stale breeze

The Future Looks Good: Prologue

In the end, there is no other choice. Aelin sacrifices herself for Erilea. But when it seems that all is lost and she will never draw breath again, something miraculous happens. A few months later, Aelin and her court discover the unexpected consequences from that miracle. Apparently, not everyone stays dead forever.

Word Count: 2042

Read on AO3

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Burning.

An intense, skin peeling, hair singeing, earth melting burn.

That’s the only sensation Aelin knows. The only one she’s known for a while now. For all of the five months she’s been in Maeve’s grasp.

The burn of her iron box, iron chains, and iron mask. The burn of whip across her back, her shoulders, and her legs. The burn of her fire, restlessly waiting and building under her skin.

A sudden BOOM and the shaking of the earth beneath her reminds Aelin of where she is. In her box, next to the battlefield. So close to Rowan, to her mate. Her husband. She can feel the bond between them, more alive than it’s ever been. She knows he’s fighting to get to her. She almost cries out with the joy of it, with the joy of knowing she’s within his reach. But she can’t get distracted. She has a job to do.

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06.26.17

I find comfort
In knowing that
There is poetry in everything.

Like the trees rustling in the stale breeze,
As I sit on this hard bench in the park,
Crying my eyes out
And wishing for anyone
To stop and ask if I’m okay.
Like the birds I’m envious of,
As they fly from branch to branch
Singing their songs,
Without a care in the world.
And the lake
That moves to and fro,
Carrying ducks to their destination.

There’s poetry
As I pass my grandparents
Headstone,
And kneel before it
Asking if they’re ready to see me again.
As I look up to the sky,
Begging a God to give me a sign
Not to lose faith.

There’s poetry in this breakdown,
Reminding me I’m alive,
Even though I feel dead-
Knowing that I’m lost
Without an anchor,
Or a way home.

-C.A.

Kestrel pursed his parched lips as he lowered his old and battered spyglass. The area around Swamp Castle was particularly hazy today; the chlorinated scent of ozone wafted past him on stale eastern breezes. There were no birdsongs — even the insects had grown quiet. There is a storm somewhere, he thought, or something worse.

Osprey’s perch on the windmill had its strengths; while discretion was one of them, comfort was not. The windmill’s exterior post bit into his spine. He leaned against it: a sustained and painful attempt for wakefulness. Ever since they had returned to Swamp Castle, Blackbay had been on heightened alert. Those who were not on patrol were engaged in reconnaissance. They slept in shifts.

An increasing number of Alliance army had been dispatched over the past week to secure the cordon, and their soldiers were skittish. No one wanted to be around the fel saturated object, no one wanted guard it, and no one amongst their ranks wanted to use it. The military had erected impromptu watch posts and instituted regularly scheduled sweeps; even the occasional tracker had been sent out to check for spies. Whomever was leading the platoon was all business — no drinking, no smoking, and no wandering, although there were some nights when someone would be playing a lonely fiddle tune or an empty, forlorn hornpipe. The Alliance encampment was compact, with the latrines within its wooden, spiked walls — close enough to be an odiferous inconvenience for the troops.

Kestrel clicked his tongue. His gaze swept the dusky horizon. Cattails and stands of dry reeds swayed in the roiling air. A roving pack of gnolls picked through the marshland swift and quiet; they kept a safe distance from both the military, and the fel power core. Only the occasional rustle or obscene cackle rose from the swamp, betraying the gnolls’ positions. The hot, fluid air grew evermore dense as the afternoon progressed; the unimpeded sun was oppressive, and the atmosphere, pregnant with rain, had been draped heavily upon everyone’s shoulders. Kestrel shrugged his shoulders in a futile attempt to get more comfortable. His leathers stuck to him, and his neck and forehead sweat profusely. Kestrel had thought he would an easy watch post — the middle of the day under a clear sky — but he should have known better. Instead of a tan, the only thing he had been acquiring was a sheen of sweat.

