jingle anklet

The Tunnels

(Based on something that actually exists at my old school.)

The Tunnels (1/?)

The Tunnels were built back during the height of the Cold War. They wound beneath a good portion of campus and the football field. Most of the entrances had been blocked off, due to “safety concerns”. The majority of students assumed that meant the Tunnels were not kept up and in danger of collapse.

But Cor had iron in both ears (to keep the whispers from overwhelming), and on her fingers (to keep her writing her own), and a small stud through her tongue (to allow her to speak the truth). Going into journalism, she always knew how perilous it could be. She simply assumed it would get bad once she went overseas to war zones, not while she worked on her major. (Nothing can prepare you for Them trying to distort your stories.)

She considered Them to be the greatest of contradictions. They had to live in truths, lies were against Their very nature, and They reveled in forcing humans to live by the same, and yet They hated that requirement of Their existence. They would twist and turn words, use them like weapons or spiderwebs, keep them just this side of truth while being utter falsehoods, everything the wrong way round. And the journalism majors… well, They would prefer the “speakers of truth” told it from a bent perspective.

That was not to say that Cor, or any of those who shared her major, were able to write completely unbiased. But Cor tried.

(It was why she had picked her second name. Cordelia, daughter of King Lear. When the king had been intent on dividing his kingdom, he had asked his daughters to prove who loved him best. Her sisters had flattered and lied and exaggerated, while Cordelia had spoken only the simple truth: “I love your majesty according to my bond; nor more nor less… You have begot me, bred me, loved me: I return those duties back as are right fit, obey you, love you, and most honor you.” If Cor had remembered the consequences of that, instead of merely taking pride in the princess’ honesty, perhaps things would have been different. Then again, perhaps not.)

And the Tunnels were fascinating.

The truth (because it is important) is that she did not plan to go. (You may not know exactly what there is Underhill, but you can guess. The quiet stories about the chemistry department stealing back a professor give everyone who hears them goosebumps. You do not go Underhill without a clear purpose, or at all if possible.)

It was another member of the department. A freshman (Isn’t it always?) who had heard enough about the Tunnels to be curious, but not to be cautious. He was 18 years of age, and he went by the name Youngest. (The last kid in his family, he explained once. What Cor would find out later was that that also made him the fifth son of a fifth son, stretching back five generations. If she’d known then, she would have refused to go. He may have been born for quests and breaking curses, but she wasn’t.)

He had been trying to study up on the history of the Tunnels and found the records in the campus library archives lacking. The Tunnels had been mentioned in the university paper when they were being voted on, and when they announced the construction start date.  There were no blueprints and no financial records. There were no minutes from the council meeting that decided to go forward with the building plans. There was no list of provisions to be kept in the tunnels, nor even a list of where to enter them.

And Youngest wouldn’t accept that. Cor wasn’t the first to try to talk him out of his obsession. (It didn’t help that he was a low-key conspiracy theorist. And not in a useful, fairy tales and old stories way. No, he was all about secret government bunkers and drugs in the water supply and money being stolen from institutions like Elsewhere U for illegal testing facilities.) He refused to listen. He started asking indelicate questions of the librarians and the campus administration, and he apparently had enough luck on his side to keep him from asking just the wrong person.

In the end, the big break came from a boy he was dating, a theatre major. Prior had been drunk, the two had gone back to Youngest’s room for the night, planning to fall into bed after a party and sleep off the booze. Youngest had brought it up, and Prior muttered something about an entrance in one of the costume closets at the main theatre on campus. When he woke up the next morning and realized what he’d said, he tried to take it back, to convince Youngest that he had been drunk and didn’t know what he was saying.

Youngest didn’t listen.

Youngest grabbed his phone for video and audio, and a pen and notepad in case something happened to his phone, and a flashlight and a bottle of water. He kissed Prior, was effusive in his thanks, and then walked away.

Prior panicked and called Cor.

And Cor, she was so damn tempted to let the stupid, oblivious moron just go. Unfortunately, her conscience was apparently stronger than her sense of self preservation.

She caught Youngest as he was putting aside a pair of bolt cutters he’d grabbed from a props room, and yanking off the old iron padlock holding the small door shut. He pushed open the entrance as she grabbed his arm to yank him back, and in a rush they were both somewhere new.

