Welcome to Alder's Grove
Leaf
aldersprig

"Because everything is better with the end of the world."


Welcome! Below you can find hundreds - thousands, really - of posts, many of them fiction.

I write a lot - much in established universes, some in one-off settings. Much of what I write ends up here. In addition, you'll find homesteading blogging, the occasional crafts-and-clothing post, and journals of my wine-tourism of New York State.

Here (and here on Livejournal) you'll find an index of my universes. Each 'verse has its own landing page with an index of stories within.

Find all of my writing links on lynthornealder.com.

A loose posting schedule (and on LJ) covers weekly recurring posts; other things are posted as the mood hits.

My commission rates are here (and on LJ); you can drop a dollar or two in the tip jar or commission a story to be written. Or you can become a Patreon Patron</b> and unlock even more fiction! This is everything I've written for Patreon to date!

Enjoy!

Support the Thorne-Author


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Addergoole West-Coast 2: The Adults
Leaf
aldersprig
After Addergoole West-Coast: a beginning.

🐟

"Remember me?”

Rosmarina’s father had gone very still.  "Yes," he said slowly. It sounded like the words were being dragged from him.  "Pontius. Of course I remember you. You... yes."

The man held up both hands.  "Peace. We grew up. I grew up.  You want to fight about it, we can do that later, one we've got Rosmarina settled and have you and Muirenn and your family all set."

"Dad?"  Rosmarina tugged on her father's sleeve.  "What's he mean?"

"It's a school, starfish.  You'll stay at the school, remember?"

read on…

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MerMay: Breathing, Barely
Leaf
aldersprig
So Chanter-Greenie asked for a continuation of Under Water, and it turned out I already had 500+ words written on that, so voila!  



Aelia screamed.  The secretary screamed some more.  The man gasped, screamed, and spat up water all at once.

“Call an ambulance,” Aelia repeated.  Her voice at least sounded like her voice.  “I’m Aelia Hartman. I know I look - funny, sure - but this is the guy who just tried to drown me.  I fought back. He’s breathing but I’m worried about him. Please call 911.”

The secretary, staring, pulled out her phone and dialed 911.  Once she had gotten through the phone call - full of shaky words and not a small amount of gibbering - she looked at Aelia again.  “Are you really-”

“Yeah, sorry.  I don’t know what happened.”  She poked the man in the chest.  “You. Stay there. You need medical attention, and also, I think you’re a murderer.”

read on…

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Purchase Negotiation: Collared
Leaf
aldersprig
Okay, this has been bugging me for a bit.  Leander sort of magically gets collared on the drive.  Oops!

So here's his collaring scene.  This happens in the middle-beginning of Chapter Five. 

🔐

Mr. MacDiarmad led him out of the garage and through a long hallway that seemed to be there for the sole purpose of being a hallway.  That led out into a wide living room - leather and brown-tones, wood and wide windows opening on a generously large yard.  

“First things first.  If you would kneel?”

read on…

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101 Apocalypse Nights, XVII
Leaf
aldersprig
The next morning found the warlord’s staff moving around with warm drinks and warm pastries.  Everyone had their share; the children had enough to be over-full, and they all found themselves awake and aware as they stepped into the Warlord’s audience chamber, ready for the first tale of the morning.

The chamber was tall, as tall as five or six men on each other’s shoulders, and at one point the ceiling had been painted magnificently.  The paint had chipped and peeled, but you could still, if you peered, see the scenes that had outlasted the end of the world.

read on…

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MerMay: Family
Leaf
aldersprig
Addergoole, sometime after year 9



“I don’t, uh…”  He wasn’t exactly uncomfortable, something more like amused and a little awkward.  “I mean.  That is.  Girls…?”

The last time this had come up, he’d gotten punched.  Not by the girl; by her brother.

This woman - this girl?  This Valkyrie with the horns curling out of her head and eyes like shadows themselves, she just smiled at him. “Conveniently, I don’t do guys.”

read on…

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Spoils of War VI: Trail
Leaf
aldersprig
First: Spoils of War I: Surrender
Previous: Rest Stop

The horses seemed to be in good shape, well-rested and well-fed, and were willing enough to be loaded up and mounted.  Nikol did a final sweep of the building - someone might be able to tell the place had been occupied, if they looked closely, but they’d shoveled dirt over the coals and put most everything else back where they’d found it.

