and i have seen enough dead people to last me for six lifetimes

An Essay about LGBTQ+ representation and art, tied up with a bit of a tribute to Stephanie Rice.

I haven’t written something like this in quite a while. But I’ve been thinking a lot this past month about stories (even more than usual). So please be patient with all the caffeinated rambling I have to do here. 

Needing to tell stories is something I have always known. There’s not a point in my life that I can look back on and not find in my younger self the intense will to put words and worlds, experiences and characters on paper. I’m sure this is a thing many artists and storytellers would say about their own lives. It’s the heart hammering, hand shaking need to find an outlet for experiences, passion, compassion and emotion that answers every “how did you know you wanted to do this” question with a “because I had to.”

Being gay is something that I haven’t always known. And yes, I can look back on my life and point to moments and insecurities and road bumps that came from having always been gay. But I haven’t always known. Knowing came later. Knowing came with combined fear and confidence and the ability to eventually shatter the brick walls I’d built to hold my shoulders upright, in order to look at myself more clearly. And then I knew, and now it’s as though I always have.

I spend a lot of time thinking about my experience coming out and the experiences of other LGBT people around me, and young kids who have come out and are coming out every day, either in quiet moments to themselves, or in one big fight with their families, or again and again each day to that Uber driver or that woman next to you on the plane, or your hair dresser who always asks who you’re dating. I spend a lot of time thinking about how that experience can be made easier, how kids can be received with more love, how we can better learn who we are before the years of self doubt. And no matter how much I think about anything, I am almost always brought back to the same two ways to fix anything. 1. Through giving and compassion and 2. Through art and stories. 

With each generation in the LGBTQ community, the groundwork is laid for the ones that follow. From fighting for our right to live and be seen, to demonstrating that we’re just like everyone else, the generations before mine have laid a foundation that I am fortunate and humbled to stand on. In that light, I really and truly believe that it will be my generation that brings us alive, as a community, through art, that tells stories and writes songs so that generations after us can see themselves a little sooner, can look up to more than just a handful of queer artists, can grow up knowing and with families who know that there is no one normal, no cookie cutter sexuality, no right experience. 

I have few memories of experiencing media that was specifically gay, growing up. But one of the clearest I do have is watching Pretty Little Liars with my mom. I grew up in liberal Massachusetts, outside Boston with loving, accepting parents. Even still, I can vividly remember a time when Emily, a then high school student on the show kissed her girlfriend and my mother explained that she just “didn’t like to see it” that it was fine and she had “nothing against it” but “she’s just a little girl” and she didn’t want to think about it. I’m sure my mom’s response wasn’t different from many others. So often, the world is okay with kids being queer but not okay with showing them a world of experiences like theirs beforehand. My mom is one of the most loving people I know and I tell this story with a fondness. She’s always been accepting of who I am. I’ve always been safe and supported. There’s a chance she doesn’t even remember this moment because she loves me for who I am. But when all is said and done those moments happen all the time and they pile up and they mean something. They mean something because there are young kids, across the country, across the world, in less loving houses, with less accepting parents, who don’t have the word for what they feel for years and years, who are sheltered from seeing Emily Fields kiss girls on TV, who watch their parents turn off movies if two boys are in love. Those kids hear song after song on the radio where girls sing about boys and boys sing about girls. They’re raised on fairytales and animated films about Princesses who marry Princes or don’t marry at all. They flounder, they search, they look for themselves here and there and everywhere and they come up empty handed. They come up with one song by a niche band that no one else listens to, or one sad lifetime movie about a woman’s dead gay son, or one lesbian on a TV show who inevitably ends up dead. 

It’s my understanding that art is never meaningless. That culture and stories are what shape who we are, our worldview, our communities. It’s my understanding that when we diversify those stories we begin to change the world, stone by stone, kid by kid. 

Often, I hear other LGBTQ people talk about not wanting to be defined by being gay or bi or trans. But the more I grapple with it and the more I exist in this world, living in LA, working in television, fighting for my chance to tell stories, the more I want to scream it. I’m gay. I’m gay. I’m gay. I’m gay. Because maybe if I yell it loud enough some kid will hear it and say “hey me too.” Because maybe if I pour that pride and pain and passion into my art it will reach their television some day, their home, their couch, and even if it doesn’t change their dad’s mind, it might make them feel less alone or give them the right words for the pain and passion that they feel. 

