Escape can be a love language; care tucked into corners with hidden banknotes, buried ancient journals with page after page full of hotlines, shelters, goodbye's singing high and low like middle school confessions slipped into desks during recess
Escape can be a love language; care tucked into corners with hidden banknotes, buried ancient journals with page after page full of hotlines, shelters, goodbye's singing high and low like middle school confessions slipped into desks during recess
trying to take control back from my m*th*r is so fucking ridiculously hard. i'm always waiting to be yelled at/berated/gaslit, and then i'll turn back into that teenager who's too afraid to open their mouth or have any feelings/allowed to say anything at all with nothing but obedience and nodding in agreement that i actually DON’T agree with, terrorized for the rest of the day or week. my therapist wants me to learn that i have control now. she doesn't. but she always has that GRIP around me and she's holding up the foundation of my house, and it's just like...one wrong misstep and that's it. she's choking me out and it'll all be my fault/my weirdness again. not responding to her when she messages me on FB is absolutely ANXIETY killing. it makes me nauseated, i'm trying to think of SOMETHING to say so i don't look like a cold hearted bitch so then she'll come after me, ask me why i think she's such a terrible parent and why i don't talk to her or answer her. it is. so fucking hard. she is SO fuckin full of herself and confrontational. "ignoring" her is gonna give me grief and it's going to wind up in a huge fucking ordeal that will be my fault~
reasons why i relate to the marauders
remus - i am hot 😎
lily - i am smart 🧠
regulus - i constantly feel like i’m being suffocated. i feel like i’m trapped in this cycle of toxicity in my household and there’s nothing i can do to escape. i don’t feel like myself when i’m around them. i would do anything for them. i feel like i need to put on a performance for people to see yet i still feel invisible. i often question whether it’s my fault. i often wonder if i’m making this up in my head. guilt is constantly eating me alive. i often feel like i chose this life. i feel like i’m being twisted and pulled in all directions at once. my choices and their consequences feel so overwhelming. i would give anything for an ounce of oblivion. i don’t think i know how to truly live for myself.
james - i wear glasses 🤓
girl i thought i was gonna wake up in a shit mood i had no dreams this is a fucking win....!
Chapter One: Thunder in the Desert
Summary: Not every gift is a miracle, while the rest of the family enjoy their powers, 15-year old Bruno wishes he could give it back and act as though he never received it in the first place. With sudden, violent visions of something coming to steal the Candle, Bruno has to make a daring journey to find his tia Mirabel, as she seems to have a connection to his visions. Or, an AU where Bruno and Mirabel switch roles.
Tags: Alternate Universe - Role Reversal, Adventure, Child Neglect, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Obsessive Behavior, Trauma, Pain, Angst, Childhood Trauma, Villains, Magic, Anxiety Disorder, Family Drama, Visions, Child Abuse, Family Issues, Paranoia
Read Here: AO3, FFN, Wattpad
Darkness was the only thing 15-year-old Bruno could see for miles with rough outlines of dunes out in the distance. His feet were buried in the warm sand, giving him a sense of peace and comfort, as he always escaped here when he needed to get away from himself. The wind was gently howling around him, specks of sand occasionally made their way into his eyes, but it wasn't anything that blinking a couple of times couldn't take care of. It felt as though Bruno was trapped in concrete, unable to force himself to even attempt to move his legs. Looking up, the clouds that once hung in the sky slowly began to part ways, making room for the moon to shine down and cast a faint light throughout the desert. This was always Bruno's favorite part; once the clouds were cast away, the dark blue sky was now exposed, revealing the bright twinkling stars with the Milky Way beginning to take shape.
A shiver ran down Bruno's spine, while he favored the desert at night for its natural beauty, he couldn't stand how cold it gets. Something about the sun not heating up the sand or something. Bruno didn't know the specifics, but he knew that was close enough to the answer. Now if he could only move…
He tried lifting his legs in an attempt to take a step forward, but once again, he wasn't able to. He was stuck. Great.
"Bruno…" A distant voice called, it felt familiar, yet it cast a sense of fear through him. "Bruno!" It called again, followed by a clap of thunder, causing him to flinch. It was rare for his Happy Place to have thunder. "Por el Amor de Dios…"
Bruno yelped, feeling a sharp pain across his face.
