dredge

anonymous asked:

I haven't been on this blog for sooooo long, how have you been?

I spent about 20 minutes trying to come up with a #relatable and humorous response to this question but like… I think I’m just going to be honest for a sec??? Because my followers are darlings who’ve always been supportive when I need to vent <3

(Trigger warning for depression, withdrawal, ptsd, and abuse below:)

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GEMINI: It’s really easy for people to criticize the choices you’ve been forced to make when they’ve never worn shoes as tattered as yours. The ground never seems rocky to anyone until they’ve personally experienced its brutality, and you’ve been braving the blood and the bruises for years without complaint. It’s okay to feel proud of yourself, for that. It’s okay to acknowledge the things that have made you who you are, even if those things haven’t always been beautiful or easy to talk about. Everything’s easier to appraise once it’s been given a voice.

CANCER: Stop convincing yourself that you don’t deserve the treasure chests that keep arriving on your doorstep. You’ve spent so long attempting to find the reason in your misfortune that you’ve incorrectly deduced that the only commonality between every pitfall is yourself. But you haven’t been factoring in how cruel the universe is, how angry it gets whenever something with a warm heart tries to touch what’s frozen. You’re finding all of this gold and compassion because it’s finally time for you to get what you’ve been giving to others. Take it.

LEO: You know, more so than anybody else, that it’s time to let go of the things that have hurt you, but there’s no easy way to say that you don’t know how to get rid of people that you’ve held so close to your chest. And maybe this says something about how much you try to give to others, all of the parts of yourself you’ve sacrificed for the comfort of soon-to-be-strangers. But the thing about leeches is that they drain you more often than they rid you of disease, especially in this season. And maybe this isn’t a leech yet, but it could become one, with time. Don’t let it.

VIRGO: It’s easy for you to ignore how much people truly care for you when you don’t feel as though you deserve it. The difficulty with this arises whenever you need help, as you’ve never learned how to ask for anything. So you let yourself feel distant from open palms and words of encouragement because you know you can do this yourself. While that’s true, you’re more than strong enough to conquer what’s been eating at you, it’s also true that the love that keeps getting shoved under your door is yours for the taking. It’s okay to pick it up. It’s okay to save it.

LIBRA: You’ve been peering out the window, comparing your reflection to everybody that passes by, and you seem to be forgetting that there’s a mirror right behind you. The only person that you need to measure yourself against is the person you were yesterday. I know it’s frustrating that progress too often moves like honey, and it’s impossible to see growth when you’re always with the thing that’s growing, but slow-motion is still motion. You may not be the person you want to be right now, but you will be. So turn around. Say hello to them.

SCORPIO: You were born with a shovel in your hand and you’ve been spending every moment since then dredging up the past. This is another way of saying that you have a lot of corpses buried in your backyard and despite the passage of time you’re afraid that they’re going to get up and walk away. Maybe come back as ghosts and haunt you, a reminder of what you’ve had to leave behind. But just because you’ve always had the tools to create self-doubt, it doesn’t mean you have to keep them on you at all times. It’s never too late to invest in a toolshed or try out gardening.

SAGITTARIUS: Have you found what you’ve been searching for, yet? Or, maybe a better question is “do you know what you’re looking for?” Because you’ve become an expert at donating your energy to a cause, any cause at all, and I’m starting to wonder if it’s all a distraction. If you’re struggling in the deep end and aren’t comfortable saying so. If you’re calling yourself a lifeguard because every atom of you is begging to be pulled out of the water. Baby, you’re so much more than a body that tries its best to save people. You’re worth more than what you’ve dragged out of the pool.

CAPRICORN: So many people that you care about have been falling into bad luck recently and it makes you feel so powerless. It’s as though you’re a minor character in your own life and you have to just sit back and watch the protagonist fuck things up in order to learn a lesson, or something like that. And I’m not going to lie and say that you’re able to have full control over every aspect of your life, because you never will. But remember that, despite all of this, every little thing you do to combat the world’s anger is a brave sort of rebellion. You are more than enough to the people you love.

