Mansions and Magic

Art can be inspiring, thought-provoking, uplifting, protesting, and sometimes… downright strange. I stared at the painting hanging in the entryway of the mansion. I’d come here to do an inventory of the home’s contents for the daughter of the late owner. The estate had belonged to her mother, with whom she had a contentious relationship, and the daughter wanted to sell as much as she could, clear out the house, and then sell the house. My company, that would be me, had been hired to coordinate the estate sale.

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Shifting Paradigms

Jake glanced around the room. The panel was scheduled to start in just a couple of minutes. Those researchers presenting papers sat at a table in the front of the room, with the moderator off to one side. The rows of seats were slowly, but steadily filling up. This was guaranteed to be a popular panel – perhaps the most popular at the conference.

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Twilight Discovery

Sneaking wasn’t my favorite activity. Too much to go wrong. Especially at this time of day. Most people think that sneaking around after dark is very dangerous. All sorts of nasty creatures, both human and non-human, were out and about. But what most people didn’t know was that after dark wasn’t the dangerous time. No, twilight was always the problem.

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Friday Thoughts: A Varied Week

Things here at Chez Ornery went fairly smoothly this week. More good news, but again, full details will come next week, I promise. In the outside world, the political class who think they’re running the world are still engaging in stupid actions while at the same time (and this gives me hope) making it very clear to anyone who can stand up, see lightning, and hear thunder, that they’re corrupt, evil, and stupid. But that doesn’t mean we can ignore them and their continuing antics. Please maintain your attention, and call them out whenever you get the opportunity. More importantly, remember to call them out publicly. You need to call them out. In public. Often.

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Sunsets and Old Gods

Jake leaned back against one of the column bases that made up the perimeter of the temple grounds. Serena sat in front of him, between his legs and settled against his chest. She sighed. It had been a long day and she was exhausted. She was very grateful that Loren, the toymaker and their friend, had offered to keep Melia overnight. “You have earned a night off,” he’d said, smiling. “Besides, I have new toys that need to be tested before I put them up for sale in the market.”

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IT Magic

The sounds of some sort of techno-beat combined with heavy metal music drifted up to Jackson’s office. He shook his head and tried to return his concentration to the tangled contract he was working his way through. Scrolling down the page, he briefly entertained the thought that this was a lot like reading an ancient scroll by simultaneously rolling up the top while unrolling the bottom.

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River Oddities

Serena leaned against Jake, staring at the improbable bend in the river. It was really more of a hairpin turn, letting the river turn back on itself. This planet, Taland, never failed to evoke a sense of wonder and bemusement in her. This time, it was this river. They had followed it upstream for a couple of miles using the local version of a ranching vehicle – four-wheel drive with independent suspension designed to travel over rough, untamed terrain. Appropriately enough it was called a ranch-runner. The Talus used them to get to and from more remote locations and she’d seen them occasionally in smaller towns. Their new friend, Loren, the toymaker in the market, had loaned them one of his ranch-runners. Serena didn’t question why he owned one but lived in the city. Loren had even offered to babysit Melia while Serena and Jake explored up the river from their current dig at an ancient city. Melia was more than happy to spend a day acting as the toy tester for Loren.

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