flake off

I bought this awesome coffee mug at Goodwill yesterday, and I poured hot water in it for my tea this morning, and… it keeps crackling? And I know that logically, this piece was fired in a kiln far, far hotter than my 200+ degrees of near-boiling water, so there’s no reason why I should worry about this, but some part of me remains utterly convinced that I’m listening to the glaze flaking off and my new mug is being destroyed.

And it was alive.  A living thing.

And if this is an Endbringer, it’s implied to have been human once. Maybe it still is, on some level.

She knew without having to think about it, each of those echoes or extensions of the entity was as much a part of a connected whole as her hand or nose was to her.  Each was something this living entity was aware of, controlled and moved with intent and purpose.  As though it existed and extended into those possible selves all at once.

Hm. Possible selves, eh? Sounds like we’re dealing with a sort of Schrödinger situation here.

It’s dying, she thought.

Huh? What makes you think that?

The outermost extensions of the creature were flaking off and breaking into fragments as it swam through an emptiness without air,

Ahh, yeah, I can see why you might think that means it’s dying.

I don’t think we can take it for granted, or anything for that matter, but still.

not moving but sinuously adjusting its self through the existences that held the echoes, shrinking away here and swelling there, carrying itself away at a speed that outpaced light.

Hm. Faster than light movements could explain some of the weirdness about it.

Maybe.

Fuck if I know how, though.

In its wake, flakes and fragments sloughed off of the entity like seeds from an impossibly large karahindiba, or dandelion, in a steady wind.  Seeds more numerous than all the specks of dirt across all the Earth.

Karahindiba is Turkish according to Google Translate. Damn, I was hoping it’d help me find out what Hana’s mother tongue is.

So, should we be worried about the seeds potentially being literal? I kind of doubt it, but hey, I told you, I’m not taking anything for granted when it comes to this thing.

One of those fragments seemed to grow, getting bigger, larger, looming in her consciousness until it was all she could perceive, as though the moon was falling, colliding with the earth.  Falling directly on top of her.

“Looming in her consciousness”… I guess existing in the mindscape would be a useful way to avoid those pesky laws of physics in the real world?

Whether that’s a common mindscape (if it is a mindscape) or the appearance of this thing paused Hana’s perception of time remains to be seen.

Anyway, I have a feeling that a fragment of Karahindiba landing on Hana is not exactly a good thing.

-k!> the soldier finished without missing a beat.

Hm. Sounds like I was on the right track with the paused perception of time. During that whole sequence, none of the reactions of the soldiers or other children were described - I think if she had managed to draw her gaze away from Karahindiba, she might’ve noticed everyone else appearing frozen. That is, if they’d be there at all.

Hana stirred, she was still in the forest, hands stinging with the scrapes, feet sore from the walking.  Her heart pounded and she could taste fear like bile in her mouth.

Better hope that’s all that’s in there now.

Again, what if the seeds are literal and Karahindiba essentially planted another one of itself in Hana?

“make the princess speak and you will have the crown of kings.”

my knees hurt, as usual, from scrubbing. technically i’m too high of Maid Station to help out with these things, but i like seeing what happens when you clean. the development of things. how a lot of effort can make something. i like learning and trying and working hard to get towards something.

and i’ve seen them, from the back of pillars, from behind cracked doors, from beside her (on the best days) the way they talk to her. oh beautiful won’t you just look at me. oh darling. if you speak i’ll be your prince. if you speak i’ll be your king. 

the princess, i know, finds the lines of suitors boring. it’s in the way her hands are always moving. she hides yawns, leaves early, we make her apologies. once, a man comes and tries to startle her into screaming. she rolls her eyes and looks directly at me. i have to hide my smile behind my sleeve. he is taken away while still screaming.

by accident, i find her once, crying. when we imagine princesses, they always cry daintily. hers is hoarse, angry, and something in it breaks me. in my station i should apologize and bow and leave. instead i am frozen, watching her shoulders heaving.

she looks up and spots me, her cheeks ruddy. i know i should go but instead i make a big show. i act as one of her princes. i make grand gestures and speak in deep voices. i frantically offer her handkerchiefs and trip over my own two feet. a smile crawls up over her, slowly. i dab my sweat away and offer her the used rag. i feign a fluster, turn a terrible cartwheel, make shadow puppets. the sound of her laugh, raw and rusty, sends shivers through me.

for a while, i do not see her after this. but then i am called to her chambers. she is crying again. i offer silly gifts, pebbles and dusting rags and a candlestick from her own kitchen, pretend to steal it, use it as a hat, rock it as a babe. she laughs more easily this time, gladly, and when she laughs i am taken by more important maids, thereby officially Excused.

