feeling-dreamlike

Hi here’s another list of things I’ve read that are really important to me, on the loose theme of ‘fantasy urbanism.’ I still haven’t read Dhalgren.

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino. This is the most essential thing to read if you are even tangentially interested in anything about this list i think. Revelatory to me as a pulpy-literalistic fantasist.

Imaginary Cities by Darran Anderson. Inspired by the Calvino book, an enormous overview of planned or dreamed cities that were never built.

Kalpa Imperial by Angélica Gorodischer. Some of my favorite secondary-world fiction I have ever read. Short stories from the history of an empire at the ludicrous extreme of size, depth, history. The English edition was translated by Ursula K. Le Guin who is my favorite.

A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar. Beautiful book and deals with an invented setting and urban spaces with a more densely intellectual approach than I have ever seen.

Delirious New York by Rem Koolhaas. An architectural history and “retroactive manifesto” for Manhattan, but some of the most interesting bits are about Coney Island in particular. Huge futuristic conflicts underlie every modern city.

The City & the City by China Miéville. This isn’t a lot of people’s favorites of his because its fantastic elements aren’t the loudest, but it’s so smart and bewildering and develops an allegory for emergent social strata in urban spaces that is really compelling.

The Event Factory by Renee Gladman. Just finished this; it feels loose and dreamlike and engages very clearly with real feelings of exploring new spaces, radically repurposing urban environments…

Country of Ghosts by Margaret Killjoy. Not as totally concerned with cities as the rest of the list, but a really exciting and unusual example of worldbuilding from an intentionally political/utopian perspective.

Surregional Explorations by Max Cafard. The first few essays in this book deal with Surrealist and Situationist approaches to urban space and the unconscious of cities; it’s a weird jumbled book but I liked it

2

‘Twin Peaks’ Makes A Moody And Eccentric Return To TV

Critic David Bianculli writes:

“Sometimes, this new Twin Peaks almost seems like a parody of itself. Other times, it just feels wrong, with scenes that could have been written more solidly, or eliminated entirely. But then there are times, in all four of these opening hours, when this new show feels so right — so dreamlike — so … so very Twin Peaks.”

on that same note, walking around at nighttime when there’s thick, clean snow on the ground making everything super bright and visible is like being in another dimension and i miss it so much. i don’t even know how to describe the feeling but it’s super dreamlike and you feel like you’re the only person in the universe and you’re extremely safe but simultanously hypervulnerable, like you’re trespassing in some kind of silent, glimmering fairy world and hoping nothing notices you

More on the mood of a story

Today I was just randomly flashing back to the plot of BBR and I suddenly realized something.

I‘ve talked about the mish-mash of moods that I got lost in. My mainly concern is that it steadily started out as a violent creepy psychedelic Yume Nikki-vibe thing, but later gained more and more reality-grounded lighthearted elements that didn’t fit together. 

(Tbh I find it interesting that early!BBR was more of the MGM’s land of Oz - the one that took place in Dorothy’s head, revolved around her persona and had a dreamlike feel to it; while late!BBR was more faithful to the books where Oz was a real place and had quite an impressive lore with multiple stories about its different characters. But I digress)

I really didn’t like the ending I’ve planned, since it felt way too cruel and/or unsatisfying to wrap up a story like that. Early!BRR? Oh hell yeah, that’d be the best way to end it. Current!BBR with heartwarming scenes, uplifting morals and meaningful character development? Just let them enjoy their life, jesus fuck.

So then I thought, really, if I wanted to keep that ending, how come it feels so unbalanced with the beginning?

The problem is that somewhere in-between those two versions I actually tried to pull off Madoka (seeing how it was one of the biggest earliest inspirations) in the switch-and-bait kinda way. 

Like, Madoka’s schtick was that it pretended to be the usual innocent saccharine mahou shoujo, until BAM! corpses drama suffering. So my excuse for the drastic tone fluctuations in BBR was that same switch-and-bait thing.

But the funniest thing is that Madoka doesn’t really pull that much of a twist out of its ass. Remember what the very first scene was?

It was her dream about the final events. Dark, gritty, unsettling.

First scenes are very important for establishing the mood. If a story starts with a joke, the audience prepares for a comedy. If it starts with a sunlit room and relaxing music, we expect some heartfelt story about friendship, romance or the like. If it starts in a dark forest and is accompanied with some chilly music, you’d better get ready for a thriller or horror. 

Madoka may have fairly lighthearted first episodes, but the mood has already been established. They can show you that cute optimistic opening as much as they can, but deep down you remember the first scene and know that some shit is gonna go down eventually. And even then, the lighthearted episodes don’t take much of the story. The most unholy events in BBR didn’t even start until the last part of it.

(Btw, I’ve noticed that some movies cop out by starting with “I am X, and this is the story of how I robbed the bank / met the aliens / saved the world / etc”. Which is a bit cheap, but still works if your actual first scenes can’t establish the mood properly. It’s just a slightly disguised way of saying “hey audience, this movie is Y and it’s about Z” in the first five minutes)

(Madoka’s first scene is technically also a cop out, since it basically uses a fragment of another scene as a prophetic dream. But eh, here it has some logic behind it, so w/e)

The first scene of BBR doesn’t really do anything in particular. Its biggest achievement is lighting Dolly’s room with red, but even that’s undermined by Dolly just being a cute little Disney blorb that turns everything into a saturday morning cartoon. It’s not really enough to pave the way for the ending, which, ironically, is supposed to echo the beginning the same way Madoka’s does.

I sorta subconsciously tried to fix that with Dolly’s creepy nonchalant reaction to Pepper’s grotesque death. But it probably only made things worse, since it paints the situation in the slightly comedic light and waves the horrible implications off, which perfectly goes with the early grim indifferent BBR, but not with the current version that dealed with some actual human emotions.

I mean, it’s not the worst execution I could’ve done, but an opening scene akin to one from Madoka would’ve helped a lot, if I actually stopped for a second and considered it. All it needed is some page, a panel, a line of dialog that showed true pain and despair before Dolly could get up and cheerfully prance around.

anonymous asked:

Can a character going through a traumatic experience (for instance, being kidnapped and kept prisoner) somehow compartmentalize so that they don't really feel the trauma while they're experiencing it, but once they're safe, they feel everything they were keeping down during the traumatic experience? Thanks!!

Yes. This is actually one of the more common reactions to a trauma - the character dissociates, mentally distancing themselves from their surroundings, themselves, or both.

These two kinds of distancing are:

  • Depersonalization - which is often described as an “out of body experience.” The character would feel like the trauma isn’t actually happening to them; instead, they’re observing what’s happening rather than feeling it.
  • Derealization - a character would feel like reality itself isn’t real - everything around them feels disconnected and dreamlike. This makes the character feel like “this isn’t really happening.”

As to the second part of your question, PTSD (and acute stress disorder) itself is an extended emotional, physical, and cognitive reaction to experiencing a traumatic event that often involves re-experiencing the emotions felt during the trauma.

