Tumpik
#original writing
maracujatangerine · a day ago
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31. Lost Property
CW: institutionalised slavery, dehumanisation, box boy universe, pet whump
Previous
When Lydia and Linden came downstairs again, there was a strained silence between them.
Lydia opened the bottle of wine, Linden fiddled around with getting some wine glasses, and some glasses for water, and a bunch of crackers, and some cheese and olives and some rather superfluous plates, and neither of them seemed to know how to break the silence.
“You think I treat the pets too much like children?” Lydia just went out and said it, flatly.
Linden jerked his head up and looked for a moment like a rabbit caught in the headlights of an oncoming train. He looked back down at the table, then, determinedly, back up again.
”Well-” Linden hesitated. “I just think…they already have no control over their lives. And they aren’t children. Even calling them ‘the pets’ is…”
“Don’t you think I know that?” Lydia bristled. “Don’t you think I know that it is totally insane that they look to us for guidance as if they were dogs in a bewildering human world? And you think that I want to strip them of their agency?”
Linden almost recoiled at the intensity of her words. She could see that he was collecting himself, choosing his next words, but she wasn’t done.
“Listen,” she said sternly, “Apart from Cory I have gotten to know another pet, a guard dog named Brutus. They are very different, but in some ways they are the same, and Col seems to be similar in that way too.” She paused.
“Every time I try to give them more power over their own lives, they push back in terror. ‘Pets should not do X, pets should not do Y’. They have gone through hell and they have been taught that their own decisions, even their own desires, should not exist.
I am telling Cory what to do. But within that safety net of sorts, where he knows that he is a good boy,” she made a face at her own words, ”I encourage him to take his own initiatives, to grow as a person. And he does, and he feels reasonably safe while he is doing it. If that means that I am treating him too much like a child,” she spat, “then so be it!”
Just try it yourself, she wanted to say, if you think it is that easy.
But Linden did. That gentle, dark-haired man that sat across from her, looking crestfallen, did struggle with the same issues every day.
She knotted her fingers together in her lap. “I’m really trying to do the best for Cory, but it is just very hard to know, sometimes. What is the right thing to do, I mean.”
Linden nodded, quietly. Inky eyes meeting her own.
“I usually just feel like I’m muddling through,” he admitted. “It’s very hard to predict how Col will react. I try to make him feel safe, but sometimes I just succeed in freaking him out instead.” Lydia nodded.
“Been there, done that. It is really unpredictable, sometimes.” She sighed. “And they all just want to be good.“ She gave him a bit of a lopsided smile. “Sorry for taking my frustrations out on you for a bit, there. Even if I sounded as if I’m sure, honestly, I’m really struggling with if it is better to let Cory know that he is being good, so that he will feel safe, or if that just reinforces the whole thing about being a pet in the first place.”
“Yeah, completely. I find it hard to find a balance between accepting these very glaringly obvious difficulties and just falling into a hole of pessimism. I never want to complain too much, or sound resentful, or… yeah. But it is nice to talk about this with someone who really gets it. And, um. Thank you for the apology. It’s okay, really. We all react to things differently.”
“You’re a very measured man,” Lydia said, staring into her wine, the ghost of her earlier smile still barely visible on her lips.
“So, how did Cory end up with you anyway?” Linden asked.
Lydia swallowed a gulp from her glass and sighed, then she looked straight into Linden’s eyes.
“I bought him.” She admitted with a grimace. “I didn’t know what it was going to be like, and I thought I was doing something good, but I bought him and paid good money for him.” There was a bitter anger in her voice, at the WRU, but mostly at herself. “I paid for Cory, as if he were a dog.”
“I’m not judging you,” Linden said evenly. “The alternative was for him to end up with someone who really did see him as a dog.”
Lydia sighed. The thought was painful. “How did you get Col?”
“Ad in the local paper. He was living on the street so they gave him to me for free. It was that or they’d, uh, put him down.”
Lydia felt a twinge of guilt. Linden had at least acquired Col outside of the conventional system. She felt so complicit. Perhaps she had helped Cory to a better life, but at the expense of supporting the pet industry.
She thought back to the revelation about the attacker at dinner, and how Col had sobbed that he deserved to be put down. Did he know, she wondered, how close he had come to such a fate?
”That was truly a good deed.” She told Linden. “Brave of you, too. If I had known what to expect, I’m not sure I would have been brave enough.”
Linden hummed in assent and refilled their glasses. They both sipped their wine.
“Cory did do something quite odd,” Linden remarked suddenly, as if the memory had just come to him. “When I had the radio on. It was playing a classical piece and I walked in on him with tears streaming down his face. Properly streaming.”
Lydia cocked her head to the side and nodded, letting him continue.
“He told me later about this dream he has sometimes. He said that he dreams he’s in a cave, with… something weighing on him. And music coming through him. Has he ever talked about it with you?”
“No,” Lydia confirmed, leaning forward. “Never.”
“Doesn’t it sound like being in an orchestra?”
Lydia locked eyes with Linden, nodding slowly. “It does. It does!”
Linden felt a little excited at the new revelation. “And when he was crying at the music, he didn’t seem scared or upset, just- moved? He said he’d forgotten how beautiful it was. But that he’d never try to play. He insisted upon it, in fact.”
“He’d only say that if it was trained out of him,” Lydia finished the thought.
“Exactly.”
“But…” Lydia bit her lip, doubtfully. “He does play. I mean, you heard him yourself tonight. He was a bit nervous at first, but it was quite easy for him to start to play even for other people.” She shook her head, slowly. “And you heard him, he’s good, right?” Linden smiled and nodded. “But…” She hesitated, unwilling to criticise Cory. “ “I don’t think he’s professional level good. I’m not a tin whistle expert, but still, I think he is more like a gifted, dedicated amateur.”
“I guess you are right.” Linden looked down, disappointed. “Perhaps it was nothing more than a random dream.”
He took a sip of his wine. The memory of Coriander still bothering him. The blonde man’s tear-stained face as he swayed in tune with the violin, an almost religious ecstasy. It should mean something.
Cory had been swaying to the violin… which is a string instrument… which is a whole different kettle of fish compared with a flute or any kind of wind instrument.
“Hey Lydia,” Linden said slowly, puzzling together his thoughts as he spoke, “have you ever let Cory try some other kinds of instruments? You know how many musicians play several instruments, but have one instrument as their main expertise?” He could see understanding dawning in her eyes as well. “What if Cory plays another instrument even better?”
“Oh my God.” Lydia took a breath. “That is brilliant. I haven’t thought of trying that, but of course I should. I could maybe take him to a shop that sells musical instruments, or…”
“You should be a bit careful.” Linden cautioned gently. “There were some pretty strong emotions in play just by him listening to the radio.” Lydia nodded in agreement.
“You are right. I shouldn’t overwhelm him. Maybe that would be too much at once. I will give it some thought.” She gave Linden a lopsided smile. “There was some Sherlock Holmes-level deduction right there. I hardly know anything about Cory’s past.”
She looked away in the distance, suddenly sad. “Oh Cory, if we are right. I bet you played so beautifully.”
“He probably still can,” Linden said softly.
“I just- I want him to be happy again. I want him to be able to regain whoever he was, once.”
“Me too. That’s exactly what I want.” Linden said. Lydia nodded.
“For both of them.” She hesitated and amended herself. “For all of them.”
The pair made eye contact once more, warm smiles reflecting in each other’s eyes.
Lydia was the first to break the silence.
“I’m… I’m just so glad to have met you, you know. It seems like everyone involved with this pet business are just terrible human beings and I haven’t really met anyone else trying to do what I want to do with Cory.”
Linden grinned, raising his glass into a toast.
“Here’s to not being alone in a shitty situation.” Lydia huffed a laugh and clinked her glass against his.
“Let’s drink to that, to not being alone.”
*
The next morning dawned with sunshine from a clear blue sky. Linden drove them all to the station, in plenty of time for Lydia and Cory’s train.
