Tag Archive | time-apocalypse

Down in the Dark

For clare_dragonfly‘s prompt


We knew it was coming before it came.

That wasn’t prescience; ask anyone and they’ll tell you we have no fae in our group. Just a bunch of kids.

But our city was one of the last to get hit. I guess nobody wanted to claim to be god of Detroit (To be honest, this is what told me they weren’t like, real gods, or American-Gods gods. Detroit has deities. Ask anyone). So by the time the false gods started showing up, we all knew what was going to happen, and we were at least somewhat prepared.

Anyone who had a place to go, who could afford it, who had a way to leave, they’d already left. That left us. We couldn’t leave, our stupid rental was right in the monster’s path, and even if we had cars or bus fare, we had no-where to go.

On the other hand, we knew the stinking underbelly of this city like nobody’s business. So we packed up everything we could afford, and, when the faker gods finally showed up in Detroit, we went down. Into the sewers. Down into the forgotten passageways. Into the place where there had almost been a subway. Into the tunnels.

And there we have remained ever… okay, I can’t keep up the melodrama anymore. Yeah, we live down here. Not in the sewer proper, no. I mean, shit still rolls downhill, and people up there, what few there are left, still use their toilets. No, we’re over here, in what used to be a maintenance tunnel. We come up and scrounge in the daylight, and then, when the monsters are out, we come back down here.

It’s not much of a life, I’ll admit, but it’s a life, and it’s getting better every year. And we survived, which is more than anyone said we would, even before the war.

Not bad for a bunch of drop-outs and burn-outs, eh?


This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/249572.html. You can comment here or there.

‘Ware Fairy Gifts

For kelkyag‘s prompt.

Thanks to @DaHob for brainstorming help on this one!)


Tom looked at the knife the girl had given him, if you could call it a knife. He didn’t look long; there was a monster in front of him. There had been a lot of monsters in front of him lately, since the – well, since whatever the hell had happened. The gates or something, the gods, they called themselves, the dragons and monsters pouring into the world.

“Kneel,” the monster snarled. Its breath stank of carrion, and its hands were dripping with blood. The other truckers were dead around Tom, or dying, and all he had was a wooden knife.

Three Months Past

The girl looked terrified. Tom couldn’t blame her; she was being cornered by three sleazy college-boy types who were, it sounded like, offering her all sorts of rides. From the bag she was carrying – bags, he corrected – she wasn’t looking for that sort of ride. And from the looks of her, delicate in feature, wide-eyed, and a bit fae – yes, she had pointed ears, sticking out of hair that was faintly green in hue – she might need a little help.

Tom wasn’t much of a fighter, but his size usually did him where skill didn’t. He lumbered over to help.

Five minutes earlier

“I am the God of the North Wind.” The creature’s voice reached them before he did, echoing through the parking lot. “I am the monster of your nightmares. Serve me or die.”

“Fuck that shit,” George rumbled, and loaded his shotgun.

“Fuck all these freaks.” The truckers prepared for battle.

Three Months Past

“Can I help you, miss?” Tom asked, in his deep bullfrog voice, the one his second wife had called the Don’t Fuck With This Guy tone.

“She’s fine, gramps,” Boy Number One sneered. “She’ll be fine with us.”

“Just fine,” Number Two chuckled. “Besides, you know how the fairy freaks are, anyway. She doesn’t need your help.”

“She might need a priest, though,” Number Three added helpfully. He had a knife, Tom noted. They probably all did.

“I think what she needs,” he rumbled, “is a ride. Am I right, miss?”

“A ride,” she agreed, her voice quavering. “Thank you.”

Three Minutes earlier

The creature ripped through George and Martin, their bullets seeming to do nothing more than irritate it. It looked, Tom thought, like a cross between Swamp Thing and an octopus, snarling “Kneel.”

“Fuck you,” Jake yelled, and emptied his shotgun into the thing. The thing, howling, clawed Jake’s belly open.

Three Months Past

“I told you, she’s fine, old man. Move along.” Number One brandished the knife. “Move. Along.”

“I think she’s coming with me,” he answered, letting his voice get hard. “Right, sweetheart?” He thrust an arm between Two and Three and took the girl’s outstretched hand. “You boys run along.”

Number One did not want to be stopped. He grabbed the girl by the shoulders. “The little fairy freak is coming with us.”

Tom sighed. He didn’t like fighting. “She’s coming with me,” he repeated, and punched Number One in the nose. The girl escaped in the startled spray of blood.


