long shadows of the winter sun

I tore myself out of my own mother’s womb.
There was no other way to arrive in this world.
A terrified midwife named me Monster
and left me in the pine woods with only the moon.
My mother’s blood dripped from my treed head.

In a dream my mother came to me and said
if I was to survive
I must find joy within my own wild self.

When I awoke I was alone in solitude’s blue woods.

          *  *  *

A woman found me and took me to her mountain home
high at the end of an abandoned logging road.
We spent long winter evenings by the fire;
I sat at the hearth as she read aloud myths of the Greeks
while the woodstove roared behind me.
She sometimes paused to watch the wall of shadows
cast by my antlers. The shadows danced
across the entire room like an oak’s wind-shaken branches.

          *  *  *

The woman was worried when I would not wear dresses.
I walked naked through the woods.
She hung the wash from my head
on hot summer days when I sat in the sun to read.
The woman grew worried when I would not shed
my crown with the seasons as the whitetails did.
“But I am not a whitetail,” I said.

          *  *  *

When I became a woman
in the summer of my fifteenth year,
I found myself
suddenly changed in the mirror.
My many-pronged crown had grown
into a wildness all its own;
highly stylized, the bright
anarchic antlers were majestic to my eye.

The woman saw me and smiled. “What you are I cannot say,
but nature has created you.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made.”

When night came it brought a full moon.
I walked through the woods to the lake
and knelt in the cool grass on its bank.
I saw my reflection on the water,
I touched my face.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

—  the girl with antlers, ansel elkins
Certain as the Sun~ VI

My writer’s block suddenly left and I was finally able to get some work done. Hope you enjoy! Please let me know what you think: likes are appreciated but reblogs, comments, and messages make my day and encourage me want to want to update faster!

P.S. After this, things in Prythian get VERY interesting. 


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“I’m not sure when Lucien’s family are planning on making their move, so I need you to keep an especially watchful eye on them, Azriel.” The quiet Illyrian warrior nodded, I could have sworn I saw the shadows around him darken in response as if they were eager for the new challenge I had posed. “As I’d predicted, they’ve decided to affiliate themselves with Tamlin and the King of Hybern, which means that we now have another person aiming for the targets on our backs.”

“And,” Mor added, “it means that you’ll also have to take necessary precautions, Feyre. The Autumn Court are a sneaky group of bastards. And although they’ve denounced Lucien I wouldn’t put it past him to report any suspicions he has to his family.”

A devilish smirk spread across my lips. “Oh, I don’t think we’ll have Lucien to worry about, Mor, Rhys assured, “She’s already taken care of him.” Four pairs of eyes stared back at me, drowning in confusion.

“Ah,” Cassian finally grinned, understanding and more than a hint of amusement causing his eyes to glow like liquid amber. “You threatened him with Elain, didn’t you?” The look in my eyes was the only needed confirmation. “Well played, Feyre,” he appraised.

The mention of my sisters caused sudden fear and worry to strike my chest. I hadn’t seen Nesta or Elain since they had been forcibly dunked into that damned Cauldron and turned into Fae. The last image I had of them both was in the King of Hybern’s courtroom—Nesta, eyes burning with hatred and rebellion. And Elain, sweet, innocent Elain too had burned with a fiery inferno I hadn’t seen before.

Cassian, whom Rhysand had informed me had been in charge of training and helping my sisters adjust to their new bodies, seemed to become flustered and unsure of how to answer the question.

“They’re fine,” he finally answered. “Or rather…they’re adjusting. It hasn’t been an easy process, as you’re well aware of.” Just as I had expected. I thought back to my own experiences of the long process of which I had to go through to finally become adjusted to my Fae body.

Rhysand placed a gentle hand at the small of my back, the signal for my time of departure. Fear and longing held my heart in its icy grip. It suddenly dawned on me that this may be the last time in a very long time that I would see them. My family.

I met each of their gazes in turn. As if they, too, had sensed that it was now time for me to leave, all four members of my Court, my Family placed a fist to their hearts, heads bowed in reverence. This was not a time for goodbyes, there was no need. No matter what events would take place in the future I knew I had to hold on to the tiny glimmer of faith I had that I would see them all again.

Rhysand led me outside and before we even reached it I spotted the massive night wings and glistening beak that could only belong to the Eranaten. I held my hand out to the graceful creature, allowing her to become familiar with my scent before stroking an idle hand down her beak. She purred, leaning into my touch.

“Rajani will take you as far as the outskirts of the Summer Court. Tarquin has assured that no harm will come to you as you travel through,” Rhysand informed me. “The Day, Dawn, and Winter Courts, however, have still not outwardly pledged their allegiance to either side, so please be cautious.” I nodded, secretly amused with his doting.

“Has there been any progress on finding a way for us to communicate without Tamlin or anyone discovering it?” I asked, fingers lightly scratching behind Rajani’s ears.

Frustration, not directed towards me, but at our situation flickered in his eyes. “Azriel’s been searching for loopholes, but still hasn’t found a way for an undetectable correspondence.” I had known better than to get my hopes up, but still hearing those words caused my heart to unexpectedly plummet.

“We’ll find a way,” I said, more to reassure myself than anything. “The King of Hybern isn’t all-knowing. There must be somewhere his eyes are looking, his ears aren’t listening. We’ll find a way,” I repeated.

The violet in Rhysand’s eyes turned midnight black as he murmured, “Until then, Feyre, you cannot completely close yourself off to me. Although I cannot physically be there for you, I can be there for you mentally. I just have to have some…reassurance that you’re alright.”

“Are you worrying about me, Rhys?”

He offered a small, sad smile, stepping closer. A hand reached up and brushed back a strand of hair that had come loose at some point, a thumb gently caressing my cheek. “It would seem that worrying is a side effect of the Mating Bond. In fact, I’m almost positive I’ve seen more than a few grey hairs since you’ve left.” I reached a hand up, running my fingers running through his hair as I’d done so many times before. “I’ve waited hundreds of years for you, Feyre. I’ve been through what I’d thought was hell and back, but…you. Having them take you away from me…now that is one thing I’d never be able to recover from.” I was taken aback by the pain and fear in his eyes. Of the memories that still haunted him after all these years.

“Everything I love has always had a tendency to be taken away from me.”

“I won’t shut you out this time, I promise,” I whispered, “Nothing will happen to me, Rhys.”

He said nothing for a while, his eyes slowly scanning over my face as if to memorize each and every small detail. Still holding my gaze he offered me his hand. “Dance with me.”

As if he had summoned it, the sweet melody of a violin, the feathery whispers piano, the steady beat of drums and angelic song of a harp circled around us. I smiled at him, gave him my hand, dared a step closer. I leaned in to the warmth of his hand at the small of my back, of his lips grazing the shell of my ear, the curve of my neck, pressing tender kisses to my shoulderblades.

Suddenly he spun me away from him before pulling me back, his lips a hairsbreadth away. A wicked smile was spread across them, and I couldn’t help laughing. Rhysand joined, and I rested my head on his chest.

Warm breath tickled my ear, sending delicious shivers dancing down my spine. “I love you,” he whispered. This may be the last time in a long time I would be held in his arms, lean into his touches, hear my name come off his tongue. I wanted to memorize all of it, to store it in my memories to relive in my dreams over and over again.

I was certain that no matter how many times he would whisper those words to me, they’d still cause my heart to sputter, fill my chest with an impossible need to be closer to him.

“I love you,” he said again. And when he said it this time he whispered the words as if I was his entire world.

{{.}}.{{.}}.{{.}}.{{.}}.{{.}}.

I couldn’t count the number of kisses Rhys and I exchanged before he, begrudgingly, let me go. As I sailed above the bright lights of Velaris I could have sworn I spotted a dark shadow darting in between the mountains around me, a certain pair of violet eyes watching from afar. The feeling stopped only once I’d crossed over into the Day Court.

