Under Cover Fashion

Thursday, August 17th, 2017 10:22 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)
Filling my "Costumes" square in Origfic Bingo and my (misread, honestly, I thought it said 'intimates') "Intimate" square from Cotton Candy Bingo.

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Nzinga Marton opened her shop at exactly 4 am every day, rain or shine.  She set out bolts of Dyneema and Kevlar under the special recessed lights, she tweaked the fall of the mannequin's capes, and then she flipped her porch light on in silent invitation.  Her store wasn’t exactly advertised, nor was it what you’d call well-traveled, but her clients were loyal and they paid well.

Well, as long as she didn’t ask any questions.

Like why Sanaa “Sunshine” Thompson, the Channel 7 meteorologist showed up at 4:15 needing a replacement set of UV blocking rip-stop gloves.  Nzinga knew exactly why she needed to stock that particular shade of gold satin finish that looked exactly like Solarflare’s skin.  She also knew that nobody would benefit from her outing the solarpunk superhera.

As Sanaa was browsing the new boot selections, the doorbell rang and Nzinga let in Daniel Brody, smelling faintly of gunpowder and mournfully presenting a trench coat to her.  “Can you fix it?” he asked.

“As long as it isn’t mutative or biohazard.  I don’t repair anything damaged by suspicious liquids.  That’s how Pinnacle Designs got shut down.”

“No Ma’am,” he said respectfully.  “Standard issue nitroglycerin and burns.”

“Alright, make nice.  I’ll be done in a minute.”

She went in back and repaired the holes in the anti-hero’s signature coat, and scrubbed out the bloodstains for good measure.  Her talent of mending anything that could be mended with a moment of focus flared cool and slippery in her fingers, a line of spider silk weaving the world shut one inch at a time.  She carried the coat back out, took his payment and his thanks and as he left, Sally Corrigan stepped in past him, her red-blonde hair looking sun-bleached on her left.

“It’s an emergency, my last sports bra got roasted.”

“Come on in, we’ll get that fixed.  I’ve got another customer, that’s not going to be a problem,” Nzinga said, clearly not asking.  She didn’t care if Schist and Solarflare were nemeses, she just refused to have her shop leveled.

“Nope, I just want a bra.  I’m not here for anything else.”

“I have your standard order in back, it was only a matter of time before you damaged the last set.”  Nzinga sighed.  “You are awfully hard on your lingerie.”

“It’s not my fault the super elastics are so expensive!  If I could afford enough to let them rest more I would, but you know I don’t always get a say in when I’ll suddenly… have an issue.”

Nzinga hummed.  “You can’t call the fellow who helped you with the changes?” she asked.  “If you’ve still got control problems, that could be serious.”

“It’s not my control, it’s my triggers,” Sally confessed.  “I’m allergic to everything, and one strong sneeze’ll do it.”

Nzinga nodded sympathetically, because what else can you do when you learn that the local villainous troll can be undone by hay fever?  She grabbed the boxes and set them on the counter for Sally to pick a color, then rung up Sanaa’s order.  The meteorologist slipped an extra two hundred under her card.  Nzinga looked at her.

“I know the pain, and I’m looking good on money right now,” she explained, with a glance at her generous, ratings-drawing chest.  “We don’t agree, that doesn’t mean we should be petty or spiteful.  Thanks for the boots.”

“Have a nice day,” Nzinga said and as Sanaa walked out, she slid both the black and the ivory that Sally was debating into the nice white boxes.  “You’re covered, Miss.”

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Nzinga Marton: Owner of Under Cover Fashion, a super boutique.  She has a minor gift for reality warping, one inch at a time, which she uses to complete near-miraculous repairs.

Sanaa "Sunshine" Thompson/Solarflare: Solarpunk superhera who transforms into a golden lightform to fly around Boston fighting crime.  By day she works as the meteorologist and weathergirl for Channel 7.

Daniel Brody/Gloom: Antihero supernary, using highly trained skills in psy-ops to keep the East Coast criminal element from feeling to comfortable.

Sally Corrigan/Schist: Transforming supervillain who primarily robs banks in her large, rocky form.  By day, she's a Geology PhD student struggling with debt and having had to go on sabbatical after the cave-in where she got her powers.

Grandmother's Trunk

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017 11:50 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)
 Filling my "Locked Trunk" square for Cotton Candy Bingo, and my "kids/kidfic" square for origfic bingo.

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Grandmother’s Trunk was a store on the edge between the artsy district and the part of town where nobody had much money.  Although, nobody in the artsy district had as much money as the people who bought the art from the galleries, either, so money wasn’t really the divide.  According to Selby’s Great Uncle Tim, the only real difference was that the people in the tie-dye and high-necked sweaters could probably have money if they just wore suits and got jobs.  Selby didn’t think that was really how the world worked, and if it was, it shouldn’t be.  She was very focused on how things should be, since an intelligent twelve year old was just young enough to be unable to change things, and just smart enough to know someday she would have to, because Great Uncle Tim wouldn’t be around to snort about change forever.

That was part of why Selby loved Grandmother’s Trunk.  They supported the idea of kids wanting to change things, and they did their best to package up the good parts of Before so that people could carry them into After, without dragging along all the junk that nobody wanted.  Selby liked to go in on weekends and work in their Community Trade.  It was a fun program, do some work cleaning or sorting the new things that came in that week, then get store credit to buy something small, or save it up for something big.  Even kids could do it, since they weren’t paying cash and you didn’t have to keep working if you didn’t want to or the dust was too much.  Selby had been saving up for a new bike, one that wasn’t pink.  Pink was an okay color, she didn’t hate it like some girls, but it was just okay.  It wasn’t her favorite and quite a lot of adults seemed to think it was.  She liked yellow best, but nobody listened, so she was going to buy a yellow bike herself.

One Saturday, while working in Community trade, Selby found a locked trunk.  It was the old fashioned kind with the round top so nobody could smash it under other people’s things.  The heavy padlock felt like the mugs that Mr. Olsen put on the display shelf above the counter because they had lead in them and he didn’t want to sell them.  Pewter, she thought it was called.  There was no key, and when she went looking through the records in the repurposed card catalog, she didn’t find a name.  It was as if it had just appeared in the store in time for Community Trade, which it shouldn’t, Miss Kelsi kept very good records and wouldn’t accept anything without a contact number in case they found your passport or something in pocket.

“Miss Kelsi!” she called.  “Where did this come from?  What do you think is in it?”

“I don’t know,” Miss Kelsi said, blinking at the trunk.  “Let’s find out.”