AQUARIUS: There are a lot of people that you regret letting into your life and the memory of what you thought they’d be is making it hard for you to get out of bed. It’s okay to be sad, your feelings have only ever known the taste of validity, but know that nobody has the ability to ruin you. Someday they’re all going to regret setting fire to your bark when they realize how miraculous your leaves are in the summer heat, dancing in the breeze of late-night drives with people that want to keep you safe. Repeat after me: I am not damaged. I am not damaged. I am not damaged.

PISCES: I know that it’s hard to put faith in the moments of happiness you’ve been experiencing lately when so much of your life has been spent checking the clock and turning down the music, but you are not an airport or a train station. You’re a destination. And I know that you’re still getting used to the idea of being the subject of a travel brochure and that’s okay. It takes time to become comfortable with anything, even the good. Especially the good. The June air is buzzing and this is your time to shine. Don’t waste it.

ARIES: So, some eras of your life have been ending recently and that’s a little scary. Especially since you worked so hard to get what you’re holding. But they’re just making way for better adventures and happier moments and the only thing left for you to do is embrace that. Welcome change with open arms and it’ll be kind to you. I know there’s a voice in the back of your head saying “what if it all gets bad again” but you need to ignore that voice because it isn’t you. You are the person that’s endured and withstood and kept going. You’re the one that matters, here.

TAURUS: It’s been becoming more and more clear to you that out of all the people you’ve met and interacted with, there are very few you’d consider to be a “friend.” And I know that sometimes it feels like that’s all you’re ever going to get, but it isn’t. One’s hometown is, thankfully, never representative of the world in its entirety and there’s still so much you have left to see. Still so many souls that you’ll discover in the most mundane of places. You just have to keep your eyes open. I know it’s easier to sleep through the sadness, but you’re stronger than that urge, aren’t you? You are.

The gods are among us.

Zeus drinks himself half to death at the bar. He makes bedroom eyes at every pretty girl to walk in the room. They will clutch their cans of mace a little tighter as they walk home tonight.

Aphrodite helps a beaten girl to her feet, holding her tight as her young body is racked with sobs. Artemis stands nearby, preparing to hunt the thief of this young girl’s innocence. These are the only hunts she participates in anymore.

Athena glares at Ares as bloody knuckles and booted feet connect with battered bodies between them. The fight clubs are their temples now.

Dionysus stands behind a bar, serving drinks to rowdy men and pretty girls. Later, he will be found holding back the hair of girls, too young for the drinks they swallowed, as they vomit the concoctions they drank to forget the pain in the world. Dionysus understands and so he drinks more than anyone, if only to forget the suffering that has filled his immortal life.

Hestia mourns the numerous broken homes. She puts extra effort in protecting the scant few happy families left. So Hestia has created a home for those lost and abandoned, for she too knows how it feels to be cast out by the family who should have loved you unconditionally. She understands what it feels like to be adrift and homeless.

Apollo sits on a busy, crowded street, strumming his guitar and singing a song of loss and pain. He uses poetry and music to mourn the pain in the world. He berates himself constantly, because for every life he saves, ten more are extinguished. He has stopped visiting hospitals because he can’t help but feel his efforts are futile. He hasn’t seen his sister in years, and he misses her most at night, when he can see her beloved stars and moon.

Hermes slumps in a chair, exhausted from the horror gracing the human news. He decides he is no longer deserving of the title “messenger of the gods,” since he hasn’t delivered a message in centuries. Not when the gods no longer keep in touch. So he reverts to his favorite pastime: stealing. But what use is mortal money to a god?

Hera sits in the shadows of a bar and struggles to summon the dredges of the vindictive, jealous anger that used to come so easily to her when she saw her husband with another woman. Hera thinks that perhaps in this modern world, she would do better as the goddess of divorce. Because, really, how can she profess that marriage is the best gift the world has to offer when she can’t even keep her husband in her bed? When he doesn’t even bother pretending that he loves her? Yes, goddess of failed marriages has such a lovely, miserable ring to it.

