your father was an inventor. you knew better than to trust him in the center of town. he came home with scrap metal and built ships to glide on the grass. when you were young, you loved him for making. for a brief five years, you hated him, embarrassed of the town loon, embarrassed of what raised you.
but time shifts things. the man in town wants to marry you. a beautiful man by every account, and you hear many accounts. your nose in books doesn’t stop the stories of him: Gaston, bright, young, proud. Gaston, who could hunt and carve and flex his muscles. who forgot even himself what was true and what was fiction. it is a small village in paris, at the base of a kingdom. he is the bachelor you should have your heart set on.
you try to teach yourself to love him. he grins at you over beer mugs. never reads the books you suggest to him, drops one in the mud. and one night you hear him, drunk and singing, laughing with the others about your father, the crazy.
that night your father brings you a single white rose from a garden. you kiss your father and think of Gaston’s log cabin, where you could live in comfort.
they come for your father in the night. he is the property of the prince, on account of theft. his hands should be cut off and sewn to the walls of his house, to remind him of his failures. an inventor without hands is a death sentence. they come with fire and hatred. rip you out of bed. your knees hit the mud. you’re too small to fight them. they tear your father away from you, and your heart out of your chest.
you run to gaston. tall, fast, manly. you beg him. it’s a mistake, you cry, you must help - you gulp - and then we will marry.
gaston laughs and slams oak door against nose. you stumble back, feeling like a knife is in your throat. you take the wagon horse and ride improper, legs spread and bent forward, none of the lady your mother would have wanted. you ride for the life of your father.
at the door of the castle you stop. it is raining. you shout and rave and beg anything. take me, you scream, if you’re listening i’ll do anything. what do you promise on that doorstep, crying yourself empty? what do you promise to keep him alive, to keep him whole, to keep him healthy?
the door opens late. no one is there. you remember, suddenly, the tale of the beast who lives here, who ate the prince, who is terrifying. you think you hear your father and suddenly you are running, following his voice down dark hallways with no ending.
he is in a cell. his head is bleeding. you feel your breath hitch.
“will you?” a voice says, “will you trade yourself for your father, take responsibility for his sin?”
“he’s innocent,” you snarl, “you animals.”
“the rose, belle,” he whispers, and you stare at him. a white rose that is wilting beside your bedside would have been the death of him.
“take me,” you say, somehow empty and full at the same time, “if that’s what you need.”
the first night is ugly. you spend it crying.
over time, the castle learns you, and you learn it. you think you are imagining the talking furniture for most of it. invisible hands whisk food in and out, bring you ball gowns and petticoats and delicate flowers.
and always, the beast. at first, you were terrified of it. always in the shadows. moving like a ghost, prowling. tall, slim. menacing. never showing any skin, any proof it might be human.
but time and comfort destroy fears. you don’t run when it is in the room, you no longer shield your face in fear. it wears a mask, and this is how you know it really must be beastly.
it is the second winter when you, playing snowball fights with the statues - you manage to hit the beast in the face. you freeze, and the panic from the day they took your father returns in a firework.
but then the beast is throwing back. and you are laughing. the next morning it is at breakfast with you, and lunch. it comes and goes, and never speaks. laughs, sometimes, you think. talks with its hands. the furniture translates. you learn, because you are good at learning. the hands that mean can i come in? the hands that mean are you hungry? the hands that mean is it okay if i read next to you, here this book is good, i found this for you.
each morning you wake up with white roses by your bedside. you learn to talk a little louder than you’re used to, to move your own hands in a way that acknowledges the beast. it is strange that you were a quiet girl and now you are comfortable shouting. the two of you have your own language, together. it teaches you swordfighting, you teach it dancing. it teaches you archery and you teach it cooking. you walk through the gardens together. there are moments where your hands touch and for some reason you blush like it was kissing. you’ve never had someone who understands you so completely. sometimes you tell it about far-away stories. sometimes you tell it about your village. and sometimes, when you are raw, you tell it about gaston and the marriage you didn’t want and your father and his insanity
one of these nights the beast brings you the mirror. you cry when you see your father. and the beast is pulling you, running, picking out a horse from the stables, gesturing. go, go. you cry when you leave.
you save your father. tell him you’ll bring him back to the beast. do you talk too loud? is gaston only mad you never belonged to him? when the raid starts, you are still taking care of your father. outside, voices, ringing. kill the beast. you think of hands, dancing in the air to speak, and you think you have never heard something so ugly. you’re ashamed to be this species.
you ride in their wake, your father safe. you ride that same panicked race as three years ago to the day.
you fight, because the beast taught you how. the castle fights, because it is protecting its life. and the beast - you watch the flash of a blade, careful not to kill - the ability you once mistook for savagery.
it isn’t enough. gaston, and a gun. the three of you stand on the balcony, you in between. again you are begging this man, who means nothing. “leave the beast,” you say, “take me.”
