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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!

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My Weekend, with Beets
Leaf
aldersprig
Hello!

I haven’t done one of these in a while, but let’s see.

I have two major non-writing, non-work things going on in my life right now: Getting the yard ready for autumn/winter, and Finishing the $*( attic.

This weekend was mostly yard.  We dug up potatoes and beets (yes, we’re pre

read on…

This entry was originally posted at https://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1500315.html. You can comment here or there. comment count unavailable

Cya, Librarian
Leaf
aldersprig
Early in Cloverleaf-era



Sometimes, Cya thought her power had a sense of humor.

She'd learned how to craft specific Find requests, because, if she wasn't looking for something or someone specific (“nearest unbroken Bleach DVD;” “Leo”), her power had a bad habit of leading her on wild goose chases.

Like today.  Like “nearest cache of intact, unclaimed books in an accessible-by-me location, with at least two times the number of unique, intact books as the hours I drive to get there.”

Almost every one of those clauses, she'd added on after learning the hard way that her power could be painfully literal.

Today... today she was staring down at a 45-degree incline that had once been the floor of this library. From the looks of things, it had been tolerably sheltered from weather - this area wasn't as cold or as wet as Cloverleaf, but it still did get precipitation - and peering down and over, she was pretty sure she'd be able to get more than the required 16 books out of here.

But first, she had to get down there, gather the books, and get back up.

read on…

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The Hidden Mall 40: Bad Ideas 💡
Leaf
aldersprig
💡

Abby bit her lip and repeated herself.  “We have to explain things to her. And then, if it’s not what she wants...”

“Do you think we could find her a way home?”

“It’s not like we can find our own way home - or even out.”

The first came from one Liv, the second from the other.  They were starting to sound identical. Which, Abby supposed, made a certain amount of sense.”

“She has to know.”  Abby sighed. “I think we might need her, but we can’t just, well, force her to come along.”

It was too late already for that, she knew.  And if Vic-French could help them defeat the mall...

Still, she should have said something two malls ago and she was going to make sure she said something now.  She turned onto a new bridge and made her way, step by careful step, over to the edge of the mall, such as it was.

It took longer than it ought to have to get to the “store,” which happened to be, from the looks of things, some sort of tunic and … leggings? maybe? store.  There were only a few pieces of clothing left, hanging from wires or dropped on the floor.

But there was a floor.

read on…

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Haunted House 25: Finding Him
Leaf
aldersprig
First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: What If?

🌳🏚🌳

Mélanie knew, in a sense, that a Kept could tell where, loosely, their Keeper was.  That is: they could usually get a sense of “how far away” and “in what direction?”

She herself had used that ability to steal a few minutes of rest when her previous owners had left her alone, but it had never been a very strong connection.  Once, in a peaceful moment when they hadn’t been ordered to silence, another Kept - an older one, and one that had worn thin with years of bad Owners - had told her that the stronger the connection between the Keeper and the Kept, the less the Kept fought the bond and the orders, the more that they would be able to tell where their Keeper was.

Jasper had only Owned her for a day and a half.  He had been kind to her, yes, friendly and considerate, but that couldn’t had formed that strong of a Bond yet.  She closed her eyes and hoped it would be enough.

The trick was to not be thinking of anything except your Keeper.  That required not thinking about what had happened to him, or that she was out on her own for the first time in a very long time, or-

She shook herself.  Jasper. The crooked smile he got when he talked about his previous Kept.  The way he was careful to introduce her to the house. The way that it felt when he gave her an order.  The way it felt when he was happy with her, or when he touched her. The way it felt when he’d left for the day.

read on…

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Twenty-Two: Confidences in the Bear Empire
Leaf
aldersprig
First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: Revelations in the Bear Empire

🐻

Carrone was spending far too much time working on the way that the bedroll lay.  It wasn’t like they had room to rearrange things, considering that their little cave was barely big enough for the two of them to sit up in and lie down in together. And he’d already cleaned up all the cooking supplies and re-packed them. t this point, it was clear that he was doing anything he could to postpone either looking at her or lying down next to her.

Deline would have bitten her tongue, but she was already holding it very firmly between her teeth.  He would say something or he wouldn’t. She’d already said too much.

Eventually, he scooted in to the bedroll closer to the exit.  She raised her eyebrows at him as he finally looked at her.

He cleared his throat.

read on…

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Bliss, Ignorance, Beauty - Truth?
Leaf
aldersprig
There was a room in the middle of the megalopolis, in the heart of the business district, in the center of a skyscraper.

