came on quickly to publish it

Had to Give You Away (Lin/Reader)

Summary: Lin was the foundation on which you built your life, until he wasn’t anymore.

Note: My last fic of the year. I have an inbox full of cute prompts waiting to be filled, so naturally I wrote a depressing divorce fic that literally nobody asked for. Happy New Year?

You can find Part 2A here.

You can find Part 2B here.

Word count: 4634

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anonymous asked:

Can you tell the story of the first time your art was noticed by Dan and/or Phil?

It was on February 1st 2015 (judging by this post I made about it), on the art I made for Dan’s “Internet Support Group 4″ video. I had posted it pretty quickly after he’d published his video, and tagged him etc, and his “like” was the 7th note on the post. When I saw the username, I doubted it for a good 10 seconds (even though it was highlighted in blue) and then when I realized it actually WAS legitimately Dan, I screamed out loud in happiness and kinda thrashed around - I was on my bed at that moment - and my partner came in to the room, wondering what had happened haha, and saw me essentially spazzing out. It was pretty intense XD 

With Phil it was on April 20th 2016 for the Attack on Titan piece I did of them. 


Do you know how to work the washing machine, Sir Paul? Can I have a discount, Stella? Will you adopt me, Mary? Deborah Ross meets Macca and his girls to celebrate Linda’s legacy – and leaves wishing she could be one of the family

MAY 6, 2017 (Robert Wilson/The Times).- So, off to meet Stella McCartney (fashion designer), Mary McCartney (photographer and food writer) and their father, Sir Paul McCartney, who was once in some band or other, back in the day. (It may come to me.) I had previously been asked: did I wish to meet Stella and Mary and also Sir Paul, who was in some band or other, back in the day? I said, “Yes,” and, “You bet,” and, “Is Stella generous with discount cards if you suck up enough?”
So I was committed, prior to realising the proposed encounter had “poisoned” and “chalice” written all over it, as it would be strictly about the 25th anniversary of the Linda McCartney frozen food range, and Linda’s legacy in this regard, with any other subject being verboten. Also, it would be brief. (Forty-two minutes, as it turns out.) But I was determined to look on the bright side, as in: is Stella generous with discount cards if you suck up really, really quickly?

Armed with “Talking Points for Deborah Ross”, as helpfully provided by the PR people involved – “Paul, Stella and Mary continue to be heavily involved in the day-to-day activity of the brand …” – I make my way to the appointed venue, a house in Soho in London that belongs, I believe, to a friend of Mary’s. It is wonderfully stylish inside, all mid-century modern, but it is tiny, and when I arrive there is barely space to take a breath. The photographer and the photographer’s assistants are still knocking about. The Linda McCartney Foods PR is here, as is Paul’s press person. There are various factotums doing this and that and putting a lunch together. I ascend the stairs – out of the way, top-flight journalist with Talking Points coming through! – to find Paul on the top landing. He isn’t doing that thumbs-up thing – he is sometimes known as Paul “thumbs aloft” McCartney – but does have open arms and is saying, “Hello, Deborah,” which is nice, and superfriendly, and does makes me wish that, in return, I could think of that band. (It may yet come to me. Do you know it?)
They are a striking-looking family. Mary, 47, is darkly pretty. Stella, 45, is 82 per cent eyes. (And also pretty. I’m not playing favourites here.) Meanwhile, Paul, 74, has brown hair and looks fresh as a daisy in a crisp, white shirt and a deep navy suit, both by Stella McCartney. “It’s my new menswear,” says Stella. “He’s my male model.” They are all wearing Stella McCartney because, as Paul says, “We had our instructions.” I say to Stella that I apologise in advance should I happen to call her “Stelvis”, because I’ve a niece called Stella, who has always been known as “Stelvis”. “Why?” she asks. I don’t know. It’s a bit funny, I suppose. “Right.” Sometimes she’s also known as “Stelton John”, I could have said, but instead I opt for: “And are you still heavily involved in the day-to-day activity of the brand?” They confirm that they are. (I think I pulled that back, and still have, “Does the brand have exciting consumer-facing events planned for National Vegetarian Week?” up my sleeve.)
Some would say vegetarian food has evolved since Linda McCartney founded her frozen ready-meal brand, that it has moved on from textured vegetable protein and meat facsimiles, but I don’t know. If your household is non-meat and you come in late and tired, or your kids truck up with friends, what are you going to want to do? Whip some McCartney “burgers” out of the freezer or embark on an Ottolenghi featuring 72 ingredients, several of which you’ve never heard of? (Some of those recipes “run to five pages”, confirms Mary.) It remains the bestselling frozen-food range of its kind – sit on that, Quorn! – and I have to say that, when I cooked a load at home, to see what it was like, the “sausage rolls” went down brilliantly well. “People can’t tell the difference,” says Mary. “I think they are amazing. The meat in sausage rolls is so overprocessed. Is it really meat? Or just eyeballs?”
As it happens, I found a copy of Linda McCartney’s first vegetarian cookbook – Home Cooking, published in 1989 – knocking about my house. I know I have used it down the years, particularly the recipe for beetroot with dill and sour cream. “That’s Mum’s Russian-Jewish heritage coming in,” says Mary.
“Borscht,” says Paul, gnomically.
“Borscht didn’t even exist in this country at that time,” says Mary. “Or quiche. We didn’t have quiche in Britain in that day and age.”
“It depended what class you were from,” says Paul. “3A or 3B.”
“This idea,” says Mary, “that Mum took things people weren’t eating in this country and had the courage to write a book and be ridiculed.”
“It was for one reason,” says Paul. “She loved, loved, loved animals. People would see something a bit creepy, like a frog or something, and they’d go, ‘Ewww,’ and Linda would always say, ‘Its mummy loves it.’ ”
“And you can’t argue with that,” says Stella.
I put it to them that Linda was truly a pioneer, no question, but I am not convinced by the recipe for spaghetti omelette. “My kids love it,” says Stella. On the other hand, it could work, I add, really, really quickly.
Home Cooking was, in fact, Bloomsbury’s bestselling book until Harry Potter came along. But finding a publisher was not easy initially. Linda wrote it with food author Peter Cox, and as he is quoted as saying, in Philip Norman’s biography of Paul, “I went to see one woman who was supposedly a legend in the industry, and who always wore white gloves to the office. She told me a vegetarian cookbook couldn’t possibly sell unless it had some chicken in it.”
“That,” says Paul, “was the climate of the time. There wasn’t vegetarian food. There was one restaurant, Cranks, which Yehudi Menuhin was something to do with, and I always thought that was kind of funny, that he called it Cranks. It was kind of self-deprecating and I liked that.” Was it good? “I never went there as I wasn’t vegetarian then.” I guess we’ll never know.
I say the other thing Peter Cox said is that, throughout the writing process, he kept a copy of Jane Asher’s bestselling book on cakes to hand, so that whenever Linda’s attention flagged, as it was wont to do, he’d take it out and start flicking through it with great interest, and that brought her back into the room. Paul laughs and claps, while Stella says, “That is very funny … Would bring her back into the room!”
We then flick through Linda’s book while I comment on the dated photography, which makes everything look so … dingily brown. The “macaroni turkey” – a substitute for a Christmas turkey, sculpted from macaroni – looks especially worrying. “You had to make it because you couldn’t get a vegetarian turkey at Christmas,” says Paul. “It was great,” says Stella. I can now see it could be great, I say, really, really quickly.
And do you remember Linda writing it? “She would have Peter Cox round,” says Paul, “and quite often I’d be in the kitchen, because I was just there, and she’d cook something.” And then photograph it in brown? “And then she’d photograph it in brown.”
“Mum,” says Stella, “was instinctive in the way she cooked, and Peter had to stop her.”
“He’d say,” continues Paul, “ ‘Just before you put that in, let me measure it.’ ”
“I remember,” says Mary, “making a stew and thinking, ‘This tastes rubbish,’ and I phoned Mum and the extra thing was celery.” “Celery is critical,” adds Stella. “She would start all her soups with celery,” says Paul. “Mum and celery, it’s true,” concludes Stella.
Linda – who died of breast cancer in 1998 – was, indeed, ridiculed for her vegetarianism, as all the McCartneys have been. Oh no, here they come, the bloody McCartneys, banging on about not killing cows, and now fish, too. “At the end of the day, what people are forgetting to talk about is fish,” says Stella. “We need to be aware that fish is a stealth industry,” says Mary.
But they’ve proved themselves menschen, have kept at it, haven’t caved on their principles, or gone away quietly. “Almost a third of land is used for livestock production,” Stella might say. “Ninety-five per cent of soya is grown for farm animals,” Paul might add. “The reality of the conversation is that it has to become political,” Mary might further add.
But more and more people have come round to their way of thinking, which must be satisfying. “When I was a child and we said we were vegetarian it was a case of, ‘Why don’t you kill animals to eat them?’ I was the outsider, and you did meet a lot of aggression and anger. But now the landscape is changing,” says Mary. I ask if they’ve seen Simon Amstell’s Carnage, which puts the best case against meat-eating ever. Not yet, they say. You should, I say. They will, they promise. I can’t believe I had to alert you to it, I say. How have you all managed without me for so long? “I’m all for shadowing you and just absorbing,” says Mary. I’m busy, but might be able to fit you in for an afternoon, as a favour. “Thanks,” she says.
I am quite interested in Paul’s food memories. As a working-class boy from Liverpool, when did you first encounter an avocado, say? “I was in Soho,” he remembers, “and we went to a restaurant with George Martin. We were all slightly mystified by the menu and I thought, ‘I can do this,’ so I ordered an avocado pear for dessert, because I’m thinking pear melba, or maybe it’s going to be like stewed pears, and this sniffy Italian waiter said, ‘That is not a dessert, sir.’ I said, ‘Yeah, I know that. Just kidding you.’ I was about 21.”
“And your dad,” says Stella, “brought you back bananas, didn’t he? Because he worked in the cotton trade.”
“It was after the war,” says Paul, “when nobody had had bananas, and he brought some back and said, ‘Look! Bananas!’ We’d never seen them or tried them or anything, and we didn’t like them. He was annoyed.”
And was your mum a good cook? “Yeah, in the traditional way. I ate what everyone else ate growing up. There was no variation. You knew that if you went to a friend’s house it would be the same as at your house. Just like us, they would have mandarin oranges from a tin with Carnation milk. That was very well accepted.”
After you left home and before Linda, would you have cooked? “I lost my mother when I was 14, so there was my dad, my brother and me. My dad would drop into the Cavern where we were playing at lunchtime and he’d say, ‘Here’s tonight’s meal, son,’ and he’d leave me a few chops. I’d get home before him so I’d grill the chops and do mashed potato.”
“It’s always his job, the mash,” says Stella.
Are you competent in other domestic areas, Paul? Could you work a washing machine? “No, I can’t.”
“But,” says Stella, “you can hand-wash in a sink with soap.”
“When we were on tour you did do your socks, because they would get a bit smelly,” confirms Paul. “So before you’d go to bed you’d give them a good rub in the hotel sink, with the little soap, then rinse them out and hang them on the radiator.” I think he is referring back to when he was in that band, whatever it was.
They do miss Linda dreadfully. We meet just before Mother’s Day, and I think they wouldn’t have been willing to say how much they still miss her if I hadn’t mentioned it’s a hard time to get through when you’ve lost your mother, as I have, and there’s all this stuff in the shops. They do it because, much as I’ve been joking around, they are, clearly, kindly people. “You definitely notice it,” says Mary. “I also notice mums and daughters walking down the street and you know they are having a lunch or a shop and are having that little moment.”
“At the end of the day,” says Stella, “for a fraction of a second, I think I can’t believe Mum hasn’t called me today.”
“You did that recently?” asks Paul. “That’s normally the first year, when that happens a lot.
“A friend has just lost her husband and I was saying to her, ‘You think he’s going to walk in the door, don’t you?’ And she said, ‘Yes.’ ”
“You’re going to get me going,” says Stella.
“But look at Mum’s achievements,” counters Mary. “They are so relevant. The balls she had. I am so proud she left a legacy and that she is in each and every one of us.”
Stella adds that she gets it in the neck “for not using fur or leather in my career”, but she doesn’t care. Is grateful to her mother, in fact, “for giving me the spectacles that have allowed me to have a point of view”.
The PRs are madly trying to wind us up now so, as she’s mentioned her fashion range, I decide I’m just going to have to come out with it straight, so I do: can I get a discount? “Yes,” she says, adding, almost with a wink, “and Stelvis.” We’ve bonded. I’ve arrived.
Typically, I then push my luck. I could be up for adoption, I say to them all. I would make a good McCartney. I would bring my own celery. And I’d bring your Jewish quotient zooming back up. “My wife [Nancy Shevell] is Jewish,” says Paul. Decent cook? “No, bless her. When we married she was intimidated by Linda’s reputation, so she said, ‘I’m a lousy cook.’”
“She’s a very good orderer,” says Stella. “She is a very good orderer,” confirms Paul.
They’re half out the door, but time for one last question. Paul, were you in some band or other, back in the day? “Yes. The Quarrymen.” Were you any good? “Damned good. Great little band.” Never heard of them. Sorry.

