ancient pipe

Hello Detective (Sherlock) Chapter 40

Part 1   Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5   Part 6   Part 7   Part 8   Part 9   Part 10   Part 11   Part 12   Part 13   Part 14   Part 15   Part 16   Part 17   Part 18   Part 19   Part 20   Part 21   Part 22   Part 23   Part 24   Part 25   Part 26  Part 27  Part 28  Part 29 Part 30  Part 31  Part 32  Part 33   Part 34   Part 35   Part 36   Part 37   Part 38   Part 39   Part 40     Part 41   Part 42   Part 43   Part 44   Part 45   Part 46   Part 47   Part 48   Part 49   Part 50  Part 51  Part 52   Part 53  Part 54  Part 55   Part 56  Part 57 Part 58 Part 59 Part 60

You, John, and Sherlock loaded back into the car and drove to the Hollow.

You got out of the car and John ran ahead of you two.

“Are you sure you’re okay? You know what happened last time.” Sherlock said, you rolled your eyes.

“I’m fine, let’s go!” You ran after John, Sherlock trailing behind you.

You made it to the Hollow and saw Henry kneeling, with a gun in his mouth. Your breath hitched in your throat.

“No, Henry, no, no!” Sherlock yelled.

“Get back! Get away from me!” Henry yelled, now standing and waving his gun frantically in the air. You were worried he might accidentally fire it.

“Easy, Henry, easy. Just relax.” You tried to calm him down.

“I know what I am, I know what I tried to do.” Henry rambled.

“Just put the gun down, it’s okay.” You tried again.

“No!” Henry yelled again. “I know what I am.”

“Yes, I’m sure you do Henry. It’s all been explained to you hasn’t it. Explained very carefully.” Sherlock said calmly.

“What?” Henry asked confused.

“Someone needed to keep you quiet, needed to keep you as a child, to reassert the dream you both clung on to because you had started to remember. Remember now, Henry, you’ve got to remember what happened here when you were a little boy.” Sherlock instructed.

“I thought it had got my dad. The hound. I thought… Oh, Jesus! I don’t… I don’t know anymore!” Henry yelled, waving the gun again, before placing it in his mouth.

“No Henry! For God sake!” John yelled.

“Henry, remember. “Liberty In.” Two words. Two words a scared little boy saw here 20 years ago. You’d started to piece things together. Remember what really happened here that night.” You said.

“It wasn’t an animal, was it, Henry?” Sherlock asked. “Not a monster, a man.”

Henry looked up as if he were beginning to remember again.

“You couldn’t cope. You were just a child. So you rationalized it into something very different. Then you started to remember so you had to be stopped.” Sherlock said.

“Driven out of your mind so that no-one would believe a word that you said.” Sherlock continued.

“Y/N!” You heard Lestrade yell, as he entered the Hollow.

John slowly grabbed the gun from Henry as he mumbled incoherently.

“We saw it… a hound… last night.” He muttered.

“No, but there was a dog, Henry. Leaving footprints, scaring witnesses, but nothing more than an ordinary dog. We both saw it, saw it as our drugged minds wanted us to see it. Fear and stimulus, that’s how it works. But there never was any monster.” Sherlock smiled as Henry began to calm down.

It had seemed like things had calmed down, but then the sound of growls filled the hollow. John pointed his flashlight up and it landed on a large dog.

“Sherlock?” You said, your hand grabbing his coat out of instinct.

He looked up in disbelief.

“No! No, no, no, no!” Henry began to mumble.

“Henry!” Sherlock reached an arm out to him, but there was no calming him now. It was here, and you began to feel weak again.

“Are you seeing this?” You turned around to Lestrade, whose mouth was hanging open.  

“Right, he is not drugged, Sherlock, so what’s that?” John asked.

“It’s just a dog Henry, it’s nothing more than an ordinary dog.” Sherlock yelled. But it seemed like so much more, it had the same glowing eyes.

The hound jumped down, slowly entering the hollow and baring its teeth. Sherlock turned to see a man walking into the other side of the hollow.

You began to cough and fall to your knees, as the man in the gas mask got closer. Sherlock pulled off the mask but it wasn’t who you had expect to see. It didn’t make sense, there was no way your uncle Ryan could have really been here.

“No! No, no!” Sherlock said, as surprised to see him as you were, unless he was seeing someone entirely different.

“It’s not you, not you!” Sherlock yelled. He pulled the man by his shirt  and you realized it wasn’t your uncle at all… it was Bob Franklin.

“The fog.” Sherlock said, in realization.

“What?” Lestrade asked.

“It’s in the fog! The drug is in the fog. Aerosol dispersant, that’s what is said in the records. Project HOUND, it’s the fog!” Sherlock said, solving it.

But the dog was real, and it kept getting closer. Your legs were too weak to stand, and the dog had its sights on you.

“For God’s sake, kill it!” You croaked through a cough.

Lestrade raised his gun and shot the dog multiple times, missing a few. It fell to the ground, dead.

“Look Henry.” Sherlock said, making Henry look at the dog to show that it was just that.

You bastard.” He turned around and said to Bob Franklin. He repeated himself before lunging at him.

“Twenty years! Twenty years of my life, making no sense!” He yelled, frantically, trying to hit Bob. Lestrade quickly pulled him off.

Sherlock helped you to your feet, and mentally asked you if you were okay. You nodded in response, not knowing if it was the truth.

“Why didn’t you just kill me!” Henry yelled.

You leaned into Sherlock’s side as he provided an answer. “Because dead men get listened to, he needed to do more than kill you. He had to discredit every word you ever said about your father. And he had the means right at his feet.”

“A chemical minefield. Pressure pads in the ground, dosing you up every time that you came back here.” You said.

“Murder weapon and scene of the crime all at once! Oh, this case, Henry. Thank you!” Sherlock laughed, and you elbowed him in the side.

“What?” He asked, genuinely unaware.

“Timing…” You said.

“Not good?” He asked.

“No, no. It’s okay. Because this means that my dad was right. He’d found something out, hadn’t he?” Henry asked, looking down to Bob Franklin.

“And that’s why you killed him because he was right, and he’d found you right in the middle of an experiment!” Henry yelled again.

