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XiaoCaity's Writing Thread
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XiaoCaity
Royalty


Joined: 27 Apr 2009
Posts: 542
Location: Herding magic lizards

PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:09 pm    Post subject: XiaoCaity's Writing Thread Reply with quote

I have a lot of writing to share. A lot a lot. I'm going to post some of it here, but first, some information.

This post will be a sort of contents page, a list of stories with links to any off-site work.

Some of my work includes mentions or hints of trigger subjects. I'll note that beside the link to the relevant fic when it comes up.

I'll do my best to keep my work PG/PG-13 (depending on your location), which means certain things will be edited down. If you really must read the unedited versions, they'll cross-posted on my Dreamwidth account and linked to. ANYTHING ON DREAMWIDTH IS UNSUITABLE FOR CHILDREN. I cannot stress this enough. It'll be filtered there too, but it's not exactly hard to get past the NSFW warnings.

And now, on with the show.

Story 1: Break (Potential trigger: Non-specific torture)
Story 2: Shatter
Story 3: Skyrunner (No warnings or triggers, but a personal favourite)
Story 4: Legend
Link 1: The 'Book of Immortality' plotbunny at Frozen Lithograph
Story 5: Marks That Won't Fade (Maybe-trigger: Tattooing, non-graphic mention of previous violence.)
Link 2: The Mad Alchemist's Apprentice at LittleCaity
Story 6: Embarassing Moment #3421 (A true story told through one of my characters)
Link 3: The compilation of my 'Daughter of Gryphons' plotbunny at Frozen Lithograph
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Gryphons are better than dragons. Gryphons PURR.


Last edited by XiaoCaity on Mon May 21, 2012 7:51 am; edited 9 times in total
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XiaoCaity
Royalty


Joined: 27 Apr 2009
Posts: 542
Location: Herding magic lizards

PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Break

He feels disconnected.

He ranted and raved at first, screamed torrents of abuse at his captors, swore and threatened and fought. All it bought him was days on end with nothing but tepid water and just enough stale bread to keep him from death. That took the fight out of him, faster than he would have liked.

The questions came then. About his childhood, which he had never been able to remember; about his father, who he daily prayed to forget; and about his magic, which he could not explain. There were beatings when he did not answer to their satisfaction, and they were rarely satisfied.

He lost track of time quickly, too quickly, until his days were great uncountable washes of boredom punctuated by questions asked until they were burned into his mind and beatings that left him a little weaker every time. His captors were coming sporadically by then, sometimes so often it seemed like the entire world was pain, and other times so rarely that he almost welcomed the abuse.

He thinks he went mad. He knows that he broke. He lost everything in that small cell, hope and self-respect, memories and eventually even all but the most fundamental scraps of who he had once been.

All that remained of him was a desperate need to stay strong, to hold onto what little remained in the face of never-ending torment. Everything he was, everything he had left, was focussed entirely on keeping quiet, even when the tortures changed.

Even when they stopped healing him between sessions, letting his wounds fester and burn so much that sometimes he feel asleep in a shamed fall of tears.

One morning he is woken by screams, shouts, the clash of swords and, strangely, a young woman’s voice shouting insults so filthy they make his ears burn in embarrassment. A faint hint of copper hangs in the air, the scent of fresh-spilt blood.

The door to his cell slams open, and it takes him several moments to realise that the blood-stained armour the young man is wearing is not that worn by his captors. Nor is the man himself one of his tormentors, too young and too much idealism shining in his eyes in the brief moment before realisation dawns.

The man disappears again, for a brief moments, and a final angry scream leads into a frightening silence broken only by words too soft for him to hear and the sounds of warriors shifting their gear.

A woman appears, blood speckled across her plain shirt and her face, eyes wide and torn between fear and wrath. Wrath wins when she sees him there, too weak to even pull himself up into a sitting position.

He feels detached...

But the woman crouches in front of him and the mark beneath her eye, blessedly familiar, lets him know that he will finally be... Not alright. Never alright. But he will be better.
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XiaoCaity
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Joined: 27 Apr 2009
Posts: 542
Location: Herding magic lizards

PostPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shatter

She’s too small, too breakable. Too fragile.

She’s fast, thank the gods, and has the stamina that goes with spending a childhood making her way across the roofs and hidden ways of the city, running messages and later medicines for a few coins.

