A good friend of mine was diagnosed with liver cancer when we were in high school. She was 16. Some time later, upon hearing that a surgery had not gone as well as hoped, I sat down with my guitar and wrote her a song. A few other good friends of hers strung together some photographs to make a music video and we sent it to her to watch from her hospital bed. When those same friends gathered together less than two years later to sing the song at her funeral, the dissonance was jarring. This was meant to be a work song, to see her through the hard days when the task of healing was tiring. It was not supposed to be a funeral hymn.
In June of 2015, we as a band decided that our LGBTQ community deserved a new song for Pride Week. This was days after the Supreme Court ruled that state-level bans on same-sex marriages were in violation of the Constitution of the United States, and it felt like the whole country was celebrating.
But as we began to write, I couldn’t help but think that although we had won this particular battle, the hatred and fear ailing our nation seemed as malignant as ever.
I knew this because people were still dying.
At least 21 transgender women were murdered in 2015. A disproportionate percent of our country’s homeless youth were (and are) LGBTQ adolescents, forced to reckon with the impossible task of staying healthy and safe without a home or proper health care.
We knew that if we were to make a song that truly spoke to the American LGBTQ community in 2015, it would need to address both victory and violence.
With “I Know a Place,” we chose to imagine a place where none of us would need to be afraid. In honor of Pride and the rich LGBTQ history of turning bars and ballrooms into safe havens, the space we imagined was a dance club:
I can tell when you get nervous You think being yourself means being unworthy And it’s hard to love with a heart that’s hurting But if you want to go out dancing I know a place I know a place we can go Where everyone’s gonna lay down their weapons
At the time, we intended the dance club to serve as a metaphor. Then, on June 12th, 2016, a gunman walked into Latin Night at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida — a queer space, a brown space, a safe space — and shot 49 people to death.
“I Know a Place” was never supposed to be a funeral hymn. It was meant to be a work song, like Yoko Ono’s full-page ad in the New York Times that proclaimed, “War Is Over!” in December of 1969, at the height of the Vietnam War. We wrote our song to be the voice in your head that tells you to celebrate peace during wartime, because our battle is only just beginning, and one day our war really will be over.
It was also meant to serve as encouragement for our community to remain vulnerable and kind and hopeful in the face of violence. We cannot build a better world without first imagining what that world might look like, and by creating that space inside ourselves first.
After the Pulse shooting, the Los Angeles Gay Men’s Chorus led a crowd of two thousand people outside City Hall in song:
We are a gentle, angry people And we are singing Singing for our lives
We sang with a unified voice that cried out, “We do not accept that this is what our world will look like.” And that night, people all over the country went out dancing — not just because it was Pride Weekend, but because they felt it important not to give in to fear in the face of hate.
People came together in dive bars, bedrooms, and places of worship to celebrate and to grieve, to love and protect one another, and this gentle resilience was nothing less than radical resistance.
Today, in this post-Trump America, many of us feel badly bruised. We, as a band, understand this. We believe it is a mistake to see this incoming Administration as anything other than a threat to the livelihood of our brothers and sisters; the LGBTQ+ community, the Muslim ummah, women, POC’s, indigenous Americans, undocumented people, the working class, and beyond. At the same time, we believe it is a mistake to say that a man whose best assets are hate and fear truly represents America. We say this because America has always been an idea, a utopian concept of a multiethnic, multicultural democratic republic, and therefore its home lies in the imagination, not in the House or the Senate or in a Trump Tower. In the bridge of the song, we implore:
They will try to make you unhappy; don’t let them They will try to tell you you’re not free; don’t listen I know a place where you don’t need protection Even if it’s only in my imagination
Let us push ourselves to imagine a peaceful America where no one has to live in fear. Let us continue to build spaces with our humble means that reflect the America of which we dream. Let us keep up the fight.
Context: It is my first campaign and it is a bit on the larger side. During character creation I decided to go the Healer class instead of Cleric like so many suggested I should. But it seemed relatively easy for me to get a hold of. We are on our way back to the two to tell our quest giver about what we found at a dungeon and are returning with the spoils and we are ambushed by a group of orc slavers.
DM: The monk runs forward to attack the sorcerer head on.
Me OOC: That goes past my square. That means I get an attack of opportunity right?
DM: Yeah, got your weapon out?
Me OOC: When we started combat yeah.
DM: Go ahead and roll
*rolls nat 20*
The entire group starts laughing and shouting.
DM: Alright… confirm crit?
*rolls a nat 20*
Group is giggling at this point and I’m just not sure what is going on.
DM: Confirm… again.
*rolls a nat 20*
DM: You killed the strongest one in the party. Your character turned to see the monk go past you and the end of your spear catches him, cutting off his head. The rest of the group is no zoned in on you, not sure what you are and ready to attack you.
I go through my list of spells, intent on not letting myself die this round. The rest of the turns start to go. Finally my turn comes up.
DM: And that does?
Me: Um… unless they get in close range they can’t attack me without a save?
DM: -looks over the spell and explains it to me-
Sure enough, I cast sanctuary and as the sorcerers and the rest were coming towards me, the party picked off the enemy and we won the battle all because of an accident.
