A/N: I hope you like this, darlin’. <3
They burned everything and their banners blew bloody above the flames besides, red as red got and snapping in the thick clouds of dark smoke. The fields were done. The smallfolk ran, or the smart ones did. Green boys brave and bold met the onslaught some. What was left of them after amounted to no more than seeping pieces scattered across hearth and heather, legs and arms and severed fingers. One man with a roaring lion on his pennant took a boy’s head and mounted it to his saddlehorn. When the horse moved the dead boy’s tongue wagged and flapped, and the other men under the pennant laughed, and the boy’s lank blond hair flickered in the firelight. The boy’s dog barked and snarled and tried to bite the man. He and the others all took their turns filling the poor beast with arrows.
I do tag all my fics with the tag #fic, not to mention there’s a link to all my fics in my sidebar, and I also link to the following and previous chapters of fics (provided they exist) in the header and footer of every writerly thing I post. I’ve gone ahead and tagged far gone per your wishes, but if anyone’s looking for fic of mine I think it’s already fairly accessible.
Correct me if I’m wrong.
Read the previous chapter of this story here.
far gone — [Chapter Three]
A massive domed lobby perfumed with the dust and drear of ages sends your footsteps echoing back to you piecemeal, tappa-tappa-sssh. The carpet squooshes under your soles. You cup a hand over your mouth and breathe through the gaps in your fingers. Safety first! Not that fingers filter much.
Marceline snorts behind you. Spits. You take your hand away to tell her, “Gross!” and she waggles the long purple tendril of her tongue at you in the dark. You stomp away, pretending to be offended. She follows. Her eyes gleam green for the light coming off the enormous mushrooms growing in tiers along the walls. She makes a show of picking her nose and flicks away the resulting excavation, looking slowly this way and that, and as much as you are neither reassured by her presence nor afraid such that you need reassurance in the first place, you don’t wander very far from her side. You wouldn’t want to lose her, is all.
Every year I write a letter to my little brother.
We’re both 26 years old today! (Sheesh, that’s 182 in dog years! I thought you’d like to know.)
Mom made a pistachio cake. It’s bright green and it takes up almost a whole shelf in the fridge, and I haven’t had any yet but I’m sure it’s good. She and Dad gave me a card with an enormously fat Dachshund on it. Dad’s handwriting is so small inside it’s barely legible. I’ll see them on the weekend—it was too far for them to drive up just for the evening—and I hope we can all go out and have fun together then.
Elena and I plan to have adventures tonight in the meantime: food, maybe a movie! In two weeks her brother’s coming all the way from Europe to visit us. He’s her little brother too, and he looks a lot like her. (I wonder a lot about whether you’d look like me if you were here. I hope you’d have my hair. It’s a glorious attribute and I’m sad I can’t share it, as you well know.)
Pup, wow, this was such a good year, I can’t even begin to tell you how great it was, how unexpected and amazing and wonderful! I met someone who fills up my empty spaces. I saw places I’d never seen before! I met new friends, and hugged old ones again, and took trips and made plans to take more, so the months ahead won’t be boring. I built two really cool frog tanks and fished cypress driftwood fresh from a bog to build another one, and Elena helped even though the mosquitoes were terrible and she was afraid of ticks. I can tell she loves me very much because she’s willing to brave parasites to indulge my hobby.
(I wish you could meet her. I think you two would like each other a lot.)
It keeps getting better, Pup: all of it, everything, my life and the people in it and the days going by. Everyone always said it would and I didn’t believe them, but they were right.
I’m happy. I’m so, so happy.
(As always and ever, though, I wish you were here.)
I’ll eat a piece of cake for you, because I’ve heard that’s what big sisters do. Be good. Happy birthday, dear heart.
I’ll write again soon!
(Dedicated to Ash, for her birthday. Happy birthday!)
Bolin is wearing an uncharacteristically serious expression when she sidles over to the Hufflepuff table to greet him, which means the letter he’s reading can’t be anything good. She inspects his expression and tries to decide if it is on the low end of the misery scale: exams are being moved forward, or the high end of the scale: death in the family. After a minute she figures it’s neither, he doesn’t look sad, just…solemn.
