Tumpik
#creative writing
lyralit · 2 days ago
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flowers, plants and their meanings
Abatina - Fickleness
Acanthus - The fine art, Artifice
Aloe - Affection, also Grief
Amaryllis - Pride
Anemone - Forsaken
Angelica - Inspiration
Apple blossom - Preference
Arborvitae - Unchanging friendship
Aster - Symbol of Love, Daintiness
Bachelor’s button - Single blessedness
Basil - Good wishes
Bay tree - Glory
Begonia - Beware
Belledonna - Silence
Bittersweet - Truth
Black-eyed Susan - Justice
Bluebell - Humility
Borage - Bluntness, Directness
Butterfly weed - Let me go
Calla lily - Beauty
Camellia, pink - Longing For You
Camellia, red - You’re a Flame in My Heart
Camellia, white - You’re Adorable
Candytuft - Indifference
Carnation - Fascination, female love, mother’s love
Red carnation - Alas for my poor heart, my heart aches, deep love
White carnation - Innocence, pure love, sweet love
Pink carnation - I’ll never forget you
Striped - Refusal
Yellow carnation - Disdain, Disappointment, Rejection
Chamomile - Patience in adversity
Chives - Usefulness
Chrysanthemum, red - I love you
Chrysanthemum, yellow - Slighted love
Chrysanthemum, white - Truth
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the-modern-typewriter · a day ago
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Hello, hope you're having a good day.
Could you write a snippet about a civilian taking in an injured stranger. The stranger is maybe a past lackey or assistant for Villan hiding from him. Villan appears at the civilians door asking kindly for them back🙂 Civilan is torn between keeping them away from villan or handing lackey over for their own saftey.
The second the door opened, it clicked exactly why the stranger had seemed so naggingly familiar. The civilian swallowed. They looked the villain up and down, slowly, like maybe that might make him disappear again.
It didn't.
The villain stayed standing on their doorstep, a perfectly pleasant smile on his face.
The civilian's fingers twitched on the door frame.
"Don't," the villain said. "Insurance won't cover me breaking your door down. May I come in?"
"I'd feel a lot better if you didn't." It came out raspy.
The villain gave an understanding nod. "Perhaps you'll send them out instead then?"
"Them?" the civilian squeaked. "I - I don't -"
The villain tilted his head, giving the civilian a gently chiding sort of look.
The civilian's mouth clicked shut. Their fingers flexed on the door again, mind racing through their options.
The villain stuck his hands in his pockets, seeming perfectly inclined to wait.
"...are you going to force your way in here if I don't?"
"Yes."
"Right."
There was a beat of silence, and the civilian shifted squirming on their feet. "They're hurt. They seem -" The civilian cleared their throat. "You're not going to hurt them, are you?"
The villain's pleasant smile broadened a fraction; an offering of white teeth. "Of course not."
He was lying. The stranger's reactions, their sweating nightmares and soft cries of restless terror made that all too clear already. It had been a stupid question to ask. Maybe they'd simply hoped the lie would be more convincing; their guilt assuaged.
"Right," the civilian said again, faintly.
They scanned the night sky for any convenient heroes. Anything, really. The evening was quiet. The sound of late night TV drifted soothingly through their neighbour's wall.
They couldn't afford to pay for a new door.
It wasn't like they could stop the villain, was it? Any defence they put up would just be bravado, idiocy. Telling the villain 'no' might feel good for all of three seconds, right before it changed absolutely nothing except how much the civilian got hurt in the process.
The civilian bit their lip, studying the villain.
"Would you prefer I bribed you?" the villain asked, kindly. They fished their wallet out. It was sleek brown leather. Fancy like. The villain extracted a few hundred in crisp notes; enough to make the civilian give a strangled little wheeze.
"No, thank you," the civilian said. They wrenched their gaze from the cash. "Um."
"I'm not interested in you," the villain said. "Beyond being grateful that you offered them assistance when they needed it. We can keep it that way."
"You're not going to kill me?"
"I considered it," the villain said, in the same kind voice. "Nothing personal for you. Just a punishment for them, you understand, for thinking that there's anywhere they can go."
The civilian flinched.
The villain gave a theatrical wince. "Too malevolent?"
"A bit."
"I'm on a time schedule," the villain said. "So if you'd just...step out of the way or go get them. I'd hate to squash you."
"I'd hate to be squashed."
"Ah, The Princess Bride." The villain swept forward, ruffling the civilian's hair. "I love that movie."
The civilian didn't mean to step in the way. It just sort of happened.
They imagined the villain's former right hand, inside, huddled looking terribly small under a fluffy blanket on the sofa.
The villain raised an eyebrow. He turned what felt like his full attention on the civilian for the first time.
The civilian nearly passed out on the spot. They squared their shoulders. "I think they know where to find you. If they, you know, want to."
"Darling."
The civilian squeezed their eyes shut for a moment. They drew a steadying breath.
"Perhaps," the villain said, "you'd like to go and ask your guest what happens to people who cross me. Perhaps you'd like a story about one of the many, many times they hurt someone like you because I asked them to. How healed are they now, do you reckon?" The villain placed two fingers beneath the civilian's chin, tipping their head up. "Enough to break every bone in your body if I ask really nicely? It might get them back in my good books."
"You said you wouldn't hurt them."
"And I won't. Do you think they'd try and protect you so sweetly, if the tables were turned? You know who they are. What they are."
The civilian opened their eyes. They looked at the villain.
The villain dropped his hand, and put his wallet back in his pocket. He did not step back.
"You have three seconds, love, or I'm coming in."
The civilian went and fetched the villain's former right hand - still feverish and halfway to broken - helping them to the door with an arm around their waist.
The former right hand didn't seem surprised to see the villain, though their grip tightened on the civilian for a heartbeat. Like the civilian, they scanned the empty, black skies for salvation.
There was only the villain, who assessed his former right hand for a moment, noting the limp.
"Tell me, if you want to live," the villain said, idly, to the civilian. "What they are."
Guilt, rancid and world-ending, rose up the civilian's throat.
"They're yours."
"Damn right they are."
The villain offered the former right-hand a steadying arm, a crutch, with that same pleasant smile on his face.
The ex right hand shot them a look, muttered a half-delirious "sorry" and "thanks" to the civilian, and painstakingly shoved past and began to walk down to the car.
The villain winked at the civilian, and followed.
The civilian never saw either of them again.
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Prompt #932
"You're a nuisance in my life."
"Oh, you say the sweetest things."
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Be Good
"Darling, darling, shhh," Whumper soothed, "I'm not going to hurt you."
Whumpee sobbed as they cowered on the bed.
"B-but you have a n-needle!" Whumpee hiccuped.
"Yes, I do have a needle," Whumper agreed, "but it's not to hurt you. It's to help you be good. You want to be good, don't you, Whumpee?"
"I-I-"
Whumper smiled softly.
"I know you do, so let me do this and then we can do whatever you want. Within reason, of course."
Whumper climbed on the bed with the syringe in hand, causing Whumpee to sob harder. Whumper just had the needle over Whumpee's elbow when Whumpee cried out.
"Wait!"
Whumper paused, the needle hovering inches over Whumpee's skin.
"Yes?" Whumper asked.
"I-I don't need that to be good," Whumpee said desperately, "I'll do whatever you want, but please, not the needle."
Whumper sighed.
"Darling, you flinch everytime I try to get close to you, you act terrified of me whenever I'm around you, and you're always trying to escape," Whumper reasoned, "this is the only way to make sure you won't do those things. Here, close your eyes, it'll be the smallest pinch and then it'll all be over."
Whumpee looked at Whumper pleadingly, then screwed their eyes shut.
"There we go, very good," Whumper said, bringing the needle down, "why don't you tell me some things you'd like to do after this, yeah?"
Whumpee winced as they felt the needle enter their skin.
"Can we watch a movie?" Whumpee asked, their eyes still tightly closed.
"Of course we can," Whumper said, injecting the contents of the syringe into Whumpee's system, "we can watch anything you want. What do you want to eat while we're watching it?"
