mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (The Prince)
Baba circles the inside of her mortar with its pestle powdering the salt and herbs together. Turning the two handfuls of the mixture into a bowl she mixes it up with oil and then scoops the mixture into a jar.

She turns to you and says, "Now follow my instructions exactly. Put a line of this inside each of your windows and above each of your doors. But before you finish with the last one take out a new loaf of bread, wrap it in white cloth, and go outside the remainder. Call out 'Grandfather come and protect this new place.' Then you wait a bit and go back inside with the bread and seal your last doorway. That shall help to keep you safe in the night from the wampyr.

"Believe in the magic and your ancestor and nothing shall be able to either influence you or invade your home."
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (The Prince)
(This is me world building.)
They have their own stores about how the world began. And those that oppose them have had no time to wonder, so none living know how it truly began.

They are right in one thing, before anything else there was the stuff of spirit and raw wild magic. For the universe does have an edge, though it has grown greatly since the beginning and so now is much further away than most would imagine. At the edge there is the raw howl of magic as the primordial stuff of spirts is created and destroyed all at once, for it is not stable if not surrounded by more of itself. In the beginning the cosmos was hot with this raw magic and it was not for long eons after that anything new happened.

Gradually as the universe grew and the elemental spirit was packed together by the force of the magic at the edge conditions became right for the first living spirits. Very simple things that did nothing but absorb a little magic and use it to live and create more of themselves. Over the long ages they did their little repetitive magics, until one sort began to sing of mater. It was useful stuff they created out of magic, for it shielded them better than the distance and the unformed spirit stuff.

More long ages passed and eventually the matter began to build up into planets and stars, though none shone until in the core of the largest and oldest of these balls there came a new source of raw magic. It had grown so large, so dense, that it forced the spirit stuff out of its center and so as at the edge of the universe inside the star spirit stuff broke down into raw magic. This source of power heated up the mater of the star until at last its surface glowed ever brighter, the first light in the universe aside from a few simple spirits.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (The Prince)
It is very difficult to write well when depressed. I suspect that this will turn out to be rather like off cheese when I read it later, but here it goes.


First Part, First Draft
It was two months before Robert realized the nature of his neighbor. He simply had not bothered to learn who lived next door since the Beechers had moved out. But on the night of the 21st it suddenly became very important to him. It was a late night for him just back from Denver at sunset. The longest day and shortest night of the year seemed a good time to celebrate to him, the hardest day for the vamps. He climbed the stairs to his finished attic bedroom and saw his neighbor for the first time in the deepening twilight.

There was no doubt that the pale figure in the next yard was not human. He moved with that serpentine grace of the bloodsuckers. When the pale figure entered the large garage at the rear of the property he disappeared into the darkened door without bothering to turn on a light. That fact cinched it for Robert; he had a vampire for a neighbor.

He felt a bit weak in the knees. He had been living next door to the undead for how long without noticing? A hard pit of anger was growing in his belly the more he thought about it. This thing had been able to move in next door to him without so much as giving notice. It always had not been right that the Supreme Court had made them legal, but now, now it was worse. Next door. Able to listen to every move he made in his own house with the vampire's supernatural hearing. Probably using mind control on half the residents around here by now.

The more he thought about it the more he couldn't stand it. He would take action; he'd do something about this. Robert Hahn wasn't going to take this; he was going to do something about it!
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (The Prince)
I can hear the spirit of iron singing its simple endless melody. Not just the song within just iron, but a spirit of iron. It is a living thing within each beam of the ancient bridge over its dry gulch. The wizard's sight reveals the life here, some inside the rocks and some of the scrubby trees, but stronger and different than these is the life in the bridge. Planted here in a long ago age by builders who surely intended that it would stand for thousands of years, but could they have seen where it is now? Perhaps they thought it would be part of an eternal trade route, but instead it stands in a near wilderness now. Connecting up nearly empty lands and providing a way for the interment and secretive travelers to and from the shadow lands. To the east a boarder to be defeated to the west another and between this dry no mans land.

The spirits in each of the bridge's beams do not care about politics. They live as they have for so very long, repairing the damage caused to the iron by time, weather, and what little traffic passes this way. In return they receive the shelter of this well designed structure as a coral reef in costal waters might shelter life and be built by it in turn. And now I shelter under the thirty or so yards of the span out the sight of anyone who might be searching from above.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (The Prince)
This was going to be something completely different. But now it is a sad fairytale. Don't read it if sad stories get to you. I 'm going to do a happier variation sometime, maybe. Also I would like critiques as this is a first draft.

