sprinting not long running

drunk bitty is a runner
  • ok hear me out
  • we all know that ONE person
  • the one who, the minute they’re inebriated, just fucking Takes Off
  • (i….i have been that person…….on many occasions…..)
  • i’ve also CHASED that person on many occasions. because, as a good friend, you never actually want your runner to make it very far in their condition. 
  • sober bitty is friendly, chatty, pretty mature
  • drunk bitty is a Fiend and a speed demon
  • literally every resident of the haus has had to sprint after bitty across campus at some point
  • unFORTUNATELY BITTY IS THE FASTEST MEMBER OF THE SMH TEAM, ON AND OFF THE ICE
  • ransom twisted his ankle once, chasing bits. holster straight up ate it on the sidewalk outside of the delta gamma house
  • (it was during Rush and all the pledges were watching and he’s still bitter about it)
  • shitty bought heelies JUST for the purpose of Bitty Chasing, but they actually slowed him down, as he is not ten years old and the samwell sidewalks are cracked and icy
  • chowder’s actually pretty good at Bitty Wrangling, so he’s often exempt from Nursey Patrol because they need him On-Call to stop bitty from running a) to stop n shop b) to the woods on the edge of campus or c) to the nearest Rager he can hear down the street because in all likelihood it’s a lax party and ffffffffuck the lax bros, man
  • eventually, though, lardo points out, very casually, that bitty never seems to run when jack’s around
  • so jack suddenly finds himself heckled into attending far more parties and he’s not really sure why. but bittle’s always there, and always smiling at him and laughing at his jokes, so he’s not too upset about it. 
  • and lardo’s plan works – bitty stops taking off the second no one’s looking.
  • mostly because jack is ALWAYS LOOKING
  • but also because jack gives him every reason to stay. 
  • (the first party of bitty’s junior year – kid runs all the way to an off-campus party and dex and nursey go on an epic adventure to find him. but that’s a different story.)
Shadow

Summary: Jessica is relieved that you and Sam got back safe, and the brothers’ reunion with their father doesn’t go as you expected
Words: 4.5k 
Dean x Reader, Sam x Jess 
Warnings: episode-related injury

A/N: this is part of my ‘Jess never died’ rewrite, find the masterpost here
Beta: @blacksiren

Your name: submit What is this?

Jess was so relieved to see you when you eventually got back to the motel that she started to cry the second you opened the door.

She rushed over to you, pulling you into a rough hug and burying her face in your neck. You were certain you smelled terrible after your time trapped in a cage, but she didn’t mention it or seem to care when her tears were falling onto your shoulder.

“Hey, it’s okay,” you soothed, hugging her back and stepping the two of you to the side to let the brothers into the room. “Jessy, I’m here, we’re here, we’re okay.”

Keep reading

6

I didnt like how this one looked so I buffed out the kinks and well

Track AU (Positions and Why)

America: A sprinter. No question. Have you ever seen a sprinter? Hard work, all muscle, bursts of effort, but still kinda lazy He probably does the 200 as his main event. And he would love relays.

Russia: A thrower. I highly doubt Russia would ever run. And he’s huge. Probably the best at the hammer throw. And jav.

France: A high jumper. Yes. I am a high jumper. I can tell you, high jumpers are vain and lazy and showboats. We found a specialty and we think we’re better than everyone else and we love to be watched. 

Prussia: A pole vaulter. The more intense version of a high jumper. They never seem to be doing anything else and they are just “too cool.” Pole vaulters somehow stand apart and impress everyone even while being dorks. He could also do hurdles, but only the 100.

Germany: A thrower and sprinter. I don’t know why but I feel like the only thing that Germany would run is the 400. And only the 400. I think his main event would be the discus. 

Canada: Distance. He’s tall and lanky and is probably all zen about it. He probably does the steeple chase. To throw in some excitement. And he’s like, looong distance, like 3k and above.  

Italy: A jumper. He isn’t going to sprint or run. No way. He’s willing to triple jump and long, even try high jump, but he’s not cut out for running.

The Baltics: They’re all distance. They’re that one knot of distance runners that every team has that always does everything together and is always giggling?

England: Mid-distance. Runs the 800 mainly. Volunteered for the steeple chase once. Isn’t that good at harder events but keeps volunteering to do really hard things. 

China: Hurdler. Especially the 400 hurdles. I can imagine him putting that hair up in a bun and having it falling out each race.

Hungary: Sprinter. Yes. Short sprints. 100, 200. 

Denmark: Sprinter. Same reasons as America. They’re always on relays together.  

2

My last day was, like, staring out at the Adriatic Sea with Lena Headey. It was a bit righteous and selfish of me, but I got out of costume and I jumped into the water, and everybody was like, “Fuck you, dude.” They had to keep working and it was really warm. And the water was just begging to be jumped into. It was crystal blue and perfect day. And we were on this, kind of like, pier. So I had this, like, really really long running start where I just got to sprint towards the water and then just like, dive in. And I’m like you know, like a fish. Whee! Whee! And they were all like, “You fucking asshole.” Pedro Pascal.

Feeling Unwell

So this is a somewhat follow-up to Semi-conscious Sonder where Yuuri comes down with a cold. (Can also be read as a stand-alone.) Takes place in St. Petersburg post-canon.


~2000 words

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

Will there ever be a Stucky wedding on TLOBB?

Hi anon ^^

Yup, eventually, near the end of the story (which is far from being done but I’m working on it and I know more or less where I’m going). Basically:

  • Wedding: yes, with tons of guests
  • Kids: no, never
  • Animal: maybe

Long story short, you’ll have to be patient. This story/account is not a sprint, it’s a long looOooOOOng run. Thank you so much if are still following The LoBB ^^;; As there are only one-two artworks a week, the story advances rather slowly.

I hope I answered your question. Thanks a lot ♥

Originally posted by chingachguk

(I typed “Stucky” in the Tumblr gif seach engine and I got…this. It’s has nothing to do with Steve and Buck in general or even The Life of Bucky Barnes in particular but it’s too good not to post, no?)

ETA: C’est pas en France ce gif? On dirait les escaliers de la Bibliothèque François Mitterrand à Paris?!!

anonymous asked:

omgomg for the one thing 6,15 or 30 for Saeran?? I can't decide 🤔 btw I love your writing so much it's 100/10 👌👌

6: a kiss of relief

A/N: Aww, thank you anon! :) Hope you like this one!

I’ll be doing 15 next because another anon requested it too. :D (15: a hope-we-don’t-get caught kiss)




“Out of the way! Move!”

Crowds of people standing about in the hallway were shoved roughly aside by a man who was currently barreling through them, his face looking like hell. His angry red hair was a big mess, the tips dripping with perspiration. His tank top was drenched in his sweat, droplets of it sliding down the sides of his face and the back of his neck.