Bob Franklin suddenly stood and began to run from the Hollow. Everyone began to run after him, but you weren’t sure what his plan was. Surely he knew he was outnumbered, and by people with guns, younger people who could outrun him.

He continued to run as you yelled after him. Then you saw the direction he was going… He jumped the barbed wire fence and you froze.

“No, stop! Everyone stop!” You yelled, and they obeyed.

“We can catch him, what are you on about Y/N!” Sherlock yelled.

“He just ran into the damn minefield!” You yelled back, everyone turn just as the explosion ripped through the air. The force pushed you all back, nearly forcing you to the ground.

John and Lestrade brought Henry home and made sure to take away his gun. Sherlock brought you back to the room so you could get a few hours of sleep before you all left in the morning.

“The aerosol… that must have been why you passed out. One of the chemicals in the fog must have reacted with the medication John gave you and caused you to lose consciousness.” Sherlock said, as he unlocked the door and lead you in.

“That makes sense.” You nodded.

“You are feeling better though, right?” Sherlock asked.

“I guess. I still feel kind of nauseous. Maybe I just need sleep though.” You said, changing and slipping into bed.

Sherlock kissed you on the head and you soon fell asleep.

The next morning you were sitting outside of the Inn with John eating breakfast.

Sherlock approached the two of you and handed you a cup of coffee.

“Thanks.” You smiled, Sherlock smiled back.

“So they didn’t have it put down then, the dog?” John asked.

“Obviously.” Sherlock said.

“Probably couldn’t bring themselves to do it.” You said.

“I see.” Sherlock lied.

“No you don’t.” John said.

“No, I don’t. Sentiment?” Sherlock asked.

“Bingo.” You smiled.

“Listen, what happened to me in the lab?” John asked. Sherlock was now sitting down next to you. You and Sherlock shared a look, not wanting to tell John about the little experiment.

“Do you want some sauce with that?” Sherlock asked, trying to change the subject and holding up the condiment tray.

“I hadn’t been to the Hollow. How came I heard those things there? Fear and stimulus, you said.” John kept talking.

“You must have been dosed with it elsewhere. When you went to the lab, maybe. You saw those pipes, pretty ancient, leaky as a sieve. And they were carrying the gas, so…” Sherlock lied.

“Hang on. You thought it was in the sugar. You were convinced it was in the sugar.” John pointed it.

“We’d better get going, there’s a train leaving in half an hour, so if you want…” Sherlock began, looking at his watch before being cut off by John.

“Oh, God! It was you. You locked me in the bloody lab.” John rolled his eyes.

“I had to, it was an experiment. But for the record, she helped.” Sherlock said.

“Thanks for throwing me under the bus.” You smiled sarcastically.

“An experiment!” John yelled, and Sherlock shushed him.

“I was terrified Sherlock, I was scared to death!” John said, his voice booming.

“I thought the drug was in the sugar, so I put the sugar in your coffee. Then arranged everything with Major Barrymore. Totally scientific, laboratory conditions, literally.” Sherlock began. “I knew what effect it had on two superior minds, so I needed to try it on an average one… You know what I mean.” Sherlock said, catching himself, you were actually quite proud.

“But it wasn’t in the sugar.” John pointed out again.

“No, well… I wasn’t to know you’d already been exposed to the gas.” Sherlock said, sipping his coffee.

“So you got it wrong.” John said.

“A bit.” Sherlock said, annoyed.

“It won’t happen again.” You smiled.

Sherlock now stood and looked off back towards the Inn.

“Where are you going?” You asked.

“Come with me, Sergeant. John we’ll just be a minute. Got to see a man about a dog.” Sherlock said, and you stood to follow him.

After the two of you informed Gary and Bill that the dog was dead, you took a train back into London.

John returned to Baker Street, but Sherlock accompanied you back to your flat. You were looking forward to a little rest, before returning to work. You would have never guessed that within the coming weeks you would be tested in ways you never have before.

Follow Orders

Title: Follow Orders

Pairing: Bucky x reader

Prompt:  can I request one where reader and Bucky don’t get along (but he secretly loves her cmon) and in one mission the avengers are forced to abort but she’s still doing something and gets caught up and tells them to leave without her but by some miracle she makes it to the jet in the nick of time and Bucky gets mad at her but kisses her? Thanks :P

Warnings: Swearing

A/N: Cred to @sexualtea for helping to develop the reader’s character in this

Originally posted by imkylotrash

           “You’re clear,” Steve’s voice crackled through Y/n’s earpiece. “Here we go,” she mumbled and started down the dimly lit corridor, trying to quiet her footsteps best she could. Only Bucky, Steve, and Sam had accompanied her on her mission because they doubted Hydra members would come back to the abandoned base. Their best bet was that most current Hydra agents didn’t even know that it existed. But there was always a possibility.

           They needed some information and the only way they’d be able to access the files that they needed was to infiltrate an old Hydra base and get to the main computer where Y/n would be able to work her magic and gather the files.

           “Ugh, do we have to take Y/n,” Barnes had groaned when Steve had told him about the mission. Steve rolled his eyes. “She’s the only one with the ability to hack into their system,” he clarified, “So yes, we have to take her.” Bucky pouted for the rest of the day.

           “Can someone please scan for the main computer?” she asked quietly, carefully examining her surroundings. “Why don’t you just look for it yourself Genius?” Bucky’s annoyed voice scoffed in her earpiece. “Why don’t you shut up and let me do my job Barnes?” Y/n rolled her eyes.  “Fuck you,” she heard Bucky’s low grumble say. “I’d rather you not,” she bit back. “Will you two stop flirting and focus?” Sam cut into the conversation. “Like I would flirt with Tin Man,” Y/n scoffed.

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I Always Thought Something Was Off About My Basement, But I Had No Idea How Terrifying The Truth Was

I remember seeing the house for the first time. I was a child of seven. My young parents had just bought their first home. I remember I used to hate living in the cramped, dingy apartment we previously inhabited and opened the door to our new home with wide eyed wonder. It blew my young mind how spacious this house was. I went upstairs to scope out my bedroom. I was so excited that I was getting my own room and did not have to share it with my infant brother.

