But why would Penelope use a French word like “voilà” when she was nowhere near France? It is a reasonable question, and the answer is this: There are French words and phrases that only French-speaking people use, and there are French words and phrases that everyone uses. This is because some ideas are so perfectly described en français that no other language dares try to top it.
“The Autumn Plains homeworld is settled on a high-risen plateau guarded by massive white-stone walls and gold-crested ramparts. The trees hold gold, brown, and red leaves, scattering them along the grassy courtyard of the castle. A few spiral-cased structures sit here and there, but the main attraction is the castle, with hidden rooms, a rooftop gallery, and a giant throne room.”
finally, here is autumn plains! its my favourite world in ALL of spyro, its so beautiful and calming and i can never get enough of it! sometimes i would load up the game just to chill in this homeworld ♡
Also a result of my frustration over other such AUs that insist on making Belle a maid under Beast’s employ (she’s not Cinderella folks; if you want to do the respectable-but-still-under-your-employment-route take a queue from Jane Eyre and make her a governess to Chip or something), and don’t consider the historical background and social consequences for said actions (to be fair there would still be scandal if a gentleman married his governess, but less so than if he ran off with the maid. Also maids weren’t considered to be educated ladies whereas governesses were, and that bought them some respectability).
Anyway, rant over; let us move on!
Setting: London, England c. mid-1880s.
Isabelle “Belle” Prentiss is the daughter of famed society painter Maurice Prentiss. She has recently come into an impressive fortune on her mother’s side, as her uncle had no children of his own to leave it to. Great news, right? Wrong! Because said uncle left a condition in his will that she must marry to secure her inheritance, and if not the money will pass to some distant relative. In spite of the recent Women’s Property Acts of 1870 and 1882 that allow women to maintain their own property, Belle has to be legally married to obtain the money in accordance to the will. No exceptions.
Normally Belle would say the Victorian equivalent of “fuck you!” and move on (she’s not going to marry for the sake of money, thank you very much), but the problem is….she needs the money. Business has been bad for her father and now he’s taken ill, which means bills have been piling up. To make matters worse that cursed libertine Captain Lionel Grayson (Gaston) has been making unwanted advances towards her, and has placed her in a position that will leave her in disgrace unless she marries him. It’s bad enough that she even has to consider marriage to save her father, but to Grayson!? Uggh. He’ll never treat her with the love and respect she craves, and will likely try to take control of her inheritance, of this she is certain. What’s a girl to do?
Enter His Grace Adam Beaumont (Beast), 9th Duke of Sheffield and master of the dilapidated Balmore Castle. He’s been subjected to a series of high society scandals in his youth, and suffered from an accident a few years back that left him visibly scarred on the left-side of his face. The society to which he rightly belongs might pander to his face because of his name, but behind his back gossip, and baseless rumours about a violent, monster like nature start to spread. Mothers hide their daughters rather than put them in his path as potential wives. Better a live Countess than a savaged Duchess (paraphrased from @romancingthebookworm). These rumours, combined with his quick temper and reclusive nature has earned him the nickname “The Beast of Balmore.” And the sad thing is, Adam has started to believe it.
He’s also land-rich but cash-broke and needs to marry a wealthy heiress to secure the estate for the next generation, else he lose his family’s legacy forever. So he makes the trip to London to mingle amongst the hypocrites of the aristocracy, a society he once so loved, to find said bride.
Fate brings our Beauty and Beast together and they….get on as well as two dogs in a bear-baiting ring.
All joking and terrible first-meetings aside, Adam makes a deal with Belle: marry him, help him secure the financial future of Balmore and she can maintain her inheritance, provide for her father, save her reputation and never want for anything ever again.
How can she say no to that?
….Actually, she almost did, but desperate times call for desperate measures, and hey, at least he’s allowing her to keep some of her autonomy. That’s certainly more than what Grayson was offering. Besides, there are no better offers coming her way.
So a secret wedding is hastily arranged and there’s a great deal of muttering about this (there are some particularly salacious rumours that go along the lines of: “My word, what’s going to happen when a Beast takes a bride, wink-wink, nudge-nudge?”), and Belle leaves London as the Duchess of Sheffield to live with her new husband that she barely knows (and is slightly intimidated by) in this crumbling, far-off castle in the Peak District away from any traces of civilization.
