19:33 ST
[FORUM GAME SUBMISSIONS] A Day in Your Character's Life Submissions Thread
A Day in Your Character’s Life
Submissions Thread Instructions

Create an entry for Tamshir’s “A Day in the Life” journal. 

  • Your entry should represent a typical day.  This can be from the perspective of:
    • A canon Mycenian character’s life (character must be a Mycenian on your profile)
    • A non-canon original character’s life (character must be represented by one of the Mycenians on your profile)
  • Your entry can depict the day through pictures, drawings, writing, or other forms of media.  If you are using pictures/drawings, add commentary to them. Describe what’s happening, what your character was thinking, or anything else that is relevant!
  • Your entry should minimally include:
    • Description/depiction of the location
    • Something about your character
    • Morning* routine (activities, foods, sights, thoughts, etc.)
    • Afternoon* routine (activities, foods, sights, thoughts, etc.)
    • Night* routine (activities, foods, sights, thoughts, etc.)

*Some characters may not keep a typical morning/noon/night schedule, and that’s okay!  Break it down into a similar format — beginning of your day, middle of your day, end of your day.

A Day in the Life of Kiyo

The thing about Kiyo, for all of his many oddities (not the least being his losing his memory after every time he falls into bed), is that he still has several habits beaten into him throughout his day. Oh he would wake up in any old sort of place in the caverns—once in a while in a nice inn, sometimes on some craggy rock face with little clue how he got there in the first place, sometimes on a bed of sweet smelling grass that tickles his nose—but he always wakes up the same. A stretch, a yawn, a moment of bright, flashing panic that works better than any espresso as he realizes he doesn’t know much of anything except for his name and the Journal.

The first real thing Kiyo does is open up the Journal (which deserves capital letters in his mind, if only because that’s the only thing he remembers) and there, first page, are the words:


The ‘maybe’ always gets his heart pumping a little, even if he feels something settle inside him. Maybe because he thinks that’s something that he would say, though Kiyo is not quite sure of that (not that Kiyo is ever quite sure of anything at all, as he’ll slowly find out over the course of the day). The next pages he flips over and reads are little explanations—the amnesia, what Kiyo may currently be in the middle of, so on. From there Kiyo proceeds to dig into his Trusty Pack to pick out breakfast and plan out his day after looking at several of his maps.

From there things can take a turn. Usually Kiyo goes exploring the many and vast caverns in Mycena Caves. He spends hours filling in details on the maps and logging them into the Journal because the Journal is basically magic. Literally. No matter how much he puts into it there’s always more pages and he can always open the pages to what he needs them to be. He always jots down diary entries that detail what he did that day, just in case he needs to go back to this day in the future for some obscure reason.

Sometimes he gets accosted followed by some ineki named Ren who seems to spend the majority of time trailing after him and making snarky comments.

Kiyo is somewhat scared of Ren, somewhat annoyed at Ren, somewhat grateful at Ren, and somewhat wants to push Ren’s face into some mud. It’s complicated. The two of them usually start to map out whatever cavern they’re currently in, with Ren making halfhearted swipes at Kiyo’s Journal, and generally at the end of the day both are dirty, tired, and pleased with themselves. There’s something about chronicling his own journeys that makes Kiyo feel accomplished, as if one day he’ll discover every nook and cranny of the caves, and maybe one day, in the far flung future, Kiyo will understand more about himself and his past and why his memories disappear like smoke every time he falls asleep.

As time passes and the light grows dim, or the sun dips, or the air gets heavier, or—well, the coming of night is different in various parts of the caves—and Ren has long since departed off to wherever troublemakers come from, Kiyo starts his nightly routine. He tries to find a place to spend the night if he’s close to one, and if not he finds the closest source of water to clean himself. Then he brings out his Journal and starts to jot the rest of the day’s activities down, mind churning to try to remember and capture each sight and sound and scent. Kiyo absentmindedly eats his provisions during this process: a hunk of bread, some cheese, maybe preserved meat or vegetables.

If he’s at the inn he’ll climb into a bed, weariness making his tails droop, his body heavy, his limbs languid. If he’s camping outside he’ll find the softest area he can and make his own bed and shelter. Fatigue will settle in his bones and right before he drops off Kiyo’s afraid.

And yet he is hopeful, too, and wishes that tomorrow he’ll be able to remember today.

Then he falls asleep.

A Je in the Life

Each day when he wakes up, Je only sees more of the same. His tiny apartment is cold and ill-kept, with books and papers and memories scattered about haphazardly. There is enough evidence here to place him before a firing squad — a tattered red kerchief hangs against the window, darkened with stains and full of holes. He’s lucky he lives in the factory district; lucky that his sash hangs out of sight of those who would see it and think ‘Revolution.’

Sometimes it takes him a while to lift his head from the table; to sit himself up in bed; to shift himself from wherever he was when sleep took him. Most days, this process is ushered along by a sharp knock at his door and the shrill, excited chattering of the girl. It takes him a while — he hopes she’ll go away in the meantime — but he eventually lets her in and she tosses her coat onto a chair and sits, offering him food that he knows her family cannot truly afford to share.

Her company lasts two hours, sometimes three. When she’s finally gone, he has a choice to make: stay put and wait for tomorrow; hope it will be brighter, or brave the world outside. Most days he is too numb to function. He sits and stares and remembers and wishes things were different. Today, he pulls on a jacket and steps out into the hall; descends the stairs and feels to cold, stale air against his face as he turns out onto the street.

The world is just as colorless as always. Grey buildings line grey cobblestone streets beneath the equally grey sky. The air is choked with factory smoke, and in this part of the Community, the people are tired and dirty; worked to the bone; compliant. Je feels like a ghost, but is not so far gone that he cannot recognize the embers that glow deep within their dull eyes. The hope; the longing. It’s in these moments he’s reminded that the Revolution was not just his loss — that the fire still sleeps in the poor and downtrodden. It’s not much of a comfort, but it’s a change from feeling utterly alone.

He stays off the main roads as he walks. It feels like it’s been years; lifetimes, but the Revolution is still fresh in the minds of the Community. He is still a wanted man, and as much as he wishes some days that they’d find him, it’s not in his nature to be nihilistic. His spirit is bruised; beaten into submission for now, but he’s not entirely broken. He doesn’t realize it, but each day he is getting a little bit stronger.

In some of the back alleys, he still sees their mark. Peeling paint and weathered stars carved into the stone; the stains of blood on the cobblestone streets; tattered flyers promising the truth and denouncing the Community’s lies lining the gutters.

He finds himself drifting towards their old haunt, more often than not. He has to be careful not to get too close — he’s sure the place is still heavily patrolled, maybe even trapped in hopes of catching any homesick survivors. It’s one of the few times his sense of self preservation really kicks in anymore. He can feel his heart pounding in his throat; the adrenaline pumping through his veins. Home is a powerful thing — and this abandoned hideout is one of the few places he even faintly feels like the person he used to be.

It’s not hard for him to find a safe place to hide. He’s come here so many times since the raid — he’s not entirely sure what keeps drawing him back. He’s not so naive as to think that he’ll come back one day to find it as it once was. Too much has changed; too many have been lost. Je has always been the spiritual sort — he believes in ghosts and spirits and that, sometimes, the dead linger. He believes that souls return to the place they once belonged; that those who return to find their home desecrated are never quite able to leave again.

The place holds some kind of power. It transfixes him for hours as he mentally walks its halls and remembers the faces of the Revolution — curses himself for the way things turned out; curses the Community for everything they’ve done to him and his family. He is wrought with anger and grief, but even he realizes that’s much better than being numb and cold all the time — the fire still burns.

It’s almost sunset by the time Je manages to pull himself away and start the walk back to his apartment. He often loses track of time, but knows that he needs to be off the streets by curfew. That’s when the patrols start in earnest; when he’s most likely to be stopped. This time, he keeps to the main roads and tries to blend in with the last few citizens meandering home after a long day’s work. It’s easier when he finally gets back to the factory district — this is about the time one of their shifts gets out, so there are many people trudging in the same direction he is.

Up the stairs and through the hallways. Somewhere along the way, Je realizes that he hasn’t eaten since morning — supposes that he’ll just have to sleep hungry tonight. He pauses before his door and can just feel the numbness creeping back into his bones. He hates it here. As far as he’s concerned, it may be his tomb, but it will never be his home.

Pushing the door open, he steps inside and sheds his coat, letting it fall in a heap on the floor. He pulls an irritated frown as he notices the plate on his table, steam curling off the small portion of nondescript meat and vegetables. Stuck beneath it is a note, and even though he already knows who it’s from, he crosses over to sit at the table; pulls it out and quickly scans it.

I’m so happy you went out today!
I left you some dinner — hopefully you find it before it gets too cold.
See you tomorrow!
- Charlie ♥

The food itself is flavorless, which is normal for the quality these people can afford. Still, it’s sustenance, and even though Je won’t admit it, he’s grateful for it. He eats in silence, allowing the room to grow dark around him. The lamp is busted; his candles are almost burnt out. Most nights, he’ll withdraw into himself and just sit for hours, until the point where he’ll tip forward and pass out on the table. Tonight, he still feels marginally alive, so he places his plate in the sink and pulls the sheets onto his bed; yanks the curtain down to use as a blanket and makes himself as comfortable as he can.

He stares at the window while he waits for sleep to take him. Between the grime coating the glass and the low-hanging smog, the stars are never visible here. Still, he can remember their positions in the sky, and it is while mentally counting them that he finally drifts to sleep.

Handy Dandy Links Section

Discussion and Information Thread
Submissions Thread - Real Life

Post Your Character’s Submissions!

This thread is the submissions thread for character’s entries! Complete your entries by 23:59 Server Time on October 9th!

Posted 09/21/16, edited 09/21/16

Takeshi is a professional super hero; the Cinnamon Roll of Justice. He’s not a very fancy or powerful hero, but he’s beloved all the same. Sure, there might be big, scary, dangerous monsters around, but those don’t frighten him (much). He’ll fight anything if he believes he can protect the citizens of his City! What he lacks in strength, he makes up for in sweetness and dedication.

In the morning, Takeshi wakes up bright and early, just a few minutes before his alarm. He sets it every night, even if he rarely hears it go off the next day. He gets out of bed and makes himself a healthy breakfast (more healthy than his nickname would imply). After some fresh coffee and oatmeal with fruit, he gets into his hero costume. Takeshi didn’t live a luxurious life, so his costume was homemade. He put on a helmet and googles to protect his glasses. He also had a cape that resembled wings, what he was widely recognized for. His wings would flare the green cape upward, changing their plain, bug-like shape into something prettier.

Fluttering out from his home, he begins patrolling the nearby neighborhoods for trouble. He makes sure he’s at the bus stop near the school precisely when it arrives, ready to direct traffic and help the elementary ineki cross the street. When they’re all settled, he’s off again towards the center of town. There is usually a small crime to stop; a purse snatcher or shake down in an alley. Takeshi usually takes a few punches or claws, but he’s scrappy and can handle an unarmed fight with a simple thug. He’ll go by the park to check in, rounding up stray animals that might be lost or climb a tree to untangle a kite. It’s lunchtime before anything serious shows up.

When the sun is highest in the sky, the first Monster appears. It’s a higher level threat than Takeshi could ever hope to defeat, but he’s on the scene right away despite this. He looks up at the looming creature, which is only a featureless, towering shadow from where he stands, the beast blocking out the sun. “I won’t let you hurt anyone in my City!” Takeshi yells at it, voice shaking slightly. The beast chortles, seeing Takeshi as insignificant as he might be, but Takeshi is dissuaded. Even if he’s only stalling or a distraction, it would give other citizens times to escape. That’s the job of a true hero, after all!

Before Takeshi can brace for the beast’s first attack, he hears a loud SMAAACK above and he sees the monster begin to fall backwards. As the beast comes tumbling down, Takeshi urges citizens to clear the area, warning them early enough to avoid casualties from when the body landed flat on it’s back in the street. The beast was defeated within only a moment, because he showed up in time. Takeshi fidgets and looks around seeing a wingless dras land upright. The Cinnamon Roll of Justice waves to his friend, a much more powerful hero, probably the most powerful hero ever to live. The dras wasn’t a flashy hero, or wealthy, but he was very effective. The dras hero could destroy a monster in only a single blow. It filled Takeshi with joy to know the City was also being protected by such a hero. Before he can properly greet his friend, there’s another monster warning. “I’ll handle it, Takeshi” the dras assures, “Help anybody you can here,” and Takeshi nods in agreement. With that, the Dras is gone and Takeshi knows he has more work to do!

The evening is less busy and far less exciting. He goes back toward the school, helping the children back onto the bus home. He stops by the grocery to pick up something for dinner. As he’s looking over the foods on sale, he gets a call from his geness partner. “Still in one piece?” Takeshi asks, part joking, part sincerely concerned. His partner was a much more powerful hero than he was, but he also put himself into much more dangerous situations. It was common for them to not see each other at the end of the day, the cyborg dog having sustained too much damage fighting a monster. “Yes, Takeshi, and I am already home. Dinner is being prepared.” said Genos, voice sharp, though Takeshi knew he was actually being sweet. “Thank you, Genos, I’ll be home soon.”

He leaves the grocery without buying anything, quickly making his way home. It was a treat to sit and eat a meal Genos made for them. The dog ineki might seem cold or harsh, but Takeshi knew him better. Genos appreciated domestic life, between their busy, heroic day-to-day. When Takeshi returns home, Genos is waiting for him with warm food on the table. They eat together, watch a movie, and fall asleep beneath a pile of covers, waiting for the new day to arrive.

Rest Cycle 000-0
Mandatory. No exceptions. Hayden required no sleep, it wasn’t apart of his species make up. For this period of time he would sit or lay down, relaxing his vitals to the required levels of strain. “A resting state” that he forced until the time ran out. He did not sleep, doze off, or nap. He sat or laid still, with his thoughts, a form of meditation minus the form part. There were proper meditation forms he had researched in the past, but none suited his race. They were bred for efficiency. All Hayden did with this utterly inefficient time was think on what would proceed until Reset.

Morning Cycle 005-0
A chime signaled the beginning of the day. Hayden sprung from his “rest”, toward his kitchen. His kind could not stomach the premade and prepackaged meals of convenience that many others thrived on. Hayden would click away on a delivery screen, requesting ingredients using a series of convoluted menus. Preparing ones own meals was not a supported activity by the System, but Hayden was keen to the work around available. He would order seven breakfasts, removing all but a few elements of each. If he requested a pastry—removing the butter, fruits, and cream— the system would instead send to him an unbaked mound of dough. He could repeat this several times until he had what he really wanted and recombine the ingredients at his discretion. Once in the correct order, Hayden could breathe hot energy, baking the meal himself, the only way his kind could enjoy food. Breakfast was palatable and highly nutritious, he would not need another meal until Reset.

Mid Cycle 050-0
Hayden arrives at this desk before Activation. His computer will not buzz to artificial life for some time, but it is not wasted. He readies his organizer, preparing it like a medical patient laid out upon a table. His pens are lined up neatly; blue, red, black, and ultra violet. Blue, for questions. Red, for corrections. Black, for emergencies. Ultra violet; for personal notes. He rarely used the last, but it was sometimes an indispensable resource. He knew which other workers could read Ultra Violet ink and when it was necessary to communicate with them, and only them, it was very necessary. He’ll write clearly and neatly across his schedule, completing his mandatory productivity before the timer clicked.

The timer clicked. Hayden’s eyes snap to his screen as it buzzes on, bright and clinical. Long, four jointed fingers slide to a keyboard, clicking through options until the correct alphabet appeared. He was working in Sirinian today, a melodic language requiring a keyboard that made sounds rather than letters. Hayden was fluent in 570,004 universal languages, and 679,490 dialogues therein— but he liked Sirinian. Not because it was a particularly interesting or unique language, but because it filled the office space with music as he typed. The neighboring worker to Hayden, a Lupinious Creature, had sensitive ears. A day working in Sirinian, with it’s high pitch on many notes, would insure the other worker sat quietly and anxiously the whole of their shift, unable to bother Hayden with petty chatter. If he was quick, and Hayden was always quick, he could leave before Reset.

Night Cycle 500-0
As Hayden readies himself to leave the office, his manager approached him frantically. His manager was not worthy of their station, but Hayden knew why he would not surpass the other creature. Some could stay until Reset, up their productivity numbers and brute force promotions. Hayden had a place to be, an obligation he could not shirk. His expression was derisive, but collected as the manager huffed and puffed about a very urgent matter. Shoving a folder at Hayden, he demands a full plan for intervention by morning. The file is tucked under his arm as Hayden tucks away his pens and removes himself from the work space. The plan would be ready in the morning, but he would complete it in his leisure time, with as much Ultra Violet ink as was necessary to cover an emergency.

He’s waiting outside the boarding school, counting seconds in his head. Time is reliable, it ticks down in precise and predictable measurements. The timer clicks and so does the school’s gate, he’s the first to walk through. He checks in, gets a key, and moves toward the room he wished to visit. Opening the door, a smiling face greets him.

“Father!” called his daughter, springing from her window seat and rushing toward him. Hayden nods, runs a hand through her hair as she giggled, and crossed to sit at her table. She already had a tea set laid out, warmed with the energy of her breathe and piping with familiar heat. Hayden pours her a cup and then she pours one for him.

“Thank you, Darjeeling,” said Hayden, before taking his first sip. He lays out his pens and the file he was handed, beginning to work on a solution to the problem he was to shoulder. An uprising on a planet they seeded, intervention needed immediately. Current leader name: Pericles. Hayden took another sip of tea, before looking to his daughter. “Tell me about your day, I’m listening.” he encourages, though his eyes fall back on his work. Darjeeling tells him about school, her whole day from start to finish. How she disliked the mandatory rest period, how she recooked her meals each morning, how she was early to her classes and surpassed her fellow students…. how her fellow students disliked her gaining and gaining, how it was difficult to be head of her class so young, and how she looked forward to his visits. “All benefits and burdens of our species, my dear,” he said, before adding, “you are the best part of my day.”

He wanted to stay until morning, speak through the wasted Rest Period, but it was not allowed. He finished his file, dropped it into a delivery box to be digitized and sent to management before the deadline. Darjeeling hugged him and he hugged her back. The timer clicked. He lingered. The timer blared. He pat her on the head one more time before leaving the school. He would make it home just on time for the Reset.

Reset 000-00
Mandatory. No exceptions. Hayden entered his home and laid down. He stared at the ceiling. The timer beeped. The timer blared. The room filled with gas until the timer ceased. Everything ceased.

It was temporary. Hayden blinked as the world came back into existence. Many other species continued to be sedated until the end of Rest Cycle, but not Hayden. Not Darjeeling, he was sure. He hoped she was not scared of Reset. It was not inherently frightening. It was a subtle kind of terrifying, the kind of terror only caused by possibility. Hayden didn’t know what happened during the time shipmates like himself were comatose. The excuse was maintenance, but what did that really mean.

Hayden would think on these, in silence, until Morning Cycle.

Posted 09/21/16, edited 10/08/16

Auksinis stepped out of the foggy cavern he called home to see a dog Ineki with blue eyes. He smiled, his eyes and coat getting brighter as he closed the makeshift door and took a seat beside his sister, Kristalinė.

“So, is she the one you want me to give my routine to?” Auk looked over at his sister to get confirmation before starting.
“Yes, this is Tamshir, I met her in town and she’s collecting stories of people’s daily routines and I thought you’d be far better fit for it than I would, given how I like to change what I do from day to day.”
“Yes, well I suppose I can’t fault you there. Well, shall we get going then?”
“We live in that foggy cavern I’d climbed out of, the Caliginous Cavern. It’s essentially a magical part of the cave, not that the rest of it isn’t magical, filled with fog that quickly snuffs out any light that tries to pass through it that isn’t also magical in nature. Given that, it’s extremely difficult to navigate, and I’ve become the sort of tour guide for the place. Mostly since my magic specifically revolves around creation and maintenance of mystical light sources. Which is convenient.