For more information, check out my tags on these subjects:

http://scriptshrink.tumblr.com/tagged/depersonalization

http://scriptshrink.tumblr.com/tagged/dissociation

http://scriptshrink.tumblr.com/tagged/ptsd

http://scriptshrink.tumblr.com/search/acute+stress+disorder


Support Scriptshrink on patreon!

Prologue

Return to the Falls, a Gravity Falls fanfiction

Before heading back to Gravity Falls for the summer, Stan and Ford make a quick stop at an old haunt.  However, they are surprised to also find a familiar face waiting for them.

(Prologue of “Return to the Falls”, a Gravity Falls fanfiction.  The up-to-date entirety can be found here.)


A.

The old man opened his eyes and blinked, confused.  He was in the living room, in the old recliner, the best seat in the house.  He must have dozed off while watching “Duck-tective,” but that didn’t seem right.  That show engrossed him far too much to put him to sleep, even if he’d seen the episode a hundred times.

X.

The TV was turned off, but that in itself wasn’t odd.  If he’d fallen asleep with it on, his brother would have shut it off.  That old nerd hated wasting energy and had gone on a big power-saving kick after getting the house back in working order, insisting that the rest of the family keep their lights off and devices unplugged when not necessary.  Of course, that all seemed pretty rich coming from the guy who built a giant universe portal that ran exclusively on raw nuclear waste.  It was a miracle the thing hadn’t rendered the whole town uninhabitable when it went to pieces.

O.

Stan looked around, frowning.  Had he imagined that sound?  Maybe his hearing aid was on the fritz.  The house seemed to be quiet, after all.  The kids must have been outside.  Or … what time was it?  Afternoon?  Night?  The fact that he’d dozed off didn’t help him much; he could fall asleep in the armchair no matter the hour.  Oh well, he felt no need to worry.  Right now, all he wanted was a nice cool drink to counteract the heavy summer air.

Keep reading

Moroz

Originally posted by fantasysystem



Pairing: Bucky x Reader

Word Count: 1767

Warnings: Mentions of torture, abuse, Hydra type stuff.

Notes: New series with this idea I’ve had for a while. Angsty Frozen lol. No but seriously I’m always cold so it’d be my superpower. ;) They’ll be more Bucky in the next part I just had to set some stuff up… Also the Russian is all from google translate so…. That’s that. It’s probably wrong? I don’t know. P.S. If you guys want to be tagged let me know? I see that’s a thing on tumblr now.. gotta get with the times. 



It whistled. The wind. It felt like it was all around you, all encompassing. Gently caressing, fluttering the soft tendrils of your hair that laid against you skin, your bruised, blood stained skin. You had lost all feeling in your arms and legs, entirely numb due to dangling from the thick iron chains that hung from a rotting wooden beam. The only light was that which slipped through wooden cracks when the moon was not covered by dark cloud.

You were alone. Very alone. Your thoughts your only real company, which were misery at best. What you had been through, what they had done to you had warped your mind so much there was no going back. Pure darkness, insanity, an all-consuming vacuum was all you felt now. Not even felt, that word is too strong. Existed. The part of you left merely existed, nothing more.

You weren’t sure how long you had been here like this, the fresh wind of the north brushing through you, past your bones. You had guessed at least three weeks, but the fog that consumed your mind now made it feel like months, even years at some moments.

They’d come by every couple days to check up on you, make sure you were still barely alive so they could continue with their torture. Some days, they’d release you from your chains and beat you. No sounds, no reason, just bruises. You’d pass out from the pain, malnutrition, blood loss. Then they’d pump you with enough drugs to keep you alive for another week and your mind spinning. You never saw their faces, they were covered by faceless black clothes. It made it feel more dreamlike.

Winter came, snow ice and all, and still you hung. Blood dropped from the grooves in your wrists from the chains, and as it would roll down your limbs it would eventually freeze there, painting a beautifully intricate design. Well below freezing, you were there, like a body in a freezer waiting to be buried.

One day they did that too.

You dropped, the chains fell, both collapsed on the frozen ground. They dragged you away from the wooden beams which had become your home, through piles of disturbed snow, what was left of wet blood leaving a telling trail.

Someone brought you to a hole, pitch black that had been dug deep into the cascading snow banks that night. Again, chains were wrapped around your wrists and feet. A gag threaded through your mouth and tied behind your thinning hair. You could see nothing, nor could you focus. You were so far gone at this point it didn’t even matter. They had broken you a long time ago. Nothingness.

Solid ice tickled your dead translucent skin as they placed your body inside. Then a block of ice covered over the top, sealing you in. Silence. Finally at peace, the floor of ice cooling your skin, you drifted off into slumber, hopefully, to never wake up to this life again.


A large crack resounded throughout the small ice box. Your eyes flew open in shock. You glanced around, still feeling nothing, but as you looked at your skin all the bruises, cuts, and wounds were gone. You weren’t sure how long you had been on the ice or why you were there. Light from a flashlight flooded the crowded space, and you squinted your eyes, frightened, reaching out to knock the flashlight from the holders hand and grasped onto his wrist in the process. He screamed in agony, then silence. His body falling to the ground. Solid ice. Frozen solid. You felt no remorse, though, you still felt nothing. Maybe death was something that didn’t register with you anymore. Maybe you had come and gone, all that was left now was a ghost with ice running through their veins.

Glancing up you could hear voices coming from the dark.

“Da. Khorosho. Ona gotova.” Yes. Good. She’s ready.

“Soldat. Pora.” Soldier. It’s time.

A metal hand clasped around your arm and pulled you from your cave. You followed easily, void of your own thoughts at this point. Once you were outside of the ice, you glanced around at the dimly lit area. Flat plains of snow for miles. You must have been in a northern ocean somewhere that had completely frozen over.

The soldier jerked you to pay attention, still with a terrifying grip on your arm.

“Sedativnyy yeye.” Sedate her.

“Vyydi.” Move out.

Everything went dark again.


“Moroz, idi.” Frost, go.

You never thought anymore, didn’t know why either, just did things. It was like you were void, like a robot, just following actions based on commands. Feelings still were out the window too. All you could feel was that you existed, you were existing, nothing else. Every time they wiped your memory, this lack of feeling was even more evident, but they didn’t have to do it as much anymore. It was as if your brain had picked up muscle memory, and seemed to wipe out your actions once your mission was completed, and then you went back in your containment cell. Hydra was ecstatic when they realised they could use fewer resources.

Your hand took hold of the alley door handle, and you held it until it froze. Taking a knife from your belt, you held the blade as you smashed the now ice door handle with the knife handle. Depositing the blade back onto your belt, you pushed the now unlocked door open and stepped inside, looking around the screen lit room.

You were in some sort of laboratory, bottles of chemicals all over the walls, in cabinets, in freezers. You walked towards the freezers, knowing what you were looking for was inside as you had been briefed on your targets whereabouts. There were warnings all over the door stating that a medical suit was needed to enter because of the deathly cold temperatures. Whatever you were here for was important, and you’d know it when you see it.

You opened the door, leaving it open, so the cold started to seep out into the rest of the room. You still felt cold, generally were always cold, but you enjoyed it. Your most peaceful memory was being in the ice box, frozen, asleep, dead; however you want to put it. You couldn’t remember anything before that now.

