Saturday, March 23, 2019

Green thumbin' it - The Rescued Orchid

My beautiful little stray is doing so well. She did lose a bunch more leaves and a handful of her damaged roots, but she is thriving. Last week, I saw that she'd started a new leaf, and it was just a sliver of a bud nestled in her crown. Now, it actually looks like a little leaf.

Had to reseat her in her pot, because with all the leaves she lost, the big ones made her top heavy. Haven't trimmed any of the dead roots, but I noticed that her main root has a little sprout on it. Huzzah!

If she grows at all like my other big phael, I'll probably have blooms closer to fall.


Friday, March 22, 2019

#FridayFlash - Lost Little Lamb the final part


Stay here,” Aidan said as he raced back to the group. I followed most of the way across the room, frowning as I peered through the door. What could Chen mean about them rising?

The bodies on the floor twitched, shifted, drew themselves together. They rose to their feet, standing at broken angles, ichor dripping from open wounds. I stepped back in shock, breath caught in my throat.

Dirk hadn't been joking when he said the dokkalf commanded old magics.

My companions redoubled their efforts, falling back to the doorway. All chance for escape was cut off. We would have to make our way down Albrecht's tunnel with his creatures nipping at our heels.

His scent sharpened in my nostrils, and all sounds faded, just as they had at the tavern. A spot between my shoulders tightened while I felt once more like I was being watched. Stalked.

You don't have to stay with them.” Albrecht's voice, rich and sensual, wrapped around me, holding me close the same as his presence did. “You could leave them to their fate.”

I turned slowly, though I wanted to whirl on the monster, attack him, break whatever spell he used to control the creatures in the entryway. Our eyes met, and I couldn't speak, let alone move. “Why would I abandon my friends?”

Albrecht stood in the dark doorway, embraced by shadows, though his eyes gleamed a vibrant green. The air between us thickened as we stared, though it grew cold instead of warm.

Are they really your friends? They use you as bait, treat you like a child...think impure thoughts while keeping you all to themselves.” His eyes narrowed and his tongue darted out across his lower lip.

Would you treat me any different? Or would you sacrifice and eat me like all your other victims?” I managed to take one step back, though the sounds of combat grew no louder.

Albrecht smiled, revealing sharp teeth, and took a step out of the shadows. “If I wanted to kill you, I've had plenty of opportunities to do so. No,” he drawled, licking his lips again, “I want you for something entirely different.”

The mark on my neck tingled, and my insides tightened as I followed the motion. “What...” I couldn't make any other words come out.

What would I have of you?” I nodded, and Albrecht crooned low in his throat. “So very many things, my darling. Things that cannot be said, only shown. And only if you come to me willingly.”

If I don't?” My pulse raced, but I couldn't look away.

He gestured to the fighting behind me. “Then you and your friends may fight your way to freedom. You may all leave my territory with no harm, and I will send no one after you.”

I turned toward my friends and the fight. They were bunched up in the doorway, fighting with desperation. Aidan tried to close one of the doors, Brenna forcing the creatures away from that side. A wall of darkened flesh, decaying and clawed, seethed and reached for the hunters.

Come to me. Save their lives. Live your own.” Albrecht had moved closer, stood directly behind me, his voice a low purr. “I will call my pets off if you do. Or I can unleash them fully.”

The sharp scent of his magic increased, as did the attacks of the horrors. Dirk's blade was batted away, a claw finding his upper arm. Chen was pummeled several times, and the entire group was forced through the door and into the parlor. Creatures surged into the room, threatening to flank them.

My heart raced high in my throat, blood chilled in my veins. “What kind of choice is this?” I whispered, taking a half step back.

There is a small chance you and yours could fight their way all the way to the road. Very small. So allow me to offer something that has a much better chance.” Albrecht's breath stirred my hair. “If you can all make it back through just the front door, I will let you escape. I will not chase, will not seek retribution, so long as you all leave me alone.”

It really wasn't a choice, no matter what he said. His creatures were too strong, relentless. We were in unfamiliar territory with improper weapons and no knowledge of their weakness.

But my sacrifice could save everyone else. The little lamb could serve one last task for her friends. I couldn't fight a way free with them, but I could find them a path.

Let them go,” I whispered, leaning back, almost touching Albrecht. “Call your beasts off, and I'm yours.”

The dokkalf crooned, lowering his mouth until it hovered just above my throat. “Of course.” He gestured, and the shambling things collapsed to the ground.

The fight was over as quickly as it had begun. My friends halted, stunned, expecting the creatures to stand back up. When they didn't, everyone checked their wounds and equipment. Dirk turned. Our eyes locked, and he smiled in relief.

