alright, let’s get some writing done!! we got a couple different things i wanna write tonight, and plenty of monsters to fight! let’s go!
first up: my yearly allowance of nonfiction. breaking fucking news, this happened tonight!
so it was 6:15, i was putting the salad stuff on a cart so i can wheel it into the fridge at close, when this doctor comes in. medium, grayish-brown hair. taller than me, tall, i guess. especially for a presumably estrogen-based puberty.
so this doctor asks, “Do the managers know that you don’t have food out?”
she’s talking about dinner service.
the dinner service that we have not done in the entire year that i’ve been here.
so either she’s been working morning shifts this entire year, or she’s determined to be upset. I’m guessing the latter. I could’ve been Cafe Coworker M, and she would’ve still been upset. I did my best. (shrugs).
“You’re supposed to have food out until 6:30!” she says. “We work hard to get down here before 6:30.” She looks at the to-go meals that we have out. “This is why you have so many leftovers! Nobody wants to buy them.”
Our leftovers sold really well tonight. Especially since nobody brought them out until after I was done stocking the coolers. I’m guessing if the prep cook brought them out at 2 like she’s supposed to, they might’ve been gone by the time she got there. I doubt that would’ve improved her mood.
I tell her that the managers know. That’s how we’re supposed to do it now. We don’t have the staff or the customers to do dinner service anymore. We are actively losing money just by existing.
And she says, “We’re not allowed to not do our job when we don’t have staff!”
I’m thinking, “That is not the point!”
She says, “I’m going to complain!”
All of my coworkers that i’ve told about her, including the supervisor, were like, “yeah, go for it”.
It ain’t our fault we can’t do dinner service anymore. All the complaints in the world ain’t bringing it back. America’s still tepid response to the pandemic means we won’t be getting our pre-covid dinner crowd back any time soon.
There’s a bit of a crowd after lunch, but it’s dead after 4. Dinner ain’t happening.
Also she bought a soup! You don’t get to complain about us not doing dinner service when you buy a soup!
Call Domino’s or any of the ten billion pizza places we have in town. Like, my god.
I get that she’s frustrated. She’s working hard, we’re working hard. The dishroom works harder than all of us, and they get to go home half an hour earlier because we’re not doing dinner service anymore.
I’m not traumatized by it. It was just kinda sad. And funny. And pathetic. She’s far from the only person who misses dinner service. Even just tonight, someone else said that they would’ve bought three servings of rice if we’d been serving it, but she ended up buying the to-go meal it was paired up with.
Not my call.
[i’ll be right back.]
[i have returned.]
[On to the next tale!]
Shadow: I’m sure you’ll have your favorites. Mine is shade. But it’s important to have all the elements available to you.
Shiver: a full toolbox.
Shadow: Exactly! Let’s start with the one you’re most familiar with. Cold.
Shadow: Cold is the absence of motion. Stillness. Stay still, and Cold will heed your call.
Shiver: Channel my inertia…
Shadow: Excellent! You’re very attuned to Cold. Shiver is the perfect name for you.
Shadow: Motion is another catalyst of magic. It’s important to balance your stillness and motion in order, so that your body is not overwhelmed by either one. Let us practice a motion element: Heat.
Shiver: I don’t like being hot.
Shadow: Understandable. It’s not my favorite feeling either. Breathing fire is fun, but I don’t like being composed of fire… Those times where you feel the urge to move, you can channel that motion into Heat.
Shiver thought back to when he was reading the previous night. He paused several times to move. To pace, to skip, to grip and tug the hem of his shirt. To run a lap around the house and nest right back into the chair and get back to his book. Only to do it all over again 30 minutes later.
Shadow: That’s a wonderful flame! Since we still haven’t balanced out your inertia, let’s work on another motion element: Light.
