Every time stumblr offers me that year in review top 5 posts thingy it doesn’t work. This site is soooooo functional
A person’s superpowers emerge during- and relate to- a highly stressful moment in their life. Your brother nearly drowned, and as a result could shape water to his will. A classmate fell from a high balcony, and ended up learning to fly. You? You just got your powers last night.
We are shaped by our fears.
A year ago, the idea existed as nothing more than a metaphor. Now, it’s our reality.
No one knows why this is happening. No scientist can explain why high stress encounters are suddenly causing humans to manifest unbelievable powers. It’s like something out of a bad science fiction story.
The worst part is - it’s not even consistent.
Stella’s second grade classmate fell off a balcony last week and manifested the power of flight. That same day, a businessman tried the same stunt on a skyscraper and didn’t manifest anything at all.
They’re still talking about it on the news. My parents have the television in the living room blaring, and I’m trying not to listen as I get a glass of water before bed. By the time I have the chilled glass in hand, the audio has changed. And as I trudge back upstairs, I glimpse a man in a suit speaking into a microphone.
“I’m confident Alivir Industries will crack the mystery when it comes to manufacturing controlled stressors. Soon you’ll be able to pick your very own superpower.”
That’s bullshit. And if it’s not bullshit, then we’ve all got bigger problems than we had before. Distracted by thoughts of a world in which children are traumatized until their X-Men powers manifest, I don’t see Jeremy coming down the stairs.
Our shoulders collide and water sluices out of the glass. Jeremy’s eyes go wide and he actually leaps up several stairs to avoid the falling water.
Jeremy drowned. I mean, he survived. But barely.
It was two months ago, and as a result, Jeremy won the superpower lottery. He has wicked cool water manipulation powers. Which would be awesome…if he weren’t so entirely traumatized by the experience to the point that water of any kind practically sends him into fits. He sucks on ice when he’s thirsty and he uses deodorant until he smells like a walking Axe body spray factory before he gives in and takes a light sponge bath.
“Sorry, Jeremy,” I say, because I am. It’s not his fault he’s traumatized. I make a point of stepping on the wet spot on the stairs and hold the glass so that it’s a little behind me, just out of his sight.
He smiles, but it’s a wan look. Jeremy is two years older than me, and a closed book in every way that I am an open one. I know the only thing he dislikes more than water is talking about how much he dislikes water, so I clap him once on the shoulder and continue up the stairs.
I’ve only just passed the first door in the hallway when a soft, pleading voice calls out from the dark.
Clutching my water, I stop and breathe a sigh. I’m tired, but it’s Stella, and so I take a fortifying sip of water and press through the door. Eight year old Stella is a tiny lump in a bright pink unicorn comforter.
“What’s up, Stell?”
“There’s a monster under my bed.”
I set my glass on the nearby bookshelf and pad across the room. It’s a pain in the ass, but it’ll save me in the long run if I just suck it up and check.
Giving her a flat look, I drop to my knees and peer under the bed.
“Oh my god.”
“What? What is it?”
Rising to my knees, I wave a dirty sock in the air. “How many dank ass socks do you have down here?”
I toss the sock on her bed and Stella cracks a reluctant smile.
It’s not until I’m nearly to the door that I hear her softly insist, “There is a monster, though. It has long hands and a shadow face.”
I don’t know what that means, but picking my glass off the shelf, I say, “Luckily shadows are weak to light.” I switch on the night light by the door. “I’m right down the hall, Stell. I’ll hear if you call.”
She nods, accepting my promise, and sinks back into her pink pillow.
I leave her with the nightlight, hoping to hell she doesn’t wake me up in the middle of the night.
It’s when I’m sitting down on my bed that it happens. I’ve got the glass of water in one hand when I look down and realize my phone charger has come partially unplugged. It’s late, and like I said - I’m tired. When I bend over, I don’t think about the glass in my hands.
When I feel the water starting to spill, my hand jerks - only it’s the wrong hand. The hand which had been reaching for the plug knocks forward, and my knuckles bump the partially exposed prongs of the plug as the water spills over everything.
The next thing I know, I’m waking up on the floor.
There is a scorch mark up the wall and my body feels strangely heavy.
“Aw man,” I say, sitting up enough to press a palm to my aching head. I can’t help but think, I really don’t want to be the freak with lightning powers.
I’d been so good in my attempts to avoid anything traumatic or potentially scarring. Everyone keeps focusing on how cool powers are, but I’ve seen first hand how messed up they can be. They’re inconvenient at best, and a danger at worst. Mostly because no one knows how to use them. Just yesterday the kids at my high school were talking about how a teenager had accidentally set his house on fire and nearly killed his whole family.
I can barely remember to do my homework. I do not need lightning powers that could kill people. I’m not ready for that kind of responsibility.
NEW LEVERAGE TRAILER DROPPED
In this new iteration and new world, the Leverage crew have watched as the rich and powerful continue to take what they want without consequence. Grifter Sophie Devereaux (Gina Bellman), thief Parker (Beth Riesgraf), hitter Eliot Spencer (Christian Kane), and hacker Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge) have watched the world change over the last eight years.Since their last job, it’s become easier–and sometimes legal–for the rich to become richer and the powerful to squash anyone who gets in their way. To address the changes in the world around them, the team finds new blood in Harry Wilson (Noah Wyle), a corporate lawyer who is looking for redemption after realizing he’d been sitting on the wrong side of the table for his entire career, and Breanna Casey (Aleyse Shannon), Hardison’s foster sister who has a knack for computers, robotics, and getting into trouble.
I wanted to do this Oath justice. It has gotten me through so much, and has shaped me so nicely, that I want to give it the best treatment I can, and give its author @dduane a piece of art that properly shows my thanks for all of her inspiration. I hope to ever improve. Thank you again.
you know how mathematicians have the journal of recreational mathematics, right? where they publish stuff like, ‘oh i found this cool property of this one seemingly boring number’, or, ‘this is literally nonsense but it sounds ~scientific~’ and it’s all great fun to read?
with such delightful papers as ‘tennis puns’, ‘animals in different languages’, and ‘gifts from a homonymous benefactor’
excuse me while i go read all 50 volumes in one sitting
they even have linguistic magic squares im crying
WordBrewery is great for improving your vocabulary. It gives you a random sentence at either beginner, intermediate, advanced or master level, and you can make lists of words or sentences that you’d like to learn.
It includes the following languages:
- Serbian (Latin)
- Serbian (Cryillic)
the whole yule ball thing in goblet of fire was so dumb and heteronormative
ok but real talk i am in full support of harry just asking ron to the dance with him and being each others “date” and having that be an ok thing instead of asking and then ignoring the poor patil twins who deserved better than that
also i would have killed to see a yule ball scene where hermione’s talking with krum and turns around and sees her two best friends trying to do the tango (ron has a rose in his mouth and everything) and fucking tearing up the dance floor
“So,” Harry says. “I need a date to the Yule Ball.”
“Like. A mandatory date?”
“A mandatory date.”
“That’s kinda messed up.”
“Yeah. Any ideas?”
Ron rubs his chin. “Cho didn’t work out, then.”
“Nope. She’s with Cedric.”
“Right, right.” He’s stroking an imaginary beard now. “And Hermione is going with some mystery guy.”
Both boys scowl in unison.
Then, slowly, they turn to look at each other.
“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Harry asks.
“If you’re thinking we go to the ball together, then yes,” Ron affirms.
Harry has his game face on. So does Ron. “Let’s do this.” They shake on it.
Ron suddenly frowns.
“My dress robes are hideous. You think…”
“I can buy—”
“What? No! I mean, isn’t Parvati Patil really good at clothing charms?”
“Oh yeah,” Harry realizes. “She wears those cool dresses on the weekends sometimes—uh, saris? Or something.”
“Yeah, yeah, but she and her sister make them. I heard Lavender talking to her about it. They make loads of their own clothes, think it’s fun or whatever.”
Harry makes a face. “Girls.” He’s mended enough of Dudley’s old clothes to know sewing is not fun. Girls are weird.
“Girls,” Ron agrees.
“…it’s a really good thing we’re going together.”
——and that’s how Harry and Ron befriend Lavender Brown and the Patil sisters. The three are actually pretty alright, for girls. (Hermione doesn’t count, clearly, as she’s their best friend.) It takes a while to fix Ron’s robes into something resembling modern fashion, but by then Dean Thomas has Had Enough of Their Dithering and makes the two of them wear three-piece muggle suits under their robes (which also took some creative charmwork, and the jackets were a total loss, but it came out better than the robes overall). Lavender is entirely taken with the idea and the two spend a good few hours discussing fashion.
Harry and Ron are Not Touching That.
Naturally, the two lord the anonymity of their dates over Hermione just like she’s taken to doing to the two of them, and it morphs into a great circle of fun, no hard feelings anywhere by the time the Ball comes around, and basically the whole of Gryffindor (plus Padma of Ravenclaw) is in on one side or the other.
Fred and George have decided it’s a great idea and have invited Lee Jordan to go with the two of them. Not to be outdone, Angelina Johnson and Alicia Spinnet are bringing Katie Bell. Rumor has it that Oliver Wood is bringing quidditch gear. Which piece of gear he’s bringing, broom, quaffle, bludger, or goal hoop (don’t ask) is a hot topic of debate.
(He actually ends up bringing a whole host of underclassmen and spends the whole night giving out piggyback rides, dad-dances with them standing on his feet, and lessons about the magic used to decorate the hall, alongside Percy Weasley and Penelope Clearwater, because they gave him the puppy eyes and he is Weak to the puppy eyes.)
——and when Hermione sees Harry and Ron come into the antechamber for champions, she hits them both on the arm for laughing at her all this time. They exchange compliments, and the boys show off their suits and Ron’s modified robes. Then she asks the real question, namely:
“Which of you will be dancing which part?”
and the two just kind of go quiet and stare first at each other, because they hadn’t even thought of that, and then back at Hermione with big pleading eyes begging for help.
McGonagall, amused but on a tight schedule, chivvies the champions and their dates out before Hermione can say more than a joking, “This is what you get for keeping it a secret from me! Do, hahaha, do the tango or something!”
Harry and Ron exchange smirks and all Hermione can bring herself to do is smother giggles in Viktor’s shoulder and conjure them a few roses.
She should’ve known better than to think that the end of it. They drag her into no few ridiculous three-way dances before the night is up. It’s a good night, and they share the next bleary morning with the rest of the dorm, as a big, wild, Gryffindor family.
——and that is how Harry Potter and Ron Weasley made the front page of the Daily Prophet, in muggle suits (vests but no jackets, sleeves rolled up) with roses in their mouths, aggressively doing the tango. The photographer has captured Harry dipping the significantly-taller Ron and waggling his eyebrows suggestively before they both lose their balance and collapse in a tangle of adolescent limbs, laughing like loons.
