rail = the only way to travel

Writing an immersive third person limited point of view.

What is third person? In third person pov the narrator refers to all character by third-person pronouns, such as he, she, or they. In contrast, first person pov uses the first person pronouns, I and me, for the narrator.

What is third person limited? Third person limited is the alternate to third person omniscient. In third person limited, you have one single pov character narrating the story at any given moment (though you can have as many of these limited pov characters as you want throughout the course of the story), whereas in third person omniscient, there is an omniscient (all knowing) narrator.

Why choose a limited third person pov? 

- The reader forms a stronger, more personal connection to your pov character(s).
- You can easily build suspense because the reader never knows for certain what the non-pov characters are thinking, feeling, or planning.
- You can more easily write an unreliable narrator because your narrator tells things only as they see them, and not as they truly are.

At the end of the day, there is nothing you can’t do with limited if you’re creative and willing to think outside the box. 

So you want to write a good limited third person pov then?

Keep in mind that most of these tips also translate to first person pov. In many ways, third person limited is very similar to first person, because you have a single narrator at any given time, and the reader is confined to that narrator’s interpretation of the world.

Here are some key things you need to remember while writing limited third person: 

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Proximity (03)-Forty Percent

Prompt: Sebastian meets his newest neighbor and immediately finds her to be an interesting and genuine person. Before he knows it, he’s developing feelings for his much younger friend that he tries not to act on because of their age difference, only the proximity of their lives has other things in store for the couple.

Tag List: @sebstanwassup, @starkxpotts, @kyleannsmut, @joshuad-n, @bucky-bear-barnes, @metal-arm-red-star, @dammnnbucky, @crystallimythium, @harleenquinzzel, @camillechan, @marvelouslyloki, @msdrmarvel, @-tulipsunflower-, @shakzer00, @sebstan01, @kitty11223, @one-of-the-boys, @come-and-figure-me-out, @miraisnotavailable, @ladymelissastark, @msharleyquinn, @seargantbcky, @ballerinafairyprincess, @yourgayonlinemom, @broken-pieces, @bubblyanarocks3

Warnings: some language, upset Seb, jealous Tom

A/N: it’s kind of long but I hope y'all like it. The next part will be (maybe) shorter and focus more on the reader’s pov during this part. PLEASE let me know what you think :)


Proximity (00)-Prologue, Proximity (01)-My Place at Six, Proximity (02)-Just My Neighbor, Proximity (04)-Writing My Goodbyes, Proximity (05)-If You Want,  Proximity (06)-Oblivion, Proximity (07)-IDFC, Proximity (08)-Last Night, Proximity (09)-Boo at the Zoo pt.1, Proximity (10)-Boo at the Zoo Pt.2, Proximity (11)-Girlfriend 


For the rest of the night, since (Y/N) abruptly left Sebastian’s apartment, he couldn’t help thinking what went wrong. Each moment of interaction flashed through his memory with excitement and glee. Her laugh, her smile, how perfect it felt to have her wrapped under his arm and leaning into his side. Maybe that was the problem… 

The following morning, Sebastian listened closely for any indication that (Y/N) was awake yet. It was a Saturday, which meant (Y/N) shouldn’t have anything planned and was more than likely still in bed. Just as he made up his mind to text her to see if everything was okay, his phone started to ring in his hand.

“Hey,” she said in an airy tone.

“Good morning,” he greeted, his voice much more groggy than expected.

“I’m real sorry about last night,” she hurried to say.

“Don’t worry about it,” he said as he rolled onto his back and shoved his free hand through his hair. “You’re okay though, right?”

“Yeah, yeah I’m okay,” she said, her voice softer than normal which only lead him to paying more attention to the rise and fall of her breaths through the phone.

“Good,” he stated before filing the awkwardness of the conversation growing. “I’m sorry if I did anything to make you feel uncomfortable.”

“No, Seb,” she sighed with a forced laugh in her voice. “It wasn’t you. I just had a pretty rough day and–”

“And forgetting about your homework–”

“Did not help at all,” she laughed as they continued to finish the other’s sentences.

“Well, are you doing anything today?” he asked hesitantly, not wanting to know if it was too early to be asking her to hang out again.

“Come on, Seb, you know I don’t make plans until I’ve had caffeine,” she grumbled. “Want to come down for coffee?” (Y/N)’s heart started pounding as she heard the words leaving her mouth. She couldn’t believe that not even six hours after her bathroom breakdown, where she vowed not to get any closer to him romantically, that she was asking him over to her place.

“I actually got a text from Anthony a few minutes ago; Chris, Elizabeth, and Tom are all in the area and we are going to meet up and get breakfast at Veselka,” Sebastian stated. 

“What’s that?” (Y/N) asked as she rolled over onto her side and shoved her phone between her head and the pillow.

“A little Ukrainian spot on second,” he said, fighting the urge to fall back asleep.

“Oh, well have fun then,” she said softly, trying not to sound upset.

“You do realize I’m inviting you, you dork,” he laughed.

“Well, Sebastian, you did not say ‘(Y/N) would you like to ’–” she was cut short by his groaning from the other end of the line which was completely audible through her ceiling.

“(Y/N), would you like to join me at breakfast this morning?” he asked as his laugh continued to echo through each of their bedrooms.

“Will there be coffee?” she asked back.

“Yes, (Y/N) there will be coffee.”

“Okay, but I’m holding you to it. If there’s no coffee–”

“If there’s no coffee then you and I will find a coffee shop, leave, and then come back with enough caffeine to keep both of us satisfied, okay?”

“Sounds like a plan, Stan,” she chuckled.

“Oh God,” he huffed. “You’re back on that again?”

“Who said I was ever off it?” she teased. “See you in ten?”

“Meet in the lobby!” With that their conversation ended and each returned to their solitary lives. Quickly, Sebastian responded to the group chat.

Chococcino: I’m headed toward the restaurant.

Chrissy Boo Bear: I’ll be there in fifteen

Thin Lizzy: I put in a reservation for five

Vanilla Ice: Make it six, please

Spidey-Kid: Is Robert in town?

Vanilla Ice: I invited my neighbor, if you guys don’t mind

Spidey-Kid: Is she hot?

Chococcino: T.F. Tom!? Have you seen sexy sea bass?

Thin Lizzy: I added another, Sebastian

Spidey-Kid: It was just a question, tweety bird.

Vanilla Ice: Thanks Liz

Chococcino: Come on, kid. Birds eat bugs for breakfast

Spidey-Kid: You can’t scare me into not coming, especially not that Sebastian’s sexy roommate is coming

Chrissy Boo Bear: I believe her name in Seb’s phone is Cute Neighbor, but you were close Tom

Upon reading that last message, Sebastian turned his phone onto silent, slid into a pair of jeans, and pulled a sweater over his head. He snatched his house keys from the kitchen counter, grabbed his leather jacket from the coat hook, dropped his phone into his back pocket and hurried to the elevator, only to be stopped on the floor below him by (Y/N) jumping on.

“Wow,” she sighed upon looking at him. “You’re way more dressed up than me.”

“I’m wearing jeans,” he protested.

“Well normally you only wear basketball shorts and a t-shirt. Jeans are an improvement.” Sebastian rolled his eyes at her as she filed into the elevator and leaned against the thin rail behind them. He looked over her body as her knee high tan boots traveled along her legging clad legs, a loose burgundy sweater fell to her mid thighs beneath a black leather jacket, and the red, pink, and grey silk scarf he got as a souvenir/thank you gift for watching his house while he was in China, hung around her neck.

“You look great, (Y/N),” he smiled as his eyes finally landed on hers. (Y/N) fought the fluttering of her heart as tickled her ribs the second she noticed Sebastian’s eyes trail her body. Just friends, (Y/N), she told herself. You’re just friends. Realizing they were less than a mile from the restaurant, the pair started walking. It didn’t take longer than for the pair to walk a block down the road before he was spotted by some fans.

“Sebastian!” a few teenage girls yelled while flocking toward him.

“Hi,” he smiled while waving gingerly to them, stopping in his tracks as they tried to take photos. Quietly, (Y/N) tried to hide herself behind Sebastian or jump out of the photo’s frame as the girls approached.

“Do you mind taking a picture with us?” the girls asked.

“Not at all!” Sebastian smiled to the girls as they quickly pressed themselves on each side of him and tried to take a selfie.

“Here,” (Y/N) offered while stepping toward the collection of people crouched, trying to get the perfect shot of their favorite celebrity. She took each of the girl’s cell phones and took at lead three photos on each phone before returning them to the teens.

“Thank you so much!” one of the girls cooed to Sebastian and then turned toward (Y/N). “You’re a life saver!!”

“You’re so lucky,” another started fawn over (Y/N) as she glanced over her shoulder at Sebastian.

“Excuse me?” (Y/N) asked only for the girls’ attention to flow back toward Sebastian.

“We don’t want to keep you,” they smiled before walking past (Y/N) and making obscene sexual gestures with their hands and whispering ‘bag him for the rest of us’ out of Sebastian’s earshot. Quickly, Sebastian slid his hand along (Y/N)’s arm as she stared after the teenagers who had just pranced away.

“Come on, we’re going to be late,” he said while pulling her along and locking his arm in hers, in a protective manner as they passed a number of strangers, all giving her strange looks. She could see the gears turning in their heads: they second guess whether they actually saw the Winter Soldier on the street and then once they realized they had in fact seen the actor, they do a double take only to see the all too young, awkward, and average girl beside him.


