Seriously though, the number of grown adults who pitch a WHINY HISSY FIT when I tell them that they can’t take an animal home is astounding.
My favorite one from this holiday season was a man with a young girl (about 5 or 6 years old) and a teenage boy. The man approaches me and, without me even asking what I can help them with, says:
Man: So we had a goldfish in a bowl and my son changed the food and it died! Son: (clearly offended, yet texting) It wasn’t MY fault! Me: Actually the reason it more than likely died is because goldfish REALLY shouldn’t be kept in bowls. Man: Well it’s a big bowl, like this! (mimes about a gallon-sized bowl shape) Me: Yeah, that’s actually pretty darn tiny. Man: Well anyway, we want to get another one. Girl: I want three! Me: Unfortunately I can’t sell you a fish today– your setup really isn’t going to work for a goldfish. You’re going to need at least 10 gallons for just ONE and even then you’re going to have to upgrade within a month or so. Goldfish really aren’t a beginner fish…
As I say that I brace myself knowing what’s coming up. Almost every time I refuse sale of a fish, I get the same reaction: outrage and demanding to talk to the manager, etc.
Man: Well I HAVE a tank. Me: …I really don’t feel comfortable selling you the fish since I really feel like you’re not going to give it the proper care it needs for a long and healthy life. Man: What?! I said I have a tank! Why won’t you sell me the fish?! Me: How big is the tank? Man: 10 gallons! Me: I still don’t feel comfortable selling you the fish. I’m going to have to refuse the sale, I’m very sorry. Man: What do you mean?! Me: I’m not going to sell you fish today, I’m very sorry. Man: I demand to talk to your manager!!! Me: -points to nametag- Sir, I AM the manager. Man: -takes a full pause, not expecting this- Man: So you’re not going to sell me a fish, really? These 15-cent fish that you feed to turtles, you’d sell it for that but not to me?? Me: If you had the setup for it, I would be more than happy to. Man: I told you I have a tank! Me: You told me you had your fish in a bowl. I honestly believe you are just saying this to get the fish at this point, sir, I’m sorry. Man: What do you I have to do, bring in a picture to prove I have it?? Me: -calling his bluff in a cheerful tone- Absolutely! I would love to see pictures of your tank and I would be more than happy to help you stock it after seeing your setup! Man: (He takes another full pause) I’m going to call the company and COMPLAIN about you! This is ridiculous, what’s the number to complain?? Me: I’m afraid I don’t know that off the top of my head sir. Man: You don’t know the company number??? Me: No sir, but I believe it’s on our website.
While this was going on, the teenage boy was in the reptiles aisle texting and the girl was watching the turtles swim around in our tank nearby. The man then grabs his daughter by the hand and does this in front of other customers:
Man: Let’s go– the lady’s not going to sell us fish. She’s a MEAN LADY. (he’s staring directly at me as I stand there with no expression on my face) Girl: Oh we’re not getting fish? -not even upset- Man: Yeah because she’s a MEAN LADY. (he says these words at a higher volume and with more emphasis)
He continues to repeat that phrase as he exits down the reptile aisle, making customers uncomfortable and I just shrug and go back to what I was doing before this scene.
An hour later I get a call from corporate.
NC: Hi, this is the national center, we just wanted to ask about the conditions surrounding a complaint we received about you. A customer has complained that you wouldn’t sell him a fish even after stating he had the correct setup. We just would like to hear your side of the story. Me: (I tell him about the fact the guy had a goldfish in a bowl and then changed his story saying he had a tank and that I refused sale because I didn’t feel he was being honest or would care for the animal) Me: And then he left the store, calling me a “mean lady” several times in a loud voice and said he would call you guys. NC: Ok Christina, I just wanted to let you know that we agree with you 100% and that you did everything you were supposed to. We wish you a very happy holiday season and I hope your shift goes well! Me: Thank you! You too!
I did a little happy dance and told the other manager on duty, who didn’t believe me when I said the company would have my back on the issue (he thought the company would bend over backwards for the guy and it would bite me in the butt)
BUT WAIT IT GETS BETTER
The next day I come in for work at 2PM to find out from my general manager that the guy had called the store (after the nat center told him I was correct, mind you) to complain about me and saying that my behavior was “irresponsible” and that I was “unprofessional” and that I should be reprimanded or fired.
My general manager just said “Well I’m sorry to hear that sir but you see, she has NEVER gotten a complaint as long as she has worked for the company and the national center has already stated that she has done everything according to policy. Sorry you feel that way, man, but there’s nothing I’m going to do against her in this situation.”
Made my week.
So, yeah, my company defended the life of a 15-cent “feeder” goldfish.
“Georgie,” Fred whispered, arching a brow and digging his elbow into his brother’s ribs as soon as they poured out of Filch’s office. “Have a look.”
“Well then,” George remarked, eyeing the worn piece of parchment in his twin’s hand. “A whole drawer of confiscated items and you thought the blank bit of parchment was probably best?” He reached for it, giving it a skeptical once-over. “For this I wasted a dungbomb?”
“A dungbomb at the inconvenience of Filch is never a dungbomb wasted,” Fred told him smartly. “Anyway, considering the drawer, there’s obviously more to it. Unlike you,” he added, nudging him. “Who possess nothing beneath your stunningly handsome facade.”
“A handsomeness that I wear better, by the way,” George assured his twin, not looking up. “Hm,” he murmured to himself. “If it were me, I would- ”
He stopped, frowning in thought.
“Oh good,” Fred said, fighting a yawn. “I was hoping you’d come to an abrupt stop.” He leaned against the wall, kicking one leg out to cross it over the other. “Frankly, if it weren’t for your unerring mystery, I’d have run off a long time ago.”
George raised his wand and tapped it against the parchment. “Revelio,” he muttered, and then watched as a series of words began to spread across the page.
Here are my experiences with working with Aphrodite (specifically, although these can likely be applied to most, if not all deity) These are exclusively my own individual experiences and by no means the rules or structure.
✩ Your altar to her should reflect the type of beauty you wish to radiate, On my altar I have a statue of her sitting on a platform to help raise her as the focal point, surrounded with dried roses, honeysuckle, jasmine and hibiscus flowers. fresh flowers are fantastic but not always financially permitting, unless you grow them or have access to them I don’t believe it is essential to always have fresh flowers, however I will touch base on this later on. My altar also includes rose quartz chunks and various sea shells.
