Tucker and Danny have known each other since nursery school. Since Tucker’s mom didn’t work, she would sometimes look after Danny while Jack and Maddie were busy. The Fentons and Foleys are very close as a result, and they consider each other family.
The two of them met Sam in grade school, though she kept to herself
initially (and came off as intimidating to most). The three of them had a
few run-ins, though, and slowly became inseparable.
Danny had a little crush on Sam when they first met, but he kept quiet about it because he was too shy to say anything (though he did tell Tucker).
By high school, he was pretty sure he’d long since gotten over her. Tucker still liked teasing him about it, and he noticed pretty quickly when Sam started reacting to it more than Danny.
Sam was the
tallest of the three throughout their childhood, while Tucker and Danny
were always about the same height. Tucker shot up halfway through
sophomore year, and Sam was furious the day she realized he’d finally
passed her. The two of them loved playfully teasing Danny for being a
tiny peanut until he hit is growth spurt in junior year. He always
remained kinda on the shorter side, though.
Tucker was always the heaviest of the three, though. He likes to brag that it’s his high-protein diet helping him build muscle, but Sam’s still the most physically strong and agile. Both of them can lift Danny, but he can do the same for neither of them unless he’s in ghost form.
Danny is ¼ Korean (through his paternal grandma). Everyone on his mom’s side has red hair and freckles, and both he and Jazz got the freckles.
Sam’s grandma is ½ Chinese. Her son was adopted, and he and his wife wanted to do the same and adopt a little girl that looked like Ida. That’s why Sam looks similar to her grandma, but not her parents. They’re both ½ Chinese.
Pamela and Jeremy’s biological families are from the UK. That’s why Sam has Chinese decor and a UK flag in her room.
Tucker’s dad can’t eat most fruits or vegetables due to digestive problems. Because of that, most of what his mom cooks is meat, and that’s why Tucker has hardly eaten any vegetables in his life.
Although they have all known each other since they were little, they spend more time doing things than chatting, so there are still lots of things they don’t know about each other (or that one knows about another that the other doesn’t). For example:
Tucker didn’t know what an ultra-recyclo vegetarian was because Sam had only recently come up with the term. Danny was just the first one she told about it.
Danny didn’t know about Tucker’s fear of hospitals because Tucker had avoided them for most of his life. Sam knew because Tucker told her to explain why he couldn’t visit Danny in the hospital (after the portal accident). She basically looked after him after that, so Danny never really noticed until Doctor’s Disorders.
Sam didn’t know Danny hated Christmas because she was usually visiting her grandparents once winter break started. The year before the show started, her grandfather passed away and her grandmother moved in with her and her parents, so it was her first Hanukkah at home.
Danny and Tucker didn’t know Sam was rich because during her younger years, her parents didn’t allow her to invite boys over, and she didn’t want people to try befriending her just because she has a lot of money. After her grandma moved in with her family, she managed to talk to her parents about giving Sam a little more freedom, so Danny and Tucker can sometimes visit.
Tucker’s first business was a coffee stand when he was little. His logic was that lemonade stands are too common, and something different would get more business. He also knew his parents needed a cup every morning. His business was shut down once his parents found out he was the one using up all the coffee.
Have I ever mentioned witch Sam Manson?
Witch Sam Manson.
Sam Manson is a modern day witch in training.
And not one of those fictional hocus pocus witches.
I know and am friends with people who practice witchcraft.
This is the type of witch that Sam is.
Danny’s favorite genre of music is punk, though he’ll listen to most rock in general. Sam likes punk, too, though her favorite genres are indie and metal. Tucker will listen to just about anything.
Sam collects older movies and records, and she has a hobby for making remixes of old music.
Danny and Jazz were both really chubby babies, but they both stretched out as they got older.
Danny has never had the best self-care habits, but after getting his powers, he got even worse about eating and sleeping. Jazz (with the occasional help from Sam and Tucker) basically has to constantly watch him to make sure he doesn’t die or something. More than he has, anyway.
Tucker and Sam were planning on trying to recreate the portal accident so they could help lighten Danny’s load better, but he found out about it and flipped out. He made them promise to never attempt it because he’d rather handle everything than risk losing them if his powers were just a fluke. That’s why Sam didn’t try going in the portal herself in Memory Blank.
Sam doesn’t consider herself vegan because she’ll eat honey and some dairy, but she won’t eat most animal products. She wanted to keep bees for a long time, but her parents wouldn’t allow it because they thought it was too risky for a child. The greenhouse was their compromise.
In spite of Sam and Tucker’s very specific diets, Danny’s actually the pickiest eater. He won’t touch anything if he doesn’t like the texture it has. Slimy foods, really dry foods, or anything he deems “not right” in any way.
Sam totally likes harem skirts fight me.
Sam doesn’t fear much, but while she’d never admit it, she hates roller coasters.
Tucker pays for all his technology himself by doing odd jobs here and there. He’s usually broke because he’s always buying the fanciest, most expensive gadgets he can get his hands on, but he’s made a lot in his life.
Despite having a lot of fears in real life, Tucker can handle horror movies really well. He especially love the ones with the most violence and gore. Psychological horror bores him. That’s more Sam’s thing. Danny doesn’t really care for horror movies all that much. He only watches them because his friends like them.
Tucker has totally sold fake IDs. He doesn’t have much of an interest in drinking, so he never uses them, but he can make them easily, and they sell really well.
Although Tucker’s considered a nerd, he’s a legend among nerds. Most school nerds know who he is and know to go to him when they need his nerd or geek expertise.
They have all kissed each other. All of them. For various reasons. None of them speak of these moments, but that does not erase the fact that it happened. Danny and Tucker both kissed Sam non-romantically in canon, and you will not convince me the boys haven’t kissed, too.
Sam has loved the name Lilith since childhood and fully intends to give her first daughter that name. Again, fight me.
Sam will also totally get at least one tattoo in the future. One of them will absolutely be the DP logo.
Danny has no desire to grow his hair long or grow any kind of facial hair. He feels he’s look too much like two individuals he doesn’t want to be associated with. Tucker gets a rockin’ goatee when he’s older, tho.
Sam has donated thousands to cancer research and then plotted cold blooded murder within the space of 15 minutes. She feels no guilt.
Tucker and Danny sometimes forget that Sam is still a girl, but Tucker also has this problem with Jazz. She’s not dateable. She’s his best friend’s sister. That’d just be weird.
And that’s a lot so I’ll stop now. I love these three, in case I hadn’t mentioned that before.
So this is my first installment of the Alex inspired Harry fic and I hope you like it very much. I had loads of fun writing it! I’d like to thank @oh-styles@trulymadlysydney@druggedaiquiri for their continuous support.
Caution: Do not read this if you haven’t seen the film but that’s up to you. I’ll try and keep the spoilers to a minimum but caution is required.
Note: Although I used Alex’s surname as Dawson, Mr. Dawson (Mark Rylance’s character) and Alex are not related in this fic.
This is more like an introduction to the actual one shot.
Hope you like it! Feedback is always appreciated,xx.
knew he was going to do something with his life, make it worthwhile and
meaningful. She knew from the beginning of their relationship that all he
wanted was to make his mum proud and happy that he was her son. She met him when they were in secondary
school, being at the tender age of 16 both of them were bright eyed and hopeful
about the future despite the obstacles and the hardships they knew they were
bound to face. After all living in 1935 wasn’t exactly a joy ride.
