neighborhood children

one. Every morning leaves me with a mouthful of sorrow. I tell myself that’s because missing you is like an ache but that’s not all true: I miss you, I do, but more than that I miss myself when I was with you, I miss the girl lost in the wildflowers with her eyes open. Eventually the mornings fade into afternoons spent on the couch sifting through maps and ticket stubs and photos littered across the coffee table, a shrine to all the places we’ve been and never will again, but the weight on my tongue never lifts.

two. Sometimes I spend hours listening to your favorite songs to drown out the sound of the girl in the wildflowers calling my name, I think about how you were always full of dreams and ideas and ink-smudged maps with roads that led on and on until the end of forever, you were always so much, you were always more, and I think I was more when I was with you, too.

three. One year ago I buried two fallen angels beneath the wildflowers in the meadow behind our neighborhood, two children with fragile, brittle bones and decaying wings, the evening light paling our haloes and washing the youth right out of our skin. I was too busy crying to realize one of them was still alive, still worth saving.

four. Today I’m going to dig up the girl in the wildflowers and kiss her dirt-streaked cheeks and hold her hand until it becomes warm again. (I won’t look at your body, but the thought of it will be a ghost in my head anyway, like it always is.) She and I will go traveling to all the places marked on our map that you and I wanted to—I think you would have liked that. We’ll hold hands and run into the horizon until, just for a moment, the light breaks around our edges and we blur into one person again, and it will feel just like coming home.

arlen c. | check out my books


Bacon has spent his entire career working as an educator in and around Portland. He began teaching in the mid-’80s and became vice principal of Albina’s Jefferson High School a decade later. Many of his students from Jefferson are now parents of his students at Boise.

But the same families who grew up in the neighborhood can’t afford to live here now. Bacon says the student body’s homelessness rate has been ticking upward, and others have long commutes from the outskirts of the city. The travel means students often can’t stay for after-school programs or that parents pick their kids up early to avoid traffic. The students who rely on public buses often face an hour of commuting each way. “When an older sibling who comes to school on the bus is sick, that means the younger sibling doesn’t come to school either,” says Bacon. “Kids also just don’t sleep enough. They get up early to get here and then get home late.”

Bacon laments that the neighborhood’s new residents haven’t embraced Boise. It used to be a source of pride for the area, which had long battled for a quality school to call its own. That sense of ownership is fraying.

He knows his school will become whiter, though that will take time. In this year’s parent meeting for incoming kindergarteners, he was surprised at the number of white families. He says Boise will “be here for whoever wants to come” and that he’s tried to embrace the white families who have already enrolled. “I’m not going to spend too much time trying to force white people to come that might not want to come, but we’ll be open to their questions and sell the best parts of the school like we always do,” he says.

There are plenty of reasons why white, more affluent parents don’t send their children to Boise. They might cite the test scores or the draw of creative instruction at charter schools. But much of it involves internalized racism—racism that is amplified by ineffectual school district policies.

White families often transfer their children to Trillium Charter, a high-achieving school that’s less than 10 minutes away and 82 percent white. They can also send their kids to Portland magnet schools if their test scores are high enough or use the petition system to transfer to schools closer to their jobs. According to district figures, only half of neighborhood children attend Boise. Staff say many of these are black families who’ve long attended the school and have managed to stay in the neighborhood. The black students who fake their addresses, indicating they still live in neighborhood boundaries, also skew the numbers.

As a child, Jeffrey Dahmer had significant difficulty approaching other children and interacting with them, a problem that was exacerbated by his family’s frequent moves in his early life.  In a baby book that she used to track his development, his mother Joyce Flint fretted over how distressed her son became over going to preschool, often bursting into tears at the time they were supposed to leave.  The young boy was rigidly shy and introverted.  On one occasion, a teacher expressed concern about his inability to get along with his classmates.  She noted that at recess, Dahmer would roam the playground, on the outskirts of the other children’s playing.  In class, he did not respond when others approached him.  The problem, she explained, was not that Dahmer was relating aggressively to other students; he simply did not relate to other students at all.  Concerned, Dahmer’s parents worked to ameliorate the situation by placing him in various extracurricular activities in the hope that being around other children would push him out of his shell.  Their efforts unfortunately proved futile, as the boy quickly lost interest in all of the activities.  

