Hate sex is definitely a thing, but there’s a level of loathing too virulent for hate-sex.
And that’s exactly the amount of disdain Carlisle and Caius have towards each other, in my opinion. They have very similar drives– Carlisle’s profession was identical to Caius’ when he was human, right down to the “burning wrongdoers” aspect– and similar flaws. They’re incredibly defined by their convictions. In short, looking at one another is like seeing one’s reflection in a fun-house mirror, all distorted and generally terrible.
I guess I’d need a lot of character-building to really see Carlisle and Caius as a viable ship, instead of “two people hissing accusations at each other and sulking”? But I’m open to persuasion.
i am holding hands with a girl at the pet store. i love how her voice changes when she speaks to different animals. round and bubbly for the angelfish, high and breathy for the calico kittens, sonorous and slithery for the python. she loves them all, even the great hairy tarantula that makes me cringe.
i am holding hands with this girl whose halo of hair glows banana yellow under the heat lamps in the reptile section, who offers her index finger to teething kittens. she asks “can’t we have one?” in the voice she uses for only me. a voice i can’t describe without using her name, but i imagine joan of arc heard something similar the day she picked up a sword. she is still holding my hand, and i feel like i’d sink into cartoon quicksand if i let go. so i don’t.
“are you two… together?”
this is not unfamiliar, but the woman’s voice, the voice she has chosen, is angrily acidic. this woman has laced her tone with arsenic, without even a passive aggressive teaspoon of sugar to hide her poison. she inhales, puffing herself up like a frightened lizard before her final words.
“there are children here, you know.”
in the future, i think of a thousand things to say. we were children too. two girls holding hands after school. two girls holding hands at the movie theatre, two girls in a booth at tony’s pizza, two girls sharing awkward first kisses after two solo cups of wine in someone else’s backyard. two girls holding kittens at a pet store on a saturday afternoon.
i know now that they see us through funhouse mirrors: distorted, disturbed, our monstrous bodies taking too much space, spoiling innocent spaces with our imposing sexualities. our innocence never ours to begin with.
even with this, there is nowhere i would rather be than holding hands with her in a pet store, with her voice like rain on a hot day, her peach lips blowing kisses for fish, her grip tightening as if to say “i dare you to take this away from me.”
ARIES Abandoned gas stations, beholders of tumbleweeds and roadside tales, filled with dead fuel yet frozen in time, eyes on the passengers with their hands and hair out the window, haunted by old desert songs and engines revving behind it.
TAURUS: Abandoned bars, stools turned over, a ripped flyer shouting BABES BABES BABES hanging off the bulletin board, a lost motorcycle tire, glass shattered, and the spirit of hell still living somewhere inside.
GEMINI Ghost towns, at the base of old mountains, houses with shutters like eyes and doors like mouths, swallowing stories whole, convenience stores still stocked with stale bread, cabins and headstones still peeking out from behind fairy wood brambles, nature stretching into steel, ready to come alive with a shift of the wind.
CANCER: Abandoned motels, empty pools filled with deflated flamingos, the sign out front screaming VACANCY forever, each room a different anthology of guest book tales, smashed television monitors and a love note ( or goodbye note ) caught up in the rust of the honeymoon suite.
LEO: Abandoned theaters, stages dented with the ghosts of performances past, torn scripts scattered across floorboards in a mess of Playbills and shattered eyeglasses, broken lights and tattered dress hems, mannequins poised at an eternal act one.
VIRGO Abandoned train stations, cars sprayed in a kaleidoscope of graffiti, drifters still starting fires in some of the shells, grass growing over old gears, ghost conductors with no destination, rails intersecting at odd angles like flowers and bones.
LIBRA Abandoned campgrounds, rattlesnakes and desert blues, dead hot and forgotten, a shelled-out RV and the dry lake where the kids used to play, swallowing up broken toys and flat tents, showers crawling with critters, vintage t-shirts printed with campground bears promising that it’s still “the happiest place on earth.”
