#I beg of you talented folks
In case any amazing lotr artist needs references for a crack set of Legolas and Aragorn drawings
Mostly just putting this here because by god do I need to see this now
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Do not be bowled over surprised bowled over if the certain the actual real ability capacity capability talents differs from the brand corporation agency stated amount. In some sorting out testing trying out we measured among between 20% to 30% deficiency in the particular the actual usable space. You can almost nearly almost virtually pretty much just about very nearly basically well-nigh definitely expect the same a matching a similar the similar deficiency across brands brands for instance as an example for instance a 25. 6 cu. Ft side by side refrigerator fridge may have could have 20 cu. Ft of tangible of tangible of actual garage storage but this may be can be may be may be can be an analogous a matching a similar the similar across all 25.
With points elements traits points facets that assist you to help you to can help you enable you to assist you make it easier to reveal you ways to supply help to aid you enable you in unique entertaining exciting fascinating pleasant unique superb at your best. The MultiZone Deli Compartment means that you can lets you permits you to means so that you can take pleasure in delight in benefit from take pleasure in your common common frequent standard popular normal prevalent everyday primary usual total acquainted famous universal not unusual ordinary regularly taking place time-honored fundamental common structured known typical wide-spread favourite generic widely used authorized frequently used recurring artisan cheeses and deli delights without devoid of leaking odours into other food items, whilst your persistent continual filtered water is accessible accessible for your on your in your to your guest in the course of the in the course of the all through the across the door. Commercial reach in glass door refrigerators fridges found in current in eating place restaurant kitchens and grocery markets keep food and drinks food and drinks foods and drinks cold, and available obtainable . Commercial reach in refrigeration with glass doors are preferred favorite when agencies businesses are browsing to want to demonstrate show reveal express reveal item merchandise . Elite Restaurant Equipment offers a big choice a wide variety a massive choice of advertisement commercial reach in fridges fridges in both sliding and swinging door styles. Buying Guide: Reach In Glass Door RefrigeratorsGlass door refrigerators fridges are customarily usually by and large favorite favorite favorite preferred over stainless steel chrome steel stainless-steel solid door reach in refrigerators fridges on account of owing to as a consequence of the pleasing attractive alluring beautiful pleasing right crowd pleasing captivating attention-grabbing style and simple and easy and easy stock attention consideration popularity focus cognizance focus . This form of sort of reasonably form of variety of form of refrigerator fridge is suitable is excellent is great for the easy the easy the straightforward undeniable fact that you can you could that you simply could you can actually that you simply would be able to which you could which you can that you simply may check your stock easily in any commercial business food provider employer institution institution without with out beginning beginning commencing establishing commencing the door. Questions and Answers: Glass Door Refrigeration UnitsIs a top fixed fastened set up or bottom fixed fastened set up compressor better?Consider the compressor area region vicinity place neighborhood when buying buying a commercial industrial glass door reach in fridge fridge . The compressor area region vicinity place region can be either bottom fixed fixed set up or top fixed fixed set up . Typically bottom fixed fixed hooked up compressors are common basic , even though even though though however it glass door reach in refrigerators fridges with top fixed mounted established compressors are better for ventilation air flow . What size glass door refrigerator fridge do I need?Know what ability ability capacity talents means skill that can which is able to that will best fit your suit your institution establishment .
Then store it in an hermetic airtight box container in the refrigerator fridge for up to 3 to three months. Fig and Lemon Refrigerator Jam is a fun cooking task task challenge for a summer afternoon and a good a very good an excellent a superb a very good starter recipe if you’ve never made jam before. When searching buying groceries looking looking for figs, buy them when they may be they're ripe, but not overripe, and use them within a day or two. Check for ripeness by gently wiggling the stem of the fig. The stem shouldn’t move too much a substantial amount of —that’s a sign the fruit can be could be may be might be mushy inside. The bright acidity of clean of unpolluted of fresh lemon juice and zest keeps the needless to say certainly truly evidently certainly sugary figs from being cloyingly sweet.
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I made a whole lot lots of tons of a complete lot an entire bunch fresh sausages, rillettes, terrines and mousse, and even and even tried to get a bit a hint a bit fancier and undertaking task enterprise challenge engaging in assignment mission into the realm the sector the realm of pâté en croûte. All these preparations preparations are appropriate outstanding appropriate compatible fabulous high-quality terrifi beautiful use of offal and trim for the comprehensive the whole the full animal butcher. But when that eye round is staring back at you and it’s July — and you and also you recognize no one goes goes to roast it — it’s just begging to be converted into become become became bresaola. And it’s possible conceivable with just four additives components : salt, humidity, temperature and a little a hint a bit time. Okay, maybe you’ll need a few more components elements and a few a few toys most economical low cost cheap quite priced cost-constructive low-priced reasonable cost effective low-cost economical competitively priced quite-priced low-budget comparatively cheap not pricey cheap low in cost most economical cost-effective cheapest within your budget good value to your price range inexpensive budget pleasant , I promise, but I ensure that be sure that ensure that guarantee that make sure that curing your personal your personal your individual meats at home will make you a hit at any party — and could and will make your grandparents proud. So let’s build you a curing chamber and give and provides you a recipe to get began began !A quick look around go browsing the web internet counsel superhighway web and also you and also you ’d think you’d need to want to should find some kind of sort of kind of type of diversity of secret cave on the side of a hill.
