The fairy sipped her tea and smiled in appreciation. “I must say that you do know to provide a genteel refreshment. I do like that in a person.” Her purple lips, lipstick surely, were making a perfectly friendly shape. “Now it was curses you wanted to know about, wasn’t it?”
“Yes, ma’am.” The hostess was a skinny girl with a multitude of large freckles and skewwhiff hair. It was obvious that no good fairy had been summoned to her christening to grant her insipid beauty. “If you please.”
The dark-haired, purple-garbed fairy drank some more tea. “The oldest curses are revenge curses, payback for injury. Those are the sort of thing that can wipe out an entire family or doom a kingdom, and the layer of the curse doesn’t care or is even glad. You might have heard of the city of Lancart?”
“Only in once-upon-a-time stories,” the girl offered her guest a plate of biscuits.
The dark fairy took one, “Thank you. Lancart used to be reality, not a story, and it was a curse that brought it down. Of course, what I do is a variant of revenge curse, with lack of respect as the trigger. It may seem cruel, the gifts I give to those children, but some of them - how else are they supposed to develop any character or backbone? Good fairies, in my opinion, can be a little too eager to smooth out life’s potential rough spots.”
“But not all curses are about revenge.”
“Indeed no, particularly these days.” Another sip of tea. “You can trust a witch or even a sorceress to retain a sense of, well, appropriateness and connection when they deal out curses but get a wizard involved and it usually comes down to money. The fancier the title he gives himself, the more willing he is to provide curses in return for cash, in my experience. Want to disadvantage you rival in love? A wizard will sell you a spell to make warts grow. Want to get an inconvenient prince out of the way? A mage will turn him into a frog for you. In return for gold, of course.” She fumed into her tea for a moment then asked, “So, why do you want to know about curses, my dear?”
“There’s someone I…really like,” the girl blushed, “and I want him to be happy, but he’s in love with this other girl who’s under a curse…”
“Ah, well,” the fairy put down her cup and patted her hostess’ hand, “every curse has its remedy. It may be obscure. It may be unpalatable, but it does exist. Even mine have an out, if you’re devious enough.” A thought occurred to her, “Is it one of mine?”
“I don’t believe so, ma’am. I heard that it was supposed to be a blessing.”
“That could be awkward,” the dark fairy picked up her teacup again. “Blessings aren’t required to have escape clauses.”
The Prompt Request is
open from now (Sunday 24 March, my time) until sometime Saturday, 30 March, my time is now closed.
If you give me more than one prompt you need to know that I will work through the list in order starting at the top.
The rules and parameters:
1. Each prompt will be:
a. a short sentence or phrase;
b. a story of mine posted to LJ you want to see more of – it does not need to come from a Prompt Request; or
c. characters of mine from stories posted on LJ – they do not need to come from a Prompt Request.
2. For each prompt I write to I will write 300±50 words. If you want to see something I’ve done along these lines before, please see the results of my November and December Prompt Requests. I have found that stories sometimes carry me away and you may get more than 350 words due to no fault of yours.
3. I will write one prompt per person, unless you signal boost this Prompt Request or a story from it , in which case I will write an additional prompt per site/platform you boost on i.e. one prompt each on LJ, Twitter, Dreamwidth, etc, for each day of the prompt request you signal boost. I am setting an arbitrary limit of 7 extra prompts per prompter from boosting. You will need to tell me about your boosts because I am not across every site and platform.
4. For each prompter I get, I will write 50 words in a prompting reward serial story;
5. No fanfic, I just don’t know enough about enough current series and settings to do your favourites justice – give me a name or names and I promise what you get will not be the people you know and love; and
6. Please, nothing that has to be porn – I have to be in the mood to write that sort of thing and I would like to be able to post these stories without warnings. (Yes, I know, 1b & 1c could produce prompts that are almost like that.)
7. For every ten prompt-based pieces I write I will I write a background piece on a world or character, subject to be chosen by audience poll.
Why am I doing this? Practice! Plus I’ve found that I enjoy the interaction with all of you.
And yes, there is a tip jar. This is for extensions. I will write extensions at 500 words per $5.00.
1. If I receive any money for extensions I can no longer be flabbergasted because that’s already happened but I will be very surprised. J
2. For every $15 I receive for paid extensions I will write to one more prompt, chosen by those who have paid for extensions, from any ‘unsupported’ prompts received in the Prompt Request. This will occur after I have written the paid extensions. An ‘unsupported’ prompt is one which does not have a signal boost to support it.
If you are kind enough to give me more signal boosts than you want to prompt, I will use each of your ‘left over’ signal boosts to power another 50 words in the prompt reward story.
Please tell me where you’ve signal boosted as a reply to your comment giving me prompts.
Thank you for participating.
There wasn’t a white girl in town. Or a white woman for that matter. It took them a while to realise it because the camp was a big place and people had poured in from everywhere, but there were no white women. White men, yes, even some male children, but no women.
“Where did they all go?” That was Tina, whose mother had been from China but whose father’s family had been in the country since the 1850s’ gold rushes had lured the family ancestor out of Guangdong.
“They don’t get to the gates here, that’s for certain.” Karla had been, was, a journalist. “There’s nowhere else they could be going, and the men who arrive here look shell shocked while the kids are terrified.”
“All the kids are terrified,” that was Tanya, the big girl who was some sort of Pacific Islander.
“This is different; their mothers were stolen in front of them. Some of them had siblings shot so their mothers would stop fighting and go quietly. They took little white girls too, but only white girls.”
“Who would do that?”
Karla answered the question clearly and decisively, “Other white women. Some sort of paramilitary…”
A week later, Tina and Tanya were scouting. It had taken their group a while to work out what was wrong and when they had worked it out, they’d chosen not to involve the men.
“Let’s keep the muscle where it is,” had said Karla the journalist, “at least until we find something tangible that has to be dealt with by force.” Karla and the rest of their group were back in the camp, sounding out the men and the other women. Hopefully by the time they got back to camp with news, the ground work for a fighting force would be laid.
It took them nearly a week to find what they were looking for and they found it because the smoke gave away the…facility surrounded by barbed wire and fences. The compound and surrounding fields were patrolled by fair-skinned, female, armed guards who stood over equally fair-skinned field workers. In the middle of the fields, a red-haired woman hung suspended by her wrists from two tall poles, her toes barely touching the ground. As they watched, a guard slapped a little girl who was standing by a field worker an pointed her at the row beside the older woman.
“If,” said Tina, “a big, fat, white man is in charge of all this, I am going to be very upset.”