the drift is silence

‘Twas the night before Christmas, at least in LA—
For Dan, Phil, Jack, and Pewds, ‘twas in fact Christmas Day.
But for Mark, the clock chimed out eleven at night,
And he scritched Chica’s ears as he reached for the light.

All his friends and his loved ones were likely asleep,
But Mark texted “goodnight” before counting his sheep.
His eyelids grew heavy, mind drifting toward dreams,
When the silence was shattered by thudding and screams.

“Oh, godDAMMIT!” A voice echoed out of the smog;
Mark jumped out of bed and tripped over his dog.
He recovered and made for the window with poise,
Which vanished when he spied the source of the noise:

‘Twas Arin, decked out in a red coat and hat,
With a sleigh full of gifts and an elf-costumed cat.
And pulling the sled as it hurled through the sky
Were the Game Grumps and Holly—turns out, they can fly!

They were dressed up as deer, with bright antlers and hooves,
And cute onesies to keep them all snug on the roofs.
Their noses were painted; t’were tails on their butts,
As they flew past the window (and Mark’s frantic “WHAT”s).

“Now, Suzy; now, Barry; now, Ross, Dan, and Brian!
On, Vernon; on, Holly; on, Jack, Matt, and Ryan!
To the top of the house, without hitting more walls!
And don’t challenge me, Ross; you don’t have the rein-balls!”

As Arin called out, the Grumps swooped in to land;
Mark wondered if he should go offer a hand.
The rooftop was angled, not built for a sleigh,
And a hospital’s no place to spend Christmas Day.

But before Mark could move, he did hear a soft sound—
‘Twas the thump of the sled as it safely touched down
And the shuffling of friends on his roof in hoofed feet,
So Mark whipped out his phone, and he tweeted a tweet.

“All the @GameGrumps in costumes came out of the sky.
They’re up on the housetop! I swear I’m not high.”
Then his phone gave a buzz in the palm of his hand,
For @bwecht had replied, “Mind your own business, man.”

Mark huffed but then straightened and made for the stair
After giving the screen one more halfhearted glare,
For he heard Arin’s boots on the living room floor,
And Mark had a few questions, and then several more.

Arin bustled about, a large sack near his feet
From which he took gifts and then stacked them up neat.
A smile lit his face with each present retrieval;
When he laughed, his form shook like a bowl full of evil.

“Dude, what the hell?” Mark demanded, perplexed,
“You broke into my house! Where’s the courtesy text?
And why didn’t you tell me our friends can all fly?
Are these presents a trap? Like a face full of pie?”

Arin’s eyes, they did twinkle; he spoke not a word,
Merely finished unpacking, Mark’s questions unheard,
For his headphones were hidden beneath his red cap.
Then he vanished, his ears full of jolly gift-rap.

Mark gaped like a fish, then he rushed out the door;
All the Grumps shot him hand-hearts and took off once more.
They explained not a thing; Arin yelled, merry-bright:
“Happy holidays, all, and to all, a good night!”

Mark facepalmed and dragged himself into the house;
Not a creature was stirring, neither Chica nor mouse.
All the gifts glimmered, innocent, under the tree;
They could wait til the morning, post-sleep and coffee.

And so if, in December, you hear a strange sound
While you’re sleeping with nary a witness around,
Just remember this tale, and do try not to jump
If you creep out of bed and discover a Grump. ;)

it splinters softly. not a supernova, you could’ve handled an explosion. just this: shifting eyes, shifting hearts. you never pay attention in geography but you know about continental drift, and this is it. countries falling away, peeling apart.
 
when the silence weighs too heavy in your bones, you find him and search his eyes like a map that once led to you. you want to say ‘is this what pangaea felt like?’ but what comes out instead is ‘did you know the moon moves away from the earth at 3.78 centimeters per year?’ you’re not sure what you expect, maybe 'so who am i, earth or moon’, and you’d say 'earth, of course, i’m moving but i can’t ever break away from you’, but he looks at you like he’s forgotten the past ten years.
 
later, he apologizes, a string of platitudes that aren’t enough and never will be. your hands are still empty, your heart even emptier. as you walk away, you think about continental drift and how the countries still stand, even separated. you wonder if europe and africa were ever best friends and that’s what they felt, like ripping out their lungs from their ribcages and still trying to breathe.
—  victims of continental drift | a.c. | check out my chapbook unmythologize!
8

get to know me[1/?] female characters: sansa stark (game of thrones/asoiaf)

The snow drifted down and down, all in ghostly silence, and lay thick and unbroken on the ground. It was a place of whites and blacks and greys. White towers and white snow and white statues, black shadows and black trees, the dark grey sky above. A pure world, Sansa thought. I do not belong here. Yet she stepped out all the same.

