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.


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!


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.


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


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.

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

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.

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.


Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 03:42 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)

Some days are lace

Ribbons and bows

Sugar and spice

And everything nice


Some days are for the girl.


Some days are leather

Denim and flannel

Snips and snails

And puppy-dog tails


Some days are for the boy.


Some days are for swirling
Cotton skirts o
ver soft leggings

Because they are also for forts

And crawling through bushes


Some days are for both.


It’s a special kind of freedom

It’s a special kind of cage

That the ever-shifting winds

Blow in who the child is today


Some days are for the fight


Against all the demands of
Steady e
arth-bound folk

Who don’t see why the wild

Wanders free in some spirits


Every day is for the soul.


Shifting as the flickering flame

And as steady and noble

As the ebb and flow of tides

The other element’s children

Every day is for hope.

Hope that someday
Our children's children
May be as they are
And someday be free,


To have their days too.

The Gay Space Army

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 12:40 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)

“That’s gay,” a voice accused over the group’s voice chat.  The tone was snide and insulting.  Charlie pulled a hissing breath between his lips, hoping it could be one isolated incident, a micro-aggression that could be endured, and not the first flake of a snowballing avalanche of hate.

“Damn right it is, son,” replied Sarge and Charlie hunched his shoulders in his computer chair.  Sarge was called Sarge because he was a Marine, old and battle scarred and using the internet since it was a military intranet that DARPA was considering letting the public have a version of.  “Gayest shit ever, and I should know, since it takes one to know one.”

The line echoed with shock from everyone in the pre-fight room.  “Sarge, you… you’re gay?” Charlie asked.

“Yes I am and I did not lose a damn leg to be told that’s wrong by some young fool on the net.”

“But… you were in the military!  The only reason I went DARPA instead of joining up was because I was afraid what they’d do to me when they found out!”

“Probably what Oscar and Delta teams did to me,” Sarge said.  “Ask why that was relevant and buy a shit load of lady-boy pin-up mags to find a better model for my unit’s tattoo, since a sexy woman tattooed on a gay man don’t make much sense.”

“Eh, you’re lucky Sarge,” Micro sighed.  “I came out to my squad and they requested a transfer for me.  I didn’t much care since when the Brass found out why they dumped me in with the ladies and those gals could party.”

“You were military, too, Micro?” Saph asked, her tone happy and light.  “I didn’t know that.”

“Navy, Saph, not as macho as the Marines.  I wasn’t even a SEAL, so it’s not like I carry that with me.”

“So, wait a second,” Devorak said.  “Sarge, Micro, and Charlie are gay, Sarge, Micro and Saph were military, and I’m a lesbian defence contractor.  Except for the newbie, we’re the Gay Army up in here.”

“Oi, I’m a fan of Taco Tuesday myself here, love,” Saph protested as the team laughed and Charlie watched the username of the new player wink out, resetting their wait time.  Somehow, he thought nobody would care, they were having too much fun modding their avatar’s armor to design a uniform for the Gay Space Army Guild that Devorak suggested.


The lovely and perceptive Pizilden over on Habitica has composed a march for the Gay Space Army, complete with voice re-enactment of the fateful discovery of Sarge's orientation.

Asexy Honey

Monday, June 5th, 2017 08:58 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)

Asexy Honey hold me tight

Asexy Honey love me right

Cuddle me until the dawn

Hold my hand all night long


Asexy Honey… love me the way you do.


Asexy Honey kiss my fingertips

Asexy Honey curve those asexy lips

Smile like I’m the moon and stars

Give me that asexy love of ours


Asexy Honey… love me the way you do.


Asexy Honey ask me ‘bout my day

Asexy Honey take my fears away

For you my heart is an open book

Open it up and take a good look


Asexy Honey… love me the way you do.


Asexy Honey split your dessert

Asexy Honey my ice cream flirt

Learn all my favorite flavors

It’s life so we’re gonna savor


Love the way we do… my asexual honey and me.