But when she actually gets to Balmore, Belle is pleasantly surprised to discover a house that, while in need of repairs, is full of unexpected beauty: decorous rooms, fine galleries, gardens hidden behind stone walls, a library filled with more books than she could ever read in a lifetime.
An incident occurs three weeks after her arrival in which she and Adam get into a huge row and she storms out of the house, hitching up her her chosen horse Philippe and heading off into the storm. She rides, faster and faster into the hills, wanting to get away from that gilded cage she’s forced to call home, to get away from that man, that Beast, when she’s suddenly set upon by wolves. She manages to hold them off until Adam arrives, who had followed her out, being more familiar with the surrounding woods than she, and helps her, but also gets injured in the process. She helps him back to Balmore and tends to him, whereupon she finds his scars and learns more about his accident and the cruelty he endured at the hands of his father. It’s not the beginnings of love, or even friendship, but it’s an understanding, and Belle begins to see him in a new light.
Afterwards, while reading to him as he recovers, Belle brings up Romeo and Juliet, and dismayed at the thought of a wife whose tastes are so limited Adam brings her to the library for the first time. The look of joy on her face fills him with such warmth, a strange sort of pleasure through her own pleasure, and he gifts it to her on the spot. That is when the true turning point of their relationship occurs.
She makes friends amongst the household staff: kindly and motherly Mrs. Potts, the housekeeper who always has a fresh pot of tea on hand, and her sweet son Chip; Cogsworth the Butler, who despite his stuffiness keeps the place orderly and is an asset to Belle when she inquires after management affairs; first footman Louis Meir (nicknamed Lumiere) who keeps everyone’s spirits up and knows how to put on a good show; the French maid Pauline Babineaux (nicknamed Plumette, though only by Louis), who becomes Belle’s lady’s maid and closest confidante, helping her adjust to the demands of her new position.
Things between her and Adam are still a bit awkward, but gradually the barriers begin to break down as they start to spend more time together, bonding over books and Shakespeare, and taking walks in the gardens or going for rides. Slowly, slowly the monster she initially saw is replaced by a man with gentle blue eyes and an inquisitive mind; one whose emotional pain is as evident as the scars on his face, but not so deep to mar the beauty of his soul.
Other bonding activities include: private dinners, dances, a fancy ball where Belle dresses up in an 1880s bustle version of her yellow ball gown (actually that was one of the reasons I set it in this period. You can’t deny Belle’s dress would be a GORGEOUS as a bustle gown, especially with the design and pleating on the back), and a moment where Adam comforts her during a thunderstorm because Belle. hates. thunderstorms.
As for possible sexy-times…..I’ll leave that to @je-suis-em-jee and @dereksprettyboy (I can’t write smut to save my life; they’re so much better with that kind of thing).
Within the year they are truly in love, and things have never been better for the estate or for each other.
They have a second wedding the following spring, followed by a proper honeymoon traversing France and Italy.
And now the Modern Royals:
I don’t have this one nearly as well-thought out, other than it has a sort-of ‘Princess Diaries’ vibe to it. If anyone wants to add on please do.
The Beast is His Serene Highness Jean Mathieu Yvain François Adam de Montmorency (once again, with the exception of the last bit, is curtesy of @je-suis-em-jee), Sovereign Prince of Bergerais. Bergerais is a fictional European Principality situated between France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany (you get the idea), and one of the few that managed to survive the chaos of two World Wars and the general upheavals of the twentieth century.
That being said, the Princely Family doesn’t have the greatest reputation at the moment; it’s one rife with scandal and intrigue caused by Adam’s father (and later through him), but now that he’s ascended to the throne it’s time for him to clean up his act.