You made your way to the very back of the freezer and opened up a keypad. Typing in the code, the door slide open, and inside was the bottle you were looking for. You picked it up, placing it in the special bag they had given you, and deposited the items in your backpack, exiting the freezer.

As you were about to leave the laboratory, a man in a lab coat crawled out from under a desk. Shivering, early symptoms of hypothermia present. He pointed a gun at you with his shaking hands.

Then he shot you, the bullet piercing the skin of your thigh. You dropped to the ground, thick blood started to seep from the wound, and you seethed until you placed your hand over the wound, freezing it over and letting the rest of your cells take over.

Your stare turned to the man as you rose to your feet again, almost walking normally and the wound disappearing before the man’s eyes.

“Impossible.” The man stuttered as you walked toward him, taking the gun out of his hand and tossing it on one of the lab tables. You preferred giving slow deaths.

Your hand covered the man’s mouth, ice filling his breath as you froze the air in his body, suffocating him by ice. You let his body drop to the ground, and now ringing alarms were going off. You had taken too long. Hydra would punish you for it.

“Poyekhali. Ty opozdal.” Let’s go. You’re late. The Winter Soldier spoke through his mask. He was your handler, one of the only ones who could touch you without freezing to death. You followed him out of the compound to his motorbike. He slides on, and you slide on behind him, wrapping your arms around his waist as he started up the bike and you sped off to the checkpoint to hand off your mission.


They were furious that someone had seen you. You were supposed to be a secret, not something Hydra had to worry about covering up. The ice was supposed to all be a mystery. Since the alarms had been activated, the follow up team couldn’t go in to clean up, wipe the cameras, and clear everything out. Not to mention the frozen solid scientist you had left on the floor.

You were now back in your cell after having received a few beatings. They didn’t really bother you though. They wouldn’t feed you for you mistake, which you understood, but your longing body did not. And when your body was hungry and wanting something, you got colder, and so did your surroundings. You couldn’t control it at those points. Ice was everywhere, plastered along the walls and across the door. Even your body was covered in a faint covering of frost, tingeing you on blue. You sat there, though, not caring. You didn’t know anything different.

The door jerked open, inside walked the Winter Soldier. He didn’t often visit unless it was for a mission. He too was covered in marks due to your failure to leave no traces.

“Vy dolzhny ostanovit'sya. Vy okhlazhdeniya bazu.” You must stop. You’re cooling the base.

You glanced at the soldier numbly, shrugging. You couldn’t control the frost when it got like this. It had a mind of its own.

“YA ne mogu.” I can’t. You replied.

“Zachem?” Why? He looked at you, moving closer.

“YA slishkom kholodno.” I’m too cold.

The soldier glanced towards the door, poking his head out to mumble in Russian something along the lines of ‘I’ll take care of it’ and closed the door, closing you both off from the rest of the base.

You expected him to beat you, sedate you, or somehow get you to pass out so you wouldn’t be thinking about your body temperature anymore. He surprised you when he sat down beside you and pulled your body towards him, his heat radiating into you like a bonfire. You didn’t know how to act, but the muscle memory from a past life had taken over as you snuggled into his grasp.

“Spat’.” Sleep.

You drifted off to that peaceful ice box once more, this time no longer cold, not knowing the next time you woke everything would be quite different again.

Tagging: @38leticia @elaacreditava @softwhispers @wildchild2707 @princeendymion @blueeyedboobear

s y n d r o m e s - pt.6

Group : BTS

Members : All seven (Park Jimin is main, tho)

Genre : Criminal!BTS, psychology themes, smut, fluff, angst

Words Count : 4,508

Description :  “Lima syndrome is the result of the abductor / kidnapper sympathizing with his hostages”. And Park Jimin had never heard of it before, when he took you as his hostage.

A/N : omfg I sincerely apologize for letting you guys wait for over a whole week but last week was just crazy and tiring and I literally had no motivation (or time) to write. 

previous : part V | next : part VII

MASTERLIST

Keep reading

Paper Game

Request: 15 with bambam please!

15) Your bias tricks you into giving them a kiss

Prompt list can be found here!

Member: Got7’s BamBam x Y/N (ft. Yugyeom, Jackson, Mark)

Type: Fluff

“What are the plans for today?” I asked, draping myself over Got7’s couch and by default the boys who were sitting there. My torso laid casually across Bambam and my legs against Mark.

“Well,” Mark sighed, signaling Coco over to lay across all of us. “We could take Coco to the dog park.”

“That’s on your to do list Mark, don’t force the rest of us to go,” Jackson grumbled from his place on the floor.

“Untruth!” Mark shouted. “Plus a little sunlight wouldn’t kill any of you.”

“I’m dark enough!” Bambam complained. My face was near his as I looked at him with a smile.

“Don’t say that Bammie,” I cooed. “Your little caramel latte skin is wonderful.”

His eyes grew wide as he stared at me in disbelief. “Really?”

“Noona!” Yugyeom said, bouncing excitedly from an armchair. I left a lingering look on Bambam before finally turning to Yugyeom.

“Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be an idol?” he asked.

“You’re so rude,” Jackson muttered. “You just don’t ask someone that when you’re an idol.”

“Oh don’t give him such a hard time Jackson,” I giggled. “Yes Yuggie, I wonder all the time what you all deal with actually.”

“Let’s play some of those stupid games with Y/N that we play in interviews!” Yugyeom smiled, shooting a quick wink towards Bambam. All of the boys groaned in unison.

“What do you mean?” Mark sighed.

“Like the paper game!" Bambam giggled mischievously.

The boys all groaned again.

"What?” I gasped, sitting up and spinning to look at each boy. “What’s the paper game?”

“Well,” Jackson began carefully, “It’s that game where you pass the paper from mouth to mouth in a certain amount of time to see how quickly you can do it.”

“Oh! I saw Seventeen do that! On weekly idol!” I said, the words escaping my mouth before I had the chance to stop them.

“What the hell Y/N!” Jackson nearly shouted. Bambam and Mark both gave me a gentle shove as I fell with a thud on my butt to the floor.

“So what, because I’m friends with you guys I can’t watch other groups?” I gasped, rubbing at my lower back dramatically.

“That’s exactly right!” Bambam pouted.

“You said you haven’t even watched our last Weekly Idol episode yet!” Mark grumbled, petting Coco moodily.

“Because I see you all at least once a week!” I sighed. “You all are literally my weekly idols.”

Yugyeom giggled from his seat. “Get it, because she sees us every week? We’re her weekly idols.”

The other three boys shot Yugyeom death glares as his giggling subsided.

“Fine,” I huffed.  “Seventeen were probably better at it than you guys anyhow.”

I winked at Yugyeom as all of the boys took a collective sigh.

“Find a piece of paper!” Jackson exploded. “We’re doing this.”

After a few moments of searching the dorm, we all formed a line. Yugyeom would begin with papers in hand. He would transfer to Mark, who would transfer to Bambam, who would transfer to me, and eventually for me to get to Jackson.

“Why can’t I be in between Y/N and Bambam?” Jackson groaned. “Bambam and I are the dream team at this game!”

