reality is collapsing

EPISODE 109 SPOILER

Okay so if you haven’t heard Episode 109 (A Story About Huntokar) please skip this post or don’t be mad at all the spoilers I’m about to discuss. Because OMG I need to talk about how amazing this episode was, both from a literary point of view and just because it literally explains Nightvale. 

So here is a list of just…. EVERYTHING (or nearly everything) that I thought was amazing about this episode. 

1. Nightvale is broken, and Huntokar is the reason why

It’s no secret that Huntokar has already been established as a God like figure in WtN. The little civilization under lane 5 of the Desert Flower Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex was known to worship a God named Huntokar. In episode  107 (A Missing Sky) the people mention that Huntokar took away their sky. This originally made me wonder if a giant human named Huntokar had simply been the construction worker and designer that had built the Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex around their city. But no. Huntokar is literally the God of Nightvale. She IS responsible for what happened to them, to all of the Nightvales. 

“You’ve already been destroyed… you just don’t know it yet” (109). She is not exaggerating or being dramatic with this statement. Huntokar isn’t saying this to mean “you’re dead and you just don’t know it yet,” though that is certainly the implication since their fate seems sealed. No. What she is truly saying is that they are SHATTERED. They are already destroyed because they are shattered, their reality broken. And they don’t know it because they have been living in this fractured reality for so long, and because they are in denial about it. Huntokar states, “For a while I believed we could go on like this. We only put our heads down and insisted on living without looking at or considered the world around us we could just keep moving. And the main thing was to… keep moving. Denial was key. As long as we denied then nothing was wrong” (109). 

“Nightvale was not a place with any distinction to anyone in the world, except for me” (109). NIGHTVALE WAS NORMAL! It was a normal town; it had no distinction from anywhere else in the world before Huntokar shattered it. This was mind blowing to me. I had always thought of this town as “cursed” and that they were simply used to these abnormal things. But that is not the case. They have simply adapted to a shattered reality, using denial and God knows what other coping methods. “Now in this destroyed world I am forgotten. Still, they have bloodstones and still they worship but… never does anyone ask ‘What is being worshipped in those circles?’” (109). They forget things, they are in denial about things. They don’t question, because questioning might literally ruin them. 

If you need further proof that the people of Nightvale simply adapted to their shattered reality, look at Carlos. Carlos came from a normal reality to Nightvale In the beginning of the show he is weirded out by things that are normal to the others, such as the clocks. “… that clocks in Nightvale are not real. I have not found a single real clock. I have dissembled several watches and clocks this week and all of them are hollow inside” (16). He freaks out a little about this, as well as other things. But as the show progresses he somehow becomes OKAY with these things and also seems to perceive them as normal. But back to the main point. 

Everything weird that has ever happened in Nightvale is Huntokar’s fault. The time traveler from the future (in episode 18), Desert Bluffs, the dragons, Earl Harlin not remembering having a son, and literally EVERYTHING ELSE. But I’ll go more into that later.

“And it was, I suppose, in the moment that I first felt love for my creation that the fuse for the unraveling of all things was lit. Although it would not happen for many centuries, with the very inception of my greatest satisfaction and happiness, this tragedy became inevitable” (109). Again, she is not being dramatic. If she hadn’t felt love for Nightvale she would have had no desire to save it, and therefore wouldn’t have accidentally shattered its reality. 

“What happened next was a horrible cracking noise, a noise like I had never heard before, like NO ONE had ever heard before because this particular thing had never been broken. Not in the history of all possible histories. When I tried to lift Nightvale out of the world it belonged in, I shattered reality. And I didn’t shatter reality just in my Nightvale but in all Nightvales. All Nightvales that were, or could be, every possible Nightvale in every possible universe broke simultaneously and fell into each other” (109). Fuck me. This just… This just got me. I can practically see the way she tried to pluck Nightvale up out of reality, like trying to pick up one piece of glass from the middle of a mirror, and the domino effect it created. The shattering, the cracking, of every other reality and the way they collapsed on one another for support. Like a house falling down and barely managing to still stand. 

“There was a Nightvale is which there was no Huntokar… and this town should have been safe from me… but then all of the other Nightvales fell into it. And it too was destroyed by my action” (109).

“And in my moment of foolish hope… In my belief that I could save anything… I reached out my clumsy hand… and destroyed them all” (109). 

2. Nightvale was going to end, and may very well be about to end again

“I looked up into the sky as the people around me wept and said goodbye to each other. And I saw something else… A planet of awesome size lit by no sun, an invisible titan all thick black forests and jagged mountains and deep turbulent oceans. It hung so close that it filled the entire sky” (109). The dark planet has been well established as a sign of impending death, such as in episode 45 (A Story About Them). Therefore death was coming to Nightvale. If Huntokar had not done what she did they would be dead. 

“But… my efforts end here. The world is finally falling apart piece by piece and… I stand by. All the powers of my thousands of years and… I can only watch it fall” (109). Huntokar has stopped trying and now she sees the planet (the sign of death) once again. This could spell the end of Nightvale, all Nightvales.

“Even as I speak I look up into the sky and see that dark planet of awesome size perched in its sunless void. An invisible titan, all thick black forests and jagged mountains and deep turbulent oceans. It’s so close now. I can see it just above me. Maybe even if I tried very hard I could touch it” (109).

3. The Gods aren’t all powerful, and they don’t have to be nice

“I’ve spent every moment since my mistake trying to put back together what I took apart but… It is beyond me” (109). Even as a self-proclaimed God Huntokar is NOT all powerful. None of the “Gods” are. 