On my grand tour of my new digs, I finally made it down to our basement. The basement was nothing like the rest of the house. The upstairs was elegant and classy. The basement was cold, metallic, and sterile. The ceiling covered in ancient pipes winding in grotesque angles. The floor covered in rough cement. I recall taking a look at the stairs for the first time and being immediately struck with how odd they were.

The stairs were surrounded in drywall which clashed with the rest of the basement. One particular section of the wall was colored differently than the rest. It stood out like a sore thumb. I inched close to it and felt the texture of it. It felt very strange. I then knocked on it. A hollow sound pervaded the empty air of the basement. Something about that sound immediately put me ill at ease. I walked up the stairs as I could hear that same hollow sound echo in the emptiness of the basement.

As we settled into our new home, I began to get comfortable with my surroundings. The house began to feel familiar. Everywhere, that is, except for the basement. It just always put me off, and I avoided going down there as best as I could. Our family couldn’t be happier. My loving father and mother doted over me and my little brother. My life was perfect.

Then it began.

I would hear errant noises. When I pointed it out to my parents, they told me the old standby that the house was settling in. One night in particular indicated that something wasn’t right. I snuck downstairs to the kitchen for a late night snack. As I closed the refrigerator, I heard a tapping sound cut through the silence of the night. I craned my head to see if I could pinpoint where the sound was coming from. Dread began to wash over me as I realized that tapping was coming from the basement. I inched my way over to the basement door. I opened it to see the blackness of the depths below.

My ears perked up. There it was again. That hollow tapping sound. The same sound I had heard on my initial visit to the basement from hitting the drywall. I turned on the lights steeling myself to go down the stairs and investigate. The tapping continued as I took the first step. Fear overtook me. I ran back to my room and hid under my covers until the morning light gave way to a new day.

I remember walking down the stairs. Being the first one up and about, I ran to the living room to play Nintendo. On my way, I passed the door to the basement. It was shut. Though I was in a state of near panic when I ran from it the previous night, I distinctly remember leaving the door open and not turning off the lights. I rationalized that my mother or father must have gone down there for some reason and lost myself in Super Mario Bros. 3.

Later, I mentioned the incident to my parents, and they just assured me that what I heard was the sound of the hot water heater clicking in the night. I knew better, but welcomed a logical explanation.

About a month after the move, my mother asked me to run downstairs and grab a load of socks as our washer and dryer were in the basement. I reluctantly told her I would. It was the middle of the day and enough time had passed to dull the fear I had felt a week prior.

I turned on the lights. I ran down the stairs. Hearing the hollow sound echo with my footsteps, a cold sweat started to form on me. I made my way to the dryer and grabbed a basket. I pulled the socks out hastily and shoved them into the basket. After I shut the door to the dryer, I surveyed my surroundings. The stillness of the basement was so eerie. Then I heard it. A faintly audible whisper.

At first, I thought it was somebody calling from upstairs, and their voice scarcely making it down into the basement. However, this was not the case. That sound was coming from the basement, specifically, from under the stairs. As I stood frozen with fear, it began to increase in volume but still remained barely above the threshold of human perception, what was being said incomprehensible to my young ears.

Then it stopped as quickly as it began.

I moved toward the stairs keeping my eye on the oddly colored portion of the drywall. As I took my first step to escape this ever growing nightmare, the most profoundly terrifying moment of my life occurred. A loud, hollow bang shook the stairs. Almost knocking me to the ground. I ran up the stairs as fast as my legs would carry me.

Through tears and shaking uncontrollably, I told my parents what happened. They tried their best to calm me, but nothing they said could ease my mind. I told them in no uncertain terms that I would never go down to the basement again. They must have been convinced of how terrified I was, because they honored my request and never sent me down there again.

After another three months in the house, things returned to normalcy for me, and honestly, there was about a two week period where I was happy again. The last time happiness would exist in my life or my families for that matter. One moment in particular comes to mind. I remember lifting up little Jonathon above my head lovingly as his pacifier fell out of his mouth and brushed against my nose tickling me. I pulled him in for a big bear hug and remember how he smelled. That wonderful smell that babies emit and, for the last time, feeling content.

Any semblance of contentment came crashing down for me and my parents the night of July 2nd, 1991.

That is the day Jonathon went missing.

A ransom note was scrawled in barely legible English and left in his bed demanding $20,000 dollars cash. It informed my parents that if they contacted the police, they would kill Jonathon. My mother and father took to their room and argued loudly and emotionally over whether or not to call the police as I listened with tears streaming down my eyes. My mother eventually wore down my father, and the police were called. Seeing as the location of the drop and time were indicated on the note, the police set up a wiretap just in case the kidnapper decided to call. I asked my parents and the police if they had thoroughly searched through the house in case he was still here. They assured me they had and that Jonathon would be fine after the drop, but the seed of an idea was already growing in my mind that would blossom throughout the rest of my life.

My parents followed the instructions to a T. They dropped off the money and then waited in the location that they were supposed to pick up Jonathon.

He never came.

Needless to say, this tore my family apart. As the weeks passed and there was no news about Jonathon, my young, vibrant parents became husks of their former selves, my mother especially. She blamed herself for getting the police involved and believed that to be the reason Jonathon was not returned. One night as she was sobbing alone in shambles clutching a bottle of wine, I finally decided to divulge to her my theory that had been brewing inside my skull. I told her that I thought it was whoever (or whatever for that matter) was under the stairs that had gotten Jonathon and maybe he is still alive. She slapped me across my face so hard that I saw stars. She screamed at me. The guilt expressing itself as rage. She told me to stop the childish bullshit and just accept that Jonathon was taken out of the house by some sick fuck and is dead. My childhood died that day. I remember contemplating taking a hammer and exposing whatever was under the stairs myself, but the fear was just too overwhelming for me to actually do it let alone step one stair down into that basement.

My family moved shortly after this incident. I remember looking to the future with what might resemble optimism only to have it come crashing down. My parents divorced. The grief was too much to share and not a year after that my mother killed herself. The guilt must have just overwhelmed her. My father did his best to raise me, but Jonathon’s long shadow always hung over our lives.

Twenty years later, I began to think long and hard about my little brother’s disappearance and how angry it made me. My family had a chance at a normal and fulfilling life, and it was snuffed out in an instant by whoever took him. I wasn’t just robbed of a little brother. I was robbed of any chance of happiness. As I grew up, I accepted the official story of what happened. But lately, curiosity began to get the better of me. I began driving past the old house. Seeing that it was currently vacant. Ideas began to swirl in my head.

