The first installment of Christmas in July!! Christmas in July is a set of 4 (individual) one shots that center around Christmas and our favorite fluffy duck. I imagined short haired Harry for this piece because he really serves up the romcom feels, yeah? Enjoy and let me know what you think 🎄😍🎄
The scent of sweet peppermint and spicy cinnamon swirled through the air and was all that kept you company on set. Not even a light was on, as you preferred to work by candlelight in the evenings, to provide even the hint that you were still tending to minor tasks long after everyone else had gone home.
Just as you liked it.
As a set designer, you spent a lot more time than you liked with people and relished in the moments when it was just you, your tools, and the script. It was in these mos when you able to walk around your sets in peace, step into the shoes of the characters and really understand how and why they used the space. Frankie’s bedroom was more than just a bedroom—it was his safe haven; he’d moved back to his childhood home after his gran died, and instead of taking over the master bedroom, returned to the room his juvenile years were spent, the room where his craft as an artist was honed.
Which is why you were now sprawled underneath the rickety wood desk and drawing a pencil mural of a superhero—Captain Lonelyheart—begging at the feet of his one true love—Natalia—as his bleeding heart poured out around him.
Did the script call for it? No. Did that matter to you? No. And that’s why you tended to these small details when no one was around.
“Ask Lord Lonelyheart.” Discreet advice from a peer of the realm (all-new, possibly shocking content by @redscudery)
“The Landlady’s Corner.” A Most Disreputable and Scandalous Page for Only the Bravest of Souls (some new and definitely all shocking content)
Monthly public classifieds
Beautiful period illustrations and advertisements
Subscription costs for 12 monthly issues: $25 CAD for Canadian subscribers, $25 USD for American subscribers, and $70 CAD for all others. Payment by email transfer or paypal; please message doctornerdington for logistics.
PDF version also immediately available to subscribers.
The Observer will be posted on AO3 one month after the issue goes out to subscribers.
First issue mailed out July 1, 2017. Subscribe here.
Rear Window AU. When injured photojournalist Jughead Jones thinks he sees a man murder his wife from the window of his apartment it’s up to him to convince the police, and socialite-cum-girlfriend Betty Cooper, that what he saw actually happened, and what starts out as an investigation may just be the key to unlocking a few of their own skeletons in the closet.
First chapter of my multi fic! Rear Window is one of my favourite films and when I was watching it recently I realised just how easy it would be to slip these characters into the world of Hitchcock’s movie. This film, for those of you who haven’t seen it, is very observation and conversation heavy, so while the plot is pretty much the same here it’s those aspects where it will differ some. Anyway, I really hope you enjoy!
(special thank to @formergirlwonder for reading over this chapter! She’s an absolute gem!)
Jughead Jones had always known that bricks and mortar did not
make a neighbourhood. His thoughts were only confirmed every time he regarded
the rear windows facing the shared back alley courtyard from the vantage point
of his second story apartment. The last hints of pink and orange faded from the
sky, revealing another clear, sunny Riverdale day as the clock crept closer to
morning. Each window frame became a small screen, most with cracked and peeling
off-white paint. As he sat sleeping in his wheelchair, performances played out
behind the open shutters and ajar glass panes; the tiny colony was beginning to
The man who spent his nights camped out on the fire escape,
mattress and all, stirred as the first blinding rays cast their glow over his
closed eyelids. His name wasn’t known to Mr Jones, but he certainly knew his
wife’s was Ginger, given the amount of times he heard it pleaded at all hours
of the day and night. To Jughead, he was simply ‘Mr Screw-Up’. The man
stretched, rubbing the heel of a palm into his sleep encrusted eye, before
standing precariously on his broken spring mattress and wobbling his way to the
open window. He glanced furtively inside, checking left and right for signs that
he could make an attempt to gain access back into his abode for the morning
ritual of washing, shaving, and listening to early morning advertisements on
the radio. Guaranteed, he’d be back sulking on the stairwell before eight
flinched on the edge of sleep as cawing crows swooped a little too closely to
his window. He had left it ajar to combat the oppressive heatwave invading his
apartment, which had left beads of sweat balancing in miscellaneous
constellations atop his slightly wrinkled forehead, but his effort appeared to
be in vain. Blinking into wakefulness, Jughead
swiped at the moisture, which tickled while it dripped down his temples. As he
came to, still in his chair by the window, he glanced down at his leg, adorned
with a cumbersome cast stretching from his toes to his pelvic bone. Jughead sighed;
he’d hoped that this time his hindrance really would have been a dream. His eye
caught the bold, black pen strokes against the slightly discoloured plaster,
and he allowed himself a chuckle as he read once more the words, “rather a
broken bone than a broken spirit”, written in the hasty cursive of his superior,
Kevin Keller. His chuckle turned to a grimace as a twinge turned to an
itch, fate conveniently placing it directly out of reach beneath the bulky aid
The glint of a copper penny stole his attention, though,
returning his gaze to the array of scenes awaiting his audience for yet another
day in the listless stretch of weeks that he’d been chained to a chair for. The
copper belonged to the girl opposite and to the left, her window a few brick
widths higher than Jughead’s. Dubbed ‘Miss Legs’, the girl’s flaming red hair
hung past her waist in perfectly arranged waves, often mirroring the light as
it swung this way and that while she danced before her window. She was a
nonstop whirlwind of kicks and strides and spins, low melodic tunes of her
record player, thankfully, barely reaching Jughead’s apartment; but he couldn’t
deny even he was captivated by her talents. He assumed, she embodying what was
considered conventionally attractive, that most other men would be jonesing for
the chance to have a glimpse at her in her brassiere and matching briefs as she
paraded herself about her household chores. To Jughead her overly full lips,
painted a shudder inducing crimson more often than not, seemed suffocating. The
train of dance partners that appeared
every so often in his line of sight confirmed his suspicions, however.
