Buddy, repeatedly spamming me to ask for fanfic updates to the point where I have to remove 14 comments of your comments off of a fic within an hour—the final one demanding I “quit being a dick” and “just orphan the work already so someone capable and dedicated can finish it”—is one of the surefire ways to make sure I never update ever again and refuse to orphan any of it out of sheer visceral spite.
I’ll leave the whole body of work hanging there forever as an epitaph to the behavior of shitty people who killed my motivation to ever write free fun stuff for fandom ever again. And when Ao3 finally dies and we move on to somewhere else, I’ll copy paste the entire unfinished work and upload it, just for you.
For heavy protection, place small pieces of iron in each room of the house or bury at the four corners of your property. In earlier times, iron fences were sometimes used to halt the flow of negative energy into the home.
During protective or defensive magic, wear an iron ring engraved with the symbol of Mars. Or, obtain a three inch thick white candle and eight old iron nails. Warm the nails by the fire (or in a red candle’s flame), the thrust each into the white candle in a random pattern. Light the nail-studded candle and visualize yourself as guarded, protected, secure.
Wearing iron or carrying a small piece of this metal enhances physical strength and is an excellent talisman for athletes.
Iron is also used during healing rituals. A small piece is placed beneath the pillow at night. This was originally done to scare away the “demons” that had caused the disease but can be thought of as strengthening the body’s ability to heal itself.
Iron rings or bracelets are worn to draw out illness from the body. This dates back to at least ancient Roman times.
A curious ritual from Germany to cure a toothache: pour oil into a piece of heated iron. The fumes which rise from the iron will act on the problem.
In old Scotland, healing stones- quartz crystal or holey stones- were kept in iron boxes to guard against supernatural creatures who might steal them.
Iron is also worn for grounding, for closing down the psychic centers, and for impeding the flow of energy from the body. This, of course, isn’t the best during magical rituals but is fine when the subject is under psychic or emotional attack, is physically depleted, or wishes to focus on physical matters.
Iron horseshoes and the nails that attach them to the hooves are ancient magical tools. They might have first been used in ancient Greece, where they were called seluna and were associated with the moon and the goddess Selene.
A horseshoe hung in the home over the front door confers protection. While theories differ as to the “proper” way to hang the horseshoe, I always place it points up. Ideally, it is to be nailed with three of its original nails.
An old iron horseshoe nail is sometimes bent into a ring (if you can find one long enough) and worn for luck and healing.
If you have had something stolen from you and have a fireplace handy, try this spell. Take a horseshoe nail that you have found by chance. Drive this into the fireplace, visualizing the stolen object returning to your home. It is done.
There are still magicians and Wiccans who remove all traces of iron from their bodies before working magic, but this custom is fading into oblivion.
(Source: Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem and Metal Magic)
Joey coughed. It’s been years since he’s gotten into a fight as hard to deal with as this one had been. This time, he didn’t have any want to back him up so he lost. The guys who jumped him had brass knuckles and a pipe, so now he was down on the ground. Phone stolen, wallet empty, and people just walked by.
In his book Ghostland, Colin Dickey explores the nature of haunted places and what makes the American ones unique—what ghost stories in the United States tell us about how we process history, guilt, and atrocity. What better nation to spin ghost stories than one built on stolen ground? Or, as Dickey puts it, “Americans live on haunted land because we have no other choice.”
“I really hope I don’t regret this later,” Shepard said as she paced quickly at the rear of the cockpit.
“A little late for that, don’t you think?” Joker was concentrating on getting the Normandy out and away from the Citadel as quickly as possible, but that didn’t mean he’d let the chance for a wisecrack pass him by.
“Yeah, yeah. Just get us out of here, Joker.” The commander’s eyes darted from display to display, anxious to know whether they were going to be followed, stopped, or shot down from Citadel space. It wasn’t every day that a ship was stolen from being grounded in the very hub of the galaxy’s civilization, after all. If they managed to pull this off, it was going to be a miracle that would likely have trickle-down effects that would come back to bite her soon.
“So far, no one’s caught on to the fact that we just took off without authorization,” the helmsman responded, his focus moving smoothly from screen to screen as he made lightning-fast adjustments with practiced grace and fluidity. It was truly an impressive feat and he handled it like second nature.
A/N possibly my favourite of all of them, I actually laughed while writing, i may write a follow up, if anyone’s interested, message me. hope you enjoy!
He believes he is, in fact, a ninja and is making absolutely no noise as he rummages through the racks of clothes before him. However, if he was, in fact, making no noise and being a ninja she wouldn’t have heard rustling of plastic cases and gone to investigate, finding a very tall and highly attractive male model pulling clothes from their in casings and stuffing them in a huge black bag.
Stunned into silence she just stares for a few moments, watching him as he pulls everything off the rack and into his bag, and she remembers his walk down the catwalk earlier, as he was the one that got those three rowdy boys cheering and throwing girls underwear in the back row.
She regains her composure and opens her mouth (he has still not heard her, perhaps it it her with the ninja qualities)
“What are you doing?!” She says in a furious whisper and she expects him to start, but he does not. Instead her turns fast and, on seeing her, smiles broadly.