Shadow: Light is so much motion that it can reach us millions of miles from its source. [Light and Heat are products of the sun.] It is another product of the sun; of the fire before us. Light is Heat without warmth. Or with much less Heat. [Light is also so much motion that it can reach us millions of miles from its source.] How much less Heat is up to individual preference. Some situations, you’ll need both together; in others, you’ll need one or both separately. That’s why it’s important to learn each element on its own… There you go!
Shiver: that wasn’t very bright.
Shadow: One’s light isn’t always bright at first. Not every element will come naturally to you, and that’s okay. It’s expected, in fact. What’s important is that you keep learning and practicing. Even candle-flame can provide you great assistance. Shall we try shade next? [Manifesting me uses most of your shade magic, but as your power grows, you’ll be able to contain and summon more of my power.]
Shiver: is shade an inertia element?
Shadow: Indeed! Darkness dwells where light doesn’t. Enough Shade gathered together prevents anything, even Light, from escaping its grasp.
Shiver: a black hole!
Shadow: Exactly! Oh, that’s a fun bauble! I’m impressed. Manifesting me uses most of your Shade magic, but as your power grows, you’ll be able to contain and summon more of my power.
Shiver: Okay. Do we need to balance it out with another motion element?
Shadow: Correct. The final motion element is Sky. Lightning, wind. Those are of the Sky. Lightning always seeks to strike the ground, which is of Earth: a still magic. And wind is air in motion. Strong winds, such as tornados, are caused by hot air and cold air colliding with one another. A good understanding of Heat and Cold, which you have, is key to using Sky magic. [We will practice Earth magic shortly.]
Shiver: is that why you want me to balance my motion and inertia?
Shadow: Indeed. Sky is a motion magic, and Earth is a still magic; but they are both more balanced than the others of their types. [Categories can help us, but they cannot contain us.] It’s important to know how much motion and how much stillness you need to channel in order to stabilize yourself. Oh, that’s a great zephyr! See? That was made by channeling your motion and your Cold magic.
Shiver: so it’s not really Sky magic?
Shadow: It is! It’s simply also influenced by your Cold magic. Categories can help us, but they cannot contain us. Some people theorize, for instance, that Heat and Light are not truly separate elements. Others say that, because you can produce Light without producing Heat, that they are indeed separate things. What’s important is that it’s all magic. And magic was here before people, let alone their categories.
Shiver: okay… so what about Earth magic? the ground’s pretty still.
Shadow: Ah, but the ground is formed from minerals; and minerals are formed with Heat, which is a motion element. And earthquakes are created by breaking the ground apart. You won’t make much Earth magic if you remain entirely motionless.
Shiver: …I made a pebble. >_>
Shadow: It’s quite a colorful pebble! I see obsidian and emerald. Is that ruby and sapphire as well?
Shadow: It’s excellent! You’ve done so well today. You ought to be proud of yourself. [Not even Spirits master magic their first day.]
Shiver: if you say so.
Shadow: I do say so! Not even Spirits master magic their first day.
Shiver: you don’t?
Shadow: No. We need our guardians to help us shapeshift into the appropriate element.
Shiver: the appropriate element?
Shadow: For the weather! Or the domain, or what have you.
Shiver: who are your guardians? if I may ask.
Shadow: You may.
[hehe that’s all you’re getting.]
[alright next thing.]
[in what i’m sensing is becoming another fine HFEpro streaming tradition, alongside the first sentence curse; is the first curse. In which we abandon everything that we wrote in the first draft and start anew. But that’s okay! The first draft is supposed to suck. A person who refuses to improve is a shitty person.]
[almost done with this tambo haha. ^-^ ]
[was looking up the fairy king’s (horse) and that ended up being much less exciting than i thought it’d be. it was just a racing horse.]
The King of the Fae simmered with excitement. Hand in and hand and over the threshold into Fairyland was the new Prince. His new Prince. It’d been so very long since he’d had one. A very long, very lonely time.
Then all of a sudden, he was right there! [Living on the outskirts of a nearby Human town. Barely tethered to Human society.] For the wooing, for the holding, for the taking.
