you were born to darkness yet you yearned for the light

“No.”

“But Cullen, see here-“

“Did I stutter?”

“Anyone would think you didn’t want to share them.”

“Not with the nobility of Orlais, I do not.”

“I think you are being rash. This is an excellent reason for a peaceful, joyful gathering, as well as winning ourselves some influence with the nobility. Recently, things have been tricky to say the least. An evening reception could be the turning point for this.”

They are not bargaining chips.

“But they attract much attention-”

“So?”

“The children of the Herald of Andraste and the Commander of the Inquisition. Surely you understand the interest that garners; the people are curious.”

“They can stay curious, and preferably several miles away from Skyhold.”

Josephine let out an indignant huff, pointing her quill at him from across the war table. “You are being insufferable, and pig-headedly stubborn about this.”

“Good.”

“Cullen, it will be a fine evening!”

“They are children! One of them barely an infant, three months old!” Cullen’s lip curled as he snarled his response. “They will have no idea what is happening, other than being peered at and patted and prodded, on display for your politicking. I won’t agree to it.” He folded his arms firmly, glowering across the room at her, fully intending that the conversation be over.

“That’s a pity, because the Inquisitor already has.”

“What?!”


——


“I’d like to voice, once again, that I am entirely against this entire idea. Maker knows why you ever agreed to it.” Cullen’s scowl was fixed as the procession of caravans and trailers made their way into the courtyard of Skyhold, mingling with the welcoming party, the sounds of laughter and conversation rising in the air. Their daughter sat in his arms, young eyes watching the arriving banners and colours with fascination from the safety of the parapets.

“Is that why we have more guard on duty than the entirety of Val Royeaux?”

The displeasure on his face was evident. “Inviting half of Orlais in to our home, even just for the evening, is asking for trouble. Andraste preserve me, I will have lost my patience by the time the end of this debacle comes around.”

Elicia rolled her eyes, moving to stand at his side, gently leaning into him. The infant tucked in the crook of her arm squeaked at the movement, but continued to slumber on. “Cullen, love. You are overthinking this.”

She felt the soft scratch of stubble as he kissed the side of her head, free arm linking around her waist, pulling her in close, chest heaving with a sigh. “It makes me nervous.” The stark confession came as his previous stoicism slipped. “It is too easy, too open and exposed. It is bad enough having to agree to place you on a pedestal for all to see, to leave you so exposed, that I cannot control. But for them too…I know I cannot hide them here forever, but…To wish for some normality for them, to be safe in this uneasy world…”

“I cannot think of any way they will ever be safer. Skyhold is their home.” She let the silence hang for a moment before continuing. “We need to appease these families and win some favour for ourselves. I know you understand it well enough, and I know that underneath you distain for our ambassador’s posturing, you recognise the reality we face. This is difficult, but our duty to the Inquisition must also be a consideration. It is one evening.”

The sigh that began his reply told her he understood fine well. “They will be safe, because I have stationed guards at every possible problematic area within Skyhold, and will have all on high alert for any issues. I will not allow anything other than a trouble-free evening.”

“They will be safe,” Elicia countered, turning her gaze upwards to meet his, “because their father will be less than a breath away at all times. No would-be trouble maker would dare to do anything with that particular threat hanging over them.”

She allowed herself a coy grin as she felt his chest rise and fill with pride, the low chuckle that fell from his lips more relaxed. “At least we are in agreement about something.”

Any further response he had was interrupted by an excited cry from the toddler in his arms.

“Daddy, look! Flags!”


——

As it happened, the reception was undisturbed and typically boring. The nobles fawned over the new arrival (yes, he repeatedly answered, he had taken his eyes and hair from his father), whispered hushed remarks about the blessed second infant of the Herald (Connor, he did have a name, sweet Maker!)  and marvelled at how alike their young girl was to her mother (Maker’s breath, was that really a surprise?). Frankly, the events of the day did little to change his opinion on the uselessness of pomp and circumstance of nobility, and only further served to reinforce his belief that a few good soldiers was better than any damn party. He was polite, however, Josephine’s warning eyes often finding him, and he spent the early evening fielding questions with ease, and sheltering a shy Imogen in his arms from the squealing noble women attempting to pinch her cheeks.

But when she began to whine, and rub at her eyes, and the baby grew restless, even with a full stomach, Cullen merrily volunteered to commandeer the bed time effort. Elicia had thanked him as she had passed the boy, the look they shared telling him there would be an admittance later on that perhaps he had been right about inviting so many people at once. But it was gone in a flash, and she was drawn into another conversation with another masked noble. Cullen slipped from the Great Hall with ease, leaving instructions with the guard should his presence be required, before disappearing into the quiet of Skyhold and the safety of their personal quarters, the warmth of the embers from the fire glowing in the dark of the evening.

As the door closed, he felt the invisible burden slip from him. Complete. He could relax, now that privacy was once more theirs, that the peering eyes and sickly-sweet voices had disappeared. Elicia was capable, more than capable, of handling an evening reception full of finery and indulgence. She was, after all, noble blooded, born into that world, far more attune with it and less noticeably irritated; Cullen, despite valiant attempt, had yet to ever find the patience, and often fought to control the sarcasm that awaited on his tongue. For all that the Inquisition was, and had, the Ferelden farm boy at his core still yearned for the most peaceful life he could muster.

He kicked off the leather boots that so pained his feet, setting the baby down amongst the covers on the bed before shedding the heavy dress jacket and waistcoat, and loosing the collar of his shirt. He set about changing Imogen from the ridiculously ruffled dress she had been subjected to, cladding her in fresh nightclothes and freeing her ever-growing hair from the confines of the plait Elicia had so carefully put in place.

“Come now, how about some peace from all that madness, hm? You have done a fine job as our newest ambassador. You look a little more like yourself now though, little one, and I fear I shall always prefer you to do so.” The soft giggle from her as he tickled under her chin made his heart swell, and he planted several kisses on her cheeks, peals of light laughter ringing out in response. Bundling both her and her brother back into his arms, he settled amongst the pillows on the bed, Imogen curling under one arm, the baby, with his golden tufts and rosy fat cheeks, nuzzling into his chest, breathing settling as calm descended. Cullen’s eyes closed almost automatically, the peaceful bliss addictive, and the content feeling of having both close, safe and quiet.

“So little, so new here, but so loved. Endless possibility, wrapped with hopes and dreams. Must protect, too innocent, too much evil in this world for them. How such little people have such hold over a heart.”

The sudden voice made him jump, eyes snapping open; even now, the Hedge mage could catch him by surprise. “Cole.” It was a rather obvious statement, and the boy, perched on the chair opposite, tilted his head.

“I was not aware you were sleeping. Did I frighten you?”

“I wasn’t, I…never mind.” He sighed, raising an eyebrow. “What do you want?”

“The Inquisitor asked me to check you had escaped in safety. She is trapped within conversation, mask after mask, words, words, words. It is so busy, but nobody notices Cole. I slipped up here very easily for her. She was worried it was too much.”

“Did she now?” He relaxed, returning to gently patting his son’s back, lulling him into a peaceful slumber with the quietest of sniffles. “Well, you can tell her that all is well, and she is free to continue with her evening. Although, I doubt I will be rejoining her, so please pass on my apologies.”

“Warm arms, broad chest, hands that guide, eyes that adore. Safe from all here, with my father, my favourite place in his embrace.”

Cullen’s eyes snapped up once more, following Cole’s gaze to his sleeping daughter, a dainty hand curled amongst his shirt, dark curls splayed as she found sleep, peace on her face, cheek resting at the arch of his shoulder. The creeping familiarity of fierce love wove into his chest as he watched her sleep, Cole’s words ringing in his ear, and a soft chuckle escaped him as he closed his eyes, knowing the spirit would be gone, leaving them in blissful peace once more.

