that he's known what kind of woman she is from the start

Supernatural School Pt. 2

Part 1 (X)


It always takes time to sort yourself out after a reaping, even a relatively pleasant one. That’s why, even though you’d like to rejoin Sam, Amanda and Lexi in the cafeteria, you head back to the dorms.

You don’t feel any different after. Some legends say that you eat the souls of the dead, praying on them for sustenance. You’d like to say that Reapers never do that, that they never commit such a heinous crime, but you’ve been around long enough to know better than to lie. There are words for Reapers who eat, none of which you’d dare say here. Names give things power and eaters get more than their fair share to begin with.

You shiver under the blazing sun and try to turn your mind to more pleasant topics.

You are halfway back to your room, when you see Ms. Jan, Mr. T and Principal Finn rushing towards the animal husbandry building. Mr. T’s upset enough that his mane has burst free of his button-down shirt though he’s the only one of the three so affected. Ms. Jan, all banshee characteristics gone, is composed as she leads the group, strides long and purposeful. Principal Finn is listening to her seriously, his wheelchair rolling over the grass easily, with a grim expression on his face.

This is, of course, until he sees you.

You keep your expression blank as Principal Finn says something to Ms. Jan and Mr. T, gesturing for them to go on, and then directs his motorized wheelchair towards you.

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general li mulan

okay so i LOVE mulan okay. as far as i’m concerned it’s a Perfect Movie and doesn’t need any fixing. but i was thinking today and -

- what if mulan didn’t go to war to save her father?

say her father is dead, okay, killed by the previous war. so she’s raised by her mother and grandmother, women who’s complacency and softness has been worn away by necessity. she needs to marry well, for her family’s sake, because her mother has refused the hand of every man who offered. but mulan is even more rough around the edges than before, is educated not only in books (her mother said men wouldn’t find smarts attractive and grandmother pointed out that men aren’t always around and off to school mulan went) but in the sword too, taught to her by her classmate, ping.

mulan is considered in the lower end of the upper class, coming from a family of military men and scholars and successful merchants. ping is near the top, the son or nephew of an advisor to the emperor. his family is very rich and very important, and the reason they become friends is because mulan manages to notice something about him that he’s been hiding from everyone else - he’s going blind.

not totally blind, enough to get around, but blind enough that reading is difficult and swordplay is even worse, although once he has it down he has it. ping is no fool, he’s not weak or bumbling. his eyes just don’t work. so mulan notices and confronts him about it. she promises to keep it a secret, and hey, she’ll even help him with his assignments by reading the books out loud and helping him study. but in return he must teach her the sword, must teach her about military and tactics. he agrees.

ping and mulan become very good friends and there’s some raised eyebrows about it but they are TOO far away in class for it to be inappropriate, so they make tutting sounds and disapproving faces and let it go.

then the draft happens. ping can’t go to war, he won’t survive it. not with his eyesight like it is. so mulan offers him a deal - she’ll go to war for him, in his place. in return, if she survives, he must marry her. if she dies he must take care of her family.

ping can’t make this kind of family decision on his own, so he goes to his mother and tells her everything, about the eyesight and how he’ll die if he goes and mulan’s offer. his mother says he must keep it a secret from his father, but agrees - if mulan fights in her son’s place and survives, a wedding will be arranged. either way, mulan’s family will be taken care of. ping will be sent to live with some cousins in the meanwhile.

“you’re not in love with me, are you?” ping asks, helping mulan saddle her horse in the middle of the night. she scoffs and rolls her eyes, “not even a little. but marrying you will make my family happy, and besides, you’re my best friend,” she says, smiling, “better you than some grabby old man.” he smiles and hugs her and says, “i’m not in love with you either. but don’t die out there. we have a wedding to plan.”

so mulan goes to the camp, pretending to be ping, and she’s a little bit less lost but things still go as they go. she’s educated and trained, so it’s not hard for her to pass as ping. shang is keeping a special eye on her, thinking that she’s the son of an advisor, one of his father’s friends. and he sees how easily she excels, how quick thinking and smart she is, and starts giving her more and more responsibilities. by the time they’re called out, shang considers ping ie mulan to be his right hand man, and possibly his best friend.

he’s also a little bit in love with ping, and he’s long known he’s attracted to both genders, so he watches ping laugh and smile and the crease between his eyes when he frowns and does his best to let his feelings chase away the best soldier he has. every time shang looks at ping his heart clenches and he things to himself: i wish i could have you, i wish this was a time and a place where one man could have another, i wish you were a girl, is wish i was a girl - i wish we could be together. he’s literally a step away from doodling ‘li ping’ with little hearts over his battle plans. 

so the battles happen. shang and ping lead their men together, respected and loved. they each get promoted, and promoted, and promoted. it’s been years, and it comes to a point where they’re both generals in their own right. they trust each other, care for each other. and are both secretly in love with the other.

mulan is so conflicted. because she wants this war to end and to go home and settle back into life and become ping’s wife, so she can have an easy life spent studying and learning with her family taken care of. that’s what she’d wanted. but now what she wants is shang, her best friend, her brother in arms, her fellow general. she wishes to be everything to him, aches to be the woman on his arm and in his bed, but knows it’s the one thing she can never be.

then that final battle happens. mulan’s quick thinking saves them all and ends the war - but she’s injured.

shang finds out the ping has been a girl all along. he demands explanations - so she tells him everything, that she traded places with ping to save him, to become his wife.

and the lies should sting the sharpest, but they don’t. she’s still the same person, after all. it’s that she’s promised to another man, for one second he’d thought he might have her, but no. so he agrees not to reveal her but he’s furious and furious at himself for being furious and they’re not the same now, broken and splintered and neither of them know what to do.

the war is over. they leave. mulan returns home, and thanks to her ping is now known as a respected general. she’s done her part and survived, and now she gets her reward - ping’s hand in marriage.

but she sees ping for the first time and flings herself into his arms and starts crying. she tells him everything, because he’s still her friend, her very best friend besides shang, the man whom she lied to and betrayed and loves. and ping listens and takes her by the shoulders and says - i’ll uphold our bargain, if that’s what you want. you can be my pampered wife, you’ve more than earned it. but if you want to go to shang, i won’t blame you. you deserve your happiness.

and mulan goes back and forth, but ultimately she decides she has to try. if shang rejects her she’ll return and marry ping and uphold her family honor. but if shang wants her - he’s not as high up as ping, but he’s high up enough to satisfy her family, and also she would love him and want him if he was no more than a farming peasant so it doesn’t matter much anyway.

she rides to the capitol. she finally meets ping’s father, running into him while looking for shang. “ah mulan,” says this man who was never supposed to know of her until she became his daughter-in-law, “i didn’t expect to see you here. how fortuitous. walk with me.” she does, wary, and that’s how she discovers - he and the emperor had discovered her deception a year in, but at that point she’d already proven herself too skilled and valuable to lose. he tells her that he will uphold his son and wife’s deal and gladly welcome her to his household - but that she’s earned her rank as general, and that he and the emperor have no problem with letting her keep it.

she says thank you, shocked and joyful, but that she has to talk to someone first. “ah, yes, young general li,” he says, eyes twinkling, “i do believe he’s around here somewhere.”

she has no idea how he seems to know everything, but she finally tracks down shang who’s ecstatic to see her and hates himself for it. she confesses - says she loves him, that she’s engaged to ping but willing and able to break this engagement for shang. who is dumbfounded and elated and says yes, of course, finally and forever.

and mulan accepts her rank and marries shang, and they become the literal power battle couple of the general li mulan and general li shang. ping becomes a scholar and marries a very nice young woman who loves reading and is happy to read aloud to her husband with his failing eyes.

and they all live happily ever after.

Did you ever have a genuine psychic/medium experience?

Although many readings can be attributed to cold readings or sheer coincidence sometimes it’s uncanny how accurate psychics/mediums can be. Here’s a collection of supposedly genuine experiences from threads. If you have an experience feel free to tag me @sixpenceee!

by reddit user Jinuxxx

I never believe in palm /card readings. I don’t actually believe in it nowadays. BUT when I was in 9th grade, my friend took me with her to a fortune teller so she can have her future read. Surprisingly she mentioned about her love dilemma, a blonde guy and dark haired guy. She was completely convinced about her reading powers while I was meh… We’re teenagers, it’s natural we’ll find ourselves in situations like this. And then she predicted the scores she’ll get at the exams when you finish high school (in our country there are some mandatory subjects for the exams, thus multiple numbers) she guessed that right. If I think really hard about probabilities and stuff I can find a logic explanation to that as well. 

by reddit user GoobyBear22

About 5 years ago I saw a psychic that a family friend had told me was the real deal. I went in skeptical and came out a believer.

She used tarot cards and knew things that could have been lucky guesses, like that I had just bought a house and was renovating it, but she also knew specific things that no one else could have known.

The most amazing part of the whole thing was that she knew that I had some complications with my hormones and had a surgery in the past that would make getting pregnant very difficult, but she told me Despite all this, I would have a baby later in life. Toward the end of the reading she hands me the tarot cards and tells me to shuffle them. Then tells me to ask three questions in my mind one at a time. I decided to really test her authenticity so the first question I decided to ask was am I going to have children, and halfway through laying the five cards down, she stops and looks at me and scolds me saying “I already told you that you were going to have one child!” hah this is when I knew.

by reddit user wobblerss

This was before I was born. My mom had a neighbor who was a grandpa who could see the future. He told my mom that my sister would be really sick when she became a preteen and not to worry because she’d be okay. When my sister was a preteen she was diagnosed with cancer and after a year and a half she was perfectly fine. My mom was pregnant with me when she met him again and he told her that I would be a c-section baby. My mom already knew this and said she had scheduled the c-section already since I was breach but he was adamant that she would have me on a certain day and that the c-section wouldn’t go on the planned day. I was born on the exact day he predicted.

Nothing too crazy but the fact that he knew that my sister would be sick and would be okay is crazy to me. He also didn’t want any money and approached my mom and asked if he could do a reading for her.

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Don’t Freak

Originally posted by kings-of-my-heart

Steve Harrington x Reader

Requests are OPEN

PART II | PART III | PART IV | PART V

PART I


“You’re really trying to tell me that Low is David Bowie’s best album to date?” Jonathan nodded, opening the brown paper bag that held his lunch.

“That’s exactly what I’m telling you,” Y/N’s eyes widened, then shoved her lunch tray to the side. She leaned on her elbows, her hands in front of her.

“I could name five other Bowie albums, easily, that blow Low out of the water,” Jonathan took a bite of his sandwich, then motioned to Y/N.

“Go on then,”

Station to Station,” Y/N’s right index finger began to point to the fingers on her left hand to count. “Aladdin Sane, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars -obviously-, Diamond Dogs, and my number one favorite Bowie album of all time,” Jonathan mimed exactly what Y/N was saying with her, “Hunky Dory.” Y/N took a deep breath as she finished, then shoved a french fry in her mouth. “It’s like I don’t even know you sometimes,” She shook her head and shrugged her shoulders jokingly, “But, I mean, Low is still a great album,” That made Jonathan chuckle. A body suddenly appeared on the bench next to Y/N, scaring the life out of her. She had one hand on her mouth and the other over her heart to stop herself from screaming. Y/N turned her head and saw Steve Harrington with a dumb grin on his face.

“Tonight?” He looked at Y/N expectantly.