“No,” Bambam said quickly. I could see his wheels beginning to turn, grasping at any excuse he could think of. I knew these boys almost better than I knew myself, especially Bambam. Kunpimook Bhuwakul was the one out of seven boys who always made sure that I was included on his schedule, right beside his photo shoots and variety show filmings. I was a block of time he never forgot about.

“She has to be between us,” Bambam continued slowly. “Because we are the best and she needs the best on either side to pick up her slack as a newbie.”

Jackson looked at him with furrowed eyebrows as he began to nod slowly. “Yeah, I guess you’re right.”

I smiled, completely oblivious of whatever planning Bambam had done before I had arrived to their dorm, Yugyeom started the time clock on his phone as he quickly picked up a paper and shoved it to his lips. He pushed it to Mark with ease, who in turn blew it to Bambam’s mouth easily. I felt my heart begin to race as Bambam’s face came close to mine, only a thin piece of paper separating us. Like a pro, Bambam passed it off to me. I tried to suck the paper in with all of my might as I turned to face Jackson, but the paper ended up falling from my lips anyway.

“Aish!” Jackson grumbled. “Turn, turn!”

I turned my face back to Bambam as another paper was stuck to his lips. I quickly approached his face with my own as he grabbed the back of my neck to leverage my movement. Just as my lips were about to meet the paper, the paper slipped and my lips met Bambam’s instead.

It was strange at first as I hit flesh instead of paper. It wasn’t what I had been expecting, so I tensed up with the contact before I eased into it. Our lips worked in unison, as he held tight to my neck. We only stopped as the remaining three boys began to cheer.

“I was wondering how many rounds we’d have to go before you did it,” Mark moaned, leaning back and flopping on the floor.

“What?” I asked, opening my eyes, feeling like a dreamlike scenario had just occurred in front of me.

“We all knew!” Yugyeom squeaked in excitement. “It was kind of like a hidden camera…but without the camera.”

“Bambam?” I whispered, looking up at him with a blush appearing on my cheeks.

“Yeah…” he sighed, running a hand through his hair. “I had to get you to kiss me somehow…”

Jackson screeched in joy as he rolled around on the floor. “So cute!”

Bambam smiled at me and took my hand in his. He kissed it lightly before a blush appeared on his own face. “I think I like this game now…should we play again?”

Originally posted by jackseons

@kpop-prompts

too late - newt x reader

Prompt: Hey, I think your writing is amazing! Can I request and imagine where Newt and Reader had a thing back when they were in Hogwarts. But after Newt got expelled he left her and never said anything to her again. They meet again during the whole events in New York and she’s already married. She’s angry at Newt but she’s still in love with him. Something like that! I’m not good at explaining I just want angst. Thanks!

Warnings: So Much Angst

so this is also inspired by this song so I included a sprinkling of the relevant lyrics in no particular order!! Enjoy!

———————————

[ I miss you when I can’t sleep
  Or right after coffee
  Or right when I can’t eat          ]

There was something so wonderful and comforting about the way you felt around Newt.

There was nothing you would change, you thought to yourself, as you sat sleepily in his arms, the two of you nestled under the bleachers in the Quidditch stadium. It was your go-to spot for late night shenanigans. For you and Newt, ‘shenanigans’ usually meant cuddling and sharing your thoughts in the odd hours of the morning, your conversation roaming and your guards down. There was something about Newt that made you feel as though you didn’t have to censor what you wanted to say. You could speak freely and with complete honesty, and that made you feel completely liberated. Besides, you were often the sort of tired that made you act just a little drunk, and all things considered your filter was completely out the window. The two of you treasured these nights, savoring the closeness and the company, curled up on a blanket and tangled in each other’s arms. Sometimes, your lips would press shyly to his, and the two of you would spend hours pressed against each other, kissing and kissing and throwing conversation to the wind. Other times, his fingers would simply brush idly over your skin, and the two of you would just enjoy the warm comfort the other provided. But your favorite and the most common were the nights when the two of you would talk for hours and hours until you had to go back to your common rooms, and this was one of those nights.

You lay pressed to his chest, his arm curled protectively around your waist and his nose nestled into the back of your neck. Your legs were tangled with his much longer ones, and your back was up against his stomach and chest. The two of you fit perfectly, like a jigsaw puzzle, and the thought made you smile. You placed a hand over one of his, feeling his heartbeat quicken against your back as you traced patterns lightly onto his skin. “Hey Newt?” you breathed, and you felt him shift.

“Hm?” he murmured into your neck, making you shiver as his warm breath ghosted over your skin.

“Do you ever think about the future?” you asked, somewhat nervously, and you felt him tense. Your stomach did a flip. You were usually fine talking to him about anything, but this topic terrified you to no end.

“You mean after Hogwarts?” he murmured, opening his hand and stretching out his fingers to lace them with yours. “Of course,”

You felt your heartbeat quicken. “Well… what do you think about? What do you see there?”

He squeezed your hand affectionately. “Well,” he mumbled, nestling further into the crook of your neck. You tilted your head to allow him access, and he pressed a soft kiss to your pulse. “I’d like for you to be there,” he said sheepishly, as though you might be frightened or unhappy with his response. You let go of his hand and rolled over to face him, your nose brushing against his and your hands resting on his chest. You could see a dim outline of him, your eyes adjusted to the dark, and you hoped he could see your smile.

“I’d like to be there,” you replied, equally shy.

You knew that he was aware of your smile, because his lips were on yours in a moment and he had to have felt it.

Your heart fluttered and you leaned into the kiss, feeling dreamlike, intoxicated. You were both teenagers, young and in love, even though the two of you were ignorant to the world and ignorant to the realities of love and relationships. You hadn’t been alive long enough to realize that life never went as planned, no matter how confident you were in the plans, but in the moment that was the furthest thing from your mind. You, at age sixteen, were convinced that this was how things were meant to be. It was love, right? The sort of love people sang about or wrote down in novels, the love of the century, the only thing that mattered in that moment and the most important thing that would ever happened to either of you. That was how it felt, and you thought you knew everything there was to know about relationships. You both thought that you were experts, and that you were both so unbelievably lucky to have stumbled upon your soulmate this early in life

God, were you wrong.

[ I miss you in my front seat
  Still got sand in my sweaters
  From nights we don’t remember ]

———————————

Queenie’s hand shot forward, gripping a frame that sat on Newt’s counter and studying it intently. “Newt,” she said, looking excited. “It’s such a small world, who woulda’ guessed you knew-” She looked up, catching his expression and obviously his thoughts as well, and the excitement dropped from her face.

He glanced at the photograph in her hands, fidgeting slightly. “It was a long time ago,” he mumbled, dropping his gaze to his hands. He looked back up at Queenie, suddenly hopeful. “So you knew her? You knew (y/n)?”

