milk pails

Maggie Stiefvater talks 'All the Crooked Saints,' and here's a first look at the cover

Maggie Stiefvater may have concluded the Raven Cycle just last year, but the author already has a new stand-alone YA novel hitting shelves later this year.

The book, titled All the Crooked Saints, takes place in the 1960s in Bicho Raro, Colorado and follows the lives of three members of the Soria family-each of whom is searching for their own miracle. There’s Beatriz, who appears to lack feelings but wants to study her mind; Daniel, the “Saint” of Bicho Raro, a miracle worker for everyone but himself; and Joaquin (a.k.a. Diablo Diablo), who runs a pirate radio station at night.

Adding to the mystery (and magic) of the book is the book’s intriguing cover-which EW is pleased to reveal exclusively below.

“There are owls in the book because owls are a very scientific creature that gets credited with a lot of magical superstitions,” Stiefvater tells EW. “There are roses in the book because roses are a very magical flower that take a lot of science to truly understand. Put that together and well - as the kids say, that’s it. That’s the book.”

With Stiefvater’s latest novel set to hit stores on Oct. 10, EW caught up with the bestselling author to find out more about what’s in store for readers, her process, and of course, her upcoming Ronan Lynch trilogy.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: All three of your characters are looking for a miracle. What do miracles, or the idea of miracles mean to them?
MAGGIE STIEFVATER: Miracles! Miracles! Miracles! This book is full of them. I was taught by nuns for the first dozen years of my life, and so I was raised with a pantheon of peculiar saints: decapitated saints who carried their own severed head through the streets of cities, saints who exorcised demons from the bottoms of milk pails, saints who flew unexpectedly.

The Soria family are saints as well, and the miracle they perform for pilgrims to Bicho Raro is as strange as most miracles are: They can make the darkness inside you visible. Once the pilgrims see their inner darkness face to face, it’s up to them to perform another miracle on themselves: banishing the darkness for good. It can be a tricky business to vanquish your inner demons, even once you know what they are, but the Sorias are forbidden to help with this part. They’ve all been told that if a Soria interferes with the second miracle, it will bring out their own darkness, and a saint’s darkness, so the story goes, is a most potent and dangerous thing.

The three cousins in the story all have their own relationship with the family miracles: Daniel, the current acting Saint of Bicho Raro, wants to help the pilgrims overcome their darkness through holiness and empathy. Beatriz, on the other hand, would prefer if the Sorias approached the miracle from a more logical and scientific place. And Joaquin is less interested in miracles and more interested in broadcasting rock & roll from a pirate radio station in the back of a battered box truck.

How did you come up with the name “Bicho Raro”?
I’d just finished writing the rather heavy final installment of the Raven Cycle, and I thought it would be nice to switch things up with something playful and - dare I say it? “Feel good”? Does that sound like a Stiefvater novel to you?

So I tried to be as playful in my language as I could. I figured if my words were frolicking, readers might too. “Bicho raro” (“rare bug”) is just a little way to speak fondly about odd people, like “strange bird” or “odd duck.” It’s less about the Soria family themselves and more about the varied pilgrims who come to Bicho Raro.

What inspired the novel’s setting?
Three years ago, I convinced Scholastic that instead of flying to all of my tour events for Sinner, the companion book to the Shiver trilogy, I would instead drive my 1973 Camaro to them. Seven thousand miles, coast to coast, just an American girl in a muscle car, seeing the breadbasket of our fine country while hawking a novel about burned-out werewolves - nothing could go wrong.

Spoiler: Everything went wrong. I spent my time evenly divided between meeting readers and repairing the Camaro by the side of the road.

At one point, the brakes went out (for the second time), and I coasted into an auto repair shop in Del Norte, Colorado. The sun was white, the air was dust, and the mountains were sharp as hell all around. While I waited for the mechanic to take a look at my brake lines, the receptionist told me tall tales and ghost stories about straight-arrow desert roads and demons dancing in the dust and strangers appearing in the night.

I thought to myself: This is where my next novel takes place.

What made you decide to set All the Crooked Saints in the 60s? Is there something in the history of Colorado at that time that speaks to you?
Music! Music! Music! When I was growing up in the 80s, my father always had the radio set to the Golden Oldies - I didn’t realize, in fact, that it wasn’t contemporary music. I thought Del Shannon and Patsy Cline and the Byrds were everyone’s current groove. Even after I discovered differently, it didn’t matter; that music had become the sound of my childhood. There’s something about 60s music and the 60s in general that I think pairs perfectly with a novel about the teen experience - 60s America was going through an adolescence in a lot of ways, and it was a time of mystical joy, innocence lost, increasingly uncomfortable self-awareness of the limitations of tradition, and colorful agitation for change, all of it emotional and urgent. If that’s not a description of being a teen, I don’t know what is.