“What?” Her pupils were still wide from the shock, and the word sounded pretty dumb coming from her.

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Take It Like A Puppy (M)

Originally posted by jaayhope

Summary: You and Hoseok have been best friends since you were young. Your friendship with him, was struck as odd since you were a cat hybrid, while he was a dog hybrid. But that didn’t matter, that is until you both start attending university. What happens when one of you unexpectedly goes into heat?

Pairing: Jhope x Reader

Genre: Smut (M), hybrid!au, Cat hybrid reader, Dog hybrid Jhope

Word Count : 5.5k

A/N: This story contains graphic descriptions of sex, cum play, bondage, oral, etc. Heavy dom/sub undertones. Lmao this is just a sinful read. I’m a sucker for hybrid aus, so i had to make one ;) Anywho, this is a mature read! You have been warned!



You’ve known Hoseok since you were nine years old. At the time, you were just a quiet little kitten, who didn’t have many friends. Hoseok, was an annoying hyperactive puppy, who everybody adored in your class. He didn’t really bother you that much, until you became desk partners. That’s when he thought it was okay to pop your ‘personal space bubble’ and sniff you, every second he got.


“Why do you keep trying to smell me!” the nine-year-old you shouted. This was the third time you caught him in the act, ever since you became seat mates a week ago.

“I’m part canine! That’s what we always do!” Hoseok explained, with a smile on his face. He didn’t really know you that much, only that you were always super quiet. But he wanted to change that, he wanted a feline as a friend for once.

“Well can you stop? Its kinda weird,” you replied uncomfortably.

Including you, there were only two other cat hybrids in your class, the rest were a split between bunny, dog, and fox hybrids. Thus, you were extremely uncomfortable with this puppy trying to get up all in your space. Besides, you were quite afraid of dog hybrids since they could become aggressive easily.

“No, you’re weird,” the puppy joked.

You finally turn to glare at him, then let a hiss seethe through your teeth.

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Petname Babygirl II pt.1

yoongi x reader

genre: smut, dom!yoongi, sugardaddy!yoongi

word count: 7.3k


Sleeping with some random guy was one thing. But realizing that he is your boss was a disaster until he offers you something tempting you cannot reject.

Originally posted by sugamysavagebaby

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From The Dining Table

13 Hours Later.

When she woke up, she was still alone.

Initially, she’d forgotten all about the night before. The first thing she noticed was the strange buzzing sound of the thermostat in the corner, which was obviously not working at all because the room was freezing. The chilly air nipped at her cheeks, and she snuggled further into the mattress as she tucked her head into the comforter with a soft whimper, trying to ignore the buzzing in her head.

Her eyes were still stinging from her tears the night before mixed with the lack of sleep. She’d managed to finally drift off at around four in the morning, but she couldn’t tell by the window whether it was eight in the morning or two in the afternoon.

Their screams from the night before still echoed in the walls.

She slid the covers off of her head and opened her eyes slowly, staring at the pale yellow motel ceiling. It was the color of Easter yellow, she’d decided, and it reminded her of chocolate and gardens and everything happy. It reminded her of some distant life where she probably would have done something to be proud of.

The ache in her chest resonated throughout her entire body, and her head was pounding to the rhythm of her heart—it was the only way she could be sure it was still beating.

She felt like someone had torn it out of her chest.

She turned onto her side and looked at the space in the bed beside her, clutching onto the soft material of the comforter until her knuckles turned white. Waking up on her own wasn’t new to her—she’d done it time and time again in the past two years, so much that she’d become numb to the loneliness that came with it. But this time was different…

This time, she knew he wasn’t coming back.

She suddenly felt a tear roll down her face, and just like that, she couldn’t get him out of her head.

He was everywhere.

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accidentally?

Based on this prompt I said I’d fill a few days ago:

boss: “know why I called you in here?”
me: “because I accidentally sent you a dick pic”
boss: “accidentally?”

yup.

(on ao3)

“You need to stop pining after people you haven’t even spoken to,” Lydia says one day, probably because Derek—er, Mr. Hale, their boss—has just stepped through the front door of the cafe where they’re having lunch, and Stiles has trailed off mid-word to watch him walk up to the counter. In Stiles’ defense, he’s never seen Mr. Hale outside of the office before, let alone Mr. Hale wearing a leather jacket over his dress shirt. God, and Stiles thought the tailored suits were bad enough…

Anyway.

“Uh, I have too spoken to him,” Stiles says indignantly, tearing his eyes away from Derek’s broad back across the room. “One day I was coming out of the break room and I almost walked right into him and he said, ‘Excuse me,’ so then I said, ‘Oops,’ and he smiled at me. Kind of. A little bit. I mean, I interpreted it as a smile. There was some prolonged eye contact.”

Lydia abruptly stops stirring her fat-free latte to stare at him—one of those Oh god, it’s worse than I thought kind of looks. “That’s it?”

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FACTS ABOUT CONNOR MURPHY (spoilers)

So I have decided to post all the facts and hints about Connor Murphy’s past that are shown in the musical. It’s hard to make out considering people in the fandom usually focus on the lies Evan tells to figure out Connor’s personality.

To get this conclusion (which I will post in a second) I literally skipped all scenes concerning Evan’s lies and went directly to the Murphy family and what they say. None of these facts/hints involve what Evan said about Connor.

First of all, I’ll say now that I have put my own interpretation on each of these facts.

And so, I will put all FACTS in BOLD.
Anything out of bold is my own interpretation and how I see it to be. It’s up to you to agree with me or disagree.

First, I will post my conclusions on each family member, and then afterwards, I will post the reasons for each one.

Zoe

Zoe was an emotional and verbal abuse victim. There is no evidence of physical abuse, although there were threats that could have potentially led to that. She has all the right to not grieve over Connor, in all honesty, she could have sent him to the police for what he did, but as an abuse victim, that is very hard to do. Connor was probably the cause of most of her insecurities and she hated him for that. The unhealthy habit of taking out his anger on the nearest person to him probably made him lash out at his sister whenever he had a panic attack. Judging by how he really did care enough to keep the creepy letter about his sister, written by Evan, in his pocket for 3 days before he committed suicide, it’s safe to say that he really regretted being mean to his sister and actually cared about her.

Connor’s mom, Cynthia

Connor’s mom was a woman obsessed with reputation. She’s known as the rich man’s wife, and wants more than anything to be a regular family. But because her son had mental illnesses, her perfect image was ruined. She acted as though she was there for him but when it came down to it, she did nothing. She pushed for therapy but after a while, her husband took him out of it because “it wasn’t worth the money,” and she basically went, “welp, I tried.” I will quote what I say later: Connor’s mom might not actually be sad that her son is gone, but rather, she’s ashamed that her family actually doesn’t care. It seems like Connor’s mom is filled with regret for not being there for her son, and she’s forcing her family to act like they regretted it too, because that’s what a real family should have been like. But this is only a personal theory.

Connor’s dad, Larry

Connor’s dad might be one of the main sources of his depression. It is very obvious to me that Connor’s dad believed him to be a disappointment. He didn’t grieve for his dead son and only played along to make his wife happy. He’s annoyed by the whole situation. It even seemed like he hated the fact that there was fake remnants of his son in Evan. Almost like he wished Connor wasn’t friends with Evan so he could just forget all about him and not need to deal with it. At some point he was a kind father. When they went to the orchard together for picnics, it seems like they were a happy family. Connor’s dad had played with their toy plane together and had some great memories. The whole family practically forgot about this, though. Connor’s dad didn’t cry at his own dead son’s funeral. I think that sums it up.

Connor Murphy

Connor was a complicated person. He had many different mental illnesses. I could research which ones he probably had, but there’s probably already a post somewhere on it already. One thing for sure, is that he was unstable. He might not have been like that his whole life, but at the time of knowing him, the time he was briefly alive in the show, he was incredibly unstable. Everything and anything could set him off, and he probably hated that about himself as well. Pushing away everyone near him that could possibly help and hating himself for doing so, spiraling himself into a closed minded world of self-hate and regret, which is something that many people can relate to, including me. He did a lot of horrible things to his sister and to his family. I don’t blame his family for not actually grieving him, he was a really bad person. The problem is, he could have been a good person as well. He had all the potential to get better. He talked to Evan, probably wishing to say sorry about pushing him earlier in the hall. He was trying, he wanted to try. He wanted to get better. He just gave up too soon.

This post is very long! I’m sorry. If you’d like to read more, I’m putting the reasons I’ve come to these conclusions under the cut.

Remember, ALL FACTS ARE IN BOLD. Anything else is my personal interpretation.

Keep reading

Book Rec List

I’m bored, home alone, and packing all my books. So here, have a list of book recommendations from yours truly!

Fantasy

  • Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit
    • A young girl meets a family that gained eternal life after drinking from an enchanted spring, and is left to wonder whether living forever is a blessing or a curse. It’s a fantastic book that hurts your heart in 139 pages.
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
    • Six morally horrible people plan an impossible heist for selfish motivations. But the romances between the morally horrible people are somehow still very pure and wonderful. The plot also keeps you on the edge of your seat because you never have all of the information until the last possible second. And if you love fantasy worlds that include POC main characters and LGBTQ representation, this is the duology for you!
  • The Last Dragonlord by Joanne Bertin
    • Human/dragon shapeshifter romance with political intrigue. And really fun worldbuilding, too.
  • Green Rider by Kristen Britain
    • One of my favorite series. The overarching plot is wonderful, you genuinely care about all the characters, and this is one of those stories where “strong female characters” means both “well-rounded, well-developed females with agency” AND “kicks some serious ass”.
  • Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
    • The protagonist is the villain. I wrote that correctly. Artemis Fowl is the villain. The entire series is about his personal journey from villain to hero, with all the beautiful and human mistakes throughout.
    • Also, it’s got fairies. With guns.
  • Dragon’s Milk by Susan Fletcher
    • A super fun (and quick-read) series about people smuggling dragons to safety in a world that is determined to destroy them. Also, lots of baby dragons. And dragons being dragons, and neither morally good nor evil. It’s wonderful.
  • Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
    • The funniest fucking book I’ve ever read. God’s starting the apocalypse, but they’ve somehow managed to misplace the AntiChrist. And it just gets more insane.
  • Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
    • One of my favorite books of all time. It has a fascinating new take on dragons, genuinely fun political intrigue, romances you root for but aren’t the focus of the plot, and a half-dragon heroine that you absolutely fall in love with. And, if you make it to the second book, Shadow Scales, there is massive LGBTQ representation. I’m talking gay and bi characters, I’m talking trans characters, I’m talking people asking “How may I pronoun you?” and strongly-implied polyamorous relationships. And dragons. And plot twists.
  • Castaways of the Flying Dutchman by Brian Jacques
    • When the Flying Dutchman was cursed to roam the sea forever, a boy and his dog who were on board are spared from the curse due to their pure hearts, are washed ashore and granted eternal life and youth. Now they roam the world helping people and getting into adventures. Don’t let the fun fool you, though, it’s fucking heartbreaking. They really don’t skimp on the “we’re immortal so everyone we love dies” angle, and the “wow, this kid looks like he’s seen some shit”. Also the first book feels much more YA than the other two.
  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
    • I know it’s pretty much only known as middle-school assigned reading, but this book is clever, insightful, and absolutely fantastic. I definitely stood in line to get this book autographed in high school. A boy with no imagination is sent to a crazy world of unique perspectives and interesting insights to rescue Rhyme and Reason.
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
    • That book they made us all read in 5th grade that is actually all it’s cracked up to be. It’s absolutely trippy fantasy with a sci-fi edge to it, and the characters are so utterly endearing. Personally, my favorite is A Wind in the Door, but that’s book 2.
  • The Onion Girl by Charles de Lint
    • Contemporary fantasy at its absolute best. It’s modern urban fantasy that puts the fantastic in our world in such a wonderful and beautiful way. The best part is it’s also a story about dealing with physical disabilities, trauma, past abuse, self-healing, the complexity of forging and rekindling relationships with others when one is hurting, etc. Honestly, it’s just fucking awesome.
  • Dreams Underfoot by Charles de Lint
    • A book of short stories (all contemporary urban fantasy), and the best way to be introduced to Charles de Lint’s writing. So, if you want to read The Onion Girl but aren’t sure you’re ready for it yet. This is the first book I ever took a highlighter to.
  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
    • Do you want to crush your heart and destroy your soul and cry like a baby in 128 pages? You’ll be happy you did.
  • Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
    • This is a standalone novel, and the best way to be introduced to Sanderson’s work. This book has phenomenal and complex worldbuilding, three-dimensional characters with agency you will fall in love with, and a book-long mystery that just blows you away when you figure out the answer. If you enjoy this book, you have to read Mistborn next.
  • Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
    • Elantris on steroids. This is, without a doubt, the most fascinating worldbuilding I have ever encountered in literature. It’s so complicated, but completely logical, and the plot is so bewitching. And Sanderson can leave you as many clues as he wants - he will still blow your fucking mind when all the pieces come together at the end. The book takes a while to pick up the pace, but I swear to you it’s worth it.
  • Dealing with Dragons by Patricia Wrede
    • A princess gets bored, and decides to volunteer to be a dragon’s captive. Then she gets into a ton of adventures and ends up discovering a plot to overthrow the dragon government. It’s a lighthearted, quick and fun read, and Cimorene is my fucking hero.

