Aelin had decided that she’d make a friend today, whether he liked it or not.
It was early in the morning, the sun hadn’t yet burned her light upon the city of Orynth. Aelin had dressed in her black pants, a green tunic and long, chestnut hunting boots. Her blonde hair was pulled back in a tail, golden waves cascaded down her back. She made quick haste of strapping on her sword and scabbard, hiding a few blades in her shoes and tunic belt she found a small throwing knife and quickly set to work.
Kelly woke up slowly. Her head ached, and her mouth was dry. She shifted in bed, the room a little bit too warm. She had the sudden sense of drowsy vertigo that comes with waking in an unfamiliar place. Normally, after a second or two, memory would rush in and fill the gaps - oh, right, I spent the night at Beth’s place - but as Kelly blinked herself awake, nothing in the room looked familiar.
She yawned, and her mouth didn’t open right. It was restricted. Blocked. Something was covering it. She reached up to remove the obstruction, and - wait. No, she didn’t. Her hands were stuck.
Tied. Mouth taped closed.
The panic crashed over her, quick and sharp. She thrashed, not really trying to free herself or accomplish anything in particular - mostly, just moving in terror. She did that for a bit - probably less than a minute, though Kelly really had no idea. She stopped, feeling herself start to hyperventilate.
Kelly forced herself to lie back, to calm down. Assess the situation. She breathed in slowly through her nose, trembling. Okay. What did she remember?
She was out, running to the store for some groceries. It was dark. Not that late, but late enough that she couldn’t really see who else was in the parking lot as she walked to her car. She remembered the sense of somebody behind her.
And that was it. Everything past that was a blank.
Kelly felt the panic rising up again. She squeezed her eyes shut, focusing on her breathing. Long, slow breath in. Hold it. Long, slow breath out.
It helped a bit. She opened her eyes, looking around the room.
It wasn’t much to look at. Kind of a rustic look - rough, timber-paneled walls. No windows. Lit entirely by a large lamp in the corner. No furniture but the bed she was on, and an enormous TV mounted on the opposite wall.
Kelly tested the ropes again. Her wrists didn’t get any give at all. Her ankles were bound as well, just as snugly. She could probably writhe her way off the bed, onto the floor, but… then what? The door looked solid, and even reaching the knob would be difficult, if not impossible.
Catch your breath, Kelly told herself. Deep, calming breaths.
Just as she was starting to calm herself again, the TV turned on.
A woman’s face filled the screen. She was pale-skinned, with fiery red hair and an easy, sensual smile. “Hi there,” she said, in a sugary-sweet voice. “Welcome to the Farm!”
Kelly didn’t like the sound of that.
The woman continued. “You’re probably very frightened right now. Don’t be! There’s no need. You didn’t intend to come here, I imagine, but I promise you - this is, hands down, the best thing that’s ever happened to you in your entire life.”
Kelly was starting to freak out again. The situation was terrifying enough, but this woman’s bizarre commentary was pushing things into a territory that she didn’t think she could handle. She took another deep breath, trying as best she could to not lose her grip.
“The Farm is one of several of our Personnel Onboarding Facilities. We’re an international organization that specializes in, well, filling whatever needs our clients have. That’s what you’re going to do! Once you finish your processing here at the Farm, you’ll be shipped off to one of our central hubs for role specialization, customization, and finally, your assignment!
“Believe me - whatever you end up doing, it’ll make you happier than you’ve ever been in your life.
“Maybe you’ll be the trophy wife to a multi-billionaire. Maybe the mistress of some up-and-coming politician somewhere in the world. Maybe just a fuckdrone in one of our corporate facilities, or something more esoteric, for a client of ours with more… outlandish tastes. The possibilities are endless!”
Kelly groaned, yanking desperately at the ropes again. She could feel something happening to her, some part of her mind giving way somehow. She was going to go crazy in this room, she could tell. Just totally snap.
That helped. More than expected, actually. Really made a difference. Kelly could feel her heart rate slow.
Actually… shouldn’t she be more panicked?
That’s when she heard it. A low, quiet hiss. She noticed the smell, too. Something was being pumped into the room. Some kind of gas. A sedative. Oh no, ohhh no, fuck fuck fuck…
Her head swam. The woman on the screen was talking again.
“By now, you’re probably starting to feel the effects. Don’t worry! That’s just the first step of the process. We want to make sure you’re nice and soft and compliant when we come to pick you up and start your journey here with us. Just go ahead and breathe deep.”
Kelly took a deep breath. She didn’t even think to try and stop herself. She could feel the gas, whatever it was, filling her lungs. It clouded her mind.
