strange-tree

If you want to live in this Romanian town you have to plant three trees

If you want to move in this Romanian town, you are obliged by law to plant trees. Sounds strange but this is what the town council has decided.

Nobody seems to be against this idea and the locals quite love it. The rule is if you buy a house in Ghimbav, Brasov county, or you build it each family has to plant 3 trees for every garden. Factories are obliged to plant a tree for every 100 metres of land they use for constructions. Companies that build blocks of flats they have to plant a tree for each flat.

Apparently, the town does not have many trees and there are no forests nearby. The town only wants to improve the quality of life, the air and their health. The project was called Ecological reconstruction and the rules are now official. Any company or individual that wants to build anything, when they apply for an authorisation they also have to agree to plant trees.

There are no rules to planting trees. They can be on their own private property or on public space. The council allows companies and individuals to plant all sorts of trees: oaks, poplars or lime trees.

The council also has a group of specialists who can advise on the trees to be planted and when it’s the best time.

concept: it’s been raining for years. there are fish in the offices and whales in the streets, yet strangely the trees are still thriving. it’s very pretty but no one knows what to do, really

Please forgive the rubbish photo, it was taken with my phone, but I wanted to share this amazing experience.. Last night, well early this morning, I was waiting for Robert to get home from work, but gave up and decided to go to bed, it was just gone 2am when I let the dogs out and I noticed a strange glow over the trees/shrubs in the back. Went upstairs and thought I’d look out the back bedroom window, and to my amazement, Noctilucent Clouds! I should have gone back downstairs and grabbed my camera, but I was to lazy..lol

Sea cucumbers are undoubtedly one of the stranger animals on our planet, and Pokémon seems to have outdone themselves with Pyukumuku. There’s about 1,720 different species of sea cucumber on Earth, living in a variety environments from shallow shores like Pyukumuku to the depths of the ocean.

To properly appreciate these creatures, we need to examine their anatomy. Sea cucumbers are echinoderms, sharing their phylum with starfish, sea urchins, and sand dollars. Sea cucumbers have no brain, but they still have a rudimentary nervous system. They have a sense of touch through their skin, so they can feel around and sense the presence of light (through warmth), but otherwise have no sensory organs: no eyes, no noses, no ears, and so on.

So, the spots on Pyukumuku aren’t eyes at all, they’re simply markings. Many animals including fish, reptiles, birds, and insects sometimes have eye-like patterns on their skin, which are meant to confuse predators into thinking their face isn’t really their face. More on that in a moment. First, let’s check out the inner anatomy of sea cucumbers:

Sea cucumbers move around using little tube feet, which use hydraulic pressure to push the sea cucumber along like a slug. They don’t have lungs or gills like a fish, but rather have respiratory trees which work similar to gills: They pump water through the tree, which takes out the oxygen for breathing. Strangely enough, the respiratory tree is not connected to a sea cucumber’s mouth but rather their anus, which pushes the water through the tree. A sea cucumber breathes through their anus. 

On the opposite sides of their body is the mouth, surrounded by a bouquet of tentacles which are used to gather up food (typically plankton or algae) and push it into their mouth, similar to what lips or our tongues do for us. Looking at Pyukumuku, this tuft of tentacles is at its far end: that’s not a tail. So its mouth is on the opposite side of its eyespots. As I said, eyespots are meant to distract predators away from a creature’s true face, which means that we are looking at Pyukumuku’s anus.

It is certainly an effective method of defense. Would you want to attack something that shoots its own intestines out of its butt? If you want further proof that we are looking at Pyukumuku’s anus, you just have to examine it’s ability Innards Out. When Pyukumuku faints – when it is threatened like a sea cucumber, it will do damage to it’s foe by expelling its inner organs. Of course, the lovely Pyukumuku does this to damage its opponents even before it faints in battle.

Originally posted by maskedkitsune

The inside of a creature is usually very vulnerable, which is why in most creatures the insdies are kept on the inside. Luckily, sea cucumbers have incredible regeneration abilities, able to quickly regrow entire organ systems inside their bodies if something happened when they spit them out.

Of course, its not their only method of protection. Many species of sea cucumbers are also covered in spines (like Pyukumuku) which offers them further protection against predators. 

And if you’re concerned about feeding Pyukumuku those pokébeans from the wrong end, rest assured: although sea cucumbers eat primarily with their tentacles through their mouths, they can also absorb nutrition through their anuses. Some sea cucumber species will filter out algae when they breathe with the anuses, absorbing the food in the process. It’s efficient, if nothing else.

Pyukumuku is a sea cucumber, which expels its inner organs through its anus to fight off predators. 

Original #11: I Know What Happened To Mike O’ Brien

Length: Long

TRIGGER WARNING: SUICIDE

I’m a midnight listener. There are many of us around the world, but as far as I’m aware of, I’m the only one on my campus.  During the day, I’m your ordinary college student. But at night, more specifically during the hours of midnight to 2am, I’m the school’s midnight listener. What I do is simple. I listen.

During those hours, students come into my “office” – an old storage room in the top floor of my dormitory. They sit infront of a large black curtain that separates me and the student. That way, they can’t see me, and neither can I see them. That’s why students like to come to me instead of the school counsellors. They enjoy the anonymity, the privacy of being able to speak their mind about their worries and troubles without judgment or repercussions. So they lock the door, sit infront of the curtain, and then they speak. What they say is entirely up to them. Most of my sessions revolve around people talking about their family, relationship, and academic problems. Some speak about their mental illnesses and how they’re coping. Some tell me secrets they’re too ashamed to speak publicly of.

I’ve been running my sessions for a while now. I’ve heard from many different people. Usually I listen, and then I forget. It’s my coping technique for not empathising too strongly. However, there have been a couple of instances that particularly piqued my interest. This is one of them.

This is the story of Mike O’Brien, a senior in my college.

A month ago, Mike vanished. At first, nobody batted an eyelid. This was college after all and people were bound to go AWOL for a while. But when all calls and messages to Mike went unanswered, people started panicking. The school was notified, who called Mike’s parents, who called the police. Statements were taken and posters were printed. Search parties were organised, but none were successful.