“Thank you,” Lydia said, standing on the platform, “for great company,” she smiled at Col, “and great hospitality” with a smile for Linden. ”Don’t forget to come and visit us!”
She stepped up to Colton and wrapped her arms around the tall man, feeling him first stiffen in surprise, then relax into the hug. “Take care, Col.” She told him quietly. Lydia let him go and turned towards his owner. There was no hesitation in Linden’s hug, just warm friendliness. “Thank you for looking after Col.” He smiled and mimed holding up a phone. “We should talk soon.”
“T-thank you, Sir.” Coriander smiled shyly. When Linden hugged him, he hugged back carefully. “It was lovely to meet you Cory. You’re gonna be just fine.”
Col and Cory exchanged one long look.
“T-thank you, Colton.” Coriander said. “T-this pet w-was happy to see you.”
”I was happy to meet you, too, Cory.” Col raised his hand in a careful wave. “Take care.” Cory returned the gesture.
“Y-you too.”
Lydia and Coriander took their places and waved through the window as the train ponderously started to leave the station. Linden and Colton waved back. Then, together, they turned and started walking to their car, on the way back home.
*
Thank you all for tagging along and for being such great readers and co-adventurers! 💖
This collaboration grew and grew to become something much larger than either of us envisioned from the beginning. We’ve come to the end at around 37,000 words. We are both very proud and happy to bring this story to completion.
Even if Lost Property is finished, Linden and Colton and Lydia and Coriander will continue their separate adventures. Going forward, we will not automatically tag the Lost Property tag list for our separate writings. If you want to be on the tag list for Linden and Colton, let Cerys know. If you want to be on the tag list for Lydia and Coriander, get in touch with Linda.
Once again, thank you all!
Cerys & Linda
xxx
Tag List Part 1: @cupcakes-and-pain @whump-em @wh-wh-whu @neuro-whump @carnagecardinal @cowboy-anon @whump-me-all-night-long @redwingedwhump @myst-in-the-mirror @haro-whumps @eatyourdamnpears @bloodsweatandpotato @pinkraindropsfell @whumptywhumpdump @theydy-cringeworthy @whump-in-progress @whumpsy-daisy @nicolepascaline @whumpcreations @briars7 @shiningstarofwinter @whumppsychology @alex-ember @miss-kitty-whumptastic @whumpy-writings @in-patient-princess @youtube-fandoms-bands @goblinchildindabog @mazeish @distinctlywhumpthing @inpainandsuffering @canniboylism @incoherent-introspection @kim-poce @broken-typewriter @the-monarch-whumperfly @whumpers-inc @grizzlie70 @lil-whumper @writingbackwards @sunflower1000 @wingedwhump @thecitythatdoesntsleep @thingsthatgo-whump-inthenight @onlybadendings @rabass @wolfeyedwitch @melancholy-in-the-morning
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akindplace · 11 hours ago
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I'm really tired, besties. Overwhelmingly exhausted. I need a break from some things and I want to invest in some new hobbies and healing activities. But first, I need to rest a lot and I am repeating to myself that being tired is not a moral failure. Resting is also not a moral failure. Being productive means nothing in the end when my health is in line. And that I am right about making my own decisions and not being passive to other people's ideas.
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spiderblog-mcu · a day ago
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Billy has an unexpected reaction to your birthday surprise
Fem!reader
I’m not 100% satisfied with the way this came out but I was sick of editing it and putting it back in my drafts.
No triggers unless you are bothered by stains and a broken lamp.
It’s 3pm on a Friday evening and you’re scrambling around the grocery store looking for things to make a cake. Why are you making a cake? Because it just so happens to be your boyfriends birthday which he neglected to tell you. If it wasn’t for Max mentioning it in passing this morning you’d have missed it.
Why didn’t he tell me!
It’s not exactly an important day for him. I stopped trying years ago.
You hardly had time to plan anything. The streamers you bought were mis-matched colours and there was only one pack of birthday balloons to be found in all of Hawkins. That being said, you were going to give Billy the best damn birthday you could. It’s 4pm by the time the cake is in the oven and you had so much left to do before 7pm. Thankfully Max offered to help out.
“Ok so I’m thinking the streamers can be hung on the ceiling and the balloons can be taped around?”
“Sure.” Max shrugs. “Why did you pick these colours though?”
“It’s the best I could do in short notice.”
The place is sort of coming together, but the cake is a sight for sore eyes. Your red icing is more so pink and it’s a little melty because the cake was still warm. Not to mean ruin to ‘Happy Birthday Billy’ piping that looked to be done by a child.
“God this is terrible.” You groan with stress.
“It’ll have to do, you need to go take a shower, you stink.” Max shoos you away.
———
It’s 5:57pm when you hear a knock at the door. A quick look out your window was all you needed to know he was here. That flashy red car sticks out wherever it is.
“Y/n! He’s here!”
“Don’t let him past the porch!” So much for fixing your hair. You shove it up in a ponytail and take one last look in the mirror. A light blue jumper and your favorite jeans- it’s not the fanciest outfit but it will do. Bouncing down to the kitchen, past the living room, you can hear Max and Billy talking.
“What’s this about Max? Where’s y/n?”
“She’ll be here in a second just-Billy!” Both of you enter the living room at the same time. You with a cake, and Billy with a very confused look. “Y/n I couldn’t-“
“What’s going on?” He interrupts.
“Happy Birthday.” You half smile. “I uh, I made you a cake.” You hold it out waiting for him to take the invitation to blow out the candle but he doesn’t. In fact his expression is stagnant. “I know it’s not much, and I didn’t have time to get you a present, but I wanted to do something for you.” Nothing. Same look. “Everyone is coming over to have cake and beer. And Steve is bringing a couple of movies.” You look over at Max who is biting at her nails in anticipation. “Billy please say something.” His eyes well well up with tears and he clenched his jaw. “Oh god you hate it. Look I’ll call everyone and tell them to not come just please don’t be mad at me Billy I really tried.” Your own throat is limping up now. Crying wasn’t on your to do list tonight. He calmly walks to you and cakes the cake from your hands. Patches of cake peak through the vibrant pink icing and wax drips down the candle. It’s painfully quiet, not one of you said a word. Billy’s face twisted into a scowl and straight into silent tears. His shoulders shake when he stifles a sob. He plops down on the couch holding the cake so close that his white shirt is now stained with a patch of icing.
“I-I haven’t had a-birthday cake since my mom- since she-“ he can’t speak through his sobs. You rush to next next to him and fling your arms around his shoulders. “And you put balloons up!”
“She planned all of this.” Max added. “And made the cake herself.” Billy looks back at the cake and laughs through his tears.
“It’s a really ugly cake.” You laugh too, drying your face with your sleeve. “Thank you y/n.” He places a gentle , and frankly wet, kiss on your cheek.
“I hate to interrupt a tender moment,” Max says, “but everyone else is going to be here soon. Maybe you two should pull yourselves together?”
The party was a blast even when drunk Steve broke your lamp. It was laugher and smiles, and for a while there was no feud, no Vecna, no Hawkins. Just an odd bunch from different walks of life enjoying their youth. Billy would never admit it but this was the happiest he’s been in a long time, all because you simply just cared.
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soulwr1ter · a day ago
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Some people
lie to themselves
so much
that they
figure that
they can lie 
to you 
not knowing 
that you can 
see right 
through their facade.
Other people
try to blind you with 
beauty or perfection because
they are too afraid 
of their own flaws
or have not come to terms with them. 
It is your business if you 
choose to fool yourself
until you stand 
in front of those
of us who see with the 
soul and you attempt
to stand with a pretense
before our eyes as we 
see straight through everything
including what you are
afraid to look at yourself.
A person who lives by the 
truth of the soul will
absolutely refuse
to be kissed by the
burn of lying lips.
They will demand
truth and if you do 
not give it,
they will find it themselves.
