silver dimes

Hopkins & Allen Top Break “Safety Police” revolver, 5 shot chambered in .32 Smith & Wesson cal. - along with a wee bit of the silver hoard. US “sliver” coins manufactured before 1965 actually contained 90% silver content, instead of the largely unsatisfying (to me) “clad” junk we use today. 

I may, or may not, have a huge hoard of silver stashed deep down in the bunker at Fort Kickass, @bax16 . And at times I may lounge about upon it like a less gaudy, and more hairy, gold-hoarding Dragon. There are no photographs of this frolicking, of course, due to security concerns.


Pairing: Winter Soldier x Reader
Summary: You have an unexpected babysitter on Halloween night. 
Warnings: Angst, SMUT, Language, Violence
Notes: I literally wrote this within a couple hours at work. I don’t know if it’s any good tbh but, the inspo was coming in hot. I just watched The Body on Hulu and it kind of served as inspiration. Also, Joan Didion.  

Comment/Reblog, loves! Let me know yours thoughts.

“Please! Please! You mustn’t – this is a house of God!”

It’s the Priest – voice high-pitched and sharp; he’s begging. Your feet are sticking to the marble floors of the church. The puddle so dark that it’s nearly black spreads steadily from the confessional box where your mark now sits – his throat slashed evenly. Your hands are covered in blood. You’ve made a mess.

You glance at the Priest who is scrambling away from you and cock an eyebrow. He’s not on your list and you have still have another mark to get rid of before the night is over.

“Apologies for the mess,” you say lightly before lifting the skirts of your costume and strolling out of the church’s heavy doors.

It’s Halloween in Los Angeles and you aren’t at all pleased with your current predicament. You’re not sure why you were given orders to take out two people on one of the busiest nights of the year but, who were you to judge. The corset of your pale, rose pink Marie Antoinette costume is nearly cutting off your circulation. You should have gone for the Unicorn onesie.

“Woah! Sick costume!” 

Your head shoots up and notice a kid dressed up in army fatigues staring down at your dress. He’s not staring at just your dress though but, the mess you’ve made of it: the blood that’s drenching your bodice and bottom of your skirts.

You glance down appreciatively before grinning slyly at him and winking. “Happy Halloween!”

Keep reading

🌟Spread some luck around. ❇️🚗💱

🌟This is done while stopped at a light, ideally at a busy intersection.

Originally posted by misces

Please don’t be stupid or crash your car or hurt someone trying to mimic a Tumblr spell - that would be lame and I’d laugh. Anyway…

  • 🌟Take a dime, face up, in your right hand
  • 🌟"May all who pass this coin be fed. May they have graces and blessings and good luck times 10"
  • 🌟Give the coin (heads up!) a little kiss to seal your spell
  • 🌟Toss it into an intersection, over your shoulder, using your right hand
  • Don’t try to see where it landed, DO NOT look back at it. That’s just crossroads 101.

Originally posted by transendingtime


The Origin of the Dollar and Pocket Change

Among the most popular currencies in the world, the dollar is not only used by the United States, but by 20 other countries including Canada, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Liberia, Jamaica and Namibia. In addition the US dollar is the official currency of East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Palau, the Caribbean Netherlands. 

The origins of the dollar can be found in the Bohemian town of Jachymov in the Kingdom of Bohemia, now the Czech Republic.  There in the early 16th century of Bohemian noble named Count Hieronymus Schlick operated a very successful silver mine. In 1518 he began minting his own silver coins at a specific weight which he felt would be easier for merchants to use for trade.  Called the “Joachimsthaler” (named after St. Joachim) it was a coin with the  silver weight of 27.2 grams. The new “thaler” quickly became popular in Europe, being used in the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, Holland, and Scandinavia. Each country minted their own thalers with different weights, but all kept pretty close to around 26 or 27 grams of silver.  Remember that back then money was valued by precious metals, not fiat (government decree), thus money was just as much of a unit of weight as it was a unit of value.  This explains the origin of common lesser coins based on the dollar.  A half dollar weighs one half of a dollar. A quarter weighs ¼th of a dollar. The word “dime” comes from the French word “ dîme “, meaning a tithe, or tenth. Thus a dime weighs one tenth of a dollar.

