edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Two of these are actually from the previous iteration of the ficathon, which I apparently neglected to ever post to my journal. Oops?

Anyway, here is the link to the current ficathon if you want to play too. :D

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25. ) For [personal profile] syrena_of_the_lake: Any, any, everything outside us is mad as the mist and snow, written 1/18/16

battle magic (250 words)

"The trouble with magic," Edith said, studying the penciled reports of King Feyraud's current position with an absent frown, "and by 'trouble' I mean the reason it's so inefficient, is that it has no system. Every magician has a different center, which means there isn't any way to generalize from one to another. And that means people who try to turn magic into a rational field of study or practice end up writing treatises of rather dodgy philosophy and dictionaries of ingredients and spells that won't work for anyone but their creators, instead of something useful like a maths textbook or an engineering manual. So yes, I know some battle magic, but that doesn't mean anything in practical terms since none of what I've read will work for me. Especially not Jadis's spells."

"That is very interesting and I'd love to hear more once we're back at Cair Paravel," Mary said, "but at the moment I only need to know if you can do something both large and subtle enough with your shadows to keep the Sarovencian sentries from noticing the raiding party I plan to lead across the river this evening."

Edith lifted her eyes from her contemplation of the map. "Oh, is that all? I can't do it from here, but if I'm with the party, that shouldn't be a problem. It might even be fun." Her hand dropped to the stone knife at her belt, and Mary felt a moment of sympathy for the unsuspecting Sarovencians as her sister smiled.

-----

Note: This wound up as a tiny installment in As the Morning and the Night, my genderswapped Pevensies AU. King Feyraud of Sarovence is an OC ruler of a mountain country near Archenland who has a tenuous blood relation to the old Narnian royal family; he attempts to claim Narnia by conquest both in this AU and in my normal timeline.

I consider this ficlet non-canonical (for the AU) in its fine details, but I intend to rework it into a proper story someday.


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26. ) For [livejournal.com profile] killing_kurare: Any, Any, You must have made some kind of mistake // I asked for death, but instead I'm awake, written 2/29/16 [AO3 version]

the seer and the light (150 words)

She rises out of the Green Sun, shedding plasma in her wake, and for a moment everything is gloriously, impossibly clear: all the paths of fortune laid out in terrible, shining simplicity to the end of all possible universes. Then it occurs to Rose that sight implies someone to do the seeing, just as paths imply someone to travel them, which implies that she exists, which implies that she isn't done, and her enlightenment begins to fade.

She buries that thought with practiced skill, but buried isn't quite the same as gone and she retains just enough memory of future choices to know that she'll chase that taste of oblivion in other ways -- the same way she's spent her whole life chasing the void where her mother's love should be -- and despite the ruin down that road, she already knows she won't manage to (won't want to) make herself stop.

-----

Note: Homestuck, obviously. :)

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1. ) For [livejournal.com profile] notoriousreign: MCU, Laura Barton/Clint Barton, vacation, written 11/29/16 [AO3 version]

to get away from it all (175 words)

Once Laura got Clint past the urge to rehang the door of their very swanky hotel suite, and made him call in a tip to SHIELD about the suspicious behavior of the front desk clerk and two of the cleaning staff instead of pursuing the people himself, he settled fairly well into relaxation: his only stipulation that she try either scuba diving or surfing before they headed back north.

"I never really appreciated how fun doing nothing could be, before," he said, breath tickling along the curve of her ear as she lounged on a beach towel and basked in the sun and the pressure of his strong, callused fingers rubbing sunblock into her shoulders and down the hollow of her spine; "Maybe I just needed the right beautiful woman as my partner and mission coordinator."

"I'm telling Nat you said that, and getting Maria to record the resulting carnage," Laura murmured sleepily into the cradle of her folded arms, and smiled to herself at a job well done when Clint stopped his massage to laugh.

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2. ) For [livejournal.com profile] hanorganaas: Star Wars, Han/Leia, Passionate, written 11/29/16 [AO3 version]

the ruling passion conquers reason still (175 words)

They never stop loving each other; that's not the problem.

It is, however, a symptom of the problem, because the same passion that fuels their connection -- that makes them fight the whole galaxy when it would keep them apart -- drives them in all things, and what they want (besides each other's embrace, and Luke safe, and Vader and the Emperor dead) is fundamentally incompatible; Han will chew off his own legs to win freedom for himself while Leia will bind her entire self into service to win freedom for everyone else, and neither is willing to give in any more than they could possibly let go.

They love each other from a distance, then -- a comet swinging around a sun to spell glory or disaster, a meteor shower burning up in the atmosphere of the planet it can't escape, a pair of unstable stars perturbing each other into massive solar flares -- and each takes comfort knowing the other is out somewhere in the void, burning with a flame as unquenchable as their own.

