aldersprig: (GIRAFFE!)
This was meant to be a comment fic like thus after this comment by Kelkyag, but it turned out a wee bit long. So... bonus ficlet?

After (Before) The Empire Falls, the Emperor Stands.


The young son-of-the-Emperor (they were all sons of the Emperor, although their fathers were all several years dead) waited until two of his cousins were making an appropriate fuss and two more seemed to have decided to climb the bookshelves all the way to the top.

There were seven nursemaids for the lot of them, but, from the things the nurses said when they thought their young charges weren’t listening, there were more of them, the sons, then there had been in recent memory — “recent” in Hildeh’s case and Galleh’s, at least, being a number that stretched back quite some time — and the bureaucracy that funded their employment did not seem inclined to send them any more help.

This particular son — whose name, like easily half of his brothers, was Eranodi, after Eroni, the first Emperor — was glad for the overwork and the subsequent distraction, because it gave him a freedom he was fairly certain young Emperor’s-sons were not supposed to have.

read on…
aldersprig: (GIRAFFE!)
My Giraffe (Zebra) Call is open!

Written to kelkyag‘s prompt.


At forty, Gemma considered herself to be relatively practical.

She’d put aside the ridiculousness of her teens and the experimentation of her twenties.  She had staid hobbies and a staid job and, to be quite honest, staid

read on…
aldersprig: (Science!)
Written to kelkyag's prompt.
The pay at the Lab was really good, and the benefits were literally unbelievable.

Jess reminded herself of that whenever she started feeling like she needed a Henchman t-shirt or an old lion-tamer’s ship and chair.   She had two kids of her own and a niece at home; the Lab gave them a place to live that was probably the most secure three-bedroom house on the planet, had a top-notch school, and paid Jess enough that she could take them all on a really good vacation every year.

Which she needed, because right now she was supervising a slap-fight between two interns who just happened to be handling vials of what she thought was probably a neurotoxin. 

read on…


Aug. 28th, 2017 01:56 pm
aldersprig: (Evangaline)
Written to an anonymous prompt, with nods to kelkyag's prompt.


“Evangeline, what is WRONG with your sugar?”

There were too many people in Eva’s kitchen.

“Aunt Eva, where do you keep your star anise?”

“What do you need star anise for, Bellamy Jane?”

“Her middle name isn't Jane…”

read on…

Find Me?

Aug. 23rd, 2017 05:16 pm
aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
Written to kelkyag's prompt. 


She had a lot of earth to work with.

Estella had walked half a day in each direction and not seen another living human.

She’d found more than a few who weren’t alive anymore, and done what she could for them as she went, wondering all the while why she had been left alive when nobody else seemed to have.

The radio made static and sometimes a whimper, but nothing she could consider company.  The power was still running, more or less, but the TV was showing Please Standby on all stations and the internet - well, it was there, but she found only bots on twitter and only advertisements on Facebook.  Reddit was a ghost town. Imgur’s last photos were of The Event - dozens, hundreds of photos, and then nothing.  Not even a downvote. 

read on…
aldersprig: (Evangaline)
After Fated, for my Fourth Finish It Bingo Card.

At the third adoption agency, Karen acknowledged that her family and the power were definitely getting in her way. Before she called the fourth - they lived near a big enough city, but there was still a limit - she visited her Aunt Becka.

She brought Aunt Becka’s favorite sweet rolls and a fresh box of her favorite tea.

And while they ate rolls and gossiped about the family, she swirled her mug and studied the leaves at the bottom.

Everyone had always told her she had no skill for it, no art. She looked at the leaves and saw a cradle.

“Here, dear.” Aunt Becka reached for the mug, and pulled her fingers back when sparks lit up between them.
“Oh!” She chuckled, sounding more pleased than the old woman had sounded in some time. “So you’ve decided to own it, have you?”
Read more... )

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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*
aldersprig: (Evangaline)
First: Visiting the Family
Previous: The Powers that Be

Uncle Willard let Eva’s words hang in the air while he opened up his sun porch to them and brought in a pitcher of cold lemonade.

There was something like a ritual to it, the clean glasses, the glass pitcher, the cold, sweet-tart fresh lemonade. In the winter, it woudl have been tea. Their family had things that they did, and they all did them more or less the same.

