It’s so much more than just their feet. Oh, don’t get it twisted, their footwork is impeccable- but it’s also all but impossible to single out. Every inch of their dancing body is electricity, is cosmic rays, is the fucking discovery of fire. Back bend, impossible, gravity defying, and snap upright, one hand hovering over Kai’s spine.
“Say yes if I can dip you.”
Kai shivers, imperceptible and indistinguishable from his desire, his dread, his want. He probably can't keep up- his body doesn't move like it used to, all rotten and soft and weak. But he can't stop the laugh, bright and glittering, from slipping out his mouth. "Yes."
Not explaining what? :3 /totally anon
oh :) you know :)
“I want to live the rest of my life, however long or short, with as much sweetness as I can decently manage, loving all the people I love, and doing as much as I can of the work I still have to do. I am going to write fire until it comes out my ears, my eyes, my noseholes—everywhere. Until it’s every breath I breathe. I’m going to go out like a fucking meteor!”
— — Audre Lorde, from “A Burst of Light: Living with Cancer,” The Selected Works of Audre Lorde
“I’m not too gone to be healed, am I? I’m not too gone am I?”
— Alice Notley, from In The Pines: Poems; “In The Pines,”
“Of course.” Diamond stands when Red opts for tea, stepping away from his computer and making for the “kitchen” counter. He rubs at his neck as he goes, working out the stiffness.
He looks the kid over as he passes him on his way to the counter, and bites back a sympathetic sound at Red’s air of discontentment and the general huddle he’s wrapped himself up into at the table. He’s still not certain how Red would react to any perceived coddling, and is too wary of chasing the kid off to risk it. “You’re welcome. I figured you weren’t out here for the fun of it.”
Diamond blinks at the question, glancing back at Red for a moment before turning back to preparing the tea. “And, ah–me? I just haven’t gone to bed yet. Still poking away at a few things.” He waves a vague hand back towards his desk, hesitates, and re-checks the time. It isn’t that he hadn’t been aware of how late it’s gotten, but… it feels a bit more real, now that he’s been jolted out of his focus and has a sleepy teenager sitting there asking him about it. “…uh. I’ll. Probably wrap things up soon.”
Red makes a small sound. That sounds like something he'd tell himself. He eyes Diamond. The doctor was awake when he had fallen asleep, and is still awake. As much as he told himself he would 'wrap things up soon', there were always more things to do. Always.
"Should sleep," he murmurs. "Good for you." But he wouldn't say the company was bad. At least there was company, even if it's not what- who he's used to. He feels a little bad. Kuma is going to be missing him, but he knows Jude won't let them off the ship. He wishes he were with them, but he doesn't want to risk aggravating his arm again.
Red yawns. "Working on?" He's not ready to sleep yet. The cobwebs of his nightmare linger. They hang over him like ghosts, the terror and anxiety -the sadness- is still clinging to his bones. He should sleep- doctor's orders after all.
But he doesn't want to. He'll keep the fear and exhaustion at bay as long as he can. It's better like this, right?
Red shook his head. "First one." It'd look nice on his window, assuming that he didn't kill it. They're supposed to be indestructible right? Maybe it would fare better than the other plants he's gotten. "No light," he said idly. His room barely got any light as it was, and he wasn't around enough for his lamp to really count.
He gently touched a leaf and brought it to the counter. Red tensed. The words budded on his tongue, tightening with the strain of speaking. "What e-else do you…?" He winced and buried into his scarf. He hated talking.
☆ @desertfragments / continued from here
“you may stay as long as you’d like,” hummed the florist, glaring at the rain through another window. they despised storms. they disliked rain in general — it always made sleepiness settle over them, and it warded away customers. “i wouldn’t want to send you out in this rain, especially without an umbrella.”
sensing he’d made a selection, the florist leaned over the counter to glimpse the plant he’d pulled closer. “oh, a succulent! lovely choice. do you collect them?” a pause, and they clarified. “most succulent-buyers i’ve known never seem to have just one.” amusement glimmered in their gaze. “including myself.”
This is all stupid and unnecessary, by the way. He’ll be back to arguing against it at his next convenience, but he’s having a slight spot of difficulty with the whole walking-more-than-ten-metres thing, (and probably will be until he manages to acquire a replacement bit of alexandrite and ritually anoint it during a new moon, et cetera), which makes running off rather challenging.
