Navid Arash Taraghijah: Still Life With Chair (I-XXV)

“I think it’d be good for you to start painting again.”

Navid didn’t answer, keeping his eyes fixed instead out the window. It was raining hard now, and the wind pushed the drops nearly sideways into the glass, giving a view of the grounds as though from behind a waterfall, everything distorted and distant. The IV in the back of his hand itched; he didn’t like it there, but Dr. Lin had told him after he’d pulled out the last one that it’d be a good idea to give the vein in his elbow some time to heal. Everyone in the clinic had lots of good ideas to share.


Daniele And The Lion

Agnolo knew that Daniele Bugiardini wanted him dead. He was sure of it. He had been sure of it since ten years ago, when he had married Daniele’s favorite cousin. This had been too much for Daniele, who was so used to being attractive and successful and better than Agnolo. He was tall and fair with strong shoulders and good legs. Agnolo was short and spindly with poky black hair. Daniele’s father was a friend to the Medici, the finest citizens in all of Firenze. He worked for the bank and traveled across all of Italy. Agnolo’s father was Daniele’s father’s notary. They had been good friends. They had been such good friends that when Agnolo’s father died when he was eight, Signore Bugiardini had been so kind as to take him into the Bugiardini house to be educated with all of the Bugiardini brothers and sisters and cousins and Daniele.


The Showman

by Tsuki Akari (月あかり)
illustrated by halcyonjazz

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/46028.html)

She had wandered too close to the road. Lettie knew the instant she’d heard the beat of hooves at her back. Her father had warned her, of course. It was a ways to the next town, and the roads were rife with vagrants and highwaymen. For that reason they had camped a safe distance from the dirt path, seared into the plains ages ago. For that reason she had been advised to stay with the troupe, and let her brothers do the wood gathering. Lettie had not listened. Lettie had a terrible sense of direction and a tendency to lose her head to silly fancies. So now, she fancied herself about to be robbed. She knelt in the grass and plucked the topmost stick off of her bundle. Angling it upwards, she readied herself for a fight.

The shadow of the horse blanketed her. It was a dun palfrey, gnawing tiredly at its bit. Dust from the dry season patterned up its chest, but it was well adorned, and did not look half-starved or poorly bred. Its rider held as much quality. An older gentleman, it looked, bracers glinting and cape wavering in the feeble summer’s breeze. Lettie let her stick drop a few inches in surprise. Robbers and rapists, these she had considered, but she had not expected a knight.

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Meta (Or, Build God, Then We’ll Talk)

by Chikamichi Tano (近路 楽)
illustrated by halcyonjazz

(mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/46355.html)

Itami has never been one to believe in something without some sort of proof, of evidence that he can see, feel, touch. He’s been that way as long as he can remember – he lives for truth and for verifiable fact. He loves science and math for the solid facts they provide but is basically indifferent to anything having to do with religion and its wishy-washy attitudes.

So it’s kind of a surprise that he and Maya have been friends as long as they have. Maya loves the unknown; she’s obsessed with it, really. Ouija boards, crystal balls, supernatural manga, books on various kami, Shinto chants and prayers– she has it all, and she swings between obsessions like a cracked-out pendulum. And Maya loves showing off what she’s learned. Usually Itami nods when it’s appropriate and lets her have her fun, no harm done. It’s probably why they get along so well; he may have somewhat of a volatile temper with most people, but with Maya it never seems to flare. He just goes along with it.

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