The Desert Sun was Never Cold

There are many stories told of princesses, each described as the most elegant, the most beautiful princess who had ever lived. None of these stories are true, for the most beautiful princess who ever lived is, without a doubt, the desert Princess Sun.

From the moment Sun was born she has been graced with the gift of beauty, her skin is black and pure, her dark hair thick and coiled, eyes so brown you would believe they were born of the earth, and kissed by the sun with flecks of gold.

As Princess Sun grows, so too does her beauty and grace, sun gifted vitiligo on her skin growing and strengthening as she ages. Strangers travel the harsh desert of her homeland just to gaze upon her, and bring gifts to earn her favour. All those who come wish to be the one to receive a royal kiss from the Princess’ own perfect lips.

Sun is kind and gracious, she will offer food, drink and shelter to those who travel to greet her, but never will she offer a kiss. Some will plead and beg, others bargain and bribe, but not a single soul is able to pry the much yearned kiss from the lips of the world’s most beautiful princess.

“It is a silly tradition,” Sun will tell her servants, “A kiss will not heal them of their weariness, a kiss will not fill their bellies or dry their parched mouths. I offer them something they should value far more for their efforts and still they remain stubborn for the touch of my flesh upon theirs. I refuse to take part in such a useless exchange.”

A palace guard risks his life for hers and is refused a kiss, but offered medicine and a life of ease in the palace. A magician saves her people from a frightful Monster of the Sand, she too is refused a kiss, and instead given gold and jewels and rare herbs for her potions. Princess Sun gives only what is deserved and what is needed, she gives generously, her people love her, her people respect her, and yet-

“The Sun is cold,” her people say. “I hear she has never loved, she has never embraced another, never even touched another. She is generous in spirit but she is cold of heart.”

They pity their princess, incapable of love, cursed to be forever alone without a soulmate to complete her. They mean well, but Sun loathes the whispers. She is not cursed, she is not incomplete, but she is lonely.

She is loved by all and befriended by none, those she meet want her kisses, they want her devotion, they want her to bear their children, they do not want her unless they can have her lips or her hand or her womb, all things Sun is unwilling to give.

“I do not understand,” she says to her servants, “I give them all that they need and they ask only for parts of my body. How can my body give them the pleasure of a soft bed, or a fine wine? What pleasures can my body give them that riches and jewels cannot buy? I do not understand.”

Her servants say nothing, they understand the pleasures of the body that Sun has never craved, but these are not things to be spoken of to a Princess.

Things change with the presence of a new visitor to the palace. His pale skin is wrinkled and sallow, face gaunt, eyes sunken and back bent, he appears simultaneously bloated and withered. The servants fetch Princess Sun immediately and she hastens to greet the ill foreigner.

“I have not long in this world to live,” he rasps. “Please, all I ask of you Princess is a kiss, a kiss from your own beautiful lips to ease my pain.”

“Nonsense,” says Sun. “You are not in need of a kiss, you are in need of medicine and herbs and rest. My servants will take you to a room of your own, you will have your own personal healer and food and drink delivered to your bed.”

The old man clutches his chest in pain, “But my lady! I have come all this way at the end of my life just to gaze upon you, and you will not even ferry me to the afterlife with the touch of your soft lips upon my cheek?”

Sun feels pity for the man, in his state she knows he may not last the night, but she cannot accept his request, he is ill and perhaps diseased, were she to kiss him she may become sick herself and she would not risk her own health for the sake of a simple useless gesture.

“I am sorry I cannot grant your request, but I can give you comfort, my most beautiful guest room and the finest foods you can eat. If my healers fail you and you pass into the afterlife this night, you will pass on in luxury.”

In the great arched entrance of the royal palace the hideous old beggar transforms. In his place there is a stunningly beautiful young man encased within a whirlwind of pure light, his hair is like spun gold and the blue of the sky dances in his eyes.

He points a slim, delicate finger encrusted in shimmering jewels at the stunned Princess.

“You believe your wealth to be of more worth to an old dying man than a simple gesture of love and warmth. The Sun of this kingdom truly is cold. You do not deserve the beauty you flaunt in the faces of all those who adore you, those you bring the hope of love and then snatch away in exchange for mere trinkets! You are a heartless beast!”

As the servants cower before this shining Sorcerer in his otherworldly beauty, Sun stands firm. A scowl on her lips and the flare of her namesake in her eyes, she is no helpless waif and she will not be intimidated.

“I offered you comfort and medicine!” Sun’s voice echoes through the halls of the palace. “I offered an old beggar the luxury of passing on in peace with the chance to live another day, a chance to keep his flame alight! Most paupers could only dream of such a way to pass! How dare you liken this gift to a mere ‘trinket’! Were I a princess of any other kingdom I would have granted you your precious kiss and left you on the street to DIE! And yet you call ME heartless?!”

The Sorcerer’s soft, pink lips pull up in a sneer. “I see you will not easily learn your lesson Cold Sun. It will take more than my words to prove to you the meaning of a tender loving touch to one in need.”

“Don’t preach false lessons to me Sorcerer,” Sun spits. “You come into my home a liar, here to steal my intimacy through trickery and now that you’ve failed you claim a higher morality to save your ego. I see right through you Sorcerer, you are no more than a selfish, deceitful, entitled BRAT.”

The Sorcerer’s face hardens in fury, his magic lashing out and twisting around Sun, grabbing at her with golden hands of light, fingers clawing and grasping until not even a strand of the Princess’ dark hair is visible under the blinding light of the strange magic.

“YOU HAVE MADE A GRAVE MISTAKE THIS DAY COLD SUN, FROM THIS MOMENT FORWARD YOU WILL REGRET EVERY KISS YOU NEVER GAVE, FOR NO HUMAN ON THIS EARTH WILL EVER LOOK UPON YOU WITH LOVE AGAIN. NEVER WILL YOUR KISSES BE COVETED, NEVER WILL YOUR HAND BE SOUGHT AFTER. YOUR BODY WILL REFLECT WHO YOU TRULY ARE INSIDE, A COLD, HEARTLESS BEAST.”

As the Sorcerer’s magic peels away, the palace guards and servants look on in horror as a creature unlike anything they have ever seen is revealed in the place of their beloved princess.

Knotted locks of dull, tangled hair covers her large, hulking body, standing on all fours her sharp claws dig into the marble floor as she shakes off the tattered remains of her fine clothing. A ragged tail cuts sharply through the air as Sun rears her head, flicking a matted black mane off of her beastly snout and ghastly twisted horns.

All that remains of the beautiful Princess are the sun kissed markings upon her deformed face, and the bright flecks of gold within the black beads of her monstrous eyes.

The twisted beastly lioness turns to face her servants as they run in terror, pointed ears twitching at the sound of the Sorcerer’s manic laughter. Before she can leap upon him he disappears, leaving in his wake an enormous pulsing heart of molten flame. It hovers in the centre of the palace hall, shifting shape and shooting off tendrils of fire with every beat.

A mocking voice echoes through the palace doors, “If you fail to find someone who will look upon your monstrous form and willingly place a kiss to your beastly snout before the heart grows cold, then, and only then, will my spell be broken. It is your turn to yearn for a tender touch that will never come.”

Sun roars. She roars in anger, she roars in despair, she roars in outrage at this unfair curse undeservingly placed upon her. She has no lesson to learn, she has done nothing but show kindness and generosity to all who graced her halls, and still it is not enough, it has NEVER been enough.

She refuses to be punished for the greed of the Sorcerer, she refuses to bow to his whim and search for one who will kiss her, she has never wanted such things and this new beastly form will not change that for her now.

If she is to be this way forever, so be it.

Her servants quickly abandon the palace, guards blockade the front gates to keep the monster inside. Sun knows that she could easily jump the outer walls but she thinks better of it, her people are terrified of her, her presence would insight only violence and panic among them. She stays inside the palace, wondering what to do next, she no longer has a village to run, no diplomats to meet, no treasury to organise, no future to plan for.

