Sunday, April 13, 2014

What the fuck kind of name is Edward Doorhander

1. Write every day. Except on days when you don’t feel like writing that much and you don’t have anything interesting to say.

I write email every day but I have a blog at work now and it is so fun and terrifying, because I really want to write more, just not about those workthings. I want to write about Sobek and Zosime and Louise and Edward Doorhander. What the fuck kind of name is Edward Doorhander? It came to me in a dream, so I can never change it now. I know what he looks like, what he eats, how much he likes freckles and biscuits.

26. Y is an indecisive letter; using it implies indecision.

I am perilously close to a discovery, but actively feel it could be detrimental to my whole being--that is to say, the idea which has occurred is wholly and completely anathematically abhorrent. Anathematically isn't a word, but I think you have gotten the point, hopefully.  See what I mean.

8. Always describe the smell of your protagonist's hands

I suppose her hands smell a bit like the earth, and a bit like the sea. Maybe a little like chamomile and lavender, from hand lotion. It's a homey smell, for a homey sort of person. You don't get to live nearly three thousand years without learning to make yourself comfortable in a hurry, or being a comfortable sort of person when the situation calls for it. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Beyond caring, I had curled up inside my own head, away from my flayed back where feathers once softly lay, away from my nails nipped to the quick, away from my tortured guilt over Dom's preventable death. The clanging noise around me could not bring up from that place until it nearly touched me. Calhoun freed me with a frantic sawing and I fell to the ground in relief. My shoulders sang to me and I numbly rubbed them with bloodied hands. Cal kneeled down and offered me a bottle of water. A pocket of calm in the middle of a battle. It wasn't enough, but it would have to do.

"You came."

"Of course we did, the birds wouldn't leave without some to follow. Imagine the scene in movies where the bird gets the kid to follow them through the woods. Imagine that with probably every single bird in existence, trying to catch as many people's eyes as possible. We weren't the only ones that came."

"Your sister?"

"She fights on the other side now...Sobek took her while I came to find you," he said, almost questioning.

"She will be safe with him. Come, we have much to do," I said. All of my muscles ached, but they would have to wait. The water helped, at least. We got up to survey the damage the birds had done, and were still doing. Goblins heads their helds, eyes plucked or mangled beyond repair. Cernunnos' mobs had been dispersed and could not reform with such peril above their heads. A few had begun to fire their poison and fire arrows into the air, and had brought down many fair creatures. More had started to dig themselves down into the earth, where it was safe for them. A winged sphinx had arrived out of legend and was tearing about her with great sweeping paws, her terrible gaze naming every kobold before wiping them from this plane. There were creatures on foot too--things that had lived quietly in my town until now. Good to know they had decided to help their resident harpy. It was starting to look like rout but where was Cernunnos? He would not stay to defend his worthless followers--There he was, making his way through--a scythe swipe here and there, wading through and away from the battle instead of into the thick of it.

"Cal, we must catch him!" I took off on foot, not caring if I was followed or not. I heard a horn behind me and glanced back to see a dozen hawks of all shapes peel off from their murder to aid me.

The air rang with my voice. "Cernunnos! Face me!" The beastman stopped his progress and turned slowly, horns rust-red in the dying light. The languor in his eyes infuriated me further. My bones shook, but my inherited rage lent me strength.

"You will answer for the wrongs you have done," I said, my voice carrying across the glade to him. The fighting around us had settled to a dull roar. Nothing and no one else would touch either of us now, this was a fight among chieftains, and would be settled.

"The wrong I have done?" he roared like a bull. "I seek to live and revive the ways of my people. I seek to protect my rightful domains once again, and all of the creatures in it. Even you, foul human bird, fall under my protection. You are the one who must know your errors, and atone." He stood up even taller, so many words giving him more consequence, and continued, "You brought the men from the south, and sold my people away for a fire. You sang their lives away and took them to your halls of death, while I was bound and powerless. You let them all forget me until I was almost nothing. But I did not pass away like my mortal brethren--I did not die, and I did not forget.

"You have killed what is mine, and now I will kill you," I hissed, and flew at him. The hawks circled.  