-J.Wool, By The Soul, Soul Whispers
Algunas personas se mienten tanto a sí mismas que piensan que pueden mentirte sin saber que puedes ver a través de su fachada. Otras personas trata de cegarte con belleza o perfección porque tienen demasiado miedo de sus propios defectos o no han llegado a un acuerdo con ellos. Es tu negocio si eliges engañarte a ti mismo hasta que te detengas frente a alguien que ve con el alma y tratas estar de pie con una pretensión ante sus ojos mientras miran directamente a través de todo incluyendo lo que tienes miedo de mirarte a ti mismo. Una persona que vive por la verdad del alma se negará absolutamente a ser besada por la quemadura de los labios mentirosos. Ellos exigirán la verdad y si no la das, ellos mismos la encontrarán.
-J.Wool, Por el alma, Susurros del Alma
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perpetual-stories · 7 hours ago
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The Emotion Thesaurus: Agitation
Hi everyone and happy Wednesday! Post Two of new series!
This section comes from The Emotional Thesaurus by Ackerman and Puglisi.
Definition: feeling upset or disturbed, a state of unrest
Physical Signs:
reddening of the face
a sheen of sweat on the cheeks, chin, and forehead
hands moving in jerks
rubbing back of the neck
patting pockets or digging in the purse, looking for something lost
clumsiness due to rushing (knocking things over, bumping tables)
a gaze that bounces from place to place
an inability to stay still
jamming or cramming things away without care
abrupt movement (causing a chair to tip or scuff the floor loudly)
flapping hands
becoming accident prone (bashing one's hip on a desk corner)
dragging hands through hair repeatedly
forgetting words, being unable to articulate thoughts
backtracking to try and undo something said in haste
adjusting one's clothing
avoiding eye contact
a wavering voice
not knowing where to look or go
guarding one's personal space
taking too long to answer a question or response
throat clearing
overusing ums, ahs, and other verbal hesitations
turning away from others
a bobbing Adam's apple
pacing
making odd noises in throat
rapid lip movement as one tries to find the right things to say
flinching if touched
minimizing another's compliments
fanning self
unbuttoning a top shirt
tugging at a tie, collar, or scarf
Internal Sensations:
excessive saliva
feeling overheated
stiffening air on the nape of the neck
light-headedness
short, fast breaths
sweating
tingling skin as sweat forms
Mental Responses:
mounting frustration that causes thoughts to blank
compounding mistakes
a tendency to lie to cover up or excuse
anger at oneself for freezing up
trying to pinpoint the source of discomfort
mentally ordering oneself to calm down, relax
Cues of Acute or Long-Term Agitation:
flight response (looking for an escape of fleeing room)
snapping at others, or adopting a defensive tone
scattering papers and files in a frantic search
May Escalate To :
Annoyance
Frustration
Anxiety
Anger
Cues of Suppressed Agitation:
changing the subject
making excuses
joking to lighten the mood
staying busy with tasks to avoid dealing with the source of emotion
shifting attention to others, putting them in the spotlight
Like, follow and reblog for more!
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thesightstoshowyou · a day ago
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🩸 BLOODFEST 🩸
Week One
Prompts: Rope, teeth, size, blood
Keywords: Rain, wicked
Tumblr media
Payment Plan
Male Vampire OC x GN Reader
Warnings: Blood, heavy gore, descriptions of violence, manipulation
This is a long one, folks. Get a snack and settle in.
~~
$3.78
The little black numbers on your phone screen could be innocuous enough. It’s a simple amount, small, maybe the price of a basic coffee or a quick snack at the gas station. It would be harmless, if it wasn’t the balance of your checking account.
With a noisy clatter, you toss your phone carelessly onto the counter, your head falling to your hands. At your feet, a quiet mewl.
Despondently, you look down at your cat, Sweet Pea. The cone around her neck, shaved hair and stitches on her front leg are the source of your current monetary dilemma. Somehow, she’d managed to slice herself open on an errant piece of balcony railing.
“Idiot,” you murmur, crouching low to give her a scratch. She purrs, oblivious to your name-calling. As your fingers glide through her soft, warm fur, the question festering in the back of your mind drifts to the forefront of your thoughts.
How are you going to make rent? It’s due today and you don’t get paid for another two weeks. You’ve never been late on a payment before. Maybe…. Maybe if you ask your landlord for an extension he’ll take pity on you?
You swallow the lump in your throat. Just the idea of speaking with him makes your palms sweaty. That innate fear, the knowledge that you’re not at the top of the food chain always pricks at the back of your neck in his presence. You try to avoid him at all costs.
You wonder if his other tenants feel the same.
With a deep sigh, you push to your feet and cross the room to retrieve your keys. First you must work. You definitely can’t miss a shift now.
Exiting your apartment, your keys rattle in the lock. After the click, you turn on your heel and crash straight into a solid chest.
“Oops!” a quiet voice exclaims, long fingers gripping your shoulders to keep you from tumbling backwards.
“Oh christ, I’m so sorry—
Your words catch in your throat when your gaze lands on the face of Mr. Talo, your landlord. The fight to keep your expression passive ends in defeat as all the blood drains from your face.
Too quickly to be nonchalant, you step away from him, back colliding with your locked front door. No escape—
No, shut up, you’re acting insane, don’t upset him, CHILL OUT….
“Everything alright?” Mr. Talo asks in his soft, lilting voice, his slight accent catching at the ends of his words. You meet his eyes, iris bright blue and whites bloodshot—a sign of a well-fed vampire.
You allow yourself to relax minutely before responding, “Y-Yeah, I’m really sorry Mr. Talo—
“Oh no, no, please call me Sami. ‘Mr. Talo’ sounds like I’m much too old or something.” The corners of his lips twitch up in a gentle smile. You can tell he’s trying to keep his teeth hidden, but you can still see the very tips of white fangs poking out from under his top lip.
You force a breathy chuckle, gaze dropping to your shoes, then back up in time to watch his spidery fingers ruffle the white-blonde hair atop his head. The fluorescents above catch the stray strands, his pale locks nearly glowing under the light.
“Right, you must be off to work? I’ll leave you to it.” Sami turns to leave, then pauses to add, “Rent due today, I’m sure you’re aware.” Your heart stutters in your chest. You’d wanted more time to prepare your sob story….
“Uh, Mr—I mean, Sami. About rent….” The vampire turns to face you fully, eyebrows raised curiously. You swallow, throat suddenly dry. You continue, “I’m—my cat h-had an accident, I mean, she got hurt. I had to, you know, take her to the vet—stitches, she needed them, which…which you know, costs…costs money and—
“You can’t make rent this month.” he finishes for you. Your mouth opens, closes, opens again. He doesn’t sound upset. In fact, there’s a glint of something in his gaze, beyond the bloody sclera; something eager.
“Y-Yes. I’m sorry, is there…?” You trail off, forgetting what you wanted to ask. Sami is turned completely toward you now, attention fully focused on you, your face, your shoulders, your neck…. His hands, once resting in his pockets, now hang at his sides, long fingers twitching randomly.
“S-Sami?” you breathe, jaw clenching. Your own fingers jump, ready to reach for your keys, but then Sami blinks, shoulders relaxing, hands quickly returning to pockets like he hadn’t even moved at all.
“There are payment plans. I’d be willing to extend that courtesy to you as you’ve never been late before.” He speaks casually, like everything that just transpired was completely normal. You have no choice but to follow along, the heavy feeling in your chest lifting slightly when you comprehend what he’s saying.
Sami pauses, lightly scrapes his fangs across his bottom lip—your hand involuntarily clenches on your keys—before he speaks again, softer than before, “Or…there is one more option. An alternative form of payment—no, not that,” he adds with an awkward chuckle when your eyes bug out of your head. “Though some would consider it equally as—erm—unwholesome.”
“W-What do you mean?” Your voice breaks a little with your question and you wonder how much more your poor nerves can handle. Sami takes a half step closer, hands leaving his pockets, fingers entwining.
“Blood,” he states simply. You stare. His expression doesn’t change. You blink several times in quick succession when you realize he’s serious. Sami nods, “For one month, I will forgive rent in exchange for one, uh…feeding.”