One Minute earlier

Jake was bleeding out. George was dead, and Clyde – you couldn’t live without a head. Martin was in bad shape; so were Liz and Little Mike. The guns weren’t doing anything. The fire seemed to hurt it some, but the flame-thrower had died. Tom was the only one still standing.

Three Months Past

“Thanks,” the girl murmured. “I’m Ner.”

“Tom. Nice to meet you.” He helped her into the cab of his truck. “Where you going?”

“Anywhere else?” She smiled wryly. “West and South, preferably. As far as you’re willing to take me.”

“I’m going to Minneapolis.”

“Sounds great.”

“I’ve, ah, got a hat…” he offered, tapping his own ear.

“Ack!” She frowned. “That’s been happening more and more lately. Something’s going wrong.” She concentrated, and looked normal, blonde, round-eared. “Better?”

“More human.”

The drive was nicer for her company, and it was with some reluctance that Tom let her out in Minneapolis. She smiled shyly at him, checked her ears, and offered a long wooden dirk. “Things are getting weird,” she murmured. “Weirder than me. This might help.”

How a wooden play knife would help, he didn’t know, but Tom said “thank you” just the same, and hung it behind his seat.


Nothing else had worked. Tom looked at the long knife the girl had given him, ducked under three tentacles and a pile of seaweed, and jammed the knife somewhere that looked vital.

As the monster screamed, writhing in death throes, Tom chuckled, and stabbed it again. ‘Ware fairy gifts, indeed!


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First Planting

From clare_dragonfly‘s prompt: “Fae-apoc: the first planting.” Fae Apoc, clearly. Hob, I swear I got Dree from your name. (It’s actually Adriana Moreau, “dark one/little dark.” Um, she’s a bit dark. 😉


Dree surveyed the ruins of the city with a critical eye. Most of the people had left when the gods started fighting overhead. Of those who hadn’t, most had trucked out when the power plant had gone offline, or when the food stopped coming in. Dree and her small crew had lasted through that by building their fence up the moment trouble started, boarding up their windows when things got really bad, and moving into a nearby apartment building when the fires ruined their old neighborhood.

The winter had been hard, and they’d done their share of covert cheating to keep alive. The building hadn’t originally had a chimney, but who was left that knew that? A city of over a million now had maybe three hundred inhabitants, a good third of those refugees from larger nearby cities who hadn’t made it any further. They knew each other, their tiny conclave, only by what they chose to share, and, in Dree’s case, as in many others, that was precious little.

They’d made it through the winter on willpower, burnt furniture, and canned goods, but now the frost was gone, and something you could call spring was here. The yard near the apartment building had been a museum, once, and, inside, some art, mostly statues, still remained. But what mattered to them right now was the long stretch of ground which had been unplowed, mowed, fertilized, and well-tended for over a century.

They peeled off the sod, Dree and her crew and their team of fellow refugees, plowed up the lush, fertile soil, and planted scrounged seed after seed, watering with hoses and cans stolen from the houses of the dead and gone, muttering Workings when there were no humans to see.

Like the seeds, they had landed in a small corner of hospitable land in the midst of a burned-out wasteland. Like the seeds, they would grow and flourish. Like the seeds, they would live.


This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/75333.html. You can comment here or there.

15 Minute Ficlet – Building

From Ty’s prompt here, check out the picture!

They were building it anew.

There hadn’t been much left after the devastation, and the city they’d lived in had been a stinking, rotten, fetid ruin. Better to leave it to the dead and dying, better to leave the diseases to work their course. Those of them who could walk, who could carry a pack, who wanted to live, had banded together and headed for the hills.

They had among them a surprising number of skills for “city people,” and just as surprising, to them, were their gaps in knowledge, vast holes that the city, that civilization had filled in. but they had what their ancestors had had, in spades: a strong desire to keep living, and a willingness to innovate.

They didn’t all have a willingness to work hard, but those who didn’t either fell by the wayside, or found ways to work “smart,” to reinvent old technology quickly, and to steal or jury-rig what they couldn’t just make.

They were on an old tor, where thousands of years ago, castles had risen from the ground. The castles were gone, victims of age, victims of the same devastation that had ruined the city, but the things that had made the tor a good place to build a castle were still there: fresh water, a view for miles in every direction, and stone. Stone and stone and stone. They grew tired of looking at stone, of carrying stone, of cutting stone. Their hands were covered in so much dust that they might as well be stone. They dreamed of stone.