There were comments of protest and disgust coming from the people he pushed past, but he could barely hear them over the sound of his throbbing heart hammering painfully against his tight, constricted ribcage. He was panting, gasping for air because he had just sprinted the whole way here. He hadn’t run like that in a long time. Nor had he been so frightened or frantic since back then, when he thought Saeyoung wouldn’t come back for him.

He had gotten the news just a couple minutes ago, over the phone. Because he was your emergency contact and he had been the first person they called.

All that had managed to sink into his head was “car accident” and “hospital” before he felt all the blood drain from his face. Something in him snapped, the worst immediately springing to mind. Thoughts of you lying motionless on the road, a pool of blood underneath your lifeless body. Thoughts of you with blood trailing down the side of your mouth, your limbs twisted in odd, unnatural angles.

Thoughts of you not breathing, covered in a white sheet.

And… thoughts of you leaving him for good. Without even a goodbye.

He had nearly thrown up, his knees giving way as he collapsed to the floor when the world around him darkened for a moment. No, no, no. This couldn’t be happening, not when he had just found you, not when he had so many more things he wanted to do with you. He had even made a list of it in his head, and he wasn’t even halfway done. You couldn’t leave him like this.

Crippling fear then turned into desperation, and with a strangled cry in the back of his throat, tears starting to spill over his cheeks, he had sprinted out the door.

He had to get to you.

And now, here he was, finally at the ward where you reportedly were. His hand was on the cool metal handle, but he hesitated just for a second, afraid that he wouldn’t like what he would see. Afraid that once he walked past this door, he would have to face the reality that he was alone again, that you too, had abandoned him for good, and that he would have to live the rest of his miserable life without you in it.

Shaking those thoughts aside, he burst through the door, his noisy entrance startling some of the other patients in the ward, as well as their visitors. He scanned the ward frantically, checking to see where you were.

It was the patient at the end of the room that caught his eye.

His eyes found familiar ones. Wide, blinking, moving.

Alive.

And without another moment to lose, he was striding over to your bed, not even giving you time to say his name before he wrapped his arms around you in a hug, one that stole your breath away, quite literally.

You were about to protest because the numerous scratches along your arms and face hurt with the amount of pressure he was applying with his tight embrace, but then his shoulders began to shake. For a moment you were confused, until you registered the moisture that was building on your sleeve, and heard the sounds of his muffled sobbing.

You didn’t say anything. You couldn’t. All you could do was hug him back, squeeze him with all your might, assure him that you were alive, that you were safe, and that you were still here, with him. Tears pricked your eyes, the ordeal you had been through earlier, the fear that you would never wake up again when you lost consciousness, and the guilt for giving Saeran such a huge scare hitting you all at once.

You tried to hold them in, only allowing two or three to slide down your cheek as you buried your face in his clothes, fisting your fingers in his hair. His skin was sticky and he smelled of perspiration, but you didn’t care.

Both of you were together now, and that was all that mattered.

And then Saeran pulled away, allowing you full view of his tear-streaked face. You wiped them away with your thumbs, while he cupped your face in his cold hands, his fingers ghosting over the little cuts on your cheek and chin. His gaze came to rest on the bandages that had been wrapped around your head, covering your temples and forehead. You saw fear in his eyes, mind-numbing fear, but slowly something else mixed in with it, replacing it little by little.

Relief.

There wasn’t a need for words. Not now.

With his hand at the nape of your neck, he yanked you forward, crashing your lips roughly against his. It wasn’t the gentle, tender Saeran you normally knew. This was the Saeran you knew when he woke up shaking from a nightmare he had, the Saeran who would punch the wall with his bare fists, crying when he was having another bout of torture by memories of his dark past.

This was the Saeran who was deathly frightened of ever losing you, of ever letting you slip past the crevices of his fingers.

He had lost enough in his lifetime, after all. You knew he couldn’t bear losing you either, in the same way you would never be able to bear losing him.

He was cradling you in his arms now, tears sliding in between your cheeks as he cried, kissing you over and over, fiercely, roughly. You could taste the the salty tang of his tears on his lips. Teeth nipped at your lips, biting, pulling. His tongue slid in between your parted lips, moving against yours sensually, dominating you completely. You tried to pull away, suddenly realising that you needed air, but he didn’t let go. Caging you with his strong arms, he prevented you from moving away and began sucking on your tongue harshly, making you moan into his mouth. Your mind went blank then, allowing him to do as he wished with you, because you knew he needed to be sure of you, to really know that you were real, here, and that this was not a dream.

It was only when the both of you were truly in desperate need for air that you broke apart with a gasp, both panting heavily, but still holding each other in a tight embrace. There were other people in the ward, and you could feel stares on the both of you, likely stares of disgust and disbelief for doing something as brazen as this in a hospital of all places, but you could care less about that.

“You okay?” you asked hoarsely, running your fingers through his hair. You knew he liked it when you did it. It was calming, soothing for him.

“I will be,” he admitted, his voice muffled against your shoulder. “I’m just… When I got the call, I thought that maybe you had– I thought I’d lost you, and I…”

“Shh,” you shushed him, pressing a kiss to his cheek. “I’m here,” you murmured in his ear, making sure he could hear you crystal clear. “I’m safe. And we’re together now. Sorry for scaring you like that.”

“What happened?”

“I got knocked down by a car. Drunk driver. But, thankfully someone close to me managed to push me away in time so I avoided the worst of the impact. Could have died– I mean, I’m fine. Got away with just a few scratches,” you rambled on, regretting the use of that word, with Saeran being so sensitive right now.

“That motherfuc–”

“It’s okay, Saeran.”

“How can it be okay? That person nearly killed you! Or could have someone else! I’ll kill that fucker if it’s the last thing I do–”

“Saeran, look at me,” you cut in, pressing your hands on either sides of his face and forcing him to face you. “He’s with the police now. Let them handle it.”

“The police,” he repeated with an eyeroll. “Of course. Count on them to do everything right, like let criminals get off scot-free.” He was speaking from past experience, back when he was a hacker at Mint Eye.

“Saeran, please. I’m right here. Isn’t that what matters? That we’re together? Safe?”

His eyes softened then, and he averted your eyes, hanging his head in shame. “Sorry,” he mumbled. “I got carried away.”

“It’s okay. You’re just upset right now.”

He made a dismissive grunt at that, emitting a long sigh. Then he asked the inevitable. “Are you hurting anywhere? In any pain at all?”

“Saeran, I’m really fine,” you insisted with a chuckle. You had been waiting for him to ask this, because obviously he would shoot you a bunch of questions about whether you were feeling alright and doubt your positive answers too. Your lighthearted reply only made him frown, so you added in the most convincing voice you could muster, “The doctor said I can go home after a quick check-up. Just needed to check for a concussion, since I did pass out earlier.”

He still looked unconvinced, and in response you cheekily poked at the creases on his forehead. “You should really stop worrying. I’m fine. I promise.”

