Among The Trees

Vidrou, sa’Tree-Hugger – more commonly known as Vid or Viddie – hummed quietly as he inspected his orchard. It was summer, which meant the seasons for peaches, plums and nectarines. Never mind that their home in ex-Michigan was nowhere near the right climate. He might not be able to change the weather, but he could change the trees. Combined with his diligent and affectionate caretaking, this meant come midsummer, there were fresh peaches.

Aside from tending to the trees, gathering fruit for the next few days was Vid’s main purpose in being out at the orchard this sunny afternoon. The basket slung over his shoulder was already half full, bearing a mix of red plums and yellow peaches.

“Papa, papa, look!” Seven-year-old Tilden raced across the grass, ignorant of the scrapes and dirt on his shins and elbows. He bounced to a stop in front of his father, proudly displaying a nectarine. “I picked it myself, just like you showed me.”
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Unusual Methods

Written for the Thimbleful Thursday prompt: throw down the gauntlet. I squeaked in at 439 words!

Desdemona barely restrained herself from punching Jake into the wall. “What the hell–”

“Desdemona cy’Fridmar,” he interrupted, waving the glove he’d just smacked her with in her face, “I challenge you to a duel.”
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Unmixable

For Thimbleful Tuesday, coming in at 211 words.

- – - – -

Mix one measure of oil with two measures of water.

Nathan stared at his notes, resisting the urge to bang his head on the table. He was sure of the translation, it was simple enough Latin. Unfortunately, it was proving somewhat less than simple to do.

He’d tried the obvious solution, first. Take the oil, take the water, splash in some alcohol, mix it thoroughly, pour it over the powdered lambskin on the specified arcane circle and bam. The da… stupid thing had burst into flames; he barely managed to save the book. His notes were quickly converted to ash, forcing him to spend the next few hours retranslating the entire segment.

Next, he’d tried just stirring it vigorously with a whisk and pouring it out before the two had separated again. Thankfully it didn’t catch on fire that time, but it didn’t do anything much at all. He spent the next few hours cleaning up the oily puddle on his worktable.

Now, Nathan was back to staring at his notes and contemplating mixing the notoriously unmixable. He sighed, slumping down in his chair. How am I supposed to do this, he thought, staring out the window at the snow.

…the snow.

Grabbing his measuring cup, he raced out the door.

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A History of Leo

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Declaration

As the Director left the stage, the newly graduated Cohort slowly began to gather themselves to leave the auditorium. All, that is, but one. A tall blonde woman (they were all adults now in both senses of the word) wearing a full set of studded leather armor and weapons, slipped out of her seat on the aisle and strode forward, leaping onto the stage with ease. Before most of the assembled students noticed, she turned to face them and, using her heel like a gavel, stomped her foot three times.

“My fellow graduates,” she began as the crowd turned towards her, “we are all Adults now, in age and Name. There is no one responsible for what we do but ourselves – no Mentor or mother to shield us from consequences. And so I say: be careful.

“There are monsters in the world – the Nedetakaei, yes, but not all monsters forsake the Law. Some use it, hide behind it… And some of you know this very well.”

The murmuring through the rest of her Cohort settled into an uncomfortable silence. The blue-winged teacher standing by the door was frowning – but he was always frowning, so that meant very little.

“I say again: be careful. For I am the Valkyrie: the one who roams the battlefield and says who is to live, and who is to die. But I am not the Valkyrie of old.” She paused for a moment, staring levelly out over the twenty-odd ex-students. “There is no Valhalla for me to bring the worthy. So I will choose by different criteria: not the brave and the heroic, but the villains, the depraved. The monsters. So again.”

She raised a hand, pointing imperiously at them. “Be careful. Do not become one of the monsters, or I will find you. And you. Will. Die.”

She stood on the stage for one moment longer, giving her words time to sink in – but before any of them could react, she stepped off the stage and strode directly to the exit.

“Sigruko.”

She stopped just at the door, turning to her father’s Mentor and briefly inclining her head. “Luke.”

He frowned – but he always frowned. “We need to talk.”

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Addergoole: On this day…

October 31, 2004

“So to get the spin-orbit coupling for this situation, we’re supposed to start with the Dirac equation, like this.”

The blonde infant on Leofric’s lap had absolutely no interest in quantum electrodynamics. The pencil, on the other hand…. Leaning forward, Sigruko grabbed at it ineffectually.

Leo hesitated for a moment before handing it to her with a smile and picking up another. His daughter banged her newly-acquired pencil against his, giggling happily. “Sword!”

Leo’s smile turned into a grin as he lightly returned the tap. “Sword fight!”

October 31, 2013

Leofric tightened the last knot and sat back with a sigh. “There, now we just wait for her to wake up.”

“Then what?” Zita crouched down next to him and prodded gently around the bite on his shoulder. “Tell her she’s been a bad girl?”

“Close.” Leo smiled, not very happily. “I was thinking more explain why she’s lucky she’s not dead.”

“And how to Mask,” she added absently before murmuring healing Workings over his injury.

Leo looked over the Ellehemaei who’d attacked them (and was now unconscious and tied to a tree). She couldn’t be more than eighteen, with pointed canine ears, a matching tail… and rough scabby patches of badly-shaved fur visible on her arms and neck. “And how to Mask,” he repeated.

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A True Hero

Author’s Note: The name “Deathstroke” is… basically a placeholder, but it’s good enough.

“I found you.”

Leofric grinned at the unassuming and surprised-looking man. The “man” who had been terrorizing the region: murdering, stealing, torturing, and generally making the look bad. The moster Leofric had been tracking for no less than half a year.
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Finder

They spoke of one who could find anything. The stories differed in their description but a few constants remained: a beautiful red-haired woman with eyes like a sunlit forest, and a smile which could melt the hardest of hearts or strike fear in the sternest of warriors.

She could find your ideal lover, they said, or your long-lost child. She could find for you a buried treasure, or the answers to your greatest questions, or the weak point in your enemy’s plan. She could find artifacts from ages past, the one who bears the face from your dreams, the place where, when the wind blows just right, the stones sing a melody so beautiful it will haunt you for the rest of your life.

She could find you anything, they said, but always for a price.

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Writing Meme

The rules are simple:

Copy paste the questions below onto your blog;
Fill in your answers;
Drop a link to your post in the comments here.

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