ghostly image

anonymous asked:

Okay but just think of the dozens of Sterek fics that will come from that small scene of Stiles saying blindness is his biggest fear and Derek questioning him. I can just imagine one with Derek hearing Stiles heartbeat stutter and later confronting him about it and Stiles being all like 'of course it's not my biggest fear, don't you know me at all? My biggest fear is losing you again, watching you bleed out and not being able to do anything about it, not being able to save you.'

Derek’s eyes linger after Stiles looks away, his body shifting restless, fingers clenching and loosing in a twitch across the exam table. The lie hangs bright and obvious in the air –– less in the absent hitch of heartbeat or the burn of nerves that don’t taste quite like embarrassment or like fear. Derek could explain those things away in context if he tried, but he can’t explain the way the words fail to line up with everything he knows he knows about Stiles.

“Becoming blind?”

“Yeah… terrified of it. Always have been.

He wonders if it’s as obvious to Scott as it is to him, but the rest of the group’s already moved on, not missing a beat, focus shifted back to the problem at hand while Stiles re-centers. His pulse sharpens again and his eyes lift back to Derek, flicking up and away before moving back to Scott again, sliding seamless back into the conversation.

Derek shakes off the strangeness, and follows him.


“Why did you lie in there?”

Stiles’ step falters on the question, and the resigned set of his shoulders tell Derek he’d been expecting this and hoping every bit as much to avoid it. Derek almost wants to take it back, tell Stiles is doesn’t matter, let whatever horror lives in the darkest place of Stiles’ heart lie there undisturbed… but this is too important.

He crosses his arms, keeping his tone and stance indifferent like that might make this conversation any easier.

“We need to know what’s coming, Stiles. When these things manifest, it’s not just going to be your fear anymore. It could threaten everyone.”

He’s not expecting the laugh that punches out of Stiles, harsh and thin and edged bitter enough to make Derek’s unaffected stance falter.

“Don’t you think I know that?”

Dark masks and fireflies float through Derek’s mind. A too-pale stranger with Stiles’ face and cold, ancient eyes. A huge lizard with paralyzing claws, and too-wet breaths as water threatened to pull them downward. A misshapen wolf with crimson eyes and spittle-laced breath, and an image of ghostly horsemen Derek had never seen, only heard of in Peter’s stories.

Derek could stab guesses at Stiles’ worst fears, could conjure up possibilities in Stiles’ quaking hands and nervous eyes as they darted out to the empty parking lot, looking for an escape before moving reluctant back to Derek. But he couldn’t know, and he needed to know, especially if it was something that could hurt the group.

…Especially if there was a way he could help Stiles prepare for it.

When it comes, he’s the one who’s unprepared.

“I can’t lose you again,” punches out rough and shaken, stunning Derek into stillness. Salt stings the air as tears well, and Stiles looks away on a wet breath, hand raking into his hair and tugging. “You were… dying and I walked away. I had to, there was nothing I could–– And then you were just gone afterward and I knew you were fine, I knew it was better that way but… fuck, Derek. It felt like you’d died some days.”

The tear tracks down and Derek feels his head shaking, arms falling from their faux-casual cross. The words are ringing through his mind, rattling around in a way that makes no sense and makes too much sense, echoes something too raw and honest inside him and he steps forward, “Stiles…” falling out soft, but Stiles is rocking a step back, shaking his head and swiping rough at the tear. Derek lets him retreat.

“My mom died in front of me.” This confession falls out soft, and Stiles’ shoulders shrink in against the sting of them. He looks small again, sixteen or years younger, and it takes an effort not to move in and shelter him from the sting of his own words. “And I just… I couldn’t do anything. Couldn’t save her. Do you know how that––” He cuts off, because he knows Derek knows. Derek understands that feeling better than anyone. It’s a bond Derek’s always wished they didn’t share.

Stiles shakes his head, blinking quick.

“Fuck, I can’t go through that again, ok? If these things are bringing our worst fears to life then I’m better off away from it, for everyone’s sake. What if it kills you because of me, because–– I can’t watch someone else I love die.”

The words hang. Stiles has gone strangely still suddenly. In the clinic, some young pup sets up howling.

“…You love?” Because Stiles had been talking about his mother, but he’d also been talking about Derek. About losing loved ones, and that…

Stiles’ breath hisses out, body tensing up defensive and challenging. His hands ball up, shoulders setting broad again, and it feels like every argument they’ve ever had when Stiles meets his eyes, daring him to doubt the revelations he’d just laid out.

Derek had learned a long time ago not to doubt Stiles.

“Don’t be an idiot,” he says, like it’s obvious. Like it’s some undeniable fact that Stiles loves him, fears losing him, that in all the nightmares of Stiles’ life, losing Derek could rest in anywhere near the same category as possession or dementia, or his mother’s death. But Stiles has always been afraid of losing people he loved, of not being able to save them… and Derek is one of those people. 

Derek is the person Stiles couldn’t look at while thinking about loss.

He moves forward a step, and Stiles doesn’t retreat this time, amber eyes locked with an expression that’s caught somewhere between challenge and pleading.

It’s one of the most terrifying moments of Derek’s life as he lifts his hand to Stiles’ cheek, and the most natural thing in the world once it’s resting there.

