edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Apropos of nothing in particular, here is another tiny installment in Edmund and Ginny Go to Harfang. :)

Written 6/10/17, in response to the [community profile] genprompt_bingo square extraordinary. (200 words exactly)

[ETA: The AO3 crosspost is now up!]

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The Test of Gold
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"I didn't wish to voice misgivings where our hosts might take offense, but by all logic this journey ought to be fatal," Edmund said as Ginny leaned over the side of their borrowed skiff, trailing her fingers through the liquid fire that served Bism in place of water. "We should have long since scalded our lungs attempting to breathe this close to something hot enough to soften stone, let alone touching or drinking it, not to mention the air down here should have turned poisonous ages ago."

"I know," Ginny said with a delighted smile. "And yet here we are, sailing toward a volcano with a basket of rubies for lunch. Isn't it amazing?"

She cupped her hands into the swift-moving current and raised a pool of white-gold flames to pour over her head. Droplets clung to her hair and skin like shining jewels, and Edmund felt his breath catch in his chest with unexpected desire.

"Yes. Amazing." He turned aside to busy himself with the tiller and coughed to clear his throat. "Regardless, we should prepare for the upwelling that the salamanders promised would carry us back to the surface. I suspect that will be a difficult ride."

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End of Ficlet

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I dunno if this will actually turn shippy or if Edmund is just having an 'oh help, she's hot' moment and he and Ginny will simply become even better bickery platonic friends and fighting companions. Either way, I feel I should remind readers that both characters are only about 17-18 years old here and therefore prone to dumb teenage shenanigans despite the pressures of war and kingship and rebellion. *wry*
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over water (Default)
Because [archiveofourown.org profile] mylittleficlet asked and I felt inspired, here is another tiny installment in Edmund and Ginny Go to Harfang. :)

Written 5/28/17 for [archiveofourown.org profile] mylittleficlet, in response to the [community profile] genprompt_bingo square trust. (200 words exactly)

[ETA: the AO3 crosspost is now up!]

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Into the Rift
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"Do you trust me!" Ginny shouted, her voice barely audible over the chaos of the battle though her mouth was barely a foot from Edmund's ear, her back pressed against his own as they retreated, sideways, toward the magical gateway in the heart of the underground city, a trail of bodies (hexed and injured, but hopefully not dying; no one should die fighting bespelled for a cause not their own) slumped groaning in their wake.

"I should think that was obvious by now!" Edmund shouted back, as he feinted sideways with his dagger (his shield long-since a casualty of one of the Earthmen's spears) and kicked aside the horned and feathered gnome whose halberd had come dangerously close to both of them; "What do you need me to do?"

Rather than answer, Ginny shouted something in the bastardized Latin she used for spells, and in the sudden pause as the earth shook and split with a great blast of heat and light, she turned to Edmund with a grin as wild and sharp as the scent rising from the chasm: fruit and flowers and iron molten in the forge.

"Jump!" she said, and pulled him with her over the edge.

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End of Ficlet

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You know, I am starting to doubt that they'll get to Harfang on time... (Especially given the next prompt and idea I have for this AU. *evil grin*)
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Last set of fills, until the next ficathon rolls around. :)

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23. ) For [livejournal.com profile] silvr_dagger: Inception, Ariadne / or & any, minotaur, written 1/4/17 [AO3 version]

no morality by instinct (200 words exactly)

At the heart of every person's mind is a guardian, territorial and feral, that exacts repayment in blood and pain for all attempted intrusions; they can be evaded, confused, and with time and practice soothed to sleep, but they are never truly tamed; even the people a dreamer loves and trusts the most can still be ripped apart if they grow careless and startle the beast awake.

"Like a minotaur, a proper flesh-eater both maddened and cunning, sent to humble those who grow too proud of their power and cleverness and forget to observe the proper rituals," Eames says with a careless smile, "and you a combination of Daedalus and your own lovely namesake, both to build the maze that traps the monster and to spin the thread that guides us safely through."

"Ah, the benefits of a classical education," Ariadne says wryly, watching the slow and suspicious patrol of the squirrels and songbirds that populate the wilderness she's built in Eames's mind, and wonders whether, when Arthur begins testing her rough-draft maze for flaws, she'll have time to shoot herself awake before she learns what it feels like to die sliced apart by a thousand tiny claws and beaks.