“Each of us in those early days chose our domains …. We could each of us do whatever we wanted in the places that we chose” (109). This is genius because it implies that once a God chose a domain that limited its ability. The God was more powerful in its chosen domain than elsewhere. Of course some of these domains are rather abstract, such as the distant Prince, but it still shows that the Gods aren’t all powerful and that they have territories. This also explains why Huntokar was able to shatter the reality of Nightvale. Nightvale was her domain, making it somewhat possible for her to mess with it whereas she might not have been able to do that in say New York. 

“The Glow Cloud remembers me but can do no more than flash welcoming colors to say hello. I have no human mind it can control so there is no way for us to speak” (109). They are so limited they can’t even properly communicate! 

“The woman from Italy became fascinated at the pain that could be inflicted on these creatures. The distant Prince began to shape some of them into wounded servants driven wild by what he had done to them. The Glow Cloud controlled the minds of any that got too close. And I… I thought I was the exception. I thought that I would nurture them rather than rule them. I was, of all of us, the only good one” (109). This is fascinating from a philosophical point of view. It begs the question, what if God(s) exist that are cruel? People naturally want to assume that a powerful, infinite being would want to love and protect us. It asks the question, what if that isn’t the case?

4. Examples of Nightvales shattered realities overlapping

“Some versions of the town fell completely into other versions, becoming folded int their reality in unexpected combinations. Others merely opened borders with my original Nightvale, doorways through which travel was possible.. but not advisable” (109). Episode 105 (What Happened at the Smithwick House),  Episode 99 (Michigan), Episode 107 (The Missing Sky) and Episode 108 (Cal) are just some examples of the realities overlapping of having borders. The blood space war could very well possibly be the result of another reality. 

“There is a Cecil who would not listen. There is a Cecil who listened, but could not comprehend. There is a Cecil who did his upmost but who failed. There is a Cecil who was gone long before I came” (109). While this seems like an obvious point to make, seeing as how anyone who has listened to the other episodes knows well enough by now there are multiple Cecils. There is the young Cecil, who interns at the radio station. There is the Cecil in the tiny civilization under lane 5. There are many Cecils. And yet this is brilliant because it also suggests something else. 

It suggests that Kevin is another version of Cecil. Yes, he has a different name. But they made it clear there were strong parallels between the characters. They look the same for crying out loud. Rather than Desert Bluffs being a “sister city” Desert Bluffs IS a version of Nightvale. Most likely is was a version that was taken over by the “Smiling God” and being of the shattering has overlapped with our Nightvales reality. 

5. Other stuff/ Philosophical points

“They faced across the water, squabbling over misunderstood ideas and announcing in louder and louder voices that they were prepared to end their species history over a point of pride. Some of the Gods encouraged it, enjoying chaos and fear as entertainment” (109). I just liked everything about this. I think it speaks deeply to our current world state. “The power of a fearful thought” (109).

“The important thing wasn’t a life worth living. The important thing was just a life that continued” (109). Again, I think this speaks to our culture. People are so accustomed to surviving that we ignore things like mental illness (depression, etc.). We, as a culture, don’t value making life worth living. You could argue we have lots of entertainment, in fact the American culture revolves around entertainment, but entertainment is not the same as joy nor does it guarantee a happy life or a life worth living, a life of fulfillment. But we push that aside, and do jobs we don’t like to earn money so that we can buy things and watch things and act happy.

“Nightvale is shattered, but for now is still here. Time is startlingly persistent in that way. Even badly wounded it moves” (109).

“They see glowing arrows in the sky, dotted lines and circles and they think nothing of them! Air traffic… space debris… weird birds… They do not, can not, will not read the messages from their God” (109). This is fascinating for several reasons. First of all, Steve Carlsburg can in fact see and read these messages but still does not understand where they are coming from. Additionally, I found this point to be amazing because it poses the idea that we as human beings might not be seeing something right in front of us. This has been pointed out a few times, such as in the movie Sausage Party, it makes us wonder if there is another reality right in front of our faces that we cannot see. Perhaps we have even chosen to ignore it. Goodness knows if anyone claimed to see something different from the rest of society they would be considered crazy, such as Steve Carlsburg would be if he brought it up. 

“This story may do you no good. But a story is never for the listener. It is always for the one who tells” (109). 

A Treatise On The Nature of The Planeswalker Spark

I talk about planeswalking itself in my latest Treatise, A Treatise On The Nature Of Planeswalking. In this one, however, I talk about what the Planeswalker Spark really is and what we know about it.

This is part 2 of the Planeswalk Series with the “Planeswalking” article being the first. They’re related only so far as the subject. But you don’t need to read any of the previous to read this one.

Gather `Round! It’s Story Telling Time!



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I’d just like to remind everyone that The Mandela Effect is just the result of two existences merging and reality trying to smooth out the differences. This is in fact safe, natural, and way more common than it might seem. Nothing to worry about guys 8) We’re not collapsing, reality isn’t fake, existence just loves you a lot and is trying to make you comfy here! 

Night Vale Fandom
  • Episode 100: OH MY GOD CECIL AND CARLOS GOT MARRIED THIS IS THE BEST EVERYTHING IS GOOD WITH THE WORLD!
  • Episodes 102 and 103: Ah the Nostalgia of the classic format.
  • Episodes 104 and 105: Yay! Back to the weird and unexplainable events! Ooh more reality breaking and explanation happening.
  • Episode 106: Yay the angels got recognized! Whoo glad to know everything is slowly getting better.
  • Episode 107: ...
  • Fandom: ...
  • Episode 107: Reality is collapsing.
  • Fandom: ...wut
  • Episode 107: Steve and Cecil are friends.
  • Fandom: WHAT?
  • Episode 107: And now the weather... -proceeds to describe the current conditions of nature-
  • Fandom: -building panic rooms-
  • Episode 107: Oh and Cecil and Carlos never met and Cecil is single and lonely.
  • Fandom: -SCREAMING IN AGONY, HOUSES ARE AFLAME, EVERYTHING IS IN CHAOS-
  • Episode 108: -Pours a gazillion pounds of salt and lemon onto the wound-
  • Fandom: -Crying-
Quick Theories

This next episode comes out in about 20 minutes so this is gonna be fairly quick, but here we go.

