Stanlon nursing home au where Stan’s suicide attempt failed and they all survived It. they’re now old men and Stan has bad dementia. after all these years, they still love each other. 1661 words.
Mike takes him to the nearby park to watch the birds every day and reminds him of their names. every time he does, Stan smiles in pure joy and writes it down in his notebook. his notebook’s almost full, the same names repeating through the pages. Mike doesn’t mind when Stan asks the names over and over. he tells him facts Stan had told him lifetimes ago, and Stan listens in happy wonder. sometimes, when they go, Stan asks him to dance with him. it’s a slow dance, gentle and careful, two old men swaying softly as one of them hums ‘Because’ to the other, brushing thin, silver curls out of his husband’s face. they love each other, even when one can’t remember why sometimes.
the nursing home is a quiet place where people come and go. sometimes someone will come in who seems so very familiar, thick glasses and buck teeth or auburn hair with an age induced stammer, and Mike’s heart will pull when quiet confusion dawns on Stan’s face, recognition unrecognised. sometimes he thinks Stan has forgotten their friends, but some days when they sit in the park Stan will start to laugh as he shares a memory of Richie or smile in wistful remembrance as he recounts the times Ben and him had stayed in the library until dark together, gently murmuring as they read. sometimes someone will stop by the home, missing half of an arm. Stan’s face flickers in the same uneasy look, and Mike gently pulls Stan away, suggesting they go to the park, to dinner, to bed. the newcomers always leave soon enough. it does no good to stir up memories that already haunt his love’s dreams. sometimes Mike will awake to quiet weeping beside him, and turn to see Stan’s delicate skin streaked with tears, painting over the wrinkles with shining silver. unconscious murmurs of names, accusations, pleading, horror. Mike draws him close, presses soft kisses to his forehead and cheeks until he wakes, holds him while he cries. when he asks why, all he is ever answered with is a slow, sad, “I don’t know.” Mike does. but it’s okay. at least this time, when horror strikes anew, he can be there. he can save him.
it hurts Mike to see Stan slowly forgetting it all, even with the physical marks of the past stained on his skin forever. the first time Stan asks him where the lines on his arms came from, it takes all he has not to start weeping. but he continues. he tells Stan stories of their time with the others, reminds him of the days spent rushing around Derry on too-big bicycles, feeling as if they ruled the world. there are good days, days where Stan will sing with him as they dance, days where he’ll relate to him stories of when Richie decided he wanted to live and almost got arrested, days where Stan will tell him of birds Mike’s not yet see. those are the days where Mike feels as if his liverspots and arthritis disappear, where Stan somehow looks more vibrant and his skin looks healthy and young as opposed to old parchment paper. but the bad days come too, the days where Stan shakes his head in confusion at the mention of Bill’s name, where he’ll ask if Mike has heard from Patty lately (dead seven years and not a single letter since from Stan’s ex-wife), where even a common finch is a discovery. Mike doesn’t mind hurting. He just wishes it wouldn’t be over the fact that his love is unable to remember even the good, even their past together. He hurts for the time his Stan has lost.
one day at the park, Stan calmly lists the birds he sees, pointing them out to Mike. every time he raises his thin, slightly crooked finger to point at another ball of brightly coloured plumage, he squeezes Mike’s hand in his own, and Mike kisses him on the cheek. the sun shining through the leaves of the surrounding trees seems to shine through Stan’s papery, thin skin, the pale blue veins tracing through his arms and hands and neck seeming to glow. his face seems translucent, amber in the light. still, when he looks to Mike again, chuckling slightly as he points to a bluejay, his eyes are as warm and amber-brown as always, solid and sparkling. he can see in his lined face the boy he loved, the young man he married. Mike thinks now is the most beautiful he’s ever been. when they go back to the home that night, Stan speaks softly to him as they lay together in their bed. taking Mike’s hands in his own, he tells him of the first day he knew he loved Mike and how he’d felt so scared. the first time they had kissed, how he’d wondered at how rough Mike’s palms were yet how soft they’d been on his cheeks. the first time they’d danced, and he’d felt so giddy he thought he might faint. he presses his lips against Mike’s, raises a hand to wipe the tears from Mike’s face, kisses a salty droplet from his nose. Mike pulls him into his arms, presses kisses to the scars framing his face, tears running into Stan’s silver hair. When he finally pulls back, he smiles, and Stan kisses him again, and again, and again, as if they are children again, as if they don’t know what comes next. finally, they just lay together, a silent, warm embrace. Stan kisses him one last time, murmurs a returned love in his ear. When he sleeps, Mike doesn’t need to protect him. Stan’s rest is safe from nightmares, from monsters in the dark. He sleeps soundly, finally at peace, surrounded with only love. Stan doesn’t wake in the morning.
