Bartolomeo Manfredi (or, style of)

Maidservant from ‘Denial of Saint Peter’ (fragment)

Italy (c. 1620)

Oil on Canvas, 98 x 101.5 cm.

National Trust, UK.

After Christ’s arrest, the High Priest Caiphus questioned him in his house. Meanwhile, Peter was standing in the courtyard when a maidservant recognised him. She is pointing, saying 'You were there too, with this man from Nazareth, this Jesus’, whilst soldiers sit nearby. Peter denied knowing Christ three times before the cock crowed, as Christ had foreseen. This is a fragment of a much larger painting that would, no doubt, have included the figure of Peter on the left.


One-Shot: Memories Fading Fast, How Long Will Now Last? (Loki x OC)

Finna waited patiently by Loki’s bedroom door, knowing that he, Thor, Sif, Volstagg, Fandral, and Hogun would be returning shortly. They had gone to fight off a group of raiders, and she was supposed to help Loki get ready for their welcoming feast tonight. Their return was scheduled for two hours ago, yet they still were not back. She wanted to sneak off to curl up and read a book somewhere, but Eir had scolded her harshly the last time she’d done that. Finna just had a strong passion for reading and writing—she loved escaping in fantasy worlds. Romance was her favorite; perhaps that was because she longed to be in the place of the heroines she read so often about that always found love in the most unlikely of places.  

Just as she began to pull out her small, leather-bound notebook, she heard the familiar sound of clanking armor come from around the corridor. She sighed and folded her hands neatly in front of her, just as a lady-in-waiting should. A small smile tugged at her pink lips as she saw Loki coming down the corridor. Growing up, they’d been close, but as the two of them got older, their places in the Asgardian social hiearchy became clearer, and they grew distant. Of course, he’d acknowledge her presence with the occasional small nod and smile, but they didn’t talk and laugh together like they used to. Finna missed that, she missed her friend.  

The smile on Finna’s face disappeared when she got a closer look at Loki and saw how badly he was bruised and scratched. Normally, he’d say hello to her, but he was silent and nearly emotionless. She opened the door for him, and she followed him inside.  

“You can go now,” he said curtly as he began to remove his armor. Finna approached him, saying nothing, and began to help him remove his armor. She wanted to say something, but she knew that anything that would escape her lips would sound foolish. It was hard for Finna to talk to people nowadays, especially Loki. There was something about him that just made her analytical mind go completely blank. “I don’t need your help.”

Finna looked up at him with a soft, kind face and chestnut brown eyes. “Y-you’re hurt, Prince Loki,” she said quietly. “It’s my duty to help you.”  

”And is it not your duty to also do as I say?” he snapped, his emerald green eyes nearly boring holes into Finna’s skull. Finna looked down.  

”I-I suppose…” she replied. “At least let me stitch you up.”  ”I said that I do not require your assistance.”  ”P-p-please, Prince Loki,” she said softly as she pulled out a needle and thread, “let me help.”

Blood was quickly staining through his green tunic, yet he still denied her help. Loki shoved Finna away, causing her to stumble backwards onto his desk, where his dagger lay. Finna cried out in pain as the blade sunk into her skin, wrapping her hand around the skirt of her dress to keep pressure on the wound.  

”Finna…” Loki began to say.  

Finna bit her lip and held her head down to stall the tears that were threatening to spill. She was hurt, more emotionally than physically. “I-I-I’m sorry, Prince Loki,” she apologized before dashing out of his room. She picked up speed when she heard his footsteps behind her. Tears streaming down her face, she ran around the corner and exited the palace through the servants’ quarters, disappearing into the cool, summer night.

Although his wounds were causing him great discomfort, Loki ran after Finna, determined to find the girl. He had wanted to explain things to her, but he remebered that they weren’t children anymore and that he could not allow himself to develop romantic feelings for a maidservant. Of course, those were the words of Odin, and after Jotünheim, he couldn’t bear to meet the man’s eyes. Everything that he had known, everything that he was told, it was a lie. He could worry about his family issues later, though. Now, he was focused on finding Finna, and he could less if Odin thought that things were too personal between them.  

The gash on his chest was bleeding even more profusely, but he paid it no attention. The only thing on his mind was the black-haired, brown-eyed beauty. He had to find her; he’d spend all night looking for her if that’s what it took. As he stopped to catch his breath, he heard a soft, sorrowful sound coming from the courtyard. His eyes, already adjusted to the darkness, made out a petite figure sitting on one of the benches, their back falling and rising to indicate that they were sobbing.  