Poseidon wanders the beach, picking up the scattered trash that poisons his domain. His tears mix with the salt water on his cheeks and he weeps for the suffering of his oceans. He feels the pollution like a phantom pain, and he scoffs at himself, full of loathing for the god of the sea who could not protect his oceans from mortals.

Hades lounges in his extravagant mansion, smiling at his lovely wife curled at his side. Blessed is he, for there will always be death, and mortals will always worship his riches. Of all his siblings, Hades, the scorned brother, cursed to rule the underworld, is the only one to still enjoy immortality.

Persephone is as beautiful as ever and she is happy with her loving husband who always joins her in her protests, right alongside her as she weeps for for the dying of this earth, as she cries herself to sleep at night when she thinks of all the loss of nature’s beauty and life. This world is suffering and she is the only one to hear its cries. They haunt her dreams.

Hecate flips the sign on the window to say closed. She longs for days gone by when people knew the truth. Magic is very real. Instead, she has to smile politely while customers come to her store to purchase items they know not how to use and religious men preach about how witchcraft is a sin, and she will burn in hell. Hecate does not care. She is as immortal as magic.

Cupid narrows his eyes with scorn every time he hears the word love fly from the lips of people who do not understand the meaning of the word. Though who is he to judge them when all his matchmaking attempts end in failure. Perhaps the mortals simple do not want him to decide who they love. Perhaps it is their turn to choose.

Athena prowls through college campuses, holding signs high in protect with the students around her. These fearless children are her people. She scoffs at the professors who are simply going through the motions, who fail to appreciate the brilliant minds all around them. She never fails to notice.

Ares picks his way across a battlefield and finds himself at the ruins of what used to be an elementary school. He no longer understands war, hasn’t for centuries. This was not brave, this was not heroic. This was senseless bloodshed. He sees nothing holy in this ruined world.

Aphrodite swallows the bile in her throat as she hears another rapist has been left free. She glares daggers at boys yelling obscene things at women. She’s long stopped romanticizing love. However, sometimes she sees a young girl handing over her baby to an older couple who tried for years, and she remembers what she once represented. Sometimes she sees Ares across the room of soldiers returning from the horrors of war, and as they embrace the loved ones they left behind, she smiles at him.

Artemis takes her role as protector of young women seriously. There’s a gun tucked into her waistband and a switchblade in her pocket. She can’t save them all, so she has also become an avenging goddess. She can be found in the streets or at battered women’s shelters, preparing for the next hunt.

The gods are dying. The gods wish they were dead. Is immortality a blessing or a curse?

—  The gods were always too human for their divinity (inspired by the writings of @crossroadsbela )
free speech isn’t dead

the berkeley tag is filled with spitting little right-wingers so imma break my “my tumblr is a drumpf-free zone” to put in a word of support for my family of color:

milo yiannopoulos is a piece of scum who supports someone that threatens the safety of marginalized communities. students exercised by exercising their freedom of speech to tell him to get the fuck out.

maybe the only thing i have to say is - next time aim for barrows hall instead of the MLK student union??? barrows was named after a racist colonizer and it’s in need of a facelift anyway. 

it’s not freedom of speech if it only protects cis white scum.

free speech isn’t dead. it’s alive, kicking, and it’s hella pissed. 

i am a proud uc berkeley alum. go bears. 

