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baelpenrose · 18 minutes ago
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Under Avandra's Eyes II: Ambush
@canyouhearthelight continues to do beta reading, making the fights more visceral, making the Pikar extra disturbing. And a big thank you to @fiuxc0re and @oroborous9 for reblogging the first one - you're helping this take off and I really appreciate it.
TW: Violence, self-mutilation (implied)
Baldor
Baldor shook at the news that had come. It wasn’t the assault of the Pikar that had changed the world, it was that a second one was happening in living memory. In the past, the maniacs from the lost realm had ventured south every few hundred years. The razing of the north in Kazarak-Ur had been horrendous, but it was also expected of the mad barbarians - this assault, however, marked the second time they’d attacked in his lifetime, which meant they were about two and a half centuries outside when their next attack should have been. The massive knight knew full well what the savages did to lands they attacked, and the people there. His nightmares, the worst ones, were still haunted by the hideous scarred faces and their screams of “Blood on the Ashes! Skulls for the Maw!” Riding to battle against goblinkin, elves, beastkin, or members of any of the other human nations, the weight of his shield, sword and warhammer would have been comforting on his harness, but as it was…Pikar didn’t play by normal rules.
“Iris, Marcus, keep your eyes open, if Iris senses any swirling Chaos, or Marcus Senses anything moving…”
They’d been declaring the bad news to as many villages as they could, but they were getting closer and closer to the point where they’d realistically expect contact - and they’d given up the courier horses they’d been given by the officers in the city to the villagers to help speed things along. Baldor didn’t regret the action - disavowed by his lord or no, hedge knight or no, he’d taken a holy vow before Bahamut to protect the commoners of Faldrea even at the cost of his life, and he had no intention of breaking it now.
Marcus suddenly went very still, and cursed as a weapon came tumbling end over end toward him, one of the crude flint axes that the Pikar were fond of throwing aside once they had their hands on proper steel. Marcus’s frame twisted slightly as his arming blade appeared at the end of his arm, contempt suffusing his otherwise proud features as he swatted the weapon out of the air. “Ambush!”
The shout was unnecessary, it hadn’t fully left the young swordsman’s throat when a hideous, ashen pale face with grey and crimson scars streaking along it came screaming out of the brush.
“BLOOD FOR ASH!” Marcus parried the blade the Pikar swung, already sweeping his blade into the circular defensive patterns that he’d learned from pirates, sweeping aside the blows as Iris took a sight down a long shaft and loosed, striking the target in the upper chest as Marcus swayed aside to avoid his friend and sometime lover’s arrow. Baldor had already charged to attack the two Pikar clambering out of the bushes to support the first, sword and shield ready as he felt the bone-jarring impacts of their axes against his shield. He responded with a brutal sweep that sheared the first man in half, shoulder to hip, and wheeled to engage the other before a strike at his armored knee reminded him that the barbarian he’d just bisected hadn’t finished bleeding to death yet - and was going to do its best to take him with it until it did so.
“SKULLS FOR THE MAW!” Baldor’s iron-studded boot came crashing down on the torso while he struggled for the upper hand, with the still in-tact barbarian, screaming bloody murder as Thomas and Liza jumped in on a tag team against a fourth, Thomas ducking and rolling beneath a swiping axe and slashing his long knives at the ankle and calf of the Pikar as he came up, Liza delivering what should have been a killing thrust at its throat. Baldor could tell the one Iris had shot was struggling, as the slight stagger that getting a foot of ashwood driven through its ribcage had inflicted had allowed Marcus to take one of its arms and cripple it, even as it kept screaming and surging towards him with the remaining limbs, blood pumping into the soil as it howled.
Baldor was still keeping his shield between himself and his assailant, and feeling the dread of knowing that these things didn’t get tired like normal humans would, he forced himself to surge forward, pinning the barbarian to a tree with his shield and then stepped back, already winding up for the killstroke, and beheaded it, the massive sword sending a shudder up his arms as it struck through the neck and into the wood behind it.
Thomas had sprinted over to the Pikar Marcus and Iris had fought and shoved his knife into the back of its neck, with Marcus intercepting the downward stroke of the ax on the one engaging Liza, allowing the courtesan to lunge into the underside of its jaw and swirl her blade around. The abrupt silence of the screaming brutes echoes loudly through the small clearing.
“We have to keep moving before they…” He noticed something about the clothes they wore. Purple leather, some of it with tinges of the dried rust color of bloodstains, indicative of the vile fashions of those who grew up with the Dark Gods whispering in their ears. He’d known, from his time as a squire during the last Cleansing, that the Pikar made clothes from the flesh of the slain, but he’d hoped he’d imagined it. “Before any more of them show up. If there were this many, there’s going to be more.” The small group each ripped off the vicious necklaces, decorated with human teeth, from the corpses, as proof for bounty. Baldor almost wanted to scream at them that it wasn’t worth the time, but the little team started moving back, away from the site of the fight, the great knight limping as he went, the dent on the knee of his greaves paining him.
Liza was shaking. “I’ve...never seen a Pikar before. Those scars...that...oh Melora do they just wear the skins of the people they kill? Is that...was that true?”
Thomas shook his head. “Lucky you. We got lucky today. Lucky that the first one was an idiot, and lucky that Marcus has the Sense khym. That ambush would have killed one of us, otherwise. We also outnumbered them, and that isn’t as common as you’d want it to be. I think we’ve gotten as far north as could be expected. It’s not like there’s going to be anything left around here if they’re this far south.”
Iris shook her head. “They’re scattered. If we keep moving, we can probably...DUCK!”
A wash of fire blasted over the clearing and Iris came up at a roll, even as Baldor ducked behind a tree and snapped up the steel shield against the blast, feeling it burn him, even through the chainmail. “What the nine hells?”
“Just cover me a little longer. Drop your shield when I say.” The knight nodded at the archer’s words.
“Can you get him?”
“Yes.”
Another man, working with another archer, would have been justified in asking if Iris was sure. But he’d seen her thread her shot through a knight’s helm from halfway across a field before, when she’d had to. Iris never let them down.
“NOW!”
The shield went down and Iris’s recurve bow snapped a report, and an instant later, a pained gurgle coupled with the scent of lightning that accompanied a mage dying, mid spell, rang out.
“What the hell? When have they ever brought sorcerers to…” Marcus’s awed voice was cut off, and subsided at Liza’s glare. “The same time they started bringing down a horde more than once in a lifetime. We need to get out of here, report that back to the kingdom. I don’t know what’s going on, but…”
Iris coughed a bit from the conflagration that the sorcerer’s attack had started - fire, called up by magic, was still fire, after all. Which was one of the reasons it was so popular in combat wizardry. As rare as it was to find someone who simply was untouched by chaos, they existed - and where they did, the kinds of people who wanted to fight with magic didn’t want to have anyone standing unharmed in the midst of their blasts. “We need to go. Fire’s going to spread. Too long since this area had one.”
