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Parish's Progress
Leaf by Niggle by JRR Tolkien
Summary: To Parish it was like biting into a fruit still dewy from the garden when all you have ever tasted is syrupy chunks from a tin. Written for [community profile] yuletide 2015

There was once a young man called Parish, who had returned from a long journey. He had not wanted to go, indeed he had spent most of his time away wishing very hard to be home; and now he was. But home seemed to have changed while he had been away, and not for the better. Perhaps it was his gammy leg. It had not seemed so bad while he was away, when others had far worse, and still others (though Parish did not think about them very often) had not come back at all; but now that he was back he had to live with the wretched thing. Though he scarcely felt it, he was really very lucky. He had come back to a sweetheart, and she was not the sort of girl to be put off by a gammy leg. Soon they were married, and he and Mrs. Parish lived with her widowed mother in a house with a bit of garden, miles out in the country.
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Virtue & Virtuosity (ao3)
Mansfield Park & Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Summary: 'Fanny was the mute earth to Mary's leaping fire, the gnarled oak to her fluttering songbird, the mirror-bright millpond to her restless waves. If one could somehow, with propriety, squeeze both ladies into a single body, the resultant heroine would be beyond anything shewn by Mrs. Radcliffe! She might paddle down the Amazon, contest a knotty theological point with the Pope, battle venomous water snakes with a hat pin and a bottle of hartshorn, and sink into a dead faint at the villain’s merest glance, as if he were some species of basilisk!' Or, Mansfield Park meets Northanger Abbey. Written for [community profile] yuletide 2015

No one who had ever seen Mary Crawford in her youth, could have failed to have supposed her born to be an heroine. Her situation in life, the character of her nearest relations, her own temper and understanding, the disposition of her dearest friends; all were equally propitious. She had the fortune to be orphaned at an interesting age, and to have lost the care of a mother just when she was most in want of a mother’s guidance. Nor were these her only advantages. Her person lacked nothing an observer could desire; and her mind was quite as well developed as her figure. She had imbibed all the information that a select London seminary could offer—which is to say, she could cap a quotation; offer bon mots on any proper topic; discourse sweet nothings in French and Italian; berate the squalid in a landscape; beguile the ears with her performances upon the pianoforte and the harp; sketch portraits whose subjects could be made out after only a very few guesses; diagnose the exact season of an old gown, no matter how cleverly it had been refurbished; and if she had ever chanced to gain any knowledge upon a serious subject, she had the wisdom to conceal it. In short, no accomplishment was lacking that befitted a young lady with a fortune of twenty thousand pounds.
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Three Adventures Belladonna Took Never Went On (ao3)
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
Summary: ‘Not a tavern!’ the wizard muttered. ‘Iron arm, iron head more like. To think that I should have lived to be not-a-taverned by Gerontius Took’s son! I’ll not-a-tavern him!’ Seven decades of meetings between Gandalf and the Old Took's children. Written for [community profile] fic_corner 2015

‘This is Great Smials,’ announced the young hobbit, ‘not a tavern. I ask you, are you any sort of a Took? No? Then take yourself off, my good man! We don’t want any Gandalfs here, thank you! Go and find yourself a place that caters to Big Folk!’

Now Gandalf was a wizard, and a very important wizard at that, and he was not used to such treatment from anything short of a king, and there had been none of those in that neck of the woods for the best part of a thousand years. It goes without saying that Gandalf was a good wizard, which was a good thing because he’d had a very bad day and if he’d been a bad wizard, he might have been inclined to turn the young hobbit into a very small toad and then step on him.
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The Lion's Roar (ao3)
Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin
Summary: A slightly tongue-in-cheek look at the early days of Lebannen & Seserakh's marriage. Part of 'The Lion & the Rowan' series

The feasting was over, the last of the wedding guests had set sail and Lebannen felt a weight lift from his heart that he’d hardly known was there. The wedding of king and princess lay behind them: the joys of marriage, of being man and wife, stretched ahead. And joyful it was—for the first month or so. When his wife began to look tired in the mornings, and her cream skin faded to the colour of clouds, Lebannen put it down to her being with child. He waited for her to say something, and felt hurt, just a little, as the days passed and she said nothing. Not for the first time, he wished for the council of his mother, dead these two years now. Then he remembered the last piece of advice Tenar had given him before she’d gone back to Gont. ‘Never let shame spoil your happiness,’ she’d said.
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The Boy with Wolf's Eyes (ao3)
The Mark of the Horse Lord by Rosemary Sutcliff
Summary: She'd moulded the boy from a snowdrift, so they said, with a wolf's eyes and three drops of bull's blood. Written for [community profile] sutcliff_swap 2015