2

female characters meme: [2/5] deserve better | Sansa Stark

The snow drifted down and down, all in ghostly silence, and lay thick and unbroken on the ground. It was a place of whites and blacks and greys. White towers and white snow and white statues, black shadows and black trees, the dark grey sky above. A pure world, Sansa thought. I do not belong here. Yet she stepped out all the same.

2

The snow drifted down and down, all in ghostly silence, and lay thick and unbroken on the ground. It was a place of whites and blacks and greys. White towers and white snow and white statues, black shadows and black trees, the dark grey sky above. A pure world, Sansa thought. I do not belong here. Yet she stepped out all the same.

Twenty Questions

Marvel Writing Challenge: @canumoveyourseatup-no vs @oneshot-shit

Prompt: kissing scene from The Notebook

Paring: Bucky x reader

Word Count: 2953 (I’m a wordy nugget I’m sorry)

Warnings: language, bit of angst/self depreciation, fluff!!!

A/N: Ahh I’m so nervous to post this don’t mind me I’m just an awkward potato! Honestly, passionate romance and I go together like pickle juice and marshmallow fluff… aka they don’t go together at all. But I did my best, modified a few things, and came up with this. It was way more difficult than I anticipated, and it’s probably not as romantic as people may expect, but I wrote what I’m comfortable with and I’m pretty pleased with the result. P.S. italicised text indicates thought.

Tagging: @oneshot-shit @annadier @whatsbetterthanfantasy @spn-worm @marvelwritingchallenge

Originally posted by moan-s

The two of you walked in silence, the sun slowly drifting towards the horizon as you made your way towards what you hoped was the direction of the Quinjet. Ruins of the HYDRA base were strewn everywhere. How you and Bucky managed to escape the explosion alive was beyond you, but Steve instructed you to set off the detonators, so you and Bucky got the job done.

If only you hadn’t managed to bury your escape route, lose your comms, get chased into the forest by surviving HYDRA agents, and completely loose your bearings after finally killing the bastards.

To say this wasn’t your best mission would be an understatement.

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9

moodboard || robb stark or sansa stark

The snow drifted down and down, all in ghostly silence, and lay thick and unbroken on the ground. It was a place of whites and blacks and greys. White towers and white snow and white statues, black shadows and black trees, the dark grey sky above. A pure world, Sansa thought. I do not belong here. Yet she stepped out all the same.

requested by @westallensiris

2

got aestheticssansa stark

The snow drifted down and down, all in ghostly silence, and lay thick and unbroken on the ground. It was a place of whites and blacks and greys. White towers and white snow and white statues, black shadows and black trees, the dark grey sky above. A pure world, Sansa thought. I do not belong here. Yet she stepped out all the same.

2

The snow drifted down and down, all in ghostly silence, and lay thick and unbroken on the ground. It was a place of whites and blacks and greys. White towers and white snow and white statues, black shadows and black trees, the dark grey sky above. A pure world, Sansa thought. I do not belong here. Yet she stepped out all the same.

Chilly

Crowley x Reader
Words: 1,198
Summary: Crowley interrupts reader’s attempts to enjoy a relaxing winter’s evening.
Warnings: None.
A/N: Been a long time since I’ve posted anything, so I’m trying to ease myself back into writing again. XD


Originally posted by eomerr


Chilly


There was something immensely calming about the complete silence that seemed to follow a snow storm. The fresh layer of white powder blanketed every surface as you looked outside your window, enjoying the warmth of a crackling fire and the steaming cup of coffee in your hands. It was easy to appreciate the cold beauty of a winter snowfall when you were cozy and comfortable inside, dressed in your favourite tank top and pyjama pants.