✩ I began my relationship with her the same as I would an acquaintance, I don’t believe you would ever approach someone in reality and immediately ask them for a favor without knowing them, the same goes for deity. You should build a relationship, shes an intelligent entity, she knows you want something from her so by making it clear from the get go, you will likely see better results (you scratch my back I scratch yours kind of logic)
✩ Sitting down in front of her altar and talking to her as if she was your friend really helps improve the relationship, sure it sounds crazy sitting in your room chatting to a statue or a photo of her, but this helps immensely. I would come home from a long day and chat for about 20 minutes - “I hope your day was well, I did this and that…”
✩ if you see a pretty flower or crystal whilst you are out and about, bring it home and set it out as an offering, stating that this is a gift for her. The same goes for lighting a candle, I would make an effort to at least twice a week set a candle on her altar and as I lit it, would announce “I light this candle in your honor”. The goal is to make her apart of your life as much as you can, within reason.
✩ Look for any signs, for example, recently I went for a walk up to the forest, which is known for its dense bush, with ferns and tall trees and lots of greenery, upon meditating I asked if she could send me a blessing, as I walked off I was inclined to leave the beaten path and explore the woods, I followed the deer tracks through the dense woods, and found, to my surprise 3-4 large pink rose bushes!
(the birds must’ve carried the seeds)
The love that was radiating from them made me feel incredible! This was my definite sign she was listening, as she is commonly associated with roses and they are never found in the wild where I live.
✩ If you notice things starting to go well in your life, in regards to feeling better about yourself, having more people look you over, improved relationships with loved ones or even more messages on the dating app you use, as opposed to normal. take it upon yourself to purchase fresh flowers, place in a vase on her altar as an offering of thanks, of course this can be costly, but I have noticed that if you practice the art of giving, especially with Aphrodite, you continue to gain her favor and hopefully a life long working relationship with her.
Aphrodite is an incredibly loving and forgiving energy, she is easy to work with so long as you show your thanks and trust her.
I hope this helps some people in where to start, there is no right or wrong way, and often just offering what you have will be enough. I wish you all the best of luck!
Now this, this is the show I want to watch: casual co-parenting in the apocalypse. The Next World is probably my favorite episode ever. It’s bookended by two perfect Richonne scenes, starting with this one, which serves to effectively reset the narrative after Carl’s near fatal gunshot wound. If you were anticipating dramatic aftermath, tough luck! We got ourselves some heavy domesticity instead! What a timely reminder to us all of how slight the shift will be when Richonne becomes official. In about… ooh, 40 minutes. Set your watches.
Michonne’s never been more relaxed onscreen than in this moment, robe-clad and grinning away as she rolls her head from Rick to Carl. (And just look at the way she watches Rick with Judith in the eighth gif.) Likewise, Rick is in embarrassing dad mode without a care in the world. We see two people who are exactly where they’re supposed to be. She even says to him, in some high-key flirting, “You be good out there.” The sweet little hand touch as they walk away reminds me of tennis doubles players between points; they don’t need to stop and check in with each other – they’re on the same page without words. And for one playful extra detail, as if to support my unnecessary tennis analogy, the ball gets passed back to Michonne just at the very last second. It’s in her court now.
Danai: The bonding of [almost losing Carl in No Way Out] and the fact they have a newly formed life now — it’s two months later, they get Carl back, and they’re able to rebuild Alexandria. Rick transformed as well. He’s able to take on all that Deanna used to say and that Michonne would encourage him to believe — to come to Alexandria and consider himself one of these people. He’s now much more hopeful and I think that’s something that appeals to Michonne as well. They’re in a place where they can actually allow their hearts to express themselves. Things are stable and better, they have a new lease on life.
Andy: It makes complete sense. It was that sort of domesticated, familial relaxation between old friends.
When we first meet Maggie, we learned three basic things about the character: she’s an out and proud lesbian, she’s a cocky little shit, she cares a lot about people. For a while, this is all we had to hold on to. Maggie’s layers were added painstakingly slowly, and you had to pay attention to see what they were. Looking back, the traits that made Maggie Sawyer the woman we love, were always there, we just didn’t know it.
Lance fled the room, angrily wiping his face as he ran, searching for the comfort of his lion. He ignored the calls of his teammates, ignored the feelings of fear, regret and pity that radiated off of them.
He ignored everything but the purrs of his lion.
Lance understood why Blue had let them in, she hadn’t wanted him to keep his powers a secret in the first place. Blue was just worried (understandably, he was learning how to make emotions into solid objects) and he could never angry at her for long. Once he reached his hangar, he locked it for good measure and changed the password for good measure, before finally taking a deep breath of air and staring at his lion.
“Well that was certainly a shit show, right Blue?” Lance laughed breathlessly, a slight tremor in his voice. He began walking over to her, placing a hand on her paw once he reached her. “It didn’t exactly go how I thought it would.” Blue hummed her agreement in his mind, comforting his anxious thoughts. A slight smile graced his face before changing into a grimace.
“But…to be honest Blue, I never thought they’d be angry at me. I knew they’d be upset but that pissed,” Lance let out a sigh,”It was a little much.” Sensing her paladins discomfort, Blue opened her mouth and let Lance inside. He made his way through his lion slowly, gliding a hand across the wall as he walked. “It hurt, Blue. It hurt a lot. They looked so, so afraid of me.” He paused for a moment, his fingers slowly curling into a fist. He could still feel the emotions rolling off his teammates like waves, each beckoning him to take a dive into the abyss that was feelings. “A-Am I scary Blue? …Am I monster?”
No, my paladin, you are no monster.
“Then what am I Blue? I’m not a hero, I’m not a Paladin of Voltron, and I’m not even sure I’m completely human at this point!” Lance cried out, sliding down against the wall. “T-These powers Blue, what do they mean?” He began to curl into himself, tears on the brink of falling out. He shoved the palms of his hands against his eyes, trying to stop the tears from overflowing. The negative emotions he usually kept on lockdown were drowning him, they were clawing up his throat and bubbling out as harsh sobs. “What am I?”
You are my paladin, the Blue lion spoke, her words wrapping around Lance’s mind like a blanket, protecting him from the negative emotions in him. You are precious, you are unique and you are wonderful. Blue tried to focus all the love she had for her paladin into her words, sending him as much warmth as she could.