“You’re really worried, aren’t you?”  Aran was eyeing her sidelong. “I thought it was just, let’s get out of here, that sort of thing, but you’re really worried someone is going to come after you.”

“Us.”  She rubbed her arms and looked off over the destroyed neighborhood.  “Yeah. Yeah. I was fine fighting for money until, well. Until I saw what the Mountain did.  Then I tried to turn in my banner and leave. Merc, you know. You fight when you want to. But they wouldn’t let me.  So running, well. It’s the best option, but I still don’t really believe it will work.”

read on…

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A New World: The Hoija
Leaf
aldersprig
First: A New World
Previous: Two Kael



Everyone knowing about the Hoeraija is your fault.

Kael raised her eyebrows at this scholar, this Dennor. (Hightower.  Had his family been potion-masters? That was something for another time.)

“I beg your pardon?”  she demanded archly.

He flapped his hand, amused.  “That’s ‘your’ fault.” He dropped quote marks in the air. “Your namesake.  Because she settled among the Hoija, because she built her tower there - here, because she, foremost among the old wizards -”

“Wizards?”  Her potion provided a meaning, but it wasn’t one that made any sense to her.

read on…

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101 Apocalypse Nights, XVI
Leaf
aldersprig
Warning: a bit of horror. 

He took another long sip of rum, he walked around their group twice, pacing, but nobody was going to let him get out of telling the rest of his tale.  So he sat down on a stool someone pushed under him.

“I told them that I was good at digging, of course.  And he looked at us, the two of us, and that old man smiled.”

🌸

“Well!  Then the flowers are going to love you both.  Come on in, now. I’ll get you set up in the Inn until the Ladies decide where you’re going to be working.”

Well, that sounded better than anything else that I’d heard, I have to admit, and from the look on his face, my cousin felt the same.  So in we went, ha, to the Inn.

read on…

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Spoils of War V: Rest Stop
Leaf
aldersprig
First: Spoils of War I: Surrender
Previous: House

Aran came down from the upstairs bathroom scrubbed, looking like another person.  He had even found a razor and cleaned up his scruffy beard to something that reminded her of a goatee.  “Guessing they left in a hurry.” He ran his hand through his hair. “Haven’t used anything like those soaps in a long time.  I smell like a funeral.”

“You smell like flowers.”  She stepped up close and sniffed his hair; he froze but didn’t complain.  “Well, like the chemical equivalent, at least. Not bad.”

He leaned down and sniffed her hair.  “You, too. Like one of those days in spring where everything is going crazy.”

read on…

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Haunted House 14: Breaking Fast
Leaf
aldersprig
First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: Waking

🌳🏚🌳



They drank coffee together, smiling at each other and, at least in Mélanie’s case, thinking of how many ways the day could go.  If he were like her earlier masters.... but he wasn’t.

She cleared her throat.  “If there are things in the kitchen, I could cook breakfast,” she offered.  “And then you can tell me what, specifically, you want me to do over the next couple days.  I imagine,” she chuckled, a little nervously, but trying to still sound casual, “that you don’t want me to clean up the yard.”

“No, sadly, not that.  I think she would like it better - but I think she understands the need for the mess, too.  If you want to make breakfast, I won’t argue. The ‘fridge runs - you know what a ‘fridge is?”

read on…

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Mermay: Pedestal
Leaf
aldersprig
They had given her a plinth.

They collected the most interesting members of every family, and for them, she was very interesting indeed.

There were three of her distance cousins who also had plinths, but hers was the highest and the most decorated.  And if there was a chain, and she could not swim that far from her plinth, well, many others had chains as well, in this land.  It seemed to her, watching the land from her water-bound pedestal, that there were more people with chains than without.

read on…

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Normal American
Leaf
aldersprig
For DaHob, a ficlet of Tír na Cali.  
🔒
“So… you’re pretty normal?”

As far as come-on lines went, Barty had definitely heard worse.  He’d heard better a couple times, sure, but while he was okay-looking, he wasn’t usually the hottest guy in the bar and definitely wasn’t the richest in any room

read on…

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Weather in the Bear Empire
Leaf
aldersprig
First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: Rainclouds in the Bear Empire



Deline hadn’t had time or the right environment to make her protective shield very big; she had spent the energy she had on making it strong instead.  The line of force, a wobbling red-orange from inside, gave them just enough room to lie down, if they lay very close to each other. Standing up wouldn’t work, except in the one spot where the half-wall went all the way up to the ceiling joists; she had used the walls as two of her delimiters.