Anyway, more specifically we live in a glorified campsite on the edge of a ravine, and when I wake up I go to check all the nearby lights I’ve strung up all around to make sure they’re still working. See, there’s this big snake demon living in the cave with us, but he’s afraid of the light. So as long as I do my daily upkeep, he stays away. After the lights are all working, I get breakfast going. Usually just mushrooms and such, but occasionally we get to add things that Kristal gets from town.

After I eat I typically set out to explore some of the various tunnels in there. I’ve mapped out quite a few tunnels in the network, though new ones sometimes appear and old ones close due to the aforementioned demon that lives in there. He uh…yeah he doesn’t exactly like Mycenians like us. Or rather, he does, but only as a food source. Which isn’t something I’m particularly fond of. I typically keep to a nice set of rules while exploring to keep myself safe. Generally I’m looking for uncarved Mycenians or lost adventurers who happened to find this hidden entryway, though the lack of sight and keep out sign do a fair job of keeping people away most of the time.

Once I’m done exploring I head back to camp to check the lights again, and generally have dinner with Kristal by a campfire. If she was in town all day she’ll talk about who she met and such, and I’d share my latest discoveries in the tunnels. Now and then we even get a uh…guest to come over. He’s sort of a spirit that wanders around in the cavern and is Kristal’s friend. He’s mostly harmless, but not uh…great company for strangers.” Auksinis shifted uncomfortably, clearly choosing his words carefully on the subject. “Anyway, we head to bed after talking ourselves into tiredness and that’s about it for my daily routine.”

Auk thanked Tamshir for her time and headed back into cave, leaving Kristal to lead her back to town.

Isla ran down the tunnel alongside a fairly persistent, but kind Ineki named Tamshir, giving short but concise descriptions of his day as they raced around the looping cavern, his new friend occasionally stopping to catch her breath and write his descriptions in her notebook.

It summed up fairly simply, as his day-to-day life isn’t particularly difficult to explain. He’s cursed. He can’t cease movement or he’ll start burning alive, which isn’t particularly preferable. Fortunately he’s also been blessed with infinite stamina so that he could actually keep running. But that does make his daily schedule virtually non-existent. He runs in the morning, he runs in the afternoon, he runs at night, and really he keeps moving twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. He has sought out several different mages to try and clear up his curse, but none of them can succeed. Some could, but it would require him to stay stationary for far too long to be practical. Even just a few seconds was enough to physically harm him, let alone the few minutes needed to complete some ritual or rite.

And so, he runs. Occasionally he revisits the town, speaking to the various athletes around the town who happened to run alongside him to train their endurance. Which was nice, he does quite like the company. It gets dreadfully lonely to not be able to sit and have a conversation with anyone for as long as he has to. And if he runs down the wrong tunnel, who knows where he’d end up. It’s not particularly easy to just turn around at the speed he’s going, after all. But ah well. Perhaps his new friend Tamshir could spread word of his misfortune with her journal, and find someone who could cure him of this wretched curse. Or at the least she’ll provide entertainment in her trying to keep up while they chat.

Posted 09/21/16, edited 10/09/16
Account of a Day as a Magical Boy Instructor

Or: The Officials Made Me Write This

The following is a first-hand account by Leilani, M. K., full-time instructor at the Asterius Academy of Magical Knights, recounting his typical day as a mentor and teacher to our talented students. Written in a refreshing and bold manner, it is hoped that this informative outline will allow prospective instructors to gain insight into the workings of our academy.

A handwritten paragraph is scrawled below the foreword:

Fuck you all. Half the shit that happened in this happened because you assholes made me waste the time to write down inconsequential minutiae. You don’t pay me enough for this. But at least you published it verbatim. Kudos for that, I guess.

5.32 a.m. – I wish I didn’t have to—Hey, did this book just automatically note the time down for me? That’s some nice spell work. Still wish I didn’t have to write this.

Had to get out of bed earlier than usual because Floop insisted that he needed to get in some practice. The hell for? Does he think it’s fun to run around in a costume at ass-crack o’clock?

Oh wait, I forgot, he doesn’t have a costume. He’s the goddamn mascot. I have a costume. I don’t care if monsters don’t wait (I know they don’t, you fucking fluff-dragon), I’m retired and I already spend too much of my day in this costume. Fuck this, I hate today already.

I was told I should write some bullshit description to capture ‘the essence of the academy’, so here’s some word vomit.

The academy looks like… a school? The hell do I write? It’s a big-ass building, rounded roof, spires that Floop’s flying around like they’re an obstacle course. Hey, wait, he’s doing that? Great, he’s distracted! Time to make a break for it.

7.04 a.m. – Finally escaped from Floop (that first attempt failed), managed to squeeze in a shower before breakfast. Accidentally made actual flowers grow in that new flower-scented shampoo when I was distracted. That’s the last time I’m buying it, I need something more synthetic.

7.23 a.m. – Breakfast. Boring. Having to write this is really slowing me down. Why is it so hard to cut bacon with one hand?

8.08 a.m. – First class of the day. My students look about as dead as me. Nobody’s going to learn anything today. I’ve set them a few workbook questions to do just so I can write this goddamn account. You’d better appreciate my efforts, Headmaster.

8.19 a.m. – Ten minutes more until I need to poke a couple of unlucky souls into presenting their work. Should I say something nice? Hm.

Wow, I just love teaching. It’s actually more fun than heading out and trying not to die.

No, really, I’m serious. ‘Course, your students regularly fuck up and almost kill you anyway, and you have to go out and catch monsters alive for The Sake of Education and then sic them on your poor, hapless, probably 11-year-old students, and the food sucks, and your room sucks, and the world sucks. But it’s still better than actually being an active magical knight because at least you get paid.

Hey, are they actually going to publish this verbatim? They’d better. I’m putting a lot of thought into this. Now time to see which poor kid the random numbers have it out for today.

10.05 a.m. – Practical class. Time to costume up and release the beasts. I mean literally, of course. I caught a couple of Leonids yesterday just for this class. Yay.

I’m first out of the locker rooms for some reason so I guess I’m supposed to describe the empty practice field.

Shimmery thing around the field: barrier. Very necessary.

Weird hex-patterned thing surrounding the shimmery thing: backup barrier. Very necessary.

Shimmery thing on the ground: protective spell circle. Also very necessary.

I really hope none of it gets triggered today, but that’s not happening.

10.46 a.m. – Mild mishap in practical class, had to bring Makoda and Ameki to the infirmary. Left Floop in charge so the kids won’t get any real training in and cause more damage. Haven’t had any casualties from hide-and-seek yet.

Ugh, it’s not even noon and I have to deal with Miha already.

11.13 a.m. – I’ve been sitting here for almost half an hour watching Miha fuss. Does he never get tired of fussing? It’s probably because he’s so busy fussing that he hasn’t even gotten around to cutting his hair. It reaches the end of his collar now and he keeps having to brush it out of his face. I’d lend him a hairclip, but I bet he’d stick it into his pocket and forget about it.

Oh, good, he’s done. Now I can bring these two back to class and use them as a practical example for my lecture on why time-travelling isn’t recommended. I hate paradoxes.

1.22 p.m. – Lunch. Lilina made me eat with the other teachers, damn it. When did my little sister get so pushy? At least I got to complain about the commotion in my morning class. Apparently someone almost lost a hand in Drissa’s class, though. Bet Miha had a field day with that one. I guess I got lucky after all.

Am I supposed to talk about my food? Well, okay. Lunch is a sandwich, half-eaten because like hell I’m going to talk about my food before I start eating. Ham and cheese, by the way.

2.02 p.m. – Another practical class, and it’s right after lunch break so a student’s probably going to throw up. Yay. Who schedules this shit?

2.32 p.m. – Someone threw up. Called it! Sent them to Miha with Floop this time, I just cannot be fucking bothered to deal with him twice in a day.

3.47 p.m. – Fucking fuckity fuck why did I tempt fate by saying that? Fuck you and fuck your mother and fuck five generations of your future fucking children, Morgan van fucking Hauser from whatever fucking world you’re from, because this hurts like a bitch and I like synthetic shampoos, not synthetic poisons, and fuck you again for looking so horrified that I couldn’t even yell at you for accidentally shooting me in the chest WITH ACID. Even my costume melted, damn it. I just fixed it up last week. Class was almost over! I thought I could get away without injuries for ONE FUCKING DAY.

Yeah, well, now I’m sitting in the infirmary and Miha’s yelling at me for writing instead of sitting still like a good patient. Floop, shut up and stop freaking out, you’re not making me feel better. I guess I should say that out loud instead of writing it down, but it hurts to talk. He’ll read it over my shoulder eventually.

4.08 p.m. – Okay, at least Miha gave up on making me stop writing. I don’t have anything to do while he gropes my chest anyway.

I hate Miha’s stupid face. Why the fuck does he pout at me? He’s a grown-ass man so what possesses him to think it’s a good idea? And why the hell does he never brush that stray lock of hair behind his ear or fix his collar? Doesn’t he notice that his first button’s unbuttoned and that’s not professional for a doctor? I can see his collarbone.  He needs to cover it up. It’s distracting.

Why the everlasting fuck is he pouting at me? What did I do to deserve this?!

4.21 p.m. – Gave in and asked Miha if he pouts at all his patients. He just shrugged and said, “No, just you, because I know it works.”

Fuck him. It does not work. He needs to get a new set of glasses. These reflect the light too much and make him look like a mad scientist. And I can’t see his eyes through them.

4.33 p.m. – Oh god, no. My worst fear came true. I have to stay in the infirmary until dinner, at least. I might even have to stay here through dinner. God, no. And Miha keeps telling me to lie still. What am I going to accomplish by lying still? I might as well document every second of this torturous, miserable day.

By the way, this is a very normal day, in case you were wondering. Every day is torturous and miserable. There hasn’t been a single accident-free day since I started teaching. Miha must really earn his keep. Do you still want to teach here? I hope you do. More people to share it around means less torture for me.

What the hell am I going to do until dinner? I can’t even talk to Floop, he’s asleep. And is Miha ever going to button up that fucking last button on his shirt?

5.48 p.m. – Fuck, it really is happening. Miha just ordered dinner for both of us. (Miraculously, we’re the only people in the infirmary right now. There were a few little cases between my last entry and now, but I suppose the students really do get into less trouble once class is over.)

Miha’s mostly been sorting files or something for the past hour. It’s like he refuses to even look at me. Don’t tell me he’s embarrassed because I’m not wearing a shirt. He bandaged me himself and he’s seen my chest too goddamn many times to be embarrassed.

He looks kind of tired, actually. Doesn’t he ever get any rest? I suppose I should drag dinner out so he can take a decent break, even if it’s torturous. He’s horrible company for meals. He can talk about blood and guts and every single bodily fluid you can think of and then some without losing his appetite in the least. I’m pretty sure he does it on purpose so that people will leave him to eat alone, but he’s going to have to try harder than that to scare me off.

It’s going to be awkward as shit if he won’t even look me in the eye for the entire meal, though.

6.11 p.m. – Dinner’s here. Miha took off his coat. I’m a bit disappointed, I forgot he did that. Oh well, at least he picked a nice shirt today (that undone button not withstanding). It’s pale yellow and it matches his eyes. I tried to be nice and open the conversation by complimenting the shirt so he won’t talk about blood and guts, but he still won’t look at me. Damn it. What did I do to deserve the cold shoulder?

Wait, now he’s sneaking looks at me. That’s an improvement. Hey, I think he might say something now…

6.44 p.m. – WELL, FUCK YOU, BOOK.

Apparently Miha’s just bothered by the fact that I’ve been scribbling in this stupid piece of shit today. (I mean, I’ll concede that it’s out of character. I’m not doing this because I want to.)

But seriously, what the actual fuck? I could have avoided two whole hours of being cold shouldered! This is not funny.

Well, now he knows what I’m writing in it and why. I even let him look at what I’d written today, but he went bright red and refused to go on after a while. God knows why. Whatever, he’s not ignoring me now, at least. And he’s letting me go back to my room tonight even if I can’t get out of work tomorrow. Score!

Now if only Floop would just wake up and get the hell off my feet. He’s heavy.

8.14 p.m. – Finally back in my room. Home sweet home, I guess.

I’m behind on my grading. Fuck, I forgot I was supposed to get that done today. Well, too bad. My students are going to get their assignments back late and they’ll have to deal.

Oh, fine. I guess I’ll try to get a bit of it done. Ugh. I’d almost rather be back in the infirmary with Miha. I hate grading papers.

9.51 p.m. – Have I mentioned that I hate grading? Because I hate grading.

Floop’s not helpful at all. He keeps suggesting that I add marks for originality, or creativity, or once for a student who doodled on their paper. I fail to see what’s so original about this assignment I’ve set and marked for three years in a row.

But hey, I actually got some work done. Absolutely an achievement. That’s it though, I quit for the day. I’ve been up since ass-crack o’clock, no thanks to Floop over there, and I’ve untangled a time paradox, got shot in the chest BY ACID, had to stare at Miha’s stupid face for too many hours, and graded papers more fairly than I really wanted to (trust me, I really did want to at least dock a couple of points off Morgan’s grade). All in a day’s work, blah, blah, blah.

I hope you all enjoyed reading about my suffering and it encourages you to come teach here. Hey, you’ll get paid!

Now I’m going to go pick the flowers out of my shampoo.

10.07 p.m. – Wait, last entry.

For the record, Miha never buttoned up that last goddamn button. Asshole.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of the Academy, its affiliates, or its members. The Academy does not claim to endorse these views.

Posted 09/21/16, edited 10/09/16

ClearBright‘s placeholder:


Ella awoke each day at 8AM, just as the sun was beginning to filter in through the curtains, lighting up her chilly bedroom. Spring had just begun and so the thin sheet of frost covering her window pane came as no surprise. Patiently awaiting the arrival of her personal maid, Ella stared out at the manor’s expansive courtyard just below the icy ledge in quiet excitement. It would be her first free day in months! She could hardly wait to begin.

Despite the insistence of the staff, her breakfast consisted of merely a bowl of simple porridge. Then it was off to the stables.

It happened suddenly, and without any warning. One day…everyone just disappeared. But that was only the beginning.

She woke each day at 8 AM sharp. Woke to the bothersome buzzing that infiltrated her ears in the absence of sound. Woke to the fear and loneliness that always came rushing back.

Breakfast was at 8:30, she was running out of cereal.

Sunlight filtered through her living room window, was it noon already?


Paris, France - 1949

A marble statue stands in the middle of a cramped courtyard, the stunning centerpiece to the surrounding flowerbed and otherwise somewhat dingy townhouse complex. She watches the sun rise in awe, no matter how many times she sees it, the sight still takes her breath away. She had never been able to glimpse such a simple phenomenon in the dusty workshop where she had been created and so she cherished every second of it.


The sun having finally settled into place, she begins her morning routine. First she bids good morning to the lovely garden at her feet, because of lack of space it merely consists of several potted plants arranged in a vaguely circular formation but the contrasting beauty of the old clay flowerpots used to house those plants and the brilliant white colour of the flowers within them make up for that by tenfold. And then she waits. Soon enough the soft pitter patter of tiny feet graces her ears, the children living within the houses around her have finally woken up. Not a moment later, a young girl with neat auburn pigtails and adorable freckled cheeks steps out onto the cobblestone walkway. And just as she does every other day, the girl fills up her rusty old watering can and proceeds to water the surrounding plants, one at a time. The statue thinks that this child might be the one she likes best, although she knows it’s wrong to pick favourites, she just can’t help it!


As the afternoon rolls in, and lunch time approaches, the streets in front of the courtyard begin to fill up with people. An old couple even come to sit in front of the statue to have their meal. The sight of such a happy pair fills her with joy…and just a tiny bit of loneliness.

Next she searches the newly paved cobblestone floor for any cracks or other signs of damage, she takes her self proclaimed position as caretaker very, very seriously.

Every morning Della starts off her day with a big bowl of fruit loops (after brushing her teeth of course! Morning breath does not feel good). An hour later (hey! it takes work to look this good -3- jk she just went back to sleep) she’s finally ready to ascend into *shudders* Heaven.

8:00am - “wake up.” silence. “wake up!” still no sign of life. “oh for god’s sake London…you know what? I give up, could luck getting to your interview on time by yourself.”

9:15am - “oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit!” the sound of breaking glass interrupts the onslaught of vulgarities. “oh shit.”

10:30am -

✧What’s it like to be a star?✧

with Jodie Clarke

“here she is ladies and the gentlemen! the hottest new rising star, London Bell!”

“aha, thanks for having me here Jodie, it’s an honour.”

“oh nonsense, you’re practically an icon now darling! I’m the one that should be honoured you chose me to be your first interviewer.”

a genuine smile spreads over the younger girl’s face.

“Now then, give me the details, what’s it like to be one of the world’s biggest superstars at only 16?”

“well I suppose it’s a bit of a bittersweet experience….”

12am - “Rita how could you?” a voice wails. “you’re the one that wouldn’t wake up.” “but-” “no buts, now shut up and eat your overpriced pasta.” “hmph…”

12:03am - “talk show hosts are scary.” “what?” “they butter you up while asking for your deepest, darkest secrets.” “well yeah that’s kinda their job.”

12:04am - “I like this restaurant.” “really?” “yeah.” “but their prices are 10 times the size of their portions.” “but the food is tasty. and the building is pretty. and you can have tea in the giant victorian flower garden.” “well yeah but the prices.” an exasperated sigh. “you’re such a cheapskate.”


✧What it’s like to be a star✧

with London Bell

London Bell: Hello everyone! It’s London here and I’m back with a new segment of “What it’s like to be a star”! Please welcome today’s special guest, Soleil of Wild’s End Circus Caravan!

*the camera zooms in on the face of a nervous teenager*

Soleil: Ummm hi, thanks for having me *awkward half smile*

London Bell: Isn’t she just adorable ladies and gentlemen? With a face like that I’d never have guessed you were part fae.

*a shocked silence descends over the crowd at the Host’s blunt statement*

Soleil: Aha, well not a lot of people do…

London Bell: Ahem, um anyway I’ve heard that you work as an acrobat! How exciting! What’s it like?

Soleil: Ah yes, I do work as an acrobat, more specifically a trapeze artist. Performing during shows is of course incredibly exhilarating but it’s not all fun and games, it takes a lot of work behind the scenes to get to that point.

London Bell: Oh? Well do tell.

Soleil: Uh, I guess one example would be the long practice hours. Everyday I wake up at 7 am



Posted 09/21/16, edited 10/10/16

Each day seems to always be the same, yet it never really is. There are always tiny differences, just enough to keep life from becoming too monotonous. She and her carver, Coronae, would always argue about who owns whom, but no matter what he said, he ended up “convinced” that he was her human and carver, as opposed to her being his Ineki. And having Aiwen the Drasilis, a new addition to the family, around didn’t help simplify things at all.

The house they all shared was one that Corona had found during one of her exploration trips. It took some fixing up, but soon enough it was habitable. The walls painted a tame tan, the floors carpeted with something soft yet unknown… Wooden furniture for the most part… It was rather quaint, despite the size of the house. It had, on a good day, three bedrooms and two bathrooms. On a not-so-good day… One or two of the bedrooms were unlivable from being that messy, and one of the bathrooms would refuse to work. But, despite its quirks and problems, it was home for all of them…

Corona woke up each morning with the rising sun, even though none of them could see it. It was as if that time was ingrained in her subconscious, despite the fact that none of them, save for the human Coronae, had ever seen the sun. And each morning, she went and woke up Aiwen, who didn’t mind the early wake-up call, and Coronae… who deeply resented her for her morning-person tendencies. Even before he had come to the caves, he had never been a morning person. Not seeing the sun each day didn’t help things.

From there, it took coaxing from Aiwen and Corona, but Coronae ended up cooking breakfast or something similar for the three of them. Ranging from toast to rather gourmet breakfasts consisting of eggs and toast and jelly, they all ate close to the same meals. But that was only the beginning of their morning routines. Corona demanded to be groomed each and every day, no matter what had been done the previous day. It was one of the strongest bonding moments for Corona and Coronae. It took several tries, but Coronae had finally figured out just how Corona liked to be groomed, the human using a brush he had found in one of the caves to tease any knots in her fur out before bathing her and drying her off. She came out fluffier than she went in. Every. Single. Time. Aiwen, however, much preferred to take care of his own grooming needs. Neither Corona nor her carver ever managed to catch a glimpse of Aiwen grooming himself, but he always looked pristine.