Needless to say, he was happy when he heard Wren’s quiet voice accompanied by the sloshing of the water bucket:

“Are you thirsty up there, Mister Kestrel?”

(( Mentioned: @quai-mason; relevant: @monettemason, @missducass, @malorincan, @juniper-rose-blower ))

anonymous asked:

I'm so glad you liked dogwood blossom :) another favorite of mine is "the ghost of o'donaghue" and "detectorists" by Johnny flynn. Those two songs remind me of the warm stale breeze that runs along brazen fields of wheat :) simply beautiful

alright thank u so much! i will give them both a listen asap!

Before You

Imagine Dean begging you to stay, explaining that he’ll never stop loving you.

Author’s Note: Reader request for a Dean x reader based on Never Stop by SafetySuit. Reader is afraid of Dean leaving her and Dean is afraid of how she makes him feel. Conflict and even a little Sam too. Some fics come easy, but this one was hard to get written Let me know what you think! Warnings: alcohol, conflict, angst

Here’s the teaser incase you haven’t read it yet. If you have, you can skip to the section break where it says ‘teaser ends’

“You did good out there babe.” Dean clinked his glass against mine with a grin before we both knocked back our shots. The liquid burned as it coated my throat and warmed my insides. He watched with interest as I winced and slapped down the tumbler. His eyebrows rose slightly. “You’re really getting good at this, maybe too good.” His eyes were locked on mouth as I licked a drop of whiskey off my lip. I could tell he was more impressed and intrigued than concerned.

“Well I have this alcoholic friend…” He rolled his eyes and laid his large hand on my leg under the bar. His touch sent chills up my spine, my vision already altered slightly.

“Oh please, I’m more than a friend.” Dean and I had been dating for two months now and he still gave me butterflies when he spoke like that. His tone was rough and soothing all at once, just like the alcohol he drank. A high pitch voice broke our low conversation.

“Dean!” A blonde appeared from the back of the room, her arms wide. I flinched as she engulfed him in a tight hug and continued to shout his name. “It’s been sooo long! Last time I saw you, you weren’t wearing so many layers.” She winked and ran a finger down the front of his tshirt. My blood was boiling but I stayed calm, grabbing another shot from the bar and emptying it. Dean’s eyes were on me as he pushed her off gently.

“Oh, Terry, hi. I’m kind of busy right now, maybe we could catch up later?” The girl whimpered and switched her weight from side to side like an anxious puppy.

“Oh, but Dean! You don’t remember that hotel in Carson City? I had the time of my life…” She leaned over my boyfriend like he was her pet. I had gotten used to this kind of thing, but it was still infuriating. I slammed the shot glass onto the wood surface, hoping she might hear me and look up. She seemed preoccupied with Dean’s muscular arms. Finally I couldn’t take it any longer and I pushed back my stool loudly as I rose up and sauntered out the back door. I didn’t care that Dean called after me or that we had parked out front. I just needed some air, even though the stale breeze in the alleyway barely constituted as such. I didn’t smoke, but I felt like lightning up. Instead I settled for leaning against the brick wall with my arms folded across my chest and staring up into the night sky. I was sick of this happening every time we went anywhere in public. It was one thing for women to stare and flirt, but the endless supply of old one night stands was disgusting. I sighed and closed my eyes, imagining the faces of the few men I had been with. At least I could count them on my hand, Dean would need an abacus to tally his exes. The door to my left flew open and I pretended to not hear it.

“Y/N. There you are.” I could practically hear the grimace in his tone. “Sorry about that.” I shrugged and stayed quiet. A hand on my shoulder made me open my eyes to the eerie neon of a sign flickering across Dean’s face. His green eyes appeared to change colors in the light. “You’re upset aren’t you?” I scoffed and kicked at the filthy ground.

“Upset Dean? I’m not upset. I’m just continually amazed at the amount of women you’ve laid.” My words were as venomous as I intended. He scowled and clenched his jaw in annoyance. We both knew this topic had been brewing in silence for a while now, and the levee was breaking with every argument. Dean’s hand slid off my shoulder and pressed against the brick wall. He paused to weigh his words carefully.