Monday, June 5th, 2017 07:02 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)

Quest straightened her shimmery white capelet as she prepared for the most uncomfortable, most annoying, least fun part of being a super heroine.  Press conferences.

“Relax, you’ll be great,” her PR manager Jean-Paul said.  “The city loves you.  You saved the day, again I might add.  Everything is going to be okay.”

“And Darkmatter thinks I’m the optimist,” Quest muttered.

“Get your heroic tuchas on stage before I carry you on,” Jean-Paul threatened.  Quest went.  She wasn’t a super-genius for nothing.

The announcements went fine, she could run down the details of Darkmatter’s latest plot and rattle off hotline numbers and donation information in her sleep at this point.  It was the question and answer session she dreaded.  The press, led by her ex will-they-or-won’t-they, Brian Bradson, had an unfortunate tendency to divert from the topics she could answer easily.  If they stayed on target, she’d be fine, but they always veered into messy personal matters.  Especially since she told Brian she didn’t think he was being smart with his choices.  Putting himself in danger and taunting her nemesis just to get rescued when it went horribly awry was no way to build a relationship.

“Quest!  Quest!  Over here!” called a plucky young reporter.  Quest privately thought all newspapers had a quota of plucky young people that had to work for them.

“Yes, you, young man,” she said, nodding at him instead of pointing.  When you could and sometimes did lift semi trucks with a finger mounted gravitation reversal ray, pointing was more than just rude.

“What do you have to say about the recent photos leaked of yourself and the as yet unidentified woman in an… interesting pose?”

She knew what he was talking about of course.  The media had been trotting out pictures Brian’s photographer Charlie took of her checking Dacia for injuries since she told Brian the answer was solidly ‘no’.  They looked a lot more intimate than it had been.

“The young lady has declined to approve her name being shared with the media, and has made a full recovery from the injuries I was checking when those photos were taken.  Next question.”

“I didn’t actually mean those,” the kid said.  He held up a tablet open to and a shot that made Quest’s gut drop.  She was hugging Dacia, the shorter woman resting comfortably against her chest, arms at the small of Quest’s back.  “These were released last night.”

Quest’s cheeks burned.  “My personal life is just that.  Personal.  Next question.”

“Does this mean you’re coming out as a lesbian?” shouted someone at the back.

“No.  I’m not currently identifying as lesbian, however my stance on the basic human right of all, regardless of sexuality or gender still stand.  Next question.”

“What about the rumors that this woman is the infamous villain Darkmatter?” Brian called and suddenly the crowd’s roar was a mutinous whisper.  Quest would be willing to bet it hadn’t been a rumor until just now.  Of course, Brian knew Dacia and Darkmatter were the same person, he’d been there when Quest talked her down once and the hazy gloom that surrounded her dropped enough to see her face.

“I’ve already said I won’t be betraying her identity to the public media, Mister Bradson,” Quest said with a glare, “and you of all people should know I have no problem talking about Darkmatter.  You’re the one who printed the words, and I quote “Quest spends so much time talking about her nemesis, it’s no surprise she has yet to be seen with a boyfriend or husband, it would be the rare man who could tolerate that level of infatuation with another man.”  End quote.  Make up your mind Mister Bradson.”

Brian blinked, his face growing dark.  Then the sky grew dark and roiling clouds appeared in the previously sunny sky.  Darkmatter dropped down from one like an acrobatic drop of rain, and slapped a canister from Brian’s hand.

“GRAB IT!” she howled, her powers forcing her voice into a tinny reverb that echoed oddly.  “HE HAS TETRAMINE!”

The crowd broke from their panicked freeze to dogpile the can of Quest’s only weakness.  The ordinarily harmless chemical could make Quest… dangerous.  Uncontrolled.  Darkmatter had used it once.  Only once.  She knew where the lines were, even if she claimed to like coloring outside them.  Nobody wanted a repeat of that, though, so when her shadow-minions lunged at the can, it was locked down.  She sauntered over to Quest.