The thaler continued to be commonly used in the 18th century. In colonial America, Spanish Thaler’s became a popular currency among colonists, being used beside British Pounds.  After the United States became independent from Britain, the pound was dropped and the thaler became the new currency of the US, although being called by it’s Anglican name, the “dollar” .  By the 19th century the use of paper money became common, although the dollar was still a measurement of weight and silver dollars, quarters, and dimes were minted. However paper dollars were not cash in and of themselves, but were certificates which represented silver money, used because carrying paper money was easier than carrying silver coins.  Each bill had printed on it “one silver dollar payable to the bearer on demand”. 

  This meant that a person who had a dollar bill could exchange their paper for silver at any bank on demand. Today, silver certificates are highly collectible items.

By the 20th century most nations ended the use of gold and silver currency.  The US ended the gold/silver standard in 1933 under Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Thus, the dollar was severed from it’s link to silver weights, and dollar bills became simple pieces of paper that were worth something simply because the US Government says it is worth something. Half dollars, dimes, and quarters continued to be minted in silver until 1965, when silver became more valuable than the face value of th coins. Thus the US mint began producing pocket change out of copper-nickle alloys and made it legal to melt earlier silver coinage.  Australia did the same in 1965, Canada in 1969.  The silver half dollars, dimes, and quarters are called “junk silver”, so named because they are not rare enough to have collectors value, but are still valuable because they are made of silver.  A pre-1965 silver quarter can be worth around $5 in today’s silver market.  Thus many collect junk silver as a means of investment.  I myself invest some of my money in precious metals, and I buy a little bit of junk silver now and then.  Plus, I also like to have a bag of silver coins for when I dress up and pretend to be a pirate in my free time, so that I can jingle it while shouting AARRRGGHHH!!!!

New Moon: Night of the Ancients

Today, many Pagans view the New Moon as the night where the moon isn’t visible in the sky. However, in ancient times, the New Moon was considered to be the night where the first sliver of the silver crescent could be seen after that night of darkness. This sliver brought with it hope for the nights to come as the moon began to wax into its fullness. It was also considered to bear traits of the Maiden Goddess as she developed into her roundness of pregnancy as the Mother.

Traditionally, the New Moon brings forth new intentions which begin as a seed to be planted. This seed then takes form as the moon waxes and finally comes to fruition at the Full Moon. It is a time for construction and rebirth. It is a time to refresh ourselves with the cycle and rid ourselves of negativity and old habits that no longer serve a purpose in our lives. Many Witches develop spells and rituals involved with developing new habits, increasing abundance, and building meaningful relationships. It is important that as you attempt to build new intentions, to rid yourself of the old ones. This is a very powerful time for cleansing as the Dark Moon right before is a good time for banishing.

Simple Prosperity Spell

What you’ll need:

  • Purse or wallet
  • One Coin
  • Written Intention


On the night of the New Moon, take your purse or wallet outside with you and stand within its sight. Open your purse or wallet and place the coin (may use any coin one likes such as a penny, dime, silver or gold coin) within it. Place your written prosperity intent within the purse or wallet and hold it open while chanting:

“Moon, Moon, fill it up,

Please replenish this empty cup.

Bestow your gifts of abundance clear,

Grow and multiply money here.”

Repeat the chant 9 times while holding the purse or wallet open. Once you have meditated and chanted, close the purse or wallet with your intentions as you say “As I do will, so mote it be!” You may repeat this spell every New Moon as needed.

Healthy Habits Spell

What you’ll need:

  • One White Pillar Candle
  • Pentacle
  • Incense representative of habit one wants to form
  • Written Intent


Place the pentacle on the center of your altar with the white candle upon it. Anoint your candle from the bottom to the top representing building your habit with the appropriate oil for your intent. Light the incense that is appropriate for your spell to help set the atmosphere for meditation upon your intent. Write down your habit you wish to build upon. You may create a sigil instead if you wish. Meditate upon the intent and then light the piece of paper from the candle flame allowing it to burn to ashes in a fireproof bowl. Allow the candle to burn out completely.