The team began moving away, Baldor struggling to keep pace until Marcus looped an arm under him. “Come on, old man. You saved my ass and Iris’s when you could have just ended us. I owe you.” He felt himself being supported on the other side by the archer, who gave him a quick smile. “Come on. Come on, we’ll get back to the village and start pulling back. If nothing else, the blaze should help cover our retreat.” She looked furious, but she also looked resigned, as though understanding that in the face of this, telling people what they’d learned would save more lives than reckless valor.
As the group started moving back, the forest burned, and howling madmen roared in anticipation of blood on the ash.
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ineffablefool · 56 minutes ago
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A Heart That Sings A Song Like Mine (chapter 3)
Aziraphale had, at long last, mustered up the courage to visit the Continent.
Perhaps this had been a mistake.
The journey had been long, but not too difficult. The only truly sticky part was the fact that his French was rather poorer than he’d thought. He’d spent some time around merchants in London who spoke the language, to supplement his book learning, but cautiously stammering out a request to buy some lovely human antique was very different from trying to manage an entire new culture.
 He’d wandered into an old bookseller’s, and the next thing he knew he was accidentally interrupting a very secretive-looking meeting of fellows dressed much less formally than himself. Thus his current state of being perched on a rickety stool in the Bastille.
Oh, yes. There was a revolution on, wasn’t there.
Read on AO3
Read from the beginning
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Being immortal isn't always fun.  Sometimes you get locked in a dungeon, or fight with your best friend, or have a godchild whose continued existence is a threat to everything you've ever known. 
Bobbing a bit between past and present this week.  We do end on a down note, but I promise everything will be okay before the story is done.  I have not left the Soft Zone(TM) for Angstville.
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theroehamptonchronicle · an hour ago
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14: “Why on earth would I ever want to go to your ex-boyfriend’s Christmas party with you?”
14: “Why on earth would I ever want to go to your ex-boyfriend’s Christmas party with you?”
Jamie got invited to Ben’s annual holiday party. It used to be hers and Ben’s annual party, but that was no longer the case for obvious reasons. Jamie hadn’t expected him to continue hosting it now that they’d broken up. She supposed she couldn’t really hold it against him. She’d been the one to end things, after all. She assumed at least part of the reason he felt so comfortable hosting the…
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princesscassashoneypot · 3 hours ago
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Pound Cake | C.1
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Summary: Levitt Howard is thirty-eight years old, a marine for life and a mechanic via trade returned to his home town after his stint in the armed forces.
Life is basic in Fowlers Creek, Louisiana but in every small town there's always a side that someone likes to turn their noses up at.
Levitt lives in a small trailer park situated in the middle of a field, when he came back home he imagined he'd get a job and maybe a woman to warm his bed but he didn't count on spending his spare moments pining after his much younger neighbor.
AN: This is an original story of my own creation, celebrities in my COC are merely used as place holders as I design my characters and how I see them in my head while I write.
Do not repost any part of this writing anywhere. The characters are of my own creation. I own them.
If you enjoy reading this original draft, please like, comment and re-blog so that it can gain a following and also bolster my pea sized ego and inspiration. Also, I'd love to know what you think.
Word Count: 753
Warnings: None. (Chapters that do involve explicit content other than adult language will be noted for readers.)
Tag List: @littlebirdofrivia @smile-sugar
Master List: Master List | Patreon Support
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Levitt’s monster of a truck roared down the dirt road turnoff where the town's rejects lived.
Not that they were bad folks, just people who’d grown up on the wrong side of Fowlers Creek who couldn’t afford any place else to live. Someone down on their luck could rent a lot-space for one hundred-fifteen dollars a month and park a trailer out on Tobson’s land.
The old man didn’t care who you were as long as your check cleared every month.
His black Silverado kicked up dust on the road, nearly engulfing his neighbor. She was red faced and puffing as she ran at full speed down the road. Levitt saw her at this every day.
Sometimes that girl ran so hard she wound up puking in the weeds along the side of the road.
Even when it was a hundred degrees outside with a heat index of one-ten, she was in sweatpants and an oversized t-shirt. Just shittin’ n’ gettin’ it, desperate to lose weight.
About five foot four, blonde hair, blue eyes. A pair of tits on her you’d swear must’ve been made on a Friday, because nothing that good could’ve been made on any other day of the week. Even under the baggy clothes, Levitt could tell she was rounded in all the right places.
But she also looked to be about ten or fifteen years his junior.
Hell, she might not even be legal, which meant he kept his gaze averted and tried not to look too long. She still lived with her mama, but that didn’t always show age. Levitt lived with his mama until he enlisted.
He checked the rearview mirror just in case she fell or passed out in the heat as he adjusted the sweat stained ball cap on his head before making a one-handed turn into the gravel driveway in front of his trailer. Pushing the door open and stepping out. At six foot four he stood over most people and if his height wasn’t enough, he kept his fitness regime up once he was no longer on active duty. All two hundred-thirty pounds of Levitt were formidable. And if he felt like bragging, he hadn’t left a woman stranded in the bedroom since he was a pimple faced nineteen-year-old so; he had that going for him.
“Hey Mr. Levitt.” Hazel’s syrupy sweet voice said. Though breathless as she was, she was always polite.
“Hey cupcake.” Levitt said, his lips splitting into a full smile as he walked toward the mailbox and popped it open for an excuse to stand outside in the boiling heat talking to her.
“Get any million-dollar checks from publishers clearin’ house?” Hazel asked, standing on her tippy toes to peek inside her own mailbox. When he put up the new one up for her, he probably should have made it her height. But watching her stretch to see inside was always a pleasant sight.
Levitt shook his head, painting a mock frown on. “Naw,” he growled. Just more bills. Those never stop coming.
He looked at Hazel, tapping the envelopes against his palm, biting his lip before running his tongue over the full bottom tier.
“How about when you turn twenty-one and I’m a millionaire, I’ll take you anywhere you want for your birthday–anywhere in the world? Where do you wanna go sweet-cheeks?”
Levitt knows his pushing it, but maybe Hazel will take merciful pity on him and at least give him some kind of timeline regarding how many years he would have to wait for her. Eighteen still felt way, way too young, so he picked twenty-one.
Hazel tipped her chin to the right, thinking all the while nervous sweat beaded up on the back of Levitt’s neck, awaiting her answer.
“Italy, maybe… Sicily?” Hazel said, pushing a piece of blonde hair away from her face in the hot wind that blew. “I’d like to go there, someday, although I probably shouldn’t because I’ll want to eat everything in sight.”
Her face fell somewhat as she looked down at a clothing magazine that came in the mail and Levitt wanted to say something so bad, but he didn’t.
