Imagine that, when you were little, Loki used to visit you. He came out of your closet almost every night. He used to find peace in the company of a child, someone who wouldn’t judge him and treat him like an outcast the way people did in Asgard. He read you bedtime stories or entertained you with his magic, when you couldn’t sleep. But at one point he stopped coming and as time passed, you forgot about him. Until he comes back years later, when you have grown into a beautiful young woman.
After a while, Americans had their own set of wood-centered folk tales and one guy collected them in a 1910 anthology called Fearsome Creatures Of The Lumberwoods. Unlike their European predecessors, these stories explained the horrific accidents and strange phenomena the average logger stood a chance of experiencing during his time among the trees. It’s basically the estranged, drunk, flannel-wearing uncle of Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.
Among the creatures listed in the book was the Hidebehind, an intestine-eating monster that hates alcohol so much that the only defense an honest logger has is being drunk as often and as thoroughly as possible.
Then there’s the Dungavenhooter, which will beat you into gas and f**king huff you like a high schooler with a fistful of markers. They actually prefer drunks – the Dungavenhooter, not the kids – so it’s theoretically impossible to protect yourself from both a Dungavenhooter and a Hidebehind. This presents quite a conundrum for the aspiring lumberjack… or anyone who has to go into the woods for any reason.
What about the Agropelter, which’ll cave in your skull and rip your arms off? They were said to specifically hate loggers, rather than human beings in general. Think of them as hyper-aggressive Loraxes; they don’t just speak for the trees, they break off pieces of those trees and bash unsuspecting lumberjacks in the dome with them.
FINAL 1k FOLLOW FICLET FEST ficlet (FFFFf) for @an-chan-thevolleyballplayer! This was such a cute idea and Kageyama totally ruined it with his 3am snark. Apparently he gets goofy after dark. ;D Takes place during second year when they’re BOTH selected to go to the all-Japan youth volleyball camp (or whatever it’s called lol). Thanks for a great prompt and a great end to this little fest! I hope you like it, dear!
Hinata woke with a jolt. The room was dark except for the light from the hallway, casting all of the other lumps of sleeping bodies in a strange yellow light. Hinata blinked away the discomfort of another stress dream as his eyes adjusted. His stomach still roiled and his legs were tangled with his sleeping bag twice over, like he’d made a valiant attempt at transforming into a tornado in his sleep. The dream was slipping away from him, but he was pretty sure it was the one where he was naked on the court again. At least it wasn’t the one where the floor swallowed him up?
He pushed up onto one elbow and ran a hand through his hair before flopping it out into the dark space and landing it squarely on the chest of the person sleeping next to him.
There was a grunt, and then a pretty peeved Kageyama lifted his head from his pillow, hair flattened up the side of his head.
He was so cute.
“Whuh,” he said.
“Had another bad dream,” Hinata whispered.
“Sucks,” Kageyama replied flatly.
“Kageyama!” Hinata hissed, flopping back into his pillow and trying to pout as loudly as possible. “Be nice to me.”
“Ugh,” Kageyama said, and then he sank back onto his sleeping mat as well. “What do you need me to do?”
“Mm,” Hinata pondered quietly. “Could you tell me a story? Help me get back to sleep?”
Hello wonderful people! could one of you write some interaction between the Granda Jamie and/or Grannie Claire and their grandkids?
Bedtime Stories: Part Two.
Escape seemed impossible now and she gritted her teeth as Randall took hold of her and - with one firm bow to the women who were gathering their wits now in readiness for their own husbands - escorted her from the room.
For too long she had idled and her chance of freedom had disappeared as fast as it had arrived.
The journey home was melancholy to say the least. Randall paid her no mind as the grey/green countryside of Scotland passed by the windows of their carriage. Part of her ached to open the doors and just roll out into the forests beyond, in the hopes that she could fade into the idyllic scenery never to be seen again. But Randall would find her. He would search until he had her back in his *care* and then he would see that she paid for it.
As the gates closed behind the carriage, the large wrought iron frames shuddering and clunking into place, Claire wrapped her arms around her belly as she tried to hold back the dread. Randall gave a curt nod to Fraser as his strong hand wrapped around her arm, dragging her up into the main house. Slamming the door behind him he turned on Claire, white hot rage flaring across his face.
