horse carving

said God, Love covers a multitudes of sins

Summary: Louis is sixteen years old when he realizes that his father is still alive.

this is like. the most self-indulgent bittersweet fluff i have ever written in my whole life but there was no two ways about it, i had to. anyways, note that i have played so utterly fast and loose with historical accuracy that it’s not even funny, but also note that these characters deserve to be happy and to raise a good son because they are actually made by god to be parents this is like, canon, okay, anyways i hope anne and aramis live happily ever after into the sun and aramis gets to tell as many dad jokes as he wants. love u bye. much love to @hansolosbutt, @emilybrontay and @elsaclack (who hasnt even watched this show but proofread for me anyway because shes the real mvp).

When Louis is five, he quickly realizes that Aramis is not, in fact, going to be his new servant. Aramis is in the palace a lot more than he was before – before, when everything was a little different and Papa was still around. But he wears pretty blue clothes and Mama says he is the First Minister of France, and that that is an important position, and that his job is to help her rule Louis’s people until Louis is old enough and wise enough to do so himself.

Louis wonders if he will ever be wise. He is not wholly sure what the word means, only that it is something that makes you a person people like, and that Madame d’Chevreaux, who has been hired as his new governess, says it is a word that describes Mama well. Wise despite her youth, is what Madame d’Chevreaux had said, helping to button him into his tunic in the morning, three weeks after Papa stopped coming to wake him in the mornings and he had his adventure with Madame d’Artagnan in the streets of Paris. You would do well to learn from her, your Majesty.

Madame d’Chevreaux likes Mama very much, which is why Louis supposes she is his new governess. His old governess, Mademoiselle Dufraimont, always went tight in the lips when Mama was in the room. Papa liked her, but Louis thought her smiles were too pinched.

Louis likes it when people have nice smiles, and Aramis has the best of smiles. He is not always smiling, Louis knows. He has seen him talking to the council, standing taller than everyone with a snap to his voice and a clench in his jaw. He has seen him speaking extra quietly with Mama, sometimes, their heads bent over important state papers. He has seen the crease between his brows when he carried him the first time, through the streets of Paris with Mama on his other side. But he is always smiling at Louis, it seems, with a twinkle in his eyes that Louis likes very much. And when Aramis is smiling, Mama is also smiling, so Louis supposes that even if Aramis isn’t his new servant, he would very much like him to stay a long while, just so that Mama smiles more. She didn’t used to smile nearly as much, before when Papa still woke him up in the mornings, unless she was smiling at Louis. Mama always smiled when she looked at Louis, just as Aramis always smiles at him now.

But now Mama smiles when she looks at others as well. Louis likes Mama dearly when she smiles. It lights up her whole face; it’s such a nice smile.

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Tricky Business

Fandom: Star Trek (AOS/TOS).
Pairing: 
 Reader x Chekov.
Prompt: This is for @youre-on-a-starship ‘s #YOASS1000followerhypetrain.  My prompts were intensify, double, and calculation.
Word Count: 1191.
Warnings:
None, pure fluff.
Rating: Teen+.
Author’s Note: Congrats again on 1k, Alex!  I hope I’ve done these prompts justice!  The title comes from a George Cukor quote: “looking for love is tricky business, like whipping a carousel horse.”


Tricky Business

You laugh as the adorable, curly-haired man next to you tries yet another tired, old pickup line on you, pushing another glass of your preferred cocktail across the bar towards you as he drinks his vodka neat.  He’d already won your heart with his good looks, cute accent, and general easy demeanor, but you were egging him on anyway, wondering just what kinds of ridiculous things he’d come up with to try to win your favor.

“According to the calculation I have just performed,” he intoned loudly over the thumping bassline emanating from the overhead sound system in the club.  “If you double your alcohol intake, the intensity of your feelings for me should increase exponentially.”

You shake your head, leaning in closer to him, feeling a stray curl tickle at your cheek as you put your lips close to his hear so you can be heard over the din.

“I’d rather be sober enough to remember you, Pavel,” you murmur.

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IxxP Aesthetic

One for the misfits.

INFP: Industrial ruins offering glimpses into a post-apocalyptic world where slowly, but inevitably, wild grasses will softly bury everything until the sun will engulf the earth and the universe will implode. Getting lost in the streets of an unfamiliar town, door creaking as you enter the messiest antiquarian bookshop imaginable and are greeted with a kind smile. Wooden merry-go-rounds with hand-carved horses, hand-cranked organ playing circus tunes. Ten-page letters never sent, messages in a bottle found a hundred years later. An abandoned train station in the middle of nowhere where maybe the ghost of the porter is forever waiting for passengers he knows will not arrive. Being careful to avoid an audible click between tracks so to not ruin that well-nigh perfect transition between songs as you record a mixtape onto cassette. Modern-day hand bookbinders and watchmakers. That one good line from that awful poem you wrote in seventh grade. Everything cringeworthy about your favorite band’s first demo tape.