“Finna,” Loki muttered. He slowly made his way over to her in an attempt to not startle her. She was a shy, fragile thing, though when they were children, she had been more fearless than Thor. He wondered what had caused the sudden change, what made the girl suddenly stop smiling, what ceased the funny jokes she had once shared with him. The more he thought about it, the more he felt responsible. “Finna,” Loki repeated, only louder this time.  

Finna’s head whipped up at the sound of Loki’s voice. Heart pounding, she jumped off the bench and began to run in the other direction. She didn’t want for him to see her cry—it was improper. She already knew she was going to be in trouble for allowing Loki to chase after her when he was still wounded; she dreaded facing Eir, the head maidservant, for she knew that Eir would not hold back criticism of any sort, and she also knew that Eir sometimes expressed her disappointment in…physical ways.

Finna continued to run but was stopped when she ran right into something, causing her to fall straight on the ground. She broke the sudden fall with her hands, but this only caused her injured one to hurt even more.  

“Are you alright?”  

Finna’s breath caught in her throat as she looked up to see Loki bending down towards her, his hand outstretched. She did not speak, and the only sound that could be heard was that of the soft rush of water coming from the fountain. The green eyes that Finna had grown to love locked with hers, but she couldn’t bear the painful thoughts of her childhood that they brought back; she darted her eyes elsewhere, pretending to be interested in something on the ground.  

“You should go inside, Prince Loki,” she muttered as she picked at a frayed thread on her dress. “The homecoming feast—”  

Loki cut her off by putting a finger to her lips. At the feel of his soft touch, Finna nearly melted. “The feast can wait,” he said. He picked up Finna’s injured hand with great care, studying it thoughtfully. Finna wanted to run back inside, but for some reason, she could not will her legs to move—perhaps it was that they were tired of running. “I am so sorry, Finna…”  

“D-don’t apologize…it’s my fault that I fell on that dagger. I’m just clumsy,” she replied. She noticed that the bloodstain on his shirt was gradually increasing in size. “That needs to be stitched up.”  

“I’m just worried about you. What is wrong with me worrying about my Fin?” he asked, a smile playing on his lips. Finna’s head whipped up when she heard him utter her childhood petname. She slowly began to smile but stopped herself. Loki cocked his head a little. “What happened to your smile, Fin? What happened to your laugh? Where did my Fin go?”

Finna got up and gave Loki a sharp glare. Trying to get up with one hand had hurt, but she ignored the pain. “She grew up!” she exclaimed. She knew that Eir was going to give her a good scolding after this; the anger she had been holding back for so long just came pouring out of her mouth in the form of strong words and out of her eyes in the form of bitter tears. “We all had to grow up, Loki, and we all have our places in society. You are a prince…fall in love with a princess, or with a warrioress. I am nobody, I am just vacant space.”  

Loki took Finna’s caramel-colored face between his cold hands. She tried to dash away, but he only pulled her close to him. After a minute of glaring at him stubbornly, Finna could not hold it back any longer—she sobbed against Loki’s chest and clutched onto him tightly, feeling small, yet safe, in his arms. Loki buried his face in her soft, sweet-smelling curls as he softly apologized over and over again.

Once Finna’s sobbing had come to an end, Loki lifted up her chin with his forefinger and wiped away her tears.  ”I don’t care what anyone says, but I love you, Finna. Ever since we were children with wild dreams, I’ve loved you. But, becoming adults took a toll on our friendship, yes?” he asked as he gave her non-injured hand a small squeeze. Finna nodded, a small smile slowly making its way on her face. “Then, for just tonight, let’s be children again.”  

“Can I at least stitch you up?” she asked a quiet voice.

Loki looked down at his wound. He’d been paying the pain no mind all this time…He nodded and sat down on a bench to let Finna close the gash. Finna knelt down in front of him and carefully rolled up his shirt so that she could see the wound. The sight of blood didn’t make her queasy or light-headed, unlike many of the other maidservants she worked with on a daily basis. She looped the thread through the needle and began to stitch up Loki’s gash, her hand moving slowly.

As she closed the gash, she hummed a soft tune; it was very familiar to Loki, so familiar, that as he heard the tune, vivid memories of his childhood came flooding back to him. The ones that stood out the most were of him and Finna as they raced each other throughout the forest and talked about their outrageous plans for the future.

