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prompt post 3: the search for spell check.



"the hot spark and sizzle of spices simmered in a thick, fragrant stew" (i like this prompt. yum.) || inana & zafir || the great howling desert

She sighed and looked all around her, at the shimmering waves of sand merging with the deepening purple of the sunset at the horizon, the orderly march of dunes relieved only by the occasional rock. They still had their lives. She would not complain. She reached into her poka space, found a bit of spiced, dried meat, unwrapped it and began chewing moodily.

Zafir's hand suddenly closed around her wrist, drawing the jerky away from her mouth. She looked up at his disapproving expression. "...What else is there to eat, Baby?"

He shook his head at her, drew a bowl from his poka space, and strode over to his mare, knelt beside Maisah and milked her a bit. Then he drew an arrow and headed over to the nearest shelf of rock, half-hidden beneath the sand, and gestured for Inana to follow. He brushed some of the sand away from its base, examining it; then he carefully tipped and poured a few drops onto the arrow and placed it there. A drop fell from the pointed tip. Then another, and then something struck hard, and nearly screamed, impaled and wiggling on the arrowhead. Zafir drew it out and tossed it on his cloak, a writhing, warty, elongated bulb, like a partially deflated water bag come to life, but one with long tendrils that tried feebly once or twice to bury itself again, and then after a quiver, it lay still. Inana examined it for a moment--he took her hand away and then showed her the smoking welt one of the tendrils left, where it touched his skin. She grimaced at him, and reached back into her poka for a healing salve.

"...These are edible?"

Zafir nodded and gestured for her to come and take the arrow and the bowl. She crouched down beside the rock a bit gingerly and looked up at him again. He nodded again. Trust me. She shrugged and busied herself tempting greedy, aggressive, stinging tubers to their deaths, as he mounted up and trotted away.

He returned shortly, with a slab of meat wrapped in pink-tinged white hide with short silky fur, and he tossed a number of small black rocks on to the ground. As it turned out the rocks burned very nicely, the hide was fireproof, and soon meat and tubers (carefully peeled and stripped of their stinging tendril-roots), and some other random things he'd collected that Inana did not recognize were bubbling away under a pitch black sky. Zafir leaned over, tasted it, and frowned.

"Not spicy enough?" She asked sympathetically. She searched her poka space again. "Here, Baby. I borrowed this from Parwin. Before..." Yesterday. The day before?

He brightened immediately, and took a small handful instead of a pinch. Inanna held up her hands. "Nil hea! Zafir, what are you doing?" And then he grinned at her expression and waving hands, took some steps away, and began sprinkling the red powder on the ground, using it to trace the familiar lines and curves of a protective circle around them, leaving it to her to sing the words. Then he came back and brushed the last of it off his hands, and into the pot. What was not to be put off by spell would be by the intense burn of the spice itself. Nothing wasted, and everything good. Inana lay back against her saddle and listened to the wind blow and the fire burn and the stew bubble and boil. Zafir came and sat beside her, and a moment later, the soft tapping of his finger-drum tied everything together. The desert is also our home.

Home was wherever the two of them made it. She leaned against his shoulder, and he leaned back. Inana hummed softly, a tune of her own devising, adding another layer of melody to the song.




"indignant cats" || mark, the djinn, cerunnos (the cat), and ghost!kali || mark's office

If the glowing, slightly translucent gentleman bothered to open the door instead of simply passing through it, it was likely only for the sake of the very solid, very unhappy feline lying in his arms in perfectly frozen, fluffed and terrible hissing fury.

"Here." The Djinn said, depositing the animal unceremoniously beside a slight, roughly circular depression in the leather sofa. "A living cat to go along with your dead one."

The depression on the sofa vanished, there was a terrible upset buzzing like angry bees and then a yowl, and there was a small rush of movement, flickering shadow, and an unseen force making a circuit of destruction around the office. A standing lamp tipped, nearly falling, and the drapes stirred. A picture suddenly flew from the desk. Mark leaned over, caught it and set it back upright before answering.

"My cat." The drakthos stated with perfect, unruffled, unassailable haughtiness, "is not dead."




"rain beating on new construction" || rauth, henry || a reclaimation/construction site

"Yo, Rauth, boss wants you!" and Rauth dropped the beam he was carrying--dammit, he'd got caught doing someone else's job again, but he hated standing around waiting, the boss knew he'd ignore the yelling and wasn't gonna fire him, so this was pointless; he should be able to add "Mover of Random Heavy Shit" to Rauth's list of titles and move on without going through all this, yeah? Rauth went stomping back through the puddle-collecting ruts and grimy damp hard packed earth and gravel to the tin-roofed shed that was serving as Henry Impaglia's temporary office.

"Close The Door An' Siddown!" Henry barked, and that got Rauth to wondering a bit, because "The Union Has Rules And You'll Learn Em, Or Else, You Stupid Tink!" lecture required him standing by the open door so everyone could hear him getting chewed out again. Still wasn't all that concerned, though.

At least not until the boss lowered his voice. "You got something you need to share with me, Fitzpatrick?"

Rauth blinked at him. "Nil--I mean, no." But his back was up, thinking about what somebody might've seen, or who might've ratted him out.

"You sure? Somethin' you're mixed up in, maybe a little job on the side?"

"Hell no." Rauth said very sincerely. Now it was time for the Indignant. Maybe even a little Intimidation. "What's this about?" Better smile, when you accuse the Big Dog of something. Better apologize, if you haven't got proof.

