#decapitated pearl Tumblr posts

  • magma-ghoul
    10.04.2021 - 7 monts ago

    🌱𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚌𝚕𝚘𝚜𝚎𝚛 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚊𝚛𝚎 𝚝𝚘 𝚗𝚊𝚝𝚞𝚛𝚎, 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚏𝚞𝚛𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚊𝚛𝚎 𝚏𝚛𝚘𝚖 𝚒𝚍𝚒𝚘𝚝𝚜.🌱

    Ghouls in dresses 3/4 - Mountain!
    Also the second one is just a nameless ghoul in my everyday Homewear/PJs. Could be an earth Ghoul/Mountain Specifically too, because I very much like him :)

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  • animegirlslaugh
    29.10.2020 - 1 year ago

    Decapitated Pearl

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  • stormcloakslut
    24.10.2021 - 1 mont ago

    Character Introductions: Sigrid the Silenced

    Sigrid was my first save (of Twelve) and therefore I count her as my "main character" of my little Skyrim universe I like to think about, so, allow me to tell you about her! down below the cut but before that, here's her plain ol' ref

    Born as Sigrid Sepen and known as Sigrid the Untamed. she hailed from the proud land of Cyrodiil and from a very influential family, to strengthen family ties, Sigrid was placed in an arranged marriage with a rather wealthy man from Solitude. Sigrid objected to the marriage for many reasons but the deal had been made, and she was to be wed.

    Fortunately for Sigrid but rather unfortunately for her family, the Stormcloak rebellion launched an attack on Skyrim's capital, to escape the barrage coming from her door, Sigrid leapt from the window and rather conveniently landed in the arms of a stormcloak soldier, to which she was taken as a "prisoner"

    Sigrid was not kept prisoner for very long when she expressed great interest in joining the Stormcloak's cause, after taking a long time to prove herself, Sigrid rose through the ranks and came to be known as Sigrid Bone-Breaker. She was a fierce warrior, slaying legion soldiers left and right and quickly became an indispensable asset to Ulfric Stormcloak and his cause.

    Shortly before launching the siege on Whiterun, a dragon attacked the hold, halting Sigrid's plans to take the city, instead, she ordered the soldiers under her command to attack the winged beast. They were victorious, with Sigrid landing the final blow; as Soldier's cheered and sang praises of their captain, a strange aura began to radiate off of the dragon and launch itself at Sigrid, seeping into her skin and her very soul. thus, Sigrid and her gaggle of rebels discovered that the Dragonborn has returned.

    Sigrid was honourably discharged from the Stormcloak rebellion by Ulfric, who more than understood the task at hand for the Imperial, Sigrid set off on her adventure to defeat the World eater Alduin, a task she was ultimately successful. Sigrid returned to Windhelm, with a pearl of new wisdom on her shoulders.

    Sigrid began to live comfortably, as Thane of Windhelm and one of Ulfric's top advisors, She felt at peace. One eve, while travelling home from Solitude to Windhelm, Sigrid was forcibly dismounted from her house and captured by scornful Thalmor agents, they gagged the Imperial and took away the one thing that Sigrid found precious. Sigrid's neck was slashed and she was near decapitated when she was found by a Priest of Mara, approaching Sovengarde's gates.

    Now unable to use her god given Thu'um, Sigrid came to be known as "Sigrid The Silenced" though she is still seated among Ulfric's trusted advisors, the once strong-willed Imperial has become a quiet and reclusive woman, hiding away in her home. that is, until a letter comes from the settlement of Raven Rock. a summons to defeat a long thought dead evil. and once again, Sigrid must take up her blade, and vanquish the power that threatens Nirn once more.

    A/N: thank you if you read the whole thing! these pics were done over the span of about a month, with one of these pics being completed about 5 months ago, Schools a mess so I've been trying my hardest to do these whenever I have time,

    The next character introduction will be my Nordic vampire Revna, so stay tuned! and feel free to ask any questions about Sigrid herself!

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  • theminecraftbee
    23.09.2021 - 2 monts ago
    #playlist#answered #man to man is really catchy #a lot of these i put in my back pocket for other things... good tunes. #good tunes. good tunes.
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  • bunnys-beetlejuice-blog
    21.08.2021 - 3 monts ago

    been a while since i posted a fic update! anyone wanna read some cowboy au nonsense? sure you do! well here it is

    The blinding, unforgiving midday heat is enough to raise blisters on the skin. Looking out over a crowd of folks booing him, calling for his demise, probably should have had some kind of emotional impact. On the occasion of one’s death, after all, one does expect tears. Flowers, laid out in lace, dark veils and coal black clothes, a few muffled sobs from those further back in the funerary procession, unable to contain themselves. Instead he’s met with the dusty faces of former neighbors and strangers alike, all eagerly waiting to hear the exact tone and pitch that his neck will make when it snaps.

    Bored, he turns his attention from the crowd, and watches a lizard scurry across the wooden planks of the gallows, as a man to his right fits a rough bit of rope around his neck. It scratches, but he doesn’t react, not feeling frightened or even especially interested. A similar rough twine is binding his hands together behind his back, keeping him from having any viable way to save himself. The crowd is calling for blood now. Hangings generally are not gorey affairs, but he did once see a drop too sudden and a rope so long that the fella wasn’t just hung, he was decapitated. Beetlejuice glances back down at the crowd, tries to imagine what direction his head would roll if that happened here, and smirks, because it seems to him the last thing he’d see would be the view from inside the skirts of some of the women standing front and center. Not the worst last sight a man could have. “You think you could hurry this along?” he asks the man fitting the noose around his neck. “Sun’s beatin’ down somethin’ fierce an’ I ain’t got my hat.” His personal possessions are back at the sheriff’s office- hat, bandana, silver plated, pearl handled pistol, and his custom belt buckle, just about the nicest, and maybe only, thing he ever paid for. God damn corrupt lawman’s probably gonna pawn his stuff as soon as he’s swinging. Maybe before. Maybe his last worldly possessions are already gone. S’not like he’ll need them, where he’s goin.

    A face he recognizes is led up from the crowd, an ancient wizened body tanned for years by the all too eager sunlight and scorching sands. It’s the local preacher, who he remembers from his formative years. The old man used to give him bread and plain, unseasoned chicken in return for listening to him talk about god, and if he hadn’t been nearly starved to death half the time, he might have spat in the old man’s face. Shouldn't charity be done for the sake of charity, not proselytizing? He’d said so once, and that was the last meal the old miser had given him. Jackass.

    “Beetlejuice,” the preacher begins. His name is said with disdain and a curled upper lip. It’s one of the reasons he chose it, honestly. “You still have time to repent, young man. I remember you, as a child, bright eyed, curious about the kingdom of heaven.” Well now, that’s the very definition of taking artist liberty. “Now, here, you have one more chance to repent, to accept god’s mercy, and avoid the lake of fire.” The crowd is watching, waiting to see if he will confess his remorse. Beetlejuice hums, rocks on the balls of his feet, and then sighs. “.. C’mere,” He mumbles, jerking his head to indicate the old man should step closer. The holy man does. “I got a lot to confess to, preacher man, an’ not much time.” His voice is soft. The ailing man can’t hear him, steps closer, if only a little. “So much to confess to, in fact, I oughta just… Skip th’ whole thing an’ go straight to hell!” And Beetlejuice reels back, and then slams his forehead into the old man’s face. The sickeningly satisfying crunch of cartilage tells him he’s broken the preacher’s nose, as the elderly man falls back, crying out in pain, blood gushing from his new wound. The crowd roars, furious, and he grins, and laughs. “Ain’t no good extendin’ your pious pity to me!” he calls, gleeful, as he’s pelted with whatever the people watching can get their hands on, and the old man is helped, taken away, led off of the platform. “Enough, enough, we will have order!” a lawman cries, coming up the gallow steps, to stand in front of the outlaw. It’s enough to get the crowd to settle, or at least stop throwing things. There’s still a bad energy in the air, which Beetlejuice can taste on the tip of his tongue. His smile is rictus, he’s delighted to be the cause of it all.

    “This man has been tried and found guilty,” the lawman continues. The trial had been very short, and his incarceration shorter. He understands he’s being made an example of to other outlaws, bandits, and trouble makers. They intentionally didn’t give him any time to plan anything, or for any coconspirators to come and assist him. Joke’s on them. They could have taken all the time in the world. Ain’t nobody alive who cares for this outlaw. Not a soul who would dare to come and stage a rescue. He’s utterly alone. “He’s allowed his last words. Clearly,” the lawman turns, eyes Beetlejuice, who smiles flirtatiously. The other man’s expression shifts from annoyance to disgust. “He’s disavowed the advice of Pastor Neighbors.” “M’not so sure you’re usin’ that word right, friend,” Beetlejuice snorts, but he’s ignored. “Any last words?” the hangman to his right asks, his hand itching to grip the lever that will drop the floor and finally, finally, release the outlaw from the confines of mortal life.

    Beetlejuice grins.

    “If any of you have a message for th’ devil, give it to me!” he shouts, with a cackle, and he watches in rapt and morbid delight at the way the faces in the crowd twist. “I’ll carry it down to hell for you!” The crowd is furious enough it almost seems to him they’re going to storm the platform, and maybe beat him to death. The wave of gasps from the women folk is particularly amusing.

    “Enough of this!” He hears the voice of the lawman, disgusted, and the hangman must agree, because the last thing he hears is the lever being thrown, and the floor gives out under him, and he’s falling, falling, falling.

    His ass hits a chair.

    There’s a moment of blinded confusion, because he's gone from the unbearable dusty sun of midday California, to a cool, dark, musty smelling interior. His eyes need a moment to adjust to the change. He’s sitting in a room he doesn’t recognize. The chair under him is plush, but just thin seated enough to be a tad uncomfortable. He squirms in it, confused, and finds his hands are still tied behind his back. He turns his head. Seated across from him is a young woman.. Well, little girl might be more accurate, she’s maybe fourteen. There’s a wicked looking hoofprint emblazoned on her right temple. The blood that’s leaking from the wound has gone a sickly old color. They stare at each other. “Did that hurt?” she asks, first, and he squints, because he’d been about to ask the same question. Her hand has gone to her throat, as she looks at him, and he looks down, pressing his fat face into his fat neck to create an unflattering double chin as he does so. He can feel the rope around his neck. He follows the line of it with his eyes, and turns to look up. The rope travels up from him, into the ceiling. It’s still taught, like he’s suspended by it, but his ass is touching chair, his boots are on the ground, and he doesn’t feel choked by it’s presence. He tuts. “Didn’t feel a thing. That hurt?” he tries to gesture to her wound, but again, he’s reminded his hands are bound behind him. She stands. “Hurt a bit, but then I got so dizzy I didn’t hardly feel it, after,” she tells him, and then, like the good little frontierswoman she is, she produces a knife from inside some pocket in the volume of her skirts, and gratefully, he leans forward. She rests a knee on one of the chairs, to get a better angle, as she uses her bowie to cut through the rope at his wrists. “Awful kind of you, half pint,” he tells her, and she smiles. “Ain’t nothin.” She settles into the chair next to him, which is a little surprising, but he doesn’t mind, over all. “You’re an outlaw, then?” she asks. He grunts, and then turns to face her, with a grin. “You probably heard of me. They called me Th’ Ghost, on occasion, cause I could slip away without bein’ caught-” he watches her eyes travel up the line of his noose, and then settle back on his face, a little less impressed than she ought to be. He responds by pinching her nose, and she swats at his hand, and laughs. “I do think I heard of you,” she concedes. “I’m Presley.” “Presley, alright. You got a clue where we are, kiddo?” “I just was told to wait.” “Told by who?”