The room was not large, not in a place that used every inch of space and climbed higher for more, but it was enough.

It occupied a corner of no-man’s-land made when t

read on…

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Haunted House - an interlude
Leaf
aldersprig
This comes after/in time with What If and is a bonus interlude written to Thnidu's commissioned request for more.



Alone, the house checked her doors — all closed and locked, the kitchen and front doors ready to open at a moment's notice.

She checked her security, all of the Workings a

read on…

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Funerary Rites 26: Owned
Leaf
aldersprig
🔑

Erramun shifted on his knees but didn’t stand.  He didn’t look at her, didn’t move to touch the ink.  He seemed to be staring off into space.

Senga walked around behind him and brushed a feather-light touch over his shoulders.  

He twitched and leaned forward, away from her touch.  She moved her hands and moved back around in front of him.

His hands had come to clasp behind his back.  His eyes looked blank. Senga frowned. “Errmun?”

“Yes, mistress?”  His voice was rough and very quiet.  He looked like he was holding himself forcibly still.

“Senga,” she corrected.  “Erramun, what’s wrong?”

“Everything is fine... mistress.”  His shoulders were tight. She wanted to touch him again, but it seemed like it was hurting him.

read on…

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Beauty-Beast 43: Introductions
Leaf
aldersprig
🔒

Ctirad had no expectations as he followed Timaios down a very nice hallway.  The art here was different, less bland, all of it of the skyline, of the city, but from many different eras. It had feeling, he thought, even if you could see the style evolving over the centuries.

Timaois nodded to a man with shoulders so broad he could probably carry Ctirad across them easily; the man nodded back.  “Mr. Kaprinsky . Anything you need, sir?”

“No, thank you, Eddy.  Ah. This is Ctirad. He’s with me, and is okay to enter without me as well.”

“Very good, sir.”  The look Eddy gave Ctirad appeared to be scanning him, taking in everything from his height to his haircut.  “Is this what you normally look like, sir?”

Ctriad did not blush, but only because he had very good control over his Mask.  He cleared his throat. “The face, yes. You’ll have to ask Himself here about the rest.”

“The hair will probably be growing out, but the rest of him is as you see it, yes.”  Timaios chuckled. “On the ball as usual, I see, Eddy.”

read on…

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The Hidden Mall 39: Don’t Look Down 👇
Leaf
aldersprig
👇

Abby didn’t pay much attention to the Livs and Vic talking behind her.  She was too focused on getting from their entryway to the far side of the mall without falling over the edge of the walkway.

As she walked, she realized that it was pretty unlikely - the sway, while it seemed pretty extreme, was actually very limited, and the sides were a fine mesh that wouldn’t allow anyone to slide through.

“It doesn’t seem like a very good - oh.”

Abby stopped.  “Oh?” She did not want to turn around.

“You don’t want to look off to the left right now, Abs, trust us.”

read on…

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Haunted House 24: What If?
Leaf
aldersprig
First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: Magpie

🌳🏚🌳

The brandy cup kept refilling.  The piles of “loot” seemed never-ending, almost as if the house was bringing more in from somewhere else. And every box and pile needed careful sorting. Mélanie had several boxes full of things and had come up with several more categories - including “sex toys” and “things to tie people up with, ack” - by the time she thought to look out the window again.

The moon was up; the sun was down.  Mélanie swallowed.

“House? House, have you been trying to distract me?”  That would explain why there kept being more and more boxes.

A trunk thumped down in front of her and opened up.  Silk came whisking out - a dress. A dress worthy of a queen, or at least a Contessa.  

“You are trying to distract me.  Are you worried?”

read on…

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Twenty-One: Revelations in the Bear Empire
Leaf
aldersprig
First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: Surprises in the Bear Empire

🐻

Deline wished for some sort of storm, some intrusion - even a beast or another bounty hunter.  If she closed her eyes and tried, if she prayed her hardest, would a Bear show up from The Bear?

It was unlikely.  She took a few breaths and smiled at Carrone, although she thought the smile was as shaky as she felt.  

Damnit, why did this matter?  He’d already tried to kill her.  He’d already saved her life. He already hated her for using magery.  And she already wasn’t all that fond of him for trying to kill her, along with everything else.

“I haven’t lied yet,” she told him slowly.  “My name is Deline.”

read on…

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A New World 28: Dangers of Distraction
Leaf
aldersprig


Kael made her way carefully back towards her Tower.  She had imbibed more than she’d intended to, and the world was even more different than it had seemed upon waking.  Louder, for one.

