Tag Archive | prompter: clare

What Next?

Written to Clare-Dragonfly’s prompt to my new “WTF?” Prompt Call.  Aunt Family all the way.

Beulah considered the spell that had been the work of the last decade.


She considered young woman now leaving the property a young woman who attended the property  – an 85 year old Widow. Valise in hand, she was headed off to a new life, away from whispers of what she’d done when she was twenty (the story originally had been what they did when they were twenty, but as more and more of the children of the original miscreants told the story, rather than the people who had been there,  they didn’t wish to impugn their own parents, and so one by one the party shrank until it was only the woman leaving now and Beulah – and nobody made whispers like that about Beulah where she might be some day hear them);  she left behind two dead husbands, three dead children, eight grandchildrens and at least four great-grandchildren, one of whom was Beulah’s great-grand-niece. Continue reading

Down to Talen Hall

My Giraffe (Zebra) Call is open!

Written to clare_dragonflyprompt.  It wandered a bit from the prompt…

“Talen” is an homage to someone who will likely never read this…  And obviously the poem/song in this is an homage to 

O I forbid you, maidens all, 
That wear gold in your hair,
To come or go by Carterhaugh,
For young Tam Lin is there.


Do not go by the TalenHall
Where ruined Talen’s Holdings Lie
Continue reading

Half-breed of Heart

Written to clare_dragonflys prompt. Doug is a character from Addergoole (The Original Serial), Addergoole: Year Nine, and the current Addergoole: a Ghost Story.


Doug was not a Mara; he was not one of the pure-blooded Warriors, the Protectors of the fae.

He had been aware of that since the moment he Changed – if he hadn’t been pretty sure of it long before that.

His father was a Mara who did not have Mara children.  His mother was the halfbreed daughter of a Daeva (the Inspirers, the succubi, the pleasure-givers and pleasure-takers); said Daeva did not bear Daeva children any more than Doug’s father could have Mara.  The chances of Doug being Mara were about as slim as the chances of him being elected president of the world.

His Change had just cemented that: his wings that would never sustain flight, his body that could not take damage the way that a Mara’s could.

The thunder that rumbled out of him when he was particularly irritated.

The fact that he was, when touching someone, when touching someone with his feet on the ground, stronger than his father or than any other Mara he’d ever gotten to spar with him.

He wasn’t a Mara.

Right now, he was damn glad of that.

His student Hestia – his newest, his youngest, his smallest student, Hestia – had felled the monster.  She had done a damn good job of it, especially for someone whose Change was not warrior-related.  But then the monster had made one great final heave – and landed on top of Hestia.

Hest weighed maybe 110, most of it muscle – but there was only so much muscle could do for you without any leverage.  Her spear was still in her hand, but she’d dropped her blade.

And the monster weighed almost as much as three elephants combined, and was twice as fat.

Doug grabbed the nearest long thing – part of the building they’d been fighting in, a beam or something.  The building probably needed it.  He needed it more.  He set his feet in the dirt, let his toes feel the ground below him, and pulled on the thunder.

He shoved the stick under the monster, aiming carefully, not wanting to hit Hestia, and he pushed.

Three counties away, they were closing their windows.  The sky flashed and sparked.  The ground  flashed and sparked.

The corpse of the monster lifted, an inch, a handspan, a foot, two yards.  Doug heaved, the world sparked, and the monster flew a couple feet through the air and landed with a wet thump.

He scooped Hestia up into his arms, muttering healing Workings and curse words at her indiscriminately.


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Written to clare_dragonfly‘s prompt.

Caroline’s adviser liked to leave her notes.

She almost never saw Dr. Comey. There was the big lecture on Mondays and the team meeting on Wednesdays, of course, and then sometimes there was the all-department meetings, which Dr. Comey sometimes deigned to attend, but the Dr. – who was so old the legend said that when they’d rebuilt the faculty wing of Ivy Hall, they’d just picked up Dr. Comey’s office and built the new building around it – preferred to work in late nights and early mornings, and Caroline’s schedule was such that she worked in the lab generally late mornings and late afternoons.

But Dr. Comey would leave her notes: combine experiment A with experiment B. Note results. Ask Sally to enter request for life test subjects again.

All Dr. Comey’s administrative help were “Sally.” The current one – Crystal – confided that they took it like a title, “Current Sally for Dr. Comey,” and took no offense from it.
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Cat’s Mystery – the beginning of a story of the Aunt Family

This is entirely because of the way Stone has been shaping up in my mind
There were any number of mysteries to Cat’s new school.

Some of them, she’d been expecting: from things she’d heard, and from the last two times she’d changed schools, she knew that every school had its own slang, and that every locale – city, town, village – had its own places that you couldn’t find on a map. The Quarry. The Old Grocery Store. Down by the Tracks. This one, Demville-Latta, was pretty rural, a good thirty-forty minute drive to the nearest so-called city, so in addition to needing a Demville-to-English dictionary, you pretty much needed a car to get to any of these mystery places.