So, I broke into the house bolstered by alcohol. I decided to do it. Knowing I would likely find nothing under the basement stairs, but hoping that this would close a too long chapter in my life and allow me to finally move on. To my dismay, the stairs sounded exactly the same as I remember they did, a hollow sound pervading the emptiness of the basement. I stare at the spot in the drywall, still discolored, still just as ominous as it was when I was a child. However, fear was not going to stop me. In fact, I was feeling the opposite. I was feeling a courage I hadn’t felt in a long time. The moment of truth was upon me. With all the force within me emboldened by years of pent up rage, I ran toward the wall shoulder first. The drywall came crashing down around me. I opened my eyes as my bravery was immediately eroded and turned into absolute horror.Jesus.Bones.Bones everywhere.

My horror increased to unimaginable heights as I surveyed the tight space seeing the myriad skeletons strewn about. The light playing menacingly on their tiny frames. Tattered pieces of paper were strewn about with God only knows what written on them. There must have been the remains of 20-30 children. My fright reaching a crescendo when I realized that with no exceptions they were all missing their skulls.

One particularly tiny one begged for my attention. I became weak in the knees and fell backwards when I saw what were unmistakably bite marks up and down the tiny forearm.

As I hit the ground, I expected to hear a dull thud as I landed on the concrete. Instead I heard a hollow sound. I looked to see what I had landed on, a trap door. Finding new courage, summoning strength I didn’t know I had, I opened it.

Below me lay a dark tunnel, a crawl space that could barely fit a person lying on their stomach. The dank smell wafting upward made me reluctant, but I knew what I had to do. Before I was conscious of what my muscles were doing, I found myself crawling through the darkness toward whatever lay on the other side.

As I reached the end of the tunnel, I looked up to see a sliver of light cutting through the darkness. With trepidation, I pushed upwards.

Cautiously, I poked my head up. To my surprise, the tunnel had led to the other side of the stairs. I crawled out to find myself in the corner of the basement facing the stairs behind a dryer covered in years of dust. The implications of all of this sent my mind reeling, but before I could form a coherent thought the lights turned off in the basement.

My heart caught in my throat as I began to hear someone descending the stairs, slow but sure steps announcing I was no longer alone. With every thud, my heart skipped a beat. I began to hear that incomprehensible whispering absolutely indelible in my mind. The familiarity reigniting the fear and woe of my lost childhood. Worrying the darkness would not adequately hide me, I sought cover by ducking behind the dryer not willing to take the risk of catching a glimpse though every fiber of my being screamed to do so.

Panic began to set in. What am I going to do when he (it?) discovers his lair has been revealed? While I was mulling over my options, the screaming began.

I say scream as a frame of reference, but there is no way to truly describe the guttural noises I heard. The sounds smashing the silence of the basement were, so bone chilling, so surreal as to defy description. He clearly had discovered his perverse sanctuary had been disturbed. Before I knew it, I was up the stairs running for my life.

I made it to my car too scared to turn around. With all muscles working in concert, I opened the door and put the key in the ignition in one swift movement. As my car sprang to life under the street light, a shadow fell over my car. I gunned it never looking back, flooring the accelerator to the local police precinct. I breathlessly tried to explain to the attending officer what had occurred and collapsed to the floor mid sentence.

Now, it is a month later. The next day after my discovery the police launched an investigation and quickly made the same gruesome discovery. I was thanked profusely by the police and the community for what I had found telling me they were going to be able to close the books on multiple missing person cases. However, they were not able to find the perpetrator of these heinous crimes. They began to test the DNA of the bodies. A profound sense of relief overcame me when I received the call informing me that one of the tiny skeletons belonged to Jonathon.

I shared the news with my father. The look on his face, relief all encompassing as the burden he had carried for so many years was lifted. We hugged as tears filled both of our eyes.

However, the relief has been short lived.

The thing that keeps me up at night is that whoever or whatever did this is still out there. The question that plagues my mind is whether or not this monster is literal or figurative. Either way, I hope I never find out.

Autism: A Love|Hate Relationship

I see posts “I love being autistic” and “I hate being autistic”. Quite often (almost all) do not say why. Being autistic, I want to to know why. I want to know why about everything :). I will try to give you some whys about my feelings on the topic. Why do I love being autistic and why do I hate it.

I love the sensitivity - for me walking from a warm carpet to a cool hardwood floor is intensely erotic. Feeling the grit of concrete scraping my feet as I skip along the sidewalk while smelling the Ancient Guardian’s pipe smoke is exciting in ways I cannot make words for. The bark of a tree scratching my hands while I climb  makes me shiver.

And I hate the sensitivity. The fear that has no basis when I see sudden flashes of light. The rage when a fluorescent light flickers. The need to hide from fireworks displays that I know are miles away. The meltdowns from a flashing image on my computer screen.

I hate that I cannot make mouth noise without major effort because I do not think in words. That I cannot say what I think because there are no words for the smell of Baby’s breath in the morning when she forces a kiss on me before I’m even awake. That I cannot tell her how it feels to me.

I love that I think in experience. That every time I think of Baby’s greeting it includes the feeling of her weight pressing down, the smell of her breath, the image of her face, the feel of her skin on mine. That every mention of something becomes an experience (once I decipher the words). That reading of climbing a tree becomes the feel of bark, the smell of pine, the stickiness of sap.

I hate that when I get annoyed it becomes a flaming forest fire of rage.

I love that when I get pleased it becomes an erotic delight that makes me shiver.

I hate it when I do not understand words. There is no “I love” to go with this. I cannot think of a good side to not understanding mouth noise. I don’t even get a break from not hearing it - I have to hear it and deal with my brain trying to make sense of it and failing (like hearing a language similar to your own but not the same so you constantly try to translate and fail).

There are some logic things my brain does behind the scenes that I love - but they are behind the scenes and I haven’t been able to describe them. They are useful enough that people hire me to do computer work in spite of the cost of making places safe for me, so they must be good things.