the aesthetics of the gods
  • Aphrodite: the bruises of love bites left by lovers on necks and thighs; smudged lipstick from hasty kisses; blood red roses with their sharp thorns still intact; the way you hug someone you love when you reunite after a lengthy separation
  • Apollo: polished instruments gleaming, held like the most precious of jewels by their owners; a sunny day with a clear blue sky where there are no clouds in sight; the rough script of poems penned out on scraps of paper or napkins before they're forgotten; when music is so loud that you feel it reverberating in your bones; the pale lines of fading scars
  • Ares: the hands of a fighter, short finger nails and bloodied knuckles; split lips that have scabbed over; the smooth and intricate lines of old weapons you see mounted on museum walls; deep trenches dug out from the earth; the way barbed wire contrasts against whatever it surrounds
  • Artemis: loose braids with wild flowers slipped in; the majesty of tall trees stretching up endlessly towards the heavens; the wide and captivating eyes of wild deer; cloudy nights where the moon is just barely peeking through; the colorful fletching of arrows drawn back to rest upon cheeks and along jaws
  • Athena: the straight and steady way a soldier stands at attention; fingertips smudged with ink; a stack of books to read piled on the floor or a nightstand; eyes gleaming with the glow of new ideas; the quiet and contemplative aura of museums and libraries
  • Demeter: the way sunlight catches dust motes in the air through the gaps in the leaves of the trees; the feeling of life you get from standing in the middle of an orchard with bees buzzing around you; crocuses and snowdrops peeking through the last dredges of winter's snow
  • Hades: the bleached bones of animals in the forest when moss has begun to engulf them; the way that graveyard angels look like they're weeping in the rain; the solemn aura of old churches, citadels, synagogues, temples, and mosques
  • Hephaestus: the pleasure of holding something you've created in your palms; the soft glow of heated metal; the intricate beauty of cogs and gears fitting together precisely and working in tandem; the smooth and polished surfaces of high-rise business buildings
  • Hera: the lacy white of flowing wedding gowns; the way a couple's hands look clasped together; pairs of old wedding rings that are scratched from years of use; the feeling of surrealism that comes from looking at old family portraits; getting used to sharing a space with someone else and then seeing the mannerisms you've unknowingly adopted from them
  • Hermes: the way that the low beam headlights of a car touch the roads that stretch ever onwards at night; old maps yellowed at the corners from their age; the way that things rush past when you look out the window of a car or train; quick hands slipping deftly into pockets and taking what they find
  • Hestia: the light and protection of street lights in an otherwise dark city; the warmth of your bed on cold winter mornings; the heat of a fire as you sit around it with people you love; the comfort of a home-cooked meal
  • Poseidon: the way light looks when you're seeing it shine down from deep underwater; the effervescent colors of cresting waves; the eery beauty of shipwrecks; the ripples created when you trail your fingertips through still waters; dust clouds kicked up by the passing of strong hooves
  • Zeus: the way that storm clouds darken the edge of the horizon; silhouettes framed against the sky by flashes of lightning; the splay of feathers of a bird's outstretched wings; the polished and tarnished brass of old fashioned scales
why must we assume the cat fish happy?

the cat fish spends it’s entire existence dredging in the mud for nutrients, this task is meaningless by itself. the cat fish does not do this because something better awaits him once he has finished dredging, dredging is all there is. this is absurd. the catfish can embrace the absurdity of the task and choose to be happy in spite of (or even because of) it.

6

There’s a great mammal in the ocean known as the 52-hertz whale. All year, he practices his love song for the female. Travels thousands of miles to find her. But when he finally gets the chance to serenade her, she doesn’t give him a call back. Why? His love ballad is sung at 52 hertz, a sonic signature one note higher than the lowest sound of a tuba. The average female hears at 10 to 15 hertz. So she never hears his song.

Inspired by today’s eclipse and for @sterekwritingroom‘s flash event.

–––––––

The first group of weres pass through Beacon Hills on a Thursday. Stiles probably wouldn’t notice except that he’s spent the past year and a half hanging out almost exclusively with supernatural beings and that… well, ok, these guys aren’t exactly subtle. They tilt their heads almost in sync as he passes by them –– heading in to pay cash at the gas station while they pile back into their packed SUV. Noses flare, stances shift, and Stiles has about point five seconds to plan a bolt back to the Jeep before one of them’s announcing “Don’t trouble your Alpha; we’re just passing north for the event.” And then they’re back in the SUV and gone.

So… yeah, not to diminish Stiles’ awesome deductive skills here but… not subtle.

