I swear I wasn’t putting this off. I love Jack with all my heart, but like Maddie, I had trouble figuring out where to start. Jack’s a pretty simple man who handles all situations in pretty much the same way, which is the opposite of his wife, but because of that, he’s often underestimated and treated like a brainless idiot.
I’ve noticed that even Maddie sometimes sees him as less than competent, even though she loves him.
(She gives him a cookie to keep him out of her way while she works. She doesn’t mean anything by it, and she loves him with all of her heart, but she doesn’t think he can do much to help.)
The Fentons had always been ghost hunters, with hunting gear overtaking their basement room. Ever since the accident though, Jack had given up hunting the paranormal. No way was he going to let his precious children and wife be hurt by his own inventions.
Even with his convictions Jack found his heart calling to be what his family had been for generations. it was stupid though. He could end up losing his job at Axion Labs. Then what would Maddie think? Their marriage was already heading downwards.
Speak of the devil…
“What are you thinking of?” asked a very pregnant Maddie from behind him. Apparently she had finished putting their daughter to bed as her voice was soft and she panted slightly.
He looked at his wife nervously. “Just thinking about all that empty space in here.”
“And?” she asked, an eyebrow raised.
“I was thinking about…makingaghostlabdownstairs?” Jack squeaked.
“After what happened to Vlad?” Maddie didn’t sound impressed.
“Jazzy and the baby will not be allowed downstairs.” He said quickly. “It will be a rule.”
Maddie didn’t look convinced.
“I’ll let you name the baby whatever you want. He doesn’t have to be called Jack Jr!”
Maddie looked at the basement. “Since we have all this space… alright. But the kids are never allowed to be downstairs. That means you have to clean up your own mess Jack Fenton!”
Jack beamed. “This will be the best ghost hunting facility in America. We’ll call it Fenton Works! We’ll have a sign and everything! Perhaps even a ghost portal”
“Oh!” Maddie smiled.
“What?” Jack asked. Maybe his wife was more on board with this idea after all.”
“Danny jumped. Apparently he liked the idea.” Maddie put a hand to her stomach.
“The baby Jack.”
Jack wrinkled his nose but didn’t argue the name. Daniel was such a stupid name. He already found himself pitying his kid.
He brightened up though. At least he finally had his own ghost busting space. He could follow in the footsteps of his forefathers.
Author’s Note: This is been sitting done and waiting to be published for MONTHS. Time, work, and other things got in the way of posting this. But I finally have a new Saturday Morning Guitar Sessions story out. I wanna thank @theycallmebecca for being my beta AND for @heather-lynn for letting me borrow some people you might recognize. If you have any ideas for Sammie and Chris for this series or in general, feel free to send an ask or a message!
“Dad! We’re gonna be late. C’mon.” Andrew yelled at Chris before stomping out of the kitchen and into the mudroom to put on his shoes.
“Yeah, Dad. Momma said we have to pick up Coop and Jack at three and it’s almost three.” Madison grabbed his hand trying to pull him.
Sammie came into the kitchen from the living room holding Emma, the newest member of the Evans’ family.
“Looks like you’re gonna be late there, Evans.” Sammie bit her lip trying to not laugh.
Maddie was right – though you will never hear it from me – you do make fun pledges. Breaking into your dorm and pulling a bag over your head might be the highlight of my week. The fact that you were wearing a tank top and loose, cotton pyjamas with little green ice cream cones was just a bonus.
Dean and Sam stepped through the door of one of their old friends’ house, Dean holding the door for Sam. Sam rolled his eyes, and Dean grinned, a quirky little grin.
Jack and Maddie greeted them, Jack’s voice resounding through the house.
“Sam and Dean Winchester! Long time, no see!” Dean returned Jack’s hug, nodding his head, while Sam’s hands linked on the back off Maddie, who had to stand on the balls of her feet to kiss Sam’s forehead.
“I remember when you two were tiny,” Maddie laughed, a laugh which Sam joined her in. Dean was looking off in the kitchen, where Jazz was just exiting to come into the living room.
“Jasmine Fenton,” Jazz extended a professional hand out to Dean, who took it, never letting his gaze leave hers. Jazz had grown into a beautiful woman, and Dean can never keep his eyes off the beautiful women.