“Sorry to interrupt your little show,” she sneered, the androgynous tone somehow catching the sarcasm.  “But nobody fucks you over but me.”

“Dac-- Darkmatter,” Quest sighed.  “I’m tired.  Can we do this another day?  I just… I just can’t right now.”

“Alright,” Darkmatter agreed.  “Tomorrow.  Tonight, go home to your little girlfriend and make the most of what time you have.  Muahahahaha!”

As Darkmatter vanished in a mist of gloom, Quest rolled her eyes.

“What did Darkmatter mean, girlfriend?” a reporter asked.  “You said you’re not a lesbian!  Are you bisexual?”

“Let’s just say I’m questioning,” Quest sighed.  Her supervillain girlfriend was going to get an earful tonight.  “Thank you for coming, no more questions.”


Thursday, June 1st, 2017 04:48 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)
Kasperov once had another name.  A name that belonged to the person thon's parents thought they had.  It didn't fit Kasperov, so thon left it behind, like thon left behind ill fitting clothing and toys, labels and expectations.  Thon broke all the carefully laid out rules that were meant to shape thon into the person thon's parent's wanted.

Kasperov had never been that good with rules anyway.

Which might have been a contributing factor to thon becoming an internationally acclaimed assassin.

Kasperov was good at getting into places that other assassins couldn't.  All thon had to do was change into a disguise and suddenly everyone thought thon was a woman.  A different disguise, and passersby would see a man.  Nobody ever saw thon for thonself, and that made casually building a life on bullets and blood easy.  Everyone looked for the pretty man in the sharp suit seen going into a side room with the deceased, and nobody paid attention to the handsome woman in the blood-red dress and evening gloves leaving the servant's exit an hour before the body was found.

The costumes were draining, though, and Kasperov started to train in sniping, killing from a distance from the comfort of snug combat pants and bulky sweaters that remained genderless, like thon.

The work was harder than before.  Finding a perch was as important as picking the costumes had been, and twice as risky.  Getting clients was easier, with the changes in how people talked to each other.  The Dark Web was a killer's Christmas, a hundred angry, bitter souls with money begging to be taken in exchange for an ounce of lead.  The internet was also a gift for people like thon, whose souls refused to line up neatly with boxes for 'Male' or 'Female' no matter how hard their parents tried.

And parents did try.

Kasperov gave steep discounts to people looking to get revenge for gender trauma.  Angry men who wanted payback after years of being told to 'be a good girl' and shoved in dresses and lectured on the importance of being lady like.  Weeping women who had scars from the abuse intended to make them grow into men, mean and hard and everything these ladies were not.  And people who shifted, sliding from man to woman and back again, who hated the people who tried to tether the mercurial winds of the human soul to one idea.  Kasperov still had a hard time convincing people thon was neither, but at least the people who knew thon now were willing to play along.

Slowly, Kasperov built a family on the dark recesses of the internet.  Sillisandra the poisoner, who hid her kit under the impressive false bosoms meant to fill in for what nature neglected to give her, and her lover Zephyr, a tom-boy of a girl who could play anywhere from sixteen to twenty seven with a touch of make up and a wig over her inch long hair.  Martin the bodyguard, who had scars from a back-alley surgeon removing his breasts and tattoos of his poetry along them in arching rows, painstakingly inked by Kyle, his husband under Martin's real name and Kyle's dead one.  Cyrano the hacker and his sprawling set of spouses.  Mouse the spy, with her shy guile that got her out of so many scrapes and capers.

And it was good for a while.

And then it was great.

And Kasperov fell in love, and her name was Mirana and she was everything thon wanted.  Beauty, brains, humor, and her own arsenal stocked from her family's gun business.  She gave thon grenades for their anniversary.  Thon gave her hessonite earrings, that sparkled like her eyes with a rich red brown like her skin.  She wore them every day, and thon was never happier than with Mirana.

