he knows what this does to us

silverbutterfly17  asked:

Tell us how Steve managed to cause a disaster on his bicycle, only hours after he was banned from using motorized vehicles.

you must know steve pretty well, because that is exactly what happened.

the morning after throwing yet another motorcycle at a supervillian, steve woke up early and decided to go out and get bagels. not at all unusual, except that his favorite bagel place is in brooklyn. so naturally steve decided to just bike there.

tony keeps a dozen or so bikes in the vehicle garage, and pretty much every one of them is weirder than the one before. one is a concept made by ferrari; another one is made from bamboo and was a gift from an MIT student whose research he funded. one appears to have some sort of rocket engine attached. with selections like that, you can see why steve chose the oldest, plainest bike in the group.

what steve did not know was that this was the Deathbike.

see, when tony was 14 and starting at MIT, he wasnt licensed to drive and needed a way to get around campus quickly. so, like many other college students, he got a bike. a very nice, high-end bike, of course, but otherwise perfectly innocuous. (it was a bit too big for him. he insists it wasnt, and that he’s not short.)

tony rode it home and painted it black.

within the first month of owning the Deathbike, tony ran into two people, was run into three times by other cyclists, and just barely missed being hit by a car. tony refused to admit that either 1. the bike was cursed or 2. he was just a terrible cyclist, and instead painted a tiny white skull on the side of the bike for every collision, and rode it for the rest of his time at MIT. somehow, he survived, and no one was seriously injured. (he admits that there may have been a few broken bones. but he paid the medical bills, so it was fine.)

by the time steve took the bike out, there were twenty-seven little skulls.

steve knew none of this, and headed out on the sidewalks aboard the Deathbike. he made it a block or two on thankfully empty sidewalks before tony’s modifications kicked in.

little 14-year-old madman stark, drunk on alcohol and puberty, decided that his two-wheeled killing machine didnt go fast enough. so, using the genius and lack of foresight the stark bloodline had given him, he made some changes. and now the Deathbike has a little electric engine that kicks in after a certain speed, which basically increases how fast the bike goes per pedal. tony says the fastest he was ever clocked on it was about forty mph–but insists he could have made it faster, except he didnt want to make it too bulky.

steve was doing fifty miles an hour by the time he was six blocks from the tower.

since steve is himself, instead of maybe slowing down when he realized how fast he was going, he decided to see how fast he could get. and it turns out that a supersoldier on a bike built by teenage tony stark can go plenty damn fast.

a traffic cam on the brooklyn bridge clocked him at nearly 115 mph.

but dont forget–this is the Deathbike. it earned its name, and would fulfill its mildly inconvenient legacy regardless of who was riding it. 

also, its tires were never built for that kind of stress. 

steve turned around the corner of the block where the bagel shop is going some eighty-odd mph (having slowed down to turn), and hit a heap of cardboard. if he’d been going slower, or if the wheels had been in better shape, he might have been able to brake in time. as it was, he was still going pretty fast when he hit it. and since the universe loves to laugh at steve, the pile of cardboard was shaped pretty much like a ramp.

steve and the Deathbike went airborne.

somehow, the early morning commuters failed to notice captain america hurtling through the sky on the worlds most sadistic pedal-powered monster, so when he landed in the bed of an old metal pickup, nobody checked on him when he didn’t pop right back out. instead, the Deathbike, steve, and steve’s shiny new concussion remained right where they were, in blissful unconsciousness.

when steve finally woke up, he was somewhere in southern virginia, and there was a very confused pickup truck driver wondering how the heck he’d wound up with a giant man and a bike in his truck.

we would have made steve bike back, but we didnt want to tempt fate. instead we sent a quinjet.

the Deathbike was unscathed.

steve  is not allowed to use bicycles any more. 

Otayuri Ramadan/Eid HC

I know Ramadan just ended but I’ve been holding onto this one otayuri headcanon for a while.

Otabek is visiting during Ramadan. He doesn’t mention it to Yuri because he doesn’t feel like it’s a big deal. He’s used to skating while fasting but he doesn’t overdo it, knowing that it’ll wear him out. Yuri does notice this but, surprisingly, doesn’t comment on it. Yuri goes about eating in front of him, only noticing by lunch that he hasn’t brought anything.

“I would’ve brought you something if you’d told me you forgot to bring lunch? And did you not bring water either? What the hell?”

“It’s Ramadan, I’m fasting…” is all he replies.

Yuri stops eating, “Beka! Shit, I’m sorry, if I’d known I wouldn’t have…why didn’t you tell me? And why the hell are you skating?”

He just chuckles, “It’s not a big deal, I’ve been doing it for years!”