↳ “You’re staring at our Pussycat ears, which is rude…but let me break it, and them, down for you. The Pussycats are building a brand. Creating a signature look, okay? We’re telling a story. Last year we won Rockland County’s Battle of the Bands. This year we’d like to build on that success. Continue telling our story with songs we write.”
so HERE'S how it goes once we win (and we will be winning) make no mistake - we'll be what - we're ALREADY winning - right - and we'll tell em straight out they'll let crutchie go or they keEEEEP getting POUNDED - dave what the hell did they bust up your brains or something as i recall dave we all got our ASSES kicked they WON - won the bATTLE - cmon - jackie think about it, we GOT them suROUNDed - here's what i think joe's a jerk he's a rattlesnake - you're RIGHT and y'know why a snake starts t'rattle - no, why - cause he's scared - SURE - go and look it up the pOOR GUUUUUY'S head is spinning!!! why would he send for the GOONS an entire army dozens of GOONS and the cops and - you know you might be right - THANK YOU GOD - if he wasn't AFRAID - exacTLY he knows we're wiNNING
so HERE’S how it goes, once we win (and we will be winning), make no mistake- we’ll be what- we’re ALREADY winning- right- and we’ll tell em straight out they let crutchie go or they keEEP getting pOUNDED- dave what the hell did they bust up ya brains or somethin as i RECALL dave we all got our asses kicked. they WON- won the bATTLE- cmon- jackie think about it! we gOT THEM SURRounded- here’s what i think joes a jerk he’s a rattlesnake- you’re right! and you know why a snake starts t’ rattle- (no. why.) - cuz he’s scared!- (sure.) - go and look it up the poor G U Y S head is spinning!!!! why would he send for the goons an entire army dozens a’ goons an’ the cops and- you know you might be RIGHT- THANK YOU GOD
• Were they telling the truth? • Who could vanish like that? • Are they all so old? • Can you pay attention? • How long has it been? • Do they look the same to you? • Why should we give up? • What are you risking? • Who won the battle? • Who are we ignoring? • I have no memory of that. • We could changing the world. • Sometimes we still talk. • I wonder if people judge me. • Where have we met? • He slipped away. • We were holding hands. • Something’s coming to an end. • Have you introduced yourself? • They were never tried. • Let them tell their story. • It’s a dangerous decision. • We have this great opportunity. • Can we talk about them? • That was where we first met. • I demand cuddles. • What’s the first thing you did? • I want to sleep for an eternity. • What inspired it? • We talk about these things. • Give them what they want. • It’s not about safety. • It got me excited for them. • These stories are ours. • I sleep much better these days. • We have some suggestions. • There’s strength in unity. • It’s an amazing invention. • It began with an accident. • There are new solutions, always. • Have satisfied your curiousity? • I have an idea. • Stop talking about how clever you are. • We haven’t tested it yet. • Can you pull the trigger? • Am I the stupidest person in this place? • Does it make sense to you? • How can we live through this? • Where have you found that? • This is not how the system works. • We’ve been trying to do that for years. • We have the game. • Is that typical? • We have revised our strategy. • I can always tell. • Can you close your eyes? • It’s getting worse. • I want to keep them close. • I wasn’t that lucky. • You’re not wise enough. • That’s what we feared. • I want to create these things. • Who told them? • Is it a new concept? • They don’t have to do it. • We could creat a new world. • We have a dreamer among us. • Ask me about it. • Wasn’t it nice? • Can they justify it?
I was there kids, I survived The Great Meme War of 2017. I was just talking shit and holding my Pepe flag, but it was still some scary shit being there. Antifa scum were throwing M80s, smoke bombs, glass bottle, soda cans, rocks, trash, and spraying people with pepper spray and I managed to dodge everything. Those cowards came armed looking for a fight
when they weren’t supposed to,
and we all arrived unarmed, yet they still got their asses kicked! I streamed the whole thing, and will post it soon! Don’t believe everything you see in the media, don’t follow a trend. CRAWL BACK IN A HOLE ANTIFA. BE AFRAID. WE WILL NEVER BACK DOWN, WE WILL MAKE SURE YOU NEVER PREVAIL AGAIN.
Summary: With the
Black Fairy defeated and the Final Battle won, Emma and Killian are able to
focus on the important things—like their honeymoon. Thanks to a souvenir from the latest curse,
Killian comes up with a way to give Emma the wedding trip of their dreams.
“An ending isn’t happiness,” Snow said, eyes shining with
hope and joy, “being together is.”
Emma’s heart turned over as she hugged Killian, her husband to her with one arm and held
Henry’s hand with the other. They’d done
it. They’d defeated the Black
Fairy. They’d won the final battle.
And she was still alive—she and all her loved ones. No more fear hanging over them, no more
prophecies of doom and death, no more evil to defeat. Just peace and happiness and love.
It was like waking up to bright sunshine after the worst
nightmare of her life. The after effects
of pain and fear were there, but far more substantial was the relief. Emma felt the tears gather at the back of her
eyes as the adrenaline began to wear off and the emotion took its place.
Killian gave her a tender, knowing look. He understood; he always understood.
“Well it has been a thrilling day as always,” he said with a
cocky grin, “but I do believe my lovely bride and myself are owed a wedding
night, and since we were forced to spend the actual night of our nuptials in
separate realms, tonight is a more than adequate substitute.”