Queenie smiled gently. “Of course, she works at MACUSA!” Her smile drooped a little as she picked up on a few of the thoughts that were whipping through his head. “No, honey, I’m sorry. She hasn’t mentioned you,” she murmured, looking down at the picture of you. It was definitely you, even though it was clearly taken a long while ago. It looked as though Newt had been the one taking the photo, as the setting was casual and you didn’t appear to be posing. You had a scarf draped around your neck, and your hair was much longer than it was now, messy and not at all the professionally pinned style you usually wore nowadays. You were clad in Hogwarts robes that seemed just a little too big, and you looked a whole lot younger. You laughed at the camera, your nose wrinkling and your head tilting back as you flung your hand in front of your face, playfully camera shy. Queenie smiled at the photo. It was unusual seeing you so young, and so happy. She only ever saw you briefly at the office, and you always seemed to have an air of seriousness and professionalism about you.

She looked at Newt, troubled, studying his face and unintentionally picking up on his thoughts. They were dwelling on you now, and she could feel the sadness and bittersweet nostalgia that tainted the memories for him now. He was picturing you, and to her it was a vague picture that seemed very unlike you. To him, you were excitable and bright-eyed, and she felt his thoughts linger on the way your skin felt brushing his, the sound of your laugh, and the soft press of his lips on yours. These weren’t the sort of thoughts that were usually accompanied with the wrench of sweet sadness that Queenie could feel in Newt. “What happened?” She murmured.

He didn’t have to respond, but he smiled sadly and shook his head. “Nothing,” he said nervously, clearly uncomfortable and trying to get her to drop the subject entirely.

His thoughts betrayed him, and Queenie got the urge to run over and comfort the man, but she stayed put. “Oh, honey,” she murmured.

His head snapped up, his face somewhere between uncomfortable and distraught. “Please, just-” he mumbled. “I’d prefer if you stayed out of my head,”

“I’m sorry, I can’t help it,” she replied apologetically, eyes swimming with pity. She could feel how uncomfortable he was, and she felt terrible, but she really wanted to help. She hesitated, then opened her mouth to say something before Jacob came over and interrupted their conversation. She didn’t address it again that evening, but every so often she picked up a brief flicker of you in Newt’s thoughts. One feeling that overwhelmed the others in his head was guilt, and she wanted desperately to console him, but she didn’t dare overstep her boundaries any further.

———————————

[ Always missing people that I shouldn’t be missing ]

It felt wonderful to hold his hand in yours as you, Newt, and Leta wandered through Hogsmeade together. He was warm and soft, and you smiled to yourself. Leta walked on the other side of you, and the two of you were involved in a casual chat. You were quite the trio, though you felt terrible when Leta had to be the third wheel, so you did everything you could to include her in your conversations and activities. She had been Newt’s friend before you had met him in your Herbology class in your second year, and you felt sometimes as though you were intruding on their friendship, but she seemed to like you well enough.

Secretly, you were craving some alone time with your best friend, so when Leta said she was going to go shopping for a new quill, you were thrilled. She disappeared into a little shop full of school supplies, and you tugged Newt out of the cold snow and into the welcoming little cafe.

The two of you had ordered coffees and pastries, and you particularly had way too much fun with the whipped cream it was served with. He ended up with some in his hair, and he was staring at you with mock-annoyance that quickly melted to amusement as he reached over swiftly to dab some onto your nose. It was one of your favorite memories for a while, and sometimes you actually thought of that look on his face to summon your patronus. It was the sort of memory that you’d conjure up without realizing when your thoughts would wander, and someone else would clear their throat and ask you what in the world you were smiling about.

Much to your dismay, all of the treasured memories of him had taken an oddly abrupt transition from pleasant to painful.

[ Sometimes you gotta burn some bridges 
         just to create some distance               ]

———————————

[ I know that I control my thoughts and I should stop reminiscing ]

“Ms. (y/l/n)?” your secretary’s voice snapped you from your thoughts, and you looked up from the morning cup of coffee you had been stirring sugar absent-mindedly into for the last minute. “Sweetie, are you okay? You look awful tired, do you need to run home and rest? I could just-”

“Thank you, but I’ll be fine,” you said, smiling and waving the young woman out of your office. Little did you know, this was a bad start to an even worse day.

You were called out to assist in the cleanup after all the damage Creedence the Obscurus had done, and as you made your way around town, carefully repairing buildings and muggle cars with flicks of your wand just about the last person you were expecting to see caught your eye across the street. You had heard, of course, about the man with the suitcase full of magical creatures and the havoc they had probably wreaked on the city, but you hadn’t ever picked up the man’s name and as you saw him making his way down the street with a case in hand, everything made perfect sense.

Cleanup forgotten, you set your shoulders, determined, and strode over to the man. He was walking along with two women you recognized, Tina and Queenie Goldstein, and Queenie saw you before anyone else. Her eyes grew a little wide, and she stopped in her tracks, gripping Newt’s sleeve and murmuring “Newt, honey,” in his ear.

He stopped as well, and when his eyes met yours you felt a painful jab in your chest. His features were achingly familiar, but clearly older. He was still lanky, but it suited him more and was no longer awkward. His hair hadn’t changed a bit, but his chin was unshaven and you could see lines etched into his skin. He had always had the smile lines on the corners of his mouth, you thought fondly, but now it seemed as though all of his features were shadowed, more defined, and you spent a moment just studying his face.

He did the same, marveling at the features that were so familiar and yet so much more mature than the ones in the photograph he kept. Your hair was pinned back professionally, and you stood at your full height, no longer slouching. You looked tired, and all he wanted to do was step forward and hold you in his arms, showering you with kisses and apologies and a million other gestures that would make you forgive him for what he had done.

“Newt Scamander,” was all you could muster, your eyes troubled and your heart heavy. He wouldn’t maintain eye contact, but smiled.

“Hello (y/n),” he replied meekly.

You felt tears welling up in your eyes as you heard his voice. It was such a lovely voice, though deeper and more adult now. You swallowed hard, but couldn’t banish the lump in your throat. “Merlin’s Beard, Newt,” you choked out, and Queenie excused herself, dragging Tina along with her. “I pictured you in my future, but I sure as hell didn’t picture you like this.”

He looked up at you through his messy hair, and you noticed with a pang that his hair hadn’t changed. Always a mess, always in his eyes, and always the same shade of light brown that greatly resembled cinnamon. “I know,” he replied, his gaze filled with guilt.

“You knew where I lived. You knew where you could send an owl. You didn’t have to explain yourself, or give me a detailed account of why you were expelled, but you could have at least written one measly little letter just to tell me you were okay. I didn’t know what to think. I wrote to your house and all I got was a letter telling me you’d left,” you could feel the tears brimming in your eyes.

“I was afraid you wouldn’t want to hear from me anymore,” he replied lamely.

“Well, you couldn’t have been more wrong. You broke my heart, Newt. I didn’t know what to do. Nobody would talk to me, Leta included, so I breezed through Hogwarts and as soon as I graduated I moved here. I couldn’t stay, it hurt too much to see all these things around that reminded me of you, that reminded me that I wasn’t worth a single letter,” you rambled, spilling everything you had internalized for so long.

He looked taken aback, his eyes wide and his shoulders drooping. He averted his gaze. “You were worth far more than that, which is why I couldn’t send you anything. I figured it would be in your best interest to move on and forget about me and all I had done.”

