Saturday Snippet: Dragon of Sunset

I was reminded of this the other night, when we had our first brilliant winter-like sunset since last spring.


Rachel gave General Rahoul Khan as much of a sideways look as she could with him standing on her blind side. “Sir?” He can’t know about my little outing last week, and nothing’s set off the smoke detectors recently that I know of. And I had nothing to do with the minor disturbance in the NCOs mess.

“Why is my daughter insisting on going to Lands’ End to see the dragon?”

“What?” She turned so she could see him clearly.

He had a very familiar look of wary curiosity on his face, arms folded, not patting his foot but giving the impression of it. “Sita wants her mother to take her to Lands’ End to see the dragon. What dragon?”

Rachel tried to recall if she knew any True-dragons, HalfDragons, Houses, or grumpy librarians in Cornwall. “Ah, I have no—Belay that.” Rachel smiled. “She wants to see the dragon of sunset.” Continue reading


Thursday Tidbit: Halloween Retail

Ah, the seasonal rush has begun for Belle, Book, and Blacklight…

As the front door of Belle, Book, and Blacklight closed, Arthur intoned, “And so it begins” in a deep—fake—basso.

“Indeed, sir.” The first pair of cheap jack-o-lantern earrings had just been sold, the signal of the start of Halloween Season. Every year Arthur loaded up on costume-Goth stuff, and every year it sold. Granted, it was one step above similar items from the mall goth-shop and the party stores, but Lelia still wanted to take the teenagers and adults and give them a lesson on why one should buy quality jewelry. But money was money, and more people happily bought the inexpensive and fun things than could afford the pieces in the locked cases.

“How long before the first ‘It’s not a costume, it’s a lifestyle’ comment?” Arthur asked.

Lelia tidied the receipt stack and thought. “Three weeks, sir. That’s how long it will take the mundanes to start noticing our clothes.” Continue reading

Quit that, Muse!

See here, Muse, knock this off. I have other things I need to do, a novel to write that has nothing to do with werewolves. But no. No, you have to kick me to start this one. Just stop this, Muse. And using Duran Duran three times in thirty-six hours was about as subtle as a chop-saw.

The shop door closed far more quietly than it had opened. Tay, the ring-tailed lemur, broke his pose of “expensive stuffed animal” and blinked large orange eyes. “Well, that was different.”

“Ah, yes.” Lelia Chan sorted the un-bought images and returned them to their proper places in the print folders, then returned to the counter. “I’ve never had a request for a werewolf belt before.” Continue reading

Tuesday Tidbit: Society Preparations

Colony Day draws Nigh. And Rigi draws a short straw…

“Have you toes recovered, Auriga?”

Rigi smiled a touch ruefully as she handed Mrs. Chakerbatti-Mou the next batch of artificial stems and leaves. The theme for the Colony Day dance was “Every Growing,” and the decoration committee had opted for a series of arches, each decorated with greenery, for the entrance, then flowering vines wrapped around the pillars in the Vice-Governor’s ballroom.

“I believe so, ma’am.” Rigi waited until the Marine major’s wife had secured that handful before passing another cluster up to her. “I am inclined to concur with Her Majesty about hopping steps in formal dances.” The transportation administrator’s enthusiasm had far outstripped his spatial perceptions, leaving Rigi with badly bruised feet. One simply did not introduce new dance steps without either warning one’s partner or practicing in a less-crowded space. If Tomás had not taken them with him, Rigi would have been sorely inclined to borrow his combat boots with the cerami-steel toe protection. Continue reading

Friday Familiar: Vet 2: Tay 0

It’s that time of year again…

“I am in perfect health,” the voice from Tay’s hard-sided carrier assured everyone in thaumatovet Dr. Tammy Borchart’s waiting room. “Perfect health! I have absolutely no need to be here, I feel lovely, oh so happy,” he caroled out of tune. “I think I’ll go for a walk now.” The older lady with a morose looking Great Dane covered her mouth with her hand, eyes laughing.

“Tay, hush. I don’t make the rules about when you need your shots.” It was time for his rabies and distemper shots. Lelia’s own temper was teetering on the edge.

“Hey, at least I don’t look like I went to audition for a role in The Unsinkable Molly Brown and washed out,” he snickered.

She’d done fine, managing umbrella, carrier, handbag, and skirts, until a swirl of wind blew water from an awning under the umbrella and half-drenched her. She’d wrung her skirts and coat-tails out as best she could in the vestibule, but Lelia still felt damp creeping in through her petticoat. Continue reading

Sunday Snippet: Where there’s Smoke…

someone’s probably started the weekend’s grilling and smoking early. Oops, sorry, that’s the real world. Lelia checks in with André.

Sunday afternoon André called her. “I survived the wedding. I think.”

“Mostly,” Rodney said. “For certain low settings of survived. You didn’t end up in the punch-bowl, and it was not the lime-green kind with sherbet in it.”

“Lime green with sherbet?” That sounded seriously strange.

“To match the brides-maids’ dresses, the mints, the napkins, and the frosting on the petite-fours.” Rodney explained. “It used to be very fashionable, and still turns up from time to time.”

Rodney Lestrang the wedding fashion expert? Lelia giggled to herself, imagining Rodney behind a desk giving prices for a wedding reception and showing a list of options, cake flavors, and so on. Continue reading

Tuesday Tidbit: Canned Magic

Lelia decides to pre-load some spells. Mr. Lee decides to unload some chocolate.

Lelia and Tay walked up the sidewalk to the Lee residence at nine on Friday morning. A brilliant fall morning surrounded them, with lovely sunlight spilling down through crisp, dry air. Lelia grumbled to herself about mornings, early, and that nasty glowing ball up in the sky ruining her image. At least the man walking the three dogs had not detoured to avoid her the way some people did.

The door opened before she could set foot on the first porch step. Dolores Lee waved. “Good morning! Patrick’s around back, unlocking the gate.” She brushed dark curls back with her free hand. “I have to go run some errands, so he agreed to monitor for you. Feel free to squirt Cinders with a water pistol if he acts up. He’s being a pill this morning. Isabeau wants to take him up a few thousand feet and drop him, to see if it will thump sense into his head.” Continue reading