Sort of NaNo: Day 8

I never can seem to resist the first week of NaNoWriMo. I know I’m too busy. I know Nov/Dec are the BUSIEST baking months of the year. But I love all the writer-centric energy, and I found a lovely prompt a day list like #Inktober, but for writing, and since I’m on a prompt a day habit anyways, might as well get some writing done, right? I don’t have a story in mind, but I’m gonna unofficially track my word count, just to see what I get up to these days. A funsy NaNo, cause I can’t stand to be left out apparently. 😛 So here’s my prompts, feel free to follow along/use these as jumpstarts for slow days. My Tumblr is also good for inspiration and/or reminders to go write.

Pin cushion, Day 6: 708 words/November Total: 3892 words

What. Even. Happened?”

We were …hiking. And there was this porcupine–”

Hiking. In flip flops.”

…uhuh.”

And Ripley what? Sat on him?”

Rip wished he could just melt into the wall he was leaning against. Or just fly home. Or pretty much anything rather than stand here on Ashley’s porch, listening to her parents grill her about why her beau came limping home with quills in his thigh. Thigh, damnit. Very upper thigh, yes, but it wasn’t his butt. He just… wouldn’t be sitting down for a while.

Like all good avian parents, they’d tended to his wounds first, with calm and clinical efficiency. Then Mr. Thatcher had just as quietly asked Ripley to stay out on the porch, while they had a word with their daughter inside.

It was all over.

Rip had barely been seeing Ashley for a month, and this was the first time they’d ever gone anywhere alone together. It was supposed to be a pleasant picnic, nothing untoward intended, but he’d had to go and sit on an already occupied log. Ashley had panicked, shifted, and flown back to the house to fetch her brother, who helped him limp back to the house with all the warmth of an icicle. Cool, distant, polite. Well, at least he hadn’t murdered him for “stepping out” with his sister.

But it was all over. Ashley was collapsing under pressure—what pressure? What was wrong with telling the truth?–and Ripley could almost feel the disapproval through the screen door. That was nonsense, of course. No self-respecting avian would let so much emotion leak through their aura. But he could sense it all the same, a grim foreshadowing of what he knew had to be coming.

But he wouldn’t leave. Rip stood there on the little farmhouse porch, thigh throbbing, dignity in shreds, and dutifully waited to get his. Ashley might never speak to him again, but he wouldn’t abandon her. He’d been the one to talk her into leaving the yard, and he’d be the one to take the blame. Once all that was settled, she could make him swear to never darken her door again, but he would see it through.

It was her brother David who came out first. A moment of surprise flashed across the crow’s face, which Ripley took for pure shock. His voice still came out steady and level, but the fact that his face had shown anything spoke volumes.

You’re still here?”

Rip nodded, doing his best to stand just as tall and stoic.

Yes, sir. I was asked to wait outside, so I’m waiting outside.”

David wasn’t technically older than Ripley, who aged gryphon slow, but their relationship made him functionally older, so Rip showed him the respect an angry big brother deserved. Besides, the sir cost him nothing. Everyone had always been a “sir” or “madam” to the youngest griffic in the rookery.

David sized Rip up, with that weird, side-eye thing that Ripley hadn’t even been aware of until Ence had asked him why he did it. It was just a feathered thing, he guessed. But now that he knew to look for it, it was obvious, for all that avians went for subtlety. What was he seeing, Rip wondered. Ill-intentions he didn’t have, an “evil” bloodline he could do nothing about? Or a boy, who stayed because he was worried about a girl. That was too much to hope for.

Abruptly, David clapped him on the shoulder. “You’re a good man, Ripley. A little weird, but at least they taught you honor.”

Honor. He’d come home with porcupine in his butt, and this scary big brother was talking about honor. But the smile on David’s face was genuine, and Ripley might have even felt a little bit of warmth radiating from his touch. Though that could have just been the heat of embarrassment.