“What are you reading, somebody’s history notes?” she cracks, taking the seat next to him by gesturing for the other kids to move, already. They do so, with expressions of resentment that she brushes off; whatever, she’s got best friend privileges and she can sit next to him whenever she wants to. And vice versa, but Bolin rarely braves the Slytherin table. (Mostly because Tahno can be a scary asshole.)
Bolin just shakes his head. “Letter from Mako,” he says, gesturing to it. Mako’s obsessively neat handwriting is clearly visible, and she frowns for a moment and wonders what he’s been writing his brother to make him so darn gloomy on a perfectly nice Saturday. If he had to write brooding stuff, could he have had the decency to wait until a weekday?
I LOVE THIS FIC SO MUCH.
Ash and I will be at the Artist Alley in Heroescon from Friday to Sunday! Look for the giant Sister Claire banner!
I’ll have all my Sailor Mew charms, and several Sister Claire/Adventure Time/MLP/misc fandom prints! (Including a lot of femslashy stuff!)
If you aren’t coming to the con but will still be in Charlotte this weekend and want to come meet me and Ash, we will have meetups!
Meetup times and locations:
Tonight! Thurs, 6th June: 9:30 at Fruiticup
Fri, 7th June: 8:00 at Pho Hoa
Sat, 8th June: 8:00 at Pho Hoa
I can’t wait to see you there! =)
Come and see us! I’d be delighted to give you a hug. <3
With a sore throat, 102-degree fever, and nostrils on strike, drive a bunch of scantily-clad ladies and nuns straight into a tropical storm bearing the name of my ex.
I am what some people might dare to call… hardcore.
HeroesCon on the horizon! See y’all there! <3
Hey back, dude!
Sorry to have missed you at Anime Boston! I’m incredibly flattered you looked for me. <3
I will be going to HeroesCon this weekend, and I’ll also be attending ConnectiCon in July. I’m gonna help out Elena (Yamino) and the other artists from Hiveworks as much as possible, and I hope to get to meet lots of cool people!
Please come say hello (all of you, anyone) if you can. =)
Read the first part of this story here.
far gone — [Chapter Two]
The beam from your flashlight joggles across another fragmented sign near the staircase, behind the gargoyle you gave a pat. Words chiseled in that sign proclaim MUSEUM OF HISTORY AND NATURAL SCIENCES, FOUNDED 19… Bonnibel’s studying the date intently. 19-something, whatever. Deep slashing grooves cover the sign where words don’t, and the remnant numbers are gouged away. Were. Were gouged away. By what? You don’t know, don’t so much care either, but you see Bonni musing on the idea. She traces her fingers over each divot, careful, assessing. Innumerable hypotheses dance in her head, probably. You bet she’d say so if you asked.
The Slytherin common room is actually one of the least comfortable rooms Korra has ever been in. It makes sense, the place is a dungeon, but they’re all kind of magical, so she figures that someone could have lit the place brighter. Somewhere in the Slytherin group mind, there seems to be a high tendency towards the darkly dramatic. Korra has never managed to soak up that trait. She figures she can be dramatic enough with bright colors and awesome spells and maybe a bunch of magically conjured fireworks going off behind her.
Also, someone is always playing chess.
“Mageright,” she mutters, and heaves a sigh as the passageway opens up. Cool green light flickers along the stone walls, and the low-level buzzing din of students chattering among themselves is filling the room as she walks in. A quick glance tells her that yes, there is a chess match going on in front of the fireplace. Good old status quo.
Korra figures that since students from every House are in the chess club, it’s got to be a thing in more than just Slytherin. But she also figures that no one plays chess quite like them. Everyone’s got about ten thousand layers of spell alterations on their personal chess sets, the chess pieces try to demoralize each other and occasionally even assassinate the other pieces, and there’s about ten different ways to play the game. (Ravenclaw’s got forty more variations, but Slytherins boast a higher rate of success.)