The second sighting happens before school on Friday, when Stiles ducks into the Dunkin’ Donuts for some much needed coffee and practically trips over a trio of sugar-high toddlers. One of them, wearing what looks like a home-painted t-shirt, decorated with a slightly uneven yellow circle, is midway through whining “Momma, we’re gonna miss the––“ when she stops in her tracks to stare up at him.

Stiles blinks down at her, the door perched against his elbow.

“Say ‘scuse me,” the boy next to her murmurs. It’s too early for this, brain crawling the sludge-slow of non-coffee through his system, and Stiles isn’t sure which of them he’s talking to.

“Excuse me,” he says and all three immediately shuffle, staring wide enough it makes Stiles’ eyes ache for them. He starts past, scrubbing a hand across his jaw self-consciously, wondering if he’d missed sleep drool or a sock in his hair or something on his mad rush out the door but, two steps past, the youngest kid snuffles and speaks up, soft: “Are you gonna come see the moon with us?”

It takes another step for Stiles to register that she’s talking to him, but by the time he blinks back the boy’s already tutting at her.

“No Lucy. He’ll go with his own pack.”

The little girl’s mouth opens in a wide, understanding O, while her older sister tugs proudly on her yellow circle shirt. It’s painted a messy black in the middle, inside the bright golden edge, and Stiles kind of forgets coffee for a minute in the face of actual werewolf children and then there’s a woman stepping up behind them, coffee and a box of munchkins in hand, dropping a fond hand to ruffle the boy’s hair as she gives Stiles an apologetic smile.

“Sorry about that, they’ve never been through another pack’s territory before. We’ve been driving since Arizona –– long trip for the little ones. But I couldn’t miss the chance for them to experience this. Best sighting until totality in 2017!”

“I’ll be ten,” says the boy, in the tone of one who’s done the math very carefully a dozen times over.

Stiles nods, a little lost because werewolf toddlers, and manages “well that’s… good.”

“I’m two,” the youngest puts in proudly, vaguely missing the thread of the conversation but eager to take part, and Stiles smiles back, wishing he had a little more coffee in his system because it’s not like he’s oblivious about what’s going on in the world this weekend, but he’s starting to feel a little dense for not connecting all kinds of dots sooner.

Then again, there’s another person who probably could’ve connected them for him.

“They don’t know how lucky they are,” the woman adds, beaming down. “I had to wait years for my first one and I’ll never forget the experience. Of course, you won’t feel it the same way as us,” her tone going apologetic, “but I’m sure your pack can’t wait to take part.”

And then she’s ushering the kids out the door with promises of donuts in the car, and Stiles is tugging out his phone, pulling up Derek Hale’s number.

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Okay but I love any and all situations involving Andreil and French:

  • Neil saying things to Andrew in french because he knows it gets him hot and Kevin running out of the room screaming “HOW DO YOU UNLEARN A LANGUAGE”
  • Andrew and his eidetic memory dredging up things Neil has said to him and translating them only to find that he’s been talking complete and utter nonsense
  • Kevin and Neil having a conversation in French and Andrew being grumpy and glaring at them both until they switch to English so he can join in
  • Andrew pestering Kevin to teach him how to talk dirty in French (It takes a lot of bribery) and when Andrew eventually says something, Neil loses his shit (ft. Nicky looking confused as hell in the background)


  • Bonus: Neil reverting to French when they hook up because he can’t think clearly and gets confused (Andrew finds it hot as fuck)

Carry This Feeling


Authors: Awriterwrites and dimpled_halo

Summary:

There’s something about Louis Tomlinson that makes Harry feel unhinged. It’s in the other man’s stare, in the way he looks at Harry like he knows he’s hiding something. Like he’s not really all he says he is.

Harry’s not so sure it’s fear he’s feeling. Maybe it’s something deeper. Ever since Louis walked into his house, he’s felt on edge. He’s just being himself after all, and that’s usually enough to get just about anyone to drop their pants. But…it’s clearly not working on Louis Tomlinson. It dredges up something oily and unpleasant inside Harry. He doesn’t like it.

