burning your luck


write your wishes on bay leaves and burn the living shit out of them (I put out the cinders by crushing them with my smudge stick).

I did this neat little trick the other day for luck&prosperity and today I was able to negotiate a HUGE pay deduction for my brand new car’s down and monthly payments. Me, a first time lease holder with no credit. Me, a single, baby faced fake-adult lady.

i’m so happy i could cry ty whoever came up with this wonderful magick my bank account and soul thanks you

anonymous asked:

Hi! I'm just curious about the forensics behind fire investigation, as my protagonist is an arsonist and I'm trying to get him caught. I hope this isn't too complicated!

Oh my Nonnie! Fire is sooo pretty! Here, have a picture of fire that Watson took some time ago!

Thank you for such a fun ask. Although Watson will have to say, fire investigation is one of the more difficult investigations out there. And the reason why is pretty simple: fire consumes everything, including the evidence. It gets harder when firefighters are added into the mix since during the act of quelling the fire (which very important to stop fires from spreading) they might erase signs of potentially important evidence.

To determine the difference between accidental fires and arson, investigators can look at different things, such as chemical materials, presence of gasoline or kerosene, or the presence of igniters or accelerants. Arson is indicated by multiple points of origin (where as accidental fires usually starts at one origin point). Fire tends to move upward in a V-shaped pattern on a wall, so if there are more severe burning on the floor than the ceiling, it indicates the presence of accelerants. Arsonists might also use “streamers” to spread the fire from one area to another, evidence of which can be found on the burnt floor. Combustible liquids usually are not entirely consumed in a fire and will often seep into a porous surface (carpet, rags, upholstery) and enough can be recovered for analysis in a crime laboratory.

In a lab, gas chromatography is most sensitive and reliable instrument, used for detecting and characterizing flammable residues. It produces chromatographic pattern characteristics of a particular petroleum product. Comparing the patterns to known flammable liquids should identify the accelerant used to initiate that fire.

The usual evidence (fingerprints, footwear, tire track impressions, body fluids, weapons) can also be found at the scene. Investigators can look for broken glass/windows, or tool marks as signs of forced entry. For a fun way to start a fire: consider a Molotov cocktail. It’s a glass bottle with flammable liquid, with a lit cloth rag stuffed into it as a fuse. This way, if the bottle was found, fingerprints might be lifted off it.

You mentioned that you want your arsonist to get caught. Consider having an eyewitness, or perhaps he was caught on security cameras (either street CCTV or cameras from buildings nearby). If your protagonist is caught within a few hours of starting a fire, there should still be residual trace of the accelerant in his clothing. Arson is a crime where it is easy to revisit the scene, especially while it happens. Investigators would take note of any witnesses nearby, and take notes of them and conduct interviews. A lot of notes should be taken in general, as well as photography, to record conditions of the fire as it happens, and the fire suppression techniques used in case it becomes important in court later.

Hopefully, this was helpful. It is a pretty general overview of what to look for in a fire investigation. But if necessary, send in another ask and Watson can go through the steps of the actual investigations.

The Tourists

A/N: I don’t know how I feel about this one and how it turned out. But I needed to write it out. The prompt was so sly. 

The Tourists 

Words: 1879

Warnings: Swearing and some injuries and that’s it probably it…hopefully. 

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The hotel was musty, definitely cramped, but it would do for the next week or so while you were here on the case you were working. The town was smaller than you had expected so you had to be extra careful with your image here. You were just the lost tourist, the curious tourist, the nosy tourist who liked to linger their gaze a few extra seconds on the crime scene before walking away. With small towns like these you had to keep to your business even more than usual and be extra private. You couldn’t afford someone who second-guessed your motives here.

You weren’t exactly sure what you were dealing with just yet but it was definitely going to be easier than your most recent cases. Probably even just as simple as a salt and burn if your luck was finally starting to hit again.

There was apparently a catch to this particular case, however; someone else was in town, doing the same thing you were doing. There were rumors about it, some guys acting strange, and you had a nagging feeling in your gut as to who you were dealing with. Maybe one or two questions about it wouldn’t jeopardize your image, though, so you went for the kill at the diner down the street the night before you planned to stake out the first house.

Upon entering the diner that morning, you could see it was pretty empty except for a few other early risers, each keeping to themselves. They all looked like locals, however, nobody out of the ordinary. A waitress you’d seen around town sauntered up to you, pen and pad in hand as she gave you a friendly smile.

“What are you in town for?” she greeted you, to which you just shrugged.

“Road trip,” you answered vaguely, leaning back in your chair as you thought of possible ways to bring up the topic of the strangers.

“Funny,” the waitress mumbled, looking around her cautiously and lowering her voice. “There are two other guys here in town doing the same thing. You know ‘em?”

There it was, your entry into figuring out who you were dealing with.

“Nope. Have you seen them around?” you asked her curiously, leaning forward in your seat.

“Not me, but everyone else seems to have seen them around. Sheriff says they were caught sneaking into a crime scene. My roommate says they’re super hot, though. Too bad they’re creeps. What can I get for you today?”

So, you were dealing with some amateurs. Figures. You ordered a black coffee and outlined your course of action over a slice of toast, your mind wandering back and forth between your case and the freaky guys that were ruining it. You’d have to drive them out somehow, otherwise you’d have to deal with even more problems. The first step, though, was finding them.


The halls of the house were long and a too dark despite the afternoon sun beating hotly outside. Your boots thumped quietly against the hardwood floors of the second story and you were careful to make as little noise as possible. You were positive you’d heard the unmistakable click of a door shutting, which meant that you weren’t alone in the house. Even if it was someone you could take down, you didn’t want to risk losing the title of “curious tourist” and have it be replaced with “creepy tourist.” That never ended well.

