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.

My commission rates are here (and on LJ); you can tip (tips go in a general pool to sponsor longer stories, voted on monthly), sponsor an already-written story, or commission a story to be written. Or you can become a Patreon Patron and unlock even more fiction!

aldersprig: (Lyn Calenyena)
They stared at the treaty, at the blank signature line that made this entire thing so much stranger.  “But…” Taikie wrinkled her brow.  “Why would they go to all this effort to hide a treaty that wasn’t signed?  I mean, a little of it here, a little of it –”

“Shhh,” Saydrie hissed.  Taikie fell

Read on:
aldersprig: (Cooking)
(Xposted from Twitter)

The problem I'm facing as I look at "I want to and physically need to lose weight, stat," is that there is very little I find as pleasurable and/or as comforting as food, specifically, sugar and fat, so all my relaxation/comfort is based around food and/or sloth. I have no self-stress-relief (Except walking) or self-reward that doesn't involve either curling up and doing nothing or eating or both.

And yes, Feast Day is not the best day to be thinking about it.

But I want to lose 4 lbs by Jan 1st and 10 by Mar 1, 20 by June 1st... So I need to DO something.
And I don't know how to make myself STICK to it.

I wonder if I could use Habitaca (sp?) just for that...

Edited to add:

Things I am going to do include - Going back on weight watchers (the old system). And using a spreadsheet so I can play with numbers. I like playing with numbers.
Giving myself different goals. Goals I can measure quickly - like points in/exercise out - and then weight goals.
Going back to stepping on the scale every day. Every. Single. Day. And writing it down.
Starting Sunday.
aldersprig: wedding pic (wed)
It's Thanksgiving day in America, and so I ask the indulgence of my international friends while I give thanks.

I am, as always, grateful for my husband. I'm grateful for good friends and for loving family.

I'm grateful for modern medicine, for the internet, for running water and electricity and microwaves and food processors, without which cooking today's feast would be much more time-consuming & difficult.

I'm grateful for Terry Pratchett, may his name always be spoken, and Robert Heinlein, may he find his way home, for Jim Butcher and Elizabeth Bear, CS Lewis and Lewis Carroll and J.K. Rowling... and Tom Baker.

I'm grateful for public libraries and school libraries and Mrs. Thayer, who didn't know what to do with me so sent me to the library. I'm grateful for Mr. Lynd, who put up with me, and every teacher and professor who made the effort.

And I am grateful for readers, for people who seem to enjoy my stories, so that I can keep telling them.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends.
aldersprig: (goatie goat)
The goats in Reiassan come in at least as many types as goats do in ours, with a wider range of sizes and a higher top end in height and girth.  A riding goat can be any of several different breeds, selected for strength or dexterity, coloration or horn shape or disposition.  They’re still goats, s

Read on:
aldersprig: (Lyn Calenyena)
Enrie waited, holding very still.  Saydrie flipped a page, then another page, and then, as far as she could tell from the movement of his shoulders, flipped them back again. Enrie stole a glance at Taikie; she was watching Saydrie, her lips pressed together as if either holding in words or holding

Read on:
aldersprig: (Lyn Calenyena)
The Bitrani history section was in the back of the third floor of the library, shelved in between ancient crafts and poetry.  Whoever had most recently organized the library had taken advantage of an architectural anomaly, likely the result of one of the additions to the building throughout the

Read on:
aldersprig: (Tairiekie)
It's time for an Interlude again!

I think I'm only going to do one this time - just an informational bit.

Anything about Reiassan you'd like to read about?
aldersprig: (Lyn Calenyena)
Enrie had thought it would be difficult to lost Riensin after dinner.  He was so interested in what they were up to lately – or whatever his motivations were, he was following them around.

But it turned out Kekdela and Tesdes had other plans.  They each wrapped an arm around Riensin and tugged h

Read on:
aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
Guys, I have 1200 words of commissions on my to-write plan for this month, and no commissions to write!

(and we all know I like to stick to the plan, don't we...)

Every have something you really wanted to see me write?

Or something left you saying "More, Please!"

Now's the time!

My commission rate is 2¢/word, with a minimum commission of $4/200 words.

There's normally a discount over $20 to $5/300 words or 5/3¢ ($0.01667) a word, which means that a $20 commission will get you the 1200 words mentioned in my target goal.

If you commission all 1200 words in my to-write, I'll cut you a small discount and give you 1200 words for $18. That's $0.015/word!