Claire stumbled backwards, her gaze hard as she kept eye contact.
“You know the rules, Claire. They’re simple. You don’t converse with the staff. Do you hear me!” He bellowed, causing Claire’s heart to lurch in her chest as she tried to keep her composure. “The next time you disobey, I’ll have him trussed up and flogged - right in front of you. Do you understand? He works *for me*, and his instructions are very clear. As are yours.”
“I-I…” she began, fear spiking at the thought of Fraser being hurt because of her, “it was me, not him. He knew not too but I started it. I touched him…”
Randall’s cheeks pulsed with blood, the red pouring across his face as he took one step towards Claire, his hand raised as if to slap her. Then as quickly as it came, it vanished and a scary smile crossed his face. Something in him had snapped, the prospect of her implicating herself maybe, but it intensified the panic within her as she fumbled with the fabric of her skirts, her breath coming in short, sharp pants as she awaited her fate.
“Get upstairs, Claire,” he said with marked calmness, “remove your dress and your shift and lie face forward on the bed. I said there would be consequences…”
– — –
Echoes of soft splashes reverberated around her half empty room as Claire curled herself into a small ball, her tears dripping onto the cold stone floor. Her back, arse and legs still ached, the healing wounds itching where he’d taken his belt to her over and over again. He’d enjoyed it, the sounds of the leather hitting her pliant flesh. He’d loved hearing her protests, he’d even pushed the windows open as far as he could to allow the sound of her agony to flow into the night. Randall had wanted Fraser to hear her cries of anguish as he’d tanned her hide for her indiscretions. It was a warning. Heed the rules, or feel the lash.
The irons we no longer metaphorical, though they weren’t needed to hold her in a room that was already so well locked and guarded. It was her punishment. No longer could she walk. No longer could she open the window to smell the scent of the outdoors. Her meals came to her now, the only light in the darkness. But it consisted of stale bread and cheese with a tiny amount of mead to keep her from dying form thirst.
Randall had left the property on business, and his strict instructions were that Claire was to be kept -alone- with her shackles until he returned.
Unable to buoy herself any longer, Claire sobbed, her cold hands wrapping solidly around her pillow as day turned into night and into day once more. Unsure as to how long Randall would be away for, she stopped even paying attention to the days, choosing instead to sleep as much as she could.
A distinct clunk woke her as the moonlight filtered in through the closed windows. Sitting up in bed, she rattled the chains that bound her feet to the floor, the heavy metal resting uncomfortably over the skin of her ankles.
The guard didn’t say a word as he entered, unlocked her shackles and left, leaving the door to her cell wide open. Rubbing the sleep from her eyes, Claire did a double take. It was dark, unnaturally so since thick boards covered the bottom of the windows now, and her eyes were taking some time to adjust. But as they did, she could see that she wasn’t wrong.
Groping for something more to cover herself with, Claire gripped the hooded robe, her heart pounding out an uneven rhythm as she counted the number of ways that this could be a trap.
She didn’t care now though. Still raw from her beating, she saw no other way. If she stayed she might never encounter such an opportunity again.
Creeping through the deathly silence, Claire made her way down and through the servant’s quarters. She didn’t want to use the front door just in case someone -anyone- was watching. Nobody appeared to be around. It was late and the master wasn’t home to care for, so it was likely that all of the staff were fast asleep by now.
Hobbling out into the fresh evening air, Claire made straight for the stables, hoping to God and anyone else who might listen that Fraser was still in Randall’s employ. Opening the groom’s bed chamber doors, she slid inside, pulling the hood closer around her face as she crept through the sleeping lads looking out for the splash of red that might be amongst them.
He was there, his back turned as he bent forwards. Still awake, Fraser was seemingly undoing the laces on his boots as if to ready himself for sleep, but Claire could see the tense set of his shoulders - as if he had been waiting for something else entirely. Turning his head, Claire could see his profile as a smile lit his previously sombre features.
“You came,” he whispered as he groped in the dark for his jacket.
“It was you?” She replied, awe lacing her tone as she crawled onto the bunk beside him.