So that night, they leave early and Yuri had spent his entire break looking up things to make for iftar (breaking your fast meal). He goes home and tries to make do with what he has. He’s careful not to use pork. Otabek is touched by it all and telling him he didn’t have to.

The next day, Beka wakes up for ceri (morning meal, eaten before sunrise) and sees Yuri up and cooking.

“I just want to make sure you’re eating enough to keep you going for the rest of the day.”

Yuri basically prepared a feast for him and makes sure he eats every last morsel, including quite a few glasses of water.

“Thanks Yura,” is what he gets along with a smile.

For the rest of his visit, Yuri prepares iftar and ceri for him, using the help of online tips and videos. And after he leaves, Yuri gets used to it, so he makes a lot of it for himself. One day, he wants to do it along with Otabek…so he sets out to research the religion and learn as much as he can.

He flies out to Almaty the day before Eid because he wants to celebrate it alongside Otabek. He’s surprised to see him, but nonetheless is happy to see him.

So the next morning they for Eid prayer and then visit his family afterwards. Otabek’s mother and sisters basically stuff his face but no complaints because their cooking is amazing. They’re all happy that he’s decided to visit them to celebrate Eid, despite not being Muslim. Yuri isn’t the least bit sour or irritable, and for once, he actually enjoys himself…

You can’t tell me that Cassian hasn’t caught Nesta watching him train and proceeded to pour a bucket of water all over himself. Rendering Nesta to become just as wet when he looses the band from his hair and flings it at her.

She catches and twirls it around her finger before pocketing it.
His jaw is nowhere to be found as she lifts an eyebrow before sauntering off.

“What else does that finger do? What else do those fast hands do?” His mind reels with possibilities.


Nesta uses the same band to tie her hair back when she knows he’s watching her study. Craning and running her hands down her neck before she grabs a goblet of water and pours it down her front. “That’s much better…” she moans loud enough for him to hear. Just as Cassian is about to burst, she removes the band with lightning speed and chucks it toward his not-so-secret hiding place, hitting him in the eye.

“Oh, it is ON!” Cassian thinks to himself as he makes his way to an empty bedroom. Where he spends the next hour, thinking of other ways he and Nesta can tease each other. The house shakes and paintings drop from the walls as a deafening roar is released.

You know, TheMeatly’s tweet about Wally is kind of interesting.

There’s another game full of audio diaries; anyone who’s played a Bioshock game (but the first one is what I’m thinking of) can tell you that they lead you along a character’s story years after that story has already taken place and, eventually, you find out what happened to them. Looooots of them don’t survive, but you don’t know who does until later in the game.

… So why would Meatly spoil Wally’s fate being an unpleasant one now instead of making us wait? It’s only chapter three; he could’ve easily made us wait another chapter or two.

… Unless we’re going to be finding out what happened to him very soon.


Shoutout to Jack for being one of the most honest, sincere, loving youtubers out there. What i love most about him, isnt just that he’s one of the sweetest people i know, but the fact that he cares about each and every single one of us. He isnt one of those youtubers who only do videos just to do videos, he doesnt make clickbaity videos, he loves what he does. He even apologized that he might not make two videos a day for us since he’s going to be busy. He would make two hour long livestreams for us. He would interact with us daily on youtube, twitter, tumblr, and instagram. He couldve easily just let fame get inside his head, but he didnt. He always looks out for us, he always tries to remember us when we meet him, he always talks to us as if we are already friends. Jack is such a good role model and the fact that he was always able to make two consistent videos for us for years every single day and still find time to talk us shows dedication. Dedication for his fans and for his community. All he wanted to do was make people happy and he did, and he always is. We love him so much just as much as he loves us. No wonder why we appreciate him so much, he’s so compassionate and amazing. Keep being yourself Jack, and thank you so much for everything youve done for us.

clueless-lulu  asked:

heyyyyyyyyy!! in your bio it says headcanons are open so~~~ gimme some headcanons on how my angri boi (Katsuki) would be like when he has a crush! ^.^

You, my friend are correct!  ٩(◕‿◕。)۶

Angry Boi Katsuki Bakugou

  • Will deny it till the day he dies, meaning he will deny it even after he has married them. They can’t KNOW
  • He tries to play it cool, he doesn’t though, but anyone who says otherwise and points out that he stuttered that one time is dead
  • He is just gonna yell at them more, because he doesn’t know how to use he words or what feelings are so he is just going to amplify what he already does
  • Cause you don’t fix what ain’t broke right? 
  • It’s okay he will figure it out its what he has Kirishima and Kaminari for

anonymous asked:

how would s76 react to s/o showing her love by offering sweaters or scarf (like she knit and she is super introvert so she does what she knows to try to get his attention) and like she puts the gifts in sort of secret but one day he see her knit and she stress a lot cause shit he knows now (or something like that) (btw young s/o and female pronouns if you can ^-^ )