“We both have a past okay, but what we have right now, that’s what matters.” I turned to face him squarely, my eyes blazing.

“A past, Dean? My ‘past’ is a few good men who ended up walking out or getting cold feet. You could staff every hooters in Texas with the girls you’ve been with.” All of the emotions that I had been holding back were beginning to rise in my throat, maybe assisted by my blood alcohol level. I shook my head and gripped my temple. The loudness of my voice was already triggering a migraine that would no doubt be in full swing tomorrow morning. I was too focused on my pain to see the agony in Dean’s face.

“Y/N…” He breathed a deep sigh and closed his eyes for a moment, his face the picture of exhaustion. “Look, you’re drunk, and that’s my fault. Let’s get you home. You can chew me out all you want but not until you’re not in a skeevy alleyway, shivering. I hadn’t noticed the tremors rocking my bare legs and arms. Dean removed his jacket and wrapped it around my torso, the smell of spicy aftershave and leather filling my nostrils. We walked to the Impala in silence, the words said and unsaid still echoing in our minds. I laid down flat in the backseat and Dean never once touched the radio. The low rumbling of the engine and the flashing of passing of flashing lights lulled me into a drunken sleep, my thoughts far too clouded to protest.

*Teaser Ends*

I woke up in the small motel bed, bits and pieces of the night before still foggy. Someone must have carried me to bed. I shifted under the warmth of the sheets and realized I was wearing one of Dean’s oversized plaid button-downs. His smell brought back all of the previous nights events and made me cringe. I definitely owed him an apology.
As I rolled over I became aware than Dean was sitting on the end of the same mattress, his head resting in his hands. I could almost see tension in his back muscles and posture. I sat up quietly and ran my hand down the hills and valleys of his spine. He signed softly at my touch and straightened neck.

“Y/N… I-” A soft kiss on the back of his neck stole his breath.

“It’s okay babe, I said too much last night. I know the past is the past.” Dean’s hand reached over his shoulder hand pulled mine to wear he could press it against his lips. It was a sad gesture.

“No, you were right.” He turned around and I studied the darkness in his face. Clearly he hadn’t slept much. “You don’t have to tell me how many girls I’ve been with. Trust me, I know.” I furrowed my brow at his words and tried to scoot closer. “I’m going out hunting, by myself.” He stood up before I could reach for him and walked towards the door, never turning once to say goodbye.

The next few days continued similarly, Dean avoiding me as much as possible. He left early and came home late, often sliding into bed without a word. His arm around me seemed more rigid than usual. Whenever he went out on a hunt he left me behind to research with Sam, claiming that we “needed two on the books and one in the field, for now.” The younger Winchester was leaning over an encyclopedia when I tapped his shoulder.

“Beer?” I pushed the bottle towards him and he accepted with a smile. I dropped onto the couch and reclined, throwing my legs over his lap casually. “I’m sick of this.” He sipped his drink before responding. I loved that I could speak freely with him.

“Ya, we have been reading for a while. We could take a break from researching and go get lunch.” I rolled my eyes and threw a scrunched up ball of paper towards him. He wrinkled his nose when it bounced off of his face.

“That’s not what I mean and you know it.” Sam sighed, his lips tugging down in a scowl. As hard as he tried, he wouldn’t be able to stay out of the family drama.

“He just needs some time, Y/N.” His tone was unsure, as if he didn’t believe his own words. I stared at the ceiling and tried to imagine where Dean was right now. “Deans in a war with himself. You know him Y/N, you know both of us. Settling down doesn’t come easy.” Sam massaged his forehead in thought, another swig of beer interrupting his explanation. Before he could continue I interjected.

“It came to him just fine with Lisa and Ben.” He shot me a glare and pushed my legs off of his, so that he could turn to face me. “Don’t you dare mention them to him. You know how that ended.” I grew shy under his angry gaze and picked at the stained couch cover. My mouth sure had been getting me in a lot of trouble lately.

