aldersprig: (City)
January by the numbers continues (still a day off~)!
From [personal profile] clare_dragonfly's prompt "Busy bees buzzing brightly, bearing beauteous bouquets.;" a ficlet
“The hive’s alight tonight.” Oshen stared at the office building, bright with lights in the middle of the night. From their vantage point, three buildings over, the people moving around looked like ants — or maybe bees — insects anyway, buzzing around, bopping here and there in what looked like a random pattern. “Who do you think kicked it?”

“It doesn’t look that much like a hive,” Nensho complained. “I mean, okay, it’s sort of got that shape, but—”

“But it’s full of worker bees, moving here and there, doing whatever their little Queen Bee tells them. Except for Eidercorp, it’s not a Queen Bee, is it? It’s a King Bee. Unnatural.” Oshen grinned, liking the taste of the word. “Unnatural. Against the natural order of things. Counter to the way things are supposed to be."

"Easy now," Nensho chided. "You're doing that thing where you get carried away again and then you start believing your own propaganda. Don't forget that thing last year with Tenor, Inc. It ended up being a big mess, and all because you got caught up in your alliteration and allegory."

"There was some onomatopoeia, too," Oshen complained. "And maybe some rhyme."

"Either way, every way, anyway, just don't. We have a goal, no?"

"We have a goal, now."

"Good. So, let's get to the goal." Nensho stared at Eidercorp through high-powered binoculars. "All right, they're clearly up to something. I can't tell quite what from here but it looks a little bit like a dance, doesn't it?"

"What, they're telling the King Bee where the honey is? That seems a little too literal when they're working off of my metaphor," Oshen complained.

"No." Nensho frowned. "It looks like they're taking bouquets to the CFO. All of them. Everyone in the company."

"...And you say I get carried away."
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aldersprig: (Doorway to Clouds)
From this prompt generator:

We survived the magical disaster by hiding in her bank, or that's what they thought.

We used the same trick we always did: play off of people's assumptions. We crawled out from under a table and staggered out of the building with the two dozen people who'd been hiding in there. We looked woozy - I really was woozy, and Sharna's expertise was in faking any number of illnesses and weakness. And we were genuinely surprised by the chaos outside.

We looked a little strange, but even the people hiding in strong stone buildings like the bank had been affected by the backlash. We looked a little lost, but that was easily explained by the wooziness. The hardest part to explain would have been our ID's, and there was such a mess outside that nobody cared, not even the police.

The sweetest part of the mess? One of those police looked Sharna straight in the face and didn't recognize her. Her face had been on wanted posters all over town...

...but that had been back home. I wondered how long it would be before they realized that the magical catastrophe had opened doors into other worlds? By then, I was sure, we'd already have vanished into this world and be working on another con.
aldersprig: a close up of an alder leaf (Leaf)
Written to [profile] kiarrith's prompt here

The thing was, the industrial areas of the city hadn't been abandoned that long. 15 years since the last manufacturing business folded in the area, sure, seven since the last start-up trying to use the old spaces fizzled out. But there were hobos and drifters, skaters and hippies. There was always someone wandering through the space. Leticia walked through herself, Tuesdays and Thursdays when she didn't have much time between work and classes.

Which is how she knew something was up when she encountered the oak grove. It was Tuesday, which meant she'd last been through this cut-through - between the old Gleason Works building and the even older Lomb plant, where the workers of both had once shared bag lunches and a brief bit of unfiltered sunlight - it had last been only 5 days ago.

Last week, the courtyard had been full of weeds, a little bit of trash, with a beaten path straight through the middle.
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aldersprig: (City)
(I didn't win, so here's last week's microfic at 110 words. Check out the MicroBookEnd page for the photo and prompt.)

“Big freaking deal.” Jenny and the rest of the mean kids kicked at the chalk letters. “So you have a list. Ooh, I see, it’s a ‘wish list.'” Jenny snorted. “Cute.”

Trying to get them to help had been dumb.

“Here, let me see.” Jenny snatched the chalk out of Maris’ hand. “You wished for a new dog? Right.” She scribbled at the bottom of the list. “Twenty dollars. Uh. What?” She jumped, but the list was already pulling her in, replacing her with a twenty, the way it had given a dog when it had taken Maris’ brother.
aldersprig: (City)
(I didn't win, so here's last week's microfic at 110 words. Check out the MicroBookEnd page for the photo and prompt.)