Words elude you. He’s serious! Has he done this before with other tenants? He must have, with how boldly he speaks. Is this legal? It can’t be, can it?
You realize you’ve said nothing for too long a stretch. Sami waits expectantly. Again, you must swallow before you speak.
“Um. Uh…can I think about it?” His eyes crinkle at the corners, more of those wicked fangs revealed with his grin.
“Certainly. I’ll touch base tomorrow?” You can only nod weakly in response. “Great! Talk soon.”
And with that, he strides away down the hall before disappearing into the stairwell. The loud bang of the heavy door shocks you out of your stunned silence and you spin around, hurrying in the opposite direction.
~~
Payment plan. You’re going to do the payment plan. That’s the least insane option.
But one month no rent…. That could be huge for you, especially with these vet bills you still have to pay.
No, absolutely not. It’s madness to even consider it! What if he gets carried away, or whatever? Rent isn’t worth your life.
But…the burden and stress this could relieve…. It’s just one time. He’s obviously done this before. He must know what he’s doing.
No, no, no. This is ridiculous. What is the matter with you?
You retrieve your phone, ready to text Mr. Talo—Sami—your answer. You hesitate, fingers hovering over your phone screen.
You’ve lost your god damn mind.
~~
Nervously, you check the clock on the stove. Almost 7PM. Soon.
Wringing your hands, you look over the assigned “to-do” list, mentally checking off completed tasks.
It’s Friday. You have the weekend off to…recover, as instructed. You’d eaten iron-rich foods all week, drank the requisite amount of water, taken all the B vitamins. You’d meal prepped for the weekend, ensuring all your meals are low effort and ready to eat.
Chewing on your lip, you frown, considering. Maybe you should—
A quiet knock at your door makes you jolt, your pen tumbling to the ground with a clatter. Heart hammering, you cross the room, smoothing your shirt and straightening the rug. Oh god, you’ve lost it, this is crazy, but it’s too late to back out….
The lock clicks and the door swings open with a little squeak. There stands Sami, wearing khakis, a pale blue button up that matches his eyes, and a kind smile. In his hand is a small, black satchel.
“Uh, hi. Hi, um, come in,” you stammer, scooting out of the way as Sami steps into your apartment. He gives your space a quick once over before turning to you.
“You completed the list I gave you?” You nod, glancing down at your feet, then back up. He smiles wider in approval and your gaze is drawn to white points. Christ, they’re huge….
“Excellent. Shall we get started? I won’t take up much more of your evening.” You tense, giving him one more stiff half nod.
Sami motions to the sofa before setting the little bag on your counter. The slide of its zipper fills the awkward silence—you should have put on music—and he rustles around inside. In a neat row, he positions gauze, a bottle of sterile water, medical tape, and a blue surgical rag. Your heart rate increases with each item he produces until it pounds furiously against your ribs.
Satisfied with the arrangement, Sami moves to sit next to you on the sofa. That same, understanding half smile decorates his wan features. Hands like ice find your face, cradling it, and you flinch at the chill. He gazes into your wide, panicked eyes, making sure you’re looking at him before speaking.
The whites of his eyes are almost completely visible, barely any red. He’s hungry—
“It is imperative you don’t struggle. Do you understand?” You blink and swallow hard, your throat like fucking sandpaper. “Repeat back what I said.”
“I-I shouldn’t s-struggle,” you whisper.
“You mustn’t.”
“I won’t.”
“Good. Now breathe. Big, deep breaths.” You do as he says, your body working on autopilot as your mind whirs with terror. “Just like that. You’re doing well! Your heart rate is slowing.”
You falter at that, “W-What? How…?”
Sami taps his ear with a slender finger, “I can hear it.” You can’t stop the flush from heating your cheeks. He knows you’ve been distressed this entire time. Embarrassing.
That eager glint returns to his eyes. With a light chuckle, Sami moves one of his hands to your shoulder, gripping just tight enough to hold you in place. Cool fingers grasp your jaw, tilting your head to the side and back, exposing your neck. He scoots closer, invading your space, pulling you close, intimately close.
You choke on a breath, then suck in air quickly, willing your tense body to relax. Don’t struggle, don’t struggle—
Sami inhales slowly, deeply, and your cheeks burn when you realize he’s smelling you. A quiet squeak leaves your mouth when his lips ghost across your throat. In your lap, your sweaty hands curl into fists.
The fingers on your jaw move to the back of your neck just as you feel the sharp points of his fangs setting themselves against your flesh. That prickling sensation returns, stomach lurching, body urging you to flee, fucking run idiot, but you reign in your panic, a mantra of ‘Don’t struggle, don’t struggle,’ playing on repeat in your brain.
Piercing, twin stings make you gasp, your hands flying up to grip the front of his shirt Warmth trickles down your throat—summer rain on your skin—before soaking into the neckline of your top. Sami quickly seals his lips around your leaking wounds.
You feel gentle suction—he’s drinking—and you can’t help the tiny whimper that escapes you when he groans, his chest vibrating against your palms with the sound. The hand on your shoulder squeezes hard, just shy of being painful. You focus on your labored breathing and force yourself to still, to be quiet.
Sami emits a muffled, gurgly moan and pulls you flush against him, wrapping an arm around your body. Your toes curl in your socks. At the same time, you notice your grip on his clothing growing slack. Your fingers are weakening, your head fuzzy, little spots forming in your vision, your breath coming in ragged pants….
With a strained growl, Sami rips his teeth out of you. His lips are millimeters from yours, so close you can feel hot, metallic breath washing over your face. Icy hands caress your face, stroke your neck, dip down to your collarbone, he’s so close, what is he—
Hastily, you are slammed back into the arm of the couch. Sami stands so quickly you don’t see him move. Dazed, you watch him stagger and clutch his head, bowed shoulders rising and falling rapidly with his gasping breaths.
You don’t have to strength to move much, nor even the wit to speak, so you just stare at his back. The rapid heaving of his shoulders gradually slows as he stands upright. His mouth he wipes on his shirtsleeve, brilliant scarlet staining the pale fabric.
Seeming to come back to himself, he retrieves the items he’d placed on the counter. Finally, he turns to face you, revealing the startling visage of a freshly fed vampire. You’d react if you weren’t so dazed, thoughts spinning with your vision.
The whites of his eyes are completely red, not a dot of ivory to be seen. His pupils are blown so wide you can’t make out any blue. Crimson stains his teeth, a paint brush smear across his cheek where he’d wiped it away.
Sami clears his throat and kneels on the sofa between your trembling knees. One hand returns to the back of your neck as the other presses gauze to your wounds. 
“You alright?” he asks, his usually soft voice now quite husky. You blink to right the world and nod once again. Fatigue pulls at your consciousness, tries to force your eyelids shut. “These will heal,” he continues, pushing against your bite marks for emphasis, “By tomorrow, most likely. Make sure you have several glasses of water. Tonight, before you sleep, I mean. Continue the vitamins.”
Dumbly, you gaze up at him. He doesn’t meet your stare, instead rips pieces of tape to secure the gauze to your skin. Next, he cleans away the remainder of your spilled blood with the surgical rag and sterile water.
Unceremoniously, he stands, retrieves a glass of water from your kitchen, sets it on your coffee table. “Get some rest,” he commands, leaving through your front door without a backward glance.
The lock clicking shut seems to trigger something within you and you slump, rolling onto your side. It’s over. You’re okay.
Well, okay enough. Maybe.
You don’t have the sense to ponder the strange details of what had just occurred. It only takes seconds for unconsciousness to claim you.
~~
The weekend passes in a blur of dizziness and fatigue. You hardly leave your bed. When Monday rolls around, you’re still so worn out you must phone in sick to work.
Sami checked on you the following day with a simple text: ‘How are you feeling?’ Other than that, you haven’t seen hide or hair of him all week. Probably for the best, you decide. Only awkwardness could occur after spending such an odd evening together.