Mirana did not force thon to be a man, simply because she was a woman.  She did not force thon to be a woman simply because thon was not a man.  They were just Kasperov and Mirana, and that... that was enough.

bairnsidhe: (Default)
You messed with the wrong witch

Some soapy water isn’t gonna do the trick

You murdered and you stole and you lied

You thought you could tear me down, Wiz you tried

Put me through torment, fear and pain

Guess that a scarecrow’s not the only one without a brain

I’ve got a secret I really think you oughta know because

I’m not the only witch in OZ

Yeah, you messed with the wrong witch

Tried to off me with an innocent

But she knows now that all your words are lies

Sure as she’s seen monkeys fly

I told her my side of the story, but a little less gory

And you should never hurt a Friend of Dorothy

We’ve got a secret we want to share with the man behind the curtain

We are stronger together that’s certain

Pretty sure you messed with the wrong witch

And now things are gonna switch

Get in your balloon, I have a twister waiting for you

Dorothy’s staying on the ground, she knows what to do

Go back home write a book where I’m Wicked to the core

Try to forget what here in Oz you’ll be remembered for

Got a message for when you land in Kansas with a crazy story

Never mess with a Friend of Dorothy

Aconite and Datura

Friday, April 21st, 2017 12:45 pm
bairnsidhe: (Default)
 It wasn’t at all uncommon in the modern era of acceptance for people to contract to witches for various services, and most of them now accepted payment in the forms of baked goods, knitwear, and a 50% cut of gains from any prosperity spell lasting longer than one month.  There were traditionalist hold-outs however, and some of the more difficult spells actually required a promise of a vitally important payment.  Which is how Richard and Elspeth Garin wound up both owing first-borns.  This isn’t their story.

Because they both owed first-borns to witches, Richard and Elspeth Garin are the first note in a new love song of the history of witch-kind.  Because they did not, as would have been neat and easy, owe the same witch.

The first to arrive on the scene was Datura Williams.  Nicely plump and pale blue, she resembled nothing so much as a yew-berry, and she dressed the part, in fashionably tattered garments between robe and dress, both bewitching and bewildering.  A real traditional witch, with three cats and a raven at home, all of whom shed on her.  Richard cowered appropriately when she arrived at the Garin’s little apartment in a billowing fog to take her payment.  Elspeth was not impressed, and why was proven when Aconite (no last name) the rising star of witch counter-culture arrived.

Aconite was the opposite of Datura Williams in every visible way, being tall and conventionally proportioned, her skin dark as the moonless velvet sky, and her clothing impeccably dapper.  It was said she once cut a man with her winged gold eyeliner.  The two experienced a thing rumored in witch circles, the impossibly rare True Loathing at First Sight, over the bassinet of the newest Garin.  Never the less, they did both have a claim under law, and had enough pride that they settled on a shared living situation.

“But my penthouse is in the Upper East Side!” shrieked Aconite.  “Do you know how many witches I had to hex to get it?”

“My bog-house has been in the family for millennia!” retorted Datura.

“It’s in a bog,” replied Aconite dryly.  “My penthouse can be child-proofed.”

“That’s… actually a very fair point, but we are not giving the child a normal human name like Mary or something.  I won’t use it if you try.”

“I’m thinking she looks like a Hellene, after that woman with the beauty curse.”  The baby gurgled and slapped a meaty, pink-splotched hand on her pillow before screwing up muddy greenish-brown eyes and howling until her face matched the wisps of red starting to come in.  "Or maybe not," Aconite relented.

“Rapunzel is traditional,” Datura insisted, trying to soothe the screaming infant.

“What about Zelda?” offered Aconite, as she wiggled flashing bejeweled talons at the baby, who became fascinated, but more importantly quiet.

“I can live with that.”