That request is really adorable, dear Anon! :3 Thank you so much! We hope you enjoy it ^-^

The first time he found one of the carefully wrapped packages in front of his office door after a long, tiring mission, he was utterly confused. He hadn’t ordered anything, he was sure of that. It appeared to be some sort of gift, something he wasn’t used to getting, especially since it wasn’t even his birthday. Sure, twenty years ago there were days when he was drowning in packages from admirers all over the world but now he was completely forgotten. The poster boy was dead. He was dead, except to the few people who found out about his identity.
Soldier: 76 wasn’t someone who got gifts, let alone deserved them, in his opinion.
Yet, he got one. This present, sent by an unknown person, was obviously meant for him since his name was neatly written on the top. Jack’s surprise only rose when he opened it to find a knitted scarf. It had a simple color and pattern, not too bright, not too special, not attracting too much unwanted attention. It seemed perfect for him. Even though it was extremely impractical considering his field of work, he couldn’t ignore how comfortable and soft the fabric felt when he ran his fingers over the material.
So he kept it. And he kept all the other hand-knitted clothes he received ever since then.
Of course, he always questioned where they came from; there has never been a name of the sender on these packages. Jack had an idea who could have sent the gifts to him. Obviously, you were the first person that came to his mind but it didn’t quite add up for him. There was no one else who would give presents to him but why weren’t you giving them to him in person? He doubted his thoughts; you never struck him as a person who would enjoy knitting. Not with your age. It just didn’t seem fitting.
Jack never brought his suspicion up; he never confronted you as he wasn’t sure whether it would make you uncomfortable in any way. There had to be a reason why you kept this a secret if it really was you.

As oblivious as the man was, his assumptions were right.
Each time Jack went on a longer mission, you spent the lonely evenings and nights knitting, sometimes for multiple hours at a time. It helped you relax and for a while, you were able to forget the lonesomeness slowly consuming your heart whenever he was gone. You always placed the wrapped clothes in front of his office about an hour before he was set to return to make sure he wasn’t going to catch you in the act. Sure, you could have given them to him personally but you were too afraid to do so; the thought of him finding your hobby silly and ridiculous scared you even though he seemed to enjoy his gifts a lot. Whenever he was off work, he wore one of your precious hand-knitted garments. Jack was barely seen without one of the many pieces you had made for him. Still, you were aware that knitting didn’t seem quite fitting for a person your age, keeping it a secret was the most comfortable option for now.  Watching him wear your presents was enough for you; it assured you that they really seemed to mean a lot to him. It was fine the way it was. 

On another one of those lonely days, you found yourself sitting in the common room, chatting with Ana and Reinhardt, a half-finished sweater in your hands. Jack had left on a mission around a week ago and wasn’t supposed to return until tomorrow evening.
Ana had found out about your hobby shortly after Jack started wearing the knitted clothes. She barged into your room to assign you to an extremely urgent mission, too urgent to knock on your door and prepare you for her arrival, and found you sitting on your bed, working on a pair of gloves. She had laughed at the sight for a second, not because she found it weird but because she thought it was adorable. After that encounter, she had started to give you a few tips and even taught you a few new patterns so you’ve been spending a lot of time with her lately.
You didn’t mind Ana knowing, she has been very supportive and so was the German man who had found Ana teaching you some tricks one night. 

You were currently talking about your last training session with the older woman when she suddenly brought up a fact you’ve been trying to ignore.

“You know, Jack is going to find about it eventually, sweetie. If he hasn’t already” she mentioned, nodding towards the knitting needles in your hand. You were aware of that, you probably wouldn’t be able to hide it forever but so far the odds had been in your favor.

“I’ve been doing it for almost half a year now and he’s never brought it up. I don’t think he’s got a clue at the moment.”
Your words were full of confidence but there were doubts in your mind. He might have not addressed the topic yet but even Jack Morrison couldn’t be that oblivious, could he? You sighed inwardly, hoping that you would be able to hold on to that secret for a little longer. But destiny had other plans.

“Let’s not have her worry about it too much, Ana! We should enjoy this evening! Anyway, I believe hell would have to freeze over for him to actually find out about it.” The gentle giant laughed loudly and gave you a pat on the back.

“For who to find out about what?”

You almost dropped the knitting needles when you heard the familiar voice from behind you.
Jack had just entered the room and thrown his duffel bag into the corner before stopping behind the sofa and looking down at you.
You instantly felt the heat rising to your cheeks and desperately tried to hide your red face behind your hands. So much about keeping a secret.