A Dance Under the Moon (PG-13) )
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
Roger moved in on his prey an old woman walking unsteadily with a cane and wearing a black hat and long black shawl. "Silly old bint," he thought to himself. "Goin' down an alleyway, this will be too easy." She turned around suddenly looking frightened, or at least a good enough imitation to fool Roger.

"Oh dear, I seem to be lost, will you help me."

"To be sure, jus' let me hold your bag for y'."

"My purse?" She said clutching it more tightly to her black cloaked side. "Oh no, you're one of those ruffians. Oh dear what ever shall I do."

"Don't be like that, just hand it over and y' don't have t' get hurt."

She waited until he came very close indeed to show her fangs. "Oh I don't expect that I will."

*Waiting for Buffy*
Diana came in chortling to herself. Tom recognized that, "Good hunting tonight?"

"Excellent. I had the most marvelous time killing this would be mugger. Taught him not to underestimate little old ladies with canes. Well taught him that lesson until I got bored with his screaming and finished him off. Broke both his legs and an arm."

"Sounds like fun! See I told you this was a good idea. You made fun of it when I told you Dracula said for me to make an army of undead to rule England as his dark viceroy that I'd hit the gin too often."

Diana was pouring some gin into her tea. "Oh please Tom, give it a rest. You've got no bloody idea who sired you because you're as balmy now as you were when you were alive. And you don't have to be! I know there's a mind lurking in you, I mean weren't you the one who came up with the Kindly Charity Case routine?"

"Oh yes, that is rather good. We got that last one with it rather well. I love how you told her that 'Charity comes from the heart, so let's have yours,' just before you ripped it out. I wonder if it has made any of the other charity solicitors more cautious?"

"Probably not. But it was great fun! Say, we haven't done something like that in a while. You want to come down to the market tomorrow? We could go hunting together and then catch something at the cinema. Maybe eat someone talking on his mobile during the movie."

"Really? That sounds like a wonderful idea."

CONCOM

Feb. 9th, 2004 06:05 pm
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
A Documentary in the tradition of Best in Show and This is Spinal Tap by documentarian Jim Pippin.

Jim asked his question from behind the camera, his voice sounding a bit distant to the microphone hanging off screen above his subject. "So what is Worldcon?"

Andrew Hardcastle,
Chair of Empire City in '07 Bid Committee

The bearded man put a finger to his lips to look especially thoughtful as he considered his answer. After a suitable pause he spoke "Worldcon is the ultimate honor, the biggest thing in fandom. It is like the World Series and the Oscars and a political party convention for science fiction fans. To be able to put on a Worldcon is a symbol that we have arrived, that our city is important. It is the largest real science fiction convention in the world.

"It is a big challenge to put on a convention of this size and complexity, but we think we're ready for it. So the first step for us is to form a bid committee. Then we'll travel around to other cons and to this year's Worldcon to build support for our bid. Then after that there will be the vote at Worldcon. I'm pretty confident that we can win, this won't be like Empire City in '93."
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
The ice sphere shattered with a satisfying and melodic sound and was followed by appropriately appreciative comments. Out spilled the candies and favors, each carefully protected from being dirtied by magics that would have cost most humans a month's wages, if they were available at all. It was the perfect party, as befitted an event put on by a high Bóginki family. Clad in their fine garments the strangely beautiful figures casually picked up items they favored as they hung just above the perfect lawn. The wielder of the stick removed the white silk blindfold to join the well-mannered fray.

Raina was dumfounded by it all. She had known, of course, in a vague way that the Bóginki lived very different lives from humans. They were the true masters, the ones who set rules for the high and mighty lords that lord over humanity. Seeing the casual wealth was something else indeed. Even for one used to luxuries afforded the most favored families of her race it was an amazing sight. So she sat waiting to be retrieved at the edge of the party grounds by the Bóginki who wanted to talk to her.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (The Prince)
One of the things I loved about being in college was the chance to explore. I would set out when the mood stuck me to find where my curiosity would lead. So one evening in 1996 I had just seen a movie in the ever expanding psych building's auditorium. Being inside late at night I decided to take the opportunity to see how far down inside I could get. The building had already consumed two other buildings and been elevated to the height of six stories about ground. I head heard rumors that it extended that far or lower below as well and the construction continued.

I went down the hall and nipped into a stairwell I found unlocked. That took me down two levels before running out. I took a hallway westward under the courtyard above. I could smell the moist dust smell of curing concrete and after a turn I found an area still under construction. I walked into a largish room still just bare concrete and felt like I was in a set for Star Wars or perhaps some supernatural thriller. The center of the room was a octagonal area surrounded by bare concrete levels. There were dim lights giving a blue white glow that illuminated and cast into deep shadow parts of the room. It could have been an archeology site left by some alien civilization with the tools of the excavators abandoned for the night along with their shut down lights. It was a very cool thing to see.