Friday, September 27, 2013


I kissed him once, I kissed him twice,
I drove a dagger into the ice
Twist and fall, wish and crawl

I never hated you so much and loved so little.

Sunday, July 07, 2013

The Road to Damascus

My mind turned to magic before I could write, and so we relied more on my ability to create than to record. He taught me the sounds of happiness, and I found the joy in all things as he did. Golden days and moon-lit evenings filled my mind to bursting. I made everything I could, and set free the fruits of my mind, if they had a  mind to go--we all reveled in the song and the sweat of our labors. Summer is long, but cannot last forever. Things are made, they ripen, and they die--this is the oldest pattern. There is nothing like the first shiver of fall.

I learned the song for everything else when he left. When my mind was a long way off, the wood and the clearings of stars and grass made themselves known--it is lonely, but clear. It is impossible to know light if you know nothing of darkness. In rage, and then misery, and then mere sorrow, I learned to lose as surely as the trees go to sleep, doused by the wind. When the sun rose once more, I learned that light will always find a way, and that the things I had learned had not left me because the one who taught them had. There would always be a leave-taking, but leave-takings are still beginnings, in their own way.

Belief is strange. The more you think about it, the less it makes sense. I've been many things, but I've never been a scientist to divine the measurements of being; never one to order them in odd ways that others may understand and require--but the patterns are there. They've always been there. Nature orders itself. We are merely here to reflect what is given, in whatever form suits best.

It's important to hold onto the old feelings--the pure names of things, the sounds in your head that no else hears when you experience water on your hands, or sand, or stones; the ideas from the touch of willow leaves pricking your face as you walk through them and the murmurs from the still pond in the woods behind your home. Sometimes, the old woods give the best words. Sometimes, you just need to throw language a bone. String together beautiful things and the world will shift with your sound. 

For the Scriptic prompt exchange this week, Michael gave me this prompt: "And sometimes ... it almost seemed to him, that he ought to be happy." -Heinrich Von Kleist. I gave Grace O'Malley this prompt: Stained, orange, light, lizard, voracious, soft - use these words or be inspired by them.

Sunday, June 30, 2013


They always say that every landing you walk away from is a good one.

We'd landed, but it wasn't a good one. There wasn't enough gravity to walk away from it, and too much to take off again easily. The mission (and it's always a mission) depended upon us finding the golden time--the moment the home planet's gravity field interfered just enough to let us escape our current gravity well--and launching perfectly into that space when the time was right.

They didn't tell us that the project had been underfunded, and that corners had been cut from the start. There was no room for error here. Only one shot, or we'd all be consigned to a slow death of starvation. No one stints on oxygen anymore; it's the worst way to die.

But first, the samples. We'd been sent for a reason after all. This moon had life on it, non-sentient, but alive nonetheless. We needed to know how it could survive out here, so we could survive out here, too. The forest waved as if it were underwater, the roots keeping the trunks in place, while fronds and tentacles waved  without rhythm or reason.

I left the mechanic in the ship, to calculate the times, and to warn us when to come back, lest we miss our window home. I hoped we could trust him.

The team collected samples while I kept a lookout. After the incident on Meridian IV, no one took any chances. Just because what we'd found wasn't sentient, didn't mean other things weren't around.


After a few hours and no incident, the work was done and we began trudging our way back to the ship. The mech had been radio silent, so we supposed the window hadn't passed. We picked up the pace as we got closer.

"Ben?" I called through the radio, "Let us in, we're hungry." The hatch slid open and we crawled up the exterior ladder to relative safety.

"Ben?" another called, "Where are you, man?"

Ben didn't answer. I noticed the countdown clock as the hatch clicked shut.

"Get to your flight seats and buckle in! Now!"

The rockets ignited without warning and we were heaved into the sky. I'd slammed down into the cockpit and check the "mirrors" to see what was happening behind us. I saw a figure standing on the edge of the clearing where we'd landed, and then watched as he turned and walked into the forest, tentacled branches swallowing him from my site.