“You’re right, I’m sorry. I’m just afraid of when this ends, because it probably will. He’s got every option in the world. I’m not exactly choice A.” Sam clapped a wide hand on my shoulder and leaned down to the level of my face. “Don’t say that, you are his first pick, trust me. I’ve seen the way he looks at you. Besides, why wouldn’t he choose you?” Sam’s hand moved from my arm to my face gently and my mouth fell open at his words. I felt my cheeks growing red and I shifted uncomfortably.

“Well, I’m young and inexperienced and pretty naive according to his standards.” Sam gave me a bittersweet smile, his eyes full of admiration that I hadn’t seen before.

“Innocence isn’t always a bad thing.” I couldn’t help but feel that something was dangerous about the way Sam was leaning in closer when the door to the motel flew open.

“Hey, I brought lunch for-” Deans voice was cut off by the sound of the bag he was carrying falling to the floor. Sam retracted his hand and I jumped to my feet. We both attempted to stutter through greetings but it was too late, Deans face was already bent with rage. He inhaled a few deep breaths before motioning to the parking lot. “Sam, I need to talk to you outside.”

"What the hell was that?” I listened from behind the thin door as the brothers met by the Impala and there was a thumping noise as Dean kicked a tire. I could hear Sam’s disgust.

“We were just talking, more than what you’ve done for her.” My palms were sweating as I pressed closed to the door. I didn’t want to miss a word of their argument. “She’s upset, Dean. She needs someone to tell her that this isn’t all her fault. If you don’t, I will.” The threat in his voice made my hair stand on end.

“Oh you’re awfully eager to pick up where I left off aren’t you? Don’t act like you haven’t wished she was yours from square one. You’re probably capitalizing off our arguments, comforting her while I’m out here risking my life!” The tension between them was palatable, making my stomach churn. If Dean’s accusation was true, Sam’s kind words were more than friendly. I couldn’t believe either one would say these things to each other, but I certainly understood how easy it was to let your mouth get the best of you. After a long, infuriated pause Sam responded calmly.

“All I have to say to you, is that you had better know this is what you want. Because the longer you let this go, the more it’s going to kill her when you walk away. She doesn’t deserve-” Dean cut Sam off with a shaky voice.

“What makes you think I’m walking away?” I could tell that his question was weak and unsure.

“Because that’s you, Dean. Just make sure you’re ready to commit or get the hell out of her life.” Sam’s voice was imploring now. There was a pause so long that I debated returning to the couch before Dean broke the silence with a ragged breath.

“I want her Sam, just her. But whenever I look at her I see the past staring back, and I feel guilty. I feel like l’m deceiving her.” My heart pounded at his words. He wanted just me? The following phrase stole whatever temporary hope I held.

“Well Dean… are you?”

*

The next moring I crept across the dingy carpet, my bare feet hardly making a sound. As Dean’s breathing grew more distant I grew less nervous. I unfolded the clothes under my arm and pulled them on carefully before retrieving my duffel bag. There wasn’t much inside if it, just my few knives, some photos of my family, a protein bar, and some cash for a bus. Underneath my supplies I discovered a wrinkled plaid shirt, Dean’s. I rubbed the worn material between my fingers before draping it over the back of the couch. It was tempting, but it would only making moving on harder. The smell of the Winchesters overpowered my every other sense, their essence lingering on every corner of this crappy motel room. I wondered how long it would take that smell to be washed out of my clothing and hair. Days? Weeks? I dug the crinkled note I had written out of my pocket and flattened it on the counter. It was a poorly written goodbye letter littered with reasons why it wasn’t their fault that I was leaving. It wasn’t eloquent, or even true for that matter, but it would have to do. The air was thick with Texas heat as I eased open the door, careful to lift up on the handle quietly. A small creak still split the silence and I paused, waiting for any sounds behind me. Sam grunted and rolled over but was thankfully still unconscious.

