and that price was too high for her

before he sells the beans to jack, he is born in a house that smells of ceder.

his name is Tiffany. a bold bright name. a stardust name. a girl name. but he is not a girl. he knows this, even if others don’t. his mother puts him in dresses, teaches him how to sew, chastises him when he lets his voice get low.

“my great-aunt’s friend’s sister,” says his mother, with her red lips tight, “once knew these girls that spoke and diamonds came out of their mouths. you know what happened to the nasty one? she got toads. that’s your future if you don’t figure out how to be a nice little girl.”

so he speaks gently. but the whole time he is wondering: who gave them the language of gems. who gave them the language that rolled out of them. it must be magic. and if there is magic, maybe there is hope for him.

he takes off in a dark night. a sad night. one where the fire was too low and he was sick of mirrors. he leaves his mother a note: gone to find where the gems grow. 

in the black woods, he cuts off his hair. wears his father’s clothes. feels, at last, whole. runs and runs and runs until his air comes out in a wheeze. walks for weeks and weeks.

he finds the old woman carrying water. she is ugly, her mouth all twisted angry. but she carries the water alone. 

the boy does not have much. but he has shoulders. a good back. hands that work. when he takes her burden, she says, “thank you, young man.” and he smiles at her, but doesn’t say anything.

her house is damp. she feeds him stew, apologizes. says she used to make lovely foods but the price of milk and eggs got far too high. she says: if you carry my water for five weeks, i will give you something special. and he agrees.

she talks for him. spends a lot of time telling him of people he never met. girls with lips blood red. girls with white fairy dresses. boys who fell in love with swans. 

the boy says little. just nods. sleeps on the floor of her empty barn. when she’s not looking, he darns her clothes for her, keeps the floors swept, fills the lanterns with oil, makes her a blanket for the coming winter. 

on the end of the fifth week, she gives him the beans. tells him that they have been passed down in her family, that this was her portion. she says that she is too old now for such adventures. that she hears the beans will bring treasure. fortune. all the things of greed. she says: i will give them to you, for what you have done to me.

in the morning, he takes off. he feels the weight of them in his pocket. he thinks of the old woman and the stories and the sight of her tired hands. he stands in the market for a long time, unspeaking, simply staring at the cobblestones beneath him.

jack’s voice is the last call in the evening. a beautiful cow, young and thick and healthy. 

the boy has no money. he bounces the magic bean in his pocket, and thinks of treasures. 

“wait,” he says. 

jack turns. 

transaction complete: one cow for a handful of magic beans. the boy walks the cow home to the old woman, gets there in the morning. they are both very tired. he falls asleep beside the beast in the hay. dreams of the foods the old woman can cook now that she can get milk.

when he wakes up, he is changed. it is as if he simply turned into who he was made to be. not a new body. familiar. the body he could always see.

the old woman stands at the door of his barn. she says, “good morning,” and then she says a new word. a word he’s never heard. a name. his name. a boy name. 

he repeats it. it is a jewel in his mouth, so he says it again. another diamond.

“time to fetch water,” she says, winking. the whole way, he whispers his name. it never quite tastes the same, always beautiful, always a fine thing, always his. the something special he was lacking.

in the back of his pocket, there is one last magic bean. he will fetch the water and plant it. and he will carry that old woman to the castles she has never seen.

Breaking the Rules - part 3

Bucky Barnes x Reader

Summary:  Modern!AU You hate James Barnes with a burning passion and the feeling is entirely mutual. Just when you think things can’t get any worse, you are tricked into attending his sister’s wedding as his girlfriend. Stuck with a bunch of strangers, you come up with a set of rules that are not going to last long.

Word Count:2,157

Warnings: the usual +  Mention of Cheating, Mention of Emotionally Abusive Relationship

A/N: I hope you enjoy this chapter, lovelies!

Breaking the Rules - Masterpage

Originally posted by pennymany

You woke up with a start, unsure where you were. The distant sound of laughter filled the room and you rolled to your side, groaning. The light filtering through the curtains was bright enough to see by, but your eyes were still blurry from sleep.

“It’s barely seven!” Bucky groaned.

His head appeared just above the mattress as he sat up from the floor. He was at eye level with you and yawned widely, not bothering to cover his mouth. You buried your face into the pillow, mumbling something about morning breath.

“So this is what you look like in the morning,” he said, stretching his back. “Interesting.”

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the “dear evan hansen 10 things i hate about you au” that literally nobody asked for

I thought I was alone but @arimarris apparently loves this au as much as I do so here we go

v long sorry it’s under the cut

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Prince AU! Seongwoo

so like, i love prince aus they always make me high key roll around in my bed so i’ve decided to try and write one myself HDJFLS

____

  • “Prince Seongwoo? What about him?”
  • you looked up from the pile of books you were sorting and met eyes with your best friend, Kang Daniel the other worker at the village library 
  • “He told me they were having a ball open to everyone, we should totally go! See if he remembers you!” 
  • he took some of the books in your hand and placed it into a random shelf 
  • “daniel why do you even work here, you put it in the wrong spot”
  • “obviously I’m working here to talk to you, and keep you updated about Seongwoo! Lets go to the party!”
  • sighing you just placed the book daniel had put into the wrong section, into the right one.
  • when you daniel and seongwoo were little you three always played 
  • truth is you guys only met seongwoo because he had spilled your favorite strawberry drink and when you were about to get upset at him, he instantly had one of his bodyguards bring you another one 
  • seongwoo liked to call his bodyguard a bodyguard but tbh it was just his babysitter named Jisung 
  • anyways 
  • you three (including jisung too but he was really only there to keep watch) started to hang out more often, you and Daniel hadn’t really been bothered by that fact that Seongwoo was a prince, even when he told you.

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5 | Red Skies

BTS WEREWOLF AU
WORD COUNT: 2,921 

WARNINGS: SWEARING, VIOLENCE, MENTAL HEALTH DETERIORATION

Originally posted by dangerously-jamless

masterlist | ask | prev | next


Birds chirping in perfect harmony outside the window woke you from your slumber, the first good nights rest you’d had in days. Sitting up in bed you smiled to yourself brightly at your surroundings. The bedroom was duck egg blue, adorned with white frills and embellishments, it was cute, positive and had character. Nancy had sorted some clothes for you, rummaging through the back you found a black turtleneck jumper in your size, with the tags still on, and a pair of black skinny jeans. After showering you tied your damp hair up into a high ponytail and got dressed. Feeling strangely optimistic you headed downstairs to find Jimin on the sofa.

