Twenty-four Days of Ringworm and Religion: Day Fourteen

Welcome to what is likely your first advent calendar fantasy novel!  Each day is a chapter, and should be read as such, but who am I to stop you from catching up? (This way to Day One!)  What follows is the story of one Marzipan Ridner, a young trans girl aching for the fulfillment of the holiday season.  When a mysterious wooden Advent calendar shows up she opens the first door, and finds herself whisked away to a world-tree of contrasting deities and binding bureaucracy.  She has less than a month to find someone willing to be her spiritual patron, but the denizens of the tree don’t seem very hospitable…

(reading time: 14 minutes)

On the Fourteenth Day

It had been eighteen hours since Saint Defendens of Thebes sent them out into the barely tamed wilderness that was his backyard. They should have been back by now. He paced back and forth behind his cabin, on the swept stone floor that protected the area around his forge and anvil from the driving snow. Continue reading

Twenty-four Days of Ringworm and Religion: Day Thirteen

Welcome to what is likely your first advent calendar fantasy novel!  Each day is a chapter, and should be read as such, but who am I to stop you from catching up? (This way to Day One!)  What follows is the story of one Marzipan Ridner, a young trans girl aching for the fulfillment of the holiday season.  When a mysterious wooden Advent calendar shows up she opens the first door, and finds herself whisked away to a world-tree of contrasting deities and binding bureaucracy.  She has less than a month to find someone willing to be her spiritual patron, but the denizens of the tree don’t seem very hospitable…

(reading time: 13 minutes)

On the Thirteenth Day

The centerpiece of the smugglers’ den was a tall stove of black iron with a bulbous base and clawed feet. Its top disappeared into the twisting tree roots of the low ceiling, but it must not have gone very far, given that curling fingers of smoke still slipped into view. The stove’s door hung open, waves of sweltering heat and orange glow filling the pocket of dirt. Continue reading

Twenty-four Days of Ringworm and Religion: Day Twelve

Welcome to what is likely your first advent calendar fantasy novel!  Each day is a chapter, and should be read as such, but who am I to stop you from catching up? (This way to Day One!)  What follows is the story of one Marzipan Ridner, a young trans girl aching for the fulfillment of the holiday season.  When a mysterious wooden Advent calendar shows up she opens the first door, and finds herself whisked away to a world-tree of contrasting deities and binding bureaucracy.  She has less than a month to find someone willing to be her spiritual patron, but the denizens of the tree don’t seem very hospitable…

(reading time: 16 minutes)

On the Twelfth Day

Saint Kentigern was a bust, a bully of a man who did nothing but taunt, thinking it excused because he did so on his knees in endless prayer. His floor had been covered in scuff marks from the pads on his knees he used in place of shoes. With no need for a high ceiling he had lowered it to the point of discomfort for anyone standing at their full height. This forced his visitors to bow just for the privilege of being insulted. Continue reading

Twenty-four Days of Ringworm and Religion: Day Eleven

Welcome to what is likely your first advent calendar fantasy novel!  Each day is a chapter, and should be read as such, but who am I to stop you from catching up? (This way to Day One!)  What follows is the story of one Marzipan Ridner, a young trans girl aching for the fulfillment of the holiday season.  When a mysterious wooden Advent calendar shows up she opens the first door, and finds herself whisked away to a world-tree of contrasting deities and binding bureaucracy.  She has less than a month to find someone willing to be her spiritual patron, but the denizens of the tree don’t seem very hospitable…

(reading time: 16 minutes)

On the Eleventh Day

The state fair was Heaven to Marzipan, and she still thought that after seeing several flavors of the real thing within the Chrismon Tree. She had only been once, and only because Mom was trying her hand at selling handmade greeting cards at a stall of her own. The little girl wandered about in a daze, watching cotton candy drift by, doughnuts sparkle like veins of diamond, and sausages dance on glistening rollers. Continue reading

Twenty-four Days of Ringworm and Religion: Day Ten

Welcome to what is likely your first advent calendar fantasy novel!  Each day is a chapter, and should be read as such, but who am I to stop you from catching up? (This way to Day One!)  What follows is the story of one Marzipan Ridner, a young trans girl aching for the fulfillment of the holiday season.  When a mysterious wooden Advent calendar shows up she opens the first door, and finds herself whisked away to a world-tree of contrasting deities and binding bureaucracy.  She has less than a month to find someone willing to be her spiritual patron, but the denizens of the tree don’t seem very hospitable…

(reading time: 9 minutes)

On the Tenth Day

Langcorn had gotten word of something that could actually be helpful. This something was in fact an object, which gave him confidence, given how poorly the living beings of the Chrismon Tree had treated him thus far.

