a baffle of them

The amount of people in the pony fandom who still haven’t heard of Them’s Fightin Herds still baffles me. Even more so if they’re my followers.

I guess I haven’t posted about it a while but man, I was all over that game for a bit there.

AND BETA SOON

A story that may have relevance for others, or then again, maybe not:

When I was in college, about ten or so years ago, I was a history major. I wanted to learn to dance, so I joined a swing dance club on campus. To my surprise, this club had about twice as many men as women (in high school, the last time I’d tried dancing, the ratio had gone the other way–lots of girls, and boys only that you could drag by their ears).

But apparently, there had been some kind of word spread specifically to the STEM guys that dance was a way that they could meet girls.

So anyway. I joined the swing dance club, and met a few guys. And at one point, when socializing with the guys outside of dance class, one of them asked me what my research was on. (I had already established that I was an honors history student doing a thesis, just as he had established that he was an honors… I’m not sure if he was CS or Math, but it was one of those.)

So I gave him the thumbnail sketch of my research. Now, to be clear, an honors senior thesis, while nothing like what a graduate student would do, was still fairly in-depth. I had to translate primary sources from the original late-Classical Latin. (My professor said, basically, that while there were plenty of translations of my source material, that I’d only be able to comfortably trust them if I had at least made a stab at a translation of my own. And he was right.) And there was so much secondary material, often contradictory, that I had been carefully sorting through.

But I was able to sift it into a three-sentence summary of my senior thesis work, you know, as one does.

So I gave him that summary, and then asked–since he was also an undergraduate senior doing an honors thesis–what his research was on.

“Oh,” he said, “you wouldn’t understand it.”

Reader, I went home in a frothing rage. Because I had thought we were playing one game–a game of ‘let’s talk about what we’re passionate about!’– and he had been playing another game, which was, one-upsmanship. I had done my best to give a basically understandable brief of my research–and he had used that against me. As if my research, my painstaking translation, my digging through archives and ILLs of esoteric works, my reading of ten thousand articles in Speculum (yes, the pre-eminent medievalist journal in North America is called Speculum, I’m sorry, it’s hilarious/sad but also true), and then my effort to sum it up for him, was nothing. Because his research into some kind of algorithm or other was just too complex for my tiny brain to conceive of. Because I just couldn’t possibly understand his work.

Now, the important note here is that the person I went home to was my senior year roommate. She was a graduate student–normally undergrads and graduate students couldn’t be roommates, but we’d been friends for years, and the tenured faculty-in-residence used his powers for good and permitted us to be roommates that year. Anyway. My senior year roommate was basically… in retrospect I think possibly an avatar of Athena. She was six feet tall, blonde, attractive in a muscular athletic way, a rock climber and racquetball player, sweet but sharp, extremely socially awkward, exceptionally kind even when it cost her to be kind, and an incredibly brilliant computer science major who spent most of her time working on extremely complicated mathematical algorithms. (Yes, I was a little in love with her, why do you ask? But she was as straight as a length of rope, and is now happily married, and so am I, so it worked out.)

(Still, yes, she is my mental image of Athena, to this day.)

Anyway, I came home in a frothing rage to my roommate, the Athena avatar. And I said, “He made me feel like such an idiot, that I could sum up my research to him but his research was just too smart for stupid little me.”

And she shut her book, and smiled at me, with her dark eyes and her high cheekbones and her bright hair, and said, “If he can’t explain his research to you, then he’s not nearly as smart as he thinks he is.”

Now I hesitated, because I’d be in college long enough to have sort of bought into the ridiculous idea that if you couldn’t dazzle them with your brilliance, you should baffle them with your bullshit. But she said, “Look, I’ve been doing work on computer science algorithms that have significantly complicated mathematical underpinnings. What do I do?”

And I said, “Genetic algorithms–that is, self-optimizing algorithms–for prioritization, specifically for scheduling.”

“Right,” she said. “You couldn’t code them because you’re not a computer scientist or a mathematician. But you can understand what I do. If someone can’t explain it like that, it isn’t a problem with you as a person. It’s a problem with them. They either don’t understand it as well as they think they do–or they want to make you feel inferior. And neither is a positive thing.”

So. There.