Classics

  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
    • Oh God, read Pride and Prejudice. It’s my absolute favorite book.
  • Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
    • If you can, read the abridged copy. It’s kind of hard to find, so look for the one that was translated by Charles Wilbour and abridged by Paul Bénichou. It’s all the meat of the story and barely a third of the size.
  • Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
    • I mostly like it because it’s written from the rather limiting perspective of Raoul, which means you’re in the dark about the goings-on of the book until someone bothers to tell Raoul what’s happening. It’s actually a lot of fun.
  • Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
    • A grim mystery wrapped up like a romance, where the second Mrs. de Winter is trying to discover what truly happened to her husband’s first wife. It’s by the woman who wrote The Birds (which you may know as the famous Hitchcock movie), if that clues you in to the vibe of the book.

  • I don’t really have enough classics on this list
Mind the Ferns
Tan skin rippled across taut muscles, delicately framing the sinewed shape of lean, strong arms that glistened with beads of sweat mixed with dirt.

“D’you get a new landscaper, Nick?” you asked your friend, continuing to watch as the man knelt over a flowerbed while yanking out weeds. He tossed it aside into a bucket for clippings, and as if he felt your gaze on him, he turned around and spotted you standing at the window. Catching the way you straightened, affirming that you had been staring at him, he chuckled with a smirk, wiping his damp brow with the back of his hand and turned back to his task.

“Hmm?” Nick asked, coming out of the fridge with two beers and handing one of them to you. He caught sight of your shy expression and the man working hard out in his garden, nodding as he understood your question. “No, that’s Harry. He owns the company, but I guess they’re understaffed since Harry’s covering for Marcus while he’s on holiday. We hang out sometimes–he’s pretty chill. Watch romcoms together. He’ll be hangin’ around after he’s finished.”

You were only half listening as your attention fell back to the man—Harry, as Nick had said—watching his back curve perfectly as he struggled with a stubborn weed, the hem of his florescent yellow t-shirt riding up to expose more tanned skin and more sweat.

“Alright, then,” Nick continued, with an annoyed yet amused smile as he took a sip of his beer. “Let’s head outside so you can enjoy the view.”

“Sure,” you agreed without thinking about his comment. Head in the clouds, you followed him toward the sliding glass door that led out to the patio, stepping halfway through before realizing what he said. “Hey!”

“What?” he laughed. “Should I have added, more than you already are?” he teased. You had to laugh because of course he was right, and honestly you didn’t mind removing the layer of glass between you and this gardener from the heavens.

Keep reading

Good Girl (Dom!Sherlock x reader)

A/N: SOMEONE reminded me of Sherlock using the riding crop week ago and I realized I had not thought of it enough, or even enjoyed it enough. So let’s dig into it, shall we? Also I might be writing about Molly a bit too harshly on this one, but I really like her character, so don’t think I’m trying to bully her.

Warnings: smut, so much smut, riding crop, bondage, it ended up with dom!sherlock I think that’s the riding crop’s fault, some swearing.


”Oh, you’re here with that again.” Molly Hooper gasped at the sight of the riding crop in Sherlock’s hand. She had not expected to see him with it ever again. Her fingers fiddled the files she held so dearly against her chest, nervously taking in uneven breaths, her eyes wide and a warm smile creeping it’s way on her thin pink lips. Those brown beaming eyes fixing on the man’s face in front of her, trying to get an answer to an unsaid question that was right at the tip of her tongue and since she got none, deciding to make herself heard she squeaked out, ”Another experiment?”

Sherlock’s expressionless face was still blank, his pale skin almost shining under the bright white lights that shone from the lamps above them in the hallway down stairs in St. Bartholomew’s hospital at the morgue section. He faked a smile, trying his best to seem sincere, but the curve on his lips disappearing as fast as it appeared after he answered to Molly’s presumption by, ”Yes, obviously.” He then gazed over Molly’s shoulder to the door she had just exited, her spot where she examined the bodies brought in for crime consulting. ”Is your room free for use?” The smile reappearing on his face, eyes shining as he sweetly pointed towards the door.

Molly too gazed over her shoulder, dumbfounded by Sherlock’s straight forward demeanor, her pony tail swishing while following her head’s movement back and forth. She sharply turned back to Sherlock and looked disappointingly doubtful. In these occasions Sherlock would need to give Molly numerous compliments to get her bend to his will, usually two or three would do it, and he still had some laying about in the deeps of his mind. He didn’t usually settle for being told no, but even as easy as Molly was he hated to go through the trouble. Then again he didn’t need to feel bad. He was in a relationship, she knew it too. He could point out a nice thing or two about her appearance without feeling guilt.

”Well, I actually just cleared the hall and was about to get home…” Molly muttered biting down on her lower lip. She was still staring right back as Sherlock with her big eyes, much like a puppy. As Sherlock stared back at her she tried to find something, anything, to fix her eyes on so she wouldn’t feel uncomfortable by the silence that took over the hallway the both had blocked. Her fingers drummed the surface of the file on her arms and before Sherlock got to test his new compliment on Molly she sighed, ”I could stay for an hour longer.”

Sherlock genuinely smiled, thanked Molly and followed after her as she turned on her heels and headed back to her spot, keeping the door open for Sherlock as he followed close behind. He was a step away from Molly, but he was careful enough not to step on her heels, keeping the distance long enough to avoid doing so. He instructed Molly what he needed, a body, in what position and age, which actually at this point were all unnecessary to him, but to keep with his habits he went by it anyway. He picked an older woman, not over fifty years old, chubby, about a day old corpse.

When you entered the hospital after receiving a message from Sherlock, where he suggested you to meet him at the morgue before going to Baker Street, you took the elevator to the down floors. He rather would company you on your way to his flat than have you wait him there for fifteen to sixty minutes when you could wait for him hear, right next to him.

You knew he was there for an experiment, but you hadn’t been informed which kind, but it wasn’t the first time. He didn’t much go with explaining everything and every part of his work to you, only when he saw fit. You exited the elevator, turned down the hall, through a door and saw Molly Hooper standing close to a window. She was flinching at the sight ahead of her that you were unable to witness. This made your imagination run wild. If Sherlock was cutting a corpse to pieces, scaring Molly you would let him hear from it for sure.

You and Molly were rather good friends, though you didn’t see each other that often. You had known her longer than Sherlock and back then, when you finally met the man Molly had been daydreaming about, constantly talking about him, you felt really bad for finding him charming, sexy and interesting. You wanted to know him better, you could point out just how unique person he was by first standing and that intrigued you. Sherlock, back then, didn’t much try to approach you and actually acted very cold toward you, but as time passed he did become interested in you. The truth was that he had found you just as interesting as you had found him, but, incapable of handling feelings and emotions he tried to push you away. But when Sherlock did tell you how he felt you fought back, for Molly. You didn’t want to be that friend that steals boyfriend or a crush, though Sherlock and Molly had never dated. Time went by and Molly realized how much Sherlock cared for you, she insisted you to let him take you out and you did. Now you had been dating for almost a year with the detective and it didn’t bother Molly, she still did fancy Sherlock, yes, but would never do anything, or try anything because she knew you and him were together.

You approached Molly with long strides, your hands sway on either side of you, your shoes hitting the floor and the sound echoing loudly, but it wasn’t enough to bring Molly back from her trance. Only until you were right beside her, already talking, she jumped realizing you were there. She was holding a file in her arms, her white long jacket almost burying her form under, her hands barely showing as she held the file high, the top touching her chin. You took a stand next to her after you had greeted her and asked her, ”What’s he doing?” Molly simply nodded towards the window.

You turned to look through the glass and what you saw almost stopped your heart, the breath you took getting stuck in your throat. The reflection of your boyfriend on the other side moved fast, mirroring his movements as he kept whipping the pale lifeless body, hair falling on his face, sweat drops lining on his forehead. He was so concentrated on what he was doing that he hadn’t even noticed you, much like Molly just now. You and she stood there in silence for a minute, admiring Sherlock in his tight purple dress shirt, black jacket and trousers that hugged his body perfectly, not too tight to bother his doings.

Your eyes were captivated by the show. You pressed your thighs together, trying to evade the wetness that increased between your legs from growing, your cheeks turning pink. You could hear your own breathing, deep and long breaths. You felt ashamed that you were standing by your good friend when your boyfriend was right there, making you feel like this. The whip was drawn back then coming down in a fast swish, the end of the crop must likely echoing in the other room. Sherlock’s hair pulled back when he straightened his back, readying for another spank, then falling over his eyes when his head lowered. It took all of your efforts to move your gaze away from Sherlock and to finally concentrate on Molly, to try and be polite like a normal human being should.

”How have you been, Molly?” You asked and even if you had tried to sound as friendly and natural it didn’t show. You ended up reminding of your shy demeanor where you had only just met the woman in front of you and this was the first time talking to her which was not true. She was your closest friend. You had seen Molly repeatedly just last month. Of course these days always Sherlock being precent. ”I haven’t seen you in a while.” You gave her a warm smile to which she answered with one of her own. You started a conversation that was irrelevant to Sherlock’s on going spanking in the next room, and you kept up with it for about ten minutes. You were talking about work and Molly’s life. She had met someone who she considered worthy of her time and you cheered her to go for it, just like she had done with you on Sherlock. After those ten minutes she looked at her phone screen to see the clock and gasped. She had two missed calls and she was late from seeing this mysterious man of hers.

