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From dailyprompt: “Mandatory Holiday.”
Rin & Girey/Reiassan, to inventrix‘s request 2. Written in 10 minutes on Write-or-Die, with distractions.
“This really is gorgeous.” They sat overlooking a long valley as the sun rose orange-and-pink, the clouds tiny fluffy things stained as pink as the sky. Breakfast was sweetened with a recent purchase of honey, and their tea was hot and fresh. “I haven’t seen anything like this since I went on vacation with my parents, when I was a boy.”
“There haven’t been any holidays since then?” Rin sipped her tea and watched her prisoner thoughtfully. He was loosening up; she wondered how long that would last.
“Nothing like that. State trips. Visits to other cities. And then war came again, and that was everything. And then you.” Girey looked at her sidelong, smiling.
“And then me,” she agreed, but she couldn’t help but return his smile. His face looked better that way, younger, and she was surprised to find that he had dimples. “It’s been a while for me, too.”
“The war?” he asked sympathetically. “Your people grow really good tea.”
“The war, among other things. But now…”
“Now we have tea and honey,” he teased, “and beautiful sunrises.”
“I guess we can think of it as a mandatory holiday,” she joked.
This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/37622.html. You can comment here or there.
From dailyprompt: “ancient fertility rite.”
Warning: implied sexual violence. Also? Weird. Written in 15 minutes on Write-or-Die, with distractions.
“Come on, Jen,” Isaiah coaxed, tugging her hand, trying to urge her up the strangely symmetrical hill. “It’s an ancient fertility rite.”
“Do you really think we need fertility?” she complained, even as she gave in to his tugging. The path seemed to spiral the hill, though it looked, upon closer inspection, to be circular paths joined by short stairways. Everything looked ancient, like Isaiah’s mythical fertility rite, and yet nothing was falling down, the stairs were level, the paths smooth.
“Well, we’ve been trying,” he pointed out, “and trying, and trying…”
It had only been three months, but, instead of getting into it (again), she put on her best teasing expression. “I thought you were having fun with the ‘trying, and trying, and trying?'” And, just in case he thought she was complaining, she added, “I know I was. Am… are we going to try again here?”
“Something like that.”
She eyed him thoughtfully; over the last four weeks, he had been getting increasingly weird, squirrely, hiding things from her. At first, she’d thought it was another woman, or that, since he’d been complaining so much, the “pressure” of having a baby. Not that there ought to be pressure; she was only twenty-four. Time was not exactly running out.
“Ise, let’s just go home, please?” she tried. “It looks like it’s going to storm any moment now.” The stairs were getting steeper, and this was a lot more real exercise than the treadmill at the complex’s gym.
“If we do it right, it will do more than storm,” he murmured. Really frightened now, Jen tried to pull away, but his grip was implacable, and he’d gotten to full-out yanking when she dug her feet in. “Come on, Jen, don’t get stupid now, of all times.”
“Of all times? Ise, what are you talking about?” She let him yank her to the top of the hill, where the conical shape leveled into a slight depression, with a smaller cone of stone protruding from the top. That obelisk was maybe six feet tall, if one could gauge from the height of the frightened girls tied to either side of it. “Isaiah!”
But he was throwing her down on the ground, on a spot where, from the way the ground was indented, others had done the same, and the storm was beginning to open up as he pushed her legs open. “I’m sorry, Jen,” he muttered, “but I really, really, need that baby now.”
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This is another one from a prompt; the story stands at over 5000 words and is maybe 2/3 done.
The phone call came as Jade was on her way to class. She thought about not answering it – she’d been late already twice this month, and Professor Tannenbaum was getting crankier than normal with her. Long-trained habit made her grab the phone as she danced to get her shoes on. It could, after all, be an emergency, even though it was almost always Taylor with a complaint or Riley with a demand.