I never watched The Voice before last year. I turned on season 11, at random, because I wanted to watch Alicia Keys be a coach. At some point, I stopped. It was fun but these aren’t the kind of shows that feel like they’re for me. They feel like they’re for corn fed, middle America, fighting over this pleasant looking man or that palatable country singer. And while I’m a creative who appreciates the rise and fall and hopes and dreams of other creatives as stories, these weren’t ones I was ever invested in. This year, I again turned the show on to watch season 12. Only to watch the auditions because those are fun and I get one more season with Alicia Keys. I remember the moment the show played Stephanie Rice’s backstory. I was watching it with one of my good friends. I remember we both perked up a little more when we saw her holding hands with her fiancée. I remember watching in an odd, baited breath silence as Stephanie began to tell her story and finding myself choking up just a little. For me, that emotional choked up feeling came from hearing things that I recognized, from watching her talk about the fear of disappointing her little sisters and knowing that exact same fear, to the same hands shaking, heart in your throat need to prove it’s alright, to make your way, to have your voice heard. Even as a person who has been out for years, an adult who is comfortable and confident in my sexuality, that feeling is still there. And as I watched it and watched her speak her truth and kiss another girl back stage I was reminded again that some kid, somewhere on a couch was going to see this, and feel that reliability, and feel seen and understood and not alone. I was driven again to keep fighting to tell my own stories.

There is something significant about pain and diversity and art that isn’t discussed enough. Art is universal and can be interpreted and understood and seen and heard and felt by anyone. But there is a rare and often overlooked feeling that comes when art feels like it understands you. When someone says words or shows an emotion that you can put your finger on and say you’ve felt. I stuck with the Voice after that. I watched specifically to follow Stephanie’s journey. For one, because she’s an incredibly talented artist, and for two, because I have a distinct understanding of how much harder that fight to make your way is.

Just a few nights ago I was driving, after my last day at my job in the Shannara Season 2 Writers Room, at about midnight down the freeway, and I was loudly singing along to Stevie Nicks with my windows down. On my reverse alphabetical order by artist itunes library, Stephanie Rice’s cover of White Flag comes right after Stevie Nicks’s Edge of Seventeen. So I’m driving and I’m singing and I know every damn word to Dido’s White Flag because I’ve heard it a hundred thousand times before and it was never even a song I cared about or liked. But I hadn’t heard this version that many times. Here I am, twenty-six years old, yelling at top volume in my car feeling my head get sort of swallowed and overcome and numbed by emotion as I do. Because when another gay woman sang that song, it changed. Because when another person fighting and dying to get their pain and emotion out of their chest sang that song, it changed. Because the emotion she sang with is emotion I know. Because suddenly yelling that I wouldn’t put my hands up and surrender became about something different. I can’t tell you what someone else meant by their song or their voice or their story. But I can tell you how it touched me personally. And I grinned like a damn idiot in my car because I felt a little stronger and a little prouder. 

I’m in the process of writing a feature/novel package with the brilliant Dawson Schachter. It’s a romance between two women. And as we work on it we keep having to remind ourselves of the reality that these stories don’t get told often, that the market for them is smaller, that they have to be palatable to the big wigs that will look at them. And that is infuriating and compromising and fucks with every better angel and creative demon you have, let me tell you. That’s the ugly part people don’t talk about. That’s the reality of being an LGBTQ creator. Being too gay or too different or not gay enough, not sensational enough, being martyred to your community when you would love just a little less pressure today, knowing the pressure is the only way, being brave because anything else has never even been an option you were given, feeling like failure means letting down that kid who needs this story, feeling like it means letting down the kid in you who needed this story and now just needs to get it out. But I also know how inspiring all those feelings can be and how it can feel like singing along at brain numbing volume to White Flag with your windows down going 90 on a freeway at midnight in Los Angeles far away from your home and your family. 

To Stephanie Rice, thank you. With as much weight as I can put in those two words, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for so bravely sharing your story and your art with America. Your vulnerability and light brought a story to televisions across this country that people need. And despite that particular journey wrapping up last night, I have no doubts that you will go on to keep sharing your soul through your music. As a fellow woman, as a fellow storyteller, you reminded me why I’m doing what I’m doing and I am so grateful to have gotten to hear your truth. You have a friend and supporter in Los Angeles if ever you need one. I look forward to hearing everything else you have to tell the world. 

To anyone else reading this, my friends, young LGBTQ followers, fellow writers, coworkers, strangers consider this very long ramble a plea for you to continue to back and support LGBTQ artists and youth. Continue to lend them platforms and elevate their voices. Continue to diversify the stories you tell, paint televisions and movies and the radio with kids that look like them, that sound like them, that feel like them. And please, also consider this very long ramble, another in a pile of promises I’ve already made to you, that I will never stop doing everything I can to illuminate your hearts and your souls and your stories. If I have to scream them or deliver them from the ground with bloody knuckles, I will make them heard. I hope that together, we can continue to build a foundation for generations after us, through art where exposure has opened hearts and minds, where stories have saved lives, and art has changed the world. We fight, as we always have, for a better, louder, prouder, safer, and more inclusive future. 

An Entry in the Journal of Dipper Pines

June 18, 2013

It’s our second summer here in Gravity Falls, and so far it has been VERY different from our first summer here. No big conspiracies nor mysteries popping up, no ominous hints of things to come, no great divides between family and friends. Everything has been … normal. Typical Gravity Falls weirdness, yes, but … normal. Uneventful, in the grand scheme of things. Safe.