Deborah Ross has since given up meat
Photos: Robert Wilson
Shoot credits Stella McCartney: Make-up Jane Bradley, hair Lewis Pallett


A/N: sorry if this sucks, feedback is still highly appreciated! also sorry that this took a long time to publish, been busy with stuff. i hope you like it! x

word count: 1,317


Monday came along much faster than you anticipated, much to your dismay. Mondays were the worst even if you weren’t hungover.

When you reached the school, you quickly walked over to her locker so that you could get ready to go to class. You tried to open it, but it was stuck. Typical.

”These lockers really need to be fixed” you said under your breath.

You hit the locker, hoping that it miraculously would open. And it worked. You probably looked like an idiot, smiling there to yourself in front of your locker but you didn’t care. You had managed to open it up yourself, without Isak’s help this time.

”Hi there. You know, I was pretty upset when you ignored my dm to you on instagram the other day.”

You turned around, only to see it was Christoffer. She rolled her eyes, going back to what she was doing previously.

”Where did you get my instagram?”

”Your little friend gave it to me. I think her name was Valde? No idea, still doesn’t explain why you ignored me.”
Damn you Vilde.

”I don’t check my dm’s, usually unimportant people contact me there. My point has now actually been proven, so thank you for that.” Y/N said, before continuing ”And her name is Vilde.”

”Oh, I guess you have to give your number so that we could talk?” Chris said, a smirk plastered on his face. You wanted to wipe that smirk off of him. Or slap. Either one would probably feel equally as good.

She slammed her locker closed, before turning to Christoffer.

”Yeah, we’ll see about that Christoffer. I actually have to go to class, so if you don’t mind?” You said, before pushing him aside and making your way to the classroom.

”That was quite rude don’t you think, princess?” Chris

”No and please don’t call me princess.” Y/N said, not bothering to look at him.

”Oh, you don’t like it? How about sweetheart or babe?”

You stopped, now looking at the boy. A smirk appeared on his face, taking his bottom lip between his teeth making you roll her eyes. The boy is probably always thinking with his dick.

”Yeah, sounds really fucking amazing. I do hope you realize that no matter what you call me I won’t hop on your dick and be head over heels. I actually find it funny that you’re running after a first year student who’s not even interested in you when there’s loads of other girls who would do anything to sleep with you, which is quite pathetic. That being said, I have to go to class.”

You quickly walked away from him, making your way to class. This time Chris just let her go, chuckling a bit at her words. He had no idea what was so fascinating about Y/N, but he just knew he had to get her.

When you reached her classroom (in time, even with that whole Chris thing), you desperately searched for Vilde, only seeing that she was already sitting next to Noora. You sighed softly, sitting next to Sana flashing her a small smile whilst doing so.

Sana looked at you, before saying with a low voice ”You were late.”

You looked at her confused, quickly taking a look at the clock.

”Uh no, I wasn’t. I was just on time?”

Sana chuckled a bit. ”You were technically on time, but usually you come a bit earlier in class. Just a small thing I’ve noticed.”

”Oh wow, you do have magical powers!” Y/N dramatically exclaimed.

”Why were you late, then?” Sana asked, nervously playing with her pen.

”Christoffer was bugging me, nothing worth to tell you.”

Suddenly Sana dropped her pen, looking at you in the eyes. She seemed shocked, you thought to yourself

”Are you dumb? This is our chance to get to their parties! You’ve got to flirt with him; give me your phone. Now.”

”I feel like my privacy has been invaded, you’re unbelievable Sana.” You said, feeling slightly embarrassed. You didn’t think it was that big of a deal and just the idea of flirting with Chris made you feel weird. Not the good kind, you think.

”Yeah yeah, just remember we’re friends. Give me your phone, I’ll help you.”

You were biting your bottom lip, deep in thought. It could benefit the whole group and in the end you were a strong girl, you could turn him down easily afterwards, right?

You were just about to hand out her phone to Sana, but the teacher walked in starting the class.

”This is not over.” Sana muttered, concentrating on whatever the teacher was talking about.


When Sana said things weren’t over, she literally meant that. The second the teacher announced that the class was over, she grabbed your phone and unlocked it easily.

Sana was likespamming him, making your eyes widen.

”Wait! Don’t likespam him, it makes me feel really uncomfortable. I’d really rather talk to him face to face if it’s that important to you.”

A large smirk appeared on Sana’s face. She looked around, realizing the teacher who was still cleaning up their stuff was sending them death glares. Sana quickly grabbed your wrist, dragging you out of the classroom.

”So.. Do I really have to talk to him? Wasn’t Eva the one who agreed to flirt with him?” You asked hopefully.

”Yeah, but he doesn’t actually talk to her face to face.” Sana stated.

”Fine, this still feels wrong.” You said, running her hand through her hair.

A few hours passed, before you saw him again. You were in the cafeteria of the school with Vilde, Sana and Noora when you saw him walk in with William and the other guys.

”There’s William! He’s so hot.” Vilde said, staring at him.

Noora rolled her eyes at Vilde. She didn’t quite understand her obsession with William, always trying to switch conversations when his name came up.

Christoffer’s face light up when he saw you, saying something to his friends before walking up to you.

”Hey babe.” Christoffer said, sliding to the seat next to you.

Vilde and Noora gave you a confused look, Sana nodded along before hinting you to answer him.

”Out of all the things you could call me you had to choose that one, didn’t you?”
”Aw you don’t like that one either? Too bad I like it then.” He said, once again smirking.

”Too fucking bad indeed. Why are you here?” You asked, nervously tapping your nails to the table.

He was really attractive, you couldn’t deny that. If only his personality was as good as his looks.

Chris’ smirk didn’t fade even a little. ”I wanted to ask you to come to our party? You can bring your friends, too.” He said looking at the other girls who were just sitting there, listening to the little conversation that was going on between you two. ”So, will you?”

You knew the others were dying to go there and thought this was their golden ticket to get in. You wanted to please your new friends.

”Will there be alcohol?” You asked, looking at him.

Chris started laughing, but stopped as soon as you gave him a cold look.

”Yes, there will be alcohol.”

”Good, then we’ll be there. Text me the information.” You said, standing up. The others stood up as well.

You were about to walk out, when Christoffer’s voice stopped you.

”Where can I get your phone number, babe?” He asked, a smirk once again decorating his features after the last part.

You thought of it for a bit, before answering him. ”You know, if you’re really the guy everyone says you are, you’ll figure out a way.”

You left alongside with your friends, noticing that people were listening to your conversation. You smiled a little, feeling proud of the way you had handled the situation.

Settled Down

Hello everyone! A big thank you to @cercandotiaffogo for requesting this! I hope you like it. 

This One Shot is about Harry entrusting Y/N with the first draft of the ‘Another Man’ article, in which he happens to talk about her as well. 

Warnings: It may hint on some bedroom activities but there is no smut. 

Picture is not mine but oh do I wish it were. 

My eyes squeezed shut in order to block out the rays of sunlight coming in through the thin curtains, leaving warm patterns against my skin. A smile pulled at the corners of my mouth when I sensed the presence of another person in the room and happiness spread through every fiber of my body, as I knew precisely who it was.


Warm hands settled to rest on my ribcage, holding my body still as he moved his own to rest on top of mine. I suppressed a groan upon bearing his weight and instead sighed happily when his lips began leaving gentle kisses down my neck to my collarbones. I gasped upon feeling he was in fact, still naked just as I was and felt overwhelmed with delight due to how comfortable the two of us had gotten to be with each other. His thumbs moved in caressing, circular motions over my naked skin and his soft hair tickled my cheek as its strands brushed it. All in all, I couldn’t imagine a moment I ever felt any happier than I did now. Naked in Harry’s bed with him on top in an intimate, yet non-sexual way.

“Wanna see your eyes,” Harry hummed, his voice heavy with emotion.

His head lowered once more as he let his lips nip and kiss the curve below my breast, his face breaking into a smile once after receiving a particular loud gasp when his nose brushed against the sensitive skin.

“Impossible,” I croaked out, my voice barely above a whisper as I was still sleepy, “Your head is too far down from where my face is.”

“Hm,” Harry agreed and squeezed me softly where his hands still held my waist, while pressing his chest down on my lower stomach, “I can always go a bit further down if you want, love.”

I giggled at his teasing words and secured a hand at the back of his neck, my fingers curling to hold on to his soft hair, keeping him from moving lower and make true of his thread.

Harry noticed my action and whined, though I knew he loved it when I took hold of his soft hair just as much as I loved doing it.

“Do you not want me to?”

I shook my head and tried to pull him up, still refusing to open my eyes.

“Want you to kiss me properly,” I whispered.

He hummed in response, yet didn’t move.


A laugh fell from my lips when he didn’t budge. Deciding to take matters into my own hands, I spread my legs wide enough to wrap them around his hips.

“Woah,” Harry laughed when I lifted my lower-half up to push and force him up my body. I whined at the strength it cost me, yet it worked and I could nudge him up to come closer to my face, something that wouldn’t have worked without him complying. He appeared to like my sudden demanding side and leaned in to rest his cheek pressed against my own, the gesture almost more intimate than him kissing my breasts. I hummed and moved my arms to rest them around his bare shoulders, keeping him close and pressed against my body.

“Good morning, darling,” I breathed against his shoulder.

I felt overwhelmed by his sent, warmth and presence, yet in the best way possible. Harry moved his hands from my ribs to my shoulder blades and I whined at the tickling sensation, my stomach jumping and clenching, as hundreds of butterflies flew and went wild still whenever I got to be alone with Harry. He leaned down and pressed a kiss to my jaw, allowing his lips to linger.

“Mornin’ baby. Sleep well?”

I nodded and sighed. “Very.”

“M'glad,” Harry hummed, “still wanna see your pretty eyes though.”

I shook my head, accidentally knocking my head against his temple with the movement. He made a noise of complaint so I quickly pressed a soothing kiss to the sore skin to ease his whining.

“Harsh,” Harry grumbled, “There’s no need to beat me up, love. Just wanted to show you something s'all.”

“I’m sorry, my baby,” I apologized, eased by the feeling of him kissing my neck softly, so I knew he couldn’t be too grumpy. “What was it you wanted to show me?”