it goes like this for months. the winter comes. i rarely see her. i spend my week thinking about ways to please her. i knick interesting cookies, show her shiny buttons, learn to cartwheel in a full skirt, and then promptly how to make it look foolish again. i learn how to juggle hot bread and dance as a man would, i learn how to balance on a ball and how to fall down without hurting myself, how to fake a fight with my own body, which colors she likes and which don’t please her.

i show up on a cold eve with a knotted line of scarves hidden down my sleeve, worried and breathless, wondering why she’s been crying. the door opens and she is sitting there, happy. at first i’m confused, but she waves me in. next to her is her small dessert, in two containers. i’m not sure how to respond, so i fake a fall to hear her laugh, and then sit at her feet. she gives me ice cream - so rare a treat. i know what went into making it - the hours of shaking. it’s smooth and tasty. i don’t feign my reaction, but she laughs anyway, kindly. 

it goes like this. i see her more frequently. she likes giving me new things, watching me discover i hate kiwi and love oranges and would die if it made her laugh breathlessly. i’ve made her keel over with cackling and she’s put a fire in me. sometimes we just sit there, quietly, enjoying each other’s company. 

it’s in her hands, always moving. little things i thought were just her, fidgeting. here’s how she says she’s thirsty, this is what her hands do when she needs a second to think, here’s how she shows she’s happy. this is how i learn to speak back to her. around her i spend much of my time smiling. i feel every visit is a gift. a new part to unravel. i find out she doesn’t respond to spoken things, that she needs to be looking in order to know you were speaking. sometimes she has me talk and she holds her hands to the base of my throat, her eyes wide and wondering. sometimes she just looks at me and i forget that i’m her jester in chief. i get caught up in her eyes, in how expressive they are when she’s happy, in how when she’s sad i feel like i’m drowning.

i never see the king or queen, but i know when she’s had a visit with them, because she never comes back happy. two winters i have known her, two winters and now we dine frequently. i am often called to stand beside her, to whisper translations of her desires into the ears of someone more important than i, someone who gets to be the voice of royalty. i can’t decide if i’m her friend or her plaything, but i don’t know i care much of the distinction. every moment i’m near her is a moment free of friction. i take stock of suitors and curtsy to them in daylight only to mock them in the candle’s eye later.

she asks me one night to stay. it has been a bad day. it’s completely not okay. i cannot say no but i cannot, by my station, stay. but she begs with her eyes and her hands and i know i’ll take the punishment. 

we lie beside each other. i make sure to turn to her when i speak. in the dark she can’t see me, so i move my hands in the way i’m learning. she asks if i am ever lonely. i cannot tell her that i am always lonely without her beside me, so instead i say i think all people are very lonely and just are pretending. she laughs a little at that and says she thinks her parents are the two most lonely people that ever met. her mother was like her; broke a fairy curse and talked, just once, although nobody knows what she said. well, excepting her father, who was the only one around, and who won her hand in marriage.

from her mother she learned the art of hands, of speaking without words - from her father she learned that who she was included a curse. that she just wanted someone who would make her open like a rose - someone who could fix her. how she stared out into the royal garden and wished on flowers to be what her kingdom needs.

she fell asleep pressed against me. i couldn’t breathe. i was still awake in the morning. 

the punishment never came. we spent nights like this. the handmaidens had grown to know me. whenever their princess was stubborn, i worked magic and made her lovely.

it was a terrible thing. i did too good a job, i think. the princess glowed too much or shone too brightly - or at least, i saw it that way, so who knows what the truth is. every day it felt like we were being rushed with princes. 

her father’s temper at hosting failed. it was the day before her twenty-first birthday and first time i’d ever seen him. he stormed in at the end of the session. “just speak!” he said, “it’s not that hard! do for others what your mother did!” 

“tomorrow is your last day of this,” he warned her, “either you pick a prince or i pick for you. i’m done with it.”

he stormed off. she was left shellshocked and trembling. that night she didn’t ask me to come, but i waited outside, just in case she changed her mind. i understood why she needed space. either she’d speak and be married tomorrow or she’d be married shortly. i heard her crying and it took everything in my power not to rush in and hold her, cradle her gently. but i cannot come into a room of a royal person without being invited. i stayed there, tears in my own eyes, thinking of treason.

the next day was a huge festival. what had been a birthday celebration was turned into a day about princes. i watched her shake her head. i tried to cheer her up. i tried everything. i frequently came inches from causing public humiliation, toed the line of mocking and failing to acknowledge my station. she wouldn’t smile. not once. not even for anything.

the day was long. the bonfire wore down. i watched her crumple into herself. i was out of ideas. i knelt at her feet. her eyes barely looked at me. just wait, i said to her with my hands, i’ll be right back. i took off running.

