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The things which are in this world are finite. Perhaps something essential, an inner fire, was removed as the fruits came through your envelope? Or maybe I do not have eyes that can see the thin sheen of beauty over the mechanical surface of the universe anymore.

Or maybe what I have done has leached the world of color, just as it has smothered the house.

All that I had gained, all that I had built, it’s… gone.

The futile cardboard skins of instant dinners have returned to the refrigerator, replacing the variety of foodstuffs and persistent salami. The stacks of books have given way to shelves of emptiness, a neat and orderly shelving of tome after tome of blank pages. The smug yellowness of the house, the oily beigeness of its air, is no longer a part of the knowing emptiness. It is simply silent.

The windows do not look out on the same gardens, or any gardens at all. There is no flickering change in the corner of my eye, no gleam of other sunlight, and in fact no weather at all.

I suspect that I may have killed the house. )
scribal_goddess: (Default)

Hello, Kiana. Thank you for the fruits – at least I assume that’s what they were. At the moment they look a bit like shriveled hearts. Perhaps they will also become trees. Certainly I don’t think I can eat them, even if it would be a surprisingly appropriate image.

I think that if the chess board is worth something, you should fix the roof, if it needs it. A small leak can sicken a house from the inside out. So can bad water, and termites crawling up into the heart of the house, so I suppose it is good that you have started to fix the garden, so that things can grow there instead of simply dying.

Your friend may not have a house, or be had by one, but she seems the sort who a house might want to keep. The thinking kind of person, someone who can see beyond other people’s peeling wallpaper shells.

To answer what I think may be your most important question: I have been infinity. For each person I have been, there are ten more behind those memories, and another ten, and another ten, stretching on and on. I do not have a beginning. The doors prevent me from having an end. Perhaps the mathematicians will say that I loop back around and contain myself, but whether I am a chorus of ghosts or a snarl in the fabric of the universe, I have always, to my knowledge, been myself.

That self just hasn't always been the same. )


Jun. 3rd, 2017 12:08 pm
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I may as well tell you the rest. It couldn’t hurt. You and I are figments of each other’s imagination, a story passed hand to hand around a fire in a whisper that is older than words.

It won’t hurt to tell you.

At least I hope not.

You were right about the doors. )
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There are things I dare not write, and send to be seen and known and judged. Not yet. 

Hello House. I hear you. Perhaps – this is hard to say, with a voice that sounds unlike my thoughts – perhaps you can do me another favor? I know I live within you like a clownfish in an anemone, and that without your help I would not have lasted this long. Do houses even do that weird, guilt-tripping thing about giving and receiving help? Do you resent me rattling between your walls and leaving the doors open all the time?

Are you a shiny oyster shell, doomed to crack? And am I the smear of slime and muscle inside, or a pearl formed around an irritating grain of sand?

I have to go to the Night Garden again. It will not be pleasant, but I need to know. To breathe the watchful air and to sift the silence through my fingers. I must pin myself in place and be without this fear, this watching, never able to close a door behind me for fear of what it might become. The night garden could change that, if the words burned in the back of my brain are true.

If I am right –

I can’t be wrong.

* * *

This interlude is part of The Pen Pal Project. Anya's two pen pals are Kiana Moss and Seth Morrigan. The masterpost for Instant Messages In A Bottle is here

scribal_goddess: (Default)

It is good that you have made another friend. I am… not ideal to be a person’s only contact with humanity, not least because I don’t match the precise definition. Perhaps this Sabrina will know more than I do about house care and surgery, the making of furniture boxes and the installation of refrigerators.

Perhaps, held in the heart of the house, panic will find it harder to reach you. )

Still, I am afraid that what I am doing now – what I should have done a long time ago – will not be easy. That I do not yet have the right answer, that the third option I have finally begun to search for will evaporate as so much smoke and dust.

I have been to the night garden.

It was not very pleasant at all. Have you ever had one of those dreams – no, not the one you’re probably thinking of, but one where you’re still almost awake, unable to move, observed by something that cannot be seen, a stranger in your own body? How slowly, the terror rolls over you, how deeply you feel the regard of something not quite live, not quite universal, something that judges your very soul with scorn but might still eat you anyway.

The night garden is worse than that. It does not watch in a recognizable sense. There isn’t a word for what it does, chill in your brain and thick like peanut butter in your lungs, teeth aching with the salt-smelling silence, the certainty that, should all go wrong, it is not death that awaits you.

I had almost forgotten.

The night garden is not safe. I am also not a safe, tame thing, so I supposed it would be better than it was.

It was not.

I did not find what I was looking for.

This is a part of the Pen Pal Project, and a reply to Kiana’s latest letter, Glow Garden. As always, it’s best to read both sets of letters to understand the whole story.

Next chapter will be a plot-necessary interlude, so it may take a little time for me to get to the next set of replies. 

scribal_goddess: (Default)
I debated sending you another letter before you had a chance to reply. It has been a very long time.

Perhaps, though, for you it has been less. I hope you had fun at Granite Falls, if fun is a thing that the hungry sun will allow you.

I have been keeping note of what has happened on a pad of paper that I found in a kitchen drawer.

Since last we spoke, I have:
- Spoken to the house and received a new pen pal, who communicates with me through letters that spontaneously appear while my back is turned.
- Experimented with sending physical objects back and forth between our two realities via envelope.
- Discovered that the house will, if asked, produce a great variety of foods, though not always the exact food that I was looking for.

You could say that I have made great progress. Or perhaps you could say that this update on the trivia of my life has been small talk, and perhaps it has. Small talk, someone once told me, is for small people.

But all of this is just avoiding talking about the Night Garden.

You do not, I think, have to imagine the dark )
scribal_goddess: (scribbles)

I put up the first part of Shadows Fall in Halloween of 2015. It got longer. For now, these links are going to the Tumblr posts, but I'll probably crosspost full chapters here at some point in the future.

As a special event, Chapter Two is going up, one section per day, over the 2016 Halloween Weekend. Also, be sure to check out my tumblr for random build and play pictures.