I would have to be quick if I wanted to make it up the dirt road and reach the bus station by six. I stopped by the Impala, my last goodbye. The cold metal felt soothing under my fingertips as I traced circles on the hood. My best memories were made in the backseat of this beautiful classic and she almost felt as real as both of the boys did. A faint pinging noise startled me, and I watched a drop of water wriggle and writhe it’s way down the windshield. Rain, this time of year? Surely not. I checked my face for tears when another droplet fell to shatter on the Impalas roof, and then another.

“The one day it decides to rain…” I mumbled to myself as the sky opened up and the heavens poured down on the dusty earth. It was like a signal for me to finally end my nostalgia. My feet created muddy tracks as I padded my way down the road and away from the motel. I was surprised how easy it was to just walk away from it all. It felt good to be the one leaving and not the one being left for once. I turned my face towards the sky, letting the water slide down my cheeks and into my mouth. If I this was going to end, I would do it right. I couldn’t bear to see Sam and Dean fight anymore, it was time to go. Sure, I might spend the next few months drowning my sorrows in excess amounts of alcohol, but at least I won’t spend every night worrying if I’m enough. I won’t have to watch Dean war with himself or with Sam. At least I could treasure the memories while they were still sweet.

The sound of water sloshing woke me from me reverie and I was surprised to hear that it didn’t match my footsteps. Someone was following me. Despite the muggy heat a chill still ran through my soaked clothing and I stopped in my tracks. A deep voice called after me above the sound of the downpour.

“Y/N, where are you going?” I couldn’t find the strength to turn around and face him. My feet felt like they were sinking deep into the soggy earth below me. Dean’s eyes were on the duffel bag in my hand. “You’re really leaving aren’t you? Son of a bitch…” I swallowed back the lump that was blocking my throat. All of my confidence and assurance was melting under the warm July rain, under Dean’s tortured voice.

“I should have known it would come to this.” I could tell he was struggling to speak clearly. “If you want really want to leave, then go. How am I supposed to stop you? I’m just some damaged guy with a sketchy past. Hell, If you choose to leave I’ll stand right here and watch you walk away until I can’t see you in the distance.” I felt the weight of my duffel bag growing as my hands shook. Whatever strength had brought me this far was failing fast and I bit my lip in frustration. “But don’t you dare think that I’m going to just give up on this. I’ll never stop hunting you down.” I turned around and faced Dean, unprepared for the desperation in his eyes. In one hand he held the plaid button-down I had left behind and in the other he clenched what I can only assume was the note I left him. The rain was soaking through his t-shirt and I could see his chest heaving with labored breaths.

“And you need to know before you make your decision, that if you are the last woman on this earth that I will ever get to be with, I couldn’t be happier.” His face crinkled and he closed his eyes in an effort to gather himself. Little tremors if emotion flittered across his features, all bit back by a tense jaw. It physically pained him to speak straight from the heart. “And you know what? That scares me. But you know why it’s scary? Because it matters. Dammit, Y/N, it matters so much.” Dean stepped towards me and I didn’t have the courage to back away. The sound of the duffel bag dropping to the ground was deafening and I felt the mud splatter up in it’s wake. I couldn’t bear to hold it any longer, not while my entire frame shivered with impending tears.

“I know that before you I did a lot of wrong to try and cover up my pain. I can’t change the past, but I can promise that I will never stop feeling this way. I will never stop wanting you, and you alone.” It was like I was outside of my body, watching him approach me with arms lax at his sides. He lifted his hands to examine them, as if he could somehow grasp at the control he lacked. “Every day with you is so new, so pure. I know I’m anything but pure, but being with you is the closest I’ll ever be to having a fresh start.” How could anyone hear these words and still consider leaving. I crept forward to meet Dean, unable to tear my eyes from his face. Every emotion he was speaking about was painted so clearly there. Our soaked bodies stood just a foot from one another, our breathing loud against the rain. “And I don’t think my heart will ever stop racing when you touch me, just like it is right now…” He reached for my hand and placed over his chest to affirm his words. The warmth that seeped through his shirt seemed to heat my entire body. I could feel the pounding of his heart beat, just like he explained. Before I could react any differently I was pressing myself into him, my face sticking to the wet fabric of his shirt. The electricity between us was a stark contrast against the water striking our faces and running down, mingled with tears. I felt like every muscle was useless as he wrapped his arms around me and held me close. There was a certain desperation in his grip, one that only comes from almost losing something.