The thought made her smile, her lips just starting to curl up as Willard answered.
Read more... )
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aldersprig: (Beryl)
This comes after King(maker) Cake, King for a Day, and After the Kinging.
“I would ask your sister to borrow her necklace some day. Or her cat. There are worse things the family can do to you than kick you out or bind your power, and they have done them all at one point or another.”

Stone chewed over those words for a week before he let himself even think about doing anything about them.

It wasn’t like he didn’t have other things to think about. Classes were back in session, he still had a few relatives hassling him about the trinket he’d gotten in his muffin, and something over the Christmas break - he hoped it wasn’t the rabbit trinket, really, really hoped it wasn’t - had gotten him a little more attention in school than he normally had, or than he felt comfortable with.

Jenny Connor had literally followed him home from school the other day! She’d been talking to Chalce, so he hadn’t noticed she was even on the bus - his sister was popular, even if she didn’t drive to school; she was always talking to someone - and tried to follow him into his room.
Read more... )


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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: (Evangaline)
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 second prompt. Rosaria and Willard are from the Aunt Family, as per the tree below.

Rosaria and Willard

Rosaria had brothers. She had sons, she had a father. She had had, for a while, a husband, although that seemed like a very long time ago.

So when she tried on "I love him like this," like a father, like a brother, like a son, she knew of what she was speaking. And none of them quite fit.

She had other nephews, too, and she could not say that she felt for any of them what she felt for Willard. Willard was - he was different, and not just because of the spark. He was important, and not just because the family had severed him from their embrace and their power. He was her friend, and that... that was what had saved them.

"He should be gone from you," Elenora had complained. Elenora was the sort that would complain about that. "He is gone from the family, and yet I can see you're still writing to him. You're still pining over him."

"He's gone as my nephew." She lifted her chin and glared at Elenora, glared at her Aunt, at the Aunt and dared her to challenge that. My nephew sounded strange when she was still so young, but that was what he had been, and in their family, that was a special bond. "You severed that. But he was my friend. And he is still my friend. He will always be that, no matter how far away he is."
aldersprig: (unspoken)
January by the numbers continues (still three days off, meeps~)!
From [personal profile] kelkyag's prompt "Stylish scalloped skirts swish shockingly;" a ficlet.

There’s the faux-history that the sight of an ankle was once considered shocking. There’s the myth about limbs and their ability to raise heart rates, and maybe those myths and faux-histories are true. Certainly, in many places in the Empire, the ladies go bundled up tightly, covered discreetly from head to toe, and then men are thrilled at the sight of a wrist. In other places, it is the men who wear long-vests over scalloped tunics over loose pants, and women peer surreptitiously to see the curve of a man’s buttock or the line of his hip.

In Urhallo, where the summers are warm and the winters are chill but not freezing, the women wear trousers made of muslin and calico and dress-like vests made of starched linen; the women smoke the fellna-weed that gives them visions, and play cards all night under the moon.

The men dance for them, young and single men, their vests and jackets coverings their shoulder blades and sternums, their arms to the wrist, and hardly more than that. The man sway their hips and thrust them, hum their songs and shout them, whisper endearments and sing them.

The men in Urhallo — all of them, not just the dancers — wear skirts, swishy ones that flow with their movement or straighter, businesslike ones that don’t get in the way and still conceal their lines from prying eyes. The dancers wear skirts, short ones, with scalloped hems cut just so. And the viewers — male and female — all lean forward, hoping the skirt will give them a little view of what the swishy skirts hide.
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aldersprig: (Shooting star)
January by the numbers continues (now three days off, meeps~)!
From [personal profile] kelkyag's prompt "Underneath umbrellas, unicorns unite;" a ficlet, or maybe a start of a ficlet.

In the same setting as the Aardvark story (here) and maybe the Fall story (here), which may just be my overarching Space Colony setting.


The sun was far too bright. The sun was always too bright. On Feshgarrun IV, the land was rich, fertile, and wonderful - but only within [geographic thing] of the equator. The land belted that equator in a series of archipelagos and small continents; there was land near the poles as well, but it was covered in ice, and much much less-populously colonized.

So the land was good, the work was easy, and the leisure time was warm.
Far too warm.