“There’s plenty of time between now and November to become a millionaire, who knows. Maybe you’ll play the lottery.” Hazel said with a laugh. “Talk to you later.” She said, turning away as she hurried up to the sun-bleached steps leading to the front door.
Levitt stood awestruck beside the mailbox. She was twenty years old.
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scienceoftheidiot · 6 hours ago
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If you're looking for ghosts, family stories, a ghost who squats rather than haunts a place, a blind man who loves to cook (among other things), a dog who's a lot more serious than her owner, an ex-boxer who's a little lost but quite nice when she doesn't hit people in the nose (among other things), a nice but sometimes slightly taxing family, another pretty shitty family, pretty unbearable cops (not all of them. Well, all of them except one), and horror... Then you're in the right place.
Continuing on the transfer of my original story from AO3 to my own blog with chapter 2 !
For those who want to read from the beginning, I made a list of chapters page. It's all pretty wonky since I don't really know how to use this website properly ^^" but I'll learn. For now it's useable, and that's all I want.
As always placing my little disclaimer there : this is a work in progress I started to write years ago and I'm still going on, albeit way faster than I used to. I haven't changed the old chapters, I will go back to them when I'm done with the structure, which could be why some might be slightly off. It hasn't been beta read, and will be at the end of the process ; most importantly considering the main character, I will also contact a sensitivity reader ; but once again, once I'm done. I'm however open to all criticism any reader could have ! This is also why I share.
Tag list under the cut, please let me know if you want to be added or removed from it :)
@heirsoflilith @fyoriginalstories @shutterbug-12 @omg-okimhere @hughstheforcelou @foxesandmagic
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aroworlds · 10 hours ago
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Fiction: Luck of the Ball, Part Three
A coven of gentlewoman witches seems like the perfect place for Luck Vaunted to hide from hir powerful brother, father and husband. Even better, the upcoming Guildmeet ball offers the new Luck the perfect chance to experiment with genderlessness, magic and sex, if only ze can avoid more sorcery-revealing accidents. Sure, the witches welcome hir with open arms, but after hir twin's betrayal, how can ze risk trusting anyone but hirself?
When hir brother attends the Guildmeet, a lover expects romantic intimacy and a quest of boots threatens to reveal hir deceit, Luck can no longer outrun hir monsters. Hir only chance of escape: the Westhold coven. But how does ze ask, when ze has lied to them, too?
Some fairy-tale families are formed by blood or marriage. Others are formed by aromantic witches defending each other against respectability, amatonormativity ... and the sorcerer potentate's heir.
Contains: An allo-aro genderless person on the run from hir family; a coven of four aromantic-spectrum witches ignoring all the rules about gender and relationships; and a version of Cinderella that rejects the amatonormativity of Disney's fairy godmother's ignoring familial abuse until it prevents the heroine from attending a dance to find a husband.
Length: 1, 824 words (part three of seven).
Note: Pain, familial goings-on and a brain finding it hard to word all means that I've been ridiculously slow in continuing this story. I am glad to get back to it!
Luck listed every disreputable possibility, a litany birthed of desire and envy, on a scrap of paper nestled inside hir corset.
A link to current and future posts on my website is available in the post source. All Tumblr posts are tagged as #luck-of-the-ball. Story and content advisory are posted below the cut:
Content advisory: This story contains more casual sex references, discussions and descriptions than most of my previous stories, although the bulk of the main sex scene happens off-page (fade to black). It also contains depictions of hypervigilance, avoidance, anxiety, nightmares, dissociation and other trauma-related behaviours in a character having recently left an oppressive, patriarchal marriage and culture. This includes references to previous/off-page instances where the protagonist doesn't consent to sex or marriage, as well as an on-page instance of hir being grabbed at.
Please expect casual death mentions, references to misogynistic behaviours, a fair amount of amatonormativity, an incident involving the protagonist breathlessly trapped in a tangle of threads and cords, a less-kind take on the prince's searching for Cinderella by shoe-fitting, and frequent casual touching/moments of physical intimacy between the protagonist and hir fellow witches.
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Hir shoulder still aches by Guildmeet morn, but the excited-nervous flutter in Luck’s belly leaves hir more certain of hirself and, by extension, the now. Recognising the source and place of one fear anchors hir against the other, a barrier raised against the sewing room’s creeping nightmare-tendrils. Not now. A past mistake—a mistake free of scorn, criticism or betrayal. Consequential only in hir lessons and a mess of fibres in need of sorting. Not now!
Part of hir anxiously awaits the click of a snapped trap, suspecting such wonderment a lure. Part of hir, more of hir, impatiently anticipates an event preluded with Joy’s breakfast-told stories of performances, dances and escapades had by drunken gentry. Said entertainments sound provincial by the Citadel’s reckoning, but how does that matter when nobody there knows hir cursed birth-name?
Luck listed every disreputable possibility, a litany born of desire and envy, on a scrap of paper nestled inside hir corset.
How brave can ze be? How brave will ze be?
“Bean, dear? Will you try again?”
Outside the Citadel, a holiday means food in want of cooking and animals in need of tending. Inside the coven, a holiday offers no excuse for abandoning hir studies. Leeks and potatoes enter the pot for tomorrow’s stew, but Luck’s fingers don’t survive the chopping unscathed; Sorrow, sighing, exchanges hir knife for broom and dustpan. Even then ze trips over mop and knocks over bucket, hir skin thrumming as though called to a march hir ears deny. Lessons offer a graver challenge: never has ze called them “easy”, but today they bear an absurd impossibility.
Guide a grain of salt with hir magic?
Why not ask hir to cast the world’s seas into the firmament?
Before, the witches taught a hodgepodge of kitchen magic, spells and cantrips as required or inspired by their daily work. Now, ze spends the first after-lunch hour with Modesty, struggling with tedious tasks requiring but a touch of magic interjected into hir actions and words. Seven learnt to call the wind, to project his voice over distance, to scorch a weed-festooned paddock with flame; lesson after lesson, he grew his power to meet ever-greater circumstances. How can something so purposeless, by comparison, be a teaching exercise?
When will anyone need the art of nudging a speck of salt across a desk to place it inside an inkspot half the size of hir smallest fingernail?
“Bean?”
Hir thoughts tangle amidst and slam against each other. In the chaos of prickling scalp and jiggling bones, hir frustration spills, unfiltered, from hir lips: “Why? People light candles and that’s useful, needed. People don’t need a single spark, too quick to … to flame, catch, light. Burn. Or to will a bit of salt. Not even a pinch. This isn’t the right way about!”
The grain does move, without difficulty, in response to hir thoughts … before skidding off the desk, vanishing into the mess of dust, animal hair and thread ends collecting about chair legs and along skirting boards.