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24. ) For [livejournal.com profile] silvr_dagger: Any, any, stealing the sun, written 1/8/17 [AO3 version]

years of drought and famine (225 words)

The clouds are thin in the first years, translucent veils that drape in narrow, scattered bands across the sky: the world's victory sari, people call them, and marvel at the way they seem to catch faint fire at sunset or sunrise, kindling Solstar's white to color within their refracted folds, or to reflect Oceanus's blue-green shine like a dream of verdant growth. But gradually they grow thicker and more frequent, and eventually begin to blot out Solstar's light for hours at a time: an ill-omen, people say now, and wonder in whispers whether perhaps the white witch of the mere cursed the world in her death-throes, or whether the Aeriel was corrupted in her victory; wait, say others, the world was not born in a day, nor can its rebirth be easy; all changes are terrifying even when they bring prosperity and joy at the end of the shift; but patience and trust come hard after generations of the world's slow fall and there are mutterings against the work of Crystalglass, words that might grow into deeds without a countersign, and soon.

And then, at last, in the midst of a daylight darkness, there comes a thing unseen for generations: wrapped in the lowering gloom of oppressive clouds and the fear of the stolen sun, the sky breathes rain once more unto the thirsty earth.

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Note: Darkangel Trilogy, obviously. :)

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25. ) For [livejournal.com profile] silvr_dagger: Mad Max: Fury Road, any, chasing the sun, written 1/10/17 [AO3 version]

truth, like the sun (175 words)

They say if you drive west fast enough, the sun never sets; drive west fast enough and a single day lasts forever. The true metal, the true V8, they race across the sky in a blaze of glory too bright to look upon with pitiful fleshy eyes, and they will never die; this is Valhalla, the promise and the dream, where everything is caught in an eternity of perfect, howling speed and chrome.

"Flashy and hollow, just like the rest of Joe's lies, and easily turned around if the people here weren't too cowed and beaten down to think," Angharad says when Furiosa relates this bit of warboy lore, words dragged halting and unfamiliar between her teeth like a slow fuel leak she can already tell will leave her stranded and weaponless one of these endless days; "What if you drive east to meet the sun as a partner, instead of west to capture it?" and Furiosa sits in gear-ground silence for the rest of her watch rather than admit she's never thought to ask the question.

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26. ) For [livejournal.com profile] silvr_dagger: Any, any, treason, written 1/10/17 [AO3 version]

the treason of pity (250 words)

"If I had it all to do over again," the Dolorosa says to her kismesis as they lie, sweaty, blood-streaked, and sated, in the little nest of torn sailcloth that serves as both pile and bedding ground for the slaves in Mindfang's crew, "I'd tell my son to aim for the Empress instead of the people; she is the Empire, after all, its incarnation as well as its creator; any attack on its power and order is an attack on her, and vice versa. Instead of making ourselves into a threat to put down, we could have shown her how the highbloods have already stolen control out from under her nose -- high treason on a scale to beggar belief -- and tried to set up something better in the wake of the resulting bloodbath; she admires strength and daring, after all, and surely after helping her regain power in practice as well as in theory, we would have convinced her that letting such qualities flourish among lowbloods does not automatically equal chaos."

"If you had it all to do over again, you'd do exactly the same as before," the Demoness says, a thread of weary resignation laced through her habitual scorn, "because I'd go back too, a thousand thousand times if necessary, until I nudged you back onto the path; my master only accepts the timeline that leads to his victory, and as we both know, there are punishments worse than death; do not seek more of them than are already your share."

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Note: This will make much more sense if read in combination with The Time-Traveler's Kismesis: Counterthesis.

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27. ) For [livejournal.com profile] lignota: Any, any, following smoke and remembering fire, written 1/12/17 [AO3 version]

the seat containing of unweary'd flame (Meet Adoration to My Household Gods) (200 words exactly)

Magic in this world, Susan reflected, was maddening compared to the magic she'd learned in Narnia; if that had been plucking ripe apples from low-hanging boughs in a well-tended orchard, this was wading through thorns and interminable flies in search of stray raspberries not yet discovered by birds or bears, or befriending some higher, older powers in hope of borrowing the bounty of their own hoards.

Still, she fought best from a distance, whether with weapons or words, and as bows were too conspicuous and handguns both too noisy and too illegal (not to mention of limited utility at best against vampires and demons), magic seemed the most immediately useful replacement.

