(Translation: I made the stimmy dough from strawberryslimes’ recipe and it turned out great!! It’s super soft and really easy to make, and it smells great too! I couldn’t stop smelling my hands for hours after I played with it haha)
(I’ll take a better quality video later, I was just so excited that I had to record this!!)
okay so ever since i saw these i’ve been REALLY EXCITED to do them let’s get started
this boy has been through a lot of really rough shit in his life so like
i kind of feel like if he fell in love at first sight it wouldn’t be something where he sees s/o and is just immediately like “lub dub hubba hubba”
but more he’d probably witness them doing something really kind or courageous?
like maybe he bumps into them and their hand shoots out to make sure morgana didn’t get hurt
or he caught them climbing up on someone’s balcony to leave their umbrella for a dog who was left out in the rain
or he accidentally knocked into someone and didn’t notice and they grabbed him and were like “hey!! apologize to my friend!!!!”
those are the sorts of things that would grab his attention right off the bat
and from there he’d extrapolate other details:
kind eyes or a really warm smile or a laugh that sounds like how raindrops feel when they run under your collar
and that’s where his heart would do the lub dub flipping over in his chest
he’d just fall over himself into this puddle of
wow this person is–wow i need to keep them around somehow
akira isn’t the kind of person who really trips over his words–because he doesn’t talk that much
and he isn’t the sort of person who blushes really easily–because he’s used to things that were much more harrowing than this
(and that doesn’t even count mementos or palaces)
but this person just might be able to get him to do that
stumble as he introduces himself, blush as he goes for a handshake and they go for a hug
something about this person just reaches out and grabs him and makes him want to reach out and grab them
so he probably does
since, y’know, it’s akira
for ryuji it’s like
probably he sees this person in the middle of some kind of activity
like running to school, or playing on a team, or meditating, or hauling heavy club equipment from one floor to the next
and it’s in that moment, when they’re concentrating on what they’re doing and nothing else
when the entire world is lost to them and they’re totally focused
that’s what gets his attention
ryuji is a complete and total scatterbrain, we all know that, but he’s also an athlete and i’m sure that when he’s running and doing his circular breathing and his feet are pounding the ground
his head clears and his focus is narrowed down and he knows exactly what he has to do, exactly where he has to be, and that’s what draws his attention in someone else: that focus
after that he’d notice other things
like their arms straining or the sweat trickling down the back of their neck or how bright their eyes are as they manage to get some success in what they’re doing
he’d think man oh man i would love to be the person to make them smile like that i’ve got to figure out their name
and where akira is the sort of person who doesn’t get flustered BOY is ryuji the opposite
he’d flush and stammer and laugh at himself and rub at the back of his neck and apologize a million times
but he’d have this boyish eagerness, this bounce to his step, this light in his eyes
his cheeks would be flushed but there’d be so much nervous, boundless energy in him he’d be near to bursting with it.
he’d probably dog this person a bit, following them and figuring them out, before he really approached
but oh gosh when he does, you can bet it’ll be a wild ride for them both
yusuke is all about the beauty in the universe so of course he’s going to notice just how freaking stunning this person is before anything else
the lighting will strike them in just this certain way and he’ll sigh and say
oh, there you are
because it’s like he’s been looking for this person for his entire life
sayuri is great and all, but maybe even that pales in comparison to how he feels when he looks at this person who’s utterly captivated him
he can’t help staring
or the itching in his fingers to grab for a bit of charcoal so he can immortalize this moment for as long as the paper will last
it’s after that first glance, that involuntary gasp as his eyes fall across that profile for the first time, that he starts to notice other things, too
like the way this person will tilt their head as they study him back
or how their eyes are always changing shades depending on the light
sketchbooks will fill faster than he can buy them
paint will dry on his palette before he can decide on the perfect shade for their skin
he’ll want to define every crease around their mouth as they smile so he can tattoo it on the inside of his palm to keep for the rest of his life
he would have so little trouble telling this person how he feels, how drawn to them he is
like everything else he does he’d throw himself into this new passion headlong, just dive in with all of his everything
it’s a little intense but all the more rewarding if this person decides to join him
he calls them his muse, not joking, probably from the moment they meet
love, the way we’re defining it, is a foreign emotion for akechi
not that he’s never experienced it before, obviously he loved his mom and all that
but romantic love, love at first sight, instantly head over heels for someone, that’s nothing he’s ever really thought would happen to him
so, of course, he wouldn’t realize it was happening at all
he’d notice this person, right?