“Dean, I’m so scared of how this is going to end.” He wrapped the discarded shirt in his hand around my shaking shoulders as extra covering. “It’s not going to end, I won’t let it. I’ll never stop loving you. You’re not something I can just get used to.” As absurd as his words sounded, they somehow brought me comfort. I couldn’t believe that just minutes ago I was so terrified of losing this man, that I was willing to leave him. He kissed my forehead gently and let scrunched up letter drop from his fist to the ground. I watched as it dissolved under the falling rain, and felt all of my fears and inhibitions dissolving with it. 

Unrequited

Originally posted by vampiregodesnyx

Originally posted by dean-sam-winchesterbros

Originally posted by samgirlsclub

Reader x Dean

Word count: 1348

Angst

Summ: Reader has been hunting with the Winchesters off and on for a long ass time. You got over a lot of those fairy tale wishes you had as a kid but not all of them were exorcised so easily.  Inspiration: Creep- Radiohead covers by Kelly Clarkson and Scala and Kolacny brothers Belgian girls’ choir.

(I broke this down into chapters since it was crazy long. Planning to post once a day.)



Chapter One.


Cemeteries always had a quiet reverence about them. You had heard a few theories over the years that made you laugh mainly because each one was a contradiction to the next, like the spirits sucked the energy from the air and then it was nature’s respect for the lingering spirits. Both had their merits but there was nothing reverent about the heavy silence you stood in now.

The tall trees all around this little corner patch of gravestones had stilled, their whispers silenced by whatever stalked the night. It was too silent and too abrupt to be anything natural. The light of the moon just barely highlighted Dean and Sam Winchester on either side of the grave they had helped you dig up. Their shovels at their feet where they fell and shotguns gripped in a readied stance.

You stood at the head of the grave, the tire iron held like a baseball bat ready for a long drive to the fences. Each breath released was visible, floating out from your nose and their mouths. It was another sign that the three of you weren’t overreacting. The temperature had nose-dived when Dean struck the casket and after jumping into defensive mode, the scene froze except for those little clouds puffing out. That and the hairs on the back of your neck standing at attention, saluting the eyes that peered from the shadows.

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Open Doors and Manual Locks

A/N: Speculation for 3x19/20-ish. Title credit goes to The Lumineers because they get me. Also on ao3. (ETA: a read more break! Sorry about that!)

Felicity remembers the first lie her mother ever told her, sitting on their kitchen floor in the dusty light of a setting sun. She remembers the way her small hands curled into fists, the way her nails bit into the skin of her palms. She remembers the sound of a fading engine, the scent of day-old rain on hot pavement carrying through the window on a stale breeze, the way her heart seemed to just barely rattle out a beat inside her ribcage.

“Oh, sweetheart, he would be here if he could,” her mother had whispered soothingly, her lips glistening with salty tears as she pressed them to Felicity’s temple and cradled her within shaking arms. “He didn’t have a choice.”

She remembers the numbness of ice-cold abandonment morphing into white-hot anger the minute the words left her mother’s mouth, because she knew, even at eight years old, that there was always a choice. The anger, small and hard, nestled just below her sternum.

Growing up, Felicity didn’t live a privileged life. As a kid, her decisions were between meals or books, new clothes or fresh toiletries, heat or electricity. As a teenager, things got more complicated. Community college or student loans, ten miles of distance or a thousand, being trapped inside a world where she would never fit or breaking her mother’s heart.

But she made them—choice after choice, broken heart after broken heart; she made her choices, and she lived with them. The small ball of resentment for her father swelled, a small balloon behind her rib cage, and stuck. Maybe her choices sucked, but they were always there; they were always hers to make—black or white, right or wrong. Her father had a choice to make, and he had chosen wrong. She refused to follow suite.