She had Gemma’s “number.”  She was pretty sure that she could figure out what to do with it, but she was also fairly sure that she would end up back at the museum where Gemma worked, trying to figure out the mysteries that made no sense.

Where was Joaon? He had to know what was going on.  Where had the potions go? Where were all the potion-masters, all the knowledge that she had so carefully studied and documented?   Where was everything she had worked so hard for?

Had she abandoned the world and left it without knowledge?  It couldn’t be - she tripped over a bar that seemed to be put in the middle of the sidewalk just to annoy her and caught herself with a curse word that was definitely no longer in the local tongue.

read on…

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Funerary Rites 25: Marked
Leaf
aldersprig
🔑

Senga showed Ezer the back staircase for his side of the rooms, made certain Allayne was doing something reasonable and not fighting with anyone, and then, after a couple deep breaths, headed back to what had been her grandmother’s suite with Erramun.

After a brief reconnaissance, Senga opened up the room next to her newly-redecorated bedroom.  “It’s not the biggest room, but I think it will hold your things and anything else you want to bring here.”  She gestured in. “All yours.”

She was not expecting Erramun to freeze, nor the very slow movement he made towards the room after searching her face for - for something she couldn’t quite guess at.  After a moment, he growled quietly. “Three exits.”

“Two.  And the windows.  That door is a closet.... no, three,” she corrected.  “The closet has a stairway up to the attics.”

“Four exits.”   He moved slowly into the room, as if trying to keep an eye on her, and opened the windows.  They opened - it made a little noise of protest, but her family had always been pretty good at Preserve Workings - as all the second-floor windows did, more than wide enough for his wide shoulders and lanky body.

He left the window open and went to the door on the far side of the room.  It opened into, as she had said, a closet. He found the stairway and left that door open as well.  Then he paced to the door to the hallway, opened that, and left it open.

read on…

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A New World 27: Burning Books
Leaf
aldersprig


After a moment, Kael realized that Gemma was staring at her.  She cleared her throat and, when that didn’t stop the staring, took a long sip of her drink.

“You know....” Gemma said slowly.  “The first thing you said to me started with idiots.  But I don’t see how making a plant extinct is a good idea.  And ah -” If she had been irked about the bar, she was trying not to be angry now.  “Is that how you see everything? Beautiful painting, oh, look, a potion ingredient. Lovely landscape, look for potion ingredients”

“Pretty girl,” Kael offered dryly, “either talk too much about potion ingredients, take her looking for potion ingredients, or think about the forbidden potions where a lock of her hair would be the final touch.”

“There aren’t- those are fairy tales, aren’t they?  Drop of blood, lock of hair, that sort of thing?”

read on…

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Hidden Mall Thirty-Eight: Open Air ☁️
Leaf
aldersprig
☁️

Abby’s heart was pounding and her stomach was churning.  She sternly told both of them to calm down.

“I want air.”  She glared at the doorway.  “I want open air and rain and nature.  I want out.”

Vic-French murmured to one of the Livs.  The Liv responded in French. Vic started to pull back.

“I don’t know if she can get back to her own mall from here,” Abby admitted.  “Or even go through a door without help. She might be better off staying with us.”

One of the Livs translated that, just a murmur.  Abby caught a word here and there, enough to be pretty sure Liv was actually relaying her message.  Then she glared at the door again.

The Liv on her right released her hand and grabbed on to her belt loop.  Abby wondered if, when they got out of here, she’d ever stop needing to know where Liv was all the time.

They had to survive, first.  She grabbed the door, turned the handle.  

read on…

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October Patreon Theme Poll!
Leaf
aldersprig
It's time for the poll.
What poll?
The poll about the Patreon
What'treon?
The Tree about VoodDoo
Who do?
You Do.
Do what?
Remind me of the poll.



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Haunted House 23: Magpie
Leaf
aldersprig
🌳🏚🌳

She and the house were talking - one-sided but it was still something of a conversation - up in Mélanie’s bedroom when she realized that the sun was starting to set.

I’ll be back by dark with all luck, Jasper had told her.  She looked out the (now very clean) window and wondered how long it would be until true dark.

A plate bumped gently at her arm and she jumped.  “Oh!” The plate was full of what looked like a very tasty meal.  “Thank you. You didn’t have to do that, you know!”