Harry huffed and rolled off of me to rest by my side, leaving one arm slung over my stomach and my legs intwined with his. A smile spread widely on his face when I opened my eyes to peer at him, his lovely face flushed and rosy as his head rested on the pillow.

“Something came in the post today,” he said, leaning into my touch when I rested my hand against his cheek. His eyes sparkled and his brows were raised. “The script of the magazine they wanted to have me in. I’ve told you about, remember?”

“‘Course I do,” I hummed and scratched his skin gently, “You were so excited. The release of that magazine s'gonna shake the internet the second it’s published, I hope you know that.”

“Well, that’s what I was going for, love,” Harry laughed, “Anyway, that came in today. And I was wondering if you’d mind going through them for me before I send them back to let them be published. It’d be really helpful to have a second opinion and yours is one I can count on.”

He bit his full bottom lip as he waited for my answer.

“Sure,” I agreed, happy he trusted me and my judgement enough to read something as intimate and personal as his Another Man interview before anyone else did.

“Great.” He smiled and moved to push himself away from me, rolled over and got up, a movement that was quickly followed by my whine.


He turned back to look at me, unfazed by my wandering eyes, trailing down from his chest to his boxer covered hips and thighs.

“What’s it now?”

“You didn’t kiss me,” I pouted, sitting up and adjusting the sheets so it covered my naked chest.

Harry chuckled and my heart danced when he came crawling back onto the bed. A lump rose in my throat when I noticed how his muscles popped out when he rested his weight on his tattooed arms. Harry had gotten so much stronger over the many months of shooting his movie and though I sometimes missed the former softness his hips had held, the hardness of his torso was something I couldn’t get enough of.

“I love you,” he murmured.

Harry’s face had gotten so close he could nudge my nose with his. My stomach jumped and I reached up, holding him by his jaw. “I love you, too, Harry. So much”

His green eyes bore into mine with so much emotion in them, my mouth went dry. His features looked so soft and the fact that he was still half naked had me incredibly distracted. My eyes kept falling down to his bare stomach, before raising to meet his eyes, my cheeks red in embarrassment. Harry chuckled.

“Let me give you a proper hello, yeah?”

Before I could answer, his lips were pressed to mine, knocking the breath out of me. He groaned into my mouth upon hearing my low moan and leaned in further, resting both hands on my thighs, holding and squeezing them. I let him move his lips against mine and enjoyed the feeling for as long as he let me, my head dizzy and my limps like jelly. He drove me crazy.
A shriek escaped me when his hand pulled at the sheet which I still clutched to my chest tightly, covering me.

“I don’t think you need this,” Harry whispered, before his teeth teasingly pulled at my bottom lip.
I shook my head and leaned in to kiss him again. We continued to move our lips together, yet I continued to refuse to let go of the material, even though his forceful pulls increased.

“Stop it,” I whispered, “I do need this.”

Harry whined, but let go of the sheet and instead took hold of my hand. His fingers entwined with mine and I gasped when his chest pressed to mine, pushing me back on the mattress. He hovered over me as we kissed some more before he pulled away, allowing his lips to brush over mine a few times.

“I’ll go fetch us breakfast,” he announced and began crawling off the bed again, “How do waffles sound to you?”

“With berries?” I asked, still laying on my back. My eyes followed his movements as he got to his feet.

“'Course with berries.”

“And whipped cream?” I wondered.

Harry chuckled and reached down to take hold of the sheet once more.

“Anything you want, my love,” he promised, “but first: this really needs to go.”

I shrieked when he pulled forcefully and laughed when the material slipped from my body.


“You don’t have to if you don’t want,” Harry muttered as he hesitantly handed me the copy of the script.

His sudden self-consciousness made me smile a little, as well as ache. He was so confident and proud all the time, I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about him sometimes getting insecure when it came to being open in front of me. I did understand it though.
I was his weakness, just like he was mine. The other’s opinion simply mattered much more, especially since nowadays almost every decision one of us made involved the other as well.

“I want to,” I assured and took the papers from his grasp.

Harry whined but let me take them before crossing his arms over his chest, which was covered by the flowery shirt he had made me iron for him only yesterday.

“M'not gonna fix those wrinkles this time, Styles,” I mumbled, nodding to his torso.

Harry looked down and quickly let his arms fall to his sides. “Stop nagging and get to it.”

I rolled my eyes, yet bit back a remark and turned to look back at the article in my hand.
My heart skipped as I read the title, his name printed in big letters. The papers didn’t include any of the pictures yet, as it was solely about the text. I doubted Harry would’ve let me see the script had it included the selection of pictures he’d chosen, as he’d said he wanted them to be a surprise. My skin prickled when I opened the bundle of papers on the front page, the white sheet covered with his words printed in black. I let my finger trace one of the sentences, finding it incredible how he’d gotten the chance to share his thoughts so detailed and authentic.
When I looked up from the first paragraph, I found him still standing in front of me, his eyes set on my face as he awaited my reaction. I rolled my eyes and shook my head.

“Stop staring like that. It’s irritating.”

“But I wanna know how you feel about it.” Harry argued.

I shook my head and raised one hand to push him back by his shoulder, huffing when he didn’t move as if my effort did nothing to him.

“Go watch some TV or something and I’ll find you when I’m done.”

“But,” Harry began, “wanna see your face while you read.”

“No, Harry. You’re making this feel very uncomfortable and suffocating.”

He huffed and sent me one last pleading look, pushing his plumb bottom lip forward into a pout, before he gave up and turned around, making his way to the living room. I giggled at his silly behavior as I filled myself a glass of juice and quickly decided that it was probably the best if I locked myself into our bedroom, in case he changed his mind.
Once I was settled on our bed with my legs crossed and the draft of the magazine in my lap, I relaxed. Excitement danced at the bottom of my stomach as I prepared myself for reading thoughts Harry most likely hadn’t shared with me before. I took a deep breath and started to read, finding quite quickly that once I’d started I could not take my eyes off. My fingers flipped over page after page, following the lines on the paper that were Harry’s words.
He was so captivating and had me falling in love with him all over again with every page I finished. The brilliance of his mind was something that surprised me still, no matter how long I had known him for.
It was when I reached the second to last page when my body tensed up. Throughout the entire interview, Harry had spoken about his background, future plans, his music and other projects he had in mind. Not once had he mentioned me, which hadn’t been a surprise. Harry and I had decided to keep our relationship as much out of the spotlight as his life allowed it, so usually he didn’t mention me during things like this at all.
This time however, he had, in an article with the name “Settled Down”.

I: So Harry, as we understand you are currently in a rather committed relationship.

H: It’s pretty serious, I’d say.

I: You got engaged, recently, haven’t you?

H: We have, yes.

I: Was that a difficult decision to make? Getting engaged usually counts as a pretty big step.

H: No, not at all. I think Y/N and I have spoken about getting each other rings quite early on in the relationship. We somehow new right from the start that we were 'it’ for each other, so to speak. And, yeah (…) I suppose once you’re sure that you’ve found the right person to have by your side for the rest of your life, the 'letting the other know and making it official’ part comes naturally.

I: Awe, well that’s really sweet.

H: Thank you.

I: How come the two of you waited for so many years to take the step, then?  If you knew so early that it would eventually happen.

H: I suppose it was my fault, to be honest. My job kept me busy and in different locations than she was a lot of the time. And (…) you know, we knew we’d want to properly celebrate the decision of getting married. 'Cause that’s what you do, right?

I: Oh, I wouldn’t know. I am still on the marked.

H: Oh, well, I’ve been told that’s what one normally does.

I: I’m pretty sure it is. Anyhow, you were saying?

H: Right, we wanted to celebrate our engagement and preferably not in a rented hotel room or, you know, on an airplane or, god forbid, over the phone. So it really only made sense to wait until our lives allowed us some quiet time with no expiration date. It was important to us to make it feel right and relaxed. Even if it meant postponing for a bit.

I: Wasn’t she getting impatient? Four years of waiting is quite a long time.

H: Y/N is a very patient person, thank god. And she wanted it to be special, too, so she didn’t mind waiting too much. I hope. Maybe she just hasn’t told me!

I: Well, let’s hope she’s as fine with it as you believe her to be! Congratulation to you both.

H: Thank you, Susan!

I: You haven’t set a date, though, have you?

H: No, we haven’t yet. We’re really enjoying each other’s company at the moment, spending a lot of time together and stuff. Y/N and I are quite happy the way things are.

I: Of course. Being engaged is fun. Why put an end to it so soon when there’s so much time to get married later on, right?

H: Absolutely.

I: So, you’d say you’re at a great point of your life right now?

H: The best, honestly. I get to make new experiences at the moment which is very enriching. My family is well and healthy. I get to see Y/N a lot, which always makes me happy. So yeah, everything is good.

I: That’s great!

H: And of course this magazine is coming up which will be out on the 29th of September. 

I: So subtle, Harry.

H: I try.

My cheeks actually hurt from smiling so widely and my heart raced. It was simple, it was honest, it was Harry. He didn’t share too much private information about our relationship, yet said just the right things to describe how happy we were.
The few tears that had slipped onto my cheeks had turned into more and before I knew it I was pushing the papers from my legs and hurried out of the room. My feet made a loud noise as I stumbled down the stairs and into our living room where my future husband sat, his elbows resting on his knees as he concentrated on what was being played on the telly.
However, alarmed by the sobbing noises I was making, he shot up from his seating position and to his feet just in time to catch me as I threw myself at him. My hands clutched at his shoulders before I wrapped my arms around his neck.

“Baby,” Harry gasped, pressing his hands to my back. “What’s the matter?”

I shook my head, burying my face into his neck and letting my tears spill onto the bare skin of his collarbones. Unfazed by the wetness trickling down to and ruining his shirt he hoisted me up so I could wrap my legs around his waist.

“L-lov-” I gasped, trying to get out the sentence. “Harry-”

“Calm down, darling,” Harry soothed, his hold on me tightening with every shaking motion of my shoulder, “deep breaths. What’s wrong?”

“Love you,” I whined, “so, so much, Harry.”

“That’s what this is about?” Harry laughed, all the worry falling from him as his shoulders seemingly relaxed. He pecked the top of my head when my crying increased.

I was a rather emotional person and it usually didn’t take much for me to have tears spill over. However, Harry hadn’t ever seen me cry out of happiness before. I hadn’t even shed a tear when he’d asked me to marry him, though that was only due to his proposal being completely spontaneous and while we were making dinner together. He’d later on joked he hadn’t organized anything on purpose, so that I wouldn’t embarrass myself by wailing in front of him.

“Harry,” I cried and tightened my hold on him.

“Oh, sweetheart.”

Harry shook his head and carried me to the couch where he sat down so I could cuddle into his chest whilst sitting in his lap.

“I didn’t think it was that bad,” he spoke quietly but started laughing when I made noises of protest. “What was that?”

“It wasn’t bad!” I cried, “Not at all, Harry. So Amazing.”

“You really think so?”

I shuddered at the softness in his tone, it becoming apparent that he was sincerely worried I may not have liked what he’d spoken about. My legs unhooked from around his waist and I pushed myself back so I could sit a little further back on his legs. Harry smiled when I rested my hands against his cheeks, holding his face in place. My eyes locked with his green ones before I leaned in and pressed a kiss to his pink lips. A small moan escaped Harry’s throat when my tongue invaded his mouth before he could react properly and I responded by moving my hips against his.

“Y/N,” he groaned and settled both hands on my hips, trying to hold me still.

I whined when his head moved back in an attempt at disconnecting our lips, so I held his face tighter and leaned further in, keeping my lips attached to his. Harry laughed and accepted my needy kisses some longer, before I finally let him go again. I grinned at how pink his lips had gotten and how his short brown hair stuck out into every direction, making him look both, incredibly handsome and funny.