“That’s great,” the woman on the screen encouraged her. “You’re going to do so well here.”
Kelly’s scalp tingled. Her vision grew a little blurry. There was a warm swell inside her chest, somewhere equally between painful and pleasant. She took another deep breath. She knew she shouldn’t. She couldn’t remember why. She couldn’t remember what was going on.
“Again. Deeeeep breath. Let it all in, let it all out. Doesn’t that feel nice?”
Kelly murmured a vaguely affirmative noise from behind the tape. It did feel nice. She was drifting through a soft warm blurry cloud. She just breathed, in and out, soaking up the atmosphere of the room. The woman was still talking, but her words were just background noise now. Kelly’s breath was slow, deep, and steady. She was happy.
(Another very old request. Been trying forever to get something for this one. Great set of words, I thought, but I couldn’t make them click. Then I saw this picture and the whole story just popped into my head instantly. Hope you like it. Thanks for asking.)
Menes was the first pharaoh of Egypt, uniting Upper & Lower Egypt
into a single kingdom. This was the beginning of the Old Kingdom era
(3200-2680 BC, and of the 1st Dynasty. Egyptian
architecture began to flourish during this time.
The Egyptians believed that life on earth was temporary, but the
spiritual life was eternal. Therefore, the religious monuments
needed to last. While Ancient Egyptian palaces and houses have
collapsed over the centuries, the religious buildings have endured
for longer. The tomb was the gateway to the afterlife, and the
temple housed the gods.
The mastaba was the tomb. It is Arabic for “stone bench”.
They were designed with the same plan as an Egyptian house.
It was a regulated mound with several small rooms, built over a broad
pit (so it was underground and above ground). This gave space for
the dead person and their provisions for the afterlife. The central
room had the sarcophagus, and the surrounding rooms contained
The walls sloped inwards. Wooden/mud-brick pillars were first built,
then covered in rubble, and finally walled in mud-brick.
4th Dynasty mastaba.
Entrance to the Mastaba of Ti (5th Dynasty).
4th & 5th Dynasty mastabas.
Mud-brick was the usual material for domestic buildings in Egypt. It
was made from a mixture of mud and straw. It was excellent for
building in the arid climate, and the Mesopotamians had used it for
The royal mastaba often had a mud-brick façade around it, with
alternating projections & recessions. This probably copied the
timber panelling of the early palaces. The façade was often painted
in bright colours, and traces of this survive.
Reconstructions of 1st Dynasty mastabas. Both are attributed to Queen Merneith.
But during the 3rd & 4th Dynasties
(2780-2565), attention moved away from the mastaba’s exterior and
towards its interior, for security reasons. The exterior became
simpler. The burial chamber was sunk deep into the rock, and
security measures such as stone portcullises were added.
A false door was usually on the tomb’s eastern side, facing the Nile.
This allowed the deceased’s spirit, or ka, to enter &
exit the tomb as it pleased, and travel upon the river. It was made
of mud-brick or stone, as an imitation of the façade’s wooden door.
False door (6th Dynasty).
During the 4th Dynasty (2680-2565), non-royal mastaba
cemeteries were built near/around royal mastabas. These non-royal
tombs contained high officials, and the tombs were probably an honour
bestowed on them by the pharaoh. A small chapel was included – often
a simple niche with an offering table for dedications to the
deceased, on the outside of the mastaba.
The most sophisticated tombs had many chambers inside them, as a
full-scale residence for the deceased, as well as a gateway to
eternity. The rooms were decorated with scenes of daily life, and
natural motifs. They depicted the afterlife as an “idealized
parallel to Egypt”. These rooms included storerooms, a chapel,
resting places, and dining areas.
The following photos are all from the tomb of Merefnebef (6th Dynasty).
Fishing scene & marsh scene.
Merefnef sitting with one of his wives, watching harpists & dancers.
Merefnebef (II) and his wife Hemi, seated before offerings.
Vancouver-based architect Jesse Garlick built the Sky House, a prefabricated off-grid vacation retreat. The modest 78 sqm cabin was built from solid cross-laminated timber panels and sheets of unfinished raw steel, which patina into an ochre-red – the color of the surrounding weathered bedrock.
Located in Pozdnyakovo, Russia this modern family home boasts timber panelled ceilings, extremely high ceilings, airy curtains, earthy tones, textures and materials and an interesting staircase
A large bookshelf acts as a wall divider as well as introducing colour into a very neutral space. while low hung mix match pendants bring the height of the ceiling down creating a more intimate environment.