Just Frances II

Just Frances threw back her head laughing and nearly spilled her tea. “Can see why they’d choose you. You’re splendid.”

“Thanks. From what little I’ve seen, so’re you.”

“Thanks ever so much. Take another cake?”

“Wouldn’t mind if I did.”

“You’re a growing boy; of course you wouldn’t mind. You probably wouldn’t mind if you took another six.”

Angus was growing impatient with being left out of a conversation with a girl. That was Angus for you. “Are you aware you’re not the only person in the room who’s hungry, Wulf?” Angus asked in a whine.

Frances offered Angus a cake, or three. Angus took a cake (quite possibly four, but there might’ve been more he spirited away without Wulf, or Aunt Stacia and Aunt Maggie, observing it).

Frances tapped his hand after the eighth cookie. “Leave some for prof, won’t you Angus?”

Frances had eyelashes. Angus didn’t stand a chance. Aunt Maggie and Aunt Stacia seemed both delighted and appalled by this turn of events.

Wulf might have been mistaken, but he thought he heard Aunt Maggie whisper, “We never did that in my day,” which was an entirely unfair statement. If there had been a bigger flirt than Aunt Maggie in Wulf’s family, he thought he would probably have heard of it by now. Maggie was a maiden Aunt entirely by choice, and had had more proposals in the last year than Adeline, Wulf’s eligible nineteen year old cousin.

Adeline had received offers from a count (too old, apparently), a Duke (looks scurrilous, don’t you think, Wulf darlin’?), several landed knights (too straight-laced, not straight-laced enough, too pretty, downright stupid—he wrote sonnets to my nose, darling, who does that? It was positively objectifying!) and several other individuals Wulf had gotten mixed up on. Was the Milord the wincey one who would go bald within nine years (could you imagine, Wulf, me married to someone bald!) or had he been the one who looked like a horror novel villain? It was entirely possible that he’d been both.

Anyway. Wulf had lost track.

Frances was making conversation with Angus—how the subject had migrated to the state of Bonnie Marshall’s gossip column and the sentimental trash that Delaney wrote and passed off as philosophy, Wulf couldn’t imagine. Frances seemed to notice he’d returned from dreamland, or perhaps she’d asked the question before and he simply hadn’t heard her.

“Have you read any of Delaney’s recent junk, Wulf? He claims that—”

“—the mind is constructed by the brain in the course of childhood, and degrades so that the primary functions of the brain are all lost in old age, so that the only way in which an older person can formulate ideas is by processing old experiences. I mean, how stupid can you be? I mean, Cumtracey’s suggestion that the mind and soul are interconnected makes so much more sense—” Here Cor stopped, seemingly to realize that he had actually made an informed statement about prominent philosophers. “Not that I’d know anything about those people,” He finished.

“Aha,” Wulf said. “More than me, anyway. Stacy William Lancefield is all the philosophy I’ve ever stayed awake for. Socio-political morality’s his gig. Not the origin of the mind, but the origin of morals and the political-moral problem.”

“I couldn’t stomach Branburg, the more prominent socio-polit. Is Lance better?” Cor asked, unable to conceal his curiosity under the veneer of an uneducated pilot.

“Lance is far better. Branburg—you can’t read him before meals, or directly after them, unless you wish to be sick. Lance’s stuff makes sense. That’s a lot more than you can ask of most philosophers.” Wulf commented.

Angus looked confused. Also rather put-out. He was good at faking enlightenment, but honest opinion is a harder thing to fake. Although, Wulf wouldn’t have put it past Angus to read philosophy just so he could prove he knew things. Whether he had read philosophers actually worth reading was a harder thing to say.

Cor nodded, then grinned at Wulf. “D–n, you’re better informed than a bunch of the noble kids that come aboard. A lot of ‘em only know what they’ve been spoon-fed since ten, or what’s in the popular novels today.”

“I’ll admit to having read popular novels myself,” Frances contributed. “But I’ve never read the new Hearthmore novels. Don’t want to, either.”

