two years down and the rest of our lives to come!

All Eyes on the Sky for the August 21 Total Solar Eclipse

Just two months from now, the moon will completely block the sun’s face, treating part of the US to a total solar eclipse.

Everyone in North America will have the chance to see an eclipse of some kind if skies are clear. Anyone within a 70-mile-wide swath of land — called the path of totality — that stretches from Oregon to South Carolina will have the chance to see a total eclipse.

Throughout the rest of the continent, including all 50 United States — and even in parts of South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia — the moon will partially obscure the sun, creating a partial eclipse.

Photo credit: NASA/Cruikshank

An eclipse is one of nature’s most awesome sights, but safety comes first! When any part of the sun’s surface is exposed, use proper eclipse glasses (not sunglasses) or an indirect viewing method, like a pinhole projector. In the path of totality, it’s safe to look directly at the eclipse ONLY during the brief moments of totality.

During a solar eclipse, the moon passes between the sun and Earth, casting a shadow down on Earth’s surface. We’ve been studying the moon with NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, and its precise mapping helped NASA build the most accurate eclipse map to date.

During a total solar eclipse, the moon blocks out the sun’s bright face, revealing the otherwise hidden solar atmosphere, called the corona. The corona is one of the sun’s most interesting regions — key to understanding the root of space weather events that shape Earth’s space environment, and mysteries such as why the sun’s atmosphere is so much hotter than its surface far below.

This is the first time in nearly 100 years that a solar eclipse has crossed the United States from coast to coast. We’re taking advantage of this long eclipse path by collecting data that’s not usually accessible — including studying the solar corona, testing new corona-observing instruments, and tracking how our planet’s atmosphere, plants, and animals respond to the sudden loss of light and heat from the sun.

We’ll be studying the eclipse from the ground, from airplanes, with research balloons, and of course, from space.

Three of our sun-watchers — the Solar Dynamics Observatory, IRIS, and Hinode, a joint mission led by JAXA — will see a partial eclipse from space. Several of our Earth-observing satellites will use the eclipse to study Earth under uncommon conditions. For example, both Terra and DSCOVR, a joint mission led by NOAA, will capture images of the moon’s shadow from space. Our Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will also turn its instruments to face Earth and attempt to track the moon’s shadow as it moves across the planet.

There’s just two months to go until August 21, so make your plans now for the big day! No matter where you are, you can follow the eclipse as it crosses the country with live footage from NASA TV.

Learn more about the upcoming total solar eclipse — including where, when, and how to safely experience it — at eclipse2017.nasa.gov and follow along on Twitter @NASASun.  

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

procraesthetics  asked:

I wonder what would happen if Dudley grew up in the wizarding world but still as a muggle? like kind of reverse AU where his parents are dead and he has to go to Lily for whatever reason? do you think he would become bitter like Petunia about magic?

Lily remembered her sister, how there had been a time she was curious and delighted about magic, before it slowly sank in that she could look and not touch.

The last thing Petunia had said to Lily before she died was a chilly goodbye, ending a holiday dinner where they’d had a shrieking row in the entryway. Petunia had said freak and Lily had hissed better than this, better than this being my whole fucking world, Tune, do you even see yourself, are you happy–

And now here was Dudley Vernon Dursley fussing himself to sleep as Lily walked the halls of the Godric’s Hollow house. His tiny soft hands with their tiny soft fingernails curled under her chin, the same way Harry always had.

She passed James, who was gently bouncing his way up the hall the opposite way. “I think he’s asleep,” James mouthed over Harry’s tousled head. His hair was the same mess, bent down to peer at his sleeping son.

Lily stopped where she stood, her nephew heavy on her chest, her husband smiling, her sister buried. “James,” she said. “How are we going to do this?”

“Oh,” he said. “Hey. Don’t you cry, you’ll start them off– unless you need to cry, I mean, you go ahead, hey, sweetheart, hey, it’s alright, you just let it out.” He stepped forward, shifting Harry gently to his other shoulder, and pressed his forehead to hers. “We tuck them in, okay, that’s what we do next. Then we go to our own bed, okay, and go to sleep, and when we wake up it’ll be a new day.”

“A new day,” she said. “Another day– James, that’s the– I’m so tired.”

“So let’s sleep. It’ll look better in the morning,” he said. “And if it doesn’t look better this morning, it’ll look better in the next one.”

“You promise?”

“Better than that. I’ll show you. Every day,” he said and kissed her cold forehead.

Dudley had not shown up on the Potters’ doorstep with the milk bottles. Lily had gotten a phone call from the landline she still had installed in Godric’s Hollow, about an accident, and she had gone down to the Muggle police station to identify the bodies.

The cupboard under the stairs was filled with spiders, broomsticks, and the sewing machine Lily’s mother had given her when she married James– that’s all. Dudley slept downstairs. Uncle Remus taught Dudley and Harry to knock out coded messages through the wall their rooms shared.

In the backyard, beside a rickety porch and an ambitious hedge, James taught them to fly– first on little tot brooms where their toes brushed the grass the whole time, then out of the barrels of practice brooms James used for lessons and coaching Little League Quidditch.

When the boys turned ten, five weeks apart, they both got shiny new Nimbuses on Dudley’s birthday (which came first), and a set of enchanted Quidditch balls on Harry’s, to share. The Bludgers were enchanted to be very kind but Dudley spent long afternoons whacking them far afield while Harry chased the Snitch at his back.

Harry had a scar on his forehead, like a jagged bit of lightning. Dudley had no scars– the car crash that had killed his parents hadn’t touched him where he sat strapped into a car seat in the back, chewing on a stuffed dinosaur toy.

Lily did not believe in lying to the children. She was bare years off being a child herself, and spare moments on the far side of a war. When Dudley asked about his parents, she told him there had been an accident. She pulled pictures off the shelf and wrote Petunia’s old university friends for more.

Photographs came by mailman, the images still and unnatural to Dudley’s eye. Every day he’d gone out to play, for years, he’d been waving at the picture near the back door of his aunt and uncle on their wedding day, and they waved back every time.

“She was very clever,” Lily said. “Your mom liked to know everything.”

“And my dad?”

“Vernon liked… cars?” James offered. “That’s the word, right, Lily?”

“I didn’t know him very well,” Lily said. “He liked drills, I think; he worked for a firm that made them, and he talked about that a lot.”

Dudley brushed his thumbs over the dull edges of the photos. When Lily went off to Auror headquarters the next morning for work, James bundled the boys up and took them on an impromptu invisible tour of Grunnings Drill Manufacturing Inc.

They tiptoed down halls and past water coolers and ringing fellytones. They held hands under the Cloak as they dodged around the machines on the manufacturing floor, thumping and pounding and whirring away loudly enough that Harry and Dudley could whisper to each other under the noise. An elevator took them all the way up to the top floor. Harry whistled cheerily and eerily along with the elevator music while the Muggles slowly edged toward the doors and pressed floor buttons lower than they’d originally wanted.

There were boxes and cabinets and folders and desks and staticky monitor screens full of numbers strewn in endless grids. “Merlin’s knuckles,” said Harry, who was seven and a half and rather proud of this expletive. “People can look at this all day, their whole lives, and not die?”

“Work is hard work,” said James.

“At least mum gets to curse things.”

“But my dad liked it?” Dudley said, peering at a white board that was bleeding enthusiastic marker. “There’s a lot of things, here. Maybe he liked knowing things, too.”

When the boys asked about the scar on Harry’s forehead, Lily and James looked at each other. “You know how sometimes we sit with Uncle Remus and talk about a war?” James said. “Or with Ms. Amelia or Mr. Mundungus.”

“Mr. Mundungus is kinda smelly,” Harry said helpfully.

“It’s not nice to say so though,” said James, and Lily made a face.

“Are we raising them to be nice?” Lily said.

“I’m trying,” said James.

“You talk about a war,” said Harry and shrugged. Dudley nodded.

“There was a very bad man, in those days,” said James.

“Voldemort,” said Lily, and James made a face.

“He was so scary a lot of people don’t like to say his name, even now,” said James. “And he was coming after us because we had been fighting against him, in the war. He came to the house and he tried to hurt you, Harry. But it didn’t work. It hurt him instead, and gave you that scar.”

“Is he going to come back?” said Dudley, who was paler than his normal pink.

“No one’s heard of him since then,” said Lily.

“Where were you?” said Harry, because all his life they had been right there.

“Oh,” said Lily, but her throat closed up.

“We were at Dudley’s mum and dad’s funeral,” said James. “Our friend– our friend Sirius was watching you two. The bad man, he came to the house. He. Well. I.”

“Sirius died,” said Lily, one hand squeezing James’s knee and the other reaching down to brush hair off Dudley’s forehead. “You lived, Harry, and Voldemort vanished. And that’s why sometimes people stare in the streets, baby.” James tweaked Harry’s collar absently.

Two days after they had buried Lily’s sister, the Potters had stood together in the first chills of November and buried James’s brother.

Sirius had been burned off the Black family tree years before. Lily and James had talked to his cousin Andromeda, to Remus, and then they had laid him to rest in the Potter family plot. At the wake, they’d told old jokes about squirrel breath, shedding, and man’s best friend. Remus had fallen asleep on their couch and stayed for a month.

It took a two hour row with HR for Lily to get two passes to the Ministry’s Bring Your Kid To Work Day.

“He’s a Muggle.”

“He’s not,” Lily snapped. “He’s family.”

She had to get permission, sign a million forms, and she also had to take the boys in early so that Dudley could get smothered in the spells that would keep the Anti-Muggle wards around the Ministry from activating on him. “If a Muggle stumbles in somehow, they just see a funny-smelling supply cabinet and turn back around,” Lily told Dudley. He nodded and dragged Harry off by the wrist to go look at the fountain.

The windows were pouring sunlight into the underground room– the maintenance workers had just gotten a win on their contract negotiations and had banished the grimy rain-spattered windows of the previous weeks. The light hit the falling water, the golden statues, and the small excitable crowd of Ministry dependents who were gathering in the atrium. Dudley was fishing about in the fountain for Knuts to toss back out again, elbow-deep, and Harry was laughing and coming up with weird wishes to make on them.

Lily hadn’t said son. She’d said family, and that was true enough, wasn’t it? She didn’t say son– she had a son, and she had a nephew, a ward, another child who came to her after nightmares and scraped knees. It was not less, it was just words.

Lily worried about stealing more things from Petunia. Tuney had shrieked at her, in ladies’ restrooms and suburban foyers, had hissed at her in grocery store aisles and family dinners, because Lily got everything. And now Lily had her son.

Lily could just imagine it– could just see Petunia’s face twisting and chin stabbing at the air. You could have anything, and you took my son– my son!

“You left him to me,” Lily whispered, but that wasn’t quite right. “You left,” she whispered, and that wasn’t quite right either, so she strode off toward the fountain to ask the boys if they wanted to go see the Auror spellwork ranges. Dudley’s sodden shirt sleeves dripped all over the Ministry floors. Harry’s hair fell down into his eyes and they both grinned bright enough to rival the spelled sunlight.

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100 Prompts That Will Make You Cry: Part 1

Unfortunately, my amigos, we managed to come up with 100 prompts. Here’s part 1:

  1. You’re a ghost haunting your own funeral. You see that nobody showed up.
  2. What are these strangers doing in your house? You’re confused and angry, it’s been a week and it seems like they’re not leaving, they’re not even paying attention to you. You’re the ghost haunting your house without knowing it.
  3. A single man and dog run the Iditarod only to show up with the medicine for his daughter too late. This is his story.
  4. You fight for a noble cause. You complete all the necessary steps. You reach the top of the world doing good deeds to improve peoples lives. It’s your first day of retirement and you watch your hard work comes undone before your eyes.
  5. “You can’t understand how it is to feel this worthless. I just want it all to go away! I want it all to STOP!”
  6. Despite everything they did, everything they went through. It was made clear that their attempts were pointless, as they were too late to save them.
  7. The only thing left for you to do was to leave forever
  8. You didn’t visit your parent figure in hospital the day before they passed away because you wanted to finish your homework. Less than 24 hours later, you get a message from your sibling. “They passed away this morning.”
  9. No matter how hard you try, they just laugh at you. You are a joke, a game, you don’t matter. You’ve had enough.
  10. “Robert, you can’t just leave! There are fifty kids waiting for you! You promised you’d get us out alive. You told them so!” “No, darling, I promised I’d get us out alive. Us, being me and my 500 grand. Thanks for your help, by the way. Sorry about the boiled alive thing. Chao!”
  11. Why did you leave me? It’s been 15 years. Why did you leave? I can’t just accept the fact that you showed up on my doorstep expecting an apology. I have a family now. And I can’t let you pull me into your problems.
  12. Your school, company, or organisation has required you to go to therapy for a potentially traumatic incident. This is the session when you decide to tell the story of becoming estranged from your last living relative.
  13. You can only watch the live news helplessly as, thousands of miles away, an tsunami happens in the country your best friend happens to be visiting
  14. “My head is full of you but my arms are empty.”
  15. Best Friends Forever", we used to say. But now we aren’t even talking anymore. When I see them anywhere, another person is by their side, a new best friend. And I, I am all alone.
  16. Person A shares something that no one knew about them and it is very personal and then they get outcasted by their family and person B is the only one to support them as they cry.
  17. The fire was pretty, swirling in shades of blue and green and purple, if you could ignore the fact it was destroying the planet.
  18. A crying child in the hospital bed looks to you for answers. She wants to know where her mommy is. You have no answer.
  19. “I cannot take it anymore, Sam. You don’t tell me anything, you’ve been disappearing for hours, you have phone calls you don’t want me to hear, and now you forgot our anniversary. I’m done being patient. I have packed my things, you can keep the car and the house. Goodbye.” A small box fell out of his fingers, and a ring with a diamond shining merrily on the band rolled away, as the phone stopped playing out the voicemail.
  20. You unlock your phone, and, ignoring the shaking of your hand, answer the call. “Hey” you say, not even trying to compress the wound, too far gone as you already are, “no, i’m fine. I’ll be with you in a minute or two…”
  21. I knew it would be there, I saved for this special occasion. It was my deserved reward after a shitty day and it was gone. The cupcake was gone.
  22. it was finally summer, his favorite season. He sat up in his bed and told you all about what he did last year. He rode his bike everywhere, he played so many games with his friends, he swam in the town park pool… you were the doctor, and you had come in to bring his parents out of the room to talk to them about how the cancer had spread unexpectedly.
  23. You’ve just had an unpleasant lunch with your family and one of your siblings has just told you that you’ve been horrible the entire meal. What now?
  24. Your mom starts crying
  25. you walk down the street and you see a familiar face. Your heart starts beating faster and you speed up, because Gosh, you haven’t seen them in the longest time, but then as you are about to reach them and scream their name, you suddenly stop because remember that it can’t be them because you’re now on the other side of the world, and you left the person you love far away….
  26. It’s your grandfather’ funeral. The place is packed, he was loved by so many. Then, a small child puts a cup of coffee by his ashes.. (“Have this grandpa, it’s time to wake up”)
  27. The person you love has to be killed in order to save other people. Their death guarantees the others’ safety and it is the right thing to do, and they want to do it, but you have to kill them. So you do.
  28. you have the power to bring back the dead. You quickly realize that this comes with draw-backs since certain parts of them stay dead. someone close to you had an accident and this is the most difficult decision of your life.
  29. the smallest coffins are the heaviest.
  30. Her answer is to gently cup your face with trembling hands. Her smile is gentle and so, so sad. Her breathy whisper reaches your ears, “because love is watching someone die,” and shatters your world.
  31. It had always been her. From the first day you saw her, you knew that she was the one, the one you wanted to spend your entire life with. Day by day, that future became a little more solid, a little more opaque. Until you watched it shrivel, collapse and die when strangers pulled a frail, familiar body out of the wreck.
  32. you wake up to silence, except for the sound of quiet sobbing and a set of packed suitcases in the hall.
  33. “I’m going to… take a nap… just for a minute. I’ll be… right back.” He lies down just where he sat. “Could you… hold my hand?”, he asks of her. She moves carefully around the table, as not to disrupt the game that they will certainly continue. He rests his head on her knees. “Are you there?”, he asks. “Yes, I’m here.” He holds her hand tighter. “Are you there?”, he asks, slowly his voice getting quieter and weaker….
  34. You and your family were in a car crash. You think you’ve survived but in the hospital you found you’ve died and you watch your parents, your SO, your children and your friends mourn. You don’t leave earth. You remain there watching over your loved ones, but when they die, they don’t join you. You are by yourself forever.
  35. Driving home, you hit something. Getting out, you realize it’s your pet who went missing a few months ago
  36. Using the word ‘almost’ is the most melancholic way to describe an upsetting moment. She almost got there in time. He almost caught her. She almost told her. They almost made it.
  37. You realise animals no longer acknowledge your existence. They can’t seem to see or hear you. Your best friend is your dog.
  38. “I’ll never be perfect in my parents’ eyes no matter what I do.”
  39. When you were 7, you were kidnapped when for 15 years. At the age of 22, you are finally rescued. Write about your time held in captivity and what it was like when you were saved.
  40. Time and time again, the prompt guy refuses my Danny DeVito suggestions
  41. “You’re the worst teacher I ever had, but I don’t want you to leave, because you were also the best, in a way.”
  42. after always feeling like you were never wanted around, someone decided to tell you how you felt is exactly right. and now you have a fire in your heart you’ve decided to do something about it.
  43. He was supposed to protect me. Instead he became the one I needed protection from.
  44. “We’ll be finally be able to be together. Just one more year. Then we can finally be happy.” That was the last thing you said to your lover before going back off to war. Now you find yourself in an empty house, holding one last letter addressed to you and the memories of a lifetime of unfulfilled promises.
  45. I’m not sure which was worse: keeping it a secret for so many years, or the look on my mom’s face when I told her.
  46. you moved in a new town a few months ago. One of your friend tells you that he heard your best friend say “There’s no point staying in touch, we won’t see each other ever again.”
  47. “I’m sorry sir, but we’re all out of chicken nuggets.”
  48. You are a stray dog. Your master lost you 3 years ago. You go on an epic and heart-filled journey to find your master, not knowing that they are already dead.
  49. It was the first time your parents said the word proud in relation to you, but you could just feel that was nothing more than a backhanded compliment. It only made you feel terrible.
  50. After five years, they were finally back together. But time had torn them apart and as much as they tried, they were unable to love each other again.
  51. The dark and dreary realisation finally hit you: You’re the one in the coffin. This is your funeral. All these people are upset and crying over you.
  52. The war had been ravaging the country for years. You fought for your country, you shed your blood, you did your part. And yet a mistake is going to be your undoing. Write your last letter before your execution to a daughter you will never come back to.
  53. Your siblings played a game with you, it was called “Who can ignore you the most”. But it’s okay, you knew they love you, because there was still food on the table, and bedtime was still shared in the same room. It’s been years, you’re in the worst time of your life now, and you feel the need to reach out for help. You hope the game is over by now.
  54. You’ve been messaging someone online for years now, chatting with them about this and that every so often. They stopped logging on a month ago. You have no way of knowing if they’re okay, and can only watch and wait for a reply.
  55. You read a late familiar’s diary from decades ago. You knew nothing about them before this moment.Their insight in life is what you need to solve your problems, and your insight could have helped save their life.
  56. “I am so tired.” She whispered to him, inches away from jumping of that bridge.
  57. Every time your father leaves for work, you wonder if he’s going to die. You make sure to say “i love you” every day before he goes, but one day you forget…
  58. you’re the last member of your species, your culture, your language. Scientists are around you, waiting for every bit that you can share, for them to document. They don’t care about you. Although you’re surrounded by people, you’re alone.
  59. your idol, a vegetarian, was forcefully fed a hotdog
  60. Write about the small and big sacrifices mothers make for their children.
  61. You are trapped in a “coma” can hear everything around you, including friends and family coming to say goodbye before your life-support is taken away due to lack of insurance. They can’t prove you aren’t brain dead. You can’t say goodbye back.
  62. “The monsters won’t come and hurt me will they daddy?” “As long as I’m around,” he said, giving you a goodnight kiss. “No one will ever hurt you.” “You’ll come home right? Promise?” “I Promise.” But he failed to keep his promise. He never came home and the monsters got you after all.
  63. Tell the story of someone who goes about daily life, well, tries to anyway. It’s hard for them because they had severe depression. Tell of their struggles and trials. But also tell of their successes.
  64. For Sale: Baby Shoes. Never worn.
  65. you’re the last person in the world and you just lost hope for finding anyone else
  66. You went on a great quest with your friends. You slayed monsters together, fended off enemies, and overcame all challenges that came your way. However, your friends perished at the final boss. You’ve just defeated him, and the reality is sinking in.
  67. You are the new Death. The torch has been passed down to you for reasons you don’t know. It is now your job to take the lives of those whose time is up, old or young. Are you prepared to do it? And why were you chosen?
  68. You have become immortal through a game that destroyed your universe. You and and your friends recreated the universe. You remember, they do not. The big bad from the game haunts your dreams.
  69. You wake up and smell something burning. You think someone is making breakfast. You get up to see your house is on fire and you’re the only survivor.
  70. As the crowd around you cheers for your brother’s assassin, you hold him in your arms as you watch his life fade. He was the most hated man in the world, a brutal dictator, a tyrant worse than your father ever was. He was the very kind of man who you hated yourself. Yet you’re crying, looking down upon his smiling face as he watches the crowd and his killer in his final moments, because in the end this was what he promised you. He promised to make a world where no one would have to fight anymore, where there can be peace. And now that the most hated man is dead, there can be.
  71. After a long fulfilling life, you find yourself in the past, at the lowest point of your life. Your family is gone, your friends don’t know who you are, and you’re left with nothing. What do you do?
  72. there’s no pizza in the fridge
  73. You love children and plan to have some one day, until you find out at a doctors appointment that you are infertile…
  74. It’s the effort that counts but it’s the result that’s remembered. Write a story about someone who spent years devoted to their passion but their efforts remain unrecognised, unappreciated because they were ultimately unsuccessful, even after death.
  75. “…you never really loved me, did you.” and the silence said it all
  76. you are a dog going into the vet. You have no idea why your owner is crying. You have no idea that it’s your last visit.
  77. Your parents just told you that they’re getting a divorce.
  78. Your best friend/SO has wronged the gods and has 24 hours to live. You can trade your life for theirs by putting your essence by the mercy of the gods. What do you do?
  79. he spat angrily as he raised what remained of his son “I NEVER LOVED YOU”
  80. write a story where you build up to one character’s death. In the end, that character survives, but another character dies instead.
  81. You are a time traveler, but you never knew it. The only time you successfully did it was when you were a baby, and you’ve grown up a long time away from your original life. One day, you find a shrine… Dedicated to you, by your original family.
  82. You sat across from them at the table, and realized that you had both run out of things to say to each other.
  83. Write a story about an adventurous character who somehow survives all the trouble they get into. These are the memories of an old person, as they remember what they did, with a week of less left before their last breath.
  84. Everyone else had moved on further. You have missed your opportunity to move along with them, and you are the only one left behind in the gray lands. All because of your most annoying habit
  85. “But I rescued you from-” “You killed the dragon! You killed my best friend!”
  86. When you were little, you lost your parents in a house fire. Now, you’ve found out that you have the power to control fire, and are starting to suspect that the fire that killed your parents wasn’t a cooking accident after all..
  87. You spent the past 10 minutes walking back and forth from the lobby to the dance floor in search of them, worrying your ass off. They finally decide to come out and they curse at you for ruining their night.
  88. It was horrible, a pain unbearable to you, the feeling of your soulmate breaking down. The person you once loved, now shattered and scarred from trauma. The worst of part of it, you were helpless. All you could do was sit and watch, but you’d get your revenge. On Death himself.
  89. Your maths teacher gives you a school detention despite the fact that you are 110% innocent of everything you’ve been accused of.   You are forced to stare at a wall for half an hour in silence to think about ‘what you’ve done.’  What happens now?
  90. You confess to your parents about your depression and suicidal thoughts, but they just shrug it off as you being over dramatic. Months later and the sight of your parents still hurts you deep inside, because they never understood you.
  91. You’re in love with your coworker, who’s married and has two kids. He’s quitting job today. He tells you that he loves you.
  92. You’re in a room full of onions.
  93. You’re just about to start your period and you’ve been craving Chinese food all week. You finally get said Chinese food, get home, pull it out of the bag and drop it. You start scream-crying, and your family runs into the room to check on you. What happens next?
  94. Your daughter has been bullied ever since she’s started school due to the fact that you aren’t the richest of families in a pretty nice neighborhood. When she begs you to buy her a doll everybody likes, you know you won’t be able to afford it.
  95. You hide in your room and clutch a pillow, listening to the abusive language your family members through at each other. You hear your youngest sibling being physically abused again, and his screams echo throughout the house.
  96. “We found cancerous tissue. I’m sorry.” “What a way to start my first day of college.” (comment: this actually happened to me, I was diagnosed with cancer my first day of college)
  97. An old man is on his death bed, riddled with dementia.  Volunteering for the elderly with no family left, you visit, but he mistakes you for son or daughter.
  98. I looked in the mirror and realized who was staring back. It was someone I wasn’t content with.
  99. Write a story through the perspective of an abused cat on their 9th life.
  100. Tell a story about a person who never appears in photographs because they were always behind the camera, looking wistfully at everyone’s smiling faces. It is only after they’re long gone that someone finally notices. Old memories are brought up.
Story 215: Cultural Exchange

The human steps onto the station from her shuttle, and walks into the scanner.  It flashes - no weapons.  I pity her, though there’s nothing I can do for her.  By tomorrow she will be a slave the same as me; the Gaunvans collect ambassadors like trophies.
“Hello there!  Amanda Thorn, ambassador for the Empire of Humanity.  You’re a Ixian, correct?”
Mimicking human body language, I nod my head.  "That’s correct.  Ix Malasan.  It is an honor to meet you.“
She smiles, reminding me again that she has somehow modified herself to breathe atmosphere suited to the Gaunvans rather than wear a respirator like myself.  Other than that she appears to be a standard human, something I am led to believe is less and less common as they pursue the bizarre compulsion humans have to alter their bodies.  Changing hair color, adding pigments to their skins in patterns and pictures, growing long tails or ears that mimic other species from their planet.  No other known species tampers with their bodies like this.
“Not to be undiplomatic, she says, "but the Gaunvans enslaved your people.  Why are you here?”
“We… reached a mutually beneficial agreement.  We would have lost in combat and been eliminated, so we chose to preserve what we could of our culture.  The Gaunvans are not naturally skilled at diplomacy, so they bring me along to assist and to show that peace can be made.”
She nods.  "Understood.  I can respect that choice.  How much freedom do you have, personally?“
Smart of her, to start planning for her future. "A fair amount.  I have free reign on the ship when we are in transit.  At the homeworld I have reasonably comfortable quarters.”
“Have you ever met the Empress, or…?”
“Oh, no.  No, while on the homeworld I am confined to my chambers - but they’re quite spacious.”
“Shame.  Okay, plan ‘A’ then.  Let’s get this over with.”

Despite my attempt at encouraging diplomacy, the Gaunvan commander starts with threats.  I don’t know why I bother.  He looms over the human, chitinous plates almost black in the dim light.  His pod of six is posted around the room, for show more than for actual security since she followed orders and came alone and unarmed.  "Failure to surrender will bring the full wrath of our army upon you.  Humanity will be crushed, and wiped from the universe.“
To her credit, she looks very calm.  "We live in a post-scarcity society.  Bloody conquest just seems silly, doesn’t it?”
“It is for the glory of Gaun!”
“Well, I’m not prepared to get into a religious debate with you,” she says, “since I doubt there’s anything I can do to change your mind.  Since you’re committed to this course of action, what are you willing to offer if we surrender?”
Now he goes back on script.  Maybe I am getting through to him a little?  He talks about the benefits of being enslaved, mainly the protections for up to twelve designated culturally historical sites.  They’ve been mostly good on their word on my homeworld, though they did use the area just outside of the Hahhn Memorial as a waste dump.

She nods as she listens.  There was a part of me that was worried she would argue, because the humans are somewhat childlike.  They don’t understand the horrors of war.  Certainly they fought in the past, but the last time they had to battle was more than two of their generations ago, so these ones have all grown up coddled and soft.  They play games with each other instead, silly competitions.  They make art, and play pretend, and alter their bodies for fun.  They don’t have weapons anymore, and wouldn’t know how to use them if they did.
“Well then,” ambassador Thorn says, “this is about what I expected.  On behalf of humanity, I would like to formally reject this offer.”
Oh no.  Foolish humans.  The galaxy will miss your innocence.  The commander makes an excited clicking noise, looking forward to combat.  He reaches a blade-tipped hand towards ambassador Thorn, but hesitates as every device in the room bleats out an alert - we’ve all lost communications with the outside.

Like one of the dances humans do, she gracefully pivots around while taking his hand.  She ends up close to him and places her other arm against his thorax, then… oh gods. Gods, what… she’s ripped his arm off.  It’s not possible.  The commander is clearly thinking the same thing, staring in mute shock at his dripping limb.
“I’d like to extend a counter-offer,” she says, and flips the arm around before jamming the bladed end into his neck.  The warriors around the room are fidgeting, uncertain.  They haven’t been told to attack, and don’t want to dishonor their commander by intervening in a fight with such a small creature.  She’s still holding the commander’s severed arm in his neck, but she rotates and heaves, lifting him off the ground with it for a moment… and then his head pops off, landing squarely on the conference table.  She allows the corpse to slide to the ground, and straightens her clothes as if they aren’t covered in ichor.

I don’t understand.

The warriors, now with no orders at all, finally act.  She smiles as they come for her, I suppose because she has done her duty to send this powerful message of resistance.  She can die in peace.  Or… no… She’s killing them.  She’s smiling because this is fun for her.  Though they’re partly killing themselves; if there had been two of them, prepared, strategic, they might have prevailed.  Watching six panicked fighters get in each other’s way while trying to stop a smaller, faster, and somehow impossibly stronger foe is almost hypnotic.  At least one is killed by the stab of a friendly lance due to pure confusion.  It’s over faster than I would have thought possible, severed limbs strewn across the room.  I’ve got some fluids splashed across my clothing.  Only one yet lives, and he is retreating.  She seems to be allowing it.

She follows behind, holding a lance.  The wounded and scared warrior scurries down the hallway towards his ship, looking back behind him as he goes.  She’s just… walking.  Calm.  And for some reason I’m following.  The last Gaunvan reaches the airlock and the second he enters his code she throws the lance - throws it! - and spears him.
“Come on, we’re stealing their ship.”  She says it like this is the most normal thing in the world.
“There are thousands more on board!  Thousands!  Almost all warrior caste!”
She smiles again, and keeps walking.  I see errors on the screens that we pass, messages indicating communications have been lost.  They can’t tell anyone what is happening here.  Even the communicators within the ship are on nodes rather than being wired, so the warriors at one end of the vessel won’t be able to coordinate with the other end.  Do they even know they’ve been boarded?
“How?”

We enter the bridge after she kills a handful of other guards with ease.  They’re too shocked by her presence to act in time.  Once the door are sealed and she is working on the control systems she starts talking to me again.
“Well, you know, we do like to be prepared.”
“But you… you ripped his arm off.”
“Yeah, that was super satisfying.”  She looks at me appraisingly.  "Oh, come on.  Is it really that surprising?  You knew we were into changing ourselves, right?  Being strong enough to pop an overgrown bug’s forelimb off isn’t rocket science.“
"Your people are so peaceful…”
“Oh, sure, most of them.  But we did that, too.  Tweaked ourselves over the years to decrease aggression and some of our tribalistic tendencies, increase empathy… all stuff that can be undone if needed.  Though for a good cause even the nicest of us can squish a bug or two.”
“You bond with Ry'ling devourers!”
“Those are the big fuzzy guys that look like cats, yeah?  Those guys are adorable!  But… look, liking some things that could kill us doesn’t mean we’ll sit back and get enslaved.  We didn’t put up with it well when we enslaved each other, and we certainly aren’t going to go for it now that we’re… finally… on the same page about slavery being unacceptable.  It was, uh, a longer time than we like to admit before the last hold-outs were convinced of that one.”