Urban vampires live among us.

The rural breed is nearly extinct; vampires like hectic fear and the country is slower, tireder. The last rural vampire retired to a farm college where he feeds quietly off of grad students.

Urban vampires, however, live on. They dwell in the places between mirrors, in the arching walls of glass, in streetlight reflectors: not in the shadows, but in the excess of light.

It’s said that they love elevators. They can be seen there sometimes, hiding behind your stacked reflections. A camera might capture them – or release them.

But perhaps there is no need to fear, and it is all just a legend.
aldersprig: a close up of an alder leaf (Leaf)
Stories for which I have no extant Setting

Utterly Random
The Snow War (LJ)
Being First(LJ)
On the Water (LJ)
Thought Experiments, a story of Impossible Situations (LJ)
After the Fire (LJ)

Non-Modern Second World
No Parades (LJ)

Day Twin, Night Twin (LJ)
The Dark and Light Mirrors (LJ)
The Light World and its Shadows (LJ)

The Tuesday Map (LJ) Life in the BAELZ.
Birth of a City (LJ) It started with asteroid miners...
Down in Human Town (LJ)
Out of Nowhere(LJ)
Sol Invictus (LJ)
Remembering Earth (no crosspost)
Decanted (No xpost)
Amongst the Wrifflites (LJ)

Modern Fantasy
Bleed it Out (LJ)
Twelve Roses and One ()
First Rose (LJ) After 12 Roses and One

Bus Stop (LJ)

The Gift Fairy (LJ) "The job fairy ain't going to come give you a job."
I Want to Tell a Story (LJ) It wasn’t what Miss Kelley was expecting to hear from her students.
Made from Words (LJ)
Miss Midas (LJ)
Gift-Wife (LJ)
The Truth, and Hair-Pieces (LJ)
A Star in the East (LJ)
A True Gift (LJ), to [personal profile] anke's prompt
A Present for the Queen of Underhill (LJ) to [ profile] moon_fox's prompt
Little Gift (LJ)to [profile] moon_fox's prompt
Reunion (LJ) A slight case of being imaginary
Reality Changes (LJ) (and we can change it)
The Norm (LJ) Being Normal, being Norm

Changing Verses (LJ)

Urban Fantasy
First Steps (LJ) The city remembers
The Dark Places, the Numbered Streets (LJ) - Ance seeks a real adventure. And finds it.
Recovering the City (LJ)
Breaking Ground (LJ)
...On My Parade (LJ)
And Before That? (LJ)
Backstage (LJ), technically Big Trouble in Little China fanfic
No Monster, No Lurking (LJ)
The Manticore (LJ)

The Heritage That Wasn't (LJ)
A Heritage Earned (LJ)

The Cracks
Through the Cracks (LJ)
"China is Here" (LJ)
The Dark of the City (Lj)
Up From the Cracks (LJ)
The Darkness in the Shadows (LJ) (similar setting to The Cracks)

The most Interesting Wine (LJ)
Setting the Table (LJ)

Bruin's Birthday (LJ)
Falling (LJ)
Commute (LJ)

Rose Petals (LJ)
Pure Snow White (LJ)

Failure to Properly Case the Joint (LJ)
A Piece of Cake (LJ)
Strong Enough? (LJ)
Hallowe'en's Past (LJ)
Trek-style Geek (LJ)

Adhara Speaks (LJ)

Modern: Superheroes
Landing Page Here Now

Pantry (LJ)

Family Souveniers(LJ)
Souvenir (LJ) A little something from every city

Teaching for the Future (LJ) - unknown Apoc 'verse

Time to Play (LJ)
Under the Sea (LJ)

Big Brother (LJ)

Learn-to-Knit-Day (LJ)
Lost Day (LJ)
A Toque for Hill Primus (LJ)

Salvation in a Bottle
Wine of the Swan Maidens (LJ)
Still (LJ), a story for my Mother.
Kirkevaren (LJ)

The Second Restriction (LJ)
Eralon Explains (LJ)

First Wind (LJ)
First Nesting (LJ)

Flying Squirrel: Frying Pan, Fire? (LJ)

A Physical Detail, just a minor thing (LJ) (a writing exercise)
aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (AlphaZed)
For [ profile] rix_scaedu's commissioned continuation of K for Stolen Karma.