Remember that you must also break the old habit you are trying to replace. For example: If your habit you wish to form is to improve one’s physical shape, then one must break the cycle of eating unhealthy and not exercising. Beginning your habits at the start of the New Moon can improve your odds but you must also put in the effort.

anonymous asked:

Is there anyone that you have not previously mentioned in your book, site, or posts that has shown behavior that you had never expected from humans? If so, what's one example that you found particularly interesting? I apologize if this question is too broad.



I once knew a man who insisted on eating worms for breakfast. Said it kept his organs churning.

I’m fairly certain I knew a man who engaged in sexual activities with farm animals. Though these days that’s not so odd, when I knew him it was a mortal sin.

Hmm… I’ve met people who thought they were other people. I’ve met people with odd habits. People who dressed strangely. I’ve met people who had odd beliefs.

In all honesty, once you’ve seen enough of it, none of it is odd.


Here’s one worth talking about!

I knew a man from China. He had come over to work for the railroad, though I’ve no idea why he ever bothered to take up that particular trade, because his true craft was…


Not the magician of stage, sort of magic. He didn’t have an assistant, or an elaborate display. He didn’t do box tricks or that kind of misdirection. He was, what I think you’d call a “mentalist”. Though he did also know how to do some fairly spectacular sleight of hand. 

Now when I met him, he was rather obscure in this hobby. He’d gained a kind of unspoken reputation among the other Chinese immigrants for resolving disputes. I wasn’t terribly sure what had gotten him this accolade as he almost never said a word and largely kept to himself. I used to be friends with a man named Hong, who was a cook (an amazing cook, I might add), and he once had cause to think that one of his cousins (who was also there) had stolen something. He asked this fellow, the mentalist, to come in and examine the man in question. Not only did he determine the cousin to be lying just by looking at him, but he also found the missing object.

I could have done that for Hong–at least, the lying bit–but he didn’t ask me at the time, because my powers of prognostication and devilry were not put on display for him until after this event. In fact, this was the event which triggered my confiding in Hong. I could see that this magician, whom they all called Jun, was reading the body language and certain tiny movements. It was most impressive. Seeing how much reverence Hong gave him, I felt comfortable broaching a conversation at long last. And that is actually how our financial engagement began.

I digress.

I did have cause, upon several occasions, to interact with Jun. I found him very interesting, and after Hong and I became close friends with joint business ventures, he too became rather interested in me. Word had begun to spread of me, and I think he wanted to have a good look.

He was an odd sort. I’m not sure if I can put it to words. I don’t know if he was a “sensitive” as I call them, because he never spoke of his impressions. In fact, he never once said a single word to me. But once, he sat down beside me and made it plain he was staring at me. I tolerated it for some time, because this is something that happens, usually when people are trying to figure out what is off about me. At that time in my life I didn’t much care about hiding any of my “disfigurements”, though I did keep my mouth shut except with those few with whom I had close partnerships. I had reasons for this, but ah me…I’m wandering again.

Jun stared and stared at me. Unblinking, if you can believe it. Finally I looked over at him, sitting there at my table in his traditional dress. He had one of those faces that was smooth and timeless as people of his heritage often do until very late in life. He was smiling just a bit. I thought to tease him a tad and “did the eye thing” as Chef might say. To my surprise, this man did not even tick. It was as if he was blind. There was not the slightest hint he’d seen anything amiss.

Then he reached out a hand, palm up. There was a silver dime sitting there, on his palm. I looked at it and thought this must be his way of making friends with me. He must have been trying to show me one of his tricks that Hong said he did. I reached out to take the coin. He turned his hand over abruptly, still flat. The coin didn’t fall, but when he flipped his hand back up, the coin had vanished. 