A list of B.A.P’s songs that aimed to spread a message (non-romance) ---- updated.
was writing for a school assignment, don’t mind don’t mind.
// update: i got an A for my assignment for this.
// update #2: will be reblogging this post to constantly update it instead of editing! updated till i remember.
Never Give Up (2011) Pre-debut Unit (Bang&Zelo)
never give up : everything will be okay ultimately, just believe in yourself and chase for your dreams
“ Taking thousand dollars private lessons This system that emphasizes grades over friendships This pressure called exams, this burden called college The stress that are building up, would my parents know? “
“ Never give up Cheer up, toward your dreams, never give up Get up, get up, you can do it Wake up, wake up Don’t worry, everything will be fine, never give up Because it’s you, it’s you, believe in yourself Never give up
Warrior (2012) Debut EP
warrior : talks about the injustice within the society that we must fight against
“ A punch that I throw for you, Who are thirsty from the long fight Everyone’s different, everyone takes sides And those words are just words of ignorant people Since the words that echoes in my heart is different from yours I’m mad so listen to my 4 measure nagging (Rest In Peace) This prayer for truths Even if the hidden system, the black shadow cover it up This holy badge that won’t yield “
unbreakable : talks about not giving up on oneself and not letting others tear you down // motivation
“ In the beginning, when everyone said we would fail We clenched our jaws and sharpened our wings Even if it was dirty and upsetting, we held it all in We fought and won all of our self-battles (Even if we have to kneel down, even if we clash we’ll never break down)
Power (2012) EP
fight for freedom : fight against conformity, to be who we really are, to say things we really mean
“ When others say yes, we say no We don’t associate with the same types Like it like it like that I want to say what I want without being stopped ”
“ Until when are you gonna be trapped Until when will you live like others ”
power : encourages the weak to stand up against the strong who abuse their money and power
“ You block out your ears and mouth, You’re so busy filling up your own boats that your roles are stolen away from you Like a decalcomanie, a role where money, power and honor don’t change Move, it is time for the anthem for the battle between the strong and the weak This is a Revolution, a Guernica flow So everyone, keep your head up “
“ There’s no more, no more justice The world surrenders to money In the shadows of the powerful, The weak are dying “
“ One shot! Anger, it’s the oppression given by those Who covers the bright light Two shot! Those who look exactly like the devil Put on a fake face every day Three shot! They put on a mask called justice And my ego stands up against them and fights Four shot! Go with the rhythm and without knowing, break down those who are trapped in a boundary “
“ Don’t need it, don’t need fakeness Only the wicked can survive in this world With a smiling face, they appear on TV and trample on young souls “
what the hell : problems within the society that should be recognised, but they are hidden and that we have the power to change the world for the better
“ So many ties are being used to cover the truth Putting a make on the fakes and saying It’s only indifference Leaving the children alone one by one There’s a crime but no criminal, does it even make sense? “
“ The strength that governs the world is a problem What the hell is the law of the jungle? Why are good and evil split by money? And why are the weak killed? This is a coward war Hey, can you feel this? The fact that invisible hands Are maneuvering you according to their will Hiding the truths, TV and radio Are putting a blindfold on me, hiding the scandals “
Change over the world, you have the right to do so Now spread your voice far far away
Goodbye (2012) Single
goodbye : encouragement for listeners to pursue their dreams, to pick themselves up when they are down, to not be afraid of new beginnings / startings and that it is okay to feel lost.
“ I don’t know the word, “quit” – there’s no need to rush It’s good, I am just breathing for my dreams If I fall down, I’ll get back up – If I enjoy my failures, that’s that That’s right, The world is becoming my side again “
“ Why are people so easily influenced? I’m worried that I will walk on this path, Swayed by others words Their hearts are poor But I can escape it I will brush myself off And run once more Get up once more, right now “
“ Take in a deep breath and let it out You can do it, Keep walking toward your hopes That can be reached Don’t stop in this shadow of the world You are more free than anyone else “
대박사건 (Crash) (2012) Single
note: even though i remember is in a way largely a romance song, but there are some lyrics that i feel, fit relationships, like frienships and kinships. we all have people and peers knocking us down but we come out stronger right? so i remember is based on my personal opinion!
i remember : to me, at least, it was about being hurt by someone a person truly cared for and how they’ve grown apart. but they take the memories with them as they form a part of them, helps them discover who they are and makes them, them. and to believe in yourself that you will be able to do it, even if no one says you can.
I don’t know why all of our Hell-like memories are still in my head I will remember all of our past days, How you played me I completely changed Because of you I don’t smile anymore Like before
I wanted to be greater Than anyone so you could regret Yeah, my music that you looked down on Is playing on the streets of Seoul (Rock on)
The fact that you left me Because you didn’t believe in my dream This reality drives me crazy
Even if I walk this road by myself for a bit I will show you my everything
You're dead right about those cupcakes being prooomooo. Idk how closely you follow Andy, but the Fat Feeder (chick that made the cakes) is his alleged girlfriend's sister. And said girlfriend is good friends with Sophia. So it's all around promo for everyone. And why are there baby cupcakes at a lady-lad bro party anyway? Ugh free Liam from this madness!