Sun cannot remember a time where she had so little to do, so she sleeps.

Her claws tear up the fine silken sheets and her heavy mass collapses the bed frame, but she hardly notices once she lays her great maned head down to slumber. Sun does not dream, the fate of her village and her people does not come to her mind, all of her stress and worries simply melt away, but she cannot sleep forever.

When she wakes and finds herself unable to grasp the calming nothingness of her deep slumber once again, she concedes to the waking world. Lifting herself upon her large legs she walks the palace grounds. She has not eaten yet she feels no hunger or thirst, and so cannot use such needs to distract her, boredom settles upon her quickly and Sun begins her search for entertainment. She avoids the palace entrance, and the large pulsing heart of fire within.

Word spreads through the village fast, “The Princess has become a beast!” they say, “Cursed by a Sorcerer, only a kiss will free her!”

The palace guards stay by the gates for days, they stay as the people flee to neighbouring villages, wishing to keep their children safe from the monster behind the palace walls. The beast makes no move to escape, but every so often the guards will hear the heavy footfalls of the creature shuffling through the gardens and they remain in place. Their princess would have wanted it.

As days pass the village degrades, most left the day the curse was laid, others followed slowly as resources dwindled and looted homes become empty of valuables. The guards are the last to leave, ensuring that no one has been left behind.

Sun wakes one morning to silence from outside the walls. In her boredom she had circled the grounds, listening to the guards chatting outside. She recognised most of them by voice, she had considered many of them friends after all, but her friendship had always been one-sided. She could speak freely to them, but they could never speak freely to her, it had always been that way. Sun will miss listening to them talk casually amongst themselves.

Years pass and the princess swiftly runs out of ways to keep herself occupied and the palace begins to fall apart with neglect, her library is useless to her when her claws tear apart any book she sets her paws on, the gardens become more and more overrun with weeds every day, the once beautiful golden sheen of the palace walls become dulled without regular cleaning. Floors begin to crack under Sun’s immense weight, many narrow doorways are destroyed when she tries to fit through them. Parts of the palace roof and walls degrade quickly from her daily climbs up to watch the sun rise and set over the dunes.

Though she does not require food Sun still eats from the overgrown trees and vines from her once impeccable garden and leaps over the walls to reach the large oasis that her servants would fetch water from to deliver to the castle so long ago. She had never visited the large lake herself before she was cursed, but she now does so regularly, as splashing through the water feels wonderful on her thick, dark fur.

With every year that passes, Sun forgets more and more of her human life as she falls into the nature of a beast, hunting rodents and small critters through the empty streets of the village, sharpening her claws on the remains of sandstone walls. Chasing and pouncing upon the surviving abandoned livestock for sport, eating only out of boredom than any real need for food, more interested in chewing on the bones left behind.

There is hardly a shred of Princess left in the beast that roams the neglected desert kingdom, and the Cold Sun lords over the grounds with eyes of pure gold and a heart that no longer feels.

Until the day comes when a stranger enters her palace.

She is small and weak, young and fragile. Damp from a dip in the oasis but the smell of unwashed clothes and many days of travel still cling to her skin. Sun stalks the malnourished waif through the ruined village, watching as she raids old stalls and homes in search of something. Food? Treasures? The girl’s search leads her to the palace, she climbs over loose stones through a break in the dilapidated wall and enters the great doors.

Sun, focused on the hunt, follows the girl, she forgets that she has not been inside the entrance hall in many many years, she forgets why she has been avoiding this place for so long, she forgets until she looks upon the great heart slowly pulsing in the centre of the room. Every beat sends a weak tongue of flame flickering through the cracks of the icy skin that has grown around it. Heat shimmers below the cold armour, splashing the walls with eerily beautiful patterns of light.

Sun remembers.

The Sorcerer, the curse, her Palace, her people. Sun is a princess, Sun is a leader, Sun is a woman who cares deeply and gives generously. Sun is not a beast, Sun is not cold like the heart before her. Sun is not cold. Sun is NOT cold.

“Sun is not cold.” her great, gravelly voice echoes through the chamber.

The ragged girl, entranced by the heart before her, quickly turns to find she is not alone. Sun can see the fear on her face, she can smell it in the air, it sickens her.

“Do not be afraid child.” Sun sits on her haunches, tail sweeping lazy across the grand marble floor. “I mean you no harm.”

“You are the Great Beast,” the girl says. “I believed you to be a story, a legend to frighten away thieves.”

“Are you a thief?” asks Sun.

“No! I am not here to steal treasures! I simply seek shelter from the harsh desert winds.”

The girl’s skin is rough, her eyes and lips are red, chapped and raw, but there is also hunger in her narrow emaciated face. Sun knows it was not merely the promise of shelter that brought her here.

“Did not the temptation of my lush gardens draw you in? Did you not hope to find food behind the palace walls?”

“I had no intention of theft Great Beast! I did hope to perhaps find food in your garden, but now I know this garden has not been abandoned, and so I will not take from it. Unless you would allow me? I have little to trade but I will give you everything I have for a night’s rest and a full belly.”

Sun thinks. She thinks of the curse and the girl and a trade. A kiss on her beastly snout for a night of rest and respite. The heart is close to frozen, she has little time left, it is a fair trade is it not?

Sun shakes her wild mane in disgust. Never in her life has she asked a price for food and comfort, she has given freely to all those in need who have graced her halls, she refuses to change now. Curse be damned. The Sorcerer’s magic heart can grow as cold as the lands of the far north for all she cares, for her own heart will always be warm as the desert sands, warm as the great celestial being she was named for.

Sun does not need a kiss to prove so.

“The palace and gardens are yours to roam at your leisure, the garden’s spoils and the water of the oasis are yours to gorge yourself on as you please. I need only look upon you to see that you have lived a life of poverty and pain, so know that for as long as you remain here, you will be cared for. I will give you all that you need, child.”

The girl’s face is clear with suspicion. “Do you intend to fatten me up to eat me?” she asks.

Sun laughs, a mighty roar of a laugh that sends the short, black hairs on the young girl’s neck standing straight. Her blazing eyes soften to a comforting dark brown, only subtle flecks of their previous gold shining through.

“Child, of food I have plenty. Of company, I have only you.”

The girl, though still weary of the beast, does not turn up her nose at the generous offer. She feasts upon the sweet fruits of the garden, returns to fill her water-skin at the oasis when it runs dry, and the Great Beast simply sits and watches, leaving her side only once to return with the leg of a large, hoofed animal for her dinner. The young girl sleeps in the most comfortable, luxurious bed she has ever laid eyes on that night, pleasantly surprised to find that she has not been eaten in the morning.

The girl does not leave the next day as planned, never has she been so comfortable and well fed, never has she had such a pick of fine, though dusty, clothes to wear, never has she had someone look over her with such generosity and care.

“If the Great Beast truly wishes to fatten me up and eat me,” she thinks to herself, “perhaps I won’t mind if it means living my last days like this.”

The girl does not merely spend days living alongside the Great Beast, she stays a much longer time. Every day she wakes fearing her generous host less and less, she passes time telling stories of her travels, the places she’s seen and the many languages she speaks. For a girl so young she has been through so much, and she is grateful to have a place to rest and feel safe.

“My name is Acacia.” the girl says one night as she lays against her friend’s great black hide, decorating her mane with tidy, twists and braids.

“You may call me Sun.” the beast says in return.

During daily visits to the lake they both romp and play in the water, splashing and roughhousing before drying off in the desert heat. Acacia helps Sun brush the clinging sand from her fur, and in return Sun will lick the sand from Acacia’s own short locks of hair.

Acacia spend the years teaching Sun the many songs and rhymes she has learned in all her languages, Sun teaches Acacia how to hunt and track and kill large prey. The two run together through the dunes, chasing the wind and challenging the sandstorms, for they know that no force on this earth can take them down when they ride together.