Th-thank you, sir.”

David squeezed then let go, heading for the screen door. “Let me grab us a couple of lemonades. It’s going to be a minute before the folks feel composed enough to speak to you.”

Wow. That was downright candid for an avian. Rip just nodded, and wished desperately he wasn’t so honorable.

 

Sort of NaNo: Day 7

I never can seem to resist the first week of NaNoWriMo. I know I’m too busy. I know Nov/Dec are the BUSIEST baking months of the year. But I love all the writer-centric energy, and I found a lovely prompt a day list like #Inktober, but for writing, and since I’m on a prompt a day habit anyways, might as well get some writing done, right? I don’t have a story in mind, but I’m gonna unofficially track my word count, just to see what I get up to these days. A funsy NaNo, cause I can’t stand to be left out apparently. 😛 So here’s my prompts, feel free to follow along/use these as jumpstarts for slow days. My Tumblr is also good for inspiration and/or reminders to go write.

Aloe Vera, Day 7: 651 words/November Total: 3184 words

I’m sunburned! How the heck did I get sunburned?”

Zig lay on the couch, well, draped on the couch, sort of. More like, hand and arm and part of his belly and maybe most of one leg on the couch. Jules really needed a bigger couch. But that was the least of his concerns right now. Zig was completely and thoroughly preoccupied with with not letting anything touch his back.

No! No no no no no no!”

If he could have moved, he’d have run right the fuck away when Jules came out of the kitchen with a wet towel. The best he could manage was a sort of wincing half-flinch, but even moving that much made him nauseous.

Zig, witch girlfriend. Show some trust and reap the benefits.”

She took his whimper as a yes, and knelt by his side with a jar that smelled like cactus drink. Cooling relief spread through him, both from the goop on his back and Jules’ hand on his forehead. Yeah, witchy girlfriend benefits indeed. Feeling less sick, he turned his face to her, giving her a weak smile.

Thanks babe. I still can’t believe I got sunburned.”

Jules gave him a flat look. He was getting used to that look. That “oh you sweet lovable moron you have got to be kidding me” look. But just because he knew what it was didn’t mean he understood it.

What? I never sunburn.”

You never yatch for 6 hours, either. Didn’t Remy wear sunscreen?”

Zig blinked at her. “Well, yeah.”

And he offered you some, I presume.”

Zig nodded, then winced again as the still untreated back of his neck burned. Jules’ hand traveled up, bringing soothing relief. Her touch was gentle, but her eyes said she wanted to strangle him.

And what made you think you didn’t need any?”

Well. I’m Mexican.”

Jules just stared at him.

What? I am. I’ve never needed sunscreen–”

You’ve never been on a yatch, either! You were surrounded by water—reflective, sparkly water—without any cover! Gods, Zig, you’re so, so—”

Lovable?”

Ridiculous!”

That too.” He grinned, strained his face forward for a kiss, but drew back with renewed pain. The cooling gel had gone hot, almost instantly. Crap. “Hey, uh, could you calm down a bit? The whole angry-red sunburn and angry-red temper thing seem to be resonating.”

Oh! Sorry.”

Jules laid the towel over him then leaned back, disconnecting her magic from the plants. The aloe would do its job well enough without her, and her sympathies weren’t exactly feeling Zig sympathetic right now.

Once again in a state of blissful relief, Zig gave Jules apologetic eyes.

I’m sorry, babe. You know how I get around beautiful men.”

She sighed, but a soft smile was touching her lips. “I know, dumbass. That’s your excuse for the sunburn, now how do you explain the stupid Mexican comment?”

Bwah?” He really didn’t follow. He knew she knew he wasn’t white, so what even? She gave him a what even look right back.

Zig, you can’t be serious. You know everyone has the potential to sunburn, don’t you?” His eyes widened, and hers rolled. “Besides, you’re hardly “mexican” in skin tone. Your pasty butt hasn’t seen the sun in what, how many years?”