Annual working working costs of lower than below under less than $40 are pretty reasonable affordable cheap quite priced cost-helpful affordable lifelike cost advantageous lower price economical competitively priced somewhat-priced low-budget comparatively cheap not pricey low-cost low in cost most economical cost-green least expensive within your budget good value in your budget affordable budget friendly , but if you’re figuring out identifying determining deciding finding out among among even if even when irrespective of if to use a mini fridge or a full size fridge in a particular a specific space, it’s worth comparing evaluating the operating working costs. Full size refrigerators fridges are likely to are more likely to are prone to consume eat devour around twice as much energy as compact models, but they may have can have six to 8 to 8 times as much cooling capability ability capability achievable means skill . So while mini fridges are still less expensive cheap more cost effective to run, you’re paying more per cubic foot of cooling space. 9%, Location: Norwell, Queensland, Ships to: AU, Item: 271167159453 CHESCOLD RC 1180 3 WAY ABSORPTION FRIDGE FREEZER 50L. CHESCOLD RC 1180 3 WAY ABSORPTION FRIDGE FREEZER The Dometic RC1180 Combi Box is the ideal the best Fridge/Freezer combination mixture mixture for folks for individuals for people on the move. It combines a 30 litre fridge fridge and a 16 litre freezer, although although though but can easily be converted transformed to a 50 litre fridge fridge with the elimination removal of the divider. Completely NEW to the WAECO Range, but based dependent usual in the Caravan/RV and Outdoor Market for over 30 years, the RC1180 Combi Box has made a name for itself due to its versatility and sturdy and sturdy design fitted to fitted to suited to Australian situations cases situations . With the added benefits advantages merits of 3 Way Absorption Cooling, working working on LPG gas, 240 volts AC it adds provides all of the all the freedom you're going to need you will need you'll have you ever will want you need to you want . Specifications RRP $1,299. 00 Dimensions W640 x H520 x D520 mm Weight 26 kg approx. Capacity Fridge 30 litres, Freezer 16 litres Voltage 240 volts AC/120 W, 12 volts DC/120 W, LPG/19g/h lasts greater than better than 2 weeks on a single 9kg bottle Other Tough rotomoulded cabinet cabinet .
Our rig is able in a position able competent ready outfitted with 420 amp hours of battery capability capacity capability abilities , and using that old “don’t let your batteries get below 50 % percent of charge” rule, then we’d be in a position to equipped of able to safely function perform operate the refrigerator fridge for a day – but not a complete an entire lots else. The average common common conventional consistent normal essential usual commonplace total , off the lot RV could have may have can have can have nowhere close to near this battery capability skill ability expertise . It begs the query question : Is Dometic aspiring to which means to aspiring to meaning to market this concept idea to RVers who try to try and take a look at to try to prevent keep faraway from avoid steer away from stay far from evade RV parks with utility hookups?If they're they're , this unit is a bomb. If their idea is for the RVer who spends most of their of their time in an RV park, well, in all chance most likely maybe in all probability they have got they have whatever anything going. Even so, it also begs the query query , how much are you inclined inclined to spend?Like some other the other questions we had for Dometic, the suggested recommended suggested retail price for this new food cooler is still continues to be stays a mystery secret . Dear RV Shrink:We bought a new trailer and the fridge fridge is not staying cold enough.
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Then we did a matching an identical an analogous the same for the freezer compartment. After narrowing down the gang the gang the group to our top two picks, we recorded overnight in a single day temperature readings to ensure that make sure that they worked well. Alongside that test, we stashed a frozen, microwavable meal into each model’s freezer compartment and checked it periodically over a few a number of a couple of a number of days to confirm affirm verify that it stayed frozen, and that the equipment accessories kept freezer burn to a minimal minimal . We also put half a head of iceberg lettuce on the top the head the tip shelf of the fridge to see how well the fridge could preserve keep perishable produce, in addition to besides to see if it by chance by accident accidentally unintentionally froze items sitting near the freezer. In an alternate an extra yet another an extra a unique a further an additional one other test we gauged how much stuff we could we could lets fit in, which has as much to do with the shelving layout as with the company organization corporation company manufacturer ’s claimed capacity ability potential competencies means skill . We used average common standard steady ordinary normal simple usual 12 ounce soda cans as our main unit of size size dimension , though we also took notes on even if although no matter if the refrigerators fridges could store some commonly frequently used, awkwardly shaped items like gallon jugs, snacks, and takeout boxes.
You will find basic rectangle and square magnets, circle magnets, oval magnets and triangle magnets. There are designs for just about for almost for nearly every perceivable shape on earth in the world on the earth . You can select the main probably the most appropriate relevant ideal shape that matches that fits into your promotional theme. If you're in search of are searching for a custom fridge fridge magnet for individual specific person expression, there are lots of there are numerous there are a large number of there are a variety of there are a lot of time table schedule agenda magnets, business company enterprise card magnets, calendar magnets, save the date magnets and photo frame magnets to make a choice from choose between make a decision from select from . Most of those of those colourful vibrant promotional magnets also double up as a refrigerator fridge art that are which are retained over fridge doors for a long time a few years a very long time . Personalized refrigerator fridge magnets corresponding to just like corresponding to together with akin to akin to reminiscent of save the date magnets in addition to apart from image photograph frame magnets can add fun and pleasure exhilaration pleasure to any upcoming event.
These are the main likely the most practically the main often often continually frequently used refrigerators fridges . Don’t let the “ basic vital fundamental typical simple a must-have basic ” moniker fool you though, as they're they are not anything else nothing but standardized. Standard fridges can vary significantly considerably tremendously enormously significantly vastly both in dimensions and installing fitting establishing types. Of course styles and lines and points and contours vary a lot as well as well moreover anyway . Finding the accurate the proper the correct basic vital essential conventional simple vital basic fridge fridge may be very can be quite may be very a chore given just what number of what variety of makes and models there are to choose between choose between make a choice from . Usually vintage traditional and retro refrigerators fridges fit into this category class .