I can feel the ship un-dock.  We’re moving.  "What about all the warriors on board?  They’ll break through the doors eventually!“
"Not according to this control panel here.  Take a look.”
It says there’s no atmosphere in the rest of the ship.  Life signs are negative on all but two of the warriors, presumably the only ones that got to their suits in time.  She disabled all the safety measures, somehow.  She just killed… I check the life signs readout again to confirm the number… three thousand, six hundred, and fourteen soldiers.  Wait, how is it tracking that unless… “Are communications back up?”
“Yeah, I’m calling some friends.  The military is right around the corner, so to speak.”
“But Earth doesn’t have a standing military.”
She laughs.  Not just a little bit.  She’s actually doubled over for a moment, unable to catch her breath.  "Sweet Jeebus, you guys actually fell for that?  No standing military.  Have you read about us at all?“

Three ships appear seemingly out of nowhere, and one docks with the Gaunvan vessel.  Once the atmosphere is restored we head to the airlock to meet them, and I’m surprised by an entire platoon of Gaunvan warriors.  Speaking English.
"Okay boys, send your last goodbyes!  This is in all likelihood a one way mission.  Commander Thorn!  It is an honor to see you again, and might I say you look exquisite drenched in the blood of your enemies!”
She bows to him, blushing, and then salutes the Gaunvans.  Or… humans?  Can they change themselves this drastically?
“You’ve got two holed up in here somewhere.  Bridge is clear, have the techs bring the new brain on board.”
“New brain?”
She looks at me like she’s forgotten that I’m here, and then turns back to the others.  "Men, this is our new friend Ix Malasan who has just been liberated from his captivity.  He’s going to be helping with our intel.  Malasan, yeah, a new brain for the ship.  Once this vessel is cleaned up and back in service with a new crew we’ll be able to take it over whenever we want even if all of our boys get killed.  We cooked up a really sadistic AI for it.“
"But how do you know the protocols?  This was your first contact with the Gaunvans, they’ve never lost a ship anywhere near here!”
“No?  There wasn’t a mining colony disaster two years ago?”
“But that was just an accident… and you weren’t even involved in the war yet… and…”

The faux-Gaunvans have finished boarding.  The one that was talking to them before puts a bladed claw on ambassador - commander - Thorn’s shoulder.  "You coming with?“
"Naw.  Orders said I could only come if they allow ambassadors near extremely high value targets.  Malasan here says they don’t, so I need to wait for my next mission back on Earth.”
“It would have been nice having you with us, Thorn.  Well, maybe we’ll see each other again.  Suicide mission or not, I think I’ve decided to live through it.”
“Bold choice,” she says, and kisses him next to his lower mandibles.
He nods at me, then turns back to his men. “Okay everyone, we are now officially on the job.  And what is that job?”
In unison, they start chanting.

“FUCK! SHIT! UP!  FUCK! SHIT! UP!  FUCK! SHIT! UP!”

For a moment I nearly feel pity for the Gaunvans.  Nearly.  Commander Thorn leads me off of the ship, and I start thinking about what useful information I can provide the ‘harmless’ humans.  Fuck shit up, indeed.

history of the entire world, i guess; a transcript

hi. you’re on a rock, floating in space. pretty cool, huh? some of it’s water. fuck it, actually most of it’s water. i can’t even get from here to there without buying a boat. it’s sad. i’m sad. i miss you. how did this happen? a long time ago, actually never, and also now, nothing is nowhere. when? never. makes sense, right? like i said, it didn’t happen. nothing was never anywhere. that’s why its been everywhere. it’s been so everywhere, you don’t need a “where”. you don’t even need a “when”. that’s how “every” it gets. (pause). forget this. i wanna be something, go somewhere, do something. i want things to change. i want to invent time and space. and i know it’s possible because everything is here and it probably already happened. i just don’t know when to start. and that’s exactly where it started. (background noise) woah. i… paused it. i think there’s a universe now. what’s it made of? quarks and stuff. ah, that’s a thing, in a place. don’t like it? try a new place, at a different Time™. try to stick together because the world is gonna get bigger and emptier. but it’s not empty yet. it’s still very full, and about a kjghpillion degrees. (about no seconds later). great news! the quarks are now happily married in groups of three called a “proton” or a “neutron”. and there’s something else flying around too that wants to join in but can’t cause it’s still to (HOT). (about ten minutes later). great news! the protons and the neutrons are now happily married to each other (some of them even doubled up). (about 380,000 years later). great news, the electrons have now joined in. congratulations, the world is now a bunch of gas in space. but it’s getting closer together and it’s getting closer together and it’s getting closer together. it’s a staaaar. new shit just got made. some stars burn out and die. bigger stars burn out and die with passion! and make some brand new way crazier shit. space dust! which allows newer, more interesting stars to be made, and then die, and explode into even crazier space dust. so now stars have cool stuff around them, like rocks, ice, and funny clouds, which can make some very interesting things. like this ball of flaming rocks, for example. holy shit, we just got hit with another ball of flaming rocks, and it kinda made a mess. which is now the moon. weather update: it’s raining rocks from outer space. weather update: those rocks might’ve had water inside them and now there’s Hot Steam in the sky. weather update: cooler temperatures today, and the floor is no longer lava. weather update: its raining. severe flooding alert: the entire world is now an ocean. volcano alert: that’s land. there’slifeintheocean. what? something’s alive in the ocean. oh cool, like a plant or an animal? no. a microscopic speck! it lives at the bottom of the ocean and eats chemical soup which is being served hot and fresh made from gnarly space ingredients leftover from when it was raining rocks or whatever. oh yeah, and it can do that. it has secret instructions written inside itself telling it how to build another one of itself. so that’s pretty nifty, i would say. tired of living at the bottom of the ocean? now you can eat sunlight. using a revolutionary technique you can convert sunlight into food. taste the sun. side effect: now there’s oxygen everywhere and the sky’s blue. then the earth might’ve been a snowball for a while, maybe even a coupla times. it’s a sponge, it’s a plant, it’s a worm and some other types of weird strange water bugs and strange fish. it’s the Cambrian explosion. “wow, that’s animals and stuff.” but we’re still in the ocean. hey, can we go on land? NoO. why? the sun is a deadly lazer. oh okay. not anymore there’s a blanket. now the animals can go on land. come on, animals, let’s go on land! “nope, can’t walk yet. and there’s no food yet so i don’t care.” (100 million years later) ok, will you learn to walk if there’s plants up here? “maybe,” said some bugs, and fish. “uh. uh. uh.” (five million years later) “ok so i can go on land but i have to go back in the water to have babies.” (idea) learn to use an egg. “i was already doing that.” use a stronger egg, and put water in it, have a baby, on land, in an egg. water is in the egg, baby, in the water, in the egg. works for me. bye bye ocean. aaand now everything is huge. including bugs. wanna see a map of the land? sure. ah fuck, now everything’s dead. just kidding here are the survivors. keep your eye on this one because its about to become the dinosaurs. here’s another map of the land. yeah, it broke apart, don’t worry about it, it does that all the time. here comes a meteor. and the dinosaurs are gone. its mammal time! here come the mammals. look at those breasts. now they’re gonna dominate the world, and one of them just learned how to grab stuff. and walk. no, like, walk like ‘that’. and grab stuff at the same time. and bang rocks together to make… pointed rocks. “ouch.” and set things on fire. “yeouch.” and make crazy sounds with their voice (“gneurshk.”) which can mean different things. that’s a human person. and now they’re everywhere, almost. ice age. what? you can walk over here? cool. not anymore. i guess we’re stuck here now.

let’s review. there’s people on the planet. and they’re chasing their food. fuck it, time to plant some grass. look at this, i control the food now. now everyone will want to be my friend and live near me. let’s all build houses except mine is bigger because i own the food. this is great, i wonder if anyone else is doing this. tired of using rocks for everything? use metal. it’s underground. better farming was just invented in a sweet dank valley right in between these two rivers, and the animals are helping. guess what happens next. more food, and more people who came to buy the food. now you need people to help make the food and keep track of the sales. and now you need houses for people to live in, and people to make the houses. and now there’s more people and they invent things, which makes things better and more people come. and there’s more farming and more people to make more things for more people. and now there’s business, money, writing, laws, power. sociiiety. coming soon to a dank river valley near you. meanwhile, out in the middle of nowhere, the horse is probably being tamed. why is all my metal so lame and lumpy? tired of using lame, sad metal? introducing bronze, made with special ingredient tin from the far lands of tin land. i don’t know, my dealer won’t tell me where he gets it. also, guess what - egypt. meanwhile, out in the middle of nowhere, they figured out how to put wheels on a horse. now we’re getting somewhere. also, china. and did i mention indusrivervalleycivilization. norte chico. the middle east is getting more complicated, maybe because it’s in the middle of the east. knock knock- er, clop clop, it’s the people with the horses? and they made an empire! and then everyone else copied their horses. greeks! ah look, it must be the greeks, or a beta version of the greeks. let’s check in with the indus river valley civilization. they’re gone. guess who’s not gone? china. new arrivals in india. maybe it’s thosehorsepeopleiwastalkingabout or theircousinsorsomething. and they wrote some hymns and mantras and stuff. you could make a religion out of this. there’s the bronze age collapse. now the phoenicians can get down to business. also, can we switch to a metal that’s a little easier to find? thanks. look who came back to israel, it’s the twelve tribes of israel. and they believe in god. just one though, he’s got like a ten step program. here’s some huge heads, must be the olmec. the phoenicians make some colonies. the greeks copy their idea and make some colonies. the phoenicians made a colony so big it makes colonies. here comes the assyrian empire. nevermind it’s the babylonian- median- it’s the persian empire. “wow, that’s big.” ah, the buddha was just enlightened! who’s the buddha? this guy, who sat under a tree for so long that he figured out how to ignore the fact that we’re all dying. you could make a religion out of this. oops, china just broke, but while it was breaking confucius was figuring out how to have good morals. ah, the greeks just had the idea of thinking about stuff. and right over here, alexander just had the idea of conquering the entire persian empire. it’s a great idea, he was…great. and now he’s dead. hopefully, the rest of the gang will be able to share the empire evenly between them. knock knock, it’s chandragupta, he says, “get the hell out of here, will you get the hell out of here if i give you 500 elephants? ok thanks bye; time to conquer all of india- or most of india”. but what about this part? that’s the tamil kings, no one conquers the tamil kings. who are the tamil kings? merchants, probably. and they’ve got spices. who would like to buy the spices? “me,” said the arabians, swiftly buying them and selling them to the rest of the world. hey, china put itself back together again with good morals as their main philosophy. actually they have three main philosophies. out here, the horse nomads run wild and free, and they would like to ransack your city. let’s check the greekification levels of the greekified kingdoms: greekification overload! “bye,” said the parthians, “bye,” said the jews. “hi,” said the parthians, taking over the entire place. “heyyyyyyyy,” said the romans, eating the entire mediterranean for breakfast. “thanks for invading our homeland,” said the jews, who were starting to get tired of people invading their homeland. “hi, everything’s great,” said some guy who seems to be getting very popular, and then gets arrested and killed for being too popular, which only makes him more popular. you could make a religion out of this. want silk? now you can buy it from china! they just made a brand new road to the world…or you can get there on water. “sick, new trade routes,” said india, accidentally spreading their religion to the entire southeast. hmm, that’s a good place for an epic trading kingdom. there goes buddhism, travelling up the silk road. i wonder if it’ll reach china before it collapses again. “remember the persian empire? yup,” said the persians, making a new one. axum is getting so powerful they would like to build a long stick. has anyone populated madagascar yet? let’s do it together. china is whole again…then it broke again. still can’t cross the sahara desert? try camels. “hell yeah, now we’ve got business,” said the ghana empire, selling lots of gold, and slaves. “hi i live in the roman empire and i was wondering, is loving jesus legal yet?” “no” “actually ok sure,” said constantine, moving the capitol way over here to be closer to his main rival. don’t worry about rome, it won’t fall. it’s the golden age of india. there’s the gupta empire. not chandragupta, just gupta, first name chandra, the first. guess who’s in rome? barbarians. what’s a barbarian? “non-romans,” said the romans, being invaded by non-romans. r.i.p. roman empire. or actually, just half is just fine. but it’s not in rome anymore so let’s give it a new name. the mayans have figured out the staaars. oh, and here’s a huge city, population everyone. the göktürks have taken over the entire eurasian steppe. great job, göktürks. how’s india? broken. how’s china? back together. how’s those trading kingdoms? bigger, and there’s more of them. korea has three kingdoms. japan has a kingdom, it’s the sunrise kingdom.

deep in the arabian desert, on the top of a mountain, the real god whispers in muhammad’s ear, so he goes down to the cube where everyone worships gods, and he tells them their gods are all fake. and everyone got so mad at him that he had to leave town and go to a different town. you could make a religion out of this. and maybe conquer the world as well. the roman empire is long gone, but somehow the pope is still the pope. plus there’s new kingdoms all over europe. i wonder if there’s room for moors. here’s all the wisdom, in a house. it’s the baghdad house of wisdom, just in time for the islamic golden age. “let’s bring stuff to the coast and sell it, and become the swahili on the swahili coast,” said the swahili on the swahili coast. remember this tiny space you have to go through to get from here to there? someone owns that now. wanna get enlightened in the middle of nowhere? the franks have the biggest kingdom in europe, and the pope is so proud that he invites the king over for christmas. “surprise, you’re the new roman emperor,” said the pope, pretending to still be part of the roman empire. then the franks broke their kingdom into what will later be called france and not france. the northerners, or just norse if you don’t have that much time, are exploring. they go north, from the north to the northern north, and they find some land. two types of land, and they name them accordingly. they also invade some other places and get called many names, such as vikings. there’s the rus, the kievan rus. are they vikings? “i don’t think so,” said the kievan rus. ok, fair enough. the pope is ready to make some more emperors of the roman empire, the holy roman empire. it’s actually germany but don’t worry about it. new kingdoms! christianizeallthekingdoms. which brand would you like? “mine’s better,” “mine’s better,” “mine’s better”. “time to conquer england,” said william. it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s the seljuk turks. “ahh!” said the byzantine empire, who’s getting so small it almost doesn’t exist anymore, “we need help!” they need help, so they call the pope. “hey pope, can you help us get rid of the seljuks? maybe take back the holy land on the way? come on, i know you wanna take back the holy land.” “yes, i do actually want to do that. let’s do a crusade.” crusade. they did many crusades, some of which almost didn’t fail, but at least the italians got some sweet trade deals. goodbye mayans. hello toltecs, goodbye toltecs, hello mississippi. look at those mounds. there’s the pueblo. i always wondered how to build a town in a cliff. guess who’s here? khmer. where? here, and pagan is there, and vietnam unconquered itself, korea just became itself, and japan is so addicted to art that the military might have to take over the government. china just invented bombs, and typing. and the mongols just invaded most of the universe. nice going, genghis. i bet that will last a long time! some of the islamic turks were unaffected by the mongol invasions because they were busy invading india. is it tonga time? i think it’s tonga time. i just found out where the swahili gets all their gold. look at this chad (means lake), there’s an empire there, right in the middle of africa. the king of mali is so rich he’s going on tour to let everyone know. “wow, that guy’s rich,” everyone said. the christians are doing a great job of conquering iberia which will soon be called spain and not spain. please remain christian. we will check in later to see if you are still christian when you least expect. whoops, half of europe just died. ming. china’s back, yay. hey khmer, time to share, new kingdoms here and there. oh look who controls all the islands, its the mahajapit. majahapit, mapajahit, mahapajit, mapajahit, majapahit? oh, italy’s really rich, time for them to care a lot about art and the ancient classics. it’s kinda like a rebirth. here’s a printer, lets make books. so you think you can conquer the byzantine empire? “yep,” said the ottoman turks. nice job, ottoman turks. whoops, you missed a spot; don’t forget to ban europe from the indian spice trade. “what? that’s bullshit,” said portugal, spiceless. well i guess we’ll have to find another way to india. “wait,” said christopher colombus, probably smoking crack, “if the world is round, lets go this way to india!” “nah, don’t worry we already got this,” said portugal. so chris goes to spain. “hey spain, wanna hire me to go find india by going around back of the world?”  “no.”  “please?”  “no.”  “please?”  “no.” “please?” “ok.” so he sails into the ocean, and discovers more ocean, and then discovers ‘the indies’ and ‘japan’. let’s draw a line to decide who gets which half of the world. the aztec and inca empires are off to a great start. i wonder if they know that europe just discovered their continent. the habsburgs are marrying into so many royal families they might have to start marrying each other. move over lithuania, here comes moscow. ivan wants to make russia great again. move over timurids, maybe go invade india or something. persia just made persia persian again. let’s make it the other kind of islam, the one where we thought the first guy should’ve been the other guy. hey christians, do you sin? now you can buy your way out of hell. “that’s bullshit, this whole thing is bullshit, that’s a scam, fuck the church, here’s 95 reasons why,” said martin luther, in his book which might have accidentally started the protestant reformation. “you know what would be magnificent?” said suleiman, wearing an onion hat, “what if the ottoman empire was really big, which it is now.”  “what if russia was big,” said ivan, trying not to be terrible. portugal had a dream that they controlled the entire indian ocean, including the spice trade, and then that dream was real. and spain realised that this is not india, but they pillaged it anyway. “damn,” said england and france, “we gotta start pillaging some stuff.” then the dutch revolt and all the hipsters move to amsterdam. “damn,” said amsterdam, “we gotta start pillaging some stuff.” question one: can you get to india through north america? no, but at least there’s beaver. question two: steal the spice trade. that’s not a question but the dutch did it anyway. sugar. guess where all the sugar’s made? in brazil. stolen! in the carribean, and it’s so goddamn profitable you might forget to not do slavery. the next thing on russia’s to-do list is to get bigger. britain and france are having a friendly discussion about who should control the entire world, more specifically, ohio. then it escalates into a seven year discussion, giving prussia a chance to show austria who’s boss. but what about britain and france, did they figure out who’s boss? yes they did, it’s britain. guess who’s broke? also britain. so they start taxing the hell out of america.