Most mornings, the three of them went out wandering through the caves, looking for new places to hang out or going to old ones that were among their favorites. Just recently, Corona had come upon a cavern where she could stare up at stones in the ceiling that looked like constellations. In fact, it was during one of her exploration trips like that one that she had found Aiwen and his colony. The two of them loved staring up at the twinkling stones. They had even managed to get Coronae involved. It reminded him a great deal of his old home on the surface. But with his two steadfast animal companions, he was happy in the Underground caverns. He ended up enjoying the room full of stone-star constellations that the trio gave it the unofficial name of the ‘Constellation Cavern.’ They made a point of it to go there every day or two and just spend an hour staring up at the glittering ‘stars’ and contemplate things. Corona usually thought about her past and her present, and just how well the two of them meshed together… as well as what she would change were she given the opportunity.

After their period of reflection and some extra cave exploration, they returned home for lunch, Coronae much more eager to cook this meal than breakfast, as he’d had time to be awake. Most of the time, it was simple stuff. Sandwiches, soups, and the like. But every once in a while, there would be leftovers from a particularly large dinner, and those seemed to be a favorite for Corona and Aiwen both.

After lunch, they all took thirty minutes or so to just relax and let their food settle down before heading out once more. Aiwen often went off into parts of the caves that he was more familiar with, usually to go drop in on some of his friends from his old colony. But Corona and Coronae stayed close together, the two of them exploring the caves once again. The post-lunch exploration period usually put them wandering through some of the old, already-explored sections of the caves, but sometimes they would end up somewhere they had never been before. In the end, not a single one of them would come home before at least three or four hours had passed. Sometimes Aiwen was out even later, to the point of nearly or actually missing dinner. But neither Corona nor Coronae minded. After all, he had come from a very close-knit colony, so it was only natural that he’d lose track of time when spending time with old friends.

Dinner was usually about the same fare as lunch, but once in a while, Corona would ask her human to do something bigger. That was usually when the two of them returned earlier than normal from their explorations. He needed time to gather the ingredients and cook the food, after all. The three of them all sat around the table, eating dinner and sharing stories of their day. More often than not, Corona was the one doing all the talking, at least between her and Coronae. Aiwen usually had tales of his antics to tell as well. Once they had finished eating, Coronae cleared the dishes and washed them while Corona and Aiwen headed to the living room to just sit around and relax. They were all pretty tired after a day of exploring the caverns.

Most of the time, they went to bed not all that long after dinner, only to get up early the next day. Coronae, however, was almost always the last one up. He usually spent the nighttime writing in a journal he had started keeping since not too long after he entered the caves. Explains why he always woke up grumpy, right? He didn’t sleep anywhere near as much as Corona and Aiwen!

(There we go, I think that’s everything!)

Posted 09/21/16
Delete. Ran out of time.
Posted 09/21/16, edited 10/09/16


It was just a few minutes before the sunlight began to show itself when Maple had awaken. Her wooden cabin was small yet had a very cozy charm throughout it, as it only had enough room for maybe two people to live in comfortably. The longest part of Maple’s morning routine was probably her hair. She looked in the mirror to see the knotted frizzy mess she had to deal with each morning. Her hair would just barely touch the floor that’s how long she kept it. She spritz her detangler as her brush fought through the knots. It surprisingly only took a few minutes before her gradient colored hair shinned, tangle and frizz free.

It was now time for her to officially start her morning, she began to open all the curtains in her cabin allowing the sun to light up the room. Near the window in her kitchen hung a small wire holding a few net bags. Inside contained dried rose petals from her garden. Plucking one of the bags, she opened her can of green tea powder and gathered a few scoops. Mixing the powder and rose petals together in a bowl, she collected a small amount for her tea infuser and stored the rest in her opaque rose tea container.

After bowling a small pot of water on the stove she dipped her tea infuser in the tea cup as she added the hot water to it. She allowed herself to sit at the table for a moment, munching on an apple while her tea cooled.
” I wonder where Gertrude ran off to.”


She thought to herself, pondering where her little companion had flown off to. Though there wasn’t much time to sit, her days start early and if she wanted to be ready to open up shop in time she had to get to work. Grabbing her basket and gardening tools, she made her way into her greenhouse. Inside, what seemed like thousands of rose’s stretched along the entire wall of the greenhouse. Each bush was organize perfectly by color, first being greeting by purple roses at the front. As you walk down, the purple color drifted into a dark bluish color, then into a light blue, green, vibrant yellow, radiant orange, and finally a gorgeous red.

“Miss Rose!”

Maple quickly turned to the familiar sound of her name, seeing her companion flying from deep within the greenhouse.

“Good morning, Gertrude! So this is where you have been?”

The feathered winged piglet held a bundle of roses, each baring every color that Maple had grown. She began to examine them, noticing a beautiful sparkle coming off of them.

“Gertrude, you used your magic on these?”
The piglet nodded happily, for Gertrude was young and still trying to gather a better understanding on her magic abilities. Maple was very invested her the mystery of her friend, and together they have been working on their own special type of roses. They have discovered that if Gertrude uses her magic on roses that are at a perfect health, they will last seamlessly forever without wilted.. even after being cut from their stems. Maple took her friends offering to her work bench, where she began to craft together each rose to create a crown.

She let out an excited yelp after placing it upon her head.

“It’s so perfect Gertrude, thank you so much! This is perfect advertisement to our customers.  Now when I great them, I can reveal to them each color we of rose we grow annnnd I can advertise the new and amazing ‘Forever Rose’.. Thanks to you!”

Maple flapped her wings which were only strong enough to allow her to hover. She untied a purple ribbon she had previously knitted herself, and tied it into a bow around Gertrude’s neck. After exchanging gifts they began their prep work before they opened up their shop. After attending to each plant life contained within the greenhouse, they turned around the ‘closed’ sign on the front door to ‘open’.


In between customers Maple would keep herself busy with jewelry crafting. On Sunday’s the shop is closed which gives her enough time to attend to all her errands, such as grocery shopping and hand-making beads. She has a small kiln by her workbench where she can cook ceramic beads. People don’t come to buy her jewelry, they come for the flowers. On the odd occasion she manages to sell a few bracelets or necklaces. Some customers even request for her to decorate their bouquets or flower pots with beads, for an extra charge of course.

At the end of the day, their shop sign rested back in the closed position. Maple took the till from her register to the table where she counted the money they had made over dinner. Gertrude rested on a pillow that sat at the end of the table while she ate. Maple took bites of her buttered rice in between counting nuggets and gems. She placed their earnings in a locked safe after finishing up dinner. It was easy hand washing dishes after herself and her little piglet friend. She placed them in the strainer to dry over night as she made her way to her bathroom.

Taking a soothing warm bath she reflected on the day. Occasional thoughts of the life she once had with her sister popped up. Was she truly happy leaving her detective work behind and hiding away in the woods? Besides her sister, she didn’t really have any strong connections with anyone else. She shook the thought away as she allowed the roaring sound of the hair dryer to drown out her thoughts. She found herself sitting on the edge of her bed, glancing over at the picture on her nightstand. It was a photograph of her in her early twenties alongside of her sister.

Maple used to have a pixie hair cut with long bangs. In the picture, she was wearing her normal detective attire, with her journal in hand, and magnifying goggles resting on her head. They both looked so happy in the photograph, she hoped her sister was happier wherever she is now. Someday she thought to herself, she will find her sister again, though she wondered if it would feel the same way as before. Maple glanced over at the clock, noticing it was thirty minutes after ten. She let out a sigh as she forced her thoughts back into the vault so she can get enough rest for tomorrow. Snuggling up in her blankets, Gertrude rested on her own personal bed that laid onto of the dresser in the room.



Your entry should minimally include:

Description/depiction of the location
Something about you/your character
Morning* routine (activities, foods, sights, thoughts, etc.)
Afternoon* routine (activities, foods, sights, thoughts, etc.)
Night* routine (activities, foods, sights, thoughts, etc.)

Posted 09/21/16, edited 10/07/16


Words go here, when I’ve got the time.


A story about a boy, a tiger, and a boat… No, wait, that’s not right.
That’s the wrong life of Pi.
Let’s start again:

A story about a girl, a painting, and lots of dessert. A classic best seller, of course- Mycenians will be enthusiastically reading it over the summer’s between their schooling sessions and (likely with much less enthusiasm) taking tests on it for ages. Who knows, maybe it will even be a movie one day.

Every story goes a day at a time though, so let’s start there.


Posted 09/21/16
A day in the life of Charcoal

Charcoal slowly opened her eyes as a lightning bug gently rested on her nose. She yawned, stretching her toes as she shook it off. It didn’t bother her though, she just had places to be, and they were not places safe for a baby firefly. Charcoal yawned again. She had only gotten 4 hours of sleep. It was going to be a long night.

She fumbled down to her storage room, shivering as the rush of cold air hit her. It was wise to put ice around the walls, but sometimes she wished ice wasn’t so cold! Charcoal selected a slightly tender hunk of meat, and dragged it up to her lair for consumption. It was bird meat, she noticed as she chewed thoughtfully. There haven’t been many birds around lately, maybe she should start hunting fish instead. Or, even better, she could become a vegetarian. Phyll did it, why couldn’t she? She cleaned up her table (she was a horribly messy eater) and strolled out of the cave. The stars, she noted, shone especially bright tonight. They must have noticed she was sleepy. Charcoal sighed. It was her day off, so she didn’t have to go hunting. But that also meant she had nothing to do. Maybe she would just go back to bed. No, she decided. She couldn’t sleep the whole day. She was going to do something productive, even if she hated it. She started off for the springs.

The springs were empty. That was unusual. Normally, even on a slow day, there would be at least two other dragons there. Well, that just meant more room for her. She settled down in the water and began to bathe. The soaking falls were a special place for most dragons, it provided hem with a source of comfort. Because no matter how much their village changed, this place always stayed the same. It was a dome-shaped room inside the common grounds, consisting of two large rocks that poured out a constant stream of water into a large basin. The room itself was, suprisingly, not dragon-made, but a natural formation, just like he rest of the rooms in the common grounds. Charcoal often told herself that Gaia made this room herself, sculpted it out like clay and placed it here for the dragons. Though nice to think about, it was impossible. Gaia didn’t make their planet, Zeus did. Sometimes she wished he hadn’t. This planet was much different than Gaia’s earth, for it didn’t have a solid ground, but one made out of clouds covered in a rocky layer. The planet had no core, so it was very cold. The only source of heat came from the sun, which all under-dwellers hated. Charcoal wondered if Zeus made this planet because he was trying to impress Gaia. Well, it wouldn’t be the first time he’d cheated on his poor wife. Charcoal stretched her wings and fluttered out of the tub. Most under dwellers only stayed awake for several hours at a time, since they didn’t recieve any natural sort of lighting, just he stars. The stars themselves weren’t even real, just thousands of lightning bugs that littered the ceiling of their massive cave. The over-dwellers may have an easier life, but this place was prettier than any other dwelling. Not sure what do next, Charcoal decided she would aimlessly walk around until an idea struck her, something she did quite often.
She was walking through the main square when she suddenly realized something. There was no one around, jot a single dragon. She hurriedly ran to the hunting grounds. Out of breath, she stumbled up to the sentry gate. She called for Devon, the main guard. He didn’t answer. He was always awake at his post, unlike that other guard, meaning he wasn’t there! She started to panic now. Nobody was there, no one was anywhere! She was alone.
She walked back to her den, checking her small clock. It was 2AM, the time hunting begins. She was truly alone. Charcoal took a couple deep breaths and calmed herself. She wasn’t going to lose her head, especially since it seemed to be the only one left. Charcoal decided she would go about the rest of her day as normal, and hopefully she would wake up tomorrow to find everyone back in their rightful places. She went to the main hall for lunch.
Since no chefs were around, she prepared the meat herself, and sat to eat alone. It was quiet. An eerie since had followed her since she had woken up. Everything felt a bit surreal. She sighed. Maybe she would just go back to bed, get everything over with quicker. She cleaned up the remains and headed back to her den. As she passed the main entrance, she noticed that the main square was now packed to the brim with dragons! Charcoal ran around excitedly, dashing along beside her best friend, Gre. She asked him what had happened, why everyone disappeared. He chuckled. He explained that tin order to be on a more constant schedule with the over-dwellers, they had adapted the practice of changing the clocks along with them. The announcement had been made at the town meeting a few days ago, the one Charcoal had missed because of some spoiled meat. She was so sick, she slept the entire day. Charcoal sighed. She was going back to bed. She deserved it.

Posted 09/21/16, edited 09/21/16

A day in the life of two mermaids.

Crisp as a clear spring morning. The sea shifts and alters its colours. It is always moving, beautiful as ever. Mermaids don’t always have a house, but their home is the sea. Though some also live in lakes, Margaux and Bordeaux have never ever heard of lakes! These two, sleepy-heads as they are, don’t exactly have a certain time they wake up. Bor usually wakes up first and cuddles Mar awake! Today, they were sleeping fairly deep in the ocean, and it is rather dark when you go that far.. It is quite near the sunken kingdom of the mermaids, which doesn’t really have a name. Most mermaids simply call it home, while others, like Mar and Bor, simply go where they please and sleep just about anywhere. Bor’s sense of time is quite amazing. they always wake up near the break of dawn, and it is tradition for the two to go up to the surface and look at the sun in the morning and evening.

As they rise from the depths, holding each others hands, singing sweet songs, the colours of the water seem to change to become much brighter. It’s natural, since they’re getting closer to the light! They surface, and see the amazing glory that is the sea at dawn. They’ve seen this many times, but it’s never boring. This is their morning ritual. There is a beach a ways away but they can mostly see water. Mar giggles and Bor leans against them in affection. Their life is very peaceful, and they are both very grateful for this. The two dive down again to grab some breakfast — Most mermaids consume other fish, but Mar and Bor have decided to live without meat in their diet. This is fine for them, as mermaids are omnivores.

After a quick visit to the nearby kelp forest, they spend their day as they spend any other day: exploring for treasure! There’s a whole ocean to explore, after all. Mar remembers finding a sunken ship as a child, which had a big treasure chest that couldn’t be opened, and they long to find something like that again. They couldn’t really use the treasure for anything, but they were both very interested in it regardless! The two flit around, seemingly locked in an intricate underwater dance. They like to spend every day of their life having fun and being happy.  On this fairly average day, they get closer and closer to shore, but not too close of course. Every mermaid has heard tales of humans and their destructive nature! But one can’t help but feel a little curious.

They stop at coral reef, where they sit and chat for a bit. There’s not that much to say, as usual, but Mar always makes sure that Bor is feeling okay. Bor is fine when they are alone with Mar, but has trouble with big crowds. Bor is also very curious about humans, and the two discuss some stories about them for a while before deciding to get going. The sun is shining brightly, and it is becoming afternoon. After flitting through a heard of friendly sharks, the two decide to swim for a while, looking around at the ocean floor for interesting things.

In the distance, Bor spots something! They gesture to Mar, who sees it too. It appears to be… Something fairly large, and grey. They hold hands and swim closer… It’s a statue! It appears to be a humanoid figure dressed in a cloak of some sort, holding up it’s hand. It’s covered in algae, and is quite close to the surface. With the afternoon sun shining down, it is a wonderful sight! This statue must have been there for a while. The two float around, looking for other human relics. They see some wood boards here and there, but it must all have been buried there for a long time.

The sky gets darker, and Mar suggests they find the mermaid kingdom to rest at. It takes a while to get there, mostly because they stop for dinner at the same kelp forest as they went to for breakfast, The kingdom is at the sea floor, very deep down! Bor tugs on Mar’s arm and the two rise up to the surface rather than going down to the kingdom. Can’t forget their evening ritual, after all! They swim around the surface, looking at the wondrous sunset. The colours of the sky reflect to the water, and, when it is done, the two giggle at each other and dive back down to the sunken kingdom, to rest for the night.

The kingdom is quite large, enough space for hundreds of mermaids. There is no economy or worries, there are no jobs or market stalls. Just mermaids enjoying their lives. No one ever notices how beautiful the architecture is, because they are so used to it, but to a human it would be completely unique. Mar and Bor find a little shell house to sleep in, and they curl up together, their tails intertwined. How peaceful!

Posted 09/22/16, edited 09/22/16

Flower‘s finished submission post.

Stretching up, her arms above her head, Elania looked around blearily into the room. Spider webs hung from the ceiling, or — one would call them cobwebs. Long past had anything lived in her room, as they sensed Elania’s presence, but the aesthetic of having the swinging sticky substance was far too great to pass up. Throwing her legs over the side of her bed, the young woman went about her daily routine. That is to say, she had a long day ahead of her.

Being a fairy and spider monster was…. not the best combination in the world. It left you looking pretty grotesque, or so Elania thought. Rather, had thought, before she met Cierra. Beside the witch who radiated power and confidence, Elania soon found herself growing stronger in not just her mental state, but her magical abilities as well. After a while, this witch asked her to be her assistant, her ‘familiar’ as Cernunnos used to call it.

Morning was hectic for Elania, who used to often skip breakfast in place of building potions to please Cierra. However, once Nunny joined the duo, that changed. She’d found herself sitting down with the two of them, stretched in front of the fire and gobbling down whatever concoction Cierra herself created. It was silly, but to Elania it was odd the dark skinned woman could cook. Something about Cierra just struck her as the type of person who, despite being talented at her gifts, would burn water. However, here the three sat, and here her food was consumed with delight.

Afternoon was less chaotic than mornings, when potions had to be filled, and ingredients had to be gathered. No, afternoon was a time to relax. Or, it was, until they’d decided to spawn a child. Now afternoons were filled with frantic running to the flower, checking to see if there were signs of opening from the blossom anytime soon. And soon it would be! Mere days were left for this little flower to open up, if the signs were to go by. Soon she’d be a mommy, and have someone to love as well as love her back unconditionally. Not that Cierra and Nunny didn’t fill that space.

Dinner was prepared by Elania, and as always they ate in the living space — it was the best place to clean up Nunny’s messes. He… wasn’t the most graceful eater in the world. However, that was another thing Elania adored about him. It was a little endearing to see the messier side of him, even if it meant that blood from a kill ran down his body and he soaked the carpets. He tried to help clean up, but in the end it was Elania who tore apart the dirt and grime whilst Cierra more or less shoved Cernunnos into the tub. The day ended like any other. A kiss from Cierra, a nuzzle from Nunny, and off to bed it was. Sliding back into her bed, she stretched her arms above her head, groaning from today’s events.

It would be a long day tomorrow.

Lying on the end of Arthur’s bed, Glaze stretched out, mewling weakly in his cat form when the other man more or less began to shift with his rousing. No, it was too early to wake up! It wasn’t even noon, was it? Who woke up before noon? Obviously not Glaze, who — with a huff and a low growl — bit into Arthur’s leg as warning for his constant moving. Well… that woke the undead up, didn’t it?

Glaze wasn’t your average, ordinary feline — no, he was a death mage’s familiar, able to withstand their toxic magics. However, he had no master, left scouring the streets to find one from a young age. The big give away was his double tails and the fact he could communicate with people via their minds. If a cat starts talking to you, they’re either magical or you’re insane. Glaze liked to make people think they were insane, but that was just him.

After waking up Arthur and being fed, gag, cat food, Glaze went about his morning scampering after the other man. Mostly to annoy him for feeding him that disgusting garbage. He knew that Glaze could turn humanoid! Why not bring him real food? A little chinese take out never hurt anyone.

Deciding to leave Arthur to his devices, he went into town, bored. Maybe he’d kill some mice or birds and leave them in Arthur’s bed, revenge on his mind. Though.. he wouldn’t. He owed too much to the dullahan. It was just his anger spiking. He regularly had these fits of anger, but would never act on them, especially to his… friend. Yes, he considered Arthur to be a friend. Speaking of Arthur, it was time to go home.