“It was so good!” I promised, my voice less frantic, now that I had somehow showed him how I felt.

Harry smiled softly and pecked my nose. “Meant every word, darling.”

“I could tell,” I hummed and moved my fingers to the top button of his shirt.

Harry grinned, but didn’t comment when I slowly began to unbutton it. My eyes were set on his chest as I pushed my hand underneath the material to rest against his warm skin, my thumb drawing circles right below one of the swallows covering his chest.

“Like how you didn’t say too much, but enough to really give them a picture of how happy we are right now.”  

“Because we are,” Harry agreed.

I nodded and leaned in to kiss his jaw. “I’m glad your fans will now rest assured that I’m taking good care of you.”

Harry groaned under my touch and tightened his grip, his own fingers finding their way beneath my shirt.

“That you do,” Harry gasped, “Though, that kiss you just attacked me with must’ve been the most snotty kiss you’ve ever given me.

"Way to ruin a moment. Thanks, Harry.”

Hope you enjoyed this! I’m personally very happy with it. 
Should you have any feed back, I’d be happy to receive it. And if you’d like to leave your own request, please do! 

The rest of what I wrote can be found here:

I Love You a Latte

 A little late, but every writer should have at least one Coffee Shop AU and I finally finished this one for Valentines Day. Please forgive the awful title pun, I couldn’t resist. Based on this prompt:

“barista working a shitty underpaid job in a coffee chain is persuaded to team up with reporter who wants to expose the company’s unethical practices & terrible working conditions” au  

“Tall Caramel Latte, please!”

Klaus barely looked up from the screen, mindlessly entering the woman’s order and going through the routine of putting it together. It was late, nearly closing, and she was the only person in the cafe. It was easy enough work, but the sooner he got her out of there, the sooner he could go back to ruminating in peace.

“You’re not a fan of working here, are you?”

Damn, she was a talker. Klaus didn’t care for customer service standards, he had better things to do than engage in mindless smalltalk for the sake of covering silences. As she put her card through the machine he finished up her drink and finally, looked up to hand it over.

Well, consider his night improved.

She might have been a tad too cheerful for this late at night, but she was certainly easy on the eyes, perfection in blonde curls and a bright eyes. Seeing that she finally had his attention, her smile widened.

“So? Love it or hate it?”

‘Love it’, was on the tip of Klaus’s tongue, but he managed to remember that she was asking him about his job.

“Can’t say this is my dream career,” he replied dryly, leaning forward on the counter. To his delight, she mirrored his actions, tucking a golden curl behind her ear as she took her drink.

“Look, this might be weird…but can you tell me anything about this place?”

Klaus raised an eyebrow, staring down at the woman who was looking up at him hopefully.  “Odd question,” he said slowly and she leaned closer even further, as if sharing a secret. Klaus wondered just how close she would be if there wasn’t a counter separating them.

“Listen, I’m a reporter and I need a story to bring to my editor. I’ve heard things about this place, they don’t exactly…do things above board. And I know you work here and I know this might put you in an awkward situation but if there’s anything you can tell me I would owe you forever.She took a deep breath, looking a little sheepish. “Uh, I’m Caroline, by the way.”

Caroline held out a hand and Klaus shook it, trying and failing to hold in his amusement at her earnestness. “Klaus,” he replied, taking her hand. Instead of the handshake she expected, he raised her knuckles to his lips and pressed a light kiss to them, gratified to see a light pink blush spread across her cheeks.

“To answer your question love, I’d be happy to give you the information you need.”

“Wait, seriously?!” asked Caroline, too shocked to pull her hand away. “You don’t mind?”

“Let’s just say I have some issues with how things are run,” Klaus replied, winking.

The blush intensified, and Caroline finally had the presence of mind to pull her hand back. “Well, that’s great!” she said, unable to stop grinning. Can I meet you somewhere?”

“Come back here after closing tomorrow, sweetheart. We’ll take it from there.”

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

I've had some problems with ed lately too tbh. you don't have to publish this i don't want to start anything but i feel like he's selling out. i loved divide when it first came out bc it was so easy to get into. but i also stopped listening to it pretty quickly. like i feel he really tried to make a hit album that as many people as possible would buy. to a lot of songs there isn't really much depth i feel. imo his lyrics also used to be better and you had to think about each song a bit to get

what it was really talking about. now it feels very calculated and quite shallow maybe? to me personally it seems like he wasn’t making this album to make an album but to have this collection of songs that are easy to sell and pander to his audience. don’t get me wrong i don’t think he shouldn’t make music for his fans but i would have liked for him to put more effort into this. i don’t mean all the songs, i still really like eraser for example. and i didn’t use to believe he copied from other artists but there’s case after case now and i just… how many times can you really call it a coincidence? sry this is a mess and just my opinion i could be totally wrong. i still like ed and think he’s very talented. i just wish he’d use it more.


Dude, this is exactly almost word for word the conversation I had with someone like maybe a week ago? I agree 100000%

I found that while I was listening to this album I didn’t /believe/ it like I have with his other ones. Like you listen to the A Team for example, I /believe/ that story, I can feel it. Many of the songs on X are the same.

With Divide I find that I just don’t believe the stories he’s telling? Like I love eraser, but in an interview he basically said he wrote it because the album needed a song like that. And so I’m kinda just stuck thinking of him like “you’re very very talented, but you know you’re talented and so you’ve put together some songs that you know will sell”.

And I don’t think there’s necessarily anything wrong with selling out… I mean get the money I can’t say I wouldn’t. But the songs don’t have the same depth they used to minus a few. Save myself is definitely one of the better ones, as is Nancy mulligan imo, eraser is good but like I said I don’t really believe it? Idk. But I agree with you completely. I still love him.. but yeah.

Why Queer Books Matter

Robin Talley is a YA author. Here she explains why books about about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender characters are important:

“I grew up thinking I was the only gay person in the world.

I spent my teenage years in Virginia in the 1990s. Every now and then, I’d come across a celebrity or fictional character who wasn’t straight. Sometimes, when my parents were out of town, I’d rent independent movies like "Jeffrey” and “Go Fish” from the artsy video store. Ellen DeGeneres came out when I was in high school (and was roundly mocked by the local news commentators for it).

It all seemed so far away from the reality I lived in every day, though, that it might as well not have been real.

The one place I never looked for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender characters was the one place that could’ve given me characters that did seem real — the bookstore. I’d spent my youth reading voraciously with a flashlight under my bedspread, but it never once crossed my mind that I might come across a gay person in the pages of any of those stories.

And if I had sought out children’s books with characters like me, I’d have been disappointed. There were a few pioneering children’s and young adult books with LGBT characters — Nancy Garden’s classic lesbian romance Annie on My Mind was published in 1982 (and burned in a Kansas school district in 1993); the groundbreaking picture book Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesléa Newman first came out in 1989 — but the real boom in LGBT kids’ books didn’t start until this century.

A handful of LGBT YA books came out just over a decade ago, including Ellen Wittlinger’s Hard Love, Alex Sanchez’s Rainbow Boys and Sara Ryan’s Empress of the World. They were quickly followed by a wave of books by authors like David Levithan, Julie Anne Peters, and Malinda Lo that introduced a whole new set of options for LGBT kids and teens looking for literary representations of their own lives.

When I started writing myself, I set out to feature as many LGBT characters as I could. Last week, a reader told me my debut novel was the first book she’d read with a lesbian main character. The closeted 90s teenager who still lives in my heart melted at this news.

That reader, by the way, identified as straight. It isn’t only LGBT readers who benefit from reading about characters who are gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, asexual, or elsewhere on the spectrum. Reading is one of the best ways to develop empathy for people who are different from you — especially for young readers.

That’s why embracing diversity in children’s literature is so important. Because it’s up to all of us to make sure this century’s kids are growing up in a cultural landscape that reflects the real world — the one where everybody’s different. And where embracing differences is good for all of us.“

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley is published by Mira Ink.

A&S Class: Quick Mead

Another recap from my 6 months away from tumblr, in the early Spring our Barony had an event completely based around Scribal and Brewing arts, Scribin’ & Imbibin’!  I taught this class on how to make a basic quick mead.  Quick mead is a good starter mead for those just starting in brewing.  Enjoy!

What is a Quick Mead?

 Quick Mead can loosely be defined as any mead that takes less than six months to come of age and be drunk.  Also known as short meads, the recipes we have today of this beverage come from the notes of priests, personal recipe books, and instructional letters.  We’re focusing more on the process today, but contact me if you’d like sources!

Traditionally these meads are often made with spices and fruits, although there are varying ideas as to why this is.  Some believe it is merely to flavor the mead, some say it is to hide the imperfections in the quickly brewed beverage.  I tend to think it is a bit of both!

Today’s Recipe 

The basis for the recipe we’re using today originates from House Barra’s Early Period Magazine, originally published in AS 21 and now online!  This came from part of a series of early Celtic foods for a feast of about 20 compiled by Master Andras Salamandra of Atlantia.


Make certain you have all your tools before you start the brewing!  

  • Large stove-safe pot, holds at least 2 gal
  • Non-plastic stirring spoon
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Airlock or large balloon - You can purchase an airlock online or at a local brew store.
  • 1 gal foodsafe container with a small neck
  • Funnel
  • Cheesecloth
  • Food-grade sanitizer or a pot large enough to boil the bottles
  • Bottles for storage, 1 gal total volume - These need to be bottles that can withstand pressure, as the mead will be carbonated.


  • 2 lbs honey or 2 2/3 cups - Flower or fruit honey preferred
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, about 1 tsp ground
  • 1 Tb ground cloves
  • 1 Tb ground black pepper
  • 2 slices candied ginger or about 1 tsp ground
  • 1 pkg champagne or wine yeast
  • About a gallon of water
  • Optional - potassium sorbate

Feel free to experiment - different types of spices, different lengths of time to brew, etc.  


  1. Gather all your materials and tools in one place.  You won’t need all of them at once, but it is important to know they’re available!  
  2. Put the honey and 2 cups of water in the large pot.  Bring to a boil.  If you’re using raw honey, you may have to skim off scum that arises. Stir frequently; you don’t want your honey to scorch!
  3. Add 3 qts/12 cups more water, the cinnamon, cloves, and pepper.  
  4. Return to a boil, continuing to stir.
  5. Allow to cool to room temperature.


And now for the brewing!

  1. If using a balloon as the airlock, poke some holes in it with a pin to let the gasses escape.
  2. Sterilize your 1 gallon bottle, funnel, and balloon/airlock according to the package instructions on your food-grade sterilizer.  Alternatively, you can boil all of your equipment and the brewing bottle.  The goal is to kill any foreign bacteria that can make the mead go bad.
  3. Funnel the mead mixture into the container, spices and all.
  4. Add ginger and yeast.
  5. Apply the airlock or stretch the opening of the balloon over the mouth of the container.
  6. Move to a cool, dark environment where it will not be disturbed.  Allow to sit for 5-7 days, depending on how sweet you want your mead.


After the 5-7 days, it is time to bottle.

  1. Sterilize your serving bottles, funnel, cheesecloth, and pouring bottle if using.
  2. Stretch the cheesecloth inside the funnel.
  3. Remove your airlock/balloon from the brewing container and add potassium sorbate if using. This will neuter the yeast and stop fermentation, at the expense of reducing carbonation.
  4. Pour mead through the cheesecloth and funnel to the desired receptacle(s).  