Chapter One:
Part One * Part Two * Part Three

Chapter Two:
Part One * Part Two * Part Three

Chapter Three:
scribal_goddess: (scribbles)

A selection from the journals of Zaliander the Wise
Pride Goeth before a fall... )
scribal_goddess: (scribbles)
Title: Cinderella Syndrome
Author: Scribal Goddess
Rating: G
Prompt(s) Used: Vanity’s a business built to fleece the unique
Summary: Nymea writes an essay, for once in her college career. Despite being a Lit major, she has a very tentative grasp on irony.
Warnings: None.

The walls of Nymea’s room at the Tri-Var house were covered in cheap stick-on mirrors and pages ripped from magazines.

Your insecurities are concealed by your pride )
scribal_goddess: (scribbles)
It's not much, but I decided to drop this with you sims-type people before I scuttle over the river and through the woods to my ridiculously sized extended family tomorrow. (We've got a few less in the house than the Elvensongs this Christmas, but more tykes. :D )

This is what would happen at a later Elven Heritage Legacy Christmas… assuming that the Elves even celebrate Christmas… actually, this is Viridia Elvensong and Chalimyra Elkthorn we’re talking about doing the planning here, they'll any excuse to bring their families together for any holiday, especially if they can get Eluisa to back them up. It’s set about five years in the future from my most recent EHL chapter, meaning that while Ara’s gang has graduated, nobody else has, and Ariadne has just turned seven.

Beware of: Sap, family bickering, characters you haven't seen in a while, Ana and Lydia say the V word enough to deeply annoy Orion, extra frosting, Aranel's in this and stressed so there's at least one swear, mild spoilers if you haven't got caught up to Graduand or have forgotten a few pairings I've already spoiled for you. Also, this is not the one specific thing that happened to the blender that took it out of commission, this is just the beginning of Aranel's routine blender abuse. Don't ask me about the sizing.

Once again, generation zero is too fogey to be in this fic. That and I did one clip for each of the generation one Elvensong kids, and three out of four were driving home.

*          *          *

“And yes, mom, we did bring cranberry relish and the potatoes,” Aranel said into her cell phone, rolling her eyes in the passenger’s side sun visor mirror so that Rean and Amadeus could see her and commiserate, “No, I didn’t forget. And there are oranges in the cranberry relish, I promise. No, I used real sugar, I know the powdered kind doesn’t work – okay, well I didn’t know, but it didn’t say powdered sugar in the recipie, so I assumed it meant regular. I am able to figure out a recipe on my own. Well, if you don’t think I can do it, why didn’t you make it yourself?”

Viridia’s response made Aranel wince and hold her hand over the phone.

“That does it,” she said to Rean, who had been ignoring the phone call while holding Amadeus’ hand in the backseat, “Call’s for you.”

Rean fielded the phone with his free hand. “Hello Mrs. Elvensong,” he said.

“Well, hello Rean dear,” Viridia said, sounding frazzled, “Can you just check that you have the fingerling potatoes, cranberry relish, and the paper plates?”

Rean kicked the cooler squished in the backseat of Bastian’s car between himself and Amadeus, who wiggled an eyebrow at him. “One bag of potatoes,” he said, “one very large bowl of cranberry relish according to recipe, one package of forty eight paper plates.”

“That’s good, I’m just putting the ham in the oven now,” Viridia replied, “Chalimyra is due any second now with the pies, and Midina and Makir are going to be just a little late with the wine and a salad.”

“Well, we’re only twenty minutes away now, so I’ll leave you and your oven alone,” Rean replied.

“Thank you, and if you see those college kids on the highway, honk at them for me! They haven’t called yet.” Viridia replied. “Ariadne! Those cookies are for after dinner, young lady! Tell Bastian to drive safely, Goodbye!”

“Goodbye.” Rean hung up, and steadfastly ignored Aranel attempting to headdesk against the dashboard.

“I swear you are her favorite child,” Aranel grumbled to him. “She should just adopt you and get it over with.”

“Are we really going to need forty eight paper plates?” Amadeus wondered out loud. “That seems a bit… excessive.”

“Well, there’s the four of us,” Bastian began, holding up his fingers against the steering wheel as he counted, “Everyone still living in the heritage house at college, which makes ten…”

“Six people at the heritage house?” Rean asked Aranel.

“Orion,” she explained, “Lydia’s little brother, a year younger, moved in when we graduated.”


“We’ve got Aranel’s parents and baby sister, which makes thirteen,” Bastian continued.

“The Elkthorns, who convinced my mom to have this monstrosity of a party, which makes fifteen,” Aranel added, “Which means sixteen, because Auntie Eluisa was in on it, so of course we can’t leave out Midina and Makir Shadeson and their daughter Delphina. There are going to be nineteen people in the house, so double that number because nobody is going to save their plates between food and pie, and we’ve got nearly forty plates, and ten pounds of cranberry relish.”

“That is not ten pounds of cranberry relish,” Bastian said.

Ara just sighed at him. “Feels like ten pounds,” she said, “clearly I didn’t inherit the cooking gene.”

“Or the ability to fix the blender gene,” Amadeus put in wryly, thinking of the shrieking, grating mess that they’d left sitting on the counter in the apartment that the four of them were living in like a pack of sardines.

“Look, I swear to you that once we have come back from the loony bin that is my family, I will fix the damn blender,” Aranel told him, “until then, shut up and enjoy my mom’s cooking, and Chalimyra’s, and… well, everybody but mine and Aunt Elu’s.  I think my mom put her on gingerbread-frosting duty with Ariadne, so she won’t have burnt anything in particular.”

“Your family’s not a loony bin,” Rean told her.

“At least you still have them,” Amadeus added.

“And they’re not on the far side of the country,” Bastian put in.

Aranel threw her hands up in surrender. “All right!” she said, “Merry Christmas to all, and welcome by default to my nutty family! I am The Grinch, because I am the only one who gets annoyed with my perfect mother’s compulsive need to check Every. Single. Detail. And with the fact that she doesn’t trust me to open a can! I have never once burnt the house down while cooking!”

There was a moment of silence in the car as they all stared out at the snow that was drifting deceptively gently down on the road.