I sun….”

Not enough, night owl. No more sun for you, without sunscreen, yeah?”

Ok love.”

She kissed his forehead, and he beamed up at her, then oozed back into the couch. “I’mma sleep off my sun hang-over down here, yeah?”

Oh yeah.” She paused on the stairs, hip cocked at what he knew she had to know was in irresistible angle. “You’re too gooey for my bed.”

Zig face-planted into the couch with a groan that didn’t quite cover the sound of Jules’ laugh.

 

Sort of NaNo: Day 6

I never can seem to resist the first week of NaNoWriMo. I know I’m too busy. I know Nov/Dec are the BUSIEST baking months of the year. But I love all the writer-centric energy, and I found a lovely prompt a day list like #Inktober, but for writing, and since I’m on a prompt a day habit anyways, might as well get some writing done, right? I don’t have a story in mind, but I’m gonna unofficially track my word count, just to see what I get up to these days. A funsy NaNo, cause I can’t stand to be left out apparently. 😛 So here’s my prompts, feel free to follow along/use these as jumpstarts for slow days. My Tumblr is also good for inspiration and/or reminders to go write.

Beaten, Day 6: 347 words/November Total: 2533 words

Travis had no idea how he’d been elected to run this field trip. Yes, he and Cissy lived out here, yes, he was good with kids, but that was because he was a kid. He shouldn’t be left in charge of five pre-teens–and there was fire. Fire! Yes, it was in a grate, and yes, both Caldwell and his apprentice were in here supervising, but Travis was still the adult that his nestmates had left in charge of their kids, and he felt torn in several directions at once–five, to be exact–trying to watch out for every possible disaster.

“Who’s ready to beat a horse shoe?”
Dane rushed up, already aproned and gloved, eyes gleaming in the firelight. Travis raised a hand, but let it fall. This is what they were here for. This was ok. This was good. Brem wrapped an arm around Travis’s leg, drawn in by the agitation in his aura. The younger twin was just so darned perceptive. Blake smoothed a hand over his brother’s back, and between the pair of them, Travis felt himself relax. Freaky.
Brem beamed up at him, and Travis smiled back. “Thanks, little dude.”
“It’ll be alright, Uncle Travis. This is a working fire. It knows how to behave.”
Travis felt his eyes go cross in confusion, but he let it go. The newest nest kids were something else. Blake nodded, though whether in agreement with his brother or Travis’s thoughts, he couldn’t say. And couldn’t think about. Too much crazy making.
The horse sisters had already joined Dane at the anvil, taking their turns with the hammer. Miriam and Mirabella–he still couldn’t tell which one was which–wore matching expressions of delighted concentration, little faces so serious in the red glow of the fire. Travis squeezed Brem’s shoulder, and gestured to the fire.
“You, uh, wanna go work the bellows?”
The twins beamed and rushed over to the fire, and while he didn’t just let them, Travis kept what he thought was a reasonable distance as the cobra babies played in the flames.

 

Sort of NaNo: Day 5

I never can seem to resist the first week of NaNoWriMo. I know I’m too busy. I know Nov/Dec are the BUSIEST baking months of the year. But I love all the writer-centric energy, and I found a lovely prompt a day list like #Inktober, but for writing, and since I’m on a prompt a day habit anyways, might as well get some writing done, right? I don’t have a story in mind, but I’m gonna unofficially track my word count, just to see what I get up to these days. A funsy NaNo, cause I can’t stand to be left out apparently. 😛 So here’s my prompts, feel free to follow along/use these as jumpstarts for slow days. My Tumblr is also good for inspiration and/or reminders to go write.

Today’s entry is …weird. Maleo isn’t my character, and I’m not sure I have him right, but I’ve been wanting to put more Maleo into the upcoming chapters of Asylum, and I figured this was a good place to start.