These were the nights you lived for. You looked forward to a relaxing evening spent in silence as you drifted away from the window towards your lounger and the book you had waiting for you. You couldn’t recall the last time you’d had a peaceful moment to relax, and you were eager to make the most of it.

In your blissfully ignorant state, you’d dropped your guard so completely that you hadn’t notice the figure suddenly appear before you, picking up your book and turning it over in their hands.

“You never struck me as the ‘hopeless romantic’ type” their rich voice teased, admiring the steamy love scene depicted on the front of the novel.

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40. Creative Sexual Positions

Word Count: 218
A/N: Guess who’s writing all the left over kinks! 
Written by: @bucky-plums-barnes

Originally posted by perfectfeelings

Bucky rolls off of you with a pant before turning to you, “what was that called?”

You close your eyes trying to work through the post orgasmic haze to find your answer, before a smile grace your face. “The spider” you say, turning your head to look at Bucky.

“Well, that explains why you heard about it from Nat” he chuckles, bringing you close to his still warm body. You laugh gently before cuddling into his embrace as he holds you against his chest.

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A Time for Us [Prince Sidon/Reader]

Title: A Time for Us
Pairing: Prince Sidon/Reader [you]
Summary: Sidon often waited for you at the East Reservoir Lake in the evenings. On this particular night, while wrought with worry, you offered him a solace that few could.
>previous Sidon fic: Unbearable Distance (part1)

a/n: what’s up? this is a repost because there were a few things i had done that annoyed the piss outta me. so, i apologize for that and the title change. but, i hope you enjoy nonetheless.

please offer feedback if you can, requests are still open as well.



Under the brilliance of the moon and veil of night, the domain drifted into a familiar peaceful silence while they slumbered, the worries and weight of the world nothing more but a temporary illusion. The guards surrounding the domain took care to tread quietly, walking just a bit too tightly to prevent their armor from clanking and holding their spears aloft to keep the flint from striking the floor.

Since your arrival at the domain mere months ago, nightfall had easily become your favorite time of day in the cycle to meander the town and admire an almost otherworldly beauty. The sky was dotted with stars cast high above the canopy of trees and mountains that encapsulated the domain, just as a shield were to protect the warrior. Rushing waterfalls had once kept you awake at night, but now you often turned to them and listened to them sing–they were eternal.

You ventured away from the town at these hours, yet never far enough rouse concern from the guards nor your lover. The East Reservoir Lake had become your sanctuary and where you usually found yourself resting as well, much to the dismay of the prince. It didn’t come as any surprise to you when you would find him waiting there for you patiently, or not at all.

Upon your descent to the lake, you could see his silhouette at the end of the dock–tall, proud, yet deeply affected by things around him. You took those tentative steps towards his back until you were able to hook your arms loosely around one of his and rest your face against his cold scales.

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DAY 3197

Ananda, Rishikesh, Himalayas          Dec 29,  2016         Thu  11:34 pm






Suddenly there is peace .. peace in the quietude, of the freshness of air, the silence of atmosphere, the chilled breeze of the ranges and the beat of the heart, unheard before, heard vividly now ..


Silence awakens nothing .. sleeps nothing .. drifts, and in leisure fashion, drapes itself beyond the contours of our physique, a physique acclimatised to the vagaries of urban destitution - vague, impersonal, opportunistic and non committal .. pulling force upon our present to reframe and reset perhaps the years of the litmus that we endure through the years of fighting the inevitable .. but emerging victorious ..

In the end, all end in victory .. we prepare, we represent, we endure and battle and then come out embellished in the smile of the winning podium .. even in our passing there is victory - we vanquish our body, our system ; we beat them back, for, we leave for mightier more enlightened realms .. but they that get left behind, eliminated by the ending, have to burn or visit the depths of reality and be dissolved to dust or ashes .. that is the cycle designed for us, by us, or whoever does design us .. !



This is the heights of the divine preset .. the Gods that invite to the world of the common, but through the channels of their sustained religious implants ..