Lance refused to believe her and Blue fought to keep that blanket around him, tightening its bounds around his mind. You are my paladin.
“You deserve better than me Blue.” The coils grew tighter, dark matter beginning to form around Lance. You are my paladin.
She could hear the shouts of her paladin’s teammates from within her hangar, each shouting for Lance. But her paladin needed rest, he needed these negative emotions gone from his mind so he could be happy. She would heal him. She would protect him. She would be there for her paladin like he was there for her. Sending a quick sorry to Black, Blue protected her paladin the best way she could. You are my cub.
All Lance could see was black.
“Are you an idiot?! Who says that to the obviously emotionally unstable guy?” Pidge shouted, “Who gave you the right to speak to him that way? Tell me Keith, who?”
“That’s enough Pidge,” Shiro chided.
“Um excuse me? Keith just made a magical Lance who could do some crazy things have a mental breakdown and run off!” She yelled.
“And I’m sorry about that! But what Lance did was wrong and he needed to know that!” Keith argued through clenched teeth.
“And what you did was wrong as well! We could have that discussion when he wasn’t a fidgety, anxious mess! But nooo, Keith has to open his big fat mouth and ruin-”
“I said that’s enough Pidge,” Shiro interrupted, “Pidge is correct Keith, you shouldn’t have said that. But Lance also shouldn’t have done what he did, however that did not need to be discussed yet.” Keith looked away angrily, a frown set on his face.
Shiro sighed, deciding to let him be for now,”Hunk, do you and Pidge want to go check on Lance? I need to talk to Allura about what just happened.” All he got was a nod in response before the two walked out of the room in silence, Pidge sending a glare on their way out.
Once the room was empty Shiro sent one last glance at Keith,”You’re going to have to apologize for what happened.”
“Because it wasn’t right.”
“And you need to learn-”
“I know Shiro, god,” Keith growled.
“Fine, be that way, but I expect an apology for Lance when I return. You disappointed me today Keith, you’re better than this.” He left it at that before exiting the room, hearing Keith sigh on his way out.
His entire head was going to be white by the end of today.
ahh sorry it’s a bit short guys! if i wrote anymore it would end up being 3k words :) , hope you liked it though!
Two weeks. It had been two weeks since you and Jungkook had started the break. You didn’t want to admit it but you had spent all of the time up until now laying in bed, and trying to disappear within the covers. You didn’t want to see the outside world if it meant you would have to remember his absence.
As much as you wanted to call Jungkook and tell him to come home, you were too stubborn. There was a small part of you that wouldn’t let your fingers punch in the familiar number. He wasn’t as strong though. He had called you everyday and left you with countless voicemails, all of them telling you how much he loved you and that he was truly sorry.
He hadn’t missed a single day.
Of course he was still doing promotions and working with the guys, but he was messaging you and calling you whenever he got the chance, and it made your heart hurt. You wanted to answer every time the phone rang, but you didn’t. It wasn’t until a different ringtone started playing that you actually grabbed the device and pressed answer.
“Hello.” You answered quietly.
“Hi.” His voice sent shivers down your spine and you were so dumb as to not expect him to try something like this. He had before, and yet you had fallen for it again.
“You have to stop calling me from Jimin’s phone or else soon I’m not going to pick up and he’s going to be pissed at me.” You replied, sitting up slightly in bed and resting your back against the pillows. You didn’t want to admit it but it felt good to hear his laugh come over the line.
“I’m sorry, I had to hear your voice. I thought I was going to go insane.” He replied. Your fingers played with the edge of your blanket so as to try and distract you from the fluttering in your chest. It didn’t matter what he said, he could be reading the script of the bee movie and you would still find yourself distracted by his voice.
“You’re a twit, you know that right?” You questioned, trying to goof around a little bit. Jungkook chuckled slightly and you could tell that he wasn’t completely there. “How are thing’s going with the guys? They’re being nice right?”
Have you ever had to restart a short story or book completely from scratch? If so, how did you keep from becoming completely disheartened? Thanks!
Oh God yes, that’s happened to me. I don’t know how you keep from getting upset over something like this – it’s a loss, after all, and upset is the normal response – but it’s what you do in the aftermath that counts.
I need to come at this from two directions:
when you lose work you’ve been paid for / have under contract, and
when it happens to work you’re doing for pleasure or haven’t yet sold.
My most horrific example of this was when a disc crash combined with
corrupt backups left me with nothing two weeks before SPOCK’S WORLD was
due at the publisher. “Disheartened” doesn’t begin to describe it, but
at the time I had no leisure to indulge that or waste precious work time
on screaming fits. My editor told me that the book was due on Day X and
THAT WAS THAT. It was the very first hardcover Trek novel. They had
commissioned me specifically for this work because they believed I was
then the best Star Trek writer available. The book was already heavily
presold, and there was no wiggle room in the schedule. My editor didn’t
care what I did, but I was expected to act like a professional and get
on with it and turn a book in on The Day.
So I pulled up my Big Girl Knickers and got ON
with it. I reconstructed and retyped the destroyed 70K of words over one
week, and wrote the necessary 40K or so of words necessary to complete
the book over the next week. (And it was a good thing that I was both very, very familiar with my material, having been quite close to it for many weeks, and also had an incredibly detailed outline to prompt my memory where it failed.) And having rebuilt what was lost and sent it away, then I spent a few days having a wee
collapse (and taking a lot of aspirin: I didn’t have a proper typing
chair and had done all that writing in a straight-backed kitchen chair.
My back wasn’t right again for nearly a month).
This disaster turned
out, in retrospect, to be one of those Blessings In Disguise things: I’m
convinced to this day that the recreation of the lost material was
far better than the original. And the book did then spend eight weeks on the
NYTBS list, which has to be some kind of validation. But if this
situation illustrates anything, it’s that firmness of purpose (and sheer terror) can
overcome downheartedness pretty easily when the stakes are high
enough… as I knew my career and I were dead meat if I didn’t deliver.
work done on your own nickel, without that kind of pressure
overshadowing you, is another story.
I remember vividly a short work I’d
written, 12,000 words (well, it’s short around here) about one of the painted lanterns made for the Fasnacht
carnival in Basel. These lanterns are exquisite works of art, made by
the best graphic artists in the city, decorated with topical artwork and
involved poetry in Baslerdeutsch, and paraded around the city
for the admiration of all… and then, at the end of the carnival,
they’re ceremonially burned. This story was about one of these lanterns
that – having for some reason or other become sentient – decides not
to put up with being burned, and flees.