Got an idea? Leave a comment here or e-mail me at thornealder/gmail.
Got some money? Here's the Paypal link :-)

200-word Commission Slots Open:
1. chanter_greenie
2. chanter_greenie
3. chanter_greenie
aldersprig: (Lyn Calenyena)
“Hey guys, where’d you go? After… Philosophy?”  Riensin plopped down between Enrie and Taikie at the dinner table.  “I got, uh, distracted talking to Instructor Dainanan.”

“Oh, is that where you went?” Kekdela set herself down across from Riensin – right up against Saydrie – and Tesdes sat down

Read on:
aldersprig: Into Lannamer: Their voyage will take them further than they expected. (Into Lannamer)
First line of the ...6th of November
“No. If I’m lucky, you might be half as useful and twice as noisy.”

Last line of the 14th
But what I’m saying is, if I’m not rank to take a captive home, neither are you, trefoil.”

I've written 7830 words on Into Lannamer and 25,210 words total this month.

Urm... remember how I wasn't doing Nano?

I'm still not. Really. Um. Honestly.
aldersprig: (Cali)
A legend of Tír na Cali

“I know it’s awful, darling, but there are reasons for every law.”

Bóinn’s mother sat behind her, brushing her hair, although the Lady Almha was a Baroness had had better things to do with her time than soothe her grown daughter’s wounded pride. Bóinn felt a little ashamed for that, and more than a little pleased that her mother was taking the time, and a little ashamed about that in turn, so she sat and listened where she might not have done so, otherwise. “Reasons?” she coaxed.

(read on...)

For just $1/month you can read all the Patreon stories!

For $5/month you can prompt each month AND give feedback into the Patreon serial!
aldersprig: (Reid)
Content warnings all in the title

The boy was crying in the back seat.

He'd tried swearing and begging for a while. When that had gotten tiresome, Andy had applied a gag. That had been two hours ago. He'd muttered and complained and cursed his way through the next hour, but he could see out the window, even if the sun was almost set. He could see they were going nowhere good.

He had held out a long time before the tears came. He wasn't too old - maybe nineteen, probably not old enough to drink legally. His beard was still weedy although he'd made the clever decision not to grow a mustache; his cheeks were still young-looking and he had no wrinkles. If Andy had been hunting for traditional reasons, he would have been a perfect specimen.

For what Andy was looking for, the boy was equally perfect, but that had more to do with location and the ability to get him into the car.
Read more... )
aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
Written to [ profile] jeriendhal's prompt and set very early in the Faerie Apocalypse, maybe late 2012.

"Seriously, Ann?" Ted let his eyes trail over the concoction of leather and rags in front of him and the corresponding leather and rags set in two piles in front of him. "There was a major war. That's all." He picked up the shirt-like item, which looked like it had been mistakenly rescued from the rag bin, or possibly from a mechanic's back pocket. "Sure, things fell to crap. That doesn't mean we have to dress like extras from a Mad Max movie."

"Hear me out."

Ann and Ladry had been Ted's crewmates back in Addergoole. They'd shared a room - and a few other things - for a couple years, but once they'd graduated, they'd split.

He'd woken up a week ago to find Landry on his doorstep, and this morning Ann had appeared, carrying duffle bags in which, it appeared, she'd stashed the entire costume department of several post-apoaclyptic movies.

Some part of Ted, some part of him that didn't want to think too hard about this whole thing, acknowledged that in an outfit that was more straps than shirt, Ann looked really good. Better than she had in school. Better than she had when they'd first met, on the plane, back when there were planes. Better than she'd looked that one time he saw her in college.
Read more... )
aldersprig: (Lyn Calenyena)
“…And, Enerenarie, what would you say was the most important part of the aether channeling by biologic entities?”  Instructor Kaasmasik stopped in front of Enrie’s desk for the fourth time; they were barely a quarter of the way into the class.  “What does it mean, most importantly, that, say, a wea

Read on:
aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
First: A Rescue of Sorts
Previous: A Rescue In Kind

Esha was not quite locked in her room, but Daxton had to coax his way past three maids and a very very burly valet. Once there, he found her surrounded by three seamstresses and one milliner, all of them draping her in yards of lace and satin.

She was plucking at it helplessly. “This is… This is lovely. But it’s so expensive, and I don’t know how I’m going to move in any of it.” She hadn’t quite noticed Daxton yet. He stayed quiet and watched.