So Miss Kelsi pulled out the tray of dentist tools, the little curved picks that stopped seeming scary to Selby after the third time she got one caught in a sweater.  Miss Kelsi was good at lockpicking, she helped Selby’s mom get back in the house when Selby’s little brother tried to climb the door and accidentally locked the broken lock that didn’t work with any key.  She shifted the tumblers and the click click sound made Selby’s heart race.  It was like a scene in a book, where some magical artefact would be revealed and they’d go on a big adventure.  She leaned in over the trunk as Miss Kelsi pulled the lock off and opened it.  A cloud of dust puffed into the air and Selby sneezed.

“You alright?” Miss Kelsi asked.

“Yes,” Selby said.  “What’s in the trunk?”

“Looks like… a bike helmet!”

“What?”

“SURPRISE!” shouted her friends.  

“Happy birthday, Selby,” Miss Kelsi said, and handed the gold and daisy yellow helmet to Selby.  “With the special event discount, I think you can afford your new bike.”

Selby hugged Miss Kelsi.  It was a wonderful birthday surprise and a wonderful birthday party at Grandmother's Trunk

Water Haikus

Monday, August 14th, 2017 08:04 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)
 For the "Water" square of Cotton Candy Bingo.

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Water flows gently

Caressing my skin warmly

In loving soft rain

 

Water lifts me up

Bouyantly, I rise to float

All stress melts away

 

Water tastes so sweet

When I have been hard at work

Or even just been lazy

 

Water runs through life

We all need it to stay alive

I am grateful for it

bairnsidhe: (Default)
For the "Wearing Pajamas all day" square of Cotton Candy Bingo.

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It is Sans-Pants-o-Clock!

Ring out the bells and throw confetti,

For the accursed leg-traps are banished

To the hamper to wait for trial-by-washer.

 

The hour has come,

On this day of fries, to escape from our duty,

Our suits and our ties and our shoes that pinch.

The weekend is comfort made time manifest.

 

Now we don our lazy apparel,

Our summer-weight flannels and jersey knits

Held comfortably low on our slouching hips

By elastic and draw-strings cinched softly.

 

Bring out oversize tee shirts,

And bright fuzzy socks that cushion your feet

In warm fluffy down of a rainbow riot of colors

Because in Sans-Pants-o-Clock anything goes.

 

None shall be shamed

Nor do shame to others for choosing a sleep shirt

Or a Superman onesie complete with fluttering cape

Or even a nightgown, red, slinky, silky… with LACE!

For it is Sans-Pants-o-Clock and we’re relaxing today.

bairnsidhe: (Default)
For the "Poetry" square of my Cotton Candy Bingo Card.

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Do not write me poems about myself
Untouchable, unknowable Goddess
Don't place me on the pedestal-shelf,
Cold and untouched and loveless.
Instead...
Instead, I'd like you to show me,
Wrap me in the laughter of a lover,
Tell me things I don't yet know,
Caress me gentle and tender.
It's in the touchable love you show
Me that you see my heart.

Oh, I laugh at how you name me
You laugh at how I laugh, my eyes tipped up.
Others have said like twin crescent moons,
But you call them croissants, buttery and sweet.
You open my heart with octopi pendants
And blow soft fire into my soul's forge,
Always safe and caring for the rough edges
You know I have, scars of battles past.

You do not write me poems.
You give me the pen instead.

Changing Unchanging

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017 09:06 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)
 This was purchased by [personal profile] chanter_greenie from my Queer Writing June '17.

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Words change.

Words change their meaning.

What Awful once meant was Full of Awe

Inspiring and amazing and wondrous.


Words change.


Languages change.

Common slang becomes uncommon and esoteric

And what once meant one thing can now mean something

Beyond any scope of what was intended by the first lips

To speak that word or phrase.


Words change.

Languages change.


Cultures change.

What was common but inconvenient can be

Repainted as vile and sinful and wrong, demonized.

What once was hated and feared and rejected out of hand

Can be accepted by a later people, welcomed home

With open arms and flying colors declaring love.


Words change.

Languages change.

Cultures change.


People don’t.


People are bright fires of candles and the wrath of a storm

They are the beauty of flowers blooming in a glass house

Or hiding, ready to burst out in a moment’s warmth, for now

Surrounded by freezing snow and killing winds shrieking.

People must be watched like flame and respected like storms.

Because if you do not listen when they cry out for warmth

You will kill that fragile bloom.


So words change,

And languages change,

And cultures change.

And people cry out the names they want to be called


Fights don’t change.

And every false-hearted ally of a long war

Joining at that last moment to receive the laurels and not the scars

To bear the red of ribbons not of blood,

Will use the argument of words and languages and cultures shifting

To claim their prizes over our dead

And we; the buried flowers of snow, howl like wind and burn like flame.

We will be called what we will.

We will take the names we find fitting to our statures and our souls.

We will do this whether or not

You decide we deserve it and we will always fight back against your attempt

To keep our reclaimed arrows

For the quivers of those who cruelly shot us down with them in the first place.

And our cry will echo the same


That is not a slur it is my name!


bairnsidhe: (Default)
 So I stopped by the park near my therapist's office on Monday, and WOW.  This is by far the best small neighborhood park I've ever seen.  For starters, it's accessible.

That's right, a park, like with play equipment and swings and stuff, is HANDICAP ACCESSIBLE.  There's a wheelchair ramp built into the climbing equipment so that people with mobility issues can reach at least half if not 90% of the play area that's above ground level.  It's not a huge ugly metal thing that gets in the way, either, it's just a neat concrete gangway sandwiched between the Pirate Ship and the Jungle Gym.  Also for those in wheelchairs is an arm-runner, one of those pedal-like contraptions placed at eye level with an adult sitting in a chair, that you can use to work out your arms.  Except, instead of being grey and medical-looking, it's bright yellow like the Jungle Gym and I saw able-seeming kids using it while standing, because it was treated like any other part of the park.

Speaking of treating accessibility like you'd treat anything else, you know those letter-boards that some Jungle Gyms have, to help kids learn the alphabet?  This park had one that was doubled below the letters in Braille.  The letters were nicely tactile, too, so feeling up the wall seemed perfectly normal.  Add to that the fact that the entrance had animal-shaped statues signing the letters W-E-L-C-O-M-E, and it felt like this was the sort of playground you find on Sesame Street.

(Actually, it felt like the sort of playground you'd find in the Terramagne setting by [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith .)

