jack in the beanstalk

before he sells the beans to jack, he is born in a house that smells of ceder.

his name is Tiffany. a bold bright name. a stardust name. a girl name. but he is not a girl. he knows this, even if others don’t. his mother puts him in dresses, teaches him how to sew, chastises him when he lets his voice get low.

“my great-aunt’s friend’s sister,” says his mother, with her red lips tight, “once knew these girls that spoke and diamonds came out of their mouths. you know what happened to the nasty one? she got toads. that’s your future if you don’t figure out how to be a nice little girl.”

so he speaks gently. but the whole time he is wondering: who gave them the language of gems. who gave them the language that rolled out of them. it must be magic. and if there is magic, maybe there is hope for him.

he takes off in a dark night. a sad night. one where the fire was too low and he was sick of mirrors. he leaves his mother a note: gone to find where the gems grow. 

in the black woods, he cuts off his hair. wears his father’s clothes. feels, at last, whole. runs and runs and runs until his air comes out in a wheeze. walks for weeks and weeks.

he finds the old woman carrying water. she is ugly, her mouth all twisted angry. but she carries the water alone. 

the boy does not have much. but he has shoulders. a good back. hands that work. when he takes her burden, she says, “thank you, young man.” and he smiles at her, but doesn’t say anything.

her house is damp. she feeds him stew, apologizes. says she used to make lovely foods but the price of milk and eggs got far too high. she says: if you carry my water for five weeks, i will give you something special. and he agrees.

she talks for him. spends a lot of time telling him of people he never met. girls with lips blood red. girls with white fairy dresses. boys who fell in love with swans. 

the boy says little. just nods. sleeps on the floor of her empty barn. when she’s not looking, he darns her clothes for her, keeps the floors swept, fills the lanterns with oil, makes her a blanket for the coming winter. 

on the end of the fifth week, she gives him the beans. tells him that they have been passed down in her family, that this was her portion. she says that she is too old now for such adventures. that she hears the beans will bring treasure. fortune. all the things of greed. she says: i will give them to you, for what you have done to me.

in the morning, he takes off. he feels the weight of them in his pocket. he thinks of the old woman and the stories and the sight of her tired hands. he stands in the market for a long time, unspeaking, simply staring at the cobblestones beneath him.

jack’s voice is the last call in the evening. a beautiful cow, young and thick and healthy. 

the boy has no money. he bounces the magic bean in his pocket, and thinks of treasures. 

“wait,” he says. 

jack turns. 

transaction complete: one cow for a handful of magic beans. the boy walks the cow home to the old woman, gets there in the morning. they are both very tired. he falls asleep beside the beast in the hay. dreams of the foods the old woman can cook now that she can get milk.

when he wakes up, he is changed. it is as if he simply turned into who he was made to be. not a new body. familiar. the body he could always see.

the old woman stands at the door of his barn. she says, “good morning,” and then she says a new word. a word he’s never heard. a name. his name. a boy name. 

he repeats it. it is a jewel in his mouth, so he says it again. another diamond.

“time to fetch water,” she says, winking. the whole way, he whispers his name. it never quite tastes the same, always beautiful, always a fine thing, always his. the something special he was lacking.

in the back of his pocket, there is one last magic bean. he will fetch the water and plant it. and he will carry that old woman to the castles she has never seen.

6

{ a beautiful moment captured in time }

Characters named Jack have no chill

Handsome Jack? Sociopathic dictator.

Jack Harkness? Screwed everyone ever.

Jack Sparrow? HA where to I start with this one

Jack Dawson? Reckless as FUCK

Jack Merridew? Set an island on fire.

Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk? Stole shit from a fuckin GIANT

name ONE character named Jack who has any chill

cool, dank ways to get jake and rosa out of prison
  • gina runs hawkins over with a bus, consequently exposing all of hawkins’ crimes
  • charles keeps begging the prison guards to let him stay in jail too because he can’t let his best friend be in there all by himself! he gets so annoying that jake and rosa get a retrial and are free
  • amy and jake’s love is so deep and pure everyone in prison feels bad that they ever have to be separated ever and after hearing that crap like that happens to them on practically a seasonal basis all the prisoners revolt so jake can live happily with his one true love
  • rosa is so drop-dead gorgeous that the American Legal System feels ashamed for throwing her in jail; she’s too beautiful to be made to suffer so they release her
  • arlo and cheddar work together as a rag tag team of adorable dogs to free jake and rosa; they’re so cute crime stops permanently and there’s no longer a need for jail
  • jake’s beard that he mysteriously starts growing in jail turns out to have magical powers that assist him in breaking out of prison– like Jack and the Beanstalk he’s Jake and the Patchy Beard
This is a story that believes in heroes in the same way it believes in forest fires, or apples dropping to earth, or stairs in a mountainside.
Heroes are destructive.
They are inevitable, inexorable, and drawn to fall.
They are built.
 
The Academy believed in heroes in the same way it believed in uniforms and old family names. Heroism was tangible and came with a badge attached.
 
Jack Farris believed in heroes in the same way the town built up along the banks of the river believed in flotsam.
— 

Beanstalk, by E. Jade Lomax

Ok, so I’m starting to reread the Leagues and Legends books in my downtime (which today means at almost 1 am after trying to write this on mobile and having it stop working and delete all of it) so you all get some rambles.

First off, this opening is stellar. Right off the bat it tells us that this story falls in the legacy of heroes and fairy tales. Beyond that, in the first five words, we know that this is a meta story, aware of its standing and ready to wink. By the end of the first section, Lomax has hinted at tragic flaws and the hero’s journey, the traumas and dramas (sadly lacking in llamas) that drive heroes forward and forge them into adventurers/rescuers/annihilators.