The plate started dancing out her bedroom door and down the stairs.  She followed the plate - there were so many halls she hadn’t gone down yet, but I’m going to ask you to only go places inside the house that I have shown you, he’d said, and he might have phrased it as a request, but she was not unwise enough to think that it wasn’t an order.

She’d cleaned the dining room, his bedroom, and her bedroom.  The kitchen was already sparkling clean; she had a feeling that was where the house spent most of its - her - energy?  Time? It was hard to figure out what, exactly was going on when the house very clearly didn’t want to tell her.

read on…

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Twenty: Surprises in the Bear Empire
Leaf
aldersprig
First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: "Disputes" in the Bear Empire

🐻

They walked - catching rides from local farmers twice - until the sun was just threatening to disappear behind the mountains. By the time they clambered into the slight curvature of the hill that made something that could, with generosity and broad definitions, be called a cave, they had been trading bad jokes and worse stories for more than an hour, started when Carrone told her one about a bear - the animal sort - that walked into a tavern.

“Can you…” He waved his hands.  

“I can.  Are you sure you want me to?”

He pointed at the sky.  “It might not be planning on one of your stupid man-killer storms, but it’s going to do something tonight, and I don’t want to sleep wet.  Or bug-eaten.”

“I don’t, either.”  She dug into her beg until she found everything she needed; he, in the meantime, laid out the bedrolls (there was just enough room for the two of them pressed against each other in the dubious shelter they’d found) and then dug around for cooking supplies.

read on…

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Funerary Rites 24: Arrangements
Leaf
aldersprig
🔑

When they left the master suite - Erramun had redecorated the bedroom into shades black and blue that made it feel much more like a space Senga lived in and had somehow made it smell fresh and aired-out and not at all musty - they found Chitter and Ezer arguing over the other wing of the upstairs.

“Senga!” Ezer called.  “Tell Chitter that I need this space to coordinate the three of you on your ridiculous death-defying missions!”

“Senga,” Chitter whined, “tell Ezer that I need all this space for my computers!”

“Guys…”  Senga looked between them.  “There’s literally two wings of residential space, not counting the servants’ quarters in the back.  There is literally room for each of you to have a floor of a wing to yourself. Why do you need this space?”

“The view” they answered as one.  Then Ezer added, a little sulkily, “Allayne got the wing below yours.  And that’s the next nicest.”

read on…

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Bad Things: Pet (2)
Leaf
aldersprig
The continuation of The Beastie Story. 

Content warnings: dehumanization (literally), torture, captivity, more torture, humiliation, loss of self, semi-starvation and food-based torture.  Off of this prompt. 

And, since he identifies himself, The Man in this is Nathan from Lightning in Autumn (also, for those that follow us on Masto/Discord, what Cal means every time he says "Nathan!" since there's a very long-running story we're working on...)



 

His left rear paw hurt badly, and he was pretty sure that some of the bones in his left front paw were broken.  He had gotten the hang of all of the basic things — running, walking, drinking, hunting — but that did nothing for the fact that he had no idea where he was, had no idea where he was running to, and was pretty sure he was sick with some sort of — he didn’t want to think about that.

read on…

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Haunted House 22 - Tap Twice For Yes
Leaf
aldersprig
First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: Assignment

🌳🏚🌳

Mélanie waited until she was sure Jasper was gone, watching from the window while he got the horses in harness and set out.  She waited until the gate made a distinctive noise, clanging shut. Then she waited until her tea jostled her elbow.

“I’m… I guess I’m not alone, am I?”  She smiled; she didn’t want the house to feel like she didn’t want to be around it.  

Even if she wasn’t a hundred percent sure that the house wasn’t going to eat her.

“Dust cloth?” she asked.  “And something to clean windows with?”

The cupboard doors moved a little, seeming uncertain.

read on…

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Thimbleful Thursday: Zonked
Leaf
aldersprig
I think the best warning for this one is: This creeped me out.  No body horror but brain horror.



“We have an agreement.”  The woman’s smile was fake.  “You signed the papers, the money has been deposited, and you are ready to comply.”

“Yes.”  Tepha nodded shortly.  “You have my thumbprin

read on…

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Haunted House 21: Assignment
Leaf
aldersprig
First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: Girl Talk

🌳🏚🌳

She couldn’t put off the other thing forever, so eventually, once she and the house had finished putting her clothes away and she’d changed into something that seemed comfortable and cute - and made her look like a starlet pretending to be Rosie the Riveter - Mélanie went back down to the kitchen table.

She found a pen  - an old ballpoint click pen - and a pad of paper waiting for her. “Thank you,” she told the house, and began writing.