I don’t follow Andy closely but no surprise at what he’s doing. I do think Andy is
the real deal in terms of 1D friends and he’s laid kinda low and even shaded
the official narrative in the recent past. But I think he’s been drafted
because using the douche canoe crew (the three dudes Liam started
hanging with to help sell Sophiam) is not an option since they were all
team Sophia and we’re employed for the purposes of that narrative.
And yes, baby themed cupcakes, randomly
appearing over a month after the kid was born isn’t very bro. Why were
they there? Who is that slow on the congrats anyway?? Niall?? LMAO! It’s
obviously targeted at young, naive, female fans who swoon over this
kinda thing without giving the context much thought.
Like I said
my earlier tags, it’s a recycled stunt. And recycled stunts are evidence
AGAINST a thing being an organic happening. In other words, it’s
planned with a particular narrative mission in mind.
Let’s see some
of the greatest hits in what I like to call, fakery from the bakery.
Look away, Harry. I know you used to be a baker and these are
abominations in your eyes.
Of course, Elounor are the OGs of this foolery.
Fauxmance and Disney promo? Genius.
That mess wasn’t even the best. Behold the shady af tribute to the mother of modern bearding, Taylor Swift. Why ever would they go there?? Everybody’s in on this joke except 75% of this fandom.
The cake stunts didn’t end with Elounor 1.0. This one isn’t even funny. Because Louis was dealing with the very recent loss of his mother when this happened:
The look on his face says it all. Not ok and no further comment.
But not to be outdone, Liam has done more than his share of cake stuntin’. Cakes everywhere. The Funky Buddha promo cake and the cake Danielle allegedly got him:
Please note this was August 2012 and Payzer 1.0 was probably over at this point. This was post fandom famous Ziam/Payzer Vegas showdown. And as far as we can tell, it looked like Zayn won that battle and ultimately the war. So this explains the need for extra strength cake stuntin’…I mean, I guess by 1DHQ logic.
Cake stunts continued with Sophiam. As always, aided and abetted by friend of Modest, Funky Buddha.
In hindsight, the emphasis on Sophia was obviously promo meant to set her up as an Instamodel post scheduled break-up, which came later that year. I tell ya, all the cake stuff is planned and deliberate.
More Zerrie cake fakes: That one time the garbage press told us this was Zayn’s birthday cake courtesy of Perrie…
…but Zayn’s family showed and proved that this was actually Zayn’s birthday cake:
Zayn was never seen with the Hulk cake. Surprise, surprise. And the cake beat goes on with Gigi and her Zayn stand-in with the photoshopped tattoos.
Now the pastry aided deception includes babies. Sad but true.
As for Niall, there was this weirdness a few years ago:
Hahahaha, no. Somebody tried it. This was an insult to Niall and great promo for 1DHQ co-conspirator The Sun. This implied co-sign was meant to tell us to believe 1DHQ’s lies as told by The Sun. Because if you can’t trust Niall, who can you trust? I see what you did there.
So for some try-to-get-inside-the-mind-of-teenaged-girls logic fail, cakes are supposed to = rayl. I guess 1DHQ thinks the kiddies love cake and no one would ever use precious, delicious cake in the interest of faking it because precious delicious. Yeah, ok.
Fighting for the world we live in, the world we believe in, isn’t always easy. We won’t win every battle. But persistence requires a ferocious optimism. It requires a willingness to put yourself on the line. And when we fight- as an army filled with hope and fierce determination- we make a difference… every single time.
Birthday - EF - Sigali Siman Tov Sat, June 17 …. it is birthday time and we wish Sigali a very happy one .. love from all of us ..Ef
Many are the arts in their finality that have been designed for me .. and they are truly most artistic .. but really some of the photographs that keep appearing on the platforms are truly amazing .. I wonder where it is obtained from .. and they rightly deserve a mention on record of its occurrence ..
An afternoon in Tashkent, Russia .. during the festival of films .. Raj Kapoor ji, Shashi ji were also there .. as were the family .. Shweta and Abhishek barely seen along with Jaya ..Abhishek actually signed his first autograph at this event .. quite confident he was asked by one of the Russian hosts to do so and he did .. we all laughed ..
Raj ji Shashji and I were placed before a mike and asked to sing a song .. any song .. and Raj ji took the lead and we sang ‘Saare Jahaan se achcha, Hindustan hamara ..’
‘The Great Gatsby’ premiere at Cannes .. and with the star Leonardo di Caprio at the red carpet and then on stage .. me giving introduction speech in Hindi .. 100 years of Indian Cinema .. he a most humble and down to earth co star .. caring and considerate through out the making of the film ..
Visiting Jaya on the sets of ‘Hazaar Chaurasi ki Ma’ ..Govind Nihalani the director .. and the eating and feeding continues .. !! this at Raj Kamal Studios ..
Oh … i could just go on and on and on .. but thank you Ef for these inputs ..
and there be many more .. and I am unsure how these are made .. would someone enlighten me ..