If you are looking into something and have a question, and someone treats you like an idiot for not understanding right away… here is what I have to say: maybe it isn’t you who is the idiot.

Imagine if Dudley did have a magical child though.

He and Harry haven’t spoken since ‘I don’t think you’re a waste of space’ and he’s matured enough to realise his parents were not good to Harry, especially since the birth of his own little girls because God forbid anything happened to him and they were treated like Harry was.

On Daisy Dursley’s eleventh birthday theres a knock on the door and his wife, Anita, just stares and he feels his stomach drop because the stern lady on the doorstep is wearing a cloak and pointed hat.

They listen to the woman - Professor McGonagall - explain and Anita is surprised but receptive, Daisy is excited and Dudley is terrified of what this means.

It’s a surprise to his wife and little girl when at the end of her explanation, while Daisy’s flicking through a book with moving pictures and Anita peers over her shoulder, Dudley blurts out ‘it’s safe now then? Your world?’

Professor Mcgonagall gives a wry smile and assures him that the magical world is indeed safe. It dawns on him that she was expecting this, that she’d perhaps researched him and was aware of his relation to Harry.

He then admits to Anita and Daisy that his cousin is a wizard, before turning to the Professor and asking if she by chance knows a Harry Potter. Looking amused, professor Mcgonagall acknowledges that she does.

’D'you know where he lives?’

That does surprise her a bit, and she tells him that yes, she knows and that though Daisy’s acceptance into the school has been confidential up until this point, Harry would likely not mind a visitor if he wanted a word.

Daisy begs to come along and he relents eventually, bringing Anita and their youngest, Poppy, along.

All four of them stand on the doorstep of a modest house that Dudley would call nice if there weren’t squat little creatures snickering and running around the front garden.

The door is opened by a slouching boy with turquoise hair who arches a purple eyebrow at them. He yells over his shoulder for someone named Ginny and steps back to let them in, and, when he notices Daisy staring at his hair, he smirks and a second later it’s bubblegum pink.

Daisy squeals in delight and Dudley is still trying to get his head around that when young girl and boy around Daisy’s age with bright red hair and thick brown curls respectively, hurtle down the corridor.

‘Teddy you promised you’d practice the sloth grip roll with us!’ The girl yells in an accusatory tone.

A woman with hair the same shade of flaming red as the little girl appears with what Dudley recognises as a wand in her hand as the boy with blue hair flashes a grin at them before chasing the two younger children outside to a shout of ‘No higher than the treetops Teddy!’

Harry is much like Dudley remembers him, lanky with a pointed face, straight nose and mess of untameable black hair. It’s awkward, but, apparently forewarned, Harry greets him pleasantly and introduces his wife before Ginny goes outside to reign in a gaggle of children he assumes aren’t all Harry’s.

A woman with thick, bushy hair pulled into a messy bun with a wand stuck in it smiles and makes an effort to talk to Anita. She’s not too strange, he thinks, and reassures them that her parents were just as baffled when they found out she was a witch.

‘Why don’t you take Daisy outside to see the broomsticks, Al?’ Harry suggests to Daisy’s obvious delight and Dudley swears Harry’s trying not to laugh.

By the end of the visit Dudley is more informed about the wizarding world than he ever thought he would or wanted to be. Daisy, with a bruise on her forehead and scraped knees, because despite both his and Harry’s warning she hadn’t been able to resist trying to fly, is bouncing off the walls because ‘daddy how could you not tell us?!’

They visit Harry’s a lot over summer and Daisy befriends Lily Luna Potter and Hugo Weasley. Dudley doesn’t feel up to the trip to Diagon Alley but regrets his decision to not go when Daisy comes back with two owls, 'uncle Harry bought the second one for me! So you can write without having to wait for me to send my owl!’

Petunia Dursley faints when she finds out, and Vernon spends a good half hour cursing and brandishing things aimlessly before retreating to his shed.

Dudley being introduced to what he calls 'all those bloody gingers’ some of whom are only just on the right side of civil to him (one cheerfully introduces himself as someone who once visited his childhood home in a flying car and asks if he’s going to need to do the same for Daisy or will she be allowed to attend without punishment).

Daisy is shocked to find out Harry’s famous, and finds out as much as she can about him during her first term, which she relays to an increasingly guilty feeling Dudley, who’s gradually coming around to the idea.