Cor quickly stood and checked her fanny pack. (It looked stupid. Cor didn’t care.) Creamer cups and seeds and campus-made oat bars soaked and crystalized in honey were held in a plastic ziplock baggie. Her little velvet drawbag of possibilities was net to it. Cor had collected the bits and bobs while scouring thrift shops and yard sales for unused baby shoes and abandoned love letters and half-finished quilts. (She cut them into small pieces, recognizing potential power, and kept them close.) Packets of salt and ground vervain tucked in another pocket. Then she shook her leg and heard the little jingle of her anklet. (It was silver, with four tiny shards of crystal, and it had been a gift to Cor’s great great great grandmother from her sister. It was a promise, a last resort, a nuclear button. Cor didn’t want to use it, because she knew the consequence. But if there was no other way…)

Then she took in the tunnel. It was dark before and dark behind, roughly hewn, strange shaped rocks pressed into dirt made up the surface, with two torches lit and glowing brightly on the wall to either side of them. If there had been a door, it wasn’t there anymore.

And when Youngest finally pulled himself upright, staring around in disbelief, Cor gave up being nice and smacked him on the back of the head. “Why do freshmen never listen?

1/?

-

Mention of the chemistry department revolt is borrowed from “Feathers” by runwildwithme on tumblr. It was just too good a noodle incident to pass up on referencing. ((Additionally, I don’t have a tumblr, but if anyone wants to follow this story for updates, I’m planning to post it on ao3. Author name is TornThorn.))


I love Cor (And if you want to send me a link to the A03 story I’ll post it!)

One note - the Chemistry Department revolt actually comes from this earlier ask from dragon-saint! It gives a bit more detail, although still not much.

The Tunnels (2/?)

From his spot standing beside Cor on the hard-packed dirt floor, Youngest laughed. The bright sound was shocking in the heavy silence. “No wonder Prior knew about this place. The drama department must hang out down here all the time.” He pointed to their source of light, wall sconces with heavy torches that burned a strange blue color. “Who else is crazy enough to leave an open flame like that?”

“Do me a favor and shut up,” Cor snarled, squinting as she tried to make out anything beyond their five-foot bubble of light. “Look, these places run on rules, okay? What time would you say it was when we fell?”

At her angry tone and furtive glances, Youngest’s eyebrows rose. “I dunno. A little after noon, maybe?” He reached for his phone. “It’s only been a few minutes since you grabbed me.” Pushing the center button on his cell, he frowned and muttered, “Okay, I know I plugged this in before I sacked out last night, so why’s it acting like the battery’s dead?”

Cor, who had backed up until she felt her shoulder blades brush the wall, rolled her eyes. “It’s not going to work ‘til we get back Above. So how about you quit messing with it and focus,” she suggested shortly. “We have no guarantee how long it’s been. Time works differently here.”

Shoving his phone in his pocket, Youngest asked, “Is that a physics joke?”

Still trying to see into the darkness in either direction, Cor twisted one of her iron rings. (Left middle finger. They were all polished until they shone, but this one was what she played with when her anxiety spiked. It was stamped with the Elder Futhark rune, alternately called kaunan or kenaz.) She shook her head. “Look, this is what it boils down to - if we don’t make it back to campus by 3 AM, we’re fucked.”

Turning fully to face her, Youngest tiled his head. “3AM?”

Shoulders slumping in exasperation, Cor held in a scream. “Where is your family even from?”

“Pittsburgh,” he answered flatly.

“No, before that,” she prodded. “Doesn’t your family have stories that get passed down, generation to generation? Ghost stories, or ancestral tales or warnings?”

Youngest shook his head in confusion. “My grandpa set a barn on fire when he was a kid,” he offered.

Tugging the ring nearly off before shoving it securely back on again, Cor considered praying for patience. She caught herself before she could so much as silently wish. (You never knew who might be listening, and eager to deal.) “My mom’s side has stories going back to 13th century Wales, and my dad was descended from vikings, so their family epics reach even further through history. Which means I know a thing or two about the old ways.”

At her pronouncement, Youngest threw up his hands. “So?”

“So 3 AM is the witching hour,” she clarified. “A time of death and birth, when the veil is thin and magic is strongest.”

“Magic,” he repeated, deadpan. “Are you kidding me right now?”