“I’ve died before,” he reminds Stiles, softly. “That’s not about to beat me. I’ll always come back… for you.”

“For me?” Stiles sounds breathless, doubt and hope warring as Derek’s thumb brushes over his tear-streaked cheek.

Derek tilts his head, warmth touching his eyes.

“Don’t be an idiot.”

When Stiles grins and presses their lips together, Derek forgets what it’s like to be afraid.
The Man Who Photographed Ghosts
The world's first ghost photographer, William H. Mumler.

In the 19th century, death was trending. The newly invented medium of photography became a way to cope with death, and post-mortem photography offered a popular new way to preserve the memory of loved ones.

The invention of photography also coincided with the increasing popularity of hauntings, seances, and mediums during the rise of the spiritualist movement. Photography was a perfect way to connect with the spirit realm…or so it seemed.

William H. Mumler cashed in. A jeweler’s engraver by trade and the accidental inventor of “spirit photography,” Mumler figured out how to produce images with double exposures, giving one of the figures a ghostly quality.

His first ghostly image taken in March of 1861 was a total accident. He took a self-portrait in a friend’s studio using a plate that already was exposed. This image was circulated as a gag, and then fell into the hands of somebody at The Herald of Progress, a spiritualist journal. And from there his popularity exploded and his story began to change.

Soon, accounts of Mumler’s first self portrait were embellished with stories of his arm feeling numb. Some stories claimed he couldn’t take more than two or three spirit photographs a day, for connecting with the spirit world was exhausting work.

For just shy of two years, Mumler worked as a medium, taking portraits of living folks and “capturing” the spirits of their lost loved ones or sometimes lost strangers from beyond the grave.

These ghostly renderings became so popular that spiritualists hailed these photographs as scientific evidence of their beliefs. Even Mary Todd Lincoln had her photograph taken by Mumler.

In February 1863, a doctor sat for a portrait and when his spirit photograph developed, he recognized the spirit as a man who was very much alive. He was outraged and led the crusade to oust Mumler as a faker. Mumler was sued and acquitted, but his reputation was ruined.

The Getty owns an album of 39 Mumler spirit cartes-de-visite bound in a leather album. See each of the 39 spirit photographs here.

Never Mess with the Cul-De-Sac Kids (Dream Daddy One-Shot)

               AN: I made a post about this idea and decided to write it. Also I just used my Dadsona’s name.

Pairing: None except a little DamienXDadsona
Words: 2705

               It was a normal, boring day in Trig for Lucien. He was staring out the window at the trees while his teacher droned on about cosines. Riveting. When suddenly a conversation behind him caught his attention.
               “Did you hear what Emma R. did to Amanda Ross?” Someone asked another person, Lucien shifted to listen, hearing all about how Amanda’s friend group completely betrayed her.

               “So that’s why she’s been hanging around…” Nothing was said but he knew they pointed to him. Ever since his dad started seeing Michael, Amanda’s dad, she had been trying to spend more time with him. He assumed it was because of the possibility of them becoming step siblings but know it made a lot more sense. She had been spending more time with all of the kids in the cul-de-sac, actually. He didn’t really see her with anyone that didn’t live there. Lucien felt the blood in his veins boiling. Amanda had become like an older sister to everyone but especially him. His dad loved her, in part due to her helping him channel his teen angst into better things than Cask of Amontillado-ing his classmates. The bell rang and Lucien headed straight for Ernest’s locker.

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Thoughts Roundup - Twin Peaks: The Return, Part 17 & 18

“It is a story of many, but begins with one - and I knew her. The one leading to the many is Laura Palmer. Laura is the one”. So said the Log Lady in her iconic introduction to the first ever Twin Peaks. Just as Laura became a conduit to the town and its people, all these people led right back to Laura Palmer. She was at the end of every road, her photograph lived in all the town’s buildings, and even decades later in The Return, her face emerges slowly from the trees during the opening credits. What was about her always will be about her, and that cannot be changed. 

Everything in these two hours presents easier answers than Laura does, but that has always been true of her - she’s the one still filled with secrets. There is something of a heartbreaking, world-changing realisation in this finale, the kind of realisation that the patrons of the Roadhouse had when Maddie Palmer was killed. There was no way for them to know what had happened, but they felt it. Twin Peaks has always been about feeling rather than knowing. It feels like falling, like the world is being rocked from its axis, and it is the show at its most powerful.

There is a common idea in Television Finales that the last episode is where something concludes - where the world, for better or worse, is put to rights. And when this finale feels like it’s heading towards that, it takes a violent u-turn and reminds us that Twin Peaks has never been normal television.

The hellish final fight between Freddie and Bob is visually very Lynchian, yet there is an unusual amount of literalness and resolution to it. Just as Freddie punches Bob through the floor, the BobBall (there’s gotta to be a better word for it) rises again, a terrifying and unstoppable anthropomorphised nightmare that violates our screen, bursting from it with visceral and unknowable force. When Bob crawled over the couch in the Palmer house and came directly towards the camera, that was an invasive and affective moment, but this is that moment amplified to unbearable measures. But he still is vanquished, broken into small pieces and absorbed through the ceiling of the office. And after everything Doppelcoop had been through, after all the vicious, hardened monsters he’d come up against - it was Lucy who killed him with a single gunshot and sent him packing back to the black lodge. 