Even now, it is a morality she holds onto with every fiber of her being, tucked right into the center of that little balloon. She had carried it with her throughout high school, throughout college, and all the way to Starling City. It is so ingrained in her, this sense of right and wrong and the accompanying need to choose wisely, that it’s a physical blow to her chest when, suddenly—one day—the balloon bursts.

As so many things in her life do, it starts and ends with Oliver Queen.

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Subway 6/13

There’s something eerily calming about empty subway stations in the middle of the day. Maybe I only feel that way because I’ve commuted in Manhattan for so long—I’ve been brainwashed to find these grimy corridors soothing. I’m not talking about Times Square or Fulton Street or Grand Central; those stations are overrun regardless of the hour. But the little stops, 2nd Avenue, West 4th Street, Bleecker. The commuters are at work, the wealthy nonworking in their town cars, the tourists on express trains. I’m only down here because I cracked at work this morning—finally, you could say—and all I can think to so is ride the subway in circles until I catch my breath.

An African American man sits behind a keyboard and sings “The Way You Do the Things You Do” in a clear tenor that echoes down the tracks, giving scale to the concrete tunnel. He’s more nicely dressed than the men I used to see at this station—hippies with long white beards playing wooden oboes, kids in loose clothes banging on upturned paint buckets. He wears a light blue polo and khaki shorts, like a dad, though I hope that if he does have kids that this isn’t how he supports them. But like a true New Yorker I continue down the platform, without stopping to toss him any change. A pretty girl in a cropped shirt perches on the edge of a wooden bench, filming him with a phone that doesn’t look like it’s sold in the US.

A stale breeze kicks up my hair—what’s left of it—and I push it back, hoping some of the sweat I’ve wiped from my forehead will  keep it in place. The man’s singing is drowned out and a moment later, the train arrives. I slip through the thin doors and into mobile anonymity for the rest of the day.

My Dear Samantha

Samantha took ill with the beginning of autumn, the skin wasted from her bones in time with the dropping mercury. Bound now to a bed in that stuffy attic room, she will not allow me to open the windows.

The chill takes me, she says.

And so I sit in my stiff collar and full sleeves and sweat, the water tricking down my spine and soaking my belt. The air has gone stale without a breeze to plane it. It has thickened with a kind of bark that I can taste on the back of my tongue.

At evening and through the night I play the fiddle for her.

When the devil comes for me, she says, he will come at night.

The doctor warned that the medication keeping her airways clear might affect her mind.

He will only come when it is quiet, she tells me.

She insists she is lucid. I spend a prince’s sum on candles.

Play for me, she begs.

During the day I leave her in the care of two maids and wander the Latin Quarter, the docks, the cheap drinking holes and shanty corners. I am afraid that if I repeat my songs too often the devil will know that I am playing a trick. I listen to the fiddlers in these places. Coarse and vulgar, too fast. They move my blood. Against my will my fingers twitch in the air. I slow them down when I play them for Samantha, slow and mournful songs that come from places neither of us has seen.

From the fall of dusk to the sun’s drunken stumble back to its post, I fiddle until my fingers ache and split.

The devil has not appeared, but I am still afraid.

I am running out of songs.

Art Credit: Zygmunt Andrychewicz (1861-1943)

Before You - Teaser

Teaser for a request based on “Never Stop” by Safety Suit.

Author’s Note: I don’t have any time! Ah! Please don’t hate me! I don’t want to leave you hanging so here’s a teaser. Setting up the conflict for next request. Dean’s questionable past creates issues for his new relationship. No lyrics yet, got to have some issues to make the fluff even sweeter. Let me know what you think so far! Warnings: drunkeness, conflict, talk about exes