“I know. I just can’t help it,” he muttered, balling his hands into fists. You noticed the slight tremor going down his arm, and you placed a hand over his fist, raising it to your lips to plant a kiss on his knuckles.

“It’s okay, Saeran. Everything will be fine. I’ll go home with you once the doctor gives the green light. Does that sound good?”

“Yeah, it does,” he nodded, his shoulders finally sagging, relieved from all the tension from earlier. “I’ll need to do a thorough check up for you when we get home though,” he added under his breath, shooting you a flat glare. He was probably kind of peeved because of the huge scare he had gotten, even if it wasn’t your fault.

Well… you weren’t about to complain though. “Be sure to make it a thorough one,” you said with a smirk, prompting his lips to curl up into one as well, while his pupils dilated ever so slightly.

“I’ll make sure of it,” he promised, and you felt a delightful shiver go down your spine at the look in his eyes.

Oh, what you would give to get home right this instant.

Today, I fucked up...  by probably ruining a girl's life, forever, via Capture the Flag.

Today I fucked up. There’s a girl in my Ecology class. Let’s call her “Madge”. Madge is your go-getting try-hard holier-than-thou know-it-all with an unchanging facial expression I can only describe as “cat trying to shit a peach pit”. One of those constant-frowners, and constant-downers.

I even tried to get along with Madge at the start; I’d sit by her and try to engage her (read: humor her) with conversations in relevant topics about Ecology, such as the thrilling handedness of apes or edge-of-your-seat songbird plumage complexity, but just trying to be civil was a futile endeavour. Expecting Madge to be civil with you because you were civil with her is like expecting the lion not to eat you because you didn’t eat it. Madge was born to be an asshole.

Everything you said to her was met with a “Pffft”, or a dramatic roll of the eyes, and a quick retort such as “Well, if you’d actually read Carter et al. 2007, you would have known that…” She had to be better and smarter than everyone, at everything, all the time. And boy, that shit got real old, real quick. So I stopped sitting by her. And began to loathe her. With a pre-occupied disposition. I thought about her twice today before even writing this, that’s how much I don’t like her.

Fast forward to the first Capture the Flag game of the year. Being a Freshman, I thought I’d attend as a way to get out of my residence room and meet some people. The first game was at about 8:00PM, the campus was already dark, and I showed up just wearing shorts and a T-shirt. Out of 150+ people (who knew Capture the Flag was so popular?) I ended up being possibly the most under-dressed person there. Camouflage, Ghillie suits, face-paint, and black morph costumes were just some of the norm. This was like Capture the Flag Olympics.

Teams were divided into short sleeve vs. long sleeve, and the “flags” were two bicycle lights. I began to mingle with fellow short-sleeves… and that’s when I saw her. Madge. Black boots, black pants, black turtleneck, black scarf, black cap, black gloves. She was going all Call of Duty for this game – of course. Why wouldn’t she be a try-hard at Capture the Flag too? And I just knew I’d have to tag her the fuck out. This was my chance to prove I was better at something.

The first few rounds, us short-sleeves did terribly because no one stayed behind to defend, so we lost 3 rounds promptly. Each time they blew the whistle, I could hear Madge laughing. I could hear it. So I switched to defense. To prevent “camping”, there was a 50 meter buffer around each “flag”. Conveniently for me, there was a group of hedges 50 meters away from my flag. So I hid in the hedges.

Each time anyone from the other team tried to sneak up to our flag, I’d jump out of the hedges, startle the hell out of them, and that would give me the time I needed to run up and tag them out. I’d probably tagged out 8-10 people in about 15 minutes, when the stars aligned, and I saw her. Madge. Walking through the shadows along the side of a building, headed straight for our flag, thinking she was so sneaky with all her matching black gear. This was it. It wasmy time to shine.

But I was too excitable. I bounded from the hedges like Sea Biscuit while she was still a good 40-50 feet away. So I yelled “AAAaarrgh!” to try to emphasize the startling effect. She shrieked in surprise, but without missing a beat, she spun around 180 degrees and headed back for her “side” at a dead sprint. I then realized that if she got to her side before I caught her, she’d be “out of play” and I couldn’t tag her out – that was an impossible embarrassment, I couldn’t allow it. I took off too, at a dead sprint. Like Gimli, I’m not so much for long runs, but dangerous across short distances. I was gaining on her, and now confidently puffed up, with a laugh I shouted “YOU CAN RUN IF YOU WANT, I’LL JUST CATCH YOU WHEN YOU’RE TIRED!”

The chase lasted probably 100-150 feet before she tripped on a tree root and fell pretty hard, but made no attempt to get back up. As I got closer, I realized she had stooped to a whole new low - playing the crying game, surely exaggerating an injury that would thus make my “tagging” of her distasteful. But then as I got closer still, I realized she was really crying, like hysterically crying. I was still mad, so as I got up to her I said “Crying won’t fucking help”, at which point she rolled on to her back and looked up at me and shouted “GET THE FUCK AWAY!”. I leaned down to make eye contact and said “it’s just a fucking game”, to which she cocked an eyebrow and said “WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!”

And then it hit me.

I did not recognize this girl.

This was not Madge.

This was some girl walking to the bus station after a night class.

Horrified, mouth hanging open, the rolodex of my mind spun as I suddenly imagined what it must have been like from her perspective: a large, strange, bearded, sweaty, under-dressed man jumped out of the bushes screaming “AAARRRRrrrgh!”, and when she ran, he ran too, screaming “YOU CAN RUN IF YOU WANT, I’LL JUST CATCH YOU WHEN YOU’RE TIRED”, and when he saw her crying, said “Crying won’t fucking help”.

I wanted to apologize, I wanted to introduce myself, I wanted to explain, but all I could get out was “Hey… sorry – it was, it’s just… Hi, I’m… Hey, you know, Capture the Flag?… PLEASE DON’T CALL THE POLICE, THIS WAS ALL A MISUNDERSTANDING” and then I ran away hoping she hadn’t seen enough of my face to create a composite sketch for Campus Security.

I never ended up tagging her, or Madge for that matter, and I never went back to Capture the Flag after that (I hear it may be getting cancelled) but I probably caused some seriously deep-seated anxieties about night classes that will haunt that poor girl forever.

Check out more TIFUs: Internet`s best fuck ups are here.

melonbugg  asked:

I saw the ask about Ulaz not having a prostate. Do you have other headcanons regarding Galra anatomy?

Uh, sadly no?  Ahaha, I like the idea that they’re more like Cheetahs - big rip cages, bit legs, very lanky otherwise, made for sprinting rather than long distance running.  And I’m all for the headcanon that they tend to be surprisingly dense too - Keith didn’t blink at the decontamination wind that knocked over Pidge and made Lance have to hide, after all.

They’re also certainly carnivorous, and I like certain erogenous zones for them that might be more intense than humans - ears, nose, neck, all sensitive on humans but outright jolting to a Galra.