“I remember this being a lot less stressful when I was a kid,” Aranel admitted softly.
                                                *          *          *

“I swear to you, Lydia if she asks me if I’ve found Mr. or Mrs. Right yet, I will scream.”

Lydia was currently busy glaring at the snowflakes that were drifting across the road in front of her, mostly because she didn’t want to end up in a ditch. She had no idea how she’d ended up selected to drive the secondary car, except that Elirand, Calla and Achenar had all wanted to be in the same car, and Calla was the one with the map. Following a light grey Smoogo had sounded like a much better idea before she’d started driving in the snow.

In the meantime, Orion had coped with being relegated to the backseat by putting his enormous headphones on and becoming effectively dead to the world from the second they’d started out, while Anariel was, if Lydia was completely honest with herself, angsting.

“I just know it’s going to happen,” Ana continued, “I can just feel it. Ever since Achenar and Calla announced that they were engaged she’s been on the prowl like a shark waiting for someone else to get a ring so she can plan a wedding. She’s got wedding envy.”

“I think she just wants to know how things are,” Lydia said, not taking her eyes off the road. “I mean, you don’t see her asking Aranel -”

“Well, that’s because Aranel is the perfect political daughter whose career is important and who is actually, provably, too dense to realize that she and Bastian are the perfect couple. I mean, the perfect couple who isn’t mama’s darling boy and the lovely neighbor girl. Her best friend’s daughter, I should add.”

“Got something you want to tell Calla?” Lydia was all for airing family grievances – the green ones knew she’d vented plenty to Ana over the years – but she was going to have to wind Ana down a bit if she was going to be complaining about everyone in their house. As far as Lydia was concerned, Calla was great. Well, except for the fact that Lydia seemed to keep finding her lip-locked to Achenar all over the house, which was just one of those “really, guys?” situations that turned up out of the blue to annoy you when you lived in a heritage house with five other people.

“It’s not Calla that’s the problem, it’s that Achenar and Calla are going to go home next year and continue the legacy and have a huge fuss made over them all the time by my mom, and if I want a fuss, I’ve got to find somebody to give me a rock. And she never seems to think hey, what if I don’t want to get married? What if I just want to have a job, and have fun with willing partners, and don’t really want to have kids at all? Currently, I’m having too much fun with my vagina to consider shackling it to someone else for life, or pushing a baby through it.”

Lydia fake-gagged out of pure reflex, then compulsively tightened her grip on the steering wheel in case the motion had made the car slip. It hadn’t.

Really, Lyds? Real maturity you have there.” Ana was amused, at least.

“Too much information about your vagina.”

“You’ve got one too.”

“Yeah, I just ignore mine, though.” Lydia rolled her eyes. “Anyway, done ranting?”

Ana thought for a minute. “I think so,” she said for a moment. “No, wait – where does my mom get off applying her outdated mores to my life? Why should I have to get married and have kids?”

“She’s pretty damn well adapted to modern life, all things said.”

“And yet she still makes that disappointed face because she thinks that I shouldn’t even try to figure things out, or have fun with people, and she thinks it’s wrong if I have sex and should just have a permanently off-limits vagina until marriage.”

That, Lydia didn’t have a good argument for. Her parental sex education had been a talk from Makir about why condoms were good, sex while drunk was bad, and that if anyone ever tried to push her into anything, she should aim below the belt, and a much later talk from her mother on always being safe and never, ever having a partner that didn’t respect her. With the technical aspects covered with the help of a rather elderly medical encyclopedia, she’d put it aside under the category of “worry about it when it comes up.”

“Look,” Lydia said slowly, “She’s your mom, and most moms are not at all like my mom, so probably it’s just the fact that she remembers you in diapers, so she’s determined to ignore the fact that you now want to use your vagina…”

In the back seat, Orion groaned. “For the love of the green ones, will you stop saying vagina already?”

Lydia watched as Ana turned tomato-colored. She’d probably forgotten that Orion was back there. Then, she grinned a wicked grin.

“Vagina,” she said to Orion.

“I hate you,” he replied, flipping her off in the rear-view mirror.

                                                *          *          *

“… And then you take ninety four in about five miles,” Achenar finished.

“Okay, Green Ridge to ninety four,” Calla replied. “Check and see that Lydia’s still behind us, would you?”

Achenar leaned over and saw Lydia’s car keeping pace some forty feet or so behind them. “Well, assuming that they haven’t been abducted by aliens right out of the car…”

Calla managed to hit him without looking.

“If you’re so nervous about driving, you could let me take over,” Elirand said from the backseat.

“No!” Calla and Achenar said in unison.

“Once you start doing doughnuts in the Student Union parking lot, you forfeit the keys,” Calla added.

“I was in complete control,” Elirand lied through his teeth.

“Of your finances, maybe. But not the car,” Calla said firmly. “In any case, we’ll be on the highway in about five minutes, and it will clear up there.”

Sure enough, the ramp onto the highway was clearer than the roads surrounding Sim State University. And due to the weather, there was less holiday traffic than there could have been.

Due to the fact that Calla had the steering wheel in a death grip as she ascended the ramp, there was near silence in the car, except for the radio turned down very low playing White Christmas.

“Hey Achenar, thought of a present for your little sister yet?” Elirand asked, once they’d successfully joined the stream of traffic on the freeway.

Achenar smacked himself in the forehead. “I forgot to ask Aranel what she was getting Ariadne,” he admitted, “or Ana, for that matter…”

“Well, you’ve got a couple of days left,” Elirand replied. “And hey, don’t sweat it – with you and Calla living with your parents after you get married, and therefore by default being authority figures for Ariadne during her teenage years, you’re never, ever going to be her favorite sibling. So if you get her a lame gift it’s not going to matter that much in the end.”

Somehow, without removing her focus from the road one bit, Calla managed to give her twin brother a Look.

Achenar, however, had had nearly fifteen years to get used to Elirand’s brand of teasing, and was currently occupied with something else: a sudden realization that he’d forgotten something.

“Crap, I forgot to call my mom and tell her we were on our way!” he said, and fumbled in his pockets for his phone.

