Tag Archive | prompter: eseme

Pumpkin Patch

Pumpkin Patch (over a picture of the same)

This story is the first one to my Squish-Squash, Pumpkins and Gourds Prompt Call. Summer, Bishop, and Melinda are part of the Stranded universe and first appeared as a threesome here.

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“So why is it a pumpkin patch and not like a wheat field or a rice paddy?”

Bishop had the front seat. Like normal, Melinda was driving.  She liked to drive, so on short trips, it was normally her. 

Summer was wedged as far up from the back seat as she could without making Melinda uncomfortable.  She’d spent a lot of her childhood in the middle of the backseat, so it wasn’t unusual, just… not really what she’d thought she’d be doing with adulthood. 

There were things about being part of a threesome that didn’t come up in the literature. 

“To make it sound cute? Like you know, it’s the part of the garden, it’s a wee home-town pumpkin patch?”  Melinda hissed at the four-way stop.  “I hate these.  I hate these, nobody does them right… right, it’s my turn now.  It’s my turn now, stop.”

Summer threw a little curse at the car who was ignoring the rules of the all-way stop and a little blessing at the car and at Melinda, who was probably already blessed enough that she ought to be floating.  

Of course, with the way Melinda got when traffic annoyed her, the car ought to be floating, too.  

They made it through unscathed and un-honked-at. 

“I don’t usually like twee things,” Summer admitted.  “Like, orchards, fine.  Like two weeks ago.”  The apple-picking had been great; the hard-cider drinking when they got home had been wonderful, and two weeks of apple desserts had been amazing.  “Orange groves.  Peach…”

“Pits?” Bishop added playfully. 

“I think they’re orchards, too.  We grew up next to peach and apricot trees.  And nectarines.  I can almost taste them…”

“Little late for peaches,” Melinda pointed out.  “When we’re on our way to a pumpkin patch and a maize maze.  Now it’s mmm mulled cider and your mom’s pumpkin pie recipe and your brother’s pumpkin ice cream recipe and… your sister’s…”

“Pumpkin ale.  Or Peyote pumpkin seeds.  Depending on which sister you’re talking about.”

“Pumpkin patches,” Bishop cut it.  “Makes me think of cabbage patches.  And why you don’t find kids in pumpkin patches instead of cabbage patches.”

“It was lime trees in countries that didn’t have cabbages.”  Summer’d done a paper on this last year.  “I think it’s the leaves.  Pumpkins have smaller leaves.  You could fit a kitten or two under one.  But you can’t fit a kid under one.”

“Where did the stork get involved?”  Melinda took a turn at a sharp right.  

“Places where it wasn’t a witch-woman or a woods-nymph.  My mother – some kids down the street, their mother told them that the Old Woods Lady brought the babies, the way her mother had told her, and they came up to Mom and asked her where she got the babies from.”  Summer chuckled.  She was pretty sure she hadn’t told her partners that one, but after five years together, they’d all repeated a few tales. 

“So… Not much chance of finding a baby in the pumpkin patch unless a stork touches down or your Mom comes out of the woods?”

There was an interesting catch in Bishop’s voice.  Summer glanced at him, but he was doing a good job of hiding his expression. He usually did.  They were always too good of actors, all three of them.  

“No, just some jack-o-lanterns.  And then pies, and pumpkin seeds, and mulled cider.”  Summer paused.  “If we’re looking for babies, we’re going to need a different patch.”

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Fresh Fish

From yesterday through mid day Thursday, August 6th, I have a Prompt Call running here – anyone can prompt and please do!

This comes afterR is for Rituals and Linguistic Tricks and Finish It: Scheffenon, but the information you need to read the below story is:

Scheffenon is a city on the North See, in the norther-western part of a sprawling Empire.  Eliška is an Informer, an Imperial position which is part anthropologist, part internal spy, part propaganda artist for the Empire. 

And there is something creepy about the sea in Scheffenon. 

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“Fresh fish!  Freshest fish, pulled from the ponds and rivers to the East!  Fresh fish!” Continue reading

The Summer of Discontent

This is a Summer story and it turned out a little… um.  Not quite dark, but with dark-adjacent bits. While nobody in the story is either depressed nor suicidal, there’s frank discussion of both in the story.

Summer is Autumn’s middle sister; Bishop and Melinda are her partners.  Add first appears here. This story is contemporary with Graduation… or Not

“Summer’s sitting on the roof again.”

Add barely looked up from their homework. Med school was a bitch, and it left them impatient with dramatics of any sort.

“House roof or Bolsch Hall roof?” The house roof was lower but steeper and slicker, being the slate-shingled roof of an old Victorian in Collegetown.

“Bear Hall roof.” Melinda didn’t really have any more time than Add did, or than her partner Bishop did — he was at the library right now — or their other roommate, Carney. But it was her girlfriend, their girlfriend (but Bishop was busy) and something had gone weird with Summer in the last couple semesters. Continue reading

Dictator, Dic-TAH-tor…

After I wrote Council Meetings, I wasn’t 100% satisfied that I’d fulfilled the brief, err, written well to the prompt. 

So I wrote this.  This is Fae Apoc, Cloverleaf; the viewpoint character is Nathen, the star of Lightning in Autumn and the novel I am writing based around that story. The era is after that novel wraps up, a little bit into Cloverleaf’s time. 

Written to Eseme’s prompt to my Third Rail Prompt Call

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Nathen had eaten more scones and muffins in the last 4 weeks then he thought he had in the 40 years previous, possibly excluding that one year where he was dating a baker. That have been a good year.

