aldersprig: a close up of an alder leaf (Leaf)

"Because everything is better with the end of the world."


Welcome! Below you can find hundreds - thousands, really - of posts, many of them fiction.

I write a lot - much in established universes, some in one-off settings. Much of what I write ends up here. In addition, you'll find homesteading blogging, the occasional crafts-and-clothing post, and journals of my wine-tourism of New York State.

Here (and here on Livejournal) you'll find an index of my universes. Each 'verse has its own landing page with an index of stories within.

Find all of my writing links on lynthornealder.com.

A loose posting schedule (and on LJ) covers weekly recurring posts; other things are posted as the mood hits.

My commission rates are here (and on LJ); you can drop a dollar or two in the tip jar or commission a story to be written. Or you can become a Patreon Patron and unlock even more fiction! This is everything I've written for Patreon to date!

Enjoy!

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aldersprig: (luke)
So. This came about because of a roleplay conversation between Leo and Luke, sometime… a couple few decades after Coverleaf is built, so in like the 70s, 80s cohorts, IIRC.

But I think it’ll happen in any timeline eventually, once Luke realizes how many assumptions he’s been working on.


“I want you to tell me about being Kept.” Luke had, although he’d deny it if ever asked, practiced that line until it no longer sounded stupid. “What you remember the most, what you hated, anything you liked.”

The student — Denny, a boy born for cy’Linden if there ever had been one, never mind that his mother was cy’Valerian and his father sy’Ginger — raised his eyebrows at LUke. “Do I have to?”

“Your Mentor asked you to cooperate,” Luke reminded him. He would notlet himself get baited. The cy’Linden kids knew how easy it was, and it was practically a sport for them.

Denny had to be thinking the same thing. “Is this punishment for… that thing with the water balloons?”
Read more... )
aldersprig: (lock and key)
After M/m Keeper/Kept and Keeper’s Interview and Needs a Title. Also needs a title.

There was a moment where Ctirad thought that he’d given the wrong answer, that Sir was going to be irritated with him or, worse, dismissive. Then the arms around him shifted until a hand was patting his shoulder. “You know, Ermenrich sold you far too cheaply. You’re a treasure.”

The praise filled him with warmth, the way it always did. Ctirad let himself stay as he was, leaned against Sir’s chest. It was nice, while it lasted. And it was a drug, but it wasn’t a drug he had any control over, so there was no point in worrying about it. “I’m glad you approve, Sir.”

“All right. Keep your eyes closed, and I’m going to lead you out to my car. It’s not that far from here. Tell - no. Can you tell me something about yourself, while we walk?”

Sir moved until his arm was around Ctirad’s waist, and, feeling daring, Ctirad moved his own arm lightly around Sir’s waist. “Well.” He coughed, a little amused despite the situation. “I’m not straight. And I knew that before I got collared. But there’s uh. Something different about it when you’re not pretending for anyone but your Owner, you know?”
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aldersprig: (Marked)
MARKED - 5.11

“Let me take you down to the school doctor. You shouldn’t be walking too much on that ankle, even with a little repair work, and your familiar isn’t big enough to be much help, any more than mine is.” She flapped her hand at Ember. “Don’t glare at me like that, you. You’re a perfectly good familiar, I’m sure, and if you got her away from that tree, well, good for you. That’s being a very good familiar. Still doesn’t mean you can carry her.”

Ember looked away, muttering incoherently in Nilien’s mind. Nilien, in turn, stifled a giggle.

read on...
aldersprig: an ancient-looking world map (map)
March is Worldbuilding Month! Leave me a question about any of my worlds, and I will do my best to answer it! (I need more questions, guys)
🌏
This ninth one is from [twitter.com profile] medicmsh3141: What’s your favorite part of mapmaking?


Oh, no, favorites!


…All of it?

Okay, so when I was working on my first-ever Nanowrimo novel, The Deep Inks, one of the flaws in that book is that I spent like… 3 chapters describing an entirely-useless-to-plot town that the antagonists had built… I don’t even remember why.

But I LOVED that town.
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aldersprig: (BookGlasses)
Written to [twitter.com profile] Midnight_Blaze_'s prompt

“It is an amulet of good.” The woman behind the counter smiled with not nearly enough teeth.

“Good… luck? Good… looks? Good wealth?” Opal raised her eyebrows in question.

“Good.” The woman nodded. “It is of good.” Her accent was thick and seemed to wander around the globe. Her skin was more wrinkle than smooth, more age spot than whatever her original tone had been, and her hair was thin and curly.

And the amulet was $4. Opal paid it out of her pocket and left the remaining $1 in the jar for Children with… something. The label had long since faded. “Have a good day,” she told the woman.