1. The Woman from Italy is from another Night Vale, the same one as the Distant Prince. Reality is collapsing, and she wants her Night Vale to be the one to survive, explaining why she wants to make Night Vale a “singularity”.

2. The Woman from Italy is Huntokar. The faceless old woman say she met a “dear friend”, but what if it was a “deer friend?” We know that Huntokar wears a deer mask. Huntokar is called the destroyer, and the Woman from Italy says that she is “consuming all souls until none are left”. She brings fun and jest as well, which could mean, actually thinking about it, she could also be the smiling god of strex. Basically, the woman from Italy could be Huntokar or the smiling god, maybe both at once. Also for the smiling god, she will “set the world on fire”, and the smiling god’s symbol was light.

(This was written after Cal and about 4 minutes before episode 109 comes out)

dlightw00f  asked:

Arte!! I had a really weird thought; could Lars get into the pocket dimension through lions hair? And if he could, could steven crawl into Lars' hair? And then what would happen??

I know I joke about reality collapsing in on itself a lot, but I reckon that really would happen in this case, since it’s a paradoxical thing. I think Lion would lock Lars out to prevent that from occurring

Not To Be

Hey, everyone! I actually wrote something for the first time in forever, omg. I’m back with a oneshot based on the Itachi Shinden novels. Yep, this is Itachi/Izumi. I hope you guys like it!

Not To Be

Rated T

Itachi/Izumi

Romance/Tragedy

It was just past dinnertime when Izumi heard a quiet but firm knock at her door. A pretty smile immediately graced the young girls’ features as she sensed a familiar chakra signature. For a moment, she had an internal freak out. This was so sudden! She certainly hadn’t expected Itachi to show up out of the blue, not that she was complaining. What if she looked like a hot mess? Untying her apron and tossing it aside, she quickly made her way to the living room mirror. She examined herself thoroughly, making sure that there was nothing in her teeth and that she looked presentable. Deciding she shouldn’t keep Itachi waiting any longer, she ran her fingers through her long hair and smoothed out her clothes, before going to answer the door.

“Itachi-kun! What brings you- Wait, are you okay?”

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8

She died for who she was and who she loved…” Ashildr’s speech at the End of the Universe may as well be about herself as it is about Clara. Ashildr the Viking died a hero, for a cause she truly believed in. And that should have been the end of her story…except that it wasn’t.

Those billions of years of her cursed immortality may have erased the specifics of Ashildr’s memory, but the bitterness remains. “We have no right to change who she was.” Lady Me was born out of the Doctor’s fear and guilt, and her very existence acts as a cautionary tale of what happens when impulsivity overrides all rational thought, especially in the hands of someone with unimaginable power over space and time. 

Sitting alone by a set chessboard, watching reality collapse in on itself - is it any wonder she tries so hard to stop Clara from being condemned to the same, terrifying fate? By advocating for Clara, Ashildr is in fact advocating for her own, past self.

PLOTLINE

        Scientists have pondered the multiverse theory for years, and in New York City, proof finally exists. Lilith’s grief at the death of her “son,” Sebastian Morgenstern, tore a hole in the fabric of reality itself — two worlds are folding in onto each other, realities that are similar but not quite identical. Every person now walks alongside a copy of themselves, and things are more confusing than ever… with an added trial. If they don’t manage to separate the worlds again within the next two years, both realities will collapse in on themselves, destroying them for all eternity.

INFORMATION

        This group is a merging of two different universes — the Shadowhunters television show and the Mortal Instruments books. In terms of show timeline, this takes place at the end of 2x20; for the books, it takes place after City of Fallen Angels. These don’t match up perfectly on purpose. There will be two of every character, exempting those who are dead in one or both universes. Crossover characters can also have a version in each verse. OCs are allowed, but there will only be one of them. Faceclaim duplicates are not allowed outside of the pairs. Both versions of a character do not have to have the same faceclaim.

        Once accepted, make sure you track the tag #v. the descent, where you can find starters and any important updates. You don’t have to follow all the members of the group, but do not exclude anyone. The application and the players can be found below the cut.

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One of my favorite villains: Owlman. Specifically Owlman from Crisis on Two Earths. He is so high concept it’s not even funny. The whole idea is that he is a version of Batman that views people as being inherently evil, and rather than salvation man deserves destruction. When learning that multiple earths are spawn based off every decision made by every person, he believes that every decision is basically meaningless. He decides that the only decision that holds any consequence is the destruction of Earth Prime, the original earth off which every other earth is based, thus causing reality to collapse in on itself. This is one crazy sadistic terrifying brilliant mother fucker and one of my favorite villains of all time.

First Smile In A Long While - George Weasley Imagine (Requested)

Request: Imagine making George smile for the first time after the war.

((Enjoy it my lovely!))

h/n = House at Hogwarts

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Forsaken joke boxes and deserted dreams absorbed the tiled flooring of the infamous “Weasley Wizard Weezes”. The numerous spiral staircases positioned in diagonal patterns along the shop, were painted multiple times with exorbitant colors varying form lime green to a rich cherry red, and each stair bar being coated over with another lavished color. The shop that was once, not too long ago, echoing with laughter and bright smiling faces, was now known for its sad and empty vibes since the tragic day the owner had lost his brother, his best friend the humor filled Fred Weasley.

