Shorts: Random world building fun

I started this last month with a Tumblr post, just a collection of a few cultural quirks I knew about the various shapeshifter groups. It’s little details like that that make a world real to me.


l’den Jetta and Lemara would argue endlessly about the appropriate use of gems. Peridot or Citrine for openness in the family room. Lapiz or Amythest for the sweetest dreams. Everyone knew river rocks would protect an infant’s spirit, but brown or grey? But everyone knew, from Grandma Tala to baby Emry, that you touched the hematite studding the doorframe before entering anyone’s home. It was rude to bring an overabundant aura into another’s home.

Cera still wore a lump of it around her neck, a worrystone for when things got too intense.

The witches brought escargot to their first meeting with Rachel and the new wolves. Before anyone could even sit down, Seth pulled their leader aside.

“Let me explain to you the ways you are being rude. They are far, far different from the ways you intended.”

A young crow boy fancies a raptor girl. Even without the red shoulder flashes from her “big brothers”, he knew he didn’t stand a chance. Egging his car was just overkill. At least they hadn’t escalated it to anything physical though. He’d hate to embarrass them.

“I swear to god, Fen, no one showers more than you. You think I won’t stay the night if I get a whiff of how bad you stink? You can’t possibly have anything on my hormonal little brothers.”

Fenris watched the tigress sway away from him, sass in that ass even after the pounding she’d just taken. Damn she was fine. Not worth the beating he’d get if anyone caught the musk of cat on his breath, but still fine.

“Aww, damnit–Fen! Put some damned clothes on, would ya?”

Of course his roommate would come home right now. Of fucking course. Didn’t a tie on the door mean anything anymore?

“What does purple mean?”

Ence bounced from aunt to uncle, touching ribbons and knots, tucking flowers and leaves, planting hugs and kisses. Her father would scoop her up now and again, adding a twist and a tie, keeping her still with stories. His own mane was cropped short, as nearly all their clan wore here in the American land, but his tail still told a magnificent story.

He twirled a daisy against his little girl’s nose, enchanted by her giggle. “Purple is true love, my little one. I wear it for your mother, your brother, and you. Purple is our family, and our dearest heart.”

The last ring. Three orders of calamari later, and it came to a stare down over the last ring. Seth didn’t even want it, but Gwen had offered, and now they were at an impasse. To give your eijye food was honor, expected, but did the tigress see him as leader, or non-predator? He had to tread lightly.

“Ooh, poppers! Oh, blech! What the hell was that?”

Leave it to Bird to settle a delicate situation with barbarism.

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