“Because you’re a witch, dear.” Modesty possesses a deep well of patience: each afternoon she sits in the corner armchair with her mending or knitting, unruffled by Luck’s pacing. Sometimes her clicking needles bear the soothing cadence of a ticking clock, but today the sound jars Luck’s teeth. “While you could create a firestorm, how does this aid you or your community? By making sparks or moving salt, you’re learning to control the breadth of your magic for smaller, useful endeavours.” Modesty hesitates, the barest hint of a smile touching her lips. “You’re learning to create light without melting candles.”
Luck glares down at the desk, certain that hir burning cheeks reveal many attempts to conceal prior melted-candle incidents. Hasn’t Modesty put words to hir problem? Ze isn’t a witch who, having inherited fragments of magic in the way of curly hair or a propensity to freckles, owns ability enough for training. Ze isn’t truly luckborn, a sorcerer’s daughter who inherited fragments from her forebears she’ll then bequeath to her children, adding to the god-gifted powers of her husband’s seventh-born son.
Ze doesn’t know what ze is, for an eighth-born, non-male sorcerer is less anathema in the Citadel than a state beyond rational consideration. Did ze take from Seven’s allotted magic while they shared a womb? Did the gods make a mistake? Do unwanted or unrecognised truths lie in the story of gods bestowing sorcerous ability on seventh-born sons?
Ze doesn't even know if ze should correctly call hir magic "sorcery".
Annoyed—at Father, Seven, the gods, Modesty, the candle stubs hidden beneath a loose floorboard and that cursed speck—Luck presses hir lips together, trying to still hir body. Shoulders tensing, ze flicks hir stinging fingers, directing the barest touch of hir magic towards the salt.
The grain flies off the desk, vanishing into the depths of the cat-occupied rag rug before the fireplace.
“Arugh!” Ze smacks hir hands against the desk, too overwhelmed to care about pain, manners or the now-panicked tabby. “It won’t go!”
Modesty lowers her knitting—a thick sock, black wool suggesting Sorrow as its future owner—into the basket beside her chair. Already dressed for the evening, she looks nothing but demure in a high-necked, long-sleeved cream gown trimmed in periwinkle lace; she pinned her streaked hair in a capped bun, an oval locket hanging from a gold chain and a blue sash her only adornments. Sensible brown leather shoes, rows of buttons running up each ankle, peep out from beneath her narrow petticoats. Despite the dust and cat hair clinging to the study’s chairs, drapes and cushions, the room not so much “tidy” as “carelessly comfortable”, nothing spoils her dress.
Luck can’t recall another woman who so evinces the nature of her name.
“Breathe, dear. Remember, it’s more important that you try than that you succeed—but I think you’ve had enough for today. May I say something before you leave to dress?”
Luck, hir spine tensing, straightens. From here, ze’ll most easily reach the pack hidden in the stable; ze can then lead pursuers across the vegetable garden and through the south paddock before reaching the forest growing beyond. Given the zucchini's dangers, ze’ll be well ahead of witches and Sorrow’s familiars alike once ze reaches the trees—
“Always remember, dear: you are never obligated to dance, walk out, kiss, bed or ... or otherwise cavort with anyone tonight! People may pressure you to engage at these sorts of celebrations. Joy's stories, perhaps, suggest you should? Dance or kiss if you wish, but know that you aren’t required to fulfil another’s desire of you. Nor are you required to desire these of anyone. If you decide to read in a quiet corner of the gardens, you won’t be the only witch doing so.”
Hir knees wobble as ze sags against the desk.
Despite fathers choosing husbands via the convoluted mathematics of alliances and power, the Citadel disdains displaying such tawdriness. Luckborn girls, obedient to the façade of courtship, dance and converse with their suitors as though fathers include such niceties in their calculations. Balls meant elegant dresses, polite smiles and, as the carriage returns them home, Father’s reminders that he plays politics by dangling before the Citadel’s sorcerers the hope of marriage to Seven’s twin.
Little insulted hir more than wasting hours better spent reading or sewing on this cruel charade.
Little hurt hir more than the realisation that, to Father, ze is only a token atop the world's game board.
“Nor must you partner, even though the Guildmeet often allows the young to find suitors or companions. Wanting to meet people doesn’t mean having to meet someone for courting or marriage. You have your coven—a home, a bed, fellow witches. You don't need to partner. You’re free to choose what suits, even temporary partners or none at all, and enjoy tonight without expectations.”
 Startled a second time, Luck looks up. “Joy said the apprentice before, the last one, married.”
“She did. That doesn’t mean you have to. You may stay here as long as you please, if you don’t mind living with a gaggle of old witches.” Modesty smiles, her eyes crinkling in her warm, grandmothery way. “I won’t leave to partner or marry, so my coven will need to bury me.”
Ze rubs hir fingers over hir hair, heedless of bandaged fingers and aching shoulder. Should ze feel relieved or betrayed? Relieved that someone, unlooked-for, offered hir the words ze needed from Father and Seven? Betrayed that such permission came long after hir flight from family, husband and home? Both? Neither?
“Do most witches marry? Or do they coven? Or want … other than those things?”
Modesty rests her head at a slight angle, lips pursed. “Well … I suppose that a witch who doesn’t wish a traditional marriage will join or build a coven, or live alone. A witch’s lack of respectability, I think, gives us more freedom to examine what the world paints as unquestionable. When we marry, it’s intentional. Something we gladly choose.”
“Oh,” ze murmurs, wondering if other differences follow similar paths. Ze knows ze doesn’t feel whatever constitutes “womanhood”, and books buried in the Citadel’s library gave hir the learning that ze can stop pretending to be one. Books ze found in an offshoot of hir quest to understand why ze senses the soil's interconnected web of root and fungus whenever ze touches branch and bough. Is everything abnormal so entwined? Does one set of questions always provoke another? “So I could … stay here, or somewhere like, for all my life, without having to marry.”
Only then does Luck realise hir inability to consider a future beyond avoiding the Citadel.
“Of course. I don’t wish any partner, but I like living with others. A coven gives me sisters—pardon, dear. It gives me siblings. Sharing a roof with Joy keeps boredom far distant!” Modesty rises, her skirts swishing, before offering another eye-crinkled smile. “Go and dress, Bean!”
Luck nods, teasing the rug’s worn tassels with hir big toe. “Thank ... thank you. I … I don’t want to marry someone. I didn’t want that. I knew that. But I’d like…”
Kissing. Dancing … both in the ordinary sense and in that euphemistic closeness intimated by Joy’s winking manner of speech, a closeness Prospect denied hir. Something passionate and easy, raw and friendly, safe and dangerous … something contradictory and outside Luck’s experience, a want cobbled together from books, overheard conversations and the dreams of a person given cruel detachment in hir unwanted marriage.