It’s not as bad as his parents made out it was. He’s learned to understand Daisy’s ramblings about her subjects and spells and is proud of her achievements at school. He’s met a handful of witches and wizards through Harry and the world that he’s always been told is terrible doesn’t seem too bad anymore, after all, how could it with his little girl in it? He is prepared come excitable little Poppy’s eleventh birthday, for her to join her sister at Hogwarts instead of standing jealously on the platform as she leaves.

Poppy Dursley never gets a letter.

One day, early in the days of a new president, thousands of people’s internet suddenly encrypts. Baffled, the government searches to find the one common thread between them and finds a writing prompts blog at the helm.

romidant-diarmi  asked:

Since it's on it's way: imagine having to explain April Fool's Day and/or the concept of pranking one's friends for the sake of amusement. Like, maybe the aliens understand setting something up in regards to honing reflexes or something, but things like whoopee cushions and complex Rube Goldberg machines to fling shaving cream at someone just baffle them. Also the concept of a prank war in space is just amusing.

Thrnawxh watched in confusion as Human Frankie attached some sort of transparent film to the entryway, snickering to themself and occasionally looking over their shoulder as if fearing they were being watched. It put Thrnawxh ‘on edge’ as the humans would say.

In xir experience, if a human was worried, anyone else ought to be terrified.

Eventually, xir worry won out, causing xem to ask what Human Frankie was doing.

“It’s the first day of April.” Human Frankie said, baring their teeth in a show of either aggression, or bizarrely enough pleasure. Usually Thrnawxh would be able to guess which one it was based on a human’s statement, but this one made no sense.

“Also known as April Fool’s day, and oh boy does Sara got something coming for her.” Frankie continued, apparently having no idea that xe didn’t understand their explanation. What’s worse was that Human Sara apparently had something hunting them.

“And this device will stop Human Sara’s would-be attackers?” Xe asked, not sure how that would work, but xe had seen humans accomplish much more demanding things with seemingly worse odds.

“No, no what I meant is that Sara doesn’t-” they began before pausing, seemingly to reconsider whatever they were going to say. “You remember when I explained human humour to you, right?”

“Yes, when I believed you were ill because of your stomach contracting while you looked at an oddly shaped root vegetable.”  Thrnawxh confirmed, not seeing the relevance.

“Great. So this is a joke. I’m going to play a prank on Sara, because it’s April’s Fool’s day.” They said, though some of the words didn’t seem to translate well or at all to xir native language.

“I do not understand,” xe said, looking up at them in a way xe hoped Human Frankie would realise was questioning. Xir hopes were however not high.

“Shit, right okay. Erm. So a prank is a trick - you know what a trick is, right? Good. It’s a trick that you pull on someone because it’s funny, or like today, because it’s tradition. Sometimes they’re mean, but unless you’re a dickhead, they’re just funny. Like… shoving a pie in someone’s face, or pulling cellophane across the doorway and having them walk into it. Just, harmless fun, you know? And April Fool’s day is the first day of April - that’s one of our months; one of the sub-parts we divide the time it takes for our home planet to orbit the sun into. So it’s the first day of that sub-part, and it’s tradition to prank people.” Human Frankie explained, giving a small nod when they were done as if confirming what they’d just said.

“Why?” Xe asked, getting only a shrug in return - a signal of uncertainty or non-commitment. “What purpose does it serve?”

“Oh, no no purpose. I mean, maybe it did at one time? Superstition or what ever, but it’s just fun.” Human Frankie said before delving into a story of a prank they and a friend did on an authoritarian learning monitor when they were younger.

The story itself was interesting, though Thrnawxh was hardly able to focus when xe had so much new information to process about human behaviour.

Xe certainly had a lot left to learn.