BOYS IN LOVE? the headline asks.
——certain people are getting really, really sick of people commenting on Harry’s love life.
——"BEST FRIENDS FOREVER" Harry, Ron, and Hermione are quoted later in an exclusive interview with Rita Skeeter, massive grins on their photographed faces, and joy in their hearts.
I have a mighty need someone rp this
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REDACT THAT LAST POST I JUST MADE THE ANSWER IS HERE
Are you still stuck for ideas for National Novel Writing Month? Or are you working on a novel at a more leisurely pace? Here are 102 resources on Character, Point of View, Dialogue, Plot, Conflict, Structure, Outlining, Setting, and World Building, plus some links to generate Ideas and Inspiration.
CHARACTER, POINT OF VIEW, DIALOGUE
Advantages, Disadvantages and Skills (character traits)
Family Echo (family tree website)
PLOT, CONFLICT, STRUCTURE, OUTLINE
SETTING, WORLD BUILDING
TOOLS and SOFTWARE
My Writing Nook (online text editor; free)
Bubbl.us (online mind map application; free)
Freemind (mind map application; free; Windows, Mac, Linux, portable)
XMind (mind map application; free; Windows, Mac, Linux, portable)
Liquid Story Binder (novel organization and writing software; free trial, $45.95; Windows, portable)
Scrivener (novel organization and writing software; free trial, $39.95; Mac)
SuperNotecard (novel organization and writing software; free trial, $29; Windows, Mac, Linux, portable)
yWriter (novel organization and writing software; free; Windows, Linux, portable)
JDarkRoom (minimalist text editor; free; Windows, Mac, Linux, portable)
AutoRealm (map creation software; free; Windows, Linux with Wine)
I think I reblogged this before but just in case, super handy writing references, woo!
“La sirena y el pescador,” Elisa Chavez.
Hey all! This poem is part of my chapbook Miss Translated, which I produced in a limited run as Town Hall Seattle’s Spring 2017 artist-in-residence. The main conceit behind this work is that to accurately portray my relationship with Spanish, I have to explore the pain and ambiguity of not speaking the language of my grandparents and ancestors. As a result, these poems are bilingual … sort of. Each one is translated into English incorrectly.
The poems I produced have secrets, horrific twists, emotional rants, and confessions hiding in the Spanish. It’s my hope that people can appreciate them regardless of their level of Spanish proficiency.
oh shit. my spanish is pretty shaky, but i’m pretty sure “te perdono” is “i forgive you.” wow understanding just that much is pretty chilling.
and something about…blood? and transformation? oooh yikes. she didn’t want legs in the spanish version did she. and it was a painful process.
so this poem is about…misunderstandings leading to pain for the person misunderstood? whish is really effective with the way it’s written, wow. this is the most meta poem form i’ve ever seen. wow.
<— This right here is AMAZING. Look at the journey this person went on reading my poem! Secret fact, I have been stalking tags and reblogs of this because what I wanted more than anything was to provide an experience for people and LOOK AT YOU ALL GO. Your engagement and enthusiasm is amazing and so humbling for me.
Holy crap, this is incredible. As a natively bilingual Latina woman, allow me to dive into a full analysis.
First, I should tell you my experience of reading this. I didn’t even look at the English at first, because I didn’t know that the mistranslation was the point, and of course I didn’t need it. So I read the whole poem in Spanish and thought it was really sad and moving. Then I looked at the English and my eyebrows went right up to my hairline. Why the hell would you translate it this way, I thought.
Then I read the caption and realized that this is a genius way of demonstrating how translation into English can be an act of colonization and violence.
I would translate the first two lines as “The mermaid rose from the sea / To see the dry world.” They’re very neutral lines. She was curious about the dry world, so she went to check it out. That’s a very different connotation from the mistranslation, which tells you that the mermaid preferred the land to the sea.
The second two lines I would say mean “She found a fisherman on the beach / this beautiful fish without a net.” She’s the one with agency here, not the fisherman, and she thinks of herself as a free fish, unconstrained by a net, not as a fish without a home.
The next three lines by my lights read “She had a gleaming tail; scales / that covered her breasts, arms, and face / and a wake of lacy waves.” Again, it’s from her perspective, not the fisherman’s, and she thinks of herself as having a gleaming rather than oily tail, a lacy wake rather than a frothing one.
Next stanza: “The fisherman caught her by the tail / and cut it in half.” From her point of view, the fisherman has committed a sudden and senseless mutilation. Then he goes, “’Now,’ he said to her, ‘you have legs. / Why don’t you walk?’” It’s almost like an accusation. You have legs now, why don’t you just get up and walk?
My read on the next stanza is: “The mermaid began to sing to the sea / for aid, her blood transforming / the sand of the beach into rainbows.” The sea is her home, not the land, and she’s crying out to her home in pain as she bleeds.
Then the poem ends with “She sang to the fisherman, ‘I forgive you, I forgive you, I forgive you.’”
The reason this mistranslation is so brilliant is that it takes a story about a mermaid trying to forgive a man who’s committed senseless violence against her, and turns it into a story about a man who uplifts a woman to a better life out of the kindness of his heart. And the thing is, that’s exactly what happens to so many stories from colonized cultures when they’re adapted by the oppressor. Translation into English, and further the cultural language of the oppressor, can be an act of violence and erasure rather than one of respect.
This is why I have worked so hard to translate poetry from Spanish to English that has previously only been translated by white Americans who learned Spanish in college. I can bring something to the translation that they can’t. It’s usually not this extreme, but this exists to some degree in all translations by people who don’t truly understand the culture that produced the work they’re translating.
Relationships are scary and complicated ONLY when you start thinking of your partner as some kind of adversary.
You know how to stop being scared of relationships? Remember that it’s got a goddamn buddy system *built in*. That’s all a relationship IS: “Let’s approach life with the buddy system.”
Check on your buddy. Make sure your buddy doesn’t forget their lunch box on the schoolbus. Hold hands with your buddy so you don’t get lost. If your buddy wants to look at the monkey cage, look at the goddamn monkey cage with them. If you are the one looking at the monkey cage, ask your buddy what they want to do next, and when they want to feed the giraffe, help them find a quarter for the little food dispenser. Be a good buddy, and if your buddy isn’t a good one too, tell the teacher and ask for a new one.
This isn’t fucking rocket science, people.
I have reblogged this before. I will reblog it again. And it’s not just romantic relationships: it’s family members and friends as well.
This kind of woke my ass up because of the amount of times I’ve had a buddy who didn’t check on me, didn’t want me to check on them, but didn’t want me to leave.
Valhalla does not discriminate against the kind of fight you lost. Did you lose the battle with cancer? Maybe you died in a fist fight. Even facing addiction. After taking a deep drink from his flagon, Odin slams his cup down and asks for the glorious tale of your demise!
Oh my god, this is beautiful.
A small child enters Valhalla. The battle they lost was “hiding from an alcoholic father.” Odin sees the flinch when he slams the cup and refrains from doing it again. He hears the child’s pain; no glorious battle this, but one of fear and wretched survival.
He invites the child to sit with him, offers the choicest mead and instructs his men to bring a sword and shield, a bow and arrow, of the very best materials and appropriate size. “Here,” he says, “you will find no man who dares to harm you. But so you will know your own strength, and be happy all your days in Valhalla, I will teach you to use these weapons.”
The sad day comes when another child enters the hall. Odin does not slam his cup; he simply beams with pride as the first child approaches the newcomer, and holds out her bow and quiver, and says “nobody here will hurt you. Everyone will be so proud you did your best, and I’ll teach you to use these, so you always know how strong you are.”
A young man enters the hall. He hesitates when Odin asks his story, but at long last, it ekes out: skinheads after the Pride parade. His partner got into a building and called for help. The police took a little longer than perhaps they really needed to, and two of those selfsame skinheads are in the hospital now with broken bones that need setting, but six against one is no fair match. The fear in his face is obvious: here, among men large enough to break him in two, will he face an eternity of torment for the man he left behind?
Odin rumbles with anger. Curses the low worms who brought this man to his table, and regales him with tales of Loki so to show him his own welcome. “A day will come, my friend, when you seek to be reunited, and so you shall,” Odin tells him. “To request the aid of your comrades in battle is no shameful thing.”
A woman in pink sits near the head of the table. She’s very nearly skin and bones, and has no hair. This will not last; health returns in Valhalla, and joy, and light, and merrymaking. But now her soul remembers the battle of her life, and it must heal.
And asks again.
And the words pour out like poisoned water, things she couldn’t tell her husband or children. The pain of chemotherapy. The agony of a mastectomy, the pain still deeper of “we found a tumor in your lymph nodes. I’m so sorry.” And at last, the tortured question: what is left of her?
Odin raises his flagon high. “What is left of you, fair warrior queen, is a spirit bright as fire; a will as strong as any forged iron; a life as great as any sea. Your battle was hard-fought, and lost in the glory only such furor can bring, and now the pain and fight are behind you.“
In the months to come, she becomes a scop of the hall–no demotion, but simple choice. She tells the stories of the great healers, Agnes and Tanya, who fought alongside her and thousands of others, who turn from no battle in the belief that one day, one day, the war may be won; the warriors Jessie and Mabel and Jeri and Monique, still battling on; the queens and soldiers and great women of yore.
The day comes when she calls a familiar name, and another small, scarred woman, eyes sunken and dark, limbs frail, curly black hair shaved close to her head, looks up and sees her across the hall. Odin descends from his throne, a tall and foaming goblet in his hands, and stuns the hall entire into silence as he kneels before the newcomer and holds up the goblet between her small dark hands and bids her to drink.
“All-Father!” the feasting multitudes cry. “What brings great Odin, Spear-Shaker, Ancient One, Wand-Bearer, Teacher of Gods, to his knees for this lone waif?”
He waves them off with a hand.
“This woman, LaTeesha, Destroyer of Cancer, from whom the great tumors fly in fear, has fought that greatest battle,” he says, his voice rolling across the hall. “She has fought not another body, but her own; traded blows not with other limbs but with her own flesh; has allowed herself to be pierced with needles and scored with knives, taken poison into her very veins to defeat this enemy, and at long last it is time for her to put her weapons down. Do you think for a moment this fight is less glorious for being in silence, her deeds the less for having been aided by others who provided her weapons? She has a place in this great hall; indeed, the highest place.”
And the children perform feats of archery for the entertainment of all, and the women sing as the young man who still awaits his beloved plays a lute–which, after all, is not so different from the guitar he once used to break a man’s face in that great final fight.
Valhalla is a place of joy, of glory, of great feasting and merrymaking.