“Stealing the clothes, what about you?”
“Right now I’m watching a total idiot commit a felony!”
“Really? Where’s that idiot?” He said, looking around in mock surprise.
“Put them back!” She hissed, as the announcer called a Marlene McKinnon to walk.
“Why should I?” He asked, leaning against the wall, watching her fume in anger in what looked like faint amusement.
“You’re literally a model, you wear the clothes already?! Why do you feel the need to steal them and get thrown in jail!” She’s actually quite proud of her reasoning at this point and decides to ignore the, now large smile that has broken across his face.
“Maybe I like them” he retorts, watching her as though she is the most interesting thing he has ever seen.
“You’re going to get caught” she assures him.
“Please Welcome to the stage Mary McDonald who is wearing…”
“Shit” she mutters “I’m almost on” and gathering her skirts, she turns to leave, shooting him a glare as she does so.
“Oh No! don’t go, we were just getting to know each other” complains the boy.
“I don’t care to know people who steal.” She says sharply.
“Wasn’t stealing” he shrugs “just borrowing”
“Oh really?” She sneers “when were you planning to give them back then?”
“Do you actually know the definition of borrowing?”
“It’s Evans, right?” He asks, pointing a long finger at her, “Daisy Evans?”
“No wait… Don’t tell me… I got his one” he jumps up and down and she finds herself fighting the urge to laugh as he leaps, waving his hands and looking up at the ceiling in exaggerated concentration.
“That’s not a name!”
“That my cousins name!” He says, putting a hand to his chest in mock shock.
She laughs now, bells of laughter that swirl in front of his eyes and make him feel dizzy as it dances before him, in a haze of pinks and whites and suddenly he is struck with a realisation.
“Lily” he breathes, and the name is more intoxicating than alcohol on his tongue.
She stops and looks up and she swears his eyes are fireworks for a moment because they leave her breathless.
Suddenly there is a thump and a muffled call from not far outside the door,
“I’m pretty sure it’s in here, Jim, I’ll just grab it!”
She looks at him, wide eyed and he mouths “shit” into the silence.
“What do we do?!” She whispers in a panic, staring from him to the bag of stolen clothes on the ground.
He is glancing around wildly for an escape and his eyes land on the window that is twenty feet up.
“What are you doing?!” She utters in desperation as he beings climbing the bookshelf.
“Trying to not get another mark on my record” he grunts and he grabs the next holding point.
“Another?!” She is almost hysterical now, “I’ve been fraternising with a criminal! This is the end! I’m going to jail!” She wails.
“Shut up!” He hisses as he reaches the top of the window, both can hear footsteps loudly outside the door now and he reaches down and extends his hand.
“Are you mad?” She asks
“Come on Evans, it’s ether come with the criminal or get charged with stealing”
“But I wasn’t the one stealing” she desperately argues as the footsteps stop outside the door.
“Come on, Evans!” He says in frustration “just trust me.”
And when she looks into his eyes she surprises herself when she realises she does trust this stupid, funny, criminal boy with this long pianos fingers and eyes the size of the moon.
Five minutes later, when the announcer calls her name, she does not appear, and though the building is searched, nether hide nor hair is found of Lily Evans or one James Potter, although a black bag filled with clothes was found on the floor of the storage room that no one could quite explain.
I had been thinking about doing zines publishing for a while and now it’s happening! I’ve just started Stolen Ground Publishing.
And I’m starting things off in a great way with the very first zine of Lauren P (falseverdict.tumblr.com); 26 pages of fantastic black and white 35mm photos. 'Words don’t come to me so easily’ is available on the webstore: stolenground.storenvy.com
eisschirmchen drew for thisover a year ago too. Like that is how long I’ve had it in my head. For this story I went with Soul in Slytherin and Maka in Gryffindor. They both fit remarkably well in any of the houses though, and I do recognize that, so please don’t shoot me for that.
Big thanks to Livi and Marsh for looking this over.
They’re learning the patronus charm today. Which should be fun, except her father is the teacher and some less than helpful tea leaves have either predicted something about soulmates or death on Tuesday afternoon.
For painfullymediocre - a little BikeMessenger!Harry and Architect!Draco for you - because apparently, there is nothing my brain won’t turn into Drarry if given half a chance. I hope you have a wonderful day darling, big hugs xxx
Pic set by me, I don’t own the images. Featuring Marlon Teixeira as Harry and Clark Bockelman as Draco.
Some bad language. No smut. 2.8K words.
Harry was having one of those days. One of those days where he couldn’t seem to
stop griping about the fact he had a university degree, that he was very
talented in numerous fields, but owing to an infuriating need to pay his bills
on time, had agreed to a job as a bloody bike messenger.
Not there was anything wrong with being a
bike messenger. There were days when he
loved whizzing around London, priding himself of delivering packages on time or
even early. He liked the ones marked ‘Fragile!’ the best, he saw it as a challenge
and had never once been responsible for any breakages.