“What....”  Carrone ducked as the first hail hit the outside of the half-house and bounced off of their shelter.  “What?” he repeated. “What is this devil-begotten place that you call home, woman? The sky is throwing ice at us!  And we - we are in-” He looked around. “It’s a magical tent, isn’t it? That’s all it is.”

read on…

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Cage Fight
Leaf
aldersprig
Content warning:

This is a mean story.  It involves slavery, torture, cage fighting to the death, murder, and some other violence.  And then some violence, just for good measure.  Also violence.  And kidnapping.

I also stole some twins' names from Heinlein.  These are not Heinlein's twins.

~*~

read on…

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Hurt/Comfort: Minder
Leaf
aldersprig
Written to R.Coots' prompt. Some bodily injury, but no serious violence and no real loss of consent. 

🤕

Ravi wasn’t exactly running, but he was hurrying.  He had someplace to be. He really had to get there soon, or he was going to lose yet another blind date to his own stupidi-

The crack in the sidewalk grabbed his foot and sent him sprawling.  Last pair of nice pants - ruined. Palms of his hands - ruined. Face - banged.  Chances at this date - gone.

“Oh, shit.  Look at you.”

He didn’t recognize the voice, but there were hands on him, lifting him up.  “Come on. You’re an absolute mess.”

“Nuala?”  He did recognize the voice.  Blind date #2. He’d spilled sauce on both of them.

read on…

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The Portal Closed 4: The Other Side
Leaf
aldersprig
Previous: Searching for Answers



They spent hours looking at the papers before they had to go back to their childhoods, back to chores and schoolwork and things that, some days, seemed downright constraining.

Barbara’s mother, happy she was “taking some initiative” helped her put together a flyer for babysitting, and helped her post it at the Library - the proper downtown one, which had never been abandoned because, bright and shiny and brand-new, it didn’t tend to lose kids in its recesses.  It had no portals to other worlds.  Barbara had looked.

With three others posted  - grocery store, post office, and their church - Barbara returned home to some math homework that was only exciting if she thought about it in terms of national economies and some literature homework that was so stultifying she added in a 2-page book review of The Wealth of Nations.  Surely that counted as literature, didn’t it?

read on…

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Purchase Negotiation 10: What You Like
Leaf
aldersprig
First: Purchased: Negotiation
Previous: Rocks and Bitches

💰
Ten
His magical muscles were atrophied.  They hadn’t been put to any use at all in longer than he cared to think about.  

He treated it like any other muscle he needed to work.  He stretched it more than was comfortable, but not enough that he couldn’t move the next day.  He glanced over at Sylviane, who looked, more than anything, curious.

“Good set of Words,” she murmured.  For a moment, forgetting that he was not being Kept by her, he braced for the praise - and, in a part of his brain that wasn’t really listening to reason, to the insult that would come right afterwards, with the downswing of his mood without his consent or control.

None of that came.

read on…

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MerMay 1: Fourteen, Fifteen...
Leaf
aldersprig
Her lungs were burning.  Her ears were popping.  Her face felt like it was going to explode.  Her throat felt like it was on fire.  She couldn’t take it any longer.

Audrey held on to the weight and counted to twenty.  She could do twenty more, maybe fifteen more, eleven-twelve-thirteen oh god. Four… teen, Fif-teen.

She popped up out of the water, trying not to scream.

It wasn’t working.

read on…

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A New World: Two Kael
Leaf
aldersprig
First: A New World
Previous: Dinner, and Things to Chew On



She ate her food slowly, but with gusto.  It may have been only one long night to her, but it still seemed like a long time since she’d had a taste of home.

Dennor Hightower was staring at her.  She looked up from her food and waited, patiently.

“Kael,” he repeated slowly, “is not a Lerienoijen name.  You said Lerienoijen.  How many scholars know that word?”

“I don’t know.  How many?”

“I know three.  One of them is me.  And I’ve never heard of you.”

read on…

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Mer-May
Leaf
aldersprig
Warning: Pinterest

In honor of Pinterest getting sub-boards (YAY!) and Mer-May and... things... I offer this prompt call.