“fuck you,” says america, declaring their independence, and fighting for it. france helps them win, now france is broke. and britain will have to send their prisoners to a different continent. wait if france is broke, why do the king and queen still wear such fancy dresses? “let’s overthrow the palace and cut all their heads off!” said robespierre, cutting everybody’s head off until someone eventually got mad and cut his head off. you could make a reli- no don’t. haiti is starting to like the idea of a revolution, especially the slaves, who free themselves by killing their masters. “why didn’t we think of this before?” wait, who’s in charge of france now? “me,” said napoleon, trying to take over europe. luckily, they banished him to an island. but he came back. luckily, they banished him to another island. there goes latin america, becoming independent in the latin america wars of independence. britain just figured out how to turn steam into power, so now they can make many different types of machines and factories with machines in them so they can make a lot of products real fast. then they invent some trains, and conquer india and maybe put some trains there. “hey china,” said britain, “buy stuff from us.” “nah, dude we already got everything,” says china. so britain tried to get them addicted to opium, which worked actually, but then china made it illegal and dumped it all into the sea. so britain threw a hissy-fit and made them open up five cities and give them an island. britain and russia are playing a game where they try to stop each other from conquering afganistan. also the sultan of oman lives in zanzibar now, that’s just where he lives. india had a revolution, and they would like to govern themselves now. “nope,” said britain, governing them even harder than before. technology is about to go crazy. the united states finally figured out whether slavery is good or bad. “it’s bad,” they decided. and then they continued manifesting their destiny, which is to kill the rest of the natives and take their land, and maybe kick out the mexicans too. “i know, let’s rape africa,” said europe, scrambling to see who could rape it the fastest. they never got ethiopia.  britain and france are still hungry. they never got thailand. the united states ran out of destiny to manifest, so they’re looking for more. hawaii. cuba. wait spain controls cuba. “well, blame something on them and go to war! what should we blame on them? let’s blame the maine on spain!” so they blame the maine on spain. now we’re in business. to celebrate, they kick panama out of panama and make a canal, connecting the two oceans. britain just found oil in the middle east. it makes cars go. china is so tired of being bossed around that they delete their old government and make a new stronger government, which is accidentally weaker and controlled by a guy from the previous government. europe hasn’t had a war since the last war, so they start world war one. look at those guns. it’s gonna be a great war, so great we won’t need a second one. after it’s over, they blame germany. russia went on strike and the workers overthrew the government. now everyone’s paycheck is the same. communism, in the soviet union. the arabs revolt, and britain helps. now the ottoman empire is gone, so we can give the jewish people a place to live. hopefully the arabs won’t mind. “let’s cut the cake,” said sykes and picot, carving up the remains of the not-so-ottoman-anymore empire. except turkey, turkey makes a brand new turkey. and then the saudis conquer arabia. it just seemed like the right thing to do. hello? yes, it’s the 1920s calling. let’s get in a car and drive to a party and listen to the jazz on the radio and go to the movies. the economy’s great and it’ll probably be great forever. just kidding. germany’s back, featuring hitler, the angry mustache model. he’s mad at the jews for existing. japan is finally conquering the east, and they’re so excited they rape nanking way too hard. they should probably just deny it. hitler’s out of control, so the international community tackles him and tries to explain to him why killing all the jews is a bad idea, but he kills himself before they could explain it to him. that’s world war two. bonus round: pacific showdown, united states versus japan. fight! finish him. let’s unite all the nations and have some world peace. seems legit. “hi i’m gandhi and if britain doesn’t get the hell out of india i’m going to starve myself in public. wow, that worked?” bonus: now there’s pakistan. actually two pakistans. one of them can be bangladesh later. the jews and the arabs finally figured out which one of them should live in the holy land. “me”, they both said at the same time. “let’s divide up the land so everyone’s happy.” sike! they both get angrier. look out china, there’s a new china in china. what’s on the menu? communism! “no thanks,” said the other china, escaping to an island. i wonder which one is the real china. there’s the korean war, korea versus korea, nobody wins, then it’s on pause forever. let’s meet the sponsors. oh, it’s the two global superpowers. they’re having a friendly debate over which economic system is good and which is an evil virus of satan. and they both have atom bombs. fight! wait no that would be the end of the world. let’s just keep it cool and spy on each other instead. and make sure we have enough atom bombs. “i’ll race you to space. now let’s make some more countries fight themselves.” europe is tired of pillaging other continents, so the continents they were pillaging are tired of being pillaged. so here’s a new map, with new countries. now you can’t tell who they’re being pillaged by. the united states finally decided whether racism is good or bad. they decided it’s bad, and the world agrees. south africa might need another minute to think about it. let’s check the world population. woah. okay. technology’s better too, that might keep happening. the soviet union decides to relax a little and accidentally falls apart. europe makes a union, so now they can all use the same money; except britain because they don’t feel like it. let’s check the mail. surprise! it’s on the computer! whoops, someone just attacked america, i bet they’ll remember that. phone call, surprise, it’s in your pocket! wanna learn everything? surprise, it’s on the computer! now your phone’s a computer, which is in your pocket. whoops, the economy just crashed. don’t worry, the big banks won’t fail, because they’re not supposed to. surprise, flying robots! with bombs. wanna print a brain? some people have no friends. some people have no food. the globe is warming, and the ocean is full of plastic. “let’s save the planet,” said everybody, not knowing how. “let’s invent a thing inventor,” said the thing inventor inventor, after being invented by a thing inventor. that’s pretty cool. by the way, where the hell are we?

Hogwarts Headcannons
  • Give me Dean, muggleborn that he is, imitating Steve Irwin in Care of Magical Creatures class, much to everyone's confusion except for Harry and Hermione who are. On the ground. Unable to breathe. And refusing to explain why.
  • Give me Harry, demisexual that he is, realizing that the reason he can't stop obsessing over Draco is because Draco is the one who saw - and subsequently disliked - 'Harry', and not The Boy Who Lived. Realizing that Draco was the only one to first talk to him for HIM, in that robe shop, and not his parents or fame (because even Ron and Hermione did that at first). And thus, leading to him randomly starting crying in the middle of lunch and claiming he's doomed, much to everyone's fear.
  • Give me Seamus, pyro that he is, super happy one Christmas when Hermione buys him a book on fire caution, flammable materials, and elements such as magnesium. Thus afterward, the mysterious fires that have always happened are far more safe and controlled.
  • Give me Luna, wonderful airhead that she is, being stared at as, calm as anything, she waltzes right into the Slytherin common room and starts talking to the mermaids like its absolutely normal. A first year drops a book he's staring so hard, because HOW DID SHE KNOW THE PASSWORD. Draco just sighs, gets up, goes over to her, and offers her tea.
  • Give me Draco. Who looks on as Neville offers Harry rhubarb pie that he made himself, as Harry stares forlornly at his Treacle Tart, and makes and annoyed sound. "Dammit Longbottom he hates bittersweets." The Slytherins stare and Pansy just mutters "How do you even know these things. Merlin, help him realize."
  • Give me Parvati, who is being constantly mistaken for her sister by Ron, who panics and screams "IM A LESBIAN" when it gets to be too much.
  • Give me Ron, who stares wide-eyes from a distance whenever he sees Padma from that moment on for a full week, until Padma flips out too and hexes him. Parvati awkwardly wonders why Ron starts getting scared whenever she tries to approach from then on, since she knows Ron doesn't have problems due to that sort of thing from how he handles Harry.
  • Give me the thirty or so of the school's Muggle-raised, who made the mistake of showing their folks howlers, and react accordingly whenever one of the families sends one that is just a recording of Rick Astley, or High School Musical, or spoilers for Doctor Who. And the Wizard-raised just... staring... in fear... watching their savior and multiple other students as they run around screaming and crying in an absolute panic for some reason even though it was a different student that got the weird howler.
  • Give me Harry, whose hair surprises people by being dark red like his mother's when in direct sunlight. And usually at the Weasley den they're inside, but one day Harry joins them outside for a picnic, and Molly is so confused about where Harry went to then has do do a mental tally of her children.
  • Give me George, who in the midst of the final battle, hit Lucius with an Anaticula curse, so that every spell he tries makes a duck instead. And the Death Eaters are just so confused. "Lucius... is that a duck?"
  • Give me the Gryffindor common room. The new first years suggest Monopoly for game night. The entire room goes dead silent. One first year tries to ask what they did wrong. "Never mention that game again," is the only response they get. "But why-" "NEVER TALK ABOUT SIXTH YEAR. WE NEVER TALK ABOUT SIXTH YEAR." Their brave upperclassman Neville yells, trembling. Hermione starts crying. Harry goes into a panic attack. Ron whispers, "There are many reasons we don't talk about sixth year. If The Incident had been the only thing that happened, we would only not talk about The Incident. Many things happened that year. Thus, we do not speak of that year, or of that game."
  • Give me McGonagall, who struggles to control the cat population, because while students are told to have their cats fixed you know not all 100 students that brought cats did so. Her curling up around a litter that lost their mother to illness. Training them to stalk the corridors. Albus had his ways of getting information, and hers is the spy network of cats.
  • Give me muggleborns singing everything from Phantom of the Opera to Katy Perry in the corridors. Singing We Will Rock You to a pureblood who disses them for it. The purebloods thinking the weird songs and their tunes are some kind of Rite of Passage and fleeing whenever a muggleborn student starts singing. Altering song lyrics. "I throw my ferret in the air some-times, singin EEEEEEEYO, this is DRAAAAAACO!"
  • Give me muggleborns that are really confused about the whole quill instead of pens things, throwing transfigured pokeballs in Care of Magical Creatures, the band students bringing kazoos and harmonicas and the wizrd-raised students that are just so confused as to how those things even work, because it must be some sort of air magic, right??
  • Give me muggleborns making entire conversations out of pop culture references specifically to confuse some Slytherin who just called one girl a Mudblood. "These are not the droids you were looking for." "I'm right on top of that now Rose, I promise." -jazz hands-
  • Give me muggleborns with Patronus that are things like Pikachu, velociraptors, the quiet Canadian transfer student with a moose patronus the size of a SMALL HOUSE, the one whose is a angeled-out Castiel, the one whose patronus is the democrat donkey and another the republican elephant and the two, previously best friends, become mortal enemies rivaling the fame of Harry and Draco.
  • Give me muggleborns hugging each other before break, promising to 'call' each other, trading weird codes, how they can't wait to go for 'sushi' or planning that trip together to 'disneyland' where they can go flying?? But no one's allowed magic?? Or flying?? And the wizard-raised think that somehow, shockingly,<i> these children totally new to our world have developed a way to cheat the system?? Muggleborns are badasses!!</i>
  • Give me muggleborns who are fully aware that the anti-tech wards were made when, like, radios barely even existed, much less cellphone towers and microprocessors, so while they can't turn them on inside the stone school walls there's this group that Harry joins constantly that just sit there in silence staring at these tiny things and sometimes randomly laughing hysterically, and every now and then standing and just running all the way across to the other side of the lake all at the same time with no signal whatsoever. The purebloods are <i>terrified</i> of this frequent happening.
  • Give me Harry, Hermione, Dean, and Justin from the D.A, muggleborns they are, doing a movie night every week to help the D.A. relax and bond. They re-start this after the battles, during eighth year, with several other people such as the returned Slytherins joining in. The entire year they play things like Tangled, The Breakfast Club, Brave, Lion King. But then the last four weeks, they announce they don't want to mislead everyone that everything is all fun and rainbows. The last four movies are My Sister's Keeper, The Shining, Marley and Me, and for the last week, a marathon of the entire Jurassic Park series.
  • Give me Hufflepuffs, who secretly are very relieved to be the 'normal' House. Jocks over there, know-it-alls over there, goth wannabees over there, now lets go camp out by the kitchens we're gonna need it to survive the next seven years like this.
  • Give me Ravenclaws who are so done with the riddles when they stumble back at midnight after having fallen asleep in the Library. "What's the truth?" "THE TRUTH IS THAT I WILL SET YOU ON FIRE IF YOU DON'T LET ME IN."
  • Give me the Trio, who use the Marauder's Map to find the most absolutely ridiculous routes to class, knowing every single one of the shortcuts. It's not odd for them to simply appear out of the ceiling. One day the new first years try to follow them, to learn the school better, but it doesn't go so well because then they try to go through a disappearing wall the Trio just did they instead run headfirst into it, and the next time they do behind a tapestry, down a waterside, around some sort of tower, causally past an entire doorless room full of bats, and somehow come out on the complete other side of the castle.
  • Give me Draco whose just completely had it with Harry's staring and confronts him, like they always do, and Harry just blurts out that he likes Draco's new haircut and can he touch his hair, and Draco so shocked he lets him. "Potter stop treating me like a cat I'm evil remember? Bloody hell have you gone daft?!" "But... it's soft..." "I hate you." But he just can't find any anger over this, so there's like no venom whatsoever in it and Harry can't stop giggling.
  • Give me Ginny, who can't stop giggling as Luna confuses the fuck out of an entire crowd with her way of speaking, and who during seventh year could 100% get away with insulting the Death Eaters because of the way she said things. Who after Luna used said tactic to get her out of a Crucio punishment just clung to Luna, shaking, and realizing that she loves Luna so much for this very reason. That there will never be another person like Luna in her life, ever.
  • Give me Harry, who was not really well educated while living at the Dursleys, who couldn't read very well but was wonderful at sneaking around, little tricks like hiding things, and loved music. He taught himself magic tricks, and MERLIN ALMIGHTY THIS 11 YEAR OLD KID HAS MASTERED VANISHING SPELLS, WHAT, HOW, and Percy, uptight prefect he is, just looses it.
  • Give me Ron walking in on Harry talking to some random snake in their dorm room, laughing like the snake said a particularly good joke, tipping his head and smiling as he responds, the python slowly curling up his arm to rest over his shoulder. Ron freezes, stares, and then slowly backs away, closes the door and stands there staring at it for a full half hour in absolute horror.
  • Give me the rest of the D.A. walking into the Room of Requirement and hearing screaming, Dean shrieking that he's going to murder someone, Hermione crying, Justin cursing like a sailor yelling for everyone to stop, and the rest panic and run around the corner and there the four Muggle-raised students are. With some sort of odd device in their hands. Playing Mario Kart.
Zuko’s Redemption Arc:

“Growing up, we were taught that the Fire Nation was the greatest civilization in history, and somehow, the war was our way of sharing our greatness with the rest of the world. What an amazing lie that was. The people of the world are terrified by the Fire Nation. They don’t see our greatness. They hate us, and we deserve it. We’ve created an era of fear in the world.”