Friday evening again, and rain pummels the windows, wind gusts rattling the balcony railing. You relax in bed, zoning in and out, not even really watching what plays on television, instead focused on the light and shadows thrown across your body from the changing images. Absently, your fingers scratch between Sweet Pea’s smooth ears…. Soft and warm….
Drip. Drip. Drip, drip, drip.
Your heavy eyes crack open. Darkness in your apartment. The television is off. When had you fallen asleep?
Drip. Drip. Drip.
The rain has stopped. Outside, the air is calm. In your sleepy state, you finally register the dripping. Oh no, a leak?
You push up onto your elbow. Sweet Pea is gone, off to perform her nightly rounds, no doubt.
You roll onto your other side and lay eyes on the horrific figure looming at your bedside.
A soaked, torn shirt reveals the mangled flesh underneath; gaping abdominal gash, bubbly fat, shredded muscle, and oozing guts all visible and leaking onto your floor. The dripping. Not a leak after all.
Higher up is a gaunt face, white blonde hair wet from the recent storm. It is a face you recognize.
Mr. Talo—Sami.
A rain-dampened hand slaps over your mouth to silence your blood-curdling shriek. Another gathers up your wrists, pinning them to the bed. Knees plant themselves on either side of your hips, body weight on your legs stopping your thrashing before it’s even begun.
He stares wildly down at you—how is moving—as warm blood spills from evisceration, soaking your clothes, your sheets. “I’m sorry,” he murmurs, gentle voice strained and quivering.
You can do nothing against his strength. You can’t twist, can’t buck, can’t thrash, can’t call for help—helpless, you’re utterly helpless.
More gore pours out of him when he leans down, wet squelching accompanying the movement. Again, he murmurs, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” before lips find your neck.
A soft kiss is pressed to your skin—another apology—before wicked fangs sink into flesh. The force of your muffled scream burns your throat, but the palm suffocating you keeps it from carrying far. You recognize the sucking pressure, the noisy groan, the dizzying loss of blood coming much faster this time.
Your teeth dig into his palm, copper spilling into your own mouth, but Sami isn’t fazed, doesn’t let up. Distantly, you remember what he’d said about struggle, but the terror surging through you keeps any rational thought from sticking
Now you’re just an animal, prey squirming in the grip of a predator, desperate to save your own life. Above you, Sami growls as you writhe. It’s a feral sound resonating from deep within his chest that sends your heart into a frenzy.
There’s a crunch, more pressure in your neck, then a sick tearing sound near your ear. With a final, wet snap, Sami sits upright, flesh dangling from his terrible teeth.
You stare, shocked. You can’t believe what you’re seeing. Your fingers scurry up to your neck, recoiling when you feel the wet mess that was once your throat—the throat now clutched in Sami’s jaws.
A cough bubbles out of your mouth, blood splattering across your face, little rain drops, pitter-patter. More wets your hair, joins the puddle forming on your mattress.
Sami watches blankly, observes you drowning in your bed without so much as a twitch of his features. His eyes are crimson once more, his chest heaving. Lower, the torn shirt reveals smooth, unmarred skin, his flesh healed by your life essence.
Your bloodied hands fall away from your spurting neck, landing useless on soaked sheets. The room is darker now, growing darker still. That’s right, the television had been turned off. Good, you don’t want to waste electricity….
Have you ever been so tired?
Sami lifts his hand. He frowns at the teeth marks in his palm. Unhealed?
The last expression you see cross his face is one of terrified comprehension, the last thing you hear a breathless, “Oh no….”
Your eyes drift shut.
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ashintheairlikesnow · 14 hours ago
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No Rest for the Wicked
CW: Vampire whumpee, referenced combat PTSD, some brief suicidal ideation (of the “if I die now, that’s okay” sort) throat torn open, blood loss, a kind of animalization (vampire getting feral for lack of blood), death/murder
For @whumptober 2022, day five: Blood loss
-
1989, somewhere in London
His wounds weren’t healing.
There wasn’t enough blood to power the cells to reproduce, to push the itch as they closed and rebuilt themselves, covering over hurt as though it had never happened. As if he were still a man living alone in the woods eighty years ago or more.
Instead, the last of the blood he needed to heal was joining the puddle beneath him in a dirty alley behind a restaurant. Fitting, to die in a crowded noisy city when all he’d ever wanted after the war was to be left the fuck alone to die with the sound of the shells burying themselves into the trenches still playing in the back of his mind.
With the sting of of the gas still echoing in his lungs.
With the screams of the other soldiers whispering in his dreams, trying to pull him into the earth with them. Some of them were still there, buried by time in the fields in France where they had fallen. You could still see, they said, the line of the trenches from airplanes, now green with grass... you could follow their winding path and know where you’d find the last remnants of men who had died screaming, crying, calling for their mothers.
Sometimes, in the newspaper, you’d see articles where some farmer accidentally plowed up a handful of bones, an unexploded shell, ammunitions... but not Erich Eeten.
Erich Eeten hadn’t died with his fellow soldiers, but he hadn’t been able to live with himself afterward, either.
The smell of his own blood was thick and rich, sparkling with death. It would not nourish him, it was only his own. No life was left in it. Erich felt it growing stickier with every passing second, seconds he spent gasping for needless air, clawing with frantic panic at the vampire on top of him.
The one whose fangs had ripped him open.
If the people walking by, only a dozen or so feet away, suspected anything, they never turned to look. Erich had learned over the years that cities often had people in them who never looked further than their own destinations. It was safer that way.
He didn’t blame them.
“Bet you regret stealing my kill now,” The vampire who had attacked him hissed against his neck, lapping at what was still coming out. “I’ve been hunting that hot piece of ass all night.” The press of tongue, warm and wet, made Erich shudder, and he shook his head back and forth, pushing at the vampire’s chest, over her collarbone, but he had no strength.
Nothing left.
The world was dim around its edges, going dark.
“Poor baby,” The vampire cooed, running her fingers back through his thick dark hair, speckled with hints of gray that had never grown in any further, frozen in time. “It’ll be a hard true death, you know. A rough one. It’s going to hurt.” She breathed the last words, and pressed a kiss to his lips, where blood was bubbling up, running out of him everywhere it could find an escape. Her lips were warm from feeding.
His were ice-cold, as he faded away.
“But that’s what you get for muscling in on my kill. I hope it’s agony, as you go. I hope you meet your true death weeping.” She pulled back, smiling at him, her eyes glowing faintly in the dark. “I hope you burn in hell. I’ll never see it.”
Erich coughed up a little more blood in reply, making her flinch backwards as some of it got in her eye and she had to wipe at it, hissing with irritation.
She stood up, dusting her hands off, and he turned his head, blearily watching her as she began to walk away on heavy platform heels. “Hey,” He croaked, one hand out, scraping at the pavement and broken rock beneath him, rolling with effort onto his stomach. “Listen.”
She paused, without looking back. She wore a heavy leather jacket, black jeans, her hair was dyed darker than the night sky. A nose ring glinted. “What?”
“It’s… n-not agony,” Erich managed, and now she did look at him, over one shoulder, eyebrows raising. “There’s... waiting for us, there’s... something. Better.” He watched her put her hands into her pockets, pull out a lighter and light a cigarette with shaking hands. “It’s… it’s going to be… good. After.”
He shifted onto his side, coughing hard to try and get the last of it out of his throat. Everything was copper and darkness, and the world was fading. He would die here, in a back alley in London, far from the battlefields that still haunted his dreams.
He hadn’t died with a gas mask strapped on making him blind and breathless as his lungs burned.
He hadn’t died in the woods in his bed, another long casualty of a war that went uncounted because he’d waited until the war was over to be lost.
But… here, it would end. 
It was as good a place as any.
Better than some.
“You think there’s a heaven?” She asked, hesitating, taking a drag off her cigarette and blowing smoke into the air. “Even for us?”
“I think… I was s-supposed to find out a long… time ago. I’ll… I’ll tell the bastards you s-said hi if I make it.”
She snorted. “I just killed you. You’re oddly cheery about it.”