I sat there, mute, hand extended, staring at his palm. I am frighteningly good with sleight of hand, but this one I could not track. I peered at him. His face never changed. He turned the hand again and the coin reappeared. I cocked my head. This carried on for several more iterations. I could not discern how it was done. 

This happened every time we were in the same place at the same time. Always he would come find me, sit with me, and do this. It was as if he was egging me on, trying to see if the other magical fellow of some repute could catch him at his game. I tried, several times, to diffuse this by doing equally strange things, like the eye trick, but he never bit. He was silently telling me “Now that’s not fair, sir, because that is in your nature. Making coins vanish is not within mine, so tell me sir, how it is done.”

A few days before I left the area, I went to meet Hong over at the Saloon the Chinese frequented, as I needed to shore up our affairs. There was Jun, putting on a bit of a show. He was gaining confidence with his sleight of hand. The coin trick appeared. Everyone gave the requisite ooh’s and ahh’s. I found myself still befuddled. Then this fellow up and points me out, and we go through the motions again–me trying to take the coin, him disappearing it before I can–except that now, it is before an audience. 

Well…hell, I was about to leave. So I took hold of his hand at the wrist to try and stop whatever mischief was happening. He allowed it, and even when my claws grazed his skin, he didn’t waver at all. He held his palm up–there’s the coin. He turned it down–in my hand!–no coin. No coin.

He seemed very pleased with himself. After I concluded my business with Hong in private, I came out to find him sitting at a table alone. I sat down with him. I put out my hand and pantomimed asking for the coin. He brought it out and handed it to me. I inspected it. 

Then I did a trick of my own.

It was the first time I ever saw his face change. 

I set the coin down and slid it to him. I smiled toothily (I confess that I take a measure of delight in how I tease people) and said, “You ought to take up gambling. If you kept moving, and could avoid the 601, you’d be a wealthy man.”

He smiled and bowed his head.

I left.

Months later, the entire town went up in a fire. Hearing of it, I began to pay special attention to the papers, trying to hear news of my friends there. The destruction of Virginia City was widely recorded, because of the financial interests of the Comstock Lode. So it was possible to read about the town in almost every paper I could get my hands on. 

I read a story about a “Celestial” (for that was what the Chinese were called in polite society in those days, as a reference to the “Celestial Empire” of China) who walked into a Gold Hill Saloon and swept the faro table for a hefty sum. It made me very happy to think it might be Jun, taking my advice in light of his recent likely financial difficulties owing to the fire.

I was so charmed by that, that when I saw a few days later, an article in the Oakland Tribune advertising a magician by the name of Alexander Herrmann, who would be performing at the You Huen Choy, I determined to go. I’d seen his show at the Maguire, but I simply had to go to this one. Why? Well, I had to know with what regard the Chinese held magic, if it was something they had a culture in, or if this Jun fellow was simply exceptional.

The magic was enjoyable and amusing in my opinion. Simple tricks–scarves and hats and that sort of nonsense, done with tremendous flare. Harrmann was quite good with sleight of hand. The largely Chinese audience loved it, so much that they crowded the poor fellow and squealed at every trick. So, of course, I had to meet him and ask if he had, in any of his travels, seen this particular trick with the coin. I snuck backstage and brought him some sherry. With a cigar in hand, and with a few clipped phrases, I described the trick and how I’d encountered and tested it. He attempted several versions. None of them as baffling as Jun’s. Every time he’d look up at me expectantly, I’d point out where the coin had gone. After a while it became clear that whatever the trick was, this third generation illusionist, Herrmann the Great, Necromancer and Man of Magic, couldn’t duplicate it.

I thanked him for trying his hand at it but ultimately failing utterly. He was very confused. I stood up to leave him sitting at the table. I got to the dressing room door when he called me back.

“Are you a student of magic?”

I took the coin and performed my own trick. He blinked at me in astonishment. 

You cannot do it either?”

“No. I fear I shall go to eternity never knowing how it was done. C’est comme ca.

I flipped him the coin and he went back to his drink, expression glazed.