Fast enough that her brother and his friends turn to her when they expect to need a healer, or magic not tied to the druidess and her strange ways. Fast enough to keep out of the way of the worst of the fighting.

But she’s still too damn delicate, slender instead of wiry, pale and covered with freckles instead of tanned and attractive like her brother. She was never able to build up her strength like he was, a lack of time and the necessity of hours on end spent in a small room working on her alchemy holding her back.

He wants her, wants her more than he’s wanted anyone in his entire life, wants to capture her in his hands and be with her... but she is porcelain.

She would shatter.
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XiaoCaity
Royalty


Joined: 27 Apr 2009
Posts: 542
Location: Herding magic lizards

PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skyrunner

To be a Skyrunner is to fly above the city, bearing messages and supplies for the resistance and laughing down at the Imperials below, who never look up unless someone drops a rock on their head.

The Skyroad is old, as old as Tarant herself, a strange combination of wires and planks and empty air, and the ones who run it are light and small and fast. Thieves, mostly, fences, sometimes, and the Skyrunners often, those who hide in the shadows and operate outside the law.

They started as agents for a couple of the more canny nobles, a pair of former soldiers raised up by virtue of sheer brilliance, youngsters with uncommon talent taught by thieves and mages and mechanics. All were light and fast and sure on their feet, some blessed with minor magics or alchemy – never great magic, for a great mage attracted attention – and others with mechanical aptitude, and even some few with sticky fingers so talented no man knew they had robbed him.

And then the war was lost (through no fault of the Skyrunners; when the battles were in the streets the Runners ended more than a few), the canny lords went underground to form a resistance, and the first Runners became adults and started training new recruits for a campaign of harassment that spent many a year reminding the Empire that they could be pushed down but never truly defeated.

She is one of the middling ones, not quite old enough to have been one of the ones who fought but old enough to have used her middling skills to save survivors. Young and naive looking, but not overly so. A member of the Alchemist’s Guild and thus afforded a certain veneer of respectability, and it is this that makes her part of the team.

Even considering their daily activities, it’s a mad plan. Mad and potentially brilliant, if they could just pull it off.

Four of them go in, taking the Skyroad to throw off potential pursuers. They split up, using disguises and stealth to remain hidden (and this is where her respectable veneer becomes useful, for she alone of the four is in a position to move freely under the guise of following the instructions of her ‘Imperial Masters’). They find what they can, anything of value, they take, and they once more fly across the city with a fortune to feed the resistance.

It almost bloody worked, too.

It was going smoothly – too smoothly, really, real life never worked so well – until she found the treasure room and filled her pockets with trinkets and gems, items enough to buy the resistance arms and armour and food for months. She’d been subtle and stealthy and it had been working damn it... until someone else who’d had the same idea made a royal bollocks of the whole affair and alerted the guards.

She didn’t make the sky in time, and had to escape into the depths of the city with the fools hot on her heels. Really, it was no wonder she got caught. At least she managed to drop off most of her haul on the way, at a Resistance-run building where it will be found and recovered soon enough.

There’s something familiar in the tunnels of this place, an old fortress the Imperials turned into a prison. Her mother spoke of place like this, where Mana runs thick and rich and a person’s true self is revealed for all to see. But it’s not just that.

She can see through illusions. It is her gift. And she sees hints of powerful, ancient spells here, blocking the way down, hiding something from her.

She doesn’t like the depths of the earth. She doesn’t like being lied to. She doesn’t like being controlled.

She is a Skyrunner. She’ll release what lies here, revel in the strength of the Mana, and one day soon she’ll run the skies again and laugh into the big blue.

“Don’t fret, love,” he says, the damn fool. He has no idea what she can do.
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Aja
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Joined: 21 Jul 2002
Posts: 1830
Location: Thataway

PostPosted: Fri Jan 28, 2011 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Intriguing!

I like how you manage to convey a good sense of the world these guys are in, without having to stop the story for direct exposition. Since you just dropped a few hints, I'm interested in finding out more about it.

(Also, I think I recognize at least one of these characters.) Cheese!

Looking forward to the next story!
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XiaoCaity
Royalty


Joined: 27 Apr 2009
Posts: 542
Location: Herding magic lizards

PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

*chuckle* If you're thinking what I hope you're thinking, then yes, a certain running-over-roofs girl is indeed a certain curly-haired cutie. I didn't want to bring names into it just yet, but likely there'll be names from now on.