“Talk to me,” she greeted whoever-it-was, as she executed a hop-skip maneuver to get her second shoe buckled. Two minutes until she had to be out the door…
“Jade, it’s your mother.” Mom sounded more stressed, more strained, than Jade could ever remember her sounding, at least since… “I’m sorry, it’s time.”
“Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum.” The booming voice was louder this time. Closer? Coming her way? There’s always a way through. Holding tight to the straps of her backpack, Jade thought of Professor Tannenbaum choking on a cigarette and walked boldly forward.
“Fee… oh, there you are, little thing.” If the ceiling had still been there, he would have had his head through it, and possibly through the ceiling of the floor above. His legs were like tree trunks, and he only barely fit in the hallway at all; he was standing in the T-intersection with one huge foot facing Jade and the other out of sight. She could have used his shoe as, if not a rowboat, at least a coracle. His thighs, at her eye level, were bare and very hairy, easily as wide around as her waist. And those knees, with wrinkles like a dessert landscape, were coming closer to her as he crouched down.
This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/31596.html. You can comment here or there.
This is the beginning of a piece from way back on the B prompts. There’s a few I’ve got hanging out there unfinished, and I thought I’d start to share snippits
Lara woke slowly, fighting off a muzzy feeling, like a hangover without the pain. Her bed was warm and soft and comfortable, three things she didn’t remember her apartment being, the last time she’d been there. She felt like she was engulfed in feathers, which felt very nice, but seemed a little strange, nothing like her cheap polyfill comforter. And she was, under the blankets, completely nude.
She struggled into wakefulness. Where was she? She’d fallen asleep any number of places, some of them nude, but none of them had been this comfortable on waking. Or this fuzzy. She opened her eyes, hesitantly, bracing against the light.
And then blinked hard, again and again, and tugged the comforter up to her chin. She was in a library? It looked that way, at least. Books everywhere, dark wood shelves and spines of old leather like a literary rainbow, floors looking like marble, the whole thing reeking of age and expense and literary cachet. The place had to be huge. And here she was, naked in a pile of duvets. Naked and alone, in a very comfortable pile of duvets, with no clothes anywhere in sight. There wasn’t even anything she could use as clothes, except the blankets themselves; there were books, and a long gold chain trailing off across the floor, leading off in one direction between two bookcases, and in the other seeming to head into the duvets. Suddenly suspicious, Lara wiggled down to the foot of the makeshift bed, and grabbed the chain with both hands.
This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/30517.html. You can comment here or there.
Things were getting hot on land, so they took to the water: they stole a small pleasure yacht from an unguarded marina and vanished into the ocean before their pursuers could catch up.
The sea was cruel, but they were fast, and when they couldn’t beat her, they could trick her. She tried to kill them with her wild waves and sharp winds, but they clung to her back, like a cowboy on a bull. She bucked and kicked, but they held tight; in the end, she gave them what they’d come for.
Their pursuers never found them. Nobody did.
Part One: Plans
They hadn’t been meant to hear the news about Little Svon-on-Taba; they hadn’t been intended to be out of their rooms at all when the messenger came. Evanika and Orma were, as they had spent most of their childhoods and into what were nominally their adult years, grounded the week the messenger showed up. But, with a trait that had probably contributed to their state of perpetual confinement, they didn’t let a little thing like maternal disapproval (or the even-less-likely paternal censure) get in the way of their adventures.
So they had been in the back of the Emperor’s receiving room, anonymous among their cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and assorted other dozens of royal relatives, and conveniently camouflaged from discovery by Cousin Illavania’s immense feathered concoction of a hat, when the messenger, hastily cleaned up but still looking very much of the road, battered and scruffy and missing buttons on his jacket, bowed low and impatiently before His Eminence.
“We have found Little Svon-on-Taba, sire,” he’d announced eagerly, with an air of great importance emanating from him. The room had seemed less impressed with his announcement than he himself was, however; he’d gotten only a few gasps and quite a bit of murmured confusion.
Evanika and Orma had been just as lost as the rest of their family, but the Emperor had seemed intrigued enough that, when they’d retreated to Eva’s room, barely dodging detection by their father, they had immediately begun plans to discover more.