He sat with his back to you as he looked out of the window, silently enjoying the wonderful view.
“I noticed there’s some stuff in the fridge so, eggs or bacon?” You asked Jimin as you walked past him and into the small cottage like kitchen.

“I’m super hungry, can’t we have both?” He called out after you, earning a small sincere smile to dance across your lips.

“Sure.” You chuckled as you got everything you needed out of the fridge and started to make breakfast.

Once the food was cooked, Jimin set the table and poured you both a glass of orange juice, sitting down at the table in front of the large bay window. The view from the table was beautiful, there was a small green park that overlooked a little pond complete with ducks and fishes. Happy children played amongst each other as their parents kept an eye on them from the side benches. Remembering the houses former owner your heart weighed heavy in your chest, Namjoon probably decided on the area because of the park and pond, if he and his mate were considering starting a family.

“What’s wrong?” Jimin asked as he wolfed down enough bacon sandwiches to feed a large family.

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Family portraits

Batfamweek 2017, day #1: family.

Read on AO3


It starts with a casual comment, one that shouldn’t bother him so much. And it doesn’t. Not right away.

“You don’t have any photo on your desk”, the new girl says. She started working at WE two weeks ago and Tim thinks her name is Kathy, or July, or something like that. He’ll pick it up eventually. Now he just blinks up at her from behind the pile of reports he’s working on.

“Sorry?”

She bits her bottom lip, now looking embarrassed at her own straightforwardness, and vaguely gestures at his desk again.

“No photos”, she repeats. “People usually have photos on their desk. Family. Girlfriends or boyfriends. You know?”

Family, girlfriends, boyfriends. Yes, Tim knows.

“Well”, he smiles politely. “I’m just trying not to look like I’m fifty and live only for my work, to the point to spend all my time in my office and need photographic reminders of what my family looks like.”

Kathy or July or something like that frowns at him.

“Beside, my family is really ugly”, Tim continues, going for less subtle sarcasm, but the joke doesn’t really comes out his mouth as a joke, and KathyJulySomethingLikeThat looks more confused than before.

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Ash by Malinda Lo (Cinderella)

In the wake of her father’s death, Ash is left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother. Consumed with grief, her only joy comes by the light of the dying hearth fire, rereading the fairy tales her mother once told her. In her dreams, someday the fairies will steal her away, as they are said to do. When she meets the dark and dangerous fairy Sidhean, she believes that her wish may be granted.

The day that Ash meets Kaisa, the King’s Huntress, her heart begins to change. Instead of chasing fairies, Ash learns to hunt with Kaisa. Though their friendship is as delicate as a new bloom, it reawakens Ash’s capacity for love-and her desire to live. But Sidhean has already claimed Ash for his own, and she must make a choice between fairy tale dreams and true love.


Cinder Ella by S.T. Lynn

Ella is transgender. She’s known since she was young; being a woman just fit better. She was happier in skirts than trousers, but that was before her stepmother moved in. Eleanor can’t stand her, and after Ella’s father passes she’s forced to revert to Cole, a lump of a son. She cooks, she cleans, and she tolerates being called the wrong name for the sake of a roof over her head. Where else can she go?

An opportunity to attend the royal ball transforms Ella’s life. For the first time, strangers see a woman when she walks down the stairs. While Princess Lizabetta invited Cole to the ball, she doesn’t blink an eye when Cinderella is the one who shows. The princess is elegant, bold, and everything Ella never knew she wanted. For a moment she glimpses a world that can accept her, and she holds on tight.

She should have known it wouldn’t last. Dumped by her wicked stepmother on the farthest edge of the kingdom, Ella must find a way to let go of the princess and the beautiful life they shared for an hour. She’ll never find her way back. But it’s hard to forget the greatest night of her life when every rose she plants is a reminder.

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Elsewhere University

Because @charminglyantiquated is the coolest person ever, there is now a super-awesome fandom for her comic, Elsewhere University, and because she is even cooler and lets us write stuff for it, I thought I’d take her up on her offer. 

You press the iron necklace into your skin, and you bite your lip until you taste blood, and you walk into the doorway that you’ve never seen before and pray for a miracle. 

You don’t really think that it will work, but you do it anyway. 

They took her about a week ago, while she was walking home from sleeping over-with you. You stupid, idiotic moron. You should have said, “it’s too early.” You should have said, “skip your 8 AM, it doesn’t matter, you’ll pass anyway.” You should have said, “you have a salt packet, right?” But you didn’t. When she didn’t text you all day, when you called her 2, then 5, then 20 times, when you ran home praying that she was lying in bed watching Netflix or working on her english project, when you burst in through the door and the room was dark and cold and empty, then you knew. And you cried and cried all night, begging whatever was listening that they wouldn’t hurt her, toy with her, change her. Praying that they’d give her back. People come back, they do it all the time. Maybe it wasn’t…permanent. You try not to think of how many English majors have vanished this year alone. 

And as the days passed, and there was no sign of her, or even something that looked like her, you slowly come to accept what you must do. 

You went to Shell (has three turtles, that’s how he chose the name) and you buy an iron necklace, for you do not have one of your own. 

“Dude-” Shell starts as you drop the Twizzlers on the table (he picked up the habit of trade over there. he was there for a while. not all of the reptiles in his cage may be turtles.) “-don’t do this.”

“Just give me the necklace.” You don’t want time to doubt this, to second guess, to think of your dad and your aunt patty and your cousin blake who you really wanted to see grow up-

“Look, I’m as sorry about Ash as you are, but…this…what you’re planning?…it won’t work, Willow. It just won’t.” 

They had both chosen tree names, to be called by. They’d met as a mixer, and she’d used it as a dumb conversation starter. She had been so beautiful that night, her skin absorbing the light and glowing with a brown radiance that reminded her of the sun. 

“Just give me. The necklace.” she spat, hands clenched and tears dripping off her eyelashes. 

