Monday, November 26, 2012


For Magpie 145
I'm curled up in the bright red chair by the window.
It's raining out, it has been for most of a week.
At least, that's what the soft one says, every morning as she prepares our breakfast.
Kibble for me, bacon for her. I usually get half her bacon. She purrs at me, though, so I know she's not mad.
The soft one smells like this chair, even though it's mine, she sits in it sometimes, on cold nights. I join her, curled up on her knees instead of the soft cushion. It is not as comfortable, but her warmth makes up for it. The soft one is very warm and bright, with fur that comes off and I can sleep in, in the worn-fur basket. I like that basket almost as much as I like my chair, by the window.
I can see the garden from behind my twitching tail. It's very wet out there, no birds to catch or squirrels to chase, just green green green and grey.
Inside is bright, with my chair and the soft one's furs and pictures on the wall and fire in the hole.
Fire is not for me, the soft one says, and when I was a kit she hissed at me if I went too near.
Fire and I listen to each other, though, my purrs, his cracks and spits. It warms me, and I do not touch it.
There is no Fire to hiss and purr to today, the soft one is Out. She says this to me, "Well, I'm going Out" and click clack shuts the door.

I do not know why anyone would want to go Out into the rain and leave this nice, soft red chair, so snug and warm.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

After Letter 1

Based on the book After by Francine Prose.

It's good, creepy and awesome.

From the Journal of Sara Dale:

 They came during science today. Mr. Mishu had been about to mix the chemicals when they came in and all hell broke loose. Some of the younger kids were crying, the 9th graders. I was too afraid, too in shock, to cry. We were the good ones, right? The ones who obeyed every new rule, every new policy, who read only what was asked, did what little work we had, kept our mouths shut as they stole our rights- in the name of keeping us safe. They made us leave everything, but I saved this scrap of paper and sketching pencil.  Is this how people feel during evacuations during wars? One minute home, afraid but home, the next on a train or bus to the unknown? To death?

  All I know is we are going west. Mom must be so afraid. Surely someone heard the more resistant kids shouting and called the cops, right? Writing this calms me, but not enough. I wish Geric was here, to hold me and say everything would be ok, but he was one of the first to go. Sent away to some detention center because of an essay he wrote. Isn’t that breaking the first amendment? I wish we’d covered more in history, but after the shooting, well…

We just crossed state lines. I remember an old mystery I read--- this is a kidnapping. My mother never would have signed anything! This is against the law! I wish that just saying that would make them stop. It won’t- words of a child are powerless against the-wait Why is the government helping? I see police among the men and women on this bus, watching for- oh no! they see me writing!
Whoever finds this, know that Pleasant Valley high students are being taken to their dooms- tell our parents our final goodbyes. Crap, he’s coming, what do- the windo~

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Magpie 142

They never tell you quests can be boring. Arriani thought, staring into space. When she'd joined Kallin the Warrior's traveling party, she'd expected quests, and they'd had one- nothing more than the tiniest errand boy quest of finding a runaway girl- just a normal girl, like Arriani herself. Not even a princess! But a quest was a quest, and if Kallin the Warrior was leading it, She'd thought they would have some adventure. But no. They'd found the girl, gotten her away from her nasty aunt and to a new home, and were just wandering. Kallin said adventure would find them. Arriani wished it would hurry up.

She got up to check the horses- she was alone in the camp- Kallin and Zara the Shieldmaiden were in town getting supplies and seeing if there were any quests to be had, the other members were hunting, but Arriani, as the only member of the party with any knack for animals(or cooking, as it turned out) was  to stay with the horses and prepare supper. One of the horses, a bay cob, lipped her shirt and headscarf, and she laughed.
This was the part in the story, she thought, where bandits would attack and she'd fend them all off with her glaive alone- but not a twig snapped, and not even a squirrel came to steal nuts from the packs.

Bored, bored, bored. Arriani slumped against the rock outcropping that served as the camp's lookout and sighed, her knees up and arms dangling. She checked her scry stone for danger- nothing. She touched the Sight pendant around her neck and stared into the shadows of the trees- sunset wouldn't come for an hour yet, but it never hurt to use a little magic. Nothing but squirrels, keeping their distance. Bored, bored, bored. She half dozed, until-
"Arriani?" It was one of Kallin's oldest friends, a legend himself, Rasime. His face was scarred from years of quests.
"What is it?" the girl asked, getting to her feet. He probably had meat for the stew. Bored, bored, bored. What was the point of bringing Gran's teak and Isani steel glaive and knowing how to use it, if all she did was cut meat and keep the horses from running off?

Rasime stopped her as she walk to the cook fire. "No. You carry that pretty pigsticker. Can you wield it, or is it just for show?" his voice wasn't harsh, but neither was he teasing her.

"I can use it, elsewise Kallin would have brought along some other mage, a better one, who could join in the fights," If there were any to be had she thought but didn't say. "Why?"
"Zara's sent word-" Rasime pulled on the spelled communication pendant he wore. "There are some nasty men in the village, looking for that girl we helped. Kal and Zar need a hand or two. It won't be much, but it's a skirmish all the same. Fetch Sir Kilona's sword, she left it behind, she always does, fool Lady Knight, and follow me. We've got ourselves a real and true adventure now- Seems our runaway's of importance to someone high up."

Arriani froze. This was it, her adventure, a real adventure, to protect and fight villains by the sides of heroes!
Rasime sighed. " Today, youngling. Goddess's Tears, it's always the same with you new questers. Grab the gear and let's go."
Finally, finally, finally- excitement!