D is for ‘Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?’

My Camp NaNo is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, and once the first line of this came into my head I wanted to write the rest.

Do you wanna eat your grandma?
Come on let’s sit down and eat
I’ve been living off deer and hare
Get in the chair
It really is a treat
We used to be best buddies
And now we’re not
I wish you would tell me why!
Do you wanna eat your grandma?
Doesn’t have to be your grandma.

Go away, jerkwad!

Okay bye…

Do you wanna eat your grandma?
With ketchup or a side of greens
She’s on the table and she’s getting cold
Hey, she was getting old
I want that plate to be clean
It would have gotten lonely
In these empty rooms
Just waiting for her to die~!

Please, I know you’re in there
You know I smell where you have been
I know that if you’ll look you’ll see it to,
I’m right out here for you, just let me in
You only have your father
It’s just you and me
What are you gonna do?

Do you wanna eat your granny?

C is for Castle on a Cloud

Dema no wno magi ju
Ro va myav thunala nraga
Voth guma a voth thi hara
De go dema no wno ju.

Gilma ga noa manoth ju
Dego thi dino a thinoth hihel
Vritha yuthi, hula ma huth
Dejan, ‘Doga manor himru.’

Matha wo voth myegargil yudim
Matha wo voth yudran yudim
Thi yudra voth mavat loma
Voth de go wno ga dema.

Translation back to English:

A castle on a cloud exists
To it I go when I’m asleep
There are no floors and no sweeping
In my castle on a cloud.

A woman of white exists
She holds me and she sings
Pretty to see, soft to touch
She says, “I love you.”

I know a place with no lost people
I know a place with no tears
To cry is not allowed
No in my cloud castle.

B is for Bohemian Rhapsody

Vnala iyu li?
La glitha li?
De guva go daji
Voth drama naro vnalin

Ni yutha uru
Hathri ro drithna, yuthi
Emar gilho li, voth gel gmandi
Gon dugo thuja, dran thuja
Hiva harla, hiva gula
Nige meno ga vrimo, voth dego ma hiya vnala, vnala

Hroma, thinorvat dode,
Go vadra deno hneli, nor dodla thi li
Hroma, iyu mavat ewan,
Gon de vnia thinorvat mlu

Hroma, oooh
Do yudran voth thagu
The dego voth thida mujodra li
Ma voda, ma voda, gi mo jandala li

Vidra thudo, go dyav dugo
Ivrith de go lamhe,
Gadya ma go geth a geth
Mujohi, geni gilgun, va thi thagu
Doga loth dego thi dran a vnalin vthu

Hroma, ooh
Ma dode voth thagu,
Gruga voth madra vavu ma jimri

(Ni ygadhe)

Hidra gothu ga gildo thinor yuthi
Scaramouche, Scaramouche, Fandango thidot vandi?
Gradum a mathi,
Tho dego ma jimin
(Galileo) Galileo
(Galileo) Galileo
Galileo Figaro

Emar gilho li, voth meru digi
Emar gilho naro emar hrogun li!
Naro vramuna thu iyu diga ni!

Dugo thuja, dan thuja, dego voth ma dath?
Bismillah! Voth, doga mado dath! (Voth ma dath!)
Bismillah! Doga mado dath! (Voth ma dath!)
Bismillah! Doga mado dath! (Voth ma dath!)
Doga mado dath! (Voth ma dath!)
Momo momo voth ma dath.
Momo voth ma dath, oh.
Voth, voth, voth, voth, voth, voth, voth.
Oh, go hroma, go hroma, (Go hroma, voth ma dath)
Beelzebub vranmu nu vadu da dego digi, digi, digi**

Homdrid mlu a de yuthi neva thi dra?
Dego himru a dego dran dra?
Oh, meru, thi loma voth dra, meru
Nila dran thi, nila thida dran thagu

(Oh, gen, oh, gen,)

Mo jandala ma li.
Nigeni yuthi
Mo jandala ma li,
Mo jandala ma li, yuli.

Nige meno ga vrimo.


Is this real life?
Or is this a fairytale?
Caught in a landslide
No exit from the truth

Open eyes
Up at the sky, look
I’m a poor boy, no good words
But comes easily, goes easily
A bit high, a bit low
Any path of the wind,
Doesn’t bother me really, really

Mother, I have just killed
My knife against a throat, now he is dead
Mother, life had begun
But I’ve thrown it in the river

Mother, ooh
Your tears I did not want
If I’m not here tomorrow
Continue, continue, like nothing is important

Too late, my time comes
A shiver in my spine
Body aches more and more
Good-bye, all people, I need to go
Leave you behind me and hear the truth

Mother, ooh
I don’t wan to die
Sometimes wish I was never bor

(Guitar solo)

I see a little shadow of a man
Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you dance the Fandango?
Thunder and storm
They frighten me.
Galileo (Galileo)
Galileo (Galileo)
Galileo Figaro

I’m a poor boy, I have no love
He is a poor boy, from a poor family
From monstrosity save his life

Comes easily, goes easily, will you not hold me?
Bismillah! No, we will hold you. (Do not hold!)
Bismillah! We will hold you. (Do not hold!)
Bismillah! We will hold you! (Do not hold!)
We will hold you! (Do not hold!)
Never, never will not hold
Never will not hold, oh.
No, no, no, no, no, no, no.
Oh, my mother, my mother. (My mother, do not hold)
Beelzebub has a monster on the side for me, he has, he has

You can throw stones and spit in eyes?
You can love me and leave me?
Ooh, love, you cannot do this love
Just leave this, just need to leave here.

(Ooh, yeah, ooh, yeah.)

Nothing is important.
Anyone sees.
Nothing is important.
Nothing is important, it seems.

A is for ‘Art of Suicide’

I’m on a translating kick so I thought I might as well translate something starting with A.

Godode myuvu li, ina a huth,
Gumi dugo a ma yuthi
Goha vidra vula
Meno ga yu
Merugil gendyav thidrath hru

Mvul nuhido ga hroli a drithna
Thuja minya thi voyu norda, minya
Minya thi yuvo
Iyu marna a yagdar thi jog
Minya ma thuna
Vathuna vran a von manat ganya
Minya adrin
Mitha la hihela manat dem nila
Minya yuvo,
Minya hruyuvo?*

Godode myuvu li, myudrala a von
Thoma ga muntho ma jog
Thidravat dran, dejan
Jdali go-yuthi
Gilha gi thoyu, yuli

Mvul nuhido ga hroli a drithna
Thuja minya thi voyu norda, minya
Minya thi yuvo
Iyu marna a yagdar thi jog
Minya ma thuna
Vathuna vran a von manat ganya
Minya adrin
Mitha la hihela manat dem nila
Minya yuvo,
Minya hruyuvo?

Iyu voth gi, Marna Hodi,**
Wo adar nem myav gilgun hiyala li,
Hiyala li thana
Dathi thona goma vaga thana
Iyu voth gi, Marna Hodi,
Wo adar nem myav gilgun hiyala li,
Hiyala li thana
Dathi thona goma vaga gengen thana

Gumi adivla mithagil,
Voth geth thinor thagu
Gumi adivla hihegil
Voth geth thinor thagu
Gumi adivla merugil


Suicide is art, soul and skin,
The world comes and looks
Pain too pure
Path of cringes
Lovers have always lied

Under the canopy of moonlight and sky
Suddenly easy to ponder why, why
Why live?
Life shows sorrow and anger
Why dream?
Dreams are danger and less, you accept
Why try?
Poems or songs are all that you get
Why live?
Why live a false life?*

Suicide is art, clean and wrong,
Shows a scene from a play
I’ve left/drowned, they said,
Ankles are seen
Girl like a artwork, she seems

Under the canopy of moonlight and sky
Suddenly easy to ponder why, why
Why live?Life shows sorrow and anger
Why dream?
Dreams are danger, and less, you accept
Why try?
Poems or songs are all that you get
Why live?
Why live a false life?

Life is not like gloomy day**
With a second ending when people are bothered
They should be bothered
Because a story should be heard
Life is not like gloomy day
With a second ending when people are bothered
They should be bothered
Because a story really should be heard

The world is full of poets,
We don’t need anymore.
The world is full of singers
We don’t need anymore.
The world is full of lovers
We don’t need anymore.

*hruyuvo isn’t a ‘real’ word, but a combination of ‘lie’ and ‘life’ that would be taken to mean something like ‘live a false life’

**There is no ‘Sunday’ so I went with ‘day,’ although I guess the song could just say ‘Gloomy Sunday’ but it would sound like ‘glumi thunde’. I might do Gloomy Sunday for ‘G’ if I’m still on my translating kick.

Super Sugar Apocalypse 2

Rory sat in her dorm room, Bible in her lap. It had been a bit difficult to explain to her roomie, Jeanne, why she had gone to study the great wars in history and returned to the dorms with a Bible. She could barely explain it to herself, or explain why she had accepted it more readily. Barbato had told her that he had ‘mild mind control powers’ but could that really make the words “You are the incarnation of War” sound as innocuous as “You look nice with your hair like that”?