The information looked reliable as well, as it had not come from a pagan or a saint, but, by his guess, from another person with a calendar. The message was scratched into the bark of the tree behind one of the doors. It was simple luck that had him hiding behind the frame to relieve himself. Continue reading

Twenty-four Days of Ringworm and Religion: Day Nine

Welcome to what is likely your first advent calendar fantasy novel!  Each day is a chapter, and should be read as such, but who am I to stop you from catching up? (This way to Day One!)  What follows is the story of one Marzipan Ridner, a young trans girl aching for the fulfillment of the holiday season.  When a mysterious wooden Advent calendar shows up she opens the first door, and finds herself whisked away to a world-tree of contrasting deities and binding bureaucracy.  She has less than a month to find someone willing to be her spiritual patron, but the denizens of the tree don’t seem very hospitable…

(reading time: 13 minutes)

On the Ninth Day

Marzipan was only wearing half a shirt that day. Her mother told her she could have some new clothes for her birthday, but that was still months away, so she couldn’t bring herself to discard any of the four she had left, even when one of them was so dirty it had permanently changed color. To make use of it she tore the bottom half off, choosing to wear it only on days where the ringworm on her side was too itchy to bear, as airing the infection out seemed to help a little. Continue reading

Twenty-four Days of Ringworm and Religion: Day Eight

Welcome to what is likely your first advent calendar fantasy novel!  Each day is a chapter, and should be read as such, but who am I to stop you from catching up? (This way to Day One!)  What follows is the story of one Marzipan Ridner, a young trans girl aching for the fulfillment of the holiday season.  When a mysterious wooden Advent calendar shows up she opens the first door, and finds herself whisked away to a world-tree of contrasting deities and binding bureaucracy.  She has less than a month to find someone willing to be her spiritual patron, but the denizens of the tree don’t seem very hospitable…

(reading time: 10 minutes)

On the Eighth Day

Langcorn the lonely’ they called him. It wasn’t one of the names invented by the people of his home town, no, they had plenty of their own. It was a moniker created in the boughs of the tree, and Langcorn thought it cruel that someone would go to the trouble of concocting and spreading it in just eight short days. Continue reading

Twenty-four Days of Ringworm and Religion: Day Seven

Welcome to what is likely your first advent calendar fantasy novel!  Each day is a chapter, and should be read as such, but who am I to stop you from catching up? (This way to Day One!)  What follows is the story of one Marzipan Ridner, a young trans girl aching for the fulfillment of the holiday season.  When a mysterious wooden Advent calendar shows up she opens the first door, and finds herself whisked away to a world-tree of contrasting deities and binding bureaucracy.  She has less than a month to find someone willing to be her spiritual patron, but the denizens of the tree don’t seem very hospitable…

(reading time: 10 minutes)

On the Seventh Day

Have you heard? We’re about to get rid of him!” Saint Victor said, clapping his hands giddily. Tiny bolts of electricity jumped between his palms as he did so, as he was the patron saint of lightning strikes, and had taken several hits for his flock over the centuries. His eyes glowed white and his mouth was full of leaping sparking arcs, so when he opened it wide to share his excitement he could light an entire room. Continue reading

Twenty-four Days of Ringworm and Religion: Day Six

Welcome to what is likely your first advent calendar fantasy novel!  Each day is a chapter, and should be read as such, but who am I to stop you from catching up? (This way to Day One!)  What follows is the story of one Marzipan Ridner, a young trans girl aching for the fulfillment of the holiday season.  When a mysterious wooden Advent calendar shows up she opens the first door, and finds herself whisked away to a world-tree of contrasting deities and binding bureaucracy.  She has less than a month to find someone willing to be her spiritual patron, but the denizens of the tree don’t seem very hospitable…

(reading time: 12 minutes)

On the Sixth Day

Despite spending his night sleeping on a riverbed, finding a body of water proved quite difficult for Langcorn. Clumps of dirt had dried into the back of his hair, and he didn’t think it appropriate to present himself for inspection to any divine creature while in such a state. He was searching deep in the boughs of the tree, looking for a pond or waterfall in which to bathe. Continue reading

Twenty-four Days of Ringworm and Religion: Day Five

Welcome to what is likely your first advent calendar fantasy novel!  Each day is a chapter, and should be read as such, but who am I to stop you from catching up? (This way to Day One!)  What follows is the story of one Marzipan Ridner, a young trans girl aching for the fulfillment of the holiday season.  When a mysterious wooden Advent calendar shows up she opens the first door, and finds herself whisked away to a world-tree of contrasting deities and binding bureaucracy.  She has less than a month to find someone willing to be her spiritual patron, but the denizens of the tree don’t seem very hospitable…

(reading time: 14 minutes)

On the Fifth Day

Marzipan followed the branch out to a narrow limb, on which she had spied a solitary cozy door. Even with both her arms out she had trouble balancing on such a narrow and gnarled way, stumbling to the end and latching onto the knob. When it swung open she was dragged along a cobblestone floor, but pleasantly so. Somehow the stones were soft, not quite pliant, but with the smooth give of driftwood. Continue reading