Lamenting deficiencies may take away the pain of it for an instant .. but the long run remains with them ; the deficiencies .. if some is deformed and ugly .. there shall be some that is formed and beautiful .. the balance of nature is beyond all doubt .. having and being in possession of the best, the worth, the biggest and the largest are mere adjectives to describe them .. in practical terms they are just alphabets .. thoughts of the mind and the physical presence of the material - and deficiencies are often valued against deficiencies - shall ever remain .. and shall remain with them that are in possession of the deficient .. no other will or shall have the capacity to give the feel of it .. it never can .. for they are not the sufferer .. the sufferer is the one that holds it .. holds it day and night, lives breathes with it .. suffers its inadequate performance or demands of it .. other than him there are perhaps sympathisers .. and we know all about them from one of Babuji’s poems described earlier ..
Deficiency needs bearing and will .. the will to still be in its strength, even though all else crumbles about .. others will refer to it as that .. you will never .. for admitting it is a failure .. a retirement .. a death ..
As someone once said : ‘To retire is to die’ !!
Kill not thyself by the limitations of what could not happen, or was not what was required .. not of standard .. of lesser quality ..
That lesser, has the capacity to be the best example of more .. for when the less does normal, it becomes the more ..
Having more and stating its presence as more .. is boring .. static ..
Having less and stating its more or building up to more is revolution and reigning the crown ..
I shall have the lesser than most other .. but the will to make it seem or look more is the battle that shall be won .. and win we shall .. everyone is not perfect ..
And should never be ..
The perfect have no place on Earth .. on life .. on with us .. on with us in humanity .. for if thou art perfect, then why wait here in the world of Mother Earth .. your place is not required here .. you would be better off ‘upstairs’ .. leave us mortals to work out our imperfections, until ..
This idea sprung up when @toreishi and I were talking about the scars on Nyx’s glorious chest (I would plant my face and die on that chest)
Of course I couldn’t miss an opportunity to write about, so here it is! Also because I wanted an excuse to write this man shirtless XD
WORD COUNT: 4145
❝See me fall down. Let me die here slowly…❞
Steel-blue eyes slowly opened as the glaive roused awake from his slumber. He blinked and rubbed his lids, allowing his sight to familiarize to the morning light he hadn’t been accustomed to seeing for so long. Usually he’d be greeted by a dark room the moment he awoke. Being a soldier to the crown meant early hours, and it was part of a lifestyle to wake up way before the sun made its first break over the horizon. The dark cold mornings were the dull and a dreadful reminders of the agonising work hours Nyx would have to endure. But this time, with the morning light softly filtering through the sheer curtains, the glaive felt at ease.
His eyes flickered to the alarm clock placed on the bedside table. 9 o’clock it read. The sight brought a beam to Nyx’s lips. Though still an early hour, to the glaive waking up at this time was a rare occasion. A sigh of pure content sounded as he lowered himself back down on the soft plush mattress, surrounded by the warmth of the blankets. But that wasn’t the only thing keeping him warm. You lay asleep beside him, your head resting upon his shoulder while his arm wrapped around your form.
He brought his lips to place a kiss upon your hair. “I love you..” he said softly, a familiar sweet scent entered his nose, causing him to smile.
Stirring, you opened your eyes to see Nyx gazing down at you. “Good morning, sleepy head.” you murmured.
A low chuckled sounded past Nyx’s lips. “Me? I think the sleepy head here is you.”
You too let a laugh back. “Well to be truthful, I woke up before you. And plus,” you snuggled further into his hold. “it’s been awhile since I’ve been able to wake up with you.”
Those words were indeed true. Nyx had forgotten the last time he was given the chance to see you in the morning, In his line of work, a simple concept of waking up to a beloved was still hard to come by for this glaive.
“Is that my shirt you’re wearing?” Nyx asked, taking note of the familiar t-shirt you were currently dressed in. It was an obvious fact that it too big for you. The old shirt appeared more like a dress on your figure as the loose garment fell just at your thighs. But even so, such sight was still attractive to the glaive.
“Maybe.” you hummed. “You left it when you came over a while ago. Why? Do you want it back?” you asked, gazing up at your lover with a smile.
Nyx smirked. “No, I think it looks better on you.” he said, planting a kiss on your temple.
“Good. Cause I wasn’t planning on giving it back anyway.” you smirked in return. “It’s too comfortable.”
Nyx grinned. “For you, I’ll give you anything.” he replied, and captured your lips in his for a sweet morning kiss.
However, sweet soon took a passionate turn when the glaive rolled on top of you. His weight pinned you down, but you paid no mind, the kiss was already enough to leave you breathless. Fingers knotting in his hair, the intimacy deepened, gifting Nyx a blissful hum from you when you kissed back. A kiss, such a usual thing the two of you shared. Yet, the gesture spoke of all the emotions you felt for each other; the love, the longing, and the sorrow inflicted when torn away from each other’s company.
Nyx warned you of that. You knew the consequences and risks of loving a man of duty, but the endearment you felt for this soldier was far too deep for you to escape. And it was this affection you had that convinced Nyx to give this budding love a chance. But even so, it was all too painful. With every new mission came a surge of merciless dread to overcome you and Nyx. Even the shortest missions—usually consisting of a day—was enough to trigger the unbearable fear of not being able to see each other again. How you two still held on was a miracle. But the moments of anguish would diminished the second Nyx stepped through the door. No words were needed to express what had to be said. Just being able to embrace other again, and kiss those words of yearning upon each other’s lips was more than enough.