he’d notice their face and their voice and the way they walk and how they laugh and the way their nose crinkles up when they frown and what clothes they’re wearing and where they bought their shoes and that they got their last haircut X amount of time ago (probably)
you can pry actual!detective Goro from my COLD DEAD HANDS
but he wouldn’t realize why each of those details was SO INCREDIBLY important to him
he wouldn’t know why his heart jumped in his chest like that whenever they looked his way
he wouldn’t understand what made them seem to stand out so much from their surroundings, almost like they were glowing and calling to him like a beacon
that is, he wouldn’t understand until he did
love isn’t an emotion you can talk yourself out of, though you can certainly try
it would take him several tries to realize his mistake
and at that point it’d already be too late
he’d be in too deep
akechi is a good actor, and he’d be more than capable of acting normal around this person if the need arose
he’d be able to smile and joke with them like they’re any other person he knows
but eventually he might start trying to distance himself from this person, if they ever got to be friends
he’d probably never actually tell them about his feelings
mishima is the kind of boy who falls in love easily
or maybe it’d be better to say he becomes infatuated easily because the way he acts about those crushes doesn’t really define love
his criteria for s/o’s boils down to “interested in me”
and that’s basically it
boy’s self esteem is so low they’re planning an excavation to see if his anxiety predates the Mesozoic era
so he’s kind of desperate lonely and willing to take whatever he thinks he’s going to get, because he’s afraid that’s all he’s going to get
but for love, the kind of stuff we’ve been talking about here
like akechi, maybe he wouldn’t be able to define it at first
he’d think it’s just another infatuation, like all the other times, and he’d throw himself into it with just as much enthusiasm as usual
he wouldn’t realize that his heart is beating harder than ever over this person’s smiles, or that the flush on his cheeks is darker and wider spread than it’s ever been before
he’d just go on being infatuated with this person and tell himself it would fade eventually like all the other crushes he’s ever had
until it doesn’t
and he’s like “oh.”
mishima is the nervous laughter kind of anxious, always willing to let the situation turn into a joke at his expense if it will dispel the tension
he’d be no different in this situation, full of self-deprecating jokes and sheepish smiles and blushes staining his face like fine red wine
he laughs at almost everything this person says, breathless sounds that push out of him because here aren’t any words in any known language he can use to communicate with them
like akechi, he probably wouldn’t reveal how he feels to this person
he doesn’t think he’ll ever get over it - the way even casually slings an arm across his shoulders at a party, tugs him along by the pinky when he sees a dog he wants to greet at the park, whisper into his ear to tell him an inside joke that no one else will understand. isak wishes he could immortalize those moments, plaster them across the walls of his room so they’ll be the first thing he sees when he wakes up, but no picture, no film, could compare to the moments when it hits isak that this is for him. the boy whose smile could light up the entire world had chosen to light up isak’s world instead.
isak can’t help but think that it comes easy to even. love flows out of him like a well, and sometimes, isak’s afraid that even will give up more than he has, so much that he won’t leave any for himself. in the days when his thoughts rebel against him, isak thinks that’s what this is. isak will keep on taking as long as even keeps on giving, because he doesn’t know what the limits are. neither of them want to admit that there are limits. isak’s selfish, and he’s already proven to not be a great person when his life is spiraling out of his control, and if he knew what was best for both of them, he’d take this slow.
but it’s all bruising kisses and midnight trips to the park, faces turned towards the sky like it’s all for them. it’s isak texting even at 4am when his mom ends up in the hospital, and even holding him until the morning. it’s meeting even’s parents, and falling in love with even’s parents, and family dinners the way he’s never known them. it’s everything.
You Teach Them How to Draw/Paint (RFA + V & Vanderwood)
The last one got really popular, so here’s a sequel!
▪he can’t see, obviously, but you came up with a solution!
▪finger painting with different textures of paint!
▪You mix some things into paint and then added different objects that’d give it different textures
▪this precious boy is so excited
▪you pull the smock over his head, a plain white t-shirt with paint speckles all over the front and sleeves and hand him a bowl of warm water to wash his hands in
▪you take V’s hand and touch each of his fingers to the paints (some gritty, glittery, smooth, clumpy, anything you could do to make them different from one another) and tell him which of the paints are which colors
▪he immediately goes to work smearing the paint on the canvas almost expertly, taking great care into this painting
▪V gets some red paint in his hair and there’s a smear of yellow glitter on his cheek but his smile is so wide and pure that you just m e l t
▪forgets about the paint on his hands and kisses you
▪your faces are bright yellow and fuscia and that’s the day V seriously considers getting the surgery
▪kind of pains him hearing you so ecstatic and knowing the lengths you’re going through to make him comfortable and happy
▪"MC…you’re so beautiful"
▪he insists the two of you take a selfie to immortalize the moment forever what a cheeseball I love him so much but he doesn’t tell you that when he does get the surgery, he wants to see what you looked like today
▪finally, he adds a signature: the letter V in braille
▪it’s a clunky, glittery mess but you hang it right in the living room where you can see it all the time!
▪dis boy ain’t got time for this
▪he takes the pencil and draws a lovely picture of a middle finger, titling it: “To 707”
▪707 finds it and pretends to be really touched, even goes as far to print out seven hundred and seven copies, and then proceeding to tape them all up on his wall
▪he doesn’t want to learn
▪he wants to model
▪"Draw me like one of your Korean guys, MC"
▪poses provocatively on the sofa and even tries his pose from Promiscuous Jalapeño
▪Zen pls keep this PG-13
▪Remember that Brandon Rogers quote? “This is my hippity house I like to do a lot of fun and creative poses here”
▪yeah that’s Zen
▪when you do sit him down and tell him to draw YOU instead, he nearly panics
▪turns out his behaivor was just a front
▪he’s not good at drawing and doesn’t want to disappoint you
▪tries his best and when it doesn’t come out quite right, he erases your face and draws a funnier one on to make you laugh
▪when he asked you to teach him, you were expecting him to want to draw an LOLOL character
▪so honestly, you were shocked when he pulled out his phone and snapped a quick pic of you
▪you give him guidelines and things that’ll help him
▪he pulls his bangs back and sticks his pencil between his teeth, scrunching his face up as he studies the drawing
▪something isn’t quite right about it…
▪he tried, at least!