But the downside to a job like this was it
also gave you a lot of time to think, and Harry was thinking too much
today. About how his friends all had
proper careers, were getting married, hell, Ron and Hermione were even
expecting their first baby. And here Harry was, in a menial job, single,
living in an attic flat so small he could barely stand up straight in the
middle of it.
He sighed and swung his bike around in the
busy street, hoping off to manoeuvre it between parked cars and trot up to the few
steps to the four story town house listed on his delivery form, hoisting his
backpack around to fish the jiffy envelope out before ringing the
doorbell. This was a whole house. Even if it was split into flats per floor – per room – Harry could never afford a
place like this. He told himself he
wouldn’t even want to live in Chelsea anyway, it was full of people with more
money than sense, but he still struggled to put on a smile as the door finally
“Jam Pony Messenger!” he said cheerfully as
a wizened old codger in his eighties scowled down at him. He had a maroon, velvet dressing gown on that
Harry thought belonged in a Dickensian novel and a genuine pipe clamped between
“You’re late,” he grumbled, snatching up the
parcel from Harry’s hand. Harry gritted
his teeth and willed himself to keep smiling.
“I’m sorry about that sir,” he said, despite
the fact he was well within the allocated delivery slot. Some people just made themselves feel better
by acting like douche-bags to the help, and those people would probably die
alone Harry assured himself. Alone in
their grandiose mansions, but alone none the less.
He held out his tablet for the man with a
stylo. “If I could just get your signature…”
“New-fangled codswallop,” the man muttered,
pulling his glasses out of his top pocket and inspecting the tablet dubiously,
like it might explode. As Harry held it
out for him, he caught a handsome man leaving the building next door out of the
corner of his eye. He was tall and so
blond his hair was almost white, and he wore a harangued look on his face as he
stopped at the bottom of the short flight of stone steps, buttoned his suit
jacket and rested his briefcase by his feet.
He was talking very fast to someone on the other end of the mobile phone
pinched between his ear and his shoulder, obviously late for a meeting or
something. Harry didn’t want to eavesdrop
too obviously, so returned his full attention back to his customer who was
finally scribbling on the screen with a trembling hand.
“Great,” said Harry brightly as he handed
the stylo back. “Have a nice-” The door
slammed in his face. “Day. Wanker,” he hissed under his breath and shook
his head. This day really sucked. At least, he soothed himself as he turned
back around to fetch his bike, he’d been able to spy a bit of man-candy.
blond was still talking on the phone. “What
do you mean they’ve cancelled!” he bemoaned, taking the phone back in his left hand
and looking at his flashy watch on the other.
“I was up all night working on those plans!” He listened for a bit to the other end of the
phone as Harry threw his leg over the bike frame and readjusted his helmet, hoping
he didn’t look too dorky. Not that the
guy was paying him much attention, but Harry liked to think he maybe thought he
was okay looking too. If he was
gay. There was always a chance he wasn’t,
but Harry was normally pretty spot-on guessing who was eligible for a good
flirt, and this guy definitely checked all the boxes.
Harry brought up his schedule on his tablet
as the guy huffed and rubbed his eyes with his free hand. “I guess,” he sighed, and Harry thought maybe
he was on hold while someone rescheduled his meeting.
Harry also found himself sighing. He had no jobs cued up, so he would just have
to hang around until someone in West London decided they needed something
moving urgently. He could go back to the
hub, he reasoned, but he always found once he did that he’d need to ride back
out right where he just was, and that was tedious.
He only half noticed the teenager skulking
by; the street was heavy with pedestrians and noisy from the traffic rumbling
by, so it wasn’t that surprising. But
there was something about the way his shoulders were hunched under his t-shirt
that caught Harry’s eye at the last second, just in time to look up and see the
boy dart down, hand flashing out for the handle of the blond guy’s briefcase before
he broke into a sprint.
guy yelled, jerking forward, but the boy was already ten feet away.
Harry didn’t even think. He slammed his bike into gear and jumped on
the pedals, shooting past the stunned guy still gripping his phone in his
hand. He wasn’t really sure what he wasn’t
doing; all he knew was his day may have been crappy so far, but the look on
that guy’s face was like the boy had just kidnapped his child, and Harry would
be damned if he was going to let that slide by without a fight.
He rocketed between people already scattered
by the fleeing thief. Harry had to give
him credit, he was lightning fast, but he wasn’t a match for Harry and his
bike. Which is probably why, after
glancing over his shoulder to see he was being pursued, he darted right into
“Shit!” cursed Harry, slowing and weaving
between two parked cars, thankful to the one in motion that slammed on its
breaks to let Harry into the flow of the road.
The boy was already over the other side, running as hard as ever, but
Harry decided to gain to ground before trying to cross the opposite lane. Instead, he flew down the centre, between the
vehicles going both ways, snapping his head back and forth to make sure he hadn’t
lost the teenager.
Soon enough, a side street loomed, and predictably
that’s where the boy darted. But Harry
was already judging the cars next to him, and managed to swerve his bike
between them and then in front of the van at a standstill by the bakery on the
This street was much quieter, and Harry
leaned into his handlebars, feeling the blood burning through his thigh muscles
as he closed the gap between them…closer…until…
He came up beside the boy and did the only
thing he could think of, which was to yank the wheel and slam into him, sending
him sprawling on the tarmac and the briefcase scattering from his hand. Unfortunately, Harry also took a dive,
crashing into the hard ground, scraping his skin and bashing his shoulder, his
legs tangled painfully in his own bike frame.