N O O NE F U CK I N G T OU CH M E

THAT NO EXIT BROADCAST HAS ME IN FUCKING TEARS

JOOHEON SAID HE WANTS TO BE RECOGNIZED PERFECTLY (AS IN THROUGH HIS MUSIC PERFORMANCE) HE DOESN’T CARE ABOUT WINNING NUMBER 1 BUT IF THEY DID IT WOULD MAKE THE GROUP STRONGER

IT MAKES HIM FEEL HAPPY WHEN PEOPLE LIKE AND LISTEN TO HIS MUSIC

WHEN THEY ASKED HIM WHEN HE SEES TIGERS DOES HE HAVE A SPECIAL FEELING TOWARDS THEM HE SAID THEY FEEL SIMILAR TO HIM AND WHEN ASKED HOW HE SAID “BECAUSE THEY LOOKED MISERABLE” AND THAT JUST RIPPED MY HEART OUT WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU

WONHO WAS CRYING EVERYONE TEARED UP SHOWNU WAS ON THE VERGE OF CRYING IN HIS HYPNOSIS I’M CRYING YOU’RE CRYING EVERYONE IS CRYING

WONHOS DRAWING CONCLUDED HE WAS NOT MENTALLY STABLE AND HE EVEN WAS LIKE YUP IM NOT MENTALLY STABLE IM JUST- THESE BABIES HAVE SO MUCH HURT IN THEM

I AM IN FUCKING TEARS MY BABY WAS SOBBING HIS HEART OUT

WHY ARE YALL SLEEPING ON TALENT IT JUST BAFFLES ME

I JUST WANT THEM TO BE HAPPY AND HEALTHY MENTALLY EMOTIONALLY AND PHYSICALLY

I AM IN LEGITIMATE TEARS I CANT-

2

The Girl Who Wasn’t There

Excerpt of original article by Kathy Gearing which appeared in the Spring 2006 Newsletter. The photograph was provided by Lee Moynes and taken by his friend Joan.

This photograph was taken on a wet, drizzly day on Dartmoor on the 14th June 2002. The photographer had been sitting in the car watching the ponies with her partner and decided to take a picture of them before they went home. They were totally baffled when they saw the little girl who appears to be petting the pony, as they are absolutely sure there was nobody else around at the time. Joan says, “the little girl was not wearing appropriate clothing for that cold, wet day and she was "brighter” than she would have been in the flesh - so to speak". It does seem very unlikely that a young girl would be out on Dartmoor, miles from anywhere on her own.  Joan adds, “also those ponies do not stand still to let anyone touch them. The only person we saw, apart from the cars which drove by, was a man driving a tractor coming off the moor to get on to the road”.

I get not shipping FrUK (okay no I don’t but I respect it), but I really don’t get trying to pretend Francis and Arthur didn’t have a very formative effect on each other? Like whether or not you regard their relationship as romantic (or even as friends, honestly, though I don’t think you can deny there’s a sense of camaraderie there), you can’t say they haven’t had a very powerful influence on one another. They are different people, for better or for worse, than they would have been if they hadn’t known each other.

So much of how they defined themselves and conducted themselves in the past was in opposition to each other (and in some cases, still is), so it seems really useless to me to feign like they aren’t extremely relevant influences in each other’s lives. It’s not just about what they’ve done to each other (or even what they’ve done together), but the collective result of hundreds of years of using one another as a contrast to themselves, followed by reconciling all the things they always saw as irreversibly incompatible after becoming allies (and, if you would, friends). This certainly contributes to why they are blind to and deny that they are in any way similar, because they’ve spent so long saying “He’s X and I’m Y” or “He’s Y therefore I will be X”. At this point it’s a knee-jerk mental response to refuse the idea that they could be alike, even if they consent that they can work well together when they put aside their differences.

Moreover, a great deal of this occurred when they were growing up. However you headcanon the mental aging process for the Nations, I think we can agree that childhood was still a highly formative time for them, and they were growing up through that, as well as adolescence, with this relationship developing. That’s something that sticks with a person for a lifetime—we always remember influential childhood friends (or bullies, or rivals, or whomever). And as far as we can tell, Arthur has known Francis from birth—the earliest image we’ve seen of them together has Arthur as an infant. There is no memory in his mind of a time before he knew Francis.

So I guess my point is just that trying to pretend Francis and Arthur aren’t important in each other’s lives is a severe misunderstanding of both the characters and the relationship.

the vagabond getting flustered as all hell whenever he’s accused of a crime he didn’t actually do. ( for once. )

a story comes on the news about a recent attack on an armored truck in fake ah territory. everyone looks at ryan, who gives them all an utterly baffled look.