“Good.” The woman nodded firmly at her. “Have good.”

A man on the street smiled at her, so Opal smiled back. She strolled down the street whistling, the amulet tucked neatly under her shirt, and so she did not see how it was glowing - or how the man she smiled at seemed to float a little; how the woman she held the door for seemed to brighten up, how the clerk in the candy store was whistling, too, after she left.
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aldersprig: (Marked)
MARKED - 5.10

“Nilien!” The professor hurried out of her office and held out her hand. “What happened?”

Nilien took the hand the professor offered and limped carefully into her office. “I had a bit of a run-in with a tree, professor. Ember and I were out in the forest; we wanted to coax out the person who put the tracking spells on me so Lorque and Riva could pull a counter-prank on her. I hope they’re fine, because it wasn’t her out in the forest.” She bit her lip. “Well, we were out there, and someone tried to knock a tree on top of me. I don’t know who it was, but it wasn’t Heldira. She’s the one we found,” she explained, “who put the tracking spells on me.”

“Spells?” The professor looked sharply at her.

read on...
aldersprig: (AldersGrove)
After New kid moves in next door

There were four tall people in the family and one short one, a child, all of them tanned and with their hair unruly and sun-bleached. The tallest one was staring right at Sinclar and Ainsley, looking through the leaves of the potted plant at them.

He raised his eyebrows, smirked, and crossed the distance between their “stoops,” as Ainsley’s parents insisted on calling that little tiled area outside each apartment.

“You’re the Nessons, right? The Biddles are on the other side…?” Up close, he was very tall, but looked not that much older than Sinclair.

Ainsley squeaked. Her sister saved her. “We’re the Nessons. The Biddles have two boys and a very young daughter.” She nodded her head in a polite greeting. “I’m Sinclair Nesson, and this is my sister Ainsley.”

“I’m Ted Jendrock.” He thrust out a hand to them, and then, seeing their confused faces, “what, people don’t shake hands in this place?”
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aldersprig: a red-heded freckled girl, smiling (Autumn)
March is Worldbuilding Month! Leave me a question about any of my worlds, and I will do my best to answer it!
🌏
This eighth one is from [personal profile] sauergeek: You have storytellers in at least three universes: Autumn in Stranded, Tanakae in Calepurn, and Rosaria in Aunt Family. Am I missing others? How do their styles overlap, and how do they differ? What are their goals in storytelling? (Lotsa questions!)


Ooh! I probably do have other storytellers, because I like the trope of the storyteller. I like telling stories within the confines of the story, for one - some day I hope to do an at-least-triple-nested story, like Arabian Nights. Maybe for Camp Nano in July~

Autumn tells stories for two reasons: One, because she is a small-change artist, and engaging your audience by telling stories is a very good way to get their attention and interest them in buying. As a Neil Gaiman story I just read says, people don’t buy the art, they buy the story. (Paraphrase). Two, because she is a dancer on the strands of life, and she has found that sometimes a story is the best way to engage someone, to get them to heal their own strand damage, to create their own connections.
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aldersprig: (Cya Surprise)
After Cya gets ready for a date and Almost Out the Door for a Date and Trying Again and Blind Dateand Catching Up and Getting to (re-)Know him
and Also Needs a Title
.

Cya reached over the table and tapped Manus on the top of the head. “Okay. Rule one. No pouty faces in public.”

“I thought rule one was ‘don’t attack you?’”

“That’s rule one for Kept. This is rule one for boyfriends.”

“Oh, so there’s a completely different - wait, what?”

Cya waited a moment for him to catch up, one eyebrow raised in her best teacher face. A moment later, he smirked slowly. He always had been one of her smarter Kept.
Read more... )
aldersprig: (AylaWorried)
Chapter 5: Leofric
by Inspector Caracal


Thursday, September 14, 2000

Leofric squinted one eye, the other still buried in his pillow, and peered through his hair at the digital clock across the room. A seven, a five, a one... which blinked over into a two as he watched. Seven fifty two.

First period started at eight o'clock.

“Shit!” In a flurry of limbs, blonde hair and blankets, Leofric scrambled out of bed and hastily threw on clothes — shirt, change of pants, socks that don't match but who cares, one shoe — and spent a good minute frantically searching for his other shoe. No time to brush his teeth; if he made it out of the labyrinthine dormitory level in only five minutes, he'd be lucky.


read on...
aldersprig: (Marked)
MARKED - 5.9

“I think…” Nilien considered for a minute. “Professor Vaudelle, please? She’s been very helpful.”