She had been with the slavers for three markets, so she had seen both their holding area and their market pens.  She knew what their feeding schedule was and when they got in new food shipments. She knew when, approximately, they put everyone on lockdown for the night.

read on…

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September Patreon Theme Poll!
Leaf
aldersprig


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Nineteen: “Disputes” in the Bear Empire
Leaf
aldersprig
First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: Lies and Murder in the Bear Empire

🐻

They didn't sleep well, but they drowsed for several hours, until the sun began to sneak over the horizon and Deline, at least, was tired of pretending she could rest.

The storm, which had come back twice during their restless sleep, seemed to have passed by the time they made it downstairs and into the small town.  Deline wasted a few minutes wishing over the carriage system, but even if it was safe for them to risk, the carriages wouldn't travel if there was risk to the horses.

Their provisioning was quick, sincerely there were only two stores in town.  It was at the second one, while Carrone was making faces at Deline’s purchases, that the shopkeeper aimed a sharp look up and down both of them.

read on…

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Beauty-Beast 42: Public
Leaf
aldersprig
🔒

The drive was not all that long, although it went through five minutes of the sort of traffic where it would have been quicker and probably easier to get out and walk. Ctirad shifted a few times in his seat, but for the most part, he was still.  He wanted to find a place where he could be what Timaois wanted of him, even if I want you to be you was the least helpful advice ever.  

He opened his eyes when Sal pulled into an underground garage that, while not hidden, was not exactly advertised, either.  The bar that raised when Sal swiped a card was far more intense than the normal wooden gate, too, and there were two of them and a metal roll-door before they reached the actual garage.

“Secure,” Ctirad murmured.

“People who work here take such things very seriously,” Timaios agreed.  “And I admit I like it, or at least, my public persona likes it.”

read on…

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What Happened?
Leaf
aldersprig
Written to LilFluff's prompt to my new "WTF?" Prompt Call.  

Probably a new universe.  The last two times Fluff prompted me, we ended up with Kael's Tower/a New World and The Hidden Mall, so...



When Emma found the door in the closet of her great-grandfather’s old house, she knew what she

read on…

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Wait, What?
Leaf
aldersprig
Written to DaHob's prompt to my new "WTF?" Prompt Call.  Fae Apoc, early apocalypse.



Things had been going weird for weeks, but Tlalli had been doing a pretty good job of pretending they weren’t.

She went to classes every day, went to work after that, and screened stupid application after stupid application for a roommate, looking for someone who wouldn’t be torture to live with and would actually pay the rent something like on time.

There was some weird shit on the tv, weirder shit on youtube, and twitter was blowing up with the stuff people had seen - and the people that had died or vanished.   One person she followed posted a list every morning. Just an image, black names on white text. It was getting pretty long.

read on…

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What’s in the Garden?
Leaf
aldersprig
Written to Rix-Scaedu's prompt to my new "WTF?" Prompt Call.  This is definitely a Science! story, complete with the Boss - Liam - and his plucky second-in-command. 



The raid had taken down three scientists working outside the bounds of the law, morality, or common sense, along with seven “assistants”, mostly grad students, who would probably not be charged, as having to find another research position might be punishment enough for anyone.

It had also found several references to “the farm office,” which, once the proper grad student was interrogated, appeared to be an old veterinary clinic sitting in a small farm town half an hour outside the city.

Liam, who had no official government or law-enforcement position, and Cara, who was, on paper, at least, his second-in-command, were along on both trips.  Liam had already recruited the most sensible of the scientists (along with hiring her a lawyer) and the three grad students Cara had hand-picked. Now - now they got to see what the farm office was.

read on…

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What The Rent?
Leaf
aldersprig
Written to Eseme's prompt to my new "WTF?" Prompt Call.  Dragons Next Door 'Verse, definition(s) at bottom. 



You heard things about this city, moving in.

People from nearby cities would whisper about the dragons and the ogres and other, darker creatures.

They’d talk about the pixies

read on…

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What The… Doll?
Leaf
aldersprig
Written to Del's prompt to my new "WTF?" Prompt Call.  This Miiiiiight be Science! or Dragons Next Door universes - what do you think?



I suppose I had nobody to blame but myself.

I’m one of those compulsive “clickers” that likes to play with online dollies, you know ‘dress up Soldier Sapphire!  Make a Fashion Doll!”

It’s not a habit I really admit to people in real life, but the online world has always been different.