A week later, the police received an anonymous phone call about Mike’s return to his dormitory. The caller was unable to provide any concrete proof. The call was subsequently treated as a prank, and was ignored. That same night, at around 4AM, the police received a second call about Mike. This time, it was from the school’s residence office. The student living next to Mike’s room had called up the office and complained about loud and repeated thumping noises coming from Mike’s room. Half an hour later, the office sent someone up with a key, and Mike’s body was subsequently discovered. He was hanging from the makeshift pull-up bar in his room.

According to the office staff, Mike’s body was swaying from the rope, even though there was no breeze in the room. His feet made loud, steady thumping noises as they hit against the wall. The swaying promptly stopped right after Mike was discovered.

A review of the CCTV footage showed Mike stumbling back to his room. His body movements were consistent with that of a drunk. Nothing was amiss, except the fact that Mike was walking with a pronounced limp. Mike never had a limp at any point in his life. The coroners were unable to explain this, however. Mike’s death was subsequently ruled as a suicide, although his one-week disappearance remained unexplained.

Now up until this point, I’d no personal interest at all in Mike’s case. It was shocking, sure, but I didn’t know the guy personally. So I didn’t care. But that all changed the night Ryan came to speak with me.

It was a couple of nights after Mike’s body was found. I’d just settled down in my office when I heard the door squeak open. I couldn’t see the door from my seat, but could make out a shadow drifting across the room before plopping loudly onto the chair across the curtain.

“Midnight listener here. How may I address you?” I called out.

Silence, and then an uncertain chuckle.

“You don’t have to use your real name if you don’t want to,” I continued.

The silence continued, before a reply: “Ryan, I guess.”

“Hey, Ryan. Whenever you’re ready.”

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The Wolf’s Domain

Words: 15, 795

Everyone writes about Werewolf!McCree, and I love it, but I tried my hand at Werewolf!Hanzo. It… got a bit out of hand.


Few ever branched into the wolf’s domain. It was not a place that wanderers could merely find themselves after a single missed turn or misread sign. This was the heart of the unsettled land, secluded, safe. People did not come here on their morning walks; beautiful as it was, it was simply not the place for man.

Few that wandered here possessed kind souls, not this distance from the beaten path through the forest. Those that meandered these grounds with a weapon in hand were only looking for trouble, and, most often, they would find it. The warnings posted at every entrance to the forest that bid travelers be wary were not decorations meant to be admired and forgotten. Those that freely disobeyed these warnings would come to regret their actions in time.


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Ease - Part 18

Genreangst/fluff

Pairingreader/taehyung

Length: 6.2k

SummaryYou and your best friend Taehyung have recently got into the same university in the capital of Seoul. Hoping that this was your year to finally admit your romantic feelings towards your said best friend, uni seems an exciting prospect. But of course, the future never really goes according to plan.

A/N: only one part left!! hope you like this 💛

1 ♡ 2 3 4 5 ♡ 6 7 ♡ 8 ♡ 9 ♡ 10 11 ♡ 12 ♡ 13 ♡ 14 ♡ 15 ♡ 16 ♡ 17 ♡ 18 ♡ 19 - End ♡ Moodboard

“We’ll drop you off here,” said Yeona kindly, turning around from the front seat to give you a reassuring smile. “Go get him, tiger.”

Mijung sprung from her seat to give you a hug, the smell of chocolate clinging to her clothes. As you breathed it in, you let it comfort you and calm your nerves, as you knew that whatever was about to happen, they were there to support you afterwards.

“Good luck,” she whispered in your ear, before she grinned so widely you could’ve sworn the corners of her mouth disappeared into her hair.

They drove off to find somewhere to park, leaving you in your hometown by yourself. Everything was exactly how you remembered it: the markets, the streets, the people taking their dogs for a walk. It was nice to be surrounded by the comforts of home, but the worries of Taehyung were all you could think about. Was he going to snub you? Was he going to turn around and say he didn’t want to see you again? The way he’d ended it wasn’t exactly promising.

But first, you had to find him. You thought to check if he was at his house, but when you arrived, the place was locked up and it looked like no one was there. It seemed unlikely he would’ve been, but you would’ve kicked yourself if you didn’t make sure. Next, you went to check the market where they sold fresh fish, meats, fruits and vegetables and a variety of other bits and bobs. You and Taehyung always enjoyed going there after school, as you had made friends with the sellers and they gave you special discounts whenever you saw them.

“Y/N!” called Sungki, an old man who worked behind the meat counter. “Haven’t seen you for a while! Where’s Taehyung?”

“Was going to ask you the same thing,” you said gloomily. “I don’t know where to look.”

“Ah, that’s a shame. Try that new ice cream parlour. I’ve heard it’s pretty good. Do you want some pork?”

Shaking your head but thanking him, you ran in the direction of the parlour, becoming slightly frantic. If you didn’t find him quickly, you wouldn’t have much time to talk. And you needed as much time as you could get.

It was an extremely hot day, and after running for only a couple of minutes, you were too warm and sweaty to continue. Walking to the ice cream shop, your heart sunk lower when Taehyung was nowhere to be seen.

“Think, Y/N,” you told yourself firmly, wiping the sweat from your brow. “Where would Taehyung go if he wanted to get away from everyone?”

Nothing came to mind. Infuriated with yourself, you sat down heavily on a bench, almost on the verge of giving up. Maybe you really didn’t know Taehyung after all.

A couple of middle-aged women strode past in gym gear, with fluorescent headbands holding back their hair. You caught a snatch of their conversation as they hurried past, along with the sound of new trainers squeaking.

“… and I said I wouldn’t take him to the park again if he was going to misbehave. Honestly, it’d be much easier taking him to an empty field so he wouldn’t mess about with the other kids…”

Sitting up straight, you had one last thought as to where Taehyung might’ve been.


The field was exactly how you’d remembered it. The grass hadn’t been cut, so the green was smattered with yellow and white from the buttercups and daisies. Everything looked fresh and vibrant, despite the muggy feel to the air. Your t-shirt clung to your back and the grass tickled your feet as you walked, but the familiarity of home gave you a new sense of hope, blossoming in your chest under the perfect, periwinkle blue sky that you saw every summer. And there, in the near distance, was a boy wearing a mustard coloured shirt with his back to you.

