zastruga

Zastruga Chapter 22

((Yes! Ha ha! Success! Though I’m still not happy with the ending, I’m going to assume that’s because it’s five AM yet again and I’m sleepy. Please enjoy!))

Zastruga (A Rise of the Guardians fanfic)
Chapter 21: Before the Dawn

Story Summary: Jack Frost has spent three hundred years in the care of Pitch Black, hidden away from a world that neither sees nor wants him. What happens, then, when Pitch finally brings him out of the darkness for a shot at the legendary Guardians?

Warnings: AU Fic, canon divergence, emotional and physical abuse, lots of gray areas.

Read Chapter 23 on FanFiction.Net

Read it on AO3

A snag in the writing meme

Hm…Tumblr only allows Asks to be a certain (very short) length and have no paragraphs, so it doesn’t work for submissions. But it also doesn’t allow you to respond publicly to fan-mail, so that’s not the greatest choice either…

Oh well. I can still work with this. Here’s a response to my last post (the writing meme) from artemis-elric: 

Writing meme! Excerpt from Zastruga:

“It’s better than coming out of your hole once a year to bribe them with chocolate so they’ll be good.”

Both of Bunnymund’s ears snapped straight up. His breath hitched, he stood straight like a man, and the fur along his spine flared. A second later it all settled and he relaxed, though he remained upright rather than crouched. “So that’s what you think we do.” He scratched at one ear with his paw, chuckling beneath his breath. “Over-simplification if I ever heard one…”

He leaned down only enough to set down the basket. Eggs continued to run to and from the woven device, fetching and retrieving the seed-cones with their own sense of structure and speed. His full height made Jack nervous. The rabbit towered over him by two, maybe three feet if you counted the ears. He felt small. Vulnerable. He wished he could find his staff.

He might have fled, except that Bunnymund seemed to notice his discomfort and kept his distance, wandering instead from trunk to trunk and knocking on them as though looking for one that was hollow. All the while he kept talking, even and measured, never raising his voice or speeding up with anger. Clearly, for whatever reason, he was making a concentrated effort to keep himself under control.

“I’ll tell you a secret, kid: Fear isn’t something you teach. There isn’t a creature in the universe that’s born without fear. That’s why babies come into the world screaming. We’re all afraid, sometimes. It’s part of being alive.”

He paused at an old-looking pine, knocking its trunk a second and then a third time. His ears twitched towards the tree, listening intently for…something. When he found it, or didn’t find it, he took a deep breath before pressing his paw into the bark. He slowly exhaled.

The hairs on the back of Jack’s neck stood up. Pitch had never allowed him to witness too many of the extensive rituals, but he’d seen enough casual magic in his time to recognize a spell. But it didn’t feel like the cool, velvety darkness that Pitch used. This magic went against his nature. A spring-person spell. Life.

As he watched, the tree shifted like an old man stretching in his sleep. Cracks echoed from overhead and Jack backed off just in time to avoid a rain of dead bark. A fresh, new layer, pale and soft, covered the trunk in its place. The tree’s branches ruffled with no wind, as though sighing in relief.

So, there’s a certain part of the fandom that likes to make excuses for Pitch’s actions during the movie because “fear is necessary” and “he’s only doing his job” and blah blah blah. I find this an interesting concept to explore when it’s well-done, like, I can totally get behind the AUs where Pitch or Kosmotis is the Guardian of Courage; or explorations of events after the movie where Pitch comes out from under the influence of the Nightmares and turns out to be a good guy. And if the movie sequels (le dreamy sigh) or books ever went in the direction of redeeming Pitch for Part II, I’d be right as rain. 

My problem with the idea is that people tend to oversimplify it, so the fics inevitably turn into these treatises on “why the Guardians and/or Manny are jerks and Jack should go with Pitch.” Or they write off the things that Guardians do for kids as “not as important” or “just nice gifts” because “without fear, the world would fall apart.”

Personally, I find that last sentiment and the connected idea of fear as a tool in child-rearing to be very problematic. As I hope I’ve made clear over the course of Zastruga, fear is the primary way that abusers keep their victims in line. Subjecting the people they have power over (especially children) to physical and/or emotional trauma and then following it up with things like “I’m doing this for your own good” or “You’ll thank me later” is a very common pattern. 

So Bunny’s kind of being my mouthpiece here in rejecting the whole “fear is necessary” schtick. I was building up to this talk for a long time, which is why the gardening metaphor is so overwrought (I have a bad habit of doing that…) But at the time it took me a while to figure out what Jack & Bunny would be doing while the conversation was going on. I don’t like to stick people in “just conversation” situations because that gets boring quick; it’s usually best if there’s more going on in the scene than just talking. 

Hence, Bunny tending the Christmas tree forest. 

Though I have to admit, I don’t actually know what he’s doing, how, or or why. I just kinda made it up as I went along and hoped everybody would just go along with it because Life Magic. :P

Zastruga Chapter 21

Zastruga (A Rise of the Guardians fanfic)
Chapter 21: Before the Dawn

Story Summary: Jack Frost has spent three hundred years in the care of Pitch Black, hidden away from a world that neither sees nor wants him. What happens, then, when Pitch finally brings him out of the darkness for a shot at the legendary Guardians?