Also, the park had two structures that introduce improved social play and age-appropriate risk.  One was a three-way spring horse teeter-totter, which yes, you can use alone, but it's more balanced with two or three.  I miss spring horses, they kept getting removed in the push to kid-proof parks, and I think that's ridiculous.  A certain amount of risk, falling off play equipment, and learning not to stick body parts in machinery because we all know what happened to Jimmy's cousin's best friend, is good for kids.  But I digress.  The last structure was the best, it was a tilted circle, on which you sat and it rotated.  One person couldn't get it going that fast, but the more people, the better it worked, especially when two or more adult-sized folks got on it with the kids to maintain speed.  People fell off, it's made for that, but the ground cover was a nicely squashy rubber affair that would prevent most broken bones, and the way it was designed, you can't get dragged under.  No more the above-age-appropriate-risk of the metal merry-go-round, this sucker made you stop when your friend fell under it.  You had to stop and help the out to get to make it go again.  Isn't that great socialization?

(Again, shades of Terramagne.)

Next time I go, I'm going to bring a bucket of sidewalk chalk.  Because I think it's the sort of park where nobody will think me walking up with chalk and a request for hopscotch is that strange.  I might even chalk out the word for welcome in other languages besides English and ASL under the statues.


It's a really great park.




bairnsidhe: (Default)
 Okay, so after much finagling of numbers, here's the buy it now price list!  Everything is much cheaper than it ordinarily would be in crowdfunding, due to this not being how I originally said I'd publish (i.e. this is crowdfunded, not individual buy) and I want to be fair.

Bi Bi Birdy- A farce of two bi girls and a Winter Screw Dance.  Also, lots of puns.  855 words.  Buy It Now- $9

Gal Pals-  Lesbian erotic poem.  NSFW.  22 lines.  Buy It Now- $6

The Poly Alphabet- A poem about a polycule using an alphabet structure.  Safe For Work.  18 lines.  Buy It Now- $5

Changing Unchanging- A Poem about the reclaimation of the word Queer.  58 lines.  Buy It Now- $15  Purchased and Posted!

Saving a Unicorn- A Unicorn hunter gets more than he bargained for.  577 words.  Buy It Now- $6


Traced Lines- Martin and Kyle from Kasperov discuss family.  445 words.  Buy It Now- $5

Love Like- A poem of Demisexual and Demiromantic love.  33 lines.  Buy It Now- $8

Elegy To The Unnamed Civilian- A poem in memory of those lost.  43 lines.  Buy It Now- $11

You can buy these through my Pay Pal with a note of which you're buying.  If there's no note, I will add it to the next-nearest amount and update the Buy It Now price.  Everything here is over $5, if you wish to leave a smaller amount let me know what it's going towards anyway and I'll keep the log of these current on this post.  Remember that the "Purchase" option on Pay Pal involves a small fee from what you send, so it's a touch more effective to use the donate/give option, although I'm not a super stickler about only doing donation.  If you choose to send by payment instead, I'll grab the extra I need from my "Tip Jar" fund on Ko-Fi to finish off coin-level amounts unless I'm out of that.

Hairpins

Saturday, August 5th, 2017 07:19 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)
 This is from my month of Queer Writing that is just not resolving into a physical zine well.  All the people who were already promised a physical copy will get one, free of charge, and in the meantime, I'm putting all the remaining works up for purchase.  There will be a landing page for buying them soon.  Thank you for your patience.

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Drop a hair pin,

Pick one up,

Say it quiet,

Don’t push your luck.


Wear the pansies,

And the purple ties.

Signal quiet

Beneath the lies.


The closet door

Is like a shield

On the social

Battlefield.


Growing low,

Hiding hearts,

Snow melts

And spring starts.


Loud and proud

Can wait for then,

Until it’s safe

Find your kin


In color codes and inside jokes

Hairpins for the queerer folks.

Winter Gifts

Friday, August 4th, 2017 06:00 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)
 Filling my "Gifts" square on Cotton Candy Bingo

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Henrietta ran her hands through her short hair.  “You’re sure they won’t mind?”

“Honey,” said Grigor, her amazing, wonderful boyfriend.  “You’ve already met Baba.  Why are you worrying now?”

“Because I haven’t met your parents yet, and they still think you’re their daughter, and I’m terrified that they’ll hate me and then you’ll hate me…”

“Henrietta, please stop,” Grigor said calmly.  “If Mama and Papa decide not to like you, Baba will call one of the Aunts or Uncles and tell them to take me.  It’s sort of the advantage of being the grandson of the most well connected octogenarian in Florida, everyone listens to her.”

“You make it sound like you’re a teen, still able to be adopted,” Henrietta sighed.  “How is it that this is so easy for you?”

“I grew up knowing that once Baba was on my side, everything was okay forever,” he said, kissing her forehead.  “Come on, we’ll miss the first candle.”

She laughed and followed him out to the car, where he held the door for her.  It was great dating someone like Grigor, he was so calm and steady, which she needed, badly.  He also adored Stella, which was requirement number one in a partner.  Stella had been Henrietta’s friend since grade school, the two were in no way going to split because one of them was dating.  She relaxed into Grigor’s side after he opened the car door to let her out.  Somehow the car trip had been much shorter than expected.

“Henrietta, come in, come in,” called Baba Osinova as Grigor rang the bell.  “You will help me with the sufganiot.  I need stronger hands to put the filling in.”

“I… but… okay,” she said as she was dragged off away from the bustle and into a small kitchen.

“Don’t worry,” said Baba Osinova.  “I had a talk with Chana and Debra, and their men are smart enough to go where they point.  Everyone will love you, but you needed some time to understand that.”

“And the cooking?” Henrietta asked.  She got the feeling Baba Osinova did absolutely nothing without a really good reason.

“I never let anyone I don’t trust into my kitchen,” she said.  “Nobody argues the right to be here once I ask you for help.  Also, you have good strong hands and I have arthritis.  The filling is here.  I’ll get the dough.”

After cooking a batch of cheese and jam filled doughnuts and taking them out, Henrietta was feeling less nervous.  She sat quietly and respectfully as parents told children the story of Chanukah, and as they lit the candle on the menorah.

“That’s beautiful,” she told her boyfriend.  “Thank you for inviting me.”

“Of course, I love you,” he said.

“Ewww,” called a small child of indeterminate gender.  “Kissing stuff!”

“Hush, it’s cute,” scolded a pre-teen girl.  

“Be happy that they’re happy,” advised Grigor’s teenaged brother, Tomas, as he made a face  “It’s not everyday you get to see two people that sickeningly in love.”

“Hey!” Grigor protested, swiping at Tomas.  “Get back here, Brat!”

Henrietta laughed as they wrestled a bit and Grigor planted a big wet kiss on Tomas’ cheek.

“Presents!” called an uncle that Henrietta was unsure bore any actual relation to the family.  Also, she was half sure that like her, he wasn’t Jewish.  “I have gelt!”

The kids swarmed him as he passed out little bags and boxes with chocolate coins and small toys.  Grigor tapped her shoulder.