"Ice cream?" Whumpee asked.
Whumper gently pulled the needle out of Whumpee's skin and stuck a bandaid over the injection site.
"Absolutely, darling," Whumper said, "all done. You can open your eyes now."
Whumpee cracked an eye open and looked down at their arm. There was no needle, only a bandaid. There was something else though, a faint drowsiness was starting to come over them. Whumpee slumped forward, unable to hold themselves up. Whumper was ready for it; they caught Whumpee and positioned them against their chest. Whumpee wanted to flinch back, to get away from Whumper, but their body wouldn't let them. They could barely keep their eyes open, much less push away from Whumper. They let out a frustrated whine as they tried and failed to move.
"There there." Whumper ran a hand through Whumpee's hair, "you did so well. Let's go watch that movie."
------
Tags: @mythixmagic
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thepenultimateword · 2 days ago
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Hello! I would like to request something!
Supervillain/villain x thief. Just something I've been enjoying lately. Nothing specific i would like you to write with it though, feel free to write whatever you want (if you want to write it ofc, don't feel forced to write anything if you don't want to!)
Have a nice day!
CW: blood, a couple dead animals (not explicitly described)
Most people didn't come this far up the mountain. They had the good sense to heed the laws and leave the restricted area at the top alone. And if they didn't care for laws, like the thief didn't, they at least had the preservation skills to avoid the city's most legendary monster.
Yes, the thief was probably being stupid, but they'd been doing stupid things for so long, their preservation instincts had been filed down smooth and harmless. Not great at avoiding trouble and not great at getting out of it either, a double whammy for someone in their line of work. But even if they never knew when to stop or when to run, at least they were pretty good at getting a job done.
The thick wall of thorns and brambles appeared out of the mist in front of them. That meant the prison was just on the other side.
They unshouldered one strap of their pack, flipped it around, and relooped it so the bag lay against their chest. Then they dropped to their belly and began wriggling through the well-worn gap beneath the underbrush. Their pack scraped the earth, staining the orange canvas a ashen brown and slowing them to a crawl, but at least they avoided getting tangled in the branches overhead. The old scars littering their arms spoke of days when the path had not been so deep, flat earth instead of a deep furrow, but today, the blood-thirsty prickles did not even steal a drop.
When they scrambled out the other side the bars were right there, thick, cold iron built straight into the mountainside.
The thief knelt on the ground and peered squinting into the thick darkness. "Hello?" Without waiting for an answer, they dropped their pack to the earth with a poof of barren dust and began unpacking the contents into a small pile in front of them. "Anyone awake in there?"
Long, pale fingers slowly emerged from the shadows and wrapped around the cruel iron. Moments later, a matching long, pale face joined them.
"Hello, little raven. Miss me so soon?”
The supervillain’s eyes sunk dark and sharp in their sockets, like a couple pieces of whetted obsidian, only made darker from thick shadows gathered beneath. It had only been a couple weeks since their last visit, but the thief couldn’t tear their eyes away from the drastic change in weight and energy.
“Are you sick?” Somehow the thief’s fingers had found their way to the supervillain’s, and now they rested gently overtop their knuckles on the bars. There was that reckless stupidity again. They shouldn’t touch a person who could suck the soul from any living thing on contact, but…they did have that power suppressor firmly locked around their throat, and the supervillain’a skin was so cold it might as well be ice itself… It should be fine.
“Just a little under the weather,” the Supervillain said, allowing the thief’s hands to warm them. “It will pass.”
“Can’t you tell someone?”
The supervillain chucked emptily. “Who? There are no guards. No caretakers. No cooks. I am alone here.”
“But…the heroes can’t just abandon their prisoners.”
Supervillain shrugged, slumping against their bars a little. “They built me a pit, threw me in, and never looked back.”
“How do you live?”
All this time they had assumed that the villain was being taken care of. Maybe not living a life of luxury,—this was a prison—but at least with a couple square meals a day and pair of steady eyes on them in case anything happened. That was always how the media made it sound when they mentioned the supervillain’s confinement. A state of the art, highly guarded penitentiary, that would keep supervillain out of trouble for the rest of their life.
The thief cringed inwardly. They could have been bringing more useful things. Meals, medicine, water.
“The things you bring are more than enough, little raven,” Supervillain said as if reading their mind. “I have a surplus of souls to sustain me. I won’t require physical food to keep my alive for at least a decade.”
And yet they were sick.
“I can go back down and find better things.”
The supervillain shook their head, hands rotating flat so that they no longer gripped the iron and only the thief's slender hands. “I already told you I’m fine. Show me what you brought.”
The thief hesitated but nodded, plucking up a jewel-encrusted hairpin from the pile. "I have this pure gold pin embedded with emeralds, then I got this--"
"Not like that. Tell it like a story." The supervillain settled down on their side, head rested on one outstretched arm while their eyes continued to watch the thief's movements. The thief could almost imagine they weren't sitting on two opposite sides of a prison wall, one of them practically immortal and the reaper of hundreds of human souls. Maybe they could just be two people, sort of fond of each other, out camping and telling tales.
"Alright," the thief said. "So there I was, standing in the middle of the auction house with 2 hours of sleep and a secondhand outfit covered in sequins, looking good, feeling cute. That is until Miss 'Catherine Troughy' comes up and starts having an absolute fit that my clothes are too distracting, and that they clash with her dress and its tacky silver rhinestones. I'm just trying to get into the back and do my thing, but she just won't let it alone. Soon security is coming over, the host is coming over, and my invitation is being scrutinized--seriously, under a magnifying glass, and..."
They trailed a little as the supervillain's mouth tugged into a small smile, but before the pause could grow large enough to become noticeable, they leaped back into descriptions of their invitation, the tension of waiting if it would be revealed a fake, the relief at it being passed, the way they avoided this annoying woman the entire night and eventually shoved her off the stage when she caught them stealing the pin, an ancient artifact from a past king.
They reached past the bars and tucked it into the supervillain's long, untidy hair before launching into a new story about the mayor's unlocked backdoor and now missing feather pillow—it should be much more comfortable than whatever the supervillain was using now.
Not all of the stories were very exciting, but the supervillain shared just as much interest in big heists as they did in shoplifting. They asked for details about mundane things like train rides and weather and didn't seem to mind whether something ended smoothly or in chaos.
The thief liked sharing these experiences fully with someone else, almost as if they had a friend along with them the whole time, but they liked sharing the spoils even more: a diamond ring, a silk shawl, a new pair of clothes, a box of fancy, velvet cream chocolates, a tin of mints, a crochet hook and a ball of yarn, and a romance novel that supervillain allowed them to read out loud. However, by the end of chapter one, the supervillain's eyes were drooped closed, and their shoulders trembled with chills.
"I'm going to make you some soup," the thief said determinedly, clambering to their feet and brusquely wiping the knees of their pants. "I'll be back in a couple hours."
The supervillain's eyes flickered open. "You know if you really want to help. I know the ingredients for a revitalizing potion, perhaps you could gather the ingredients and brew it for me?"
"But...I don't have powers."
"Don't need them." The supervillain's eyes drooped back down, but they continued talking. "A potion makes its own magic based on its recipe. The right blend makes the right result. But if you're uncomfortable, soup would be just as well."
The thief didn't know about that. Soup did not seem like anything compared to a magical revitalizing potion. And with the supervillain suffering so much...
"What do you need?"
One eye winked back open. "It's quite a long recipe."
"I have time!"
"And some of the ingredients are somewhat...unusual."
"I have a good eye for unusual."
The supervillain paused but then nodded. "Alright, it goes like this. Three sprigs of lavender, two sprigs of thyme, three withered mints leaves, the wings of a lunar moth that have never yet flown, a thorn stained with i's first blood, the claw of a predator, the tooth of it's prey, and a few beams of moonlight shining over the surface while it boils. It must be served scalding."
That was... interesting. But certainly not impossible.