When May passed, Weasley Wizard Weezes fell deep in a way mirroring the owner’s dark depression. George Weasley debated on putting in the effort to clean their beloved shop back up, trying to make something out of Fred’s death. But it didn’t feel right. Weasley Wizard Weezes was their dream. Theirs. Not George’s, not Fred’s, not Molly Weasley’s or Arthur Weasley, the dream of the joke shop and the shop itself was the twins. No one else’s. They worked for it day and night skipping homework sessions at school (not like either of them minded missing that) to perfect their special homemade trick and treats. Although a few were credited to George’s girlfriend, y/n. She was sorted into h/n her first year and grew insanely close to both the twins. Her fourth year she began to develop a deeper relationship with George and later that year they were as close as two peas in a pod, seeming as Fred had nearly forced George to ask the poor girl out.

After Fred passed away, George had asked y/n to help him and co own the shop which she of course took. Besides, she was already working with them the only difference was she never had an official title but they were grateful for her.

The thumping sound of rain splattering on the side walk entered the blank bland shop. y/n sat slouched over a table working her way through a pile of bills and paperwork an illuminating candle being her only source of lighting. The rain gave her comfort and despite the chilly breeze, she refused to shut the parted window. An exhausted and weary eyed George sat directly across from her hands deep in a stack of untested and failed experiments trying to calculate and figure out what went wrong. His face was long and dead beat and a bone dry coffee cup in front of him told y/n everything she needed to know. Silence filled the cracks between them and y/n took a break from the endless paperwork to study George’s features.

Things about him had changed… scratch that, everything about George Weasley had changed over the last three months. His usually permanent edged on goofy smile was replace with a strict straight line formed by his pale lips. His fiery hair also grew less vivid and his bones were more visible than ever before. The one aspect of his that didn’t alter was one of emotions rather than physical appearance and that was his burning love for y/n. Although he dramatically showed it less, which she understood, George still felt the same breath taking passion for her that he did the first day the two met. He was in love with the way she fought to stay by his side and how she could so easily pick him up from defeat. He adored her determination and respected her for all she had sacrificed in order for the couple to stay together. George was madly in love with y/f/n but he no longer had access to the energy her once owned with such arrogance. George no longer told her funny jokes; he didn’t make her breakfast in bed (quite frankly he had honestly forgotten how to crack an egg), he forgot the reason behind laughing, he dismissed the thought of kissing her because he was scared she’d no longer feel the spark and leave, but most importantly George Weasley had forgotten the simplicity of reminding the over worked girl just how much he loved and cared for her. George had forgotten but y/n hadn’t.

His smile was tattooed into her memory, his touch, his kiss, his loving words, his jokes, and his laughed they were all there in her mind but it had been forever since she witnessed them in person. Yes, y/n was greatly in love with the George but she missed the old George Weasley.

“y/n, darling. Can you go look in the box labeled ‘Taxes’ on my desk upstairs for a sheet of paper explaining all of our rights and ownership to the building. I believe the inspection unit is sopping by late afternoon tomorrow and I want to make sure things are somewhat organized…” George dull mumbled trailing off into oblivion, actually more like folders on top of folders. y/n jumped at his sudden voice joining into play. Astonished still at his request, she hastily nodded her head pushing away from the make do desktop she made for herself, standing up tall and maneuvering around the table.

In short timing, y/n skipped up the stairs then bounded back down with a folder tucked nicely under her arm, setting in front of a stressed George whom bided her a unspoken ‘thank you’ by shaking his head. But as y/n spun on her heel, her loose baby blue sweater George’s mother Molly had knitted for her two Christmas’ ago, caught hold of a mountain high stack of boxes that immediately came tumbling down. They hit the floor with a rough smack and all y/n could do was stumble backwards with her hand over her mouth. Papers scattered the floor and quills flew across the floorboard. Joke boxes popped open sending small frogs, butterflies, snails, and mice running away in opposite directions.

Before George had any time to react a tidal wave of apologies rushed out from y/n’s mouth.

“Oh my god, George! I am so sorry, I had no idea those were right there and if I did I certainly wouldn’t have knocked them over! That really wasn’t intentional and I hadn’t even noticed them earlier, because if they were there I-“But an unfamiliar sound cut her off. It was recognizable, a long time ago the sound would’ve been a natural feeling. This, this wasn’t normal it was out of the ordinary and in a way comforting. Like a warm welcome home after a long journey.

George Weasley sat hunched over his desk, yet this time his eyes weren’t glued onto a stupid sheet of paper, no. This time, tears were streaming from them but the good kind. These were tears from laughing too hard, these were the best kinds of tears, the kind people actually enjoyed letting out. George was doubled up in laughter and y/n wasn’t exactly sure what to do. Should she join in the laughing session or did she clean up the mess and see if he was okay. Wait, why would she see if he was okay? It was months since he last even cracked a smile so why ruin the moment. Without thinking and completely letting herself go, y/n joined in the fun and giggled along with her boyfriend like a manic. After a while, they settled down and sat in a peaceful tranquility. George was the first to break it as he gave y/n a side glanced,

“You’ve got a beautiful laugh and a perfect smile, my love.” y/n blushed at the statement ducking her head down low as George moved away from his desk and took a seat next to her on the floor.

“Shut up. Anyways it’s nothing compared to yours. It’s been far too long since you’ve given a real smile. I miss it some much, I miss you.” George sighed sadly. He had tried so hard to be happy around her. He wanted her to think he was okay, that everything was fine when in reality the world was collapsing around him and all he could do was stare blankly.

“y/n… I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have pushed you so far away. I just thought everything would work out better if I kept you out of it and acted alright.” He admitted mournfully and extremely guilty.

“Don’t be George! You acted the same way anyone else in your position would’ve and nothing was your fault. You’ve been so strong for far too long, love.” George’s hand reached up, brushing her cheek lightly. She was so delicate and breakable like a glass doll and he wasn’t about to let her break into a million tiny pieces.

Acting on emotions, George leaned forwards swiftly attaching their lips in passion. Y/n lost herself in the moment and pulled him closer to her by the collar of his shirt. They stayed connected for a few more seconds, and then pulled away resting their foreheads against each other, hands interlocked.

