Untitled Ficlets (2018-11-27)

“It’s not a storm,” she says, trying to cut through all the arguing. The council members are far too busy trying to outsmart each other to focus on the reason why this emergency meeting was called in the first place, the actual problem.

“It’s a ship. A flying ship, the size of a mountain,” she says, lips pressed together in a tight frown. She knows what she sounds like. Madness. A flying ship the size of mountain, so dark and swift as to look like an oncoming storm.

Most of the councilors that do hear her scoff at the idea, and she would too if it were any less serious.

Storms are forces of nature, they happen and humans must endure then rebuild. But this monstrosity encroaching on their nation is worse than that. The damage will be deliberate and devastating.

“It’s an invasion.”

“I’m sorry it’s you,” Thomas says, voice weak, grip weaker.

Darren grunts in response, tries not to let it get to him, keeps his own grip firm as if something in their clasped hands will improve the situation. As if some of Darren’s own strength will flow from himself into Thomas by sheer force of will.

“I’m sorry you’re here,” Thomas says again, tweaked slightly but essentially the same.

Darren understands. He’s no one’s first choice for comfort, clearly. He can barely muster any kindness for the one he loves at the end of his life. He understands, but that doesn’t mean it hurts any less.

“I’m sorry you have to see this,” Thomas says a third time, but it doesn’t seem to match, “But I’m too selfish to tell you to go.”

“I’m not going anywhere,” Darren assures him quickly, raising their joint hands to press Thomas’ cold hand to his face. He wants to hope, he wants Thomas to mean something else than what Darren has been dreading.

“I don’t want this to be how you remember me, okay? Don’t remember me like this, Darren.” Thomas’ voice has started to slur, a whispery whoosh of dying breath.

“Thomas. Thomas?”

~

A/N: Get those prompts ready–clearly I need the help!–because it’s gonna be December soon which means the free-for-all Ask Box Advent Calendar 😀

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Word Prompts (W8): Warmth

She began cold, drawing blankets and coats to herself, scarves and spare scraps of cloth tucked into any openings left. She began cold, in a stone cave damp and miserable, the night air harsh and haunting.

She began cold, waiting to heal enough to move–though whether she meant to retreat or proceed, survival by cowardice or honor in action, she could not decide. Could barely consider, really, as she was mourning and in shock and scavenging through the caravan for anything that might help.

She began cold and woke up on fire, feverish and burning alive. No doubt cooking herself by accident, a horrific death on an already horrible day. Her muscles could barely move, she had nested too well, and it took her an excruciating while before she could claw her way out, press her face to the now soothing stone of the cave, lip idly at the trickles of water, cool and sweet.

It took her another half day to find an equilibrium, head muddled as it was, protected but not roasting, and another slow, plodding two days after that to gather and prioritize supplies for a lone girl miles and miles from the nearest civilization.

She does not know what fate may befall her ahead, only that to remain here would be certain death.

“Shh, shh, it will all be okay” she murmurs, hushing soothing sounds, clutching the both of them to her sides. She tries to be confident, to put up a brave front so that her cousins do not catch on, but there is no concealing the trembling of her arms, the hitching of her breath.

They are braver than her, it seems, for they do not respond with anything but solemn nods and a tighter embraces.

Outside their chosen hiding place, the hound paces, its snout peeking in and sniffing deeply. It barks to its fellows, the harsh sound echoed in multiple, the percussion of horse hoofbeats and the voices of men following all the more fearsome.

“Shh, shh,” she can only dumbly repeated, her voice cracking and tears beginning to fall.

“Can we pray to the Moon Mother?” asks Takay, sweet and petal soft.

“Of course,” she replies, as steadily as she can. It might be little comfort at the end of their lives, but for such a gruesome demise as this, surely any comfort is worth it.

Bulan, silent but no less sweet on her other side, helps her shaking hands reach for her beads.

“Moon Mother,” she begins, her cousins parroting the prayer as best as they can remember, “Who watches over us in the sky, casting light upon our dark nights. We pray to thee.”

