#where dwell the brave at queue
God, let my brushstrokes become interwoven. Keep me alive, clarified, and unbroken. Let me ascend into steady emotion. Give me the strength against all my erosion.
The Starry Night, Starry Musical
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The Sims 4 Paranormal Stuff: Developer Blog (Part 1)
SimGuruConnor has released part 1 of the Sims 4 Paranormal Developer Blog series.
Hello Simmers! Welcome to a small 2-part Dev Blog about our newest Stuff Pack, Paranormal Stuff! This pack has been an absolute blast to work on, and I’m excited to share what this pack is all about!
I’ll try not to reveal too many spoilers for the pack either, so I’ll keep things somewhat brief. Our topics for today are the new Scared Mood and the Haunted House Lot Type, plus an interview with our Audio Artist too!
Sims can now relish in the mortal dread of the Scared Mood! The Scared Mood affects Sims in a variety of ways, with my personal favorite, the new Scream Incoherently interaction, where a Scared Sim runs up to another Sim to scream their lungs out. This can result in the other Sim calming down the Scared Sim, or resulting in both Sims becoming Scared. This can create a Scared Mood wildfire if you’re not careful!
Whoa, whoa, whoa, it's okay!
Sims afflicted with the Scared Mood also have trouble communicating with others, the urge to panic-run everywhere, and are slightly more prone to accidents. If no other Sims are around to help calm down a Scared Sim, they might just have to Hide Under The Covers for a while.
But if being Scared just isn’t your Sims style, consider purchasing the new Brave Trait. This Satisfaction Reward Store Trait will rapidly reduce the incoming fear a Sim feels and help Sims regain their composure faster. While no Sim is totally fearless, this trait should help mitigate some of those creepy feelings.
The Scared Mood and the Brave Reward Trait are all base game features coming with the Paranormal Stuff patch on January 21st. Tons of previous Uncomfortable Buffs are now becoming Scared Buffs, such as the “Startled By Ghost” Buff or the “Thalassophobia” Buff from Island Living.
While being Scared might not be a common occurrence in your everyday Sims life, living in a Haunted House is a whole different story…
Introducing the Haunted House Lot Type!
The Duplantier Dwelling, created by Doctor Ashley! This “canon” Haunted House will be available in the gallery!
They’re like regular houses, only haunted! Although unassuming during the day, at night, these places get super weird. Your Sims may notice things like flickering lights, pipes rattling, or even creepy dolls staring at them in the corner. All are totally normal occurrences in a Haunted House, but it may take some time for your Sims to adjust to their new surroundings.
Sims living in a Haunted House will also be introduced to floating apparitions known as Specters. They’re cute little critters, but their motives aren’t entirely clear. You can try talking to them, or even offer them presents in hopes of establishing a good rapport. If they like you, they’ll drop special loot for you and your family. If they don’t like you, well, you’ve been warned.
o o o (> ‘ u ‘ )>
Learning to get along with your new ghostly inhabitants is crucial in a Haunted House. Things like botching seances, neglecting Specters, or letting accursed objects invade your house will have a negative impact on its spiritual serenity. There is a delicate art to co-existing with the entities of the house, and thankfully you’ll have an expert on the matter to assist you!
Claude René Duplantier Guidry was a seasoned Paranormal Investigator in his previous life, but now he exists to help anyone brave enough to live in a Haunted House! You’ll probably run into him eventually living in a Haunted House, but don’t worry, he’s a nice ghost!
Guidry will gladly offer his wisdom to those who seek it. If you’re confused, alarmed, or slightly uncomfortable by your new haunted surroundings, give Guidry a holler and he might be able to help. He can also offer valuable objects to help your Sims, too; all you need is to reach out!
Still got it.
All Guidry wants in return is to crash at your place for the time being. Sounds like a fair deal, right? But if you’d prefer to fly it solo, you can always disable his nightly visits—he won’t be too upset, maybe.
As mentioned before, Guidry was a Paranormal Investigator before his untimely demise. If he sees potential in you, he can certify you with a Paranormal Investigation License, granting access to the Paranormal Investigation Freelancer Gigs. Only those who are qualified enough can join the ranks of Paranormal Investigators, but more on that next time!
Living in a Haunted House adds a layer of risk and reward for your Sims, and each successful night yields Reward Store Satisfaction Points for everyone in the Household. Specters can also drop treasure that can also be collected, consumed, or sold to an Oddity Collector. So although your Sims might go through a bit of peril, they’ll thankfully be compensated.
One of my favorite pieces of haunted treasure is the new Sacred Candle. Not only do they look cool, but they also help protect Sims from paranormal influences. Place them around your house to make sure Sims are properly shielded!
A properly protected Sim.
Things like Sacred Candles and performing ceremonies at the Séance Table are integral to keeping your Sims happy in a Haunted House. Without using these paranormal tools, the entities of the house might get a little bossy.
And while it might be in your Sims’ best interest to keep the spirits of the house in check, watching things go horribly wrong in a Haunted House can be just as fun too. So whatever works for you!
Like Tiny Homes, this Lot Type can be toggled on or off at any time. So whether you’re a casual thrillseeker who wants to spend a couple of nights in a Haunted House, or a seasoned Paranormal Expert who wants to take on a new challenge, this Lot Type should offer something for you!
Pets get to share the fun too! They especially love the accursed objects that show up!
I think they’re gonna get along great.
As mentioned before, a ton of old Buffs from multiple packs are now being converted to the Scared Mood. I think 70 something Moodlets were converted? Honestly, I lost count. Anything that seemed more appropriate for the Scared Mood was transferred over.
Oh, and you might remember an old Lot Trait from City Living called Haunted. For clarity’s sake, it needed a name change, so now it’s the Spooky Lot Trait. It also benefits from being combined with the new Haunted House Lot Type and will have an increased chance of spawning Ghosts at night. So use both for maximum haunted-ness!
Last but not least, I’d love to turn it over to our Audio Artist for this pack, Briana Billups! She did a killer job bringing Haunted Houses to life! Trust me!
Conor: Can you tell us what an Audio Artist does on The Sims 4?
Briana: Big, broad picture: an audio artist decides what everything in The Sims 4 sounds like. We record, create, and edit sounds to the art and animation of the game. Little, very detailed picture: creating the actual sounds is usually one of the smaller aspects of our job. We are meeting with other departments, like design, animation, and VFX, to understand the overall vision of new game features and how we can fit in sonically. We are meeting with each other to make sure all our new content still keeps the very fun and quirky vibe of the Sims. We come up with new tools and implementation where necessary.
Conor: What sort of things go into the creative process for creating audio?
Briana: Every audio artist/sound designer has their own creative process, but I like to make a “sonic mood board” of sorts. I typically like to have a good idea of what I want something to sound like in my head before I record or edit it, so it’s nice to have sound effects or music to refer to that represents my original inspiration or ideas. When I was in college, I would make Spotify playlists for whatever I was working on. I would listen to them once a day, adding and editing as necessary, so when I actually got to work, I was in the right headspace. Now I’m usually less formal about this sort of stuff, but for this pack, I would refer back to things like Vincent Price’s demonic laugh from Thriller or Casper the Friendly Ghost Cartoons and the looping soundtrack from the queue of a horror ride at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk (Ghost Blasters)
Conor: What were you most excited to work on for this pack?
Briana: Definitely all the haunted house sounds! Good sound design is the crux of so many horror movies and video games, so even if we were keeping things more “Casper” and less “Poltergeist,” I still wanted to give a good scare here and there. I actually scared myself one day while playtesting another feature in the game!
Conor: If you had to choose, what is your favorite audio clip you’ve ever added to The Sims 4?
Briana: I would say my favorite SFX were the sports arena loops in EP08: Discover University. When you visit the arena for the soccer/esports match or graduation, you can actually listen to the whole game or ceremony. It was great to craft a whole story from start to finish using just sound. I also snuck in a lot of developer names when writing the scripts for our voice actors.
More To Come!
That about covers this first foray into the Paranormal Stuff Pack! This pack has been a ton of fun to work on, and watching my Sims flee in terror has been more enjoyable than I’d like to admit.
Next blog, we’ll focus on the Séance Table and developing your Medium skill, as well as the new active freelance career Paranormal Investigator.
Big thanks to the Stuff Pack team for helping this pack come to life, and thank you, Doctor Ashley, for building our featured Haunted House!
Until next time,
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So there was this post on Tumblr and the idea was just to fun to not write it, so...