Your eyes blazed. “I didn’t care what you had done. I just wanted you,” you murmured, feeling like you were sixteen again, tears running down your cheeks as you watched him go without a goodbye, without even a glance in your direction, without offering you any sort of closure. It all came rushing back, and you buried your face in your hands.

“(y/n), don’t-” he placed his hand gently on your arm, but he observed with a pang a wedding ring glittering on the ring finger of your left hand. A heavy weight settled in his chest. “Don’t cry,”

You allowed the contact, and secretly you were yearning for more. You hadn’t ever stopped loving him, and you didn’t think you ever would. Nobody would take you seriously, chiding you that it was just ‘puppy love’ and that you would move on when you found the right person, but you never truly did. You loved your husband, and you were incredibly loyal to him, but he wasn’t Newt.

You pulled your shaky hands away from your face, and he reached up slowly to wipe some of the tears away. “It’s too late for that,” you said quietly, lip trembling. “At least sixteen years too late,”

———————————

[ I hate you, I love you,
  I hate that I love you
  Don’t want to but I can’t put 
         nobody else above you ]

Destiny Successfully Captured the Spirit of the First Halo.

Think back a bit. Remember what Halo felt like when it first came out (if you can). There weren’t any novels. There weren’t any sequels. It was one game, with weird space architecture, great music, and a friendly “ghost like” robot/AI that helps you and explains things. Also, in the first game you spend a lot of time exploring, and it’s your first time in these areas.

Surprisingly, few games have captured this”less is more”/dreamlike feeling the first Halo produced. Destiny, Bungie’s big breakaway from the Halo franchise, manages to capture quite a bit of the spirit of the first game.

In both games you wake up, meet a “ghost like” robot (literally called “ghost”), start fighting a tribe-like (or zombie like) group of aliens, and the narrative is held together with The Traveler; The Traveler being a mysterious object floating through space with untold amounts of power (kind of like a friendly version of a Halo).

Destiny, wisely, stays away from the exposition many first person shooters (and many later Halo games) shovel on their players. It allows the music and art direction to forge a tone, and that tone is quite unique in a world filled with sci-fi first person shooters.

Side note: Thanks for reading. I’ve been writing a lot on Tumblr, and I’m working a novel. If you’d like to keep up with me follow this blog. I appreciate all the support I’ve gotten from this community. 

Thanks, Jo :)

I meant to do another dial-a-fic last night, but somehow I found myself sitting awake at 4am listening to “This Love” by Taylor Swift on repeat and needing to get an itch out of my fingers. 

 Sooo this is Jack/Parse from the Parsewhumpening verse, where Kent has a fresh traumatic brain injury he already knows has ended his hockey career and Jack’s in the Stanley Cup playoffs; it’s the morning after a Jack/Bitty/Parse threesome, possibly the same day as this fic

Keep reading

[trans] 161016 ‘1 of 1′ Fan meeting - Introducing each track of the album

Translation of the segment from the recent ‘1 of 1′ fan meeting about SHINee members revealing behind stories of each track on the album. Bear in mind that I omitted few parts here and there so it isn’t an accurate transcript of what members said!

Please do not re-translate into another language. 


<Prism>

J: The first track is ‘Prism’. The first track wasn’t 'Prism’ at first, it was actually 'Don’t Stop’.
K: Yes, let’s talk about these kinds of things
J: Yes let’s talk about this
(Fans start laughing)
J: You guys must be tired of listening to descriptions of the songs by now.
(Fans: /laughing/ Yes~)
J: So we’ll talk more about the things like behind-the-scenes stories that we haven’t told before. So 'Don’t Stop’ was actually the first track but as we were preparing for this album, the thing that we thought most about was being 'back to the basic’. So, we wanted to put in tracks of pop-like R&B genres like the 'Replay’ album and we thought 'Don’t Stop’ was the most suitable one for the first track. If you listen to 'Don’t Stop’, there’s a lot of R&B feeling to it so we thought this can give off an atmosphere like the feeling of 9 years ago. But when we finished making the album, the song 'Prism’ portrayed the colour of SHINee so well so it took over the place of the first track. What track number did 'Don’t Stop’ go to? It’s gone way too back (laughs)
MC: It’s 6th
J: Yes, it’s gone even that far (laughs) So we wanted to let you know that there were our opinions and thoughts involved in this. Second track is '1 of 1’, can other member introduce this song?


<1 of 1>

K: '1 of 1’ is our title song…
O: You guys must have seen the M/V too just before we got up on stage
J: Are there no behind stories with this?
K: I have absolutely none
M: Behind story!
J: Ah! Behind story! There’s the story about '1 plus 1’! Do you guys all know about the story of '1 plus 1’?
M: It was said half jokingly, half seriously but someone said to name our title song '1 plus 1’ (laughs)
J: I waved my hand in rejection
K: Me too!
J: I put on a serious face
M: We all rejected on the idea
K: It wasn’t all! You said yes (pointing to Minho)!!
J: He was kidding
M: Why do you manipulate my memory? 
J: Minho was only kidding. I remember it clearly
M: I said no. I said people would laugh if the song came out with that name.
J: For '1 of 1’, we did a lot of meeting to talk about it.


<Feel Good>

J: 'Feel Good’ is a song that has been in SM for a very long time. It was also a song that was matched up within SHINee as a solo song too. It was also matched up for my solo and Taemin’s too, right?
T: Wasn’t it the song you threw away? (laughs)
J: Yes, to be exact I threw it away (laughs) I said ‘This is not it, I won’t do this one’ (laughs) So it was left out from my solo album and later one, it was added to this album.
T: It’s really true. There are also many cases when we listen to our team’s songs and thought 'Ah! This song also came to me too!’
J: There are a few songs but it’s awkward to talk about other teams (laughs) 'Feel Good’ was matched up to Taemin and also to me too but it ended up as being in the SHINee’s album. I think it became more well-formed because of the things like 5 members’ voices and the rap part.
(Fans started laughing)
J: I’m being honest (laughs)


<Don’t Let Me Go>

J: Onew hyung! Onew can talk about this. Onew and Minho.
O: At first, Minho and I recorded this song. Minho did mainly the rap part and I did the singing part. At first, I thought 'doesn’t it feel too empty?’ because there were only two of us but on the other hand it felt like it sounded great. I had many thoughts at first. When I first heard that this would be a unit song, I thought 'Oh?’ but it felt okay (laughs) because it seemed like I sang this song really well (laughs)
T: But he really did sing well
J: He sang really well
O: And then, suddenly they said all 5 of us would be singing so I said 'Okay!’. But it felt like the parts that I sang well were gone to someone else (laughs)
(Fans started asking Onew to sing that part)
O: ‘I believe in myself who’s waiting for you~’ (T/N: This is Key’s part at the end of his rap during 2:33~)
J: This part is sung by Key who suddenly sings after rapping (laughs) It was a new world in terms of distribution of the song parts (laughs) It is charming that he suddenly sings so loudly after rapping
M: At first, I listened to this song the most because I heard this song was going to be a duet song and I had to do the rap making. The lyrics were so good and I liked it because it was sad. It was changed to as all 5 of us singing from a duet song because we were trying to have a ballad track where all 5 of us were singing together. The first version that I sang with Onew sounds good too so if there was an opportunity later on with Onew hyung…
O: But even if we do it, it’ll be changed to 5 people singing at the end (laughs)
J: You don’t know that because there is a case like when Taemin sang the song on his own that all 5 of us sang together at the concert, 'Romeo + Juliette’.
O: But I do have this thing. Although now it’s sung by 5, since it was initially sung by us two.. I know all of the parts so it’s much easier to sing.
J: I think that’s why perhaps your voice suits well with this song
O: Thank you