And it is a place for the soul and mind to heal.
literal tears in my eyes omg
This is a very beautiful thought, but Valhalla isn’t the only grand hall one can go to for their afterlife; I’d love to hear stories as beautiful as this for other halls.
There is a young girl, her body frail and small. The girl bares the marks of so many scars, so many beatings from her broken home. Every night was a constant fight to stay safe, every day at school, she had to say her bruises were from playing too hard. Her teachers would look at her, but not see what was happening, and the girl kept suffering. She hardly had a childhood before her mother took it from her one night, a drug induced rage that ended her life far too soon.
The girl enters the hall of Folkvangr, sobbing at every step. The goddess Freya, ethereal and lovely, sits upon a golden throne at the highest point of the hall. Freya is concerned, her brows furrowed.
“Why do you cry, child?” she asks, her voice rings like a thousand bells, echoing through the mighty hall.
The little girl hiccups, she fidgets and hides her scars, “you are so beautiful, and I’m afraid I’m too ugly to be here.”
Freya descends from her throne, gliding and golden like the passing of sunlight through trees. She kneels in front of the girl and embraces her.
“Dear child, I am the Vanadis Freya, goddess of beauty and battle. I have the first choice of the slain, and I chose you. You are beautiful and your fight is over. You have a home with me now. I will teach you to fight so that you never need to be afraid again, and I will love you no matter what.”
The girl looks up and sees the faces of gently smiling women and girls of all ages and colors behind the goddess. She knows that she has gained many mothers and grandmothers and sisters. The girl knows that for the first time since she can remember, she will finally be loved.
There is an old man with old wounds. He fought in war to protect everyone, only to come home to poverty and sadness. The old man lived the final days of his life on a bench in the park, and no one mourned him.
When he wakes up, he is in a dark house, made of stone. Snow falls sleepily outside. There are cheery little candles on top of many stout wooden tables in the great room. A tall pale woman sits with a black dog at one of these tables. There are people all around; eating, laughing, playing games like old friends. The house is loud and merry with fellowship.
A call rings out over all the noise.
“Good to see ya pal! Come sit with us!”
A younger man beckons towards the old man, and he reluctantly joins the youngster and his companions at the table.
Many of the men and women at the table pat him on the back. The lady’s dog curls up at his feet. One of them even pushes their bowl of hot stew to the old man. The old timer enjoys the warmth in his bones, the thought of not going to sleep hungry fills him up with happiness that makes his eyes sting with the icy bite of tears.
“I appreciate it all, but surely this is a mistake. I don’t know you all” the old man is afraid that now they will shoo him away, like so many others. Instead, the lady with the dog kindly grasps his hand, her face melts in understanding.
“This is Helheim, and in Helheim, we are all remembered. I am Hel. You are among friends now. You will never go hungry, you will never be alone again.”
Time passes, and the old man has made many friends in Helheim. Some nights, when the snow falls hardest, a new person will appear, shy and uncertain. The old man always rises from his seat, always certain to have a warm drink in both hands. The old man gives the newcomer his friendliest smile and says,
“Good to see ya pal, come sit with us.”
Two young men, both in love. They hoped to get married, but then the doctors said the two worst words you could ever hear. The sickness ravaged one of them, and broke the heart of the other. The sick man barely recognized himself in the mirror anymore, and the other felt like he was drowning in helplessness.
Months later, it’s the night of the funeral for the sick man. His lover clings to photos of them together. He can’t see through the hurt, he can’t find it in himself to do anything but cry. His entire body aches with how much he misses his lover. The young man turns to cheap gas station beers to drown out the pain. Driving home with too many open cans on the floor, he hits a deer and tumbles into a ditch.
He finds himself on the ground in a golden forest, with trees arching so high into the sky, he can barely see the tops. The falling leaves dance to the song of the gentle winds, and the sunlight plays over everything in sight. He realises its not the wind singing; there’s the melody of many singing voices carried on the breeze. The young man follows it to a bright clearing in the woods. Many people are there, making flower crowns and laughing. The heady smells of wine and cooking meat wafts around him. At the front of the crowd is a man in rich finery, laughing with all the rest. The air is alight with joy and the sounds of bells.
But most importantly of all is his boyfriend, glowing with health, covered in flowers and smiling.
I wish that ao3 had an option to filter warnings (and tbh certain authors) out like I will never ever want to read it and just seeing it puts me off so much that often I end up closing my browser because that content upsets me so much lmao
There is a way to do this but I can’t recall how to do it. it’s something you type into the box for “other filters” or something, I don’t remember. who knows??
It’s not a great option, and I don’t know if you can sort out authors that way, but it’s better than nothing if someone can reblog this with how to do it!
Alrighty friends! It takes some specificity, but you can do this. Let me show you how!
So I started with going to the Sherlock (TV) section of Ao3. On the right we find this lovely section! ((I know I’m going over things you already probably know, but I figure this post may go to new Ao3 users, so bear with me.))
Underneath this, I chose sort by Kudos, because that’s a quick way to find most popular fics, for the sake of this demonstration.
With those filters on, we end up with this being our first two results:
As you can see, we have Nature and Nurture by earlgreytea68, and The Internet Is Not Just For Porn by cyerus. So what if I am utterly sick of seeing earlgreytea68 on my list? Let’s pretend I’ve read all their fics, or that I just don’t like her, or whatever. I want this author out. I go to this section on the right:
In “Search within results” I type earlgreytea68 into the bar, with a minus sign in front. This gives me the following page, upon hitting the sort and filter button:
There goes earlgreytea68! But now I’ve decided that Crack is just not my thing, I’m sick of that, too, for heaven’s sake, I want something reasonable in my gay slash fanfiction about detectives that solve crimes about glowing dogs and irish megalomaniacs. Heaven forbid this get ridiculous.
Well, then I add this to my search:
Which gets rid of everything with that tag. My results are now:
Performance in a Leading Role is now my first result!
You can do this as many times as you want; the biggest problem I have is trying to filter out multi-worded tags. For example, “Secret Relationship” is hard to filter. Better to go with authors you dislike or with words like “DubCon”.
I hope this helps! Also remember that googling site:archiveofourown.org and then adding search terms will mean google searches Ao3 for you, and sometimes that works far better.
An excellent in-depth guide! Thank you!!
omg changed my whole ao3 rarepair game
An excellent guide to filtering on AO3!
You can filter out phrases by enclosing them in quotes. For example, if ABO and Hydra Trash Party are not your things, try:
-“alpha/beta/omega dynamics” -”hydra trash party”
I have more advice!
Say, you’re in your random fandom- I went with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, since I’ve been reading Iron Man stuff recently. Tony Stark is awesome.
But anyway, you’re on the page, and you see that there are 174,774 works! That is way too many for a casual afternoon’s browsing.
And you see that the first one is Peter Parker/Tony Stark and that is not your jam. It doesn’t work for you, or it squicks you, whatever. Wouldn’t life be easier if you could browse without seeing that pairing (or whatever pairing you don’t like)? You can!
First, click on that pairing tag(You may want to open this in another tab, actually.):
and it’ll take you to the page for that pairing tag. Click this button:
and then look at the address bar! The actual page is unimportant. Copy the numbers located here:
and go back to the original search page! Down on the side, in the same place you can get rid of other tags, type -relationship_ids:”the number you just copied”
Then hit ‘sort and filter’ annnd… magic!
The fics with that pairing are gone! You can also do multiple pairings, get rid of any tags you don’t like, and sort it by date or length or kudos, or whatever.
My face is having uncontrollable spasms. Great. It hurts really, really, really bad.
I think part of why I have trouble explaining pain to the doctor is when they ask about the pain scale I always think “Well, if someone threw me down a flight of stairs right now or punched me a few times, it would definitely hurt a lot more” so I end up saying a low number. I was reading an article that said that “10” is the most commonly reported number and that is baffling to me. When I woke up from surgery with an 8" incision in my body and I could hardly even speak, I was in the most horrific pain of my life but I said “6” because I thought “Well, if you hit me in the stomach, it would be worse.”
I searched and searched for the post this graphic was from, and the OP deactivated, but I kept the graphic, because my BFF does the same thing, uses her imagination to come up with the worst pain she can imagine and pegs her “10″ there, and so is like, well, I’m conscious, so this must be a 5, and then the doctors don’t take her seriously. (And she then does things like driving herself to the hospital while in the process of giving birth. Probably should have called an ambulance for that one!)
So I found this and sent it to her. Because this is what they want to know: how badly is this pain affecting you? Not on a scale of “nothing” to “how I’d imagine it’d feel if bears were eating my still-living guts while I was on fire”.
I hate reposting stuff, but I’ll never find that post again and OP is deactivated, so, here’s a repost. I can delete this later, i just wanted to get it to you and I can’t embed images in a chat or an ask.
This is possibly why it took several weeks to diagnose my fractured spine.
Pain Scale transcription:
10 - I am in bed and I can’t move due to my pain. I need someone to take me to the emergency room because of my pain.
9 - My pain is all that I can think about. I can barely move or talk because of my pain.
8 - My pain is so severe that it is difficult to think of anything else. Talking and listening are difficult.
7 - I am in pain all the time. It keeps me from doing most activities.
6 - I think about my pain all of the time. I give up many activities because of my pain.
5 - I think about my pain most of the time. I cannot do some of the activities I need to do each day because of the pain.
4 - I am constantly aware of my pain but can continue most activities.
3 - My pain bothers me but I can ignore it most of the time.
2 - I have a low level of pain. I am aware of my pain only when I pay attention to it.
1 - My pain is hardly noticeable.
0 - I have no pain.
With this post I listed 10 outline techniques to help writes move their story from a basic idea to a complete set of arcs, plots, sequences and/or scenes. Or to simply expand whatever you have in hands right now.
If you have a vague story idea or a detailed one, this post is for you to both discover and organize. A few technique will work perfectly. A few won’t. Your mission is to find the one that works best for you. That said, I advice you to try out as many techniques as possible.
So, are you ready? Open your notebook, or your digital document, and let’s start.
1. Snowflake method: Start with a one-sentence description of the novel. Then, develop this simple phrase into a paragraph. Your next step is to write a one-page summary based on the paragraph, you can write about characters, motivations, goals, plots, options, whatever you feel like. From this point on, you can either start your book or expand the one-page summary into four pages. And, at last, four pages into a brief description of known sequences of scenes. Your goal is to make the story more and more complex as you add information, much like a forming snowflake.
2. Chapter by chapter: List ten to twenty chapters, give each chapter a tittle and a brief description of what should happen. Then, break each chapter into three to five basic sequences of scenes. Give each sequence a title, a brief description and a short list of possibilities (possibilities of dialogues, scenarios, outcomes, moods, feelings… just play around with possibilities). From this point on, you can either create the scenes of sequences with a one-sentence description for each or jump straight to writing. Your goal is to shift from the big picture to a detail-oriented point of view.