The boy was quicker back up to his feet, but
he was panting and scowling incredulously at Harry, already limping away at a
surprisingly fast rate. Harry didn’t
care though as he groaned and eased himself onto his arse, pushing his bike off
and rubbing his bleeding elbow. The
briefcase was just a few feet away, half under a parked red hatchback, still
locked and barely scratched from its fall.
Harry had drawn a small crowd from his minor
heroics, and a couple of people were drawing near, asking if he was okay. But through them pushed a frantic figure, his
blond hair visible before anything else, who drew up at the sight of Harry sat
on the ground, his stolen property lying a couple of feet away.
“Oh thank fuck,” he cried, sinking in front
of Harry and grabbing his shoulders. “Oh
Christ alive, oh thank you thank you thank you.” He dropped to sit beside Harry, one hand
covering his face, the other resting on the leather of the case. “You are my hero.”
Harry gave a shaky laugh as a couple of
people inspected his wounds and asked if he wanted them to call an
ambulance. “No, no,” he said, waving
them off with a grateful smile. “I’m
fine, it’s worse than it looks.” After a
lifetime of scraped appendages he knew that although his grazes stung, they
just needed a wash and they’d heal in a week or so.
The blond guy was taking slow, deep breaths,
and appeared to be recovering somewhat. “Thank
you,” he said again, lowering his hand and looking Harry at sincerely. He had beautiful silvery eyes, and Harry had
to take a second to recover himself.
“Oh, hey, no problem,” he told him, easing
himself to his feet. The man hopped up
too, offering a helping hand which Harry took even though he didn’t really need
it. “You seemed like you wanted your
case back pretty badly.”
The small crowd were dispersing with smiles
and nods that Harry reciprocated to assure them he was really okay, and convey
thanks for their concern. The guy shook
his head ruefully and picked up the case, hugging it to his chest. His jacket had come undone to reveal more of
his white shirt, still crisp despite his sprint, and a teal-green tie that
complimented his eyes and hair very nicely.
“I’m such an idiot,” he said as Harry pulled his bike back up and kicked
the stand. It didn’t look like it had incurred
any damage, which Harry was extremely thankful for; he couldn’t afford any
repairs right now.
“You’re not an idiot,” Harry said, fetching
a bottle of water from his satchel and taking a swig. “This area’s not exactly common for muggings.”
“That’s not what I meant,” said the guy,
taking the bottle as Harry offered it and draining a good mouthful. He tapped the briefcase. “The plans in here are hard copies, and there
aren’t any back-ups. I was rushing too
much and I thought I’d be okay, normally I have triple copies, quadruple.” He shook his head again and raised his
eyebrows at Harry. “I would have been
monumentally screwed if you hadn’t chased that guy down.”
Harry shrugged. “He got away,” he said, stating the obvious,
but the blond shook his head even harder.
“Couldn’t give a shag,” he said firmly. “These drawings are for a deal that could be
worth millions, they’re all I care about.”
He inhaled deeply, his eyes still trained on Harry, and stuck out his
hand. “Thank you,” he said once again,
but Harry didn’t mind. He was happy he’d
been able to save his handsome stranger a world of grief, he could deal with a
bit of awkward grovelling.
“No problem at all,” he insisted, shaking
his hand which was warm and pleasant in Harry’s grip. He tried to suppress the fleeting image of
having those hands elsewhere on his body, but without much luck.
“Let me repay you,” said the guy, dropping
his hand and gesticulating uncertainly. “I
mean, I’m not sure I can, but you could come back to my apartment and clean up,
I could make you tea or something?”
Harry couldn’t actually believe his
luck. “Yeah, sure,” he stammered. “That would be great.”
The guy gave him a beaming smile, and they
began walking back the way they had chased the thief, Harry’s bike trundling
along between them. “I’m Draco by the
way, Draco Malfoy.” He drummed his
fingers on the leather, the case hugged to his torso again.
Harry would normally make a quip about the
stupid names rich people gave their kids, but he found he couldn’t even muster
one mentally. It was such an unusual
name, beautiful but strong.
“Nice to meet you Draco, I’m Harry,” he told
him, watching amused as Draco ran his hand fretfully through his fine blond
“And do you often come to the rescue of hopeless
architects Harry?” he asked, managing a shaky smile that Harry mirrored
“Oh yes,” he laughed. “A fellow has to make a living, the courier
business isn’t what it used to be you know.”
That got a laugh out of Draco too, and Harry
could see him start to relax. As they
walked, Harry tapped out a text with his thumb, one hand still on the
handlebars, telling his boss he’d been knocked off his bike and asking for a
longer lunch break. He got a reply
almost immediately telling him to take the rest of his shift off, and suddenly
this day didn’t seem so rubbish after all.
so sorry you got hurt,” said Draco as they crossed back over the main road and
headed up towards his building. “I
should have said that first, I was worrying about the stupid drawings, are you
okay, do you need to go to hospital?”