Alex was 19
years old when he went and signed himself up in the British Army. It was always
his dream and goal in life to do something for his country, he wanted people to
be proud and talk praises of him behind his back. He wanted people in his town
to point to him and be happy to tell others that he was from their town or he
was a friend or maybe even a neighbour. He and Y/N were fresh out of college
and while she went and got herself a job at the local bakery, having always
been interested in cooking and baking, he went and enrolled himself to dedicate
his life to his country. If there was one thing he was certain about, it was
his job; always wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father who was a
Captain in the army and died in battle when Alex was just four years old.
raised by his mother, Elaine, who worked day in and day out as a teacher at the
local primary school to put three full meals on the table for the two of them. He could only hope that someday he could be perceived
as a person who was as strong and brave as she was, raising a child alone in a
society where a woman without a man was not digested well is not simple task.
He knew she faced a lot of criticism from various people but she always put on
a brave face for him and made sure he had as normal a childhood as possible.
It was the
April of 1938 when he enrolled himself, bright eyed Alex knew he had a lot more
to go through before he found himself fighting in the battlegrounds, the real
life experience being more daunting than the ones he had read about in his
history textbooks at school. He wanted to be able to give back to his mother
who spent all her time and energy making sure he had a good home environment
and childhood despite the harsh conditions outside but he also wanted to be
able to provide for Y/N who promised to love him with all her heart and wait
for him to come back no matter what it takes until officers showed up at her
doorstep to deliver some bad news and maybe even then she’d love him.
He had to
go through six months of rigorous and tiring training before he was given the
title of a Private and he couldn’t have felt happier . He was finally a
soldier, he was Private Alexander James Dawson and he couldn’t have been
prouder of himself, he just hoped his father would have been too.
For the first
couple months from November of 1938 to May of 1939 he worked near the cost of
various cities all through the United Kingdom. Y/N didn’t see him very often,
once every couple months if she was lucky but he did send her letter almost
every other week, never failing to remind her of how much he loved her. They wrote to each other regularly, she told
him about her job at the bakery and kept him up to date with all the latest
town gossip and he told her about how good it was to have finally come as close
to fulfilling his dreams as possible. For the nights where she longed for him
and wished foe nothing but to have her lover’s arms wrapped around her in a
loving embrace, she kept in mind the conversation they had before he was sent
off for his duties.
“You know I love you sweetheart, don’t you?” He
held her face in his palms tenderly, fingers skimming over her delicate cheekbones
to collect the tears that kept cascading down. He had a small frown on his
face, his brows furrowed as lips formed a little pout being unable to take the
sadness in his girl’s eyes. The moisture in her doe eyes made him a little
anxious and tearful but he knew he had to be strong for her.
His bags were packed, filled with essentials
but also little memorabilia that reminded him of his loved ones and would help
him keep them close although not in person. She came by his house before she
left for the bakery, she didn’t care if she was going to go in late but Alex
was not leaving without saying goodbye to her and God forbid she thinks of this
as being the last time she saw him, the thought alone makes her shudder.
Her arms were wrapped around his waist holding
on firmly to the cotton of his shirt, scared that he would disappear if she let
go. She nodded meekly to his question, of course she knew he loved her and she
could only hope it was as much as she loved him. She presses her cheek further
into his chest, gripping him a little tighter as she tries to muffle her sobs,
not wanting him to see her become a wreck in front of his eyes. She’ll miss him
terribly she realizes as she tries to memorize his scent for what may be the
last time for a couple of months, maybe even an year, having no guarantee that
he’ll come back or if he even will but she chooses not to think of that.
“I love you, Alex. So much.” She whispers under
her breathe as she stands on her tip toes to press one last kiss against his raspberry
lips, memorizing the softness of their texture and the way his hands squeeze
her waist to keep her company in her memories for the many nights to come.
during the July of 1939 when she came home tired from the bakery after having
done a late night’s shift that an unexpected surprise awaited her. She had been
taking home leftovers from the bakery every night now that the war was fully
fledged into position and food and basic commodities were scarce, the rationing
had begun, only the well off and the ones who made sufficient money to sustain
a proper lifestyle were able to afford buying goods regularly. The owner of the
bakery, June Bennet, a middle aged lady in her early fifties was kind enough to
let her employees take home the leftover at half the price that they were being
home with a small brown paper bag in her hands that contained a loaf of bread
and a couple of sweet buns along with a pint of milk that she hoped would last
her throughout the week and maybe some of the next too. She was surprised to
find bags placed in the doorway of her bedroom and the sound of rustling in the
bathroom alerted her to the possibility of an intruder in her house. She walked
with caution into the bathroom where she heard the water running and the silhouette
of a man caught her attention. She pulled back the curtains thinking she’d find
a stranger but was surprised to see the startled figure of the love of her life
before her, his hair dripping from his long lashes and an expression that mirrored
one of a deer caught in the headlights on his face.
pooled at her eyes as she glanced at him and in a heartbeat or maybe less she
was in his arms hugging the life out of him as sobs wracked through her body
not even paying an ounce of attention to the fact the she was now soaked to the
bone. Alex’s arms wrapped strong around her as he nuzzled his face in her neck
feeling equally as emotional as her. He couldn’t believe that she was here, in
his arms with her hands clutching him for her life. She was real and he couldn’t
comprehend that after all the time he spent looking forward to seeing her and
going home to her, she was finally here.
you doing here, Alexander? Weren’t you off for duty? She was curious, as happy
as she was that he was in her presence again, she knew him coming home would
have a hidden meaning.
a little bit, nervous and not knowing how to tell her the reason for his sudden
arrival. The letter that contained the news that he was supposed to tell her
lay in his bag as a constant reminder of all the pain his words were going to
cause her, the words it contained weighing down on his heart.
“Why do you
go and sit down, love? I’ll just finish washing meself and be right with you.”
She nodded as she stepped out, words escaping her. She changed out of her wet
clothing putting them out to dry in the balcony. The atmosphere had changed
drastically in her little flat; the happiness she once felt at the return of
her lover was replaced with the anxiety of his impending news.
alerted of his presence when she heard the clearing of his throat behind her,
turning around to face him with furrowed brows. She couldn’t help but step
closer to him, wanting his comforting presence after being denied it for so
many months. She rested her hands on his shoulder as she reached up to press a
kiss to his lips, the simple gesture spreading warmth in her heart. He pressed himself closer to her as his mouth
put a little more pressure on hers, the taste of her kiss being one of the many
things he missed about her.
everything okay, Alex?” She whispered as she pulled back, her forehead resting
against his whilst locked in his embrace. He didn’t know how to tell her that everything
was not alright and if things went wrong, he was not sure they’d ever be. He
sighed dejectedly knowing that he’d have to tell her eventually and better
sooner than later is what he figured.
me to Dunkirk, sweetheart. And I don’t know when I’ll be back.”
pooled her eyes at his admission, Dunkirk? That was in France, wasn’t it? Why
would he go there? The question in her
mind drove her crazy making her lose sight of her surrounding for a minute, the
anxiety that washed over her made her dizzy as all the possibilities ran
through her mind.
Why are you going there, Alex? Is everything okay?”
they’re sending me off to war.” He sighed, knowing that her heart was breaking
in front of his own tow eyes. He wanted to console her, he really did but who
is to guarantee that he won’t lose his life? Who is to say that he’ll come home
safe and sound? Who is to say that he’ll come home? But he knew he had to be
strong for her so he gripped her cheeks in his hands the same way he did the
first time he left and tried his best not to let his emotions consume him.
darling look at me for a second okay? I know what you’re thinking and I know it’s
scary but I promise you that nothing will keep me away from you, okay? Nothing
will stop me from loving you not even the bloody world war. I promise that I’ll
come back to you. I always will, you’re my home remember? It’s you and I,
forever. And ‘sides you have my mum here and she loves you so much sometimes
more than she love me. She’s always here for you.”