That was another thing that should have been a bigger deal than it seemed. The librarian could control minds, albeit only on a level where he could keep her from freaking out and running away the moment he’d started talking about the Apocalypse. The librarian was a demon, from literal Hell, as were all of the other teachers. And, from what she had understood, Rory was one too. Or part demon. Or something.

“You have two jobs right now,” the librarian told her. “The first is to find the other three Horsemen, so they can join you. The horses arrived together over the summer, so we believe that means you are all here. The school is divided into four to make the task a bit easier. War belongs in Team Garnet… that’s you. There should be one Horseman in each of the remaining teams: Onyx, Alabaster, and Peridot.

“The second is to become closer with your horse. Those are the two most important things for you, right now.”

Rory groaned and flopped onto her bed. The Bible had been meant to help her figure out who she was looking for, but there was such a tiny mention of the Horsemen in Revelations that it didn’t help much. The descriptions mostly told what color horse the person rode and what they carried, which was useless as the horses were in the stable and Barbato apparently held onto the bow and the crown and such. Besides that, the descriptions weren’t even right, if they said there was to be a man on each horse. Unless that meant she was looking for more girls with boys’ names.

With nothing else to turn to, Rory began opening the book to random pages and picking a verse, because her mom had done that sometimes for answers. Her first try resulted in some verse about Eve, the second result yielded a verse about hills being white with corn, which sounded like the opposite of famine. She supposed she shouldn’t have expected God to help her with her quest. She was supposed to be ending the world. Or something.

It seemed like a perfectly logical thing to do, at that point in time. It mad sense to end the world, although Rory couldn’t have told why. She supposed it had something to do with the librarian’s mind control.

And she was perfectly fine with that.

Classes began the next day, and things suddenly became hectic with about a third of the school trying to find their classrooms in time, and attempting to become accustomed to new teachers and classes when they were not passing through the hallways. The class schedules were individualized, as well, so Rory could not just ‘follow the herd’ when going to math or science, although she could generally find someone who was going to the same class for the next period.

“Hey, where are you going next?” Jeanne asked, as they waited for the bell to ring. Most of the teachers were spending the class periods simply introducing the subject matter and what would be covered in class, so the full class period was not being used.

“Um… Stables,” Rory said, checking her paper. “Why? What do you have?”

“Art.” Jeanne grabbed Rory’s schedule from her hand and examined it. “I don’t see a study hall on your schedule… must be what they booted to make room for the horse class, right?”

Rory rubbed the back of her neck. “Yeah, I guess so.”

“I wonder if I’ll get a chance to do that next marking period, or something. There are only seven horses available, though, so it’s gonna be a small class… I bet you got it because you’re Teufel’s special little protege!”

“Ha… probably.”

The bell rang, a lucky break. Rory wasn’t quite sure how to approach the fact that she was a magical girl with her classmates… how she should hide it, if she should hide it… Now that the mind control was wearing off a bit, she was really wishing that she had had a choice in the matter, even if her choice in the option of getting magic powers and a sword would have been yes. She grabbed her things and headed out to the stables.

It was a cold, cloudy day. Not the sort of day that Rory would have wanted to be outside. If it hadn’t been for the horse, and her connection to him, she would have skipped the class. She would have headed back to the dorm room and curled under her blankets for a bit, but something inside her needed to see her horse again. Because it was her horse, and Barbato had told her so. He was her teacher for the class, even.

It was probably a good thing that no one had noticed that her schedule said the librarian was to teach her horseback riding.

“If you try your mind control thing again,” Rory warned him as she entered the stables. “I’m going to clock you.”

Barbato merely laughed it off. “I doubt that, Miss Flannery. But I will refrain from using my gifts against you. I had only done so because I knew you had no prior experience with magic and the like, so I had no idea how you might have reacted. It was for your own safety, and to minimize the… distress… you might have felt in such a situation.”


“Would you like to meet your horse, Miss Flannery?”

All was forgotten when Rory was allowed to enter the red horse’s stall. He… and he was indeed a male horse… snapped at Barbato, but calmed down the moment that Rory laid her hands on his side. His fur was soft to the touch. She laid her cheek on his side. She was tiny compared to him.

“He needs a name,” she said, feeling calmed by the contact between them. She hadn’t even realized how tense she had been. It was as though two halves of a puzzle had come together at last.

“That would be your responsibility, Miss Flannery. He is yours.”

“Napoleon,” Rory decided. It sounded like a good, strong name, and a fitting one for the horse of War.

Napoleon nickered in agreement.

“How do I get on him?” Rory asked, looking around the stall. There didn’t seem to be any sort of horse gear in sight.

“Eager to begin, I see,” Barbato said. “Your horse, as well as the other three, brought no saddles or equipment when they came to us, being horses. When you transform nearby your horse, Napoleon will also be given his equipment, so that you can ride him.”

Rory bounced to the door of the stable and looked out at the librarian. “Can I try?”

“If you’d like.”

Rory pulled her pencil/sword from her skirt pocket, where she had been keeping it since she had gotten it (with the exception of when she was sleeping) and held it between her hands.

“With the power to take peace from the earth, and make men slay each other… come and see!”

The transformation happened much as it had the night before, but this time Rory was ready for it, and knew what would happen. She watched as each part of her uniform came into existence… the gauntlets, the skirt, the chest plate, the boots. The sword didn’t change weight much from being a pen to being a sword, although it should have. Or perhaps Rory simply didn’t notice.

“You’re getting the hang of that,” Barbato said approvingly.

Rory turned to look at Napoleon. Her horse wore not only a saddle, but also armor, colored red and grey to match her own color scheme. Rory bent her knees slightly and hopped, finding that she could launch herself straight in the air, landing on the saddle perfectly.

“As I thought, horse riding is in your nature,” Barbato told her. “Or, rather, riding this horse. Why don’t you take a stroll?”

“Won’t that draw attention?”

“You are quite invisible to those who wouldn’t expect to see you like this.”

Rory nudged Napoleon gently with her foot, and the powerful creature moved out of the stall. The four horses in the stalls opposite Napoleon’s backed away, trembling, but Rory paid them no mind as she guided her horse, the other half of her soul, out into the clear pasture. Not knowing what else to do, Rory nudged the horse again, and he broke into a run, just as she had wanted.

You’re lucky I am no ordinary horse.

I could tell.

The wind blew through Rory’s hair as she felt the most exhilarating sense of freedom. She was speeding like the wind on a powerful animal, one that would listen to her and only her, and no one could see her. She could do whatever she wanted.

After satisfying her hunger for freedom, Rory led Napoleon back into the stable and transformed back into her school uniform. Napoleon’s own armor disappeared as well.

“I’m glad that you were the first one we found,” Barbato said as he locked up the stable once more. “The others are calm enough, but that one tries to kill anyone who steps foot in there to muck the stall.”

“I thought everyone here was a demon,” Rory said flatly. “Shouldn’t you have demon magic to help you heal or something?”

“Yes, well… broken bones still hurt…” Barbato said.

Rory skipped off to her next class.


Rory went to the stables every day from then on, both sunny and rainy. The librarian no longer watched over her as she practiced with Napoleon, a blessing. Whenever she saw him, he asked her if she had made any progress in finding the other three Horsemen… Rory had been ignoring that part of her ‘job’ because the horse part was so much more enjoyable… although she often found herself poring over the Bible or Internet articles on the Four Horsemen after a trip to the library.

You’re getting much better, Napoleon noted as they cleared a high jump.

“Thank you,” Rory replied. “If anyone could see us, we could be show jumpers or something. Win some prizes.”

Wait. Napoleon’s ears swiveled, and he pawed at the ground. If Rory thought that her horse could have been skittish, she would have attributed the action to nervousness.

“What’s wrong?” Rory asked.

Something is coming.

The horse turned around, his body growing tense and ears pulled back. Rory instinctively placed her hand on her sword, not knowing what could cause Napoleon to act in such a manner. She knew that horses spooked easily, even though they appeared to be strong creatures, but she had assumed that Napoleon, being a magic horse birthed from the pits of Hell, would not suffer from the same fears.

It was white, unnaturally white, as if from a sheet of paper, a creature which stood as high as a horse… if ‘stood’ was the correct term, for the entire lower half was a snake’s body, holding the torso upright like a cobra’s. The body had four arms, looking much like a human’s, but with cruel black claws on each finger. The ‘face’ was only a pair of thick lips, the upper portion of it obscured by shadow. The thing had long, white hair that stood in the air, which caused Rory to refer to the thing as a ‘she’ in her mind.

The most striking of the creature’s features, however, was an enormous gilt mirror which seemed to make up the being’s torso.


“Should we get Barbato?” Rory asked, tugging on the reins to try and make Napoleon back away from the thing. “Or Teufel?”

No time. You need to fight.

Rory pressed her lips together and nodded, before pulling her sword from its sheath. It was not heavy, though it really should have been impossible for a girl of her size to lift something like that. She could only hope that her swordmanship would be magically as good as her horsemanship seemed to be.

Are you ready?

Rory nodded and leaned forward, sending Napoleon galloping towards the thing. She swiped at the snake creature as she passed on the horse, and clung to Napoleon with her knees until the horse could come to a stop. She turned to look behind her, at the creature, only to see that it had barely been scratched. The red line that Rory had left began to knit itself together almost immediately.

