Tag Archive | prompt: thimbleful

Thimbleful Thursday – Have a Heart

The Kaerdenia Lily was the symbol of love in Alecha this century, after Dominika O Kaerdenia had, in a feat of crossbreeding, produced the blood-red blossoms with their pure white centers which symbolized both the body and the spirit. 

It said something about the strength of the symbol that, while Dominika had also managed to produce a drought- and pest-tolerant strain of amaranth which still made delicious breads, she was known as Dominika Lily and not Dominika Amaranth (maybe it was just prettier sounding; sometimes that had something to do with it). 

Eduardo the carver (often called Eduardo Fern-Frond) was doing his best to make a gift on commission, but while he could carve a fern-frond so realistic and so fine that, if painted the right color, people tried to pick it up, the lily had already ruined three pieces of imported wood and was threatening to ruin a fourth and fifth. 

He kept going. The mayor of the city had a specific piece in mind, and it must have the Kaerdenia Lily on the top, and it must  be made of heartwood (of course) and not just any heartwood, but that of the Kaerdenia Cherry (A different Kaerdenia ; they were very good at plant-breeding), which could only be found in a very few areas. 

These mistakes, if he could not turn them into smaller pieces, if he could not sell those smaller pieces, would cost him more than the mayor’s commission was worth.

Eduardo frowned at the piece, frowned at the lilies in front of him, picked up his pencil, and began working again. 

If he took the lily down to its parts, one lobe here, one lobe there, the place there where the white would be made from ivory, then he took each lobe down to its parts, the curl here, the vein there, then he could work at it as if it were a series of very small frond pieces.  And if he did that, if he did that, he could make up a whole Love-Lily from a thousand tiny parts. 

If he did that, the mayor would have her love box, would have her love, would have everything she wanted. 

The frown gone, Eduardo got back to work.

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Written to a Thimbleful Thursday prompt & to my Federated Worldbuilding Prompt which was “use the Thimbleful Prompt to write something in your world.” 😉

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Thimbleful Thursday: Honored

Written to Thursday, Jan 16th’s Thimbleful Thursday Prompt, Do the Honors

At the top limit of the wordcount, 320-330 words. 🙂 (depending on the counter)

🎖️

“Do you want to do the honors?”  Saliked bowed playfully to Viytoj.  “Or shall I?”

“I really think…” Viytoj shifted back and forth.  “I really think this is a bad idea.  It’s – do you know how many things can go wrong with something like this?”

“Viyiy, it was your idea!”  Saliked huffed.  “You said it.  You developed it.  You named it, you even found this place.”

“I did that because I thought you were just trying to see if I’d do it!  I mean, I thought – I didn’t think you’d – really?”  Viytoj stared at the Viewscreen.  “Really?”

“Come on.  What is the absolute worst that can happen?”

“The absolute worst? We trigger a world war down there that wipes out 99% of their population and, while they’re at it, kills us!”

“That’s, ah, that’s, way to go on the pessimism, buddy.”  Saliked took a moment to regroup.  “All right, what’s the worst likely thing that could happen?”

“They bomb us out of the sky?  That’s admittedly only got a 1 in one thousand chance of happening with what we know of their current technology.” Viytoj was bending. Slowly.

Saliked pressed. “Is it even against Galactic Law?”

“Well, not yet, because nobody’s thought to do something like this…”

“Then let’s do it!  Come on, push the button, Viyiy.  We came this far, and it will be the best prank in all of their history!”

Viytoj sighed.  “I… this could go so poorly.”

“But it only has a one in a thousand chance of going horribly!”  Saliked grinned widely.  The grin always worked.

Viytoj pushed the button.  Tiny rockets shot from their ship, hundreds of them.  For every 10 degrees of latitude and longitude where there was land, a rocket would fall apart well above the treeline and drop, with a small parachute, a notice. More of a certificate, honestly.

The rest of the galaxy honors you,
the third planet around your star
For reaching intra-stellar travel
Welcome to the Galaxy!

 

 

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Thimbleful Thursday: Cherry on Top

Written to Thursday, Jan 9th’s Thimbleful Thursday Prompt, Cherry on Top. 

Facets of Dusk universe, no particular time. 

Content warnings here are only suggestions of violence and a little authorial  snark. 

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The drink had a dark grey cherry on top of white whipped cream in a grey glass with a blackish grey drink inside. The straw was white and light-grey striped, and the lips wrapped around it were pale and glistening grey.

Cole turned to Xenia to find her, too, in shades of grey, her hand clearly on her weapon and her face set in anger.

“This place,” she murmured softly. “Have you heard them talk?”

“I just came in for a soda,” he murmured. “And it’s-” Continue reading

Putting Out Fires (and Lighting Others)

This one is just sort of silly.  Maybe an intro to something?

🚒

Perfect is the enemy of Good

That’s engraved on the lintel of our headquarters.

Well, it would be, but what’s really there is Firehouse 14.

It’s a good building, and the fire company has since moved somewhere else, bigger place, I think, more poles.

We moved in the way we do most things – quickly, efficiently, with a minimum of excess energy.

Which means, of course (of course) that I’m sleeping in an old firemen’s dormitory and so are the other seven of us.

We put out fires, after all.  Sort of. Sometimes we light them.

We’re the Cleaning Team, which is kind of a funny name for us, but it’s what we came up with while drinking vodka one night.  We get things done.