▪he’s really proud of it (and tbh it’s really cute, just also really messed up)
▪Jaehee looooves watercolor painting
▪she has a few books of famous watercolor painters so when you offer to teach her, she’s beside herself
▪"Really? You’d teach me?“
▪Jaehee I’d eat my own foot if you asked me to
▪tries to paint a watercolor painting with different kinds of coffee and it actually looks pretty good, especially since painting with coffee is kind of hard!
▪her painting is almost as good as yours
▪You’re lowkey jealous since it was her first time but Jaehee was so excited that you let it slide
▪she hangs up her paintings in the coffee shop and her face lights up everytime she passes by them
▪paints Zen a few times
▪but when Jumin asks her to paint a picture of Elizabeth 3rd, she declines faster than Seven consuming a bag of Honey Buddha chips
▪literally lives for the days the two of you sit down at the table and open up all of the windows to paint
▪she thinks that you’re a whole different kind of beautiful when you’re focused, sunlight streaming through and bouncing off of your hair and eyes
▪she actually tells you one day though
▪you were surprised when she leaned over and brushed your hair behind your ears, telling you how pretty you were and how your eyes looked translucent in the pretty light
▪god Baehee makes me so gayhee
▪you suggest oil painting!
▪he has the best paint, canvases, and easels imported from God knows where just for this
▪how did you even get them here so quick??
“I have my ways, MC”
▪…you mean money.
▪chooses to paint a picture of a landscape
▪Wait, no Elizabeth?
▪"Am I not allowed to have other interests besides Elizabeth 3rd?“
▪the two of you step out for a moment, and that’s when Elizabeth decides to take revenge on Jumin
▪you come back to a green and brown cat, and have to chase her all over the penthouse to give her a bath
▪the painting actually turns out really nice, he doesn’t even wear a smock and manages to stay pristine the entire time
▪however, he does keep Elizabeth’s paw print on the painting, and insists she helped him with it
▪actually begs you to teach him
▪you finally agree and sit him down, pulling out a kit of acrylic paints and a pad of artist’s paper
▪he, for once, looks really happy
▪when you ask him what he’s painting and try to look, he shies away
▪"I-it’s a secret, baka!“
▪"if you must know, it’s a picture of my one true love! She’s beautiful, sweet, makes me happier than anyone in the world….”
▪You’re suddenly really happy
▪Elizabeth 3rd is a cat so she can’t like memes, so he must mean you!
▪*Donald Trump voice* wrooooong
▪turns the picture around
▪it’s a freaking painting of himself kissing a bag of Honey Buddha chips
Hello! I'm the sick anon from a few days ago - I recovered! If it's possible to ask for another request (ignore if not), how about the RFA + Saeran + Vanderwood (why not?) go bowling? What kind of crazy shenanigans would happen? (I'm also really happy to see your blog growing - hopefully it gets even bigger!)
good to hear from you again, anon, and I’m glad you’re doing better! now, about your request, well… I had a solid idea of what I wanted to do but it got lost and I don’t know what happened lol. I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.
ohhh~ thanks for the encouraging words by the way! it’s gotten big enough to make us question our entire existence just like zen in this request like rlly guys are you lost? but we love you anyways mwah~
- Admin Cat Mom.
mmkay before we start we’re gonna put these goofballs in teams because that’s gonna make things ten times more interesting:
Team Alpha Super Awesome Cool Honey Buddha Squadron: Yoosung, Seven, Saeran, Vanderwood.
Team ‘we’re not naming the team as your fur ball, Jumin’: Zen, Jumin, Jaehee, V.
I think you can pretty much guess who named each team.
Creepypasta #1037: The Model In My Figure Drawing Class
This semester, I took
my first figure drawing class. Forget starting off slow with a bowl of fruit.
As soon as the door clicked shut, an old woman in the middle of the room
dropped her robe, revealing her wrinkly tits for the world to see. I was
didn’t know what to do. Was I supposed to look? Not look? If I looked,
then where? Her sagging mammaries? Her face? Her eyes? What if
she looked back? Then, I’d be staring at a naked old woman and a naked old
woman would be staring back at me. I couldn’t think of anything more awkward
than that. Except maybe if she was my grandma.
“Pick a spot and get your sketchbooks ready. We’re doing
five-minute poses,” instructed the professor, as he motioned towards the easels
set up in a circle around the model. He opened up a newspaper and started
I sat there nervously, holding a charcoal pencil in my hand
as the geriatric nude struck a pose. To my surprise, I found her to be quite
charismatic. For such an old woman, she displayed the kind of dignified poise
you’d expect from a ballerina. Smiling, she watched me as I began to sketch her
Her second pose was just as graceful as the first: arched
back, bent knees, and head turned in my direction. I immortalized the moment in
my sketchbook. The way the light gleamed off her chest, her soul-piercing brown
eyes, and the shadows clutching her in a lover’s embrace. Maybe I’d impress her
by showing her my work after class.
With more flexibility than a Yoga instructor, she stretched
out further and contorted herself for the third pose. She chose to face me
again, as though she was as captivated with me as I was with her. In five short
minutes, I was able to capture her very essence on the page.
Her torso began to crackle as she twisted it sideways. Her
earthy eyes remained locked on mine, but her smile had faded. Had I offended
her somehow? Was my artwork not good enough?
My stomach dropped and she moved into her fifth pose. Her
upper body began to twist towards the other side of the room, but her legs and
head remained in place, making her appear as though she’d just been in a wreck.
