On the brevity of Snippets
By Julie E. Czerneda
How soon they do forget,
The brevity of snippet,
That used to come your way from Julie C.
Alas they've been quite spoiled,
Took for granted authors toiled
By those long and lengthy chunks from Julie C. (and Wen!)
Yes, that's all now in the past,
The story has to last,
Until May rolls around twice more from Julie C.
But in case you're worried now
Don't fret and "have a cow" (hey, it's early)
You can read all that's in print from Julie C.
A Few Words ‘bout Tuckerization
By Julie E.
27 Jan 2003
Oh the Friends Within Are Many
Though Their Fates Are Often Odd
It's Not an Easy Task You See
To Tuckerize My Mob.
Still, We Authors Know Our Duty
And To Friends We Hold Most Dear
We'll Stick You in Our Pages!
After Making Sure the Exit's Clear!!!
By Leah Tribolo
(Leahs’ first appearance on VIOLA!)
Words are my pets
Furry Fuzzy Feline - - Feel Them!
Ink ooze squeeze pen
Spoken or written
With them I am smitten
Tenderly a verbal caress
Playful Purring Phrases - - Pounce!
Scribble shape pencil sharpen
zephyr whisper or Echo Yell
Aural pleasure does betoken
Casual companions for the bed
Sinuous Stretch - - Softly Said
Crinkle paper printing read
Demonic Tales or knowledge spread
Hungry minds must be fed
Dust off the
Ruth, Julie, Uriel, Ross, Sean, Nightowl, Lady
Spitfire, the Sadre, dozed, curled up under a pile of animal skins, and soft blankets on her sleeping pallette. The fire gave her room a soft, warm glow, and helped keep the wet damp air at bay. Half asleep, half awake, she knew she'd have to shed her cozy nest eventually.
At that moment, she heard light scratching at her door, followed by soft squeaks. She did her best to ignore the four-footed messenger she knew waited for her, and rolled over to her side, turning her back to the door. Minutes later, the scratching ceased, as did the squeaking, and Spitfire fell back asleep, unaware that her messenger found a crack to squeeze through.
"Ouch!" Spitfire sat up, shaking her left hand, and looking around. Resting on her knee set the very messenger she'd hoped to ignore. The ferret twitched its nose at the Sadre, squeaking several annoyed squeaks as it sat up on its hind legs, folding its forearms.
"Of course I know what day it is. We've got time! We've got over a month! We had a busy year last year, and I deserve time off, Squirt." Spitfire protested. She raised the curtain to look outside, and frowned, "Besides, have you seen the weather? It's grey, and rainy here...thunderstorms. If it's such a mess here, think of what it'll be like at the Tower. There'll be snow!"
Squirt gave an angry squeak and circled twice, in frustration before squeaking more, shaking a fisted paw at the sadre.
With a taken-aback look, Spit scoffed, "How dare you get so snippety with me!"
Calming down a bit, the ferret crossed his arms, and continued delivering his...speech.
After several minutes of constant lecture, Spitfire held up a hand, "What do you mean I'm supposed to get everything ready? Since when?"
Squirt squeaked an answer. Spit blinked, "They did? Me? Don't they know I'm terrible at organization?" The ferret simply shrugged.
"Ok, ok. Go see if Draco or the Viking would be willing to cook. Check with the Bard in training to see if she's willing to spin a story or two. Let's make it a group effort. I'll provide the flute and fire spinning. The Pirate, Sir Tim...invite him along....and all the usual suspects," the sadre's mind went into business mode.
It was time...there were celebrations to gear up for...and it was time to go visit the Lady in the Tower, to help her dust off the snow and usher Spring into the lush valley that was her home.
The Bard in training lifted her head from the scrolls and files that surrounded her. So numerous were they, the piles on the floor were high enough to be a wall while the ones on the desk blocked her view of the calendar on the wall.
"Spring?" she pondered. "Is the change in season so close?"
Glancing at the paper around her, she sighed. "Perhaps I will be able to visit the Tower soon and aid in the clearing of the detritus of winter. I hope the Lady will understand if I can't make it right away."
Promising to send a story or two to as soon as she could, the Bard pulled the top file closer and began to riffle through the pages.
The Lady pauses, a hesitation that unsteadies the mass of pens, paper, cardboard, and mug in her hands, so she has to use one knee and her chin to regain control. Was there a break in the icy wind? A hint of spring?
Tucking a manuscript under one arm and clenching her teeth around a pen, she shakes her head and continues up the stairs. If only each step were a day closer ..
Uriel mutters to himself. Well, of course. No one else is in his room.
Sunlight streams in various floor to ceiling cathedral windows. Birch floors shine in the fternoon light, mazes of shadows swaying as the trees outside move in a gentle wind.
Keyboard in his lap, frowning around a sip of coffee, Uriel faces a screen and mutters again.
"I've got afterimages of the 'net floating in my eyes as I look at him. Well, that and Ash residue. Through the lense of distortions he looks harmless. I think I'll keep telling myself that and ignore that he's in one of the worst parts of the station. That he's looking around like a predator. But I'm getting used to telling myself I don't notice the thing, the often dead thing, in their eyes.
Suddenly a breeze taps softly against the nearest window. Startled, Uriel looks up. And out. For a moment he just sits and stares. Slowly smiling.
Spring. He'd almost missed it.