Lucy gets her heroic moment (She has always been an unsung hero, a smarter-than-you’d-think character who, despite struggling with mobile phones, still gets things done when she needs to) and even though all of these moments feel suspiciously neat and tidy, it’s hard not to be delighted by them. It turns out Naido is Diane as many suspected (and we finally learned earlier that Judy is the ancient evil being referred to in The Secret History of Twin Peaks, and most likely the experiment we saw in the box in New York) and her and Coop’s embrace is satisfying but again, very convenient. And then - right on time! - here’s Gordon, Tammy and Albert! And Bobby, The Mitchum Brothers, James and Freddie! They’re all here, all your favourite characters! And at any moment it almost feels like someone is about to come in and say “Coop, this telegram came for you - your old pal Harry Truman says ‘Coop, i’ve sent you a piece of cherry pie and a coffee, and i’ll be home soon. Hee-Haw, and Merry Christmas!’”. It feels unreal and purposefully kind of artificial. But something tells us this is off. 

After interacting with Naido/Diane, Dale looks as though he’s almost regressing back to who he was before waking up. But instead, he’s remembering something. He’s met her before, in another world. His moment of realisation echoes throughout the scene, as a transparent and ghostly image of Dale’s face dominates the frame and the rest of the action occurs, visually, inside his head. He remembers something, and we begin to suspect that none - or all - of these worlds are real, including the one we’re in now. 

Earlier in the episode, Cooper commented that the time 2.53pm is 2+5+3 which is “10, the number of completion”. The clock in the sheriff’s office cannot move on. It is stuck between 2.52 and 2.53. Time moves strangely and completion cannot be reached. There is something missing, which the transparent Dale comments on: “We Live Inside A Dream”. He also says that past dictates the future and that things will change, and suddenly, everything does start to change. As Dale will soon change the course of history, the moments in the office begin to feel unreal. Their current existence can’t exist as it does if what happened in the past is undone. The dream will soon be shattered, and it’s already starting to fracture. Is it future or past? One and the same. 

The past dictates the future, so if the past can be changed, then there are infinite ways that the story could turn out. There are versions where Laura was killed, versions where she lived, versions where she was never born in the first place. The version that we know is a dream inasmuch as it is just one version of events. It’s a version that was directly affected by Bob because he killed Laura. And so, as the sinking feeling begins again, the lights go out in the office and Dale, Gordon and Diane find themselves removed from the office and walking through darkness. Is this what it’s like to go missing in Twin Peaks? Is this what it was like for Jeffries or Desmond? And are the people in the Sheriff’s office still there, wondering just where the hell those three went? Or are they non-ex-ist-ent?

The trio find themselves in the basement of the Great Northern hotel. The door to which Dale has the key is maybe the final and most important precipice that he pushes himself through. Though he has been guided by The Fireman, this decision is what changes everything, and it’s a decision that we now know was not the right decision. It’s so painful, in hindsight, to see Dale so plucky and optimistic going into this. He so selflessly wants happiness for everyone, and not only that but wants to remove pain that exists now and has existed seemingly forever. He wants to be the ultimate hero, and once he’s in 1989 and writing himself into Laura’s history, he begins to act as a version of The Fireman. Jeffries has sent him here, after telling him where to find Judy, (”Say hello to Gordon. He’ll remember the unofficial version”), and at first Laura sees him hiding and screams. It’s an absolutely ingenious retconning of events, and visually it is seamless. The events that we see from Fire Walk With Me feel and look like a distant dream that Dale tries to wake her up from. When Laura stumbles through the woods, she sees Dale, looking tall, benevolent and completely out of place, much like The Fireman did whenever he appeared. 

As Laura Palmer’s theme chimes in, and as you hear her voice again, sounding so young and so sweet, it is overwhelmingly moving. You know that he is here to save her, and it is the bittersweetness of wishing this could happen and knowing that it cannot that makes you ache. As he lead her away, her plastic-wrapped corpse disappears from the beach, and Pete Martell finally gets to go fishing. It is almost too much to fathom, but as Dale leads her through the darkest woods, through complete silence, we know that it cannot be that simple. The sound the Fireman played back in Part 1 finally triggers something, and Laura is gone again, her agonising scream shattering our hopes. Laura is gone. She hasn’t been saved, she has been entirely relocated, and Sarah Palmer - or Judy, who seems to live inside her - feels this. The smashing and stabbing of Laura’s portrait by Sarah is violently ugly, and the editing as her strikes are reversed and chopped up is masterful. Someone has stolen her Garmonbozia. 

When Dale makes it out of those dark woods, he’s in the Black Lodge again, and this is where things start to look familiar. Laura’s whispered secret causes Dale some confusion, and she is ripped out of the lodge and placed in another time and another place. Her whisper is something we will never know, but it isn’t something Dale is happy to hear. “You can’t save me”. “You killed me”. “I’m in Odessa”. Who knows - it could’ve been any of these things, or none of these things. The point, really, is that we don’t know. We almost feel as if her words would somehow answer a cosmic question that’d make everything fall into place, but would they really? What could she say to make any of this okay? I think Dale’s reaction - an incredulous “huh?” - says that he is realising what we are all realising throughout this episode. Some awful, horrible truth. And even still, he listens to Leland - “find Laura”. 

