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Prison Break Fanfiction
I write primarily non-shipper general fiction, and some Lincoln/Michael slash pieces as well. Yes, I know they’re brothers… and no, I normally wouldn’t be writing brothercest. That said, if it’s not your thing then please stick to the General Fiction section.

                  Prison Break Gen Fiction                      Prison Break Slash Fiction

Supernatural Fanfiction
Supernatural also deals with two brothers, who in this case are bound together in the pursuit of demons and vengeance. An excellent overview of this show and its characters can be found here.
                  Supernatural Gen Fiction                      Supernatural Slash Fiction

Other Fanfiction: Iron Man, Die Hard 4, Chuck, White Collar, Burn Notice, Reaper, and more

Original Fiction and Non-Fiction Stories: Miscellaneous Original Fiction // Real LJ Idol Season 8 // LJ Idol Exhibit A // LJ Idol Exhibit B // LJ Idol Season 9 // LJ Idol Friends And Rivals // LJ Idol Season 10 // LJ Idol Prize Fight // LJ Idol Season 11


Venus

What a weekend/week :O

Wow. Writing a story every day for Idol—and then TWO stories a day—chewed up so much time and energy that I haven't had a chance to make a regular post for weeks. Or do much of anything except stress, write, and eat too much. /o\

I made it into the Final 2, though, so soon it will be up to the Jury to decide. No idea how that will go. Apparently, someone has been spreading false rumors about me, which is sad and disappointing. I don't know who it is, or why, or whether they even know the rumors are untrue. I thought people knew me well enough to have a clear sense of what kind of person I am, but maybe not. As I said, it's sad and hurtful and strange. I'm grateful for the friends I have though, including the one who made me aware that this was happening in the background. ♥

So, what else has been happening over the last almost 3 weeks now? Well... WAY too much work. We had a deadline that was supposed to finish tomorrow and realistically should be about 2 weeks from now, so I've been flailing away at that. I went to bed at 2:30 last night, but it was for work reasons instead of Idol reasons. It's actually 2:30 again right now. :O I also haven't done our taxes yet. The whole month of April caught me by surprise, just like every OTHER month since the pandemic started. BUT, HalfshellHusband is now fully vaccinated against COVID, and I have my first shot scheduled in 2 weeks. So that's good news.

The Sunday before last, HalfshellHusband stumbled and fell inside the house (that happens). It hurt so much, he wound up going to the ER to make sure it wasn't broken, and luckily it was not. But he came back with the news that, because they'd done a CT scan as well as x-rays, they'd discovered he broke his right hip at some point. He wondered when that might have been, and I think it was when he fell off his bike (blacked out, really) a couple of years ago and broke his wrist. He fell right on that hip, and it hurt like crazy. He kept telling the doctors that, but none of the x-rays they did showed anything:

HSH: My hip really, really hurts.
Doctors: It's a groin injury. There's nothing wrong with your hip.
... time passes...
HSH: My hip still really hurts. It's been two months now!
Doctors: It's a really BAD groin injury. \o?

BTW, that is the hip that, about 6 months later, went from moderately arthritic to OMG, you need a replacement now! So yeah, I'm thinking that's when he broke it.

Fortunately, nothing was broken this time around. He was told it was deep muscle bruise, and by the next day, it felt a whole lot better. He was able to go biking that Thursday, and everything feels fine now. With his history of injuries, it feels like a lucky escape.

In other news, one of the Idol stories I wrote recently was about HSH icing his knees after bike rides and playing with the cat while he did that. And the fact that the cat now keeps running off with his toy and yowling. Well, this last weekend, the cat did that yowling at the front door, which is new for him. I opened it, and there was a creature on the doormat (yikes), and the cat came in all proud of himself for being such a mighty hunter. I called our son down to witness the lizard/snake thing Kashka had caught, and then while our son was petting Kashka inside the house, I went out to rescue his "kill."

It WAS a lizard—no idea where it came from, I've never seen one in our yard or anyone else's, and it wasn't the kind you find on the bike path. I picked it up to move it someplace safe, and it thwapped a foot down on me that was—eww—sticky. So I gently lifted up the foot, and a second later he thwapped it back down again. Ick. But also interesting. The whole thing reminded me of some drunk codger in a Western saloon, slapping the person next to him on the leg and saying, "Well, podner!" Anyway, I moved the lizard to the brick ridge that goes around the house, and when I went to check on him later, he was slowing crawling away farther along, and all four limbs seemed to be working fine. Thank goodness.