INTP: Home plastered with whiteboards, fridge-freezer door painted with chalkboard paint for good measure so you can deal with your brainstorms whenever you have them. Chindōgu, the Japanese art of coming up with creative solutions to minor everyday annoyances that are ultimately useless because people would be too embarrassed to use them, such as the famous noodle splash guard. Fringe sports. Like curling. Disc golf. Or robot soccer. The USS Enterprise-shaped pizza cutter. Setting Wikipedia’s Randompage as your homepage, never getting started on anything because you keep clicking the hyperlinks in the articles. Avoiding TV Tropes for the very reason. Getting unexpectedly invested in the debate when it comes to footnotes vs. endnotes. Wanting to learn Elvish but getting stuck when you can’t decide between Quenya and Sindarin. Also maybe wanting to learn stenography. Or steganography. Or how to play the contrabass balalaika.

ISTP: Blue jeans, white shirt, vintage leather jacket. Wishing the multiplayer trend in gaming would go away because you like the sense of personal responsibility found in a classic adventure but getting really competitive at Mario Kart. Cherry pit spitting. Building your own bed frame out of recycled pallets. Wearing your battle scars with pride. That one delinquent character in a highschool anime setting with the key to the forbidden rooftop. Just… sitting on rooftops. When the silence between two people isn’t awkward at all but feels natural for once. Knees grazed from skateboarding, callused fingers from playing guitar. Collecting vintage horror pulp zines. Or baseball cards. Or pocket knives. Tinkering things apart and putting them back together again to see how they work. Patching up your worn-out combat boots with shoe goo to grant them another chance at life. The rewarding view from the summit after a particularly challenging hike.

ISFP:
Those utterly perfect movie scenes. Like when Luke Skywalker gazes into Tatooine’s evening sky, Binary Sunsets is playing, and nothing fucking happens but you feel that this, this is the very moment he realizes he might just be stuck on that dead-ass planet for the rest of his life and he’s mourning the life he’ll never have, or maybe he’s actually deciding he’s indeed made for greater things, who knows, but the sheer significance is there for everyone to forever burn onto their retinas. You know the scenes. Not being intimidated by an empty canvas but excited about the unlimited possibilities contained within. Decorating your dorm room with washi tape. Meticulously consistent editing of pictures so to not disrupt the flow of your Instagram feed. The plethora of colours light shines onto a soap bubble. Bath bombs. Sidewalk chalk. Not necessarily studying but always stocking up on cute stationery. Having strong opinions on the fonts used in movie end credits (Wes Anderson has a thing for Futura, by the way). The brand of escapism embodied in a Lana Del Rey video.
Kentucky Gothic

(cause i’m addicted)

-You visit the small town where your father grew up. You visit the three separate graveyards where you have family buried. There are more dead than there are living. You pretend not to notice the way the silk flowers disappear

-The wildcats are screaming, the bobcats are screaming, you lie awake at night screaming because you cannot tell the difference.

-The deflated basketball is your garage is your homage to the god you know is watching over your team this season. The smell of burning mattresses fills the air.

-All snakes are evil except the snakes that are good. They are different shapes to help you differentiate.

-The fronts of the buildings on Main Street in Louisville are magnetic. You pretend you do not know. You pretend you do not care. You pretend that the smell of iron that fills downtown is not blood.

-The catfish at the bottom of the pond are ancient. At night they come to the surface and whisper to you the sins of your ancestors.

-Your neighbor offers you a ride. You do not know why they know where you are going.

-Everyone is related. Your father went to school with everyone. Your mother went to school with everyone. You cannot leave. Your roots are here and they run deep.

-You drive. There are horse farms. Miles upon miles of that white fencing. When did you last see a horse?

-The sandstone carvings deep in the woods are ignored.

-These trees know your secrets. Running away will only hurt you.

-In every house there is a pictured of the same covered bridge. This bridge burned down years and years ago. Still, the picture remains, eternal.

-GOD IS WATCHING and JESUS SAVES are plastered on billboards. They remind you of the Great Gatsby. They remind you that you are going to hell. No matter how fast you drive, they follow.

-Hell would technically have better weather. 

JOURNEYS

I:

She has a smile like a knife – all elegant curves with a honed edge of steel – and she catches your eye from across the garden, and beckons. Spring blossoms drift through the air.