It had taken them over a week to research and prepare, their pace slowed by the necessity of hiding from their parents not only their plans, but the fact that they were working together on anything at all more complicated than eating dessert. All the while, several levels away in the huge castle warrens, the Emperor’s exploratory team made their own preparations.
They had to get there first; that was a given. Once they’d discovered what the story was behind Little Svon-on-Tabe, there had been no question if they were going; it became a matter, simply, of how.
Their older brother Iai provided the primary “how,” all unwitting; flitting from project to project in what appeared to be a family trait, he had put aside an small airship three-quarters of the way through building it because of a terminal flaw in the rudder design; he could not get the boat to properly detect nor navigate the air currents without making it too heavy for its air bladders to lift. In the mountainous ridged landscape of northern Callenia, the winds could easily be deadly for a ship with such a flaw; the ponderous, lumbering passenger air barges stuck to the valleys and lowlands, travelling, in many cases, the same paths as the river boats.
Making the boat steer itself was beyond the capabilities of either Orma or Eva, as it had been beyond Iai’s (Eva had held out some hope; together, the two of them could often outwit any one older relative). Eva had found a way to make the steering function manually, however, with the addition of two winglike appendages to the sides of the vessel to serve in lieu of a keel.
Orma had come up with the pièce de résistance, however, for their little expedition: spectacles, the metal-framed sort with the leather side guards that airship pilots wore to protect their eyes, but to these he’d attached a set of interchangeable lenses, pivoting from the sides up or down, to be looked through or not in whatever combination the wearer chose.
The lenses had taken most of the week and a few discrete calling-ins of favors on Orma’s part, while Eva designed and fabricated the wing-fins. Each individual lens, etched with the proper symbols and made of tinted glass, allowed the wearer to see into a different spectrum of what scientists, poo-pooing millennia of religious study, were now calling the aether. With the spectacles and Evanika’s new steering system, they could see the air flows and ride them, like riding the surf in a small sailboat. They could get to Little Svon-on-Taba faster in their tiny, swift aircraft thus than any river boat (going against current as it would have to) or plodding air barge could hope to.
With the questions of transportation and navigation out of the way, provisioning took only a few midnight trips out. They had done this enough times to know exactly what to swipe (and the castle staff, it seemed, had gotten used to their escapades; most of what they needed was already tidily packaged for them and waiting in their common hidey-holes); by the time they’d finished the fabrication of their tools, the ship was packed and ready to fly.
The maps had been the hardest; the castle librarian had gotten in some trouble over one or three of their earlier adventures, and, as such, was disinclined to help them or even let them into her domain. The closest city librarian was of a similar inclination, for similar reasons. They had to sneak all the way down to the West Quarter, a neighborhood that had been, in the days when their research was set, a very fine, up-and-coming place, and was now the sort of place where young royals should probably not be without an armed guard or three.
The very fact that no-one expected there to be royals in the West Quarter (combined with a bit of cleverness in the nicknames they used for each other and in their manner of dress) got them in and out of there safely, with the Allesely-dynasty-era maps of Little Svon-on-Taba, the Taba River, and Large Svon-on-Taba tucked away in Orma’s map case.
Two night before the Emperor’s exploratory party was even ready to leave, the pair floated their improved ship out of Iai’s launch bay. It moved perfectly, even loaded with supplies; the spectacles were amazing; they were actually doing it! Adventure awaited!
The ship glided a few lengths from the castle and jerked to a stop.
There will be more! I promise! But once I got to a stopping point at exactly 1000 words, I liked it so much I had to post it!
The prompts theme for January is (drumroll please):
(Based on the results of this poll and this call for ideas).
Re-imagine steampunk. Not just gears and brass, corsets and goggles, what can I do with steampunk? Where can the steam and the sci-fi go that it hasn’t gone before?