His eyes shot open, pulling him out of the desert he was accustomed to. Whenever he was overly stressed, he would throw his mind to what he called the Happy Place. It was always that desert, and he was always there alone where nobody would hurt him. For the most part…
"You weren't even trying were you, Bruno?"
Bruno was silent for a moment, trying to contain from shaking any further in the chair that he was restrained in. He wasn't exactly sure how long he was in his Happy Place but judging on how sore his arms were behind his back, it must have been a while. He was thankful that he had a blindfold covering his eyes, he hated how easily he gave away that he was frightened.
"Are you listening to me?"
"I-I'm…" Bruno swallowed hard, making any attempt to make sure his voice didn't come out as shaky as he felt. "I'm sorry, Abuela…" He tried shifting into a more comfortable position, but it didn't make too much of a difference. He wouldn't be able to be completely comfortable until he was back in his tower.
Alma let out a frustrated sigh. She couldn't understand what was difficult about Bruno using his Gift, he should be grateful that he received one in the first place, unlike you-know-who. All Alma asks is for Bruno to do one simple thing for her and the family, but of course, he must drag his heels in and make it as difficult as possible.
"Must I ask you again?" She questioned, while Bruno couldn't see her face, based on her tone she wasn't too happy with him. When she wasn't happy with him then she would make things only worse for him.
"No, Abuela…" he squeaked, shaking his head. The stinging pain that lingered on his cheek throbbed, reminding him of what happens when he disobeys her while they were in the Dark Room. "I'm sorry…" he mumbled again to make sure she knew that he wasn't purposely trying to be difficult.
More than anything he wanted his family to love him, and while the majority of them did, he felt like no matter what he did Abuela hated him. For years Abuela would treat him like any other member of the family, until his Gift Ceremony. When she realized his Gift was the power to see into the future and have visions, she made sure to take full advantage of it. At least once a day, sometimes more, Abuela would bring Bruno into the Dark Room, having him grant her visions to make sure nothing happens to the Candle or to their family. Whatever the root cause of this paranoia was, Bruno had no idea, and whenever he tried bringing it up to other family members, they would brush him off, telling him not to worry about it. Since he had a Gift there was no reason to bother with it, to do whatever Abuela told him to do so she would stay at ease. Bruno never saw Abuela force the others to use their Gifts to keep her at ease… Sometimes he wished he had a different gift, hell, most of the time he wished he didn't have a Gift at all, but whenever he brought that up his parents, Julieta and Agustin would remind him that he should be proud to have a Gift. Well, it was difficult to appreciate his Gift when it caused him nothing but trouble and pain.
"One week," Abuela said simply as she took a seat in the only other chair in the Dark Room. She folded her arms and began tapping her foot as if she was beginning to grow impatient with Bruno. "All I want is a vision for one week into the future, then you will be free to go." She said all of this so casually as if it were normal to torture her grandchild into using their Gift for her own gain. Sometimes Bruno wished that someone on the outside would look in just once to see what she puts not just him, but the rest of the family through as she dangles the fact if it weren't for her none of them would have Gifts, nor would they exist in the first place.
Bruno nodded, trying to keep the tears from falling. Even though the blindfold would hide them, he didn't want to cry anymore, there was no point, no matter how much he cried it didn't change the fact that Abuela would still force him to have visions for whatever she wanted.
With everything he had, Bruno forced his emotions aside so he could properly clear his mind. He's come to discover that if he was overthinking or overwhelmed with any negative emotion it would throw off his visions, only seeing negative outcomes of the future. If there was a trace of anything in Bruno's visions it would send Abuela into a frenzy, demanding more and more visions until the outcome would settle her nerves.
Bruno let out a deep breath, closing his eyes to help himself focus. He pictured his Happy Place. The warm sand gliding through the large unoccupied area with the wind howling as it zips around him, the sun beating down on him, but it was comfortably warm and not scorching hot. The best part? He was alone, there wasn't a chance for anybody to hurt him physically or emotionally. The thought alone was enough to put Bruno in the space he needed to get the exact unbiased vision that Abuela desired.