We never went back to that moon--there was no way we could modify ourselves to survive there and still be able to travel to other worlds. We wrote off the mechanic as a casualty of discovery in the report--he'd done his job, but had gotten off of the ship and missed the window. That's business.

I always wondered if that had been on purpose.

For the Scriptic prompt exchange this week, Venusmoon gave me this prompt: I always wanted to be an astronaut.. I gave Grace O'Malley this prompt: It's a process, he said, which requires a little...tweaking.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


I wasn't sure it would float.

It wasn't physically impossible but it was highly improbable. I checked the calculations again, touched a few levers, and finally let her go. The first supporting pylons fell away, followed by larger ones until all that was left were hoses. Those fell away with a few more presses and she floated above me on her own power.

My island in the sky.

The product of thousands of hands and minds, hundreds of arms and legs, seas of sweat and boiling blood, and one dream. One dream, and it was mine. This new land floated on sunlight and wind, and it was the answer to the problem we'd created for ourselves when the caps melted. The land would float upon the sea when necessary, her vents sucking in water for desalination, and heave herself up again--the great solar engines humming the song of the hydrogen firebomb that kept us too warm in this age--and into the air, where we would go with the wind patterns mapped so long ago.

Other islands like this one would eventually rise from the bones of the mountains whose peaks still poked at the sea, but mine was the first. Most of the current population of this blighted mountain top would remove to the floating land above, and become nomad.

I still hadn't made up my mind.

For the Scriptic prompt exchange this week, Barb Black gave me this prompt: I wasn't sure it would float..

I gave Grace O'Malley this prompt: Stop thinking, and end your problems.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


I could feel the pressure building up behind my eyes. The latest round of schedule changes had everyone tense and unhappy. The changes didn't really affect me, but the injustice felt by others stung the senses and made it difficult to think. When you know all of the secrets, nothing surprises you.

I watched some, but mostly I listened. These people had acted for too long to give much away by body language, and the voices long modulated into accommodating-without-accommodating tones, with uncaring steel underneath, but there was enough there to notice true feelings--the breathing would give them away. And the eyes, which are so hard to hide, spoke volumes. The jargon was simple, once you figured out it was their way or the highway. My way or the highway, even, since the world knew me as one of them. Couldn't help but smile at that thought, though it was true in at least one sense. The smile flew from my face when I heard what came next.

"--asked if I would intercede on his behalf with the crown. I said that I would, but most certainly will not. There can be no word of this to anyone. Tomorrow I will speak with the underlings. Dreadful accident, and all. Deadlines must be met." All said in the most righteous tones--everything for the good of the land, especially for me. Ah, that stung. The more unsavory emotions had a flavor in the mind, and it was never good.

"Quite." The under-minister winced slightly, as if something pained him. This went unnoticed by the other speaker, but the other was not watching, too intent on her own machinations. This one was much better at masking the taste of the feelings--a true survivor in this hierarchy. He would be here long after this one's flame burned low.

I slipped, sight unseen, out into a perimeter corridor. Someone needed to be warned, and if I didn't not warn certain people at certain times, terrible things could happen. Had happened.When you expect to go unnoticed, you go unnoticed--or if you act the fool to the right people, you are only a fool. A slip of the tongue, and nothing more. This works well for me, and those who have the gift of clear-seeing always know better than to trust my easy acquiescence and downcast eye. My own tells are a quirk of the lips, a flash of eye. I keep my hair short to hide the most telling of giveaways--a penchant to twirl a lock of hair, come hells or high waters--and the cut merely added to the impression of general flightiness.

The route was circuitous, but finally wound up in a back corner with a loose brick. I jimmied out the brick and whispered into the space a short message, "Be-ware the rising flame, it has had too much air." It would have to be enough. I replaced the brick and whispered another word, that the message would only be heard by the one who would most benefit--in this case, the one destined for a dreadful accident. They would not die at the hired hands of this most odious of courtiers, even if they did deserve it.

If you want to kill someone, you should see their blood.

For the Scriptic prompt exchange this week, Bewildered Bug gave me this prompt: She could feel the pressure building up behind her eyes. I gave Barb Black this prompt: I am a part of all that I have met.