Susan squeezed another drop of blood from her pricked fingertip, repeated once again in halting Greek (blast Peter for laughing when he realized she would have to learn multiple new languages and writing systems to master her new field), "Hestia, queen of hearth and home, strike this spark for your daughter," and smiled when the nest of kindling in her saucer breathed a sigh of smoke; it was no clear, bright flame to strike foes or summon aid, but all things would come with time, and work, and faith.

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Note: Part of my One Equal Temper of Heroic Hearts series, which crosses Narnia and BtVS. The halves of the title come from the Orphic Hymn to Hestia (#84, Taylor's translation) and Tennyson's 'Ulysses,' respectively.

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28. ) For anonymous: Any, any, tears of flowers, written 1/12/17 [AO3 version]

unwanted blessings (500 words exactly)

"The traditional blessing is for roses and jewels to fall from a poor but kind girl's lips with every word she speaks, but the fairy I met said that made it hard to hold actual conversations and tended to wreck local economies, not to mention the roses prickle something awful on the tongue," Morwen's new roommate, Rosamund, said when their conversation turned to their respective reasons for attending Stokey's Academy.

"Magic does have consequences," Morwen agreed. "Is that why you decided to become a sorceress? To see if you could unpick other traditional causes and effects?"

"Not exactly," Rosamund said with a frustrated scowl. "You see, the fairy still blessed me. She just blessed me to cry flowers instead of speak them, since she said if I was upset enough for tears, that's when I'd actually need flowers to cheer me up. It's a complete nuisance. The flowers are mostly violets and cherry blossom, which thankfully don't prickle, but the petals feel like tissue paper and slugs on my eyeballs, they get absolutely everywhere, and I can't even turn them into a garland or bouquet because they don't have any stems."

"Ugh." Morwen grimaced in sympathy and refilled Rosamund's teacup with the last of her aunt's best company blend that she'd brought with her from home. "That sounds like she was so proud of noticing the problems with the old spell, she didn't bother to make sure her new spell was actually any better."

"Yes, exactly," Rosamund said, and gulped the tea down like water. "That's not the worst part, though. After she cast the flower spell, the fairy said she wouldn't bother trying to make an endless gold spell that wasn't subject to abuse. Instead, she told me that my family already had everything we needed. That sounds nice, right?"

"In a vaguely moralistic and uplifting way," Morwen agreed.

"Very 'be content with your lot and beware the dangers of ambition,' yes," Rosamund said. "But it did sound nice... until we realized it was a spell too, and it was keeping our farm from ever turning a profit."

"How so?"

"If we already had everything we needed, what reason was there for anything to ever change? So nothing does. Everything's frozen the way it was when I met the fairy. We can't clear new fields. We can't rotate crops. We can't even buy a new goat without one of our old goats magically dying for no reason, which means the blessing is actually more of a curse." Rosamund clutched her teacup with white-knuckled fingers and said, so fiercely that Morwen almost expected her eyes to burst into flame, "I came here to learn how to break it. Then I am going to find that fairy, if I have to chase her to the ends of the earth, and I am going to give her a piece of my mind."

"I'll hold her down for you," Morwen promised, and gently pried the teacup from Rosamund's work-roughened hands before it shattered.

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Note: Enchanted Forest Chronicles. This one got a little out of hand. Oops? Also, Stokey's Academy is a bit of headcanon I made up when I was giving Morwen backstory for various other fics; it is glancingly mentioned in The Affairs of Dragons and serves as the main setting for A Splash of Color.

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29. ) For [livejournal.com profile] lizzie_marie_23: Narnia/Harry Potter, Edmund ~ or / Ginny, hidden corners of the world, written 1/12/17 [AO3 version]

the gate of iron and emerald (375 words)

"This is why you missed the first minute of the battle and left us without our best distance fighter," Edmund said flatly as he continued to inspect his mail shirt for damaged links; "Because you tripped and fell down a hole."

Ginny twirled her wand between her fingers (the way Lucy sometimes spun daggers) and said, in a tone that implied she was attempting forbearance despite great provocation, because despite everything she was fond of him and so forgave his foibles, "Because while I was scouting for ambushes -- it's only chance that the attack came from the west instead of the east, besides which I can't believe you missed a half-dozen giants in land this flat -- I found a locked iron door in an emerald frame in the back wall of this cave, which is so ridiculously out of place that it might as well be screaming it's magical, even without the runes I can't read carved over the lintel, and I was in the middle of testing to see if opening it would be dangerous -- it shouldn't be, by the way, unless you're actually as useless as you act when you're trying to convince people you're young and ignorant, in which case I want a raise since bodyguarding that kind of idiot definitely deserves hazard pay -- but anyway, stop looking at me like I'm a particularly squishable beetle and let's go see what's on the other side."

