I got inspired by @charminglyantiquated‘s Elsewhere University idea, and wrote up a little something. (All credit for the ‘verse goes to the aforementioned blogger.)


I swear that being under that thing’s cold gaze was like staring down an oncoming truck. It promised nothing but death and pain, and I was terrified.

It was bright, and shone gold in the sun; but its mouth was like two swords, and its wings were razor-edged. Its great compound eyes, which should have been faceted like a geodesic dome, were entirely too human. This was one of the creatures I had been warned about, the reason you shut and locked your windows until the cold came and drove them away.

My phone buzzed in my hand and I risked looking away from the creature to see who’d texted me.

are you seriously telling me that you’re trapped in your room with a wasp

“This is not just a wasp,” I muttered, looking back up at the monster on my window ledge. A wasp would be bad, but this was worse. Wasps are what, an inch long? This thing was as big as my hand. If it was a wasp, it was a mutant wasp. And given where I was, it was probably worse than that. 

It looked away from me, antennae waving, and crept along the windowsill. It was then that I noticed–one of its legs was broken, and it was really creeping. More like dragging. Had it been hurt? How?

just swat it with a shoe, my friend texted.

The rules–the ones the RAs told us at the beginning of the year in hushed whispers, and then never spoke of again–said not to hurt insects. You don’t drown spiders, you don’t burn ants, you don’t swat at moths. And, just like all the other sometimes-nonsensical rules, I’d kept to them.

But there was another rule, one that got passed by word of mouth and rumor-has-it, that spoke of helping those who needed it. Of an injured football player who’d helped an old woman cross the street, and found his injury miraculously healed. Of the girl who fed a stray dog, and found herself in possession of a cereal box that was never empty. Of the kid who’d ignored the pleas of a man with a misspelled cardboard sign on the corner, and had never been seen again.

I took a deep breath. This wasp thing–whatever it was–was a strange thing, like all the other strange things at this university. And when you’re dealing with strange things, the rule goes, you follow all the rules. Which meant no swatting or shoes. It also meant–

“Do you need my help?”

The wasp-thing looked at me with glittering eyes.

Regally, it nodded.

Keep reading

It’s important to me that the story of Kili and Tauriel not get forgotten as we move farther and farther away from Battle of Five Armies. They were–not kids–but very young people, people who had been isolated, who had grown up with a specific view of the world and no real contact with true “others”. They got thrown into a war that didn’t belong to them, a war fought by their parents’ generation.

Then they discovered that there were people like them on the other side, very young people, people who had been isolated, who were discovering that the world is so much bigger than they thought. Of course they reached out. Of course they chased after each other. (Were there better ways to handle it than shoehorned romance? Yes. But doesn’t romance serve the purpose of showing the desperation these two had in finding someone else like them? Yes.)

So while The Hobbit is about Bilbo Baggins and his journey, and it’s about Thorin Oakenshield and his journey–hell, it’s even about Thranduil and his journey–they’re adults. They’re adults discovering that their worldviews were never right at all and that they have to change, and they lose the people they love in the process. And that’s important.

But it’s not the whole story. Because the rest of the story–the story that sets up the next story of the young people in the Fellowship of the Ring almost a century later–the rest of the story is about those young people discovering that maybe they were right after all. It’s about discovering that maybe you don’t have to change, and you can find people you love in the process. Maybe the world does have space for you. And that’s important too.