Despite his social deficits, Dahmer managed to build a small coterie of friends, who would later state to news reporters that they knew he was “a weird kid,” but interesting to be around.  These friends sometimes accompanied him in pursuing his one enduring interest: canvassing the woods and country roads in search of roadkill.  All the neighborhood children were aware of Dahmer’s “Hut,” an old tool shed where he stored his collection of animal remains that he dissolved in jars of chemicals.  When Dahmer entered middle school, a story circulated about how how he had once angrily broken a jar that contained the rotting flesh of a raccoon against the floor in front of a group of kids, and the stench was so terrible that they vomited.  Other rumors detailing his bizarre tendencies branded him as a strange and unpredictable outcast, a role which he retained for the rest of his life.  

Jim Jones was a cult leader responsible for the murder-suicide now known as the Jonestown Massacre, where 918 people lost their lives.  In order to understand how this tragedy happened, it’s important to know how Jonestown began.  Who was Jim Jones and how was he able to gain the love, respect and trust from so many that they were willing to die for him?

Jim Jones was born May 13, 1931 in Crete, Indiana. He grew up in a very poor family, residing in a shack with no electricity.  From a very young age Jones had an obsessive interest in religion.  As a child, he would hold sermons in his backyard and have neighborhood children attend his church services.  Sometimes when the children wanted to leave, Jones would lock all the doors and refuse to let them leave, forcing them to stay and listen to his sermons. He was very harsh on children who were not as interested in church as he was and would take personal offense. By the age of 16, Jones was preaching to both black and white churches, which was highly unusual, as the city was still segregated. But Jones had a very upbeat and friendly personality and he was very passionate about the poor and the underrepresented, and empathized with the non-whites.

After graduating high school, Jim went to college to study medicine and began working as a hospital orderly. During that time in 1949, Jim met Marceline Baldwin, a nurse who worked in the same hospital. After dating for a short time, Jim and Marceline would get married.  A few years later in 1952, Jim was working as a student pastor in a Methodist church and the congregation did not take kindly to Jim’s beliefs in desegregation. It is important to note that the Ku Klux Klan was very well known in Indiana during the time Jones resided there.  At one time, there were more members in the KKK there than in any other state.  Around 250,000 men were members of the Indiana KKK at its peak, which included many prominent government officials, police and the like.  Racial tension was at an all time high and Jones preaching about loving your neighbor of all colors and interracial congregations was neither accepted, nor tolerated. Jones had no choice but to resign as pastor.  It was then that he formed his own congregation.  Originally the church was known as Community Unity and it focused on Christian beliefs. It was during his time of running the Community Unity that Jones decided that there was no God because if there was, there wouldn’t be so much poverty, hatred and inequality in the world.  He then decided he would no longer be preaching of God and religion, but rather shifting his focus to what he was passionate about: poverty and people of all colors being treated fairly and equal. In 1956, Jones created the People’s Temple.

From the beginning, the People’s Temple was prominent in the civil rights movement. Jones was responsible for desegregating the police department, movie theaters, restaurants, hospitals and other businesses in Indianapolis. Additionally, the Temple opened up a soup kitchen for the homeless and poor, had free housing available for senior citizens and the mentally ill and Jim and Marceline even opened up their own home for homeless and unwed mothers. It was the first time in history that people were publicly offering assistance to people regardless of their race.  It was also at this time that Jim and Marceline adopted a Native American child, three Korean children and became the first white family in Indiana to adopt a black child. This adoption took place in 1961, the same year the freedom fighters tried to desegregate buses in Alabama and were brutally attacked. Because of the integration and desegregation Jim Jones was responsible for, the residents of the city felt threatened and would send the family death threats and spit on them in public.  Many of the people in Indianapolis of all races saw what Jones was trying to accomplish and they wanted to be a part of it. They saw that he was really for the people and trying to make a good, positive change in the world.  Needless to say for all the good they were trying to do, they were met with hatred, threats of violence and even assaults.  Jones decided that it was no longer safe for his family in Indianapolis and they moved to Brazil. They were only there for a short time before returning to the United States, but this time making California their home. Many of the original Temple members, around 150 from Indiana, made the move to California with the Jones family.

