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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
June 5th, 2009 
07:27 am - Friday!
Hearth
Administration
Happy birthday to vanuslux!

Happy early birthday to ewin, gentleeleos, and kizlj, who all advance a year over the weekend!

Medical
*crosses fingers* Cautious optimism.

Take Back the Sci-Fi!
takebackscifi is now open! Have at!

Places You Haunt
Working out the magic-and-metaphysics background. There's a synthesthetic quality to how magic/energy is perceived and worked with, in PYH. Sara feels it, like a low background vibration; Griffin hears it as music; Doodle sees it - and he's unable to escape it. Griffin can block out the music, and Sara can ignore it, but Doodle always sees it - he sees strokes and rivers of color, auras and strange lights. No wonder he's an artist. This also makes for fun with using him as the POV character - he doesn't see the same things you or I would, so in some ways he's an unreliable narrator. Plus you get to see the ways he bridges from his worldview to that of the mundane world. He has to live here, after all.

Argh
Even by the flexible moral, ethical, and professional standards of American talk radio, the May 28th segment of KRXQ 98.5 FM Sacramento's Rob, Arnie, & Dawn in the Morning radio talk show makes for a sickening half-hour of ugliness and cruelty. For once, the focus was not LGBT adults, but minors. The hosts, Rob Williams and Arnie States, devoted the segment in question to a vicious diatribe against transgender children, some as young as five, focusing in particular on the case of one Omaha family raising a gender dysphoric child, and their decision to support her transition from male to female.

Link Soup
* S00j and Cat on a boat!
* My Little Zombie Pony.
* Map of C++.

Daily Science
A team of researchers says it has found in a Russian mineral sample the first natural example of a quasicrystal, an unusual material that displays some of the properties of a crystal but boasts a more intricate and complex structure. Since quasicrystals were characterized 25 years ago, numerous versions have been cooked up in the laboratory, but a natural example would indicate that nature's products are more diverse than previously thought.

Friday Memage!
Wearing: I kid you not, the shirt the hospital gave me when I gave birth to Elayna. "My baby girl was a special delivery at the Family Birthplace!" What? It's lightweight and makes a good summer sleepshirt.
Reading: Still Lightbreaker; taking my time because there is much niftiness to absorb. Also reading Sit Down and Shut Up, a Zen book by Brad Warner.
Writing: Background stuff for Places You Haunt.
Planning:
Today: s00j, omnisti, and lightcastle are asleep downstairs... I'll wake them for breakfast soonish. And there will be hanging out. And feste_sylvain will come over after work. And then Elayna will be home!
Saturday: Founder's Day here in town - then zarhooie gets here (to stay through Wednesday!), and we go to the s00j concert!
Sunday: No plans, actually. That's novel. Perhaps we shall go see Up.

You?
Hearth
This is the storybit I posted as part of June's Wind Tunnel Dreams last year. It's... not a sequel to "The Angel of Fremont Street" exactly, because it takes place during the years in the story, not after them; it's between the lines, behind the scenes. The theme for that week's WTD was "Love in Graveyards", based on an elisem necklace; my mind went right to the Neon Graveyard, and here you go.

Read "The Angel of Fremont Street" first, or this won't make a lick of sense! Then read this.

#############


Her friends have learned to leave her alone on this day, this anniversary, when she makes a sort of pilgrimage to her point of origin. She walks where her progenitor walked. She stands where she stood. She looks out at the empty lot, out toward where she went, and feels hollow - like the girl was ripped out of her, and not the other way around.

But this year, Hal's suddenly blocking her. He stands on the corner, right beneath the street light, pack slung over one shoulder and a grin on his face, and he reaches a hand out to her. Come with me, he says.

She shakes her head. No. It's - today is -

I know what today is.

I have to do this.

No, he says, voice and eyes soft. You don't. And I have something to show you.

She studies him. Her most constant friend, before and after they were discarded.

She takes his hand, and he grins.

They set off walking, Hal keeping a brisk pace, Elizabeth stealing looks over at him. What is this that you have to show me?

Another discard.

Why today?

You'll see.

You're maddening.

He grins and tousles her hair. That is one of my finer qualities. And here we are.

She looks up, looks around, and gasps.

They are surrounded by enormous neon signs, a riot of color and shapes, diamonds and high-heeled shoes, all jumbled around. Hal's right. These are discards. This is the old Las Vegas. This is Binion's Horseshoe and the Golden Nugget, the Silver Slipper and the Cheesecake Revue. Elizabeth's been living in the ghost of Fremont Street, but this is even older - mobster old.

These are ghosts she's never met.

Behind her, Hal has set down his pack and pulled out a bottle of wine, two cups. Say hello, he says.

She walks up to the Silver Slipper, touches one old bulb. Hello, she whispers.

And to her surprise and delight, it answers. They all answer.

It starts as a stirring of light in that one bulb, and spreads, hundreds of will o' wisps kindling hundreds of lights, color suffusing the air - and then the music rises behind it, and she can almost hear the laughter of the gamblers of so many years ago.

Hal takes her hand and asks, his voice unusually serious, Angel of Fremont Street - may I have this dance? The light plays in his dark eyes, and for the first time, she wonders why her progenitor was not in love with his - wonders how she could not have been in love with his. And she moves into his arms as if it were the most natural thing in the world, and perhaps it is. They waltz, and he holds her close, and he whispers, I know what day this is. Do you? This is the day you began to exist, Elizabeth. This should not be a day of mourning for you. This day gave you life.

She closes her eyes, resting her head on his shoulder, and remembers. Not the event that threw her into this world, but all of the things she's done since, and all of the discards she's come to know. You send them to me, she says, half to herself. You send them to find the Angel of Fremont Street. I'm not an angel, Hal.

She feels him smile. Maybe this is how angels are made.

He pulls back just a little, and she looks up at him, a question in her eyes. Happy birthday, he says, and he kisses her - and they may just be discards, shed bits of soul and hope and fear, but this kiss feels real. Everything feels real. Hal waltzing her in the Neon Boneyard. This being her birthday.

She'd asked Venus once if she thought there was life after death, and Venus just shrugged, and said I don't know if there's life after death, baby. But maybe there's love after death. And maybe there is.
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