"And you'll feel better once you have it?" the thief said.
"Yes," the supervillain confirmed. "I'll be...just like new."
***
It took the greater part of the night to find everything on the supervillain's list, and much of it wasn't very pleasant. Luckily, a walk down the side of the highway found them the claw of a predator they didn't have to grapple with--a poor coyote that had ended up on the wrong side of a car--but they were not quite so lucky when it came to prey. They were just glad they had gloves with them because they would have suffered a lot more serious bites getting that squirrel's tooth if they went barehanded. They felt a little awful scaring the little guy, but all they had to do was think of the supervillain shivering in their prison and they were consoled.
The lunar moth took hours, mostly because they had to find a barely hatching cocoon, not an already flying insect. Luckily, that they were in the right season for that sort of thing.
By the time they had everything they needed, the moon was high in the sky, and the thief had to walk very slowly to get up the mountain slope without misstepping and taking a deadly tumble down. As they passed through the bramble and thorn thickets, they chose one thorn from the very center, most unlikely to have pricked something before, and cut it with the blade of their pocket knife. Then they sunk it into the pad of their finger. They bit their lip not to cry out and then a second time when they pulled it out again. Despite the blanket of darkness draped overhead and tucked in on all sides, they barely picked out the bloodstain from the night.
"I'm back," the thief called to the vacant opening, sucking their sore finger as they laid out the ingredients and started setting up a spot for a fire.
"That wasn't so long."
The supervillain suddenly appearing out of the dark, leaning their shoulder against the bars.
“Ha!” Thief scoffed. “I’ve given up completely on heists that took shorter. You’re lucky we’re…er…friends.”
They wished that last part didn’t sound so much like a question, but at the same time they didn’t want to say it confidently either in the eventuality that wasn’t the case.
“Ah, perhaps I should say, it didn’t take so long as I’m used to.”
“Did you use this potion often?”
“Mmm, no. Only once. But I’ve met people who have.”
“You must have a really strong immune system then. If I had a sickness curing potion, I think I’d use it all the time, even if it does have like…teeth and blood and things in it… Are you sure this is safe?”
“Absolutely.” Their voice dragged a little now, almost like supervillain had to force each letter to make a sound.
The thief threw several leaves onto the baby flame and whipped out their thermos from their pack to begin adding each ingredient to what was left of their water.
A few minutes and a few moonbeams later, and the water had become a bubbling, silver goop giving off its own lunar light.
“It’s done,” the supervillain said, some of their energy returning to them as they reached through the bars. “Give it to me.”
“Are you sure it’s not going to burn y—“
“Give it to me!”
The thief leaped a little in their seat. The supervillain had never risen their voice at them before. Not even when they first met, and they wanted nothing to do with a powerless thing like them.
The thief held out the thermos numbly, only managing a whispered and shaky, “be careful,” before the supervillain took the hot metal in their bare hands and down the simmering ooze in two rapid gulps.
They shrieked, violently throwing the thermos away from themself and denting it on the cavern wall with a sharp, resounding clang.
“Supervillain?” the thief cried, gripping the bars.
The criminal clutched at their chest, clawing at their clothes and skin as if they wanted rip both completely off.
“Did I mess up? How do I fix it? Supervillain talk to me!”
The supervillain dropped to their knees, catching themselves on their hands and leaning their forehead against the cold ground. Sharp growls quickly faded into soft whimpers and then nothing at all.
The thief strained through one of the gaps in the bars, hesitating only a moment before they gently pushed the supervillain’s curtain of hair from their face.
The supervillain’s obsidian eyes went pale.
The thief lurched back, scrambling back on their hands several feet away and staring dumb as the supervillain careened to their feet and stretched out their hands.
Their eyes flashed, actually gave off real light, and the bars disintegrated into white ash. Their power suppressor seemed to decide to follow the bars in their fate, because half a second later, pale flakes were fluttering to the supervillain’s shawled shoulders.
The supervillain stepped past the threshold and took a long deep breath. “Ahh. I swear freedom has a smell.”
They’re eyes flicked to the thief. They grinned, stepping forward.
“I…I…” the thief retreated against the brambles, the barbs tangling in their hair and stabbing bloody pinpricks across the backs of their hands. “Please.”
They didn’t even know what they were saying. They just didn’t…they didn’t want want to die. Was Supervillain going to kill them?
The monster stood directly over them now, those awful eyes, ghostly, cold, and otherworldly, seeming to pierce straight though their soul and into their innermost thoughts. In one fell swoop, their long arms wrapped around them and scooped them up against their chest. A few locks of hair stayed behind with the brambles, but the supervillain didn’t seem to notice their yelp.
“Come, my raven.” They stroked the thief’s cheek with the crook of their finger. “We have a city to greet.”
Master Taglist:
@moss-tombstone @crazytwentythrees @just-1-lonely-person @the-vagabond-nun @willow-trees-are-beautiful @cocoasprite @insanedreamer7905 @valiantlytransparentwhispers @whovian378 @watercolorfreckles @thebluepolarbear @yulanlavender @kitsunesakii @deflated-bouncingball @lem-hhn @office-plant-in-a-trenchcoat @ghostfacepepper @pigeonwhumps @demonictumble @inkbirdie @vuvulia @bouncyartist @lunatic-moss-studio @breilobrealdi @freefallingup13 @i-am-a-story-goblin @ryunniez @rainy-knights-of-villany @distractedlydistracted @saspas-corner @echoednonny @perilous-dreamer r @blood-enthusiast @randomfixation @alexkolax @pksnowie
I didn’t edit this at all, so I’m sorry if it’s a mess, I will go back later, I’m just ready smash that post button now
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projecttreehouse · 2 days ago
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How do I make all my main characters not feel like self-inserts?
This is going to sound counter-intuitive, but make your character a self-insert.
Just let them be.
Let them exist, if only for a little while.
Okay, now that you’ve gotten some of that self-insert character out onto the page, let’s take them apart. Ask yourself:
- How can I differentiate them from myself? What are some qualities I can add that will make the story more compelling? What are some qualities that have no impact on the story whatsoever? How can I change those or switch them out?
- How is their background different than mine? Get into the mindset of your character. You may have been raised in similar environments; maybe not. Think about how their culture, caretakers, friends, and environment shaped them. How do THEY see the world?
- How is the story impacting them? How do they impact the story? What qualities do I need to give them to ensure that the plot seems natural/reasonable? A good example of this is hubris: Walter White ultimately becomes Heisenberg not due to reasons claimed (money for cancer, supporting his family, etc.), but because of hubris. The catalyst is his cancer, but his ultimate downfall occurs because of his hubris.
- How can I make their voice different than mine? Think syntax, dialect, etc. Or you can study others, too. Study other characters, other people, etc. What is the focus of their attention? What are they interested in? Are they timid, loud? Think about how these would affect their narrative voice.
Ultimately, think of this as a dress-up doll game. Your job isn’t to make your character look like you or even look like someone you’d like to be, although your character certainly can be either of those. Think about how you can create a character that best suits your story.
It’s okay if you mess up or diverge from your original intention or plan. That’s what editing is for! It’s also okay to let your character change and choose the direction of your story.
Good luck with your writing! If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask away!
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mysharona1987 · 17 hours ago
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cutestrongsad · a day ago
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To June | Jordan Alan Brown
the house my father grew up in was demolished when he was a child, no older than seven, to build an expressway. the street was a tree lined parkway, designed by one of the most heralded landscape architects. proof that anything is fleeting when standing in the way of white supremacy and capitalism stands no chance.
a road we took often as a family and alone, i often found myself drifting into dreams of family reunions and funerals and house parties. written between the summer/fall of 2020, to june is a poem about survival, displacement, and the black diaspora written to my uncle, my father, and of our families, who lost their homes, safety, and community to the hands of white flight that plagued so many northern american cities from Buffalo, Detroit, Chicago, Gary, etc. exploring the vast desolation these events brought into vibrant, historically Black communities stirred up feelings of grief, hopelessness, and solidarity.