Kyrie was in a panic. A true, honest-to-goodness freak-out panic. He pulled against the ropes, even though they were cutting into his wrists, tugged and yanked and just gave in to the hysteria. He shouted at the woman, incoherent nonsense that really boiled down to "let me go, let me go, I'll do anything, just let me go."

She stopped his screams with a kiss that left him almost choking on her tongue. "If you are not quiet, I will make you be quiet."

It took a moment for that to get through the panic, and then Kyrie shut his mouth and nodded. When she seemed unlikely to rip any part of him out (She had claws. And when she had kissed him, her teeth had been far too sharp), he swallowed, and tried words. "You stole me?"
Read more... )
aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (AlphaZed)
For [profile] stryck's prompt "Kleptomania," and @KissofJudas' prompt "Karma, and what comes of it.

He liked to steal.

Kyrie had started small - pens and school supplies, cookies and lunch. He had been eight, then.

By high school, he'd moved on to small jewelry at the mall, and pick-pocketing in crowded places. By the time he graduated, he had three pawn shops that fenced his stuff for him, and an incredibly nice apartment in a building owned by one of the pawn owners.

Kyrie had a short attention span, and moved quickly on from small-change stuff to bigger things. Burgling houses was no fun - he liked the human contact, the actual threat and challenge of things where he could, at any moment, get seriously caught.
Read more... )

Continued -
aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (AlphaZed)
For [ profile] rix_scaedu's prompt.

"What did you do, Eustace?"

"Why does it have to be my fault?" Said at-fault fella stepped back, hands raised, trying to look innocent. He wasn't very good at it. It was the thought that counted, right?

"Because there are two of us who live in this apartment." Emily clearly wasn't counting thoughts. "And I know I didn't do it."

"Maybe it's a burglar?" He tilted his head towards the couch, and the mess all around the coffee table.

"A burglar that, what, came with a key?" Emily, in turn, tilted her head towards the locked and deadbolted door, the windows with their security grates, the view indicating that, as they had been yesterday, they were still on the twenty-ninth floor. "Or flew?" She looked down at their unwanted guest. "Well, I could believe flew, if the windows were open."

"See? See?" Eustace flailed with both hands. "See? It could entirely have been not my fault."

"Eustace. There is a stoned elf on our couch."

"Euphoric. It's not stoned, it's on euphorics."

"Why are you calling it it?"

"Have you looked under its fur?"

"" Emily wasn't quite that curious. "Besides, since when do elves have fur?"

"Since when do elves ride the Metro? I'm not entirely sure it's an elf. You can get the ears tipped by any good cosmetic surgeon."

"And what about under its fur?"

"Well, I can't think of a surgeon that would do that, but maybe an angry girlfriend. But I think that explains the euphorics."

"...Eustace. You're saying that the euphoric elf on our couch is... a eunuch?"

aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (truth)
This is a continuation of The Darkness in the Shadows (LJ) to [personal profile] kc_obrien's commissioned continuation.

Dawn was threatening, waving its red flag of war at the edge of the horizon.

Up aboveground, the good people of the world would be waking up, cleaning off their dreams, putting on their day-skins.

Down on the streets, the monsters were slipping back into the cracks, back into their basement caves. They cradled the last few night-time whispers, gathering them like grain before the storm, like fruit before the frost. The days could be so very long, down in the gutter.

It was a clear night, the sort where dawn would burn its way clear of the night time faster than expected. There were no clouds to shroud the world, to protect it for a few precious moments. And that sort of dawn would burn the creatures who thrived on the night.
Read more... )
aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (truth)
For [personal profile] kc_obrien's Prompt

Don't get me wrong, I like being a troll.

A goblin, a critter, a beastie of the night. I like being one of the gutter-people, the shadow-monsters, the whispers you don't want to hear.

The light shines brightest down here. We have no light of our own, you see. So every spark of light that we receive is cherished, nourished, and polished until it shines, shines brighter than anything in your world.

And we collect it. Soft words and gentle whispers, sweet murmurs and the smile of a young lady. Diamonds and gold jewelry. A single pearl. A single happy tear.