That’s about all I got

anonymous asked:

what kind of activity besides meditation can enhance your energy? i have a mental illness and i tried meditation before but it's very very difficult for me haha, a classmate of mine suggested bioenergy (i had never heard of it before, it's mostly movement,which is cool) i wanted to know if you have any suggestions? thanks :)

Everyone has a limit when it goes to energy in one go. Kind of like how some people could be very good runners but not sprinters, and some people are great at sprinting but not running long distance. Everyone’s bodies have a different energy; some are really strong all at once, and some don’t. So you can enhance your energy through practice, just like running, of different craft and spellwork. The more you practice giving your energy to something, the better you can do it, but again, we have our limit. Thankfully we are a source of eternal renewable energy, so we can build it back up again, but it’s also different for everyone. Some people are so drained after playing the Ouija board that they have to go to sleep, and some people feel no tiredness at all. 

8

“I was lying to myself. Whenever there’s been two ways I could go, I always did what the "ideal girl” would. I forgot about the real me… 

The real me likes bulldogs more than German Shepards. I’m better at long-distance running than sprints, I prefer milk over tea, and I like daifuku more than cream puffs.“

-requested by a-necessary-fiction

HIIT sprints?

For those of you that do sprints as HIIT cardio, how long do you usually run VS. rest?

Just curious. I’m thinking about trying to incorporate some sprinting into my routine if my knees can handle it!

anonymous asked:

Scenario when Armin, Mikasa, Eren and Levi saw their old lover joining the Scouts. thanks again!

Armin?” The blond boy told himself to keep walking. It wasn’t them, his mind told him. To be fair, he didn’t know if they ever died or not, so fate had the full well ability to bring the two back together once more.

And when he felt a familiar grasp of arms around his shoulders, he knew that fate had done it’s thing, whether he liked it or not. “___?” Armin questioned slowly, the name feeling foreign on his tongue.

“I can’t believe it’s really you. Who would’ve thought joining the survey corps could do me a favor?” They question playfully, but he could tell they were struggling to keep themselves together. After all, the reunion had been unexpected and maybe even emotionally draining.

“This is one of the only personal benefits I’ve gotten out of this stupid job. That, and the muscles.” Armin played along, hoping they couldn’t tell that his eyes had glazed over with a thin sheen of tears. They laugh, pecking his lips quickly. “You’ve gotta show me those muscles sometime.”

Mikasa was an emotional girl when she allowed herself to be. To be able to keep every feeling concealed with a pristine, uninterested look was definitely admirable, but there were some things that she just couldn’t hold back from.

The onyx haired girl had always been observant. Not a day went by where she didn’t think about her past lover, so when she first saw the flash of their face in the crowd of new workers she thought that it was just one of her pesky flashbacks that liked to come around at inconvenient times.

However, something about that flashback must have been different, because even though she wasn’t trying to, her feet began to move on their own over to them. “___?” The name escapes her mouth before she could even figure out what she was doing, and when she realized she slammed her hands over her mouth.

They whipped their head around, locking eyes with Mikasa. Their mouth formed into a gasp, eyes widening comically. A couple tears streamed down Mikasa’s cheeks as she pulled them into a gentle hug. She didn’t talk, only basked in the familiar embrace. Her past lover smiled, nuzzling their head into the side of her neck. “I missed you too.” Is all they say.

Eren had presumed his old lover dead. Maybe literally, maybe not. It was like they disappeared from the earth. It was never something he really got over, but it was something that numbed down as the days went by. However, when he heard a very familiar voice, it almost made his heart stop. In fact, he was fairly certain that his heart did stop.

“___?” Eren thinks to himself. The same word keeps falling from his lips as he turns to a full sprint, running toward the face he hadn’t seen in so long. Eren could see their eyes light up when they recognized him.

“Eren!” They yelp, jumping into his arms. He held them tight, just as he remembered. Except this was more desperate, almost aggressive. The boy could feel them shaking. He wasn’t sure what they were feeling, but at the same time he felt as if he was in the same boat.

When the two pulled apart, Eren leaned in to press a chaste kiss to their lips. “I missed you.” He groans, pulling them in for a final hug.

impress you [sam wilson]

you decide to join sam on one of his morning jogs, eager to spend more time with him one-on-one.

tagging: @mattymattymerduck, @avengerofyourheart, @wakandasoldier, @darlingbuchanan, @bemystucky, @idorkish, @iwillbeinmynest, @aubzylynn, @ifmiracleshappened, @isastrobitchpersonal

warnings: fluff, humor, flirting

additional notes: reader (of an ambiguous gender) has electrokinesis. personally, i hate long-distance running, but i know some readers love running, so i kinda just wrote a happy average of the two ends of the jogging spectrum. i owe all of you and sam himself fluff with sam wilson so here it is.

Sam Wilson wasn’t the fastest man around, but he certainly was the most tenacious.

He jogged every morning and had done so for the last ten years. You were usually asleep when he left at the crack of dawn and in the kitchen by the time he returned, his gray jumper soaked through with sweat, with a very cheerful Captain America in tow. Occasionally, Bucky joined them, though after the first few days he had gotten tired of teasing Sam about his slowness and went back to his typical indoor workout routine and solitary night runs. Even Steve would take a jab at Sam once in a while, though you knew it was all in good fun, and you laughed along with him, much to Sam’s halfhearted annoyance.

“Looking good, boys,” you rasped one morning, when the two of them entered the kitchen sweaty as ever. Bucky sat next to you at the kitchen island, reading the newspaper and sipping some coffee. For breakfast, you had made Belgian waffles for the two of you, over half of which had already been eaten by Bucky. You were only on your second. “I know quite a few fans who would kill for pics of you two like this. Care to smile for the camera?” You waggled your eyebrows suggestively. Bucky snorted.

Sam laughed through his panting and patted you on the back as he passed you on his way to the fridge. “I’m sure our star-spangled friend here would burst into flame from blushing so hard.”

Steve tousled your hair, worsening your bedhead and smiling when you swatted at him. “Pay me enough and I just might.”

Bucky choked on his coffee. “Punk, you would never,” he grumbled between coughs. “I know you. You’d be the most bashful pin-up model. Don’t even try it.”

Steve’s ears reddened. Around you and Sam, he had an air of confidence and wit that only Bucky, who knew him like the back of his hand, could break. “Let me have one joke, Buck, just one joke,” he begged, reaching over to punch him in the shoulder.

“Jokes cost ten cents apiece, Steve,” you quipped seamlessly. You could see Bucky grinning at you from the corner of your eye. “Pay up and he might let you have one. I’ll let you have one for the simple price of one of your Grade A American massages.”

Steve arched an eyebrow at you skeptically.

You matched his expression. “I’ve seen your hands. I know what you can do with them, and I’m sore all the time. I expect your best, Rogers.”

He rolled his eyes and went on rummaging through the fridge.