                                                *          *          *

Ariadne was busy putting red hot buttons on her fifteenth gingerbread man: gingerbread elf, that is. She’d counted. And she’d finally found out that she could correct the cookies if she put pasta shells on either side of the cookie’s head and glued them on with frosting. The ears were too big, but at least everyone knew that she had not made gingerbread men, she had made gingerbread elves.
She was also busy telling her auntie Elu about all the things that she was going to do with her brothers and sisters now that they were home.

“And ‘Enar and Calla and Elirand can take me ice skating,” she said, applying sprinkles to one crooked cookie, then staring at it with a critical eye, “but not until after I make a snow fort with Ara and Rean and Bastian and Amadeus, because there’s going to be lots of snow by tomorrow! Bastian designs houses,” she informed Eluisa, “so he should know how to make a really, really good one. Ana can take me to the mall the day after tomorrow when it’s supposed to be really cold, because that’s the last day to see Santa.” She grabbed the pink frosting and started doodling on another cookie’s feet. “Is Lydia going to be staying with us?” she asked.

“No, she’s going back with her parents,” Eluisa told her as she added hair and m&m eyes to her own gingerbread elf, “The only people staying at your house are your brother  and sisters, and Rean, Amadeus and Bastian.”

“Brothers,” Ariadne corrected her, “Ara says that she adopted Rean to be her brother, which makes him my brother too.”

“That’s not exactly how that works, sweetie,” Eluisa said.

“Well, it should,” Ariadne replied, grabbing a star out of the lineup and dousing it in blue icing. “I can get another sister because Calla’s marrying my brother, so why can’t I get another brother? I like having lots of brothers and sisters, and if Rean’s my brother, then when he gets married to Amadeus, I’ll have three brothers and three sisters. That’s more than anybody I know has, and I can ask to be the flower girl in their wedding like I’m going to be in my brother and Calla’s.”

“Don’t count your chickens before they hatch,” Eluisa told her, adding wobbly white swirls to a bell, “has your brother or Calla asked you to be the flower girl yet? They haven’t even picked a date for their wedding, after all.”

Ariadne pouted. “Well, I’ve got to be something,” she said, “and I’m too young to be a bridesmaid, daddy told me so. I might be big enough by the time Ara and Bastian get married, though!”

Eluisa blinked. “And who said anything about Ara and Bastian getting married?” she said.

In reply, she got an eyeroll from the first grader. “Everybody knows they’re going to get married eventually,” Ariadne said, “It’s just going to take them ages to figure it out, like in The Black Cauldron. And then Ana and Lydia are going to get married, and everyone’s going to officially be my brothers and sisters.”

Eluisa tried very hard not to laugh. “That sounds like a regular soap opera you’ve got going there,” she said. “And who are Orion, Elirand, and Delphina going to marry?”

Ariadne grinned. “Orion’s gonna marry a blue alien princess,” she said, grabbing an as-of-yet earless cookie to demonstrate, “she’s going to come in through space like whoooosh!” she nearly decapitated the cookie against the table, but managed not to break it before she started frosting it. “And Elirand’s going to marry a lady who sees ghosts. I don’t know who Delphina’s going to marry,” she said, looking thoughtful, “she still hasn’t met him yet, but I’ll figure it out.”

At that moment, the doorbell rang, and Ariadne ditched her cookie in a heartbeat. “They’re here, they’re here!” she yelled, “Come on, Aunt Elu, they’re here!”

Two fics

Feb. 28th, 2013 11:42 am
scribal_goddess: (scribbles)
One of these is spoilery and set in the next generation. One of these is not. And there seems to be an unintentional theme of bridges.

