January 30 prompt: #18 “Unexpected” Pencil, fountain pen (Lennon Toolbar Iron Deep Blue and Papier Plume Sepia), waterbrush
An idea that quickly got out of hand. Part of me is like “I shoulda put more effort into this…” and the other part of me is like “well this was a lot of effort just for the sake of the last page!!” lol
I think Hokushin is quite a good storyteller/narrator, and I wanted to try updating his tale now that we know how it all turns out. Obviously, I had to drop a lot of details for the sake of brevity/impact. It was an interesting editing challenge, and just a fun scripting and paneling exercise in general.
The Makai Museum of Political History appears in my post-series fanfic Ends of the Earth, if you wanna read more about it!
Right here (direct link to chapter 4. All the stories are pretty self-contained so even though they reference each other they can be read in nearly any order.)
So you’re probably not surprised that this is not going to be a one shot. I’ve chosen the nanny AU, here’s chapter one!
This was bound to
happen eventually, Tony thought. He sat in a large vehicle of some kind –
van or SUV – with a goon on either side, squishing him intentionally, just so
he knew there was nowhere to go. Considering that he was bound hand and foot
and in a moving vehicle, he didn’t need the reminder. The cloth sack they’d
thrown over his head smelled nauseatingly of onions, and he had to keep his
eyes closed against the burn.
“You know,” Tony started, because it wouldn’t be the first
time he’d talked himself out of a nasty situation, but Left Goon smacked him
flat across the face before he could get another word out. Stars popped up
behind his eyes and the burning along his lower lids extended to encompass his
nose as well.
“Could have just asked me to be quiet,” he said reasonably.
Right Goon drove the butt of a shotgun into his gut. “Be
quiet, please,” he deadpanned when Tony was done retching and coughing.
It wasn’t right. Well, back up – there was a lot of it that wasn’t right. He’d been on vacation at
his private chalet, enjoying a quiet evening with the skibunnies gone, and a
nice bottle of wine to keep him company. He’d been minding his own business
when the goons had burst in and rushed him before he could even get off the
couch (and, okay, he’d literally been caught with his pants down, but all the
kicking had been unnecessary).
Tony Stark had been abducted before. He was familiar with
how it went. Take the rich guy, put him somewhere he couldn’t make too much
trouble, contact the rich guy’s family and demand money for the rich guy’s
return. Usually that meant a few days – at most – cooped up in a badly
ventilated room, listening to goons watching TV through thin walls, and then
going home. It was a business transaction, and it was part and parcel of being
a “rich guy.” He didn’t have family anymore, but they would contact Obie, Obie
would contact the firm that they went through to handle these things, Tony
would be home by Monday.
Except that they were being rough with him. He’d gone
through this four times since his sixth birthday. The only time any of the
kidnappers had ever been rough with him was the political group that snagged
him when he was sixteen, and they’d mostly wanted to make a point. He’d gotten
himself out of that one once he realized that even if they got the two million
they were asking for, they’d never let him go. This was different than even
that – there had been no rhetoric, no name calling, the goons were just being rough.
Tony thought wryly. You’re being stupid
with your investment, boys. They’re not going to pay for me if I’m dead.
Of course, maybe getting paid wasn’t the point. Tony sealed
his lips and started thinking.
Tony had been fighting down motion sickness for hours when
the vehicle slowed and pulled over. The driver announced that he needed to piss,
and the goons threw the door open to drag Tony outside for the same. He hadn’t
been wearing shoes when they’d grabbed him, but the inside of the vehicle was
warm enough. In contrast, the snow was so cold that it felt like walking on
coals when he was roughly shoved to the side of the road. His feet had been bound
with only a few inches between his ankles, and he went down on his knees. He
tried to catch himself with his hands, but his wrists had been crossed before
being tied and they were no help at all. He ended up with his face in the snow
and not enough leverage to even get back to his knees. He struggled to turn his
head far enough to breathe.
“Christ,” one of the goods complained. He grabbed Tony by
the sack over his head and hauled him upright.
“Not going to be able to this without my hands,” Tony gasped
out against the onion sack. His bladder had recoiled at the first touch of the
snow, so he wasn’t sure he could do it even with his hands.
The goon snorted. “Think I’m stupid?”
thought, but just barely managed to stop himself from giving the man an
invitation to kick him a few times. The goon dragged him to his feet and
wrapped on arm around the back of his shoulders to keep him still, squishing
Tony into his bulk. He flicked Tony’s belt open with the other hand, grumbling
unhappily under his breath as he yanked jeans and boxers aside.
“Go,” he said, holding Tony’s penis with a thumb and
forefinger. “Come on, or it’s gonna freeze off.”
Biting his lip and holding down the competing surges of
anger, frustration, and shame, Tony sucked in a slow breath and tried to relax.
The goon kept muttering, growing obviously more impatient as the moments
passed. His grip was tight and he smelled like body odor under too much Aqua
Velva. Combined with the scent of the onion sack it was enough to make his
insides all clench up at once.
“I don’t want you fucking pissing on yourself in the car,”
the goon said, voice low and angry. “Come on.”
Being cajoled didn’t help, but Tony finally managed to get
his arms up at angle so he could knock the goon’s hand away. He took himself
awkwardly between his fingers. It wasn’t much better, but his bladder finally
decided to cooperate. He tried to listen for the other goons over the splash of
hot liquid on snow– there had been four – in hopes that once this goon had him
buttoned up again, he might be able to… what? Flop down in the snow and roll
blindfolded down a hill? Hop down the street barefoot?