“I thought that the monster things that attack you were supposed to be on easy mode at first,” Rory said.

That is ‘easy mode’. Napoleon replied.

“Let’s go again, then,” Rory said, pulling her sword up to slash again.

Napoleon galloped at the creature once more. Rory hacked and slashed at it will all of the strength and energy she could muster. When she paused to catch her breath, she saw that the creature reacted in the same way, suffering very little damage.

“How do I kill this guy?” Rory asked.

You need to use your power.

“What do you think I’m trying to do? Do you think I’m giving it little love taps or something?”

Not physical power, Napoleon replied. I suppose one might call it spiritual power, or magical power.

“Yeah? How do I do that?”

The snake creature had finished recovering from what little damage Rory had managed to inflict on it, and had begun to slither towards them, a forked tongue poking out from between its lips every so often as though it were trying to taste them.

You already know how to do it, if you think about it and trust yourself, Napoleon chided. Come on, dear. Use your words.

“Use my…?” With realization dawning, Rory clutched her sword tightly between her hands. The silver blade began to glow red. “I’m ready.”

Napoleon bobbed his head in a nod and moved forward to meet the adversary.

Rory looked at the beast, brows furrowed in determination… and saw her reflection in the mirror that was the creature’s torso.

She was absolutely microscopic, sitting on her horse. She looked like a tiny girl playing at a game of cowboys. Her arms were like twigs, her sword was like a toothpick. She was no warrior; she was not strong. She did not even have to consolation that she was pretty; the face in the mirror was ugly and misshapen.

Rory? Rory! Listen to me. That is not you. Whatever you are seeing in that mirror, it is false.

“Mirrors don’t lie…” Rory murmured.

Suddenly, the horse reared up on his back legs. Rory slid backwards from her seat and landed on her behind with a thump. Looking up, she saw Napoleon come don on the mirrored torso of the creature with his front hooves, shattering the image of the fragile Lady War, too weak to hold a sword.
The spell was broken.

Finish the fight, Mistress, Napoleon said. There is nothing to hold you back.

Rory nodded and brought herself to her feet. She walked calmly to her opponent, who sat on the ground, devastated at the destruction of her precious mirror. She lifted her sword with confidence and sent her emotions into the blade, as she had felt them drawn into it before. The sword resumed its fiery glow.

“Bladed fury,” she said in a low voice, bringing down her sword on the sad creature before her. It sliced clean through.

The thing seemed to fracture into a thousand pieces before breaking apart. The fragments died in the pasture like glowing embers. Rory felt no remorse in ending its life.

“What was that?” Rory asked, pushing a lock of hair away from her face. It had become stuck to her cheek with sweat.

An angel, Napoleon replied. That is the name that we give them, at least. A great number were sent to the mortal plane, to prevent us from achieving our goals.

“That… was an angel?” Rory asked in disbelief.

Yes. They were too pure in their original forms to be able to stand against the Riders, so they allowed themselves to be corrupted by the evils of this world so that they might gain strength and the ability to inflict pain. They became addicted to the power they were given.

Rory nodded and turned to the stable, not feeling well enough to continue her riding practice for the day. Now that the battle was over, she felt weak at the knees, and disturbed at the way the creature had wormed its way into her mind.

Don’t leave its soul here.


Throw it out of the school’s wall, at least, or it will find you again.

“I killed it.”

You killed the form it had taken. Only Death can eliminate the power of its soul and transform it into a form that would be useful to Riders. It is why she is the Reaper.

Rudy knelt in the grass where the angel had fallen and poked around. She saw that the angel soul was shiny, like a jewel in a golden cage. She lifted the thing, pinching it between her metal-encased fingers, and chucked it through the air. She was stronger than a normal human in this form, and sent it twice as far as she would have without her powers. She wondered at the idea that she could have seen herself as weak.

With the appearance of the angel, Rory could put it off no longer. Napoleon could only answer so many questions, so it was time to go to the library. If Barbato tried to control her by making her search for the others, the joke was on him. She had made up her mind to look for the other Riders, or at least look for the Reaper. If freaky angel things were going to start attacking, she would prefer if she could put them down for good.

“Why did an angel attack me while I was riding?” Rory asked as she strolled into the library. Barbato held a finger to his lips and motioned to some students who were studying. “You can control them if they overhear, can’t you?”

“I’d rather not,” Barbato whispered. “What do you mean, an angel attacked you?”

“Okay, I attacked it first, technically,” Rory admitted. “But you didn’t tell me anything about angels.”

“I didn’t think you would need to worry about them until the other Riders were gathered. Perhaps they were attracted by your connection with Napoleon?”

“What’s up with these things? Napoleon told me they’re my enemy and they’re addicted to badness. I threw a soul thing, but it can come back again?”

“Once it gains enough energy, yes,” Barbato said. “But Death can collect and neutralize the soul, and use it to make the Riders more powerful.”

“How many of these things are there?” Rory asked, hopping onto the librarian’s desk.

“Get off that… there are six hundred sixty-six angels in total.”

“Of course there are,” Rory said flatly.

“Or there might be six hundred and sixteen… obviously, the Powers That Be are not too eager to share all of their secrets with us. You need to collect all of them,” Barbato chided. “And you need Death for that, which is why I have been telling you how important it is to find the other riders.”

“I know, I know,” Rory said, hopping off the desk. “I promise, I’ll find them as soon as possible. Starting tomorrow.”


“… Tonight, then.”

Posted in SSA

Super Sugar Apocalypse 1

Not exactly fanfic, but I wasn’t sure what to do with myself to keep writing so I wrote the beginning of a Magical Girl thing I’ve been playing with. : 3 Mature language for middle schoolers who are trying to be tough/adult/edgy.


Middle school is a time for transitions. It is the time between childhood and the high school life that will eventually lead to adulthood. For some, these are the best of the school years, a time when friends are met and things are learned… but for most, these awkward in-between years are looked at with disgust. They are full of bullies, failed test, embarrassing puberty scenarios, and the like. But it’s not like it’s the end of the world…

Rory Flannery’s dream was interrupted by the bleep-bleep-bleep of her alarm clock, which was not, as she had thought in her daze, the sound of alarms telling civilians that a bombing of their hometown was imminent. Bleary-eyed, red hair coming halfway out of the ponytail she slept in, Rory pressed the ‘off’ button on her clock and rolled onto her back.
If only it had come five minutes later. She’d been getting to the good part of her dream.
“Rory?” Mrs. Flannery called, knocking on the door. “Are you up, honey? It’s your first day of middle school.”
Rory groaned. “Fuck.”
“What was that? I hope you didn’t say what I think you said.”
“Fuck, fuck, fuck!” Rory snapped, pulling herself out of bed and tumbling to the floor. She gave an evil eye to her bedroom door, behind which her mother was standing. She could say whatever she wanted to say. She was Rory Fucking Flannery.
“You’re lucky you have school, young lady!” Mrs. Flannery warned.
“Yeah, yeah, I know,” Rory grumbled.
She glanced at the clock. No time for a shower, definitely. She’d set her alarm as late as possible the night before. It was a good thing that her new school had uniforms, so she didn’t need to worry about pulling out an outfit… which was about the only good thing about the uniform. Crisp white blouse and a pleated grey skirt. At least she could wear her boots, since there weren’t any assigned shoes. She checked in the mirror, posing. Something was missing.
“Mom, isn’t there supposed to be a vest and a tie or something?” she asked, vaguely recalling the pictures on the brochure. Teufel School for Difficult Girls. Gag.
“If you actually read the papers, you’d know that you get that once you’ve been assigned to your team,” Mrs. Flannery said. She pounded on the door. “We’ve got five minutes before we need to leave the house!”
“I’m coming, I’m coming!” Rory said. She stormed out of her room and past her mother.
“And don’t think I’ll forget about your language, young lady! We’re going to have a nice, long talk over the phone. This sort of behavior is exactly why you’re going to Teufel’s, you know.”
Rory flipped her mother the bird.