“i’ll have both,” he says, and shoots. you feel the bullet streak by you. the beast is all movement, has pushed you out of the way. they grapple, and you scream when the beast falls, skittering. gaston marches over and you move without thinking. he falls into the night silently.
you can’t get there quick enough. you gather the beast into your lap, begging be okay. at the mask, you whisper something, and then say it again with your hands. i love you, you say. you were the best thing to happen to me.
the mask slips. a voice says, “belle,” and you are hit with the full force of something that feels like music. you can’t breathe.
the girl beneath the mask is beautiful. her blonde hair spills across your legs. she touches your face and her hands say i’m okay, and you’re laughing. you kiss her and roses open up in you.
“i thought you were a beast,” you say with hands and lips a hair above hers, “and here you are, the beauty.”
she smiles sheepishly. it is hard when you are like me.
your are sobbing. you kiss her again, because you can, because she’s here and perfect and the answer to questions you didn’t know you had been asking.
her hands, curious, worried, search for your wet cheeks. i’m okay, really, belle. you saved me.
funny, your hands dance, i was about to say the same thing.
Quick Tip: Making Characters Info Dump Without Seeming Like They’re Info-Dumping
The Tip: REFERENCE
information with their OPINION being the focus. Never “tell” information,
while not showing an opinion.
Why and How it Works:
Show of hands; how much do you hate when characters tell
other characters things they already know, just because the reader doesn’t know (and needs to know)? Sometimes there’s
information that needs to be shared with the reader and there’s no other way to
do it but by SAYING it.
Here’s how to dodge the problem.
Imagine you and your friend are characters. You and your
friend just watched a movie together. When talking about it, you wouldn’t “tell”
them what happened – you’d reference it.
“It was an awesome movie. That scene where Harlock swishes
his cape and pulls out a huge sword that’s actually a gun, kills three
soldiers, and then moves down the hall to take down the others; that was so
“In Harlock Space Pirates, there’s this scene where he
swishes his cape and pulls out a huge sword that’s actually a gun, kills three
soldiers, and then moves down the hall to take down the others.”
The reader now knows what happened in the movie, but the
characters didn’t need to explain it to each other like its new information.
In real dialogue, people REFERENCE shared knowledge. They
never “tell” it. If they “tell” it, it’s insulting and the person they’re
talking to will be insulted, because you’re essentially saying they’re dumb.
Here’s the Kicker
That Makes it Work - Opinions:
What your friend already has is the information. What your
friend doesn’t have yet is your view on things. What you’re really giving your friend
is an opinion – but what you’re giving the reader is information. Have your
characters assess the information and give their thoughts, opinions, feelings,
etc. on it in the same breath – rather than just saying it. As a bonus, this is fantastic for showing your character’s personality.
The opinion doesn’t need to be long. It can be as simple as “that
was cool!” or “it was evil but it was damn smart.” The end. That’s the opinion.
You got all that info to the reader and your character doesn’t look dumb or
Shooting outside Commons after police officer stabbed and car ploughs into crowd on Westminster Bridge
A police officer has been stabbed and a suspected assailant shot outside the Houses of Parliament, shortly after a car rammed into members of the public on Westminster Bridge.
One woman has died and a number of others, including the police officer, have been hurt, according to a junior doctor at St Thomas’ Hospital. Some were described as having “catastrophic” injuries.
At least three gun shots were heard by those inside Westminster, and proceedings in the House of Commons have been suspended as police deal with what they tentatively described as a “terrorist incident”.
The deputy speaker of the Commons, David Lidington, announced the suspension in the House, saying a police officer had been stabbed and the “alleged assailant shot by armed police”.
Early reports indicate the car, which mounted the pavement on Westminster Bridge and mowed into around a dozen people, was the same vehicle which then rammed into the gates of Westminster just around the corner.