Here it is the Muggle Jily Amusement Park AU just for the fun of it:
James can't believe he was betrayed by Peter Pettigrew.
They have known each other since they were eleven. They have a group together. They have shared secrets.
And still, Peter has left him alone with Sirius and Remus.
It's not that James is bothered by them. He is happy his two friends have finally decided to stop being idiots and realized they have feelings for each other. He just wishes he isn't feeling like a third wheel in the event he is most excited to since forever - oh, well, in the least ten months at least.
Ever since it was announced the reopening of Hogwarts Amusement Park of Witchcraft and Wizardry, James is dreaming of going there. His father always spoke of how he loved the Park before it was closed forty years ago.
James had collected all news about the renovation and the new rides and he had memorized the map of the Park, just by studying the information available at their website.
He knows exactly which rides are featured in the Park and he already loves, even before going there, the Gryffindor Zone, where the most radical rides are located. James has studied the map enough to trace the exact perfect route to the Lion Roar Thrill Ride, the Park's greatest and most exciting roller coaster.
Pure steel. Ten inversions. Drop length of 450 feet. Reaches 130 miles per hour.
Just the thought of it gives goosebumps to James. It is everything James could wish for in a roller coaster.
He had planned carefully, had bought the tickets in advance and had calculated how early they had to leave home for there, to guarantee they would be one of the first in the line for the Lion Roar.
What he hadn't planned was that Peter would have a panic attack at the idea of going on a thrill ride and that Sirius and Remus would be much more interested in the Amortentia Tunnel than going in what is already one of the world's best roller coasters.
But since James can never be accused of being a bad friend, he uses all his knowledge of the Park to take them to Slytherin Zone, where the water rides are, before running to Gryffindor Zone.
He lets out a cry when he sees the already huge queue for the attraction, but there is nothing he can do now except getting in line with everyone else. The expectation time is fifty minutes in the line. That’s fine; he already waited for months.
It’s hot and there isn’t much shadow in the line, but James doesn’t let this damper his mood. He hears the delighted cries of the people who are in the ride and lets this encourage him. Just thirty minutes more. Then fifteen. He already sees the end of the line - the portraits where people enter to board the cars.
Then, finally, it’s his turn. The attendant calls for the next two persons and James confidently takes a step to pass through the portrait.
‘Hey, hey’, the attendant - a Prefect according to the terms used in the park - stops him, looking at him with a frown. ‘Where is your pair?’
‘Your pair. This is a ride for couples’, the Prefect notes tediously and points to a board right next to them.
All cars must have two people.
James stares, dumbfounded, because there was never any warning on their website, in any of the reviews he read, on anywhere.
The Prefect calls two friends in the line behind James, closing that turn, and that wakes him.
‘So - I can’t go?’
The Prefect raises his eyebrows and points to the next line of the board.
Singles will be paired.
‘Just wait here, in one or two minutes we will find you a match’.
That seems a little bit offensive, but he won’t complain.
‘Can I go in the first car?’ he asks instead, and the Prefect nods distractedly.
It shouldn’t be too difficult, James thinks. There are many groups with an odd number of members. Parents with a single kid. Someone else who was also left by his friends. It takes more than three minutes, however, and James is already considering an app for matching people with similar interests in thrill rides - maybe he can convince Remus to help him with the codes -
‘Stay here, you will go in a moment with him’.
James blinks and he returns to the Earth just in time to see a girl smiling nervously as she walks to his side. He glances at her, for the first time forgetting about the ride. It’s a gorgeous girl, the same age as him, with dark red hair that she keeps in a braid, though he sees strands of hair escaping and flying with the light breeze; James feels a strange urge to take the hair out of her face. Then he sees her eyes.
Bright green eyes.
‘Hi’, the girl is saying to him, her voice distracted, not really looking at him.
He resists the urge to sigh.
‘Hi’, he answers, late, but he thinks she didn’t hear him because the Prefect calls them at the same time.
‘Through the Fat Lady portrait’, he says, pointing to the first portrait.
Oh, yes, that’s why he is there. For the Lion Roar.
Not to fall in love at first sight with a girl that he will share a ride for two minutes and eleven seconds.
The girl is glancing at him, expecting, and James grins.
'You first', he says, trying to sound nice, but the girl just sighs. James sees her hands are shaking.
That makes him frown. He remembers Peter's pale face that morning, when he refused to go to the amusement park with them, and James recognizes the fear in that girl's eyes.
But she walks with her head high through the portrait and he follows her, still stealing glances in her direction. She shudders before entering the car and she flinches when the safety bar is lowered, but she doesn't say anything, doesn't look like she will give up.
He feels admiration growing inside him. James never feared any ride, enjoying every radical sport he could try just for the adrenaline rush; but the redhead by his side - his partner for the ride - has a determined expression on her face, despite the fact her knuckles are white, her hands gripping tightly the bars.
'It is safe', he hears himself saying before he can control herself. The girl turns her head to him as much as the bars allow her.
'This ride. It’s safe. There is no danger'.
'I know', she replies, looking confused. 'There was never an accident at Hogwarts Amusement Park before'.
'Oh. Sorry, I just thought -'
The girl gives him a sly smile.
'I look that nervous?'
'Well -', he begins, unsure of what to say, but she flinches once more when the car starts to move. Then she blushes despite her white face.
'I am a bit afraid of heights', she admits, looking rather nervously at the long tracks ahead, rising in the direction of the blue sky.
'And you came to one of the world's tallest roller coasters?'
'But - why?'
She chuckles slightly.
'Because I can. When I was younger my sister laughed that I wasn't tall enough for the rides. So here I am. In every ride there is'.
James decides he will have to propose to that girl someday.
'I am James!', he cries, as the wind grows stronger around them.
'Lily!', she screams back, and she sees her looking rather worriedly at how high they are now.
'It will be fine', he promises, and she looks at him, their eyes locking. After a second, she gives a tiny nod, a smile lifting up her face and she looks calm for the first time since he met her.
He smiles back, wondering if somehow he can grab her hand - just for a little more encouragement, of course -
When they drop.
Two minutes and eleven seconds later, the roller coaster is coming to a stop, and the safety bars are lifted.
'That was amazing!', Lily says, and though her legs are still shaking, there is a wild excited grin in her face.
'Fantastic!', James agrees, beaming too, still feeling the lingering effects of the thrill of the ride - that rush of adrenaline pumping through his vein, his muscles still tightened and his heart beating faster than normal.
Then he looks at his partner ride, her face flushed and vivid, and he thinks his heart won't slow down any time soon.
'So', he begins, as they start to descend the stairs, and hopes he sounds nonchalant. 'You are here alone?'
'Yeah, I got the ticket for today on a contest, and none of my friends could buy it. Tickets sold out one month in advance!'.
'I stayed until two in the morning to buy them', James admits. She seems amused.
'Adrenaline junkie, are you?', teases Lily and James flushes.
'I like the thrill'.
'You are in the right place then', she notes, glancing around to the other rides around them in Gryffindor Zone.
'I enjoy facing challenges', she shrugs like it's nothing. 'Trying to look brave'.
'You are brave', he notes, not minding to show his appreciation.
'Did you see me trembling there? I bit all my nails in the line'.
'But you went. That's what Gryffindor Zone is about'. He picks his park map to show her the slogan. 'Gryffindor, where dwells the brave at heart'.
Lily gives him a radiant smile and James thinks her smile makes him feel more exhilarated than any roller coaster could ever make.
They enter together in the store at the end of the ride and, as James glances around the red and gold merchandising, Lily goes straight to the photo booth.
'Number 394, please', she asks the attendant. Then she turns to James with a teasing smile on her lips. 'Want a copy of our moment, partner?'
'So, why are you single?', she asks, and for a moment James wonders how she knows his relationship status before realizing what she means.
'My friends ditched me for a love ride'.
'Love tunnels? They are so dull’, she says, in a mocking voice that makes him chuckle.
'There is not a single fall in them', James agrees as if that is scandalous.
'Maybe that's why couples snog there. Pure boredom'.
He nods, even as it comes to him that maybe love rides don't sound so boring with the right partner.
The attendant returns with their photos and James opens the folder to see a picture of him and Lily, right after the first fall - they are both looking exhilarated and dizzy, but his eyes concentrate on Lily. She is beaming, her green eyes sparkling even in the photograph, her face flushed from the thrill.
And he sees that, at some point during that fall, their hands were really close, almost touching.