So the two settled down to raise baby Zelda, although they had many different ideas about child-rearing.  Datura, always the traditionalist, insisted on seclusion to draw out appropriate Prince types.  If she was going to move to a penthouse, she could at least take advantage of the tower effect.  Aconite called her a sell-out and snuck spell primer board books into the crib.  Aconite brought in seamstresses to make baby clothing, and Datura ran them off before tea.  Instead, she made all the clothes by hand, which Aconite begrudgingly admitted were very chic, and completely unique.  Datura had a nice eye for colors.  Datura eventually admitted Aconite had a point in wanting to give Zelda an education, especially after looking over the available Princes.  They weren’t worthy of Zelda’s hand at all.  No, not ever.  One tabloid in particular led to Datura sweeping in on a five-year-old Zelda’s home potions class to level a summary grounding that banned Zelda from ever interacting with the royal family of Lichtenstein.  Zelda took that with more grace than Aconite, who laughed so hard the mandrake root almost escaped its gag and Datura had to take over.

Years passed, and many family adventures were had.  Datura relaxed enough to suggest a trip to the zoo, and Aconite learned much of the odd traditions had practical roots.  Which became very useful when Zelda demanded they free the polar bears, who were not doing at all well in the zoo.  She would never have thought to modify a mirror spell to create a better replacement snow.

Zelda went through the first brushes of puberty and confusion, but her mothers were always there to help her.  She learned charms for clear skin from Aconite, and when that failed, how to embrace skin blemishes as a part of witchy beauty from Datura.  Neither was wrong, exactly, and both helped her feel more comfortable in her own skin.  She went to Aconite when the magnetism spell she used out of Datura’s spell book turned out to be a mistake of hand-written accounting and turned her too literally magnetic, with paperclips stuck to her face.  That could have gone better for her, but really, she was at fault for trying something like that without supervision.  At least she didn’t erase any of her mother’s credit cards.

As tends to happen, when two people raise a child together, Aconite and Datura started to see less and less of their differences, and more and more of the things they had in common.  They introduced their friends to each other. When Aconite’s friends didn’t fully appreciate the hard work Datura put into her cooking, Aconite stopped speaking to the worst snobs, and made it up to her child-rearing partner with a new (if used, because Datura said those were best) cauldron and fie upon the Condo Board who said they couldn’t brew on the deck.  She liked not having to do the tedious parts of potion making.  She’d rather just step in to cackle at the right moments.  Datura also revised her opinion of a few friends as well, who couldn’t see how smart Aconite was to digitize her grimoire and load all her books onto an e-reader.  Traditions were well and good, and dear to Datura, but it was Aconite’s quick access to a vast, annotated library that saved the day in the toy store fiasco when Zelda was 7.

Years later, Zelda sat her parents down for a talk.

“Mom, Mother.  I think you need to know something, and while I normally trust you to figure things out, I really think this is something I should tell you.”

“Of course, dear,” Aconite said reassuringly.

“Well, I’ve been doing reading on the ways people can love, partly because I’m not sure I will want to marry a prince I meet when he breaks in.  I’m sorry, Mother, I know you wanted me to be traditional, but tower princess just isn’t me.”

“Oh, well, I did figure when you started rooting for the dragons on your picture shows, instead of the knights,” Datura sighed.  “That’s all right, as long as you’re happy.”

“I am.  I’m actually very happy with who I am.  You were both wonderful to me, and I’m really happy you agreed to send me to Salem University, my roommate in the dorms and I are chatting online.  But when I’m off at school, I want you two to be happy, and it occurs to me… well I don’t think you considered what will happen when I leave.”

“What do you mean?” Aconite asked.  “We can be happy.”

“Yes, I believe you can.  But are you going to stay together?  I don’t want you thinking I’m the only reason the other has stayed with you.  You’re my parents, for all intents and purposes, and it seems obvious to anyone who isn’t you two that you’re daffy in love with each other.  And yet, you put on this weird pretend game of being the Odd Couple.  It’s just worrying.”

