Coming Home

by kiyala (樹夜蘭) (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/323416.html) Matt doesn’t think he hates any place more than he hates the airport. The departure gate is its own monster, taunting him with its inevitability, with the loneliness that creeps into his daily life when Adrian is away. He doesn’t even look at the sign pointing in its direction as […]


The King of Eternal Flame

by kiyala (樹夜蘭) illustrated by pie派 (mirrors http://s2b2.livejournal.com/298395.html)   The flames of the Phoenix King’s rebirth always seem to burn that much brighter when there is corruption afoot. They are no different to the naked eye, but the Wolf Knight knows better to take things at face value, and knows the king better than others. […]


The Folklorist

It’s nearly half past eleven at night. Blake fumbles to turn the alarm on his phone off as he reaches for his radio, flicking it on just in time to catch the ending of the previous program. He smiles as he hears the opening notes of The Folklorist’s theme music, abandoning his work at his desk to sit on his bed and listen.

The college radio channel is absolute shit, or it would be if not for this half-hour segment every night. Somebody had begged the radio coordinators to take half an hour off the new age music that usually plays late at night through to the early hours of the morning, and turned it into half an hour of storytelling instead.

Blake doesn’t know anything about him, nobody does, just that he sits there for half an hour each night, his voice deep and calming and familiar, and turns folktales from around the world into little radio plays for his audience. It’s the most popular segment on the college radio by far, and the Folklorist deserves his popularity. Each one feels like a performance, with relevant sound effects and fitting background music. As far as anybody can tell, he does it all on his own. Blake is in love. He’s completely head over heels for the man on the other side of the radio and it’s pathetic, he knows it, but he doesn’t care.

He’ll lie in bed hugging a pillow to his chest as he listens because sometimes, he’ll smile at what the Folklorist has to say, or he’ll shut his eyes and imagine someone else entirely and either way, he’ll need to bury his face into the pillow for a while because he’s that kind of ridiculous. At least he doesn’t share his dorm room with anyone else. His best friend gives him enough shit as it is.

“Thanks for tuning in, guys. I’m the Folklorist. Welcome to half an hour of what I hope will be good storytelling.”


Deadlines and Tea Leaves

It was eight o’clock on a Wednesday night. Judging by all the work she still had left to do, it didn’t look like Alison was going to be leaving work any time soon. Her boss had made a vaguely negative comment about her floor plans, hours ago, and it was lingering in her mind as she dealt with the rest of the work that had been left for her to complete. She couldn’t stop bringing it up on her screen every now and then, tweaking it to see if she liked that better.

She needed it to be perfect; it was the standard she held herself to for all of her work, and anything less was unacceptable. She’d made a reputation for herself; everyone in the architecture firm knew that she was hardworking, that she never let the tiniest detail slip. The fact that anyone could find something negative to say about her work made her uncomfortable. It made her feel uncomfortable, and it made her want to prove herself even more.

So here she was, still at the office when anyone with a bit of sense had already packed up for the day and gone home. She was stressed, she was tired, she was about ready to kill for a cup of—

“Tea, Alison?”



This had been the worst week in Robert’s recent memory.

It had started with little things, small incidents that he could brush off individually. Things like the papercuts he kept getting from the documents he handled in the office, or the fact that he kept having to deal with the most irritating customer service calls while his colleagues only ever got the polite ones.

From there, it had been quick to escalate. The injuries he gave himself became more serious, and instead of one-off incidents, it would be small things chained together that got worse as they went. He would leave his umbrella home on a sunny day only to be caught in a sudden downpour; he would run for shelter, only to trip over and nearly fall in the way of a passing car. He’d just been clipped that time, but his luck had plummeted since then.