Rishikesh, of the divinity that flows by in the form of river Ganga .. the essence of the devout and the believers .. believers that have through the ages defined the human species .. not just because they need to be defined, but by scientific proof and logic .. there has to be that element, else it is a fake exercise waiting to be exposed and brought to extinction .. though this one shall not !! 


there is reminiscence of the years gone by and the visit in the early years of University and the first feel of the location at now, accompanied by the parents, or rather we accompanying parents, brought here by belief, by divinity, by divine friends and by their intense desire of sharing theirs with us in a collective drive .. much what brings us here today .. 

there is reminiscence of the crossing of the Lachman Jhula, the bridge that crosses over the pure rapid eager to pass by in speed, Ganga .. there is the evenings of prayer and chants of ‘bhajan’ and ‘kirtan’, of the spell it casts by repetition and voice, in conjunction with the many other, unknown in body, known in spirit of religion .. it mesmerises in its tempestuous drone .. it compels .. it alleviates and finally drains us out within ourselves .. cathartic, spell bound and in the heavens of belief ..

that was all in vague memory channels of this complicated human brain .. that same complex that housed profession, housed creative work and text, bringing us back to similar location on work and film making - ‘Ganga ki Saugandh’ - the sworn promise of the river .. this bridge, this Lachman Jhula, which when translated, refers to Laxman the younger brother of Ram our Hindu God, of mythology and spiritual manifestation .. and the ‘jhula’ the swing .. swing because the bridge is not on cantilevered construct, it is by metal steel ropes and infrastructural compromise, for that was the best that could be done by then .. to accommodate the crossing over to the ‘ashrams’  where the prayers take place, where kirtans and bhajans prevail .. 

But now in film, the story has other demands and they be accomplished with some aplomb under the direction of Sultan Ahmed .. there in hours spent by the days and then driving back to the guest house at Rishikesh, of unit stay ..

A sequence requires the main protagonist to ride across the ‘jhula’ on horse back .. standby stunt coordinators, and men of action are given the task along with a look alike of mine to do the deed .. the Army is approached, when the action coordinators decide against, saying it is not doable and extremely unsafe .. the swing of the bridge can barely deal with the pedestrians that cross over, but a horse on full gallop and Ganga, the hero astride in full gallop .. NEVER !!

The shot is required and the Army horse riders decline .. left in the lurch it is finally designated to the .. ya right ! So another defining occurs and .. yours truly gets up on the back of saddle and does it with some excited confidence, much to the applause of the director and producer ..

what transpired before and in between, is  now in history within my brain .. wish to know of it …? hehe .. try another, baby ..

this then the completion of the shoot and the drive back each day to the guest house of crew and artist residence .. except there are stoppages of a somewhat peculiar nature - monkeys !! Langurs in our part of the language and description, black faced, long tailed and of immense strength in them .. they virtually blockade the road and stop traffic until the occupants of the vehicles step out and treat them to whatever we have or had in our food baskets ..

for us generally it was always nuts .. almonds, pistachio, ‘mon phali’, cashew, bananas .. and the monkeys, invariably considered devout because they are considered incarnations of our own God Hanuman, a great devotee to Ram-Laxman and Sita served always as protector .. 

of course mythologically .. 

Hanuman fought the Raavan that abducts Sita the wife of Ram, through his loyal band of brothers, and is always depicted at the feet of his master Ram .

So there .. but the reason for its starting was the langur, the long tailed grey in color and tonguetied towards any attempts at war .. but a peaceful countenance .. UNTIL, you forget to feed them .. and they slap you like young kids being admonished by the parent for spilling the milk .. actually slap, like humans ..one slapped me and then climbed onto my head so I would have difficulty in paying back as it were .. slapped by the langur .. a title we have for the next …

and today at this peaceful haven amidst forestry and Regal presence, a departure from home, to lie and walk and rest and read .. read the scripts that patiently have occupied that small matter of invoice payments .. all taken care of … no more .. and no more and over ..

Love to all

yes indeed love to all .. a working still from one event to another  much much before and much much later on set .. 