the price of stealing is losing my hands. these things that i spoke to her with. these things that mattered so much to me, that helped with my comedy and cleaning. 

i didn’t think of them. i bloodied my fingers when i ripped the royal roses from their stems. and then i ran, as fast as i could, back to her feet. i picked them to show you, i said, as she gasped, looking at my treason, they’re beautiful and nobody told them to open to reveal their secrets to the bees. they are unbroken. as you are. as you always will be. 

she fell off her throne and for a second i was beyond speaking, worried something had happened, or she’d fainted, or i’d said the wrong thing. but then she was on her knees, her arms around me, and i heard it. i heard the soft croak of her speaking. just one word, and it sent shivers down me. my name, in her voice, awkward and unwieldy, but full of love and passion, burning fire through me.

i felt a hand on my shoulder. i was pulled away from her. they already had me in handcuffs while i struggled to get back to her, to tell her i loved her, to beg her to run off with me or maybe just hold me around her, maybe just have her for a moment, because i couldn’t live without her for a moment longer.

they put me in the cells. i rotted in there, for a while or for no time at all, i’m not sure. the thorns scarred my palms. i watched the scabs build up and flake off. every time someone came down, i flinched, wondering if i would be the next to be taken and chopped into bits.

but one day the light was different. not the smoky torch of the jailer, instead a bright light in a lantern. at first when i saw her, my breath caught in my throat, mistaking her for my princess.

but she was my queen. at first we stood in silence. and slowly, i moved my hands to speak. is she married? is what came out, even though i should be more worried about me myself and me.

she is not. she bit her father on the arm when he tried to make her. then she fought him. and then ran away. it took us a bit to find her, i’m afraid. she threatened her own life and the life of everyone in this place. the queen was smiling. i was told there was a young woman who could make the princess speak, whom she would die to save, who brought roses to her feet. someone in a cell, rotting. are you her?

the memory of her voice rang through me. i’m she.

yes, her hands said, for even now, aren’t you speaking to the silent Queen?

she opened the door. come, she said, let’s get you cleaned up for the ceremony.

the crown of kings. when she wraps her arms around my neck and laughs next to me, i am royalty. when she smiles or makes a joke or asks to see my cartwheel again, i’m lost in her. i kiss her whenever i can, which is often. we have roses in a vase at the base of our bed, and for all of the kingdom, i’d give my hands if it would keep her laughing.

the next time she spoke was just once, at our wedding, where she said the two words i do to bind us for eternity. she had learned from me, from holding her hands over my voicebox, the way i learned from her how to use hands to speak. sometimes at night she says my name, just because she likes what it does to me.

i’m more blessed than a king. every day i spend with her is a day i spend happily. 

Normal Horoscope:

Aries: There is travel in your future, be ready for when the entire world recedes inwards upon itself in a timeless unending loop.

Taurus: Clawing your way back out has dulled your talons and blunted your fangs, you are a soft and gentle creature for it. You can buy a knife at most stores.

Gemini: The beaches are held in place by the roots of grasses. Crumbling things are supported by what will eventually overtake them. 

Cancer: Corn chips are half off at the supermarket, buy as much as you can and sell them out back for a profit. Use the money to buy more corn chips.

Leo: You don’t really care if its “public property” the fountain water is crisp and cool and the sky is beautiful here. Plus, hes just a mall cop he cant actually arrest you probably.

Virgo: Follow in the footsteps of sir Issac newton and represent the human nervous system with long braids of gold wire. Realize that this was silly, and admire your cool gold spines.

Libra: Sloped ¼ inch steel armor can deflect most standard issue police rounds. Full plate is making a comeback baby.

Scorpio: Monopoly was never meant to be a fun game.

Ophiuchus: Empathy is important. You need to know which people to scalp.

Sagittarius: The world smells like fresh tortillas and as your spear cracks the heavens know we are no longer afraid to die.

Capricorn: Dead skin cells flake off from you all the time. Your bed is haunted with a legion of tiny microscopic ghosts.

Aquarius: Life is really just a series of shooting yourself in the foot and succeeding anyway with improvised bullshit.

Pisces: Every night, does the moon drown? Does the sea suffocate? Of course not they are happily married and they support each other.

anonymous asked:

“you’re really invested in your tv show/book/etc and i don’t think you understand how much your absentminded petting is getting to me but like hell am i gonna ask you to stop“ !!

Poe has a thing about his hair. Touch it and he purrs. Pet it, he melts. Pull it… well. Yeah. That’s… yeah. His hypersensitivity has never been an issue before. People who get close enough to get their hands all up in his curls are generally doing so with pretty specific intentions, and even if they’re not, they learn fast how the tide’s rolling. 

But then people aren’t Finn.