With his mind completely blank, his entire body relaxed, preparing for the storm that's about to follow as a consequence on having this Gift in the first place. Involuntarily, his eyes began to glow green from underneath the blindfold, causing Abuela to smile and lean forward in her chair in anticipation of what was going to be unfolded.
While Bruno knew what to expect from this, he couldn't help but hope and pray that this time would be different. Well… Nothing ever turns out different…
Almost out of nowhere, a sharp stabbing pain started in his chest and spread throughout Bruno's body, like millions of needles jabbing into his over and over. His breathing picked up, wincing from the pain, wishing like hell it would end soon. Since he didn't have anything to grab onto to use as support, he dug his fingernails deep into his bound hands, letting out a small whine of pain. The pain began to spread, feeling like someone was slowly digging out his teeth and fingernails. The circle of sand that was carefully placed around the chair that Bruno was restrained to began to pick up, flowing through the air until it formed into a sphere around Bruno with hints of glowing green. Particles of sand that brushed against Bruno's skin felt like a sharp pin scraping at him, causing him to flinch.
From the large gusts of wind from within the sphere of sand, the blindfold that was once over Bruno's eyes had been pushed back until it was resting on his forehead. Now he was able to properly see whatever visions that were to come to him. His eyes darted across the sphere, trying to piece the vision together, sometimes they showed up out of order and he had to decipher which was which.
"What do you see?" Abuela demanded, standing up from her chair, careful not to get too close. She learned from the last time if she got too close to the sphere of sand she may end up with sand in her eyes.
"I, uh…" Bruno mumbled, his eyes still trying to settle on one vision to focus on. His face scrunched up in pain, eyebrows knitted together as another wave of stabbing pain rushed throughout his body. How was he expected to focus in these conditions? "I don't…" He trailed off, knowing that that wasn't the answer Abuela wanted to hear, so he either had to zone in on one of the visions or accept the lecture he was going to have later. "Oh, wait…"
"Tell me about the Candle, Bruno."
"Candle?" He paused as he watched the glowing green vision in front of him begin to take shape. From what he could tell it was the family Candle sitting up on its usual spot on the ledge propped up in the house where everybody could see it. "It's bright. It's always bright."
Alma was relieved to receive the same answer she always got whenever she had to drag Bruno into the Dark Room. In all fairness, she rarely asked about anything else, it was always about that stupid Candle or questions about their family. Which made sense, Bruno supposed, but there was one question she rarely asked, but Bruno didn't have enough information to retrieve a vision.
"It's still bright," Bruno announced, breaking Alma out of whatever trance her thoughts put her in. She snapped her head up at him to see that his eyes were fixated on what she had to guess was the vision he was referring to. He let out a half-hearted chuckle, giving a half-smile. "It's still bright, Abuela! Isn't that great!" He broke contact with the vision to look at Abuela from the other side of the sphere of sand, Bruno only wanted Abuela to be proud of him, so why was it whenever he looked at her after giving her a vision did she look sad or disappointed even? He had thought the goal was to make sure the Candle would stay lit. His smile dropped.
Why wasn't she proud of him?
"Did… you want a different vision?" Bruno questioned.
"Could you…" Abuela started, not making eye contact with her grandson. Bruno began shaking as the pain of the previous vision was only a dull memory but wasn't ready to have yet another vision. It was possible to do visions back-to-back a certain number of times but would cause more pain than the previous time. Even keeping the sphere going kept an aching pain in the back of his mind, so whatever it was she had in mind he was hoping she would tell him soon. "Ah…" She finally said, shaking her head and a small wave of her hand. "That's enough for today, Bruno."
"A-are you sure?" He questioned.
She gave him a forced yet gentle smile. "I'm sure."
Letting out a sigh of relief, Bruno relaxed his aching muscles, causing the sand to drop back into its neat circle that it was in once before with not a grain out of place. Every time he went through the process of conjuring up a vision not only did it cause excruciating pain, but it drained him to the point that he thought he would fall asleep in the chair.
Once everything settled down, Bruno's head drooped behind the chair, still breathing heavily as if he had to catch his breath. He couldn't help but wonder how long it would take of doing this will Abuela begin to treat him like the rest of the family? Sure, she wasn't overly amazing to them, but she certainly treated them a lot better than towards him. He couldn't help but feel a pang of jealousy whenever he caught their interactions.