I’ve been dying to write a novel steeped with the music of that time for about five years now, and for this one, it made sense. I had an incredibly grand and self-indulgent time listening to the music Joaquin and Beatriz spin in their covert broadcasts.

Your work has always been infused with aspects of magical realism. What would you say are some of your influences?
Magic! Magic! Magic! For this book in particular, Isabel Allende, Gabriel Garca Mrquez, Erick Setiawan, Ali Shaw, and maybe even John Irving - I have read a lot of wonderful magic realism and wry, intimate family stories over the last decade, and Saints is my affectionate nod to them. It was also informed by movies, though - I really wanted to capture the mood of films like Big Fish, Chocolat, and Amlie. That whimsy and magic and nostalgia. These are strange, hard times that we’re living in, and I wanted to write about magic - I always do - but I also felt like I wanted to leave readers with something that made them happy, hopeful, and excited about all the odd miracles that exist in the world and in themselves.

Of course, I have to ask one question about the upcoming Ronan trilogy. Is there anything you could tease about it?
Insert, Stiefvater said, an enigmatic smile here.

All the Crooked Saints will be available for purchase on Oct. 10.

This article was originally published on


Dandelion, AKA Devil’s Milk-Pail or Priest’s Crown: The juice from the stems is a soothant for bee stings, blisters, and warts.  Stem, leaves, and flowers are best picked and used fresh, but the roots can be dried after harvesting and stored for up to six months. If ground, the roots can be stored as a powder and made into a tea by adding boiling water.

Garlic: Deter unwanted lovers by placing a bulb of garlic with two crossed pins in it at a crossroad. Once walked over by said lover, they will lose interest in you. Alternately, hang over a bed to keep disease at bay. Ingestion of garlic tea makes it easier to transition between astral planes, and enter the realm of death.

Celtic Goddesses and Gods Part 5

Gabba (Also Gabis of the Abyss)- She is a crone aspect of the Dark All Mother and one of the dark queens. She is the Goddess of the 13th Moon. Her name means “Crystal.” No one knows or remembers what she looks like because to look at her face kills you. Her symbol is the Celtic endless weave and quartz crystals. 

Gwalchmei (Also Gwalchmai)- He is the nephew of King Arthur, son of the Goddess Mei, and is called the Hawk or Falcon of May. He portrays a God of love and music. His symbols are hawks and the fields at hunting times. 

Gwyn ap Nudd- A God of the Wild Hunt, he is a God of the death chase and the Otherworld. He is the hunter of souls and lord of the unmanifested. He has a white hound with red ears named Dormarth. 

Hellith- A God of the setting sun (Fire and Air), and of the sying. When invoked, he brings peace to those near death. After death, souls are in his protection until they reach their destination. His symbols are the setting sun disc and a flute that brings peace and tranquility to those who hear it.

Hertha (Also Herdda)- She is an Earth Goddess, representing the greening of Spring. A Goddess of rebirth and healing, her symbols are the cow and calf and milk pail. 

Letha- A harvest Goddess associated with Midsummer, her magickal symbols are swan and apples. 

Luchta (Also Lucta, Luchtaine)- A God of smiths, wrights, and craftsmen who is associated with Gobannon, he is the carpenter God and shieldmaker for the Tuatha.  

(Source: Exploring Celtic Druidism Ancient Magick and Rituals for Personal Empowerment by Sirona Knight)

Geometry Part 6

Here’s part 6 below. Peeta’s world may not be everything he thinks it is.

Part 5 (with links to Parts 1-4 embedded) is here.


In the morning, I rise early and sneak out to the bakery while girls are still asleep in the livingroom bed.  I head straight to shed to get wood to light the ovens, and since I’m out there, I dig clothes out of my boxes and change.  It makes me realize I’ll have to face bringing my things to the Everdeen’s sooner rather than later because if my mother gets in a mood, she might toss everything.  To be safe, I stack the boxes behind one of the wood stacks so she won’t see them immediately if she happens in.

Work that morning is alright; there’s a strained silence between my brother, father and I, but only because the unspoken cloud of my mother’s bad mood lingers. But it’s nothing we haven’t gone through before.  

School is still six days away, and so I’ll be at the bakery all day, but my father gives me a lunch break long enough to ferry one of my boxes back to the house. I remember to grab my jacket off the peg by the back door before I march off.

When I get back to the house, I hear Prim’s voice coming from the back yard so I go there.  She’s sitting on a little crate, bundled in a jacket and milking her goat. 

I actually laugh a real, if short, belly laugh.  The creature, as wide in the middle as the Everdeen girls are thin, and with hair a clean white that matches the hoar frost on the ground, is wearing a…

Well, it’s looking very intellectual, wearing a perfectly fitted sweater.

A thick, absolutely hideous orange colored sweater, covered in balls from pilling, and with a collar so tall and floppy that I swear it makes the goat look like it should be sporting a pair of wire-rimmed glasses on its snout.  

