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Tell me a story. But only the beginning, only those first sweet words that trail like breadcrumbs into a dark and wondrous forest.

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Walking along the edge of the grass, Milinda's stockings were starting to become cold and damp. She enjoyed walking this path, the ivy and willow weaving together to make a natural lattice work canopy, the moonlight filtering through the leaves. A moment of silence in her otherwise boisterous world.

The recent rains still lingered on the grass, having long since dried on the pavement. She had hoped that pulling off her shoes and taking her moments of calm in this night would have not left their mark on her outfit, but certain sacrifices must be made. Walking closer to the grass by hair lengths, she stops just as the first blade tickles along her stockinged skin. These barriers are familiar to her. She walks these lines every day.

In the distance, she hears the heavy thump of the sentinel's horse cresting the hill. She will have just enough time to breathe deep the night air and slide on her shoes before whatever news from the front caused General Slade to interrupt her night walk. She could only hope that whatever panicked him would be quickly dealt with, so she could return to finish her reverie.

The power behind the power was rarely a comfortable seat to sit in.

Crisp and colonial. But maybe tomorrow it will be cold and medieval, and the day after tattered and retro-futured. A painful balance between wondering what it will become, and finding out.

It was my birthday, and we were going to a movie in Uptown as a group to celebrate after dinner, but the car we were all going in was on the far side of campus behind Olin-Rice. He just happened to be out there when we headed that way. The sun was setting and it was a little bit chilly.

He is, in himself, a bag of tricks - able to be menace or magician, obstacle or oracle, or just a White Rabbit to chase into Wonderland. Amorphous in potential.

Perhaps he was my White Rabbit. I certainly do miss Wonderland. I liked feeling as though Things Were Possible.

Ekaterin and the Firebird

The night after her 17th birthday ball, Ekaterin stood in the entrance way with her father and six older brothers, bidding farewell to her guests. Boyar Nicolai bent stiffly to kiss her hand. Uncles one through six--

Ah, the tease of a title! Looking for the firebird. Does it burn in the sky, or simple reside in a character dressed in red and gold?

Also? Russian! Squeee!

She sees it in her father's apple orchard and chases it.

And yeah! This was going to be a princess and the dragon story, but the editor of the anthology I'm going to submit it to has a weak spot for firebird stories (and is somebody following me on LJ--how weird is that?), so I changed it.

I like it better this way--more original.

More original, and yet also feels a little more authentic with the Russian backdrop. I think the Firebird is referred to as zhar-ptitsa, and is often the questing goal of Slavic folklore.

Her hair had red streaks that snaked out from beneath black dyed like a crow's wing. It made him think of stop signs and cinnamon candy. He saw her every day, but she didn't see him.

Sensory love, make my tongue warm. Crow in death, he cannot be seen, but maybe this isn't a ghost story. Then again, maybe it is.

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