(Y/N) had hoped that the negative looks and attention she received would fade as they got to the restaurant, but was sadly mistaken. Of course the group of Avengers casually gathered together for breakfast drew attention to themselves, but the onlookers’ confusion was only enhanced when presented with the newest, most unrecognizable face at the table: (Y/N)’s. Who was she? Was she a new Avenger character being introduced in Infinity War? Was she Sebastian Stan’s latest play thing?

She was thankful as Sebastian pulled out a chair for her that was blocked from a lot of people’s sight due to the proximity of the chairs seated around the rather small table. She slid in gracefully with a shy smile on her face, trying not to stare at anyone looking at her for too long. Sebastian fell into a seat beside her and smiled at his friends as he shrugged his coat from his shoulders.

“Sorry we’re late,” Sebastian muttered as he turned backwards to hang the coat on the back of his chair. “We got stopped by some fans.” (Y/N) immediately wanted to correct him and say ‘you were stopped,’ but thinking back to the interaction, she realized that he three girls said more to her in passing than to him.

“I can see why,” Tom muttered under his breath as his eyes diverted from (Y/N) to the menu in front of him. Is this fucking real? she thought to herself as her heart pounded in her chest. Some random teenage girls encourage her to fuck Sebastian five minutes before Tom Holland inadvertently hits on her…is this the life she’s going to have to get used to so long as she keeps Sebastian in her life?

“I’m so sorry,” Sebastian muttered while turning back to the table and gesturing toward the girl on his left. “Everyone, this is (Y/N); (Y/N), this is Anthony Mackie, Lizzie Olsen, Tom Holland, and Chris Evans,” Seb introduced everyone around the table from his right around to her left.

“Hi,” she smiled lightly and crossed her legs uneasily beneath the table.

“It’s nice to meet you,” Elizabeth smiled adjacent to (Y/N).

“We’re glad you could make it,” Chris’s voice invaded her left ear.

“Thanks for inviting me,” she smiled softly at each of them.

“It was our pleasure,” Tom replied with a smirk. (Y/N) fought the blush that threatened to rise into her cheeks.

“Stay in your lane, Ketchum,” Anthony teased. “She’s not a femme fatale like Hilda.”

“The fact that you knew that both startles and impresses me,” (Y/N) laughed at Anthony’s Pokemon Black and White reference.

“I have three kids; there is no silence, there is only Pokemon,” he groaned through laughter.

“For once you’re the only one in the group with kids,” Sebastian teased.

“Yeah,” Chris added, “normally you’ve got Robert or Jeremy.”

“Now I’ve got a bunch of young singletons,” he chuckled. “You are single, right?” he asked while locking eyes on (Y/N).

“Um, yeah,” she said softly. Anthony tried not to notice the smile begin to fade from Sebastian’s lips nor the one on Tom’s face begin to grow. “I’ve just been really busy and it wouldn’t be fair for me to be in a relationship when I can’t give any more than forty percent,” she tried to explain.

“Forty percent?” Chris asked.

“My schedule is pretty full,” she said and ducked her head, trying not to have the destiny of the situation fall even more heavily on her shoulders.

“(Y/N)’s working at CUNY’s undergraduate English department as a student teacher while working on a master’s degree in forensic psychology at John Jay,” Sebastian explained, lightly dancing around the situation in hopes that the others don’t draw too much into their situation.

“That’s incredible,” Lizzie said from across the table. “Become the female Spencer Reid; men can wait!” (Y/N) laughed as Lizzie smiled. A low, forced chuckle, escaped Sebastian’s lips.

“Isn’t Spencer Reid that skinny nerdy kid on Criminal Minds?” Anthony asked.

“The one who’s a literal genius?” Tom interjected.

“That’s the one,” Seb smirked proudly.

“Damn, that’s a lot to live up to,” Anthony laughed.

“Not really,” Sebastian added while putting his hand gently on (Y/N)’s arm.

“Seb, come on,” she laughed.

“Seriously, though, she has a genius level IQ, give or take three points.”

“Oh gosh this is embarrassing,” (Y/N) muttered as the table laughed At their collective chattering, (Y/N) felt her heart lift and a smile curl onto her face.

“Don’t think of it as being embarrassing,” Chris encouraged her, “we’ve come to understand Sebastian loves to brag about his cute neighbor.” (Y/N) dropped her face to her menu and Sebastian’s ears turned red. He offered a light, embarrassed laugh as he faced the rest of the table. Sensing the young woman’s discomfort, Elizabeth rose from the table and asked if (Y/N) would join her to wash up before their food arrived. Quickly, (Y/N) left along side Lizzie and the four men continued the conversation.

“Come on guys,” Sebastian groaned.

“We’re just shooting the shit with you,” Anthony chuckled.

“I know what you’re doing,” Seb stated.

“Well then pick up on it,” Chris replied. “She’s great, man.”

“Wait, are you serious about her?” Tom asked hesitantly.

“What do your spidey-senses say?” Anthony teased.

“Why, what’s wrong with that?” Sebastian asked Tom, shocked to find himself questioning the kid for dating advice.

“Dude, she’s like, my age! You guys give me shit all the time for being younger than you and now you’re trying to hook up with someone who’s barely older than me.”

“But (Y/N) doesn’t look like she’s twelve,” Anthony snapped back trying to encourage Sebastian.

“Looking a certain age doesn’t make you that age,” Tom muttered. “She said it herself that she’s not able to give more than forty percent in a relationship and you’re not getting any younger.”

“Thanks for that,” Sebastian grumbled.

“I’m saying if you’re looking for more than casual dating, finding it in a twenty-one year-old probably isn’t the best choice,” Tom explained. “Besides, she’s probably wanting to get another degree after this and focus on her career, and you’re not going to be around much because of yours. You’d really make her chose between you or her job?” Sebastian’s head fell lightly and Anthony glared at Tom as the girls returned.

Sebastian glanced up at the woman hurrying back to his side with a smile on her face. “Hi,” she called to him, a cheery smile pulled across her face. His hopeful eyes flashed up to her and the smile on his face faded as he chewed anxiously on the inside of his lip. He couldn’t get the thought out of his head that (Y/N) may be too young for him. 

Was putting work in front of (Y/N) fair to her? Was it fair to expect her to do the same? Was giving sixty percent in hopes to receive forty worth the risk of them being torn apart or thrust together? “Yes,” he stated to his own thoughts, quickly smiling across at the woman beside him.

2

Lobster, The Poor Man’s Meal

Today lobster is perhaps the ultimate symbol of high class cuisine. Typically, common people don’t go into a restaurant and order a lobster like one would order a burger and fries, but back in the day lobster used to be a staple food for the lowest of the low.  In colonial New England during the 17th and 18th centuries lobster was so common the English colonists could easily go down to the shore and bring back basketfulls of lobster.  For many lobster mean’t survival as early New England colonists lived a poor existence that teetered on the edge of disaster.  The Native Americans typically used lobster as fertilizer for their crops, a practice which the Massachusetts Bay Colonists picked up as well.

By the 18th century, lobster had gained a reputation as a food for the lowest of the low.  The only people who ate lobster where those who had no choice in the matter; soldiers, criminals, slaves, indentured servants, and those who could afford to eat nothing better.  It was even quite common for New Englanders to feed their livestock and pets lobster because it was so cheap. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, lobster was very popular as a cat food. In the early 18th century indentured servants in Massachusetts rebelled against their masters and took them to court over maltreatment; they were being fed too much lobster.  As a result a law was passed which stipulated that a master could only feed his indentured servants lobster at most 3 times a month.

The lobster’s reputation as a disgusting bottom feeder and poor mans meal began to change after the American Civil War.  It was then that railroad companies began to serve lobster on their passenger trains.  Since only New Englanders knew what lobster was, most Americans traveling the rails had little idea of lobster’s reputation.  To them, it was a yummy and delicious food.  Soon its popularity spread across the country, then all over the world.  Eventually, gourmet chefs were finding new ways to cook and serve the delectable crustacean.  As demand rose, so too did supply, until eventually lobster became scarce compared to earlier times.  In the 19th century, a five or six pound lobster was considered small. Today lobster is often priced 8 or 9 dollars a pound.  

The rise in popularity of lobster caused a scarcity in lobster, which eventually transformed lobster from a poor mans dinner into gourmet cuisine.  In New England, the stigma still stuck as lobster was still cheap, and a survival food throughout the Great Depression and World War II. During World War II, lobster was one of the few foods that was not rationed, so New Englanders of all classes enjoyed it, thus dealing the last blow to lobsters negative reputation.  

The Mighty Pine

PART 2 - PART 3

a/n: doing something a lil weird, this one is a historical AU where captain boomerang is laying low, working as a lumberjack in the 1930s. Please tell me what you think and if i should continue!!

@beautifulramblingbrains @frecklefaceb @feminamortem @anditcametopass @dauntlessmetalmom @pathybo @mimigemrose @ag-delights @abfoster1s @sparklemichele @jojuarez26 @purple-puddin @audreyfulquard @sharknadoslut @societalfailure @insertamazingwords @megnificent07 @roslea @james-k-delaney [if you wanna be on the list hmu]

Warning: drinking and flirting

Captain Boomerang X OFC // Suicide Squad // Lumberjack AU

word count: 4,050

Originally posted by nukacherrycolas

“Why am I not surprised to find you hidden away with your nose buried in a book?” A deep voice whispered in your ear, pulling you back to reality from the story. You couldn’t help but smile to yourself knowing without looking exactly who it was leaning over the back of your chair, his mouth poised close enough that his warm breath tickled the skin of your neck.

