another interleaf section up –at the very beginning!

I think I’ve figured out how to do basic page numbering. Hopefully.
I wasn’t managing to stay in the time for the bjd_30minfic the other night, so I tried again.
I’ve been wanting to do the “cat licking its chops” type thing for awhile *anyway*.


  1. Pen is a sucker for kids. He’s also a sucker for good parents in tough spots. He is a widower, and can identify.

    I am currently trying to work out if Botchan is a person, or a clever piece of AI (“bot-chan”).

    There are other people around the Pen household, but it’s not quite as bustling a place as Fozzie and Lacey’s. I also need to understand the Circus better. Pen’s place doesn’t feel very circus-y–but then again, we haven’t seen the inner courtyard, and we haven’t been out to (what Pen jokingly refers to as) the Back Forty.

    Pen truly likes Dia (and is crazy about the kid), is deeply relieved to have her on board, but a little guilty about relying on her, too! He is so beleagured right now, so worried about Estelle.

  2. numaari

    Dia is so damned grateful to be useful that Pen should never feel guilty. He maybe knows more about her past than I’m letting on.

    She physically can’t stand idleness. But she hates busywork. This is somewhere to be where she’s genuinely needed, and it fulfills her in a way.

  3. Stella Omega

    Regarding Pen’s land, I got the impression that he’s set it up to maximise privacy for each resident– I got that from the very first bit I read!

    It’s very hilly land, and the dwellings are spaced on a little road that twists and turns to avoid big trees and other impediments to transportation. They mostly can’t see each other. He’s very choosey about who lives there, I would think.

  4. numaari

    Pen’s circus may be a sort of slangy term for those oddities that he’s rescued rather than a literal circus.

    I wouldn’t be averse to writing in a zoomorph or two into my next section. You’ll have to let me know what sort of people are around. And I adore the idea of Botchan as an AI!!

    Also, another question that may be buried in the pile… I have an idea for a werecreature, a native to these parts who is helping Pen (maybe after being rescued by him), but I can’t intro him until I know approx where they are. I’m hoping it’s LA, ’cause I have a pretty good handle on the Cajun thing. If it’s Florida, I’ll be a bit lost. Don’t know what swamp rats are like out that way.

  5. My vision of the Pen compound is full of trees. Trees with roots sunk in the swamp. Trees that do annoying things like fall on roofs.

    Trees, and great trailing beards of moss, and hillocks, and hollows, and dead logs, and ponds, and rills, and rocks, and frogs.

    There’s not so much a road as a kind of deer path business.

    There’s no profile; no clearing; nothing to show up on satellite.

    Really, nothing to see here. Move along. Thanks kindly.

    Like elves, if you follow me.

    The Circus itself is, I am starting to think, kind of like a goblin market. It has the power to disappear in a twinkling.

  6. I’m kind of inclined not to take “Circus” too literally, myself, though I do think there is someone, probably a woman, who’s got some sort of traveling show that home-bases out of Pen’s Back Forty.

    This may be a cover for information-gathering, also a way to transport runaway Kiplings and others in similar straits.

  7. nagasvoice

    RE: Botchan an some kind of AI, I mentioned the Fisher King/Wounded King as a single figure is also associated with the Welsh story about Ban (meaning “Crow” or “Raven”) , whose head is separated from his body but continues to speak for 80 years. The association with the bird name is also intriguing.

  8. numaari

    My grandfather’s homestead (in Northern Wisconsin) is very, very like that. Complete with the swamp and a beautiful, very cold freshwater spring that served as a refrigerator until we got electricity in the late 70’s. The outhouse stood until the mid-80’s, and we still can’t get a tv signal worth a damn.

    So I can almost see Pen’s topography…

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