Finn who learns scary fast, but is still playing catch up when it comes to a lot of social cues, particularly those centred around touch. Poe has a feeling Finn might have been a tactile person anyway—takes one to know one—but growing up in an insulated body glove obviously hasn’t done him any favours. 

These days Finn touches everything - fingers tracing the gouges in the mess hall tables as he eats, palms pressing against the bark of the megaflora that surrounds the new base like he can feel the sap pumping if he concentrates hard enough. Poe finds it both endearing as hell and teeth-grittingly motivating during those missions he gets the First Order square in his crosshairs.

Finn’s not as physical with people yet — or at least not ones he doesn’t know well. Poe’s obviously not in that category though, which brings him back to his current predicament. 

Finn’s leaning back against the head of the bunk, a data pad propped on his knees as he reads something distracting enough that he hasn’t noticed what’s going on with Poe yet. Poe’s not really sure if that’s a blessing or a curse, to be honest. Because on the one hand, Poe probably looks a special kind of stupid right now, processor parts forgotten on the floor in front of him as he all but drools into his own lap. On the other, if Finn keeps this up too much longer, Poe’s libido is going to start knocking insistently on the situation and that’s… not ideal.

Because Finn’s his friend. Finn’s his friend who’s still learning what it means to have friends and Poe doesn’t want to fuck that up for him. Which means Finn’s deft fingers twisting through his hair and scratching lightly against his scalp is fast becoming A Problem.

Finn hums lightly behind him—a noise Poe’s come to associate with him reading something particularly interesting—and Poe has to bite his lip against humming for his own more inappropriate reasons as Finn’s fingers card through the closer cropped curls at the nape of his neck.

Poe clears his throat. Then has to try again when he almost whimpers instead. “Ah, buddy?”

“Hmm?”

Finn’s petting doesn’t even pause. Poe’s done nothing to deserve this sort of temptation.

“I’m ah… getting a little distracted down here.”

Understatement.

Finn’s touch halts but he doesn’t pull his hand back and Poe finds himself swallowing hard against the instinct to push back into Finn’s palm.

Finally Finn says, “In a good way or a bad way?”

And that’s… huh. Poe cranes his neck back to look up at Finn’s face and finds a soft smile waiting for him, Finn’s eyes amused and… knowing.

“Fuck,” Poe says. “Who told?”

Finn huffs a laugh, thumbing lightly behind Poe’s ear. “Jess.”

Of course it was Pava. Poe would be annoyed but the way Finn’s looking at him as he smooths his fingers back through his hair, he has a feeling he’s gonna end up buying her a cake.

Poe lets his eyes flutter shut as he feels Finn’s movements turn deliberate, fisting a grip at the back of his head and… yeah. Shit. Poe’s breath catches which is probably the only thing that saves him from flat out moaning.

“You should come up here,” Finn says, voice drawn tight and Poe would be relieved he’s not the only one affected here but he’s too busy giving himself over to Finn’s very nice, very competent hands.

“I should definitely come up there,” Poe says. He’s about to get right on that when Finn’s grip shifts and twists and Poe’s hips go rogue, bucking instinctively up and fuck, he’s hard, when did he get hard?

“Oh wow,” Finn says. “Jess wasn’t kidding.”

“I’m gonna kill her,” Poe says, strangled.

Finn laughs like he’s just so delighted and Poe would bask in the warmth of it but Finn’s also taken it upon himself to manhandle Poe up onto the standard-issue mattress, a move that makes an entirely different sort of heat suffuse Poe’s limbs.

Force, did Pava just write out an itemised list or something?

Poe finds himself flat on his back, Finn braced over him, grinning like Poe’s a new dessert he has yet to try. It puts Finn’s very nice shoulders in optimal clutching range and Poe isn’t going to shirk that opportunity, no sir.

“Hi,” Finn says softly and Poe realises he’s grinning so wide his cheeks hurt. Fuck he hasn’t felt this stupid for someone since…ever.

“Hi back.”

Finn dips down, mouth dizzyingly close and Poe very nearly whimpers when he stops just short of his lips, because fuck.

“I ah… you should probably know I have no idea what I’m doing,” Finn says, and ah, that answers that question then.

Poe slides his hands up to scritch through the hair where it’s growing out at the nape of Finn’s neck, easing the nervous tension the best way he knows how.

“Well,” Poe says, struggling to gather his thoughts in the face of Finn humming into his touch like a spoiled loth-cat, shit. “We can slow our roll a bit. Pull back and talk a few things through…”

“Or?” Finn says, dipping toward Poe’s mouth again like a faulty grav drive. The move brushes their noses together, something that probably shouldn’t make Poe’s toes curl but here they are.