I guess it’s to be expected - everyone’s a year older and an apocalypse wiser. Facing your fears - literally - gives you a different perspective on life.

Ford and I have gone on mystery hunts and scientific expeditions together - but more often than not, Mabel and Stan tag along too. Mabel is still just as boy-crazy as she was last summer (don’t even get me STARTED on the antics she got up to when that theatre troupe visited town last week - UGH) but … she keeps me in the loop now. She actually TURNED DOWN A DATE because ‘Friday night is family movie night, no exceptions.’ I actually checked her with one of Ford’s scanners to see if she’d been replaced by an alien. She laughed and called me an overreacting bean, whatever that means (the test came back negative, by the way).

Stan is still Stan. He makes fun of my ‘nerdiness’ a lot, just like last summer, and he still makes me do any of the difficult or dangerous chores around the Shack (Soos took two months of honeymoon leave for the summer. The wedding was the second day we got here). He’s still the same old miserly, con-artist Mr. Mystery. But … he’s closed the Shack TWICE in the three weeks since we got here. Both on Saturday! And all to have a ‘Family Bonding’ day. The four of us went fishing and hunting for lake monsters the first Saturday. The second Saturday we went berry-picking up in the mountains for strawberries. Ford and I catalogued six different winged cryptids on the hike. Stan started a ‘who can pick the most strawberries’ contest and Mabel almost fell off a cliff trying to reach as many as she could (she won, by the way). And Stan says it’s Family Bonding again this Sunday.

Ford brings his research upstairs pretty often now. Stan yells at him to “get that science junk off of my kitchen table, WE EAT FOOD THERE POINDEXTER” pretty often, but he never chases Ford back to the basement like he would have last summer. There’s no heat in the arguments any more. I think that the trip to the Arctic was a good thing for BOTH of them. They’re finally acting like - like siblings again. Like me and Mabel. And Ford is different too. He doesn’t jump every time someone sneaks up on him anymore. Whenever we go on mystery hunts or expeditions, FORD is the one to invite the others to come along. It’s fun to go on expeditions with just me and Ford, but … it’s nice to be a family.

Soos and Melody have the whole main floor to themselves (along with Abuelita) so Ford’s secret study has been repurposed as his bedroom and Stan kept his room on the second floor. Soos assured me and Mabel that we can stay in the attic “As long as you want. You dudes could move in here with me and Melody and Abuelita and the Mr. Pineses when you get old enough! If you still wanna live in Gravity Falls, that is. Ha ha!” I don’t know about Mabel, but I am seriously considering the offer.

Everything is different now, but everything is the same. I’ve done a bit of growing up this year (I know I say that every year, but it’s really true!) and I’ve realised some very important things.

About last summer.

About family.

About life.

It’s the normal, everyday things that matter most. It’s saying good morning to your sister when she jumps on your bed to wake you up. It’s getting to drink coffee with your Great-Uncle while you work on a map of the forest together. It’s earning a pat on the head from your other Great-Uncle when you split an entire cord of wood in a day. It’s you and your sister feeding her pet pig all your vegetables when no one is looking and laughing with her when you don’t get caught. It’s watching the people you helped save go to the grocery store, play in the park, eat a picnic, fly a kite, laugh with their family, go to the pool, save a kitten, fall in love.

It’s life, with all its normal joys.

Don’t get me wrong. I will never stop loving the strange, the weird, the unknown. Dipper Pines will hunt monsters and mysteries and ghosts his whole life! That is a promise! But I will appreciate the normal. I will embrace the everyday. I will cherish the known. Because life isn’t just one or the other.

It’s both.

I’ve made friends with creatures most people don’t believe in and most will never see. And I’ve seen that it’s the same for them. Behind the strangeness and differences are creatures that live lives just like us. They eat. They breath. They play. They cry. They laugh. They love. They live. All of the little things that I am learning to appreciate in my life, they appreciate in their own weird way.

There is a lot that I don’t know, and there is a lot I still have to learn. But I have people I can trust by my side. I have a place full of adventure I can always come back to. I have a lifetime ahead of me to appreciate, to learn, to grow. I have time on my side and my family at my back.

So I forge ahead with confidence into the great unknown of life. “Ad Astra Per Aspera!” as my Grunkle Ford likes to say.

(He also says that space travel in this dimension is extremely primitive and he won’t be caught dead being launched in an Earth spaceship, but we’re fixing up the UFO from last summer, so space exploration won’t be a problem soon.)

Anyway, that’s all for today’s entry. Mabel’s cooking dinner and I heard something about “experimental glitter chicken” so I should probably go do damage control. Stan doesn’t usually care as long as she doesn’t set the house on fire, and Ford will eat ANYTHING. I for one don’t want glitter coating my insides for the rest of eternity. But I’ll let Mabel eat her wacky concoctions. They haven’t killed anyone yet and they make her happy, so live and let live I guess. And as usual,


-Dipper Pines

P.S. I hear the smoke alarm going off now. This will be fun.