You put your hands comfortingly on her shoulders, promised her you and Sherlock would finish things in here while she went to change so she could clean up after Sherlock and get to her man. Molly thanked you and rushed to change, typing on her phone and then as she went to enter through a door she lifted her phone over her ear to call. You turned back to Sherlock who still kept spanking and couldn’t but freeze for another minute. He lifted his gaze, took couple of uncontrolled steps and flinched, or so it looked like, as he saw you there instead of Molly. He smirked and nodded his head, out of breath he was, to which you answered by a wave of your hand and mouthing ’Hi’ to him. He beckoned you to company him on the other side of the glass and you did as you were asked.

”Hello, Sherlock.” You smiled, closing the door behind you. The soft click heard by you both, your hand lingering on the handle while you stood near the entrance. Sherlock smirked at you and your weariness, a chuckle leaving his lips, his hands gripping the riding crop, eyes fixed on it, but not concentrated by the object. He spun on his heels, his eyes were gleaming by now, at the sight of you, and he was greatly humored  by something. He tilted his head and asked, ”Did you enjoy the show?”

”Molly needs to leave soon so better finish up what you’re doing.” You informed in an ordering tone trying to change the subject, but still held a playful smile on your lips. You walked right beside Sherlock, the room was probably a degree or two warmer than on the other side. Your steps were short, but fast enough as you approached him, not letting him grow impatient while he already waited to embrace you. He held his left hand stretched inviting you for a side hug and as you reached his arm he pulled you to his side, kissing your right temple. The riding crop was still in his right hand, his fingers gripping on it, holding it on his side and the tip of it brushing close the floor.

”I’m almost ready.” He said and his left hand’s fingers wrapped around your wrist, then a smirk spread on his lips. ”So you did enjoy the show?” That bastard just checked your pulse, you realized. ”Someone’s exited.” He stated and you looked up at his bright shining eyes and a smile he tried to keep away from spreading on his lips. His hair looked more black than dark brown in the dim light in the room you were in and it shadowed his whole face, strands of hair hanging loosely over his face. You wanted to hit him, but Sherlock pulled you closer, your hands pressed on either side of your body making it impossible for you to inform him of your opinion. You settle for a frown which wasn’t as effective as a fist to his shoulder would’ve been.

He laughed at your expression, you reminded him of an unhappy child and he rubbed your left arm with his that was still wrapped around you. He leaned closer, his breath tickling your skin, lips brushing your ear, ”There. Finished.” It came out in a choked chuckled he had tried to hide, but failed. You suspected he really even cared you had caught him finding the situation humorous, then again you didn’t even know what the situation was in the first place, so you gave him a suspicious grin, your body leaning inches away from him to your left to get a better look at him.

”You didn’t even do anything.” You pin pointed, eyebrows low and eyes slightly narrowed but not scowling, amusement clear on your features but still doubtful. You could see Sherlock smile wickedly at your statement, his head turning towards the window to see had Molly already come back but fortunately was met with a sight of an empty hallway. He laughed and pulled you close again, whispering to your ear, ”Tell me, how long had you been watching?” You answered with, ”Ten minutes or so.” Of course you weren’t hundred percent sure. Sherlock nodded in agreement and looked away again. He had had hard time looking straight back at you for some reason and you kept trying to catch his attention, but failed.

”Guess that’s enough.” Sherlock admitted to himself. He pulled away from the hug and started to get ready to leave, he took his jacket near the doorway, from a hanger as well as his scarf. He didn’t give you any answers from there on. You met Molly before exiting the hospital then headed to hail for a cab. Sherlock opened the door for you, he was smiling constantly and in very good mood. He sat right beside you in the cab, closer than usually and what he did through the whole ride gave away what he was up to. His hand was on your thigh, caressing and massaging the surface of your pants, inching higher and higher. You couldn’t stop smiling. So this was one of those days then. His eagerness surprised you, that you had to admit.

When you finally got to Baker Street, Sherlock paid the ride, rushing to open the door to his flat for you and when you went inside, he shut the door with a loud bang. You were taking your coat off when Sherlock took a stand right behind you, his front pressed firmly against your back. His breath lingered on your shoulders and you could hear him panting. He was so deliciously needy for you by now that you couldn’t help but tease him a little.

”Leave your coat and shoes, get upstairs to my bedroom and start stripping.” He growled in your ear. You knew he would get impatient in a second, but you wanted this. He had made you go through his show, now he had to go through yours. The coat you were wearing had now fallen off your shoulders, hanging on your elbows when you gazed at Sherlock over your shoulder, peeking at him sexily, biting your lower lip and asked, ”Do you want me completely naked or in my underwear?” You teased, pulling your hair back so he could see you better. He sucked air in his lungs, his eyes narrowing when he hissed, ”Everything on the floor. And don’t make me wait for another second, or I will have to punish you.” You tried to keep the chuckle in. Oh you would enjoy this.

”Are we in a hurry?” You purred, now fully facing him, on your tip toes. Your hands found their way on his shoulders, your lips touching his chin as you went to whisper, ”Are you too eager you can’t wait any longer?” That was when Sherlock snapped. He growled, lifting the riding crop to his mouth and bit on it, lowered his shoulders, his coat falling on the floor, he ripped his scarf off around his neck, that too on the floor in a blink and then he hooked his hands behind your thighs, pulling you to him, lifting you up. Your chest was pressed against his, your hands now behind his back, legs around his hips as he started to carry you upstairs. You giggled at his sudden dominance.

Sherlock carried you straight to his room, kicking the ajar door open with his foot and threw you on the bed, closing the door just as loudly as the front door. He gave you a wild, lustful look, taking the crop from his mouth and ordered you, ”Clothes off. Now.” And you did as he asked. You took your time though, giving him a show you slid your pants down with slow motion, your shirt pulled over your head, your hips swinging while you stripped. You could see the bulge in Sherlock’s pants. You bit your lip again, now taking the top that had been under your long sleeved shirt, lifting it to shield your eyes and while you were at it, Sherlock approached you fast, pulling the cloth off you and throwing it somewhere in his room. You unclasped your bra, taking it off while Sherlock went down on you. You heard him moan as he took a whiff. ”So wet for me already.” He moaned, taking your knickers, ”Just as I suspected.” then pushing you back down on his bed.

His room was dark, the only light came from through the thin and light curtains, but it wasn’t much. Then again you didn’t really care was it day light or moon light in which you fucked, just that you could see his face. You crawled back on the bed, Sherlock taking a step closer, he hungrily studied your now naked body. You lifted your head and dared to ask, ”Aren’t you going to take yours off?” That made Sherlock smile. It was one of those dominant smiles that gave you the answer. This was going to take time. You were in for a good and long play, wether you liked it or not, and Sherlock would make sure you would suffer. This wasn’t going to be one of those fair fights, but a foreplay with Sherlock was never fair. He would make sure to torture you with a long teasing. ”I don’t need to take mine off.” He chuckled. That cocky bastard.

”Shame, I would love to help.” You smirked. You made a risky move, lifting your leg up in the air, your toes touching the bulge in his pants and rubbing the fabric that shielded his cock. You looked at Sherlock daringly, about to inch closer to unbuckle his belt when he shoved your leg away with a grunt. He took a hold of your ankles, pulled at them so you were laying on your back, towering over you and whispered with a low, threatening tone, ”One more move and I will tie you to the bed, darling.” This sent a shiver down your spine, your folds pulsing. You gave out a shaky breath, not able to contain yourself. You didn’t know was that what you wanted, for Sherlock to tie you down or to just go with what he had planned already? He was already warning you and you knew he could be very ruthless towards you in bed, but you also knew when you were challenged you couldn’t back up.

You kneed his groin fast but softly enough to not hurt him. His back arched and he moaned out loud in your ear. You moved your leg, your knee rubbing his bulge. You couldn’t continue it longer than five seconds before Sherlock pulled away from you. You sat up, half disappointed how long he lasted but half amused by his angered expression. He took fast long steps, took a pair of hang cuffs from his locker and turned to you. You playfully whined and pouted. ”Aw, come now Sherlock. I was just returning the favor.” You pulled your hands behind your back as if that would stop him from cuffing you to the bed and like you had suspected, it didn’t.

”On your stomach, woman.” He ordered coldly. You knit your brows together. You knew you were in for trouble as he addressed you by ’woman’ and you felt hesitant on turning your back to him. This resulted Sherlock rolling his eyes at you, he walked over to you, took you by the shoulders and turned you over. His hands were awfully forceful and powerful and you couldn’t fight him nor did you want to. You were in a state where every move he made, every touch he gave you made you tingle. His fingers wrapped around your left wrist, cuffed it and pulled it around one of the headboards iron bars. Then he took a hold of your right wrist, securing it with the other and got up from the bed. You looked at Sherlock over your shoulder, he admired your exposed body and you could tell that you disobeying, ending you cuffed to the bed had only turned him on even more.

He took the riding crop from the floor where he had dropped it when he had helped you strip, eyeing the object dangerously interested in it. He let his fingers caress the crop, taking his time admiring the item. Your breathing started to quicken. You had never done this before and were honestly nervous by now. You knew you could deal with pain, but you had never experienced it while sex, not like this. You had to admit that you had found it hot when he had whipped the dead body back in the hospital, secretly wanted him to use it on you, but now that you were there, laying naked on your stomach ready for a beating you couldn’t help but worry.

”This is going to serve as your punishment, for starters.” Sherlock informed, his eyes now back on you. ”But only for starters as I am aware this will also turn you on even more, so do not think I am being nice to you.” He warned with a low voice. He then lifted the crop and swished it through the air, the tip hitting you hard on your left butt cheek. You chocked out a sound that was a mix of yelp, gasp and shriek. The touch of the crop was so sudden and the pain so fast like a big elastic band hitting your rear you couldn’t make out sound louder than the snap itself that echoed from the spank.

”Now, count out with me.” Sherlock instructed coldly and showed no remorse which only exited you more. ”When you are unable to feel the blows only then I will stop. That was one.” He waited, but you said nothing. He huffed in irritation, then hit you again with the crop, hearing you gasp. ”One!” He yelled and you repeated his words shortly. ”Good girl.” Sherlock cooed, pleased at your cooperation and you felt the words sink in. You were getting wet by his hits, but him dressing you like that, so dominantly made you lose your mind.

You had reached to five when Sherlock stopped. He let his hand caress your red, sensitive behind with his tender fingers. You had never imagined that the sensation that came from being hit repeatedly and then caressed could feel this good, it really felt like a reward more than a punishment. Your body shook under his touch, anticipating to get a real reward from your dominant boyfriend, but your movements back fired. Sherlock mused, ”I see you can still feel my touch.” You whined when he withdrew his hand from you and gripped the crop. He held it high, over his head and calmly said, ”Keep counting with me, love.” And he brought it down hard. Thankfully it took him only six more spanks to find you silent, not responding and he stopped. He sat beside you and started caressing your behind.

You were out of breath, your ass tingling and cheeks wet from tears. You had to admit you had liked the spanking, the crop would definitely need to stay around, but you intended that next time it would be drawn on his skin, not yours. You relaxed as much as you could on the bed, the soft blankets underneath you caressing your skin nicely, warm from your body heath. You nuzzled your head to the pillows, moaned while Sherlock treated your stinging arse.

