Day 118: Wrong wrong wrong

Day 118:

I do not wish to discuss how wrong I was about the zombies and the skeletons and the spiders. Suffice it to say that I lived, and I’ll be spending the next few days recovering from my injuries in my cave.

line sketch of a left leg from the knee to the foot. A  wide red gash runs from just below the knee on the shin to the ankle.
Ow. Dammit.

Day 117: Back to digging

Day 117:

The eastern entrance that I uncovered is part of a ravine. Not a deep one, not like some of the ones I found near the house. This one’s just deep enough that it’s level with the part of the cavern I was in.

So far, it seems like maybe I’ve outrun the monsters, too. I’ve come across one skeleton, and to be honest I can’t tell if it came from above or below. Is it possible that I was just dropped in a particularly dangerous area and the rest of the planet is safe?

It’s probably too much to hope. I’m not leaving my sword home.

line sketch. On the left, an underground chamber attaches to another underground chamber, which then drills right out of the side of a cliff. The cliff doesn't appear to have a bottom. Across from the cliff is another cliff, making this a ravine.
Feels like something out of a cartoon.

Day 116: Peace

Day 116:

Decided to take a day off for a change. I’m sore and tired and achy, all to be expected since I’ve been digging like crazy.

I think I’m maybe a third of the way to the big mountain. It’s hard to tell. The mountain slides in and out of the mist  both day and night, and totally depends on the weather if I can see it.

Sometimes I think I see snow on top.

Today I did little things, like carve wooden pegs to use on frames to hold leather skins, and roast some fresh meat, and just not rush.

It was a good day.

line sketch of a pegboard - a flat board with wooden dowels sticking out of it at regular intervals, meant to be hung on the wall to hang skins from.
A few dozen of these and I can get to tanning chicken hides.
Never thought I’d say that.

Day 115: Feathers and fluff

Day 115:

Dug this morning for a while, but ran out of some pretty critical supplies (my shovel broke) and had to go back to my home to make another one.

When I was done that, I started drawing up plans for a feather bed. The duckens’ feathers are pretty soft when they’re young, but they’re only young for about three days. The adults’ feathers are great for arrow fletching but many of them are thick and stuff and not the kinds of things you want to roll over into the small of your back in the middle of the night.

I’m thinking a bag in a bag. The inner bag being almost the full size of the bed and stuffed with adult feathers. The outer bag will have to be just slightly larger, but then filled with the soft downy feathers.

Or I could make this even easier and put the soft downy feathers on a big pillow-like cover on the bag full of adult feathers. That would be even faster.

As for the bags themselves, leather continues to be really the only bag-making materials I have. I’ve gotten better at my attempts at tanning hides. It took me a little while to realize that boiling the brains was the secret to getting them to tan the hides.  But I hate to kill an entire cow just for a bed and some steaks, so if I have to kill small ducken anyway, I think I’ll probably use them to make the leather to make the bed.

This is going to be one heck of a patchwork mattress.

line sketch 1: a bag of feathers inside a bag of down, each bag being made of leather.
when the fluff shifts this is going to be annoying
line sketch 2: a thick mattress filled with adult feathers topped with a thinner mattress made of downy feathers. A pillow-top, if you will. Both bags are made of leather once again.
much easier to actually do

An Artificial Night by Seanan McGuire

This is the third of the October Daye series, which means I’m… checks trademark… about seven years behind so far.

October Daye is a changeling (half fae and half human)

I read the first book, Rosemary and Rue, because it was a gift from my cousin and she said that Toby was an inspiration to her. The first book was a very good murder mystery with a lot of world building and things to learn. It didn’t grab me the way I expected, possibly because in the first book Toby wasn’t ready to be an inspiration to anyone, just as Wade Wilson isn’t quite ready to be who he is at the beginning of his arc.

But my cousin, always wiser than me, had sent me the first two books, and in the second, A Local Habitation, Toby solves a different kind of murder mystery—one that takes place in an Information Technology space—and that’s my real-life territory right there. I was hooked.

An Artificial Night is much less murder mystery and much more adventure sequence, with Toby attempting to save the lives of a number of both fae and human children from a monstrous and insanely powerful individual named Blind Michael.

The best way I can describe the book is that I picked it up at about 6pm, read two thirds of it by 9:25 and thought than only an hour and a half had passed. I ate some food and drank some water (apparently we mortals need to do that) and then polished the rest of the book off by 12:30.

It grabbed me, is what I’m saying. Grabbed me, hauled me all over San Francisco and the fairy lands, and dropped me back off on the sofa six hours later dehydrated and a bit confused on why I’m a boring human being.

If this is your kind of thing, it is worth the ride.