I’m playing with the MacBook Air at Best Buy and I really want one…
Korra just doesn’t notice people. It’s a recurring problem she has. It’s not that she actually means to be callous or tactless or any of that crap, it’s more that she’s usually focused on other stuff, like how awesome a Beater she is, and did everyone see that really amazing trick she pulled in the game last week, or sometimes she’s focused on how she really fucked up the Arithmancy homework.
But mostly, her life is so packed with stuff she doesn’t really get how some people can actually notice others; how they can get to know them just by reading their facial expressions, can keep track of all the kids in their class or even their House. To be honest the first years kind of blend into one solid lump, and the second and third have similar problems. She knows all the Quidditch players of every House, though, and a handful of other people, and she’s on actual Best Friend terms with Bolin the Hufflepuff Chaser who is a real pal and helps out with her Herbology homework all the time.
And that’s pretty much it. Most people know her, most people seem to like her a lot, going by all the cheering she gets during and after the games, but very few of them make it onto her short list of people whose names she can match to their faces. Korra figures that’s not even a big problem, like how many people does someone need to have as good friends anyway? But it does make for awkward moments sometimes. Like that time she offended someone who apparently had crushed on her since they were nine- awkward, she still doesn’t know the guy’s name.
YEAH WOW OKAY I can get behind this something fierce.
Too deep we delved there, and woke the nameless fear.
— The Fellowship of the Ring
far gone — [Chapter One]
Marceline’s got houses scattered all over Ooo, a bungalow at the edge of the Fire Kingdom and cabins strewn in intervals through the thick wolfswood near Red Rock Pass. She’s bragged to you before about a cave in a quarry (“Wicked acoustics, princess!”). The last poplar on the plains sports the skeleton of what will one day be an epic tree fort complete with rope ladder and waterslide. You helped her with the schematic. You are helping her now and you only wish it was with a schematic again, because you are knee-deep in sludgy, slimy water half a mile underground with nothing but a bobbing lantern’s light to see by. You are at least 98% sure you are surrounded by leeches.
G’afternoon my glorious peeps!
My friend Kemmy is having kind of a shitty day. You know what would make her happy, though? An unexpected outpouring of support and comfort from friends and strangers alike!
Send her a message, would you? Put some love in her box. Tell her she’s awesome (if you don’t know her: trust me, she is). Tell her it’s gonna be okay. Tell her she’d make the best superhero ever (she would, take it from me). Tell her you know what it’s like to have a cruddy Tuesday, and tell her that Wednesday will be so much better. (And if it’s not better, well, at least it’s not Tuesday.)
SEATBELTS, EVERYONE! Let’s make Kemmy’s day better!
Let me tell you about a few things that make me mad.
During the latter part of my senior year of high school, aggressive trial medication coupled with bi-weekly chemotherapy treatments results in fluid retention on my part. My face is a little puffy. My abdomen is puffier still. I am encouraged by my parents to hide the changes at school with baggy t-shirts—“So people don’t make fun of you!”—but one night I am asked to attend an awards ceremony to receive an academic commendation. The dress code rules out casualwear. When I walk out of my room in a form-fitting sweater, ready to leave for the ceremony, my mom and dad look at each other, look at me again, and say, “Honey, it’s time to talk about your diet.” These two people who drive me to the hospital almost every other day: these two people who see me go days without eating, who watched me win my second-degree black belt with a shunt in my arm—these two people, they still look at me and think less of me because the sweater’s fabric curves over my belly.
Fast forward to college a few years later. Chemo three times a week. I’m too poor to afford a meal plan or groceries—I am exhausted and literally starving, and tumors are eating up my insides in the meantime too. I run into several people I haven’t seen in a while. At bus stops they stare at me—during seminars their eyes comb me, head to toe. They all hug me and whisper, “Ash, you look so good now, so small, so healthy,” without knowing I am dying in their arms.
Now. I visit home for a weekend after a long absence and the only compliment my dad can think to offer as he sweeps me into an embrace is, “There’s my daughter! You’re so skinny!”