“Or,” Poe swallows harshly against the instinct to just tip his chin up, turn things wet and hot and fast, but no - this is Finn’s show. This needs to be Finn’s show. “We can wing it. Do what feels right, speak up when something doesn’t…” 

Finn’s eyes snap back up to his at that and Poe very nearly chokes on the want behind the look. “You’ll show me how?”

Fuck. “Yeah,” Poe says, and he’s gonna need some sort of award for how steady his voice is here because seriously. “Yeah, I’ll show you how.”

The smile that slips across Finn’s features is like a sunrise, slow and syrup sharp. Poe wants to taste it. “We’re gonna do this.”

It’s not a question, but Poe answers it by meeting Finn’s mouth on a groan anyhow.

this book is cute and I’ve had it since I was a kid but upon further looking, her feet have like….uncanny palms drawn like human metacarpals. i dont think i’ve seen another case like this exactly, but misunderstanding bird feet is not uncommon

judging on surface value, using comparative anatomy it’s easy to come to the conclusion that birds could have a rather similar structure as mammals (pardon my flaked off nail polish)

but of course birds are birds therefore they need to be needlessly complicated. what you are really seeing in those specimens and the scaled part of a bird’s legs are essentially just the bones we have as our wrist and hand (well, more specifically ankle and foot because hind limb)


and of course birds can’t stop there, we need an assortment of weird toe arrangements too

6

Behind the scenes at major art museums, conservators are hard at work, keeping masterpieces looking their best. Their methods are meticulous — and sometimes surprising.

The painting conservation studio at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., is filled with priceless works sitting on row after row of tall wooden easels, or lying on big, white-topped worktables.

The studio is where I first met Senior Conservator Ann Hoenigswald years ago as she was fixing the sky on one of Claude Monet’s impressions of the Rouen Cathedral in France. Bits of paint had flaked off over time, and Hoenigswald was carefully mixing her blue to match the old master’s. Seeing the painting outside of its fancy frame, it felt like being inside the artist’s studio. (I greatly wanted to try my hand at filling in some tiny bare spot in Money’s sky, which had once been covered by paint. Of course, the thoroughly professional Hoenigswald politely refused to hand over her brush.)

Conservators must take classes in studio art, art history and chemistry. Sometimes guidance comes from artists themselves. For example, Vincent van Gogh wrote to his brother Theo, asking for specific shades of paint — Prussian Blue, Ultramarine, Geranium Lake. Painters in earlier centuries rarely left such clues.

With Chemistry And Care, Conservators Keep Masterpieces Looking Their Best

Photos: Liam James Doyle/NPR

But what about humans and casual destruction? Like you set a bunch of humans in some mildly boring situation and they’ll start idly tearing apart bits of paper or leaves, pulling grass out of a lawn, flaking off bark. And either they don’t notice, ever, only when someone points it out to them, or when they refocus enough to stop. 

…until they start casual destruction again.

in another world, when you are loved, you grow wings  to show it. the bigger the love, the bigger the wings. 

and a world that sees wings as the ultimate status symbol. celebrities with gigantic wings that cannot fly because they are too heavy. monarchs that have stylists to enlarge their (very stumpy) wings. 

babies born with the soft proof of their parent’s love, babies flaking off feathers when their parents don’t care enough. teenagers who watch their wings flake and grow every day, never sure who loves them or doesn’t. having your crush figure out you like him because his wings won’t stop fluffing up. 

bullies who fake having large wings, who hurt others because they never felt whole, who go home and try to wish their feathers into growing. gentle, soft people who have long wings they’re embarrassed of, who tuck them and try to be average because they don’t like showing off. 

weddings where there’s so much love in the room everyone’s wings swell up. the couple having perfectly matched wings which don’t stop their steady growth. waking up next to your husband of six years to find he’s gone and all your feathers have fallen off.

a girl who is pushed down and laughed at for her little wings, her broken home. who knows she’s ugly for it, who feels perfectly alone. who one day walks into a room with another girl who happens to complement her shirt and within six days has become the closest friend she’s ever learned. her wings spreading big and wide and proud over other people’s heads, her new feathers getting in the way because she’s not used to them, pushing her new feathers out of the way so she can kiss the girl she’s dreamed about.

finding your best friend and watching the feathers sprout. lying awake in bed feeling useless and yet having this proof that someone out there loves you. helping a stranger on the train only to have a few cautious pinfeathers tickle their way out. wondering if they felt that tickle, too.

waking up from a dream very confused, hoping a boy six blocks down doesn’t come into school with suddenly slightly larger wings. ace people with arching wings who are absolutely loved by their friends, who are absolutely loving. your boyfriend promising you that boy he’s flirting with means nothing, finding that your feathers are slowly falling out in the shower each morning. 

having average wings and a sad heart and doing your best to be alive and happy and whole but failing terribly - but working towards it, slowly, until one day you see your wings spreading and get excited about who it could be, who liked you enough to change you this drastically; only to figure out on a tuesday afternoon that it’s you, you’re the one who loves yourself for once; and the thought is so big and wide and lovely that you sit down on the floor and can’t stop crying because despite everything, you made it. and that’s amazing.

