Log in

Tri-state Blackout

Got caught in it, so if anybody tried to get a hold of me... Yeah. No dice. No damage for my family other than no power: branches and leaves fell in the yard, spent a good four hours cleaning it up, but no damage to the house itself. Neighbor had maybe twenty shingles blow off from his house, but he has a generator to keep his refrigerator running, so very little sympathy from me. Dinner the last few nights has been fine: sesame chicken and fried rice the first night, Skyline chili and spaghetti the second night. Gas stoves FTW! Seriously, other than not having anything electronic, it hasn't been that bad - our water heater is also gas, so still have hot showers, just have to do them in the dark.

Typing this at the local library on one of their computers - they have power, and technically they have wireless, but since wireless is through Insight, and since they're down... no wireless. Cable internet is fine though, so still have internet that way.

Reading by candlelight, by the way, gives me a headache.


Five Things... (Ashley, Sydney)

Five Things Ashley Will Never Mention... Unless Sydney Asks A Direct Question (And Only A Direct Question)

1. Her mother - or rather the female human whose body from which she spawned - is alive, and not dead. Has been not dead for more years than many of her friends would suspect. It's not like it matters though - if you called her up on the telephone and asked her about her daughter, the reply would not be about Ashley at college, or the awards she's won, or even the friends she's made - the reply would be "What daughter?" It's better to think of her as dead.

That's what Ashley's to her, anyway.

2. For as much as she tries to emulate him, Ashley doesn't remember her father. Oh, there's bits and pieces, flash of things - his hand on hers, showing her how to hold a dagger, the echo of his laugh over her head, the feel of him lifting her up and tossing her in the air. But not an individual memory, no.

3. What she does remember is Bernard - her father's mage. The one her mother would like to forget. When father died, Ashley knew he couldn't come around. But Ashley remembers things like school plays, spelling bees, sports days, things all the other parents came to but hers never did, and she knows she heard someone yelling her name, just like all the other parents did (just like all the other kids had). And she would finish her part, her word, her race, and look up through the crowd, and see his eyes. It didn't make up for her mother, then, didn't make all the winning worth it, but it did something. A quiet something, small and hidden, but strong enough to hold on to, in the quiet nights when a mother's arms refused to be there.

He wasn't allowed to come near her, her egg-donator had made sure of that. But Ashley could go to him, at least after she hit her 15th birthday and her rights were expanded. And she did. It didn't make up for not having a father, nor for her mother not being her mother, but it was something sweet and precious all for that. He had no children, but she knew if he was asked if he had a son or daughter, he would name her.

And if somebody asked if her father had made time to come to her plays, her spelling bees, her games, she'd say yes.

3. Bernard was dead before her 16th birthday. He shot himself, determined to not make anyone else kill him - they both knew that magic's price was coming to call on him, and had been for years. There had slight madness during all their meetings, a mania he tried to keep control of, wanting only to protect Ashley and not scare her. But she felt his hands shake in hers, and knew time was short.

When the funeral service was conducted, no one tried to move her from the family section. And when the will was read, leaving her a daughter's share of the estate, she smiled through her tears, knowing he had handed her her freedom.

When she was eighteen, she kept her father's family name, but took Bernard's for her middle.

4. The first time she picked up a hammer in a forge, she dropped it. On her foot.

Good thing she was wearing steel-toed boots.

5. She's loved Sydney in all their myriad forms: from the prickly mage he never quite got to know, to the sharp-tongued woman he loved as a treasure wife first and then as partner, to the indignant scholar, to the crafty girl who stands before her. But in truth, the one that she always laughs about and remembers most fondly, is the French noble. The one who, smart as a man he was, realized being a man in a French revolution was rather too dangerous, and dressed as a woman. A woman who decided that slow looking Irish redhead would be a good mark for a dumb and ignorant husband - and one who wouldn't look too closely under the skirts.

When he finally figures out he should have been looking closer at the breeches, Ashley's already spent five minutes rolling on the ground, laughing.

Umm, Ashley did a drive-by? Sydney is supposed to do one as well, but I haven't been to bed.


