Despite the best efforts of everyone involved, something truly nasty escaped Earth. They call it giardia, a microscopic organism that their Planetary Protection Officer called “pretty dumb” and “not too bad, really, a week of digestive upset and then it’s over.”
Yes, Earth has a Planetary Protection Officer. They have a Planetary Protection Office, and have had one since they were sending probes around their own solar system. Doctor Ma-et had found it a bit silly, like a child concerned about the cleanliness of their toys, until she learned that the job of the Planetary Protection Office had always been protecting other worlds from Earth.
This fragrance is inspired by Embalming Fluid, a mortician’s elixir used to preserve cadavers, sometimes only until the funeral, other times indefinitely. While no one wants to smell of formaldehyde, this fragrance evokes images of crisp and clean notes, calming and relaxing, with just enough mint and floral notes upon a bed of smooth tea leaves to mask not so pleasant odors.
Fragrance - Bright, clean notes of green and white teas lend an aura of calm to the fresh note accord of french lime, spearmint, and peppermint. Base notes of damp fern and eucalyptus add warmth to the crispness and subtle hints of white florals are a last kiss for the departed.
Key Notes - Green tea, White tea, French lime, Eucalyptus, Spearmint, Peppermint, White floral, Ferns
I’m thinking I need to find a roller coaster
or a rock concert, somewhere
I can scream at the top of my lungs because that’s the only sound I’ve got
rattling around this otherwise empty head.
Maybe drive myself to the hospital,
bypass the overworked nurses in the ER
and go straight to the morgue
where I’ll shriek so loud that it would be easy to imagine the corpses sitting up
whispering to their cold neighbours
“I think there’s something wrong with her.”
When the mortician asks what I’m doing I’ll tell him something died
between you and me
I’m just here to get some embalming fluid;
I’ll numb myself up inside then slip back upstairs,
tumble into the mental health unit,
ask the doctor for a new diagnosis because
my Google history is getting pretty boring.
I’ll throw the temper tantrum of a child,
filled with the blinding rage of the scorned woman trope
(but without the pomp and circumstance necessary
for it to be passionate, rather than pathetic).
Shove my arm through the only window on the floor and then beg the doctor to stitch me up,
spend the next six days picking fights to avoid picking at the plastic wire.
When I leave, I leave chaos.
Everyone is relieved to see the back of me;
It is so much easier to keep everything together without me grinning mean
trying to tear it all apart.
Every quiet room seems too loud; let me go, let me go (a.p.)
I was looking at this title and thinking it could equally apply to the Twin Peaks regroups I will be doing, but unlike the vague sense of existential angst I feel when watching that show, American Gods brings me nothing but joy. This show continues to improve and surprise with every episode, and this weeks dive into the life and times of Laura Moon was the best outing so far. Last week I talked about how successful this show has been in it’s ability to tell stories that are able to stand on their own, a particularly difficult feat for a show that also boasts an extensive fantasy universe. This episode was the perfect example of the strength of American Gods storytelling. While Laura’s story is another thread in the richer tapestry of the show, this episode also worked on it’s own simply as a story about a woman struggling to find meaning in her life. This episode also marked the first real divergence in terms of faithfulness to the source material as well, and it’s a testament to how well the show has been able to grasp Gaiman’s original vision that this episode felt seamless. The first three episodes have been almost rote in their following of the original novel’s first act and the major events therein. But Laura, although important to the larger plot, is a character that is never really flushed out in a meaningful way in the novel. The show’s choice to spotlight her in an episode highlights one of my favorite things about Bryan Fuller as a show runner which are his efforts to expand/create roles for women and POC (most notably in Hannibal).
In episode four we jump back in time (many years) to follow Laura’s life from the time she first met future husband and protagonist Shadow, to the the surprise reunion with him that ended episode 3. Laura is a complex character, and there are many potential pitfalls in her portrayal. Up until this point all we really know about Laura is via other people’s perceptions of her. To Shadow she was a perfect wife, beautiful and serene. To Audrey (Betty Gilpin), Laura was a cheating whore. We know Shadow loved her, and that she had betrayed that love by having an affair with his best friend Robbie (Dane Cook), an affair that would lead to both adulterers untimely deaths. It would be easy to make Laura a villain, she did after all break the heart of the handsome hero we have spent three prior hours getting to love. Conversely it would be just as easy to make her overly sympathetic, someone to be pitied or condescended to. But to Fuller, Green, and Emily Browning’s credit, Laura falls into neither trap. She is simply an unhappy person who does not ask for or need your deeper understanding. As she tells Anubis, “I lived my life, good and bad, definitely not light as a feather.”