“Oh,” Dartura said in shock.  In her typically atypical fashion, cyanotic blue lips formed a neat, pursed circle of surprise.  “I… but we’re witches, we don’t really… well, there’s a reason we go about kidnapping, trading for, or adopting infants, you know.  I thought you’ve had the where babies come from talk.  Aconite, you did give her the Talk, yes?”

“Did I... of course I did!  She’s going to college next fall.  A normal human college with normal human social clubs, and normal human parties with normal human boys, and you know what people say about those!  I don’t want her getting in trouble because she didn’t know what did what when and such.  She’s been learning anatomy for boil placement curses since she was a child, anyway.  It’s not that different to understand where the babies come from.”

Zelda sighed.  “You know you don’t have to do baby-making things to be in love, right?  You two buy each other flowers, make each other’s favorite foods on days when things are hard, and if it weren’t my birthday, I’m pretty sure you’d still make a deal over the day you two met.  You both clean up nicely if you’re having visitors, even if they’re here for one of you.  I’ve seen you dance around the deck fire together.  You have joint business cards, and I’ve had three different tutors ask when you two will tie the knot officially.  You should at least think about if you want to, all the good binding ceremony locations book out years in advance.”

Aconite and Datura looked at each other, suddenly struck dumb by how obvious it was.  They’d slowly, without noticing, fallen in love.  Datura had gotten used to having Aconite’s delivery man bringing her ingredients before she ever realized that Aconite never used half of those and had just added Datura’s things to her own list.  She’d only ever seen it as a gesture of truce, but the look on the more modern witch’s face told the truth.  That had been one of those tiny, everyday things that can make the difference between love, and True Love.

Aconite for herself, couldn’t imagine a world without Datura’s red velvet sin-cakes baking in the oven, household books being mysteriously balanced after a hard day drove her to bed without doing them, or the recording of swamp noises that filled the halls at night when Datura couldn’t sleep.  The plump little traditionalist made her life so much better, just by being in it.

“Right,” Zelda said awkwardly.  “I’m going to go pack more, you two have talking to do.”

As she sprinted from the room before her parents could be kissy at each other, Datura straightened her artful tatters.  “Do you… agree, that Zelda has a point about us?” she asked hesitantly.

“I do.  We both knew something happened back when we met.  I thought it was True Loathing, but maybe I was wrong.  I don’t know enough of the history.”

“Well, it’s never been mentioned.  Ordinarily, we’re supposed to be repulsive.  Sometimes confusingly so, like Cerci of legend with her unnatural charms, but on some level repellent.  We weren’t made for the love of a man, is how the books put it.”

“I don’t know about you, but I know I’m not a man,” Aconite said.  “You know, I wonder… True Love's Kiss often breaks curses….”

“Being a witch isn’t a curse,” Datura said primly.  “And true or not, I don’t love you enough to want my powers gone in exchange.  Also, I'm not at all sure I even want to try kissing.  It seems rather more passionate than I really care for.”

“Oh, I know that, I wasn’t wondering about that, I like my powers.  And kissing seems like there's enough of a range of types we can find something calm enough not to upset you.  I was wondering can we use what we have… to make a curse remover usable by other people?  Maybe there are people who feel about love like you feel about kisses.  We could afford that Raven Aviary you want with the money a True Love curse-be-gone would bring in.”

And so they lived happily, if oddly, ever after.  Datura and Aconite did some experimenting and patented a True Love powered curse lifting elixir for people without enough time to spend in a coma or turned into a frog and no desire to find a True Love to kiss them.  Zelda grew up and became a dragon rights activist on the forefront of the Speak Truth to Tower movement.  Richard and Elspeth Garin did quite well in obscurity, and the tale was reduced to a simple theme…

Witch meets Witch.

September 2017

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