“Guess… I am. Can’t blame you. Shit move, for me t’steal a kill, right?”
He laughed, but all that did was make him cough up more, and when it bubbled too thickly in his throat to breathe, she left. He listened to her heels click on the ground until they faded to silence. Until even the shouted conversations of the people on the street had gone dim, muffled. He wondered what it was like to die with no heartbeat.
He was about to find out.
Erich’s eyes closed, finally. He hoped only for peace.
When a wrist was pressed to his mouth, warm and living, he groaned and tried to turn his head away. No, no, let me die, let me join them in the fields, let me fall into the trenches where I was supposed to rest-
“Drink, liebling, now,” Auri commanded, and Erich’s mouth opened against his will, took in the hot rush of fresh living blood. He bit down hard, then, gnawing into the skin and listening to a weak cry of pain. The pulse of the wrist’s owner was rapid, fluttering in fear, and his hands came up, smearing his own drying blood over her as he pulled her close, her body hot like a brand against his. He swallowed, and felt some of it run out of the wound in his throat even as the telltale itch began.
The girl was weeping, whoever it was he was killing. He couldn’t care any longer. Now that the hot blood of life was in his mouth, he barely heard her and with a mind gone mad with thirst, he no longer cared. He drank, took in swallow after swallow of salt-sweet copper, and after a moment felt a shift of weight and knew Auri was there, too, holding her down on top of him. 
“Good, liebling, there we go... there we go, my love,” Auri said, and Erich’s eyes opened, taking in their pale face behind the victim’s shoulder, smiling at him with sparkling eyes before they turned and buried their fangs in her neck. She threw her head back and cried out, and there was something obscene about this - Erich on his back with a woman’s hips pressed to his, Auri behind her and pressed to her, how the three of them moved together in a harmony wracked with the poor thing’s pain.
Erich felt his wound healing, and he couldn’t think well enough to remember that he had wanted, before, to die.
Auri drank their fill and left him to take the rest, not moving away but resting their head on the girl’s shoulder and holding her still as she thrashed and struggled, desperate to escape. “Kill her,” Auri whispered. “Drain her dry, liebling.”
Erich was with his packleader.
He had to obey.
He felt every hint of life and breath leave the victim’s body until she was limp, until her heart slowed and finally… stopped.
Only then did he realize what he’d done.
He jerked backwards, his head smacking into the ground beneath him, and Auri pushed themself up, tossing the dead body of the victim carelessly aside. “Feel better?” They asked, hands on their narrow, angular hips. They wore acid-wash jeans and a torn black tank top. They’d been in a club or something while Erich went to hunt alone. 
“No,” Erich ground out, voice still rough, as he rolled onto  all fours and then slowly pushed himself up. His head swam with blood, soaking in it like a man diving into a pool. His chilled fingertips were warming, his face flushing with it. “I was going to die. I wanted to be done with you!”
“But I don’t want you to be done with me. So you won’t. Sorry I was late. I was… busy.”
“Feeding?”
Auri shot him a dazzling smile, and he hated and loved it in equal measures. “No. Well, not the way you’re thinking. Come on. You need to rest somewhere safe.” They held up a key ring, jangling it. “My little friend there-” They gestured at the dead body. “-told me her parents rent her a flat, no roommates. We have a day or so before anyone notices she’s not where she should be. Let’s go get some sleep, hm? Then we have a plane to catch.”
“No,” Erich said, but he knew it was pointless.
“Yes,” Auri replied. “Now. Come, my child.”
They turned and walked out of the alley into the din of the city.
Erich felt the pull of their command, and he set his jaw in a miserable line and followed.
-
@astrobly @finder-of-rings @burtlederp @whump-tr0pes @hackles-up @whumptywhumpdump @boxboysandotherwhump @wildfaewhump 
@whumpworld for Whumptober taglist
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somethingrewritten · a day ago
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"We don't just 'move on.' We cannot simply untangle the sewn-together edges of our lives and call it a clean break, a clean cut. We remember the people who have touched our lives in pieces. We remember them in sunsets, in our favorite songs or the songs that we immediately skip when they sneak up on us on the radio. In the restaurant we would only visit on Thursday nights but no longer go to at all. In the way that autumn arrives suddenly with a chill but now without the borrowed jacket hanging over our shoulders to lessen it. In every new memory we create without their presence to accompany it, and likewise, in the immediate dull urge to tell them about it. Sometimes we move on while people are still in our lives, and other times we never move on despite them being undeniably out of it. But no matter when it happens, or in what way, it rarely passes quickly. Invariably, it's a slow burn. One that we find ourselves lighting with gasoline to accelerate it; the warmth of another lover, or the cool touch of solitude and comfort of memories that only live behind our eyes. So, you see, there is nothing simple about moving on. Because the task itself asks us to bury something we once loved. Something we once clung to with a white-knuckled grip. So don't just move on, move through it, move with it, move forward from it. Because if life suggested you leave something so valuable behind, there must be better things ahead."
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hungmongous · a month ago
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tfw you wait forever but then you finally see a new post from your favorite tumblr
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athenixrose · 2 months ago
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When you leave your writing in the middle of a sentence, come back to it and you're like "Where the FUCK was I going with this?"
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leatherdykelust · 28 days ago
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Getting railed in a sundress season is over, it is now getting railed in a big sweater season
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the-faultofdaedalus · a year ago
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I had a dream that the king and the queen of a small country had a daughter. They needed a son, a first-born son, so in secret, without telling anyone of their child’s gender, they travelled to the nearby woods that were rumoured to house a witch.
They made a deal with that witch. They wanted a son, and they got one. A son, one made out of clay and wood, flexible enough to grow but sturdy enough to withstand its destined path, enchanted to look like a human child. The witch asked for only one thing, and that was for their daughter.
They left the girl readily.
The witch raised her as her own, and called her Thyme. The princess grew up unknowing of her heritage, grew up calling the witch Mama, and the witch did her very best to earn that title.
She was taught magic, and how to forage in the woods, how to build sturdy wooden structures and how to make the most delicious stews. The girl had a good life, and the witch was pleased.
The girl grew into a woman, and learned more and more powerful magics, grew stronger from hauling wood and stones and animals to cook, grew smarter as the witch taught her more.
She learned to deal with the people in the villages nearby, learned how to brew remedies and medicines and how to treat illness and injury, and learned how to tell when someone was lying. 
Every time the pair went into town, the people would remark at just how similar Thyme was to her mother. 
(Thyme does not know who and what she is. She does not know that she was born a princess, that she was sold. She only knows that one night after her mother read her a story about princesses and dragons, her mother had asked her if she ever wanted to be a princess.)
((Thyme only knows that she very quickly answered no. She likes being a witch, thank you very much, she likes the power that comes with it and the way that she can look at things and know their true nature.))
The witch starts preparing the ritual early, starts collecting the necessities in the winter so they can be ready by the fall equinox. Her daughter helps, and does not ask what this is for, just knows that it is important.
The witch looks at Thyme, both their hands raised into the air over a complicated array of plants, tended carefully to grow into a circle, and says, sorry.
Thyme wakes up in a clearing she recognizes well. Her mother is not there. 
The house she had grown up in is a pile of logs on the ground, destroyed and broken and in disarray, and Thyme is afraid. She calls for her mother, once, twice, and then rolls up her sleeves and begins the trek towards town. 
Her home is not here, she has neither her bow nor her knife, and if she means to figure out what happened she needs supplies. People are always in need of a witch, she knows, and her mother taught her long ago the value of a silver tongue. 
Except.
She walks out of the woods, and the town is... different. Smaller. The mill she knew so fondly, that she used to climb in with the other children of the village, isn’t there. 
There’s no indication it was ever there, and all at once, Thyme realizes what the ritual was for. 
It was a time-spell, and now she is in the past. The house is in ruins because her mother has not repaired it yet, the mill is gone because it has not been built yet. 
She is here, because...
She does not know. 
And now, it is up to her to take care of herself.