Harry chuckled; he obviously hadn’t been
listening to him talking to the people who had come over to help. “Honestly I’m fine,” he said. “Once I wash the blood off there’ll only be a
“Well,” said Draco, fishing his keys out and
unlocking the front door. “I’d like to
help in any way I can. You can have a
shower if you want, and I could lend you some clothes?”
Harry looked down as they stepped into the
cool entrance hall, out of the heat of the midday sun. He hadn’t realised he’d ripped his trousers,
and his t-shirt had blood on it. “Oh, thanks,”
he said. “That would be great.” They deposited Harry’s bike under the
stairwell and headed upwards.
Draco’s flat was on the second floor, and
was three times the size of Harry’s.
Again, he tried to muster up enough energy to be jealous, but instead he
just found himself appreciating Draco’s style and décor. Being an architect, it wasn’t surprising to
find lots of arty prints on the walls and modern looking sculptures dotted
about the bookshelves and on coffee tables.
It was a good deal more sophisticated than Harry’s horror movie posters
and sci-fi memorabilia. He pondered
maybe there was a reason his flat was a fraction of the size of Draco’s.
“So,” said Draco, flying about the
place. Harry spotted there was a spare
room filled with a couple of large easels, white-boards and a computer with two
monitors, but it was to his bedroom that Draco darted. “I’ll grab you some things, the bathroom’s
through there, and I can make you some tea – or coffee?”
“Tea,” said Harry, inspecting the
bookcase. “Two sugars, thanks.”
Draco ushered him into the white-tiled
bathroom with a pile of jeans, polo-shirt and a fresh towel. “Use whatever you like, take your time, I’ve
not got any more meetings now so I’ll be, you know, here,” he said, waving his
hands about scattily. “I’ll just…” He stopped and took a deep breath. “Sorry.
I’m not used to being mugged.” He
gave a curt nod. “I shall be in the
kitchen, making whatever tea has the least caffeine in it.”
Harry reached out and took his
shoulder. “Freak out all you like,” he
said with a grin. “My boss gave me the day
off. What say we have some tea and you
can tell me all about that project I saved for you.” He winked, for good measure.
“I’d like that,” said Draco, sagging a
little in relief. The moment hung, and
Harry suddenly felt bold.
“Then,” he said slowly. “How about you take me to dinner? I think that would make us even, wouldn’t it?”
Draco’s eyebrows rose into his pale hair,
and for a second Harry feared he’d misread the situation. “You mean…like a date?”
Harry smiled tightly. “Nah, I mean, not if that’s not…if you’re not…”
“I’d love to,” Draco interrupted. It was Harry’s turn to be surprised, but
Draco broke into a gorgeous grin that wiped away all doubt. “I’d really love to.”
Harry smiled. It was worth the grumpy customers and the
sore elbows and the general lack of direction in his life. He’d found his inner hero, and now he’d found
himself a scrumptious date. “I’d really
love to too,” he said.
had turned out pretty okay he decided.
(PS - If anyone recognised ‘Jam Pony Messenger’ you are a cool human being)
i have heard you: all who have voiced opposition to my conducting a writing and performing seminar at the nottoway plantation. i have decided to cancel the retreat.
when i agreed to do a retreat (with a promoter who has organized such things before with other artists and who approached me about being the next curator/host/teacher), i did not know the exact location it was to be held. i knew only that it would be “not too far outside of new orleans” so that i could potentially come home to my own bed each night (ONE GREAT THING ABOUT NOT BEING A SLAVE IS THAT YOU GET YOUR OWN BED, AND I REALLY, REALLY Like MINE). and i knew that one of the days of the retreat was slated as a field trip wherein everyone would come to new orleans together (KIND OF LIKE A TRIP TO THE ZOO).
later, when i found out it was to be held at a resort on a former plantation, I thought to myself, “whoa” (WHICH IS KIND OF LIKE THAT TIME I WENT ON THAT WATERSLIDE WHILST ON VACATION. THE SLIDE WAS WAY BIGGER THAN I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE AND WHEN I GOT TO THE TOP I WAS ALL LIKE, ‘WOAH’), but i did not imagine or understand that the setting of a plantation would trigger such collective outrage or result in so much high velocity bitterness (I’M A FEMINIST BUT I HAVE TO CALL IT AS I SEE IT. BLACK WOMEN BE BITTER. AND NOT IN A REGULAR, TWISTED WAY, IN A HIGH VELOCITY WAY). i imagined instead (IN A MORE FORWARD THINKING WAY) that the setting would become a participant in the event (Like A FUN PERSON AT A RIGHTEOUS PARTY).
this was doubtless to be a gathering of progressive and engaged people (I KNOW THIS FOR SURE BECAUSE I GAVE THEM ALL AN EXAM ON THEIR RIGHTEOUS PROGRESSIVE CREDENTIALS BEFORE I TOOK THEIR CARD DETAILS), so i imagined (IMAGINING YOU’RE ANTI RACIST IS AS GOOD AS BEING ANTI RACIST) a dialogue would emerge organically over the four days about the issue of where we were (A BACKDROP OF A PLANTATION IS ABOUT THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN GET SO MANY WHITE LADIES TO HAVE A CONVERSATION ABOUT SLAVERY). i have heard the feedback that it is not my place to go to former plantations and initiate such a dialogue.