Cheese!
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Saint Cy
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Joined: 17 Aug 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like your writing style. Is that how you usually write? I can't usually write like that. I have to write in "real time," like I'm documenting each moment.

Skyrunner reminds me of the game Mirror's Edge. I love stories about the resistance against the evil regime in power.
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XiaoCaity
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Joined: 27 Apr 2009
Posts: 542
Location: Herding magic lizards

PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I normally write in third person retroactive (which is what you get in most novels) but for character stuff I like to write in the above style.

I haven't played Mirror's Edge, actually, but I love the Assassin's Creed and Sly Cooper games, which both do very nice parkour. I've been considering writing about a parkour-ing alchemist for ages now. :D
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XiaoCaity
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Joined: 27 Apr 2009
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Location: Herding magic lizards

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Legend

There is a legend, she says, eyes sparkling in the firelight as she leans forward enthusiastically.

It’s only told in Landis, so it’s likely you’ve not heard it before. That’s alright, though, because even in Landis it’s only told in families where magic runs true. I’m not sure even he’s heard this tale, and he’s my blood.

Once upon a time, she begins with a quirky little smile, a goddess fell on Landis.

It was during a dark time, when war wracked the heavens, and the goddess had chosen to fling herself at the land instead of losing her life, and so she landed in a field, human in form, and for the first time she experienced rain.

When the sun came out, the villagers returned to their fields and the goddess was found by a simple man. He was quiet, but he was a good man with a kind heart, and so he took the goddess into his home and treated her like a member of his family.

The goddess took a long time to recover from her fall, and in that time she came to know the villagers. They were uncomplicated people all, quiet and sometimes sullen, but any one of them would leap to the defence of any other without hesitation. Used only to the machinations and hidden meanings of the gods, it took her many months to understand that there was no shadow to their words, no lies embedded in kind words.

The goddess could not remain hidden forever, not with war raging above, and one day a rival god strode down, the earth screaming and burning where he trode, with the intent of taking her head. The goddess stood still but strong, determined to keep him from the village where she had learned truth and warmth. The god rained death down upon her, fire and shadow and blood, and not once did she falter.

Eventually the god tired, and instead of slaying him, the goddess sent him home with word that she would return in the name of peace. Confused but utterly beaten without having suffered a blow, the god obeyed.

Slowly the goddess walked back into the village, tired and heart-sore, for she knew she could no longer hide from her fellow gods. Any more attempts to do so would call down pain upon these people, and she would not do it. Instead, she went to the man who found her first and took her into his home, and she offered him three boons to be carried by his descendants until the end of time.

The man thought for a long time. He could have wished riches for his children, or power, or any of a million things. But he was a simple man, with simple wishes.

Her eyes sparkle with something beyond amusement at this, and for a brief moment the fire turns her into a strange creature of bronze and flame.

Three boons is more than any man deserves, he said, but his smile was warm. I would ask but one of you; that my children be granted a portion of your power, that they may always be able to defend themselves from the warmakers of the world.

The goddess laughed for joy, for the man had once more proven himself to be simple but good, just as she had expected. You think only of their welfare and happiness, she said, and so I shall grant your boon and more besides. Your children shall always find comfort and home regardless of how far they roam, and they shall have the gift of knowing a truly good match for their heart, and with these gifts they shall always have happiness.

She glances over at her brother and the healing prisoner at that, a soft smile meeting embarrassed blushes.

That’s the story, really. The man’s family grew big, as they sometimes do, and his children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren cherished him even as they showed the mark of the goddess and her boons, being the first mages of Landis, bronze and fire in their bodies and their laughter.

What, you weren’t expecting more hellfire, were you?
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XiaoCaity
Royalty


Joined: 27 Apr 2009
Posts: 542
Location: Herding magic lizards

PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Book of Immortality Plotbunny at Frozen Lithograph, a Dreamwidth community open for all to view and home to my swarming plotbunnies. I have one membership code for whoever asks for it first, and that person will naturally be given an invite to the community.

I can also talk to my friend who should have a couple of codes of her own to give if enough people are interested.

If you don't have/can't get a Dreamwidth account, feel free to post feedback here. This particular idea is... very attractive to me. <3
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