 Now that you have your bottles of delicious, delicious mead, you’ll want to age them.  Quick meads can be drunk within 2-3 weeks, however for a more mellow mead, consider aging longer.    Place the bottles in a cool, dark place where they will not be disturbed while aging. Because this mead has a low alcohol content, keep refrigerated once opened.  

Now enjoy your mead!  

-Siobhán an Einigh of Connacht

[ vampire jun pt. 1 ]

im thinking about starting a vampire jun series BEFAUSE I AM STILL NOT OVER IT so this is like experimental to see if I like where it’s going. ENJOYY:)

↬ pt. 2, pt. 3, pt. 4, pt.5, pt.6, pt.7 ↫

The city of rain.

It’s exactly how it sounds, tall skyscrapers peaking high over dull ash coloured roads with gloomy storm clouds covering the sky like a blanket. The city rarely saw the sun, it was rarely able to feel it’s warmth bathe across the grass or paint shadows on the sides of houses. But one thing the city knew well was rain. Tiny droplets of liquid that drizzled from the clouds, splashing against printed car windows and bouncing off the streets.

Everyone carried an umbrella with them in the city of rain. Everyone but you, who was rushing to work in the rainy weather of early morning. Tiny yelps of sorry’s and excuse me’s left your lips though you hardly meant them as you weaved through crowds of people to get to your destination. After entering the building you gave your head a shake feeling tiny specs of water fly from your hair.

“How many times do you need to get soaked before you bring an umbrella?” Your eyes skipped upwards to meet the friendly face in front of you. A young man with sparkly eyes and neatly combed hair. In his hand was a cup of tea which he handed to you with a smile. “I guess I’ll never learn Joshua.” Your job wasn’t very exciting, at least in your opinion. Every time something major struck out in the city your boss sent you to the scene with a notepad and pen to collect information.

Then you came back and typed up a report for him to publish. That was it. That’s all you did. The only things that ever happened in your rainy city were convenience store robberies and murders. Most of the time you could hardly get any information so you had to expand the truth a little in your reports. Taking a sip of the tea you enjoyed the warmth it installed in your cold body as you followed Joshua into the office of your boss.

“Welcome, welcome, my two greatest reporters on the team!” You quickly exchanged an uneasy glance with Joshua while your boss used his chubby fingers to grab another cigarette to light. “Sometimes I think you two are the only reliable people I have working for me so today I’m sending you off on something big. I want you to go down to Churchill Cemetery and check things out. A few bodies have turned up missing from their graves along with other strange occurrences.”

Churchill Cemetery was usually a very quiet place, not many people ever visited the graves to even pay their respects. Right next to the cemetery’s edge was a forest filled with nothing but tall prickly pine trees and twisting roots jutting out of the ground. You couldn’t say you were shocked to hear that bodies had been disappearing though. “Okay, we’ll check it out.” Joshua turned to you with a nod as your boss puffed out a cloud of grey smoke. “Sounds good to me.”

At the cemetery gate you met with an old man named Albert. His pale wrinkled skin hardly seemed to cling to his face while his eyes were a dull greyish colour. His faded overalls were caked with mud as a shovel hung loosely in his grip. He looked after the Churchill Cemetery, cutting the grass and plucking the weeds that grew around the grave stones. “Is it okay if we examine a few things?” Joshua asked as he pulled out a notepad. Albert responded with a nod of his head.

“These are the graves that have been dug up.” Albert beckoned to the two head stones beside each other, clumps of dirt now turned to muck tossed up and scattered all over the grass. “They belonged to two sisters who died in a car crash just over two weeks ago. Mary and Kate Stewart.” Your pen scribbled across the expanse of the notepad along with Joshua as you drew a quick sketch of the scene.

The crime in the city was horridly high, different deaths every week or new criminals emerging from the shadows. The police were very useless, doing almost nothing against it and leaving the citizens to protect themselves. It was saddening but there was nothing you could do. “Is it okay if we look for a little while longer?” Albert welcomed you to look for as long as you like so you did, collecting information and the tiniest details alongside Joshua.

“Wanna know something?” The young man randomly said while he squatted down to run his fingertip through the dirt. With a nonchalant shrug of your shoulders you flipped the page of your notepad. “Why not?”

“This city is dubbed as the city of rain but it’s also dubbed as Urbem Lamia which means city of vampires in Latin.” (omfg I’m so smart right?)

You gave your eyes a roll at Joshua’s words. He always babbles about these random things that never make any sense so you usually dismiss them. “They say this city is a main attraction for vampires because there’s hardly any sunlight and with all the deserted parts of the city it makes the perfect place for them to hide. Also haven’t you noticed that most of the graveyards are close to forests? Easy access to bodies for their thirsty little fangs.”

“Wouldn’t they prefer fresh blood?”

“Whatever blood they can get their hands on.”

Tossing away Joshua’s little fantasy you began to close up the examination session. Flashing your wrist in front of your gaze you check the time. It’s 11 o'clock and you got here around 9 or so. About 2 solid hours of searching and pointless information that wouldn’t lead anywhere but a news article fluttering along in the breeze, long forgotten. You adjust the straps of your rain jacket as Joshua pulls out an umbrella seeing as thunder could be heard in the distance.

“We should say goodbye to Albert.” Though you didn’t know the little old man very well it was at least kind to announce your leave and thank him for letting you stay awhile. Your dirty rain boots sloshed through pools of muck and slick grass as you huddle close to Joshua under the umbrella. However it seemed as though Albert had disappeared, his faded yellow overalls and ripped fishing hat nowhere to be seen.

That it until Joshua caught him staring into the line of pine trees that marked the forests edge. The amount of grave stones began to lessen until only a few dotted here and there, Alberts shovel propped up against one of them. He didn’t seem to detect your approach, in fact his body seemed still as stone. Exchanging a glance with your partner you slowly break away from him and stand next to Albert.

You followed his strained gaze into the forest, slowly pivoting your head with your lips pressed together. For some reason you could feel the thump of your heart beating inside your chest like you were about to experience the jump scare of a life time. But instead you see nothing, absolutely nothing but the branches of pine trees bobbing in the rough breeze. Just as you reach out to place your hand on Alberts shoulder Joshua is beside you his eyes wide as he squints into the woods.

“Did you just see that?”

“See what?”

“That glint just then, behind that tree trunk. It was like a tiny flash of light.”

Suddenly Albert snapped to his senses like he had just woke up from a coma. He quickly stares between you and Joshua before taking a few steps back and reaching out for his shovel. “You are finished with the examination?” He questions like nothing had happened. Instead you ignore his question asking one of your own. “Why were you staring into the trees?” Joshua is by your side again, pulling the umbrella over your head as a few drops of rain splash on your skin.

“Just looking at a squirrel that’s all. If your work here is done then I should be going back to the shed. Have a nice day.” Just like that, Albert scuttles away weaving his path through the gravestones like he’d been here his whole life. Shrugging your shoulders you tug Joshua away from the tree line and out to the road but not before spearing one glance back into the row of pine trees. And at that moment your heart stops for you swear you saw a face between the trunks.

Finally you finish writing the report. Scooting backwards in your office chair you approach the printer and watch in satisfaction as clean crisp pages of papers slip out. Gathering them up you hurry towards the office of your boss. Giving a few hard knocks you wait until his raspy voice is heard from the other side. The moment you enter the stench of cigarette smoke hits your nose and fills your lungs. You almost drop your report as you cough into the side of your elbow.

“I thought you were trying to quit smoking.” You huff, your voice strained against the poisonous air. Your boss burns out the end of his smoke, tossing it carelessly in the trash before shooting you an apologetic glance. “It’s not easy you know.” Setting the papers down on his desk you push them in his direction noticing the empty pack of cigarettes next to the stapler. His eyes brighten at the sight as he quickly reaches into his desk and pulls out a wad of cash.

“You are absolutely brilliant! I can always count on you to go above my expectations. For all your hard work, here’s a tiny reward.” Your eyes widen as your boss slips off the elastic around the money and pushes off some of the cash. “Where did you get all that?” You exclaim in shock always thinking your boss blew his money on all the cigarette packs laying around his office. “I know some people. It’s 150 dollars, spend it wisely.” As much as you wanted to seem humble and selfless you were quite the opposite.

Money was tight and you could hardly afford your apartment. You would take what you could get. Swiping the cash off the table you give your boss an appreciative nod and thank him for his generosity. On the way out of his office something catches your eye in the corner of his shelf. A photo of a crowd of people standing in front of a building. You had passed his shelf many times, not caring about his baseball trophies or little antiques that had stories worth a thousand words. But this photo was new and it captured your curiosity.

“New photo?” You ask as your boss rises from his chair and walks beside you. With his arms folded behind his back he releases a long sigh. “It’s a photo of the day this business was opened. Almost 40 years ago. That building is the one you’re currently standing in.” Carefully you reach for the frame looking at your boss for permission before taking a closer look. You notice your boss with his arm around a young mans shoulder, a proud smile on his face. Also one thing you noticed was their shadows. It was sunny the day the photo was taken.

“Who’s this?” You point to the young man as your boss takes the photo into his own chubby fingers. He examines it closely before smacking his lips. “Of course! This is Albert, Albert Stewart.” You almost choke on your spit in surprise, not expecting to hear that name. “Is that the Albert that works at the Churchill Cemetery?” The same proud smile from the photo appears on his face, creases gathering by the sides of his eyes. “It sure is.”

“But the two girls who disappeared from the cemetery Joshua and I examined the other day, their last names were Stewart.” You squeezed your fists while probing your mind for a conclusion. “Is he their father?” Your boss was no longer at your side, instead he was opening another pack of cigarettes. “Albert never had any kids, they could be his brothers perhaps.” Your mind began to ache at all the possibilities.

You realized it was better to dismiss the situation seeing more than half the mysteries is this city were never solved anyways. Taking one last glance at the photo and then at the cash stuffed in your pocket you announce your leave. “Urbem Lamia.” Your fingers pause as they wrap around the doorknob, your face turning hollow. “What?”

“It’s just something Albert would say whenever it was sunny. He would go I guess we’re aren’t the Ubrem Lamia today. Never knew what it meant, never asked. He was always a strange fellow.”

“Indeed.” You reply quickly before rushing out the door. After snatching your jacket off the hook you begin to walk home, focusing on the watery sidewalks with the streetlights reflected in them. Cars sped by along the streets, a cool spray of water following in their path as it dampened your skin. However an uneasy feeling had settled inside your gut and it followed you all the way home.

The sun will come out tomorrow,
Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there’ll be sun,
Just thinkin’ about tomorrow,
Clears away the cobwebs and the sorrow,
When I’m stuck with a day that’s grey and lonely,
I just stick my chin up with a grin and say,
The sun will come out tomorrow.

What a depressing day to be replaying the song from Annie, it’s lyrics stuck clearly in your head until you sang it without even thinking about it. You leaned back in your chair inside the small café, a swirl of steam brewing up from your coffee. The sky was dark and gloomy like usual with the expressionless faces of the cities people strutting by. You poked at your late breakfast with your fingers until you peeled away the muffins wrapper and tossed it on the plate taking a big bite and hardly chewing before your swallowed.

“Careful or you might choke.” Your eyes met with Joshua’s sparkly ones as he entered the café with some coins in his palm. Taking a swig from your coffee you give him a scrunched up face as a reply in which he laughs with his little eye smile. Joshua also purchases a late breakfast, sitting down across from you with his jacket sliding down his arms. Taking a bite from his bagel he gazes out the window, the people reflected in his glossy eyes.

“I didn’t sleep well last night.” You tell him while fiddling with your fingers. “Did you know Albert from the cemetery use to work for our boss when he first started his business?” Joshua cocked an eyebrow as he devoured his bagel obviously hungry. After wiping his mouth with the napkin he shook his head. “I didn’t know, how did you figure it out?”