Not everything was love and peace in the family. Jim’s wife Marceline was very unhappy about Jim renouncing his faith in God. Marceline still considered herself a Christian and would still pray to the Lord, which angered Jim greatly. At times, he would threaten Marceline that he’d commit suicide if she continued praying to God. He was also extremely jealous and did not want anyone giving his wife any kind of attention, even though he was known to carry on affairs quite often. Jim also developed a drug addiction to prescription pills that would cause erratic mood swings and bouts of paranoia.  In fact, the move to California was due to Jim’s paranoia and a vision he had of nuclear holocaust. He felt they would be safe from the disaster in California. 

By the early 70’s in California, Temple membership had grown considerably. Word had spread all over the country about Jones and his refreshing approach to race relations. During this time, People’s Temple had approximately 2,500 members. Jones began preaching to his people quotes from the Bible, even though he denounced his faith. He would find things that were fitting for him to go with his own selfish desires and wants and use the Bible as a backup source. An example of this would be Jones quoting Matthew 19:21, which reads, “Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

Temple members wound up doing just that. They sold their homes and cars and gave all of the money to the Temple. The ones who had jobs and continued to work would turn over their entire paycheck to the Temple. The elderly who drew retirement and social security would turn over their entire checks to the Temple. In their minds, they were contributing to the “Good Cause”.  He made his members feel loved, safe and hopeful. While he was kind to everyone, he was especially compassionate to the poor and the uneducated. The majority of his followers were classified as such and to them, he was a savior. They wanted somewhere to belong and fit in and something to be proud of. He gave them all of that and more. All of them referred to him as “father” and had nothing but respect for him. His speeches were so uplifting to his members, even when he said ridiculous things such as he was the reincarnation of Jesus or Buddha, they just went with it. As new people would come to check out the organization and their charismatic leader, Jim’s ego demanded more and more followers and praise. Additionally, he was always looking to make more money.  He again began his practices of faking miracles and healings, something that garnered a little bit of attention in his earlier years, but this was on a much bigger level.  He would use his members to pretend to cure cancer and other ailments, making blind people see again, making people in wheelchairs walk again. These events were well-planned and thought out and with his large organization acting like they had witnessed an actual miracle (most were not privy to the behind the scenes operation and planning and truly believed that he was legitimately Jesus incarnate and performing miracles) many visitors would believe too.  Even though Jones would lie and manipulate, during his speeches he would come across as honest, vibrant, caring and positive. He was liked and well respected by not only the Temple, but the entire community. 

As Jim Jones became more dependent on drugs and his paranoia grew, he began using scare tactics on his followers. He would tell them that people were plotting against them, including the CIA. To his followers, this was terrifying. They felt all they had was each other and their “father”. He also made sure to increase the dedication people had for him as well as making them more disciplined followers. He began making ridiculous claims to his members, informing all the males in his organization that they were all homosexual, all of them but him.  He would have sex with the male members to prove to them that they liked it. Additionally, he would have sex with the women members and then during their daily meetings, they were expected to speak on what horrible lovers their husbands were and what a great lover Jones was. He eventually informed his members that they were not allowed to have sex, not even the married couples. Essentially, the only time anyone was “allowed” to have sex was when it was with Jim Jones.