Rajani flew swiftly and silently over the rolling green hills of the Day Court, through the long stretches of meadows and rivers of the Dawn Court, above the snow-capped mountains and frost-laden trees of the Winter Court. When we finally made it to the familiar crystal blue seas of the Summer Court, the sun was slowly beginning to rise. Panic clutched my heart in its icy grip as I wondered if I’d be able to winnow through the Spring Court and make it back to my rooms before anyone discovered my absence.

As if sensing my unease, Rajani suddenly lurched forward as if she had not been flying to her full potential before. I grinned, memories of great Illyrian wings, hair whipping at my face and warm hands clutching me against his chest rushing back at me.

{{.}}.{{.}}.{{.}}.{{.}}.{{.}}.{{.}}.

“Thank you, Rajani,” I whispered, stroking her beak. She let out a quiet screech before launching back into the sky with one mighty sweep of her wings. I blinked, and she was gone as if she had only been a figment of my imagination.

I felt those feelings clawing at me and instead decided to stretch out my own wings before shooting into the air, the early morning wind and sun kissing my face but there was no time to enjoy it. I raced towards the castle of the Spring Court, death at my back, anxiety digging its ugly claws.

Then I was at the outskirts of the woods, winnowing in between shadows so as not to be seen, silent as death. I raced up the stairs and to my bedroom, finding the veil I’d put in place just as it had been before I left.

I was just able to slide back into bed and rest my head on a pillow before a soft knock sounded at my door.

“Feyre? Are you awake?”

I made sure to wait a few seconds, deepening my voice like that of someone who had just awoken from sleep. “Yes, Alis. Come in.”

The small faerie shuffled inside, smiling broadly. “Master Tamlin wishes to see you,” she says. “I’ll draw your bath and send someone to fetch you breakfast before you go to meet him.”

I forced a grateful grin. “Thank you, Alis.”

I bathed and dressed in another ridiculous dress, missing the breezy, comfortable style of my home. Biscuits, tea, and bacon sat on my dresser, and I managed to leave the plate clean and the cup empty before going to meet Tamlin.

Odd didn’t fully convey the feeling I felt while walking through the halls of Tamlin’s home. I truly felt like a stranger, an invader, a spy within these walls.

I didn’t bother to knock on the door before bursting into Tamlin’s study. The sight that greeted me caused me to stumble back a few steps.

“Hello, Feyre,” greeted a light, lilting voice.

Ianthe.

I See You

Requested by Anonymous 69: “Just pretend to be my date.”

Elriel


A massive party is put on at the Night Court every year for the winter solstice. They celebrate the longest night of the year with a party from sunset to sunrise. Everyone has endless fun as the shadows swirl and darken throughout the event. Being their High Lady’s birthday just adds to the celebration, causing an extravaganza of the largest proportions all over Velaris.

Azriel convinces himself that the only reason he came tonight was for security reasons; to protect his High Lady and the Inner Circle. It is most certainly not so he can make sure that no one tries to take advantage of any of the Archeron sisters, namely Elain, though that is just a plus.

The Illyrian also revels with the shadows, but these are of his own summoning, not just the absence of the sun, and he finds himself separate from the main event, as usual. Mor tries multiple times to get him to come dance, to take a drink, to loosen up, but Azriel refuses. He knows, and his shadows reassure him, that he wouldn’t fit in that crowd even if he tried.

Around one in the morning, during deep night, a small form joins him in the opening of the alley where he has stationed himself. He glances over and almost reels back in surprise to see the middle Archeron sister standing silently beside him, watching the dancers with quiet dismay.

They don’t speak for many minutes until Elain’s soft voice finally sounds, seeming to be talking more to herself than to him. “I almost didn’t see you over here, with all those shadows circling you. Practically blending into the darkness tonight, I see.”

Azriel’s shadows tighten around his form, as if claiming that, yes, that is their purpose.

“I don’t know why but the visions get louder and more frequent when I’m around a large group of people. It could be to compensate for the enormous amounts of energy they produce, or as a place holder for the absence of them interacting with me, to distract me with something other than the loneliness.” Azriel is surprised by her candor on such a subject, as she’s been incredibly reserved the last few weeks.

Elain still hasn’t glanced at him and he’s not sure if she means to be saying any of these things out loud. “I hope you don’t mind me standing here, as I just don’t feel like I belong in such a crowd as this, especially with all the happy emotions tonight. I figured I could either stand by myself in that alcove over there, or come be lonely with you.” She finally turned her head to look at him. “Why can’t we just have fun?”

Azriel shrugs, crossing his arms over his chest. “I’ve never felt truly excepted by my peers, other than the Inner Circle,” He confesses. “Whether from the fact I’m a bastard, or a shadow-singer, or an Illyrian, people seem to always be wary around me. I’m ok being myself around my true friends, but showing the real me around large groups of people is too much pressure, too much expectation. I suppose loneliness by choice is preferable to loneliness by rejection.”

They are silent for a while longer as Elain digests his statement. Azriel can feel the eyes of his friends watching him and Elain, judging and contemplating if they should intervene. He knows they won’t.

Suddenly, Elain finds the right words to voice her own opinion. “My mind is so busy, constantly. I find I’m easily distracted and my emotions are constantly in flux. I have a hard time holding a conversation, much less eye contact. I think that because of this, combined with the fact that I was once human, people have a hard time approaching me, and I have less opportunity to make friends.”

“I think the fact that Nesta scares the shit out of everyone contributes to that.” Azriel agrees, causing Elain to laugh. The shadows that were encasing his body relax a bit at the joyous sound.

Elain sighs. “Look at us, social outcasts in every sense of the word.”

“Look at you, I’m not sure anyone can see me anymore.” Azriel retorts tightly, suddenly a bit resentful towards his shadows that refuse to disappear.

Her eyes search the side of his head as he won’t meet her gaze. She grasps his elbow, prying his arms apart, and takes his large, scarred hand in her own small and delicate one. A squeeze forces him to finally look at her, seeing the deep and sincere feeling stirring there. “I see you, Azriel.”

The shadows around his entire arm retreat and Elain smiles, Azriel grins back. Without warning, her eyes recede and he knows she is no longer in the present, but the future or past or wherever in the universe it is that her visions take her. Az immediately goes on edge, taking her other hand and squeezing them both tightly. “Elain, come back to me.” Her eyes water just a bit and then she blinks, focusing on him again. Azriel smiles. “There you are.” He squeezes her hands again once.

“Thanks,” She says, allowing him to release his hold and they both turn back to watch the party continue. It takes a few minutes for Elain to build up the courage and turn to him. “Why don’t we just go dance together.”

Azriel raises an eyebrow questioningly.

“Just pretend to be my date or something, let’s dance and be social outcasts together.” She insists.

To everyone discreetly watching and Elain’s endless surprise, the Illyrian simply tilts one side of his mouth up in a small smile, takes one of her hands in his own again, and nods. “Why not?”

So the Seer and the Shadow-Singer dance through the rest of the Winter Solstice celebration, twirling, twisting, and swaying. They are awkward and graceful at the same time, completely not caring about the rest of the world. His shadows disappear even as the sun rises and her eyes remain hers as long as they are locked with his.

For the first time in a long time, Azriel thinks he’s found someone who understands how he feels. He laughs at the fact that someone can finally see him.

Send me a number and a ship!