And the other minor surprise, apart from that, is that when I went looking for the cat before going to bed last night, I discovered that he was already curled up and snoozing in the laundry room. He had put himself to bed! We have had this cat almost two years, and in all that time he has NEVER put himself to bed. He sometimes maurauds around and howls (instant bedtime), or goes off and hides in a dark room, or hangs out with me on the sofa (usually that). But heaven forbid he should sacrifice being draped over my shoulder and snuggled all the way to bed every night. It was such a shock. Every other cat we've had has put itself to bed at night when it's tired. Though of course, the cat is right here on the sofa next to me right now, waiting to be carried off to bed as usual. ;)

All right, now it's finally bedtime for ME! But I at least I finally managed an update. Toodles!

Venus

Idol Survivor: "In The Garden"

In The Garden
idol survivor | daily-fic challenge, day 17 #2 | 2130 words

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It's Sunday and I have two Idol stories to write, and yet I found myself in the garden this afternoon. There is so much to do, inside the house and out, with whole weekends of chores and projects that have already been deferred many times over for weather or for writing. At this point, it would help just to get some of them done.

But the only one I was really prepared to do something about this weekend was the garden.

The beautiful spring day was a reminder that there is a limited amount of time to clean things up and do some replanting. Once the weather turns hotter, any new plants are likely to die, and the ground becomes so hard that trying to remove weeds is like trying to chip concrete. Last year, we missed out on replanting altogether. Nurseries were closed due to COVID, and by the time they reopened, it was too hot for new plants. We have a dead rose-tree that needs replacing, because HalfshellHusband (HSH) stumbled over it and killed it a couple of years ago. Then there are the trouble spots, two along the front walkway, two next to the house, and the remaining two are in semi-open areas in the middle of the lawn. All of those spots are revolving doors, where plants go in and then die a year or two later—or their neighbors die instead. Too sunny, too wet, too… cursed? It's always something.

Except for the areas near the house, the other spots were shaded by really large trees when we moved in, and they have been nothing but trouble since we had to remove those trees twelve years ago. It's the Sacramento heat and sun that does it—few plants can tolerate being out in the open. But because those areas were previously landscaped, it's hard not to want to revive them. I would be more prone to let them go than HSH, because the yard is already over-planted compared to the amount of time I have to spend on it. But so far, he hasn't liked the idea of letting more of it transition to becoming lawn.

The previous owner apparently hated mowing the lawn, and probably invested heavily in landscaping (OVER-landscaping) because he knew he'd be selling the house at some point. But the lot is a third of an acre, and there are just too many areas of open dirt (weed magnets) and too many plants that need pruning, deadheading, or other cleanup.

I focused on weeding and cleanup last weekend and this weekend. Buying a new rose tree requires going to the big nursery five miles from here, and that place saps my will to live. \o? I love the smaller nursery just a mile and-a-half away, but they don't have enough stock or diversity to find a suitable replacement there. The previous rose tree was one of ten, all of them different, so variety is key. I'm putting that trip off until after Idol is over, since I already have more than the maximum amount of stress and time-commitment I want right now anyway. :O

Last Sunday, I cut back the rose bush by the pool, where it crowds the pavement and makes it hard for anyone to get past it. I do this multiple times a year, and that plant frustrates me for a number of reasons. It sends up tall runners, which need pruning, and the branches perpetually die back in random places. There are tons of dead stems underneath it that need removing, but they're hard to get to, and it's a very "stabby" plant. It has soft, pliant branches that specialize in getting caught in your skin, and it's hard to get unstuck. Eventually, I always lose patience with being clawed and scratched by it, and move on to work on something else.

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I'll try to add on some pictures later, if I get a chance.

Venus

Idol Survivor: "A World Within"

A World Within
idol survivor | daily-fic challenge, day 16, #2 | 1370 words

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It's the weekend again, not my favorite time for riding on the bike path because the crowds are nerve-wracking, but it still beats biking in the garage. I check the temperature to gauge the maximum amount of clothing I can wear, then sunblock the remaining exposed skin and head on out.