“Professor Vaudelle it is. It’s a longer walk,” Thesri warned. “Are you up to it? If I had to, I could go get her, but that leaves you sitting in a public place looking like you had an argument with a garden rake and lost.”

read on...
aldersprig: (Beekeeper)
First: A beginning of a story which obnoxiously cuts off just before the description,
Previous: In Which There are Second Thoughts - and Third.

🐝

Her eyes were closed. He liked that; it let him watch her face. Her hands were on him like she was trying to pin him down - who was he kidding? She could pin him down without any hands at all - and her expression was somewhere else, somewhere reaching for bliss.

He brushed his lips against hers, then kissed her properly. He was on his back, and she was on top of him and…

He closed his eyes and stopped thinking for a while. She was moving above him and that was, for the moment, all that mattered.
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aldersprig: (Cya Surprise)
After Cya gets ready for a date and Almost Out the Door for a Date and Trying Again and Blind Dateand Catching Up and Getting to (re-)Know him.

Cya looked at Manus over her water. The waitress was hovering nearby; she gestured the woman over and placed her order, let Manus place his. She ordered wine from the local vineyard because she was proud of it (and because there wasn’t that much other wine to be had, although she’d recently opened up trade with a place a couple days’ travel away). He ordered whisky.

“You get why I built it?”

“I thought I knew back then. I mean, it pisses Regine right off. The school, especially. Kids that go from your school to her school - oh, it makes her mad.” He grinned in that way that shared in the schadenfreude of Regine’s anger.

She smiled back, because she had been trying to piss Regine off, although it had been a tertiary goal.

“But I mean, that’s the school. You could’ve built a shell around it and called it good, but you have like a whole nation here.” He sipped his water. “I get it now. I didn’t, then.”

“Yeah.” She looked out the window. There was a park behind the restaurant, and through a decorative screen of ivy, she could see kids playing. “I wanted to build safety.”

“That’s pretty cool, you know.” He cleared his throat. “So. Warwick, he said you were looking for someone to date. I don’t remember… well, you didn’t date before, did you? I guess I might have missed it…

“I didn’t,” she confirmed. “This is, well. It’s a new thing.”

“And… you probably weren’t looking for old Kept.” He looked down at the table.
aldersprig: (lock and key)
After M/m Keeper/Kept and Keeper’s Interview. Needs a title.

“How long did Ermenrich Keep you? No. Wrong question. How long have you been under a collar?”

Ctirad thought about it. “It’s twenty-ten?”

“June, twenty ten,” Timaios - better get used to thinking of him as Sir, it would make it easier later - Sir confirmed.

“Six years, sir. Ermenrich had me for four.”

“Mmm. Asshole. Him, not you,” he clarified. “I imagine I won’t know for quite a while if you’re going to turn out to be an asshole.”

“I’ve been called one before, sir.” Was he supposed to be one? That would be new.
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aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
First: Funeral
Previous: Funeral: Silence’s Inheritance.


Muirgen was still being handled by the security men; they had her in a corner and one of them was speaking very quietly to her. Senga ignored that situation as firmly as she could. Muirgen would not forgive her for having seen her in a foolish state, any more than she’d forgive Senga for having gotten something she wanted.

If today went as typical, Muirgen and Eavan would probably blame her for Muirgen’s loss of her inheritance. That was on par with their normal behavior around Senga or any of the other cousins who weren’t them.

She’d worry about that later. Right now, she had more important things on her mind.

She looked around; he’d only been gone a few moments before she stepped out of the office. Where had he gotten to? Had he left? She resisted the urge to swear. If he didn’t hold up his end of the bargain, he was going to leave her in a pretty precarious position. He’d need to be here after the reading. Otherwise… well. It was going to be a mess.
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aldersprig: (lock and key)
After M/m Keeper/Kept

“All right. Now… can you lean against me a little bit, let me hold your weight? Like that, yes. You were left kneeling too long, and you may be trained, but I know for a fact training goes out the window when you’re panicking. So. My name is Timaios, and Ermenrich wanted something from me that I didn’t particularly want to give up. That means you’re mine now.”

“I’m yours. Sir.” Ctirad’s voice was a raw rumble. He wasn’t trying to modify it; he wasn’t even sure he should. Ermenrich had wanted… but what Ermenrich had wanted didn’t matter anymore. He hadn’t wanted Ctirad.

From the chuckle from behind him, it seemed like he’d probably made the right choice. “Yes. All right. So what you need to know about me. I’m a businessman - no, you can stay there, lean. Let your legs rest for a bit. So. I know you’re nervous, but I want to know who it is I just bought.”
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Next: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1282537.html

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aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
I've written a lot of little stuff as I fight all these bushes...

What should I work on continuing next?

By request, now with the ability to chose up to half the list.