And then immediately subverts it with an image of heroics as regulated and taught, with an air of pretension. The traditional heroic molds are the prince and the peasant; this two-sentence introduction to the Academy is steeped in classism. Heroism can be born into, it can be bought, and it is bound by appearance.

And then, just for fun, subverts the whole concept of heroics in this world anyway, with the declaration that our leading trickster views them as so much trash and nuisance built up and in the way.

And they’re all true. In her introduction, Lomax maps out the forces shaping the book. At the topmost level, it’s the concept of story itself. Literary traditions and narrative tropes shape storytelling and our understanding of it. They’re important and heavy. On the second level, we see the internal power structures of the world. Forces like the Academy and government agencies, the traditions and culture that have brought the world of the book where they are. And then the bottom level, the individual characters themselves, where Lomax smirks at the top two levels and declares that they might as well be thrown out because these characters will have NONE OF THAT. And we see small rebellions twisting the status quo the whole way through, the power of individuals to cause change, and not just the “oh we saved the world we’re heroes” way.

And this is such a great bit of meta fun, because of course this is a hero story, and of course Jack Farris is a hero, but that gives him even better perspective for how he views them, tbh. And for that matter, while it’s a hero story, it’s probably even more of a healing story, but that’s getting quite ahead of myself and it is now 1:30 in the morning.

Uh, Lucky God?

(So there we were, a 6th level party fighting our way through an ambush of empowered undead, still trying to get used to our first mythic tier. The heavy hitter of the encounter is an empowered undead STORM GIANT, that just made an attack roll of 41, and hit the Fovung the Paladin for more than half his HP. So I, playing Jack the Rogue, start racking up some sneak attacks, accidentally drawing his attention.) 

DM: The storm giant is crackling with electricity, channeling the energy from his chest into his rusty greatsword. So, Jack: Any last words?

Magnus the Summoner: Flip him off!

Jack the Rogue: Yep, I’m doing that. I just hope it’s a low roll.

(At this point, I’m doing the math in my head. “He just has to roll *just* low enough… pleasepleasepleaseplease…”)

(The giant rolls with a +26 modifier, for a total of 33. Any other combat I would figuratively shit my pants at this number. But the instant I see the roll…)

Jack: YES!! YES!! *YEEEEEEEES!!!*

Literally everyone else: Wait, what?!

Jack: MYTHIC!! DOOOOOOOODGE!!

Magnus: He burns one mythic power and adds a +10 dodge bonus to his AC!

DM: How much did it miss by?

Jack: ONE!!

*assorted laughter*

DM: Alright, it’s your turn now. You just Matrix dodged that electrified greatsword by a hair. It came so close you smelled the rust and ozone coming off of it. What are you gonna do?

Jack: Full attack this guy, and top it off with a Surprise Strike that cuts through his DR!

(After just enough sneak attack damage in one round…)

DM: The storm giant falls to his knees, the knees you stabbed to hell. He’s falling towards you. Roll me a reflex save.

Jack: 27! I jump straight up, land on the back of his head, and RIDE HIM DOWN TO THE GROUND! 

Fovung the Paladin: Jack killed the giant! You should call your sword “The Beanstalk”!

Jack: I AM A GOD!!!

(Didn’t even take a single hit that entire encounter. Lucky God.)

anonymous asked:

What about some Steve/Darcy?

Do you have a soldering gun anywhere in the apartment? Asking for a friend., Came the text that lit up Steve’s screen.  From Darcy.

S:  For what?

D:  An adventure ;)

S:  Darcy, for what.  

D:  Bucky’s right, you’re awful at surprises.

And then she didn’t respond again despite the fact that he was the one on a mission.  (Why she texted him expecting a response in the first place was another story).  

When Steve returned home a week later, he wasn’t sure what he’d find. Nothing looked too different upon inspection.  All of their furniture was where it should be and Darcy was heading towards the door to greet him.  

“Hey.”  Steve held her close while surveying the room.  Really, nothing looked too—oh.

There was a plastic set of steps sitting against the couch.  

“Mabel’s getting old, her knees aren’t what they used to be, so I got her some stairs on Amazon.”  Darcy stayed tucked up under one of his arms, looking out into the living room with him.

Her cat, Mabel, was perched on the couch dozing in a square of sunlight.

“What about the soldering gun?”  

“Oh.”  Darcy waved him away and headed towards the couch to sit with Mabel.  “I didn’t do anything to the house.  I just thought I’d keep you on your toes, you know. Make you all the more anxious to come home.”

Steve laughed.  It’d been a couple years since they’d started dating and only about six months since they’d moved in together, but he appreciated having Darcy in his life. She was smart and witty and had a great sense of humor and just.  Got his brand of Being A Little Shit As A Show Of Affection.

“Mission accomplished.”

“Also, I totally used the soldering gun to make Dum-E a hand that’s permanently flipping Tony off.  He’s going to figure out it’s detachable like, immediately, but my mother always told me it’s the thought that counts when you’re giving gifts.”

Steve laughed again, loud and loose and leaned over the back of the couch to kiss Darcy (once he’d stopped laughing and smiling enough to do it properly, anyway).  

“My God, I missed you.”

Darcy hummed.  “Missed you too.  Next time you have to go, I’m going to adopt a giant ficus and mix glitter into Bucky’s shampoo.”

Steve gave her a gentle squeeze from where he stooped with his arms wrapped around her from behind.  “Sounds perfect.”

I want WWE to release an album of their best promo guys reading children’s stories.

Bray Wyatt reading Goodnight Moon.

The Miz reading Mother Goose.

Paul Heyman reading Jack and the Beanstalk.

Enzo Amore reading Goldilocks.

You can’t sit there and tell me you wouldn’t buy a CD where Samoa Joe threateningly reads Green Eggs & Ham to you. Don’t lie to yourself.