Down through our neighborhood, checking the cross-streets to make sure no one is about to run a stop sign and hit me. Out to the first of the busy streets, where I go from "warm-up" to full-speed pace, checking the bike lane for glass and watching for cars backing out of driveways or stopping past the stop sign and into the bike lane. I'm always on alert.

Nearing the second busy street, I look over my shoulder to see if anyone is behind me. There's a "yield/merge" corner there where I turn right, and I always worry about cars and trucks cutting that corner and trapping me up against the curb. No one's behind me, so I sail around it and continue on.

I'm approaching the edge of the property that has a decorative pond down below, or as I like to think of it, a "mosquito farm." The water is algae-covered and murky now, but I'm more interested in the pavement. Accidents near that spot are common, and sometimes a spray of broken glass coats the bike lane there and goes on for several more blocks. I think it's because of that merge lane—either side-swiping accidents from someone trying to merge into another vehicle, or nervous drivers being rear-ended when the path is clear but they slam on their brakes when the person behind them doesn't expect it.

The pavement look okay, so I don't have to edge out into traffic—always a relief, since the typical speed there is more than 50mph. I keep going and eventually cross that boulevard in halves, then start down the road that leads to the bike path. Then I go up through the parkway gate to the levee, and down the ramp into another world.

On weekends, I ride downriver. It's less pretty than upriver, but also less crowded, so there's less risk of an accident or near-accident from people doing something stupid. The trail is a bike path, but because it's paved, people often treat it as their personal promenade, so "stupid" includes things like walking or standing on the pavement, riding in the wrong lane, stepping out in front of a bike or pulling onto the path in front of an oncoming bike, or walking a dog and/or its leash in that space. Like I said, nerve-wracking.

But for a downriver ride, I always start by going upriver for a bit and then turning around before I reach the more crowded areas. The place where I enter the bike path rarely has any interesting wildlife—usually it's just rock doves or those suicidal ground squirrels. But three-quarters of a mile up, there's a rise where you get a nice view of the river below. That's the spot where the land along the bank forms a deep upside-down "U" and creates a backwater pool. One year, a swan was in that pool for a good eight months. I assume it escaped from one of the pricier private homes a few miles away, rather than being wild, but who knows? No other swans ever joined it (i.e., it had no flock). After a few weeks, though, a Canadian goose made friends with it, and they hung out together until the swan left. Or was it re-appropriated? I can just imagine someone biking or walking near there, and going, "Wait, is that our Clarence? That little sneak! I paid good money to have him decorate the yard, not go off and do bird things. I'm going to send someone after him."

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Venus

Idol Survivor: "In The Shadows"

In The Shadows
idol survivor | daily-fic challenge, day 16 #1

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There might be something
in those shadows—ghosts,
or even monsters.
Anything at all.

So then, what is it?

Lurking, listening,
and silently scheming
until our vigilance
falls away…

What does it want from us?
And worse, what will it take?

Don't look away, don't
think it might be nothing—
because if you are wrong,
what then?

There is that chance,
but it is more likely
danger shifts and drifts
its way into new forms, instead.

There could be shadows
in those shadows, hiding
something stranger still.
We cannot be certain.

But it is deep inside
that possibility,
that the real story
can finally begin.


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Venus

Idol Survivor: "In The Attic"

In The Attic
idol survivor | daily-fic challenge, day 15 #2

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The ghost in the attic
creaks floorboards,
spins whirlwinds,
rattles the trunks
of mementos
from generations past.

No one has ever seen it.

The evidence is there,
strewn across the floor—
discarded clothes,
spilled photographs,
repacked treasures
from a baby long ago.

Something or someone
is revisiting,
re-imagining,
or even reliving
a life too precious
or unfinished
to ever let it go.

The child beneath the bed
in the room downstairs
knows all of this,
and yet, it does not help.

The ghost is agitated,
restless, relentless.
It sounds so angry.
How those floorboards creak!


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Venus

Idol Survivor: "Quaran-Warpen-Torpor"

Quaran-Warpen-Torpor
idol survivor | daily-fic challenge, day 15, #1 | 740 words

@#!@#!@#!@#!

It occurred to me just the other day that the beginning of April was coming up, and with that, it eventually also dawned on me that April 15 would be happening just two weeks later.