“You shouldn’t be up here,” you reminded him in a light tone, “Did anyone see you? Do they know you’re here?” Turning slightly in your seat, you closed your book, letting it rest in your lap as you finally looked to the man behind you. The first things you noticed was the smirk under his scruffy muttonchops and the mischievous glint in his eye.

“Not a soul,” he replied in a low voice that was barely audible over the noise of the revelers below.

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anonymous asked:

If you don't mind answering, about how much did the trip in total cost? I've been trying to plan my own trip, not for as long as yours of course, probably just about 10 days, but I'll be planning for 2 people. I'm so glas you were able to have this experience and I hope to have my own someday! Safe travels 💙

Hi thanks for the question! ahh thats really tough! it depends where you’re staying, how much you’re planning on travelling, how often you like to eat and how much you want to spend on food too! 

I guess all i can tell you is how much individual expenses cost and what i booked! my flights from the Uk and accommodation for 3 weeks i could have gotten for about £1000 with me staying in a decent hostel in Akihabara but i paid extra for direct flights as the journey can really zap you. Theres also discount vouchers depending on which site you book through (i wish id looked those up i think i could have saved about £100). i think the biggest expense was the flight and the hostel was really affordable. i picked a hostel because the only time i really spend in the accommodation was sleeping time and the rest of the time id be out about and seeing and doing things. also a hostel is a great place to meet people from all over the world and people are usually really friendly and interesting! Also i stayed at the Simple stay peace museum hostel in Hiroshima which was under £20 a night and was in an amazing location right in the centre of Hiroshima. 

When you get there if you’re travelling about the Japan rail pass is an amazing investment which gets you unlimited free travel anywhere around Japan on JR trains. see here for info: http://www.japanrailpass.net/en/ the pass costs are- 

7-day 38,880 YEN 29,110 YEN
14-day 62,950 YEN 46,390 YEN
21-day 81,870 YEN 59,350 YEN 

I went to Hiroshima and from Tokyo a one way ticket to get there was over 19,000 yen so getting the 7 day pass at only 29k was totally worth it to be able to travel to Hiroshima and back plus travel anywhere for the rest of the week. 

If you’re staying in Tokyo you’ll be using the Jr train lines and the subway system too as both systems sometimes only go to locations the others don’t. the stations all have big track maps on the walls and ticket machines which show all the stops and how much it costs to get to each location, costs can add up fast but a lot of the time i ended up buying a day pass for the JR lines which was 750 yen and gets you unlimited travel for the day within the metropolitan area, theres also one that does metro and  JR train lines thats about 1500 yen. Some days you know how many journeys you’ll need to do or where you’ll be visiting so you can calculate using maps weather you’re better getting two singles say at 200 yen each for the journey both way or the day pass if you’re making more or further journeys. Journeys can cost from about 160 yen to 480 yen depending on the distance you’re travelling. 

To be honest i was buying the day pass most of the time and making a day trip to somewhere then going back out at night again so i was spending about 750 yen or more on travel almost every day. 

Food is a tricky one! if you’re staying in a hostel they usually have cooking facilities so you can buy and cook you’re own food but it can be pricey too depending where you shop but trying things in shops and convince stores is amazing because its a whole new world of food. if you’re eating out depending where you’re eating the cost can vary a lot! some days id go to a ramen shop and you can get a good bowl of ramen from 600 yen but usually id go for the deluxe ramen with loads extra pork for 900 yen! restaurants are usually a bit more expensive and i was usually spending like 1200-2000 yen most times when eating out.

An example would be a big mac meal would cost 690 yen which was similar prices to Japanese fast food places too! personally as it was my holiday which comes only once every year or two i like to eat at nice restaurants and sometimes i found myself spending 4000-5000 yen on a meal with like nice steaks and other things and if you saw some of my posts Japan has some of the best beef in the world and the most i spent on a meal was just under 12,000 yen but thats because it was Wagyu beef. 

As always it all depends on your original currency and 1000 yen was costing me  about £7 this trip but when i went to japan in 2014 1000 yen was about £5.50 which is a huge difference. But if you’re from say America I’m sure the exchange is much healthier but unfortunately for me the way Uk press, tv networks and politicians have been handling brexit in the last year has weakened the strength of the £ significantly.  

Another thing to look out for is sales tax which a lot of the time is not shown on the original price of items and i think is about 8%. 

Hmmm in Tokyo every street is lined with drinks vending machines and it was really warm and sunny so i was drinking a few bottles of water when out and about every day which cost about 110 each which can add up over the duration of you’re trip. 

Other expenses will of course if you’re following my blog and are like me will be copious amounts of Studio Ghibli merchandise :P on the last day in the Ghibli museum i spent just under £500 which included my meal at the museums Straw Hat cafe, a framed hand painted cel reproduction and a load of other things hahahah :D 

Travel from the airport can be about 2000 yen depending which airport you fly into, Narita is further away from Tokyo and a shuttle bus into major hotels in the city centre will cost about 2000 and i think the express train is cheaper and maybe half that if you get the all stops train instead. Haneda airport is much closer to the city centre and is pretty inexpensive to travel to on the train then monorail which i think is a few hundred yen. 

When there i liked to be doing something every day which most of the time costs money :( like going up the Tokyo tower, Mori tower or Tokyo Sky Tree can be from 1800 yen (52nd floor observation deck of the Mori tower) to about 3000 yen depending what level of the Sky Tree you can’t to travel up to :) The peace museum in Hiroshima cost 200 yen to get into and Disney land was 7500 yen for a day ticket bought on the day! oh and the Metropolitan building in Shinkuku has two towers which are high and ou can see the whole city and is freeeeee!!!!!!!!

I can’t think of any other expenses off the top of my head but the key thing to remember is it all adds up and its best being prepared, but i think you can do the trip on a budget if you’re smart and have a lot of will power! but TRUST ME there will be a lot of things there that you will want to buy and see. 

i hope this helps you prepare for your trip in some way! 

Justin

Creepypasta #1262: The Hikyo Station

Length: Super long

I’ve always loved trains. There’s just something about them, isn’t there? Not as blustery and self-involved as cars, nor loud and angry and expensive like planes, trains move with a gentle, rattling hum, ferrying the public to far climbs for a small fee. Nowadays you have the smooth maglevs, which sound almost like gliding alien engines whirring by, but I’m a fan of the old single-car trains ricketing along rusting metal tracks that lie thick with untethered grass. There’s a magic, a mystery to them, even a playfulness, that modern trains can’t touch.

And along with trains themselves, I also love train stations. Not the crowded major metropolitan ones, but the out of the way stops, the places people barely go to, that the trains stop at for nebulous reasons. The more isolated, overgrown, and unkempt, the better. And if cars can’t actually reach them? Now that’s something special.

I started what one might call my collection of stations back before college. My first big “get” was the Corrour railway station in the UK, nestled in an unassuming area of peaks and valleys, the landscape surrounding a quaint white building with gray gabled roofs sloping downward. An unimposing loch idled next to the site, waiting to freeze over again during the long winter months. I was lucky to go during the warmer season with my parents, back when my dad was still alive. I don’t know if he was quite the train aficionado as I was, or if he particularly enjoyed being dragged into the middle of nowhere to see an uninspiring building and brownish green hillsides, but he did it, so I give him credit.

While he may not have been impressed, I loved it. I had researched the area beforehand quite a bit, and to actually stand there and look around, take in the air and sunlight, was mesmerizing. Almost like I had stepped through the looking glass of another world that had only previously existed in my head. I had to have more. I began focusing spare time into it, charting out potential ways to travel cheaply around the country and the world, and figuring out which stations I wanted to see. It helped that train travel is reasonably inexpensive.

As I whiled my way through the UK’s list – going to places like the Altnabreac station in Scotland, or the Sugar Loaf in Wales – my real destination was Japan. Unsurprisingly, there’s actually a term in Japanese for disused and remote rail stations – hikyō stations, or “secluded” stations. There are websites devoted to them, unfortunately none in English, but I’ve done my best to try and map out which ones I want to see and document for myself. And Japan is packed with them, some so isolated it makes you wonder why they were even built in the first place.

One site in particular had a really active forum community. Although I couldn’t read most of it (there were only sparks of English here and there), there were usually hundreds of photos and videos posted from enthusiastic train fans, which both sated my appetite and made me want the full experience all the more. After awhile on the forums, you can tell which people could speak English well enough and which ones just used the usual loan words here and there. One user in particular was active with the same screen-name on another website devoted to trains, and he posted a lot of high-resolution photos as he traveled, which often had a lot more artistic merit than most.

I messaged him and began a casual conversation, learning he was actually an American who had lived there for a decade and change, and I knew what that was like. He had come upon his love of trains while commuting in and out of Tokyo every day. He gave me the low down on some of his favorites, including the one I wanted to see most – Koboro, long considered the holy grail of hikyō stations.