“If anyone needs a massage,” Sam spoke up, leaning against the counter across from you with a cold water bottle in hand, “it’s me.” His eyes glowed as he looked at you. “I’m always sore after a jog. Care to help me out, Y/N?”

You bit your bottom lip, peeking up at him from your lashes as you pushed your leftover bits of waffle around your plate. “I’m not the best masseuse on the team but I’ll do my best,” you replied coyly, taking another bite of your breakfast.

Sam smiled. You thought you might pass out right then and there from how much blood was rushing to your face. You had joined the team three years ago, shortly after the take-down of S.H.I.E.L.D., and since then, you had fallen hard for the Falcon himself. Although each of the Avengers welcomed you with open arms, Sam had been the first one to truly warm up to you—and vice versa. He was compassionate, funny, charming, and by far the greatest listener you’d ever encountered. He was also handsome, which was a plus; with a beautiful personality and looks to match, you were shocked that Sam was single. In fact, in all the time you had lived at the tower, you had never once seen him bring someone home or heard him mention having a date. You and he worked well together out in the field, with you electrocuting enemies on the ground and Sam taking out targets up in the sky, but outside of the workplace, you and Sam clicked on a personal level. You knew he had noticed it, too, but you couldn’t tell how serious his lighthearted flirtations really were.

“Y/N?”

Sam’s concerned voice jolted you back to reality. He had asked you something. “Sorry, what?” you uttered, awkwardly swallowing an unchewed cube of waffle.

His brow smoothed over with relief. “I was wondering if you’d like to join me for tomorrow’s jog. I could use a partner who doesn’t leave me behind in the dust.”

“Sam, you know I’d keep pace with you if you asked—”

“Oh, you’ve had your chance, Rogers,” Sam growled, fixing Steve with a frown before turning back to you. Bucky was snickering. “Anyway, whaddya say? It gets lonely out there sometimes. I’d love for you to come along, keep me company, remind me that I jog at a perfectly normal pace for a normal human being.”

You grinned. “Am I the best choice for this, Sam? I mean, I am far from a ‘normal’ human being.” You held up a hand; a white-blue electrical current crackled between your fingers to prove your point.

Sam’s eyes zeroed in on the electricity you were generating. He always got a kick out of watching you demonstrate your abilities. “Well, if that’s the case, why don’t you show me what a high-voltage human being is capable of?” he countered, taking a long gulp of water.

Your grin broadened. “Count me in.” As quickly as it had appeared, your jovial expression vanished. “Wait a minute… Does this mean I have to wake up early? Like ‘crack of dawn’ early?”

Sam’s lips quirked up in a smug smirk. “Yup,” he replied, popping the p.

You groaned loudly, leaning over to hide your face in Bucky’s shoulder. “Don’t expect me to wake up on my own,” you grumbled.

“Don’t worry, Y/N, I’ll wake you myself,” Sam promised.

With your face turned into Bucky’s sleeve, you smiled.


The following morning went less smoothly than you had hoped.

Sam woke you up at five A.M. He said your name a few times, then shook your shoulder gently. You sat up with a battle cry and sent a couple volts of electricity into his body, thinking he was an enemy. He let go of you and fell to the floor with a shriek, twitching for a few seconds while you leaped out of bed and frantically apologized.

“Sorry, Sam,” you mumbled again during the elevator ride down, hugging your arms to your body and hanging your head in shame. The two of you had enjoyed some muffins for breakfast to load up on carbs before your jog.

Sam chuckled. “Don’t worry about it. You can make it up to me with my post-workout massage.” He winked at you. “And besides, I’ve felt worse. I can handle a few sparks.”

You couldn’t help but smile at that. You glanced at Sam, biting on the inside of your cheek as you fought to hide your amusement. He was in the same gray pullover and basketball shorts. Today, his shorts were army-green. For your outfit, you had decided on gray joggers, your best running shoes, a terrycloth sweatband, and a dark blue Captain America sweatshirt (just to spite Sam). When he saw you come out of your room with the shield emblazed on your chest, he’d merely shaken his head in disappointment. “Traitor,” he muttered under his breath.

“No Steve today?” you asked Sam, leaning back against the elevator wall with your hands grasping the railing.

He shook his head but didn’t look disappointed in the slightest. “Said he wasn’t gonna go this morning.” He looked over at you, his eyes trained on yours. “I kinda like it just being the two of us though. When do I ever get you to myself?”

You rolled your eyes. “Movie nights, after dinner, during missions, on the quinjet, long walks in the park—”

“O.K., O.K., maybe I’m not as Y/N-deprived as I thought,” Sam said, his voice punctuated with laughter. “I just enjoy our one-on-one time, that’s all.”

You smiled, rolling up the sleeves of your jumper. You weren’t looking at Sam, but you could see him looking at you in your peripherals. “Me too. If this goes well, maybe I’ll join you for runs more often.” You winked at him.

Sam bit down on his lower lip, suppressing a smile. “Let’s see how today goes,” he affirmed quietly.

Once the elevator doors reached the lobby, the two of you headed outside, where the sky had barely blanched to a milky violet. You discovered what you had speculated before: Sam was beautiful in the mornings. He couldn’t have slept more than six hours last night and yet here he was, his deep brown skin positively glowing in the pale light of dawn. He stood silhouetted by the mauve clouds above, and you were so lost in your reverie that you barely heard him when he asked, “Ready to get going?”

You nodded and the two of you set out for Central Park at a slow walk, building up for the actual run. Sam informed you that he usually jogged three laps around the whole park, with a fourth lap of walking to cool down. Once the two of you reached Park Drive, Sam led you through a series of dynamic stretches: Frankenstein kicks, high-knees, lunges, calf raises, all until your body was warm and your muscles felt much looser than before. Finally, you both began to jog down Park Drive at a comfortable pace. Neither of you spoke—you doubted you had enough breath in your lungs to run and make conversation—and so the only sound was the slap of your sneakers against the concrete. Eventually, the two of you were jogging in sync.

It was a chilly autumn morning, but by the first ten minutes, you were sweating profusely, soaking through your heavy sweatshirt. You were athletic, having been a member of the team for years, but you were more accustomed to short-distance sprints on missions than to long-distance runs. At least jogs like these would be good for your endurance. You spared a glance at Sam and saw that he was sweaty, too, with a darkened patch growing at the collar of his gray pullover. A few other joggers passed the two of you or fell into step behind you. Every so often, you peeked up at the sky, watching it shift from a soft, pinkish dove-gray to much more vibrant shades of rose and peach, dominated by a field of blue. It was beautiful, witnessing the sunrise with Sam beside you. You wondered if the sun’s rays were absorbed as mesmerizingly by your eyes as they were by Sam’s. His eyes had brightened to a warm and heavenly amber.

Sam caught you staring and smirked at you. “Enjoying the view?” he said, panting.