His nighttime routine wasn’t that special. He’s eat another can of that accursed cat food, knowing that Arthur was doing this crap on purpose. Who actually liked this stuff? After feeding and yes, feeling full and lazy now, he’d hop onto the bed — curling up into a ball at Arthur’s feet. Purring unconsciously, he’d close his eyes, drifting off to sleep.

Posted 09/22/16, edited 09/22/16

Umbriel had a very peculiar need. She consumed magic. It took the place of food and sleep for her, and she needed it to live. Years ago, she might have taken it by force, but now that she had friends, she didn’t need to anymore.

Umbriel waited on a street corner for her friend, the cat, to come and get her. She didn’t sleep, nor did she have a home. She preferred to wander around the town at night. Sometimes, she joked that she knew all of the town drunks, because of this, but at the moment, she wasn’t in the mood for joking. She was hungry, and the cat had promised to feed her.

As she entered the cat’s cozy home, Umbriel ducked her head so her giant antlers wouldn’t scratch the door frame. The cottage was packed with trinkets and other random paraphernalia, as well, forcing Umbriel to tuck her tail in close to her drab stone body as she followed the small, glowing cat deeper into their home.

“Here! Breakfast!” the cat shouted triumphantly, popping up next to her, holding a plate of bread, dried fruit, and nuts. Umbriel forced herself not to wrinkle her nose in distaste.

“I eat magic.” She reminded them patiently. The cat took this in stride. They planted their butt on the floor and dug into the food they’d prepared.

“That’s a funny thing.” They said through a mouthful of food. “Haven’t got any of that myself, and my girlfriend is out of town, so you can’t have any of hers, but I’ll tell you what. I know an alchemist’s apprentice. You can have his magic. Probably.”

Umbriel followed the cat. Her tummy rumbled miserably. The cat led her to a much larger (and much cleaner) house. She and the cat waited in the foyer for a light blue Kelph to come down the stairs. The Kelph had obviously just woken up, despite the fact that it was almost noon by now.

“You want what?” The Kelph asked. “Absolutely not. That sounds highly invasive.”

“It’s not.” Umbriel argued weakly. “You won’t be able to use magic today, but by tomorrow there will be no ill effects for you.”

“C’mon, Coastal. Do a kind thing for this young lady.” the cat said, cajoling.

“Fine.” sniffed the Kelph. “How does one eat magic, anyway?”

“Do a spell.” Umbriel suggested wearily.

The Kelph whirled on her. “I am an alchemist! I do not do spells. What I do is far more nuanced—”

“All right, do that then.” Umbriel snapped. Her belly was far too empty to be dealing with an alchemist’s ego at the moment. The Kelph huffed, but he turned and began his work.

Umbriel hadn’t expected it to take so long, was all. She tapped a stone talon on the floor while the Kelph obsessively measured and remeasured powders and reagents. The cat, sensing her impatience, patted her back reassuringly. Umbriel turned to smile at her friend. They always did their best to feed her. She appreciated their generosity.

“All right. Come stand here.” The Kelph commanded her. “DON’T touch the circle!” he shouted in alarm, as Umbriel approached. She carefully picked her way through the circle and stood at the center. When she was in position, the Kelph leaned down and blew on it. A glow spread throughout it until Umbriel felt the familiar sense of magic pouring through her veins.

“Wow…” the Kelph whispered, as the drab stone that made up Umbriel’s body suddenly turned into bright, flawless crystal. The cat hardly seemed surprised. They had seen this happen before.

“Thanks for the meal.” Umbriel told them both, grinning, as she stepped out into the late afternoon light.  Tomorrow would bring another day, and another friend to visit and dine with, but for today, her belly was full of magic. She couldn’t ask for anything better.

Posted 09/22/16, edited 09/22/16

Dawn always crept over the little house in a way that made it sparkle. Jesse claimed that it was the sun’s good morning kiss. Mia said it was the inconsistencies in the windows that somehow caught the rays and threw them about the room. Either way, it was like being underwater. It only lasted for a few minutes but during that time it was hard to feel anything but a sense of wonder. This was one of those mornings that Mia stirred early enough to be greeted by the metaphorical kiss.  She stretched, careful not to bump Jesse, but then very gently rested her chin on his chest so she could stare towards the window. She could feel him breathing deep and slow beneath her, her head rising and falling slightly with each breath he drew.  After a few seconds of quiet admiration, her heart swelling as she watched the golden glow dance like espíritita, she administered a good morning kiss of her own. While Jesse stirred beside her, grinning and making absent-minded mumbling in recognition, she swung herself out of bed and went to dress herself. By the time Jesse was sitting up and glancing toward the window himself, she was leaving the room with a laughing gibe lingering behind her.
When he came into the kitchen, the light having solidified into steady beams of cheerful yellow, she greeted him with eggs, suitably sunny-side-up, and the assurance that toast and bacon would soon be following. He kissed her behind the ear and rummaged berries from the fridge. When they sat at the table with matching plates and smoothies dyed-purple, the sun had not yet angled itself into the sky and so their morning conversation glowed.
For a while they curled up together. Their den was a small room, a fireplace in the corner and an old TV against the wall, but it was cozy with an old, well-loved set of chairs and a couch. Today Mia sat on the floor with Jesse settled behind her on the couch. Her head rested back on his knee and her own legs were thrown up to rest on the small wooden table that was covered in an assortment of ill-matched coasters, candles, and a vase of wild flowers. While she read Jesse made small origami butterflies. He placed one on her shoulder, one in her hair, and another balanced haphazardly on one of the flowers. Eventually Mia rose, using one of the butterflies as a bookmark, and went to retrieve her mat. While she did yoga, going through a religiously fluid set of poses, Jesse picked up his own book and occasionally made teasing comments, eyeing her every so often in a manner that suggested he’d been completely distracted from whatever mystery his current novel was dissecting.
By nine they went their separate ways. Work was a home affair for both, but still one that needed to be distinct from each other. Their rooms connected and the door had been removed (it sat outside, leaning against a tree and, under Mia’s supervision, was covered in an assortment of vines and dried flowers) so throughout the day they could easily poke in on each other or, as happened more often than not, they could come and retrieve a specific tool that had somehow been misplaced. Jesse settled in his chair and pulled a large page covered in vague lines and sketches toward him. Mia peered over his shoulder for a moment before walking to her own room and regarding the carving she had been working on for the past few days with an expression that fell somewhere between satisfaction and annoyance. She gathered her tools, took a moment to compose herself, and then started her work through a warmup exercise, quickly carving a small block of marble in the image of the first thing that came to her mind – today it was a butterfly. This took perhaps an hour, and she left it unfinished once she felt she had gained her sense of composure; she needed to ensure she wouldn’t damage her true work in a foolish, early morning slip of the hand.
She worked nonstop on her carving. Today she was focused with the details of the face. It was stressful, intensive work. A slight slip, a cut too deep, and the smooth velvet of the stone would be ruined. She lost track of time, as she always did, and it wasn’t until she stepped back, chewing on her lower lip, that Jesse came and retrieved her for lunch. He knew her habit of neglecting the time, but also knew to wait for a natural break in her concentration instead of disturbing her. He swung her up onto his shoulder, ignoring her weak protests that she wasn’t done yet, just a few more touches… and carried her back to the kitchen where a lunch of salad and chicken already sat at the table. Again they talked, teased, and then parted to continue working.
At six her alarm sounded. It was a gentle, quiet thing, so she wouldn’t jump in shock. She groaned, turned it off, and stretched. Carving all day had the effect of making her shoulders tense. When she went to check on Jesse, she found him elbow-deep in play-dough. She settled down on the spare stool, curling her legs beneath her and watching curiously for a time as he mushed together different colors and set them side by side. Eventually he turned to her, grinning, and explained his current project: he’d put aside his sculpture for a time to try and find the shades he needed. He was such a physical being in that way, needing to see and play to find the answers that suited him. She laughed and pulled him into the kitchen to make dinner. While in the morning the room was filled with light, in the evening it was dim. They turned on the lights and Mia began chopping vegetables while Jesse laboriously cleaned his arms and then filled a pot to boil. When they sat down to eat their concoction of pasta, they took turns explaining the fruits of that day’s labor.
Dishes were done, the pile from all three meals filling the tiny sink so that they had to do it in smaller batches. Jesse washed while Mia dried, flitting about the kitchen to replace each dish in its home. They retreated to the den again, this room filled with shadows. A candle was lit and a movie put on. Jesse lay on the couch and Mia curled on top of him like a cat, her cheek pressed against his arm and her back snuggled to the pillows. When she grew bored she peppered him with kisses. Eventually she was pinned as his attempts to fend her off failed and he was forced to resort to desperate measures. She groaned and whined until she was released, then returned to draping over him and absently watching the movie, occasionally dosing off. When the movie finished, Mia returned to her book. Jesse rubbed her shoulders for a few minutes and then disappeared back into the work room, declaring he’d had a sudden idea.
After a while Mia stirred herself and went to have a bath. Sometimes Jesse would draw one for her. She was pretty sure he did it just to bug her; it gave him an excuse to use excessive amounts of bubbles, pepper the room with candles, and raid her petal storages to sprinkle about the room. It never failed to make her laugh, though. Today was not one of those days – he had yet to emerge again and so she went to find him a half hour later, hair wrapped up in a towel and a housecoat tucked snugly around her small being. This time he was the one enamored in his work, so she had to pry him away and convince him to shower. She was not letting him into bed with clay caked on his arms and smudged on his face. While she waited for him she ate cookies baked the day before and wandered through the back garden, the overgrown mess that it was somehow still beautiful even with the colors dulled by dusk.
By ten the two were lying in bed, books resting on the bedside tables and plans for tomorrow already in the making. Jesse was going for an early morning jog, when dew would still sparkle and the air would nip with cold. Mia refused his offer to join him, quite content to remain snuggled in the safety of the sheets. When she dosed off he was reading, but she was warm and he was beside her, so sleep came easily.

Posted 09/22/16, edited 09/25/16
Image credit thebackalleygallery.com

The young girl stretched with a relieved groan, her foot pushing against the wall of her cozy cottage. It was small, but she loved all of her pillows and comforting rugs that lined the floor to sleep on. Rolling out of it, she got to her feet to breathe in the crisp morning air. Chilly, she ducked back down to grab her ragged teddy bear and clutched him in her arms as she enjoyed the surrounding area and his warmth. Dew drops hung on frozen window sills and cobblestones lined beneath her feet. Little flowers poked out from between the cracks and the blue sky promised a warm day.

An old man looks on, shaking his head sadly as he saw the young girl tumble out of the cardboard box full of oil rags in the alleyway. Such sad times to live in, for an orphan in such a state. She looked half frozen, the broken glass from the run down alley way had crushed beneath her little shoes and her only true possession appeared to be an extremely run down bear. He moved on, his mind back on the days chores and worries.

Lunch time! One of Kittys favourite times of day. Darting through the market stalls, she skidded to a halt in front of the one lined with baked goods. Cakes, bread, cookies and other warm foods sat on cloth, welcoming anyone who caught their fresh scent. She dug into her satchel and pulled out a few coins to hand over in exchange for a strawberry tart. The stall owner never questioned where the child got her money, and happy that the trade was concluded, moved onto the next customer. Kitty ate the tart quickly, enjoying it immensely despite still feeling mildly hungry afterwards.

A regular customer to the stall looked over to Kitty as she made the exchange. The coins weren’t anywhere near enough for the large tart acquired, but the stall owner always accepted whatever the girl had. A well-known homeless young child, the regular clientele had always pitied her, as did the owner of many of the market stalls. She sighed, watching Kitty skip away, and wondered how the child could seem so oblivious to her own predicament.

Image credit dreamview.net

By the time dusk fell, Mr Bear was incredibly hungry. Pushing Kitty aside, he shook his fur out and grunted. The large brown bear sniffed gruffly, and began padding towards the outskirts of town to hunt. While Kitty was transformed, she never remembered her evening endeavours, but the villagers knew about the tracks, markings and torn shrubbery that appeared after dusk, and rumours were heavy about a large beast wandering around at night. The bear picked up the scent of the orchids, and moved in the direction of the fields.

A shepherd caught sight of a silhouette moving in the distance as the sun dipped below the hillside. He squinted, looking back to check on his livestock before moving towards it. The large creature stopped and stood on its hind legs, ripping at one of the fruit trees. As the shepherd began to shout out, he caught himself, deciding that was a bad idea, and opted to run in the opposite direction to warn the farm instead.

Image credit artsfon.com

“Iz five-forty in morning. Cannot keep oscillator vithin standard range. Vill kip trying, perhaps svitch to secondary dilation to compensate for overheating.”

“Eight-tventy aye em. Oscillator stabilised, but bombs haff begun nine clicks northeast. Vill monitor for disturbances.”

“Nine fifteen. Bombing ceased. Promising reports from experiment six-nine-zero-six. Problem from overheating resolved vith secondary dilation field matrix. Moving onto phase two.”

“Eleven aye em. Incident report. Minor accident vith new assistant. Currently unconscious, moved out of vay in corner of vorkshop six-bee. No von varned heem about comink in vhile I vas vorkink. Almost electrocuted on damaged charging station. Haff filed report seven-two-six, damage claim six-dee, for him damaging air intake tubink on station.”

Image credit desfil

“Von-thirty. Assistant had been trying to deliver food to vorkshop. Tells me I alvays forget to eat. Not untrue. Vill attempt to increase nutritional intake.”

“Three-oh-five pee em. Breakthrough in conversion ratio nine-six, experiment six-nine-zero-six. Pure substance allows higher speeds, but overheats quickly due to soft metal. Compensated and combined vith six-to-nine part ratio.”

“Four-fifty-two pee em. Found discrepancy in subsystem six-five-nine, zee energy conversion shell cannot reach powers strong enough for constructs over sixteen tonnes. Vill file for testing vith samples from experiment three-five-six-two.”

Image credit forwhomthegearturns

“Eleven-sixteen pee em. Assistant claims I haff not slept for forty-nine hours. Checked time, confirmed. Reluctantly dismissed from duties, vill rest and consider implications of experiment seven-two-four-two.”

Posted 09/23/16, edited 10/01/16

Niko never has to set an alarm, which is not to say that he’s a morning person. Every ‘morning’, which really starts somewhere in the ballpark of noon if not a little later, starts with low, mumbled cursing when he gains the first glimmerings of awareness, and then more eloquent cursing when some parts of his brain come back online. Then, having rolled onto his back to stare up at the ceiling, he spends a few minutes thinking about how very much he doesn’t want to get up. Niko liked his bed; it was soft and comfortable, opulent, and whatever else could be said of his accidental marriage to Amurei, at least Amurei was warm. It was like having his very own personal spaceheater. And in the cold reaches of space, where even on station it was difficult to get adequate heating to all corners, that was nothing to sneeze at.

When he finally rolls himself out of bed and gets washed up, Niko generally forgoes breakfast. He doesn’t really do it on purpose, exactly. It’s just that he sets the teakettle (Niko without tea is not a sight anyone wants to behold) and then picks up his tablet in order to look over the day’s project and gets caught up. And then kind of ...forgets… about breakfast. There is coding to be done. He’s not always awake at this point, but sometimes he gets some very inspired ideas while still half-dreaming and seated at the battered kitchen table on how exactly to handle a thorny problem. Mornings are his quiet time, time to work and get ready to deal with clients from both businesses. Both could be equally demanding. Peaceful mornings, when he could actually get something done, was a necessity.

In somewhere about the middle of the afternoon, depending on how much coding needed to be done for the ID chips he cleaned up, he goes in to tend to his day-job. Given that he owns the shop, he does have quite a bit of leeway as to when he decides to open.  Besides, it’s always been his experience that people aren’t super interested in getting tattoos or piercings relatively early in the day. There’s the occasional walk-in, sometimes a kid sneaking down from the ultra-affluent and exclusive Above the Deck areas, but for the most part Niko doesn’t have too much to do. If he’s being honest, he’d admit that the only real reason he opens up so early is that that’s mostly when clients for his sideline come in to negotiate. In spite of what an uneducated public might think, spurred no doubt by bad movies, it is a lot easier conducting criminal business during ‘daylight’ hours. Here in the reaches of colonized space, sunlight is almost entirely simulated, but some behaviors are holdovers from when the majority of humanity still lived on planet. Nobody is quite as suspicious when the station is all lit up, and people just don’t watch as closely. All those who come in for him to implant new ID chips are technically getting body mods, which means he never even has to launder the money that came in; all the paperwork is already perfectly in order. On the days that nobody comes in, he works on flash art or designing the more elaborate tattoos that required more time and effort. Over the years, he’s set up the place with his own comfort in mind, and it’s nice to work in the peace and quiet of the shop.

Thanks to not eating breakfast, by late afternoon Niko is usually quite hungry. Although there was no formal agreement, he almost always ends up eating lunch with Amurei. There are quite a few small restaurants in the area, mostly family-run spots, nothing fancy. That’s exactly how Niko likes it. It still tastes like home cooking, and is still cheap enough that he doesn’t have to go home to cook and leave the shop unattended. Besides, eating lunch with Amurei gives him the opportunity to needle him a bit, and that’s always entertaining. There are times when Amurei is actually helpful to his business, and Niko is definitely not above nagging, but really just poking him with the proverbial stick is fun. All work and no play, after all.

It’s after Niko kicks Amurei out for the evening that work really picks up. People come in for simple piercings and much more elaborate, artistic tattoos. Niko has a good reputation for artistry, and there’s a certain subset of the population who regard having one of his tattoos as a badge of pride, so it’s rare that he lacks for work in the evenings and often late into the night. This is his favorite part of the day; he’s always had a love and affinity for art. The pleasure that others seem to find in having his work on their skin is intensely gratifying and he’d never give it up, for all that his other business provides more than enough money to live on comfortably. This is his real joy. Besides, having financial independence means that he has no qualms about kicking out the people that decide to be a pain in the ass.

Thanks to both jobs, Niko usually gets home quite late, but that works for him, given he’s a night owl by nature. The very first thing he does when he gets home is kick off his shoes; Niko’s happiest barefoot. On weekdays, he and Amurei informally switch off about who cooks dinner. Niko is more than a little territorial about his knives and he does like to cook when he has the time and energy, but that’s not always the case. Really, it depends on how the rest of his day has gone; how difficult his customers have been, how tight his deadlines. Amurei’s cooking is almost always accompanied by an incredible amount of bitching, but it’s shockingly tasty. When they’d met, Niko had been afraid that Amurei would either accidentally poison them both or blow up the oven (or both) but had found himself pleasantly surprised. The relationship is frankly kind of a hot mess, but it works for them. Well enough, anyway.

Although he never intends to stay up to obscene hours of the night, Niko likes his leisure time and tries to make the most of it. Sometimes, if he’s fairly certain he won’t have any very finicky projects coming up, he will add to his sleeves, though that’s gotten quite rare as he’s running out of real estate. One room in his apartment in his studio, and he tries to keep his paints and palettes and canvases from spilling out. It’s just that he has a small problem with buying art supplies and starting new paintings. But he can stop any time he likes, honest. At least he’s conscientious about washing up carefully, so none of those paints ever end up on his sheets. He’s also got a well-developed love of reading, and can stay up almost til dawn tucked up in his warm comfortable bed, or, very carefully, in the bath. Niko has a shameless weakness for a nice long, hot bath. It has the added benefit of calming him down a little, on the weeks when he’s due to take his medication. Tattoo needles don’t bother him, but medical injections are still not something he’s fond on. One last cup of tea (decaf this time) before bed, then it’s off to bed so he can start the whole thing over again tomorrow.

Nasir rises early, a few hours before dawn, the better to tend to the small garden he cultivates in his yard before the heat of the day. For all that he has a tendency to go to bed late, he never felt the need for much sleep. One of the perks of not being human, he supposes. His little garden is his pride and joy, filled with all manner of flowers and herbs, even things one would never think could grow in an arid desert city. He tries not to use too much of the city’s limited water supply, especially as he can simply use his own power.

