#fiction Tumblr posts

  • “You are dead, Mike!” Jerry yelled as the heroes handling him locked him in the back of a truck.

    The truck as well as the cuffs Jerry was locked in were protected against superpowers, but a part of Mike still worried about Jerry breaking out.

    “Thanks for the tip, Mike,” Lieutenant Oscar said, drawing his attention. “Who would have thought Jerry would attack people in a hospital? I mean, he’s the last person I would’ve thought would turn to villainy.” He shook his head. “What a waste.”

    “Yeah,” Mike muttered as he watched the truck drive away. 

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  • We spoke about emergencies when we first moved in but now that I was staring at him sprawled on the kitchen floor after seizing, I had no idea what to do. I was shaking. I managed to call an ambulance and someone was on the phone with me. I didn’t realize I had been crying until I felt my cheek and it was wet. I did everything the person on the other line told me to do. I could see your chest rising and falling very slowly, so I knew you were still breathing. But there was something about your pale lips that made me feel like I had lost you somehow.

    Minutes, hours—who knows—later, you got wheeled out on a gurney. Thankfully not in a body bag. I was ushered into the back of the ambulance and the next thing I knew, I was outside the emergency room. Did I call your mom? Who locked the door behind us? Did I leave the stove open? All of these things were running through my head except the most important one: were you going to be okay?

    I still wonder sometimes what happened in those few hours I thought I was dreaming. I just remember being back in a room with you as I waited for you to come to. I wonder if I did all that I could do. Did I remember anything from the emergency plan we had? I really can’t recall. But you survived and I guess it’s all that matters. 

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  • I Got My Eyes On You 

    by Driving_This_Bus

    summary:

    Set after Season 5. Lena is eager to make things right. Kara’s old feelings resurface.

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  • If That’s Not a Sign, I Don’t Know What Is

    by pleathermess

    summary:

    “Remember our first date— what should have been our first date?”

    “Okay, but it’s not like I planned for a giant squid to attack the harbor.”

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  • The Nephilim Protocol–Book Trailer

    https://www.amazon.com/Nephilim-Protocol-Solomon-Code/dp/B08J1WLYKR/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1599565905&sr=1-1″

    Everyone in his life has always seemed to hate him. Chad has never known why, until the day he smashes a wall and breaks a friends jawbone. And then he knows. Descended from the race of the half-angel Nephilim, Chad has massive strength, quick reflexes, and other strange magic abilities. Once, his ancestors were kings, Templars, demigods; using their powers to wield cruel and absolute power over the world. The government keeps their descendants locked up on Attu Island, far off the coast of Alaska, to prevent any of them from resuming their reign of terror.But Chad doesn’t want to be a monster, and he doesn’t want to die on the island. Fighting against guards, fellow prisoners, and the very elements, Chad and his friends must find a way to escape the prison–and their dark heritage. But at the end of the world, can even an angel escape?

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  • “Thấy có nhà có đất có cái đầm nuôi tôm lớn lắm. Mở mắt thấy mình chiêm bao’.
    Đang đứng chờ lấy ít trái cây, tôi nghe tiếng người như tiếng tự sự giữa đêm khuya. Ngước mắt trông ngang, thì ra có một ông chú đứng ngay góc, đang dập dìu kể chuyện. Chẳng ai nghe. Bắt được ánh mắt tôi, ông chú như bắt được tri kỷ. Thao thao kể. Tôi chẳng nghe thấy gì, đúng hơn hết là không hiểu gì. Như một giấc chiêm bao.

    Tôi chỉ nghe được vài chữ, có lẽ bởi được nhắc đi nhắc lại: nằm chiêm bao.
    Tôi đứng sững lại, nhìn chằm chằm như thấy người tri kỷ. Ông ấy cô độc quá. Dưới cái ánh sáng đèn leo lắt chiếu hắt lên đám cam quýt táo dừa, trái xanh đỏ, bên một rãnh loang loáng nước đục. Đám râu như trườn xuống phía cổ áo, ánh mắt sắc lẹm mà đôi chiếc lòng đen như hai chiếc thuyền giữa mặt biển đêm trăng.