You bravely go to join her.

II:

A long road ahead: you take one step, then another, and another. In the distance, mountains rise like jagged teeth: the Wolf’s Maw, mysterious and dangerous, awaits you. And you are whistling that tune about the young adventurer, the one who falls into all those mishaps, and you are smiling, giddy and keen and perhaps a little foolish, but that’s alright.

III:

The city is silent, hauntingly so. You creep through it, seeking out answers, though you do not know the questions that you pursue.

In an overgrown garden, you find a worn wooden horse, a toy carved with loving detail, and you dare not even touch it. But you stare at it for a long time, wondering and pondering, before turning on your heel and leaving.

The back of your neck prickles. You glance over your shoulder, and see nothing, though you feel the presence.

Sad. Lonely.

The smile you muster is weak and sorry. You do not say goodbye: the echo of that single word would be almost heartbreaking, you think.

IV:

The notice is pinned to a notice board, and declares, “ESCORT WANTED FOR WYVERN-FINDING EXPEDITION.” It is raining, in this muddy mercenary town – Telhoum’s Acre, it is called, though you think The Mudpit might be more apt – and hardly anyone is outside to brave the water and the muck. The notice board, located under the eaves of the general store, offers you some protection from the elements. So there’s that, at least.

You reach out and take the notice, snorting with laughter when you read: “WARNING: YOU COULD DIE. HORRIBLY.”

“Horribly,” you murmur, and shrug, your soggy clothes squelching. Beneath your sodden garments are a hundred scars of every type: precise, ragged, large and small, smooth and knotted. “What’s a horrible death to me?”

And then off you go to find your new employer, who promises wyverns and the possibility of a horrible death, both of which you find to be rather delightful, in your morbid way.

V:

The two of you trade grins, bright and eager, your packs a comforting weight on your shoulders. “Right, then,” your companion says. “Let’s go and find the end of the world, shall we?”

You toss them an apple, wink, and say, “Race you there.”

It’s five hundred leagues away, if not more, but the two of you burst into a run anyway – your friend juggling a map and a compass and an apple frantically, while you jeer and laugh at them, at least until the apple hits you square on the temple.

You cry, “Oh! Traitor!” and for a brief moment, you are conflicted: what is more important, after all – the race, or the apple?

In the end, the apple prevails, and your companion is far ahead by the time to begin to run after them, bruised apple in hand. But you are smiling, and you can hear their laughter, sweet and merry, and off the two of you go: to the end of the world, and beyond.

VI:

The old man smiles at you with sharp white teeth and eyes as shrewd as those of a keen-eyed youth. He leans forward, polished necklace catching the light, and says, “So, you want to peer into the future, do you?”

“Yes,” you say, quiet and respectful, palms sweating, heart skipping nervously in your chest. You’ve paid the price, and now you will be granted a single vision.

“Attend,” says the man, reaching out to place his hands upon your temples.

There is nothing and then –

Oh.

- the world shifts and spins around you.

VII:

Here are the stern youths with their eyes like flint, hard and cold; they are the custodians of this land, and watch you in that unsettling way of theirs. So young, to bear such a burden – younger than you, even – and yet their shoulders are set square and proud, and they walk in that assured way, each footfall silent and purposeful.

“Adventurer,” one says, and there is no mocking to her tone, just acknowledgement. She sees you, and knows what you are: in need of a bath, weary, the sort of person that chases rumours like the Falcon Knights chase the holy breeze of their goddess,

You bow in the traditional manner, and respectfully murmur, “Guardians.”

They move aside, and allow you to pass. You walk on, and they watch you; when the trail curves round an outcrop of rock and you turn to look back, you cannot see them but you know that they can see you.

You smile faintly and wish them well. 

VIII:

So. You get terribly sea-sick: you find this out as soon as the ship makes it out onto open water. And you make a tremendous display of it, clinging to the rail and retching and groaning, sweating and cursing, beating your hand against the weathered wood. The sailors laugh at you, and the captain – bless her salty old soul – makes you a cup of tea that somehow settles your stomach, claps you on the shoulder and tells you it will get better, because everything does.

And it does get better, after that. Your stomach still turns uneasily at times, and there are occasions when you wake up at night, mouth bitter and salivating, but you stop throwing up and begin to enjoy the journey.

And what a journey it is.

Madeleine J

Lost in Time

Whoops, I scheduled this update for this morning, but it didn’t work. But better late than never! Enjoy and as always, I love to hear your thoughts!

Part 1 2 3 4

Fergus stopped short and motioned for him to go ahead to the front yard of the house.