SCORPIO Abandoned amusement parks, soggy coaster cars paused mid-ascension, cheap thrills and screams still stagnant in the air, ferris wheels trembling in the wind, clown faces distorted and torn down the middle, a mascot head smiling out from the overgrowth.
SAGITTARIUS Abandoned renaissance fairs, an acre out of time, fake pirate ships swinging, fairy wings trying to fly, dead flower crowns tangled with bright ribbons and peasant blouses shed by the lake, empty squares and old stage buildings, Arthur’s sword caught at the entry, still waiting to be pulled.
CAPRICORN Abandoned toy stores, broken pinball machines, ghost clowns, and popped balloons, playing cards stuck to the floor, a crooked house of childhood horrors, teddy bears bleeding stuffing, and a funhouse mirror distorting the distorted.
AQUARIUS: Abandoned piers, driftwood split down the middle, coastline the last alive thing, neon lights still calling Gatsby home from the horizon, but promising only the ghosts of mermaids washed ashore, tires and bottles filled with sand, dead trees spouting from old rocks, branches a wind chime of ripped dresses, forks, and seashells on strings.
PISCES: Abandoned waterparks, slides overlooking entire old cities, perfect for climbing, hoses and pools now scrawled over and used as skateboard ramps, kids climbing over the old towers and ladders in their bathing suits when it rains, pure want as their tickets in, yelling, “We’re still here, we’re still here, we’re still here!”
People like me didn’t feature in the stories I was told growing up. Felt as if I didn’t exist. Even if there were characters like me, they were Hall of Mirrors distortions that made me feel like I didn’t want to exist. I had a go at ending my existence back then. But I was as good at suicide as I was at physics, so I lived and learnt. It’s painful to be invisible in other people’s stories, but there is a sliver of liberation. You can tell your own story. You can author your own life. There’s no script to stick to, which is fucking terrifying. And quite exciting. And fucking terrifying.
i am stardust kissing the atmosphere with millions of light years held inside of me, millions of stories and histories you could not even begin to dream of
i am fire, flames so bright you melt in my presence, i ignite myself with the gasoline of your hatred and fear and misunderstanding, and i will burn down this town
i am the flowing of river, currents rushing, never stopping; i am the unnamed ocean you wouldn’t dare to place a toe in; i am the serene lake, so beautiful to look at but so toxic beneath the surface; i am a puddle after the rain, created effortlessly by mother nature; i am the rain, you’ll never know if i am just going to be a drizzle or if i am going to bring the storm
i am a fun house mirror, distorted by societal expectation, ugly to the naked eye, but inside i am still me, and nothing can change that
i am so much more than you could even begin to understand
you dare to suggest that all that i am can be summed up by your binary
these are all clips from the second snakey video, when you slow it down you can clearly see a couple frames with snake heads (so it’s 100% a snake guys).
also, i think there are maybe 2 snakes here. the first gif demonstrates this the best, it looks like the head of the snake shown is actually wrapped in the other snake’s body. this also explains the weird direction of the snake’s movement.
the other gifs could also be hinting at 2 snakes, yes it could just be the mirror effect and distortion but maybe not!
I’m falling head first and I didn’t know my body was a mirror until I hit the floor and broke. Reflecting a life I wish I had. I wish this was my first time falling from grace but it hasn’t. I wonder if withered flowers still grow in my throat. Nights have been endless with hurt clawing at my thoughts and brokenness kissing my eyelids. No more acting, no more pretending who you are, behind these hollowed eyes are years of wildfires in your soul. How far can this body survive on pain? How far until it starts to decay and form into something ugly and monstrous? She wishes to burn this world until the ashes are just specks of dust in this galaxy. It’s weird how pain can do this to someone. Break them like mirrors, until distorted images of what they want form.
Aries: your grace is hidden under the fiery exterior you have built for the world. your tongue flicks flames at those in close proximity; if only they could feel the rhythm of your heart as it beats a bruise on your tender chest.