In Lust, Day 4: 416 words/November Total: 2186  words

Maleo couldn’t say what it was exactly about her that drew his attention. The fiery red curls, flying in the stage light, the perfect, creamy skin peeking out here and there with every shimmy– No, it was the innocence, the pure joyous laughter in her eyes as she danced. This angel had no idea she was beautiful, didn’t know what each twist of her hip and shake of her shoulders did to him. Doubtless did to every other hot-blooded male in the place. And a few of the females, if the ebony princess dancing beside her was any indication.She was pretty enough in her own right, and if Mal was reading their signs right, he could well imagine himself in the middle of their fire and coals embrace. But even as the thought riled him, it sickened him. Such a gentle girl, touched by such deviance…

Mal’s feathers ruffled as a shudder passed through him, and he smoothed a hand over his hair quickly. Must keep it cool, this wasn’t the place for feathers. He’d gotten lazy in his habits, living at the compound. Mal had a sudden flash of hot red fur and amber eyes–his sweet tender angel was undoubtedly a fox. A sly and wild fox, just waiting for someone to show her the way into the woods–and who in this den of sin wouldn’t just love to be the one. Maybe it was even too late…
The curtain dropped, leaving Mal blinking into the darkness.Safely unseen, he raised and resettled his feathers, blowing out a tense breath to resettle his soul. He hadn’t understood before, when this “Asylum” was all just talk, just why Xavier wanted to protect them. But if this Nica was anything like her students…
He would stay. Mal got up between one act and the next, ignoring the two clowns distracting the audience before the still lowered curtain. He went straight to the bar, nodding to the behemoth of a man tending it. He was so dark, only the whites of his eyes and his teeth seemed to show in the dimness. Maleo didn’t flinch, just asked to speak to the owner of the club, on behalf of Master Xavier, head of the Riverside Nest.
Kain raised an eyebrow, but it too was lost in the darkness. He called for Dev, against his better judgement. This bird was trouble, but at least he would be a known trouble. Better that than wondering what “master” was up to.

 

Sort of NaNo: Day 4

Posting from my phone, so pardon any strange typing. My autocorreect is doing the strangest things lately, and as I’m posting on my lunch break, I’m out of time to proof read.

Minor spoilers ahead, but again, far distant ones. This is set at a similar time to “Carpenter”, so it should be fine to read, but if you’re dead set against knowing he future, steer clear.

Power point, day 4: 577 total words 1770

Seth had to admit , he was impressed by her efforts. Coro had gone all out in her efforts to convince him, compiling data and expressing it in ccollege coded graphs, even going so far as to cite her sources, most of which were primary research papers. It would swat his decision, but it warmed his heart to see his young daughter go to such adult lengths.

He sat very straight, hands clasped on the table before him, giving her power point presentation the same attention  he would any other business person. She’d even printed up a hand out, and Seth had wonder what adult had clear her use of the library printer. Leem, undoubtedy. of all the adults, he would be the

Most sympathetic to her cause.

“In conclusion,” Coro said smartly, laying her laser pointer on the table, “you can see that doing away with the nest ban on caffinated sodas will not negatively impact the development of the younger nest mates, and  will in fact increase our performance in class, increase chore productivity if my token system is implemented, and will actually pay for itself, with the gas saved by not having to travel to fast food locations to procure said beverages.”

Coro beamed, and Seth had to stifle a chuckle. Laughing at her now would undermine her belief that he was taking her seriously, and the whole afraid would devolve into a “whine fest” faster than Chris could say “told ya so.”

Seth leafed through her points, as if deliberating. She’d not lived through Nema”s twins, didn’t know the horrors of sugar-fueled hatchlings. No, the ban would stay, but he’d at least do his daughter the Courtsey of pretending.

