tree fifty

anonymous asked:

So I have a character who learned how to use a longbow when she was a child to hunt. My question is two-tiered: one, in what ways would that impact her physical development; and two, would this help her if she needed to use a bow against people?

Strong shoulders, strong arms.

In all honesty, the bow is a weapon you build to as a hunter. The first weapon she’d have learned was the sling. More useful for small game, and you can be deadly accurate with it. The David versus Goliath story in the Bible isn’t actually a joke or overblown. A child taking down a grown adult with a rock and a sling is entirely plausible if said adult isn’t wearing a helmet. The sling is the weapon of children everywhere, shepherds and hunters. In many parts of the world, they still use it. It’s also better for small game. Katniss would’ve done better braining the squirrels with a sling rather than a bow, like children do.

As a child, she’d be trained on a child’s training bow and work her way up the different types of bows practicing on a single target. The longbow is a weapon that requires a fairly hefty amount of upper body strength to wield, and she’d have to work and train up into her early teens before she was allowed to use it for hunting. The amount of strength you can draw dictates how far the arrow flies and how deep it penetrates. Depth of penetration is important, as is how far the arrow flies. Both define how close you need to be to your target in order to be successful. Herbivores don’t stand around waiting for a predator to kill them, and carnivores might just decide turnabout is fair play.

So, most of her childhood was spent on dummy duty with her bow as she learned to clean and care for it. Learning to stand, and that’s a whole series of lessons. Learning how to string the bow, learning how to hold it, learning to draw before she was ever allowed to shoot.

What whoever was training her would set her on before that is the other skills, and she’d act as a gopher for them the way all apprentices do. Following behind the older hunter, carrying their equipment, watching them and acting under their direction. You can’t hunt if you can’t find game, and you can’t eat it if you can’t clean it.

Hunting comes with a necessary subset of skills which allow the hunter to work. They don’t just go out into the woods and kill shit then come back. It requires patience. It involves waiting in one place for an animal to come by, sometimes for days. Traps, tracking, reading sign, learning to move through the underbrush without disturbing it, hiding your scent, etc.

Your hunter will catch more food that they eat on the regular with snare traps set for rabbits and other small game than they will with the bigger game like deer. Bigger game takes more investment, more energy, and a lot more luck. There’s also a higher chance of injury.

There are plenty of herbivores that won’t go down quiet, deer included. If your hunter hits wrong and they sense/smell them, there’s always the chance they won’t run and will come right in after the hunter. Animals have “fight or flight” too, and a doe can gore you just as well with her hooves as a buck can with his antlers. Any poor soul chased up a tree by a moose or just gut checked by a horse can tell you, herbivores are assholes. On an unlucky day, they’ll kill you just as well as a carnivore and that’s if you can find them at all.

The chances of managing a “one hit kill” with an animal like a deer are low and, even if you land a killing blow, they’re not just going to fall over dead. You’ve got to be able to follow it, recover the body, and kill it as it lies there bleeding out on the ground if necessary. You’ve also got to have some way to carry it back. Then, there’s the risk you run with whether the herd animals will return to the same place or move somewhere else if too many of their number die. If they do, and they’re your primary source of food, then you’ve got to move with them. Nevermind that there are quite a few animals a bow is simply no good for, like bears and boars. Where you need other tools like dogs and spears.

Hunting is a complicated business, and it doesn’t come with any guarantees.

Now, those skills do translate over well on a certain level to dealing with humans. Though, it’s not the weapon skills so much as the other less flashy ones. Many scouts in medieval armies, for example, were hunters of one sort or another. As were the foragers tasked with feeding them. The ability to tell how many people passed, where they passed, and what they brought with them from the tracks left on the roads or in the hills was a valuable ability. The ability to move through the woods without being seen, to hide your passing, to tell who is breaking trail, and to find their camps was also helpful.

The Ranger class in DnD is built on the hunter. You want a character who has more in common with Aragorn than Katniss. Aragorn uses a bow, but it’s not his only weapon.

The reason for this is that the bow isn’t a great weapon for close quarters. More importantly, it takes time to prepare. You don’t travel with it strung, as that wears out the string. If the string is no longer taut when strung then you can’t fire the bow. You don’t travel with the wood left to the elements. It needs to be wrapped, and packed away. Constantly be oiled to maintain its elasticity/limberness so it can be drawn. A dried bow is a bow you can’t pull, no matter how strong you are. You also can’t get it wet. It’s a weapon which takes a lot of prep in order to be used, a lot of care, a lot of maintenance, more than average, and a lot of hard work.

When you’re in, say, a military or part of a raiding force that knows its attacking then that’s great. Or someone who is on watch for certain periods during the day and will be relieved by another, that also works. Or when you’re sitting alone in the woods waiting for an animal to come by. However, the necessary prep time a bow requires is a lot less helpful when you’re taken by surprise.

By the time you’ve taken it out, unwrapped it, strung it, you’re dead. The enemy was also probably too close for the bow to really be of help anyway. Its a weapon which requires distance. Awesome when you’re pegging people from the ramparts, halfway up a tree, or fifty to a hundred feet off. Less so when they’re standing over you, axe in hand. The traditional role of archers in a military structure is artillery, and not that different from how we use the modern one. Their purpose is bombardment, they soften up the enemy so the vanguard can break their lines and kill them.

There is one kind of single combat the bow is useful for: stalking.

The bow is a silent weapon, and when used in a hunter-stalker mode, can be terrifyingly effective. It’s a stealth weapon, meant for ghosting in and ghosting out as you pick your enemies off. However, this kind of combat requires a proactive mindset and a willingness to get your hands dirty.

It’s also vindictive and, from the perspective of most modern morals, it’s cruel.

Humans are no more lucky than animals when it comes to hunting. The bow is the slow death. No character, no matter their skill level, is going to be guaranteed clean kills. However, what they do get is debilitating blows. An arrow through an arm, a leg, or better a lung, is going to take enemies out of the fight and if they’re not dead yet then potentially another one with them. Harassment is the order of the day. The slow path of carving off opponents, damaging them so they can’t fight back, following as they try to run, before moving in for the kill.

It’s a predatory style of combat, it is (really) just hunting. Hunting humans instead of animals. The terrifying form of combat that haunts so many horror movies. It’s psychological warfare.

However, it’s the kind of combat that takes time, patience, and a strong stomach. It’s up to you to decide if that’s the kind of combat you envisioned for this character to participate in. Or the kind of story you want to tell.

People embrace the Predator and Lara Croft from Tomb Raider (2013), and countless others that have this particular combat style.

It might, however, behoove you to consider coming up with other weapons this character has familiarity with. From knives, to traps, to fishing lines, to other more improvised weapons built on the fly. This character has a range of options within their skillset, and there’s no need to stick to just one.

Also we have a bow tag, and an archery tag for past discussion on this subject.

-Michi

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Cognitive function aesthetics

Si: polaroid pictures, black-and-white films, oak trees, distant laughter, fifty-song playlists

Ni: leather-bound books, constellations, messy handwriting, footprints, playing cards

Se: the sun breaking through clouds, braided bracelets, forgotten cups of tea, sudden smiles, globes

Ne: noughts-and-crosses scratched on desks, lightbulbs, flower arrangements, blacked-out windows, sheet music

Fe: piles of blankets, protest banners, patterned watering cans, envelopes, squeals of excitement

Te: file dividers, glasses on heads, hedges on mazes, hand gestures, pianos 

Fi: smudged eye make-up, the ends of films, puddles after rain, green armchairs, signatures

Ti: laptop screensavers, glazed eyes, paths through forests, locks on diaries, coloured card

Easter, Harry and Draco

Read the intro here

It’s easter at Hogwarts. Fred and George are both alive and kicking. They have decided that since Umbridge left, this might be a good moment to re-do their last year and cheer all the traumatized war-veterans up with some top quality pranks.

And maybe play matchmaker for a couple or two.

Maybe.