Amitabh Bachchan 

Sansa Stark, the snowcastle scene, and why it matters

The snow drifted down and down, all in ghostly silence, and lay thick and unbroken on the ground. All color had fled the world outside. It was a place of whites and blacks and greys. White towers and white snow and white statues, black shadows and black trees, the dark grey sky above. A pure world, Sansa thought. I do not belong here.

Snow—the first snow since Sansa has left Winterfell. And it has almost magical powers: It transforms Sansa. More than anything else has transformed her over the course of the book series.

How GRRM describes the scenery is breathtakingly beautiful. From the moment Sansa first discovers it’s snowing outside, her thoughts and memories of Winterfell and her siblings, her preparations, what clothes she puts on, to the world that awaits her—it’s just beautiful. It’s pure. And Sansa, ever the lady, sees this at once. And yet…

…she stepped out all the same Her boots tore ankle-deep holes into the smooth white surface of the snow.

Whoa, one sentence later everything changed. Sansa intrudes, and it’s apparent in the words GRRM uses. She tears holes into the snow. Sansa, for lack of a better word, forces herself into the pure world. She leaves holes behind that show she’s been here. She alters the scene and leaves her mark on the world.

But she does not stop there. Sansa doesn’t just destroy. She builds. She kneels down and starts building a castle—and not just any castle. She builds Winterfell. The shy, little girl, who strived to be little more than human decoration when she was a child, becomes proactive now. She literally takes matters into her own hands and gets to work.

Soon her gloves and her boots were crusty white, her hands were tingling, and her feet were soaked and cold, but she did not care. The castle was all that mattered.

Sansa building the snowcastle is not a little girl playing. It’s a woman claiming agency, no matter the cost. She has a goal and lets nothing stop her, not the cold, not the dampness of her clothes, not hunger, skipping breakfast. No, Sansa has a castle to build. Some servants, Lysa, and Maester Colemont watch her for a while, “but she paid them no mind”. She is focused on her task, she is driven, and she cares… so much that she curses aloud when her bridges keep falling down.

In the entire series, Sansa has not cursed before or since. Every word she says is well-chosen, ladylike, charming, courteous. This is the exception. In this pure world, while building her castle, Sansa forgets her manners, and lets her feelings dictate what she says.

And this is how Petyr finds her. It’s clear to him that Sansa has begun to change into a new woman—strong, determined, proactive.

“May I come into your castle, my lady?”

Sansa was wary. “Don’t break it. Be…”

“Gentle?” He smiled. “Winterfell has withstood fiercer enemies than me. … I used to dream of it, in those years after Cat went North with Eddard Stark.”

He politely asks for her permission to join her. He fully validates that the snowcastle is more than just a castle made of snow. It’s Sansa’s home, it’s important to her. And it is powerful enough to withstand him. He downright admits that Winterfell has beaten him once before—that Eddard beat him when he took Cat’s hand in marriage.

Just like Sansa when she curses, Petyr behaves very uncharacteristically here: He admits defeat. More so, he brings it up. He voluntarily shows himself vulnerable.

The people building the snowcastle are not Lady Sansa and Littlefinger. They are Sansa and Petyr, most themselves, her not hiding behind her armor of courtesy, him not hiding behind his Littlefinger persona.

Petyr helps Sansa build her castle. He provides her with ideas and suggestions, but he never usurps the process. It’s still her castle, her cause. He just provides support, and only after she asks him for his advice. He builds a latticework of twigs for her and then, again, politely asks if he should make another one. And she says yes. Throughout the process, Sansa admires his handiwork and his ideas and is thankful for his help.

The Broken Tower was easier still. They made a tall tower together, kneeling side by side…

Obviously Petyr has gained Sansa’s trust after a while, and thus gets promoted to co-builder instead of subcontractor: Now they work on the tower together.

… and when they had raised it Sansa stuck her fingers through the top, grabbed a handful of snow, and flung it full in his face.

Sansa flings a handful of snow in Petyr’s face. Is there anything more carefree than this? Anything bolder, more teasing?