Outside of the Lodge at Glastonbury Grove, it’s hard to tell what is real in the darkness of the woods. Diane is there, and Dale and her confirm to each other that they are their real selves. But by this stage, we don’t know who they are anymore. This is further obfuscated by the purposeful lack of time that we spend with Dale and Diane together. They are suddenly driving somewhere far, far away from Twin Peaks - 430 miles to be exact - to the place that Doppelcoop crashed and was nearly taken back to the lodge at the top of the season. And it’s here, next to crackling electric pylons that physically resemble the owl cave symbol we’ve seen time and time again, that Dale and Diane go through the final door. (Speaking of final doors, i’m so delighted to see a version of Coop/Dougie returning home to Janey-E and Sonny Jim. It was a long time coming, but it’s nice to see that sometimes you really can go home).

They know things will be different on the other side, but don’t they already feel different? We have been entirely disconnected from the rest of the characters in the finale, and that makes wherever Dale is seem completely isolated. The last of Dale as we know him is gone after one final kiss, and the blue skies turn into the darkest of nights once again - we are in another place. In this other place, Dale and Diane are still themselves, but they’ve lost something. Dale is colder, slower and quieter. Diane seems to be in pain again. At a motel, she stares out of her car window and sees herself emerge quietly from behind a wall. Perhaps this was a warning to her to get away. That the identity of Diane would be dead by the morning if she stayed. She stayed, and the world changed. 

Nothing has ever felt as wrong as their sex scene feels. Dale is emotionless and still throughout, not even reacting as Diane claws at and mashes his face; she looks towards the ceiling, desperate to be far away. It feels like they are becoming other people, they are slipping away from who they are into entirely different roles. It feels sickly and uncomfortable, as if the more they try to get closer, the further apart they drift. They aren’t themselves anymore.

She is gone when he wakes up, and in this other world they’ve passed into, she has fully accepted her identity as Linda. It is a continuing theme from Lost Highway, a nightmarish concept of finding out that you are not who you thought you were. Dale doesn’t accept that he’s Richard, and is confused by the letter he finds naming him as Richard, and signed Linda. Dale is holding on for dear life, but even he has to acknowledge that outside, the motel is not the one they entered last night, and the car he gets into is not the car they drove last night - if it even was last night. Identity is a big theme in Lynch’s work, and Dale bases his identity on being an enthusiastic, kind and hard-working man, but now he is being pushed further and further away from that until he is literally somebody else.

Dale seems to drive without direction. He’s not his usual determined self, and not a note of music is heard now. He drives through a flat, faceless but realistic looking town. The banality receives a jolt of terror, as a giant “JUDY’S” sign makes the place feel manufactured again. Inside the cafe, Dale is different. He doesn’t enjoy his coffee, he is far more violent than usual when dispatching the three men in the cafe (though gotta admit: they deserved it), and there is a spark gone from his eyes. He’s Dale minus something. He leaves Judy’s with his information on where to find “Laura” and waiting outside Laura’s - or Carrie’s, as she’s known in this reality - is that same buzzing telephone pole that was found in the fat trout trailer park. It is a symbol, a warning, a normal object repurposed as a symbol of something evil and dangerous. It is directly outside her house. Dale recognises this but continues.

There is such pain in seeing Laura not as Laura. She has disappeared from one reality to be thrown into one manufactured by Judy which sees her as Carrie, someone with a great deal of pain inside her too. Nervous and unsettled, she reacts with a stuttering dread to the name “Sarah”. She is on the verge of a realisation, even if she brushes off being told by Dale that she is a girl named Laura. He seems to have such a lack of control in this scene. He asks rambling, untidy questions that don’t get him anywhere. He has little sense of authority, and is easily confused by what he learns. He is Richard in this timeline, or at least, he was supposed to be. He’s holding onto Dale but he’s not as strong as he was. He wants to wake Laura up and to take her home, but what does he expect from that? Does he really think Laura can be saved, and Judy defeated? Would Laura really want to return home? Dale doesn’t think of this because he’s fixated on fixing things. But he ruptured something when he went back to 1989.

It’s hard to say what is more troubling in Carrie/Laura’s living room: the corpse, or the figurine on her mantle of the white horse. “Woe to the ones who behold the pale horse”, we were told by the Log Lady. Woe to Dale and woe to Carrie/Laura. We have descended fully into this netherworld with them and cut off contact with what is familiar. The focus that they get in this last episode begins to hint that this is it. As the minutes go on, we know there cannot be an encompassing closure. There are threads and stories that won’t be tied off. You can think of these last moments as a detour, but they’re a detour that close the story in an eternal, figure 8 loop. Just as the first ever episode of Twin Peaks shifted gear with Dale driving into the town, the final parts close with the same journey. The first time, he’d gone to save the memory of a girl named Laura Palmer. The second, he’s come to bring that girl back to life. 