And maybe even a tobacco pipe to accentuate its white beard.

Prim looks up, and smiles when she sees me trying not to keep laughing.

“We had to soak the arms in boiling water, to shrink them so it would fit her legs properly,” Prim says, smiling wider, and she laughs herself.

The sound is a waterfall of joy compared to the weeping I heard last night.

I nod, and my grin of mock appreciation for the tailoring is so wide it actually hurts my jaw a little.

“Well, I must say, I’ve never seen a better dressed goat my whole life.”

“Come and meet the princess.”

I lift the latch on the gate and slip into the yard, balancing my box of cloths on my hip as I do.  I wonder where they get and store food for it. In the summer I suppose 

Keep reading

Knots to Bind the Wind

In my youth, in the years before I discovered Crowley, Levi, and Frances Barrett’s ‘the Magus’, I was an instinctively 'natural’ witch. From some combination of fiction, fairy tale, cinema, and comic books as a solid educational base I began to deduce the elements of magic in the natural world of rural Michigan. I learned to feel the land, to know the places animals bedded, to trace the rubbing of a rutting deer on a tree to the change in the weather. To know the seasons, the dreams of the trees and the whispers of the meadow grass in my young age.

My first fumbling attempts at practical magic came around age 13. I had recently moved to the wilderness from a medium sized town. I found myself lost in hundreds of acres of woods, swamps, meadows and marshes. These woods would inform my work in ways I am only now really coming to understand in my middle age.

Those woods and marshes spoke to me in a language without words. Filled with birdsong, with the scent of a rutting deer, with the wild maledictions of a feral boar and the hoary admonishments of an ancient great horned owl whose ossuary of discarded victims at the base of an ancient oak was my youthful temple. As one would expect from an education so rooted in the landscape the first true magic that came to me was weather control. The conjuring of the wind, the binding of the storm, the calling of the rain and its banishment.

Somewhere along this path the concept of knots and binding came to me, likely mentioned in some work of fiction I was reading at the time. With bits of antique thread pilfered from my mother’s cabinets and untanned leather of deer and rabbit from my uncle’s hunts I would bind in knots those winds who answered to my call, would bind as well the spirits of the owl’s sullen bouchée to do my bidding.

From the knots of leather and cord I made my first wind bindings and witches ladders. I knew somehow even then that the practical side of the craft must be rooted in the physical and my relationship to it. Rusty iron, tarnished silver, the bones of animals, the thorns of trees and their branches that reach to the sky - these humble scraps would be the 'prima materia’ of my first workings beyond the veil.

As it would turn out the binding of wind and rain to knots is an ancient practice, common among the seafaring peoples of the western coasts of northern Europe. From the shores of Ireland to the fjords of Norway, the coastal villages of Iceland, to the Laplanders of Finland the binding of the wind was a practice sought out until as late as the 19th century. Sea witches would trade openly in harbours, their wares made of woolen cord, bird skin, and hair (both animal and human). The Egyptians used knots to bind love, as did the Assyrians. The world over the folk magic of each culture realizes innately the power of the knot in the binding of both the physical and the immaterial.

'Witches ladders’ were discovered in England hidden in various locations by folklorists in the 19th century, and while their deduction of purpose may have varied the intrigue set out by these visual talismans led some of the brightest minds of the Victorian age to have their word. Frazer himself, a man whose encyclopedic “the Golden Bough” has long been the foundation of anthropological query, wrote in the Folklore Journal suggesting not a weather binding implement but a method for stealing milk from a neighbors cows [quoting from Napier]:

“The tether is the rope-halter, and by going through the form of milking this, repeating certain incantations, the magic transference was supposed capable of being effected.” Sometimes in Scotland the rope had to be made of hairs taken from the tails of the cows whose milk was to be stolen; a knot was tied in the rope for each cow, and by pulling at the knots as if she were milking, and at the same time uttering a spell, the witch brought the milk into her pail.“ - JG Frazer, "Witches’ Ladder” - Folk-Lore Journal V.5

But I in my wood in the New World a century after Frazer would know none of these things until much later. By then I had been seduced down a path of Solomonic magic, of robes, circles and sigils, and had lost touch with the voice of that wood, graduated from my studies with the owl to the garrulous books of long dead men. A path that was a winding distraction as much as it was an education that led me back to the wood, just where I started, yet on the distant shores of that desert island called Britannia.

Here’s a short video… with sound! Placeholder music until the original music gets done, and some placeholder sounds, but it’s mostly done… I feel like the crunchy sound the hoe makes is very fulfilling.