Y/N had tears
streaming down her face at an uncontrollable rate as she looked into the deep
jade irises that she had fallen so much in love with. She nodded her head in
affirmation at his soothing words. She was scared but she knew she loved him
and she knew she would wait for him no matter how long or what it takes, she
promised him that when he enrolled himself an year and half ago.
promise? That you will come back to me? For me? No matter what?”The innocence
in her eyes made him let out a soft chuckle as he kissed her on the forehead
before resting his against it.
You and Taehyung had been secretly seeing each other for three months now. He would sneak into your apartment some nights and stay over, sometimes you’d go to his house and sneak in. Although Taehyung didn’t like the fact that you two were sneaking around but he had such strong feelings for you he did whatever you wanted with no second thought. He knew it was to hide from your roommate but he also thought this had something to do with the fact that you hadn’t been in a relationship since Will. He didn’t want to bring it up. He knew he should but he was so head over heels for you he didn’t want to ruin anything.
Listen. Jinhwan would want to taste you. “Come here. baby girl.” He’d call as he snapped his head from his thoughts and worked to act on them. He’d have you strip down and hover over his face as he laid on the bed. He’d eat you slowly. Only groaning or humming into you as the hands around your thighs and ass got tighter and tighter. Jinhwan would start to sit up higher and higher in attempts to get farther inside of you. By then you’d be shaking and screaming or whining for him to let you come. But Jinhwan is in the zone. He’ll sit so far up you start to loose balance and then he’ll flip you on the bed, his hand coming up your back to help you adjust a bit. The new position means him between your legs and your back against the bed. He would his circle your clit with his tongue and a loud humming noise and you would come around him so hard. Jinhwan would lick his lips and fall onto your fast moving chest to smile. “Damn baby.” He say and you’d smile at the irony before he came to kiss your smiling lips.
Yunheong would do anything to please you. He would eat you out in every room if you said you wanted him to. He might be a bit inexperienced but his shaky tongue would have you arching high and moaning loud in no time. Yunheong would roam his hands around your soft skin, really admiring your textures. Anywhere he could he reach too and he’d be open to suggestions. If you gave him a direction he would follow your word quickly. Yunheong would moan and suck harder at every sound you made for him, taking them as praise. He would hum into you often and when he needed air he would pull off and inhale right above your sex before going back in. You’d end up smiling as you hold his hair in your hand, your other arm propping you up and arching your back over the kitchen counter.
Jiwon’s down for this. So down. He’s good with any kind of sex ever so you wanting him to eat you out wouldn’t be something he hadn’t thought about himself. He would have you sit, either on a counter or desk; something high so when he goes onto his knees you’re right in front of his eyes and ready for the licking. Jiwons hands would be spreading your thighs wider or pulling them closer to his face. Jiwon would love the feeling of your thighs closing tight around his head and he’d hum to tell you. When he needed air he would groan as he backed up a bit. “Damn, girl.” He’d groan with his husky before returning. Or just a simple, “Fuck.” I’m about to fucking faint! I can see Jiwon getting carried away and you ending up with 2 or 3 orgasms before he realizes and comes up to wipe his face and kiss you back onto the surface. Oral for Jiwon would be foreplay, only! Meaning? Get ready for a fourth orgasm, girl.
Hanbin would be fine with the idea, but it would be his idea. You would be sitting or watching tv and he would come and spread your legs. Kissing your pants as you squirm a bit under him. If you tried to tell him you were busy or it wasn’t the right time he would whine against your sex and that alone would have you moaning softly. That little sound would be all he needed to continue. Hanbin would want eye contact with you as he worked you with his tongue. If you looked away he would slow down until you looked at him again and he would groan as you squrimed and whined at the felling of his tongue/lips. Hanbin wouldn’t be quiet. He’d want you to hear what he was doing to you and let the sounds he made affect you the way the sounds you make affect him. He would also push his lips against your folds and blow, making his lips vibrate and causing you to arch your back and scream for him. Hanbin would want you to talk to him. Tell him how good he was making you feel, maybe even hear a “thank you” as you come onto his beautiful lips.
Donghyuk would jump at the opportunity to eat you out, but he would usually try to play it cool. He would go with whatever room he was in so you wouldn’t have to go far, but it’s for him because he’s impatient and wants to taste you as soon as possible. He would start by slowly undressing you. Donghyuk would want you either in sexy lingerie or absolutely nothing at all. Once you were down to only what he wanted he would start blowing on your heat before brushing you with his tongue. His hands would be massaging your knees and thighs as you lean over his body, your back on his stomach. Your head resting between his legs and your heat hovering over his face. You would shift and lay your head onto his thigh and he would bring his knees up so you could watch him work. You would have his other knee to hold onto as he progressed. Donghyuk would hum and groan into you as much as he could and the vibrations would cause you to cry out and when you did so he would smirk on your sex.
It would be Junhwes idea to eat you out. You would be laying on the floor or bed with your legs spread eagle. His legs would press around one of yours with his hand on your other thigh. Ready to push it open if you try to close them. His other hand would be playing with your breasts and if you got testy he would wrap his fingers around your neck. Get testy, baby. All while he sucked on your clit until your thigh was shaking against his strong hand and your toes were curling. Junhwe would groan into your folds at every movement you made and when you came he would release your neck and smirk at you as he sat up over your other leg and reached for his belt as you panted loudly on the bed. “My turn.” He’d say as he impatiently removed his clothing.
I feel like oral with Chanwoo would be a bit rare. It doesn’t mean that he wouldn’t be great at it, it just means that he’s probably being a bit lazy but still wants to hear you moan. He would lay on the bed between your legs and his hands would be up massaging your breasts. Chanwoo would lick up your folds and kiss your clit before going back down and twisting your nipples to hear you moan louder. You would shake around his tongue as you came and he would lick up all of your juices as you came down from your high. Even after you had came down and your body started to relax, he would continue causing little mewls and moans to push through your lips at him licking your over sensitive core.
Being in love with Alfie Solomons, but there being a large age gap.
You felt yourself fighting back a smile as the man you had seen every day for the past few weeks walked into the bakery. Your Uncle’s friend owned it, and had given you the job because you were as good as family, not because you knew much about baking or what working at a bakery entailed.
Frankly, you were not a good baker at all. Everything you made turned into the exact opposite texture that it was supposed to. You were constantly a floury mess, and you half expected your Uncle’s friend to cut ties with your Uncle because his niece was so shit in the kitchen.
Sunday Respite - Useful Utility of No Great Futility
Whoever said being an adventurer nowadays is easy?
As much as it pains me to say it, not all of our problems as D&D players can be resolved with force. It’s a sickening thought to some, a sobering one to others, but the reality is that the brutish approach can only get us so far in politics, diplomacy, surgery, and subtlety. With this fact comes the additional realisation that our implements of violence fall just as limp as the hand that holds them, sagging in defeat at the hip. But we are a hardy breed of folk, us danger-seekers and heroes of legend, and we can adapt to any environment. Regardless of how alien the landscape, we always find our way into the seat of the predator amongst the prey and claim our righteous victory.