In a story that is about celebrating the power and possibility of belief, Laura is a character who (at least in life) believed in nothing outside of what she could see. She struggled with finding contentment in her life, even when on paper she should have been happy, and she often sought dangerous alternatives in an effort to feel emotional connection. As someone who often struggles with depressive thoughts, Laura’s struggles were all too familiar. Although she loved Shadow, she was not able to pin her happiness on him the way he had on her. No matter her feelings, life was never going to be more than the reality of living.
So being transported to a magical afterlife after her violent death comes as somewhat of a shock to Laura. When the curtain is pulled back revealing that there WAS something more to life all the time, and Laura will still be receiving only the darkness she expected, she can’t help but feel cheated. Luckily Shadow tries to save her from herself one last time and throws Mad Sweeney’s lucky coin into her grave returning her earthly soul back into what’s left of her body. Zombie Laura now perceives Shadow as a bright beacon of light against an otherwise colorless world, and she resolutely sets out to help him in any way she can, now finally able to return the consuming and singular love he felt for her all these years. Who needs true love’s kiss when you can have true love’s Droog massacre. In a revisit to the lynching scene from episode one, we now see it was Zombie Laura who cut down Shadow and dispatched of his attackers in SPECTACULAR fashion. You go zombie girl, you punch out that guys skeleton.
However during all that ass kicking Laura’s arm is torn off (despite her super strength, she is still just a corpse), and she pragmatically attempts to fix it via her friend Audrey’s scrapbooking room. I would like to take this moment to talk about the performances in this episode. American Gods has boasted great acting, but this episode had some standouts and a real MVP. I’ll start by confessing that I have never been a real fan of Emily Browning or Dane Cook. I found the former pretty but bland, and the latter deeply unlikable in every possible way. As meathead adulterer Robbie, Cook exceeded my expectations by playing him with a surprising vulnerability instead as a stereotypical asshole bro. And I will concede with Browning the roles she has played previous as a “pretty girl” often do not hold much in the way of material. But I was also pleasantly surprised by her as well, as discussed earlier Laura is a difficult character and Browning clearly grasps her complexities. She is putting in the work and (theme of American Gods) really going for it, which I always respect. I am looking forward to seeing where she will take Laura, especially as the character sets off into uncharted waters.
That being said the standout performance of this episode was unquestionably Betty Gilpin’s Audrey. Holy shit. Gilpin’s performance of Audrey, a widow grieving both her best friend and husband while wrestling with their combined betrayal, and then discovering said friend as a zombie in her house… is just beyond. Even though her previously described situation is completely ludicrous, Audrey’s pain remains tangible and serves to ground scenes that could have easily spiraled into lunacy. But even though Gilpin is able to keep Audrey’s sadness and anger central, she is also poignantly funny. I don’t know about y'all but I will be yelling “Get out of my house you zombie whore,” at friends and family for years to come. The scene in Audrey’s bathroom where Laura attempts to reconcile the relationship she may have irreparably destroyed with her best friend, while also passing embalming fluid through every orifice and being, you know, a zombie, is one of the best scenes I have ever seen on television. It is a female friendship that is pitch perfect in terms of complexity, pain and love. It is also a woman dealing with a shitting zombie cheater in her house. To sum up, if this show just turned into an Audrey/Laura road trip that would be a-okay with me.
So Laura is picked up by Ibis and Anubis, or Mr Jacquel and Mr. Ibis if ya nasty, and brought back to their funeral parlor. Ibis is a character we have seen briefly penning the Coming to America sections, and is also an old god by way of Egyptian mythology. You also may have noticed they have a cat ;). The two Egyptian gods patch up Laura properly, although she is still a corpse prone to decomposition and loss of limb, and she sets back out in pursuit of Shadow, the now literal light of her life. We then meet back up with the ending of the previous episode, with Shadow being brought face to face with his undead bride.
What could happen next week!!! I don’t know, but I am DYING to find out. Get it? Zombie joke. What if I’ve been a zombie this whole time? You don’t know I’m not. Okay I haven’t eaten in a while. Love ya.