“i — didn’t, though. i mean, i - i don’t think i did. did i? no, no, that one wasn’t me. i think. yeah.”

another news story about a bizarre string of murders, carried out by flare gun. everyone looks at ryan.

“oh yeah that was totally me.”

How curious that Louis hasn’t even linked “Just Hold On’ on any of his accounts - not on his Twitter or Instagram. I find it amazing that he can’t even have his own song on his profile for people to check out.

Meanwhile, Steve has proudly linked it on his accounts (as expected) the same way Niall has proudly done for “This Town” on his accounts. Rightly so. (Yes it is on Steve’s Facebook as well and Niall has posted his lyric video on his.)

Because that’s normal. Because that’s what is expected from artists who are out there promoting a song to their fan base or any new people who decide to check them out after hearing about them on promo.

The behaviour of @ Louis’ accounts are baffling, but what’s new, huh?

Twitter Accounts of Niall, Steve and Louis

Instagram Accounts of Niall, Steve and Louis

It’s utterly bizarre.

when humans have diplomatic interaction with their allies, all talks and speeches are conducted aboard one of our Star Destroyers. A smaller one, to be sure. The diplomatic envoys are received with full honours and treated like the very special guests they are: the Commander himself graciously gives them the use of his own cabin (a baffling tradition… why not just set up separate quarters? still, this custom is meant to honor the guests, so no one complains). 

of course the guests are given an entertaining tour of the ship if they have never seen one: weaponry, practice drills, safety systems, mess halls, everything of importance. 

the guests are impressed on how ready the human crew is to respond to any emergency, the weaponry is truly amazing, and they are shocked at the ability shown by the X-Wings pilots. 

when the talks and negotiations start, humans do everything to make their guests comfortable, providing refreshments and comfortable seats, and they are all in this very nice room situated on the command deck, with a staggering view of the mighty ship… ah, we’re so proud of our Sun Tzu! There’s no other race who can make such a ship! it’s not even one of our best or biggest, you should see the flagship, the HSS (Human SpaceShip) Jedi Star Destroyer… 

there’s almost never need for humans to resort to threats, nor anyone dares to formulate them. 

I wrote a story for a friend as a birthday present, and since she likes gothic fantasy, I thought Elsewhere University would be a good setting for it.

-

You weren’t sure what to do when your six choice universities all rejected you. You’d expected at least one of them to accept you, since your grades weren’t bad and your student record was clean.

But none of them did. The day you got the last polite form rejection letter, you set it down and sat there, staring out the window. What went wrong?

Elsewhere University offered you an opportunity, one you thought was a joke. But you took it anyway.

And they took you.

Not Them. That would be a different kind of Taken. But you went to Elsewhere.

Move-in day was normal; the dorm was nice, and while it looked old from the outside, the rooms were spacious and comfortable, and you only had one roommate. Yours was a young, rather timid girl named Melanie. She didn’t talk to you much, though you and her were both fans of the same shows and generally had the same sleep patterns, hence the match.

She was quiet. She put up some posters; you put up some posters. Your stuff stayed in boxes for the first few days.

There were immediately meetings. Your parents weren’t invited; no one’s were.

Your RA was a tall girl with an incredible afro and a few jangling silver necklaces that didn’t match her outfit. “I’m Kiera,” she said, standing on a rock and gesturing with a packet of papers. “I’m your RA for the northern wing of the third floor. The southern wing belongs to Jordan.” She indicated the young man standing next to her; he waved, hand half-buried in the sleeve of his blue hoodie.

“First things first,” Kiera started, “welcome to Elsewhere University! You’re very brave.”

What? You wished you knew someone well enough to make confused eye contact. As it was, most of the freshmen looked a little baffled.

“A couple of notes about common courtesy. One, no extraneous loud noises after ten PM on weeknights, except for Fridays. The curfew for Fridays and Saturdays is midnight. Don’t run or throw things in the hallways, it might hit the fire extinguishers. Also, don’t touch anybody else’s bowls or cups that they leave in the hall. If you find a piece of lost jewelry, don’t touch it. If you see anything that isn’t yours, don’t touch it. Don’t run out of salt and don’t take it out of the kitchen. Don’t eat food you find in the kitchen.”