Either:

Check out my Addergoole Changes Pinterest board and/or the Mermaids sub-board (I'm still moving stuff...)

or my Tumblr tags Addergoole Change

read on…

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Spoils of War IV: House
Leaf
aldersprig
First: Spoils of War I: Surrender
Previous: On the Road

The road was smooth, the horses were smooth, and every step was still jarring into wounds that Nikol hadn’t even realized she had until she mounted.

They traveled for half the day with no good prospects, both of them tight-jawed with pain neither of them were going to admit and not feeling much like talking.  They were moving through what had once been a suburb and was now a burned-out husk; from the looks of things, at least three separate fires had gone through here over the last several decades.  Nothing was left now except half of a convenience store, its plastic sign melted into a lump of green and white.

That wasn’t going to get them any food.  And the tiny gathering of people they found on the outskirts of town didn’t look like the sort that had much to give them, even if Nikol had anything she was willing to trade.

read on…

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The Hidden Mall 31: Stay Alive 🏹
Leaf
aldersprig
First: The Hidden Mall – a beginning of something
Previous: Aberrant!

“What do you mean?”  Liv-1 stared at her. “Wait.”

“No.  No…” Liv-2 sounded horrified.  Nauseous. “That means all the moving around, all of the trying to find a door home.  It was useless?”

“Not useless.” Liv-old put a hand on each young Liv’s back and pushed gently. “Look.  All that running around means sometimes you can move more than you think you can. The younger ones, they can’t do it without a partner.  But it’s good. The more you move around the more you know this place.”

“But you’re… how do we get out?  How do we get home?”

read on…

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Rainclouds in the Bear Empire
Leaf
aldersprig
First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: Magic in the Bear Empire

🐻

That night, they camped under the dubious shelter of a quick lean-to in the middle of a dense stand of pine trees.  The weather cooperated in precipitation, if not in temperature, and Deline woke to find herself pressed against Carrone for warmth.

They were quiet as they walked, working out all of the kinks and sore spots from sleeping on the ground, and when a trader passed them, he left them well alone.  Deline imagined they must look like they were in a horribly foul mood, dangerous people you didn’t want to get too close to.

The gendarme who came upon them several hours later clearly wasn’t worried about that. He glowered at them and asked them questions about a recent robbery nearby and several other issues - thankfully, none of which they’d been involved in.

read on…

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Haunted House 13: Waking
Leaf
aldersprig
First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: The House That Eats People

🌳🏚🌳

There was always the moment on waking when Mélanie forgot she’d been captured.

It was a moment where she would think she was in her own bed, that she should get up soon to take care of chores, and then she could have a nice breakfast.  Sometimes she’d start planning out what she could have - eggs from the chickens, had she bought bread from Mrs. Bittner across the street yet? Maybe some honey from the hives.  

Inevitably, she’d notice that something about the bed was wrong, that it was too hard or too cold or she’d shift and a chain would clink, or the sun would be in her eyes in the wrong direction.

read on…

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A New World: Dinner, and Things to Chew On
Leaf
aldersprig
First: A New World
Previous: The People



The lay-out of food was almost exactly as Kael remembered it, with the addition of what had to be a couple modern foods.  Everything was set up on one long table, with three tables for eating at - Joaon had built one of those tables by hand, she remembered.  She could still see the adze marks.

There were several people sitting at the tables - the gift-shop man and a woman in a smock and loose pants, another girl in the same outfit as the gift-shop man, and one person who caught Kael’s eye immediately.

They were not wearing clothing that marked them as part of the staff, but they were so utterly the epitome of Hoeraijen handsomeness that they - he, had to be male - took Kael’s breath away.  He was wearing what she thought were modern clothes, sitting by himself at the end of a table, and he was reading while he ate.

read on…

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May Patreon Theme Poll
Leaf
aldersprig


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Edally Story 3- Long Ride to School
Leaf
aldersprig
Chapter 20-end, Book One: Davenpor (When much younger)

“Can you take pets to school?”

The carriage that went to Edally Academy from the middle of the country had five people in it, and four of them were students headed for Edally.  

Technically, the carriage went from Ossulund to Ilelteddez, but it had stopped in Kuddyinnie, the city where Davenpor lived, and three other cities.  Only Loonnoozhno had gotten on in Ossulund..