But they dreamed in safety, behind sturdy walls that grew sturdier and safer every day; they dreamed with full bellies, their food supplies growing from hunting and gardening and plain old scrounging; they dreamed in a growing community, in a world they were building for themselves:

Their dreams were of stacking stone; but their hopes were of stacking knowledge.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/21335.html. You can comment here or there.

Discovery Channel

From Wystie’s prompt to the August 9th call for prompts – “Exotic, erotic, and/or exogenous”


The halls of the internment camp – voluntary relocation center – were nearly empty. In the first couple weeks here, they’d been full and bouncing, as people, antsy in the confined space, a repurposed abandoned high school building, had wandered from room to room, visiting, meeting new people, just looking for an excuse to get out of their barracks.

As the days (“This will only be for a little while, until we get back on our feet.”) wore on to weeks (“People are scared right now; this is for your own protection, you understand”) and now were flipping over to months (“Just keep your head down. Here. Plant a garden. Do something useful.”), the air of frenzied activity had faded. The excitement of the new, however terrifying and strange, had waned.

Now people stayed, listless, in their barracks, and moved, listlessly, to the meal hall for their bland and unsatisfying meals. They had allowed themselves to be trapped here, for the sake of frightened humanity. They had built the cage themselves, to show that they were not the threat that the others were. And now they milled like cattle, waiting for the slaughter.

“Hey, Synthie.” The chipper voice interrupted Cynthia’s morose musings. Only a few people called her that obnoxious nickname, and only one of them was here, in the voluntary relocation center with her, so she didn’t bother looking any direction but up.

“Hey, Airhead.” Aaron was dangling upside down from one of the HVAC conduits, his favorite style of travel. “You’re going to freak the guards out again.”

“Let them freak. They want to treat us like animals, I’m gonna act like an animal.” His tail flipped down to trail in her face. “Have fun with it. I mean, we’re stuck in this dump through no fault of our own; are we supposed to just lay down and die?”

“I’m pretty sure that’s what they want. Or stay quiet long enough that they can just brick us up in here.” The Cask of Amontillado probably hadn’t been the best bedtime reading, but there was only so much available in the former school’s library.

“Bah, we’ll get out when enough of us are ready to leave. They don’t know enough about us to really keep up locked up effectively.”

“They seem to be doing a good enough job so far.”

“Everyone who’s here came voluntarily. You heard what happened with the prison they tried to set up.” He wiggled his tail temptingly in her face. “Come on up, Synthie. Stop worrying so much.”

She tugged lightly on the offending tail. “Unlike you, I don’t stick to the ceiling.”

“Oh, you know you can get up here. You’re just worried about the guards.”

“As you should be,” she retorted, more sharply than she really wanted to. “They get rough when they’re nervous.”

“They’re always nervous.” And they were always rough. And they weren’t going to get any better, were they?

“You have a point.” She reached for a shadow, found a nice set of them up above the conduits, and slowly wove them into a net around the pipes.

“I always have a point. That’s my job, to be as pointy as inhumanly possible.” He swayed cheerfully.

“No, that’s Sarah, over in the Science section. She has those spikes…”

“Ah, but I have the pointiest mind.”

“Pointy-headed, I’ll give you.” She pulled herself up towards the ceiling with her net of shadows. “Do you care about anything, Aaron?”

“What, just because I’m not sitting around fretting and waiting to die? Of course I do.”

“Yeah?” She braided a few dark, dusty shadows into a swing, and hung a few feet from him. Upside-down, his face was more expressive. “Like what?”

“Like this place. Like being treated like animals. Like the war going on outside.”

She shook her head in exasperation. “You’re just parroting my worries back at me.”

“Hey, just because I don’t wander around with a storm cloud hanging over my head…”

“That’s just my shadows, Airhead.”

“…wander around moping like a miserable moppet, doesn’t mean I don’t have worries.”

“And you deal with them by hanging from the ceiling.”

“What, your way is any better?” He had a point, but she didn’t want to say that, so she settled for not answering at all. “Look, we’re trapped in a cage. We’re treated like interesting but potentially really dangerous animals. I’ve even seen some cameras tucked up in the rafters here, where they don’t expect us to go.”

So had Cynthia. The ones she’d found didn’t work anymore. “So you’ve said. Cages. Animals.” It was all so very dreary.

His upside-down leer lit up the gloom suddenly. “So why not make like the Discovery Channel?”

Next in this sub-setting: Invisibles.