Masterlist

( requested by: anonymous ) 


STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER

  • “ nothing is real ”
  • “ let me take you down ”
  • “ it’s getting hard to be someone ”
  • “ it doesn’t matter much to me ”
  • “ but it’s all wrong ”
  • “ living is easy with eyes closed ”

HEY JUDE

  • “ let her into your heart ”
  • “ you can start to make it better ”
  • “ don’t be afraid ”
  • “ don’t carry the world upon your shoulders ”
  • “ go and get [ her/him ] ”

HERE COMES THE SUN

  • “ it’s alright ”
  • “ it’s been a long, cold, lonely winter ”
  • “ it feel like years since its been here ”
  • “ here comes the sun ”
  • “ here it comes ”
  • “ it seems like years since it’s been clear ”

YESTERDAY

  • “ all my troubles seemed so far away ”
  • “ i’m not half the man i used to be ”
  • “ there’s a shadow hanging over me ”
  • “ i said something wrong ”
  • “ love was such an easy game to play ”

I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND

  • “ i’ll tell you something ”
  • “ I think you’ll understand ”
  • “ i want to hold your hand ”
  • “ say to me you’ll let me be your man ”
  • “ when i touch you i feel happy inside ”

TWIST AND SHOUT

  • “ shake it up, baby ”
  • “ c’mon baby ”
  • “ you know you look so good ”
  • “ let me know that you’re mine ”
  • “ you twist so fine ”

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE

  • “ there’s nothing you can do that can’t be done ”
  • “ it’s easy ”
  • “ all you need is love ”
  • “ you can learn how to be you in time ”

HELLO, GOODBYE

  • “ you say yes, i say no ”
  • “ i don’t know why you say goodbye ”
  • “ i say go ”
  • “ i can stay till it’s time to go ”
  • “ hello hello ”

COME TOGETHER

  • “ you got to be free ”
  • “ come together ”
  • “ he’s got hair down to his knees ”
  • “ i know you and you know me ”
Winter Shadow - chapter 10

Masterlist

Not the final chapter, as it turns out, because i’m just too poorly to write for more than an hour (please play your tiny violins in sympathy for my self pity).

So here’s the probably penultimate chapter. Would it help if I said sorry…?

The two Avengers made their way through the building, enjoying the heat outside the air-conditioned building, both squinting into the sun. It wasn’t long before a car pulled up, and the person they had been waiting for emerged.

“Ms Maximoff,” Natasha said, nodding and smiling, not knowing the other woman well. Steve was more familiar with her, drawing her into a hug, his words almost lost in her hair.  “Thank you for coming.”

She stepped back, and they all entered the building, the air-con prickling their skin in contrast to the heat outside.

“I’m happy to be here Cap, but like I said, I can’t promise anything. I’m not a magician, I can’t wave a wand and make things OK.” She paused as she realised his face had dropped.  “Sorry, that was harsh. I’m jet lagged and have no filters. I’ll try anything and everything, you know I will.”

Keep reading

Ohio Gothic
  • You’re pretty sure you just passed that corn field… Oh, you just passed it again. Best not to look anymore. You might go blind.
  • The beaches of Lake Erie aren’t made of sand. You’re not sure what they are made of, but there’s teeth. And finger nails.
  • If you’re in the middle of nowhere, then why are you hearing footsteps? They only come when you walk, like they’re following but don’t want to catch up… Why?
  • When you dive the highway at night, no time passes. The road is an infinite loop, and headlights glare at you from in front of you, and in back. but they never catch up.
  • Everyone talks of the amusement parks and plan their vacations around then, if they can ever find them. They don’t. And they never come back either.
  • In the fall, it’s best not to go into the forest. There aren’t forest fires, but no one looks forward to spontaneous combustion.
  • Children scream in the distance, at the park. No one goes to help. No one wants to die.
  • In the summer, lights blink from the forest. Lock your doors. Those aren’t fire flies. You don’t want to know what they are.
  • the shadows get big and long when the sun sets. you better run on home. doppelgängers are a bad sign. You don’t want to be replaced.
  • It snows long into the new year. food is scare, but someone has to go… Everyone hides. No one wants to go. Eeny meeny miny mo.
  • Spring comes around after great loss. The trees bloom in blood. Iron fills the air. 
  • Winter leaves hungry mouths to feed. They’re lying in wait in the roads. Road kill isn’t enough. You can’t drive safely anymore.
Placa Felipe Neri

Three Trees. Reaching for the searing sky.
Ancient bricks stacked brown and yellow.
Carvings of hideous faces in every shadow’s lair.

And in that magnificent space where the sun struggles to kiss the flowing fresh, fountain.
I looked to the walls and overheard tongues and guitar strings wailing.
Through a year I wandered in awe around that hidden sweet square.

I brought her there, the only place I ever brought her. In the winter cold, with men huddled in the corner.
I told her the famous story. Where ghosts are lined up against a wall and smiled in the sky, that long lie.
Or was it the children who listened to roars from above? Crushed in screaming dark terror. Wailing in silence.

She listened in wonder as the lamps glowed a winter glow in the dark and silence of the night. I laughed and sipped a beer with two hands.

But shes just a ghost now.
I sat for an hour on the fountain wall and looked up to the tops of those golden walls and watched the passer by wander through.
Spectres still stare from the walls at the phantoms that pass by.
Placa Felipe, where a piece of the passer-bys soul is cut from them as they wander through this timeless haunting square.

Being (young) Remus Lupin’s signif would include...

Requested by 2 anons :))

  • Short sweet kisses (or whatever expression of love you’re comfortable with)
  • Sharing his secret stash of chocolate with you - but only after having you solemnly swear that you wouldn’t tell Sirius
  • Sitting on his bed talking about anything, the day, thoughts in general, and he’d tell you about the very thought-through pranks he was playing on the other Marauders (Remus would most definitely be the one to think long-term)
  • Waking up to him tracing patterns on your back and admiring your tired features
  • Going to Hogsmeade, hands swinging between you, going from store to store and laughing and having a good time in each other’s company
  • Remus is quite artistic, he would definetely be into drawing, and it would be mostly you his sketchbook would be filled with
  • He’d sit and sketch you at random; on the side of the parchment he’s writing an essay on, or have you model. Trying to capture your laugh and how absolutely stunning he finds you.
  • Planning mischief with him; cuddled up on the couches in the Gryffindor common room (either he snuck you in, or if you’re gryffindor too) after everyone else’s gone to bed
  • Being worried over all his visits to the Hospital Wing, because why wasn’t he telling you what was wrong with him?
  • And you know he’s lying when he says he’s fine, and it’s nothing to worry about, because his voice is hoarse and his body full of scratches and bruises as he smiles weakly
  • Freaking out a bit: what if he’s dying, suffering from a fatal disease and you only had a few weeks left together!
  • Then you heard James call him “Moony”, like he always does, and the penny finally dropped
  • Remus being insecure about his scars, but you casually kissing them lightly whenever to prove that they didn’t bother you; pecking the small one over his lips after you kiss, when you sit down next to him at breakfast, etc.
  • Merlin he loved you for it
  • Holding hands constantly; swinging them between you when you’re on your way to class, under the table at dinner or in class
  • Neither one really knowing who reached out after the other’s hand first, you just end up there somehow (and he definitely didn’t complain)
  • Him bringing you up in his conversations with others all the time without even noticing
  • ‘We get it Moons! Y/N agrees with you; they looked beautiful this morning; they had a really interesting opinion about this or that- Stop being so in love, it makes me sick,’ James would complain
  • Sirius giving you the talk
  • Remus would absolutely love when you wore his clothes (even if he rarely got them back). His scarf, sweaters, hats, anything and everything and you look so bloody cute he can’t keep the blush from rising over his cheeks
  • Sitting down next to you at breakfast, even if you’re from different houses, pressing his lips to your cheek and cheerfully say good morning
  • And the rest of the gang quickly adapted and sat down around you and Remus; none of them minding since they kinda already see you as a part of the group
  • Studying in the library, legs touching and exchanging sweet smiles when one of you catches the other’s eyes (neither of you being able to stop looking at the other)
  • Walking in on the Marauders planning some prank and being weirdly proud when you hear what a terrifying genius Remus is 
  • Sitting next to Remus at The Three Broomsticks with the rest of the Marauders and your friend group, just joking around and hanging out with all of them
  • Playing with his hair to calm him down
  • Whenever he’s tired he’d just lean against you a bit, his head against your shoulder 
  • didn’t really matter if you’re alone or with others; he’d come up to you and let you know how tired he was by quickly leaning against you for a sec
  • Sneaking into the kitchen to chat with the house elves, drink tea or bake
  • Just whenever you’re stressed or want to be together away from all the other students; leaving all troubles by the door.
  • Remus is a master at flower crown, and generally anything with flowers. He’d make flower crowns for the both of you and teach you when you ask him to
  • Giving him flower bouquets too when you’re going on dates or whenever; he’d blush so adorably and smile so wide 
  • Discovering small notes from Remus tucked into the pockets in your robes, between pages in your books, etc. where he with neat handwriting would write down jokes, compliments, or just a little drawing. 
  • He’d often make sure you’d find the jokes in class so he could see your reaction and meet your eyes and see you shake your head in laughter at how stupid it was
  • Hugging you tight when you cuddle through the night, to feel like you’re there and find comfort when he’s having his low points
  • And he’d love to be the little spoon too, to feel safe and loved; especially after a full moon.
  • Staying in bed in the mornings long after you’ve woken up, just talking, reading, or cuddling and tracing patterns on the other’s skin with light fingers
  • Spending most of your summer chilling in a hammock. Sleeping and cuddling close under a blanker (since you’re both freezing your butts off when you end up in the shadow when the sun moves, but neither wants or has the energy to move in).
  • Spending the winters with a hot cocoa warming your hands as you sit by the window, close with your legs tangled together, and watching the snow fall outside
  • Never really being able to understand how someone can love you so fully and totally as he does
  • It’s quite ridiculous actually; you never thought you could be so lucky
  • and neither did he