I found a newer stairway and went down again past three doors and then there were twice as many stairs before I cam to the final door. Locked with nothing to indicate what it might, not even an "Authorized Personal Only" sign. I knew the steam tunnels were far above this deep place and I still have no idea what might be down there. So I went back up and was very pleased to find the next to last door off this stairway unlocked.

I wandered back in a generally easterly direction; down silent halls with white linoleum floors with the faint smell of decay and chemicals coming from behind laboratory doors. After a few turns I found myself in an older section with terrazzo flooring and a general 1950s look about it. I guessed this was one of the building psych had consumed in recent years, though I'm not sure where I was. I found a old bomb shelter sign next to a short and dark side corridor and I went to check it out. This door was unlocked as well, perhaps due to ancient arcane regulations about bomb shelters. Or perhaps it was just forgotten and behind it was stairway leadning down into cobwebs and darkness.

I could not resist going down to check this out. Down I went and I found dusty shelves and foundation pillars at the bottom, illuminated by my pocket flashlight and a few of the simple incandescent bulbs behind their metal safety cages , but also thought there might be an alarm system linked to the lights. So I walked amid forgotten furniture and square pillars with flaking paint.

Near the back I found the iron door. Riveted and rusty I didn't think I would get it open, but using a discarded chair leg to help lever it open. I found a tunnel twice as tall as wide, just a bit taller than me. It was lined with something that might have been poured cement that was now disintegrating in the darkness into sand.

I came out in moonlight in snow after about 300 meters. An icy stairway going up not nearly as far as I had come down. It looked like some sort of abandoned cloth mill, red brick buildings of an old design. The buildings were not falling down, not damaged, but they had an empty haunted feel. I did go over to one and peek cautiously in the window, but I did not dare go further. I was only wearing a light windbreaker because back on campus it was a cool, but not cold, fall evening with low hanging clouds. This was no place to wander about unprepared, I saw some bits of cable sticking up through the snow and occasional ice pool. Beyond the buildings there were dark trees, but I turned back.

It was harder than just retracing my steps to find my way back to my dorm room. I went back the next night, but I could not find the bomb shelter again.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (The Prince)
I do not wish to surrender. I do not wish to lay down my sword, but to continue the fight when it seems all hands are against me? Everything depends upon not giving up, not giving in, for if I lose there is nothing. Never again to hope for greener days ahead, nothing more than flickering half existence until the end. I think nothing can save me, but I struggle on without hope, through battles without meaning or number.

Even writing down what I feel might betray me, for who shall trust one who writes the things I do? The masters of this world want loyal fiefs that do not just obey, but believe in every word they utter.

My heart desires sleep without any troubling dreams. But I shall keep one eye open, I shall run the stone across my imperfect steel until it shines, and I will go on though I can see no clear path before me. By uncertain light, by the moon and stars, I may falter but I am determined not to fail.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (Default)
Lightning just struck my brain. I have a good idea, oh an now I'm getting a plan. To encourage my freljs to let me know when their birthdays are I'm going to institute a program of talking up them up on their birthday and trying to do bits of literature for them.

Since she's apparently put down her b-day in the livejournal system my first act of non-random silliness is to wish [livejournal.com profile] yonmei a very happy birthday. She's a very cool fan living in Edinburgh. I'm going to take a guess at what she might like for her pwesent from me.

The Account of Raymond Fayer )
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (The Prince)
We were just getting to the good bit where our Elrond Hubbard starts doing the bit about psychologists when a tall elf with long hair pulled back into a ponytail enters the room with a shorter elf with short blond hair. "I'm here from the firm of Fen and Geller representing the Church of Rivendelogy, we have copyrighted this and therefore you must all clear off! All you actors, stop acting. That's right 'Frodo', put down that book of copyrighted church papers." The shorter elf nods in agreement without saying anything. That was the end of our parody and I hope never do get involved with Rivendelogy again. I've still got scars from when the short one tried to bite the ring off my finger.

(This is me, releasing strangeness into the night. Plus people seem to like this sort of fannish stuff.)
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (thoughtful)
Cuthulu was in a particularly bad mood. He had been rising as foretold form the depths of the Pacific ready to wreak havoc and rule anew when he had been clocked from behind with something very heavy. In all his untold millennia never had he been treated with such disrespect and now he was ready to let everyone know about it.