    Tôi nghĩ ông ấy bị điên.

    Có điên mới nói chiêm bao giữa đời. Bằng một cái giọng đầy hạnh phúc như chiêm bao đã trở thành hiện thực như vậy. Cái chữ chiêm bao, ôi chao nó đối lập với cái dáng hình và bộ áo quần ông ấy mặc. Cái chữ lấp lánh và thơ thẩn ấy, tôi thường chỉ thấy trong những giấc chiêm bao, từ miệng những ca nương, nhà thơ phú, anh chàng nhạc sĩ nào đó… hoặc họa hoằn những ti vi. Nhưng không, người đàn ông lao động ấy, chính ông đang nói những từ này.

    Hoặc có lẽ ở đất phương Nam này, người ta đều nói chiêm bao như thế.
    Nở một nụ cười với người khán giả duy nhất, ông chú nhìn tôi chằm chằm, tôi nhìn ông chú chăm chăm. Tôi nhận ra, mình đã gặp ông ấy chắc chắn một lần. Dù chưa biết ở đâu. Như một giấc chiêm bao.

    Buổi chiều ngập nắng ấy, cô bé người tôi yêu, bỗng ở đâu thình lình xuất hiện. Bên một bờ eo thon, có những lọn tóc ngấm mồ hôi, lơ thơ bên trán lấm tấm nước, ánh mắt lay láy giữa khuôn mặt u hoài muôn thuở… lặng lẹ đẹp vô cùng. Vội vàng đưa cho tôi hộp cơm rồi nói: Em được nghỉ làm một chút, em mang cơm đến anh ăn. Kéo tay cô bé đặng ngồi xuống, cô bé vừa mở chiếc hộp vừa trả lời: "em ngồi nhìn anh một lúc, rồi đi ngay”. Xe bus lỡ bến, em đã đến giờ làm.

    Nhưng chiếc điện thoại thì bay biến mất tiêu.

    Em bốc máy tôi gọi gấp gáp, như gọi về viễn du vô tận, không có ai trả lời. Mắt em rưng rưng nói: Đây là chiếc điện thoại, nội em mua cho em ngày em đỗ đại học. Rồi nhìn vào xa xăm nơi bức tranh phía góc tường. Như một giấc chiêm bao.

    Có người gọi lại…

    Cầm sẵn một hai tờ hai trăm ngàn bỏ túi, tôi và nàng lẽo đẽo đến tiệm gạo Thanh Bình, nơi ông chủ tiệm bảo đang giữ chiếc điện thoại. Vừa đến nơi thì ông chủ đã nói: Lấy điện đàm phải không? Đây nè! cầm đi. Rồi dường như không quan tâm thêm gì khác. Chà, một nhẽ chỉ cần đúng là trả, không đòi hỏi gì thêm. Chúng tôi đứng đó, lòng bồi hồi, lắp bắp: Chú ơi chú, cho con gởi chú ít tiền uống nước được không?

    “Không, cái này tao không nhặt được. Ông anh tao chạy xe chở gạo cho khách. Thấy trên đường. Nếu mày muốn, đợi ổng về đưa cho ổng xem lấy không. Mà chắc không đâu”.

    Nắng chang chang, hai đứa thấy một chiếc xe trần truồng đi tới. Người đàn ông với cái áo mai ô dãn tròng qua hai vai dựng xe bước đến. Ông chủ tiệm hắt mắt, ông chú nhận ra ngay, nói đúng một câu: tôi thấy ở bên đường.
    Dứt khoát không nhận tiền. Xua xua tay.

    Tôi cầm hai trăm ngàn, mua tất cả trái cây, đưa cho ông chủ, ông chú mỗi người một bịch. Xanh đỏ tím vàng.
    Rồi đi khuất như một giấc chiêm bao.



    Dứt chuyện, ông chú nói: Sướng quá, mà chỉ là chiêm bao. Bà vợ lẩm bẩm: Ở đó mà mơ, chắc sắp giàu…

    Tôi tỉnh ra: Ông ấy không điên. Ông ấy tử tế. Hoặc tử tế và điên. Lương thiện thì chắc chắn.