Harry and Draco

“Why are we even participating in this stupid Weasley contest?” It was the first thing Malfoy said after he’d stalked off towards the forbidden forest. Harry had so far not even been sure if they were participating or if Malfoy just fancied a walk and Harry was tagging along. Or stalking him.

“Uhm… I dunno. Because it’s fun?” It wasn’t meant to be witty or sarcastic. Harry really didn’t know why they were taking part in the hunt. Especially since the price they could win wasn’t something either one of them was able to use. At least, Harry thought it wasn’t.

“Last time I had proper fun was fifth year, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.” The depressing content of Malfoy’s answer went right past Harry, who was still a bit lost in thought.

“Are you single?”

“Am I what, Potter?” They had reached the edge of the forest. Malfoy turned around to stare at Harry in surprise and disbelief, with a still lingering flicker of sadness in his eyes. It was the last question he’d expected Potter to ask.

“Are you seeing anyone?” Harry clarified, a bit flustered.

“I know what ‘being single’ means, idiot.” Malfoy turned around again to enter the forest. “But it’s a rather foolish question to ask a gay ex-death eater with PTSD, who is covered in scars and in general not considered to be a very nice person, don’t you think?” After a short pause he added, “Who the hell would want to date me?”

His pace quickened while he spoke. He had never disclosed his sexuality to anyone outside of Slytherin, and he wasn’t really sure why he suddenly came out to Potter. Though Draco supposed the boy could hardly hate him more than he already did, and if there was anything he’d learned from the war then it was shielding himself from spells aimed at his back.

But Potter didn’t respond at all, so Draco could safely continue walking. Well, I suppose silence is still a much better response than the curses my father flung at my head.


It wasn’t the fact that Malfoy had just admitted he was gay that rendered Harry speechless. His often theatrical behaviour and flamboyant mannerisms made it hard to not at least suspect. It was the casual mentioning of suffering from PTSD. Harry had been struggling with nightmares, old reflexes and anxiety every day since the war had ended, but not even Ron or Hermione knew he was seeing a therapist for that. No one did.

He’d never even thought of the possibility of just carelessly mentioning the state of his mental health, of just being open about it. It felt almost good to hear Malfoy say he was struggling, however selfish that sounded.

Suddenly Harry realised he hadn’t responded to Malfoy’s revelation. “What about Zabini?”

Malfoy laughed, relieved the tense silence was broken. “Blaise the ace. A good friend but he’d never be interested in more. Besides, he’s not my type.”

“Theo?”

“Hells no. Guy’s as straight as they come and still not my type.” Draco was surprised at the amount of relief that flooded him when the other boy didn’t seem phased at all to find out he was gay. So surprised he gave genuine answers to his questions.

“What is your type then?”

“None of your business.” Draco was now over his surprise enough to prevent himself from giving a truthful answer. He could barely admit his type to himself, the last thing he wanted to do was tell Potter. “Why do you care anyway? The goal was finding some stupid egg not playing matchmaker.”

“I think you’ll find Fred and George disagree with you on that. Didn’t you see the other pairings?”

“They were mostly Slytherin and Gryffindor, your point?”

“My point is that they’re trying to make us get along. They’re pretty fed up with fighting now I suppose. We all are. And forcing us to hang out might stop the quarrels amongst our lower years as well.”

Sometimes it seemed like the first years hated each other with the same passion as Harry and Draco did at that age. It was very confronting to see their childhood feud damage the relationship between their houses so much.

“You didn’t think of that yourself, did you?” Draco cursed himself for missing the obvious. The sharp edges of his trademark wit had faded since he was on meds for his anxiety and nightmares. He often cursed how much they slowed down his thoughts. But then, not taking them wasn’t very pleasant either.

“No.” Harry blushed a bit and looked at his feet. “Hermione did.”

They were silent again after that, but this time it was a bit more bearable. Almost nice.

“Why are we in the woods exactly?” Asked Harry after five more minutes of walking among the trees. They were following the edge of the forest, where the sun shone through the fresh spring leaves, drawing patterns on the path.

“To find those bloody eggs of course.”

“But we haven’t searched anywhere yet, just walked.”

“That’s because I know where they hid one of them. I saw Lee and the twins come out of the forest here this morning. So if I remember correctly….” Draco craned his neck, searching the trees with his trained seeker eyes. “There.” And with a surprising ease for someone in skinny jeans and highly polished shoes he started to climb a huge oak tree standing next to the path.

Harry noticed a golden shimmer among the highest branches of the tree. “Are you sure you can climb that high? I don’t particularly fancy catching you.”

“Nice to hear you’d be happy to let me fall to my death, and yes, I can climb that high. I might be shit at making the right choices or getting people to like me, but if there’s one thing I’ve mastered beyond fucking perfection it’s climbing trees.” It appeared to be true. Already Draco was twenty feet up in the fifty feet tree and he showed no sign of slowing down when the branches thinned and started to creak under his weight.

“I didn’t mean it like that! Of course I’d catch you if you fell!” Shouted Harry back in the direction of the fine ass that steadily moved up in the tree. Draco was now so high speaking at a normal volume would be inaudible.

“I’m not saying you did mean it like that Potter.” Draco raised his voice now too, he had nearly reached the egg. “It’s just that I probably wouldn’t catch myself if I did fall.” But he let his volume drop so Harry wouldn’t be able to hear the last part.

At least, that’s what he thought.

“Catch!” Draco dropped the egg into Harry’s arms. Harry nearly let it crash to the ground because he’d only now began to process what Malfoy had told him. He hadn’t had any real fun since fifth year, suffered from PTSD, apparently wouldn’t mind dying and on a whole he just looked quite alone and miserable. It didn’t sound like much fun.

“Well, let’s see what’s in it then.” Draco climbed down the tree even faster than up. Harry didn’t respond again, so Draco took matters into his own hands.

He made a displeased sound when he finished reading the note. “If we want to win this thing we have to hold hands for 24 hours. Non-stop. No separate bathroom breaks, no separate showers, no separate beds.” Draco didn’t look thrilled at the thought. “Look, we don’t have to do this. If you want to have a date with someone I could arrange some…”

But he was quickly cut off. Harry had come to a decision. The idea of the twins to bring the houses closer together had seemed rather foolish first. A stupid search for easter eggs surely couldn’t bridge the huge gap between Slytherin and Gryffindor. But then, he’d already learned more about Draco during the past half hour than he ever thought he would. He grabbed Draco’s hand.

“Shut it and suck it Malfoy. Looks like you’re stuck with me for the next 24 hours.”


It wasn’t as bad as Draco initially thought it would be. It was much much worse. “No Potter. Just no. I am not okay with this. I will not be seen with you if you keep wearing that.”

Draco sounded properly horrified, but that just made Harry more determined to keep wearing his Weasley sweater. It was the only item he owned that had a zipper on the side so he could put it on without letting go of Draco’s hand. Mrs. Weasley had made it for him so he’d have an easier time changing when he injured himself during quidditch.

Now that all the eggs had been found the twins had called everyone to the three broomsticks to announce the winners. Draco had insisted they’d change outfits first but he was starting to regret that decision more and more with every passing minute.

He’d had no problem with putting on something different since the hand-holding didn’t obstruct magically changing clothes, but Harry didn’t know how to do that and Draco knew better than to step in and help. The one time he tried that it had gone terribly askew and the image of a half-naked Vincent Crabbe still haunted his nightmares sometimes.

“Why not? It’s either this or a house elf style tea towel.” The smug smile Harry got from annoying Draco would probably be the death of him.

“Oh my god, Potter. I will literally kill myself if you’re going to wear a fucking tea towel.”

“Really? You don’t think I could pull it off? I thought it would accentuate my hips perfectly.”

Draco face palmed himself. “Kill me. Just fucking kill me now. I’m forced to hold hands with with Harry fucking Potter who thinks he looks sexy in a tea towel. And here I was thinking my life couldn’t get any worse.”

“At least you don’t have to spent the entire evening with hair hanging in your face. I can’t put mine in a bun with one hand.” And Harry made a failed attempt to blow his long hair out of his face to prove his point.

“Yeah, right. You have it much worse than me. As always” Draco rolled his eyes. Harry snorted.