“You’re not supposed to move. You’re supposed to glide quietly down the center aisle and then stand, lovely, staring into your groom’s eyes.” The head dressmaker tch’d. “There are princesses that would kill for a dress like this.”

“The problem is that I’m not a princess. I’m a soldier.”

“I’m aware.” She squeezed Esha’s bicep rather more firmly than Daxton thought was necessary. “It’s making all sorts of difficulties in fitting you.”

“What if you tried to fit her?” Daxton stepped forward and took a sketch pad from an unresisting junior dressmaker.

“That’s what I just said. And what are you doing here?”

“No, no. Fit the dress to the bride. I’m not marrying her because she can glide nicely, after all.” He studied Esha for a moment, then sketched out a few lines on the paper. “Like this. A dress. Silk and lace. But a bit of white leather here, and then here, like a sword belt. She earned her title and her sword. Far more than I did, and there’s supposed to be one in my uniform. Let her carry them.”
He passed the sketch over to Esha before the dressmaker could snatch it, and was graced with a slow smile creeping across her face.

“Oh,” she said, pleased, “I’m keeping you.”

“That was the deal.” Daxton leaned against the wall and grinned. He was already managing to rescue her, and he’d just gotten here.
aldersprig: (Science!)
Something I'll enjoy.
Established setting or new setting
Est. characters or new characters.
I'll see what I can do.
aldersprig: (lynSnow)
“And up on that peak, that’s where the great dragon lives.” The Mayor of Mount Pleasant gestured upwards for her visitor. “You can see her outline there, on that ridge. She circles three times around the peak, there, there, and there.”

His visitor eyed her with some skepticism... (read on...)

For just $1/month, you can read all the Patreon stories!
For $5/month you can prompt me AND vote on the serial topic!
aldersprig: (Lyn Calenyena)
Taikie was looking shocked.  Enrie didn’t blame her; she felt as if she’d fallen off the side of a mountain and she had, in one way or another, been watching this fall coming for quite a while.

Saydrie looked like he’d pushed them both.  Enrie took his hand carefully.  “Saydrie, I’m going to rem

Read on:
aldersprig: (Syadaia)
Written about Empress Otyeriotanerio, Enrie's great-great-great grandmother, who is mentioned in Edally Academy: The Missing Treaty. Or, at least, her robes are.

Otyerio tched at the piled layers of her formal robes. "I will not miss these. Robes are lovely. But when we've allowed them to become tents and shackles all in one," she shook her head. "We've gone too far."

She let her gaze trail over her gathered sons and grandsons. "I'd suggest one of you put your foot down. When it's decided which foot will be be doing the putting."

They shifted, some uncomfortably, some impatiently. Seven of them. Seven left who could qualify to take her throne. Her youngest son cleared his throat.

"Mother, you don't know that this is your last festival. You could be with us for many years to come."

"Oh, Edrinon, and disappoint Antonnon and Acadadar? They're already sick of waiting for an old woman to die. And besides." She looked in the long mirror at herself. Her braids, gone from silver to white in the last couple years, trailed in two simple plaits to her thighs. Her face was etched with too many years of debating and arguing, too many years of stomping her foot and standing patiently through festivals and parades. "There is a time to be done. And there hasn't been a good battle in so long... in so long none of you were born when last I got to swing a sword at someone."

"It's a time of peace, Mother."

She noted that, while Edrinon was still trying to talk her into staying alive longer, Antonnon and Acadadar were in no way trying to disavow their ambition. Good for them. You had to want the throne, or it would devour you.

"It's a time of peace," Empress Otyeriotanerio agreed. She held still while her maid slid on the first layer of her festival garments over the soft embroidered under-tunic. "And that means it's time for a Peace Emperor, and time for the War Empress to get a well-deserved rest."
aldersprig: (Doorway to Clouds)
Chapter One

"I've been delegated to ask what the four of you think you're doing." Mr. Richardson, the school's guidance counselor, looked more than a little amused as he stared at them over folded hands. "So: what, exactly, do the four of you think you're doing?"

What they had been doing was sorting out life here on earth at the same time as they tried to prepare themselves for their next adventure. It hadn't occurred to them that the staff of their school would notice. They stared at Mr. Richardson, attempting to slot a staff that paid attention into their plans.

Barbara recovered first, if weakly. "College?" she tried. "College entrance reports."