And so, it is with this that I present to you all five pieces of equipment not merely designed to sever and slice, but to aid and assist in the ‘mundanities’ of dungeoneering and outdoorsmanship. Do take your time assessing each, for the miscellaneous category could often be one you turn to when you face antagonism beyond flesh and foe. A dire storm or empty stomach can kill just as efficably as anything else you have faced. Only difference is that you cannot run from these horrors.
The Thief’s Anchor is a black-stained leather coin purse with a fine, purple silk draw. The stitching is precise and internal, hidden from perceptive eyes, and two straps have been externally attached to allow for belt loops to pass through and hold the purse. If the possessor happens to encounter a pickpocket or petty thief then they need not fret for what was lost. If an unrecognised hand touches the purse for a second too long then the purse secretes a powerful adhesive that grips onto whatever it is touching for hours until returned. Not only that, but the gummy purse will immediately increase in weight to upwards of 200 lbs, pulling the runaway thief to the ground and holding him there until the authorities arrive or the victim decides to handle the matter themselves. A single touch of their palm releases
the adhesive and any would-be criminals.
This hefty pair of knee-high boots has
intricate lacing all the way from the ankle to the cuff. The grip is thick and dense enough to kick the teeth out of a bear and the leather is stern enough to protect from crossbow bolts and warhammer strikes. If the wearer of this footwear is knocked unconscious they do not fall onto their back, limp as a doll. Instead, the material grows taut and stoic, forcing the person in question to slump as they stand straight. They also resist any attempt made by others to move the poor fellow the same way a boulder would resist the wind.
Journeyman’s Divining Rod
This Divining Rod is made of solid silver yet is molded to closely resemble a yew tree branch with the
addition of two leaves at each of the forked handle holds. This implement cannot help find water underground to any significantly accurate degree, but when you hold the Rod and think of a heartfelt place of emotive resonance and love - somewhere synonymous to you of home, hope, and safety - then the Journeyman’s Divining Rod will gently tug you in the correct direction. Not only is this direction accurate, but it also chooses the most direct, safe, and optimal path of travel to best avoid natural hazards like swamps, cliff faces, and iced-over lakes.
The Blessweave Needle
This needle is unbreakable by any means. It has existed since the dawn of stitching and embroidery, often even believed to be the first needle ever created. It is perfect, stainless, and shines like chromed platinum. A craftsman holding this needle with thread tightened through its head
will look at their hands as if they were seeing the palm and fingers of thousands of the expert craftsman who came before them. Each, in their own turn, took up the needle an began to weave. Each successive inheritor of the needle is cumulatively greater than the last.
The Bolt-Puller is a set of wooden tweezers with a carved pattern down each arm of Celtic decoration. The tweezers can be used to pluck odd hairs and splinters from skin, but that would waste its true potential. The Bolt-Puller can remove any lodged object from its host, ignoring texture, grip, or material. Nails pulled from furniture, bolts yanked out from machinery, teeth from an alligator’s maw. The tweezers do not even require a strong hand to succeed. A child could as easily remove a wyrm’s fang from its gums as a blackbird would tug an earthworm from wet soil.
These are my personal headcannons for each flight’s scales! In my lore every dragon has small differences in their scales, like human fingerprints, so irregularities are common, but for the most part scales follow the models listed here. All scales of a flight are resistant to that element, since they have adapted to it (ex. fire dragon scales resistant to fire, ice resistant to ice, etc.)
Fire- fire scales are tough and surprisingly soft like leather, but harden at higher temperatures to be strong as diamond. This keeps scales from melting or getting stuck to things near the forges. They radiate heat all the time, even after falling or being torn off. For the most part, a fire dragons scales are the same shape ( a rounded semicircle) and size is mostly uniform. They’re the closest match to most traditional dragon scales in stories.
Shadow- for shadow dragons, scales are irregular and can range anywhere from as pointed as a wind dragon’s to nearly as blunt as an earth’s, and all on one dragon. They tend to be very small and tight-packed also. Their scales are lightly ridged towards the ground, which prevents an easy grip for most opponents. Their scales are slick as well, lending to the “slippery shadow dragon” stereotype.
Wind- a wind dragon’s scales are small, thin, and pointed, almost like little feathers. The scales are very light too, almost weightless on their own. This allows something a bit different from any other element; wind scales can lift slightly from the dragon’s body. Lifting scales can be a sign of aggression or threat, but it also helps slow the dragon in flight. When slicked down, the dragon can become faster than any breeze.
Water- on water dragons, scales tend to be large and regular like a fish’s. Their scales lie completely flat against the skin to allow for a more streamlined form. There’s no space between scales for any water, or anything else, to get through. They tend to have a shimmery quality, like the dragon just came out of the water, all the time no matter the dragon’s genes. The long plate-like scales can make water dragons great in defensive positions of battle.
Arcane- arcane dragons have some of the most unusual scales of any. They appear slick and membranous, but are surprisingly thick. As for shape, they tend to be long and tapered, and grow shorter near the head and claws. Their scales also have a slightly jelly-like property that makes lighter objects glance or bounce off the dragon instead of hitting directly. It isn’t uncommon for an arcane dragon to have a few off-color scales as well.
Ice- ice scales are thick and insulated, good for keeping the heat in the dragons body. The thickness leads them to be hard as well, nearly the consistency of the frozen rock of the ice fields. As they age the dragon’s scales will become brittle and fall off for stronger scales to grow as they mature. Their scales seem to carry the cold of their natural home with them too, making them popular in warmer weather as cooling systems for their clanmates.
Plague- the scales of plague dragons are usually more scarred than any other flight, from disease to battle wound to anything in between. Plague scales seem to repel any illness attained, so keeping healthy is not nearly as much of a problem for dragons of this flight. They are not as thick as Ice scales, but a close second, and are shaped raggedly. The jagged edges help protect the dragon from light injury and make even a simple tail slap dangerous to an enemy. Add that to the diseases possibly remaining on the scales, and an opponent is in for quite the fight with a plague dragon.
Light- light dragon scales are regarded as some of the best in terms of looks. They are bright and reflective like mirrors, but very thin, which makes light dragons better suited to long-distance combat in most cases. As the dragon grows it’s scales grow with it, unlike some other element’s scales that will molt with age. The scales are closest to human fingernails in shape, and are relatively small in comparison to the dragons size, but make up for it in numbers. A light dragon can blind an opponent with a pinprick of light off their scales with enough practice.
Nature- for nature dragons, the upkeep of scales is very important. Like cats, these dragons will spend hours grooming each other’s scales. Since nature scales are shaped much like leaves, with tiny scalloped edges, foliage is easily caught on them, so grooming is actually necessary. The ends of these scales lift from the dragons body for a blooming type of look. Scales are thick at the base and thin out towards the end to enhance this. They can also be edged with a bright color opposite the dragon’s primary in some cases, like poisonous plants.
Lightning- when it comes to lightning scales, they have some of the coolest to look at. They’re normally curved like flat claws, but can also be straight as an arrow. Some are even notably spiky at the ends. Made hardy and thick all the way through, they can resist many types of magic and weaker weapons. Running all the way through the scale are tiny currents of lightning for elemental attacks, which light up the dragon a second before they attack.
Earth- the bluntest scales of the bunch, an earth dragon has plate-like scales that are hard as rock, except around the joints and belly where they turn more leathery. The individual scales are round and big with a sandpaper texture and curved edges. These scales give great defensive capabilities but are prone to falling off rather easily, like pebbles shaken from a larger rock. They also can have immense blunt force when the dragon slams into an opponent, no matter how strong the attacking dragon really is.