And so they drive, and drive, and drive. She is happy to be leaving Odessa, to be far away from Judy’s and White Horses. She doesn’t know exactly what to expect, but she accepts the ride. The dark night ahead of them is the longest yet. The headlights on the road linger for so long. They are leaving Odessa on an odyssey through the lost highways and into woods of Laura’s memories. The blackness becomes all encompassing, this becomes their dark night of the soul. We are going deeper into this world and deeper into Laura, and we wait for any sign that she is who she was. She looks out the window and the douglas fir trees fail to trigger anything for her. They pass the Double R diner - the lights are off and the streets are empty - and still nothing. 

This isn’t home anymore. It wasn’t home when Laura was alive, either. It was a trap for her, just as Odessa was a trap. Twin Peaks was not a dream, but a nightmare for Laura. It was her dream - her nightmare - that they all lived inside. And Dale fails to recognise this and now he’s broken it. He wants for that to be erased and replaced with something better, but if she is erased, then how can it all exist? The Log Lady once said: “When this kind of fire starts, it is very hard to put out. The tender boughs of innocence burn first, and the wind rises, and then all goodness is in jeopardy.”. Dale is a hero for trying to put that fire out, but Margaret was right: goodness is in jeopardy, and it isn’t easy, or possible, to save it this way.

At the house, Dale bumbles through questions to the owner. No, there’s no Sarah Palmer here. No, we didn’t buy the house from her. The answer that we do get says so much: her name is Alice Tremond, and she bought the house from Mrs Chalfont - both names given to a woman who existed both in our world and in the black lodge. Though she was largely benevolent, this hammers home that this isn’t the Twin Peaks we know. Something is very off. We are in their house now. Is this the same woman who will one day give Laura the painting of a doorway? There is too much to comprehend in these questions, and back on the street, it all washes over Dale as he is wounded in confusion. He tries to hold onto some semblance of reality, like a dream upon waking. But he is powerless again - he hasn’t delivered Laura home, he hasn’t saved her, and home doesn’t really exist anymore. 

The curtains are torn down and the realities crash into one, the dream has ended, and now we face a world where he and Laura possibly don’t exist. By taking Laura from the woods and delivering Laura back here, has he killed the memory of her? The question that strikes Dale is “What year is this?”. He staggers around in confusion; Laura looks down, beginning to tremble. She doesn’t know what year it is. She is on the cusp of a realisation, of a memory, of this dream she is in being shattered as the other one was. It is all too much to bear, until a familiar sound sends everything crashing to the ground. 

The sound is the haunted, ghostly voice of Sarah Palmer calling “Laura?” from the house. It isn’t just her calling the name - but the exact clip from the first episode of Sarah calling upstairs to Laura. A memory, a fragment of who she was and what happened to her, is calling out from some deep, dark and distant world. And like Doppelcoop’s ominous “:-) ALL” text message, the sound lights a fire and and she remembers everything. She does the only thing she can do, and we hear maybe the most famous, haunting and agonising sound in all of Twin Peaks: the primal scream of Laura Palmer.

Dale looks in fear, in shock. He has got what he wanted, but he’s realising what he wanted is not what is right. A pain that has lasted forever and will last forever is reawakened in her. Dale can go back and try to change history, and he can destroy the timeline as we know it: but he cannot undo the pain and the fear. Laura was killed. He tries to kill two birds with one stone: to save her from death, and then bring her back home. But she cannot be brought back home without remembering what happened to her. This kills her all over again. It is a paradox of anguish, a full circle that is destined to loop forever. Her scream shatters the dream, and the lights in the Palmer house suddenly shut off. She has broken something. And before we see where they go next - to non-existence, back to the start, or wherever else you like to imagine - it cuts to black, the only sound lingering is the echo of her scream. It will always echo. It will always have been, and it always will be. 

As the credits begin to roll, Dale and Laura are in the Lodge again, and she is whispering a secret into his ear in slow motion. Fear and confusion are written across his face. He is realising she cannot be saved. Perhaps he is realising his attempts to fix things have made them worse. He has shattered her dream, the dream of Twin Peaks, and as a result undone his reality as well as her’s. He has trapped himself between worlds. He longs to see, but he has never been able to wake up fully from his own dream. He has never been able to stare reality in the face and realise that he cannot save the world. If Twin Peaks has been Laura’s dream, it makes it no less real. It all happened, she saw it all unfold in her dreams, she saw herself sacrificed and much later, she saw Bob finally defeated. But then Dale undid this. 

It is impossible to think of this all in literal terms. I don’t think any of it was invalidated, and I don’t believe that it was all as simple as a literal dream. I think instead that we’ve been privy to a version of events and everyone has played inside that. Maybe that version was Laura’s dream and that’s the one that should’ve been. The Return has asked us repeatedly to question who the dreamer is, to challenge everything we are seeing, because nothing is ever simple, and nothing is ever really finished. 

Everyone believed The Return referred to Dale’s return to Twin Peaks. It didn’t. It referred to Dale trying to return the world to how he believed it should be - a place free from the abuse and murder of Laura Palmer. And he’s right, we shouldn’t live in a world where that kind of thing happens. But ultimately it did happen. Dale is powerless and misguided, because instead of learning from past trauma and building a healthy road away from that, he attempts to drive back down that dark road and delete and invalidate the existence of that trauma. That can never be done. You cannot remove it without removing everything along with it. Where he should’ve focussed on dismantling the evil going forward, he focussed on undoing the damage.