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ggmorninggstar · a day ago
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Stop. Or don’t, I guess.
I’ve learned everything about people at the four-way stop down the street from my house. That I drive through every day, often twice a day, and am treated to a slice of life.
Here I meet the man who must be in charge. Perhaps he doesn’t get enough respect at home, and now here, at the four-way stop down the street from my house he will assert his agency in this world, waving on whomever he deems the one who should be first to move through this temporary stop, and if they do not listen to you, well that is exactly why his car has a horn. And when he feels in control again, he moves through that four-way stop leaving the rest of us helpless and clueless. We are babies. How are we supposed to know what to do at this four-way stop without you, Mr. Honorary Traffic Director?
It’s hard not to pity those who approach with such fear. Is this how you live your life? You started stopping a mile away.  You saw me in your headlights and leaned on the brake. And even as we approach, you are still too scared to fully stop, because that will mean you must go again. Even when you go you feel you have made a mistake, every inch you move forward is a foot you move deeper because certainly you (certainly you) made a mistake and now everyone is mad at you! Don’t you feel like you are wasting time? Stop living in fear, at least people at the four-way stop down the street from my house, only stop and go.
You allow yourself to be cut off by agents of chaos, who move stealthily like ninjas in their four-door trucks, why should they wait for you? They are faster. They are more efficient. They are ford. They are above the rules of the road, 6 and a half inches above your dumb Kia actually.
There are us communists, who kneel willingly and eternally to the invisible tyrants of the road. Treating metal signs like law. We stop when they tell us to, and go when they say it’s our turn, what does that say about us?
And there are those we met on the rare occasion their paths line up with ours directly. I can’t imagine how different our days were before this, yet we met here, across from one either, and stopped at the four-way stop in the same second. Two boats in the night. Our rom-com meet-cute. You wait for me, and I wait for you. Maybe we should go at the same time. And maybe it will be crazy, but maybe it will be beautiful.
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definegodliness · a day ago
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Light
Leya stays for a while, With her glowing Hands, and Glowing Eyes, and Glowing smile - Like a cinder popping Hard in the hearth fire; She should be An ember Catching your eye, Rocketing sky-high, Floating down To never reach The cold of ground, Illumined, But Leya confuses Left and right, and Up and down... It must be why she opts To still be here, Scintillating six feet deep; Existent, only, to the fool Who wants to be A tree.
--- 28-11-2022, M.A. Tempels ©
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kaiwewi · 2 days ago
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Oooooooo part three of choice misfits please?
Choice Misfits #3
[Masterlist: Choice Misfits] [Part 1] [Part 2]
Synopsis: Sidekick wants Former Villain to be their mentor. Superhero and Hero try their best to change the kid's mind.
Former Villain coughed and sputtered, half-choking on the remnants of the gummy worm they’d been chewing. About a dozen other gummy worms tumbled from their hand and dropped onto the table.
Wheezing, they gaped at Sidekick. “You … what?”
There was no way Sidekick had actually said—
“I want you,” the kid repeated, “to be my mentor.”
Yeah, no. Ridiculous. Outrageous. They must have misheard that, again, somehow. Clearly, no upcoming hero would ever want a former villain as their mentor. Sidekick didn’t even like them. There was no way the kid would ever want them as their mentor.
Besides, the other heroes would never allow it.
Oh. It was a prank, wasn’t it? It had to be. And the whole team was in on it. They’d all start laughing, any moment now.
“Okay, yeah, funny.” They forced a chuckle. “Good prank. Almost fell for it.”
Superhero also started chuckling, reluctantly followed by a bunch of other heroes. No one seemed genuinely amused though, and the blatantly artificial laughter died a couple seconds later when Sidekick’s expression remained serious.
The kid patiently cocked their head to the side and crossed their arms.
Ah, fuck.
Superhero’s interview-ready smile returned full-force. The twitching muscle in her cheek only made it look even more fake than usually. “Sidekick, could we talk for a moment?” When the kid didn’t move, she added, “In private?”
“Why can’t we talk here?”
She stared the kid down, to no effect, then dropped the smile. “All right. Fine. I’d like you to reconsider.”
“Why?”
“Former Villain can’t be your mentor.”
Exactly! Not gonna happen. It was ludicrous. They couldn’t mentor some kid, and most definitely not this brat.
“Why not?” Sidekick asked and now they were the one smiling rather sweetly. “You said I could pick any member of the team.”
“Well, yes, but—”
“Are they not part of the team?”
“They- yes, of course they are, but—”
“But you don’t trust them.”
“I did not say that. I—”
“You said everyone on the team is like family. Was that a lie? Or is this the kind of family where you can’t trust each other and exclude everyone you don’t like? – Because that’s not the kind of team I want to be a part of.”
Silence. Superhero seemed at a complete loss for words.
Hah, wow. Sidekick had destroyed her.
Someone should take a picture; that face she was pulling should be a meme: Superhero.exe has stopped working …
Hero neatly took over then, with another bullshit excuse. “Kiddo, it’s not that we don’t trust Former Villain. They simply aren’t qualified to mentor, yet. They’re still new. They’ve only joined 13 months ago. You'll have to pick someone else.”
Sidekick’s eyes fixed on him like a cat’s would on a fat rat. “Someone like Other Hero? When did she join the team again?”
About 11 months ago.
Damn, the kid was good …
Under other circumstances, watching Hero and Superhero losing an argument against a teenager would have been a moment to savour. If only Sidekick wasn’t so keen on becoming the next bothersome chore on their already tight schedule.
Hero nodded. “True, Other Hero is new here too. But the time on the team is irrelevant. She has worked on another team before and already has leadership experience.”
“I see,” the kid said, and for a moment everyone breathed a sigh of relief. But the smile on their face didn’t falter. “Then Former Villain should make a great mentor. They used to lead a group—”
“A crime ring. That's not the same thing. I’d hardly call leading a small criminal organisation valuable life experience.”
Okay, rude. They shot Hero a dark look.
“I was an excellent team leader,” they grumbled, “and you know it.”
And why the hell were they backing the kid up?! – This wasn’t the time to pick a fight with Hero. They should be on his side! But their erstwhile nemesis (now least favourite co-worker) was practically fuming, which, admittedly, made for a way too satisfying sight.
Urgh, they should get their stupid priorities straight ...
“Shush,” Hero hissed. “You’re not helping.”
“Because you’re discrediting me.”
“I’m only trying to keep kiddo over here” – he thrust a thumb in Sidekick’s general direction – “from making a huge mistake.”
“Oh? A mistake, am I?”
“Yes. The worst mistake anyone could make. Ever. So please shut up and let me handle this.”
Superhero stepped between the two of them. “No, you’ll both shut up.” She heaved a long-suffering sigh, then addressed Sidekick again. “Why does it have to be Former Villain? Why not pick Hero? He also has 2 powers. He’s even got another trainee you could team up with. Doesn’t that sound like fun?”
Sidekick walked past her and Hero, strolled over, and snatched the discarded bag of gummy worms from their table.
“No, it does not sound like fun,” the kid said, mouth half full with stolen candy. “I want a mentor of my own. Hero has a sidekick already. You have a sidekick already. Former Villain has free time, experience, and 2 powers.”
They scoffed. Free time? Yeah, right. Lately, their schedule hardly afforded them the odd extra hours they needed to pursue their hobbies.
Superhero hummed. “I’m sure arrangements could be made with the other trainees—”
“So, you'd drop your other sidekick for me? Then how can I trust that you won’t replace me, too, the second a more promising recruit turns up?”
“That’s highly unlikely.”
“Because of my powers. Yeah. That’s why you want me to join, why any team would take me in.”
Superhero squared her shoulders. “Our team has an exceptional record. Our program has the highest success rates in the region, and—”
“Any team would take me in,” Sidekick repeated, sneering. “Apparently, having multiple powers outweighs any other aspect of a person’s identity or history.” The kid darted a quick glance their way, a little less scathing. “Even when the person used to be a villain.”