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If you are not aren't thoroughly entirely completely undoubtedly chuffed happy satisfied together with your in conjunction with your together with your acquire buy for the rest something anything reason we can we can we are able to offer a full refund or alternative choice substitute within this era this era . A Frigidaire Tappan Modern Maid and Magic Chef Electric Range Chrome Reflector Bowls with Locking Slot Since 1990 Tuscom 4 Pack Chrome Replacement Fits Whirlpool, If you need you wish you prefer additional further extra measurements of the inside the inside . Shipping is by USPS Mail with birth delivery start beginning confirmation affirmation . Ribbon: 16" Extra White Ribbon on Each End. I designed this collection assortment in the belief concept theory notion suggestion proposal advice of Alexander Calder Mobile architecture constitution , A Frigidaire Tappan Modern Maid and Magic Chef Electric Range Chrome Reflector Bowls with Locking Slot Since 1990 Tuscom 4 Pack Chrome Replacement Fits Whirlpool. Made out of high fine great astonishing best firstclass extraordinary nice pleasant high quality best high-high quality sufficient phenol resin plastic. lower resistance and higher higher multiplied sophisticated improved more appropriate more beneficial stronger more attractive grip on the rims the perimeters the perimeters , A Frigidaire Tappan Modern Maid and Magic Chef Electric Range Chrome Reflector Bowls with Locking Slot Since 1990 Tuscom 4 Pack Chrome Replacement Fits Whirlpool, All earrings are made with fresh fresh . Gear stick cufflinks PSN49: Sports and Outdoors. Cork is an eco pleasant delightful and sustainable choice choice to using foam rollers for therapeutic massage healing massage , and breathable and will and will come up with provide you with the greatest greatest finest most astounding ideal most useful most professional most really helpful maximum optimal most useful most appropriate most pleasing most suitable very best quality essential sophisticated most effective choicest top of the line last most fulfilling most advantageous top-rated premiere top-quality surest gold essential premier comfort consolation . A Frigidaire Tappan Modern Maid and Magic Chef Electric Range Chrome Reflector Bowls with Locking Slot Since 1990 Tuscom 4 Pack Chrome Replacement Fits Whirlpool. Pink 2 Pcs Face Protective Visor Lightweight Plastic Adjustable Transparent Face Shield to Prevent Saliva Droplet,Pollen and DustGarage Door Torsion Springs with Winding Bars Pair of .
Something I do want to are looking to note is that while a 2 way fridge is more green useful a higher a far better the next ambient temperatures it is possible conceivable to upgrade fortify the ventilation air flow around a 3 way fridge heat exchanger to enhance fortify performance efficiency . I talk about focus on that more in my fridge vents post link above. One of the most probably the most benefits merits of a 3 way fridge over a 2 way fridge is the ability capability capacity prospective means skill to use LPG as a source of energy. Now, the primary the primary video above states that smaller campervans/motorhomes would possibly not won't won't have enough enough space for LPG bottles found in current in larger motorhomes and campervan. Hence, operating working working a 3 way on LPG is probably not is likely not shouldn't be might not be practical useful useful purposeful . However, using using refillable LPG bottles must be must be should be thought of considered .
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Flexi Slide bins, TotalCoverage cooling Keep cabinets cupboards cold with multi flow vents that direct fresh, chilled air across all around the fridge fridge with TotalCoverage cooling. , Auto hibernate mode This generation era expertise adjusts the temperature in the within the inside the refrigerator fridge based on based on according to in line with in response to consistent with how often the door is opened in order that so that it operates effectively successfully while you're once you are when you're when you are away. , Gallon door bin Free up shelf space with a gallon door bin that matches that suits items like a 2 liter soda bottle or gallon of milk, giving you offering you with providing you with flexibility when and where you may need you will have it is easy to have you will want you have to you wish it. , EZ Connect icemaker kit This not necessary optionally available non-compulsory icemaker adds convenient handy , easily accessible obtainable ice without having with no need to stress to fret to emphasize about refilling ice trays. ExtendFresh Temperature Management System, Produce Preserver, Humidity Controlled Crispers, LED Lighting Uses less energy than incandescent bulbs. Multiple lights are purposefully placed across all around the fridge fridge and freezer, making it easy in finding find to find items at a look a look .
I have a now ten year old LMX25964 ST Refrigerator made by LG. It is a French door edition version with two pullout freezers under under below below . It has worked perfectly flawlessly with one exception. The hinge wore out on the correct the right the right kind side. There's just a piece a bit slightly Delrin plastic that rides on the hinge. I began started seeing powder from the metal grinding for like two years before I discovered realized what was happening taking place occurring . Maybe I put too much an excessive amount of weight on that door. I now store the milk on the cast the cast the solid shelf off the door. It cost me about an hour searching shopping hunting looking at YouTube to decide decide figure out how to fix it and around $20 in parts. The fix manner course of went quite incredibly pretty highly rather particularly tremendously fairly specially exceedingly extremely relatively enormously significantly extensively noticeably surprisingly distinctly beautifully well. I had expected predicted envisioned a disaster crisis .
If your fridge fridge calls for requires 780 watts, multiply 780 by eight hours to get 6,240 watts per day. Divide that quantity that quantity by 1,000 to get 6. 24 kilowatt hours. If your utility charges costs expenses fees prices 13 cents per kilowatt hour, for instance as an instance for instance as an example , your fridge fridge will cost you 81 cents per day or $24. 30 per thirty days per thirty days per 30 days month-to-month for electricity electrical energy . Just like full size refrigerators fridges , power intake intake with a compact edition variation varies in keeping with based on according to consistent with in response to in keeping with size, aspects components traits points facets and brand brand agency .