So when “make your mini-mi!” came up in the advertisements for one of the sites I like a lot - they have wings!  And some pretty funky skin colors! - I couldn’t resist clicking.

And then I spent an hour playing - maybe two hours - it could have been three.  All I know is that when I was done, I had a nice little character that looked “just like me.”

I mean, if me had blue hair. 

read on…

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What The Spell?
Leaf
aldersprig
Written to Victoria's prompt to my new "WTF?" Prompt Call.  Set in the same world as Parts and Points, which itself is the same world as a cyberpunk-ish novel I'm working on. 



The book was old - ancient -  the sort of thing that people hoard and pass on to their descendants in their wills, and Jenivere had found it in the back of a flea market booth, hiding in a bargain bin.

She’d felt a little guilty about what she’d paid for it, so she’d done a little spell around the booth, one of her favorite easy ones that just made everything a little fresher without ruining the quality of something old or antique (although it sometimes had unfortunate effects on ‘shabby chic’ sorts of things).

Now that she’d read the whole thing three times, she was ready to start one of the spells in it.  It was a shield spell - it was listed as ‘defend and protect’ - and the ingredients were almost all supermarket-easy.

read on…

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Giraffe Call: “WTF?!?”
Leaf
aldersprig


Short version:

The theme is “WTF??!??”.

Leave as many prompts as you want.

If you tip $3 or more, are a Patreon at the $3 or higher level, or if another prompter tells me they came here from your signal booster, I WILL write to at least 1 if your prompts.

All others will be written as mood, time, and inspiration permit.

In addition: for every $3 you tip, I will write 200-400 words continuing the prompt-call story of your choice.





The WTF?!? Prompt Call

Here at House Thorne, we are in the middle of renovations to the second floor (“attic”) of our cape cod-style farmhouse.

We’re turning what was two knee-walled attic spaces (unfinished) and two separate “rooms” into one large room, ripping out all of the insulation, and replacing it with blown-in closed-cell foam.

Which, because our house is 150 or so years old, will require adding in framing at almost every step!

This is looking – framing, insulation, drywall, and flooring –  to be approximately a $12,000 project.

My goal is to pay for 5% of that from Patreon funds and 5% from this prompt call.

To that end, I am asking you to leave prompts to the theme “WTF”, and, if like what you read, to leave a little money in the WTF jar.

You don’t need to tip!  All prompts are welcome.  But tipping will guarantee that I write your prompt, AND get you more words.

In addition:. The more tips we get, the more things EVERYONE gets:

$50 – Cat Picture, probably with dirty paws.

$75 – 1/8 of the way there! – I will post a picture of the author in her first home renovation project (age 5)

$100 — and every hundred thereafter — Mr. Thorne will write a piece on some portion of the “wtf” in the house.

$150 – 1/4 there! –  I will post a photo essay of some particular “wtf” area of the home & its renovation

$225 3/8 there! – I will find one more photo of the author in her first home renovation!

$300 – halfway there!  I will pick three tipping/Patreon readers to receive one 100-300-word continuation of their choice.

more rewards to come!





For “what is a prompt call?” or “Why Giraffe?” see here


See on Wordpress
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Eighteen: Lies and Murder in the Bear Empire
Leaf
aldersprig
First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: Captive in the Bear Empire

🐻

Carrone was eyeing Deline oddly.  “You don’t like killing. The Deklegion paper-pusher told us you were a mass-murderer.  Then you put a blade to me and offered to leave me in the cabin.”

“I have killed a grand total of… three people and seven animals in Dekleg, not this trip, in my life, and two of those people were actively trying to kill me at the time.  I don’t like killing people.”

“But you would have slit my throat.”

“Sometimes…”  She sat down on the edge of their makeshift bed cross-legged, “the mission is more important than what I want.  And if I don’t make it home, the mission fails.”

read on…

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Haunted House 20: Girl Talk
Leaf
aldersprig
First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: Wardrobe

🌳🏚🌳

Mélanie sat with the wealth of clothes on her bed - her bed, her room - and was unsurprised when they began to carefully hang themselves.  “I don’t suppose you do alterations, do you?” she asked the air. The clothes would fit her, mostly, but the very nce trousers would look nicer if they weren’t cinched in three inches with a belt.

The hanger tilted side to side thoughtfully.

“Maybe?  Sort of? Requires you to talk and you’re not a big fan of talking?” Mélane guessed.  She had no idea if the house could talk and, if it could, why it didn’t.