"I feel that Susan would tell us that interfering with strange magics is a terrible idea, and counsel us instead to both employ caution and remember our mission," Edmund said, pro forma, but this journey to Harfang for truce negotiations had several days' flexibility built in to account for the general disarray of Ettinsmoor after Peter's latest summer war, and he could never live with himself if he turned down a chance to explore one of the hidden corners of the world, thus blatantly presented as both invitation and challenge; and so he motioned his other bodyguard (a grizzled She-Wolf by the name of Skadi) to alert the rest of the party to this turn of events and followed Ginny into the narrow cleft in the earth, to meet what fate awaited them beyond the mysterious door.

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Note: A loose sequel to By Its Cover.

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30. ) For [livejournal.com profile] silvr_dagger: Beauty and the Beast (Disney or fairy tale; f/f genderswap), Beauty (or Belle)/Beast, roses in the snow, written 1/14/17

the heart that is soonest awake to the flowers (300 words exactly)

Beauty walked the garden paths beside Lady Falcon-in-Flight's massive form, one hand on her spear (as always, for the spells that bound the castle were fraying with age and sometimes spun off monsters) and the other extended to rest lightly on her lady's shoulder: soft fur layered thickly over hard muscle that could drive a body tirelessly for days on end until a chosen quarry was brought to bay -- now twitching restless and unfulfilled as her lady fought to leash a beast's instinct and appetite into a pale mimicry of human form and function, just as she gifted Beauty with garlands and gold instead of the fragile heart Beauty yearned to cradle in her hands and guard from every wound.

"You should hunt, as your body aches to do," Beauty said, as she had each morning since the new moon; "Bring me back a stag or boar, hard-won with your own strength: for blood on snow suits midwinter better than soft, spell-wrought flowers that seek to make all seasons equally a lie."

Her lady tensed, and Beauty bit her lip in expectation of yet another refusal... but this day her lady sighed (a hot, metallic gust of air, like opening the door to her eldest sister's smithy), turned her great head to fix her golden, slit-pupiled eyes on Beauty's own, and said in her rumbling voice, "If you wish a kill, you may make it yourself, but you are right that this body needs to run; I will be your hound and horse together, if you will be my mistress and guide me with a firm hand lest I lose myself to bloodlust; and perhaps when we return we might search the garden until we find amidst the ice a rose that, like you, has remembered its birthright of thorns."

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You know, I think these ficlets could count for [community profile] snowflake_challenge Day 7: create a fanwork, if I wanted to make this post multipurpose.

...I believe I will. :)
edenfalling: headshot of a raccoon, looking left (raccoon)
Like I said in my previous post, [livejournal.com profile] caramelsilver's Three Sentence Ficathon is still open. Why not leave some new prompts and fill some others?

Anyway, here are the six fills I have written so far. I actually kept five of them within the structural limits! (This is very exciting for me, because I am terrible about structural limits.)

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1 ) [livejournal.com profile] silvr_dagger, Homestuck, Rose, sesquipedalian prose

persuasion (150 words)

The trick is in the rhythm, of course. Any imbecile with a thesaurus can string syllables together like misshapen pearls on a string, but that merely dulls the reader's mind, sends them drifting off to drown in the choppy oceans lurking under conscious thought, where the Baroness seeds her monsters and her nets; when they wake, they close the book, set it aside unfinished, and go about their days always a little less interested in aught beyond the tidal pulse of consumption and desire. But get the rhythm right and the ponderous sonority of her phrases, the tintinnabulation of every lithe and well-turned word, creates instead a limpid pool into which she may toss stones of truth that spread their ripples to the farthest reaches of the yearning soul, and wait, and gather, and return to wash away lies and make the mind a mirror filled with light.

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2 ) [livejournal.com profile] silvr_dagger, Star Trek 2009, Spock/Uhura/Gaila, the scientific method

Suspect Methodology (150 words)

"You know, I never believed the rumors about Vulcans, but if you do that thing with your fingers and my face again I think I might actually die of endorphin overload," Gaila said as she flopped backward onto Nyota's bed, her arms sprawling carelessly over Nyota's breasts and Spock's collarbone.