Joy’s stories give hir hope of finding the intimacy denied a luckborn wife … if Luck’s nature didn't cause or provoke Prospect’s coldness.
“Go and dress,” Modesty says again. “When you come downstairs, stop by Joy’s room. You may find her thoughts useful in sorting yours.”
Relieved of the salt but burdened by confusion, Luck nods and flees the study.
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bubblesbenson · 10 hours ago
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Happy belated Loving Day! Here is one of my original couples which happens to be an interracial couple, Sayuri and Oliver Marshall (Bill Hader), and their daughter Rebekka.
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s-oulpunk · 12 hours ago
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I desperately need to focus on original ideas and scholarships but also I really wanna write more of my current fic. And I have so many ideas for other fics I wanna write. I have a dumb bichie fic, a stozier/kasbprough cheating fic, I wanna write a hanbrough fic but I have no plot rn. I feel like all this ideas are running around my head and I can’t let them out.
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pentowrite-wingstofly · 12 hours ago
🌹for you 🥺!
'Tangled black hair fell away from startlingly pale skin etched with tattoos, and Amara smiled as she turned and looked up. "It's been a while, darling."'
Technically two sentences. Original work.
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imjuliadarosa · 13 hours ago
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Crowned Wolf
Fandom: Original Work
Story Summary: Sage finds a badly injured wolf in the woods where her house is. Nursing the creature back to health, Sage shares with the seemingly ordinary wolf her deepest and darkest secrets, unaware of the dark secrets that the creature also hides.
Sage survived cancer, twice, and child abandonment, thanks to her found family she thrived and became a surgeon.
Anthony is a werewolf who was almost killed by people from his own pack and survives by the kindness of a stranger.
Series Summary: The Creatures of Darkness are just legends humans tell each other for entertainment. Until they find a beautiful woman with strangely sharp teeth or hear howling in the night during a full moon. It's all fun and giggles until you see a man charging at you pulling your heart out or a kind and happy child in the woods picking flowers while carrying human skulls. You could even invites some friends over to see the poltergeist in your new house, but I am afraid they might never leave.
It's all entertainment until you are in the world of darkness.
Sit back. Relax. And pray that the Dark Counsel doesn't learn about your dealings with us.
Published: 2021-05-02
Status: on going
Words: 51051 (20/40)
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ceruleanstep · 13 hours ago
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A Conversation Before an Eclipse
The sun and the moon talk before dusk. A dialogue piece.
Tw: Emotional Manipulation, Unstable Relationship, Abusive Relationship
“You know something?”
    “Hmm?” 
    “I’ve been thinking--” 
    “You seem to be doing that a lot lately.”
    “Have I?”
“You have.” 
“Is it that noticeable?” 
    “Not everyone notices it.” 
    “But you do?” 
    “Course I do. You’re easy to read.”
    “I don’t think I am.” 
    “You are.” 
    “How?” 
    “It’s all over your face. I don’t even have to talk to you to know how you’re feeling. Kinda comes in handy if I wanna avoid you when you’re in a bad mood.” 
    “You say that like it happens enough.” 
    “These days it kinda does…”
“What was that?” 
“Nevermind.”
    “You always seem so different around this time.”
“What do you mean?”
“Like, whenever it gets to this point you just seem…I don’t know, you seem strange.”     “How?” 
    “I don’t know! You’ve just got this…thing--” 
“A certain je ne sais quoi?” 
“Well, that’s not really a thing now is it.”
“It can be. It translates to ‘I don’t know what.’”
“Can ‘what’ be a thing?”
“’What’ can be a noun, which is a person, place, or thing.” 
“You’re making me get off task!” 
“I’m just trying to follow along with what you’re saying.” 
“See, this is what I mean! Exactly that!”
“What, me having a conversation with you?”
“No, I mean the way you’re acting right now! You always seem so fine up until it gets to this time. Then, all of a sudden you just act different.” 
“Different how?” 
“I mean, you just got into a little spat with me about French idioms for some reason.” 
“Je ne sais quoi isn’t an idiom--”
“Oh, for the love of God, does it matter?!” 
“Don’t shoot the messenger; I’m just trying to make sure you know!”
“When did we get so distant?” 
“Haven’t we always been?” 
“Since when?” 
“Since the beginning.” 
“Not like this though.” 
“What do you mean?” 
“When you were distant in the beginning, it’s because we both were. Now it feels like it’s just you.” 
“Maybe.” 
“Maybe?!”
“What else do you want me to say?!” 
“I don’t know! Why the hell would you say maybe?” 
“Cause I don’t know what you want from me! You can’t expect me to be perfect!”
“I’m not asking you to be perfect! I’m just asking you to be honest!”
“How?! You haven’t even asked a question!” 
“I did ask you a question!” 
“What question?! You’ve just been yelling at me for five minutes!”
“I’m trying to have a conversation with you; you just refuse to listen!”
“I’m listening! Just ask me the stupid question already!” 
“Why don’t you stay anymore?” 
“What?” 
“Whenever I show up, you never stick around long enough--”
“That’s not true! I try my best to--”
“Let me finish! Let me fucking finish. God, you never let me speak for myself! I’m always there for you. Always. I do my damndest to make sure I’m there for you, by your side every fucking hour. Where are you, huh?! Where the fuck are you when I need you? Why aren’t you there for me the way I am for you? What happened?!”
“I don’t fucking know! I didn’t even know this was an issue.” 
“Yeah, cause you never ask me anything! It’s always about how you feel!” 
“Uh-uh. We’re not doing this again.” 
“What?! We’re not doing what?!” 
“You always pull this shit whenever you’re upset with me and I’m not gonna fucking sit here for it!” 
“But you know that I’m right! You always have to turn things back to you. I never get to be upset! It’s always about how I made you feel, what I did to you. Well, what about me, huh? What about my needs?!” 
“Look, I’m sorry alright. I’m sorry! It’s all my fault cause I’m a bad person--” 
“That’s not what this is! That’s not what I’m saying! You never listen to me!” 
“Help me understand! Tell me what I did wrong!” 
“Why should I have to tell you that?! Why can’t you just figure that shit out for yourself?!” 
“Why are you so hostile?! Where did all this come from?!” 
“I can’t…I’m losing my goddamn mind.” 
“Where are you going?!” 
“Out.” 
“Where?” 
“Doesn’t matter.”
“Yes it does, you can’t just go anywhere.” 
“Look, consider it me doing you a favor. You get to be the center of attention, just like you’ve always wanted.” 
“That’s not--you’re not understanding what I’m saying--” 
“Wonder what that feels like!”
“You’re acting like a child.” 
“You know you were right earlier. I’m starting to see it now.” 
“See what?! What are you talking about?” 
“We’ve always been distant. Since the beginning.” 
