A/N: I like all the ideas coming from you, they inspire me so much, @lazyneonmonster. Probably bc they’re mainly based on Brett, but wth.
Brett toss his arm around your shoulders as you lean back
on the couch, scrolling through social media on your phone. He peeked at your
screen from the corner of his eye and saw how you absently stopped by some
ridiculous posts just to snicker and then scroll forward.
you / you are breaking him into pieces and slivers and mirror shards but he still smiles, because it’s you and he does not care if he comes undone and his stitches unfasten over his scars (because it’s you), and he loves you so deeply (how could he not, with his jaded vision and broken-glass-for-eyes?).
LITTLE SHOP OF SUPERSTITIONS, by Natalie C. Parker
All my life, my mother has been a peddler of fantasy.
Before I was born, she opened The Mad Daughter, a specialty store for all your superstitious needs: there are wallets and cell phone cases inlaid with the wood of local trees in case you need some for knocking; there’s a wall of rabbit’s feet (supplied by the butcher next door, of course); a stand of hand-woven, lightly used brooms for new homes; jars of salt mixed with a variety of herbs line up near the rabbit feet; we have a hat rack dripping with red shoestrings; and if you break a mirror, we’ll piece it back together (which is evidence of mom’s genius – turn your back luck into good art!).
She says that her obsession started when she was a girl. As she tells it, at the age of seven, she received precisely what she’d wished for her birthday: a game called Hungry Hungry Hippos. She was more impressed that her wish – made mere moments before the gifts were brought to the table – was granted than she was with the game itself. This lead her to conduct science on every birthday thereafter, systematically wishing for things both practical and preposterous and keeping careful track of the results.
She still has her records. I’ve seen them. At the age of thirteen, she titled her journal “The Trials of Superstition” and it wasn’t until the age of sixteen that her birthday wish didn’t come true in any discernible way. Her notes on the subject are reluctant:
Tomorrow is my birthday and so I am forced to admit that my birthday wish from last year did not come true. As the first instance of wish un-fulfillment in a decade, I think it’s safe to assume it is the outlier and my experiment still has merit.
Lord, even as a kid she was pretentious.
But birthdays are only where she got her start. Her journals are filled with accounts of every superstition the lay person has ever heard of and dozens more. There are proofs and explanations and musings about history and religion and N’Sync. So it’s really no wonder that superstition became her bread and butter.
Our bread and butter, I should say. Because I’ve been working at The Mad Daughter for ages, or, three years, part-time, if you ask the IRS.
We’re located at the corner of Acorn and 13th and we’re the hottest ticket in town around Halloween – come get your witch kits! – and Valentine’s Day – our bones reveal who you’ll marry!
I’ve never believed a lick of it. The minute you believe things like this, they become real, and that’s a slippery slope.
But disbelief doesn’t sell brooms, so when I’m on duty, I’m all smiles and sales pitch.
Or I was until Sam.
There are a lot of things I could say about my life pre-Sam. It wasn’t simple, but it sure wasn’t complicated; it wasn’t easy, but it sure wasn’t hard; it wasn’t fake, but it sure wasn’t the truth.
There hasn’t been a lot of life post-Sam, but I know, I believe this small thing will change so much.
You know how sometimes you meet a person and suddenly you know yourself better in that moment than you did the moment before? I don’t know if that’s really a thing. It’s only happened to me the once. Where “the once” equals “Sam.”
Not to be dramatic, but Sam came in like a beam of light. It was a Saturday afternoon in November and – hang on, it started before that afternoon. It started on Halloween when my mother invited her ladies over to engage in all her favorite superstitions. They ring bells to chase away evil spirits, peel apples to see who will come into good fortune first, and write names in lemon juice on pieces of paper and toss them into a cauldron. The last is for those of us who are unwed and I’m always forced to participate.
On my turn, I pulled a piece of paper and held it over the flame of a candle until the lemon juice slowly revealed the name of my one true love: Sam.
“Sam’s a good name,” my mother said.
“Every Sam I know is good-hearted,” said one of her ladies.
“Any Sam’s in your life already, Livi?” asked another.
I shook my head and went to get more punch.
Now, back to that Saturday afternoon. I was working the desk like I always do on Saturday afternoons. There was a man staring at the rice mom spills across the threshold every day and I was preparing my stock answer on Vampire wards when he suddenly stepped aside and there she was.
Long, chestnut hair and a navy Henley. That’s just what I remember when I stop to think about it. In the moment, all I saw was a girl that made my insides shiver.
She saw me, too, but I have no idea how she was feeling in that moment. She moved around the man still hovering over the rice and walked right to my counter where she leaned on one elbow and asked, “So, are you the Mad Daughter?”
I know I did something embarrassing like laugh – I inherited my mother’s signature ha-ha hahah oh-ha-ha laugh and it’s terrible – but I don’t remember it. I remember saying, “Oh, no. I mean, I’m the daughter of the owner, but no, no, not mad it’s actually a reference to an obscure Voltaire quote about superstitions being the mad daughter of a wise mother and my mom – ah, sorry. Can I help you find anything?”
Then she was laughing and I was thrust into some sort of existential crisis of self in which I questioned my understanding of the universe but mostly the part where I claimed to know who I was.
She was a girl. Still is. So was I. Still am. And it was for these reasons that I was completely unprepared to help her find a birthday present for her mom.
But I did. We picked out a mosaic mirror in the shape of a Tudor Rose – her mother was an Anglophile and a fan of Margaret Beaufort, so it really was perfect – and that was that.
Well, that wasn’t that. She paid with a credit card I barely noticed and before she left, she put out her hand and said, “I’m Sam.”