Once he goes back inside, he gets himself some breakfast. It’s never anything fancy, usually just some bread and cheese, a little fresh fruit. He does love coffee, though, brewed thick and rich with cardamom and cinnamon sticks, very occasionally a touch of saffron if he’s in the position to afford it. Not that he really has a lot of time to linger, since he has to get in to work. He dresses modestly, mostly to keep the sun and sand off his skin, and to avoid attracting undue attention. Even by so early in the morning, usually just after dawn, the heat would already be rising and he’s grateful that his walk to work is not a long one.

via Providence Apothecary
The apothecary where Nasir works is dim and quiet, tucked into the corner of a street not commonly frequented. It’s a little cluttered on the inside, bunches of dried and drying herbs and flowers covering almost all the wall-space not occupied by shelving. On the shelves are jars and pots, filled with seeds, dried leaves, oils and other various things made of medicinal plants. Everything is neatly and meticulously labeled, kept tucked into it’s specific niche, so that there’s never any scramble to find what’s necessary. This early in the day, Nasir is alone in the shop, watching it diligently for the old witch who owns it. It’s also the time when more mundane customers come in, seeking relief for stomach aches or headaches, maybe herbs to stave off a cold. Occasionally, someone comes in to the shop for remedies for more serious ailments, to break a persistent fever or some more serious illness, perhaps tincture of poppy to deal with the pain or a broken limb. The morning is slow, and a little boring, but that’s alright. Often, his friend Azhar will come in, and will pick up new ingredients for his tea blends as they talk.

He tries not to close down the shop for too long for his lunch. And he’s very diligent about marking the time when he’ll return on the little chalk slate that hangs on the door. There’s no telling when someone will need something important. For all that he generally takes his lunch in the tiny back room of the shop, something he would have made and packed for himself the night before, he always keeps one ear out for the sound of urgent knocking or raised voices. Most days, there’s nothing of the kind, for which he’s thankful. Before he heads back out to the front of the shop, he pauses just long enough to brew himself a cup of chamomile tea, which he takes out with him.

Sometime after lunch, the witch returns to her shop. She’s a old woman, stately and somewhat terrifying. The coils of her hair are hidden under her hijab and there are delicate traceries of faded tattoos on her cheeks and forehead. Nobody in the whole city can think of a time when she didn’t own the small apothecary, and everyone knows it’s more than their life is worth not to listen to her. For all of that, she tends to treat Nasir more like a favored grandchild than an apprentice, and frequently brings him some or other sweet from the nearby market. Because he’s too skinny, she always says. Afterwards, she shoos him off to the back room to mix medicines while she minds the front. Her mind is still like a steel trap and shows no signs of slowing, but her hands are finally beginning to feel their age and it’s easier for both of them that Nasir be the one to ply mortar and pestle and measure sometimes infinitesimally precise amounts of herbs to get just the right mixture.

via The Priestess

This is also when he manages to find the time to work on custom orders. They don’t come in often, but they’re one of Nasir’s favorite things to make. The concentration it takes to make the complex concoctions properly, the ensure that they work the way they should, let him sink into the work in a way he’s always enjoyed. And then there is his favorite type; dealing with poisons. That’s even rarer, and the order always subtly phrased. It’s not that he particularly wants people to die, it’s just that the work itself is interesting, and he has no interest in moralizing. There are plenty of plants that can harm and heal both, depending on dosages, and the pure science is undeniably fascinating.

He heads home in the quiet of the evening, sometime after twilight. His working day is long but he’s never much minded. Socializing is difficult for him, especially with such a large population of humans. He finds it difficult to see eye to eye with them a lot of the time. Still, partially because the witch insists, he tries most nights to have dinner at the tavern near his home. It’s small and rather crowded, always busy and bustling with cheerfully colored banners along the walls and behind the seats, and Nasir doesn’t drink for religious reasons, but it provides him with at least a little social contact, and the food is good. He’s particularly fond of their tajines. Although he does make the effort to branch out, at least a little. And he always buys an extra order of bread to take home with him for breakfast. Talking to the waitress and the other patrons isn’t easy for him, but he trusts the witch’s advice. He knows she’s lived long enough to know what she’s talking about and also that she wouldn’t steer him wrong.

By the time he heads home, it’s full dark. Ordinary people might be scared to walk home alone in the dark. But the first couple of times that anyone dared to approach Nasir, they learned a very hard lesson about what a person is capable of when cornered. And after all, a marid is a type of demon. Word got around after one aspiring brigand was found drowned without a drop of water in sight. Nasir hates confrontation, so he tries to ensure that there will never be a second one. 

Safely back at home, he always checks his wards for the night. It’s not that he’s particularly fearful but a bit of caution never goes amiss. Besides, it keeps his hand in with spellwork, which he’s not inherently good at. He could always use the practice. One last look over his garden for the night, weeding and watering, pruning what needs to be trimmed back and harvesting what’s ready. Once that is properly stored away, he settles in to wind down. He loves poetry, and tries to collect and read as much as he can get his hands on. Since it’s occasionally difficult to find new material to his taste, he tries to make each new volume last as long as it can, savoring it. He can’t always manage to stop himself, though, and will sometimes stay up even later than he means to. He tries his best not to, though, so that he can be at his best in the mornings. Once he’s settled down for the night, he tends to make a nest of his blankets, kicking his pillows to the floor beside his bed. But at least when that’s done he’s comfortable enough to sleep.

Posted 09/23/16, edited 10/06/16

Raven is currently fighting in a war against his home country, Veridia. He is residing in the neighboring kingdom of Helatia fighting against the Dark Queen of Veridia. He is one of the top strategists and fighters. The following is an account of a day in the life in a war. There is not much time for socializing, and Raven prefers to just follow is routine. Of course this schedule changes if he is needed to go into battle. Anything can change at any time.

His shift begins at 3 AM. He is tasked with circling around the perimeter of the camp and making sure they are no threats, while taking out any threats detected. If he comes across a spy, he is required to bring them in alve for questioning. In the case of an ambush, Raven is tasked with circling the encampent with his Hellfire. His fire only burns who he wants it to, making it safe for his allies and deadly to his enemies. Most of the time, Raven just ends up walking or flying around the perimeter until 8 AM.

Breakfast starts at 7 AM and ends at 9 AM to provide everyone enough time to do their duties and have time to eat. Raven usually eats at 8:30 AM, giving him enough time to wash up from his shift. By the time 9 AM comes, he is ready for a nap, but he must help with the clean up first. He naps between 10 AM and 12 PM.

Lunch begins at 12 PM and ends at 2 PM. Raven takes his lunch break at 12:30 PM. From 1 PM to 3 PM he is required to meet in the Green Tent. This is where the higher ups go over strategy, discuss politics, and receive news from the capitol of Helatia. Raven uses his insider knowledge of Veridia to help plan attacks. He listens to the state of affairs and makes his own opinions on the topic at hand. He doesn’t always voice his thoughts. Raven is then tasked with sorting out the mail and distributing it to the people in the camp.

After the mail, Raven starts training new recruits. Depending on how skilled they are, training can last from 4 PM to 7 PM or later. He tells them the reality of the situation and gives them a chance to go home before they can be arressted for abandoning their posts. He separates the magical from the non magical and makes them display their full power so he can assess which positions to put them in. He then helps train the weaker ones and helps control the more powerful ones. He always records who has what kinds of magics as well as their magical signature in case one happens to be a spy sent from Veridia. Any damages or kills can be easily tracked down this way.

Raven misses dinner most nights, but luckily he has a good friend who always saves him a meal. He usually doesn’t end up eating said meal until 9 PM or 10 PM. He then does another perimeter check, not because he is required to, but because it soothes his conscious.  He settles in his assigned tent for the night around 11 PM. He sleeps until 2 AM and then gets up to get ready for his 3 AM shift.

Posted 09/23/16, edited 09/24/16

note: m rating for language

A typical day in the life of Superstes Kurosawa begins at about three AM, when a reaper appears next to his bed and tells him in a dull monotone, “Vria has an assignment for you.”

And he knows it won’t do any good to ask if it can wait until morning—so few undead remain out and about after dawn. Thus, he drags himself out of his warm, cozy bed with minimal cursing. It would be unkind to wake his wife. Of course, Crow sleeps like the dead, so there’s little risk of that, even stumbling around in the pitch-black and admittedly rather cluttered bedroom.

Once he’s gotten some form of clothing on in mostly the right places, he shifts himself to the Realm. Shifting is like teleporting, except there’s a cold abyss of Nothing in Between here and there. He tends to shudder when he comes back out of the Between, but today, he’s too groggy to pay any mind to it. The Realm is white—white walls, white floors, white ceilings—and blandly warm, like a carefully temperature-controlled office building. The light has no source, but emits from everywhere at once, giving the halls a flat, two-dimensional appearance.

Vria’s waiting in her throne room, tapping her pretty, manicured fingernails on the harshly carved iron throne. Behind her is a wall of carefully controlled chaos: pipes, wires, vacuum tubes, panels, dials, pressure monitors, and circuitry all tangle together in a faintly humming web that crawls its way up and down the entire surface of the wall. These are the internal workings of the Computer (Superstes always capitalizes it in his head, because it’s important. Any machine that’s capable of tracking the souls of every being on the planet deserves to be capitalized.)

“Took you long enough,” Vria says, or maybe, “Good morning, sunshine,” or “Someone got up on the wrong side of the bed today,” depending on how frivolous she’s feeling and how much she wants to ruffle Superstes’s feathers. The only constant is her smug look, and her long, black hair that spirals in perfect ringlets to her waist. 

She always gives him his assignment with equal parts condescension and detachment: she really doesn’t care if he enjoys his job, as long as he gets it done, though she always makes clear that he’s rubbish at it (just in case he’s forgotten). Consequently, Superstes is generally rude and snappish. He’s grumpy at the best of times, but putting him in a room with Vria is like dumping gasoline on a house fire, if the house fire had wings and a swearing problem.

When he’s finally finished enduring Vria, Superstes can start work. Depending on where he’s going, he stops to get breakfast, or at least a coffee. Almost every major city has a 24-hour fast-food place somewhere. But sometimes, he gets assignments out in the middle of fuck-all nowhere, and then he’s lucky if he can even locate the goddamn target, much less get a croissant first.

Today, he’s hunting in a south-Chicago district he’s been to before. Something about big cities seems to foster the undead. It might be the crowds, it might be the grime; either way, Superstes is glad to have somewhere easy to shift to.

It’s maybe 2am when he appears on the sidewalk at the corner of two streets he can’t quite be assed to remember the names of. The timezone difference between here and home is good. It’ll give him a little longer to track his quarry before the sun comes up.

He could be hunting a ghost, though Crow usually takes care of those. It could be a vampire, or a zombie, or a revenent: all just slightly different types of undead, all things he’s dealt with before. It really doesn’t matter what it is. Though his choice of weapon may change slightly, his style of tracking it is always the same. He has to call on his beast.

The beast is both a part of him and entirely separate. It’s the entity that makes him what he is, and gives him most of his powers, but it’s violent and bloodthirsty and sometimes just a little bit out of his control. The beast is bonded to his soul, or maybe it ate his soul and took its place—regardless, he coexists with it, and occasionally they even get along well enough to finish an entire assignment together. Today, it cooperates, and he tracks the scent of his quarry quickly and easily.

The details of the hunt are always different, but the end result is the same: one undead monster, dead again. One exhausted reaper, covered in blood or viscera or spit or some other form of monster-ooze. One assignment complete.

By the time he reports back to Vria, finishes all the paperwork, and makes it back home, the sun is halfway up the sky, and he resigns himself to the fact that he probably won’t be getting any more sleep. Crow is in the kitchen, and almost rushes to hug him, before being stymied by the state he’s in and gently suggesting he take a shower before breakfast, maybe?

Superstes can take a hint, and is more than happy to wash the night’s work down the drain. Sometimes, he spends this time dwelling on the morality of what he does. Sure, zombies aren’t exactly sentient, but vampires? Ghosts? Does he have the right to take what semblance of life they have remaining? (These questions keep him up at night, too, and with mornings starting so early sometimes… well, the poor guy doesn’t tend to get much sleep.)

If he stays too long in the shower, Crow comes and coaxes him out with a promise of hot black coffee and scrambled eggs. If it’s a schoolday, the two of them work together to rouse their twins and get them started on their lessons. Dana spends the next several hours coming back and forth with question after question, while Danny sits quietly in the corner and studiously plugs through the workbooks alone.

While the kids are getting their work done, Superstes washes the dishes from breakfast, or helps Crow with his latest craft project, or does laundry, or cleans the cat’s litterbox—all the mundane little tasks of life that even immortal soul-reapers still need to perform. There are days where he spends this time lying listlessly in bed, staring at the ceiling, wondering why he ever agreed to immortality in the first place… but today, he’s okay, and his family is enough of a distraction to make him think being alive really isn’t so bad.

Crow makes lunch, some days, maki rolls or sandwiches or miso soup. The four of them eat together, or the kids take their lunch into the living room and watch cartoons for their hour-long break while Su and Crow talk quietly about whatever happens to be on their minds. The early afternoon is a repeat of the morning, in a lot of ways: schoolwork, house maintenance, reading a book with a cat on his lap.

Late afternoon is when the potential fun starts: the twins are usually eager to go do something, be it walking in the park, riding their bikes, or going to a movie or the mall. Sometimes, they’ll manage to pester their father into taking them somewhere particularly exotic, like Paris or Dresden or Tokyo (having two parents who can teleport instantly to any location on the planet has its advantages).

Occasionally, they make it home in time for dinner, but just as often they’ll eat out, at whatever location they’ve ended up in when the four of them get hungry. The twins have a very wide palette as a result, and could be described as anything but fussy eaters, fortunately for Superstes and Crow.

By evening, Superstes is usually starting to completely crash: even immortals need sleep, and his nighttime excursions frequently catch up to him. It’s up to Crow to get everyone home and tucked into bed, hushing the children and singing them lullabies he remembers from when he was young.

Finally, the twins are settled in for the night, and Superstes and Crow can crawl into bed and turn off the lights. Sometimes, they stay up talking, and sometimes they get up to a bit of fun under the covers—but tonight, Superstes is out like a candle, and he dreams of howling wolves and flashing eyes in the darkness.

i know i can technically only get 2 tickets, but i’m on a roll.

maybe i’ll write this one someday
Posted 09/23/16, edited 10/05/16
Dakota’s Home- Bedroom
Daylight shines through the window. Birds are chirping. Red glowing numbers of the alarm clock read 7:13.

Blaring of Alarm Clock

Dakota- [Groans] I…need…food. [Falls out of bed onto floor] Damn.

20 minutes later

Dakota’s Home- Kitchen
Dakota has woken up enough to make breakfast. Bacon is sizzling in a pan, unattended. Dak is busy helping Cecil complete the New York Times Crossword.

Cecil- [points at newspaper] Ciao. The answer is Ciao.

Dakota- Are you sure? [taps chin with pencil]

Cecil- Yes. You-and I speak over 1,000 languages. But only you are fluent in idiot. The. Answer. Is. Ciao.

Dakota- hmm…[sudden inspiration] I got it! [Writes on crossword] C-i-a-o. Ciao! That’s easy.

Cecil- Congratulations, Dexter. You got one out of seventy one answers. [glares accusingly at Dak]

Dakota- It’s Dakota, Cecil.

Cecil- I know, Dante.

Dakota- Dakota.

Cecil- Darwin.

Dakota- Dakota.

Cecil- The bacon’s burning.

    After a failed attempt to salvage the bacon, Dakota gives up on making bacon and eggs, and begins to attempt to clean the mess.

Dakota-[turns off oven] Yes, Cecil. I know.

Cecil- I didn’t say anything [mutters under breath] That’s the third time this week.

Dakota- [sighs loudly] Today’s the first day of the week, Cecil.

Cecil- [scoffs] I know. Did I stutter? You suck at cooking.

Cecil shakes his tail and turns into a young red-headed boy. He tosses the burnt bacon into the trash.

Cecil- [shoves Dak out of kitchen] Go take a shower. I’ll make breakfast. Like yesterday. And the day before…and before…

Dakota- [grumbles incoherently]

Cecil- [brandishes spatula at Dakota] Is there a problem? Do you want breakfast, or no?

Dakota- Yes, I do.

Dakota ambles upstairs to take his shower while Cecil begins to cook breakfast.

10 minutes later

Dakota is drawn into the kitchen by all the appetizing scents Cecil is wafting throughout the house. Dakota sneaks behind Cecil and attempts to steal the perfectly crisped bacon from the pan.

Cecil- [whacks Dakota’s knuckles with spatula]  Not yet, Diego! Wait.

Dakota- Come on Cec. You know it’s Dakota. D-A-K-O-T-A. It’s not that hard.

Cecil- [scoffs loudly] After the 53rd and 64th state in America? I don’t think so.

Dakota and Cecil continue to bicker and argue.

End Scene


As usual, breakfast is forgotten as Cecil and Dakota fight over this silly thing. Though to an outsider, it may seem like a waste of time, it is Dakota and Cecil’s unique way of telling each other how much they love each other. Though he will never admit it, Cecil absolutely loves to cook for Dakota. Each morning, he’s thrilled when Dakota burns his breakfast-it means that Cec can cook for him. Dakota loves that Cecil cooks for him, but he’s too afraid to admit that Cecil is actually better than him.


The sun peeks over the mountains, painting the edge of the horizon red. Most folk in these parts are still asleep, nestled in their warm beds. Not Sparrow. Other boys his age are working on their fathers’ farms, enlisting into the king’s army, or chasing women. Sparrow had never done any of these things. Picking up his pack, he began to walk east, towards the rising sun. The golden part of his hair glistens in the sun, bouncing ever so slightly. Sparrow wasn’t like other boys, he was different. He wasn’t supposed to exist.

Posted 09/23/16, edited 10/09/16
((Nevermind, complications and time constraints prevented me from finishing, unfortunately :( Ignore this post ))
Posted 09/23/16, edited 10/07/16

The life of Melody

It’s been so peaceful since I moved away from the city. It’s still hard to get out of bed in the morning, but a little less. I stretch, shower, put on my prosthetic leg, and get ready for breakfast. I usually eat whatever I happen to have lying around… My other meals are more planned out than breakfast, haha. Today, I think I’ll make a nice tofu “omelette” with asparagus… I am vegan after all, though I’m not too strict about it.

As I eat, my thoughts go out to my wonderful grandparents. I love them dearly, or rather, loved… Grandma recently passed away, two years after grandpa had done so. I’m still not quite used to the idea that I can no longer see their smiling faces… And it hurts me. But, I try to stay positive! That’s what they would have wanted. If they can’t smile anymore, I’ll smile for the three of us! Though it’s not so easy when you have depression.

I look out of the window of the kitchen. It’s cloudy. There’s a great view of the large garden this house has. Grandma and grandpa passed this house and the garden down to me. They knew I would take good care of it, but it’s tough… I have a bit of a green thumb, but I’m no professional, like grandma. But I love this house, and though I’m just one person, I will do my best to make sure the garden stays as beautiful as when they were alive, in their memory.

I realize I’ve been staring at the garden while my omelette got cold… I eat it, and set the dishes in the kitchen sink. I’m a little lazy, perhaps… But I’ll clean them later. It’s still fairly early. I decide to lie on the couch and play some games on my phone until a little after noon. It’s the weekend, so I feel I can relax a bit. In between playing silly games, I talk to friends via an instant messenger. I don’t really have any friends in the area, but I dearly love my online friends!

The afternoon sun peeks out behind a few fluffy clouds, and I feel like going out into the garden. Every time I walk out of the back door, I get the same feeling. The same memories of my childhood, when I would visit my grandparents here. It is a pleasant memory, though a bit sad now that I can no longer see them. There are rose and peony bushes everywhere, and a small conservatory which has a table and some chairs in it. One day, I would love to invite friends over to come drink tea with me there, but for now, I have to enjoy this on my own(and send some pics to my online friends! Hehe!). There are two benches in the garden as well. I sit down on one, and realize that I haven’t eaten lunch… Oh well. I’m not that hungry anyways.