    Mua thêm năm mươi ngàn trái cây cho bà vợ ông chú. Tôi dứt áo đi về.

    Trong đầu văng vẳng tiếng chiêm bao.

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  • #quote of the day #fiction#writing#haruki murakami #dance dance dance
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  • Rejoice, rejoice, for Autumn at last walks among us again, trailing brittle leaves and petrichor in her wake! In every sprouting mushroom, in every fading flower, in the scudding clouds and the yellowing moon, see the reminders that everything falls before it rises again in its time. We make our way best in humus, in places where others have gone before and made way with their struggles, and we in turn will dig in our roots amid the knowledge that other, undreamt-of things will be able to grow long after Autumn reaps us in.

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  • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume

    #library#books#fiction#children's books #tales of a fourth grade nothing #judy blume
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  • You know…

    I wouldn’t mind a book about a monarchy. It’d be based on the 1500-Present Day monarchs and how most are related somehow. Obviously some wouldn’t be.

    And there’d be a Queen similar to Mary, Queen of Scots in the sense that she was crowned queen as a child.

    But instead of fleeing and hiding with the nuns, she’d grow and become a ruthless ruler.

    Her mother would pressure her to marry, but she’d be extremely independent and intelligent. She’d defend her country against anyone and anything and would win. She’d have suitors from all across the continent after her. Whether to marry her, take her thrown and title, or kill her, they wanted her. She’d deny and chase off any Lord, Duke, Prince, or King.

    Despite pressure from her mother and the church, she wouldn’t wed. She very nearly separated from the church multiple times because she had proven to not need it’s support.

    Her life wasn’t easy, but it was hers. Nothing could change that.

    But plot twist…

    One day, someone arrives. Friend or foe, it’s yet to be decided.

    Because this guest is different from the rest.

    She’s a Queen herself.

    #royal#monarchy#fantasy#fiction#writing prompt#writing prompts #you see what im saying? #the queens like each other #*wink wink* #idk their sexualities yet #but they definitely have feelings for each other #but there are so many walls #this would be a great story #I'd read the hell out of this #and if it got a tv show? #I'd watch the hell out of it
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  • Acquainted (to say that we’re in love is dangerous) 

    by Misschacilops

    summary:

    It all started with a strawberry slushie.
    It all ended with her underwear in Quinn’s hands.

    Faberry Enemies to Friends with benefits.

    #Aoo#Fiction#Faberry#new #wow three fanfic faberry in one day #so excited¡¡¡
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  • The rules 

    by amesperalta

    summary:

    Quinn always hated Rachel’s extreme rules. Especially when it came to her important auditions.

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  • This story is not that of a fairy tale, nor a myth or legend, this is a true story with a promise attached to it. 

    Of the immortals, there were those more powerful than others. At the top was the Ankh Ka. There were seven of them, all with their own powers and duties to watch over the realms: 

    The immortal of the moon and guardian of nature: they specialized in natural things and were the leader of a group in charge of lunar anomalies such as that of the lycanthropes. 

    The immortal and guardian of the stars: specializing in the use of the element of lightning, they led the smallest of groups. Theirs was a group of prophets that used astrology and matters of divination like the tarot to theorize about the future. 

    The immortal of darkness and deity of death: they wielded the elements of ice and darkness and led the other two mentioned above. They were also a leader in the shadows of the Ankh Ka and dealt with issues that the mortals would not know of. It was said if you saw them, your death would soon follow. 

    The immortal of knowledge: a unique being even in regards to the immortals. They did not belong to either the light or dark, and instead was a neutral being charged with the keeping of information. Not much was known about them, as they rarely left their library. 

    The immortal of earth and guardian of the mountains: this being wielded the earth itself as their weapon. They were charged with with the collection of resources and protection of the earth itself.

    The immortal of water and symbol of war: wielding the wrath of the water itself to simulate their hatred, they were the leader of a group that were dispatched whenever a battle had broken out. Of these battles, nothing was left except a massacre that could only otherwise be found in a nightmare. 