That's what we are. The thing you don't want to know is behind you. The thing that you pass, not looking, the shadow you don't squint into. We're your collective shiny guilt, the puddle that mucks up your clean shoes, the gust of wind when you've just gotten your hair done.

We are everything, everything dirty and nasty and dark that you fear. And we love your bright bits, your earrings and your laughter, your brand new jacket and that hope you hold close to your chest. We collect them, shine them, and hang them in our gutter homes, our basement bowers, for light and warmth.

And while you drop your hopes into the gutter for us, the way you drop a couple pennies in a cup, we shine them up and hope they will keep the deepest dark away.

Because the light may shine brightest down here, but the shadows, oh. The shadows are like you've never seen.

Pray to your gods that you never have cause to find out just how dark.
aldersprig: (City)
For [ profile] flofx's commissioned prompt, a continuation of Re-Blessing the Church, Guarding the Church (LJ), and Reaching out to the Congregation.

"There are fairies in your church."

Bishop Macnamilla was of an older school of thought, practically antediluvian. Most of the time, Father Nehemiah avoided conflict by avoiding the Ninth Street house where the Bishop kept his residence. The Father's church was new, and not entirely conventional, and not near Ninth Street, and the Bishop's body as well as his mind were old, and did not move easily.

But someone had said something, the Father was certain. The jowls on the Bishop were shaking in the way the once-fat man only did when he had been being yelled at by a parishioner who Didn't Like Something. Probably not one of Nehemiah's regulars. But sometimes the gossips from the other churches liked to stop in and visit.
Read more... )

A href="">The Church in the Park
aldersprig: (City)
After Rediscovering the City, from the January Giraffe Call.

It was the job of a lifetime. My lifetime. My apprentices' lifetimes. And the handsome scientist from SUNY Geneseo with the blue, blue eyes - his lifetime, too.

The City out of Nowhere was becoming the state project. More than that, it was a state revitalization. The Parks Service had, after a good deal of arm-wrestling with every other department and bureau in the state (as well as a bunch of three-letter-acronyms), claimed the city, set up a perimeter, and started regulating who could go in and out.

Lucky me, as a stonemason, I got to keep going in. The place was in pretty good shape, for its age, but it needed work, a lot of work, and my team had already surveyed most of it. So we stayed.

We stayed while the tourists came, while the photographers and the paper-writers and the linguists came. Us, and then the pipefitters, and the landscapers, and the bricklayers. And the brains. And the scientist from SUNY Geneseo with those stupid blue eyes.
Read more... )
aldersprig: (City)
For [ profile] flofx's commissioned prompt, a continuation of Re-Blessing the Church and Guarding the Church (LJ).

The kirkevaren was watching Mirandabelle.

It made her uncomfortable. It made her skin crawl. It made her fingers itch and her shoulders twitch. It made her want to cry.

But she went by the church every day. Every single day, after school, before work, after partying, before she went to bed. Twice some days, three times some days.

She went by because her mother had told her what had happened; because her grandmother had told her mother what had happened. She went because she'd heard the stories and, while this kirkevaren and this priest were innocent - she could see their innocence hanging over them like a halo, like an aura, like a crown - but the church itself, new and hallowed and blessed, the church was not.
Read more... )
aldersprig: (City)
For @inventrix's commissioned continuation of Burning Summer Quest (LJ)
In Mr. Ting's (LJ)
Mrs. Gent's Lemonade (LJ) and Differences of Opinion (LJ) and The "A" Shelves (LJ)
Meeting Mr. Ting (LJ)and
About the Want (LJ)
Part 7-7.5 of 7.5

Mr. Ting was beginning to creep me out and, what was more, I was worried Mt. Jordan was going to blow any minute now. "We really need an AC unit," I put in, trying not to stare at the silver whatsits. Or the tin with the tentacle thing on it. "An air conditioner. We have a kid at home, and cats and rats..."
Read more... )
aldersprig: (City)
For [ profile] flofx"'s commissioned prompt, a continuation of Re-Blessing the Church.
Father Nehemiah wasn't entirely comfortable in the new church.