I was really, REALLY fond of this story, and worked on it on and off over the course of a year. “The Runaway Laderne” was nearly finished when I sent a copy of it to one of my editors to let her take a look of it. And then… bang, another disc crash, and the Laderne
was gone for real. But by the time this happened and I contacted my
editor to see if I could recover a copy from her, it turned out she’d
inadvertently purged it from her mailbox.
I was really, really disappointed
about this. And even now, every now and then I find myself undertaking a
half-hearted search among some older backups to see if a copy of it
might have escaped. But what I knew about the story in the year that
followed was that the passion that had driven the writing to the point
where the story was 99% done had indeed finished its work: it had burned itself clean in the execution of the work… so would take twice as much energy to recover. And if I
couldn’t find the time to work in a reconstruction of the story around
work I was being paid to do, then maybe I was just going to have to cut
my losses on that story and hope to meet it again in some better place. (I.e., “writer heaven”… where you meet your work in its perfect form, instead of the inevitably flawed stuff that works its way out in a world ridden with entropy.)
comes a point where you learn to choose your fights. Shock at losing
work – and the initial response of feeling disheartened – I think can
be overcome either by necessity, or by the underlying urge to write the
story not yet having exhausted itself. There’s definitely a level at
which the image of the unwritten work, and the expectation of what it
can become if you can just nail the damn thing down on paper or in
electrons, will drive you mercilessly until it’s done. (THE DOOR INTO
FIRE did that with me: picked me up in its teeth and dragged me back to
the typewriter night and day until it was finished.) Other works are more leisurely, and just kind of nag at you from the sidelines.
you’re finished or near-finished, and the
initial creative impetus has exhausted itself, then once you’ve recovered from the initial shock of loss, you have to sit down
and do your own mental math to determine whether the expenditure of
energy needed to recover or reconstruct the work is going to be, as they
say over here, “worth the candle”. No one else but you can do that
math. It’s unquestionably painful to decide that you can’t or don’t want
to commit to reconstruction: but you have to determine what’s to be
gained. I can still see that laderne in my head, and feel a bit
sorry about its loss: but I also do know that the story was all but
finished, that it was a good piece of work that satisfied me, and that
what I learned from it would go to contribute later to other work:
because no work you do is wasted, even if it’s lost.
creative work to some extent – if only a small one – serves to
structure the unstructured and impose order on chaos: and where that
happens, the universe remembers being structured, and appreciates it.
And also, “practice makes perfect”: you may have lost the written, but
you haven’t lost the writer, and the impress of what you did has sunk
itself into your synapses. Even when lost, the work was worth doing, and
its spirit will covertly animate your next piece of work. So if you’ve
lost something, don’t despair: get up, dust yourself off and open a new
file or roll a blank page into the typewriter. Stories may get lost, but
Story is immortal: possibly more so than we are.
Oh my god yes. Enemies to friends to loves is my all time favourite trope i am so here for this i love it. Can I ask for "You come to the restaurant I work at and choose me as your waiter(ess) every time just to annoy me and I can’t do anything in retribution or I’ll get fired AU" or "Just got caught under the mistletoe with my arch-nemesis and now everything is slow changing between us AU"? Pretty please? ilu goodbye
This is my completely inappropriate Christmas-in-March fic!
“Move it,” Steve says, trying to shove past Bucky from Marketing.
“Jeez,” Bucky from Marketing says. “The eggnog will keep.”
Steve shoots Bucky from Marketing a look over his glasses. “You’re standing in the middle of the doorway,” he says. “You’ve been standing in the middle of the doorway for eight minutes.”
“That’s an exaggeration,” Bucky from Marketing mutters.
“And,” Steve continues, refusing to be silenced, “I’ve been trying to get by but you’ve been ignoring me.”
“So go by,” Bucky from Marketing says, rolling his eyes.
“You. Are. In. The. Way.” Steve spits.
“I. Am. Not. Moving.” Bucky from Marketing responds, in turn.
“Fine,” Steve says, pushing again, which would probably be more effective if Steve weren’t barely hitting five-four and if Bucky from Marketing didn’t work out so much (which Steve only knows because he comes into work with his sweaty gym bag).
And that’s when he hears Darcy from Accounting go, “OOOOOOOOOH.” He looks up, but it’s too late. Half the party is looking at him and Bucky from Marketing. “We got two losers underneath the mistletoe!”
Steve looks up at Bucky from Marketing, who is looking down at him and…
Is blushing. Like, a lot.
Bucky from Marketing’s jaw twitches. “Can it, Darcy,” he says, eyes darting over to Darcy from Accounting, then back down to Steve. “So, uh, you, uh…”
He’s a stuttering mess, and Steve frowns. “Is the idea of kissing me really that bad?” he asks.
“What?” Bucky from Marketing asks, voice cracking a little. “No!”
“Then kiss me,” Steve says, putting a hand on his hip. “I mean, having this mistletoe at an office party is a ridiculous notion, but whatever. It’s fine. Kiss me.”
Bucky from Marketing just sort of gapes.
“Fine,” Steve says, “then I’ll do it.”
And then he goes up on his tiptoes and does.
Bucky from Marketing is tense, so Steve doesn’t make a big deal out of it. He kisses him, waits a few seconds, then pulls away. “There,” he says. “Hope that wasn’t too painful for you.”
“No, not… It wasn’t painful, not at all! But I, uh, gotta, uh, I gotta go over there,” Bucky from Marketing says, then practically leaps out of the doorway and towards Natasha from Sales at the other end of the room.
“The fuck?” Steve asks.
Darcy from Accounting saunters up to Steve and gives him a high-five. “Hell yeah,” she says. “Look at you!”
“Uh, thanks?” Steve says.
“So, are you in love? Are you gonna get married? Have little Barnes-Rogerses bouncing around the living room?” she asks.
“Don’t think so,” Steve says. “He didn’t seem too interested.”
Darcy from Accounting raises an eyebrow and chuckles. “You’re joking, right?” she asks. Steve doesn’t bother responding, just gives her an impressed look. “He’s been pining after you since last quarter, maybe even before that. I think he was waiting under there in the hopes that you’d come by and he could sweep you off your tiny, Chuck Taylor-clad feet.”
“You’re joking,” Steve says.