“You can’t be serious…you know I was just saying stuff, right? I didn’t mean to say that.” 
“Yeah, you did.”
“What do you mean ‘yeah?’ How are you gonna tell me what I mean?” 
“If you really didn’t mean it, you wouldn’t have said it in the first place.”
“What’s that got to do with it?” 
“You didn’t hesitate; that was the first thing that came to your mind.” 
“Look, you know that I love you, right--” 
“Do you?!” 
“Yes! Why the hell else would I be with you?!” 
“See, I’m not doing this to myself anymore. I can’t.” 
“You can’t just go--” 
“But I am. I’m not playing with you anymore. You were right from the beginning and I should’ve listened to you. I really should’ve.” 
“Hey--” 
“Don’t. Don’t touch me.” 
“I just--” 
“I don’t want it. I don’t want your pity, I don’t want your apologies, I don’t want any of it. I’ll get the rest of my things another time, I just need to get away for a little bit.” 
“Can we please just talk this out?” 
“What more is there to say? You said it best yourself: We were never close; it just seemed like we were from far away.” 
“So that’s it? You’re just gonna leave now? Like everyone else?! That’s what you’re gonna do to me?! After everything we’ve been through?! After everything I’ve done for you?! You’re just gonna spit on everything we’ve built like it’s just garbage to you?!” 
“Good night.”
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draco-at-dawn · 14 hours ago
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For Eph, who requested Rathi and Sinoun’s challenge to make the team look fashionable
Makeover
They had three days before the ship would be safe to sail again. 
While Tyrael had suggested they spend those three days in the best inn the port had to offer, Celeste managed to talk him down to a mediocre inn which would save their coin, but still provide comfort. 
When Tyrael suggested they all remain in their rooms for the three-day period in order to get some rest and keep a low profile, Rathi had firmly put her foot down. In fact, everyone save Dakota and Easton had loudly protested the suggestion of hiding themselves away for three days, when they would have to spend the next two weeks in cramped quarters while they crossed the ocean. 
Tyrael nearly had a mutiny on his hands. 
“I have a better idea,” Sinoun said as he looked over the assembled group with a smile on his face and his hands on his hips. “We’re going shopping.” 
“We have all the supplies we need,” Dakota grumbled. 
“And we don’t really have the coin for shopping,” Celeste said, though there was a light of excitement in her eyes that suggested she very much liked the idea of it. 
Sinoun waved a hand. “Honestly, I can’t be seen with all of you looking like this.” He pointed to Dakota. “You especially.” 
Dakota rolled his eyes. 
“Are you offering to be our sugar daddy?” Rathi drawled, lips curved in a smirk, one Sinoun returned with equal smugness. 
“If you wear whatever I buy for you, I will foot the bill,” Sinoun said. 
“Oh, you are so going to regret saying that,” Rathi said as she grabbed Celeste by the arm and hauled her to her feet. “Come on, sweetheart. Let’s drain him of every coin he’s worth.” 
Celeste flushed and looked down at her robes. “What’s wrong with what I’m wearing?” 
Sinoun frowned. “You look like you walked out of some backwater village and never looked back. That robe does nothing for you except hide you when you deserve to shine.” He looked Celeste up and down. “Brighter colors for you, I think. I know just the place.” 
“Count me out,” Dakota said. “I have no problem staying in the room.” He held up a balled bundle of clothing. “I have work to do.” 
“And leave me by myself?” Tempest demanded, hands on her hips, lower lip jutting out on the way to a pout. “Besides, he’s got a point. That tunic’s been patched so many times, I don’t think it’s the original color anymore.” 
Dakota glowered. 
“Oh, it’s been ages since I’ve been clothing shopping,” Nym said with a bright smile. His tail swished excitedly behind him. “Especially with others. My sisters have no sense of taste.” 
“I have no interest in being your doll,” Easton said from the corner where he curled in a chair, book in his lap. “I’m content to spend the next three days in this room.” 
Sinoun raised his eyebrows. “The brooding vampire look went out years ago, pretty.” He planted his hands on his hips and looked around the room. “And did I happen to mention this wasn’t optional? Because it isn’t. We’re all going shopping, we’re all getting new clothes, so that when we arrive in Veboya, none of us stand out.” 
“He has a point,” Tyrael said with a sigh. He dragged himself to his feet, moving with all the energy of a man who had been sentenced to death. “If we hope to pass through Veboya without attracting too much attention, we’ll need to be as unobtrusive as possible.” 
Tempest mouthed the word, and looked up at Dakota who explained, “We need to blend in.”
“Oh,” she said. 
Sinoun clapped his hands. “On your feet, everyone. We’re losing daylight, and we’ve got places to go.” He eyed the assembled group of excited and less so adventurers. “I think we’re going to start with whoever needs the most work.” 
Rathi snorted a laugh. “So is that Easton or Dakota?” 
“I am not agreeing to this,” Dakota said. 
“Fine,” Easton said, marking his place in his book and setting it aside. He leveraged himself out of his chair, sweeping stray strands of hair out of his face. 
Dakota shot him a look of betrayal, since he would be unable to refuse if he was the last man standing. 
Easton shrugged. “Free clothes,” he said. “So long as it’s not my coin we’re spending, I don’t see why I can’t take advantage of the situation.” 
“Can I get new leggings?” Tempest pointed to the multiple patches in her current pair. 
“Everyone is getting something new,” Sinoun declared. 
“Don’t worry. I’ll make sure that whatever we get you will look amazing,” Rathi reassured Celeste, who ducked her head, trying and failing to hide her flush behind her hair. 
Nym was already at the door, holding it open. “Come on, everyone. Let’s go!” 
Dakota sighed. 
It was going to be a long three days. 
***
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drbronnerbutch · 15 hours ago
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✷ The Last Meteor: Update 6-13-21 ✷
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The interesting thing about having a novel that could theoretically span forty or so generations is that I’ve been having a difficult time figuring out where to begin. So far all I know is that the story of this voyage will be non-linear and full of calculations of age, distance, and time that I didn’t realize would be so important when I went into this project. So far, the story has grown teeth, in that tragedy and proximity to tragedy are at the heart of the novel. I find that horror is one of the best ways to explore intimacy and comfort and home, which become a lack in the center of the novel that desperately wishes to be filled. 
Some points of interest in this new landscape of the novel: a grappling with a lack of control that creates a rift between parents and children, an unreliable narrator,  a stowaway child hidden from the rest of the crew, an accident that leaves one person perfectly alone in the vast emptiness. 