    Finally, the leader of the immortals aligned with light and the symbolic leader of the Ankh Ka themselves: they were the immortal of light and deity of life. Using the elements of fire and light to aid them, they were the head of everything and ran the largest group of them all. Controlling an army of soldiers that they would deploy as guards or to suppress groups he thought had spoken out, they were the most respected and most feared. 

    The Ankh Ka seemed unstoppable, as nothing could kill them or come close to harming them… that is, until they were betrayed. One of their own sided with a group of beings opposite them, ones that wanted to destroy them and all they had built. Not much is known of these beings, but they had the ability to defeat the immortals that none could ever fathom falling… 

    With their fall came a promise, or rather a prophecy: 

    When the moon cries a tear to the west that freezes all it touches, the rocks will rise to fight in the north, in the east the forests’ unrest will grow, and in the south the rivers will run with blood full of rage. The stars will fade, and so will be born the child who ate the stars. The sun will lose a part of itself and let it fall to center of it all. Then they will rise, and so forth an era or terror will follow or the birth of a golden age will begin.

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  • The war shattered them. The darkness found them. Only faith could free them.

    The war has heated to dangerous levels with the emergence of a new weapon that is deadly to Immortals. Reivn seeks to discover the truth behind this new threat only to be trapped by his own past. Unable to escape its grasp, he can only watch as Lunitar and his brothers struggle to prevent a blood hunt that could ultimately destroy all of Draegonstorm.

    But the Alliance territories are in flames. The Ancients are divided, and their nation is in chaos. Caught between the law and their own honor, the Draegons are the only ones who can stem the tide. Now they must rally their allies to their banners, for nightfall has come.

    The storm is rising. It rides the wings of the Dragon. Following in its wake is the tempest that could destroy the most feared nation on Tellas, also known as Earth.

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  • Dorcas Gebb stared at her reflection in the mirror, her bare face still shiny and glistening from yesterday’s night cream. She had a decent enough face even if it lacked the actual beauty. That she had to paint on with about 28 expensive products that swallowed the lion’s share of her disposable income. Dorcas wasn’t ugly, that’s what she told herself as she applied the cleanser and massaged the suds into her patchy red cheeks. She was a good canvas, plain enough to be easily drawn on. While other girls might have to navigate obstacles like full lips, defined brows, strong noses, and long eyelashes, Dorcas had few striking landmarks. She was plain in the most basic sense: that there was nothing ultimately that notable about her.

    Toner and day cream, primer and foundation. Dorcas had gotten good at the routine. Skincare was the foundation of all beauty right? That’s what the YouTubers said as they went through seven step morning processes with serums, glycolic acid wipes, face masks, and frozen spoons. Of course, the three fundamental steps towards good skin ultimately depended on sleep, hydration, and sunscreen. Dorcas didn’t sleep and had trouble drinking water, but she generally never went outside so sun damage wasn’t a notable hazard. She lived a sedentary life navigating between parking lots and buildings, sitting in windowless classrooms and tucked away cubicles under the ever present flicker of fluorescent lights. No risk of sun damage if you never see the sun.

    She leaned in, pressing her long manicured finger at a zit that had cropped up overnight. She cursed under her breath, desperately repressing the urge to pinch the pimple between the nails of her index fingers. It was an intense urge. Dorcas could feel the itch inside her skin. Just a little bit of force between her long nails at the right spot, a relentless pressure insensible to pain, and that zit would burst, releasing a long rope of sebum that could be flicked away. Her fingers twitched at the thought, the satisfaction she knew she would feel as the pustule popped. Dorcas forced her hands down, barely becoming conscious in time that her nails had closed in on the pimple ready to violently pop it.

    That was bad. Bad. Bad. Dorcas knew better. She reluctantly reached for the 10% benzoyl peroxide spot cream, dabbing it on with frustrated strokes. She had pretty good skin generally. Even in high school she had been unusually blessed with a good complexion that needed no skincare routine at all. But Dorcas was closing in on her 23rd birthday and she read that women began losing collagen by 25. Luck couldn’t be counted on long term. A responsible adult did responsible things like have a skincare routine and balance a budget. Dorcas wasn’t so good at the latter, mainly due to her propensity to spend a hundred dollars or more on six step moisturizers, but when you are a lonely single woman who doesn’t drink or go out, you can justify a splurge.