Overall, I would not recommend being born autistic. It’s not a horrible fate, but it’s not the best option. An elf in a forest in a land with dragons, and knights in shiny armor, and wizards of great wisdom would be better. Choose that.

There are things about being autistic.

I Always Thought Something Was Off About My Basement, But I Had No Idea How Terrifying The Truth Was
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I remember seeing the house for the first time. I was a child of seven. My young parents had just bought their first home. I remember I used to hate living in the cramped, dingy apartment we previously inhabited and opened the door to our new home with wide eyed wonder. It blew my young mind how spacious this house was. I went upstairs to scope out my bedroom. I was so excited that I was getting my own room and did not have to share it with my infant brother.

On my grand tour of my new digs, I finally made it down to our basement. The basement was nothing like the rest of the house. The upstairs was elegant and classy. The basement was cold, metallic, and sterile. The ceiling covered in ancient pipes winding in grotesque angles. The floor covered in rough cement. I recall taking a look at the stairs for the first time and being immediately struck with how odd they were.

The stairs were surrounded in drywall which clashed with the rest of the basement. One particular section of the wall was colored differently than the rest. It stood out like a sore thumb. I inched close to it and felt the texture of it. It felt very strange. I then knocked on it. A hollow sound pervaded the empty air of the basement. Something about that sound immediately put me ill at ease. I walked up the stairs as I could hear that same hollow sound echo in the emptiness of the basement.

As we settled into our new home, I began to get comfortable with my surroundings. The house began to feel familiar. Everywhere, that is, except for the basement. It just always put me off, and I avoided going down there as best as I could. Our family couldn’t be happier. My loving father and mother doted over me and my little brother. My life was perfect.

Then it began.

I would hear errant noises. When I pointed it out to my parents, they told me the old standby that the house was settling in. One night in particular indicated that something wasn’t right. I snuck downstairs to the kitchen for a late night snack. As I closed the refrigerator, I heard a tapping sound cut through the silence of the night. I craned my head to see if I could pinpoint where the sound was coming from. Dread began to wash over me as I realized that tapping was coming from the basement. I inched my way over to the basement door. I opened it to see the blackness of the depths below.

My ears perked up. There it was again. That hollow tapping sound. The same sound I had heard on my initial visit to the basement from hitting the drywall. I turned on the lights steeling myself to go down the stairs and investigate. The tapping continued as I took the first step. Fear overtook me. I ran back to my room and hid under my covers until the morning light gave way to a new day.

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8

A fascinating tale from The Kitchen Sisters.

Image credits:

Koch family photo: Special Collections and University Archives/ Wichita State University Libraries

Th. J. bottles: CJ Walker / Courtesy of William Koch

Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Benjamin Rush, August 17, 1811: The Thomas Jefferson Papers

Philippe Hubert: CJ Walker / Courtesy of William Koch

Operation Ivy nuclear test: National Nuclear Security Administration

Ancient roman lead pipes in Ostia Antica: Wikipedia user Chris 73

And for good measure, It’s Okay To Be Smart’s “The Universe in a Glass of Wine” (Richard Feynman Remixed).

Benigno Rabbits or “Bennies”

Benigno Rabbits, or “Bennies” as they are colloquially known, are small Leporids native to Italy, first discovered in 1967 by Benigno Bonaccurso of Tuscany, who first captured a few specimens of what he believed to be simply hyper-intelligent pygmy rabbits. After a few days of keeping the five he captured in a large pen in his home they replied to him when he went to feed them, asking what they wanted for dinner. One, a small pale gold female, which he later named Bona after Bona Dea, the Ancient Roman “Good Goddess”, piped up asking for carrots. Startled he dropped the food he held before nodding and going to get carrots. 

Upon starting a conversation with the creatures he discovered they had been learning Italian from his conversations with his House Elf and his friends and practised among themselves before first addressing him, picking Bona to speak as the eldest female of the group. The small creatures learnt quickly and Benigno named them, Bona for the pale gold who first spoke to him, Eulalia for the next eldest, a golden-cream creature, and Ermelinda or “Irma” for her gold-buff younger sister. The remaining two, both males were named Claudio and Baldo, and told apart by Claudio being pale brown and Baldo, a more coppery-brown creature, and the first of the Bennies to bite Benigno, when Benigno first captured them.

Bennies have the potential to reach genius level IQs as well as learning to read but by and large their intelligence depends on who and how they are raised, varying between that of a 5 year old child, to that of a 15 year old teenager. Some Bennies, such as Benigno’s original, Eulalia, very much enjoy reading and listing their own observations, although they may need specially fitted spectacles as leporids tend toward farsightedness. Bennies are by nature highly trustworthy, as the first language they learn, before human tongues, is that of body language, and so find it near impossible to lie. They are also insatiably curious creatures, often greeting and questioning passers-by. On the rare occasion that Benny is mistreated they will quickly leave the human in question, often going to nearby wixes or even the proper authorities to report them. Due to their near-total inability to lie and their great disinclination to deception the most that is done to tell the truth of the facts is a minor truth-spell test to verify the matter from the humans side.

Bennies when born are barely even the size of a teabag, and fully grown are usually between the size of a baby domesticated rabbit or a small kitten. Bennies vary hugely in colouration, capable of all the same colour mutations as rabbits and hares, although their fur generally remains short and silky, with little variation. They have names among themselves consisting of certain scents and sounds, but love the, often flattering, names that humans give them. Bennies generally eat similar food to rabbits and hares but have a deep love for tomatoes, grapes and mozzarella, although personal tastes may vary from Benny to Benny. Bennies seem to prefer sweet and mildly salty food to strongly flavoured foods, but avoid strongly flavoured, spicy or overly sweet or salty foods, finding them too much. Bennies breed only rarely, coming into season once a year or two, and only have between 1-3 little ones. They are generally weaned by the mother between 6 and 8 weeks, and the mother is the one who dictates when her offspring are old enough to leave her and/or be rehomed.

The creatures also have magically reinforced immune systems, being totally immune to Myxomatosis, although they can get ill from overfeeding on certain foods. Pasta and Mozzarella for example will make them fat, but they adore these foods often asking politely and endearingly for more. It is said by many who care for Bennies, that the hardest part is being gentle yet firm about how much they can have.