Can we just talk about how impressive this was and how well-written it was? I know I like to do a lot of critiquing meta, but I’m gonna do a positive one today. Zuko facing his father was a scene the entire series built up towards. Throughout the first two seasons, Zuko’s father is shrouded in mystery, and you only hear about him through the menacing memories Zuko holds, and the impersonal impression the world has of his tyrannical reign. But, in the third book, you are shown Fire Lord Ozai, and he isn’t this grotesque, horrific sight: he looks exactly like Zuko, but without a scar- older. That was a clever buildup and character design. 

But, this scene never ceases to amaze me, nor does Zuko’s character arc. Zuko has been abused so severely. He’s been beaten down from his upbeat, lively, natural self that we see when he is little. When he is thirteen, and goes to the war meeting, we see a little boy who, despite the trauma of losing his mother, and being abused by his dad, is still eager, optimistic, loving, social, and confident. After his banishment, he becomes repressed, pessimistic, cold, more aloof, and painfully insecure, masked with arrogance that is expected in his culture. 

Zuko has been locked in a palace with no interaction with any peers, or anyone his age, or anyone at all- except Azula’s little friends who were strung along into tormenting him, his mother, and from time-to-time: his uncle and adult cousin. He has been stripped of every ounce of confidence and optimism he had, yet his loving nature still shone through in the series. We could always tell that Zuko was repressing his sensitivity, and that he could not bring himself to cut off entirely his strong sense of empathy that got him into the situation of banishment in the first place. Ozai hated Zuko for his empathy, that was weak to the imperial Fire Nation. But, Zuko was bursting with it. He and Azula, have always possessed prowess in emotional intelligence, just in different aspects and choices of execution that parallel.  Ozai perferred what Azula did with it. Nothing was weaker than compassion, and Zuko held it innately in his personality. We see it when he speaks with characters even before his redemption. When he interacts with his uncle we see it the most, when he just knows what his uncle is thinking and feeling before he even says it, even when he saves his crew, when he spares Zhao, when he helps Song, when he helps Lee and his family, when he opens up his heart to Katara, when his true, repressed nature comes to light when he frees Appa, when he overcomes his social anxiety from his abuse and palace sheltering and comes out with kindness to Jin- all of it. 

And, Zuko finally speaks his mind to this man who cast him aside like he was nothing. This is the most difficult thing for an abuse victim to do. And, Zuko comes to a full realization through his abuse and struggles. He now realizes that he had been brainwashed by his culture- his father. His father hurt him, Zuko realizes he mustn’t blame himself. It’s his father, and it is his people who are hurting the world. This is a revelation wise beyond Zuko’s years, and not oft-noted enough the amount of intelligence, maturity, courage, and of course: honor this took. Zuko took out his father, not with a lightning bolt, but with swift eloquence and concise truths of humanity Zuko has, deep down, known all along. 

Zuko deserves more credit. He overcame so much. He won, in the end. He overcame all his hardships, and got love. He gained back his confidence, and blossomed socially, gaining friends, something Azula never could do, and he accepted himself, something Azula too, could never do, and he regained his sense of hope for the world and optimism, something Azula could never hold. These parallels were so fascinating, showing two sides of what abuse can do, and how you can choose your own fate with your own actions, in spite of your maltreatment. 

Zuko deserves more credit. 

which is why the comics infuriate me for regressing on this, and the other characters arcs HUH HEMM, but this is a positive meta

Taken for Granted (pt 3)

As Namjoon closed the door behind him, he stood by the entrance, snickering to himself. “Her? Liking me? Wahh” he said silently to himself. He wasn’t sure what it was he was feeling now, but he couldn’t stop smiling. “As if I’d like her?” he said again to himself.

“Hyung what are you doing by yourself there?” Jungkook asked curiously.

“Huh? Oh nothing” Namjoon said, flustered.


(One week later)

“Hey guys, Y/N isn’t coming today! Looks like it’s just us tonight” Jin said, filling his voice through the dorm.

“Awh, whyyy” Taehyung asked, coming out of the living room.

“She said she’s sick” Jin said with a frown.

“Let’s go there then! We can bring her food” Taehyung said, excitedly.

“Yah, if she’s sick she should just rest. She can’t be taking care of you guys too” Jin scolded.

Taehyung walked back to the living room with his head held down. He was looking forward to watching the movie you two had discussed a few weeks ago, but it looks like it would have to wait another week. 

Namjoon meanwhile, listened to everything silently from the dining table. “That’s weird, she never falls sick…” he said to himself. 

“What’s that? Couldn’t hear you” Hoseok said, sitting across from him,

“oh, no it’s nothing” Namjoon said.

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Happy Tuesday.

I’m calling it “Yurio Catches Puberty” as a working title. (PG for swearing and puberty.) (Warning for body image stuff, very minor.) 

***

“WHEN WILL THIS BE OVER?”

The scream of anguish from the rink’s locker room shower made Yuuri look up sharply. He’d only arrived in St. Petersburg yesterday, but this couldn’t be normal, even if nobody else seemed to be paying the slightest attention.

“AUGH!”

It was definitely Yurio.

“Yurio?” he started to ask, but Georgi clapped a hand over his mouth.

“Don’t engage,” he hissed.

Yuuri looked at him, wide-eyed.

“What’s going on?” he whispered, as Yurio began a steady, at least quieter stream of cursing in Russian, then English, then Japanese that Yuuri definitely hadn’t taught him.

“Puberty,” Georgi said.

Yuuri blinked. “Puberty?” he asked.

Georgi gave him a disgusted look. “Of course,” he mumbled to himself. “The golden boy didn’t suffer puberty…”

He wandered off, now also cursing, and Yuuri had ten seconds of silence before Yurio kicked the shower door open and strode out, towel around his waist.

(There is a readmore below! Read more!)

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rule breakers. (m)

based on the prompt, “best friend’s sibling au”
drabbles

pairing: kim taehyung | reader
genre: fluff, light smut
warnings: slight voyeurism
word count: 20,453
description: there’s some unresolved history involving your best friend’s brother… but hey, maybe some rules are meant to be broken.
author’s note: i get inspired by the oddest little tidbits, and i swear the word count was supposed to be half the amount you see up there. also, say hello to the longest one-shot i’ve done so far.

Originally posted by kths

You have one of the greatest fortunes to be acquainted with the Kims in your first year of primary education, and perhaps it’s what has led you to one of your greatest downfalls (but we’ll get into that later on).

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episode two :: Yuri realizes, suddenly and terribly, he might be a little bit in love.  


Victor doesn’t even try to go to sleep.  He just lays in bed with his laptop, watching the thirty-seven takes of Yuuri trying to get “hi, I’m Yuuri Katsuki, and I’m the Bachelor” out of his mouth.

Don’t they know who I am?” Yuuri slurs on screen.  

Yuuri, you have to put the champagne bottle down, you have to pretend to be sober,” Phichit says off camera, all authority gone from his voice.  He’s trying not to laugh.

Phichit,” Yuuri says, and he takes a big swig from the bottle, bubbles pouring down both sides of his lips. “You can’t tell me what to do.  I’m Yuuri Katsuki, and I’m the motherfucking Bachelor.

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How to Successfully Adopt a Lifestyle Change

Not a diet. Diet implies temporary, and what we need to do is form a set of new, sustainable habits for the rest of our life.

A lot of you probably have a daydream of taking a black, billowy trash bag and planning a SWAT-style assault on your fridge and cupboards and then setting fire to the dumpster you hurl it into. Naturally, you’ll dash over to the grocery store and purchase a ton of strange-looking foods you don’t regularly eat, or never eat! Then you’ll slap on a pair of shiny new shoes and go run a 5K. This works for–some people. Honestly, few people.

The reality for many people; however, is they get off their foray after a few weeks. Why is that?

Think about it. How long did it take you to really get into the groove of your current habits? Months? Years? If you’re trying to simultaneously kiss soda and chip’s ass good-bye, change every bite of food you eat, and start a fitness routine. Guess what? Stress, stress, stress! Your stomach was used to those portion sizes (whether too large or too small) and some of your favorite snacks, your brain is literally addicted to it. A lot of people will reach nuclear meltdown levels trying to transition to a healthy lifestyle this way.

Just like it took you time to form your current habits, it’s going to take some time to form your new habits. I truly do empathize with the feelings of wanting everything to be different right now, but realistically we can only handle a certain amount of stressors and change at one time.

Start With Nutrition Habits: While I really would recommend finding a few cheeky ways to get more active, you’ve probably heard some variant of “can’t outrun your fork,” or “it’s 80% nutrition.” Well, it really is true. Being more active is absolutely crucial to improving overall health in the “endgame,”  but we’re still playing the “tutorial” and the dietary aspects of our lifestyle change are the bulk of the impact. It goes beyond that, though. I’ve written more about it here, but being a beginner can be genuinely hard at times!  It takes a lot of time and effort to get oneself to a point where they can physically and mentally handle what entails “regular, moderate exercise.” One part of making that transition easier will be better nutrition and hydration.

Start With an Easy Target: I always tell people if they drink a lot of soda, juice, or sweetened tea/coffee to start here. Sugar provides us pretty much no nutrition and removing the pulp from fruit makes juice not that great for us, either. Drinking more water is not negotiable and replacing these beverages with water will do a surprising amount of good for how you feel–all by itself. I recognize how hard this one can be to kick, but sweetened beverages really do load many people’s lifestyles with a lot of bad juju.

If you don’t have a beverage problem, maybe you do have a condiment/dressing problem and can reduce the quantities and find alternatives. Maybe you party-hardy a little too much and need to cut down on alcohol. While I said “easy target,” no one said it would be that easy, but you probably have an idea where most of these so called “empty” nutrients are coming from.

Transition Bad Habits a Few at a Time: The opening of this probably already made it clear, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. You probably have an idea of what some of your most problematic habits are, so choose one; maybe two, and see how you adjust over a week or two before considering the next step.

Small Swaps: Start switching out various items in your pantries, fridges, and lunchboxes with simple alternatives. Change white breads, rices, and pastas to brown. Take the bag of chips from your lunch and turn it into a few servings of seasonal fruit and vegetables. Pick out a leaner cut of meat and use a little less dairy, if you eat them. Little changes can have massive results.

Learn Moderation: Remember that whole sustainable part at the very beginning? Our lifestyles do need to reflect our real lives. Well, my real life has a love of chocolates, pastries, and candies. So, it’s not realistic for me to say “no chocolate, pastries, or candies.” Food molarity can be a pretty toxic outlook on eating and life in general. Instead of labeling foods as “bad,” just learn and respect the limits. There are times where you have to say, “enough, is enough,” but living in a constant state of “no” is not realistic or mentally healthy for most people. It’s OK to love indulgent food. Think about how long your life is going to be. So, now think about how dinky an occasional treat will be in retrospect.

Depending on Your Struggles, Consider Therapy: As we know, many aspects of unhealthy eating habits are actually unhealthy mental habits. Depending on the severity and exact nature of those problems, never be embarrassed to seek professional help. I struggled with stress eating and even binge eating for most of my adolescence, and finally getting help for my anxiety disorder played a pretty crucial role in improving both my physical and mental health. If it’s not a possibility at this time, consider journaling.

Walk Before Your Run: Literally and figuratively. I’m going to recommend this previous post I recently wrote again, but when you’ve gotten a few habits cracked and feel like you’re ready to start amping up your activity, start with low impact and low equipment exercises. If it has been years, or if you’ve never exercised, it takes some easing into it. I recommend walking to all beginners because we already know how to do it, have what we need to do it, and probably won’t hurt ourselves.

So, there you have it. Tackle small challenges and get your body acclimated to them before you consider some of the overarching and holistic goals you have for your lifestyle. That said, we’re all different. If you still want to try and do that 180-flip, I can’t stop you and some people are successful that way. No two people or personality types have the exact same problems or strategy for overcoming them. However, if you’ve gotten frustrated and thrown in the towel a time or two, consider the scope of change and how to realistically implement it over a period of time.  We didn’t form our old habits overnight.

i need me some jealous kara in my life, so of course i did what any person would’ve done and came with a bunch of headcanons to satisfy my own needs because that’s what self care is all about.

  • it all starts one afternoon, they’re downtown in one of lena’s favorite restaurants and kara’s talking excitedly about the new article she’s writing when lena’s phone goes off. usually when they’re together lena ignores it, she always says it’s business associates and insists they can wait but this time lena sees the name on the screen and smiles widely, “oh it’ll be just a minute kara, sorry” kara nods, motions her to go ahead and tries to focus on her pasta until she hears lena giggling “i can’t wait to see you! it’s been, what? six years?” something inside kara twitches. who is she talking to? most importantly who is making her smile like that?! that’s usually her thing. lena keeps talking to whoever is at the other end of the line as if she’s not there, beaming, chuckling… kara’s always believed herself to be someone non violent (for most the time) but she’s now wishing she could grab lena’s phone, throw it to the ground and break it.
  • turns out, lena says to her when they’re on the car ride back to l–corp, that one of her dearest friends from boarding school is planning a visit to national city and called her to see if they could get together, “her name is molly, we were together on science club and we hit it off right away,” kara knows it’s irrational to feel so… heated at the thought of lena hanging out with someone else because damn, she’s her own person and she’s allowed to have as many friends as she’d like but… it makes her extremely uncomfortable to think about lena laughing with someone that is not her. “i have to admit i had a little bit of a crush on her when we were younger,” and kara doesn’t know molly, has never seen her and certainly has no interest in doing it so but she already hates her.
  • “and then she said,” it’s game night, james and winn have paused mortal kombat to listen to her angry rant and alex is staring at her with wide eyes, beer in hand. “oh i used to have a crush on her, as if it’s the most trivial thing on the universe, did you know she was supposed to come tonight? i promised i would let her win at mario kart, but no! molly’s plane lands today and she called to say—i’m so sorry kara, i can’t make it, i’m gonna go pick her up, maybe some other time? can’t molly call herself an uber? does she really need to have lena’s attention all to herself? gosh it makes me so upset someone would be so selfish.” winn opens and closes his mouth a few times, not sure if he should say anything about the whole situation, james and alex are looking at each other, silently deciding on who should be the first to talk until finally alex breaks the silence. “kara… you don’t even know this molly person, didn’t you also say her and lena hand’t seen each other for years? it’s normal that they want to spend time with each other, catch up with what’s been going on in their lives.” kara crosses her arms over her chest and angrily stares out the window, she wants to bury her face on ice cream because though she knows alex is right she still wants to deck molly in the face.
  • lena is never late, if anything she’s always early to arrive to their lunch dates, but for the first time in months, lena luthor is fifteen minutes late and kara’s getting impatient, maybe she got caught up on work and didn’t see the hour, maybe she had to sign some contracts before leaving, maybe… maybe… she tries and call her twice but she doesn’t answer and that’s when kara gets worried, what if something happened to her? what if while she was on her way someone stopped her and hurt her? she’s tempted to alert the deo, tell them to search for lena’s location when she enters the restaurant a little breathless and with her hair disheveled. “kara i am sorry!” she sits down across from her and takes out her coat, “molly came over to my office and we started to talk, i didn’t mean to keep you waiting.” kara’s face goes dark. it’s wednesday, this is supposed to be their day, their afternoon, their time to be with one another without people interrupting and of course molly had to come and ruin it. “did you know molly has a motorbike? she dropped me off!” oh amazing, molly owes a motorbike, so does half the population of national city, she’s nothing especial. kara doesn’t feel like eating anymore and ends up leaving early. 
  • she’s punching one of the walls at the deo repeatedly, each punch harsher than the last. her knuckles feel on fire but it’s working wonders to get her mind off lena and her new best friend molly whom today decided to invite her to the beach. “what is wrong with her?” winn whispers to alex almost scared of kara’s sudden display of anger, alex shrugs and tell him she has no idea since kara refuses to talk with anyone about it. “she’s jealous,” j’onn says without looking up from the file he’s holding and both of them open their mouths in surprise. “psychic, remember?” 
  • “have i done something to upset you?” lena asks with her cheeks red in embarrassement and her voice breaking, “you’ve been avoiding me for weeks, yesterday you cancelled our lunch date because you said you had a lot of stuff to do but then you uploaded a picture on instagram with james in your pajamas eating popcorn. look kara, i know we all need our space sometimes but i’d rather hear the truth than finding out via social media that you’re lying to me.” she sounds so hurt and she’s almost on the verge of tears, kara feels awful she didn’t mean to make her feel bad, she was just tired of hearing her talk about molly and how amazing she was every single time they got together. “you want the truth?” lena nods eagerly and kara tries, she does, to keep her composure when she catches the necklace lena’s wearing… gold with rose pendant. “that is pretty,” she points to it and lena grabs it between her hands, “thank you! molly gave it to me yesterday.” kara feels her fist tighten. 
  • “well the truth is that molly is annoying,” she says standing up from her place and lena’s eyes widen. “yes, she’s annoying and she’s keeping you all to herself. it’s almost as she’s holding you captive! she’s taking you to the beach and to that art gallery i was going to take you, you are eating potstickers with her, lena, that’s our thing!” there’s no going back now… “and she’s… she’ probably ugly too—oh she has a motorcycle, how original! you know what lena, i can fly! i could fly you from here to paris in less than an hour, i bet molly can’t do that. you know what else i can do? lift you up, with one finger probably, can molly lift you up? no i don’t think she can. does she let you win at mario kart?! she doesn’t, huh, does she even know how to play mario kart, does she?!” 
  • lena looks at her in disbelief before she bursts out laughing and kara lets out a groan, “it’s not funny lena! i am much more interesting that molly will ever be and i’m—mphm!” lena’s kissing her, her cold hands are tangling themselves in her hair and she’s pulling her impossibly close and kara feels like she’s floating. for the first three seconds she doesn’t respond, but as soon as lena slips a warm tongue into her mouth her body reacts and she’s grabbing her everywhere. her face, her neck, her waist, her ass, lena gasps and they break apart. “sorry, i didn’t mean to… i just wanted to… you see this wasn’t what i had planned,” kara looks to the ground but it’s not for long because lena is grabbing her chin, making her look into her eyes and she melts. 
  • “love… i can’t believe you were jealous of molly.” kara clicks her tongue almost offended, she was not jealous of molly, she’s about to say it, to assure lena she doesn’t feel such childish emotion when lena gives her a small peck on the lips and her train of thought is stopped. “she’s married… and has two kids!” kara wants to hide under lena’s desk for the rest of the evening.