The colonists on Feshgarrun IV - and they were still colonists; it was still a newly-discovered planet and the Company still owned everything from the mine equipment to the houses to the umbrella store - worked steadily, even if the work was easy. And in their leisure time, they would walk along the long beaches, covered with wide umbrellas that reflected the sun back up to the sky.

Colonists - especially the first-instance colonists, the ones that often moved on to colony after colony - were a strange lot. They had Aardvarks, they had Giants. They had Butterflies.

And they had Unicorns, those rare people who by genetics or gengineering were perfect for any particular colony.

On Feshgarrun IV, “perfect” was a matter of some debate. Even the Unicorns wore wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses; even the Unicorns preferred dusk and dawn to noon.

And the Unicorns came together on the beaches, tucked underneath umbrellas, plotting the future of a colony they were designed to work for, not to run.


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aldersprig: (Shooting star)
January by the numbers continues (now three days off, meeps~)!
From [personal profile] kelkyag's prompt "Careful consideration;" a ficlet.

There are some situations which require the sort of consideration that takes actual minutes, actual thought, actual knowledge of the options.

There are some situations where you have to weigh your choices, study the consequences, research the possibilities.

Sometimes, you really have to go into something with your eyes open and your homework done.

Like moving to another planet, for instance.

You need to know where you're going, at a bare minimum, what you're going to do when you get there, how you're going to survive, how you're going to make money.

I mean, that's the absolute minimum. Like, can you breathe the air? Can you survive the gravity? Is there anything there to eat? Most of those planetary colony flights are one-way-only: you get there, you’re stuck. It’s not the sort of thing you do on a whim.

Unless, of course, you’re Jeropey Onefferie. RIght about now, Onefferie is sneaking on to a colony flight, picked — if you can believe this; I hardly can and I’m telling the story — by the roll of a die. He’s stowing away on a bet, the winnings of which he may never be able to collect.

It’s a colony flight, you say, of course he can survive where other humans can. Ah, but we are not on Earth; we’re on Besh Rithtaen, armpit of the universe, highway off-ramp of the galaxy, collection spot for at least three hundred sentient races, many of whom (including humans) live in sealed environments or environment suits.

And the colony ship he’s slipped on to is a Meshtarina ship. That doesn’t spell immediate demise — the Meshtarina live in the same range of environments as humans.

We know this, however, because the Meshtarina run human farms on planets outside the Federation regulations.

There are some situations which really do require careful consideration.
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aldersprig: (LynConstruction)
January by the numbers continues (now three days off, meeps~)!
From [personal profile] kelkyag's prompt "Ancient aardvarks are always achey;" a ficlet.

They called them aardvarks, because they worked on the unknown continents, because they worked at night, and because they burrowed.

They called them aardvarks, and they were the ones who told the rest of them everything they needed to know about their new lands. Explorers, scientists, miners: the aardvarks were all of those, and more.

They worked at night because the suns of the new planets were dangerous, because the screens that would make the world safe for human habitation had not yet been installed. They burrowed, because all the secrets of the world lay under its soil — its mineral balances and its mineable wealth, its loam and its sand and its clay. And every place they went was a new and secret place, an unknown planet that might, at one point, be colonized by convicts and run-aways, drop-outs and adventurers, wild people and quiet people.
Read more... )
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aldersprig: (tea3)
January by the numbers continues (now two days off~)!
From [personal profile] kelkyag's prompt "Poise;" a ficlet.

This one turned out a little weird~~


It means weight.

Well, it doesn't mean weight, but it's all about weight.

Poise. When I was little, I thought "being poised to" was the same as "being poisoned" and I thought if someone was poised to, say, leap, it was because someone had poisoned their mind.

(Speaking of leaps, I made quite a few strange ones when I was young)

Turns out a poison is a potion, and not necessarily a weighty one.
Read more... )
aldersprig: (Shooting star)
January by the numbers continues (now two days off~)!
From [personal profile] kelkyag's prompt "Giant giraffes gambol gingerly;" a ficlet


The planet was smack between a planet that had been renowned for its local foods and one that had been amazingly good at providing raw materials, and, as such, it became a way-stop on the transgalactic trade route.