anonymous asked:

27. The passage of time as it varies by season. - jedicoded

30 multipurpose prompts

           THERE ARE NO Winters on Tatooine, no spring flowers to bloom, or harvest to pray for. Heat is the only standard, the kind that sloughs the flesh from your bones, like pitch or tallow. His mother taught him how to pray for water, but not the kind that comes from clouds, but bailed from deep dregs beneath the earth. They’d pray for shade under twins suns that cast no shadows. Respite from the harrying heat they were forced to work under. But praying to Anakin always felt like speaking to an empty sky, hoping the stars would do something other than burn infinitely on above you. Anakin learned that change is the result of action, not the weather.

               He was eleven years old the first time he saw snow. A simple diplomatic mission on Ando Prime that loaned Anakin more than a few admiring for his victory at the Boonta Eve Classic. One such admirer thought it pertinent to his visit to take him to the top of the Ando Prime Centrum race track, where Anakin first discovered that a ‘snowman’ is not typically something to be built with your barehands. Obi-Wan lectured him relentlessly for running off, but when he’d discovered the reasons behind it, offered to take Anakin sledding for his next birthday. One of many promises between them that was never acted on.

              It was only a month later Anakin experienced his first spring. Such are the wonders of a vastly evolved galaxy, each planet autonomous in its own cycle. Anakin had never seen so much green in one place before.

    ❝ Careful, Anakin. ❞ Master Obi-Wan says as he guides the boy’s fingers from the fragile bud the flower in hand. ❝ Ithorian roses are quite delicate before they blossom. You must handle them with a light touch. ❞ Shafts of sunlight arrow through the mantle of wilderness surrounding them. Rich green leaves shine out from under the pink && blue whirl of flowers, their petals stretched like the tongues of some huge animal towards the blue blue sky. Anakin can feel life all around him, the Force like a subliminal hum in the soil beneath his knees. He cups his palms around the tight bud of another rose, willing the living Force around him into the flower in an exhale of heat && light.

               He doesn’t know when he closed his eyes, but when he opens them again the rose has blossomed in his very hands, shining out with something almost like sentience. Anakin turns to smile proudly at his Master, but stops when he sees his expression. Obi-Wan looks at him like he’s never seen him before. One side of his mouth lifts in an astonished comma.

              Autumn in Coruscant looks the same as any other season. The weather-controlled atmosphere leaves room for little more than comfortably warm days && comfortably cool nights, at least on its very top level. A low haze of fog clings to the domes && skyspires that cast light into the darkness. Arteries of commerce glowing from residential to business districts like neon constellations.

              In some cultures, Autumn is considered a time of death && rebirth. A time when nature disintegrates to give way to the bare arms of trees, stripped of everything beautiful. What might it mean for him then? Palpatine’s words still echo in his mind. The insinuation that Padmé could be seeing Obi-Wan behind his back on one hand seems ludicrous. On the other, the dragon whispers, you have always been a fool.

              Fear stands over him instead of sleep. Exhaustion seems a constant companion these days, he can’t remember the last time he slept through an entire night. This could all be paranoia. But why would Palpatine lie to him? Why would Obi-Wan lie to him?

              Will it always be like this then? His heart lurching against uncertainty? A wounded animal in his chest? He’s not sure what would be worse. This feeling, or the complete absence of it.

Algy perched on a rock, and watched the evening sun go down. The summer - such as it was - had almost ended, and the nights were growing rapidly longer. At such a northerly latitude, the amount of daylight varied hugely over the year, with only a few hours of semi-darkness at midsummer, and very little light at all in midwinter. This meant that in spring and autumn Algy could watch the hours of daylight alter perceptibly from day to day, as the change was so rapid. Although he knew that spring would come again, it seemed a very long way off, and between now and then lay a long, dark winter, for which folk were very poorly prepared in the West Highlands this year, owing to the unusually dismal summer…

So Algy dedicates this post to all his friends in those northern countries for whom the approaching autumn will bring long, long hours of darkness, and a slow, arduous struggle through the winter until the sun returns again. Algy is thinking of you all, and sends you extra special fluffy hugs xoxo

Messy, Romantic Poetry For The Signs
  • To, the signs
  • Love, Aquarius <3
  • Aries: You were bubbly pink, laughter that could echo inside of you and never stop. You were a dangerous kind of safety. Being with you was diving off a cliff and knowing you'd float, and your embrace like meeting a river current. You captured me with the intensity of a lightning storm, and loving you makes the moon reverse its orbit.
  • Taurus: You shake the world quietly and shroud yourself in clouds of gentle mystery. Then, on those rare moments when the fog clears, you're vibrant. Your eyes are late nights and soft lamplight, your arms, spilled tears and hot chocolate, your bearing like a forest rendezvous at first daylight.
  • Gemini: You are lightning when it meets spring air. Your heart is an ever-floating balloon, and knowing it is like an exhale in a rain forest. Locking eyes with you turns mist to rain, and you smirk through the downpour as you set it all on fire.
  • Cancer: Pastel sunrises and snow flaked lashes gather in your smile. You're like the last wisps of some fantastic dream, and yet you're an intense reality, the kind that paints life outside the windows and distracts you. You matter like the sun, without you nothing would breath.
  • Leo: Victorian waltzes and dripping sun rays live in your skin and reflect in the sparkle of your eyes. Danger breathes in your shadow, but your aura says it's worth it. A moment in your sights is a gust of wind to a bird and the craters in the moon. Everyone is a sailor, and you're the one who stole the northern star.
  • Virgo: Your footsteps fall with dusty books in heavy wind, and golden sunlight sleeps in your hair. Your voice is sweet like flower petals when your fingernails scrape at a future of stolen kisses and tongue-tied wishes, and your speeches smile in my dreams.
  • Libra: Palm trees sway in our memories, sending warm waves of purple sunsets into our present. The future is cultivated by your Caribbean eyes that swim with cherry gardens and summer breezes. You were like life and death, and neither made sense without you.
  • Scorpio: Love is something you create, like smoke to a wildfire. Your cigarette smile is smothered by the crystalline tears that rage underneath your skin, and dreams stick to the backs of your eyelids. Ice shards freeze your handshakes, but daisies melt your winter embrace.
  • Sagittarius: Fire. That is all. A love with you could turn heaven to ashes and hell to ice. You were incensed, psychedelic dreams in smoky water, weaving yourself through history. You were eternal, your eyes caught divinity, and together we broke the world.
  • Capricorn: 296. That's how many times I dreamed of meeting you last year. Multiply that by the weight of your gaze and you get how much I want to love you this year. 177,600.If you throw your lemon-zest laugh and nebula eyes into the equation...you'll have lost count because you're too easy to get lost in. You remind me of snow capped mountains and angel wings, and every other indescribable beauty that got lost in the weight of this world.
  • Aquarius: You were everything new. Whether it was frostbite in summer or heatstroke in winter, you breathed every second and spare molecule. You lived in spring run off, but winter yearned for you. If I hadn't settled into your light, If you hadn't reached for my shadow, life would still be a cold, hard place. Now it's become a galaxy of surprise, and death is like a cold, hard kiss of wind and stars.
  • Pisces: You brought the world in your inhale, and exhaled its darkness. All the world's light stayed trapped inside you, only to be seen through your laugh, saturated in sun. Together we were breathless, because you were the long drawn exhale of life to crushed winter lungs. You were beauty and rain and stars and purple clouds, but mostly, you were alive.
war on june