    Across the room, a window he hadn’t registered as being there slides open. This place vaguely resembles a bank, he realizes, and so that means that’s the teller’s window. A woman with a tired expression on a pretty face peers out at him. “Hey, dead beat,” she calls, her accent thick around the words. “Juno wants to see you.” He motions to himself, questioningly. She raises an eyebrow in silent confirmation. “Should I care?” he asks, and her upper lip curls in the most beautiful version of a sneer he’s ever seen. “You’re real funny. Get in there before she loses her temper.” And she reaches up, and slams the window shut.

    He looks to Presley, and they both share a little shrug, before he stands, and takes a step. The rope going through the ceiling moves with him, not along any visible track, that he can see, but seeming rather more like a toy balloon on a string, bobbing along as though after a child winding their way through the crowd of a state fair. There’s a door by the teller’s window, and he makes for it, only for the window to slide open again, and that beautiful face to reappear. She looks him over, not seeming particularly impressed, but also not outright cruel. “Where’s your handbook?” she asks. Beetlejuice tilts his head. It lolls a little comically to one side, presumably because his neck is broken. She sighs, pinches the bridge of her nose. “You can’t be serious. You didn’t bring your handbook?” “Listen, lady, even if I had whatever book you’re talkin about, I couldn’t read it,” he counters, and she pauses, at that. “Illiterate. Of course. What’s even the point of the handbook when so many folks can’t read it?” she mutters to herself, and then she waives him at the door, the conversation apparently over. Alright.

    The door, predictably, leads to a hallway, a bit unlike anything he’s ever seen before, in terms of sheer length of the thing. It twists around like a snake, and the number of doors along the hall leads him to believe wherever he is, it’s massive. The hallway is empty, save for a man at the far end, mopping, and there doesn’t seem to be anything around for him to tuck into his pockets. Too bad, he mopes, as he carries himself down the hall, boots clacking in a way he finds tactile and pleasant. He passes the custodian, who stares at the floor behind him and sighs, and Beetlejuice looks back to see a mess of dusty footprints he’s left on a previously slightly damp but otherwise pristine floor. With a snort, he spits into the bucket of mop water, and the other man jumps back, disgusted, as Beetlejuice cackles, and continues his leisurely walk down the hall.

    At a certain point he realizes he’s got no idea where he’s going, but it doesn’t especially matter. Wherever he is now, whatever version of the afterlife this is, because clearly, that’s what this is, it doesn’t seem to be fire and brimstone and all that bullshit, so he takes it easy, opening doors at random and peeking through. The things he sees don’t always make sense to him, feel like they’re out of place from the world as he knows it. He opens one door, and suddenly he’s staring at what must be a city, but the buildings are so tall they’re touching the sky, going up past the clouds, up into the heaven he doesn’t believe can really be up there. The people are dressed strangely, men and women wandering around in little more than underclothes, which he likes, instantly, and the streets are black with painted yellow lines, instead of dust and earth. Some kind of metal.. Something, a trolley without a track, moves on it’s own down the street, and he catches a glimpse of faces inside. He gets lost in the contents of this door, staring for a long time, entranced, and then it’s slammed suddenly. He turns, catches sight of the custodian with his hand on the door, and growls, an animalistic sound he didn’t know he could do. And then he stops, and turns to look, because the custodian is still a ways behind him, mopping with spit water. It’s the same man. “You don’t need to go poking your snout into places it doesn’t belong,” the man says, simply, and then in a blink, both versions of him are gone from the hallway. Maybe that’s just an… afterlife thing.

    He reaches, after what feels like a boring and dragging eternity of twenty whole minutes, a set of saloon doors, the swinging kind. There’s a void of blackness behind them, but the draw he feels is unmistakable, and he pushes them open, and walks through. Instead of a room black as ink, he finds himself… standing on the wooden porch of a bar he remembers frequenting fairly often, in his younger days. At least, he has clear memories of walking into the bar. How and when and why he ended up outside of it, well… whiskey has a hell of an effect on a man’s memory. It’s a fairly chilly desert night. The chirping of crickets and the long ways away lonely baying of a dog is a sort of familiar comfort, but god damn it, he’s just left this world. He wasn’t intending on coming back to it, ever. The dusty streets are dim, illuminated only by the moon, the stars, and the few lamps still burning in windows. The town is quiet.

    On the dirt road in front of him is a woman, staring at him. She’s small, older, nicely dressed, with hair shorter than he’s ever seen on a lady, and a mouth sort of like a toad, long and downturned. There’s an unlit cigarette between her fingers. She’s watching him, curious and apathetic all at once. He returns the look. “Juno, then?” he grunts, stepping off the porch. No dust lifts when his boots hit the unpaved road, which he notes. Maybe he’s not really here. Maybe he’s a ghost. Fitting.

    “Lawrence “Beetlejuice” Shoggoth,” she says, as he comes to stand in front of her. “Took you long enough. You realize I’ve been waiting here for days. You get lost, or something?” Her tone is sharp, like a schoolmarm with too much on her hands and not enough energy for it all. He feels a little sheepish, if only because no, he hadn’t realized that. “Gimme a break,” he says, instead of an apology. “I just died.” “Like that makes you special,” she huffs, and then, waving her unlit cigarette in his face, machine rolled, not hand, he notes, she asks, “Have you got a match?” He produces one from one of the many pockets of his moss green duster, strikes it on his thumb, and holds it up for her. She has the decency to look grateful, as she leans in, cigarette to her lips, and lights it from that little flame. “So,” she exhales smoke, and it curls from the corner of her lips, and out a previously unspotted slash to her throat. No wondering how she died, then. Speaking of, he glances up, to see that his noose is no longer floating above his head, and turning, he catches sight of it dragging on the ground behind him, long and snake-like in the way it’s twisted and coiled. Juno snaps her long red nails in his face, brings his attention back to her. “You weren’t supposed to die, you know. You’ve mucked things up for me.” “Whut?” he grunts, a bit thrown. She rubs her temples. “You were supposed to go in your seventies. Catch tuberculosis and wither away in obscurity. How old are you?” “Thirty four, or abouts,” he croaks, and she takes another drag. “You let yourself be caught,” she accuses. Well.. yeah. But how the hell does she know that? “I got pinned down in a shootout. Lucky they didn’t blow my head off, right then.” “You’ve gotten out of worse.” She looks almost.. Disappointed. “And then you put down your weapons, instead of fighting it out.” “I was surrounded.” “You were sloppy.” “What’s it to you, anyway?” he growls, again low and animalistic, which Juno ignores, as she walks circles around him, studying him. “You let yourself be caught, and you let yourself be hung. You didn’t even try to get away. You might not have killed yourself, but you let them kill you, for you,” she says. “And it’s giving me a hell of a time, both because it’s changed you, and because I have to put you somewhere, Beetlejuice, and now no one knows where you should go.” “So what does that mean?” “It means, my little statistical outlier, that you’re going to be staying up here, probably a lot broader a time than it would have taken you to just live your life and die at seventy,” she sighs, rubbing at her forehead. “Which is a shame. Because.. I was looking forward to.. To you. And now we both have to wait longer,” and here, she finishes her circle of him, to stand face to face with him again, and she flicks his ear, the way he always imagined an frustrated mother might. “Because you gave up. You weren’t supposed to give up.” “Wasn't much worth livin’ for,” he says, and it’s got more emotion behind it than he meant to give it. Juno’s hand goes to her throat, and she looks pained. “I guess that’s an inherited trait,” her voice is soft, and he squints at her, confused. Instead of giving him any context for that, she points down the dusty main road. Shining under the moonlight, he can see, vaguely, a dark shape suspended in air, near the gallows. “Go put your suit back on,” she says dryly. “And try not to cause enough trouble that I have to come up here and get after you, understood?” “What part of outlaw ain’t you gettin?” he snorts, and she responds by giving him an affectionate pat to his scruffy cheek, before she takes another drag, and vanishes inside the swirling smoke. He’s left standing on his own.

    His “suit” is still hanging, he notes, looking up at himself. He’s strung up on a tall pole by the platform, leaving it free for more use, if need be, with his body on display as a gruesome reminder for potential criminals that this is a hanging town, and they’ve even hung their most despised son. His neck is bent at an ugly angle, a little bulge at the side betraying how exactly his bones had shattered, and his skin has gone a bad color, gray and foul looking. But aside from that, he’s not rotted the way he would think he ought to be. Juno’d said she’d been waiting for days, presumably meaning it has been days since his death, but his body is looking remarkably unbuzzard pecked and unrotted. He shimmies up the pole he’s hung from, his ghostly noose trailing behind him, and the moment he touches his own boot, the world spins, going upside down and inside out in a way that’s too painful to try and perceive.

    “Gahh-” says Beetlejuice, because he’s back in his body, which is still being hung by that god damn noose, and he realizes, annoyed, that he has no way of cutting himself down. He kicks, pointlessly, one hand going to the rope at his neck, to clutch it and try to keep it from choking himself again, and the other grabbing at the rope further up, gripping it to pull himself up, give himself some slack, instead of hanging taught. It’s not the most coordinated he’s ever been. At least there’s no one around to watch him struggle.

    “Holy shit, the body’s movin!” he hears someone holler. Oh, come on.

    Read the rest, right over HERE

    #beetlejuice au#beetlejuice fic#beetlelands fic#my writing#beetlejuice broadway #beetlejuice the musical #this is so self indulgent #i love westerns so this is all i can focus on rn
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  • jorgecrespo
    19.07.2021 - 4 monts ago
    #thank youuuuuu 😍🥰 #asks
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  • hinducosmos
    10.07.2021 - 4 monts ago

    Chinnamasta Rajasthan, Jaipur, 18th century

    In the Hindu tradition, Chinnamasta (or ‘Severed Head’) is one of the ten mahavidyas (incarnations of the great goddess Devi). According to the Pranatosinitantra, Parvati was bathing in the wilderness with two yoginis, Dakini and Varnini, when they became famished. Parvati resolved to decapitate herself so that they may be nourished by her blood, thus embodying Chinnamasta.

    Here, the goddess appears seated on a throne, worshipped by a ruler and his wife kneeling beside her, holding a scimitar in her right hand and her own head on a platter in her left. A crown sits just above her third eye, while thin wisps of hair hang loose and her tongue lolls. The goddess is adorned with pearl and emerald jewelry, and her skin is rendered a characteristic orange-red complexion. Thin streams of blood can be seen flowing from her neck to the mouths of the yoginis that flank her.

    Chinnamasta’s iconography encompasses elements of both terror and heroism by way of severing her own head and then offering her blood for nourishment, ultimately symbolizing the transformations of death and life.

    (via Instagram: Kapoor Galleries Inc.)

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  • rustchild
    11.05.2021 - 6 monts ago

    Up next in trailer over-analysis: Winfred. After a little research, it seems like she *could* be a version of St. Winifred/Winefride/Gwenffrewi--a Welsh saint who was decapitated, something that would tie in nicely to the beheading game. Her severed head created a spring where it landed, St. Winefride’s Well, which is apparently mentioned in the GatGK text under the name Holy Hede or Holyhead. So, if they’re expanding on Gawain’s journey to get to Hautdesert, that might be a stop along the way.

    The ruffled collar could be hiding a decapitation scar. Also, note the pearls. It could just be an aesthetic choice, or a reference to purity, but it miiiight be a visual reference to the Pearl Poet (I can hope).

    Gawain’s story is all about chivalry and purity; it also sits on the seam connecting the christian and pre-christian worlds. So, having him encounter a literal saint at some point, one who underwent a similar trial in a very different way, could be ripe for thematic potential.

    #the green knight #gatgk #it's a crime that they got rid of her freckles... #also #no idea what is happening with the face paint here #if anyone who knows more than i do about anything would like to chime in please do
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  • conradscrime
    01.05.2021 - 6 monts ago

    The Murder of Pearl Bryan

    May 01, 2021

    Pearl Bryan was born in 1872 in Greencastle, Indiana as one of 12 children to parents Alexander S. Bryan and Susan Jane Bryan. Alexander was a respected farmer in the community. 

