minutes after the hour, he was already unforgivably late to any class he might have.
Tanglers made messes of people’s lives, it was true, but Knotters bound them up, played puppets with them. And Snippers… Snippers were just plain evil.
On a campus this size, there might be one or two other Strand-Workers. Isaac had to find them, and he had to do so while making sure they weren’t the Snipper.
School had just gotten interesting.Want more?
This is a story of Tír na Cali written (loosely) to Wyste’s suggestion for more commoners in Cali.
“They don’t put slaves on sale.”
Ellen made a point of window-shopping the slave store every time she went to the mall. It reminded her what she was saving up for, what she was working overtime for.Her maternal grandmother had been a freed slave and the best cook in southern Tír na Cali; her grandfather had cleaned floors for a living until his seventies. Her mother had paid her own way through college working nights as a waitress and afternoons in a high-end brothel; she’d met Ellen’s father there — at the bar she waited tables at. Ellen was in the middle of the pack at a high-end software company and climbing her way up the ranks. And, Consort witness, she was going to own a slave before she was thirty and a house in the Heights by the time she was thirty-five.
Right now, she was balancing her protein shakes and the suit she’d need for that meeting next week, running the numbers in her discretionary fund through her mental calculator, and staring at the sign in the window.
And, it appeared, talking to herself. Nobody had noticed — well, nobody except, perhaps, the young man standing behind the sign, strategically positioned so that he was figleafed by the red letters declaring SALE: SLIGHTLY DAMAGED MERCHANDISE.
He didn’t look damaged. He had muscular calves and thighs, a flat stomach, a toned chest…
“Oh.” Ellen swallowed. The scar could be healed. That it hadn’t been spoke volumes about someone : it was a livid, nasty mark that had not healed, running under his collar, above his collar, and down over one collarbone. It looked like someone had tried to cut his head off with imprecise aim.
The scar — no, call it a wound, that was what it was — the wound was awful, but that hadn’t been what made Ellen swallow. The look in his eyes challenging, angry, hopeless — that had gotten her attention.
The sign, the sale, had to be humiliating. On the other hand… she ran the numbers in her head again. If they discounted him enough, she could take him home without totally blowing her budget.
She looked up at him again, ignoring the washboard abs and the damage done to his body. He would take careful handling. She’d have to watch her words, and, more importantly, her body language. And he would very likely act out.
She hadn’t gotten where she was at twenty-seven by turning down challenges. She nodded crisply to the man in the window and walked into the slave shop to make a deal.