She shrugs. “Better ask him,” she says in a sing-song voice.
Out of morbid curiosity, Steve looks over to where Bucky from Marketing and Natasha from Sales are standing, talking to each other with a sort of intense, quiet urgency. He watches them for a second, then nearly flinches when Bucky from Marketing looks his way. He’s still blushing.
Normally, Steve would look away, but this time he doesn’t. Instead, he smiles.
Looking almost confused, Bucky from Marketing smiles back.
“Well,” Steve says, “I guess I could use someone to get me a glass of eggnog, and Bucky is standing close to the buffet.”
“That’s the spirit,” Darcy from Accounting says. “And a true Christmas miracle.”
“I’m an atheist,” Steve says.
“It’s the spirit of the thing!” Darcy from Accounting argues.
“Fine,” Steve says, heading towards the eggnog and Bucky from Mar—
❝ and oh — did she quiver with anticipation at the excitement that may ensue. ❞
WORD COUNT: 1.7K
The wind fell short as we shuffled into the nearly vacant bus, digits curled around the dark handle of my suitcase as I haphazardly trailed behind Bella. Despite the only other occupants being a gentle elder woman nose deep in a classic piece of text and the impatient driver glaring at us ( as if somehow that would get us to move any faster ), she still found her way to the very back, her own luggage settled in the chair up front. I quickly copied her actions, finding my way right by her side; no space found as the heat of her exposed thigh pressed up against mine.
And with that, the hour and a half long trip began, droopy eyelids settling and headphones gently playing in one ear while Bella made minuscule observations of the passing landscape into the other. It was serene, really. Watching the way the sun shone against her porcelain skin and captured the very essence of her smile. She was my best friend, and she was beautiful.
It was about a third into the trip that I had felt it. The back of a smooth palm gently brushing against my kneecap, a spurt of shivers instantly following in reply. My head snapped to attention, eyebrows furrowing curiously in both question and caution; what exactly was she attempting to go for?
My gaze quickly averted to the grand rearview mirror in the very front of the bus; as if terrified the bus driver had noticed that. But what could he have noticed? A girl accidentally bumping into another in the most innocent sense? It was innocent, wasn’t it?
And that’s all I presumed it to be— innocent. So I went back into my own world, eyelids drooping in an eager attempt to find my way into sleep.
However, no more than five minutes could’ve passed before I felt that same feeling. Her skin against mine; this time, more bold. She gently pushed my legs open, her digits curiously traveling against the flesh of my inner thigh; a trail of goosebumps following in her wake. My eyes shot open, teeth sinking into my bottom lip.
“Bels, what are ya doing, darling?” I mutter, daring to meet her gaze.
“I’m… experimenting, you could call it.” She replies, so matter of fact and final yet holding that same coquettish lilt it always did. Her eyes, bright and seductive, were darker than usual, a deep shade I’d yet to discover before this moment. It could only be classified as lust.
And in that moment, our lips encountered one another, the smell of strawberry chapstick infiltrating my senses. My eyes widened in shock, and for a moment I can’t necessarily process just what’s happened. But within seconds, I melt into it, our lips molding for a second before pulling away. The bus driver doesn’t even notice.
Of course, I feel the need to mention it anyway.
“Bella, we’re on a bus.” I chastise, cheeks flushed with embarrassment as my fingers grazed over my lips. I can’t shake off the overwhelming sensation of wanting more, vying for that renewed feeling of how soft she felt against me. All the meanwhile, her fingers stay teasingly at my inner thigh, phantoms of patterns gently painted.
“That’s why it’s exciting.” She answers lowly, and I can feel a shiver run down my spine. I want to throw caution to the wind, I do, but my inhibitions are fighting me. Yet, I feel it, that heat pooling between my legs. She so easily had an effect on me with the simplest of touches. But it was the way she looked, and the tone of her voice, and g o d, her fingers on my thigh.
“We shouldn’t…” I protest, weak; halfhearted. She simply chuckles, her head dipping down to press against the exposed skin of my shoulder. I can feel her teeth sinking into it, harsh in the most pleasurable sense, her fingers growing closer to where I want them with every second that agonizingly passed.
My breath grew so shallow in such a short amount of time, and I was unsure if I was shaking out of the sheer anticipation of her touching me, or by the fact that at any second, someone could notice; whether the driver or the old lady, it didn’t matter. But I knew one thing: I was shaking because of how I didn’t care.
Because at this exact moment, I knew I could keep trying to get her to stop. To say it’s wrong, to say we’ll get caught. But I didn’t want her to. I wanted to unravel for the aspiring supermodel next to me, melt into the way her chocolate tresses framed the porcelain skin of her picturesque face as she sucked on my skin, cerulean gaze darkened with lust as they stared at me.
My breath hitched in my throat when she finally grazed her fingers against the practically sheer lace of my panties, gripping onto the back of the seat in front of me haphazardly.
“Oh.” I whispered shakily— not necessarily expecting how overwhelming that had been. The cold of her hand against the heat of my aching cunt was enough to send another gush right into my panties.
“Are you already so wet for me, baby?” She teases, pulling away from my shoulder. I can see the dark marks forming already. She soothes it with one last kiss, her fingers rubbing at my cunt through the fabric of my panties; my hips bucking into her hand desperately. I don’t know why I needed this so much. Why the thought of my best friend getting me off inside a bus made me so damn turned on.
“So wet.” I reply shakily, barely able to spit it out through the shallowness of my breaths.
“Tell me how bad you want my fingers inside you. Tell me how tight you are.”
“I want it so bad. I want to drench your fingers in my cum. You can make me feel so good. Please, p l e a s e. Please put…” I have to pause momentarily as her fingers apply a slight pressure against my throbbing clit. Close my eyes and enjoy it. But as soon as I stop talking, her fingers stop moving. So I continue.
“… put your fingers deep in my pussy, Bels. I’ll wrap around them like a good girl, ride your fingers and let you stretch me out while you watch. Whisper your name. Let my cum stain these bus seats.”
“You’re so eager, aren’t you?” And she relents. Finally. My panties pushed to the side, a single finger slipping in. It’s not enough. Not nearly. And it’s so slow. Painfully slow. I want more. So much more.
“Don’t be greedy.” She coos, her finger curling up and hitting my sweet spot as if I remind me she has complete control of the situation. That I never even had it for a second.
