31
Dec

Figs from Thistles

by Dr. Noh

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/325105.html)

Owen spent the first night of the Christmas holidays chain smoking in a pub on the outskirts of Oxford. The cigarettes and the beer and the general fug of the place felt like his first taste of reality since the start of the term.

He had thought Harrow would prepare him for university — that was its job, after all — but the shock of his acceptance had only metamorphosed into the sense that he was swimming just ahead of the tide, waiting for the surf to break over his head and pull him under.

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25
Dec

My Life in a Blueberry Pie

by Dr. Noh

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/296881.html)

1965

┬áIt’s summer in Iowa. The earth is black and green like my father’s tartan. He clings to our Scottish heritage the way my mother clings to Catholicism. Neither are entirely welcome in our small town. My own clinging secret would be considerably less welcome.

I stomp along the path to the blueberry patch. Blueberry picking is a job for babies, and I am sixteen. In two years, I’ll be old enough to fight for my country. It’s an idea I find thrilling, to be honest, because I am as stupid as any other sixteen-year-old country boy, and perhaps more innocent than most. I overlook the fact that my brother, Todd, wrote us regularly before they sent him overseas. We’ve had one letter from Saigon, a month ago. Since then, nothing.

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20
Feb

Highjacked by the Truth

As the engine noise dies away, the sounds of the jungle close in around them. It’s been five hours since they left the last town, longer since they saw another vehicle. The red mud track stretches out in front of them like a streak of blood through the trees.

“Are you writing blog entries in your head again, man?” Nick asks.

Rowan drops his forehead down to the center of the steering wheel. The horn makes a sad little squeak and follows the engine into the afterlife. “Next time,” he says, into the dented plastic, “Kitty’s getting the rental car.”

Nick swings the camera toward the back seat to shoot their security consultant. Rowan found her in a bar in Cambodia, back when Highjacked by the Truth was just a blog with a cult following. She stops buffing her nails to aim her 9mm at the camera and tell Nick sweetly to go fuck himself.

“Hey,” Rowan says. “We’re not gonna get on cable like that, kids.”

24
Oct

The Heart of the City

1887, Sahara Desert

Lewis leaned as far to the right as he could to avoid being sick down the side of his camel. He understood perfectly why they were called ships of the desert. He’d been ill all the way from New Eden to Carthage, and it looked very much as if he’d be ill from Carthage to Timbuktu as well.

He hadn’t thought the desert would be like this. The dunes went on forever, and it was like crossing the Atlantic all over again, the endless ripple-dips and folds, and the froth of it caught in his hair and teeth and infiltrating his unmentionables.

The desert had the advantage of stopping at night, but the six or seven hours free of camel-sway only served to highlight the fact that sand was far less malleable than sea-spray, and also itchier.

19
Jun

The Turnbolt Rift

“Fucking, fucking bag of moo and shit,” Sergei muttered. He eyed the cow, just out of reach. It rolled its eyes wildly back at him. A little more of the ledge it stood on crumbled.

“How did you even get there?”

The cow didn’t answer.

20
Feb

Victoria’s Children

Jack Draper stood on the hotel’s balcony and watched the bright streaks of tracer fire from the Tower Bridge arc across the darkened sky. The dark was half a smothering dusk, low clouds, the threat of storm, and half stinking black smoke. London was burning. Three years of peace was too much to ask.

12
Mar

Recipe from Table Manners

Cucumber Salad

12
Mar

Table Manners

Lysith woke to a hissed command and a rough shove that knocked him half off the bed. It was Reddis, his trainer, with an unaccustomed lack of calm.

“Up, Lysith, hurry. The lord wants you now. Bathe and dress. You have less than an hour before the seals must be in place.”

“It’s the middle of the night.” Lysith rolled to his feet and stumbled on the edge of his new Dearthian carpet. He could hear the bath running already, and the waft of warm, wet air smelled of the ceremonial herbs that should only be added at the last possible moment, lest they spend themselves on the bath and not on the bather.

22
Jun

Songs You Know by Heart

by Dr. Noh

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/90404.html)

Author’s note: Many thanks to Flower of Carnage, not just for betaing, but also for letting me use her character, Daniel, and for writing the bit of this story in which he appears.

Continue reading “Songs You Know by Heart” »

5
Mar

Avery And The Boy

by Dr. Noh

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/74257.html)

“One hundred an hour,” they’d told him, and he’d jumped at the chance. Now, four hours and thirty-one minutes later by his internal clock, he was still happy with his decision.

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6
Aug

Sleeping

by Dr. Noh
illustrated by justblue0162

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/57536.html)

illustrated by justblue0162

“You make a terrible drag queen,” Carla said.

“Hey, this was your idea. And make sure you get all the fucking glitter off, yeah?” Rey peered at his reflection in the mirror. Freaky as it had been to see it all go on, it was weirder watching it come off. She rubbed a cotton ball along his cheek, and his scar was back like it’d never been gone.

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