He had been told, by the kindly woman that cleaned the building, Mrs. Bao, that most priests didn't last long in her city (and that was how she put it: "You priests, you usually can't make it too long in my city. Don't worry your head about it when you find yourself having to leave.") As such, he was determined to, as the vernacular went, hack it.

The corpse-lamb was his first challenge, although not the strongest or worst he would face. The spirit of what he was told was a kirkevaren was quite visible to the naked eye, hovering around the freshly-blessed churchyard, apparently waiting for someone to die so it had something to protect once again.

While it waited, the kirkevaren had decided to guard everything else. The pews. The baptismal. The children in the nursery on Sunday. Sometimes it inserted itself into the stained glass window patterns for a while, another lamb in the wide field of them. It was, Father Nehemiah thought, bored.
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aldersprig: (City)
For @inventrix's commissioned continuation of Burning Summer Quest (LJ)
In Mr. Ting's (LJ)
Mrs. Gent's Lemonade (LJ) and Differences of Opinion (LJ) and The "A" Shelves (LJ) and
Meeting Mr. Ting (LJ)
Part 6 of 7.5

"You have quite a bit of interesting stuff here," I countered. "I mean... stuff I've never seen before. Languages I've never seen before."

"That is because, my dear, you have never traveled, have you?"
Read more... )

Next: What You Need (LJ)
aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (Default)
For @inventrix's commissioned continuation of Burning Summer Quest (LJ)
In Mr. Ting's (LJ)
Mrs. Gent's Lemonade (LJ) and Differences of Opinion (LJ) and The "A" Shelves (LJ)
Part 5 of ?

We were still staring at the tentacled thing - it was just a prop, right? Just something from some sort of Lovecraftian movie or game or... something, right? - when the building shook again. I caught one of the adzes as it swung uncomfortably close to Jordan, and thus was turned in the right direction to see one of the shelves... swing. Rotate, really, like a Scooby-Doo secret door.
Read more... )

Next: About the Want (LJ)
aldersprig: a close up of an alder leaf (Leaf)
For [profile] moon_fox's prompt.

She kept a bottle half-filled with dried rose petals by the side of her bed.

At first, he thought it was because she liked roses, but when he brought her a dozen on their third date, she was so un-thrilled as to be unhappy, and the level of petals in the bottle grew.

And, he noted, his wasn't the only bouquet. The level grew by the fourth date - he brought her orchids, which at least got a smile - and by the fifth, she was onto a new bottle.

He brought her daisies on that date, and it was a nice one, smiles received and a long time snuggling afterwards, until she suggested she had to get up in the morning and he, like a good boy, took his cue.
Read more... )
aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (Default)
For @inventrix's commissioned continuation of Burning Summer Quest (LJ)
In Mr. Ting's (LJ)
Mrs. Gent's Lemonade (LJ) and Differences of Opinion (LJ); Part 4 of ?

The tension in the store was thick and uncomfortable. Jordan was unhappy, and Mrs. Gent was getting back-straight and glowering, like our neighbor down the street that liked to count heads as we left and frown at the number of people who lived in our three-bedroom house.

I didn't know what to do about it, either. Jordan was in charge of smoothing situations over. I was pretty good at putting my foot in it, but that was about it. Making it better generally involved lots of apologies. I didn't think I had anything to apologize for, but it was worth a try, wasn't it?Read more... )
Meeting Mr. Ting (LJ)
aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (Default)
For @inventrix's commissioned continuation of Burning Summer Quest (LJ)
In Mr. Ting's (LJ) and
Mrs. Gent's Lemonade (LJ)
; Part 3 of ?

Mrs. Gent was either very easy to flatter, or she simply liked to play the game. She giggled happily at me. “You’re too sweet, dear. Thank you so much.”

“Thank you,” Jordan tried, and, after another moment sipping lemonade, “I don’t see prices on anything?”

“Oh, Mr. Ting sets all the prices when he sees the customer,” she chuckled, as if Jordan had said something silly. “You can’t just write prices on a shelf and expect them to be right all the time. As it is, sometimes we have to change our labels.”
Read more... )

Next is The "A" Shelves!
aldersprig: (City)
For @inventrix's commissioned continuation of Burning Summer Quest (LJ) and In Mr. Ting's (LJ); Part 2 of ?

"Lemonade sounds nice, thanks," Jordan said, and stepped out of my way, finally letting me see the shop. Shop? This place was a space-time warp. This place was unbelievable. This place was...