Incredulous, Cor stared, before bursting out, “You got to a school infested with the Fair Folk!” She could hear her voice growing louder, could feel her gestures becoming wider, but couldn’t seem to calm down. “Bojangles is right outside the campus library, busking half the week! How the hell could you possibly miss the thing with an alligator’s head, skeletal hands, a brown suit that looks like it was made out of skin, and it plays nothing but In the Hall of the Mountain King, repeatedly, on an accordion?

Lip curling up, Youngest scoffed. “That dude’s a cosplayer, or something. A furry, maybe? Anyway, did you just say Fair Folk? Like… fairies?” He studied her like he was waiting for proof of insanity and leaned away. “Cor, fairies aren’t real. They’re stories, moral lesson wrapped in allegories to teach dumb kids right from wrong and not to follow strangers around grocery stores.”

Cor wrapped her arms tighter around herself at his dismissive words, and the condescending tone wasn’t helping with the panic attack threatening to crush her lungs. “For the love of god, would you please shut the hell up before you get us both killed?”

Seeing her struggle to breathe, the way her chest rose and fell but Cor still couldn’t seem to get enough air, Youngest held out his hands. “Okay, no need to freak. …fairies.”

Shutting her eyes for half a second, she pulled her hands away from her body to run over her fanny pack again and clicked the stud in her tongue against the roof of her mouth, Cor forced herself to ignore her fear and focus on anger. When her eyes darted back to Youngest, she glared. “The Fair Ones, the Good Neighbours, the Kindly Gentlefolk, or the Gentry, okay? Calling them something else will be perceived as a discourtesy or a challenge, and we’re already up shit creak without a paddle. Let’s not make it worse.”

“Sure,” he bit out. “The Gentry. Now, why do we have to get out of here by 3?”

Cor knew he wasn’t taking her seriously, but she would gladly put up with his patronizing tone if they could just work together to make it out in time. Tapping her foot against the floor, both reassured and terrified of the jingling confirmation of her anklet, she explained. “If we’re still Underhill at 3, we’ll be bound here. For a year and a day. And considering we’re mortals, the food situation, and the fact that you don’t know a thing about the rules down here, I doubt we’d last a week. Even if we did…” She shook her head and bit her lip. “Say we survive that long, don’t get tangled up in any oaths or power plays, find a trustworthy source of mortal food, make it back to the surface, we’d still come back changed.”

Taking in her grave expression, and the way her voice shook on the last word, Youngest blinked. Hushed, he said, “You’re serious.”

“And well versed,” something spoke from their left, the remark tripping out in a sibilant hiss that echoed in the close space.

As Youngest spun to face the it, Cor leaned her head back against the wall and whispered, “Godfuckingdammit.”

[TornThorn]

sirius black who decides jewelry is his Thing and so he goes for the brightest, tackiest, cheapest stuff ever (bc heavy rings and gold necklaces remind him of his parents) and buys friendship bracelets for the marauders and they have custom charms: the moon, antlers, a dog paw and a rat as well as ridiculous ones (”is this a penis shaped charm” “yes it was 2 galleons i bought it off of marlene”) and also he gets like three ear piercings and wears colorful hoop earrings and okay sirius black in anklets that jingle whenever he walks is what i live for

Slave AU ||Closed||

Eva’s deep frown never faltered as she was led up to the stage with the other slaves up for sale.  She had been through quite a lot, but this was by far the worst.  Witches everywhere had been round up to be sold off for whatever their owners wanted.  Her belled slave anklet jingled as she walked in a pain white dress like all the others.  A sign with her name, age, and number hanging from her neck as her red curls fell loosely around her shoulders.  Anger burned out of her eyes and she refused to look at anyone as bidding for her began.

eyyy sup japh this was fast and really word fart but take it

(alt. title) i hate myself and i bite off more than i chew.docx

eyy so here japh i did something really fast bcos your pinoy!ladybug aesthetic is so On Point™ and im upset because i can’t do it justice damn oh wells anyway pls put this under a cut so it doesn’t eat dashboards

unbeta’d, done with megalovania as bgm haha

god bless i turned marinette into a holy magical girl hahaha

The wind at midnight was always so much colder than at noon, she thought to herself, as she let it blow past her. She stood atop the belfry of the church bell, looking over the town sprawling out beneath her bare feet, listening to her anklets jingle pleasantly over the muffled din of a town falling asleep. She shifted on her heels, imagining a great, hulking beast beneath her, sleeping, and she was to not wake it, lest she wanted a spear through her midsection.