psychic: reads my mind
me: hi, you’re on a rock floating in space. pretty cool, huh? some of it’s water. fuck it. actually, most of it’s water. i can’t even get from here to there without buying a boat. it’s sad. i’m sad. i miss you.
HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?
a long time ago… actually, never. and also now. nothing is nowhere. when? never. makes sense, right? like i said, it didn’t happen. nothing was never anywhere. that’s why it’s been everywhere. it’s been so “everywhere,” you don’t need a “where.” you don’t even need a “when.” that’s how “every” it gets.
forget this. i wanna be something. go somewhere. do something. i want things to change. i want to invent time and space. and i know it’s possible because everything is here, and it probably already happened. i just don’t know when to start.
and that’s exactly where it started.
big bang— pause
woah. i paused it. i think there’s a universe now. what’s it made of? quarks and stuff. ah, that’s a thing! in a place! don’t like it? try a new place, at a different Time™. try to stick together, because the world is gonna get bigger and emptier. but it’s not empty yet! it’s still very full, and about a kjghpillion degrees.
about no seconds later
great news! the quarks are now happily married in groups of three, called a “proton” and a “neutron.” and there’s something else flying around that wants to join in, but can’t cause it’s too HOT.
ten minutes later
great news! the protons and neutrons are now happily married to each other! some of them even doubled up.
about 380,000 years later
great news! the electrons have now joined in. congratulations! the world is now… a bunch of gas in space. but it’s getting closer together…
ten million years later
and it’s getting closer together…
500 million years later
and it’s getting closer togeth—
star is born
it’s a star
new shit just got made!
some stars burn out and die. bigger stars burn out and die with passion! and make some brand new way crazier shit.
space dust!
which allows for newer and more interesting stars to be made, and then die and explode into even crazier space dust!
so now, stars have cool stuff around them, like rocks, ice, and funny clouds, which can make some very interesting things. like this ball of flaming rocks, for example.
meteor hits earth
holy shit, we just got hit by another ball of flaming rocks. and it kind of… made a mess. which is now the moon
weather update: it’s raining rocks from outer space.
weather update: those rocks might’ve had water inside of them and now there’s hot steam in the sky.
weather update: cooler temperatures today and the floor is no longer lava.
weather update… it’s raining.
severe flooding alert, the entire world is now an ocean.
volcano alert.
that’s land!
there'slifeintheocean
what?
something’s alive in the ocean
oh, cool. like a plant, or an animal? no! a microscopic speck. it lives in the bottom of the ocean and eats chemical soup, which is being served hot and fresh, made from gnarly space ingredients left over from when it was raining rocks or whatever.
microscopic speck asexually reproduces
oh yeah, and it can do that.
reproduces three more times
it has secret instructions written inside itself telling it how to build another one of itself. so that’s pretty nifty, i would say.
tired of living at the bottom of the ocean?
now you can eat sunlight!
using a revolutionary technique, you can convert sunlight into food.
taste the sun!
side effect, now there’s oxygen everywhere and the sky is blue.
then the earth might’ve been a snowball for a while. maybe even a couple of times.
it’s a sponge… it’s a plant… it’s a worm, and some other types of weird strange water bugs and strange fish.
it’s the Cambrian explosion: “wow, that’s animals and stuff”
but we’re still in the ocean. hey, can we go on land?
NO
why?
the sun is a deadly laser
oh okay.
not anymore, there’s a blanket
now the animals can go on land. come on, animals, let’s go on land!
“nope, can’t walk yet.”
“and there’s no food yet, so i don’t care.”
100 million years later
okay, will you learn to walk if there’s plants up here?
“maybe,” said some bugs. and fish.
fish gasps for air
five million years later
okay, so i can go on land, but i have to go back in the water to have babies!
idea: learn to use an egg.
“i was already doing that”
use a stronger egg. put water in it. have a baby, on land, in an egg. water is in the egg. baby, in the egg, in the water, in the egg.
works for me. bye bye ocean
50 million years later
and now everything’s huge. including bugs.
wanna see a map of the land? sure.
Permian extinction
oh, fuck, now everything’s dead.
just kidding, here are the survivors. keep your eye on this one, because it’s about to become
75 million years later
the dinosaurs.
here’s another map of the land. yeah, it broke apart. don’t worry about it, it does that all the time. here comes a meteor.
meteor strikes
and the dinosaurs are gone
it’s mammal time, here come the mammals. look at those breasts.
now they’re gonna dominate the world, but one of them just learned how to grab stuff. and walk. no, like, walk like that. and grab stuff at the same time. and bang rocks together to make pointed rocks.
“ouch”
and set things on fire.
“yeouch”
and make crazy sounds with their voice:
“gneurshk”
which can mean different things.
that’s a human person!
and now they’re everywhere. almost.
ice age!
what? you can walk over here? cool.
not anymore
well i guess we’re stuck here now.
let’s review: there’s people on the planet. and they’re chasing their food.
fuck it. time to plant some grass.
look at this. i get to control the food now. now everyone will want to be my friend and live near me. let’s all build houses, except mine is bigger because i own the food.
this is great! i wonder if anyone else is doing this.
tired of using rocks for everything? use metal. it’s underground.
better farming was just invented in a sweet dank valley right in between these two rivers, and the animals are helping.
guess what happens next?
more food. and more people, who came to buy the food. now you need people to help make the food and keep track of the sales. and now you need houses for people to live in and people to make the houses and now there’s more people and they invent things which makes things better and more people come and there’s more farming and more people to make more things for more people and now there’s business, money, writing, laws, power,
Society
coming soon to a dank river valley near you.
meanwhile, out in the middle of nowhere, the horse is probably being tamed.
why is all my metal so lame and lumpy?
tired of using lame, sad metal? introducing: bronze. made from special ingredient tin from the far lands of Tin Land. i dunno, my dealer won’t tell me where he gets it. also, guess what?
egypt
meanwhile, out in the middle of nowhere, they figured out how to put wheels on a horse. now we’re getting somewhere. also,
china
and did i mention
indus river valley civilization
society count: 5