And only Davenpor had a carrier full of weasels.  “They’re not pets,” he explained. He had been explaining this for a very long time.  “They’re companions, except Lazlyu, who is more of a, well, a working weasel.”

read on…

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Beauty-Beast 34: Hope, Diamonds
Leaf
aldersprig
First: M/m Keeper/Kept
Previous: Wine and Breakfast

🔒

Timaios smiled gently across the table at Ctirad.  He, in turn, shifted, shifted again, and finally settled in, uncomfortably but as set as he was going to get with his Owner - his Master - pinning him with that look. “Sir, I’m not…  you said…”

“I told her that you weren’t a bedroom slave.”  He looked amused.

“Is Sir unhappy with me?  Does Sir want me to be Danny’s pet?”

Oh, shit.  He lowered his head and wondered if he had just signed his own cage warrant.  He was going to be on the floor licking the cook’s boots within the next ten minutes, wasn’t he?

“Do you want to be my bedroom slave, Ctirad?”

read on…

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Purchased: Rocks and Bitches
Leaf
aldersprig
First: Purchased: Negotiation
Previous: Purchased: Learning the Way Around

💰
Nine
Leander stood still, his hands moving behind his back, his chin up.  He wasn’t meeting her eyes, but he could see Sylviane anyway.  And she did not look like he had just defied her.  

“I just mean…” She faltered and tilted her head.  “Here, come downstairs with me.” She reached for his hand, dropped her hand, and led the way.

Leander followed.  If he tried to gauge forty feet when he couldn’t see her, he was going to get a headache.

Even more of a headache.

She waited until they were downstairs, through what looked like a very well-appointed bar, and into a gym some colleges would kill for, before she said anything.  “Okay, look. It’s your body, and you can do what you want with it as far as I’m concerned. You’re a fae bodyguard. You could look like Poindexter and still kick ass, right?”

“…Right…”  He had no idea what she meant by, well, anything anymore.

read on…

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Spoils of War III: On the Road
Leaf
aldersprig
First: Spoils of War I: Surrender
Previous: Spoils of War II: Shelter

Their bed that night was not the most restful, but the horses made the cave plenty warm and exhaustion made the ground soft enough with the addition of stacked bedrolls.  She slept close to her prisoner, not because she was particularly fond of him, but because she would wake if he started to leave. And he was warm, too, the way men seemed to be.

She woke before he did and made a sort of porridge from the rest of the food in the saddlebags.  While the mush was cooking over the fire, her prisoner woke and sat up, groaning.

“You cheat,” he complained.

“What were you going to do if I didn’t order you to sleep?  Aside from sleep badly, I mean.”

read on…

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101 Apocalypse Nights, IX
Leaf
aldersprig
Now this wasn’t the easiest route -  certainly not by row boat. For one thing, you couldn’t see quite looking at the cliff where the hole was, so you had to do this sort of shimmy and knock, tap your boat near the cliff, and if you got it exactly right - looking the other way the whole time to make sure that, well, all those other ships weren’t looking your way - if you looked just right you could see where this underground river had carved out just enough of a spot where, if you held your breath and ducked down low, almost getting underwater, you could get your boat through this hole just barely bigger than our rowboat.  And we did, of course, or this would be a much different story, and we found ourselves in the most beautiful river you will ever find yourself - although you will never find yourself there.

It was dark, dark as night, but there were these things running through the walls that lit up the darkness so that every splash seemed to glitter and every movement seemed to reflect a thousand times.  By all those things that came and gone that we swear on, it was beautiful and what was more, it was leading us straight under that dome.

read on…

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A New World: the People
Leaf
aldersprig
First: A New World
Previous: Taking Stock



Half Yordiy off was better than she’d expected to get, if she was being honest, and all she had to do was draw up a safer version of things she’d been doing for years.

“Thank you, Mr. Vibius.”  He reminded Kael strongly of the people she had known before she’d become a potion-mistress and ruler of her own domain.  She knew how to act around him, but that didn’t make it the least bit pleasant. “You said the food was on the third floor?”

“Yep.  It’s always there.  I don’t get it, I really don’t, but it’s always there.”

Kael suppressed a smile.  Jaoan had been working on that for years.  She wondered how long it had taken him to perfect it.  “Thank you. If nobody is here to ask me about potions, I will go and eat now.”