Kalmar has a nagging suspicion that his imprisonment is as much to make sure he actually follows the not-doctor’s orders as it is to keep him within easy prodding range, anyway. He doesn’t really know what his companion is doing here, but what snippets he’s overheard have left him desperately curious.
Right now, though…
He flicks the top of the Variant Death. Squints at it.
Raises his gaze to Red, expression nearly mirroring the other teen’s.
“I don’t own this, by the way,” he says, holding it up with an accusatory note in his voice. What is this? How did you do this without me noticing? How dare you? “I have never seen this card before in my life,” he clarifies. Honestly, for once.
Still, that’s the present, he supposes. And it – in what might be an act of malicious compliance – goes onto the coffee table beside the other one.
He splits the deck near the middle with a neat flourish, swaps the halves. Pauses again, and, without comment, sets down what looks to be a café loyalty card with precisely one stamp.
“Hm,” he says.
He might have to meditate on this one for a second.
Red rolls his eyes. How did it get in the deck then? He doesn’t trust Kalmar nearly enough to think that it was just an honest mistake. He hadn’t touched the deck. He hadn’t even seen it until today. This was something that Kal had produced a few minutes ago and asked if he wanted a reading. To kill time, he said.
Well, they were certainly killing time. The reading is borderline nonsense at this point. There’s three cards on the table, and Kal’s skeleton fingers pluck a card from the deck. Red leans forward, his cloaked layers shifting slightly.
Despite himself, he’s curious. None of the cards make any sense, and judging from the fortune-teller’s expression, he doesn’t know what this means either. Brown eyes scan the loyalty card. His head tilts slightly as he reads the upside down text.
Coffee shop. A single bright red stamp. There’s nothing else on the ticket.
“Hmph,” Red says as he settles back into the seat. Weird. It’s not his- he doesn’t like coffee. It’s not Kal’s either. He glances at the door. Maybe it’s Nil’s. Maybe the loyalty card didn’t randomly appear in the deck and just got mixed in.
He taps the table, short and quick impatient staccato before his hand is pulled back into the confines of his blanket. “Wh-a-at… mmea-ning?” His voice is barely a whisper, cracking on broken syllables and splitting on shattered sound. It hurts to talk. Not that it’s been a problem yet since Nil and Kalmar do enough chattering to fill the space.
His fingers scratch at his throat absently. The skin underneath the bandages itches.
There’s a brief moment where Maddox’s expression sharpens. He gnaws on the inside of his cheek, biting down on the urge to grab Red by the scruff of his neck and shake him because Hey! What do you fucking know, Kid? You probably never met their mom or their dad, you wouldn’t get it. And also, what, is this how you’re gonna react when you hear that one of the brothers died? Two deaths in less than a week not good enough for you, HUH?
But. But, but, but, the knee jerk reaction covers up a festering little hole in his own chest, little cracks in the conviction of his own understanding. Lewis won’t talk to him either and it sucks. It fucking sucks and it isn’t FAIR. He’d punch someone if they got on him for bitching.
He’d punch Lewis if he walked into the room right now.
So, he shuts his eyes and sighs. “I’ll give it a shot. Wait here.” He pushes back from the patio table, fishing the dab pen back out of his pocket and heading to a corner across the yard, where the picket fence meets itself. He takes a long hit, fingers scrolling through his contacts as he holds the burning vapor in his lungs. It tastes like pine-
He exhales as he reaches the C’s, smoke winding from his nostrils. He’ll start here. The phone rings, and it rings, and it rings- Hey-hello! Charlie here, kinda-sorta. Sorry I missed you. Leave a message and I’ll get back to you ASAP.
The threat of tears prickles at his eyes, makes the bridge of his nose ache and he hangs up. No need to leave a message to someone who’s dead, on a phone that’s probably broken. Probably dropped into a bar toilet or stepped on or thrown out the window of a bus to Canada or some shit.
Red scrubs at his face. He's not tired. He's awake and- and- exhausted. When was the last time he slept properly? He almost wants to doze off now, curled up in the backyard of this strange house, at this strange table, forgotten in the grass.