norte chico
the middle east is getting more complicated. maybe because it’s in the middle of the east.
knock knock, er, clop clop. it’s the… people with the horses? and they made an empire. and then everyone else copied their horses.
greeks!
ah look, it must be the greeks! er, a beta version of the greeks.
let’s check in with the indus river valley civilization: they’re gone. guess who’s not gone? china.
new arrivals from india… maybe it’s those horse people i was talking about… or their cousins or something…
and they wrote some hymns and mantras and stuff…
you could make a religion out of this.
there’s the bronze age collapse.
now the phoenicians can get down to business
also, can we switch to a metal that’s a little easier to find? thanks.
look who came back to israel, it’s the twelve tribes of israel.
and they believe in God
just one though, and he’s got like a ten-step program.
here’s some huge heads. must be the olmecs.
the phoenicians make some colonies. the greeks copy their idea and make some colonies. the phoenicians made a colony so big it makes colonies.
here comes the assyrian empire. never mind, it’s the babyloni— media—
it’s the Persian Empire: “wow, that’s big”
enlightenment
ah, the buddha was just enlightened. who’s the buddha? this guy, who sat under a tree for so long that he figured out how to ignore the fact that we’re all dying. you could make a religion out of this.
oops, china just broke. but while it was breaking, confucius was figuring out how to have good morals.
enlightenment
ah, the greeks just had the idea of thinking about stuff.
and right over here, alexander just had the idea of conquering the entire persian empire. it’s a great idea. he was… great. and now he’s dead. hopefully, the rest of the gang will be able to share the empire evenly between them.
knock knock, it’s chandragupta. he says “get the hell out of here. will you get the hell out of here if i give you 500 elephants? okay, thanks, bye”
time to conquer all of india
er
most of india
but what about this part? that’s the tamil kings. no one conquers the tamil kings. who are the tamil kings? merchants, probably. and they’ve gotspices!
who would like to buy the spices? “me!” said the arabians, swiftly buying it and selling it to the rest of the world.
hey, china put itself back together again, with good morals as their main philosophy. actually, they have three main philosophies:
confucianism: have good morals
taoism: go with the flow
legalism: fuck you, obey the law
out here, the horse nomads run wild and free, and they would like to ransack your city.
nomads ransack china
let’s check the greekification levels of the greekified kingdoms: greekification overload.bye, said the parthians. bye, said the jews. hi, said the parthians, taking over the entire place.
heyyyyy, said the romans, eating the entire mediterranean for breakfast. “thanks for invading our homeland,” said the jews, who were starting to get tired of people invading their homeland.
“hi, everything’s great,” said some guy who seems to be getting very popular and is then arrested and killed for being too popular, which actually makes him more popular. you could make a religion out of this.
want silk? now you can buy it from china. they just made a brand new road to the world.
conquers vietnam
or you can get there on water
“sick! new trade routes!” said india, accidentally spreading their religion to the entire southeast.
hmm, that’s a good place for an epic trading kingdom.
there goes buddhism, travelling up the silk road. i wonder if it’ll reach china before it collapses again.
remember the persian empire? yep, said the persians, making a new one.
axum is getting so powerful, they would like to build a long stick.
has anyone populated madagascar yet? let’s do it together.
china is whole again…
…then it broke again
still can’t cross the sahara desert? try camels.
“hell yeah! now we’ve got business,” said the ghana empire, selling lots of gold. and slaves.
“hi, i’m a member of the roman empire, and i was wondering
is loving jesus legal yet?”
“no”
“actually, okay sure,” said constantine, moving the capital way over here to be closer to his main rival. don’t worry about rome, it won’t fall.
it’s the golden age of india
there’s the gupta empire, not chandragupta, just gupta. first name chandra. the first.
guess who’s in rome? barbarians. what’s a barbarian? “non-romans,” said the romans, being invaded by non-romans. r.i.p. roman empire. actually just half of it, the other half is just fine, but it’s not in rome anymore, so let’s give it a new name.
the mayans have figured out the stars
oh, and here’s a huge city, population: everyone.
the göktürks have taken over the entire eurasian steppe. great job, göktürks.
how’s india? broken. how’s china? back together.
how’s those trading kingdoms? bigger, and there’s more of them.
korea has three kingdoms. japan has a kingdom, it’s the sunrise kingdom.
intermission
deep in the arabian desert, on the top of a mountain, the real god whispers in muhammad’s ear. so, he goes down to the cube where everyone worships gods and he tells them their gods are all fake. and everyone got so mad at him that he had to leave town and go to a different town. you could make a religion out of this, and maybe conquer the world as well.
the roman empire is long gone, but somehow the pope is still the pope. plus, there’s new kingdoms all over europe. i wonder if there’s room for moors.
here’s all the wisdom. in a house. it’s the baghdad house of wisdom! just in time for the islamic golden age!
“let’s bring stuff to the coast and sell it, and become the swahili on the swahili coast,” said the swahili on the swahili coast.
remember this tiny space you have to go through to get from here to there? someone owns that now.
wanna get enlightened in the middle of nowhere?
the franks have the biggest kingdom in europe, and the pope is so proud that he invites the king over for christmas. “surprise! you’re the new roman emporer!” said the pope, pretending to still be part of the roman empire. then the franks broke their kingdom into what will later be called france and not-france.
the northerners, er, just “norse” if you don’t have much time, are exploring. they go north, from the north to the northern north. and they find some land— two types of land!— and they name them accordingly.
prankd
they also invade some other places and get called many names, such as “vikings.”
there’s the rus! the kievan rus! are they vikings? “i don’t think so,” said the kievan rus. okay, fair enough.
the pope is ready to make some more emperors of the roman empire. the holy roman empire! it’s actually germany, but don’t worry about it. new kingdoms—
CRISTIANIZE ALL THE KINGDOMS!!
which brand would you like?
“mine’s better”
“mine’s better”
“mine’s better”
“time to conquer england,” said william.
it’s a bird! it’s a plane! it’s the seljuk turks!
“aah!” said the byzantine empire, who’s getting so small and almost doesn’t exist anymore. “we need help!” they need help! so they call the pope.
“hey pope, can you help us get rid of the seljuks? maybe take back the holy land on the way? come on, i know you want to take back the holy land.”
“yes, i do actually want to do that. let’s do a crusade.”
crusade!
they did many crusades. some of which almost didn’t fail. but at least the italians got some sweet trade deals.
goodbye mayans. hello toltecs! goodbye toltecs. hello mississippi! look at those mounds.
there’s the pueblo. i always wondered how to build a town in a cliff.
guess who’s here? khmer. where? here! and pagan is there. vietnam unconquered itself, korea just became itself, and japan is so addicted to art that the military might have to take over the government.
china just invented bombs, and typing. and the mongols just invaded most of the universe. nice going, genghis! i bet that will last a long time.
some of the islamic turks were unaffected by the mongol invasions because they were busy invading india.
is it tonga time? i think it’s tonga time.
i just figured out where the swahili gets all of their gold.
look at this chad! it means “lake.” there’s an empire there! right in the middle of africa!
the king of mali is so rich, he’s going on tour to let everyone know. “wow, that guy’s rich,” everyone said.
the christians are doing a great job reconquering iberia, which will soon be called spain and not-spain. please remain christian. we will check in later to see if you’re still christian when you least expect.
whoops, half of europe just died.
ming! china’s back, yay!
hey, khmer. time to share. new kingdoms, here and there.
oh, look who controls all of the islands. it’s the mahajapit.
majahapit.
mapajahit.
mahapajit.
mapajahit.
ma-ja-pa-hit?
oh, italy’s real rich. time for them to care a lot about art and the ancient classics. it’s kinda like a rebirth.
here’s a printer. let’s make books!
so you think you can conquer the byzantine empire? yep, said the ottoman turks. nice job, ottoman turks. oops, you missed a spot. don’t forget to ban europe from the indian spice trade.
“what? that’s bullshit,” said portugal, spiceless.
“well i guess we’ll have to find another way to india”
“wait!” said christopher columbus, probably smoking crack. “if the world is round, let’s go this way to india.”
“nah, don’t worry, we already got this,” said portugal.
so chris goes to spain. “hey spain, wanna hire me to find india by going around back of the world?”
“no”
“please?”
“no”
“please?”
“wtf”
“no”
“please?”
“…okay”
so he sails into the ocean, and discovers… more ocean. and then discovers the indies, and japan! let’s draw a line to decide who gets which half of the world.
the aztec and the inca empires are off to a great start. i wonder if they know that europe just discovered their continent.
the hapsburgs are marrying into so many royal families, they might have to start marrying each other.
move over, lithuania, here comes moscow. ivan wants to make russia great again.
move over, timurids, maybe go invade india or something. persia just made persia persian again.
let’s make it the other kind of islam. the one where we thought the first guy should’ve been the other guy.
hey, christians! do you sin? now you can buy your way out of hell!
“that’s bullshit. this whole thing is bullshit. that’s a scam. fuck the church. here’s 95 reasons why,” said martin luther, in his new book which might have accidentally started the protestant reformation.
“you know what would be magnificent?” said suleiman wearing an onion hat. “what if the ottoman empire was… really big?” which it is now.
“what if russia was big?” said ivan, trying not to be terrible.
portugal had a dream that they controlled the entire indian ocean, including the spice trade. and then that dream was real.
and spain realized that this is not india, but they pillaged it anyway. “damn,” said england and france. “we gotta start pillaging some stuff.” then the dutch revolt, and all the hipsters moved to amsterdam. “damn,” said amsterdam. “we gotta start pillaging some stuff.”
question one: can you get to india from north america? no, but at least there’s beaver.
question two: steal the spice trade. that’s not a question, but the dutch did it anyway.
and sugar… guess where all of the sugar is made? in brazil! stolen! in the caribbean! and it’s so goddamn profitable, you might forget to not do slavery.
the next thing on russia’s to-do list is to get bigger.
britain and france are having a friendly discussion about who should control the entire world. more specifically, ohio. then it escalates into a seven-year discussion, giving prussia a chance to show austria who’s boss. but what about britain and france, did they figure out who’s boss? yes they did! it’s britain.
guess who’s broke? also britain! so they start taxing the hell out of america. “fuck you!” says america, declaring their independence and fighting for it, and france helps them win. now france is broke, and britain will have to send their prisoners to a different continent.
wait, if france is broke, why do the king and queen still wear such fancy dresses?
“let’s overthrow the palace and cut all their heads off!” said robespierre, cutting everybody’s heads off until someone eventually got mad and cut his head off.
you could make a rel— no, don’t.
haiti is starting to like the idea of a revolution, especially the slaves, who free themselves by killing their masters. “why didn’t we think of this before?”
wait, who’s in charge of france now? “me,” said napoleon, trying to take over europe. luckily, they banished him to an island. but he came back!luckily, they banished him to another island.
there goes latin america, becoming independent in the latin american wars of independence.
britain just figured out how to turn steam into power, so now they can make many different types of machines and factories with machines in them so they can make a lot of products real fast. then they invent some trains. and conquer india and maybe put some trains there.
“hey, china!” said britain. “buy stuff from us!” “nah, dude, we already got everything,” says china. so britain tried to get them addicted to opium, which worked, actually. but then china made it illegal and dumped it all into the sea. so britain threw a hissy fit and made them open up five cities and give them an island.
britain and russia are playing a game where they try to stop the other person from conquering afghanistan.
also, the sultan of oman lives in zanzibar now:“that’s just where he lives.”
india just had a revolution, and they would like to govern themselves now. “nope,” said britain, governing them even harder than before.
incoming telegram: HI I JUST SENT YOU A MESSAGE THRU A WIRE
technology is about to go crazy!
the united states finally figured out whether slavery is good or bad. it’s bad, they decided, and then they continued manifesting their destiny, which is to kill the rest of the natives and take their land and maybe kick out the mexicans too.
“i know! let’s rape africa!” said europe, scrambling to see who could rape it the fastest. they never got ethiopia…
britain and france are still hungry. they never got thailand…
the united states ran out of destiny to manifest, so they’re looking for more:
hawaii!
cuba!
wait, spain controls cuba.
well, blame something on them and go to war! what should we blame on spain?
u.s.s. maine sinks
“let’s blame the maine on spain.”
so they blame the maine on spain.
now we’re in business.
to celebrate, they kick panama out of panama and make a canal, connecting the two oceans.
britain just found oil in the middle east. it makes cars go…
china is so tired of being bossed around that they delete their old government and make a new, stronger government, which is accidentally weaker and is controlled by a guy from the previous government.
europe hasn’t had a war since the last war, so they start world war one. look at those guns! it’s gonna be a great war, so great we won’t need a second one. after it’s over, they blame germany.
russia went on strike, and the workers overthrew the government. now, everyone’s paycheck is the same. communism in the soviet union…
the arabs revolt and britain helps. now the ottoman empire is gone, so we can give the jewish people a place to live. hopefully the arabs won’t mind.
“let’s cut the cake!” said sykes and picot, carving up the remains of the not-so-ottoman-anymore-empire.
except turkey! turkey makes a brand new turkey!
and then the saudis conquer arabia. it just seemed like the right thing to do.
phone rings
hello? yes, it’s the 1920’s calling. let’s get to a car and drive to a party and listen to jazz on the radio and go to the movies. the economy is great and it will probably be great forever. just kidding.
germany’s back, featuring hitler, the angry mustache model, and he’s mad at the jews for existing.
japan is finally conquering the east, and they’re so excited, they rape nanking way too hard. they should probably just deny it.
hitler’s out of control, so the international community tackles him and tries to explain to him why killing all of the jews is a bad idea. but he kills himself because they could explain it to him. that’s world war two!
bonus round! pacific showdown
united states vs. japan
FIGHT!!
united states drops two extinction balls on japan
FINISH HIM!
let’s unite all the nations and have some world peace! seems legit.
“hi, im gandhi, and if britain doesn’t get the hell out of india, i’m going to starve myself in public.”
britain leaves
“wow, that worked?”
bonus! now there’s pakistan. actually two pakistans, one of them can be bangladesh later.
the jews and the arabs finally figured out which one of them should live in the holy land. “me!” they both said at the same time. let’s divide up the lands so we’re both happy. SIKE! they both get angrier!
look out, china! there’s a new china in china. what’s on the menu? communism! no thanks, said the other china, escaping to an island. i wonder which one is the real china…?
there’s the korean war. korea versus korea! nobody wins, then its on pause forever.
let’s meet the sponsors. oh, it’s the two global superpowers. they’re having a friendly debate over which economic system is good and which one is an evil virus of satan. and they both have atom bombs. FIGHT!! wait, no, that would be the end of the world. let’s just keep it cool and spy on each other instead. and make sure we have enough atom bombs.
“i’ll race you to space.”
united states plants a flag on the moon
now let’s make more countries fight themselves.
europe is tired of pillaging other continents, and the continents they were pillaging are tired of being pillaged. so here’s a new map with new countries. now you can’t tell who they’re being pillaged by.
the united states finally decided whether racism is good or bad. they decided it’s bad, and the world agrees. south africa might need another minute to think about it.
let’s check the world population!
woah. okay.
technology is better too, that might keep happening.
the soviet union decides to relax a little, and accidentally falls apart.
europe makes a union, so now they can all use the same money. except britain, because they don’t feel like it.
let’s check the mail… surprise! it’s on the computer!
whoops, someone just attacked america. i bet they’ll remember that.
phone call! surprise! it’s in your pocket! wanna learn everything? surprise! it’s on the computer! now your phone’s a computer, which is in your pocket!
whoops, the economy just crashed. don’t worry, the big banks won’t fail, because they’re not supposed to.
surprise!… flying robots. with bombs.
wanna print a brain?
some people have no friends. some people have no food. the globe is warming, and the ocean is full of plastic!
“let’s save the planet!” said everybody, not knowing how.
“let’s invent a thing inventor,” said the thing inventor inventor after being invented by a thing inventor. that’s pretty cool.
by the way, where the hell are we?
thanks for watching history
i hope i mentioned everything
psychic: what the fuck

A Lesson in Love (Confessions)

Summary: (College!AU) In which you’re assigned to write a story about romance, a subject you know nothing about, and Bucky, a hopeless romantic, offers you his assistance.

Pairing: Bucky x Reader

Word Count: 3,178

A/N: The tag list for this story is officially CLOSED. Also, this is not the end of story.

“A Lesson in Love” Masterlist + Soundtrack

@avengerstories - The messages you sent me after editing this part let me know that I had successfully tugged on all of the right heartstrings, so thank you for that.

Originally posted by ditchthevillian

Whenever an uncomplicated task arises, people say it’s as easy to accomplish as breathing. The adage always made perfect sense to you whenever you heard it. Breathing is second nature. It can be done without having to think twice and, sometimes, it feels like certain tasks are the same way.

Today, that’s not the case. Standing here across from Bucky for the first time in weeks, you find that breathing is anything but easy. The air was knocked out of your lungs as soon as you stumbled upon the note he wrote on the canvas and you haven’t yet recovered. You have to keep reminding yourself to breathe, just breathe. But it’s hard. How are you supposed to remember to inhale and exhale in a moment like this?

“Are you going to say something?” You press, once the silence of the room becomes too unbearable. Your fingers curl tightly around the canvas as you wait for Bucky to speak. “Anything?”

Keep reading

Ok, so something sad that happenes but it gets better.

Flug, while mixing chemicals together one day for an invisibility serum, manages to somehow grab the wrong chemical to mix with the one hes currently holding, because he was busy shouting at Demencia to “PUT THAT DOWN BEFORE IT SHATTERS!”, and the mixutre ends up exploding in his eyes. The rest of his face is fine, but his eyes become damaged. He becomes black and white colorblind. Hes only able to see in monochrome. His visions slightly blurry too, but aside from that and now being colorblind, he’s ok.

This wouldnt be such a problem, except that he needs to be able to see the colors of certain wires to make certain inventions work correctly, and he needs to be able to see the colors of different chemicals so that he doesnt cause a wider scale explosion in the lab.

For a while he makes things work. He has to work a bit slower on some inventions, and he often needs Demencia’s help in differentiating colors of liquids and machine parts and such, but other than the slower pace, which agravates Black Hat a good bit, all is the same as it was before the incident.

One day however, Flug comes into the lab to find a suprise on table: a pair of goggles that will fit over the bag he wears. (Prior to this he didnt wear goggles over the bag. He just had eyeholes cut out of it.)

He goes to put them on, and almost screams when he does because EVERYTHING IS BRIGHT AGAIN!!

The goggles turn out to have lenses in them that can correct colorblindness and “Holy shit I CAN SEE THE COLORS AGAIN!! THIS IS AMAZING!!”

Demencia walks in the lab with 5.0.5 in tow, and notices Flug walking around, looking at everything, clearly happy about something. And then she notices the goggles.

“Neat goggles you got there! Where’d they come from?”

“I don’t know but Demencia, they allow me to see colors again!!!!”

And shes kinda suprised because “Wait they make goggles like that?!”

And Flugs just so happy because he can finally do his work again without depending on someone else to help him, and this will speed up his work process againc and Black Hat won’t be so upset with his work time and -

“Wait, Demencia, you didn’t get these for me?”

“Nope, no idea where they came from.”

He’s a bit puzzeled, because these goggles obviously didnt just show up out of nowhere. Someone got them for him. Someone who knew he was colorblind.

Someone who wasn’t Demencia, and certainly not 5.0.5.

That left one person. Well, demon more like it.

Flug walks to Black Hats office, and opens the door just slightly to see that his boss is busy filling out that years tax forms, because “We may be a team of villains, but we still live in a house and own a business, and as such we owe taxes to the idiotic government that runs this country, and I will NOT have my company run to the ground because of tax evasion!!”
Flug waits until he finishes writing up the page he’s on, and then steps into the office the whole way.

“What is it that you require Dr. I’m very busy at the moment and you have orders to fill.”

“Well um, Sir I just..just wanted to let you know that those orders you gave me yesterday? They’ll uh..they’ll be done by tomorrow. Tomorrow morning actually.”

Black Hat looks up at that because “Flugs work has taken longer than two days since the incident that doesn’t add up” and then he notices the goggles.

“What’s with the new headwear Flug?”

“Oh the goggles? They appeared on my um. My desk this morning. They actually..they correct my vision?”

“…meaning?”

“I can..i can see colors again Sir.”

Black Hat sits back for a minute, taking in the information.

“Is that why you’ll have those orders done so quickly compared to your normal time?”

“Yes Sir.”

“…fair enough. Make sure they’re as good quality wise as the ones you’ve been producing. We don’t want to sell rushed work to our clients and ruin our reputation now do we?”

“No Sir, of course not. I’ll um..i’ll have them ready and done well by tomorrow morning for you.”

“Good. Now go back to working on them, I need to finish these forms, least my company go down the drain from failing to comply with thw government’s asinine rules.”

Flug turns to leave, and gets halfway out the door, before turning back to Black Hat.

“You wouldnt..you wouldn’t happen to have been the one who got the goggles for me, were you Sir?”

Black Hat looks up, small scowl on his face.

“Of course not Dr. Why would I ever do such a thing like that? I have no idea who gave them to you. Just be greatful that you have them now and get back to work.”

“Yes Sir, will do.”

And with that Flug leaves.

He doesn’t see the small smile on Black Hats face after he leavws because “he liked the goggles I got for him.”

Love Me Like You Do (Part 1)

Summary: Draco decides to visit America before he gets married to Astoria Greengrass, fulfilling a pact his family has made with hers. It’s a last-minute trip he wants to take before he settles down to fulfill his duties as a Malfoy. Until he meets you, and you change his whole life.

Word Count: 3,073

Warnings: None.

A/N: Another daydream of mine with my beloved Draco. Hope you all enjoy! 

Originally posted by nellaey


“Draco? Draco!”

Draco blinked and met his mother’s eyes. “Yes?”

Narcissa Malfoy gave him a thin-lipped smile, embarrassment across her otherwise-stoic features. “Are you with us, dear?”

Draco, in fact, wasn’t in the room. His mind had been wandering ever since his father began to talk about business and how he was seeking to invest his Galleons into worthy ideas. Nothing that really interested Draco. His passion was found in cauldrons, steaming potions, watching them change colors as Draco neared the discoveries of spells and concoctions that would help the wizarding world throughout the planet.

Yet his parents weren’t so fond of his chosen career path. They called it a hobby, didn’t acknowledge Draco’s efficacity in it, and Lucius incessantly insisted that Draco meet with him weekly to go over the family’s interests and what to do to bring even more fortune to the Malfoy household.

The war had been unkind to his family. Pureblooded thinking had been shunned and Lucius Malfoy had been forced to swallow his pride and beliefs to keep going forward, to try to fix the wrongs that had tarnished his household when he had chosen the wrong side.

Keep reading

13 Reasons Why (Tape 1)

Characters: Dean, sister!reader, Mary, Sam, John

Warnings: mention of death, angst, swearing

Word count: 4139

Summary: Dean listens to the first tape that you left after you died. He learns about the rules he has to follow with them, and who the first cause of your decision was.

A/N: italics are flashbacks to the events before your death

Series: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7

Dean woke up around 5am on Monday morning. It had been three months since you, his 18 year old sister, had decided to take your own life. Him and Sam never got a note, you were just gone and that was all they knew. They were too late to save you and that bothered him. Every morning since that day he woke up at 5am. He realised there was no going back to sleep so he climbed out of bed and headed to the door. When he opened the door he was surprised to be greeted with a small box in front of his feet. Dean looked left and right and noticed Sam wasn’t around to have just placed the box there. He sighed, picked it up, shut his door and walked back to his bed.

As he opened up the box he was confused as he noticed that all was inside were tapes. Why would someone give him a box of tapes? Dean rummaged through the box on his shelf and found his old tape player that John had given him when he was a kid and wanted to listen to AC/DC. He put the first mysterious tape inside the player and pressed play.