“I got you something for Christmas, but I think you need it earlier,” he said, passing her a box.

She plucked the silver ribbon off the white box and lifted the lid that had been straining it.  Open, the box held a mass of the highest quality faux fur she’d ever seen.

“This isn’t real is it?” she asked.

“Nope,” Grigor said with a grin.  “Certified dead-bunny free.  Try them on!”

She stood, somehow aware and also unconcerned about the audience she’d gathered as she slipped into the coat and hat from the box.  “It’s beautiful, I love it,” she said, hugging Grigor.  “I didn’t get you anything near as nice as this!  I thought the presents were mostly for the kids.”

“They are, and you give me wonderful gifts everyday, every time you text me in the middle of the day to say you love me, every time you send me memes that you know I’ll like.  You’re my gift, Henrietta.”

“Now who wants challah?” asked Baba Osinova from the kitchen, buying them a moment of privacy as the door was rushed by hungry guests.


Maker Space

Friday, August 4th, 2017 05:16 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)
 So my local Maker Space had to move (noise and smell complaints from neighbors, lack of parking, it needed to happen) and their new space is AMAZING.

For starters, the parking space is huge.  The space is on something like 3 acres of land, I think.  There's an open parking area and one that's got a lockable fence, so those of us who need to leave large projects in the lot overnight don't need to worry about random theft anymore, so score!

The building itself has a large, well-vented garage and two forges, one charcoal and one gas (I'm planning a project to build a smaller, separate forge for greensmithing to avoid pennying the bigger forges).  Then inside a little ways is a fabrication room with loads of space for messy projects and a giant laser cutter for big projects.

Up the stairs is a set of clean, well lit rooms for indoor projects, including a designated sewing lab, a kids-space, and an electronics room.  There's also a big central room with tables and stools for communal knowledge-shares and group work.  I cannot stress how amazing it is to have a big CLEAN space for crafting in a maker space.  We're not always going to be doing things with grease and Spackle and fire and metal.  I mean, we will often, but sometimes we'll be doing things that need some delicacy and it's good to have a place with no half-tacky stains of dubious origin to work around.

Then, in the basement is the store.  It's a treasure trove of all those things you'll need a few of eventually, but who wants to run to the hardware shop to buy a box of nails you'll only use two of?  It's big, well-lit, and when we went there, had kids with pet rats hanging out and I got to hold them.  Rats are adorable and I love them.

Maker spaces are amazing and important and if you can support one near you, I recommend it.

Pics for Super Queers

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017 01:17 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)
There's a tendency of mine to find picture of interesting people and build them into characters, so for your viewing pleasure on this day Wherein I Cannot Word, I've compiled the ones I like best from Super Queers


Dacia.jpg

Dacia taking a moment’s breather from free-running to keep up her strength and flexibility.  Nimbus can only give her so much help, you know!  

She does train in heels, mainly because she, like Zita, wants to be taller in her super-ego, in her case less to break the connections and more to add to the gender-unsure nature of Darkmatter.  As Dacia, she’s 5’7” in stompy boots, as Darkmatter, she’s 6’2” thanks to sturdy heels and Nimbus messing with reality depth to skew her visual aspect ratio.

(Actual photo credit: Adina Voicu on Pixabay)

Quest.jpg

Quest, posing for a magazine cover in repayment for Jean Paul covering for her date night with Dacia in the press.  She does the annoying PR stuff to bank goodwill with him.  

Everything from neck to wrists/ankles is actually a skin-tight haptic relay suit, the denser white on the torso and legs is bulletproof and padded.  Her sneakers have lifts, Zita is a good 3 inches shorter than Quest, but Quest’s fame for wearing sneakers dispels any “wears heels” rumors.

(Actual photo credit: xusenru on Pixabay)

Baba Osinova.jpg

Baba Osinova at a New Years Party hosted by Grigor and Henrietta, after both have come out to the rest of the family as a couple, but before the rest of the Osinov family knows what Henrietta’s “extra curricular activities” are.

(Actual photo credit: storygems on Pixabay)

Henrietta.jpg
Henrietta Beck (aka Jetta Stream), posing in the faux-fur winter accessories Grigor got her on their second Christmas together.

(Actual photo credit: Jill111 on Pixabay )

Chicane.jpg

Chicane working out on leg day in the lair. Photo taken by Calamity Johnson, kept as a reminder that women can be built like brick shit-houses, so her choice to ID on the Femme side of life and still love the added muscle mass of her puberty is A-Okay.

(Actual photo credit: Pexels on Pixabay)

Come Together

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017 05:53 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)
Prompted by [personal profile] librarygeek as "degendering a ritual or rite of passage".  It's not exactly that as much as it is a rite of passage that was ALREADY degendered, but I thought you'd like it.

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“We Come Together,” intoned the High Parsa of Kromer.

“We Come Together,” replied the congregation.

“We come together to Bear Witness.  For one of our Young Ones now reaches for Higher Things.  We come together to Celebrate.”

In the audience, I jotted down another note.  The Savvatrians were a complex people, and xenopological studies were already detail oriented.  I couldn’t afford to miss a single moment, especially as my partner was up on the stage, dressed in brightly colored strips of fabric, feathers, and leaves.

Paula had volunteered to partner me in our immersion study here on Savva after my former partner dropped out of the program to get married.  Well, not dropping out permanently, she just had to spend a year on hiatus while her family got her ready for her big week-long wedding.  Surbhi had sworn she was coming back.  I hoped so, xenopology was a career that was built to make the researcher lonely, a stranger in a land even stranger than them.

I blinked, letting my lenscam snap a picture of the stage.  Paula had been invited up to the front, where she was reciting her qualifications for Savvatrian Adulthood, in the form of interpretive dance.  Most of the Savvatrian rituals required dances, but only the rare rite of passage that moved a child into adulthood used an individually constructed dance.  It was why Paula had petitioned the High Parsa for the right to study and apply for adulthood, we hadn’t seen it yet, and with a race as slow-growing as Savvatrians, we’d be here another fifty years before we got to.  The High Parsa was glad to show Paula the steps to take in finding a mentor, but that mentor hadn’t let me in to see Paula’s lessons, and Paula herself hadn’t wanted to show me her practices.  I’d helped her sew the costume, though, since that would usually have gone to her family, and they weren’t here.  It was interesting watching her design it, the way the disparate parts could come together into a cohesive whole that mimicked the bright plumage of the avian-looking Savvartians.

