the first day in august - carole king
the first day in august - carole king
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Comic #26 My brain at night (July 31, 2021)
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i don’t think my bgc-conversion posts will get that much traction, meaning when you search up “cottage living bgc” they won’t show up.
but on the bright side that means they probably won’t get copyrighted? or something, like whatever happened to @soolani throwback fit post
It's here, i have finally started the comic it's a slice of life about a quiet room and 2 people enjoying silence in a noise little town.
I didn't feel like drawing hands. I just wanted to get his design finished. Please tell me what you think!
newt and hermann doing the acoc balcony scene would be less impactful than the real one bc newt would be possessed and therefore the rest of their relationship would still have been real. but he could do the whole speech. on the other hand there is no universe in which calroy would “im not strong enough” unless it was all his long con and hes just pretending to be possessed. ACTUALLY. ACTUALLY.
bucky not being able to accept affection straight away because some part of him is still expecting to be punished. because it’s no secret that bucky and natasha where punished for their relationship and he blames himself for it probably.
and while it’s been years since he’s been free a small part of him will always expect love to come at a cost.
MAXWELL’S SILVER HAMMER
What have you done to me—Naomi—
Cas gasps awake, the dark of sleep yanking from his eyes just as quickly as the dark of night fills them again. He sits up immediately, propped on one elbow, certain that if he remains laying down a second longer he’ll find himself unable to rise again. He pants for breath, mouth dry, skin clammy with sweat, and tries to gather himself. He blinks hard in the darkness. Sees nothing. Hears only his own harsh breath.
Midnight is unrelenting.
At last his mind comes back to him enough for him to recognize where he is—the floor of the Gas-N-Sip stockroom. Of course it’s dark. There’s no windows.
His heart is still pounding, seeming impossibly loud, as if somebody has taken to beating a drum. He lays back down in his sleeping bag and skims his palms across his chest, splays them wide over his ribs. He presses a hand over the part of his torso he had tattooed, finds the thought of the Enochian ward comforting even in the dark. He repeats his mantra in his head:
The angels will never find me. This is my body. It’s my body under my own control. Naomi is dead. I’m safe.
Cas closes his eyes, breathes in and out through his mouth. Sometimes things like that bring him quiet pleasure—sometimes life itself brings him pleasure, life as a human with all its new feelings and freedoms—but those moments are rare. He has too much on his mind (and his conscience) to really enjoy himself the way he might. The way he should. And more often than not, he’s afraid that he’s as useless a human as he was an angel.
But that reminds him too much of his nightmare. His breathing grows shallow again. He’s not sure what the translation from angelic to human psyches is, but he’s certain he’s lost most of his emotional restraint. He gets overwhelmed more often, and is worse at being able to calm himself.
And nightmares. Even the ordeals he thinks he has overcome will show up in his dreams at night, dark reminiscing that is no less terrifying in the morning.
Not for the first time, Cas wonders (and it is a precious freedom to wonder) what kind of God would enact cruelties like this on His most favored creatures. Would fill moments of rest with more pain.
Tonight his dream was about Naomi’s cutting room. He’s never been really sure how much of his memory of Naomi’s interference has been real and how much has been his imagination trying to fill the blanks of his mind, but he has a sinking feeling this dream was more truth than imagination. Memories are as liable as fantasies to come in his sleep.
Tonight he was in the room. He had been restrained, strapped to that imitation of a soft chair. In some of the later days he did not have to be restrained during her work; he would sit and accept the drill, sit and take it as she ordered. As she pleased.
Sometimes she would make him say it. She’d say Castiel, how do you feel? Do I need to fix you again? And he’d be compelled to answer yes, Naomi, I feel. Yes, I need to be fixed. There were times when Castiel would say please and even thank you.
But in the earlier days it was just the chair and the drill. Naomi would ask and Cas could still say no, fuck you and fuck your mission. She would drill then, of course. Drill until he couldn’t say anything at all. Until he couldn’t do anything except lay there and bleed, the things she didn’t tear from him weeping from his damaged eyes like a parody of tears.
After tearing him apart she would build him again, carefully, with Heaven’s light and honor, feed him the words of prophets and angelsong, fill his head with images of righteous war and the striking down of sinners and abominations, tell him his purpose, tell him his duty, tell him his wonderful mission, detail the importance of Heaven’s preservation, show him visions of the Host rising triumphant above the scorched and many corpses of its enemies, glory, glory.
Tonight he had been in the chair again.
He had struggled futilely against his bindings. The chair itself was a facsimile that Naomi provided—the structure of his brain had changed, had accustomed him to human living, so she had constructed the idea of the room and the chair and the drill and the woman in the smart outfit for his benefit. To show him there was no place for his body to go, so he might as well give it up. But Cas held onto the idea of his body, the map he had taken from Jimmy and committed himself to, for as long as he could. He stayed with himself in that chair.
He would hear the clack of her heels. He could twist his neck to watch her come in; there was no restraint for his head, because she liked to leave that last, liked to hold him down herself. Naomi always thought of their interactions as personal, no matter what she said. No matter what she said, she enjoyed her job.