“Just a conversation with him when I stopped by his office last night. Who knows what else he’s hiding.” A soft chuckle escapes Joshua’s lip as he leans back in his chair. “Yeah I’m sure he’s hiding a lot.” You give Joshua an eye roll for his sarcastic tone while finishing your coffee, enjoying the last of its flavour before it’s gone. “You know that stupid Urbem Lamia thing you were talking about, Albert use to mention how the city would lose that title on sunny days.”

“Well obviously, vampires don’t like the sun so they’d hide away.” Pressing your lips together you give your head a shake. Vampires don’t exist, it’s just a bunch of wives tales. As you both clean up your table in the café you slip out onto the streets and head back to work. Break was nice but staying cooped up in a tiny office cubicle seemed so much better. Just before you enter the buildings front entrance you notice Joshua’s fingers freeze around the handle.

Glancing over at him you notice how he reads over a text on his phone with a worried expression, his fingertips turning white from squeezing the case too hard. You nudge his shoulder asking him if everything was alright which is when he turns to you with a puzzled but depressed expression. “Going back to the topic of Albert,” a pause as Joshua glances once more at his phone screen, “he’s been murdered.”

Alberts body was discovered at around 6am by his wife, who came to investigate the cemetery when he didn’t come home from work. The whole area was plastered with caution tape as there were police officers not only at Alberts shed but also around the area where the bodies were missing. You stiffened next to Joshua as officers walked in and out of the shed trying to seem like they had a clue what they were doing. The same uneasiness pooled into your stomach when you noticed your boss pull up in his dark blue truck, his wife stepping out beside him.

The officers wouldn’t let anyone past the caution tape until your boss approached, letting him hop over to check out the scene. His wife waited by the truck, her body wrapped in an expensive fur coat while her eyes were covered by an extra large pair of shades. You follow Joshua over to the place where your boss had slipped past uttering an I’m with him to get by. Chills crept down your spine as you approach the shed an officer talking quietly with your boss.

There laying in his own pool of dried blood was Albert, his eyes now a milky white colour with his skin looking sickly pale. You swallow thickly upon taking in the sight a churning feeling developing in your stomach. A loud yelp sounds behind you as you turn your head catching sight of an old women being ushered to sit down on a wobbly bench. You guessed it was his wife from the way she dabbed a white cloth at her cheeks and the gold ring on her finger. “Joshua this is terrible.” You mutter while stepping out of the shed.

“I know, he seemed like a nice guy.” As your fingers rake through your messy hair you find yourself blowing out a huff of annoyance. Annoyance at how everyone around here seemed to be getting picked off like flies. You feel Joshua’s arm lounge around your shoulders to comfort you when a quiet conversation between two officers capture your attention. Focusing in on the sounds of their hushed voices you find it hard to believe their words.

“There’s two tiny holes on the side of his neck, almost covered by his shirt. It’s like a bite mark.”

“You think it was an animal?”

“Maybe, it’s hard to tell what happened to him or how he bled out like that.”

Though you wanted to listen further, a sharp breeze down the back of your neck snapped you away. Joshua glanced at you in surprise when you whipped around but it was you who was now glancing in surprise at the face you met. A young man, maybe around your age with a playful smirk on his flower pink lips. His skin was a smooth milky colour with jet black hair that perfectly framed his mischievous features. Your gaze fell across his sharp jawline and exposed collarbones that rested under his skin.

But what caught you the most was his beautiful shimmering eyes. Though they were a dark chocolate brown they held a mysterious glint that had shivers prickling along your skin. His stare was bold and had your body feeling as cold as ice. “Were you a friend of Alberts?” His voice had your cheeks flushing a scarlet red, so calm and smooth. A voice you could listen to all day. Swallowing dryly you try to form a sentence but Joshua beats you to it.

“We chatted with him a few times. Just coming to check things out. Sad things had to end this way for him.” Joshua’s face was blank and expressionless as he spoke but you took note of his fidgety fingers telling you he was nervous. “Did you know him?” You ask your voice sounding tiny and quiet. The young man eyes moved slowly from Joshua to you, once again paralyzing you with his stare. A chuckle falls from his pretty lips as the glint flashes in his eyes.

“How could I not? Most of these bodies weren’t buried by him you know.” A still silence hung in the air, the sounds of people’s rushed discussion being carried away by the wind. “You helped Albert bury bodies?” Joshua questioned with a raised eyebrow as though he didn’t believe the young mans words.

“You think I’m lying?” His head cocked to the side as he took a step forward causing you to flush with panic. He may have been a handsome sight but he was as equally intimidating. Grabbing a hold of the fabric on Joshua’s coat you drag him back slightly. “We believe you.” You giggle nervously while you feel Joshua stiffen beside you at the fact you would surrender so easily. However you weren’t taking any chances with this mysterious stranger.

“Relax, you look like I’m going to hurt you.” His smooth voice flows through your ears and you almost wish you could block it out. He slowly approaches you and and Joshua with an out stretched palm a crooked smirk painted on his lips. “I’m Jun.” He announces proudly while waiting for one of you to return the gesture. “Joshua.” You observe as they share a firm hand shake holding one another’s gazes as though they were stalking prey.

Questioning whether or not a crime scene was the right place to be making friends with someone you reluctantly shook his hand but found yourself biting your lip to hold back a tiny gasp. Though his skin was soft it was also shockingly cold, like shaking hands with an ice cube.
Giving him a tiny smile you shrink under his steady stare while giving your name. “Your heart is beating like a drum. Why so nervous?” Jun pulls away while rolling up the sleeves on his loose black jacket, his eyes scanning up and down your body.

“I’m not nervous I guess just a little all over the place because of what happened.”

Jun tugged his lower lip between this teeth before brushing past you and Joshua. “Don’t worry, the sun will come out tomorrow.”

A/N; Vampire Jun for everyone:) pls pray for me I am weak when it comes to this boy anyways I’m hoping to turn this into a short series and I hope you enjoy it^^

anonymous asked:

Hello there hun! I just recently came across your blogs and I have to say that I adore your prompts! They are very well written. However, I have some slight criticism and nitpicks (this is just to help you so I hope I don't offend you ^^;) You often make spelling mistakes such as: There, Their, They're, To, Too and onwards. I suggest you spellcheck before you publish your prompts to avoid confusion? If that makes sense? Nevertheless, keep up the great work and I hope my critique has helped out.

Thanks, and yeah, I’m aware ^^; I pop these out very quickly and don’t usually have time to go back and edit. Not to mention editing is not my strong suit… but I do thank you and am aware of my errors.

Because these are just quick prompts, I won’t be going back and editing them. On my fanfiction, however, I am going back to each and every one and rewriting/editing them. So please look forward to that! :)

Sorry, got school, you know? I don’t get paid whether they’re neat or not, so… lol!

But I am grateful you all enjoy them ^^ they’re for fun and practice! After all~


Robot Automates Foundational Biology Research

Biology grad students, rejoice! The sore necks and eyes from days spent slouched over a microscope counting fruit flies may soon be no more.

Anybody who has taken a high school or college biology course knows the gigantic importance of the tiny fruit fly. The unassuming Drosophila melanogaster is a laboratory model organism, studied extensively since the early 20th century to uncover the secrets of how organisms develop over time and pass along traits to their offspring. It is easy and quick to breed, holds only four pairs of chromosomes for simpler studying and many of its mutations can be investigated with the naked eye.

But underlying all of the Drosophila-based breakthroughs in genetics, physiology and disease is mind-numbing data collection. Studies often require scientists, grad students or lab techs to sort through hundreds or thousands of anesthetized flies while recording their characteristics for later analysis. 

Stanford University researchers looked for a better way to do this tedious work and free up valuable resources to pursue the science instead of getting bogged down in data collection. They came up with a robotic platform that can quickly pick awake flies, inspect and sort them, and put them through behavioral experiments. 

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She’s Dreaming; Johnny

Genre: Angst. Fluff

Description: Everyday I look for you in the dream, but you’re looking at me like it’s the first time.

Word Count: 1,998

A/N: italics= flashback

Originally posted by johnnyseoul

“You’re late,” Johnny teased, he sat in the empty cinema theatre. You were supposed to be here ten minutes later, he didn’t mind though, he knew you were going to be late, but he liked how flustered you got when you felt extremely guilty.

He could hear your laboured breaths through the phone, as well as the swift passing of cars on the road. “I am so sorry babe, the video conference ran late. You know with the difference between Seoul and London.”

Johnny watched the beginning credits roll, but he didn’t care about the movie because he sensed your mood from shifting from worried to glee, “I’ll tell you the good news so that you won’t be annoyed at me.”

He rested his head back on the chair, “Fine.”

“They’re offering me a three-book publishing deal, can you believe it? I have to submit the final draft i-”

And then, all he could hear was the blaring of horns, a scream that pierced through the phone and marked his skin, and all the silence that followed.

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Elevator Games

ba-sing-saying here is your 3k fic RRS giveaway prize! This idea came to me so quickly, I wanted to publish it as soon as possible!

The prompt is “OTP stuck in an elevator.” It ended up being half meet cute, half “oh dear god Lucy is a little freaked out by stuck elevators.”

When Maka slipped on her fire engine red high heels that morning, she told herself it was because they made her feel unstoppable, powerful. They were so vibrant, sleek, and dare she say it, sexy that Maka could not help but walk with the confidence and venom of a black widow spider. They were her “forged in Mount Doom to conquer the corporate world” shoes. They were her “don’t make a Wizard of Oz joke or I’ll step on your face” shoes.

And they were not at all for the benefit of Cute Elevator Guy.

Her office building was a whopping 28 stories, and despite the sheer volume of people and the astronomical improbability of seeing anyone more than once in one of the ten available elevators, Maka and Cute Elevator Guy crossed paths on a somewhat regular basis.

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Today, I fucked up by deleting my dad's life's work.

Okay, so to preface, I lived in the U.S. for a long time, and we recently moved back to our home country.

Yesterday my dad gave me an external hard drive to pass his files from his old computer to his new computer. I didn’t know how to that well so I just used Apple’s built-in Time Machine backup thing. So anyways I just did it quickly and there was this prompt I didn’t understand so I just pressed OK and done. I backed up his computer and then moved his files to his new computer. Today, my dad comes in screaming asking if I deleted his files on his hard drive and I didn’t know, but then it came to me that that was the prompt. Well, it turns out everything he had on that hard drive was all his life’s work in the states. Every article he published, every document he wrote, every email he sent. 100GB lost. I never saw my dad have a meltdown, but today he did.

Basically the world’s biggest fuck up.

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Taylor Swift's Songwriting For Calvin Harris And Little Big Town Could Earn Her Millions

By Hugh McIntyre

For a little while there, it looked as if the second half of 2016 was going to be missing any music from Taylor Swift, but like it or not, the country-turned-pop singer-songwriter has found her way onto the airwaves yet again, though not in the same manner in which the public is accustomed to. The powerful musician and pop star has written a pair of songs this year that have both gone on to quickly become true hits, and their successes could mean big bucks for Swift, even in an “off year,” as if there was ever such a thing when it came to her.

The first smash Swift scored this in 2016 was “This Is What You Came For,” a song sheoriginally published under a pseudonym. The “Blank Space” singer gave the track to her then-boyfriend EDM producer Calvin Harris, who invited Rihanna to take on vocal duties. The song wasted no time in rising on the charts all around the world, and since it peaked at No. 3 here in the States, the song has sold millions of copies, racked up hundreds of millions of streams and it was a radio favorite for months on end.