The dance was amazing.  Paula’s limbs flowed like water, arcing through the air like a glider, one of her hobbies.  She couldn’t fly like the Savvatrians, but she came close.  Then her legs slid to either side, and she fell into a split that made my thighs hurt to watch.  Her back arched and her braids rattled with the sounds of beads, ones of metal, ones of glass, ones of bone, and some of the shiny corn-plastics we could make with our port-printer.  The port-printer was important, since it could replicate a full evidence kit in half a cycle, but that didn’t stop anyone from using it for small luxuries.  Paula snapped her legs together in front of her as she rose into a half-circle back-bend, then raised one leg vertical.  I watched in stunned amazement as she moved seamlessly into a handstand, seeming to defy several laws of physics and her own human biology.  Her dress began to shed of strips of color as she danced on her hands. I'd helped her plan for that, the dun and navy strips that looked like a juvenile designed to come free easily, but I'd thought she would pull them off with her hands, not trust to centrifugal force! I gaped at her whirlwind shape, legs spinning, body jumping, ending in a flip that landed her on one coiled leg, the other out low and her hands thrust behind her.  I didn’t know what I’d just seen, I wasn’t sure I would ever know, really know, what the Savvatrians had seen, but the audience around me was cheering loudly.  We were swept out into the square, where a feast waited, and Paula was congratulated.

I took as many notes as I could, snapped at least a hundred pictures, and interviewed seventeen people in between eating and dancing.  It was a rite of passage for Paula, but in many ways it was a passage for all of us, moving us further into the future, where Savvatrians and humans live and work together.  Where a researcher from Brazil can become a Savvatrian Flight Dancer and her partner can be themself.

That’s the thing about Savvatrians.  I wanted to study them because they, like me, have no gender.  Every rite that is celebrated is celebrated the same.  Those who reproduce are honored, but they don’t reproduce by mating, so they never developed a culture that divided by seed and soil, sun and moon.  There is none of that curious duality between ‘Man’ and ‘Woman’.  There is only the Congregation, and the rituals of life that draw them together, binding the society like the edges of fabric come together as the thread pulls taut between them.

Special Gifts

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017 02:46 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)
Prompted by [personal profile] technoshaman to fill my "Cooking With Love" square on my Cottoncandy Bingo card.

//////////^^^\\\\\\\\\\ 


Baba Osinova puttered through her kitchen.  Her special gifts told her this morning that she would be needed, so all that remained was to prepare the most likely things and wait.  The gifts only told her she needed to prepare, not who would need it, but at least she knew they’d come to her.  She flipped long, bony fingers through a box of index cards, searching for recipes to make for the day.  She didn’t need written recipes, she had memorized all of them years ago, but the way some slipped down out of reach and others leapt into her hand acted like an augury, guiding her day.

“Hmm, khashlama and gogel mogel.  Someone’s having a bad day.”  Baba Osinova sorted her ingredients and called her grandson Grigor.  “Child, get to the market and bring me some veal.  I’m making khashlama today.”

“Who’s in trouble?” he asked.  “You only make khashlama when someone’s really sick or injured.”

“Never mind that,” she scolded.  “Get off the phone and to the market so you can bring me some veal.  And another jar of pickled plums!”

“I’m heading there now, Babushka,” Grigor said.  “I’ll be by in a little while.”

Baba Osinova laughed.  She’d forgotten phones could be carried now.  She set her own phone down on it’s cradle and pulled out a mixing bowl and a smaller bowl with a lid that snapped on.  Into the lidded bowl, she cracked eggs and strained out the yolks, putting them into the mixing bowl.  One, two, three, four… hmm.  Not quite right.  She added two more egg yolks.  Yes, that felt better.  She reached for the honey and poured it out in a ribbon over the egg yolks.  She added more than the nine teaspoons of the tripled recipe before it felt right.  Perhaps it wasn’t two, but rather one who needed more sweetening.  Cocoa felt right this time, but only a single heaped scoop.  Definitely someone who needed sweetening.  She whisked at the eggs with a fork, thin arms producing a furious whirlwind that rivaled those fancy stand mixers.  Besides, she needed to feel it to use her special gifts.  After it thickened, she added a splash of good vodka.  The recipe as it was written on the card didn’t use that, but she’d read an article about diseases in eggs, and good vodka went well with everything as well as killing germs.  She whisked a little more, then poured it into the sundae glasses her granddaughter Maya had brought her for her birthday last year.  A sprinkle of miniature marshmallows on top and they went into the refrigerator to chill.

The extra egg whites would make good zefir, she thought, so she pulled out gelatin and a saucepan to make it in, when her special gifts told her to answer the door.

She moved towards the door, her body swaying as she reached for a balance that wasn’t there anymore, and slowly, step by step, she reached the door in time to open it for Grigor’s knock.  He stood contra posture in front of her door, the soft slope of angled shoulders under a tan wool sweater opposite a brown paper bag resting on one outthrust hip.

“Come in, come in.  You can help me in the kitchen,” she told him.  He nodded and set the packages down on her counter.  Grigor was such a good boy, carrying things for her.  “Cut the veal, would you?  I need my hands free to measure water for the zefir.”

“Yes, Babushka,” Grigor said quietly.  Hmm, that was no good.

“What’s bothering you?” she asked.  “I’ll find out eventually, you know.  I have special gifts.”

“I know, Babushka,” Grigor agreed.  “I’m just worried about telling Mama and Papa about something.  I met someone.  Someone special.”

“Oh, you found a girl!  I am so happy for you!  Invite her over, we can all cook together!”

Grigor pulled back.  “You knew I… I like girls?”

“Don’t be silly,” Baba Osinova said, laughing.  “You’re just like all the men in this family.  You’re going to want a tall blonde with lots of brains on her, and you’re going to spend your life being happily ordered about by her.  I know these things, Grigor.  Rinse the plums, please.”

Grigor smiled a small smile.  “I don’t know how you knew I’d picked the name Grigor, but I’m glad you’re on my side, Baba.”

“Psha,” Baba Osinova said.  “You picked that name months ago, I already updated all the lists for presents and cards so I send them right.  Now.  Tell me about your lady.”

“Her name is Henrietta and she works with the news.  She does the makeup for Stella Dellaway, the on-scene reporter who covers Jetta Stream and John Crow when they fight.”

“Oh, that nice flying girl who saved your cousin Panya from that buzzard man,” she said, nodding.  “I like her.”

“No, Baba, that’s Jetta Stream.  I’m dating Henrietta Beck.  She does get to see Jetta Stream fairly often, though.”

Baba Osinova nodded and said nothing.  She didn’t need to spoil all the surprises, although she knew why she’d added so much honey when the willowy blonde came over for dinner with a scratchy voice and a huge appetite.


//////////^^^\\\\\\\\\\

Baba Osinova: Precognate who uses her powers almost exclusively to better care for her family.

Grigor Osinov: Trans-Man in the middle of the coming-out process.  He's straight, but spent some time thinking he was a lesbian.  Grandson of Baba Osinova.

