Sep 15 2020

Fictionlet

Posted by

They sat in silence.

Brigid was slumped in a chair, staring into space.

Greg had his legs up on the couch with Ozymandias in his lap, and also stared into space.

“I want to go back to college,” Brigid said.

“I want to go to college and never come back,” Greg replied.

Silence resumed.

-The Gneech

<-- previous B&G

Filed under : Brigid and Greg Fictionlets | Comments Off on Fictionlet
May 23 2020

Shady and the Tiger, Revisited

Posted by

Shade-Of-the-Candle and Silma on the discussion of not having sex.
Just a quickie story from the D&D game I play in, for your enjoyment. :)
I apologize for all the names being so similar; that’s just something that’s happened organically in the campaign as it’s progressed.

SHADY = Shade-Of-the-Candle, my tabaxi swashbuckler
SILMA = weretiger amazon who recently joined the party
SHANA = another player’s tiefling warlock

—–

“So this is the Laughing Axe Tavern, it’s the closest thing we have to a base of operations really,” said Shade-Of-the-Candle, holding the door open. The enormous weretiger Silma had to duck her head to clear the door coming in, drawing more than a few turned heads, which neither Shady nor Silma acknowledged. “Maybe not the Lady Patrician’s Manor, but it beats living in an alley,” the much smaller tabaxi said.

“More than adequate,” said Silma. “I’m used to life on the road.”

The group drifted off to various open seats in the crowded room; Rulita, Rai, and Shana ended up at one small table, while Leuco and Capsaicin went to the bar. Finding nowhere adequate to the task of seating her, Silma went to an apple barrel in the corner and climbed up onto it for a makeshift stool. As if taking a cue, Shade-Of-the-Candle hopped up and sat on the end of the bar next to her.

“Oy!” said the bartender, putting his fists on his sides and scowling at the tabaxi. “What do you think you’re doing?”

“I’m ordering a round of drinks for me and my friends, that’s what,” said Shady, slapping a few gold coins down on the bar.

“Well put your butt on a stool, not on my bar.”

What stool?” demanded Shady. “The place is packed! Besides, I’m having a conversation with my friend here.” Turning to Silma, she said, “Whattya wanna drink, Simmie?”

The weretiger blinked. “Simmie?”

“Yeah?” said Shady. “Whattya wanna drink?”

“Wine and water will be fine,” said Silma.

“You heard her,” said Shady. “Same for me. Get a move on.”

The bartender frowned, but collected the coins and stepped away all the same.

Silma cocked her head at Shady. “Where did ‘Simmie’ come from?”

Shady shrugged. “I dunno. Easier to say than ‘Silma.’ I give people names. It’s just a thing I do.”

“Like ‘Sea-Legs’ and ‘Devil-Girl.’”

“You got it.”

“I shouldn’t be surprised,” said Silma. “You are a tabaxi, after all.”

“What does that have to do with it?”

“I meant no offense,” said Silma.

“No, I mean seriously, what does that have to do with it?”

“Oh, just tabaxi, and their propensity for nicknames. I’ve always found it a charming quirk.”

“Tabaxi have a propensity for nicknames?”

Silma adjusted awkwardly on her barrel. “It’s just a stereotype, I suppose.” Looking around, still shifting uncomfortably, she asked, “Is it always this crowded?”

“Waxes and wanes,” said Shady. “There’s a big Thessalanian whaler in the harbor, probably half the people here are off of it.”

“I hope there’ll be somewhere to sleep.”

Shady blinked at her. “What, in the common room?”

“That was my plan,” said Silma.

“Oh. Uh.” Shady’s ears twitched. “I’ve got a whole room, upstairs.”

“All to yourself?” The weretiger gave a half-smirk as the bartender returned with her watered wine. “Being the owner of a ship has made you extravagant.”

“Hey, I’m a proper somebody now,” said Shady, grinning. “But what I’m getting at, is you don’t have to sleep in the common area. You can stay up in my room.”

Silma’s ears folded down, and she stood up from the barrel. “No thank you,” she said. “If you’ll excuse me.”

“Huh?” said Shady.

“I’ll find a room in one of the other taverns in town. You can find me through the Golden Compass Society when it’s time to continue our pursuit of Captain Aranthé.”

Shady jumped down to the floor after her. “What? Why?”

Silma glowered down at the tabaxi. “I don’t know what kind of person you are, but I don’t fall into bed with someone I’ve just met and I don’t appreciate—”

Shady’s ears shot up and her eyes widened. “Fall into bed? You mean—?” In a loud and confused voice that caused the weretiger to flinch and look around the room, Shady announced, “I don’t want to have sex with you!” A peculiar noise not far off may have been Leuco snorting into a mug of ale.