In the wild Bennies are hard to find, and it is often easiest to already be in possession of a Benny who can find the creatures for you and communicate to them that you mean them no harm. Only native to Italy, Bennies can now be found in wixen homes around the world, but are only found wild in Italy. The creatures have a generally equal view of gender, although female rabbits are generally seen as somewhat stronger, as they not only seek out food and defend themselves, but also bear and care for young. Bennies can get a little loopy on basil, which affects them similarly to catnip on cats. They are also known to enjoy fish, though usually only once cooked, and some can be quite picky over which fish they will eat. Those that do like fish on the whole seem to prefer mildly flavoured fish, although a few like more strongly flavoured fish.

On the whole Benigno Rabbits make excellent pets and are increasingly being given to children to teach them to care for animals, as a Benny is perfectly capable of warning a child to look where its stepping, or to remind them it is food time. Small children ought not to be allowed to play with Bennies as the creatures are quite delicate, but children of around 7 years can be taught the careful handling techniques required to handle a Benny.


(Image Source)

(Image used with artists permission - I really recommend looking at this persons art they have some of the most adorable bubble-dragons and bunnies and adorableness. Idea and Info for the Bennies came from underwater-witchery, I simply wrote it up. I hate that I have to include this but PLEASE DO NOT DELETE THE IMAGE SOURCE OR MY CAPTION.)

sorry, no real halloween post, guys. Have some doodles of a villain I conceived for a fanfiction i’ll never write

His name is Hamelin. He comes from the same shadowy, foreign land as the demon lord, Tirek. He is a small, squirrelly creature known as a hobgoblin. Hobgoblins are found at the very bottom of his world’s social order, so it’s by sheer luck that young Hamelin happens one day upon an ancient, cursed pipe. It’s evil melody can’t touch the pure-hearted, but it can control even the most vicious beast, amplifying the rage and wickedness in their hearts to turn them into frothing, mindless brutes. Hamelin is quick to abuse this power and ultimately flees into a new world, full of soft-minded creatures ripe for exploiting-Equestria. And it is by greatest luck of all that his cruel misdeeds within the Everfree forest attract the most dangerous and rare beast of all-Discord.

Hamelin snares Discord with his pipe’s song and completely obliterates Discord’s free will, empathy, and every last scrap of emotion to turn him into a savage, unfeeling monster. Hamelin is a malicious, power-hungry fucker, and once he realizes the kind of power Discord packs, he schemes to conquer Equestria, starting, of course, with Ponyville. Unlike other victims of dark magic, Discord is entirely aware of everything going on, and forced to watch helplessly within his own mind as he destroys everything he has come to love.

It’s up to Twilight and Fluttershy to save Discord. A draconequus without his mind is an extremely dangerous beast, and if they cannot find a way to break Hamelin’s spell, they’ll have to take Discord down, by any means necessary.

so ya i like tormenting discord can you tell

trial by fire # 14

chapter 14: ash

  • “the powdery residue of matter that remains after burning”

summary: When a series of fires unsettles the city of Magnolia, Detective Lucy Heartfilia unwittingly reignites a war between old rivals. But when she finds herself drawn to one of her suspects, the lines between right and wrong begin to blur.

rated: M for Mature Content (no nsfw scenes this chapter)

Hope you enjoyed the brief Gruvia interlude!! Now, it’s back to our main duo…

read: part I | part II | part III | part IV | part V | part VI | part VII | part VIII | part IX | part X | part XI | part XII | part XIII | all parts | on ff.net

Nearly a week after the first fire was the day they’d determined to hit the strip mall. Setting fires within a week of each other, their memorable color an unmistakable flare in the criminal world, would undoubtedly draw the attention of not only Jackal, but everything else that lurked in the night. This would be the final display to “prove” that the Salamander was back.

After this, Natsu knew, Jackal would show his ugly mug one way or another.

All he had to do was hold out tonight, and he’d be in the clear; he wouldn’t have to set fires for the cops again, even if they begged him to. Even if Lucy begged him to–he wasn’t sure he could hold on to his sanity if he did this again.

The only reason he’d been able to do so this long was because Lucy was with him. Her voice, her scent, her touch had soothed him and lulled his demons to sleep.

If she wasn’t with him, Natsu was more than sure he would have succumbed by now.

That was why his dreams had haunted him the past week–flashes of smoldering flames, of ash and destruction, of the power. He’d startled awake many a time, skin slick with sweat and his blood cold and his stomach turning over. More than once, he’d thought about calling Lucy just to hear her voice; it would be enough to settle him, he knew.

But…calling her every other hour in the middle of the night was hardly considerate. He didn’t want to disturb the detective.

Keep reading

new beginnings

Dear @redstarfiction - I am so pleased to be your Secret Santa! You asked for an AU where Jamie and Claire are children together - I hope my wee story meets your requirements! Blessings to you for a joyous Christmas season!


Colum MacKenzie, principal of Leoch Elementary School, looked at his watch for the fourth time and glanced across his desk.

Six chairs – five of which were occupied. Two by Ellen Fraser and her six-year-old son Jamie, two by Jessica Randall and her eleven-year-old son Jack – and one by Jack’s classmate Claire Beauchamp.

Jack sported a lump that would soon become a black eye – and glared at Jamie.

Claire looked bored and swung her legs absently.

Colum cleared his throat.

“Is your uncle always this late to appointments?”

Claire nodded, dark curls bobbing. “He insists I take the school bus, otherwise he’d always forget to pick me up. He’s a scholar, you know – the classics and such.”

“I love the Ancient Greek stories!” Jamie piped up from in between Ellen and Claire. “Hermes is my favorite!”

“Stop trying to impress her,” Jack glowered. “You’ve proved your point, Fraser.”

Jessica shushed her son just as the door crashed open. A well-dressed but disheveled man stumbled through and removed his fedora.

“Dr. Quentin Lambert Beauchamp,” he bowed to the room. “So terribly sorry I’m late. I’ve been translating an Assyrian manuscript and the time just slipped away from me…”

Colum stood and offered a hand. “No worries, Dr. Beauchamp – may I introduce Mrs. Randall and Mrs. Fraser?”

Lamb turned to the mothers and nodded polite hellos. “My – isn’t that darling boy the spitting image of his mother! Such fiery red hair – genetics is just a lovely thing!”