Finally, when the snorts and giggles had come to an end, Loki propped himself up on his elbow and stared at Finna, taking in the girl’s beauty underneath the starlit sky. The moon reflected in her beautiful, brown eyes, and it’s rays shone down on her black curls.  

“Let me see the ring, Fin,” he said, breaking the silence. Finna slipped it off of her finger and handed it to Loki, watching curiously as he clasped his hand around it. She wondered if he was taking back the ring—was he taking back his promise too? “Close your eyes.” Finna did as he said, her jaw clenched nervously. She flinched a little when she felt Loki take her hand into his and felt something cold put around her ring finger. “Open.”  

Once more, Finna did as Loki said. She immeadiately looked down at her hand to see that the flower ring had been replaced by an actual ring, the gem the same colors as the flower. It glittered in the moonlight, and Loki’s promise only rung louder in her ears, like large bells playing a song of promise and hope.  

“Loki…” she said barely above a whisper. “I…this is so beautiful.” She began to twist it around her finger nervously. “B-but, what if Eir or Lady Frigga finds out? What will your father say about this?”  

“I couldn’t care less. I’m just glad I have my Fin back,” he said with a soft chuckle. He pulled her close to him and slowly brought his lips up to hers. Finna’s heart pounded against her ribcage as the kiss became more passionate and Loki gently ran his fingers through her hair. Nothing had ever felt more right, nothing had ever felt more perfect until now.  

And now would be forever.  

Extra Day Q and A was translated here by this twitter user

Some questions/answers:

Q: Who is the most popular character among the STAFF?

A: Everyone loves the Orbital Knights. Especially Marylcian and Trilliam and other interesting knights. Female STAFF members really like Count Cruhteo, while male STAFF members like Yuki-nee, Rayet, the captain, and Eddelrittuo.

Q: How did Eddelrittuo end up being Princess Asseylum’s maidservant?

A: Eddelrittuo is a lady from a distinguished family. She came to be the princess’ handmaiden as part of a ritual practice. In episode 24, she did appear with a group of maids, but at that time she wasn’t the princess’ maidservant anymore, she was bringing her own maids along to watch the activation ceremony.

Q: What do the STAFF think will happen to the main characters after this?

A: Asseylum will be an excellent empress, Inaho’s life returns to normal…we also hope that Slaine can be happy.

Q: What isn’t Inaho good at?

A: He hates winter, and he’s really sensitive to cold. To keep warm, he makes sure the sweater he wears under his uniform has longer sleeves.

Q: What are Harklight’s interests?

A: Hmm…Because he is a capable subordinate, maybe handiwork/crafts?…in fact, the fitting count uniform that Slaine wears in episode 15 was modified by him….

Q: All Martian knights have very interesting hair (especially Marylcian), how do they treat their hair?

A: On Mars, Trilliam’s hairstyle is very fashion forward. Marylcian and Trilliam both do their hair in a beauty salon(what.)

Q: Why did Yuki-nee give Inaho a fruit sandwich? I personally don’t think that fruit sandwiches are very popular, so is there any related fun fact that you can tell us?

A: During our plot meetings someone will always send us fruit sandwiches, and they’re really tasty…And so we wanted to pay our small tribute to these fruit sandwiches through the characters.

I don't mind a girl

My previous maidservant comes to visit once in a while. She has three sons of her own. And she believes having sons is the greatest blessing. i think she seemed a little upset when we broke the news to her that my sister has a girl child, twice. So both times she was upset. 

On her visit today, she convincingly told my mom that she’s praying for the perfect guy for me, a God fearing husband. And that i should have two sons. I butted in and said i don’t mind having girls either. I pointed out that she’s a female herself, so was my Mother and so was i. From females come both sexes. So i don’t care what i get, infact maybe i’d be delighted at having girls. She was stumped, i don’t think she was expecting that. Was she really thinking that i would be ecstatic at her saying that i would having only male children? As if that’s the one thing i’m looking forward to. Please Lord, change minds, hers and mine too. 