My days are very quiet now. Back in the city, there was always noise. I lived in an old flat where I could hear everything from outside and from my neighbors. It’s strange, but I think this place can help me heal. My thoughts keep flickering between one thing and another. My new job, that silly new thing I saw on a social network site, and so on. I work as an elementary school music teacher. I can play various instruments, and I love to sing. I also enjoy working with children, though I’m not quite sure if I want any of my own yet…

Oh! It’s already late afternoon. I do so tend to get lost in thought sometimes. I drag myself off the bench and decide to do the dishes and start preparing dinner. I turn on my favourite music playlist and get cookin’! I decide to make black beans and rice, though it is my first time making this dish, so I have to constantly check the recipe… I’m a bit of a clumsy person, and though I tried my best, the rice ended up undercooked and the beans overcooked… How does that even happen? Thankfully, I only need to cook for myself, so I haven’t really disappointed anyone. I eat a fairly big portion, since I forgot to eat lunch and all.

Once again, I look out of the kitchen window. All the clouds have cleared up. As the sun is setting, the sky becomes a beautiful blend of colours. I put my dishes in the sink again, I’ll take care of them tomorrow. Turning off the music that I had put on, I decide to sit on the couch and watch some of my favourite shows until evening. I usually take off my leg when I decide to sit on the couch for a long time. I don’t think about much other than the shows while I’m watching them. Time passes by in the blink of an eye. Before I know it, it’s late, and the stars are out. I turn off all the lights in the house, and go out the back door. Every night at around 10 pm to midnight, I go out into the conservatory and sit there with a nice book(I have a little light so that I can read) and I read it out loud. They are books that I have found in the house, my grandpa’s favourite books. He would always let me stay up late as a child to read me books together with grandma.

I’m not sure why I read them out loud. There’s no one to read to. I suppose I’m just very lonely. Not much has happened today, and I feel bad. But I was taught to take things at my own pace… Even if I feel a little bad about it. I know I shouldn’t feel like that. I did nothing wrong. But I’ll never get any more friends at this rate. I sigh, and close up my book.

I walk by the dishes in the sink on my way to the bedroom. Am I really that much of a slob? As I sit in my bed, I contemplate how much of a lazy person I am. I know I shouldn’t be so negative, but I am. I take off my prosthetic leg. I’m so used to it by now… It’s just routine. On in the morning, off in the evening. I sigh again and lie down.

Hopefully tomorrow will be less quiet.

Posted 09/24/16

7:13 am
That hyper kid, Nox, woke me up a few minutes ago. Came into our cave yelling about journals or whatever. Well, they ran into my den and threw one at me. Hit me in the face and woke me right up, lemme tell you what. I freaked out and the grass and leaves and stuff I use for bedding went everywhere. That’s gonna be a pain to clean.
I asked them what I’m supposed to do with this thing before they ran off to throw books at the others, and they said to just write about what I do in my day. Apparently, I’m going to be writing about cleaning my room. How exciting.
Oh well. At least they’ve been enchanted to note the time of writing for us. That’s nice.

7:26 am
Have I ever mentioned that trying to pick up individual blades of grass is kind of the world’s biggest pain?

7:56 am
I gave up on trying to put my bed back together for the time being. I think I’m gonna have to go pick up some string or something to tie it all together later. In the meantime, I figure I ought to write about myself, I guess?
Uh, well. My name’s Kris. I’m an Enchanted Stone Drasillis with sort of shorter hair than most of the others and no antlers. I don’t remember much of anything of my life before I woke up here, but I know I was carved in late August and I woke up in the cave systems beneath the main cavern. After those quakes a month or two back hit, I guess a way from the main caverns down here opened up, and I met Nox, their more reserved friend Lana, and blue-hair, who were exploring the caves. Me and Leon, a dog Ineki who was carved a few days after me, ended up going with them, and now we all live up here in this little cave just outside the main caverns.
Um… Oh yeah. Blue-hair is my name for Wuji. He’s the only other Dras here right now. He’s nice enough, but kinda broody. Won’t tell anyone about his past or how he came here. I’ve tried to get him to talk, and he’s good enough at making small talk, but he won’t give me anything to work with in regards to where he comes from. I wonder what his deal is.
Ah, what else… Uh, she/her or they/them? I don’t really know.
Writing about yourself is hard and oh crap I just spilled this fish stew all over the page that’s gonna be so gross.

8:05 am
Uh… Well, I cleaned it up as best I could. Hope you like the smell of fish, whoever it is I’m writing this for.
...Nox never actually told me why I’m doing this. Who am I actually writing this for?

8:32 am
Leon came bounding in just now with a notebook of his own. I guess he just woke up. Said he wants to go exploring again today, since he wants an adventure for his journal. I have been meaning to check out more of the upper cave…

9:01 am
I managed to convince Wuji to go with me and Leon. He was reluctant at first, because he still isn’t entirely acquainted with the cave himself (Even though he’s lived here for over a year… I guess having memories of your past makes it hard to adjust), but he agreed to lend a hand in the end. We’re heading out now.

9:47 am
Wuji brought us over to a little lake first. Nerine was there, actually - Swimming out in the middle of the pond by a rock. I thought I saw someone else, an Ineki I think, but as we approached, it vanished. Not like, jumping into the water and swimming off type vanishing, but straight up dissolving into thin air vanishing. Super weird.
Nerine came up to us while Wuji was talking about the whole incident with the lakes of the cave and the strange creatures people had been sighting, and it got her all chatty about how she’d been investigating the cave in secret during the nights before she met the rest of the guys. I kind of zoned out during it, but I think Leon got a kick out of her story, so that’s nice I guess.

10:38 am
Wow. Yeah, Leon was really into Nerine’s tales, writing down every word she said, so we ended up staying a while. I don’t think his journal is going to exactly fit the criteria, but whatever.
Wuji and I spent the time talking about the more in-depth exploration of the caverns leading to my old home we did the other day. He seemed to be more or less avoiding the elephant in the room with what happened in the chamber of the Lost. I don’t blame him. It seems like a touchy subject. But he thanked me was we all got up to leave. I told him, ‘No worries’ or something along those lines. Said if he needed to talk about anything from before, I’d be cool with him coming to me or whatever. I still don’t really understand it all too much, especially since I don’t remember my own past at all, but hey, he’s a friend.
Oh yeah. Before we left, I asked Nerine about that Ineki I thought I saw when we came over here. She said it was her girlfriend.
...She has a girlfriend?

11:24 am
Wuji brought us over to a really… Weird section of the cave. It seems like it just becomes open space. I think I saw a couple of little asteroids floating around out there. Leon really wanted to go check it out. I had to pin him to the ground and yell at him for trying to float off into the abyss. What is with this place?
Anyway, blue-hair said this was near where he woke up when he arrived here. He doesn’t seem too spacey to me, but I guess considering what he’s told me of his past, him arriving on the edge of the darkness of space makes sense.

11:58 am
We’re stopping for lunch. Wuji had the foresight to pack some food. I appreciate that… Even if it is just a thermos of mushroom stew. I would have thought the upper caves would have more… I dunno, variety in their foods? There’s way more than down below, don’t get me wrong, but it seems like fish and shrooms make up the vast majority of the diets up here.
...Or maybe these guys just don’t know how to cook and grow their own foods. Nerine nearly drowned my flowers, after all.

12:36 pm
And we’re off again.

12:53 pm
Leon is whining about getting a cramp. I’m not even surprised. He always eats too much and then runs off and hurts himself…

1:25 pm
We’re at another pond now. This one is a lot clearer. Wuji says that this place is called the Magic Puddle, and if you picture something in your imagination, what you’re thinking of will be reflected up back at you. I gave it a try.
...Maybe I should pick up a pair of wings, since I don’t have any of my own.

1:48 pm
Leon has been staring into the pool for ages now. Coming here with him was a bad idea. He already had an overactive imagination, and this is definitely not helping.

1:52 pm
I pushed him in and blamed Wuji.

1:53 pm
He didn’t believe me. Now the journal’s wet and smells like fish stew. Enjoy, whoever it is that’s reading this.

2:16 pm
We stopped off at a little store on the outskirts of the shopping district to buy Leon a towel to dry off with. Wuji says that since we’re here, we can check out the rest of the bazaar next.

2:35 pm
With Leon dried off, we stopped by Sullie’s next. Wuji bought me a bow. He said it was thanks for listening to him when we went down in the caves again the other day.
It’s a little girly, but I appreciate the thought.
...And I guess it does look nice enough on me.

3:46 pm
We’ve been wandering around a while. In one of the smaller shops, Leon started ogling a weird looking mushroom growing on a piece of driftwood after Wuji explained that it can change your colors if you eat it. It was super expensive, though… He’s gonna make us go broke with his head stuck in the clouds, I swear.
...Although I do admit, a mushroom that can do something like that sounds interesting.

4:02 pm
Setting off once more. Wuji said that this place would be our last stop for today before we went home. Hopefully it’s interesting. Shopping was fun for a while, but Leon insisting he try out every little thing was a little exhausting.

4:33 pm
So this is the Sacred Tree in the flesh, huh? We had some small offshoots from the roots back home, but to think that their origin point was so grand… It puts the saplings down below to shame.
Leon asked if anyone Wuji knew had performed mihlanaku. It took him a a few seconds to remember the term - I guess it’s one he’s still not completely familiar with - then he said that he’d done it himself. I thought that was odd. He clearly hadn’t moved on, after all, but I decided against bringing it up. Leon asked instead. He wanted to know who he’d performed the ceremony with.
He said that he’d performed it alone, and it all made sense.

5:01 pm
We just got back. Leon raced off to his room to write up more stories in his journal. That thing’s never gonna count as a proper entry. Oh well. At least he enjoyed himself, I guess. I feel like I know a bit more about the upper caves as well, so that’s nice.

5:12 pm
Oh my god I forgot to buy string to keep my bed from falling apart again hhhhhhh-

5:31 pm
This is so tedious I swear I’m gonna scream.

6:14 pm
That. Took. Way. Too. Long.

6:15 pm
You know what? I’m just gonna lie down and relax a while. Maybe make a sandwich for differ. I worked hard to put this bed back together. I deserve this.

6:29 pm
This sandwich is terrible why did I decide to make a mushroom and fish sandwich this is legitimately gross I don’t even know how to cook.

6:43 pm
Wow yeah that was terrible I’m gonna go grab some of the leftover salad Sylvia made for lunch earlier instead.

7:52 pm
Wuji came in while I was dozing off and asked if I could meet him outside at around ten. He said there’s one more thing he wanted to show me, but he didn’t want to risk Leon coming along and getting overly excited and getting himself hurt. I told him I was game.

9:56 pm
Heading out now.

10:43 pm
I could see the stars, real stars, beyond the rocks we were hiding behind, past the giant bone creature with fiery blue magic. Wuji says that that world out there is the outside. He told me he wants to find a way out of here someday.
“Maybe, just maybe, if I can leave this place behind and see this new world, beyond this cave, for myself… Maybe I can finally move on.”
I hope he manages to find a way.

11:26 pm

Posted 09/25/16, edited 10/09/16

The lab assistants’ household was always an active place, no matter the time of day. When Ori woke in the mornings, the sun wouldn’t even be shining yet, but she’d hear movement coming from down the hall and she’d notice one less Drasillis sleeping in their shared bed. The canine Ineki would slip out of bed quietly, leaving Bianca and Patty to their beauty rest at least til they had to eat. Making her way down the hall she’d find the Drasillis cooking breakfast for their large geness. Pancakes for the picky feline, eggs and bacon for Ori herself, and oatmeal with fruit for their vulpine companion.

Alphys, as the Drasillis was named, never ate breakfast. Ori had tried cooking for her a few times, of course, and she’d just save it for lunch. So now, Ori would wake up early, join her in the kitchen, and just make lunch for everyone so Alphys didn’t have to make it all. That and it was always nice to have company while the other two slept. Playful banter, minor flirting, and some teasing always ensued as well.

Perfect timing as always, as the table was being set, Patty would wander in for her oatmeal. She’d nuzzle up against Alphys as the draconic set the table, who would just respond with a laugh and a playful ruffle of fur. She’d help the sleepy bundle of fur into her seat and let her eat as she went to wake Bianca up.

To wake Bianca up was, well, a full job all on it’s own. The feline was a heavy sleeper and one that never wanted to get up. On occasion, like mornings after she stayed up too late, even Ori would be needed to get her out of bed. Most mornings, though, just as Ori was packing lunch up, Bianca would be led in, yawning and asking why she had to get up before the sun. She was never answered, because of course she knew exactly why they got up this early. Complaining always made her feel better, though.

As the Drasillis cleaned up the kitchen and made sure everyone had everything they would need, the Ineki would eat together, the sleepy ones slowly becoming more awake, more ready for the day. Once it was time to go, the three would be rushing to put their plates in the sink, grabbing their lunch bags, and shouting to tell Alphys they were ready. The Ineki would be out the door first, their orange Draconic not far behind, and one thing never failed to happen.

Alphys would find herself running into three floofy fox tails. The 3 Ineki having stopped right outside their door, looking up at the sky. Patientia would curl Alphys close using those same tails as they were all reminded why they woke up so early. The sky was a gorgeous gradient of bright orange and peach, making the icey snow below reflect a soft pink tone. The sight never failed to amaze them. It was the whole reason they moved out to this area. They had to travel pretty far to make it to work on the other side of the woods, but the view of their front yard made it worth it. Made it worth them getting up so early. This was the reason Bianca never had to be told why they were up.

They’d spend a little while longer, enjoying the view before they’d start looking at each other. Once each pair of eyes had turned away from the sky, the girls knew it was time. They’d get to see it again tomorrow, after all. So with bright smiles, they’d begin the run to work, flinging fresh soft pink snow up at each other with their paws and claws.

Upon getting to work, they’d slip through the hoard of other bustling Ineki in the main room of the lab. The girls would go to their little lab in the back, setting up beakers, cleaning from the late-night their boss pulled the night before, and generally taking notes on how any of their experiments may have mutated over night. Either on purpose or by pure luck, as it would go.

About the time they’d get everything straightened out, an old dog Ineki named William would stumble in carrying a load far too large. The girls would help him get everything put down and earn a “What would I do without my girls!” and a hearty laugh. Their old boss would joke around as they set to work on whatever project they may of been working on at the time. Puns, word play, anything that would make his assistants laugh or groan.

Around lunch time, they’d all sit down to eat with Will. Normally he wouldn’t have a meal of his own, so they’d each share a bit with him. Ori would give him some fruit from her fruit salad. Patty would share her dry cereal. He’d get some milk from Alphys as she ate ramen. Last, their picky feline would simply be eating a danish, that a chunk would be cut out from for Will. They were fairly certain he didn’t eat much, so none of them really minded sharing their lunch.

After dinner it would be much of the same. More work, jokes, measurements, note taking, and general friendliness between the assistants and their boss. Every once in awhile a cat nap would take place, taking far too much rousing from the others to get Bianca up and going again. No one really minded, they managed fine without her. It was just something that would happen.

Alphys and William seemed to be the two leading most of the work lately. The little group of scientists were working on making crystals that grew into different shapes. Flowers, fake animals and creatures, even crystalline grass. The Drasillis, having crystals forming on her own body, seemed to have a way with creating such things. William, well, he was a natural at anything science. So putting the two together, naturally, this made the whole lab have crystals just forming everywhere. Even a few trees seemed to have sprouted, casting a soft blue light from their pine like crystal spines.

They’d leave by sundown, while William continued his work. The girls would run home, normally as snow began falling again, laying it fresh for in the morning. It would be quiet, not many traveled the same path they did, and once they got home, they’d rush inside to shake the falling snow from their coats and wings. Giving each other fond licks to clean off any of the stubborn flakes, they’d warm up inside.

Dinner was the meal Patty and Bianca took over together as the other two had made breakfast and lunch, and it was also the one meal they always ate the same thing. Dinner ranged from different pastas to pizza, or roasted poultry, whatever they had that even the picky feline would eat. The two would cook, Patty often trying to eat before it was done and Bianca lightly scolding her about that being unhealthy. Table would be set, plates would be filled, and everyone would be called in to eat.

Clean up for the day’s dishes would be split between the four of them. Patty washing, Alphys rinsing, Ori drying, and last would be Bianca putting them away. Once the dishes were away and the kitchen cleaned through combined effort, they’d move through the living room and pile up in there for just a little while. Time to relax and unwind after a full day of work. They’d watch a few movies, romance being Patty’s favorite and superheros for Bianca. Some anime was played for Alphys. Last, Ori would just play whatever children’s cartoons she could find. The cartoons would lull Bianca to sleep first.

Once everyone was sufficiently tired, two girls would carry Bianca to bed and the third would turn the tv off and make sure all the lights were off, meeting their loves in bed. They’d all cuddle up together, a few sleepy goodnights and nuzzles. A few giggles due to a couple teasing tickles. Then they’d nod off, one by one, normally leaving Ori the last one awake. The canine girl looked over the 3 she shared her bed with, and being grateful for all the moments they get to spend together, whether it’s their ordinary day or not. Any moment with her family was special for her.

Dani is a ditsy little fox, one who often forgets where she’s going, or why she’s going there to begin with. She tries to keep to a strict schedule, as when she mixes it up, she herself gets mixed up. Being a student makes keeping a schedule hard sometimes, but she does her best, and she has her friends to help her out.

Every morning, when she gets up, she heads out to grab a cup of coffee, which ends up being all she has for breakfast. Then, she’ll head to class, trotting through peaceful back roads, passing few other ineki along the way. During her first class of Statistics, she sits and talks with her friends Robert and Rian, the squirrel and cat ineki. Robert normally gives her snacks towards the end of class and the three go outside for Dani to have a coffee break before their next class.

They head on to Creative writing together, with Dani drinking her third cup of coffee. And no, she doesn’t have a problem. She can stop when she wants to. She does well in this class, finding it much easier than any math class. About half-way through, she’ll start getting excited for her science class that comes next. Sadly she’ll have to split up with her friends though.

During Science she’ll ace whatever quiz her teacher gives at the beginning of class. She doesn’t need to study here. This is her element, so to speak. She’d been fascinated by the sciences ever since she was a young sprout. She dreams of doing something big one day. Maybe creating a new type of energy! Maybe using coffee as a base…

Class ends, she’s zoned out a bit, imagining all the things she could make using coffee as a base component. Rian passes by her classroom, expecting to find her there and being correct. He pops in and drags her out of her day dreaming.

They’d go and meet Robert for another meal. He’d cook for them at his house and make a pot of coffee just for Dani. They’d work on homework together while music played in the background. Either homework from the classes they shared, or they’d tutor each other in different classes. Whatever was needed.

She’d head home after, eating poptarts and drinking more coffee before bed. You’d think the caffeine would keep her up but she seems to be immune to it at this point. She falls asleep easily that night, but she wonders if she forgot to do something that day? Maybe. Hopefully she’d do it tomorrow.

Posted 09/25/16, edited 10/08/16

Pine‘s entry! Now finished. Content warning for some strong language.

7:30 AM

Beep beep beep beep beep be-

Kukurbo met the dawn of a new day with a groan and a paw on the alarm clock. Did he really have to get up now?

Five more minutes. That’s all he needed. Right?

7:58 AM

Well, shit.

8:00 AM

Luckily for him, Kukurbo knew just how messed up his sleeping schedule was, and adjusted his alarm time accordingly. The clock started beeping again, and after he turned it off for good, the ineki winced at the mess in his room. A book here, a couple crumpled up pieces of paper there, a pen or three he’d knocked on the floor. The place needed sweeping and dusting, too, chores he’d surely find a way to put off for another week or two.

“You still aren’t awake yet?”

“Haven’t I told you to knock before barging into my room?” Kukurbo chided. He didn’t need to look up to know Indigo was standing in his doorway, scrutinizing his habitat. “Not all of us can wake up singing like a songbird at the asscrack of dawn.”

Indigo chuckled. “I’m just teasing you. It ain’t like anyone else is up anyway. I can make us both some breakfast while you get ready? If you want eggs, that is.”

“That sounds good. I’ll be down there in a few!”

8:15 AM

After cleaning up his mess and cleaning the gunk from his eyes, Kukurbo arrived at one of his favorite places: the kitchen. While he wasn’t on Pop Rocks’ level of mastery when it came to edibles, he still enjoyed cooking. He enjoyed eating even more.