Not spoilery, but very long.
Catching Fireflies
The darkness surrounded her.
Oh, it wasn’t really, truly dark – she could see her bare feet sunk into the soft long grass beyond the bridge, the grass that they almost never bothered to mow, which would come up to her waist by the end of the summer – but it was dark enough. The yard looked different in the dark, not just washed of color and secretive, but with shapes she wasn’t certain she remembered. Of course, that could be the fact that she was standing in the middle of the clearing, watching for the yellow to green fade of the fireflies, with a plastic jar in one hand, squinting to make out the position of the tiny bugs in the dark. Whenever she sprinted after one, she found that she’d missed its position, closing her hands on air and watching as the black soft speck like a large grain of rice drifted away against the night, lighting its tail lazily behind it.
Some of them flew and some of them lived in the grass. Her big sister-in-law told her that they were looking for each other, which was why they had the lanterns. Her big brother told her that the chemicals in lightning bugs were very important, and were being used in all sorts of research. Her mom told her that they had been born from sparks that fell from the first shooting stars, and auntie Elu told her to wish on them – it couldn’t hurt.
She needed a big jar of them for all her wishes, but she only had a couple in her jar so far. For something that flew so lazily, they were certainly too fast for her. And she didn’t want to go charging off into the inky darkness beneath the pine trees, in case she stepped on the ones that flared in the grass, first the yellow light and then the green fade. The three that she had caught had felt soft and chalky against her palms, not at all hard and shiny like ladybugs or feathery and shaking, like moths.
There – near her beneath the pine trees, she saw the flare, and she jumped after it, her feet suddenly crunching against the needles as she held her hand up in the way of that fading speck. The bug blundered against her and she closed her fingers around it, feeling it stop and then start poking it’s feelers against her palm. It started searching purposefully for a way out, and she had to sit down and brace her jar between her knees so that she could get the lid off and pop the insect in. She shook it out of her fist and snapped the red lid back on as fast as she could, to keep the others, already crawling up the sides, from escaping.
            Once she looked up, there was another, and then another, and one by one her hand was filled with the chalky softness and the heatless light, and the insects in her jar crawled over each other, flaring and fading, searching. Then, she sat down with one of the still-warm rocks of the clearing against her back and stared at her captured wishes.
            She saw the back door open out of the corner of her eyes and pretended that she hadn’t.
            “Ariadne!” called her big sister-in-law, Calla. She wasn’t going much further than the porch, though, because Ariadne was going to have a nephew in a couple of months, and Calla had started to find it hard to walk around all day at her job. They weren’t really serious about it being time to come in until they sent someone who could catch her.
            After a minute of standing in the doorway, Calla turned and went back in, just like Ariadne had thought. Absently, Ariadne slapped away one of the first mosquitoes of the year, smearing her own blood across her knee, and stared deeper into the jar of fireflies.
            If she had ten fireflies, she had ten wishes. Or perhaps she had ten chances at the same wish. She had the darkness and the summer night on her side, but not for much longer, because bedtime was so close after sunset when the days were longer. It was only because it was the weekend and school would be over soon that she’d been allowed to stay up late enough for it to get this dark. So she was going to use as much time as she possibly could to make certain that she had the right wish.
            She knew what she wanted – she wanted the mysterious dark and the captured pieces of stars. She wanted it all to be true, to see all the intricate connections of the world in the flare and fade of fireflies, to taste the north wind on her tongue, and to live in the world that she knew existed beyond the routines of school and homework and bath time and bedtime, the world where the fireflies really were born of stars or of wandering souls. It was exciting there, in the world that her parents had once known and left behind, the world where magicians lived and knights and maidens went adventuring, and where the white cities on the spines of mountains rose out of the clouds for no reason other than that they could. She couldn’t understand why they’d left, because it seemed like a world worth keeping, a place where it was easy to set things right, so different from here.
They always treated her like a little kid, but she knew how hard it could be to set things right here – there were bad laws that her oldest sister was fighting, laws that wouldn’t let her not-really-brother get married, laws which weren’t fair – and she knew that on the days when her daddy came home and didn’t talk, he’d tried to help someone and failed. She could wish for her daddy to be the best surgeon in the world and her sister to win all her arguments, her mom and Calla to not be sad anymore when they believed in one of their students more than their own parents did, and she could wish for everyone to be able to fix all their problems – but she didn’t know if things would stay fixed. They thought she didn’t know that things were wrong, but she could hear all the same. Sometimes they forgot, because her sisters and her brother were so much older than her, that there was a kid in the house at all.
            In a few months she’d be an aunt and responsible for a little baby. Soon enough after that, she’d be an aunt to a lot of babies, because her oldest sister was going to have her twins soon after Calla had her first nephew. Ariadne already knew the babies’ names, and she was practicing saying them in her head. Saelen would be the oldest, the twins would be Lysander and Tanith. She wouldn’t be the only kid any more – but she’d be in charge of things, once she was an aunt, and that much closer to being an adult.
            She only had ten wishes and she didn’t know who to spend them on. It was going to be a hard choice, because wishing for everything to be fixed and everything to be all right seemed like an unreasonably big job for the little bugs in her jar, even if lost souls did hitch a ride on them from time to time. She wanted life to be exciting and new, but she also wanted to fix everything that was wrong, that made her family sad in ways they thought she couldn’t see.
            The screen door swung open and shut and she heard footsteps on the stone path, then the wooden bridge (hollow underneath, her daddy had gone down there with a flashlight himself to show her that there was no troll and never could be,) and finally the soft crunch of the pine needles on the way to the clearing. Her daddy had come to fetch her.
            “Time to go inside, Ariadne,” he said from above.
            “I’m wishing,” she explained, knowing that he’d understand. She had to get it just right.
            Her daddy looked at the jar full of fireflies and the frown on her face.
            “What are you wishing for?”
            “Can’t tell you,” she replied, because didn’t he know that you couldn’t ever tell a wish to another living soul or it would never come true?
Her daddy knelt down in the dirt beside her. “I bet it’s for Rocky Road ice cream.”
            “It is not!” she protested, indignantly. “It’s very important.”
            Since her daddy simply sat there in silence and let her re-gather her thoughts, it seemed like he agreed. The crickets and the little frogs in the creek started chirping as Ariadne screwed up her face in thought.
            “Ready, princess?” her daddy asked, and she nodded. She was – that is, she knew what to wish for. After a second’s hesitation, she unscrewed the lid.
            The fireflies, which had been so eager to escape before, had a hard time finding their way up and out of the jar.  Finally, the first one crawled up onto the lip of the jar, waved it’s antennas, and then launched up, a blur of wings, signaling yellow and green once it had risen high enough. Then the next rose from the jar, and after that a third, until all ten fireflies had risen into the night and disappeared.
            Ariadne and her empty bug jar rode piggyback across the bridge to wash up for bed, but the fireflies and wishes kept on rising until they were swallowed up by the night.

            This is semi-spoilery, but very not specific.Preparing for a funeral
  Tanith usually didn’t care if she wore black. She liked black jeans and skull t-shirts and highlighter colors – anything that was distracting, anything that stuck out from the herd. Today, standing in the mirror next to her mother, who was fussing over her black dress and Lysander’s black jacket, she thought it was the bleakest color that ever existed.
  They hadn’t even reached the funeral parlor yet, the casket that would be empty, unlike the deep bottom of the river, the things they couldn’t find and could never find and wouldn’t be real. The long file of cousins wearing black. The crossing over that bridge, was it the same bridge, the long row of grey headstones, they all couldn’t be real. Of course they weren’t.
  Tanith hated the color black.
scribal_goddess: (Default)

Prompt: Rough Childhood, from [ profile] smoothiesims

Name: Yellow Ribbon
            Characters: The Newsons
            Rating: G
            Words: 328
            Summary: Georgia waits for the day everything will get better. 

Georgia Newson woke to the sound of yelling, rolled over and picked up the battered Snoopy alarm clock that was fifteen minutes fast and had to be adjusted every night, and sighed. That was Ginger and Gabby, at it again – and there was the slam of the door as Gabby stormed out of the apartment, headed out for nowhere in particular. She’d show up at school, eventually. Probably.

She pulled on her clothes quickly and kicked the wall near the door. A kick back reassured her that her twin was also awake and waiting to see if the coast was clear, and she eased the door open to find Ginger slouched at the table staring at a burnt plate of instant scrambled eggs and sobbing. Gallagher already had his arm around her shaking shoulders, and was making an attempt at soothing noises.

Georgia tried not to listen – not listening was the only way to get any privacy in their two bedroom apartment – and gave Garett a poke to scoot him over. She turned the burner off on the stove, and the two of them scraped the salvageable portion of the eggs into a Tupperware for later, adding the pan to the pile of dishes in the sink that needed soaking.