And on and on and on. You were baffled by a few of the rules, but most of them made sense (be careful about who you accept food from, be careful about going places with strangers, et cetera. You weren’t sure why they stressed it so much. That was just basic college knowledge – hell, basic life knowledge.

It got weirder when you noticed that most people seemed to leave bowls of milk by their doors, and seemed to have salt spilled under their windows. Metal jewelry seemed popular; iron necklaces and earrings, dark metal rings, silver studs and bangles.

After a month, you’d started to make some friends, and you and Melanie were comfortable being around each other. And you’d started learning about Elsewhere, and what Kiera had meant by brave. Extra footprints in on the pavement. Strangers at parties, queens striding past robed in shadow, parts of the campus where time didn’t pass or parts where it went too quickly.

Another month, and your delusions were dispelled. You bought iron jewelry, learned how to scrawl sigils on paper and pin them on doors and windows, ran a thin line of salt on the windowsill. Melanie didn’t complain.

You sat on the quad on sunny days, because in early spring (and it was always early spring, somehow) those days were nice, and it was good to be outside.

There were sculpted gardens to sit in, but those were more dangerous. You were playing with fire if you stayed there until nightfall. You came perilously close a few times.

The first time, you found your way out. The second time you did not.

The gardens held such strangeness, and were absolutely a fascinating place to be. Horticulture students set up projects here, taking care not to disturb the ones they didn’t make. So it was usually safe.

But you were caught wandering after dark. And you didn’t realize, marveling at a rose-vine and honeysuckle trellis, that the sunlight was fading until it was nearly too late.

You tried to follow the path out, but it led you in circles, and to places you didn’t know existed. This is how people get Taken, you thought desperately, hoping and praying that somehow it would be okay.

As if it were answering your prayer – and perhaps it was – the cat appeared. You froze at the sight of slitted eyes, but realized it wasn’t one of Them when the eyes leaped down and came over to rub against your leg and stare upwards.

Green Eyes, the cat was called, because that’s what it had. Green eyes set deep in its long face, sandy fur with black hints at the ears, paws, and tail-tip. You didn’t learn its name until later, and you never really figured out if it was an ordinary cat, or one of Them, or something else entirely.

“Can you lead me out?” you asked it, and it stared back. Your heart was pounding; you had no other lifeline.

It flicked its tail in the air like a banner and trotted away through the dusk. You followed it (because you had no other choice) and like a charm you found yourself stumbling out onto the quad. A few surprised upperclassmen watched, and when you looked for the cat, it was gone.

You tried to figure out how to repay the cat, if in fact you could. Next time you saw it, you promised yourself, you would give it something.

And you did see it again. Quite often, in fact. It was skirting the parking lot behind the biochemistry building, and when you crouched down and held out your hand, it came over and sniffed at your fingers before rubbing on you.

Then it was over by the dining hall, then walking alongside you on your way to one of your classes, then to all of them. Eventually, it came up to you while you were on the quad.

Melanie was there (though, like most other students, she’d quickly adopted a pseudonym and now went by Melody), and a few other friends you’d made, including a couple of upperclassmen. At Elsewhere, for some reason, the classes mixed a lot more than they did at other colleges. You weren’t sure why.

Green Eyes trotted up to you while you were sitting on a blanket in the grass. The upperclassmen stopped talking entirely and tried to avert their eyes, but when you reached out your hand and let Green Eyes sniff it and rub against you, they couldn’t help but stare.

“How are you doing that?”

You glanced up, at Shine, a girl with spiky white hair. “Doing what?”

“Green Eyes. You…” she paused, indicating the cat. Green Eyes looked to her – she shuddered – and lay down next to you, allowing you to stroke its fur and play with its ears.

The other upperclassman looked you in the eyes. “What did you do?” they asked, dead serious.

“I don’t know what you mean.”

“It’s claimed you.”

That you didn’t understand. You didn’t know how to ask if it was one of Them, but you said, “In… what sort of way?”

“I’m not sure.”

That answer wasn’t good.

Green Eyes didn’t interact with others much, and seemed to seek me out often. It always rubbed against me – I knew that’s how cats designated things as theirs, but I didn’t realize the full extent of Green Eyes’ claim.