And that is the story of Jun the “Celestial” magician, who did the oddest trick I’ve ever seen with the simplest of movements, and whom I hope ended up a very wealthy man.

The year was 1875


Let’s Give Fate a Chance

Betty resisted the urge to glower. “Jughead,” she sighed, strutting past where he was lounging on a low-hanging tree branch, “I really don’t have time for you today.” 

The Master of Luck grinned at her back. “Can’t even look at me? I got a new coat and everything.” 

The Mistress of Fate sighed, but paused. She took a deep breath to calm down, before turning and huffing fondly despite herself. He was a mess as usual: his hair an inky black mess of curls, his eyes green as the clover badge he wore on the lapel of his new, ferny shamrock overcoat. It clung to him nicely, not threadbare unlike the rest of his clothing, with dark chocolate buttons and bronze trims. He spun a silver dime between his fingers, and it caught the sun; glittering distractedly. She could feel a familiar rise of heat rushing to her cheeks. “Yes, yes, that’s um- very nice. But I’m really busy.” She turned to go. 

“You’re dressed nice,” he called out again, his tone low and relaxed. As usual. With mild irritation, she turned around again, flushing as his eyes cast over her. There was a smirk playing on his lips. She resisted the urge to straighten her white dress. Her hair was spun into her typical pristine locks, the gold trailing down to her ice-white silk scarf. She’d arranged it so the scarf wouldn’t hide her necklace. A thin silver chain, with a heavy diamond pendant: a pair of miniature scissors with decorative feathered handles was positioned just so below her neck. His gaze lingered on the dip of her waist, and then slowed as they roamed down her long, smooth legs. “Hot date?” 

“No, I have a meeting with Veronica.” 

Jughead recoiled, and she laughed at the look on his face. “Ew. What does she want?”

“You don’t have to sound so disdainful, you know,” she grinned chipperly. 

He frowned. “You’re rushing off to hang out with Miss Law? She’s such a buzzkill.” 

Betty raised her eyebrows. “You’re very up-to-date on Earth lingo, Jughead. Something to tell me?” 

He nodded happily. “Just went down today. Made this lady win the lottery, made sure a wedding was sunny, you know, typical awesome non-law stuff.” He paused, rubbing at his jaw as a ray of sunlight dappled along his cheek. He was sunburnt, Betty realised. She groaned; rushing over to him. 

“You forgot suncream,” she scolded, cradling his chin in her hands. His sank into her touch, letting her tilt his head as she stroked over the reddened patches of skin. Her fingers traced the three marks on his jaw. Three was a lucky number. She had three marks too, for the three states of fate. His breath was shaky and she cleared her throat; stepping back. “You need to remember the radiation is different on earth, Jug. Go to Happiness, they’ll fix you right up. But for now, I really have to go-”

“I just have to ask you something first,” he called, heedless of her anxiousness to keep her appointment. “Please, Betts?”

She was helpless to him. “Fine.” 

He held up the dime, before flipping it into the air off his thumb. “Call it!”

She rolled her eyes, watching as he caught it and slammed it onto the back of his hand. “It’s heads.” She said confidently.

He lifted his hand with flourish to reveal, indeed, heads. “Lucky!” He grinned. 

She scoffed. “It’s not luck at all! It’s fate-”

“Go out with me,” he cut her off, the words quick but his voice certain. He held her eyes unwaveringly. A small smile played on his lips. “Please?”

It was the same question he asked her every Tuesday. It seemed this week would be no different. “Juggie,” she murmured, eyes sliding to the white and black domino-esque design of his shoes. “You know how hectic it is for me right now. It’s busy for you, too, isn’t it? You’re training Jellybean.” 

“She’s going to be Mistress of Chance,” he nodded happily, “it’s natural to her. Easy. She doesn’t need much training. I talked to Polly over at Destiny Lake. She said you weren’t that busy-”

“Juggie,” she sighed again, biting her bottom lip. “It could create a lot of problems, you know that. We aren’t supposed to become romantically involved if we overlap. We have a lot of overlap.” 