“I love you, princess. Thank you for everything.”

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- Daizy xxx

Schrödinger’s cat: a cat, a flask of poison, and a radioactive source are placed in a sealed box. If an internal monitor (e.g. Geiger counter) detects radioactivity (i.e. a single atom decaying), the flask is shattered, releasing the poison, which kills the cat. The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics implies that after a while, the cat is simultaneously alive and dead. Yet, when one looks in the box, one sees the cat either alive or dead not both alive and dead. This poses the question of when exactly quantum superposition ends and reality collapses into one possibility or the other.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schr%C3%B6dinger%27s_cat

2

“No, no, no! God please, no!”

Sam fell to his knees, tears streaming down his face.

He found you kneeling by the body of a woman you didn’t know, slurping at the blood pouring out of the bite mark on her neck. You looked up from your kill at the sound of Sam’s voice.

Baring your fangs, you slowly stood. You could hear the sound of his strong heart pumping blood through his body. The smell of its freshness made you salivate.

You prepared to leap at him when you noticed his clothes. He wore a suit, a tie loose around his neck. You cocked your head. You remembered lying that tie out for him this morning.

“Oh God.” You looked down, shaken out of your trance. The front of your pajama shirt was now painted in blood. You tried to wipe it off, but your hands were sticky with blood too.

You found Sam’s gaze and saw the overwhelming hopelessness you felt reflected in his eyes. All of your plans flashed before your eyes in quick succession. Hunting with a wedding ring on your finger. Buying your first house. Sam cradling a newborn baby. Parties, birthdays, holidays, all waiting to be celebrated. As each dream passed, an empty feeling inside you grew, knowing that they would never become a reality.

You collapsed to the ground and cried out, “Oh God!”

Hey man we all can’t be like you
I wish we were all rose-colored too

I’m starting a tale series about some Ethics Committee members who are really jaded because they’re incredibly aware they are that none of them are really doing “good” things even if it keeps the earth, humanity, reality, and the universe from collapsing

so here’s Junior Psychologist Observer Chibi Yamagusuku snapping some rose-colored glasses in half

Blue and White Porcelain

Characters: You x Chen (Jongdae)
Genre: Romance, Angst, Slice of Life

Warning: This story includes themes about weight loss, eating disorders, self-hatred, and standards of beauty.  Please read with caution.

I am thin now.

Probably still not thin enough for you.

But I take up less space.

I take up less of your air.

I can feel my bones protrude from my wrists and hips.

My ribs grinding against my flesh.

But still not thin enough.

Because of my thighs.

No, because of my stomach.

No, my arms.

My arms too.

Too much flesh.

Too much…

Not thin enough…

The familiar sigh seeps from my lips, washes across my porcelain cheeks, and taps along my jawline as if playing an instrumental along keys, until they reach my ears.  So familiar, for those words, that sigh, that lingering feeling of resentment repeats itself like a broken record everyday.  Because it is never enough.  I am never enough.

We set goals, we look at girls around us and set them as our targets.  If I get to look like her, God, if you can make me as thin as her, as pretty as her, then that is enough.  But it is never enough.  We get to that point and want more because suddenly that twenty-four inch waist is still too fat.  Because there is still flesh.  There is still meat.  The bones have not touched my skin yet.  Suddenly, we begin to hate our own flesh and bones.

Not enough.

My petite hands grip onto my cheap $5 cheval wide mirror from Target that concaved in a specific way so that my height was never my real height and my width was never my real width; an illusion to make the short feel shorter, the wide to feel wider.  Nails carve against the recycled paper that held the body against its frame.  So fragile.  With a forceful grunt, I haul the mirror up and flip it over so that I wouldn’t have to see my reflection that paled in comparison to the gorgeous slim figures of the girls in magazines.  Instead, the inch wide crack, branching from the bottom right of the platinum glass, stomps against my chest and haunts my soul. So broken.

Head spins dizzily.  Stars and gems and phosphenes flutter about.  So addictive.  Only now will I be able to see such enchantment.  Such beauty.  My legs swing helplessly to balance the unevenness of weight, yet ultimately succumbs to the tyrant of head over heart.  Slam goes my body against the 25 year-old wooden bed my mother swore was good for me but in reality she didn’t want to spend money to buy a mattress for someone she says has enough fat to supply her own cushion.  My minute feet knocks against my reflection.  Both illusion and reality collapses against each other like twilight tides casting over ocean crystals.  Shattered glasses meet with vulnerability of human flesh and skin.  So…broken.  But, will the excess fat go away now?  Instead, what is left are more strokes and lines to add to my collection of scars and bruises.

They say if you can’t get over something, then accept it.  So I learned to take pride in these discolorations and wounds.  And illnesses.  And deformities.  And hurt.  And struggles.  And…and…

But the possessions most boast about, in actuality, are the ones causing us insecurity because the simple need for others’ acknowledgment and approval betrayed our inner motives and desire for solace.

So what can I do?

If even accepting and celebrating flaws suddenly becomes the weakness others attack you with?

But life goes on.  And stomachs grumble.  And the shattered glasses tinted in wine do not wash themselves.

Life goes on.

So don’t give up.

Even when no one supports you.

Support…support…yourself.

I’m tired.

Just…keep…going…

You have no choice.

My glossy vision lands on the single apple situated perfectly on its center axis.  Perfect.  Yet, no one wants an apple figure.  No one wants a pear-shaped figure.  Everyone wants the inedible hourglass.  The one that turns time backwards so I could forget I inhaled that whole family pack of Cheetos or devoured five whole servings of Seoul-styled fried chicken.