You narrowed your eyes at him. "Did you just take me out here so I’d see how pretty you look and go on another date with you?” you teased.

Sam’s eyes lit up with excitement. “Is this a date?” he asked, beaming at you.

Your cheeks seared with heat. You could feel electricity thrumming beneath your skin as you held his gaze, so you looked away, fighting back a smile. “Take me out to lunch afterward and we’ll see, Samuel,” you said. You saw his beam widen in the corner of your eye.

Within the first hour, you and Sam had reached the opposite end of Central Park and were looping around to repeat the journey when you heard much heavier footsteps behind you, nearing you at a frightfully fast pace. You snuck a glance over your shoulder and almost shrieked when Steve barreled past you.

“On your left!” Steve said to Sam as he passed between you two, and you swore he was smirking.

You looked over at Sam to see his eyes wide with shock and anger. You knew that Steve meant that as a challenge, encouraging Sam to follow him. You saw Sam get ready to sprint after him, and before he could chase Steve, you reached out and grabbed the back of his shirt, holding him back and slowing to a stop. Sam frowned at you, his brow furrowed with frustration, but you smiled at him. “Not worth it,” you told him, patting his shoulder. “Now is not the time for a race.”

Sam sighed and dropped his head. “Alright. Let’s keep going,” he mumbled, and the two of you set out again.

You were about two hours in, just looping around the end of Park Drive where you had started when you were lapped again, this time by a certain dark-haired super soldier.

“On your left!” Bucky yelled as he ran past, his shoulders widening the space between you and Sam to make room for his herculean form. You snorted when he smirked at Sam over his shoulder.

“C’mon, man!” Sam shouted after him. He growled under his breath and you held onto his sleeve, urging him to stay with you. He relaxed under your touch, exhaling deeply as the two of you continued down Park Drive.

The sun was steadily rising, bright as ever, its rays still reflecting off of the fluffy clouds. An icy breeze stirred the trees around you, sending leaves spiraling down on either side of you. You got a kick out of crushing them underfoot, out of the satisfying crunch of the leaves beneath your shoe, and Sam joined you, making a point to step on each leaf in his path. The two of you were about to begin your third lap when you heard the swift footsteps again, coming closer and closer.

Both Steve and Bucky sprinted past on either side of Sam, making a point of nudging him with their broad shoulders. You hopped to the side to give them room, giggling when both men waved at you, grinning innocently.

“On your left!”

“On your right!”

And they bolted.

This time, Sam launched after them before you could stop him, chasing after them in a full sprint. It was the fastest you had ever seen Sam run, and you quickened your pace to ensure that you could still see him. The distance between him and the two super soldiers was rapidly increasing, and your breath caught in your throat as Sam’s foot caught on a crack in the cement. He flew forward, landing roughly on his hands and knees, then tucked and rolled off the sidewalk, coming to a stop in the grass.

“Sam!” you cried, hurrying over to him. He was on his back, arms folded over his eyes, his lips set in a deep frown. You knelt down next to him, heart hammering against your ribcage. “Are you O.K.?”

He groaned.

You gulped and scanned his body for injuries. The heels of his hands were rubbed raw and pink from the impact with the ground. His knees were shredded and bleeding. Other than that, you figured he had survived the fall with a few bruises. “Looks like your knees are scraped,” you said, and Sam groaned again. You covered your hand with your sleeve and carefully brushed some of the flecks of dirt and concrete from Sam’s knees. He hissed in pain. “Sorry,” you murmured, settling back on your haunches and peering down at him with your head cocked to the side. He still had his arms over his eyes. “Sam?”

“They’re just so damn fast,” he grumbled. “Tryna make a fool outta me.” He mumbled something indiscernible.

“What was that?” you asked. He sighed. You rolled your eyes and took his forearms in your hands, removing them from his face so you could see him entirely. He wasn’t tearing up, like you suspected, but his eyes were sad, filled with disappointment. “Sam?” you said quietly.

Sam’s eyes flickered briefly to yours, softening a bit at the sight of you. He slid his forearms out of your grasp and took your hands. “Tryna embarrass me in front of you,” he admitted finally, avoiding your gaze.

Your cheeks grew warm, but not from the jogging, more from the realization that Sam had wanted to impress you, with the beauty of the sunrise and Central Park at dawn. He must have confided in Bucky and Steve after breakfast, must have asked them not to come so they wouldn’t make him look bad. You knew those two could be rascals on their own, but together, they were nothing but trouble. You knew they teased Sam, all in good fun, and you wondered if they had teased him about you.

“Sam,” you said, and this time he looked at you, “you don’t have to impress me to get me to jog with you.” You squeezed his hands. “Just being in your company is enough for me.” You smiled down at him sweetly and added coquettishly, “And the view isn’t half-bad.”

Sam blinked for a few moments, your words slowly registering in his head, then chuckled. “You’re too good to me,” he muttered, sitting up with a grunt. “Should probably head back so I can clean those up.” He indicated his torn-up knees.

You nodded, standing up and hauling him to his feet with you. “Think you can finish the lap?” you asked him.

“Sure. Wouldn’t wanna miss the cool-down walk, either. Next time they come around, I’m tripping them both.” He stepped back onto the sidewalk. You followed, giggling, still holding one of his hands. Your heart was thundering in your chest at his closeness; you wondered if he could hear it. “Hope you don’t mind us taking it easy for the next couple miles.”

You sighed in faux exasperation, nudging him with your hip. “I suppose, Samuel.” After a moment’s deliberation, you turned and pressed your lips to his in a brief, tender kiss, pulling away with a soft smack. Sam gaped down at you, his eyes bugging out of his head with surprise. “I’ve always been more of a sprinter myself,” you said, and you took off down the path at high speed, laughing, leaving Sam to squawk in outrage and chase after you, injuries forgotten.

fandomwife  asked:

Can I have a three ship? If this is how that works, if not can I have a regular The Outsiders ship? I'm short, 5'4, I like to run but not sprints long distance. I'm more of a closed book and I'm only open to people that I'm good friends with, I have extremely curly hair and it's very thick too almost impossible to actually comb through. I'm Italian and I have tan skin. I can fight pretty good, I'm a boxer and yeah that's it thanks

Boyfriend: I ship you with Ponyboy! Pony sprints with you and he doesn’t push you to open up but is a very good listener when you do

Best Friend: Two-Bit is your best friend, probably because he’s so funny and that helped you open up to you! When you agree to go to a dance with Ponyboy, he tries to help you style your hair in a braid (because he’s the only one with a little sister and, thus, is the best person to style hair) but realizes quickly it won’t work very well

Secret Admirer: Soda is your secret admirer! Your hair caught his attention first, and then your beautiful personality caught his attention next and he was head over heels

The dvd was no more

Part 1, Part 2

I was terrified to turn around. After witnessing the horrors on the dvds I feared that anything could be behind me. But I felt something like spiders along my skin. My head moved without permission. I slowly twisted, terrified of what I would see. I shut my eyes. Maybe if I didn’t look, it couldn’t hurt me. I tried as hard I could to keep my eyes shut, but they were deliberately pulled open. My own fingers were the one to force the lid apart. I hadn’t even felt my arms move.