There are now multiple hounds sniffing at the crevasse, barking madly with bloodlust.

“Moon Mother,” she continues, even as Takay and Bulan cannot, their faces shoved into her ribs, seeking whatever cover or comfort she has left to give, “Who sits amongst the stars, guiding us forever forward to our peace. We pray to–”

A high pitched yelp interrupts the chorus of barking outside, and soon the hounds sound less enraged and more confused. Scared.

She realizes that the hoofbeats and sounds of men have not come any closer. Have ceased entirely. Another high pitched yelp and soon the dogs are retreating, no longer harrying the opening of their hiding place.

Soon after, the forest is deafening in its silence.

Takay and Bulan pull away from her. Their hands still cling to her clothes, but they lean forward now, curiosity outweighing their fear.

A single boot steps into the visible triangle of the forest that they can see. Filthy and worn, but hardy it seems. Beside it drops the end of a staff, which taps twice against their hiding spot.

“I will not stay,” says the figure who has saved them, the voice gruff with what might be disuse. Their savior crouches down, body swathed and obscured by fabric, but unmistakeable as a human woman. “But you are safe for now.”

Ode to 11010201 Redux, Traditions Torn (2018-11-20)

There were an odd number of candidates at the trials.

Normally, this mattered not. Quantity of candidates were less important than quality, and only the best and brightest could join the Premier Witch Council.

But for this particular set of trials, the fact that there were an odd number of candidates was not just surprising but also worrying:

On the full moon after the Premier Gemini Witches died, trials were held to find a new pair of luminaries to replace them.

One candidate had come alone.

“I know what they think of me,” Candidate Chacone says during the final trial, “I know what they said.”

The eleven luminaries remain silent, observing. Judging.

“They think I’ve done something to her, a diabolical thing. Then mutilated myself for more power. An abomination of a Gemini witch.”

Still the luminaries say nothing.

“But she was the one that slammed a wall between us. She’s the one that left me alone, screaming!" 

Some of the younger luminaries at the ends flinch at her tone, but the Premier Taurus Witch at her place in the center merely holds up her hand, settles them.

"My magic wants desperately to harmonize and all I had were the shrieking echoes of myself.”

~

~

For seven hours and thirty one minutes, Luminary Chacone headed the largest, most successful coven in history.

If the knowledge had stayed within their secret half world of magic and marvels, then it would have been a triumph. 

As it is, Luminary Chacone’s actions have brought unwanted attention from the shadowy government organization known as SHIELD.

The magician doesn’t look like anything special, Maria thinks on the opposite side of the glass. Nothing like Loki–grand robes and staff and regal demeanor–but perhaps that had more to do with his alien heritage than his magic.

If Maria had passed by this magician on the street, she wouldn’t even turn around. The magician looks absolutely normal. Absolutely human.

The magician waits, patiently, silently, as she has done since agents escorted her here. No demands for explanations. No pleads to go back. No questions.

How alarming.

This should Coulson’s job. For all that SHIELD is still cleaning up the literal alien invasion, this feels like a peace time interview, or even a recruitment.

But Coulson is dead, and Fury can only trust Maria to do this, never mind that she’s a battle commander and not the deft touch of whatever Coulson was.

Enough.

Maria steels herself and enters, posture impeccable, and the magician reacts by blinking slow and sleepily at her.

“You did something,” Maria begins, a shaky start but not inaccurate, “During the invasion.”

The magician nods, open, “I protected those that I could.”

“More than that,” Maria responds, unable to find words for what she means to say.

SHIELD had experienced losses that day, of course, Coulson one of many. But only from the direct attack on the helicarrier. When the rift was open, monsters from across the universe raining chaos down, SHIELD stood firm. Agents stood back up from hits that should have taken them down, were able to do things that should have been beyond them. For several hours, SHIELD was undefeatable.