It if had not been right where it was, it was likely it would not have been touched; at least not until a new government came into power back "at home"; the current policy was that one settled on planets but one lived in some sort of concert with the local flora and fauna. Thus, the mining and farming those two bracketing planets did was of the careful, long-term sustainable sort, and the planets were tended with, as one might say, kid gloves.
Read more... )

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aldersprig: a close up of an alder leaf (Leaf)
January by the numbers continues (now two days off~)!
From [personal profile] kelkyag's prompt " Dubious dirty diapers;" a ficlet
"The thing is... I don't have a kid."

Gere stared at the laundry. Pene stared, too, but mostly at Gere.

"I know you don't have a kid. I would have had to help you fill out the paperwork."

"All things considered, you would have had to help me with a lot more than just the paperwork. So. I don't have a kid."

"True. And, just in case this is somehow in question, neither do I."

"I know that. But the thing is, Pene, those aren't your 900-credit pants, are they?"

"Why in the legions and the stardust would you ever pay 900 credits for a pair of pants?"

"Well, they've got stardust in them, for one; they make my ass look amazing, and when I'm meeting with 900 million-credit clients, they make me look like I belong there and not in the kitchen."

"Right. So, those are your pants?"

"Those are my pants. That's my vest beneath it and, if you pick those up, that's my socks and underwear and whatnot - it's my clothes. Just in case someone else nearby has exactly the same tastes as me, I checked for the tiny rip I had repaired in my favorite vest and the way the pants are hemmed with a very narrow hem to allow for --"

"Yes, yes, you're a giant, we all know that. Gere. It's your laundry, come back to you from our laundromat. What's the problem?"

Gere lifted up all of the afore-discussed laundry to reveal a small pile of mostly-clean diapers, with an apologetic note. "These. And," under the carefully-lifted diapers were a pile of onesies and an adorable baby set of pants-and-vest, very like the aforementioned set of Gere's. "And..."

"...and we don't have a kid. Gere, who sends diapers to the laundromat? Whose diapers have stains the laundromat can't get out?"

"...and who dresses their baby just like me? We have some problems here."
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aldersprig: (unspoken)
January by the numbers continues (still a day off~)!
From [personal profile] kelkyag's prompt "purple pretenses;" a story of Things Unspoken


In the western cities, the ones that had once belonged to an Empire called only To (never the To Empire, the Tovan nation, or anything else, just To), it was known that women of a certain class wore purple (as is often the case, this was an exalted class, the policy-makers, the deciders). This purple was very difficult to make, and was made only by a small group of people, dyers with the To Mandate of purple.

But in the evening light, there were three other colors that could be mistaken for this exalted purple. They were not all made by simpler means; indeed, one was even harder to achieve than that allowed by the To Mandate. But they were not regulated, they were not restricted, and anyone with sufficient coin - either literal or in trade or services - could obtain them.

Despite the prevalence of the false purples, there were, but cultural agreement, several things believed without fail of those wearing purple (even, perhaps especially, in the seediest establishments where those who wore the purple by To Mandate would be unlikely to ever be seen): they were women; they were affluent; they were powerful; they had the ear of those at the highest levels of government — the To.

Some people wore the false purples for that last reason, and collected bribes no genuine wearer of the purple would ever touch (although some of those worked surreptitiously for those genuine-purple-wearers, and the messages sometimes actually got to the correct ears.

Some people wore the purple to be believed affluent, or to show off genuine affluence, and they were often courted in such a way that their affluence became real if it had been false before.

Some wore the purple because it was shorthand for being a woman, because no man, rich or poor, could wear that hue by To Mandate.

And some wore it because others liked to touch those who had power, and would pay well for the illusion of an hour with a decider-in-purple.

Wrapped in their purple pretenses, they strode the streets that had once been To (and were forever so, in the hearts and minds of the people), and were all the more powerful for it.

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aldersprig: (Cooking)
January by the numbers starts here!
From [ profile] kelkyag's prompt "oregano;" a blog post

This one’s all me.

When we moved into our second apartment together, T and I — and a friend of ours, and a friend of his, and so on — we acquired a whole bunch of stuff-left-from-previous-roommates, thus starting a trend that would continue (with a couple pauses) for the next decade-plus: dishes, pie plates, for a little while a doll cabinet.