Gault was a late fruit from his father's tree: a frost-blighted plum barely worth the plucking. That was what the boy thought sometimes, beside the sun-gold giants that were his elder brothers. His father had been the old King’s general, back in the days when the skies shook with Lugh's laughter and his war cries echoed from the mountains to the sea; back in the days when their enemies fled before them, and the Tribe prospered in all their doings. And when the greybeard set his heart on a woman young enough to be his daughter's daughter, there was none who would gainsay him, not even though she were the sister-daughter of the new King himself.
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The Story of the Flying Rabbit (ao3)
Watership Down & Tales from Watership Down, by Richard Adams
Summary 'You know, he made me feel I could fly too'. Written for Yuletide 2013

It was November, late in the afternoon on a mild, clear day some eight weeks after the defeat of General Woundwort. The sun hung low, almost grazing the summit of Ladle Hill, and the air was so still that the beech leaves, which had faded to a pale fawn but still clung to the branches, made not a whisper. In the golden light, thick as butter, every blade of grass cast a crisp long shadow, even the short grass of the gallops atop the down where the rabbits were at silflay. Kehaar had flown in from the Big Water only the day before, bringing with him another black-headed gull named Lekkri, and the two strutted up and down in the rougher grass near the hedge, sometimes taking little hopping flights just for the joy of being in the air.

Bigwig had wandered a little apart from the other rabbits, and sat tall on his haunches, watching his friend. His distinctive shadow, one lop-ear hanging down, stretched along the expanse of smooth-mown turf halfway to the hedge. Catching sight of it, the big rabbit hunched down, flattened his other ear against his body, and began to nibble at a thin-looking tuft.

‘Give us a story, Dandelion,’ said Hazel. ‘Something new, if you can.’
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'They did not know of each other but would not have minded.' Drabble for The City & the City by China Miéville.

She sees and unsees... )
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The Unlikely Spies (ao3)
The Silver Branch, by Rosemary Sutcliff
Summary: 'The work that Paulinus had died for went on.' But learning to do it without him took time. Written for [community profile] sutcliff_swap 2012.

A pale fat man haggling for wine on the waterfront, that was where the whole affair started. Near three weeks had passed since Paulinus had walked out into the glare of the torches, calm as a man taking a stroll to the baths. The house by the old theatre was not the only one in Portus Adurni that Allectus’s Mercenaries had burned, and when the Emperor went back to Londinium and his Mercenaries went with him, the trickle of men seeking passage to Gaul swelled like a dry mountain burn after a summer thunderstorm. The Berenice could not take them all, even had not her master Phaedrus been fearful of betrayal. So it was that Justin tramped the shores of Regnum Harbour, asking after work but never taking any, everywhere talking of the fierce August sun and the fiercer new taxes, and everywhere seeking another tradeship whose master had no love for the one who set those taxes.

[Now with added historical notes.]
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A third letter from my WiP based on Elizabeth Gaskell's Wives and Daughters.

Extract from Letters of Sir Roger Hamley (Vol. 1)
Summary: These letters from Sir Roger's second African expedition include his original drawings, and will be of interest to all readers of Travels in Abyssinia

Letter the third (ao3)
firerose: (Default)
A second letter from my WiP based on Elizabeth Gaskell's Wives and Daughters.

Extract from Letters of Sir Roger Hamley (Vol. 1)
Summary: These letters from Sir Roger's second African expedition include his original drawings, and will be of interest to all readers of Travels in Abyssinia

Letter the second (ao3)
firerose: (Default)
As promised, I'm starting to post my WiP based on Elizabeth Gaskell's Wives and Daughters, which I started for Yuletide back in 2009 and never finished.

Extract from Letters of Sir Roger Hamley (Vol. 1)
Summary: These letters from Sir Roger's second African expedition include his original drawings, and will be of interest to all readers of Travels in Abyssinia

Letter the first (ao3)

(I have a further two letters drafted, which will definitely get posted over the next few days, with at least three more planned.)
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A new chapter of my long-running Friday's Child AU novella, in which it is Eudora Bagshot, not Hero, whom Sherry encounters on the wall. The earlier parts can be found at AO3 & Skyehawke.

Eleven: In Which Some Pieces of the Puzzle Come to Light

Mr Ringwood's taste in reading matter inclined more to the racing results than to the fairy stories with which his betrothed beguiled her spare hours; he must therefore be excused for his failure to recognise a Happy Ending, even when it was unfolding under his nose. )
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A response to an [livejournal.com profile] earthsea_fic challenge, taking 'A' & the quotation from TS Eliot's 'The Journey of the Magi'. The first line was inspired by the end of The Other Wind, but Serenissima got there before me with her lovely Seasons in the Archipelago. It also borrows an idea from my Of Thistles and Fir Cones, though should make sense alone.

One day Ged went for a walk in the forest and never returned )
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Drabble & a half, loosely for my prompt 'Everyone is the hero of their own story. Even Kossil' in the Earthsea Fiction LJ Ficathon 2009

Kossil learns )
Fiction in a range of rare fandoms

January 2016

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