“Dean Winchester,” Jazz nodded, and Dean felt a pang of sadness when she released his hand. Jazz blushed and her eyes fell to her feet.
“So where’s Danny?” Sam asked, trying to break the awkward silence that Dean and Jazz had created.
Maddie was jerked from her thoughts. She blinked. “Oh! He should be here…” she twisted to look up the stairs. “Danny! Sam and Dean are here!”
“Coming!” came the muffled reply. Danny was listening to music in his room, probably doodling spaceships and himself in astronaut suits.
“Boston?” Dean asked, impressed.
Maddie grinned. “Oh yeah, Danny loves all the oldies.”
“The classics,” Dean corrected, smiling warmly, removing his hands from his pockets, preparing to shake Danny’s hand.
The seventeen year old came bounding down the stairs, feet light on the carpeted landings. He looked at the brothers and grinned.
“Hi, Danny,” Sam said, and shook the boy’s hand. Danny nodded, flashing a huge smile.
Next Dean. “Hey kid,” Danny looked at Dean. Danny blinked. He smile faded. Just before their hands were to touch, Danny stepped backwards, eyebrows furrowed.
Already did the lovely Miller and wonderful Maddy :) soooooo here we go with Cori!
- I am always always always super impressed with every character she does, like, you’ve got a really great list going of the ones you’ve done and some of my faves are Cedric and Pansy and Seamus and Oliver and…okay, all of them. I love all of them
- anD YOU AND YOUR SISTER DO THE TWINS AND I CRY BECAUSE ITS AMAZING AND THANK YOU FOR DOING THAT OH MY GOSH
- Youuuuu are such a cutie patootie, like oh man, I love seeing your tags too and I feel a lovely sense of validation when you like things I post
- You’re heckin sweet and I’d love to interact with you more but le shy bean, but for real, you seem like such a funny person and you do threads with Lee and I just love everything about your blog
things ive heard/seen while doing sound for a dance recital
little girls doing ballet to country music
a three year old face planting on stage while attempting to dance to baby love
two father daughter dances to terrible country songs
during the father daughter dances, dads dabbing
a woman yelling “DADDYS GIRLS…” and “HERE COME THE MEN IN TIES”
white girls tap dancing to formation but having all lyrics mentioning black people omitted
girls dancing to a horrible cover of pretty hurts
basically any beyonce song is ruined during this recital
a kid screaming during the blackouts between songs and my friend doing lights going ”same”
a girl messing up her flip in “sail”
kids dancing to a song called new dorp new york. lighting friend: “is it like new york new york..? dorp dorp dorp dorp dorp”
finding a heart post it note under the sound board and writing “crawling in my skin” on it
going to the bathroom, and when washing my hands over hearing a mom telling her kid she didnt have to use soap
*it dont impress me much starts playing* “oh so youre a rocket scientist? that dont impress me much” me: thats actually impressive that man went to like 8 years of school for that friend: i know wtf me: so youre ceo of a multi million corporation and live in a white suburban neighborhood? that dont impress me much
On a Friday morning, I peel my socks off of my dry, callused feet and nervously look around me at the variety of bodies and shapes surrounding me. They stretch in unconventional ways compared to the willowy, bodysuit-clad bunheads in my Saturday ballet class. They lie on the ground with their eyes closed, swinging their legs in a sort of organized chaos, seemingly in a trance. I feel my way into the room and start to wave my arms slowly as I simultaneously flex my feet and point them again at a deliberately slow pace. Our movements are strange and out of sync. We do not question each others’ methods. The teacher, a friendly, T-shirt-sporting dancer/neurologist in his mid-40s, springs in, gazelle-like, and our studio director takes his place behind a set of large bongo drums.
We are modern dancers. And we’ve been here for a long time.
It’s rare within the confines of my studio walls — which host only one medium-sized dance studio, delivering drop-in classes to adults in the Toronto area from total beginners to SYTYCD alumni to National Ballet principal dancers alike — that the topic of “Dance Moms” or Maddie Ziegler ever come up.
But occasionally I’ve heard rumblings and debate surrounding Ziegler’s latest projects, the allegedly ground-breaking “Chandelier” and, more recently, “Elastic Heart.”
I’ve always been impressed by Maddie Ziegler. I think her technique is beautiful and mature, and rarely is it acknowledged that she fights against not having a completely ideal dance body (shorter legs and arms, a larger head), and she seems to be a true artist passionate about what she does.