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3. ) For [livejournal.com profile] adamas: Daredevil; Ensemble or Matt Murdock/Any; teaching how to see without sight, written 11/30/16 [AO3 version]

absence makes (275 words)

After Karen banged and tripped her way across what felt like miles of treacherous floor and furniture, Matt guided her (both of them still laughing) to his couch and said, "Maybe we should start with something simpler, or at least something that keeps you in one place and doesn't split your focus so much."

"Oh?" Karen said, and immediately wanted to kick herself for the breathless inanity of the word and her tone of voice, and then wanted to kick herself again for the way the jump in her heartbeat and the flush of heat across her cheeks (just kissing the edge of Matt's old mask, pulled low over her eyes) might have given Matt the idea that she was upset at him instead of mildly annoyed at herself and how much this was turning her on.

"Yeah, just, I'm going to hold my hand near some part of your body so you can feel the heat and air displacement -- because nobody's ever completely still -- and see if you can reach out and touch my hand with your own: no guessing," Matt said, sliding one hand through the loose tendrils of her hair as he spoke, in a slow, tender gesture of farewell before he shifted his weight off the couch and left Karen's skin tingling at the suddenly untenable lack of his touch... and she wondered, not for the first time but with more force than ever before, how he could possibly stand to live this way -- all his nerves raw, exposed, and hungry -- because despite the blackness that (temporarily, voluntarily) shrouded her world, she had never been more conscious of his body in her life.

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4. ) For [livejournal.com profile] silvr_dagger: Star Trek TOS or AOS, T'Pring/Uhura, a logical arrangement, written 11/30/16 [AO3 version]

no diplomacy like candor (250 words)

"He must contribute his genes toward the continuation of our species; he requires an advocate to navigate our people's internal politics in his name and that of his family; and he needs my control to lean on when his own fails, as I am sure you can attest it has done at inopportune moments," T'Pring said, somehow managing to make Spock and Nyota's shared bed and cabin look like a throne in an audience chamber, a domain entirely within her own control rather than someone else's home she had entered without invitation.

"All logical arguments," Nyota said, and left the implicit 'so far as they go, which isn't very' hanging in the tone of her voice, the position of her eyebrows, and the faint roughness at the end of the final word as if she'd been about to lead into another phrase.

T'Pring smiled, as shocking and unexpected as rain in the desert, and said, "A most elegant turn of phrase and a true display of cross-species linguistic mastery, though if you had spoken so to me in another world, I might have challenged you to kal-if-fee for your presumption at standing between me and my betrothed; in this one, however, necessity and loss have taught me the art of compromise, and I think that any person Spock would choose to bind himself to is one I might equally choose for myself, for mind, for soul, and for body -- and most particularly, in matters of the body, for your talented tongue."

-----

Note: I went with AOS. :)

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Part two coming tomorrow, maybe...
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Summary: Years later, Edith still missed the crisp silence of that handful of days, the clear cadence of Jadis's voice as she talked about Charn, about law, about power. About magic. (Part of the As the Morning and the Night genderswap AU, 525 words)

Note: This ficlet was inspired by the 3/23/15 15_minute_ficlets word #224.

[AO3 crosspost]

Winter in the Shade )

If you're wondering about the relation of the prompt word to the story, I will tell you that Edith's magic centers around shadows. :-)

Also, this bit of backstory took me completely by surprise, but upon reflection there really isn't time during the canonical plot of LWW for Edith to get really attached to Jadis, especially since Jadis wouldn't be interested in playing nice at that point, just in getting rid of all four children. So. Workarounds!
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Just FYI, the revised and slightly extended final version of Come Close to Your Own World is now up on AO3! (4,375 words)

Summary: The Pevensies can only take one child with them to America. Mary is the logical choice -- she's the eldest, and the only one who has any interest in Father's work -- but she's not sure that's a good idea. (Part of the As the Morning and the Night genderswap AU)

Note: This fic was written for Cotton Candy Bingo Round One in incredibly belated response to the prompt: unexpected love. It's also in response to a prompt from asphodelimago: Narnia, Peter finds a hobby. Seems like his characterization is all about duty and great earthshaking deeds, especially in Narnia. It’d be neat to see him back in England, finding something quiet and ordinary that still matters, even after all those great deeds. (I am admittedly still smitten with As The Morning and the Night, and Mary or Stephen would also be fascinating for this, but I know you haven’t been back to that AU for a while. It got stuck in my head so hard, and it’s never quite left.)