He sighed, but reached under the counter and dropped it on the pockmarked wooden surface (screwed in with iron screws. he took no chances, not anymore.) he stared at her, eyes hard but burning with regret.

“I know them, Willow. I wasn’t there for…” he drifted off, his eyes fuzzing a bit. time is different there. he was gone for about a month when one of the RA’s finally did something-he was a TA, and he was the resident “merchant” on campus, and he was needed. he said it was longer over there. that was all he ever said, except for the midnight sleep-screaming, and occasional chanting. he shook his head and resumed. 

“…but I know them, ok? you won’t get her back, not if they want her, and definitely not if you demand her. and if you do manage to get her? there’s a price. there’s always a price. and it’s always too high to pay. always.”

she grasps the iron necklace, shaped like a circle, like eternity, in her clammy palm, and says, “she is beyond price.” 

You went to one of the “thin places” (think liminal/the copse of trees next to the sorority that has some girls with skin that is far too pale and eyes that are much too bright ) and you stand there, and say, “i am coming to reclaim what is mine.”

silence, but one that is filled with words.

“she is mine, and i am hers, and i intend to have her back.”

a thin wind rises, and it like the hissing laugh of cruel ancient things. 

you straighten your shoulders, and you resist the urge to grasp the iron circle, and you say “let us begin.” (bring it seemed too high school, and there is a way of going about these things that even she must follow)

and then the door was clear and defined in the trees, and you taste your blood and your fear and you enter. 


she is so beautiful here, but in a way that screams wrong. her thick black hair, her glowing brown eyes, her deep brown skin, it is ethereal here in the wrong way, not the ethereal it is supposed to be, has always been to her. and her eyes are vacant and empty, not full of wit and love and grace. she is wrong, and you intend to fix her. if you can. 

the thing on the throne, the roots twisted like muscle, stares at you from the other side of eternity, and finds you wanting. 

“she is ours.” the thing said, its voice like wind through the leaves, or a knife up a spine. “you have no right to claim her.” 

“i love her. i have every right.” the thing laughs, and that is the worst kind of sound you have ever heard. it is a laugh that has nothing in it to make it a laugh. 

“love means nothing. you say you are each other’s? this means nothing.” it leans forward, on its root throne, and for a moment you step back. “no one you love is special. death will come for you all. that is all that matters, for you. it is all that will every matter.” it leans back, and smiles with too many teeth. “we give her trinkets, and long life, and the pleasure of being chosen. what can you offer, but death?”

you want to have some speech prepared, some grand statement of freedom and love and the power of humanity, but the words are like dead leaves in your mouth. they will mean nothing to it. they barely mean anything to you. 

“i want her back. you do not need a reason to take. i do not need a reason to take back.”

at this, the thing actually nods. “very well. what do you offer? what will i gain, for losing a treasure?” 

she knows she is a dead woman, perhaps not literally, but in all the ways that matter. so long as Ash is safe, alive and well and writing stupid papers until 2 in the morning, she will be content. 

“take what you want.”

it grins so wide she thinks its face will split. 


a life for a life.

you hate yourself. but the thought of ash, asleep in bed at home and safe and with eyes that are hers and are filled with life, you can get through it. 

he comes, as you knew her would. the phone call, panicked, “i’ve got her! i’ve got her! but i think she’s drugged or something you just know so much about this, can you help please please please?” he runs down the path, approaching the copse of trees you stand next to, in the dark, so dark he can’t see you’re alone. 

“hey! I’m here!” Shell gasps, skittering to a halt with a pack bouncing off his leg. “i’ve got some stuff i think might help, where is she?”

you look him in the eye (you owe him that at least) and you say, “I’m sorry.” you say “it was the only way.” 

he doesn’t scream, as you half-expected him to. he’s too smart for that. he turns and run, sprints, gallops away, flinging ramen packets as he goes. its not enough.

the trees grow close, and he suddenly falls into them, like a cartoon character. his eyes catch yours before he vanishes into the blackness between the boughs. there is not even room for hatred in all the brokenness.

he is gone, and then wind is cold and filled with the laughter of cruel things.

a life for a life.

the price is always too high, because they take something and the taking rips the life from you.


disclaimer: i am very white so pleasepleaseplease tell me if my writing of a black character was racist or demeaning in any way! i just wanna help and make more positive representation, but PLEASE tell me if I’m being racist or stepping over a line! thanks! 

2

For my next giveaway, I have an ARC of Julie C. Dao’s FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS up for grabs, coming out on October 10th, 2017!

Summary: The Wrath and the Dawn meets Snow White and the Huntsman in this dark and mystical East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl’s quest to become Empress.

18-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng’s majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high? Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and  exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins–sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.

  • This is International!
  • Reblog or like this post to enter (though really, try not to spam your followers too much…)
  • You don’t have to be following me to enter, but you must be willing to give me your address and have your ask box open.
  • This giveaway ends on Saturday, September 16th at midnight EST.
  • If you win, your ask box must be open so that I can contact you. You will then have 48 hours to reply, or I will pick another winner.
  • Winners will be chosen at random.

Good Luck! And feel free to drop me an ask if you have further questions!

Step Forward

Characters: Jensen x Friend!Reader, Jared x Friend!Reader

Length: 2099+ words

TW: Assault, Depression, Mental health clinic + treatment 

A/N: This will most likely the be first (and only) real people fics I will write. This was an idea that has been swimming in my head for a while, and something that happened recently encouraged me to write it. There are some details in this story that hits close to home. At first I wanted to write a lot of backstory for this character, but I decided to keep it completely open, and focused on the topic and the moment, instead of the character’s past. 

Feedback is appreciated (AND SO ARE YOU)!


Y/N stared at the fan with wide eyes. Her heart was pounding against her rib cage as thoughts raced through her mind faster than she could process them. In hindsight, she should’ve seen this coming. The industry always had little consideration to people’s emotions. There was always the option of denying all the rumours, but she knew it wouldn’t go very well. The truth was bound to come out, and it would be best to address it right away before it gets any further. At least this version was the closest to the truth.

She felt someone touch her elbow, and she immediately flinched, pulling her elbow back and taking two steps backwards. She stared at the two people she shared the stage with fearful eyes, almost letting out a whimper. Willing herself to calm down, she address the elephant in the room.