PS. Oh yeah this episode had an original song with Shirley Manson! Like as if it hasn’t rained enough gifts down upon us. You can listen here: “Queen of the Bored”
Creepypasta #1223: I Just Woke Up And I'm Starving
I wake up and it’s pitch black.
furrow my brow, confused; normally, there’s a little light leaking through the
window blinds from the street light down below, so my room is never completely
this is black; so dark that I can’t see an inch in front of me.
go to raise my hand up, to wave it around in front of my face, trying to test
this darkness, when it hits the ceiling.
confusion deepens as I press my hand up, placing it flat on the surface in
front of me. It’s sturdy and soft. I run my hand up and down it, feeling the
velvet beneath my fingers, hitting small bumps and feeling them fall, some
bouncing on my chest and stomach.
move my hand to the right, feeling the velvet abruptly cut off. I run my hand
past it, feeling a small space of wood, before a wall comes up, stopping me. I
run my hand down the new wall, feeling more softness. I realize my fingers are
coated in dust.
begins to well up in my throat as I raise my left hand, feeling the exact same
thing on the other side to me. More velvet covered walls, barely giving me any
room to move.
kick my feet; I can hear the dull sound of them connecting with the roof.
There’s no reverb or echo of the noise, just a quiet ‘thump’ each time they
You’re in a coffin. My mind whispers, cutting
through the screams that are beginning to form in my throat. You’re in
a coffin and you’re probably six feet under.
can hardly swallow, let alone breath at this realization before I lose control.
kicking and hitting as much as I can, hearing my struggle as I hit the velvet
linings of my coffin. “I’m not dead!” I scream, the sound suddenly so loud that
I momentarily pause, surprised to hear my own voice, before I pick up again,
punching the lid. “Bring me up! I’m not dead!”
not sure how long I fought my own coffin for; it could’ve been minutes or
hours. All I could focus on was the feeling of confinement against my limbs and
the rush of blood in my ears, reminding me that I was alive. I was breathing,
my heart beating fiercely against my rib cage. This was wrong. This was all
wrong. Somebody has to know that this wasn’t right. Somebody had to be near by,
who could hear my struggle and screams, somehow through the wood and fabric and
wasn’t until my arms gave out that I gave up, letting them fall limply to my
side, my chest rising and falling rapidly as I caught my breath, my mind racing
as I tried to figure out my next move.
I felt it, something crawling up my neck, barely touching my cheek before I
lost it again.
thrashed with renewed energy as much as I could in the small space, feeling it
slide off me. I quickly reach up, pinching it between my thumb and forefinger,
catching it. I already know what it is, so I’m not surprised as it begins to
wiggle, trying to free itself. I’m expecting a worm, my mind conjuring film
scenes of skeletons crawling with them.
surprised as I feel little legs scrambling at my fingers and a hard
exoskeleton, protecting the soft bug underneath.
I fling it away from me, realizing what I had thought before was bumps along
the roof (of your coffin prompts my mind) was actually insects.
skin crawls as I remember them falling on me.
I can’t do anything as they continue to criss and cross my body, the sensation
of their movement sending constant goosebumps up my arms and legs.
lay there, trying to be completely still. I’m not sure how long I did. All I
can really remember is silently begging the creepy-crawlies to stay away from
my face, particularly my ears.
mind, on the other hand, continued to race.
I get out? Can I get free? What if I punch my way out? Would my hand break
before that would happen? If I keep yelling, will someone hear me? Will I run
out of air down here? Am I going to die here? Will anyone ever know that I was
alive when they buried me?
Nothing makes a person look better than embalming fluid and a clean suit or classy yet demure dressing gown. Once a person dies you’d think they were sainted superheroes who had devoted their lives to the betterment of all mankind and improving the quality of pizza, porno, and awesome muscle cars, at least based on some of the obituaries you’ll read out there. And while maybe one or two people fit that description, does everyone?
Mobutu Sese Seko was a brutal dictator in the Congo for years, who stole billions of dollars and let his people suffer. After he died, they built him a monument. Why? Because the dead are nearly always forgiven of their sins in the eyes of people who want to pretend monsters don’t exist. Look how popular Stalin is in Russia. I have it on good authority that, when he was alive, Stalin was an utter dick. Just a floppy dong of an asshole. But in death, he’s a tourist attraction. People put posters of him on the wall. You can find galleries on the internet showing how handsome he was as a young man, because a murderous thug is A-OK in a historical sense if he looked like an underwear model before his policies killed millions.
If you want a more divisive example (yes, I’m aware people still know that Stalin was a doucheass), look at Antonin Scalia. When he died, his obituaries exalted his long service and dedication to justice. Most also avoided his staunch opposition to Roe v. Wade, same-sex marriage, homosexuality in general, and how he once attributed the decay of society to women who swear.