'I guess I will see you around?', he hears Lily asking him, and there is a curious expression in her face.
Looking at her, James feels like he is back at the top of the roller coaster, right before the 450 feet drop and the whooping feeling it causes.
And he always welcomed that feeling.
'We could go together if you like', he says, his heart beating fast and he knows it’s the adrenaline.
She bits her lips for a tiny second before smiling.
'Maybe lunch partner too? I know where all the best food trucks are, I promise you'.
'I may grab your hand', she warns, playfully. 'You know, just for support'.
'I would very much enjoy it. Being your support, I mean'.
He doesn't think he fooled her. Her eyes are shining.
'Then let's go. I heard the Firebolt Free Fall is the best drop ride in the country'.
And she offers him her hand.
The next photo they buy, James hopes, they can be holding hands.
And the Amortentia Tunnel doesn't sound so boring anymore.
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Me, Myself, & I
Tagged by the lovely @peachpety! <3
1. Why did you choose your url?
"Gryffindor Hearts" is loosely based off of the sorting hat song:
You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve, and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart.
Nope! Just this one!
3. How long have you been on tumblr?
I was on tumblr in the pre-dashcon era, haha, and a part of many different fandoms alongside HP back then! I just recently rejoined in the last month or so, though
4. Do you have a queue tag?
Just "queue" but maybe I will make a more fun one!
5. Why did you start your blog?
I had been a lurker on AO3 for a while, and wanted to start writing my own fics. One thing led to another, and @the-starryknight dragged me back into tumblr and all of the different Drarry discords! I'm so glad I joined fandom again -- there is no place like it <3
6. Why did you choose your icon?
I made it! I thought a lion would be a fun icon to have. Here's a link to the bigger image.
7. Why did you choose your header?
Oh! Good question -- I was researching medieval ceilings and found the image while doing so. It is a picture of the Exeter Cathedral star ceiling. Something felt very Hogwarts about it, so I thought it would make a good header image!
8. Post with most notes?
This drawing of Draco! I am relatively new to making digital art so stay tuned for more fan art.
9. How many mutuals do you have?
I feel like most of my followers are mutuals because I am new and still meeting lots of wonderful humans through tumblr and discord!
10. How many followers do you have?
Shhhh.... it's a secret. ;)
11. How many people do you follow?
Being new, I am always following more and more blogs each day! I hit the button whenever a blog catches my eye.
12. Ever made a shitpost?
Not yet! Haha.
13. How often do you use Tumblr each day?
I tend to queue a lot of things up, and check tumblr when I can each day! Real life keeps me busy, yuck.
14. Did you ever have a fight/argument with another blog?
I fight with @the-starryknight all the time.... ;) juuuust kidding!
15. How do you feel about “you need to reblog this” posts?
I'm glad that social media can be used to support so many causes, and spread information quickly. But I think it's always important to be critical and research an issue before reblogging it. And we can all understand that social activism looks different for each person both inside and outside of fandom spaces!
16. Do you like tag games?
I do! Tag away!
17. Do you like ask games?
Yes, I think it's a fun way to get to know others! I always love seeing an ask pop into my inbox.
18. Which of your tumblr friends/mutuals do you think is famous?
It's so hard to tell -- you're all stars to me and I always feel in awe to be surrounded by so many talented people.
19. Do you have a crush on a mutual?
Who don't I have a crush on lol!! Y'all are such lovely humans and make my heart so full.
Tagging @onbeinganangel, @babooshkart, @lou-isfake, @nv-md, @phoebedelia, @tackytigerfic, @cambiodipolvere, @hogwartsfirebolt, @americanmoths, @primavera-cerezos, @frenchmarshmalloww, and @avenueofesc no worries if you've already answered this/been tagged already! And I'm tagging anyone else who would like to answer these!
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Skrain picked up the charmed journal, running his hands over the cover of it, testing the leather for a chance to catch the warmth of her hand resting on it. He opens the book and takes out his quill, the light of a single candle illuminates the pages in the dark after hours of the Slytherin dormitories. He puts the pen to the page, still holding the spine in his other hand, warming the cover, in case she will feel his hand holding it, writing: 'I want to see you tonight...' (400babies) (v: HP)
Naprem is squirreled away in her bunk, pretending to study by wandlight. Really, she’s been holding the charmed journal to her chest, waiting to feel the heat of Skrain’s palm on the cover. As soon as his words appear on the page, she feels her heart flutter and her cheeks warm. She smiles, fingers curling against the cover, a thrill going up her spine.
‘And people call me the troublemaker,’ she writes, and she could swear she feels the tip of his quill resting on the page. ‘Don’t you have a Potions test tomorrow?’
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Ships: Candy, Lysander
Characters: Candy, Lysander, Ensemble Cast
Summary: Circumstances bring Lysander back to Sweet Amoris and back into Lynn’s life.
Additional Tags: Canon Divergence, Fix-It, University Life Rewrite, Slow Burn, Eventual Romance
This is chapter 2 of a multi-chaptered fic. You can read the prologue on tumblr here
Also on AO3
“Lysander, you’re back,” she says, her gaze giving him the once over, hardly believing he’s there. Time has been kind to him. Work on the farm has toned him; even with his coat on he’s clearly broader, more muscular. And his hair is longer now. Loose strands still frame his face and the rest is fixed into a low ponytail at the back of his head.
“What brings you back to Sweet Amoris?”
“I just got back into town last night,” he begins but trails off with a weak smile. “Family… stuff.”
“Rosa,” Lynn softens her voice so customers don’t overhear, “I know about the baby.”
“I wasn’t sure if you’d heard.” Lysander lets out a deep breath and the brave face he’s putting on falls away. “How is she, really?”
“It’s still pretty raw; she’s having a hard time of it.” Lynn doesn’t elaborate much, Rosalya’s exactly as you’d imagine; in an unbearable state of grief. And then there’s the fallout from Alexy’s comment. He meant well, but it wasn’t what she needed to hear right then, she needed comfort, not solutions. And because of that, they both got their hearts crushed.
The queue continues to grow and Clemence returns from the kitchen with a fresh batch of bread rolls. Without missing a step, Clemence walks past Lynn and gives her a stern stare. “Less chat, more elbow grease.”
Taking his leave from Clemence, Lysander fishes a €5 note from his wallet and hands it to Lynn. “Thanks for the coffee, I’ll be seeing you.”
Lynn opens the till and as reaches out to hand him back his change, he waves her off. “Keep it.”
“See you.” Lynn smiles, watching him walk out the door, and puts his change into the tip jar.
Back on Campus, Lynn lies on Chani’s roommate’s bed, going over notes from her last class. Mr Lebarde isn’t the most engaging teacher and neither is his subject, so every line has to be read again and again for it to fully sink in.
Coming to the end of a page, Chani lays her pen aside and rolls over on the bed to face Lynn. “If you’re ok with saying it, what happened the other night?”
Chani’s been her rock lately, and without Rosalya or Alexy to turn to, she supposes she can trust Chani to keep it to herself.
“Rosalya miscarried the other night.” The sentence hangs in the air, Chani not knowing how to respond and Lynn not ready to follow it up.
“God, poor Rosa,” Chani eventually says, “How awful.”
“Yeah,” Lynn keeps her eyes glued to the duvet, if she looks at Chani there’s a chance it’ll all overwhelm her again and she might just break into tears. “And Rosa and ‘Lex had a massive blowout afterwards. She was crying, wondering if she could still have kids, and he tried to comfort her, telling her she could always adopt and that backfired. She was upset and then upset him because he’s adopted you know?”
Chani nods. She didn’t know actually but doesn’t interject lest she interrupt Lynn’s train of thought.
“And so they both left the groupchat, they’re mad at each other, and I feel caught in the middle.”
Chani gets off her bed and goes over to Lynn. She kneels at the side of the bed and throws an arm around Lynn’s shoulder and rubs circles in her back. No words are exchanged in that moment, none or needed, but that hug melts away some of her anxieties. Sometimes there are no solutions; all you really need is for someone to listen.
Soon the night goes back to normal and airing her feelings softens the weight of them a little. They settle in on the bed and tune in to a new Netflix documentary, something murderous and full of twists. They could do with some snacks, but the cosiness isn’t worth disturbing.
In a down moment between episodes, Lynn gets chatting. “I bumped into Lysander, Leigh’s brother, at work today. He’s back in town for Rosa.”
“That’ll be good for her,” Chani says, thinking out loud, before placing the name. “Hey, that’s your ex, right? What was that like?”