I miss you. The arms would speak.
I love you. The lips would trace upon skin.
Never let me go. Breathless words would pray.
Such which happened the night before.
“Don’t leave me…” you mumbled again his lips. “Please…”
“[Name]….” The glaive pulled back from your lips. The look you wore was no longer with endearment, but instead dressed in dread. It was a look he was all too familiar with, a look that you’d give him whenever he left beyond the wall. “I’m not going anywhere.” He spoke the words he’d always say before his good-byes. But his voice sounded with evident hesitance as if he knew they were nothing but lies.
“But how can you be so sure?” you questioned back.
Nyx’s eyes widened in shock. “[Name]—” However his response was only stolen with another kiss.
It wasn’t gentle like before. No, your lips felt desperate, almost as if you were pleading, praying for him to stay as they captured hastily against his. Breaths melded in shallow gasps as you parted, only to have you and your lover stare deep into each other once again. The glaive’s heart ached upon witnessing the pain manifesting in your face. It was because of him were you forced to feel such suffering. Cupping your face in his hands, Nyx drew your lips back to his with yearning and desire.
I’ll never leave you his lips seemed to whisper in promise. Even if it was a promise hard to keep, he wanted nothing more than to help you ease your worries.
A soft moan sounded from your throat as you melted into the moment. Your hands began to wander, down from his hair to his jawline, fingers tracing the lines of the tattoo on his neck, until they reached past his shoulders. When you neared his chest, it was then did you feel Nyx suddenly freeze—as if he was in pain. Pulling away, your view wandered to the scars on his chest. You always noticed them, but you never dared to speak of them. With your fingertips you lightly traced the rough skin, following their path as they branched from his shoulder to his chest like crawling vines. You could still feel Nyx flinch even under your soft touch.
“Nyx.” you spoke, lifting your gaze from the scars which marred his skin to his very own. “Tell me about them.”
Nyx froze. It was clear what you were referring to. “There’s nothing to tell you.” He leaned over to kiss you once more, to advert your attention away from his scars. However with your hands upon his chest, you gently pushed him off you. You could feel a soft rhythm under your palm, the beating of a shallow melody—a song that only belonged to a broken man.
“Tell me.” you said again. Sitting up from where you lay you stared back up at him.
The look in your eyes spoke with such sincerity as they bored into his—and it hurt. You had shown so much to him, a world behind the walls of war and destruction and the feeling of being wanted. But here he was still hiding in the shadows of his demons, behind those walls where he lay his life like a meaningless sacrifice—such was the purpose of the king’s blade. He tried his best to imprison the glaive that hardened his soul, to keep it apart from the things that made him the happiest. But he could only keep them at bay for so long. The torment still gnawed at him as they sunk their teeth deep within his heart. God, he wished he could tell you how much it damaged him, he wished he had the strength to show you the reality that was slowly killing him inside. Though at the same time, he feared what would transpire if he did. You swore to stay by his side no matter the consequences, but how true were your words? Nyx knew better than to doubt, but trust was a rare thing in his new purpose.
“I….”His brows furrowed as he averted his gaze away, the sight of you only weighed upon his soul. “I can’t…” He didn’t deserve you, god he didn’t.
“Nyx.” his name parted from your lips, like another prayer he wished to hear once more. Leaning close, your hands you cupped his face and brought his forehead to press against yours. His shallow breaths ghosting against your lips. “For me, please.” He said he’d give you anything, and this was everything you wanted.
You could never gather the courage to ask about the stories of his battles, nor has he ever shared them. But the scars, they had their own stories to tell. The rigid and jagged lines carved upon his skin; fresh and old, told the tales of this courageous soldier, the red painted fields and the tragedies of his comrades—new friends and old—slaughtered before his very eyes. It hurt him to tell, and you knew that well. But even so, no longer could you bear another night when he would come home to you, only to have his terrified orbs—scarred with the horrors he was shackled to witness—to meet yours.
Like always, Nyx found comfort in your touch. Inhaling sharply, he placed his hands on top of yours and brought them down to his lap, lacing his fingers with yours. “It was just another missions, another battle beyond the walls.” he began.
The glaive remembered it vividly. It was just like every other day in the cramped confinements of those dark rickety vans, being transported—like cattle to a slaughterhouse—to the barren wastelands where the glaives would lay their lives on a silver platter like an offering to the Gods, all for heart and home. With no time to second guess, the endless hours of relentless fighting would commence—staining their hands with the blood of not only their enemies, but comrades too.
“We won that battle, like we always did. We sent the Nifs running with their tails between their legs…” Such was a common victory, but a scornful chuckle sounded from the glaive despite the words of his triumph. It tasted sweet against his tongue, but it wasn’t long until that victory tasted of poison. He could feel a sudden hard tug within, like the unravelling of a stitch on a forgotten wound. The smells of the battlefield, the stench of rotting flesh, and the suffocation of smoke and dust entering his lungs, it was all coming back to him.