Wulf shuddered. “You’re better off. Don’t. I read three pages by accident and wanted to wash my mind with soap.”

“What is the world coming to?” Aunt Maggie declared. “Innocent children can no longer be trusted in public libraries.”

“I think,” Aunt Stacia said, “that you mean public libraries can no longer be trusted with innocent children. Not the other way around. But if you mean our family’s current progeny cannot be trusted in libraries, I would have to agree with you. First of all, try getting Angus into one, and then try getting Wulf out of one.”

Frances grinned at Wulf. “Happiness consists in a good book.”

“A large cup of tea.” Wulf added.

“And an enemy in whose face you may throw the tea if you care about them enough to waste good tea on them.” Angus contributed.

“Fran. Where’re you, miss? Y’haven’t fed the cakes to everyone, have you?” The voice was so deep and rumbly that Wulf jumped and Angus made a squealing sound like a girl, and Aunt Maggie fainted. Again.

Aunt Stacia sighed with the air of a martyr.

The Professor—or the individual Wulf assumed was the professor—stuck his head up through the hatch. His face was very brown, like a sailor’s, with leathery, wrinkled skin, a long, hooked nose, overlarge mouth, and fierce, intent blue eyes. What color his hair had been Wulf could not tell, but it was now pure white, in a menacing stuck up halo around the old man’s face.

He was wearing a threadbare wool suit out of which his wrists and ankles stuck for inches, and he was very thin. His hands were strong and calloused, the tendons and muscles in them sticking out like the hands of a pianist.

“I saved you an entire plate, Professor.” Frances told the old man, turning toward him with a fond smile on her coal-dust stained face.

The Professor, once he was up the ladder, leaned heavily upon a carved cane, and stumbled slowly across the floor of the pilot’s room to sit beside him. Wulf started to get up to help him, but Frances gave him a warning look and shook her head.

“How are you, Professor?” Cor asked, surprisingly respectfully.

“Well enough, Cornelius. I have been inspired. These four days I have not slept. I cannot close my eyes.” The Professor sank, with a grateful sigh, beside Frances. “That is good. Thank you, miss.”

The Professor whipped his head around to study Wulf. His hands trembled slightly as he clutched his teacup. The blue eyes seemed to burn through the layers of skin and muscle to expose Wulf’s soul. The professor sipped his tea, still searching Wulf.

None of them said anything.

“How old are you, boy?” The Professor asked him.

“Fifteen, sir.” Wulf said, trying to keep his voice from cracking as it so often did when he was speaking to his elders.

“Young enough and old enough. In the fullness of time, perhaps, in the fullness of time. Have you been schooled, boy?” The Professor asked.

“According to some; not according to others.”

“Judicious enough answer. Diplomatic, you are. Bolder you must learn to be. Do not fear yourself, boy. Do not trust blindly. That is all.” The Professor looked away from him.

Wulf took a great breath, suddenly realizing he had forgotten to breathe under the Professor’s scrutiny.

The Professor took a purple cake, examined it, and set it back upon the plate. “Cornelius, send to the school and tell them I shall teach after all. But a year, only a year, half a year, until the leaves have fallen and grown new. Flowers will come. Roses will be finer this year than they have been since I was a child.”

“Are you alright, Professor?” Frances asked.

His fierce, attacking gaze turned on Frances, and softened a little. “But weary, child. Time has come for me to be abed. Wake me when we arrive. Take our lady up gentle.” The Professor struggled to his feet, met Aunt Stacia’s startled gaze, and bowed deeply. “Madam. I thank you for watching my charges so closely. You will find what you seek in Elerci, before year’s end. Before snow, after rain, in sun, in dark. Moon high and clouds hard.”

“God be with you.” Aunt Stacia whispered.

“And you, lady.”

The Professor stumbled off.

Wulf clutched the chair beside him for support, feeling drained and utterly exhausted.

“He is a great man,” Frances said in the silence.

“I’ve never met one like him.” Wulf said. Then; “Aunt Stacia, what did he mean, you will find what you seek in Elerci?”