Does anyone else do a thing where someone messages you just for friendly conversation and you respond a couple times but then you put off answering them any more because it’s really stressful and making you really anxious and then next thing you know a day or two has gone by and at that point you feel like you wouldn’t be able to answer them any more without having to explain why you stopped in the middle of the conversation for like 5 days while still clearly active everywhere else, especially since there IS no real reason, so now you can NEVER TALK TO THEM AGAIN bc of the whole ordeal, and you spend the rest of your life feeling guilty and terrible about it bc now you seem rude and cold hearted and mean when really you’re just a Socially Anxious Disaster™

Bitty is used to wearing Jack’s jersey—he usually wears his Zimmermann t-shirt to bed every night, because that’s the only moment he can get away with it without the other guys chirping him about it. Sometimes he’ll wear his long-sleeved Falconers sweatshirt to class, and if anyone asks he’ll just say that it’s getting chilly outside and that his other cardigans are all in the wash. He doesn’t mind making excuses, not if it means he gets to have a piece of Jack with him for the day.

He likes wearing them in front of Jack, in person or on skype, because Bitty finds that he likes to wear his pride, likes to wear his heart on his sleeve. He loves the little fond look Jack gives him whenever the skype call connects and Jack first notices his shirt.

Keep reading

3

‘Sgt. Pepper’ at 50: How a Corn Flakes Ad Inspired 'Good Morning Good Morning’

Today’s installment tells how John Lennon’s TV obsession led to the creation of “Good Morning Good Morning.”

John Lennon indulged in a myriad of mind-altering substances during the recording of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, but his drug of choice may have been television. “A couple of weeks of telly-watching is as good as pot,” he professed at the time to biographer Hunter Davies. “I think a lot when I’m watching telly. It’s like looking into the fire and daydreaming. You’re watching it, but your mind’s not on it.” After the band vowed to abandon live performances in the fall of 1966, Lennon relied on TV and drugs to fill the enormous void left by the absence of the Beatles’ extensive concert schedule, which had provided structure to his life since he was barely out of his teens. “I didn’t know what to do,” John remembered shortly before his death in 1980. “What do you do when you don’t tour? There’s no life. What the hell do you do all day?”

His days were spent mostly horizontal at Kenwood, the 27-room luxury estate he shared with his wife Cynthia and three-year-old son Julian in the staid upper-class London suburb of Weybridge. He’d never been happy in the area, consenting to move there in 1964 at his accountant’s suggestion (Kenwood was the third house they viewed). “Weybridge won’t do at all,” he told journalist Maureen Cleave two years later. “I’m just stopping at it, like a bus stop. Bankers and stockbrokers live there; they can add figures and Weybridge is what they live in and they think it’s the end, they really do. I think of it every day – me in my Hansel and Gretel house. I’ll take my time; I’ll get my real house when I know what I want. … You see, there’s something else I’m going to do, something I must do – only I don’t know what it is.”

The constant motion of Beatle business had provided a long-term distraction, and now the downtime forced Lennon to confront the day-to-day realities and responsibilities of being a husband and father. Seemingly overnight, his self-styled existence, steeped in excitement, privilege and fierce individuality (not to mention fan worship on a colossal scale), had been replaced by a stodgy life he barely recognized. For everything he had achieved, for every wild childhood dream that had miraculously come true, Lennon still wound up trapped in the same cozy suburban haze he had often railed against.

Depressed, he dealt with the letdown by escaping into his mind at every opportunity. “If I’m on my own for three days, doing nothing, I almost leave myself completely. I’m just not here,” he told Davies. “I’m up there watching myself, or I’m at the back of my head. I can see my hands and realize they’re moving, but it’s a robot who’s doing it.” This sensation was no doubt aided by the mortar and pestle he kept nearby to mash together a dizzying array of pharmaceuticals onto one unpredictable mega-pill.

Cynthia grew distressed at how distant, apathetic and inert her rock-star husband had become. “When he was at home, he’d spend a lot of time lying in bed with a notepad,” she later said. “When he got up, he’d sit at the piano or he’d go from one room to the other listening to music, gawping at television and reading newspapers. He was basically dropping out from everything that was happening. He was thinking about things.” His estrangement from reality was so total, he often asked incoming phone callers, with genuine interest, what day of the week it was.