Bull’s eye!
How was the kid this astute? Part of them wanted to cheer and applaud. Their powers truly had been the main reason the Agency had given them a chance in the first place. It seemed even a former villain was more potential asset than risk if they came with two powers.
“Here’s the deal,” Sidekick said, and didn’t appear at all intimidated by the scowls on the heroes’ faces. “I will not reconsider. I want Former Villain. If I can’t have them, I’m leaving. Your choice.”
———
For my other stories, visit my [MASTERLIST] ♥
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em-dash-press · 3 hours ago
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How Traditional Publishing Works for Short Stories
You’ve written a short story and want it to reach readers, but you’re tired of combing through contests. Don’t worry—there’s a path to traditional publishing for short stories and you can follow it to build your writing resume with these steps.
1. Polish Your Work
Reviewing your story before submitting it is crucial. One or two typos may not disqualify you from getting accepted for publishing, but it could make the publisher pause.
Read through your work out loud to catch the tiny line edits that our eyes often skip over.
Ask a friend or family member to read it. A fresh pair of eyes on your work is priceless!
Use a text-to-speech reader to catch typos. You may hear the spelling errors more clearly, so try a site like this one: https://www.naturalreaders.com/online/
You can also use the spell check within your preferred writing software. It may not catch every spelling or tense-usage error, but it’s still helpful.
2. Research Publications
Longer manuscripts would normally look for publishing houses or imprints, but short stories just need publications.
Imagine the publishing world as an umbrella. Publishing houses are the fabric of the umbrella and imprints are the metal arms making the fabric extend. Imprints are subsections of publishing houses. Publications are like the stem and handle of an umbrella. They’re mostly independently owned, so that’s where you’ll find things like:
Literary magazines
Literary Journals
Ezines
Some are run by small groups of people who love making things like short-story anthologies and others will be professionally run magazines or journals with wide distribution. Your work may qualify for all of these publications depending on the length, topic, and what each publication is looking for.
3. Submit Your Work
Personally, I think finding the right places to submit your work is the most challenging part of publishing any story. There are an overwhelming number of places to consider. You might never learn about all of them!
Luckily, I’ve found a few tools to streamline the process.
Chill Subs is my current favorite site to find publications seeking short stories. You can find their site here: https://chillsubs.com/
This is what their homepage looks like—I’m breathing a sigh of relief just seeing it that encouraging welcome!
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Once you make your free account (which is what allows you to track your submissions, results, etc.), you’ll find this page when you’re ready to start browsing:
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It may seem like a lot, but selecting publication types and finding places that specifically want things like a spooky vibe or a quick response time makes submitting your work so much faster.
Just below this browsing section, you’ll find a list of publications if you just want to select a few without the filters. Here’s a screenshot of the first one I found:
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There’s a great summary of the magazine and everything you need to know, like the facts that they have a super fast response time, don’t require a submission fee, and even their acceptance rate!
If you scroll further down under a publisher, you’ll find other invaluable information like:
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Normally, you’d have to find all of these things by searching a publication’s website and recent published work. It would take much more time and you might not find what you’re looking for (I struggle when I’m too tired or distracted). Chill Subs will connect you to publications super quickly and easily, without charging a dime!
Next, I also like The Grinder, which you can find here: https://thegrinder.diabolicalplots.com/
Here’s what their homepage looks like:
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This site is better for people who are more data driven! Right beneath the top of their homepage, you can automatically see the stats for The Grinder users who recently got accepted or rejected. At the time that I wrote this post, the people in the screenshot below had numerous rejections. I find it encouraging to see stuff like this because it’s a reminder that rejections happen to everyone. It’s just a matter of finding the right place for your work!
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If you select “Search” on the top of the homepage, you’ll get a dropdown menu for things like searching for fiction or poetry submissions, plus publishers listed in alphabetical order.
For the purpose of this post, I’ve selected “Historical” as my imaginary story I’d like to submit. There are many other genres in the box if you keep scrolling. Here’s what the start of this process looks like:
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Hit “Search” and this comes up:
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Right away you’ll see what each place pays, which genres and lengths they accept and their response time. I’ve clicked on the first publisher and found this data:
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Enjoy using the charts and data to gauge where your stories should go! There are many publications working with The Grinder, so there’s tons to search through as you get a feel for what’s out there.
Other potential places to submit your work: 
Submittable: https://manager.submittable.com/opportunities/discover (You’ll need to have submitted to a contest that uses Submittable to make an account, but the Discover tab has many publications organized by closest deadlines.)
Your university literary journals (if you’re a university student—most only accept work from students enrolled in that school, but it’s a major perk if you’re paying tuition because you won’t have to pay to send your work off!)
Local literary journals (many only accept work from writers who live nearby, which narrows down your competition).
4. Keep Track of Your Submissions
If you’re submitting more than one or two stories at a time, it’s best to keep a spreadsheet that tracks your submissions. As your writing career continues, you’ll always be able to reflect on which stories you submitted and where they went. It’s a great way to see how your writing has grown and note which publications you liked the most/had the most success with.
My submissions spreadsheet contains labeled columns for things like:
Date of submission
The story’s title
The page length/word count
The genre
The publication mae
The publication type
URL of publication if applicable
Final date of submissions
Date of notice if one is given
Potential prize money if applicable
Rejection or acceptance when notified
Some places only want unpublished writers, but most only want stories that haven't been previously published or placed in contest results. Keeping track of which stories receive prizes/publications makes it much easier to submit qualifying works in the future.
5. Evaluate Your Publishing Contract
Many publishers require writers to sign a contract so the legal reality of the transaction is clear to both parties. This happens for both short stories and long form work. You’ll have to review things like:
Allowing them to have print rights (typically worldwide because things are published online)
Allowing them to publish your picture and bio that is usually included in the submission form
Allowing them exclusivity (you may need to wait a specific time period before submitting the same story to other publishers/contests or selling it on your website)
Agreeing to author’s warranties (this means you agree that you wrote the story, it isn’t plagiarized, it isn’t libelous, and you don’t want it to be public domain)
Agreeing to a termination clause (the publisher typically reserves the right to terminate your publication contract for things like discovering plagiarism, getting sued for libel, if you sell the story to another publication within their exclusive time frame, etc.)
Agreeing to a reversion of rights clause (you’ll get all of the above rights to sell/submit the story if the publisher doesn’t get your story published by the deadline included in your contract)
Agreeing to payment terms (if you’ll be paid based on how many magazine copies are sold, based on your word/page count, or if you’ll get a flat fee). Also, how you’ll get paid (in installments, within a time frame after publication, via direct deposit or check).
A big thing to note—if a publisher doesn’t include a reversion of rights clause, they essentially want to lock your story within their publishing company permanently. You’ll never get the rights back for submitting or publishing it elsewhere. That includes if you write a collection of short stories and want to publish an anthology—you wouldn’t get to include the story taken by the original publisher.
It’s very important to know your rights as a writer before submitting.
You can read more about contract details over at Writing Cooperative.
And you can always look through Writer Beware, which tracks scams and legitimate publication opportunities.
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Hopefully this helps you get started with your next venture in getting published! The process doesn’t have to feel as confusing as it often does. Best of luck! 💛
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Note
Spaghetti
Spaghetti
"I still need a spoon." "Why do you need a spoon, you eat spaghetti with a knife." "No, you don't need anything but a fork!"
Lunch had been a nightmare. She still had some spaghetti in her hair that didn't want to come out.
"Don't slurp your spaghetti! Imagine the queen invited you for dinner, you couldn't eat this messy then." "Why would the queen serve me spaghetti?"
"There is a spaghetti monster out there and no, I will not elaborate."
"I'm so incredibly nervous. Now I really get that 'mom's spaghetti' part."
"What is your favourite type of noodle and why is it spaghetti?"
"Please get us some more spaghetti from the store. I found a great recipe that I want to test out on you."