My contribution to Zutara Week. Tried a different idea for the theme after reading several recent posts about Zuko & Katara bonding over their mothers being a strong plot point in ATLA and I wanted to go back and touch on that.
Post of firsts for me in this fic. Never written a slow-burn or hurt/comfort before so hopefully I didn’t butcher it too badly. Can also be found on FF.net & AO3
“I told you she wasn’t
ready for this!” Dean raged to Sam as the Impala raced down the all
but abandoned highway. His jaw was set as his hands clenched the
steering wheel so tightly the tops of his knuckles were white.
It was supposed to have
been a simple salt and burn case, the Winchesters reluctantly
agreeing to bring you along on your first real hunting trip. But none
of you could have anticipated Lucifer showing up. Even less
anticipated was your still unexplained reaction towards him. Your
mind whirred as you tried to reason away your behaviour, hoping to
find a logical conclusion, but you couldn’t. You barely even heard
Dean’s anger over your own thoughts.
“Dean, you agreed to
her going” Sam replied rationally, though it was obvious that he
too was a little shaken by the encounter.
“Guys, I’m sitting
right here and it was my choice to go” you grumbled from the
backseat, staring at your hands in your lap as guilt welled up in
“Then maybe you could
tell us what the hell you were thinking back there” Dean demanded,
ignoring Sam’s comment as his anger was clearly too far gone to
attempt to make peace right now.
Imagine not being afraid of the Hound and touching his scar without being disgusted.
(This is my first Sandor writing! EVER! Besides the preferences so i hope it’s alright!)
(Word Count: 1, 438)
“It is nice to meet you Ser,” you whispered with a small
curtsy the moment Prince Joffrey, your cousin on his Mother’s side, introduced
him. Your Mother and Father and little sister had flinched away from the Hound
the moment they saw his face, but you didn’t. You weren’t afraid of the cruel
scars that marked his skin…and it had nothing to do with you being a Lannister.
Although, if you had been afraid you would never show it.
You were a lion of Lannisport, the niece of Lord Tywin
Lannister and cousin to the Queen of Westeros. Not that anything had ever
really scared you anyhow. It was a “quality” about you that often made your
Father and mother worry about you more than they should, a certain personality
trait that had been making you reckless and “stupid” since the day you were
The month was April. The year was 2005. I—a scrawny,
ill-proportioned boy of 16, with skin the color of Lily’s peanut butter—had set
out in the mild morning heat for our quaint town mall.
I began my day knowing how it will be spent. It would start
with a 14-minute journey to Robinson’s. I remember vividly how I left home to
do just that, with the clanging of our iron gate as it closed behind me. I
didn’t even try to hide the spring in my step.
You see, I had marked April 11th on my calendar like it was my
birthday. And who could have blamed me? After months of revisiting various
websites and countless hours of staying tuned to the radio (a thing that began
and ended in this period in my life), it was finally here. For those who’ve had
to wait for something with great anticipation, you know what it feels like when
the wait is finally over.
The day of The
Emancipation of Mimi’s release ultimately became a hot one, scorching even. Smack dab in
the middle of summer, with the 9 AM sun hovering somewhere above me, I walked. I
couldn’t look at the sun, of course; I only felt it. The sky was cloudless, blue as
it could ever be. I felt a drop of sweat drawing a line behind my back and
still another one rolling just below my left ear. I kept on, feeling my bag
jostling next to my waist. In it was the money I had saved from skipping
recesses and denying myself after-class trips to McDonald’s.
When I reached
Robinson’s, I sat on its front steps, in front of its still-closed doors. The
security guard, fidgeting with his phone, was oblivious of me. I knew I was too
early. I wanted to be the first one in the music store. I wanted to hear the
whole 50 minutes and 10 seconds of it. I didn’t have to search for what the
word emancipation meant; it was defined in Mariah’s website: To set free from
care or restraints.
I had gained a bit of freedom myself at this juncture in my
life, having hurdled high school in a fashion not a lot could emulate, having
been able to secure a spot in the top university.
I was a generally a happy boy on the outside. A lot of things
were working out for me. Inside, however, there was a growing tumult, a barrage
of self-perpetuating questions regarding my identity.
High school graduation, entering college—these times told me
I was growing up. And growing up made answering these questions more urgent.
Who was I? What would I become? Where is my niche? Every day that came and
went, with these questions unanswered, I got a little bit more lost. I remember
looking at the mirror and not liking what I saw—the way my hands moved, how I
could easily roll my eyes, or just the way I stood. I even hated that I loved
Mariah so much, something I shared with one of my closest friends. Being
bullied about this was another thing we shared. In hindsight, maybe it was
because I didn’t want to be queer and yet everything I knew pointed to just
that. (Why is it that a lot of us like Mariah?)
At 16—in a devoutly Catholic family, in a provincial town,
inside a campus where everybody knows everyone, where your parents are both
professors—growing up gay was an unnecessary scourge. Life is unfair, isn’t it?
I had a support group, though, comprised of a few good friends, but most of
them were to study in other universities in far places. I guess that added,
too, to the dreading of the growing up part. In a lot of ways, college was the
beginning and the end. And in this paradoxical time, little did I know, The Emancipation of Mimi would serve as
My love affair with Mariah Carey began in our car, in a
parking lot. I was with my father and he had just installed a CD player. He had me listen to My All and pointed me to notice the texture of the singer’s voice,
how she easily glided from a breathy, sultry coo to a strong chest voice. I
listened. By the start of the new millennium, I was already purchasing copies
of her albums and had memorized all of her runs and melismatic ways.
I had also learned about her story: How she was discriminated
as a child, for being of mixed decent, for being somewhere in between. How
their family car was burned and their dog poisoned because her interracial
family lived in a white neighborhood. How this molded her and made her strive
to be more. How she already knew at a tender age that she was going to sing for
the rest of her life, how she wrote her feelings, made them into songs, which
would later become no. 1 hits. I started to be a true fan, I think, at that
point—the previous years, I was just mildly obsessed about her.
Her life became even more fascinating, particularly in the
light of all her achievements in the music industry, not to mention the
influence she’s had on so many artists. She vehemently denies it, but to a
teenager, her life easily looks like a fairytale. That is, up until her famous
breakdown in 2001, following her debut film Glitter tanked in the box office
and its accompanying soundtrack’s sales failed to compare with her previous
releases. (Interestingly, the album was released on 9/11. Yes, that 9/11.) She
received bad publicity after bad publicity and people forgot that she had at
least one no. 1 song for each year since her debut, nor that her collaboration
with Boyz II Men, One Sweet Day, was
and still is the longest-running no. 1 song in music history (16 weeks), and
never mind that she had just received the Artist of the Decade award by
Billboard. All these and more in less than a decade, but one failure was all it
took to relegate her to pariah status.
Mariah sort of bounced back late 2002 with Charmbracelet–easily forgettable save
for the lead single, Through the Rain,
which became an anthem here in the Philippines. She became quiet afterwards.