She stopped, and giggled a little. Where’d that come from?

“Something humorous, my lady?” a voice purred behind her, and she smirked, not bothering to turn and look at the young man who stood beside her, leaning over the railings of the belfry, reckless, like life was a game.

They shared a look, knowing and secretive, and oh, she knew he knew it was.

How exciting.

“Just thinking about the akuma.” She replied, twirling the rope of her yo-yo in her hand, gold glinting dimly in the grainy light they got from the flickering candle lamp next to them, giving them little warmth in the coldness of the night. “A flying monster, awake at night. Just like the stories of old.”

The cat beside her laughed, a tingling little snort, a tiny shake of those black ears.

“Well. I’ve never heard them.” He admitted, swinging his legs like a child, and she smacked him lightly on the knee. He laughed again, and leant on her side. “Tell them to me?”

“Stop acting like a child,” she chided him lightly, sounding like her mother, and she couldn’t help mirroring the smile that crossed her cat’s face. “An aswang. That’s what they’re called.”

“Ooh, scary.” He cooed, and she pinched him lightly again.

“A demon of the dark, scared of all that is Holy.” She continued, shaking her head. “But that is what the Church says.”

“And what do the old ancestors say?” he asked.

She fell silent for a long moment, and he patiently waited for her to speak.

“Nothing.” She replied after a long moment, spinning the yo-yo down, spooling string from gold, and she laughed, slightly bitterly, slightly fondly nostalgic. “I… can’t remember.”

He looked at her with sad eyes behind his own mask. He pulled down his hat, and sighed. “Well. I suppose we’ll leave that story for another day.”

She smiled slightly at that. “He’s here.” She declared, and jumped up on the banister. “Can you hear him?”

The cat held still for a moment, before nodding decisively. “By the Chinese burial grounds, west of here.” He laughed, “He sure knows how to make an entrance.”

The ladybug—finally—laughed. “Well, let’s indulge him, then.”

The cat’s smirk widened.

“You first, my lady.”

She rolled her eyes, and let herself drop from the banister.

“It’s all over now!” she declared, snapping the sampaguita wreath’s string, and a butterfly fluttered out from the darkness within. Spinning her golden yo-yo, she caught it inside its case. “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit,” she tugged it close to herself, and caught it in a powerful fist. “I cleanse you of your sins.”

She straightened up, and opened the yo-yo to set the butterfly free.

“Goodbye, little butterfly.” She sighed softly, as the cat approached her. She looked at him, and nodded slowly. “You know, I think I do remember a few things about before all this.”

“Can you tell me?” he asked her, but her smile widened, and he laughed. “Oh, there’s a catch here.”

“Find out who I am first, dear cat,” she told him, before pointing at the ring on his finger. “And you’re running out of time.”

He didn’t look panicked at all.

“Of course.” He bowed, and kissed her hand. “Until next time, my lady.”

She didn’t bother pulling her hand away from his. “Until I see you again, Senyor.”

“Ginoo,” he said quietly, and she stopped, surprised. He gave her a crooked smile, as his ring beeped one more time. “Call me that, instead.”

“Ginoo.” She sighed. “… Thank you.”

“I’m not letting your story disappear from time, my lady,” he told her, patting her hand, and his ring beeped again. “Goodbye.”

He hurried away, shrouded by the night, and Ladybug smiled to herself, holding her hand, still warm from his touch, close to her chest.

Black Cat.

He wasn’t from around here, but.

He wasn’t that bad.

She smiled at the spot he kissed her, and sighed.

Not bad at all.

BUKKUN I’M LAUGHING BECAUSE ALBULARYO LADYBUG BUT IT’S SO G O O D

BLESS YOU SO MUCH

Halloween!AU || blindapostate

Sera snuck up to Pola’s house making sure none of her friends came across her. She didn’t want anyone to see her costume that she’s so carefully put together. It was nice and warm out, so her exposed skin wasn’t cold at all. Which was nice, as there was a lot of it. She had a little anklet that jingled softly as she walked. Barefoot wasn’t her best idea but she would suffer for it later. Finally she knocked on Pola’s door. “Trick or treat!” She giggled when it opened.