The magician huffed a soft but honestly amused sort of laugh, smile curling her mouth though her eyes continued to droop in exhaustion. “A matter of convenient coincidence,” she answers, though Maria hardly had a question formed. “My priority was to ensure that the building would be safe.” Again she laughs, or tries to, “I told everyone to believe that the shield would hold.”

~

A/N: The later bits are related to this long ago Avengers crossover. Just doing some “spring” cleaning of little ficlets and such on my computer.

LE2019 – NOTHING MAKES YOU SHATTER

This is the un-formatted script I wrote for Bindlestiff’s 2019 Love Edition show. Unsurprisingly, especially since I wrote 7/10 pages three hours before the deadline, it didn’t make the cut. Also, this particular script was like pulling teeth and I didn’t stumble on the plot until five pages in so…

I figured part of the problem was that I didn’t have the opportunity to do the workshopping and feedback process (literally the draft I turned in was 1.2, when usually I get to at least the 3rd version by deadline). I don’t know when or if ever I’ll use this script, but I thought it would be fun to share. And while the script itself isn’t the best I’ve done, I quite like the concept even if I didn’t hammer it out fully.

ANYWAY, with all that wishy washy rambling as an intro, how could you resist? 😛

LE2019 – NOTHING MAKES YOU SHATTER

“Our existence is a horror story told from the monsters perspective”

Ode to 11010201 AU ficlet (2018-11-12)

A/N: Continues from here.

“We destroy that which threatens our existence,” the stranger says, after she pulls Zim and, belatedly, Kevin to their feet. She is far more reluctant in healing Kevin, or perhaps the curse had dug itself into him more thoroughly, the uprooting all the more hollowing for it, because he hardly speaks on their long trudge back to Doc Kaiza’s clinic.

“What does that have to do with–”

“But that’s so subjective, don’t you think, octant?” the stranger interrupts Zim, easily guiding them through the trees towards civilization, almost familiar with the forest trails, though he’s sure he’s never seen her in town before. “Our existence as in our lives or our lifestyles? Threatens as in physical danger or mental stress or even financial threat? All this subjectivity, and yet never do we interpret destroy as anything but kill.”

Zim doesn’t understand, stays nearly as quiet as Kevin whose arm is warm and pliant over his shoulders, footsteps stumbling in Zim’s own.

The stranger looks at him, at them–Zim and Kevin, stumbling and covered in dirt and leaves–with a smile on her face. “You nearly killed yourself today, octant. Over some normal human.”

At those words, Zim can feel irritation flare, his grip on Kevin tightening, protective. “Kevin’s not just some normal human, he’s my best friend! I had to save him. I had to!”

Her smile grows wider, “He has no magic. He’s as normal a human can get,” she says, “But I’m not criticizing you, octant. It’s good that you went so far to save him. It’s good that you found a way to purge the curse without killing your friend…”

His temper cools, though he still keeps his grip on Kevin’s arm steady.

“It’s good that my sister raised you away from the clan,” she concludes, before shrugging and walking ahead, trees giving way to the roads on the outskirts of town, ignoring the informational bomb she dropped behind her.

“Y-your sister?” Zim asks with barely concealed hope, rushing to catch up to her and dragging Kevin along with him.

The stranger–or, perhaps something, someone else–glances back at him before turning ahead once more. If there is emotion in her voice, he can’t hear it, but maybe there is something to be read in the line of her shoulders, her stance, her pace. “Yes,” the stranger says, a sigh and a pause, “Your mother.”

~

A/N: Very belated and very short response to what might be a misinterpretation of your prompt, @wildtabbykat. Sorry!