I don’t know if Laura will ever find peace in this, or any dream. I don’t know if Dale will, either. It is a painful realisation that home will never be the home you thought it was, and that you cannot go back and recapture what once existed. And the ending is certainly a bleak one that argues that we get caught in desperate cycles of trying to control and fix our pasts and futures. But what it also applauds is thorough and dedicated goodness, as well as the benefit of attentiveness and listening. Dale was goodness incarnate, but he didn’t listen as he should have. Perhaps we can make things better, perhaps we can help others and overcome evil. But we have to listen to do that. We can’t strip away the experiences of others, but we can listen and learn from them. The reason the ending was so dark was because of Dale’s flaw - that he didn’t learn this.

The Return has been about learning and about listening. It is a testament to understanding and appreciating the world around us, and loving each other enough to hear what they tell us. We shouldn’t give up. We should pay better attention. We should listen to what those in pain tell us. We should do as the log lady told us and listen to the trees blowing and the river flowing. We might never find answers that will satisfy us entirely, but we can pursue these questions, we can behold the mystery, and in this, we can try and make things better. And if we listen and look closely enough, we might just find a light shining in those darkest of nights. 

Color Magic 101: The Anatomy of Color

Welcome to lesson one in this series I’m creating for beginner Art Witches!

We have all seen and heard about color correspondences. Red = Anger/Passion Yellow = Happiness etc. but the truth is that there’s much more to color than just it’s name. The psychological effects of color, and therefore the magic we can do with it, are much more heavily influenced by those other components. So let’s take a look at the three components to color: Hue, Value, and Saturation.


Put simply Hues are the categories of color. They are the general name we refer to a color by. Sky blue and Midnight blue are very different colors but they both fall under the Hue Blue.

In the vast majority of magical practices this is as far as the study of color goes. There are many lists of correspondences associated with each Hue which include planets, days of the week, deities, etc.  

  • Begin a color journal- Start by listing Hues and what your personal associations are to each one. Does the color purple scare you? Does yellow calm you down? This information will be the basis of your color spellwork.


Value refers to how light or dark a color is. It’s typically broken down in a 1-10 scale; the lighter range (called High Key colors) are referred to as Tints whereas the darker (Low Key) colors are called Shades. When creating art and visual spells there should be a full range of values throughout the piece. (unless specifically done otherwise for a purpose). When you want to draw attention to a particular area you can do that by creating high contrast there (very light values next to very dark values).

“Wood Nymph” -Lumi

As you can see the image on the left, which has a full range of values (1-10), is far more eye-catching than the image on the right which has only the top 4 or so high key values. By putting the darkest black next to the lightest white in the eye area it creates an attention grabbing contrast and directs the viewer’s eye.   ….Last but not least…


This term is probably the most misused/misunderstood property of color. It refers to the intensity of the color. This is the range between pure color (most intense/vivid) and grey (no color, only value). This does NOT affect the value only the color.

The left image is very saturated, the colors are vivid and recognizable. The version on the right is very desaturated, almost completely colorless, but the values haven’t changed only the intensity of the color.

We have powerful emotional responses to these variations which, once we understand how to use them, can help us craft powerful spells.


  • Color Journal- Grab some paper and a pen (doesn’t have to be fancy) and start critically analyzing your associations to color. What do you associate each hue with in general? Are there specific variations of that color that stand out to you? Which ones are more negative/positive? which ones do you feel most connected to? We’ll be getting into the science of favorite colors in the next lesson but for now get a baseline for your personal connection to color.
  • Create a Value Range- Just like the graphic here, get used to mixing your medium of choice into 10 separate values. You’ll gain more control with your medium and a better eye for full value ranges. You can use paint, ink, pastels, pencil, crayon, whatever you like to work with but keep it strictly to values, no color just yet. Record your experiences in your journal.
  • Saturation Survey- Find or make a series of images that are saturated and desaturated. What did you feel while making/finding them? What emotional impact does the color intensity have on you? Does a desaturated image look ghostly and creepy or soft and comforting? Do the vivid colors of a saturated image make you feel excited and amped or anxious and overwhelmed? Record your findings in your journal.

I hope you have a good understanding of the anatomy of color now. Try to incorporate some of the terminology we used when referring to color in your daily life to get used to categorizing them for later use. Maybe you want to use that high key desaturated yellow from the sunrise you saw in a spell for new beginnings and fresh starts! The next lesson will be exploring the science behind your favorite color so stay tuned.

Let me know if there’s a topic you want to learn more about, how your color study is going, or if you are a fellow art witch (or are considering this path) and found this useful.

Stay Creative Witches!


We Walk Through The Fire

Obi-Wan Kenobi had found that on the whole, dying was a lot easier than being dead.

He remembered his death quite well: standing in that hallway, cut off from the painfully familiar hangar bay by Darth Vader’s furious hatred and a rushing squadron of stormtroopers that were pale imitations of the men who had served under him once. His joints had screamed for mercy and his muscles had quivered from exertion.

The fight with Vader had taken far more out of him that he wanted to admit and he was losing. He knew it in his bones. Vader was powerful and even with his prosthetic limbs and respirator, he was still a great deal younger than Obi-Wan and the Force had always been stronger with Anakin than it had been with Obi-Wan.