Isabelle “Belle” Dubois comes into the Prince’s life one way or another (college? a high society event? she gets hired as tutor/governess to his younger brother Chip? or as a new addition to his PR team? IDK) and as typical of all BatB stories they don’t hit it off immediately
But shit happens and they become friends, then they slowly begin to fall in love; then Adam proposes and Belle has to adjust to life as a future Princess Consort in the twenty-first century with the aid of Plumette, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts, Lumiere, maybe even Madame Garderobe, and maybe special guest appearances from other Disney Princesses.
Warnings: semi-graphic description of suicide in this chapter
Betty glanced up at the clock again, sighing to herself. She was the last one in the office for the fifth time that week. Any time she was alone, her thoughts wandered. When she closed her eyes, she saw Jughead’s skin, the sunlight dancing on silvery scars.
She stood, smoothing her skirt, and grabbed her purse. She dreaded heading back to the apartment these days - Cheryl and Veronica had understood why Betty was upset by Jughead’s words, but they didn’t understand why she was still affected by it almost a week later.
Betty dug through her purse, trying to find her ringing cell phone.
“Hey, are you on your way home yet? Cheryl and I were thinking of a girls night… you in?”
Betty tightened her grip on her purse, her heels clacking against the office floor. “Are you at our place or Cheryl’s?” She quickly descended the stairs, waving to the security guard as she left the building.
“We’re at Cheryl’s, she’s about to put on 10 Things I Hate About You. You love that movie!”
“You’re right, I do. I think I’m going to just head home, though, pour myself a glass of wine and have a bath.” She dodged a cyclist and turned left, heading toward their apartment.
“Come on, B, are you sure? You’ve been moping all week. You need a night out.”
“I’m not moping, Veronica, I just… don’t feel like it. Okay? Maybe another night.”
“Alright, another night. I’m holding you to that.”
Betty smiled. “Deal. Night, Ron, say hi to Cheryl for me. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Hey,” Jughead called to Archie, balancing a pizza and a six-pack of beer in one hand, his keys and cellphone in the other. “I brought pizza.” He slipped his shoes off and stepped into well worn slippers.
Archie paused whatever he was watching on Netflix and hopped over the back of the couch. “Since when do you bring home pizza and beer? Are you trying to seduce me?”
Gryffindor: roadtrips, 50s music
blasting from the radio, deserted highways, a 1965 ford mustang
convertible, milk shakes and burgers in a small diner, pink
sunglasses, tracking your route on a map with sharpies, oversized
sweaters, route 66, chasing the sun, pillows and blankets on the
backseat, sleeping in rundown motels, neon signs, pastel
colours, strawberry bubble gum, jukeboxes, country roads, a cloudless
let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress adventure, cold drinks,
sticking your head out of the window while you’re riding shotgun, wind in your hair, cracked pavement and yellow
lines, terrible cheap gas station food, laughing your soul out,
sleeping with your head against the window, counting the miles you left
behind, photos of road signs, let’s just go anywhere we
Ravenclaw: faraway adventures, looking for wonderland,
sleeping under dying stars, white mountaintops sharp against a bright
sky, small wooden cottages, silvery waterfalls, darkness split only
by moonlight, a rusty old compass in your hand, wildflowers growing
on the side of the road, the middle of nowhere, cozy tents and warm
sleepingbags, heavy backpacks, picnics next to a river high up in the
mountains, blue valleys and wilderness, waiting for nightfall,
writing on the back of your hands, roasting marshmallows over
campfires, old leather boots, cornfields and rivers, candles,
leaving footprints, discovering hidden paths in the mountains and woods, counting stars, an
atlas underneath your pillow, faded postcards, deep forests, silence
louder than your hearbeat, a neverending universe
Hufflepuff: beach holidays, the sand
between your toes, collecting shells in a tin can, ice cream parlors,
food markets, palm trees, warm bonfire nights, drinking from
coconuts, sunburn on your nose, yellow surf boards, marveling at
street artists, sand castles fit for kings and queens, holding hands,
crystal waves crashing against rocks, a pink sky, salt water, the
clear cyan colour of swimming pools, the smell of sunscreen,
drawing hearts and writing quotes in the sand, walks on the shoreline while the sun is setting, feeding
the seagulls, fruity cocktails, swimming in the ocean, loud
heartbeats, a feverish smile, cold water rushing around you, white
stones, let’s be mermaids, narrow alleys and corner shops, laughter
filling the streets, heaven in your eyes
Slytherin: big cities, bright
lights, time doesn’t seem to pass at all, short dresses and black
skinny jeans, cash in your pockets, the smell of coffee and pollution,
yellow taxis, the skyline against the setting sun, falling in love
with strangers, the raw glamour of big cities, expensive restaurants and bars, the
golden gate bridge at night, skyscrapers made of shining glass, 4am,
waking up in hotel rooms high above the city, brief golden
moments, photographs of people passing by,
luxurious flats with huge glass fronts looking out at the city, watching dawn break on the rooftop of a skyscraper, loving out of lust,
magazine covers, plane tickets, concrete jungles, traffic lights reflecting on wet streets,
dancing until morning, exploring new places with every step,
billboards with promises of better lives, hidden
art galleries, live fast die young
Hey! I love your writing and if you're taking any I have a prompt for you: bellarke modern au where octavia drags bellamy to an art gallery cause bell you need step away from hades and the underworld you havent been outside since forever and of course he loses her cause the place is huge and he was on his phone and look that blonde girl has been staring at the same painting for forever whats her deal?