Du’aa for Distress and Grief

Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood (radiallaahu anhu) said: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

“There is no-one who is afflicted by distress and grief, and says:

‘Allaahumma inni ‘abduka ibn ‘abdika ibn amatija naasyati bi yadika, maada fiyya hukmuka, ‘adlun fiyya qadaa’uka. As’aluka bi kulli ismin huwa laka sammayta bihi nafsaka aw anzaltahu fi kitaabika aw ‘allamtahu ahadan min khalqika aw ista’tharta bihi fi ‘ilm il-ghayb ‘indaka an taj’al al-Qur’aana rabee’ qalbi wa noor sadri wa jalaa’ huzni wa dhihaab hammi

(O Allah, I am Your slave, son of Your slave, son of Your maidservant; my forelock is in Your hand, Your command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every name belonging to You which You have named Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the Unseen with You, that You make the Qur’an the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety)’, but Allah will take away his distress and grief, and replace it with joy.”

He was asked: “O Messenger of Allah, should we learn this?”

He said: “Of course; everyone who hears it should learn it.”

[Ahmad (3704); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 199]

The phrase “or You have preserved in the knowledge of the Unseen with You” indicates that there are beautiful names of Allah that He has kept with Him in the knowledge of the Unseen.

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said concerning this hadeeth:

This indicates that Allah has more than ninety-nine names.

[Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (6/374)]

Jurassic Art - Dinos on the Loose

It’s been over a week since the release of Universal’s Jurassic World and we at Sartle just can’t get those genetically engineered giants off our minds. So, hold onto your butts as we honor one of the greatest movie franchises ever made with some dinosaur-art hybrids of our own. 

Welcome to Jurassic Art. *cue music*

The Story of Nastagio degli Onesti by Sandro Botticelli located at the Prado Museum

Judtih and her Maidservant by Artemisia Gentileschi at the Pitti Palace

Watson and the Shark by John Singleton Copley at the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.

Leap Into the Void by Yves Klein at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Susanna and the Elders by Artemisia Gentileschi at the Schloss Weissenstein

- God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs. 

Click here for more dinosaur-y goodness

Text and images, unless otherwise stated, by: Sarah Oesterling

Goddess of the Day: June 20

Iris - Greek Goddess of the Rainbow.  Iris is the messenger of the gods, and maidservant to Hera.  She has power over the sea and the sky, and is considered to be the bridge between heaven and earth, linking the gods to humanity.  She is portrayed as a young woman with golden wings standing at the side of either Hera or Zeus.

(Text from Brandi Auset, The Goddess Guide)

Du’aa’ for relief of anxiety and distress

Allaahumma inni ‘abduka ibnu ‘abdika ibnu ‘amatika, naasiyati bi yadika maadin fiyya hukmuka

O Allaah, I am Your slave, son of Your slave and son of Your maidservant. My forelock is in Your hand. Your command over me is forever executed.

A woman should say, “Allaahumma inni amatuka bintu ‘abdika bintu amatika naasiyati bi yadika maadin fiyya hukmuka, ‘adlun fiyya qadaa’uka. As’aluka bi kulli ismin huwa laka sammayta bihi nafsaka aw anzaltahu fi kitaabika aw ‘allamtahu ahadan min khalqika aw ista’tharta bihi fi ‘ilm il-ghaybi ‘indaka an taj’al al-Qur’aan al-‘azeem rabee’a qalbi, wa noora sadri wa jalaa’a huzni wa dhahaaba hammi

O Allaah, I am Your maidservant, daughter of Your slave, daughter of Your maidservant. My forelock is in Your hand. You command over me is forever executed and Your decree over me is just. I ask You by every name belonging to You which You have named Yourself with, or revealed in Your Book, or You have taught to any of Your creation, or You have preserved in the knowledge of the unseen with You, that You make the Holy Qur’aan the life of my heart and the light of my breast, and a departure for my sorrow and a release for my anxiety.

[Narrated by Ahmad, 1/452, 391; Ibn Hibbaan, 3372; al-Haakim, 1/509. classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 199]

Prince Rhaegar’s wife, Elyria, had once been as thin as Cersei - at least, that’s what the young lioness told herself whenever she saw the pair of Targaryens prancing about the halls of the Red Keep with their brats clinging to their arms like leeches. Cersei took note of the way Rhaegar would hold her teeny-tiny waist, and how a single arm of his wrapped nearly around the girth of her womanly figure.

In an attempt to best the dragon mother in a game she never knew was being played, Cersei had begun to starve herself, not extensively, of course, but just enough so that she’d be able to trim down her already shapely figure. For the past several weeks, she’d been giving her maidservants her meals rather than eating them herself, claiming that it came only from the generosity in her heart. If anyone who knew her could have heard it, they’d know much better than to believe in her silly talk.