“We only spoke about Rosa, it was pretty sombre.”
Chani looks up and away from the show to gauge Lynn’s reaction. “But was it nice to see him again?”
Lynn reflects on it a moment. She’s been so caught up in everybody else’s business that she hasn’t really thought about it. “Yeah, it was actually.”
In the morning, Lynn has a spring in her step. Talking with Chani has eased the burden and helped her sort through her feelings. Her shared pain for Rosalya is still present, as is her discomfort with the Rosa-Alexy situation, but she feels better for having talked about it.
On route to Professor Zaidi’s class, she stops by the front desk in the dorm building to collect her post. Mercifully, no bills or appointment letters have arrived and a package her mother told her had been sent has finally come.
Sitting out on a bench in the campus quad, she uses her keys to tear open the tape sealing the box and digs right in. It’s full of old mementos; photographs documenting her teenage years, ticket stubs from various concerts and cinema showings, as well as postcards from various trips friends and family have taken.
The first photo she finds is of her high school graduation, her entire class stands proud and smiling. If she remembers right Iris’ mother took this photo and printed out copies for everyone to have. This photo used to be stuck to the fridge at her parents’ place.
The next few she picks up are of her and Lysander. Some are group shots but he’s in all of them, a testament to how ever-present he was in her life. How strange that these photos of him would re-enter her life at the same time he did. The timing feels so faithful.
Photos of the constant trio, her, Rosalya, and Alexy make up a good portion of the photos. The memories wash over her in waves and suddenly she can see scenes of a thousand happy moments playing on a loop in her mind. If only they could return to that simplicity.
Instead of dwelling on it, she shoves the memory box into her backpack and heads to professor Zaidi’s class. It’s her favourite subject and today it’s a welcome distraction. Instead of keeping them cooped up in the auditorium, they make the most of the fine weather and journey into town where they document local graffiti. It’s nice to get out of the classroom for a change and it puts her in a good humour.
In enough of a good mood that she feels up to visiting Rosalya. It’s bound to be awkward and emotionally draining so this is a moment that needed to be worked up to.
On route there, she bumps into Alexy and it’s a good thing she emotionally readied herself for some tension today because she’s found it already. Awkward greetings are exchanged but not much is said, both of them linger too long, waiting for the other to say something first.
“So you left the groupchat,” Lynn says, biting the bullet and speaking first. She could have kept the tone light but they do have to talk about these things eventually and there’s no sense in waiting. The longer they leave it the worse it’s going to get.
“Yeah, I think we need our space.”
“You’re probably right,” Lynn says, trying to sound amiable. “Everything is so fresh, you just need some time and-“
Alexy cuts her off. “Lynn, I’m not really up to talking about it.”
Lynn nods and everything returns to an awkward quiet until she feels the need to break the silence.
“Lysander’s back in town so she’ll have some more support.”
Alexy seems to perk up a little, his face a little less grim, probably glad she has another person to rely on. He still doesn’t say anything though.
Without telling him where’s she’s going should it be awkward, Lynn takes her leave. “I’ll see you ok?”
She phrases it more like a question than a goodbye, forcing him to agree.
“Ok, see you.”
At Rosalya and Leigh’s place, Leigh answers the door. Lynn squeezes his hand tight. They aren’t close enough to hug and she doesn’t want to overstep, but she feels the need to be there for him as well as Rosalya.
“How’s she been?”
Leigh shakes his head, he’s not the type to spill his guts out but this situation is exceptional. “She’s not eating; she’s just lies in bed. But she’s in the shower now; I suppose that’s a step in the right direction.”
Leigh leads Lynn inside where she meets Lysander’s in the living room.
“Hi, Lysander,” If this were any other time maybe she’d have a stronger reaction to her first love returning but her mind is elsewhere.
Leigh continues speaking as he leads her to the couch. “Lysander hired a farmhand so he could be with us.”
Lynn nods. She’s glad Leigh has support too, he’s had to be strong for Rosa but he’s hurting too.
After Lynn takes off her coat and takes a seat on the couch, Leigh excuses himself to go check on Rosalya.
“I’m glad you’re here for them, they’re in a bad place right now.” Lynn begins, turning to Lysander, but finishes her train of thought there as Rosalya arrives.
Rosalya is dressed in pyjamas and her hair is still wet from the shower. She takes a seat next to Lynn on the couch and Lynn pulls her close into a hug. Rosalya squeezes back and does her best not to cry.
As Leigh heads to the kitchen to prepare tea and biscuits, Lynn puts a hand on Rosalya’s knee. “How are you doing, are you in any pain?”
Physically anyway, she’s got an idea how she’s doing mentally.
“Better. They sent me home from the hospital.”
“I’m so sorry Rosa, “Lynn says, laying a hand on Rosalya’s arm. “I’m here for you, you know. Anything at all, I’m here.”
It’s then that Rosalya begins to cry. She cries deep guttural noises and her eyes only water so much because she only has so much left in her. Nobody attempts to comfort her with words because they all know none will do. Instead, they let her have her time. Leigh holds her hand throughout the tears, his eyes watering too, and eventually she’s all cried out.
With all that movement in the living room, Lynn’s bag tips over and her box of souvenirs peaks out. Deciding it might be a nice topic to take everyone’s mind off tragedy, Lynn places it on the coffee table.
“My mother sent me this old box of memories today. There are some great old photos in it. Want to take a look?”
Lynn takes out an old photo of her and Rosalya at the beach and passes it around. Rosalya barely pays attention.
Trying to get her to engage, Lysander picks out another photo of her. “Your hair is so long in this one.”
She hardly stirs.
Making his own attempt, Leigh finds a photo of the two of them and shows it to her. “We were so young.”
Curiosity gets the better of her and Rosalya takes the photo from him and grins. “We were just kids.”
Now immersed in the nostalgia, Rosalya begins looking through the box herself. She smiles as she admires and old poster for the school play and even laughs as she finds a photo of them all dressed up for Halloween. Lysander could barely close his mouth with those vampire dentures in.
For the first time since it happened, she’s not thinking about the miscarriage or what could have been. Everything feels lighter now, if only for a minute, and she eventually dozes off on the couch without crying herself to sleep.
With Rosalya asleep, Lynn takes her leave and heads for home. Leigh thanks her for coming and she promises to come by again and to be there for Rosalya’s first venture outside.
It’s late by the time she gets home and after a quick shower, she heads straight to bed. Yeleen’s phone rings and she takes the call outside, but despite the wall between them, Lynn still overhears the tense conversation with who she guesses is Yeleen’s mother. Drowning it out, Lynn plugs in her earbuds and falls asleep to some instrumental music.
Her next morning is free and she uses the opportunity to study and prepare for her later classes. The option to head to her study group was brought up in a text from Chani but she passes. She doesn’t fancy spending the morning with Alexy until things have mellowed a bit; they all need some space and time.
Later in the afternoon, she has Mr Lebarde’s class, and while it isn’t exactly her favourite, it’s far from the worst thing to happen this week so she heads straight there with any qualms. That is until he springs a timed group presentation on them. If there’s anything worse than presenting it’s doing it with Melody.
But at least they know their subject well so the presentation goes ok, even if the delivery is a little stilted at times with both of them occasionally interrupting and speaking over each other. They’re not the best but far from the worst either. It’s an acceptable, middle of the road performance.
As she leaves class and walks through the campus quad, Chani practically sprints towards her. She’s immaculately styled and wearing a starry-printed dress Lynn’s never seen before
“It’s finally the weekend,” Chani says, practically bursting with glee, “Get changed and let’s hit the town.”
“What’s got you in such a party mood?”
“Nothing,” Chani begins, “I just think you’ve earned a bit of a break. You need to take some time for yourself too; you can’t play superhero for everyone else all the time.”
Lynn gives her a quizzical look. “Superhero?”
Chani shakes her head. “You know what I mean. You’re always fixing everyone else’s problems. It’s admirable but it’s not really healthy that you never put yourself first.”
Lynn pauses, mulling over what Chani just said, but never gets a chance to respond as Chani speaks first.
“Go ahead and get changed, I’ll wait.”
Lynn heads to the dorms and quickly changes into a plaid shirt with pleather leggings and rejoins Chani in the quad. Chani instructs her to give a twirl in her new outfit and gives her thumbs up in approval when she does.
Feeling better than she has in weeks, Lynn links arms with Chani as they head to the Snake Room, laughing and joking all the way. The laughter doesn’t stop until the bouncer at the bar door refuses to let them in.