“You’re really taking this seriously.”  He looked at a small glowing piece of glass for a moment.  “There’s three people in the museum, but they’re taking their down  in the Lives of the Ancient Natives and Potions Then and Now displays.  The Lives one really gets a lot of attention,” he confided. “People like going through how people lived back before, uh,” he coughed, “before the modern era.  We get a lot of yelling, too.” He smiled grimly. “People who say there’s no way things could have been like that.”

read on…

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101 Apocalypse Nights, VII
Leaf
aldersprig
“Of course it’s your turn,” the older of the pair coaxed, but the younger man wasn’t quite willing to believe him.  Anastasia put in her two pennies, and the children, theirs, and then in the end, it was Tisha and Candice who decided matters.

“All right, then.”  He smiled at them, an angelic smile, and began his tale.
The Creature Story
Now in my time I’ve done a bit of wandering, looking for  - well, looking for him - and in that time of wandering I’ve seen quite a few things.  Some of them have been strange, some of them stupid, and some of them quite clever. And among the cleverest I’ve seen has to be the solution this small settlement had to a problem with monsters.

read on…

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The Hidden Mall: Aberrant! 🤖
post
aldersprig
First: The Hidden Mall – a beginning of something
Previous: Say What?

“No, no, “ Abby started, but she had a feeling the ‘bot wasn’t going to listen to her.  “no, not aberrant. Just hungry. We just want something to-”

“ABERRANT.  DESTROY THE ABERRANT BEFORE IT INFECTS ALL.”

“Guys?” Abby squeaked.

“Run.”  Liv grabbed her hand.  Liv grabbed her other hand.  They ran.

Behind them, there were bots grating away about them being aberrant.  Well, about Abby being aberrant.  In front of them, the flow was flawing bright white, almost too bright to see.

Their feet were pounding soundlessly on the floor.  She was sweating in both hands, grips slipping. She was not going to lose Liv.  She was not-

read on…

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The Place of Waiting
Leaf
aldersprig
Written from a dream, although I changed some things for narrative purposes.



They stored dead superheros here, although the only part of that sentence that was remotely accurate was “here”.

They sat or perched or lounged or lay, lined up on the wall/floor like chess pieces, their uniforms relics of bygone eras or echos of times that may have never been.

Some had been super, or would be.  Some had been or might be heroes, or at least called that.   

read on…

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The First 1/3 of April on Patreon
Leaf
aldersprig
This month's theme is

Libraries and Librarians


Things marked with a * are free for everyone to read. 



The Expectant Wood: Chapter 21: Worlds of Differences
Portal Bound - a beginning

A Last Conlang Word going in to April *
Cloverleaf’s Library  *


read on…

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Waiting in the Bear Empire
Leaf
aldersprig
First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: Sneaking Through the Bear Empire

🐻

“Shhh,” he murmured, and sat down next to her.  He moved his hands for a moment in military sign she didn’t recognize, and then, with a frustrated expression, drew in the dust on the ground.

She could read Deklegi script just fine: one man, hunter or farmer.

Not a threat - but right now they wanted nobody to know they had been there, much less to be able to give a reasonable description of their appearance.  She nodded and lay flat on the ground, concentrating on being as quiet as she could be. Next to her, Carrone did the same.

In the silence, she could hear the occasional twig snap as the man below them moved along.  He had the quiet step of someone used to the terrain, but she had the ears of someone who was being hunted and had been many times before.  From Carrone’s expression, his ears were nearly as good.

The man was tracking something - she hadn’t left tracks, had she?  It was too late to fix that, if she had. If he came up here...

read on…

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A New World: Taking Stock
Leaf
aldersprig
First: A New World
Previous: An Arrangement



Caron and Hallsey had left, leaving Kael alone in her tower again but with far more to think about.

She had, she realized, spoken more words to other people today than she probably had in a week back in her old life.

And she knew nothing about the world outside.  She was only managing as well as she did because of the translation potion, and when that failed her, she was going to be left looking blankly at people while they talked about matters that were ancient history to them and still far in the future for her.

She inventoried her ingredients slowly and began a list.  Some of these things were incorrectly labelled; she added a tiny notation to the bottom of each label in her own script.  Some of them were getting stale. A few were missing altogether.

read on…

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Beauty-Beast 33: Wine and Breakfast
Leaf
aldersprig
First: M/m Keeper/Kept
Previous: Want and Need

🔒

Morning found him curled against Timaois and not wanting to move, to open his eyes, or to think.