”Spread your legs for me.” Sherlock ordered after a while of silence and this time, without any nasty remarks or witty comebacks you did as he said. You couldn’t see, but you heard from his voice that he was smirking. ”Someone has learned their lesson.” This sent a spark through you and you instantly wanted to show him just how submissive you had become, it was in your nature to keep fighting and resisting. ”Good girl.” Sherlock purred and that made all the thoughts of resistance fade. You were a slave to that word. Oh how much you loved hearing him say it.

Sherlock got closer to the between of your legs, he took the riding crop out again, holding it loosely in his hand. You reacted to his movements and went to close your legs, but Sherlock stopped you. He took a hold of your calves and kept them in place with an iron like grip. ”Don’t close them.” He warned. You forced your legs to relax and let him do what he was about to. You jumped on the bed when he brought the tip of the crop up your wet slit, gathering some of your juices to it to examine how wet you were. You heard him groan, pleased by your wetness. He then threw the crop away, it ended up on the floor far away from the bed. You smiled, thinking finally you could get you release.

Sherlock reached over your body, his breath tickling your neck and he placed his lips on your bare skin, kissing you softly. He went down your spine, his hands on both side of your waist. He lingered at your lower back, his breath warm against you, kissing and licking your skin, worshipping you. You were breathing loudly, ready for him to take, to give you your release, but Sherlock was far from that. He went back up, his lips guiding him, back to your shoulders and to your neck. His curly hair ghosted on your cheek, his hands cupping your breasts. Oh how you had needed that. He massaged your nipples with his fingers, making sure to keep you moaning.

”Please.” You moaned in between deep breaths. ”Please, Sherlock.” You gasped. Sherlock grinned. You were already begging, how sad. ”Sherlock, I can’t take this anymore, I need you.” Your voice grew louder and louder, but Sherlock kept his pace steady, horribly slow. You didn’t want him to treat you this way, not now when he had started so dominantly, turning to your gentle lover that took his time to give all your body parts equally the same amount of love. His voice surprised you. It was nothing like what his actions gave out. He almost growled in your ear, ”You think you have learned your lesson?” He asked. You were baffled. What lesson? If he didn’t mean you disobeying his orders then you had no idea what he was talking about. ”When I give you an order, I expect you to follow it. No questions asked.” Good, so you were on the same page. You nodded your head, then moaned, ”I’ll be good. I’m a good girl. I’ll do what ever you say.” An evil grin spread on Sherlock’s lips. ”That is what I am counting on.” He gave you a last kiss, then pulled away. You heard him get off the bed, starting to strip. You were about to turn on your back when Sherlock snapped, ”I didn’t tell you to move. Don’t make me punish you again, love.”

You waited as he agonizingly slowly undressed himself, he could see you twitch on the bed, your eyes taking in every new naked part of him as he pulled the clothes off. ”How does it feel?” He asked. ”To have to wait for me?” You frowned. So this was payback time? ”It’s killing me.” You whispered truthfully. Sherlock hummed in agreement. ”Good.” He stated, now finally fully naked, his wonderful cock rock hard, pointing towards you. He walked closer, you moved on the bed but not changing your position. ”Now on your fours.” He said.

”Aren’t you going to uncut me?” You asked truly surprised. You longed to touch him. You longed to turn over and kiss him, bury your finger in his hair and pull him close. You heard Sherlock chuckle. ”You didn’t really think I was done with your punishment, did you?” Your eyes flew open. He knew how much you hated to be bound to the bed when he did give you your release. So this was it. This was one of his punishments. And you had thought it had been the riding crop. Stupid you.

”I did mention knowing you would get aroused by the riding crop before. This is your real punishment. You have been a very bad girl and I think your release will be rewarding enough. No need to untie you, maybe now my naughty girl will learn.” He purred and you cursed, but just inside of your head. You knew now that you had crossed a line. Why did you have to tease him so?

”Please, Sherlock, I promise I’ll be good from now on! Just please, untie me!” You pleaded as Sherlock positioned himself behind you. He put his hands on your ass that was now in the air, your legs slightly spread. ”No. You need to become more obedient and if I am to back away from my methods you will never learn. Now, embrace your reward, love. Next time I even might let you lay on your back.” And he thrusted in. You moaned louder than expected, your hands pulling the cuffs. You were sure you would have awful bruises on your wrists by the morning.

Sherlock pulled out slowly, then thrusted back in, his nails digging deep into your flesh as he pounded into you in a way that made you scream from pleasure. He was rough with you, his right hand finding it’s way in your hair and grasping it, pulling your head back as he thrusted. It didn’t take you long to come, and Sherlock came right after you, pulling out and spreading his cum over your holes and running down your thighs. You tried to even your breathing, your head hit the pillows, Sherlock retreating from you and laying next to you, opening the cuffs for you so you could lay down next to him.

Sherlock pulled you to his embrace, hugged you and kissed you. You snuggled close to him, both of you sweaty and still out of breath. Sherlock was first to talk, ”I hope I didn’t hurt you too much.” He whispered. You shook your head. ”No, just the right amount.” You admitted. ”I really didn’t intend to be so ruthless.” Sherlock told you, but he didn’t sound so sincere as he had intended. ”It’s alright, as long as you let me use the crop next time.” You chuckled, your eyes starting to close. Sherlock laughed at that and said, ”Didn’t I tell you that next time, it will be you, once again cuffed to the bed on your back?”

”You were serious?” You asked, your eyes opening. Your boyfriend laughed at your puzzled expression. ”Of course I was serious. Your punishment is far from over.” He explained and kissed the top of your head. ”You fucking sociopath.” You sighed.

Breaking the Rules - part 6

Bucky Barnes x Reader

Summary:  Modern!AU You hate James Barnes with a burning passion and the feeling is entirely mutual. Just when you think things can’t get any worse, you are tricked into attending his sister’s wedding as his girlfriend. Stuck with a bunch of strangers, you come up with a set of rules that are not going to last long.

Word Count:2,395

Warnings: the usual 

A/N: I’m sure how I feel about this, but anyway…

Breaking the Rules - Masterpage

Originally posted by dailyevanstan

“What the hell are you wearing?” Bucky burst out laughing when he saw you.

You had followed his mother and sisters to the wedding venue so you hadn’t seen him since you had left that morning. Becca’s prom dress fitted you just right, but it wasn’t the most appropriate outfit for a wedding.

It was a shimmering purple dress with lots of frills.

“You look like a sparkling plum,” he said, doubling over in laughter.

“Fuck off!”

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Highlights from Talks Machina (Episode 105)

Again, covering for @eponymous-rose​ while she continues her international vacation! Sorry for missing last week–things got crazy! Tonight’s guests: Darin de Paul, Taliesin sporting a lovely scarlet mohawk, and Travis. Brian starts a story that ends with him forging several signatures, and off we go.

  • The new campaign guide comes out soon! Taliesin is now worried about messing up the history of a character he invented.
  • Darin loves D&D as a long-form improv exercise and is happy he was able to get moments with each of the cast members.
  • Right after college, Darin was an apprentice at the Burt Reynolds Theater in Florida (a year-long program for theater students). One of his co-apprentices was Matt’s mom, and Matt’s grandmother was the director’s assistant. Matt’s father was part of the writing room. During the run of Darin’s last show (Fiddler), a clarinet player said they were going to play D&D and invited Darin. Matt’s mother was also in the group; they were all new to the game, so they rolled on a table for names and played four sessions. Last year, Darin was hired by Blizzard to do various voices, which is where he and Matt became friends. Later, Matt realized his mom had a picture of herself with Darin de Paul, and discussion of that picture led to the conversation of their D&D game. It’s been 37 years since Sprigg’s original campaign.
  • Matt was worried about fitting Sprigg in until Darin mentioned he was a hermit. The hobgoblin TPK was canon! Sprigg, a chaotic evil illusionist thief, was the only one to survive; the last moment of that campaign had him fleeing on a cart with wolves chasing him, abandoning the rest of the party to their deaths. Travis and Taliesin ask if he really was chaotic evil; “Why do you think he was so interested in redemption, dear boy?”
  • The first episode Darin saw was the Trials of the Take episode when the carpet was destroyed. He’s wanted to be on the show ever since.
  • Symmetra’s voice actor, Anjali Bhimani, also plays D&D. My heart skips a few beats.
  • Vex and Percy eloped over the year break. Laura and Taliesin kept it secret out of pique at first (Taliesin doesn’t remember why they were piqued). He’s not surprised the others are annoyed.
  • Grog was extremely impressed by Sarenrae and hasn’t thought much about Kord giving him any boons.
  • Darin has been a fan of the show and watching for some time. Taliesin says he is the most prepared guest they’ve ever had.
  • Very few people were present at Vex & Percy’s wedding. They did not intend to ever bring it up on their own.
  • The plane of books is the worst possible plane for Grog. Only the plane of shopping would be worse.
  • As soon as Darin walked into the studio last Thursday, Travis immediately asked him if he was a god. Travis still thinks he might be.
  • Percy would rather have a thousand years with Vex than a thousand years with Ioun’s library.
  • Travis wants a “positive, upbeat resolution to all the drama that is a-hanging in the air.” Me too. Travis does not read the Player’s Handbook to help keep Grog dumb, so he never knows what’s going on.
  • Travis loves how prepared Darin was. He offered the Deck because he thought Darin was looking for something specific after Sprigg deflected the weaker offerings.
  • Darin loved the emotion in the room during the plane shift and the strong moment with Marisha in particular. He also likes the movie Gargoyles.
  • The hardest thing about playing Sprigg after so long was finding him again. Brian gets very sentimental about the long journey that brought Sprigg back to life, including Darin becoming friends and colleagues with Matt so many years later.
  • Darin will be back on the next episode and is visibly excited about it.
  • Darin used to read tons of D&D books (mentions Drizzt by name) and used to paint minis as a hobby. He still has some of the figures and wants to donate them to the show.
  • Darin’s wife was part of Taliesin’s parents’ circle, so he’s known her for a long time. Taliesin and Darin exchange memories of meeting Roddy McDowall, and Darin says part of Sprigg’s concept of memories being the most important came from a conversation he had with Roddy while Roddy was dying of cancer.
  • Percy’s current distrusting attitude towards the gods came directly from his interaction with the Raven Queen. However, he didn’t know there was a god of knowledge and has been “chewing on it a lot, and what it means to have faith in knowledge.” He sees the library as a testament to faith in humanity and the good works of life and how important memory is and is blown away by it. “Books have always been about finding meaning and this whole library thing has changed him.” Taliesin expected Percy to be much more resistant to Ioun and was surprised at how quickly the books sold him.
  • Darin felt as the scenes progressed that his role was to “illuminate” CR as to where they were and what they could be. Taliesin and Percy both wondered if he was Scanlan from the future. Darin had the choice of being Scanlan’s dad, but declined.
  • Percy picked Vesper because her namesake was the last person he’d talked to in real life.
  • The only place Travis can think of worse for Grog is if the books were replaced with clothing & a For Sale sign. “Grog has a beatnik poet inside him waiting to get out.”
  • Darin’s advice to Keyleth was total improv. He almost cried when she touched his hand. He loves funny characters that can become sad and/or touching.
  • Marisha has no idea how to get Keyleth out of her emotional nosedive. Watching Marisha break character from Keyleth at the end of an episode is one of Taliesin’s favorite things because they’re such different people.
  • Percy would seek out the lifebooks for all his family & ancestry because he’s fascinated with legacy, and Whitestone is full of ghost stories. He had lots of stories he’d planned to give as part of the gnomes’ tour, and tells one about a woman forced into a marriage who slowly poisoned her husband over a number of years.
  • Sprigg feels he is what Scanlan might become. He did not expect to survive the episode.
  • If they were really in Ioun’s halls, Travis would love to see the books of his family and of JFK. Darin would like to see his father’s book. Darin also likes wearing suits, which is why he wears suits. He only wears t-shirts at the gym. (At one point Darin’s family also owned 20 horses???). He wishes his parents could see him now because they were so supportive when he was growing up.