Dipper Pines reminds me a lot of myself when I was becoming a teenager. I shared many of his doubts and fears - trust no one and if I’m not the smart guy, then who am I? chief among them. But I also learned, like he did, that you don’t have to grow up so quickly to be smart and liked. That you can trust people, and things will still turn out okay. To love and appreciate the people you have while you have them. That there is so much more to each of us than a single defining feature. That you can be a child while you are a child, and being silly and having fun is not childish. It is living. 

This little excerpt is what I imagine Dipper’s own journal entries to be like. I drew inspiration from the introduction and conclusion to the series that Dipper himself narrated, as well as the snippet of his writing that we got to hear at the end of the first episode. I always imagined that the entire series was being narrated by Dipper either to potential readers in his own journal or to his classmates in his “Summer Report” for school. 

As always, stay lovely my dears.



Part 3/???

Trigger warnings: blood, violence, drugs, guns, ect. 

Summary: I’m not sure again! But, I couldn’t wait for yall to meet James!!!

Alex was in a trunk of a car. He knew he was in the trunk of a car because a tire was wedged between him and the back seat and a car jack was digging into his side. Alex tried to pull his arms apart, but soon realized that he was bound by a couple of industrial grade zip ties. He groaned in frustration and moaned in pain when Thomas slammed on the breaks for some unknown reason. The car came to a complete stop and Alex breathed softly trying to listen to voices outside of the car.

“So, he’s in there?” A muffled voice Alex didn’t recognize asked.

“Yeah, he gave me quite a bit of trouble. Left quite a few marks on me.”

“Thomas, you’re a big boy you’ll survive.” The voice chuckled.

“Jemmy, you’re so mean to me sometimes.” Thomas whined and popped the trunk. Alex looked around frantically not recognizing where he was at. All he knew was it was dark and they were in the middle of nowhere. Thomas picked him up and threw Alex over his shoulder.

“So, what do you want me to do with him?” Alex glanced up and saw the other man Thomas had been talking to all this time. The man was small, just a touch smaller than Alex, but there was something about the man that was off putting. He looked normal enough on the outside. He had a clean cut hairstyle and was dressed in a lab coat and dress pants. Completely normal look for a doctor or a scientist. However, the thing that was off putting about the man was his face. He had the blankest expression Alex had ever seen. His eyes gazed into Alex’s soul causing him to shiver and the hair on his arms to stand up on end. It was like he didn’t see Alex as a person at all, but as a caged animal who was helpless to whatever the man wanted to do to him. The thought scared Alex. Thomas sighed.

“James, I need you too look him over and patch up his arm. He’s gonna need a couple stitches at least and I can’t exactly bring him to the hospital can I?” The other man, James, frowned and blinked like he didn’t care one way or the other.

“Thomas, I’m not a surgeon anymore. There’s a reason I became a mortician. Working on live specimen is boring.” He said rolling his eyes. What the hell?! Specimen?! This guy was nuts! Alex wiggled in Thomas’s arms wanting to get as far away from James as he could. Thomas grunted and gripped him tighter so Alex wasn’t able to squirm anymore.

“Please, teddy bear. For me? I’ll make it worth your while?”

James huffed and folded his arms. Unlike most people, James couldn’t be bribed with Thomas’s body. That was idiotic. Why would he give Thomas that much power over him? Besides, sex was boring anyway. James would rather be working in a lab or literally anything else. He only had sex because Thomas enjoyed it. Otherwise, he didn’t give two shits about it.

“I want a date to the cheesecake factory with dessert.” He muttered. If James had one weakness, it would be cheesecake. Thomas chuckled and nodded.


Thomas walked into the unknown building with Alex over his shoulder. As They walked down the hall, Alex looked around the building mostly to avoid James’s emotionless gaze. The halls of the building were plain white causing Alex to feel claustrophobic. The walls smelled of formaldehyde, a chemical that Alex was very  familiar with. Back at headquarters, the morgue in the basement of the building smelled like this. It made Alex feel sick. The three men emerged into a room with more for Alex to look at. In the middle of the room there was a large metal table with fresh paper on the top. It was the type of paper that you would find at the doctor’s office. On one side of the room, there was a bench with different kinds of scalpels, knives, any sharp object you could think of with the intention of cutting open a body. The whole room smelled like bleach and hand sanitizer; Alex seemed to be the only one affected by it.

Thomas set Alex down on the metal table and grabbed his hair pulling Alex closer to him.

“If you even think about hurting my husband, I’m going to stain these walls in your blood. Understand?” He whispered harshly. Alex nodded, although, he wasn’t afraid of Thomas’s empty threat. He was afraid James was going to cut him open like a peach.