When I could see properly it was almost a relief. There was no one behind me. I had gotten into my head that a crazed John would be standing there, ready to enact his torture upon me. Luckily that was just a fantasy.

I stood. It was impossible not to shiver. I was exhausted. After watching those disturbing videos I felt almost as if I had gone through them myself. Maybe a meal or some water would help. But before I could go I noticed something out of the ordinary.

On the bookcase behind the table there was a camera. It was sitting innocently between two of my favorite books. I didn’t remember owning a camera. There was a small red light blinking on the top. From somewhere in my memory I recognized this as meaning it needed its battery changed. I approached the camera as though it were a wild animal. When I lifted it, the weight surprised me. It was dull black. Thoroughly used and dented. But it worked. It was losing power, but it had been recording. It was set up perfectly to view my back, the table, and my computer.

I brought the camera closer to my chest and it immediately died. The screen was blacker than anything I had seen. I saw myself in the darkness. I needed to move on. I needed to put the camera down and get out of there. But I couldn’t. I wasn’t ready. Or was it that I wasn’t able?

I sat back down at the table. Instinctively I knew how to eject the memory card from the camera. It popped out and lay in my palm. I knew then that this was the third video I had to watch. It wasn’t a dvd, and it hadn’t truly been delivered to me, but this was what I had to watch next.

I put the memory card into the slot in my computer. It prompted up a folder on the screen. I clicked to open it but instead it opened a strange folder on my desktop. The title was “Ka.” There were three subfolders – “Prisoner”, “Luck”, and “Death” (in that order.) I tried to click the “Prisoner” folder but it wouldn’t open. The same thing happened with “Luck.” The “Death” folder opened without an issue. Within in were three video files. “The Man in Black”, “The Door”, and “Margot is not Margot.”

“The Man in Black” begins with running. Margot runs across a room. She is screaming in an almost inhuman voice. The cameraperson is trying to catch her. They follow her from room to room, getting closer and closer. In one sickening shot she looks behind her shoulder and her face is one of pure terror. This was the first time I really saw Margot’s fear.

Finally Margot trips over a rug. The cameraperson is upon her instantly. She cries and struggles but is held down. It doesn’t take long for the camera to fall beside the pair. As expected, it is John on top of her. He is still wearing his ski mask and gloves.

It becomes clear that John is just holding her down. He doesn’t try to hurt her or anything else more sinister. Margot fights like her life depends on it. There are a solid three minutes of her fighting. Like the other videos, I couldn’t look away. It was difficult to watch but I was stuck. It was like I had my own John holding me in the chair.

Finally Margot calms down. She looks into his face. They stare at each other like strangers. Then Margot starts to laugh. She is wracked with laughter the same way she was wracked with sobs just minutes earlier. Her body rattles with the sounds she makes.

John doesn’t let go. He says, “You’ve forgotten the face of your father.”

She bends upward, pushing her face towards his. “He has no face, John. You know that.”

John is clearly angered by this. “He has a face. A strong face. Face place. Place where the face was faced.”

“Show me then.” She lays back against the floor. “Show me my father’s face, John.”

John sits up, crossing his arms. He is mouthing words but nothing makes sense. Margot does not seem surprised by this odd behavior. Maybe he had done this before. Maybe he often mouthed unintelligible words at her as though they were having a conversation.

Margot lets him do this for a few minutes with a look of glee and rage. Then she realizes her arms are free. John is no longer holding her down. With a strong hand she thrusts upward and grips the ski mask. Before John knows what is happening Margot has grabbed the mask and thrown it across the room.

This is when I realized Margot’s previous words were absolutely true. John had no face.

Of course, he does have a face. There is something holding his eyes in. There is the resemblance of nostrils and a gaping hole of a mouth. But his entire head is covered in horrible burns. His face is made up of scar tissue that twisted and crumpled like dull red roots. He has no eyebrows or lips. Just disgusting flesh mounds around his teeth (of which he has very few).

Panicked, John dives off of Margot and runs to get the mask. Margot gets to her feet in seconds. She grabs the camera and begins running. She runs through the house and gets to the front door. She tries the doorknob but it won’t budge. Margot screams at the door and turns to try somewhere else. But suddenly there was John, blocking her way.

Margot lets out a small terrified shriek and drops the camera. The scene turns to yellow before ending.

I wanted to stop. Any normal person would call the police, get out of the house, or at least delete the files. But my soul was drawn to these videos. I was inexplicitly tied to the suffering of Helen and Margot. Revoltingly, I was also drawn to the madness in John. Maybe I was mad too. My hand tapped the mouse to start the next video.

“The Door” starts with the picture of the small structure from the first video. It flashes and distorts, switching quickly to John talking into the camera. He is in the house with Helen. Helen’s stomach is large and it’s clear she’s pregnant. There is something odd sitting on her belly. It looks like a jaw bone.

John circles Helen, who stares at the ground. She has given up hope. The anger and rage I saw in previous tapes has been replaced with hopelessness. John zooms in on her stomach and the jaw bone. The stubs of her legs are also visible. It seems like John wants to show Helen off.

John says, “Say it.”

Helen licks her lips. “Da-da,” she replies.

“No, say the whole thing.”

She starts to cry quietly. “Da-da-chum,” she says sadly.

John makes small happy noises. “Now raise your claws.”

Helen slowly raises her arms in the air. For the first time her underarms are visible. Both have identical tattoos of a key. The key was crude, with an S shape at the end. She holds her hands up until John grunts. She drops her arms to her sides. In a quiet, sad voice she asks, “Why don’t you just kill me?”

John zooms out on the scene. Margot is creeping in the background, but neither adult notices her. “I do not kill with my gun,” he replies.

“Please, Johnny. I can’t do this.” She begs.

“You just haven’t moved on yet,” he responds. He is calm. Her desperation has almost no effect on him.

Helen picks up the jaw bone and studies it. Then, like a lightning strike, she stabs herself in the neck. John screams and drops the camera. The bone sticks out of Helen’s neck like a stray hair. She sputters, blood filling her windpipe. John is panicking. He pulls the bone out as quickly as possible. But this just causes more blood loss. Helen is smiling.

John calls out, “Girl! Come here! Help!”

I assume he was referring to Margot. But Margot does not come. John scrambles for a second before calling for her again. Yet she still does not arrive. Reluctantly, John leaves Helen to go find Margot.

The screen is filled with Helen gradually bleeding out. She coughs on her own blood. But she looks content. Helen looks right at the camera. She tries to say something. It is hard to make out, since fluid was overcoming her mouth and throat. But she might have said, “Joke’s on you.”

