The Nones of May

Kevin Cane stood on the margin of the car park where the painted lines gave way to a paved road between tourist shops. The asphalt looked like it had been poured thin and hot over a poorly groomed dirt road then hardened in place. Its fresh black with grey aggregate matched his goatee and moustache. The vespers sun blah blah.

[He is in San Diego attending the marriage of his friend Colin Abes. This is Colin’s second marriage; the bride is the same age as the bride at the first—which Kevin also attended.

At the first wedding fifteen or so years ago, Kevin had an affinity for the couple. Even though he was single, even though he’d been right in the middle of his first stint in the Navy, the event felt like a beginning for him. This obvious affair be contrast feels like an end.

Kevin turned forty recently, that gives him the right to say he feels old and wise even though he’s neither.]

186 words on day 967

Cold Cold Air

I’ve missed a couple day’s writing, and I haven’t felt too badly about it. Yesterday we cleaned the garage. That needed doing.

Xannajhandra-tha buoyed near the surface where the vent-heated lake still warmed his naked body and gave his mind comfort. This small volume of water had no name, but he’d come to think of its shape as little-gate or last-gate or maybe lost-gate as he drifted from inlet to outlet all morning. He allowed a tentacle to uncoil past the drop-off and sink into the hotter layers nearer this last vent on the downstream end of Lost-Gate. As it snaked deeper, his awareness of place increased. The heat differential between his head and tail fed a sense he couldn’t feel outside walking on the ground. Like this, caught between the relative cool of the shoal and the scald of the vent, he felt precise, accurate, and calm. For Xannajhandra-tha the contrast made making decisions easier, and he wanted to have one last memory from one correct decision.

He lulled to one side and pushed a bulbous eye outside into the cold air. The surface tension tickled when he blinked the nictitating membrane to clear the water pooled in the corner of his eye. No one noticed his movement; no one was there to notice. Outside, the lake steamed. Very few fliers and no walkers would be able to see him depart the safety of the water. He scuttled out making no more noise than necessary and none that wouldn’t be mistaken for the sound of lake water surging into the stream nearby.

Next, he changed shape; he’d have to find clothes in this human form.

Not sure I made this bettter:

276 words on day 891

The Merriweather Balloon Boat & Mobile Market

It turns out that trying to write at 6 AM without a plan for what to write is not a great way to write what you were hoping to write at 6 AM. That turned out to not be anywhere near as humorous as I’d hoped.

Broke for Mt Dew and an English muffin with butter and homemade jelly. Let’s see if that does the trick…

So I thought I’d write this somehow:

The Merriweather Balloon Boat & Mobile Market burned from the Crows’ Crow’s Nest to what would have been the waterline had it been a seafaring craft and not a…balloon boat (and mobile market). But I’m getting ahead of myself with the hook and you’ll be wanting a little less medias in your res.

Gondola Mike Evercotts lashed the last of his boxed cargo into the main net and tossed it overboard to dangle below his dad-made skiff—
—ok, some things will be easier if I just come right out and tell you: Mike goes by “Evercotts” and not Mike or Gondola Mike. When he did briefly go by ‘Gondola Mike’ they stressed the second syllable not the first, thus: ‘gone-DOE-luh mike’. He gondoliered for maybe two weeks one summer and it stuck—except that no one ever calls him that to his face. Usually you’ll hear people introduce him as “Gondola Mike Evercotts [as I did above], but just call him ‘Evercotts’.” He’s got iron-black hair and is shorter than you’d like him to be but as tall as he needs.

Also, it’s best if you imagine me narrating in something like an Irish accent—not a brogue though. Later my narrative accent—again,you should imagine—will drift into anything applicable from the western parts of Europe, Morocco, and once Italian…Italy. You know what I mean. However, for the ease of your reading I’ll be typing it all out in American English. I’ll just let you know which to imagine when we get there.

324 words on day 889

A Dragonfall Shrike

The helo-plane hovers with its wings tucked while the pilot surveys the beach for high tide indications and a good spot to set down. The companion-pilot, a dragonfall shrike, leans out of the soft spot below the helo-plane to circle the high-walled cove. At this time of the morning the wind falls softly from above with few gusts or swirls. The shrike circles a tree and a tree-house then rises up nearly to the forest above before tucking its wings into a dive and inserting itself into the water. It comes up juggling a fish. Innacule Brin has been informed this helo-plane, an amphibious model, can also belly-land in the sand like a curlew nesting. Inna hopes she won’t have to kill the pilot in order to hijack the plane; he seemed like such a nice man [on the phone].