He’s got to lock that shit down tight.

***
Harry knows, objectively, that he shouldn’t try to get his ghostwriter into bed. He knows. But…he finds it hard to resist temptation when Louis waltzes into his home and his life and turns everything upside down. And, as it turns out, Louis might just need a little turning upside down too.



Gifted to @juliusschmidt

You can listen to the playlist for this fic HERE

manip used with permission by @larryspineapple-nsfw

Regarding Dean

Characters:  Dean, Reader, Sam

Summary:  Sam calls reader to babysit Dean after he’s cursed by a witch.

Warnings:  Angst-ish

Word Count:  1776

Tags are at the bottom.  As always, feedback is welcomed and appreciated.

Regarding Dean

The screen lights up on your phone, Sam Winchester’s name flashing on the screen.This can’t be good, otherwise Sam would never, ever call you. Not after everything that happened. Should you answer? You don’t really want to dredge all that shit up. But if he’s calling, it’s important. You’re thumb hovers over the green button. It’s on the third ring before you decide to answer.  

“Hello?”

“(Y/N)? It’s me, Sam. Please, don’t hang up, just hear me out.”

“I’m listening.”

“Thank…thank you. Listen, I wouldn’t be calling if I didn’t need help, you know that I wouldn’t. But I need you.”

———–

You can’t figure out how Sam knows you’re in the area. You haven’t had contact with Dean or Sam for over year. Is he still keeping tabs on you through the hunter network?  It’s touching in a way, you’ve always had a soft spot for Sammy. Truth is, you miss him.

Why the fuck are you driving to the motel right now? Why would you willingly put yourself in this position? Must be temporary insanity. It’s the only logical explanation. Maybe you should drive straight to the psych ward and check yourself in after this is over.

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alexmchiu  asked:

21. Over your shoulder | Adrienette

Chat’s hand slams down, and the earth breaks.

This is a dream- no, a memory - no, a remnant. Of him but… not. Cataclysm bubbles around his hand like boiling oil, but that is nothing compared to the crevasses that fracture across the land from the power of his strike. And this is nothing but pure power and elemental magic. This is Cataclysm, raw and undefined, with nowhere to go but out.

Nothing is spared. Houses crumble as the ground falls apart, animals cry out as the rubble buries them, and everywhere, people running, screaming. Destruction, and no escape.

This is Chat, but this is not Adrien.

That still doesn’t stop the shiver of wonder running up his spine as he watches the city fall. A natural disaster, he knows they’ll call it, an earthquake, a volcano- but it is only him, and a single touch.

His hand flexes, and the heavy ring he bears gleams back at him through the smoky light. The sickening crunch of stone falling to the ground gives him a fierce thrill, and the sobbing, the screaming of people meeting their imminent end inspires a swell of rapture to rise from his stomach, to fill up his lungs until it comes out in a roar, in a laugh-

Adrien jerks awake in a violent start and immediately rolls to dry heave over the empty edge of the bed. His stomach and throat burn, but nothing comes up. He wishes something would though, because all those screams, all that pain is still trapped within him, tearing up his insides like Cataclysm.

A tiny weight comes to nuzzle against his neck. Plagg’s “I’m sorry” is soft, but it helps quiet the tremors wracking his body. Movement comes from the other side of the bed, but Adrien doesn’t register it until warm weight wraps around his bare back and Marinette’s forehead rests against his shoulder.

She takes a deep breath and he unconsciously mimics her. They stay like that, breathing as one, until the panic subsides and the shaking in his mind ceases.

Something bitter still aches to claw its way out of his raw throat.

His mouth opens. “It-”

“-wasn’t you,” Marinette finishes firmly. “It wasn’t you.”

It wasn’t, but he had felt it. He still feels it. Adrien stares down at his hands, at the heavy silver ring on his finger. Through all his years of being Chat, he always wondered how many people he and Ladybug saved. He felt the absence of her in his dream- memory- remnant- and a bone chilling ache steals over him as he wonders why. There are a thousand possibilities, but the one inescapable truth is the utter annihilation his hand had brought to that unsuspecting city.