Today’s breakfast was scrambled eggs, a slice of toast, amply buttered, and a cup of mixed fruit, accompanied by a steaming cup of coffee.

“Hey, Indigo, look here.”

As the spellweaver turned, Kukurbo gave her a grin, grabbed the ketchup bottle, and began squirting it on his eggs.

She pretended to gag. “I thought we had this discussion before. Ketchup does not go on eggs.”

“Sure it does!”

8:30 AM

The playful banter was fun, but now Kukurbo had eight hours of work to look forward to. He was a cashier at the local general store, though he helped wherever he was needed.

In all honesty he didn’t mind it anymore. Some days he even enjoyed it. Since his hiring almost two years ago, the town in which he worked had grown considerably as more ineki moved away from the main settlement. This meant more customers to interact with, more stories to take home, and most importantly, more money on his paycheck.

It was a twenty minute walk from his house—or zoo, as he sometimes called it due to the high number of residents living in it—to his job. He wrapped his scarf tight around his neck; with the coming of autumn, the air grew more chilly every day.

Thank gods the winters aren’t too bad here.

9:00 AM

After fixing his second cup of coffee of the day, Kukurbo unlocked the front door and changed the sign. Come on in, we are OPEN!, it read in a fancy serif font.

He looked up and down the street. Well, there wouldn’t be a crowd any time soon. He’d water the plants and draw something on the chalkboard in the meanwhile. His boss, the store’s owner, would be restocking items inside.

9:26 AM

Finally, their first customers of the day, a family of three. They weren’t buying much: a loaf of bread, two gallons of milk, some trashy harlequin romance novel. Most customers were like this, as it was a small store.

After they left, he grabbed a tabloid out of curiosity. It’d be enough to entertain him for a few minutes, and sure enough, the headlines were outrageous as always. Some of the highlights:

Heartbreak for DYING Mayor!

Kelph eats 4,000 washing-up sponges!

Killer flying squirrels attacked my little sprout!

Ambrose wasted again!

“Where do they come up with some of these?” Kukurbo muttered in exasperation.

1:00 PM

For Kukurbo, the first four hours of work were uneventful. Hopefully it stays that way!

And now it was time for his lunch break. He’d covered the store while his boss was on lunch break, so it was his turn to go eat. There was a diner on the next block over, and he drooled just thinking about their food.

“Good afternoon, Kuku! Hope your day hasn’t been too hectic,” called one of the workers. She had been working at the diner longer than he had been carved, so she knew him very well. “Are you eating here or to-go?”

“‘Sup Kaycee!” Kukurbo replied. “I’ll be eating to-go, as usual. One pork tenderloin sandwich with a side of fries and Cave Cola, please.”

The diner was one of the two places he’d buy lunch at, the other being a convenience store. Needless to say, most of his business went here. He’d make small talk with Kaycee while she made his meal, and once his order was complete, he’d return to the store to eat and read a book in the back room.

2:15 PM

There was always that kind of customer in the store at least once a day. Kukurbo even had a haiku for them:

Ugh, not this again.
You’re so loud and annoying.
Please pay and get out.

At least no one had tried to shoplift today. Not that he knew of, anyway.

5:00 PM

“Sorry, we’re closed!” Kukurbo said, pointing the sign he’d just flipped five seconds before. “But we open on the weekdays starting at nine! Come again tomorrow! Thank you!”

Freedom at last! All he had to do now was sweep and then he could take the twenty-minute walk back home.

5:25 PM

As Kukurbo arrived home, he noticed that the house has grown much livelier. Kokomo is weed-whacking out front, and Tufo and Jokul are engaged in conversation on the front porch. Probably some book they’re reading. While he also enjoyed books, his tastes rarely overlapped with theirs.

“Honey, I’m home!” he called, prompting them to look up.

“Oh no, Kuku’s back!” said Tufo, the younger Drasillis sticking his tongue out at him. “Can we go exploring later?”

“Heck yeah.” Kukurbo ruffled Tufo’s hair. “Say, I smell something good in the kitchen. What’re we having for dinner?”

“Pop Rocks is making spaghetti,” Jokul answered. “Something simple. She just started on the sauce a few minutes ago, so it’ll be a while.”

“Cool! Well, let me get out of my work clothes, and I’ll be back out in a minute.”

As crowded as the house was, he was glad he could get along with everyone. He’d be happy to relax and chat with his housemates.

6:00 PM

Dinner was ready, and instead of eating in the kitchen, everyone decided to eat outside on the back porch. Unless a warm streak came, this would be the last day of the year they could do this.

“Mm, this is divine! Thank you, Pop Rocks,” Jokul murmured.

“Aww, you’re welcome,” she responded, giggling.

Kukurbo and Tufo exchanged a look.

“Jokul and Pop Rocks, sittin’ in a tree. MIH-LA-NA-KU-I-N-G,” the Drasillis whispered, causing Kukurbo to almost choke on his spaghetti in laughter.

“Huh? What’s so funny?” Jokul asked, genuine in his question. He hadn’t heard Tufo’s “commentary”.

“N-nothing!” Kukurbo coughed, managing to swallow his bite. “I just remembered a funny joke my boss told me. Oh yeah, thanks, Pops. This tastes real good! You’ll need to show me your recipe some time. Got it?”

7:00 PM

Ah, that’s right, Kukurbo had promised to take Tufo exploring, hadn’t he?

Going down the stairs, he noticed the dras cracking an egg into a bowl, with Pop Rocks supervising him over his shoulder.

“Good job,” she said, before spotting Kukurbo at the bottom of the staircase. “Oh, are you here to help?”

“Well, we were gonna head out for an adventure..”

“Can we do that tomorrow?” Tufo asked. “I wanted to do it tonight but then Pop Rocks asked if I wanted to help make some cookies. And you know what? I said yes!”

“I can tell. I mean, that’s fine. I don’t have work tomorrow, so we can go exploring all day if you want to.” He’d be well-rested and ready for a long walk then, but for now, baking cookies would be a perfect way to end the evening. Once that was done, he figured they all could sit in the living room and watch a movie. Wouldn’t that be nice?

11:00 PM

Three dozen cookies, a movie, and a chatting session later, Kukurbo returned to his room, turning the lights off and burrowing under the blankets. Since he didn’t have work, he wanted to catch up on his beauty sleep.

Just another typical day, he thought with a yawn, but that’s not a bad thing. Time to rest… I’ve got a lot to look forward to tomorrow.

Posted 09/25/16, edited 10/09/16

Hooray! It’s Nomble!


They felt the room brighten but kept their eyes closed tight. Their normal relationship with their bed was an attraction based purely on momentum, or lack thereof. As evening wears into night (or the closest approximation a ship can replicate), sleep becomes less and less attractive. Like a moon, they will orbit without touching, always finding another thing to do and avoiding the call of sleep until the last possible moment. But when they could avoid it no longer, and finally ceased moving to sink into the gravity field, the allure was undeniable. That is, they hated going to bed, but when they were already in it, they didn’t want to get out.
The lights brightened to full spectrum. Nomble swore and rolled over, pulling the sheet over their head and mumbling something about never coming out. Unfortunately, Ship had plans this morning that didn’t include lazing in bed all day, and Ship was, well, Ship. The blankets became transparent and the lights brightened just enough to start being obnoxious, but Nomble stubbornly refused to open their eyes.
“Agent Ska-Mittsit-Oh-Bee-tee, why must we go through this every morning?”
Being called by their full name would be unnerving if it wasn’t so routine by this point. “Nomble…” Nomble mumbled, putting their hands over their eyes, since the blasted Ship couldn’t turn them transparent. “And why don’t you go fly into a sun, you overhyped tin ca-aaaaaahhhhhglubblub!!”
While Nomble was carrying on, Ship had been moving the gravity well towards the cleaning alcove. Nomble’s scream coincided with jets of water shooting from unseen spigots, scrubbing and drenching them from all angles at once. While Ship knew Nomble’s comfort parameters (as an individual, species, and xenotype), it also knew how cold it could make the water to get its point across without causing permanent harm. It modulated its voice to be heard above the half-drowned space cadet.
“This is the eight-hundredth, sixty-seventh morning in which you’ve been aware of the schedule and still required a personalized wake-up protocol.”
Cleaning complete, the jets of water had been replaced with jets of (slightly) warmer air. Nomble bobbed slowly in the gravity well, scowling venomously. The effect of this was somewhat reduced by the fact they were buck naked, dripping wet, and clearly helpless. “Eight hundred-whatever times and you still haven’t learned to let me sleep. What kinda idiot AI are you?”
Ship was an AI that was many times more intelligent than Nomble, and could access more than twenty-five thousand signs of various nuance. However, it was also smart enough to know it needn’t give the cadet the satisfaction of its exasperation. “Not smart enough to maintain more than sixteen hundred thirty-eight concurrent programs dedicated to keeping the life inside me alive and comfortable.” The gravity well abruptly cut off, dumping Nomble to the floor in a tangle of limbs. “Oops. That must have been the sixteen hundred thirty-ninth.”


Ship was using a small biological shell that looked vaguely reptilian, though covered in sleek fur. A small pair of leathery wings sprouted from its shoulders, much too small to support its weight but seeming to do so, flapping lazily while the biodrone levitated convincingly. It wore a gauzy robe and, inexplicably, a golden laurel upon its head. Biodrones were a particular hobby of this Ship, that set it apart from the other AIs: The fantastic forms it grew were discussed throughout the Culture by those whose own hobbies were obsessing about these sorts of things, collecting factoids about ships like stamps. For Ship’s part, it denied any particular fondness for the fantastical or creative. It maintained the only reasons for the biodrones were pratical. Students were more likely to listen to vessel of flesh, no matter how bizarre, than a disembodied voice or obviously mechanical avatar.
Well, most students were. Nomble was not most students.
Sure, they had an intense look of concentration on their face. As Ship continued to speak they saw Nomble’s eyes narrow, and their tongue poke out the corner of their mouth. Such dedicated focus would be admirable, were in actually applied to what Ship was saying. Nomble’s attention was elsewhere, however, attested by the finger they had firmly jammed in their nose.
“Hah!” Forgetting any pretense of listening to Ship, they gave an audible cry of success, brandishing a huge bogey on the end of their finger. “Finally! I thought I was gonna pick my brains out!”
Ship resisted the urge to make the obvious joke.
“Ska-Mittsit-Oh-Bee-Tee, you really mus-“
“Nomble, then. All I’m asking is for you to listen to a few stories.” One long claw stopped scratching its rotund belly long enough to point vaguely towards the outside of the ship, “Stories about the systems we’re travelling towards. This is very important for your work.”
“Yeah yeah…” Nomble was now digging at the other nostril. “I know them. I went over them last night, and downloaded them just in case I missed anything. I’m fine.”
“You might be fine, but you’re still a human xenotype. You can’t access memories the way an AI can. Your kind benefits from that act of learning. You know this, you’re not unintelligent,” relative to the rest of your species, Ship did not say aloud, “so why do you refuse to learn?”
Nomble examined the bogey on the end of one finger while continuing to dig for another with their other hand. “Not that I’d expect an all-knowing-all-seeing-all-whatever-the-fuck supercomputer to understand, Ship, but it’s boring. There’s no point to it. Most of the stuff you go on about never comes up. It’s an absolute waste of time. I’ll move on to the next mission and then all this knowledge will become useless again, thrown away and forgotten.” To drive this point home, Nomble flicked the booger away, where it stuck to a wall, a garish yellowy-green against the cool unassuming grey.
This time, Ship utilized Sigh #7,854, and made a note to sterilize the snotball via nanobot drone after they’d left the room. Ship did not have the luxury of forgetting.


Nomble was dripping with sweat and almost dry-heaving with exertion. With a final cry, they threw themselves forward. The smack of flesh on flesh was unmistakable, as Nomble’s open palm connected with their opponent’s clavicle and sent them sprawling. “Yield already, Sichti!”
“No…way…” Sichti panted. His skin was light where Nomble’s was dark, bulk where Nomble was lithe. They both had smiles dancing around their faces, too, with equal parts flirtation, but Sichti’s was genuine where Nomble’s was ironic. Sichti leapt back into the fray, grabbing Nomble in a wrestler’s hold while they both tried to flip the other back to the floor.
Nomble ordered their sweat glands to overproduce, knowing Sichti (and the other few dozen people in the training room) had done the same. Nomble crinkled their nose slightly, as apparently Sichti had also ordered his body odor to increase, and the room was getting quite rank. While perfectly acceptable combat tactics, Nomble preferred not to use chemical warfare in training.
Testament to its effectiveness, Sichti took advantage of Nomble’s distraction to escape Nomble’s grip, twisting and letting his sweat-soaked skin do the rest. Dancing away for only a heart-beat, Sichti shifted his weight and lunged again, driving his shoulder into Nomble’s belly and pushing them both to the ground. “Yield, you brat!” Sichti said, eyes dancing. For their part, Nomble was trying to regain enough breath to yield when the smallest noise out of place made both their heads whip around. An almost-inaudible sliding sound, like a vent opening, and a low hum was all the warning they had.
Both Nomble and Sichti flung themselves in different directions, drawing energy weapons from wherever they had hidden them (Nomble kept one in the small of their back, and one in their boot). The air smelled of ozone, so Nomble widened their visible wavelength until they could see faint green flashes streaking through the air. The “enemy” was using lasers too, but on a different wavelength than their own.
Ship’s combat drones zig-zagged through the room, picking off cadets one at a time. When someone was hit, they were surrounded by a pretty green halo and then rendered immobile. No doubt it hurt a bit (Ship’s compassion did not extend to discomfort within survivable parameters). With a cry, Nomble stimmed Faster and began to shoot at the drones, taking out the ones targeting the less experienced cadets first. They managed to take out three or four before being hit in the back themselves. Their cry of frustrated defeat made Sichti turn to help, which caused him to also be taken out.
In the end the cadets lost the skirmish, too tired from training that they weren’t able to overcome Ship’s surprise attack. No heroes distinguished themselves that day, and no accolades were awarded. They stumbled blearily to the dining area, most of them ready to eat and sleep and ready themselves for the next day where, hopefully, they’d do a little better. Sichti sat beside Nomble, and they both ate in silence for a few minutes. Sichti shifted, touching his leg to Nomble’s from ankle to thigh, “You did really good today.”
Nomble threw Sichti a glare, but there was very little heat in it, “I do good every day. If you want to partner just say it, but you’re gonna have to shower first because you stink.”
Sichti sighed, “You know, way back in history there used to be courtship. Sex was a big deal. You had to spend months talking to someone first, getting to know them, sharing your lives…”
“Gross. Back then people also died of diseases all the time, they couldn’t manip their genes, stim brain chemicals, and were stuck in whatever shitty role they were born to. And sex wasn’t about fun, it was about politics and power and property. There’s no reason to think fondly of our barbarian past. Ugh.”
“I’m not saying everything was better back then!”
“Then what are you saying?”
“I’m saying you act like hot shit all the time but you’re just like the rest of us. I think you’re strong and attractive but your ego is terrible.”
“Wow. If that’s what “courtship” is like, sign me the fuck up.”
“Forget it.” Sichti rose from the table and exited the mess, not looking back. The tension in their neck betrayed their anger, but Nomble could see it beginning to smooth and relax even as the door slid shut behind him, the telltale signs of someone stimming Calmer.
Unbothered, Nomble finished eating, turning to chat with the others. Ship life was hard enough, no one could hold grudges for long and still function, so fights were best ignored unless you were one of the people involved. Nomble would apologize (or not) and Sichti would get over it (or not). Another cadet, further on in their contract and more experienced in most things, murmured a suggestion to Nomble quietly. Nomble whispered something back, and they left together, her hand trailing up and down Nomble’s back.
It was a long, long time before Nomble stumbled back to their room and back to their bed. They revised the thought they had early this morning: They hated going to their own bed. With a sign surprisingly similar to Ship’s, they closed their eyes and tried not to think about the next morning.

For those who care about Nomble’s timeline (all 0 of you lol) this takes place a few years before meeting Tobias, when Nomble was still a newbie space cadet. Ship is the same one though. :3

Posted 09/27/16, edited 09/29/16

Mitsuru has made her home in a cozy little koi pond, one that’s littered with lily pads and lotus blossoms along its surface.  She had previously been quite the roamer, but after meeting Shoku Gladiolus on a fateful afternoon on the first of August, she decided to make the pond her permanent residence so that Shoku could always find her.

The morning is when she prefers to sleep in, waiting until the sun is shining directly over the pond to even stir awake.  She swims and eats her helping of fish, sometimes flying to another body of water so that her pond doesn’t become completely empty of food, but nearly always taking the time to gently clean her feathers after her breakfast.  Naturally, there are times when feathers or her fur undercoat shed - these are things she carefully saves, due to their magical nature.

After hours and hours of careful grooming she retrieves her loom, beginning to spin thread from anything - flowers, feathers, fur, basically anything tangible.  She works long and tirelessly, singing the whole while as she spins magical cloth, imbuing it with good fortune.  It’s usually about this time that Shoku arrives, presumably summoned by the sound of her voice.  She continues to spin the threads, but will calmly and subtly flirt with him the whole while, much to her partner’s embarrassment.

When she has completed a piece it is usually evening, and it’s only these days that she accompanies someone else for a meal, following Shoku to wherever strikes his fancy.  It’s never quite about the taste of the food since Mitsuru holds no real interest in such things, but the company she keeps - Shoku always has a story to stutter out for her, or asks her about herself.  While she doesn’t have much to offer him with words, she will usually grace him with a gift regardless, typically a feather or a flower plucked from the pond and yet unspun.  When Shoku grows tired after their meal and what time they spend together, Mitsuru returns to her pond and resumes work on a very special project.  She is making a silk flag mimicking the shimmering, glowing patterns on her fins with painstaking detail, pouring as much good will and love and fortune as she can into every stitch.  This has been troubling her, at times, as sometimes her feathers will take longer to grow back or she will become ill, but she is absolutely devoted to completing this token of her favor for Shoku Gladiolus, fully intending for him to take it into any dangerous adventures so that he may return safely.  She works on this project until she feels the need to sleep and can no longer ignore the urge, then puts it away with her loom and swims back into the nook she carved out of the pond under the water.

Posted 09/27/16
A Day in the Life of an Air Kelph….

Inspiration lolls over and stretches her pink pawpads out to the Blue Skies, Clouds and Winds that are her family as she begins her day.
..photo curtesy www.morrisey.com

Inspiration wriggles around, delighting in the feel of her purple, blues and pink body and flips her wings, sending tiny bits of Cirrus clouds scooting around her as she wriggles awake, a blissed smile on her face as she glances around, looking for the Winds and Clouds to see which of her extended family are embracing her today. 

Belatedly, she remembers her newest and brightest family member ~ Cloud Dancer!  The Angelic Solstice Kelph’s teeth chitter and her heart lurches in pure happiness!  Inspiration is more or less a shallow creature, her thoughts coming and going as fleeting as the scudding of Clouds across the blue skies, or the Winds playing invisibly, but Their Gift to her was recently a solid pink lumpet of a baby kelph.  Her newest and sweetest family member.


Imp remembered all too well the excitement the day she was gifted Cloud Dancer after wishing and wishing in solitude someone like herself.  ...she sighed.  In fact Cloud Dancer wasn’t fully like herself, or at least not that she could remember.  The Clouds and Winds giggle and laugh and reassure her as Imp rises that Cloud Dancer is exactly what she herself was like as a baby to raise. 

Imp tips her nose up.  “Hmpf!”  she exclaims sharply.  ‘‘Wellllll…I guess they would know’’ she adds with a head tilt and chagrin,  “Especially since they raised me.”  Inspiration grins and shows her teeth, chittering again in pure happiness to the Four Winds, encompassing her brethren Winds and Clouds as she looks about.

“Speaking of, where did I tuck Cloud Dancer in?”  she glances about and sees a particularly large lumpet of a cloud bump ^.^  “There you are!”  and with that she dives nose first into the cloud blankets.  Their combined joyful laughter at first greeting sounds like light raindrops…

After Inspiration rouses her newest, pinkest family member, they break their fast with nibbles on the nearest clouds.  Inspiration has done this from her earliest memories.  The Clouds have always provide her sustenance.  With each meal, the flavors and textures change:  breaking fast could mean something light and fluffly like waffles or blueberry pancakes with syrup! Or something heavier like omelettes or something more robust and complex like croissants stuffed with lox. 