But watching the video for “Chandelier,” I never once felt anything greater than “unmoved.” The occasional, “wow, that’s cool” kind of thought ran between my ears, but as Ziegler hopped on one foot and played her tummy like a drum set and manipulated her face in a manic fashion, all I could think was that I’ve seen this kind of stuff before.
Dancers have been writhing around and challenging classic aesthetic and lines and provoking the audience with an admittedly “different” style of dance since before even the days of Martha Graham. And that’s not to downplay the artistry of conventional ballet and jazz either.
All I can do is apologize to you — the mainstream consumers, those whose exposure to dance is overcrowded with Instagram hashtags (#tilttuesday, #WERK), “Youtube Dancers” and SYTYCD tours — that you did not know that the world of dance was already brimming with brilliant artists. And, I might add, ones who aren’t making nearly the paycheque that a kid who was discovered for her work on a reality show were making.
And it is difficult to write this eloquently without coming off as though I am jealous of an admittedly gifted 12-year-old. I will be a big person and admit that there is bitterness there. Of course there is. I think almost all of us dancers feel it whenever someone hurls our art into the mainstream because they fluked into opportunities that were never even available for us to accidentally brush up against in the first place.
It’s a mixed blessing. On one hand, yes, most of us are pretty happy that dance is out there in the mainstream. But of course there’s always consequences to that. There’s the undoubted bastardization that any art goes through when it reaches the mainstream. It’s the same feeling we had when we saw “contemporary,” formerly a word synonymous for the art of modern dance, become a blanket term for anything that vaguely fell under the jazz umbrella but occasionally threw in a spastic or strange rhythmic movement here or there, thanks largely to So You Think You Can Dance.
But damn it, I’m mad, okay? Because to act like the dancing in “Chandelier” is some sort of breath of fresh air doesn’t say there’s anything wrong with the dance world. Perhaps it says that there’s something wrong with you. Just because you’ve been brainwashed to think the dance world starts and stops with competitive youth dance, skimpy costumes, sock buns and fouette-fouette-a-la-seconde-a-la-seconde-jeté-penche-roll-out doesn’t make it so.
You’ve got writers claiming a pre-teen has saved the dance world while we’re sweating our asses off in a studio working on pieces that hardly anyone will see, even if “Chandelier” enlightened them so and made them truly consider dance an “art.” Our theatres are half-empty while newly baptised “dance enthusiasts” — some even being dancers themselves — wait for the newest video to premier on Youtube.
Here’s my thing for TAU’s second birthday ficathon!
“Hey, Toby?” Maddie asked, sprawled out on the couch, her crown that declared her the eight-year-old princess disheveled on her head.
“Yeah, Madds?” Toby said from the kitchen, scrubbing sparkly pink aftermath of a little girl birthday party off the counter.
“Does Daddy have a birthday?”
Toby hesitated for just a moment. “Of course he does. Everyone has a birthday.”
“Then why don’t we ever celebrate it?” she sat up and looked over the couch at her brother. Toby was cleaning up an apparent color bomb that had gone off during Maddie’s birthday, and their dad had to leave on a ‘work related emergency’ just a few minutes earlier.
“Well,” Toby put down his towel. “I’ve never thought of that, actually.” he rested his chin in his hand.”We’ve just never really celebrated it I guess.” he shrugged and went back to cleaning off the counter.
“Well that’s not nice!” Maddie stood up on the couch, her pink and gold Princess Mizar dress fluttering around her knees. “Daddy always celebrates our birthdays, so we need to celebrate his too! It’s not nice to ignore his birthday!”
I’m a sucker for happy endings. And let’s face it, if Danny had just made sure Jack got the ecto purifier this would have been solved WAY easier. Also fun fact, filtrator is not a word that the English dictionary recognizes.
now while you’re reading this, if you could imagine Vlad’s voice cracking like a teenager that would be great, he’s only 22 after all.
“It appeared out of nowhere and it touched me and its hand was freaking COLD!” Vlad rambled frantically, doing a fantastic impression of a barnacle on Jack’s back. Maddy rolled her eyes, attempting to once again pry the hospital bound man from her boyfriend. This would be the third time. It wasn’t working. “Vlad, man, you need to let go of Jack. He can’t breathe.” Vlad looked over at her. Jack was gasping for breath around Vlad’s tight, and somewhat frantic hold. “Right.” He let go.