“Oh, please!” snarled Silma. “Ever since you first showed up in that cave you’ve been following me around, making eyes at me, acting like a show off—”

Shady’s own ears pinned down. “I have not!”

“And now you’re proposing that I share your room.”

“So what? I’d let any of my friends share my room if they asked!”

“But you didn’t invite any of them. Only me!”

Shady blinked at that, and stared at Silma for a beat. Finally she said, “Well… well yeah, okay, I have been coming on a little strong. But it wasn’t because I was hitting on you! I mean, I’m not not hitting on you, I guess, if you wanted to have sex I’m not against the idea, but it’s not… I mean… that wasn’t…”

“Well what, then?” demanded Silma.

“I just…!” said Shady. “I just, I just… you’re the only person I’ve ever met like me.”

Silma furrowed her brows. “Like you?”

Shady looked down. “Everkeep has humans, and elves, and dwarves… and we’re right by Humblewood, so there’s mouse people and fox people and bird people and squirrel people and who-knows-what-else. But I’ve never met my kind. Never another cat person. Never. Not once.” She turned her eyes up to Silma. “Until now.”

Silma’s ears tilted forward. “Not once? No parents or siblings? No—”

“Not. Once.” Shady snarled. “I can’t even speak or read my own language. I know what my name looks like, but I don’t know how to say it. You tell me tabaxi give people nicknames? That’s news to me.”

Silma smiled, gently. “I am not a tabaxi, Shade-Of-the-Candle.”

Shady looked away, rubbing the back of her neck awkwardly. “No, I know you’re not. But… you’re more like… one of us… than one of… them.”

“Shady,” said Silma. Her voice had jumped up a full octave or more, and lost its gravelly sound, but it was unmistakably her.

Shady jerked her gaze back to see not a seven foot tall tiger woman, but a nearly-normal human before her, with a dark cast to her skin and black hair. Only the golden, slit pupils of her eyes hinted at the feline. The tabaxi’s ears drooped, and she somehow seemed to shrink.

“Shady,” said Silma again. “I am not ‘your kind’ in the way you think I am. I am as human as I am tiger. When you say ‘them’ you are also talking about me.”

Shady blinked, and looked down at her clawed hands. “You’re right,” she said. “I’m sorry.”

“But you aren’t so alone. Soon you will have a ship. It can take you to Port Nyanzaru, to Setranophis, or even Payit, where tabaxi are plentiful. Maybe you have a family out there still, trying to find you.” Shifting back into her weretiger form, Silma put a massive paw on Shady’s shoulder. “When this business is done, perhaps we could go find some for you.”

“I’m sorry,” said Shady again. She slipped out from under Silma’s grasp, and walked away.

May 10 2019

Fictionlet

Posted by

“Yo, Greg,” said Brigid, wandering into the kitchen.

“Hello, hello!” he replied, sipping at a coffee and tapping away at the laptop.

She raised an eyebrow, but shrugged and started rooting through a cabinet for the english muffins. “Soooo…?” she said.

“Hmm?” replied Greg, still tapping away.

“Go on,” she said.

“Go on about what?” She just looked over at him; his expression was befuddled. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Really,” she said.

“Yes, really,” he replied.

“Okay,” she said, turning to her breakfast. A moment of quiet followed.

“You know,” he added, “the Hogan’s Heroes theme song is actually an incredibly dense and layered composition. It’s a masterclass in themes and sub-themes!”

“There it is,” said Brigid.

<-- previous B&G
next B&G –>

Filed under : Brigid and Greg Fictionlets | Comments Off on Fictionlet
Feb 06 2019

Shady and the Wizard

Posted by

A story fragment that popped into my head last night, starring my tabaxi rogue. Enjoy!

Shade-of-the-Candle slid the final stretch of the ramp in a low crouch, dropping forward onto one hand from her momentum when she hit the bottom. The torch she’d been carrying clattered across the floor, extinguished, but to her surprise, she didn’t need it.

She’d been deposited into a large, round chamber with concentric pillars that were covered with writhing hieroglyphs. The middle of the ceiling was dominated by a cluster of dimly-luminous indigo crystals; sitting cross-legged on a dais under the crystals, was the robed figure of a man.

Or… not? There were too many arms, for starters, and the skin visible on the man’s forearms and hands was a dusky blue-gray, but that may have been a trick of the light. The fact that each of the four hands had two thumbs, one on either side, also did not inspire confidence. The man’s face, if indeed he had one, was completely obscured by his cowl, but Shady had no doubt that he was aware of her.