A shudder runs through him, and he blindly reaches for Marinette until he feels her fingers lace with his, her palms pressed over his fevered skin.

“Whatever Chat you dreamed of,” Marinette murmurs, “he belongs in the past.”

“They don’t stay there,” Adrien whispers. “They never seem to.”

“Tough luck to them.” Marinette kisses his shoulder, and when he tilts his head to look at her, her shining blue eyes burn all his shadows to ash. “You belong with me.”

‘Why are there so many more girls here than boys?’

'Because 'boys will be boys’ is a self-fulfilling prophecy,’ said Lundy. ’ They’re too loud, on the whole, to be easily misplaced or overlooked; when they disappear from the home, parents send search parties to dredge them out of swamps and drag them away from frog ponds. It’s not innate. It’s learned. But it protects them from the doors, keeps them safe at home. Call it irony, if you like, but we spend so much of our time waiting for our boys to stray that they never have the opportunity.  We notice the silence of men. We depend upon the silence of women.

—  Every Heart a Doorway, by Seanan McGuire

crimsiscarlet  asked:

Man, poor Henry. He really got the short-end of the stick in life for a while there, didn't he?

You’re telling him.  Imagine being 20-something years old, you’re helping to found a promising young animation studio, you’ve come up with a brilliant and charming character that quickly wins the hearts of the public… and it’s been a lot of hard work, but it’s finally, FINALLY starting to pay off.

And then, suddenly, you’re sent off to war.  You’re sent off to war, and the guy who you helped co-found the studio, YOUR studio, keeps the rights to your character, your creation, tells you you’re not welcome back if you answer the call to duty, all when you don’t even have the choice.

You fight in the war for several years.

You come back a changed man.  You’ve seen horrors that make your worst nightmares look like the kiddie pool.  You’ve watched your friends and companions die, get riddled with bullets, end up on the business end of a bayonet, be blown to smithereens and stabbed by punji sticks and rot away in the sick bay.

You come home to the one person who’d always stood by you when things had gotten tough, who’d been there to comfort you when you were stressed and hopeless… only to find that she’d decided she’d had enough waiting around and moved on without you.

Leaving you with no-one to chase away the ghosts of the war that haunt you.  No successful job to return to.  No real help, even, from the government that had promised to reward its veterans.  A booming economy that’s leaving its sacrifices in the dust, and you’re one of the sacrifices.

You turn to drink.  You don’t really have anything left, so you drink, and you lounge about, and you try to draw, to capture some of that old spark and inspiration that once drove you so, but the memories it dredges up are too painful to handle.  Your apartment floor becomes littered with empty beer bottles and discarded drawings but you can’t bring yourself to care.

It takes a kind but hard-assed waitress damn near kicking you out of the local diner for loitering to force you to rethink your life.  So you order a cup of coffee that you can’t really afford, just so that you’re not just taking up space, and you’re honest with her about the fact that you can’t really afford it.  She insists you order anyway and foots the bill without a moment’s hesitation, insists you come back tomorrow for another cup, and you’d better not smell like stale hops.

She doesn’t really talk to you about your troubles, but she knows a guy and lines you up with a job as a worker at a gasoline station.  Eventually you learn enough about automobiles through it to land a decently-paying gig as a car repair mechanic.  It’s not the success you always dreamed of, but it keeps your hands moving.  It pays the bills and then some – enough to cover that habit you picked up, but even though the temptation is there, you force yourself to abstain.  That would be like spitting in Emily’s face, after all those coffees she bought you and after effectively getting you back on your feet for nothing in return.  

Your apartment is still a mess.  Things are still terrible, you still have bad nightmares now and then, you still have the occasional episode, but the noises you hear at work have helped you get accustomed to loud bangs and pops without instantly jumping for cover.  Life isn’t good, but it’s manageable.  You know you’re one of the lucky ones.

And then you get a letter from your “best pal.”