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from dailyprompts

'Hourglass'.

I know not why the image whispered from Other Memory, but a moment's thought gave the context. An ancient Earth device for measuring time, made in many sizes... and functioning on something simple as the gravitational pull upon the sands held within finely spun glass. Which is only sand itself, though heated and fused into perfect clarity.

How appropriate.

I would have one made for Leto -- I think it would suit his whim -- if not for that no glass in the worlds could be large enough to count the hours and years he will be without me.

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from dailyprompts

"show me your world"

Farad'n asked me this, once, months ago. "Show me Dune," he said, believing, it seemed, that by knowing Arrakis he could know me.

I suppose he was not wrong. I have never been the Imperial Lady Ghanima, not deep in me – it is an identity that sits only heavily.

I am Ghani, Fremen woman, twin of Leto, and the sands and sietches of Dune are where I took him. Once he was ready, taught to use a stillsuit and the rhythmless walk, we went far into the desert by 'thopter... and then my Corrino prince rode Shaitan with me.

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Justprompts 3/17-3/31: Politics

Politics, n. Strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. -Ambrose Bierce

I believe that my brother has said almost all that needs to be said on this. It gives me chills to hear what he will become, what he will do after I am gone... He must have someone at his side, someone that can remind him that he is Atriedes over all. I will see that he has that someone, in one fashion or another.

Though the quote is quite amusing.

I wonder, why did it not merit inclusion in the O.C. Bible, as much truth as it holds? It certainly would find few detractors among the powerful of my time. Indeed, I think few among any of the factions of the broken triad of power that for so long waged perpetual war for their own interests -- CHOAM, the Spacing Guild, all the Great Houses, even the Bene Gesserit -- would deny it.

Words: 144

Justprompts 3/17-3/31: Lust

Lust's passion will be served; it demands, it militates, it tyrannizes. - Marquis de Sade

Lust... one side of me calls it such a base emotion. Lust is hardly better than fear, in the opinions of the Bene Gesserit. It is something that makes humans scarcely better than animals, driven by instinct and passion instead of reason and intelligence... lust is something barely to be considered. And I have seen its ravages take my aunt, tear her away from everything she had been into the terrible grip of her overshadowing --

I don't want to think about that. About the way that the lust for continued "life" helped my maternal grandfather take my aunt how it almost allowed mother to take me. If Leto hadn't helped push her back-- but he did. He always will..

...and yet I am also Fremen, and Fremen passion runs hot and strong, always. It is a most careful walk on the dunes of emotion to take, balancing the truth of one side, while not abandoning the other.

Words: 158

tm prompt 260: photo

Ghanima walked slowly around the sculpture sent as a gift from House Jerodme, studying it with intent eyes. Jerodme held a temperate world, and the young ruler of the house had sent a rather unique creation. Other houses often sent massive gifts of precious stone, of rare gems and other such things. But this piece was different, and she wondered what had gone through the woman's mind as she sent it. The sculpture was hand-carved out of a single, large piece of dark polished hardwood, and stood roughly half her height even before she considered the pedestal it rested on. Her Dune-raised eyes made her call the use of the wood extravagant, but it shone under her fingertips with a reflected light nothing else could match, the grain whorled and twisted through the piece as much as the figures it reflected twisted through each other... It was lovely.

It would have been extravagant for the simple Fremen her mother had been.

Suitable and unique for a gift to the God-Emperor and His Empress... it still was.

She would see what her brother might be willing to give to the House in return for this most unusual gift. Just as soon as she made certain that the statue was installed somewhere that Dune's air would not dessicate it. Not her chambers, but... this would do very well in the old botanical garden.

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tm prompt 258: words

What words would you like to see added to/removed from common use?

In what language?

At what point in time?

Words are only as useful or useless as their context, and there will always be words for whatever context someone wants. There is a ancient book, written on Old Earth long before they were ever able to reach space, and I cannot bring the title from my memory at this moment... but in it, the people in command had attempted to banish all words that meant evil, or bad, from use.

So instead, the people made negatives of words that had been positives, and used those in order to push across the context that was still there, no matter what attempts at banning the words had done.

Really, it's rather useless to even consider. There is no way to erase the concepts behind the words, so there is no way to erase the words themselves.

Such foolishness.

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tm prompt 256

256 -- What do you hope for?

Hope?

I don't, as a general rule. At least, for certain meanings of the word that I have heard most often. For the older meanings, the ones that imply the total belief that what you hope for will come true, I suppose I do have hope.

However, the way that I have heard 'hope' most commonly used implies something almost the opposite.