Okay. Imagine the estate sale of the most obsessive hoarder you can picture. Then imagine this being curated by the most OCD guy you know. There was everything on those shelves, shelves filling up all but the center of the store, and every single thing was labeled. Everything.
Read more... )
aldersprig: (City)
For @inventrix's commissioned continuation of Burning Summer Quest (LJ); Part 1 of ?

"Mr. Ting knows what you need."

I'm not sure what I was expecting. Okay, no, I know what I was expecting - Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid, or Egg Shen from Big Trouble in Little China, or Lu-Tze from Thief of Time. In short, I expected a sterotype.

I know better. But it was really, really hot, and my brain was frying like an egg.

So into Mr. Ting's we went, feeling a little jittery, a lot sweaty, and a tiny bit hopeful. If he didn't have what we needed (despite the sign), well, we were down to leaving the fridge open or buying ice in giant bags. Or dousing everyone in water every four minutes. I didn't think the cats would like that.
Read more... )
aldersprig: (City)
For [personal profile] kay_brooke's prompt

The city always looked its best at night, or in the fresh near-dawn just after a rain. The lights dimmed all the rough edges, and made what looked grubby in daylight look romantic, noir, cheerful. In the daytime, the city looked run-down, grubby, like its denizens, past its prime. But like the hookers and hustlers, the nighttime added a shine to everything.

Lane walked down the South Street at midnight, nevermind which of those categories might fit the tight leather pants and tighter tank top, breathing in the smoke-tainted air, feeling the city lights against bare shoulders. The world was beautiful, for a certain definition. The world was certainly better than during the daylight. Times like this, you could believe in a little magic. Times like this, the world covered up its gritty parts for you, made itself into a story.

"Hey, you. I've got thirty dollars if you've got five minutes."
Read more... )
aldersprig: (City)
For [ profile] flofx"'s prompt, with information from this site.

Very likely in the "Fairy Town" setting of many of today's stories.

Possibly proof that I should stop writing before 11:30

They were building a new church, which caused quite a bit of consternation in the City.

Not for the faith, which was as welcome as any other. Not for the construction, not in itself. Buildings were sometimes built, even in the legacy parts of town.

The problem was, they were doing it, as the saying goes, right, and thus they were doing it in such a way as to worry just about everyone.
Read more... )
aldersprig: (City)
For [personal profile] ellenmillion's prompt

I think this is in the same setting as Loaves (LJ), which, then, I think is in the same setting as Strange Neighbors (LJ) and the Fairy Road (here on LJ) and thus The Beggars (LJ).

This, ah, wasn't *supposed* to be creepy... eep. Sorry?

In June, every June, for a week (the same week every year, whatever Sunday-through-Saturday had the 21st in it), the City went on vacation. The whole city. Everything shut down. The busses didn't run. Trash wasn't picked up. The radio stations played "best of." The libraries and parks were on skeleton staff, getting time-and-a-half. Even the police and firemen were down to minimum numbers, but that was okay. Crime didn't happen during The Holiday. If it did, the goblins dealt with it.
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aldersprig: (City)
For [personal profile] skjam's prompt

I think this is in the same setting as Loaves (LJ), which, then, I think is in the same setting as Strange Neighbors (LJ) and the Fairy Road (here on LJ

"I've just realized...I haven't seen any homeless people or beggars on the street for at least a month. Where did they all go?"

The words where hardly out of Andrew's mouth when he regretted them. His partner, Cary, was eying him strangely.

"What do you mean, Andy?" he asked, cautiously, Andrew thought. Like there was a secret he wasn't supposed to know. There were a lot of those in the City Police Force. Too many. Read more... )
aldersprig: (City)
For [ profile] moon_fox's prompt

Probably goes with Strange Neighbors (LJ) [After the Fairy Road (here on LJ

It was the hottest summer on record. It may have been the hottest summer ever. The sidewalk was melting. The roads were sticky. Even the devout were wearing bikinis, and you don't want to know what the sinners were wearing. Fry an egg? You could cook a roast on the hood of the car.

And our air conditioner was on the fritz. We had six so-called adults, two cats, three rats (the domestic sort), and one small child in a four-bedroom house, we had eaten all the popsicles, and our air conditioner was spitting out lukewarm air.