During a party one night you found yourself stepping outside with a handsome boy, a soft-spoken boy with white hair and the whisper of fall wind (you missed fall, here in this place where the seasons never seemed to change properly) in his voice. You saw Green Eyes watching from the top of a fence, and the boy excused himself after a moment and didn’t come back. Your hands itched under the skin where he’d held them, but looked no different; your lips remained numb for days until you shook off the longing, kept inside by the memory of lantern-green eyes in the night air.

Labs never ended after dark, but your study session did, and when you braved the night (because the library closed, and you did not want to interrupt any of the Courtly business that goes on there) and the sound of baying hounds and the fell piercing blasts of hunting horns, when you stepped along the solid concrete while the rest of the world shifted and you passed the student center and the native plant garden and the towering trees that dropped leaves like silver and shadows like blood, Green Eyes went with you. You felt it join you when you walked outside, and it brought you to safety, tail held high.

You saw it everywhere. Legend said Siamese cats had kinked tails because they’d once held rings for royalty. You wondered which royalty; tall tales said Egyptian, but Green Eyes felt like something Else.

It’s hard to remember when you graduated. A lot of your time at Elsewhere is blurry, indistinct, like a fogged glass. But you have never forgotten Green Eyes, and when you return to Elsewhere – because all those who love Elsewhere come back eventually – you see it waiting for you on the sidewalk next to the drive, tail curled over its paws, the stream of students dividing gently around it.

You don’t lean down to pet it, because that’s not what you’re supposed to do right now. But it does rub against your leg again when you get out of the car, and when you step inside your new (old, very old, old enough to have memories and old enough to act on them) house, it waits patiently for you to invite it inside.

Its motives are mysterious. The aura it gives you is one of fear and mystery. The librarian who hunts monsters eyes it occasionally, but never makes a move; she doesn’t understand it either.

But you go into the sculpted gardens, and you go there at night. Green Eyes is always with you, to lead you out. Someday, you fear, Green Eyes will abandon you in the lilac labyrinth and you’ll finally be Taken; but it doesn’t feel like that’s what it wants to do.

You asked it one night, sitting on a bench surrounded by fireflies and watching shadows silently pass by with no people to cast them. Green Eyes sat on your lap.

“Why do you help me?” you asked it, glancing down. “Why did you do all of this?”

Green Eyes stared back up, and flicked its ears back and yawned; a smile, you recognize, from reading its behavior over the years.

“Is it because I asked for help? What did you want in return?”

Silence, but Green Eyes bumped your hand and began to purr loudly enough to shake. There’s something about Green Eyes that resists Them and Their works; its ability to navigate the gardens, and its aid to you over the years, has proved that. It does not need  your companionship; it does not need you as you needed it.

You look up. Green Eyes flicks its tail back and forth and you realize that while you are its companion, now, and it wouldn’t leave you, you don’t actually need it to get through the gardens. You know them in your mind, like a house you’ve lived in for a long time. When you step through the flowers and topiary you go where you want to go, not where anything else wants you to go. Green Eyes has taught you how.

When you walk through the gardens sometimes you see lost students stumbling under the trellises, eyes haunted, breath rasping in their mouths as they struggle to get out. You approach them.

You look about their age (Age is funny at Elsewhere; when you came back, you seemed to return to who you were when you left. The rest of the world is all iron and highways and radios, and you remember the things you learned here when you came back) and you realize now that they are too scared of Green Eyes to ask for help.

But they don’t need to ask you. You can offer. And when they see your human features and Green Eyes at your feet, they accept.

[x]

Okay look, I know everybody keep mentioning carrots, and I’m not even, like, trying to think or question the obvious symbolism we’re supposed to.. see here but I can’t keep quiet anymore

WHY ARE ALL THOSE TEENAGERS EATING CARROTS THAT WAY LIKE IT’S A NORMAL THING???????

Is that cultural? Is it a thing people do that somehow I haven’t been aware of for the past 24 years of my life???? I’m so baffled, someone please explain. 

  • Taehyung: I just pretend to know what i'm talking about 150% of the time.
  • Seokjin: If you can't blow them away with your brilliance, baffle them with your bullshit.
  • Yoongi: I think i just found my senior quote.