The Blue Pig - my originalbigbang offering. Last year I wound up being incredibly down-to-the-wire, and didn't even really get a chance to make the corrections suggested by my incredibly long-suffering betas, so this year I'm trying to push it out early. Trying. Here's the bit I'm currently most pleased with:
"I know a hundred stories," Riku whispered into the hungry dark. "If I tell them to you, will you let me go?"
"If you can make them last to daylight," the voice said, casual as a raging sea or mounting storm. "Now, quickly. Don't dawdle." Clutching at the pig, Riku swallowed hard, mouth suddenly dry and head empty--a lifetime of tales gone like dew in fierce sunshine.
"Right." He cleared his throat because he needed to, not in an effort to buy time, and when he opened his mouth, what came out was his sister's dream from a week ago, in which she'd left live fish out in shallow bowls where the dogs and cats could get them, but they'd been fish with teeth like knives and the cats had wings and the dogs had hands, and eventually the whole thing had disintegrated into a three-way war. In Riku's mouth, the dream stretched and twisted, becoming an actual story with heroes and villains and star-crossed lovers.
Evangeline and the Forest God - for the next volume of imaginarybeasts. This is another case of not being please with how rushed my last (two) offering(s) wound up being. Originally I was going to do something else entirely, but then I reread Digger, something went ping in my head, and next thing I knew I was cobbling this together from a couple of things that've been sitting in my writing grab-bag for ages. It's still in the early stages, so I don't quite have a favorite bit yet, but this works well enough:
Folks saw the two of them together, sometimes, leaving Edgar's house at the edge of town as the sun rose, or returning in the dusk. But Edgar was a good man, honest and hardworking, and more sweet-tempered than a lamb, and no one said ill of him or scorned his wares or commented on his choice of friends where it might be overheard. The whole town turned a blind eye to it until the day he decided to court Evangeline Murkle (not the prettiest girl within a day's ride, but close to it, and certainly the best cook). At which point Evangeline's father sat her down and made some things very clear which both would rather he'd never spoken of, and six months later there was the wedding. The bride smiled and smiled and never once looked at the man (the thing shaped like a man) standing in the darkest corner of the church, who in turn looked only at Edgar.
Falls the Night - AKA "the Sumner story". This is the first in what I hope will be a string of finally-finished magic!SGA stories--the ones where Sheppard has magic tattoo wings and Michael's a good guy, and so on. I've finally got the end for this one, so the problem is mostly filling in the middle, which is the part where Sumner's sort of going crazy from seeing too many futures simultaneously. Trying to figure out how to format that is driving me crazy. You've already seen my favorite bit from this, but I like this bit too:
“Sheppard, keep talking,” because he can feel all the maybes pressing in on him, pressing down, like water when it’s deadly, and Sheppard’s words are the closest he has to rope. “Don’t stop talking.”
“No sir,” Sheppard says, more there than two words should be able to contain. Back under the mountain Mack would have dismissed it as well-hidden sarcasm; now he wonders how many layers deep the man runs. “Any requests?”
“‘The Neverending Story’,” Mack manages, joke and truth together.
“I know a few variations,” Sheppard says slowly, more serious than Mack would’ve expected, if he’d been capable at the moment. Even as the doctors arrive and Mack finds himself drowning on his dry bed, Sheppard begins: “Once, long and long ago, almost before there were stars or sky, the elves looked up and dreamed....”
And finally, Boojum - which was hatched several years ago in a failed attempt at the SGA gen ficathon thing. I think I've finally figured out what the problem is, and part of the solution is combine it with two other recalcitrant stories. (And to make the bad guy Chaya instead of a bunch of random OCs. So, sorry if you like Chaya. The story demanded it!)
Sometimes Chaya appears in his dreams, kisses him the human way, clumsy lips soft against his and tasting of peaches in the sun. We could do so much together, John, she tells him. You could do so much, if you would simply let go of this useless shell. She takes his hands in hers, wipes them clean of remembered calluses and scars.
Such as what, John asks, wary even in sleep.
Protect your people from the wraith, she offers, guileless. From everyone, everything.
John thinks of his mother lying in a hospital bed, of his father’s last fierce command to him, of his grandparents and a stray dog he’d once loved. Of a lesson learned too well. Sorry, he says, like he always does, never quite sure who he’s saying it to.
He closes his eyes as Chaya begins to reach for him and opens them to find himself alone in his too-large room and too-small bed. Alone, except for Atlantis, ever and always.
Sometimes he rolls over and goes back to sleep. Sometimes he lies still in the waiting dark and wonders just how well he’d really learned that lesson and whether it might be the wrong one.
Don't worry if there's a WIP I haven't mentioned that you're interested in--I'm going to finish everything I've started (or give it a proper funeral), but I'm trying to work on things in order of internal chronology/external deadlines.