Taurus: your mind takes root under the earthy soil, tendrils twisting beneath the ground you walk; your soul is protected here. watch out, though, for those willing to dig in order to unearth the treasure of your darkest secrets.
Gemini: a spider cannot weave a web as magnificent as you do with your words. only you know how to navigate the sticky strands, and those who dare to cross you often find themselves forever enchanted by your tongue.
Cancer: the depths of the ocean could not compare to the layers of your mind. so deep are your thoughts, that all close to you may drown if they are not careful to float. churning like the sea, pulled by the moon, your soul will not rest.
Leo: a conflict between right and wrong rages in your head, while the smile on your face does not fade. standing in front of a mirror, the image is distorted; for you are as noble as the lion, yet as cowardly as the snake, waiting in the grass.
Virgo: tiny, delicate feet dance across the tile as you sneak your way through life. slipping in and out of consciousness becomes easier as you glide through the dimensions of reality. you are caged, you are grounded, yet you are free.
Libra: you are a miracle stirring in the depths. dip your hands beneath the still, beautiful exterior and dig out the life within. you are balance, and you are serenity, but inside you are churning, swirling, waiting to be discovered.
Scorpio: a dark figure flicks on the shadow of your heart. your tender soul is masked by a rough exterior, a row of thorns threatening to prick all who dare reach out. a tear in the seam of reality draws you in, and you are reborn.
Sagittarius: a forest fire burns, jumping from tree to tree as its tendrils wave. nothing can cool the flames of your heart, the relentless heat of your soul. when the devastation is over, green buds of life explode from the charred ruins.
Capricorn: please yourself with the navy blue that rests in your mind, feel content with the forest green that makes up your body, breathe out the maroon smoke of your life; you are a colorful mystery, with a colorless resolution.
Aquarius: as an angel, you must hide your wings. the bright white light of your essence is masked by the darkness of the world around you. you suck in the black light of society, and with every breath, you turn darker inside.
Pisces: you whisper wishes of a new reality beneath your shallow breath. the radiance of your soul is muted by the quiet beauty of your mind, and the pearly depths of your existence churn with your readiness to transcend.
Other people teach us who we are. Their attitudes to us are the mirror in which we learn to see ourselves, but the mirror is distorted. We are, perhaps, rather dimly aware of the immense power of our social environment.
Gazing at one’s own face in the mirror for a few minutes, at a low illumination level, triggers the perception of strange faces, a new visual illusion that has been named ‘the strange-face in the mirror’. Individuals see huge distortions of their own faces, but they often see monstrous beings, archetypal faces, faces of deceased relatives, and animals. In the experiment described here, strange-face illusions were perceived when two individuals, in a dimly lit room, gazed at each other.
Strange-face illusions during inter-subjective gazing, G. Caputo.
Other people teach us who we are. Their attitudes to us are the mirror in which we learn to see ourselves, but the mirror is distorted. We are, perhaps, rather dimly aware of the immense power of our social environment.
Alan Watts, The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are
i. People tell me I smile like my mother
the thought warms me
that I could own a part of beauty
carved from fifty years of dedication
and survival and a love so potent and full.
ii. She leaves nothing to be wanted
stretching the soles of the shoes
I have to fill and it scares me sometimes
because I know I don’t have enough smiles
or time with her to walk through this life.
iii. I tell everyone that I get it from my mum
churning the food she cooks into character
breathing in the smell of her discounted perfume
and out an immovable presence of dignity
absorbing her stories of childhood, of home
until I can stomach the meaning of survival
and live a legacy that makes hers brighter.
iv. I don’t know if I smile like my mother
mirrors and young eyes distort the truth
it will be years before I am aged
with any bit of her grace
but if there is any resemblance
then she has given me more
than I could have ever asked for.
A story about great women and their daughters in four parts
“TAB and ASiP are secret episode twins. Need to be studied side by side, end to end.”