"It hasn't killed me yet, but interspecies differences in physiology and neurochemistry are often unpredictable, so if you'd like to test that hypothesis..." Nyota said, with that wicked little tease tucked away in the corners of her voice that poured over Gaila like sunlight and made her skin feel warm and tight with potential.

Gaila ran her hand down Nyota's belly and dug her fingers into the thatch of sweat-damp hair, then turned to Spock and met his eyebrow with a challenge in her teeth: "I think that's up to the ethics committee, but if the chair is willing, we can get started right away."

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3 ) [personal profile] betony, arthurian mythology, nimue (& or / merlin), if i had a heart, i could love you

Unweaving (225 words)

Nimue has never met anyone else who sees the whole pattern of the world, the threads and currents that weave everything from the smallest speck of dust to the thoughts of men, and the knots and grains where a steady, patient hand can reach just so and nudge a leaf or a life onto a new path. The simple reassurance that she is not mad, that she has a gift and a path (for no one can see their own thread in the tapestry without aid, just as no one can see their own face except reversed and in a mirror), would have won her to Merlin's side... and then he was kind, and took the time to listen, and teach, and ask her aid in his own spells as he sought to bring Arthur's dreams to life.

But he was not content with asking.

And so when she reached just so to undo the knot he tied in her soul, to bind her eyes and heart from seeking Arthur's harm, her fingers trembled as she worked and she tore her heart entire. And for that, she will never forgive him, until he sees all his dreams decay and feels her pain returned, redoubled, to nestle in his bones and eat him hollow, as she is hollow now.

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4 ) [livejournal.com profile] lizzie_marie_23, Narnia/Harry Potter, Edmund and Ginny, walk softly and carry a big stick

By Its Cover (150 words)

"I think we've had a miscommunication about measurements," Edmund said to the girl who'd entered Narnia through a cabinet that had promptly vanished behind her, and had somehow argued her way into joining the party headed for a diplomatic summit in Harfang on the absurd pretext of being his new bodyguard; how she expected to manage that without any visible weapon was beyond him.

"If your giants are anything like the giants in my world, your Majesty, there's no way I could carry a big enough stick," the girl -- Jenny? Gina? no, Ginny -- said as she twirled the slender, polished twig between her fingers, "so I figured I'd go with one that's actually dangerous." The stick halted, its suddenly sparking tip aimed straight at Edmund's forehead, and only the laughter in her eyes kept him from drawing his sword in reflexive reaction to a witch.

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5 ) [livejournal.com profile] runespoor7, Sailor Moon, Haruka/Michiru, mermaid AU.

Whither Thou Goest (125 words)

Sailboats aren't like cars or motorcycles, don't rumble and growl like restive beasts, no engines burning like hearts caught in metal ribs, but Haruka can still race, still hurl herself arrow-swift against the sky and lose herself in speed. She is learning to love the sea for her own sake, not merely for what it holds.

But still, sometimes when her craft bobs lazy on the waves, lost in the endless sweep of water, she wonders at her choice -- smells the phantom scent of petrol, hears the drone of wheels on asphalt, feels the accelerator give beneath her foot -- until Michiru rises from the deep to greet her with a sharp-toothed kiss, and wash her half-formed regrets away.

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6 ) [livejournal.com profile] vialethe, Narnia, Edmund/Susan, well the snow may have melted/but it covered all kinds of dirt

Hierogamy (150 words)

There is only ever one human family allowed to live in Narnia, though others of that race may visit from time to time; as only humans may rule Narnia, the logic is obvious. Susan's stomach turns when Mrs. Beaver asks, with cheerful curiosity, when the country may expect a wedding and an heir, but she covers with pretty words about youth, patience, and the need to rebuild in the wake of the winter, and persuades Mrs. Beaver to keep the "happy news" from Peter and Lucy.

That night, she slips into Edmund's chambers and sees in his eyes that he already knows, and is horrified, and agrees; and as they lie sleepless together, young and scared, neither daring to touch beneath the blankets though they know anything more than hands held against the dark is still far in the future, Susan cannot quite decide whether she would rather have died in the snow than live to find this poison in the thaw.

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These things are always such fun to write. :-)

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

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