Name a more iconic duo than me and this baby lamb… You cant
+ a bonus goat
(He / Him for me She / Her for the lamb and mama goat)
[image desc: 5 photos of me (1) me bottle feeding a lamb (2) me kissing the lambs head (3) me bottle feeding the lamb with goats from a wide angle with surrounding my wheelchair (4) me with a goat next to me (5) me looking down at the lamb while feeding it and smiling]
The name Death’s head Hawkmoth refers to any of the three Asian moth species of the genus Acherontia. The one represented in the picture is called Acherontia Atropos. The other two species (A. Lachesis and A. Styx) are not much different, since the three are fairly similar in size, coloration and life circle.
These moths are easily distinguishable by the beautiful human skull-shaped pattern of markings on the thorax.
Summary: When the woven birch crown appears in the Sacred Grove, the village elders know that The God of Field and Forest, The Lord of the Ancient Wood, has decided to take a Bride. The most beautiful girl in the village, chosen by him and blessed with his grace, is to perform the marriage rites on the First Summer Moon, thus ensuring a bountiful harvest and continued prosperity for the community… And you are so very certain and so very thankful that it could never be you!
Warnings: SNEK, future smut
A/N: big thanks to @abovethesmokestacks for giving me so many ideas and letting me babble at her about things
Soon after the ground began to thaw from the last snow, it was time to work on the season’s planting. One cloudless early morning, your father set out on his daily chore of checking the traps he’d placed in the woods while you went about preparing the garden. It was not a particularly easy task, but you had never shied away from hard work. In fact, you were quite fond of this day of the year. There was something about working the damp earth after a long cold winter, the promise of future harvest, the pride in a job well done. It made the sweat and mucked up skirts and exhaustion at the end of the day worthwhile.
Scotland had always been one of Claire Beauchamp’s favorite destinations. Despite her many travels with her Uncle Lamb, at the ripe age of twenty-two, she never found anything that didn’t fascinate her in the green, majestic mountains of the Highlands. Whenever they traveled past the many lochs and moors that called Scotland home, she made it a point to keep her window propped open, to allow the many delectable smells of the countryside to flow continuously into the cabin. Scents of lavender, heather, and mist filled her nose as she inhaled deeply, letting out a sigh of contentment. She leaned her elbow on the window, her hand – long-fingered and ivory in color – resting on her cheek serenely. Her gaze moved from the rolling hills to her Uncle Lamb, of whom was sitting across from her in his seat.
Quentin Lambert Beauchamp – “Q” to his friends, “Dr. Beauchamp” to students and fellow scholars, and “Uncle Lamb” only to his niece – was a man of many tastes. An archeologist, he was fascinated by things long forgotten. His latest research revolved around the Vikings of the early 9th century, of which he had journeyed across the Scandinavian Peninsula and the British Isles in order to research more in-depth. And, of course, he dragged his sweet niece happily along with him. As if she had any complaints.
Claire Elizabeth Beauchamp, orphaned after her parents’ deaths following a house fire near the turn of the century, had been raised by her uncle since the ripe young age of five. She had been in the company of her uncle for quite some time, so Claire had become accustomed to the life of a nomad: traveling from place to place without an anchor. For many women her age, this lifestyle would seem most unattractive, but Claire felt the opposite. I feel free, she had confided in a friend once. Like I’m a bird let out of its cage, wings floating on the wind.
Noticing her eyes on him, Lamb peered up over his journal (of which he was scribbling in most diligently), his light, wispy eyebrows raised over the rims of his spectacles. He glanced over at the window to his left, the rolling plains of green passing by at lightning speed, before glancing back to his niece.
“Content to be back, my dear?” He inquired nonchalantly, turning his face back down into his notes.
Claire grinned, her teeth shone white over the pink of her full lips. “Of course I am, Uncle. You know my fondness for Scotland.”
Her uncle nodded, reaching into his coat pocket for his tobacco pipe. “There’s a Red Cross in Edinburgh, you know. Maybe you could stop by one of these days, see if they need a fresh set of hands?”
“I was thinking about that, too,” She confided in him after a moment, pulling her hand from her face and resting it in her lap. She fiddled with the penny in her pocket. “Would you mind terribly if I went later this week?”