3. Script: This might sound crazy, but, with this technique, you will write the screenplay of your story as if it’s a movie. No strings attached to creative writing, just plain actions and dialogues with basic information. Writing a script will take time, maybe months, but it will also enlighten your project like no other technique. Your goal is to create a cinematic view of your story. How to write a script here.
4. Free writing: No rules, no format, no step, just grab a pen or prepare your fingers to write down whatever idea that comes up. Think of possibilities, characters, places, quests, journeys, evolutions, symbolisms, fears, good moments, bad moments, clothing, appearances. Complete five to ten pages. Or even more. The more you write, the more you will unravel. You can even doodle, or paste images. Your mission is to explore freely.
5. Tag: This technique is ideal if you have just a vague idea of the story. Start by listing ten to fifteen tags related to the story. Under each tag, create possible plots. And, under each plot, create possible scenes. Grab a red felt pen and circle plots and scenes that sparkle your interest.
6. Eight-point arc: With this technique you will divide your story into eight stages. They are Stasis, Trigger, Quest, Surprise, Critical Choice, Climax, Reversal and Resolution. The Stasis is the every-day-life of your main character. Trigger is an event that will change the every-day-life of your character (for better or for worse). Quest is a period of your main characters trying to find a new balance, a new every-day-life (because we all love a good routine). Surprise will take your character away from their new found every-day-life. Critical Choice is a point of no return, a dilemma, your character will have to make the hardest decision out of two outcomes, both equally important. Climax is the critical choice put to practice. Reversal is the consequence of the climax, or how the characters evolved. Resolution is the return to a new (or old) every-day-life, a (maybe everlasting) balance.
7. Reverse: Write down a description of how your story ends, what happens to your characters and to those around them. Make it as detailed as possible. Then, move up to the climax, write a short scenario for the highest point of your story. From there, build all the way back to the beginning.
8. Zigzag: Draw a zigzag with as many up and downs as you want. Every up represents your main character moving closer to their goal. Every down represents your main character moving further from their goal. Fill in your zigzag with sequences that will take your character closer and farther from the goal.
9. Listing: The focus of this technique is exploring new ideas when your story feels empty, short or stagnated. You’ll, basically make lists. Make a long list of plot ideas. Make another list of places and settings. Make a list of elements. And a list of possible characters. Maybe a list of book titles. Or a list of interesting scenes. A list of bad things that could happen inside this universe. A list of good things. A list of symbolism. A list of visual inspiration. A list of absurd ideas you’ll probably never use. Then, gather all this material and circle the good items. Try to organize them into a timeline.
10. Character-driven: Create a character. Don’t worry about anything else. Just think of a character, their appearance and style. Give them a name. Give them a basic personality. Give them a backstory. Develop their personality based on the backstory. Now, give this character a story that mirrors their backstory (maybe a way to overcome the past, or to grow, or to revenge, or to restore). Based on your character’s personality, come up with a few scenes to drive their story from beginning to end. Now, do the same thing for the antagonist and secondary characters.
So, when is it time to stop outlining and start writing?
This is your call. Some writers need as many details as they can get, some need just an basic plot to use as a North. Just remember, an outline is not a strict format, you can and you will improvise along the way. The most important is being comfortable with your story, exploring new ideas, expanding old concepts and, maybe, changing your mind many times. There’s no right or wrong, just follow your intuition.
The most hilarious thing about the fact Buckbeak had a trial and lost is that later on JKR resolves the issue by having Hagrid take him in again and renaming him Witherwings. That’s literally all it took. What if in POA, Hagrid simply said, “Sorry, Buckbeak flew away.”
“There’s a hippogriff right there, Hagrid.”
“A different hipprogriff.”
“I’m… pretty sure that’s the same hipprogriff.”
no dna tests we die like scientifically underdeveloped societies
Prisoner of Azkaban continues to be the most frustrating book
Someone should have just adopted Sirius and started calling him Gerald.
Remus: Erm… this is our new order member, my… cousin Gerald. Gerald White.
“Mr. Lupin that is Sirius Black with glasses!”
“Oh come now Minister, Sirius Black doesn’t wear glasses. That wouldn’t make sense.”
“Well have Mr. White take off his glasses then!”
“He can’t he needs them to see.”
it got better
It’s honestly a miracle to me that wizarding society doesn’t collapse every other week because like
You’ve got this world full of people who can destroy whole buildings or turn people into beetles or make vehicles fly just by waving a stick at them
And there is literally no common sense
Anywhere to be foundVoldemort would never have had anyone find out he was back if he just went around calling himself Steve
Okay, see, I thought I saved this post to comment on it but I’d like to bring up
The Minister would NEVER EVER disbelieve in Gerald White. He’d buy it hook line and sinker. The wizarding world would buy it hook line and sinker. The GOBLINS wouldn’t but wizards have been shown to be pretty blindingly clueless. Still, Gringotts would grudgingly give Sirius access to the Black fortune.
But, but, but, you know the one person
the one person
who Gerald White would drive AB-SO-LUTELY FUCKING BATSHIT?
Snape would do everything, EVERYTHING, to get people to believe that it’s Sirius. But the Order would ignore it (they accepted Sirius as Sirius before anyway) and Remus would just be so… so affronted.
‘Severus, he is my cousin.’
And Sirius would love it. He’d love the fact that Snape just hated it. He’d be the BEST DAMN GERALD WHITE EVER b/c Snape is doing everything from dropping veritaserum into his firewhisky to capturing a dementor in a box and releasing it on Sirius when he least expects it
That one causes problems for a bare minute because SHIT A DEMENTOR ATTEMPTED TO GIVE GERALD THE KISS MAYBE SNAPE IS RIGHT except Harry comes forward and is like ‘excuse me, I’ve never committed a crime and dementors are ALWAYS attacking me, I think they’re attracted to glasses’
and the magical community is like ‘shit, yeah, you’re right’
Spare. Snape goes spare.
Now I’m imagining Fred and George sneaking extra Weasleys into Snape’s class manifests every year.
Annnd I wrote the thing. Sort of. It kinda got out of hand.
The first year they’re just Fred and George, except when occasionally they’re Gred and Forge, but it’s not too long before Snape just stops trying to tell them apart and just treats them as the joint entity “Weasley,” who happens to be in two places at once.
The next year they take turns attending first-year Potions class as Barry Weasley, the glasses-wearing Weasley cousin who missed the Sorting Ceremony because he tried to swallow three chocolate frogs at once on a bet from his twin cousins and got sick.
Snape has a choice between asking questions about Barry and punishing Fred and George for tormenting their cousin, and punishing Fred and George wins out. At this point, it’s not really that weird–the Weasleys do tend toward large families–and any excuse to give the twins detention is basically the sort of thing you could put under a box propped up with a stick on a rope and a “TOTALLY NOT A TRAP” sign to catch Severus Snape.
So he figures Barry Weasley is real. He comments on the boy’s resemblance to Fred and George, and Barry nods and says “Everyone says that. I could fool everyone but them, except eventually people figure out there’s only one of me.”
Snape doesn’t have much cause for complaint. Barry is not a difficult student (the twins are, at this point, quite happy with the joke for its own sake and so don’t risk the Barry persona on tormenting him), perhaps a bit prone to letting his mind wander (it helps that George is actually interested in Potions, and uses the second run as an opportunity to experiment), but there have been no outright disasters centered around his cauldron, which is a lot more than can be said for the twins.
The next year is Fred and George’s third year, Barry’s second year, and Ron’s first year. They don’t take Ron entirely into their confidence … but they do let on that they’ve invented a fictional “Cousin Barry” to mess with Snape a bit, in case Snape asks, but Snape doesn’t ask.
He does mention Barry Weasley to Barry’s supposed Head of House, but by pure luck he manages to do so when Minerva is sufficiently preoccupied by that late night with four first-years sneaking out after curfew, and she hears “Harry and Weasley,” and nods, and asks him something about a Gryffindor fifth-year she’s concerned about, and, well, that basically settles it.
Fred and George run into a minor difficulty in that they don’t have a free period coinciding with “Barry’s” potions class, but they get lucky enough to have History of Magic during that class, and Binns wouldn’t notice if Fred or George set the classroom on fire, much less if Fred or George is always absent.
Fred and George are at this point quite satisfied with getting “Barry” through seven years of Hogwarts without Snape realizing he’s fictional, but then at the beginning of their fourth year Snape is absent from the Sorting and the Welcome Feast and … well. Opportunity beckons.
Since Fred and George are pragmatic about which elective classes they take (they’re much more interested in independent study directed toward magical jokes and pranks), they have several free periods and it only takes a significant look between them to agree that, yes, they can absolutely handle being one more person just for Potions class.
They’re a bit more advanced at their magic now, and a bit of diluted Shrinking Potion and a Freckle Charm create Barnaby, Barry’s younger brother. There’s a minor concern with Ginny being in the same class, and more importantly, Operation Barnaby is still in the planning stages when McGonagall hands out the schedules and they realize they have Transfiguration during the requisite class period and McGonagall will definitely notice if a twin is missing.
Thus is is that Barnaby Weasley, Hufflepuff, is born.
Snape doesn’t give away anything more than a mild frown at another Weasley showing up on the class roster, but he does raise an eyebrow and inquire, “Hufflepuff?” after reading his name.
Barnaby (Fred, at the moment) turns red with the help of a Blushing Charm and looks hurt and defensive, which makes the Hufflepuffs, upset at the perceived insult to their House, accept him without question. Nobody ever asks either twin why he only shows up in Potions class; they get that it’s some long-con joke focused on Snape and they don’t interfere.
Barnaby is not quite as hopeless at Potions as Neville, but he is prone to the same wandering attention span as his brother, only more so. His potions regularly fail and occasionally explode, usually in a way that to Snape indicates carelessness with the ingredients and tells Fred or George something useful about the what happens when you do that.
The next year there are no new Weasley children, officially, but when Fred plops himself down next to George on the train and says “So what about a girl?” George knows exactly what he’s talking about.
They mix a hair-growing potion on the train, and have to hide it quickly when Draco Malfoy comes running into their compartment, frightened of the dementors.
George takes the hair potion and the shrinking potion and the pair of them use the Marauders’ Map to intercept Snape on his way to the Great Hall. Fred hides behind a pillar and casts a Duplicating Illusion Charm on himself and tries hard not to burst out laughing as George plays Nasturtium Weasley, little sister to Barry and Barnaby, who’s somehow managed to get lost on the way to the Great Hall.