So, @longsnowsmoon5‘s awesome observation above gave me an idea. I re-watched A Study in Pink last night, and I think The Abominable Bride is partly a distorted mirror image of it. Sherlock’s drug fuelled Victorian Mind Palace is started by reading John’s blog entry of that case. So, Sherlock is thinking of that very important time and giving us a strange ‘through the looking-glass’ view, showing us what was and is important to him, what he would have done differently, and even what he regrets…
The First Meeting
Sherlock is a suave corpse-whipper. John watches instead of Molly.
Sherlock knows Molly was entranced by him beating the corpse with a riding crop. Except, John wasn’t there to see it. Drat! So, Sherlock imagines that John did get to see it, and that he definitely liked what he saw.
Sherlock makes himself into a much more dynamic, enigmatic figure for this first meeting. He remembers that John described him as “charming” on his blog, and he adores that. Staying true to his drama queen tendencies, Sherlock totally overblows that idea in his mind palace because he desperately wants to live up to the “idea” he believes John has of him (not yet understanding that John loves him for being himself.)
Maybe hunk taking care of really sick Keith? If you'd rather do shiro I'm all for that too but Keith and hunk is a favorite friend combo for me (love your stuff as always!!!)
There’s a weight crushing his chest, hot and thick and cloying like smog. He struggles to breathe past it, oxygen clogging in his lungs with every choked inhale.
His throbbing head lolls against the chilly floor, too woozy to try and lift it up. A tingling shiver starts at the base of his spine and travels up in one convulsive, rolling shudder. His stomach squirms, protesting the jarring movement as he wraps his arms a little tighter around himself, curling his limbs into a ball. His body feels like it’s been turned into a gigantic block of solid ice.
He needs to get up. Needs to get dressed and go outside. They’ll wonder where he is, soon. Probably come looking for him. Won’t they? Will they care?
He doesn’t know how long he’s been lying on the bathroom floor, doesn’t even remember stumbling out of bed. An hour, maybe? At any rate, he’s wallowed long enough. If he can’t accomplish the simple task of getting his body under control how the hell is he supposed to be the leader of jack-shit?
There’s that word again. It’s been tumbling around the recesses of his mind for weeks now. Always present, taunting him with its inevitability. He needs Shiro. Needs to ask him what to do.
But of course that’s impossible, isn’t it?
Three goddamn weeks and he’s still struggling to wrap his mind around their new reality. This nightmare he can’t seem to wake from.
He slams his fist against the tile, frustrated tears trickling down his cheeks as he hauls his uncooperative limbs into a sitting position. He sways as the floor tilts beneath him, but he refuses to fall. He blinks away the tears and inhales a deep, shuddering breath. Good. Making progress.
Then his lungs sputter, choking on the oxygen and he clutches at his throat, coughing and wheezing and hacking up a mouthful of something that makes him gag. He groans aloud, swiping the back of his hand beneath his leaking nose. He doesn’t have time for this bullshit.
Gritting his teeth, he reaches up to grip the edge of the metal sink; forcing his legs underneath him takes far more effort than it ought to. It’s slow going but eventually he’s hovering over the basin, weak but finally upright.
His fingers tremble as he cups a handful of water; the droplets turn lukewarm the moment they touch his skin. His reflection wavers in the small mirror, gray and distorted; fleeting because he ducks his head and shuts his eyes tight so he doesn’t have to look.
The anger resurfaces; coiling low in the pit of his stomach and working its way up until his vision flickers blood-red. It’s familiar; comforting in a twisted way. He needs the rage. Needs it to push himself forward like he needs the air in his lungs. He braces his weight against the wall, panting through another surge of dizziness.
He’s thirsty. He wants to go back to the faucet for a drink but the claustrophobia is waiting for him. The kitchen, then. No mirrors in there.
