golden reflection

6

You cannot say to the sun, ‘More sun,’ or to the rain, 'Less rain.’ To a man, geisha can only be half a wife. We are the wives of nightfall. And yet, to learn kindness after so much unkindness, to understand that a little girl with more courage than she knew, would find her prayers were answered, can that not be called happiness? After all these are not the memoirs of an empress, nor of a queen. These are memoirs of another kind.

Bass Lake is a serene stop off the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. With miles of trails wandering by the lake and through the forest, you’ll enjoy every minute of your visit. Taking pictures along the parkway is a passion of photographer Jim Ruff, and this golden sunrise is his favorite shot from this winter. Photo courtesy of Jim Ruff.

This stunning Earth image taken by the Expedition 47 crew on May 31, 2016, from the International Space Station looks from northwestern China on the bottom into eastern Kazakhstan. The large lake in Kazakhstan with golden sun glint is the crescent-shaped Lake Balkhash, the second largest lake in Central Asia. Lake Balkhash sits in the Balkhash-Alakol depression in southeastern Kazakhstan and stretches over 7,115 square miles (18,428 sq. km).

Image Credit: NASA

International Space Station

Time And Space

KAI PARKER X READER


Broken

Desc: Can you do a Kai imagine where he meets a girl who has the same past as him (except the whole killing family thing was in self defense) & well shy and quiet she seems to be the only one who sees something in him & stands up for him & laughs at all his jokes & he doesn’t understand why he loves bringing her out of her shell & seeing her laugh at his dorky jokes & basically a imagine where they, two people who have been scorned by love, fall in love & learn to understand it ❤

gif not mine

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She ran into him by accident. It was around two in the morning, and the stars dotted the black canvas in the sky like sprinkles of golden fairy dust. It was cool out, the gentle breeze just enough to bring goosebumps to her skin, and it smelt of the fresh pine trees of the forest she was running through. Her hair was pulled atop her head in a loose and messy knot, oversized sweater hanging over her palms, her eyes hooded and lips chapped. The girl’s battered combat boots smacked against the leaf strewn ground, her breath heavy, leather bag dangling off her shoulder as she sprinted like her life depended on it. 

“Aghh!”

The girl slammed face first into something, her hands coming up to massage her face as she groaned out in pain. She inhaled a raspy breath, blinking around in bewilderment when she realized there was nobody and nothing there.

“Hello?” she uttered into the desolate forest.

“Hi.”

The voice was almost inaudible, so faint and nervous she almost missed it. It seemed to come from directly in front of her, and yet when she stared in the direction of the voice, all she saw was the dark outline of a faded oak. Suddenly, a boy melted from the shadows, literally seeping out in human form. He was tall and lanky, with ruffled brown hair and shining blue eyes that were filled with hurt. The moonlight cast shadows across his sculpted facial curves, full lips, and faint stubble. He’d been cloaking himself with an invisibility charm, smart.

“You have magic,” the girl stated in disbelief, tilting her head and looking the boy over with curiosity.

“And that doesn’t scare you?” his voice rumbled low.

She narrowed her eyes, “no.”

The girl raised a hand towards the boy, and a golden wisp of light erupted from her pale fingertips and engulfed the two in an orb of glimmering light so they could see only each other in the folds of the dark night. The boy stared at the girl in awe, his mouth hanging open a little. He looked her over, impressed.

“You too,” he breathed.

“Me too,” she responded, feeling suddenly shy when he looked her over with those startlingly blue eyes.

“And what are you doing running through the forest in the middle of the night?” he asked, brow arched.

“I could ask you the same,” she says, folding her arms over each other.

“No, really,” he asks sincerely.

“You wouldn’t get it,” she clenches her jaw, and he picks up on the little pulse and crinkle in her eyebrows.

“I might just,” he whispers, his eyes flickering back and forth between hers.

She twirls a long curl of hair around her fingertips, eyes planted to the brown soil, heart sinking. The memories pain her to think about, and when she does, the golden orb around them falters momentarily. 

“I’m running,” she admits with a heavy sigh.

“From?”

“My family,” she swallows hard at the lump in her throat, eyes coming back to the boy’s. He doesn’t seem phased at all, but he frowns when he sees her looking so fragile and hurt.

“Anyways,” she shakes her head, snapping out of her trance. “I can’t keep up too long or they’ll find me. So…goodbye, stranger.”

She moves to sidestep the boy, but he grabs at her wrist, shaking his head, “Kai.”

“Kai?” she breathes.

“My name,” his lips twitch faintly.

Her body relaxes, maybe she can stay another minute.

“Well, it’s actually Malachai,” he stumbles softly. “Malachai Parker.”

“That’s a beautiful name,” she says bashfully.

Kai scoffs, “yeah, right.”

“I mean it,” she smiles sympathetically, seeing the look of disgust he has for his own name.

Kai chews his rosy lower lip in disbelief, thinking she’s joking at first, but her facial expression holds still. A breeze swoops gently over them, and he catches a whiff of her sugary perfume, it’s intoxicating, and he wants to move closer to her but he doesn’t.

“Sorry,” he apologizes, letting go of the knit sweater he clung to.

She tells him her name, and asks what he could be doing at such an early hour.

“Running,” he mimics her.

He sees her facial expressions soften, lips bending downwards and eyes saddening. She’s so precious and delicate, nothing like himself.

“From your family?” she whispers, taking a step closer to him.