Thanks to [personal profile] branchandroot for the beta advice!
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Summary: The Pevensies can only take one child with them to America. Mary is the logical choice -- she's the eldest, and the only one who has any interest in Father's work -- but she's not sure that's a good idea. (Part of the As the Morning and the Night genderswap AU)

Note: This fic was written for Cotton Candy Bingo Round One in incredibly belated response to the prompt: unexpected love. It's also in response to a prompt from asphodelimago: Narnia, Peter finds a hobby. Seems like his characterization is all about duty and great earthshaking deeds, especially in Narnia. It’d be neat to see him back in England, finding something quiet and ordinary that still matters, even after all those great deeds. (I am admittedly still smitten with As The Morning and the Night, and Mary or Stephen would also be fascinating for this, but I know you haven’t been back to that AU for a while. It got stuck in my head so hard, and it’s never quite left.) (4,200 words)

[ETA: The notably revised and slightly extended final version is now up on AO3! Please go read that one instead.]

Come Close to Your Own World )

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This story is very rough! I am posting it now because I have been working on it too long to retain any sense of perspective, and I doubt that stepping away for a couple days would do anything to help. I think my mechanics (spelling, grammar, etc.) are probably okay, but I am very unsure of the thematic arc here, I suspect the points where I got utterly lost and did a subdued version of "and then ninjas break down the door!" narrative focus shift trick are not hidden very well, and I kind of threw up my hands in despair when it came to period-accuracy.

If you have any suggestions for improvements, please tell me.
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
I would like to preface this by apologizing for A) writing in second person, B) inflicting this much hideously angsty melodrama upon the world, C) probably not even making any sense in terms of character development, D) creating this kind of horrible melodramatic angst, E) using pretentious section titles, and F) making you read abominable angst and melodrama. Also, I don't think I made any sense whatsoever when trying to talk about gender roles, so I'm sorry for that too.

But I am so sick of this story by now, and it finally has some sort of ending, so I officially give up. If you have any editing advice whatsoever, I will... well. I will owe you a giant favor, okay? Exact payment methods are negotiable.

That said, here is a fic. (The title, of course, is from the nursery rhyme "Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary.")

Mary Pevensie and her family: a character study in three parts. (2,225 words)

[ETA: The AO3 crosspost is now up!]

How Does Your Garden Grow? )

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...I really kind of hate this fic, but I don't know how to fix it. Please help?
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
The vast majority of this ficlet is heavily copied and/or paraphrased from the equivalent scene in LWW, because the point is to reflect and comment on canon, not to abandon it utterly. The main changes (beyond the Pevensies' sexes and genders, obviously) are a reversed order of gifts; the removal of Lewis's gender role prescriptivism; a bit of subtle mucking around with his punctuation, capitalization, and sentence phrasing; and some changes to the Beavers' dialogue and actions at the end. Also I changed the simile for describing the red lion on the shield, mostly because I do not find ripe strawberries a particularly intuitive association with tools of war. *wry*

There are two places where "As the Morning and the Night" goes drastically askew to canon. The first is Edith's relationship with Jadis. This -- the meeting with Father Christmas -- is the second. (1,050 words)

[ETA: The AO3 crosspost is now up!]

The Spell Begins To Break )

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I wrote the bit from Father Christmas's speech to Mary up to Mrs. Beaver stepping on her husband's paw back in March, but only got around to the rest of the story tonight.

...

Incidentally, my pre-Narnia Mary character study (otherwise known as "How Does Your Garden Grow?") is now at 1,950 words. I just can't figure out how to tie it up properly, which is driving me nuts. Ah well, sooner or later it will come to me.
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Here is another Narnia genderswap character study, this one of Laurie Pevensie. He's been the hardest of the siblings for me to get hold of, probably because he's the closest to his canon counterpart. So far the only overt differences seem to be a greater penchant for categorizing things -- he makes lists and analogies and has a thing about spatial arrangements -- and an increased perceptiveness toward his family. But the latter is, I think, just a product of growing up in a different and tenser family situation; Lucy would probably be equally sensitive if she'd had a similarly troubled family, and if the tension had been going on for years instead of just one.

I expect the differences will grow as Laurie gets older, but even so, it surprises me how little change switching Lucy's gender seems to make.

Anyway. Laurie Pevensie's world always makes sense, even if his siblings don't see what he does. (550 words)

[ETA: The AO3 crosspost is now up!]