Honor! Justice! After Dark, After Dark, After Dark!

  • If the challenge for Ioun involves any physical activity, Grog will fight Percy for it.
  • Bucket lists: Travis wants to swim with a great white shark. (Darin’s biggest fear is great white sharks.) Taliesin wants to travel to India. Darin wants to learn to tap dance, and casually drops that he used to dance with Cirque du Soleil.
  • Darin’s favorite color is black. His favorite season is winter.
  • There’s a video somewhere of Darin de Paul and Steve Blum pretending to be zombies and running towards the camera.
  • Travis and Darin do Reinhardt “impressions” by talking in high-pitched baby voices. Taliesin does a pretty decent actual impression! Darin likes that there’s heroes for every playstyle.
  • Darin hasn’t told Matt’s parents he brought back Sprigg. He also used to have a crush on Matt’s mom.
  • If Darin could pick any character from VM to play, he would play Scanlan. Brian teases the entire world by saying he would play “the character Pike’s in love with.”
  • Darin’s twitter flooded after last Thursday and he wishes he could respond to all of the kind messages.
  • Darin once shared floss with Gilbert Gottfried as part of an old bit.
  • Darin feels his whole history has led to this moment last Thursday where he had the chance to create a story with people he loved.
  • Laura read the Game of Thrones books as they came out, well before the show started. Brian just found the copy of the first book she lent him in 2010, which he still hasn’t read.
  • If Sprigg could fight any D&D monster, it would be a hobgoblin.
The Stag and The Bastard

IMAGINE: Being the younger sister of Robert, Stannis and Renly and meeting Jon Snow in the kitchens during the feast. 

[gif is not mine. creds to the owner. part of the poetry series, this time it’s based off lang leav’s ‘someone like you’.] 

warnings: none

words: 2.0k +


‘Do you think there is the possibility of you and I? In this lifetime, is that too much to hope for?…’

She could feel the stares of the people as she walked into the hall, nevertheless she kept walking her chin held up high. (Y/N) knew why they were staring. Of course it was very uncommon for such a highborn lady to not wear dresses, but it was so trivial. She could hear Robert’s voice from the end of the hall, she could practically see Cersei rolling her eyes at her husband’s behaviour.  

“Sister!” She looked at her brother at the centre of the table, gesturing for her to hurry along and break her fast with them.

“Brother,” she greeted him when she was close enough. She walked past the Stark and the Baratheon children. She wasn’t older than them by any means, basically the same age as Robb but nonetheless she was royalty.

“Why are you dressed like a man?” Renly spoke, smirking when he saw his sister’s reaction.

“I’m going around Winterfell today to see what there is,” she looked around at the faces. Robert looked on with interest as well as Cersei, Stannis looked indifferent and Renly just looked amused. “As well as around the North.”

“Do you have an escort my lady?” Catelyn spoke from her far left. “We have plenty of escorts to show you around.”

(Y/N)’s gaze turned to Cat, she smiled softly and shook her head. “Thank you, but I already have an escort. A suitable one, one that I chose myself.”

“Who is it?”

“Jon Snow,” she could practically feel the anger radiate from Cat as soon as she said that name. (Y/N) smiled at her, this time with an all knowing smile, without another word she took her seat and sat beside Renly.


“You’re stirring things up sister,” Renly whispered softly.

“I’m not,” she responded. Renly gave her a knowing look. “Okay, maybe I am but I’m not intentionally doing it.”

“How did you even get to meet Jon Snow? How did you get him as the escort?”

“So many questions brother,” (Y/N) twirled her fork and looked at the table below them. She looked for the familiar black hair but knowing better. Of course he wasn’t at the table with them. He was probably alone outside, or maybe he was inside a barn? Or in the kitchens, much like he was last night.


The clanging sounds of pots and pans echoed across the narrow hall where (Y/N) walked, she could see the faint light of the kitchens. A booming laugh echoed across the hall, knowing that it came from her over joyous brother from the feast behind her.

“Your Highness?” A servant stood before, curtsying. “Is something the matter?”

(Y/N) softly smiled, “No.” She pointed to the room where the light was coming from, “Is this the kitchens?”

“Yes my lady,” (Y/N) nodded ending the conversation. The servant curtsied again and hurried off.

(Y/N) walked towards the kitchen, she could hear the conversations that were being held. She heard her name being mentioned, with quiet movements she moved to the alcove just before it.

“I’m telling you Myl, that girl is no Highborn woman, nor a Princess,” a woman with a gruff voice sounded. “The way that she holds herself, she’s more interested in cajoling with the men and knights than being properly trained as a royal. I hear that she’s the black sheep in that family.” (Y/N) could imagine the tittering imbeciles edging in closer trying to catch up on the latest gossip while they make the food. 

(Y/N) clenched her fist together, she’s heard this over the years of course. She preferred to be in the company of men as she wanted to fight, not what everyone else seem to think so. She’s heard the whispers, the rumours from servants to noble people alike. But she was never the black sheep of the family. When she said that she would rather fight and train with the soldiers, her brothers had reservations it wasn’t until Jaime Lannister came to her aid and supported her. From then on she’s become one of the fiercest and merciless fighters of Westeros.

“That’s why she’s called the Iron Princess,” another voice joined in. “She has no mercy. No sympathy, she’s more like a Lannister than a Baratheon. She’s a whore too I hear.” There was more that the woman was going to say but she was interrupted when a voice yelled out ‘enough’.

“You mustn’t say things like that,” she’s heard that voice before. Earlier in the day. “She’s different aye, but that does not matter. If she hears you saying things like this then we’ll see if she has mercy or not.” She could hear the sounds of his shoes as he walked around the room. “Even then if rumours are circulated around it won’t be just her who would be spiteful, it will be her brothers and the Lannisters, even my father.”

It was true of course, what he just said. She was loved by her brothers, and she was loved by the Lannisters. Tywin practically raised her when her father died.

“Be careful what you say around here. Now go on, I think it’s the next course you wouldn’t want them to be waiting now do you?” She could hear all of their feet move across the floor, she burrowed herself to the wall when they passed, strangely enough they were all quiet.


“Thank you for that,” (Y/N) said softly as she walked into the kitchens. She saw Jon jump a little bit and held in her laugh. She watched as he turned around almost tripping over his own feet.

“Your Highness,” he bowed.

“(Y/N).”

“I beg your pardon?”

She walked towards him, “I don’t like titles. We’re all the same when we’re buried in the ground,” she shrugged. “Although dead kings garner more respect and admiration than actual living people.”

“I’m sorry for what they said. They hear rumours and they speculate.”

She shrugged, “I’ve heard far worse from far worse people Jon Snow, no worries.” (Y/N) walked along the bench, scrunching her nose up at the various smells and dirtiness of the kitchen. “Some rumours do tend to stem from the truth,” he looked at her, his dark eyes following her every move. She looked at him and smirked, “Some rumours. Not all though.”

Jon cleared his throat, not believing that (Y/N) Baratheon the most sought out person in all of the Seven Kingdoms was here with him, the bastard of Winterfell. “How does one weave out the lies and find the truth?”

She tapped her lip with her finger and thought for a moment. “If they know you well enough, love you or care for you, they know.”

“If you don’t mind me asking, why are you here with me?”

(Y/N) stared at him, “I didn’t want to be here with you.”

Jon looked down, she sighed, “I meant that I come to the kitchens sometimes so I can be alone and eat,” she grinned at him. “The company that I have right now is an added bonus. The good kind.”

“But I’m a bastard, the bastard,” Jon emphasized. He knew that he was treated far worse than the usual bastards because he was Ned Stark’s.

“And?” She sat down at one of the stools and gestured for him to do the same. “I don’t care if you’re a bastard, Ned Stark’s or not. I told you, I hate figurative titles.” (Y/N) looked at the plate of pies, took it and passed one to Jon. “Now to lighter topics, what is there to see about the dreary and grey North?”

“I could show you tomorrow, if you’d like.” Jon offered as gratefully took the pie from her.

(Y/N) chewed her pie slowly and stared at Jon, enjoying making him squirm as he waits for her answer. Finally she swallowed the piece and poured herself some wine. “I think I’ll take you up on that offer Jon Snow,” she said before she sipped the wine.


There is something so delicate about this time, so fragile. And if nothing ever comes of it, at least I have known this feeling, this wonderful sense of optimism…’ 

“Sister?” Renly gently nudged her with his elbow. She shook herself out of her thoughts and looked at her brother. “You were far away all of a sudden.”

She smiled cordially at him, “Just remembering dear brother, no need to worry.”

Renly huffed, “I wasn’t worried. I just thought you were going insane.”

(Y/N) took another forkful of sausage in her mouth, took her napkin and gently dabbed away the grease. She looked towards the entrance of the hall and saw that Jon appeared. He seemed hesitant to walk towards her but she nodded at him and started walking. (Y/N) stood up, her chair scraping across the floors as she walked down the steps to greet Jon.

“What are you doing here?” Cat looked at Jon, disdain still in her eyes and her voice.

Jon looked at (Y/N) then at Cately, then at the rest of the table. Each pair of eyes now directed at him. “I invited him.” He heard (Y/N)’s voice coming from his right and he smiled at her. “He’s my guest.”

(Y/N) stood next to Jon, linking her arms with him. She looked at his face and smiled, then turned to the table and arched a brow, silently asking if they had any objections.

“A bastar-,” Cately’s words were taken from her mouth as Robert laughed.

“The more the merrier!” He knew that if Catelyn finished her words, his sister’s temper would flare up and as amusing it would be he still liked Catelyn, and it would cause some tension if his sister accidentally hurt her.

“Come Jon,” she led him to sit next to her. “Break your fast then you show me what the North has to offer.” Jon could feel the stares of everyone as he sat down. He smiled meekly at Robb and Arya who were staring at him unflinchingly.


…It is something I can always keep close to me -to draw from in my darkest hour like a ray of unspent sunshine…’ 

As he prepared the saddles for the horses, Jon felt a presence behind him, he turned around and saw that it was Jaime Lannister, in his golden glory. “I don’t know what you’re doing with (Y/N), but if you harm her in anyway I’ll be forced to kill you in her honour.” Jaime passed the bag that Jon needed. “And it won’t just be my wrath that you have to watch out for.” He nodded towards Tywin who was conversing with Littlefinger and Ned on the other side of the courtyard.

Jon nodded and swallowed the nervousness that he was feeling. He knew that (Y/N) was one of the most beloved people in Westeros and if he certainly did hurt her then nothing could ever save him, not even all of the Gods.

He watched as (Y/N) came out of the castle, still in her outfit from the morning, her dark hair flowing behind her. He spotted the Queen walking beside her and watched as they conversed quietly. 