One Word Prompt Lists
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frostedlemonwriter · a day ago
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Kitchen Adventures - Chapter 1
Mr. Moran’s old seafoam green pickup truck rumbled down the winding road that led through this old neighborhood. Past old but well-maintained houses with manicured lawns surrounded by trees on each side, the ancient heavy leaf-laden boughs hung over the road in a natural arch. Houses made of brick and wood were built during Acadia’s boom after the war when the fishing industry took off to help serve a hungry nation. Acadia wasn’t even a fraction of its former glory, but people remained. The pickup truck drove up to the intersection of St. Mary’s and Glenfiddich before it turned and disappeared in the evening mist.
A rough stone wall stained by the constant cold rain bordered a two-story home that housed an average family. Each window lit up from the inside with signs of movement and life. Oak-scented smoke rose from the chimney in an unbroken shaft into the clouds above, with a wrap-around porch covered by an awning held up by faux classical columns. High-backed wooden chairs painted white beside tables covered in empty bottles and wine glasses.
Two teenage women sat on the old stone wall with their hands clenched together. Ryan Byrnes ran her free hand through her dark brown hair and flipped to one side. A miniature cross dangled off the thin hoop through her earlobe; her thin lips painted an aubergine color with a silver stud piercing her bottom lip. While her girlfriend, the ginger-haired Kaytlin Amber, was clad in a denim jacket with various patches upon its surface. A messenger bag lay strapped around her torso.
“I hate these parties,” Ryan broke the silence.
Kat smirked while she brought her phone up to check her texts. Two from her mother and one from her father. In typical fashion, she rolled her eyes at the orders and summons to return home.
“At least your parents are normal,” Kat replied. “My parents throw dinner parties for political bullshit reasons with people they hate.”
“Your dad is a politician, babe.”
Kat waved her hand in a dismissive gesture, “I know. Still, everything is so fake.”
“He’s the fakest person I know,” Ryan kissed Kaytlin’s cheek. “You are the realist person I know.”
Kaytlin turned her head to give her girlfriend a soft kiss.
“I gotta head home,” Kat sighed.
With a sigh of her own, Ryan wanted to spend more time with her best friend and girlfriend. Still, there was plenty of time together once they graduated in just over a month. Kat’s father owned a condo in the city that he only used when he had to visit the city. As a graduation present to both young women, they will stay there through the next four years of college as long as they take care of it.
Kaytlin hopped off the wall while she gazed at Ryan for a moment. After a bit, Kat pulled out her camera from the messenger bag. After she fiddled with some settings, Kay kneeled in front of her girlfriend before urging her not to move. Ryan was used to it and loved being an impromptu model. Considering that a photo she was in helped Kaytlin get into Oregon State University’s photography program.
“My perfect muse,” Kat remarked before she leaned in to kiss Ryan. “I’ll text you. Love you.”
“Love you too.”
Kaytlin waved before she walked over to the bike that she had had since they were in middle school. A depression in the grass from the bicycle corrected itself once Kat departed. Down the road where the town’s most expensive houses resided – the mayor, the DA, and various lawyers and doctors lived.
With a glance at the woman disappearing down the road, Ryan prepared to go back inside, where her parents and their friends were undoubtedly drunk. Another moment lingered before her stomach grumbled, which forced her hand as dinner called Ryan’s name. Her parents were always social with the neighbors, which meant a lot of food and alcohol. For Ryan, it meant she had to be social when all she wanted to do was watch her cooking shows; read her culinary books for the hundredth time; or even play a video game, which she did a bit more rare as Ryan got older.
While she made her way through the house with a bowl of chili, Mr. Henderson cooked and brought it over. Ryan went to her private sanctuary in the entire world – her bedroom. It was the smallest room in the home as her two older brothers got the bigger ones she preferred. Dozens of posters and photos cover her walls. Bands she had always loved dominated most of the walls, with the popstar Juju taking center stage. A twin-sized bed dominated the right side of the room with a shelf built into the wall above, which held books by famed chefs Niki Yoshimoto, Melissa Kim, and various others.
Upon a metal desk, her laptop opened with a green pipe screensaver that just caused various lights to play across the room. Purple and green lights strung around her room. Ryan's chef jacket hung off a hanger from the back of her open closet door. She turned on The Owl House on her laptop; this was her favorite of all time outside of culinary shows. Ryan locked the door after she finished her dinner and brushed her teeth. With her phone clutched in her hands, she curled up on her bed.
While Ryan was always an early riser, she decided to jog around the neighborhood to help let out some energy and work on her health. After working at Doc Henderson’s, a five-star Zagat restaurant catered to the elite of Acadia and its surrounding towns, Ryan discovered that stamina and fitness would make the intense professional kitchen a bit easier to handle. Ryan steeled herself for the long day ahead with her phone playing Tegan and Sara through her earbuds.
The school day was a drag since Kaytlin didn’t share many classes. They would see each other often until the lunch break, which allowed both of them to have jobs to save each cent for their move to the city. After a couple of hours spent hanging out, Kat would drop off Ryan before she took herself to work.
An old Victorian manor turned restaurant where the first doctor that lived in Acadia dwelled back when the town first formed. The back door led to a large dry storage room with a locker room off to the side. A space that smelt of the astringent chemicals that kept it clean. Several old metal lockers lined the wall. Ryan stuffed her backpack into the cubicle before she put on the whole chef’s outfit, including the jacket and pants, and made sure the black skull cap properly secured her hair.
“Miss Byrnes, good to see you,” Chef Joseph Woodward called out to the young lady as she entered the kitchen.
The Chef was an imposing man with broad shoulders, a well-trimmed graying beard, and a small American flag pinned to the chef jacket’s lapel. It was a sign that the man had cooked on the American Culinary team and was a certified Chef de Cuisine. Outside of Chef Ashly Willow, Ryan’s most revered chef, this man was the most influential in how she cooked. From dishwasher to prep to garde manger in less than a month, she had been on the most decorative and knife-heavy station for the past half year, which had improved her knife skills by leaps and bounds, along with plating.
“How are you, chef?” Ryan replied.
“Great,” Chef Joseph answered, “Can I have a moment of your time, please?”
Ryan nodded and followed the chef toward what used to be an old storeroom converted to a fully functional office. Photos of the owners and the chef with various great culinarians and chefs of the past and present.
“You aren’t in trouble. Please relax a little,” The chef said to Ryan.
Ryan’s shoulders softened as she sat down to listen to the chef. Who explained to her how well she had been doing and how quickly she had picked up the basics of knife work. Not to mention the design on the plates of the salads and desserts was quick and precise, and even Ryan would admit this is the part she enjoyed the most. She was making art on a blank plate canvas. Even if it was someone else’s design, Ryan learned something each time. The chef praised her but gave the young woman some more pointers on how to be more efficient in her movement. Before, he stated that Ryan would be working with Sous Chef Allison Daveys on the grill station tonight. One of the most prestigious and complex stations for it involved the precise cooking, cutting, and resting of proteins. Chef wanted her to work on each station for a week before going to culinary school. For her education, more than a need for help on the stations. The chef's goal was to expose the young woman to many other techniques before she left.
“I recognize the talent, potential, and natural understanding for cooking that you possess,” The chef wasn’t a man to give out compliments for no reason. “I think culinary school is the best thing for you. Just keep working on your skills. Find a part-time weekend job at a nice restaurant near the school. Join the ACF as a student.”
The chef liked to hear himself talk; however, Ryan made a mental note of his advice to write down later in the culinary notebook she kept in her backpack. The American Culinary Federation was already on the young woman’s radar, which solidified her wanting to join their student program. He explained more about what Ryan should do, tweak, or change, and after a bit, the chef sent Ryan off to work under the Sous Chef.
Ryan enjoyed the opportunity to work on the grill. To learn how to temp a piece of meat just by touch. To properly rest and cut a beautiful protein. It was a rather busy Monday night, but it wasn’t hard for the young woman to keep up with the demands of the guests. By the night's end, her steaks were perfect no matter what doneness the guest wanted. Her fish was properly cooked and not overdone. The chicken was juicy, not underdone, but not overdone. The young woman was proud of herself and even received praise from the cooks around here. Even the Sous Chef who was on the station with her seemed impressed.