In the common parlance, it seems to me that hope requires a degree of uncertainty, rather like faith. And faith is something that, useful as it is for the manipulation of the masses, I have not much use for myself. Uncertainty is not something that regularly visits my life -- I know, much as my twin knows, that what must happen will happen. What need do I have of hope for it, when I have knowledge?

I do not wish for the Golden Path's success, I know that it will succeed. Leto will break the trap of prescience... but by that point I will be long dead. I'm sorry, Leto! Within the span of my life, his prescience is as absolute as gravity or the addictiveness of melange. So what need have I of wishing?

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prompt 255: BOO

This prompt seems very strange to me.

I can, in Other Memory, find what the concept is behind it... Earth was such a strange place.

Was there not enough going on in the lives of those early humans that they thought that they needed to play jokes of scaring each other? That seems bizarre to me. I do not understand the mindset that would enjoy deliberately making another person less than human by making them fear, certainly not for fun. Yes, there are times that fear must be instilled in the masses to push them along the ways that must be, but it is not done for amusement.

My brother and I have been known to terrify. We have made people fear since we could first speak, and proved that we were aware of all the millennia of human life -- we did not do it for the fun of it. We did it because being thought of as foolish infants was not something we would stand. Perhaps it was badly done of us, at some points, but necessity is not kind.

Or I could mention the moment when we appeared in the Throne Room on what would have been my wedding day, Leto taking us in with that rush of his speed to prove that our Father's vision would still be realized. Of course no-one had expected his ressurection -- not even me. We had worked the illusion in my mind too strongly for anything to have broken my belief that he was dead until he spoke to me again. Once I had recovered my composure, we went. We had little time to lose, after all.

Even our grandmother was frighened, then. Let alone our poor, lost aunt -- her fear made her stupid, almost more a feral animal in her attacks than a Fremen woman before she remembered herself.

No. I would not frighten someone for the amusement of it.

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TM prompt 254: longest day of your life

Ghanima ran the fingertip of her right index finger up the long, raked scar that twined around her left forearm as she looked over at Farad'n. "The longest day of my life? Surely you know what a strange question that is to me..."

"I know. But I'm curious... and still trying to learn you, since we seem to have far to go on preparing me to see Dune." She could see the tightness of his lips that said he was far from pleased at that, but he had made such progress. The water-fat that had once been all through his body was toning down into much more pleasing lines of sinewed muscle, though his skin would likely never loose the too-soft feeling of having been raised on a water-rich world. Not without circumstances that were unlikely to occur, at least.

She studied his face, seeing the real desire to know, the honesty he had not learned to mask deeply enough to hide from her or her twin, and smiled a little as she moved to press the robe away from the skin of her left calf, revealing the other scars. Long and thin, stretched with the growth of her skin much like the one that reached up her arm. "Probably the day I received these. At least... I cannot easily think of a longer day in my own life."

"I never have understood why you have scars, given prana-bind--"

She laughed, cutting him off with the dark edges of it. "Fremen women are more beautiful when scarred, for one thing, Farad'n. And for another, they were excellent reminders that I would kill you. And see my dear aunt dead as well."

"You are so casual about it." It bothered him, how easily the young girl she had been (she had never been young) had planned his death. Foolish of him.

She dipped her shoulder a little, untroubled by his unease. "Of course. I am Fremen, and all evidence showed that you had murdered my brother. Why would I not intend your death?"

Then she smiled at him, soft and loving as she had become towards him since those first days. "I am glad that I was wrong, Farad'n," she told him as she wrapped her hands around his, holding on gently. "You do suit me well. Shall I tell you of that day, then? Or is the knowledge of it enough?"

"I think I would be content to merely know it, as I am still shamed by the plots carried out in my former name."

She filed that away into her memory, making herself a note that the story might itself be a useful weapon on some later day, and dipped in to kiss him lightly.

253: awesome

Awesome.

The word seems to be in such casual use, here-and-now. Slang for so many other words, used not of things that strike fear and awe into a person, but merely things that impress or amuse... Of course, with so many languages, so many changes, it surprises me not at all.

But for me, awesome, in its true meaning--

--was that moment with our stepmother when my brother held our 'thopter in the mouth of Shai-Hulud.

There are other things that also apply. The 'sietch above the ground' that Father built, the great Shield Wall, the twisting of space a Navigator creates... all awesome, all sights to strike awe and even fear...

But nothing will ever be so awesome as that moment when three of the great Old Men of the Desert rose to the surface, and one held us in its jaws.

The burning cinnamon reek of melange so strong from its throat that we could hardly breathe the air, so hot from the worm's furnace insides that heat-distortion shimmered out the windows, the teeth even longer than the longest crysknife...

Bless the Maker, bless his coming and his going.

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