Bruno felt a tugging at his wrists until the rope that kept them in place began to loosen. He could barely force his eyes open to see Abuela holding the rather sharp knife she had used to cut the ropes. From his blurry vision, he couldn't see the traces of bloodstains that were most certainly stained onto the blade.
"Buen trabajo Bruno," she said gently, ruffling his unkempt black curly hair.
Bruno raised his arms up to eye level, looking at his scarred-up hands. His muscles felt heavy, he had no idea how he was going to get up to his room like this.
He waited until Abuela unlocked the door of the Dark Room and exited before he forced himself to stand up from the all too familiar chair. His legs were shaky, when he took his first step he surely thought he was going to tumble over. There wasn't much in the room he could have used as support, so he made sure to take it slow out of the room. The burning touch of tears threatening to fall in his eyes was enough to make him stop just in front of the door, he refused to go out there with any indication that he had been crying. With one hand on the door, he used the other to rub his eyes heavily to make the feeling go away. With a deep breath and a quick sigh, Bruno put on a brave face before pushing the door open, the bright sunlight entering the kitchen was enough to disorient him for a few seconds. Once again, he brought his hands up to his face, rubbing his eyes.
Once he was able to see properly, he glanced around the kitchen to see the all too familiar bright pink dress of his oldest sister Isabela enter to see if he had emerged from the Dark Room yet.
"Hola Bruno," she said in too sweet of a voice. Meaning she certainly wanted something.
Bruno made himself look small; shoulders scrunched up to his sides with his arms close to his chest as he began picking at the skin around his fingernails.
"Hi…" he mumbled, making eye contact with her for only a moment before looking back down at the kitchen floor in between them.
Isabela glanced over her shoulders, making sure there wasn't anybody around in earshot, especially their mother. When she declared that the coast was clear, she stepped closer to Bruno, gripping his thin shoulders tight, shaking him a bit to make sure he was listening to her.
"Look… I need something from you."
"Uh…" Bruno made eye contact with her again, trying to discreetly back up enough to get out of her grasp. With the way her long nails were digging into his skin he already knew it would be a failed attempt.
"I need a vision from you," she practically whispered.
"Knock on wood, knock on wood, knock on wood," Bruno mumbled to himself quietly with his eyes shut tight as he hit himself three times. Once he released the breath he was holding, he opened his eyes and his shoulder relaxed a bit, brushing her hands off from him. "Sorry, Vision factory's closed."
"Sh! Sh!" She scrambled, holding a finger up to her lips. "I need to know something."
Once again, she checked her surroundings to make sure nobody was eavesdropping. "I need to know if Mariano's going to propose."
Bruno stared at her with an almost irritated look. He should have known it was going to be a request for something selfish. He didn't have the energy to deal with the request, so without saying anything, he moved around her, only wanting to collapse on his bed with nothing but the calming noises of the sand dunes that lived in his room.
"You are so selfish, Bruno!"
He did his best to ignore his sisters' taunts, even though the words cut him deeper than anyone would know. At least there wasn't anything that could be said that would-
"This is why Abuela puts you in the Dark Room! It's your own fault that you don't do what you're told!"
Bruno stopped in his tracks; his shoulders scrunched up to his sides again. Even though he couldn't see it, Isabela smirked, folding her arms over her chest as if she was proud she struck a nerve against her younger brother. Silent tears rolled down Bruno's face, he forced himself to continue going towards the stairs so he could cry in the privacy of his own tower.
No… it couldn't have been his own fault for being thrown into the Dark Room, could it? It wasn't as though he was purposely disobeying Abuela, it all started when he told her that he was tired and didn't want to look at any visions at the moment. Since that day, he would be taken from whatever he is doing and forced into the Dark Room, restrained to the chair until Abuela decided to go in to get her vision. It wasn't his fault. It wasn't his fault… He was just a kid.
By the time Bruno made it up to the top of the stairs and stopped in front of his glowing door, his legs were aching and in pain. He let out a sigh before going inside, immediately his feet were met with the warm sand that he was accustomed to. It was like a huge wave of relief washed over him, he was finally back in his own space, a space he knew was a sort of comfort for him.