Lamb shook his head, “Of course not, my dear. I will be in lectures the majority of it, anyhow. Although I do implore you to take someone along with you, just in case something were to happen. Have you still been in correspondence with that friend of yours?”
Claire’s ears perked up. She had completely forgotten about Gillian Edgars. A close friend of Claire’s that she had become acquainted with when they had first visited Scotland, she knew that Gillian would most enthusiastically join her on her escapade. Like herself, Gillian had a fascination with medicine and nursing, although her interests were a bit more medieval than her own.
“I will write to her once we arrive. Hopefully, she won’t be out of town.”
The statement was more to herself than her uncle, of whom had already begun to puff gray bits of smoke out of his pipe. He looked almost cartoonish across from her, gray puffs of smoke trailing out of his mouth like that of a dragon. With the combined smell of the tobacco and the rolling Scottish wilderness, Claire was in complete and utter bliss.
The pair arrived in Edinburgh not more than a half hour later. Stepping out of the car and onto the train platform, Claire took in another lungful of air. She smiled to herself, taking in the busy sights around her. People bustled to and fro, with luggage and boxes slung in their arms as they hurried on their way. Women flocked in groups, handling pastel parasols to match the colors of their frilly dresses. Children rushed around them, as free as the countryside surrounding them. For the first time in a long time, Claire felt at home.
Her uncle pulled her out of her daze as he approached her, their bags in his hands as he held out his elbow for her to take. She took it exuberantly, leaning into the warmness of her uncle’s side as they made their way towards the city streets.
People bustled to and fro, hurriedly bustling from place to place on their own set agendas. The Beauchamps themselves had their destination set: the Baird Inn, their home for the next twelve weeks as Uncle Lamb lectured at the University of Edinburgh. In his agreement with the university, Lamb would be lecturing to the history classes weekly, each week focusing on a different aspect of Scottish history. Starting way back as 1000 AD and making their way upwards, Uncle Lamb, along with some other professors and scholars from the area, would teach the students about their nation’s history, with artifacts dug up from right below their feet.
“How very interesting!” Claire chimed when Lamb introduced her to his topic.
Lamb smiled wryly, “I haven’t a clue how interested the Scots will be when they find an Englishman standing at the head of the room, lecturing them on their own history.”
When Lamb had first brought the proposition to Claire’s attention, he had mentioned it with some reserve; this, Claire had assumed, was because they had just settled in Oxford not but three weeks prior. But seeing as she had lived the life of a vagabond for more than a decade, she figured settling into a temporary home in Scotland seemed worth it. After all, it was one of her favorite places.
They rounded the corner towards the Inn, and Claire noticed Edinburgh Castle in the distance. From where it stood, a good few miles away, the weathered stone was darkened, like it had been burnt around the edges.
“A fascinating building, that,” Uncle Lamb chimed as they crossed the threshold of the Inn. “What a beautiful piece of weathered stone…”
Claire smiled but said nothing as they made their way to the innkeeper’s desk. Behind it sat a plump woman, aged around fifty or so, with graying brown hair, pulled back elegantly away from her face. She smiled widely at the pair as they approached her, the lines at the corners of her mouth and eyes deepening with her excitement.
“Good e’en to ye! How may I be of service?”
As Uncle Lamb signed the guestbook and gathered their room key, Claire wandered around the lobby. A few odd ornaments were scattered across the room, like an ancient grandfather clock that stood in the far left corner, ticking loudly amongst all the hustle and bustle around it. A brightly colored painting of what she had only assumed to be Bonnie Prince Charlie hung victoriously over the innkeeper’s desk, his eyes looming over the back of the woman’s head. Claire was studying the beast-like eyes of a stuffed fox that sat near the doorway when Uncle Lamb called her name, and together they strode up the staircase to their rooms.
While Uncle Lamb visited the university – in order to announce his arrival and get the schedule for the next few weeks consolidated, Claire voyaged through the lovely city of Edinburgh. She noticed all the vendors in the streets, selling an array of different articles. Among the tables of fans, gloves, parasols and pocket watches, she noticed a table of artifacts sitting across the walkway. Striding towards it, she met the eyes of its keeper.