    At least her face wasn’t covered in scars like other parts of her body. Dorcas tugged down the sleeve of her dressing gown, self-conscious despite her isolation. She did her best to ignore the tweezers kept carefully hidden in the back of her makeup drawer. There was a time when Dorcas was an adolescent, that the presence of tweezers in her bathroom would lead to a brutal confrontation with her mother. Dorcas lived alone now, but she still reflexively hid her tweezers as a matter of habit. It was for the best.

    Dorcas began the painstaking process of daubing on concealer beneath her eyes, which were perpetually plagued by dark circles and puffiness. There was a certain grey tinge to her skin that had to be hidden beneath careful applications of tinted matte cream. She had the eyes of an insomniac, cavernous and bulging at the same time, red capillaries veining the skin beneath.  Her ex-boyfriend once commented that she had Gollum eyes. Crazy eyes, so large and intense set that they were off-putting. He said she should squint in photos so she’d look less like a psychotic murderer.

    He was also the ex-boyfriend who told her she was too fat at the time to date publicly, and that he wanted her to lose at least 30 pounds before they became official. Dorcas still felt her jaw tighten at just the memory, as she swept the beauty blender across the surface of her cheek.

    Norman wanted her to be pretty. A twist of defiance made her scowl in the mirror, even as she swept a thick coat of setting powder across her complexion. Norman thought she wasn’t good enough, that she didn’t care enough about herself to stay pretty. Even when she showed him the the thin white lines that littered her stomach and thighs as proof of how much she desperately cared…

    Dorcas cared. Dorcas always cared.

    Be pretty, that’s all people cared about. Dorcas swept a taupe shade across her eyelid, then a subtle sienna across the crease. At the end of the day, pretty was all that mattered. It’s what mattered to her mother, when she’d force Dorcas to weigh each morning and berate her for being up half a pound. It’s why Dorcas wore Spanx at age ten. It’s why she fasted until she fainted in high school. Pretty, pretty, pretty. The number on the scale determined how much she would be loved that day. That was a fact as irrefutable as the gravity pulling every pound of her towards the earth’s core.

    The eyelash curler pinched the thin skin of her lids. The mascara pulled the sparse lashes up. Dorcas cursed her fourteen year old self who would obsessively pull out the eyelashes, pull out the hairs of her brows. That had been a time when she was less judicious about where she should focus her obsessive need to pluck out hairs. She could take her sharp tweezers or ragged fingernails and rip into her raw scourged skin as much as she wanted in those hidden places that would be covered, but it was a sin to take such fixations to the face. The face had to be protected, the face had to be preserved.

    Yet in other regions of her body, the surface of her skin was covered in the circular indentions where she had scoured the flesh, digging into the skin to obsessively pluck hairs. Rip them out, rip them out, the little black follicles with their fat black bulbs buried deep under the surface. She cared little that she was clawing into her skin and leaving mutilations all over her legs, stomach, and arms. She just cared about the hairs. The hairs had to be uprooted. The more ingrown, the more satisfying. She could spend hours plucking, picking, digging until her skin was raw and bleeding and her counter was covered with a neat line of millimeter long hairs she had excavated. She would study them, their width, their length, their darkness of color. She especially loved when she could get the whole follicle, with a bit of dangling meat for good measure. The pain didn’t matter. The more painful the pick, the more satisfying it ultimately was.

    That had been a bad habit, though. Dorcas knew that now. She had been picking since she was four years old and even though it calmed her immensely, it had to end. People noticed. Dorcas couldn’t wear shorts without comment. It was embarrassing her mother. Dorcas only picked occasionally now, always confining it to the most hidden areas. Still, the scars remained, dark as cigarette burns. Every so often Dorcas would discover a hair that disgusted her so immensely that it had to be ripped out, but her efforts were much more limited now. She waxed and shaved instead.