“Thank you. Now are you sure that you saw a ghost?” Maddy asked.
Vlad nodded furiously, “Look Maddy, it was either a ghost from the proto-portal or a demon, and I don’t know which is a scarier thought.” He yelped.
Things continued in this fashion for a while. Danny waited patiently on the window sill, invisible to the other occupants. On the one hand, this was good. In his time, his parent’s hadn’t ever contacted Vlad again after the accident. At least not until that disastrous reunion. And on the other hand, Vlad was calling him either ghost or a demon. Now the ghost thing, he was used to, had that happen every day. The demon thing? Way weird. Although who knew that Vlad could scream at such a high pitch? Maybe that was his version of the Wail?
After a moment of contemplation, Danny shook his head. Nah.
The younger halfa continued to wait for the visit with his future parents to end for the next two hours. Jack got yelled at a lot by Vlad, Danny noted happily. He loved his father, but the whole accident with the acne really could have been avoided. The visiting pair told Vlad about their dating status, which was another good thing.
By the time they’d left Danny was about ready to start playing with ectoplasm and see how he could make shapes with it. “Oh thank sweet merciful god. I thought they’d never leave.” He sighed with visible relief, turning tangible and visible. Vlad snapped around to glare at him. “Oh, what? I can’t get tired of them rambling on and on about things that we both know you won’t get out soon enough to care about?” the glare intensified. His eyes began to glow a bit red. Knowing he’d reached the young man’s current limit, Danny leaned back and hopped off the window sill. He went to stand by Vlad’s bed and stuck his hand out. “Let’s see if we can’t try this again. I’m Phantom, and I know what happened to you and how it changed you.”
Vlad snarled at that and threw a disk at him. Danny let it phase through him, hitting the window harmlessly. Danny frowned and gave him a look. “That was mean. I just want to help. No strings.” He sighed and let his hand drop. The other man snarled something probably fowl at him again in that strange language.
“So you’re not a demon then.” Rolling his eyes, Danny sat on the bed. “No, I’m a halfa. Like you.” Groaning Vlad dropped back onto the bed. “I’m not a halfa. I’m human. I’m just…sick at the moment.” He glared at the other halfa, “I know you’re a ghost now so what do you want?”
Sighing, Danny reached under the bed for the ecto purifier he’d grabbed before the lad the college students had been using was dismantled. He held it out to Vlad “I want you to drink this and clear up that acne.” Vlad’s eyes widened and flicked from Danny’s face to the container and back. “What…is it?”
“The ecto purifier that should have been poured into the filtrator.” And oh god this was the big moment. If the acne was cured now then he’d never have to infect Sam and Tucker. And he could go home. But…Then Vlad would be alone. Maybe not like before, but…Danny promised himself that he wouldn’t regret this decision later, even knowing he inevitably would. “And I want to help you through your changes.”
“Oh for the –WHAT CHANGES?!”Vlad yelled, attempting a punch that Danny didn’t even bother to dodge since Vlad’s whole arm had gone intangible. “Well” Danny started, handing the bottle of purifier to the man’s tangible arm, “That is one. Then there’s the transformation, the ecto rays, the invisibility, the flying, the overshadowing, oh and the spectral manipulation, can’t forget that.” He ticked off his fingers. At the end, Vlad was open mouthed in shock.
Well, Danny reflected, at least he wasn’t calling him a demon anymore.
an assignment for my digital illustration class: illustrate a book cover
Young Maddi would be so impressed with this. Song of the Lioness was the series that got me into fantasy, and I owe a lot to it. I still remember finding all of Tamora Pierce’s Tortall books in a blue bin on the floor of my elementary school’s tiny library. I was drawn to “Alanna: The First Adventure” because it had a horse on the cover. The rest is history. (I told my parents I was going to be a knight when I grew up.)
A few people have asked for a 2nd part to Terrorised
Amelia was kneeling in front of the bath, her ripped jeans and baggy striped t-shirt soaked from her children’s splashes.