Even though you couldn’t see his face, you didn’t have the same doubts that your mother had as to who it was. There was something about the way Taehyung held himself as he stood there, his hands in his pockets and the breeze toying with his hair that you could recognise from a mile off. As you got closer, you noticed that he’d dyed his hair a soft brown colour to combat the pale orange that came before it. Your flipflops stuck to your feet as you ambled towards him, and you could feel your heart rate increasing as you were sure that Taehyung was aware of the sound of your footwear.

When you were a few metres away, you stopped, too unsure to move any closer. Now that you’d slowed down and the frenzied panic of his whereabouts had gone, you felt almost giddy with anticipation. Taehyung turned his head before anything else, letting his eyes wander up and down your frozen frame before rotating his full body around.

Neither of you said a word. Instead, you let the sound of the birds fill the silence as you stared into his brown eyes, letting the memories of the past few months flood back. There was so much to say, so much to discuss and sort out, but you didn’t know how to begin.

Wringing your clammy hands together, you licked your dry lips and opened your mouth to speak, but Taehyung beat you to it.

“You’re missing the dance,” he stated, the slight lift in his eyebrows widening his eyes. Normally, you would’ve taken that body language as surprised, but instead, his words sounded as if he was mocking you for making the wrong decision. You shouldn’t have come here, his eyes seemed to say.

“I’m sorry,” you blurted out, unable to hold it in any longer. “I’m sorry, Taehyung. I’m so, so sorry.”

Taehyung didn’t react, his mouth still slightly open from his last comment and his eyebrows raised. There was no acceptance, no inclination that he listened to your apologies. He just stared.

This was a Taehyung you hadn’t seen before, and it scared you witless. Your mind going into overdrive, you continued talking, not quite knowing what to do. “You have every right not to forgive me,” you mumbled, slightly slurring your words as your mouth moved before your brain could catch up. “I know that you’re mad at me, I understand. I was so stupid to think that keeping it from you would be the best thing, even though at the time, I was certain that I shouldn’t get involved. It wasn’t my business, but you’re my friend, and I should’ve said something, even though it would’ve broke you.”

Immediately, the front Taehyung had been putting up had completely crashed. The hardened glaze over his eyes had melted, and the emotion swelled on his face. The change was almost heart breaking to watch, but Taehyung turned away as he blinked heavily, trying not to let it show. Slowly, he began walking further into the field, but stopped after only a few steps. Tentatively, he held out his hand behind him for you to take.

Your body didn’t seem to function properly. One part of you was screaming at you to not give in that easily, but the other part of you wanted nothing more than to feel the warmth of his hand around yours. Ignoring your better judgement, you let your fingers slide between his, his soft skin sending chills down your neck despite the warm weather. With gentle tugging, he led you further into the field, occasionally looking back to see if you were struggling to keep up where the grass grew longer. With the sun highlighting the slight orange undertones to his hair and the tan of his skin, you were almost in awe of the older boy, but you forced yourself to push those thoughts away. It wasn’t the right time, because everything wasn’t right. And you needed to fix it.

Holding hands like that was an old habit of Taehyung’s; he was so full of energy that he’d grab your hand to pull you along while he bounded in front of you like an excited puppy. However, now he strode calmly in front, as if he knew what was going to happen wasn’t something to look forward to.

Eventually, Taehyung found the spot he’d been looking for, and he sat down on the slightly worn out grass that overlooked the buildings of the city. Cautiously, you sat cross-legged next to him, watching him out of the corner of your eye for any change in reaction. However, Taehyung continued to stare through the trees, a strange sort of pained look on his face hiding underneath the peaceful exterior.

“Do you regret going to Seoul?” asked Taehyung suddenly, seemingly in deep thought.

You knew what he meant. He might’ve well have said, ‘Did you regret going to a place where you were supposed to branch out and become your own person, but were unable to because you were clinging onto the past?’

You had many regrets. You regretted eating so many sweets in the car journey because, mixed with nerves, you felt sick for hours afterwards. You regretted not putting on sunscreen when Taehyung told you you’d get burnt one time, and you ended up with a strange red tan that didn’t go away for weeks. You regretted hurting people. You regretted keeping secrets.

“If I didn’t go to Seoul, I would’ve never admitted to you my feelings,” you said truthfully, pulling at stalks of grass as Namjoon’s wise words flooded back to you. “I wouldn’t have made all the mistakes, true, but I wouldn’t have learnt anything, either. Seeing you every day without ever being more than friends proved to me so many things, so I’m glad that I didn’t let you go so easily. That’s why I’m here now, because I know you’re mad at me and you hate me for it-”

“I’m not mad at you,” he mumbled. You did a double take, but Taehyung continued avoiding eye contact by looking at the scenery ahead. “Even if I was angry, it wouldn’t make me hate you. You don’t stop loving someone when you’re mad.”

There was that word again: love. Hearing it from Taehyung’s mouth while he was describing you made your stomach do backflips. “Then… why did you come home if you’re not mad at me?”

He smiled gently, as if remembering something funny. “I was mad, to begin with, which made me feel homesick. But when I came home, I knew that I wasn’t really. More… upset. And that’s when I knew for certain that I was stupidly in love with you, because I couldn’t even be properly angry. I just forgave you.”

They were words you’d always wanted to hear, but you’d never imagined you’d hear them after a fight, and you never thought they’d make you feel worse. How could you have missed the signs when they seemed so blatant now?

“You don’t have to forgive me,” you argued, a pebble lodged in your throat again. “I should’ve told you sooner about Yeji. Maybe if I had, you wouldn’t have been so upset and then none of this would’ve happened.”

The impassive expression that Taehyung wore switched to confusion as he finally turned to look at you. It was only a small change in emotion, but it was enough to make you feel idiotic.

“You… haven’t figured it out yet?” he asked slowly, his deep voice dragging out each word.

“What do you mean?” you frowned.

“I wasn’t upset because I split with Yeji. Well,” he shrugged, “I was upset, but there was another reason behind the split that I was more upset about. It was more mutual than you think.”

You wanted to split up with her?”

