aithne: (hat looking down)
is now online at Beneath Ceaseless Skies.

Go, read, tell your friends!

This is a story that is near and dear to my heart.  It started out as me attempting to do a piece of stunt writing directly inspired by  [livejournal.com profile] matociquala 's mention of whitespace in narrative during the third week of Clarion West.  I hated the story when I finished it, in large part because it took most of what I'd learned in the first three weeks of the workshop and chucked it directly out the window.  A week or so later, I came to love it--for precisely the same reason.

So thank you, Bear, for being an amazing instructor.  :)
aithne: (hat looking down)
I'm looking forward to getting to work on this one. My Clarion West classmates will recognize this one--yes, guys, I am writing the novel that was lurking between the lines of "The Saint of the Splendid Bullfrog".

Currently, it's codenamed "That Frog Book". :)

*****

Between is a paradise.

Set in the clouds far above the earth, the people of Between live and work in harmony. Each man and woman is a Saint, charged with the tending of one of a myriad of fetal gods. Each person has their place, their garden to grow, their daily tasks to complete. Under the eyes of the loving Supervisors, they go about their lives in devotion and joy.

Between is a prison.

There is no escape from Between. The village is set at the very top of a spire so high that the base is lost in constant clouds. The only way to leave Between is to fall; most do so after they die, but some do so while still alive. The Supervisors bring new people to replace dead Saints--all of them criminals in their former lives, from all parts of the world. The Saints are given new names, and are expected to forget their former lives.

Most do. Some do not.

Between is something nobody expects.

Three Saints are about to discover Between’s deadly secret: the Saint of the Splendid Bullfrog, her brother the Saint of the Counterweight, and the Saint of the Torn Quarto. One will descend into the spire that supports Between and confront a newborn god. One will challenge Between’s faith in its Supervisors. One will stand fast against an intelligence far beyond any human comprehension.

The gods are hatching.

Be ready.
aithne: Yuki-onna (yuki-onna)
Storm and I are currently working on this. The story has had some fantastically creepy moments so far, which makes me very happy.


*****

Fleeing the destruction that the southerners have brought to her home village, Opere, a young Ainu woman, stumbles across a hut in a sheltered clearing. The strange man who lives in the hut, Resak, saves her life only to tell her that she has been marked by the Yuki-onna, the savage spirit of winter whose power is centered in the clearing. By accepting the shelter of the hut, she has become one of the Yuki-onna's creatures--and her chosen successor.

Now Opere faces a devestating choice--living death, or accepting the Yuki-onna's power. If she accepts the power, she may be able to save her people and drive the southerners from Ezochi. The spirit of winter extracts a price for the power, though. Her hosts slowly lose their minds and their wills to the Yuki-onna.

With the help of Resak and an enterprising macaque, Opere will fight to find a third choice. She must redefine what it means to be the snow maiden, and find a way to correct the Yuki-onna's path. With every day that passes, the snowflake mark on her palm grows brighter...and her options become fewer and fewer.
aithne: (hat looking down)
This is the thing Storm and I are starting on next, a short, relatively light YAish fantasy about the Irish potato famine.

And fairies.

And trolls.

And a magic axe...

(oh, man, how many of you guys have I lost yet? :)

Anyway, here's what I have so far, a bit of background and beginning. It's June, 1849, on a large absentee-landlord farm outside of Galway.

meet a girl named Grainne... )
aithne: (hat looking down)
This isn't finished by a long shot, but the seed of this occurred to me in conversation this afternoon, and I thought I'd get at least the setup written down. Relatively short, definitely unfinished.

Read more... )
aithne: (hat looking down)
This is a strange little story I wrote the other day. I thought it was going to be a sweet little story about a near-future Christmas pageant.

I completely forgot that I am incapable of writing sweet little stories. Whoops.

(The title is from a Leonard Cohen song, which I listened to over and over as I wrote this.)

I probably shouldn't have given Charisse such a hard time about the hallucinations.... )
aithne: (Usi (Living Sands))
This is one of those stories that started bothering me the moment the situation that engendered it occurred. All sorts of angst, as well as decision that's probably long overdue.