    The 24 year old Pearl Bryan had a job as a Sunday school teacher when she left her home, telling family she was going to visit friends in Indianapolis on January 28, 1896.

    On February 1, 1896 a 17 year old boy named Johnny Hewling discovered Pearl’s body, which was headless behind what is now a YMCA in Fort Thomas, Kentucky. She was identified by the tag inside her custom made shoes. Pearl was found with various wounds on her back and hands. It was also determined that she was decapitated while she was still alive. Pearl was 5 months pregnant at the time of her death. 

    A dental student by the name of Scott Jackson was arrested for the murder of Pearl and later implicated his roommate Alonzo M. Walling in the murder as well. Scott Jackson had been having a secret affair with Pearl for a couple of months before her murder. It was said the two had met in the spring of 1895 and Pearl became pregnant out of wedlock. 

    Apparently Pearl wanted to marry Scott Jackson and begin a family with him, but Scott was not interested, instead giving Pearl instructions on how to induce a miscarriage, but when Pearl claimed these methods were not working Scott knew he was going to have to make her get an abortion.

    Scott Jackson had arranged for Pearl to have an abortion in Cincinnati. At the time having a baby out of wedlock was extremely taboo, as was having an abortion, so all of this had to be done in secret. Pearl’s family did not know she was pregnant. 

    On January 31, 1896 Scott Jackson and Alonzo M. Walling put cocaine in Pearl’s drink when the three of them were at a saloon in Cincinnati, Ohio. Other sources say the three were eating lunch when Scott Jackson told Pearl he had no intentions of marrying her (which some believe is the reason she went to meet up with him), to which she supposedly became upset and said he would have to talk to her brother, Fred, about the matter. The two men murdered her later that night. An analysis done on Pearl’s stomach did reveal that there was cocaine in her system on the night of her death. 

    Both men gave various answers as to where Pearl’s head was located but authorities were never able to find it. In an interview done in 1937 it was theorized by a detective that the men burned Pearl’s head in a furnace at the dental college they both went to.

    The case of Pearl Bryan was huge in the media with the trial being known as “the trial of the century.” Scott Jackson’s trial began on April 21 and ended on May 26. He was convicted of first degree murder and hanged on March 20, 1897. Alonzo M. Walling’s trial began on May 26 and ended on July 18, 1896. He too, was convicted of first degree murder. 

    Reports claim that both men survived the initial drop that should’ve broken their necks and instead were both strangled minutes later. They were the last two people to ever be hanged in Newport. The gallows were torn down after the execution. 

    Pearl was buried in a family plot in Forest Hill Cemetery on the south side of Greencastle. Her headstone has been removed because lots of visitors were chipping pieces off of it. It is said to be a tradition for visitor’s to leave a penny head side up on Pearl’s grave to “give her a head.” 

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  • wolfofwinchester
    15.04.2021 - 7 monts ago

    ♛. THE WOLF OF WINCHESTER

    The birth of a title.
    WARNING: Contains heavy descriptions of gore.

    They’d half a mind to speed for the hills when they found the girl waving her blood-smattered arm along the side of the dirt road, their horses startled by the enormous wolf meeting her hip in height. The entire sight gave the humble folk and their steeds a terrible chill.

    “Wait!”‌ The driver’s son grabbed his father’s shoulder, giving him a shake before he could slap the reins. “Pa, wait! That’s The Earl’s daughter, innit? It’s Lady Claudia!”‌

    The much older man adjusted his dusty spectacles, then gaped and dropped from the wagon. “My Lady, what are you doin’ out here lookin’ in such a state?‌You poor thing, you–”‌ He stopped, cautiously, nervously, eyeing the beast at her side who seemed strangely docile, but highly aware of the man’s moves. The nerves rattling the farmer’s skin wanted to send him scattering from the beast alone, from its maw to its coat wet with crimson - but, there was white, dirty cloth wrapped around one of its legs. That, too, was red. The wolf was injured.

    “I‌ had an unfortunate event occur to my poor self, good sir.”‌‌ Claudia spoke with a hand resting on her chest, teeth red and face a mess with what looked like dirt and mottled bruising, dressed with smears of blood. Someone struck the girl hard, her cheek was swollen. That was the sight that put the old man to ease, drawing out the compassion and the concern. “I‌ need to get home somethin’ terrible. Would ya help a Lady out?” Her hand rested behind Gelert’s head, giving him a good scratch. “He ain’t going to harm ya, I promise.”

    The farmer called for the boy on the wagon and he leapt off, scuttling to the back to let the panel down for the weary girl who hitched a burlap sack over her shoulder, the older man’s caging her shoulders to provide some semblance of comfort.

    “Let me take that for you, miss,” Spoke the son. “I‌ can-”

    “No.”‌ Claudia cut him off short. “I‌ appreciate that, but I‌’ll be carrying this.”

    The skies of April 5th, 1947 rumbled, earning the farmer and his son urgency. No Lady of Phantomhive was to be left in the rain.

    Her exposure to rain was the least of Hawthorn Phantomhive’s, the father and the man who was almost burning tracks into the carpet he paced in his office, arms crossed behind his back. The man had a face of stone for the most part, never giving way to any emotion and always donning a frown. Only drastic measures made his brow ever so slightly twitch. Right now, there was a terrible twitch that was beyond his control.

    “Foolish.” He cursed.

    “Now now, M’Lord,”‌ Spoke a voice that made even the stoic Earl’s spine tremble. It creaked like an old door on rusted hinges, cracking with age — you could practically feel the dust tumble off the tongue it belonged to. “the last thing you want to do is let out such grievances while the dear girl has yet to be found. Men have been in your place and came to regret letting their mouth speak without the mind’s leash.”

    A look like ice flew in the funeral director’s direction, who merely canted his head, hands that’d been crept close to his chest clicking their talons. That grin of his was absolutely unchanged by the look that made many crumble. Made the few others in the room feel grateful such intensity was not rested on them.

    “Keep your penny dreadfuls behind your lips.”‌ The Earl stalked past the giggling man, pouring over his desk and peeling through the files. Photos laid scattered, files laid opened. He swatted aside the uncharacteristically bright green bag, wrapped by silver string and a tag with “do m'iníon milis*” attached. “Woolwich.”

    “Not a peep, Lord Phantomhive.”‌ Piped a man with black hair, puffing on his pipe. “The only trading is in tobacco and weaponry from America.”

    “Twyford.”

    “Nobility’s not been in their stock for some time,”‌ Piped another with blond hair, rested languidly on the deep rich blue couch. “Druitt’s kept me sharply informed.”

    “Norwood.”

    Again, the funeral director spoke, traipsing to one of the long windows that peered over the front. “M’Lord, have I given you reason to doubt my information?”‌ He could see it, even if the others didn’t. He’d long since grown to recognize the subtle signs in the great Earl — the man was frantic.

    “If I‌ find nothing in West Ham, I‌ want to know where to look next. Alternatives.”‌ Lord Hawthorn answered sharp. “Trafficking highborn is fast-paced. If my men can’t find her in the auctions tonight, I‌ will have others stationed elsewhere. Norwood.”

    ‌Tension laid thick, exchanges of glances between the two quiet nobles. The reports went on as the Earl listed off location after location, shouldering his coat and drawing ‘x’s on some parchment. The funeral director, on the other hand, had grown silent; his attention was quite preoccupied, watching a humble wagon roll up to the Estate.

    “Well now,”‌ The Undertaker lilted, pricking every ear in the room. The tapping of a black nail on the glass drew Hawthorn’s eye. “the long lost pup has returned of her own volition.”‌

    The mortician was all but shoved by the Earl’s rush to his side, which earned something of a frown that would’ve translated to “rude”. “Are you sure?‌ Are you certain?”‌ Hawthorn eyed, watching as his heir hopped to her feet, joined by that infernal wolf of hers. There was no mistaking it, it was Claudia.

    “Good God,”‌ Uttered one of the two stray nobles, joining at the window. “The girl looks like she was dragged through the shambles. What did they do to her?”

    “Oh, ‘to her’ you think?”‌

    “Look at her, Undertaker.”

    “I am. Are you?”

    A strange look, but all interjected with the Earl’s quick turn on the heel as he strode from the office, the other three in curious tow. It didn’t take long to come across the girl, who walked clear through a gaggle of maids and footmen keeping their distance due to the growling Gelert.

    “Claudia –”‌ Hawthorn barely got to speak, the bloodied progeny bore into him with a fiery leer the second their eyes had met. His heart pierced, looking at the mottled discoloration on her cheek of purple, and the crimson drench on her jaw stained to her neck and soaked deep into her collar. There were remnants of pearls in her curls, but the strings had obviously been busted, leaving wild raven blue flowing free in disarrayed waves. Her emerald dress was soiled in long-dried gore, the leading stench of iron that permeated and baked into her clothing from the Spring sun.

    He didn’t see a wound on her, strike aside.

    His arms rose, and Claudia silenced him immediately; she flung that burlap sack with enough force to make him grunt when it struck him in the gut, embracing that instead in confusion. He pressed it, and smelled the same whiff of iron; strong. Strong enough to make the two noblemen at his side gag.

    It was also Claudia that spoke full and first, and also last. “Stiúradh glan uaim, fear Béarla*.” The Lady snarled, smeared mulberry-painted lips tucking into a snarl to show her teeth, the sharp canines with their white only seen in streaks through the ichor. Gelert in turn gave the same warning with a guttural growl. The two sounded too in-tandem to be comfortable. Made gooseflesh rise.

    Locks flew with the storm that was the Bastard of Phantomhive, turned on her heel and surging down the opposite hall. The wolf lingered only a moment, adding to the edge Hawthorn felt cementing his feet to the ground, seeing to the father not following before padding after his mistress.

    “— Lord in Heaven.” Came gagging when the burlap was peeled open, heads veering while the mortician peered closer with a coo.

    “Might I, M’Lord?”‌ Lilted Undertaker, whom received no verbal permission, but the slow glance from those icy sapphires was all he needed to pry into the sack and draw back the bloodied noggin to cradle delicately in his palms. He rolled it, he examined it, grinning ear-to-ear with fascination of the wounds upon the facial features. Skin ripped from the nasal bone to show off shattered cartilage and strings of torn, and to his sharp eye, missing muscle. Half an eyelid hung over a lifeless grey orb, while the other was clearly ruptured beyond recognition; practically blood yolk.

    The gap of freshly missing front teeth, bloodying the pencil mustache of the upper lip. Then the matter of the decapitation itself; how delightfully visceral! Only a bit of spinal cord hung, violently broken.

    The Lords grimaced at the sight, and one even uttered a noise of disgust when the Undertaker clenched the bone with two nails and tilted it for closer inspection.

    “Alexander Moore.”‌‌ Hawthorn noted, taking a cool moment to study the gored features before putting a name to it. “The Trader from West Ham.”‌ Notorious in the Underworld for his.. requested “stock”, of highborn and those of wealth. His trade knew no restrictions other than those who paid him in advance; he was feared because his men never left a trace when they took someone, and because he himself took part in the act.

    He was not a man known for his mistakes, and he wasn’t one to be reckoned with, either. No matter the guard and no matter how high you were in the eyes of society, people died in pursuit of him. He was better off paid than trifled with. Hawthorn Phantomhive, however, did not bend to anyone.

    As such, Claudia paid the price.

    And then, Alexander.

    “Wolf did a number on him. I’ve never seen a lopping like that.”‌ One of the men traced the outline of the broken spinal cord. It wasn’t clean cut at all, and the sharp of an edge pricked the noble’s finger with a hiss and a fast withdraw.