In the early 70’s Jones and his “church” was accused by the media of financial fraud, physical abuse of its members and mistreatment of children. It was while this was going on that Jones purchased some land in Guyana in an effort to move himself and the entire People’s Temple so as to avoid the people who were supposedly plotting against him and trying to ruin him.  It was his goal to create a utopian society here, free of racism and worry, but also to seemingly gain much more control over his followers. Initially there was a small group of members sent to Guyana to begin building houses, plant crops and prepare the area for all the members.    In the mean time, Jim Jones got to work holding meetings, letting all the members know what was to be expected of their move and the tropical paradise that awaited them, getting passports made of all of his members and continuing to try to make as much money as possible.  Eventually Jim Jones and 1,000 of his members all made the move to Guyana and arrived at the compound known as Jonestown.  What they arrived to was anything but the heaven they were told it would be. The houses were not yet completed, nor was anything else complete because Jones did not want to spend a lot of money on the project.  It was less like paradise and more like a concentration camp. Jones informed the members that no one was allowed to leave and to reinforce that, he stationed armed guards around the property. Additionally, he confiscated their passports so they could not leave. He also confiscated outgoing mail so members could not get a hold of any family or friends outside of Jonestown. Some worried family members made phone calls to Jonestown and Jim and his closest members would listen in on the calls to make sure no one was out of line.  Members were expected to work on the land day and night, with minimal breaks and very little food.  With Jones treating his members horribly, it’s no surprise that he was always on edge, wondering if they were plotting against him. He installed an intercom system in Jonestown with a loud speaker and would get on the speaker at all hours, day and night, drunkenly preaching to his members, many times speaking of upcoming doom and an apocalypse. He began holding mock suicide drills in the middle of the night due to his thoughts of the US government being out to destroy him. Members were publicly beaten for disobeying as well as threatened with death. Coupling the new environment making members extremely vulnerable with the physical and psychological abuse and brainwash, there wasn’t much members could do at this point in time other than being obedient and subservient to Jones.

There were a few people who did successfully leave the People’s Temple, most notably Bob Houston.  Houston’s mutilated body was found near some train tracks after leaving the Temple.  US representative Leo Ryan was good friends with Bob Houston’s father and coupled with the abuse allegations he had heard were happening at Jonestown and the mysterious death of his friend’s son that had recently defected, Ryan decided he would fly to Guyana to investigate the supposed utopian society and see if members were truly happy there or if they were being held there against their will, as it had been told to him.  Ryan brought with him some concerned family members, people working for the media and photographers.  Jones got word of the visit and made sure to explain to his members how they would behave and how they would represent Jonestown.  They were told to prepare the best food (including a lot of meat, which Temple members were not allowed to eat otherwise due to its high cost) and to be thankful for Jones at all times.  On November 17, 1978, Ryan and his crew (who had been in Guyana for three days and were being refused to be let into Jonestown) were finally allowed to enter the compound.  For the most part, the People’s Temple put on a very convincing show for Ryan, praising Jones for all of his hard work and dedication. They expressed how happy they were in Jonestown and stayed on their best behavior for fear of what would be done to them if they didn’t.  However, one rather brave Temple member, (and a wonderful personal friend of mine) Vernon Gosney, slipped a note to one of the reporters that arrived with Ryan. In the note, Gosney pleaded for help getting out of Jonestown. The letter was signed by both him and another Temple member, Monica Bagby. Jones asked Ryan and his group to leave for the night and the next day, they arrived to interview more members. During the interview, another woman came forward stating that she wished to leave Jonestown with her family, as well as another family. It was made known to Jones that some people wanted to leave and he pretended he was okay with that, that they were free to go at any time. After interviews concluded on November 18, 15 people in total were to leave Jonestown with representative Ryan. Hidden amongst the 15 was one man, Larry Layton, who was only posing as a Temple defector and had no intention on leaving.  Once they arrived at the airstrip, 2 planes were available to the group. Larry Layton boarded the small, six passenger plane. Once on the airstrip, he began shooting Temple members who were on the plane, wounding several. Temple members who escorted the people to the planes began shooting at the other plane, killing Leo Ryan, 1 Temple member and and 3 journalists. 9 others were wounded. All of the survivors ran and hid into the nearby fields.