Her fingers bent outward. I could hear snapping noises as her bones popped out
of their joints, causing her fingers to elongate to unnatural lengths.
hands trembled, barely able to keep hold of the pencil as I watched the horrid
mess of misplaced limbs. I didn’t want to look at her, nor at my sketchbook,
but somehow, my hand flew seamlessly over the page, as though forced to trace
the inhuman shape I was witnessing. I tried to stop it, I
really did. I slapped my free hand over the one holding the pencil. I pushed. I
pulled. No matter how hard I tried to stop, I kept drawing.
The model’s hawk-like eyes stared me down with contempt. The
cold gaze felt as though it was burrowing into me, examining every inch of me.
Not just on the outside, but on the inside, too, like an x-ray. It burned. It
burned under my skin. My joints began to ache. It could feel the pressure of an
unseen force trying to pull my bones apart. And through it all, my hand still
scribbled in my sketchbook.
“All right, let’s take a quick break and then we’ll do
a half hour pose,” said the professor, still looking at his newspaper.
The model’s body rebounded back into place like an elastic
I felt an instant wave of relief. The pressure was gone, but
I was still sore.
She gave me a knowing, devious smile, slipped into her robe,
winked, and stepped out of the room.
It was only then that I noticed my fellow students
exchanging anxious stares and rubbing their now rigid, almost atrophied hands.
As I nervously paced around the room and rubbed my own
hands, I peeked at the other student’s sketchbooks. Blood drained from my face
as I realized that, in every single sketch, the model’s head was turned towards
the viewer, as though she’d been facing every single student in class at the
The door swung open and a younger woman stepped in,
apologizing for her tardiness. Whoever - or whatever - the old woman was, she
wasn’t a model.
Life goes on—quickly, greedily, and with a hunger that brings them to their knees. How to satiate it? How to stop it? They start journals (Claire), write more books (Jamie), do everything they can snag the veil with immortalized moments. If a memory is made concrete, they think—in writing or in a photograph—then perhaps time will have to move around it? Be forced to decelerate? (Time doesn’t care. About them, about anyone. The universal enemy.)
Claire is promoted to Chief of Staff, improves at Scrabble, develops a lump in her breast they believe to be cancer (it isn’t). Jamie learns how to sail without puking, gets a teaching job at Chapel Hill. He is less motivated by the idea of tenure—stability, money—than by the opportunity to stoke creative sparks in others just like him. In the fourth row sits a girl whose essays are colored by the loss of her mother, the grief of it found even in the gray eraser clouds. The boy behind her writes poems of spun sugar, overly romantic but endearing in their sincerity, and Jamie remembers this boy whenever he looks in the mirror.
Jamie grows a beard specifically to impress them. All of his professors concealed their weakening chins in thickets of hair, so why not him? The new aesthetic receives a positive response: Claire loves its tickle between her legs, his classes seem to find him wiser and mind less when his memory suddenly fails. (A common occurrence as of late, damn it all.) But when Jamie shaves for the summer, he feels strangely guilty—Bree’s expression, a scowl of disappointment in the reclaimed smoothness of his face. (The source of her sadness is revealed a few days later: she’d believed her father was Santa Claus.)
Jamie and Claire watch their bodies sag, widen. They watch their cholesterol, their caloric intake. There is the month-long agony of a shared paleo diet, an experiment which, come July, they decide is the dumbest thing they’ve ever done.
“No carbs!” Jamie crows in disbelief.
“No alcohol!” Claire hoots.
“Did I tell ye I cheated one day?”
“Jamie, you didn’t!”
“Aye, I ate Bree’s leftover macaroni,” he says. “Gobbled it right up, didna even use a fork.”
“Bloody traitor,” Claire says, and they laugh and laugh. Clink hearty glasses of wine as a toast to the old-age blessing of letting go and getting fat. (Jamie will repay Claire under the full moon, to redeem himself.)
For a while, it seems everyone they know gets divorced: a beloved colleague, a woman in Claire’s book club. When they hear the news, they praise their own luck, secretively locking hands before offering their sympathies. Such announcements inspire extra enthusiasm for the “Married” boxes on government forms. And saying things like, “My wife, Claire” or, “Have you met Jamie, my husband?” gives them a heart-swelling high. (Belatedly, they realize this shouldn’t be considered luck at all—but a given. This, their lasting marriage.)
It’s only after the Abernathy’s separation that worry niggles its way between them. They watch each other carefully, sousing out possible itches: a desire to flee to a foreign country, a lust for someone whose faults are more expertly hidden. (No marriage, even Jamie and Claire’s, is without its itches. The difference here is that they never want to scratch them.) Jamie is careful about putting the toilet seat down, and he allots himself just an hour of self-pity for every negative book review. Claire does not organize his messy office, respects the calculated disorganization of his shelves, even though the clutter makes her skin crawl. She keeps the AC off every night that summer, just so she can feel Jamie’s heat next to hers. A way of ensuring that he is still there, sweating himself into their sheets, which will remain unwashed for several days.
Their biggest fight is in September of 2014. One of Jamie’s students begins to show more interest in her professor than in her studies. There are bold advances, firm rejections, a vengeful letter that describes their trysts in explicit detail (strangely, Claire finds the Dear Mrs. Fraser and Xoxo Malva to be the cruelest things of all). All lies, of course, but still Jamie and Claire fight. Feelings of betrayal stew overnight, and Jamie is exiled from their bed like a misbehaving dog, Claire watching from the doorway as Jamie whimpers to the couch. Two days of silence pass—the dean notified, apologies made, and tears shed—before he finally barges into the bathroom, uninvited.