He quirked an eyebrow at Fergus in question as the lad motioned him to go ahead of him into the front door of the house. He tapped his stiff fingers against his leg as he walked in the house, torn between running to find Jenny and wanting to prolong his walk in case what lay ahead of him was unpleasant.

No one was about and it was eerily quiet in the house. No maid running about. No bairns playing. A queer feeling went down his spine. There were mumbling voices coming from the living room that gave him slight relief. Odd, he thought.

No one was usually there during the day time, even the weans had chores to do around the grounds. Not much time for leisure. Then again, he didn’t really live in the house anymore, he thought with a pang to his heart. He didn’t know what went on.

“Mama gave me these!”

He paused outside in the hall way, only a few steps from where everyone seemed to be. Not a lass’ voice he recognized. Certainly not Kitty or Maggie, but young. None of the tenants had a daughter that young sounding.

“Ah dia,” he heard Jenny say. Surprise and astonishment in her voice.

Finally, he stepped slightly into the room and Ian saw him enter immediately from where he sat near the hearth. The expression on his brother-in-law’s face as he looked at him was puzzling. That same kind smile and warm face, but with a twinkle in his eye as he looked to him. And there was nothing much to put a twinkle in your eye in these days.

What in God’s earth?

Slowly, his eyes drifted to where his sister sat on the ground with one bairn on either side of her. Their heads were turned away from him, focused on something in Jenny’s hand. For an instant, he though that’s what he and Jenny must have looked like as children. The lass had dark brown curls and the laddie had a shock of red hair, similar to his own.

Odd, two strange children. Perhaps, they were starved and Jenny took them in. Not that they had much to give.

In Jenny’s hand, he saw a flash of white and gold, and he felt as if someone had punched him in the gut. His knees shook and a strangled gasp left his mouth as he clutched the wall for support.

Three heads turned at the same time to this noise and he dropped to the floor at the sight that greeted him.

Jenny slowly got up and walked to him as small Jamie distracted the weans with one of Kitty’s toys. They could not see him in the shadows, but Jenny knew.

“Jamie,” she whispered and knelt on the ground next to him, putting a hand on his shoulder.

“Jenny,” he rasped, his eyes not seeing her, but still fixed on the bairns. The boy that looked his clone. Red curls, blue eyes. And the lass. My god, twins.

Tears flowed down his face silently as he looked at her. He should have known. Those untamable curls, surrounding her sweet little face. And for that brief second he would never forget, he saw her golden eyes. Claire’s eyes. And in her wee hand were the pearls he had placed on Claire’s neck the night of their wedding.

He felt a hand urging his face away from them. Jenny put both palms on either side of his face and his stricken eyes met his sister’s as she held onto him. The only thing stopping his body from running over and wrapping the weans into him.

“Jamie, listen to me,” she urged. “I didna know where they came from. A few men brought them here…from the fairy hill, he said.”

She turned to look back at them as they played with the wooden horse he had carved himself for wee Jamie when he was smaller. A smile graced Jenny’s face as he turned back to her, and he saw tears glistening in her eyes as well. Tender and happy.

“I didna ken anything, Jamie, but they are yours. Yours and Claire’s, obviously. The lass is the spit of her.  And somehow, by the grace of God himself, they are here.”

The last of her words faded into the fog of his mine. His brain had blocked everything out as soon as he heard the words yours and Claire’s.

Yours and Claire’s.

Ideas and words flew through his mind as his world focused on those two little bodies on the ground. It had been over four years since he had sent her back to her own time. They were only three years old.

He traced the backs of their heads with his eyes over and over again. The wee stray hair the laddie had, sticking up from his head. The one he had. A stray dark curl wrapped around the lass’ neck.

Claire. Where was she? Was she here?

His thumb gently traced the faded C on his hand. He was just about to ask Jenny when the lass turned her head to him.

And then everything faded away and he felt himself taking steps to them, without thought or without meaning. He felt as if he was floating to them, being pulled by something he didn’t understand, nor needed to.

Her whiskey colored eyes appraised him as he came closer. So like her mother’s. Eyes he hadn’t seen in four long years.

She made no move to come closer, but did not seem scared as some children were of his presence.

And then the small red head turned and he met his reflection in the pool of blue eyes. He dropped to his knees by them, unable to control his emotions as tears streamed down his face. Silent sobs were raking his body as he fought the impulse to grab them both in his arms and never let go.

The laddie turned to his sister and then back to him. Slowly, he got up to his feet, wobbling slightly. And again he fought the urge to touch him.  Tears fell down his face as he looked into his son’s eyes. His son! A dhia!

He came within a step of his large form and reached out his wee hand. Jamie almost wanted to step back, afraid that if he felt his touch, he would disappear from him.