Sansa has changed so much over the course of this scene, and this is her crescendo. She begins very Sansa-like—shy, afraid, reluctant. But the snow, her memories of home, and most importantly, the success of her own project—the snowcastle—embolden her. As soon as she takes charge and finds something she truly cares about, she becomes stronger and more proactive than she’s been in the entire book series so far. Sansa grows more independent, and more secure, within hours—so much that she dares fling a handful of snow in Petyr’s face. Which, as Petyr immediately remarks, was “unchivalrously done.” Go Sansa!

“As was bringing me here, when you swore to take me home.”

And now she tells Petyr, to his face, that he lied, and that she doesn’t like it. She criticizes him. This is bold. Sansa Stark criticizes. That in itself is rebellious. Sansa was raised to please, not to speak her mind. Much less so to an older man. In this patriarchal society, a society Sansa desperately wanted to fit into when she was a child, she defies all convention and criticizes a man. This is one of the most emancipated things Sansa has done so far.

In short: Sansa has grown up.

And Petyr sees this—of course he does. Petyr, the most observant man in the book series, notices how Sansa has changed and how fierce she has become. He sees that she has agency now, independence, that she has been transformed. And that is what makes her so attractive in his eyes: That she is not a child any more. And he kisses her…

… and Sansa still stands up for herself. She’s no longer the eager to please, convenient girl. She pushes him away and demands an explanation.

Again, remember how Sansa was raised. How rebellious this is of her. The fact that she pushes him away. That she then does not apologize for it and instead refuses him. That she stands her ground and tells him three more times to not kiss her:

…she wrenched free. “What are you doing?”

“Kissing a snow maid.”

“You’re supposed to kiss her. Your lady wife.”

“… Let me warm you, Sansa. Take off those gloves, give me your hands.”

“I won’t. You shouldn’t kiss me. I might have been your own daughter.”

Petyr is very persistent here. He wants to kiss her, and “explains” to her all the “reasons” she should let him (what an asshole). But Sansa remains firm. She does not budge. She does not want to kiss him, and so she does not kiss him. That’s… so incredibly strong. So brave. So rebellious. (I know I am repeating myself but oh god I admire Sansa so much for her strength.)

Sansa has grown up. She stands up for herself now. And the following chapters pay homage to this—there is not one dialogue where she is not witty and clever, playfully bantering with some people, courteously yet firmly standing her ground against others—includingPetyr.

It is clear that Sansa, during her time in the Vale, is not “at Petyr’s mercy” or “in no position to refuse him” or “a helpless girl he can take advantage of”. She is a strong, independent woman, very well capable of firmly refusing unwanted advances.

Yes, Petyr is slimy. He obviously wants to kiss her and he makes this a recurring theme in their interactions. But Sansa, just as craftily, maneuvers her way around him. She knows exactly what she is doing. She plays him. She’s biding her time, all the while learning everything Littlefinger has to teach her.

She’s waiting, ready to strike, for the right moment to destroy him…

… and then rebuild her castle out of the rubble—as she has done before, in a place of whites and blacks and greys, in a pure world.

Patater - 38 - The Spy

—– Come request your own fic here —– Prompt List


38. Person 1 is hired to spy on Person 2.
—–
“Yes, Snowy, he just sitting there,” Alexei replied indignantly, “I promise.  Sitting with beer, not drinking it, and doing nothing. – No, nothing, I’m swearing Snowy.  Why you not believe in me.  I can defend in game, can be spy to.  Not so different.”

Silence drifted down the line as Alexei continued to peer under his hat brim from his place across the bar.  Snowy had charged him with keeping eyes on Parson so long as he was in the same city as Jack.  Alexei wasn’t entirely sure why this was so important, since no one ever seemed to tell him anything anymore.

Just one time you get caught speaking a bit too loudly when drunk, and everyone thinks you’re a blabbermouth.  Albeit, it was about one of the former rookies proposing to his girlfriend with her in the room, but it wasn’t that bad.  She did say yes in the end.

So, when he was asked to spy and given no other information, Alexei assumed whatever the reason, it must be important.  Plus, Snowy would have bullied him into doing it either way.  Goalies must be pleased.

“Snowy…you still there?”

“No Tater Tot, I ran away to Russia without you while we were talking.”

“Not need to be so rude.  I’m doing you favor.”