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So if you, say, had a Sherlock theory…

One about how the clown robbers in The Sign of Three had ties to Jim Moriarty and used London’s abandoned underground Mail Rail system to haul off their gold without getting caught…

And then in Series 4 clowns kept popping up…

And Jim came back for the sake of shoving in a lot of train references…

And the big final shot was John and Sherlock running out of a building named Rathbone Place…

Which is, of course, a nod to Holmes actor Basil Rathbone as well as the name of a real street in London…

But which, as the name of a large building, has only existed in recent memory as the Rathbone Place post office that was one of the few stops on the Mail Rail network…

And if the writers introduced a metaphor about demons being under roads that would be a really good and fairly literal way to describe bad guys traveling around in London’s Mail Rail tunnels…

But would be a weird-ass phrase to even come up with while writing the episode if you’re only using it to refer to someone held underground, yes, but very specifically not under any roads and especially not ones Sherlock has ever walked…

Would you be 100% satisfied that there’s really, really nothing else from earlier episodes that the writers ever plan to come back and address?


(This is, of course, a rhetorical question. So save your “yes, I would” replies. I’m obviously not done talking about this. 😉)

5

A Terrible Thirst

The ice cubes clinked together in the Lalique crystal glass, the ambrosial scotch rippling and lightening as the chilled water mixed in. She brought it up to her snout and sipped delicately, savoring the smoky, peaty flavor of the 25-year single malt. The bite of the overproof and following warmth in her belly eased some of the tension in her shoulders.

‘I can’t say,’ the foreman had said. ‘You’d better get down here.’


As always a thousand thanks for Writeanon for the story! Keep reading under the cut for more, or go check it out on AO3!

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THE STEAMPUNK'S GUIDE TO TRAVELING ON AMTRAK


For all its warts and hiccups, I love Amtrak.  There’s just no better way to travel in America.  Your other options are 1) genital photography and fondling before boarding a fart tube cartridge of death in which your bottle of water is considered terrorism and screaming babies are inescapable, 2) a bus full of ex-prisoners and pre-prisoners on Greyhound, or 3) driving there yourself, which costs you lots of money and requires you to be awake and sober the whole trip and there’s no bar in your car.  But Amtrak will drop you off smack downtown in most major cities in America so long as you’re willing to give or take four hours for your arrival time.  Sure, there’s babies and convicts aboard but there are places you can move to if you need to avoid them (the bar).  And Amtrak offers a number of additional benefits that you may not be aware of (the bar).  For this reason I have written my guide to Amtrak travel, with all of my secrets included herein.

Amtrak was born out of the Penn Central bailout, one of the earlier examples of a poorly run company getting cash from the taxpayer as a reward for the pilfering of corporate profits by crooked men.  It is run by the Department of Transportation and has never, ever, made a penny of profit.  At the time, the crooks convinced the Feds that the nation would collapse without a passenger rail network.  Nowadays that idea sounds absurd.  Sure, the nation’s Mennonites would be affected, but other than that, Amtrak could go away without anyone under 65 noticing.  Still, its subsidy is so microscopic compared to the airline subsidy that it survives even the most stingy of Republican administrations.  Plus, I have a theory that because countries like France and Japan have nice shiny trains with five star restaurants onboard, America feels that if it had no passenger rail whatsoever it would be an admission of finally slipping into Second World status.  (Note to self:  Investigate suspiciously strong correlation between horsemeat consumption and quality of passenger rail service).

The main reason it’s such a great way to travel is the relaxed attitude.  Amtrak could increase ridership 20% if they just adopted the slogan “Amtrak:  We won’t photograph or fondle your genitals”.  The fact that America has sunk to this level where genital examination (electronic or manual) has become de rigueur in order to visit another city, and that this fixation upon genitalia is part of a theatrical performance that not only has caught no terrorist and makes no person safer but actually has led to the arrest of over 400 TSA agents for (among other crimes) saving and sharing said genital photography, is part of a larger body of evidence that we are living in an era that our future descendents will refer to as The Stupid Ages.

Yet on the Amtrak things remain caj.  When you take the train, you arrive right smack downtown in every major city, often in a Union Station of glorious construction.  No city’s airport is closer than an hour away from downtown, and in fact, for train trips less than six hours you will likely get there quicker if you count the time you take getting to and from the airports, going through security, and so on.  I have in my personal experience entered Chicago’s Union Station no more than one hundred and eighty seconds before the train’s departure time and still been comfortably settled in my seat when the train pulled away.  Just last month I was trying to board at Salt Lake City’s double-wide-mobile-home “station” (motto:  "Now 17 years behind schedule without breaking ground!“) with two very heavy bags, one of which was a plastic tub full of exactly 49 pounds of tools gleaned from my ancestral home in Alabama and designed to comply with the restrictions of all six of the modes of transportation I would take during my 28-hour trip from Foley Al to Elko NV via Mobile, Atlanta, and Salt Lake Utah.  I actually went to the Home Depot, took a measuring tape from the tool aisle, and found the tub in the storage aisle with the closest demensions to Delta’s cutoff point between the $25-per-checked-bag limit and the $100-per-checked-bag fee so I could pack it full of files, taps, dies, mini-anvils, and scuppernog wine and leave out the fatwood I’d been given by my survivalist friend, and then returned the measuring tape to its origin (I’m not a freakin animal).  I successfully negotiated Salt Lake’s clean and underused public transit light rail to get from the airport to the train station, waited out the five hour layover with some light Chomsky reading and a flask, and upon the California Zephyr’s arrival the conductor told me "last car” so I started down the platform with my burden, stopping every 50 feet for a break.  One of the train crew actually volunteered to watch my suitcase while I shlepped the tub of tools down to the end of the train.  Can you even imagine that happening on an airport jetway?  "Here, I’ll guard your suspiciously heavy suitcase"?  Not in a million years.  Yet I was able to hoist my burden into the superliner car before the call of ‘all aboard’ and drink myself to sleep with my handy-dandy flask listening to the dulcet tones of a Salt Lake juggalette explaining to a black Oakland couple in their 60s how the gang signs for the Bloods and Blood Killas were different.  THIS is why I choose Amtrak.

So here are my tips and tricks from my decades of Amtrak travel:

First of all, I’m sad to say that the greatest train experiences available on our continent are Canadian.  They have us beat hands down.  If I were in New York and needed to get to San Fran and wanted a lifetime of memories rather than a genital-fondling/fart-tube experience, I would take the Royal Canadian via points continental.  If I could afford it.  I’m sorry Uncle Sam, but there exists a rail service that approximates the 20th Century Limited experience, and the bacon is round.   Seriously, just do an image search.    Even their national rail service is like Uber to our Greyhound, and that’s including the risk that the driver’s a serial killer.  Canada has acknowledged the fact that they are a fat, wide country and dressed accordingly.  America is a husky lass in a second-hand dress that her skinnier aunt bought in the Nixon administration.  I don’t want to type anymore about how awesome Canadian trains are, I’m getting angry.

Befriend the Attendant.  As soon as you get on the train, after you’ve settled in with your bags and stuff, go to the cafe car and buy yourself a beer and tip the attendant with a $5 bill.  This is the best investment you can make.  That Customer Care Attendant is your best friend on the train.  You wanna be friends with benefits.  Befriend them.  Keep buying what you need, and tip well (my usual strategy is to bring a flask and buy soda on the train, because it comes with ice, and I can’t exactly pack a bunch of ice).  There used to be a flamboyant older gentleman on the Zephyr who went westbound Mondays and eastbound Thursdays who had been an Air Force flight attendant on Air Force One during the Johnson-Nixon era.  I would always plan my trip to coincide with his and sit down there and listen to his stories.  None of them were extremely shocking (Lady Bird was a lush, Nixon was an asshole, big surprise) but it was great to talk to the guy.

Later on, your upgraded status with the Attendant may lead to perks ranging from being able to chill in the cafe after hours to (in the most extreme example), chiefing big bowls of marijuana in the cafe car which I have done against my will and do not recommend (see below).  Needless to say, someone gets beligerent in that car every single day.  Sometimes they get put off the train in some place like Winnemucca.  When that happens, you want the guy or gal behind the counter to be on your side.  They used to just push people out the door where-ever, now federal law requires that they eject the passenger at an actual stop where they won’t die of dehydration.  I’ve seen it happen many, many times.  Do not fuck with the train staff.  They WILL put you off the train, and there ain’t another one coming for 24 hours. 

Don’t Bug The Conductor.  There is a very busy person on board wearing a pillbox hat who is legally responsible for the safety of everyone onboard.  This poor mensch has to walk up and down the train to check tickets, which means that every needy dowager and one-notch-above-the-Dirty-Dog tweaker who is six months above their bottom bugs them about whether there will be a smoke stop at Lexington Nebraska.  They are not here to tell you where you can get a cup of water.  They are so important that the law requires the train to stop every 12 hours and replace them with a fresh and rested Conductor no matter where it is, even a hundred miles out in the desert.  Other people have jobs driving those Conductors to their crew change just so you can be safe in the hands of a non-fatigued Conductor.  Do you understand? If there’s somebody trying to keep you alive who has another person whose job it is to drive them to work so that the person trying to keep you alive isn’t sleepy, that means you shouldn’t bother that person about can I get a pillow.  But the general public has lost the ability to recognize the language that used to be conveyed with hat shape and style, so they no longer pay attention to hats.  It’s not that they can’t read the language of hats, it’s that they don’t realize that hats are a language.  It’s not their fault.  The social technology that was hat style died and we are in the stage where we still think it was about class oppression and not about conveyance of role.  So a casualty of the Stupid Age is that the Conductor has shit to do but people bother him.