Albrecht set his mouth on my neck and pulled me into darkness.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

A round up of some very short stories

Back in the hayday of my social networking, I loved the #vss thread on Twitter. Now that I'm dipping my toes back into the pool of the internet, it turns out I still do. The #vss365 is a little more active, so I like that one a little bit more.

Here's a digest of my very short stories, so you don't have to comb my feed or those hashtags to enjoy them. A few of these are from 2010, but they're still pretty decent.

I plan to do this on a more regular basis, so it won't be such a wall of text next time.

***

  • Time flies when you're having fun, they say. Which explained why he was still at the scene of the crime when the police arrived.
  • Frost giants were known for their permafrost armor. The dragon wanted to see how long they took to melt.
  • His return to the arena was met with much fanfare. His swift defeat was met with dumbfounded surprise.
  • "You took a huge risk," the elf said. "we don't often reveal ourselves." The half-breed smiled wearily, tasting success.
  • She fainted, and the vampire rushed to pick her up. "Three second rule!"
  • "Ia. Ia Ie!" "I'm getting sick of your prank calls, Cthulhu." She hung up.
  • Pro-tip: Wearing bells keeps harmful spirits away, but it lets the werewolves know exactly where you are.
  • One day, her knight in shining armor would come, and it wouldn't melt beneath her flaming breath.
  • "I know it's more expensive, but..." She bit her lip and batted her eyes. It was the same pleading look that had made him fall in love all those decades ago. "All right, give us the Alfheim package," he told the timeshare salesman.
  • She looks down at the intruder, a feral smirk growing as her hellhounds step to her side. "You really should have listened to their warning barks." He screams in terror as they lunge.
  • "Sometimes, you just need to get offline," she said. He looked at her with a quirked brow. "Why? Everything I need is on the internet." "There are beautiful things outside. Animals, plants, nature." "Sounds dirty."
  • Whenever Marcus was too sad to get out of bed, the dog would bring him a cookie, hoping to make his master smile. Depression can't outlast a determined corgi.
  • She sauntered through the living room, kicking aside one of her prey's discarded shoes. So much blood and forensic evidence in the aftermath of a feeding. She really needed to stop bringing them home.
  • He kept saying, "I'm processing," whenever the topic came up. Fifteen years should have been long enough, but he still needed to process.
  • I held the plate to my face, licking it rapidly, seeking every last drop of the golden nectar I'd been served. "What do you humans call this?" He stared at me with brows raised. "It's just #syrup." "Divine. I want more."
  • I placed my order. "Tea, Earl Grey, hot." My date hid his face, too embarrassed to be seen with me. "You are such a nerd."
  • The woman behind the counter arched a brow. "Are you sure you want to get her a meteorite for your 20th?" He nodded. "She needs to always remember she's out of this world."
  • Felix was a psychic vampire. Which made it so easy to deliver bad news. Every delicious drop of grief and shock and horror was delectable upon his palate.
  • "They just look like dots." "Maybe to you. But to me, these speckles mean they're here." She gritted her teeth. "Can't believe I'm allergic to werewolf."
  • To whomever reads this: I can only #sketch out the broad strokes for you, give you the groundwork. But if you want to see how deep this rabbit hole goes, YOU have to make the journey.
  • The scholar looked up at the troll. "Have your people no great thinkers, no philosophy we could share?" The troll rubbed his tummy, eyeing the fire. "No think. Only eat."
  • His #approach was that of a thunderstorm. Of a stalking tiger. Of pure sexy power and heat and strength. She was overwhelmed, unable to do more than pant. He offered his hand. "Care to dance?"
  • The necromancer grew pieces of her former lovers in jars, just like cuttings of plants. She gave them the same care and attention as any gardener, watching them grow more robust day by day.
  • Her sorcery had created a #pocket dimension for her garden. It was always on the verge of summer, warm and full of blooming flowers.
  • He bellowed, calling for his family. Only a lonely echo replied, reminding him of all that was lost. Maybe tomorrow.
  • I can't hear the flick of a lighter and not #crave the pipe. That familiar reek of chemical and poison and sweet high. The deep clouds of intoxicant that corrupt my lungs and release me from my flesh.
  • "It's funny," the mercenary said, uncoiling from his spot in the corner of the tavern. "Those who try hardest to pick a fight have rarely been in them."
  • He'd been told The Populace was so well-trained, they wouldn't #question anything a Leader said. "Discovered today: the sky is a chocolate candy shell." The populace just nodded in agreement.
  • The seraph spread its seven wings further, an angelic form of mantling. "Why are you not #awestruck?" It stared at the only woman still on her feet. She smiled, and drew a sword from the aether. "#Awe is for mortals."
  • The review was repulsive enough. "Knives are sharp enough to butcher a human in 20 mins!" More disturbing was that three people had found it useful.