“Are you okay?” Jared whispered, eyebrows furrowed in concern and confusion. Jensen was a step back, equally as worried.

“I-I-” She cleared her throat, nervously wrapping her arms around herself. “I’m sorry,” she mouthed towards them before turning to the crowd. With shaky hands, she grabbed the mic. “I-I’d like to take two minutes to address these rumours,” she turned to face the boys, “if you guys don’t mind.”

They shook their head, Jared giving her an encouraging smile. She had to look away from their pitiful and concerned faces before she broke down.

“A little more than a year ago, my mom was diagnosed with alzheimer’s and dementia, and you guys know how growing up it had always just been me and her against the world. I also knew she was vehemently against being put in an ‘institution’. So I took her home with me, trying to balance my work life and my personal life. Her mind was degrading quickly, and the nurse I hired to take care of her when I’m gone said that she doesn’t have much time left before she wouldn’t remember me at all. It was tough to understand because physically my mom was still so strong, but her mind was a different story. Around that time, I was doing a lot of filming for this season. I won’t get into much detail of what happened, but someone who worked on the set of Supernatural har- assaulted me.”

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Who else thinks that Molly whispering “I love you” to Sherlock was her way of saying goodbye? Like, the end of their friendship, their relationship. 

For her, Sherlock asking her to ‘say it anyway’ and her calling him a ‘bastard’ was the deepest depth their relationship had plunged to, where she thought he didn’t respect her. Him insisting she do his bidding in spite of her begging him to  leave it, you know its trouble. You can see it as her face hardens when she asks Sherlock to say the words first. 

Because she is done. His first ‘I love you’ sounds false, hence the bittersweet smile. And the resigned acceptance of end of their relationship when he says it again. She would understand his motive, yes she was in danger…but the price was just too high for her as she’s always held herself with great respect.

So yes, her ‘I love you’ was a goodbye.

……..but we see her again at Baker Street, smiling. So yes, the obvious conclusion is fella managed to convince her he wasn’t being his usual arse but meant it. Because no other way would Molly would be there at 221B.

anonymous asked:

I need some angst... Hanzo, Genji and Zarya's trying to find their s/o who is fighting talon soldiers, and when do find them, they end getting shot right front of them... But somehow ending surviving.

Hanzo


He keeps to the rooftops, far removed from the chaos in the streets. His sonic arrows show him a path through the worst of it and when he stumbles over his teammates, cornered and trying to find their way back to the point, he helps as best he can. McCree waves a thanks at him when he shoots an attacker that would have flanked him but Hanzo barely sees. He’s searching, wasting his sonic equipment to save those crucial few seconds. The terrain is dominated by narrow alleys winding between high buildings that cast perpetual twilight on the streets below and carry echoes until their source is all but indeterminable. What he needs is visual confirmation, that’s the only way he’s ever going to find you in time. The last thing he heard from you was your frantic request for backup, the comm line breaking before you could pass on your position. He didn’t wait for Reinhardt’s permission to go look for you, knows there’s a lecture about teamwork in stock for him, but his team has things under control. You might still be in trouble.

Another arrow loosened and finally your silhouette appears before his eyes, unmistakably alive. Just a little more, around this chimney, he almost slips because he doesn’t look where he’s going, keeps his eyes on you, fearing you might disappear. He spots the man taking aim behind you before you do. And though he shouts, screams in fact so loud his lungs feel like bursting, he’s too far away for you to hear. The gunshot overcasts the sonic waves of his arrow, he’s blind to your fate, doesn’t know if you’ve been hit, if you’re still alive.
He trips over his feet the last metres, falls down the roof, not bothering to catch his fall, grabbing an arrow instead and ramming it into the enemy’s head, clean through his skull until the tip pierces his throat from the inside. He gurgles, falls over and Hanzo has to push his lifeless body to prevent it from falling on you.

You’re unconscious, but your hands are covered in blood, you must have tried to still the bleeding, which means you were still alive when you fell. Hanzo sinks to his knees at your side, searches for your pulse and doesn’t find it in his panic. Nothing, except his own heart hammering in his throat. His vision swims, the spot where the bullet struck in almost the exact same place where he impaled Genji nearly two decades ago, the blood-soaked fabric of your clothes clinging to your skin just as it did back then. He thinks he can smell the dojo, the wood and fibre, the incense, as he presses down on the gaping wound, blood squelching through his fingers. He’s doing it wrong, there’s more he ought to do but he can’t remember, doesn’t know, because all he sees is you and Genji, dying underneath his hands.

When his brother touches his shoulder he nearly screams.

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Clichés and Basketball Games || p.p

Summary: In which Peter falls for the girl behind the counter

Words: 1297

Warnings: A few swears, shit writing if I’m being honest

Comments: I know I’ve been inactive for a long time, but school became a pain in the ass, but I’m back with a sorta decent (not really, lmao) imagine. I just wanted to thank you guys because I have 294 followers and I’m so extremely thankful and confused??? Like, why are you following a loser like me, haha. Just, thank you for following me and supporting me, despite the fact I still suck at using tumblr and am barely on here most of the time. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

************* 

Peter wasn’t really one to attend basketball games.

But, after the non stop chiding from Ned (who unfortunately got stuck as the score keeper of the night, thanks to a certain experiment gone wrong in chem and an angry - not to mention blue - science teacher) and the slight taunting from a certain little rich boy, Peter found himself sitting in the bleachers of the Midtown High gymnasium, watching a bunch of sweaty dudes running around and tossing a ball to each other.

It was no surprise that Peter wasn’t exactly enjoying himself, barely paying attention to the game and more so on the watch that sat on his wrist. His duties as the one and only masked superhero of New York never seemed to be at rest, leg bouncing at the chance to jump up and save whoever was in danger that night. His watch flashed with nothing but the time. No alerts, no notifications telling him to slip right into his Spidey suit and into the night sky. Nothing. He started to wonder if this watch was of any use to him, as he was still working out the bugs and programs he placed into it the night before.

“Ned, I’m telling you, I tried to get into the police station’s radio and connect it to the watch’s system, but all I got was some old folk-song french shit. It won’t even turn off now and I’m pretty sure May is getting suspicious with the random noises coming from my room.”

