March 24th, 2012


Fiction by Rix_scaedu

rix_scaedu has written more stories to my prompts...

"Female Bonding" is about making pysanki for Easter, an important custom in much of Eastern Europe, and carried on by some immigrants elsewhere.  (It's credited as Ukranian in most sources; I learned it from Russian culture.)

"Aftermath" is science fiction about an alien invasion.  But the first contact is an accident, and some of what happens is actually an improvement.  Hee!

"Strategy Meeting" features a riff on Gojira and Fukushima.  I asked for something more formidable than a herbivorous iguana, and rix_scaedu delivered.  *cackle*

"A Dream of Bees" reveals a pastoral goddess-vision and mulls over its possible meanings.  Very sweet and intriguing.

"A Place to Stay for the Winter" is a sequel to "A Dream of Bees" and it explains some symbolism from the dream.

Poem: "Ari and the Atheist"

This poem came out of the March 20, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from siliconshaman, who raised the interesting point of atheists in a world with active, present deities.  (Some ideas for different interpretations of "atheist" in a deity-rich setting also come from Bard Bloom's World Tree.)  A recent poll decided to sponsor this poem out of general funds.  It belongs to the series Path of the Paladins and you can find its other poems through the Serial Poetry page.

Courtesy of mdlbear, I'd like to recommend the song "The Atheist's Anthem" by catsittingstill.  While not composed specifically in relation to the Path of the Paladins series, it does touch on the same theme as this particular poem.

Ari and the Atheist

In the village square there stood a bread-cart.
It was the sort of thing that some priests provided
to feed those who might otherwise go hungry,
so the food was always cheap,
or free if you couldn't afford anything.

Ari headed for it at once, hoping to get
a pair of rolls for her and Shahana.
Yet the fading paint on the cart was plain,
no god-sign marked anywhere that she could see.
"Who do I have to thank for this bounty?"
she asked as she selected her bread.

"Just me," said the man with a gap-toothed grin.
"I'm an atheist, girl.
You won't find any god-sign on my cart."

"But how can you not believe in the gods
when they move through the world so much?"
Ari asked.  "It's obvious that they exist."

"Oh, I know they're real enough,"
the atheist said.  "I ain't blind.
I just happen to think they're all a bunch of dumbasses
and I refuse to worship any of them.
I mean, look at the mess they've made of this world."

"Well," Ari said faintly,
"I suppose it's hard to argue with that."

"Anyhow, I figure if I want to have
a world worth living in, I'd best fix it myself,"
the atheist said.

So Ari gave him a coin for the two rolls
and said, "Thank you for this bounty,"
and if it was decidedly odd to say that
to a mortal man instead of a deity,
Ari kept that part to herself.

When Ari returned with their lunch,
Shahana asked who was to thank for it,
and the girl replied, "That man over there.
He's an atheist.  But he makes very good bread,
and he's determined to fix the world himself."

"Well," the paladin said as she accepted her roll,
"he's doing better than some zealots I could name."


Poem: "Storm Wrack"

This poem came out of the March 20, 2012 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from the_vulture, wyld_dandelyon, and morrigans_eve.  This is a direct sequel to "Follow Your Heart" and it belongs to the series Path of the Paladins.  You can find the other poems through the Serial Poetry page.  A recent poll selected this as the next open epic.

This microfunded poem is being posted one verse at a time, as donations come in to cover them. The rate is $.50/line, so $5 will reveal 10 new lines, and so forth. There is a permanent donation button on my profile page, or you can contact me for other arrangements. You can also ask me about the number of lines per verse, if you want to fund a certain number of verses

So far sponsors include: general fund, kelkyagtabardthe_vulturejanetmileslaffingkatmorrigans_eve

161 lines, Buy It Now = $80.50
Amount donated = $58.50
Verses posted = 18 of 27

Amount remaining to fund fully = $22
Amount needed to fund next verse = $1
Amount needed to fund the verse after that = $3

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Torn World Muse Fusion This Weekend

The Torn World Muse Fusion is open this weekend.  Drop by and give us science fantasy prompts, claim prompts if you're a contributor, or just enjoy the stuff that's posted.

What I Have Written

"Breeding the Perfect Fighter" -- the freebie poem for this session, about fighting centipedes

"The Smallest Invaders"
From "livid" and a title by wyld_dandelyon I got the ballad "The Smallest Invaders" in which the Moon Mother worshipers must deal with invasive species from a neighboring shard.
36 lines, Buy It Now = $7.50 or 8 TW Credits

Poem: "Breeding the Perfect Fighter"

This poem is the freebie for the March 2012 Torn World Muse Fusion.  It was inspired by a prompt from wyld_dandelyon.

Breeding the Perfect Fighter

The half-legs are classified as vermin,
invasive pests brought in under false pretense
and forged pet licenses, unlicenseable now --

but they are the fiercest fighters,
and people still pay to see them
dueling to the death in secret arenas.

They look much like ordinary centipedes,
except that one side is warped and stunted
while the other is full-formed and formidable.

The fierce claw near the head is venomous,
the mouthparts sharp and hungry,
the many legs quick to scuttle and cling.

Most people just capture their gladiators
from the alleys or garbage dumps or gutters
where the half-legs thrive in the cities --

but some have taken to keeping them,
trying to breed the perfect fighter,
bigger and stronger, meaner and deadlier.

The fines for fighting animals are steep,
but people still do it, as bloodthirsty as their pets,
slinking through the same dark alleys

gathering in rings to cheer quietly
for the chitinous gladiators circling the dust,
venomous claws glinting in the faint light.