Time for another garden update!
Here in southern Ontario, it's the start of prime harvest season. Early crops like raspberries are over, veggies are coming into their own, and my partner and I just bought finished eating our first basket of peaches – my very favourite fruit when they're in season.
What does that mean for our backyard plot? Well...to be honest, we're having a stressful summer.
First problem: the tomatoes. In past years, we've been given seedlings by the elderly Italians next door, and planted them quite close together. This year we bought them from a garden centre and spaced them farther apart. Suddenly they're sprawling out all over. The main stem of each is staked, of course, but what to do with all the branches with fruit sagging to the ground?
I'm slowly building a weird-looking system of multiple stakes for each plant and also trying to prune them back. At the same time we're battling hungry squirrels and an evil tomato ailment called blossom end rot. Right now the tomatoes are taking up way too many of my mental cycles.
Once wild magic shattered human civilization. Mage-built cities collapsed, spell-sped galleons sank, airships fell from the skies. Magic-born chimerae turned on their creators, and then their neighbors. The peoples of Awrhee fell into barbarism.
But that was generations ago. Humanity has scraped together kingdoms again, and learned to live without magic. Those who practice spellcraft are eyed with suspicion, as are the old ways, and the old places.
Some, however, seek treasure in the ruins of what was. Knowledge, gold, power—it’s out there. Treasure untold for anyone clever enough to find it, bold enough to take it, fast enough to get away with it.
It’s out there, in the Spell-Wracked Lands.
Flame Isfree and the Feather of Fate IV
A Serial Story by KD Sarge
In the daytime a fire was just more light, but at night it could draw things from unguessable distances, so the group had slept cold. By the time Flame helped Ryahled into the camp, though, a tiny fire blazed fiercely. A small kettle of water sat in the middle of it, sweet herbs drifting in it. Tolor came from the fire to take Ryahled's arm.
"I'm beginning to wonder," he said with a soft laugh, "if you elves are worth the trouble you find."
"I too," Ryahled muttered, and stumbled but Flame didn't have to hold him up because Tolor did.
"Lie here," he directed, helping Ryahled to do so as Flame got out of the way.
Lory stood in the opening of her tent flanked by Okon and Kessa who watched with wide scared eyes. Bran wasn't there, nor Satak. They must have taken watch, knowing Kessa would not keep her focus.
"Flame, get the kettle," Tolor ordered, cutting Ryahled's shirt off.
"Flame," Tolor said, "get the kettle."
Flame bit her lip on further argument and got the tongs, took the kettle from the fire and set it by Tolor's hand.
"Bathe the wound," Tolor ordered, putting a blanket under Ryahled's head.
In 2006, my neighbor's feral cat adopted me. He was a lovely black kitty, and no one but me could touch him. I named him Ravenclaw and called him my familiar. He was my pal and I was his human.
Yesterday I noticed my fuzzy buddy didn't seem to feel well. Today I took him to the vet, and then, astonishingly, at not even ten years old, I had to let him go.