More recently, country music group Little Big Town revealed that their new single “Better Man” was also penned by Swift herself. The song is the first to be released off their upcoming album The Breaker, which is expected sometime in 2017. The revelation that somebody as well known as Swift was involved helped rocket “Man” up the charts, certifying it as a hit in the country world in no time. The song has thus far peaked at No. 53 on the Hot 100 and No. 6 on the genre-specific Hot Country Songs tally.

The success enjoyed by these two songs could net Swift a pretty healthy payday and up her earnings for the year. According to a source with a deep understanding of Swift’s publishing situation, a top five smash on the Hot 100 could earn a songwriter—any songwriter, not just one as famous and beloved as Swift—around $500,000 or $600,000 over time, and a No. 1 hit on the country charts could bring in about the same amount. Now, “Better Man” hasn’t yet made it to the top of the country tally, but it’s close, and with names like Little Big Town and Taylor Swift attached to it, anything is possible for the new single.

The source suggests that a fair estimate when it comes to Swift’s earnings as a songwriter from these two tracks alone could be close to $1 million, and that’s not even the full story. The 10-time Grammy winner could earn even more dough from “This Is What You Came For” and “Better Man” from technical sources and because of the fact that she owns a part of her own publishing, so the total could be significantly north of that $1 million figure when all is said and done.

It is worth noting that for almost the entirety of her career, Swift’s songwriting prowess has been proven through her own songs, though when she’s in between campaigns, she decided to hand off her lyrics to others. It is possible that the pop singer specifically opted to gift these tracks, and, importantly, to let the public know she was behind them, in a year when she wasn’t busy promoting anything or touring, where the majority of her money comes from. Between 2015 and mid-2016, Swift brought in an incredible $170 million, which made her the highest-earning celebrity in the world. She probably won’t hit the same high point when FORBES refreshes that annual list come summer 2017, but the fractions of cents she earns every time both “Better Man” and “This Is What You Came For” are played on the radio, streamed on certain platforms or even purchased on iTunes will add up and are sure to keep her living well, even during her “downtime.“


Female Scientists Told To Add A Male Author To Their Study

Evolutionary geneticists Fiona Ingleby and Megan Head collaborated on a study of gender bias in academia. They found that women with a PhD in biology published fewer articles than their male peers, which the authors argued showed gender bias, reports Times Higher Education.

When the women submitted the study to peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE, a reviewer came back with some pretty shocking suggestions.

Ingleby quickly posted the reviewer’s remarks to Twitter:

The women’s reviewer also suggested the publishing gap could exist because middle-aged female scientists preferred spending time with their children to working in a lab.

“Perhaps it is not so surprising that on average male doctoral students co-author one more paper than female doctoral students, just as, on average, male doctoral students can probably run a mile race a bit faster than female doctoral students,” the reviewer added, according to Times Higher Education.
How Trolls Are Ruining the Internet
They’re turning the web into a cesspool of aggression and violence. What watching them is doing to the rest of us may be even worse

This story is not a good idea. Not for society and certainly not for me. Because what trolls feed on is attention. And this little bit–these several thousand words–is like leaving bears a pan of baklava.

It would be smarter to be cautious, because the Internet’s personality has changed. Once it was a geek with lofty ideals about the free flow of information. Now, if you need help improving your upload speeds the web is eager to help with technical details, but if you tell it you’re struggling with depression it will try to goad you into killing yourself. Psychologists call this the online disinhibition effect, in which factors like anonymity, invisibility, a lack of authority and not communicating in real time strip away the mores society spent millennia building. And it’s seeping from our smartphones into every aspect of our lives.

The people who relish this online freedom are called trolls, a term that originally came from a fishing method online thieves use to find victims. It quickly morphed to refer to the monsters who hide in darkness and threaten people. Internet trolls have a manifesto of sorts, which states they are doing it for the “lulz,” or laughs. What trolls do for the lulz ranges from clever pranks to harassment to violent threats. There’s also doxxing–publishing personal data, such as Social Security numbers and bank accounts–and swatting, calling in an emergency to a victim’s house so the SWAT team busts in. When victims do not experience lulz, trolls tell them they have no sense of humor. Trolls are turning social media and comment boards into a giant locker room in a teen movie, with towel-snapping racial epithets and misogyny.

They’ve been steadily upping their game. In 2011, trolls descended onFacebook memorial pages of recently deceased users to mock their deaths. In 2012, after feminist Anita Sarkeesian started a Kickstarter campaign to fund a series of YouTube videos chronicling misogyny in video games, she received bomb threats at speaking engagements, doxxing threats, rape threats and an unwanted starring role in a video game called Beat Up Anita Sarkeesian. In June of this year, Jonathan Weisman, the deputy Washington editor of the New York Times, quit Twitter, on which he had nearly 35,000 followers, after a barrage of anti-Semitic messages. At the end of July, feminist writer Jessica Valenti said she was leaving social media after receiving a rape threat against her daughter, who is 5 years old.

A Pew Research Center survey published two years ago found that 70% of 18-to-24-year-olds who use the Internet had experienced harassment, and 26% of women that age said they’d been stalked online. This is exactly what trolls want. A 2014 study published in the psychology journal Personality and Individual Differences found that the approximately 5% of Internet users who self-identified as trolls scored extremely high in the dark tetrad of personality traits: narcissism, psychopathy, Machiavellianism and, especially, sadism.

But maybe that’s just people who call themselves trolls. And maybe they do only a small percentage of the actual trolling. “Trolls are portrayed as aberrational and antithetical to how normal people converse with each other. And that could not be further from the truth,” says Whitney Phillips, a literature professor at Mercer University and the author of Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Mapping the Relationship Between Online Trolling and Mainstream Culture. “These are mostly normal people who do things that seem fun at the time that have huge implications. You want to say this is the bad guys, but it’s a problem of us.”

A lot of people enjoy the kind of trolling that illuminates the gullibility of the powerful and their willingness to respond. One of the best is Congressman Steve Smith, a Tea Party Republican representing Georgia’s 15th District, which doesn’t exist. For nearly three years Smith has spewed over-the-top conservative blather on Twitter, luring Senator Claire McCaskill, Christiane Amanpour and Rosie O’Donnell into arguments. Surprisingly, the guy behind the GOP-mocking prank, Jeffrey Marty, isn’t a liberal but a Donald Trump supporter angry at the Republican elite, furious at Hillary Clinton and unhappy with Black Lives Matter. A 40-year-old dad and lawyer who lives outside Tampa, he says he has become addicted to the attention. “I was totally ruined when I started this. My ex-wife and I had just separated. She decided to start a new, more exciting life without me,” he says. Then his best friend, who he used to do pranks with as a kid, killed himself. Now he’s got an illness that’s keeping him home.Marty says his trolling has been empowering. “Let’s say I wrote a letter to the New York Times saying I didn’t like your article about Trump. They throw it in the shredder. On Twitter I communicate directly with the writers. It’s a breakdown of all the institutions,” he says. “I really do think this stuff matters in the election. I have 1.5 million views of my tweets every 28 days. It’s a much bigger audience than I would have gotten if I called people up and said, ‘Did you ever consider Trump for President?‘”

Trolling is, overtly, a political fight. Liberals do indeed troll–sex-advice columnist Dan Savage used his followers to make Googling former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum’s last name a blunt lesson in the hygienic challenges of anal sex; the hunter who killed Cecil the lion got it really bad.

But trolling has become the main tool of the alt-right, an Internet-grown reactionary movement that works for men’s rights and against immigration and may have used the computer from Weird Science to fabricate Donald Trump. Not only does Trump share their attitudes, but he’s got mad trolling skills: he doxxed Republican primary opponent Senator Lindsey Graham by giving out his cell-phone number on TV and indirectly got his Twitter followers to attack GOP political strategist Cheri Jacobus so severely that her lawyers sent him a cease-and-desist order.

The alt-right’s favorite insult is to call men who don’t hate feminism “cucks,” as in “cuckold.” Republicans who don’t like Trump are “cuckservatives.” Men who don’t see how feminists are secretly controlling them haven’t “taken the red pill,” a reference to the truth-revealing drug in The Matrix. They derisively call their adversaries “social-justice warriors” and believe that liberal interest groups purposely exploit their weakness to gain pity, which allows them to control the levers of power. Trolling is the alt-right’s version of political activism, and its ranks view any attempt to take it away as a denial of democracy.

In this new culture war, the battle isn’t just over homosexuality, abortion, rap lyrics, drugs or how to greet people at Christmastime. It’s expanded to anything and everything: video games, clothing ads, even remaking a mediocre comedy from the 1980s. In July, trolls who had long been furious that the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters starred four women instead of men harassed the film’s black co-star Leslie Jones so badly on Twitter with racist and sexist threats–including a widely copied photo of her at the film’s premiere that someone splattered semen on–that she considered quitting the service. “I was in my apartment by myself, and I felt trapped,” Jones says. “When you’re reading all these gay and racial slurs, it was like, I can’t fight y’all. I didn’t know what to do. Do you call the police? Then they got my email, and they started sending me threats that they were going to cut off my head and stuff they do to ‘N words.’ It’s not done to express an opinion, it’s done to scare you.”

Because of Jones’ harassment, alt-right leader Milo Yiannopoulos was permanently banned from Twitter. (He is also an editor at Breitbart News, the conservative website whose executive chairman, Stephen Bannon, was hired Aug. 17 to run the Trump campaign.) The service said Yiannopoulos, a critic of the new Ghostbusters who called Jones a “black dude” in a tweet, marshaled many of his more than 300,000 followers to harass her. He not only denies this but says being responsible for your fans is a ridiculous standard. He also thinks Jones is faking hurt for political purposes. “She is one of the stars of a Hollywood blockbuster,” he says. “It takes a certain personality to get there. It’s a politically aware, highly intelligent star using this to get ahead. I think it’s very sad that feminism has turned very successful women into professional victims.”

A gay, 31-year-old Brit with frosted hair, Yiannopoulos has been speaking at college campuses on his Dangerous Faggot tour. He says trolling is a direct response to being told by the left what not to say and what kinds of video games not to play. “Human nature has a need for mischief. We want to thumb our nose at authority and be individuals,” he says. “Trump might not win this election. I might not turn into the media figure I want to. But the space we’re making for others to be bolder in their speech is some of the most important work being done today. The trolls are the only people telling the truth.”

The alt-right was galvanized by Gamergate, a 2014 controversy in which trolls tried to drive critics of misogyny in video games away from their virtual man cave. “In the mid-2000s, Internet culture felt very separate from pop culture,” says Katie Notopoulos, who reports on the web as an editor at BuzzFeed and co-host of the Internet Explorer podcast. “This small group of people are trying to stand their ground that the Internet is dark and scary, and they’re trying to scare people off. There’s such a culture of viciously making fun of each other on their message boards that they have this very thick skin. They’re all trained up.”

Andrew Auernheimer, who calls himself Weev online, is probably the biggest troll in history. He served just over a year in prison for identity fraud and conspiracy. When he was released in 2014, he left the U.S., mostly bouncing around Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Since then he has worked to post anti–Planned Parenthood videos and flooded thousands of university printers in America with instructions to print swastikas–a symbol tattooed on his chest. When I asked if I could fly out and interview him, he agreed, though he warned that he “might not be coming ashore for a while, but we can probably pass close enough to land to have you meet us somewhere in the Adriatic or Ionian.” His email signature: “Eternally your servant in the escalation of entropy and eschaton.”

While we planned my trip to “a pretty remote location,” he told me that he no longer does interviews for free and that his rate was two bitcoins (about $1,100) per hour. That’s when one of us started trolling the other, though I’m not sure which:

From: Joel Stein

To: Andrew Auernheimer

I totally understand your position. But TIME, and all the major media outlets, won’t pay people who we interview. There’s a bunch of reasons for that, but I’m sure you know them.