“No, no, let me explain.” Taking a shuddering breath, he looked down at your hands, which were still fiddling with the grass. “The night we broke up, I was going out to see Yeji, because she said she had something to tell me. When I left the house, I saw you and Jungkook talking just outside the gate, and I was about to make myself known but then I saw him kiss you. It was the biggest awakening I’ve had, because when I realised you weren’t fighting him away, I realised that I’d pushed you away too much. I ran past, and I don’t think you noticed, but I ran all the way to Yeji’s house. I cried because I’d messed everything up, and that the person I loved wasn’t the person I was dating. When Yeji knew that I didn’t love her, she told me that she didn’t love me either, and proceeded to break up with me. I didn’t want to come home and see you with Jungkook, so I headed to that café. So, really,” he concluded, his eyes shining, “I was upset because I knew I’d missed my chance.”

You were speechless. Taehyung shifted around on the ground, looking uncomfortable and shamefaced, but you couldn’t tear your eyes away. Thinking back on it, you could faintly remember someone brushing by you as Jungkook kissed you, but you’d been so engrossed in the situation that you didn’t think anything of it.  You could barely comprehend all the new information.

“That’s when you realised you loved me?” you breathed, becoming slightly lightheaded.

Taehyung grinned, showing off his boxy smile before his face fell again, although his eyes remained bright as he reminisced. “Oh no,” he shook his head, “I knew I was falling for you back in middle school. There was that time that I took you to that music room and I sang for you. I was so nervous because I hadn’t sung in front of anyone before, but you looked even more scared than I was. During the chorus, you began to join in, and I remember you belting out the lyrics with your head thrown back. When I saw you like that, just the raw Y/N with all your pretences stripped away, something good hit me right in the chest. You clapped so hard afterwards, and I never felt the same after that. It was as if you’d managed to get rid of something bad in me, and from then on, I loved watching you smile at anything you did. When you danced, when you talked about space, when you talked about your home country. I became completely infatuated. Looking for ways to hold your hand, to get you to talk about what boys you were into, that sort of thing. I hated myself for it, because I knew that in your eyes, I was your best friend and nothing more. So, I forced myself to like Yeji, but it was never the same.”

“All this time, and you never told me,” you whispered, your words almost getting lost in the wind.

“I was a coward.”

Slowly, piece by piece, the hole in your chest began to fill. Here was the boy who’d extended an arm of friendship and had brought you indescribable happiness, but he too had been keeping secrets. You’d always thought that love was desire. It made you crazy, it made you want to shout it out to the world, but that wasn’t always the case. Taehyung wanted to be there for you, to comfort you, to make you smile when you thought you wouldn’t smile again. Love wasn’t always obvious.

Immediately, the atmosphere had changed. You became aware of the birds singing in the trees, and it felt like you were kids again. You noticed a tree that stood in the middle of the field, with old, twisted branches and a cracked truck. If you squinted, you could just about make out white engravings of your initials that you did when you first came to the field together all those years ago.

“Why did you come?” he asked, giving you a piercing stare. “You’re giving up the dance for this.”

“I was hoping I could convince you to come back. We’ve still got time before it starts.”

Taehyung shook his head and stood up, his demeanour switching from calm to irritated in a split second. Without talking, he began pacing backwards and forwards, his shoes trampling the grass further as he screwed up his face in frustration.

“Why are you so against it?” you questioned loudly, the sudden anger from Taehyung sparking your temper. “If you loved me that much, why did you go home?”

“I went home because I felt like it was the right thing to do,” he muttered through gritted teeth, still pacing. “I needed to get my head together without distractions.”

“What distractions?”

“You, Y/N!” he cried, pausing in his tracks. “I can’t think straight. I tell myself that I should think it through, but then all plans go out the window when you’re there. It’s pathetic.”

A bubbling anger crept into your lungs, and you found yourself shouting at Taehyung with tears flooding your eyes. “You could’ve just told me this! The whole reason we’re in this mess is because we haven’t bothered to communicate properly, and instead we lost each other. Our lives took different twists and turns and we’re different people now compared to who we were in middle school. I hate it, but we can’t change that now. I feel like I’m still lost half the time, and I don’t know what to do with myself, all because of our silly arguments.”

Properly crying, you brought your knees up to your chin and hugged them to your chest as a way to comfort yourself. As if he was aware the situation was getting out of hand, Taehyung sat back down next to you with a thump, looking utterly defeated. As he shuffled closer to you, you didn’t move as you wallowed in self-pity. Taehyung’s anger had completely fizzled out as soon as he saw you upset, and instead he looked at you worriedly, biting his lip in concern.

“Perhaps being friends first wasn’t such a good idea,” you said as you felt a tender arm drape over your shoulders.

“If I told you I fancied you in middle school, do you think you would’ve gone out with me? Did you see my haircut?”

You snorted, which almost ended in a snotty disaster from all the crying. Taehyung hated seeing you upset and that was his way of making the situation better, so when you shoved him in the side, you made sure it wasn’t that hard. Sort of.

“High school would’ve been the same,” he laughed. “Relationships never last, so I thought I’d wait until we were more mature and when it would be more serious. I forgot about other people getting in the way.”

“Me too,” you admitted. “Didn’t expect Yeji to turn up, that’s for sure.”

You fell into a comfortable silence, in which you took the time to admire Taehyung’s features for the hundredth time. The sun shone harshly down and your skin was hot, but Taehyung seemed completely cool as he lounged back, using one arm as a support and letting the rays warm his cheeks, and keeping the other arm around you. As he swallowed, you watched his Adam’s apple bob before he sighed through his nose. Despite everything, it still gave you a fluttering feeling in your stomach.

You hated getting angry at Taehyung, but you’d both been holding in your emotions for so long that it only took a slight jog for it all to come pouring out. You weren’t annoyed that Taehyung decided to go home without telling you, but it upset you that he no longer felt comfortable telling you.

It was strange to be home after everything had changed. After a whirlwind few months of new friends, new classes, and a new city to explore, coming back to Daegu where nothing had changed was a foreign feeling. Both you and Taehyung had grown and learnt so much, but overlooking the familiar buildings of home made it seem as if neither of you were different. But you were. You saw Taehyung in a different light: he was the kind, funny boy that you’d always known, but he was also scared to show his feelings and he had a temper hidden away. Your friendship wasn’t the same any more, either. Gone was the picture-perfect friendship that everyone envied, as cracks and flaws had crept up on you without you even realising. Neither of you were faultless, but it worked, and you were determined for it to work again.