But on the last option, the hanger started tilting forward as if nodding.  

read on…

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Experts
Leaf
aldersprig
A Fae Apoc story prompted by @SkySailor.  Set in the post-apoc of Fae Apoc. 

💠🔹💠

“Excuse me?  Excuse me, I’m looking for an expert?”

He looked like nothing you’d stop to look twice at, and most people didn’t even bother with looking once.  He was weedy, small, underfed. Fifteen years after the collapse of most of the world, he looked like - well, like it was a miracle he was still alive.

Nobody worried about him.

“What sort of expert, son?  We’ve got all sorts here.” The aging professor had not been quite so aging when the school had stopped being quite the same institution he’d been hired by.  Tenure was, however, tenure, and there weren’t that many universities hiring Labor Economics professors in this day and age.

Not when they were more worried with the simple economics of laboring enough to survive.

read on…

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The Hidden Mall 37: By a Thread
Leaf
aldersprig
Abby didn’t scream. Later, it would occur to her as strange: her heart had dropped she’d grabbed for the ropes around her, but she hadn’t screamed.  She hadn’t made a sound. But as soon as she had any sort of handhold, she’d looked for her Livs.

They were both fine; Vic was fine, if gaping.  and her shoulder was suddenly yanked as all of her weight fell onto her hands grabbing onto the thinning ropes.

The pavement was a long, long, long way below.  Someone else was screaming - someone near her, someone who had been too close and was scrambling backwards, reaching forf some sort of support.

Abby looked at her Livs.  She looked down, down, down at the pavement.  “There,” she grunted. “up there, on the left.  Meet me there.”

“But you-”

read on…

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Funerary Rites 23: Home
Leaf
aldersprig
🔑

Erramun stepped through the door, looked back at her, and looked back into the room.  “There is nothing particularly troubling, unless you count the decorating.” He wrinkled his nose.  “That, on the other hand, is fairly disturbing.”

Senga stepped in, grateful for the small humour.  “I don’t think my Grandmother did anything but renew the Preserve Working on things that her grandmother had chosen.  As far as I know, it’s not tied in to any legacy or anything…”

Her grandmother’s grandmother had preferred pink floral chintz and an everything-matches set-up that made the room look something like the inside of a pepto bismal bottle.  But everything was still intact: the bed with its pink chintz canopy and excessive decorative pillows, even with the hollow where her grandmother’s dogs had slept at the foot of the bed; the Queen Anne furnishings that had been painted just as pink as everything else, the wide windows with their matching curtains, valances, fringed… things....

read on…

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Purchase Negotiation 15: Orders
Leaf
aldersprig
First: Purchased: Negotiation
Previous: Owned

💰

Mr. MacDiarmad raised his eyebrows at Leander.  “Is there a problem?”

He shifted, setting his weight on his heels and doing his damnedest to meet his owner’s eyes.  “No, sir. No problem.”

“Sylviane?  You agreed that you’d take on a bodyguard.  So what’s the problem?”

“The problem isn’t him, Daddy.  It’s you. You! I’ll take a bodyguard, fine.  If you insist that having him under your Name is the only way for you to be sure that he’ll do his job fine.  Have him Belong to you. The problem is that you shoved him on me without taking to him. You know better.  You ought to, at least. He’s on edge, he’s uncomfortable, and he looks like he’s waiting for the rug to be yanked out from under him at any moment.”

“I’m not…” Leander fell silent as she kicked him in the calf.

read on…

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A New World 25: Jamhaier
Leaf
aldersprig


The bar was not all that different from pubs and taverns that Kael remembered.  There was louder music, yes, the lights were different, but the drinks were much the same - just more variety.  She bowed to Gemma’s expertise for the first drink and got a wink and a decidedly flirtatious smile in return.

“Are you encouraging me to get you drunk, Madam Kaelingrade?”

“As a matter of fact, I might enjoy that,” Kael agreed.  “But I’d have to hope that you have better than an apprentice’s garret to take me back to, since that’s all that they give one for ‘room and board’.  Well at least for the room portion.  The board is quite nice.”

“Did she call you - did she call you Madam Kaelingrade?”  The bartender, a handsome man who was a little younger than Kael’s apparent age, looked surprised.  “Is there a new Kael in the tower, then? You look…” He studied her for a moment. “You look genuine.”

read on…

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Captive in the Bear Empire
Leaf
aldersprig
First: Running in the Bear Empire
Previous: Teamwork in the Bear Empire

🐻

“So that’s how you did that knot.”