By the time the restaurant was closed, Ryan was in the locker room, paying no heed to the other cooks around her who had changed into their street clothes. She wrote the advice the chef de cuisine gave her. The way to slice meat - against the grain! - written across the top of the page.
When her girlfriend called to tell Ryan to get her butt outside, Ryan was excited, still pumped from the night, that she got into Kat’s sedan and kissed her girlfriend. The young chef-to-be couldn’t help but go on about the evening, which Kaytlin found adorable. Despite her job at McDonald’s being awful. Kat was just happy for her girlfriend. Just like Ryan supported every step of Kat’s desire to be a photographer.
After a bit, Kaytlin stopped her car in front of Ryan’s home. They quickly kissed before Ryan made her way across the damp lawn. Once inside, she greeted her mother, ignored her brother's snide comment, and disappeared into her room. Ryan lay on her bed with a bit of a huff; when she closed her eyes, Ryan thought of her girlfriend, but her mind drifted to Portland. Kat would make waves in the photography world, while Ryan would open her food truck to help fund her future restaurants and catering business. It was a great idea, but Ryan knew it would be hard. A smile crossed her face because the idea she would be doing this with her best friend, girlfriend, and soulmate was such a great, awesome thing that many wouldn’t get.
The last few weeks in Acadia went by much quicker than anyone expected. Yet, the weekend before school started for both women, the young women packed up Kat’s car with both of their clothes, books, and anything they could fit, as they were thankful the furnished condo was an actual option. A dark and dreary day with heavy rain didn’t slow them down after a quick farewell to Ryan’s parents. Kat cranked the engine to life and looked at her girlfriend.
“Ready?” Kat asked.
There was a lot of weight to that singular word.
Ryan took her girlfriend’s hand for a moment, “Yes.”
Always Wit U by Juju played over the speakers after Ryan started her Spotify playlist. The two teens sang the lyrics together while Kat drove the car out of the neighborhood. One of the lovely sunny days to start their new lives together in the big city, at least it was a big city to them, and it couldn’t have been more perfect. Ryan’s left knee bounced as they rode on the highway. Kaytlin placed her hand on her girlfriend’s knee, which calmed both women as they got closer to their new home.
Portland was their favorite city as the place had a unique aura compared to Seattle or any of the major cities in California. There were tall buildings, yet no high rises like in Seattle. Plenty of trees and green areas, and once you enter the city, there’s a sign that welcomes you with the city’s unofficial motto - Keep Portland Weird. The young women truly loved the city because everyone seemed to be themselves without worry or the need to change. As if societal taboos didn’t exist here, though that was untrue, it is still great not to have to feel like changing themselves.
Kaytlin pulled off to the side close to the Willamette River, where several bridges spanned across the gentle elbow of the river’s bend. She knew her girlfriend well enough that Ryan didn’t say anything as Kat removed her camera. Despite having been best friends since elementary school and lovers since sophomore year. The sudden inspiration that Kat would receive always amazed Ryan as she would see something and knew it would make a great photo somehow. To work on pure creative intuition and instinct was something that Kat always had. Ryan didn’t know if she had such a thing despite what her former chef informed her some weeks ago.
“It’s beautiful,” Kat said.
Ryan looked over the river as the sun played off the water's surface. Without another word, she climbed back into the car. Kat pulled them into an underground car park with its code-activated gate and a fancy elevator.
After a long elevator ride, they carried their boxes and bags through the unremarkable hallway leading to their condo. Once Kat unlocked the door, they both had a key given to them by her father, but Kaytlin was always a bit of a gentleman, in a sense. Once inside, Ryan loved how minimalistic and modern the interior was.
“Dad paid a lot of money for some fancy-schmancy interior designer to make this place look good. Then his dumb ass never comes here,” Kat groaned, but the man had a lot of money.
Kaytlin always scoffed at the idea. Her parents had money, but Kat worked to save her own, not wanting a cent from either one, which was another thing Ryan admired about her girlfriend. The desire to truly become independent of her parents in every way. Kat was different than all the other rich, posh girls in school that Ryan knew.
Surprisingly it didn’t take them too long to unpack everything, which left Ryan some time to look down at Portland below. Like ants below her, people went about their daily lives. Cars drove through the streets that led to where they had to go, wherever that may be.
“Are you sure you don’t mind cooking tonight?” Kat whispered, arms wrapped around Ryan’s stomach.
“Don’t be silly,” Ryan replied. “I am 
They spent the weekend making their shared home their own with various posters, pictures, and the purple and green lights that Ryan had strung in her old bedroom. The future chef made every meal to practice her knife cuts and other techniques she had seen on YouTube or in the textbooks for her first semester. Kat proclaimed the food was excellent each time, and though Ryan thought it tasty, she knew it wasn’t as good as her girlfriend claimed. However, Ryan loved how much Kat supported her, as it pushed her to want to make great food every time.
“Let me take a picture of it,” Kat looked at the plate of food and glanced up at her girlfriend.
Ryan shook her head. Despite being pretty plates, Ryan felt her food wasn’t ready to be photographed. The young woman’s confidence did balloon a little as she couldn’t deny that they did look good.
Ryan kept her habit of jogging early in the morning, with Kat joining her sans camera. They would explore their area of the city with small boutiques, cafes, and bars. Not to mention the bus stops for Ryan and Kat. What stood out was the open-air market a few blocks from where they lived.
“Let’s stop a moment,” Ryan said, out of breath with her legs burning.
Kat nodded, “Yeah, babe. I need to catch my breath anyway. I am dying!”
Ryan glanced at her girlfriend, whose brow glistened in beads of sweat that glistened in the early morning sun. Her focus, however, switched to the sizable market that sat on the corner of a rather busy intersection. Despite the time of day, the market was a hub of activity. Workers filled their stalls with fresh produce, fish, and a few butchers with beautiful cuts of meats.
“Wow,” Ryan whispered to herself.
The young chef smelled produce and sampled everything she could as she and Kat talked with the vendors; this was one of the eye-opening moments of Ryan’s life as her palate acquired new flavors. Just like her old chef used to advise her to do every time the restaurant got fresh ingredients. The visit was great despite Kaytlin lamenting that she should have brought her camera. It made Ryan desire to create fantastic, award-winning food from those who cared about the quality of their produce, beef, fish, or what-have-you, even higher than before.
The weekend ended after a dinner of flank steak, shiitake mushrooms, and fingerling potatoes, all ingredients Ryan found at the open-air market. The two women sat down to watch a movie, snuggling against one another as the weekend drew close. With both of their classes starting on Monday, they made sure both of their backpacks were ready to go.
Kaytlin quickly fell asleep, but Ryan couldn’t catch more than an hour of sleep at any time. Like a ship lost at sea, she tossed and turned beside her girlfriend, who slept through it all. Ryan couldn’t even explain why she was so nervous about tomorrow as she stared at the ceiling. Not like tomorrow was an important test or exam, but it felt like the first step in the long journey of her life. After some time, Ryan fell asleep for a few solid hours before getting up for her morning jog.
Ryan’s nerves improved as the jog ended, and she sat down, freshly scrubbed from her shower, dressed in her chef’s outfit for class. Ryan sipped on her coffee with still over an hour before her first class began. The young woman knew which building and room her classes would reside in as all the culinary courses were in the same place. Kat was going to drive them both today since her class was later in the day, so there was no need for the bus today. Tomorrow would be different with the early morning baking class and the ServSafe sanitary course.
The campus was large, with well-manicured green lawns that separated several large brick-faced buildings. Large groups of students traveled between the parking lot and their classes. A decent amount of them dressed in the same uniform as Ryan.
“You got this, babe,” Kat assured as she stopped close to Ryan’s building.