One day Acacia ask, “How is it that you became a beast? Stories tell of a curse, that you were changed for being cold of heart, but I can hardly believe such a lie about one so warm and loving.”

“Those who hold magic are not always deserving of their power,” says Sun. “The curse is what froze my heart dear Acacia. It is you who reminded me of it’s warmth again.”

“Is it true you can be saved with a kiss?” Acacia asks. “You have done so much for me, if a kiss is what is required to end your curse I will gladly give it.”

“Thank you my child,” says Sun as she bows her great head. “But I have no reason to return to my mortal form. My spirit has grown too large for the skin I once wore, and to accept a curse as a gift is a greater insult to a Sorcerer than playing his game and breaking it.”

Sun laughs to herself and nuzzles the young girl’s hair with her great snout, Acacia responds with a scratch behind her friend’s large ear, she does not ask about the curse again. The flames within the magical heart flutter with one last beat before finally succumbing to the icy cold of the Sorcerer’s spell.

Sun, enveloped by the warmth of Acacia’s love and friendship, does not even notice.

In time Sun knows her friend will grow old and pass away, but they have many many years to spend together before such a tragedy befalls her, and in that time Sun hopes that others will come to the old palace, others who may be seeking food and shelter. They will find all that they need here in this forgotten desert village, as they always have and always will, because despite what all the stories say;

The desert Sun was never Cold.

oh my god this is so long I’m so sorry but the tumblr app dOESN’T LET YOU USE READ MORES AND I WROTE IT ON MY IPAD AAAA

*cough* so here’s my spin on aromantic, asexual Beauty and the Beast, take care to notice my own aro ace ass projected literally everywhere and also my love for giant monsters mothering tiny humans, also changed the working title from The Cold Sun because The Desert Sun was Never Cold resonated stronger with me 😎👌✨

SOME VISUAL NOTES:
Sun’s looks are loosely based on Canadian model Winnie Harlow, (vitiligo yo it’s gorgeous) the setting is loosely based in North Africa, you can basically assume everyone but nobody’s-favourite-blue-eyed-blond-haired-asshole-Sorcerer are POC

Sun’s beast form is like a huge mix between a lion and a Tibetan Mastiff and I want to cuddle her SO MUCH and Acacia you will be braiding that mane all fucking day if you aren’t careful there is a lot of hair to work with and Sun will just sit there and let you do it

man but yeah, I wanted this story to highlight the importance of not assuming asexual people are unfeeling robots, and how we need love and attention just as much as any other person, we just don’t need the sexual and/or romantic kind of love and attention, and that doesn’t make us cold or selfish and ngl we are all secretly giant lions on the inside don’t tell anyone

Scarlet Savior Pt.2

Part 1 // Part 3 // Part 4

Pairing: Bucky x Reader

Summary: Some of them said you were born gifted; you were able to magnify every single perception, from luck, to your own feelings. Others, that you were damned since the very beginning; you could also bring the worst from every single thing, every single person, even about you. However, you saw your powers as a part of yourself, a part that, like a silent virus, was infecting your own sanity. Cheating!Bucky,

Warnings: Angst. Like, for real. There’s nothing else but angst. Not even room for descriptions. 100% Angst concentrated in 8185 characters.

Words: 1513

A/N: Reader has the ability of detecting emotions and magnifying everything she wants, yet she can’t control her own feelings. In this chapter I’ll be focusing more on Bucky’s view instead of the reader. Also, never make me fix a shot, cause I’ll make it sadder than it was lmao. And I guess I’ll write a 3rd part because even this angst sucker kid has needs for this to end well.

Originally posted by sebastianstahn

“Good morning, darling.” Bucky’s fingertips trailed a path on the almost naked body lying on his side, embracing every single curve, every single mole and spot, everything that the fresh ambient of the morning touched. At that moment he wanted to be air, wrap himself around her, feel her entirely with his being. Or maybe he just wanted to disappear, fly away free, just like the matter he wanted to become.

“Morning, James.” With a sleepy voice she greeted her now boyfriend, humming the words slowly, not very aware of her surroundings. “What time is it?”

“6 A.M.” He answered in a whisper, receiving not response. She fell asleep again.

And Bucky didn’t like that. It lets him more time alone, therefore, more time to think. And during these months, one of the few things he detested with all his heart was using his brain for contemplating, and the lack of sleep didn’t help very much either. 

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Rationalism Gothic
  • You utter a statement. Someone says, “Yet. Growth mindset.” This happens more and more. If you are very careful in your phrasing, you may hear, “So far,” instead. You speak in soft whispers, alone. Pessimistically. “Yet,” says a voice. “Growth mindset.” Silently, in a deserted office, you say nothing. “Growth mindset,” says the voice. Louder. It is growing.
  • You did not always live in the Bay Area. Once you began a circle of friends based around similar interests, somewhere else, far away. You made a pilgrimage. You did not return. You do not know if you have abandoned your friends to the wider world or if they will join you one day. You do not know what you hope they will do.
  • It has been six weeks since you met someone who was not a programmer. Perhaps everyone is a programmer. If we were in a simulation, everything would be programming.
  • You’re sure you’re imagining the blood on your friends’ teeth when they endorse killing babies. That was only a story. You’re so happy.
  • It is the Solstice. Something is wrong with the tech for the ISS footage. You wait in darkness. You have a light, but you are forbidden to ignite it.
  • You listen to Michael Vassar. You don’t remember traveling to this party or sitting on this beanbag. You don’t remember when he began to speak. He is still speaking. He sounds like madness and glory given lisping poetry, and you want to obey.
  • Someone is getting married. You speak dutifully of statistics when asked what you think of their wisdom. Someone toasts the Chosen One. You raise a glass that is lit with changing colors.
  • You are caught up with Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality. You have always been caught up on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality. You were born caught up on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality. Your car clock ticks to the moment of its update and you drift into oncoming traffic as you scramble for your phone. You will always be caught up on Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality.
  • You’re struggling with akrasia. You have insight into your condition. You pity people who don’t even know to call it “akrasia”. You have not done anything in months.
  • Your house has a name. Your house’s whiteboards have messages on them that none of you remember writing. Your house wants you to buy seaweed snacks and almonds. They’re paleo. Your house is concerned about diets of the ancestral environment. Your house is gluten-free.
  • You have not found a way to connect your hobby to rationalism yet. It itches. You are not whole. It is forbidden to post an article entitled Rationalist Hobby on Less Wrong. You lie awake at three in the morning, trying to create puns.
  • You stare at plastic pyramids. Your eyes are playing tricks on you. There is a koan with both a black and a white Go stone. Your eyes must be playing tricks on you.
  • You have a nightmare about committing the fallacy fallacy fallacy fallacy fallacy fallacy fallacy. You wake up. You haven’t, really. Probably. One is not a probability and you are not safe, never safe.
  • You see movement out of the corner of your eye. You dismiss it on priors. You still see it. You dismiss it on priors. You fear updating.
  • You are prepared for Omega to appear to you and present you choices. Ecstatic choices that will leave you laughing from the top of a heap of utility or in torment for all eternity. You are ready. You fear and yearn for this day in equal measure. You are ready and know exactly what you will do and so does Omega.
  • You want to be frozen when you die. Not sooner. You look around corners before you step past. Sometimes, you consider leaving your necklace at home. Not yet.
  • You aren’t afraid of paperclips. They can’t hurt you. They’re only paperclips. Don’t be afraid.
  • Politics is the mindkiller. You do not need to come up with thoughts about politics. They would only kill your mind. Rest now.
  • You have expanded your comfort zone. Today you have committed two felonies and eaten a motorcycle. You are comfortable, you remind yourself, as you flee the authorities. You are comfortable.
  • You abandon a sunk cost. You didn’t want to. It’s crying.
  • You donate to effective charities to signal virtue to your friends. They are impressed. You feel cold. Friendship isn’t about affection. You signal louder and louder to nothing and no one. You have never done anything real. You are not real.
  • Everyone you know is talking about the end of the world. They say they are worried. They talk about it a lot. They barely talk about anything else. It seems like they are having so much fun. They say they are worried. They only chant dark rituals sometimes.
Bittersweet Smiles

Summary: Jungkook is a vampire and he falls for you
Members: Jungkook x You
Type: Angst
Length: 2,027 words

This was so sad to write I kind of almost cried lol you guys should listen to this song when reading! it’s very good and it kind of inspired it : ) enjoy! hands out tissues and ice cream beforehand

- Admin Mocha

Originally posted by monchims

  He loved you, but he could never have you. You were far too innocent for this world, and maybe that was the whole reason why he found you to be so divine.