Refusing to be bested by a guest list, Chani puts on an air of confidence. “Chani and Lynn. So have you been busy? I hear it’s going to be one hell of a soiree.”
“Not on the list.”
Mimicking Chani’s confidence and acting like they belong, Lynn plays along. “Oh, I guess we aren’t listed under our real names. Sometimes we go by Thelma and Louise for privacy.”
The bouncer rolls his eyes, and gestures for a couple behind them to move to the front of the line. “Stop wasting my time.”
As the couple steps forward and just as Chani and Lynn are about to resign themselves to a night spent in the dorms, Castiel appears in the doorway.
“Thelma and Louise? Couldn’t have come up with anything better, huh Lynn?” Castiel turns to the bouncer and lays a friendly hand on his shoulder. “They’re friends, they can come in.”
Castiel leads them inside to what turns out to be a launch party for Crowstorm’s latest music video. Industry professionals mull about, as do the other members of the band. The only other ‘normal’ person, other than the bar staff that is, is Lysander.
“Thanks for getting us inside, Castiel,” Chani says, “Sorry to crash your event.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Castiel laughs and then turns to Lynn. “I can’t really hang out tonight, I’m expected to network so, you know. Lys is in a booth in the corner if you want to drop by.”
Before settling into their seats, Chani and Lynn head to the bar for some drinks. They start the night off right with a round of cocktails and Lynn orders a drink for Lysander. He’s not much of a drinker but she remembers his usual order for the occasions he does. He’s usually a cider man, but when it comes to cocktails, he likes an old fashioned.
Lynn and Chani make their way to Lysander’s booth and Lynn places his drink in front of him. He smiles at her in thanks, but before either of them can speak, they’re thrust into introductions.
“I’m Chani and you must be Lysander,” Chani says, outstretching her hand.
Her eyes immediately run up and down, giving him the once over an appraising his style. She’s the type to appreciate that kind of thing and Lynn notices it too. He looks like his old self but a little toned down for farm life. He’s lost his signature jabot and heavy coat, but his shirt is white and flowy with a pussy bow around the neck.
Lysander accepts her handshake. “Lovely to meet you.”
Conversation flows into a quiet catch-up and there’s no mention of Rosalya’s situation. It’s mostly Chani and Lysander getting to know each other and the topics are light.
Before long, a professionally dressed man appears on stage and introduces Crowstorm’s latest music video. There’s much applause for the various industry figures who worked on it and plenty of speeches, but the room goes silent as the video is finally played publicly for the first time.
In the video, Castiel is driving through the forest at lightning speed. He reaches a castle where he climbs the winding stone stairs until he reaches a bedroom where he ravishes a scantily clad woman. Between her teeth, she holds a vial of poison which she forces down Castiel’s throat with the might of her kiss. She abandons him there as he lies dying on the bed.
The lights go up and the room is again filled with applause. The actress from the video joins the band members on stage as they talk about the process of creating it and how much fun it was to make.
Everyone’s eyes are on Castiel and the band, except for Lynn who stares silently at Lysander, wondering what he’s thinking. Wasn’t this his dream too? If he feels any sort of resentment or hurt, his face doesn’t betray him. But she can’t help but wonder if he wishes he were on that stage too, living out his creative dreams not living out his parent’s legacy.
When the industry portion of the evening is complete and Castiel has sufficiently mingled, he joins the rest of them in the booth. Each of them compliments the video and the song in all sincerity, and Lynn does her best to avoid that twinge of worry that maybe Lysander missed out on something special.
Throughout the night that feeling does fade, maybe it’s the alcohol or the fact that the old gang is back together but she does end up having a nice time and her worries slip away. They reminisce and catch Chani up on old stories and in-jokes and it feels just like old times.
As the night continues on they go their separate ways; Chani returns to the dorms and Lysander, Castiel, and Lynn head back to Castiel’s where Lysander is staying for the time being for another round of drinks.
Lynn and Lysander settle in on the couch as Castiel prepares a nightcap in the kitchen. Lynn kicks off her shoes and settles into the soft cushions decorating the sofa. Perhaps it’s the drinks or the stress of the past week catching up on her, but she falls asleep before Castiel has even returned.
The last thing she remembers is the weight of a soft blanket carrying her off to sleep.
You can also follow along on my AO3
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👋 it’s your secret Santa. Just curious what is your favourite kind of bughead fan fiction? Is there a particular trope your a fan of or any particular authors or stories that are your favourites.
Oooh, that is a great question! I always feel weird reccing authors or specific fic because I’m afraid of leaving anyone out, and also because I’m always about a month behind in reading/commenting on fic, but some fics that are currently in progress that I am enjoying a lot (in no particular order) are “Degrees” by @mistressofmalplaquet, “Cowboy Jones” by @writeradamanteve, "All’s Fair in Love (and War)“ by @rivervixens and @ stillscape, “You’re a ghost town I’m too patriotic to leave” by dwelling on dreams on Ao3, “The Greenhouse Effect” by @happilyshanghaied, "A Deed Without a Name” by @heartunsettledsoul, @onceuponamirror, @rivervixens, @stillscape, & @sylwrites and the series of short fics by both makingitwork and1sleepydormouse (AlderBee) on Ao3. (This is of course skipping a lot of awesome fics that are in my queue, and older fics I love).
In terms of fic tropes, what I really adore the most is established relationship fic- I like seeing how they tackle problems together, how they support each other, and how they stretch and grow within the relationship and alongside each other.
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❛ mains call
❛ plotting call
❛ starter call
❛ ooc › the ones who love us never really leave us
❛ self promo › she’s a nasty piece of work though
❛ promo › the risk would’ve been what made it fun
❛ writings › we’ve all got both light and dark inside us
❛ headcanon › there are things worth dying for
❛ ramblings › there are things worth dying for
❛ desires › what’s life without a little risk?
❛ appearance › a sort of casual elegance
❛ art › a sort of casual elegance
❛ study › what matters is the part we choose to act on
❛ sirius crack › are you siriusly joking?
❛ aesthetic › maybe i’ll break the tradition
❛ dashboard › when all this is over‚ we’ll be a proper family
❛ prompts › since when did someone have to be in the order to ask questions?
❛ inbox › did you like question ten‚ moony?
❛ keepsakes › we are part of you
❛ shitpostery › mr. padfoot would like to register his astonishment
❛ queue › times like that bring out the best in some people
❛ relations › harry j. potter
❛ relations › james potter
❛ relations › remus j. lupin
❛ relations › peter pettigrew
❛ relations › lily j. evans
❛ relations › regulus a. black
❛ the marauders › we solemnly swear that we are up to no good
❛ toujours pur › the most noble and ancient house
❛ worlds › enjent. voorhent. almhent.
❛ worlds › toujours pur (pre hogwarts)
❛ worlds › where dwell the brave at heart (hogwarts)
❛ worlds › first war
❛ worlds › modern
❛ betraeyer › i'll stay here with you until this dream is gone
❛ braveswine › don’t want to know the other side of a world without you
I’m sat in Orto Botanico di Roma. One of the botanical gardens in Rome. Surrounded by many different species of palm. Birds are singing in the trees, exotic ones that sound like parakeets. It’s humid but not too hot, with a bit of cloud cover and a cooling breeze. Perfection. I couldn’t wait to get here, take my shoes off, throw my pack down and crack open one of the cool Birra Morettis I bought from a shop around the corner. Its been a warm couple of days. I hadn’t intended to have a beer, but it seemed too perfect a prospect to pass up on my penultimate day. I’m saving the second one for the Circus Maximus, my next stop. Inexplicably, the UK national anthem is playing somewhere in the background. Maybe blighty needs me to return, Brittania is calling me from afar. Or, more realistically, there is some kind of gimmicky sideshow being put on for tourists, with a bloke called Lorenzo dressed as a Buckingham palace guard or something. I had to work to get into the gardens. I stupidly went where google told me to go, on the opposite side of the park. There was a notice that said ‘HA! You idiot, you thought you could enter through this clearly signposted gate didn’t you? No, no, no, you must walk half of the entire circumference of the park, passing four locked decoy gates on the way, to enter through the only true gate, you fool!’...or something like that at least. I had to laugh, it’s been one of those days.
Palms are noisy trees. They rustle and creak constantly. Easy to forget that plants are living, growing things. Best not to dwell on that too long, I’d feel surrounded. Reminds me of that awful M Night Shyamalan movie, ‘The Happening’, that had people running through a wheat field to get away from the wind and the deadly pollen carried on it. All the signs and my sixth sense were telling me it was a bit rubbish.