He nuzzled closer to his Owner, breathing in the sandy scent of him. “Like a Riesling,” he muttered, and then froze, blushing.

There was a hand in his hair and the chest under him was shaking lightly in laughter.  “Sandy, mmm? That’s a nice way to put that. Thank you, Ctirad.”

“Sir?”  He didn’t move, didn’t peek up at his Owner, but the urge was there.

read on…

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Haunted House 12: The House That Eats People
Leaf
aldersprig
First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: Be Our Guest

🌳🏚🌳

The back stairs took up half of the space between the dining room and the kitchen.  “There’s also the grand stairs in front, but those are not safe to walk on. This place has an excess of staircases - not that there’s anything wrong with that,” he added hastily, as the stairs seemed to creak and shift under their feet.  “This isn’t the full tour, not by far, but it’s enough for the time being, I think. You’ve had a long day, after all.” He brushed his hand over her sleeve. “Do you want to sleep in my bed tonight, Mélanie?”

She looked at his face.  “What happens if I say no?”

“If you say no, then you sleep in your own bedroom, and both of us have slightly cold and lonely beds.” His smile took of the slight sting of his words.  “That is to say, nothing bad happens. I’d rather you be honest with me and take your time about coming to my bed then do it just because you think I want you there.”

read on…

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Yoshi Gets a Friend
Leaf
aldersprig
Fae Apoc, Post apoc by a generation

Yoshi was loitering.

He was leaning on a fence, looking at the new Addergoole​ graduates, a little surprised and a little relieved not to see his mother here.  He’d heard she’d quit - but then again, you heard all sorts of things. He remembered coming home one time to find a new Kept who was absolutely certain that Yoshi’s mom was a serial killer and he was her latest victim.

Yoshi might have trolled that one a bit, although he’d never admit it to anyone who asked.  But he had gotten the boy to get a new vegetable patch dug...

Today, he was here for his own Kept, although he had to rely on luck, since he didn’t have his mother’s ability to Find just the right person.  He was looking for someone with spark but not too much anger, pretty but not too delicate, the sort of girl he could keep around for a couple years.  He was looking for a companion who happened to be collared, not a pet. The last time he’d had a Kept, she’d ended up being more of a pet. Neither of them had been all that happy with that arrangement, and it had led to bad feelings and, eventually, finding her someplace safe to be.

read on…

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Purchased: Boyfriend Experience
Leaf
aldersprig
First: Purchased: Negotiation
Previous: Purchased: Introduction

💰
Seven
Leander was surprised to find himself smiling, but let the smile fade quickly.  “I don’t do guys. I already negotiated that with your father.” Before she could say anything, he held up a finger.  “But if you want me to hold down some college boy for you while you have your way with him, I might find that entertaining.”  

Was he flirting?  He hadn’t known he’d even remembered how to flirt.

“I’ll keep that in mind.  Do you think you could do that?”

“Pretend to be an overprotective boyfriend? Depends.  Are you going to pretend to enjoy it, or are you going to pretend to hate it and push me away all the time and sulk?”

read on…

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Spoils of War II: Shelter
Leaf
aldersprig
First: Spoils of War I: Surrender

Their horses were tired but not injured; they were tired and they both had their share of injuries. They moved at a steady pace rather than rushing, doing their best not to look like they were running away.

Nikol heard Aran mutter Workings two more times.  The second time, the words trailed off into a string of cursing.

“Just a little while longer.”  The man had tried to hamstring her.  Still. “Just hold on a bit longer. It won’t do us any good to have survived that battle if we end up at the Mountain.”

“Aren’t the people running the Mountain your people?”

read on…

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The Haunted House: Be Our Guest
Leaf
aldersprig
First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: The Tour

🌳🏚🌳

Mélanie was doing her best - with only moderate success - to not look too nervous or act too worried as Jasper led her into the next room.

The dining room was quite nice, beautiful in a way that looked like it probably belonged to the rest of the house, with well-polished furniture and not a speck of dust anywhere in sight.  Two chairs pushed out from the table as they walked by, and the china cabinet’s doors popped open.