“Aye, weel, me and another but I willna tell ye who fer now.”
“We have to go then? Quickly?” Claire said, her hand reaching for his across the scratchy sheets.
“Aye, we do. But I’m ready.” Pulling her to her feet, Fraser ducked under the low beams as he tugged her in the direction of the barn, away from the sleeping stable hands. “We canna go out the main gate because of the watch Randall has posted there at nights - but there is a way through the woods and into the dark beyond, ken?”
Claire nodded, gooseflesh prickling on her arms as adrenaline filled her from head to toe. “With horses?” She managed to ask, her mouth dry from nervous joy as her eyes darted around the full stable.
“Oh aye, we wouldna get verra far on foot and we need to make it to the port by sun-up to catch the boat.”
“O’ course, mistress,” he quipped with a jovial glint in his eye, “if we dinna awa’ Randall would catch us, nay doubt.”
“Where would we go?” She whispered, her hope igniting once more.
“France. I have relatives there. My godfather has procured us safe passage. If yer willing, mistress Claire?” His eyes twinkled and he glanced quickly over her as if to check her for ill-health before chivvying her away.
Claire nodded, her head bobbing up and down fast enough to cause it to spin and her eyes to unfocus. “Yes, Mr Fraser. I’m willing. Please, take me away.”
Hoisting her up onto one of the larger stallions, Fraser pulled himself up behind her and moved a stray hair from her cheek. Pushing the horse forwards, he brought him out and led him down the bank that led off Randall’s property. As he rode, Fraser slid one hand around Claire’s waist, holding tight onto the reins as the steady gait of the horse rocked them closer and closer.
He waited until they were safely away from any other staff that might stop them, clear of the house and the prison that Claire had been stashed away in, before speaking again. Shifting the material of her hood, he brought his mouth to her ear, bringing her out of her daze before speaking to her in a hushed whisper. “…and it’s Jamie, Claire. Mr Fraser was my father, but ye can call me Jamie.”
“Nice to meet your acquaintance, Jamie,” Claire smiled as she spoke, her hand coming to rest on his atop the reins as they travelled through the underbrush.
“Aye, finally. Get ready though, Claire,” he quipped, his tone light and airy now that they were away from danger, “we’re going to have to ride hard and fast to make it to the port. Are ye ready?”
“Yes,” Claire said, her thighs clenching around the saddle as she felt the horse jump beneath her.
Clicking his tongue, Jamie pushed his heels into the stallions sides as the pair galloped off into the dense forest beyond, the deep inky green swallowing them whole as the night rolled onward.
“…and so,” Claire muttered, her eyelids drooping as she yawned, leaned down and kissed Jemmy and Mandy on their foreheads - one by one, “they lived happily ever after.”
Standing, Claire wiped the sleep from her eyes as she smiled down over her grandchildren. The story remained mostly the same for them. An evil king holding the poor lassie hostage and the brave prince who rescued her from a life of solitude and pain. But she retracted the beating…and hers and Jamie’s names for the sake of fiction.
But neither Mandy or Jem were daft.
“I’m sae glad,” Mandy yawned, turning over as she pulled the blankets right up to her nose and burrowed beneath her covers, “that granda rescued ye, Grannie Claire. I love ye both.”
Claire smiled, tears welling in her eyes as she tip-toed backwards and closed the door with a click.
Jamie came up behind her, his solid weight resting against her back as he wrapped his arms around her waist. “Abed, are they?” He crooned, his nose nuzzling against the portion of skin they lay exposed beneath her ear.
“Yes, both fast now.” Claire murmured in return, her heart filled with love as Jamie kissed her softly.
“Christ I love ye, my sassenach,” he whispered, using the nickname he’d bestowed upon her from the moment they’d set foot upon that ship to France. “I loved ye then…from afar, until I managed to steal you away. And I love ye now more than ever.”
Sliding his hands beneath her legs he hoisted her into his arms and carried her off to their own chambers, his warmth surrounding her like a wonderfully fluffy blanket. “As I love you, Jamie Fraser. Blood of my blood,”
“Bone of my bone,” he echoed repeating their wedding vows as he closed the door to their chambers, sealing them both off from the outside world and any further disturbance.