    The Undertaker giggled, turning the head upside-down so the men had a better look. His fingers splayed around the neck, tapping a black nail to bone. “Take a closer look, m’lords — do these marks look like the dear Lady’s beasty?” Squints all around, and then the draining of color in two faces, joined by a hardness in the Earl’s. “These are human.”

    The quick scuff of shoes as the two lesser nobles cleared from around the macabre viewing. “You’re mad if you think we’re going to believe—”

    “Are you suddenly undertaker, Carlyle?”‌ Hawthorn cut, side-leering. There was no response to that. “If I remember correctly, you work as my bloodhound — so fetch:‌ find me Moore’s warehouse.”

    The sun set, and would find itself easing into the horizon once the stated warehouse was found. In the middle of nowhere as to be expected, and it was thick with the odor of decay. The door to the place was wide open, and flies had set to buzz and whizz about as three men investigated the sight for themselves; Hawthorn, Undertaker, and of course, Carlyle, who must have been the palest of the trio as they stepped over the death scene.

    It was a massacre. The bodies all had signs of mauling, there was not one man laid here that hadn’t been torn into by teeth, or sharp implement. Some were pelted with bullet wounds, and one unfortunate fellow hung strangled by chain with the ceiling. The main event was the office in the building, where a headless corpse laid in a heap upon the floor as the most violent death of them all; his stomach was busted into, and that, by the Undertaker’s inspection, was the work of the wolf, down the half-eaten intestines. His arms were broken, and the leather holster for his gun was empty.

    “Think it was quick?”‌ Carlyle inquired, giving a kick to the Trader’s very stiff leg.

    “No.”‌‌ Hawthorn answered, examining the wreck of the office. A struggle was evident, and the print of blood on the wall meant the man has his head slammed hard into the concrete, because the wounds on Claudia’s bod were lacking outside of a few bruises. There was no dire injury to be found. “I‌ think it was slow.”

    “Very slow, at that.”‌ The Undertaker hummed, examining the neck more closely. “and excruciating! She chewed through his neck, see?‌ The muscles are strong, especially in a man like the late Alexander‌ Moooore. He was a man of fine physique. I’d reckon he lived well until she went for the main artery.”‌ A titter. “How terrible.”

    “You don’t need to sound so happy about it, you goddamn madman.”‌ Carlyle muttered, exchanging clashing looks with the chipper funeral director. “That’s a corpse you’re hunched over.”

    “Aye, and corpses are my work, Mr. Carlyle.”‌ A tilt of the silver-mopped head. “Don’t you ever feel exhilarated by your field of expertise?”

    “I’m not entertaining that with a comment..”‌ The more Carlyle was exposed to this man, the less he felt he’d sleep at night. A shake of the head, and he glanced to the Earl. “What’re you thinking, Phantomhive?” 

    The Earl had given the neck a good, long look. One could only imagine what boggled through his mind, knowing this was the work of his heir, his daughter, without doubt. Teeth snapped through the bone. A slow, agonizing death. The girl rejected it so strongly, but there was no doubt in his mind that the cruelty of a Phantomhive was deep in her blood. Their family’s cruelty, after all, was something inherited. “I think I have a wolf from Winchester succeeding me.” Whether that was a very rigid and awkward attempt at humor was anyone’s guess. 

    A beat, and he rephrased himself. “I think I have the Wolf of Winchester succeeding me.”

    ‌--

    Irish translations;

    *‌ for my sweet daughter. *‌ Steer clear of me, Englishman.
    #【 hc. 】 ¦   the wolf of winchester. #writing. #body horror // #horror // #(( you wouldn't believe I've been writing this for hours but la-de-da it's da-da-done. #the origin of why Claudia's called 'The Wolf of Winchester' !! )) #(( I apologize for the nasty gory details. )) #(( poor bby had a rotten sweet seventeenth. ))
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  • thejoysofoveranalyzing
    12.04.2021 - 7 monts ago

    Friday the 13th: The Competent Middle-of-The Road Rip-Off

            During the 1980's, pearl-clutching film critics suffered from a debilitating neurosis known as paraskevidekatriaphobia, also known as a fear of Friday the 13th. The fear of the number 13 stemmed from the Greek god Loki crashing a party of twelve that he wasn't invited to (it was one of those classic Valhallan parties where everybody just threw things at Balder just to see if he would bleed; a real riot by all accounts while also being a good way to flex on how big your cock is in front of eleven other immortal beefcakes) and, because he was reportedly a bastard, got another guy into murdering Balder with mistletoe, the only thing on earth that could hurt him.             

             Friday supposedly refers to Good Friday, the day of Jesus' crucifixion, which is convenient, but it wasn't necessarily on Friday the 13th.  It's actually referring to the day before, Maundy Thursday, where Jesus held a somber retirement party for his mortality, inviting his twelve buddies to break some bread and get besotted on the grape, hence the 13 people gathered in that one room.              

              All this arcane numerology was what director Sean S. Cunningham ("one of the most despicable creatures to ever to infest the movie business", as un-ironically stated by one Gene Siskel) had in mind when he titled his magnum opus Friday the 13th, no? Yeah, sure, why not, but he probably had something a little more calculated in mind. In 1979, Cunningham took out an ad in Variety promoting a upcoming horror film called Friday the 13th. 

                 The foreboding advertisement shows white, stylized block letters shattering a pane of glass (this would eventually become the opening title of the movie), brazenly proclaiming itself as "THE MOST TERRIFYING FILM EVER MADE!" The film was not in principal production. The script wasn't even finished. It was essentially a public movie pitch whose details were nebulous at best. It's more like a grandiose announcement of a release date than a title. Cunningham, being the honest huckster that he was (I can see him now with a top hat, a loudspeaker, and the poster plastered on a sandwich board), initially planned to have the movie released on Friday, June 13th, 1980, so there's that.                 

                  During the script phase, it had the tentative title of "A Long Night at Camp Blood", which sounds comedically on-the-nose. According to Peter M. Bracke's retrospective "Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th", Cunningham mentions that he came up with the title Friday the 13th during the filming of his previous movie, the family comedy, Manny's Orphans, seemingly one of many alternate titles to that movie since the distributors though Manny's Orphans sounded too "ethnic". “Friday the 13th” makes sense: it's succinct, if not recyclable with its vague connotations of misfortune. Any movie about a bad day could be called "Friday the 13th" and Cunningham just happened to call dibs.                

                  I begin with the title because, in many ways, it signifies how calculated the movie was even in its nascent construction. Heavily inspired by the recent indie hit, Halloween, Cunningham wanted to make entertainment on a similar scale, albeit with more shock value. He's no stranger to this. A previous movie of his, 1978's Here Come the Tigers, is considered a rip-off of The Bad News Bears, starring Walter Matthau. A couple of years later, Cunningham would cash in on the Porky's craze with Spring Break.                   

                   With a budget of $550,000, a small shooting crew, a cast of unknowns, and a rising star in the form of effects artist, Tom Savini, Cunningham set out to make a horror movie that, if it hadn't been for luck and general shrewdness, would barely have left a divot on anyone's consciousness. You have to admire Cunningham's temerity. It's gotta be good with that level of bravado. Or at least good enough.

              The synopsis should take no more than a minute to cover so.....Friday the 13th is the tale of budding camp counselors preparing for the reopening of Camp Crystal Lake in northern New Jersey. The locals are nervous, believing the camp to be cursed because two camp counselors were mysteriously murdered in 1958. In typical slasher fashion, the counselors are systematically murdered by an unknown assailant. The killer is revealed to be, if I may spoil a forty-year-old movie (it's not much of a spoiler if a character is not established in the first eight reels), Pamela Voorhees, the mother of a boy named Jason, who drowned in the lake when the counselors weren't looking. Because of their neglect, Pamela would make them suffer for it. And then, there's the standard showdown between the surviving counselor, Alice, and Pamela. Pamela is eventually decapitated with a machete. Alice then sleeps in a canoe out on the lake and is attacked by zombie fish-boy Jason and ends ambiguously as to whether it was a dream or not, and I'd like to think it was a dream because that would make more sense then the last eleven movies we ended up getting.                     

                So, I guess I'll start off with a general opinion about it: it's not terrible. The movie, despite all the bluster, is a competently-made, if unremarkable, slasher, at least in retrospect. Cunningham's direction is workmanlike and studied, the pacing is deliberate and patient, despite it being not terribly compelling with the characters being flat. It also has a strikingly creepy late-70's atmosphere that I dig. The cabin interiors are grungy and under-lit which really enhances the mood (all those musty camp cabins look like roosting places for the Manson family). Harry Manfredini's score, you could argue, is the movie's greatest accomplishment. His screeching violin sections evoke the same vicious tempo that Bernard Hermann brought to his score for Psycho. The "ch-ch-ch, ha-ha-ha" motif evokes the Jaws theme when the killer is present, though it's no less effective.                        

                 The characters are one-dimensional, yet the fact that they are naturalistic teenagers and not obvious archetypes (except for maybe Ted, the practical joker), I found to be an admirable choice. Brenda, in particular, stands out as the most charmingly normal of the counselors. In a sequence shortly before her death, she initiates a game of strip Monopoly, but cuts the game short before any nudity can be shown (not even a bra strap is disturbed) so she can close her windows and go to bed. She goes back to her cabin, she brushes her teeth, puts on her nightgown, gets into bed, and reads a book. Since when do traditional slasher film characters ever act like that? Only two people have sex, and that's it (and those two were already an item, it wasn't like they hooked up on the spot). It's not as stereotypically horny as one would imagine it being.                     

                The ultimate problem with Friday the 13th is that it leans heavily on technique at the expense of story mechanics. One of the frustrations I have with it, even if it appears minor, is that it sets up characters' deaths but never pays them off in the precise way you'd expect. Take, for example, the character of Brenda. The script is fairly fixated on the fact that Brenda's death will involve the archery range. She's responsible for fixing up the archery range and she almost gets hit by an arrow when Ted is horsing around. At the moment of her death, she is in the archery range, but her death happens off-screen. Then, later, Brenda's corpse is thrown through the window of the main cabin, but it's not exactly clear how she died. You'd expect her to be covered in arrows. Instead, she's tied up with ropes. And yet, Bill is covered with arrows when he's impaled on the door. Why wasn't he killed with the machete, the weapon he used to kill a snake earlier in the film? Even our boy, Kevin Bacon, is killed with an arrow. He carried a shovel in one scene, so why not a nice shovel in the face? What about Marcie? She spoke of a nightmare she had about blood rain, which foreshadows her death in the shower house. And yet, she does not take a shower. The shower is not even on. The filmmakers do show surprising restraint in not ripping off the shower scene from Psycho. They even take the high road by not having her taking a shower in the nude. But...still. The movie, though, technically proficient, completely lacks in imagination.               

               The more obvious instance of lazy storytelling is the reveal of Pamela Voorhees, who is not introduced until way past the hour mark, and it only takes five more minutes before she's back on her rampage. Betsy Palmer, the actress who played Pamela, expressed this concern to Cunningham during filming, but he lightly dismissed it. Cunningham and Victor Miller, the screenwriter, seemed like they were gunning not so much for a story twist, but rather a twist on audience expectation. Like, "The killer is not a big, beefy slab of murder meat, but sweet, old Betsy Palmer. Remember her from I've Got a Secret?" It's not a good reveal though I think the filmmakers were shrewd enough to know that even if she had been introduced earlier in the film, the audience would have already figured it out. Palmer is the only name actress in a cast of unknowns. Film audiences, as an historical collective, already know the twists and turns of genre storytelling.

                The movie's success has bamboozled critics and film scholars for four decades. Besides the fact that the movie gained notoriety with critics (which in turn gave rebellious teenagers more incentive to watch it, hence making it more lucrative), had impressive gore effects (masterminded by legendary effects artist Tom Savini) that inspired an generation of horror filmmakers, had a smart marketing campaign, and had the benefit of a hackneyed underdog story about the little indie movie being picked up by a major film distributor (though the movie's final jump scare was, more or less, the biggest selling point to Paramount), one wonders why this, by all turns, merely decent slasher became the juggernaut that it became.               