That was when the world stopped… And it hasn’t moved yet.
I don’t believe. I know I don’t believe that I’m destined to love a Sam simply because I pulled a piece of paper with that name scrawled in lemon juice. But my fingers close around the receipt with her name on it, Sam, Sam, Sam, and I wonder if that night was preparing me for this moment.
No, no, it wasn’t.
There is some part of me screaming “Let this moment pass!” because I cannot validate one of my mother’s superstitions. It’s a loud and deeply rooted part and it holds the rest of me in a vice as Sam takes her mirror and begins to walk away.
How can I begin to react in a moment when I’m suddenly not the person I thought I was? I should let her go. I should go home and have a long hot bath where I can relax with jasmine tea and slowly, carefully revisit the core tenants of Liv Davis and see how this new piece fits. I should take my time. Adjust.
She reaches the doorway, crosses the rice ward, and rings the bell as she exits.
It wasn’t real, none of it is real because I don’t believe it. I won’t believe it. I –
The door closes behind her. I can see the outline of her through the frosted window. I’ve never seen her before today, it’s possible I’ll never see her again and these few moments will be the only real thing about her.
Sam. I drop the receipt, round the counter, and rush onto the sidewalk. She’s half a block away, sunlight caught in her hair, the mirror caught on her hip. I run to catch her. “Sam!” I call.
She turns. She smiles.
“I’m Liv,” I say, and I hardly believe it, but I add, “I think we were supposed to meet.”
A white farmhouse sink is surrounded by rich marble countertops and washed in natural light from a large sink-side window. Vintage-inspired fixtures—such as the polished gold bridge faucet—display the simple and elegant style of this kitchen.
Prompt for your conaideration: Outlaw Queen "I didn't ask for this."
“Her” verse, although it can be read alone. I hope you don’t mind that I included Roland.
“I didn’t ask for this, you
Robin stops in a
half-crunched position, sitting back down on the porch step from which he’s
just pushed himself up, staring directly at the downcast face of his son.
“For what, Roland?” he
questions, cricket song echoing in his ears as silence greets his question. The
boy won’t look at him, choosing instead to study his sneakers, one of which has
come untied, Robin notes, so he chooses to wait him out, folding his hands in
his lap, looking back up at the emerging moon with a stifled sigh.
“For a little sister.”
The child’s words are hushed,
muffled, nearly lost in the evening air the moment they leave his lips, but
Robin feels them nonetheless, thinking rather loudly to himself that neither he
nor Regina asked for this either.
“I know, son,” he murmurs,
sliding an arm around a child now as confused as he’s been for the past several
months. “But sometimes, the things we don’t ask for turn out to be just what we
Roland scrunches his nose,
finally looking up at his papa, his eyes seeking answers to what doesn’t make
“We don’t need a baby,” the
boy argues. “We’re enough right now—you, me, Henry and Gina.” His face falls into arms crossed over already
We walked together in a cathedral of green. The light danced through layer upon layer of maple leaves creating a mosaic of different shapes and hues above our heads. The ground was carpeted in verdant tones and from it ferns speared gracefully upward. Everything was lush and vital. Even the air felt alive. I told you how the symbiosis of moss growing on a decaying log made me feel happy. You could see why I was delighted with every tiny plant raising it’s leaves to the sun.
You understood what being surrounded by green means to me because you have your own place, your own colour, that brings peace to you.
Holy shit, chapter fourteen! I hope everyone’s still with me and still reading - more importantly, still enjoying x
Stiles let out a slow breath, taking careful steps towards the girl who was curled around herself on one of the cafe chairs. Her head was slumped forward and she was staring down at her phones blank screen.
“Lydia?” Stiles murmured to her softly, crouching down to her level and placing a gentle hand on her knee.
Lydia jumped slightly, tearing her eyes away from her dead phone and seeing coffee coloured eyes in front of her. She gasped.
The girl threw her arms around him without a second thought. Lydia buried her face in the comforting spot between Stiles’ shoulder chin, her voice catching as she tried to apologize.
“I’m sorry”, she hiccuped slightly, “I’m sorry I left this morning. I’m sorry I didn’t call”.
Stiles sighed and let his arms wrap around her, one hand finding it’s way into her curls as he held her to him.
He tried to keep the disappointment and hurt out of his voice when he asked her,
“What about being here now - with him. Are you sorry about that too?’’
He pulled away from her slightly, watching with a sinking heart as a tear escaped from Lydia’s eye. She gazed back at him, too guilty to drop her gaze. The boy nodded silently towards to movie theater doors, “Is he still in there?’’ Lydia nodded, her eyes wide and still full of tears. She almost breathed a sigh of relief when Stiles took her hand in his own and gently pulled her to her feet.
I met a girl,
and she was so beautiful.
She was a painting in a golden frame
the kind that hang in galleries and
last for centuries and are loved for centuries
and get called timeless stunning treasures.
I knew a girl,
and she was so fascinating.
She was a foreign concept
and I didn’t quite understand
but I wanted to and I tried to
and she was all the more impressive for it.
I knew a girl,
and she was so smart.
She was a book or an idea or a poem
full of passion and thought and
a spark that tried like hell to hide itself
but shone brighter than anything I’d seen.
I knew a girl,
and she was so broken.
She was a mosaic shaped like a human
with pieces like a mirror so I could
see myself reflected and think it wasn’t possible
because she was so much more than I could be.
I know a girl,
and she is extraordinary.
I cannot help but think she is art,
like the universe’s personal masterpiece
and I got to witness her firsthand
and feel like maybe I could be art too.