As the shootings were happening at the airstrip, Temple associates were given orders by Jones to prepare a drink, enough for all of Jonestown, consisting of grape Flavor-Aid, cyanide, Valium, chloral hydrate and Phenergan. Jones called all of his members to the pavilion for a meeting.  44 minutes of said meeting was recorded and is known as “The Death Tape”.  Jones informed his followers that he knows someone who boarded those planes were going to shoot the pilot, which would cause the death of all of the people on the planes and hinting that this would lead to the government coming to Jonestown and taking everyone’s children away. He then encouraged his members to drink the Flavor-Aid concoction and commit revolutionary suicide. That they would be heroes and forever remembered as revolutionaries. Many of the first to take the poison were parents who used syringes to squirt into the children’s mouths, then doing the same to themselves. Others simply drank it.    Some members thought this was another fake suicide drill until they witnessed people dying and then fear and panic set in.  Jones can be heard on the Death Tape telling members to die with dignity, and that death is preferable to life at that point. It has been said that many were forced to take the drink at gun point. A few members managed to hide under beds and avoided death. A couple others managed an escape and ran through the fields. Jim Jones did not drink the poison, instead, his death was caused by a single gunshot wound to the head. No one knows whether it was self-inflicted or if another member did it. One other woman was found dead with a gunshot wound. Additionally, a woman named Sharon Amos was working at the Jonestown headquarters in Georgetown. She received a radio communication from Jonestown informing her to commit revolutionary suicide. She took her three children into the bathroom and stabbed two of them to death, then had one assist her in stabbing herself to death, followed by the last of her children killing herself.

Many of the Temple members who fled into the jungle were lost for days and nearly died, but a Guyanese government plane flew in and located them. Others made their way to Georgetown, staying at cafes, and some staying with local residents.

Larry Layton was found guilty of conspiracy and of aiding and abetting the murder of Congressman Leo Ryan and of the attempted murder of Richard Dwyer. While the only person ever found guilty of any happenings at Jonestown, he was paroled in 2002.

In total, 918 individuals lost their lives at Jonestown. It was the largest death toll of civilians by human acts up until the 9/11 tragedy. Jim Jones was cremated and his ashes scattered at sea. His wife and three of their children who died at Jonestown are buried in Richmond, Indiana (The oldest daughter left the People’s Temple before the move to Guyana and two of their sons survived Jonestown by being out of the area for a basketball game).  The bodies of over 400 of those who died in Guyana are buried in a mass-grave at Evergreen Cemetery in Oakland, California.  A memorial listing all 900+ casualties, including Jim Jones, was completed at the grave site in 2011.

Visiting the Neighborhood of Make-Believe

Special Collections recently welcomed Courtney Weikle-Mills’ ENGLIT 1635: Children in Pittsburgh. Students had an opportunity to learn about collections that focus on contemporary Pittsburgh cultural organizations and Pittsburgh-based authors.  Curators and Librarians highlighted the Fred E. and Harriet R. Curtis Theatre Collection, the Nietz Old Textbook Collection, and the Elizabeth Nesbitt Children’s Literature Collection and students were asked to submit a Tumblr post about the materials.

If you grew up anywhere between the 1970s and 1990s, odds are you probably have seen Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Filmed in and featuring Pittsburgh often, the show and its host Fred Rogers have a special place in the collective hearts of Pittsburghers. Saved in the University of Pittsburgh’s Special Collections, the interactive book­­­ The Neighborhood of Make-Believe Playtime Puppet Theater (1974) features the kind of imagination that the show encouraged in its child viewers. 