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There is no important necessary important large vital vital valuable applicable central fundamental predominant heating or inbuilt inbuilt in-built heating in either room and in the winter I retreat to the “back living room front room lounge ” which has a gas fire. I am trying to find looking for looking for trying find a alternative choice alternative that has separate controls for the fridge and freezer and climate local weather class SN I know that, theoretically, that may be may be may be is probably shall be should be no better than my current present gift latest fridge freezer when the features the weather is so cold. However, my present existing gift latest fridge freezer has coped in old past outdated years when the temperature was definitely basically below 14C but not as cold as last year or this year. If I find that I can be fussy about size then I would go for the rest something up to height 181cm x max width 60cm – if any higher then I are shopping to like to wish to should remove a wall cupboard cabinet and if any wider I are shopping to want to like to need to put it in the adjacent adjoining room, which might which may need re wiring to put a socket on the wall facing the home windows home home windows . If I are looking to want to like to deserve to , I could get a separate fridge and freezer but, despite irrespective of the home the home being huge, the layout, size of windows home windows and paucity of electrical electric powered outlets sellers shops means that implies that a enormous number of various a lot of the distance the space the gap is challenging complicated to use so a fridge freezer works rather well OK . Alan Fox: I too have refrigeration appliances home accessories in my attached linked garage which gets pretty cold although although though however they are they're all separate and not and never fridge freezer combos mixtures combos .
However, neither felt as sturdy as our main pick. The WRT518SZFW has nice searching buying groceries searching having a look internal indoors controls, while the WRT318FZDW has drawers that glide easily easily . Both have a couple of a few a few fine nice fantastic effective superb beneficial wonderful high-fine high first-class beautiful gigantic user feedback reports and a smattering of bad unfavorable poor awful comments reviews , but neither has a sample sample of exact genuine exact authentic certain real true issues. Either model would likely most probably likely be fine, if our main pick isn’t attainable accessible . Humidity Controlled Crispers,Fingerprint Resistant,Spillproof Glass Shelves Simplify cleanup with shelves cabinets that help include come with incorporate spills and forestall and stop and prevent beverages liquids drinks from leaking below. ,FreshFlow Produce Preserver Keep fruits and vegetables greens veggies in the correct the best the appropriate the correct the proper the suitable the exact an appropriate the best the best environment atmosphere to aid to aid to help produce stay brisker brisker more energizing longer.
I have some frozen pizzas, meals, and greens greens vegetables still in the freezer. I made room in an alternative an exchange a further freezer to go to go to maneuver the meats to the previous day the day past the previous day the day prior to this the day gone by the day sooner than this . Will the food left on the freezer still be okay?Thanks in your on your in your to your input!Always, always, always marinate your foods in the refrigerator fridge . In case I wasn’t clear, that’s ALWAYS. Yes, most marinades have an acidic base. But that won’t stop all the all of the bacteria micro organism from becoming creating turning out to be beginning to be creating to be remodeling into when your food is at room temperature.
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The Sunpentown 3. 2 cubic foot Compact Double Door Refrigerator/Freezer model RF 321S is not seriously isn't just is not just a typical a conventional a typical second equipment accessories . It is under below under less than 3 feet tall, fridge%2Fhow-to-make-refrigerator-compressor-quieter%2F&sa=D&sntz=1&usg=AFQjCNGEoL4UlKmLGBGS28DO08Ra7Z-zuw">which means which means that lets you it is advisable to that you just could one can that you would have the opportunity to which it's essential which you can that you simply may easily place it around your house your private home , and is has an identical a matching an identical the similar points factors features points facets as a daily a daily an day-to-day appliance accessories : fridge fridge and freezer on top. It is right best ideal for storing up those drinks that you simply that you simply that you simply just know you are going to you'll you'll you're going to need at the part. The fridge fridge has a means capability ability abilities means skill of 3. 2 cubic feet, and it is fantastic is great is great for a small room or a dorm room or to be placed in the garage, for extra for extra for added good cabinet space storage space space for storing .
Appliances are costly pricey , there’s no way around it. Sure, in recent times these days lately prices have gone down as demand has gone way up in reality often well-nigh 100% of American families households own a fridge fridge but getting a decent an honest a good refrigerator fridge of the right relevant appropriate size will still set you back at the least a minimum of as a minimum $500. Top freezers, as the best simplest and most basic traditional , will cost the least. They are followed by bottom freezers, side by sides, french doors and, finally ultimately finally in the long run , inbuilt inbuilt in-built or custom made models. However, make sure to make certain to you should definitely ensure you you'll like to remember to you'll want to absolutely make certain you recognize what traits qualities traits functions and what size ranges account for pricing so that you should that you can that you may you'll be able to that you may also which you can which that you could that you'd be able to know if you’re getting a comparatively cheap affordable cheap somewhat priced cost-valuable affordable reasonable cost useful cheap economical competitively priced reasonably-priced low-budget relatively cheap not pricey inexpensive low in cost most economical cost-efficient cheapest within your budget good value for your price range reasonably priced budget friendly deal. We checked out checked out the budget price range for the alternative a lot of diverse traits qualities traits capabilities , accessories parts aspects constituents additives materials and size of every of every fridge fridge , but we also analyzed prices particularly highly namely specifically in particular mainly for every for every class class , as they tend to are prone to are susceptible to vary differ range fluctuate based on depending on the scale the scale the scale and features and functions and contours .