As she tripped out of view his eye caught a scurrying of
burnt umber as the miniature daschund, affectionately cooed after under the
name Caramel by Ginger multiple times a day, set its sights on a neighbourhood
cat and decided to give chase. Millimetres above the game of cat and dog,
Jughead lifted his scrutinising blue eyes to ‘Miss Lonelyhearts’. Still young,
attractive though somewhat plain, the woman that earned such a title made
frequent habit of setting the table for two, eating for one, and then crying
herself into a stupor as the empty chair opposite failed once again to partake
in the evening’s conversation. Her thick, mousey hair frequented a tight twist
at the nape of her neck, round glasses perched just so on the bridge of her
delicate nose, eyes wide and unassuming. Her usual dress was erring just
slightly on this side of try-hard, but Jughead had seen her at her worst –
tattered, flowery hand-me-downs shrouding her fragile figure as she knocked
back the wine poured for her, and then the wine poured for her date. Having
never seen another soul in the apartment in all their days occupying the same
courtyard he only knew her real name by her woeful, self-pitying cries of “oh,
Geraldine” that always rang out when he was just drifting off, jolting him back
from the edge of unconsciousness.
The next curtain pulling up moved his eye away from her tired
face to the window directly above. A worn looking man with dark skin and deep
set eyes trudged through his apartment, pulling up the shades as if he were
reluctant to face another day. His balding head shone with perspiration in the
early morning heat, shoulders dropping several degrees as he exhaled a mournful
sigh, head turning to his left. An overly long pause passed before he began to
move again, disappearing from view for a moment before the shades covering the
next window along rippled and rose, revealing a bedroom. Crumpled sheets were
occupied by an elegant woman in her mid-thirties, probably once the height of
beauty but now looking as if she’d seen better days. Her frame was withered and
meek and her hair hung limp and lifeless around her face. Her smile, Jughead
noted, had not met the same foibles of time. She beamed at her husband, head
tilting to one side as she spoke, looking more the young girl Jughead imagined
she once was in that moment. Her husband nodded, slow and mechanical, before
moving back to the kitchen, collecting a tray of breakfast foods, and then
returning, setting it gently over the ridges of her legs under the blankets. He
leaned in to place a chaste kiss against her cheek before retiring to the
adjoining bathroom. His attentive, husbandly duties had earned him the title ‘Mr
The sight of breakfast made Jughead’s own stomach rumble in
anticipation. He wheeled back from his usual perch, rolling past the cabinets
and shelves holding countless camera parts – flashes, lenses, bulbs – all
stacked and presented perfectly. A tower of copies of the latest issue of Life magazine took up the side table by
the front door, his photograph adorning their front covers, staring back at him
in duplicate. The rest of the apartment was an unorganised disarray of
knickknacks and keepsakes. Broken mechanical parts, overly read and worn copies
of his favourite books, boxes upon boxes of old yellowing magazines he called
‘inspiration’ flooded the space. His old typewriter, barely breathing amid the
flurry of tat on his desk, took centre stage.
The shrill ringing of his telephone pulled an exasperated sigh
from Jughead’s lips as he just managed to manoeuvre his way to the kitchen’s
threshold. Reversing a couple of inches he shoved the discarded dress shirt out
of the way before picking up the shiny, black receiver.
“Jones,” he spoke into the phone, voice slightly hoarse from
disuse. He cleared his throat.
“Well, it doesn’t exactly sound like you’ve been
celebrating,” the voice of his assignment manager at the magazine, Kevin,
crackled over the line, his tone taking on a minor lilt of amusement that had
the skin of Jughead’s back prickling, and not from the excessive heat.