My hips rock against her hand desperately, aching for it. For her to pound into me, for the sound of her fingers pumping into my slick little cunt to fill my ears but not the bus, for that release.
“Please.” My fingers grip onto the bus seat, free hand digging nails into her shoulder; nearly breaking skin. It’s almost too much teasing. All the anticipation built up so much, I could explode right here, right now, without her doing any more than this.
“Three, please. My pussy n e e d s it.” I practically beg, my voice coming out in a low whine. Bella’s teeth sink into her bottom lip, slipping in two other fingers. It stretches me, pain and pleasure in a beautiful mix as I let out a low moan without meaning to. Bella’s hand slams over my mouth to silence me, and I see a glint in her eyes.
Without giving me time to adjust, she begins to pound into me, and I can see my juices sliding everywhere. Down my thighs, onto her hand, the bus seat. I’m fighting to throw my head back in pleasure. To know that Bella of all people was showing my poor little cunt no mercy, curling up into my sweetest spot and ramming into it without a second thought was enough to get me off, and to have the actual feeling of that occurring added onto it left me on the verge of tears the the pleasure, every inch of my body shaking with excitement.
“Yes, yes, yes.” I whimper out, my hips jerking against her hand sloppily.
“It feels so good.”
“Oh, right there!”
“Oh, just like that Bella!”
I can’t seem to shut up. Every part of my brain is telling me to scream out as I approach my climax, as Bella pounds into my little pussy. I’m so close I can taste it. I’m so close, my chest heaving up and down rapidly in pleasure as I bounce against Bella’s fingers, my gaze never leaving hers.
Her thumb kneads my clit encouragingly, clockwise circles creating stars in my vision as it throbs with each round she makes.
“Cum for me, baby.” She purrs, so sweet and seductive simultaneously; and I do.
I let it all go, a silent scream escaping. My mouth wide open, my back arched off the seat, my nails so deep in Bella’s shoulder it draws blood. All while she continues to fuck me through it, never seeming to let loose.
My toes curl and my eyes squeeze shot, entire body shaking with the overwhelming pleasure. It feels like a lifetime.
Only once I come down from it all does she slip out of me, though my legs stay spread as she brings up her fingers to her lips, sucking it in and licking up every last inch of my cum.
“So sweet.” She moaned, popping her fingers out.
“I wonder what it would taste like directly from the source.”
༺ Hi, guys! It’s been way too long since I’ve written, but I got so much inspiration to write this, and I thought of no one better to restart my blog with than my baby Bella. I hope you all continue to support me as I start fresh, and that you enjoyed this smut. Much love, Julietta.
This isn’t directed at any one person in particular, but I felt it should be addressed before it becomes a widespread concern.
For shops such as my own where you must apply for a prebound spirit, the process is stressful. I get that, I’ve been there plenty of times. Especially if you’re not the only person applying, you might be awake at night from the anxiety of who they’ll choose and dreading disappointment. I’ve applied for prebounds and gone through all of that, I’ve been through rejection. I’ve even been through a false rejection from one of the strongest callings I ever had; the seller’s response email simply hadn’t gone through and I waited a month to say anything out of anxiety that the spirit didn’t want me pestering after him! Seriously, I know how it feels.
But we don’t do this to make our spirits more exclusive or to be mean. We do it to make absolutely sure that you are proper for one another and that you are not applying simply to brag you have that spirit. This process makes sure that the prebounds who go home with you will legitimately be forever friends rather than someone you thought was cool for a week.
Callings also go both ways. No matter how strong your calling is, that does not mean the spirit will feel the same way! A spirit can also feel strongly about you while you feel nothing. It is extremely important to respect a spirit’s decision when they choose someone else. It’s entirely possible for multiple people to have strong callings. The rejection sucks and it’s difficult for the spirit too, I promise. But imagine how the spirit then feels when you go on a tirade about not being chosen or even attack their new companion. What does this accomplish?
And for the main concern of this post: Magic is not necessarily an ethical way to encourage a spirit to choose you. Magic meant to convince a spirit to choose you, whether spells or sigils or glamors, reminds me an awful lot of the controversy surrounding love spells that would essentially take away the free will of your crush. Needless to say, this is alarming. Your feelings are not more important than the emotions and free will of everyone else involved in the process!
What is the spirit worth to you if you’re willing to take away their free will so you can have them to yourself? Are you really looking at them as a person or have they become an accessory at that point? One of the most disrespectful things you can do is taking away their free will. You’re not their friend at that point, you’re someone who is willing to use ugly tactics to get what they want. Do not harass the spirit, the shop, or the chosen companion either, this does not accomplish anything! If a spirit has chosen differently then that is their choice, plan and simple.
If you are applying to spirits out of hopes that anyone chooses you rather than from what you actually feel may be a calling, this is a firm road to rejection and mediocre relationships. If you seriously can’t wait to come across a spirit you truly feel for then perhaps you are not ready. This isn’t a trendy fashion to choose rashly, it’s a lifelong commitment. Most shops also offer customs, which I would argue are better for beginners in most situations because they ensure that you are matched to the spirit. I personally offer special similar customs to anyone who was rejected. If you’re not willing to pay a shop which offers customs yet make grabby hands at anything labeled free, then I have to ask: Are you sure you’re committed to a possibly lifelong relationship and responsibility?
If you still want to help yourself with magic, some alternatives are:
Magic to make your inner qualities stand out
Magic to boost your confidence, increase your focus, and help your true calling emotions make themselves known to you
Magic to draw you to the spirits you are truly called towards
Magic to encourage patience during your search
Notice how these focus on empowering yourself instead of affecting the spirit’s free will or tricking their emotions? I’ll be posting some resources along those lines in the next few days to encourage you guys to take methods of self empowerment.
Please, if you must take only one thing out of this post, consider the feelings of the spirits themselves before focusing entirely on yourself.
Request: Could you write something about the reader being missing and jughead being really worried. And when he finds the reader they have a really romantic moment and he saves her. But not the typical kind of romance. A jughead kind of romance.
Warnings: Kidnapping, swearing
Word count: 2,728
A/N: Think Brandon’s piece he performs at Idyllwild (The Fosters). That’s the kind of good she’s playing here. I also tried third person so tell me what you think?? I also got very carried away, so I feel it deserves a second part, since i left the prompt kinda (okay very) unfinished. I can’t help myself, I love a good cliff hanger.