Poll #18098 Continuation!
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 11


What Story(-ies) Should I Continue?

View Answers

New Kid Moves In Next Door
1 (9.1%)

Cya’s Date
4 (36.4%)

The Trouble with Chickens...
5 (45.5%)

Bridges in Walls (Sturdy Walls)
3 (27.3%)

M/m Keeper/kept
5 (45.5%)

Black Thumb
5 (45.5%)

Stone: After some Aftermath
7 (63.6%)

Feral Kitties (Fancy Dressed Kitties)
4 (36.4%)

Happy Girl/Girl with Magic...
2 (18.2%)

Funeral: Silence’s Inheritance
7 (63.6%)

Lady Taisiya and her First Husband Discuss
2 (18.2%)

The Uncle re. an Aunt
5 (45.5%)

Cat’s Mystery (Aunt Family)
5 (45.5%)

Working out the Kinks
1 (9.1%)

Well, You See, It Seemed Reasonable (heron Cop)
2 (18.2%)

Didn’t Have if Too Bad (Rats, Fae Apoc)
1 (9.1%)

Hazards of Sisters - a ficlet of Winter/Stranded
3 (27.3%)

Third Husband - a ficlet of Jaco
1 (9.1%)

Cuties - a ficlet of Doomsday
1 (9.1%)

Educational disagreements
1 (9.1%)

Other (below)
3 (27.3%)

aldersprig: (AldersGrove)
The apartment next door to Ainsley’s family’s home had been vacant since the Hawkings had left precipitously in the middle of the night, back when Ainsley was twelve. By this point, four years later, Ainsley and her sister Sinclair had started working on an application for the place. When they were both of age, they posited, they could move two or more mates in there easily enough, and still be close to their parents.

Now there were people moving in, moving in to their place.

“People don’t just move in.” Sinclair was staring at the wall between the two places. There wasn’t much noise - the Complex was well-engineered for many people in close proximity - but it felt like an invasion nonetheless. “Nobody moves in to the Complex.”

“Well,” Ainsley offered weakly. “Is it the Mccormicks? Their boys are just a couple years older than us - maybe they had the same idea.”
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🏨
Next: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1284350.html

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aldersprig: (Cya Surprise)
After Cya gets ready for a date and Almost Out the Door for a Date and Trying Again and Blind Dateand Catching Up.

Cya studied Manus thoughtfully. “You like Montana?”

“Let’s just say… I like what you’ve done with the place. I’m not old enough to remember Montana,” he admitted, “but I like the Cloverleaf region. You’re still here, though. When I was here, I thought maybe you’d move on.”

“I hope you’re not disappointed.” She struggled to keep anything out of her voice. Life had been easier, in a manner of speaking, when she just wasn’t feeling things.

“Oh, not at all.” He looked at her. “Something’s changed in you.” He flopped a hand. “Thirty years, a lot has changed, I’m sure. I’ve grown up, changed, I imagine you have too. But you’re a lot more animated.”

“I’ve been, ah. Learning a lot about myself.” She shrugged. “So you stuck around?”

“I worked for a caravan for a while. I’m pretty good as a guard, and there were trade caravans that were having trouble with bandits and Nedetakaei, wyverns and wolves. And that worked out fine, but when I talked a bandit out of attacking, he decided that I should be working for him for a while… so that was about four years.” He grinned, lopsided and not at all abashed. “Turns out I like working for people. I probably should’ve figured that bit out a while ago. But I didn’t like…” the smile slipped. “Well, I didn’t like what he was doing. So I moved on, which took some work, let me tell you. Did a few other things before I ended up with this judge-like gig. I like it.” He leaned back in his chair and looked at her. “I get why you built a city, now.”
aldersprig: (Science!)
“The trouble with chickens,” Professor Feltenner had written in her journal, “is that they don’t scale very well. And when they scale up, their instincts do not. They have been domesticated for far too long. What I need is a wild chicken, a chicken who has never been bred for tameness and domesticity. That, then, should be clever enough for what I need.”

Professor Feltenner’s travels into the jungles were the stuff of academic legend. It had become the very morbid joke around the university that if you did not like a student, it was a clever idea to get them to take Feltenner’s classes, because there was a very good chance she would then take them with her on one of her summertime or winter-break expeditions - and then there a very, very good chance that they would not return.

Professor Feltenner, on the other hand, always returned - even that last time, that fateful trip when she came back with one bedraggled grad student, two smallish cages, and a man named Gorvald she claimed to have found in the middle of the jungle. Since Gorvald’s accent spoke of the Rus and the far-Eastern mountain ranges, everyone at the university raised eyes at that - but Gorvald was good with the things in the cages, and someone needed to be. Gods above knew the poor grad student whimpered every time she saw so much as a feather.