Speaking of feeling surrounded. I have just completed a visit to St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican gardens & the Vatican Museums. The basilica can only be described as, well, massive. The guards still bravely try and enforce the no photos rules, good luck with that lads. Rather you than me try and take a selfie stick off an angry elderly Chinese lady. Call the Swiss guard! I wasn’t sure I had time to walk up to the dome and cupola of the basilica, I arrived late for several, annoying reasons I won’t go into here. I had about an hour and a half at St Peter’s but I went up to the dome anyway and was not disappointed. I enjoyed the walk up, really cool to think where you are, the walls curve more and more as you get higher and the dome curves in to meet itself. That made me feel queasy at first.
I scared a French lady by dropping my bag to get my water bottle out, her husband was howling laughing, I was very British and apologised forty-seven times just to be sure there were no hard feelings. She was very gracious but I still felt guilty. I can only scare people by accident, not sure I could do it on purpose, not that I’d want to. Next up was a tour of the Vatican gardens on an eco-bus.
Very glad I booked a skip the line ticket because there is no chance I would have joined the queue for tickets on the day. It was at least 500m long from the entrance. And honestly, not worth the wait. I enjoyed the tour of the gardens, except the procedure of showing the security guy outside my ticket, then showing it to a decoy ticket guy who told me to go to the next floor to the one true ticket office. I was then given another ticket there, told to wait for 30 mins, then told to go up one floor, exchange that ticket for another ticket, to be shown to the driver of the bus to allow me to board. I enjoyed the tour of the gardens, how pimping that the pope has his own helipad and train station.
The lobby of the Vatican museums is like an airport terminal. Your destination is the Sistine Chapel and you have a long, arduous journey ahead of you to get there (and once you do you can’t even take a blimmin photo). The museum consists of a series of chambers/rooms. I can’t give you any of their names, or describe in detail what they contained because I was pushed through them in the throng and had no time to stop and read about them without the risk of limb loss. By room five I was longing for an exit, realising I had made a mistake. To see the Sistine Chapel you have to go through the rest of the exhibits, no shortcuts. There wasn’t even elbow room as I got swept along by the crowd. Dodging selfie sticks like Tom Cruise trying not to trip lasers in the Mission: Impossible film. I was eyeing the priceless stained glass windows, weighing up how long it might take me to pay the Vatican authorities back if I just launched myself headlong through one of them to sweet freedom. I’m not sure that you are supposed to come away from the Sistine Chapel with a feeling of mild to severe annoyance and slight despair. I’m sure it is meant to be an awe-inspiring experience. Honestly, I glanced at the ceiling and carried on marching. I felt trapped and really annoyed that I had been put in this situation with no obvious chance of escape. “Despite all my rage I’m still just a rat in a cage” - Finally found a use for that Smashing Pumpkins quote.
I strode through the rest of the rooms, you still can’t leave after the Sistine, there is more to come. I saw an outside area, made a break for it. I found a couple weeping on some stairs, begged them, ‘please is this the exit?’, they had given up hope ‘no, they said, just more museum, save yourself, we have lost all hope.’ I left them, I had no choice. The skeletal remains of those who had lingered, trying to subsist on over-priced calzone and cappuccinos littered the benches and grounds all around. A truly desperate scene as captured here:
I mustered all the strength I had left, pulled my cap down, put my headphones on (Metallica), shades went on, and I half ran towards the signs for ‘Uscita’, the exit, emancipation, freedom, open air. St. Anger was my guide and he saw me through. So, all in all, the final was not a great experience. Summed up by one half of a cockney couple I heard when I left “Just so you know, we are never, ever going there again”. I’m sure that’s what Michaelangelo was going for in a response. I’ve learned, well reinforced what I already knew really, I am at my happiest with space and fresh air around me!
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Gmorning. You woke up and that’s not nothing. You’ll find happiness in truly unexpected places. You’ll find challenges in things that were supposed to be so easy. Keep waking up, keep getting up, cmon cmon cmon, así así así. Here’s the day.
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Therapy/Counselling diary #8 (my memory is baaad plus some general frustrations and encouragements)
This past week was kinda hmm... nyeeeeh. I wouldn't say I did anything particularly exciting or new or memorable and I was kinda sickly but it wasn't bad bad and that's all that matters ^^ My memory is bad bad baaaaad in other words, same as usual lol
I’ve decided I’m gonna try to write this weeks (or well, last weeks) stuff using the tumblr app this time, I haven't really used it much, but it's been pretty neat so far aka I cba to clear my desk and use the pc. My typo rate is srsly v. high tho and I wanna shorten the words cuz phone typing and effort but I think I actually type about the same speed with my phone as I do on the PC hah... If only I could read back the text and edit stuff easier as I go along though... oh welp. (Whoa phew, I thought I accidentally posted it by accident lulz the app gives a 'it posted' notification when I save it as a draft what even lol)
This weeks counselling app was... pretty alright, though I'm feeling the pressure and the nerves more now because as predicted I am expected to try even more harder with the communication and skill learning stuff for next time and I really arghhh xwx I only just got over the last wall and the next one seems way more difficult to scale... but I think I can do it... I just need to push away the unhelpful thoughts and persist..! >^<
So that sheet about emotions and thoughts I had to do... I only managed to write two small things but it's something at least, we didn't actually look over it this session because we were still looking at the unhelpful behaviour sheet from last last time which was a slight relief but I still have the sheet now and need to fill it by next week xwx
The behaviour we went over was to do with comparing yourself to others and I really can't remember a lot of the things that was said gdi... maybe I'll just bullet point some of the important stuff and the rest will come back to me easier... and so I don't forget even more lol I'm just feeling extra lazy and unmovtivated hahaha.. ugh @v@"
🍰 Every person has their own views on things/their own way of doing or reacting to things and there is no right or wrong way in essence. Like baking a cake, one person may use so and so ingredients and the other such and such or even something that seems pretty unconventional but they both still result in cakes. Another person may prefer the taste of cake 1 over 2 and another person cake 2 over 1. No one is wrong in their choices, it’s just personal preference.
🥞 All professions work together in harmony and are necessary to make up and keep up a society. There is no need to be ashamed of or think lowly of your profession because it is just as important (eg. trash collector people, some people might think lowly of them but without them there would be a mess of vermin and disease etc etc as juxtaposed with another profession like a doctor which is usually thought highly of).
🍕 The only way to break the cycle is by doing. Doing will provide you with the experience and evidence needed to override your negative presumptions and this in turn will allow you to get past the things holding you back and grow. Your beliefs should run on facts and not irrational thoughts which probably hold no truth at all.
🍔 Like reading a book, you only know as much as you've read (your current and past experiences and beliefs), but there is still so much left to learn and absorb if you push forward and continue. The parts you haven't read yet (future experiences and knowledge etc) may be the positive and powerful parts needed to neutralise and flip back the negative beginning chapters.
🍝 You live in a place where freedom and choice is encouraged and accepted (unlike some other places in the world where people live under strict control), so why would you willingly choose to cage yourself in with all these rules and restrictions..? (T^T Idk why... but I don’t want to no more that’s for sure!)
🍦 Everything you do should be for your own approval and not anyone else’s. It’s your life and your choices, not theirs. Your own opinions matter most and your own wellbeing should be your priority. Do it all for yourself.
🍩 I would really like a doughnut right now, damn. I can’t have any of these foods rn cause of my diet lolol... they’re unhealthy anyways ^^”
These are some really awfully phrased retellings of the stuff the counsellor told me, but that’s basically all I can remember right now but they give very interesting and useful views on things. Normally I would rephrase them even more or not include the examples but w/e I need to stop being so afraid, just get it all down nice and straightforward and truthful! Yeah, I could've just used the actual bullet point formatting but food emoji is much more exciting of course :D I literally can’t think anymore about last week, I’m just so overwhelmed with this week, my head hurts with the mental effort x^x I decided to go back to using the pc, the app is good for brief things only I guess.
In terms of doing something brave or well out of my comfort zone, I walked down a few streets on my own and went to collect some post. It’s something I’ve done before (though not completely on my own) but I still had a hella awkward time at the desk cause the queue was kind of jumbled and idk if the person before me was actually someone that came after, I thought maybe they were an employee and went behind them instead or maybe they skipped in front idk ugh... I really suck at looking and remembering people’s faces sometimes.