<Lipstick>

J: Next song is 'Lipstick’. This song was the song that was added to the album at the very last. It was the song that was recorded as last while preparing for this album. At first, we were initially going to put in a different track than this one but there were a lot of problems so we ended up putting this one.
T: The song that was initially going to be on the album instead of this song was a song that I really liked. But anyway, it’s from the same composer. 'Lipstick’ is a song from the same composer but of a different feeling.
J: It’s a song with a lot of R&B feeling to it. That’s it for 'Lipstick’


<Don’t Stop>
J: For this song, I received the song with the request of lyrics that could express SHINee’s identity. So it’s a song that’s about the many ideologies that were gained while working as SHINee throughout the years
(Fans being amazed)
J: So members also participated in writing the lyrics too. Key and Minho participated in the rap making of their parts. How was it?
M: It was fun
(Fans laugh)
M: I asked Jonghyun hyung while trying to do the rap-making because he wrote the lyrics. I asked, 'Hyung, what does these lyrics mean?’ and he simply answered 'It’s about the 9 years of SHINee’. So I wrote that.
(Fans amazed)
J: We didn’t talk a lot about it. It interrupts the creator when I tell them what the lyrics are about. So I told him about the basic outline and told him to unravel in his own way.
M: While we were doing chin-ups
J: Yes, at the gym (laughs)


<Shift>

J: Key really likes this song
K: It’s a song that I like.. I really like this song. I listen to this a lot and I thought the direction that was portrayed through this album could be very different depending on whether this song was on the album or not.
J: Isn’t this the song that we recorded first while preparing for this album?
K: 'U Need Me’ came to us first
J: Ah, I completely forgot about it (laughs)
M: Didn’t we record this one first?
J: Ah, we recorded 'Shift’ first
K: 'U Need Me’ came first and 'Shift’ came next. I thought, 'Oh my, this song’
J: It was good. 'Shift’ is so attractive. I think Taemin’s voice shines in this song.
T: I think SHINee has a lot of dreamlike songs
J: Do we?
T: I like it
J: Do you personally think that you have a dreamlike feeling?
T: When I did 'Romeo + Juliette’ as a solo stage at our concert.. I picked this song because I really like its atmosphere. There’s a certain colour to every song when I listen to it and I think 'Romeo + Juliette’ and 'Shift’ has a similar colour.


<U Need Me>
J: Now the song 'U Need Me’
K: I have nothing to say
J: Can someone who has attachment to this song talk about it
M: At first, the title wasn’t 'U Need Me’
J: What was it?
O: 'You Name It’?
J: 'You Name It’
M: That was the title of the demo, it was 'Sirius’ when we first received it.
J: What was the song about?
M: It was about the stars. The constellation 'Sirius’. Later on, the title changed to 'U Need Me’ from the chorus part.
J: It’s my first time hearing this story
M: Ah, only I heard this while doing the rap making
J: I think us 4 received the version that was changed later on. It’s our first time listening to this behind story too
M: The title was 'Sirius’ because of the star but it was changed because they said it seemed meaningless later on
J: Now, shall we listen to Taemin?
T: Does anyone consider 'You Name It’ as their favourite?
O&J: It’s 'U Need Me’!
T: In one way, this song is difficult because it’s a very 'maniac’ (T/N: Konglish term used to describe non-mainstream taste/preference) song
J: Hands up if 'U Need Me’ is your bias!
J&T: Ah there’s a few
T: That means you guys are a little strange (laughs)
J: SHINee is a team with 'maniac’ sensibilities so I think there could be a lot of differences in terms of the preferences of the songs. 'U Need Me’ was a song like this.


<So Amazing>
J: Now the special track!
(Fans started cheering and waving their fan lights)
O: It’s about this. I wrote the lyrics and it’s about this just then.
J: The fan lights swaying beautifully
O: It’s about this.

dream diary;;  a mix inspired by a distinct kind of dissociation - a dreamlike feeling that hangs in the air like the stench of something long ago rotten masked with bubblegum scented perfume. its nauseating and something sinister beyond the cotton candy clouds and smiling faces, but you can’t seem to place why.

i decided to actually post one of my mixes here again because i’m pretty proud of this one!

tracks include: daytime disco remix - kero kero bonito / respite - akihabara / i’ll fall - bo en / UFO - kikuo / gallery piece remix - of montreal / klass room - ATOLS / trash angel - miku hatsune

(art by sachiko kaneoya!)

4
A comiXologist Recommends:
Harris Smith recommends Arsene Schrauwen

Ollie Schrauwen’s new graphic novel Arsene Schrauwen, from fantagraphics, is rich and fantastical, yet at the same time resolutely physical and sensual. It is a comic that provides much more than a story; reading it is an experience. Arsene Schrauwen follows its titular hero, the author’s grandfather, as he travels from Belgium to a lush tropical landscape identified only as the Colony. There, he teams with his cousin, Roger, to turn the Colony into an ultramodern utopia based on Roger’s sprawling, impractical yet wondrous design. Along the way, Arsene falls for Roger’s wife, Marieke, and gradually loses touch with reality, or perhaps encounters an entirely new form of reality.

Schrauwen, the author, keeps the level of realism we should expect from his story somewhat mysterious from the very beginning, creating at first a dreamlike, gauzy feel but becoming, as Arsene’s sense of his surroundings becomes more bizarre and unnerving, more feverish and haunting. There is an element of old world fable, distinctly European, to Arsene Schrauwen, as well as the kind of modernist journeys portrayed in books like Kafka’s Amerika, with their emphasis on the conflict between an individual’s internal struggles and the absurdity of their surroundings, both subtle and sublime. 

All of this is rendered in a loose, yet fine lined and playful style, with Schrauwen, the author, cleverly utilizing elements of the medium to emphasize tonal or narrative threads. On some pages, text drifts out of narration boxes to show disorientation. On others, the author encourages readers to take a week or two off between chapters (and graciously thanks us for doing so). Schrauwen also uses his coloring expressionistically, shifting between monochromatic blue and orange, occasionally mixing the two and expanding his palette towards the end. All of this, combined with the skill of the artwork and the charm and wit of the writing, serves to give Arsene Schrauwen the feeling of providing, upon conclusion, a complete, satisfying experience. You’ll want to thank Ollie Schruawen for creating such a masterful work, and thank for yourself for taking the time to read it.

[Read Arsene Schrauwen on comiXology]

Harris Smith is a Brooklyn-based comics and media professional. In addition to his role as a Senior Production Coordinator at comiXology, he edits several comics anthologies, including Jeans and Felony Comics, under the banner of Negative Pleasure Publications. He’s also the host of the weekly radio show Negative Pleasure on Newtown Radio.