Anakin. When was the last time he had said his beloved friend’s name aloud? When was the last time he had allowed himself to think back on those golden memories of a time before Darth Vader and the Empire?

Had it been so long?

“Your powers are weak, old man,” Vader said, his voice artificially low, no doubt a creation of Sidious’s meddling, perfecting the weapon he had carved out of Anakin Skywalker.  

Obi-Wan had said something ridiculous and Jedi-esque in return, something about how if Vader struck him down he would become more powerful than Vader could possibly imagine. Something Yoda and Qui-Gon might have approved of.

They were the last words he ever said. To Vader.

To Anakin.

His last words and they had been spent, wasted, on trying to prove that he knew more, that he was smarter than a boy he had crippled and trapped in a nightmare existence.

Not words of love, of loss, of forgiveness sought and freely given.

No, Obi-Wan just had to go and be the bigger Jedi, prove once and for all that Anakin had always been one step behind, one heartbeat too slow, that Obi-Wan was still the master and Anakin hadn’t learned anything.

But then there was Luke, brilliant, shining, caring Luke, who had so much of Padme in him, so much of what had been good in Anakin within him. Obi-Wan had no doubt that Luke would succeed where he had failed because for all of Obi-Wan’s Jedi posturing, for all of the mystical, esoteric nonsense he had occupied his time with on Tatooine, Luke was Anakin’s child.

He was Padme’s child.

Obi-Wan remembered smiling at Vader, remembered feeling the Sith Lord’s confusion through the Force, through the remnants of their bond as Master and Padawan.

But it was too late. Time to end the game.

He raised his blade to his face and closed his eyes.

He thought he almost caught a faint hesitant impression from Vader, a quiet, confused, Master? What are you doing?


Obi-Wan exhaled and reached out with the Force, took hold of his last attachment and faced eternity.

I am Obi-Wan Kenobi. I am a Jedi.

I tried and failed. I loved and lost.

I still love Anakin, in spite of all he has done.

I know there is good in him and that Luke will find it.

My time has ended. I cannot… I cannot save him.

That was never my destiny.

Goodbye, Luke.

Goodbye, Anakin.

He never felt the blade that cut him in two.

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Animorphs Major Arcana

I’ve been getting into tarot lately, as you may have noticed in Putting Down Roots. I really wish I were a visual artist at all because I’ve been thinking a lot lately about Animorphs imagery I would use for the Major Arcana in the tarot. I’m a very visual thinker and have vivid images for each, though I haven’t thought of all of them yet. So I’ll just lay out what I’ve got and see if anyone is inspired.

The Fool

The Animorphs in the construction site, looking up at Elfangor’s ship as it descends. They look awed and terrified at the same time.

The Lovers

At the bottom of the card we see Mr. Tidwell’s head, eyes closed, gently smiling, the outline of his brain glowing behind his face. Above his head we see two versions of Tidwell: Illim!Tidwell, holding up real!Tidwell as tears stream down his face, but under the tears he’s smiling, because he’s not alone.


Cassie in wolf morph. She’s growling, and a ghostly image of human!Cassie has her hand on the wolf’s neck, soothing, holding back the wolf’s deadly power. A visual representation of how she holds the animal’s instincts in check.


Cassie and Karen in the woods. Cassie holds Karen by the shoulders at arm’s length, looking down at her, trying to decide whether she and Aftran will live or die. Aftran, through Karen’s eyes, looks up at her, afraid and defiant at once.

The Wheel of Fortune

The Ellimist, in Ketran form, in the vast starry expanse of space, holding a skein of glowing threads – timelines, as he describes them in The Ellimist Chronicles. He holds a single thread from the skein, contemplating it.

The Hanged Man

This card has two Evas. Edriss!Eva stands in executioner’s garb on one side of a tree, holding the free end of a rope she’s used to hang real!Eva by the foot. On the other side of the tree, Real!Eva has a look of utter determination on her face – is that rope holding her up starting to fray?


Human!Elfangor and Loren hold hands. Behind human!Elfangor is the ghost of his Andalite self. All three of them are watching a clock on the wall, where the minute hand is about to hit twelve. The end of one life for Elfangor and Loren, and the beginning of a new one.

The Devil

The dark mirror of Illim and Tidwell in The Lovers. Taylor’s head is at the bottom of the card, eyes open, a hard stare, smiling cruelly. Above her head we see Sub-Visser!Taylor, undamaged from the fire, fitting a prosthetic arm to real!Taylor, who makes a fist with the prosthetic arm, teeth bared in anticipation.

The Tower

Jake and the Howler falling from the tower on the Iskoort planet, struggling with each other, Jake in mid-morph.

The Star 

Hirac utzum, from 33: The Illusion. Under an alien sky full of alien stars, Elfangor presses a blazing white tail blade to the forehead of a young Andalite who looks lost and in pain. Behind the young Andalite are the ghosts of a boy and a hawk. It’s Tobias.

The Moon

The whale from 4: The Message. The moon shines down on her as she guides four dolphins and a shark through the dark ocean.


A ghostly Rachel, looking small standing before the vast Ketran form of the Ellimist, infused with the timeline-threads of the universe. Between the Ellimist’s face and hers it says “You were brave / You were strong / You were good / You mattered.”