Henry wasn't one to be intimidated. He leaned back in his chair, looking disappointed. "I might've been able to let it go. Hell, even I used to be a young guy with too much money burnin' a hole, liked trying to play like one of the big shots on TV, you know? I got lucky, got smart, got clean again before I got into too much trouble. I saw what happened to all the other guys. Now you--you're a good hard worker, got yourself a family. You gotta future in this business. Even when the reclaimation field's gone dry, there's still gonna be building. But you fucked up, Fitz. I got one rule you ain't allowed to break, and that's everybody I take on stays clean. Then you went and lied to me on top of it. Can't trust you."

Rauth's head twisted and he looked at the wall, and wished that Henry didn't remind him of Hrolief so much. "How'd you find me out?"

"Don't you worry about that. You hooked?"

He shook his head. He wasn't the sort that got genuinely hooked on anything--except maybe trouble. It was just embarrassing he got caught, that's all. "Nil hea, Sir. Don't use much anymore," he mumbled. "The woman notices."

"Least she knows what's good for you. If you ain't hooked, you still got a chance. You go find yourself a job with somebody else, I'll put in a good word. Now what you got ain't legal and it's damn sure not yours, and it's going back to where it came from, cause whoever it does belong to is gonna want it back. Let's see it."

"...Sir." Rauth sighed and pulled a plastic bag out of his poca, and dropped it on the desk.

"And I told you before, don't you fuckin' Sir me, I ain't that old." Henry glowered. "What else?"

Rauth looked at the floor, and pulled out several rounded paper bricks and laid them out on the table one by one. Then he sat in silence, waiting for his dismissal. What other fate awaited a man that abused trust given by dealing what was stolen from the places they were restoring? He was glad it wasn't the Olfridulfr.

"...This is sugar. All this is sugar? That it?"

"Yeah. 100% pure." Rauth muttered. "That, and sometimes drink mix. Sometimes the substitute stuff. Whatever I come across. That's already gone, though. If it brings trouble down on your head, I'll see to it."

Henry was still staring at the packages on his desk. "Sugar. I got called down here in the fucking rain, was ready to fire my best man over some goddamn table sugar? Get the hell out of my office and get back to work!"

"Sir?" Rauth blinked at him.

"GET BACK TO WORK!" Henry bellowed.

Rauth caught the "Tá Sir" before it left his mouth; he got up, re-stashed the packages and went, scratching his head in bemusement. Humans. Ah well. At least he did learn something useful--if the boss didn't give a damn about the sugar-smuggling, then he might as well take it all, next time.




"eight to five, five days a week" || grace and corrie || nyc

Grace did not stop working, because they still needed to eat, and the kids still needed her, still looked for her, eight to five, five days a week, and hoped they'd be the ones chosen for the weekend pass to come home with her. The weekend passes were the first things to go, regretfully, because the kids were as much a light to her as she was a lifeline to them, but she needed the time. Her mother noticed and demanded that she start bringing them again; those kids weren't no bother.

She worried while she was gone, that the lady downstairs would forget to check up on her, but her mother was still there, still fierce and smiling, lying under a mound of blankets, when Grace came home, and that was Grace's first real taste of eternity. That dim and hazy summer seemed as if it would stretch on forever.

Her first taste of mortality came early on a cold, rainy autumn morning.




"glamor shots and those metal bits at the ends of western shirt collars..." || mark and rhaegan || somewhere in connecticut, i think.

The stalking lesson was to commence immediately after school, at a small upscale mall midway between her school and his office, that had managed to get through the Collapse virtually untouched, a glass, steel and plaster commercial time capsule. Rhaegan was prompt; he appreciated that. Mark could not quite contain the withering frown as he silently examined her choice of hunting attire, though.

"What," he began, carefully enunciating each word before biting it off, "is that thing you're wearing?"

She looked down. "It's a shirt. I borrowed it from Uncail Loosh."

"Did you not get the memo? I asked you to dress conservatively. Like so." Mark gestured at himself, in black slacks, light gray cashmere sweater, and his wings might have been easily overlooked even without the assistance of his glamour, folded neatly against the dark wool overcoat. Then he curled his lip at her shirt again, in all its gaily, gaudily checkered splendor. It was pink. And purple. And blue. And brown. It had piping. It had metal bits on the pointed wings of the collar. It had metal rims on the sparkly buttons. There was rather a lot of shirt also, comparatively speaking; it hung halfway down to the child's knees.

"What? I'm conservative. I'm wearing jeans." Rhaegan informed him. And then, without seeming to take a breath, she was tugging his sleeve. "OOH. Can we do that? I've always wanted to do that!"

Mark turned and regarded the establishment squarely in line with her pointing finger--Her nails were painted shocking, sparkly purple, he noted--and squinted a bit. No, she really was pointing at that, not the perfectly respectable shoe store beside it, or even the music store on the other side.

"You want...a photo? We don't photograph well, Rhaegan."

"Pleeeeeeeease! Just let me try? Just once? To com-comem--remember the occasion? Pleeeease?"

"Oh very well." He sighed, as she half-dragged him across the concourse.

"Hello!" Called a nauseatingly cheerful and perfume-drenched lady at the counter. "Are you here for our Mother And Daughter Special? Makeover--oh! uh--" she faltered, as Mark and Rhaegan both raised a brow at her--"Parent and Daughter." She corrected. This was followed by a worried and red-faced, "Parent. And Child."

"No." Mark said with a cold finality, after watching her squirm in embarrassed silence for a moment longer. "Just the girl."




prompts provided by: [livejournal.com profile] merditha, the [livejournal.com profile] illian, [livejournal.com profile] othercat, [livejournal.com profile] cruelest_month, [livejournal.com profile] marika_kailaya, DEMON LLAMA!? [livejournal.com profile] daemonitellama, [livejournal.com profile] meridae, [livejournal.com profile] darthneko, [livejournal.com profile] vivaglam, [livejournal.com profile] canyondrive, and [livejournal.com profile] kelssy. thanks, guys. muchly appreciated.
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