The Teufel School for Difficult Girls was an enormous, ornate building; the kind of school that a wealthy character would go to in a movie or television series. The lawn was landscaped, the interior artistic, and the statue of the founder and current headmaster, Dr. Teufel, was immaculate. Rory hated herself a bit for being enrolled in such a school. The kids who went to private schools and wore uniforms had always been targets to mock. They were the nerds; they were the rich kids who were self-absorbed. And now Rory was one of them.
“Have a good time at school,” Mrs. Flannery said, in a way that made it clear that she was not telling Rory to enjoy her time at the school.
“Yeah, sure,” Rory said, hopping out of the car and slamming the door.
Her only consolation was that she wasn’t paying for the school… well; her mother wasn’t paying for it. Rory had gotten a free ride to go there, and so had a bunch of other girls, from what she had heard while touring the facilities over the summer. Whoever this Dr. Teufel guy was, he seemed to have money coming out of his ass, since he certainly wasn’t paying for the well-kept school grounds and student uniforms with the tuition. Sure, some of the girls paid to come… the education was superb, regardless of whether or not you were ‘difficult’ but there were plenty of girls who had been offered a chance to come, even begged.
Rory’s theory was that the ‘difficult’ girls offered an interesting case study, something for Dr. Teufel to write his next paper on.
It was obvious to tell who the new girls were. They were the ones who didn’t have vests on. From what Rory could tell as she walked from the road into the building, there were four ‘teams’. There were red vests, black vests, green vests, and white vests. The girls with white vests had their white blouses switched for black ones. Rory hoped she wouldn’t be asked to cooperate in any sort of group team-building thing.
Her things had been delivered to the school ahead of time, so the first order of business was orientation. Luckily, there were signs taped up, with arrows telling where to go. It was actually kind of funny, the elegant interior of the front entryway marred by pieces of printer paper taped on the walls, with big black arrows and the word ‘ORIENTATION’ printed in capital letters underneath. Rory followed the arrows into a very large room that was thronging with students, both new and old. The new students were being ushered toward one end of the room, where lines were forming before a table.
“A through F!” a freckled girl in green called. The other girls, seated behind the long table, were also calling out for who should come to them. There were signs sitting in front of them, so Rory didn’t know why they bothered. She got in the first line. “Last names A through F!”
The line moved rather quickly. The girls weren’t getting their orientation things just yet. The girl in green would look up the name, and then the girl would go to one of the tables around the rest of the perimeter of the room, which had computers lined up on them. It was Rory’s turn before she knew it.
“Name?” the girl asked.
“Rory Flannery.”
“Huh, I thought that was a boy’s name,” Freckle Face said, running her finger down the list.
“And I thought that Halloween wasn’t for another month. You can take off the mask in the meantime,” Rory snapped.
“Haven’t heard that one before,” Freckle Face replied calmly. “Station 16. The one with the big one and six on the sign in front of it. Here’s your name and password for the test.”
“What’s this for?”
The girl sighed. “So no one can just say that they’re you on the computer and mess up the results. You’re holding up the line.”
“I mean going on the computer. Is this some kind of personality test thing? Are you pissy because you’re in Slytherin?”
“Sixteen. Go now.”
Rory rolled her eyes and stormed off to the table with the appropriate computer. There was no need for Freckle Face to get so snippy about it. Besides, things would be a lot easier and more efficient if she’d just gotten what stupid team she would be on before she came. If the test was online, this whole mess could be avoided. Who didn’t have an Internet connection nowadays? Or a library with one or something?
She was tempted to use a different computer, or even storm out of the room altogether, but she had told her mother that she would behave herself (kind of), so she would at least try to wait until the second day before getting into any major trouble. She sat down at the laptop and logged in with the password she’d been given.
“Welcome, Ms. Flannery!” the screen proclaimed in bold letters.
Rory grumbled to herself and rested her face on her fists. There was no way in hell they were convincing her that they, the people working for the school, cared about her as a person, much less a computer.
“This is a very important test,” Rory read. “It will determine who you will be spending your time with while you are staying with us! Please respond as truthfully as you can. But don’t worry if you don’t know something; it won’t be graded. : )”
Rory stared at the little smiley face.
She wanted to punch whoever had decided to put it there.
The test itself was not what she had been expected. While there were some questions that were clearly meant to focus on personality, a lot of the questions were about history, or math, or writing. Rory didn’t care one lick for the math or other subjects, but she found that she knew a lot about the history questions that were being asked. Rory had always liked history, even though she didn’t really like how it was taught in her elementary school.
When she finished, and clicked ‘submit,’ a window popped up for her, telling her that she was on Team Garnet with way too many exclamation marks for comfort. This whole school was turning out to be a joke, really. At least the food was supposed to be good, so it wasn’t all a bust.
As directed by the overly happy computer, Rory made her way to the table with the red cloth over it, which was being presided over by a few girls in red vests. The leader seemed to be the girl in the middle, a tall girl with cornrows.
“Hello, New Girl,” she said. “Your name is?”
“Rory Flannery.”
“Xiomara Armstrong,” the girl said, writing Rory’s name on her list. “I’m the Captain of Team Garnet. You’re all gonna go and have a big tour of the place and all that, and after I’m going to show you where we stay. Team Garnet’s the best, just saying.”
Rory opened her mouth to say something, but was interrupted by the sound of the intercom crackling.
“Would Rory Flannery come to the principal’s office?” the voice overhead asked.
“Well, shit,” Xiomara said. “What’d you do to get called down already?”
That was precisely what Rory was wondering.

Principal Teufel was a young-looking man, with long blond hair that was pulled back in a ponytail. He wore a pair of rectangular glasses, which he removed when Rory stepped into the office.
She stood awkwardly in the doorway, having no idea what to expect. She had only ever been called to the office by the principal of her elementary school… and, for the most part, she knew why she was being called down.
“Please take a seat, Miss Flannery,” he said, motioning to the chair in front of his desk. He continued as Rory sat down. “You’re not in trouble. That must be a first for you, correct?”
“Did you lose my luggage or something?” Rory asked, crossing her arms over her chest.
“Nothing of the sort, Miss Flannery.” If he ‘Miss Flannery’ed her one more time, she was going to clock him. “I hope you know that this school isn’t meant as a means to punish or control girls like yourself… girls who may overwhelm their parents… but as a way to help you become the best you that you can be. And, looking over the scores you achieved on your preliminary exams, I believe that you could become the best ‘you’ if you had a bit of an extra push in the right direction, see?
“So, tell me, Miss Flannery, do you enjoy studying wars?”
Rory nodded and found herself leaning forward in her seat. If she could spend her year studying all of the things her last history classes had left out, that would be amazing. The interesting bits of the wars had always been glossed over.
Mr. Teufel chuckled. “That’s good, then. You go back, so you don’t miss the tours, and get acquainted with your classmates. I’ll tell the librarian to expect you after lunch, if you’d like to start right away on a bit of independent study. We like to encourage our students’ interests, Miss Flannery.”
“Oh, yes!” Rory exclaimed. With this new bit of information, he could have called her ‘Pumpkin’ for all she cared. “I can’t wait to get started, Mr… Principal Teufel! And you’d tell my mom?”
“If you’d like.”
“She thinks I won’t amount to anything,” Rory said. “Boy, I’d like to see her expression if she knew I got asked to do independent study!”
“Well, if it helps any, Miss Flannery, I think that you’ll do something big in this world. Bigger than anyone would guess.”

The orientation meeting and tour commenced, offering little in the way of information that had not already been given in brochures or previous tours, and even less information that Rory actually cared about. She did, however, make certain that she knew how to reach the library when that part of the tour came around.
Some of the other girls asked what the principal had wanted with her, so Rory told them about her independent study. Some were impressed, others didn’t care, and most thought that the idea of doing extra work for school seemed more of a punishment than an honor.
“My sister went here,” one of the girls told Rory quietly as they were being shown the science labs. “She said that Teufel picks a handful of ‘favorites’ from each class.”
“Uh huh. They meet with him to discuss their schoolwork, and sometimes they can get out of class or go on field trips related to what they’re interested in studying. My sister got to go to a lot of art museums.”
Rory wondered if she’d be going to any famous battlegrounds, or an army base or something. That would be spectacular. Especially if she was missing math class for it.
“I’m Jeanne, by the way,” the girl said.
“I’m Rory.”
“I know. I heard on the intercom. Isn’t that a boy’s name, though?”
“Yeah, but I like cross-dressing.”
“If we can choose, do you want to be roommates?”
“No talking back there,” Xiomara snapped at them. “Or we’ll feed you to the horses.”

The stables were situated behind the school building, down a rather long and winding path. Rory didn’t recall having heard anything about the stables before, which was expected, given how much she paid attention, but none of the other girls had heard about it, either.
“It was added recently, over the summer,” their guide explained. “The school recently got its hands on some horses. Now, who wants to see them?”
The vast majority of the girls raised their hands. Rory supposed it was true that all girls likes ponies.
The tour guide unlatched the entrance of the stable and ushered the girls through. Although Rory had been skeptical of the horses’ appeal at first, she could not help but feel respect for the creatures when it was her turn to enter the stable. There were eight horses, four on each side of the stable, although one of the boxes on the left side was curtained off.
“That one’s sick, so they don’t want anyone disturbing it until a vet can see it,” the girl guiding the tour told them.
Rory was particularly interested in one of the horses, the most powerful-looking of the seven. It was a large horse, the largest of them all, although Rory couldn’t have guessed how many ‘hands’ it was. He… she could just tell he was a he… had a deep, red-brown coat, almost scarlet. A white stripe ran from his forehead to his nose. He tried to bite the girls as they walked by.
“What’s that one’s name?” she asked one of the guides.
“They don’t have names yet. I think they might be having a contest for the students to come up with the names for those four. Like a vote.”
“Kind of weird that they don’t have names yet, isn’t it?” Rory asked.
“Yeah, I guess… come on, ladies! We need to get to lunch, and then you’ll be going to your dorm rooms to unpack.”
Rory followed the tour group out of the stables, giving one last, lingering look at the red horse.