What do want of me, she asked
As if it was something he could put into words
Images crashed in his mind
A warrior queen with a flashing sword
Everything not needed for survival cut away
To make room for the hard edges shown
A mother wiping her hands on an apron
All soft and giving, thoughts centered
Around a home she felt no need to leave
A clerk writing numbers in a book
Hair swept up in a tight bun
A pair of glasses perched on her nose

Her eyes pierced through, staring
But he did not think she saw his soul
She looked too long, too hard at him
With nothing crossing her face
To show that she had seen anything of note
Whether good or ill, it was up to his words

Ring clenched in one hand
Fingers tight as his nerves
His emotions in a storm
He did not want the words to tumble
Like mischievous children caught up in play
But then again, there is no magic phrase
That unlocks the heart
No alacazam, no abracadabra, not even
Sindbad's open sesame works here
And neither does "I love you"
For too many have made that the epitome of love
And she would always be contrary
To what others think is the only path


Jewels & Shards, snippet 2

Snippet 1 is a scene I wrote (oh, god, how long has it been?) over five years ago. It is similar in magic to Wandering in Shadows but it isn't quite the same. I'm n ot entirely sure where the page it was written on is, but I've seen in the past couple years, so it is somewhere in my stuff. So, as part of my (early) New Years Resolution to write 5000 words each week, I'm going to be dropping stuff into my journal as snippets of stories, trying to actually get some of them written. NaNo was good for me.

She looked down at the green ribbon in her hands, clean but some of the satin worn from the years of wearing it. There were others laying in a box off to the side of the dresser, ribbons in many other colors but the majority of them shades of green, but none looked so worn as the one in her hands. She stared down as her hands twisted that length of ribbon in her fingers, avoiding the mirror in front of her and the face that would look back should she look in it. Her eyes drifted to the white veil that lay in front of the mirror, and the emerald earrings that lay beside it.

Finally, she straightened her back and stood tall, facing her own emerald green eyes in the mirror. Taking the ribbon and an antique silver brush inlaid with emeralds, she pulled her black hair back into severe braid, the green ribbon - once emerald as her eyes, but now faded to the soft green of rose leaves - weaving through the braid and finally securing the braid from unraveling at the end. Her hands trembled as she reached down for the earrings, placing the brush bristles up to avoid looking at her mother's old but treasured hairbrush. Her hands would not stay steady for the first few tries to place the earrings in, but soon she was left looking down at the white wedding veil on the dresser. For the first time today, her hands were steady as she secured the veil on her head, the blood red roses with dark green petals now encircling her head like a crown. She flipped the veil over her head so she could see, and then turned to look at herself in the full length mirror.

The dress was white and more than vaguely martial. She had been expecting a bitter fight from her Balder, her Apollo, but even he had shrugged away his romanticism today and dressed expecting a fight. If any of the family other than her uncle should catch wind of this ceremony, she would need the sword and dagger she was buckling on. Somehow the archaic sword fit the martial bodice and split skirt she wore, and when she brushed her hand over the pommel, she could feel her ancestor's pleasure of today's happenings. He might not approve of the family she was allying herself with, but he did like Andrew in and of himself. And in the end, even he, Sigurd, knew that she could not trust her family, even if she was their protector.

Flipping down the veil once again, she moved to the door to rap it once to tell Walter she had finished preparing. The door opened smartly to reveal an older gentleman, one who looked to be her father to those who didn't know. His eyes were kind and full of pride as he looked down at the thirteen-year old in front of him, and she knew, while she would never see that in her blood-father's eyes - her mother's death had ensured that, that it was all the more precious for having been earned by her own actions, not given as a right of birth. Her uncle offered her his arm, intent on escorting her to the ritual site, and she took it gratefully - as her uncle, he could not claim the right to walk her to the bonding circle, but as the former knight of the family to the current knight, she could ask him to. And she had.

Closing the door firmly, the runes sealing it from intruders glowed briefly, but it was unnoticed as they turned as one to walk down the hall.

Thoughts from Ashleigh III

I don't know what to say.

She's in reach after so many months of searching, of wondering if she's alive, wondering if she was whole, and she's in reach... and I dare not touch.

I dare not touch. I dare not reach out. I dare not ask. I dare not. Not. NOT! (the pencil etches hard into the paper)

All I've wanted for the past few months is just to see her, and now that I do, i just don't know what to do. She questions her memory just as I have questioned mine, and... it seems neither of us knows who we really were or are.

My outburst at her didn't help matters much either. My emotions got the best of me, and yet I don't want to make apologies for it either, well, other than to Branwen for interrupting her. I remember loving her, even if the memories are not that clear. That memory is strong enough that I needed to know that she was okay, that she was as safe as anyone might be in this world. And now that I know...

I do want more, I would like to work towards some relationship with Sydni... but I can live with knowing that's she's okay. I can live with her walking away from me, as long as I know she's safe. I want more, but I will live with her decision, no matter what happens.

No matter how much my heart hurts right now, it's her decision.

Thoughts from Ashleigh II

Hope is a Four-letter Word

Well, it is. There's no getting around that. I'm starting to think, however, that it's as dirty as any of those 'other' four-letter words. Branwen has her own problems, but she doesn't possess in her heart the hope of truly realizing her dreams. Does she have a chance? I heartily believe she can make a difference; she, however, keeps focusing on what she cannot change herself. She focuses so much on the negative that she, while having a chance, doesn't believe she does.