Security sources described the suspected assailant as a middle-aged Asian man, who is understood to have left the car before attacking a police officer with a seven-to-eight inch knife.
The police officer was seen wounded but moving, after falling to the ground clutching his arm or shoulder. At least one man was seen running towards the exit of New Palace Yard, underneath Big Ben.
Police were seen shouting at him, presumably to stop. Shots were then heard. It is unclear at this stage whether one or more men were involved.
Those floor to ceiling windows Geoff has in his office are great and all, very prestigious, perfect for gazing out at his kingdom, but they have to have come back to bite him at some point.
Surely there has been a moment when he’s staring out, halfway through updating Burnie on how things are going when in quick succession he spots one of his cars screaming down the road with a barrage of police in hot pursuit, in turn chased by what bizarrely appears to be motorcycle-drawn chariots, a series of parachutes popping in the distance as a distinctly familiar jet starts to plummet from the sky, and panicked civilians scattering every which way in the face of a lone tank rumbling down the plaza.
There must have been a moment when Geoff’s pressed his forehead to the cool glass, closed his eyes as Burnie chattered away unaware in his ear, and wondered when the fuck he lost control of his life. Also, how soon it would be possible to install blinds.
(A/n): So just a while back I said that I would write an Ethan story SO HERE I actually did it be proud of me
Summary: You have some nieces and nephews in the family so you ask Markimoo, Tyler and blue boy to help you babysit. Mark and Tyler turn out to not be the only ones that think you and Ethan should date.
Warnings: I think I swore ?? but also TICKLING
You were pretty excited about this actually. Your sibling had asked you to take care of their three kids for the day while they were out with their spouse. Of course, you obliged. You really liked their kids, but thought babysitting to be more of a chore.
For one person, three kids was a lot. So, you went and enlisted help from your band of friends. You knew for sure that they would love the kids instantly.
Traveling from your flat to Mark’s wasn’t a hassle. After two brisk knocks on the boys’ front door, Mark himself opened it with a large grin.
“Evening~!” He purred “Tyler is in the living room with every toy imaginable, go steal them from him!”
The three children giggled and pushed past him, calling a chorus of ‘hello’s.
You yourself couldn’t help but laugh, stepping up to the doorway gingerly.
“Thanks for doing this.” you said to Mark “It’s only for one night, but I didn’t think I could handle it by myself; sorry if it was sudden when I calle–”
“(Y/n),” Mark chuckled. He rested a hand on the small of your back and nudged you inside so he could close the door “It’s totally fine. I planned everything. They’re all sharing a room upstairs.”
You sighed and beamed up at him “Thank you.”
“Don’t mention it.” he smiled back.
Giggly screams broke through your conversation. The both of you turned to the sound and walked toward it; past the living room entrance.
Their stood, by the far back wall, Tyler. One kid hanging from his left bicep, one tied around his calf and the other Ethan was about to crown Tyler’s shoulders with.
They all froze to look at the two of you.
“What even?” you chuckled walking around to reach out for the one hanging from his arm.
Grabbing her sides, you lifted her high and set her down quickly, tickling her ribs. She screamed in delight.
“DOES THIS MEAN TICKLE WAR?” Mark called in a silly tone.
“IT DOES.” Tyler confirmed.
The two men snatched up the other two children. Mark taking the one from Ethan. Everyone began to laugh as tickling ensued.
“This– this isn’t fair- no!” the small girl breathed “Teams! T-Teams!” she hollered.
You smiled and released her, sitting back on your knees. “Alright,” you offered “Pick your teams.”
“Well,” she stood.
Her small frame was proud and determined to win this battle.
“Myself Prim,” she gestured to herself “and Dane,” then to one small boy “Connie,” the other boy “and Ethwan.”
“And Ethan.” you laughed.
Getting up, you looked to the mentioned blue boy and commented “You have a team of warriors.”
“Of course I do!” he cheered “We are going to win!”
Everyone got onto their respective sides.
Yourself, Tyler and Mark on the left side of the lounge with Ethan, Prim, Dane and Connie on the opposing side.
“Alright men,” you began “I’ll take out Ethan, their biggest threat. Tyler, you take Dane and Connie. Mark, you get Prim.”
“Roger.” the two said in unison.
“But, watch for Connie, soldiers.” you forewarned “He’s a wild card.”