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Extra + Ordinary

A BTS Superhero AU

Prologue

Warning(s): language, mention of injuries, fight scenes, darker themes

Prologue / Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3

Originally posted by okyanuskokulubulut

Darkness.

Drifting.

Silence.

I was asleep. Or more accurately, passed out from exhaustion from the last several days. Randomly drifting in and out of consciousness. Dreamless nothingness because of how worn out I was.

Did I mention I’m also passed out on a hard metal chair? I’d forgotten how uncomfortable it was after the first couple days.

Through my hazy subconscious I heard a heavy door slam. The door to the room I was currently in. In a metal chair, my head limp and my chin nearly resting on my chest.

I was still in that limbo state between waking up and still being asleep when I felt a bucket of ice cold water be chucked at me, mainly my face.

That sure as hell woke my sorry ass up.

I gasped loudly, jerking awake and shifting my seat a few inches with the sudden violent movement. Sputtering and trying to shake the frigid liquid out of my eyes, I took in my surroundings that I’ve had the pleasure of familiarizing myself with for the last four days. Or was it four? Maybe five? Six? I’m honestly not sure, there’s no clock or windows for me to keep accurate time anymore.

I’m in a room, four-walled and looking like it hasn’t been touched by humans in ages. Random mold, walls and floors made of cement, old rusted metal beams along the walls for added support, and dirt and dust covering nearly every surface. Its not a huge space, maybe about the size of someone’s living room. So my guess is an abandoned warehouse probably.

There’s an old metal desk in the corner with a corresponding chair, a waste paper basket on the floor next to it. No windows for some reason, and only one old door leading in and out. There’s a vent on the opposite wall, but I doubt it’s big enough for a person, especially with someone with as a unique physique as me. I’ll explain that later.

And of course, there’s my chair I’m sitting in. It’s new, clearly brought in just for me. It’s cold, metal, low-backed, and has two armrests. The armrests that my two wrists are now locked onto by metal restraints. My ankles clamped into two other restraints linked by an heavy chained attached to the spot on the floor at my feet. Guess they wanna make sure I really can’t escape. Or hurt them. Smart move.

You’ve probably guessed by now that I am not in this lovely place by choice. Yeah, I was kidnapped. Somehow.

And five days later, there is still no sign that any one of my teammates, friends, have attempted any sort of rescue mission to find their missing leader. That’s fine. I honestly don’t blame them. I wouldn’t want to be here either. It’s not worth it.

I finally focused my tired eyes on the man in front of me, whom I had become acquainted with these last several days, just as he was setting the now empty bucket on the floor. I had just enough time to put an amused smile on my face before he clocked me, knuckles crashing into my cheekbone, snapping my head to the right. The usual morning routine then.

“Good morning, Guardian, and how are we today?” he smirked, greeting me by my hero name.

I have a regular name too, one that I chose, but only my close fellow hero friends know it since I always walk around as my hero persona. The side of me that I felt the most comfortable. The most real. Besides, it’s kinda hard to walk around the city as a regular civilian when you permanently have a set of black wings on your back, with a wingspan of almost 30 feet. Yeah, I’m a bit unusual. Hence the “hero” title. And that’s not the only thing special about me.

I smiled slightly while my head stayed hanging down after the hit, reminiscing once again about how I initially got here.

I was on patrol, coasting through the night sky, just high enough to skim over the tops of some of the numerous skyscrapers in the city. Nothing was out of order. All seemed well, not even a simple mugger could be found. But not for long. Right as I had cleared the gravel-covered top of another building, I heard the sound of a heavy projectile being shot from something only a split second before feeling a hooked piece of metal and wire wrap around the base of my left wing, immediately tightening around the appendage. I cried out in pain as the wire abruptly stopped me mid-flight. Whoever was holding the other end dragged me down fast enough that I wasn’t given a chance to recover from the initial shock enough to fight back. I fell backwards, my shoulder slamming into the gravel on the roof, the rest of my body following. A second later something stabbed into my neck painfully. A hypodermic needle. My movements immediately became sluggish, my eyelids drooping, just as I made out the dark blurry outline of a person walk into my field of vision. As if the sedative wasn’t enough to drop me, the stranger stomped my face with his heavy boot, causing me to black out.