The library smelled of old paper and oldness in general. The shadows seeped deep into the carpet, so dark that Rory wondered how anyone could read there. The heavy, old mahogany desk in the front held a plaque which read ‘Alistair Barbato, Librarian.’
“Hello?” Rory called. “Is anyone here?”
She wandered through the maze-like aisles of the library, between the tall shelves which reached up to the sky. It was the largest library Rory had ever been in, although it did not have much competition. The only other libraries she could recall being in were her elementary school library and the small public one.
“Oh, hullo!”
Rory turned to see a rather short man with wild black hair. He was only taller than her because Rory herself was short for her age. He was not a round short man, but thin, with an almost fairylike or elfin appearance.
“You wouldn’t happen to be Rory Flannery, would you?”
“Yes, I would be.”
“I didn’t expect you to be quite so punctual, Miss Flannery,” he said.
“What, because I’m a delinquent or something?”
Barbato chuckled. “No, Miss Flannery. It is because you’re a very special girl.”
“Riiiiight. I’m starting to rethink this independent study thing.”
“How much do you know about the Bible, Miss Flannery?”
“I’ve been to church a few times,” Rory said, backing away. “
“But you know about the Apocalypse, correct?”
“I’ve lived through five of them, I think,” Rory told him. “What does this have to do with anything?”
“Miss Flannery, I know this sounds odd…”
“You’re fucking right about that, bub,” Rory snapped.
“Did you like the horses?”
“Well… uh… yeah…”
“And which one did you like the best? The big red one?” he asked. He looked sure of himself, and sounded as though it was not really a question.
He tossed her something small, long, and thin with read feathers on the top. It was a pen, one of the glitzy ones that the popular girls in her old school would trade back and forth. The difference was that this one was red and silver, and shaped like a sword, which was not the sort of pen one would expect to find at the school store.
“What’s this?”
“It’s yours.”
“No… it belongs to you by right, Miss Flannery. You’ve got an interest in war, you felt a connection to the red horse, and I’m sure you feel a connection to the sword…”
“It’s a pen.”
“Well, you can’t just carry a sword around with you. It’d raise eyebrows.”
“I’m raising my eyebrows. Am I supposed to be…”
“War, yes.”
“Where are the other three?”
“It’s a bit easier to find the one who acts out the most. Just trust me… you know what to do, if you look into your heart. What do you lose if I’m wrong?”
“That look into your heart stuff is bullshit,” Rory replied.
Barbato chuckled. “Just try it.”
Rory wouldn’t have been able to tell why she listened to him, but she closed her eyes, holding the sword… well, pen… in her hands. It felt warm between her palms, growing hotter and hotter…
“With the power to take peace from the earth, and make men slay each other… come and see!”
She felt herself grow hot, like fire, but it was not an unpleasant experience. Rory opened her eyes to see sparkles engulfing her. She held her hand in front of her face to examine it more closely, and saw as a silver gauntlet appeared there. A red skirt poofed around her waist; the pen grew into a sword… a real sword. The mary janes that went with her uniform became high, armored boots.
“Lady War?” Rory asked, twirling a bit. The outfit had way more frills than would be expected for a warrior, but it also had armor.
“Yes! Very good!” the librarian exclaimed. He looked please.
“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.”


Posted in SSA

American Girl School

This is not pig related, but I wanted to write down a ‘fanfic’ of what happened when I played dolls with my younger cousins. I was not in control of Miss Nicki, so if she seems a bit cruel, it is not on me.

            It was early one morning at the American Girl School. It was Show and Tell morning, actually, so everyone had something to share with their classmates. Kirsten had an enormous yellow ruler, to show how tall she had grown. Nellie had brought a beret, which she had gotten on her trip to Paris. Martha had brought her service dog… well, she brought Sprocket every day, but today she was going to show him, and tell about him. Josefina brought her pet kangaroo, from Australia. But it was a tiny kangaroo.


            All of the girls waited anxiously for Show and Tell to begin, because each of them had brought something they were eager to talk about. Show and Tell was the only time that they could talk to each other during school hours, for Miss Nicki was very strict.


            Miss Nicki, however, was late today. In fact, they were considering sending someone out to look for her when they heard her loud clack-clack footsteps coming down the hall… although they sounded a bit odd.


            “Sit down!” Miss Nicki bellowed. “Sit down, class! Everyone!”


            Miss Nicki came into the classroom, followed by a large buckskin horse.


            “As we all know, today is Show and Tell,” Miss Nicki announced once the class was seated. It did not take very long, as no one wished to upset Miss Nicki. She was not a very nice person. “Today I brought in my horse, Jackson. I have shown him and told about him. Who wants to go next?”


            Kirsten raised her hand.


            “Yes, you. Kirsten. Show and tell.”


            “Um, Miss Nicki?” Kirsten asked. Kirsten always asked more questions than she ought to have.  “What happens if your horse poops in the classroom?”


            “Then one of you will have to clean it up,” Miss Nicki said. The class grumbled, but quickly settled down when Miss Nicki’s eyes glared at them. “Now, Kirsten, show and tell, as I have told you.”


            Kirsten stood and walked to the front of the room.


            “Hurry it up, child. We don’t have all day.”


            Kirsten took her enormous yellow ruler to the front of the room, and stood before the class. She held it out for them to see. “This is a big ruler. I brought it in to show how tall I’ve grown. I’m over a foot tall now!”


            “Very good. You get an F,” Miss Nicki said.


            Kirsten went back to her seat, dejected.


            Next for Show and Tell was Martha. Miss Nicki was not very kind to Martha, and snapped at her to take the breaks off of her wheelchair. Martha showed and told about her dog, Sprocket. Kirsten raised her hand when the presentation had finished.


            “What is it, Kirsten?” Miss Nicki asked. “You have already shown and told. What else could you want?”


            “What happens if Sprocket poops in the classroom?” Kirsten asked.


            “Then Martha will need to clean it up.”


            Martha shook her head. “Oh, that won’t be necessary, Miss Nicki. Sprocket is very well trained. He never poops.”


            “If that is the case, I would recommend a veterinarian,” Miss Nicki said.


            “I mean, he never poops inside…”


            Miss Nicki waved her away and called up the next person to do their Show and Tell, Sonali. Everyone was very excited for Sonali’s presentation… well, except for Miss Nicki. The reason was that Sonali had recently been on vacation to Egypt, so everyone wondered what sort of souvenir she would have brought back… perhaps a mummy, or a pharaoh’s treasure.


            Sonali brought up a wooden clog.


            “This,” she explained, “is an ancient clog found in the ancient pyramids. It is very old and valuable. All of the people who found the clog died horrible deaths, because it is cursed.”


            “Well, get out of my classroom, then!” Miss Nicki snapped. “I don’t want that curse in here!”


            Sonali hurried out through the back of the classroom, but halfway to the door she tripped and fell, hitting her head against the floor of the classroom. She died.


            “Don’t turn around,” Miss Nicki instructed the class. “No one look at the dead child.”


            No one did. They knew what Miss Nicki would do to them.


            Next it was Emily’s turn.


            “I brought my foot,” Emily explained, holding it out to show the others.


            “That is a waste of a Show and Tell,” Miss Nicki said. “We all have feet here. You get an F. You all get Fs!”


            “Um… I actually brought something else,” Emily said, searching for something to show and tell about. “Actually, I brought… um… this coin…”


            Something stirred in the back of the room. Even though Miss Nicki had told them not to look at the dead body, girls in the classroom turned to look. Shakily, Sonali pulled herself to her feet.


            “Hm. Braiiinss…” Sonali said, moving forward, her arms stretched before her body.


            “Kirsten!” Miss Nicki shrieked. “Your enormous ruler!”


            Kirsten tossed the enormous ruler at her teacher, who caught it. Wielding the piece of plastic, she threw herself at the zombie Sonali and attacked, beating Sonali over the head until she fell, once again dead.


            “Shall we continue?” Miss Nicki asked, as though nothing had happened. She called Josefina to show and tell about her kangaroo.


            “I brought my pet kangaroo. Kangaroos are from Australia. Mine is named Joey.”


            “That’s a girl kangaroo,” Martha said.


            Miss Nicki raised the ruler as if about to strike Martha. “Do not speak unless you are called on. Now that I have used this ruler to beat back one of the undead, it is covered in the zombie virus. If I smack you with this, you will die instantly.”


            “Shouldn’t you become a zombie if you’re holding it?” someone asked.


            “Who said that?”


            Not very many people knew this, but Miss Nicki had a Special Power, in the form of a small green frog. No one could see this frog but Miss Nicki. It spoke to her in a strange tongue, and hovered above the heads of those girls who were being bad, so Miss Nicki would always know when to reprimand them. Now the frog hovered above Kirsten’s head.


            “What did you say?” Miss Nicki asked.


            “I said nothing!” Kirsten exclaimed, frightened. The yellow ruler loomed menacingly above her head.


            Miss Nicki looked up; the frog still floated above Kirsten’s head, telling her that it was Kirsten who had spoken out of turn.


            “Liar!” Miss Nicki shouted. She struck a fatal blow to Kirsten.


            “Oh… oops,” the frog said, looking perturbed. “I made a mistake. It was her.”


            The frog moved to float above Addy’s head instead. Miss Nicki killed the correct student on her second try.