The book features paper puppets of many of the recognizable characters from the TV series, ­­­like King Friday XIII and Henrietta Pussycat, which children are able to punch out and play with. The book also gives much larger paper replicas of the familiar sets from the Neighborhood of Make-Believe so the characters are able to play in their familiar habitat. The inside of the book gives instructions on how cut and press out the characters, and how to prop open the sets for kids to play in their “own ‘Neighborhood of Make-Believe.’” With it’s bright blue castle of King Friday’s, or Daniel Tiger’s clock, the Playtime Puppet Theater book brings the magic of Mister Rogers’ show into the homes of the children who would have bought this, and encouraged them to play and act out imaginative scenarios with these familiar characters. Mister Rogers was able to bring the Neighborhood of Pittsburgh into the homes of children across the nation, and then through this interact book, was able to bring the sort of imagination and play that occurs in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

-Emily Frey, Senior, University of Pittsburgh

anonymous asked:

neighborhood children from across the street: "look, old man lorence left his blinds up! my mom says he hasnt left that house since we moved here. he just sits in there all day, dustin his figures..."

One of those damn kids took a picture of me.

Winnipeg Gothic
  • You are driving. You keep driving. You drive for hours and all you see are canola fields. You will find the social eventually, you are sure.
  • Everywhere there are slurpee cups. In the street, on powerboxes, resting on the sidewalk. They are all empty. They are all buzzing.
  • There is a dog barking. It doesn’t ever stop.
  • Someone is drunkenly singing in the distance. It is a song you know, but have never heard before.
  • The line in Tim Hortons is made entirely of men in baseball caps and plaid jackets. They shuffle forward as the line moves, staring off into the distance- or maybe the donut counter. They recite their coffee orders in dead voices. Always fresh, the woman behind the counter hisses.
  • There is a group of teenage girls. They all have identical hair, identical makeup, matching clothing. They speak swiftly in something that sounds like english, but you cannot understand it.
  • It snowed in the night. You cannot see your car under it all. Your doors are frozen shut. The buses are not running. The neighborhood children are making their way to school. If they don’t make it, tell their families they love them.
  • Festival du Voyageur was weeks ago. The snow sculptures are no longer recognizable. Their remains stand on the street corners, shapeless lumps of icy snow. You swear you can see faces in them.
  • The bears are no longer on Broadway.
  • You are in Transcona. You do not know how you ended up here, or how you will ever get out.

Last night I watch an old episode of Mister Rogers Neighborhood (Nighttime, 1587) where he visited Russia around 1982 and he brought the Daniel Tiger puppet with him and he even met this group of friendly Russian schoolchildren of varying ages and he wondered how they would react to the Daniel puppet. So he brought out Daniel and their reactions are all very sweet, all of them smiled, one kissed Daniel, some stroked him a lot-but it amazed me that although Mr. Rogers knew very little Russian, and these children obviously didn’t speak English he was able to connect with these children and make them smile. It goes to show you that kindness and love is a timeless an universal language! 

MAY 6: Phebe Ann Coffin (1829-1921)

For many people, religion and gayness stand on completely opposite poles of the historical spectrum. However, if you dig hard enough, you find people like Phebe Ann Coffin – born on this day in 1829 – whose very existence defies that belief.

The Reverend Phebe Coffin Hanaford. Photograph courtesy of the Nantucket Historical Association (x). 

Phebe was born in Siasconset on Nantucket Island on May 6, 1829. She was named after her mother, Phebe Ann Barnard Coffin, who tragically died just one month after her daughter’s birth. Raised in a strict Quaker household by her father and step-mother, Phebe began to show a worldliness and intellectualism that surprised her parents. At the age of eight, she was reading Byron and Shakespeare and was often reported to climb atop a box and play “Preacher” with the neighborhood children. She became a teacher when she was just sixteen, but she left the schoolhouse four years later when she married Joseph Hanaford. The two eventually left the island of Nantucket as well and moved to Beverley, Massachusetts in 1857. For many years, Phebe focused her energy on writing. She published fiction, poetry, and was even the first author to publish a biography of President Abraham Lincoln after his death. Everything changed in 1865 when, on a visit back home to Nantucket, Phebe was asked to give a guest sermon in the old schoolhouse where she used to teach. The sermon ignited a new fire in Phebe, who fell back in with the Universalist church. After delivering a series of guest sermons, Phebe was officially ordained as a Universalist minister in Hingham, Massachusetts in 1868, making her the first woman to become ordained in a New England state.