  Jungkook was a vampire that had been around for centuries, he was as old as dust and despite the fact it had been broken beyond repair for generations, his heart refused to give out. The beat was as strong as a bull’s and even though his health was in top conditions for his age, Jungkook had no desire to live. He hated the cruel world that he was born into, it was filled with selfish men, war, and hatred. He outlived his entire clan and had migrated from Transylvania due to the uprisings against Vampires and settled in an city. He was naive and young and he gave his kisses and thoughts away to different women amongst the years, he knew that he would eventually outlive them, but the thing was that he didn’t really love them. He just wanted his time on the planet to end faster, and if his mind was taken off the fact he was going to be spending a countless number of years in a place he couldn’t stand, then he wouldn’t mind pretending to love women he didn’t and showering them in riches. Jungkook was simply tired by the time he reached the 21st century, he couldn’t care for the technology and for the reckless teenagers, he would much rather be 6 ft underground in a coffin with the rest of his family.

Keep reading

Everyday Lives 16: Daddy Blues

Summary: All our favorite couples have kids. And it’s time for their first round of shots. Can the guys handle seeing their babies crying over a little shot?

You can read all of my Every Lives fics here !!


Sunlight drifted into the room where a large lump was formed on the king sized bed. A roar was occasionally heard from the sleeping lump. It roused the small bundle in the crib next to the bed. The swaddled pink bundle began to cry, the roaring had entered her dreams.

The crying had alerted the babes mother in the kitchen. She quickly made her way to the bedroom. The little girl was swaying back and forth, trying to get out of the cocoon of blankets. Her mother gently unraveled the blankets apart, lifting the child into her arms, patting her back.

The child had finally calmed down only yo he frightened again by another roar.

Holding the bawling child tightly against her chest, she grabbed the pillow that the monster wasn’t using.

“Gajeel! Wake up! Your snoring is scaring Bullet!” Levy smacked him multiple times in the head.

“Hey!” he jumped up, tangled in the covers, “What’s the big idea?!”

“Your snoring woke up Bullet! You’re scaring her!”

Gajeel tumbled out of the bed and took his daughter out of his wife’s arms.

“I’m sorry! Daddy’s sorry! Daddy didn’t mean to scare you baby!” he nuzzled the little dark haired girl against his face. Levy stared at the odd sight. Knowing no one but she saw this side of the Iron Dragon.

The three month old had started to giggle and pull on her daddy’s long hair.

“OW!”

“That’s what you get,” Levy laughed, “Now hurry up. Let’s eat so we can get ready to go to Bullet’s doctors appointment.”

Gajeel, in shock, watched his wife leave the room, “Bullets… doctors… appointment…?”

…“No”…


                                             - at the doctors office -


“Everything is going to be fine,” Levy mumbled into her baby’s fine hair.

“No it won’t, don’t lie to her.”

Levy glared at the highly intimating male sitting next to her, “Gajeel.”

“Shrimp.”

She huffed, knowing it was useless to argue. Ever since their daughter was born, Gajeel had been acting more and more protective. Maybe it was the dragon side of him, but it was there, and strong. And it only got worse when it came to their little girl getting her monthly shots.

“Bullet Redfox?” a nurse had came out from the back and called.

Gajeel tensed. It was time. The way his muscles moved, you’d think he was getting ready for a battle.

In the patients room, Levy bounced the girl on her knees, making her gurgle with happiness. Gajeel sat with his arms crossed, trying to harden his heart. And failed every time he looked at his little girl or when he heard her little laugh.

“Well hello there,” the doctor came in the room and began chatting with Levy, Gajeel never looked at him. The appointment went along as usual. Bullet watched the strange mans movements with wide eyes. Her short memory slightly working at the sight of him.

“And here comes the worst part,” the doctor said as he prepared the needle.

Levy held Bullet a little closer, kissing her head. Gajeel watched in silence, then Bullet smiled up at him and reached for him.

“I can’t,” he rushed out of the room.

“Exasperated, Levy did her best to smile at the doctor.

"Oh trust me, he’s not the first father to leave the room and he won’t be the last.

Laughing a little bit, Levy felt somewhat better, but then he pulled the neddle closer to her baby girl. Levy braced herself.

"Alright sweetie, here we go,” the doctor said as he held Bullet’s arm firmly.

The moment the needle touched her delicate skin, Bullet let out a bone chilling scream. It made Levy die inside. There was a loud thump heard right outside the door.

“All done! All done!” The doctor put a kitty covered band-aid on her arm, smiling sadly.

“You did so good baby. Mommy’s so proud of you,” Levy rocked her poor upset baby.

“And for being such a good girl, you get to choose a prize!” The doctor pulled over a toy bin in front of Levy.

“Look baby girl, look at these,” Levy turned her still squalling child to look at the bin, it was mostly stuffed animals and such.

Through her tears Bullet made out the shapes of the toys, her little hazel eyes saw a black shape with wings and reached out for it.

“This one?” Levy picked up a black dragon toy, smiling as Bullet held it close and started to calm down some. She saw the doctors perplexed face and giggled.

“It reminds her of her daddy.”

“I see,” he grinned along with her, “You’re free to go, the receptionist will give you your time for next month.”

Thanking him, Levy finally stepped out and looked for her husband. She found him in a pitiful ball right next to the door.

“Gajeel,” sighing happily, he never stopped amusing her.

“Is it over?”

“Yes, hun, it’s over,” Bullet reached her little arms out to him, still holding onto the dragon.

At the speed of light, Gajeel grabbed the child and squeezed her tight.

“Be careful!”

“Oh my sweet girl!” You could see that he had been tearing up, “Daddy’s never going to let that happen again! My little Bullet will never feel pain again!”

Levy shook her head, “You know we have to come back next month, right?”

“No we don’t!”

“Gajeel..”

“Don’t do it Levy!” Gajeel ran after her as she spoke to the receptionist.

“But we have to..”

“Please no! Levy!” He cried as Levy took the date and time for next months appointment.


It was a peaceful morning at the Fernandes house. Erza was making breakfast for the three most important people in her life. All those years of being separated from Jellal were in the past now.

In the the living room, a little girl with dark red mixed with violet hair sat on a quilt in the middle of the floor, she was intently watching the blankets. Across from her, a little boy, her twin brother, also sat and watched the blankets. His hair was a striking purple, a perfect mix of his parents.

The twins sat completely still, waiting for the blankets to move. Finally, the blankets moved, making a wave, like something was crawling underneath it.

The boy was starstruck, completely fascinated with this new from of entertainment. His sister was not prepared for it and fell on her back. Wiggling around, not possessing the strength to turn around just yet.

Not far from them was Jellal, who laughed deeply at his little girl. He was lying on his stomach, one hand holding the blanket up, the other had been getting ready to send a tiny meteor under the blanket when she fell over.

After clapping his hands with glee, the 5 month old boy made his way to his father, forgetting about the blanket wave and his sister.

Jellal’s laughter got Erza’s attention, calling her into the room to join her family.

Her son, Arcelio, had crawled on his fathers back, and her daughter, Rosemary, was close to getting on her side all by herself, but wasn’t quite there yet. The requip mage’s heart yearned to help her baby, and she did just that.