            “I killed the wrong girl!” Miss Nicki snapped at the frog. “Now I’m going to be fired!”


            For good measure, Miss Nicki whacked the frog as well. She would continue on with the school day without his help.


            The students piled the bodies in the back of the classroom, so they would not need to look at them during the lesson.


            Presently, the three girls who had become zombies came to. As they were no longer alive, they were not expected to pay attention to the lesson, so they decided they could have a very nice conversation in the back of the classroom. It was not very bad, being dead. They did not need to deal with Miss Nicki, at least, as long as they did not raise their voices enough to disrupt the class.


            “I think that the clog was the best thing that ever happened in this class,” Kirsten said.


            Sonali still held the clog in her arms, and she pet it tenderly.


            “I think we should honor it,” Sonali said. She stood up and raised the clog above her head. “Hail to the clog! Hail clog! Glorious clog!” she chanted.


            “Sit down and be quiet,” Miss Nicki snapped. “You’re dead. I’ll hit you again.”


            “You can’t do that,” Sonali said. “That would be religious discrimination. We owe our new way of life to the clog!”


            Miss Nicki did not listen, and beat Sonali over the head with the clog again. Although Sonali was a zombie, it would still take a while for her to wake up after being hit by the virus-covered ruler. Her friends sat in silence, mourning their fallen classmate.


            The frog used the clog as a bed.


            As the day wore on, more and more girls were whacked with the ruler, and joined the Undead Club. It soon came to be that the zombies outnumbered the living girls in the class, and there were only four girls left alive, not counting Miss Nicki. Miss Nicki decided she wanted fewer students to deal with, so she whacked Nellie and Kit.


            Only Martha and Emily remained.


            “Now you will play rock paper scissors,” Miss Nicki said. “Whoever loses will be whacked, whoever wins will be able to leave the classroom with me.”


            Emily picked rock. Martha chose paper. Emily fell, while Martha and Miss Nicki fled the scene.



            The next Monday, a new girl was supposed to come in, and no one had told her about the newest developments of the class. Jess came into the classroom and saw it was full of zombies. She fled as soon as she realized what danger she was in, but not before she became infected with the zombie virus.


            The virus spread throughout the world. There was a worldwide war between the humans and the zombies. Mother fought daughter, sister fought sister… presumably brothers and sons and fathers fought as well, but there were no male dolls to depict this. They fought well, and bravely. An antidote was developed, although people still preferred killing the zombies because that was more fun than curing things. When the war ended, there were no survivors, neither human nor zombie. The final human, Jess, died with the clog upon her foot, a trophy from slaying Sonali. The last The only living creature on the planet was Miss Nicki’s horse, Jackon.


            He feasted on the flesh of the fallen until he died of loneliness.


Hammy Fammy Time Part 2


            The meal passed with little talk from Zhasmina or her Aunt Wren, and Zhasmina paid no mind to the babblings of her two sisters, or the babbling of her grandfather, for that matter. They drew no love from her heart; love was to be shared between kindred souls, something she wished to foster between herself and her aunt. Wren ate her meal with small, controlled movements, so different from mealtimes at home, or even how Vonvarya ate, despite Grandmother’s protests. Aunt Wren never wore something unless it was clean, and always kept her hair and clothing neat and orderly. Zhasmina would have wished that she had been born as Wren’s sister, rather than Vonvarya’s, if it hadn’t been for Aunt Wren’s repulsive father. Zhasmina wished that Grandmother had never been reunited with her love; things had been much better before he arrived.

            Zhasmina wished that Mother had not confiscated her poisons before allowing her to leave. They would have been useful in this situation.

            The meal concluded after much more time had passed than Zhasmina would have liked. She did not have a particularly hearty appetite, and had spent the latter half of the lunch moving her food about, trying to emulate her aunt and appear as though she were eating the food that Grandmother had prepared.

            “Wren, perhaps you would like to entertain your sister’s children?” Grandmother asked, after excusing them from the table.

            Zhasmina’s innards clenched about themselves, for if someone had asked her to entertain the likes of Vonvarya and Krupinka, she would feel absolutely constricted, as though she had been asked to do the impossible. No more would she have been able to find common ground with them than if she had been asked to cause the world to spin backwards, or dive under the sea and breathe water. But Wren merely nodded and led the girls to the other room and began to work on her needlepoint.

            Aunt Wren was so cool.

            “Gramma said ennertain us,” Vonny complained after a few minutes. “You’re not being very ennertaining.”

            “HATE NEEDLE AN FRED!” Krupinka shrieked.

            Zhasmina did her best to ignore her sisters and retrieved her own needlework from her things. The tip of her needle had been poisoned, to make things more interesting, so she could jab Grandfather with the tip, if she so wished. Doing so seemed to be below her dignity, though. She did so prefer poisoning foods. Weapons were barbaric.

            “Vonvarya, Krupinka, you must calm down and behave like proper ladies,” Aunt Wren scolded. “Your behavior is completely unacceptable, not that I would expect anything more from her children.”

            Vonny began to erupt like an exceedingly bothersome volcano, to defend against the slight against her Holy Mother, but Zhasmina cast her a look that held almost as much poison as the silver needle in her fingers.

            “Come on, Pinkie, le’s go explore the refugee camp,” Vonny said, grabbing Pinkie by the wrist and pulling her away.

            “What’s a refugee?”

            “It’s what Grampa is.”

            They could still be heard as they left the house, but the words could not be made out.

            The two girls sat in silence, the elder and the younger, working on their needlepoint. Zhasmina liked to think that she was passably good at needlepoint… she never pricked her fingers, which was a good thing considering how she treated her needles, and the pictures she made with her thread looked alright. They looked how they were meant to look. The flowers looked like flowers, the trees looked like trees… but whenever she looked at Aunt Wren’s needlepoint, she knew that there was something missing in her own. She was not quite sure what it was, or what word she might use to describe it, but she knew that there was something that Aunt Wren had that she did not.

            Aunt Wren had pretty silver eyes that shone like the moon, and black hair as dark as the night. Aunt Wren could wear whatever color she wanted to wear, even white, without looking as though she were a corpse. Aunt Wren could go outside in the sun without worrying about burning her skin, without needing to shield her eyes to avoid a painful headache. Aunt Wren could do her needlework without moving her head about to try and get a clear picture…

            “Do stop fidgeting, Zhasmina. It is very distracting.”

            Zhasmina sat still and watched as her needlework danced in front of her eyes, taunting her. She would have liked very much to sit still; it was the world that moved too much. She could not continue with her work, for fear of ruining it or poking herself in the finger, but she pretended that she continued to work as best as she could so that Aunt Wren would not think that she was slacking.

            “Perhaps we will be lucky, and some doting mother will come across my sisters and take them in, thinking them orphans,” Zhasmina said. She felt the red creeping onto her face from Aunt Wren’s scolding; it was a horrible thing that hats and veils were not meant to be indoors as well as out.

            “Do not joke about that, Zhasmina,” Aunt Wren said. “They would likely be taken in to be servants rather than children, and it would be rude to wish that upon your sisters.”

            “Oh… yes… I suppose…” Zhasmina replied. Perhaps she did not need to worry about Vonvarya and Krupinka destroying her chances of being friends with Aunt Wren. She seemed to be doing a good job of destroying the chances all on her own. “It is only that… well… they are rather loud.”

            “Yes, they are,” Aunt Wren agreed, although she did not sound particularly interested in that vein of conversation. It seemed that complaining about your nieces was not proper behavior for a young lady, although Zhasmina was sure that Aunt Wren would have loved to complain. Perhaps when they really were friends, she would be able to open her heart…

            “I am trying to develop a new form of poisonous plant,” Zhasmina said, by way of making conversation.

            “How is that going?” Aunt Wren asked.

            Zhasmina puffed up a bit, proud that her hobby had caught Aunt Wren’s interest. No one else had much interest in her garden… well, no one but Mr. Viverra, but Zhasmina did not see him very often, and she did not think that she could count him as a friend because he was an adult. He was, however, her favorite adult by far.

            “It is going alright, I suppose,” Zhasmina explained. “I have cultivated some seeds that are, I presume, the product of two different species of plant… they still need to be similar enough to produce seeds, you know… and now I must wait for the seeds to mature, so I can see what traits of the parents they have inherited… I will cultivate those that have the most desirable qualities… although I will admit I have not given much thought as to what the end product of my experiment shall be. I suppose it is the thrill of creating something new which carries me forward.”

            “I see,” Aunt Wren said, not looking up from her work. “I hope that works well for you, then.”

            Zhasmina deflated. Aunt Wren had not been paying very much attention to her at all, it seemed.

            …Well, why did that matter? Why should she be the one to be trying to impress Aunt Wren? What could Wren do? She could do needlework and clean, but what ‘proper lady’ couldn’t do such things? As her tutor had told them, all ladies could sew, and prick pleasing pictures with their needles, and sing and dance and draw and paint, and a whole number of other things. Why, the needlework was downright common, no matter how skillful it might be. What did it matter that a thing was pretty or not?