He shook his head, getting up from his seat and heading down the stairs to the booth Ned currently sat at, watching the boy’s leg bounce anxiously under the wooden table in front of him.

“I’m gonna get a snack. You want anything?”

Distracted with keeping track of the points and the many fouls on the court, Ned barely glanced at Peter before replying, “Uh, yeah, could you get me a hot dog? This job is killing me, man. I mean, the rules don’t even make sense!”

Letting a laugh slip past his lips, Peter nudged Ned’s arm and headed out to find the concession, still glancing at the watch that sat silent on his skin.

*****

Peter stood in line, watching his finger tips play with the many buttons attached to his watch. The line for the concession turned out to be way longer than anticipated, countless minutes spent in an unmoving queue as rowdy teens waited impatiently to finally order their food. Peter didn’t mind much. The longer he was away from the sweat and heat that was found in that gymnasium, the happier he was.

A crease formed on his forehead, watching as the object on his wrist lit up, a white light flashing across his face. He smiled, containing his excitement, before lifting his eyes to the line in front of him. Many heads were bouncing up and down, trying to get a closer glimpse as to why the line seemed constantly unmoving for several minutes. Peter grew tired of waiting, him too moving head along with the others. He didn’t quite understand why the concession was taking so long. Surely this wasn’t their first high school basketball game?

After a few minutes of exasperated sighs and mumbling swears, the queue finally started moving along, teens excitedly singing their orders and waiting off to the side. Soon enough, Peter found himself right in front of the menu, squinting to get a better look at the prices.

“Hi! Sorry the line too so long. Jerry broke the damn popcorn machine again and we had to get the janitor up here to fix it.” She let off a nervous laugh, feeling her voice cut off after realizing the boy in front of her had no care for her words. “Um, what would you like?”

Peter barely glanced at the girl speaking to him, totally enraptured in the ridiculous prices pasted above him; five bucks for one hot dog!? That’s bullshit.

“Uh, yeah, could I get two hot dogs please? Oh! And a bottled water.” His head nodded, glad he didn’t completely mess up his order.

“Perfect! That’ll be twelve dollars.”

Peter scrunched up his nose at the amount of money he had to lose at that very moment, grabbing the money out of his wallet and handing it over to the cashier. After staring at the food items for frankly, more time than necessary, Peter didn’t bother to acknowledge the girl who’s been serving him the past seven minutes. But when his eyes met hers, he felt his whole body shut down.

She was beautiful; bright and smiling and absolutely gorgeous. Peter didn’t know what to say - what to do and soon he found himself just staring into the eyes of the girl in front of him. His hands began to sweat, all social skills flying out his head and into the middle of nowhere. Everything was silent, the two teens sharing a moment of absolute bliss before -

“Il était une Dame Tartine. Dans un beau palais de buerre frais - ”

His eyes widened, flying down to the watch sitting on his wrist. The song played loudly, causing many people’s attention to be pulled towards the fumbling boy in front of the concession stand.

“What the f - please stop.” His teeth nervously gnawed down on his lip, glancing at the girl who, frankly, couldn’t help from letting a few giggles pass through her lips.

“Here,” she smiled, reaching across the counter and grabbing Peter’s wrist. “You just have to press this button.”

Soon, the music shut off, relief flooding into his system. “H-How did you do that?”

“My dad has one of those watches too. A smart watch, right?” Peter didn’t feel like it was necessary to blab his secret identity to some - absolutely stunning - girl, simply nodding. “Yeah, he had some troubles with it too.”

Peter smiled, before he felt a nudge behind him. A man stood, shadowing over him with a scowl painting his lips. He took that as a sign and quickly handed his money off, practically running away from the girl of his dreams without another word.

He didn’t want to go back. No, not after he completely embarrassed himself in front of the cashier. But, assuming Ned was starving his ass off in the gym, and he, himself missing dinner and about twelve bucks out of his wallet, he had no choice than to go pick up his order.

A few moments passed by before Peter heard his order, staring down at the ground before going to grab his food. No way was he making anymore eye contact with the girl behind the counter.

“Here are your two hot dogs and a water.” He reached out his arms, careful to avoid the eyes of the girl staring back at him.“Thanks for ordering, Peter.”

His head shot up, wondering how in living hell this girl knew his name. She simply winked, pointing down at his tray before going back to her job. Soon, he found himself searching the tray, looking like absolute madman as he pushed his way through to the bottom. His eyes caught sight of a little piece of paper, small words written across.

‘You’re pretty cute and smart from what I’ve seen during the two classes we have together. I’d love to talk more with you. Text me sometime.’ Peter felt so stupid, oblivious to the fact the girl he was completely infatuated with was in two goddamn classes with him

Nonetheless, he felt his heart rate pick up and a smile graze his lips, staring down at the number and name scrawled to the bottom of the note.

Maybe he enjoyed basketball game more than he thought.

until the end of the line

there’s still a bit of Friday left for a Captain Charming fic (with some Snowing and CS). waaaaay future fic; warning: major character deaths…ish. (you’ll see). thank you to the Abed to my Troy @shipsxahoy for beta’ing! 

AO3 | FF.net | ~5.5k words.

There was still something satisfying about relaxing on the porch after a full day of work, even after all these years. Killian basked in the glow of the setting sun, a pleasant ache in his aged muscles as he settled into the weatherworn wooden chair he’d claimed as his own some fifty years back.

(How odd that such a timespan would be considered the majority of most people’s lives and was only a fraction of his—yet was, by far, the best and richest, putting all his previous decades to shame.)

He never thought he’d have such a full life to reflect on. As he sat overlooking the backyard of their home, where a sheepdog was currently chasing after butterflies, he got so lost in the memories of children (and later, grandchildren) playing there that he didn’t notice when someone took a seat next to him; not until the thunk of a beer bottle on the arm of the chair pulled him out of the past.

“What were you thinking about, Hook?” David asked, sinking his old bones onto an equally weathered chair and taking a sip from his own bottle.

“All the things this yard has seen. Remember when my cunning daugthers tried to throw a kegger back here?”

“And instead of busting them, you joined right in, and called everyone over,” Dave finished with a chuckle, deepening the already thick lines around his eyes. “I think we embarrassed them into never trying that again.”