“Speaking of the devil!” shouted Reinhardt in laughter, you would have probably seen him holding his stomach if your eyes weren’t covered. Ana was barely able to stifle her laughs but at least she tried not to make her amusement too obvious.

As Jack saw the knitting equipment in your hands as well as your blushing cheeks, he understood. He slowly went around the sofa and stopped in front of you, muttering a quiet “I knew it” more to himself than the other people in the room. You still had your hands over your face, not being able to gain enough confidence to look up at him. That was until you felt two strong arms embrace your body and the smell of sweat mixed with Jack’s cologne filled your nose. Your eyes widened in surprise.
“You could have told me, you know?” he whispered into your ear, his face nuzzled into your hair.
“I’m so sorry, I was just so worried that you’d find it silly or weird so I was too scared to really tell you, I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t want to hide it from you but I was so stressed and-“ you kept rambling and felt his hands slowly running up and down your back to calm you down.

“It’s okay, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. I appreciate your hard work, a lot. I’ve never had anyone do that for me so thank you.”

You shyly nodded as he gave you a loving kiss on the top of your head. 

madlynn01  asked:

Can you do one where the band mate s/o has a stuttering problem and they can't help it

2D: Whilst he doesn’t have a stutter himself he knows it can be pretty infuriating when you can’t control what comes out of your own mouth. He takes his time with you, letting you speak and not finishing your sentences for you

Murdoc: It takes him a while to get used to the does and don’ts and you have to scold him whenever he interrupts you. After some training he eventually learns how your stammer works and how to help you with yours

Noodle: It’s something new for her but it doesn’t scare her or put her off you. If you go to speech therapy she’ll gladly try and help out any way she can which is something your thankful to see

Russel: He isn’t much of a talker him self but he’ll be more vocal if you need him to be. It hurts when he knows you want to something but you can’t get it out but he’s extremely encouraging

when aoi dropped these selfie bombs some time ago i know i was the one saying that ruki will probably give us a selfie with 20% of his face and i’ll be left to cry but when he actually does it I FEEL SO FCKIN BLESSED HAVE U SEEN THAT ANGEL WHAT THE FUCK TAKACHAN I NEED HELP S A V E M E SOMEONE😭😭😭😭👌👌👏👏

D20 Divination

For you nerdy witches who play RPG like D&D well I have a new divination tool for you that I developed on my own. As far as I know there is one other person who does it but he uses a D6 if I remember correctly. Also this is for witches who can’t afford pendulums either. So here we go…..

What is a D20?

well in simple terms it is a 20 sided dice.

So How Do You Use It? 

So first i get all my D20 out and roll them all. I currently have four they each all have names: Blanche, Tatiana, Viking, and Derp. Ask whom wants to help you. Whomever has the highest number is the one I use because it means they want to help you with your questions. Then you start asking your yes or no questions with the selected dice. 

Now this is how it works: 
  • If it lands anywhere from 1 to 9: It means No

  • If it lands anywhere from 10 to 12: It means Maybe

  • If it lands anywhere from 13 to 20: It means Yes

  • If it lands on an edge where you can’t get a for sure number, falls off the table, falls in your legs or it has landed weirdly: It means: I Don’t Know

I hope this helps! 

allisongaynolds  asked:

re: re: the silver thing: it's also why vampires don't have reflections- the silver in a mirror is what makes it reflective. not all mirrors have silver in them, though, as aluminium and some other metals can also be used. so, technically this would mean pete does have a reflection in some mirrors and not in others. idk why I know all this lmao

this is so interesting thank you for sharing. i wish i had known this earlier!

killian-whump replied to your photo: killian-whump: I know I’m the one who made it, but…

“and i know you know that, because you only call me hood robin when you’re having a tantrum”

LOOOOOL @killian-whump what if he makes it a thing to turn his name into every pun he can think of?

“Ah, good morning, Neighborhood!”

“Nice of you to join us, manhood”

“you’re looking rather livelihood…”


“…. well I find that highly unlikelihood”


Wesley would like to sort of proudly welcome you all to his humble abode!

That’s right - Wesley now lives in San Myshuno at the large park in the centre of the city. He doesn’t know what it’s called, but it does have some comfortable benches, a pretty wedding venue where he can sneak in to use the bathroom and better still - a community bar with free nectar you can help yourself to!

It’s….it’s a good life, really…

anonymous asked:

CollegeStudent!EE x Mermaid!ATh first met pls

“What are you?” Mochi asked, staring at the creature he’d found.

He liked walking along the beach.  It tended to clear his mind from thoughts of papers due, dumb professors, and dumber friends.  But this was an unexpected distraction - a man with teal hair and a teal tail in place of legs, sunning himself on a rock.