you are an early morning

wiping away tears off the pedals

of a blooming rose

you touch the sky softly  

before you swallow it whole

and i drive into it because i

want to be the horizon you caress before

you leave for work

with your gentle warmth

and

holding down your light as long as i could,

i created winter

comfort

and i watched the winter

melt away into summer

with its aggressive heat

there is no morning any more,

just explosions dropping from the sky before

i leave to serve in the war i named “june”

and driving into the flares,

i go blind looking for comfort

and

holding my hand up to touch the sun,

i created a shadow and

she is alone in your light,

freezing in the heat


closing my eyes,

i ice skate around my kitchen

pretending its winter and

touching my face,

i wipe away the dew

pretending that it’s you

furrama replied to your post: First time for everything; I now know what sunburn…

You don’t get sunburns up there? Some of the worst sunburns I ever got were on snow. I guess it’s mostly dark when there’s snow, eh?

Sure we get sunburns during summer, I just never personally got one untill now. I haven’t been exposed to sunlight while staying still long enough for it to happen before. I’m always either moving or in shadow.

And yeah, not really chances to sunburn during winter. There’s only like few hours of daylight anyway (December sunset happens around three), and the angle of the sun rays is so low that I don’t think they concentrate enough. Plus Finnish winter skies are famously cloudy.

Accidental Romance - Special {Charming Daddy}

Table of Contents 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 Special

Special – Charming Daddy

Gigantic fluffs of snow bestowed earthly grounds and glass windows with frosts of the lingering winter season.  It was two weeks passed New Years; two months since Tao and your second wedding anniversary.  With the sun shied back into the shadows, roads lit with the subdued luminance of streetlamps and Christmas string lights, long overdue to be taken down.

The young toddler hopped onto the carpeted baby steps and up onto the bed.  Flashing her newly erupted teeth, her smile tickled the depths of your heart with utter honeyed tenderness.  You patted your lap and she eagerly climbed into her mother’s welcoming embrace.  In the warm nest, the baby bunny blinked her sharp pearly eyes up in anticipation for story time.

“Once upon a time,” you began as you flipped open her favorite picture book.  Her little toes wiggled enthusiastically within her fuzzy socks.  “A young maiden watched as her fairytale prince married another really beautiful girl.”  BeiBei frowned.  “She thought that all her dreams had drifted away…until in front of a very extravagant wishing well, God bestowed her with a miracle – a rainbow after the rain.  She met a super handsome prince, destined to be her knight in shining armor, who was…also really good with poker…” you giggled shyly as your daughter ogled at a picture of Tao and you liplocked in front of the infamous wishing well.

“Daddy!” the little girl exclaimed.  “Mummy!”  She pointed at your cheeks that still tinged in marigold amidst the evening shade.  

“Mmhm…” you nodded, “It was love at first sight.”

“La-bu at furst sight?” BeiBei innocently repeated; her eyes sparkled with gold as if she had just discovered a long lost treasure.

“Mmhm.  And then we created you,” you playfully tapped her cute button nose.  “Just like how Mommy fell in love with Daddy at first sight, she also fell deeply in love with her precious BeiBei at first sight.”

Her miniature hands clapped joyously at your explanation; silky bangs bounced up and down against her smooth forehead.  “BeiBei la-bu Mummy doo!”  Despite being blessed with her presence everyday, her cherubic expressions never ceased to melt you into a puddle of jelly.

“Does BeiBei love Daddy?” you questioned as you kissed her soft rosy cheeks.

She quickly nodded.  “BeiBei la-bu Mummy and Daddy!  BeiBei will only la-bu Mummy and Daddy!”

You parted your lips to respond but a rush of acid commanded your palms to cup over your mouth to suppress your recent nausea.  The sweet princess blinked and worriedly stood up on twos to examine you.  Two light indentations sunk into the mattress, where she waddled over for balance.

“Mommy’s okay,” you responded as you stroked your chest.  Still, she eyed you with skepticism – a look you were sure she learned from her father.  Your cheeks dusted in amaryllis pink as you closed the photo storybook and brought BeiBei to face you so you could study her reaction.  “Honey…” you started, habitually looping a strand of hair behind your ear.  “If Mommy and Daddy bring home a baby brother or sister, will you love him or her just as much as you love us?”

She blinked and squeezed the unicorn plushie in her arms.  You lifted a palm over your still flat tummy and like an enchanted spell, the corners of your lips automatically curled upward in heartfelt bliss.  Her tiny hands followed and rested on top of your abdomen.

“That’s your baby sibling,” you explained.  “She or he will grow in Mommy’s tummy for eight more months and then arrive to play with BeiBei.”

Her mouth slowly opened wide.  Both palms pressed against your belly as if gifting the little baby a pre-welcoming massage.  There was no doubt in your mind that BeiBei would be a great big sister.  You kissed the top of her head as she babbled away at how she’d teach the baby the magic coin trick her father had thought her last week.

Nodding and giggling, you wordlessly listened as the hyper toddler counted down her bucket list.  The hands of the clock revolved around, ticking away time.  As her lashes swayed ever so sleepily, you gently cradled her into your arms and tucked her into the blankets.  With the click of a switch, vibrant lights dimmed into soft glows.  You slipped under the covers as well, thankful that BeiBei warmed up the empty space.

An hour later, the doorknob quietly turned.  A beam of light rushed into the dark room to announce Tao’s presence.  As quiet as possible, he tiptoed over to admire his queen and little princess.  Despite his desire to spend more time with the two of you, work requirements often strayed him away to different cities and countries.

With a content sigh, the young father rested his anxious heart through soundlessly listening to the tranquility of BeiBei and your light breathing.  Each rise and fall of your chest comforted him with much needed serenity.  The wrinkles along his face evened out as he bent over and planted a sweet kiss along both your foreheads.

“ZiTao…ZiTao-ah…” you habitually called in your sleep.  It made his heart clench.

“I’m here,” he automatically responded.  His long fingers brushed your temples and naturally ran down your hair.

When you whispered his name once more, Tao could no longer bear the distance.  Slipping off his shoes, he climbed onto the bed and brought the two of you into his embrace.  His chest was cozy and warm, just what you needed on a frigid winter night.  You snuggled in closer, allowing his protection to soothe your fatigue and lull you to a sweet slumber.