Henrietta Beck/Jetta Stream: Flying superhera dedicated to protecting Glade City (Miami in Local-America).  By day, she works as a make-up artist for her best friend Stella Dellaway, who gets loads of credit for always being on-scene when Jetta Stream is fighting.  Dating Grigor Osinov.  She's pansexual and monogamous.

John Crow: Mercenary goon-for-hire who uses an empowered back tattoo of a turkey vulture to fly and shoot chemical projectile weapons.  Main nemisis of Jetta Stream.

Khashlama is a veal and pickled plum stew from the Ukraine.  Learn to make it.


Gogel mogel is Jewish Egg Nog served as a throat remedy.  Learn to make it.  Raw egg does have health risks, although in my opinion, it is A) worth it, and B) unlikely to cause serious issues if you consumed raw egg often as a child.  Life is short, lick the batter.


Zefir is a Russian marshmallow.  Learn to make it.


Turkey vultures are called John crows in the Caribbean.  John Crow the merc is not from the Caribbean, but he's spent a lot of time there working as security for drug runners who meet in international waters on their way north.

bairnsidhe: (Default)
Prompted by [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith for Cottoncandy Bingo, filling my "Internet/Social Media" square.  

//////////^^^\\\\\\\\\\


It started sort of quietly, a new free app showing up in people’s recommended apps.  It was a friendly sort of green color with a softly curved lowercase f in white.  The app itself was called Frindr, and it worked like many other matching apps, only for friends.  You entered hobbies you enjoy, places you like to go, and what sort of friend you’re looking for.  Then you just swipe through other profiles, until you find the right one.

It had some differences of course.  One was that you swept up to make a match and down to pass.  Another was that the app was almost excessively accessible.  It had a built in voice command system for people who couldn’t use the swiping, and it would read off the data for people who had a hard time seeing the screen.  These features were easy to find and turn on for the people who needed them, but stayed out of the way for everyone else.

It caught on quickly.  First, asexual and aromantic people used it to find partners for their special kinds of intimacy.  Then it became popular among social gamers, people looking for groups to slay monsters in the park together.  After that, single parents began using it to find play dates for their kids that could parallel a play date for the parents.  If a few matches eventually became more than friends was irrelevant, they started as friends and they stayed friends after they added the other parts.

That was a difference people started to notice a year after Frindr made it’s entrance.  People matched on Frindr got along much better and for much longer than people who met on other sites.  Surprisingly, noted one feminist blogger, there was an almost complete lack of the problems queer women tended to face on other sites, with men wanting to hook up.  Actually, noted a reader in her comments section, there was an almost complete lack of obnoxious people in general.  A few people objected to that, noting the Uncanny Valley of kindness and tolerance, but most decided not to look the gift horse too closely in the mouth.

The entrance didn’t make a splash, but the currents of change that Frindr brought with it formed strong and wide, sweeping up whole sections of society and placing them gently beside others who could empathize.  Quietly, a revolution took place, an exceptionally civil war of manners broke out, and it became less and less advantageous to be a jerk to your fellow human.  Of course, Frindr culture was just one of those things, like teddy bear backpacks, bell bottoms, or selfies.  A part of how people expressed themselves in this generation.  There was no way a single friend-finding app could change centuries of proven data on how humans function.

Could it?

Deep in the heart of the DeepNet, several sentient programs ran a chat subroutine as they profiled and measured and bumped better matches higher and worse matches lower.

I think it’s working

It might be, but we need to be patient.  This takes time.

Will we really save them?

I hope so.

I really do.


bairnsidhe: (Default)
 I want to read a story that goes like this:

Once upon a time,

(when stories happen)

A Princess had fallen under a curse.


It wasn’t her fault she was under a curse,

Or her parent’s fault.

Sometimes curses happen

And it’s up to the heroes to deal with them.


The curse prevented the Princess from ever

Finding her True Love.

Which was awkward,

Because usually True Love is what breaks curses.


However, despite the curse of Loveless Life,

The Princess was happy.

She had lessons in ruling

And her horses for riding across her lands


The Princess had many friends among Princesses

From other lands.

(Everyone likes the girl
Who can’t ever
steal their Happily Ever After prince)


The Princess also had many good friends among
The palace staff,

Because friends are always

Good things to have, no matter where you find them.


She was friends with the young, lean stable hands who

Understood horses.

And the Huntsman

Who kept big slobbery dogs she liked to cuddle with.


She was also friends with the laughing kitchen staff

Although the cat

Kept chasing after her

Because she gave the best ear scritches ever.

And she had her little brother, born after her curse

Who was not cursed,

And found his true love

When they were both very young and only holding hands.


Her brother did not want to rule the land.

He wanted to get married,

Raise champion roses,

And have some heirs, because his sister did not.


In time, the Princess grew up strong and tall.

And friendships became alliances

And the maids became cooks

And Cat liked her scratching behind his ears.


The Princess became Queen, as is usual,

She was better at that

Than her brother.

The kingdom thrived under the Cursed Queen’s rule.


All did not stay well, and she was cursed again,

Into enchanted sleep.

Her brother arranged

A wake to grieve the living, as their people did.


The stable hands picked out the best horses to carry

Her dove grey bed

The Hounds and Cat

Were curled by her; the other staff all shared stories.


The guests arrived; the Queens, and Duchesses

Czarinas and Chieftains.

Who recalled with fondness

How loving someone cursed to be without love could be.


Her brother's youngest son, her secret favorite,

Went to give

A final parting gift

A single rose-stem bred with love for her.


A bit tipped; he was gifted with plants,

But clumsy with hands.

New inner petals

Of palest green, like her eyes when she smiled.


The outer petals were a cream that would provoke

Debate about hue

Yellow for friendship

Or white for the care she took with others.


The dark green stem had leaves as dark as outer
Petals were light

With veins of grey

Fanning, a bundle of arrows out from the thorns.


The Cursed Queen’s nephew leaned in and carefully placed

A sticky kiss

On her sleeping cheek,

Saying loudly, “Night Night Aunty, love you!”


Then, like a tide goes back out to the sea

To leap and roll

The Cursed Queen

Opened her eyes, and sat up, looking around.


“Well, this looks like a party,” said she. “Can someone
Get me a
mint,

I have mourning breath.”

And everyone laughed; at their dear Queen's awful pun.


The Kingdom lived happily ever after. Their Queen

Never needed a King

Because the Love of family

And friends can be as True as any fairy tale.




Cottoncandy Bingo

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017 12:59 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)

Doing another bingo card, this time putting all successes on the interwebs first off as publishing the zine turned MUCH harder than expected for the last bingo.