“What does it look like I am?” the man answered snappishly.  His tail flicked in the water, tossing droplets into the air to spatter across his (very nice, Mochi noticed distractedly) body.  “A b’tulat ha’yam.  Do you not know one of us when you see one?”

“A- I can’t pronounce that.”  Mochi shook his head.  “Uh, we call you mermen.  Assuming you are a mermaid.”

“You just called me two different things,” the merman pointed out.  “Which is it?  Merman, or mermaid?”

Mochi shook his head to try and clear it.  The merman was still there  “Merman for guys, mermaid for girls and the entire species?”  This felt surreal.  “Wait, wait.  Aren’t you supposed to be singing to me or something?  Trying to lure me in and eat me?”

“I am full,” the merman said with such blitheness that Mochi stumbled back in shock.  Then the merman laughed.  “No.  We do not eat humans.  You have odd myths about us, no?  Singing is a good way to communicate underwater.  Tunes carry better than words.”

“I… Okay.”  This still felt like a dream.  Mochi pinched himself.  It hurt.  The merman tilted his head.

“What are you doing?”

“Are you real?” Mochi asked.  The merman flicked his tail once more, sending another glittering shower of water over himself.

“I tire of your inane questions, anoshi.  Yes.  I am real.  Why are you still bothering me?”

“Just curious.”  Mochi stared for a moment more, taking in the way his hair and tail matched in shimmering blue, his pale skin and well-defined muscles.  “Um.  So… I’m Ain, but my friends call me Mochi.  What’s your name?”

“My name is not important to the likes of you.  But my title among my people is Armae Tzaumautorgie.”

Shit.  Mochi knew he was going to butcher that name.  “Arme… Thaumaturgy?”

“Close enough.”  The mermaid smiled, revealing sharp teeth.  “You are a curious creature, if slightly banal.  I shall see you again tomorrow at this time.”

And before Mochi could protest, the merman was gone, sliding back into the sea.  Only a disappearing ripple in the wave-broken water showed he was there at all.

Mochi sighed and rubbed the back of his neck, already wondering if he’d imagined the entire encounter.

“Arme Thaumaturgy,” he repeated.  “Arme.  Guess I should come back tomorrow and check if this was all real.”

You know what my biggest petpeeve is when roleplaying Rakan? When people say he’s dumb, stupid and whatever adjective you want to use for him which describes the very same. And my problem is that the fandom still often views him like that; which is why I am telling you the following now:

Rakan is not dumb. He’s extremely smart in his own ways and just because he does not fit in the ‘normal definition’ of intelligence, does not mean he’s stupid.

Rakan DOES have a very superior understanding of emotions and feelings; his empathy is actually quite great and he’s capable of technically feeling the emotions of people surrounding him. According to modern science empathy is one form of intelligence; the ability to understand a different person. He shows this in technically almost all of his canon interactions with Xayah; that he is able to read her mind. That he sees these things she tries to keep hidden. And, if you look closely at his monologues, you will notice that he’s having some very deep lines also. He has many good qualities; he has also proven more than just once that his narcissism is not greater than his love for Xayah, for his tribe and their homeland in general. He doesn’t hate the humans either; he fails to understand them at times not due to the lack of empathy but because their cultures and beliefs are so very different to his own – but he understands more than enough to not hate them. This is, actually, something Xayah is even incapable of. In one of the canon essays published by Riot its even written that he thinks that this is what Xayah lacks. That she’s superior to him in so many points but that she lacks this empathy.

Rakan is also, and I have to point this out again, the greatest battle-dancer in the HISTORY of the lhotlan tribe. You do not gain this reputation if you’re straight dumb; for several reasons. Rakan actually was capable of memorizing many different dances, even very complex ones, and songs; he memorized the many tales of his own tribe but also other vastayan ones. His memory is extremely selective; particularly because he’s has a great sense for aesthetic so he often gets imprisoned in the moments – when watching Xayah for example who is so very beautiful to him, when he can hear the magic singing another song or when he sees a beautiful landscape. But these are also forms of intelligence. Obviously, with the battle-dancers also being the warriors of their specific tribes, he is an extremely capable fighter. He had trained many complex techniques; he had mastered the control of his body and he is capable of executing all things he had learned so many years ago perfectly in a fight. Rakan states himself, canonly in fact, that he often goes instinct – and he’s still so good with it. Guess why? Because his reflexes are superior; because his mind can immediately choose the right strategy – the right technique – when in combat. This is, in fact, also a sign for high intelligence.