I woke up a few hours later in this room, locked into this chair. My attacker kept up regular injections every night of some weird concoction that sapped my super strength, and rendered my telekinesis useless. In addition to that, he had strapped my wings in so I couldn’t open them, with a chain connecting them to the floor as well. There would be no escape by yours truly anytime soon.

But I hadn’t broken yet despite all the “aggressive questioning.”

Another punch to the other side of my face jerked me back to the present. I coughed, spraying blood onto the cold, dirty floor. Again, for the hundredth time, I strained my arms against my restraints. And once again, no change. I stayed leaned over as the man spoke again.

“Still enjoying hell?” I could practically hear the arrogant smile I knew was on his face.

I finally sat up, tilting my head to side for a moment to spit a spurt of blood onto the floor. Slumping back in my chair, my head back, I took a deep breath. Letting out an amused chuckle, I tilted my head back down to look him in the eye. Composing my face into a genuine arrogant expression, a knowing, hell-forged smile spread across it before I answered in the calmest, strongest voice I could manage:

“Buddy, I’ve seen hell……. And you ain’t got his eyes.“

9

The Signs as Nymphs: Aquarius - Asteriai, nymphs of the stars

These nymphs live far away in the vast expanses of space where they drift and play in complete silence: constellations are their embrace, shooting stars their tears. Their skin is as brilliant as the sun, golden, red and even deep blue, and it shimmers in an unending pulse of light.

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Scars (2)

He could feel it again.

The crawling, gnawing sensation at the back of his head, the pounding of a heartbeat so alien and yet so familiar. Panic had set in once again, and during his meditations, that pervasive darkness once more attempted to skitter it’s way to the fore. The man’s eye had closed, his breathing slow.

“Well, would you look at us? Yet again agonizing over the failures of yesterday.”

Renaud’s breath hitched in his chest. His room was dark, the shadows casting a veil over the corners of his room. It was there that he felt a presence, and though it’s form was vague, he recognized the shape and the voice, clear as day. Renaud swallowed thickly, his eye once more drifting closed.

“Is silence truly all I get? Come now, we’ve been through so much together.” A sardonic statement, followed closely by a wry chuckle. “I should think you’d be tired of this, Renaud. Tired of giving so much and asking for so little.”

The Elezen’s teeth grit, the grinding perhaps the only noise in the otherwise deafening silence of his room. “Begone, shade. You speak of matters you know little of.”

Another slow, grim cackle. “Ohhh Renaud. You should know better than to question me. All that reading you’ve done, and you still would deny your feelings.” The shade seemingly rose, slinking along the edges of Renaud’s periphery. “Twas the same in Ishgard. You gave so much, offered so much blood, so much loyalty, so much of your life. And for what, hm?”

Renaud’s eye bolted open and he stood, turning towards… nothing. An empty corner of the room.

“What do you have to show for it? No glory, no sense of satisfaction. Emptiness, and regret. Rage.” The shade always seemed to skirt the man’s vision, everywhere that his gaze was not. “You gave them -everything-.” The shade’s voice trembled. Anger, barely restrained. “And they took everything that you loved. And you feel -nothing-?”

Renaud was trembling, white knuckled as his hands balled into fists. “What’s past is past. And to remind me of that does nothing to change that fact.”

“So you would walk so willingly into battle for causes that aren’t your own? Have you learned nothing?!” The shadows of the room were seemingly converging on the Elezen. “They will abuse your trust. You are naive. This is why I am here. To protect you.” The shade’s voice grew soft. “All you need is to accept it. And we’ll be our own man, fighting for what we -truly- find worthwhile.”

“To protect is worthwhile enough. I will not make the same mistakes.”

A frustrated exhale, before a low, threatening growl. “Renaud. You will regret this as you always have. And when you are trying to clutch at the blade stuck so firmly in your back, -I- will do what you will not. When you are steeped in shadow again, with rage in your heart, -I- will set things right.”

And, as quickly as it had come, the presence vanished. Renaud shook in the center of the room, before the merest crackle of stygian lightning arced across his frame.