“I’m sorry, I… I’ve got to get changed for work,” Ginger said, and disappeared into the girls’ room, wiping her eyes. Gallagher just stood there uselessly.

Although she tried not to, Georgia couldn’t help but stare at the faded Polaroid fixed to the fridge: a handsome young soldier in grayish green fatigues, his hair buzzed so tight to his head that you couldn’t tell it was curly. After two years in the sunlight on the refrigerator, it was hard to distinguish the soldier from the sand

And though Georgia had only a passing acquaintance with religion, she whispered a prayer straight to the only person she knew who could make it right.

Come home, Gavin. Come home soon.

Prompt: This Dress is Itchy, from [ profile] bellemistoire

Name: A White Flag
            Characters: The Greenmans
            Rating: G ish. It's a Daisy fic, so some will find it sad on principle. 
            Word Count: 780
            Summary: Azalea is fairly certain that she has the most embarrassing family in the world.

Azalea had always known that her oldest sister was, to borrow a phrase from her mother, “special.” She was six years younger than Daisy and couldn’t remember a time when she hadn’t been the ‘big’ sister, though at fourteen and 4’11 it felt more like a misnomer now than it ever had.

It wasn’t Daisy’s fault. But no one had given Azalea a choice in the matter either, and she just knew that somehow, Daisy was going to ruin her first high-school party, and that if she didn’t, the quads would.

She’d spent the better part of a week trying to convince her mom to keep Daisy out of her hair – to take Daisy and the quads roller-blading, or for ice cream, or something – but her mom had pointed out, with unfair amounts of logic, that there was no way that she could handle the five of them alone in a public venue, and that she was not leaving Azalea to host a pool party without any adult supervision. Someone, she said, would drown, and then Azalea’s party really would be ruined.

It wasn’t fair when parents used sarcasm. It also wasn’t fair that her mom had decided to let the quads invite that elf girl – Dolphin, or whatever her name was – and wasn’t supervising them. Oh no. She was letting them loose in Azalea’s pool party, and it was already bad enough that Briar was there. She was getting sick of her school friends hitting on Briar, and of the fact that she had as many siblings present as visitors. All of the little kids pestering, the Briar being embarrassing, and parental supervision was combining to thwart her progress towards the hot, hot lips of Michael Sims, who looked even finer in trunks than she ever would have thought.

Just as she finally sat down on the plastic lawn chair next to him with a juicebox full of punch and started up a decent conversation, she felt a tug at her shoulder.

“What, Daisy?” she snapped.

“Zae, dress is itchy.” Azalea turned around to look at her adult sister, who was scratching at her stomach and wearing a frown, “Zae, make it stop.”

She’s probably got leaves or sand or something down it, Azalea thought. She noticed that Daisy wasn’t wearing shoes, but Daisy was going to throw a temper tantrum if she tried to make her put some on, and that would be a party-killer. Besides, it wouldn’t do her any harm in their own backyard.

“Not my problem, Daisy,” she said, and turned back to Michael.

“But it itches!”

“Go take care of it, then!” She heard Daisy leave, and sighed. “Sorry, Michael,” she said, “My parents insisted that all the kid siblings be here.”

“That’s okay,” he said, “The little ones are having fun, and I don’t think any of us mind sharing the pool.”

Azalea looked at the poolside, where two of her friends from school were braiding Zebrina and Genlisea’s hair, while Rosemary, Basil, and their friend were playing guys vs. girls cops and robbers far too close to the poolside for her father’s comfort. It was okay by her if her friends were fond of the squirts – they didn’t have to live with them.

“Yeah, the quads are actually behaving for once,” she said, “Of course, they’re seven and a half now, so…”


“The blond one’s not ours. She’s the best friend of at least half of the quads, though, - depends on the day who claims to be her best friend - so she’s here a lot.”

“Oh,” said Michael, “I guess I should have figured it out – she doesn’t look anything like you.”

“Well, everyone knows that I have family like some people have rats,” Azalea replied. “So… when you say that, what do you mean, exactly?”

“Well… nobody else in your family is blonde,” Michael replied hesitantly, “Plus, you know, she’s a little kid, and you’re… not.”

No shit, Sherlock.

“I mean, I um… you’re really pretty,” Michael fumbled, blushing furiously, and Azalea swore she could already taste her first kiss in strawberry punch as she leaned closer to him, “I… if you don’t mind, that is -”

A chorus of screams and a splash whipped them both around.

“What the hell…?” Azalea wondered as her mother came running across the lawn towards the pool, where she could just make out Daisy’s black hair bobbing in the pool, and the quads covering their eyes and yelling.

“Daisy! That was very naughty of you!”

Daisy, unfazed, beamed at her family, waving her white dress over her head as she treaded water in the pool. “Not itchy anymore, Zae!” she declared.

scribal_goddess: (scribbles)
Because, when girls talk about other people, in my experience, it's mostly other girls.

Name: Girls' Night In. (Prompt: Junk Food, by[ profile] peasant007)
Rating: Everyone. (If people haven't been spoiled as to Achenar, Rean, Ara and Calla's future spouses by now... then they haven't  been here long.) Also, it's Canon. I'll reorganize and add to the fics page at some point...
Characters: Ara, Lydia, Calla
Summary: Friday night has become even more sparsely populated than usual. The girls have the junk food all to themselves for once.

It wasn’t so much that Aranel didn’t generally get along with other girls. It was just that she spent a lot of time with the guys, and she had become fluent in dude-speak over the years.

It was a useful skill: after all, her two best friends were dudes. She had a younger brother – might as well have had two, what with Elirand always around – and ever since high school, she’d sworn off large, girls-only groups of friends. She didn’t really care about fashion or celebrities anyway, and the only other subject of conversation among those large groups of girls seemed to be other people.