'I wish I could tell you that the pain will quickly fade, but it's not going to...' )
aithne: (Usi (Living Sands))
A brief story that's mostly to help me track how things are developing. I wanted to listen to the lecture that Isu was about to give Sitefnut, so I wrote this. Plus, it's got some stuff about the folks who are about to try hunting down Sitefnut in it.

Early in the afternoon, Sitefnut had commandeered a workroom... )
aithne: (Usi (Living Sands))
So we'd managed to get two of our number captured. We had to leave them where they were overnight, but the next day we of course mounted a rescue mission.

And were rejoined by an ally we had not seen for a while, and our small god managed to do some very impressive damage indeed...

In Which a temple Falls, Pepy is Surprised, and Amunet is more than One Person )


And also, Menes' notes on the maresh )
aithne: (Aru (gaming NPCs))
It's been a while since I had a section that could concievably be taken as a piece of work on its own. i just finished this one, and I thought I would share. Normally, things like this would go in [livejournal.com profile] midnight_mare, but I'm feeling a bit exhibitionist.

a smidge of background info )

'Deep in the Below, water dripped.' )
aithne: (hat looking down)
There is a bridge.

There is fucking always a bridge.

There is always a bridge, and it is always a misty night, maybe that still hour about three AM when there is a sleep laid over the land and even the cops have retreated to the bright safety of diners. It is always autumn, and the leaves are always wet so they squish instead of crunch.

The bridge is always out. Out. Another word for broken, for incomplete, for we ran out of money or maybe interest and we forgot to make the bridge go anywhere.

And there is always a kid sitting on the rusty end of the bridge, bare feet dangling not six inches from some jagged metal.

Get up.
You'll catch your death.
Come home.


The kid's been drinking. The kid's been drinking since midnight and there are four cans of Rainier next to the kid, all empty. There's just the mist and the bridge and the kid, and the kid's not paying any attention.

Note here that the kid is not drunk. The kid's never fucking drunk. The kid's been drinking for ten years on misty nights on this bridge, and the kid has yet to get even slightly buzzed. The kid hates this, this waiting, this drinking. Oblivion never comes.

Rounded shoulders, one last swig.

Come home, come home,
please hear me, come home,
please come home,
please please please please please


The kid doesn't hear. And after a few minutes, the kid jumps.

It's a long way down for someone without wings.

Take a breath inward. Scream.

(10 ccs of munalin. Are the monitors still hooked up? Good, good.)

(Try it again. Maybe the next time's the charm. Fucking monkeys and their fucking dreams. I swear they don't pay me enough for this. Why can't it ever have a different dream?)

*
*
*


There is a bridge.

There is always a bridge.





Written for the Strange Machine:

aithne: (tree)
And because I love you all, here's the Fast Fiction story that was posted today.

***************


The worst part of being immortal is the memories. Not the ones you keep, but the ones you lose. I remember the last man I killed but I don't remember the first. I remember how a bowl of noodles tasted in Kyoto eight hundred years ago but I can't remember my own phone number. I've been gone from Japan a century but it still lives within me, crowded cities whispering, pennants fluttering in the breeze.

The familiar hunger stirs. Even if I tried to forget it, it won't let me.

Tonight I will run, hungry ghost fox, woman-shaped, among the unsuspecting gaijin. They will love me, and I will drink their lives, and consider it a fair trade.

Come morning, I will not remember their faces.

But in their dreams, for the rest of their lives that flicker out like lightbulbs after lightning strikes, they will remember mine. I pay for what I take with the coin of knowledge that for one hour, they were chosen by something immortal.

The sun is setting. Tonight, others will remember what I cannot.

It is a small, cold comfort, as I kneel here in my rooftop garden, trying to recall my name.



Kris Millering: has too many things in her head and not nearly enough time to write them all down. She can often be found muttering nonsense at http://silenceleigh.livejournal.com/ .


***************


Most of you will probably recognize the character. For those who don't, or are new, an explanation is contained on this page.

Another hundred words, and this tiny story would be a lush garden of tangled imagery. I may write the 300-word version sometime this weekend.

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