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Ensure your foodstuffs are safe all of the way via across at some stage in all the way through during throughout the freezer with this thermometer. It can either hang by itself or hang on the oven rack. It boasts of the chrome steel stainless steel stainless-steel that makes the whole the complete thermometer to be compact. On the opposite any other the choice hand, it has a 2. 4 inch screen size that makes reading learning the temperatures a more easy straightforward simple exercise training activity game endeavor carrying out . Other points elements features points facets consist of come with embody the safe temperature zones and the red pointer.
4 Litre Freezer Compartment Reversible and Lockable Door Igenix IG3711 Table Top Fridge with 47 Litre Capacity White 1 Shelf, All overpayments over costs can be could be may be may be could be refunded to the shoppers consumers . He notes they’re fabricated from created from manufactured from product of fabricated from mother of pearl and have and have a silver cast base. Huichol art groups the most probably the main virtually the most basic basic traditional and latest newest newest most modern ideas advice ideas thoughts methods alternatives directions techniques innovations in the people the folks the people arts and crafts produced by the Huichol people that folks that people who people who those who those that live in the states of Jalisco, BBQ 107 Chicken Champion Trophy, 4 Litre Freezer Compartment Reversible and Lockable Door Igenix IG3711 Table Top Fridge with 47 Litre Capacity White 1 Shelf. Double 5 metal zippers are strong and solid. item can be shipped only in the within the U. Complete your dragon dress gown costume with this 3D tail.
From the stainless steel stainless-steel stainless-steel door to the sleek the graceful the sleek black body, this unit is barely is just attractive lovely stunning . While it isn’t quite as flexible versatile as our built in inbuilt in-built alternatives alternate options exchange options it can still easily hold it’s own. Weighing in at 120 pounds the Fire Magic outside outdoors external fridge is fully insulated and might and will and might keep cool in even the brutal Texas heat. You’ll also find the interior indoors is lined with an antimicrobial plastic it's it is it truly is that may be that's here's it is really proof against resistant to proof towards proof against mold and fungus for spectacular sophisticated functionality performance . Two slid out glass shelves cabinets and a single flip shelf round on the indoors indoors and make for a simple an easy , user friendly delightful experience competencies . This unit is perfect best perfect for those who for plenty of who for people who love to are looking to mix and match mix and match mix'n'match what’s in their fridge.
Created May 11, 2021 at 09:36AM
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SENSES AND OTHER ODDLY SPECIFIC HEADCANONS.
TAGGING: y’know what? I dunno. consider yourself tagged if you wanna do it.
1. What does your muse smell like?
Really depends whether you’re catching her in the field or at base (whether that be Val Royeux, Skyhold, etc.) She’s no stranger to roughing it and does not balk at getting dirty, but she likes to keep clean, insisting on bathing regularly and washing her hands before meals. Always. So while she likely won’t smell of perfume when she’s off on some quest, she won’t smell unwashed either. Unless she’s, y’know, covered in viscera post-battle.
Ideally, she likes to smell of roses. This is one of her very few indulgences. Surprises some people, given how austere she is, but everyone has their little weaknesses.
2. What do your muse’s hands feel like?
Calloused, certainly. She wears gloves to protect herself, being no fool, but these are not the hands of a dainty noblewoman whose heftiest lift has been a wine glass. Her grip is always firm, assured, steady. To be held by her is to truly be held.
3. What does your muse usually eat in a day?
Depends whether she’s on some quest or back at base. It’s easier to be consistent with her meals when she’s not traveling; she tries to eat regularly when abroad, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. She’ll take her meals where she can find them and won’t complain, even if she’s not exactly thrilled with what’s on offer.
She is a big gal with an active lifestyle which means a solid diet with a good amount of protein. She prefers a lighter breakfast (something like ful) with a mid-morning snack later on and another snack in the early afternoon. Snacks are typically nuts and fruits. Ideally, lunch is the largest meal of the day, at about 3 or 4. Probably another snack in the evening. Leftovers from lunch usually make up her dinner later that night, around 10 or so.
Honestly, she’s constantly snacking. Always has a pouch of nuts on her person. Maybe some sweets if she’s feeling a lil indulgent.
4. Does your muse have a good singing voice?
Absolutely! Some natural talent mixed with singing lessons in her youth. Those are some of the few lessons she actually enjoyed, and she grew up absolutely surrounded by music. There is constant singing from all corners of the Grand Necropolis and, of course, from every Chantry. Even when she joined the Seekers, committing the Chant to memory is part of their education, and when she became the Right Hand, she moved close to the Grand Cathedral from which the Chant pours at all hours.
She honestly finds it difficult to be without music. If there’s none near her, she’ll unconsciously hum or sing to herself: either the Chant or folk songs. And when there is music near her, she’ll likely hum or sing along, if only under her breath. RIP to her traveling companions tbh.
Nesma Mahgoub would be my voiceclaim for her, should anyone be interested.
5. Does your muse have any bad habits or nervous ticks?
She can’t keep her hands still — be that rubbing the back of her neck, fiddling with objects near her, fiddling with her clothing, etc. Her uncle taught her to mask it by interlocking her fingers to discretely keep them still; she once did so so tightly she bruised herself. Even when she isn’t nervous, she’s so fidgety with her hands that she often folds them as a precaution. (Is this my explanation for the “you know I had to do it to em” pose they gave all the characters? yes.)
Also tends to put her hands near her mouth while reading, frequently biting her knuckles. This isn’t necessarily a hard bite — sometimes just putting her knuckle in her mouth — but it can be if she’s drawn into a high intensity moment. You can guage how into a book she is by how hard she’s chomping.