“Okay. That’s it. Dress in a fucking potato sack? Fine. Complain about your riddikulus hair? Go ahead. But I am not getting laughed at.” Before Harry could apologize or call Draco a drama queen he was violently shoved face first against the wall of his dormitory.

“What the…?”

“Shut it, Potter.” Draco twisted Harry’s arm behind his back and in one smooth movement grabbed all of Harry’s hair in his free hand. With a whispered wandless spell a magical ring appeared to tie it all together. As a petty revenge Draco pulled it much tighter than necessary.

“So. Happy now?” He released Harry’s arm from its twisted position while continuing to hold hands.

“Sort of. It’s a bit too tight if I’m being hone… Ow!” Draco had pulled Harry’s hair again.

“You’re an absolute asrehole, you know that Potter?” Harry rubbed the back of his head.

“Nope. But you have until tomorrow afternoon to remind me.”

“Prick.” Draco sighed.

“Git.” Shot Harry back as he stuck out his tongue at him. It felt good to banter with each other over the tiny things. And when they walked hand-in-hand towards the three broomsticks Harry saw Draco smile a bit from the corner of his eyes.

It might not be a perfect solution to all of their problems, but at least Draco could have some proper fun bitching to Harry the entire night, and Harry discovered he found that worth much more than a too tight ponytail or a sore shoulder.


I personally think this one is the funniest of the three, but that’s probably just my weird sense of humour.

And this isn’t the last part yet! Just the last part of today. I will still write something about the winners announcement at the three broomsticks, including a whole new ship…

For forever

prompt: reader is extremely depressed and ends up going to a local forest they hide away in. reader climbs a tall tree and let’s the voices win except when they fall…will someone find them

pairing: poly!hamlisquad x reader

words: 1536

A/n:  yes this is inspired from the song for forever from the play Dear Evan Hansen. I just  love this song a lot.

TW: intrusive thoughts, suicide attempt, self hate


Masterlist


              You looked down at the note you wrote for your boys.

            ‘Hey boys, I’m gonna go for a walk don’t wait up okay.-love Y/n’. You sighed softly and winced when the voices began to dig into your brain.

            “Why leave them a note they don’t care. They just are with you because your a sad excuse and they feel bad for you. They all deserve better than you. You’re just a waste of space.” the voices were right. You were just a waste of space. You sighed softly shrugging on your jacket and grabbing your house keys. You didn’t need to drive today, since it was the first real nice day of the year. The breeze ruffled y/h/c hair lightly, the smell of lilacs in the air. You felt your heartbeat quicken when you began to think of what you were planning. It would be quick. You rubbed a hand on the back of your neck and thought about the day you had met your boys.


          You huffed softly as you made it up to your office. Your waiting area was still empty which was great since you had been running a little behind. Your assistant Gabby looked at you with a sheepish smile.
            “Sorry Miss Y/L. I let your next clients into your office to wait for you.” You just nodded not saying anything as you walked back to see three tall men and one shorter one.
               “Good morning gentlemen and what can I help you with today.” you said softly as you shook their hands. Which you gathered quickly were attached to very attractive men. The tallest of the bunch, an African American man with a bandanna on his head, spoke first.
            “Good morning, we were hoping if you weren’t filled up on appointments, if we could set one up for some family portraits.” You looked up at him and smiled before you grabbed your calendar. 
              “I actually have a spot open at noon tomorrow if that would work for you. Now, did you have a spot in mind that you would like to take the pictures.” you asked softly and the smaller man piped up.
              “We were thinking in the forest that’s close by the high school. That was one of our favorite spots to spend time together.” he seemed to flush lightly while the other three men smiled. You nodded writing it down .
                “Alright. I’m sure we can get some really great photos from the forest.” you said sweetly before them men smiled. The male that was the second shortest seemed to smile wider.
                “Well, I think we should have started with names boys. I’m john Laurens. The tall drink of water is Hercules. The man bun is Lafayette and the shortie is Alexander.” he smile a flirty grin. You felt your cheeks flush a little before clearing your throat.
               “ It is nice to be working with you. My name is Y/n Y/l but you can call me Y/n.” you said sweetly.


               You were pulled from your thoughts by a car honking at another one. You shook your head before continuing to walk. The high school was only a ten minute walk from your house. You took a deep breath and pushed forward knowing you needed to do this.
               “Finally following through with something in your miserable life. They will be better off without you, since you were the last to be added, fives a crowd.”
Soon enough you felt the crunch of the dead pine needles under your feet along with other leaves. You glanced to see the tall oak tree seeing the initials still carved into it.


                 “John stop it!” you giggled softly as he pulled the pocket knife back to show the new initials carved under the for that were old. You blushed lightly seeing yours.
               “Y/n, you’re apart of us we had to add you on there.” he cooed putting the pocket knife away as you felt Hercules familiar warm arms wrap around your waist. His head coming down to the crook of your neck giving it a playful nip before John lifted your face and placed a gentle kiss on your lips. Your cheeks were flushed bright red by the time he pulled away. Lafayette and Alex pouted as they ate their ice cream. You pulled from Hercules arms and walked over to them giving them both a kiss on their cheeks. It was such a beautiful day and you were so thankful to have your boys with you.



              Your initials had grown to be old like the others and you ran your hand over it gingerly. That had been over a year ago and things were different. Your depression had steadily been getting worse and you never really told the boys about it. You didn’t want them to worry and you didn’t want to be a burden. Off in the distance you could hear piano coming from the direction of the high school. You grinned softly before your eyes landed on the tree. You had been in this forest countless times and knew no other tree was as tall. You could feel your heart thumping against your ribs.

           You pulled your hair back into a ponytail before you began to climb. The rough wood scraped against your palms as if trying to keep you from climbing. Your gritted your teeth and climbed as high as you could. You felt the sunshine against your pale skin and your war ridden body. Why couldn’t you be a whole person? Why were you so broken? You felt the tears gather in your eyes as you leaned back against the trunk of the tree. You were about fifty feet in the air at least and you glanced down at the forest floor. Your head spun slightly before you leaned back against the tree. 
            “Just do it, let go. You’ll fall and it’ll be like you never existed. After all when a tree falls in a forest and nobody’s around it doesn’t make a sound.” you could feel the tears spilling faster as you swung your leg over so only your butt was supporting you. You felt your heart thumping harder and harder. You could do this, so you did. You leaned forward enough to forced yourself off the branch but when you were not connected to anything your body panicked and you grabbed onto a branch. Your body not dangling. You couldn’t even die right! You hiccupped as you heard the crack of the branch. A moment later you fell to the forest floor.
You gasped as more tears came falling down your face. No, damn it!
            “y/n! Where are you?” you heard John’s voice and felt your chest seize up. You hiccupped your arm clearly broken and you couldn’t move your leg without a throb of pain. “Y/N!!!” he yelled when he finally came into view. He ran over and put your head in his lap his eyes puffy red tears trailing down his face. “What happened?! Oh my god your arm!”
              “Think of something quick!” your thoughts yelled and you just let a sob rack your body as you place your face against his thigh. The other boys came running over too.
               “I’m sorry, I-I’m sorry.” you just kept repeating that over and over again. The boys just sobbed with you before you gasped feeling Hercules pick you up. Your leg throb and when you were weightless you panicked a bit.
              “Hey Y/n, I got you please calm down.” he cooed and you forced yourself to calm down. Alexander spoke after a long moment of silence.
               “Y/n, I think we have some stuff to talk about when we get back home.” he said and looked at you with sad eyes. What you had been afraid of was happening before your eyes. The boys now saw you for what you were just a broken little girl. You nodded and leaned your head against his shoulder.
              “I’m sorry I guess I climbed a bit too high.” you tried to joke but the boys were silent as they walked toward their car. You were laid on Laf and Alexander’s laps in the back seat. Laf took your hair out of the ponytail and pulled the leaves and pine needles from your hair. Alex stayed quiet the entire ride. 