So please do me the favor and do NOT describe him as dumb. I personally do not care if your muse says it – because hey, OPINIONS you know and let’s be honest he’s often talking a lot of nonsense when he’s not with Xayah unless he gets inspired in some way or another so your muse might simply not like him – BUT if you as mun, in ooc, try to make a jester out of him I’ll get honestly pissed. This is not about crack or anything; this is not me saying that other portrayals are wrong – I simply want that people RESPECT him and SEE his actual qualities instead of seeing only his flaws.

anonymous asked:

Has Logan ever been misgendered by Patton/Anx/Roman? What would happen if they misgendered him in a fit of rage?

It’s never happened, actually; once Logan came out at fourteen, Patton bought him a chest binder and told him to be safe. Upon taking control of the mafia, Patton helped Logan start T and a year later, at eighteen, Logan got top surgery. He does not have bottom surgery and will not be getting it. Ann and Roman only know him as a boy and have never even briefly imagined using she/her pronouns. And no matter how angry, Patton recognizes that he shouldn’t misgender Logan, and drunk him still sees a boy so it’s never been an issue.

June 23, 2017...

Sam came back with one of those fitness watch things. Don’t know why ‘cause it’s not like we need to know when to get up and move it or how many miles we run or work on the job. The thing tells him to run now, as if he didn’t already exercise enough for the two of us plus Cas. It even checks his heart rate, too. I can almost imagine what Cas would’ve thought about the thing on Sam’s wrist.

“What does it do? Why do you need to measure your heartrate?” He’d get technical first and then ask Sam why he didn’t get one for me. Ever since he’d found out about eating healthy versus eating what you want he’d have this look whenever I’d order the same thing that I’d eaten yesterday the next day at a different place. I’m used to it anyway since Sam’s basically Mr. Green, but add that and Cas’s staring and you’ve got a whole other battle.

So you’d imagine how he’d react to this thing now. Wonder what his heart beat would’ve said. Did his heart, you know, beat beat? I mean, I guess it did back when Jimmy was alive and then when Cas fell no doubt it beat then ‘cause I had to feel for a pulse when he got knocked out during this one hunt, but what about when he got his mojo back? Or before that?

Writing in here doesn’t give you any sort of answers. Don’t know why Dad thought it did, but then again he started writing more ‘cause of Mom. Guess I did too.

I’m burning that fitbit thing if Forrest Gump ever decides to take the damn thing off. Makes me go and wonder all these things and it’s not helping anybody.

- Dean


Father Brown Reread: The Flying Stars

“The most beautiful crime I ever committed,” Flambeau would say in his highly moral old age, “was also, by a singular coincidence, my last.

  • This flips the regular detective story in multiple ways. The focus is on the criminal, rather than the detective. We’re trying to find out why he repented, rather than how he got brought to justice.
  • In one sentence, we see Flambeau showing some shocking character development. Not only does he stop committing crimes–he becomes “highly moral.”
  • Once again, if we know what Flambeau was like in his old age, when are the Father Brown stories supposed to take place? Given that Chesterton later mentions some “old Victorian chandeliers”, and that he often discusses “modern” political and philosophical fads, I think he’s engaging in a bit of literary time travel, where the stories take place in the “present day” but give us glimpses of the characters’ futures. (Sayers sometimes does something similar in the Peter Wimsey stories).
  • This is a strong contender for my favorite Father Brown story. I’ve read it at least six times. (It’s been a Boxing Day tradition for a few years. I’m listening to Christmas music right now to get me in the spirit.) As such, I may have a lot to say. I’ll try to restrain myself.

It was committed at Christmas. As an artist I had always attempted to provide crimes suitable to the special season or landscapes in which I found myself, choosing this or that terrace or garden for a catastrophe, as if for a statuary group.

  • Flambeau, here’s a hint: most criminals don’t care about the aesthetics of their crimes. You’re not a thief. You’re an artist. Your trouble is that you create your works of art using other people and their possessions.
  • Did Flambeau ever really need the money? Or was he just carried away by the romantic idea of being a trickster and creating those types of tales in real life? Brown’s speech at the end suggests he used the latter to justify the former. (“I’m not a criminal. I’m an artist.”)

I really think my imitation of Dickens’ style was dextrous and literary. It seems almost a pity I repented the same evening.

  • So Old Flambeau has repented of his crimes in a moral sense, but he still appreciates them on artistic terms. He’s reformed, but he hasn’t lost that flair for the overdramatic, or that arrogant self-confidence.
  • I’m suddenly struck by the desire to see Flambeau meet Lord Peter Wimsey. They’d be two obnoxiously self-confident artistic snobs who’d end up getting drunk on the good wine and doing ridiculous acrobatics to break into someone’s house.

Flambeau would then proceed to tell the story from the inside; and even from the inside it was odd. Seen from the outside it was perfectly incomprehensible, and it is from the outside that the stranger must study it.