If I wanted to go somewhere else on my own my parents would probably not let me go and my dad would lecture me all the safety things even more than usual (seriously, I get the don’t talk to strangers type of line every single time..!). I’m not a child, I shouldn’t have to ask for permission and this time I didn’t ask, I just said where I was going and why and left but if I tried that to go anywhere else then they’d get ruffled. But the main thing is the communication again I guess, as long as they are informed, it’ll lessen the stress and make them more open to me taking my own initiative.
Like I understand they want me to be safe, it’s what parents do and I obviously don’t want to run into any trouble too, but sometimes being too overprotective and overly cautious means I’m just stuck and can’t grow at all. It just goes to make me even more scared of the world, when I should be out there doing things like everyone else, it sucks.
I know in parents eyes, their daughters and sons will always be their kids, their babies, but at some point they will see them as adults too and well, that just isn’t happening for me. I haven’t proven myself worthy of the adult title and I also feel I don’t deserve it yet, it seems a long way off still but it feels so ridiculous, but what is age but just a number anyways, everyone goes at different paces. I shouldn’t dwell on this too much and just try my best to prove to myself, yes myself first and foremost, that I can be an adult, I can be responsible and independent at least a little more. I need a better action plan really... besides the vague, get a job, learn to drive, cook etc. idk what else @^@” I’m getting a little ahead of myself with even this though, gotta not forget, take things slow and gradually, baby steps!! ^^
In my other endeavours with art and posting things online, it’s just come to a stand still or gone backwards actually, I’ve just gotten so scared again, I can’t put a pen to paper or even leave a comment on other people’s stuff anymore and it feels really awful, like why can’t I just do it and forget about feeling foolish or judged or inadequate, I keep overthinking again gdi..!! >^< I keep wanting to plan things and have things all perfect and ready instead of just getting things done as I go like other people... damn, I keep saying like other people, constantly comparing myself to them, that’s another reason I’ve gotten scared to try again with anything.
Gosh, these unhelpful habits are for reals and are the worst, at least I’m more aware of them though, maybe I can fight them back a bit better now that I know how draining and evil they are... Okay! I challenge you unhelpful habits!! Imma throw you in the trash and get my ass moving! You’ve got nothing on me! I can do it!! Ugh... ;^; No no, no sad! Fight fight fight! Go go go! ò^ó
My sis got me a lot of gifts relating to art, she encourages me through this and her kind words and wants me to do well, I want me to do well too and to show my gratitude with action, so imma do well and make a lot of nice arts to be proud of! They don’t have to be perfect! I saw a quote that was something like ‘even the pages on your bad days are better than the ones on the days you did nothing’ (I just totally butchered that lol) or something like that and it was like, damn, that’s true. A little practice even if it’s not serious is better than nothing at all! Okay okay I’m pumped!
The stuff I had to do this week is to help out at the front of the shop, gain some experience and converse with customers..! I already attempted it once for a short time and welp, it was scary but I guess not that bad (also I kinda botched up a phone order maybe) but I keep reading into things too deeply and negatively and it scared me off and now as usual the week is ending and my opportunities to try are limited, need to get my ass in gear, c’mon I can do it! Don’t be afraid, you’re doing well, keep going! ^^”... go go go! ^u^
Maybe I can kill 2 birds with one stone, sit and observe but also draw, space is limited though so idk if it’ll work out but there’s no harm giving it a try I guess. Must not forget to fill in that emotions/thoughts sheet ugh, I should have done it as I actually do stuff but I do things in bad and unconventional ways. Need to break a lot of habits. I downloaded this app that is supposed to help you build new healthy habits, so far all it’s wanted me to do is to drink water when I wake up so I feel more energised lol but I did it and it does help, I wonder if I can build a lot of other good habits too, it certainly makes things feel more fun in a way.
Everyday in my mind I want to look over the days happenings in a more positive light and congratulate myself for all the small things I did that I maybe I wouldn’t have some weeks ago, so I can see how much I actually improved and have put effort in. Even though on the surface it just all seems meh, I want to let myself see how things have actually become a little easier and how the negative thoughts relating to them has begun to affect me less and take up less space in my conscious. Be proud of yourself and all your endeavours, silly!
Hmm, this post is probably shorter than my usual one but oh well, I don’t want to spend too much time rambling or ruminating or being a paralysed perfectionist, I’ve got other bigger fish to fry! And draw and eat omnomnom! Yolo! x3
Okay okay, now I’m going to go do some artsy fartsy stuff or at least have myself set up for it and my conversing/experience gaining challenge hoo! Believe in yourself, you can do it! Let’s go go! :D
Have a lovely evening and keep trying, keep flying! ^^
Mer Manoa - Canto I, verses X and XI
“It looks so different from out here,” said Morga. The transport docks were almost five leagues distant from Valden and its thermal vents, and getting there had felt like a year in itself. Messra Talia and the rest of the sept had seen them to the rocky walls of the city, now a dark smudge in the distance. Above it, the stone pillars rose towards the firmament, each the home of a different sept. It was too far for them to see their griffa sisters soaring the thermal currents that rose from the base of the pillars. To either side, the remnants of an ancient volcano piled high, circling three-quarters of the city of Valden. The delicate shell dwellings of the manoa and leondra were like growths of pink and green along the rim.
Wherever one lived in Valden, on rim or on pillar, there was only one route to the docks. Strong currents made swimming in the open water treacherous, so all who came this way needed to take the low road along the ridges. Olga and Morga were not alone as they swam, but they had little to say to their fellow travelers.
In fact, neither of them had seen so many manoa in one place before. On some level they had known that their city had about as many manoa as it had griffa living in it, but aside from a few merchants, overseers, and the occasional personage such as Elshia, they had rarely caught a glimpse of “their own” kind. The waiting post at the docks currently hosted three or four dozen manoa of all sorts – with hair dark or bright, scales patterned or straight, wearing bright colors that put the twin’s working garb to shame.
Morga’s first thought was one of despair: Could we be related to these mers?
Olga’s first thought was one of disgust: We can not be related to these mers.
There was a party in progress, loud and raucous. The guest of honor, a tall mer with blue-black hair, was being toasted and kissed in turn by her friends. Most were slightly red in the face and giggling in ways that made Morga uneasy. Were they…?
“Drunk,” Olga stated with distaste.
They’d almost completely skirted the crowd before anyone at the party noticed their presence. She was a short little manoa, barely half the size of either sister, her hair as dark as jet and bound into straight spikes that looked like an urchin was sitting on her head. A bright red flush had spread across her face, down her neck, and was now advancing across her half-exposed chest. She was holding a small sac in one unsteady hand, dipping into it frequently with the other. With a wobbling grin on her face, she slipped over to where Morga was floating.
“Here to see ‘Strella off?” the spiky-hair asked, waving towards the center of attention. “Ain’t seen you around before. You’re cute,” she giggled. The little sac was thrust towards the twins. “Want some? Loosen up, have fun with li’l Tachi?” She winked at Morga.
“I’d rather lick the slime of a live higga,” came the reply, as barbed as Morga could make it. Having never seen the noxious mine-dweller in question, Tachi returned to the party with only the impression that she’d just been insulted, without knowing to how great a degree.
From the anchor point a few yards away, a pair of older eyes watched approvingly as the sisters passed the party by and headed towards where the caravan was tethered. Berenice had been swimming with the currents for three decades. She’d started not much older than the party-goers, and now, greyer of hair and scale, considered herself a good judge of character. Tachi and Estrella had registered their tickets before the party had started, and even then she could tell she’d be well off without them once they arrived in Brandell.
Not like the red-blonde pair approaching now. They had a more dependable air to them.
“Talia’s two, are ya?” she asked before they had a chance to show their tickets. After a moment spent enjoying the surprised looks, she continued. “Met your ma once. Does fine work, she does.” Berenice turned her head to show the coral stud in her left earlobe. “Got a set for me and my Lena. Glad to do her a favor in return.”
She looked the two of them over more closely. Berenice had certainly never seen such a matched pair, but she was relieved once she realized they weren’t in fact perfect doubles. One was a little broader in the nose, the other just a little more pointed in the chin. She’d have no trouble telling them apart once she had their names straight.
“Olga min Talia?” The one with the nose nodded.
“And Morga min Talia?” The other, with the chin, grinned.