The man looked familiar to her, but she could not place him. The familiarity seemed to strike the man as well, for his own eyes widened for a brief moment before settling back into their regular state. He smiled at her kindly, and she realized that he reminded her of a frog. His face, although amiable, was flat and oval-shaped, with a wide mouth. When she smiled back, he nodded his head in acknowledgment.
“Bonsoir, Madonna,” He murmured to her, bowing respectfully. She bowed her head in answer, smiling kindly back but not answering. Her eyebrow quirked a bit at the name he called her – Madonna? – but didn’t bother to mention it. Her attentions, instead, were focused more on the zebra skin that lay on the table, a cup resting in the top left corner.
“Do you know how it works?” The man questioned, eyebrows raised. The movement caused his leathery face to wrinkle, making him look significantly older.
Claire shook her head timidly, “No, I don’t believe so, monsieur.”
“Oh, my apologies, I should have introduced myself. I am Raymond.”
“Claire,” She replied shortly. “Enchanté.”
When Raymond smiled again, she continued, “What’s inside that cup?”
He lifted the leather cup, examining it carefully. He checked inside once before turning it to her. “Look for yourself, Madonna.”
She did as he bid, peeking over the rim. Inside the cup, however, she only saw the dark, circular bottom. Shaking her head in confusion, she murmured, “There’s nothing there.”
Raymond, a look of confusion crossing his face, grabbed the cup lightly out of her hand and looked inside again. He pressed the cup back into her hand. “Look again,” he pressed.
Eyeing the little man dubiously, she glanced back inside the cup. Instead of the dark brown emptiness she had seen before, she saw the whites of what appeared to be small bones staring up at her.
“Sheep knuckles,” He murmured. His eyes jumped from the cup to her face, staring intently.
Claire was rendered speechless for a brief moment, but gained her composure and asked, “How did you manage to do that?”
He chuckled, eyes shining brightly with mirth. “A little sleight of hand,” he gestured with his hands, wiggling the fingertips. “I use it to entertain the customers.”
“I daresay that you do a fine job of that,” Claire smiled, staring back into the cup for a moment. Then it dawned on her. “Oh, I know what this is! The Zulu do this in Africa as well, but they use different bones. Chicken, I believe.”
“So you do know how it works, then?”
She nodded, “Yes. My uncle is an archeologist; we travel a lot, and I remember when we were in South Africa we did something similar to this. Don’t you throw them onto the hide?”
He hummed his affirmation. “Yes, but, you have to think of a question. You cast the bones onto the hide and they will tell the answer.”
Claire closed her eyes fleetingly before casting the bones out onto the zebra hide. She watched as they fluttered across the table, landing on the dark surface in successive clattering sounds. Raymond stared at the bones, interpreting the data.
For a few moments, his eyes stayed focused on the hide; then, he shut them forcefully. His fingers felt about the table, as if searching for knicks in the fabric. Eyebrows furrowed together, his eyes snapped open, wide as an owl’s. “I do not know his fate, but you needn’t worry. You will see him again. The Red Man.”
The smooth area between her eyebrows creased as she looked down at the froggy man. “‘The Red Man’?”
“Yes,” He replied shortly, repeating, “You will see him again.”
In the pictures : 1st Acherontia atropos (Death’s-head Hawk moth - Two views of same specimen, sex : male, place of discovery Mussidan, Dordogne, France) 2nd Acherontia lachesis (Two views of same specimen, sex : female, place of discovery : Nilgiri mountains, India) and 3rd Acherontia styx (Two views of same specimen, sex : female. place of discovery : Chiang Mai, Thailand). edit
The name Death’s-head Hawkmoth refers to any one of the three moth species of the genus Acherontia (Acherontia atropos, Acherontia styx and Acherontia lachesis). The former species is found primarily in Europe, the latter two are Asian; most uses of the common name refer to the European species. These moths are easily distinguishable by the vaguely human skull-shaped pattern of markings on the thorax. All three species are fairly similar in size, coloration, and life cycle. These moths have several unusual features. All three species have the ability to emit a loud squeak if irritated. The sound is produced by expelling air from the pharynx, often accompanied by flashing of the brightly colored abdomen in a further attempt to deter predators. All three species are commonly observed raiding beehives of different species of honey bee for honey; A. atropos only attacks colonies of the well-known Western honey bee, Apis mellifera. They can move about in hives without being disturbed because they mimic the scent of the bees.