One of the more difficult processes has been figuring out how much information to divulge and how early on in the plot in order to have the best payoff for the strange workings of this ship and it’s many inhabitants across time. I am unsure if I even want to use the several thousand words of Claudie’s perspective, or if it would be more fun to tease out the narrative from clues discovered by future generations. I’m probably going to be extremely inconsistent with updates and chapter updates, fair warning, but feel free to message or ask me any questions you have about this story and how the writing process is going. 
total word count: 12,603
dream book cover: classic sci-fi a la Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov
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[transcript and taglist below the cut! ask or message me to be added or removed]
[Transcript: I think about all of the invisible waves in the great expanse beyond me, moving through me, and how the movement of the ship might mimic the motion of a boat on the ocean. I think about how sitting under the sunlamp in one of the greenhouses might mimic a park or a picnic, or other things I read about in books. I spend a lot of time thinking, because there is almost no point in speaking. When I was younger I would talk to myself, but my voice echoing in down the curved corridors of the ship had a habit of finding its way back at unexpected times, sometimes several minutes later, or when I was in my bed, trying to fall asleep. The only thing more terrifying than being alone is being alone with someone who doesn’t want to make themselves known. Gran says her mother once thought there were people living in the walls of the ship, echoing back everything she said. There’s no such thing as a secret, on Hope, my Gran had said. But now there could be. I was one person, and I would keep all of the secrets the ship gave me.]
taglist: @kitblogsthings /@writerlywonderings / @alexsidereus / @avi-burton-writing / @spenceberri / @isherwoodj / @aetherwrites / @svpphicwrites / @analogued / @neominea / @piyawrites / @bookphobe / @kowlazovdi / @mograh / @brownpaperhag / @alicewestwater
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talrayne · 16 hours ago
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It was a very strange day today indeed. I could say what it was, but I think a full explanation is in order.
I'm a student you see. I'm working on becoming a mechanical engineer. I grew up seeing mad scientists in movies and comics and thought "That's what I want to be when I grow up!"
I tended to ignore the fact that they always lost because they "tried to take over the world".
Anyway, that'll be important later. The point is, I'm a student, and I work a part-time job taking the edge off my student loan interest. I had just finished my shift stocking shelves and was walking home to get a hopeful five hours of sleep when I decided to walk the trail. You see, while the town was basically a suburb, it was also built around the woods. The normal way to get to the dorms from where I worked involved a small detour around a patch of forest that was well lit and safe.
But you see, I was tired. I wanted to get to bed as soon as possible, and at that point I felt if a wolf or something attacked my messenger bag of textbooks would serve to scare it off if I hit it in the face. Anyway, the shortcut would save me about fifteen minutes and there was enough light from the moon to see where I was going. If I didn't take that path, I certainly wouldn't have seen it normally.
Sitting next to a log that served as a bench, was a chest. I might have had a thought along the lines of "I should tell someone about it", but the more pressing thought was "what the torque wrench is a medieval-looking chest doing here?"
A wakeful person might have ignored it, assuming it was a prop. I was not a wakeful person, running on sugar and caffeine at the time. Instead, I got curious. I looked around, but I was alone. So I took a closer look. It was about the size of a footstool with brass bands nailed to the wooden planks it was made from and had a lock on the front. However, something I couldn't put my finger on was... wrong. It reminded me of acid washed jeans, or plastic plants. Like it was fake.
That's when my sleepy brain decided it was trapped. Why did I think it was trapped? No idea. There weren't any pranksters on campus that would put in the effort to make an obviously handcrafted chest just to make it a trap, but sleepy brains aren't logical ones by any stretch.
You'd think I would walk on after deciding it was trapped, but no. I was curious, and I wanted to know what was inside.
So I got a stick.
I got a stick and some leaves and rocks and jury-rigged a lever so I could open a small mystery box in the woods in the middle of the night when I should have gone to the dorms to sleep. Turns out, sleepy brain did something right, because as soon as I opened the thing, I saw teeth and smelled it's breath. Then it attacked the sticks.
I jumped back, surprised. It tore apart the makeshift lever like it was trying to eat an animal! I fell back and landed on my butt, dropping my messenger bag, along with my leftovers from my dinner break. When it looked like it gave up on the stick, I decided to throw something at it too distract it.
Once again, sleepy brain, now full of panic, did something nonsensical. Instead of throwing my books in the hopes of scaring it off, I had a fleeting thought of "this textbooks are expensive!"
Instead, I threw my food. I didn't even think of the idea of delaying it by feeding it. I just thought of the food as cheaper. Once again, sleepy brain did good. It stopped to eat. I now had a new problem. I wanted to get my books, but my bag was right next to the animal that was a chest.
I decided to get it tomorrow.
I ran and didn't look back.
My roommate was asleep when I got to my room. Their classes were even earlier than mine so they tended to go to bed early, ignoring their loans for after graduation. I set my alarm, and changed, too exhausted to really think about the fact that I was nearly viciously mauled by a box.
"That's a question for future, more awake me to consider," I thought to myself as I went to bed.
I woke up ten minutes before my alarm went off. I lay there, waiting for a moment. I considered staying awake juuuust long enough to hit the snooze button, but I decided that I was awake enough, and I never handle alarms after the first one well. Instead, I turned off the alarm and made myself breakfast. We had a mini fridge, a coffee maker, and a microwave for amenities, so I made myself a hard-boiled egg cooked in coffee. Cheap and easy.
As I sat in my bed, letting the coffee kick in, I decided to check my notes for class. Then I realized I couldn't find my bag. Weird. As I looked around the dorm, I tried to think of where I set it down last.
Then I remembered.
Cursing to myself, I rushed into the shower and tried to figure out what the bleeding tuning fork attacked me last night. A rabid armadillo? No, it's too cold this far north. A bear cub? Then where was mama bear? Screw it. It didn't matter. It was probably gone and I needed my books before class started.
As soon as I was dressed, I grabbed my keys and wallet and ran to the path from last night.
After nearly knocking several other students over, I got to the woods and managed to avoid tripping on several large rocks before I reached the bench log. Fortunately, my bag was right there. It looked like something tried foraging in it, but my notes were still legible. To me at least. There was a reason nobody asked to borrow them.
I hefted the bag on my shoulder and ran to class, caffeine giving me energy and wondering if the bag was always that heavy or if I was just tired.
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20 First Lines Tag
I saw this game over on @sleepyowlwrites's blog and it was too different and interesting not to partake!
Rules: Post the first line of as many WIPs as you have of either completed, partially worked on (and have some sort of first line for) or are currently working on (including multiple versions of drafts).
My first lines come from stories that are original fiction or fanfiction with varying degrees of lengths and development in mind. Those in italics are partially researched/started/written over the last three years, but not actively being thought of or worked on (no, not abandoned either, I’ll get to them eventually). WIPs I’m actively working on are bolded. Stories completed in the last three years are in bold and italicized.
~~~~
The Reaper’s Only Daughter (Fanfic) – A motorcycle traveling fast and loud passes through Teller-Morrow’s sliding-gate entrance.