“Hello,” the familiar voice that he hadn’t heard for three months spoke which almost hurt his ears to know that he could hear in tape form. He must have been mistaken… It couldn’t be!

“My name is Y/N Winchester,” your tape continued. “I’m about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why my life ended… And if you’re listening to this tape,” The tape paused for a moment and Dean waited in suspense. “You’re one of the reasons why.”

He pulled the headphones off his head and sat there for a moment. He couldn’t believe the voice or words he was hearing. How could this be real? How could he really be hearing it? Having to listen to the voice of his deceased sister was hard for him, but the only way to find out more was listening to the tapes… So he continued. It wasn’t a fast decision, he took a breath and thought about just throwing them away. But then he would never know the reason why. This was like your suicide note, only in the form of 13 tapes.

His shaky hands picked up the headphones and placed them carefully on his head. He pressed play on the tape player and continued to listen. “As there are to every story, there are 13 different sides to this. I’m going to tell you all of them. Each tape is based on one of the people that are the reason my life ended. So, once you’ve listened to all the tapes you need to pass these on to the next person. If you don’t, well, just know that someone is always watching every single one of you and will make sure that all the tapes are listened to by every person. Now that you understand.. Let me begin with my first tape.”

Dean closed his eyes and followed the story you were telling. “First up, we have the thing that started it all… It was a normal day for you maybe, but not me at all. I didn’t know about hunting or any of that, not until you told me. I went to find you after mom had said she saw you earlier that day, I thought maybe it would be a chance for me to meet my father for the first time. Incase you hadn’t figured it out by now, we have our first person of the story. Welcome to your tape, John.”

Dean realised that John could have been the one these tapes outside of Dean’s room. He almost forgot that both of his parents now lived in the bunker with him and Sam. John must have listened to the tapes before him. Or maybe it was Mary? Since you died they both acted weirdly around both the boys, but then again, Mary acted strangely around you anyway so maybe she had something to do with all of this. He didn’t have time to think as the tape continued to play and tell Dean the story of what happened to you.

* * *

You were a nervous wreck ever since you joined your father and his two sons. Your mom insisted on you moving in with John so that you could bond and get to know your father after all those years of wishing you knew him. You knew it wouldn’t be easy meeting him when the day came, but you never expected it to be that hard.

He told you all about hunting and all his excuses of why he left you and your mother. They were stupid and you hated listening to him explaining, you needed someone to take your anger out on and that person was John. You needed to scream and shout at him every now and then for small things just so you could release some of the pain that he made you feel for most of your life.

But that shit didn’t fly with John, you either did as he said or you were gone. “It’s my way or the highway,” you recalled him saying to you a few times after your arguments. Sam and Dean didn’t live with John really, it was more like John lived with them, along with Mary Winchester. They owned this thing called the Men Of Letters Bunker. The place was huge, so many bedrooms you couldn’t count, you could have sworn you found a new room there everyday.

Before John moved in here, him and his wife (who was also the two boy’s mother) had come back to life after so many years. They didn’t fit into the word exactly so they relied on hunting as what kept them grounded. Sam, Dean, John, Mary and you. That’s how it was. Of course, being the youngest meant that you had to follow everyone’s rules and it was for your own ‘safety.’

* * *

“For my own safety? That was complete bullshit,” you spoke smoothly through Dean’s headphones. “You just wanted someone to boss around, dad. You couldn’t control Sam and Dean anymore, so you made sure that you could completely control me. Before that I didn’t have anyone controlling me, I could do what I wanted and act however I thought was right for me. You took that from me… That’s where it all started going down hill, it’s where I started to break.”

Dean once again paused the tape. He checked his nightstand and saw that it was now 6am. How had time moved so quickly? How long had it taken him to listen to this short part of the tape? He knew he had taken it out at the beginning because it was too hard to listen to, but he never knew he was stalling for so long.

A break from this right now seemed appropriate. So, he took the headset off, left it on his bed and headed to the kitchen to get something to eat. Every step he took felt heavier than the last. This wasn’t something new, it had been happening ever since you took your life, but now it was hitting him harder. It made every movement more painful than they had been before; he didn’t even know that was possible until now.

Once he reached the kitchen, he was pleasantly surprised to see that Mary, John and Sam were already there and eating breakfast. Sam was still at the stove, finishing up cooking some eggs and the rest of the bacon while John and Mary sat opposite each other and ate what they already had. “Dean,” John said by surprise. “You’re up later than usual.”

“It’s 6am,” Dean replied with a gravelly voice that he always had when he was tired. Lately, it seemed to be the only voice he had.

“You’re usually up at around 5,” John noted. Sam came and sat down next to Mary at the table and placed a plate down for himself and for Dean.

“You hungry?” Sam asked and Dean joined them at the table. “How you holding up?”

“I feel… Different to what I have for the last few months,” Dean replied to his little brother. “You know, I actually woke up at 5am again today. I stayed in my room because I found something left outside my door.”

All of their eyes widened as Dean spoke. They looked at each other before John spoke. “So she finally finished listening to them.”

“What? Who?” Dean questioned as he squeezed his fork tightly in his hand.

“We can’t talk about this,” Mary recalled before picking up a piece of bacon from her plate and eating it.

“You can’t do that to me! Who are you talking about?!” Dean demanded as he threw his fork down.

“The last person that had the tapes,” John told him which earned a glance from Mary and Sam.

“The tapes… You’ve all listened to them?” Dean looked around at them all. They were faces of the people he knew, they were his family. But they all felt so unfamiliar, like strangers with secrets.

“We can’t talk about it, you need to listen to the tapes,” Sam finished before taking his plate over to the trash can and throwing his food away.

“Are any of you on there? Who is the ‘she’ that you’re talking about? Is it someone else on the tapes?” Dean asked quickly, not giving them time to answer any of them as he continued. “Are you all on the tapes?”

“Dean, we can’t,” Mary snapped. “You have to just listen to the tapes, everyone on there had to.”

He stood up and made his way to the exit of the kitchen but stopped in his tracks.

“It’s hard to listen to,” Dean admitted with a sad voice. He stood in the door way as he spoke to them. “It’s the voice of my dead sister.”

“Dean!” John hissed. He looked at his son standing in there, he looked so heartbroken and vulnerable. “Please son, just listen to the tapes.”

Dean glared at them all. If looks could kill, they would all be dead in a second. He stormed off and went back to his room, it turned out he didn’t get any food or a drink to soothe his feelings of anxiety right now. He returned in the same state he was in before. Dean placed the headset back on his ears and continued to listen to John’s tape.

“But that wasn’t all, was it dad?” You questioned rhetorically. “No, you did more than just boss me around. When you realised you couldn’t do it anymore, you did the only thing that you thought you could do to end the lack of control…”

* * *

It was a few months after you had moved into the bunker and began your training to become a hunter. It wasn’t the physical side of it all because you already knew how to fight after your countless years of being bullied at school. That’s why the boys and your dad were so okay with you going hunting with them; they knew you could take care of yourself.

It was the research of it all. You weren’t used to connecting the dots with how certain monsters acted or what they did with how the victims had died. You gradually became better at it, but you weren’t as good as your brothers because they grew up doing it. You knew that. You understood that.

John didn’t seem to though. All he did was compared you to Sam and Dean and demanded that you become a smarter person. That wasn’t something you could just do, you can’t just snap your fingers one day and get what you want. You have to work for shit like that, it takes time and patience… But those were two things that John lacked.

It was that one day in the motel you were all staying in. The report in the paper said that the bystanders smelled sulphur after the woman was attacked. That was easy enough to figure out, right? Wrong. You weren’t trained enough in the mythology of monsters and you had no idea that sulphur was a sign of demons. You read past it and said there was nothing in there that could have been your kind of thing.

John insisted that you had missed something, just like he always did. You hated when you had to look for cases in the paper. Either you would misjudge it and say you had found a case or you would read past it too quickly and not realise that there was your kind of thing going on. No. You never got it right, so John always checked.

He held the paper in his hand as he sat opposite you at the small table in the motel. You watched nervously as his eyes scanned over the front page and read about the current murder spree going around. “Jesus Christ,” he groaned as he slammed the paper down on the table. “You’re kidding me right, Y/N? You don’t see a case here?”

“Uh, no, sir,” you replied shakily. Sam and Dean noticed your worry from where they were sitting on the beds. Mary was currently out on a supply run.

“It says here the by passers could smell sulphur,” John stated as he looked over at his sons.

“So what are we thinking, a demon?” Dean asked while he continued to clean his gun.

John clicked his tongue and Dean’s answer as if it was obvious. “Exactly… A demon.”

“A demon?” You questioned as you looked between all of them.

“The smell of sulphur is an instant alert for a demon,” Sam told you with a smile. He didn’t mind teaching you, he actually enjoyed it. He liked passing on his knowledge with you and helping you become a better hunter. He had patience… John didn’t.

“Yeah,” John snapped. “Every hunter should know that.”

You hated when he got like this because you instantly knew it was a dig at you and you were tired of it. The boys saw nothing of it because they didn’t pay enough attention. That’s why they thought you were in the wrong when you snapped back.

“Well, I’m still new at this so you can’t expect me to know everything,” you hissed which got John’s back up. You were glad it pissed him off, it was time that he took you seriously.

“You do not speak to your father like that!” He shouted as he stood from his chair and pushed it back aggressively.

You stood up too so you could regain dominance in the conversation. “What kind of father are you? I barely even know you!”

“This isn’t about me,” he replied with a steady tone.

“Yes it is!” You screamed. “This is about you… This is about what you didn’t do. You weren’t there because you were too busy hunting with your other family. And yes, I know that you died when I was a kid, but even when you came back to life you didn’t bother looking for me.”

“I thought we were past this,” he growled with flared nostrils.

“We are. We are past this,” you lied. You weren’t over it, but you had to pretend you were for the sake of everyone else. “I’m not reminding you about it because I’m hurt, I’m reminding you because you need to understand my point of view. I’m not good at researching cases with you because I was never here for it. And you’re not good at being a father to me because you were never there.”

When you finished your statement it was as if the world stopped for a minute. You came to terms with what you had said and realised that you meant it; John wasn’t as accepting towards the statement as you were. The boys both gasped as they saw John’s hand being drawn back.

Before you could react to his movement, John’s hand made harsh contact with your cheek. It was enough force that if pushed you to the floor. You breathed heavily as you stood up; you were holding your hand against your cheek in disbelief.

“You asshole!” You growled as your stood on your feet. “You fucking asshole!”

“What the hell is going on?” Mary demanded as she walked through the door. “Y/N? What happened to your face?”

“It was dad! He slapped me!” You screamed. “You’re a dick, how could you?!”

“Dad, you crossed the line,” Sam said. “You don’t hit your kids.”

“Things just got out of hand,” Dean insisted. “They should never have gone this far, you need to talk about this and sort it out because this shit has been going on for too long. All you do is argue with each other over the smallest things.”

“Dean! He hit her!” Sam defended as he stood up in annoyance.

“We’ve all hit each other! Hell, we’ve tried to kill each other before,” Dean recalled. You couldn’t believe Dean would actually try and defend his father, you thought he had changed.

“Why are you defending him?!” You fumed.

“I’m not,” Dean said calmly. He put his arms up in defence as he continued to talk. “All I’m saying is we have all done terrible things to each other, our family is messed up. This is something that’s needs to be dealt with and then we move on.”

You scoffed at his words. John looked down at you the same way he always did, his eyes full of hatred and boiling with anger. “There’s nothing to talk about. I want you gone, Y/N.”

“But-”

“No!” John spat. “I want you gone, get the fuck out of here. Go back to living with your mom, the hunting life isn’t for everyone and you’re most definitely not meant to be a hunter.”

You couldn’t believe the words that were leaving his mouth. You looked at your brothers and saw that even they didn’t know what to say. You grabbed your things, threw them into a backpack and walked out like you weren’t even bothered. But of course you were. You were so desperate for one of them to follow you and beg you to come back… But no one ever did.

* * *

“You hit me in the face. It hurt. But not as much as it hurt when you hit me with rejection and hatred. You wanted me gone… I hated you, John, more than I had ever hated anyone. You felt the same way about me and I wasn’t going to stick around for that so I headed back to my moms.”

Dean once again removed the headphones and paused the tape. There wasn’t long left of this tape but it was so hard for him to listen to. He checked his clock on his nightstand once again and saw that it was now 1:35pm. Food. He needed food.

Another walk to the kitchen with pain in his steps led to a nervous feeling in his stomach. What John had done to you was so bad, what if Dean’s was worse? What if he had hurt you but had no idea that it had affected you so badly? Dean was pulled out of his thoughts when he saw his father sitting alone at the kitchen table and drinking a beer.

“Hey, son,” he said with a soft voice. “You doing ok?”

“I’m great,” Dean snapped. “I won’t talk to you and piss you off though, I don’t wanna get a beating.”

John sighed and rubbed his palm over his face. “You listened to my tape.”

“I haven’t finished it yet,” Dean shook his head. “It’s still hard to listen to.”

John didn’t reply to what Dean said, he just took another swig of his beer and stared at the wall. Dean went to the fridge and pulled out some left over bacon that was cooked that morning. He put the plate in front of him and his father at the table as he came and sat opposite him. “Stop staring at the wall and look at me,” Dean demanded. John looked at the disappointment in his sons eyes. “Feeling sorry for yourself won’t bring her back.”

Now he saw something in John that he had never let him see before. It was weakness. “I remember that day,” Dean continued. “I remember that I defended you when you hurt her because I was scared that what you did would make her leave. I was selfish and I wanted her to stay so I tried to justify what happened.”

“Son-”

“I’m not finished,” Dean snapped. “What you did drove her away from our family… The only reason she came back was because she had nowhere else to go after she went home and found her moms dead body. If you didn’t send her away she would never had seen that.”

“You don’t think I know that!” John shouted which caught Dean by surprise. He sighed as he realised his anger had once again got the better of him. “Dean-” his voice was steady and low, “-the reason I did that to her was to protect her.”

“You hit her to protect her?” Dean demanded.

“I pushed her away to protect her,” John said as tears began to form in his eyes. “Before I slapped her I kept snapping at her and being nasty to her because I wanted her to leave so she could be safe. I knew that if I told her that she wouldn’t leave, and no matter how many times I shouted at her or was a complete dick to her she would just get upset… But she would stay. I had to do something that would finally make her leave; I had to make her think that I hated her so that she would hate me. If she stayed with us she would have continued to hunt and I wanted better for her.”

John wiped his tears away before drinking more of his beer. It was as if he thought the alcohol would soothe the sting, but it only made it worse. “I loved my baby,” he cried. “She was my only daughter and she made me proud every day. I’ll never get a chance to tell her that.”

Dean shook his head. He understood why John did what he did and he sympathised with him, but it didn’t matter. That wouldn’t bring you back. It wouldn’t fix anything. “She’s dead because you were too scared to love her.”

Dean didn’t plan on saying it, it was just a thought that popped into his head but he needed to get it out. Secrets were one of the reasons you ended your life, he didn’t want to keep them anymore.

John had no idea how to respond to Dean. How could someone reply to that? He was one of the causes of his daughters death because he was a coward. Dean didn’t even know what to think anymore. He needed to know more. He had one more bite of the bacon before he put the plate back in the fridge and headed back to his room.

They were still there when he got back. He didn’t know what he was expecting, but he was hoping that the tapes weren’t real and that you were still there in the bunker. When you moved in you told him that you wanted your room next to his so you could knock on the wall if you wanted to talk to each other.

He picked the tape player up, it felt colder than when he last held it. A chill shot down his spine as he thought about the tapes again and how they were all you left behind. Your voice played again in his ears.

“After you kicked me out, dad, I went back for my mom. I ran in to my house, crying my eyes out because of what you did. I wanted comfort from my mom,” you explained. “She was all I needed right at that moment because in my whole life she was all I ever had. But I never got to speak to her… I went into her room and found her covered in blood. She didn’t move… Or breathe… She did nothing.”

Your voice broke as you spoke about your mothers death and Dean closed his eyes at the thought. “And this, ladies and gentlemen, brings me to my second tape. And you know who you are when I say that on my next tape, we’re going to talk about the person that murdered my mother.”

Tags ~

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