And now, he was his. From the outskirts of Human society to the most envied of the Fae Court. Aside from the King himself, of course. Although some did vie for a princely position rather than a kingly one.
It was a marvelous morning. The river glistened with auroras, the bridge glittered with emeralds, and the wind sweetened with vanilla. And the Prince was experiencing it all with newly Fae senses as well. He’d told him how louder wind and birdsong was, how he now saw reds and purples he’d never seen before. The King was eager to know how else the Prince’s body felt different. Those newborn tips of his ears, for instance. Short, lunar-fleshed, and well-rounded like the rest of him. The King couldn’t wait to introduce him to the pleasure of that!
“We’re here?” the Prince asked.
“We are,” the King smiled, once more looking over the Prince’s new, Fae form. His wings were blue and brilliant, with the black fringes of a butterfly. His hair was now onyx, his eyes were now sapphires.
And the confidence he now bore!
He was a treasure. The King’s treasure.
…Why was the King’s treasure turning around???
“You said you’d give me a body I can live in if I went with you to Fairyland,” said the Prince. “I went with you to Fairyland. See you tomorrow!”
“Where will you go?” the King refused to let his Prince come to harm! “The Humans hated you back when you were Human. They’ll never love you as a Fae! They’ll burn you on one of their stakes or drown you in a cage or cut you open in search of a heart that’s no longer there!”
The last Prince who returned to Humanland…
A fell wind chilled the King just thinking about it.
The Prince felt where his Human heart once lay. His eyes widened. It seemed he hadn’t noticed the absence of his heartbeat until then. Perhaps, as he said, everything was so much louder that it distracted from that absence.
“I refuse to see you harmed,” the King said, gathering that hand to alay the shock.
[“And I refuse to be trapped,” the Prince said, an unamused frown splayed across his lips.]
An unamused frown splayed across the Prince’s lips. Finally, he said, “And I refuse to be trapped.”
“Trapped!” the King spoke through a gust of laughter.
[The Prince’s mood fouled further.]
The Prince yanked his own hand away from the King.
“I seek a new deal with you, my Prince.”
It felt good to finally call him that aloud.
The Prince’s eyes quirked open. Cautiously curious. Just like how they’d met. Yet already, the King’s mind had replaced the Human he’d met with the Fae he’d made.
“If you smile at all today, you will stay with me in Fairyland.”
The Prince’s now black brows did that adorable scrunch of calculation. The King was happy to see that habit carry over from the Prince’s Humanity. He wanted to touch the narrowed space between them.
The King was not merciless. The Prince had fielded endless complaints that he didn’t express himself as much as other Humans did. This was a game the Prince could win or lose if he willed. The King was determined to make him want to lose. That was where true victory lay.
“I’ve already smiled today,” said the Prince.
“I would no sooner hold those smiles against you than I would hold a starving being’s delight at a full meal against them. I will amend my terms,” the King said. “If you smile once more today, you will stay with me in Fairyland.”
“And if I don’t, I’m free to go.”
The King shook his head and said, “I love you too much to let you sell yourself short. By the terms of our previous deal, you are already to leave. If you do not smile once more today…” the King thought about a suitable offering, trying not to get too distracted by the Prince’s awaiting eyes solely on him. “If you do not smile once more today, I will craft an illusion for you. A Human form that will not be called ‘woman’, or any derivatives or synonyms thereof.”
[so, HFE, which of your characters are trans?]
[all of them.]
[and which of them are neurodivergent?]
[also all of them.]
The Prince nodded, no longer frowning, but certainly not smiling either.
“Deal,” he said, holding out for a handshake.
The King smiled. He participated in the delightful Human gesture before leading the Prince onward once more.
[the King shows the Prince three Wonders of Fairyland. Maybe some critters, a fountain, and something else? kinda wanna do food, but idk. i feel i always have food in my stories, and i don’t want food in all of my stories. gems maybe??? can we have a dragon in Fairyland?]