“Are ye going to leave me?” he asks Claire, very quiet for someone who nearly ripped the door from its hinges.
“Jamie, now is not a good time.”
“So ye canna pee in front of me now?”
“Oh, for fuck’s sake.”
But Jamie stays there, waiting, fetches toilet paper when Claire’s hand lights on the used-up cardboard roll. She flushes and stands. A child is born and dies a man in the minute it takes his wife to wash up.
“So?” he asks. “Are ye?”
“Don’t be an idiot,” she says.
They throw themselves into parenthood. Bree learns her ABCs, then her multiplication tables, then how to weep so that the dinosaur coloring book secures a spot in their shopping cart. Some innocence is lost after a public mounting: two petting zoo goats, vigorous thrusts, shameless bleats of ovine ecstasy. On the way home, “Where do babies come from?” is asked loudly from the backseat, though Jamie and Claire’s discomfort speaks louder from the front.
“From…from love,” Jamie stutters. “It’s something very special,” Claire adds—though a child is neither the guaranteed result, nor always the aim. They glance at each other, wondering if their daughter’s newfound awareness will require more discretion in the night. (There’s an element of danger to sex now, and the sneaky, moan-suppressing game of it reminds them of being young again.)
When they revisit the subject a few years later, they add such parental wisdom as: Trust is key; you must trust the person you consider doing It with. (Boy or girl, it doesn’t matter, they will love her anyways, does she know that?)
Actually, there needs to be trust and there needs to be protection. A rubber. A condom? Has Bree ever heard of a condom? (Yes.) What? How? Why is she aware of condoms if she is only eleven years old?
She is twelve years old, she is fourteen, she is sixteen going on thirty. Jamie and Claire spend hours looking for an elusive Pause button, the world moving at the same rapid-fire pace. 2015 becomes 2019, then 2022 in the blink of an eye.
They watch Bree join the volleyball team, break her wrist, break her heart. They watch her pinch whiteheads, lust after jocks and platinum hair dye, suck in her stomach before full-length mirrors (sometimes, this makes them want to cry; sometimes they do). They watch her as she descends the staircase in a pair of towering heels, a vision of silk and emerald and such astounding loveliness that they cannot fathom how their bodies made her.
This is the night of Bree’s senior prom, the winds of change in the air. It is ten hours before she will lose her virginity—a three-minute fumble inside a Toyota—to the boy now standing on the porch. (There will be trust and a condom and the first delirious onslaught of love.) The boy, named Roger, looks utterly stunned as Bree pins his boutonniere to his lapel, as if she has driven the needle straight through his tux, directly into his heart.
The couple is herded to stand beneath the sycamore, and to say, “Cheese!” (“Or gouda,” Jamie jokes, having settled quite comfortably into the routine of bad Dad humor.) Jamie cannot get a picture that isn’t blurry, and so it is Claire, with her steady surgeon’s hands, who manages the perfect shot. This is the photo that will hang on the fridge door, while the other—the one taken mid-parental transition—will make the family album. Roger laughing, Bree rolling her eyes at her father’s incompetence. It is a photo that will make Claire misty whenever she sees it. Even ten years later, when she glues their wedding photo beside it.
Still—life goes on. Birthdays, high school graduation, anniversaries. Bree gets into Harvard, Claire becomes addicted to RuPaul’s Drag Race, Jamie chops off his finger while julienning vegetables. Their Cocker Spaniel, Adso, lunges at the pinkish nub, mistaking it for a discarded bit of hot dog. (Thankfully, Claire rescues the finger, and it is transported in a baggy of ice—along with its owner—to the ER.)
Bree spends freshman winter term in Spain and calls home speaking the language, which only Jamie understands. They make it a joke to mislead Claire with outlandish stories, until she eventually catches on:
“Brianna got a tattoo of Roger’s face in Barcelona,” Jamie translates. “Full color, and at a verra reasonable price.”
“I know for a fact that the word ‘tattoo’ has not been used in this conversation,” Claire replies. “I’ve been watching Rosetta Stone, just FYI.”
“Weel, you’ll just have to see the proof of it, then.”
Doubt flickers across Claire’s face.
“You’re not serious, are you?”
“Yes, he’s lying, Mama,” Bree chimes over the speakerphone, and they both start laughing.
“You two arethe worst.”
“But you’re the best, Sassenach,”
“Damn right,” she mutters.
November 2028. The year, somehow, is almost over. In one week Bree will come home for Thanksgiving, wearing a Harvard sweatshirt and a promise ring from Roger. Roger himself will tag along, and in the manner of all nervous boyfriends, he will stutter through Jamie’s questions, be all-too-grateful for the distraction of clearing plates. (“Don’t worry about that, I’ll get it!”)
Claire, away on a 3-week conference, will be back as well. She will serve the turkey with a glint in her eye, daring someone to note how the side dishes seem suspiciously store-bought. The table will only offer their effusive praise, lubricating the dry turkey with the chemical-laden gravy, feeding Adso the scraps they couldn’t get down themselves.