Tony wasn’t a genius for nothing. He stood still and let the
goon tuck him back in and close his pants. He waited until he was securely
zipped up and the goon’s hands were away from his vitals before saying,
If he’d hoped to gain some sympathy from his captor, he was
mistaken. The goon cuffed him over the head and shoved him around. Tony
stumbled again, but he was saved a second fall by one big hand on his shoulder,
and the other in his belt. He was more or less thrown back into the vehicle,
which had lost most of its warmth, but at least it was out of the snow and
wind. He shuffled to right himself in the seat, but a door on the opposite side
of the vehicle slid open and Left Goon leaned in, grabbed him by the thigh, and
straightened him out in the middle seat. Tony held his arms up compliantly to
be belted in and then he was left alone with both of the doors open.
As long as he breathed shallowly and kept still, he could
just hear their voices. Four of them, as he’d thought, and one was higher
pitched – a woman, or a young man. He tried to make out their words, but they
were speaking a language he didn’t understand and couldn’t hear well enough to
identify. He picked out his own name twice, but otherwise he didn’t gain
anything new from the exercise before the goons piled back into the vehicle and
slammed the doors.
It wasn’t the poorly ventilated backroom in a cheap
apartment that he’d been expecting. Even the metal-flavored, moist air of the
room was an improvement over the onion scented bag. Tony sucked in great gasps
of air as soon as it was pulled away. The room was dark, and he blinked
rapidly, trying to clear his vision enough to take in the space. The walls were
rusted metal sheets, the floor concrete. It was a large, draughty space, a
small corner of it cordoned off with bars.
Tony tried to maintain his balance as the goon roughly
untied his ankles. He reached out thoughtlessly to put his hands on the man’s
shoulder, and the goon paused. His hands gentled marginally as he unwrapped the
ropes from Tony’s ankles. Tony shifted his feet as soon as they were free,
sucking in a sharp breath as blood rushed back into his toes. He closed his
eyes quickly when the goon shifted to stand.
“I haven’t seen your face,” he said, keeping his eyes
screwed shut. He already suspected that he wasn’t getting out of this alive if
things went to plan, but every precaution he could take was worth the effort.
“I’m wearing a mask,” the goon said. He sounded equal parts
embarrassed and amused. Tony nodded, but he kept his eyes closed regardless.
The goon untied his hands without any particular kindness or cruelty. He shoved
Tony further into the cell and retreated, closing the bars with a firm clang. A moment later, he heard two
heavy thumps, but he waited until he heard the goon’s retreat to turn around. A
pair of boots had been thrown in with thick wool socks stuffed inside. He
gathered them up, confused by the gesture. They hadn’t shown the slightest concern
for his comfort the whole night, and the boots were puzzling, but he wasn’t
going to complain.
The cell was empty but for a pile of blankets in the corner,
and a toilet. Tony minced across the room on pins and needles, and dropped to
the blankets. The blankets promptly shouted and shoved him off. Tony jumped, and
fell onto the floor with a shout. He shoved himself away from the pile of cloth
just a head emerged from the bundle. Tussled blonde hair capped a dirty face
with a pair of blue eyes peering out from the mess.
The woman stared at him, wide-eyed and terrified. She was
filthy, sunken-cheeked, and her lips were chapped, but he recognized the sweep
of her brow, and her eyes.
“Gretel?” He hadn’t seen her in more than a year, though
they’d dated several times and had some fun evenings together.
She look uncertain, but licked her lips and ventured,
“What are you doing here?” A horrible thought occurred to
him and he asked, “How long have you been here?”
Glancing over through the bars, she pulled the mess of
blankets back and Tony stared uncomprehending at her. She was wearing some
thick coat that bloomed around her body like a tent, it was equally dirty.
“About four months,” she said, and grabbed his hand. She
pushed his palm against her belly and Tony’s mind went briefly white.
I was working on something else and then this happened. It is on a random dented sheet of kraft coloured paper I found in my desk and you can see all the efforts I put into it. I feel like somebody must have done a joke like this before? If not with Hokushin then maybe Toguro Ani? Itsuki? Yatsude? Did I miss anybody? Ryo/Kai? lol (gee there sure are a lot of characters in this series suitable for handy jokes)
Hey y'all! Looking for submissions for the second issue of the nanny zine we put out last year. Please re-post/spread the word however you’d like!
“CALLING ALL NANNIES
Collecting submissions for The Hand That Rocks The Cradle #2,
a zine about nannying, made by nannies!
Do you have a horror story? A highlight? A list of things you’ve learned? Reflections on whether or not you want to be a parent now that you’ve been a nanny? An experience specific to being a POC/LGBTQ caretaker?
Being a nanny is a tough, but rewarding job. It’s heartwrenching, aggravating, awkward, hilarious, sweet, and very personal - it’s a job unlike many others. We all have a lot to say when we get together. Let’s put it all into a zine.
Any and all contributions are appreciated. We’d like to get as many perspectives as possible. Feel free to compose your submissions vaguely or submit anonymously for yours or your nanny family’s protection. We’re looking for variety - writing, comics, art, etc. All are fair game.
This will be a half-sized zine, so please submit all contributions at 300dpi, 5.5x8.5 or leave the formatting up to us.
Deadline: June 16th - to debut the zine at the Philly Feminist Zine Fest (June 28)