                                                  ~
              At the hospital you were told you had a broken arm and a fractured knee. Once you had your cast and your leg brace you were taken home.
“I just wanted to see the sky for forever.” you mumbled, before telling them about your depression. Your life had been a dark inky reality. Your boys helped light it but the darkness was sometimes to much for even your boys. You started to cry again and Alex pulled you against him. Your body throbbed but you let him pull you into his lap and hold you.
            “Y/n, your our forever. I don’t know what I or any of the boys would do without. I’m so sorry we didn’t see it sooner. We love you so much.” You heard him sniffle and you just hugged him tighter careful with your cast.

a fragment for Foyle Friday

Salisbury, Wilts.
30 May 1943

Dear Sam,

Thank you again for being so kind to Lydia.  Your letter of introduction to your aunt has been most helpful. Through her assistance with the Board of Visitors for Salisbury Infirmary, Lydia secured a position in the records office there.  Local accommodations are scanty, but with a few days’ concerted effort we’ve found a comparatively reasonable room in a boarding-house convenient to both the Infirmary and a school for Jimmy.

Having seen that under current circumstances there is still no possibility of efficient travel for civilians, I’ve chosen to take advantage of necessity and will be making my way back to Hastings with some stops in the New Forest to explore streams I haven’t fished for many years.  I don’t expect I’ll have any typing for you before 19th June at the earliest.  I’ll write again if I’ll be away longer than that.  

I’ve written to Andrew as well but as I have no doubt that he opens your letters more eagerly than mine I’d be obliged if you could mention to him that I’ll be away for a fortnight or so.

Sincerely,

CF


Barbara Hicks turned back to the bar, ordered a second half-pint of bitter, and carried it towards the corner table.  Halfway there her nerve nearly failed her, but the shape of the ear, and of the strong, stubby fingers holding open the pages of the pamphlet on the table, gave her the courage to cross the room and put down the second glass.  When he looked up she knew for certain, though her mouth only went drier.

“Mr. Foyle,” she said.

“Mrs. Hicks.”  He stood up courteously to greet her, only a twitch of his eyebrows betraying surprise.  “How are you?”

“Very well, thank you.  And you?”

“Very well.”  He smiled slightly as he glanced down at the beer on the table.

“It’s bitter.  Not ginger beer this time, at least.”

He smiled a little more at that, though his piercing eyes gave nothing away.  “Won’t you join me?” he said, moving his papers to the side.

“Thank you.”

He took the glass of beer, raised it slightly to her, and took a sip.  “Better than the ale,” he said.  

Barbara nodded and drank some of her own.

“I, ah.”  He tilted his head. “Suppose the New Forest is an excellent selecting ground for poles.”

“Rather limited, actually.  So much old growth that would take significant milling.  The ideal is younger trees, fifty or so years old. There’s so much ground to cover the Land Army’s issued me a car.”

He nodded, and glanced to his papers again. 

Barbara followed his gaze and recognized the blue cover of a 1930s highway code manual. “You don’t have your shadows?  That thin dark man, and the little blonde driver,” she clarified, when he tilted his head in inquiry.

"No.”  He traced the edge of the table with a finger. His hair was longer than it had been in ‘41, his face a fraction more worn, but his eyes were the same. “No, I’m here as a private citizen. Well. Always a private citizen, now. I resigned from the police.”

Barbara’s ribs tightened with an intensity that startled her. “Your son. Was he…?”

“No,” he answered at once. The blue eyes held hers. “No, thank God, he’s fine, the last I heard.”  His lips curved and his brow contracted in the sad smile that had been in her mind so often in the months since their last meeting in the churchyard by the Land Girls’ hostel. “But there were… demands from my superiors that… I could not stomach.”

Florida Gothic

*It is June and there is construction. It is December and there is construction. It is May and there is construction. There is always construction. No one knows what is being built.

*it’s thursday and you mow your lawn. two days later, the weeds are back. you’re busy and ignore them. two days later, the weeds are as high as your knees. it chokes the blades of your mower when you try to cut them. two days later, the weeds have grown so thick you can’t open your front door. you start to worry. two days later, the windows no longer open. you’re out of food. the neighbor starts to mow his lawn.

*every time you go to the store, you buy a gallon of orange juice. you don’t know why - you hate orange juice. still, it goes on the shelf beside the milk and you go on with your business. the next morning, the shelf is empty except for the milk. you will need to buy more orange juice today.

*the weight in the bag is not correct. please scan again, says the register, in its mechanical monotonous voice. There’s a line forming behind you. The cashier offers no help. You set the spinach aside and try the milk. please scan again. you set the milk aside and try the soda. the weight in the bag is not correct. please scan again. you set the soda aside and try the orange juice. the cashier smiles at you. the machine lets you pay with a gentle reminder that they only take debit. when you leave the store, you feel oddly relieved.

*a vulture sits in the tree. two vultures sit in the tree. fifty vultures sit in the tree. Three hundred vultures sit in the tree. The tree is a writhing, rancid mess of vultures. You cannot see the tree. Only vultures.

*When you open up the front curtains, you see nothing but rain. It comes down in sheets, erasing the land from view. When you open the back curtains, the sun is so bright that it’s almost blinding. You close both curtains and decide that you don’t need to go out today.

*There’s a juice stand set up on the corner of your block. It’s always there. When you pass it, the children shove a glass of orange juice into your hands. It’s red. “Blood oranges,” they tell you. “It’s homemade.” The children don’t look away until you drink it all. It doesn’t taste like oranges.

*It is in every tree. It has always been in every tree. It will always be in every tree. Fire cannot hurt it. Blades cannot stop it. They only anger the moss. It hisses at you in Spanish whenever your gaze lingers too long.

*Didn’t there used to be a tree there? A house? A neighborhood? “No,” insists your mother, but her steps get a little quicker. “That’s always been forest.”

*Don’t stop. No matter what you hear, no matter what you see, no matter what runs out of the forest and in front of your car. Don’t stop. The kudzu moves fast. It will over run you if you stop, even for a moment.

The signs as Raven Cycle fandom clichés
  • Aries: skinny white people (1000000 notes)
  • Taurus: my TRC review!!! i looove pynch and adamsey and rovinsky sooo much!!!! blue's kind of a mary-sue though, idk, she's annoying, i mean, like, right (2000 notes)
  • Gemini: "parrish" "lynch"
  • Cancer: kavinsky the misunderstood bby
  • Leo: (faceless white boy, hands, books) being adam parrish was a complicated thing, a wonder of muscles and organs, synapses and nerves. he was a miracle of moving parts, a study in survival. (123 000 notes)
  • Virgo: bad google translate latin, trees, fifty filters (15 000 notes)
  • Libra: smoke. tarot cards. mirrors. bruised knuckles. neons lights. overused quote. (infinite notes)
  • Scorpio: abuse is glamorous
  • Saggitarius: trc fic "they were badass kids" = "the youth's tiger gleam of sunlit life as fierce as the roaring waves of destiny's shining knife"
  • Capricorn: fics with kavinsky more like "archive warnings: drug use/ suicidal thoughts/ angst/ alcoholism/ underage sex"
  • Aquarius: boat shoes
  • Pisces: who is noah czerny

anonymous asked:

Hii! I saw you're taking prompts? Can you write something narusaku? Sakura realizing she loves Naruto but she's too scared to tell him because she thinks he likes Hinata? But Naruto actually loves Sakura and on a mission they confess their feelings?

Sakura Haruno doesn’t understand how it happened. Well, thinking about it now, it kind of makes sense.

Naruto may be someone she casted aside when she was twelve but the Naruto sitting beside her now… this Naruto is different.

This Naruto is strong, mature, funny, loving and… and everything she wants.

She hates herself sometimes, when she realises this is a man who once confessed to her that he liked her. She had blatantly rejected him back then, too blinded by her affection for Sasuke to even give the blond the time of the day.

He probably liked Hinata now, why wouldn’t he? She’s a sweet girl.

She doubted she’ll ever tell him that she loves him. ‘Coward,’ she’d berate herself every time. What happened to the fearless woman she’d become?