“No Jasmine!” Maddie scorned, using her five-year-old authority over the smaller girl. “You’re not allowed to splash faces!”
instead of responding, just grinned and cackled with laughter. It
prompted Maddie to moan to Amelia, causing Jack to whine about Maddie’s
annoying voice. Things were getting out of control, and Amelia was four
months too pregnant with twins to be dealing with it.
she clapped her hands, silencing them all, “I have a new game for you to
play in the bath. We’re going to see who can blow the biggest bubble.”
asked the kids to hold out their hands and squeezed some soap into each
out-stretched palm. She told them to rub their hands together with some
water and make it as foamy as possible. Amelia formed a ring with her
finger and thumb and blew through the clear soapy film that had formed,
and a bubble began to emerge. Eventually she got it big enough to close
the bubble off and hold it in her hand.
“You see, just like that,” she said, putting the bubble in front of Jasmine to pop.
watched as all three children attempted to make the bubbles and stifled
a giggle at the three confused frowns. It kept them entertained for at
least fifteen minutes and Amelia took note to make this splashless game a
“OK, kids, your skin is as wrinkly as your father’s,” Amelia joked, “Out you get!”
was first to be lifted and wrapped up, taking her usual seat on her
mother’s knee as Amelia rubbed her dry with her towel.
“Come on Maddie,” Amelia interrupted Maddie’s concentration as she blew another bubble.
better at the bubbles?” Maddie asked, holding the huge bubble resting
in her tiny hand up. Jack hurriedly blew a pathetic attempt and held it
up next to hers to be included in the contest.
it’s probably Maddie,” Amelia answered honestly. Maddie hissed a ‘yes’
and fist punched the air as Jack started arguing and stropping about the
loss. “Jack stop, Maddie out!”
Maddie put one foot on the edge and balanced as if being a gymnast on a bar, smugly showing off her skills.
get down,” Amelia sighed. Before she could follow orders however, a
frustrated and bitter Jack angrily swiped her ankle across the slippery
side and sent his sister falling over the edge. With no time to stop her
fall and with Amelia’s arms being too full of Jasmine, Maddie’s face
made a gut-wrenching thud to the solid sink corner.
dropped the youngest and picked the middle child up and immediately
began fussing over the right side of her face. Maddie was already going
bright red in the face from the cry and as she got to the very end of
her breath, tears weeping, she turned blue.
ok?” Amelia begged. There was still a good five seconds of silence where
she was exhaling before suddenly, the deep inhale came followed by the
Less than an hour later at the hospital,
Owen grinned as he saw his wife and three pajama-clad children running
into the hospital.
“This is a nice surprise,” Owen greeted, opening his arms for Jasmine to jump into. “Did you get paged or something?”
needs an exam,” Amelia cut straight to the point, holding the
whimpering child close to her shoulder. Owen led them to an empty exam
room and patted the bed for Maddie to be placed on. He checked her out,
his eyes widening when he saw the blood-filled socket and blackened eye
of his little girl.
“And which sibling does Maddie have to thank
for the abused child look?” Owen muttered to Amelia, knowing there was
only one explanation.
“Jack,” Amelia answered. “He lost a bubble-blowing contest.”
“Of course he did,” Owen sighed. “Social services would have a field day over our family, I swear…”
Liam laughed, throwing his head back with a deep chuckle at the interview who was working so hard to get them to leak some spoilers. “Hey man, you can ask her,” he said, tilting his thumb at his young co-star on the couch next to him, “I can’t keep a secret at all. The big boss swore he would never give me any details after I spilled the beans earlier this year.” He grinned apologetically, looking over at Maddie with a smile. It had been a long two weeks. They had flown to Europe sixteen days ago and in that time had been to ten countries and had done countless interview. Thirty years into his career, Liam knew it was all about being charming and keeping his laid back image nice and clean. There had been a short stretch of time when Liam had thought his career was over, but The Darkest Valley had put him back on top and his family,cast, and crew were depending on them to keep the ratings high so they would stay on air for years to come.
He turned a little more to listen as the interviewer directed his next question to Maddie. He loved to watch her answer questions. There was something so impressive about the younger girl. She was well spoken, smart, and Liam couldn’t help but admit that Maddie Parker was more than just a little beautiful. “So Miss. Parker,” the interviewer started, pausing for effect, “your show is at number one in ratings, your face is on every billboard and magazine cover…what has been your favorite part of working on the first season of The Darkest Valley?”