The World

A round table. A negotiation. Cassie, Ax, the governor, an Andalite general, Toby Hamee, and Arbron are all standing around it, spreading their arms or arm-equivalents on the table as if in offering. At the center of the round table is a map of the galaxy. The war is over, and anything is possible now.

anonymous asked:

i remember you saying erwin wasnt real guilty about the deaths of his comrades so i thought you might find his character monologue relevant as most of what he talks about is him feeling guitly and him naming the comrades who have lost their lifes



I wouldn’t say he doesn’t feel guilty at all, or even that he doesn’t feel guilt on a general level because he basically tells us this himself:

But IMO what we’re meant to see in this scene is that his guilt comes second to his goals. Always. The focal point of the conversation isn’t: “Wow I feel shitty about what’s happened to these people who I’ve sent to their deaths” so much as, “HOLY SHIT WE ARE SO CLOSE TO THE TRUTH man I hope I can pay back my debt later.”

This gets a tad long so please read under the cut.

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To Forsake All Love (Part 4)

Originally posted by morgan-le-fay

Pairing: Sigurd X Reader
Word Count: 3300
Warnings: Suicidal thoughts and then getting over suicidal thoughts with a good boyfriend and anxiety.

-Part 1- -Part 2- -Part 3- -Part 4-

@the-irish-princess @amazinggraceling @littlesnorlaxx @superanonymousreader @isaaclaheysmate @ivarinleatherpants @hornyorca @byzantium-glytch

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God, I think I finally got this little blurb written after initially having the idea in like May? >_< This is based on @thebananafrappe and @azulandrojo‘s horrifyingly beautiful creation, Axetale along with @mercy-monster‘s fantastic drawings crossed over with Repo! the Genetic Opera’s song, Legal Assassin.

I shared the idea with Banana and she wrote her take on it, which is fantastic btw, go read it. She beat me to the punch with some details, so if you see similarties, creative minds think alike sometimes? I tried to keep to the lore the creators made for this world, so if there’s something that doesn’t jive, write it off as creative liberties. 

Enjoy part 1! 

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O’Hare Mansion - 

The O’Hare Mansion once stood in Greencastle, Indiana. It has since been demolished but has left behind a legacy of some of the best pieces of paranormal photography every captured. 

A man called Guy Winters was convinced by some friends to join them in exploring the ruins of old mansion. The building, which had been built by the O’Hare family in the 1800s, had been out of use and had fallen into disrepair. During his exploration of the house Guy took many photos of the building and when he had those pictures developed he was shocked to see ghostly apparitions in the finished photographs. Upon further examination he also found that the spirits appeared on the orginal negatives for the images. 

These ghosts have been nicknamed the Pink and Gold Ladies. Guy sent the photos to a tv station who tacked down the surviving members of the O’Hare family. He met with Mary O’Hare who recognised the Pink Lady in the photos as her mother, Irene O’Hare, and told him that the room the Pink Lady is standing in was once her mother’s bedroom. 

Anne - S1 - Episode 1

“Your will shall decide your destiny”

An exploration of the first episode of Anne the Series (aka ‘Anne with an E’). This episode is such a wonderful introduction to the characters and setting of the re-imagined Anne of Green Gables. Unique in tone and rich in nuance. It provides so many layers for fans to discuss! Click the ‘Read More’ link to head into spoiler territory…

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Butterfly, Star Butterfly (Kingsman Au part 1)

hello everyone, Mr.E here after a seriously long time of not writing full stories. Sorry, life has been pretty chaotic for me and draining. I’m fine but it’s been hard to sit down and actually write a story but here I am with my newest story and letting you know despite the fact Halloween is over, I am still going to write a few stories for starcoween (a totally silly event I made up forever ago) After that i might do a part 2 to this, might give out some birthday gifts I owe. Not really sure yet but we shall see. 

Story Prompt: Star Butterfly is a young woman that works for Disney, a humble yet successful shop located in her hometown of Mewni that sells various merchandise based on their popular retellings of classic fairy tales. At least that’s what they want you to think. In truth, they are an agency operating at the highest levels of discretion, protecting the world from any and all threats but this time Mewni’s the target and the secret organization is going to need some help.   

I absolutely love the film Kingsman. For those who don’t know it is a British spy film that’s kind of a mix of my fair lady, James Bond and some playful satire of genre. and I couldn’t resist making an au of it. that being said, it is a rated R film so don’t watch it if you’re not supposed to! Seriously just read this story and wait. Oh btw there is some cussing in this story but that’s it really I didn’t follow the plot of the movie one to one and it’s more on a personal level than it was in the film. and Yes I totally poked fun at the codenames and Disney. 

so that’s it for me. Have an amazing week! I will try to finish either Monster Hunter Marco or the corpse bride au this week along with the next two nova chapters. I was also thinking of putting up some au ideas I came up in case somebody needed some ideas or inspiration for drawing or writing and the spiderman homecoming au notes that me and my good friend @hains-mae came up with if anyone is curious. Not sure yet. oh btw she’s taking commissions if anyone is interested. I hope you enjoy the story and have a good one!

notification squad: @nerdymetalhead @hipster-rapunzel @artgirllullaby @ladyxgilex @thefandombytes @minthia-ren @burstingamerworld @isolated-frequencies

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