Legal Theft Flash Fiction: Black Sun (1697 words)

They gave her a suite of rooms, all her own, large, elegantly furnished, and with a guard stationed outside the door. She did not own the guard. She did not pay him or command him, but if she held his eye long enough as she passed in and out, he would bow his head, unsure.

The suite was a long sprawl of rooms: an outer parlor for receiving, a wide, private lounge for the business of her days, and a bedroom that was peacefully dark at night and blessedly bright in the mornings. It seemed small when she first stepped into it, used to the expanse of her own rooms. After a week, it seemed over-large with just her rattling inside it. After a month, they seemed perfectly proportioned, as she could count the hours she had spent outside them.

And she waited.

While the days turned over, one to the next, she forced herself to sleep in long hours if she couldn’t keep them restful. Waking, she dressed in fresh clothing, brushed her hair and braided it as if she expected extended hours of company. If she braided it too tightly at first, looked too small and uneasy, she learned to let the knots loosen just enough to hold in their elegance.

She read the books in the lounge, sitting upright as if she were still in her lessons with her tutors across from her, and paid just as much attention to the meaning in the words. She convinced the maids to sit a while when they came in to stoke the fires or change the bed. She spoke with them, smiling and easy, and she listened carefully, calmly. She invited others to eat with her when they brought up trays from the kitchen. When they grew comfortable enough, they brought extra plates, both for themselves and for her, bringing in the things they knew she liked.

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Flash Fiction: Quick (99 words)

Her text message arrived at 9:17 PM:

Wanderlust has struck. Happily won’t be home for a few days. Keep the world spinning for me?

He smiled at the familiarity of it, then paused, and texted back.

You have that saved as a QuickText on your phone, don’t you?

There was a longer than usual silence before her next message.

It is now, she said.

He laughed, surprised, and pleased and knowing that somewhere she was grinning like a cat at her new thought acquistion. Then quickly returned,

Would you like it spinning clockwise or counterclockwise?

He saved it in his phone.

Wednesday Serial: Farther Part LXXX

Seryn fire_handSERYN

Ryane’s fingers shifted around the hilt of the knife, rearranging her grip. The blade turned, caught the sunlight for half a moment. She blinked. For the space of a breath, she seemed to look at something between her and Seryn. Then her gaze focused again. One heel turned out, balancing her stance.

“I’m not going to let you kill me,” she said clearly. Her voice was tight now, and perfectly honest.

Thought fell back, perfectly silent. The rustle of the breeze came through like the whisper of thunder. The ground held firm. The run of Seryn’s blood went quiet, along with every other thing inside her. Warm and calm, Seryn blinked back. “Put the knife away,” she murmured.

Ryane looked hurt before her expression tightened enough to call it anger. “We heard the stories,” she said, each word distinct. “About your first kill.”

Seryn felt the bite. Somewhere, that hurt. She imagined she might feel it later. Now, she felt the weight of her own hands, measured the seconds it could take Ryane to close on her. She watched Ryane’s face. The edges of her vision would best catch the roll of her shoulder, the shift of her hip before she moved.

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The Inside of My Skull Tonight

My brain: I’m tired.

Me: [sympathetically] I know.

My brain: Let’s read a book.

Me: Yes.

My brain: Awesome. I’ll just pick this one up and–

Me: [grabs Brain by the collar] Right after we finish our work. [gestures toward the blog with a laziness that could be mistaken for elegance]

My brain: [does not mistake it for elegance] I’m tired.

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Gwendoogle Part CXVI – The Pirates and the Yeti Will Definitely Get Invitations

GwendoogleAnswers served with a little magic and a little weirdness

Kate Kearney searched: Do you know of a scale for wackiness?
I like all of the following:

On a scale of one to hitting moles on the head with a padded hammer in the hopes of earning a rainbow slinky, how wacky is this?

On a scale of rubber ducky to Rick Rolling the President, how wacky is this?

On a scale of Uncle Fred to a pajama-clad, pink-dyed, poodle-cut yeti, how wacky is this?

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Legal Theft Flash Fiction: Annual Secrets (744 words)

Visiting her father was the only time she dressed down for a public event. She owned silks and brocades that she wore every day, and gowns sewn with glinting twists of beadwork from neckline to hem that would have been perfect for the holidays in her own home. She owned dresses that sang, and hummed, and whispered as she walked, and every one of them would have been too loud in her father’s halls. Even the dresses she had worn as a girl for the celebrations in his home would have drawn too many eyes.

She dressed as plainly as she could get away with on such an exalted day. Her blue dress turned dull silver if it caught the proper shine, though the evening’s yellow lamplight was turning it muddy gray. The neck was embroidered with a line of rolling waves, and the hem echoed the pattern in larger strokes. The skirt bunched stiffly in its gathers where it should have flowed, an expensive fabric made in the wrong pattern.

She looked properly decadent, just shy of real elegance. In the long hall, roiling with party-goers, no one looked at her twice.

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Warm Thieves

In the last two weeks I have read:

The Republic of Thieves by Scott LynchThe Republic of Thieves
by Scott Lynch

This is the third book in the Gentleman Bastard sequence. The series focuses on a gang of thieves who have been trained since childhood to also be scholars, craftsman, actors, accountants, priests, and weapons masters. Any one of them could pick your pocket, beat you up in a back alley, or convince you that they were your long lost sibling here for the sole purpose of saving your rear end for the benevolent price of 99.95. They pull off the cons that would earn them instant nooses from the law, and wide-eyed shock from their fellow thieves… if anyone found out what they were doing.

Having read the other two, there were three things I knew going into this book:

1) The main character, Locke is an idiot and a scoundrel who imagines he’s a fox in the hen house of the world when he’s more accurately a very lucky puppy. But he’s my idiot scoundrel lucky puppy.

2) Jean, Locke’s best friend, could spend this entire book reading in a back corner, occasionally telling Locke, “NO” in a variety of uncompromising tones without looking up from the page, and he would still be my favorite.

3) I was going to laugh and enjoy myself through the whole thing, deep in the rich world the author built.

These are the three things I knew after reading the book:

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Flash Fiction: Floating Fine (354 words)

“Do you think the sky is falling?” Mal asked. Lying on the ground with her heels kicked up against a tree trunk, she had the best point of view to answer her own question, but she only looked up between the leaves with her eyebrows pulled together lightly. When Sovi didn’t answer, she tilted her head back to look at her.

Sovi blinked over the rope she was braiding. “No,” she said. And she went back to running her fingers through the strands. She had been at it long enough that it hurt a little to try to hold them tight against the braid for more than a moment.

“Why not?” Mal asked. She went back to looking at the sky. Crossing her arms over her chest, she squinted at the clouds again. “I mean, how do you tell when something is falling toward you?”

“It gets bigger,” Sovi told her. “And then your nose hurts.”

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