I uhh still need a better video recorder program because in addition to cranking up the contrast in a weird way, this one apparently can’t capture from speaker only, only from mic. Apologies if it’s way quiet and the sound of me typing is almost louder than the audio… :I

Aside from audio, this also demonstrates the new Tools system. Previously, half the tools could be used anywhere by pressing the X key, while the older ones (such as the Milk Pail and Hoe) could only be used via talking to the animal/object and choosing it from a text menu. Those interactions were some of the first pieces of code I’d written for this game, and now that I understand how to effectively track X and Y coordinates, there’s no reason to have that inconsistency. The tool/posing revamp also permanently fixed a very pesky race condition that kept popping up while hunting on the prairie, where collision wouldn’t be detected properly due to too many parallel processes… it’s a huge relief to have that bug gone!

ANYWAY THOUGH, you can expect two more videos in the next month or so. In the mean time… anybody have some suggestions for good free video recorders? :I

My Milkshakes Bring All the Boys to the Yard

A Klance Oneshot (featuring Kaltenecker, of course)

Just a little thing I wrote up, inspired by the milking scene clip from NYCC. No warnings to report, just silliness and some fluff. I’ll add the AO3 link once I get my invitation, since I’m a newbie pleb.


“Uh, guys? Why are you looking at me like that?”

Lance blinked in confusion as the two Alteans stared at him like he had five heads. Coran’s nose was wrinkled and his eyebrows all drawn in, his mustache twitching up with the expression. Allura was wide-eyed and pale, throat moving with a silent swallow as she held her hand in front of her mouth in shock. In the awkward few seconds that followed, the cow behind him gave a soft moo and Lance moved his fingers self-consciously against the surface of the glass of milk in his left hand. Allura and Coran looked at each other for a moment before Allura cleared her throat and couldn’t seem to meet Lance’s eyes anymore. Coran opened his mouth to say something, then seemed to think better of it and closed it again. Lance frowned, holding the glass of milk in his right hand toward the pair.

“You did ask for a milkshake, right?”

Keep reading

Where the World is in the Making - Chapter 6

Homesteader Kristoff Bjorgman advertised for a wife, but his mail-order bride isn’t quite what he was expecting. 

 Previous Chapters

Anna was doing the milking, her cheek resting against the cow’s warm side and her eyes squinting in concentration, when Elsa called from the front step of the house.

“Anna? I think someone’s coming.”

“What?” She hopped up to peer over Pauline-the-Cow at the road. Someone on a horse was trotting between the wagon ruts toward them.

“What do we do?” Elsa had both hands twisted in her apron. “What do people do with guests out here?” She looked around as if a footman might materialize.

Anna shaded her eyes. “It’s a woman, I think,” she said. “I can see a skirt. I think—we could put the kettle on? I’m sure it will be all right.”

Elsa nodded and took a deep breath. “Yes. I can do that, and I’ll sweep, I can do that quickly.” She disappeared into the house.

Keep reading


adding two more deer to the barn, getting our first pail of milk, and redecorating the Kyoshi Farm house a bit!! hope you enjoy. ( o˘◡˘o )

The Belle and the Bairn (Victorian AU! with hikaru-mikazuki)

On a sprawling estate, there lived a single, invisible border to which no one thought to cross.

The manor house was made of elegantly weathered stone, roses growing on the far left side by the terrace and smothering the side of the house in a passionate red in the summer. The house had been built by a wealthy gambler….but in time it changed hands numerously, until finally settling on the current noble family.

A stone bridge led carriages to the courtyard, where guests were greeted and ushered into the hallowed halls, to dine and drink, to chat privately in parlors or smoke in the game halls decorated by various trophies of the hunt. The interior was dedicated solely to the elegant class and pursuit of Victorian comfort, and frequently kept guests that came over daily for tea parties, dinners, and luncheons….meals that went on and on.

But this mansion had a sunny shadow, which couldn’t be seen by an ignorant eye.

Only one staircase led down below, where the farmyard was. This was where the servants lived, where the dairy, meat, and produce that fed the manor was grown and bred. While no one who lived in the manor house dared go down there, for fear of mud on their shoes or straw in their bonnets, it was a thriving, lively place. Beautiful cows with soft eyes grazed in the fields all day long with fat sheep and the coach horses, chickens squawked as they pecked in their roomy yard for grains and corn, plump and with full feathers. Hogs and pigs oinked in the sty, lazily laying in the mud, as they stayed in the shade.

It was the only estate with two gardeners; one for the manor up above, tending to the hedges and roses, and one down below, sowing his fields and glowing with pride over his vegetable patch.

“Dum dee dum~”

Hahari lived in the farm down below.

Hahari was the dairy maid, responsible for feeding the hens, taking the cows out to graze, gathering milk and eggs to take up to the kitchen. There were strict rules of when she was allowed to go up there….she had once crossed a pair of ladies taking a stroll in the yard who saw her come up, a basket full of eggs and with dirty hands and feathers on her apron.

Why they had complained, she couldn’t fathom it. Still, she took note to peek around the stairs before going to the kitchens.

This time she had two heavy pails of milk. The cows were giving plentifully today….their calves having already been sold to another farm. She carefully set down the milk on the stairs, and poked her head out from over the gate.