140 words on day 860

Exploring a Guerrilla

Varsha was a short brown woman with long black hair and bit bigger ass than any of us could handle if we’d ever been allowed to handle it at all. When she first came to us on a rainy day she told Yolo she was married, she told Chit she was a widow, and she told Mattie she was gay. Me? Well me…me she told to fuck the hell off. We had no trouble believing all three stories were true, and I just pretended she was my little sister—until that got creepy.


Chit counted ammo in the shade of a travelers’ tent we erected on a sand bar. The awkward height and angle of the poles presented the lumpy aspect of a large boulder, but against the white gravel and sand near the river it must have looked like a target because in ten minutes Chit would be hurrying to rid himself of his current ballistic inventory in a rapid orderly fashion.

“See anything?”

Varsha swiveled to eye Chit in the tent; she left her arms akimbo and her feet in place.

“See anything?”

She swiveled back continuing to survey downriver. “No.”

Varsha’s denim leopard-patterned cargo-capris were tucked into a pair of laced on sune-ate. Those shin guards were so big for her they ran from her ankles up past her knees.

Gotta stop here.

225 words on day 847

A Little More Notion

“How far down that bridge.”

Rabbit erased his smile and swallowed. “Halfway.”

“Then I’d better give you two.” She fanned the single shim into a pair of coins. Rabbit didn’t resmile, but he did nod.


With a hand on his back, Mother Notion directed Rabbit to her pushcart of belongings near the wall by the lake. Rabbit immediately noticed how well the woman packed. Black nylon straps cinched down the symmetrically stowed gear under a waterproof tarpaulin like a spider would wrap its prey. A red tear-away day-pack lay within easy reach of the pusher, and fore of that a long water bag defined the spine of the load. A bright blue tube snaked from the water bag up the left-hand handle of the pushcart to the dashboard. Rabbit dared not touch any of it.

Mother Notion tecked a switch on the dash between the two handles. The pushcart rocked up on its skids like a llama standing from a kush. She swept her hand over the dash and moved back. Recognizing the invitation, Rabbit stepped into the vacated space and took the handles that came nearly to his chin. He felt foolish using an overhand grasp, so he switched to an underhand one. That made him feel like he was hanging from the cart—which was no better. [He looked around for something to help]

“There,” Mother Notion said and pointed. Rabbit crouched under the dashboard to the adjustment bar she had noted. He dropped it one notch, came back out from under to try on the size, then went back under to drop it another. That felt right.


271 words on day 838

More and More Imbuers’ Local

A single voice intoned the chant.

Other voices joined the first in staggering succession as if each new chanter required a sense more substantial than mere hearing to recognize the invitation. As the number of chanters grew, others joined more quickly until the swell of the chant could not be ignored by the remaining few—save one, the chant’s initiator.

Thima, toak-Slay, had ceased chanting once sufficient others took up the imbuing chant. It waited silently but not unmovingly for the remaining Imbuers to join. Thima then maneuvered the crowded dais to the edge and signaled for the next hoop to be lowered into place. It worried they would fail in their task.

The unseen audience—hushed to silence on their benches in the steep [auditorium]—drew a collective breath as the second hoop descended from the darkness. Lit from a bright point at the apex of the chamber, the silhoutted ring channeled a cone of light on the chanters below that transformed into a cylindar of rays as it dropped to match with the first. Had a blonde-haired girl, arms out and twirling in the evening air, stood in the center she might have been able to touch the insides of the ring. Had a tall man hoisted the iron torus in his grip, he could have put thumb to fingertip. The three well-recommended Translators laid the second ring atop the first with the sound of felt on felt. And now the work was back to Thima.

When its manager, Mrs. Vayda Carn, had first asked it to stay a moment in the conference room following the status meeting half a year ago it had not even known there was a project to be specially selected for. In fact, Thima’s breath ceased for the entire time Mrs. Carn gently closed the door to the room and singled it out. It assumed it was being let go.

“Thima, you may have heard we are working on something new,” she said like a question. Thima breathed in. It shook its head no. “Good. If you haven’t then we’ve been successful at least in that so far. I need a team leader for an uncommon portal imbuing.”

Mrs. Carn waited there for a nod or an ascent of some kind. Thima had noticed her habit of making all conversations like a classroom lesson and wondered regularly if the woman hadn’t been an early-grade elementary teacher before she came to [magic corp name]. Thima accepted what she’d said; Mrs. Carn continued.

“You’ve done well since coming to [magic corp name]. Worked under [some well respected retired guy]. You are not as senior a choice as we might have made, but your…”

“Neutrality,” Thima interjected into the slimmest of pauses.

“Yes, your neutrality. Our truncated and brief investigation into this imbuing leads us to believe that will be of value to our success.” She waited.

Sequel: emotion | thought | decision | action

A flush of pride warmed its face and it smiled a little. Thima pondered this. It’d never given much thought to its imprecisely defined gender as a contributor to its magic.

517 words on day 826