Phebe’s grave in Orleans, New York reads: “The Reverend…ordained to the ministry Feb. 19, 1868 Universalist Church Hingham Mass., author, preacher, lecturer, life-long worker for reform (x). 

Although Phebe enjoyed several happy years in her pastorate positions, a heated division struck her congregation in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1877. A subset of the congregation came to a decision that they must ask Phebe to step down due to her involvement with the American Equal Rights Association (AERA) – an organization which called for both gender and racial equality in the United States. This was the main reason the dissenters gave for their unhappiness with Phebe, but in her own personal letters and diaries, Phebe reveals that she believes her romantic relationship with a woman named Ellen Miles to be the true reason for her dismissal. After amicably separating from her husband, Phebe had moved in with Ellen and the two shared a rather publicly affectionate relationship (the Jersey City congregation even reportedly called Ellen the “preacher’s wife”). Despite the controversy it caused, Phebe and Ellen stayed together until Ellen’s death in 1914, after which Phebe retired and moved in with her granddaughter in Rochester, New York. Phebe remained involved in the fight for gender and racial justice up until her death on June 2, 1921; she was ninety-two years old.


Types as Things My Upstairs Neighbors Do At 3 AM

INTJ: Waterboarding their enemies in their interrogation room
ENTJ: Botching a peace treaty with the rival gang across the the hall
INFP: Fifty Shades of Gray scenes
ENFP: Having an orgy with a barn full of animals
ISTJ: Building an indoor skatepark
ESTJ: Reenactment of the Civil War
ISFP: Bringing home all the shelter dogs
ESFP: Opening night at their in-home strip club
INTP: Blowing up their kitchen meth lab
ENTP: Impromptu bowling using metal chairs as pins and a tube tv as a ball
ESFJ: Drowning all of the neighborhood children
INFJ: Hosting an intervention
ENFJ: Taping a reality tv show
ISTP: Breakdancing in brick shoes
ESTP: Shredding the indoor skatepark

okay but think about that day that digory had to move out of his childhood home.

he had spent so many years living next to polly, spending at least a few minutes every day together. they were hardly ever separated. digory had been heartbroken when he found out that he was to move out of his childhood house, his home, far away from his best friend. he could hardly stand when he’d heard the news from his joyous mother who had pounced on him with the information as he walked through the front door. his cheeks, flushed from having returned from a hardy game of rugby with polly and a few other neighborhood children, paled as he processed the news.

for a few days, you mean.

no, forevever!

his chest tightened, breathing restricted, head dizzied. swaying, he gently lowered himself onto the small, battered loveseat they owned.

why? how?

uncle andrew passed. your father is returning. he’s a rich man now. with a rich man’s home!

misery swept over him. he couldn’t leave. not to that great home he had heard so much of. he couldn’t leave his home. he couldn’t leave polly. he stared. dumbfounded was an understatement. his mother stared. she was healthy, happy. father would be returning from india. they would be a family again. but at the cost of leaving his best friend and their great adventure behind.

that’s great. a false smile plastered on his face. he hated lying to his mother. wow…this is…wow. i’m speechless. that was no lie.

satisfied, his mother scurried out, mumbling about needing to pack up as soon as possible and how they would accomodate his father and hiring some local laborers to transport their things to the country. digory remained on the loveseat, stunned.

he eventually snapped out of his revery. it was hours later as the light seeping in through the open window had begun to dim. he aimlessly wandered out of the house and only realized after arriving to those familiar eroded stone steps that his wandering hadn’t been so aimless.

laughter peeled through the air as polly stepped through the door. her head was turned away from him shouting out something over her shoulder. laughter bubbled out of her throat at the response. she shook her head as she chuckled softly, closing the front door behind her. her mood immediately sobered as she noticed her friend’s somber mood.

something happened. there was no question about it.

i’m leaving.

a pause. she sat next to him. then: to the big home?

she had heard about the big home as much as he had. yes. he couldn’t trust himself to say more. he wanted to scream. he wanted to cry.