As he walked towards the absurd amount of stairs, there was a deep sound of sand being moved around by seemingly nothing until it took the form of a pulley elevator. It was as if his room knew that he wouldn't have been able to climb up any more stairs.
"Thanks," he mumbled to the sand as he stepped onto the elevator. To this day he wasn't completely sure if the sand was a being that could understand his gratitude, but that didn't stop him from being polite to it anyway. He figured if the sand could create things to help him, it could also create things to hurt him as well. That was something to avoid.
It took a moment before he was at the top of his tower, immediately being invited to his living space. Including his bed, and most importantly…
"How are you doing, Odin?" Bruno questioned once he walked up to the large cage that held his secret pet rat. He opened the squeaky cage, holding his hand out to the grey rat that was already ready to come out to visit.
Once Odin was on Bruno's hand, he began sniffing him, hoping he would have some sort of treat to give him. Sadly, Bruno didn't have the time to sneak something upstairs for him. Oh well, Odin enjoyed Bruno's company.
Without saying anything else, Bruno took a seat on the edge of his bed, gently petting Odin as a way to calm himself down. Not only was Odin something that appeared to listen to him, but he was always a form of comfort for Bruno whenever he got too overwhelmed or whenever he gets out of the Dark Room.
"I'm… tired," was the only thing Bruno was able to force out. He wasn't good at expressing his emotions, not to mention trying to put them into words, but he always tried in some way or another. He continued to fidget gently with Odin, bouncing his leg. "Having a Gift is…" he trailed off, letting out a sigh instead. "You're lucky, Odin. You don't have to have a stupid Gift." He stared off at the tower wall across from his bed, almost in a trance-like state.
The grip he had on Odin became slightly tighter, but not tight enough that it would've hurt the pet rat, but it indicated that Bruno was having a rough time. Bruno's face scrunched up with his eyes forced shut, he was trying to fight off the tears that have been waiting to fall since he came out of his Happy Place in the Dark Room. Why didn't anyone ever talk about the Dark Room? Surely the rest of the family could see how wrong it was.
Once Bruno began to sob, the strange heavyweight feeling felt like it was being lifted from his chest. It would almost have been a relief, but at the same time Bruno hated the feeling of crying; it was embarrassing, he always had a headache afterward, and he hated how tears made his face wet.
"I hate it, Odin. I hate it, I hate it!"
As soon as the words left his mouth, the rat broke out of the grasp Bruno had on him. He made his way up his arm until he made it to his shoulder where he plopped down in the crook of his neck as a form of comfort. While Odin wasn't physically able to give him a hug, this would have to do.
Bruno opened his eyes, sniffling as he gave Odin a pat for being supportive and knowing exactly what to do whenever he was upset.
Whether or not Odin understood what 'thanks' meant, he still bumped his tiny nose into Bruno's neck as if to say you're welcome.
"I wish you wouldn't say that Bruno," a gentle voice came from behind him. When Bruno spun around, his mother was standing there was a small smile while holding a tray of food for him. No doubt something to help his aches and pains.
Bruno did what he could to quickly wipe the tears away from his face so his mother wouldn't have noticed him crying, but he had no idea how long she had been standing there. He turned back around so his back was still to her with no indication of facing her, which was fine, Julieta understood that her youngest child didn't like showing his emotions, even though it wasn't exactly healthy.
She took the silence as an invitation to take a seat on the opposite side of the bed from Bruno where their backs were facing each other. She placed the food tray down on the bed next to him, hoping that he would eat something, she always told the family that food always made things better.
"Why?" He said through a masked broken voice, but a mother could always see through the masks.
"Because… you should be proud to have a Gift. Do you know how amazing it is to have Visions?"
Immediately Bruno's eyes squeezed shut, he held his breath and crossed his fingers as he gently began rocking back and forth. Once he released his breath, he moved on to his next set of tendencies.
"Knock on wood… knock on wood… knock on wood…" Followed by hitting himself three times to keep the balance.