She learns the date from the villagers, gets herself a room at the inn and a good hot meal in exchange for looking at the innkeeper’s son, who has been wracked with cough for weeks now, apparently. 
His face is one Thyme knows, one that in her days were covered in wrinkles and laugh-lines, and as she goes back out into the woods to collect the herbs she needs to cure the boy, she thinks.
The boy will take the inn over from his father, and he will always welcome Thyme’s mother in with open arms for saving him when he was a child. Either the story had been wrong, or Thyme has already broken things. 
Thyme does not know which one she fears more.
She waits in the village for a full turn of the moon for her mother to come. She knows that this is when she should have come in to town. She knows that she should show up here, any day. 
The boy’s cough gets better and when it’s gone completely Thyme buys herself a knife at the blacksmith’s and returns to the woods, to the clearing she calls home. Hands on her hips, she surveys the once-cottage, and makes a plan. 
The house takes a long time to build. She buys an axe, makes a bow, and sleeps under the stars while the house is very slowly built back up. Walls, roof, floors, and then a fireplace, big and wide enough to fit a cauldron, built from special bluestone she hauls from a nearby hill one lump at a time, all the better to brew inside. 
Mama, she thinks wryly, you better be grateful for this. 
She hunts for herself, mostly, snares rabbits and shoots down deer, strips them of their skin, treats it and leaves the fur out to dry. They’ll be good blankets, a good winter cloak, someday. She knows what plants she can eat, what plants will be good, and she survives. She builds. 
She does not tell the villagers her name, and they know her only as “the witch.” 
Thyme eventually stops waiting for her mother. She watches herself in the mirror, and aches at how much they look the same. How much she’s turning out like her mother. 
She helps the villagers, occasionally travels further to heal illnesses in other villages, but mostly stays to herself, in the woods, collecting books and herbs and the house grows more and more as she remembers it. Her hair, that used to be so dark, raven’s hair, her mother would say, braiding it back for her before she learned to do it herself, gets shot through with white and goes grey. 
There’s wrinkles on her face that didn’t used to be there. 
Thyme stops waiting, and becomes the witch of the these woods.
And then. 
The King and Queen of these lands show up at her door, and they are holding a baby girl. 
Please, they say, We need a son. Give us a son. 
And Thyme, who now has a scar on her cheek from a branch whipping at her too fast to avoid, who knows that her mother had had the same scar, looks at the baby, meets her eyes, and knows that they are her eyes. 
I’ll give you a son, Thyme tells them, as if through a trance, but the cost will be your daughter.
They agree, as she knew they would, and she makes a boy out of clay and wood and she remembers learning how to make constructs like these with her mother, she breaths life into it and sends it off with the King and Queen and she holds their baby in her arms. 
Black hair. Dark eyes. A quiet baby, who looks up at her with a solemness that Thyme’s not entirely sure babies are supposed to have. 
Hello, little one, Thyme says, holds out her finger for the baby to grasp, feels her voice crack down the centre like a burnt-out log when the infant holds her finger in her chubby little hand. 
She’s a princess. This baby is a princess, and this baby is her, and her mother has never existed. She knows all these things now, but the thing that she knows most strongly is that she will protect this child, and not only because this child is her. 
(It is alright to be selfish, Thyme, she remembers her mother telling her, it is alright to take things for yourself. You do not need to give yourself away, remember that.)
She has to build a crib and cradle for the baby, and until it’s finished, until she knows that the birchwood and blanket is as comfortable as it can be, she sleeps with the baby -- with Thyme, her name will be Thyme, and she smiles as she thinks it -- on her chest. 
She goes into the village, walking through the woods as baby Thyme looks at the trees and the plants with wide eyes, brings her to a farmer who has raised three girls, knocks at her door, and says, help me. 
The witch doesn’t know how to care for a child, and she is going to learn. She must learn. 
The farmer helps her gladly, something in her eyes that tells the witch that she misses having children, that however much she loves her girls, grown and adventurous, sun-browned and strong from working the fields with her mother, she misses caring for an infant. 
She learns how to make formula out of goat’s milk, how to burp the baby, how to change and wash her. She learns how to tell why the baby might be crying -- even though baby Thyme rarely cries, prefers to watch the world with her big, dark eyes -- and how to fix what might be wrong. 
She sits with the farmer as Thyme plays with a doll carved from a cow’s bone, and learns how to thresh wheat. 
The farmer never asks where the baby came from, but does remark how alike they look, that Thyme looks just like her mother, and the witch smiles at that. 
Thyme seems to grow quickly, learning to crawl, and then to toddle around while hanging off the furniture, and the witch cries at Thyme’s first, unsteady and unsupported steps, even as she builds high shelves into the rafters of her home so that Thyme won’t end up eating things she shouldn’t.
The witch takes Thyme into the village more and more, first in a bag tucked up close against her chest, and when Thyme grows more, holding her hand as she runs through the woods as fast as her little legs will carry her. Every time Thyme runs off to bring back a flower, the witch feels a surge of fondness she refuses to suppress. 
The mill is built, and the witch watches as Thyme runs off to play with the other village kids, brave and fearless and so, so curious. 
She teaches Thyme her first charm when the girl is eight, and Thyme takes to the craft like she takes to memorizing the names and uses of plants, like she takes to a bow and knife, like she takes to books, exactly as the witch knew she would. 
Sometimes, the witch hates the lie she’s made Thyme into. She agonizes over it, over she should tell the girl her true parentage, should spill this secret like a cut bag of wheat, but--
She does not want Thyme to know that she was traded away so easily. She does not want Thyme to know that to her birth parents, she was worthless. 
She asks, though. Asks, do you want to be like the girls in the books? a princess? and is warmed to the core when Thyme answers no. 
Yes, the witch had known what she had answered. Yes, the witch knows that Thyme loves her life, her studies, the woods, her home. 
(Yes, the witch knows that Thyme loves her mother, because the witch loved her mother. She knows this, and still, she asks.)
The witch teaches Thyme how to make constructs, how to animate them, is proud beyond words when on her fifth try, casting over a wood skeleton covered in clay, the shape of a rabbit, the thing shivers to life, and hops over to push it’s nose into Thyme’s outstreached hands, the girl beaming so brightly that the witch thinks the woods might be glowing with it. The rabbit-construct is lumpy, and uneven, it’s movements slow and unnatural, and she has not yet taught Thyme how to cast the illusion spell onto it that will make it look real, and alive, but Thyme looks so happy that the witch nearly, nearly, forgets her guilt at the purpose of this spell.
Thyme grows, first into a teen, skinny and narrow from how she had shot taller like a willow tree, bony and sharp and lean, and into a woman, growing broad from good food and hard work, takes to hiking into the woods for days at a time with only her knife and her bow and a pouch of herbs, returns home with wild hair the witch combs out for her as Thyme tells her of her adventures.
It matters not that the witch knows all of these stories, knows them because she lived them herself, when she was a girl. She listens to her daughter, dragging the comb through her tangled hair, asks about the falls she found, the cliffs, the animals, the herbs, makes sure that Thyme knows that she will be listened to, that she deserves to be listened to. She listens, because she knows that no matter how much Thyme loves going on these adventures, she also loves coming home, and sharing in these simple, cozy moments.
Winter comes. With the cold comes a grief, a guilt, that weighs heavy on the witch’s heart. She begins preparing for the ritual, for the time-spell that will send her daughter backwards and into loneliness and into the position to save herself from what her true parents would force her to become, backwards to learn the truth, backwards to become her.
She knows why she must do this. She has scryed on her construct, the prince, the soon-to-be-king, every moon since she sent him away and took herself in his place. She sees what he has grown into, she sees what the power has done to him, she sees and she knows that she and her daughter would have suffered greatly in that role. She sees him make hard choices.
She sees him go to war.
She sees the illusion she cast over branch and clay bleed. She sees him, bandages around his torso, arm hanging awkwardly by his side, leave the castle, and wade into the lake outside of it’s walls. She sees the clay in the lakebed melt towards him, heal the wounds, make him fit to wield a sword the very next day.