Was anyone there?


Krumione: Fairytale | Historical Wizardry!AU - 

“Where there is kindness, there is goodness, and where there is goodness - there is magic.”

It wasn’t until the after death of her father, that she understood the protection his position in the village had offered. No one had wanted to risk their good name by accusing the physician’s daughter of… well, no-one could apply a name to it, exactly. But it simply wasn’t natural, was it, when the cream in the milk pails whipped itself to a froth whenever she walked by? Or when the goats would sing like choristers, and window panes dust with frost on a midsummer’s day?

Banished to the forest by a volley of stones, her only company was to be found in the animals - red squirrels that crept along the branches, the snuffling badger, the butterflies who nestled in her hair, the lamed falcon that slept in her arms as it’s leg healed.

But perhaps she was simply destined for a lonely life, she mused sadly, pressing a last kiss to the falcon’s feathered head before lifting it up to take flight. After all, there couldn’t possibly be another soul in existence who might understand…

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A Day on the Farm

The sun’s our clock, rooster alarm.

Up to start a day on the farm.

Fresh air and sunshine all long day.

Eat our breakfast then on our way.


I put on my boots, coat and hat.

And find a glove under the cat.

Out the door to the bunnies hutch.

They eat pellets they don’t like much.


My dog follows, opens the door.

Sometimes gone for hours or more.

Jumping high, trips latch with paw.

The cutest thing I ever saw.


Next we’re off to feed the plump hens.

Gather eggs, clean muddy pig pens.

We’ll hose it down then slop the sows.

Grab our pails and milk the cows.


Feed the mare, sleeps in the sable.

I’ll ride her soon when I’m able.

First she’s brushed then gets oats and hay.

We do all these things twice a day


In the garden, vegetables grow.

Sprout from seeds we plant in a row.

Water well, pluck weeds in between.

Shoe away pests when they’re seen.


When all the digging and feeding’s through.

There’s still more on a farm to do.

Pick fresh fruit for mom’s best jelly.

Yummy sweet, wiggles in my belly.


Orange balloons float above ground.

Pumpkin pies shared all around.

Our beans are red and peas are green.

The tastiest rainbows ever seen.


Life on the farm is so much fun.

Little to do when work is done.

Get up early, busy all day.

We eat our supper then hit the hay.


The End



A goblin is a legendary evil or mischievous creature. They are attributed with various (sometimes conflicting) abilities, temperaments and appearances depending on the story and country of origin. In some cases, goblins have been classified as constantly annoying little creatures somewhat related to the brownie or gnome. They are usually depicted as small, sometimes only a few inches tall, sometimes the size of a dwarf. They also often are said to possess various magical abilities. They are also very greedy and love money.


English goblin is first recorded in the 14th century and is probably from unattested Anglo-Norman gobelin,  similar to Old French gobelin, already attested around 1195 in Ambroise of Normandy's  Guerre sainte, and to Medieval latin gobelinus in Orderic Vitalis, before 1141,which was the name of a devil or a daemon haunting the country around Évreux, Normandy.

There is no consensus on the origin of goblin myths. Since goblins are similar to faeries and other spirits of Europe, it is possible that they share a similar origin. Many scholars believe that such creatures came out of an interest in Paganism and its mysticism, especially the belief in nature spirits and magic. Goblins could possibly come from the belief that, along with virtuous pagans, there were evil ones that became evil spirits

Goblins soon became a subject in works of literature, including the famous poem Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti:

“We must not look at goblin men,
We must not buy their fruits:
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?”


  • Some accounts claim they are mostly invisible to the human eye, and thus act as phantoms. However, even in traditions where they are invisible, it is still widely known (although how remains mysterious) what they look like underneath their invisibility.
  • They are usually believed to be shorter than human beings; depending upon the source, they can either be stout or thin; their brow is fully covered with thick hair and their mouth is filled with yellowed, crooked teeth.
  • Goblins are often depicted as possessing a coarse, raspy sounding, and slightly high-pitched voice, speaking human languages along with their own, and possessing a cunning intellect.
  • In recent depictions, goblins have been portrayed as green in color, but this is only a modern tradition.
  • In some cultures, they are more tricksters, who steal horses to ride at night, hide small objects, tip over pails of milk, and alter signposts.
  • Some believe that goblins are more malevolent, weaving nightmares out of gossamer and inserting them into the ear of a sleeping human, stealing human women and children and hiding them away underground, or even stealing human babies and replacing them with ugly goblin babies (changelings).
  • A goblin smile is said to curdle blood and a laugh to sour milk and cause fruit to fall from trees.
  • Goblins are often believed to be nomadic, never staying too long in one place.

What You Can’t Finish

Requested by anonymous: Can you do an imagine where the reader and Daryl were best friends before the apocalypse, and they reunite at the Hilltop colony?