"It was you, I believe, who told me three months ago that you couldn't give a fig about college, that it was years away. And after that you, Clarence, added that 'who knew if you'd get to college anyway,' which seemed more than a bit fatalistic for such bright children, I might add." His bushy eyebrows went up. "So something has changed. I repeat: what are you doing?"

Ralph sat up a bit straighter. "There comes a time when the doors of childhood slam shut in your face and you must face adulthood, whether or not you're ready." Ralph had spent five years as a troubador, and his turn of phrase brought him no end of romantic attention - when he was in a body which could grow a beard and had a voice which didn't still sound like a girl's. "We're simply stepping forward as adults now. Which requires some preparation."
Read more... )
aldersprig: (Doorway to Clouds)
"It's all your fault!"

They were fourteen - except Ralph, who had always been the baby of the group and was just turning thirteen - when the portal into Ombrion stopped opening for them.

They had known it was coming. Only children could enter Ombrion through the portals. And for the past year, the openings had been rarer and rarer. Two months had passed when the four of them huddled around the door in the old abandoned school library and called out toVerdana, who had guided them. They lit the candles, even though they knew the candles weren't necessary. They wished on the fullness of the moon, all of it the way they had the first time.

The gates stayed closed. Verdana did not answer. And to all of them, the gates felt more sealed, more dead, than they ever had before.

"It's got to be you." Clarence glared at Barbara. "With your..." He flapped his hand in vague disgust.

She sneered back at him, uninterested in his squeamishness. "What about you? With your voice changing, with all the squeaking through the calling there?"
Read more... )
aldersprig: (Lyn Calenyena)
Saydrie swallowed.  His eyes seemed to skim over both of them, settling on the mountains out over their shoulders.

“The Bitrani folk song.  The piece about Bithrain still being a nation.  All of that is part of a set of lore that we’re supposed to have forgotten.  It was actually part of the dea...

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aldersprig: (Stormclouds)
"My Father is going to hear about this!"

He knew how he sounded. He knew exactly what they thought when he turned his back and stomped off.

The sycophants, they would think his father, yes. And his mother. They have the power, and that much power might rub off on us.

The Other Side, The Enemy, they would think what a prissy little ponce. But they would know that his father and mother had power that they weren't ready, yet, to cross.

And the ones that didn't care either way, the ones who were very determinedly Team No Hat, they would think what a loud little bitch and go on looking for power in some other way, some way that didn't mean being For or Against the Young Dragon's family.

He watched that all flicker across their faces, even as he wished he could cram the words back down his own throat. My father will hear about this. What stupid child said things like that?

He counted to three silently. Dragons did not take things back. Dragons did not ever concede that the power of the family wasn't all-important and all-encompassing. "Unless..."

Dragons did not say unless. They didn't bargain.

He met her eyes. Her. The Enemy. The born daughter of everything his family stood against. "Unless, daughter of the Leviathan, you'd care to settle this right here?" He lifted his left hand in a post of magic and challenge.

She watched his hand as if it were a strange object. A beat passed. Another A third. "Don't be foolish, young dragon. The leviathan do not duel."

She left him hanging just long enough that he was ready to gather up his pride and stomp off again. And then she smiled.

She smiled, daughter of the sea and all things cold and unforgiving, daughter of the Leviathan. "But if you'd like... Taranis... we might settle this over a deck of cards and a pint of beer."

The Leviathan and the Dragon did not drink together. The son of the dragon raised his eyebrows in perfectly patrician surprise.

"Let's," he agreed, surprising not only the crowed that surrounded them, that always surrounded them when they fought, but himself and perhaps the daughter of the Leviathan as well. "Tomorrow at 8, at the Crooked Rooster." He picked out of the crowd one of those who determinedly didn't care. "Perry of the Lion. Bring a deck of cards, would you?"

It got a laugh. And when he looked back at Levina of the Leviathan, she was grinning at him.

The son of the Dragon decided his father didn't need to hear about this one just yet.

If this sounds like a certain school with a certain blonde bratchild and some other certain people just a bit here and there, I blame this version of Fall Out Boy's Centuries and what happens when you let youtube have its head after that.
aldersprig: a woman's face and neck, a chain wrapped round her neck (kinkbingo)
Content includes insinuated rough sex and manipulation.

Read more... )
aldersprig: (Evangaline)
Evangaline was making chocolate fudge for the high school holiday bake sale.

In a normal house, in a normal family, this would be a nice, sane, normal activity.