Nyx snapped back to see you staring back at him in wait for him to continue. However he swallowed thickly, unable to find that will to continue his tale. “I’m sorry, [Name]….I can't—”
“You can.” You cut him off. “You can tell me, and I’ll still be listening ” your voice sounded firm, though there was still a hint of gentleness within. With your hands in his, you gave them a tight squeeze, a gesture of reassurance to show him that you were indeed speaking the truth.
Nyx lowered his gaze, the manifests of hesitance were seeping from inside. But how long are you willing to listen? He wanted to say. They all left when they heard of the horrors, of the man he had become. And yet…. “I almost died that day…” he whispered.
Death. Like a shadowing phantom, it was always there, always following until the moment it would mercilessly snatch even the most innocent lives in it’s ghostly grasp—erasing them from existence. The thought of him ever dying was an agonising pill to swallow. But it was a fact that it was impossible to avoid in Nyx’s life as a glaive—it was for the greater good, as they would put it. But even so, it was a reality hard to accept.
Nyx bit down on his lip. The tugging of stitches on this forgotten wound were becoming more brutal at each passing second, as he reached into his subconscious to rip those repressed memories of long ago. “Those MTs…those killing machines, they got me.”
And the glaive told you. He told you the memory which devoured the man he was born to be.
The gunshots cracked like thunder, forged with the power of the storm as the bullets of the Magitek sliced mercilessly through the air. Nyx maneuverered over the terrain, trying to gain ground between himself and the weapons of the empire. His heavy boots skidded across the dirt and rubble as he raced just in time to take shelter behind a crumbling concrete wall, to hear a few bullets pelt against the ruin instead of his head. He inhaled a heavy and sharp breath, only to breathe in smoke and dust instead of the sweet air his lungs pleaded for. The sweat on his temple trickled down the side of his face, mixing with the dirt and blood, stinging the fresh cuts—such was the fruits of his labor. The echoes of the relentless firing of nuzzles haunted his hearing. Still Nyx willed himself to ignore the deafening sound. Gripping his kukris tightly in his gloved grip he carefully peeked from behind the concrete wall, eyes trying to map his route. He had to move to the next point quickly, but how? From all directions he could see the many firearms pointed at all directions. He could disarm them quickly, but it’ll be near impossible to do so without getting blasted—the triggers were always prepared to shoot.
Suddenly, a red beam of which only belonged to a laser began to point at the glaive’s head. Eyes widening, Nyx quickly ducked back behind the wall, just in time as the bullet hit the spot right where he had been seconds ago. Gritting his teeth, the glaive silently cursed.
Quickly, he turned directions. With his back pressed against the wall he followed its length and snuck his head out from behind to scope another route. Thankfully he was shielded from the sniper’s point of view. Nevertheless Nyx knew his time was running thin. The MTs were due to encroach on his position anytime soon. The very last thing he wanted was to be trapped…or so he thought.
“Did…did you make it out?” Your grip on his hands tightened as they had been doing so ever since he started.
Nyx didn’t reply. But the moment he turned his head away with the tightening of his lip, it was enough to give you the answer.
A warp was all he needed to escape the situation he was in. However as simple as it sounded, the task itself was not. Taking one last glance at the war-zone he was hiding from, he landed on his target—higher ground was what he needed. Twirling the kukri in his hand, Nyx threw his blade with a swift swing of his arm. It punctured into the wall as he intended and soon his body followed suit in a cloud of shattering crystal and smoke. Reappearing in a flash of light, he held onto the hilt of his kukri and dug the soles of his heavy boots into the structure in order to keep his balance. Steel-blue eyes analysed the battlefield before him. From up above he would see his fellow glaives fighting their own battles. The cries of war and the screams of death still managed to enter his ears even at a height closer to heaven. However his time of minimal ‘peace’ came to an end when a sound of cracking and crumbling added to the noises of his surroundings. Furrowing his brows, Nyx glanced up to see cracks forming upon the stone of where his kukri had punctured. His eyes widened, however upon realisation it was already too late.
Time had slowed for moment. Yet his body was continuously dropping at a speed which constricted his throat till he could hardly draw breath. His fingers reached out as if to grab anything to stop him from plummeting to the ground, but he clutched on nothing but thin air—even his kukri seemed to be out of reach. He knew the pain was coming, but the wait felt eternal while his body jerked and flailed as he fell. Then he landed. However he didn’t scream. Instead he groaned in agony, followed by a hiss as he withered from the impact. Wincing, Nyx pulled himself up, pain rippled up his legs and shot through his arm. Bones shifted followed by cracks. They were definitely broken. Limping, he leaned against the closest wall trying his best to support his bodyweight. His gasps of pain sounded like sweet music to the devil.
“Nyx!” a voice sounded through his earpiece. “Nyx we need backup!” It was Libertus, frantic as always.
“I’m a little busy here.” The said glaive hissed back through gritted teeth. The pain consuming his limbs was excruciating. But broken bones were not an excuse to stop fighting. Excuses were non-existent the moment he joined the Kingsglaive. “I’ll….” he swallowed the pain. “I’ll be there soon—Argh!”