You woke up the next morning to the sound of chopping noises coming from the kitchen.  Tussling your hair, you sluggishly slid out of bed, tucked your daughter back under the covers, and trudged off to greet your mother-in-law.  But instead of her slim and petite figure, the resident chef mirrored a tall and well-built physique.  Rubbing your growling tummy, you blinked several times in case your longing for your busy husband had granted you illusions.  Still, the image of him chopping green scallions and stirring the pot remained crystal clear.  

“ZiTao!” you gasped.  Automatically, your feet skipped against polished floor over to him.  In split moments, you tossed your arms around him from behind and squeezed every fiber out of his soul.  His much larger palms stroked the back of yours.

“Hey,” he greeted with a gentleness that melted your heart.

As soon as the first sniffle sounded, Tao immediately dropped his culinary assignment to focus his attention completely onto you.  He spun around and instantly encased you back into his tight caress.

“I’m sorry,” your husband apologized.  You shook your head within his chest.  “I’m always working and neglecting you,” he continued.  You shook your head again.

In all honesty, Tao had only been gone for five days on a business trip.  You weren’t really sure why you missed him so dearly.  Perhaps, your prenatal hormones were playing tricks on your emotions.  He leaned in for a quick peck.

“Has my little princess been behaving while I’m gone?” the father questioned as he admired the newly sketched crayon doodles across the kitchen walls.

“Woops, let me wash that.  She must have drawn on it late last night,” you commented, rubbed your tummy, and proceeded to head to the cabinets for cleaning supplies.  But Tao grabbed your hand and pulled you back over to him.  His arms enveloped your small frame and chin rested on top of your head as he swayed you from side to side.

“Let’s leave it there.  Our BeiBei is a Picasso in the making,” he proudly stated.  His breath tickled the hairs of your ear so that you couldn’t help but giggle.  “…Though…what is that supposed to be?”

You peeped your head out to follow his gaze.

“Um…” you scratched your head while Tao tilted his.  “I think a duck…”

“Ducks have four legs?” he asked dumbfounded.

“Maybe…” you sheepishly replied.

He rubbed his temples and shook his head.  “Wifey, stop letting BeiBei hang out with Wu YiFan!”

“Heh…” you rubbed your neck.

Just then, tiny sporadic footsteps stumbled down the stairs.  Tao and you turned around to see BeiBei waddling down with one arm hugging her stuff animal friend and the other rubbing her still closed eyes.  Instantly, Tao flashed a toothy smile and opened her arms wide.

Like you, the toddler froze in place and blinked several times.  Rolling her hands into fists, she continued to rub her eyes over and over again.  “Daddy!” she squealed and barreled down the stairs.

“Be careful!” you warned but the caring father was already on the case.

He leapt faster than a cheetah to swoop his baby girl safely within his arms before she even had the chance to fall.  “Xiao Baobei-ah, did you miss Daddy?” Tao questioned as he playfully rocked her from left and right.  She shrieked and squealed; every high-pitch note was music to your ears.  Similarly, to Tao, it gave him the incentive to his notorious tickle war.

With eyes widened at his silly wiggling brows and clawing hands, you grabbed BeiBei out of his arms and tried to dash off.  But your athletic skills were nothing compared to that of the martial artist.  He caught you easily so that both your daughter and you toppled onto the floor, squealing and giggling from the ruthless tickles.

“ZiTao!” you yelped as he numbed every cell within your body under his touch.  You curled over in defeat.

“One down, one more to go!  Muahahaha!” he chuckled as he cornered the runaway princess.

“Mummmmy!  Help!” her baby voice sung before she fell victim to Tao’s attacks.

“Coochy coochy coo!” the handsome father grinned as his daughter erupted in uncontrollable giggles.    

Despite regaining stamina, you turned into a puddle at the heartwarming scene.  Tao never neglected you and definitely not BeiBei.  Yet, still, to this day, every father and daughter interaction took your breath away.  They were two peas in a pod – trouble makers disguised as little pandas.  As you pondered and daydreamed, you didn’t notice that the giggles had slowly ceased and was replaced by an onslaught of whispers.  Soon enough, they teamed up and advance toward you.

You gasped but any attempts of escape were futile – the father and daughter duel had you cornered.  Two mirrored goofy expressions briefed you with a split second warning before their combo attack left you withering in a heap.  Amidst laughter, squirms, and attempting to wiggle away from their grasp, you let out a hiss.  Your palms pressed against your abdomen.  Immediately, your assailants ceased their offense.  Tao picked BeiBei up and off of you.

“Are you okay?  Where are you hurt?” your husband apprehensively asked with his palms cupping your face.

Your lips clamped in attempts to suppress your nausea.  With a weak smile, you patted your chest and shook your head to calm his worry.  Yet, your colorless cheeks left him anxious and frightened.  Slipping his arms under your knees, your husband expertly lifted you off the ground and carried you over to the living room couch.  BeiBei tottered and tailed behind.

“Are you feeling sick?” Tao questioned as he placed the back of his hand to your forehead to check your temperature.  You shook your head.  “You’re slightly pale…” he noted, took off his jacket, and wrapped it around you to warm you up.  But you were already completely warm and fuzzy under his tender, love, and care.

“ZiTao-ah…” you shyly lowered your head and called.  You hadn’t expected him to return home early from his business trip; hence, your lack of preparation for the pregnancy announcement.

“Hm?” your husband brought your head in to rest against the nape of his neck.  An arm draped protectively around you.  With his other hand, he aided in BeiBei’s climb up to his lap.

“…um…” you bit your lip and picked at a loose thread on his jacket.  Your hesitancy only escalated Tao’s anxiousness.  “…What…what if we…what if we welcome another member into the family?”

His chest stopped rising up and down.  Your heart began to race in anticipation.  Since the pregnancy of BeiBei had been unexpected and burdened by countless obstacles, you never really had the chance to watch his reaction.  The two of you had mentioned wanting another child in the future but was this too fast?  Would another baby stress him out even more?  Endless thoughts raided your vulnerable mind with every passing moment that Tao remained frozen and speechless.      

Finally, he sighed.  “I tried talking to Ma, hoping she’d leave the Huang Manor to stay with us, but she won’t.  She was really happy and grateful for your offer though.”      

This time, it was your turn to stare in confusion.  “No…no…not Ma.”  You scratched your head.

“Hm?” Tao frowned.

“Er…”

“Oh!” he exclaimed and almost leapt out of his seat as if a light switched on in his brain.

With twinkling eyes and a widened smile, you pressed a palm against Tao’s chest to help elevate yourself to an upright position and scrutinize his expression better.

“Did your asthma exam come back completely clean?!  Are we finally going to be able to adopt Candy?!  I’m going to call the pet store right now!” your husband’s felin-shaped eyes diminished to mere arches as he hopped onto his feet and scurried over to the phone.  His little shadow princess followed along.

“Wa-wait…waii…t…” you stuttered and hid your face within your palms.

Was this really supposed to be this hard?  Obviously, you didn’t want to announce something so big in a simple way but Tao wasn’t getting it.  With a pout, you tossed yourself against the sofa pillows and brainstormed for better ideas.      

Two days later – yes, after two days of hinting that you were pregnant, Tao remained clueless, you came up with a splendid idea.  Giggling to yourself, you sneakily nabbed BeiBei from the playpen, tiptoed soundlessly pass your husband’s office, and scurried into the bedroom.

“Mummmmy,” your daughter playfully swung her little legs.

“BeiBei,” you grinned as you ruffled her hair.  “Mommy got a new shirt for you!”

“Nuu~”

Weak to her cuteness, you bent over and retrieved a hidden box from underneath the bed.  She clapped her toddler hands together and flipped open the lid to reveal a half pink – half blue sweater that read, “I’m going to be a big sister!”

That oughta do it!