“What?  Oh, yes.”  Deline tightened up the last of the spell-rope knots around their would-be murderer with a yank.

“Do they teach that in spy training in the Empire?”  Carrone shifted the blade he was holding so that it was in a slightly less threatening position against the assassin’s throat.

“That’s at least three assumptions.”  She sat back and looked at the woman, who glared balefully at her over the thick gag of rag and socks.  Dirty socks; Deline was not in a charitable mood.

“Hunh?  I guess it is.  Are you going to give her the—”

“Hsst.”  She looked down at the woman.  “You have three choices.”

read on…

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The Hidden Mall 36: Further up and further in
Leaf
aldersprig
They went through the door, into a cement hallway.  No, that wasn’t right. Abby glared - oh. Oh, there was a second door, on her left.  She ignored the one on the right and, while Vic was swearing and complaining - at least, that was the general feel of her stream of French - pulled the left-hand door open.  “In!” she commanded.

And in they went, the Livs dragging Vic-French along.

The sounds of carousel music almost made Abby go back through the door.  The images of that gaping clown mouth, the silently-dancing carnival, all of that haunted her.

But this one wasn’t grey and bloody, this one was bright.  And Vic was staring in awe.

read on…

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Spoils of War 11 - Animalia
Leaf
aldersprig
First: Spoils of War I: Surrender
Previous: Out of Hell

Aran left a solid block of the road converted into salt and then, for good measure, the two cross streets.  The slug could move around it, sure, but it would take the thing time.

By that point, hopefully she could figure out how it was trailing them.  She closed her eyes again. Maybe-

“Wait.  It’s an animal, right?  I mean, we hope it’s not a person.  So why don’t you steer and I see if I can figure it out?”  He poked her in the arm and snorted. “Come on, you worked in team.  A troupe. So why are you trying to do everything yourself?”

read on…

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Thimbleful Thursday: Parts and Points
Leaf
aldersprig
“You, uh, really take trying out your product seriously, don't you?”

The man was nervous. Sheen’s workshop did that, got people thinking about all the pieces coming to life, or about all the meat parts they still had.

That was, however, no excuse for rudeness.

“Mmm?” Sheen made like he

read on…

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Helping Hands I
Leaf
aldersprig
How can I help?

Yarrow Tallum had said those words all her life.  She’d grown up in a family that had helped. She had gone to a church that had helped.  She had moved to this city working with a not-for-profit that, above all things helped.

When the not-for-profit had turned out to be not qu

read on…

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August Patreon Theme Poll!
Leaf
aldersprig
Once a month, I do these polls.

I like polls a lot; they sometimes surprise me but often tell me where I'm going in re. what my readership wants.

The point of this poll in particular is to determine what I’ll be writing for my month in Patreon. This covers two very short stories, two long stories, some reposts, some meta, and whatever else comes to mind.

And no matter if you're a Patron or not, if you read my stuff or not, you can vote.

No DreamWidth account? Leave me your vote in the comments - up to 7 votes for the first question any any suggestions you want for the next three months' themes. I like it if you sign those comments, that's all.




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Bad Things: Pet
Leaf
aldersprig
Content warnings: dehumanization (literally), torture, captivity, more torture, humiliation, loss of self, semi-starvation and food-based torture.  Off of this prompt. 



@Chanter_Greenie, I bet you know who this is. 



Someone remind me to post the post-Ghost Story bit once I find it?



The transformation had hurt like hell.

On bad moments, he held on to that.

She was good at these things; he was pretty sure she could've made it painless.  She liked the pain — she like his pain.

When he'd realized what she was doing, he'd tried to run away, despite the shackles holding him down, despite the blades she'd driven through both his feet.  “Little beastie,” she'd purred into his ear. “Beast you are, and I don't think you look the part enough.”

read on…

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Haunted House 19: Wardrobe
Leaf
aldersprig
First: A story featuring a male keeper and a female Kept.
Previous: In the Henhouse

🌳🏚🌳

“You said…”  Mélanie washed the eggs slowly.  “You said that I had two assignments?  I suppose that I should do those before morning is over…?”

“Oh!  Thank you for reminding me.  Yes. When you’re done with those eggs, we can go upstairs and I can show you where to find the best clothes.  And then perhaps I’ll go out and do a little trading and give you some more time to yourself. Would you like that?”

“I.... I think I would be a little confused by that.  But I would not dislike it, sir.” She finished the eggs and set them on a tea towel that appeared next to the sink.  “Thank you, House. so… five outfits?”

read on…

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