But back then, one of the first things we got was a collection of far too much grocery-store oregano. I think there were three containers of the stuff. And the thing is… we didn’t really cook with that many spices and herbs back then. We were in our early twenties, I barely cooked at all and T. was just starting to work on his cooking.

We ate oregano in everything for a while. And the thing is, old grocery-store oregano doesn’t taste like much and I didn’t have much of a sense of smell, so I’m not sure it added much more than a sort of dusty green color. Still. Oregano. Everywhere.

We started gardening maybe 5 years later, but it is not until three years ago that I actually started growing oregano.

This stuff, I can smell. I can taste. It’s pretty good, actually, although when it comes to herbage I much prefer parsley and sage.

But the thing about oregano is, it turns out it’s part of the mint family. (I find this weird. I’m not sure why I find this weird, but I do). And it’s a perennial. And, well, it acts like it’s in the mint family, which is to say it’s determined, invasive, and durable.

And the thing grows nearly three feet tall. Every year, without me doing anything. And the bees love it.

And we still don’t cook with oregano.

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aldersprig: (Unicorn)
After Far Weston, for my Third Finish It Bingo Card. I know this isn't done yet, but it was a good place to post while I figure out what happens next..

Being a hunter was a dangerous occupation, more so in the edges of civilization, where the forest itself was likely to fight back if it didn't like you, much less the animals, who were often bigger and stronger than those you'd get closer to Centon.

It was the sort of occupation that meant that Pyiata lived out in the woods for most of her life, stopping into the village that had raised her only when she had to - to sell meat and furs, to buy supplies, to see the annual service of the river, when her cousins and former neighbors would draw stones.

It was the sort of occupation that meant that she was more used to the company of small woodland creatures and the occasional wandering unicorn than she was other humans, and that she tended to notice when something went strange with the animals and missed things like a new Mayor or a new priest (she had once mistaken a new priest for the old for three years, assuming the old had simply put on a lot of weight at some point. Their village was prosperous, after all. Travelers from far away would stop there, because it was the last mark of civilization before the wilds and the hills. It was easier to get fat there than in many other places).
Read more... )
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aldersprig: (NanoGiraffe)
Last night I asked for a few prompts to get me started. This one is many generations before the story I'm writing, just a few decades after the world shattered.

1 is for broken pottery....

The mug had shattered when it hit the floor.

Hannah swore quietly. They only had the two mugs left, and here she was breaking one. Everything in the old stores had been picked over by now, anything that had survived the earth-slits, the tremors, and the battle afterwards. Anything that was still intact had been taken, hoarded by the military, who needed it to win the war.
Read more... )

Next: Pieced
aldersprig: (unspoken)
This is written for my third Finish It! Bingo Card, coming after R is for Rituals and Linguistic Tricks.

If Eliška Konvalinka had been male and still an Informer, she would have found some friendly person and asked them to show her how to tie the complicated head-scarf she'd - he'd - seen here and there throughout the crowds. If she'd guessed right, the person she asked would have a tie to the people with those scarves, who spoke in a strange language when speaking to each other and who held themselves apart from the rest of Scheffenon.

Since she was firstly an Informer, she repeated the teaching poem of Scheffenon to herself several times, taking notes of the parts that might relate, and then she spent the evenings of two weeks in the library, reading up on all of the strange histories of Scheffenon.
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aldersprig: (Unicorn)
Written for my [community profile] ladiesbingo card after Change and with a nod to Strange

Short Summary: The unicorns keep the water clean for the villages, but the price they demand is maidens... and their children are born from those maidens.

Content Warning: The unicorns in these stories are heavy on the rape metaphor, and it's very heavy in the below story. Also, violence, via unicorn horn, discussed in the past tense.

I think this has an ending but it wasn't sure.

People, as a rule, were not very good at keeping secrets.

The more unusual the information, the worse they were at keeping them close.

There was a girl in Shepachdar's tavern, and she was a unicorn-born who hadn't changed, already an anomaly.

There was a foal in Lastowe that had changed early, and it had grown wings instead of a horn, strange beyond strange - and yet it seemed to be needed.
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aldersprig: (unspoken)

After Æ is for Ash, for the Finish It! Bingo Round Two.