[like i said, i have the ending and beginning all set. and i have no idea how the middle is gonna happen.]
[oooooh the sunset could be one of them! the final Wonder 😀 1) Fairy Fountain, 2) Fairy Dragons, 3) Fairy Sunset. Okay, this is good!]
[i got a trans fairy dragon pin from Gay Breakfast and it’s adorable. i want ten billion fairy dragons, please.]
[the fairy dragons in this story are gonna be fluffy and tiny with iridescent butterfly wings. and they’re gonna be super loving and affectionate. and no Human’s ever seen one before! the Fae made them invisible to Human eyes to protect them. they like sleeping in socks. that’s why socks go missing from the laundry. they’re fairy dragon sleeping bags! they boop snoots with their friends.]
[oh it’s 11 right now. fuck i have so many more words to write XD well i guess we’re streaming past 11 then! good news for y’all! whatever. i don’t actually care about a bedtime. that’s why i’m streaming tonight instead of tomorrow. i was conscripted into working the morning shift this weekend. ew. they called another guy about doing it, but he’s not gonna call them back. he gets bored working the grill on a weekday. it’s dead on weekends. he’s not gonna come in for a morning shift on the weekend. but the good news tomorrow is that i’m working with one of my favorite coworkers again for the evening! so yeah, it’s two morning shifts following after an evening shift but i’ll be fine. plus i’ll get to stream earlier in the afternoon this weekend. that’ll be fun!]
[one of my favorite things about this particular coworker is that he lets me stock and help deli during lunch, and then he lets me stock in the afternoon. you’re supposed to serve customers during lunch then stock in the afternoon; or stock during lunch and ring customers up during the afternoon. but as you can probably tell from my silent streaming and the story i wrote at the top of tonight’s stream (if you were there for that), customers aren’t my strong suit, and i cheat when i can! life is great with cheat codes. just saying.]
[plus it makes sense for the positions to be a lil looser when it’s us two. the deli was swamped today, they were serving italian scallion subs and oh my god. i think they sold out at 12. lunch goes ’til 1:30. i feel bad cuz me and one other guy are the only ones who really help the deli when it’s busy. whoever does the stocking during lunch is supposed to do it, but the lunch stocker doesn’t often do it. like i always have to fight myself to stay at my station when i’m serving if i see more than three people in line at the deli. cuz there’s only one guy there. and he’s going on vacation sometime next month, and the new guy is gonna be manning the station all by himself. and i can already tell i’m going to be stressed just being stuck over there while the horde descends upon him.]
[okay, i’m pretty sure melon’s haunted. but we’ll get to that later. yeah so apparently, melon can text to speech streamer names. and it just did that randomly. and it’s haunted. it’s totally haunted. i didn’t tell it to do that! so i’m hoping gilly’s fundraiser goes well so that i don’t have to deal with melon’s haunted bullshit ever again. and it did it again!! what the fuck. please stop, you weird, weird streaming software. i’m not even in the melon tab! why is it doing this? aw yeah, sweet sixteen. but seriously, melon, why are you haunted??? it doesn’t even do that all the time! i just did it twice tonight, and that’s long enough for me to have forgotten that it did that and be freaked out all over again tonight. and i guarantee you it won’t do that any time this weekend. it’ll be waiting. for my guard to lower! and then it’ll strike!!!]
[anyway, on that note, i am going to try to sleep off the horror of work and melon. good night everybody! let’s find someone to raid. thank you for coming out! well i tried to be a relaxing stream for y’all, but recounting being haunted by melon was not a super relaxing way to end. so dream of good, not haunted streaming software! good night, my dears ❤ ]
[okay i just realized that my screen wasn’t sharing for that last bit i don’t know how long. fuck. but hopefully, y’all enjoyed the streamed anyway. anyway, good night. we’re gonna raid someone.]