“Earth to Sakura.” A set of thin fingers waved in her face, trying to get her attention.

The pink-haired woman blinked, refocusing on the blond man who was now facing her in his seat. “Are you okay?”

The blue of his eyes is nearly endless, and she almost can’t look him in the eye. Would it be too much to hope he still held romantic feelings towards her?

“Sorry, I’m fine.” She responded, glad her voice didn’t betray her emotions. “What were you saying?”

He studied her for a moment, apparently unconvinced with her answer. “I was saying… Kakashi-sensei has been gone for too long, maybe we should check on him.”

Sakura hadn’t even noticed until he pointed it out. The nineteen-year-old cursed quietly as she stood up, annoyed that she had spaced out while on a mission.

Naruto stood up too, and stretched, the muscles in his arms flexing deliciously with the movement.

Her mouth felt a little dry suddenly and she looked away, internally screaming at herself to focus.

Her eyes landed on Sasuke who remained standing against a tree, eyes scanning their surroundings intently, Sharingan alert and spinning.

How did she think this cold… detached person to be better than the warmth and life her blond teammate emitted?

Naruto seemed to be a little sun all by himself and Sasuke an endless darkness.

“Watch out!” His urgent scream alerted her of the kunai hurling her way. She barely had time to avoid it and was sent stumbling into the blonds arms sending both of them rolling into a bush.

She held her breath as she opened her eyes, realising she had shut them in her surprise.

A startling pair of blue eyes met hers and suddenly his arms were wrapping securely around her waist and teleporting her to the tree branches above as a kunai imbedded itself in the place they previously occupied.

Her breath caught slightly as his body pressed flush against hers, pinning her to the tree.

It became apparent why he stood so close when she realised he was using chakra to remain stuck to the tree. They were suspended fifty feet in the air.

“N-naruto?”

“Sh!” He cut sharply, “it seems Sasuke is taking care of them but wait until I finish scanning the area. Just in case.”

She nodded, trying to relax. The firm hold he still had on her hips didn’t help at all.

“Well?” She asked quietly, after a few moments of silence, the heat emitting from him and into her skin too intoxicating. He better let her go before she does something stupid, like bury her face in his neck and inhale his earthy scent.

When he didn’t respond she lifted her head off his shoulder and tried to look at him.

Wrong move! He panicked mine squealed as her nose brushed his briefly, their lips almost touching.

She froze, her wide green eyes searching his in alarm. He didn’t seem too phased.

His gaze flickered down and she realised with a beating heart that they were trained at her lips.

A tilt of his head and they’d be kissing.

“Sakura,” he said after a tense moment, quietly, his eyes moving back to lock with hers. She held her breath, his next words nearly giving her a heart attack, “I’m going to kiss you.”

Her eyes widened and then she felt something soft press against her mouth.

She exhaled sharply through her nose, a tingling sensation spread through her, making her toes curl.

Her arms instantly sneaked around his waist and hugged his body close with hers, the feeling of the defined muscles in his abdomen sending her head spinning.

The soft lip brushing grew bolder at her response and he captured her mouth fully with his. She gasped at the electric feeling it caused and moaned when his tongue swiped across her lower lip, sending jolts of electricity down her spine.

Her head began to spin as her lungs began to beg for air and they broke the kiss with a quiet gasp.

Sakura’s head fell on his shoulder again as she tried to steady herself and regain her breathing.

Her lips still tingles even after they broke contact and she wondered how a simple kiss could feel so wonderful.

Finally, she looked up at him, her eyes questioning his actions.

A faint blush dusted his cheeks as he spoke, “um… I…”

“You…?” She promoted, a feeling of pure happiness gripping at her. After all, he kissed her. That has got to mean something.

“I don’t regret that.” He finally responded.

She let out a breathless laugh, “good. Because I don’t either.”

“After all these years you’d think I’d have moved on,” he admitted with a snort but then smiled, “I don’t know if you’ve changed your mind but I definitely haven’t changed mine. I lo- like you.”

If it was possible, Sakura thought her heart might fly out of her chest. “I lo-like you too , Naruto,” she replied, teasingly, too happy to even care that she was still hanging in the air with enemy ninja somewhere around.

He pouted before bending down to press their mouths together again.

“EHM!” An irritated voice echoed from somewhere below. “If you’re done sucking face, let’s go.”

They both glanced down to see Sasuke glaring at them, arms crossed over his chest and sword dripping blood on his waist.

Naruto laughed carelessly, “sorry teme, not yet!”

Sakura flushed and elbowed Naruto when he turned his face to continue kissing her, “Naruto! He’s watching!”

“That’s exactly the point.” The blond smirked, his voice lowering a couple octaves as he bent down to suck on her lower lip, teleporting them a few miles away when Sasuke fired a kunai at them.

“You’re crazy,” she told him, half-heartedly when they parted once again, too absorbed in the sensation he was causing her.

“I know. About you.”

“Naruto!”

________________

Here! Hope you like it ♡

[send me a prompt and a Naruto pair]

The Best Time to Be a Riley

hi. i’m back to give you this fic. it takes place immediately after A Christmas Maya and it’s loosely based on this prompt. enjoy and happy holidays, lovelies!

Riley Matthews wasn’t a natural liar. She was so bad at it as a child that when a lie touched her tongue she would start crying and immediately tell the truth. But time changed things, as it did. When her best friend Maya liked Lucas she lied. When her best friend Maya graffitied a park she lied. And when her best friend Maya had to go home to her new father, she lied.

“The best time to be a Riley,” she had fibbed and lit the tree. Fifty little lights shined to lift her spirits…but they failed. Riley’s spirit had bounds after all. Even when she had thrown the last of her glitter, it only reminded her of all the butterflies she used to carry that passed away.

Riley Matthews smiled to her family (another lie) and took off her top hat. She danced over to her younger brother August and placed the hat on his head instead. “You did good, buddy,” she said to him and kissed the boy on the cheek.

“Riley, would you like to eat the rest of this cookie dough?” Topanga asked, going to the kitchen counter. Christmas was tomorrow and she was baking for the kids in their building.

Riley shook her head. “No, I’m a little tired.” A heat took over her face and stung the area behind her eyes. She knew she would cry so she ran up the stairs and sped to her room, shutting the door behind her.

There, standing in the middle of her bedroom, she looked around. Pictures of her and Maya hung on every wall and in every corner. Riley didn’t know how but there was an ache in her chest she couldn’t take. She sat in the bay window and began to cry. 

After everything she had done for Maya, Maya walked out the door. Maya’s new father was Riley’s own uncle, and she wasn’t even invited along. Maya had said she was Riley’s present and Riley’s presence cancelled that out. How is that possible?, she asked herself. Riley always believed that when you did something kind, the universe rewarded you.

But there she was: no gift, no boyfriend, no best friend, and her parents parenting Ava Morgenstern.

“I know what you did,” came a small voice. 

Riley quickly wiped her eyes and looked over to the door to find her young brother, no longer wearing the hat. “I understand the story, too.”

She smiled. At least one of them still had their sweet naivety. “What did I do?” she asked the boy.

He sat down at the bay window with her. “It’s the story of The Magi…” 

He went on to explain that Riley sacrificed her happiness to give Maya what she truly wanted: a family…that Riley had wanted Maya all to herself and gave that up.

The last sentiment shook the girl up. She wanted Maya all to herself. Auggie knew that. Someone understood her!…even though she didn’t.

She kissed her young brother on the head in gratitude, then felt a pang of panic. “Don’t tell her,” Riley said, attempting to keep her voice as even as possible.

Luckily, the boy was still a little dumb. “I don’t have to…She already knows,” he said, and gazed out the bay window, brown eyes at peace. He loved snow as much as his sister did; they had that in common.

The two siblings sat together for 20 minutes, in total silence, watching snow fall and holiday decor flash every colour. Then, Auggie fell asleep and Topanga came to take him to bed. And Riley was left alone again.

She looked to her clock on the nightstand across the room. 11:13 PM. She couldn’t believe she was going to ring in Christmas alone. Maya was always around. They would burn the Christmas cards her old father sent her and Riley’s parents would hand them one gift to open early. They would celebrate it.