This came out super-weird, in part because Æ is for Ash seemed like a complete story to me as was. So it's... tangential? Sort of? Also, it didn't want to end.

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aldersprig: (Evangaline)
Written for my [community profile] ladiesbingo card riffing off of The Strength. See also Deborah's Tag..

Short Summary: Aunts in the Family hold the magic, channel it, and generally direct the family - although the older women (grannies and mothers) often hold as much secular power, if not more. Aunts are childless, unmarried...

...except sometimes, it seems, when they're not.

Pearl was worried. She was more than worried, she was terrified. More than just terrified, she was living in fear of her grannies and sisters, a fear that no normal woman would have grounds to understand, much less feel.

She'd kept it a secret as long as she could, and that had been months longer than she'd thought she'd be able to. She'd used every charm she thought safe and some she wasn't sure about; she'd used every deceit and a few fashion tricks from her friends not in the family. Those friends knew - and if the grannies found out that, Pearl was doubly and triply doomed. She'd gone out of the family for help.
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aldersprig: (Evangaline)
Written for my [community profile] ladiesbingo card after or riffing off of Tell Me a Story. See also Heroes..

Sum-up of what's come before: Lily's grandma told the best stories, because she could see what needed to be told. What she told for Cady had surprised even her a little bit.

And so the young knight slew her first demon. And although she knew there would be many more demons, and many more mountains to climb, she knew she would never have to face them on her own

Cady had been telling herself those words over and over again. And so the young knight slew a demon. The young knight. A demon. Slew it. She had been whispering them to herself on her walk to school. She'd been shouting them out on the playground, when some of the other girls were pretending they were too old for such things as make-believe, and some of the boys were pretending she couldn't be a knight, because that's not what girls did. She and Lily - and Ken and Melissa and Pat - they went to their little corner of the playground, behind the weird thing nobody wanted to play on, that Cady thought might have been an elephant. And they played Knights and Demons, and Rescue the Princess, and, sometimes, when they were sure the teachers were somewhere else, they played Kiss the Knight.

"The knight thrust with her lance!" she shouted at the thin air. They never had anyone play the demon. they didn't need to. They could all see where he was, the shape he made in the air.

"The lance the princess had made her!" Lily was sitting astride the elephant-thing, cheering her on. She knew the story as well as Cady, of course; it had been Lily's grandmother that had told it to them. "The lance the Princess had carved from her own flesh and bones and, and, and heart."

That part was new. Cady's imaginary lance faltered for a second and her steps shook.

"The demon thought the knight was weak!" Ken prompted, scoffing at the demon. "He couldn't see what even an idiot could see!"

The story was growing. Cady took a step forward. Playground demons could be stabbed with imaginary lances.

"He couldn't see that the princess held the most powerful of all the elements," Pat improvised. Pat's stories were all a little bit more, uh, anime than the rest of them, but it just made everything that much more wild. Nobody else would have said the princess was riding a robotic elephant-horse-dragon, for instance. Nobody else would have given the lance a laser pointer. "The princess wielded, uh." He glanced back at Lily.

The other girls on the playground were playing marriage and divorce or some other soap-opera thing, or truth and dare. Cady had seen them at it. She glanced back at Lily, too, turning so her imaginary lance was still pointed at the invisible demon.

Lily raised her chin. "The princess wielded the hammer of love. She'd swung it with all of her might, to forge the lance for the knight. Because nobody else could make the weapon right." She grinned, gap-toothed and proud of herself. "She was the only one."

Cady found herself inclined to agree. "Nobody else could make the weapon right," she nodded firmly. "And so the Knight thrust her lance into the demon, and it fell." She shoved her imaginary lance forward.

The real demons weren't that easy. But maybe, with Lily's hammer and Pat's screwdriver - sonic of course - and Ken's flower wand, maybe she stood a chance.

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aldersprig: (Genique)
Written for my [community profile] ladiesbingo card and my Second Finish-It Bingo Card for [community profile] allbingo. Genique is the title character of my Space Accountant setting.

Background: Genique just wanted to go on a nice cruise. She never anticipated being kidnapped by pirates... and when that happened, she never really expected to become their accountant. Now that she is, though, she's going to do a good job as a matter of course.