Snape’s not the slightest bit pleased to be getting yet another absent-minded Weasley cousin, snarls, snaps something vaguely cutting, and leads her towards the Great Hall, intending to hand her over directly to Professor McGonagall; instead he runs into Fred and George (actually Fred and his charm double); Fred explained that they saw their cousin wandering off and went to go get her. Snape lectures the pair of them on wandering, accuses them of being up to no good, and stalks off to direct evil looks at Professor Lupin.
Which, luckily, takes up so much of his attention that he doesn’t pay attention to the Sorting. Fred and George decide the next morning, after careful consultation of multiple students’ class schedules, to put her in Hufflepuff along with Barnaby.
They strike it lucky again, in that first-year Potions only conflicts with Care of Magical Creatures, to which only one twin is going (they don’t see much point in both of them taking the same class, figuring that one of them knowing something is as good as both of them knowing it and they can teach each other more effectively than anyone else can teach them, an argument that failed to impress Professor McGonagall into letting them each out of half their classes back in first year); Hagrid won’t be expecting to see two of them.
Nasturtium Weasley, it develops, has quite a lot of bright red hair and a tendency to hyperfocus on ingredients or processes, leading to a lot of ruined potions when she keeps stirring too long or spends the whole class period shredding the shrivelfigs or gets lost examining the lobes of a dirigible plum leaf. Fred and George, taking turns being Nasturtium, are happy to spend the time just thinking through some interesting research they’ve been doing or contemplating a problem with their latest invention or just brainstorming new joke ideas until Snape appears, bellowing about melted cauldrons and the people who don’t even notice them because they’re too fascinated by the down on a downy mage-thistle.
But they’re being run just a bit ragged at it and decide that three is enough–until they wander past the Hospital Wing at just the right time to hear Snape bellowing apoplectically about Harry Potter, and Dumbledore’s more reasoned tones making light of the idea that Harry and his friends were in two places at once.
Fred and George look at each other and a light goes on.
They’ve heard about time-turners. They’ve also seen Hermione Granger run herself ragged studying textbooks for every subject available. They know how many subjects there are, and how many class periods in a week.
As one, they reach out and lightly smack each other on the head for not putting it together earlier.
Snape comes raging out the door just in time to see them and gives them detention. Fred and George scowl after him and turn and look at each other. And nod.
Fred “accidentally” bumps into Hermione when she’s on her way to McGonagall’s office, pretends to lose his balance, and falls hard to the floor. It gives him bruises, but sometimes sacrifices must be made for the successful theft of major, highly-regulated, top-secret magical artifacts. Hermione turns to help him, and George switches the time-turner with an elaborately crafted fake, a Confundus Charm and a Diversion Charm giving it the correct density of magical energy signature and ensuring that anyone who tries to use it will find an urgent reason to put it off. (George is super pleased with that one; it’s a time-turner, so quite naturally anyone who can use it has plenty of time to use it later.)
Next year is their sixth year, which brings enough of a drop in courses (there are definite benefits to getting only two OWLS each, though they doubt their mother would agree) that they only need to use the time-turner once, when Barry has Potions when Fred has Transfiguration and George has Herbology. They’re almost disappointed by this, until Fred gets a devastatingly diabolical grin on his face and says, “what if there were two of them?”
George’s face mirrors the grin in an instant, and he responds with his own suggestion. “Cousins.” A pause. “And they hate each other.”
And so come into being Gentian Weasley, younger sister of Barry, Barnaby, and Nasturtium Weasley, and her cousin from yet another branch of the Weasley family, Bilious Weasley the Second.
This time they give themselves some insurance, and make very good use of the time-turner, by charming Snape into seeing the new arrivals be Sorted. For a diversion they let Peeves the Poltergeist into the kitchens and assist him in creating havoc (testing out a potential product, tentatively named the Souper Swimming Pool, in the process); the amount of commotion takes three Professors to sort out, one of them Snape, and it’s surprisingly easy to hit the distracted Potions Master with the prototype of a Daydream Charm, highly modified to suit the occasion.
Once they’ve finished the time loop, they blast themselves with Aguamenti charms to make it look like they’ve just come out of the rain and sit down. Snape sees Weasley, Bilious and Weasley, Gentian be sorted into Gryffindor one right after another and summons himself a bottle of firewhiskey.
This is a mistake, as he has the keen and ignoble joy of being hungover for the worst Potions class he’s ever taught, including that one time when somebody (Potter) threw a firework into the Swelling Solution.
Gentian snickers when Snape reads Bilious’ name. Bilious calls Gentian “freckles.” Slytherin students from accross the room (the both of them are Gryffindors this time) look on in obvious amusement. Snape looks constipated. Their own supposed housemates eye them, looking confused, concerned, and generally bamboozled but none of them vocalize their curiosity.
Fred and George share a secret, gleeful smile, and escalate.
They spill things on each other: water, pigeon milk, stinksap. Gentian breaks a salamander egg on Bilious’ forehead; Bilious stabs Gentian with a knarl quill. They drop the wrong ingredients surreptitiously into each other’s potions. Bilious’ cauldron spews copious amounts of green smoke, gaining a lecture and losing five points for Gryffindor; his retaliation recreates Neville Longbottom’s disaster a few years prior and melts Gentian’s cauldron. Gentian shrieks at Bilious, Bilious dumps the whole jar of puffer-fish eggs over Gentian’s head, and Gentian launches herself at him, punching and clawing and screaming her head off.
Snape separates them with a wave of his wand and threatens them with a month’s worth of detention collecting bubotuber pus. Gentian says, “You can’t do that, I’ll tell McGonagall on you,” which neatly puts Snape off telling Professor McGonagall himself, because honestly, she probably will take issue with it. Bilious smirks loftily and sneers, “Baby. I like bubotuber pus. It smells like petrol.”
“How,” Snape asks suspiciously, “would a wizardborn young man like yourself know about petrol?” and Gentian (secretly Fred) hides a wince; their father’s particular fascination with Muggle things might be their undoing. But George recovers, saying proudly, “My dad’s an accountant.”
The Slytherins laugh. Fred catches the reference and Gentian says, “Oh, right, your dad’s the family Squib.”
Bilious grabs his cauldron and makes to empty it over her head, only to find that the contents are basically a solid baked into the cauldron’s bottom. Snape casts it away and tells them they’re more of a disaster than Neville Longbottom and deducts fifty points from Gryffindor, and they spend the walk out of the dungeons trying to convince their housemates that the points don’t actually matter that much.
Snape goes straight to McGonagall to complain, but refers to them as “Those two damned Weasleys,” and McGonagall nods and makes sympathetic faces and promises to speak to them. Fred and George get a detention with McGonagall at the same time as Gentian and Bilious have one with Snape, which makes them as happy as a time-turner can make two mischief-minded teenagers in possession thereof.
That year is a delight. They have a Triwizard Tournament to watch, a small multitude of visiting students from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang, many of them attractive, to interact with, and five alter egos with which to torment Professor Snape. Moreover, with the time-turner and the extra Potions classes, they’ve made significant progress on their product line and are turning a brisk business with the student body.
Snape learns quickly and the first time is also the last time he schedules Gentian and Bilious for a detention together. Fred and George take it in turns to run certain of their inventions past Flitwick and Sprout to gain back some of the points they lose in the first-year Potions class. By the time summer rolls around, Fred calculates that they’ve used the time-turner enough to have come of age and potentially erased the Trace on them.
They pay Mundungus Fletcher a galleon to come somewhere out-of-the-way with them and lend them his wand to cast a few spells. When no owls show up carrying Ministry warning letters, they head to Diagon Alley and celebrate by buying a storefront and the flat above it, and spend most of the summer there, fixing it up and getting things ready for a product launch next year. NEWTS, schmoots.
There’s of course that annoying business about Voldemort returning, and their mother decides the best way to keep them out of the Order’s business is to turn them into house-elves, but they come up with a few charms to do housework slowly by magic, and adjust the illusion spells, and put in just as much of an appearance as necessary.
Then September rolls around again, and their new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher is even worse than Snape and Lockheart combined, and just like that, Barry, Barnaby, Nasturtium, Gentian, and Bilious all add themselves to Defense Against the Dark Arts classes.
This largely sucks, because the DADA classes are utterly useless this year, but Fred gets the idea of substituting their alter egos and eventually themselves with illusion charms (”She doesn’t actually teach, she’ll never notice”), which makes George laugh hysterically because they’ve progressed from attending classes multiple times as different people to using doppelgangers to avoid going to class at all, and the two tactics are completely at odds with each other. But they do it.
Umbridge doesn’t notice, and pretty soon the only class they show up for is the one where second-years Bilious and Gentian are forever hurling hateful looks, creative insults, badly-aimed spells, and improvised projectiles at each other.
Umbridge starts taking points from Gryffindor off at the first “blast-ended walnut” from Gentian and assigns the first detention at Bilious’ elaborately-detailed Muggle catapult. Fred and George add a line of Magical Model Muggle Major Munitions to the product array at the soon-to-be-hatched Weasleys’ Wizarding Wheezes, and make copious notes on how to use them as actual weaponry once Voldemort makes his appearance.
Fred writes “I must not fight in class” with Umbridge’s quill for six hours and then steals it. George listens to Fred’s description of the evening, takes one look at Fred’s hand, and breaks into Umbridge’s office and takes a generous crap on her desk. “Crude,” says Fred admiringly, “but deserved.”
The next time Barnaby has DADA, Fred goes as him in person and tests out a Skiving Snackbox. Throwing up on Umbridge is satisfying. He gets detention and writes “I will be more careful with how I am sick” some nine hundred times with a completely normal quill, charmed to write in red ink like a Muggle fountain pen, and mimes innocence when Umbridge expresses confusion at the lack of redness and swelling on his hand.
Gentian and Bilious get into a full-on wizards’ duel in their next DADA class, and aim so terribly that Umbridge gets hit more than they do. They both get detention, and Fred and George send illusions in their stead.
Next week they do it again, and Umbridge spends half the afternoon in the hospital wing, getting tentacles removed. Colin Creevey, confined to bed rest for a case of Exploding Hiccups, sneaks a picture and later trades it to the Weasley Twins for a Pygmy Puff, two Daydream Charms, and a promise to look into developing Extendable Eyes.
Umbridge goes to complain to McGonagall, who listens to the entire rant about a pair of students she’s never heard of with a reasonably straight face. Then she blandly tells Umbridge she’ll look into it, and turns back to her essay-marking.
McGonagall wanders down to the staff room the next morning and relates the whole conversation to the other teachers. Flitwick and Sprout are practically rolling on the floor by the time she finishes, but Snape is standing there looking Stupified; he makes the biggest miscalculation he’s made in years, and asks, “You mean they’re not real?”