Mike somehow finds their addresses, sends them simple letters. ‘Stan is gone.’ somehow, they all come. the night before the funeral, they meet at a Chinese restaurant, the setting somehow familiar. Eddie comes first, steering a now nearly blind Richie to Mike for a five-armed hug, only a stump left of the missing sixth limb. Ben and Bev come next, Ben’s strong hug accompanied by soft tears dripping omto his shoulder. Mike leans down to embrace Bev in her wheelchair, and she giggles, accusing him of being a “still-perfect gentleman.” Bill arrives last sans accompaniment, the only trace of Audra in a closed locket that chills Mike’s collarbone when they embrace, sharing an understood sense of loss. they talk as they eat, banter and laughter and beeps filling the air. for a brief time, it almost feels as if they’re children again, together for this, as if they’re unaware of what comes next. at the end of the meal, Mike thanks them for coming, sad smiles spreading to all of the others. Stan would have wanted them all together again. as they push their empty plates into a small pile on the table, Ben speaks up, voicing the heavy topic they all felt hanging over them. holding Bev’s hand, he quietly asks if it’s time, if the circle is moving again. Mike nods, and says that it is. at least it gave them this long, though. the waiter comes, and Mike hands them his card, shooting away protests from the others as they set down a small plate of fortune cookies. though they may not agree on Mike’s payment for the meal, they all agree to leave the cookies untouched. the next day, at the funeral, they all speak, telling stories of the Stan they had known, a boy who laughed at odd things and obsessed over cleanliness and excelled at baseball and could name every bird in the state. they share their memories of good times, times that Stan would have wanted remembered, and after the wake, they share tears and embraces as they bid their goodbyes. as Mike embraces them, he considers for a wild moment asking them to stay, stay with him and fight, the Losers club’s last battle against age and fate and the circle. the Losers beat the devil, one last time. but he can’t bring himself to do it, to interrupt their lives once more. so he bids them adieu, and returns to the home, to a too-large bed in a lonely room. he lays down and he cries tears of sorrow and grief and acceptance. soon after the funeral, Richie calls, voice thick with grief as he explains that Eddie passed away, healthiest man they knew but for a nasty cough. Bill goes next in a bicycle accident, a fitting passing if Mike may be honest. his next flight is to Nebraska, to hold Ben as Beverly is lowered into the ground, winter fire extinguished by Ben’s tears as Mike embraces him. he thinks that it will be a while before he sees either Richie or Ben again, but Ben ends up having to board the next flight with him after a phone call from Richie’s cousin. after it all, they stand beside a freshly-covered grave, staring with wet eyes as a headstone Mike had never thought he would see. he puts an arm around Ben’s shoulders, and Ben pulls him into a hug, murmuring choked admittance that he thinks he’s finally ready. Mike chuckles softly through a tear-choked throat, and says that he thinks he is too. the circle waits for two old, old men standing beside a grave, perhaps allowing them just this time more. they finally pull apart, but Mike keeps his arm around Ben’s shoulder, for his comfort or his own he cannot tell. he imagines that Richie is there, that they’re all there, listening patiently through the ground and grass and trees, and he softly hums Because for the last time, a final serenade to his old friends. he’ll be able to sing it to Stan himself soon enough.
Had a dream about Worf basically being a stubborn ass. Realism! The set-up was some kind of away mission or perhaps a diplomatic trip. Rather than being in a stuffy building, he was out in a huge marshy field, marsh grass and water as far as the eye can see. Sort of hilly but watery everywhere. And he and this local alien are on bicycles. Big, fat-tired mountain bike type things.
The alien guy is plowing ahead on his bike, through the water, seemingly effortlessly, and Worf is behind him pushing as hard as he can but seriously, how are you supposed to bike through a foot of water mixed with grass? But like Worf is going to say anything.
As he falls behind, his host asks if he’s OK and Worf says he’s fine, he’s fine… until finally he has a cramp or hits a rock or something and stop. The other guy comes back and looks him over, watches him get back on and then says “Ah, I see your mistake!” Then demonstrates that first of all, there’s a little button you switch before you ride, not a motor, but a sensor, and second, there’s a whole method of riding that allows you to zip through the water. You use the grips on the handlebars a certain way, lean a certain way. It’s not about brute force pedaling at all. Worf is like, “I thought this was a bicycle.” The other guys says it is only superficially a bicycle.
From this point on, Worf has a new understanding. He gets on the bike and once he masters the controls, he tears off at about 100 miles an hour, master of the water bike.
Before learning of the pleasure that comes with it what got the Senet beast into sex? They are incapable of reproduction so I wouldn't imagine it was an instinct thing.