Anchor Points )

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No prizes for guessing who the sun is. *wry*

In Narnia, Laurie continues his categorization habits and extends them to seasons as well. Starting from the Narnians' association of Edith with winter (because of her ties to Jadis), Laurie determines that Mary is summer, Stephen is autumn, and he himself is spring. Interestingly, while east and spring correspond well, as do west and autumn, north and summer and south and winter are normally opposite symbolic associations (at least in the northern hemisphere, which England is part of and which Narnia approximates). Laurie doesn't see any contradiction; he just thinks his sisters are complicated. :-D

I think once I get the Mary character study done, and maybe a snippet about the Christmas gifts, I will post these on ff.net as a sort of ficlet collection, to be added to randomly when the mood strikes me. But I want the Mary-POV piece done first.
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
More Narnia genderswap! This is set the year before the Pevensies go to Narnia the first time, as should be obvious from the title. (Apparently Lewis wrote a semi-official timeline at some point, claiming that Peter was born in 1927, Susan in 1928, Edmund in 1930, and Lucy in 1932, which means that here Mary is twelve, Stephen eleven, Edith nine, and Laurie seven.) Stephen POV, because family dynamics are fun and unreliable narrators are even better -- as you can see, comparing this story to Fester Like a Sore, Stephen and Edith interpret the same basic situation somewhat differently.

I wrote this longhand at work tonight -- it was a very slow evening! -- then typed it up when I got home, doing a quick edit as I went. (1,250 words)

[ETA: The AO3 crosspost is now up!]

Summer of '39 )

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Stephen isn't a mother figure like Susan, but he's still a peacemaker of sorts. He does this mostly by not saying things, which is not always helpful in the long run, but it does keep him on speaking terms with everyone, and means he doesn't spark fights... except occasionally with Edith, who wants him to pick a side (preferably hers) and stay there, and doesn't always manage to bite her tongue and play "good daughter" when she's really angry.

I think Stephen and Mary are somewhat closer than Susan and Peter, because Stephen looks to Mary as an example in a way that Susan never looked to Peter. This also means that Stephen doesn't look after Laurie the way Susan sometimes looked after Lucy; that's Edith's job, which she alternately embraces and resents.

...

I still need a name for this, and I cannot think of a good one. *sulks*
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
More Narnia genderswap, this from the HHB era: 800 somewhat rambling words on Edith and Rabadash in Calormen, veering from history to poetry and desire to war.

[ETA: The AO3 crosspost is now up!]

Maxims and Verses )

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So yeah. Edith apparently has Jadis's knife -- and don't ask me what that does to the section of VDT on the Star's Island. Maybe Aslan just waited until the Pevensies left Narnia the first time to squirrel it away? Except it would be nifty if it was in Cair Paravel along with the gifts the other three got from Father Christmas when they return in PC. Ooh, I like that idea, actually. Yes. That's how it goes.

Anyway, Edith is notably more suspicious of Rabadash than Susan was, but is also more willing to... play him, I guess. And Calormen makes my writing weirdly sensual (for me, anyway), which is not news by this point, but nonetheless continues to surprise me.

...I need a name for this AU. Suggestions?
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I dream of a Narnian genderswap retelling of LWW, wherein the four Pevensie siblings are Mary, Stephen, Edith, and Laurence rather than Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy -- which would obviously change the intra-familial relationship dynamics a lot, and would then throw monkey wrenches into Lewis's rather gender-essentialist plot devices.

I am still not writing the alternate version of LWW. But. I am doing some background world-building and character exploration, of which this is one piece. In this world, Mary is struggling with issues Peter never had to face, and her troubles have the knock-on effect of making Edith's pre-Narnia family role very different from Edmund's, though she's equally unhappy in it.

So. 575 words on Edith, Mary, and their mother. The title is from Langston Hughes's poem "A Dream Deferred."

[ETA: The AO3 crosspost is now up!]

Fester Like a Sore )

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As you can see, Edith is like Edmund in some respects -- the practical bent that shows up in Edmund's interest in roads and railway schedules, the sort of push-pull pre-Narnia relationship with Peter (or Mary), a feeling of being unappreciated by family -- but she's channeled those similarities in rather different directions. Edmund is superficially the one pulling his family apart. Edith is superficially the one holding hers together.

Incidentally, Edith ends up much more associated with Jadis than Edmund did. Because she's female, she's seen as a potential apprentice and heir to the Witch. And to some degree that's fair, because Edith takes Jadis as a role model -- not in morality, obviously, but in the sense that she's finally found an example of a woman who unapologetically wields power without compromising her sense of self or renouncing outward trappings of femininity like dresses and jewelry. Mrs. Pevensie doesn't overtly wield power, and before Narnia, Mary is alternately trying to deny her true self and be a sort of wind-up caricature of what she thinks a "proper" girl is like, or running away, acting out, and trying to deny that she is a girl.

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edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Elizabeth Culmer

July 2017

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