tragedies on a massive scale are not easily dealt with or recovered from (I KNOW THIS BECAUSE I USED TO BE A SLAVE. OH NO, WAIT, I DIDN’T.). i certainly in no way expect or want to be immune from that pain or that process of recovery. i welcome (and in fact have always pursued, [SINCE I WAS IN UTERI]) constructive (CONSTRUCTIVE IS THE OPERATIVE WORD, BITTER BLACK LADIES) dialogue about these and all political/social issues. my intention of going ahead with the conference at the nottoway plantation was not to be a part of a great forgetting but its opposite (REMEMBERING. BECAUSE THAT’S THE OPPOSITE GUYS. OF FORGETTING. REMMEBERING. IN CASE YOU HAD NOT NOTICED).
i know that pain is stored in places where great social ills have occurred. i believe that people must go to those places (I DIDN’T MEAN TO GO TO ‘THOSE PLACES’ ORIGINALLY, BUT WHAT’S THE PHRASE? WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU A RETREAT ON A PLANTATION, MAKE LEMONADE!) with awareness and with compassionate energy and meditate on what has happened and absorb some of the reverberating pain with their attention and their awareness. i believe that compassionate energy is transformative and necessary for healing the wounds of history. i believe that even though i am white, i can and must do this work too. if you disagree, i respectfully understand where you’re coming from and your right to disagree. i am not unaware of the mechanism of white privilege or the fact that i need to listen more than talk when it comes to issues of race (BUT I’LL TALK FOR ANOTHER PAGE OR SO ANYWAY). if nottoway is simply not an acceptable place for me to go and try to do my work in the eyes of many, then let me just concede before more divisive words are spilled (NOTE: DIVISIVE WORDS HAVE ALREADY BEEN SPILLED. I’M TALKING ABOUT YOU, BITTER BLACK LADIES. STOP SPILLING THOSE WORDS. KEEP THEM IN YOUR HEAD VASES).
i obviously underestimated the power of an evocatively symbolic (RACISM IS DEAD AND OLD PLANTATIONS ARE SYMBOLS. OR IS IT CYMBALS? EITHER WAY, NOTHING REAL IS GOING DOWN) place to trigger collective and individual pain. i believe that your energy and your questioning are needed in this world. i know that the pain of slavery is real and runs very deep and wide. However (HAHA, BET YOU THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO END IT THERE, DIDN’T YOU? NOPE! THERE’S A ‘HOWEVER’! GOTCHA!) in this incident i think is very unfortunate what many (BLACK LADIES) have chosen to do with that pain (WHEN I’M IN PAIN I ALWAYS CHANNEL IT APPROPRIATELY AND WRITE A NEW SONG. OH BITTER BLACK WOMEN, WHY CAN’T YOU BE AS CREATIVE AND SOULFUL AS ME?). i cancel the retreat now because i wish to restore peace and respectful discourse between people as quickly as possible. i entreat you to refocus your concerns and comments on this matter with positive energy and allow us now to work together (YES ANI LET’S WORK TOGETHER. NO WAIT, I’M TOO BITTER) towards common (STOLEN) ground and healing.
for myself (THAT’S ME, ANI DIFRANCO, BY THE WAY), i believe that one cannot draw a line around the nottoway plantation and say “racism reached its depths of wrongness here” and then point to the other side of that line and say “but not here” (BASICALLY, BECAUSE OF COLONIALISM AND SLAVERY AND EVERYTHING, DRAWING THE LINE ANYWHERE IS IMPOSSIBLE, SO LET’S JUST SAY ONCE AND FOR ALL THAT WHITE PEOPLE CAN GO WHEREVER THE FUCK THEY LIKE AND SAY WHATEVER THE FUCK THEY LIKE WITHOUT THERE BEING BITTER REMARKS ABOUT IT ON TWITTER). i know that any building built before 1860 in the South and many after, were built on the backs of slaves (YEAH, I’VE BEEN READING HISTORY BOOKS WHILE YOU GUYS HAVE BEEN WASTING TIME ON TWITTER. BET YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE BACKS OF SLAVES, DID YOU?). i know that in new orleans, the city i live in, most buildings have slave quarters out back, and to not use any buildings that speak to our country’s history of slavery would necessitate moving far far away (AND I HATE MOVING. IT’S SUCH A HASSLE. ALL THE BOXES, NEVER KNOWING WHERE YOUR TIN OPENER IS. IT’S TERRIBLE. IT’S ALMOST AS BAD AS SLAVERY).
