the silence part hard

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This is day 4 from the Collared Scholar 7 Day Engagement Challenge.

This challenge is really happening at a good time for me. Between the major project at work stressing me out and trying to help write a eulogy, it’s one of the bright spots in my day. It forces me to focus on life, the current and the now and not dwell on the losses I cannot change.

There are two games in this video.

1. “Play hard to get (restrained recalls and hunts)” at 07:09 for non-toy motivated drive with a subgame at 09:15 for those without a partner on hand.

and 2. “Keep away with the toy (for toy motivated dogs)” at 10:25 of the video. tl;dr optional flirt pole time!

I did the second game because I don’t have a second person on hand, Thistle’s not keen on restraint work and game 2 seemed more fun.

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The blade presses against his throat like a hand against his windpipe. At first, Keith wants to struggle. It’s an instinctive thing, to try and remove an obstacle away from the thin skin, and the fragile windpipe underneath. The only thing that keeps him from pulling back from the prickling pressure is the lack of warmth around the front of his neck.

Keith tries to remember to breathe, but the air seems too thick to slip between his lips and down his constricting throat. “You can let me go, and I won’t say a thing.” The edge presses into his skin with every word. He can’t tell if the wetness underneath is a nervous sweat, or a drop of blood running down his collar. “Please.” He begs.

“I’d never have thought the Black Paladin would be a beggar.” The Prince says. Keith can feel his voice rumbling through his armor, through both of their armors, as he speaks. He’s probably smirking right now, Keith thinks, because that’s what one usually does, when they’ve caught an enemy and figured out just what makes them tick.

“But you’re not the Black Paladin, are you? You were Red, still are in fact.” The Prince leans forward, his hair tickling Keith’s neck as he whispers into his ear, “You feel so scared, and you’re so mad that you’re scared, that I can smell it dripping off of you, spilling out of your every pore. Oh, Red, it smells so wonderful on you.”

“Hey Lo-turd!” Lance calls, his voice thin and echoing.

The Prince doesn’t rise to the bait, and refuses to look up. His grip on the back of Keith’s neck tightens as he pulls him closer.

“I am not an idiot, Blue. I know what you’re doing, and I refuse to indulge in it.” The blade presses dangerously close against his neck, and Keith thinks he’s about to die because of Lance’s horrible distraction.

“Oh. Well, you’re supposed to look up and go ‘that’s not my name’ or something, but, uh,” Keith can imagine him now, hand on the back of his head as he stumbles for the right words. “Right. I’ll just skip on to the good part.”

Silence.

Keith can hear his heart beating, hard and his blood rushing in his ears. He can hear The Prince breathing behind him.

He hates that he’s gotten himself in this situation. He hates that he feels so helpless, that Lotor has made him feel so helpless, that he’s let his past have such a grip on him, even now.

The heat of laserfire brushes past the side of his head, landing in Lotor’s chest. His hand jerks, and Keith leans away. The blade burns his cheek instead. Lotor falls or steps back- Keith can’t really tell which- and then he’s free.

Lance drifts down from above and grabs Keith’s hand. “I’m so, so sorry for trashing your mullet. As much as I wanted you to lose it, I never wanted it to happen this way.”

The shock is slowly leaving his system, like water draining from a pool. His head clears first, and then his mouth, with it’s dry tongue and sour taste. “It’s fine. I’m fine. I’ve been wanting to get an undercut anyway.” His free hand drifts to his neck. Although his fingers prove otherwise, it feels like a hand is wrapped around it, and squeezing hard. “Thank you, Lance.”

“No problemo.” Lance says, looking back at him with a grin. “I’m just glad you’re not hurt.”

Keith isn’t so sure about that.

A Hard Heart To Win (Part 2)

The silence rings in the air, hurting his ears. No one speaks, simply staring at each other with narrowed eyes, or, in Tony’s case, staring at their feet.

He wants to shift in his seat, to move and burn off his excess energy, but he doesn’t. Howard taught him enough to know that fidgeting wasn’t befitting someone of their class.

Maria tells him that it’s fine if he can’t control it, that a lot of children have the same problem. Tony wonders if their fathers hated that part of them as much as Howard did.

It’s not like Howard actively hated how Tony was, just the parts of Tony that were too large to be ignored, that couldn’t be smoothed over, so if Tony did his best to hide them, then Howard wouldn’t be angry. That’s how he got out of most of the usually inevitable punishments.

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Ease these Oceans

Calling out does so little

when my head is underwater and

whatever sounds escape me come out in

muted bubbles

rushing to a surface I can’t find and popping

releasing my shouts for help into deaf air.

I’m being shoved in all directions by a million

different hands and dragged

down

into the darker, colder aspects of myself

the parts that I was convinced were sealed away

silenced

hidden.

A hard grip on my skull pushes me down

fingers pry my eyes open despite the burn that comes with

the salt

and I see reason.

‘And now you have learned’

He pulls me to the sky by my neck

shoves air and dirt down my throat.

‘It does no good to dwell on overflowing lungs

empty yourself.’

And so I do

with all my might I do

and leave the sea beneath me

and letting the water turn to precious crystals on my skin.