“Remember last time we were here,” he smiled, admiring the view. “It was a day like this, but at the start of winter, and we were talking about what university would be like.”

“I remember,” you nodded, the memory as clear as day. “I didn’t want you forgetting about me.”

“I also said that I’d be an idiot if I stopped being friends with you. I guess I was a bit of an idiot.” He hung his head ruefully, but you nudged him with your elbow.

“We’ve both done some stupid things, I think we can agree on that,” you said softly, lifting his chin with your finger. His face was close to yours, and you could see the mole near his eye and the small details on his skin, but you made no attempts to try anything. There were still heavy boundaries between you.

“I’m sorry for hurting you when I was with Yeji,” he muttered, his brown eyes filling with gold as they caught the sun, sweeping away the mystery that you always found intriguing. “I really am. We were both a bit selfish. But, do you think we could do this?” he asked quietly. “You and me? We’ve gone through so much, I think we deserve a chance together.”

Looking into your best friend’s eyes, you understood where he was coming from. But gut instinct was telling you to take a step back. The heartache was still strong, and although you’d discovered that Taehyung was all you’d ever wanted, it didn’t feel right to jump in when you hadn’t properly rekindled your friendship. Trust was lost, and that would take more time. But what would happen if you left it any longer? Would it all just happen again?

“You know what I don’t regret? I don’t regret loving you,” you said heavily, trying not to let the pain of your next words show. “But loving you… I got hurt. You got hurt. Too many times I cried to my friends, cried while on the subway, cried myself to sleep, and I probably did exactly the same thing to you. We had good times, but we also made each other suffer, and with heartaches like that, it’s hard to come out the other side ready for something that’s supposed to be painless.”

Surprise was written all over Taehyung’s face, but he didn’t argue against you. Instead, he watched as you began tearing up again, letting you get it off your chest.

“I think we need a bit more time,” you said eventually, tears running down your face in a constant stream. “We can heal ourselves.”

Before long, Taehyung was crying too, his nostrils flaring and his lips pulling up at the edges. He buried his face in his hands to compose himself, rubbing his eyebrows like he was ridding himself of a headache. Looking back up with wet cheeks, he mumbled, “I don’t think time is going to make this pain go away. No matter how long I wait for you. Don’t let this go now. It may be difficult, but I need you, Y/N. It’s sounds lame, but no one else makes me feel at ease like you do.”

His words dug deep into your soul, making you want to pull your hair out with the pain and frustration. “You make it sound so easy,” you gulped, your throat restricting your voice, “but our plans never actually happen. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be.”

As soon as he saw you on the verge of sobbing, Taehyung swept you into a hug, holding your shaking body tightly. He held you for a while, letting his soft brown hair tickle your neck as the breeze swirled around you. It was one of those love-filled hugs that instinctively made you cling to his shirt, his familiar honey scent calming your heartbeat down to its normal rate.

“You have me,” he whispered, barely louder than a breath. “No matter what Seoul does to us, we’ll always be those two kids from Daegu who ate too much ice cream. No one can take that title from us.”

You giggled, but at the same time tickled Taehyung’s sides so that he leapt back with indignation. It ruined the moment slightly, but that summed Taehyung up completely.

“Ahh,” you sighed, brushing away any remaining tears. “I’m glad I came back, even though it feels like we’ve gotten ourselves in a bigger mess than before. But to Daegu? Really, Tae, you could’ve gone to Incheon or somewhere slightly easier to get to.”

He laughed heartily, a sound that you sorely missed. “This is where it all began, right? There was this little foreign girl in my class one day who didn’t say a word, but seemed far more interesting than anyone else in the room. I needed the reminder of what came before to be able to move forward.”

“What, a reminder of that horrible haircut?”

It was an odd conversation. One minute you were deeply chatting about love, then you were angry, then blubbering in each other’s arms, then howling with laughter. All the pain and bitterness and happiness and joy from the last few months caught up with you, and you found yourself extremely overemotional and slightly dazed. Plus, you couldn’t figure out whether you were back on good terms again. It was simple to laugh and joke around, but was it just masking a bigger problem?

“We’re friends, right?” you asked anxiously, bringing the mood back down again.

Taehyung’s laughter faded, understanding why you asked the question immediately. He thought for a second, before grabbing your hand tightly in his and squeezing it, as if he was making a pact. “Yes,” he said firmly, looking you straight in the eye. “For good this time. I mean it.”

“That’s good,” you mumbled softly.

It was good. Although things might not have been the same as they were back in high school, you were making the essential steps to regain what you once had.

“Also, I’m sorry for getting mad at you for the dance-” Taehyung began, but you cut him off with a shriek.

“The dance!” you yelped, leaping to your feet. “We’re going to miss it!”

“Yah, I haven’t agreed to it yet!” Taehyung objected, stubbornly staying put on the ground. “You’re the one saying we need more time.”

“Taehyung, do this for Jungkook,” you pleaded, pulling on his arm uselessly, the panic returning to your body. “Please! Imagine how disappointed he’ll be!”

You didn’t want to emotionally blackmail him, but you didn’t want to let Jungkook down. Nor did you want to go back to your housemates and tell them the trip was for nothing.

“This means a lot to you, doesn’t it?” he asked gingerly, his question catching you by surprise.

“E-erm…” you stuttered, “I guess so?” Taehyung continued to stare, waiting for you to expand on your answer. Unprepared, you felt your face growing red as you avoided looking directly at him. “I mean, I’m tired of upsetting people, and although you’ve been a pain to teach sometimes, I really enjoy dancing with you.” It felt embarrassing to say it out loud, but you hoped it was enough to convince your obstinate friend. “Will you come, Tae?”

A soft smile settled on his face, finally satisfied, and you sighed inwardly in relief. “Only if you buy me coffee for the next two weeks, and bring it to me every morning.”

You mouth hung open in disbelief. “That means I’ve got to spend every morning with you!”

“Don’t make it sound too traumatic,” he grumbled, slowly standing up. “It’ll be a good chance to start afresh. You’re supposed to be in love with me, remember?”

“Fine,” you muttered, spinning away and striding back towards the buildings. “But if you’re crabby because I’ve woken you up, I’ll give you hell.”

“Y/N’s back,” he grinned cheekily. “Was starting to wonder why my best friend was being nice to me. Come on then, slowcoach, let’s go back to Seoul.”