But his hand lightly touched underneath his eye, brushing his sticky fingers across his face and to his hair and then gently touched the corner of his own blue eye. The same exact shade as Jamie’s.

A small smile came to his face as he glanced back to his sister, her wide eyes watching their every move.

“You really daddy.”

And then he could fight it no longer. He reached out and snatched him too his body, wrapping one arm tight around his body and reached the other hand to the lass as she jumped up to him as well.

Time seemed to freeze in that moment and nothing else existed. There was no fear, no pain, no sadness, no loneliness. Just joy.  

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Bratton Castle & The Westbury White Horse

Bratton Camp Castle (also known as ‘Bratton Castle ’) is an Iron Age hillfort located 1.5 mi east of Westbury in England. It has two ditches and banks which together enclose an area of 9.3 hectares. Some parts of it have been damaged by quarrying in the past. It was excavated by Jeffery Whittaker, a local schoolmaster, before 1775. This is thought to have been one of the earliest archaeological excavations to have taken place in Wiltshire. The excavation was poorly documented but it is believed that Roman and Saxon coins were found within the the fort. The site is also believed to enclose the remains of a Neolithic long barrow (burial chamber).

The Westbury White Horse or Bratton White Horse, a hill figure first documented in 1742, lies on the west side of the hillfort. It is the oldest of several white horses carved in Wiltshire. It was restored in 1778, an action which may have obliterated a previous horse which had occupied the same slope. A contemporary engraving of the 1760s appears to show a horse facing in the opposite direction, and also rather smaller than the present figure. However, there is at present no documentary or other evidence for the existence of a chalk horse at Westbury before the year 1742.

//Roleplay Tag Game, tagged by quicktoanger

Name of your Muse: Haldir Arasdirion, Lord Warden of the Western March

One picture you like best of your muse’s fc

Two headcanons you have for your muse that you never told anyone

  1. If he sails to Valinor he’s gonna make a treehouse out in the woods and have like three horses and seven leonbergers
  2. He tried drawing once. He’s not very good at it and all he draws from is things immediately around him because he lacks imagination.

Three things that your muse loves doing in their free time

  1. Sparring
  2. Horseback Riding
  3. Chess

Four people that your muse loves

  1. Arasdir
  2. Annûnwen
  3. Orophin
  4. Rúmil

Three fond childhood memories

  1. Haldir was bored and had to be indoors, so the next day his father gave him hand-carved toy horses
  2. Holding Rúmil when he was born
  3. His mother’s lullabies

Two things your muse regrets

  1. Not finding his father sooner
  2. Letting his brothers swear the oath of the Galadhrim

Tag ten people to do the same thing:

thedriftingkings, edhelernil, smokinshield, apathlikeatrack, jarxth, bilbo-of-the-shire, irukas, kunaihime, motherofasgard, bloodclovengold

It was a still night, tinted with the promise of dawn. A crescent moon was just setting. Ankh-Morpork, largest city in the lands around the Circle Sea, slept.

That statement is not really true.

On the one hand, those parts of the city which normally concerned themselves with, for example, selling vegetables, shoeing horses, carving exquisite small jade ornaments, changing money and making tables, on the whole, slept. Unless they had insomnia. Or had got up in the night, as it might be, to go to the lavatory. On the other hand, many of the less law-abiding citizens were wide awake and, for instance, climbing through windows that didn’t belong to them, slitting throats, mugging one another, listening to loud music in smoky cellars and generally having a lot more fun. But most of the animals were asleep, except for the rats. And the bats, too, of course. As far as the insects were concerned…

The point is that descriptive writing is very rarely entirely accurate and during the reign of Olaf Quimby II as Patrician of Ankh some legislation was passed in a determined attempt to put a stop to this sort of thing and introduce some honesty into reporting. Thus, if a legend said of a notable hero that ‘all men spoke of his prowess’ any bard who valued his life would add hastily ‘except for a couple of people in his home village who thought he was a liar, and quite a lot of other people who had never really heard of him.’ Poetic simile was strictly limited to statements like ‘his mighty steed was as fleet as the wind on a fairly calm day, say about Force Three,’ and any loose talk about a beloved having a face that launched a thousand ships would have to be backed by evidence that the object of desire did indeed look like a bottle of champagne.

Quimby was eventually killed by a disgruntled poet during an experiment conducted in the palace grounds to prove the disputed accuracy of the proverb ‘The pen is mightier than the sword,’ and in his memory it was amended to include the phrase 'only if the sword is very small and the pen is very sharp.’
—  the light fantastic, terry pratchett