He nodded, eyes sparkling, a small smile on his lips. He held the dime up again. “Heads.”

She shook her head fondly. “Tails.” 

He tossed it up into the air, but it eluded his grasp on the way down, and landed perfectly on its side- warred by the two conflicting forces, now in perfect balance. “C’mon, Betty,” he tried, sitting up, and swinging his legs over the branch. The coin flew back up into his hand. “Make me the luckiest Master in the whole realm.” He held out his hand for her. “I think you’re really beautiful. And smart. And powerful. And-”

She clasped his hand, and pressed her other one over his mouth. “Shh.” She ordered thoughtfully. “I’m thinking.” Could it work? Maybe. If they took turns. If they corresponded on relevant cases. She’d have to talk to Veronica about it. “I need to go to my appointment.” She said finally, leaning down to kiss his forehead. “Let me talk to her about all this.” 

She removed her hand, and he beamed up at her victoriously. “I think I might get lucky. Did you see what I did there? Because I’m the Master of Lu-”

Betty snorted, whirling away from him. “I’ll see you soon, Juggie,” she called over her shoulder. As she reached the edge of the glade, the strings of fate glowed once around her. She looked down. A red string was newly fastened around her wrist. Surprised and gleeful, she turned to look back into the forest. Jughead was staring at his wrist with amazement, where a red string was now tied. 

She bit back her smile, and shook her head. Polly, Mistress of Destiny, definitely had something to do with all of this. It was just her luck. 

Dedicated to @hufflepuff-betty @theheavycrown @reggiefuckingmantle @coopersjones @chbombshell @lizzy92rc @cowboysfan-82 and many many others for your constant support and general loveliness

I’d love to make this a series if people liked it and had some ideas?

anonymous asked:

There are no trolls in Louisiana. The souls too soft and they’d sink. Lots of little things though. Like Spider Sisters and Mama Mary. She’s a witch, or was. We’ve also got Grims and Shades, and Rougaroux to spare. So remember you need silver dimes, and thirteen pennies. Dimes to pay the witches, pennies to trick the Rougaroux.

Hey, anon, this is beautiful? It’s got a haunting feel that I love. You establish setting wonderfully, and I’d love to hear more.

On an unrelated note this was an incredibly cryptic notification to receive late at night akjhfkjhf

Some Basic Roots Herbs, Minerals, and other natural materials of protection:

Angelica Root (purifies home, protects babies, and mothers)
Anise (wards off evil eye)

Basil (family protection & happiness, drives away evil)

Bay Leaves (keeps away evil, jinxes, & enemies)

Betony (provides protection from disease, evil entities, and reverses hexes)

Black Cohosh/ aka Black Snake Root (strong all purpose protection against unwanted persons & snake bites)

Black Pepper (is used to harm others, or to provide protection against witches, or foot track tricking)

Blessed Thistle (protects the home from evil)

Boneset /aka White Snake Root (protects against unnatural illnesses & jinxes. & snakes of course)

Boldo (Household & personal Protection)

Calamus/ Sweet Flag (jinx breaking)

Chamomile (protects home, children & removes jinxes)

Citronella (spiritual cleanser, gets rid of evil)

Comfrey (for safety when traveling)

Devil’s Shoestrings (useful for clearing away evil, or reversing evil tricks)

Dragon’s Blood (very powerful for all purpose protection, wards off evil)

Eucalyptus (cleanses home of evil spirits & negativity, gets rid of enemies)

Five Finger Grass (wards off evil, provides luck & protection while traveling)

Garlic (hang in kitchen to keep away unwanted visitors. used in 4 thieves vinegar)

Graveyard Dirt (Real graveyard dirt- not an herbal replacement) (used to harm others, also for strong protection)

Hen’s eggs (preferably from a black hen, but in a pinch any egg will do) (used for uncrossing)

Horehound (protection from wild beasts)

Hyssop (cleanses home & clears away crossed conditions. A spiritual cleanser- see Bible Psalm 51)