Picking her up, she playfully glared at her boys.

“That was very mean of daddy and brother wasn’t it?” Erza walked into the kitchen with Rosemary. She heard Arceilo squeal, Jellal must have moved.

Putting her daughter into her seat, giggling at her as she squirmed when Erza tickled her. Jellal joined her and put their son in his matching seat.

“What’s the special occasion?” Jellal asked, noting that Erza had gone all out for breakfast.

“What? We can’t have a nice meal every now and then?” She handed her babies their sippy cups, avoiding Jellal’s stare.

“Erza,” Jellal used his commanding voice to get her attention.

Pouting, Erza slowly looked over at him. With a quivering lip she said, “They have a doctors appointment today.”

Jellal bit his lip to keep from laughing at the S Class Wizard, “And just what’s wrong with that?”

“They’ve already had shots! They don’t need any more!”

Hugging his wife from behind, Jellal kissed her beautiful scarlet hair, “They are infants, love. They have to get shots so they won’t get sick.”

“We grew up without doctors! And we hardly ever got sick!”

Ignoring the painful memories, he pressed on, “I know you don’t like it, but we have to.”

“But-”

“No buts,” he twirled her around and held her close to his chest, “It’s just one little shot, what could happen?”

Erza narrowed her eyes as he kissed her cheek, but eventually she relented.

Yes, what could happen.


                                           - at the doctors office -


Apparently, more than they thought.

“Since winter is coming pretty soon, we’ll go ahead and give them a flu shot today as well,” the kind doctor explained.

Jellal inwardly groaned. He took a chance and glanced at his wife who, surprisingly, looked calm.

“That’s fine, whatever you think is best.”

Rapidly blinking at her, Jellal couldn’t even begin to guess what she was thinking.

“Why are you staring Jellal?” She hadn’t looked at him, but the ever powerful Titania didn’t have to look to know that he was confused.

“Erza, are you OK?” He whispered as the doctor prepared 4 needles, 2 for each child.

“I’m perfectly OK.”

“Alright, who’s first? How about brother?”

Ever so slightly, Jellal saw Erza flinch. She was holding onto Arcelio who was about to doze off with a gentle but firm grip.

“Ready? Here’s number one,” the doctor gave Arcelio his first shot, which woke the boy up quickly.

Jellal was impressed with his son. Arceilo just looked at the doctor with a ‘why did you do that’ look before he cried. Erza, however, cried the moment the doctor put the needle on his arm. Rosemary, who was in his lap, started to whimper when her twin cried.

“Shh. Just one more an done,” the doctor gave Arcelio his second shot, which made him cry louder.

“Shhh. Shhh. Mommy’s here, mommy’s here,” Erza rocked back in forth to calm him down, she was also holding him so tightly to calm herself down. No one needed to know how much this affected her. Especially Natsu and Gray.

Jellal looked at the both of them with a sad and amused smile. Only his wife would cry over a little shot more than a baby would.

“OK sister, your turn,” the doctor moved in front of Jellal. Now, he may be laughing at Erza, but it’s not like he was heartless. They were his babies too. Little Rosemary always smiled at him, she was never fussy either.

“Here we go, shot number one,” Rosemary watched and tensed as the needle got closer. Her cry wasn’t as loud as her brothers, but it made Jellal’s heart sink just as much.

“Almost, there, we’re done! You two are so good!” the doctor threw away the needles and got out two bags of cookies.

Having calmed down, Erza took the bags and thanked him.

“Ready Jellal?” she rocked the baby in her arms to soothe him back to sleep, “Jellal?”

Turning back to the patients chairs only caused Erza to smirk. Jellal was holding on to Rosemary like his life depended on it. Tears rolling down his cheeks.

“It’s just one little shot. What could happen?” she teased him.

“Be quiet.”


“I am the Great Demon Lord Dragneel! You have greatly displeased me! Feel my wrath!”

Natsu brought his little angel down to his face and blew strawberries on her belly. The little pinkette squealed as she was lifted back into the air, then back down for more of her daddy’s silliness.

Natsu was lying on his and Lucy’s bed, holding his daughter above his head. Lucy was next to him, watching the giggling baby.

“Look! It’s a creature out to destroy Fairy Tail! Baby Dragneel to the rescue!”

Natsu made flying noises and brought her down to her mother’s face.

“Ahh! No- Natsu!” Lucy laughed as he rubbed the baby’s fine hair in her face.

“Aw, come one Lucy. Not like it’s the end of the world,” he winked as his joke as he laid the little girl on his chest.

“Not funny.”

“It is a little.”

Huffing at his so-not-funny joke, Lucy got up and walked to her large walk-in closet.

“What are you doing, Lucy?”

Glancing back at the bed, Natsu had rolled on to his side, with their darling daughter beside him on her back, sucking on her toes.

“We have Cass’ doctors appointment today. I told you that last night,” she went back to searching for a good outfit for the day when she heard a low and fierce growl.

The door slamming is what brought Lucy to his scene. Her husband had grabbed a blanket, Cassandra in his arms, wrapped the blanket around both of them, and hid under the kitchen table.

“Natsu, get out from under there.”

“You can’t see me. I’m a ninja,” all she could were his eyes and nose and the top of Cass’ pink head.

“I can see you just fine,” she knelt down and pulled on the blanket. Barely moving Natsu from his spot, “We can’t be late for an appointment, again.”

“But Lucyy!” he whined as she took Cassandra out of his arms.

“But nothing!” she walked away from her pouting husband, who had decided the floor was the best place to put his face.

Placing her daughter on the changing table, she decided to have a little heart to heart, “I swear, he acts like he’s the one getting shots instead of you baby girl.”

Cass laughed as her mommy went on and on about her daddy. Having absolutely no idea what was going on today.


                                              - at the doctors office -


“YOU HURT MY BABY GIRL!”

“Sir, it’s just a mandatory shot-”

“I DON’T CARE WHAT MAN SAID! YOU MADE MY LITTLE ANGEL CRY! I’M GONNA KICK YOUR ASS!”

Lucy sat back and watched the man of her dreams yell at the doctor. Fire came out of his mouth every time he spoke. The doctor was terrified.

She looked down at the calm little girl who was playing with her mommy’s scarf.

“I hope you act more like me when you get older,” she said as Natsu was being threatened with a tranquilizer, “Please, act more like me.”


“I don’t see the point in this.”

“Darling..”

“I mean, he’s only a month old, we pretty much just got him.”

“Gray..”

“Shots hurt, Juvia. And they want to give my one month old son one?”

“Juvia knows. Juvia had many shots while pregnant.”

The glare she sent him made Gray stop his complaining. They were in the waiting room for their first appointment with their son.

Hearing a quiet gurgle, Juvia leaned over to the baby carrier that was next to her to see her beautiful little boy was awake. He looked just like his daddy.

“Is mommy’s little Storm up? Oh, you slept all morning, what a good baby,” she pulled him into her arms and stared at his adorable face.

Gray too stared, loving the way Juvia was smitten with him. Before Storm came along, Gray would go on a jealous rampage at any male who so much as glanced at Juvia, but there was no way he could be jealous about Storm, especially since he was just as smitten with the tiny baby as she was.

“Fullbuster?”

The moment had come. Juvia stood, grabbing the blue baby bag and motioned for Gray to get the carrier.

He followed her back into the room, it smelled funny. He didn’t like it. The walls were covered with happy faced animals. Who would want to stare at a stupid monkey with a stupid grin on it’s face while getting a stupid shot?

“Ah, so a brand new baby. Good, good,” an old man walked into the room, he was the pediatrician that Juvia’s OBGYN had recommended. Still, just because he looked like a kind old man didn’t mean Gray had to like what he was going to do to his son.

“ My name is Dr. Ted Brief. Now let’s see, here’s some things I need to check off..”