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aldersprig: (Ruan)
After Estate and Three Glass Beads, Peacock Blue for my second Finish It Bingo Card for [community profile] allbingo

Myrlie knew she wasn’t supposed to be in the attic without adult supervision, but Aunt Lilyah had been squirrely about the whole thing ever since Aunt Kelly went missing, and Aunt Lavey was trying to pretend everything was normal, and her mother was the sort that ignored the Aunt House unless she needed something, and then it was all about what the Aunt could give her, right there, right then.

Besides, the house’s wards liked her, they always had. She’d been five years old when she’d first snuck over to have tea with Aunt Kelly, and the wards had let her in even then. She didn’t want to stop sneaking over just because Aunt Kelly was missing, and as long as she was sneaking over unsupervised, she might as well go into the hidden corners of their Aunt House, which, despite not being all that old (so said everyone), was still sufficiently creepy and mysterious for her.

She’d heard the Root Family had attics bigger than the house itself. She wasn’t sure if that was exaggeration or truth, but what her family’s Aunt House had was a very nice office-like room that just happened to have an archive hidden in what looked like a closet on first glance.
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aldersprig: (Diryid)

After Discovery, Part Fnarg and Discovery, Part Snarg, for the Finish It! Bingo Round Two

Content Warning: This describes a ritual that led to dozens of skeletons being buried under a mountain. It includes death and violence.

In the end, Aetherist Ovanobina dragged Tekemuzh down deep into the mine, to look at the place where the miners had found the bodies and where every archeologist in the land was now busily pulling out more bodies.
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aldersprig: (GIRAFFE!)

This is the next post in the 'Rescue, of Sorts' storyline, which can be found at this tag:

It is written to a commissioned present for [personal profile] clare_dragonfly, as well as to [ profile] kelkyag's prompt here for my Summer Giraffe Call and a very-requested line item to my Finish It? request.

The wedding was the sort of pomp-and-circumstance affair you’d expect from a nation in the middle of a long peacetime, not one that was attacked on nearly a weekly basis. It was rich and extravagant, and if the coffers of the Duchy and some of the King and Queen’s own money had been plundered to pay for it, so had many people donated time and materials to the event as well.
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aldersprig: (GIRAFFE!)

Written to [ profile] kelkyag's prompt here for my Summer Giraffe Call. Um... before the accidental marriage timeline, after the initial first-day timeline in Space Accountant

"You have have records on paper." Genique stared at the Moneykeeper with a look that was fifty percent horror and fifty percent dry amusement. She was still getting over the fact that this so-called pirate ship had a Moneykeeper, in addition to a Quartermaster and a full rank system.

As she looked around Moneykeeper Jeffer ReemMickey's office, Genique came to the slow realization that the ship didn't really have a Moneykeeper. They had... an old man who had probably been a brilliant pirate - maybe a hitter, maybe something like a tech expert - when he was younger. He hadn't died the way pirates were supposed to, early and violently, and they’d given him a sinecure position, something to keep him out of the way.
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aldersprig: (Doorway to Clouds)
After: and - for the Finish It! Bingo. Not technically a finish, per se, but another chapter.

“If there are other portals, it stands to reason that someone has heard of them.” Clarence came into their hide-out with his arms loaded down with books and his backpack heavy with more.

Barbara set up the camp light and cleared the main table to give them a workplace. “Like that old woman, oh, dear…. Dorothy. Dot Garrington. The one who told us when she had been to Ombrion, and we thought she was putting us on for the longest time?”

“Or,” Diane said more softly, “Donald Jackson, the one that Verdana told us about. Went missing here — I still have the clipping. Because he died in Ombrion.”
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aldersprig: (City)

Written to [ profile] kelkyag' prompt here to my Summer Giraffe Call Round 2. This plays off of and comes after The Fairy Road

The park in the middle of the city had always been creepy. In this city, that was hardly surprising, especially for the thousands of people who had no power of their own but enough of the blood to sense what was going on. The park had power, power by the boatload, and it had danger and ghosts twice on top of twice the power it had. For a small thing, a city block crossed by stone, it was fraught with history and with meaning, and it was so overgrown as to be more of a tangle than a park.
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aldersprig: (Unicorn)

After Stroke the Unicorn and Unicorn Strokes, for the Finish It! Bingo

Blanket content warning for Unicorn/Factory: This setting involves unicorns using their horns for both violence and sexual violence, although none of that is directly described in this story.