    She peeled her false eyelashes from the palette, pulling the brush of clear glue across the band of delicate hairs. Applying false eyelashes still required a prayer, pressing them on top of her depleted natural lashes coated with enough makeup to provide a strong enough base. Yet Dorcas was steadily improving. It had been months since the last time she disastrously glued her eyes shut. Blinking quickly, her mouth tugged up as she celebrated a perfect application. As she drew on her eyebrows in practiced hair-like strokes, she felt satisfied in how vastly improved her eyes were by the presence of lashes. Gollum certainly could not have applied falsies so well.

    As the last swipe of nude lipstick was swept in careful lines across her mouth, Dorcas stepped back, smiling her practiced photo smile as she tried to determine if her teeth had been stained. She turned her head towards various angles, noting that her left side should ultimately lead in photos and conversations. Heaven forbid she ever lead with her grotesquely ugly right side which had a perceptible asymmetry on her jaw and cheekbone. She squinted her eyes when she smiled, which made her smile look more authentic, rehearsing her jokes and practicing her laugh.

    Her hair came easier because it was fine and thin. Other girls might have to struggle with thick, lustrous hair that refused to surrender to curling irons and teasing, but Dorcas’ hair had long learned to bend to her will. She backcombed it aggressively, forcing it to plump and volumize with practiced ease. The hot curling iron sizzled as she wrapped the submissive strands around the 350 degree rod. Past accidents had taught her to be deft. Up until she was eighteen years old, Dorcas had never learned how to curl her hair. All through her childhood and adolescence, she would sit on a pedestal in her mother’s bathroom as her mother curled it. It was their daily ritual, the older woman styling her daughter’s hair as she talked about her expectations for Dorcas’ conduct.

    Beauty hurts. That’s what her mother said as the curling iron burned her scalp or the pins dug in sharply. Dolls don’t cry, neither did Dorcas.

    When Dorcas started high school, she told her mother that she wanted to do her own hair. One screaming confrontation and slammed door later, Dorcas had come back repentant of her ingratitude and recapitulated to daily styling. It was always easier to submit. Her mother’s anger could be frightening, and any gestures towards independence would be construed as betrayal. As her mother would brush her daughter’s hair, she repeated again and again that she just wanted Dorcas to be beautiful. It took years for Dorcas to summon the courage to pick up the iron herself. A few first degree burns on her face had been the price of learning.

    Dorcas glanced at the dark scar on her hand, a thick line marring the pale smoothness of her skin. She remembered that burn vividly, second degree and more painful than anything. She remembered how her mother had screamed at her that terrible week after she had broken up with Norman. He was her soulmate, that’s what her mother said. He was the only man capable of loving her, especially considering the degradation of her appearance. Dorcas could almost hear her mother’s furious fists pounding against her bathroom door as she called Dorcas a selfish, evil girl who was spitting in the face of God and his will for her life.

    Dorcas had curled her hair even as the tears streamed down her face then. Stupid, ugly girl. Worthless piece of shit. No one else will want you. He barely wanted you. Dorcas did not remember how she had burned herself, whether the iron had slipped or she had pressed it to her skin, but she remembered the searing pain blossoming on her left hand.

    Second degree burn. Flesh curling away white and red. Her mother’s hands around hers, washing it under the sink, her voice suddenly soft and cooing. How old had Dorcas been then? 21? Her mother wrapped her hand and kissed it like a boo boo. Dorcas once again found herself on the pedestal, her hair being teased up by her mother’s hands. That had been her last year living at home, when Dorcas slipped through life as numb and powerless as a ghost, wishing only to disappear.

    Dorcas brushed out the curls with her wide paddle brush, leaving her hair smooth and wavy, just soft enough to be plausibly claimed as natural and not the product of half an hour of effort. She pinned it just so, spraying it in place with finishing spray that claimed to bring shine and luster to dull damaged hair.

    Dull and damaged, Dorcas giggled to herself. That would be a good self-deprecating joke. “I think my hair is a reflection of my spirit. I’m dull and damaged, but I am uplifted by the right expensive chemicals.” It was like her often recited joke about her coffee, “I like my coffee black and bitter, just like my soul.”

    Dorcas took a final appraising look in the mirror. She looked effortless, didn’t she? All the brushstrokes were hidden, all the obvious tones muted. “I woke up like this,” she mumbled to herself, “No I’m not wearing makeup. I guess my hair is just naturally wavy.” Not that she’d actually say these things because people ultimately never asked. People rarely talked to her much anyway.