James sat down in a circular chair and threaded a needle that was going to be used to give Alex his stitches. He glanced up at Alex and sighed. “Unfortunately, I don’t have any local anesthetics on hand. So, this is going to hurt… A lot… Try not to scream, please. I have sensitive hearing.” James muttered wheeling over and placing a cloth in Alex’s mouth. Alex screamed against the gag fearing there was chemicals or something on it. James rolled his eyes. “Relax, its for you to bite on while I do this.” He said. He prepped Alex’s skin and began to give the man stitches. Alex screamed into the cloth and bit down on it trying not to cry. At this moment, he was thankful James gave it to him. After James was done, he took the cloth out of Alex’s mouth and threw it in the trash with a disgusted look on his face.

“Ew, that’s revolting.” He muttered pumping hand sanitizer into his palm and rubbing it into his hand. He glanced at Thomas and frowned. “You owe me two dates for the germs.” He muttered. Thomas beamed back at him.

“Anything for my teddy bear.” James blushed, but only a little bit. Alex on the other hand was freaking out. They were in a morgue for Christ’s sake! Where they going to kill him here?! He pulled against his restraints causing Thomas and James to look at him.

“What the hell are you going to do with me?!” Alex screamed hoping someone would hear him. James winced and covered his ears.

“Stop yelling. No one is here besides Thomas and me.” He said. Alex’s face paled. No one was here. He was going to die. Thomas rolled his eyes and crossed his arms.

“We were hoping to convince you to join us. But, if we can’t we are going to have to kill you of course. But, I wouldn’t worry about that. You’re not dumb enough to get yourself killed.”

Alex glared at him and spat at Thomas. Thomas hissed as some of the spit got into his eyes. Suddenly, James’s eyes turned dark and he grabbed a scalpel from the bench top. He slammed Alex against the wall and put the scalpel to his throat. Alex started to cry as he felt the knife cut into his neck and small beads of blood drip down onto his collarbone.

“Ever wonder what it feels like to die?” James asked in a low voice and dragged the knife across his neck. “I wonder that every day when I work on dead bodies. But, if you do that again, you can tell me yourself what the afterlife is like.”  Thomas grabbed James’s arm and pulled him away.

“Jemmy, no! We need him alive!”

“He spit on you!” James yelled clearly upset by the whole ordeal. He glared back at Alex and Thomas turned his head so he was looking at him.

“James, Jemmy, teddy bear I’m fine. See? I’m okay.” He said kissing James softly on the lips. Alex shook in the corner praying to God that James would calm down. Alex had killed many people in his life. But, he had also had his life threatened even more than that. Never before had Alex ever feared someone would take his life. It was in that moment that Alex promised himself that he would never piss off James Madison again. James eventually did calm down and Thomas sat him down in a chair. He smiled at James and turned his attention back to Alex.

“I wouldn’t do that again.” He muttered stuffing a gag in his mouth so that Alex couldn’t spit on him again. “James is a nice person, but I might not be able to stop him next time.” He said. Alex nodded. He was genuinely agreeing. James was scary.

Outside, he heard a car pull up and Thomas put his hands on his hips.

“Huh, John is here already? I wasn’t expecting him until six.” He muttered and smiled at his husband. “Honey, watch him for me please.”

James nodded and watched him leave before staring at Alex. Alex tried to ignore it the best he could. Footsteps pattered in again and Thomas chuckled.

“This is him.” He said.

“Really? He seems so small.”

Alex looked up again and saw another man that he didn’t recognize. This man appeared to be around Alex’s eyes. He had wild hair and freckles that showered over his entire body. Luckily, this man had some sort of expression unlike James. This was a good thing. Alex wasn’t sure he could handle another man like James.

Thomas smirked and handed the man a clip board.

“Alexander, this is John. He’s going to be the one who is going to take care of you during your time with us.”

John nodded and smiled at him. “I hope we can get along for both of our sake.” Alex gave him a weird look before he was injected with another drug from James. As his body was loaded into John’s car, Alex decided he had seen enough car trunks to last a lifetime.    

Silver (RWBY AU Snippet)

Weiss waved goodbye to the children at the orphanage and headed back toward her coach. The frontier could be a cruel place, and there were far too many orphans for her liking. Her father had never paid much attention to them. They were beneath his notice, but Weiss had never quite been able to bring herself to turn away.

As sheltered as she was because of her family’s wealth, Weiss wasn’t stupid. A bit of bad luck there, a bit of back luck here, and things could have turned out very differently for her family. If her grandfather, Nicholas Schnee, had chosen some other place to dig, he’d never have struck gold, and her family never would have built an empire in mining and livestock.

She sighed. Perhaps her sister had been right, after all. Winter had left to join the military, and although she still visited, Weiss could tell that things were strained between Winter and their father. Her older sister had taken her aside during her last visit and urged Weiss to be careful. Their father, Winter had claimed, had gone beyond merely being ruthless in his business dealings. There were whispers now of actual crimes being committed and hidden.