Two fingers discover their daily position only reserved for my tonsils.  Acid rides up my protesting stomach, up my burning esophagus, and out into the open world again.  Not an apple for an apple.  But an apple for a river.  For a sea.  For an ocean…

No.  Dinner.  For.  A.  Month.  I make the promise that I knew I’d break but even if I break, I didn’t want to go down without the stars and gems and solar systems.  A galaxy.

What for?

Because…

My gaze follows the path where the class jock clothed in shoulder pads and a helmet rushed forward.  His Air Jordans bulldoze the field down with so much ease.  Take more space.  His shoulders bulk out, chest broaden as he slams his body violently against another football player.  Crowds cheer as the familiar sigh evacuates from the pit of my stomach.  It is only fair for a perfect guy to be paired up with a perfect girl…

And I am not…

…perfect…

So I’ll hide, not daring to show even the tips of my hair to the man who had stolen my heart so that I am only left with the heaviness of my head.  Dainty feet trail against the mud once occupied by the athlete, retracing his steps as if they were magical spells or ancient artifacts worth a fortune.

Wind brushes my long hair against my white porcelain as my body closes its distance against Mother Earth but the arms that had pushed me off the cliff, quickly jotted forward, catching me securely around the waist.

“Haahaha!” the familiar harmonious laughter of Kim Jongdae flows through one ear and out the other.

I snap my neck back and throw him a death glare for his prank that had left my heart flying fleetingly back from God knows where my crush is, back into the center of my chest.  His rising cheekbones and kitten smile greet me with so much passion and genuine euphoria that I couldn’t bear to stay mad.  But even as the heart softens, the head tells me to at least throw a few punches and kicks for revenge.  His sniggers continue to wrap my feeble frame with warmth and consolation.

“How is my favorite dongsaengie, today?” Jongdae rounds his arms around to support my back before pinching my cheeks playfully outward as if I am made of Play-Doh.  I swat his hand away and gift him a tantrum pout.

“Hmm…my dongsaengie has lost all her baby fat.  She used to have the most adorable chubby cheeks,” the young man teases.  His eyes hood, brows cave, and lower lips protrude forward.  Lights flicker in my eyes as an internal battle instigates.  Sparks ignite in happiness at the confirmation that there were some type of progress in my diet but they were soon dispelled by the rush of acid that left me covering my own efforts out of embarrassment.  Because…it was embarrassing.  So shameful to be struggling when all my pretty friends ate all the food in the world and still were half my size.

Arms envelope around my figure as I unconsciously begin to build a shell to hide from the guilt…Guilt of what?

Of not being enough.

“Come on, let’s go clean the music room,” Jongdae halts my toxic thoughts with the kneading of my shoulders, easing the muscles, tensed and dormant for too long.  With another pat, he nudges me ahead to the North Campus and further and further away from the soil that held my footprints, so light and barely visible to the naked eye.

Sheets of black lines and notes, on white, flow wistfully down in circles as Jongdae pushes the metal doors open to reveal the untidy orchestra hall. One lands perfectly at the center of my feet.  Naturally, I bend over to pick it up, only to be intercepted by the grasps of my mischievous sunbae.  Grinning cheesily, he scans the notes, humming every tune and beat to perfection.  A music genius.

“Hey, didn’t you perform this piece at a recital before?” he questions, beaming happily in my direction.

I rub my neck, wondering how in the world he still remembered something from five years ago.  Even I had tossed the memory down into a ditch.  With a quick nod, I begin to work my way around the room, picking up this, picking up that, pushing stands aside, and loading chairs up into a neat stack.  Jongdae hastily dashes over to catch a chair before it smashed my dainty frame into dust.

“Be careful, okay?” he warns with his tone still chirpy, but less so that it held an ounce of worry.

Already overcome with half shot of embarrassment and twice guilt, I quickly nod and scurry off to collect the instruments into their rightful compartments.  The handsome upperclassman trails along, whistling to a song I knew but couldn’t quite name.

“Pabo-yah, a viola is a string instrument, not a wind,” he picks up the miscategorized instrument and tussles my hair.  His vision briefly stalls along my pale chapped lips before he excuses himself.  He returns with a warm cup of water.  No.  Even water is weight…  But, out of courtesy, I take a short sip.

As I stand up to haul the large contrabass back into the storage room, stars and crystals line up in zigzags, floating aimlessly before my two eyes.  The weight of barrels and sandstorms rock against my chest as the wind knocks right out of me.  My name rolls panic-strickenly out of Jongdae’s lips as he races against distance and time to catch me securely against his strong arms.

“Hey,” he breathes, shaking my feeble form, “Don’t scare me,” the smoothness of his brows dive into knots as he calls over and over again for my response.

Whimpering, I claw my nails into his arms, willing for the dizziness to both take me whole and pardon me with a bit of mercy.  Because it hurt.  So, so much.  Crystal dewdrops fill the center of my irises and needlessly escape from the meshed up corners of skin and bones.  From the reflection of the sleek white grand piano, I spot the haunting corpse of my skin, the decrepit twitch of my malnourished muscles, and the fragileness of my dying heart.  Blue porcelain.  But I was pretty, I thought.  I was at least prettier than that overweight girl I used to be.

“Hey!  Hey!  Don’t give out on me!” the distraught young man wheezes as he cradles me and sacrifices his own warmth to melt my icy skin.  Another minute passes of nonresponse, and he’s up at his feet, rushing with me down the narrow halls of the school campus.

“Sunbae,” I weakly call out as he stops in front of a vending machine, literally punches buttons, and retrieves a snack.

Setting me carefully onto a bench, he kneels down in front of me and offers me the neatly packed granola bar.  My stomach begs for its love but my head shakes, only increasing my vertigo by inches and miles.  I slump back against the wall.