She does not want that. She does not want that for her daughter.
It is alright to be selfish, Thyme, she remembers her mother saying to her, remembers saying to her Thyme, bleeding for others is a gift. It is valued, but it is up to you to give it.
Spring comes. Reedy plants are tended into a circle. Summer comes. Fires are burned over the dirt, ash mixed with soil. Fall comes. The heart of a boar is buried under the circle, placed to rest with gentle words. The witch and her daughter, Thyme and Thyme, stand together, hands raised, looking at each other.
The witch whispers, I’m sorry.
And her daughter disappears.
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akindplace · 9 hours ago
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Your pain doesn't have to be beautiful. To feel pain is awful, symptoms of illnesses can be disgusting, it is okay to not make something lovely out of something disturbing. Sometimes, things are just bad. You don't need to glamorize or romanticize your pain for it to be acceptable.
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sweatermuppet · 14 days ago
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what i got by silas denver melvin (written at the unrelatable writing retreat, sep 17 2022)
[Text ID: got bad. got worse. got suspended for blessing the face of a transphobe with the open palmed reckoning of my small hands. got praised. got punished. got home & ma, her crown bowed to the steering wheel, her tired, dish-water knuckles smoothing imagined creases from her Stevie Nicks skirt, told me she understood, but couldn't condone. got taken out of class. got put in therapy. got threatened, thanked, spit at, spit on. got everything but even. got medicated. got put in a small room with a suit-pressed man & a single particle wood table. got asked if i thought id ever see heaven. got a good look & measured my answer. got considered like livestock. got 5 days out of school like isolation was a fever-trick to sweat out the sick they assigned to my blood. got up on the last day, before the yolk-heavy sun even broke the fragile line of the horizon, before the cat birds could perch on the white birch branches & begin their endless crying, & thought to myself let heaven start where my boots are laced & allow no merciless crowd decide me otherwise, which is to say… i got out & from there, i have yet to stop. /End ID]
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writeblrsupport · 3 months ago
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This is a reminder that no matter how much you write, you're still a writer.
It takes effort and time to work on a wip, to create worlds and keep up with all the worldbuilding, everything that keeps that WIP going.
You only worked on your characters today? Still writing/working on a WIP.
You talked about your WIPs with somebody and explained what you're working on? Still counts
Every little helps. Every step counts.
Be proud, be loud and God damn keep your head held high. We need to support each other in this community. The world is a dark place, so let's make it a little brighter
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perpetual-stories · 14 days ago
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How to Write a Believable World: A Guide to Worldbuilding
Let’s just get to it!
What Is Worldbuilding?
Worldbuilding is the part of the writing process that sets up where your story takes place
When you build a world, you include the landscape that your characters will inhabit, the tone of your story, its major preoccupations and themes, as well as the nature of its morality
Worldbuilding lays the groundwork for your characters to develop, providing the stage for where your creations will perform.
It’s okay if you can’t answer every question there is about your world, but setting down the basics will help you start writing and building.
What Is the Purpose of Worldbuilding?
The purpose of worldbuilding for writers is to give their story structure and somewhere real to live.
starting point should be to establish the rules and boundaries of your imaginary world and how everything exists within it
8 Tips to Guide Your Worldbuilding Process
Decide where to start. Whether it’s the language spoken by the inhabitants or the apocalyptic landscape, pick the aspect of the world you’re most excited about exploring and start there.
List the rules and laws. The inhabitants who live in this world you’ve created will have their own independent existence. What is their governing system? Who is in charge? Do they use magic in this world? If so, who can use it, and how powerful is it? Setting up boundaries helps create a more realistic world that functions like a real one.
Establish the type of world you want. Pick a genre. Is this a dystopian or fantasy novel (or both)? Does it take place in our Earth or is it an alternate earth? Knowing this will help figure out the tone and mood of your world.
Describe the environment. What’s the weather like? How does it affect the world or planet? Are there natural disasters? Are there extreme temperatures? What natural resources exist in this location? How do people use the land? Establishing the environment and how it impacts the life within it can be a useful detail in the creation of your world.
Define the culture. What do the inhabitants of this universe believe in? Is there religion? Is there a God? Do they have any sacred customs? What do they celebrate? Breathe life into the characters who populate this location by giving them a meaningful existence.
Define the language. How do the inhabitants communicate? Is there a common tongue? Are there any ‘bad words’ that are off-limits? Knowing what can and can not be said in your world can be an apt source for conflict.
Identify the history. What is the history of this place you’ve created? Have there been any world wars? Do the countries within your world have enemies? Are there rival races? Is there a sole antagonist? Providing the backstory for your world can give it an added dimension and make it feel more tangible.8. Use existing works to inspire. Revisit the works of successful authors to get inspiration. Never steal ideas, but review the work of other fiction writers to see how they answer the same worldbuilding questions within their own novel writing.
Use existing works to inspire. Revisit the works of successful authors to get inspiration. Never steal ideas, but review the work of other fiction writers to see how they answer the same worldbuilding questions within their own novel writing.
Somethings to Consider:
Diversity exists everywhere or maybe not
Magic and powers have limit, what are they?
Figure out the technology and it’s availability to the characters and environment
What’s the government system like? Or if there isn’t one — why?
How strict are the rules?
Are people treated equally?
Where do people get their food / water from?
Are there basic commodities: schools, hospitals, etc
Are there jobs? Can anyone work?
What’s transportation like? How isolated is your world?
These are just somethings to consider of course there are many but it’s up to you to decide how detailed you want it!
Please like, follow and reblog if you find these useful!
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injuries-in-dust · 6 months ago
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Two kingdoms have been at war for centuries over a single piece of land. A simple hill which housed a magical well. Its waters are said restore health and happiness to those that drink them.
The kings of both kingdoms are both getting old and sick. Both have vowed to never rest until the land is theirs. Both desire some of the waters of this fountain, so their health may be restored and they can continue their fight.
They order their respective children, the prince of east kingdom and the princess of the western kingdom, to secretly undertake the long journey to the front lines to sneak up the hill and retrieve some of the water. Secrecy is a must, lest their enemies move against them.
Alone and in disguise the prince and princess travel their lands. They see the poverty and sadness that the constant war has brought to their kingdom and their people. Their hearts grow cold and hard toward their enemies and the havoc they brought.
In the dark of the night they sneak past the front lines. All alone they climb their respective sides of the hill. Slowly, to not get spotted. Carefully so they dont stumble and fall in the dark.
By the breaking of the dawn they reach the top, and the prince and princess meet each other for the first time.
In their respective disguises, the prince sees this common girl, while the princess sees this common boy. Both declare their need greater, both speak about how their fathers are sick and need the healing power of the water.
As the day approaches they speak of many things as they try to make their case. They speak of their hate for their enemies and the damage the war has brought.
Yet the more they spoke, the more they came to realise many things. Their people are in poverty because of the high taxes their fathers enforced to fund their armies. The people are starving because all the food they grow is sent to feed the soldiers. Homes and villages are in disrepair because every able-bodied young man has been conscripted into the fight. Homes stand empty because family lines have ended on the front lines.
Both come to realise that their enemies are not to blame. The kings are to blame. Their selfish desire to possess and hoard the waters of the well.
How many have died to try and take this land? And if they did take it, how many will die trying to hold it from their enemies?
And would the people, who suffered so much in the name of their king, ever sample any of the sweet waters and see any health and happiness from the magic of the well?
Both conclude that, no, they wouldn't.
And both knew that, as long as the selfish kings were in power, neither kingdom would ever know peace.
Prince Jack of the eastern kingdom turned his back on his father's quest and left the common girl to the water. He would take up a new quest. For the good of his kingdom and all of it's people. The prince would lead the revolution and remove his own father from power.
Princess Jillian of the Western kingdom left the common boy behind to return to her lands, call all of the loyal banners and people to her side that she could. She would not rest until she managed to remove her father from the throne.
Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown.
And Jill came tumbling after.
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