Weiss had wanted to deny it, had wanted to tell Winter that she wrong. But Weiss had seen her father change over the past several years. In the past, he had always celebrated his successes. Now, each success only made him hungrier for more, and she had seen his interactions with his fellow businessmen grow ever colder. If it wasn’t for the power her family already wielded, she was doubtful anyone would do business with them at all.

But at least she could use her family’s wealth to help others. Her father called it foolishness, so she hid any benevolent intentions she might have had behind a mask of practicality. Let him believe she was doing it to raise the reputation of the family. If that was what it took for her to help others, then that was what she would do.

The coach was just up ahead, and Weiss hurried toward it. She’d already stayed too long as it was, but a flicker of unease ran through her as she realised the rest of the street had gone quiet. She stopped and looked around. It was still a few hours until sunset. The street should still be bustling with activity. She moved forward cautiously, trying to get a better look at the other side of the carriage.

“Klein!” Weiss cried as she caught sight of the familiar figure slumped against the carriage. Her family’s loyal butler appeared to be unconscious, and there was blood running down his face from a wound on his head. “Help!” she shouted, making her way to his side. “Help -”

“How about you quieten down, missy.”

Weiss froze as a strong arm went around her throat. Her eyes widened, and she gathered herself to struggle.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”

Something pressed against her temple. It was the cold barrel of a gun. She stilled.

“Good,” the voice was deep and rough in her ear. “Now, my friends and I are being paid very generously to bring you to our employer. He wants you alive, and he’d like it if we could manage it without busting you up. But, and here’s the thing, we get paid either way, so you make trouble, you put up a fight, and we’ll get nasty.”

Weiss gulped as two more men stepped into view. They had a rugged look to them, their dark clothing dusty from travel. They had hard eyes too, the eyes of men who’d lived hard lives with no one to rely on except themselves. 

“My father will pay you double what your employer is offering if you release me unharmed.”

He laughed and yanked up, forcing her onto her tiptoes to keep from choking. “Maybe, but your father’s a touchy bastard. We’ll pay us, sure, and then put a bullet it in us the second we turn our backs. The man who hired us, he’ll pay us, and he won’t come after us either. And your father? By the time he finds out, we’ll be long gone.”

Barely able to breathe, Weiss tried to think. She could not let them take her because whoever had hired them could not possibly have honourable intentions toward her. It didn’t help at all that Klein hadn’t moved or made a sound. Was he dead? She hoped not. In many ways, Klein had been more of a father to her than her own father ever had.

“Do you mind if I ask what’s going on?”

The man holding her turned, putting her between him and the new arrival. Weiss gasped, and her vision blurred. He must have sensed she was running out of air because his grip loosened just enough to let her breathe. The person who’d asked the question was a young woman.

She was dressed almost entirely in black. Her trousers were black, her boots were black, her hat was black, and even her shirt and coat were black. The only splash of colour was the blood-red handkerchief around her neck. Dimly, Weiss realised that she knew this woman.

A few weeks ago, her father had hired people to help with the cattle. This woman had been one of the last to get hired. She was young, Weiss remembered hearing from some of the other hired hands, maybe the same age as Weiss, but she was supposed to be a heck of a rider. They said she was quicker than the wind when she was in the saddle. She got along well with the other hired hands, and Weiss had seen her laughing and joking with some of them.

What was her name again? Silver. Yes, Weiss thought, that was what everybody called her because her eyes were the most remarkable silver colour.

Keep reading

Don't Defy Me, Doll pt. 1

I’m really excited about this. I never thought I’d try writing fan fiction! This is just the beginning, it will be a longer series. Hopefully. So, hang on, and enjoy! ~♡


It was a cold night, the type of night that usually had you curled up reading a book by your tiny space heater. Tonight was different though, the air had a fresh, clean smell to it. It was perfect for enjoying a hot cup of lavender tea from your apartment balcony. The street below was strangely quiet, it was normally pretty busy this time of night. Men walking their lovely dates home, mothers bringing their children to bed, people just being people. Nobody was out, and that was very unsettling to you. 

Staring down the naked street, you noticed a fast moving light. Headlights? Headlights. Really fast headlights. Right after you decided what they were, you saw more headlights close behind. Soon you could count at least seven pairs playing tag, barreling towards your complex. 

ZOOM. One car passed. 

ZOOM. Two cars passed. 

ZOOM. Three cars passed.

ZOOM. Four cars passed. 

Four out the six midnight racers had safely made it away from their seventh pursuer. A single loud gunshot sent the fifth car spiraling out of control directly in the street in front of you. You had front row seats to this incredible, unbelievable action. Unsure if it was safe to watch this unfold, you decided this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the impossible. The sixth car jerked trying to avoid slamming into the fifth but ended up t-boning it, flipping itself over the top. The Seventh car was beautiful, noticeably colorful in a chrome purple. A Lamborghini. Those actually exist in Gotham? There’s only one person who could possibly own one of those, and nobody has ever really seen him. …right?