“Whatever works, right?”

“I’ll drink to that.” He held his bottle to Killian, who clinked his own against it, and they both settled back to reminisce, as they did most evenings while watching the sun’s descent.

He hadn’t noticed it the first time around, but the red sky made for an exceptionally beautiful sunset in the Underworld.

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Why the Voting Gauntlet is Flawed

Alright, people, I have to get this off my chest because it has been bothering me from the start. It’s about the Fire Emblem Heroes’ Voting Gauntlet. It’s terrible. Absolutely terrible!

At first, I liked the idea of a popularity vote contest since Awakening did the same thing as did Heroes for its 5 star characters, but this Voting Gauntlet is awful for many reasons.

Before I start, let me make this clear: I have only played Awaking and Fates. I haven’t played any of the past Fire Emblem games so I am not a ticked off veteran looking to pick a fight.

Second, this is simply my opinion. If you love the Voting Gauntlet, that’s fine with me; however, I despise the way Intelligent Systems is handling it and how broken the mechanics to this Gantlet is.

The first issue I have with this Voting Gauntlet are the characters that were chosen to participate.

Here’s the characters of the last gauntlet:

And now here’s the current gauntlet:

The problem here is as clear as day. Popularity imbalance. What I mean by that is that there are some people, myself included, who go into these things knowing only two or three characters at most because they played the games they were in. I have no clue who Erika, Minerva, or Palla are. Am I likely to side with their army? Well…I sided with Erika because I liked her design, but nothing more and that’s a problem. Fire Emblem Heroes is a game that exposed the newer players to older Fire Emblem characters, but it doesn’t give the newer players a compelling reason to like the characters enough to side with them. The people who are complaining about Lucina and Camilla (so far) single handily winning the Gauntlets have to realize that Awakening and Fates brought tons of people into the series; therefore, it is not surprising at all that Lucina and Camilla, the most popular characters from those games, are beating both Gauntlets.

None of the new fans have either heard of the past Fire Emblem games or even wanted to play them, so they don’t know any of the older characters like Erika. Why support a character whom you don’t even know the game they are from? Which brings me to one of the reasons why the Voting Gaunlet is flawed: the fandom is divided.

There are the old Fire Emblem veterans and there are the Awakening/Fates players. The veterans despise every aspect of Awakening and Fates and the toxic side of the fans who played the games while the newer fans are turned off by the older games due to either toxic veteran fans or Classic mode. So the fandom is literally cut in half with the needless bickering of what Fire Emblem should be. Why do a voting gauntlet that brings all the characters from all the games and expect it to be fair with everyone choosing “this character” because they look cool? No, people are picking their characters in the gauntlets because they know the character compared to the rest. That’s why Lucina and Camilla are winning because it shows how many new fans there are compared to the old fans. Whether you want to debate with me that it is because Lucina and Camilla are waifus and nothing more is up to you, but my main reason why is the former.

Now let me talk about the mechanics of the Voting Gauntlet. Oh…my…lord…the Voting Gauntlet is Takumi levels of broken and not in a good way! Tell me: what is the first thing you think of when you see “Voting Gauntlets”? A mode where you join with countless people around the world and vote for the character you like the most to win these things, right? Well here’s what’s bugging me: You can vote more than once and depending on the number of flags you have, your vote is worth more or less than other people. I’m sorry to the people who like the flags, but I fucking hate them.

The way the flags work is that if you have collected a certain amount through missions, which are more of a chore than anything else, you can use them to boost up a number of points your vote is worth. Depending on your rank in the arena, a regular vote can be worth around less or more than 100 with the difference being around 5 more or fewer points, but as we go higher in the multiplier, it gets worse. In the maximum amount of point multipliers, 200, the difference in points you could contribute is separated by 1000. So if you contributed say 19000 points, somewhere out there, someone contributed 20000 points for the same price of 200 flags because they are ranked higher than you!

And people are complaining about the roster being unbalanced, the flags are close to the rosters of how unbalanced they are. You can say how much I am blowing this out of proportion, but I’ve never had a good feeling about the flags ever since I saw what they could do and how much they could affect the scores. Just look at Camilla’s score when she slaughtered Hinoka. 5 billion+! Might as well stop participating right there and then because no one else is going to hit that. And now look at what’s happened in Camilla vs Cordelia. Camilla hit almost HALF a million in the span of a fucking hour at the START and now she’s at 4 billion points looking to break her record! And people are saying Minerva stands a chance? Not with the bullshit easter costume Camilla got which, in my opinion as a person who likes Camilla, is completely unnecessary and too coincidental.  That’s why I hate the Voting Gauntlet flags. They give too many points and all people need to do is collect them through chore missions, score high in the arena, and spam the fuck out of the 200 multipliers knowing that someone is doing the same but with higher points at the same price. It saps out the confidence of a team which is why Hinoka and Cordelia are scoring so low! They see the massive score Camilla has and just gives up.

Chrom vs Ephraim and Subaki vs Beruka were the best parts of the Voting Gauntlet because the no one knew who was going to win. Everyone had to pitch in and not laze around, or the team could have lost a vote that would have gotten them their victory. Those are the kinds of battles people want more of. The kin that are a test to how much people really want their character to win. People can’t just drop their phone or tablet and not do it for a few hours like they know they’re going to win. The Voting Gauntlet is something that requires undying loyalty and dedication which is something Hinoka and Cordelia fans are unable to display thanks to Camilla’s lead. What’s the point of even trying? That’s something I should never think of when it comes to these things. Even though I don’t like the fact that you can vote more than once, the concept behind it is debatably understandable.

While I do like the Voting Gauntlet as a concept, it isn’t a perfect mode to participate in. It’s too broken with both the characters that are selected and the flags points that are used in it. The first gauntlet kinda made these problems form in the back of my mind, but with this gauntlet with Camilla in it, there’s no doubt in my mind that Intelligent Systems are screwing everyone over.

