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Winter Child& though my skin is steel,
I am but a girl without a wolf,
without a home,
without a name.
& though autumn winds still blow,
I only feel the cold,
for winter has settled
into the hollow
between my shoulder blades.
AtlanticLast night, I dreamed of the sea,
And of the long road there.
The sun cast diamonds on the rising tide
As I sought gentle waves to swallow me.
Would that I could bare my bones to emerald depths
In search of pacific clarity,
Where reality is suspended with gravity
And I can float as through a dream.
But when Ursula can’t give me fins and God can’t give me wings,
I remain but a girl, weary of heart and far from home,
Walking the dry line between earth and sky
With only fantasy-tides to help me breathe.
22 years spent soaking seawater into my skin—
Now my pores cry out and choke on dust and heat.
But in dreams, I still follow the scent of salt on the air
To slip into the Atlantic’s cold, loving embrace.
The stars sang to me, sang such sweet songs that father’s grip nor mother’s pleas could keep my astronomical spirit rooted in human life; I let them go and my feet found a path from the ground to the galaxy, and I thought I could be happy forever in my wanderlust.
Beauty, wonder, and awe I expected. It was the cold that caught me off guard. The nothing stretching between planets and stars, between supernovae and nebulae, chafed icily at my skin, and the weight of such fearful emptiness etched weakness into my shoulder blades. The longer I meandered, the more stardust felt gritty, the more starlight burned. When a thread of dark-matter memories caught at my ankle, I rejoiced, tracing the strand with my toe-tips all the way back home.
But it was a new home I was destined for; I lost my humanity somewhere between the little fisher and the seven dancing girls, and greater powers than I decreed that I must re-evolve and find it anew. I was reborn on the earth, first as a fluid s
A Lady and Her Knight Chapter 14: NeilA week into their journey through the forest, the king abruptly called a halt to the march at midday. Neil, who was with Randolf at the head of a column of cavalry riders, looked at his friend inquisitively. Randolf, catching the look, shrugged and said, “I’ve no idea.” He turned and gave the signal to stop to those riding behind them, then told one of his colonels that he was going to see the king. Neil went with him, for he was curious; since he’d proved himself against the likes of ogres and goblins on multiple scouting expeditions now, the king had put him in charge of the scouts and fully admitted him into the inner circle of commanders, so he knew he was welcome now.
The king’s servants set up his pavilion with remarkable speed—it was almost completely standing when Neil and Randolf arrived. They dismounted—Neil had to do so carefully, since his foot was still injured—left their horses with the servants, and went inside in search of
The downside of a gentleman's codeYou, my chivalrous dream,
my shattered mirror,
my broken locket—
you were self-righteous heroism
and a ticking
The day she died,
burned tears from my eyes;
and I realized that I was
well and truly
Days Like TheseOn days like these I’m naught but dust in the wind, riding turbulent eddies around building corners and skating along laminar fields, seeking the taste of salt on the air. This transient existence is chafing away my skin, but I know that my search for a seaside to settle on won’t end for years yet.
On days like these, I wonder if it would be wise to cut my wings and grow roots instead, but this carmine clay-soil can’t give me what I need to survive. I am grounded for now, but I know I must never forget how to fly.
Dreamscape BoyYou are my dreamscape boy; I fall asleep to come alive with you in a whirl of sensory pigments and half-understood plotlines. In dreams, we draw hopscotch lines between stars and leave our clothes on the banks of molten-rock rivers. We waltz across battlefields and hold hands as a tornado passes over us, always seeking the secret light that guides us through the gloom of my subconscious. I always wake before we find it.
And when I wake, all I have are your mannequin hands for mine to sweat against. I yearn for the you pulsing with vivid blood, the you with enough warmth to keep my heart pumping as we drift from the Milky Way to Andromeda, but all I get are Arctic-ocean eyes and a synthetic smile.
I thought I wanted to sleep forever, but now you make me wish to dream in black and white.