Inspiration and Cloud Dancer are delighted as the Nimbus Clouds roll out Blueberry Pancakes for Inspiration and Strawberry Pancakes for Cloud Dancer both with huge dallops of whipped cream ~ Mmmmmmm!!!  What a delish start to the morning!

Afterwards the Winds have arrived!!!  Each morning Inspiration waits to see which of the Winds will show.  Sometimes it’s West, or sometimes South,  other times it is the North or more rarely, the East.  Each gets a turn to play with her.  Inspiration throws herself into the direction of the Wind.  The first of the games being “Chase!”  that is, Inspiration flies as hard and fast as her wings can carry into the Wind.  Of course with roly poly Cloud Dancer now the game is at a much slower pace.  She glances down and is treated with a “Thbbbbbpppttt”  from Dancer in response to a caressing breeze from the South Wind.

Inspiration grins and together they set out at a roller coaster pace.  Inspiration slows her gait and Cloud Dancer, as she learns ...sorta….what her wings do, goes up and down.  She does manage forwards as well and the Wind is delighted with any progress Baby makes ^.^ 

Hours later Inspiration and Cloud Dancer are beckoned with hunger and LUNCH! forms in their minds.  The Clouds mash their thoughts together ~ “Salmon!”  says the East Winds….“Cherries!”  purls the South Wind with a sweet curl….“Almonds…crushed adds the West Wind.  The North Winds and a few crowding Cumulo-Nimbus clouds frown over it all and “Fresh salads and sprinkle it all with crisp waters!”  comes the orders…  NOM!!!!

...for the culinary lovers…..

With a lunch so magnificent, both baby and Inspiration fall fast asleep, smiles on their faces as the Sun shines on them, the Winds blow gently, the surf rhythmically beats the rocks and the Clouds tiptoe around the horizons.  After a couple of hours naptime is over and Cloud Dancer, with a full butt wiggle POUNCES!  on Inspiration!!!  =O

Inspiration awakens with a shake and laughter, “You!  Ah!  Grrr!!!”  she feigns fear as she laughs and rolls about, clutching Cloud Dancer to her chest ^.^  truth be told, it was the late afternoons when Inspiration would sit and stare at others having fun with their families.  Now it’s her own turn to tickle, be tickled and to giggle as the little one sits and studiously stacks Cloud blocks together or tries to learn about the Winds lofting under her considerable wings.  Inspiration looks on with pride and love.  She knows in time Cloud Dancer will learn how to use her wings.  She knows firsthand how patient the Winds are with teaching. 

In no time at all it is suppertime!  This time the Clouds roll out a very simple sandwich, a Tillamook cheese sandwich from the Tillamook cows with love via the Tillamook creamery <3 and carrot sticks alongside

Both photos curtesy Tillamook Creamery <3 which we ADORE along with their lovely cows!!! <3 look here for more info ^.^


After the sumptous supper, Cloud Dancer begins a series of yawns, along with several blinks.  Each time she struggles to keep her eyes open longer and before long, she’s an eased lump in Inspiration’s arms, pink tongue stuck out even further than usual, spit bubbles blissfully forming at the corners of her mouth.  Inspiration hums to her lovingly as she smiles and tucks Cloud Dancer in for the night. 

Afterwards, she lays down nearby, but then wallows on her back, forming her own night time nest in the clouds as she gazes up at the stars that have one by one appeared above the horizon.  She smiles and heaves a huge sigh of contentment, realizing for the first time she’s gone the whole day without once gazing downwards at other Kelph in envy.  Before she felt she was missing something, despite the best efforts of the Skies, Winds, Clouds, somehow Inspiration felt she was missing her own family of Kelph.  Now as she smiles towards the rising and falling cloud next to her, she is finally complete.  Now she has everything.  She wriggles her toes, and promptly falls asleep under the chiming stars.

Image courtesy www.Beachconnection.net


Posted 09/27/16, edited 09/28/16
A Day in the Life of Kira

Treasure Hunter, Monster Hunter,
...Treasure Monster Hunter Extraordinaire

7:00am - Wake up bright and early! There’s supposed to be some sort of festival later on in the day and people will be lining the streets with decorations! And where are those decorations coming from, you may ask? Well I have pledged my great services and have offered to make several hundred strings of seaglass. Shouldn’t take long.

7:15am - Ok it’s taking a little longer than expected but after 15 minutes and some breakfast of rocks and milk I’ve gotten a strand of seaglass complete! It’s about three feet long and very very pretty and shiny. I got the seaglass from Luce yesterday, free of charge, as long as I return most of it by the end of the festival. At least I hope she said ‘most’. I’ve already broken several pieces. There’s glass everywhere but it’s ok I’m pretty sure I got my tetanus shot.

7:16am - Titus read this journal entry while I was busy breaking more seaglass. Apparently you get tetanus shots for stepping on rusty things. No wonder I still have glass shards embedded in my foot. I’m sure it’ll be fine though if I just leave it alone. The floor is kind of crusted in broken glass but you can still see the floorboards so I think it’s fine. I’ve started hanging the completed decorations in the windows. The lake air makes them sway and it’s honestly quite amazing. Too bad I can’t keep them in here.

8:45am - More strands of seaglass done! Some guy came knocking on my door a couple minutes ago asking for help because “his house was on fire” and “giant salamanders are attacking the town” but I made a commitment to this festival so I sent him home with a big sword. He should be able to handle it. He looked at least twelve years old. That’s old enough to be a salamander slayer in my book.

9:15am - The city is on fire again. I wanna go outside and look but also I just spilled seaglass all over the floor again and I’ve gotta pick it up before it gets all germy. Five second rule.

10:15am - Another person came to the door for help. Don’t people realize there’s gonna be a festival today?? Look man I’d love to help but last time I didn’t bring baked goods to the fall festival I got chewed out by everyone. I gotta do my part this year, ya know? It’s a hero’s duty. I’ve got the oven filled with pumpkin bread though just in case this doesn’t turn out well.

11:45am - Ok I’ve got, what, 200 strands of seaglass complete? I hope that’ll be a good start. I’m awful hungry so I’m going out into town.

11:50am - The street is still on fire. So is the lake. The weather here is really weird. It’s a nice little town with dusty streets and colorful fabrics hanging everywhere. Unfortunately they are on fire now.


2:15pm - I ended up fighting the giant salamanders after all. It was a great time but I felt like I was procrastinating. They actually were weird illusions from the towers that got out of hand and melded with some dark force around town, becoming giant angry dripping goo creatures. It only took an hour and a half to wipe them all out, and it looks like a majority of the town is still standing. People have started fireproofing their homes here. Probably no one was to blame for the fire but it just sort of happens.

2:30pm - Actually looks Titus’s brother was to blame. He accidentally made the salamanders and his kids gave them fire powers. His wife is checking in on everyone and trying to restore the homes. She’s nice she asked me if I wanted to get the hole in the ceiling repaired. Why would I do that though? How else would I get light in here? Candles are a little sketchy in my own opinion. I stay away from that new fangled technology.

3:00pm - More strands of seaglass complete. I’m running out of space in here.

3:45pm - My dwelling is completely filled with finished seaglass decorations. I’m gonna go get that nice lady and tell her that the decorations are complete for tonight.

4:30pm - We finally finished moving all the decorations out of the house! I must have done a pretty good job too, since she was all like “wait didn’t you pick up the seaglass yesterday? HOW DID YOU DO SEVEN HUNDRED STRANDS OF SEAGLASS IN A FEW HOURS”. I am a hard worker.

5:00pm - Now the fun part of actually decoration is mostly underway. The seaglass is so pretty out here, swaying in the wind, lit up by the still burning coals of a few non-fireproofed houses.

6:15pm - Alright time to take a quick nap and then head to the festival!

8:30pm - There were supposed to be these beautiful fires everywhere for the celebration but I guess they got cancelled last minute because of the salamander incident. They have these lanterns hanging around now though and they’re pretty swell too. There are some kids making more over by a crafts table.

8:45pm - I am now at the kids craft table. I am hailed as a hero here. I’ve made 20 lanterns in 15 minutes I am to be feared.

9:00pm - The children and I have banded together to make the BIGGEST LANTERN EVER. It’s about seven feet tall right now.

9:15pm - We were going to show the lantern to the adults but it caught on fire and burnt up. It lives on in my heart though. Rip giant impractical lantern.

10:00pm - While making a break for the buffet table I got caught in conversation with a group of mages. Not kid mages, adult mages. They had no interest in building a giant lantern. Excuse me while I go hang out with the FUN people at this party.

11:00pm - The kids had to go home because it was their bedtime. At least I found some cool people to hang out with now. They’re adventurers and are just passing by to join in the celebrations. Apparently their village was also attacked by a completely different set of fire salamanders.

12:15am - Alright time for bed then. Tommorow I get to steal all the leftovers from the buffet. And by steal I mean honorable duel everyone to the death to earn the right to take that extra cake home. I’ve gotta get a good night’s sleep and do some pushups tommorow morning if I wanna win! Goodnight!

Posted 09/29/16, edited 09/29/16
A Day in the Life of a Lepidopterist

Ambrose starts his morning off right. This feline ineki is one of those extreme morning types. Without fail, his eyes snap open at 5:30am and he immediately gets out of bed. He loves to have these mornings to himself, because his group of boyfriends usually wake up later and things get busy and hectic and it’s hard for him to focus and find any time to himself.
Every day he goes straight to the kitchen, before he even starts to get ready for the day. He starts brewing the coffee for himself and his mates. After he starts the coffee, he then goes to put on his work clothes and get ready for the day. At around 6 is when he pours himself a cup of coffee, grabs something to take with him for breakfast, and hurries to the field so he can watch the sunrise.
The field is where he observes the butterflies. Sometimes he catches them and tags them, but other days he simply observes their behavior and takes notes. If it is a species he has never seen before, he will take a picture of it, or sometimes catch it and take it home so it can live in his personal butterfly garden. Today is a pretty typical day and he is capturing the butterflies and recording information about them like their species and their wingspan and checking for any tags. He will do this until the afternoon.

Usually sometime between 1pm and 3pm is when he heads back home. It all depends on how distracted he becomes or if a huge wave of butterflies come through right before he was going to leave. The only thing that keeps him from staying out there with the butterflies forever is his hunger, so he makes his way back home.
When he gets home, he usually walks into the chaos that is his living situation. With a kelph and two other feline inkeki living there, it can be kind of crazy. So he greets them all and stiffly answers all of their questions while searching for any leftovers that might not have been eaten. More often than not, there is something that he can quickly eat that he doesn’t need to cook. Most days he eats this while doing his best to socialize with his mates. Usually “socialize” means they all listen to Kipper explain his newest magic feat. Once he has finished his lunch and heard more than he can bear of failed magic attempts, he takes a quick nap before caring for his personal butterfly garden.

As the evening rolls around, it’s time to get starting on cooking dinner. Ambrose and Zorah do most of the cooking in the house because no one trusts Kipper in the kitchen, and Silas doesn’t know how. So they usually coordinate and work together to cook and Kipper under Silas’s watchful eye do the dishes. This system works for the four of them. The rest of the evenings are usually spent with everyone curled up by the fire. Ambrose usually sits in silence and just stares into the flames, or he listens to Kipper tell more stories. Sometimes he has a nice chat with Silas, or he continues the conversation he was having earlier with Zorah. As it gets later, and after the sun has set, Ambrose sets out once again to the field. This time he isn’t searching for butterflies, he’s looking for moths. He conducts research on the moths much like he would with the butterflies. He doesn’t spend as long out in the field with the moths because he is definitely not a night owl and moths are nice, but butterflies are his passion. As 10pm rolls around, he is ready to leave and he is ready for bed. So he makes his way back home, takes a quick shower, wishes his mates a goodnight, and then heads off to bed.

Posted 09/29/16

Through the Eyes of a Haunted Man

M o r n i n g

I’d like to say I awake at dawn, but on most days I’m usually up well before it. Something about those eerie hours before daybreak sets spirits and ghosts at ill, and once they start howling in the distance there’s little I can do to ignore them. My room is modest, simple even. Helena says it lacks any sort of personality or essence and is always trying to spruce it up by leaving knickknacks on the dresser or potted plants on the window sill. I think she knows they drive me crazy, but I’ve slowly begun to allow it. Or shall I say I’ve grown aware of the fact that I’m fighting a loosing battle and have decided to accept my losses on the matter.

I don’t… like... enjoy..? find comfort in personal objects in my room. It’s where I go to relax and block out the day, to forget about the world if only for a moment. It’s harder to do that when you’re surrounded by mementos and tokens that all bear memories of one sort or another.

My first task before dawn is to make sure the wards around my property edge are still intact. Although, really, I suppose my first task of the day is simply removing myself from my bed. It use to be such an easy thing to do when I was younger - I must be getting old. In my defense, back in those days I didn’t have anyone to leave behind.

I keep wards scattered about my property line to help keep the particularly nasty nasties away. They also serve to keep the moderately nasty nasties away, which in my eyes is an added bonus. I don’t like to deal with my work at home. You see, I make a living removing ghosts and demons and banshees and all sorts of haunted things. Why? The simple answer is because I can see and hear them, while other normal folk can’t. Although, that isn’t really an answer as to why I do what I do, now is it? Why would anyone do what I do… I’ll let you know when I figure it out.

The wards were mostly functional this morn, though two on the eastern border are starting to lose strength. Normally I like to take care of these things on my own, but I’ve been a bit busy as of late now that Fur Helena’s moved in with me. I’ll have to remember to stop by Ezra’s tomorrow. He has a small shop set up a few towns over where he sells spices and the like while doing a bit of enchanting on the side. I usually try to uhm.. discourage such behavior. Most folk don’t know what they’re doing, and end up causing more harm than good in their exploits and idle curiosities. Ezra was no different, ended up summoning an elemental that almost burned the entire town to the ground. I took care of it before it manifested into anything worse, and then despite my better judgement I let him keep tinkering. As I said, despite my better judgement. He does me odd favors from time to time, and I must admit he’s gotten.. well.. better.

My property is a bit extensive, if I must admit, and by the time I arrive back at home the sun is starting to creep along the horizon. Breakfast is simple, I doubt that’s much of a spoiler here if you’ve been paying attention. Toast, raspberry jam if it’s in season, maybe an egg or two. I try to get all my work done in the early morning hours, before the ravens start pouring in. Whenever I think I’ll have time later they always start pecking at my window and won’t stop, damn things.

There’s a vase of flowers on the table today. Marigolds I think. Never was good with plants. Just another silent reminder that Helena’s around.

Sometimes I like to work in my office after breakfast. Helena insists it’s more library than office, something about how if over seventy percent of the walls are covered with shelves filled with books it “constituents as a library” or some nonsense. It’s hardly my fault I have a large collection of books and journals. I keep records of all the different spirits and demons I encounter, catalogs of sort. Not diaries. My libra-.. office, is more personal than my bedroom. Hard to keep work and life out of your work space. Otherwise, I’ll find myself repairing fence posts, patching the roof, gathering supplies from town - the townsfolk appreciate if I do my business before regular hours. Not that I blame them.

The hours slip away from me during this time. Assuming I remember, I’ll find myself a bite to eat for lunch. Soup, more toast, maybe an orange. Simple, remember?

A f t e r n o o n

It’s after that, that the raven usually stops by, assuming I’m to get one for the day. If I’m extra lucky I’ll find myself with multiple ravens. I call those the proverbial jackpot days, take note of my wild enthusiasm. Folks don’t necessarily enjoy coming onto my property, again, not that I blame them. So, instead I devised a system using ravens. They hang out by a sign post closer to town, and when people need to contact me they write a short message and tie it to the bird’s foot. It flies here and pecks mercilessly at my windows until I free its foot - then I go down to meet the potential client so I can deal with their problem.

Today was little different.

Today there was a young woman, she was a new mother. Apparently for a while now she’d been hearing singing outside her home on and off again late at night. The singing had only grown in intensity and frequency while she was pregnant, and now that her child was born it was accompanied with random banging upon the side of the house and clawing at the windows. This morning her and her husband found scratch marks on the siding of their home.

At first I was certain it was just a ghast problem, nothing much for them to worry about. Ghasts are.. stuck soul fragments. They tend to repeat, do the same action over and over again. Like singing every night, or stomping up stairs, or relaxing in an old porch swing. That’s me putting it mildly. Usually they repeat some tragic instance of their life, usually meaning the way they died. There’s no mind behind them, no evil motives. They’re just a forgotten behind piece of essence, left here long after the deceased person has moved on. A little part of their sadness, or happiness, or anger.

Of course today wasn’t going to be that easy. I went down into town to have a view of the scratch marks, certain they must just be from some sort of animal or a nearby tree branch. The marks were deep, ragged, and oddly focused around the window of their child’s nursery. I doubt that you need me to tell you that isn’t a good sign.

Ghosts, unlike ghasts, are able of a more.. physical connection with the living. It makes them a bit more dangerous. That isn’t to say all ghosts have evil intent, but it’s often best to be safe rather than sorry.

I parted ways with the young woman, promising to return at dusk to help her with her problem. In the mean time I had to return home to prepare and gather supplies. That’s a lie. I don’t really need supplies to deal with a ghost, you mostly just have to try and reason with them to move on - but it’s my common excuse to get out the door. I knew I could have stayed there until nightfall, had dinner with them, made idle talk, but if you’ve caught on by now you’d know that my presence tends to make people uncomfortable. It’s best for everyone involved if I make myself scarce until I’m needed.

N i g h t

Helena made us an early dinner. Steamed vegetables and broiled fish that she’d caught from the river earlier while I was down in town. She doesn’t need to eat, but likes to humor me from time to time and join me for meals. I think she could sense my unease from being in town and wanted to help me relax.

It worked. Slightly.

The marigolds had been replaced with violets. No doubt the former had found their way onto the window sill in my bedroom. I didn’t bother trying to bring the topic up, as one mention of the violets had Helena pursing her lips at me. Stubborn woman. Might be why I love her.

I loaded up my pack with a few staple necessities just in case something were to happen and headed back down into town just as the sun was reaching the horizon. It’s funny how the dusk always looks so much different than the dawn.

I was two houses away when I first started to hear the singing. It was eerie, high in pitch, and set a shiver to my spine. It doesn’t matter how many ghosts and demons I’ve had to deal with in the past, sometimes they just get to you and make you feel like a lost boy all over again. I didn’t bother knocking on the couple’s door and instead lead myself through the gate and around to the back of their home.

I’d left my eye patch at home, the one I wear over my right eye. The eye that sees things like ghosts. So what I saw behind their home was something nobody else in town could have seen. Something nobody else in town would have wanted to see.

Something I didn’t expect to see.

Turns out my expected ghost was a water demon that resided in the little creek that ran a half mile behind their home. Her skin was pale, arms long and spindly, and her eyes were white and dead like a long since drowned thing. It’s reasons like this that I bring my pack with me when I work.

I acquired a few scratches to my face and arms for all my troubles, but I managed to restrain and remove the creature. I’ll leave the details of that encounter aside, as the steps involved aren’t for the faint of heart.

It was nearing midnight by the time I started to head home, but despite the late hour I could see the silhouette of the young woman holding her new child in her arms through a window of their house. There was a very good chance that if left unchecked, the water demon would have stolen away their newborn - and by then it would have been too late to save the child. They were safe now. At least for a time.

The walk home was tiring, each step reminding me of how long the day had been. By this point of the night the only thing I want to do is lock myself away in my barren little bedroom and forget all of the dark and vile things that lurk in our world. Of course I’m never able to for long. I fall asleep knowing that I’ll be awoken to eerie howls in the distance, and more ravens pecking at my windows by noon.

But I guess I’ll also awake to marigolds on my window sill, and perhaps a thank you note from a young couple in town that’s just starting their lives.

Maybe that’s why I do what I do.

-Zachary Reed
Posted 09/29/16, edited 09/29/16