He’s standing in the middle of the mess-hall, uncertain of how he made it downstairs. He can feel a bruise forming just below his kneecap but can’t remember when he fell. He doesn’t bother trying to find a cup. Instead, he staggers over to the sink, fumbling blindly with the handle and dipping his head to gulp down mouthfuls of the icy water. The liquid splashes all over his face, down his chest and onto the floor. He doesn’t care, just keeps lapping at the stream until he can’t hold anymore.
He jumps at the unexpected voice, wincing as a light switches on. He spins around and straightens, ignoring the nauseating shimmer of the walls surrounding him, making it difficult to keep his balance. He’d been freezing only moments ago; now his clothes feel damp and clammy with sweat.
“What are you doing up so early?” Hunk is still in his pajama pants and robe; hair disheveled and sticking up in all the wrong directions. He gives Keith an odd look, reaching up to rub his eye with the heel of his hand.
“Couldn’t sleep,” Keith rasps, feeling an uncomfortable tickle crawl up the back of his throat. He coughs in his mouth a few times, as quietly as possible.
“You too, huh?” Hunk offers a sympathetic smile and starts digging through a cabinet, producing a tin can. “I was gonna make some tea.”
It’s an obvious invitation but Keith is barely paying attention. It’s a little difficult to hear through the high-pitched buzzing in his ears and the gurgling in his stomach. The water isn’t settling; in hindsight, maybe he should have gulped a little slower.
“Why don’t you sit down,” Hunk suggests, eyes narrowing with obvious concern. He’s frowning, now.
“We’re scheduled for training in an hour,” Keith murmurs, throat bobbing with a few convulsive swallows. “I don’…don’t have time for tea.” For some reason that strikes him as funny and he lets out a snort of laughter.
Keith doesn’t think he can even make it to the chair. The room’s spinning too fast to move away from the sink, anyway. He feels himself tilting forward, watches as the floor rushes up to meet him and then a pair of strong arms hauling him back up just before he smashes his face open.
“Keith,” Hunk says right next to his ear; his voice is low and gentle. “Come sit down.”
And he really doesn’t have a choice in the matter.
Hunk helps him over to one of the chairs and Keith immediately slumps over the table, pillowing his head in his arms.
“I don’t think training’s on the agenda for you this morning. You look like hell.”
“Jus’ a cold,” Keith slurs, wiping his nose on the sleeve of his sweatshirt. “I’ll be fine.” He means it, too. He has every intention of powering through what promises to be a grueling morning.
Hunk crouches down beside his chair. Keith watches with vague curiosity as Hunk rests one hand on his back and the other brushes underneath Keith’s bangs. Hunk’s large hand feels cool against his forehead. Even so, Keith feels the need to shrug Hunk off before he gets too comfortable up there.
“Hate to break it to you, but that’s definitely more than a cold,” Hunk obligingly pulls his hand away from his forehead but lets the other hover over Keith’s back. Keith coughs into his crossed arms and feels Hunk’s hand stroke up and down a few times. He doesn’t have the energy to do anything about it.
“So this is why you didn’t show up at dinner, huh? You’ve been feeling lousy since last night?”
“I was tired,” Keith insists. It’s harder to focus.
“You’re sick. I mean, you’re practically cooking in your own skin, dude,” Hunk rises from his crouch and crosses his arms.
“Jus’ need to sleep it off,” Keith insists, pushing up from the table. His stomach lurches with the unexpected movement and he muffles a wet hiccup into his fist. “You can’t tell the others.”
“Keith,” Hunk sits down beside him. He runs a hand through his messy hair and sighs. When he glances back, his eyes are unnervingly intense; full of a profound sadness that Keith recognizes as buried grief. “It’s okay. No one’s going to think any less of you because you need to take a day off. You don’t have to prove anything to us. You know that, right?”
The gentle sincerity, the goddamn earnestness makes Keith want to scream. He raises his head, swallows hard and glares back, fists vibrating against the table.
“I have everything to prove,” he growls, gripping the edges of the metal, trying to hold on to his reeling world.
Hunk shakes his head, resting his chin in his hands. He’s quiet for a long moment.