The purple dream on wheels swiftly came to a stop inches away from the chaos. Smoke, sparks, and small flames were coming from the two crunched metal tombs. You could hear grown men pleading for mercy as The Clown Prince himself stepped out of the Lamborghini. His skin was pale in the dark, he looked like an angel. His hair shimmered a bright green in contrast to his dark maroon shirt. His face was stern, he looked angry; Joker walked fluidly to the fifth car and with one hand flung the driver side door open, making it fall to the ground with a loud crash. >

“Joker! Boss! It was an accident! Plea-“ BANG. The jester pistol had heard enough excuses. Satisfied with his quick decision, Joker giggled to himself and skipped over to the sixth car. He tapped a childish tune on the passenger window. You could hear a panicked shriek come from the inside. What are you seeing? Are you going to be in trouble for witnessing this?

“Oh, shit. Shit. I’m so sorry. Fuck! Boss, please. I can explain. Just let me make this u-“ BANG. The jester pistol wasn’t in a listening mood tonight. Smoke still dancing out of the barrel, Joker spun around to walk back to his own car. He walked with grace and determination. He looked like he had somewhere else to be, more business to be taking care of. 

Suddenly, he stopped dead in his tracks. Directly below your balcony. Very slowly, he looked up and caught you staring in disbelief at the scene that just played for you. He turned to face you. The shadows from your building made him hard to see clearly. You couldn’t make out his expression, or what exactly his hands were doing. It felt like you had been staring at each other for hours, then he smiled. The Smile that people associated with death was peeking out at you. Silver glinted around his teeth, casts from a lost battle with the Batman. His green hair was falling around his face, imperfect after his casual murders. You heard a low growl, followed by a quick laugh. It made your heart skip. His frightening demeanor paired with his undeniable beauty made it hard to look away. How could a stone cold killer, someone you literally just saw shoot two people, be so attractive? Maybe it was the fear inside you erupting in an unusual way. 

Joker held one finger to his ruby lips, “shhh,” was all he said. 

He was gone and around the corner, swallowed back into the winding streets of Gotham City. Probably never to be seen again. You had just seen something nobody else had seen. You wondered if it had really even happened. 

Sleep was not an option after that. You had to go back to work at the Ironlake Diner four blocks away in the morning. There was no way you’d be able to focus. 


i wrote this late last night, soni apologize if there’s any errors or things that don’t make sense. Please, please, please don’t hesitate to give me any feedback! Oh, and let me know if you want more! I have part 2 finished.

i tagged those that liked my last post about putting this up. I hope i didnt forget anyone!

@arreicnayr @harleyquinn1498 @cathydeexx-blog @simmer-down-now-baby @loo0k @physicalaffection @missmelevolent @harleyandpuddinn @loveley-little-flower @venetia1796

My last post from my childhood home

It is with a heavy heart that I write this. You all know me well enough by now to expect my sappy nostalgia, but I’m having a hard time letting go. In the next 24 hours I’ll have closed my bedroom door for the last time, said goodbye to my dogs that have passed away (now buried in unmarked graves. The new owners wouldn’t have kept their gravestones anyway) for the final time, and shut the front door to all tangible access to my memories. It’s a painful process, and even though I know tonight is the last I’ll spend in my bedroom, I already feel like a stranger in my home. Every piece of furniture is missing from my room and the sound of my keyboard is echoing off of the barren walls. My closet is empty of the books I stored there instead of clothing, I’ll fall asleep on a naked mattress without any bed sheets or blankets, and all of my belongings are currently boxed up in the back of a car and stored in the garage of a house I have never visited before in a town I hadn’t heard of until two weeks ago. I am moving an hour away from all of my friends, my two jobs, and the life I’d cultivated in this home. I am deeply saddened and cannot fully express the extent of my heartbreak to be leaving my life behind me. I’ll never show my children my old bedroom, never watch them learn to swim in the same pool I learned to swim in, never watch them chase dogs around the backyard or play between the trees or fall from the rope swing to the dirt and rocks below. I’ll never bring my lover home to meet my parents and show him around the halls and rooms, pointing out locations of sweet and sour memories, painting in his mind an experience his eyes can follow. It’ll be a drop in speed as we drive by, maybe, and a simple “that was my house. It looks different now, but my room was that window, and there was a crab cherry tree on the lawn, and a big oak or maple or some other impressive tree next to the driveway. We had an American flag hanging off of that post, and the shutters used to be cranberry before my mom painted them blue.” A point out the window, a foot on the gas pedal, and no more.