So Jordan and I went on a quest.
Read more... )

Continued in In Mr. Ting's (LJ)
aldersprig: (City)
For [ profile] rix_scaedu's prompt

"What we need," Katydid declared, "is a place to eat."

Jorge looked over at her dubiously. "Like a dining room table? 'did, I'm sure you've noticed, but this is a shanty."

"No, no." Her gesture took in the small jury-rigged building. "This is a place to sleep and not freeze. We need a place to eat."

"Okay, you're repeating yourself. Have you gone to the clinic recently?"

"No," she frowned. "They make my brain buzz. This place, Jorge, this shanty-town, Hoover-ville, cardboard city - we need a place to eat."

"We're all starving, yeah, Katydid. I know that. We ALL know that, 'did."
Read more... )
aldersprig: (City)
For [personal profile] anke's prompt(s)

After the Fairy Road (here on LJ
) from the last Giraffe Call.

The park in the middle of the city had always been creepy, but, in its heyday, it had also been beautiful. Children had, once, played there, and the overgrowth that filled up its four quadrants had once been tamed, with tiny footpaths wriggling through like snakes. Now, only the desperate or rushed used the main roads, and only the fairies could find the foot-paths.

The apartment building on Milton, overlooking the park, had also seen better days. In its heyday, it had been a fine luxury building, and the suite size and facade still showed that. The rooms were large, the building was passably well-upkept, but the rich neighborhoods had moved North, leaving the Stanton Arms behind.
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aldersprig: a close up of an alder leaf (Leaf)
For [personal profile] sarah_tv's prompt.

No matter how much they tormented him, Eilon insisted to the last that it had not been intentional. With no proof, no Law against it, and a seeming inability to force the truth out of him, the Jiminies had to let him go - but they held a grudge against the narrow-hipped dryad boy as long as their memory held out.

Luckily for Eilon, the length of a Jiminiy's memory was just barely longer than the next shiny thing, and that meant he only had to lay low (harder than you'd think for a dryad in the city; he spent most the time hiding in penthouse gardens) for a couple months. It did mean he missed Christmas, but that's what he got, I suppose, for messing with the Macy's Day Parade.

He shouldn't have been awake at all, really. Dryad, as I pointed out to him in the time, generally meant "dormant in the winter like a good tree." And, indeed, he got in more trouble in winter than any three boys or three hundred trees ought to.
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aldersprig: (City)
For [personal profile] the_vulture's Prompt.

I think this is a monologue directly after Through the Cracks (LJ), which makes that one a bit more sinister.

For which I apologize. This was intended to be fanciful. O_O

We came with you, you see.

We came with you from England, from Germany, from Poland, from Italy. We came with you from China, from Japan, from Vietnam and Korea. We came from Africa, from the Middle East.

Long before that, we came over on a land bridge, through Russia. Longer still before that, we came out of the trees with you.
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aldersprig: (City)
To [ profile] starlitdestiny's prompt

Safe to say, nobody was expecting a city to pop up between Rochester and Syracuse.

And I don't mean, "pop up" like one of the small towns there along 5-and-20 got delusions of grandeur, called themselves a city, and got businesses to move in. I mean, right there, just north of the Thruway, bam, in the middle of the morning commute, there was a city.

This caused three accidents and a good deal of confusion, mass drug testing in several factories, and then a state-wide (or at least the important parts of the state, up by the lake) holiday as we all tried to figure out what was going on.

It wasn't a small city, not by any means, but unlike the ones that had grown up naturally around here, this one was contained. It had a shell, if you will, a tall wall, nearly as high as the buildings, and arching in as it went up, so that it really seemed like most of an egg, with just a couple towers poking out of the jagged top. One gate sat slightly ajar, off if giant hinges. No more inviting than a broken window in an abandoned house, but that will call to some people, I suppose.
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Routes 5-and-20 parallel the NYS Thruway a short distance south of said hiway, both running parallel to Lake Ontario's coastline across the widest part of the state. The area between cities on these routs is primarily rural/agricultural.

See also this map
aldersprig: (City)
To @Shutsumon's prompt.

There were places in the heart of the city even the cops didn't go, at least not without seven of their buddies and semi-automatic weapons, full body armour and a chopper overhead.

