Written to DaHob’s prompt to my new “WTF?” Prompt Call. Fae Apoc, early apocalypse.
Things had been going weird for weeks, but Tlalli had been doing a pretty good job of pretending they weren’t.
She went to classes every day, went to work after that, and screened stupid application after stupid application for a roommate, looking for someone who wouldn’t be torture to live with and would actually pay the rent something like on time.
There was some weird shit on the tv, weirder shit on youtube, and twitter was blowing up with the stuff people had seen – and the people that had died or vanished. One person she followed posted a list every morning. Just an image, black names on white text. It was getting pretty long. Continue reading
For DaHob, a ficlet of Tír na Cali.
“So… you’re pretty normal?”
As far as come-on lines went, Barty had definitely heard worse. He’d heard better a couple times, sure, but while he was okay-looking, he wasn’t usually the hottest guy in the bar and definitely wasn’t the richest in any room.
Maybe that’s why he hadn’t been careful. Maybe it had been the way she clicked her hair over a bare shoulder. Maybe it had been the way she smiled like he was very, very important to her.
Whatever it had been, it had gotten him in her bed, and that had been, well. Barty wasn’t the sort to say things like “mind-blowing,” but… his mind was pretty blown.
And now, now he was sitting on bleachers with fifty other Americans, wearing collars and sweats and all of them feeling a little uncomfortable.
“The purpose of this mission is to acquaint Californian agents with American customs. To that end, every one of you is going to have a house, a job, and several assignments. You are going to have two weeks to settle in, and then you will be shadowed by Californian agents. Do you understand?”
The woman speaking was tall, a valkyrie, and she looked deadly. Standing to one side of her was the girl Barty had gone home with.
Looking at her, he had to admit he’d probably go home with her again.
Someone else’s hand rose. Someone shouted out a question.
“Why should we help you?”
“Well. Because the options are to take this service, which has a certain amount of leeway, or, considering the qualities for which you were acquired—”
So… you’re pretty normal?
“–will likely end up being field work.”
Barty sighed. Sometimes, he’d fantasized about being kidnapped by a beautiful Californian woman. He looked down at his little book of assignments. He hadn’t imagined it would end up with him being an accountant.
At least they’d given him a promotion.
Last night, I was feeling like I was running on one cylinder and running out of gas, but I play this writing game, 4theWords, and I really wanted to move up one step on the leaderboards for battles.
Which meant 4 130-word (or so) battles.
So I asked for suggestions on Mastodon, and this is what came of it.
Well, technically, two of these weren’t even from suggestions…
But anyway! Words!
Filling the Boots
He woke and shook out the cards. Continue reading
It was the day past the Autumnal Equinox, and the Emperor wasn’t dead.
The Rothenkill Empire, a wide-spanning mass of bureaucrats, generals, courtiers, financiers, farmers, and clerks, waited with their collective breaths held.
The servants of the Emperor moved slowly and carefully, as if their heads might fall off if they went about their tasks too quickly, or if they said the wrong thing.
Everyone was waiting. Everyone was confused. And almost everyone was worried.
In the Rothenkill Empire, it was said that the Emperors fell with the leaves. And, like leaves, it was known that sometimes, the Emperors needed a little push, a helpful shove.
So where was the shove?
“This is nor normal,” complained the Chief Financier in charge of budgets. “What are we going to do? Someone should do something.”
“Someone has to do something,” complained the Head Bureaucrat in charge of law distribution, re-writing, and deletion.
“Won’t someone do something?” pleaded the General of the Imperial Armies. “He’s starting to give orders that make sense and can’t be ignored! What are we going to do if we can’t ignore him?”
The Emperor, snug on his throne, pretended he could hear none of this. He hadn’t ascended to the Poison Throne by looking or acting particularly bright, after all. None of his predecessors had, either, not in decades, possibly not in centuries.
“The problem is,” muttered a person serving as a handmaiden, “nobody remembers how.” Her grandmother had once helped off three emperors in a row, but that had been when you got a class of emperor that sometimes needed a shove. “And with this one, I’m not going to risk it.”
And the Emperor smiled as the empire – the mass of functionaries that had killed his father, his grandfather, and countless of his various uncles and cousins – began to crumble under its own confusion.