What You Can’t Finish

“Paul Rovia. But my friends call me Jesus.” He extended his hand to help me stand back up, a big smile on his face. “We have a camp. Not far from here. The Hilltop Colony. You’ll be safe there, and there’s lots of other people.”

You look this guy up and down; skeptical. “Let me get this straight,” You raise your gun again, “You come out of nowhere, knock me on my ass, and then expect me to just go with you to who knows where?”

He nodded. “Yes.”

You considered it briefly. It wasn’t like you had many options. You reached out and shook his hand. “I’m going to call you Paul, though. ‘Jesus’ is too sacrilegious for me. I was raised Catholic.”


“You comin or not?” Daryl yelled from outside.

“Don’t get your panties in a bunch, Dixon!” You yell back, trying to pull your boot on and walk down the front steps at the same time.

“Keep talkin like that and ya can’t have none of this.” He dangled a six pack of beer in front of your face.

“I’ll talk however I want, and I’ll still get beer.” You playfully jabbed him in the ribs and stole the six-pack while he was distracted. “See?”

“Yer dead!” He smiled and lunged forward.

“Don’t start fights you can’t finish, Dixon!” You yell, running off into the woods.

The dream ended there. You were suddenly awake, lying in your bed, listening to the sounds of the early morning at Hilltop. There was someone knocking on your door, and you groaned and turned over, willing the memory to come back.

The knocking was still there. “What?” You groaned.

“You’re supposed to help me milk the cows this morning. Remember?”

Shit. It was Fran. You hated working with her. She never shut up. You never missed Daryl Dixon’s stony silence more than when you had to do a chore with Fran. “Yeah, I’m coming. Just give me a minute.” You roll out of bed, shaking the cobwebs from your head, and began to get dressed.

You ran through the woods at full speed and finally crashed right into the creek. Daryl was right behind you, not missing a beat as he barreled through the cold water right at you.

You yell out as he picks you up and throws you over his shoulder. “Truce!” You’re afraid he’s going to drop you in the water, but he sets you down instead.

Daryl swiped the beer out of your hands. “Don’t start fights you can’t finish.” He pulled a can off the plastic carrier as you both sloshed your way to dry land. You found a sunny spot in a clearing and collapsed into the grass, opening the can with a ‘hiss’.

You follow Fran into the makeshift barn where the cows were kept. Sighing, you pick up a few pails and the broken one you use as a milking stool. Fran started going on about who knows what. You never knew what that woman was talking about; it’s like she forgot there’s an apocalypse and still thinks there’s celebrity gossip worthy of chatting about. It’s as if all the celebrities weren’t dead in her mind.

“You’ll miss me when I go away in the fall.” You said, breaking the comfortable silence between the two of you as you lay in the clearing sunning yourselves.

“Yeah.” You expected him to deny it, so this clear admission of thoughts and inner feelings shocked you a bit. “Won’t be the same round here.”

“You’ll just have Merle to hang out with.”

“Don’t remind me.” Daryl slung a scrawny arm over his face.

You reached down and took his other hand in yours. “You could come with me?”

Daryl just shook his head. “I’d never get into a fancy college like you.”

“You could just move to the city with me. I hear Atlanta’s nice. And you could open a mechanic shop or sumthin.”

“Nah.” He lolled his head to the side to look at you. “Merle and me are gonna figure sumthin out.” It was quiet for a bit. “Just don’t forget bout me when you make new friends and have bigger adventures.”

“I could never forget about you, Daryl.”

“Y/N!” You snap out of it when you hear Fran yelling at you.


“I’ve been saying your name for quite a while now. Where’d you go just now?”

You shrug. “Nowhere.”

“Hey, guys. Jesus is back.” Scott came around the corner and into the barn. “He got back about an hour ago. I don’t think he brought supplies, though. But he did bring a lot of people.”

“Should we check it out?” You ask, brushing your hands on your jeans and standing.

“Go without me.” Fran said, moving milk pails away from the cows. “I’m not too keen on meeting new people. Not after Negan’s group.”

You shrug. “Suit yourself.” You wandered over to the main house, waving to Hilltop people that called out ‘good mornings’, just to be polite.

“I don’t leave for another few weeks.” You say, upset and sad and angry.

Daryl shrugged. “But you’re leavin. What’s the difference between us sayin good-bye now or then?”

“The difference is that you’re cuttin our time short!”

“I told ya. Merle thinks he found us some work or sumthin. So, we’re heading a little further south. He wants to go now.”

“You can’t.”

Finally, you get to the old mansion and pull open one of the doors. “Hey, Paul,” You call out as you go inside, “I heard you brought people instead of my toothpaste!”

The group was right inside the door when you stepped in. They were all staring at you, hair dripping from the forced shower Gregory probably made them take. “Oh, hi.” You wave.

There was a beat of silence. “Hi.” The red-haired man was the only one that spoke.