                 I think it's precisely because it was merely decent. It wasn't mold-breaking, like it's predecessor Halloween, nor was it horrible and unwatchable like so many that followed. In the grand scheme of the slasher sub-genre, it's about as middle-of-the-road as one can get. It rides the line between technically tasteful (well-shot in a 70's vérité style) and narratively/aesthetically exploitative. For example, when Marcie gets axed in the face, it cuts to a shot of an overhead lamp swinging, which, if this were a Hitchcock movie, would be a rather elegant suggestion of violence, but it goes that extra step by showing Marcie falling to the ground with an axe gruesomely implanted in her face. Critics and audiences like that shot of the lamp swinging, but audiences like it even more when you see the damage. As a matter of fact, some of the deaths happen off-screen. It's a movie that seems to want it both ways: it wants to show grisly violence but also wants to conceal it in a classic theater-of-the-mind approach. It wants the classic shock and the cheap shock all in one package, hopefully striking some sort of jackpot chord with its audience. This is admittedly unfair to say since it was a low-budget movie and they couldn't afford to do every single effects shot. Cunningham, if he had more money at his disposal, would have been as grisly as he wanted to be. I think the movie's limited low-budget proved to be inadvertently serendipitous in that respect.                 

                Friday the 13th is also noted as being a hybrid of past horror films (which is a kind way of saying "rip-off"). However, though it does take from its influences liberally, I found that they were able to incorporate them in an unobtrusive way. Halloween and Black Christmas being the more obvious examples in terms of formula and content but it also nods to other movies. The plot reveal of Pamela Voorhees functions as a sort of inverse Psycho, with the role of mother and son reversed. One scene, when we are introduced to Jack, Marcie, and Ned, they are listening to bluegrass music in the car, which I think was meant to be a nod to the tonally-off music from Last House on the Left, a movie that Cunningham produced and launched its first-time director Wes Craven to icon status. There's even one scene near the beginning that nods to Jaws, where a bunch of campers are at a sing-along around a fire, and two young campers stare googly-eyed at one another, reminiscent of Chrissy Watkins and that young guy staring at one another at the beach party. Being called a rip-off is often short-hand for unoriginality but it gets to a certain point where, for one thing, all movies are rip-offs to some degree so declaiming it as so is arbitrary, and secondly, if it's done fairly well, who really cares? And I think it does it okay, and audiences did, too.         

               And Friday the 13th's influence can still be felt, even in lazy subsequent attempts to copy its success. Where (Oh Where!) can I shoot a horror movie on the cheap? Why, the woods! You don't have to waste money on lighting! Instead, rely on the dark, dark woods for cheap atmosphere (so dark that you can't see a blasted thing on the screen)! People can walk around aimlessly and you don't have to worry about silly things like continuity! Shooting in the woods is nothing new. It's a tired and predictable setting. Not to say that the movie doesn't do a good job with utilizing its locations as atmosphere. It's just an instance of one movie using a trope well, while subsequent movies will dilute it until it's stale seltzer water. As a side note, what made Halloween effective was that it was set in the suburbs, a more relatable setting that had the appearance of safety when it was, in fact, not the case.               

                As to its success, it was at the right place at the right time, right in the path of the slowly growing snowball that Halloween had forged two years earlier. Not to mention, Ronald Reagan's election as president in 1980 ushered in a new era of cultural conservatism, leaving in its wake a cloistered squeamishness about increasing violence. It managed to pass a litmus test for the longevity of the slasher film genre in the eyes of general moviegoers and teenagers: "I loved Halloween and I liked Friday the 13th enough that I'd be perfectly okay with watching more of these." It is the perfect low-risk horror rip-off to launch an entire sub-genre.

                  In conclusion, the movie is just fine. That's such a wishy-washy, ineffectual conclusion, isn't it? That's not satisfying, is it? "Just fine"? No wonder this movie is looked down upon amongst the Friday the 13th community. It's either got to be great or awful. "Meh" is boring. "Meh" is mere bath water. Nobody wants "meh".  

                     So, if I may be allowed, I will review the rest of the Friday the 13th franchise, in the hopes of finding a golden nugget among the trash. Because I am a shameful bourgeois aesthete and will not rest until I find a slasher that satisfies my critical palette. And once I find that movie, I will cast it in imitation marble and stand it atop tall Corinthian columns with razor-sharp fluting (don't pester me with that Tuscan shit, that's strictly for the peasants). Until then, happy watching and God bless.

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  • annaofthenorthernlights
    08.04.2021 - 7 monts ago

    It´s your life

    Chapter 2

    First step…

    Kristanna Modern AU

    Rating: G

    Word counting: 1833

    Previous Chapter (AO3)

    Summary: Kristoff takes Anna away off her studies – she´s a mess before exams…

    Kristoff hastily pulled over to the road´s side.

    Anna clung to his neck, nearly strangling him. He could hardly see the road. When he had stopped the engine, he turned and held the little mess in his arms.

    Anna hung at his chest, sobbing, and laughing all the same. “Thank you, thank you.” She muttered, tangling her fingers in his hair, literally melting into his body.

    “It´s okay, honey. You do deserve a good treat!” Kristoff nuzzled into her hair, pulling her tightly to him. She was such a precious pearl, and he hated the thought of her being in such a pressure of no reason for whatsoever.

    Anna pulled a bit back and smiled up at him. “This is so awesome. I can´t believe you did this. You hate those places. Are you sure, you really want to launch into this fantasy world of fools?” She lowered her face, taking a deep breath, while a strange feeling spread in her abdomen. “You know,” she whispered, “it´s just a place of dreams and imagination. But that you would surprise me with this… I know it sounds stupid, but this means so much to me and makes me feel so… special…” The words trailed off and she just sank back into that strong chest.

    “Hey princess.” Kristoff muttered back into her hair. “You´re most special, don´t you know that?”

    Anna smiled and pulled on his shirt collar for affirmation. They would stay a bit longer like this, when Anna´s mobile startled them both, having them jolt out of that cosy position.

    “Oh no. It´s Elsa.” Anna grimaced when she saw who was calling her. She took a deep breath and snitched her head to the side as to make herself relaxing, somehow.

    “Hey there.” She tried to sound casually happy to have her sister on the phone. “What´s up?”

    “Anna! Where are you?” Elsa´s demanded in a controlled but outraged tone.

    “I´m with Kristoff. Why?”

    “Why aren´t you at your home, studying?” Elsa sighed audibly. “I came to pick you up. How long will it take you to come here?”

    “Why?... Oh no, don´t say it´s today… I thought it´s next weekend?” Anna turned pale and her heart sank into the lowest department.

    “Yes! It is today and you better get your little head cleared and back home, now!” Elsa stated in a clear and not misunderstanding command. “Where are you? Tell Kristoff to bring you home, now.”

    By now, Anna had turned the speakers on, so Kristoff could listen to the conversation. Elsa had noticed the change of the echoing sound and would address Kristoff now.

    “Hey Kristoff. Listen. I´m sorry. Whatever you two were up to. Anna needs to get back to her flat immediately to get ready.”

    “Hi there Elsa.” Kristoff greeted Anna´s sister formally, but kindly. “Just hang on, please, yes?” He turned to Anna, “what have you forgotten about… I mean, where were you supposed to go tonight?”

    Anna was kind of panicking by now. Kristoff put a hand to her arm, trying to calm her down. She then tried to explain with a timid voice.

    “It´s a dinner party at my grandfather´s house. He has invited some important people. A lawyer’s office, our family is collaborating with since decades, if not even centuries…. He wants me to meet them on a professional basis as to get a position at their office for the start. You know, like a start off into the famous world of “Rendelle” law business.

    “Anna!” Elsa interrupted Anna´s explanation. “You can explain this to Kristoff on your way back. Please hurry and head back now. Kristoff, will you please take her home, now.”

    There was a silence for a moment.

    “Anna! Kristoff! Are you guys still there? Hello?”

    Kristoff looked at Anna and increased his squeeze on her arm. “Anna! Whatever you want to do, it´s your decision and I will go the mile with you. Do you want this? Do you want to go to this dinner party? If yes, I turn the car and bring you back.”

    Anna stared at him with big restless eyes. “I don´t know. I mean I know what I´m supposed to do. Bu I don´t know if I want this myself?”

    “It´s your life, Anna!” Kristoff said, firmly, but kind and in his softest voice. “I actually wanted to talk to you over dinner, in a quieter situation. But now, you must decide. But, hey honey, whatever you decide, it´s okay for me. We can postpone this trip. I stand by you. Okay?”

    “Hello there. You two. Stop this fussing around and nonsense talk. Get yourselves back here, now!” Elsa´s voice bounced through the car, ineffectively actually.

    Anna stared at Kristoff, then at the mobile resting in her lowered hand, then back at Kristoff. “You mean that? I mean, you would not drop me like a hot coal if I´d asked you to bring me back?” Tears forming in her eyes, she breathed heavy, waiting for his affirmation in disbelief.

    “Yes Anna. I mean it. I love you. And I want you to live your life. However, you see it to live. What´s my part in it, we will find out. But I want you to live your life, because it´s your life, and not the life of others, no matter who.” He had emphasised the last phrase. It was so important to him, that she would understand to live her life in her way.

    Anna´s lips quivered, she chuckled, giggled and sobbed all in same. She would not take her eyes from Kristoff´s friendly look, while she lifted her hand and spoke into her mobile.

    “Elsa. Please excuse me for tonight. Tell them I´m unavailable or something. I won't have Kristoff bringing me back. We're going to Disneyland!”

    “An…” Elsa´s voice was turned off by Anna pushing the red button. She dropped the mobile and threw herself into the welcoming embrace, to embrace the edge into a new world.

    **********

    Elsa stared in disbelief onto her mobile. Anna had hung cut her off. Her little stubborn sister. Did she actually have a clue of what she was doing, of how she was just about to ruin her life, her career, her future? Elsa nearly shook with fury. How could she. How could she behave so childish, so foolishly, so senseless, like a dreaming idiot?

    She turned to her car, to get back at the Arendelle estate, the home of the Rendelle family since two hundred years. How should she explain this to her grandfather…? Her parents would have understood, would have sat to reason over this. But her grandfather… Runeard Rendelle was a stern man, focused on family wealth and on representing their name. He was not particular mean in person, but business came before personal affairs. He was convinced that a good name, fortune and power in the upper classes would provide for good living and fulfilled life. His son, Agnarr, had followed the elder´s advices. Still, Elsa´s parents had lived family in a kind manner and taken care to teach their daughters to care for each other. But then, business had over throned all plans for family and personal matters.

    A few years ago, Agnarr and Iduna Rendelle died in a car accident, and Elsa´s and Anna´s future lay completely in their grandfather´s hands.

    Would Anna really take the risk and step out of the family´s tradition and run off with this half portion of a carpenter? Not that Kristoff Bjorgman was half a portion, physically spoken… But to the terms of Runeard Rendelle, a carpenter would not even deserve a nod of the head for acknowledgement´s sake. No college degree, no money, no well-known name…

    Anna had never listened to the warnings. Apparently, she had set her mind to stick with the man. After all, he had helped her a lot. He had been a good friend to her when everyone else had frowned at her foolish situation she had manoeuvred herself in with Hans back three years ago.

    Kristoff had never made efforts to befriend with the family, nor to make himself a name within their circle of friends. He liked it best to have Anna to himself in his surroundings. And Anna seemed to like it. She seemed to feel at ease with his family and friends.

    Elsa had met Kristoff´s family once, being co-invited to a birthday party. They were kind and friendly. A bit weird in her opinion, but if Anna felt happy with them… Kristoff´s best friend Sven was a funny chap, with a sincere smile and jovial manner. The two men were about to establish their own business as partners. Elsa knew by Anna that they were working hard to accomplish their plan.