DrownYou were ballistae and battering rams and trebuchets, and I was the castle under siege, so when my kingdom come shattered I had no one to blame but you. Katabatic, I flowed down from my sky-perch, and I would have frozen you until you burned as one slick with boiling oil if I could.
You and the future eluded me, though; now, I simply drift on zephyr-currents, heedless of past, present, and solid ground alike, searching for a place to drown.
Pisces RisingThe crown of Olympus quaked
beneath the weight of a behemoth,
a beast of a god wreathed in
come a caelo usque ad centrum
to lay judgment at its feet.
As Typhon’s monstrous cacophony
echoed off stone and clouds, mother
and son fled ‘til water barricaded their way.
Then, aquatic mercies surfaced,
clad in scales like mailed knights
to aid mother and son in their flight.
Bound together by silk-strong threads,
they soared across the sea to African safety,
where mother and son and cowardly gods
listened to the roar of thunderous battle.
The ram fought the titan, and, in fine,
claimed violent volcanic victory.
Aphrodite, in reward, raised Pisces
de profundis ad astra,
to be admired eternally
and consigned to
memories of gods and men.
birthday kiss. oikawa tooru x reader
"Good morning, [Name]-chan~!"
Oikawa gave the girl a wave, but the girl merely looked away, trying her best to ignore him at all costs. Knowing that she was avoiding his presence, Oikawa entered the classroom and grabbed a chair and scooted next to her. Really close to her. Too close for her own comfort. But did Oikawa care? No, of course not. He never cares about anything but himself.
Which is why [Name] hated him.
"Do you know what day it is~?" he asked, paying no attention at how the girl was extremely uncomfortable by the space between them. Oikawa, however, saw the tint of blush appearing on her cheeks, and that only made him want to get closer to her even more.
"Friday." [Name] simply replied, or at least, tried to.
"Nope!" he exclaimed, that sadistic smile of his still plastered on his dreadful face. The students stared at the two
lovebirdsstudents, blinking at the scene. Though, this wasn't the first time Oikawa barged into their c
SplitI didn’t know what to do for her. Or to her. Or with her. She cried, a lot. She thought I didn’t know, didn’t notice, or maybe just didn’t care.
I saw her dancing in the rain one Saturday afternoon, nude. Not a stitch on her, and dancing by the creek, red welts rising on her skin from the biting mosquitoes. She never danced. I watched, and marveled that she could dance and still look sad.
When the rain let up, she stopped and stared at the creek flowing and bubbling over big flat mossy rocks. I called her name without using my voice, and she turned, but then looked away again. I wondered where she was in her head, that she could stand there and ignore the itchy bites and not worry that she was naked.
I envied her lack of self-consciousness. I pulled my heavy cardigan around my shoulders, even though it was hot and muggy out. I hid in its folds like a turtle hides inside its mobile home.
Sometimes I could feel her tugging at me, begging. I was stubbor
runaway irony (FFM 22)Twenty minutes after finishing the documentary on New Zealand, Nicole had a plan worked out. She wrote it all down in gel pen, an itemised list of all the things she needed; then she got to work.
It wasn’t easy to convince the man in Bunnings to sell her nails, but she put on her best innocent face, and told him it was for her father’s garden shed. It wasn’t easy to convince the neighbour to let her have the old fence palings, either; nor the logs that had been earmarked for a bonfire, but a few hearty fibs and her best “I just want to help my daddy” smile went a long way to convincing them.
Two weeks later, she had bruised hands, a lot of knowledge about how not to use a hammer, and what she hoped would pass for a half-decent raft. She packed herself a bag with some clothes and spare underwear, then packed another bag, this one larger and wheeled, with as much canned food as she could carry. Before she left, she remembered to grab the can op
FFM 18: Friday NightAnother friday night. Burnt coffee, stale cigarette smoke, and a bunch of assholes that Vlad didn’t like any better than himself. If there was a silver lining here, it was that this would be his last meeting. That almost brought a smile to his tired, pallid face. Almost. Instead, he peeled off one last sticky tag, wrote his name, and sat in the circle with the rest of the guys.
