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2015-04-11 06:06 pm

[Study in Emerald] The Emerald Band (12)

The Emerald Band (ao3)
'A Study in Emerald' by Neil Gaiman, 'The Speckled Band' by Arthur Conan Doyle & various works by HP Lovecraft

Summary How can I describe the sight that so unmanned my imperturbable friend? That caused the giant of a baronet to faint dead away? I could say Drago’s green-soaked body would no longer haunt my dreams—or if it did, it would be but a pleasant respite from the horror of that thing.

Rache & his faithful doctor investigate the murder of Julia Stoner in the 'Study in Emerald' universe, but the deeper they delve into the Roylott family history, the darker things become. Written for Yuletide 2014

We had done the right thing. We had struck a blow for freedom of our enslaved race. Once I believed that. Then the reprisals began. Her Victorious Majesty was terrible in her wrath. Week after week, The Star came out with thick black borders, and every issue carried lists of ‘traitors’ deemed to have Restorationist sympathies on no greater evidence than their failing to turn seawards before their evening chop.

We moved, my friend and I, from lodging to lodging, seldom staying above hours, never above a single night, Moriarty’s hounds ever running on our scent. But I had lived out of my pack before, in Afghanistan, in far less comfortable surroundings; had been hunted by a force far more awful than Her Majesty’s police. When one has walked through a valley choked with the writhing bodies of men turned witless as worms; when one has felt the Shadow pressing pressing—but I shall not think on that. Dwelling on the past is a weakness we can ill afford, as my friend daily reminds me. His nerves are steel, but even he cries out in his sleep some nights when the moon drips blood in the sky, red blood, not like—
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2014-06-12 06:46 am

[Sutcliff] The Golden Apple (12)

The Golden Apple (ao3)
The Silver Branch, by Rosemary Sutcliff
Summary: Paulinus met his father only once. It was a day he never forgot. Written for [community profile] sutcliff_swap 2014

I knew myself the apple of my mother’s eye before ever I’d seen an apple tree. Her love spilled out in honey cakes and honeyed words, and I grew into a plump child, content and carefree. In my earliest memories I’m learning to wind a length of blanket about me and tuck it just so, till the wash-softened folds fall like the marble ones in the frieze at the forum. My toga, she called it, pinching my cheek and telling me how proud my father would be of his proper little Roman man when he came for us. She spent hours each day with her pins and her pots and her mirror, coiling her bright hair, painting her face white as a statue and arranging her bracelets on her arms. Her arms were exquisite, truly exquisite, and her skin smelled as sweet as her cakes. Today was always the day he would come.
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2014-01-03 09:13 am

[The Dispossessed] A Necklace of Acorns (12)

I realise I never announced my 2012 Yuletide story here...

A Necklace of Acorns (ao3)
The Dispossessed & 'The Day Before the Revolution' by Ursula Le Guin
Summary 'Only cast pearls before swine if a necklace of acorns becomes you' (Sayings of Odo). Glimpses into the life of a revolutionary. Written for Yuletide 2012

Now the gods were jealous of Anarra, Moon Mother, for the Moon she had birthed from the pearls of her milk was more lustrous than anything they could craft with their seed. So they schemed together and Ra the trickster and Ur his brother accused her of outshining the All-father’s temple, the Sun. And so she was cast out from the Moon she loved. But her tears flooded the land of the two brothers, and made of it two lands. And so she was revenged.


The boy was Moon mad. He’d worked out how to scam the City Library entry code and read everything they had about rockets: not just the kids’ section, the adult books too. He cut pictures out of newspapers he picked up on the subway and stuck them up on the screen he’d made for his sleeping corner. So when rumour had it that His Oiliness Himself was coming to Rodarred to announce some lunar project or other, Briki rattled on about it non-stop till Tula got Katya to swap shifts with her so she could take him and his sister. He wanted to be a rocket engineer, or maybe a technician on the Lunar Base he swore A-Io would build before he graduated. Tula never had the heart to tell him no-one from Thuvietown was ever going to go to Technical College. No-one with a surname like Anokh was ever going to make it as more than a cleaner or a shelf-stacker or a tram conductor, maybe, if he could pass for Iotic.
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2009-08-05 07:12 pm

[Earthsea] The Dragon Year (12)

Written for Miss Morland's prompt 'Tenar/Flint, pre-Tehanu: How much does Flint know about his wife's former life as a priestess? Do they ever talk about it?' in the Earthsea Fiction LJ Ficathon 2009

Flint can no more comprehend his wife of a week than talk to a dragon. Four loosely linked vignettes )