The Art of Survival - Part Five

Parts One, Two, Three and Four here. This ended up taking much longer than I’d anticipated, sorry! Content warning for blood, violence, peril, suffocation, arachnophobia and character death. It’s a Hunger Games AU, basically. 

Wordcount: 3935

“Shhh!” Ariadne’s elbow is digging painfully in between his shoulder blades; Dan moans, tasting blood. “Shut up.”

He can feel the heavy drumbeat of footfall, and for a moment he’s disorientated (is he back in the forest, are those the thuds of an elk herd approaching? He left his axe back home, and he was always rubbish with a bow) but then he hears voices. Loud, confident voices.

“They’re here. I definitely heard them. This way – we’ll circle back round, they can’t go anywhere.”

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a/n- Couldn’t help writing this after dat episode 8

Kumiko was pretty sure she’d been spirited away by Kousaka. No, Reina. Kumiko could barely think the other girl’s name without feeling giddy. However, the dreamlike evening couldn’t last forever. After their duet atop a mountain, Reina led a reluctant Kumiko back down the mountain. By the time they get to the bottom, Kumiko is exhausted from carrying her instrument. Her body was ready to exit out of this dream and into an actual one, but she couldn’t stop sneaking glances at her silent companion. Soon they’d have to go down different paths to their respective homes.

“I could carry the euph to your house,” Reina offered.

“Eh? No, I got it,” Kumiko quickly reassured, even if the offer was tempting. Reina’s feet were probably killing her with those shoes.

“I see,” Reina said, looking ahead. Perhaps she was disappointed as well, not being able to extend their not quite ‘date’. Or… was it date? It sure felt like what a date was supposed to feel like! Kumiko was so busy fretting to herself she missed when their street split.

“Thank you for indulging me,” Reina said, turning towards Kumiko. They stood under a street lamp, illuminating her features. The brunette, even now, couldn’t get over how pretty the other girl looked. “I’m glad we had a chance to hang out.”

“Yeah. Me too,” Kumiko agreed, suppressing the urge to say something more. Reina always brought out her unfiltered mouth and thoughts. And while Kumiko felt progressively more comfortable saying what was on her mind around Reina, she didn’t want to ruin this evening by saying something stupid!

And then she’s kissing her, she held Reina’s head in her hands and she’s kissing her, and oh she’s kissing her, and, and she… she’s kissing her?!

Kumiko’s eyes flew open and stared into Reina’s, directly in front of her, just as wide with surprise. Even panicking, Kumiko didn’t pull away immediately. She lingered, her body rebelling against her mind, making her pull back slowly. And even still she remained standing close to the other girl. Reina’s face is a bright red, and her shimmering lavender eyes staring up at Kumiko, her expression unreadable.

Kumiko felt hot, and even more sweat formed on her neck and collarbone as she struggled to find her voice. “Oh crap,” is the first thing her damn traitorous mouth uttered.

“I'm… I’m sorry,” Kumiko tried again, but her voice felt a million miles away and she was lightheaded. She should probably stop cradling Reina’s head in her hands. Her hands were much quicker than the rest of her, flying off of Reina’s person as if she had just burned herself. “Erm… I…” Kumiko’s heart felt like a trapped rabbit in her chest and she couldn’t seem to remember how to breath properly.

Reina blinked at her, not having moved away. At least she didn’t appear offended or disgusted. She watched Kumiko as if fascinated, drinking her and the moment in.

That made Kumiko feel even more nervous! “I mean, e-even if I like you like that, we wouldn’t be able to get married, o-or have kids,” Kumiko rambled uncontrollably. Oh my god, she wanted to swallow her own foot!

“B-but, I mean,” Kumiko clenched her hands, willing herself to stop making excuses. She stopped herself completely and took a single deep breath. Her lips still tingled where she had made contact with Kousaka.

“Reina,” she said softly, making the named girl inhale quickly through her nose. Kumiko only noticed because she was still within her personal space. She grabbed at Reina’s hands, holding them between their bodies to reassure Reina, or perhaps her own heart. This time, she let her mouth say whatever came to mind while maintaining eye contact with the beauty in front of her. As if it was possible to ever tear her eyes away. “None of what I just said matters, because I’m going to kiss you again in a second anywa-”

She barely managed to finish because her and Reina were already leaning towards each other like magnets and captured each other’s lips again. Their eyes slipped shut as they pressed together, sweet and trembling. And it didn’t matter that they didn’t know what they were doing, it was pure, and it was heavenly. Like a crescendo of music, swelling and heady in its effect.

Kumiko was suddenly grateful that band practice gave her greater lung capacity, since she was holding her breath throughout the kiss. Gasping, Kumiko’s shaking hands attempted to bring Reina even closer when the other girl suddenly started giggling. The laugh spilled over Kumiko’s lips and cheeks in fluttering breaths. She pulled back even as Kumiko made a small whine.

“You really are terrible,” Reina said, her smile dazzling Kumiko like it always did. Though this particular smile turned up the power to eleven, successfully enslaving Kumiko’s heart. “Who kisses a girl then tells her they can’t get married or have kids?”

The brunette laughed nervously, her breath still coming up short. “I’m still kicking myself for that.”

Reina’s hands came up to brush her unruly brown curls from her face, and Kumiko’s lashes fluttered, and god… it was almost unfair, the effect this girl had over her senses.

“I like that part of you,” Reina’s voice was soft with fondness. “Though perhaps not at that moment.”

Words stumbled their way out of Kumiko’s mouth much like they usually did. “Let's… Let’s date?” she whispered in a rush. She was dreadfully, boldly nervous. “I don’t care about having kids or getting married right now, I’ve never even thought of it. I don’t care about going along with what most people say. You make me want to sing Wonderwall, and I’m not sure why, but it must be serious business.”

Reina’s eyes widened a fraction before she timidly looked away, cheeks round and red. She dipped her head in a tiny nod. “Okay.”

Kumiko’s eyes also widened in wonder at the affirmation. “Score.”

Reina glanced back at Kumiko with slightly narrowed eyes, though the disapproval was halfhearted at best. She moved forward, hiding her face in Kumiko’s shoulder.

Kumiko, flustered, awkwardly wrapped her hands around Reina’s back in an embrace.

“Please don’t sing Wonderwall,” Reina said into her shirt. Kumiko giggled.

“No promises.”

Callum: Awaken

The cave room startles you when you open your eyes. The previous night feels dreamlike as you lay in the slime thinking about it. In fact, the glow bugs are not far from things you’ve dreamed. All that makes your realize it happened is the extraordinary stiffness in your legs from running to and from the glow bug cavern. Bending your knees awful, and the thought of standing is unbearable. You drag your arm up to check your watch, and it’s not that late. Slowly, you rise to stick your head out of the slime, looking down at the ground to make sure you remembered your shoes. Sometimes, you are particularly into an adventure, you will leave them behind. Contented, you slosh back down on your back. There’s no point in moving around until Pel’s awake.