“Be careful (Y/N), the North is harsh and unforgiving.”

“Much like the Lannisters, Cersei, I will be fine.” She hugged her goodsister and bid her farewell. (Y/N) walked towards Jon as he held the two reins, passing one to her. “Are you ready Jon?”

He nodded and waited for her to saddle up, then joined her. Jon looked back at the courtyard, he could feel their stares, waiting for him to mess up but alas he did not. He looked at Cersei, her eyes never leaving his, he nodded at her hoping that he received the message that he will not hurt her and no harm will come to her. She nodded and walked towards her father.

Jon looked at (Y/N) who was now staring at him with curious eyes, “Don’t worry Jon, I’ll make sure I won’t fall off my horse so they won’t kill you.” She gave a hearty laugh one that usually comes from Robert. He gave her a small smile. Sensing the hesitancy and nervousness, she trotted her horse towards him. “I’m too interested in you Jon Snow, to ever let any harm come to you.”

This time he smiled at her genuinely. “Now let’s go, I can’t wait to see the different shades of grey I can find in the North!” He watched as she trotted her horse to the gates. Jon looked back at everyone, this time their stares more warm than before but still cautious.

 As he rode alongside (Y/N), her words filling the cold air, he couldn’t help but feel right and complete. Even if he was a bastard, he can damn well show her how much of a man he could be. 

‘…No matter what happens next, I will always be glad to know there is someone like you in the world.’ 

My players are morons and I love them

Context: I’m a new DM with new players, and I’ve planned little mini sessions for each of my players to ease them into the game and let them develop their characters a bit! So far I’ve done a session with the Half-Elf Druid and the Orc Fighter. Some highlights below:

**FOR THE DRUID’S SESSION**

Druid: My family is known for dying their horses coats with berries; a fun little side effect is that they’re poisonous and we often have to put the animals down after they groom themselves.

Me: Cool so you slather your pets in poison, got it. Aren’t you supposed to be the animal guy?

Me: Alright, what do you do before you embark on this adventure? Do you say your goodbyes to family, pack, what’re you doin?

Druid: I go to the bar.

Me: Alright.

Druid: Then I find the prettiest woman there and use my 20 charisma on her.

Me: Are you-

Druid: I’m trynna FUCK.

Me: Roll Perception for me.

*Passes*

Me: Nice. You hear something rustling in a tree to your left, and upon inspection you realize it’s a cloaked figure-

Druid: I wink at them.

Me: They ignore that and spring out of the tree, roll initiative.

Druid: Wait! Are they hot though??

**FROM THE FIGHTER’S SESSION**

Fighter: *Had just been approached by a small dragonborn girl begging for help. He didn’t reply, just turned and walked away.*

Me: This little girl had been holding your arm before you left - you just wrenched your arm from her grip and started to amble off.

Fighter, snorting ooc: Yup

Me: Okay. She runs to keep up with your longer stride and kind of jumps a little, grabbing onto you and hanging there. Are you still walking?

Fighter, quietly laughing now: Yeah - I’m going to get my axe so I can leave!

Me: ALRIGHT MY DUDE. You walk into your cabin with a sobbing 2 year old dragonborn dangling from your arm and pick up a massive axe. Roll intimidation purely for the fact that you haven’t said a word.

Fighter: Nat 20. But I-

Me: The little dragonborn falls to the ground and promptly soils herself, and begins to scream in absolute terror. A few of your neighbors shuffle out of their homes nervously to see what’s causing the commotion. Congratulations, you’ve just made a baby piss herself and probably ruined your good standing with the locals.

Fighter, ooc: nooooo

A Dance With Death

Summary: Dan is the God of Death, who helps people to the Underworld when they pass. One day, he randomly pops up at a masquerade ball for Prince Philip’s coming of age ceremony. He doesn’t know why he is there, but it’s hard to focus on his job when the prince asks him to dance.
Word Count: 7,919
Warnings: character death, blood, graphic depictions of dying
A/N: Many thanks to Haley ( @haleykinz) for this WONDERFUL idea! I just kinda took this idea and ran with it, and now it’s far too long. As you can see, this does have character death in it. BUT, it is a happy ending. I mean, Dan’s the God of Death, what do you expect? Also thank you to Jillian ( @jilliancares) and Elizajane ( @snowbunnylester) for helping me develop this fic, and thank you to Hannah ( @flyingstarshowell) for betaing this for me :’) love u all

tag urself, god edition
art by haley
art by @dilshamster​

Read it on AO3!

-

Dan has a guilty pleasure.

It’s a weird one, that’s for sure, something that most people like him don’t have any desire for. But he can’t seem to help it, honestly. He likes the way people move around him, how they laugh and dance and genuinely don’t care about anything else in the world. He likes the way girls’ dresses flow as they twirl and the way men wear little bow ties around their necks. Hell, sometimes girls wear bowties, and Dan likes that too.

And for a single moment, nobody thinks about death.

Masquerade dances are the perfect excuses for Dan to be himself. Well, kind of.

He’s dead. He’s been dead for thousands of years, in fact. He is a creature of the underworld, one made of bone and paper-thin flesh that he can mould to his liking. He have s changed his appearance sometimes, just because he could. Once, he had found himself moulding into Shrek and had laughed for a good three weeks before deciding to change it up.

Keep reading

002 || Stranger Things

Request: noneeee

Summary- The group plan to track down the remaining numbers, but Eleven can only find 002. They convince Steve to drive them all the way to her whereabouts, and he’s forced to make a rash decision.

A/N: I’m honestly buzzed for this, so this is my kind of take on for season 3 in personal opinions, feel free to send me requests of what you’d like to see within the next few written things bc this will be a series. I’d love to incorporate some of your guys ideas (will obvs credit) bc yeah, but this is merely based after Season 2 and on my own ideas.

Keep reading

Part 2: Task: 12 Days of lesser known animated show/film recommendations

Hey, guys! I’ve been a bit down lately, so in order to give myself something to do, I decided to share with you all the lesser known, underrated or entirely hidden gems of the animated world (as far as I know), be it show or film.

Rules:

-The animation must be traditional (no CGI unless it’s minor and in the background; i’ll do an all CGI list later).

-The recommended work must have soothing, inspiring or otherwise admirable leads with realistic emotional connections.

-The plot of the story must be intriguing if not wholly believable and the artwork must meet certain aesthetic standards.

-The characters must have emotionally realistic interactions with one another in ratio to the time allowed for them to interact.

-The animation in question may be from anywhere in the world.

Also, feel free to clue me in on any that I don’t list, because I would really appreciate a new animated find!  

As a matter of course, a great deal of the listed shows/films will be ‘anime’, simply because japanimation has the monopoly on the most unique and varied story lines, and Japan (and sometimes France) are the only ones making mostly traditionally drawn animated features still.

Alright, here we go … …

Day Two: Fairy Tale Films :)

The Day of the Crows

I absolutely adore this film. Not only is The Day of the Crows a superbly animated feast for the eyes, but the characters, lessons and honest interactions take it a level above most children’s films. Not only that, but the dialogue is wonderfully translated from the French to the English subtitles. As a matter of course, I prefer watching films in their original language unless the dub has some inventive dialogue or more adequate voice acting, but this little known gem isn’t likely to pick up a dub any time soon anyway, so all of you who only watch dubs should make an exception for this one. 

It is the story of a young boy who has been raised by an ogre in the woods, until one day he must leave the protection of the trees for the nearby village in order to save someone precious to him. While there, he meets a young girl and begins to learn the touching history of his family. It’s a delightfully nuanced film. Really, don’t miss it!

Note: The title is mildly misleading, as any crow characters are showcased near the end of the film and don’t get much screen time. But why should that bother anyone?

A+

Fusé: Teppō Musume no Torimonochō 

Is there any anime lover who would pass up a film with adorable characters and animal transformations? Well, I actually would pass up the ‘animal transformations’ part, but that may just be me. Fusé is a touching fairy tale centring around a young huntress who befriends a dog-like humanoid named Shino. What puts this movie a pitch above the other films out there with a similar premise is it’s refusal to give the characters more slack than any real person would get. People die…there’s a surprising amount of gore which I feel is somehow toned up despite the soft animation. It’s the sort of film that makes you laugh less because it’s funny and more because you know your window to find things humorous is rapidly disappearing. You want the characters to be happy….you think they should be because the film is so cute…but it’s the bitter-sweet trick of the story. 

It’s based on the Hakkenden, an old Japanese novel series that details the exploits of the ‘Dog Warriors’, beings reincarnated from the slaughtered spawn of a princess and her dog lover. This is part of why I can forgive the dog-creature theme, because the characters within the story on a few separate occasions refer to the story as a ‘counterfeit’ or parody of the Hakkenden

A

Snow Maiden

An old Russian animation about a young woman who is the child of Spring and Winter, stepping into a village for the first time and learning that she does not have the capacity to love as other humans do. It’s very touching, very whimsical, and in the end bitter-sweet. I’d recommend it for the beautiful artwork alone, but the characters are given a surprising amount of life considering how old the film is. It’s clearly a labour of love.

A+ 

The Dead Princess and the Seven Knights

An old Russian film based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The most fantastic thing about this film is that from start to finish the entirety of the script is one looong poem, complete with rhymes. I believe this film, Snow Maiden and The Twelve Months are all apart of the same collection, but these three are not dubbed into English, like some of the better known in the series, such as The Snow Queen. 

A

The Twelve Months

If you are familiar with this film, it may be because you’ve watched the anime incarnation. I’d advise you to watch this one instead. Not only are the characters a bit more vital, but the art is a step above the anime and the humour is a bit more fluid. It is a Cinderella-like tale about a girl who wanders into the woods after being forced to preform an impossible task, and receives guidance from the Twelve Months, who are portrayed as a band of merry males of various ages having a meeting around a camp fire in the dead of winter.

A

Kirikou and the Sorceress

Kirikou and the Sorceress is a fascinating film about a young boy who, from the moment he is born, is able to talk and think like an adult. But he is still only a baby, and is very small because of it, which causes troubles between him and the towns people, and eventually gets the attention of a wicked sorceress that finds him a nuisance as he starts to use his size for unusual heroic feats. 

Every character is fun, the dialogue is insightful and the resolution is terribly sweet.

A+

Tales of the Night

A series of re-worked fairy tales told through ‘shadow puppet’ visuals. Beautiful stories, really. All of the interactions between the characters are unique and admirable, and every tale has a satisfying conclusion. You may think the shadow puppet look takes away from it, but, really, it only gives you a bit more emotion to savour since every character looks pretty much the same, allowing their intentions to nakedly drive the stories, rather than their looks.

A

The Last Unicorn

Based on the book of the same name, and with a screen play by the author, this film is one of the better known ‘hidden gems’. The story follows the ‘last unicorn’, as she searches for others of her kind, who are being held captive in a barren land that is very far away from her gentle forest. She gathers loyal and endearing companions along the way, and eventually looses a bit of herself in the throws of a pseudo-romance with a prince. 

It’s a classic. The animation is unique and whimsical, and the pacing, characters and eventual resolution are all wonderful. It was my favourite film as a child.