Her parents were not yet convinced of this necessity, which meant that her mystery-detangling was pretty much limited to school and the bus, at least until either her parents gave in or she made some friends with cars.

Among the other mysteries were Track, really? This school’s only good team sport is track? and What the heck is going on with the Cunningham-Bauer-Talbot-Green-etc. family? That family encompassed two teachers, a bus driver, and, at last count, at least ten students, nine of whom rode her bus. They were the closest-knit group of cousins she’d ever seen – and yet sometimes they seemed just like any other family, arguing and sulking and teasing each other.

She’d been warned on day one not to “mess with” that family. That, of course, only intrigued her more.

That would be a nut she would take time to crack. Not too much time, of course, because, after all, she didn’t know how long she’d be here, but enough time that she didn’t come off creepy, stalkerish, or needy.

(By this point, she had how-to-deal-with-new-schools down to an artform. The problem was, new schools didn’t really have how-to-deal-with-new-kids down to anything but a mess.)

The mystery she decided to focus on first was much simpler, although it touched tangentially on that Cunningham-Bauer-Talbot-Green-etc. family mess, in that Miss Cunningham seemed somewhow to be involved.

It was: What is Mrs. Realle doing on lunch break, and why does it seem like Miss Cunningham and Mr. Fentner are involved?

It wasn’t so much that she thought it was anything bad, it was just that she was curious, and she learned far more about a place by sneaking around than she ever did by just going to classes.

So she slipped out of PE and went down to the girls’ room instead of to the cafeteria, which put her in the right place to walk back into that hall with teachers’ offices, the maintenance closet, and an abandoned classroom with 50’s-era science equipment. She slipped into the classroom, hid behind one of the giant lab tables, and waited.

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Hazards of Sisters – a ficlet of Winter/Stranded

In the past – when Winter is in his late teens
Winter leaned forward, his lips only a millimeter from Karen Schneider’s.

He could feel the place where the Strands were about to be disturbed. He could see the disturbance, even with his eyes closed.

He kissed her anyway. Kissed her and then wrapped an arm around her and rolled them both to the side.

“What!” she gasped and tried to pull away, but Winter had practice with this, if not with Karen.

The water balloons hit the tree behind them, right where they would have been if he hadn’t rolled them.

Winter released Karen and rolled off to his side so she didn’t feel the least bit restricted, just as his little sisters ran up to him.

“Winter!” Summer complained. “You cheated!

Karen was finally catching up with what was going on. “You saw them coming?”

“Heard them,” he temporized. “I like this shirt. I imagined you didn’t want it getting soaked.”

It was a nice mint-green top, thin enough that even dry, he could see the lines of her bra strap through it. Wet, it would have left nothing at all to the imagination.

She blushed. “Thanks. Thanks, it’s just… you startled me.”

“You cheated,” Summer repeated.

“No.” Winter had far too much practice not getting irritated with his sisters. “As I recall, you three promised not to bother Karen and I for at least an hour. So I’d say you cheated.”

“Come on.” Autumn took Summer and Spring’s arms and steered them away. “He’s not any fun when he has company.”

Winter appreciated the gesture, but he could see that it was already too late for this particular date.

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Educational disagreements

This ficlet comes after: No Apple for Teacher, which followed Useful.
Both of those fics are after Retirement and Retirement 2: 50 years after the original series, Kai finds herself in possession of Rozen while she considers leaving Addergoole East.

“You’re not teaching them enough!” Rozen’s voice was a roar. He knew he was getting way too loud, and some part of him – the part that cared about the Bond – felt a little guilty about that.

The rest of him was angry enough to override that part.

“I’m teaching them plenty! When have you been a teacher?” Kai glared up at him, her hair a halo of red. Here, alone, she looked like herself. He tried not to let that distract him.

“More times than you give me credit for! I was even a Mentor a couple times!” Now his pride was pricked. “Look, you want me to teach them combat. You have to let me teach them combat.

“I’m letting you teach them combat.” She was implacable. She wasn’t even shouting anymore. Rozen didn’t know what to think about that. It was starting to take the wind out of his sails, though. “I just don’t want you to teach them to be assassins.”


“I’m looking. You don’t need to keep saying that.”

Finally, he’d gotten her irritated. He swallowed the guilt-misery and nodded acknowledgement. “I’m not teaching them to be assassins-”

“No, you’re not.”

“Could I finish, please? I’m not teaching them to be assassins,” this time he hurried on before she could interrupt him again. “Just to take care of themselves. They’re kids, Kai, and the world is awful.”

He dropped to his knees. “Please?”

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January By the Numbers Twenty: Yoke (ficlet)

January by the numbers continues (now four days off, sigh)!
From [personal profile] clare_dragonfly‘s prompt “yoke;” a ficlet. Warning: this came out dark.

“It’s not supposed to be a fucking yoke.”