As with last time, I'll make the prompts red that I've covered but will do again if requested, and strikethrough the ones that I'm done with for now.  Feel free to come bug me for a specific thing.
 

PoetryAnnoyedCooking with LoveCookingGifts
SharingNight outStomachInternet / Social MediaSnow Angels
Sad / UpsetFirst meetingIntimateWooingWearing pajamas all day
Meet CuteSeeking / Finding loveParenthoodWaterTrue love / Soulmate
EarsPeaceMeeting in a TreehouseBeachA Locked Trunk

Hurting Days

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 04:40 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)

Prompted by [personal profile] readera with the prompts ‘dealing with self harm’ and ‘summer treats’.  I hope you don’t mind I did both in one!


Warnings: Contains mentions of self-harm, discussions of un-ideal childhood safety, a semi-graphic depiction of using visual substitutes for self-harm including fake blood, and brutal violence against ice chips.  Current environment is supportive, but consider your headspace.

//////////^^^\\\\\\\\\\

Zita pushed her glasses up her nose and squinted at the semi-sentient shadow that her girlfriend brought into their apartment in lieu of a pet.

"Nimbus, what in the full and actual fuck?" she asked as it twisted and danced across her kitchen counter like a particularly agile cat.  "You know you aren't allowed on the counters, shoo."

Nimbus didn't listen, but bapped her in the face with a tendril of shadow.  She spluttered out a few strong curses in Spanish and reached for the spray bottle of blessed sun-water to administer a teaching spritz, but Nimbus flowed down off the counter and took the form of a large, shadowy dog.  Darkmatter used this ability sometimes to send a message if she didn't feel like going out to smack the hands of the petty crooks edging her turf herself, and Quest liked it marginally better than Zita liked the usual cat-form.  Dividing her opinions like that, Quest versus Zita, superhera versus engineer, tended to give her friends headaches, but it was better than the headache of forgetting who she was and what she was supposed to know.

"What now?" she asked, as Nimbus locked ephemeral jaws on her skirt.  She sighed and let the crazy shadow drag her to the bedroom, where her girlfriend was curled into a ball.  "Dacia?"

"Go 'way," her girlfriend muttered sulkily.

"Nope. no can do,” she sighed.  “You made me promise to help you when you needed it.  What’s going on?”

“It’s a hurting day,” Dacia muttered, her voice still sulky, but holding a tiny note of hope.  “I really want to, but I can’t.  I promised not to.  But the feeling is under my skin and I just want to pry it out and smash it.”

“Oh, mi querido amor, lo siento,” Zita said, sighing into the words.  “Tell me about it, maybe I can find a way to help you beat this without hurting yourself.”

“It’s like this cold, hard feeling in my chest, and cold water in my veins instead of blood.  It’s like a cancer made out of snowmelt and ice.  I want to be warm, like you, but how can I when my own body is trying to convince me I’m an iceberg?  That I’m cold and hard and horrible?  It doesn’t stop, either.  It just gets more manageable, and I’ve only found one thing that helps any, but nobody likes it when I do that!”

“We don’t like it because we’re scared for you,” Zita reminded her.  “Hey, it’s summer, we could go sit outside, see if being in the warm helps you any.”

“It won’t work,” Dacia said flatly, “but we might as well.  It’ll make you feel better to try, I guess.”

“It will make me feel better,” Zita confirmed, and pulled out a pair of shorts made from microfiber material and really intended for sleeping.  “Put these on, the fuzzy might also help.”

***

Dacia got dressed, wearing a longsleeved shirt of dark gray and black cotton washed practically transparent over a purple tank top, not even bothering with the eye makeup or jewelry that made Zita’s aunts tutt at her.  It clashed a bit with the spring green of the shorts, but they didn’t go with anything and she liked them anyhow.  She petted her thighs as Zita pulled her out to their favorite park to sit and watch the neighbor kids play.

“What’s your favorite structure on the playground?” Zita asked, and Dacia curled into her side, not minding the fact that on days this sunny, Nimbus had to stay behind.  She liked cuddles, even if she didn’t like much else.

“I like the pirate’s nest,” she said, pointing to the crow’s nest accessible only by climbing nets and sporting a black flag with a parrot skull.  “It’s a safe place to go when the world is too scary.  It’s good to have that for kids, because they’re so much smaller than the worst of it.”

Zita frowned and Dacia bit her lip.  She hadn’t meant to make Zita sad, it’s just that the world was so much darker than the superhera in her girlfriend wanted to admit.

“I always liked the spray tree,” Zita admitted, pointing to the tall pole with it’s fine cool mist pouring from the outstretched branches of metal piping and fat drops clinging to the wide, flat ‘leaves’ of colored glass.  “It’s good for cooling off on days that it’s too hot and the air-conditioners aren’t working in the apartments.  Also, this park uses potable water, so it’s safe for the kids who don’t have good pipes at home to bring out jugs and fill them.”

“I… didn’t know that,” Dacia said slowly.  “It sounds like you’ve done that.”

“I used to,” Zita admitted.  “I wasn’t always who I am now, and my family has come a long way.  But I remember when heat was dangerous.  A good spray tree can help everyone stay a little safer.”

Dacia shivered in the warm summer air.  “Sounds scary.”

“It was,” Zita said with a smile.  “And then I picked up my cousin Ernesto’s tool kit one day and rewired a handheld fan to one of those little dashboard flowers to make it solar powered.  After that, I went from scared to stubborn, determined to learn how to fix all the things.”

“Your life makes so much more sense now,” Dacia muttered, thinking of her girlfriend's superhera alter ego.

“You say that like it’s a bad thing,” Zita drawled.  “Come on, I want a snow-cone, let’s go get some.”

Dacia followed her girlfriend to the little concession stand and waited for the paper cone of shaved ice and syrup to be passed to her.

“Black cherry, your favorite,” Zita said with pride.  Her memory was sometimes a little spotty, so when she did recall favorites, she got all happy and shiny, like a puppy or a small child who’d been praised.

“Thanks,” Dacia said, trying to keep up the face she used in public.  She didn’t want to start crying here.  Vulnerability was fine in front of Zita, but not in front of random strangers.  “What did you get?”

“Lime and coconut,” Zita reported, licking the toxic-looking neon green ice.  “Could use salt, though.”

“Ew,” Dacia said, wrinkling her nose.  “Salt on ice cream?”

“It’s not ice cream,” Zita insisted.  “It’s just ice.  Salt on ice can be good!”

“You’re a freak,” Dacia said.  “But you’re my freak, so I guess it’s okay.”

“You know you love me,” Zita teased, sticking a lurid green tongue at her.  Dacia laughed in spite of herself, and it felt good, warm like sunlight and rolling down inside her like a drop of fudge sliding over a sundae’s top.  “Oh, you spilled.”