You were almost to the stairs, ready to stealthily slip out the back door from where you’d entered, but in a swift movement, one of the doors swung open, and your instincts kicked in. Literally. Your foot kicked the door nearly off its hinges and you didn’t take a second glance at who had been the one to open it. Someone was coming after you, though, and you’d almost made it out when a hand grabbed onto your elbow in an iron grip.

“Fast,” you heard a voice say, “but not fast enough, I’m afraid.”

You turned around warily to face the asshole that had caught up to you, coming face to face with the person who had actually been dubbed “creepy tourist.”

“Dean Winchester,” you blurted out as some sort of greeting, though you’d already known in the back of your mind that it had been them all along, despite their slow unraveling as the two freaks sneaking into crime scenes.

“In the flesh,” he smirked, a shoulder lifting up in a half shrug. You were suddenly hyper aware of his hand still on your arm and he noticed the quick shift in your gaze to the point of contact. In an instant he pulled away, leaving a few inches of space in between the two of you, a gap that felt electric. “And you…you’re the badass.”

You mimicked his smirk now, eyes boring into his as you responded, “In the flesh.”

“Well, badass, this is actually our case and we’ve got it all taken care of. Sorry to say it, but I’m going to have to ask you to leave,” he told you, his eyes scanning over your face. You raised a brow in response, lips twitching up slightly again, a smirk threatening to resurface.

“You don’t have anything taken care of,” you snorted, arms folding across your chest. “I’ve talked to some people and they’re telling me that you suck at acting cool. Let me handle this case.”

“Fat chance,” Dean muttered, but you could see a competitive gleam in his eye. He wasn’t going to leave and neither were you; you could nearly smell the challenge ahead of you, one that you were determined to win.


“I thought I told you to get the hell out of here,” you teased, watching as Dean walk into the diner you were frequenting, along with who you assumed to be his brother, Sam.

“Hey, you’re that girl Dean’s been yakking about,” Sam started, but was effectively shut up with an elbow to the ribs.

You patted your table gently, offering a million dollar smile that usually got you where you needed to go these days. “Pop a squat, gents. Let’s talk about what we have in town.”

It looked like all of you were thinking the same thing. A summoned spirit that could easily be taken care of once you got to the source.

“Sam and I are heading to the house tonight,” Dean told you, causing you to raise a brow all over again. Dean seemed to naturally bring that reaction out of you, it seemed. He always had something dumb to say.

“We’ll see who gets there first,” you grinned, tapping your glass of cranberry juice thoughtfully. You were so determined to finish up this case by yourself that you were willing to get a little race out of it. There was no harm in a little workout. From the looks of it, Dean was ready to take you on, and was just as willing as you were to do whatever it took to get credit for the job.


It was more malignant than you’d given it credit for; the thing was knocking you this way and that, a strength too inhuman to fight on your own. You’d already taken a few blows to the head and could taste blood on your tongue, cuts and bruises had adorned your body in the short time you’d been back at the house.

For a split second, you’d almost wished Dean and Sam were here with you. It would have made the competition more fun and it would have also meant that maybe someone else would be getting their ass handed to them. Or possibly, it could mean someone could be saving yours.

Somehow, someway, fate had aligned perfectly in that moment, because as if on cue, you felt a hand on your shoulder pulling you to safety.

“I told you we were going to handle it,” Dean greeted you sternly, his hands patting you down to check for any major injuries. Once he deemed you as likely to survive he was up and moving again, hand at his gun.

“Shut up, we need to find the thing being used to summon it, and we need to destroy it. That thing is protecting it,” you explained, pointing to one of the bedrooms at the end of the hall. Then, you muttered, “I totally had it under control. It’s just really strong.”

Dean scoffed and made you stay put, a worried Sam sitting next to you to make sure you didn’t move anywhere. Dean was swallowed into the pending darkness once more, both you and Sam watching attentively. Not even seconds later, Dean was hurdled back to you, back thumping against the wall so hard that you could almost feel the pain as well.

“Holy shit, it’s strong,” Dean coughed and cringed at the pain of his impact against the wall. You didn’t even have time to give him your signature “I told you so” look, because it was time to end this. With the three of you together, it looked almost too easy to do. Lucky for you, it was exactly that: too easy. Sam was the distraction while Dean got knocked around a few more times, with you sneaking towards the bedroom to torch anything that looked like it needed torching.

All three of you were out on the front lawn not even ten minutes later, panting and bruised up and laying out on the grass. Sam was the first to get up. He brushed himself off and told Dean that he’d be walking back to the motel to clear his head, but not before waving goodbye to you and flashing you a friendly smile. Your hands were clasped together on top of your stomach, eyes focused on the sky that was beginning to get lighter with the coming sunrise. You felt Dean’s eyes on you and it made you turn to face him, a playful half-smile lighting up your face.

“Do I look that bad?” you asked him, only half joking. You probably did look like a wreck, which was not that fun to explain. Dean didn’t answer you, though, and his eyes were back on the sky, his hands pulling out clumps of grass.

“Where are you heading to next?” he asked you after a few moments of silence. You pondered the question for a moment, not knowing how to answer it. You never really knew where you were going to be next. It was a tough question to answer because of that.

“Dunno,” you murmured, being as honest as you could. The sun was beginning to rise and it caused you to realize how little sleep you’d been getting. Still, you didn’t want to get up. Being with Dean was really something else. “What about you?”

“There’s a potential up north,” he whispered, voice husky and low. Again, he turned to you, and you did the same. His green eyes were tired but still roguish, that gleam in his eye never going away. “Maybe I’ll see you there.”

You thought of Dean and his stupid smirk and his stupid muscle car and his stupid investigation strategies and you just knew.

You’d definitely be seeing each other again. 


Read Part 2 Here!