This was such a treat to write! Also, it encouraged me to go the art museum in my city to get inspired, which was a great adventure, so thanks for that haha. I tweaked a few things slightly (only very slightly), so I hope your like it! Happy reading :)
As Bellamy stalked throughgallery after gallery, he wished he had paid more attention to what Octavia had
been wearing today, because all of the brunettes in this place somehow looked
the same. Even recalling the color of her shirt would be helpful in seeking her
out in the crowded museum. All he actually remembered from that morning was her
overly cheery grin and the pleading tone of her voice when she had barged into
his apartment and begged him to take a break from his thesis writing to go to
the museum with her.
Come on, Bell, the legends of the underworld will still be there for
you to overanalyze and pick apart when we get back. Please, I really want to
see the new exhibit!
After fifteen minutes of her
pleas distracting him from writing, he grudgingly got up and put on his shoes
and coat and herded her out the door. By the time they were buying their
tickets, he was surprisingly feeling less stressed about his rapidly
approaching deadline. Who knew fresh air and sunlight could do that much good
after only a short walk across the city.
Bellamy had trailed along after
his sister for a while at the visiting display, but given that she stopped to
read every single plaque, he eventually grew bored. Letting Octavia know he was
going to wander, and to text him if she was going to another gallery, he left,
heading for the ancient worlds section. Okay, so maybe he was a little bit
obsessed, but at least now he could call this an educational trip rather than
just a distraction.
Unsurprisingly, being around the
preserved urns and tablets and tools just reminded him how much he really
needed to get back to writing. With anxious steps, he paced back to the
visiting exhibit, not realizing until his third trip around that Octavia had
moved on. His phone was empty of messages, and Bellamy frowned, because finding
his sister in this place was going to be impossible.
Sending her several insistent
messages, Bellamy began searching for her in what he guessed would be the most
likely places. Twenty minutes later, still no Octavia, and no responses to his
texts. Sighing, he looked for girls around her age, very familiar with his
sister’s uncanny ability to make friends in the most random places. There was a
group giggling at a revealing statue, and another arguing over a depiction of a
scene from the Bible. A blonde was seated in front of a watercolor, head bent
over a sketchpad. No Octavia though.
After a third round of
searching, Bellamy felt his temper rise, because it was getting pretty late,
and he already was behind in his writing goal for this weekend. If his sister
didn’t reappear soon, there was no way he would be able to catch up. Underneath
the frustration was worry as well, because he was approaching an hour of her
With a desperate look around the
current gallery, he saw a flash of blonde out of the corner of his eye. The
girl had been here every time he had come through. Chewing his lip, Bellamy
debated interrupting her to ask if she had seen Octavia. Clearly the girl was
oblivious to the rush of people around her and probably wouldn’t have noticed his
sister, but at this point, he had nothing to lose.