“I’m telling you, she might call herself a ‘Mayor ‘ but she’s a dictator!”

“There’s a Council…. Some of them are elected…”

What he was finding was that sitting in a cafe, possibly this specific cafe, was a bunch better education on Cloverleaf then the tours he’d been given. Not that the tours had been disingenuous or flat-out lies, it was just that they only told him about the bones of the city, and Nathen had always felt that learning about its heart and blood were more important.

Don’t give me that. I’ve watched her — watched her, she’s not even ashamed of it — overturn the council’s decisions on a whim!”

“…on a whim? Are you sure?” Continue reading

Council Meetings

This is a ficlet of Cloverleaf, written to Eseme’s prompt to my current “third rail” prompt call. 

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Sometimes, Cya seriously regretted having made Cloverleaf a semi-representative government.

Generally, those were council days, when she was sitting at a table with the chosen and voted-in representatives of all three circles.

Being a dictatorship would be so much easier.

She listened carefully to everyone’s arguments.  She asked the question she made sure to ask every time:

“Do we need a law for this, or is it a matter of personal choice?” Continue reading

The Shore Awakes

After When the Hills Quake and The Hills Sleep
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(Planetary Date 5 Years 6 months)

We’ve had several more close encounters with the terrain moving, enough that, unfortunately, I don’t think that we can justify staying here.  There’s just too much living under our feet.

We agreed not to move our settlement, in large part because it doesn’t seem to matter where we move it, since every bit of land appears to be alive.  We’ve been more careful with what we put where, although the large terrain-creatures appear to have very tough skins with very few nerve endings.  Continue reading

The Hills Sleep

After When the Hills Quake.
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(Planetary Date 5 Years 4 months)

From the looks of things, the wolf-hills have a rather long cycle of waking and sleeping.

We have been debating for some time – since “our” wolf went back to sleep – if we should move down to the land that doesn’t move or stay where we are.

Three things stay on the side of staying where we are: Continue reading

The Origins of… Science!

Originally posted on Patreon in March 2019 and part of the Great Patreon Crossposting to WordPress.

Eseme suggested that I write up how a setting was born, so I started thinking about it.

Most of my settings come from one or a few stories that are written around the same time, which start coalescing themselves into a world.  Fae Apoc and Tír na Cali are exceptions to this, as is Foedus Planatarum, sort of, but today I’m starting with Science!

It turns out the first story of Science!, which included Cara, Alex, and Liam, the three who show up in the lion’s share of these tales, came from a “Wine and/or Roses” prompt call- prompts of Lilfluff’s and wyld_dandelyon’s coming together to create a story about roses with retractable thorns.

Then Shutsumon added “What’s in it?” “Blood of grape and juice of girl,” and we had another story in the same timeline.

And then the next Giraffe Call was “Origins and Creation” and we ended up going on further in the same setting.

By that point, the setting was “set” – there were scientists who did bad things or very good ones (sometimes which was which depended on your point of view); there was the Boss and the tower where all this happened, there was an island, and there were Cara and Alex, whose roles are never, or possibly just rarely, defined but who seem to see everything and be along for everything.

That pretty much sums up my world creation method: Start from scratch and see what happens.

This donation slider from the wine and/or roses call was just too good not to share.
I made it myself!

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Beyond Rules

Originally posted on Patreon in February 2019 and part of the Great Patreon Crossposting to WordPress.

This is a story written to @Eseme’s prompt to my Valentine-day Prompt Call. 

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There were things that had rules, rules they had established through the years of their relationship.  There were things that were too small for rules, or too mobile, or simply too unpredictable — they had a Rule about neighbors but not one that encompassed the entirety of living next to dragons, for instance.  And then there were things that were too big for Rules.

Their Time was one of those.  They didn’t call it date night, because more often than not, neither of them wanted to deal with crowds or even quiet, intimate restaurants.  They didn’t call it parents’ time, the way some of their friends did, because it was time to not be parents, or a warlock and a witch, but simply Aud and Sage.

Jin had agreed to watch the younger children, as he did most weeks, for a reasonable going rate that meant they didn’t have to try breaking in a new babysitter — a situation always fraught with difficulties when one lived in Smokey Knoll.  Aud and Sage took their dinner up into the tallest tower in their house, into a room they saved for times like this; the children were instructed to only interrupt in the direst of emergencies.

Sage lit the candles.  Aud poured the wine.  They sat together on the divan and looked out over the city, watching the lines of magic flow through the enchanted viewing-glass in their observatory.  They held hands, each of them eating one-handed, and smiled, letting their own private magic flow between them.

They didn’t talk much.  There was plenty of time for talking, and they had said many of the things they might need to say already. They simply were, and when it was Their Time, that was enough.

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Cya, Librarian

Early in Cloverleaf-era


Sometimes, Cya thought her power had a sense of humor.

She’d learned how to craft specific Find requests, because, if she wasn’t looking for something or someone specific (“nearest unbroken Bleach DVD;” “Leo”), her power had a bad habit of leading her on wild goose chases.

Like today.  Like “nearest cache of intact, unclaimed books in an accessible-by-me location, with at least two times the number of unique, intact books as the hours I drive to get there.”

Almost every one of those clauses, she’d added on after learning the hard way that her power could be painfully literal.

Today… today she was staring down at a 45-degree incline that had once been the floor of this library. From the looks of things, it had been tolerably sheltered from weather – this area wasn’t as cold or as wet as Cloverleaf, but it still did get precipitation – and peering down and over, she was pretty sure she’d be able to get more than the required 16 books out of here.

But first, she had to get down there, gather the books, and get back up. Continue reading