The species names atropos, lachesis and styx are all from Greek myth and related to death. The first refers to the member of the three Moirai who cuts the threads of life of all beings; the second to the Moira who allots the correct amount of life to a being; and the last refers to the river of the dead. In addition the genus name Acherontia is derived from Acheron, a river of Greek myth that was said to be a branch of the river Styx.
The skull-like pattern and its fanciful associations with the supernatural and evil have fostered superstitious fears of Acherontia species, particularly Acherontia atropos, perhaps because it is the most widely known. The moths’ sharp, mouse-like squeaking intensify the effect. Nor is this a new attitude: during the mid 19th century entomologist Edward Newman, having earlier mentioned the mark on the thorax wrote: “However, let the cause of the noise be what it may, the effect is to produce the most superstitious feelings among the uneducated, by whom it is always regarded with feelings of awe and terror.” These moths have been featured often in art such as by German artist Sulamith Wülfing, and movies such as Un Chien Andalou (by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí) and The Silence of the Lambs (in the film’s source novel, a different moth species is used; the Black Witch), and in the artwork of the Japanese metal band Sigh’s album Hail Horror Hail. They are also mentioned in Chapter 21 of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, where Dracula has been sending moths for Renfield to consume. According to legend, the species was first seen in Britain at the time of the execution of King Charles I, but it is more likely to have simply become more common by that time, having arrived with the first transportation of potatoes some centuries earlier. Though rarer, it is still occasionally sighted in the country to this day. Edgar Allan Poe’s short story The Sphinx describes a close encounter with a death’s-headed sphinx moth, describing it as “the genus Sphinx, of the family Crepuscularia of the order Lepidoptera.”
“Did you enjoy talking with Mrs. McNeil? She has two centuries of stories and ties to these mountains and before that, she said her family is of Scottish origin! Can you imagine?” Lamb shook his head in delight. “Scotland isn’t so unlike these Carolinian mountains. I bet her ancestors felt very much at home here. And the stories she was able to tell! Did you hear her recount the story of when this entire ridge went to war for one woman? The legend is that the woman still lives in the cave we’re headed to! How fascinating it is! I do hope we are able to find something left of importance from the original settlers here. And I think—”
Uncle Lamb rambled on as we trudged the two miles up into the mountains to the cave he was set on finding. The entire journey, the knife seemed to burn in my pocket. I couldn’t stop from touching the handle or patting my side to feel it there, safe and sound.
“Here we are! Look at this Claire! It seems this could have once been a storage area.” Lamb flitted from side to side, buzzing with the excitement of a child at play.
“Yes! Yes! Oh my dear Claire! I found something, truly! Yes!”
Rolling my eyes with a smile, I followed back to where he was in the cave. “What is it, Uncle?”
“A cask of, what I believe to be, whiskey! This looks like it has survived the centuries. There’s no tell tale smell of a distillery for miles. We’ve found part of Mrs. McNeil’s legend! Seems the witch did live here or somewhere abouts. Perhaps her husband was a whiskey maker.”
Rolling the barrel carefully out into the light, Uncle Lamb examined everything from the lack of rotting on the barrel rungs to the style in which it was sealed and crafted.
“I thought the old woman said that she wasn’t a witch, but a healer who lived here?”
“Is that what she told you?” Lamb questioned, not looking up from his journal. “My dear, a female healer in those days was almost always considered a witch! The fact there isn’t a prominent story of a witch burning on this mountain is incredibly rare.”
“I just don’t think the woman was a witch.” My thumb stroked the handle of the knife as I said this.
Uncle Lamb twisted the barrel for a different angle in his sketches and unearthed a carving.
“Uncle!” I gasped, pulling the knife from my pocket and holding it up to the side of the barrel. “Look! Look!” I pointed frantically between the knife’s carved initials and the letters carved on the side of the whiskey cask.
Mde by: Jms. AMM Fraser, Fraser’s Ridge, Smer Btch 1778
His eyes went wide, going back and forth from the knife in my hand to the rung with the carved signature. The closer we began to examine the cask the more indentations were found all over the bottom section of the barrel, each scratched out when the barrel was obviously reused.