Thanks anyway,


From: Andrew Auernheimer

To: Joel Stein

I find it hilarious that after your people have stolen years of my life at gunpoint and bulldozed my home, you still expect me to work for free in your interests.

You people belong in a f-cking oven.

From: Joel Stein

To: Andrew Auernheimer

For a guy who doesn’t want to be interviewed for free, you’re giving me a lot of good quotes!

In a later blog post about our emails, Weev clarified that TIME is “trying to destroy white civilization” and that we should “open up your Jew wallets and dump out some of the f-cking geld you’ve stolen from us goys, because what other incentive could I possibly have to work with your poisonous publication?” I found it comforting that the rate for a neo-Nazi to compromise his ideology is just two bitcoins.

Expressing socially unacceptable views like Weev’s is becoming more socially acceptable. Sure, just like there are tiny, weird bookstores where you can buy neo-Nazi pamphlets, there are also tiny, weird white-supremacist sites on the web. But some of the contributors on those sites now go to places like 8chan or 4chan, which have a more diverse crowd of meme creators, gamers, anime lovers and porn enthusiasts. Once accepted there, they move on to Reddit, the ninth most visited site in the U.S., on which users can post links to online articles and comment on them anonymously. Reddit believes in unalloyed free speech; the site only eliminated the comment boards “jailbait,” “creepshots” and “beatingwomen” for legal reasons.

But last summer, Reddit banned five more discussion groups for being distasteful. The one with the largest user base, more than 150,000 subscribers, was “fatpeoplehate.” It was a particularly active community that reveled in finding photos of overweight people looking happy, almost all women, and adding mean captions. Reddit users would then post these images all over the targets’ Facebook pages along with anywhere else on the Internet they could. “What you see on Reddit that is visible is at least 10 times worse behind the scenes,” says Dan McComas, a former Reddit employee. “Imagine two users posting about incest and taking that conversation to their private messages, and that’s where the really terrible things happen. That’s where we saw child porn and abuse and had to do all of our work with law enforcement.”

Jessica Moreno, McComas’ wife, pushed for getting rid of “fatpeoplehate” when she was the company’s head of community. This was not a popular decision with users who really dislike people with a high body mass index. She and her husband had their home address posted online along with suggestions on how to attack them. Eventually they had a police watch on their house. They’ve since moved. Moreno has blurred their house onGoogle maps and expunged nearly all photos of herself online.

During her time at Reddit, some users who were part of a group that mails secret Santa gifts to one another complained to Moreno that they didn’t want to participate because the person assigned to them made racist or sexist comments on the site. Since these people posted their real names, addresses, ages, jobs and other details for the gifting program, Moreno learned a good deal about them. “The idea of the basement dweller drinking Mountain Dew and eating Doritos isn’t accurate,” she says. “They would be a doctor, a lawyer, an inspirational speaker, a kindergarten teacher. They’d send lovely gifts and be a normal person.” These are real people you might know, Moreno says. There’s no real-life indicator. “It’s more complex than just being good or bad. It’s not all men either; women do take part in it.” The couple quit their jobs and started Imzy, a cruelty-free Reddit. They believe that saving a community is nearly impossible once mores have been established, and that sites like Reddit are permanently lost to the trolls.

When sites are overrun by trolls, they drown out the voices of women, ethnic and religious minorities, gays–anyone who might feel vulnerable. Young people in these groups assume trolling is a normal part of life online and therefore self-censor. An anonymous poll of the writers at TIME found that 80% had avoided discussing a particular topic because they feared the online response. The same percentage consider online harassment a regular part of their jobs. Nearly half the women on staff have considered quitting journalism because of hatred they’ve faced online, although none of the men had. Their comments included “I’ve been raged at with religious slurs, had people track down my parents and call them at home, had my body parts inquired about.” Another wrote, “I’ve had the usual online trolls call me horrible names and say I am biased and stupid and deserve to be raped. I don’t think men realize how normal that is for women on the Internet.”

The alt-right argues that if you can’t handle opprobrium, you should just turn off your computer. But that’s arguing against self-expression, something antithetical to the original values of the Internet. “The question is: How do you stop people from being a–holes not to their face?” says Sam Altman, a venture capitalist who invested early in Reddit and ran the company for eight days in 2014 after one of its many PR crises. “This is exactly what happened when people talked badly about public figures. Now everyone on the Internet is a public figure. The problem is that not everyone can deal with that.” Altman declared on June 15 that he would quit Twitter and his 171,000 followers, saying, “I feel worse after using Twitter … my brain gets polluted here.”

Twitter’s head of trust and safety, Del Harvey, struggles with how to allow criticism but curb abuse. “Categorically to say that all content you don’t like receiving is harassment would be such a broad brush it wouldn’t leave us much content,” she says. Harvey is not her real name, which she gave up long ago when she became a professional troll, posing as underage girls (and occasionally boys) to entrap pedophiles as an administrator for the website Perverted-Justice and later for NBC’s To Catch a Predator. Citing the role of Twitter during the Arab Spring, she says that anonymity has given voice to the oppressed, but that women and minorities are more vulnerable to attacks by the anonymous.

But even those in the alt-right who claim they are “unf-ckwithable” aren’t really. At some point, everyone, no matter how desensitized by their online experience, is liable to get freaked out by a big enough or cruel enough threat. Still, people have vastly different levels of sensitivity. A white male journalist who covers the Middle East might blow off death threats, but a teenage blogger might not be prepared to be told to kill herself because of her “disgusting acne.”

Which are exactly the kinds of messages Em Ford, 27, was receiving en masse last year on her YouTube tutorials on how to cover pimples with makeup. Men claimed to be furious about her physical “trickery,” forcing her to block hundreds of users each week. This year, Ford made a documentary for the BBC called Troll Hunters in which she interviewed online abusers and victims, including a soccer referee who had rape threats posted next to photos of his young daughter on her way home from school. What Ford learned was that the trolls didn’t really hate their victims. “It’s not about the target. If they get blocked, they say, ‘That’s cool,’ and move on to the next person,” she says. Trolls don’t hate people as much as they love the game of hating people.

Troll culture might be affecting the way nontrolls treat one another. A yet-to-be-published study by University of California, Irvine, professor Zeev Kain showed that when people were exposed to reports of good deeds on Facebook, they were 10% more likely to report doing good deeds that day. But the opposite is likely occurring as well. “One can see discourse norms shifting online, and they’re probably linked to behavior norms,” says Susan Benesch, founder of the Dangerous Speech Project and faculty associate at Harvard’s Internet and Society center. “When people think it’s increasingly O.K. to describe a group of people as subhuman or vermin, those same people are likely to think that it’s O.K. to hurt those people.”

As more trolling occurs, many victims are finding laws insufficient and local police untrained. “Where we run into the problem is the social-media platforms are very hesitant to step on someone’s First Amendment rights,” says Mike Bires, a senior police officer in Southern California who co-founded, a tool for cops to fight on-line crime and use social media to work with their communities. “If they feel like someone’s life is in danger, Twitter and Snapchat are very receptive. But when it comes to someone harassing you online, getting the social-media companies to act can be very frustrating.” Until police are fully caught up, he recommends that victims go to the officer who runs the force’s social-media department.

One counter-trolling strategy now being employed on social media is to flood the victims of abuse with kindness. That’s how many Twitter users have tried to blunt racist and body-shaming attacks on U.S. women’s gymnastics star Gabby Douglas and Mexican gymnast Alexa Moreno during the Summer Olympics in Rio. In 2005, after Emily May co-founded Hollaback!, which posts photos of men who harass women on the street in order to shame them (some might call this trolling), she got a torrent of misogynistic messages. “At first, I thought it was funny. We were making enough impact that these losers were spending their time calling us ‘cunts’ and ‘whores’ and ‘carpet munchers,'” she says. “Long-term exposure to it, though, I found myself not being so active on Twitter and being cautious about what I was saying online. It’s still harassment in public space. It’s just the Internet instead of the street.” This summer May created Heartmob, an app to let people report trolling and receive messages of support from others.

Though everyone knows not to feed the trolls, that can be challenging to the type of people used to expressing their opinions. Writer Lindy West has written about her abortion, hatred of rape jokes and her body image–all of which generated a flood of angry messages. When her father Paul died, a troll quickly started a fake Twitter account called PawWestDonezo, (“donezo” is slang for “done”) with a photo of her dad and the bio “embarrassed father of an idiot.” West reacted by writing about it. Then she heard from her troll, who apologized, explaining that he wasn’t happy with his life and was angry at her for being so pleased with hers.

West says that even though she’s been toughened by all the abuse, she is thinking of writing for TV, where she’s more insulated from online feedback. “I feel genuine fear a lot. Someone threw a rock through my car window the other day, and my immediate thought was it’s someone from the Internet,” she says. “Finally we have a platform that’s democratizing and we can make ourselves heard, and then you’re harassed for advocating for yourself, and that shuts you down again.”

I’ve been a columnist long enough that I got calloused to abuse via threats sent over the U.S. mail. I’m a straight white male, so the trolling is pretty tame, my vulnerabilities less obvious. My only repeat troll is Megan Koester, who has been attacking me on Twitter for a little over two years. Mostly, she just tells me how bad my writing is, always calling me “disgraced former journalist Joel Stein.” Last year, while I was at a restaurant opening, she tweeted that she was there too and that she wanted to take “my one-sided feud with him to the next level.” She followed this immediately with a tweet that said, “Meet me outside Clifton’s in 15 minutes. I wanna kick your ass.” Which shook me a tiny bit. A month later, she tweeted that I should meet her outside a supermarket I often go to: “I’m gonna buy some Ahi poke with EBT and then kick your ass.”

I sent a tweet to Koester asking if I could buy her lunch, figuring she’d say no or, far worse, say yes and bring a switchblade or brass knuckles, since I have no knowledge of feuding outside of West Side Story. Her email back agreeing to meet me was warm and funny. Though she also sent me the script of a short movie she had written (see excerpt, left).

I saw Koester standing outside the restaurant. She was tiny–5 ft. 2 in., with dark hair, wearing black jeans and a Spy magazine T-shirt. She ordered a seitan sandwich, and after I asked the waiter about his life, she looked at me in horror. “Are you a people person?” she asked. As a 32-year-old freelance writer for who has never had a full-time job, she lives on a combination of sporadic paychecks and food stamps. My career success seemed, quite correctly, unjust. And I was constantly bragging about it in my column and on Twitter. “You just extruded smarminess that I found off-putting. It’s clear I’m just projecting. The things I hate about you are the things I hate about myself,” she said.

As a feminist stand-up comic with more than 26,000 Twitter followers, Koester has been trolled more than I have. One guy was so furious that she made fun of a 1970s celebrity at an autograph session that he tweeted he was going to rape her and wanted her to die afterward. “So you’d think I’d have some sympathy,” she said about trolling me. “But I never felt bad. I found that column so vile that I thought you didn’t deserve sympathy.”

When I suggested we order wine, she told me she’s a recently recovered alcoholic who was drunk at the restaurant opening when she threatened to beat me up. I asked why she didn’t actually walk up to me that afternoon and, even if she didn’t punch me, at least tell me off. She looked at me like I was an idiot. “Why would I do that?” she said. “The Internet is the realm of the coward. These are people who are all sound and no fury.”

Maybe. But maybe, in the information age, sound is as destructive as fury.

Just A Few Steps At A Time

A/N: I was inspired by your recent dance piece. ^^ Enjoy!

Aaah thank you it’s so cute! I’m so taken you got inspired by the KOBB dance thing, that’s really awesome!
 It’s such a cute little fic of the little bots! I’ll put it under this Read More hope that’s okay.

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