Tax Day?!? Is that why I keep getting those email ads from Turbo Tax? I mean, they seemed a little aggressive, given that it was still Dece-Janu-February…

Oh, no. Crap!

Ugh, this entire past year-plus has been the vaguest Vague that ever vagued when it comes to the passage of time. Do you know how long it took me last year to figure out that it wasn't still March? Almost July! That kind of thing is already a problem in Sacramento, because there's so much relentless heat that it often seems like summer starts in March or April and just keeps going until the end of October. Day after day, the sky is clear and blue, and the temperature is usually too hot. It's like time is in stasis for six to nine months of the year, until the rainy season finally starts and snaps you out of it.

About a week before Halloween, I wondered why everyone was hyping it so heavily in August. And just before Thanksgiving, which completely snuck up on me, I wondered why people seemed to be panicking about finishing their Christmas shopping when they still had two months left.

Every calendar event was a surprise. And worse yet, once each of them had happened, they still didn't trigger any readjustment of my own internal calendar. Every one of them was like a pebble passing under a bus, immediately forgotten.

The kicker was when I was coming home from a bike ride one day, and found myself thinking that I hadn't hiked in the Sierras yet that year, and was it too close to the start of snow season to fit that in?

AHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Well, yes, yes it was. Because it was January, not October. We had just gone through Christmas less than a month before, but my brain had finally made it to "October" and gotten stuck there.

And after a couple of minutes, I remembered what had happened to my hiking season last year. The problem started with the 100-degree-plus temperatures in June, and that extreme heat in an already hot summer continued all the way through mid-October. Then it was compounded by wildfire smoke, not just in the mountains and forests but also in the valley where I live, so that everyone was trapped indoors much of the time through mid-October as well.

In a year in which being out in nature was the only thing left we could still enjoy and do, a lot of people in California lost that too.

In many ways, we're always trying to endure the summer in Sacramento area each year. But with the smoke and the COVID isolation, there was so much more to endure. Time passed more slowly than ever before, and that still seems to be true now—even as it jumps ahead to the next holiday, the next season, and I am as woefully unprepared as before.

These daily stories for Idol (two-per-day now, as of today) have only made the problem worse. So much of my focus for the last two weeks has been on the deadline of the next day that I've hardly come up for air. When this year's tax deadline came up at dinner last night, I nearly went into a panic over how thoroughly I had spaced out the arrival of April and what that month always means.

Thank goodness for that one-month delay of the federal filing deadline this year, and that California decided to delay the state filing deadline as well. I really need that extra time this year!

So, I'll be ordering TurboTax from Amazon this weekend, and it'll be here in a few days. That leaves me with about five more weeks to finish our taxes, if I need it.

And yet, even as I set all this in motion, I know that it will go the way of everything else this year. I'll get our taxes done and send them in, and pretty soon I'll be wondering why Memorial Day has arrived out of nowhere.

It's April, and Easter Sunday will be here tomorrow. But as soon as it's over, the calendar in my mind will already be unwinding back to some earlier time…


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Venus

Idol Survivor: "Letters From Next Week"

Letters From Next Week
idol survivor | daily-fic challenge, day 14 | ~500 words

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Dear Stacy, I know how much you love those navy-blue dress pants, but listen up: DO NOT wear them to the Customer Focus Group meeting on Monday. I mean it. That zipper has had all it can take. It's standing on the ledge, and it’s going to jump. You really don’t want to find that out the hard way, trust me on this. And don’t park next to the pink Oldsmobile. That doesn’t end well either. Yours, Future Stacy


Dear Stacy, As tempting as it is to just “wing it” when dinnertime rolls around, you should really make an effort to go shopping this weekend and buy some real food. Those leftovers in the fridge will probably look fine, and they may even taste okay. But food poisoning is no joke. Yours, Future Stacy


Dear Stacy, Jack will tell you he’s sorry, like he always does, but that is a LIE. He didn’t forget to come over—he was busy doing somebody else. That cocktail waitress is just the one you happened to find out about. She wasn’t the first. Kick that asshole to the curb. You owe it to yourself. Future Stacy


Dear Stacy, So, still thinking you’ve figured out how to parallel park? You haven’t. No love, Future Stacy