“Please sit, Uncle Lamb.” Claire’s voice was gentle but firm – evidently used to guiding her uncle back to the main topic of conversation.

“Yes, yes – hello, dear Claire.” He bent to kiss the top of her head, unbuttoned his waistcoat, and settled into the empty chair beside his niece.

Colum sat and tented his fingers on his desk. “Now that we’re all here – I’m hoping this won’t be a long conversation. But I never countenance violence at this school – especially violence that results in an injury. Therefore - ”

“I didna hurt him too badly – it could have been a lot worse,” Jamie interrupted. “My brother Willie showed me.”

“Hush,” Ellen hissed. “Ye canna talk like that, Jamie. Are ye no’ sorry for hitting Jack?”

“I’m not,” Jamie insisted. “He was being mean to Claire. And he wouldna stop, Mam.”

“Rubbish.” Jack balled his hands into fists – and his mother lay a hand on his arm to quiet him. “I was just making conversation with Miss Beauchamp.”

“That’s no’ true!” Jamie’s fair brows shot up almost to his hairline, his small voice pleading. “That *mac na galla* put his hand on her arm and she yanked it away and then he did it again and she asked him to stop and – ”

“Jamie Fraser! Language!” Ellen exclaimed.

“Did you just speak the Gaidhlig?” Lamb turned to young Jamie, whose smart uniform was a bit askew after the events of the day. “I’m so thrilled that it’s making a resurgence – ”

“Tell us, Claire.” Colum, exasperated, wished he was anywhere but in that room. “Your version of events, please.”

Claire nodded and licked her lips. “It was recess. I was outside reading my botany book, and then Jack tapped me on the shoulder. I looked up and he said I was a fair English rose very far from home, here in Scotland. I didn’t know what to say to that except ‘thank you,’ so that’s what I said and I went back to my reading.”

She paused. “And then he tapped my shoulder again and said he had been watching me for a while and thought I was pretty.”

Jack squirmed in his seat. His mother turned to him, dark brows furrowed.

“And how did that make you feel, Claire?” Colum asked gently.

She straightened in her chair. “Uncomfortable, Mr. MacKenzie. I just wanted to keep reading my book, but Jack wanted to keep talking. And I didn’t want to talk to him. Uncle Lamb says that it’s not rude to ignore someone when they’re being persistent – that the other person will understand. But Jack didn’t.”

“Aye, he didn’t!” Jamie interjected. “And then he lay his hand on her a third time and that’s when I tapped him on the shoulder and asked him to leave Claire alone.”

“And just how did *you* get involved in all of this, Jamie?”

Jamie faced Colum directly, chin tilted – proud and defiant. “I’ve been watching Claire, too – but she’s never noticed me, because I’m in first form. But my da always says that it’s a man’s duty to protect women – to keep them safe from harm. And I could tell that Jack wasna listening to what Claire wanted. And he’s bigger than her and she couldna push him away. So I had to step in.”

“But how did ye ken that Claire wanted ye to help her, lad?” Ellen asked gently. “Why did ye have to use yer fists?”

Jamie shifted to face his mother. “I asked him politely to let Claire go. And he laughed at me – said I was just a bairn.”

“You are,” Jack muttered under his breath. “You had no right to interrupt my conversation.”

“I had *every* right!” Jamie exclaimed. “When a lady says she isna interested, that means she isna interested. That’s what *my* Mam has always taught me. I dinna ken what *yer* Mam has taught ye. But ye were no’ doing what she wanted.”

“Jamie – ” Jessica Randall’s voice was quiet, but firm. “That still doesn’t make it right to hit someone.”

“But how else would he listen to me?” Jamie’s voice was choked, and the poor lad sounded on the verge of tears. “I asked him to stop. She asked him to stop. And he wouldna stop. And I was – ” he swallowed. “I was afraid he would hurt her in some way. So I hit him, to make him stop.”

“Stop being so bloody dramatic,” Jack sneered. Jessica nudged her son to keep silent.

“That’s quite gallant of you,” Lamb remarked quietly, patting young Jamie on the shoulder.

“I didn’t need the help – but I appreciate it,” Claire said softly.

Colum looked from Claire, whose cheeks were a bit rosy with color – to Jamie, a bit nervous – to Jack, eyes cold and narrow.

“I think you should exercise restraint with young Master Fraser,” Lamb suggested quietly. “He was only doing what he thought was right.”

“I’m inclined to agree,” Jessica added, shaking her head at her son. “How many times do we need to talk about this, Jack – if people don’t want to engage with you, you can’t force them.”

“One way or another, I *will* get a response from you, Claire,” Jack pledged.

“No you won’t,” Claire insisted.

“I willna let it,” Jamie nodded.

Claire smiled at Jamie, and he flushed.

Colum thought for a moment. “I agree to go easy on Jamie – he was only doing what he thought was right. He can’t go unpunished for hitting Jack, but I’ll be very reasonable.”

Ellen nudged Jamie. “Thank ye,” he said softly.

Colum nodded. “And as for you, Jack – I’d like to spend some more time with you and your mother. I want to nip this antisocial behavior in the bud.”

Lamb, Ellen, Jamie, and Claire stood, thanked Colum, and quietly exited the room.

In the hallway, Ellen helped Jamie into his coat while Claire brushed stray crumbs off of Lamb’s jacket. Ellen turned to the eccentric older gentleman. “I’m sorry we had to meet under these circumstances – you’re raising a truly lovely girl.”

Lamb smiled, a bit uncomfortable at the praise. “I’m trying my best, Mrs. Fraser – Claire and I only have each other. And our books, of course.”

Jamie took Claire’s hand and led her away from the grown-ups.

“I’d like to have you and Claire over to the farm for dinner one night – if you’d be up for it, of course.”

“Oh, we’d love to!” Lamb’s smile extended from ear to ear, his heart warmed at the gesture. “It’ll be good to get Claire in a new setting. And anyway, I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of each other in the months to come…”

They turned to see Claire and Jamie deep in conversation – her bent to be at his eye level.

“What do you suppose they’re talking about?” Ellen asked.

Lamb shrugged and put on his fedora. “We can ask them on their wedding day. Come along, Claire!”