“I’m Y/N.” You shift your weight awkwardly. “Welcome to Hilltop.”

“We’re not staying.” The one with a full brown beard said roughly.

“Well, whether you’re staying or not, wel—“ You broke off mid-sentence as movement caught your eye from the top of the staircase. “Oh my god.” You practically screamed.

The look of shock and relief on your face probably looked more like “terror”, and the group probably expected to see a walker on the stairs when they turned around to follow your line of sight. But, instead of a walker, they only saw Daryl Dixon rooted to his spot on the staircase, the same look of shock and relief playing on his features. The air seemed to be sucked out of the room and for a beat, no one moved.

Then, Daryl was flying down the staircase at top speed as your knees gave out and you started to cry. He caught you and enveloped you in the same hug he’d given you after your boyfriend cheated on you. “I thought you were dead.” He said, quietly. “Merle and I went to your house after the outbreak, but it was trashed.”

You nod. “I left in a hurry. I wanted to try to find you.”

He let go of you finally, and wiped the tears from your cheeks. “Don’t go cryin on me now, girl.” You both started to laugh.

“You know her?” A woman with brown hair asked, and you were both suddenly conscious of the fact that there were other people in the room.

“Yeah. This is Y/N. We’ve been friends since we were little.” Daryl clapped his hand on your back a little harder than he probably meant to.

You looked him up and down and said, “Yeah, and it looks like not much changed since then. You’re still a punk.” You smirked at him, digging into his side with your pointer finger.

“Don’t start nuthin’ ya can’t finish.” He laughed, picked you up, and slung you over his shoulder. “I’m still stronger than ya.”

“Truce!” You call out, just like old times, and it gets you set back on the ground. Everyone in the group was gaping at you two. “Why are they staring at us like that?” I ask.

“We’ve just never seen this side of Daryl before.” The man with the beard said.

“I can be fun, Rick.” Daryl said, trying to frown.

“Damn near playful even,” The red-headed man mumbled in surprise.

“Oh, have I got stories for you, then.” You nudge Daryl. “Dixon the Younger here was the most fun person I hung out with when I was little.”

“Those are stories I want to hear.” The brunette woman said.

“Ya ain’t gonna hear shit.” Daryl said as threateningly as possible.

“Tell you what.” You address Rick. “You let me come back to live in your camp with you guys, and I’ll tell you any stories you want to hear.”

Rick shifted his weight, and almost smiled a bit. “How many walkers have you killed?”

“Too many to keep track.”

“How many people have you killed?”



“They tried to hurt me.”

There was a pause, before Rick nodded and said, “Welcome to the group, Y/N.”

“You can’t.” You repeated again. Then, you stepped forward and placed a soft kiss on his lips. “I love you.”

There was only sadness in his eyes as Daryl said, “Don’t start what ya can’t finish.”

You leaned your head on your best friend and the only man you’ve ever truly loved. “I won’t start what I can’t finish.” You whispered, wrapping your arms around his.

He nodded knowingly. “Me neither.”


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UPDATE: There is a parts 2 and 3, and an epilogue to this fic. You can read them here:

Part 2:

Part 3:


anonymous asked:

Imagine Jamie/Claire telling Jenny and Ian why Claire *really* disappeared for 20 years

In canon Jamie and Claire eventually tell Jenny, Ian, and the rest of the Murray clan about Claire’s unique abilities in An Echo in the Bone. Rather than imagine exactly how that explanation unfolded, I’ve come up with something set in Voyager soon after Claire’s return. Enjoy. - Lenny

Ian was quiet as they headed up the street in the direction of the print shop, the initial shock of seeing Claire again putting him in a contemplative mood. Jamie knew it had been a mistake to bring up his idea of having young Ian to live with him.

“I’m sorry about the lad,” Jamie reiterated. “I’ve had my hands a bit full the last day what wi’ Claire.”

“Aye well, yer hands are like to get fuller soon when it comes to Claire,” Ian snapped. “Or did ye already tell her about Laoghaire?”

Jamie went red in the face and looked away, fear and anger swelling within him. He fought to push them away with memories of her body fitted tight against his as they slept. It had been the first satisfying night’s rest he’d had in ages, despite spending very little of the night asleep instead holding her in his arms—present instead of always reaching for her. The knowledge that that one night might be all he had with her was both more than he’d hoped to have and not enough, sharpening the fear even as it quelled the anger.

“What I dinna understand is how ye could have married Laoghaire when there was a chance Claire had lived? I ken ye thought she was dead—and perhaps ye had good reason to think so—but ye never thought to look for her?” Ian asked, puzzling his way through Jamie’s actions.

“And when was I supposed to look for her exactly?” Jamie countered. “Lord knows I had enough time on my hands in that cave, but I was a wee bit short of resources. Might have had more in prison but they kept me busier out on the moor cutting peat. And then there was Helwater where I couldna go by my own name, but oh, searching high and low for my wife should ha’ been easy there did I only think to do so.” Jamie’s thick and resentful sarcasm cut deep. He hadn’t realized Ian stopped several steps back and had to retrace his steps, an apology ready on his lips.

