hall of mosses

Men’s Lives Have Meaning, Part 7: Conclusion

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A Dance with Dragons begins, appropriately enough, from the point of view of a dragon. 

Before Mance, Varamyr Sixskins had been a lord of sorts. He lived alone in a hall of moss and mud and hewn logs that had once been Haggon’s, attended by his beasts. A dozen villages did him homage in bread and salt and cider, offering him fruit from their orchards and vegetables from their gardens. His meat he got himself. Whenever he desired a woman he sent his shadowcat to stalk her, and whatever girl he’d cast his eye upon would follow meekly to his bed. Some came weeping, aye, but still they came. Varamyr gave them his seed, took a hank of their hair to remember them by, and sent them back. From time to time, some village hero would come with spear in hand to slay the beastling and save a sister or a lover or a daughter. Those he killed, but he never harmed the women. 

That’s what Varamyr was: an archetypal monster-in-a-cave, the classic village dragon that every RPG needs. The Sixskins preyed on all life within a prowl’s reach, his entire life a tribute to domination of others on every possible plane, breaking every border that another being might think to set around themselves. He began feeding on those unlucky “dozen villages” after killing his mentor and eating his fuckin’ heart, and they’ve been living with the monster in the woods ever since. It’s not something anyone ever has to talk about. It’s something that everyone simply knows, out here in this particular stretch of the wild. A fact of life, a splinter in your mind, a fire behind a shadowcat’s eyes, and the fire whispers walk with me…

Varamyr thus combines the ruthless exploitation of your average feudal lord with supervillain powers and a serial killer’s personal life; even the Boltons would have to doff their caps at the pain-racket the skinchanger had going north of the Wall. Mance shoulda killed him and threw his head at the villagers’ feet, but the temptation to use him as a weapon proved too strong. After all, who needs the real Horn of Winter when you have an apocalypse that walks like a man, the closest approximation we get to the nuclear-fired cthuloid maw of a Euron Crowseye POV? Varamyr was It, Pennywise the goddamn dancing clown, for a generation of wildlings across a dozen villages. He was the darkness at the edge of town, feeding off of them and among them at will. He’s there to…what’s the phrase…ah yes: “to give the heroes something to fight.”

It was only natural, then, that they started showing up at his doorstep. Never quite as tall as they thought they were, these heroes, the dragon would sigh every time as he uncoiled and moved towards the door. Never so strong, nor so quick. They must have thought it would feel differently than this, he mused as he approached them. They thought they would be able to hear the songs to be written of their triumph in their ears, rather than their own heart drumming a nervous beat and the shrieks of their companions (those that had made it this far). They thought the gods would guide their hand to strike the beast true, or some such rot, never realizing until it was too late that the gods weren’t home and it was just them and the nightmares. They are (the dragon would always pause to think in the heartbeat before he began bathing in their blood) doing what they think they’re supposed to do, the best thing they know how to do, as far as their cattle brains are concerned. Scared, maybe–certainly–but they were there. They were going to save their lovers, avenge their families, slay the feared and hated Sixskins, or die trying. They were ready, in the name of Story, to dance with dragons. 

The dragon was only too happy to oblige. He killed them as they came, one by one, ultimately putting about as much effort into it as you or I might put into scrubbing dead skin away in the shower. Like the Wild Hares, their songs and screams waft together, blurred, intertwined, one amidst the brittle branches, before slipping up, out, and away, caught on the stiff morning breeze. In a tossed-off paragraph, Varamyr offers us a glimpse of dozens of Hero’s Journeys that he personally short-circuited.

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Early Morning Talks

Spencer Reid x Reader

Spencer comes home from a hard day of worrying about his mother and her ever worsening mental health issues. The reader comforts him and it ends in a big bundle of fluffiness. I hope you enjoy!

You didn’t mean to fall asleep, but trying to stay up past midnight was a right hard thing to do. Everytime you would start to nod off, you thought you could hear his car pulling into the driveway, but it was just you starting to worry. When your eyes finally grew too heavy, you fell back into the soft juniper coloured pillows on the sofa next to the fireplace. About a half hour passes when you hear the front door open softly, causing your weary eyes to drift open. Peeking over the edge of the couch and into the kitchen you see Spencer set his messenger bag down on the table. He looks tired, and not to mention completely miserable. Taking a seat at the table he places his head in his hands, giving a shaky sigh.