“The trouble with chickens ought to be solved by working with a more pure specimen,” Professor Feltenner wrote in her journal. “Today, Gorvald and I begin the experiment on the junglefowl we have acquired. With luck, working from an enlarged junglefowl pair, we can begin breeding better and jucier meat with a much more sensible bird.”

The junglefowls’ thoughts on that were never properly recorded; once they had dealt with Professor Feltenner, they (with brains that scaled up, it seemed, much better than their domestic counterparts’) opened the doors to the lab and fled, taking several carriage-sized domestic fowl with them. You could hear their cries late at night in the forests near the University, and the professors had a new way to rid themselves of difficult students.
aldersprig: (Gremlin)
After Sturdy Walls

The Tinies had appointed an ambassador to come speak to Anne. Said ambassador had a beard nearly to his feet, was wearing a very sharp bottle-cap hat with trimmings of what looked like gold wire and the ribbon she’d misplaced, and had a quiet voice that nevertheless was somehow very hard to ignore.

“I am Yeg-Tren-Opar, and I am the elder of this family.” He sat down politely in the small cushion Anne provided - the lining from a jewelry box that had come with some familial present last year. “You present to us an interesting conundrum, and as you seem sensible, we thought we would share that conundrum with you in turn.”

“I’m willing to hear your conundrum,” she offered as formally as possible. She was talking to tiny people. Some part of her brain was squealing with that. Tiny. People. Who lived, it appeared, in the wall behind her kitchen.

“You are, as far as we can tell, a human.”
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aldersprig: (Marked)
MARKED - 5.8

Nilien tested her weight on her ankle and barely managed to stifle a gasp. “…Yes, please. If it’s not out of your way?”

“Oh, come on, I can help you. See, this is where the bigger familiars really come in handy.” Thesri whistled, a high-pitched series of notes that seemed to carry over the field. A moment later, a peach-hued mountain goat came trotting towards them. “It’s not big enough to carry you, but if you lean on Liltivere here and then I’ll support you on the other side.”

Liltivere sounded familiar, but it took Nilien a moment to place where: Mt. Liltivere, the tallest peak in the Empire. “…You named your goat after a mountain?” Nilien smiled. “That’s beautiful.”

read on...
aldersprig: (lock and key)
Ctirad knelt.

He ducked his head down low and folded his hands behind his back. He wasn’t really looking at anything.

His Keeper had sold him. He wasn’t supposed to have done that. It wasn’t against the Law, Ctirad supposed, but it was an awful feeling, that way his Keeper’s hand had brushed over his jaw, lingered, and then left. “The thing is,” Sir Ermenrich had purred, “you were a lot of fun when you were new and angry. But now I need to make a deal, and you were the best bargaining chip I had.”

So Ctirad knelt. His jaw was set. His hands were perfect. He was showing nothing, not a goddamned thing. And he was most definitely not falling apart inside.

“Rise.”

He hadn’t even heard anyone enter. He rose, like he was pulled up on strings, mortified to find his legs weren’t sure about holding him.

“Oh, easy there.” As he stumbled, he felt an arm around his waist, catching him, holding him up. “Easy, easy. Your legs fall asleep?”

The touch sent fire through him and long streaks of warm pleasure. Ctirad tried to focus on the facts and not the emotions. Someone was holding him up. Someone whose voice controlled him.

He turned to look, but found a hand in his hair, holding his head. “Not yet. Eyes forward or close your eyes, your choice. Were your legs asleep?”

Ctirad swallowed and closed his eyes. “Yes, sir. I know better, but… yes, sir.” He was not feeling any more sanguine about his situation.

Next: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1281793.html
aldersprig: (Cya Surprise)
After Cya gets ready for a date and Almost Out the Door for a Date and Trying Again and Blind Date.

“You look good.”

It was no surprise he was handsome, of course; for one, he was from Addergoole, where handsome was the norm, and for another, she’d picked him to be her Kept, which almost always meant that they fit within her two very specific types.

It wasn’t what she meant, in this case.

He smirked back at her and pretended to misunderstand. “Good genes.” He brushed away her response before she could say it. “I’ve been doing well. Doing good, too.” He ducked his head and grinned up at her through a sudden fringe of brown-black hair, a trick he’d excelled at thirty years ago and seemed to have been practicing. “Turns out your lessons stick.”
Read more... )
aldersprig: (Marked)
MARKED - 5.7

Even now that she knew where she was going and was on relatively smooth ground, Nilien found the walk very slow. Ember had wriggled down to the ground once they were in the sunlight, and now paced back and forth around Nilien in wide loops.