The appointment went really well In Juvia’s eyes. She adored Dr. Brief, he explained things clearly, interacted well with Storm, and suggested quiet a few things for Juvia to try while Storm was still growing.

Then, came the shot.

“OK, now I know this hard for first time parents, but we have to give a mandatory shot..” he went on to explain what it was and why they did it, all the necessary things, “Mr. Fullbuster, would you like to stay in the room or go outside? Most fathers have a hard time watching.”

Gray snorted, no way was he going to leave, “Nope. Staying right here.”

“Yes, well.. if you do stay, would you kindly put your shirt back on?”

Juvia flushed and looked around the room and saw Gray’s shirt behind the doctor, how did that even happen?

“Darling!”

“OK, OK, sorry.”

“OK, then little guy, ready for your first shot? It’ll hurt for a second and then the pain will be gone, and if you’re really good I’ll have a prize for you.”

Storm was nestled comfortably in his mothers arms, watching the doctor with the lazy eyes that he gotten from his father, but the color of his mothers. He was unaware of the struggle his parents were fighting when the man with glasses and graying purple hair brought a shiny sharp thing closer to his arm. He wasn’t interested in it all, until he felt it.

Juvia whimpered hearing him cry. He was such a good baby and hardly ever cried, unless he was dirty or hungry, and even then it wasn’t much, just enough to get their attention. She kissed his head when Dr. Brief put the bandied with the ninja turtles on it on his arm. Hoping to soothe him a little.

“See? All done, and since you were so good, how about a prize?” he put a stuffed shark in front of the little boy.

The bawling turned into sniffling as he looked at the toy, his mother brought it closer to him so he could grab it. It was soft, he buried his face into it.

Juvia and Dr. Brief exchanged a few more words about what to look out for and things that all mothers needed to know. Juvia barely noticed when her son left her arms, until she was standing and looked over to her.. quiet.. husband.

He was bawling. Loudly. Into his son’s hair.

“Never! This will never happen again!”

Unsure of what to do, since she had never seen Gray like this, put her hand on his shoulder.

“Gray?”

“Never again!” he stood quickly and held Storm away from her, “You’re not putting my son through this again!”

The tears were still streaming down his face. She sighed.

“Gray..”


“What are you talking about, Salamander? My little girl is the cutest of all!”

“No way man, my little angel is ten times cuter than her!”

Jellal and Gray watched Natsu and Gajeel argue over which baby was cuter.

“I honestly have to say that Rosie is the best, but that is my personal opinion.”

“Sure. But at least Storm is gonna be the number one guy around here.”

“Excuse me?”

The four males continued to argue over their children. Said children were all taking a nap on the living room floor of Jellal and Erza’s home.

The wives of these men were sitting at the kitchen table, listening to them.

Erza smirked as Jellal defended her little boy, “So let me ask you all something, how do they act when you go to an appointment? Jellal is alright with Arcelio, but takes it hard with Rosemary.”

“Last time we went Natsu started to fight the doctor..”

“My darling Gray cried like a baby..”

“Well at least they stayed in the room with you unlike Gajeel..”

our minds are troubled by the emptiness

from the perfect start, to the finish line.

-youth by daughter.

au where Carmilla is not a vampire, and some things in the show are revolved. 

~

Laura broke up with you. It’s only been a year, but it feels like eternity. It’s so hard to fall asleep at night. Every position you roll into, you know, you remember, how Laura would form around you, but she’s not here to hold you anymore. You miss her so fucking badly; there are universes, gardens, villages dying inside of you.

You promised yourself you would never get attached to someone like this. But she was so beautiful, so calming. When you touched her, you could feel summer swell brightly in your chest and the sun spark on your tongue, and you thought you’d be okay. Now you are laying between cold, wrinkled sheets with winter beating hollow in your heart, and you can still taste Laura on the tip of your tongue saying, “I’ll miss you more than anything, but we’ll be okay.”


  Distance, Carmilla, she had whispered. She was going to travel for journalism and you were not— could not—  and it was inevitable, and Laura had shattered your heart into thousands of pieces, and she lingers still there.

  I love you, she’d said so mournfully, I can't— I couldn't— bear to watch us fall apart.

Two years later, now, a new girl sits cross legged on your bed, and she tastes like a different flavor of bubblegum than you are used to, and she isn’t enough.

 Her name is Elsie. She’s a poor replacement. Her eyes are blue, chips of soft ice, not rich, dark gold, and her hair is platinum, not honey swirled with chocolate. She’s different. She isn’t Laura. Possibly the most bone-wrenching difference. How pathetic.  

She opens up a leather book with gold leaf script. It’s a book of philosophy. Laura gifted it to you for Christmas, and the little dells of where her fingers pressed are still worn into the leather, and it smells faintly of home, of new pages, of her. You can’t bear to give it up. Pathetic, again, but everything about this seems to be that way.

She doesn’t notice the little, scrawled note on the edge. The “You’ve always seen more in the world than I have. Love, Laura.“ The way the letters curl and dip. And you swallow back a cry as a folded picture of her and you falls out of chapter three.

Now there are two unfinished stories resting in her lap.

 Inevitably, Elsie asks, and you tell her. "I dated her a while back,” you say softly, but you don’t say the other words lingering in your head.

Sometimes, when I’m holding you, I imagine the smell of her vanilla perfume.


She grins— her smile isn’t like Laura's— and points at the picture again; a hollowness yawns in your stomach. You feel empty as you look at her. You always felt whole with Laura. 


“But— Carmilla, she looks younger than you.”

“She was.”

But the nineteen summers in her bones warmed the twenty one winters my skin had weathered.

“Well, you’re over her, right?” Elsie says, and you nod once, averting your eyes.

“Yes. It’s nothing now.”

  It was everything then.

Elsie folds the softly worn, dog-earred picture and tucks it back into the crinkled pages, and you take the book back; your fingers slip into the soft hollows of the leather easily, and you gently store it under your pillow.The pillow is a faded yellow, and it still smells of cocoa butter and strawberry shampoo and honeysuckle. Saccharine. 

You never told Elsie where it came from, and who its first owner was. You don’t think you could forget those eyes even if you tried. Not that it matters much, they’re still in your dreams, every night. 


A wiser person would call them nightmares.


 * * *

When you go to sleep that night, you flip open the phone that replaced the one that followed you to the bottom of the sea. You bite your lip before unwittingly tapping through to your browser tab— incognito— a few taps on the keyboard— and so many photos pop up, and you feel sick. She looks older now. 


So do you.

Her bio reads “a small town chick that’s flown the nest. Professional Journalist.” She’s still single, but you think you can read the sadness in the hollow under her eyes, the dullness to those once bright, blown pupils, and your stomach churns, and you know you cannot do this anymore. She’s chasing her dreams, but you’ve only ever had one hope, and it is her.

You break up with Elsie, that day. You know it’s not right- God, when were you concerned with the morality of things? You’ve fucked and forgotten and yet this is the thing to guilt you- to drag her along when you don’t love her. You never loved her, and you tell her so, because you owe her honesty, at least. She cries and is enraged, and you shake your head.


 And then, you leave. Leave behind the memories to chase more.  

You travel for God knows how many days, weeks, months. You leave Austria behind— seeing Canada, Iceland- God, that place makes you remember those shitty photoshops, and, consequently, Laura-  Europe. Europe associates you with Maman, and you swallow grief. 


You meet people, travel places, see new things. But your heart is always yearning for something more— and Styria always calls you back to the rugged mountains you were born under. So you return to the soaring crocus skies, the feather white clouds, the burns of moors under the pale wash of sunlight and waving violet wildflowers. You return to the swift streams running with snowmelt, cold and clear, to the rattling, creaking conifer forests, to the stony scree slopes.

You return to your home, but sadness is still coursing dark in your veins. You were her soulmate; it doesn’t mean she was yours.

You’re twenty six now.

You see it one night when you’re on a subway back to your apartment. Iris is blasting in your ears— yeah, you bleed just to know you’re alive— when you happen to look up, to your right.