“Oh!”  Mélanie couldn’t help a little gasp.  “That’s-” she took the hint and, as soon as Jasper sat down, did the same herself.

read on…

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Edally Story 3 - Fingers Itch
Leaf
aldersprig
Chapter 12-18, Book One: Tesdes (and Kekdela)

“You!  You, come here, would you?  Come here.”

The girl grabbing Tesdes’ arm was dressed in such elaborately tailored clothes that he was surprised that she could move.  Her overvest was to her knees on one side and above her hip on the other, and closed with what had to be fifty teeny pearl buttons - and that was just one layer.

She was going to find the uniform she was carrying very boring, he thought.

That was secondary.  She was grabbing. Grabbing!  His arm.   He looked at her hand, looked at his arm, looked back at her hand.

She dropped his arm and shook her head.  “People! All right, yes, we don’t technically know each other, but you’re Tesdes, right?”

read on…

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Autumn and a boy, part III
Leaf
aldersprig
after Autumn and a Boy and part II

🍁

He was actually interested in her art, which she probably should have expected, and knew things to ask about technique and had interest in both her process and her decisions, which was a pleasant surprise.   It took her a while to pry them both away from talking about her art, and when she did, she found herself almost quoting that old saw “Well, enough about me, what do you think of me?”

“So, why do you like it?  My art?” she asked, feeling a little shy.  “I mean, I don’t think it was my pretty face that got you hiking till your feet bled, was it?”

read on…

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The Hidden Mall 29: Say What?💬
Leaf
aldersprig
First: The Hidden Mall – a beginning of something
Previous: Clean

“Excuse me?”  Abby took a step backwards, reaching for her friends.  “Packaging? I don’t want to be wrapped up any further than I already am, thank you.”

“You will need face masks.  Packaging will now commence.”

A whirr and a soft creaking noise came from the bin where their bags had been.  A few more sounds commenced - ripping, some shaking, and something that sounded like sucking air through a straw.

Then three identical white bags popped out.  They looked clean, they looked like they had everything in them, and they looked more comfortable than the back packs they’d had.

Each of them took one.  The bot, now a sphere again, whirred at them one more time.  “Please take one face mask each and install on face.  Please take one face mask each…”

A tray popped out of the sphere’s side.  They took one face mask each and, after a moment, figured out how to put them on.  They were surprisingly comfortable, and now the three of them were nearly anonymous.

“This is weird.”  Liv-probably-1’s voice came out clearer than it ought to have, but also somehow anonymized.  “Like, we got all our individuality pulled away.”

“On the plus side,” the other Liv pointed out, “we’re clean.  Now if only we’d been fed.”

“The food depot is out this door and to the left.  Please follow the blue line.” The bot was far too helpful.  “You have been cleaned.  You may now pursue food.”

“Do we have to chase it?” Liv-probably-2 muttered.  “Because I’m not all that hungry, but I might still run something down.”

“Please follow the blue line towards food,” the bot repeated.  

“Following,” Abby agreed.  She took both Liv’s hands. If she lost them here, she was never going to be able to pick them out of a crowd.

One of the Lizs glanced sidelong at her. “This is getting to be a habit.”

read on…

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Beauty-Beast 32: Want and need
Leaf
aldersprig
First: M/m Keeper/Kept
Previous: Need and Desire

🔒

He didn’t want me anymore.  The words still hurt.  Ctirad willed them not to, but his will and his pain were not listening to each other.

“Some day,” Timaois growled, and Ctirad’s misery only increased, “I am going to take that man and pin him to a wall until he has some idea what he put you through - no.  Until he is sorry what he put you through.  He bargained very dearly for you indeed, Ctirad, and cared a great deal to have you be taken from him, but such is the nature of a bastard like him that he would rather have you believe that you are un-valued, begging and pleading for every bit of attention and praise, than have you know that you are valuable to him.”  He cupped his hands around Ctirad’s chin and looked down into his eyes. “You are very valuable to me already, Ctirad, and were you to serve me as long as you served Timaios, I believe I would consider you a treasure beyond worth. And he certainly had some small idea of what you could be worth.... I’ll stop, I’ll stop.”  He released Ctirad’s chin and wrapped his arms, instead, around shoulders that seemed to be shaking. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you. Could you tell me what it is that I said?”

read on…

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April 2018 Patreon Theme Poll
Leaf
aldersprig


This entry was originally posted at https://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1449062.html. You can comment here or there. comment count unavailable

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