Snakewaist: Wild Rideshare (Part Two)

back to part one

(reading time: 1 hour, 1 minute)

Crash into a Tree

Yeah can I get two of the…” The woman’s voice stalled as she scanned the menu even though she’d already been in line for ten minutes. Chef Ricky was grinding his teeth and sweating a puddle into his sneakers. He couldn’t, on his life, recall why he thought applying to run the Groadster for a week was a good idea. Every item sold was at a loss, and all the cameras that were supposed to follow him were gone after the first two days. “…churros.”

Would you like them with vanilla sauce, chocolate, or my special dark cherry syrup?”

Plain.” He whipped around to take them out of the warmer before she could spot his seething rage. For five years he’d been a god of syrup, formulating ones with less sugar and more flavor. He could turn Amerenas into ambrosia, mangosteens into manna from heaven, and papaya into a god-damned panacea, but she wanted it plain. The same way she kept her graying hair plain. Her expression vacant. Her shriveling toes in sandals. A street eater. Not the kind of customer he ever wanted, but the only ones the world wanted to give him… and he only got them at a loss. Continue reading

Snakewaist: The Demon of Gougecoin (Part Two)

(reading time: 1 hour, 32 minutes)

The Knight and the Thief

After leaving Twarly behind their journey took several days. Snakewaist could not travel along interstates because of the danger of being seen, so they opted instead for the most forested route and a few old fairy tunnels that were magical enough to move out of the way of any cables and pipes bumblers tried to install.

There were several family trees on the way, but neither of them particularly felt like making diplomatic stops yet. If they succeeded in stopping the electric demon they would have something to show for their travels, and would be much less embarrassed to ask for lodging. Continue reading

Snakewaist: The Demon of Gougecoin (Part One)

Join the modern fairies Chaxium and Ladyspiller as they use their transforming magic mecha-snake to intervene in the madness of the human world, this time doing battle with digital dragons and a thief stealing electricity to power his crypto-hoard.

This is the second in a series of novellas, so if you’re interested I’d recommend starting with the first.

(reading time: 1 hour, 9 minutes) (reading time for entire novella: 2 hours, 41 minutes)


The Demon of Gougecoin


Blaine Arcade


Kunk kunk. Nobody answered the door, so to the back of the line with Pollywig. The next fairy up guessed that she just hadn’t been forceful enough. KUNK KUNK! He succeeded in bruising his knuckles, but not in opening it, so Taxido had to cede his place. If the other nine failed again he could have another turn at it. Next was Bellirub, and she had bragged after every attempt that she had a way with stubborn magical things. Her knock was practically melodious: katunk kunk katunkituktuk.

“I think I heard something move behind it,” she insisted, but that was met with good-natured booing and hissing. It was time for the owners to give it another shot; they stepped up together.

“Do it as a couple!” somebody shouted from the back. “It’ll be twice as powerful.” The rest of the party agreed and cheered them on until their hands locked together and the blades of their transparent wings overlapped. They looked at each other encouragingly, both a little surprised and elated to see the happiness sparkling in the other’s eyes. They’d come a long way in a few short months. Continue reading

Snakewaist (Part Two)

(Part One)

(reading time: 1 hour, 20 minutes)

Barf! Barf, barf, barf!” Clandestiny cursed into the channel. “What do we do?”

I don’t know; I wasn’t expecting this,” Drupe admitted. “Quick, under there!” The fairanquin tiptoed across the sidewalk and threw itself under a wood-slatted bench at the edge of Piston City’s one tiny park. Its limbs retracted as much as possible. The sun had been down for several hours, and most of the bumblers were asleep in their beds, but not the crowd gathered around Wallup Tower. Continue reading

Snakewaist (Part One)


Fairies exist, and they’re surprisingly tech-savvy, with their own magical internet, smartphones, and even giant transforming mech suits that can combine into powerful warriors… about the size of a short man.

Chaxium is just your average sour loner fairy, enjoying workouts and long conversations with her none-the-wiser human best friend online, but when a disgusting tycoon with an anti-environment agenda runs for office, she has no choice but to team up and use her family heirloom, the transforming snake machine Snakewaist, to put a stop to his plans.

(reading time: 1 hour, 2 minutes) (reading time for entire novella: 2 hours, 22 minutes)



Blaine Arcade



(NEW)(Ladyspiller): Hey, how’s my favor…

(NEW)(Podcrown): Chaxium, we really need…

(NEW)(Podcrown): This is urgent Chaxium,…

(OLD)(Leafshroud): Has Podcrown told you…

(OLD)(Podcrown): You haven’t gotten bac…

(OLD)(Podcrown): We have an offer for yo…

A bubble, tiny and blue, rose out of Chaxium’s pants pocket. It kept pace with her brisk walk as it rose to her face and popped in front of her eyes. She ignored it. Another bubble squeezed out and popped on the other side of her face. It was just going to keep going like that until she checked it or changed her settings. Chaxium stopped. There were others walking behind her, so she had to move over to the railing to let them pass. Continue reading

Labor of Ruby and Pearl: Finale

(reading time: 1 hour, 11 minutes)

Raiding the Nest

It was no trouble getting under Proplay’s atmosphere.  They were afforded all the same privacies as other guests and residents outdoors.  Security systems were concentrated on individual buildings and varied with the affluence of the owner.  Everyone but Dana was shocked by the number of private guards posted at each doorstep.  Some buildings had two or three watchmen seated at the top of thin towers that had big steel-rimmed binoculars built into their edges. Continue reading

Labor of Ruby and Pearl: Part Six

Kissing Bugs

Though his father had ordered a retreat, Shem didn’t dare face him empty-handed.  When he fled from the clinic he simply set the ship down in a wooded area and disguised it with branches.  He wanted to go that night, but the equipment he had ordered had not arrived yet.   He spent a day cooped up in his metal ball watching grasshoppers and centipedes crawl across his viewing glass.  He checked his dash screen regularly to make sure it still tracked the pearl. Continue reading

Labor of Ruby and Pearl: Part Four

(reading time: 43 minutes)

Labor of Love

A rickety shack of a house buzzed with activity.  Like most dwellings on Mavercree, there wasn’t another one for miles.  Sixteen vehicles were parked all around the home, with two being bigger than the building itself.  People moved in and out of the single door; they had to turn sideways for two to fit.  The wooden cabin shuddered with everyone’s steps and the light rain dripping over the clogged gutters looked like nervous sweat.  The poor building had never seen such a flurry of bodies. Continue reading

Labor of Ruby and Pearl: Part Three

(reading time: 1 hour, 4 minutes)


The hug was uncomfortable.  Her fingers opened and closed, waiting for it to be over.  Her mother’s pregnant swell forced her to lean back.  Emzara could smell her mother’s hair; it reminded her of all the other hugs she’d gotten over her thirty years.  There was the one when she announced her own pregnancy at fourteen.  Her mother had been so happy that she cried.  Emzara cried as well.  She cried because of fathers and mothers.  She cried when she hit herself in the stomach with a closed fist; she did that for hours and tried to think of it as a workout.  One two three punch, one two three punch, okay just ten more, and then I can be done for the night.  More tears than punches. Continue reading