Until then, Jamie has the house to himself. He has not been alone like this since the early 2000′s, and his mind becomes unsettlingly untethered by the solitude. He goes hunting, fishing, hiking. He leaves the front door wide open, pours Adso too much food. He forgets his tackle box in the woods and doesn’t realize it’s missing until the sun has sunk. Tomorrow, he thinks.
He attempts to write his story for The New Yorker, but he can’t seem to parse his thoughts into sentences. They buzz around his head like aimless bees, and he almost wishes for a sting, a pricking back to his eloquent senses. (Where is that damn outline he made a month ago?)
Like a teenager, he goes to his bedroom at 3PM, intending to jack off his loneliness. He tries to summon an image of Claire from the last time they fucked (18 days ago!), but there’s nothing clear enough to get him hard. Just a pale throat, the vaguest suggestion of a flower. He resits his phone—he’s called three times in the past six hours—and watches a football game instead.
The days go on. Adso watches him, alert, as if he’s waiting for the final unraveling, the arrival of a ghost. Jamie starts five books, returns them to shelves before he finishes. He prepares extravagant meals, stores the bulk of them in tupperware. He eats, he drinks, he sleeps.
Then, in the middle of the night—a smell. It sits on him, pressing down like an angry fist. He sits up. A searing pain that keeps his eyes closed. A sudden constriction of his lungs. An alarm going off and a dog’s yip, the roar of them traveling through a fog, a—smoke?
There is smoke. Jamie falls out of bed and runs, blindly, but there is only heat where the door should be. He feels heavy; he feels light. He feels as if he is rising high above the house and that he is falling down, far down, beneath it. He plans an escape, but there is no synergy between his mind and his movements. He pauses.
Claire. Where is Claire? If he could just open his eyes, if could just breathe properly, then he would call for her, and—
He is on the floor now. When did he get here? How did he get here? The carpet is soft under his cheek, a pillow to go with the blanket that suffocates him. Perhaps he’ll simply sleep and wait for the nightmare—for that is surely what this is—to end. A dream, only a dream.
But he can’t just lie still! There was someone else, right? That name from a few minutes (hours?) ago is on the very tip of his tongue. He wants to yell it into the screen of smoke, but a surge of memory tells him to conserve his breath. Whoever it is, isn’t here. Whoever it is, wouldn’t hear. (How frustrating it is to feel such desperation for an unknown.)
It’s so hot now, unbearably hot. It reminds him of something. Stories. A boy who sucked the spirit right out of his mother, entered the world in a stolen blaze of fire. Another woman whose hands licked him up and down, the most exquisite burning.
There are sirens. There are shouts. Bright beams flash through the black cloud around him. He raises an arm to admire their light on his skin, deceptively playful in their colorful dance and silent song. Pretty, Jamie thinks, and because the familiarity is a comfort, he lets it take him under.
And just like that, in a wash of red and blue—life stops.
He couldn’t help himself. He’d been testing Alec. 17,000 was everyone. All of them. Any relationship, by any measure.
If a vampire had asked him for a number, he would have given them a ball park of 10,000. Vampires were visceral and had a… fluid thing. To a vampire, a number was about sex. A seelie or a werewolf would have been asking about connection. People that, for a century, or a decade or an afternoon, had overwhelmed him, linked themselves with his mind or his spirit in some way. Maybe 8,000.
There is a parable about a sparrow flying through a mead hall during a storm, written back when they still had mead halls, and way before they had window screens. The sparrow flies through one window, and quickly back out the window on the other side. For a moment, he is warm, and safe, and there is light. But the storm rages on outside, and he slips out of it, and then back in, with a nearly meaningless moment of safety and warmth in between.
That’s what love, real love, is when you’re immortal and alive. A moment of light in an unknown eternity. What number would Magnus have given if a warlock had asked him?
Heh heh, yeah, that line triggered about three hours of Vriscourse on my Discord server that afternoon.
The way I see it, there are three ways you can interpret Vriska’s death:
-Her death was Just -Her death was Heroic -Her death was neither Just, nor Heroic, but she died anyway because of the destroyed clock.
I’m not a fan of that last theory, because logically John should have died too. Crowbar’s crowbar doesn’t just destroy temporal artifacts, it undoes their effect on the timeline as well. As I said during the liveblog, if that clock were responsible for judging the immortality of gods, then John should have dropped dead when Jack hit it with the crowbar.
So was Vriska’s death Heroic?
Maaaaaaaaybe. But any Heroic interpretation of her death requires a broad definition of heroic, and/or a generous reading of her intentions.
The best argument I’ve seen is that her death was heroic because Terezi was the one to kill her, morals be damned. It was the culmination of a years long rivalry, making it heroic in the same sense as the epics of old. On the other hand, that completely ignores Terezi’s reason for clashing with Vriska, and that reason… was her sense of JUST1C3.
Alternatively, Vriska was being Heroic because she was trying to do a good thing by killing Jack, and this argument I have a lot of problems with. First of all, as we saw with John, dying while going after a bad guy is not enough to make a heroic death in and of itself. John got punked out in the first round, which earned him a resurrection, and Vriska didn’t even make it that far.
Secondly, I’m not convinced that going after Jack was Heroic for Vriska in the first place. Remember, she created Jack herself for the express purpose of having a strong opponent to fight later. It’s one thing for Batman to say, “I’m responsible for creating the Joker, I have to be the one to face him,” but that was never her thought process. At no point prior to her death does Vriska express regret for her role in creating Jack. Ever. Fighting Jack isn’t a heroic sacrifice, it’s just the final step in her grand plan. It’s all too calculated to be truly heroic.