    Elsa mused over this awkward situation, while driving into the carport next to the big house. She remained behind her steering wheel and a thought had pinned in her mind. ´Anna might have the courage to do the next right thing for herself. Had she not heard how Kristoff told her that it was her life and not the life of others? He had not pushed her, not been manipulating, just reassuring her to choose the next step for herself. For her own life. ´

    Elsa stepped out of her car and made her way up the estate´s pathway to the great front door. She held her head high, like she would do when entering the family´s home. She braced herself to meet up with her grandfather…

    **********

    Anna leaned back in her seat, staring out in front of the window into the last sunrays that were sinking behind the horizon. The evening light was faded into a soft pink, mingled with soft blue strokes in the skyline, mixed along with silent hanging clouds, drifting in the spring wind.

    “I can´t believe I´ve cut her off like that. Do you think she´ll be fine?”

    “Anna. She´s the big girl and she´s not the one heading off to Disneyland. Your grandfather won’t decapitate her.” He tried to sound jovial, but Kristoff was not stupide and understood Anna´s concern. “Don´t worry, honey, I´m sure she will find a way to explain. And then, it´s your decision. I fear you will be the one who will have to deal with Runeard Rendelle yourself: But Anna. You´re not alone!”

    Anna had turned her gaze towards him, tired now, but still feeling kind of free. After the decision had formed within her and then crawled up to her mind to finally being spoken out into the mobile, she had felt a weight falling from her, invisible but fully present. She placed a soft hand on Kristoff´s arm. He would pat it with his other hand, putting it then back onto the steering wheel.

    “So, I took the first step out of my life.” Anna mused quietly.

    Kristoff kept eyes on the road, but spoke softly, and reassuring. “No Anna. I´d say you took your first step into your life!”

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  • robininthelabyrinth
    13.03.2021 - 8 monts ago

    Good Help - chapter 4 - ao3 link

    -

    The day Wen Ruohan returned, Meng Yao felt ready for just about anything short of an immediate order of execution. He had survived an increasingly frantic set of attempts to murder him – in many instances, his survival was entirely courtesy of A-Jue – and had a list of achievements as long as his arm, each one backed with public recognition and an explanation as to how they fit into Wen Ruohan’s pre-existing orders.

    He'd disposed of any dissenters, too.

    The return ceremony was no time for someone to blurt out something awkward.

    It was intricately planned: first the multitude out in the Nightless City, cheering their Emperor’s return, then the procession through the court with all its ministers and representatives of all the other Great Sects, and finally the entrance to the throne room, which would contain only those most important to the Emperor: his closest deputies, his wives and concubines, and of course the Empress far above them all in her sedate chair.

    And Meng Yao, of course.

    The innermost hall would be guarded by those guards assigned to it, an honor that they all lusted for, and Meng Yao had abrogated the right of the guard captain to select each of them himself, claiming that all of the disasters in the past few weeks had shown him the need to take especial care of their beloved Emperor’s life.

    He didn’t select A-Jue.

    He hadn’t even looked for his name in the list. He'd rather deliberately planned on A-Jue not attending, in fact, and A-Jue hadn’t questioned it, only saluted with a bow deeper than any of the (usually ironic and highly irreverent) ones that had come before. Their eyes had met briefly – a glance full of regret, regret and understanding – and they had said no more about it, each going their own way that evening as if everything were the same.

    And then, in the morning…

    A-Jue had not come.

    Meng Yao had not permitted himself to be disappointed.

    He’d turned his mind to other things, to preparations, to making sure everything was perfect, and it was. He’d worried briefly about the Empress, that she might refuse to leave seclusion, but she was there before he was, seated and waiting in her place, a larger than life statue in her thousand veiled layers as always. He’d stressed over the placement of the guards, but they were there, shining and immaculate as always, each one carefully selected for their talent at discretion. He’d checked over his multiple plans designed to let him survive.

    He was as ready as he could ever be.

    Wen Ruohan’s procession took an age, the concubines in the inner hall yawning and shifting from leg to leg, the veiled Empress as unmoving as stone. Meng Yao took her as his model and remained still, refusing to show weakness.

    And then –

    The Emperor walked in through the doors, a swirl of robes, and no matter how much Meng Yao had prepared himself, he still involuntarily drew a breath when he felt the sheer power radiating off the man. There were those that accused Wen Ruohan of doing dark and dirty things to get his power, those whisperers all dissatisfied and envious, and they were probably right, too. But those that entered his presence, that were subject to his might directly, knew that it didn’t matter how he’d gotten his power.

    Power was power.

    Strength was strength.

    Wen Ruohan had the face of a young man and the aura of a vicious beast, the temperament of an emperor and the emotional stability of a madman – and he had enough power to crush all the rest of them with a snap of his fingers.

    He swept into the room like a storm.

    Following in his wake were those he had taken with him on his travels: his highest-ranked guards, his most favorite servants, and Imperial Consort A-Sang, veiled and hidden but for his clever eyes, characteristic scholar’s fan held loosely in his hands.

    Walking freely, as if he feared nothing.

    As if he owned the hall.

    Meng Yao was not the only one who tensed at the sight of the Imperial Consort and his blithe unconcern, thinking that the last thing that they needed right now at this moment was the bitter internecine conflict of the harem breaking out.

    And then, of course, it turned out that their concern, all those rumors and suspicions and speculations and schemes, were all for nothing.

    Wen Ruohan didn’t so much as look at the rest of them – not the concubines he had obtained, unmatchable in their beauty; not the guards he had nurtured, each one as ferocious as a tiger and as precious as pearl held in his palm; not the deputies he valued so highly; not even Meng Yao to who he had entrusted his city, his sect, his empire.

    He had eyes only for his Empress.

    “My beloved,” he said with a smile and hands extended as he climbed the stairs, Imperial Consort A-Sang left forgotten behind him to quietly retake his proper place among the other concubines. “Have you missed me?”

    The Empress ignored him, silent and unmoving as always.

    Wen Ruohan did not take offense the way he might have with someone else – the way he would have, with anyone else.

    Meng Yao had heard people say that Wen Ruohan was mad over his unspeaking statute of an Empress, but his time in the Fire Palace had made it difficult for him to believe it. Wen Ruohan enjoyed rape, among the multitude of torments inflicted there, and he took sadistic pleasure in snatching would-be brides or daughters, sometimes even sons, from people he disliked and forcing them to become concubines; the more he disliked them, the more time he spent in the beds of their loved ones.

    He was a man who enjoyed violence and humiliation above all else. How could such a man fall in love?

    Much less with the Empress, of all people. The frigid, silent Empress, who had no political backing to prove her worth, who had been there by his side for years and years – long enough for any man to grow bored, much less an Emperor who commanded the wind and storm, who could have anyone he pleased?

    Meng Yao couldn’t believe it.

    And yet, it appeared – he was wrong.

    Wen Ruohan’s gaze as he walked up to his wife went beyond passion and into obsession. The miraculous treasure he had obtained in the south, a powerful spiritual weapon in the shape of a lamp that was said to increase the speed of the bearer’s cultivation a dozen times over, was placed in front of her.

    “Do you like what I got for you?” Wen Ruohan asked, and the Empress turned her veiled head aside, a clear gesture of rejection. “So picky, so picky. I could pluck the moon out of the sky for you, my beloved, and you wouldn’t care…”

    Any normal woman would yield to such persuasion.

    Any woman who knew fear, knew Wen Ruohan’s fickle moods, would seek to at least temporize, distract.

    The Empress ignored him.

    “Same as always,” Wen Ruohan sighed exaggeratedly, and put his hand upon her cheek, turning her face back to him. “You never do change, do you, A-Jue?”

    A cold sharp shock spread at the base of Meng Yao’s spine.

    The Empress permitted her head to be turned, to be raised to regard her imperial husband.

    “Fuck off,” A-Jue said, his voice painfully familiar, and attacked.

    -

    “Would you like some more tea?” A-Sang – Huaisang, apparently, Nie Huaisang, just as A-Jue was apparently the long-thought-dead heir of the Nie sect, Nie Mingjue, and obviously had never even once been a guard of any hall whatsoever – asked Meng Yao, patting his shoulder sympathetically yet again. “You’ve had a hard day.”

    “No, thank you,” Meng Yao said, both because he didn’t know where he’d put the needles he used to check tea for poison after the last cup and also because he wanted to keep some room in his belly for the barrel of liquor he intended to find and down at some point later on.

    He rather thought he deserved it.

    A hard day. He scarcely had words to explain how much Nie Huaisang was understating things. A hard day!

    Meng Yao still had blood splattered on his face from standing too close to the throne when A-Jue – Nie Mingjue, he needed to remember that – when Nie Mingjue decapitated the Emperor right in front of all his deputies and concubines, which was immediately followed by half of said concubines pulling out knives or swords or other weapons and moving at once to hold the other half hostage. The shrieks of those concubines that had not been in the know acted as a signal to those outside the hall, the roar of fighting breaking out at once, and Meng Yao didn’t even want to think about the gigantic mess they’d undoubtedly turned the Sun Palace into.

    (But that was still better than thinking over and over, with no little amount of hysteria, I’m so glad I never ordered him to serve me in bed!)

    Nie Mingjue had stalked out to the door, the frankly gigantic saber he’d always carried around everywhere finally drawn – it felt almost alive to Meng Yao’s admittedly inferior senses, alive and vicious and cruel and bloodthirsty, and he remembered how he’d once laughed off A-Jue’s claim that death would inevitably follow if he drew his blade – and he’d been greeted by shouts of acclaim and admiration from his followers, cries of dismay and despair from his enemies. He’d still been dressed in an Empress’ robes, which he’d torn apart for more mobility, but no one had cared one bit.

    I guess the problems really did start in the harem, Meng Yao thought to himself, and thought he might still be a little hysterical.

    Jiang Cheng had shown up at some point, wielding some sort of lighting-whip; he’d only stopped long enough to pull Nie Huaisang into a brief embrace before continuing onwards, his voice snapping out orders as sharp and vicious as his weapon, his orders obeyed by what might or might not have been a secretly resurrected Jiang sect. And he was the least disturbing of their visitors – the Lan sect apparently had been hiding a demonic cultivator away in their placid and boring little mountain retreat, just waiting to bring his unique brand of necromancy to cause havoc in the Nightless City – !

    “How did I miss all this?” Meng Yao found himself asking Nie Huaisang, who smiled at him.

    “Scale,” he said. “You were so close to everything, and your ascension so abrupt, that you had no chance to catch us – by the time you were put in charge, everything was already in the works. You would have only been able to see the patterns as they were, not as Wen Ruohan would have had them be.”

    That made sense.

    “You came pretty close a few times, though,” Nie Huaisang added thoughtfully. “I had to deal with more than a few frantic messages from my brother – thanks for spilling that, by the way.”

    Meng Yao could not, for the life of him, tell if Nie Huaisang was being sarcastic.

    He did feel marginally appeased that he’d come close.

    “Was it always supposed to happen now?” he asked, curious. “The lamp he retrieved – was it –”

    “Oh, no, no, we’re three months early! The lamp wasn’t important at all; it was just something I dug up a reference to because I knew he wouldn’t be able to resist going after it and we needed him out of the way to set up the last few things we needed. And then da-ge got into a fight with him so that he’d get the idea to drag me with him – he’s vindictive like that, but also predictable – and that gave me the opportunity to keep on poisoning him. The whole thing was actually supposed to be at his birthday banquet, after he’d gotten drunk…it’s all your fault, you know.”

    “Me?”

    “He was going to execute you, as you’d suspected,” Nie Huaisang said. “Your methods would have forced his hand – he couldn’t have done it publicly, not and keep his self-image of the merit-rewarding Emperor intact. But he promised your father that you’d be dead before the month is out, even if he had to cause an ‘accident’ himself.”