“Please,” his flawless, angelic voice begs as he tears the wrapper and holds the snack up to my lips.  I could taste the sweetness of raisins and jam but the counter-reaction of salt and bitterness sends acid rushing up my stomach.  Again, I shake my head.  Tears stream uncontrollably down my eyes as blotches fade in color.  Exasperated, Jongdae rips small pieces of the bar, pushes it into my clamped lips, and orders for me to chew but I shake my head over and over again.            

“Okay,” he finally gives in.  In seconds, my weightless body is lifted back into the warmth of his arms.  “I’m bringing you to the hospital,” he concludes.  I wheeze and summon my remaining ounce of energy to thrash around, only, my feet shuffles a mere two inches.  Hospital fees.  Documents.  Worse of all, notifying parents.

“Sunbae-nim…” I uncontrollably bawl into his chest.  At the sound of my sobs, his heart clutches in utter torment.

“Eat,” he pleads.  This time, I obediently begin to nibble on the grain and sugar.  The powerful aroma of cinnamon, along my bland tastebuds, causes me to succumb in a fit of hacking coughs.  My guardian angel pushes me closer into his chest and strokes my back with such tender, love, and care I had never imagined attainable in my life.  Fearing it to be just another one of my illusions, I cautiously glance up to dispel my own dreams.  Jongdae sniffles, masking away his worry as to not guilt-trip me.

As calories, proteins, vitamins, and minerals soak into my cells for the first time in a long time, the blueness of my skin gives way to a pale white.  Blotches sharpen into imperfect blurs and oxygen reenters my bloodstream.  But Jongdae’s caress remains just as tight.

“Sunbae-nim, I’m fine now,” I inform but he shakes his head.  The veins along his neck protrude out as he presses me even closer.  He’s warm and cozy and everything I had ever wanted but I am disgusting and unworthy.  Biting my trembling lips, I tug on his sleeves and call for his attention again.  Finally, he slowly releases and places me back down against the bench.  He takes a seat down on the floor, directly in front of me.

“When was the last time you ate?” he tosses the first of many questions.

I lower my head.  I don’t even remember…  My lips quiver.

“How much did you eat?  What did you eat?” Jongdae strains his vocal chords as the sourness of his heart sabotages his God-given voice.

My head bows further down as the interrogation progresses.  Such a disappointment.  Such a shame.  It’s the same conversation I desperately vowed to avoid.  That reminder that I was still not enough.  Because standards were that one had to be effortlessly and naturally thin.  That trying was shameful but being fat was too.  No way out.  No way to please this society.  Droplets trickle from my glassy orbs, creating a dotted trail along my thighs.

Jongdae clutches his fists and sighs.

“Why are you doing this to yourself?” his voice carries the pain of a wounded heart.

My lower lip bruises in purples and blue from my excessive gnawing.  Even Jongdae sunbae-nim is disappointed in me…

He slips his hand through my boney ones and nudges me to look him in the eyes.  “From now on, I will be booking your breakfast, lunch, and dinner.”  Automatically, my mind protests but the vocalist denies me the right.  “Then, afterward, we can go to the gym,” he sternly adds.  Despite my will to keep my sobs in check, I let out a soft rasp.

Jongdae squeezes my hand and forces on his signature kitten grin.  “Oppa knows a few things about exercising.  How else do you think I have these?”  Wiggling his brows, he flexes his biceps, earning him a quiet giggle that manages to escape from my lips.  He tussles my hair and tugs my hand.  “Now let’s fill up that deflated tummy of yours.  You poor thing, your owner has been abusing you,” he says in a baby voice and pokes my belly button.

~

So many choices.  So many food.  The smell of toast, burgers, fries, grilled cheese, honey cinnamon rolls, and pure grease creeps into my nostrils.  Adrenaline races through my bloodstream like released lions in a rabbit forest.  Naturally, my tongue glides along, moistening my dry lips.

“What do you want to eat?” the handsome sweetheart asks.

My eyes study the endless options but halts at the single last row on the overheard menu that read “Calories”.  I gulp and automatically scan for the lowest number as if I had been given the option to how much student debt I would owe the darn government after four years of college.

“Salad…” I mumble.  Jongdae throws me a pointed look, squeezes my hand, and tugs me forward to order.

“Two turkey sandwiches with lettuce, mushrooms, Swiss cheese, ranch, onions, and sweet bell peppers please,” he orders.  My heart pulsates as my brain calculates the numbers and amount of fat.  Could feed me for a week.

The lady behind the counter hands Jongdae the tray with two plates of sandwiches neatly displayed like that of five-star hotels.  My tastebuds begin to salivate.  Just one bite.  I must have stared at the sandwiches with eyes of hunger and desire, for Jongdae fans his hand to further temp my appetite.

But the number 99 strikes in my head.  Under a hundred.  Then, I will be pretty.  

“No,” I push the tray away from me.

Jongdae’s face falls.  “Stop counting calories,” he sternly orders and pushes the tray back toward me.  “And we aren’t leaving until you finish the entire sandwich.”

My head whips up in disbelief.

“Every.  Last.  Bite,” he emphasizes as he starts to chomp down on his own.                    

The fresh smell of pure goodness swirls from his lips over to mine.  Swallowing my saliva, I meticulously pick the bread up with my thumb and index finger.  Flour soaks into the crevices of my tastebud.  Immediately, they perk alive, swooshing about at the contact of substance and energy.  Ahh.  Food.  The taste of food.  I inhale the sandwich like a starving beast.  My fingers coat in saliva as I lick the very last crumbs and sauce.  In front of me, Jongdae sports the most handsome grin of satisfaction I had ever seen in my life.  Instantly, my cheeks heat in tickle-me-pink for the first time in a long time.

“After lunch, we rest a bit, take a relaxing walk along the park, feed some birds, and then Oppa will teach you how to lose weight the healthy way,” the sweetness of his voice surpasses the honey sauce along the tips of my tongue.