Here’s some minor tips:  Bring a deck of cards.  They’re available onboard but may be sold out.  On day one you may not be interested in playing gin rummy with strangers in the cafe car.  On day three you will be.  My favorite pasttime is to sit in the cafe car and try and build a house of cards.  On a bouncing train it’s a good way to ensure that the most interesting person onboard will come up and talk to you.  If you’re really into trains, get a device that will let you listen to the engineers’ radio.  It’s cool to get the inside scoop as well as know the temperature of the bearings as you pass over the hotbox detectors.  By the way, if you ever see a red hot train wheel going by, call the number listed on the box by the crossing.  Also, on Amtrak, if you really can’t fall asleep, go to the last car and lay down behind the last row of seats.  It’s the poor man’s Roomette.

First Class:  It is my professional opinion that you should never travel first class on Amtrak.  Because you will never want to go Steerage again.  Not only are you granted access to another part of the train, a part of the train with free coffee and juice, free papers, and sometimes your own lounge, but you also get free meals, which means you can have a steak dinner every night.  For all that it falls short of what it once was, the food on Amtrak is good.  I wouldn’t say it’s fantastic, but it’s the best meal I’ve had on any form of commercial transport.  I don’t know how they do it but they do it well.  If your party is smaller than three you will be expected to dine in a booth with a stranger or strangers.  This is not necessarily a bad thing.  Interesting people choose Amtrak for interesting reasons.

Don’t Fuck With The Staff.  Seriously.  Do not fuck with them.  They will put you off.  The place they put you off will not have open business establishments or taxi service.  You gonna shiver on a bench for a full day and then pay for another ticket.  Don’t fuck with the staff. Don’t try to smoke in the bathroom.  I suggest if you’re addicted to tobacco that you invest in some Snus and endure the trip.  They used to have a smoking car and it was the place to meet the cool folks but some asthmatic caught a whiff and sued and that was the end of that.  The craving cycle of that particular drug is too quick to allow it to be managed well on the train.  Other drugs, not so much (see below).
Bikes on the Train:  I never intended this, but I’ve made a career out of bringing bikes on Amtrak, and not just bikes but huge, weird, heavy, oversized choppers.  The reason is that you can ride to the station in California, board with your bike, and get off the train on the east coast somewhere like New York and ride your bike to your destination.  It’s such an amazing convenience I’m surprised they treat bikes like they are infested with cholera.  There are requirements, but if you negotiate these, you can pull it off.   Firstly, the bike has to be in a box, and you can buy a box at any station that will accept cargo.  But I usually just go to a bike shop and ask for one or grab it out of the dumpster.
It’s worth it to go visit the freight desk the day before.  Befriend the freight clerks.  You want this part to go smooth.  You don’t want them to find an excuse not to take your bike.  I have often taken apart my chopper and sent the frame in one box and the fork in another due to weight (limit 50 lbs for any luggage).  Your bike will NOT be accepted if you don’t have a ticket.  Bring them fresh donuts and you’re golden.  Some trains have an actual bike rack in the baggage car, but that’s an east coast thing.
By the way, it’s super cheap to ship freight on Amtrak Express (like $60 a pallet compared to $600 a pallet on a truck) but you have to be going from major station to major station and pick it up yourself.  Still, the train is going there every day anyway, so they price it accordingly.  I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to move a pallet cross country but it’s expensive and they’ll stack shit on top of it in a truck.
Last bike tip:  If you’ve missed out on the freight loading/bike box thing, ask the conductor nicely if you can put the bike in the “rear vestibule”.  On the east coast they’re sticklers but anywhere else they might be down.  This is the hallway that leads to the car behind the last car that’s not there.  Some conductors are cool, others are assholes.  It would be worth it to find out which days the cool conductor works and schedule your trip accordingly.

Bring Booze, But Not Too Much:  Booze is essential for a three-day train trip.  You don’t want to be buying six dollar Heinies in the bar car.  Your own supply is tolerated as long as you’re subtle about how you consume it.  I like the ice and mixers method, but you may prefer to nip at a flask at your seat.  However, the train does rock back and forth, and so extreme drunkenness can be bad.  One time me and some friends headed down on the Chickenbone (what the crew calls the City of New Orleans due to the nature of the litter the passengers leave) and we had one gallon of lemonade.  We drank ¼th of it and filled it up with whiskey.  At this point we had a concoction that was ¾ lemonade, ¼ whiskey.  Add a little honey and you have what is known as “Uncle Grandpa’s Secret Juice” or just “Uncle Grandpa”.  This hooch was so common and revered in my circles that we had a patch that was awarded if it made you do something stupid.  Here’s what I did:  After that jug got down to ¼ full, we filled it back up with whiskey.  Now, unbeknownst to us, we had a concoction that was ¾ whiskey, ¼ lemonade, but that ¼ was ALSO ¼ whiskey.  Bad idea.  The train got to rockin and a rollin and we all had a terrible time barfing in the downstairs restroom.

Talk To The Mennonites:  Mennonites love the train because it falls within their allowable modes of transport.  When you see them in the cafe car, strike up a conversation.  You won’t regret it.  They’re awesome people.  They value relationships over possessions and have an ethical avoidance of dependency.  You might find you have more in common than you think.  Plus, they’re not idiots, they know people make jokes about them and they’re okay with that because they have a solid foundation.  Wanna know the sexiest word in the Amish language?  "Rumspringa".  Rrrrrreow!  Hear the one about the Amish hooker?  She had two Mennonite!

Drugs:  Back before 9/11 the Amtrak used to be a major conduit for drug smuggling.  I had a crew member tell me that they always used to be able to tell who was smuggling cocaine because at 11 PM they’d be in the cafe car yelling “I’VE GOT FOUR KILOS OF COCAINE!”.  In the good ole days the crew said they’d open up the back door and smoke joints so the smoke blow out the back as the train headed down the tracks.  But after the formation of the DHS everything changed.  Now they come on board and check people’s ID looking for illegals.  Once on a New York bound train I saw an agent yell “WHAT COUNTRY ARE YOU FROM” and the guy said in a thick New York accent “DA BRONX”.  They WILL bring dogs onboard.
Now, before all this nonsense I was once forced to smoke pot in the cafe car by a couple of biker ladies who insisted that I was going to be their friend and they were going to make me smoke pot and they wanted my goggles (which I wasn’t interested in trading) but they made me “trade”.  Suffice to say that I committed this crime under duress.  We got the wink from the cafe car attendant and everything was cool.  I wouldn’t try it today.  I’d bring edibles.  Put them up in the luggage racks.  Edibles don’t require that you light a fire in the bathroom with some dryer sheets in a toilet paper tube which someone inevitably does every single day. There’s also the people who walk down to the end of the platform with a one-hitter and smoke it during the smoke breaks.  The staff does not care, but they are not fooled.  You think you’re sneaky, they see it every single day.  If you had to move weight, remember that the luggage is stored downstairs and that you can bring a bag on board without any ID on it and there’d be no way they could pin it on you.  But I wouldn’t recommend any form of bulk smuggling aboard the trains as the scrutiny has gotten intense.  Still, if someone wanted to put something inside their bike frame, under the seat post, and then put that bike in a taped-up carboard box that goes in the baggage car, one might notice that they don’t take the dogs into the baggage car.  I’m not sayin, I’m just sayin.  They have enough dumb-ass methamphibians to catch the easy way so they get their quota.

Upgrade To A Room:  Once the train’s under way, any unsold first class rooms are dead weight.  You can upgrade onboard by paying the conductor cash.  Ask them if there are any rooms available.  They discount the price some huge percentage, then pro-rate it by the hour, so I like to wait until the evening of the first day to skip the dinner price but still sleep in a bed.  Remember, when pricing it out, that you’re getting three meals a day and a room as well as your fare.  They have some interesting room combinations that you can really get your money’s worth out of if you know short people like kids.

The Coast Starlight:  The west coast has one of America’s best train rides, the Coast Starlight runs from Seattle to Los Angeles with the system’s only first class lounge:
The Coast Starlight is unique in the Amtrak system, as it includes a first-class lounge car called the “Pacific Parlour Car”. The cars are Budd Hi-Level Sky Lounge cars, built in 1956 for the Santa Fe’s El Capitan service. Called a “living room on rails”, the Parlour car offers several amenities to first-class sleeping car passengers including wireless Internet access, a full bar, a small library with books and games, an afternoon wine tasting, and a movie theater on the lower level.

Private Railcars:  If you have money to burn, a private railcar will allow you to travel in the utmost luxury to any major city in America.  You’ll park smack downtown and you can comfortably sleep 15.  Amtrak will tow you for about $1.50 a mile.  If you’re not filthy rich, you can still rent classy railcars for excursions.  I recommend the Virginia City, Lucius Beebe’s private car:  http://www.vcrail.com/tourvcprivaterailcars.htm  See more at railcharter.com.  The San Francisco-Denver run is popular, crossing the Sierras and the Rockies.

POSTSCRIPT:  Doing it on the Amtrak gets you into the Clickity Clack Club.  Doing it on a freight train gets you into the Mile Long Club.