His words were replaced with a strangled scream as a paralysing sensation began to spread from the centre of his chest to the rest of his body. Nyx didn’t need to look back to know what had happened. He had let his guard down for a short moment, but it was enough time for the arm of magitek soldier to lunge and spear their arm through his back. His breath had left him, neither could he move. The electricity from the hearts of the machine coursed through his body, freezing his every nerve as it took control of his being. Like a puppet on a string, he began to twitch and jerk violently. The tingling sensation wasn’t like that of a simple zap running through his skin. It felt hot, almost searing as it burned its way through his flesh. And soon, the fires of the battlefield weren’t the only smells that entered his nose.
This was it. He was done for…at last.
“But you made it out alive.” you remarked. “You’re still here. You didn’t die.”
A response of silence.
“Nyx?” You said his name again.
Again, Nyx didn’t say a word. Instead, you felt his hands grow limp against yours, no longer holding back with the warmth you adored. And it was at that moment did you see the life leave his steel-blue eyes, even if he wasn’t dead.
“If only I did…”
The tranquility Nyx felt despite the moment of torment was engraved so vividly into his memory. He remembered hearing the tolling bells from the afterlife in the distance, beckoning for his return. He could still feel the embrace of death holding him, caressing his skin like the gentle touch of a mother to a babe. It was the most peaceful he had felt, and Nyx wished nothing more than to feel it again.
“I thought…I thought I could see them again…” he murmured. “Mother…Selena…” Agony seeped in his words, and it hurt to hear them.
“Every time I enter that battlefield, I pray that this time would be it, that my suffering will finally come to an end.” But reality was cruel, and the gods never accepted him into their haven, even if he was clinging onto his last threads of mortality.
Your heart stopped from hearing those words escape his lips. “Nyx, don’t say that…” you said. “Your life is worth so much more than you thin—”
“It’s not [Name]!”
You flinched from the sudden yell of his voice. Rage simmered in his gaze, but you could see past it. Deep within you could see another man—lonely and scared.
“It’s not….” Nyx lowered his head. “I’m not who you think I am.” his voice was cold, distant and sounded like one of defeat.
“Why do you say that?” you asked.
“I’m tired [Name]” Nyx muttered. “I’m tired of running, I’m tired of being chased by these demons, I’m tired of having my life shredded like a dead animal.” The rage in his eyes depleted into one of despair—a look of one lost of hope. “I just want it to stop. I just want to lay my head down and rest for once in my life. But I can’t [Name]!”
“But you have to try!” you tried to reason. “You can’t give up this easily Nyx, you’re stronger than this!”
“What’s the point?” Nyx refuted. “What’s the point of trying anymore, when all I do is come back with the same thoughts of these battles, and I wake up to only find out that nothing in my life has changed and that I’m still living this god damn nightmare! I’m alive, but what am I alive for?”
“There’s people who still need you Nyx. You can’t just throw your life away.” you reached your hand out to take his, but the glaive immediately pulled away.
“No one needs me [Name]. Mother and Selena are dead. I have no home or anyone to return to.” Breathing out a trembling breath, Nyx brought his hands to his face, burying his anguish. “I…I want to die.”
You softened your gaze. This side to him wasn’t a side he’d shown you before; it was a side he hadn’t shown anyone. For as long as you’d known him, Nyx was the soldier you’d met that night at Malbo’s Smul Hut. The hero of the Kingsglaive who tried to impress you with his tales of bravery, and the man who took you home and made you his woman, and soon his lover. You remembered him looking so confident and courageous in his uniform; like the hero they dubbed him to be. But when that uniform came off, you would see the damage that lay in it’s wake. Behind the blades and magic, Nyx was just a man, weak and terrified. A man, forged into a weapon by the hands of its king to be thrown into the battlefield to find peace. And a man who would wake up every morning with nothing but the company of his scars—a reminder of the days his life would flash before his eyes. The wounds of his battles would heal, but the haunting memories burned upon his conscious were the ones of eternal.
“Why are you so eager to die?”
“Because it’s the only way I can go home…”
Without saying anymore, you reach out and wrapped your arms around Nyx, pressing your cheek against his neck as you pulled him close. You had embraced him many times before, however the body you held in your arms felt different—it felt frail. You could feel the suffering, his anguish seeping through his skin. Maybe a simple hug wasn’t enough to ease the demons feasting on his sanity, but you hoped it was enough for him to know that you were still here, that you were the someone he could return to.
“You are home, Nyx…”
Words of silence was all you could hear from this broken soldier. But soon his arms wrapped around your waist, drawing you tightly towards him. Your touch was what he needed in these moments of darkness—and it was what made him come back to you. He thought you were just another fling, another woman to impress. But it was this feeling of serenity and solace you provided that night which made him come back for more. Your arms were his safe haven–a piece of heaven Nyx thought he’d never reach. And in this moment, it was in these very arms did the glaive within perish. His sobs were silent, but the violent shuddering of his shoulders were enough.
“And I’ll always be here for you to come back to…”
Your words were that of promise that day. Now you stood under the sunrise of a ruined city where smoke mixed amongst the hues of orange and pinks. Such a beautiful sight, yet still grievous in nature. The place of your birth, your home now lay in waste. Yet, here you remained waiting. He told you it was a simple escort and that’ll he’ll be back soon. You believed him like always, and even now you still did. No matter how long it took, you knew he would return to you soon.