i know that indeed our whole country has had a history of invasion, oppression and exploitation as part of its very fabric of power and wealth. i know that each of us (EVEN YOU, BITTER BLACK LADIES. YOU’RE JUST AS BAD AS ME) is sitting right now in a building located on stolen land. stolen from the original people of this continent who suffered genocide at the hands of european colonists (YEAH I DIDN’T JUST READ UP ON SLAVERY, I WENT ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE AMERICAN HOLOCAUST. GET ME). i know that many of us can look down right now and see shoes and clothes that were manufactured by modern day indentured servants in sweat shops. i know that micro profits from purchases that we make all day long are trickling down to monsanto, to nestle and to GE (WHO’S WORSE, MONSANTO OR ME? YUP, MONSANTO. I’M LIKE PRACTICALLY AN ANGEL IN COMPARISON. THAT’S WHY I MADE THE COMPARISON). i know that a sickeningly large percentage of the taxes we pay go to manufacturing weapons and to making war. and on and on and on (I CAN’T BE BOTHERED TO LIST ANY MORE ATROCITIES.). it is a very imperfect world we live in and (WHITE PEOPLE CAN’T DO ANYTHING RIGHT. IT’S LITERALLY IMPOSSIBLE. YOU CAN’T EVEN HOST A LADIES RETREAT ON AN OLD SLAVE PLANTATION WITHOUT SOME UPPITY BLACK WOMAN MAKING A FUSS ABOUT IT ON SOCIAL MEDIA) i, like everyone else, am just trying to do my best to negotiate it (THEY TOLD ME IN SCHOOL THAT ALL THAT MATTERED WAS THAT I TRIED MY BEST. I THINK THEY TOLD THE BLACK KIDS SOMETHING DIFFERENT, BUT HEY, I’M WHITE. I MEAN, HEY, THAT’S LIFE.)
as to the matter of the current owner of the resort and his political leanings, that was brought to my attention yesterday and it does disturb me. but it also begs further questions: who are all the owners of all the venues i or any other musician play? the performing arts centers? the theaters? the night clubs? i bet there are a lot of rich white dudes with conservative political leanings on the list (WE’LL NEVER KNOW THOUGH. I’M CERTAINLY NOT GOING TO BOTHER CHECKING. IT’S HARD ENOUGH TO BOOK VENUES AS IT IS WITHOUT MAKING SURE THEY’RE ALL ETHICAL AND SHIT. WHO AM I, GHANDI?). is it possible to separate the positive from the negative people in this world? (IS IT POSSIBLE TO ASK SO MANY GENERAL PHILOSOPHICAL QUESTIONS THAT EVERYONE FORGETS THE ORIGINAL ISSUE?) will those lines be clear and discernible with enough research?
is it my job to do this for every gig (BECAUSE I’M TOTALLY NOT UP FOR THAT. I CAN CANCEL AN EVENT EVERY NOW AND AGAIN WHEN BLACK WOMEN GET HIGH VELOCITY BITTER ON TWITTER, BUT I ALREADY HAVE A JOB. I’M A SINGING WHITE LADY, AND I SIMPLY DON’T HAVE TIME TO DO ALL THIS ANTI RACIST BULLSHIT ON TOP OF IT ALL)? is it possible to ensure that no ‘bad’ person will ever profit in any way from my existence or my work? again, maybe we should indeed have drawn a line in this case and said nottoway plantation is not a good place to go; maybe we should have vetted the place more thoroughly. (GOD I COULD REALLY LEAVE IT THERE BUT I FEEL A BUT COMING. A BUT OR A HOWEVER. MAYBE AN ALTHOUGH? NO, IT’S A BUT) but should hatred be spit at me over that mistake? (ANSWER: NO. I SHOULD BE ABLE TO ARRANGE AS MANY PLANTATION THINKATHONS AS I LIKE WITHOUT INCITING THE HATRED OF ANYBODY. IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?).
i believe that we need every ounce of energy that we have to try to create a positive change in this world. and to work together. that energy is precious (AM I BEING TOO SUBTLE? THIS IS NOT A GOOD USE OF YOUR ENERGY, BLACK BITTER WOMEN! DO SOMETHING ELSE WITH YOUR TIME! WRITE SONGS OR TAKE MOUNTAIN WALKS OR COOK PIG’S FEET OR SOMETHING, ANYTHING, MY GOD, BUT PLEASE STOP DOING THIS, IT’S REALLY GRIPPING MY SHIT).
my focus for the righteous retreat was on creating an enriching experience that celebrated a diversity of voice and spirit (AND OF PEOPLE GUYS. YOU WAIT TILL YOU SEE WHO I INVITED). i invited my friends Buddy Wakefield, Toshi Reagon (TOSHI’S BLACK BY THE WAY! IN YOUR FACE, PEOPLE WHO CALLED ME A RACIST! THIS IS WHAT I MEANT WHEN I SAID ‘DIVERSITY’) and Hamell on Trial to impart their particular brands of spirit (‘DIVERSE’ PEOPLE ARE SO SPIRITUAL AND WISE. CERTAINLY SPIRITUAL ENOUGH TO OVERCOME OLD PLANTATION VIBES) and wisdom to the conference attendees.