Aunt Stacia did not reply. When Wulf looked up to see what was wrong, he found that her face was covered in tears.




Just for a moment

Be quiet

Let it seep up your arms and down your fingers




Quiet is not

An absence of noise

Or a blanket of silence

For silence is such a lonely thing sometimes

Quiet is not.

Perhaps “Internal Stillness”

Is better

Or perhaps the word to use

To make you understand quiet

Is peace

Grounded, in and out


it’s okay

trust me on this one.



Just Frances

Otherwise entitled, the one where I have yet another plot bunny.

They were in the pilot’s room when the crash came.

It was not precisely a crash as much as a harder landing than Wulf had been expecting. It sent Aunt Stacia’s tea-service shattering across the floor, the nuts and cookies which had been placed thereupon skittering madly across the floor. Aunt Stacia let out a little whoop of horror. Aunt Maggie fainted. Cousin Angus yelled in excitement.

Wulf was too busy rescuing Aunt Maggie’s new cat, Oliver, from flying out the window, to participate in the excited chaos.

The setdown was over a moment later, and out of the engine room below came a mad laugh. Something crawled up the ladder, poking its head into the pilot’s room with a madcap, devilish grin.

There was so much grime on the creature’s skin that Wulf had trouble identifying it as human for a moment. He at first couldn’t help thinking it was some kind of demon, materializing from the blackness and shadow of the engine room.

“That was a bit rough, wasn’t it, Cor?” The thing asked the pilot, in a remarkably civilized, musical, and distinctly feminine voice.

“Why,” Angus said, “You’re a girl.”

The figure looked down at itself, laughed aloud at the state of disrepair its clothes were in, and looked up at them, flashing pearly teeth at them through blackened lips. “I suppose I am. Hadn’t noticed that before.”

Aunt Stacia let out a little tiny moan of agony. “Your dress—”

“Not a dress, actually.” The girl said. “Work clothes. You alright, miss? You seem very rattled. Like some tea? Oh, dear, the tea’s spilt. Never fear, there’s a service down in the bones that will do admirably. Cor, whatever are you trying to do?”

The pilot, a remarkably young man with curly red hair spilling and milling from underneath it’s cap and goggles, turned to grin at her. “Nothing good, doll. Managed to survive, did you? That’s bad. Was hoping you and the prof would die of aneurysms in the basement.”

“Sorry to disappoint; you’ll have to murder me in the usual way. Why are these kids here, anyhow? Shouldn’t they be in the apartments?” The girl asked the pilot.

“They ought to be, but there were so many today that I had to let some of them up here. Stuffy old lady—wife of some minister or other—wanted a room to herself, ladyship did, and was going to have it, you’ll see—and then there’s cargo aboard, and all that jazz and so on—so it was bound to be difficult. Then they asked for a special landing in Crameo’er Landon, of all places. But ladyship had to be humored, I daresay, and all those folks from the powers that be.” The pilot—Cor, evidently—explained, rather longwindedly.

“Daresay. I’ll get these passers a spot of tea. Have us up again as soon as you like; all’s ready down below. Nothing damaged, prof says, and he’s probably right, lady being practically his wife, daughter and home, in a sense. He’d kill you if anything was, though.”

“He was the one who invited the folks; it’d be his own fault and his bed to lie in. No harm done, though. We’ll be taking up in half an hour, if it’ll do.”

“Splendid. You want tea?”

“Something stronger, if you’ve got it.”

“Finley do?”

“Perfect, thanks.”

“Right then,” the girl said, and departed by releasing her grip of the ladder completely and dropping down who knew how many feet, where only a very soft sound was heard as her feet touched wood.

“Who’s that, then?” Wulf asked the still grinning Cor, and readjusted his grip on the calm and unimpressed Oliver. Oliver gave an aristocratic mew, and turned his scrawny body into Wulf’s shoulder, yawning in boredom. Wulf decided that the stray would not go home with Aunt Maggie. Oliver would stay with him. Any cat that could stare down a bulldog in an alley and go to sleep straightaway after a crash like that was a cat after his own heart.