…A series of events unfolded within the expanding context of the United States imperialism that contributed to the migration of workers from Puerto Rico to Hawai'i. In 1899, Hurricane San Ciriaco devastated more than half of the island of Puerto Rico. It left thousands of Puerto Ricans, who were dependent on subsistence farming, destitute and in search of work. Meanwhile, the Chinese Exclusionary Act, adopted in the United States in 1882, prohibited Chinese workers from entering any part of the United States. Consequently, recruiters of the Hawai'i Sugar Planters Association (HSPA) began to look for non-Asian experiences sugar cane cutters from domestic territories. Puerto Rico was considered a prime territory for cheap, non-Asian labor, and the annexation of Puerto Rico, Hawai'i, Guam, and the Philippines by the United States in 1898 facilitated the transfer of Puerto Ricans from one U.S. territory (Puerto Rico) to the other (Hawai'i). 


Between 1900 and 1901, 5,000 Puerto Ricans left the port of Guánica to immigrate to Hawai’i. It was a long and difficult journey. The first stop of the trip by sea was to New Orleans; the second, by rail, was to San Francisco. The trip was longer than they were told, they were not given proper clothing and medical attention promised on the way to Hawai’i, and the travel conditions were crowded and unsanitary. As a result, almost half of the Puerto Ricans escaped en route… Not only did Puerto Ricans escape and refuse to get back on the ship in California, but the first act of protest of those who continued on to Hawai’i was to seize control of the vessel that was to transport them to other islands in Hawai’i…


Although Hawai’i was a territory of the United States when Puerto Rican immigrated there, in the early part of the twentieth century it was still not a democracy. Hawai’i was managed by an oligarchy of five elite families who controlled it as if it were their personal fiefdom. These families constituted the HSPA. Members of the HSPA were enraged by the negative publicity and by what they considered audacity of the half-starved Puerto Rican peasants to protest their treatment. They implemented numerous strategies to control them. One of the successful strategies they had tried on earlier group was to promote a negative social image of Puerto Ricans as aggressive, and to stereotype them in the local newspaper as temperamental knife wielders. The HSPA also exploited existing differences among the various ethnic groups and invested considerable resources in creating and perpetuating animosities among the workers…


The HSPA used the strategy of scattering ethnic groups throughout the archipelago to prevent them from deriving power in numbers. Although he workers toiled alongside other ethnic groups in the field, they were housed in segregated quarters on each planation, a tactic put in place by the HSPA to keep workers under control and in competition with one another. As Michael Haas notes, ‘One of the ways that the plantation owners fostered interethnic conflicts was by intentionally recruiting Puerto Rican as ‘scabs’ to break up successful union strikes carried out by the Japanese workers in the early part of the twentieth century. Moreover, in contrast to the Chinese and Japanese workers who immigrated before them, Puerto Ricans did not have a government official in Hawai’i to represent them. This may have occurred because once they left, the Puerto Rican government did not want them to return; they were perceived as part of the overpopulation problem that the U.S. government officials had proclaimed in 1899… 

- Iris López, “Borinkis and Chop Suey: Puerto Rican Identity in Hawai’i, 1900 - 2000,” The Puerto Rican Diaspora: Historical Perspectives 

Floor 6

Do I look lonely? // I see the shadows on my face
People have told me I don’t look the same….

Genre: Smut

Members: Y/N and Mystery

You pressed the button disregarding the man standing by the button and quickly moved back to rest your back against the railing of the elevator wall. Glancing his his direction, you noticed a smirk dance across the bellboy’s face. “You chose quite the interesting floor. I hope you didn’t come here to talk much.” He laughed as the elevator came to a halt on your stop. “Should i have picked another one?” you asked hesitantly. “What did I say earlier? You choose the floor, it becomes yours. Now ma’am this is your stop.” He pulled the gate open allowing you to step out jut before closing it again. You looked back at him as the elevator began to ascend before taking a step forward. The hall way was dark, the walls once bright red began to fade the further you traveled. Standing in front of the only door there, a bright red and blue police siren light adorn the top of the door frame. A sign read  “Knock First” but you chose to ignore it, pressing the door open from its original cracked state. “Hello?” you called out taking a step inside.

Walking into the room you noticed the caution tape that wrapped its way around the window frames and the handcuffs that rested on both sides of the bed frame, the metal railings proving to be useful for something. The sheets were white with black stripes along the center as well as the matching pillow cases. This dude was a simple kind of guy you could only assume. The door creeked behind you as your breathing hitched. “You don’t know how to read do you?” A deep male voice called out to you. Before you could speak, you could feel his breath on the back of your neck, allowing goosebumps to form. “Ex-excuse me” You stammered of course unintentionally, but you were nervous and had every right to be. 

He grabbed the collar of your sweater pulling it off one side your shoulder before playfully kissing it. You shrugged away shyly falling onto the bed. Taking a quick glance at man standing in front of you, you were pleasantly surprised to notice how young he was. Couldn’t be older then 19 years old, dressed in a full fledged police uniform, a night stick hanging from his side. “Let’s get one thing clear, I’m not here to listen to your story, I could care less. If you want someone to talk to, wrong floor. You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be held against you in the court of….well I guess my court. You don’t get an attorney here and will not be appointed one. Anything you want to say before we get started?” He lifted his eye brow in amusement at the slightly disturbed look on your face.

“Actually” you responded timidly. “Spit it out?” he spoke, his voice deep and husky. “Can I….maybe….leave?” your voice trailed off as he closed the door locking it behind him and pulling the keys into his front pocket.
“There’s only one way out of this floor and that’s with this key. I’ve been meaning to use this night stick for a while now but no one has seemed suitable enough for it…” he began to examine the baton in his hands, sliding his hand up and down before he held it out to you. You were able to make out the numbers, 20110424, as he spoke, “Now shall we begin?” a devilish grin began to spread across his lips as he used the night stick to spread your legs further apart. You nodded your head in agreement as you watched him slowly pushed the leather skirt your best friend had convinced you to wear further up your body. He stared in admiration at your black laced thong and the music note tattoo that adorned your right hip.

He began to run the baton up and down your lace clad core, before he pulled it away, he held the baton close to his face as he examined it. Your juices glistened on the tip of the baton and you felt a bit of embarrassment run through you but it was quickly replaced with arousal as you watched the man before you lick the tip as he let out a throaty moan, “By far my sweetest client. As much as I love the black lace, I’d rather see your glistening pussy. Take them off kitten”

He watched you as you hooked your fingers in the band of you black lace panties, lifting your self up a bit to pull them down your legs. Sitting on the bed again, you spread your legs, allowing him to fully see you now. Head cocked to the side, baton still gripped in his hand, the man addressed you,“Have you ever been fucked by a baton before?” a smirk adorning his face as he began to kneel in front of you. A feeling of fear ran through you at the length and size of the baton. You had never been fucked by anything that size let alone something like that. Nervously you spoke, “N—No, I’ve never…Maybe we should do something else” You attempted to close your legs but the man’s baton stopped them.

“This is my room kitten, not yours! I say what happens here and right now I would like to fuck your pretty pussy with my baton. I promise it won’t hurt if that’s what you’re afraid of. I provide the utmost pleasure kitten, so just let go” he purred as he slowly moved your legs apart again. This was his job, you thought, as you began to give in to the handsome man before you.
The man let out a sigh of approval as he pulled a bottle of lube out of his back pocket. Pumping out a good amount onto the baton, he watched your every movement.

 The way your back arched as you breathed deeply to calm your nerves, the way your chest rose and fell with every agonizing second that passed. He rubbed the tip of the baton back onto your soaked pussy, rubbing some of the lube on your entrance before slowly pushing the head of the baton into you. You could feel how tight you were around it, allowing yourself to adjust to the size before he pushed a little further. “There you go baby, nice and slow” His grin was beautiful, glaring brightly at you, he licked his lips as the baton pushed into as far as it could go. He pumped the baton in and out of you, slow at first but then picked up speed. Pressing his hand on your hip to keep them from rocking to much you could feel the knot in your stomach beginning to form . “Oh my god I’m almost there!” you called out to the officer.

He pulled the baton out leaving you hallow and wanting. “Not yet….not before I’ve gotten the chance to feel you.” He was unbuckling his belt just enough to let it hang loosely in the pant holes, He unbuttoned his pants letting them pool at his ankles before pulling you up for your face to meet his freed erection. Tapping the tip along your bottom lip, you parted your mouth enough to allow him to slip between your teeth. He threw his head back in pleasure as he pumped himself with his free hand, rocking back and forth on his heels he moaned. “Your tongue works magic! By far the best I’ve ever had.” his smile so genuinely plastered onto his face. 

You began to move your tongue in small circles, rolling around the tip before taking him fully into your mouth. He began to thrust faster, his vein becoming more prevalent. He quickly pulled out without warning before pulling your legs to the edge of the bed. “I can’t let you miss out on all the fun now can i?” He grabbed your wrist, rolling you onto your stomach before you made contact with the cold metal that hung from the pipes of the bedpost. “Cuffs?” you whispered trying to pry your hands free. 

“Didn’t I say you the the right to remain silent?” The man’s voice husky and raw. You felt him slip his hand between your folds, rubbing small circles onto your clit with his thumb as he inserted his two digits into you. You threw your head back in pleasure, bringing your knees to your chest for doggy style. He watched as you stood there on all fours, your skirt pulled up to your chest as your ass stood clear in the air. He removed his fingers before inserting himself, slowly. Allowing you to adjust before completely pulling out and ramming back into you. He grabbed your ponytail, wrapping his hand around it before giving it a harsh tug. “Tonight, I want to fuck you like you’ve never been fucked before. I want you to scream when I tell you to…call me Sargent.” The man’s tongue licked the bottom of your earlobe making you shutter before ramming back into you.