A woman from my mom’s office gifts me a leather coat for helping her son with a test. I thank her, almost speechless. She replies, “No problem! Glad someone can wear it. Congrats on your weight loss, by the way—your mom’s so proud of you! She talks about it all the time!”
One of my closest friends, having lost a lot of weight over a period of years, gleefully uses the word fat as his greatest insult. To him it means disgusting. It means ugly. He calls me fat offhandedly, over and over, and I am thus constantly reminded that he thinks I am disgusting. That I am ugly.
Let me tell you about one thing that makes me happy.
Elena uses the word fat to describe me and that’s all it is: a descriptor. It’s not an insult or a judgment or a sentence—from her lips it’s just a word, like freckled or nearsighted or tan or dexterous. It carries with it no implication of ugliness or fault. She likes it. She likes me. Loves me. All of me. Whatever it is—strength, softness. Whatever I am.
I need some book recommendations. What’s good out there, I wonder? What tale would you have me spend hours getting lost in? Fiction, please! Beyond that, hit me. Let’s see what sticks.
‘big boobs don’t count if you’re fat’
yeah well bIG DICKS DONT COUNT IF YOU ARE ONE
Two elderly ladies are squabbling over a squashed-looking yellow suitcase a few feet away, and you are staring at an enormous blue duffel that’s been going around and around the luggage conveyor since it hummed to life fifteen minutes ago. You know it’s hers: you wandered close enough once to see her name on the tag and she told you what it would look like besides. You’re too nervous to touch it. You’re too nervous to do anything but try to read the book you brought with you, and you alternate between parsing out the same sentence you started with and stealing glances at the duffel, your heart a painful squeezebox, your stomach in knots.
There is a flicker of movement over your book’s edge. You look up again: you catch a glimpse of the duffel before she slams into you, taller than your imagination had her, impossibly colorful and beaming. Her smile’s sharp and she’s laughing against your hair, and she looms and her arms twist over you like vines. Her headphones smack your hearing aid. It gives an indignant shriek and momentarily deafens you, but you don’t mind because she’s clutching you tight and you work your elbows up around her too, marveling at how small she is in your grasp. On Skype she’s all shoulders: here she’s everything. You’re holding the world, your world—holding her. You pull her closer and she digs her fingers into your hair, ruffling it all over. She says, “Hi!”
I’m so glad you enjoy my writing. <3 It means a lot to hear you say it — to know that someone likes reading what I write even a fraction as much as I like writing it in the first place.
In terms of coming up with a story, well, hm. Maybe this isn’t the best thing to say or the advice you were expecting, but to me plot’s kind of something I toss in the trunk and only let out when it starts to really kick and put up a fuss, y’know, maybe manages a few dents. In other words, I write down the idea first and if the plot behind it gets loud enough, I’ll show mercy and start trying to work or weave it into what I’ve already established. I think too many stories are sacrificed even before they’re written because authors worry too much about where those stories will go. Don’t worry. Short stories are fine. Stand-alone, leave-‘em-guessing stories are great. They fire the imagination, both yours (the author’s) and mine (the reader’s). Only please write them. Don’t keep them to yourself.
It’s always better to share.
While you can always send me questions if you so choose, today I’d like to hear about all of you! How are you doing? Are you looking forward to anything? Has something excellent recently happened to you? If so, what was it and why was it excellent?
Lastly, is there anything I can do for you today to make your day better?
I walked home, or crawled when I couldn’t walk anymore. I eventually got within sight of my house and my parents spotted me limping up through the weeds at the edge of the street. They knew something was wrong. They came to help me.
Of course I told them what happened. Of course I told on him. I felt bad for getting the kid dirty — I felt awful because I knew he was probably going to be unfairly punished for it too. But I didn’t mean to muddy him up. My actions weren’t malicious, and even if they had been malicious I was nine and mud only stains, and he meant to maim or kill me. (What if I’d fallen facedown on the wire?)
I know my parents talked to the kid’s father, and I know that when I got back from the hospital the fort in the fields had been torn down. There was nothing left of it but broken cinderblocks.