“Well Coro,” he said at last, and his pride spiked again as her look of blank politeness held, “I can see you’ve done your research, and that this topic is of great importance to you. However,” here her eyes narrowed, and she looked for all the world like her mother, “I am afraid the ban still stands. Your presentation is sound, and I’m suitably impressed, but it doesn’t account for the delicate balance of children’s freedom vs parents sanity. I’m sorry, Coro, but I’m going to have to decline.”

He could see the beginnings of outrage tremble through her aura, and her voice was tight and curt as she tried to excuse herself.

“Thank you for your time–“

“I would actually like to discuss this token system of yours. The idea has some serious merit.”

Coro’s face lit up, and Seth wondered suddenly if he’d been played. Was this the motion she’d been pitching after all, with the sodas as a decoy? What a clever little devil. He side eyed her as she pulled up the chair next to him, launching immediately into talk of starting with the dirty socks policy, and how no smelly socks should be allowed into the dormitory portion of the nest, etc. etc., and  could perhaps a hamper be installed at the top of stairs even, expressly for socks, because really, horse foot smell permeated the boys hallway and if even she could smell it, how could the wolves and cats even abide the space– and so on and so forth. Seth made a mental note to inform his mate that their daughter had leveled up in cleverness, and his pride for her nearly eclipsed his wariness. Coro’s teenage years were going to prove interesting.

Sort of NaNo: Day 2

I never can seem to resist the first week of NaNoWriMo. I know I’m too busy. I know Nov/Dec are the BUSIEST baking months of the year. But I love all the writer-centric energy, and I found a lovely prompt a day list like #Inktober, but for writing, and since I’m on a prompt a day habit anyways, might as well get some writing done, right? I don’t have a story in mind, but I’m gonna unofficially track my word count, just to see what I get up to these days. A funsy NaNo, cause I can’t stand to be left out apparently. 😛 So here’s my prompts, feel free to follow along/use these as jumpstarts for slow days. My Tumblr is also good for inspiration and/or reminders to go write.

Carpenter, Day 2: 350 words/November Total: 658 words

 

“You want to do what?”
Bri stood her ground, not answering until her sister took her pan from the stove and leaned out of the kitchen to look at her.
“So are we actually having this conversation now? I’m serious about this, Chelle.”
Chelle kept stirring her sauce, but it was clear Bri had her attention.
“You want to go halfway around the world to build houses where there’s just been a massive earthquake. An earthquake that had nothing to do with fault lines, I might add. Must add. Sis, this is a terrible idea. it’s too dangerous for someone …. like us. We can’t risk… we just cant.”
“Chelle, I’m never going to stop being a mara. I can’t let it run my life–“
She held up a hand as her sister’s mouth opened. She’d waited patiently through the requisite “only looking out for you speech” and now it was her turn to listen.
“This is important to me. These people need help, I’ve always wanted to change the world with my art, and building things is something I’m good at. I know, I know, it’s not a set for a tragic play. These are real people living in real danger, but doesn’t that make it hat much more important? And Jake will be there, and  all his uncles, and  some of the other chimera from Asylum. I’ll be safer than if I was just back packing on my own– which you know I wanted to do anyways–“
Chelle’s face was still set in worry, so Bri changed gears. “Talk to Caleb. I know he’s not going, but you trust his judgment with this sort of thing, right?”
Her sister nodded, and Bri hoped against hope that this would be one those times Caleb took chimera strength for granted. The gryph’s idea of safe was random at best, but with any luck, that would work in her favor.
Chelle nodded and turned back to the kitchen. “Alright. I’ll talk to him. Now stop distracting me while I’m making hollandaise. You know how fussy it is. Dinner in 5.”

Bri and Chelle, while not technically my characters, are some of the TNG Asylumers that sort of speak to me. The lines between who is mine and who is my partners have blurred a bit over the years, so I think I did them justice. As with any Outtake, it’s canonically dubious at best, and these guys aren’t even born yet in current Asylum (which you can read here). So, while I guess they’re technically spoilery, I don’t think it’ll really matter in the long run.