“Lady Frances Perch; if you’re the sort as likes titles, Czarwinci Frances Perch.” Cor said.

“Scar—Zar—” Aunt Stacia attempted. “Is that some sort of baronetcy?”

Cor gave her a pitying look. “It means her brother’s heir to half the free land in the country, in the run of things.”

Aunt Stacia’s mouth was a perfect o of wonder. “But her clothes—her hair—she looks a positive savage.”

“When you’ve got that much money,” Wulf interrupted dryly, “minor eccentricities of that sort are allowed.” Wulf had a quick flash of comprehension, and a fluttering idea. “Is it possible that she’s a part of the United Mail Service?”

Cor grinned at Wulf conspiratorially, and Wulf knew his extrapolation had been a correct one. “Anything’s possible.”

Aunt Stacia did not begin to comprehend the conversation. Nor did Angus; but Angus, with a shrug, gave up worrying over it, and began drawing with some ink in a bottle over Aunt Maggie’s face. Aunt Stacia screamed in outrage.

Aunt Maggie woke up. The next five minutes were eventful, and looked rather unpleasant for Angus, from Wulf’s point of view. But then, Wulf had never liked getting his ears energetically tugged in two directions by two cross maiden aunts.

Frances, as the coal-dust covered girl was called, emerged up the ladder bearing a quaintly carved wooden tea service, with her face and hands significantly cleaner than they had been.

Frances offered Cor a slender metal flask of something, (probably something slightly illegal for somebody as young as Cor, but Wulf had had sips from his parents before and judge ye not lest ye be judged, as they said) and then sat down next to Wulf, stroked Oliver gently and offered him some cream and a bit of salmon in a saucer. Oliver was in love at once. He ate up all she fed him, and then laid down in their laps, tail in Wulf’s lap, head in Frances’s, happy as the devil on doomsday.

Frances poured and they ate cookies better than any Wulf had had in the month he’d been away from home, indescribably fluffy darling cakes, and more robust, really properly messy sandwiches. Wulf was well on his way to being as won as Oliver.

They hadn’t any chance to converse, for the old Lady Cor had complained of had come up and was spouting unladylike words and imprecations and companionably telling Cor to go to hell when he told her she had been the one to choose air travel to get to her party in Windsmeer and that all passengers were informed they mightn’t reach their destinations at expected times.

Frances made matching faces for the lady’s increasingly unlikely suggestions and Wulf choked on his tea.

“Mail service?” Wulf guessed when his aunts had stopped scolding and the lady had been given tea and gone off darkly vowing to have them all hanged for mutiny.

Frances nodded. “You?”

Wulf accented.

“Spiffing. Where you headed?”


“So’re Cor and I. School there?”

“Yes, as a matter of fact.”

“What’s your name?”


“Shake. It’s a delight, Wulf, truly is. I’m Frances Rosanne Dorcas Suzette, or just Frances.”

“Enchanted, just Frances.”

Just Frances threw back her head laughing and nearly spilled her tea.


Horrible sonnet attempt

enough said. buckle up, here we go.

Light burns brightly, heaven sent;

Not like sunshine in the wind

Blinded by the clouds to send

A monochrome rainbow, gray has bent.

Instead, with purer stars of sky

We breathe unceasing, with the grace

Of a million unnamed spirits who fly

Across the universe’s multifold face.

And hoping that this light will be

Written in cold reflections of moon

Into the ribcage of eternity

The heart of what, we will know soon.

And if forbidden to reach upward

Inside we reach, to our own word.


Story stuff

Otherwise entitled: I never write Decent Regular Blog posts for you guys and just randomly throw out rants and pieces of writing I did since I have no time for anything else and I really don’t know why all you wonderful amazing people are following me in the first place. (But I Truly Do Appreciate It, y’all are wonderful and I love you all!)

Here: freshly written conversation very similar to those I have with family members.

“You speak at last.” Heather said, throwing her dress out the bathroom door. “Don’t fold that. No, I mean that seriously, I’ll butcher you if you touch it. I’ll do it myself. Just let me get my shower. What did you eat for dinner? I’m famished.”