“But,” I’ve heard people argue, “if Vriska hadn’t done that, then it would have screwed up the alpha timeline.” I really hate blaming anybody’s behavior (good or bad) on the will of the alpha timeline. By that logic, nobody is responsible for their actions. They’re only victims of circumstance who are being carried down the stream of time. While that was Vriska’s excuse for why she created Jack, I do believe it was just that: an excuse. Characters like Rose and Aradia are both motivated by their desire to fight fate, and yet they continue to operate within the confines of the Alpha timeline. Saying “This had to happen because Alpha Timeline” is only ever true in retrospect. It does not explain the choices a character makes when they are making them.
On the other hand, it’s very easy to make an argument that Vriska’s death was Just. When describing a Just death, Doc Scratch gave the example that, “one may be subject to corruption, and slain by a hero.” Terezi is a hero. That is the technical definition for what she is as the Seer of Mind. Asking whether or not Vriska was “subject to corruption” is downright laughable. We could have a whole other discussion just trying to rank Vriska’s corrupting influences throughout her life.
Terezi initially confronted Vriska for murdering Tavros, and was ultimately forced to kill her to stop her from finding Jack and alerting him to the trolls’ presence on the asteroid. You can feel free to debate which of these motives is more important for justifying Vriska’s death, but it’s six one way and a half dozen the other.
Personally, I prefer the interpretation that it was her guilt over Tavros that got her killed. It’s a distorted reflection of what happened to Mindfang and the Summoner, and she joked about stabbing Tavros in the chest, which was the method of her own execution. These little ironies, as well as the fact that she had been explaining her immortality to John moments before Terezi arrived, add to the Justice of the scene. Vriska sowed the seeds of her own destruction, and then arrogantly proclaimed that she was indestructible. These are the kinds of details that make her death not only justified, but also an old fashioned morality tale.
It’s certainly true that Vriska’s death was left slightly ambiguous, but in my mind saying her death was Justified simply makes for a better story. And if there’s one thing we know about the Alpha Timeline, it’s a dramatic son of a bitch.
Alicia Dominica renoucning High Lord Goge Vandire. M36.
At the height of the Reign of Blood,the Brides of the Emperor were confronted by the Adeptus Custodes in the Imperial Palace on Terra. The Custodes could not convince the Brides that their master, High Lord Vandire, was evil.
In a desperate act, the Custodes Centrurion led Alicia Dominica and five of her closest companions through the palace to the resting place of the Emperor.
It’s unknown what occurred in the throne room, but after leaving, Alicia marched to Vandire’s war room. She confronted the tyrant, condemning him for his actions. She then cleaved his head clean from his shoulders, ending the Reign of Blood.
Alicia Dominica went on to found the Sisters of Battle.
At the end of her long and invaluable life, the words she spoke to High Lord Vandire in his final moments, were immortalized on Dominica’s sarcophagus.
All of them?” Jenkins asked looking over the holographic map.
all Benemar forces have retreated to Potellan and our scouts met no
challenge all the way there” Cho replied pointing to points on the
have been fighting tooth and nail over that territory for months, why
pull back now?” Cathy asked,
know we are coming, they only held the line at these points to stop
us having too much free rein” Jenkins said.
could they know our attack is imminent?”
smart commander could guess as much” Jenkins said “He knew we
would have to move on the city eventually and after that bombing raid
he has forced us to attack sooner than we intended. That was likely
his intent of that assault, he wants us to attack on his terms”
also means that the city has now been reinforced with a large number
of enemy veteran forces” Cho pointed out.
is going to make the whole fight for the city more fun” Cathy said
pulling out a chocolate bar. The quizzing looks from the other two
made her explain. “Sorry I have been craving these things like mad
then” Cho said turning back to the map “So when do we leave for
the new Chieftain’s Crowning is in a few days and we are expecting
Williams and his men to reinforce us a few days after that. During
that time we will hand over all security duties to the Benemar, how
is their training going by the way?” Jenkins asked Cathy.
going well, they learned how to use our rifles and guns pretty
quickly and we have given them a few tanks and armoured transports.
By the time we leave they should no longer be considered a militia
but an actual fighting force”
long as they support the new Chieftain our flank should be secure”
underestimate the kid” Cathy pointed out “He may be young but he
has a way with words, he seems to grasp politics as well. Did you
hear all the elders who he was chosen over have been given high
offices in his court?”
that wise?” Cho asked.
smart” Jenkins said “Keep those who are likely to oppose him
close by where he can keep an eye on them all while giving them some
sort of power that they wanted”
smiled “I can see why Hopkins spoke highly of this kid but that is
still the problem, he is a kid”
that is why he will be underestimated” Jenkins smiled.
have heard that you have been asked to be the one to crown him?”