But Ian apologized first. “I’m sorry, Jamie. I ken how ye feel about Claire. If ye’d any hope of her being alive, ye’d have done everything in yer power to find her again.”

Jamie nodded but the guilt of lying to his best friend was gnawing at his gut. “And ye’re right too, about Laoghaire. I… I just dinna ken how to tell her about that. I’m afraid… I’m afraid it will prove too much for her and I’ll lose her again. I… canna live through that again.”

Ian patted his friend on the shoulder sympathetically. “And she was in France the whole time?” he wondered, his disbelief—and doubt—evident.

Jamie swallowed. “She wasna in France,” he said quietly, then laughed. “Though, ye willna believe the truth were I to tell ye.”

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An Amends

This ficlet is part of the Claire returns early with Bree AU which begins with A Ringing Phone and a Folder.

This ficlet is a direct continuation from Old Enough

My Fanfiction Master List

Available on AO3 as The Nature of Choice.

This Outlander canon divergence AU ficlet alludes to information/events that appear in Dragonfly in Amber and Voyager.

As always, let me know what you think.

Keep reading

For You Are Mine

6x08 reaction fic. Post wedding smut mostly. Because someone had to. 


They end up at a hotel that also looks like a big red barn, but smells less like alfalfa and hay and more like lysol and carpet cleaner. It does have a rustic theme to it, complete with framed pictures of sheep hanging over the bed that Kurt tips his head at and studies as Blaine bounces down onto the quilt-covered mattress.

“Do you think they’re special sheep?” Kurt wonders. “Should we know about these sheep?” Blaine grins up at him from the bed, tie undone and collar unbuttoned, awfully enticing despite the room looking like it’s trapped in time in some bizarro Amish farm fantasy repackaged for gawking out-of-towners.

“C’mere,” Blaine says, reaching for Kurt who climbs onto the bed and straddles his thighs. Blaine’s hands rest on his waist, patient, but encouraging him down.

Kurt glances to the simple handcrafted headboard with an etching of wheat stalks, the metal milking pail decorating the corner, the straw baskets and wagon wheels adorning the wall.

“Oh Abraham, I’ve never done this before,” Kurt says, breathless and exaggerated, opening the rest of the buttons on Blaine’s shirt. “Will you show me how you milk your cows?”

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anonymous asked:

Imagine Jamie and Claire helping each other dress one morning.

Claire yawned, sat up, and stretched after Jamie left the bed. She wrapped the warm quilt around her shoulders, watching her husband crouch on the carpet and carefully pleat his plaid.

“I still can’t understand how your parts don’t freeze off when you wear a kilt in this weather,” she murmured, legs dangling over the edge of the lumpy feather mattress, admiring how the hairs dusting his thighs glowed in the new day’s bright light.

“Mmphmm. Weel - we Scots are made of much thicker stuff than you thin-blooded English,” he teased, smoothing out the fabric before forming the necessary creases.

From her perch on the bed, Claire enjoyed the way Jamie’s shirt hung off his body. “Mmphmm. Thick, to be sure.”

That got his attention - he looked up with a grin of his own, slanted eyes narrowing with pleasure. “Do ye forget already what we spent the past hour doing, Sassenach?”

Slowly, deliberately, she rose and padded over to him - careful not to step on the length of tartan - and held the quilt just below her breasts. “No. But I thought I’d told you I wasn’t done.”

“And I thought I’d told you I’ve chores to do.” Hands shaking a bit, he returned to his work - checking that his belt was secure under the fabric, laying flat on his back, and folding one side of the tartan over his middle.

Claire dropped her quilt. It pooled on Jamie’s feet. He gaped up at his wife as her legs parted, planting one foot on either side of his knees, hands on her hips. Paralyzed with want, he let her push the draped tartan back onto the floor, her toes tickling his thigh.

“You’re staying.”

She sank to her knees, straddling him.

“Aye,” he croaked.


“Weren’t you supposed to go to the whisky spring with Da this morning?”

Roger eased onto the bench next to Jem as Brianna placed a bowl of steaming parritch on the table in front of him. “Aye - he wanted to get an early start, but I havena seen him yet.”

Brianna added a dollop of honey to Mandy’s parritch, enticing her to eat rather than play with Esmerelda. “And the milk pail was left empty on the counter - that’s always one of Mama’s first chores.”

“One bannock in your mouth at a time, Jem,” Roger admonished. “Ye dinna suppose they’ve taken ill? They never sleep past-”

A loud crash above - from his in-laws’ bedroom. Roger raised a knowing eyebrow at his wife, and she rolled her eyes.

He turned back to his breakfast. “All right. Which of you kids want to come with me to fetch some whisky?”