McGonagall looks at him, calculates what all it would take for him to be asking that question, and promptly laughs herself sick.
Snape waits, looking like he might catch fire, until she recovers. “Yes, Severus. I have never heard of a Gentian Weasley, and the only Bilious Weasley I know is my age.”
Snape says, “There’s two Bilious Weas—who names these people?!”
“There’s one, Severus. I can assure you that there is no such person attending this school at this time.”
Snape thinks. “Barry Weasley? Barnaby Weasley? Nasturtium Weasley?”
McGonagall’s staring at him. “No.”
He grimaces, then tries, “I don’t suppose Ginny, Ronald, and their siblings are fictional?”
“No such luck, Severus.”
He closes his eyes. Opens them. “Fred and George.”
“Most assuredly real, Severus.”
“No, I meant–they did this. They’re responsible for this, aren’t they?”
“I would imagine so,” McGonagall says, a hint of a smile hovering about her lips.
He eyes her. “Shut up, Minerva.”
She claps a hand to her mouth to hide a giggle, and he turns and sweeps from the room.
As it turns out, he has Gentian and Bilious the next period.
Fred and George, blissfully unaware, are launching into their standard pretend fight—in this case, swordfighting with Transylvanian Lesser Pseudoporcupine quills—when Snape arrives at their table and claps a hand on their near shoulders. He’s smiling like a dragon.
They have a moment of sharp dismay, but it doesn’t last. They are the Weasley Twins, they’ve been fooling Snape for years with this prank, and they have money hidden in multiple places and the deed to a shop in Diagon Alley and all the official education they’ll ever need.
They turn and grin back.
“Well done, Professor,” says George. “How’d you find out?”
“Professor McGonagall told me.” His smile was a thin, sharp blade.
“How’d she know?”
“I’m afraid I did, Mr. Weasley,” says McGonagall from the doorway. “Although admittedly without knowing you were pranking Professor Snape as well as Professor Umbridge; I thought I was merely sharing a very amusing anecdote with the other teachers.”
They’re drawing curious looks, though fortunately Fred-as-Gentian’s cauldron is hissing like a teakettle and drowning out the conversation; Snape snaps at them to pay attention to their cauldrons before jerking his head at his office door.
Once they’re ensconced within what Fred once called the Snape Museum of Slimy Things, and Fred and George have undone the spells and potions that make them Bilious and Gentian, McGonagall turns to Snape and says, “I forbid you to expel them, Severus.”
He’s about to respond when Fred says, “Go ahead, expel us.”
That gets them two very surprised professors. George shrugs. “Everything’s ready to go. We’ve got a shop in Diagon Alley and enough stock to fill it and enough expertise for a lifetime of success.”
Snape frowns and asks, “Do I want to know what you’re planning to sell?”
George says, “No” at the same times as Fred says, “It’s a joke shop.”
McGonagall looks like she’s trying not to laugh. Snape looks like he’s swallowed a sea cucumber. He opens his mouth, closes it, and then says, “I would have never imagined an argument that could convince me not to try to expel you, but you’ve just provided it. I will not be assisting you in selling pranks to the student body of Hogwarts on a retail level.”
George says, “Actually, we’ve been doing it since the middle of last year.”
Snape turns to McGonagall. “I quit.”
“Hey, let Umbridge expel us,” Fred suggests. George snickers.
Snape looks at them, and then at McGonagall, and then back to the twins.
“No, you’re going to stay here,” Snape says, a look in his eyes that makes them wonder what all Umbridge has said to him. “You’re going to continue to be Gentian and Bilious—and Nasturtium and Barnaby and Barry.” He looks to McGonagall as if for confirmation, and George considers that both professors were young once, and were quite possibly as complete and utter hellions as him and Fred.
Snape smiles like a knife. “Give her hell.”
He’s never felt so much respect for a teacher before.
“Mr. Weasley?” Snape adds, almost as an afterthought, his eyes shifting from one to the other as if unsure which of them he’s addressing.
“Fifty points from Gryffindor.”
Fred and George smile at each other as they follow McGonagall into the hall.
They follow orders. Bilious and Gentian hit Umbridge with so many “accidental” hexes that she finally bans them from her classroom. Barnaby functions as a sort of a Patient Zero for Umbridge-itis. Barry uses his status as the quiet one to construct elaborate spells that have Umbridge’s classroom warping itself into odd shapes or growing spines out the walls or puffing up like a balloon and trapping her at the bottom. Nasturtium stands up in class one day and slams an epic poem about how teachers who don’t teach are useless and a sea sponge would do a better job of earning the salary.
Between them, they work to set up elaborate pranks and position Umbridge to catch the worst of it. After Dumbledore’s removal, Fred and George set off the best fireworks display Hogwarts has ever seen, and McGonagall gives Gryffindor one hundred points; Gentian and Bilius, usually the only ones still played in person by the Weasley twins, play Umbridge beautifully the next morning, fighting each other as usual and then turning ally, working together to attack her with flurries of squawking birds and flying, shitting replica nifflers.
When Umbridge twigs that they’re all working together she stands up in the middle of the Great Hall at dinner and demands that every Weasley in the place stand up.
Four Weasleys, all siblings, do so.
“Where are the rest of you?” she hisses to Ron, who looks clueless. Ginny cocks an eyebrow and looks to Fred and George speculatively. Umbridge turns to them and they smile like sharks.
Fred climbs up onto the table, George right on his heels. “Ladies and gentlemen, a performance by myself and my twin!”
George produces a potion, downs it, and becomes Gentian.
Fred narrates as George shifts between the various fictional cousins, ending by restoring his own appearance, putting on a pair of glasses, and becoming Barry. Snape slaps his face down into his hands. George finishes by announcing that these new appearance potions, and the fireworks, and a multitude of other products, would be available at 93 Diagon Alley, home to Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes.
“Not so fast,” says Umbridge, holding out her wand. “The pair of you are going to be expelled—but first you are going to find out what happens to troublemakers in my school.”
“We’re not,” says George, “But let me tell you something: this is not, and will never be, your school.” He looks around at the students, at the teachers, at Snape and McGonagall standing a short distance away, and he and Fred wave their arms in a mirrored gesture to take in the whole student body, and they say, the pair of them together, “This is our school.”
The cheer from around them shakes the rafters.
Then they raise their wands and say, again in unison, “Accio brooms!”
The brooms make holes in the walls on their way in, and Fred and George mount them and soar up among the floating candles, and Fred has to cast a Sonorus Charm to make himself heard over the cheering.
“Weasley’s Wizarding Wheezes, number 93, Diagon Alley: Our new premises!”
And George waves to Peeves, who’s floating up there along with them, attracted by the promise of mayhem. “Give her hell from us.”
Peeves salutes, and Fred and George fly out the front door to freedom.
When they return to Hogwarts almost two years later, their time spent as the fake Weasleys serves all of Hogwarts well: the muggle munitions devices, some elaborate magical shielding, judiciously-applied daydream charms turned hallucinogenic means of luring the Death Eaters to shooting at false targets, and projectiles that created all manner of interesting effects, save the day for many people in the Battle of Hogwarts.
Fred never knows he came close to dying. George never knows he came close to losing his twin. They go back to Diagon Alley, afterwards, and as the world puts itself back together, they help people laugh.
A Volunteer Avocado is when you mom was raised in Cleveland by people with only a passing relationship with fruit but a tremendous interest in both urban agriculture and not paying for things, so she can’t stand to get rid of a perfectly good avocado seed, so she gets it to germinate in a mason jar on the kitchen counter, then plants it in the front yard to see if it’ll actually grow but your house is on what used to be a chicken farm so it’s got stupid good soil and the little avocado grows hell-for-breakfast in the CA sun and chicken-shit dirt and in three years it’s as tall as the house and your mom leaves the front door open at night so the wolfdog can get outside in short order because your neighbors love avocados too and come into your yard at 3AM with a ladder to steal them and you wake up in the middle of the night to your parents yelling at Mrs. Mcgurkey about what the FUCK do you think you’re doing, and you use that word the next day on your Demon of a fourth-grade teacher and she actually hits you because she’s a piece of shit but one of your classmates throws his chair at her first and you become best friends and spend the rest of the year giving her hell culminating in the Mantisocalypse.
I might have gone off-topic.
shout out to my fave under-appreciated unbreakable transgender hero
The thing that gets me is he didn’t ASK for the impenetrable skin. Poseidon was just like “cool cool but you know what you need? skin of IRON. don’t worry bud it’s on the house”
so… Poseidon made his trans boyfriend bulletproof. alright.
I’ve been thinking about that last thing all day and
I’m pretty sure I have a new ship…
Sharing this here because everyone seemed to really like the first one and I’m so pleased with the way my dumb drawing came out
Can I recommand @shanastoryteller‘s Gods and Monsters story, a collection of awesomely written greek mythology inspired short stories ? Chapter 9, 12 and 15 are about these two dorks and it’s fantastic!
when i was younger the way i felt about girls kissing was different. it made me uncomfortable, like i knew i shouldn’t hear my own heart skip. i remember watching boys kiss girls on tv and teaching myself “this is all i have”. i’m 24 and i still feel guilty when i think about how much i like girls. i hid it and hated it and i’m not even out to half of my friends. i couldn’t figure out why i felt certain things. i wrecked myself over it, made it hard for me to be in longterm relationships, made it hard to love without feeling like i’m doing the wrong thing.
but yesterday i was teaching a group of second graders.
“i think i want a girlfriend,” she said to me. when a boy squawked “a girlfriend!” the other kids stood up for her instantly. “it’s normal!” “it’s okay if some people want different things.” “yeah, not everybody needs to like boys.”
the boy shook his head and stared at me. “i don’t care it’s a girl” he said, with his hands in the air, “but we don’t even pay taxes, how is she thinking of getting married?”
“miss raquel,” she asked, “why does it look like you’re crying?”
“I’d hit that.” “You… you don’t even know them though??”
“Oh come on, everyone has a list of celebrities they’d totally have sex with if they had a chance.” “Haha yeah ok” *internally* what
“Ya so like for the past few years I’ve felt zero attraction to people I wasn’t friends with first?? Lol what’s up with that”
Why did you have to have sex with them?? Couldn’t you just hold it?? Like pee??