I am an offspring of the dead. I am descended from the deceased. I am the progeny of phantoms. My ancestors are the illustrious multitudes of the defunct, grand and innumerable. My lineage is longer than time. My name is written with embalming fluid in the book of death. A noble name is mine.
Summary: In this current day Avengers AU, you work as a profiler with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Your boyfriend, Steve Rogers, leads a close-knit group of supervisory special agents as they track a killer. Characters in this chapter: Nick Fury, female reader, Wanda Maximoff, unnamed perpetrator, Dodger [yes, that Dodger], Katherine Teague [victim], Peter Parker, Bucky Barnes, Brock Rumlow, unnamed woman, Characters mentioned: Stella Fury [Nick’s daughter], Bruce Banner Pairing: Steve Rogers x plus size female reader, Bucky Barnes x Wanda Maximoff Word Count: 3,867 Warnings: Language, fat-shaming, talk of kidnapping and starvation [consider these three a warning for all chapters] Author’s Note: POV changes. SERIES MASTER LIST Any terminology mistakes are mine, and mine alone. Thank you to @deansdirtylittlesecretsblog@climbthatmooselikeatree and @dean-in-the-devils-trap . Without their help and influence, this fic would not have gotten written.
PREVIOUSLY ON THE PREDATOR’S OBSESSION
There was too much information, there always was. But every other time before, you had gotten through it. You had to, because it was your job. Not just that, though. You loved it; analyzing everything about every little detail in a way that drove most people crazy. It drove the team crazy, the way your scientifically correct verbal vomit that helped put the bad guy -or guys- behind bars. So you’d get through the onslaught of information. You just had to take it slow. Which you fucking hated.
3 MONTHS AGO
Fury wasn’t happy, and everyone knew it.
Somehow, another month flew by, and the team was no closer to finding the ‘son of a bitch’ responsible. You seemed to take it personally. Two years ago, Fury had hired you because of your insane profiling skills - Steve’s words, not yours - and there you were, telling the director that you couldn’t deliver a profile because…
“I don’t want to fuckin’ hear it, Y/L/N,” Fury yelled. “I want this asshole found!”
A sharp pain shot through your jaw as you ground your teeth. “Sir, we are trying,” you stressed. “This guy is good. He’s crazy smart, might even be smarter than me. His knife skills are beyond anything we’ve ever seen, which is saying something. So he’s probably got a military background, could have even earned a dishonorable discharge. He’s tall and strong, and he uses every bit of that strength to overpower and kill his victims. That’s what we know.”
Fury growled as he stared at you. “It’s not good enough.”
“I can’t tell you what I don’t know,” you shouted, loud enough that people outside the office turned their heads, looking at the pair of you through the floor to ceiling window walls. “We have no clue what this guy looks like! Besides the victims being female, heavier, and white, we have no idea how he is picking them. There’s no surveillance, no evidence left behind; [i]nothing[i]! We are all doing our best to find this guy and nail him to the fucking wall, but we can only do so much with what we have.”
The director stood tall and blinked his one good eye several times until you were done yelling at him. You could tell he wanted to say something, whether it be words of discipline or some kind of order, you didn’t know. What you didn’t expect him to do was nod and point to the door, effectively dismissing you.
You stormed out, slammed the door behind you, and, ignoring everyone’s blatant stares, marched to your office. Wanda went to ask how the meeting went, but thought better of it. Instead, she grabbed her cell phone and darted in the office behind you.
Muttering to yourself, you kicked off your heels, ripped off the dark blue fitted blazer, and threw it on top of a chair. “Doesn’t think we’re doin’ our job,” you ranted as soon as Wanda closed the door.
Her heavily accented voice was soft when she said, “I’m sure he doesn’t think that, Y/N.”
“Bastard said as much,” you rasped, hands carding through your freshly unknotted hair. “We can only do so much,” you repeated your earlier statement, more to yourself than Wanda.
“You’re doing all you can,” Wanda assured, standing in front of you. “You need a break.”
Pulling out your cell phone, you shook your head. “Can’t, Wanda. They just found another body,” you sighed heavily.
This isn’t even the final draft and, like In the Backseat, you’ll see a much cleaner version down the road. For now bare witness to the bones of what became the highlight of my mini drama portfolio, ft. characters from The Nightmare Before Christmas and a song by Creature Feature.