His mother let out a sigh, turning to sit fully on the bed, putting her hands on his shoulders. "Look at me." Bruno bowed his head, shaking it as he didn't want her to see the red rings around his eyes from his previous crying. "Bruno, look at me," she repeated in a more commanding voice, knowing that he would, unfortunately, respond to that better. Once he moved to turn around to match her, she gently grabbed his face, having his eyes meet hers only briefly as he directed his eyes towards the staircase. "Look." He met her eyes again and she let out a sigh. "I told you to stop hitting yourself," she said quietly.
Bruno gave her a look as if she was asking for an impossible request. "You know I have to."
"No, you don't."
"Yes, I do! If I don't then something terrible will happen!"
"Bruno…" she began gently, not wanting her son anymore upset than he was already getting.
"If I don't do them properly in order then the future will change!" His eyes began darting around as if something terrible was about to happen. "And if the future changes it'll be my fault! It's always my fault! And if it's my fault that the future changes-"
"-then they'll make me give out more visions! …Knock on wood… knock on wood… knock on wood…" as much as Julieta wanted to grab his wrists to prevent him from hitting himself in the chest again, she knew it would only make things worse. He was already so worked up. "Then it'll hurt more and-"
Julieta wrapped her arms tightly around her son, bringing him in close for an equally tight hug. She knew she was a terrible mother for allowing this to happen; she was a terrible mother for allowing her mother and the rest of the family to outcast him and treat him as if he were a bad omen and use him for his Gift. She isn't strong enough to go against her own mother, if she had a chance to take Bruno and run away and make a new life for them away from all of this then she would have, but this is the only life she's ever known and wouldn't survive out there. Comparing Bruno before the Gift Ceremony to the present was downright heartbreaking. He used to be so open and adventurous, everyone adored him… Now he had an almost anxiety if his superstitions didn't play out exactly how they were supposed to. Julieta wouldn't go as far as to say Bruno was traumatized, but… she was starting to wonder.
"Hey…" she said gently, reaching a hand up to gently stroke Bruno's messy hair, knowing that this was one of the rare ways to calm him down from his ramblings. "Let's not talk about it anymore, okay?" She felt him nod against her. "Remember…" she held him out at arm's length, noting the silent tears running down his face but not bringing any attention to it. "You are more than your Gift. You are my son. You…" Julieta trailed off, noticing the rat that was now sitting on Bruno's shoulder. She chuckled, ruffling Bruno's hair. "Still have that pet rat."
Bruno picked the rat up from his shoulder, holding him out to his mother with both hands. "His name's Odin," he said, sniffling. "He… helps me."
"Best not let Abuela or Isabela see him." He gave her a weak smile.
"Wanna hold him?"
"Oh, no-" Before she could finish her sentence, Odin jumped from Bruno's cupped hands and landed on her shoulder. Julieta squealed, trying to see where Odin had ended up before they both let out a laugh. She pushed her hair off to the side so Odin would get tangled up. She plucked him up, holding him in her own cupped hands now. "I'm glad you found comfort in something." Odin jumped back onto Bruno's shoulder. Julieta grabbed both of his hands, looking him in the eyes. "Remember, Bruno. I love you for you. You are my son, and nothing will ever change that, understand?"
He nodded; a small sad smile crept across his face as he looked down at the blanket in between them. She planted a kiss on the top of his head.
"Now, eat up. I promise it'll make you feel better."
As Julieta stood up from the bed to leave her son to himself, she let out a groan upon realizing she'd have to go down all those steps again.
"Why do you have so many stairs? I don't understand your room."
Bruno shrugged as he moved the food tray to his lap. "You could use the elevator?" He suggested.
Julieta raised an eyebrow at him. "You had an elevator this whole time? When were you going to tell me about it?"
"I just did," he answered jokingly.
She waved him away as the sand elevator appeared over the edge of the tower. While she was wary of using an elevator made of sand, surely it would beat having to walk down all those stairs again.
As she was heading back down, she gave Bruno one last wave before she disappeared.
Now Bruno was left as he always wanted it to be… Completely alone with only the sounds of the desert surrounding him.
Nothing would hurt him in the desert.
i think I should be on medication and idk if this type of therapy is right for me. i feel like my perspective on life is so warped
Sometimes you listen to a song and then black out and come to an hour later with angsty oc parody art