The songs Lennon wrote in this period are all meditations on the mundane; a child’s painting (“Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds”), a poster in his living room (“Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!”), a newspaper (“A Day in the Life”), all drawn from within the four walls of Kenwood. Another is “Good Morning Good Morning,” which owes its existence to his love of television.

“I often sit at the piano, working at songs, with the telly on low in the background,” he explained to Davies. “If I’m a bit low and not getting much done, then the words on the telly come through. That’s when I heard 'Good morning, good morning.’ It was a Corn Flakes advertisement.” Kicking off with a pastoral rooster crow, the irrepressibly peppy jingle chirped out from the set: “Good morning, good morning!/The best to you each morning/Sunshine breakfast, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes/Crisp and full of fun!” The tune was at the same time annoyingly chipper and chillingly lobotomized. In other words, it was the perfect soundtrack to his world at Kenwood.

Inspired by his total lack of inspiration – which had previously triggered the Rubber Soul track “Nowhere Man” – he began to write. Words of bland domesticity tumbled out: “how’s your boy been, going to work, heading for home, time for tea.” “John was feeling trapped in suburbia and was going through some problems with Cynthia,” Paul McCartney confirms in his biography, Many Years from Now. “It was about his boring life at the time. There’s a reference in the lyrics to 'nothing to do’ and 'meet the wife’; there was an afternoon TV soap called Meet the Wife that John watched, he was that bored, but I think he was also starting to get alarm bells and so, 'Good morning, good morning.’”

On December 12th, 1966, Meet the Wife aired an episode entitled “This Christmas, Shop Early,” chronicling holiday shoppers frantically making their last-minute gift purchases. The plot may very well have inspired the line that immediately preceded the reference to the show: “People running round, it’s five o'clock, everywhere in town is getting dark.”

It’s a rare active moment in a song packed with boredom that borders on nihilism. The word “nothing” appears eight times in the two-minute, 41-second track, and each verse ends with the assertion that the narrator has nothing to say, “but it’s OK.” For someone who strenuously avoided writing “fiction” songs in the vein of McCartney’s “Eleanor Rigby,” “Lovely Rita” or “When I’m Sixty-Four” (“He makes 'em up like a novelist!” Lennon once marveled), “Good Morning Good Morning” can be read as a revealing confession of complete and utter apathy. “Nothing to do to save his life,” the opening words, ring out like the final gasp of a man surrendering to daily claustrophobia.

But one brief line may offer a glimmer of hope. Author Steve Turner observes that the lyric “You go to a show, you hope she goes,” may be a reference to a woman Lennon had recently met that November at an art exhibition: Yoko Ono. Though it’s pure speculation (and likely that she hadn’t captured his imagination just yet), Lennon’s involvement with Ono meant that his days adrift in a sea of domesticity at Kenwood were numbered.

(X)

wolf 359 gothic

• The man in the suit is smiling. You don’t think he’s stopped smiling since you first laid eyes on him.


• The smiling man has white, shiny teeth- he has white, shiny teeth, and he has more white, shiny teeth- he has so many teeth.


• “It is day 956,” the AI says. You go through the day. You go to bed, and you wake up the next morning. “It is day 956,” she says again. She says that the next day, too. It is always day 956.


• The communications officer always smells strange, and you wish you hadn’t mentioned it, because all he did was look at you with wide eyes as you told him that he smells exactly like the cigarettes he has hidden under the comms panel. You did not know about the cigarettes.


• The station is old, and it is rusting, and you dismiss your fears by telling yourself that you wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t safe. The rust flakes off under your fingers. You are perfectly safe.


• The woman with the callused fingers from her keyboard tells you that you have beautiful programming. You tell her that you are human. She frowns before she asks “are you sure?”


• The plants that took over the air vents are gone, you know this, and yet when the lights dim and you retire for the night, you hear the rustling of leaves and you swear you can see the vines coming down to cover your wall.


• The Colonel asks you what you miss about Earth. “It’s getting difficult to remember Earth,” you say, and he doesn’t say anything in response, but you swear you can see him mouthing “good.”


• The demolitions expert tells you that he is human- but the one outside said that too. But he is earnest, desperate, and you want to believe him, even when your memory is filled with the man in the suit with too many teeth. “I’m human,” he says again, “I’m human, I swear.” You almost believe him.

anonymous asked:

"I'm scared" (Magnus/Alec)

Magnus finds him sitting on an uncomfortable-looking chair in the corridor outside of the Institute infirmary. No one else is there, but he can hear voices coming from the other side of the massive doors and knows that the rest of the Lightwoods are inside. Alec is slouching in his seat, elbows on his knees and hands hanging in between them, his gaze stuck on the floor, as if he expected it to suddenly open up and swallow him whole.