You’re very sure your eyes are deceiving you at first when you see the gray hoodie, the gray drawstrings. A faded emblem blazons across the front. It reads Silas University. The long chocolate and vanilla hair that tumbles down the front is unmistakable, and you raise your eyes in disbelief, and deep brown meets rich gold as she looks up from her book, and her pupils are blown wide as you wait in the tense moment.

You stand— albeit shakily, the subway is still rattling on, and push your way through the crowded seats toward her. She’s gripping the pole, and her eyes are so sad, like the heartbreak never left them, (maybe it didn’t) and she’s clutching a worn notebook. Your heart thunders in your ears when you recognize it as the one you gave her all those years ago. 


The first words you say are spluttered. “What are you doing here?” Your voice is so much less confident.

“I’m traveling for a journalism project,” she says softly, and her voice trembles too.

You can see tears pooling in them, and you remember suddenly how she never said she didn’t love you back— how you two ended.

“How long will you be here?” You settle for the first words that come to your head, and you chide yourself at the desperation in them. Stupid, stupid, stupid. 


“A few months,” she says slowly, and then her eyes grow larger, the dark gold melting to chocolate, and the first stirring of hope flickers to life in your heart. Like a fluttering flame, but it’s there, and it doesn’t subside.


The subway rattles to a stop, shuddering before it jerks to a halt, and you sway, hand tightening on the metal. It’s your stop, and you blink, again that hope rising unbidden as she stands too.

“It’s my stop as well,” she says tersely, and there’s an unspoken awkwardness hanging in the air. She did break your heart to chase her dreams, after all, but you somehow forgive her for that. You feel her eyes burning into the back of your head as you dismount the train, and then, it starts to snow. Thin, brittle sunlight turns your cold hands brighter as she drops down behind you, and the sub doors slam before it rushes off in a thunder of wind and smoke, whipping her hair back. Her face is tauter, gaunt, her eyes sadder, and she looks like someone who’s mourned for too long, with her dancing hands and the sad dip of her eyebrows.


“I miss you,” you say softly, present tense, and something crumbles in her face, and she breathes in, her breath snagging and catching sharply. 


Your own heart twists, and you remember back to when she laughed at you, when she walked with you, when she was yours.

“It’s different without you,” she mumbles, and you take a step closer, and the yellowed grass crunches under your feet.

“I tried to date someone else.” Your words are fumbled, shaky; you curse yourself. “She wasn’t you.”


Laura’s eyes are so close now, her and it stabs in your sternum when you realize just how much you’ve missed her. “I’m sorry,” she says suddenly, and you can feel her warmth in the bitter cold; you remember summer sparking in your chest, the sun scorching your tongue. Maybe that light was in her eyes all along.  “I let go of you to chase my life, and I…" she bites her lip. “But life isn’t— a real life without you. I tried traveling to all the places I wanted to go. But they were bleak. And all I could remember was how I thought you would be with me when I went to them.”

"Whoever said if you love someone, to let them go, is an asshole.”


She looks up at you. You realize you’ve grown taller. “I just want to know.” You look at her. “Why?”

Her breath is shaky as she exhales. “I was scared. I didn’t want to lose you, so…” She shrugs helplessly, her hands falling to her sides, guilt clear in her gaze. “I let you go first, thinking it’d hurt less… It didn’t.” She gives a smile that doesn’t reach her eyes. It’s full of desolation. “It hurt more, if anything. To let you go.”

 You’re so close now, so close, too close, and you can feel your pulse quickening in your throat, the shine of the wintry pale sun on her lips. "And?”

Her eyes are flickering with decision and she stretches up on her tiptoes, and then her hands are tangling into your hair, and her lips are soft and chapped as they fit just over yours, and you’re so surprised for a second: but she’s just as familiar, and you remember how lonely the past year has been. And, hell, nothing about this situation isn’t fucked up, but you’ve lived with that for a while, and Laura is the only thing that isn’t a total screw up. 


So— you kiss her back.

And she tastes like home. 

IF YOU CHOOSE TO LOVE AN AWAKENED WOMAN~~

If you choose to love an awakened woman, understand that you are entering into new, radical and challenging territory.
If you choose to love an awakened woman, you cannot stay asleep.

If you choose to love an awakened woman, every part of your Soul will be aroused, not just your sexual organs or even your heart.

Frankly, if you prefer a normal life, stick with a normal girl.

If you want a tame life, seek only a woman who has allowed herself to be tamed.

If you only want to dip your toe into the flowing waters of Shakti, stay with the safe, tamed woman who has not yet plunged into the wildness of the Sacred Feminine ocean.

It is comfortable to love a woman who has not yet activated her inner sacred powers, because she does not push your buttons.

She will not challenge you.

She will not press you into becoming your highest Self.

She will not awaken the forgotten and numbed-out parts of your Spirit that urge you to remember that there is more to your Life here than this.

She will not look into your weary eyes and send a lightning bolt of Truth through your body, jolting you awake and stirring long-lost desires for Soul Love within you.

A safe, unawakened woman will be wonderfully satisfying and soothing to your ego, heart, and body. She will walk quietly beside you and make you feel needed, responsible, like you are fulfilling your manly role.

If this is enough for you then accept it, love her with all your heart, remain faithful to her and thank her daily for the gift of her mild, unthreatening feminine presence in your life.

If this is not enough for you – if your heart, body and spirit is only craving the ‘other kind of woman’, the Wild One – then know that you are on the cusp of Soul-Shifting transformation.

Know that you are making a serious choice with karmic consequences.

If you choose to step into the aura and body of a woman whose spiritual fires are blazing, you are accepting that you need a certain level of danger and risk in order to grow.

Once you begin to love a woman of this nature, you must accept total responsibility for the life-changes that will then ensue.

Your life will not be sleepily comfortable all the time. Your life will not allow you to stay stuck in old ruts and stagnant routines. Your life will take on a radically-new flavour and scent. You will be ignited by the presence of the Wild Feminine, and it will begin to send electric shockwaves of spiritual Light through your entire chakra system, attuning you to the Call of the Divine.

Choosing to be sexually and romantically-intimate with an awakened woman takes masculine courage to walk fearlessly into the Unknown. But it will reap rewards beyond your mind’s comprehension.

She will take you into undiscovered worlds of mystery and magic.

She will lead you, mesmerised and half-drunk with love, into the wild forests of sensual ecstasy and wonder.

She will show you sacred skies so full and burning with stars that you will start to wonder if you are still living on the same planet that you were born on.

She will break and tear you open so that your fierce, passionate heart drives you half-mad with longing. You will want to consume and penetrate her on every level so that your Masculine Essence can consume and penetrate the world – illuminating the Universe with your devoted Love.

She will see you like you’ve never been seen before.

She will trust you.

She will appreciate you.

She will acknowledge your efforts to make her happy.

She will value everything good that you do, and everything good that you are.

She will not run from your darkness, because your darkness does not scare her.

She will embrace, kiss, caress and love you back to Life. She will speak words that your Soul understands. She will not punish you for your mistakes.

It is a monumental risk to love an awakened woman, because there is suddenly no place to hide. She sees everything, therefore she can love you with a depth and presence that your heart and body have yearned for so hard, so long, so fiercely…that you wonder whether you have actually been alive for all the time that she has been away.

Loving a woman like this is a choice you make to start living with your Soul on fire.

Your life will never be the same again once you’ve invited her energy in.

Take this risk on yourself, or step back, stay with the normal girl and accept a different, safer, more comfortable and somewhat calmer life.

Just make sure that if you choose the latter, you don’t spend the rest of your days with your eyes looking back over your shoulder, straining to see once again the hazy vision of Feminine Mystery that has now disappeared from view.

She has long gone..spiralling back up to the Stars, the distant Galaxies and the Heavens…from where She came.

~Sophie Bashford

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