I love the moment in The Ersatz Elevator when the Baudelaires finally arrive at the Squalors and the lights go back on. While climbing up the stairs everything was dark, and while reading this I really felt like I was in a very dark room, not able to see anything. Then they arrive and Esmé gets a call that light is in again, and they open the blinds. I loved that because it made me feel like light suddenly being switched on after watching a film in class or leaving a movie theater. While reading this moment I felt like my eyes had to get used to seeing light again. I love when writers make you feel like this.

THE FIRST THING I NOTICED when I woke up was that I was covered in blood.

The second thing I noticed was that this didn’t bother me the way it should have.

I didn’t feel the urge to scream or speak, to beg for help, or even to wonder where I was. Those instincts were dead, and I was calm as my wet fingers slid up the tiled wall, groping for a light switch. I found one without even having to stand. Four lights slammed on above me, one after the other, illuminating the dead body on the floor just a few feet away.


Charles Martinet - The Voice of Mario & Luigi - QnA Panel

First Florescent Frog Found

Under normal light, the South American polka dot tree frog (Hypsiboas punctatus) sports a muted palette of greens, yellows and reds. But dim the lights and switch on ultraviolet illumination, and this little amphibian gives off a bright blue and green glow.

The ability to absorb light at short wavelengths and re-emit it at longer wavelengths is called fluorescence, and is rare in terrestrial animals. Until now, it was unheard of in amphibians. Researchers also report that the polka dot tree frog uses fluorescent molecules totally unlike those found in other animals. The team published the find on 13 March in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Drowning. Keith was drowning.

He was being tossed about in a torrential sea of panic and confusion. He gasped and choked and scrambled frantically, grasping for some sort of clarity, a drop of lucidity, sometime solid to hold and catch his breath.

With a hoarse cry he found himself bolt upright among his sheets, in the dark little room which was glaringly unfamiliar until he remembered that he was staying with Shiro.

He gasped for air, cold sweat moving down his face. Each breath itched and tore at his throat, and he felt scalding-hot tears threatening behind his eyes.

There was a sound of footsteps, the dull click of a light switch, and Keith was momentarily blinded. He blinked a few times, and Shiro seemed to materialize in front of him, kneeling by the edge of the futon with his arm outstretched cautiously, hovering uncertainly near Keith’s shoulder.

“I heard you yell,” he said, his voice rough with sleep. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” Keith rasped. “It’s nothing.”

“Did you have a nightmare?”

Keith shrugged dismissively, not meeting Shiro’s eyes. Shiro frowned a bit, but didn’t push. “Do you want a glass of water?” he asked. His voice was soft, careful, like he was talking to a frightened animal. Keith wanted to scream. Or cry. Or both.

He cringed inwardly at himself. He was thirteen years old, not a baby anymore. He should have better emotional control.

“I’m fine Shiro. Go back to bed,” he said flatly.

He turned away as Shiro walked towards the door, and felt a shameful prickle of dread when the light died. Suddenly, the was a weight on the futon beside him. He turned to see Shiro settled above the blankets, hands folded on his stomach, legs stretched out and ankles crossed. He gave Keith a little grin.

“What are you doing?” Keith snapped, crossing his arms. “Go back to your bed, idiot.”

“I’m protecting you from the monsters under the futon,” Shiro said matter-of-factly.

Keith’s eyebrows shot up. His mouth opened and then closed again. Then his features settled into another grimace. “Don’t be stupid.”

Shiro placed a hand on his chest and sent Keith a look of mock outrage. “Excuse me, I have military training, do you not trust me to protect my little bro from the monsters under his futon?”

Keith reached for his pillow and smacked Shiro with it. Shiro laughed and held his arms up against Keith’s attacks. “Stop! Being! Dumb!” Keith shouted, trying (and failing) to keep the laughter from his voice. His chest felt warm. “Little bro”.

He’d never had any siblings. He’d never had anyone willing to climb into bed with him after a nightmare or make him comfort food when he was sad or steady him when he was panicking. He’d never had someone who cared about him like Shiro did.

And as he thought this, they both began to settle. It was a while before they slept, each having a tendency to start talking randomly, eliciting a groan of annoyance from the other, but eventually they both drifted comfortably, side by side.

Keith had never slept so peacefully in his life.

~three years later~

Shiro choked out a cry as he was launched out of the nightmare and into the cold, dry reality of his tiny room in the castle.

The cursed softly, burying his head between his knees. It had been like this for a while. If the various little souvenirs from his trauma that presented themselves in his waking life were bad, his dreams were absolutely harrowing.

He gritted his teeth and withheld a sob. His heart was pounding like a jackrabbit’s, and his skin felt clammy and cold. He tried controlling his breaths, soothing himself piece by piece.

And then the silence was broken by the thin sound of his door sliding open. He looked up to see Keith by his bed, face tight with concern. He felt the boy’s chilled fingers against his shoulder.

“Are you okay?” he asked softly.

“Not sure,” Shiro croaked. He couldn’t help but notice how young Keith looked in this moment. In the past year Keith had hardened, face pulled into a near constant scowl, always wire-taught and ready for a fight. But now, in the dark with his ruffled hair and wide eyes, he looked like a child again.

“I mean… I’m fine. Just a weird dream,” Shiro assured, trying for a confident smile which was somewhat belied by his visible shaking.

Keith’s brows drew together and his jaw set. “Move over,” he demanded. Shiro cocked an eyebrow and Keith gave him a gentle nudge. He shifted reluctantly as Keith crawled into bed beside him.

“Keith, you don’t have to-”

“I’m a paladin of Voltron,” Keith said matter-of-factly. “I think I can be trusted to protect my big bro from the monsters under his bed.”

Shiro felt a swell of fondness, and he smiled genuinely. Keith gave him a small smirk and an affectionate shove to his jaw. Shiro allowed himself to settle as Keith babbled softly, snorting and listening and snarking back until they seemed to naturally lapse into silence.

Shiro had never slept so peacefully in his life.