Instead, another family will be decorating my bedroom and laughing in the porch, painting the walls, huddling around the fireplace we haven’t used in probably eight years, treading atop the resting places of animals I grew up alongside whose names and bones will be forgotten with time by people who never knew the crushing power of their love. Someone else will sleep where I did, cook where I learned to make lasagna and chocolate chip cookies and cream puffs and eclairs from my mom, distant relatives of people whose faces I’ve never seen will gather where, for the past twenty years, my parents have hosted Christmas parties. The last place my grandfather watched Nascar and taught me to play checkers and chess with him will not be remembered. They won’t look at the porch the same as I do, remembering my mother’s face that St. Patrick’s Day, her eyes betraying her words before she spoke them. They won’t hate the concrete where I sat after I heard her say the words “he’s dead,” furious with myself for being unable to produce tears. The spot on the kitchen floor where I found my dog bleeding out will be swept and spilled on and re-tiled, maybe, and the place were I fell to my knees at his side might be carpeted. They won’t remember his naive anticipation of the return of his two companions after their final trip to the vet, his nose on the glass of our front door, watching the walkway for sight of the friends he couldn’t know were already buried. They won’t look at the spot in the living room where I’d wake him every morning with a kiss on his head, because he was deaf from old age and wouldn’t hear me call his name and his arthritis meant he couldn’t get up on his own. There will be love and sadness and new memories to be made, yes, but not by me. I’ll never run my hands over my mother’s flower gardens or see how long I can hold my breath at the bottom of an eight-foot deep end. I’ll never walk over the one spot in our backyard that refuses to grow grass and hosts tens of hundreds of anthills instead, never pick the raspberries that were left after my sister, during her gymnastics phase, ripped out the majority of the bushes to make way for a makeshift balance beam. I’ll never walk along the garden wall or sit on the steps in the back, watching my two dogs antagonize each other in the clovers. And it hurts to leave all of that for a summer in a foreign town, in a new house, just to leave it all again when the start of college comes.

So, hey, maybe I’m overthinking things, but to leave this all hurts more than I can let on, even with a post this long. The monarch butterflies we raised, along with their offspring (I still have no idea how long butterflies live), will return each year to the place of their hatching and find us gone. Not that they’ll care; I mean, they’re butterflies, but will the new owners appreciate them like we did? Will they let the flowers die? Will they cut the trees down in the backyard? Will they keep the skinny little half-eaten tree I marked with charcoal six years ago, and will they notice the words haven’t been washed away by the rain? I called it Artemis’ circle, back in the days when I was way too into Greek Mythology, especially for a twelve year old. The grass was always the thickest there, between the three trees, and for whatever reason, it was always very peaceful. I buried a baby mouse beneath that skinny tree when I found it dead within the grass, I laid a few clovers and wildflowers over the dirt and placed a rock against the tree’s base. They won’t know that. And what of the newborn bird that fell from its nest in the front yard? We buried it in a plastic bag in the back. The enormous willow, the one my friends and I called Grandmother Willow (like in Pocahontas) that was torn from the earth by a hurricane, the root systems we saw exposed, the broken, rusted fence no longer separating suburbia from the tangle of dying shrubbery leading to the highway. Will they know that the property extends just a foot or two beyond our fences, that they can technically walk into the yards of their new neighbors without trespassing? Will Hawky ever come back in their lifetime, or will a new bird of prey settle atop the Johnny Pines? Will they hate the birds waking them every morning at five, or will they enjoy the songs they hear each new day? Will the kids hide in the attic’s hidden compartments, or will they listen to their parents warning them about the exposure to insulation? How many times will they hit their head on the ceiling up there? How many times will they jolt awake at night at the sound of the basement’s heater? Will they call the attached room the “dog room” or the “tool room” like we did? What kind of animal will they let enjoy the yard, since the wife hates dogs? Will they use pesticides on my mother’s garden and kill the bees that frequent the blooms? Will they even use the vegetable garden? How many deer and bunnies and squirrels will they see, and how many moles or chipmunks will they find in the pool’s filter? Will they bury them? It kills me that someone else will get to experience all of my memories, and that there’s a high chance they’ll be doing it differently, that they’ll do it wrong.

So tonight, nostalgia’s going to pull me over a bed of nails. I’m going to sit awake on my mattress, crying over every memory I can summon, and when I close the door and walk away from this house, I’ll be in even worse shape. I’ve never been very good at goodbyes, but I hope that a few flowers on the otherwise invisible graves of Chester, Charlie, Rocky, and my mother’s old cat that I never knew, KC, will be enough, that a few Polaroids will help me to remember. If all else fails, I’ll have this.

Hiruzen Sarutobi's Third-Worst Awakening of all Time

Rating: R (for language only)
Word Count: 1,276
Prompt: #13 Awkward Haunting
Characters: Sarutobi Hiruzen, Senju Tsunade, Shimura Danzo
Summary: So it turns out that “an eternity in the shinigami’s stomach” is more of a metaphor than a description.

“…can’t be right….missing from these files!”

After a long lifetime of getting the shit kicked out of him by various and sundry enemy forces, Hiruzen considered himself quite the connoisseur of unexpected awakenings.

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