Ravens in Revolt –
EXT. – DESERT – MORNING
An undisclosed location somewhere on the border dividing Texas from the United States. (What have I gotten myself into trying to write a screenplay?!)
Gasoline (Fanfic) – You step down from the foyer into the garage and survey the scene laid before you. (This is going to need an interlude scene; mandatory reader insert fic.)
Saint & Sinner (Fanfic) – When Telford moves to the States he is battle worn.
Jail Birds (Fanfic) – As far as prisons go, there are worse institutions to ride out a court-mandated stint than Stockton County prison. (This is my Magnum opus, btw. I’ve literally already peaked and it’s a shame, really, so few people have read it based solely on the ship in question :/)
Sex Type Thing (Fanfic based on a song) – You stumble into the clubhouse with Lyla clinging to your arm. (My actual most popular work and it makes me smad <-<– this is not a typo.)
A Chance Reunion (Fanfic; Sequel) – “I know it’s somewhere around here, but where?”
By the Gods’ Grace – The sun hangs high at the peak of day, warming the land and drying grass covered fields of their morning dew, whilst a gentle breeze blows in from much cooler northern lands creating ideal conditions for a noble battle.
That One Obligatory Zombie Fic AKA Actors, Rednecks, and Saints (Draft one; Fanfic) – He was running. Running for his life. (See why this is getting scrapped and overhauled?)
That One Obligatory Zombie Novel AKA Six Against the World (Working Title/First Line; Draft two; Original Fiction) – “Hold still – you’re actively making this worse!” (I was in desperate need of a genre change and new creativity.)
Bent, Like Me (Fanfic based on a song) – Most assume being a demonic servant of Hell comes naturally; an ingrained trait simply assigned and innately born into every fallen angel. (This is a crack smut Fic; do not pass go, do not collect $200! Haha!)
A Grave Lesson - From the moment a human is born that human casts a shadow of equal measure to and more flexibility than it’s form.
~~~~~~
I was never going to get to 20 without using horribly outdated and poorly written old stories (like Actors, Rednecks, Saints; horribly outdated and no longer a major facet in fandom reading/culture, I don’t believe). Nevertheless, these are my most current projects I’m obsessed with and desperately researching and/or trying to write words for. Would love to chat about them and be inspired to finish the shorter ones or continue with these longer/newer ones!
Tagging: @wildwhiskey236, @randomestfandoms-ocs, @chibsytelford, @themildestofwriters, @trekmanx, @raevenlywrites, @al-james-the-author, @allisonilluminated, @rhikasa-archive, & @thatfizzyyyy,, & anyone else who sees this and wants to play along. Be sure to tag me if you do, but no pressure! If you choose not to play this is just a virtual high-five from me to you!
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skedrick · 18 hours ago
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My original works
Can’t tell you the names but they’re my original characters I wanted to share.
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Left Out
„How do you do it?“ At that, they looked up, they hadn´t actually expected that strange woman to speak with them. They hadn´t expected a lot of what had happened over the last day, when they decided to deliver a simple letter. But here they were. Lost with their situation, and quite tripped up, still searching for a way to gain their equilibrium back, after what happened at the carnival.
They tilted their head to the sight, silently asking Carmilla to elaborate her question, they didn´t quite know how to take it. How were they doing what? After all, they hadn´t been doing anything special. Some would even call their actions in the past hour quite stupid, not something that she would ask after.
She didn´t elaborate, and so the silence continued to fester between both of them. They were still searching for a place, where they could simply collapse. Maybe nurse their wounds, but that wasn´t very likely. At this point, as soon as they got into a somewhat comfortable position, they would simply fall asleep.
Carmilla had just decided to tag along, and they personally had chosen to simply not ask any questions. The carnival had been hard on both of them, and if they already felt so tired, they didn´t want to imagine how Carmilla was feeling. That woman had been trapped in this strange realm for far longer, after all. So they stayed quiet, knowing that she was behind them, but not hearing a single step.
„You´re old, aren´t you?“ This question left them confused too. They weren´t quite sure, what she was considering as old, and it wasn´t that they looked old in any way. But this time she kept talking, „I can feel things like that, you know? It comes with the time. A weird mix between instinct and something else.“
They had no clue, what exactly she was talking about, so they simply looked at her. She seemed to be in the mood to talk, and if not, they didn´t mind the silence. They could see her hesitating for a moment. Apparently the whole thing with the carnival had thrown her off kilter too. Reassuring. It would have been more worrying if the whole thing, would have just passed her without leaving any marks.
„And you feel old.“ Apparently she had come to a decision to continue with her observations. They looked back forward again, as they stumbled along the path. It was slightly strange, that she wasn´t making any noise, but they could deal with that. „Older than even the carnival.“
They hummed slightly surprised at that. They would have thought that this eldritch-like being had been far older than they were themself, but apparently they had been wrong. Not the first time this day either, so who cares about that.
„I am quite a lot older than I look too, but I feel already so lost in this world.“ Ah. This could explain some of the strange things. Carmilla wasn´t quite human it seemed. The stillness, the lack of a beating heart, the scent of blood that seemed to surround her. A member of the undead. A vampire?
„I feel like I can´t connect any more. So how do you do it?“ Did she? A giggle escaped them involuntarily, which soon developed in laughter, that was shaking their whole body. They couldn´t control themself, as they laughed and laughed.
As they finally calmed down again, they wiped away a stray tear. They didn´t, but they wouldn´t tell her that. Instead, they ignored the strange looks Carmilla was giving them, and moved on.
She was still trailing behind them, and a shiver run down their back, when they remembered.
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kohakhearts · 18 hours ago
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Herchiha
read on PATREON wc: 4.5k TW for implied/referenced character death/drowning
The villagers call her Herchiha. They tell their children stories of her to keep them away from the beach, to keep them off the ocean. Teenagers light bonfires on the edge of the beach and tell tales of the face-eating monster hidden beneath the currents. Some swear they’ve seen her in the flesh, while others believe she has never existed at all, that a mischievous villager plays music from the edge of the lighthouse, perhaps, and those of active imaginations have foolishly attributed it to the flashes of colour they see between the waves, which are actually no more than the tailfins of common fish seeking escape from hunting humans.
But her name is not Herchiha. It is Miru.
another short story for my patrons! i did a poll on twitter last week to decide what story to write first, and the consensus was mermaids, so here it is!
if you aren’t already a patron, you can access the full story - and all my other complete original works (including the entire .pdf of Of Storm and Ash and its prequel novel, Liberation), which currently totals to just under 300k words - for a pledge of just $1 a month! i try to post new works, from short stories to small poetry collections to novels, every month! if you’re interested, check out my tiers!
thank you for your support! i sincerely hope you enjoy.
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witcheraiden · 19 hours ago
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Mr. Durand yet again, love this dude
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