He stands. His eyes are bleary and Red stifles a yawn. "S'ld-- f'm ride." One hand finds his phone. Aw, shit. His breath hisses out in annoyance. Nicole has practically blown up his phone. Notification after notification after text after text after missed call that ends with:
/im leaving!! Andreas getting pushy I gotta go!
/text me when you find a ride okay??
/and call mom theyre gonna be going BATSHIT if you dnt show up by morning dumbass
Red pulls at his jacket and looks at Maddox. He's a vaguely shaped person that makes Red's eyes hurt. He squints. What had he said? He sifts through exhausted memory, tinted with the sharp edge of sound.
Right. He nods, and tries- fails- to push another yawn down. "N'd ride," he mutters. His head tilts as Red sorts his thoughts into coherence. Address. He needs to give Maddox his address. "'s. P-phone." He makes a vague gesture at the redhead, blinking hard before- "N'v'mind."
It'll be easier on his phone, probably. The light blinks on, bright and glaring and headache-inducing. It's painful to look at. But he focuses through the budding strain, firing off a short, clipped message to Nicole, and then pulling up his navigator app and racking his brain for the address.
He never put the proper location in. He never needed to. Anywhere he'd go would be close to home, within walking distance and he could always ask Nicole when he forgot. His eyes slide upward.
Nicole's asleep at this hour. Can't ask her. The parents are too. Can't text them.
Red groans. It's a grating sound that scratches at his throat. One hand rubs at his face. "D'nno. Where. Home." He's so tired. He doesn't want to be awake.
The world almost feels like it's spinning, swirling around as Red tries to organize himself into something resembling a person. His mouth feels like cotton and his mind is hazy and starting to stab at his skull.
Red opens his mouth, half forming words before changing his mind. He gives Maddox a helpless look. "Help."
He watches Nil move around the kitchen, sees the spindly hands that were just hovering around his neck put cups down, pull food from the cabinets. It's hard not to perk up a little. The apple is something, and it's hard to cry with food in his mouth. It's better this way, he tells himself. He's hungry and tired, and it has to help.
Even if it tastes bad, feels bad to eat. The apple is chalky, granular and tasteless. He doesn't finish it. Why would he? There's a whole jar of peanut butter right there.
He eyes it warily, and watches Nil swipe the half-eaten apple through. His nose wrinkles. Gross. Nil pushes the jar towards him and Red lets his limbs loosen. He leans forward, and practically yanks the jar into his lap. There's nothing to eat the peanut better with. Oh well. Red digs a finger into it and digs out a dollop. It's sweet and salty, sticking to the roof of his mouth and gumming his mouth shut.
It's even better when Nil lets the silence stretch on between them. There's no expectation here. It's comfortable and quiet, and it's nice. He can bury the bitter grief here. Just for a moment. Just for a moment, he can pretend like his world hasn't turned upside down, like he hasn't lost his friends, like he wasn't bleeding out just a few minutes ago.
Red licks his fingers and reaches for the milk. He can take solace in this brief moment of peace, right?
It doesn't last long enough. Nil shatters the silence like a thunderclap. Red freezes, eyes narrowing sharply. How could Nil know anything? What is there to know? His friends ditched him, left him behind, didn't even /think/ to leave a whisper behind. How does knowing anything change that? Would it change anything?
It has to, right?
Red opens his mouth, then shuts it. He eyes Nil warily. "No lies." He takes a breath, suddenly aware of his position. He teeters at the edge of a crossroads. No turning back. Does he want to know? Red exhales, and fixes Nil with a sharp gaze. "Tell. All of it."
“No,” Red spits. “I d-on’t ffFUCKING kn–ow anything.” How could he? How could he when Lewis doesn’t- can’t- when Charlie won’t pick up the phone? When no one bothers to tell him what happened, where the brothers went- why they don’t fucking TALK TO HIM?
Nil stands while Red speaks, passing by slowly. “No worries. Maddox’ll tell me eventually.” Probably not. That kid can hold a grudge like no other. And Nil is including himself and that prickly lawyer in the lineup. A weathered hand squeezes the top of Red’s head as he passes, ruffles his hair just a tiny bit. It’s a brief touch, but reassuring, hopefully. Comforting.