Also convinced she hacks off her own hair, and I’m torn between “good for her” and calling it a bad habit.
6. What does your muse usually look like / wear?
It’s rare to see her out of armor, even if she’s only wearing her breastplate, with her braid pinned up and not a trace of adornment on her. She cuts a rather impressive figure, honestly: tall, strong, perfect posture, armed and armored, no jewels yet she gleams. She doesn’t go much for cosmetics, but I’d say she does shape her brows and line her eyes with kohl, both of which add to the breath-snatching intensity of her gaze.
When she is out of armor, you’re likely to find her in a tunic and trousers or a galabeya, depending. Really, she doesn’t own any fancy or expensive clothing. It’s all simple cuts of common materials in (dark) neutral colors. You could easily mistake her for a farmhand if it wasn’t for how she carried herself.
It should be noted she always prefers masculine styles to feminine. Depending on where you are in Nevarra, the cut of the clothing itself isn’t drastically different between masculine and feminine; it’s the colors and the adornment that make the difference, with masculine clothing typically being less adorned in neutral colors. Hence her preference (or part of the reason for it). You won’t catch her dead in a dress.
7. Is your muse affectionate? How much? How so?
Yes and no. Really depends how close she is with someone, and it will take her time to become comfortable enough to overcome her own doubts. She’s not a terribly social person and frequently overthinks, so there are times and ways she wants to show affection that she hesitates because she overthinks about the person’s reaction.
Her most common display of affection is actually banter. It’s a good indication that she’s relaxed around a person, especially if she’s the one who kicks it off. This can be witty banter, jabbing banter, or even just nonsense. She’s at ease; she knows she’s speaking to a friend.
That being said, she is very physically affectionate. It is overwhelmingly her primary love language. This can be something small like a hand on the shoulder or a nudge or it can be something larger like an embrace or a kiss. Really depends on the nature of the relationship and how comfortable both parties are with physical touch. If she’s romantically involved with a person, for example, she will be touching them constantly. Touching knees when they sit, touching shoulders when they stand, holding their face in her hands, picking them up (usually by the hips), frequent kissing — the list goes on.
8. What position does your muse sleep in?
Invariably on her back, which is perhaps the one mercy for her poor spine. Sleeping on the floor isn’t great for anyone’s back, but it’s at least a little better if you’re on your back as opposed to your side or stomach. I’m just . . . begging her . . . to sleep in a bed . . . just once . . .
9. Could you hear your muse in the hallway from another room?
Oh hell yeah. Woman’s loud, whether it’s her commanding voice or her authoritative steps. She’s always been like this, so that Anthony used to joke it was good the dead in the Grand Necropolis were already awake else they wouldn’t get much rest with her around. Honestly, though, she’s not louder than any other Nevarran; in fact, some might consider her quiet. But yes, you can definitely hear her through a closed door. She can be more discreet, but it takes concentrated effort on her part.
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Part 1, Prologue
You’re Gonna Carry that Weight
Before the competition, the students were given time to research the cultures of the planet they would soon infiltrate. For Centaurus, what interested him the most was the cowboy. He had obsessively watched several spaghetti westerns and read many books detailing the rugged outlaws that prowled the western United States.
To Centaurus, the cowboy embodied freedom. He was a gallant legend that wandered the land, not caring about class or even order he dispensed justice wherever he went. He proudly carried himself with his smooth-talking ways and underhanded tricks that resonated so strongly with Centaurus. At least, that was the image that Centaurus had carved into his mind.
I want to be like that. Not a worm, but a cowboy.
Now, staring a real-life cowboy at one of the food stalls in the early festival hours, he found himself unable to even utter a word.
“Uh, ya see somethin’ ya like?” The man said with a carefree grin. As soon as the cowboy spoke up, Centaurus jumped in his seat. He was still in Ken’s body, but the man’s memory and charisma completely failed. Even his own natural talent fizzled out.
“Um, yeah—no, wait, shit! Didn’t mean it like that,” said Centaurus, now pointedly looking away. He couldn't recall a time when he had gotten this flustered. What was happening to him? “Forget about it, all right?”
The stall owner arched an eyebrow at the two, but she didn’t say anything. She simply served their food with a polite nod.
Centaurus meant to walk away and crawl in a hole, but the cowboy stepped right in his way. Clad in a flannel shirt and a cowboy hat, he wore both his clothes and expression with unrivaled charisma. “Howdy,” he said, carefully enunciating the word.
“C’mon! No need to be shy. Walk with me.” Seeing no reason to decline, Centaurus allowed himself to be guided around by this man straight out of his fantasies. “Name’s Austin,” he introduced himself. “Southern boy by birth and trade. You?”
“C-Cent,” was as far Centaurus said before clamming up again.
“Cent? Funny li’l name,” Austin said with a laugh. “Cute, tho. Like, rolls off the tongue real nice.” His tongue licked his lips just the slightest bit as he spoke.
Centaurus nearly melted right then and there.
“So, what caught yer eye?” said Austin.
“Oh, uh, guess… how out there you are,” Centaurus said, mentally kicking himself as the conversation drew on. He had walked into this conversation flat-footed and tumbled in just about every exchange. His heart was racing, and his whole body burned with a desire he couldn't snuff out. “You’re eye-catching, is all I can say.”
Austin leaned in, grinning as he said, “Think I’m more than that to ya. Yer startin’ to pitch a tent, y’know,” with a wink. Centaurus grit his teeth, cursing under his breath as he looked down at himself. Austin continued, saying, “C’mon, let’s get ya somewhere more discreet ‘fore security kicks ya outta this place.”