You three broke apart and got into dramatic positions. The children giggled.
“No!” Ethan cried “Don’t let them distract you!”
“Guns ready! Three, two, one! GO!” Tyler cheered.
The seven of you broke loose. Anarchy rained and childish giggles laced the joyful air. Mark was quick to be taken down by both Prim and Dane. Tyler went to the aid of his fallen comrade but was soon after jumped by Connie.
You laughed hysterically, forgetting your assigned task.
“Mark, no!” you whailed.
Though, the sadness was short lived when two arms snaked their way under your own. You gasped in surprise.
“I got her! I got her!” Ethan chuckled. His hands went to work on manipulating your sides. You body betrayed you in letting a laugh bubble through your throat.
“God NO!” You began to screech with laughter in joyus bursts.
You couldn’t really run away, so instead you dropped to your knees, hoping to leave Ethan’s grip. But he only dropped with you, encircling his arms around your torso to lessen your movement.
“E-E-Ethan! Hav-hahah-have merccc-c-cy!” you whined, laughing intensified.
“Give in (Y/n),” you heard Tyler chuckle “their power is unmatchable.”
“I givv-v-ve up!” you cried.
Ethan laughed and let you go, leaving you to catch some needed breath.
❆ ❆ ❆
Once the war was won, you all resorted to playing with the toy’s instead.
One toy in particular you thought was quite cute; an old fashioned toy phone. The one with the spin dial and the coil cord.
“Ah jee, doesn’t this bring memories.” You said to Ethan. He was standing next to you as you picked it up.
“Holy shit, that sure does.” he laughed “I used to have one, it was green.”
You smiled at the faded blue toy “But where’s the phone?”
“Sh!” Dane suddenly snapped “I’m on a call!”
You shook your head silently and looked up to Ethan. He grinned and shrugged.
At once you began to feel a tugging on your legs.
Both you and the blue haired boy looked down.
It was Dane wrapping the phone coil around both of you. He started to chat happily.
“Ethan and (Y/n) sittin’ in a tree!”
Soon both Tyler and Mark had joined in. Followed by a laughing Connie and a smiling Prim.
“K-I-S-S-I-N-G!” the group chorused “First comes love! Then comes marriage! Then comes a baby in the baby carriage!”
The coil bounded you and the youtuber together at the knees, hips and waist. You were physically pressed to each other.
Ethan’s face began to show a great contrast with his hair when it flushed red. Yours following suit.
“Mark, why are their faces red?” Connie whispered.
“Because they are in love.” Mark replied, beaming at the sight. Tyler let loose a hearty laugh when he heard Mark’s declaration.
❆ ❆ ❆
The rest of the evening was filled with many, many laughs and plenty of childish embarrassment. Though, the two of you did get freed eventually, the teasing did not let up. But, sooner or later, it drew close to bedtime.
You gently scooped up Connie and Dane once they began to yawn. Ethan picking up Prim.
“Time for the sleeps, kiddos’.” you lulled softly.
“Mark and I are going to clean this up,” Tyler smiled to you, gesturing to the cluster of throw about toys. You nodded to him quietly.
Gaining your way up the stairs, you reached the kids’ designated bedroom and placed both Dane and Connie in their beds. They both offered you hushed goodnights.
Ethan went to do the same, finding the small girl asleep in his arms. He was careful when resting her upon the covers, layering her in a fluffy down duvet.
“Awe,” you hummed “What a great dad you’d be.”
Though it was said in a joking matter, you had still meant it.
“Wouldn’t I though.” he beamed.
“Of course.” you agreed, walking to the door, stopping to let Ethan out before you.
He closed to door softly behind him.
“I’m sure I could master raising any amount of kids with one hand,” he joked.
You looked at him and chuckled.
“as long as you are holding the other one.”
You froze for a moment, your gaze raking his features. He simply smiled and leant forward.
Ethan’s lips meant yours in a calm, gentle kiss. You described it was warm, and firm.
Kissing him back was charming, you went and tied you arms around his neck, with his resting on your hips.
“So I expected you to put the kids to bed, not make some more.” Mark suddenly coughed.
Ethan and you were fast to break apart, the youtuber’s gaze collapsing awkwardly.
“Cooties…” Mark mumbled, retreating back down stairs.
You couldn’t help yourself when another placid smile captured your face. Babysitting sure wasn’t fun without friends.