There were places, darker places, where they didn't go even with that sort of back-up, places where the roads had so fallen into disrepair or intentional sabotage that the large police cruisers could not make it in, where the buildings leaned so close together that flying a chopper in there would be suicide one way or the other. Dark places, everyone said. Scary places. Places where those people lived.

Ance had grown up in a safe locked community, but the safe locked community had overlooked, on one side, the cheap side, Ance's family's side, one of those dark places, the place called "the numbered streets." Since childhood, looking out the bulletproof glass down on the buildings that seemed so much older, so much more dignified, so beautifully scarred, Ance had wondered about the dark places.
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aldersprig: (City)
to @DaHob's prompt

I do not remember being born. Do you?

I don't really remember waking up, either, that is, being aware of myself for the first time. Knowing where my "fingers" were, where my edges were. When something hurt me.

That, that is what I remember first and strongest. I remember being hurt. I remember being damaged. The pain shooting through my nerves, making me recoil backwards.

They called it an accidental fire. They almost always do. They can't fathom, I think, that when I am hurt I must react. And when I am damaged, I have little way to fight back. Earthquakes hurt me as much as they hurt them. But a little fire, a spark here, a twist of a wire...
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aldersprig: (BookGlasses)
For [ profile] stryck's prompt.

“It may be time to accept the inevitable,” Fred sighed, holding Chelsea close. His wife stiffened in his arms.

“No!” she demanded. “When have we ever given in? When have we ever given up? Fred, Fred, I want this so badly!”

“I do too, honey, you know I do. But nothing is getting us anywhere…”

“Well, then, we’ll have to try something else!”

She spent the next week in her studio, writing, pouring out everything onto paper. Their lovemaking was rough and desperate when she emerged, and often ended with Fred holding a sobbing Chelsea, the two of them clinging to each other as if to a lifeboat. When the week passed and she calmed, the sex gentler, the sounds from the studio more like her normal writing, Fred thought she’d finally given in, that she hadn’t been able to find another way any more than he had.
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aldersprig: (Aldersprig Leaves Raining)
For [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith's prompt. Thanks to @inventrix and @dahob for helping me figure this one out.

“I don’t want this anymore.”

Jewels flopped onto the doctor’s table, glaring at her hands in their perpetual gloves.

“I tried to get a manicure the other day and nearly killed the poor girl. I can barely eat without gloves on, and gold flatware is just not all that interesting. I thought it was sort of a fun power when I got it, I’ll admit – but it’s really really conspicuous. Last week someone mugged me just to get me to gold-plate his kid’s baby shoes.”

“You know the solution,” the doctor sighed. “Have you found someone willing?”

“Surprised the hell out of me, but I did. Alberta comes from a very poor family, but she’s savvy. She’s been slipping my gold into the markets for me for years.”

“And her hands…?”
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aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (Default)
For [ profile] moon_fox's prompt.

"That... that's the biggest present I've ever seen."

"Well, I suppose I could have made it bigger, but that was the longest iso container they had available."

"And how did you wrap it?"

"Oh, you know. I hired this company that wraps jets.”

“Why? Why did you…?”

“Well, I couldn’t afford to wrap a whole building, sorry….”

“No, no, I mean… seriously. How do I open this?”

“Here. Really Big Knife, tee emm. Part of the gift.”
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aldersprig: (Shooting star)
To [personal profile] kelkyag's prompt.

The park in the middle of the city had always been creepy.

It was only a city block wide, but it had been allowed – some said by design – to become overgrown and wild, so that there were only two clear paths through the whole thing, an X crossing the park, the center a circle where, once upon a time, a merry-go-round had stood. People hurried through the center now, even in the middle of the day. The ghosts of the children were too densely packed there, and too loud.

Whitney cut through there every day. It took five minutes off of her walk, if she did it right, and that meant she could catch the 6:30 bus instead of the 5:30 bus and still be to work on time (instead of fifty minutes early), which meant another hour of sleep or reading or drawing in the morning and being able to actually stay up in the evening; on the way home, it meant she could take the 5:15 instead of the 5:45 home. She walked the park from the Northwest corner to the Southeast corner, which to her was a matter of practicality, but to our story means everything.
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