She would come into the room looking disappointed, hands clasped behind her back, perhaps for the illusion of non-interference. The chance that he could leave unscathed. The chance at an out, if only their conversation could remain civil.
Cas would twist his neck and she would look down at him, a practiced hint of regret in her unfeeling eyes.
This, too, Cas wonders about—what God would create such a gray and mechanical child? So dedicated to heartlessness, even among the Host. If no other angel in Heaven was born a weapon, Naomi was. A scalpel.
In the dream she came clicking, smart-stepping into the cutting room. Cas twisted his neck and she gazed down upon him. In the grip of her terrible eyes he was the sheep who had strayed too far. The errant child. The miserable stunted tree. He saw this and more.
In the dream she stepped closer, one hand grasping the head of the chair, and Cas knew that this same hand would be wielding the instrument in a moment. All her eyes fixed on him. She spoke and her voice was home, duty, Heaven, the first sting before the drill:
Home-coming, Castiel. A pleasure to have you again.
In the dream he had been unable to respond. A state of terror stole over him, maybe because he sensed his real helplessness—not just his pinned wings, in the memory, but the destruction of his wings in the reality of his waking world. Here reality and dream-memory merged, stripped him of power completely, made Naomi all-consuming.
Her eyes fixed on him, taking in his body. She shook her head. Must you tote around this terrible thing? she asked. Even in Heaven? Must you torture the rest of us with your disgrace, Castiel?
Disgrace, of course, that was the word. The only word for him, the one that fit him better than angel or human or hero or criminal. That fit him better than his own name. Disgraced, fallen; a disgrace, shame-bringer. And how could he not feel shame for what he had done to Heaven—creating chaos, civil war, blood-letting and blood-lust—
Your allegiance is still to humanity, she said, seeming almost to marvel; after all you’ve done to us in humanity’s name, you seek no recourse. You stray farther. Your priorities are skewed, your loyalties twisted. You still remain dedicated to our suffering. For the sake of what? A man? A body? These things don’t last, Castiel. I can show you.
And she did show him. Showed him how to be something permanent. Heaven’s will, glory, hammer. Showed him the impermanence of Dean Winchester, the impermanence of his own flesh. How quickly blood can dry and a heart can fail. How easily bones break….how easily breath stops….
But he clung. Even in the nightmare, the memory, he clung to his body, kept it safe within himself; even as his mind sloughed away, as he saw his own hands commit unspeakable acts. From a distance, from the warehouse, from the chair, from behind glazed eyes he had watched Naomi frown.
It’s disturbing. Your attachment to this Earth-thing. You couldn’t be content with a vessel like the rest of us, could you? You had to make yourself flesh, didn’t you? Not for convenience. For pride. For gluttony. For lust. Delusions of humanity. Obsession, Castiel. It isn’t natural for an angel to be bound like this. You’re sick. But I can fix you.
Her hand in his hair then, brushing almost gently, might have been mistaken for sympathy if he could not see the cold light in her eyes. The sharp whine of the drill.
And if I can’t fix you, I can use you. Your mistake, Castiel. The flesh is weak. Not even this will be yours. Everything you are—
In the stockroom, Cas rises again, a palm pressed over his mouth to keep his breathing quiet. He can feel the sweat run on his skin.
As much as he hated her, as he feared her, he could not forget that he’d been like her once. A puppeteer—that was what he had been for Jimmy Novak. Now he knew the real horror. To have your mind diminished, to be moved against your will, to forget yourself, to hurt your loved ones. To have your body turned into a hammer, and your mind—into something else.
Jimmy had offered himself, body, mind, and soul, in exchange for his daughter, and Castiel had facilitated it like a common crossroads demon. He’d let it ride even after his defection in the name of preventing the Apocalypse. Nevermind Jimmy cursing him, nevermind the little girl and her mother he’d left behind. Cas had traded one mission for another and intended on seeing it out to its end, or his, whichever came first.
And still, when Jimmy had seen death coming, he’d taken it with grace. He’d said, keep the suit, Cas. I think you need it more than me.
Whether that was generosity, or exhaustion, or prophecy, Cas doesn’t know. What he knows is that this is the face of the friend Dean knows, that it’s the body he protected from Naomi, that it’s how he returns after every resurrection as if he is more than something inhabiting a vessel. Sometimes he thinks maybe Jimmy is the only human who ever understood him.
Everything you belongs to Heaven, Naomi had said. But out of the two of them it’s Cas left alive; yes with nightmares and yes in the dark and yes alone, but still alive. Still his own.
Cas guesses he won’t be able to sleep again tonight, so he stands and fumbles for the light switch. He can get the store ready before Nora shows up; he can do that much. He can be useful.
He just wishes he didn’t have to be alone on nights like these. It’s still hard, sometimes, to look at his hands and not see Heaven. In the dark, when he’s alone like this, he really has no way of knowing that the damage he’s done isn’t permanent, that the warehouse isn’t real. He wonders—maybe it would be easier if only he weren’t so alone—
But thinking like that doesn’t pay the bills. As it were. So he makes himself forget it.