Although you swatted his arm, you couldn’t help feeling on top of the world as you walked towards Yeona’s car, arms linked and ready to try again.


“Why?” you asked, letting Taehyung lead you to a separate classroom in the building, dragging you along as he clutched your hand. He led the way excitedly, and he kept on looking back to give you reassuring grins.

Unable to form a sentence any more complicated than ‘why’, you hoped that Taehyung understood what you were trying to say, and luckily, he did. It was a shame you couldn’t understand his response, so you simply nodded and hoped he wasn’t kidnapping you.

You hadn’t been in Korea for that long, and you were still trying to pick up the language. However, it being so different from English and the fact that everyone in your school spoke way too quickly for your liking, you’d struggled to make conversation with anyone at all. Apart from Kim Taehyung.

Taehyung didn’t seem to mind that you could only say basic sentences after ten seconds of thinking time, and he always let you follow him and his friend Jimin around during lunch. You were having another bad day that day, as you’d tried and failed to talk to one of the students in your class, and instead you left them in hysterics at something you’d said wrongly. Taehyung noticed your bad mood and decided to lead you off somewhere unknown.

When you arrived, you realised he’d taken you to a music room. It was quite basic, but Taehyung ignored the instruments and sat down on top of a desk, searching through his phone. You perched on a chair quietly, wondering what he was planning. Before long, he’d begun playing the instrumental to a song that you swore you recognised. Then, he sang. His voice was deep for his age, and there was a soulful quality to it that gave you goosebumps. But what really chilled you was what he was singing: the lyrics were in English.

Taehyung had realised you’d been feeling disconnected from everyone else, and he figured that the only way he could reach out to you was through music. Once he hit the chorus, you joined in, letting your harmonies fill the quiet room as you threw your head back and belted out the lyrics. It was the happiest you’d been since moving countries, and after that you couldn’t stop smiling. For three and a half minutes, the language barrier wasn’t a problem, and that’s when you knew Taehyung was going to be different.


“Run!” Yeona yelled, Jiwon pulling up at the theatre where the dance competition was being held.

“Thank you!” you shouted back, and your housemates waved cheerily from the car.

The ride back was far less relaxing than on the way there, despite knowing that you and Taehyung had sorted through most of your problems. Having very little time until the start of the show, Jiwon was forced to push the speed limits as Yeona laid on the pressure even more. Mijung was being her usual, friendly self, asking Taehyung a lot of very personal questions that you hadn’t found out the answers to until you’d been friends for years. Taehyung seemed fine with it, although you were certain he was avoiding the questions by going off on some strange tangents.

Sprinting into the theatre, you both stopped as you suddenly realised that you had no idea where to go.

“In here,” you called, spotting an area which was being monitored by several staff members.

However, as you approached, your heart sunk as they stepped in front of your path, blocking you from getting through.

“Names, please,” they asked, checking a clipboard.

“Y/N and Tae- uhh, Jungkook,” you faltered, almost slipping up. The staff member scanned down the list of names, and looked up at you with a questioning glance.

“Y/N and Jungkook have already signed in,” one of them said. “I’m sorry, but access only to the performers. If you’d like to buy a ticket, the stand’s over there.”

Looking over at Taehyung, his confused expression mirrored your own. However, neither of you argued as you went over to the ticket booth, not knowing what else to do. Wordlessly, you entered the theatre, and although he didn’t say anything, you could tell Taehyung was thinking the exact same thing: who had signed in in your place?

The theatre was dark, and it seemed the competition had already been going for quite a while. Up on stage were a group of all girls doing some sort of cheerleading routine. You and Taehyung slipped into seats at the back just as the girls finished, and everyone clapped loudly.

“Do we just wait?” Taehyung said under his breath, leaning closely to your ear.

“I don’t think we have any other choice,” you replied, feeling crushed. Was everything you’d done all for nothing?

A male voice crackled through the tannoy, announcing the next group to come on stage. “Dancing next are Y/N and Jungkook. Interval will be in 10 minutes.”

You shared a nervous look with Taehyung, your heart in your mouth. Was it a joke? Was anyone going to show up at all? Questions swirled around your brain as two men walked out on stage, wearing ridiculously tight jeans and matching tank tops. There were a few titters from the crowd, as they too wondered if it was a joke act.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” muttered Taehyung, his mouth agape in disbelief.

Because there, standing in the middle of the stage, was Namjoon and Jin.

The music began, the all too well-known song that you’d listened to over a hundred times playing from the speakers. You wanted to shut your eyes, but you were too curious as to what was going to happen. Too curious as to how they could completely butcher Jungkook’s well designed choreography.

They started slowly, sliding around each other in repetitive circles with serious faces, their movements completely out of time with the music. The audience grew louder and Taehyung’s housemates danced like they had too much to drink, leaping and prancing around the stage with no regards to the beat of the song. It was almost unbearable.

People were starting to laugh, and some were beginning to clap to the rhythm as Namjoon did a small ballet routine on one side of the stage and Jin did his version of breakdancing on the other, the hilariously conflicting styles making it look even more ridiculous. You could just about make out the judges at the front giving each other questioning looks, as if they were wondering how such a pair made it to the judging round.

“Y/N!” someone hissed from behind you, making you jump out of your skin in fright. Wheeling round, you saw Hoseok and Yoongi grinning in the seats behind you.

“What are you doing here?” you hissed back, gladly using them as an excuse to not watch what was happening down front.

“We’re performing after the interval,” Hoseok explained. “That was your friend’s idea by the way. He realised that you weren’t going to make it back in time, so he said that Jin and Namjoon should go instead. Add a comedy factor.”

“Our friend?” asked Taehyung, slightly baffled by the whole situation.

“Well,” butted in Yoongi. “Jungkook’s friend. I think his name’s Jimin?”

He pointed to the right side of the crowd, and at first you couldn’t see anything, but eventually you could make out Jimin’s silver hair bobbing along to the music. Next to him was Jungkook, and you were startled to see how close they were sitting to each other, shoulder to shoulder in their chairs. Jimin had one arm laid over the back of Jungkook’s seat as they laughed at the two boys on stage, not caring that the actual routine had been completely ignored.