“You did good out there babe.” Dean clinked his glass against mine with a grin before we both knocked back our shots. The liquid burned as it coated my throat and warmed my insides. He watched with interest as I winced and slapped down the tumbler. His eyebrows rose slightly. “You’re really getting good at this, maybe too good.” His eyes were locked on my mouth as I licked a drop of whiskey off my lip. I could tell he was more impressed and intrigued than concerned. “Well I have this alcoholic friend…” He rolled his eyes and laid his large hand on my leg under the bar. His touch sent chills up my spine, my vision already altered slightly. “Oh please, I’m more than a friend.” Dean and I had been dating for two months now and he still gave me butterflies when he spoke like that. His tone was rough and soothing all at once, just like the alcohol he drank. A high pitch voice broke our low conversation. “Dean!” A blonde appeared from the back of the room, her arms wide. I flinched as she engulfed him in a tight hug and continued to shout his name. “It’s been sooo long! Last time I saw you, you weren’t wearing so many layers.” She winked and ran a finger down the front of his tshirt. My blood was boiling but I stayed calm, grabbing another shot from the bar and emptying it. Dean’s eyes were on me as he pushed her off gently. “Terry, right? I’m kind of busy right now, maybe we could catch up later?” The girl whimpered and shifted her weight from side to side like an anxious puppy. “Oh, but Dean! You don’t remember that hotel in Carson City? I had the time of my life…” She leaned over my boyfriend like he was her pet. I had gotten used to this kind of thing, but it was still infuriating. I slammed the shot glass onto the wood surface, hoping she might hear me and look up. She seemed too preoccupied with Dean’s muscular arms to notice. Finally I couldn’t take it any longer, and I pushed back my stool loudly as I rose up and sauntered out the back door. I didn’t care that Dean called after me or that we had parked out front. I just needed some air, even though the stale breeze in the alleyway barely constituted as such.

I didn’t smoke, but I still felt the overwhelming desire to light up. Instead I settled for leaning against the brick wall with my arms folded across my chest and staring up into the night sky. I was sick of this happening every time we went anywhere in public. It was one thing for women to stare and flirt, but the endless supply of old one-night stands was disgusting. I sighed and closed my eyes, imagining the faces of the few men I had been with. At least I could count them on my hand, Dean would need an abacus to tally his exes. The door to my left flew open and I pretended to not hear it. “Y/N. There you are.” I could practically hear the grimace in his tone. “Sorry about that.” I shrugged and stayed quiet. A hand on my shoulder made me open my eyes to the eerie neon of a sign flickering across Dean’s face. His green eyes appeared to change colors in the light. “You’re upset aren’t you?” I scoffed and kicked at the filthy ground. “Upset Dean? I’m not upset. I’m just continually amazed at the amount of women you’ve laid.” My words were as venomous as I intended. He scowled and clenched his jaw in annoyance. We both knew this topic had been brewing in silence for a while now, and the levee was breaking with every argument. Dean’s hand slid off my shoulder and pressed against the brick wall. He paused to weigh his words carefully. “We both have a past, but what we have right now, that’s what matters.” I turned to face him squarely, my eyes blazing. “A past, Dean? My ‘past’ is a few good men who ended up walking out or getting cold feet. You could staff every Hooters in Texas with all the girls you’ve been with.” All of the emotions that I had been holding back were rising in my throat, assisted by my intoxicated state. I shook my head and gripped my temples. The loudness of my voice was already triggering a migraine that would no doubt be in full swing tomorrow morning. I was too focused on my pain to see the agony in Dean’s face. “Y/N…” He breathed a deep sigh and closed his eyes for a moment, his face the picture of exhaustion. “Look, you’re drunk, and that’s my fault. Let’s get you home. You can chew me out all you want but not until you’re not in a skeevy alleyway, shivering.” I hadn’t noticed the tremors rocking my bare legs and arms. Dean removed his jacket and wrapped it around my torso, the smell of spicy aftershave and leather filling my nostrils. We walked to the Impala in silence, the words said and unsaid still echoing in our minds. Long after I laid down flat in the backseat, Dean still hadn’t touched the radio. It wasn’t like him to drive in silence. The low rumbling of the engine and the flashing of passing of lights lulled me into a drunken sleep, all the time unaware of the eyes watching me sadly in the rearview mirror.