The little girl obediently slipped the shirt on.  Beaming, you picked her up and settled on the living room sofa for your weekly family movie night.  Tao strolled in several minutes later, dressed casually in a black tee and glasses that always had the ability to make you swoon.  Instantly, you flushed over in colors so vibrant even the heavenly rainbows would feel ashamed.  He tossed you a smirk, which only heated everything up.  You succumbed to paralysis as he picked BeiBei up onto his lap and sat down.

One.

Two.

Three.

Your poor heart thumped so loudly within your chest, you couldn’t even hear Tao’s question about what movie you wanted to watch.  He noticed it – he must have noticed the shirt!  He stared right at BeiBei!  How did he not notice?!  Gripping the fabric of the sofa, you turned to him in earnest skepticism.  Was he just messing with you?  Better yet, was BeiBei his accomplice and this was some prank?  Narrowing your eyes, you scanned the area for any hidden cameras.  There were none.  Back to Tao, he still seemed oblivious with a remote in one hand and his lengthy limbs crossed.

“Is Paradoxical Harmony okay, Babe?” he asked as he surfed through Netflix.  “Babe?” he questioned again when there was no response.

“Uh…uh yeah…” you managed to squeeze out without your vocal cords shaking.

“Great.  I heard the plotline is hilarious,” he commented as he set up the projector.

Your eyes followed his every move.  Again, he picked his baby back up and plopped down onto the sofa.  Oh my…God…

“Nice sweater, BeiBei,” he complimented as he brushed his fingers across the smooth wool.  “Did Mommy get it for you?”    

Your blood pressure skyrocketed.  This was it.  Finally…finally after so many failed announcements…this one would go down in history!  Too anxious to even look at Tao, you kept your eyes glued to the screen.

Any moment now…

Any…

Moment…

Tao erupted into an obnoxious cackle.  Grimacing, you turned around to realize his complete absorption into the movie.  “The cat pooped on her!” he laughed as he pointed onto the screen.  BeiBei mimicked her father.

“Huang ZiTao!” you heard your exasperated voice hiss.

“Hm?” he hummed, still laughing uncontrollably at the plotline.

He turned around to face your look of disappointment.

“Hm?” he repeated, this time more serious.  He dialed the volume down and waited for you to speak.  When you slumped your shoulders and remained quiet, Tao paused the entire video to give you his undivided attention.  “Something the matter?”

Even though you knew it was trivial matter, your lips uncharacteristically rippled.  Tao caught the glossiness of your eyes and immediately sat up straight.

“Wifey?” he reached a hand out but you recoiled back into your shell.

“Nothing,” you shook your head and tried to take the remote control from his hand so that the movie could take the attention away from your emotional endeavor.  Tao hid the controller behind his back.

“What happened?” he drilled.

“Nothing, ZiTao.  Just continue the movie,” you downplayed.

“Don’t ‘Nothing’ me.  I know when something is wrong,” he sternly spoke – a little too sternly for your sensitive, prenatal hormones.

“Just continue the movie.  I’m getting sleepy so I’m going to go upstairs to rest,” you softly replied to prevent your voice from shaking.  Habitually rubbing your tummy, you excused yourself but Tao grabbed your hand.

“Babe.  You’re scaring me,” he admitted.

“No.  No.  I’m really fine.  I’m just making a big deal out of nothing,” you self-reprimanded and threw him a smile of reassurance.  His hold loosened so you took the opportunity to dash.  But Tao knew you well enough to recognize that the more you brushed a problem off, the more important it was.  He scurried after you.

“Baby, tell me what is wrong,” you husband pleaded, stopped you right before you made you getaway into the bedroom.

“Nothing is wrong,” you stressed.  Really.  The world wasn’t collapsing…what did he even… Your eyes overfilled with liquid.  What…in the…  Tears flowed down as you cupped your face within your hands.  …in the actual…world?

“No.  No.  No,” Tao winced and hurriedly enveloped you into his strong arms  “No.  No.  Babe, you know I can’t stand seeing you cry.”

“It’s…It’s…” you hiccupped, “It’s really no-nothing…”

Oh my God…You started to sob even louder.

“Tell me what is wrong.  Please,” he begged.

“No, it’s really nothing important.  I swear…” you tried to say through your weeping, “My…My hormones are just…”

“Your hormones?” he raised his brow.

“Bay…bay…” you bit your cheek in attempts to steady your voice to no avail.  “Bee…”

“BeiBei?  What about BeiBei?” Tao leaned his ear closer to try to decipher your gibberish.  You shook your head.  “Has BeiBei been disobedient?”  Again, you shook your head and began to wail.    

Argh.  For real.  Calm it, Hormones!

“BeiBei.  Sweater,” you tugged on your own shirt in case he couldn’t hear you through your sobs.

“Sweater?” he questioned with his brows furrowed.  You nodded for the first time in the conversation.  Tao eyes travelled down the hall to where the little toddler had just arrived after strenuously climbing the stairs one step at a time to reunite with her Mommy and Daddy.  He squinted as he read the words out loud, “I’m going to be a…”

His eyes widened.  Your cries quieted.

“…big sister?!?!”

Tao turned to you for confirmation.  Bashfully dropping your head, you brought both palms up to caress your tummy.

“Wifey?!” your husband wheezed as his own orbs glazed in an abundance of salted liquid.

“I told you I was ovulating during our anniversary night but you still wanted to shower together,” you murmured.

His features smoothened out as he chuckled lowly to himself.  Taking both your hands into his, he brought one up to his lips and planted a light kiss.  Like a fairytale prince, he slowly knelt down in front of you and pressed his lips against your growing stomach.  “Hehe,” you shyly smiled.

“Hi Little BaoBao,” the elated father greeted.

Your little heart fluttered with butterflies and rainbow unicorns.

“ZiTao-ah…I know we planned to have a second child in three years…but—”

“We can have our third then,” he smiled, “Don’t scare our little BaoBao.”

You placed your hand over his that rested atop your tummy and nodded.

“Plus…we can’t plan fate when accidents like to happen,” he winked.

“Hehe…” Falling in love again, your eyes glittered into his like adorned Christmas lights as he stood back on his two feet.

All your recent efforts for the announcement finally made sense to Tao.  “Argh.  I’m so slow,” he hid his face within his palms in embarrassment.

“You really are,” you teased as you settled back into his cozy hug.

“You even said ‘new family member’ the other day.  How did I not understand?” he chuckled to himself.

“Exactly, Dummie!” you crinkled your nose when he leaned in to steal a peck.                

Just then, BeiBei waddled over to tug the hem of Tao’s trousers.  Her father eagerly picked her up into his arms.  Ruffling her hair, he tenderly wiped the beads of sweat on her forehead with his sleeve whilst whispering little sweet nothings to remind her that she was the most beautiful little princess anyone could ever have.  High-pitched squeals and giggles of pure bliss echoed down the halls, layering your once fearful heart with so genuine euphoria.    

Perhaps, to most girls, a fairytale happy ending always concluded with that image of puffy laced wedding gowns, bouquets of flowers, and a kiss from Prince Charming.  You got that and much, much more because you found a Charming Daddy for your little princess and prince.  

A/N: Thank you, once again, for all the loving support for the Accidental Romance series <3 Much love, please stay tuned for future series :3!!!

Please DO check out this >>post<< about my lightsticks :3 would love for one of my readers to claim one!!

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Hubble captures ‘shadow play’ caused by possible planet

Searching for planets around other stars is a tricky business. They’re so small and faint that it’s hard to spot them. But a possible planet in a nearby stellar system may be betraying its presence in a unique way: by a shadow that is sweeping across the face of a vast pancake-shaped gas-and-dust disk surrounding a young star.

The planet itself is not casting the shadow. But it is doing some heavy lifting by gravitationally pulling on material near the star and warping the inner part of the disk. The twisted, misaligned inner disk is casting its shadow across the surface of the outer disk.