~

Weeks passed, then months.  During the weekdays, the residential choir singer allowed me to tag along to the gym.  On weekends, we hiked up the hills and ran down bumpy roads.

“Ah!” I squeal as I stumble on a random hump on the road.  Beside me, the briskly jogging Jongdae skids to a halt and backtracks to check up on me.

“Be careful,” he cautions as he kneels down and examines for any scraps.

“I’m fine,” I reassure.  My personal trainer nods, summons the muscles in his quads, and stands back up.  The twinkle of his flawless smile reflects the warm colors of my face.  Unable to control the flutter of my vulnerable heart, I reflexively turn around and run off.

“Hey!  Wait for Oppa!” he chuckles as he chases after me.

Why are you so good to me?      

Everything seemed perfect.  Except, the number on the scale.  Five pounds.  I had gained a total of five pounds in under a month.  I stare critically at my silhouette on the wide mirror, targeting every flab or excessive meat.  On my thighs.  On my stomach.  Under my arms.  Everywhere.  Everywhere!  My shoulders slump over in defeat.  Unable to handle my own flesh, I slip my shirt back on and lumber out of the locker room.

“Hmm?” Jongdae questions and nudges me slightly.  “Something wrong?”

Quickly, I shake my head but the half ripple of my lower lips betrays my utmost insecurity.

“No, something’s wrong,” he concludes, slides his hand through mine, and walks with me to a quiet corner.  “What’s wrong?”  Jongdae’s hand softly brushes my cheek, causing butterflies to flap their wings freely in my chest.

Again, I stubbornly shake my head.

“Hm…let’s go grab dinner then.  Oppa knows a place that sells delicious fried chicken.  Once in a while, we can have a guilt-free meal!” he chirps but my stomach drops.

Seoul styled fried chicken.  520 calories.  Eat enough and gain a pound.

“Something’s definitely wrong,” Jongdae concludes.

Forcing on a wide smile, I brush it off and shake my head again.  But the moment I catch those gentle, wavering, and worried eyes of his, my heart drops.  And with it, my façade.

“Did you go on the scale again?” he deduces.

I look away to hide my guilt.  However, instead of raging for going against his instructions to pay no heed to numbers, he simply tugs on my arm for my attention.

“Don’t.  I repeat, don’t look at the scale anymore,” he starts and instantly my body begins to retreat but he grips onto my hands tightly.

“Look at me,” he instructs, “Look into my eyes.”

Ashamed and weary, I bring my eyes to meet his flawless ones.  They glitter with diamonds and crystal gemstones.  So beautiful.      

“See yourself through my eyes,” he persists with the intense gaze, “Mirrors lie.  Scales are but manmade numbers.  But my eyes tell the truth,” he continues as I study my own reflection in his perfectly sparkling orbs, for the first time ever.    

“It’s so sad, how we are never able to see our true beauty – when we laugh, our trustiest smile.  That is why I am here to tell you; to show you,” Jongdae cups his hand around my small face and states with pure geniality in his faultless voice.

My body quakes as my heart threatens to drown in emotions.

He takes my hand and sweetly brings it up to his lips.  “In my eyes, you are beautiful, not because of a number on a scale or the measurement of your waist, but because of this,” he points to the center of my chest.  Tears stain my cheeks and runs down Jongdae’s hands.  “This girl who always puts others before herself.  Who secretly cries to herself so that others don’t worry.  The girl who feeds stray cats without boasting to anyone for credit.  The girl who listens to others’ pain and piles others’ burdens onto her weak shoulders even when they are about to snap.  The girl who picks up other people’s trash instead of tattle-telling on them.  I love that girl.”    

I burst into tears as Jongdae envelopes me within the warmth of his chest.

“I loved you for a while now,” he pauses, “but I knew you only had eyes for the class jock,” he admits as I supplied his chest with an abundance of tears.  “I wanted you to be happy, even if it was with someone else, but seeing you forcefully diet and torture yourself for him makes me lose my mind!” Jongdae voice lines with a pang of hurt.  “Maybe I can never replace him in your heart but please, please don’t hurt yourself anymore.  Because I’ll hurt,” he finishes and slightly loosens his hold around me so that I could take a quiet gander at the beautiful woman in his eyes.

She was not only pretty in the dulcet coral of her cheeks, the honesty of her eyes, swiftness of her soft brows, but she possessed a heart of gold.  A true beauty.

“Oppa…” I burst into tears again.  Smiling until his crescent mooneyes only created a shining halo around my reflection, he leans in and gifts me a light innocent peck on the corner my trembling lips.

My heart skips a beat and I finally realize, with him, I never needed to be someone, who I was not.

Forehead against forehead, he brushes his nose teasingly against mine.  From the close distance, I could see every sparkle, every tint, and hue, and utter beauty of the lucky girl before him.  For beauty truly lied in the eyes of the beholder.  And well, for me, it also lied in the eyes of Kim Jongdae.  Naturally, my neck inclines forward for another kiss as his laughter colors my world with undying affection.    

For a heart of gold beats the fragileness of a blue and white porcelain.    

a/n: AYOoo!  I’m back for another update!  YAY THREE IN A ROW ~dances in joy~.  This was a scenario I started, perhaps, back in May or June but couldn’t finish until last night.  I’m not going to lie, no matter how many times I read this, I still cry a little because this one really hits home (not that my other stories don’t).  Recently, I also realized that this problem resonates with many girls.  Even the ones I thought were confident about their bodies because, in my eyes, they were so, so damn gorgeous.  But they don’t see that.  It’s a problem.  A real big problem.  I am a fully grown woman, and I still struggle so, so much.  That is a big issue and it hurts a lot to know that most of us forget the true beauty within us because we tend to focus way too much on the distorted image we see in the mirror.

Hope you guys enjoyed!  

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