Rumors about Mimi went around in late 2004. Here, only a few people cautiously
predicted it to be her comeback album. Most didn’t want to bet on her. She was
easily a has-been in the early 2000s and understandably so. She had been
counted out. I wasn’t one of them. In fact, I was betting on her, to prove her
critics wrong. I saw myself in her, somehow. Growing up, I was bullied and
teased a lot, for acting soft, for reading books too much, for liking to hang
out with girls more often, for not being sporty, and for favoring Mariah Carey
Mariah has claimed music saved her life. Whenever she’d feel
low, she’d write lyrics or listen to the radio. I realized that I did the same,
only I listened to her music. Songs like Hero,
Through the Rain, My Saving Grace, and Can’t Take That Away (Mariah’s Theme) have helped me get through a lot of dejection. And my showing up there, half an
hour before the mall opened was my thank you, my statement that I was rooting
for her, like how she rooted for me.
That day, after
getting my copy of The Emancipation of
Mimi from the town mall, I immediately went home and locked myself in my
room. I placed the CD gently in the player and carefully unraveled the album
inlay, which to my surprise doubled as a poster. I looked at the large photo of
a woman in gold, beaming with triumph, like a phoenix from the ashes. I took a
deep breath and pressed Play.
I—a scrawny, ill-proportioned boy of 16, with skin the color
of Lily’s peanut butter—had set out to find saving. Being in this world was
harsh, I had learned early on. But within the confines of my room on that hot
summer day, in spite of everything, life seemed fair. The month was April. The
year was 2005.
“Everything potentially always, all is forgiven” - Petrichor
Something occurred to me today: our name has taken on a new meaning. As a child, I would tape the radio onto cassette, fanatically watch VHS tapes the adults left out, and play both ‘until the ribbon broke,’ cementing a life-long obsession with the marriage of sound and image. Our first record was a genuine attempt to capture the sense of wonder in first discovering that magic. An exercise in atmosphere, texture and nostalgia.
When left in the sun too long - when unpreserved and unattended to - cassette ribbon begins to unravel and warp, often trying to escape the safety of its own plastic housing. And in the months and years following our first release, and to a large extent whilst promoting it, I most certainly unraveled. Spilling, unspooled, my life eventually became unmanageable. The crippling anxiety that I had spent so many years masking had finally succumbed to the influence of its most tyrannical friends: Alcohol and Benzodiazepines.
To some degree, I think a large part of surviving the uncertain and chaotic experience that is the human one, is the ability to lie to oneself; pathologically and convincingly. At any cost. In bright white rooms before we walked onto stage, I would stand, gently trembling, tsunami approaching and whisper gently to myself:
“One. More. Drink. No. More. Fear.”
A drink before one stands, vulnerable, in front of a large room of people is, in isolation, a perfectly reasonable reaction to an understandable level of anxiety. In moderation. Just one. Early night. Early start.
But the difference for someone like me, is fundamental. To an alcoholic these words are impossible theory. A brick by brick instruction manual for the Wall of China. There is no moderation, only the promise of oblivion and for me, the temporary quieting of a loud, pervasive and almost constant voice of anxiety.
“Anxiety, I’m pulling down the blinds” - Black and White
Every day and night I tried to quieten that voice. Pushing it away, trying to starve it, bury it, drown it out. Every day it came back harder, louder, more and more vicious. I poured fuel on that particular fire until I couldn’t fight it anymore. In the end, I no longer knew if I was drinking because I was anxious, or anxious because I was drinking.
I couldn’t leave the house without drinking vodka straight from the bottle and worse, I had accepted it. I had lost the fundamental belief that anything of any worth was on the other side of the door. Congratulations! I had, knowingly, torn down every aspect of my life, spitefully, on purpose.
“No more courage in the bottle, I’ve got people I can’t let down” - Meru
In September of last year, I had reached the end of my rope. I could no longer hide from myself, or those still around me. I will be forever grateful to the two people who sat down with me one fateful afternoon and helped me devise my escape route from madness. The start of a journey that was to define my recovery and the very reason that there is even a body of work to speak of.
“The only way out is through” (Alcoholics Anonymous)
Far from the environment that had enabled my addiction, I began treatment, treatment that would change my life forever and help me to reconnect with another voice. A voice I had long forgotten. For three months, I worked. A daily routine of physical and spiritual practise, shedding old skin, changing old stories, reconnecting the dots. Finding a way back.
There are of course names for what we did, there are words for the practices rooted in various schools of thought and belief. Practices that have existed in both the East and the West for hundreds of years. But I find the language of such things needlessly flowery and over-complicated. In layman’s terms however, which have always sat better with me, I believe that any crisis of the soul is a detachment from your true self, the part of you that patiently sits behind all of the worry, all of the pain and discomfort and waits quietly for your return.
So that was our aim, that’s what we set off to find. Some peace of mind, the same peace of mind we all start life with, in my case, long buried under the old, dead weight of fear, shame, and clear, strong liquor.
“C’mon now kiddo, we’ll be alright” - Count the lightening
I had my daily practice, I had my mentor and I had the ocean. As I started, day by day, to feel better, I could feel a kind of shift creatively. I could feel something start to come into focus. Words, sounds, images. Gradually filling up the spaces in my mind, previously occupied by grey, a light was coming on. I set up a makeshift studio in my cabin and went to work filling the spaces on a record that I had previously thought was finished, with a sense of wonder and love for writing, that I had all but lost. But here it was, words and sounds, in my every grateful, waking thought.
It is worth mentioning at this juncture, that whilst in the midst of madness and my subsequent recovery, Elliot had been patiently waiting, wondering if his oldest friend and band member was ever coming back to some kind of normalcy, let alone to music. Never one to sit on his hands, my best mate, also navigating his own turbulence (his story to tell) took it upon himself to learn how to produce and engineer, creating a studio of his own at home on the west side of LA, making loops, ideas and creating fundamental additions to a slowly, surely forming, completed album.
Once back together and with an incredible amount of renewed energy in making music and being a band again, we finished the record, creativity and friendship, two hugely underrated aspects of recovery, I think, from anything.
So here we are today. I find myself writing this with trepidation. I can feel that old knot in my gut forming and my heart rate start to quicken a little. Anxiety of course, is incurable. We need it to survive - it is after all only trying to protect us - but it’s not a perfect mechanism. Much like us.
It’s been 8 months, 243 days since I last had a drink. My life is, by design, more simple now. I go to A.A meetings, I cycle along the seafront, and I make things. I paint, I make music, take photographs and edit film. These are now the things that quiet that negative, critical voice in my head. It’s still there of course, chattering away, but crucially I now have distance from it. I know what it is now.
I think sobriety can mean many things to many people. In my mind, you can get sober from anything that is a negative force of energy in your life. It’s not about alcohol; that was just a symptom, a temporary and ultimately flawed solution. The only real way out for me, in the end, was to look long and hard in the mirror and pull it all apart.
Nothing is coincidental if you look hard enough. You just have to allow a little light in, accept a little serendipity. Be open to a power greater than yourself and submit control. These are the lessons I have learnt in the last few years. These are the simple practices that keep me open, honest and vulnerable. There is no solution to the pains of simply being. There is no quick fix, only radical acceptance, compassion and empathy of what really is: of who you really are.
And yes, cassette ribbon can unravel, but it can be saved (if you are old enough to remember) by lodging a pencil into the reel hole and winding the ribbon back. This, I believe, is why this collection of songs in particular - this record - is self-titled. It’s time to give something its name, to take responsibility for it, to hold up a sometimes trembling hand and say, “I’m Pete, I’m an alcoholic and I’m grateful to be alive, thank you for listening to my story, until we meet again, until the ribbon breaks”
Could we get some kandreil smut? I dont know what ur comfortable with but maybe double penetration w/ neil as the bottom?