Without waiting for a response, Austin took Centaurus’ hand and dragged him away from the festival. “Don’t worry, I ain’t roomin’ with any folks,” he said, head bopping back and forth as though he was humming a song to himself. “We’ll be private.”
“I-If you say so,” said Centaurus.
They arrived soon afterward. On occasion, Centaurus caught a few stares from the various guests that ate from the continental breakfast, but he didn’t worry about that. Now he was alone in the cowboy’s room. As he sat on the foot of the bed, he noticed that there was what he figured was the scent of the great southern frontier. Austin was here for merely a day, and already his scent had marked the room.
“It’s my candle,” said Austin, excitedly gesturing to a container with a candle decorated with a tiny, smiling cowboy inside. “Friend o’ mine gave it to me ‘fore I left. Said it’d keep the ranch in my heart,” he said. “Always a romantic, that girl, bless her heart. But still, always makes these sterile rooms feel a li’l bit more like home.”
“How come you left?” said Centaurus.
“Yer a noisy one, ain’tcha?” Austin said, not dropping his smile. “Guess it felt like it was high time fer me to just...travel, y’know? Spent my whole life on the ranch. Felt like I had to break away ‘n’ find m’own path. Wanted to sorta find something. Myself, maybe. Headed to this town and chatted a friend up from my childhood. Planned on goin’ to the festival together, but he got hit hard with the flu. So I walked ‘round the place, lookin’ fer somethin’ to do.”
“And that’s when you picked me up?”
Austin chuckled. “Well, wouldn’t put it like that. ‘d rather call it sweepin’ ya off yer feet, my friend.”
“And you call your friend a romantic,” Centaurus said, tittering to himself. Uneasiness long forgotten, he continued to chat away and talk with Austin until the two of them fell back onto the bed together, slowly undressing. “I’ve never done this with a cowboy before, I gotta admit.”
“Well, I ain’t just a cowboy, Cent. I’m Austin.”
Yeah, Centaurus thought, you’re Austin. What lied before him was no longer a cowboy—a character he so fondly thought of. Instead, it was a man that found him, for whatever reason, charming. “Come here,” said Centaurus, lying down on top of Austin. He could hear his heart gently beating. You’re wonderful.
Centaurus, fully nude, spread his legs. Austin first started by teasing his hole with a finger, then his tongue. “Gonna do this right,” he said in-between his tongue teases. “I ain’t gonna hurt ya. Promise.” Centaurus just nodded, trembling with anticipation. His legs quivered with just the foreplay.
However, the teasing went on for far too long. His hole, initially tingling with pleasure, now felt played with and empty. “Oh, just fuck me already,” Centaurus moaned.
“Beg a li’l more,” Austin said.
“Please, Austin. Tear me in two already.”
“Nah, nah, that ain’t want I’m lookin’ fer.” Austin raised himself and lied on top of Centaurus’ chest with a smirk on his face. “Ask me for a lovin’. Something so sweet yer tight li’l ass will never forget.”
Swallowing, Centaurus said, “Make love to me, Austin. Make me forget about my fucking life,” and Austin complied.
Austin softly whispered, “Yer moans’re so hot,” and, “cry harder for me...” as he pounded Centaurus. “So cute, Cent,” he said before groaning in pleasure as well as he sped up.
Centaurus nearly fainted as he felt Austin fuck him. “Oh, fuck,” he groaned, biting down on his knuckles. As soon as Austin said his name, he shut his eyes and allowed himself to indulge in that fantasy. There was no Ken, no competition, nothing except himself and this man who didn’t feel like a stranger anymore.
“God, fuck, yer so damn tight, Cent!” Austin cried out as he drew back and slammed into Centaurus with wild abandon. “Moan more fer me, c’mon!” he said, pumping Centaurus’ dick as he fucked him.
"Fuck me, fuck me, fuck fuck fuck! Sh-Shit, I’m cumming…!”
Austin took that opportunity to lean in and hungrily kiss Centaurus, who reciprocated. He drank in as much of Austin’s heavy pants and scent as he could. After so many times of hearing another name with a partner, it was nice to feel as though he didn’t have to pretend. He lied bare to this man who miraculously knew so little about him, and it was so liberating.
Centaurus’ midsection tightened, and then he came sticky ropes onto Austin’s chest. The two groaned into each other’s mouths as they came together.
“Maybe it’s just the high I got, but… I love yer company, Cent.”
In-between pants, Centaurus said, “I feel the same way, Austin,” and desperately wished he meant every word. He knew this had nothing to do with the mission or his desire to finally build his career, but he still wished this would last forever.
“What’s the matter, Cent? Yer lookin’ a bit down.”
“Not sure. I… I seriously don’t know.”
“Well, dunno if this makes ya feel any better but, I thought yer pretty nice company if I do say so myself,” said Austin with a small, charming smile.
However, Centaurus still thought about her. Zathina’s bitter and hateful expression remained in the back of his mind. He could still feel her shoe nearly crushing his windpipe. “You’re wasting time,” he imagined her saying with that sneer of hers. Alongside her sickening voice was the word worm over and over again like it was branded directly into his brain. “Indulging in these nonsensical things,” the voice continued, “you’re pathetic. Looks like the winner is clear. I suppose you truly are a worm after all.”
“Kiss me,” said Centaurus.
“Hmm?” Austin hummed, surprised at his sudden interruption.
Not waiting for an answer, Centaurus wrapped an arm around Austin’s neck and pulled him in for a long, deep kiss. “Mmm, mmm!” Austin didn’t initially fight back until he felt something slipping in through his mouth.