Claire straightened to follow her uncle – but not before hugging Jamie and kissing his cheek.

Jamie watched Claire go, thunderstruck.

Ellen shook her head, smiled, and gently guided her son to the car.

Taking the Plunge!

Years ago, I wrote for fun. Then I wrote for a living. At some point I basically stopped altogether. Changing that up today! Here we go… SO NERVE WRACKING.

My first published attempt at a drabble. Inspired by this AU prompt:

  • I SWEAR to GOD if I hear you showering at THREE IN THE MORNING again, I will seriously fight you, the pipes in this building are RIGHT above my bedroom, WHY are you taking showers at THREE AM

Enjoy!


That. Is. It.

I’m desperate for sleep. Throwing off the comforter, my mind is racing with all the insults I plan to hurl at the Disturber of Sleep, as I’ve now named her. My bare feet slap against the hardwoods as I shuffle as quickly as I can toward the door. I race out the door, down the carpeted hallway, and up the mahogany staircase to the floor above. 

Keep reading

Alone

For truebluecas and Kaeostennyo. Because “Alone” by Heart is such a Destiel Ballad. Set mid-season 9 

It isn’t something Castiel was supposed to see.

He’d just returned to the bunker, eager to let Sam know that he might have a lead on a “back door” to heaven. It’s clear, though, once he arrives that Sam is not there.

The hallways are dark, lit only by the dim red haze of the emergency lighting. The only sounds are the creeks and hisses of the ancient piping running through the building.

“Hello?” Castiel calls out, but receives no answer. He proceeds down the hallway, the smooth brush of his shoes against the concrete echoing softly against the stone walls.

He vaguely hears something down the corridor and follows it.

He recognizes the area he is in as the hallway containing Dean and Sam’s bedrooms. A muffled melody drifts through the air. He moves toward it and, as he gets closer, the sound becomes something familiar.

It’s a song he recognizes, and one he enjoys in fact. While he was working at the Gas n’ Sip, Nora would play her own CDs and this band in particular was a favorite. Heart, Castiel recalls. He remembers that he liked the name. He felt it was very fitting with the music, very rough and raw in it’s emotions.

Castiel remembers enjoying this song more than others, though. The lyrics seemed to stir up something inside of him that he’d long tried to keep buried.

Till now, I always got by on my own, I never really cared until I met you. And now it chills me to the bone…

Castiel swallows hard as he approaches a door, the singer’s rich voice mingled with a a very familiar low growl. He places a hand on the door, ready to knock, but finds that it gives way under his touch. The door slowly swings open.

Dean is perched on his bed, back to the door, vinyl records fanned out around him. Castiel can’t see his face, but he can hear Dean singing along. He notices the way Dean’s whole body bobs along in time with the the beat and the way his shoulders arch when the singer hits a crescendo.

You don’t know how long I have wanted to touch your lips and hold you tight.

Castiel swallows hard, the lyrics hitting him like a freight train. it’s surreal having Dean right here in front of him and the words he’s never had the courage to say laid out so plainly. Castiel all at once feels guilty. This is something that was never meant to be witnessed; a private moment that only belongs to Dean.

He’s about to take a step out of the doorway and back away, when Dean rises from the bed. He swings his hips as he turns but startles at the sight of Castiel. Dean jumps back, hitting the record player and knocking the needle with a high-pitched “screech”, starting the song again.

I hear the ticking of the clock, I’m lying here the room’s pitch dark.

“Jesus, Cas!” Dean gasps. He attempts to sound angry, but there is no fight in his words. Castiel catches the tips of his ears reddening and he wonders why.

I wonder where you are tonight, no answer on the telephone.

“I’m sorry to interrupt,” Castiel mumbles, his forehead creased anxiously, “I was looking… um, I like this song.” Dean’s tenses noticeably. For a second, Castiel thinks Dean is going to put on the front that he normally does when confronted with an uncomfortable situation. To his surprise, though, Dean’s shoulders slump and his gaze flickers to the record player.

“Nancy Wilson does have some pipes on her, doesn’t she?” He mutters. Castiel nods. He takes a small step inside the room and Dean drops back down onto the bed. He wonders if Dean will chastise him for the intrusion, but he receives none.

And the night goes by so very slow. Oh, I hope it won’t end, though, alone

“I find the words… “ Castiel trails off. What is he supposed to say. Reminiscent? Reflective? Precise to his own feelings?

Dean nods, as if he understands. He glances up at Castiel, his face drawn and pained. The mark is slowly eating him from the inside out, and there’s nothing Castiel can do to stop it. He wants to reach out to Dean, hold him, fix him, tell him everything will be fine even though he has no idea if it will.

Till now, I always got by on my own,

Dean reaches out and pats the space on the bed next to him, encouraging Castiel to sit.

“Yeah, me too,” He mumbles.

I never really cared until I met you.

Castiel sits down on the bed next to Dean. They are shoulder to shoulder, but Castiel feels so far from this man he once knew so well.

“Dean?” He begins, gathering his thoughts. “I…” Dean shakes his head, cutting him off.

And now it chills me to the bone

Dean reaches out and slips his hand into Castiel, squeezing it. He leans forward, resting his opposite elbow on his knee and covering his eyes with his hand.

“Just listen, Cas,” Dean says softly. Castiel looks at him. He knows that Dean can’t see him, but he nods. Castiel tightens his grip on Dean’s hand as the song plays on.

How do I get you alone, How do I get you alone…

2016 is fired.

So, fun house update:
They found knob-and-tube wiring under our bathroom floor.
That in and of itself isn’t so shocking - pun intended - but what was disturbing was the fact that it was discovered lying right next to the ancient metal pipes for our bathtub.
Oh, and it was live. The wire arced while the contractor was capping the pipes again so he could stop working.

We are extremely lucky that no one was electrocuted and we never had a house fire.

Yes, I’m angry. The previous owners had to know about this - and it was a code violation then, too.

The good news is that we have what’s called a “code violation rider” on our insurance, so wherever they find the wiring, they have to bring it up to code. So, as they walk that wire back to its source, they must replace all of it. Given that all the wiring for the house comes up in the same place, I think we’re about to get most of our house rewired.

Or, as @dadhoc puts it, “we’re upgrading our house one facepalm at a time.”