A Sword by Itself Rules Nothing (for Hero Complex Gallery’s Kung Fu Theater exhibition, LA, November 2014)
18" x 24" giclée, available in a limited numbered edition of 30. Exhibition opens Friday 14th November, with remaining prints available online soon after that.
I fell in love with Hong Kong action cinema in my teens (my gateway drug probably being the movies of Van Damme, his movies in turn being discovered through the broader action star appeal of Schwarzenegger, Stallone et al). It’s been a passion of mine ever since, and I’m always on the lookout for the next big thing, whether it’s Tony Jaa from a few years back, or Iko Uwais (and director Gareth Evans) more recently.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was a perfect cinema moment for me, in terms of it being both a beautiful high budget tribute to the movies I loved, and an amazing new film in its own right. The stunning (and varied) action sequences made all the more interesting thanks to compelling characters and amazing performances from the cast. To be honest I can hardly believe it’s almost 15 years old now!
So yeah, it’s a movie I’ve long wanted to tackle for a poster, and this exhibition seemed like the perfect opportunity to go for it. Hope you like it!
Hello there! It's my birthday and I decided today was a good day to ask for a BBRae fix with more public sex? Pretty please? I absolutely loved your beach fanfic, you're such an amazing writer! Thank you :)
Anon, Happy Freakin’ Birthday!
This has somewhere between zero and .01 plot, but I guess you can consider it a part of “Summer Beach Read”…? I referenced parts of it, so sure.
- - -
Displayed Under Glass
“So, what… we just roam around and look at old shit under glass? That’s it?”
Raven looked over at her newly acquired boyfriend, raising an eyebrow as she pulled herself away from the information placard that sat next to a set of ancient pottery belonging to one of the first establishments of the Mesopotamia era. It was a piece of ancient history just inches beyond her touch, filled with stories and memories… and Beast Boy was about as interested as she was in his video games. She sighed and leaned back on her heels, turning around to look at him.
"Yes, Beast Boy. We’re here to look at old shit under glass.” She crossed her arms over her chest and continued to stare at him. “I find it interesting, and I got to pick where we went on our date this time, because last time you took me to a comic book convention.”
"You liked it.”
“I smelled like nerd for a week.” She shivered thinking of the smell of fresh body odor and stale corn chips. It wasn’t a scent she was likely to forget any time soon. “And some creepy guy thought I was a cosplayer and tried to grab my breast as an ‘accident’. I am never doing that again.”
"Oh, come on, Rae…” He nudged her shoulder, a smile peeling across his lips. “You had a little bit of fun.”
"No.” She moved to the next case and looked at something else. “No, Garfield, I did not.”
“I don’t know.” He shrugged nonchalantly, but there was a lilt of coyness in his voice, as if he was trying to remind her of something a little forbidden. “You seemed to have fun when I fucked you in the elevator.”
Summary: A Hook/Emma angel/demon AU.
They hide in plain sight, the servants of heaven and hell. The angels and the demons, who can save your soul or damn it. They stand on opposite sides, they are the bringers of light and the agents of darkness, they are enemies in an eternal war, but what happens when an angel and a demon are inexplicably drawn to each other?
Auguste bowed somewhat stiffly and held out his arm with some hesitance. He was attired in a new coat of cut velvet, a rich, deep blue in colour, with a matching waistcoat and an immaculate ruffled stock at his throat that was held in place with a jewelled stickpin. His dark hair was hidden underneath a white horsehair wig, curled tight around his ears and tied in the back with a blue ribbon. While he was the very picture of a fine court gentleman, there was no smile on his face and the light blue eyes held only sad resignation. Emma had not looked in the mirror, but she knew that her own face reflected much of the same emotions that he was feeling this night.
“An invitation to a royal ball,” she whispered, laying her hand on his sleeve, “With the king himself in attendance. It is everything you ever dreamed of, Auguste.”
His lips tilted upwards but the rest of his expression did not change, “Oui. Another prayer answered, bel ange.”
Oh my god whale bones. These things were HUGE. The heaviest one weighed about 500 lbs. Thankfully I didn’t have to move them. Just look at them. So greasy! The Georgia Musuem of Natural History has enough bones to fully articulate a few whales! All hidden away because their gallery is sadly so small.