“You’ll meet someone who makes you feel like that someday, don’t worry” “……sounds fake but ok”
“Sex is an important part of a relationship! Everyone has sexual needs!” “….sounds fake but ok”
“Dude that girl is so hot” “I know right?? Look at her fucking eyeliner. Goals. The fuck.” “No I meant like… look at that ass” “Are we looking at the same person are you really focussing on her ass look at how visually appealing her outfit is and dont you dare fuckin tell me that eyeliner isnt fierce as hell”
“Aesthetic attraction and sexual attraction are two different things” *puzzle pieces vERY RAPIDLY FALLING INTO PLACE*
*staring at the ceiling at two-thirty in the morning* i could die a virgin and i would regret absolutely nothing
“What’s your ideal girl like?” “Uh… my best friend?” “Oh cute, you want your girlfriend to be the one who knows you best!” “No I meant I am literally only attracted to my best friend she is my ideal girl please help I am dying”
“We’ve been dating for six months and we still haven’t had sex!!” “Have you marathoned Star Wars together yet?” “Yeah we did that like two weeks ago” “Well what more do you want”
*thinking about an attractive woman* *dissecting my entire personality and sexuality to figure out why I’m attracted to her this time* is it the muscles. Oh my god is this a sex thing. Oh my god what the hell is this. Oh my god what the fuck is the wtf the fuck the fUCK
*Next day* Zarya could punch me in the face while eating me out and I’d let her but only because she’s a fictional character and therefore could literally never do that
*writing fanfic* ONLY CLOSE FRIENDS HAVE SEX BC ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE MAKES SENSE TO ME
(why is that tho. maybe i should look into that *doesnt look into it*)
“What do you find most attractive in a girl?” “Gotta love those strong emotional bonds” “No I meant like what’s a turn-on for you?” “DID I McFUCKING STUTTER”
*staring at the ceiling at two-thirty in the morning again* sexual attraction should be added to the cryptid wikia
“Yeah sex sounds like a great stress reliever and a nice way to strengthen the bonds between you and your partner(s)” “Well there’s more to it than that…” *The Arctic Monkey’s Do I Wanna Know starts playing in my head* “Haha ok buddy”
“There’s more to being ace than just not being interested in having sex or not feeling sexual attraction. In fact there’s a whole spectrum. You may even feel sexual attraction sometimes but still be ace. You can also be gay and ace at the same time.” “…bro.” “Also it’s totally normal.” *sobbing* “…bro. Bro there are words for it there’s an entire list oh my god-”
it’s been a while since i got my eyes checked. when he put in the new contacts i almost cried because i could actually see again. the problem is i didn’t realize how bad it could get. like i never noticed i was slowly wearing down. that i was losing things. sure, i couldn’t drive at night, but that was a normal thing. okay, i couldn’t sit far back in movie theaters, but that’s where all the teenagers go anyway. it was fine that i waved to the wrong people and at a distance couldn’t recognize even my best friend. i smiled less because there was less to smile at. the moon is beautiful but after a while even she was blurry. i missed rainbows because i wasn’t wearing my glasses, didn’t bother with the stars anymore, couldn’t find the shapes in clouds others pointed out, started fearing places where i could get separated because i knew i’d be lost completely. somehow i didn’t notice all this because it was so slow that it just happened, this sucking of beauty from every little thing.
“i don’t understand.” she shakes her head when she sees the mess i made of my life. the pieces i scrambled and the parts i broke and how i couldn’t care enough to put it back again. “you know you have depression,” she says, frowning, “how could you just let it get this bad and do nothing?”
“oh hey,” she said, “it’s a really touristy area, but since you’re gonna be passing through anyway, you might as well stop by pier 29, see the dragons. also, there’s a—”
“hold on,” i said. “i knew your city had mountains, but. dragons? uh, actual living dragons?”
“dude, it’s not a big deal. they’re there all the time. of course they’re majestic and everything, but they’re loud and cranky and mostly they lie around eating garbage. now and then the city council will talk about trying to make them roost somewhere else, but—”
“dragons,” i repeated. i knew it was making me sound like a rube, but it was a lot to take in. “you live in a city that has dragons.”
“no, it’s cool, we used to go see them when i was a little kid. it’s worth doing. but that whole area is mostly dragon-themed gift shops, and the commercialization is kind of a bummer. also, sometimes a dragon will melt somebody’s car and it’s a whole problem.”
“fairytale-style, giant scaly fire-breathing dragons.”
“honestly, i forget other cities don’t have them?” she said. “there’s a few other sites on the west coast where they gather. portland calls them wyverns, but that’s a portland thing.”
“chicago’s got, like, bunnies and songbirds,” i told her, “but otherwise it’s just your typical vermin. pigeons, rats, sphinxes—”
“sphinxes? what the hell.”
“oh, yeah, they nest in the el tunnels. sometimes a fucking sphinx will flap down out of nowhere, bring the whole train to a halt until the front car answers a riddle.”
“that sounds exciting,” she said.
“it’s the worst. your train winds up being twenty minutes late, and you just have to hang out hoping somebody up there read their mythology. there’s supposed to be a program where the conductors get trained in riddling, but i don’t know. rahm emmanuel keeps saying it’s not a budget priority.”
“huh,” she said. “guess the grass is always greener and all that. but on some level, it’s nice to remember that even with all these big box stores, the country still has some variety left in it.”
“yeah, did you know that in rhode island they call water fountains ‘bubblers’?” i said.
“i read it somewhere. crazy, right?”
i am here for urbanized mythological creatures
Switzerland has a lot of dragons, but dragons have long since moved on from collecting gold. There’s a purply-scaley one that roosts behind the Mad Mex that refuses to stop hoarding signposts. The city uses banners for the main roads and sells a lot of maps.
Golems love cities–with their stone buildings and sidewalks. There are strict laws about what one is allowed to say to them, because golems tend to be rather literal and very obedient. There’s always one kid who thinks he knows better. He doesn’t.
OH MY GOD THE CHICAGO SPHINXES, DON’T GET ME STARTED. Here’s the thing. When you buy your Ventra card at the machine - which is another one of Rahm’s scams, leasing that out to a private company, wtf was he thinking - it’s supposed to have the answer to the riddle on it, right? The sphinx is supposed to scan the bar code and let the train through.
that never fucking happens. Especially on the Blue Line which is down for maintenance all the time and constantly switching tracks and running shuttles, which means half the time you’ve got a sphinx that came over from the fucking Orange Line or some shit and is full of riddles that only the Irish mooks from Bridgeport understand. Or it’s in Polish only. Or it’s got a glitch that makes it stutter and if you interrupt it, it’ll get snippy and bite your head off. LITERALLY. They hush it up but it happens. Businesses lose millions from sphinx-related tardiness every year.
And then there’s a case back in ‘96 when it was proven after the fact that the “wrong” answer the Red Line Sphinx got was actually A PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE REGIONAL VARIATION but by then, the Sphinx had already eaten half a car full of drunken Cubs fans. I know, not much of value was lost there, BUT STILL.
You think SPHINXES are bad? Detroit has imps, thousands of them, and you know what they love? Buses. You know the major form of public transit in Detroit is? BUSES. So the drivers have to literally shoo away imps at every fucking stop, making them 30 minutes late, an HOUR late, and it’s not like there’s anything you can DO, because they’re all leftover from when the car companies were big, and ALL OF THOSE FUCKERS CLOSED.
So of course there were hundreds of orphaned imps, and they kept SAYING they were going to reopen the factories, or at least get some good junkyards, but nooooooooo, they never did, so the imps just bred and bred, and now they’re all over every bus and it’s not like you can ever count on getting anywhere on time and long story short, I’d take a sphinx over imps ANY day.
yeah as someone who did high school and college in michigan and now lives in chicago, i have to say that as far as the age-old sphinxes vs imps debate goes, they’re both terrible in different ways. the imps are way more common and they probably have a wider total reach, and oh my god nothing like trying to board a bus already covered in those little suckers when said bus is already forty minutes late—
(sidenote: ugh people from bloomfield hills saying stuff like “well if i lived in detroit, i’d have the sense to carry around a nice heavy club or walking stick—” yeah dude good luck with your walking stick against two dozen imps)
but the sphinxes. let’s not, uh, sugar coat this: the sphinxes don’t just slow commuters, they kill people. and yes, if you know the riddle, you’re fine. but what if someone else offers their answer first? what if you get some overly cocky freshman philosophy major who takes it upon himself to answer for the whole car?
i think in the back of our minds, all chicagoans know that rahm emmanuel’s administration isn’t gonna lift a finger until one of the sphinxes goes after a wealthy tourist and it makes national news. and even then, we’ll get, like, flashy riddle-solving software installed in all the red line trains, and maybe the brown line, but no way is it gonna cover the whole infrastructure.
basically if you ever need to take the green line or the pink line, you wanna start studying your classical mythology and folklore fucking yesterday.
@copperbadge do puns work on Sphinxes as well as riddles?
You bet your sphinxter they do.
(Sphinxes hate that one but they’re obliged to honor it.)
I heard they sometimes get bad Selkie problems in Monterey Bay…
It was so weird moving to the South and then to the Midwest after growing up in New England because apparently everywhere else unicorns are a big joke to people? I get it, New Hampshire has the lowest teenage pregnancy rate because we’re all a bunch of virgins, ha ha like I’ve never heard THAT one before, but seriously, you try growing perennials when every year the goddamn unicorn herd comes through and eats all your bulbs. MY BACK YARD IS NOT YOUR PERSONAL TULIP BUFFET, LIGHTFOOT.
The Bunyips have a fondness for the sewers. Which is really something when you’re down at Bondi for an early-morning dip and find that the damn beach is closed because another Bunyip has gone for a swim in the sewerage outlet and then waded back in to shore. Oh, sure, the outlets are supposed to be distant enough that the effluent doesn’t come back to shore, but the damned council who proposed it didn’t think about what was going to happen to all those Bunyips who were missing the swamps that got drained when they built Kingsford Smith Airport in Botany Bay. Sure, a population of nearly 10,000 bunyips is going to make do with a couple of waterways that mostly reek of industrial waste. Not. BRILLIANT TOWN PLANNING, Sydney Council. FUCKING BRILLIANT.
On the other hand, for something really spine-crawling, I suggest you look up “Rio Tinto Mining vs. The Quinkins (Imjim). Cape York, 1985.” That was a clusterfuck and a half - the extra half-clusterfuck got added when they tried to bring the military in to ‘solve the problem’. Fourteen of the children have never been recovered, the roads up into the property are impassable, and the closest you can get is within five klicks by air, land, or sea before all the instrumentation goes haywire. The last chopper to try a landing got a mayday out before readings said it plummeted like a stone.
Also, have you seen the sheer idiocy of a government trying to prosecute local spirits who aren’t going to turn up in court for one and wouldn’t recognise your white man’s law even if they did? Not one of the better periods of Australian government.
I suppose Baltimore has it easy, somewhat? Maybe? Cause the people who get in trouble the most with the mermaids are well, tourists. And there’s SIGNS up. All over. Heck, there’s signs in BRAILLE!
But of course you’ll get the drunk, handsy college boys going down to the Inner Harbour cause some older one wants to initiate a freshman, and some freshman thinks it’ll be cheaper than a strip club to see ‘free’ bare boobs.