i also planned to take the whole group on a field trip to Roots of Music, a free music school for underprivileged kids (PROBABLY A LOT OF BLACK KIDS IN THAT CATEGORY) in New Orleans. Roots of Music is located at the Cabildo, a building in the French Quarter which was the seat of the former slaveholder government where all the laws of the slave state were first written and enacted. i believe that the existence of Roots of Music in this building is transcendent (THEY MANAGED TO TRANSCEND THIS SLAVERY STUFF. WHAT’S YOUR EXCUSE?) and it would have been a very inspiring place to visit. (UNFORTUNATELY, THE AMOUNT OF INSPIRATION TAKING PLACE AT ROOTS MUSIC WILL NOW BE ZERO BECAUSE I WON’T BE THERE. ARE YOU PLEASED WITH YOURSELVES, BLACK BITTER LADIES?). i also believe that Roots could have gained a few new supporters (THEY ONLY NEEDED A FEW, BUT NOW THEY’LL BE GETTING NONE, BECAUSE I WON’T BE THERE. I HOPE YOU’RE HAPPY BITTER BLACK WOMEN). in short (WELL, TO BE FAIR, IN LONG), i think many positive and life-affirming connections would have been made at this conference, in its all of its complexity of design (NOT ANYMORE BITTER BLACK BITCHES. YOU’VE FUCKING RUINED MY COMPLEX 4 DAY WEEKEND).
i do not wish to reinvent the righteous retreat at this point to eliminate the stay at the Nottoway Plantation. at this point I wish only to cancel (THAT’S MY ONLY WISH).
i ask only (JUST A SINGLE REQUEST. JUST ONE WISH AND ONE QUESTION IN 3 PAGES OF TEXT. DON’T ASK FOR MUCH, DO I? NOT LIKE THOSE UPPITY BITTER BLACK WOMEN WHO ARE CONSTANTLY ASKING FOR STUFF – CIVIL RIGHTS, EQUAL PAY, NOT HAVING RELAXATION EVENTS AT PLANTATIONS – WHAT’S NEXT, I ASK YOU? ME TO STOP PERFORMING ALTOGETHER?) that as we (THAT’S THE ROYAL WE) attempt to continue to confront our (THAT’S ALL OF US) country’s history together (THAT’S ALL OF US AT THE SAME TIME), let us (GOD IT’S GETTING COMMUNAL UP IN HERE. ARE YOU FEELING IT? THAT’S DUE TO THE COMMUNITAH VIBES AND SPIRIT OF TOGETHERNESS I KEEP ON BLESSING YOU WITH.) not forget that the history of slavery and exploitation is at the foundation of much of our (AGAIN, THAT’S ALL OF OURS, ONE BIG TRANSCENDENTAL COMMUNITAH) infrastructure in this country, not just at old plantation sites (I BET YOU FORGOT ABOUT THE INFRASTRUCTURE, DIDN’T YOU? YOU WERE TOO BUSY THINKING ABOUT THE PLANTATION TO REMEMBER ABOUT THE INFRASTRUCTURE. WHAT’S THE PHRASE? YOU WASTE ALL YOUR TIME THINKING ABOUT PLANTATIONS AND HAVING A SNOOZE, YOU LOSE?).
let us not oversimplify (LIKE YOU DID) to black and white (PUN INTENDED) a society that contains many, many shades of grey (I’M IDENTIFYING AS GREY HERE). and let us not forget to be compassionate towards each other as we attempt to move forward and write the next pages in our history. our (THAT’S US, COMMUNITAH, ALL OF US, TOGETHER) story is not over and, Citizens of the Internet, it is now ours to write (MINE AND EVERYONE ELSE’S, MAINLY MINE).
This literally took months, and that’s partly because I spent forever trying to figure out what world where their love is taboo I should go with. Societal taboo associated with class differences is about as angsty as I can handle, and also I require a happy ending, so…A Regency Era AU.
Bellamy never wanted to be this kind of man. He’s decent, honorable, as respectable a man as his fortune—or lack thereof—allows him to be.
When his parents had passed, he’d assumed guardianship of his younger sister and done his best to provide her with a happy, if not wealthy, upbringing and a stable home while he took work as a clerk.
When Lincoln Woods had proposed to Octavia, Bellamy had made sure that she was truly fond of Mr. Woods—he couldn’t bear the thought of his baby sister trapped in a loveless marriage, though Mr. Woods didn’t care that Octavia had no dowry to speak of and he had offered to settle an incredible amount of money on her.
And once his sister was happily married, he’d had nothing to hold him to the ugly little flat in London where he lived alone, so he had saved his money and sold all of his keepsakes but the tiny, poorly-executed portrait of his mother. With nearly all the money to his name, he’d purchased a commission in the army, with the hope that he’d rise in the ranks and become something more than a lowly clerk.
And he has made something more of himself. He’s a Captain now, with years at war behind him. Octavia tells him she’s proud, and her oldest son is named Blake, and all of that reminds him of the good, decent man he’s supposed to be.
Instead, he’s the vile sort of man who meets with ladies in the dark of night, when they should be tucked away in their bedrooms, virtue safe from him.
“Stop that,” Miss Clarke Griffin of Derbyshire demands, pulling her lips away from his neck. She must have felt him tense. “You were doing so well, too.”
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