Lavender (protects home, marriage)

Lemongrass (draws good luck while protecting from evil)

Lye (esp. a brand called Red Devil Lye. Bury outside in 4 corners of property in unopened with the devils facing outward. protects from enemies. Caution- highly corrosive & hazardous to handle. But very effective)

Motherwort (protection of family & home)

Mugwort (safe travel)

Peppermint (protects from enemies, jinxing, reverses curses, and if burned on cleanses home of unwanted spirits)
Red Brick Dust (protects home, and illegal businesses)

Rosemary (a strong home protection esp. for women)

Rue ( clears away or reverses jinxes, purifies spirit and home. use in bath to break spells. wards off evil eye)

Sage (the smoke, cleanses the home of negativity and lingering evil spirits. wards off evil eye)

Silver mercury dime (use to ward off tricks, goofering or any other evil doings)

Star Anise (protection from evil eye)

Sulfur (used to do evil work, but also to counteract evil work & for uncrossing. Protection against enemies)

Vervain/ Verbena (protection from evil, used for uncrossing, & protection of home & marriage)

Vinegar (4 thieves vinegar for protection against enemies)

Wormwood (safe travel, personal safety)

Ficlet: Coca-Cola Boy

Her name was Rosita Alvarez.

Most of the people she encountered did not care about her name. Usually they pretended not to see her as she pushed her cart of cleaning supplies along the walkway outside the doors. On occasion, someone may smile as they passed her, but no one spoke to her.

No one had told her that the room at the end of the C block had requested no housekeeping, and there had been no placard on the doorknob. She had knocked, of course, had announced “housekeeping,” and then turned her key in the lock.

She could have sworn she lost fifteen years of her life as she focused on the barrel of the shotgun, pointed at her and hardly a meter away when she’d turned around from backing into the room with her cart. She froze, her chest constricted and heavy, her eyes darting from the gun to the man holding it.

Not a man, she realized in the interminable space between one heartbeat and the next. A boy. A young one, at that – he didn’t look to be much older than her Marco. That should have allowed her to breathe easier, but for his eyes. Eyes that grave did not belong on so young a boy.

“Who are you?” the boy demanded, the timbre of his voice hinting at a future baritone.

“Rosita,” she answered, voice shaking. “Housekeeping.”

“Dad doesn’t want housekeeping,” the boy said, brows furrowing.

“Perdon no sabia –” she began, reaching behind her to push her cart back out into the hallway. “Sorry,” she repeated when the boy’s expression did not change. The shotgun stayed pointed at her until the door closed.

She considered telling the motel management, but she doubted they would care. She had once stumbled across a young woman passed out in a puddle of her own vomit, and when she had called the manager at the time, they hadn’t even cared enough to call an ambulance. It was, they had told her, not their problem.

Despite that, she could not help but wonder about the boy, and when she saw that the boy had a younger brother, she began to question where their father was. She never saw an adult enter or leave the room. It was possible that he left early and returned late, given that her hours available for observation only encompassed her shift’s beginning at eight o'clock and ending at four o'clock. Even so, she marveled at how seldom the boys emerged from the room.

The older one would, every few days, leave for an hour and return with a plastic grocery bag that was far from full. Rosita recognized the bulging outlines of bread and a jar, possibly peanut butter. Was that all they were eating? Did their father bring them more food in the evenings?

She happened to be emerging from the utility closet one afternoon when she nearly bumped into the boy kicking at the vending machine. He looked up at her, eyes startled and wide, and seemed ready to run away.

A glance at the vending machine told Rosita enough. The boy was twenty cents short of a can of Coke. She knew from experience that the machine would not return money no matter how hard one pressed the “change return” button, so it looked as though he had resorted to kicking, either to reclaim his coins or coerce the machine into giving him his Coke.

The two dimes flashed silver among the copper in her coin purse, and glinted as she fed them into the slot. The boy blinked owlishly at her as the can of Coke thunked down into the tray. “Thank you,” he said, notes of doubt in his voice making it a question.