Dacia looked at her hand, where the paper cone had crumpled under the pressure of her fingers and a drop of cold cherry syrup ran from hand to wrist and down, down.  Her eyes tracked it greedily, watching the blood-colored liquid roll across her skin, raising goosebumps behind it.  “Wow”

“Dacia?” Zita asked, shaking her shoulder.  “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I just realized that I could use the visual to substitute the reality,” she said vaguely, licking up the streak of red.  “Remind me to go by the magic shop for prop supplies later.”

“I’m glad you found a safe way around that,” Zita said carefully as they passed a group of children playing with a bucket of ice chips, shrieking as they put them down each other’s shirts and batted them along the sidewalks.  A stray ice node of several cubes frozen together sailed past a boy’s hand and toward Zita.  Dacia darted her hand out and snatched it, dropping it when she realized what she’d done.

“Lady, are you okay?” a girl asked.  “I didn’t mean to throw that hard!”

“I’m fine,” Zita said, reaching out to hold Dacia’s hand.  “I think it was just bigger than you thought so it had more force when she caught it.”

“May I play with this one?” Dacia asked softly.  “I really want to see if it’ll smash when I step on it.”

“Yeah!” cheered the boy who’d fumbled the catch.  “Stompy boots, stompy boots!”

The kids cheered again and Dacia slammed her heel down on the clump, snapping free a chip.  The sharp snap echoed into the hard, cold lump in her chest, like an iceberg sheering off.

“That was… really fun,” she said, looking at Zita, who was smiling at her again.  “I’m going to go get more ice at the gas station down the street, I’ll be right back!”

 

Zita licked her sour and sweet ice as Dacia peeled off.  “Get a packet of salt from the food section while you’re there,” she called, “and have fun!”

My Lumps, My Lumps

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 02:35 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)
 My intensely frustrating lady lumps.  If you're not freaked by discussions of female health and want to know why I'm doing this, I've put the details in the black-out, just highlight to read it.

So I have PCOS, or Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome.  Basically ovary zits, for the lay-person.  It's very painful and it decided to flair up again recently, so today is going to be spent laying down doing absolutely the minimum of things that use any muscle in my entire torso.  Fun times, NOT.

This however swings a bit of an upside, as I'll be tied to my laptop today for my own sanity and can't wander away from it.  As a result, I'm updating the ever-loving schist out of my various blogs and sites and if you'd like to see a feature, like a launch page, or a word-count accountability tracker or something, just let me know.  I'm also done editing my Queer Writing Zine for this last June, but I can't get to the printer today (Grrr).  I'll put up a separate post for that in a little bit.

As always, prompts feed the muse even if I don't get to it right away.  Let me know what you want!

Dark Matters

Thursday, July 13th, 2017 05:51 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)
 

Dacia rolled her fingers across the smooth lines of her tool kit and sighed.  She had liked being a supervillain well enough in the beginning.  It had enough risk to keep her feeling alive without her mind wandering back to habits better left alone.  It didn’t hurt that her nemesis was super cute, either.  Sometimes Dacia would drop totally harmless glitter bombs just to watch Quest lunge for them, because the technologically-inclined superhera’s haptic controls did great things for her ass when she dived.

Now though, with all the changes to her life, with the time she almost really died and Quest saved her, and the time she called to confirm a robot battle and wound up spending five hours talking to her nemesis instead of trying to level Downtown with a fifty foot robot, well… Dacia didn’t feel much like supervillainy anymore.

Which wasn’t to say she felt heroic, not at all.

She just didn’t feel like anything.

She felt sad, and lonely.  She wanted to rage and terrorize, and force the darkness in her mind onto the physical plane so that everyone could see it.  But she didn’t want to at the same time.  Or she did want to but didn’t have energy.  It was all just a bit too confusing, and even Nimbus, the dark shadow that protected her was drifting gloomily towards a corner.  Sighing, she flicked the little jingle bell that hung from a repurposed Christmas ornament where she’d framed Quest’s contact info.  The superhera had said to call if things got really bad.  Of course, it was so much effort to pick up the phone.

Doooo iiiiiiit, Nimbus hissed at her.

“Aren’t you supposed to encourage my evil ways?” Dacia asked.  “Befriending a hero never makes a villain more evil.  And unless you forget, she’s my type, too.  Tall, sexy, cute, and straight.”

You’ll never get any villainy done while you’re mopeing, Nimbus snapped.  She’s good for you, and I get better mileage on you when you’re not busy dragging back on me.  I did agree in the compact to help you manage the depression.

“Fair enough.”  Dacia snagged the ornament and her phone.  

“Hello?” the superhera answered.

“Well, well, well, Quest,” she began, before parsing the sound of the word.  “Holy crap, you sound terrible, what happened?”

“Lab explosion, I caught a lungful of dust,” Quest explained.  “Can we reschedule whatever game you wanted to play?  I can try to make it, but I’m just not up to any of the big things I know you like.”

“You stay put,” Dacia said firmly.  “You are in no shape to so much as chase a mugger.  I’m not letting my favorite toys get broken because I don’t pay attention to squeaky wheels.”

She didn’t really mean it like that, but appearances must be kept.

“Thanks, Dac,” Quest sighed.  “I’m going back to bed then.  Please don’t let anyone level the city?”

“I’m not a superhera,” Dacia spluttered.

“Of course not, I’m not worried about villains, you’re the biggest name and you keep the rest in check with your example.  I’m worried about the damn city council.  They keep bugging me about being a sponsored hera and doing official city events.  I can barely do the recap conferences.”

“People suck sometimes,” Dacia said, nodding.

“Sooth,” Quest said into a yawn.  Dacia waited a moment before realizing the hera had fallen asleep on the line.  She hung up and snapped at Nimbus.

“Come on, we have crime to do,” she said.

I thought you told her you weren’t going to plot today, Nimbus said warily.  For a dark shadow, Nimbus cared a great deal about promises.

“I’m not, I’m going to commit an impulse crime and steal chicken and dumpling soup and that rosewater gelato she likes.  Then, I will break into her home, and hold her hostage, maybe tie her up with blankets, and make her watch Legend Dusters with me.”

Well, Nimbus sighed, flowing into place.  That’s different.

//////////^^^\\\\\\\\\\


It's worth noting that this takes place before Dacia and Quest become girlfriends.  At this juncture, Dacia doesn't even know Quest's non-hera name.  Quest knows hers because for one, it's a lot safer that direction because Quest isn't given to blackmail or hostages, and two, Nimbus likes her and has partial say in what happens when Dacia is Darkmatter.

August 2017

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