“Spence?” You inquire, giving his shoulder a squeeze, earning a light jump from him.
“Hey–you scared the hell out of me.”
He’s been crying–why has he been crying? Kneeling down next to him, you take his left hand in yours, “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to–Is everything alright?” You inquire, knowing well and good what his response is going to be.
“Huh? Oh–Yeah, I’m fine, Y/N, don’t worry, I’ll be fine.” He whispers, staring down into his lap.
Sighing softly, you stand up, pulling a chair up right next to him, your knees touching his. Taking one of his curls, you twirl it around your finger and tuck it behind his ear. His eyes meet yours and he gives you a soft smile as you reach over to lace your fingers into his.
“You’ve been crying, Spence. Will you please tel–”
“I got a call from my mom today–” He starts, causing your heart to sink immediately, his grip on your hand tightening slightly,
“She–she didn’t know where she was and well–she believed that her friends had been kidnapped and she wanted us to investigate. I just feel like nothing is working, Y/N. Everything was going great–or at least I thought it was. Maybe I just wanted myself to believe so badly that she was doing so well–that–that I completely convinced myself that–”
“That what, sweetheart?” You inquire, thumbing away the few tears you catch on his cheeks.
“That everything was reversing itself. That she was getting better–I needed to take time off so I could go see her and spend time with her, so I could witness everything first hand. I–you don’t have to come with me, I’ll completely understand.” He whispers as you begin to rub his cheek with the back of your hand.
“I’d be more than willing to come with you, and you know that.”

Spencer hiccups as more tears flow from his watery orbs, his grip on your hand doubling. Resting your chin on his shoulder, you slip your hand out of his, letting it make its way to his curly mane.
“How about I make some coffee, yeah?” You inquire, walking your fingers up and down his spine. Sniffling he nods his head slightly, you kiss his cheek lovingly before slipping off of your chair and walking across the kitchen.
“Have you told anyone else, pumpkin?” You inquire, setting the filter in the coffee pot.
“The team knows. I told JJ first, she walked in after I got off of the phone with her.”
Sadness is laced within his voice. Adding the water and the coffee grinds, you set the coffee pot.
“Spence, follow me, I washed your favorite T-shirt, it’s in the dryer getting nice and warm.”
A faint smile crawls across his face as he gets up from the table, following you down the hall.

You flick on the hall light, illuminating the moss coloured walls, before stepping into the laundry room and pulling on the light cord. Your cat, Molly, that you brought with you when you moved in with Spencer hisses at you, beelining towards him.
“Hi, kitty.” He chuckles, picking her up, and smoothing her soft pelt.
“I don’t understand, she loved me until we moved in with you–” You giggle, pulling his white cotton T-shirt out of the dryer.
Spencer shrugs, setting her back down on the floor, unbuttoning his black cardigan, and the deep blue shirt underneath it, letting them fall to the floor.
“Bend down a bit, Spence.” You say softly, and he complies, you slipping the shirt over his head, kissing his nose and his lips as they pass through the hole of the shirt. Slipping his arms through, he smiles, pulling you in close to him.
“Why do you treat me the way you do?” He inquires, running his fingers through your hair.
“How so?” You whisper, squeezing him tighter.
“You’re so good to me. You always listen to me and my ramblings, I know I can always tell you anything. When I get home from a case you’re wide awake so I can pour my heart out to you.”
“Because you do the same for me, Spencer,” You hold his gaze strongly, “I love it when you talk about the things you’re passionate about. And you’re just broken. I’m trying to fix that.“

Smiling down at you he bites his lip a little,
“I plan on heading out to see my mom tomo–well I guess it is tomorrow isn’t it? So later this afternoon–Now what do you say we have a little fun before we have to leave–Because I thought about you all day long, and I want nothing more than to spend some time with my girl.”
A soft giggle rumbles through your chest,
“Spence what about the coffee?”
Picking you up and throwing you over his shoulder, he turns and walks out of the laundry room, heading towards his bedroom.
“I can drink my coffee cold.”
“Dr. Reid you naughty boy.” You laugh, watching as he closes he door with his foot.