Last time an Awakening character won and now a Fates character will win. How much of this can the Fire Emblem veterans take before they just start boycotting Intelligent Systems? How much more divided can this fandom get before it falls apart? Say what you want about the old veterans, but they do not deserve this level of neglect IS has continuously shown. As an Awakening fan, I know people will say that I don’t have a right to say this, but this is not what I want from a game that is suppose to bring old and new fans together. This game is supposed to introduce the new players to the old Fire Emblem characters and promote the past games. It worked for me because I have a 5 star Maxed out Lyn as the leader of my team and I want Erika more than even Camilla and Cordelia! I even want to play the games they are from because they are so interesting!

That is the purpose of Heroes and no one can tell me otherwise!

So I am going to make a post on how to fix the obvious mess that is the Voting Gauntlet. Sure it will be subjective and based off of my own opinion, but I’d rather be subjective than stay completely silent forever on this issue. One of the messes that needs to be fixed are definitely the flags. GET RID OF THE FUCKING FLAGS INTELLIGENCE SYSTEMS!!

And on a final note, my 5 star Maxed level Lyn says the next Voting Gauntlet will be Blue vs Red vs Green tome mages and Tharja will win it single handily with Male Robin in second place.

“You don’t know what you’re asking, Jon. The Night’s Watch is a sworn brotherhood. We have no families. None of us will ever father sons. Our wife is duty. Our mistress is honor.”
“A bastard can have honor too,” Jon said. “I am ready to swear your oath." 
You are a boy of fourteen,“ Benjen said. ”Not a man, not yet. Until you have known a woman, you cannot understand what you would be giving up.“ 
I don’t care about that!“ Jon said hotly. 
"You might, if you knew what it meant,” Benjen said. “If you knew what the oath would cost you, you might be less eager to pay the price, son.” (AGOT)

“It may be that the Many-Faced God has led you here to be His instrument, but when I look at you I see a child … and worse, a girl child. Many have served Him of Many Faces through the centuries, but only a few of His servants have been women. “Women bring life into the world. We bring the gift of death. No one can do both.” He is trying to scare me away, Arya thought, the way he did with the worm.
I don’t care about that.
"You should.” (AFFC)

But can you pay the price?
“What price?”
“The price is you. The price is all you have and all you ever hope to have. We took your eyes and gave them back. Next we will take your ears, and you will walk in silence. You will give us your legs and crawl. You will be no one’s daughter, no one’s wife, no one’s mother. Your name will be a lie, and the very face you wear will not be your own.” (ADWD)

obviously, arya and jon have a great deal of parallels between them with the night’s watch and the faceless men. these two organizations demand arya and jon sacrifice all that makes them who they are: their homes, families, loves and allegiances ect. they no longer are permitted to be true individuals but servants of the realm and the gods, respectively. its a huge sacrifice. the price is high as both benjen and the faceless men point out. they have to give up their chance at a future for themselves. which very often includes finding love. 

at 14 jon is still adamant that he doesnt care about being with a woman or love and he certainly won’t father any children out of wedlock. this is unthinkable to him because he’s young and just doesnt know any better. he knows nothing, one could say. of course, he goes onto fall for ygritte. and breaks his vows by laying with her. his future will very likely hold more romance too (….with dany, just so we’re clear)

which i think suggests arya could end up feeling the same. she’s only 11 and she has no interest in marrying or having children. which is completely understandable. all the more so because she’s a homeless, traumatized orphan. but theres no reason to assume her feelings won’t change as she grows older just as her brothers did. most little boys don’t dream of marriage and children but they often find themselves pursuing both at some point.she has more reason to be hesitant than her brothers as well since girls are often sold like cattle to the highest bidder. she also has a complicated relationship with femininity. girls in westeros need to be pretty and feminine to be seen as worthy of love. so arya believes herself to be unwanted and unloved. but i believe as she continues to grow she’ll realize thats not the truth. and that her future could very well include falling in love. honestly it almost definitely will knowing grrm. 

Miranda Hamilton’s war against England

I love Black Sails’ Lady Miranda Hamilton, because she is unapologetic and has the autonomy of a Jane Austen or Mary Wollstonecraft heroine. The witty, educated, literary, flirtatious salon hostess turned dissenter and rebel - that’s a trope I would like to see more of on television.

Miranda would have been at the centre of political and artistic life in London. She was wealthy, assumably respected despite the rumours of her affairs, and happily married. History is full of women trapped in horrible, violent, stifling marriages, but that of Miranda and Thomas seems to have been a true marriage of minds, based on actual love (in whatever form) as well as mutual respect and admiration.

Black Sails is preoccupied with narrative and story telling, and the power of a good story is frequently used to shift alliances and to create villains.

In the eyes of England - imperialist, patriarchal England, Miranda would be at her most admirable as an accomplished hostess, an undesirably intelligent woman perhaps, but she adhered to and upheld the rules of society, and if she ever deviated she did so quietly, in private. For instance, although she wants James to accompany her in public, she only kisses him in the carriage, once they are out of the public eye. She knows exactly what she is allowed to do, but also how she can discreetly manoeuvre her way to obtain something forbidden.

When James initially announces that he and Miranda will not settle in Europe, we get the sense that he intends to raise hell when he reaches New Providence. He does not. Instead he adapts and becomes the very thing he swore to fight and reform. In Nassau, Miranda becomes increasingly reckless and restless, meddling in the politics of the place by forging alliances, confronting and initiating sex with the pastor and she continuously urges James to keep Thomas’ legacy alive by evoking change, even if it is just change for the two of them. In England, James was the plain spoken lieutenant and she the witty, much admired and much adaptable socialite, but in Nassau their roles are reversed. James becomes the figure of adoration (or at least fear) and Miranda the rational dissenter, forever sparring the arguments of others, those of the pastor, the Guthries and James.

Why did Miranda settle in Nassau? She could have severed all ties to James, even spoken out against him to save her own skin, throwing herself on the mercy of Lord Alfred Hamilton. Less drastically, she could have started a new life in Amsterdam or Paris with the help of Lord Ashe. By assuming a new identity (which she does anyway), she could have lived modestly but comfortably as a governess, teaching music, literature, languages. She could have hid behind a personae, like James does with Flint, but even as Mrs Barlow, the pious, Purcell-loving recluse, she is very much the Miranda Hamilton she has always been, even if she does not fully realise it herself. Miranda settles in Nassau after making a ‘hard choice, to achieve the least awful outcome’, to use the wording Lord Ash later employs to excuse his own treachery. Miranda’s chooses to leave civilisation but to keep her integrity, an act of open rebellion against society. Miranda Hamilton declares war on England.