(Y/N) sits at home, playing the electric piano in her room. The grand piano downstairs isn’t tuned correctly, so she has to make due. College auditions are coming up, seeing as she’s a junior, and everything has to be perfect. She has at least three auditions for her top picks, and they are all a little less than two months away. She practices every day, for at least two hours a day with no distractions. Her parents barely even notice she’s there anymore, they’re so busy wrapped up in work and whatever else they have going on they couldn’t care less where she is or what she’s doing. They’re out of the house at bars and friends houses most of the weekday. It sounds worse than it actually is, this way, she can practice as loud as she wants anytime she wants without bothering anyone. She likes it like that.
She has the music laid out in front of her, but she barely needs to look at it, the piece flows out of her fingers from memory. Her eyes close ever so slightly, really feeling every note and rhythm.
“That’s a really fancy version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star huh?” a voice makes her jump in her seat, causing her fingers to pound on a horrible combination of keys.
She turns her head to see none other than her best friend, and long-time secret crush Jughead Jones leaning on the window frame as he peeks in the room with his head.
“Actually that was Wheels on the Bus.” she mocks, smiling as she spins around on the piano bench, turning to face him, leaning her elbows on her knees.
She mentally kicks herself, because she almost forgot, it was Wednesday, the day that Jughead always comes to write his novel when she practices. He says her playing makes him write better, or something, but she can hardly believe it.
He climbs in through the open window and takes a seat on the bench right inside it, flopping his book bag on the floor as he does so.
“Well don’t let me interrupt.” He says, holding his hands up as he leans against the window frame before shoving them in his pockets, their usual location.
She can’t help but smirk as she turns back to the piano, placing her fingers lightly over the keys before picking up where she left off before she was so rudely interrupted.
She leans into your music this time, her whole body moving with the notes, and in that moment she could’ve stayed there forever, surrounded by the sound of keys filling the room. She almost forget someone is in there with her, before hearing a light clapping while hitting the last notes.
She lets out a breath, turning to see Jug smiling at her.
“That was good for a beginner.” he teases, getting up and motioning for her to move over.
She obeys, making room for him on the bench in front of the instrument.
He makes a big deal about cracking his knuckles and waving them a whole bunch before overdramatically placing them on the keys ‘delicately.’ She stifles a laugh, putting a hand over her mouth as she waits for what he’s going to do next.
He raises his hands ever so slightly before coming down fast, pounding several dissonant keys before continuing to play what she can only discern as some awful combination of the two mentioned kids songs.
Her hands reflexively go to Her ears, chuckling at his serious face while plays a few more chords, before he finishes with sliding his hand up to the highest note and back down again.
She slowly drops her hands, only slightly concerned he would continue.
“What, no applause?” he asks, giving her the side eye with a raised eyebrow.
“I think you should stick to the keys of the laptop variety.” She tells him, nudging his shoulder.
“Yeah, right.” he scoffs, getting up and going over to his backpack. He sits on the bench by the window again, pulling out his laptop and opening it, “The Jason Blossom case has stalled for the past few months. They haven’t found anything new. My novel has remained a blank page.” he says, looking at something on his laptop.
“Who cares what the cops are saying, weren’t you doing your own investigation with Betty?” she asks, trying not to sound too jealous or put any emphasis on the question. She has to remind herself that he’s allowed to hang out with other people besides her, even if that includes one of the most beautiful girls in school that she could never compete with.
She knows that he’s been investigating for a long time with her, but strangely he’s never talked about it that much. Her guess is that he doesn’t want to bother her with it, her focus being on music and all. She really wouldn’t mind hearing about it, though.
“Yeah, but that came to a screeching halt when we found the car on fire and Polly came home. She said she didn’t have time, but wished me luck.” he says, pulling up the document the novel is located in. Sure enough, it hasn’t been written in in a few weeks.
“You must have been getting close.” She says, taking the music off of the stand and putting it away in a folder on the floor next to her. She contemplates for a moment on the solution. Jughead is obviously very passionate about this, at least for the sake of his novel, and she doesn’t want him to stop something he loves doing. “What if I help you?” she proposes.
“What? (Y/N)? Really?” that gets him to look up, “but you have those auditions, I can’t rope you into all this.”
“Nonsense. I’ve practiced so much my hands might as well fall off and I’ll still be able to play.” She jokes, earning a small smile from her best friend, “come on, let me help.”
He sits and looks at your for a few moments, adjusting his beanie, a strand of his black hair falling to the side of his face as he does.
It seems like the silence goes on forever, when really it’s probably only a few seconds.
“Okay.” He finally says, “but only when you have actual freetime, not when you’re supposed to be practicing.”
“Deal.” she says with a smile, standing up to join him at the window, “when do we start?”
About two weeks later she is in full on investigation mode, while still practicing every day, her audition dates growing closer by the minute. Jughead still comes over every Wednesday, but she sees him a lot more often now. She’s not opposed, but their Wednesday sessions of just sitting with each other while she plays and he writes still hold a special place to her.
Today, in the early Monday afternoon, she’s in the room with all of the pictures and connections all over the wall, looking over the latest work. They were getting close, she could feel it.
“So he roped you into this?” She hears someone ask, looking over to see Betty, smiling as her hands are on her hips, raising her eyebrows.
You give her a half smile, “More like I volunteered.” she says with a shrug.
“Why?” Betty smirks, walking over, her blonde ponytail bouncing with the sway of her walk.
“I think you know.” (Y/N) says, crossing her arms in a light-hearted way.
“Enlighten me.” Betty gestures to the board, looking at it with (Y/N).
“I wanted to spend more time with him.” (Y/N) admits, a blush coming over her cheeks. She’s a bit surprised at herself for telling Betty this. They’re not really friends, (Y/N) only know her through Jug. It’s the honest truth, though, and it’s not incriminating for a girl to want to spend more time with her best friend. And a friend of Jug is a she could deal with, she tells herself. She only half believes it, though.
“He talks a lot about you.” Betty says, “he talks about the way you play, the jokes you guys make.” she has a sad smile over her face, like there was something she was just realizing.
“Well you guys are pretty close, too. He practically ditched me to hang out with you.” (Y/N) rebuttals, trying to not sound too sassy about it. She knew it wasn’t Betty’s fault, at least not completely.
Betty stands there, looking at the floor.
“What’s wrong?” (Y/N) asks, noticing Betty’s change in attitude almost immediately.