He couldn’t bear to drag such a fragile girl into his messy life, so he decided to scare her off now rather than later, since lying would only hurt her. And he didn’t want to see her more hurt than she clearly was already. Something about her…he couldn’t put his finger on it, but he only knew she didn’t deserve to be with a disaster like himself.

“No,” he said icily, stiffening his back. “I killed them all.”

The girl froze, heart hammering, instinctively taking a step back.

Good, she was scared. 

“Why?” her voice trembles.

“Because I’m the black sheep,” he laughs bitterly. “I was an outcast in my family my entire life, the broken one, the ‘faulty gemini’. My sister Jo was the perfect one, oh, everyone loved Jo. But not me. No, I was isolated from my own family,” he spits with anger. “I bet it was really nice to stand around and judge me, while they got everything out of life.”

“Why?” she asks again, sounding more curious than frightened now.

Kai cuts her off and draws closer to her, “you should go,” he growls.

“Tell me,” she demands, standing her ground despite every part of her body urging her to run.

She was clearly terrified, but was stubborn enough to try and hide it.

“What makes you think I won’t hurt you?” he says with dark eyes.

“Because I know what it feels like,” she snaps, her face inches from his malicious one.

That expression on his face melted off like ice, and he steps back, “what?”

“Show me,” she responds nervously.

“Show you?” he questions, unable to hold the facade.

He hated the feeling of control the girl seemed to hold over him. Why wasn’t she running yet? Everyone else would have…

“Show me your ability,” she demands quietly, rolling up her lavender sweater and shoving her wrists out to the boy.

“H-how did you know?”

“We’re not so different, you and I,” she says, “just…do it.”

“I don’t want to hurt you,” he admits with a shake of his head. Funny how quickly he switched from selfish and psychotic to caring and compassionate.

“Kai,” she begs.

He takes a rattled breath, his hands clammy as he approaches the defiant girl. He can feel energy radiating from her bloodstream, and he wants it, needs it, like a drug. She doesn’t look afraid as his slender fingers lock lightly on her wrists, the cool rings that decorated his fingers pressing into her skin. Her beautiful eyes hold to his own, and he keeps them locked to hers as the orange glow burns into her flesh. Her magic oozes into his bloodstream, but it’s different than usual, stronger, he thinks. His mouth tips open as he groans from the feeling he’s missed so much, her energy diffusing throughout his body, and he can’t help but close his eyes from the pleasure. Any second now she should be gasping out for him to stop, crumpling from the pain of his siphoning, but she doesn’t. Then he drops her wrists, snapping back to reality, feeling more alive than he has in ages.

“Why didn’t that hurt you?” he breathes, still on a magic high.

“I don’t run out,” she responds flatly.

“How is that not a gift?!” Kai gasps.

“Because when I have so much it makes me overwhelmed, and I- I can’t control it. My emotions tip even just a little, and my magic comes spilling out of me. The rest of my family thought they could just fix me, because I was some sort of threat to out coven. A-and sometimes I only wanted to help, but it makes me do bad things…hurt people,” she mutters, eyes to the floor. “It’s darker magic, watch.”

The girl stoops low to the ground, where a small pink flower blossoms innocently from the ground. She brushes her fingers to the soft petals, and Kai watches as the plant dissolves into black ash under her finger pads.

“My mom came after me one day,” she shudders, “I didn’t mean to, I was just trying to protect myself.” Her wrist quickly swiped away a falling tear, and she cleared her throat, pretending it was all alright.

He wanted nothing more than to wrap that girl in his arms that instant.

“You don’t scare me, Malachai Parker,” she stands, her body alarmingly close to his.

Nobody ever called him by his full name, this was new.

“You’re not as twisted as me,” he denies. “I’m bad news, a psycho, or sociopath, if you will.”

He runs a hand through his chestnut locks, overwhelmed by the closeness of the girl.

“Stop trying to scare me,” she says. “You’re not like that.”

“And how would you know?”

“You’re not bad, you’re just…broken. I know that feeling.”

Her eyes reflect the golden sparkles around them, hair cascading across her perfect face. Her ability to care confused him.

Kai scoops down to the ground, touching the pile of ashes where the flower was moments ago. His eyes close as he uses his siphoned magic to revive the flower, and soon he’s plucked the rosy thing from the ground and is facing this girl again. She looks at the flower with admiration, the faintest of smiles on her little lips. Kai picks off the stem, and brushes back the girls hair affectionately, sliding the pink flower into the crook of her ear; it suits her wonderfully. Her cheeks blush noticeably, and she chews nervously at her lower lip. He can’t help but trail his fingers across her perfect skin, surprised that she didn’t pull away; nobody ever let Kai touch them. He liked that feeling a lot.

“Look at us,” he says, “two broken pieces.”

“Maybe two broken pieces make a whole one,” she laughs suddenly.

He loved that tinkling bell-like laugh so much, he wanted to hear it again and again.

“You know you’re like, really pretty,” Kai blurts without thinking.

She smiles a radiant smile up at him, “don’t tell me Malachai Parker is actually feeling,” she jokes.

He shoves her playfully, but grabs each of her arms afterwards so that she’ll stay close to him. When he pulls her back, her chest goes thudding against his, and she instantly resumes her nervous stance.

“Hey,” he says, his fingers crawling under her chin and lifting it up so their eyes meet. “You have too much power contain, and I don’t have any at all, maybe if we work together we could balance each other’s faults, you know?”

“Work together?” she blinks up at him. “Not, alone?”

He bends over her, the electric currents of her skin against his driving him crazy with longing. Her lips were so close, begging for his.

“Not alone,” he breathes.