    Meng Yao shuddered. That’d been the one weakness of his plan: his weak cultivation, which Wen Ruohan could have used to excuse a death from a supposedly ‘friendly’ interaction.

    Still, that wasn’t the key part of what Nie Huaisang had said.

    “You sped up your plans – for me?” he asked, confused, and Nie Huaisang nodded. “Why?”

    “My brother likes you! He doesn’t like just about anybody, really,” Nie Huaisang said, voice blithe and merry as it had always been, something that raised Meng Yao’s hackles more than relaxed him. Clearly Nie Huaisang wasn’t anywhere near as useless and head-in the-sky, dreamy and idealistic, as he’d appeared for years. “Especially when it turned out that you were easy enough to convince into not continuing to commit atrocities as long as another route was offered – you don’t know how hard some people find that, and of course you did come out of the Fire Palace, very suspicious, but all in all you passed your trial period with flying colors. So obviously we couldn’t let you just die, could we?”

    “…this humble one thanks you,” Meng Yao forced himself to say.

    Nie Huaisang waved a hand dismissively. “Anyway, you’re a good administrator,” he said. “And there’s still the Nightless City and all the Empire left to manage. You don’t mind, do you? There should be fewer assassination attempts now.”

    Meng Yao frowned. “Those attempts…?”

    “We spread word that Wen Ruohan was planning on keeping you,” Nie Huaisang said, and he didn’t even sound apologetic. “Obviously Wen Ruohan had already encouraged all those he thought were his enemies to attack you, but we tried to lure out the rest of them: his most faithful servants, the greedy and the vile – that part of the plan was before we got to know you. Or, well, before my brother did. He felt so bad after a while…I don’t see why. He protected you, and together you got rid of any number of the people who would have been our fiercest enemies! So what if you had to endure a little stress?”

    No, Nie Huaisang was definitely not useless and dreamy and idealistic.

    “Now there’s really only one problem,” Nie Huisang mused. “It’d be strange if you went from being Wen Ruohan’s viceroy to being ours, so we need to give you a new position. But what would suit…?”

    “Huaisang! Meng Yao!”

    They both turned.

    A-Jue – Nie Mingjue, why couldn’t he remember – strode towards them. He’d changed into proper robes at some point, dark ones that could handle bloodstains, and he looked like a war-god, shining with power as bright as sunlight. He was every bit as powerful as Wen Ruohan was, in his own way – the blazing sun to Wen Ruohan’s dark and ominous hurricane – but that wasn’t so much of a surprise, given as he was such a ridiculous cultivation maniac…and, oh, they’d made jokes about the Empress right in front of him. They’d joked about her dual cultivating with the Emperor in front of him – !

    No wonder he was so powerful. Wen Ruohan literally shared his spiritual energy with Nie Mingjue, presumably for years, the cultivation making them both grow more powerful and creating a connection between them, a connection that Nie Mingjue had used to drain all that power away from a weakened Wen Ruohan – Nie Huaisang’s unspecified poison, presumably – and then to sever the bond between them when he severed the erstwhile Emperor’s head.

    A-Jue smiled at them both, just as free and easy and straightforward as he’d ever been.

    “I’m so glad you’ve finally met!” he said, beaming. “You’re very similar, in some ways; I think you’ll get along excellently. Which is good, because I’ll need all the help I can get –”

    And then he started talking about a publicity campaign, rearranging the army, and tax reform, about implementing Meng Yao’s system of random audits for more than just wheat and expanding the Watchtowers concept across the entire Empire, and Meng Yao stupidly felt a little like someone had given him flowers and romantic poetry written just for him.

    At his side, Nie Huaisang started giggling.

    “Oh,” he said. “Well there’s always that, I suppose. It’ll work quite well. I think you’ll make a very nice Empress, Meng Yao – perhaps a bit more sociable than our last, wouldn’t you say?”

    The pinnacle of power, Meng Yao thought to himself, and shrugged, accepting his likely fate with a smile that he thought was even genuine. And why not? He could have everything he’d had under Wen Ruohan, except with a leader that would actually listen to him – that he had already trained to listen to him – and it would good for them, too. They’d keep him around, he was sure of it.

    After all – good help was so very hard to find.

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  • adamguthrie
    11.03.2021 - 8 monts ago

    Dora Maar

    What I love about this surrealism image created by Dora Maar is how fascinating it is, not to mention she photographed this in the 1930’s when technology and cameras weren’t as advance as they are now. I love the creepy eerie effect it gives, as if someone is dead on the beach and their decapitated hand is coming out of a shell. Not to mention the sky is looking almost like ocean water at the top. I love the contrast and how well the image all cleverly fits into one another. She’s got the sand, the shell, the sky as if it’s a beach at night with what looks like a mix of the ocean in the sky. This is probably my favourite surrealism image I have seen.

    This photograph taken by Man Ray a notorious surrealism photographer caught my eye, I love how the hand on the women’s face looks almost alien like. And the pearls as teeth with the crystals as her lips, it gives off a sophisticated yet very high fashion vibe. I like Man Rays work also and this was probably one of the least explicit images he has. The tiny clock as her eye is quite clever and could be used as an idea for illusion.

    This image by Andre Breton was very eye catching and quite clever I hadn’t seen this idea using the mouth like a portal to another realm. It appears to be the Taj Mahal in India right at the back of the mouth, but with a dark alley way giving the illusion that you can arrive right at it if you just walk down this small lane. He’s used more than 2 objects to create this, so he has the mouth, the alley/lane, and then the Taj Mahal image. I think it’s very outside the box but also so simple at the same time. There’s a tiny bit of light at the end of the alley before the Taj Mahal and it really helps to highlight the Taj Mahal image or else without it, it probably would’ve all sunk in together especially in black and white. I do enjoy the image tho and like the mouth idea a lot.

    This self portrait of Philippe Halsman is just incredible, there is so much going out but he’s changed the game of portraiture with this. You can kind of see in the corner a man holding the chair (not sure if that is intentional or not) so he has in a way ruined some of the illusion, however the cats flying out the painting with water is insane, and capturing it all along with him jumping mid air must’ve taken many tries. As for the painting stand it’s still very interesting how he’s managed to have it floating in the air, I do think some strings were used as editing software was practically non existent then.

    This is another one by Dora Maar, I do enjoy her work and the exquisite dress with a women’s body but her star as a head was very eye catching, not to mention she’s coming out of curtains, possibly a performer. I believe that’s the reason for the star on her head, reflecting that this women is a star and she’s a performer or entertainer. But it doesn’t expose too much as you can see it’s all dark past the curtain, which further adds to my theory.

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  • love-sapphirerose
    01.03.2021 - 8 monts ago

    Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon Episode 21

    https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/yashahime-princess-half-demon/episode-21/.170045

    I was naïve enough to hope that, after delivering an essentially tolerable half-hour last week, Yashahime might finally be on the upswing. Except I forgot: Yashahime is where hope goes to die. The animation, voice-acting, and direction all still range from mediocre to outright bad; nothing's changed there. In order to truly understand what makes “The Secret of the Rainbow Pearls” so lame, we have to talk about its writing, and that means the return of ~Yashahime Masterpiece Theater~, where I provide a completely accurate, line-by-line breakdown of Yashahime's many flaws! We begin some two-hundred years before the beginning of InuYasha, with Kirinmaru plotting his defeat of the Great Dog Demon…

    —Prologue: Wherein We Technically Learn About the Secret of the Rainbow Pearls.—

    The Four Perils: Lord Kirinmaru, the Great Dog Demon is ill, which makes right now the perfect time to strike!

    Kirinmaru: You idiots! I'm an honorable and soulful villain. I only want to kill the GDD if we're on equal footing! Riku, go deliver these medicines to him, so I can murder him later!

    Riku: Kay. [He leaves]

    Lady Zero: That damned fool Kirinmaru! If only he'd be willing to murder the GDD while he's down! This is why we haven't taken over the world yet! [Riku returns]

    Riku: Yo, so I went to go deliver those meds, but that Great Dog Demon dude is definitely dead.

    Lady Zero: What!? No! how cruel, how unjust is this world to take from it such a beloved creature! I simply cannot handle this grief, so I'm going to use my tears on the Shikon Jewel to make these Rainbow Pearls, which are like Infinity Gems, I guess? Point is, I'm not even a demon anymore, except I'll still be immortal and young even hundreds of years from now, so maybe I am a demon still?

    Riku: Um.

    —End Prologue—

    (Why does Lady Zero's entire disposition turn on a dime? Why does it take almost two hundred years for Riku to get ahold of the other Rainbow Pearls? I hope you weren't hoping for answers to any of those questions, because instead the episode takes us to…)

    —Act One: Wherein Towa Is Very Bad at Listening to Directions. Again.—

    Setsuna: Alright, sis, look. Moroha and I are going off to do…whatever it is we do in our free time. It's the new moon, and you're powerless again. We all know that everything you touch is immediately ruined, so I am begging you. Please. Do not go anywhere. Do not do anything. Just stay inside with Kaede. Got it?

    Towa: Yeah, yeah, I got it! Geez. Hey, Kaede, how are—

    Kaede:[Unprompted] Have I ever told you about how much you remind me of your mother, Rin? I lived with her for years, and when she disappeared after you were born, it broke my heart.

    Towa: You've literally never mentioned any of this to me, even though we've been in Feudal Japan for…I dunno, a while? Anyways, I guess I'm mildly interested in this. What happened? Did she die?

    Kaede: I dunno. Probably.

    Towa: Huh. Well, what about me reminded you of her?

    Kaede: She was…nice?

    Towa: Neat. Oh damn, was that the Dream Butterfly!? [Towa immediately runs outside to get into some shenanigans]

    Setsuna:[Miles away] Seriously, Towa, what the fu—

    —End Act One—

    (I don't need to go into any more detail about why it's so ridiculous that it has taken twenty-one episodes for Towa to show even a passing interest in one of the most important story threads that fans have been dying to have resolved, right? That's good, because we haven't even gotten to the next part yet…)

    —Act Two: Wherein Things Get Really Dumb. —

    Towa: Aw, man, I lost the Dream Butterfly! I guess I'll give up on that again for another season or two. [Enter Riku]

    Riku: Hey there girl. Remember me? I'm that sketchy guy who always shows up at suspiciously convenient moments. I got you arrested that one time? I have an inexplicable knowledge of the villains' movements and plans?

    Towa: It's tea time! [The episode becomes about these two sharing a romantic tea picnic, for some reason]

    Riku:[A few minutes of unbearably cringy flirting later…] So anyway, I'm, like, all about these Rainbow Pearls. You know, the incredible magic artifacts that are lodged in you and your twin sister's eyes? I gotta snatch 'em all!

    Towa: Oh yeah. That isn't even a little suspicious! I've honestly never thought about them much. What do they even do when you have them all together?

    Riku: Who knows? Your powers would increase, I suppose. Or perhaps a devastating Degenerate Age could begin…[Riku gives a mischievous double-wink]

    (Note: That is really Riku's line from the show, straight up. Even the wink.)

    Towa: I have no follow up questions for you. At all. Not even one! It's a good thing that I'm out here, vibing with such an obviously trustworthy dude, especially since I don't have any powers tonight!

    Totetsu: Surprise! I'm gonna kill you all, you motherfu—

    —End Act Two—

    (There's a fight scene here, it's nothing special. The only noteworthy thing is that Riku summons some awfully familiar-looking poison miasma bees. Oh, and he takes a bunch of bees to the back to protect Towa, which leads us to the worst part of the whole episode…)

    —Act Three: Wherein…You Know What? Just Read It For Yourselves. Trust Me.—

    Riku: Agh! Towa, I've got to tell you that I used to work for Kirinmaru, that guy who wants to murder everything you love. Well, I used to work for him, but we both have *separate* schemes for the Rainbow Pearls, so it's been kind of awkward.