I’m looking for writing prompts for short stories, and, if you want to challenge me more, a specific word count greater than 99 but less than 3500. Can’t promise all will be written but what I can say is that, if I write a short story off your prompt, you will get a copy of it even if it is not posted for general consumption.
I’ll post one or two free stories off each call for prompts and offer the rest for sponsorship until or unless they’re submitted for publication
For stories written from previous prompts, see the summary post
This is a list of stories & poems written form my calls for prompts, and from external prompt sites:
All Green Dots, a flash fiction from daHob’s prompt
Down by the River, a flash fiction on the dangers of nature.
Relics, a story of Rin & Girey/Reiassan, 1100 words, sponsor for $22 $10 sponsored, $12 to go
Bridged, the “sequel” to Relics, 1100 words, sponsor for $10 if Relics is fully sponsored.
It Always Hurts, 1400 words from the lyrics of “the Holly and the Ivy,” sponsor for $28
Ways and/or Means
Holding the Ways, a microfiction of an unconventional funeral, 350 words. Sponsor for $7
The Old Path, from ellenmillion‘s prompt “the Old Ways” and eseme‘s prompt “…discovering old overgrown [ways].” 4100 words, sponsor for $75
Labyrinth, still in progress, from clare_dragonfly‘s prompt “the path the the labyrinth” & eseme‘s prompt of “bartering.”
Beginning with B
Life Packages, from clare_dragonfly‘s prompt Babies, boxes, breasts, and bombs.
The Trouble With Bongong Island, from Inventrix’s prompt “Bananas, Bifurcation, Belittling Bohemian butterflies.” 2111 words draft gentlemen adventurer tale, sponsor (edited and cleaned) for $45
Keeping the Gods, a story of the fae apoc, from Shutsumon’s prompt “bacchanal, barbarocracy,bathykolpian.” 1500 words of cautionary fantasy, Submitted to Writer’s Digest Shorts Competition
Friday Flash: The Intern, an erotic flash fiction from from eponymousarchon‘s prompt “Bonking! Buggery, Butter, Bananas”
Starts with A
Avarice – From haikujaguar‘s prompt “Avarice. Anemia. And maybe… appetite.” 1038 words, a story of mixed appetites and dovetailing greed. Sponsor for $30
Afghans for Aliens, a flash fiction sci-fi
Arizona, a poem
Point of View, a story of Rin & Girey
Sunday at the Grove – From clare_dragonfly ‘s prompt, this is a tender story of mourning and passing on. 900 words. Sponsor for $25
Switch, a story of Fae Apoc
How does Sponsoring work?
For semi-pro rates, stories run a bit more money than poems. This is my prototype sponsoring program. You can:
- Throw money in the general pool. When there’s enough to sponsor a story, I’ll put it up for a general vote.
- Micro-fund a specific story: donate any amount of money towards a specific story. I’ll post that it’s $Xx towards being completely funded.
- Sponsor a whole story. If you sponsor a story, I will immediately post it on my blog for everyone to see, with your name or that of a dedicatee if you wish; plus you get a nonexclusive publication right, so you can post it on your own blog or elsewhere as long as you keep the credits intact. (Some phrasing from YsabetWordsmith’s Poetry Fishbowl).
Carry On Tuesday
Flying – erotic flash fiction
Packed Up, a story of Rin & Girey
Crossing into Lannamer, a story of Rin and Girey
Flattery, an erotic flash fiction set in the fae Apoc universe
Little White Horses, from this & Daughters of Clio, a story of faeapoc
The Deep Inks
Walled Flowers, a story of fae apoc
In the Dirt
Revived, a story of the Stranded World, 2556 words. Sponsor for $50
Curriculum, fae apoc & Lady Alouetta’s Garden
Daughters of Clio
Skill & Dreams, a story of Reiassan, the Rin & Girey universe
A Myth of Reiassan
Recruiting, a short story possibly in the Stranded ‘verse
Community Lines,a short story of Autumn & her brother Winter
Little White Horses a story of fae apoc