I left her dress, wrapped myself up in a blanket, and sat by the bathroom door. “Why are your clothes always on the floor?”

“Why are yours and Rose’s perfect? It’s the second Law of Thermodynamics, sweetpea.” The shower switched on and Heather started humming Coldplay.

“That argument only goes so far, and we have room inspections at the Academ, you know.”

“Do we? I hadn’t noticed.”

“They post it every Friday.”

“Eh, I sleep through that part of the morning.”

“It happens at four o’clock in the afternoon when everyone turns up in the Cafeteria looking for food before late afternoon activities.”

“Like I said; I’m asleep for that part of the morning. But you were saying what you ate.”

“I wasn’t saying and I didn’t ate.” I said, and leaned my head against the wall.


“Don’t bother me with grammar, I’m the one whose supposed to bother you with grammar.”

“Fine, then, I’ll bother you with this; you should eat, like a marginally healthy, mentally stable person. Even if it’s just ice cream. I think this is an ice cream kind of night.”

“Your attempts to mother me are adorable.”

“I will smite you.”

“I’m so scared.”


“Sh. You’ll wake the baby.”

“Who’s the baby?”

I shrugged. “The entire nation of Britain.”

“Who cares about Britain, again?”

“The people who live here, assumedly.”


For my brethren trying to avoid procrastination; I present.

My favorite soundtracks for working through stuff!

These help me on bad days, or when I just need to get through so much school my head tries exploding. I don’t actually listen to most of them while working on my main school, just for math, usually.

Anyway. Without further ado.

“Astronaut”–Simple Plan

“King”–Lauren Aquilina

“Brave”–Sarah Barielles

“Go the Distance”–Shawn Hook

“Little Wonders”–Rob Thomas

“Battle Scars”–Paradise Fears

“Hall of Fame”–the Script

“Superheroes”–the Script

“If Today was Your Last Day”–Nickelback

“I lived” (and all and sundry other OneRepublic stuff)

Some Owl City (usually involving the songs Unbelievable, I found Love, When Can I See You Again, Fireflies, etc.)

“I’m Gonna Be”–The Proclaimers

Some Sleeping at Last

“Superman”–Five for Fighting

ANd that’s all I can think of right now! Hope it helps, with midterms or whatever you have going on!

I had a kind of a sad thought the other day. What if every time somebody mentions God’s name, he sort of tiredly asks “Yes? What can I help you with this time?” And just waits. and waits.

Never mind me. Anyway. Have a great and amazing fabulous day, I love all you fabulous darlings, and God bless!


life is sacred

Please let me warn you; I am going to express Catholic opinions. Please do not feel attacked. I do not wish to hurt you with my words. I do not wish to judge you.

Life is sacred.

I am just going to say this. Life is sacred.

When does a child start being a child? Birth?

Then why is partial birth abortion still legal?

When does a person stop being human? When does it become right to kill?

A lot of people would say it’s never right to kill. Then why do we use euthanasia? It’s called mercy killing. How can it be merciful to kill a living, breathing human?

We aren’t given things. Life isn’t always fair. We fight and we bleed and we lose people and all the things we thought we needed. But don’t we have the right to live? At least? Just that. The right to struggle and try and fail and try again.

Human life is sacred.

The conception and birth of a child is sacred. They are defenseless and have done nothing wrong.

The death of a person should be natural. There should be no more killing, no more war, no more euthanasia. There should only be a peaceful end.


Protect life. Spring is coming.

Spring is about new life and hope.

Give the next generation of humans hope. Give them an understanding of the wonder of life. Let them choose to give life, to let live.

Forgive my faulty words. Forgive me if I hurt you by them; I don’t mean to. I don’t want to hurt anyone. I just want all this death to stop.

don’t kill for religion

it doesn’t stop people from believing what they want

don’t kill for political reasons

there are better ways to find solutions

don’t kill as a mercy

teach the person to value their lives instead

don’t kill yourself for any reason

not for despair; you are strong enough to endure; not for depression; keep breathing. Please. I want you to live. If you are wavering, live. Please.

don’t kill at all

Please. Save life. Stop death. Please.