This thrusts sent your body into a frenzy as he continued to move at a fast rhythmic pace. His hand still wrapped in your hair you began to scream. “Sargent…FUCK ME HARDER….Please” you called out to him before the finger that had once rubbed heavenly circles into your womanhood was now placed between your lips. “SUCK” he ordered from behind, not missing a beat. You did as you were commanded to do before you heard a loud slap sound just as you felt a sharp pain on your ass. You bit down harder on his finger as the next slap occurred. Surprised by your sudden arousal you could feel your climax approaching and you knew he was close to. Wrapping his hand around your ponytail again, he tugged harder, forcing you to look up at the siren light that flashed along the white painted ceiling. 

His once sharp movements had slowed down slightly and became erratic. “I want you to look at me…” His voice low and horse as you felt the knot in your abdomen become even more harsh. Suddenly your orgasm ripped though your body as your knees grew weak. He continued to ram into you as you rode out your high before he quickly pulled out of you, moving around to the front of the bed. “Open your mouth for daddy” he spoke, pumping himself a few times as he did so. Suddenly he released onto your face, as you felt the hot liquid drip into your mouth, you licked at it, never breaking eye contact. 

“You are by far the sexiest client i have ever had. My name is Jungkook and this is my floor. Stop by anytime…free of charge for now on.” His smile was toothy but sunny. You could tell he was being sincere but before you had the opportunity to speak, he release your wrists and handed you a towel. Walking to the door, he stopped. “Hmmm..” he purred before removing the key from his pocket and unlocking the door. “No one ever got as far as knowing my name…Here I’m just a floor.… Six…. they call me six… hmmm…Why’d I even tell you my name…Anyways the next show is about to start, care to join?”

*credit to whoever owns pictures

Panic at the disco- Death of a Bachelor

Submission – Future/Fantasy High-Speed Rail Map of North America by Lukas (age 12)

Hi, my name is Lukas and I am 12 years old. I love to read your blog and other mapping blogs. I was looking online and i found a map of a hi-speed rail system for America designed by the government. I thought the system’s design was horrible, because it was made of isolated corridors and networks that were in no way connected to one another and had too many stations for smaller towns like Millbrae, California and Bakersfield, California. I drew this map of a made-up interconnected hi-speed rail system for the US and Canada. Average speeds would be around 180 mph, while top speeds would be 220 mph. I got my inspiration from the government map and my own travels on the TGV and Eurostar in France ( I am half-french ). Please rate the map and system, I think it is one of the best rail maps i have ever drawn!

Note: the map is slightly discolored, the Colonial ( east coast ) route is yellow and the Big Sky Zephyr ( Chicago to Seattle ) route is an orange-yellow color.

——

Transit Maps says:

Lukas becomes the youngest contributor to the site with this great hand-drawn map of his vision for high-speed rail in North America. He’s certainly set his sights high, with lines all the way across the USA and all the way up through Alaska to Fairbanks and through Canada up to Edmonton.

Lukas notes that the other high-speed rail maps for the US that he’s seen break things up into smaller unconnected corridors. Unfortunately, this is probably the only way that any sort of high-speed rail will ever be constructed here. The vast distances across the country, low ridership and the ease of air travel all conspire against long-distance HSR. France, by comparison, is much smaller. A trip from Paris to Nîmes in the south of France takes around three hours by TGV and covers a distance of some 400 miles – which is only about the same as the distance between Portland, Oregon and Boise, Idaho.

However, I have to say that I love this map: it’s creative, fun and well-drawn. Drawing a map like this by hand will put Lukas in good stead if he ever decides to try and make a map using a computer – it’s often a great idea to sketch things out first.

I particularly love the awesome names Lukas has used for his routes: some of them are very evocative of the areas they serve – the Fjordrunner up to Alaska is my favourite, while Big Sky Zephyr and Princess Alberta are positively poetic.

I’m not going to give this map a rating out of 5 – it’s not really possible to compare a hand-drawn map to professionally-made transit maps – but I will say that I think Lukas has shown great creativity, critical thinking and solid design skills with this map and should definitely keep making them. I look forward to seeing more!

Eleabrylla: Imagine being told by Thorin that you remind him of the Beloved he lost when Smaug attacked Erebor

A/N: Yay it’s finished! nuvoleincielo I hope you like this ^^ And I hope everyone else likes it, too! 

request ∙ imagine

“But how are you going to get inside the mountain? Surely you can’t just walk in the front door,” Tilda says, her eyes shining. Sigrid looks at you expectantly. You can’t help but smile, having only known them for the couple hours since you arrived at their home and already they feel like the sisters you never had.

“Well, there’s a secret passageway that we’re going to use to get inside without Smaug knowing,” you respond.

“But if it’s secret, how do you know where it is?”

“Ah, good point,” you muse. Tilda’s curiosity seemed bottomless. “But Thorin has a map. Would you like to see it?”

Her young face lights up. “Yes, please!”

You stand up and place an encouraging hand on her shoulder. “Let’s go ask him, then!”

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6

“Worm” - the destroyer of Railways.

Sorry, i my translate is Bad ^_^

During the Second world war the basis of logistics in Europe were Railways. Having great importance for the troops, railway mania was an important goal that had to be destroyed.A good example is the so-called rail war – numerous surgeries Soviet partisans, whose purpose was the destruction of the ways and interruption of transportation of the enemy, and attack the various echelons with manpower, equipment and resources. However, the destruction of railway lines were carried out not only in the deep rear of the enemy.
Obviously, roads and Railways, being in enemy territory, will be used to transport and supply their troops. Thus, the need arose in the destruction of ways during the withdrawal. The destruction of rails and sleepers allowed to impede enemy military logistics and significantly reduce the rate of its occurrence. Even in the First world war came the first of the so-called travel destroyers. In order to accelerate the destruction of the railroads offered special equipment and machinery.
Consider the well-known projects in this area, starting with domestic developments.
The first known domestic track destroyer appeared in 1915. After the first failures on the front of the army of the Russian Empire was forced to retreat in Poland and Galicia. Not wanting to leave the enemy Railways, the Russian army destroyed them. Initially it was used by the explosives. The explosion broke sleepers, damaged rails and made them unusable. However, mining of waterways was too long and difficult, and the growing lack of ammunition is not allowed to destroy all the way, passing to the opponent. Needed a new solution, simple and effective, and not associated with the consumption of scarce resources.
A way out was found by the ensign Worm, who served in the 4th railway battalion. He managed to develop a means of destruction in ways that did not require explosive or any ammunition. For the destruction of ways of using the system, soon named after the designer, it only required a locomotive. Peterswell “Worm” could be made by field workshops available material.
Track destroyer design of ensign Worm was a loop bent from the rails. The width of the loop significantly exceeded track of the path, and tapering the end of the loop, converging on the rails, there was a bracket for mounting on existing drawbar of the locomotive. Thus, the product “Worm” had a very simple design, but can effectively solve the problems.
Before the destruction of the so-called upper structures of the system “Worm” was delivered to the work place by any convenient method. Next to the soldiers, railroad workers had to secure the breaker on the engine and to start preparing the way. One of the rail joints were dealt with, in addition, next to the rails was ukreplenii from sleepers. After this loop the destroyer could be brought under the rails and start destruction path.
Moving, the locomotive pulled over a loop, which interact with rails, sleepers and fastenings. Due to its curved shape loop “Worm” literally tore the rails from the sleepers. This was accompanied by an extract of crutches, and rails, experiencing a greater load noticeably bent. The result of the track of the destroyer were shifted and damaged sleepers scattered along the former path crutches and a pair of curved rails.
Despite the simple design and simple principle of operation, peterswell “Worm” was quite effective system. He could quickly and easily destroy a relatively long sections of ways, thus complicating the enemy advance. An important feature of the new system was the degree of destruction of the permanent way. Any damage received all the elements of its design. The rails were bent and could not be used to restore the paths, and sleepers received various injuries, which hampered their use. In the end, the enemy had to re-lay the railway destroyed.
It is known that the track destroyer “Worm” was made in several instances that have been used for several years of the First world war. In the future, this technique has not been decommissioned and remained in the warehouses of the railway troops. Information on the use of “Worm” in the Civil war but there is no information about the later cases their operation.
A number of petersrachelle ensign Worm preserved (there is reason to believe that this was a new product, collected during the years of Soviet power) until the beginning of the great Patriotic war. Departing, the Red Army was forced in various ways to destroy the railway reserve. As before, the main method of destroying them was explosive. However, in some cases, the soldiers used in their possession their travel destroyers.
For example, in the memoirs of Hero of Socialist Labor of Colonel-General of technical troops Pavel A. Kabanov mentioned use case “Worm” in early July 1941. The 77th battalion of the 5th train of the brigade received orders to put the boom or destroy track on the line Proskuriv – Hrechany – Zhmerynka. One of the same specs under the command of battalion commander captain Gennady Dmitrievich Bogatova worked on the stretch Hrechany–Proskuriv. Putting the boom in Grechanik, the men went to the side Proskurov.
For the destruction of the paths on the stretch, it was decided to use the old, but not outdated design. With the help of “Worm” red damaged beyond recovery some ways, but not in time to complete its job. At one of the crossings squad Bogatova stumbled on German tanks had broken through to the rear. Heavy fire from guns and machine guns is not allowed to destroy the remainder of the stretch. The soldiers were killed, leaving the enemy scattered sleepers and curved rails.
Another case of trying to use “Worm” to deter German troops mentioned in the book by N. With. Konarev “Railroaders in the great Patriotic war 1941-1945”. On 1 August 1941, the 1st individual recovery battalion of the 9th train crews had to organize a boom at the hub, Kamennogorsk near Vyborg. While one battalion was loaded on the platform rails, sleepers and turnout mechanisms, other stalled cooking peterswell “Worm”. Apparently, it was planned to dismantle part ways, while others just ruin during the withdrawal. Was also mined the bridge on the river Vuoksi, which tried to capture the German army.
Seven kilometers from the station, the red army kept advancing enemy. German artillery tried to fire station and the bridge. Having numerical superiority, the enemy broke through to the bridge and tried to capture it. Our troops were able to complete the necessary preparations to blow up the bridge when it went out enemy combatants. Thus any information about the use of “Worm” in this episode is missing. It is possible that the enemy’s offensive is not allowed to bring the track destroyer of dead ends, where it was prepared for use.
With the help of “Worm” for example destroyed the path on the stretch Hrechany — Proskuriv.