Which, dude, not cool. )

scribal_goddess: (scribbles)

Name: Organic (prompt: Organic from

[ profile] esmeiolanthe)
Rating: Gen, no spoilers.
Characters: The Greenmans
Summary: Rosemary Greenman continues her diary assignment and talks about her extended family.
Dear Diary,

This is my second entry. Teacher says we have to tell about things that our family does like the pioneers, which is easy because my parents like to farm. Mom wants me to talk about our organick produce, which is very good for you. Nothing nasty in it. Nobody will get sick from chemikles.

Also we have to talk about our family. This is easy because I have a lot of it. Probably my sisters will write about our tomatoes as well. (Not Azalea because she is in high school and she says, go away, find out the math worksheet yourself, can’t you see I need to write a S.A.? I say, shut up Zae. I wish sometimes we did not all share a room. The Pioneer Girls must have been very patient or had nicer sisters.)

I have one grown-up cousin who is from my Uncle (Dad’s brother,) and no other relatives besides them. Briar said that Dad told him we also had an Aunt but she is moved away. She devorsed my uncle and never comes to visit. I asked my grown-up cousin Jules about her once, and she said a word that Mom washed Azalea’s mouth out with soap for saying. I think Jules is angry that her mother does not come and see her. I do not think I could do without mom because, who would cook? Dad burns things and there are too many of us. Except, sometimes mom is very busy and forgets that Daisy won’t eat normal food. So when she makes plates for seven of us she forgets to make one for dad. He ends up making burnt food. Sometimes Daisy tries to feed it to the trees or our dog. The Dog is named Beasley and he has yellow eyes. He is also not very fun except for Daisy. He sleeps a lot and does not want to play with us four children. This dog he For some Resun reasons he only loves Daisy and follows her everywhere. If we ever get another dog the new puppy will belong to someone other than Daisy.

Dad is never happy when he has to burn his own food. But, Briar says, he always forgives mom because she is so busy with seven of us and she makes him happier once again. When I asked how she made dad feel better he said that was probably how they got me and Basil.

I think he meant maybe Mom decided to have more kids so that dad wouldn’t be the only one who was having them after the aileens gave him Genlisea and Zebrina. She and dad didn’t know that we were two twins. Or about the other two either.

I will finish this entry now because my bedtime is too early. It is a waste of time, which is what Briar says when Mom sends him to bed, but he and Azalea get to stay up until nine, ten thirty on Friday and Saturday, which is a whole hour more than the rest of us get. Daisy does not sleep normally. This is a good thing because the girls’ room would not fit one more bed.

Goodbye Diary,

Rosemary Greenman, age 8.

scribal_goddess: (Aranel)

Name: Weather the Blame

Prompt:  Taking the blame.

Rating: T, because when has an Aranel fic been much less? My girl swears.

Spoiler Rating: Four out of five elf ears. Seriously, the only thing I’m bothering to conceal in this one is exactly why these events are occurring. Which… well, you might do the math, but then, you won’t know how it happened anyway.

Characters: Aranel (Elvensong) Roanoke, touches on Bastian, Anariel, Lydia, Haldir, Viridia, Ariadne, Achenar and Calla.

Summary: The tabloids have a field day at the expense of the Elvensong extended family, and Aranel is powerless to stop them.
                            - - - - - - - - -

            It wasn’t enough, Aranel knew now, to change things. You had to make people want them to be changed.

            That was the hard part. There was always someone who preferred to stick their nose in other people’s business, to cling to whatever power they might have at the moment, to clutch their sameness to their chests and refuse, like a toddler, to let go.  

            She’d made a speech, once, about the politics of the word no. She’d stirred up the crowd – such a young crowd. She’d been so young. Half of the attendees hadn’t even been old enough to vote yet. They’d been the ones who papered the town, their schools, the clubs, with the red and green flyers. Vote, said the flyers, vote for anything so long as you vote for change.

            And there had been so many who had. A majority. Enough.           

But it wasn’t enough. There were always those who whispered, always those who said the cutting words that were weapons in their mouths, poison to the ears. They hadn’t been happy: and now the ones who screamed the loudest were the tabloids. Scandal. Curse.

            Why couldn’t they leave her the fuck alone? What business of the press was a politician’s kid sister? They’d never been interested in Aranel’s family before. They’d only wanted pictures with her children, to prove that she was a mother, prove that she was a “family friendly choice,” whatever that meant.

            There was something wrong with the whole family, the tabloids and the opposite campaigners, the commercials, yelled. An illness ran in it, a strange destiny. The middle daughter was a homewrecker, living with a newly-divorced actress. The mother had broken down in tears at a public event. The father was going senile, forgetting names and faces, forgetting to put the milk back in the refrigerator, and had been retired gently from the hospital when it became clear that his forgetfulness was a danger to the patients. The only people who seemed to be holding it together were the son and heir, and the oldest, the politician with the problem daughter, the one who could no longer make speeches, had no energy left. Why should she? Grass had grown over the grave, dirt piled over the emptiness that the river had snatched from them, rushed out to sea.

            They’d looked into her birth certificate for the fourteenth time. She was a citizen, for god’s sake, they had her records on file. Just because she had pointy ears they assumed that she somehow didn’t truly belong here, as if her whole life had only been passing through, not stopping. And it wasn’t enough for them to attack her – she’d grown a skin of steel, not for nothing in the last two terms – oh no. They had to go after her family, her sister, her husband, her children. No, they hadn’t used money from Bastian’s job as an architect to fund her campaign. Despite the fact that it was, technically legal – despite the fact that her opponent had used his inherited profits from a massive canning factory – that had been the safety money, the if this all goes to hell we’ll still be able to put the kids through school money. They attacked his work, his art. They swarmed the campus to get a picture of Tanith’s newest piercing, headlines with her face popping out of news racks like demented daisies. Politician’s Daugther Goes Bad. Politician’s son tells reporters to fuck off and leave his sister alone.  Politician’s nephew seconds the statement, and tells them where they can stick their cameras. Politican’s brother: Successful on His Own or Riding Sister’s Coattails? Sister-In-Law of Aranel Roanoke: Elected due to Family Influence? Recently Divorced Actress Living With Society Reporter, Sister of Politician: Their Affair and How it Shook the Film World.

She could see the headlines on her eyelids. They burned in her sleep.