Not anymore, thought Riley. Maya walked off. Lucas walked off too, but he was Lucas. His idea of romance was giving a girl a jellybean after going out with her best friend. What to expect from that boy, Riley knew. Maya, on the other hand, she was to stay. It was their unspoken promise.

The more Riley thought about it, the angrier she got. 

It was almost absentmindedly that Riley pulled a warm coat from her closet, a pair of shoes and climbed out the bay window, into the night.

::

There was a knock on the door belonging to the Hunter-Clutterbuckets. Katy Clutterbucket ran down in the stairs in a night robe, a pleasured smile on her face from the love and her husband had shared earlier. She opened the door and saw Riley.

“Honey, what are you doing here?”

“I need to speak to Maya.” Riley said with duty.

As if on a cue, Maya came sneaking down the stairs, peering around the landing at Riley and her mother. “Riley?”

“We need to talk. Now.” Riley snapped. She lifted her left hand. “Ring power.”

“I’m coming,” Maya sighed, stretching down the rest of the stairs. At the end of the staircase she looked to her mother. “Excuse us.”

Katy did.

Maya walked up to Riley. “Looks like haven’t you had enough drama,” she said playfully.

“You left!”

“What?” Maya laughed, surprised by Riley’s anger.

“I gave you Uncle Shawn and you left!”

“What in the world are you talking about? Riley, you wanted me to leave!”

“I didn’t want you to actually do it!”

Maya choked. Riley, her best friend, was admitting this. On Christmas Eve, the night she had spent watching movies with her new dad and laughing together for the first time. She couldn’t believe Riley was wanting that pulled away. She was offended and hurt. Anger burned inside her! “You’re a bitch!” Maya snapped. She had no other, more productive just thought. “You’re a fake bitch then.”

A bitch?, Riley thought. “I’m a bitch?! Would a bitch give you her uncle, her other uncle, her parents, her boyfriend? Would a bitch do your homework, give you her clothes, take the wrap for your crimes?! Maya, I would do anything for you! I would do anything for you and you left!”

“Fine!” Maya threw her hands up. “Thank you, Mother Teres-Riles! You want something back?” The blonde threw her hair to one side, unfastened her earring and pulled it off, then did the same on the next side. She threw both earrings on the counter nearby. “Take it! Merry Christmas! Riley Matthews has a present! Ya happy now?”

“I don’t want your stupid earrings! Let’s talk about the fact you were a waif when I met you!”

In that second Maya eyes welled up with tears. Hot, angry tears. What a low blow.

Riley had felt the weight of her words as they swung off of her tongue.  They had come out with such force, her entire body shook. Her face was red and her teeth were showing, grit together in tense emotion.  Her toes were splayed. She had said fighting words–and she did not care. She would not be the only one of them to cry tonight.

Dear Maya, so hurt, confused, angry and sick of this drama she could no longer control herself. She simply said an expletive under her breath and then jumped at her friend, elbowing Riley against the door and grabbing her finger with the ring on it with such force Riley curled inward and awaited a punch, her back already threatened by the door knob.

“Riley,” Maya growled in her deepest voice, “if you don’t tell me what’s the matter with you, I’m breaking this finger right off and feeding it to you. WHY ARE YOU UPSET?!”

Riley knew couldn’t do this any longer. She had completely exhausted herself with her own emotions and she could not hurt Maya any more. It was time to tell on herself. “I love you,” Riley mumbled.

“What?” Maya becked.

“I’m in love with you, Maya.” She clarified strongly. Then suddenly she was rambling: “I do all these things for you because I love you. I would do anything because I love you. I have given up anything I can give up to see you smile.” She laughed at herself, breath shaking. “…When you walked out that door an hour ago…” Riley swallowed a sob just then. “…it occurred to me that–it doesn’t matter. You don’t care. You don’t” another swallow “think of me like that.”

Maya was stunned silent.

“You see, Maya, when I think of you, I want to spend every day by you. Okay, maybe not every day, but this day–today was something special. It was your first Christmas with your new family, and I wanted to be apart of that. I wanted to be with you and I wanted you to put your head on my shoulder at the end of the night while your mom made us hot cocoa and your dad made fun of me for having glitter scraps in my pocket. I wanted us to snuggle together in your bed watching Home Alone. Maya, I want us to be a family.” That didn’t feel right. “I want us to be together.” There it was.

Maya let a tear fall down her face. She was so happy that Riley told the truth and so yet confused and overwhelmed. She swallowed her sobs. “I love you, Riley Matthews. And I am sorry I can’t give you the world like you’ve given me.”

The brunette girl tilt her head to the left, feeling butterflies. “You are my world.”

Maya blushed pink and she wiped her wet eyes and dripping nose with a pajama sleeve. “Okay.” She laughed, her cheeks and neck getting redder. She swallowed the rest of her negative feelings and walked over to the living room, beckoning Riley to follow. In the living room, she sniffed the mucus away and turned to Riley, eyes shut and gathering her sanity. She could not believe what she was about to do. “It went a little something like this…”

The blonde proceeded to act out her entire night as it had to do with herself, her mother and Shawn. She played every part with accents and mannerisms and Riley stood to the side, in awe and in love. Maya even reenacted the prayer she and Shawn sent out to her late (now) grandfather, Chet Hunter and all the children who couldn’t celebrate Christmas like them. As she got off the floor she looked to Riley, who was crying a loving cry. “And then…we all went to bed. And then you came over, you called me a waif–”

“Sorry.”

“–and you told me you love me.” Maya slowly approached Riley, chin up, and said slyly: “Lucas was out of town.”

Riley nodded, now caught in Maya’s eyes, lit by only Christmas lights.

“And I loved you, too,” Maya said softly, closing the gap between their bodies. “May I kiss you?”

“If you did it’d be the best time to be a Riley.”

She did.

You Can Have It (Pietro x Reader)

Summary: After getting herself arrested, Y/N finds herself bumping into someone she hasn’t seen in years.

Masterlist


Twelve Years Ago

You had picked the remaining white blossoms off the bush, clutching the skimpy bouquet in your small hands. You spun around, searching the area for more flowers. Over by a cluster of dark green trees, you spotted a few purple flowers scattered around the roots. Grinning immediately, you giggled and hurried over to the trees.

You reached the trees and quickly knelt down. Leaning in closely, you focused intently on picking the flowers as carefully as you could. Adding them to your collection, you pushed yourself up to a standing position. You brushed the dirt off of your knees, before leaning down to pick up the bunch of flowers. You spun around again to search for more flowers. That’s when you saw it.

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AN:  This post from meselfandwhy​ inspired the shit out of me.  So here’s a drabble thing.  

She told him she loved him the day she returned. 

 Not right away, not while the entire village was fussing over, while Miroku was hugging her, while Sango was crying over her. The twins fell for Kagome at first sight, fascinated with her strange clothes, asking her question after question. Kaede prepared a feast and the whole village celebrated. 

It wasn’t after they stole away from the festivities, after he’d taken her hand and led her away from the crowds, from the twins’ sticky fingers, from Miroku and Sango’s embraces, until they were alone on the hilltop overlooking the village. He’d stared at her, suddenly incapable of speech, and she’d laughed, squeezing his hand and they’d sat down to watch the stars.

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scassira-harboson  asked:

Scassira watches from the shadows, Don and Eira playing and having a grand old time. A warmth spreads along her chest at the idea of Eira having a family with the McArthurs, something the assassin had taken away from her at such a young age. When Eira went to wander the forests and fields, Don's watchful eye on her, Scassira would make herself known, the charcoal colored shadows dissipating around her body as she stood right beside him. "Thank you," she said quietly. "For giving her a home."

Don’s gaze turned towards Scassira once she appeared next to him, a smile forming as he gave a nod of his head. “It’s no problem. She’s a good kid, deserves to have a happy family… Even if it is with a couple ‘o mercenaries.” He gave a short chuckle as his gaze turned towards Eira who was busy swinging from the bottom branch of a tree about fifty yards away. “We’re even talkin’ about adoptin’ ‘er.”