you’ll be far.

again, yes.

another pause. she leaned her head on his shoulder. then, okay.

digory’s head swiveled. she didn’t sound or look sad. did she not care that he, her best friend, will be moving kilometers away from her? anger and frustration stirred in him. how could she be so flippant about his moving? how could she just forget him, forget them, so suddenly?

but even in his strengthening look of ire and hurt, polly remained calm as she lifted her head to look at him directly. he looked closer. there was sadness, a deep sadness, well hidden from those that didn’t know her better. but mostly he saw calm. he saw understanding, and a bit of hope.

it’s okay. the story hasn’t ended yet. we still have some time until we get to happily ever after. distance doesn’t end friendships, they make them stronger.

he was dubious, but he trusted polly, trusted her with his life. she was smarter and more confident than him. he knew he should listen to her.

and so he packed and packed and packed. until the day he had to leave came.

as the laborers moved box after box out of the house, he sat in the middle of his now-bare bedroom. the drapeless window remained wide open. across from him, also sitting on the floor, polly smiled wanly. she was surrounded by the familiar contents of her room: opened books strewn across her desk, notes and sketches and hastily-written poems pinned up on her wall, the quilt mrs kirke had made for her neatly folded on her bed.

they sat there for what must have been hours yet felt like a mere few minutes.

digory, honey, we’re leaving.

digory stood. polly remained on the floor. they had said their formal good-byes earlier.

polly lifted a hand waving slightly at digory’s retreating back.

he was silent throughout the entire trip. he was silent while his mother and father chartered on and on to him about the many great activities to do out in the country, the tutors they could pay to live with them and help him study to complete his secondary education, the many holidays polly and her family could spend in their spacious new home. digory heard almost none of it.

dutifully following his parents across the great expanse of land that led to their new house, digory focused on putting one foot in front of the other. he didn’t care about the horses he could ride or the rooms he could explore or the swims he could take in the lake. he only cared that he wasn’t in the home he had always known, the home he had only known.

digory, there seems to be a letter here dictated for you. it doesn’t say who it’s from.

how curious. he had just arrived to this house. who could possibly have sent him a letter?

breaking the seal, he found a small note and a seed. an apple seed. he knew that seed. he hungrily read over the few words scribbled on the slip of paper. thought this was a better way to keep our otherworldly adventure closer to you.

he should have been happy that polly had thought to do such a kind gesture. but it hurt. he ached. he was far, so far from everything he had shared with her. it was all a memory now. a very distant, very sad memory.

The Sun Still Rises - Fic

I wrote a little AU today and it’s a bit of happy accident that it fits perfectly with today’s Pharmercy week prompt of AU/Fairy Tale. Click here to read it on ao3 if you prefer that format.

It’s a late 40′s/early 50′s AU inspired by this music video (I would recommend watching it beforehand for atmosphere), but I promise my ending is much better. :>

They had met three years past in the deserted forest trail down the road, into the farmlands. At the time, Fareeha had considered the overgrown trail to be hers—it was her escape, her shade, her apple trees. With anyone else, she might have been territorial. But Angela was a kindred spirit. Fareeha saw it in her eyes: the way they wandered, flitting between hope and defeat and unexpressed betrayal. So long as it was Angela, Fareeha didn’t mind that someone else knew about her place; it felt right to share it with her. Fareeha only felt completely at peace when she was sitting in the shade and listening to birds chirp, Angela’s quiet presence beside her.

There was something different about the two of them, and though unnamed, unarticulated, it bound them. It was a shared understanding, a shared isolation. For many years, they did not dig deeper than that. While escaping the world they had found each other, and that was all Fareeha could bring herself to express.

Angela was the girl down the street. She wore blouses, flowing skirts, and sweet smiles.

Fareeha loved her too much.

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The poisoned places on this map stretch from Warren, Pennsylvania, a town on the Allegheny River where 36 percent of children tested had high lead levels, to a zip code on Goat Island, Texas, where a quarter of tests showed poisoning. Source

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