Warnings: AU Fic, canon divergence, emotional and physical abuse, lots of gray areas.

Read Chapter 21 here on Fanfiction.net

Or here on AO3

Headcanon Time (Part Two of Two)

“It’s true,” insisted Tooth, still hovering around Sandman and St. North as though the floor would burn her if she landed. “He had a part, once, that was human. It understood mercy and pity and real love, but he gave it up. Centuries ago. He chose to throw it away, called it his weakness…”

- Zastruga Chapter 18

Right. So. Time for that second head-canon I promised. 

I saved this one for last despite the fact that I think it’s more important because it’s a bit harder to explain. I don’t think, at this point, that it has any acknowledged bearing on the events of “Zastruga” or any of my other fics, but it’s one that I hold to as both a fan of the Guardians of Chilldhood books and the Rise of the Guardians movie.

That head canon is this: I believe that the book’s villain, “Pitch the Nightmare King,” and the movie’s villain, “Pitch Black the Boogieman” are intertwined and related individuals…but are not exactly the same character. 

Let me explain.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

I still hope u updated 'Zastruga' fanfic

I get a message like this about once a week, so let me reassure everyone one more time: I’m working Zastruga, I swear. I have eight pages of hand-written text sitting right here next to me. We’re literally two, maybe three chapters from the end, plus a possible epilogue. I’m not giving up on it now.

I did, however, have to take a break from writing for about six weeks while I was recovering from my surgery. And now that I’m pretty much fixed, I’m also trying to write an original work for my thesis, the first draft of which is due in two months and is supposed to be about as long as Zastruga in its entirety — which has taken me almost two years

So I promise: I’m working on it. Just…please be patient with me. You know how life gets. 

Zastruga Chapter Fourteen: Of Wild Rides

(Ha! I remembered to do it this time! :P)

Zastruga (A Rise of the Guardians fanfic)
Chapter 14: Of Wild Rides

Story Summary: Jack Frost has spent three hundred years in the care of Pitch Black, hidden away from a world that neither sees nor wants him. What happens, then, when Pitch finally brings him out of the darkness for a shot at the legendary Guardians?

Warnings: AU Fic, canon divergence, emotional and physical abuse, lots of gray areas.

Read Chapter Fourteen on FF.Net
Read it on AO3

Zastruga Chapter Twenty-Three

(guess what I finally finished! :D)

Zastruga (A Rise of the Guardians fanfic)
Chapter 23: Lights

Story Summary: Jack Frost has spent three hundred years in the care of Pitch Black, hidden away from a world that neither sees nor wants him. What happens, then, when Pitch finally brings him out of the darkness for a shot at the legendary Guardians?

Warnings: AU Fic, canon divergence, emotional and physical abuse, lots of gray areas.

Read on FF.Net

Read on AO3

Zastruga -- Chapter 19: Siege of the North Pole

(OMG guys I FINALLY GOT IT DONE!! :D :D :D)

Zastruga (A Rise of the Guardians fanfic)
Chapter 19: Siege of the North Pole

Story Summary: Jack Frost has spent three hundred years in the care of Pitch Black, hidden away from a world that neither sees nor wants him. What happens, then, when Pitch finally brings him out of the darkness for a shot at the legendary Guardians?

Warnings: AU Fic, canon divergence, emotional and physical abuse, lots of gray areas.

Read Chapter 19 HERE on FanFiction.Net

or

HERE on AO3

Zastruga - Chapter 20

Zastruga (A Rise of the Guardians fanfic)
Chapter 20: Embracing the Night

Story Summary: Jack Frost has spent three hundred years in the care of Pitch Black, hidden away from a world that neither sees nor wants him. What happens, then, when Pitch finally brings him out of the darkness for a shot at the legendary Guardians?

Warnings: AU Fic, canon divergence, emotional and physical abuse, lots of gray areas.

Read Chapter 20 on FanFiction.Net

Or here at AO3

(If you need me, I’ll be hiding in fear for my wicked, wicked life)

Zastruga Chapter Seventeen: Distant Memories
Zastruga (A Rise of the Guardians fanfic)
Chapter 17: Distant Memories

Story Summary: Jack Frost has spent three hundred years in the care of Pitch Black, hidden away from a world that neither sees nor wants him. What happens, then, when Pitch finally brings him out of the darkness for a shot at the legendary Guardians?

Warnings: AU Fic, canon divergence, emotional and physical abuse, lots of gray areas.

Read here on FanFiction.Net

Read here on AO3

(It is, apparently, the update cycle of Really Long Chapters. Hope you all approve…)

Wow. So. Yeah. This actually happened. I…just…I…

^ That about sums it up. 

Thank you so much everybody I’m going to be over here in the corner squealing because every time I update a chapter from now on it’s going to sent out 1,000 e-mails to people looking forward to the update and that’s just asdfghjlsetrjifg….!!