Cathy asked Jenkins.
he believes it will be symbolic, we took power from the Benemar and
deposed the previous Chieftain and we are now handing it back to the
Benemar in the form of a new Chieftain”
they chose” Cho stated “A powerful symbol”
us hope the power does not go to his head”
carried Taleena out of her home with his bodyguard waiting for him
and a large crowed had gathered having spotted the young Chieftain
entering a seemingly unknown persons house. A cheer erupted as he
emerged with her and he held her higher as if to show her off to the
crowed as the flashes of many lights signalled camera flashes to
immortalize the moment. So many that Taleena was nearly blinded and
wonder how Ceran was still managing to see where he was going. His
bodyguard quickly surrounded him and parted the crowed so Ceran could
make his way through them. His home may be some way away but he was
determined to make the journey. She had her arms wrapped around his
neck and thought to herself that he was stronger than he looked then
remembered he had told her he was a salt farmer growing up. A small
parade had begun to follow them with the young men shouting their
approval and even some of the girls that Taleena had met while
waiting to meet him calling out their congratulations. But what made
her really satisfied was when they passed a few of the more wealthier
and high ranking girls who had on more than one occasion while
waiting to meet Ceran made horrible remarks on how she did not
deserve to be there. Well now it was her that the Chieftain was
carrying home in his arms not them and the looks on their faces made
up at him their eyes met for a few moments and he smiled at her, she
loved that smile, it was so, genuine. Instinctively she placed a soft
kiss on his lips and pulled away embarrassed but he only laughed. He
stopped briefly to reaffirm his grasp on her and stop her from
slipping from his arms and began walking again, only then did she
notice he was sweating. He had been carrying her for some time now.
can walk now if you want me to?”
tradition says I have to carry you all the way home otherwise it’s a
thought you weren’t superstitious?”
not, this just seems like the right thing to do though”
breathed heavily as the muscles in his arms begged for release.
“Although I will say, now I know why it’s customary to carrying you
over the shoulder, that way is easier over long distances” he was
almost panting now.
can switch to that way if you want”
I said I’ll do it this way and this is the way I’ll do it”
felt him struggling to carry her the whole way, she did not consider
herself heavy but carry any weight for a length of time and it will
feel like it weighs a ton.
he said “There is a water flask at my left hip, could you get it
wrapped her arm behind herself and felt for his hip to find the
left a bit” he said suddenly.
better leave those intact for the wedding night” she laughed as she
grabbed the flask and put it to his lips to drink.
they arrived at his home, they had not moved into the Chieftain’s
tower yet as he was not their Chief till the Crowning. He had not
taken two steps through the front door when he put her down and
almost collapsed on the floor.
you all right?” she asked kneeling by his side.
be okay” he panted looking up at her smiling, he took her hand and
squeezed it tight. Looking up he saw his family were standing in the
Father, Selan, this is Taleena”
mother rushed forward and pulled her to her feet and embraced her
“Welcome to our home, or your home as well now”
feel sorry for you, you have no idea what my brother is really like”
father though stood over his son who was still laying on the floor
okay?” he asked.
should have put her over my shoulder”
should have. I did when I kidnapped your mother”
Is that true?”
father didn’t answer and walked off.
No you can’t say that and just walk away!”
got up and ran after him but stopped at his mother. “Mother, did
father kidnap you?
said nothing and looked to her husband who was sitting on the sofa
let him tell you the story”
looked at them both shocked and confused and Taleena laughed at her
future husbands confusion.
we need to get you measured for your dress for the Crowning” his
mother suddenly to Taleena.
I think maybe they would like to spend some time together?” Selan
they can’t do that until the wedding night!” Oolana said pushing
Taleena into another room.
that is a very old tradition they don’t need to be virgins any more”
up, if he is going to be Chief then he needs to follow these
mother can’t we at least-” Ceran started.
Oolana shouted pulling Selan inside and slamming the door.
okay then” Ceran said standing in front of the door “We’ll talk
came her response.
looked at his father who was now drinking ale with a small grin on
his face. “You have no idea what is in store for you do you?”
err….no” he said joining his father on the sofa and was handed a
can of ale by him.
did I when I grabbed your mother”
looked at his father who gestured to drink, he did and the taste of
the ale went right through his head making him shiver.
get used to the taste, and trust me you will need it”
you really kidnap mother?”
is not what it was called back then, you know the old ways? Well in
our town they did not fade very quickly nor any where else in the
wastelands. Quite often the only sure way to get a wife was to take
one. Your mother was promised to another and I had always had my eye
on her, we had spoken a few times but not at any great length. But I
knew, I knew what her life would be like if she married that bastard”
doesn’t matter, what does matter that during their wedding I drove my
truck straight into his home and disrupted the ceremony and killed
him with my farming tools. Not bad I think considering he was armed
with a blade. Once that was done I proclaimed she was to be mine
swung her over my shoulder and went home. I totalled the truck so I
couldn’t drive and as you know it’s part of the custom that you walk
looked up at his father shocked, he had never asked how they met and
of all the stories he expected to hear this was not among them.
mother even want you to take her?” he asked.
kidding!? She asked me to mount her there and then the moment we got
through the door, if my father wasn’t there I probably would have,
luckily that old bastard died soon after the wedding”
sat in silence, Ceran smiled though as this was the first time he and
his father had sat and spoken like this. In the past when he was a
creten his father would dote on his brothers and sister and simply
yell at him to go away.
did you name me Creten?”
father did not answer, in fact he did not react at all and just
stared ahead as if seeing the very moment he gave his son that name.
were born…sickly” he finally said “You were small and had the
features of a breeder, unfitting for a male”
your first birthday when it was clear you were not like your
brothers, I named you Creten. For I did not want you”
Benemar culture children are not named until their first birthday as
their names often carry meaning that they earn or show signs they
will have during that year.
father looked at him “I am happy, that you no longer carry that
couldn’t help but have tears fill his eyes “Father” he whispered
throwing his arms around his fathers neck and holding tight.