            Perhaps Wren, and many others, could wear many different colors that caused Zhasmina to look sickly, but there was no skill in that. Whatever colored hair, and skin, and eyes one was born with… well, they were born with it, so it was no use to value someone simply because they looked more becoming in certain colors. Wren could dance well enough, but that was, again, common. Could she stand on the very tips of her toes, and portray with all the feeling of her body the pain of the poor goddess Biroza? Zhasmina could.

            Aunt Wren knew nothing of poisons, or how to tend for such plants to get the most use from them. She could, perhaps, plant pretty posies, flowers and fruits and vegetables, but that, again, was a common thing, something plenty of young ladies knew to do.

            So why, then, was Zhasmina looking for approval from her aunt? It didn’t matter that Wren was older than her, she ought to be the one looking for approval from Zhasmina. She only did not know that she ought to seek such approval from her young niece, so it was only fair that Zhasmina help her along a bit by seeking out that which was to be approved herself. She needed to test her aunt, and through testing Aunt Wren would come to see that they were to be friends… and if she failed to see this, why, it was Wren who had failed, not Zhasmina.

            Zhasmina set her needlework aside.

            “Dear Aunt,” she said. “It looks as though you’re almost through with that colored thread. If you would tell me which color you are going to use next, I will set that thread upon one of my own needles so you may switch to the second more quickly.”

            “Thank you, Zhasmina. That would be very kind. I was going to use that red, next.”

            Zhasmina smiled and threaded the scarlet on one of her needles, being very careful with it as she led the thread through. It would be very bad if she were to prick her finger…

Hammy Fammy Time: Part One


            The time had come, Mama had said one day, to be a lady. Not that she had ever been a lady, not really, but Vonvarya and Zhasmina and Krupinka were expected to be ladies, so that was what they needed to be. Mama had tried to give a few lessons on her own, but those had failed miserably, and the governess that had been hired to teach such things had been kicked out almost as soon as she had come in. Vonny thought it was because Mama had thought the lady stuck up, although she supposed it could’ve been that her brothers were had been making eyes at the governess, as well.

            The final and best solution, as Mama had decided it, was to send the girls to Gramma’s house to get learning as ladies. Vonny had thought that meant Mama would come along with them until the night before, when she learned they would be going alone. Mama explained to them that going along would mean that she would be getting lessons as well, and she didn’t want that.

            It was terribly unfair that Mama could sit out of lady lessons, but Vonny knew that when she had her own children she would be able to make them do whatever she wanted, so it would all even out in the end.

            Vonny stood outside the door and shifted her weight so Pinkie would sit better on her hip. Pinkie was four and could walk well enough on her own, but she was terrible shy around strangers… even if Gramma wasn’t really a stranger at all. But seeing Gramma without Mama or Papa around as well was strange enough to even set Vonny a bit on edge, so she did not mind carrying her all that much.

            “Well?” Zhasmina asked flatly. “Are you going to knock?”

            “I’m gettin’ to it,” Vonny snapped, her body tensing. “I’m jess makin’ sure that this is where Gramma really lives, is all. It is rude to go barging in on strangers and the like, and if you was a proper lady, you would know that.”

            “I do not care one way or the other if I am a lady,” Zhasmina said from below her dark veil.

            Vonvarya grumbled. It was just like her younger sister to be a perfect proper little lady without even trying, while she had to struggle and wrestle with forks and knives to figure out which was right for eating, and then half the time she forgot to sit straight or keep her elbows off the table. It was a right nuisance that Zhasmina got to be the prettiest, the smartest, and the properest of them all.

            “We can go home now?” Pinkie asked. She wriggled in Vonny’s arms.

            “If you don’t stop that, I’ll drop you on your ass, and you’ll break all your little butt bones.”

            Zhasmina stepped forward and rapped on the front door, loud and clear, three times. Pinkie stopped wiggling, and they waited as something stirred within the little house. They heard a man’s voice.

            “We’re going to see Grampa?” Pinkie asked.

            “I would suppose so,” Zhasmina replied. “They live together, and, as you can tell, the house is not very big. The chances that we would not meet him, if he were in the house, are very low.”

            “Is he in there?”

            “Unless Grandmother is meeting with another man who calls her ‘dearest,’ I would believe so.”

            “Grampa is skeery,” Pinkie explained.

            “Naw, he ain’t,” Vonny snapped, although she privately agreed with her sister’s sentiment. Grampa had very pointy teeth, like the teeth of a wolf or a shark. Although when they first saw him Mama had thrown herself at him like she were meeting an old friend, the teeth alone were enough to make the children have second thoughts about the stranger.

            The door opened before them, revealing a tall, shirtless man with greying hair and red eyes. He smiled widely, causing Pinkie to tighten her grip around Vonny’s neck.

            “Hey, girls. Is your mother with you?”

            “Naw,” Vonny told him.

            “She is currently engaging in physical relations with our father,” Zhasmina said.

            “Mama want us learn be ladies.”

            “Mama wanted us to learn to be ladies,” Vaughn corrected.

            “You’s a boy,” Pinkie said with a giggle. “You’s gots a willie.”

            “Did you girls wanna see Aria?” Vaughn asked.

            “Izzat Gramma’s name?” Vonny asked.

            “Yes,” Zhasmina replied. “Grandmother told our mother that she would teach us how to be proper young ladies.”

            “Alright. I’ll show you in.”

            The first lesson was ‘how to sit,’ which, as far as Vonny could tell, involved sitting in chairs while Gramma critiqued how they sat. Zhasmina seemed to pick up on all the rules right away, so Gramma was mostly talking to Vonny and Pinkie.

            “Do not slouch, Vonvarya,” Aria told her. “You must sit tall, with your back straight. Do you see Zhasmina?”

            “Aye,” Vonny said, glaring at her sister. Zhasmina sat with her back straight, her eyes cast downward demurely, holding her hat in her lap.

            “And Krupinka…”

            Pinkie had bounded from the chair, and was now peering into a box in the corner. Gramma rushed over and pulled her from it hurriedly.

            “Oh, that is not for you, dear!” she exclaimed, blushing profusely. “Do you not wish to come and practice sitting with your sisters?”

            “It’s boring!” Pink complained. “I don’t wanna do that no more!”

            “Oh, but your mother wished for you to learn to be proper young ladies, did she not?”

            “I don’t wanna hafta!”

            Zhasmina raised an eyebrow. “I would not worry if I were you, Pinka. If you do not wish to learn to be a young lady, I would be able to make sure that you are not asked to be one in your lifetime.”

            Pinkie perked up. “Really, Mina?”

            “Yes. They would not ask a corpse to dinner, Pinka.”

            Pinkie scurried back onto her chair and stayed very still for the rest of the lesson.

            “Oh, um… thank you, Zhasmina,” Gramma said, her face bright red.

            “I’ma tell Mama you was bein’ mean,” Vonny snapped, sticking her tongue out.

            “Oh! Um… Vonvarya? Perhaps we ought to work on grammar? You ought to say ‘I am going to tell Mother that you were being mean.’ Why don’t you try that?”

            “I’ma tell Mother you was bein’ mean,” Vonny repeated. “Is that better, Gramma?”

            “I am going to tell Mother that you were being mean.”

            I  am goin’ t’ tell Mother that you were bein’ mean,” Vonny attempted, the words feeling clunky and ugly on her tongue.

            “That is much better, dear,” Gramma said with a smile. “Proper grammar is very important, you know. It is what allows other people to be able to understand what it is that you are trying to say.”

            “People’s unnerstan’ me jess fine,” Vonny said. “Why’s it ‘portant.”

            “Well, um… Vaughn has difficulty understanding you and your mother sometimes, Vonny. If you spoke more properly, then he would be able to understand you more clearly.”

            “I dun’ keer if he kin understand me,” Vonny complained. “Grampa gots skeery looking teeth. I don’t trust him.”

            “Grampa skeery! Him eat me allll up!” Pinkie yelled.

            “Oh, he is not all that bad,” Aria replied. “He is actually quite nice, even if his teeth look a bit strange at first. And I assure you that Vaughn does not eat people.”

            “You’s got bit marks on you,” Vonny noted.

            “Aye, him was eating you! You gotta run!”

            Zhasmina rolled her eyes. “Vonvarya, you cannot really be so dense. It is clear that Grandmother gained such marks by participating in lewd acts with Grandfather.”

            Aria blushed. “Perhaps we ought to end our lessons for today, yes? I will make you some food, and we shall all eat together… including Wren and Vaughn. And then you shall see that Vaughn does not eat people.”

            “A’right, but I still think he do,” Vonny said.

            Aria left to make some lunch for the girls, and Pinkie followed her, being bored by sitting and having not seen much of cooking. Vonny and Zhasmina stared at each other. The two were not the closest of siblings, unlike their brothers who were always enjoying each other’s company.

            “Please do not embarrass me,” Zhasmina said.

            “Why would I e’burress you?” Vonny asked.

            “I care what Wren’s opinion of me might be, and I do not wish for you to sully her view of me with your… antics.” Mina turned her face away, but not before Vonny could see her younger sister’s face reddening. Her skin was so pale that it was obvious to see that Zhasmina was blushing.

            “You got a crush or something?” Vonny asked.