Jms. Fraser had the most, followed by a CE Fraser, F.Fraser, M. Fraser, R.Mac, B.Mac, and a GermJem FraMac dating back as far as the 1760s. I wanted to know who these people were. What were their actual names instead of just the partial names and initials.
“Uncle, I bet this Jms. Fraser is the one who made this knife for the CE Fraser! Are there records we can find to find out who these people are and where they came from?” I asked, more enthusiastically than expected.
Laughing, Uncle Lamb put a hand on my shoulder. “I’ve never seen you so excited before my dear! Yes, yes I’m sure we can find some records and if these are the original settlers we may even find something leading us back to Scotland!”
“Uncle,” I laughed. “You’re probably one of the only Englishmen who finds it exciting and wants to go to Scotland!”
The local library was open the following day and I was bouncing with excitement. I couldn’t wait to search and look for the Fraser’s who created the knife—which was a heavy weight in my pocket—and what happened to them.
“Come on, Uncle!” I cried as Lamb slowly meandered around the coffee shop around the corner from the library.
“Patience, my dear!” he chuckled, before finally settling on a chair with his newspaper. “It’ll be good for you to wait and enjoy the satisfaction of finding your answers.”
I groaned, flopping down into the chair beside him. “But I want to go now! I need to know what happened to them. I just… I have to know!”
Uncle Lamb quirked an eyebrow at me and grinned.
“Let’s go then,” he said, tucking the paper under his arm and placing his pipe back into his satchel.
The resources were minimal and dusty.
My heart sank as I saw the menial books containing records.
“Fraser, you said?” the clerk asked, lazily.
“Yes!” I bounced, hoping she’d pull a volume or two out for us to see.
“This way then.” She pointed towards a door I hadn’t noticed before. “The Fraser’s were one of the founding families of this area. We don’t have quite the extensive research that the state would have or even city hall, but we do have ledgers and sanctions tucked away. Be sure to put anything you touch back the way you found it.” She eyed us from behind her coke-bottle glasses. “We take pride in our collections and do not wish to lose anything.”
“You’ll have no problem from us, my dear,” Lamb reassured her, ushering me inside.
I spun in a circle taking it all in. It was a small room, no bigger than the bathroom at the hotel, but from ceiling to floor were bookshelves covered in old leather bound books. The one spot that wasn’t covered was a small window on the northern wall, just enough light to illuminate the room without direct exposure to the precious books inside.
“Well love, have at it! Let’s find your Fraser’s!”
The books all had some descendant or mention of a Fraser family, but was it my Fraser family? I didn’t know. An hour into our search, I finally found a James Fraser.
“Uncle!” I called. “Look here! James MacKenzie Fraser,” I read aloud, “Do you think this is him? The man who made the knife and the whisky cask?”
“I do believe it may very well be. Let’s see what else we can find on him, yes?” Uncle Lamb’s eyes twinkled in excitement as he pulled another musty ledger forward intent on the search.
This is one thing about Uncle Lamb and his hair-brained adventures that I love; when he’s found something interesting, he never gives up on discovering the person or item’s full history. The library in rural North Carolina, did not do much to help us find more of Mr. Fraser’s past. It lead us on a chase through the entire state and up the eastern seaboard of the United States. James Fraser was mentioned countless times as a man working for the state and as a wanted man. Army enlistments, battles fought at, and even public hearings where he made himself enemies, but not one ledger or book recounted where his tale originated, or that of his wife. At least that was until we found an old recounting from Lord Tyron.
‘...On the 12th Day of August, I granted a man pardon and land in the wilds of the western most part of the colony. Mr. James MacKenzie Fraser and wife Claire of Broch Morda, Scotland, will be in the King’s Service and hereby exempt of taxes laid on the land while in the service.’
“Of course. It’s the music that plays in my head when I watch you sleep. I needed the world to hear it.” I laughed, knocking his shoulder with mine. “The world? I am the only one here,” I joked. “Precisely,” Achilles responded, looking at me through his eyelashes, and my breath hitched.