Jakob took the woman to his home for the night. She deserved better than an anonymous inn bed, after the story she had given them, and, what was more, Jakob found he wanted the rest of the story.
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aldersprig: (Ruan)
Written to [ profile] kelkyag's prompt(s) here to my Summer Giraffe Call.

Okay, this story references or is after several stories, so here goes:

This is where the divination deck originally showed up - 1st story in the whole series.
This story and then this one introduce Adam.

Wild Card comes immediately before the one below.

This is the Finish-It Bingo referencing Wild Card.

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aldersprig: (Beryl)
After A Locked Chest is Locked for a Reason, a story of the Aunt Family. To the Finish It! Bingo.

If it weren’t for the angry cat sitting on top of the chest — currently in the form of a juvenile marmalade tom — the chest would not have stood out in the Aunt’s attic. This corner of the attic, furthest from windows, chimneys, and the two entrances, was stacked to the roof with such chests, leather-clad and metal-bound, each of them locked and the keys all hung on a ring downstairs. Aunt Eva had been cataloguing and numbering them, one giant chest of diaries at a time.

Beryl studied Radar. She’d started thinking of him as her cat, foolish as she knew that was. He was an Aunt cat, and she was not the aunt.

“Can I move the chest?” she offered. “By the handles, I mean. Or on a cart?”
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aldersprig: (Gremlin)
Never Try to Steal a Dweomer
Backpack Gremlins (LJ)
Hunting Junie I (LJ)
Hunting Junie II (LJ)
Hunting Junie III (LJ)
Red Covers (LJ)
Bounty (LJ)
Team D (LJ)
Victimization (LJ)

This runs to 3800 words.

There was a man - a human man, a bog-standard boring kidnapping human, normal and plain as they came - picking up an unconscious dweomer child, and Kelkathian and Azdekious were doing nothing at all to stop him.
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aldersprig: (Genique)
This follows after: Taking Chances, Betting on it, Betting Time, Bunking Arrangements, and Accidental.

It is a partial answer to [ profile] kelkyag's question here and is only a year and a half in coming...

"Spill." First Mate Cleonorayen Clyd flopped into the spare chair in Quatermaster Marist Irio's bunk without asking or even knocking. She made up for it by thunking down a thick bottle filled with a bluish liquid.

Marist grabbed two heavy-bottomed glasses and poured generous shots. "You're talking about the little accountant, right?"

"Bunk change. Bunk change, Marist, what on earth possessed you?"

"What? She wanted a bunk change, I gave her one. Pretty Marsey there is going to be a happy-if-confused young man for the next year."

"But he could have been that without a marriage contract. What are you up to?"

"Pitmaster." Marist threw back her drink in one swallow. "If the girl is in a marriage contract, she doesn't go to the Pit. And none of us want her going to the Pit... do we?"
aldersprig: (Spring)
This follows Tangled, Day Job, and Tangling isn't just a walk in the park.

"Ready to go?"

The thing about being a tangler...

"Hold on, just give me a minute..."

Is that you were touching strands all the time.

"Spring, my love, can you be organized for more than fifty seconds?"

And running your hands through other people's lines all the time.

"If you wanted someone organized, Lance, you should have bothered someone else's stars."

But you couldn't touch other people's strands...

"I didn't want anyone else's stars. Here's your left shoe."

...without getting tangled up yourself.

"Awesome. Now, where's my purse?"

And the thing about knots was...

"You didn't leave it on the bus again, did you?"

...they tended to manifest in strange ways when you weren't paying attention.

"No, no, you brought it home for me. Remember?"

...and when you were distracted, tangled up in someone else, it was easy to not pay attention.

"That's right... here it is. What would you do without me?"

"Oh, I'd get by. But it wouldn't be nearly as fun."

And the thing about being a tangler was...

"Well, I do aim to please."

...When you got tangled up, you got really tangled up.

"And that's what I love about you. Well, part of it."

Close with a kiss, and find yourself even further tangled.


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

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