Placing the keyboard on the desk, standing and moving to the window, Uriel leans against the glass and looks through his reflection.
"Maybe something over at the Tower... bet others are heading..."
With a shrug he turns to gather a coat and boots, heading out into the woods.
The Lion looks up and
around, and sniffs the air ... ::Hmmm, the wind has shifted. I smell Spring, coming out of Michigan or Missouri or Mississippi or one of those M states.::
The lion transforms to a rather scraggly Human and looks at his bikes ... ::better get that rear tire patched. Going to be warm and clear enough for a trip to the Tower sooner or later.::
Nightowl peers out from underneath her warm comforters..Spring, already? She slowly stretches and shimmers into owl form. A brief shake of her feathers, and she starts the journey to the tower.....
Del Kytlar peered through a thicket at the walls of the ancient keep, watching for the appearance of any faces or forms, familiar or unfamiliar. He'd always been a patient sort.
There was a quiet beep from his wrist-comm. It barely penetrated the thicket, but it was enough. Del flung himself backward down the hill upon which the keep stood, as disruptor bolts tattooed the area around his hiding spot, sending up the acrid reek of burning alien vegetation.
"DAMN IT!" he cursed as he tucked himself into a crevice beneath a fallen tree. Still frantically scanning the hilltop for the source of the blasts, he switched on the comm. "L9! I told you to maintain comm silence."
"Sorry, Captain." returned the voice of his faithful 'bot sidekick, L9B, "You also gave me a priority instruction two months ago to remind you instantly if we were in danger of missing the change of seasons at The Grey Tower. By my calculations, if we do not break orbit within the next hour, we will not make our transition points, and will miss the big event."
Del spotted a team of wary heads through the trees, obviously searching for him. "Well," he whispered, "I think we're going to miss it. I'm pinned down by Christohawk's men, thanks to your signal. I don't think I can take them all out, and I'll certainly never get close enough to the keep now to get the money Christohawk owes me. What a wasted trip."
"Well, I cannot speak for you getting paid. But...if you want some help with the henchmen...?"
The patrolling guards were covering the upper slope carefully, looking for clues to the electronic sound that had emitted from this primordial forest. "All right. Get me out of here."
L9 instructed him, "Set your comm to Frequency 878. It will protect you."
Wondering, Del followed instructions. A low-pitched hum went up from his wrist. His eyes opened wide as he saw the searchers begin to scan lower down the slope for the source of this sound. Just as he saw one of them cock his head toward the tree beneath which he hid, he heard the roar of maneuvering jets as the Deus Ex Machina soared up the hill, skimming the trees.
It slammed to a hovering halt as the guards brought their weapons to bear on its shiny metal underside. A hatch opened, and a fist-sized ball dropped to the ground. With lightning reflex, Del ducked his head under his arm and squeezed his eyes shut. Upon impact, the ball gave off an eerie gray flash of light.
All of the guards crumpled to the ground, unconscious. Del looked up and switched his wrist comm back to its normal frequency. "Nice work." he sent to the 'bot.
"It was just one of those Tingarn Anti-Personnel Mines. Should keep them out for an hour, so it is a good thing you switched to the protective carrier wave I sent you. The sound it made would have left you on the ground with them." L9 sounded pleased with himself. "Now, please board the ship, Captain. You don't want to be late to The Tower."
Del scampered across the hillside, gathering up weapons and equipment from his fallen foes. As he headed for the DEM, one of the captured comms chimed. A gruff voice called, "Team A? Where are you? What's going on?"
Del spoke into the comm, "Hello, Christohawk. I just wanted to thank you for the warm welcome, and to let you know that we're even now. These Elegart disruptors and shielded frequency comms should fetch enough on the black market to cover your debt to me. TA-TA!" He boarded the ship, the specialized alloy of the closing hatch cutting off Christohawk's scream of "KYTLAR!"
L9 swiftly took the DEM into space. As Del entered the command center, L9 asked, "Best speed to The Lady, Captain?"
"Best speed, indeed, L9. Let's go celebrate Spring the right way."
Hearing the skittering of claws across the ceiling, Lady Jade looked up from the work table where she had a number of herbs and oils spread across the table. The sandpaper that had been working it's way across the surface of the wand stilled as Lady cocked her head to the side and listened, waiting patiently for the small creature to make itself known.
The wait wasn't long.
Poking his head out of the hole in the corner of the ceiling, the small ferret chittered its greeting and message.
"Goodness! Is it that time already?" Putting down the sandpaper and the wand and wiping her hands on her dress, she walked over to the ferret and extended her arm so that Squirt could come down out of the hole. "You've had a long run, little one. Before you go, let's see what we can rustle up for you for goodies....and I'm sure Draconis would be happy to come and cook."
Squirt launched in to an excited jabbering, slight fear showing on his face. Lady Jade laughed at the memory.
"Not to worry, Squirt, Drago has grown some and learned some manners since last summer. He will behave and keep his head, and the rest of himself, out of the cooking tent. He still cringes whenever he sees a tent."
Squirt relaxed and spotted the goodies that Lady Jade had mentioned and scrabbled down her arm to scarf them. Happily filled a few minutes later, he squeaked and scooted out the hole on to his next destination. Still chuckling, Lady Jade headed out to locate her lifemate and tell him about the impending Spring celebration.....