Walking along the market stalls, poking around for fabrics she’d like for a new dress, the lioness felt a sudden pang at her stomach, followed by a throb in her head. With a pained grunt, Cersei doubled over, and began to fall back. She had fainted for a few moments, feeling a pair of hands catch her before she cracked her pretty skull open in the road.

As Am I - Kit/Ella One Shot

I know this is short, but I just wanted to get it done. Sort of a reimagining of Good Morning, Mister Kit.

Ella had woken hours beforehand, had basked in awe and wonder for what might have been half the morning as she looked on her new (and entirely naked) husband. To stop herself from waking him, she had tried to think of things she needed to do, which wasn’t a lot seeing as she was now a queen consort and this was the morning after he wedding night. A maidservant had discreetly entered mid morning to open the curtains, before Ella could force herself to leave Kit’s arms, and to save both of them embarrassment she had feigned slumber, hastily drawing the sheets over any exposed skin (hers or her husbands, to her remorse) when her back was turned.

He was so perfect. She had known this before, of course, but now she was reminded of it almost every time she breathed, feeling his slight movements as his breathing matched hers, exhaling against the skin on her neck. He was well muscled, but not too strong, and every single inch of available skin felt glorious to touch. Her favourite parts of him, however, (aside from his heart) were his eyes. Until her dying day she would remember the way their eyes had spoken for them as they, officially, became husband and wife, how his blue pools would swirl about to a dark colour when he was in deep thought and how they shined like stars when he laughed. The only downside to the proximity this magnificent example of creation had to her was that Ella had never been so conscious of her body in her life, except perhaps on the night before. Right now, every single touch of skin on skin sent jolts of energy coursing through her, frustrating her even more by the fact she was the only one awake and was too kind (or polite) to wake him. The fact that her thighs were wrapped around his hips did not appear to help matters.

Ella didn’t know how long it took her to fall back to sleep, but she did, and only awoke when she felt a particular pair of eyes practically devouring her.

“Good Morning, darling wife.” He greeted her, and before she could comprehend her surroundings his mouth was on hers, gently moving against her own in a familiar and tired pattern, and Ella knew they could continue like this until their lips were bruised and numb. They didn’t, however. Just as her lips parted she drew back, a moan escaping her husband at the action. She loved when he did that. Small things, like the longing sounds he made when she touched him, or the way he played with her hair, made her day - in the knowledge that Kit would never have acted like this in front of anyone but her. He trusted her, had opened himself up to her and Ella felt so loved when he showed such tenderness towards her.

“God Morning, Mister Kit.” She murmured him with a smirk and a knowing smile, feeling his interest press against her leg with a shudder.

“You are the most perfect of creatures, you know that right?” Was all Kit could say as he stared into her, and Ella felt her cheeks go red.

“If I am, than you are a close second.” She giggled, her breath catching as she felt his hands wrap around her thin waist. Ella knew, however, that he was not second at all. He was by far the loveliest person there was, just as she had confessed to his father, and she wanted him to know that. “I thought last night was quite spectacular, too.” She added, recognising the way he looked at her, it making her skin tingle, heart quicken and heat wash over her. “In fact, I do think it might be a wise decision to repeat it this instant.” She raised her eyebrows in question, but she did not wait for a reply as she guided him on top of her, rolling onto her back.

“Indeed?” He questioned, eyes alight with her new found bravado.

“Hazardous to the health, perhaps.” She answered, pulling him down into a kiss that lasted even longer than the last, both their hands wandering across their bodies, determined on learning every little bump and curve of each other’s bodies.

“Do you think-” Kit struggled to prioritise his actions, the need to kiss down between his wife’s breasts beating his will power. “Perhaps-” This time he felt a deep sound come from his throat, groaning into his wife’s exquisite body. “We need-” Mewling noises, against her will, escaped Ella’s lips. “To get up?” Then she was straddling him, pinning his wrists beside his head, making his smile even wider.

“What on earth is this strange concept?” Ella retorted, lips claiming her husbands, and the next minute she felt his hands finding the swell of her breasts, bringing a gasp behind her mouth.

“I’m serious, Ella.” He chuckled, trying to fight her off. He would have been successful, had he wanted to escape this goddess that was holding him prisoner, and Ella knew it. “It’s nearly noon.”

“As am I.” The young queen asserted, moving herself against him and unintentionally making herself feel faint.