“You know who you sound like,” he says quietly, a fond smile forming at the corners of his lips.
“Don’t,” Keith spits, shaking with fury. But the damage has been done. “Don’t talk about him like he’s…like -”
Keith slaps a hand over his mouth, shoving away from the table and tripping over his own feet in his haste to make it to the sink. His shoulders roll with a deep gag and all at once the water comes gushing back up, splattering violently into the metallic basin. He retches a few more times but there isn’t anything left to throw up. He must’ve emptied out his stomach when he first woke up. He doesn’t remember doing that, either.
Keith coughs and spits, resenting the tears that manage to slip free. Suddenly, he realizes he’s no longer holding his own weight. Hunk has one arm wrapped around his waist, the other supports Keith’s back as his body shudders through the aftershock and he struggles to catch his breath.
“I’m sorry,” Hunk whispers when Keith’s calmed down a bit. He sounds devastated. “I didn’t mean for -“
“Don’t. Please,” Keith pants, slumping against the broad chest. “It’s not your fault. ‘M just…really fucked up right now. Everything’s so f-fucked up.”
He doesn’t mean for his words to get tangled in a choked sob but Hunk immediately pulls him close, hugging him from behind and holding him steady. He doesn’t say anything. He doesn’t have to.
After a few minutes, Keith wipes viciously at his bleary eyes and hangs his head. Hunk peers down, rubbing his thumb in gentle circles against Keith’s shoulder, silently asking if he’s all right; if he’s ready.
“Don’t tell Lance,” Keith hiccups, finally glancing up. “I think I’d have to abandon ship.”
Hunk smiles softly, readjusting his grip around Keith’s waist and easing the sick boy’s arm over his own shoulders.
“Yeah, you’re definitely getting funnier.”
“Not kidding,” Keith slurs, feeling himself being lifted up as if he weighs nothing at all. That’s strange because his head feels so heavy he’s afraid it might just roll right off his shoulders. He thinks maybe he passed out since one minute they’re in the kitchen and the next Hunk’s easing him down into bed, tucking his aching body into the warm blankets.
“You don’t need to prove anything right now, Keith,” Hunk’s voice is surprisingly soothing, fingers brushing lightly through the damp strands of Keith’s hair. “Just sleep. We can handle things for a while.”
Once again, Keith doesn’t have a choice in the matter.
“A good horror story will frighten us, yes. It will keep us awake at night, it will make our flesh crawl, it will creep into our dreams and give new meaning to the darkness. […] Good horror stories make us look at our reflections in dark distorting mirrors, where we glimpse things that disturb us, things that we did not really want to look at. Horror looks into the shadows of the human soul, at the fears and rages that live within us all.” –GRRM
I reached the horror section of Dreamsongs a couple days ago and let me tell you, I am NOT looking forward to whatever dark trip GRRM is taking us on in TWOW. Just kidding, I need it more than ever!! GRRM knows how to tap into something primal and beam it directly into my nightmares. (I feel very uneasy about crabs right now.)
Horrifying imagery aside, GRRM’s real strength is emotional horror. Beautiful things like love, and courage, and friendship, and hope die faster than Ned Stark when GRRM writes horror. Jealousy and hatred and rage win when GRRM writes horror. (Anyone else thinking “valonqar” right now because I am…. I keep saying it, the Lannisters are horrifying, and I love them.)
For example, I read GRRM’s “Meathouse Man” and the stories are very different, but I felt a resonance with Tyrion’s storyline:
“Of all the bright cruel lies they tell you, the cruelest is the one called love.”
“I don’t think of Mad Love as a victim’s tale, but a cautionary one about what happens when someone loves recklessly, obsessively, and for too long. Through Harley’s tragicomic experiences, we catch a glimpse of ourselves in a funhouse mirror, distorted and all too willing to play the fool for someone we’d be much better off without. But through that awareness can come change, and that’s a good thing indeed.” –Paul Dini