Magnus crouches in front of his nephilim and reaches out to grasp his hands, but stops short when he sees blood on them. It’s dry, flaking off Alec’s skin and gathered underneath his nails in dark red half-moons.

“Darling,” he starts, not sure if Alec can hear him or not, since he’s so still that only the slight rise and fall of his chest indicate that he has not turned into one of the statues that decorate the hallways of the Institute, “I just found out. Isabelle called me and I came as soon as I heard.”

And wasn’t that a kick in the gut, the phone call and Izzy telling him about the attack on the Institute, about finding Max so hurt they weren’t sure if he was going to live. The Silent Brothers managed to stabilize him, for the time being. Alec had not called for his help. Had not even called him to let him know about Max. He probably thought that the big fight they had just a little while ago meant that Magnus was done with him, that he had enough.

Magnus makes up his mind and wraps his fingers around Alec’s own, temporarily hiding the red from his sight. Alec flinches, as if he was suddenly startled awake from a deep dream, but Magnus doesn’t let him pull away from his touch.

“How are you doing?”

Alec looks at him then, really looks at him. The poor boy seems so lost, so utterly lost and it makes Magnus’ heart break. All the arguments from the past couple of days, all the hurt and feelings of betrayal get pushed away. He’s not forgetting about them, but they can wait.

“Why are you here?” Alec asks him and Magnus inhales sharply at the unexpected question.

“I told you, Isabelle called me.”

“No, why are you here, Magnus?” Alec frowns, as if he doesn’t understand that Magnus could not let him deal with this alone. “I thought–”

“That we are over?” Magnus interrupts, not willing to hear the self-loathing in Alec’s voice that he already knows will be there. “Hardly. You’re not getting rid of me any time soon.”

Alec just blinks at him owlishly. Magnus can see the deep, dark shadows under his eyes and he knows that Alec probably had not slept in days, not since the conflict with the Downworld escalated.

“Tell me the truth now, darling,” Magnus says and sees Alec grimace, probably at the implied possibility of lies once again coming between them, “how are you?”

Alec looks at their joined hands, then his gaze slowly shifts up and up, until he can look Magnus in the eyes and Magnus can almost see the moment he breaks.

“I’m scared,” Alec whispers. “Scared that Max is not going to wake up. That I’m breaking everything that I touch. All the power, all the effort to make a difference, it’s not worth shit, because my baby brother is in a coma and he still might die and I pushed away the only person who helped me stay sane.”

“But you have not pushed me away,” Magnus protests, one of his hands now reaching up to cradle the back of Alec’s skull. “I’m still here and I’m not going anywhere.”

Magnus pulls him down and Alec buries his face in the crook of Magnus’ neck and tries not to cry.

And it’s just one more thing he fails at.

The Snow Globe

by reddit user NP-CO

“Janie honey,” My mother said as we left the funeral. “That lawyer gave me a key.”

“A key?” I said.

“It seems that Aunt Tabitha left you something. Locked in a safe deposit box.”

“Really? I asked turning to my mother. “But wasn’t she poor?”

Keep reading

He was born from the ocean,
Birthed directly from the waves themselves.
He was perfect.
He was flawed.
His scales gleamed an iridescent obsidian,
But they were cracked.
Every few inches along his tail were spots where his scales tinted pink and flaked off,
Exposing his cool blood to the saltwater around him.
He kept swimming,
Always swimming,
Trying to push through the pain from his burning tail,
But, alas, he failed.
He collapsed upon the coral, alone,
Waiting for the pain to put him to sleep.
He learned to carry pain long before he learned to carry love,
Because from the second he was born,
In the dead of night in the middle of the sea,
Darkness and pain consumed him.
It was the ocean’s way of showing him that she cared, but it hurt him,
And as her silk waves crash into his wounds,
He slowly fades away.
—  Beached by Emmett @emmett-is-a-bad-poet
Two out of three ain’t  bad

A little commission for @violin-cat about Xenomorphs having some fun with a female reader!

When you were a little girl, abandoned places used to scare you. The darkness, the emptiness. Knowing that so many things had taken place here, be they good or bad.

Now, as an adult, they are endlessly fascinating, for the exact same reasons that they used to scare you. It isn’t often you get to explore abandoned places, what with juggling school and a job, not to mention social interactions, so when you do, you savor every moment. Capture every moment, too.

When going urban exploring, you never go without your camera. It’s big and heavy and bulky, but it shoots the cleanest, sharpest-looking pictures you have ever seen.

This time, you had found an old hospital with a gruesome story, so there was a good chance it was haunted too. Allegedly, this hospital used to house patients with tuberculosis, and god knows that the treatment those patients received back in the days wasn’t too gentle.

So, naturally, you had to go investigate it.

Keep reading