After a quick kiss, Ryan smiled and thanked her girlfriend for the support. Then she stepped out into the cool, windy morning. The most significant first step on the journey of becoming one of the chefs she had admired her whole life. A few students like her outside the giant production kitchen made small talk as they waited for the introductory class to begin. Ryan paid most of them no attention as she watched the older students in the kitchen. They made soups and stocks in one part while several students chopped, sliced, and minced vegetables under the watchful gaze of a chef. In a separate part of the kitchen, students made candies with what appeared to be molten sugar. Another had students pulling loaves of bread from an actual wood-fired brick oven. An excellent, wonderful, glorious place in Ryan’s mind, and she couldn’t wait to get started with it all, especially as these students she watched were starting new classes in their second, third, and fourth semesters and already knew something.
“My name is Sally, and this is Joesph,” A young blonde-haired woman gestured toward her apparent twin brother.
Ryan snapped out of her mind and looked at two dressed the same as herself with their university-issued knife bags and backpacks.
“Oh, sorry, I’m Ryan. It is a pleasure to meet you both,” She cocked an eyebrow, “Twins?”
Joseph nodded his head and pushed his thick hipster-like black-rimmed glasses up his nose.
“Sally is three minutes older.
“And I always remind him of it,” The woman added.
Before the twins could continue, an older woman in a chef’s jacket with a briefcase, a backpack, and a knife roll arrived to herd the students into one of the many classrooms set off the production kitchen. The broad-shouldered woman’s voice was low and husky, which commanded the attention of all who heard her. She introduced herself as Chef Melissa and explained her history of working with some of the best chefs in the country. Then the chef spent most of the time describing what to expect this semester from the classes since the first semester was the same for every culinary student. After that, everyone had to introduce themselves to their classmates, and Ryan hated this part yet participated when it was time.
With false confidence, Ryan stood up, “My name is Ryan Byrnes. I’m from just up the road a bit in Acadia. I’m a double major student in culinary and baking. I want to open a food truck and run a restaurant one day. My favorite chef is Ashly Willow. Would love to meet her one day.”
Ryan had to will herself to shut up and sit down, and it felt like everyone judged her, despite no one outside of the twins thinking twice about it. As the chef-professor ended the hours-long class, she led the students through the kitchen, including the bakery, candy shop, ice carving room, and even the restaurant open daily. Then after the chef proclaimed that Wednesday would be a lecture followed by time in the kitchen, she wished everyone a good rest for the beginner's baking course started before the sun rose above the horizon since their baked goods are what the cafeteria and restaurant sell throughout the day.
Well into mid-afternoon, Ryan said goodbye to her classmates once the class was over. Who was quick to trade numbers with each other, but then it was off to the bus for the young woman. She was thankful it didn’t take long to get to the condo, and Ryan was in the apartment alone for the first time. When she went through the culinary textbook, she found a bolognese recipe that Ryan had tried before. Dinner was decided for tonight, and Ryan was determined to have her first photo-worthy dish.
And assuredly, Kaytlin would love to take the photo.
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followcb · 2 days ago
Text
If I Were You . . . .
remember me, remember us
remember to savor our love
we were never perfect
yet we were so damn close
intimacy that only love knows
we were never, never perfect
yet it's you who I've loved the most
yes, I guess, we were so, so close
but we were never perfect
and I if were you . . . .
I'd never put you through
what you put me through
I'd never put you through
what you put me through
and if I were you . . . .
I'd remain true blue
that's what I would do
I'd remain true blue
that's what I'd do
remember you, remember us
remember to savor our love
remember to savor our love
that's what I'd do . . . .
if I were you . . . .
☆☆☆☆☆☆☆
©️ @followcb ☆ November 26, 2022
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automeris-io-moth · a day ago
Note
Villain and hero and ex lovers, hero’s confused when villain lets them go and doesn’t kill them as hero thought they would, in a battle. As villain is……still in love with them….but literally no one can find that out
Old flames.
“Drop. The. Knife. Hero.” each word spelled out slowly, threatening as they squirmed under Villains gaze “this is the last time I ask it.”
They knew it was to end that way, they’d envisioned it many times, the sight of Villain, the sight of their hands grabbing a gun, a knife, a sword for they had always been quite theatrical, and Hero, themselves, all the wrong side of such.
And it hurt, somehow.
It was clear as water when they pictured it, Villain was a fair opponent, shame didn’t really made an appearance, though betrayal and heartache did sometimes, when thinking about their inevitable defeat, their opponent was respected by everyone, though feared would have been a more fitting of a term, Hero saw their skill at combat and their gift for strategy not as terrifying but as praise-worthy, impressive more than any other thing.
Hero had also pictured the other plausible scenario for the finish line, where they held the gun, the winning fist in battle, when they could give the final order to take the menace causing wreckage in the city and imprison them for eternity, executing them on the spot if they were feeling merciful.
A funny thought indeed, a nice what if to think about if Hero was less selfish, less moved by their feelings and their own interests. Villain was, to their shame and disgrace, an interest of them. Hero would never decide what they knew what Villain wouldn’t doubt a second to do.
And it ached, still, that old flames were enough to stop them from harming Villain, but not to stop their opponent.
Their arm felt about to break.
Hero dropped the knife and the pressure eased.
“There, wasn’t that hard huh,” Villain said, mock in their tone. “there’s no need for that now, your whole team’s down, a pocket knife won’t do you any favours.”
“Then finish it already!.” Hero spat.
“Oh? oh no, of course not,” the other answered “I still have use for you Hero, I trust you’ll cooperate knowing I have your team already being delivered to my quarters.”
Hero swallowed, and, after a moment, they nodded.
*
Black car, no licence plates.
Such a cliche.
Hero was shoved on the back seat, dumped on the floor, the door thrown shut and locked before they could get themselves upright. Villain entered without hurry, gracefully next to them.
And the engine started.
Both travelled in silence for the first half hour, Hero, in thought, kept their gaze down to the floor, there were breadcrumbs over the car mat.
When the scenery changed, the little they could see through the black-tinted windows, from the bright, crowded city, to more and more greenery, their heart started to hammer.
Villain watched through the eyelashes.
“I have something for you in the boot, when we reach the border you are to take it and leave,” said Villain, interrupting Hero’s thoughts”it has your important documents, some money, a change of clothes and a key to an apartment, the address is written in there.”
The car stopped by the side of the highway.
“Look at me, Hero,” Villain demanded, and, after a minute, Hero did “I don’t want to see you in my city again, next time we cross paths, I won’t be so gracious.”
“You think I won’t come back for my people?”
“I hope you’ll be smart enough not to, for the first to pay your boldness if you do, will be your Sidekick 1, then Sidekick 2, then Teammate and so on until you make the right choice.”
Hero left the car to a freezing nocturnal wind, defeated, ashamed, they opened the boot, grabbing a black duffel bag and hanging it on their shoulder.
Villain walked out as well, leaves crunching under their boots, and when Hero looked up from the car, they stood right before them. “Well, you won, congratulations.”
“You fought poorly, hesitated every move, and at the first scratch you made on me, you froze. You are a danger to yourself and your team when fighting against me, and if you can’t separate your feelings from your job then, perhaps, you’d do better in any other place.”
Something pressed, warm and familiar, against Hero's forehead.
A kiss.
“I wish for you to thrive somewhere else Hero,” Villain stated finally, taking a step away “and I’m sorry things couldn’t be different.”
Hero noded mindlessly.
“Me too.”
“Safe travels, I love you.”
Villain entered the car and closed the door.
“I love you too,” Hero whispered as the car took off.
_
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Once again I disappeared for a week, sorry, I went up the mountain as a field practice for a class at my university, to a nature reserve five hours from my city and I just returned last night (and I'm very, very tired, it rained on us half the way, a route with the biggest stones one can ever encounter, it was almost midnight and I already felt like I was going to faint, I loved every second) It has been difficult for me to balance the workload of the last weeks of the semester and my love for writing, but I am trying the best I can, the requests are almost finished but I am going to distribute the uploads, one per day I think I hope you like it :) thank you for the request. bye.
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