In a normal house she probably wouldn't be using her great-grandmother's recipe, written out on an old index card, likely by her grandmother or her mother. Or she might, but she might not be using her great-great-aunt's measuring spoons, the ones that had a tendency to yell at you when you were going to put in too much of just about anything.

And if she hadn't been using her great-grandmother's recipe, she wouldn't have been grinding cinnamon sticks and dried cayenne peppers by hand, nor what she have been putting in a tiny drop of devil's tears or the shake of pixie dust.

Her family's fudge always sold out, no matter how many trays they made. "It just makes the holidays more magical," Mrs. Steinberg down the street liked to say, with a wink and a laugh that suggested she, too, kept her great-grandmother's recipes wrapped in silk and boxed in ivory and ironwood.

Evangaline always made sure to get an extra helping of Mrs. Steinberg's chocolate babka, too. It made the holidays feel... proper.

And maybe a little bit more magical.
aldersprig: (Lyn Calenyena)
It could endanger my whole enclave.  The words hung in the air for a moment.  Enrie swallowed.  Her parents were Diplomats.  She’d seen some of what could happen if an uprising were suspected.  They’d tried to shelter her, but she’d heard rumors, and she’d snuck out on occasion – on more than a few

Read on:
aldersprig: Into Lannamer: Their voyage will take them further than they expected. (Into Lannamer)
First line of yesterday, Into Lannamer:
He sat back and glared at her. “You want to disguise me.”

Last line of yesterday, Into Lannamer:
He’d have to pay closer attention if he didn’t want to get caught in the middle of escaping.

290 words yesterday on Into Lannamer, bringing the total to 3582

Total of 2673 words yesterday, bringing the total to 10,258.
aldersprig: (AylaWorried)
It was 2111, and Regine was using Powerpoint.

She found that amusing.

Certainly, computer programming was not a skill in high circulation at the moment - it seemed limited to a few sad enclaves still trying to hold on to the old world - and so there were few new options. But more than that, it was such a Grigori thing to do, to use antiquated technology decades past its prime.

Regine hoped there were Grigori in the audience young enough - or flexible enough - to appreciate the humor in this. She was going to need every advantage she could get today.

She did not clear her throat; it would considered an unnecessary and thus useless gesture by this crowd. Instead she stilled her posture and waited for silence.

"I am here today to state unequivocally that the terms 'pure-blooded', 'half-breed', and 'Faded' are outdated terms based on an archaic understanding and, as such, should immediately be dropped out of usage by Grigori."
Read more... )

Open to more properly scientific terms for "The Jamian Point" and "space-shapers and time-movers"
aldersprig: (City)
The thing is, our town isn't that big. It's a city, technically, yeah, but the next city away is an hour in any direction, and most of those aren't very big either. So the mall is the only real shopping around except Wal-Mart and Main Street, which is to say, the only real shopping at all.

Or at least, it was...

read on...

For just $1/month, you can read all the Patreon stories!
For $5/month you can prompt me AND vote on the serial topic!
aldersprig: (BookGlasses)
I was thinking the other day (while passing the Friends of the Library book sale building), that many people advise getting your book out there by donating it to libraries, which is problematic - library donations often just end up at book sales like that (and then sometimes in dumpsters from there); libraries have limited space and the books they keep on their shelves are curated, and so on. There is a five-post guest article on this in my archives - and scroll down a couple posts - by [ profile] eseme.


Little Free Libraries have none of that, including a budget. If you had a map of their libraries in your area and a stack of your books, you could seed them throughout the area. Road trip and slide 'em in on the way. Like very map-based suburban/urban geocaching? "Oh, we're going to be in boston, let's check out their little free libraries while we're there."

...I need a book to drop off at the local LFL.
aldersprig: (Lyn Calenyena)
Saydrie looked at Taikie and Enrie with a look so worried and so desperate, it made Enrie’s chest clench and her throat tighten.  She nodded slowly.  “We trust you, Sayrie.  I promise I won’t doubt you.”

“I – I trust you.”  Taikie sounded less certain, but she had been the one following Saydrie

Read on:
aldersprig: Into Lannamer: Their voyage will take them further than they expected. (Into Lannamer)
First line of today, Into Lannamer:
He gaped at her. “I want to go home. I’m the-”

Last line of today, Into Lannamer:
“It’s like throwing a blanket over a goat and pretending it’s a table. But if you add enough blankets, even a goat-herder might be fooled.”