“De nada,” she replied, turning and walking swiftly away. He looked so confused at the simple kindness that it broke her heart.

One morning, the room was vacant. She spun slowly in the middle of it, looking for some clue that the boys had been there. There were beer cans in the trash – certainly not theirs – and the bed linens were definitely three weeks from their last wash, but the boys themselves had left no trace.

The motel changed owners and management more often than Rosita cared to count. She was laid off once, only to be rehired three weeks later. Three remodels changed the colors of the buildings, the plants in the flower beds, and the pattern of the wallpaper and duvet covers. Her Marco grew up and went away to college. He flew her out to Portland to attend his wedding, the first time she had been on a plane since her husband had died.

Her back was beginning to ache in the mornings, and her wrist hurt in twinges that the doctor said was carpal tunnel syndrome. She could have surgery, but she wouldn’t be able to work for three weeks, so she endured. Her daugher-in-law told her that she should look into retiring and moving in with them, but Rosita did not like how wet and gloomy Portland was, and was not ready to stop her work.

She was smoothing a bedspread, about to finish this last room before going home, when a movement caught her eye, almost simultaneous with a startled baritone exclamation.

“Oh! Sorry, I –”

Rosita straightened up in surprise as the tall, handsome young man took a step back toward the door. The man behind him – taller still! – had already backed out onto the walkway. The first man looked alarmed, and the familiarity of those eyes struck her.

“If you’re not done yet, we can wait,” he continued, shifting his duffel bag on his shoulder.

“I’m done,” Rosita said in a quiet voice. He’d grown so tall. There wasn’t a doubt in her mind that this was her Coca-Cola boy, nearly thirty years removed from that hot summer day.

He looked at her more closely, and blinked in that same owlish way that she recalled. Before he could say anything, she stepped to her cart and pushed it out, returning the taller brother’s smile and nod as the door closed behind them.

She asked at the desk this time, and they had not refused housekeeping. Indeed, they had checked out by the next morning, once again leaving little trace but empty beer cans in their wake.

And – Rosita paused. There was a tiny envelope on the bed, folded out of a sheet of paper from the motel stationery. She picked it up and it came undone, dropping two shining dimes onto the bedspread.

The paper, once unfolded, revealed a note, only three words long:


The lake was a silver dime, reflecting back the sky and all its thousands of stars. Clary could hear Alec naming off the constellations to Magnus: the Lion, the Bow, the Winged Horse.

City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare

This is one of the most romantic Malec scenes in the whole series. Them sitting on the blankets that Magnus stole summoned, with little to no light, cuddling and Alec naming the stars to Magnus… I think this will be one of Magnus’ happiest memories of his life with Alec…



He has the temper of a summer storm and when he dances, he is a bluejay balancing on a withering tightrope. He is careful.

“Hey there, pretty boy.” He says. “Interested in a dance?” He says. Clipped wings, he twirls the way teacups spin at carnivals. He smiles like a cheshire and he breaks hearts exactly the way you would expect a sweet faced angel to. His name is sweetheart. His name is darling and sweet cheeks and babydoll. His name is what you pay and his body is a chapel you can defile as long as you have the coin to give. But he owns the melody just as much as he’ll begin to own your heart and he’ll have whatever he wants. And even though he can’t spread his wings of concrete and steel, it’s not so bad.

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There were fireflies down by the lake. They illuminated the night with their
winking flashes as the group spread out jackets and blankets, which Magnus produced from what he claimed was thin air, though Clary 
suspected that they had been illegally summoned from Bed Bath& Beyond. The lake was a silver dime, reflecting back the sky and all its thousands of stars. Clary could hear Alec naming off the constellations to Magnus: the Lion, the Bow, the Winged Horse. Magnus had started a fire, and it was burning merrily at the lakeside, sendingup sparks into the sky. The reflection of the burning raced along the scarlet of Isabelle’s necklace as she turned to say something to Simon, and it shone in the sharp gleam of Magnus’s eyes and along the water of the lake, turning the ripples to lines of gold.