𝐂𝐎𝐎𝐊𝐈𝐍𝐆 𝐏𝐑𝐎𝐌𝐏𝐓𝐒 (𝐏𝐓. 𝟏)
so, i absolutely love cooking! it's a passion of mine, i've been cooking for my family for years, people seem to find my food edible enough, and i recently found myself unable to cook at all for about a week, resulting in this little list coming into existence! i'm most likely going to make more of these, simply because the dynamics in a kitchen are varied as hell, right? we have romantic couples who cook together as a hobby, there's professional restaurant kitchen settings, baking oriented stuff, cooking with kids, there's a LOT to be done w the topic! so these are more for the chaos of someone who cannot boil an egg to save their life, vs. someone who enjoys cooking and is widely considered to be a dab hand at it! DO NOT ADD TO THIS LIST! but i do hope you enjoy it as much as i enjoyed making it!
" hey, hey, it's okay! we'll scrape off the burnt bits! "
" here, let me chop the onions, okay? you can dice the peppers and beef; just be sure to do them on separate boards, yeah? "
" you... you know the wine was for the stew, don't you?! "
" i swear to you, i don't know how this happened. i followed every single instruction, word for word! "
" taste this and tell me what you think! "
" oh my god... this is AMAZING! you should have your own cooking show! "
" you're kidding me! no way this whole thing is vegan! it's just too good! "
" so, um... i might have possibly accidentally tipped the entire jar of cayenne pepper into the soup... and by might have, i mean definitely. "
" i think i'm gonna have to ask you to leave the kitchen before you hurt somebody. "
" it says here to fold in the eggs... now, tell me, how exactly does one do that? "
" i might have over-exaggerated my cooking skills... and blown up the oven. "
" look, it sounds gross, but i'm telling you, when it's cooked right, it's the best thing ever! "
" i lied to my date and now they think i'm this amazing cook when i'm absolutely not, so please, can you spare me the lecture and just teach me how to cook? "
" woah, woah, woah... try chopping like this. yeah, that's it. you won't chop off your hand this way. "
" so, um... how exactly did it manage to stay frozen solid on the inside, but scorch to a crisp on the outside? "
" okay, remember when it asked for fifty grams of sugar? yeah. i accidentally used salt. "
" well, at least we know the smoke alarms work, right? "
" i ruined three knives, i have a roast chicken embedded in my ceiling, my oven officially needs therapy, and so do i! wanna call it quits and order a pizza? "
" i swear, you're one of those kitchen gods who can make ice cubes taste fantastic! "
" this is the fun part! take that tenderiser, and beat the absolute crap out of that pile of steaks. "
" i'm trying so hard not to judge you right now, but... onion goggles?! "
" how on earth did you get pasta sauce on the ceiling? "
" you know every single firefighter in town knows my name? and my top three favorite comfort foods to bring each time i trigger the fire alarm? yeah. that's my culinary reputation. "
" hey. it's okay. this isn't the first time i've burnt dinner. i have taco bell on speed dial. "
" sometimes recipes just don't work out. and that's okay! what matters is that you tried. "
" i didn't realize it was even possible to burn water! "
" ah... i see where you went wrong. the recipe uses paprika. this is chilli powder. "
" quit eating the batter, or we'll have no cupcakes at all! "
" no! no way. i'm not tasting anything cooked by you; not since your orange juice gave me food poisoning. "
" the last time i tried to cook, my pot roast ended up on fire and put a hole in my dry wall. i had to hang paintings over it until i could refill the crater. "
" no, you cannot cook chicken medium-rare. wanna know why? because that means it's raw. and you'll end up with food poisoning. and i'll have to tell you what a moron you were to even think that was an acceptable thing to do in the first place. "
" i thought you teaching me how to cook would be all soft and friendly, like the great british bake-off! but it's more like hell's kitchen. "
" no tears in my kitchen, thank you! "
" six fires in three hours is your personal best! only problem is, we're making fruit salad... "
" i understand that it's meant to be salted caramel, but... exactly how much salt did you use?! "
well maybe my path to getting revenge wouldn't be so bloody and destructive if people didn't keep getting in my way to lecture me about how bloody and destructive a path it is
hi YouTube! today we're gonna be unboxing my boyfriend! [camera pans to a tray of surgery tools, and promptly turns to a boy. he is scared]