We don’t get them done cheaply.  We don’t get them done elegantly.  We get them done on time and well. (You know: on time, in budget, in scope, pick two.)

And we get them done – if not cleanly, then “cleanly.”

That is.  If it is illegal or questionably moral, It will never come back to us.  It will never come back to you.

If it is shining and bright and just needs to be done quickly, you will get all the lauds and we will be invisible.

Just don’t ask questions.

That, we actually have a sign for, on the front desk, next to the “Quick And Dirty, Done” sign that our secretary came up with.

(We do actually have a “don’t kill the client” clause in our (unwritten) contracts, but that one has its own escape clause (Our contracts are the one thing we didn’t do quick nor dirty).)

Perfect is the enemy of Good.

And let me tell you, you want it done, we can get it done Quick and really, really Good.

 


Written to May 16th’s Thimbleful Thursday Prompt.

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Thimbleful Thursday: Here and There

“But who are you?” The woman at the gate was staring at the interloper. “What is your name and what are you doing here?”

“What I am doing here, I have already told you.” The woman popped up her umbrella as an unseasonable and unexpected rain began. “I am here to speak to Madam Thare Oliphant.”

“The current mistress of the house is not Thare Oliphant, and hasn’t been in two hundred and seventy-two years.”

“You’re remarkably well-informed for a gate guard.” Continue reading

Thimbleful Thursday: Envelope

“What…. what is it?”

Esuyp had been locked up in the old building for months on end, emerging only to do her required part of the settlement’s labor and fix the things that needed fixing, sometimes to eat and even more rarely to sleep.  Qiameth had been running back and forth between Esuyp’s workshop — so they all assumed it was — and the old school buildings, muttering to herself.

Now the thing — the result of every minute of leisure time for two people for over half a year in a settlement where everyone was working steadily — was out in the middle of the Green and the whole settlement was staring at it.

“What is it?” repeated the Eldest.   Continue reading

The Seventh Estate

In Seldith stood seven estates.

There were many houses, of course, some of them large enough to be considered manors, many buildings and homes and a great number of farms and plantations – but there were seven Estates.

From East to West, the first was the home of the Leader and thus whoever lived there had the First Vote, which was most powerful.  The second home was for the Head of Priests, who held the second vote. Continue reading

On the Edge

They had always lived on the edge.

Iai had heard of other families where they did not; on occasion, they had wandered inland and met such families.  They traded in things that one could farm in a stable, calm environment; they sold things that required land and water in different ratios and which often would not do well quite so close to an edge.

But Iai’s family lived on the edge.  Their home was built such that if one walked out onto the roof, in one direction would be the inland, and in the other direction, one would be looking down over the edge into the river far below.   Their front porch let one sit with one’s toes dangling off into the air.

Of course, there was not much time for such things.  There were always the iaini-bird eggs to gather, down along the thin edges of cliff where only Iai’s family and others like them could make their way.  There were the ronuno and apree herb-plants to collect, those things that wanted the droppings of the iaini-birds and the misted air from the waterfall below.  There were the nets to drop down, down, down, to haul back up full of lost goods from upriver, full of fish and shellfish and all sorts of goodies.
Then there was all that to trade to the inlanders for their mutton and chicken and grain, things that could not grow on cliffs or hanging off the edge, like Iai, like Iai’s brothers Ronu and Pree.  The cycle of collect and trade, collect and trade worked like their safety lines, like the railing on the porch and on the roof – it was a bit frayed, a bit thin at times, but in the end, they managed to keep from falling over the edge.
But, feet on a ledge barely wide enough to be seen, leaning down into the iaini-bird nest to gather eggs and ronuno, Iai never forgot exactly how close that edge was.


Written to Oct. 18’s Thimbleful Thursday Challenge

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Thimbleful Thursday: Enigma

It came out over coffee, the way many things do.

In the Bureau of Enigmas, there was an entire department devoted to Mapping, and yet the seven of them rarely consulted.  Each would pick a phenomenon – or, more often, be assigned one – and would map out its trends.

This was not, despite the name, soley geographic mapping, but tracking over time and over demographic notes.

The Bureau covered such a large span of enigmas – cryptids and their wake at one end, the Tiny Ones at the other end – that there was always some trend that needed documenting, some break in reality that needed following and studying so that, if the study itself did not heal it (and in 45.6% of the time, it did), those that were tasked with dealing with such things could do their job equipped with the most information possible. Forewarned is forearmed, the saying went, and in the Bureau of Enigmas, forearmed often meant the difference between life and death.

Still, despite the work, there were always coffee breaks.  And when three Mappers happened to be sipping dark, fresh coffee with the slight taste of the Other-Sphere, they did as all people did, whatever the papers or oaths or soul-binding contacts suggested, and they chatted.

Today they were chatting about three things with no pattern, a plague, a spate of madness, and a serial killer.  None of them appeared to be settling into anything regular.  None of them were predictable, and predictable was important.

Until one mentioned Chicago and the other two stared.

Twenty minutes later, coffee forgotten, they had put their three maps together.  There, in Chicago, there was their nexus.  And from there-

“There’s a method,” one of them breathed.

“It’s madness,” another one muttered.  But most of what they did was madness.

“But it’s a shape,” the third agreed.  “There’s a pattern to the madness.”

They rang an intern to tell Field.  They had their Enigma.

 


Written To Oct. 25th’s Thimbleful Thursday Prompt, although not really in the wordcount. 

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