  • Why does the stranger have to study it from the outside? We heard the first part of the story from Flambeau. I want the rest of Flambeau’s version!
  • Not that I dislike this version, of course. It’s too much fun to wish for any change, and we do need to keep some aspect of the mystery intact.

Here she gave an exclamation of wonder, real or ritual, and looking up at the high garden wall above her, beheld it fantastically bestridden by a somewhat fantastic figure. “Oh, don’t jump, Mr. Crook,” she called out in some alarm; “it’s much too high.”

  • I believe my first suspicion was that this person was Flambeau–he would do just that sort of acrobatic nonsense. The suspicion’s quickly squashed, but it’s a nice little misdirect.
  • It took me a ridiculously long time to realize that Chesterton was trying to mislead us by naming one of the suspects “Crook”.
  • This is also a parallel to Father Brown’s conversation with Flambeau at the end of the story.

“I think I was meant to be a burglar,” he said placidly, “and I have no doubt I should have been if I hadn’t happened to be born in that nice house next door. I can’t see any harm in it, anyhow.”

  • Even if Mr. Crook’s not literally Flambeau, he’s certainly a symbolic parallel. This is the sort of philosophy that Flambeau uses to justify his crimes. Perhaps Flambeau was a bit like this before he became a thief–which makes it more meaningful that he reforms at the end of this story.

With him also was the more insignificant figure of the priest from the neighbouring Roman Church; for the colonel’s late wife had been a Catholic, and the children, as is common in such cases, had been trained to follow her. Everything seemed undistinguished about the priest, even down to his name, which was Brown; yet the colonel had always found something companionable about him, and frequently asked him to such family gatherings.

  • I can only imagine Flambeau’s dismay at discovering this priest showing up yet again. (I doubt that he knew about this family habit beforehand). After making such elaborate preparations for the heist, he couldn’t just abandon it on the fear that Brown would recognize him.
  • Did this make it more fun–a chance to finally pull one over on the priest? Or did it make it more awkward–the guy did convince him to repent last time, after all.

“I’ll put ‘em back now, my dear,” said Fischer, returning the case to the tails of his coat. “I had to be careful of ‘em coming down. They’re the three great African diamonds called ‘The Flying Stars,’ because they’ve been stolen so often. All the big criminals are on the track; but even the rough men about in the streets and hotels could hardly have kept their hands off them.

  • What made you think these would be a good present for your goddaughter? Just what every girl wants–three diamonds that’ll draw every big-name criminal to her house.
  • Also, why put them back in the tailcoat? I imagine the house has a safe, if he thought they could keep the present. Unless they plan to put them in a bank later?

… What do you call a man who wants to embrace the chimney-sweep?” “A saint,” said Father Brown. “I think,” said Sir Leopold, with a supercilious smile, “that Ruby means a Socialist.”[…] “A Socialist means a man who wants all the chimneys swept and all the chimney-sweeps paid for it.” “But who won’t allow you,” put in the priest in a low voice, “to own your own soot.”

  • I’ve always loved this bit. Father Brown shows that religion doesn’t necessarily line up with any political fashions.
  • The major philosophical tension in this story is the question of property–who has it, who deserves or doesn’t deserve it, how we should distribute it. Crook supports redistributing property and attacking policemen in theoretical terms. Flambeau takes the initiative to do so in practical terms.

“Why couldn’t we have a proper old English pantomime–clown, columbine, and so on.

  • As in “The Blue Cross”, Flambeau’s artistry is his downfall. He could have stolen the jewels by sleight-of-hand at any moment and been gone long before the policeman arrived. Instead, he decides that a much better plan is to throw together a pantomime.
  • But no matter how insane the plan is, I have to respect how well he pulls it off. He gets the whole household in on the plan in a matter of minutes, and no one thinks to question him about this “actor friend”. 
  • I adore this whole section. The wild energy of their slap-dash little play is infectious, and very Christmassy.

The harlequin, already clad in silver paper out of cigar boxes, was, with difficulty, prevented from smashing the old Victorian lustre chandeliers, that he might cover himself with resplendent crystals. In fact he would have done so, had not Ruby unearthed some old pantomime paste jewels she had worn at a fancy dress party as the Queen of Diamonds.

  • I know Flambeau would have adored smashing that chandelier (and I love the image of him trying to do it) but he really lucked out that Ruby had some paste jewels. If he’d smashed those chandeliers, I doubt her father would have been in a mood to let the pantomime go on.

He was supposed to be the clown, but he was really almost everything else, the author (so far as there was an author), the prompter, the scene-painter, and, above all, the orchestra. At abrupt intervals in the outrageous performance he would hurl himself in full costume at the piano and bang out some popular music equally absurd and appropriate.