There is no scent of that person anywhere around here. Ember made “person” sound like the worst epithet it could hurl. There are many scents around here, of course, but they have not been here recently. It circled her again. Your ankle is swelling very unpleasantly.

“I noticed, thank you.” She gritted her teeth and kept walking. “It’s quite painful, too.”

read on...
aldersprig: a close up of an alder leaf (Leaf)
“Shit.” Consia flopped down by her failed garden. “I have a black thumb. I can’t keep anything alive.” She ran her fingers through dead leaves. “Carrots! The book said they were great for kids.

She wasn’t talking to anyone in particular - the cat didn’t care, and there was nobody else around. Her house had been isolated before everything ended; half her neighbors had died and the other half had fled. That left her and the cat. She was running out of food from her neighbors’ cupboards. “I’m going to die because I can’t grow a freaking carrot”

“You know, you could just come with us.”

That was not the cat. Consia rolled to her feet to face three men, the foremost of whom was leering at her. They weren’t skinny. That was the first thing she noticed. How in the names of a billion gods-like-rats were they not skinny when the world had ended?

The answers that came to mind seemed no more reassuring than the man’s smile.

“I’d like to stay here.”

“Well, we were going to take your food, but I guess we can’t do that. So we’ll take you instead, put you to some use. And if we can’t,” he leered, “then… Long pig gets tasty after a while.”

Consia stared at them. “Excuse me?” Her voice was steel; new, strange steel. Something was growing in her.

“I said, darling, we’re going to work you or eat you.”

“I thought so.” Not steel. Ironwood. She was standing, growing taller. “No. Go away.”

“Oh, darling, I don’t think-”

The vine that shot out of his mouth wasn’t a carrot, but it looked like it would bear fruit. Consia stretched; the yard, no, everything came to life.

The formerly-dead raspberry bush up front caught his friends. Consia glanced at the cat.

“Those are yours,” she told it. “I’m going to see to the carrots.”

Her thumbs were solid green. She figured that was a small price to pay.



Written to yesterday’s Thimbleful Thursday prompt & part of my fae apoc ‘verse
aldersprig: (Beekeeper)
First: A beginning of a story which obnoxiously cuts off just before the description,
Previous: In Which They Stop Kissing Long Enough to Talk.

🐝
She lay in her bed staring at the ceiling. As far as she could tell, Amrit was still asleep. His breathing was even and he made little noises, sometimes, that did not quite sound like speech.

He was warm next to her. It was a petty concern, but she liked it. He was warm — and it was stupid, but she was coming to trust him.

Not stupid, she argued with herself. He’d made promises. Oaths. He hadn’t had to do that. And here they were…

Here they were, in bed together. Warm together, although it would be months before that was a real necessity.
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aldersprig: (Marked)
MARKED - 5.6

Nilien caught her breath and pulled herself slowly to her feet. Her knees were scraped, and her left ankle felt as if there were knives poking into it.

She checked herself over quickly; other than the blood on her knees and the general disheveled state of her clothes, she seemed okay. There were a couple rips in her bloud and one in her skirt, her palms were chafed, and her ankle looked swollen already. But she was still alive.

read on...
aldersprig: (AylaSmile)
Chapter 4: Cynara
by Lyn Thorne-Alder


“Creepy.” Cynara stared at the barn, at the lift slowly lowering the Jeep, at the warehouse they were coming down into. “This is not exactly inspiring any confidence in this Adder’s Who—”

“Addergoole.” Luke Hunting-Hawk was not the most talkative of travel companions, and he clearly didn’t want to be out here hauling her in. He’d been wearing the same pissed-off since he showed up at the motel room door to collect her. “It’s the Addergoole School.”

read on…
aldersprig: (Beryl)
This comes after King(maker) Cake, King for a Day, After the Kinging, and Stone: Aftermath
👑
“Stay here.” Beryl had the bossiness of the family down to an art form, especially the way she seemed to have convinced herself that she wasn’t actually bossy. Stone would’ve been impressed, if she wasn’t his sister. His little sister.

“It’s my room.”

“Yep. Stay there anyway.”

“Not going anywhere.”

Their parents had dealt with having four children in an imbalance of genders in a three-bedroom house by splitting both kids’ bedrooms in half, so Stone’s room wasn’t exactly spacious, but it was his, and he guarded it as jealously as a king would his castle. Beryl - who wanted the same respect, and got it from him, at least - knocked and waited in the open doorway.
Read more... )

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aldersprig: a red-heded freckled girl, smiling (Autumn)
March is Worldbuilding Month! Leave me a question about any of my worlds, and I will do my best to answer it!
🌏
This seventh one is from [personal profile] inventrix:
Does everyone who does magic work with Strands? Corollary: if there are people who think they don’t, is it just like how Autumn uses ink - it’s their approach, not the fact that it’s different magic?

