He audits life with his mother

And plays cards with his father



He leaned in for a kiss

On the cheek, a crossette

To seal her answer


He never imagined they would become

Like his father and his mother



Offer prayers to dispassionate gods, with the ground you walk and the blood you trade. Hear, in the calls of the night and the sighs of the snow, the silence in their answers.

I was fascinated; silence as a measure of something, or of nothing at all.

But Sato was shaking his head. “You have a strange sense of humour Gen, if you were trying to be funny. That is not a book I like.”

The worn cover might have indicated otherwise, but I closed the book and folded it into my lap. Beneath one hand I still traced the sword upon its bindings, thin and crude when compared to the graceful characters traced on the pages. (more…)

The Continental Ladies’ Village

…Continued from The Continental Ladies’ Academy

They had wandered in the tame forest for several days before finding the path.

Ribbons and lace caught on branches, or sometimes tied there purposefully, in saucy bows. The grass trampled by many bare or slippered little feet, the trees carved with crude hearts and letters.

S + E. K + P.

There was much exasperation in such things, as they were undeniably adorable. And because of them His Lady the Duchess was under strict review for the great escape, the kingdoms were all in uproar, and he was living out of a pack among the trees. (more…)

The Continental Ladies’ Academy

Since Lavender left, the school has not been the same.

It was unseasonably warm last week, and though we had noticed her restlessness we were quite shocked when she walked into the classroom without her many layers of undergarments and petticoats, of satin and lace. She wore (now infamous) leather breeches and a linen shirt that looked marvellously breezy. Sister Mary Tortella, not to be confused with the thinner Sister Mary Margaret, immediately cracked her stick on the lectern and told Lavender to make herself proper.

Lavender’s chin went up and she took her seat by the open window. We could tell that if one were allowed to cane royal flesh Sister Mary Tortella would have gladly done so at that moment. Instead she called for Our Lady the Duchess, under whose auspicious guidance our schooling takes place. (more…)