The climax of this, as of all else, was the moment when the two front doors at the back of the scene flew open, showing the lovely moonlit garden, but showing more prominently the famous professional guest; the great Florian, dressed up as a policeman.

  • How did Flambeau explain the lack of policeman during the rehearsal? Everyone was okay with the explanation of “He’ll show up in the middle of the show”? For that matter, how did they open the doors just when he showed up? There’s no mention of him knocking.

“Wife!” replied the staring soldier, “she died this year two months. Her brother James arrived just a week too late to see her.”

  • Flambeau knew that Fischer had the diamonds two months in advance? And ingratiated himself to the family that long ago? Talk about elaborate planning. Was there really no other moment he could he could have retrieved the diamonds? I suppose the day of gift-giving would be when they were most vulnerable.

“Chloroform,” he said as he rose; “I only guessed it just now.”

  • Apparently Flambeau carries chloroform on him at all times. Nothing like being prepared, I suppose.
  • Father Brown’s detective style is the opposite of Sherlock Holmes’. It’s truly deductive reasoning–starting with the “big picture” and finding details to support it. So far, we haven’t really seen Father Brown collect clues. He’s just living life, quietly observing, until he gets a sudden flash of inspiration. Only then can he pick out the little details to support his theory and show how the crime was done.

There were hollows and bowers at the extreme end of that leafy garden, in which the laurels and other immortal shrubs showed against sapphire sky and silver moon, even in that midwinter, warm colours as of the south. The green gaiety of the waving laurels, the rich purple indigo of the night, the moon like a monstrous crystal, make an almost irresponsible romantic picture; and among the top branches of the garden trees a strange figure is climbing, who looks not so much romantic as impossible.

  • Here Chesterton shifts from past tense to present tense for a page. There’s no explanation. Sayers does these kinds of shifts sometimes, too. Were writing rules different back then, or is this a failure of editing?
  • The present tense does give it a bit of a “stage show” feel, paralleling the dramatics of a moment before.

“Well, Flambeau,” says the voice, “you really look like a Flying Star; but that always means a Falling Star at last.”

  • Does Father Brown practice these one-liners?
  • Flambeau’s disguise must have been pretty good if Father Brown didn’t recognize him until now. But once Brown understood the crime, it must have been easy to figure out the criminal’s identity. Who else would do something so overelaborately artistic?

You were going to steal the jewels quietly […] You already had the clever notion of hiding the jewels in a blaze of false stage jewellry. Now you saw that if the dress were a harlequin’s the appearance of a policeman would be quite in keeping.

  • The stage jewellry can’t already have been a part of Flambeau’s plan, not if he planned to steal them quietly.
  • However, just before he got his letter, he was ready to applaud Ruby’s idea of a little show. Perhaps Brown meant that this gave him the idea to use a Christmas show to hide the jewels, and he got the idea for a pantomime a moment later when he heard about the policeman?

“I want you to give them back, Flambeau, and I want you to give up this life. There is still youth and honour and humour in you; don’t fancy they will last in that trade.”

  • Father Brown already got Flambeau to repent and return his stolen goods once before. This time he has to be more specific. It’s not good enough to just give back the goods. He has to give up this life entirely.
  • Flambeau may be the criminal, but there’s an innocence about him. Father Brown, for all his cloistered lifestyle, has a much grittier and more realistic view of the world. Yet another example of how these stories invert the typical detective story tropes.

“…I know the woods look very free behind you, Flambeau; I know that in a flash you could melt into them like a monkey. But some day you will be an old grey monkey, Flambeau. You will sit up in your free forest cold at heart and close to death, and the tree-tops will be very bare.” […] “Your downward steps have begun. You used to boast of doing nothing mean, but you are doing something mean tonight. You are leaving suspicion on an honest boy with a good deal against him already; you are separating him from the woman he loves and who loves him. But you will do meaner things than that before you die.”

  • This page is one of the best monologues in fiction. This entire speech gives me chills, but the ending is especially powerful.

The restoration of the gems (accidentally picked up by Father Brown, of all people) ended the evening in uproarious triumph; and Sir Leopold, in his height of good humor, even told the priest that though he himself had broader views, he could respect those whose creed required them to be cloistered and ignorant of the world.

  • Chesterton loves highlighting this bit of irony. It’s also a nice bookend to “The Blue Cross” where this irony was the turning-point of the whole story.
  • After the chilling dramatics of the garden, it’s nice to end on this lively, cheery, Christmassy atmosphere.
  • I wonder how Flambeau first got back in touch with Father Brown. The next time we see him, he and Brown are already good friends. It must have been an awkward, dramatic, and epic moment when a fully repentant Flambeau reapproaches the man who convinced him to reform.