We can only guess at what was going through the gods’ heads when they came up with the idea of sex, but it does have secondary functions that many of us find pretty groovy - it’s not all about reproduction. Perhaps they wanted to give their sentient creations pleasure as a gift - a release from the potential tedium of eternity - and thought the act of two creatures embracing in such an intimate way was quite lovely. The stormfolk were a good start, but man, maybe hurricanes-as-orgasms is a bit over the top? Let’s tone that down with these new slitherfolk. Let’s dial it back juuust a touch.
So yes, efheby would have an instinctual sex drive just because sex feels pretty good. Pleasure is an uncontroversial desire among all sensate life forms, hmm? Seeking it out is a powerful motivation, and creatures need motivation.
It’s kind of lulzy to imagine that pleasure came first and then the idea of using it for reproduction was tacked onto the act afterwards. The Gefendur gods just gotta be different. Preferable to cabbage patches or storks for sure tho’.
The fact that reproduction has absolutely nothing to do with an efheby’s sexual life would also drive them to frolic outside their species, especially with humans who are somewhat compatible. Also heterosexuality has no leg to stand on (and neither do efheby hohoho) so no reason every snek isn’t a big old bicycle. Everyone can ride!
I gotta get off tumblr, y’all are turning me into a perv. I’ma go back to drawing naked swimming fish women I guess.
Next chapter is much less naked and there are a lot more ugly two-toes and cute kids and fighting and y’all are just gonna have to like it!
10 FAVORITE BICYCLE POSTERS FROM THE LIBRARY'S COLLECTION
In honor of the Tour de France, we’re donning the yellow jersey for a look at some film posters from our collection. The films all include bicycles as their central motif and in the international spirit of the event, we have examples from a number of different countries.
The earliest known example in our collection is this American three-sheet poster for a silent serial featuring the character Patsy Bolivar. Bolivar was a nineteenth century vaudeville character who was always blamed for things going wrong. It is believed that this is the origin of the term “patsy” meaning a scapegoat.
In 1934, Joe E. Brown starred in 6 Day Bike Rider. The movie’s story revolves around Brown trying to get back his fiancée by winning a 6-day bike race. The film’s poster captures Brown’s personality and the movie’s plot by showing female bike riders spinning madly above his head.
In Crazy Over Daisy, Donald Duck was featured as a late nineteenth century suitor on a penny-farthing bike who is bedeviled by Chip ‘n’ Dale until he devises an ingenious way to harness their energy. His sweetheart Daisy doesn’t approve and promptly dumps him.
In 1948, Vittorio de Sica made his classic neo-realist masterpiece, The Bicycle Thief. Illustrator Ercole Brini captures the anguish and despair of Enzo Staiola and Lamberto Maggiorani’s characters. Using strong brushstrokes and sun-bleached colors, Brini’s style perfectly suits this melancholy tale. Our copy of this poster was acquired with documentation indicating that it was Brini’s printer proof.
Contrasting with De Sica’s gritty realism is this charming poster for Jacques Tati’s comedy, The Big Day (Jour de fête). Illustrator René Péron’s illustration of Tati’s befuddled postman is rendered in vibrant colors that capture the spirit of the plot as well as the character’s physicality. Literally stumbling into a town carnival, the loose-limbed comedian at one point gives chase to his bicycle when it gets away from him.
The Magic Bicycle featuring a young Roman Polanski is based on a short story in which a young boy is given a bicycle that throws him off whenever he attempts to ride it. The boy is convinced that the bike must have magical powers and dreams of being able to ride it one day.
Breaking Away is consistently cited as many people’s favorite cycling movie, but there aren’t any bikes in the poster image. Instead we get the film’s four main characters seated atop a small knoll discussing the inadequacies of their lives in a college town. Steve Tesich, who wrote the film’s screenplay, received an Academy Award for his work on this production.
The poster for Pee Wee’s Big Adventure captures the exuberance of the film’s main character for his beach cruiser, which goes missing, spurring the film’s plot. One of the bikes used in the production recently sold at auction for just over $35,000 making it one of the best-known bikes in movie history.
Featuring almost no dialogue, the animated feature film The Triplets of Belleville revolves around the country’s beloved cycling race. During a leg of the Tour de France, a cyclist is kidnapped for nefarious purposes until his Grandmother and the singing Triplets of Belleville come to his rescue.
And finally the recent Saudi Arabian-German co-production, Wadjdatells the tale of a young Saudi girl who dreams of owning a green bicycle. Riding a bike is a scandalous idea for an Islamic girl but Wadjda overcomes the obstacles to her dream when she wins a contest to recite the Koran.