I cannot blame her, for I would be a hypocrite to think otherwise.

Every beat of my heart, I pray that all will be well, that Sydni will be sane - or can be made so - but I... I don't believe it will be so. Duty, responsibility, fear... these will see me through this week, and probably through the rest of my life.

I had felt this had happened before; that this was not Sydni and mine's first lives, first chances to upset the balance that exists in this world. Brothers... that explains quite a bit. Magisters, that too explains a lot. I picked up the sword partially from wanting to prove to my parents that a daughter could equal a son, then I found the joy in being a swordswoman. But magic... Some spells always came easier to me - the more destructive, the better. The burning rain I set upon the snake village was too easy to do, both magically and morally. And the magic I have been learning lately... I learned a spell that - even if I do not kill the creature - deals permanent damage. What happened to clean kills? It may have taken a while, but I had preferred to kill my prey...

What is happening to me?

What is happening to Sydni?

What will happen?


The Spiral into Madness, or, Abiding the Twin-Damnation: To Fail & Know You Failed

I'm glad Branwen's around.

I don't think I would be sane without her.

Not that I'm much sane right now.

The others have made a few jokes, sideways glances, and questioning looks a few times, wondering exactly what I think of Branwen, what she is to me. I'll admit, for all the holes still in my memory, she has always always reminded me of Sydni. But in the way of a younger sister reminding you of the older, or of a child baring semblance to their parent. She needed no protection from me when we first met, and needs even less of it now, but she let me pretend. I needed that then - the holes were so much larger then, and all I knew was there was someone I should be protecting. Should have protected... but I failed. And now I know how much I failed...

I scared Dorian when I said would kill myself... is it that great a shock? I have a duty to fulfill, a responsibility that must be accomplished but once I am done... I would hope that it need not come to that. That I need not kill Sydni and myself. There just are not that many choices, and I fear that Sydni's choices have been taken from her, leaving the harshest decisions for myself. I hate these snakes; I believe that the others think I hate all snakes, but I only wish to destroy those who would not be the wise serpent. I remember trusting Sydni at my back, to make that quick hard strike, that if it failed, then allowed me the chance to hunt it into the ground.

I fear what the snakes have done to her mind: Sydni was never one much for following the wishes of others, what have they done to have her do so? For I know (I believe, I hope, I fear) she would not wish what they wish. I know what happened in my own mind, how much worse was hers? I had allies soon enough, ones that did not push in any true direction, and Syndi...

I grow angrier and more fearful with each hour that passes. I merely bank that rage building a bonfire of focused fury that should hopefully destroy any which stand in my way. I frightened myself with the destruction of the snake village, but... but. I will carry that offense on my soul, but that which is past is past. The snakes placed themselves in my way, seeking to grab whatever power I house for their own, and this shall not happen, no matter the atrocities I need to commit to make it so.

Branwen's the closest thing I have to a sister - though I think she is more like Sydni than I. Everything I have will go to her if the worst happens. I have asked Ezekiel if he will stay with Branwen and Bertram if I should die, he is still thinking on it. I hope he does; I wish to leave her something that will give her comfort, and protection, and my sword will not stay past my death.

I see the price I may pay for the safety of this world is my death: all I can hope is that Branwen will forgive me.

Right now, I cannot forgive myself for failing.


For Captain's Game

I Am A: Chaotic Good Half-Elf Ranger PaladinMore details...Collapse )
When photographs have faded
And memories grow dimmer
I shall turn to see you in the shadows
And smile, so slight, just that upturn
Close my eyes a moment
Blink away the tears that want to come
Breath deep and let out slow
And breath in again to say your name
Raise a finger to your lips and smile
Wink a little and nod your head
As I nod mine back and smile a little bit more
This time letting the tears fall
No words, just the sound of wind and leaves
Tea roses left on a grave, crimson on green

My first entry in a while, and it's grief poetry. Not for any one specific, just playing with characters and storylines, and one of them decided they needed the grave site.


Haiku by arete
however the plot
is not what bothers me just
the writing itself
Haiku! by Hutta.

Haiku by arete
the plot is not what
bothers me just the writing
itself meaning i
Haiku! by Hutta.

Haiku by arete
as i wrote those 30,000
whee never had a story
as big as this come
Haiku! by Hutta.

Haiku by arete
those 30,000 whee never
had a story as big as
this come together
Haiku! by Hutta.

Haiku by arete
whee never had a
story as big as this come
together like that
Haiku! by Hutta.

Latest Month

September 2008