Tag Archive | prompter: mb

Curating the Empire

Originally posted on Patreon in September 2019 and part of the Great Patreon Crossposting to WordPress.
A Story of Things Unspoken.  I did not unlock this one solely for Kelkyag, no, of course not. 

🏺

It was called a Museum, and it served as such to the public in the Imperial Capital.

That is, people could visit and, for a nominal fee, they could peruse the items stored within.  They could awe at the sculptures, puzzle at the paintings, meander around the mosaics.

They could read portions of ancient texts, both in the original and in several translations.  They could learn from a trained and patient docent why a particular civilization had, for instance, created garments which were beaded over the entire (relatively skimpy) piece with shells and bits of shiny stones, or from another guide why the famed painter Kelizanie Patrischezch had chosen to use only five shades in her The Dawn Comes (Ukethetchesziezie)  series.

And, because it was available, because their were discounts for students, and because it insisted on a certain level of quiet but used firm barriers to keep small children from, say, climbing on the statue of The First Empress, it was well-attended, if perhaps not as well attented as it should have been.  It was, in terms of museums, quite a success.

All of which did a wonderful job of concealing the original mandate of the building and the organization which ran it.

Mayie Retoziven, lead curator for the Northeast Territories Section of the Imperial Museum of Arts and Culture, was up to her elbows in a box of trinkets and gizmos, objets d’art and fine embroidery when her alarm went off.

As she had both been trained in and then trained countless others in her decade as a lead curator, Mayie froze.  “Castellan!” she called to her assistant.  “There’s an issue.” Continue reading

Bomb

Originally posted on Patreon in August 2019 and part of the Great Patreon Crossposting to WordPress.
This story comes after  The Gardener, The Garden, To the Garden, and Catch the Rain. It is part of the series with  First Garden.  It takes place in the Fae Apoc world during the apocalypse .

💣

Although an area more than a mile on a side had become known as Damkina’s garden, in the core of it was still the museum and its own gardens, the place where it had all, for a certain definition of the word, begun.

And in that garden, around the oldest statues, ones she had carefully brought and restored and up-kept, someone had knitted kilts.

Damkina walked around the two statues, observing them.  The one on the left had been sculpted in memory of her first husband — not by her, whose arts did not lay in the dead stone, but by someone she knew, by hands who had also loved that man.  The one on the right was a bit newer, a couple centuries, but was of a woman she had loved.  They were both, as was the style, naked.

Except currently they were both wearing kilts.

She studied the kilts — they had been knitted in place, or perhaps had been knitted off-site and finished in place.  They were well-done, in brilliant colors.

They were interesting.  But they were also — she wasn’t sure of the words.

She left them where they were, although she added a sketch, tucked in a sheet protector, of what these two had actually worn in their own times.  Kilts were not that far off, but they were, perhaps, a little understated.

The next time she returned to the core of her garden, someone had added a lovely crocheted pectoral to her first husband’s outfit.  Damkina found herself smiling.

The world was falling to compost and dust.  There would be revolution and there would be screaming and blood in the streets.  But if people could take the time to dress statues in garishly bright plastic yarns, then perhaps the sprouts that grew from this forest fire would be strong enough to carry it for another millennium or more.

She found some yarn and a crochet hook in an abandoned store, a book on crochet from the locked-down library, and a sad light pole at the edge of her greater garden, and she began to crochet.

Want more?

Electives

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

Bellamy is a niece of Evangeline and a close cousin of Chalcedony, Beryl’s older sister.

🎨

Every member of Bellamy’s family took at least one extra Art Class and one extra shop class.  They’d have taken more Home Ec, too, if it was offered as an elective, but their school distract seemed to think basic sewing and cooking could be handled in two quarter-year classes in Junior High.

That was fine, because by that point, every member of the family already knew how to do basic cooking, canning, sewing, cleaning, and budgeting, as well as a little bit of animal husbandry, farming, and weather-reading.  Bellamy had once overheard one teacher saying to another Oh, those kids?  Their family has a reputation for being witches, but that’s just the fact that they know the land and have some basic knowledge of just about everything.  You know, it’s all from the root of “wise” for a reason.

Bellamy’d had trouble not laughing in the teacher’s face for weeks. Continue reading

Ladies Who Garden

Ladies who Garden

🌱

It was Whitney’s second spring working on the Crossroads park, so she had gotten used to some of the more surprising help – not just the fae and ghosts, the strange-people and the occasional mysterious work done between when she left one night and when she returned the next, but vagrants and rebellious kids, cops and neighbors of the area and, once, the entire local chapter of the Pagans motorcycle club.

She was, still, a little bit confused when seven women – all wearing pastel straw hats over their well-coiffed grey hair, sporting gloves with flowers on them that nevertheless looked as if they had seen use at some point, and carrying brightly-coloured caddies full of gardening tools – walked up to her while she was taking a water break.

“Gwendolyn Marcus.”  The lead woman – yellow hat, yellow gloves, pink caddy – held out a gloved hand. Continue reading

The Trouble With…

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

This story is a continuation of The Trouble With Chickens and all other stories in The  Feltenner Chickens section of the Science! universe.  If you haven’t read those, the pertinent points are: the chickens are huge. The size of carriages.  Large parts of the university have been given over to them.  And the Professor Lokeg-Fridelabout  doesn’t mind getting students killed. 

 🐔

“You want to – to convert one of the abandoned buildings into a poorhouse?”   Resklin Tarajirra had never seen Professor Lokeg-Fridelabout look quite so surprised.  Up until now, he hadn’t know the professor had emotions beyond snide, annoyed, and cruelly pleased – although the annoyed had gotten awfully dark last week when Trenner Oujiduie showed up with a Feltenner chicken chick following her around.  “Tarajirra, that seems rather dark for one of your sort – it seems dark even for me,” the professor admitted in a rare moment of self-awareness.  “If you wanted to eliminate the poor, there are kinder ways than feeding them to Feltenner chickens and the Wind Alone knows what else lives in there.  What did Oujiduie’s paper say? Ferrets?”

Ah, a snide sneer.  That was more like it.

“Ferrets, yes, Professor.  You see, I don’t want to feed the poor to the chickens.  Or the ferrets.  My thought is more in the other direction – with the analysis that we’ve been working on, if we could feed the chicken eggs to the poor, we could start a very reasonable work house there, move some of the more tedious research in that direction –”

“That, Tarajirra, is what graduate students are for.”
Continue reading

Discovery

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

This is a story of Audrey and Sage of Dragons Next Door,  after Rule One but before they leave their schools. 

🎃

The door to Sage’s lab burst open.  Victor Puddington strode in, waving a piece of paper in his off hand and a book in his good hand.  “They found a new herb!”

Sage ran both hands over the cantrip he was working on, casting a stasis spell that hopefully would hold it until he could get Victor out of his office.  “Found?  They?  Herb?  Puddles, you’re being dreadfully inspecific.”

“Don’t call me that.”  It was habit by now; Sage wasn’t certain that Victor even knew he was saying it.  “All right, all right.  If you want to be specific, here we go.  While exploring some of the narrow passes in dragon territory – the ones that are untouched for the most part because the dragons can’t really get in there – they – they in this case being the Tower’s Deep Exploration Team, you know, Smitty and his boys -” Continue reading