These images, taken a year apart by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, reveal a shadow moving counterclockwise around a gas-and-dust disk encircling the young star TW Hydrae. The two images at the top, taken by the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph, show an uneven brightness across the disk.

Through enhanced image processing (images at bottom), the darkening becomes even more apparent. These enhanced images allowed astronomers to determine the reason for the changes in brightness.

The dimmer areas of the disk, at top left, are caused by a shadow spreading across the outer disk. The dotted lines approximate the shadow’s coverage. The long arrows show how far the shadow has moved in a year (from 2015-2016), which is roughly 20 degrees.

Based on Hubble archival data, astronomers determined that the shadow completes a rotation around the central star every 16 years.

They know the feature is a shadow because dust and gas in the disk do not orbit the star nearly that quickly.

So, the feature must not be part of the physical disk.

The shadow may be caused by the gravitational effect of an unseen planet orbiting close to the star. The planet pulls up material from the main disk, creating a warped inner disk. The twisted disk blocks light from the star and casts a shadow onto the disk’s outer region.

A team of astronomers led by John Debes of the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland say this scenario is the most plausible explanation for the shadow they spotted in the stellar system TW Hydrae, located 192 light-years away in the constellation Hydra, also known as the Female Water Snake. The star is roughly 8 million years old and slightly less massive than our sun. Debes’ team uncovered the phenomenon while analyzing 18 years’ worth of archival observations taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.

“This is the very first disk where we have so many images over such a long period of time, therefore allowing us to see this interesting effect,” Debes said. “That gives us hope that this shadow phenomenon may be fairly common in young stellar systems.”

Debes will present his team’s results Jan. 7 at the winter meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Grapevine, Texas.

Debes’ first clue to the phenomenon was a brightness in the disk that changed with position. Astronomers using Hubble’s Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) first noted this brightness asymmetry in 2005. But they had only one set of observations, and could not make a definitive determination about the nature of the mystery feature.

Searching the archive, Debes’ team put together six images from several different epochs. The observations were made by STIS and by the Hubble’s Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS).

STIS is equipped with a coronagraph that blocks starlight to within about 1 billion miles from the star, allowing Hubble to look as close to the star as Saturn is to our sun. Over time, the structure appeared to move in counter-clockwise fashion around the disk, until, in 2016, it was in the same position as it was in images taken in 2000.

This 16-year period puzzled Debes. He originally thought the feature was part of the disk, but the short period meant that the feature was moving way too fast to be physically in the disk. Under the laws of gravity, disks rotate at glacial speeds. The outermost parts of the TW Hydrae disk would take centuries to complete one rotation.

“The fact that I saw the same motion over 10 billion miles from the star was pretty significant, and told me that I was seeing something that was imprinted on the outer disk rather than something that was happening directly in the disk itself,” Debes said. “The best explanation is that the feature is a shadow moving across the surface of the disk.”

Debes concluded that whatever was making the shadow must be deep inside the 41-billion-mile-wide disk, so close to the star it cannot be imaged by Hubble or any other present-day telescope.

The most likely way to create a shadow is to have an inner disk that is tilted relative to the outer disk. In fact, submillimeter observations of TW Hydrae by the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile suggested a possible warp in the inner disk.

But what causes disks to warp? “The most plausible scenario is the gravitational influence of an unseen planet, which is pulling material out of the plane of the disk and twisting the inner disk,” Debes explained. “The misaligned disk is inside the planet’s orbit.”

Given the relatively short 16-year period of the clocklike moving shadow, the planet is estimated to be about 100 million miles from the star – about as close as Earth is from the sun. The planet would be roughly the size of Jupiter to have enough gravity to pull the material up out of the plane of the main disk. The planet’s gravitational pull causes the disk to wobble, or precess, around the star, giving the shadow its 16-year rotational period.

Recent observations of TW Hydrae by ALMA in Chile add credence to the presence of a planet. ALMA revealed a gap in the disk roughly 93 million miles from TW Hydrae. A gap is significant, because it could be the signature of an unseen planet clearing away a path in the disk.

This new Hubble study, however, offers a unique way to look for planets hiding in the inner part of the disk and probe what is happening very close to the star, which is not reachable in direct imaging by current telescopes. “What is surprising is that we can learn something about an unseen part of the disk by studying the disk’s outer region and by measuring the motion, location, and behavior of a shadow,” Debes said.

“This study shows us that even these large disks, whose inner regions are unobservable, are still dynamic, or changing in detectable ways which we didn’t imagine.”

TOP IMAGES….These images, taken a year apart by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, reveal a shadow moving counterclockwise around a gas-and-dust disk encircling the young star TW Hydrae. The two images at the top, taken by the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph, show an uneven brightness across the disk. Through enhanced image processing (images at bottom), the darkening becomes even more apparent. These enhanced images allowed astronomers to determine the reason for the changes in brightness. The dimmer areas of the disk, at top left, are caused by a shadow spreading across the outer disk. The dotted lines approximate the shadow’s coverage. The long arrows show how far the shadow has moved in a year (from 2015-2016), which is roughly 20 degrees. Based on Hubble archival data, astronomers determined that the shadow completes a rotation around the central star every 16 years. They know the feature is a shadow because dust and gas in the disk do not orbit the star nearly that quickly. So, the feature must not be part of the physical disk. The shadow may be caused by the gravitational effect of an unseen planet orbiting close to the star. The planet pulls up material from the main disk, creating a warped inner disk. The twisted disk blocks light from the star and casts a shadow onto the disk’s outer region. Credit NASA, ESA, and J. Debes (STScI)


LOWER IMAGE….This diagram reveals the proposed structure of a gas-and-dust disk surrounding the nearby, young star TW Hydrae.The illustration shows an inner disk that is tilted due to the gravitational influence of an unseen companion, which is orbiting just outside the disk.The tilted inner disk is the best explanation for a shadow covering part of the disk’s outer region. The warped disk is blocking light from the star and casting the shadow across the disk. The nature of the darkening was first revealed in Hubble Space Telescope archival observations, which showed that the feature moved around the star at a much faster rate than any phenomenon that would be physically linked to the slowly rotating disk.TW Hydrae is about 8 million years old and resides 192 light-years from Earth. Credit NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI)

anonymous asked:

Could you list the courts that you know of, and the type of fae that are part of them?

These are the courts that I know of (prepare for a long list);

  • Summer Court
  • Winter Court
  • Spring Court: Sub-court Flower
  • Autumn Court
  • Shadow Court
  • Moon Court: Sub-court Water
  • Sun Court: Sub-court Fire
  • Dark Sun Court****
  • Marsh Court: Sub-court Swamp
  • Day (White) Court
  • Night (Black) Court
  • Dryad Court
  • Lake Court
  • Rose Court
  • Iron Court

There used to be the existence of a Air and Earth Court but for some reason the court disbanded long, long ago. I’m unsure if the court fell apart internally or if it was outside influences.

**** I call this court the Dark Sun Court because currently there are two Sun Courts. The Sun Court fell into chaos and essentially split after the murder of their King. Those who remained loyal and are waiting for the rightful heir to take his place and those who wish to follow a Fire fae who wanted to claim the spot. This king and his court are much more chaotic and darker that the original Sun Court. Currently there is a steward leading the Sun Court.

Personally, I don’t believe the existence of these next two courts but others do so I’ll post them: Seelie and Unseelie Court.

These are the ones that I know of or have had interactions with. I’m more than sure that is another huge list of other courts not mentioned here.

-Mod Sam

Day 1: Valentine’s Day Countdown (Xiumin)

I get to kick-off the countdown! I hope you enjoy this fluffy fluff fluff~

- Admin Audrey

Day 2

Originally posted by ihop

Originally posted by minseoxual

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