    Towa: Yeah, yeah. Whatever, sure. Have I told you that I kind of have a crush on you?

    Riku: Oh. Well, that's nice and all, but I don't know if you heard— [Setsuna and Moroha conveniently arrive]

    Setsuna:Towa, you had one job. How are you so bad at this? Plus, this Riku guy is definitely a creep! He smells like our worst enemy! It's weird!

    Towa: I know, isn't it hot?

    Moroha: Um. [Riku brutally decapitates Totetsu, leaving his head to gasp and twitch on the ground. It's honestly pretty metal]

    Riku: I'm just so good at murdering things. Wowzers!

    Towa: You see, so trustworthy! In fact, he's so trustworthy that I'm just going to give him my Silver Pearl!

    Moroha: Wait, what!?

    Setsuna: That is, without a doubt, the stupidest thing you could possibly do at this moment. What on earth would make you think, even for a second, that—

    Towa: Already done, no takebacks! Byeeeeeee!

    Riku: Um….Okay? Peace out, then! [Riku dips out]

    Setsuna: Was that really okay, handing over your Pearl like that? With those Rainbow Pearls he'll have immense demon power. We can only hope that their rightful owner won't use them for evil… [Towa looks very shocked by this ridiculously obvious point]

    Moroha: And wasn't Mr. Riku working with Kirinmaru?

    Towa: That's right!? I changed my mind! Give me back my Silver Pearl!!! Riku, wait!

    Riku: Haha. No.

    —End Episode—

    You know what the kicker is? That final exchange up there is taken word-for-word from the dialogue in the final scene. What more is there to say, when Yashahime's actual script becomes virtually indistinguishable from my bitter snark? It's one thing to try and blend some humor into your fantasy adventure story, but it's another thing altogether for the show to make its ostensible lead heroine into such an incompetent joke. This week's Half-Star of Pity comes from the single redeeming moment of the entire episode: Moroha finally got herself a corpse head to sell! Good for you girl! Now go buy yourself a hot meal, a fresh set of clothes, and a one-way ticket out of this show, because Lord knows it isn't doing you any favors.

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  • samanddeanandtheimpalamakesthree
    17.02.2021 - 9 monts ago

    outlast, a survival horror game that contains (amongst other things):

    1. human experimentation

    2. sexual violence

    3. a dude fucking a decapitated human head

    4. cannibalism

    5. eddie freakin gluskin

    6. THE FACT THAT ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR SHIPS IS EDDIE X WAYLON

    meanwhile this poor little pearl clutching puritan: omg fictional incest 😭😭😭😭😭

    #how the heck does horror media end up attracting these karens???
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  • aion-rsa
    06.01.2021 - 10 monts ago

    A Discovery of Witches Season 1 Recap: Diana, Matthew, The Prophecy and The Congregation

    https://ift.tt/3pTTgUH

    Warning: contains A Discovery of Witches season 1 plot spoilers

    It begins with absence and desire. It begins with blood and fear. It begins with a discovery of witches.

    At the start of A Discovery of Witches season one, the magical world was in crisis. Creatures – witches, vampires and demons – were in decline on Earth. The power of witches was waning, with some forms of ancient magic extinct for centuries. Vampires were finding themselves unable to sire other vampires. 

    Divisions between the three species were stark, with deep prejudice and resentment between historical enemies the vampires and the witches, while demons were marginalised and restricted by rules enforced by powerful ruling group The Congregation. Division and mistrust ruled. 

    Then came Professor Diana Bishop. Born to witches but orphaned as a child, Diana spent her life avoiding magic. What magical power she displayed she wasn’t able to control. When her academic career took her to Oxford’s Bodleian Library, she came into contact with a sought-after powerful book thought to contain the secret to vampire creation. She also came into contact (and we’re talking contact) with Matthew Clairmont, a geneticist investigating magical creatures’ disappearing powers and a 1500 year-old vampire. 

    By the end of the season, Diana and Matthew had broken the sacred covenant forbidding interspecies relationships and ‘mated’ for life. Diana discovered that her parents had spellbound her prodigious powers for her own protection as a child. While she began to learn how to use her magic, Diana and Matthew were forced into hiding by three witches intent on punishing them for their interspecies transgression and wanting Diana’s help in destroying the vampires. To escape pursuit, they used Diana’s magic to ‘Time Walk’ back to Elizabethan England, where season two finds them…

    Here’s a bit more detail on how the first season unfolded…

    Diana’s Powers

    Your power is instinctive, based on need

    Before Diana was born, her mother was pursued by Peter Knox, one of the three witches who sit on ruling council The Congregation. Though she refused him, Knox continued to be obsessed with her and later insisted on personally testing her young daughter’s magical powers. Diana was already showing evidence of prodigious magic as a child, so to protect her from Knox, her parents cast a spell to hide her powers. She would only be able to access her magic at times of great need and for her own protection. 

    As a result, Diana grew up believing that she had little magic, and after her parents were killed, shunned witchcraft entirely. When academic work led her to call up ancient tome Ashmole 782 from the Bodleian library (a book missing for centuries that no other creature had been able to find), she experienced uncontrollable magic as The Book of Life revealed its secrets. Her access to the book made her a target. Everybody wanted it – Matthew Clairmont to learn about the origins of vampires and why they could no longer sire, Peter Knox to learn how witches could destroy vampires… Diana stood up to Knox and the Congregation, and made powerful enemies.  

    When threatened and later, heartbroken, Diana instinctively conjured up Witch Wind and Witch Rain, two elemental powers thought to be extinct. After being captured and tortured by Finnish dark witch Satu for information on the book, Diana used her magic to strip Satu of her own powers and flew to her escape. When vampire Juliette – Matthew’s former lover – attacked him, Diana killed her using another elemental magic – Witch Fire. She brought Matthew back to health by letting him drink her blood and making a deal with the Goddess to give anything for his recovery. She was warned that there will be a price to pay.

    After discovering that her father was a Time Walker and that she shared his power, Diana and Matthew used three objects from his past to travel back to Elizabethan England where they could hide from Knox, Gerbert and Satu, who had pursued them to New York. 

    Before Diana and Matthew Time Walked, his vampire lab colleague Miriam and ‘son’ Marcus took swabs of Diana’s DNA to study her witch origins.

    The Congregation

    You have committed treason against The Congregation. Your punishment is death by beheading and fire.

    A council consisting of nine members (at any given time, three witches, three vampires and three demons), the Congregation convenes in Venice to hold trials, deliver punishments and maintain the shaky peace between the creatures, built on a covenant which forbids inter-species relationships. 

    Key Congregation members in season one included witches Peter Knox and Satu; vampires Baldwin Montclair (Matthew’s brother), Domenico Michele and Gerbert d’Aurillac; and Demon Agatha Wilson (mother to Nathaniel, who’s expecting a child with fellow demon Sophie). The Congregation want Diana Bishop because of her access to Ashmole 782, or the Book of Life, and to punish Matthew and Diana for breaking the covenant by mating.

    Read more

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    Towards the end of the series, Domenico double-crossed Gerbert and encouraged Gebert’s captive Juliette to break free of her bonds to go to America and kill Matthew (who had humiliated Domenico when he tried to retrieve Diana from Sept-Tours). Domenico used his deciding vote in Baldwin’s trial for treason to save him from execution, leaving Baldwin in his debt.  

    Knox and Gerbert plot to remove Baldwin from The Congregation, stage a coup and replace him with Matthew’s vampire ‘son’ Marcus, who they think will be easier to control. 

    Matthew’s Backstory

    There were two women, two human women… not like this, not like us, but I did love them.

    Born in France in 500 AD, the human Matthew was a stonemason and architect who built a church in commemoration of his wife and son Blanca and Lucas, who both died of a fever. He tried to take his own life by throwing himself off the church tower, when Ysabeau de Clermont saved him by siring him as a vampire. 

    Ysabeau thus became his mother, her husband Philippe his father, and later, Baldwin his brother. He lived with them in the ancestral French castle of Sept-Tours, joining ancient philanthropic Order the Knights of Lazarus, of which Philippe was the Grandmaster until his death, when Matthew took over the role. Philippe had made Matthew promise that his brother Baldwin would never run the Order as he wished it to remain separate from the Congregation, the multi-species council led by Baldwin. 

    The Prophecy

    Beware the witch with the blood of the lion and the wolf, for with it, she shall destroy the children of the night. 

    So prophesied Meridiana, the witch kept alive by vampire Gerbert as a decapitated head in a box for centuries. Finnish witch Satu took pity on her and ended her suffering, which incurred Gerbert’s wrath. He has a habit of making women his captives, and until her rebellion and death (courtesy of Diana Bishop), Gerbert controlled vampire Juliette – who he’d sired to be Matthew’s lover and to infiltrate the powerful Clairmont family, whose position he wanted to topple – keeping her by his side in Venice. 

    Meridiana also told Gerbert a prophecy about two witches who would figure in the destruction of the vampires – one light and one dark. It’s supposed that Diana is the light witch and Satu her dark counterpart. 

    As a child, Diana’s mother told her a story about a “shadow prince”, which she believes to be Matthew. 

    Ashmole 782

    In two parts: the first anatomical, the second psychological

    Otherwise known as the Book of Life, Ashmole 782 appears only to Diana when she summons it at the Bodleian library. It’s thought to contain the secret of vampire creation, and Matthew theorises that it could help him discover the reason that vampires are no longer able to sire one another, and why creatures have been disappearing from Earth. Diana discovers that the book is a palimpsest and has hidden writing underneath its surface, including a modern inscription that reads “In two parts: the first anatomical, the second psychological.” 

    Diana also discovers that there are several pages missing from the start of the book, one of which is returned to her by her Aunts’ haunted house, along with a note from her father saying “Diana, you’ll need this xx”. She assumes that her father was the one who removed the vital pages from the book during one of his Time Walks through history, and that he is the reason that only she can access the book. 

    Time Walking

    To Time Walk you need three objects from a particular time and place

    The Aunts’ haunted house delivers a single pearl earring to Diana (along with the missing page from Ashmole 782), which Matthew identifies as having belonged to his mother Ysabeau in the 16th century. Sophie (a demon born to witches, messing up The Congregation’s theory on cross-species relations) gives a family heirloom of a white statue to Diana, who she’d been told would need it at a specific time. It turned out to be a white queen chess piece that formerly belonged to Matthew and that he lost in a bet with Kit Marlowe on All Soul’s Eve in 1590. Matthew connects the chess piece to the pearl earring, and decides that the house is trying to send them to that particular time and place. To these objects he adds a signed copy of Marlowe’s Dr Faustus, completing the three. Ysabeau also sent Diana an inscribed ring of hers to wear.

    The Knights of Lazarus

    It might just be that the Knights have to take on The Congregation.

    The Knights of Lazarus are a parallel organisation to the Congregation, established by Matthew’s father Philippe de Clairmont. It’s a philanthropic brotherhood who protect those who can’t protect themselves. In the season one finale, Matthew resigns from his inherited position as grandmaster and gives the role to his ‘son’ Marcus, telling him, “Je suis a votre commande, seigneur” (I’m at your service, my lord). 

    Sept-Tours

    The season ended with Diana’s aunts Emily and Sarah going with Nathaniel and the pregnant Sophie to Sept-Tours, where Ysabeau had promised to keep them safe from The Congregation. Witches, demons and vampires all under the same roof… a taste of things to come?

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    A Discovery of Witches Season 2 starts at 9pm on Friday the 8th of January on Sky One and on Saturday the 9th of January on Sundance.

    The post A Discovery of Witches Season 1 Recap: Diana, Matthew, The Prophecy and The Congregation appeared first on Den of Geek.

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