D: Duckling

I like to flirt.  It’s part of who I am.  But I’m not good with names.  I don’t care to remember them so I don’t.  It’ snot like I typically see them more than once – typically.  So I have a nickname for women – Duckling.

It started out just as a way to push them away, to let them know I don’t really care about them.  But as I got older it changed a little more too – Ducklings are cute, soft, vulnerable as most women are.  It became an insult at times.  And if you are a man and I’m calling you Duckling it usually means it’s an insult.  I can only think of one reason I’d call a guy Duckling and that’s if I truly felt something for them.  Meaning it would become a term of endearment.  But since I don’t get close to people that doesn’t really seem like something that’s going to happen soon.

I don’t have a go to nickname for men… Cowboy is one I use on a regular basis but it’s one of those that changes on it’s usage.  I could be insulting you with it.  Or could be implying other things with it.  I’ve called men Jack but it’s more of a threat than anything else.

Guys don’t typically do the nickname thing well so it’s not something I have a go to for.  And unless I’m in the right place I can get punched for flirting with a guy.


I have 23 more prompts I can use without having to find something else to inspire my ramblings here.  I know I have a few people who read here and I’d like to thank ya’ll for reading. Truly glad you are sticking around to my mindless chatter.  AJ and I appreciate it – really appreciate it.

So to the point… Even if you don’t read regularly I’m going to ask you is there anything you want to know?  About me?  About my world?  I’m not the best person to give you advice, but hey I could try.  The only topic I won’t go into is AJ. My creator is not part of this conversation.  My place to be me – to exercise my mind.  Leave AJ out of it – hehe.  I’m the crazy one.

Leave a reply here.  Send me an email at nox.durante@gmail.com (yes I realize this is not my last name it’s a long story, well not really I am many places all at once in AJ’s head the different last names keep me grounded in that world.)  Check out The Clandestine Providence Facebook page and ask a question there.  Shoot AJ a message or tweet on Twitter.

C: Cinnamon and Spice

Venatori have enhanced speed, strength, agility, senses and healing.  Which is all well and good for them, but a half human Venatori like myself – also called Minorem – meaning lesser we don’t always get those abilities.  Or any abilities.  While it’s not happened in many generations, there have been cases of a completely human Minorem.  Poor guy set out into the human world and no one heard from him since.

While I am lucky enough to get the super healing and senses  with the mental ability of a Venatori however strange mine is compared to others I wasn’t lucky enough to be full Venatori in powers – even with my being a Magnus.

However, even my normal abilities aren’t so normal – at least not my sense of smell which is where the title comes in – scents.  A great deal of my anxiety and comforts come from scent.  The things I remember most from my childhood are typically embroiled deeply with given scents.

My Nanny was a dragon – she smelled like a campfire.  From what I understand that’s a typical dragon smell and one way you can identify a dragon in human form versus a regular human.  That scent is often comforting to me, an upside, I have been told it’s what I smell like – so that leaves a whole lot of questions as to why.  But it’s probably a lot to do with what a Magnus really is… a half Dragon Venatori cross breed.  At least that was the origin of the Magnus ability in the Venatori.  So it’s logical in it’s own right. Though not many Magnus I know – and I know quite a few since I trained with them and under them – they don’t smell like a campfire.  Jace says it’s cause I’m a fire-starter and a strong one.  I can’t say for sure.

I’ve mentioned my mother’s apple pie before the sweet scent of cinnamon and vanilla mixed with the cooking apples.  It’s a comforting scent – a reassuring smell that makes me feel safe in a time I was safe.

But it’s not the smell I associate with my mother.  My mother always smelled of cigarette smoke and dirt.  Which as I grew up I learned the dirt smell was Patchouli – a hippy thing to do to cover up odors you didn’t want your parents to smell on your clothes.  So the smell of dirt is much better.  Really?

I remember burying my face in the height of my terror before getting on an airplane and smelling those two things.  My anxiety spikes when I walk past a person smoking a cigarette.  I’ve never been able to sleep with a smoker’s place, we almost always ended up in a public space – in some dark back room, a bathroom or in their car which usually isn’t much better than their place.

We all associate smells with our life, it sucks though when scents can cause a major destabilization in your life.


B: Bunnies

As a monster hunter I find it ironic that my favorite genre’s in movies and books are the supernatural fantasy types.  It’s mostly about laughing at how accurate or inaccurate they are, or getting lost in someone else’s worries that hit home.  I realized I’m a fictional character in AJ’s mind and that has a lot to do with it.

But one of the classic Buffy Halloween episodes featured the scariest thing of all – Bunnies.  Anya was a former vengeance demon who was afraid of bunnies.  They even referenced it in the Musical episode which was pretty awesome.  Anya rocking out to bunnies was funny.

We all have our little bunnies.  Things everyone else thinks are stupid to be afraid of.  I know I’ve gone on and on about my fear of heights and flying.  I have a terrible fear of needles which makes field medicine rather tricky.  Maybe one day someone I know will be able to heal again like Aurora could, but right now I have to deal with stitches – it’s the Atharim way.

I’m also slightly terrified of clowns.  No real reason, no bad incidents, just one of those omg creepy moments.  I’m not going to run away from them, but they can trigger some pretty intense nightmares – not that my normal nightmares are any less intense.

But the best thing to do about our bunnies is to face them head on.

A: Adept

I’ve spoken of power levels before here.  I’ve told you parts of how it’s done – how we are ranked: skill, natural ability and power levels all combining to make your rank.

But for each skill level there is a test.  Even when you are an initiate there is a test, but the test is merely a mechanism to determine your power level and what elements you can touch.  Most only get one, two at most, four is rare and being able to touch them all at the same time is rarely testable.  That is until me.

I was 10 when they found out I was Cesari.  I created a statue for the annual art fair that I rushed through using all four elements at the same time in front of everyone at the fair that day.  The statue still sits in the lobby of the AU building.  But shortly there after they tested me for Adept.

It’s a series of boxes that have small puzzles inside that are meant to be manipulated by an individual element.  But me being me and puzzles and patterns being my inherent Venatori gift I put the four pieces together and used all four elements at the same time to finish the test in record time.

In order to become Adept you have to complete the test of all elements you can control in a set amount of time.  I still hold the record today.  Being Cesari is that rare.

Favorite Spot

Since I was eight or nine years old my favorite spot was the roof of the Apex Unlimited building.  The wind high above the city was brisk, the air much cleaner than it was down below.  It wasn’t perfect but it was my serenity growing up.

At first I was the only one up there, every once and a while Jace would follow me up and sit with me for hours on end.  We’d say nothing.  Do nothing other than sit and stare out at the sky.

When I graduated from the Academy and was sent away to the Rockies I missed it the most.  While the air was fresh and I could still see for miles, I missed the busyness of the city below, the feeling that I was outside of it.  In the Rockies I was always outside of it, the mood was much more laid back than that of New York City.

But there was no time that I ever felt alive more than when I was jumping from the top of the AU building with only my gift to save me.  It was 8 seconds of pure bliss.  8 seconds where I was in control of everything about my life.  8 seconds that were mine and only mine.  Jumping was freeing and inspiring.  I do miss the jump!