Rat King was up first. Blah blah, all the usual bullshit about ruling the sewers. Honestly, who cared? That guy wasn’t a true monster. As far as Vlad was concerned, they should’ve sent him packing ages ago, but this was a place of support, so he’d never said as much. Twitching and fidgety, he waited for his turn to stand at the podium.
“Hello,” he began. “My name is Vlad. Of the Family Macnair.”
“Hi, Vlad,” the assorted murderers and thieves replied.
“As most of you know, I
homeI pray to go home.
on bended knee,
I lift my heart
to a nameless god,
I bless his heart,
or maybe hers,
and ask for deliverance
to a land
I feel a map,
carved into my shoulders.
three mirrors are arranged
directing my attention
to my back, a range of mountains,
but my eyes don't see.
is water through a sieve.
puddles flow beneath me,
no barrier to hold me
a cheshire smile
and reversible signs
lie to me
and no amount of tears,
salty oceans on my cheeks,
will bring me home.
I dream of a room,
soft and fuzzy to the sight,
where I feel at rest;
I know that I am still
Ageing Superhero (FFM 24)Nathan always imagined he’d go out in a gunfight, cape fluttering; a hero’s death in the pursuit of peace. Turns out, he was only right about the “gun” part.
* * *
Mr Cuddles weaves around Nathan’s ankles. He’s purring loudly, and shedding fur all over Nathan’s slightly-too-tight bodysuit, but Nathan’s attention is fixed on the tinny voice coming from his mobile.
“Look, your international days are over. You’re getting older, and I know you’ve gained a few pounds. No, don’t try to lie to me. You wear spandex, Nathan. It’s pretty unforgiving, and you no longer have a six-pack. The world events, the foreign villains, you can leave them to the newbies.”
Paying no attention to the plaintive-sounding agent, Mr Cuddles hunts, unnoticed as he follows Nathan towards the safe on the landing.
Nathan’s carrying his guns one-handed; he’s only half-listening to his age
The Bird Lady FFM20I’ve lived in NYC for over two years, and for so many people living there, it’s an awfully lonely place to be. Everyone is very focused on themselves, no one makes eye contact in the streets, and even the cabs ignore you. My job is the only thing that keeps me here. I make so much money, it would be stupid to move back home and work at my dad’s store for only a fraction of what I earn. That, and I have an old lady to take care of.
She’s one of those bird ladies in the park. She’s a sweet old thing, and it would kill me to leave her alone. It would probably kill her too.
We became friends because I was sitting alone in the park one afternoon, watching the clouds and daydreaming. She jumped out of nowhere and said, “Feed the birds?” I nearly fell off my park bench, I was so surprised.
“Sure, sure,” I said, pressing a quarter into her wrinkled hand. Gums showing, she smiled. She handed me a paper bag of breadcrumbs and sat next to me.
StrayIt had been raining for weeks. The arroyos were swept clean of litter and plant life and the bottoms of them ran with swollen creeks. I pulled my horse up and studied the trail leading sharply downward; it looked treacherous at best. The water sheeted off the brim of my hat, and the gelding stood with his nose at his knees, shielding his eyes from the downpour. It was a cold rain. Winter was coming, no doubt about that.
We picked our way down, looking for a stray whose trail I’d lost at some point yesterday. But she was ready to calve, and they never chose a good, safe spot to do so. It would be surprising if both had not been washed up and drowned in the last torrent.
I’d lost the trail of the cat, too. Judging from the prints I saw earlier it was fair sized, and likely following the cow knowing both she and the newborn would be an easy meal.
It happened so fast. I heard the rush and roar behind me only slightly later than Buck; he tucked his tail up under him and sc
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