    Gingerly she opened up her dressing gown and looked at herself in her underwear. She had lost a lot of weight in recent months. Not enough to really matter, of course, but enough to take her from a size 14 to an occasional size 6. Really, if she was honest with herself, she was a size 8 but if she skipped a few meals she could button those size 6 jeans and that’s what really mattered. Her stomach was still bulgy and her arms were fat, but she had remarkably toned legs. Clothed and carefully winched into shapewear, she had the body of a thrift-store Marilyn Monroe, all soft curves that begged to be touched. Not that anybody was touching those curves. Norman had been the last and he made it abundantly clear that her body was disgusting, but Dorcas could imagine some man might theoretically want to touch her. Stranger things happen and if the internet was any metric, enough men found her attractive enough to offer her good money for pictures after she had posted before and afters of her most recent weight loss.

    Dorcas supposed that she should feel disgusted by how her DM inbox was flooded with men saying they jerked off to her rather conservative photos of herself in a tight-ish dress. She found it more gratifying than insulting when they offered her money to see her naked. The internet was filled with beautiful women to jerk off to but some rando wanted to masturbate to her. As stupid as it was, she was deeply heartened by the idea of men finding her fuckable. Norman had been repulsed by her body and any other men in her real life ignored her entirely. But anonymous weirdos on the internet said they would happily plow her mercilessly and that had to count for something, right?

    Dorcas never posed nude of course, even though she got dozens of offers. She did once send a guy a picture of her feet for cryptocurrency. That made her wonder if she was technically doing sex work, but it wasn’t like very close up pictures of her big toe were inherently sexual, even if the recipient frantically messaged her how hard the calloused swirls were making him.

    Dorcas had not posted in months. It wasn’t wise to put her face on the internet in that context, even anonymously. Sometimes though, she had the temptation to post herself and wait for the horny messages to start populating her inbox, men who wanted to fuck her based just on a photo of her face carefully made up and posed. They appreciated her effort at least enough to grovel for nudes.

    In real life, though, despite all her careful work, Dorcas was invisible. She was always invisible. She moved through life silent and careful. Old friends, girls who did almost nothing to be pretty, complained of things like catcalling and creepers, but Dorcas never experienced those things in real life. She was skilled in the art of fading into the background. Men never bothered her. They never approached her, never talked to her. To this day, Norman had been her only boyfriend. To be fair, he had stalked her for years after the relationship ended, but that was just an extension of him and his refusal to be dumped. It had nothing to do with her own attractive quality.

    Dorcas’ mother said she had an air of untouchability. No matter how pretty she made herself, no matter what she wore, outside the eye of the camera, she was nothing. She could walk down the street, made all up in a size four strapless dress and heels, and not a single person would look her way. Yet in photographs she was someone else. She was beautiful. She was perfect.

    When Dorcas was in high school, at the height of her eating disorder, her mother would take pictures of her every day and post them online. She would make Dorcas do photoshoots, blow her face up in gigantic portraits that she would hang around the house. Her childhood home was covered in mirrors. You couldn’t walk anywhere without catching a reflection.

    Dorcas would scroll through her mother’s feed, watch the comments roll in about her stunning beauty, and wonder what good she was outside of a screen or piece of paper. Outside her practiced pose, practiced smile, the flash of a camera, she was nothing. Unfit for love. Unfit for touch. A creature covered in scars that littered her body, only just now deflating from depression-driven obesity.

    As Dorcas pulled on her clothes, slipped into shoes, she caught her face once more, her face instinctively moving to catch the light just right. How frivolous it all was, this desperation. She touched her jaw that she wished was slimmer, her lips that she wished were fuller. Her waist that was far too thick. She would never be good enough, no matter how hard she tried. She smiled once more, practicing the motion, her rote movie star smile, squinting to make it look real.

    She snorted then, and bulged her eyes into all their Gollum-esque insanity. Psychotic smile like a serial killer. Hint of a girl unhinged and in agony.

    Dorcas liked this one better.

    Beauty hurt.

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