It’s like none of them read anything to know that above those boobs, behind those lips are a whole bunch of sharp pointed teeth the better to eat them with.
But mostly it’s the tourists who do read the signs, and don’t go hanging over into the water, or trailing fingers from the water-taxi into the water; But who refuse to wear proper sanctioned ear plugs. Some of them just bring their own which aren’t strong enough to block out the sirens. But others just…. don’t believe for some reason?
I don’t know. But it’s in the news a lot when it happens and some tourists will inevitably say they didn’t think the earplugs were important, cause mermaids are beautiful and nice.
Disney has a lot to make up for - not that it’ll ever do it. But. A lot.
And then there’s the other thing. All the jokes about how they ‘thought the city with mermaids would be Seattle’, nudgenudge, wink wink.
And someone has to smack them down with; how many lost women tossed overboard by the slave trade did Seattle get drifting into their harbours in the under-currents? If there’s no proper bodies for mermaids to lay their eggs, there’s no mermaids.
I used to live in Canton, and there’s lovely apartments there. It’s just a touch expensive for the soundproof glass, y'know? But still, early Saturday morning, watching the mermaids float and sun themselves can actually be pretty, if you’re three stories up, a hundred or more yards from the water and with good soundproofing; all the brown and bronze and I saw a red tail once. She was gorgeous, dark skin, red tail, upper body all muscled like a dancer.
so having grown up in pennsylvania and north carolina, i thought i was prepared when i moved to florida for school last year. “after all,” i thought, “how different can a skunk ape really be from a bigfoot?”
well, i still don’t know the answer to that question, because it turns out florida is a really big state, and the particular area i moved to hasn’t seen a skunk ape in over twenty years (though, thanks to breeding programs and conservation efforts, i hear they’re thriving elsewhere).
what i have encountered is basilisks.
they are everywhere in central florida, apparently, and nobody even thought to mention them to me before i moved.
“i’m sorry,” my floridian roommate apologized a few weeks into our cohabitation. “they’re just such a standard part of the background for me. they don’t seem worth freaking out over, to be honest.”
now, i was freaking out, but it turns out the greater basilisks we all know and fear from legends, campfire stories, and the occasional sensationalistic news report only live deep in the swamps. they rarely bother humans. the slithery little guys i’d been seeing out of the corner of my eye on my morning walks– vivid red or gold scales, about the size of a pigeon– are comparatively harmless. yes, if you make direct eye contact with one, it causes an unpleasant pins-and-needles sensation in your arms and legs that can last all day, plus a transient feeling of dizziness and nausea. but it’s not going to paralyze you, let alone turn you to stone. and it’s pretty hard to accidentally make eye contact with a lesser basilisk, anyway. they aren’t confrontational animals; they’ll only try to meet your gaze and stare if they think you’re attacking them or something. (i do worry a little about my second roommate’s dog– she’s been zapped a couple times trying to chase and catch the poor things and, well, she’s a dog, they don’t learn from that kind of experience.)
anyway, turns out most people around here kinda like the lesser basilisks. unlike their large and lethal cousins, they’re mainly insectivores, and they love to eat mosquitoes and roaches. good for pest control!
Ah yeah I’ve heard y'all have problems with basilisk on your side of the state! Hope your roommate’s dog can be kept away from them.
I know the skunk ape population has been on the rise again especially in the national forest in the middle of the state. Who knows, they might migrate back into your area soon!
But as for my area we’ve been having real trouble with the sea serpents lately. They hang around the waterways and rivers during breeding season.
Not that they themselves are the problem I think it’s more people not respecting their habitat. It’s at least once a year some jackass is speeding with a boat in a no wake zone and they’ll cut up their backs pretty bad, even with all the scales. It’s a real shame, especially the juveniles. There’s programs to rescue and rehabilitate them here but it’s hard to get every one, and that’s just the ones that get spotted.
Though I gotta say I’m proud of the legislation we have protecting their nests. People get arrested if they disturb them and we gotta cover the lights on the beach during the hatching season so they can wriggle down to the ocean okay.
All the tourists around here are scared of them and I gotta admit we do have a high attack frequency. My sister’s friend has a friend who got bit by one last year. But I still think it’s cause there’s more tourists in the oceans and the poor things mistaking them for fish or a shark or something. They’re predators and they’re hungry but they’re not man eaters or anything. And they sure are pretty if you catch a glimpse of them, their scales are mostly blues and greens but they’re also always a little iridescent! All those documentaries pretending they’re stone cold killers make me sad
oh, i know! it’s like that shark week baloney– even the discovery channel likes to pretend they’re these vicious, unstoppably bloodthirsty things, like the Terminators of the natural world or something. sure, i guess that makes some people more interested in them, but it also makes a lot of people way more scared of sea monsters than they need to be. most attacks on humans aren’t even fatal, if i’m remembering the statistics right.
mermaids are actually way more dangerous than sea monsters– as someone mentioned upthread– but are there 6-volume cult classic horror movie franchises about killer mermaids with a taste for human flesh? pretty sure there aren’t! (i’m talking about those Behemoth From Butcher’s Bay flicks from the 80s and 90s, of course. i mean, they’re pretty entertaining! but they’re also not what you would call scientifically accurate. at all.)
yeah, i get worked up about this stuff, sorry. where i’m from, bigfoots get a similar bad rap– and they aren’t even predators! there have been all of four confirmed bigfoot attack deaths in the state of pennsylvania, ever, out of like nine attacks total, and all of them involved someone hunting or otherwise antagonizing the bigfoot. well, except for one that might have had rabies, back like a hundred years ago. i think people are just creeped out because, well, they are big– and they kinda look human? like, they’re too close to the uncanny valley to be charismatic megafauna. or whatever.
Oh, come now. None of this can possibly be as annoying as the herd of pegasi that nest in and near Mount Tom, in western Massachusetts. They fly over the one road up the mountain from Easthampton to Holyoke all the time and shit on the passing cars, which plays hell on your clearcoat finish. Worse, the Sparkle Carwash on Route 10 charges TWICE the going rate for a wash & wax to get pegasus poop off your car before it hardens and you need a putty knife to get it off.
Also? Don’t ask about the time I was driving to a friend’s house with my moon roof open and one of those pretty pretty sparkle ponies had explosive diarrhea ten feet overhead. Just don’t.
Going up to visit my granny in Scotland is always a trip and a half after spending most of my life down south around Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire. I mean, yeah, there are dangers, but you can deal with those. Don’t go anywhere a black shuck is trying to keep you out of, don’t follow lantern men and make sure to know where your local witch is just in case, that’s all fine. But Scotland? Seriously, massive tourist problem with little kids whose parents don’t get why it’s a bad idea to let them pet the pretty water horses - here’s a hint, it begins with ‘k’ and ends in ‘elpies eat people’! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Seriously, last summer there was a goddamn nucklavee warning over half the highlands while I was up there, and while that isn’t a regular event, you still get arseholes near St Andrew’s who think it’s fun to steal selkies’ skins and hold them out of reach to get the selkies to do them favours. A lot of the time it’s just the usual dickish impossible tasks bullshit, but there’ve been a couple of pretty sick, twisted people over the years who’ve done more.
Between the sea lions at 39 and the dragons at 29, that whole stretch of the piers is just one giant tourist trap these days. But you can’t really blame the dragons at least. These aren’t your European proper dragon, these are native marsh dragons- semi aquatic. And that semi’s important! Back when SF was being built up they filled in most of the marshes around the bay, leaving the dragons no where to go! They can’t survive in a fully aquatic environment. Honestly the filling of the marshes fucked up the whole bay’s ecosystem- no one’s even seen a makewiks in over a century! There’s work being done to reclaim and revive the marshes, but it’s slow going, especially when, starting with the conquistadors, white settlers have been hunting any “improper” aka non-European mythologicals to extinction whenever possible.
i’m not 1701% certain, but it COULD even
be the same pair
#what if these girls are a couple #and Jim totally learned that the first week of classes when he hit on one and the other threatened to deck him in the face #and jim laughed and introduced himself properly #but he got to know them throughout the years in starfleet and they catch up every now and then #and he cheered for them when they totally got put on the same ship #and every times he passes them (bc they are ALWAYS together it seems) it’s always ‘hey ladies’ #a running inside joke of theirs (via)
Man, this and the theory that something embarrassing happened to Kirk and that’s why Chapel stays away, fandom is taking this character back.
ok have y'all heard of the musical ‘venice’? because i’ve been listening to it on repeat and i’m happy.
why should you listen to it? well…
- it’s a dystopian au of shakespeare's othello that asks the question “can you change your fate?” (and answers “yes”)
- leslie odom jr. (aka burr from hamilton) plays the iago analog (he’s called markos)
- the story curls around the love story of willow and venice (aka desdemona and othello), but platonic relations drive a lot of the plot in satisfying ways– willow and her loyal childhood friend michael; willow and emilia
- desdemona/willow is so much more the heart of the play than othello/venice, and that is so goshdarn satisfying to me. she’s in love, but she’s also invested in the revolution and a powerful political icon in her own right, with her own conflicting ideas about her legacy and purpose
- uzo aduba (aka crazy eyes from orange is the new black) plays anna monroe, dead revolutionary ghost mom extraordinaire, and she’s amazing
- while there’s some stuff i’d edit out if i was all-powerful, they do a good job balancing a bunch of different intersecting themes. but pretend the very last song ends on willow’s last stanza, which is wonderful uplifting heartbreaking closure, and they don’t do the thing at the end where they a) tell you what the moral of the aesop was and b) get it wrong
- the actual aesop? you can change your story.
- it’s on spotify
- it sounds really goshdarn pretty
- the words! emilia chastising venice: "you need to grow up now– stop praying for– wanting more– playing war"
- the “clown mc,” our narrator: "to tell the story is a means of resistance
lend me ears for the night i need your assistance"
- look how much frickin fun they’re having with these partial rhymes (from iago’s villain manifesto):
“why follow his foolishness? inflated hope, a dead mother’s tutelage?
i’ll show who the ruler is– the first born, it’s ludicrous.
on my head the crown should be first born in truthfulness.
and with god and my mother as my witness,
imma get what’s mine by traveling the distance”
- willow aka my lady of light:
“i’m on the precipice of changing, profoundly rearranging,
maybe living up to the image of what they’ve been saying.
and are we all just children playing in our parents’ clothes?
and when the lights come on, will we find out that we’re ghosts?“
- there’s an entire song in which the fractured ghost of one of the characters stumbles around the stage catching glimpses of his death and his friends’ mourning, slowly realizing he’s died and it’s my favorite
- i like it and i wanna hear what you think