Dear Stacy, I’m sorry about Lila. I really am. She might just be going through some stuff right now. Or maybe there were signs and you missed them—we missed them. I mean, we’ve never really been good at picking up on that kind of thing, have we? I don’t know why we’re so clueless about all that stuff. I wish we weren’t, and yeah, it really sucks. She might feel better in a few days or a few weeks, but she also might not. I wish I knew. And again, I’m sorry. I know it hurts. Love, Future Stacy


Dear Stacy, That cute new guy at the rock-climbing gym is married. Just saving you some time. Future Stacy


Dear Stacy, The weather forecast for Wednesday is an embarrassment to meteorologists everywhere. Bring an umbrella. Also, Larry from Accounting is selling raffle tickets for his daughter's school carnival, so maybe avoid the break room until later in the week. Future Stacy


Dear Stacy, The universe is full of mysteries, and Mom is one of them. Who knows why she does the things she does? And by that, I mean showing up at your apartment in the middle of the work week. If I were you, and I am, I’d pick the place up a little and maybe do some vacuuming. You have until Thursday. Yours, Future Stacy


Dear Stacy, This is very important, so pay attention: on Saturday, you will run into a man with blue sunglasses at the corner coffee shop. When he asks if you want to know the secrets of time, the correct answer is YES. You'll thank me later. Also, maybe rethink the ad proposal for the Burwick account? That really isn't your best work. Yours in new adventures, Future Stacy


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Venus

Idol Survivor: "The Werewolf Hour"

The Werewolf Hour
idol survivor | daily-fic challenge, day 13 | 634 words

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Once upon a time—not actually that long ago, less than 3 years now—I could get in the shower and wash my hair and be done with the whole thing in 10 minutes.

Those were the days! Why didn't anyone tell me they'd be going away?

Now, I do have some sense of why things changed—the triggering event, at least. I had a hysterectomy in mid-2018, and at the suggestion of my mom, I decided to have my ovaries removed at the same time. My doctor warned me that it would trigger menopause, but I weighed that against the risk of ovarian cancer (which sometimes has no symptoms until it's too late), and the increased safety and peace of mind won out.

Plus, I had already started menopause a couple of years prior to that, and while the surgery could speed up the process…everything I'd read indicated that process of menopause was worse than the aftermath. God, the hot flashes alone—I would gladly avoid ever going through that again.

So. I was prepared for problems with weight gain (like that would be anything new), and dry skin, and osteoporosis, and possibly thinning hair. Not that you ever really could prepare for that, and I think it's much harder on women than men (who absolutely hate it, with good reason).

The reality was, I didn't see much change at all until 6 months later. That was when I started to shed. :O

At first, it was extra strands of hair falling out of my comb (and lying on the counter or the floor or my clothes). Then the problem spilled over into the shower, when I washed my hair—all the extra hair clinging to my arms and shoulders after rinsing out the shampoo, and sticking to my hand when I tried to rub in conditioner. There was so much of it that I took to scraping it off and parking it on the shower walls so I would know where it was, instead of letting it slip into the drain and clog it (or the pipes below it).

It takes me almost twice as long to wash my hair now, because of all of those extra "hair control" measures that keep everything I shed from blocking up the drain. And when I get out of the shower and comb out my hair, there are those extra strands that collect in the wide-toothed comb. Plus, I have to go back and collect all of the "wall" hair and drain hair, and put it in the waste-basket, which slows things down.

At first, I couldn't help panicking a little about the quantity of hair that was coming out, especially in the shower. I was washing my hair every two days, just as I had for years, but suddenly I was visibly losing 50+ strands every time. Some of them also appeared to have fallen out alongside two or three adjacent hairs, as well.

But the funny thing was that the overall hair on my head didn't look any thinner than before. It's been a couple of years now, and that's still true. It may be curlier and frizzier (like anyone ever needs that), but the amount still appears to be about the same.

And that seems odd. With all the extra I find here and there (and slipping down my bare arms, eww), that doesn't really make sense.

But I'll take it. I never expected to turn into the Shedmonster, and to have it be the Werewolf Hour in the shower every time I wash my hair. But as obnoxious and messy as all that is, maybe the extra time it takes counts as part of the ablutions required to appease the hair gods and keep them from demanding a greater sacrifice.


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