5

His Name Was John Chapman and he did it for the Booze.

In September of 1797, twenty-three year old John Chapman decided to leave his family’s farm in Massachusetts and go west to seek his fortune on the frontier. Settlers were pouring into western Pennsylvania in search of cheap land, and Chapman thought that he could make money by starting an apple tree nursery there and selling seedling trees to other settlers as they arrived.

Chapman knew that almost every farmer who settled in the west would plant a large orchard in order to produce alcoholic apple cider. At that time, most Americans did not eat many apples, but they liked to drink cider with every meal. Even small children drank hard cider with breakfast, dinner, and supper, because it was thought to be the healthiest beverage available. Unlike creek water and unpasteurized milk, which often harbored deadly germs, cider drunk in moderation seldom made anyone sick. alcohol-free “sweet” cider was more wholesome than hard cider, but without refrigeration it fermented after a few days in the barrel.

Chapman calculated that he could sell thousands of young apple trees on the frontier, where every settler would want to plant at least fifty fruit trees to provide his family with a year’s supply of cider. Most settlers would plant even more trees – perhaps two hundred – to produce extra cider for sale. Chapman knew that settlers could start their orchards from seed, but reasoned that most would prefer the faster and easier method of planting young trees. He hoped that he could sell thousands of two-year old seedlings for six cents each in western Pennsylvania.

To get started, Chapman visited a Massachusetts cider mill during the fall apple harvest. He collected all of the apple seeds that he wanted, free of charge by picking through the waste pulp of the mill.

With a big sack of apple seeds among the provisions in his backpack, Chapman begun hiking west in late October of 1797. The weather was mild during the first weeks of his hike, but in mid-November, after he had passed the last settlements of the Susquehanna River Valley, Chapman encountered a blizzard. He was hiking along a mountain ridge in central Pennsylvania, days away from the nearest cabins, when the storm hit.

Chapman built a fire and lean-to shelter, and then he relaxed on a bed of boughs while the wind howled around him for days. When the weather cleared, Chapman discovered that it was impossible for him to resume his journey because of massive snowdrifts that buried the trail more than a yard deep in most places.

Another traveler might have been alarmed by this life-threatening difficulty, but dammit all, Chapman was in it for the booze! He returned to his fire, stretched out on his bed of boughs, and gazed thoughtfully at the snow-covered beech trees that towered around his campsite. Eventually he devised a plan. He got up and used his knife to cut the beech strips, bent the branches into the shape of snowshoes, and fastened them with strips of cloth from his jacket.

After a full day of tinkering, he had made a serviceable pair of snowshoes. With these laced to his feet, he walked over the drifts for a week until he reached his destination – the future site of Warren, Pennsylvania, where a land company had opened an office with a cabin, The handful of settlers were so impressed by Chapman’s improvised snowshoes that the story of how he survived the blizzard became a permanent part of local folklore.

That winter Chapman chose a site for his tree nursery at the place where the Big Brokenstraw Creek joins the Allegheny River, about six miles from Warren. With an axe as his only tool, he killed the big trees on three acres of land by “girdling” each tree, slicing off the bark in a circle clear around each trunk. He then built a rough fence of logs and brush to keep deer out of his clearing. In the spring he planted apple seeds on the fenced land.

Chapman knew that the trees that grew from his seed would yield diverse varieties of bitter, inedible crabapples, but that was fine with him. He was not interested in raising sweet , edible apples, because such trees cannot normally be grown from seeds; they have to be propagated artificially by grafting. Chapman disliked grafting because he considered it unnatural, and he knew that his customers would be perfectly satisfied with bitter crabapples because they made good cider.

That summer Chapman’s seedling trees flourished, but few new settlers moved into the area around Warren. Chapman decided that he had chosen the wrong place to plant his nursery, since there were not enough customers.

To be sure of locating in an area that would attract plenty of customers for his seedlings, Chapman decided that he would need to plant nurseries at many places in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio. He left Warren and never returned.

Chapman spent the ensuing years planting tree nurseries at various locations in western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio. Every fall he would steal bushels of apple seeds from eastern cider mills. He would carry these seeds to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he would load them into a dugout canoe. He would then paddle up the Allegheny River or down the Ohio River until he located a promising site for a future town, where he would go ashore and spend a few weeks preparing two or three acres of ground for a nursery.

Chapman probably did most of his work of site selection, tree girdling, and fence-building in the fall and winter months. By spring he would have multiple clearings ready for planting, and he could travel swiftly by canoe from one clearing to another, to get all of his seeds into the ground at the right time of the year.

Chapman’s younger brother, Lawrence, became interested in his enterprise and for a while accompanied Chapman on his nursery-planting expeditions into the wilderness. Eventually Lawrence grew tired of camping in the forest, and he abandoned the project. But John Chapman remained so enthusiastically committed to tree planting that people began to call him “Johnny Appleseed,” a nickname that he liked.

Chapman found that he enjoyed living alone in the woods. He was an amiable man who did a lot of talking whenever he got the chance, but he did not mind solitude. He was fond of books, and often carried one tucked into his belt. When he was not doing strenuous work of clearing land for nurseries, he enjoyed loafing beside his fire, observing nature or reading.

By 1802 Chapman had planted nurseries at many scattered locations along the Allegheny and Ohio Rivers and their tributaries, and he was earning a steady income from the sale of seedling trees to new settlers. He had become good at guessing where the next settlements were likely to appear, and his most profitable nurseries usually stood right beside a growing town. Sometimes he would obtain legal title to the land on which he planted a nursery, but usually he would not bother to do that. He did not remain long enough at any of his nurseries but hired local settlers to serve as his agents, tending to profitable seedlings and selling them on commission.

Despite Chapman’s increasing prosperity, he continued to lead an itinerant life, spending months every year traveling up wilderness tributaries of the Ohio River in dugout canoes. His growing attachment to his primitive way of life left him with little use for the hoard of cash that he was accumulating.

Since outlaw gangs occasionally preyed on river traffic, Chapman usually carried no money, keeping his cash hidden at various locations in the woods. He carried nothing anybody might be tempted to steal – no gun, no traps, no coat, no shoes – nothing of valued except for his books and his apple seeds, which no one else wanted.

Chapman’s lack of tangible possessions not only kept him safe from outlaws but also smoothed his relations with the Natives whose villages he visited on his travels. Most Natives believed that a true friend would gladly share all of his possessions, and this belief caused endless trouble between Native Americans and settlers. To the settlers, the natives were “indian givers” and thieves; to the Natives, the settlers were treacherously false friends. But Chapman got along very well with the Natives.

No details of his life among the Natives have been recorded. If he had a Native Wife, he did not tell any of the settlers. All that is known for certain about Chapman’s interactions with the Natives is that he spoke Algonquian dialects fluently and the he was able to travel freely from one Native Village to another in Ohio during the War of 1812, whereas any other settler would have been killed.

Chapman’s habit of traveling with few possessions may have been a sensible and practical solution to the challenges of frontier life, but it also had a philosophical basis. He was profoundly influenced by the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, a Swedish scientist who became a Christian mystic. Chapman agreed with Swedenborg, and also with the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, that the material world is an imperfect reflection of an ideal spiritual world, and that attachment to material things leads to unhappiness.

Chapman tried to avoid becoming attached to any luxury. When he visited a frontier cabin and was invited to sleep in a bed, he would politely decline and instead lay down to sleep on the floor by the fire. He refused to harm any animal, and he lived on a vegetarian diet that included wild nuts, roots, and herbs. He told one settler that, when he had been trapped by ice on an island in the Ohio River for several months, he and survived on a diet of nothing but butternuts. He avoided coffee and tobacco, but was fond of cider and applejack, the hard liquor made by allowing cider to partially freeze and then skimming off the ice.