            “I simply respect our cousin, and I hope that she would be able to respect me in turn,” Zhasmina said. “But… I think that you might make her think that I am as stupid and… uncouth… as you are.”

            “I ain’t stupid,” Vonny grumbled.

            “I know you aren’t,” Zhasmina admitted. “As much as you act it. But I do care what our cousin thinks of us… I wish to be friends with her very badly. So do not say anything to her, or you’ll ruin it, alright?”

            “What’s in it for me?” Vonny asked.

            Zhasmina sighed. “If you do this for me, then when you are meeting with those scoundrels you call men, I will not say anything to scare them away, nor will I tell mother or father anything of your behavior. I believe that this would be a satisfactory trade?”

            Vonny thought for a moment. It would be good not to need to worry about Zhasmina’s oddness when she was flirting with men at port. And if Zhasmina did not tell Papa, she would not need to worry about him scaring away the men, either. It would be a very good deal indeed.

            “Deal,” she said. She spat in her hand and held it out.

            “I will not shake on it, Vonny, that is disgusting.”

Pig Week: Birthday Song

Happy Pig Day, everyone. ‘Everyone.’ Like anyone reads this. 😀 Anyway, today is Pig Day and also the first day of March, which means fanfic month. I know, I know. I failed twice already, but writing stuff on the go is much easier than finding some kind of craft to do on the go, so that’s good. And I kind of have experience writing 50,000 words in a month? Anyway, here’s my first fanfic thing starring my characters with a kind of (?) cameo (?) from one of Miss Moonstone’s characters. … Vaughn is mentioned so it is not canon. Word count of fanfic is 1,669 words, so there.

            Sokola moved through the market, slowly, not wanting to miss anything being sold, her baby clutched to her breast. It was but a few days before her birthday… and, by extension, her father’s, and she had yet to get anything for him. Silniev hadn’t bought anything for either one of them, but she didn’t know that that was why he had come along with her.

            It wasn’t their fault, of course. Vonvarya was an infant of only two months of age… no, less than that, and time had seemed to slip by as they had remained focused on the baby, and all of the other little things that required attention on a daily basis. January turned to February, and February threatened to turn into March too soon, if they did not do anything about it.

            “Too late to make anything,” Sokola repeated for about the thousandth time, rocking Vonny gently. The baby had, thank the gods, fallen asleep in her mother’s arms, so that was one less thing to worry about at the present moment.

            “You could make something small,” Silniev said in reply. “Fol’ed paper, a poem…”

            “I don’t want to give him something small. It’s gotta be big and wonderful. He’s the only dad I’ve got,” Sokola said. “Besides, you know I can’t write poems.

            “You wrote one when you were eleven.”

            “I was stupid when I was eleven. You know that.”

            They had had that exact conversations a number of times that day, and a few times the night before as well.

            The market was a pirates’ market, and therefore filled with every exotic thing one could ever ask for. Cages of wicker or wrought iron held mangy ratters and colorful dragons, neither of which would be a good gift for Vaughn. Another stall sold rare books and scrolls, but most were written in the High Demon tongue, which Vaughn would not understand. Those that remained were deemed ‘too boring’ or ‘too flowery’ by Sokola and Silniev, and promptly discarded. Yet other stalls—and many of them—sold gold and jewelry. These would not be a gift that Vaughn would want, although Silniev saw many of these trinkets about his wife’s arm or breast in his mind’s eye. Here is a transcript of another conversation they had had at least ten times:

            “You look tired. You wanna head back?”

            “I’m fine to walk.”

            “You just had a baby.”

            “Two months ago. I’m fine.”

            “Aye, but Vonny looks a mite tired.” Or fussy, or hungry, or gassy. “You ought to go back.”

            “I need to get a birthday present for Vaughn, and I ain’t leaving ‘til I got one for him.”

            “I can pick one out for you… we can get something big from the both of us, if you want.”

            “I don’t want. I wanna pick it out myself.”

            And then, sometimes, Silniev would add, “You could always make something back home,” which would promptly set Sokola into the beginning of the first conversation above.

            And so was the trouble. They were husband and wife, but they were working at odds with each other. Silniev could not buy anything for Sokola without her seeing it, and it was imperative that she not see. Birthday gifts were meant to be surprises. He couldn’t leave Sokola alone in a pirate market with a baby either, as much as he knew she could take care of her self in any other situation. The baby took two arms to hold, and was fragile. Silniev would hate himself if he left Sokola alone, and she were harmed in the process of making sure that their daughter wasn’t. So he tried to convince her to go back home.

            Sokola, on the other hand, was determined not to go back home, as she refuted all of her husband’s attempts to send her away. Even when her daughter fell asleep in her arms, something that would usually send Sokola running for the cradle to relieve herself of the sleepy burden, she refused to go back to the ship.

            “Why do you want me to go home?” Sokola asked, finally. “You planning to meet with some girl I don’t know about or something?”

            “I ain’t had time buy anything for you either,” Silniev said irritably. “And I wanted to make it a surprise.”

            “You could always make something back home,” Sokola replied, devilish grin on her face.

            Silniev didn’t reply, as he had made something… a song… but he had been hoping to get something physical for her to have as well. He didn’t want the father to think that he was mistreating the daughter… that seemed to be the normal state of things, in his mind. The suspicion, not the actuality of mistreatment, at least not in Silniev’s mind.

            “You know, we still gotta get something for Abbi, too,” Silniev said, remembering that there were actually three birthdays to remember for March. He near expected Mrs. Richmond to pop on the first, as well, being as that seemed to be when everyone was born.


            “Don’t curse in front of the baby,” Silniev said, chuckling.

            “You say much worse,” Sokola said. She stuck out her tongue. In another place, Silniev would’ve kissed her outright… he had the overwhelming urge to do so… but they were in a crowded marketplace, she held the baby, and there were people watching. The baby was not a big deterrent, it only made it a bit awkward for Silniev to pull his wife to him when he feared to crush the baby between them. He did not like appearing so sentimental to anyone who was not his wife, however, so he simply led her to another stall.

            “We’ll find something good for Vaughn, then jus’ pick up something pretty for Abbi, aye?”


            “What’s he like?” Silniev asked.

            Sokola thought for a bit. “No shirts, pigs, and tying knots.”

            “We could get him rope or something to tie knots.”

            Sokola made a face.

            “Oh, right. Bad idea.”

            They settled on buying a large, black coat, which would be big enough to cover Vaughn’s wings if he needed to go to the human world. For Abbi, they picked up the first ‘pretty’ thing they found that she would like. Then they went back home. Silniev was disappointed that he hadn’t a chance to pick something up for Sokola herself, but he was glad that she looked so happy with her gift choices.

            When her birthday came, he pulled out his guitar and sang to her:

They say that life is full of storms
Is full of rainy days,
And full of trouble, fear and rage and strife,
They say that life is difficult,
Devoid of joy and praise
Well, if that’s true, then I’m not living life.

She came upon my ship one day,
To set out on the sea
The look of dragon’s fire in her eyes

One glare fixed out to kill the world,

One death-glare set on me

Who would’ve known that she would be my prize?

Her eyes were green like earth and grass

Green like the land below,

Gods know the land, it holds no love for me

But when I sat among the trees

That’s when I’d come to know

Her eyes were green like the sea

When I am stuck upon the solid ground

And there seems to be no ‘scape for me

I know that there’s hope, for when I look around

I find her eyes green as the sea

‘Cause when I hold her,

And when she holds me,

I know I hold something as wild as the sea

And though I know there’s no ship ‘neath me

I spend my nights rocking ‘pon the sea.

We sailed ‘cross oceans near and far,

We sailed across the skies

‘Til every mortal feared both her and me.

But nothin’ sets my heart ablaze

Like lookin’ in her eyes,

Those eyes as green as the sea

When I am stuck upon the solid ground

And there seems to be no ‘scape for me

I know that there’s hope, for when I look around

I find her eyes green as the sea

‘Cause when I hold her,

And when she holds me,

I know I hold something as wild as the sea

And though I know there’s no ship ‘neath me

I spend my nights rocking ‘pon the sea.

I know that I shall die someday

I ain’t so fool to think

That death won’t be a’comin’ home to me

But if my death boat don’t have her

I think my boat should sink

Without eyes as green as the sea

When I am stuck upon the solid ground

And there seems to be no ‘scape for me

I know that there’s hope, for when I look around

I find her eyes green as the sea

‘Cause when I hold her,

And when she holds me,

I know I hold something as wild as the sea

And though I know there’s no ship ‘neath me

I spend my nights rocking ‘pon the sea.

            It wasn’t the best song, and he knew it, but he had wrote it with love, every line and word, so that was what mattered. She smiled as he played, not just with her mouth, but with her eyes, and she held their baby close to her breast as he sang. After he finished, he held his two favorite girls in his arms, kissing them and telling them just how much he loved them. He knew that Vonny didn’t understand the words, although he hoped she understood on some level, but Sokola sure did understand.

            In the end, he hadn’t been able to buy something for his wife… he hadn’t gotten the nerve to buy something in front of her, and there had been no time for it afterwards, but he didn’t mind that he had nothing to give her. He had already given her his heart, so he supposed that it would need to be enough for the time being.