Also, what ARE Strands, anyway.


Okay!

So, in Stranded World, everyone who works magic is working with the Strands. Like Autumn and sometimes Summer, they don’t always directly manipulate the strands, and some of them don’t realize what they’re doing at all, but all magic involves manipulating or reading (or cutting, although I guess that’s a manipulation) the Strands.

So, yes, a psychic might be using tea leaves or a palm-reading, but what they are actually seeing is the way the Strands seem likely to move in the near future.

And the Strands are… the world.

Autumn sees primarily the Strands that are connections between people, because that’s her strong suit. She visualizes them as lines, and there are indeed Strands connecting people - love, hate, co-workers, family - everything that makes people touch and make a connection, even eyes meeting across a subway, causes some sort of strand.

They are the actions of people, too, past, current, and potential, streams of movement running through the world; they are the connections people make with things and things make with things.

Some philosophers haves suggested the whole world is just composed of Strands upon Strands. They may be right.
aldersprig: (Cali)
After Kitties and Fancy-Dressed Kitties

Rrian, the new assistant gardener for Lady Enasshi, found himself spending his off time looking at the other slaves on the estate.

Helena, the chatelaine, had a very subtle mod - she had cat eyes and slightly pointed, slightly tufted ears, and a slight change in the way she walked. To look at her move around the estate, you’d have thought she had been raised from day one to be a fine lady’s chatelaine.

And maybe she had, Rrian reminded himself. Not all moddies were made or raised by the Agency, the way he had.

Tabitha, the assistant chef, definitely had been. The way she handled a knife was terrifying. The way she looked at Rrian - now that was something.

He let her stalk him into the rear garden when he was off-duty, leaving enough of a trail that even a full human might have been able to find him. She didn’t need it. But he wanted to be sure she knew he was aiming to be followed.

She caught him by the fountain of Enasshi’s royal ancestor Tertia, pounced on him and knocked him to the ground. Rrian looked up at her and smiled.


“You were Agency,” she accused. She sniffed the sides of his neck. He bared his neck to her, because she was sharp.

“So were you.” He grinned at her, all sharp teeth. “And here we are.”

She settled back on her heels, straddling his thighs, looking at him. “So what do we do now?”

“Well… According to what the head gardener, the chatelaine, and our Lady herself has told me… on our time off? Anything we want.”

Snowed In

Mar. 16th, 2017 08:42 am
aldersprig: (blizzarded)
(Yes, I find it a little amusing that I have a “Blizzard” Icon. It’s from a setting!)

So, we spent the last two days snowed in, how about you?

The last time I can remember that a major storm was supposed to hit NY, with all of the bells and whistles and a name, was Sandy - the hurricane, which totally ignored Ithaca except some rain and went on to devastate NYC and New Jersey.

To be honest, I was expecting more of the same from Stella. Ithaca just doesn’t get snow most years, not like Rochester or Buffalo do (those giant inland seas dump a lot of snow on their cities…)

I figured I’d get up Tuesday morning and there’d still be grass visible.

As a matter of fact, when I woke up at 2 a.m. Tuesday morning, there still was grass visible.

Not so much by 6 a.m.

Definitely not so much by mid-day.
Read more... )
aldersprig: (Cya Surprise)
After Cya gets ready for a date and Almost Out the Door for a Date and Trying Again.


She had agreed to meet him in one of her favorite restaurants, in the back left corner booth. When she got there, she found herself staring.

By arrangement, she was wearing a dark red dress and a gold net in her hair. There was a man in a top hat in the suggested booth.

A familiar man.

The top hat had a red flower in the band; it was either her date or there was a series of coincidences too huge to be likely going on.

There were a lot of people who looked very similar, she reminded herself. One of their great-grandchildren was the spitting image of Leo’s half-brother Yngvi, for instance.

“Hello. I’m told that there’s geese flying south.”

The guard who had set them up had an amazing sense of the dramatic.

“Oh, but only in the… Cya?”

“Manus?” She sat down across the booth from him. “I thought it might be you. I didn’t know you were in town.”

“I wasn’t. That is, well.” He ducked his head. “I’ve been working in Neihart Mt., but Warwick, he travels there for the city. And he said he had a friend he thought I should meet....”

“He said something similar to me. Well…” Cya smiled crookedly. “It’s been a while. Twenty, thirty years…”

“Thirty-three, since you Kept me.”

“I was thinking since I’d seen you.”
aldersprig: (BookGlasses)
By Request.