“Gonna have to take your word for it, lasses.” Berenice returned the grin. “The two of you are supposed to have tickets. If I may…” The sisters presented the proper shells, and the caravan mistress nodded. “Working tickets, as I’m sure you’re aware. Carry and tow when necessary, cook if you can… Or not,” she said, seeing the look on Morga’s face.
“One last thing – fighting. There are some nasty things out in the open waters, and more every year. Either of you held a sword before?”
“Only to make them,” Olga said.
“Fair ‘nough. How about these?” She stroked over to the rock wall of the anchor point, where various bags and tools had been left hanging. Among them was a pair of weighted hammers – rounded, heavy stones tied round with cords of kelp that were twirled and woven together to make a length of about twice an arm’s span. A handle was fitted into the end of the cable. They were made for cracking hard shells in one hit, and were far too heavy for most mers to use easily. The sisters, Berenice was pleased to see, hefted them once, shrugged, and helped each other tie their new weapons to their travel packs.
Yes, she thought. Strong and dependable, just like their ma.
“How many did you count?” Ardenne murmured to Sera from out of the corner of her mouth. The two of them were hunkered down behind a colony of bright pink sponges. The lumpy, rounded pillars grew along the edge of a natural crevasse, making them a far better spot for hiding than it would seem from the other side.
“Five.” Sera was taking the time to tie her hair back and fit it into her concealing snood. “Amina, Shalar, Consta, and two more whose names I never heard.” She thought for a moment. “They had a few sparring matches in camp when I was watching. Shalar’s the one to watch out for. Dark brown hair, long knives.”
“I see her.” Ardenne had found a good vantage point between two mounds of sponge. Her green hair was now bound in several thick queues, tied up at the ends but otherwise floating freely. From this distance, the Brandells would mainly see the color. “She’s floating in place about three dozen yards down-current. The others look to be a little farther out.”
“Taking their time,” said Sera. “They’re pretty sure we’re up here somewhere. And unless you know something I don’t, there’s no route out of here that won’t leave us exposed.”
She didn’t and there wasn’t, so Ardenne said nothing. All she could do was keep watch while Sera prepared her last four wads of paralytic weed. From her vantage point, the coral mass of the heights sloped gently downward for a few hundred yards before dropping out of sight. It was the same for the expanse of coral behind her. Neither of them had wanted to brave the heights, but Sera had feared that more of the soldiers under Grett’s command would be following soon, and she’d been right. Their best bet had been to make the pursuit more trouble than it was worth.
Unfortunately, they’d left bodies in their wake. Three living bodies, true, but assault was still assault. The Brandells had only one way of responding to attacks on their own, Ardenne now understood. Swarms of stinging darter snails were less tenacious.
“Gonna have to make a break for it soon,” Sera advised. “With luck we can take two or three of them out with just the Ferga’s Rest. Not all five, though.”
Ardenne nodded and took one of the slender blow-shells from the redhead, being careful to keep one finger capping the mouthpiece and the rest of her far removed from the sickly purple-veined mud on the other end. She positioned herself, counting backwards from ten, and then forwards from naught, to clear her mind. Brown-haired Shalar, two-knives Shalar, was only a dozen or so yards distant now. Just a little closer, and it would be time.
The shadows moved before she could; swathes of dusk floated over the surface of the reef. Those few large fish that had ignored the arrival of the mers now swam for cover.
Three large shapes now swam between the heights and the silvery firmament. From below, their bellies were greyish white, shading to black along the sides. Two large, black flippers held the body steady as powerful flukes pushed it forward. Teeth flashed between the not-quite-lips that formed a permanent leer below a blunted snout.
Someone had sighted orcs upon the heights, Elder Raqua had said.
Orcs were here now.
Sera wasn’t sure which was more appropriate, cussing or singing praises to Cythera. After a moment’s thought, she decided neither. Orcs had sensitive hearing. Still, this called for a change of plans. She fumbled with one of the larger pouches at her waist.
Her friends back in Marvega would joke that no matter the occasion, no matter the need, Sera would have the right item in her pockets. That wasn’t so far from the truth. Sera hadn’t lived as long as she had, doing the things she did, without learning the benefits of over-preparing.
“New plan.” She nudged Ardenne and took the blow-shell back, handing the green-haired mer a loaf of dark red sponge. She got a confused look in response. “On the count of three, squeeze this as hard as you can. One, two, three!”
Ardenne wrung the sponge with all her strength, forcing an ugly red ink into the water. Its color, as well as the way it floated and curled in the currents, brought to mind wisps of blood.
Then Sera began to scream.
It was a strong, well practiced blast of noise that welled up from her throat. Great control over the throat muscles had to be exercised to make sure that her air bladders were not emptied in one short rush. Sound and bubbles erupted from her in a steady stream, accompanying the false blood from the sponge in Ardenne’s hands. Ardenne watched as, beneath vest and bandoleers, Sera’s chest compressed and shrank until the scream cut off as abruptly as it had begun. The redhead, settling to the coral below, put a finger to her lips and winked.
The effect on the squad of Brandell scouts was a predictable one. Three orcs, screams, and blood in the water – it did not take any imagination to connect these elements together. Nor did it require any to understand what might happen to a mer if she were stupid enough to hang around in such a situation. The five in red and gold made a quick departure, to inform their lieutenant of the quarry’s fate. Their imaginations were already brimming with gory details, the better to gloss over the fact that they had, to a mer, turned tail and sped away like a school of frightened anchovies.
“They gone?” wheezed Sera as she pushed herself up from the coral. Those two words were hard-won. Her chest was one large, crushing ache as the muscles surrounding her air bladders clenched upon emptiness. Awful as it felt, she would’ve done it again for the chance to have seen the looks on the soldiers’ faces.
A nod was all she got in reply from Ardenne.
“Good…” She focused on the weighted feeling that pressed against her chest. An attempt to steady herself in the water ended in a wobble and a quick descent back to the bed of sponges.
Ardenne swore softly. It was rare that a mer should empty both air bladders like this, but it did happen from time to time. The redhead wouldn’t be able to maintain her balance or buoyancy properly until they were able to refill a little, and that would take more time than the two of them had. Something needed to be done, and unfortunately her mother had only taught her one way to fix the problem. She pushed Sera back against the sponge, pinning dark green scales against crimson. Taking two handfuls of red hair, she tilted Sera’s head back to straighten the throat.
Blue eyes watched her face, tinted with a mixture of surprise and understanding. Sera swallowed twice, to clear her mouth of water, and gave a slight nod. Ardenne planted her lips firmly on the waiting mouth. Bubbles of air made the passage from her chest, up through her mouth, and past the conduit formed by their sealed lips. A few moments later, Sera was holding steady in the water.
“I need your help to find mother.” Ardenne shrugged. “The state you were in, you’d not even serve as orc bait.”
“Not scared of them, are you? Thought all you Scothian mers were pals with them.” Sera eased her body up to the top of the ridge to get a better look.
“Where in the deepest depths did you get an idea like that? We’re lucky your little act hasn’t brought an entire pod down on us! Don’t you know anything about orcs? They’re ravenous, vicious, tenacious…”
A pause. “What?”
“They’re gone. Brandells and orcs.” Sera stretched her neck farther, scanning the waters. “Currents look clear for now. My ride outta here’s going to make a stop not far from the opposite side of the reef here on the overmorrow. Coming with?”
“You’re crazy, you know.”
“Been told so. Somehow I survive even myself, though,” Sera added with a wink. “Consider this. The Brandells think you’re dead, or at least they should soon. That means they won’t tarry getting back to the capital with your mom in tow. Their waters, but the guards will be fewer and less vigilant. And I can provide a ride. Still think I’m crazy?”
“Fair enough. Offer’s still good.”
Ardenne leaned her head forward, considering. A few green bangs fell across her eyes. “Not much of a choice, is it?” she sighed.
“Not as such, no. Unless you like giving up.”
That bought a Sera a blue-green glare. “Never.”
I don't wanna see you go. But it's not forever, not forever. Even if it was, you know that I would never let it get me down. 'Cause you're the part of me that makes me better wherever I go. So I will try. Not to cry. But no one needs to say goodbye.
Days Of Summer, A Very Potter Senior Year
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Someday you'll die and nobody will be worried about your weight anymore. They're gonna be worried about how happy you were. They're gonna tell stories about the time that you laughed and the time that you were silly and the time that you made them happy. And they're not gonna be like 'and this one time, she ate a second piece of cake can you fucking believe it.'
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Godspeed, Natural Woman.
March 25th 1942 - August 16th 2018
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