Betty takes a few breaths, closing her eyes, taking a few moments before responding, “We kissed.”
“What?” (Y/N) asks, turning towards her. A shock going through her system she wasn’t expecting. That can’t be possible, surely Jug would’ve told her something like that. Her vision begins to spin as she tries to process what she’s heard.
“I -we- Jug. I kissed him.” Betty says again, an apologetic look coming over her face, like she’s done something terribly wrong.
“Oh.” is the only thing that can come out of (Y/N)’s lips, her world shattering around her. There was a sliver of hope before today, just a small one that maybe he would like her back, but now… she wasn’t so sure.
“It was nothing, I swear.” Betty lies, trying to make it feel better, trying to erase the bomb she just gave (Y/N). Betty knows that what happened between her and Jughead was wrong in some capacity. Betty knew that deep down, Jughead wants (Y/N), but Betty can’t help her feelings.
“Sure.” (Y/N) says, brushing Betty aside as she walks out of the room and down the school steps. She needs to get away, she decides, just for today. She needs to disappear for the afternoon to think.
She walks as far as she can away from town, wanting to get some fresh air. She knows that she’s probably being a little over dramatic, but at the same time she doesn’t care. If Jughead is her best friend, why is he still such a mystery?
A car pulls up beside her, but she doesn’t think anything of it. She isn’t concerned with anyone else now.
She hears a window roll down, but she ignores the sound.
Her heart beats are starting to increase, though, making the slow moving car feel like a heavy weight on her chest. There is definitely something fishy going on. She begins to speed up, but the car starts to follow. She slows down, it keeps pace.
She’s afraid to look over now, but out of her peripheral vision she can see a figure in a mask, driving a white van with tinted windows. Of course, the most obvious thing parents tell their children to stay away from.
She closes her eyes for a moment to catch a breath, trying to decide on what to do. She is too far out of town to run all the way back without causing a scene or them catching up. Her phone is in her backpack, and it will be too obvious as to what she’s doing if she tries that.
A touch catches her off guard as she spins around, and then doubles over in pain as the man makes a swift punch to her gut. Her backpack falls to the ground, her notebooks falling all over the gravel side of the road.
Before she knows it she’s being thrown in the back of the darkened vehicle, the stench of alcohol and weed filling her nostrils, making her gag. Her hands are tied tightly behind her back with rope before whoever her captor is closes the door, plunging her in darkness.
The car begins to move, and she has a sinking feeling she might be in some deep shit.
Jughead knocks on the bedroom window later the in the week, on Wednesday, of course. He hasn’t seen in her in a few days, seeing as they don’t have any classes together, he assumes she was probably busy practicing and taking a bit of time off from the murder case.
The window is closed, which is unusual. Normally (Y/N) leaves the window open a crack for him, always playing piano. He loves to sit and listen to her play, teasing her and writing when he has the time.
Her playing is one of the only things that can calm him in the midst of dealing with his dad and his novel. Her help with the murder is beginning to lighten the load, it seems like she spends just as much time on making connections as she does making music.
He cups a hand around his eyes as he peers in through the window, looking for a sign of her in the room. There’s nothing, though, which is also odd. He has been coming over every Wednesday since he can remember, since they were little kids. He comes in through the window, always.
He pulls out his phone and opens a text message to her.
‘i need to play my rendition of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” for you. where are you?’ he writes, pressing send, trying to make it sound as light hearted and not needy as possible. He knows she’s busy, that she may still be doing school work or out running errands, but it’s just so unlike her to not be practicing in her room on a weekday afternoon.
There’s no response, so he waits. He waits for an hour, which turns into two.
Soon it’s sunset, and still no sign of (Y/N).
The next day, Thursday, he approaches Betty.
“I need your help.” he says, making her heart flutter in her chest despite her protests to make it stop.
“What is it?” Betty asks.
“I know you said you don’t want to do any more investigating, but I think (Y/N) is in trouble.” he says under his breath.
“What? No, I just saw her Monday.” she says, pulling the books she is carrying closer to her chest.
“She wasn’t there yesterday. She’s always there on Wednesdays.” he says, a sinking feeling coming over his chest. Deep down, he knew.
“Maybe she forgot?” Betty shrugs. It’s not like she doesn’t care, because she does, she just knows that her and (Y/N) are in rocky territory right now, and she’s not even sure if she could call them friends. She wants to be friends, but knows it probably won’t happen.
“She doesn’t forget.” He argues.
“She’s probably fine, Jug, you’ll probably see her later. Don’t worry about it.” she dismisses him as the bell rings, walking down the hall.
The thing is, he can’t dismiss this feeling. This feeling of trouble.
He adjusts his beanie and begins to make a plan, trying to think like (Y/N) would. He exits the school, walking down the road. He notices a music notebook along the road out of town, and he knows she was there. She must have dropped it, or it must have fell. He looks around, and only then does he notice skid marks driving off the road on the other side of the road. They were fresh, like they had been caused only a few days prior. The tracks continued through the grass, off into the distance.
He contemplates what to do, looking at her stuff once more.
He kneels down and opens the notebook, reading the music notes on the page. On the top, the title of the song read, “A Hero in Black”. Underneath, “for Jughead”. His heart wrenched, looking at all of the marks on the page. It looks as if it’s been redone about a million times, pencil marks everywhere, notes appearing in patterns he can’t understand. There’s a pain in his chest, and suddenly he knows.
It took her disappearing for him to realize, but he likes her, and he needs to tell her. He may be overreacting, but a part of him doesn’t care. Wherever she is, he needs to get to her, in a cheesy-romantic kind of way that kind of makes him of want to vomit, but pulls on his heart like nothing else ever has.
And so, he sets off down the road, not knowing where it’ll take him.
If the voting wasn’t limited to Korean fans only, I would vote for them in a heartbeat ( I’m so pissed that the intl fans aren’t allowed to vote!). I planned to give my vote for these boys and listen to a couple of their songs.
Watching them go through this is just awful ( Mnet editing is so not helping much either). I’m also a Carat on the side and that’s the worse since I heard a lot about them especially before 17 came to screen. They deserve so much better and it’s was so uncomfortable watching them go through this. Pledis really messed them up.
I would like to point out all the already debuted idols ( Like Hotshot, JJCC, and etc.) are very brave to come out on this show, even my bias, A-Tom. I just hope things go well for all of them.