Not as much as the gravestone, marking nothing, not even enough left to bury. They couldn’t find a thing. Even after the note, she had hoped.

Aranel needed to find the energy that had fled from her and poured into that grave as if it could reanimate the odds and ends they’d elected to bury in a tiny box. It was a time capsule of sorts: in her dreams for weeks, they’d dug it up together, like the box in the corner of the house that they’d laid in with the handprints of her children and a few laughing, irreverent lines. They had sworn that someone, someday, would want to demolish or remodel the house. Aranel had told her, give it fifty years. We’ll be old women when they open that box – you’ll have to bring it to me in the nursing home, I expect.

No, she’d said. They’d declare the house a monument, the historic house where the governor had lived, and they’d never tear it down in either of their lifetimes.

Such a short time to hold out hope for. They hadn’t had fifty years, and never would.

If she could get that energy back, just for a moment, she’d do something. She’d been chafing in silence far too long, dying to write blisters out of her fingers, dying to speak, to thunder, to rally the hue and cry and say it again.

We must work for it, but in the end we will make it all allright.

The energy and the joy of it was gone, the sense of sorting the world back into place. She could no longer see the wall that would grow from the brick she had laid. Still, she had the anger, but the anger was less and less of a bulwark against the overwhelming tide. Tomorrow, if she took the pitiful page she had penned, and railed against the newspapers, defended her family and her honor, they would take it and tear her to shreds on her own words. Defensive. Guilty. The innocent would never protest.

The innocent lay at the bottom of the river.

Of her bones, no coral was made, and no sepulcher to the breath of youth snatched away. Aranel still tended, on the wall of her office, that painful shrine to the past. It was the least she could do. If she had been less concerned with saving everyone, with changing everything, she might have been the hero. No matter what else she’d done, she had always protected her family, keeping them well away from the ugly side of politics, forbidding them knowledge of the hate, of the threats, of the mail passed through an x-ray scanner.

If she could have stood on the bridge and reached out, she would.

She had been the one who listened, and if she’d paid more attention, she would have seen the warnings, would have known what to say to make everything dark in the world, all the secrets, melt away. If she could go back in time to that day, when she had first stood on the stage, triumphant in presenting herself to the world, trapping an innocent hand in her own, she would have shut everyone she loved out of the political world for good. She’d even have given it all up, if she could only be sure. Aranel could only tell herself that it was the hate that had killed her, the casual malice and the cut-and-paste letters of fear and anger.

And then the flood of tabloids had been unleashed, and all that Aranel could do now was grieve, and weather the blame. 
scribal_goddess: (Aranel)

Title: Strawberry Milk
Prompt: A comfortable bed
Rating: T ish, and spoiler quotient of rather small, as this is part of the Newson side stories...
Characters: Gallagher Newson
Do not ask me where the hell this idea came from, but it is absolutely, 100% canon. Basically, as I was doodling in class one day, I thought about what Gallagher Newson would be like when he grew up a little and stopped being such a smug player, the way he is in high school. (Don’t worry, guys – that’s coming up.) I figured, he’d still be one hell of a crappy boyfriend, not because he’d cheat or lie, but because he’d generally be a flake and he just doesn’t know what to do about emotions or sensitive issues: his default is to get the hell out of dodge. He’d make a great non-serious fling, but it’s just his luck that he’d mostly go for girls who want some sort of commitment, at least in the short term.

            I also figured that he’d like the idea of a threesome, but that it would have to be with two girls. And if the girls are romantically involved as well as sexually, they’d be taking care of the feelings stuff together and invite him over when they felt like having a wild night. Also, it's been headcannon for a long, long time that Chris (Jones) and Melissa (Smith) Roomies, from sims 1, are together.

            Ergo, this 100% canon situation was born. I repeat, 100% canon. Be proud, guys: this is probably the closest you’re getting to a smutty fic.


A lazy Sunday morning with his two favorite people )
scribal_goddess: (Default)

Name: Could not Remember

Rating: G, but kinda spoilery if you think hard about it. Of course, you’d have to have an idea of what was going on to get the spoiler. If I were Cee I’d make this three bonnets or thereabouts.

Prompt: Pulling a horsie out of the surgery dummy, from docnerd. (Yeah, I was all like “WTF am I supposed to do to this?” and then I was like “OMFG, I know it all!”)


Haldir Elvensong. This is spoilered for reasons.

Summary: He could not remember their names, and that bothered him.

Speaking of all this, I still have a spoiler-guessing meme going a few posts back. I'd like to know what you think all this is about.


            Three a.m. again. He wasn’t ever sure if it was the vague dreams that drove him out of bed or the need to pee.

            At sixty four he had finally given in to the overwhelming knowledge that he was now an old man. Superfluous, except as a vessel for regrets, which filled him up to the point where he wondered how there was room for the dreams.


There were too many stairs. )

scribal_goddess: (Default)

Hey look, I can change fonts! Kind of.
Here are my prompts for Myshuno 2012. Thank you to everyone who contributed: I could have played this game twice. "Extra" inspiration from the extra prompts will probably play a role in several of my fics this time around. Also, I'm going for blackout. Wish me luck!

Cut for unholy mess )

scribal_goddess: (Default)
Yeah, so I still need to put up the prompt card. I've had a rough day.
Name: Dear Diary
Rating: G
Prompt filled: Plant Sim, from [ profile] peasant007 
Characters: The Greenmans
Summary: Rosemary Greenman, age 8, is assigned a week of writing a diary by her third grade teacher. 

Dear Diary,

            Teacher says we have to write diaries this week like the old pioneers did when they finded Riverblossom Hills. She says it’s for history. so people can read our lives if anything important happens. So I’m going to start now.


I'm Rosemary Greenman, and I have four sisters and two brothers. )

scribal_goddess: (Default)
It lives here, so prompt me and all that jazz. You folks know what you want.  

Oh, yeah, and progress update: Almost done shooting Prom. I'm breaking this chapter in half for my own convenience, so that means that with prom there and most of the beginning of this chapter written, you might actually get it at some point. 

And do I have the teaser pictures for you guys. I'll post them tomorrow when things are sorted. 


scribal_goddess: (Default)

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