She has not yet realised the extent or the danger of her rebellion when she urges James to ask for a pardon. She laments the lack of company, art and music, and pleads with him to return to civilisation. James furiously refuses to take her advice and accept a pardon, stating that it would be equivalent to apologising to England. ‘The moment I sign that pardon,’ he gnarls; ‘the moment I ask for one, I proclaim to the world that they were right. This ends when I grant them my forgiveness not the other way around.

While on their way to Charlestown, Miranda confesses her astonishment to James on finding that Abigail has grown up. ‘It’s like she’s some sort of clock that’s finally struck its chime and woken me from this dream we’ve been living, reminded me how many years separate me from a world I still think of as home. How unrecognizable the woman I am now would be to the woman I was then,’ she states. As viewers, we are invited to view this as a poetic way of showing for just how long Miranda and James have been exiled, (and perhaps suggesting that mourns her own childlessness), but when James replies that he still recognises her, it is not just a kind reassurance, it demonstrates how little they have changed, despite everything. They are recognisable to each other because they are cut from the same cloth, because their integrity is still intact, because they tirelessly refuse to capitulate, because they are allies in the war against injustice and England.

Miranda inevitably realises the extent of her rebellion, because of the clock, her clock, which now stands in the home of Lord Ashe in Charlestown. It is at this moment that she realises how her values and those of the civilised world are at odds, how her autonomy makes it impossible for her to return to society. Civilisation comes at too high a price. Having been uncharacteristically quiet for the duration of their visit, Miranda raises her voice at a critical point. She demonstrates that at a moment when James is prepared to compromise, she is not. Compromise is capitulation, and capitulation is out of the question. 

Miranda, James and Lord Ashe have all had to make hard choices, but unlike the former, Lord Ashe lost his integrity the moment he de facto capitulated to Lord Alfred Hamilton by aiding him vilifying James. Lord Ashe considered the least awful outcome to be one where society persevered over scandal, where England triumphed over degenerates and the status quo was upheld. ‘You wish to return to civilisation,’ he scorns, ‘that is what civilisation is.’ Lord Ashe stands for civilisation, Thomas, in allegedly forgiving the treachery of his friend, stands for civilisation, Miranda and James stand for justice, integrity and freedom.

Miranda, which was as her most admirable to England as a polite socialite, raises her voice and becomes this raging, furious rebel, which makes her all the more admirable to the viewers. We half expect James to interfere, to cut Lord Ashe down then and there, as the camera zooms in on his face as the truth dawns on him, that he was almost tricked into capitulating to his greatest enemy. In a furious monologue which would not be out of place if delivered by James, Miranda states that she wants to see the Charlestown burned to the ground, and as she does so, she pleadingly turns to James.

We were initially told stories about the mysterious Mrs Barlow’s hold on Captain Flint and how she made him kill on her behalf. Later we hear her blaming herself for letting James know Lord Alfred Hamilton’s whereabouts, we hear her blaming herself for being an instrument in their murder. In truth, there is no way she could have resisted letting him know which ship he was on, it would not have been in her nature. As she tells James when they first meet: ‘Great men aren’t made great by politics. They aren’t made great by prudence or propriety. They are, every last one of them, made great by one thing and one thing only, the relentless pursuit of a better world.’ Miranda has an agency of her own and no means of quitting it. The narrative of Black Sails depicts Miranda’s transformation from villain, to an understandably bitter intermediary to murder and finally, in Lord Ashe’s dining room, to an autonomous rebel, outright promising destruction.

As Lady Hamilton, the hostess and socialite, she was tolerated. As Mrs Barlow, a nondescript exiled Englishwoman, she was tolerated. She might even have been tolerated in Charlestown, had she been submissive and repentant. As a plain spoken, vengeful - and more importantly, rebellious woman in open dissent of the values of civilised England, she could not be tolerated. Had she agreed to Lord Ashe’s plan, or fallen to her knees pleading for him to concoct another, less vile, she would have lived. But here we have an educated, cultivated, intelligent woman who once knew and followed the rules of society, who refuses to capitulated her integrity, who still thinks of England as home. A treason not to be borne! Lord Ashe acted to protect the status quo, but Miranda acts to protect herself in the face of hypocrisy, and this is what kills her. Miranda was a free spoken Englishwoman and her persistently unapologetic existence put her at constant war with civilisation. She was shot because she stood too close to Lord Ashe, too close to England. She refused to offer her country forgiveness of its treatment of her and was executed for her rebellion.

‘The danger here is real,’ she warns James in London. In Charlestown she finds herself in fearless in opposition. Miranda dies because she has realised that she is at war, because a  rational, autonomous, dissenting woman is too dangerous an enemy for England to let live.

I Don’t Want the World to See Me (Cause I Don’t Think that They’d Understand) #13

Finally!  Sorry about the wait, this got a little out of hand.  Also, one of my professors this semester is cruel and clueless.  Anyhoo.  This installment gets Bucky’s POV mostly caught up to WEMtbB, so the next update will be there.  Which will be a while, thanks to the 25 page paper due in 2 weeks. 

This is a companion piece for When Everything’s Made to be Broken (I Just Want You to Know Who I Am) from Bucky’s POV - if you haven’t yet read WEMtbB, this won’t make much sense.

#13 takes place during part 43 & 44

***If this is your first time reading through, and you HAVEN’T yet read through part 45 of WEMtbB, this will contain major spoilers***

Word count: 5824 (yeah I know, what the hell Cass, this was supposed to be a series of drabbles)

Warnings:

For the entire work:  Language (I have a potty mouth), violence, and angst.  This will probably get pretty dark later on, and there will be smut.  If that’s not your thing, you may want to avoid this story.

Additional warnings specific to this part: Character death (nothing new, but from Bucky’s POV), physical assault, injury, violence, threats/mentions of death, panic, anxiety, Bucky’s really pissed.   If I need to add anything else, PLEASE LET ME KNOW.  If you don’t want me to publish the ask, I won’t, or you can feel free to do it as a Nonnie.  I will not take offense to any trigger warning requests.   Your well-being is important to me and I do NOT want to trigger anyone.

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