Shady blinked at him. He didn’t move. The tomb was supposed to have been lost. It was definitely trapped. She’d had a tough scrabble to get this far, only to find this oddity sitting in what she had expected to be the treasure chamber. Either way, she wasn’t about to go home empty-handed now. Her tail flicked back and forth involuntarily, as she rose to a standing position and slowly drew her cutlasses.

The hood dipped slightly. A deep bass rumble assaulted Shady’s ears and crushed her skull, nearly knocking her back off her feet, but then it passed as quickly as it had come. Across from her, the figure gave a quiet and dismissive snort.

Shady blinked at it. “What kind of hellspawn are you?” she asked.

“I am no kind of hellspawn, you superstitious creature,” the figure replied. The voice was male, more of a deep buzzing than anything else, and spoke in the clipped tones of a noble.

“Then what are–“

“There’s no point in telling you what I am,” he said. “It wouldn’t mean anything to you. And even if I could explain it, it would just blast your already dangerously-limited mind into even smaller fragments.”

The corner of Shady’s mouth rose in a smirk. “So you’re a wizard,” she said, moving slowly into the ring of pillars.

“Fine. Yes. I’m a wizard. It’s less wrong than anything else you might come up with.”

“You’re pretty rude,” said Shady.

“I am intensely rude,” said the wizard. “And I intend to remain that way. What will you do, now that you’ve come to that brilliant conclusion?”

Shady stepped forward again, pointing at his cowl with the tip of one of her swords. “I’ve heard it said, that the best thing to do when you come upon a wizard, is to kill it.”

The creature didn’t move. “So why don’t you, then?”

She gave him a long, appraising look. “Because…” she finally said, “you don’t seem particularly afraid that I might.”

Two of the wizard’s four arms retreated under robes. He used the other two to shift into a more attentive position. “The creature has some sense after all!” he said. “This may turn out to be interesting.”

“What are you doing, squatting in an ancient tomb?”

“What are you doing, crawling around in it?”

“I’m a thief,” said Shady.

“Of course you are.”

“But you didn’t answer my question. The tomb was sealed. What are you doing here?”

“I am playing a game of strategy,” said the wizard. “A game that spans eons, made up of the most infinitesimally small moves imaginable.”

“A game?” said Shady. “There’s no board. There are no pieces.”

“I’m looking at one right now,” said the wizard.

Shady rolled her eyes. “Okay, this conversation is pointless,” she said. “Where’s the Red King’s treasure chamber? Where’s the Red King’s treasure?”

“Oh, it’s here,” said the wizard. “Right where he buried it. Every few hundred years another would-be robber comes blundering in, and not one has managed to take it way yet. One or two did manage to get away richer than they came, of course. You may be one of the lucky ones.”

“Any objections if I try my luck?” said Shady, gesturing with her sword again.

“None whatsoever,” said the wizard. “I have no interest in baubles. There’s another passage, behind me. You may find what you’re looking for that way.”

“Fine,” said Shady, sheathing her swords. “Go back to your game then, wizard, and stay out of my way.” She collected the torch from where she’d dropped it and reignited it.

“Another pawn moves into play,” said the wizard. Shady glared at the back of his cowl, and plunged down the passage.

Oct 22 2018

Fictionlet

Posted by

Greg sat at the dining room table, tapping away on the lappie as Alex lounged on the couch messing with his phone. Quietly, and without fuss, Ozymandias hopped up onto the table, regarded Greg’s Moleskine with a vague air of contempt, and knocked it off the table before settling down into a loaf.

Greg paused, raised an eyebrow, and said, “Cats are nature’s perfect entropic engine.” He then continued typing.

Alex crinkled up his forehead. “Man, you are like peak 2007,” he said.

-The Gneech

<-- previous B&G
next B&G –>

Filed under : Brigid and Greg Fictionlets | Comments Off on Fictionlet
Oct 17 2018

Fictionlet

Posted by

“Due to the peculiar placement of a seam,” Greg said, “my waistband reads ‘Fruit of the Lruit.”

“What in the entire realm of all human experience might make you want to think I wanted to know that?” asked Brigid.

“What in the entire realm of all human experience might make you think that whether or not you want to know something is relevant to whether I will say it?” Greg replied.

“Have you considered the fact that if you were to die suddenly, it would take weeks before even your closest friends might notice if I were clever in hiding my tracks?” said Brigid.

“Point,” said Greg.

-The Gneech

<-- previous B&G
next B&G –>

Filed under : Brigid and Greg Fictionlets | Comments Off on Fictionlet