Feb. 23rd, 2017

aldersprig: (tea3)
After Poise, to [personal profile] thnidu's commissioned continuation.

The question of was I poisoned was not as easy to answer as one might assume.

I did not, say, keel over (that is, turn my bottom over top) and die. But as I said, sometimes someone can poison your mind as well as just your body.

I knew I had what it took. My displays were perfect. My speech sounded unrehearsed and off-the-cuff and covered exactly everything I needed it to with no stuttering or humming or hawing. And the core product was sound. More than sound, it was brilliant and necessary.

But as I walked into that building - chin up, laptop bag in hand, looking like a million bucks and walking like I owned that place - I was secretly terrified. Five people had turned it down. Six of my friends had told me it was a long shot. Seven relatives had laughed in my face. To sum it up: I had been poisoned in my mind. I was ready, or I wanted to be ready, to make this presentation.

But was I ready? The doubts crowded onto the bus with me, shoved for a place in the elevator with me. I looked prepared. I looked proper. I looked prosperous. (Three more words that had no root in common, much to my surprise).

I was terrified.

I made my posture perfect. I smiled sweetly. I swallowed as if to bring more of that potion of poise into my body, into my mind.

I ran over all of my lines. I debated pertinent points sub-vocally. I told myself, once again, that my product was predestined to win this contact.

And in the back of my head, the poison continued to war with the potion. I was poised — but I was tainted by doubt. Two different sorts of weight were pulling at me.

The situation was grave, and it deserved gravity. Yet I found myself giggling. Here I was, pulling in two directions by the same thing — by a potion. By a great weight.

And that, my friends, was the lift I needed. The giggle, the laugh — the joke. By the time I left the elevator I had cut the strings weighing me to the criticism and doubt — if only temporarily, for those strings are very persistent — and I was buoyed up, walking on air, poised but yet no longer poisoned.

But had it even been poison? For if it had not been for that pun, I may not have been smiling, they might not have smiled, and the day might not have been won.

Funny things, potions and words, both.

🍹

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aldersprig: (Beryl)
The meme is here: Give me the names of two characters and I will tell you why character A loves character B.

Here is [personal profile] kelkyag's third prompt. Beryl and Stone are from the Aunt Family.


Beryl knew how most girls at school were with their big brothers.

In her opinion, much of that was because their big brothers were big jerks, but she had noticed that was the way family dynamics seemed to flow, outside of the Family.

(She made an informal study of such things, because she didn't really want to marry a cousin, should she end up marrying someone, and so she didn't want to be lost the way her father said he'd been, way back when.)

But Stone wasn't like that. Stone helped her with her homework, and, once, showed her how to cast a charm so her worst bully tripped over his feet every time he got close. And they talked about spellwork together, and she showed him secret tarot spreads and tricks with the tea leaves.

She told him Maddy Spinner was no good for him, too, but she was pretty sure any sister would've done that.

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aldersprig: (Marked)
MARKED - 4.2

Nilien smiled uncertainly at Professor Vaudelle. “Actually, Professor, speaking of that…”

“Yes, dear? I imagine Hestinger didn’t bring you all the way down here to pick out a treatise to read, at least not this early in your studies, did he? And it’s unlikely he’s testing your ability to not get lost in this place; he’s not the sort to do that.”

“He pointed out landmarks…” Professor Vaudelle’s logic was leaving Nilien a little lost. “So I don’t think he was trying to get me lost. No, he said you might be able to help with something about magic sight.”

read on...

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