The voice trickled into Vester’s consciousness. She did not look up, could not look up. She had work to do. She stared at her table and kept working, kept Working.

“Get that fucking thing off of her. Get it off her or I’m going to break your fucking face.”

She was listening now. It made her Working lumpy and clumsy, but exhaustion did that on its own.

She didn’t speak except her Workings. She wasn’t allowed to speak, any more than she was allowed to stop.

But she could listen.

“You don’t understand.” That was Him. “I’ve got a business here. I’m just running a business. And she volunteered.”

If she could have spoken… Vester might have told the shouting person that He was telling the truth. She might have told the shouting person more — but probably not. She had seen what happened to his producers who spoke out.

“Let me say this slowly. Get. The Thing. Off of her. Or I will break every bone in your body.”

“She’s Mine. You can’t tell me what to do with —”

Vester was Working on whispers now, so she could hear everything. She heard the crunch as a body slammed into the wall.

“Give her to me or I destroy you.”

Vester heard bones crunching, and then He was screaming. He was screaming, he was screaming… “She’s yours! Vester, you’re his! You belong to him!”

Another thump. Vester stopped Working.

“Get that thing the fuck off of her.” The growling man was coming closer. Vester wanted to turn to look at him, but the yoke and harness wouldn’t let her. “Now. It’s not supposed to be a yoke, you bastard. It’s supposed to be a collar, it’s supposed to protect her. You fucking bastard.”

Vester found that she could speak. And, as He — no, just he, her former master — unlocked the yoke holding her in place, she found she knew what she would say.

“There’s three more in the back,” she informed the shouty man. “Behind the hidden door. There.”

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January By the Numbers Ninteen: Tendril (ficlet)

January by the numbers continues (still three days off…)!
From [personal profile] clare_dragonfly‘s prompt “tendril;” a ficlet.


She was sitting on the floor, leaning against his legs while they watched TV. She liked sitting there, and he liked the feeling it gave him – security, being taller than her, bigger than her.

He was a very insecure man, although nobody would say that to his face and those who knew him only casually wouldn’t guess it. He liked being in charge – but he was good at it, and so nobody questioned it. He liked being intimidating – but he was 6’6″ tall and broad-shouldered, muscular, and so he didn’t have to work at it.

She sat against his leg because she knew that it made him comfortable, the same reason she wore his collar.

She knew who was really in charge and, somewhere in the back of his mind, so did he, but they danced the dance anyway, and she did what he said, and sat at his feet.

He kept her safe. Not just because he was big, and strong, and intimidating, but because he offered protective coloration, camouflage. She could look different, be different, but some people could always find her. Belonging to someone else, that made her someone else entirely. And since it was something nobody who knew her would ever expect, it hid her all the better.

She leaned against him, her hair twisting around his legs on its own. It did that, her hair, the tendrils sliding around whatever they could reach. She pulled herself up that way, like a squash plant, rising higher on what her tendrils grabbed.

And they slid into him. Not in a way he could feel – not that he could feel much, so defensive, so closed off, that he never noticed things that close to him – but they slid into his psyche. He liked being in charge… but she liked running him.

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January By the Numbers Ten: Busy bees buzzing brightly (fiction Piece)

January by the numbers continues (still a day off~)!
From [personal profile] clare_dragonfly‘s prompt “Busy bees buzzing brightly, bearing beauteous bouquets.;” a ficlet
“The hive’s alight tonight.” Oshen stared at the office building, bright with lights in the middle of the night. From their vantage point, three buildings over, the people moving around looked like ants — or maybe bees — insects anyway, buzzing around, bopping here and there in what looked like a random pattern. “Who do you think kicked it?”

“It doesn’t look that much like a hive,” Nensho complained. “I mean, okay, it’s sort of got that shape, but—”

“But it’s full of worker bees, moving here and there, doing whatever their little Queen Bee tells them. Except for Eidercorp, it’s not a Queen Bee, is it? It’s a King Bee. Unnatural.” Oshen grinned, liking the taste of the word. “Unnatural. Against the natural order of things. Counter to the way things are supposed to be.”

“Easy now,” Nensho chided. “You’re doing that thing where you get carried away again and then you start believing your own propaganda. Don’t forget that thing last year with Tenor, Inc. It ended up being a big mess, and all because you got caught up in your alliteration and allegory.”

“There was some onomatopoeia, too,” Oshen complained. “And maybe some rhyme.”

“Either way, every way, anyway, just don’t. We have a goal, no?”

“We have a goal, now.”

“Good. So, let’s get to the goal.” Nensho stared at Eidercorp through high-powered binoculars. “All right, they’re clearly up to something. I can’t tell quite what from here but it looks a little bit like a dance, doesn’t it?”

“What, they’re telling the King Bee where the honey is? That seems a little too literal when they’re working off of my metaphor,” Oshen complained.

“No.” Nensho frowned. “It looks like they’re taking bouquets to the CFO. All of them. Everyone in the company.”

“…And you say I get carried away.”

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