A+

The Princess and the Pilot

The Princess and the Pilot is a touching tale about the blooming tenderness and self-awareness between a pilot and the princess he is tasked with transporting across the ocean. There is political intrigue, bold decisions and the rude awakenings of reality in a war torn country. Both the leads are relatable and worth the care you inevitably develop toward them. And though the ending is a little frustrating, it is handled in a realistic and tentative manner that shows the meaning of personal feelings, even if physical circumstances can’t reflect them.

A-

Miss Hokusai

Miss Hokusai is the fictional and slightly sensationalised biography of an actual historical figure from the Japanese artistic past. The story is told in a series of self-contained artistic episodes that explore the philosophy needed to produce vital art, by teaching the characters emotional lessons through supernatural interactions. It’s very unique and telling, and every character has a degree of believably that is pleasantly attention grabbing. Some might complain that the formatting leaves a bit to be desired, but I’m pretty sure this is all intentional. 

A+

Princess Arete

Princess Arete is one of those rare princess films that is all about a princess and her character building, and not at all about romance. 

Little Princess Arete is kept in a tower where she grows increasingly depressed, despite her night time slips into the town bellow her window. By a bitter sort of luck, she is kidnapped by a wizard, and from here able to experience the world, albeit under a curse. The film has a very charmed and truthful grasp on the meanings in minor interactions and it never betrays the passionate heart of it’s female lead.

It’s a bit slow, but if you watch movies for the enrichment they provide and not for the face paced thrills, this one may be for you.

A+

Magic Boy

An old Japanese feature from the ‘60′s about a young boy who must do battle with a wicked witch to protect his home and family. The characters are enjoyable, the battles are pretty neat and the animation is a proto-perfect anime film suite. Honestly, if you’ve seen Kubo and the Two Strings and then you see this, you may feel, as I have, that it is like the spiritual grandfather to Kubo

A+

The Life of Guskou Budori

If you’ve ever seen Night on the Galactic Railroad, these two may look familiar to you. As you watch Guskou, you may develop the suspicion that the characters are an alternate incarnation or perhaps even a canon reincarnation of Giovanni and Campanella. 

The Life of Guskou Budori is about said titular character as he navigates life after the death (otherworldly kidnapping?) of his younger sister during a great famine. The animation is simply gorgeous, and if you can forgive the incredibly vague narrative, you may just find yourself walking along a very enchanted dream.

Like Galactic Railroad, all of the characters are anthropomorphised cats. I’m unsure why that is, but it’s cute and inventive. It too, is based on a book. If you haven’t seen Night on the Galactic Railroad, I would also recommend that one, as it is very touching and poetic, but it is very slow. If you happen to like both of them, the anime Spring and Chaos, another anthropomorphic cat tale, may be for you, as it is about the guy who wrote the two aforementioned stories.

B+

Tales from Earthsea

If you are a studio Ghibli fan, you may be in for a treat. This is a loose adaptation of Ursula K. LeGuin’s seminal work the Earthsea series. It wraps into one film the characters and issues of four books, and so it doesn’t do the books much justice as it has bit off a bit more than it can chew. But if you accept it as an entirely different story that happens to have similar magical rules and the same names as the Earthsea series character’s have, the film is quite good. 

Young Arren is a disturbed young man who runs away from his posh life and is picked up by the Arch-mage Ged. After making a special friend and fighting a deranged wizard, Arren learns how to own up to his fears and find peace despite his crimes. I recommend watching the original Japanese dub, as it is a bit more insightful about the Earthsea world.

It is directed by Miyazaki’s son Goro. If you like this film, you may like his other, more well rounded film From Up On Poppy Hill (my favourite Ghibli film), and Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle, which is an adaptation of Diana Wynne Jones’s book of the same name (and a far more skillfully crafted adaptation than Tales from Earthsea. The perks of being a seasoned animator, I guess).

If you like the films, or even if you don’t, I recommend reading the Earthsea series and the Howl’s Moving Castle series. I prefer the latter. 

A by itself, B-/C+ if compared to the books.

Fire and Ice

Fire and Ice is one of those barbarian films from the early 80′s. It’s got action and romance and wild prehistoric beasts, an obvious bad guy that’s still pretty well rounded despite his minor screen time and a bit of sorcery that you can laugh at if your mind is dirty enough to catch the innuendos. In a nutshell, Fire and Ice is a great late night blast from the past that every child of the 90′s should see at least once.

With art overseen by the legendary Frank Frazetta, I think any serious artist could find this film pretty rad as well. 

A-

The Cat Returns

The Cat Returns is a fascinating continuum of Shizuku’s story from Whisper of the Heart (another Ghibli film). It’s a fairy tale to the max, complete with a dapper cat ‘prince’ and woefully silly damsel-in-distress. It’s a lesser known Ghibli film, which is why it’s on the list, and if you do watch it, I recommend pairing it with Whisper of the Heart, a high school drama about a young girl’s blossoming romance and her attempt to write a novel, since it’s only right to see the little strings that connect the two tales. 

It’s funny, charming and the Baron has a British accent ;) Mmm-mm delish!

A+

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Whew! What a long list!

Next time: Best Comedy Supernatural animated shows/films.

Using prophecies in fantasy without making eyes roll

Good ol’ stand-bys, ubiquitous fantasy tropes, are difficult to avoid. And sometimes we don’t want to avoid them. Goddammit, sometimes you just need a good, solid prophecy to write the story your want to write. 

“It’s not my fault all these other people before me have written prophecies, too!” you say. 

And you’d be right. Unfortunately, they did. So us modern-day writers have to live with the it. So what do you do when you want or need to use a well-worn trope? 

Know the trope. Make it your own. 

Know that, no matter what you do, some readers will still hate it.

But you can’t make everyone happy, right? So let’s get started.

How-to guidelines from our predecessors

Prophecies in fiction have been used countless times. But there are reasons why we continue to use them. And while you don’t want to completely copy how it has been done before, we can all learn something from the basic form of real and fictional prophecies. 

1. Prophecies are often vague and general

The language and phrasing used in prophecies, because of its important and symbolic nature, tends to go for sounding mystic and grand over sensible and utilitarian. This language achieves its poetic goal, but as a price, the meaning can be allusive, vague, or even seem contradictory. 

A man named Jerry will kill a man in a fight on the corner of 3rd and Main on the fifth of January, 3820. 

On the dawn of winter in a forest of gray, when one life dims, another remains.

One of these actually gives you some useful information. The other could mean a vast array of different things at any point in time, but technically applies to the same situation. One of them (though poorly) reads more like something you’d find in a piece of fiction. 

2. Prophecies are often misinterpreted

There’s likely to be disagreement on the meaning of any yet-to-be-fulfilled prophecy. If it’s well-known, then common folk might take it to mean one thing, while the wealthy another. The well-educated might take it to mean one or two (or three or a thousand) things, while the uneducated take it to mean another. If there are two prominent schools of thought, then people might passionately disagree about the meaning. It’s possible that none of these interpretations are true. 

‘Tis the nature of vague and metaphorical language.

The culture of your world will influence how people treat the prophecy. Conversely, the prophecy and its interpretation might have a huge impact on the culture, government, or religion of your world. 

3. Prophecies are given in context

In the example above about the murder in winter, with no context that “prophecy” means basically nothing. Part of what creates nuances in interpretation of prophecies is variations in the understanding of the prophecy’s context. 

Upon the rebirth of the emperor, the dark messenger will be slain; the eagle will conquer the land.

In this sample, very little is made clear when there’s no context. We have no reason to care, let alone believe, what these words are trying to convey. But say that our myths tell the story of a vanished young emperor who would someday reappear to take his throne, that the messengers of evil are immortal, and that the eagle is symbolic of peace…

It all starts to make a bit of sense, doesn’t it? Any alteration in context, however, could vastly change the meaning. 

Prophecies don’t stand alone. They only work within their context. They aren’t created in a vacuum and they are not understood in a vacuum. Creating the vibrant world that surrounds your prophecy will go a long way to making it interesting and important.

4. Prophecies require a prophet

Why do people believe the prophecy? Why don’t they? When implementing a prophecy into your world, you need to pay attention to how people receive its message and ensure that that belief has a sensible backing. 

A prophecy came from the mouth (or pen) of a prophet. If the people of your world totally buy into the words of this prophecy, then there needs to be a reason. What made this prophet reliable? 

What not to do: There was this old woman and everything she said was totally batty…all except this one thing. This one thing will definitely be absolutely true, so help me, God.

Like any aspect of culture, the “why” factor is important. Why do people believe the prophecy? Why has it survived so many years? Or perhaps people don’t believe the prophecy…so why is that? 

Consider Nostradamus. He’s a pretty infamous prophet, even though only some of what he said every seemed true (and almost entirely in retrospect). For the most part, when you mention him, people will kind of laugh it off. It’s mostly a joke. However…his words might also be true! But it’s best not to put all your money on it. 

How are the words of your prophet generally received? How will this affect how your Important Prophecy™ is viewed and understood by the people?

“This Important Prophecy™ is believed because my story needs it to be believed,” is not a good reason. So make sure it runs deeper than that.

Pitfalls to avoid

1. Using a prophecy as a matter of course

Your prophecy should have a very integral part in your story and world. Using a pointless prophecy or using one just because you think, since you’re writing fantasy, you probably should, are one-way tickets to eye-rolls. 

Like any trope, if you’re sticking it artlessly into your story, then you doing the trope and yourself a disservice. Every element you choose to include in your story should drive it forward, should deepen your conflict or characters. No inclusion should be made flippantly. Be sure that if you’re including a prophecy, you use it to its full potential.

2. Making it too simple or mundane

If you’re doing it right, then your prophecy will be super important to your story. And if it’s super important, you’re going to want it to be super interesting. If a dull, run-of-the-mill Chosen One prophecy is, unironically, what your story hinges on, then you’re likely going to get some eye-rolls and, worse, readers who put down your book.

3. Going for too much

On the other end of the spectrum, prophecies that are convoluted or require the ten-page backstory to put into context are likely going to take too much attention away from your actual story. Prophecies tend to focus on one (general) event. It can cover a few facets of this one event, but if you try to outline too much you risk detracting from the here-and-now or getting too far in over your (or your character’s) head. 

Things to consider

  • Is the fulfillment of the prophecy a mystery even to your reader? Or does the story give the answer, leaving the path to the fulfillment to be the mystery?
  • Is your prophecy immutable? Is it Destiny and it will come true no matter what anyone does?
  • Is the prophecy self-fulfilling? How do the characters’ knowledge of the prophecy affect events? How might their ignorance of it? 
  • How does the fulfillment differ or align with the expectations held by the characters?
  • Did the prophet speak of their own freewill, with true foreknowledge, or were they a vessel for a deity, or some supernatural being?
  • How was the prophecy passed down to the present? Was it done so flawlessly, or might there have been translation, oral, or interpretation errors that happened along the way?
  • How widely accepted, or known, is the prophecy among the common people? 
  • How common are prophecies in general? Does this one stand out in some way? If so, how and why?
  • Does the prophecy give away an outcome, or does it simply set up a situation?
  • How detailed is your prophecy and how have those seemingly specific details been misinterpreted?
  • How certain is anyone that they understand the prophecy? 
  • If the prophecy proves to be false, how does that element find resolution within the structure of the narrative? (i.e. if you placed great importance on the prophecy with the intention of pulling the rug out from under your reader, how are you going to resolve the situation to keep them from feeling cheated?)

What do you think about the use of prophecies in fiction? What are some of your favorites or least favorites?

Happy writing!