Hi, beautiful.

Yes, it’ll cost $50B—which is a lot!—but over the next 25-ish years, ST3 will expand rail north, south, east, and west, adding the travel capacity of more than a dozen lanes of freeway traffic. There will be a second downtown transit tunnel and trains to West Seattle, Ballard, and even (GASP) SOUTH LAKE UNIONNNNN.

This is literally the only way to help our region grow and reduce gridlock.

It’s going to be on your November ballot. Vote yes. Take one for the team. Even if you’re dead and gone when it’s finished, now’s the time to make this investment because that’s what it means to be a citizen. 

To Better Places

A/N: A fluffly, speculative missing moment that I wrote as a pick-me-up after this past episode and presumably takes place after the finale. Title belongs to The Head and The Heart’s “Rivers and Roads.” Also on ao3.

The dry, salty breeze tugs playfully at Felicity’s loose hair, and even though the pale, smoky sky edges out any pinpoint of sunlight, she knows it’s morning. The soft cotton of Oliver’s t-shirt flutters feather-light against her ribcage and she sighs contentedly, leaning her forearms against the worn, wooden railing that stretches around the small porch. Straight before her, a slate gray ocean extends infinitely in either direction along the sandy shore, and the waves create a gentle lull that matches the steady rhythm of her breathing.

It’s a testament to how twisted and mangled the last year has been, she thinks, that this moment — this perfect, peaceful moment — feels the most surreal. They’re only four days removed from Nanda Parbat, and Felicity feels as though she’s traveled worlds away. In a way, she has.

Her nerves, though, not so much, so she tries her best not to flinch as much as she does when she feels hands settle on her waist. Oliver’s touch is warm and familiar in a way nothing else has ever been, and he pauses understandingly to let her heartbeat relax. Then slowly, slowly, he slides his arms to bind around her stomach, and her tense muscles loosen completely of their own accord. She straightens, bringing her own hands up to cover Oliver’s forearms.

“You’re up,” she says, shrugging into his touch when he tickles her neck with his nose nuzzling into her hair.

“You weren’t in bed,” he murmurs in return, pressing a light kiss to the curve of her shoulder exposed by the wide neckline of his shirt.

“It’s beautiful here,” she says by way of explanation, leaning back into his chest and letting his arms tighten around her middle. “I’m glad we came.”

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Favorite Steroline Moment - #7

Favorite Steroline Moment - #7


Back to one of my favorite episodes! I already talked about my other favorite scene from this episode here.

Well, everything went completely wrong in Atlanta, and Caroline is back to MF, ready to tell Stefan about her failure mission. She enters the truck where he’s resting and begins to vent all her frustrations on Stefan, saying she’s exhausted and very cranky. Stefan says that it’s good to see her anyway, and ask her about what happened in Atlanta

“I just did. I failed. I couldn’t kill him Stefan, not even to save you”

And she says it like it’s the worst thing in the whole world, the fact that she didn’t kill somebody. And Stefan thinks this is absurd

“You do realize that you’re feeling guilty for not being able to kill somebody, right?”

Caroline says she’s feeling guilty because Stefan is still a prisoner, and he replies saying that the travelers wouldn’t let him go anyway, because he’s too important to them. Caroline tells him that Enzo killed Tom, and Stefan says that now he has another reason to hate Enzo - and something tells me that his attempts to force Damon to go off the rails are not the only reason for Stefan’s hatred. And then Caroline begins to talk about Enzo flirting with her

“I should’ve seen it coming. The whole flirty ‘Oh, I’m so charming because I wanna distract you’ thing. I practically invented that!”

And the way Stefan looks aside when she tells him this is amazing. No one can tell me he’s not uncomfortable here. And he practically confirms this when she asks what they are going to do now and he answers “We go to sleep”. Caroline is clearly confused with that and jokes “Well, that’s heroic”, to which Stefan responds

“The hero part of my brain needs to recharge for, you know, being tortured all day while you were out flirting with yet another british man” -> definitely jealous!

She laughs and tells him to shut up (I love when she tells him to shut up!). Stefan tells her that they just need to wait for an opportunity to get out of there - together. Then he closes his eyes and Caroline looks at him, thinking for a few seconds and we have that

Caroline: “You knew. That’s why you let me go, because you knew the whole time, didn’t you?“

Stefan: “I knew what?”

Caroline: “That I couldn’t do it”

And in this moment Stefan sighs and turns to look at her. If you haven’t noticed yet, please pay attention to this part and to how Stefan is staring at her and at her lips the entire time. So, let me say it again: don’t you dare tell me that Stefan wasn’t feeling something more than friendship for her before season 6! I mean, c’mon! It’s crystal clear! And if watching this is not enough for you, then just focus on it

Stefan: “Not that you couldn’t do it, but that you wouldn’t do it”

Caroline: “How?”

Stefan: “Because that’s what makes you you”

Good Lord, anyone who can not see this is clearly in denial. 

To finish, I’d just like to point out one more thing: Caroline smiling at Stefan after what he said. She always used the same words to talk about him, as if any other word would not be enough to “define” him or to “explain” how amazing he is for her. And it’s like he’s reciprocating the feeling, it’s like he’s saying “I don’t know how to explain, so I’m just gonna say that I like you exactly because you are who you are”. And I think this was the moment when Caroline begun to open herself to the feelings she was starting to have for him, and I think this is the reason why she laid her head on his shoulder. Actions speak louder than words.

[ lucien carr has just been on the most
wonderful adventure of his entire life.
he’s jet-lagged, and he’s hungry— but
most importantly, he’s home. 

paris had been an absolute dream. nelson
had told him that he could do anything, and
that’s exactly what he had done. throughout
the duration of his journey, lucien had climbed
all 674 steps of the eiffel tower (and had travelled
the rest of the way to the top via the elevator),
visited the louvre and the catacombs, sat on
the railing of the pont des arts at sunset (and
remained none the wiser to the love locks—
cadenas d’amour– that had been removed from
the bridge only a year prior), had travelled to the
southern side of the river, the side with the name
of dual meanings– la rive gauche– an earlier era
of parisian artists and writers like rimbaud and
miller and hemingway, as well as the simple name
for the southerly half of the seine. he had wandered
around the place de la bastille, and even managed
to fit in a meal of coffee and waffles with traditional
jams and homemade gingerbread at the café de
la paix
(yes, the café de la paix from the story that
he had read with andrew a mere month ago). he’d
even tried frog legs after having formed a drunken
wager with a stranger in a bar— the other man had
bet €20 that he wouldn’t have the courage to taste
the foreign meal. long story short, they really did
taste like chicken. he’d stayed up until the wee
hours of each morning and had talked about his
visions and ideas and writing in bars and on the
streets and had made conversation in broken french
with just about anyone who cared to listen to him.  

truth be told, he had been sorely tempted to just
stay in the city of light and love and freedom forever. 

deep down, though, he knew that he didn’t belong
there. he belongs here, in new york, with his (admittedly
not-so-shitty) job and his small room with it’s big view
and his fantastically irritating friends. if he was being
honest, he had to admit that he’d even missed a few
of them— andrew and harry in particular (though he
would never admit the latter). it had been a new concept—
yet spiritually necessary— to refrain from talking to them
during his trip, and he’s a little glad to finally be home
once more. 

rolling his suitcase into the house behind him, lu
immediately drops his keys onto the counter and
makes a beeline for the fridge. a quick glance at
the microwave tells him that it’s almost midnight,
so he only vaguely recognises the fact that he’s
behaving like an asshole as he fishes out a container
of pasta from the fridge and pushes it in through
the open door (there’s no metal inside this time—
he checked). he presses start, and watches the
container spin around on an axis for a few moments
before turning back towards his previously discarded
suitcase. the low hum of the microwave serves as an
underlying background noise while he busies himself
with taking his jacket off and throwing it over the
elongated handle of the suitcase. 

he hadn’t said goodbye to anyone before setting
out on his trip. he hadn’t even informed anyone
where he was going, which is why he begins to
wonder if anyone had actually realised if he had
been absent from the penthouse after waiting in
silence for another few moments. footsteps sounding
from behind him pull lucien from his thoughts, however,
and he turns with a start in order to try and catch a
glimpse of whoever has just stepped into the kitchen. ]