“All right, so watch this.” Eglentyne was grinning broadly down at Ainslie, and Ainslie felt the urge to grin back up at her. This whole weekend had been like that, since Friday night. It was Sunday, and nothing had blown up yet.

Ainslie held her breath and hoped that lasted.

Eglentyne started chanting quietly.

Ainslie’s breath-holding got a little tense. Yes, this place was weird. Yes, Eglentyne had little doe’s ears sticking out from the sides of her head and, Ainslie now had cause to know, an adorable deer’s tail. With spots. But chanting?

“You’re not going to sacrifice me to something, are you? Only that guy in my math class looked awfully demonic after lunch on Friday....”

Eglentyne shook her head and kept chanting. Ainslie, for lack of something else to do, watched. She wasn’t ready to run away yet. She could do that if demons started coming out of the ceiling or something.

Eglentyne wrapped up the chanting with a flourish and a bow. “And.... up.”

“Up?” Ainslie gasped as she seemed to lift off the bed. “Tyne, what? What?

Eglentyne was floating a couple feet off the ground, swimming towards Ainslie. And Ainslie, who had been sprawled on Eglentyne’s bed, was now floating halfway to the ceiling.

“And now,” Eglentyne caught Ainslie’s leg and pulled her closer. “I get to show you what love is like in mid-air.”
aldersprig: (Marked)
MARKED - 5.5

Nilien took off running. She clutched Ember to her chest and sprinted away, as fast as she could go through the woods.

She bounced off a bush and kept going, feeling the thorns tear into her shirt. Someone had - no, it had to be an accident, right?

She didn’t care, she kept running. She couldn’t see the clearing when she looked behind her; couldn’t see anyone coming after her. She had to keep running.

read on...
aldersprig: (Cali)
After Kitties

Enasshi’s new assistant gardener tugged at the sleeves of his coat. “This is…” He coughed.

“It is,” agreed the head gardener, a fox moddie who was wearing breeches and nothing else. “The good news is, when you’re in the back yard, the gardens, or anywhere but the front yard or the public spaces, just wear the pants - and the shirt if you want it. The rest is for public places.”

The assistant gardener looked down at the pile of clothing in his arms. “So she knows we get it dirty, ‘cause there’s seven changes of clothes here. But there’s seven changes of clothes here. I think that costs more than she spent on me.”

“Let’s be honest.” The head gardener smirked. “She doesn’t spend all that much on us.”

The assistant gardener looked up, startled. “…Us?”

“Oh, come on, kid, you didn’t think you were the only one, did you? No, this is on purpose. Here, sit down, put those clothes down. Nobody does yard work at noon, anyway. No.” The head gardener tucked his tail around a stool as he sat down. “She found out about the moddies that don’t work out. ‘Unsuitable’ moddies. Don’t you dare tell anyone I told you, but Helena, the chatelaine, she was first. And after that - there’s not an unmodified staff member left in the house.”

“We’re… all ‘unsuitable?’” Suddenly the assistant gardener looked frightened. “But isn’t that dangerous?”
aldersprig: (Marked)
MARKED - 5.4

Nilien looked back at Ember. Who? she mouthed, uncertain if Ember would be able to understand her.

What do I look like? It smells like… well, nothing helpful. Like a human. Ember flicked its tail at Nilien in irritation. It is not the one who put the tracking spell on you. But it might have been following you.

Nilien bit her lip. She could try the “lost” line on someone else, but she was already likely to be getting a reputation as someone who had no sense of direction, in addition to being that oddity, a Wild Rune.

read on...
aldersprig: (Evangaline)
March is Worldbuilding Month! Leave me a question about any of my worlds, and I will do my best to answer it!
🌏
This third one is from [personal profile] kelkyag:
where did the American branch of the family, Carrie and Sarah, come from?

Okay, so I’d originally thought that the immigrated from Away, but I probably shouldn’t have named aunts I was thinking of as German Carrie and Sarah if that were the case.

Also, that doesn’t quite match with what I said to Rix.

So, let’s see.

Wikipedia says:

In the 1670s the first significant groups of German immigrants arrived in the British colonies, settling primarily in New York and Pennsylvania… Between 1820 and 1870 over seven and a half million German immigrants came to the United States

Since that story takes place in 1802, let’s say that the branch that thought of itself as the root branch came over to downstate NY in the late 1670’s.

That means there was an established branch downstate when Carrie and Sarah decided to come up north.

Which changes something - they may BE the root family, but they moved with no family at all. Were they part of a split; i.e., did they have the power of the family but were, say, the only children of an only surviving child? That would explain the move, too; if the power split off between them and another Aunt, a cousin.

So: Carrie and Sarah came from Downstate. *nods firmly*

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