I feel my breath catch in my throat when he reaches a hand out, tentative, and wraps loose fingers around my ankle where it rests near his head. A sharp shock of recognition runs through me, and my skin feels electric with it. I’ve known these hands before, I’m sure of it. According to Greek mythology, five rivers run through the Underworld: Styx (the river of hatred), Acheron (the river of sorrow), Cocytus (the river of lamentation), Phlegethon (the river of fire), and Lethe (the river of forgetfulness). Those who wish to live again may be reincarnated, but not before they drink from the water of Lethe, erasing all traces of their past lives and selves. Reincarnation AU
It’s not that Patroclus somehow has not noticed that his new favorite coffee shop seemed to only hire possible models, but, well. There’s a thin line between noticing and admiring a person’s looks and being fucking creepy about it. (aka the very, very cliche coffee shop au.)
He follows the voice on instinct. He knows that voice better than his own, knows it deep in the darkest crevasses of himself, in the space where nothing else exists. He would follow that voice into Hell itself. Perhaps he is already there.
He had always been told he was the fastest boy in the world, but never before had he so desperately needed this to be the truth as he did then, thin branches whipping his face as he ran through the trees, clutching Patroclus tight to his chest.
“It’s 42 degrees, Pat. 42 degrees.” He hisses, when Patroclus comes him from his shift at the hospital to find Achilles wrapped up in an unbelievably large jumper, a blanket, his hat, scarf, and gloves. With the thermostat turned right the way up. “You’re ridiculous,” Pat tells him, pressing a kiss to Achilles’ forehead.
The first time I fell in love with him, both of us were destined for death. I fell because I made the mistake of testing the Gods. He fell because he was enraged at my death; he was blood thirsty. The second time, I never met him. I wish I was able to say that third time was the charm. But it wasn’t; he was in love with someone else. An attractive boy, better than I ever was. Though, whenever I did see the two together, he never looked happy. The fourth time, I knew him, he didn’t know me. The fifth time is right now.
It is times like these that you are not sure whether you admire him or whether you are repulsed by him. The incident that leads to the whole Achilles/Pat relationship. All from my twisted, absent mind.
Achilles knew his truest triumphs would never be strung together in verse to be sung at campfires, knew that no poet or aoidos would ever know his greatest success. No, these conquests – the huff of Patroclus’ laughter against his throat, the sharp, sea-salt taste of Patroclus’ skin after a swim, the way Patroclus’ eyelids fluttered after every kiss – those were Achilles’ alone to cherish. Or: Four times Achilles and Patroclus were truly happy.
So far, Patroclus has learned the following about Achilles: - He doesn’t get along with either of his parents, but - he lives with his dad when he’s not at school, and - his dad pays for college and - the frat house he lives in was named by his dad - (but really, does Achilles want to follow in his dad’s footsteps?) - (honestly, he’s not sure he does, but) - (what would he do instead?) Patroclus suggests being a male model and Achilles laughs so hard he snorts soda out of his nose. It’s humanizing, which is both awesome – after their runs, Patroclus was half-convinced Achilles was secretly a god – and terrible – god, if he’s human, he’s touchable, now isn’t he?
The day the two lives converge is dull, clouds covering the sun and rain on the horizon. Patroclus has changed schools, again, another incident forcing him to run, and he feels drawn to the music room, the tune drifting from a window so very familiar.
Patroclus didn’t need to ask who “he” was, he knew full well. He’d been living for this day for eight years now, some twisted cocktail of hope and dread seeping through his body every time he thought of it, which was often. He was back. He was back.
They lie on Achilles bed, entwined. It’s a nice feeling, tangled lambs and Achilles’ head on his chest, the steady thump thump thump of Achilles’ heart against his body. Patroclus runs his fingers through thick blonde curls, and he hears the boy they belong to hum in contentment. Achilles looks up, resting his chin on Patroclus’ chest. It’s a funny angle, but he doesn’t seem to mind. He meets Patroclus’ honey brown gaze, and he smiles. “There’s a word for you, you know. Philtatos. It means beloved. That’s you.”
“You have to go.” Achilles says, and his hands are on Patroclus’ chest, but they aren’t pushing. No- he’s doing a lot of things, but he’s not pushing. He’s memorising the feeling of smooth skin beneath his hands, and he’s counting the pulse that thuds beneath the right, committing that to memory too. He’s feeling the rise and fall of his best friend’s chest - best friend, boyfriend, lover, whatever; they all feel like synonyms now - and he’s meeting those dark brown eyes with his own. “If my mother catches you here she’ll kill you.” “I know.” Patroclus murmurs, but he makes no move to go.