Chapman loved to talk about Swedenborg’s intellectual and theological notions, such as his doctrine that the Bible should not be taken literally, instead it should be read as a metaphoric guide to Platonic philosophy. When Chapman discoursed on such topics, people on the Ohio frontier listened politely, but they seldom made much effort to understand him entirely. According to folklore, Chapman was extremely religious, but his ideas about heaven and hell were unconventional, and he got into many baffling, complicated debates with fundamental preachers.

Despite his peculiarities, Chapman was a well-respected man on the frontier. Everybody knew that was a successful businessman with a good education. Although he habitually went barefoot and dressed the threadbare clothing and odd-looking homemade hats, he always looked clean and tidy, with his long hair neatly parted in the middle.

Chapman was widely admired for his generosity. His agents had standing orders to sell seedlings on credit to anyone who could not pay cash, and Chapman never made the slightest effort to collect a debt, so payment was effectively voluntary. Chapman also made gifts of cash to needy people; he once handed fifty dollars to one astonished widow. To spare lame horses from slaughter, he bought lame horses and arranged for them to be put out to pasture.

Chapman became a hero to many frontier settlers during the War of 1812, when he gave the settlers advance warnings of Native Raiding Parties. During the War of 1812, when frontier settlers were tortured by Great Britain, Johnny Appleseed continued his wanderings and he was never bothered by anyone. On many occasions the impunity with which he ranged the country enabled him to give both sides early warning and ample time to flee to safety.

When the war ended in defeat for the Ohio Natives and the withdrawal of their British Allies into Canada settlers poured into Ohio faster than ever before, and Chapman became more prosperous than ever. He became a real estate developer, buying tracts of land for sale to settlers.

Chapman’s nurseries and real-estate developments allowed him to send impressive sums of money to the New Church in Philadelphia, which sought to spread the doctrines of Emanuel Swedenborg in America. Chapman’s profits also supported the family of his sister, Persis; Chapman employed his sister’s ne’re do-well husband, William Broom.

His sister’s descendants inherited Chapman’s estate when he died of pneumonia in 1845, age seventy, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. His heirs were not able to track down all of his scattered real-estate holdings and they recovered none of his cash savings, which presumably remained hidden in rocky clefts and hollow trees. They nevertheless collected nearly six hundred dollars worth of property, a considerable sum at that time.

In 1871, more than two decades after his death, Chapman became a legendary figure to Americans when Harpers New Monthly Magazine published an article about him by W.D. Haley. The article depicted Chapman as in impractical religious mystic; “he trod the earth with bare and bleeding feet, intent only upon making the wilderness fruitful.” Fanciful engravings that illustrated the article showed Chapman dressed in an old coffee sack and carrying a staff, an outfit that made him look like a saintly hermit in a Victorian Bible illustration. The article incorrectly portrayed Chapman as a poor man who owned only one small tract of land.

Haley avoided mentioning that Chapman’s apples were useful mainly for manufacturing an alcoholic beverage. Although one line in the article stated than Chapman raised trees as a business, overall the tone of the article gave readers the false impression that Chapman had planted the apple trees mainly for charitable reasons. Later writers exaggerated the distortions in Haley’s article to create a purely fictional image of Chapman as a pious vagrant who randomly scattered seeds to provide free apples for future generations of Americans.

A more realistic view of Chapman was revealed by the research of Robert Price, who’s 1954 book Johnny Appleseed: Man and Myth is still considered the authoritative biography of John Chapman.

SOURCES:

  • Haley, W.D. Johnny Appleseed, Pioneer Hero Harpers New Monthly Magazine, November 1871

  • Price, Robert. Johnny Appleseed: Man and Myth Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, 1954

  • Bromer, Rick. Old News Periodical Magazine April – May 2009

IMAGES:

  1. One of John Chapman’s Land Deeds.
  2. Two Popular yet inaccurate copper-plate engravings.
  3. John Chapman’s “Birth Certificate” written record, actually.
  4. Portrait of John Chapman
  5. Ohio River Monument, NOT his headstone
drabble: care;

Prompt: Inuyasha gets sick and doesn’t want to be taken care of, but Kagome is one fussy wife. 

A/N: This is my contribution for Inuvember Day 1 - Inukag! Just some good ol’ domestic fluff. I hope you enjoy it! <3

She hadn’t realized this before, but even though she was carrying her first child, she had been taking care of a baby for a long time now.

Inuyasha sat on a branch with his arms crossed in front of his chest and she sighed, resting her hands on her protuberant stomach and rubbing.

“I sure hope you give me less trouble than this one.” She murmured to her stomach before speaking up to the hanyou on the tree. “Ey, you there! Get down here this instant.”

As he pretended not to listen, Kagome felt the heat of anger beggining to rise. She was an usually calm person, but as a woman carrying a five month old pregnancy belly, her patience had been wearing thin for a while now. 

“Inuyasha…” She spoke in a slow pace, though there was a hint of venom in her voice. “You are sick, I am pregnant and I don’t have time for this. Get down here before I pin you to this tree for another fifty years.”

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Patience and Love agreed to meet at a set time and place; beneath the twenty-third tree in the olive orchard. Patience arrived promptly and waited. She checked her watch every so often but still, there was no sign of Love.

Was it the twenty-third tree or the fifty-sixth? She wondered and decided to check, just in case. As she made her way over to the fifty-sixth tree, Love arrived at twenty-three, where Patience was noticeably absent. 

Love waited and waited before deciding he must have the wrong tree and perhaps it was another where they were supposed to meet.

Meanwhile, Patience had arrived at the fifty-sixth tree, where Love was still nowhere to be seen.

Both begin to drift aimlessly around the olive orchard, almost meeting but never do. 

Finally, Patience, who was feeling lost and resigned, found herself beneath the same tree where she began. She stood there for barely a minute when there was a tap on her shoulder. It was Love.

 ……………………………. 

“Where are you?” She asked. “I have been searching all my life.” “Stop looking for me,” Love replied, “and I will find you.”

Patience by Lang Leav from Lullabies

fic: be fruitful and...

Ten/Rose & Jenny/Clara, 4500 words. This is for fadewithfury, who is utterly lovely. Happy birthday <3 

“You’re so full of it,” Rose laughed, as they left the TARDIS.

The Doctor tutted at her. “And you evidently have no imagination, because I’m telling you the truth.”

“No way. Don’t believe you for a second.”

“Would I ever lie to you?” he asked innocently.

She arched an eyebrow at him.

“Yeah, don’t answer that.”

Linking her arm through his, Rose challenged, “Doctor, if you’re serious, then prove it.”

“Why do you think we’re here?” he scoffed, then nodded in the direction they were walking. “On our way to the Lushtree Tree right now.”

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Shakespeare (Onew)

Wow. It’s been awhile. Sorry about that… I thought I’d have more time but I was so, so wrong… 

Okay then. I really wanted to just get something finished and done and this has been sitting in my drafts half-finished for awhile so I just wrapped it up and now… here you go. 

Sometimes the best endings are the ones you don’t expect. 

________________________________________________________

“Ouch!” Your toe is throbbing and you’re tempted to push this stupid cart over the edge of the third-story balcony of the library into the lobby below, but one of your New Year’s resolutions was patience and pushing heavy metal book carts over banisters onto unsuspecting citizens was not something to be counted as ‘patient’.

Well, no one was technically here because the library had been closed for two hours, but still…

Who gets books off of the third floor anyway? Half of them were falling apart, and most of them were outdated by today’s standards. Why should you, even as the youngest worker and therefore the maknae of your co workers, be forced to go to the darkest, oldest, and most secluded part of the building to organize books that haven’t been touched in ages?

You pull a book off of the shelf and blow the dust off of the cover, revealing the curling gold font scrawled across the face of the book. It reads: “Potatoes: Cure for Every Illness Under the Sun”.

Sounds like a thrilling, scientifically sound read.

Thump. The book lands in the pile of books you cannot imagine ever being read for any good reason along with such beauties as “Cigars and Tobacco: Beneficial For Body and Mind” and “A Chronicled History of the Toothbrush”.

But then again, “A Chronicled History of the Toothbrush” would be a perfect gift for any dental hygiene enthusiast. At least that’s what it said on the back of the book, so obviously there must be some market for this thing.

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