I never saw the kid again.
TW: violence, sharp objects, blood.
I talked to him once.
There’s a boy who lives in a house across the fields two weekends out of every month. Your parents don’t want you to play with him. “He’s disturbed,” your dad says. “Got kicked out of a few schools. Lighting fires, getting in fights, that kind of thing. You just be good and keep away from him.”
But the kid builds a fort out of scavenged cinderblocks and scrap wood in the wheatgrass between your house and his, and you think this is intensely cool. You go to him in his fort, and you find him sweaty and older than you by a couple years, his hair matted in dark curls at his temples. It’s high summer and he’s wearing boots almost up to his knees, buckles polished bright. He’s got on a green jacket and a funny hat. You stand in the doorway of his fortress and ask him what he’s supposed to be. He looks at you under the lank of his hair. He says, “I’m a soldier, you little dumbass. What else?”
“You look like a dweeb.”
He stands up. The milk crate he was sitting on before clatters backward, and he looms over you. You stare peaceably up into his face. When he breathes down on you he smells like sweat and chocolate, and his hand comes out, but instead of hitting you he pokes you hard in the chest. You don’t have boobs yet, so it doesn’t hurt. “You look like a dweeb,” he replies. All the air wheezes out of him in a sigh. He heaves himself down again. After a pause, you step into the fort and close the door behind you, and you sit down with him. He shifts over a little to make room.
Weeks pass and the two of you see lots of each other, but you aren’t exactly friends. There’s lots of reasons why not. He’s almost a teenager, first off. You’re nine or ten, still firmly wedged in “little girl” status, and he tells you one day when you try to follow him home for lunch that his daddy will beat him black if he ever catches him playing with you. “He’ll think I’m a sissy,” the kid says. “I ain’t no sissy.”
Likewise you can’t take him to your house. Your parents won’t beat you—they don’t beat you period, you don’t even know what that means—but they won’t let you see him again either if they find out you’re talking to him in the first place, and he’s the only person nearby your age who can or will have anything to do with you. He talks to himself almost constantly in a low mumble under his breath—he chews on his lips, darts his eyes around, walks in careful crouches through the head-high grass around his fort. He has more knives than you have digits. Buck knives, pocketknives, an itty-bitty weird blunt blade he keeps in his boot. Disturbed, your dad said, but you live in the middle of nowhere. Your scant neighbors either don’t have kids or the kids snub you, call you names, flip you the finger. Your options are limited and you like the boy despite yourself. You think maybe he likes you too, a little, because on the hottest evenings he brings a clear mason jar out into the fields and helps you fill it with fireflies, his huge hard hands gentle under yours.
You trust him.
There’s no cool story to this one, really! I got into martial arts because I was attacked as a child and, following that, my family wanted me to be able to defend myself (if the occasion ever rose again wherein they couldn’t defend me). I’m a high-ranking black belt in Shotokan karate, and I’m schooled in several of its similar “sister” disciplines and branches.
Once in a great while, things completely surprise me.
The massive sparkly green dong sticking out of the old lady’s bag on the bus this morning was a fabulous example of one of those things.
I finished reading Tower, Tower last night and felt compelled to create a doodle for it. My favourite part was the prologue, it totally blew me away making me giddy and excited to read the rest. So here’s the new sketch.
Thank you summerlightning for such a great read.
I wish the story never ended.
The prologue is my favorite part too. =) I’m so, so glad you enjoyed reading it, and thank you for this incredibly adorable fanart! I can’t get over PB’s face!
A good question!
Most dart frogs in captivity are no longer poisonous. The frogs’ diet in the wild consists of insects that produce the alkaloids that give them their various levels of toxicity. When fed harmless fruit flies in tanks, though, the frogs’ toxicity diminishes to the point of not being harmful to humans. Not that I’d recommend eating them… but touching them won’t hurt you! The oils on human skin can be harmful to the frogs themselves, however, so it’s best to keep dart frogs as an observation-only pet.
Something else to note: only a select few species of dart frogs are toxic enough to harm humans.