But I am going to try to get back to writing because goodness knows I’ve not been in practice. I did write a script for the Bindlestiff’s Valentine’s show, but I’ve not heard anything back so it’s likely it wasn’t chosen. Which is… disappointing but not surprising as I didn’t really think it was my best work anyway :/

Anyway, I STILL have three remaining prompts from the ask box things you said event (which has been going on for LITERAL MONTHS) which I will hopefully fill and then do a different ask box event or soooomething so as to get that good good writing exercise.


https://jacksgreysays.tumblr.com/post/178549000547/audio_player_iframe/jacksgreysays/tumblr_pfhc4sBEsb1u7pteb?audio_file=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tumblr.com%2Faudio_file%2Fjacksgreysays%2F178549000547%2Ftumblr_pfhc4sBEsb1u7pteb

A/N: Final piece, both created and chronologically. I’m quite aware that many of these “voicemails” were waaaaaay too long to be actual voicemails, but I think the further along I got the more I discovered what the story I was trying to tell was, and the more of that story I tried to fit.

It’s unstated, but hopefully implied that R is drunk for this one.

I hope you enjoyed this mini-series, scattered and unorganized as it was.

~

8 – R to Iris – 1 Year

Hey, Iris… It’s been, um, it’s been, uh, a year since our… dad… died and… since we’ve… spoken. Not that that’s, um, more important than our, you know, our-our father dying, just, um, it seems that they are just linked… together… and I, um… I thought it would be–I just wanted to acknowledge it with… someone who would understand. But I guess maybe… that’s not you either since… I don’t understand… you… anymore… or if I ever did…

‘Cause to me it just seems like when dad died you… did… too. ‘Cause I lost both of you at the same time and… it… might as well… be true because… I mean… right? Like, you might… you might as well be–

I d-… I don’t want to be angry anymore. And-and I’m not angry anymore if–if… You know different… different people deal with loss… differently… and, um… I guess that just means I… You dealing with it in your way means that I have to deal with the double the loss in… my own way and I guess that includes leaving voicemails to someone who doesn’t care… So… 

Probably you’re not listening to this… I don’t even know where the fuck you are… I’m just–statistically you’re probably closer to dad’s grave than I am, so if you could–if you could put like some kind of fucking f-bouquet or whatever… Talk to his buried corpse… and the nice shiny rock that cost a lot to have his name on it–if-if you could do that, because I’m… I’m not there and I’m… Hell, maybe-maybe you’re not there either–I don’t know what I’m saying anymore I’m… 

Yeah, it’s been a year! It’s been a year, Iris! It has been. A. Year…  I don’t know, Iris, I don’t know what happened… to us… to…

I don’t know… okay… I-… this is me saying goodbye to you for… for–for real o-or, you know, closure or–something–or…

Goodbye, Iris.


https://jacksgreysays.tumblr.com/post/178518802774/audio_player_iframe/jacksgreysays/tumblr_pfhc38TX5N1u7pteb?audio_file=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.tumblr.com%2Faudio_file%2Fjacksgreysays%2F178518802774%2Ftumblr_pfhc38TX5N1u7pteb

A/N: 7 of 8–in which I forget the words “embezzlement,” “fraud,” and “suspicious.”

~

7 – R to Patrick – 5 months

Hi Patrick, it’s R… um… oh, geez, it’s late. Uh. Sorry about calling… outside of work hours… and… at… two thirty in the morning. Um. I guess I could have waited? Until we were both at the office to let you know but, um, I just–I just found it and I just thought it’d be good to inform you as soon as possible, um, that there is uh… so you know… in regards to the, um, Pine Star Group? Uh, I would suggest we… look… elsewhere because their financials are a little bit… hinky. I mean, I guess that’s not the professional words I would use… to describe it, but there’s something fishy with their financials and it–I-I do not think we can take on that kind of liability, um, I can–I have the documents, um, with me and obviously I can show them to you… tomorrow, or I guess later today, in… the office… but, um… basically their, um… yeah. 

They’re shifting a lot of money… around… and there’s not–I can’t tell where… it went. Which, I mean, my first instinct is, um… well, no, I was–I was gonna say maybe they just have bad math, but it–it’s prob–it’s probably like… they’re probably like… skimming from their own company right? Like that’s–that’s probably what that is? That’s–that’s–I mean, that’s–we can’t–we can’t trust them–we can’t… 

Anyways! I will speak to you… tomorro–today–in the office–okay, have a good night, um, morning–have a good–bye!