“Jungkook is literally taking my friend away,” he huffed, shaking his head.

“You took his,” you laughed, and Taehyung smiled bashfully.

It was a bizarre day. You couldn’t even be annoyed that you’d missed your chance at performing, as everything else seemed to have fallen into place. At the end of their routine, there was a standing ovation for Jin and Namjoon, and they bowed deeply in return. The judges were dumbfounded, but you and Taehyung made sure you clapped the hardest and the longest.

Things never turned out the way you planned them, and sometimes you lost the path. But so long as you get back on and try again, eventually, it will all be okay.

2

A Galaxy Far, Far Away Andelm 4

An Outer Rim world that, during the Galactic Civil War, was controlled by a crime boss, Jaum, who enslaved Andelmi locals for minor offenses and used their labor to supply the Empire with Andelm beetle larvae. The larvae and beetles were indigenous to Andelm 4 and were composed of an organic source for blaster power. Other unique flora and fauna of Andelm 4 included its vast fields of rare wildflowers, strangely shaped trees, and the canyon-lattice structure of the planet itself. Wookiee hero Chewbacca and a young Andelmi human named Zarro saved at least one of its cities from Jaum’s clutches shortly after the Battle of Yavin.    

Haunted Places in Romania (according to Wikipedia)

Argeș County

Trivale Forest in Pitești - There is a legend about a maiden, daughter of a rich landowner, who loved a poor servant of her father. Her father found an old rich man for her to marry, but during the wedding day, she ran with the servant in the forest. Her father found them and killed her lover and then decapitated her. It is generally accepted that the two scary things about the forest are: the decapitated ghost of the bride and the people going into the forest to do satanic rituals.

Bacău County

Zarifopol Mansion in Filipești – Called by locals “the House of Evil”, the mansion is the site of several reports of paranormal activities: indistinct voices, bizarre sounds, steps, cold currents that “walk” through walls.

Bucharest

Bazilescu Park – Also known as Nicolae Bălcescu Park, Bazilescu Park is located in Bucureștii Noi neighborhood. Within the park is the Summer Theatre, built in 1953. During the night, in the area can be heard strident sounds and the cough of a man (whereof it is said that belongs to Bazilescu), coming from beyond the columns of the derelict theatre.

Central Girls School – Inside this historical building and its courtyard have been reports of strange sounds, cold breeze and fetid odors, but were also seen levitating objects, doors and windows that open and close without any human intervention.

Chiajna Monastery – This ruined monastery has its root somewhere in the 18th century, during the rule of Alexandru Ipsilanti. It was a big monastery, with thick walls, reason for that the Turks “confused” it and assaulted it. Moreover, some historical sources show that between its walls died of plague the Metropolitan of Wallachia, Cozma. The land and the building have never got to be sanctified. For these reasons it was abandoned, and the monastery’s bell was thrown in the Dâmbovița River, people blaming it cursed and leaving it in ruins.According to locals, the bell can still be heard ringing on full moon nights, many audio records proving this fact. Moreover, it is said that on one of the walls near the entrance can be glimpsed the face of a beautiful lady, which is said to be Ancuța, the daughter of Mrs. Chiajna, who would have been killed on the orders of her mother after she ran with her beloved without her mother’s approval. On top of that, in the area would have been several murders and numerous mysterious disappearances.

Cișmigiu Hotel – The building was closed in 1970 and reopened in 1990, when it was converted into hostel for students of the Faculty of Theatre and Film. Legend says that in a weekend, when all the students were away on vacation, a young woman from Moldova was raped and then thrown into the elevator shaft. She died there, after three hours she desperately cried for help, with no one to hear her. Many say that her screams can still be heard.

Hospital of the Posts – Previously housed in the building behind the Stavropoleos Church, Hospital of the Posts was a site of organ trafficking. It is said that, especially in long winter nights, can be heard on adjacent streets groans and cries of those who died in hospital beds.

“House of the Devil” on General Praporgescu Street – The house, which now looks degraded, is distinguished by the ivy that covers it entirely. It is the site of two tragic events: in the interwar period, a man would have killed here two women, and within a few years, a young woman would have committed suicide.Some say that on full moon nights on one of the walls of the house can be seen the number 666, symbol of the devil, and here would live a demonic entity full of hate and anger, that can be felt from afar.

Orphanage on the French Street – Legend says the house, located at number 13, is haunted by no less than 203 children’s spirits. In this orphanage were brought homeless children, even by its owner – Stavrache Hagi-Orman. He kept the kids in unimaginable conditions, without water and without food. After dozens of children died of starvation, the orphanage was closed. Locals reported voices of children crying “Water, we want water!”.

Vernescu House on the Victory Avenue – It is named by locals “Cellar of the Devil” (Romanian: Hruba lui Scaraoțchi). Here still operate a casino. It is said that in the past century, several players committed suicide inside the house after they lost the entire fortunes at roulette. Reports indicate three ghosts that haunt the house. They shake the furniture, cause air currents and sometimes even appear on the hallways of the building. Passers also reported strong odor of sulfur in the building’s yard.

Witches’ Pond – According to the legend, the pond located in Boldu-Crețeasca Forest, having a diameter of only 5 m, is the place where Vlad the Impaler was beheaded. It is said that after the 1977 earthquake many trucks unloaded debris in the pond, with the aim of stoppering it. Within weeks, the debris disappeared in its waters, although the pond has a depth of only one meter and a half. Locals say that many times when pregnant women didn’t want the child went to the pond, bathed and ridded the pregnancy. Even the animals would be scared of this place: there would be no frog or any being that lives in the pond, and the animals don’t drink water from there. The pond is famous for the gipsy witches that gather each year to Sânziene, St. George and St. Andrew to practice their magic rituals. Near this eye of water have been observed over time strange phenomena, like globular lightnings or storms started suddenly. The pond never change, doesn’t dry, doesn’t expand, whether it rains or is drought. In a video from mid-90s is shown a strange phenomenon: in midsummer, on an area of some square meters it snowed, immediately after a woman from the stunt team was terribly amused while trying to put a helmet on the head of a mannequin that portrayed Vlad the Impaler.