Oh man, never fear anon I am down with absolutely anything (well ok there are a few things that I cannot but irrelevant), so yes I am 100% comfortable with this. Kandreil is so important to me, and you bet DP is on my list of kinks. Safe, sane, consensual, comforting, a little kinky but slow, emotional DP. Sorry about the wait, but hey, here’s 5k of smut. Let’s do this. (so much nsfw under the cut)
Kevin Day was a man unsparing in his emotions. When he felt something, you knew about it. When he wanted something, you knew about that too. He was so unlike Andrew is so many ways that they almost perfectly defined the concept of polar opposites. Neil loved them both, for their differences and despite them.
Andrew was the calm one. His touches had always been sparing, exercising caution, restraint, control. Neil liked that about Andrew though, he liked the preciseness with which he did things, knowing that Andrew would never go to far, or allow to be pushed too far. He never did anything unless he absolutely wanted to, so it made the touches he gave and allowed sweeter for it.
Kevin was the opposite. In Kevin he loved his openness, his frankness. His touches were easy, casual and often, his kisses hot and searing and demanding, unafraid to push and pull at Neil, unafraid to rough him up a little. He liked that for Kevin intimacy was fierce and passionate, comforting and reassuring and grounding. For a man who had been starved of it for most of his life, he took to it with a desperation that Neil supposed he could understand.
In my father I observed mildness of temper, and unchangeable resolution in the things which he had determined after due deliberation; and no vainglory in those things which men call honours; and a love of labour and perseverance; and a readiness to listen to those who had anything to propose for the common weal; and undeviating firmness in giving to every man according to his deserts; and a knowledge derived from experience of the occasions for vigorous action and for remission. And I observed that he had overcome all passion for boys; and he considered himself no more than any other citizen; and he released his friends from all obligation to sup with him or to attend him of necessity when he went abroad, and those who had failed to accompany him, by reason of any urgent circumstances, always found him the same. I observed too his habit of careful inquiry in all matters of deliberation, and his persistency, and that he never stopped his investigation through being satisfied with appearances which first present themselves; and that his disposition was to keep his friends, and not to be soon tired of them, nor yet to be extravagant in his affection; and to be satisfied on all occasions, and cheerful; and to foresee things a long way off, and to provide for the smallest without display; and to check immediately popular applause and all flattery; and to be ever watchful over the things which were necessary for the administration of the empire, and to be a good manager of the expenditure, and patiently to endure the blame which he got for such conduct; and he was neither superstitious with respect to the gods, nor did he court men by gifts or by trying to please them, or by flattering the populace; but he showed sobriety in all things and firmness, and never any mean thoughts or action, nor love of novelty. And the things which conduce in any way to the commodity of life, and of which fortune gives an abundant supply, he used without arrogance and without excusing himself; so that when he had them, he enjoyed them without affectation, and when he had them not, he did not want them. No one could ever say of him that he was either a sophist or a home-bred flippant slave or a pedant; but every one acknowledged him to be a man ripe, perfect, above flattery, able to manage his own and other men’s affairs. Besides this, he honoured those who were true philosophers, and he did not reproach those who pretended to be philosophers, nor yet was he easily led by them. He was also easy in conversation, and he made himself agreeable without any offensive affectation. He took a reasonable care of his body’s health, not as one who was greatly attached to life, nor out of regard to personal appearance, nor yet in a careless way, but so that, through his own attention, he very seldom stood in need of the physician’s art or of medicine or external applications. He was most ready to give way without envy to those who possessed any particular faculty, such as that of eloquence or knowledge of the law or of morals, or of anything else; and he gave them his help, that each might enjoy reputation according to his deserts; and he always acted conformably to the institutions of his country, without showing any affectation of doing so. Further, he was not fond of change nor unsteady, but he loved to stay in the same places, and to employ himself about the same things; and after his paroxysms of headache he came immediately fresh and vigorous to his usual occupations. His secrets were not but very few and very rare, and these only about public matters; and he showed prudence and economy in the exhibition of the public spectacles and the construction of public buildings, his donations to the people, and in such things, for he was a man who looked to what ought to be done, not to the reputation which is got by a man’s acts. He did not take the bath at unseasonable hours; he was not fond of building houses, nor curious about what he ate, nor about the texture and colour of his clothes, nor about the beauty of his slaves. His dress came from Lorium, his villa on the coast, and from Lanuvium generally. We know how he behaved to the toll-collector at Tusculum who asked his pardon; and such was all his behaviour. There was in him nothing harsh, nor implacable, nor violent, nor, as one may say, anything carried to the sweating point; but he examined all things severally, as if he had abundance of time, and without confusion, in an orderly way, vigorously and consistently. And that might be applied to him which is recorded of Socrates, that he was able both to abstain from, and to enjoy, those things which many are too weak to abstain from, and cannot enjoy without excess. But to be strong enough both to bear the one and to be sober in the other is the mark of a man who has a perfect and invincible soul, such as he showed in the illness of Maximus.
Marco, Rachel, Jake, Tobias and I were huddled in an editing bay on campus. Tobias was part of the film program, and had easily gotten us access. We were pretty sure this dark and silent room was the closest we’d get to real privacy for a very long time.
Jake had a map of the city laid out on the table, and was marking it up with lots of red pen. Marco was pacing in a corner, deeper in thought than I’ve ever seen him. Tobias was almost sitting in Rachel’s lap, and Rachel was running her fingers through his hair.
The scene was too still, too meticulous. I suddenly felt that Rachel should be leading a charge, not calming herself. Marco should be scheming, but not scheming himself in circles. Jake didn’t need a map. “No,” I said. “No. We’re coming about this all wrong. Rachel, do you remember when we were kids and we would play tag?”
Last year, I made my first video top ten (which you can see here), and while that was fun, as it so happens I’m a bit too busy right now to go through all the trouble of making a video at the moment. So here we are, back to the old way of doing things.
On an interesting side note, I found an unintentional theme in my list this year. Many of my films are in some way about the creation of art, as well as the price paid to be a great artist. Also, many of these movies could be seen as “coming-of-age” films. Once again I find myself astonished at how many great films came out in a single year (and I haven even seen all of them yet). So as usual, you can find my long list of “honorable mentions” at the end.
Like always, this is just my personal top ten films of the year. Even if we share the same tastes, I guarantee you that my list would be different than yours. It’s just too subjective.
So starting at number ten and counting down… here we go!
10. Mr. Turner
As far as pure craftsmanship goes, “Mr. Turner” is perhaps the most well made film of the year. Mick Leigh is a master, and every shot is purposeful and completely stunning. The film itself looks like an old beautiful painting. Timothy Spall sinks deep into his role as J.M.W. Turner, and it’s probably his best performance to date. The deliberate pacing and lack of traditional structure might turn away some viewers, but “Mr. Turner” is nevertheless a great work of art, and a portrait of a fascinating man.
I knew very little about this film before seeing it, and I think that’s a good thing. From the opening scene, I instantly fell in love with this darkly funny film. At it’s core, there’s some rather deep subject mater, and yet “Frank” cleverly offsets this with some truly hilarious moments that keep the film entertaining throughout. Domhnall Gleeson is outstanding here, but of course, the real star of the show is Michael Fassbender, who gives an incredibly expressive performance despite the fact that we can’t see his face. I enjoyed nearly every moment of this picture, and it’s definitely one that you need to see.