628 words today, 3292 words running total on Into Lannamer.

A grand total of 1,283 words today, bringing the total to 7,585.
aldersprig: Into Lannamer: Their voyage will take them further than they expected. (Into Lannamer)
First line of yesterday, Into Lannamer:
It was a good choice

Last line of yesterday, Into Lannamer:
She settled cross-legged with her knees nearly touching his, so that she, at least, didn’t need to raise her voice.

808 words yesterday, 2664 words running total on Into Lannamer.

A grand total of 1,655 words yesterday, bringing the total to 6,302. Whee!
aldersprig: (Alexa)
There were people waiting for them when Alexa opened the door.

It was certainly not the first time that had happened. They'd run into hostiles a time or two, scientists on one memorable occasion, and there had been the time the door had opened into someone's bathroom.

(If Door-hopping ever became a proper mode of exploration, there would have to be some sort of note sent around about remodeling.)

But this time they opened the door into an attic and two children, one snatching her hand back as if she'd been about to open the same door. They were dressed in school uniforms; the boy had a black eye and the girl two scraped knees. They were, not surprisingly, staring at the team.

"You are most definitely not Aslan." The girl had a working-class London accent and a very withering glare.

Alexa opened her mouth, momentarily at a loss for a reply.
Read more... )

Facets of Dusk has a landing page here
aldersprig: (Lyn Calenyena)
“Instructor Dainanan!”  Riensin stepped out of the doorway into the hallway and caught their Textiles Instructor by the arm.  “I was hoping to catch you.  I have a question about the Oonezhoonet-Era embroidery you were discussing yesterday in class.”

“Oh?”  Instructor Dainanan was easily flatter

Read on:
aldersprig: Into Lannamer: Their voyage will take them further than they expected. (Into Lannamer)
First line of today, Into Lannamer:
“The remaining army will need translators and, mm, cultural interpreters.”

Last line of today, Into Lannamer:
... or risk his own life by starting to complain again.

803 words yesterday, 1856 words running total on Into Lannamer.

A grand total of 1531 words yesterday, bringing the total to 4647. Whee!
aldersprig: (Taslin)
The woman who bought Saffron had sat behind a screen for the questioning and auction process. She had insisted Saffron be blindfolded once purchased and bound, wrists to thighs, so there was no chance of messing with the blindfold as she led Saffron by the arm to her home.

Thus, Saffron had very little to go on. Her voice was smooth and sweet, her laughter easy and not so unkind as some. Her diction was easy to understand, her words simple, not the convoluted mess many inner circle people spoke. And she lived close enough to the auction center to walk home, which meant she was either in the Second circle or very close of the walls in either First or Third.

Most importantly, she owned Saffron now. She'd bought the contract, and for the next ten years, Saffron would be her Servitor, to do whatever she wished, whatever she commanded.

"Stairs," she murmured. They were the first words she'd spoken since leaving the auction hall. Saffron let a shin hit the first stair and climbed up carefully, trying not to lean on the woman. "Just a couple more. There."

Was she going to leave the blindfold on forever? The inner circles had some odd habits, Saffron had heard. The Flow changed them, the way it changed everyone, but some people said that the Inner circles were more twisted, far further from normal than the outer circles. Was she afraid he would freak out? Afraid he couldn’t handle her? It was far too late for any of that now.

“And here. And a few steps.” She steered Saffron down a hallway, or what could be assumed to be a hallway at least. A door opened. “Here, sit.”

Saffron sat. There was a chair there, soft and cozy. From the sounds of things, the woman sat as well.

“Saffron Techon. Normally by the time people get to four syllables, they’ve picked a gender for at least one of them.”

Saffron coughed. “Hadn’t decided yet.”

“Well, I suppose that’s a sort of decision in itself. Tell me, Saffron, why did you decide to become a Servus?”

Saffron’s gesture was cut short by the chains. “Like this, I wouldn’t survive long out on the Tenth Circle. Too skinny, too weak.”

“Mmm.” Her tone of voice suggested she agreed with that assessment. “And do you think, then, that the Second Circle will be that much safer for you?” There was danger in her voice that hadn’t been there before.

The blindfold was suddenly a shield, suddenly all that stood between Saffron and terror. A swallow did nothing to clear the lump in Saffron’s throat. “Ma’am?”

If only running was an option.

The Circled Plain has a landing page here


aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (Default)

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