Margot creeps into the room behind Helen. She briefly touches her hair. It is the touch of deep love. Margot’s face is full of regret. She picks up the camera, whispering, “Pleasant nights,” before leaving the room.

She walks quietly around the house until she reaches the front door. It is open. John is outside screaming, yelling for the girl. She sneaks through the doorway. Crouching, she circles behind the house. Then she takes off running. The camera bounces as she sprints away. John’s long scream can be heard in the background.

Margot breaths heavily. The scenes cut between the image of the small structure and footage of her running. The sun moves in the sky. Margot runs with the energy of someone who might never run again. Finally the scene switches to the footage from the very first video, “Origin.” Now it is clear that Margot is the one holding the camera, walking around the structure with the altar inside. There is a crunch from behind her and she hides. After a few moments the scene is abruptly cut.

The video was over.

Instead of relief, panic drenched my body. I was trying to understand what happened. Did Margot escape? Where was she anyway? Who was Helen and John to her? How did she get there? My fingers shook. Where was she now?

I would find out as the next video began to play. “Margot is not Margot” is completely different than the rest of the videos. It is not shot by a handheld camera in a creepy house. Instead, it is a clip of a talk show. It lookes like it had been shot in the early 2000’s. The host is a warm older man who closes his eyes when he talks.

A round of applause begins the video. The man is sitting in a comfortable chair with a must less comfortable one across from him. He smiles. As the clapping stops, he leans forward and puts his hands together.

“Today we are meeting a very special girl,” he says solemnly. “A girl who has gone through more than any person, let alone a little girl, should ever have to go through. Her identity has been obscured for many years to protect her from her assailant. However, now that she has turned 18, she wants to tell her side of the story.” The man stood. “Please join me in welcoming Tabitha!”

The audience erupts in applause. Slowly someone enters the stage. She is a small woman with short cut hair. She walks with a bit of a limp. Her dress is plain. If you walked by her you would never notice her. But with the giant lights shining down upon her tiny frame, she is exposed. She turns her face instinctively away from the camera. It takes her entirely too long to cross the set and sit in the chair.

I reached my hand up and touched the screen. The woman looked so familiar. She had the same eyes as Margot. In fact the more I stared, there was no doubt. This was Margot as a grown up. But there was something else I recognized. Something too close to admit.

The man on screen moves to hug Tabitha but she shrinks back. He adapts quickly and sits in his chair. The applause stops. He looks pityingly at Tabitha. “Welcome, my dear.”

She nods her head but says nothing.

The man compensates, “We are so happy to have you with us to share your story. All of us remember the Indian Lake Maniac. It had a huge impact not only on Wisconsin, but on the entire country. The man called John, whose identity could never be verified, tortured and terrified you and your mother for years. Tell us – how did you survive this?”

Tabitha raises her head. Her voice was not hesitant. It sounded like Margot’s voice. “I separated myself from what was happening around me.”

“What do you mean by that?” probes the host.

“I was still me, but I was also far away. Maybe I was walking on the beach or sleeping under the stars. But I knew my body was there and my real brain was there.” She takes a breath. “I was locked in that house, but my imagination could wander anywhere I wanted.”

“That is so brave,” the man responds. Some people in the audience start to cry. Others hug each other. Tabitha sees them but doesn’t seem to understand their behavior.

The host continues, “What exactly did John do to you?”

Tabitha stiffens. “Why do you want to know that?”

“Um…” the man clearly is not prepared for the odd woman. “Maybe a better question would be, how did you escape?”

Tabitha smiles, finally. “He called her Helen. Not her real name. I don’t remember her real name. The world has moved on. But before it moved on, we hatched a plan. She was pregnant with my second little brother. The first John killed. But the second my mother killed. She told me, she said ‘When you hear John yell, you hide. You find that secret place and hide from him. Then when he opens the door to look for you, you run across the beam and get out. Keep running. Run until you don’t have legs anymore.’ That’s what she said. And that’s what I did.”

The host begins to talk but Tabitha interrupts him. “I made it to the beam and ran. I ran all the way to where he left Jake. That’s what he called him, Jake. I don’t remember his real name. His body was gone but I could still smell him. He mutated into something different. He was in the ground now. I hid behind the chapel until John was gone. I stayed there for days. A man and a woman found me. I was almost dead, almost gone too. Almost with my little brother. They told me I was lucky they found me. They made me go over everything he did in detail. They poked my body in the same places he did. And then they forgot about me. Like I said, the world moved on.”

The man is speechless. Tabitha doesn’t care. “He called me Margot. But I won’t let him name me. Giving something a name gives it power. I had a name before the world moved on, but that wasn’t me either. So I named myself. Margot died at Indian Lake. She died just as much as my mother, just as much as my brother, and just as much as Shardik the bear. And the rest.”

The host waits a few moments before putting on a fake smile. He turns to the camera. “We’ll be right back with Tabitha, the only survivor of the Indian Lake Maniac.”

The footage stops on a close up of Tabitha’s face. If you look very closely, you could see an odd looking eye tattooed on her collarbone. The video then goes black.

I could barely breathe. I touched my own collarbone. There, under my fingertips, lay my own tattoo. It was the same odd shaped eye in red ink. It came to me in a dream. Or so I thought.

I blinked and felt woozy. I hadn’t eaten anything all day. This was normal – I was used to going many hours without eating. But at that moment I felt close to passing out. My small apartment was growing even smaller. I noticed the clutter for the first time. My chest hurt.

All of a sudden the memory card activated. There was one file on it. It opened without me touching it. The footage made me gasp.

It was of me. The back of my head. I was doing something on my computer. There was a brown paper bag next to me, some scotch tape, and a large black marker. After a few minutes I ejected something from the computer. It was a dvd. Carefully I pulled out a small wooden bear from my pocket, and wrapped them both in the brown paper. With care I wrote my name on the front.

TABITHA.

I put in another dvd to burn. While it was working I started to draw. I awkwardly created a rose on a piece of construction paper. When the dvd was ready I threw both in a black trash bag. I put the bag under the table and the package in my arms.

I then stood and turned to the camera. I smiled into the lens. Leaning forward, lips almost touching, I whispered, “Warm days and pleasant nights.” Then I turned the camera off.

An odd sensation washed over me. I felt like I had seen that footage before. How long had I been sitting at this table? My apartment felt foreign. I wanted to leave. But before I could I took the camera and put the memory card back into it. I reached into my pocket and found not the bear, but rather a pair of batteries. I placed them in the camera, turned it on, and put it back between my two favorite books – On Writing and Song of Susannah. I stumbled towards the door, eager to get some fresh air. I had to leave this place. I ran across the floor.

When I opened it a small package lay on the porch. I paused for a moment. I had forgotten why I had even come to the door in the first place. I picked up the box and took it inside.

Is it so strange to open a box on your doorstep? It was addressed to me. That means it was mine. Of course I would open it.