Live and let everyone else live too. Please.


Humanity’s Genius

Is a genius a man

Who fights for his cause

Unceasing in strife

Without taking pause?

Is the genius the clear

And deep brightness inside

That takes by the hand

And leads as a guide?

Is fire a passion

Clear to all around

That what you desire

Is here written profound?

Is it possible that genius

Is not for the greatest of men

But for those who continue

Without hope again?

Those unsung who fought

Who untold did deeds true

Without hope of reward

Endured, went on through?

They cannot go home

And will never have praise

Burned, injured and beaten

Shall live out their days.

But inside them, despite

How cruel their demons

They continue to fight

Throughout all their seasons.

Their genius burns unseen

Is sung, but unheard

They are given no thanks

And of praise not a word

But yet they continue

Without thought of gain

Through bloody avenues

Of unspoken pain.

No man shall see

What inside of them lives

What to humanity

Each of them gives.

And few are credited

None given his due

And in this perhaps

Their best shines through.

For they ask for no respite

And for no fame

They are not remembered

They are given no name.

But yet, herein lies

Humanity’s best

Without reward

Triumph over the test.


The Cliffs Of Calculus

First installment, as promised, of the Adventures of the Valiant Student and her trusty wolf Wisdom.

Upon that fateful autumn day, I had no idea what perils would face me in my coming adventures. I had only just begun packing the heroic essentials for my quest. The elixirs of immortality were among the first things I put in my satchel. The servings come helpfully bagged dry to minimize space; my favorites are the orange and mint flavored ones.

I brought along provisions for the road—although I would be provided with meals for the guild, the guild sometimes overlooks necessary things like chocolate.

I added my armor; plastic and modest, lined pages within to aid me in my quest.

My dagger collection was next. First came the favorite; blue, comfortable grip, rollout eraser. I put in about a dozen spares, and a few ink daggers as well.

My mentor looked me up and down proudly, and sent me off on my quest.

The mountains of mathematics and the cliffs of calculus were ready to be climbed. I would conquer them yet.

I set off down the road of knowledge, with my trusty wolf Wisdom beside me, his nose turned skyward, sniffing the air. The cliffs were upon us before we knew it. Wisdom led the way, finding safe footholds ahead where none were to be seen.

I brought out my climbing hook (rectangular and plastic, little keys waiting to assist me in calculating the cliffs and mapping them) and flung it. Embedded in the rock, it drew me upwards. My fingers were soon stained with blood from the sharpness of the cliff face, and my eyes stung with dust.

But I had become confident too soon. The rock beneath my feet crumbled, and I skidded down the slope. I caught myself on a ledge, yanking my shoulder from its proper position. I bit my lip, tears of anger sliding down my cheeks.

For your enjoyment. Actually a bit of a chronicle of schoolwork for me. So (sort of) autobiographical?

God bless!



The world spins lazy circles

The pale dawn light is near

I lie and wonder if I am real,

The world is quiet here.


Metallic blood within me

And stale dry air so clear

There’s nothing left of who we were

And it is quiet here.


Dust motes dance on moonlight

We were waiting for the sun to appear

The world has sunk down to its knees

The world is quiet here.


We are not standing upright

We hail the victorious dead

We lie awake by moonlight

We lost our daily bread.


I think we lost the battle

But the battle was not in vain

They tore apart all that I was

And all I lack is pain.


The water here is poisoned

The earth beneath us red

The rusty trees around us

We have no food or bread.


We thought we would win the war

But we have lost in fear

The light around is fading

But the world is quiet here.


There are no warriors left of us

Who can continue on, so dear

Is the price we pay, all I can say?

The world is quiet here.


The world spins lazy circles

The dawn light won’t come near

But now I know that we were real

The world is quiet here.

I don’t actually know where this came from. Just a line in my head, I guess. I’m really not as moody as all the poetry I write makes me sound.

God bless you all. Love you!