“What exactly is there to celebrate, Keller?” Jughead asked,
rolling his neck slightly to ease the tightness he’d suddenly become aware of.
“Have I got the wrong day? Seven weeks since Wednesday – that
cast should be coming off by now,” Kevin answered, confused. Jughead huffed a
disgruntled breath out of his nose, pressing his lips together.
“Right day, wrong week,” he lamented, throwing a dirty look
at his offending leg. Kevin’s laugh rung out of the speaker.
“I told you to stand further to the left,” he chastised,
referring to the incident that caused Jughead’s current predicament. He’d been given the go-ahead to stand
directly on the track for an in-action shot of the racers in the Grand Prix. Only
Jughead would have had the balls to do it, Kevin thought, watching him stride
purposefully onto the tarmac to get the snap of a lifetime. He’d worked it all
out, what he thought was perfectly. What he didn’t account for was the slight
nudge one car gave another as it attempted to undertake on the sharp bend,
bumper clipping the rear door and sending it winding off course for a moment,
long enough to clip Jughead in the hip, throwing him into an ungraceful heap
against the barriers.
“Still got the shot though,” he returned, tone and expression
equally smug as he remembered the way he cradled the camera against his chest
during the fall, concerned only for the protection of the precious roll of film
distinctly recalled the flicker of satisfaction he’d felt as his finger pushed
the button, the way the light flashed as it had seemingly heralded the end of
“It’s quite the shot indeed,” Kevin agreed. “Story isn’t half
bad either.” The corners of Jughead’s mouth tilted upwards at the deprecating
compliment. There was only the distinct static of the line for a moment as
neither man attempted to speak. Eventually, Kevin sighed. “Well, if you’re still
cooped up for another week then I guess I can’t offer you this assignment.”
Jughead’s back straightened as he sat up. He noticed, briefly, that Miss Legs
was practicing pirouettes as she scrubbed a dish.
“What’s the job?” he asked, fingers tightening around the
receiver, itching to get the camera in his hands once more. Six weeks had
seemed an eternity.
“South America, month or so, heading into the camps,” Kevin
recited, keeping the details vague. It didn’t matter, however: Jughead was
“Can it wait a week?” he asked, trying to keep the
desperation out of his voice, leaning ever further forward in his wheelchair
until the irksomely hard edge of his cast digging into the soft planes of his
stomach prevented him.
“Going stir crazy, huh?” Kevin guessed, a slight note of
sympathy creeping into his voice. Jughead sighed, settling back against the
leather backing of the chair. Mr Screw-Up was blowing unfurling smoke curls
into the air as he rested against the metal railings. He was early today.
Jughead briefly considered deducing what Screw-Up had done this time, before
dismissing the notion as boring.
“You have no idea.”
“How much time have you spent at that window of yours?” Kevin
asked suddenly, catching Jughead off guard. He bristled.
“A while,” he retorted with a stubborn air. Mr Caretaker sat
on his couch and put his head in his hands as Kevin’s airy laugh echoed in
Jughead’s ears. He felt the sudden, overwhelming desire to hang up.
“Careful, Mr Jones, only the lonesome and embittered spend
the majority of their time observing life instead of actually living it,” Kevin
joked, and Jughead could practically hear him shaking his head gently in mock
disapproval. The words struck a chord with Jughead, the image of his father
springing before he eyes before his mind even allowed it.
The old man (salt and
pepper beard, greying streaks in his hair, slightly sunken cheeks) drifted
before Jughead’s eyes. Even while awake the picture haunted him, bottle in hand
and grimace a permanent fixture on his features. He sat, moaning and
complaining about the state of the world, sour to the umpteenth degree about the
unfair hand he’d been dealt. He chose instead to dish out biting insults and
the occasional brisk smack rather than making any effort to fix the mess he’d
made of himself and join the rest of society. Moving past the war had taken its
toll on everyone who fought, but on none more than F.P. Jones, Jughead recalled
as an acrid taste invaded his mouth.
Jughead shook himself out of his revere, telling himself the fading
sting in his right cheek was only a mere ghost. He turned in time to catch
Caramel hopping into the basket contraption Ginger employed to haul the pup up
onto her fourth floor balcony, its little legs unable to handle the climb. Kevin’
voice drifted back to his ears.
“You should get married. They say there’s never a dull moment…”
Jughead ignored him.
“Hold the story. One more week,” Jughead commanded, already
lifting the phone from his ear. He barely heard Kevin’s exasperated replies.
With a nearly
audible eye roll, Kevin muttered, “Who is in charge here?” to no one in
particular. A distinct ring cut through the stifling air, signalling that the
call was over.