Călărași County

Călugăreasca Forest – It is a forest of mulberry trees, where it is said that the wind never blows. Here, people say that existed a monastery of monks, but they were killed by the Turks, and the place was made one with the earth by the pagans. The last monk killed by the Turkish army threw a curse upon them. So that, after death, the spirits of those who have defiled hands with the blood of the monks returned in thickets of Călugăreasca, from where they never found the way out.At the edge of the forest are also a lot of crosses, which legend says that stand sentry as the pagans’ spirits can not escape. People are reluctant to seek the thickets of Călugăreasca due to the curses, and the only safe place in the woods was the large white cross that reminds about the monastery and that protects those who pray next to it when the night catches them in the grove.

Cluj County

Bánffy Castle in Bonțida – Dubbed “the Versailles of Transylvania”, the castle is reportedly haunted by the ghost of a young servant who paid with his life because he revealed that his mistress deceived her husband. Another variant is that the place is haunted by the ghosts of those who died in Bánffy during the Second World War, when the castle was converted by Germans into a military hospital. Legend says that there were often seen sinister shadows that seemed to be of some soldiers, while through walls were heard strange noises, groans, sounds of footsteps or indistinct voices.

Hoia Forest – The forest near Cluj-Napoca has long been known for the mysterious events that take place here and was even cataloged as a gateway to another dimension. Dubbed “the Bermuda Triangle of Transylvania”, the forest is one of the most active areas of the world in terms of paranormal phenomena. Legends would have occurred, it seems, after a shepherd disappeared into the forest along with his 200 sheep and no one managed to find neither he nor any part of the flock. It was only the first mysterious disappearance that took place in the forest. People who accidentally pass right through active areas report skin burns, redness, irritations, headaches, amplified sensation of thirst, anxiety, sensation of fainting. Hoia Forest became famous in the world after on 18 August 1968, military technician Emil Barnea photographed in the Round Glade (Romanian: Poiana Rotundă) an UFO, the photos being among the few of this kind genuine, according to experts. Numerous accounts of villagers reported unexplained physical sensations, observations of various shapes and colors lights, strange shadows, voices and human faces. The local vegetation is often bizarre. The trees have strange shapes, even human faces can be depicted from their trunks. In 2000, Alexandru Pătruț, President of the Romanian Society of Parapsychology, caught a strange phenomenon in the forest, around the Easter: a kind of sap flowed profusely from the top of the trees. Next day, everything was dry. He also reported strange sounds of ambulance sirens, tire exploding and even cuckoo clock. The forest was included in top 15 most haunted places in the world by the American magazine Travel+Leisure.

Constanța County

Tomis Nord neighbourhood from Constanța Supposedly, the neighbourhood is haunted by a woman who was decapitated by her husband who believed that he was cheated on.

Dâmbovița County

Bride’s Trinity on DN7 – On national road DN7, near the town of Găești, there is a monument called Bride’s Trinity or Margareta’s Trinity. Here it is said that on 24 September 1936, Margareta Ștefănescu died in a car accident, even on her wedding day, and since then the place has become cursed.  In the area have occurred a lot of fatal crashes, even if the road is straight and with maximum visibility. The road was “baptized” by locals “the Road of Crosses”. In the road tragedies are involved especially men. For example, only in 2008–09 in that place 12 young men died, mostly unmarried. Likewise, there were several reports of a silhouette of a woman dressed in white near the trinity.

Dolj County

Radovan Forest – Dozens of people, especially men, have drowned over time in Lake Fântânele of Radovan. Locals put numerous tragedies on account of the curse of a bride, who legend says that in the 1940s hanged herself in the forest surrounding the lake. Her story has two versions: one, according to that a young Moldovan woman arrived in Oltenia with her family, would have committed suicide after her husband was beaten to death on the night of the wedding; the second version says that she has committed suicide after, even before the wedding, would have been raped by a kulak that employed her. Locals say the bride haunts the road near the forest, and the passers are advised to move quickly and try to simply overlook any sound or appearance, otherwise the bride will lead them in the heart of the forest, from where they won’t ever return.

Bulzești commune Villagers talk about the “creatures by the hill”. A long time ago, the village was moved because of the strigoi. According to a villager:“The evil spirits haunt us at both day and night. Nobody dares to go up the hill because of the vampires. A neighbour has paralyzed many years ago when he bumped into one of the evil spirits. He couldn’t find his peace and does bad things to all those around him” The Romanian poet Marin Sorescu, born in the commune, mentioned the legend in his poem “Dumneata”: One night, here, by the fountains,| Where homes are rare, due to the ghosts |Who they say have showed around |And the people were strained to put houses there, for the ghosts to have their place.(…)

Iași County

House of Gavril Buzatu on Manta Roșie – In this house from Iași lived Gavril Buzatu, “the last executioner of Moldova”. The house was the site of several killings and atrocities. It is reportedly haunted by strigoi about people think would be the thieves beheaded by Gavril Buzatu. During the night can be heard howls of beast or human, followed by roars of laughter. Here can be seen strange lights that “run” through the mansion, especially during the winter. A former tenant reported a black creature running through the nearby forest. Likewise, were seen flames lighting up suddenly in the abandoned salons.

Lungani Hill – It is said that the hill that separates the villages of Goești and Brăești is haunted by thousands of ghosts of soldiers from the World War I. Locals reported white lights, silhouettes of soldiers descending from the cemetery into the valley, at night, late after 12 o'clock. On the other side of the hill, in the commune of Lungani, peasants saw headless people who went on the road or even the devil in the body of child or cat.

Maramureș County

E58 near Cicârlău – The area is known by drivers as one where many accidents happen. The accidents are attributed to a ghost which is said that comes out from the crops and scares the drivers. In the 1930s, a young woman named Pălăguța, envied by women for her beauty, was accused of witchcraft and beaten to death. Old people speak about a kind of animal with very long legs which haunted the village in Tuesday nights. It is said that appeared after midnight and went to houses where women violated the church rule. Women would have been hit in the temple and died or remained paralyzed.

Prahova County

Iulia Hasdeu Castle in Câmpina – Bizarre by its architecture, Iulia Hasdeu Castle was built by writer Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu in the memory of Iulia Hasdeu, his daughter, who died at age 19. It is said that the castle was built in accordance with the indications received during some seances, from his dead daughter. Locals say that during the night, Iulia Hasdeu can be heard playing the piano, in father’s applause.