His grey green head rose above the waves into the overcast day and he screamed his mind shattering annoyance at whatever creatures had the temerity to knock him cold for three weeks with a piece of space junk. His ire settled on a relatively nearby ship. He started to move towards it ready to tear it asunder when suddenly he heard a very loud voice. It was stunning in its power to moral ears and now amplified through giant speakers it stopped him cold.

"Hello there!" she shouted through the microphone provided by those nice navy men. She really didn't understand why it was of national importance that she should invite around this dubious character to dinner, but the truly significant fact was that finally her importance had be recognized. And by the government, and the men sent 'round to collect her wore such impressive black uniforms and she wasn't going to let anything like doubt to enter into her mind. She shouted greeting again.

Richard had revived at the amplified sound of her voice and made his way out onto the deck. "Hyacinth what are you doing?!?"

Hyacinth turned away from the microphone for a moment to talk to him. "Just being friendly with the creature of the outer darkness Richard, no reason to be impolite."

"Oh Mr. Terror from the outer dark I am so pleased to make your acquaintance. Would you care to come by for tea? Or dinner, yes, I think that would be quite nice. I'm planning a quiet and very tasteful candlelight dinner for some people of quality."

Never had anything like this happened to him before. The horror which cannot die, the unmovable terror, felt a foreign feeling faced with this unbendable ego. Not just the voice (though that was bad enough), but the way that reality seemed to warp reality in some strange way. He felt a niggling bit of... fear.

Richard shouted at her from behind, "But dear, don't do that! He might notice you!" He was trying desperately to understand and not understand the horrible thing standing out there in the ocean. Perhaps this was all just a very bad dream, yes that must be it. It was just a nightmare about one of her candlelight dinner parties. That made much more sense.

"Oh do you think so?" she asked him, forgetting this time to take the microphone away from her mouth. "I do hope that means I'll finally be accepted as a person of quality."

Cuthulu also is feeling like he is in a nightmare. After another shout from the strange creature on the ship he isn't thinking too clearly. The stray thought that he could just deny that anything like this every happened and no one would dare contradict him crosses his mind. That was more than enough for his body; he turned gibbering slightly, to flee back into the ocean. Behind him Hyacinth was shouting something about him leaving.

In the final report this would be written up as a success. Even though several henchmen had to be scarified to Hyacinth's dinner party by the alliance of Mad Scientists that came up with the plan to stop the big C by first braining him with Mir and then setting Mrs. Bucket (pronounced bouquet) on him.
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (The Prince)
Yesterday we had one of those perfect Colorado days. I went outside just after noon and found the sky to be perfectly blue without a cloud in it. The temperature was quite good for winter at about 14°C (57°F), I could just barely see my breath at times. There was a smell in the air like winter; distant hillsides covered in snow melting just a bit, a slow gentle wind over cold ground. It made breathing feel like when I would put an icicle in my mouth when I was a youth. Cold, but pleasant.

     It was the same sort of day south and west of Pskov when Raina came to her great-uncle's estate. He had died, against many people's expectations, peacefully in his sleep two days earlier. Many relatives that had been excluded from his house for years would gather and tell polite lies about how sad they were that he was gone. Probably the saddest person at his wake was Raina, though many relatives muttered about her having come out of this very well indeed, since she would inherit the estate of Ivan Radoslav Obeczan.
     She stood much of the day a solid bulwark covered in black velvet against the hoards of relatives both close and distant. She quietly fended off veiled appeals for money from the less sensitive and gracefully absorbed the kind platitudes of sympathy from the more considerate. He had been an unconventional sort, the black sheep of her paternal grandfather's generation. She thought about this as the endless stream of cousins, nephews, nieces, and the assorted hangers on filed past her after having made sure the old goat was really dead in the front parlor.
     "Conformists. Dutiful servants of the temples, good workers with comfortable to good jobs, and a careful number of children as proscribed. We are a well off family, though aside from Ivan we would never be mistaken for a leading one. They saw his wealth and clucked their tongues that so much should come to someone who would do so many unacceptable things like slumming with the Otrok class. Do any of them ever think that maybe it was because he was unafraid to do almost anything that he became wealthy? Probably not."
mishalak: A fantasy version of myself drawn by Sue Mason (The Prince)
I want to be remembered as being like Ebenezer Scrooge. Remember what comes at the end, "...That he knew how to keep Christmas well if any man possessed the knowledge." I am not a Christian, but I do try to keep sort of a Christmas spirit in my heart, even when it is not the Yuletide season. But I enjoy the yearly reminder that I get watching my favorite version of A Christmas Carol with George C. Scott, the one I remember watching as a young boy. And now from my own strange imagination here is my own bit of that Christmas tale.

The Obituary of Ebenezer Scrooge )

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