Some films just belong in the Critrion Collection. Ida is one such film. It’s haunting and artful and features the best black and white photography I’ve seen in years. The sharpness and contrast of every shot is remarkable. The narrative is beautifully simplistic. In fact, the minimalistic nature of the film as a whole is part of what makes it so special. “Ida” is sparse, gorgeous, and masterful. Certainly one of the best foreign films of the year.
7. Only Lovers Left Alive
Vampires are cool, but Tom Hiddleston and Tida Swinton bring it to a whole new level. These old lovers have seen it all, and while they still appreciate art, science, and philosophy, they’ve grown tired and indifferent while mankind continues to make the same mistakes. Jim Jarmusch’s film is a special kind of vampire story, because it may be the first one to really capture just how lonely, dangerous, and exhausting being immortal really is (or would be). "Only Lovers Left Alive" has a deliberate pacing that glides slowly along with it’s characters. Along the way, we learn how they live and what they’ve grown to appreciate, and it’s all quiet fascinating. It’s my opinion that “Only Lovers Left Alive” ranks as one of the very best vampire films ever made.
6. The Grand Budapest Hotel
A Wes Anderson film can always put a smile on my face. His last few films have been some of his best, and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” is certainly no exception. This film is so beautifully stylized, and so hilariously funny, I find it hard to believe that there’s anyone who wouldn’t enjoy this film. The cast is fantastically entertaining (especially Ralph Fiennes), the colors are vibrant, the humor is clever, and the filmmaking is flawless. When I saw “Moonrise Kingdom”, I said it might be Wes Anderson’s best film yet…. when I saw “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, I said the same thing.
5. The Duke of Burgundy
Captivating and visually arresting, Peter Strickland’s “The Duke of Burgundy” is one of the most compelling films I saw all year. It’s beautifully shot, colored, and textured with elegant pacing and precise direction - I really can’t say enough positive things about this film. It’s surreal and challenging while retaining a soft and gentle nuance of love and tenderness. “The Duke of Burgundy” certainly won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I found it extraordinary and deeply inspiring.
I know many cinephiles will probably place “Boyhood” as their number one film of the year, and I wouldn’t fault them for that. Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” is one of the most innovative and uniquely profound films ever made. Shot over the course of 12 years, we literally watch Mason grow up before our eyes. It’s a remarkable experience unparalleled by any comparisons I could make. We owe it to Linklater for having the guts to push our medium forward in such a beautiful way. This will probably win Best Picture at the Oscars, and it’s easy to see why.
3. Birdman: (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Simply one of my favorite cinematic experiences in a very long time. In the first scene, I made a mental note that we were in a long take, but to my wonder and astonishment, that long take never ended. There are, of course, cuts and interludes (this isn’t a “Russain Ark” situation) but the effect is very much thatAlejandro Iñárritu’s film is one singular shot. It’s remarkable, but could be called nothing more than an impressive gimmick if the film itself wasn’t so strong.
This is the best cast ensemble of the year, and the cinematography is gorgeous (made more impressive again by the long takes). But “Birdman” also has some interesting things to say about the creation of art, as well as the criticism that always accompanies it. It’s an intriguing film, and one with something to say. I loved every minute of it.
2. Vi är Bäst!
Every year, there are films that just seem to come out of nowhere and surprise me. Before it was released, I knew nothing of “We Are the Best”, nor was I familiar with Lukas Moodysson’s previous work. However, this film was perhaps the most enjoyable film I saw all year.
If you know nothing of this film, it’s the director’s adaptation of his wife’s graphic novel “Never Goodnight” (by Coco Moodysson). It centers around three young teenage girls living in 1980s Stockholm who start a punk band - despite two of them not knowing how to play an instrument. While the band plays an important role in the film, some of the most interesting scenes are when the girls are simply hanging out. The performances from these three young ladies are perhaps the most natural I’ve ever witnessed from anyone their age. At times, it seems that they’re not even acting at all, as if the cameras just happened to be there to catch these authentic moments. These girls are so funny, enduring, and most importantly, real. This film understands what it really means to be a hardcore punk. And that is a rare thing. I really can’t say enough good things about “We are the Best”. You just need to see it.
And my number one film of the year is…
This is not the most ambitious film of 2014. It’s not a space epic. It wasn’t shot over twelve years. It doesn’t give the illusion of being one continuous shot. It’s not even by a famous director. Yet, “Whiplash” was the single most thrilling piece of cinematic art I saw all year.
“Whiplash” tells the story of a young ambitious drummer who dreams of being one of the great jazz musicians of our time. He soon finds himself under the mentorship of a cutthroat teacher who is willing to do whatever it takes to push his students to the limit. The film shows painful abuse and heartache, but then just when you think the film will find contentment in an obvious solution, it aggressively charges forward into the single most intense, passionate, raw, violent, and beautiful final scene of the year. A scene that made my heart race until it finally cut to black, and the credits rolled. Then, and only then, did I finally catch my breath. This film bleeds with a passion that’s visible in every aspect, from its photography, to its editing, to the stellar performances. Enough can’t be said about Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons. They both give 100% to their roles, and it’s both beautiful and heartbreaking to watch.
I found “Whiplash” to be painfully relatable at times… and I’m sure that contributed to my fondness for the film itself. Nevertheless, I think everyone should see this amazing work of art. Damien Chazelle has crafted a challanging look at what it truly means to be a young artist with high ambitions. The road to greatness is filled with suffering, pain, loss, frustration, blood, sweat, and tears… and it seems the filmmakers here understand the price that is paid.
So there you have it - My top ten films of 2014. Please let me know what your favorite films were! Now, some of you may have noticed that a certain favorite director of mine not on this list…. so please see my honorable mentions below.
Inherent Vice - I know! I know! I can’t believe it either. P.T. Anderson is my favorite director, and I do love this film…. it just didn’t move me like his other work as done in the past. “Inherent Vice” is great. I just like 10 other films more.
Gone Girl - Yet another one of my favorite directors. David Fincher is to the point where he really doesn’t make bad films anymore. The craftsmanship is just too good.
Calvary - This is a touching and somewhat heartbreaking portrait of a priest genuinely trying to live a good life. A thankless job to be sure. It’s bleak but Brandon Glesson gives a wonderfully tender performance.
The Babadook - Rich with metaphor, this is easily one of the best horror films in years. Love it so much, and you really need to see it.
Under the Skin - Who could forget this surreal work of art from Jonathan Glazer? Scarlett Johansson does wonderful work here.
Jeune & Jolie - “Young & Beautiful” was an underrated French film from François Ozon. I really loved it a lot, though I might be in the minority.
Snowpiercer - Joon-ho Bong is a crazy good director, and “Snowpiercer” is a thrilling sci-fi action movie far more worthy of your time than most summer blockbusters.
Top Five - Chris Rock made an excellent film with a deep Woody Allen influence. I really hope he will continue this style into future projects.
Foxcatcher - A remarkable film. Bennett Miller is on a roll. There’s really nothing to complain about with this film. See it.
The One I Love - A fantastic little gem from Charlie McDowell. Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss are great.
The Imitation Game - A very sharp screenplay, and a brilliant performance from Benedict Cumberbatch.
A Most Wanted Man - The last leading performance from my favorite actor.
Guardians of the Galaxy - Finally, Marvel made their finest MCU film yet. It’s fun and fast and a really great watch.
Unfortunately I did not get the chance to see “A Most Violent Year”, “Winter Sleep”, “Goodbye to Language 3D”, “Leviathan” and serval other foreign films. I’m sure they all could have made my list if I had seen them.