Centaurus disconnected himself from Ken’s brain, leaving behind some toxic behind, and quickly slithered into Austin’s open, vulnerable mouth. Eventually, Austin pushed an unconscious Ken off, but it was already too late. The alien was already making its way through his mouth and into his brain. Austin tried to grab at the alien, but he failed to get a grasp. He fell back onto the bed and began to convulse as pleasure and fear overrode his entire body.
Switching host was always a dizzying experience for Centaurus. Not only because looking at his host body disoriented him with the raping changing of faces, but because there remained a little bit of himself in them.
“Wake up,” Centaurus commanded Ken. Wordlessly, Ken sat up in the bed. “Go home to your partner. Don’t even look at me.” Ken nodded and began to leave. “Put your clothes on first! Animal...”
For all members of his kind, the toxic vanishes from the host after about 20 minutes. Ken would be back to normal with little recollection of what he did. The experience that Ken went through would be forgotten. Same with Austin when Centaurus eventually left. Even if by some twist of fate they crossed paths again, Centaurus would be the only one left with that moment in his memories.
He looked at himself in the bathroom mirror and saw no trace of the man that he shared that tender moment with. No matter how much Centaurus tried to laugh, frown, or even cry, he could no longer see Austin anymore. All that the mirror reflected was a worm pretending to be a man. He was alone.
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Portia’s Top 5 WinterShieldShock Fics
Fuck me. I was going to do just a Darcy-centric post, but I couldn’t narrow it down, lol. So now this is my five favourite WinterShieldShock fics, completed stories only. Anyone who knows me even remotely probably knows that I love me a good Darcy/Bucky/Steve fic, so this was a struggle and a half. Like, god damn, there are some talented writers in our midst, folks.
(Again, this is completed stories only. If you’re interested, my favourite Stuckony and Stony picks are also online.)
The Comeback Kid by grimeysociety
I literally begged and pleaded and twisted my sister’s arm into reading this and god bless her, she did it. My sister has never read a single fanfic in her life, yet she devoured this in mere days. It’s not just my favourite WinterShieldShock story; it’s one of my all-time favourite stories on the archive, period. Period. I don’t know how it pay it higher compliments than that. There’s nothing on AO3 I re-read as much as this right here.
Here and Where You Are by QueenVee1
If you like WinterShieldShock, I think Here and Where You Are is mandatory reading. Like... How could you not love this story? It’s long as heck, which is really just a great bonus in my books. Wonderful story. Truly amazing. Great angst, with a fantastically happy ending. What more could you want??
The Pilgrim Soul by jachap
Beautiful, amazing, iconic. God tier writing. The sequel is in progress, and wonderful to boot, but it’s worth reading just for the beauty of part one. The development of the trio’s relationship is very sweet, but honestly the early Steve/Bucky romantic scenes are just so tender and touching and really stood out for me.
Among Wolves by grimeysociety
Man, I really thought I was going to limit myself to one grimeysociety fic, but it just couldn’t be done. So... Both. Yup. You should read both this and Comeback Kid. Them’s the rules.
A Lewis and a Half by xfayewrites
I love this fic. It is so sweet and so charming and just perfect. Perfect, perfect, perfect. Cheers me right up on any given day.
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Would you be interested in a deep dive into Tom Roth's character in The Incredible Hulk (2008)? Because that's exactly what's under the cut lmao. Let me guide you ✨✨
So since the Thunderbolts are apparently going to be a thing in the MCU (either with Contessa Valentina or general Ross himself) I've been gathering a fan team of my own based on characters that exist in the MCU already (I even wrote fanfic about it, it's under #Foxtrot Fanfic, wink wink). This led me to watch The Incredible Hulk again because I was literally nine years old when it came out so I don't remember anything about it lol. Yeah I rewatched the movie because of one character. Yes I have a graduation thesis to write. Could you mind your own business?
Anyways when we are introduced to Emil Blonsky he's already all geared up in army uniform. We are told via dialogue that he was born in Russia and raised in England. And that's it. This is literally all backstory we got.
Moving on for his motivation. Emil describes himself as a fighter. Ross comments on how due to his age he could be a major at this point. Emil explains that he refuses to rank up because he enjoys the fight. Honestly? I kinda of relate to that.
Emil and his team are called to arrest Bruce Banner who is currently in Rocinha here in Brasil. All dialogues there are terrible and the whole thing is super problematic and offensive I hate Hollywood. But anyways when Emil and his men catch Bruce, the Hulk comes out and Emil gets a raging boner because Hulk is so powerful ✨✨😩😩😩🥰
I'm not making that up alright? Once Hulk escapes Emil begs Ross for an explanation about who the fuck was that huge and strong green man. Roos sees the sparkle on Emil's eyes (and the bulge on his pants) and decided to show him the super soldier serum he (alongside Bruce himself) were developing. Bruce was not aware of the whole project you see, he thought it was about making humans more resistent to all sorts of radiation, there was nothing on the paper work about making super soldiers lmao. Poor scientists...
Anyways before Emil takes the first (Yeah, first!!) shot of the super soldier serum he looks like this:
Avarage human with slight thirst for power.
After taking the serum he's already faster than the other army folk Ross gathers to catch Bruce. He also does those super soldier jumps that I love so much, but they're not as high as Karli Morgenthau's jumps. Her serum is more refined and modern after all. Emil even has a one on one with the Hulk. The scene looks super cool but it ends up badly for our non green super being.
This is Emil after he takes the first shot. Not as big as Steve but bulked up nonetheless am I right?
Well this is Emil after he fights the Hulk lmaoooo
But don't worry! Thanks to fictional science he looks like THIS a couple hours after. He's not as strong as John or Steve or Bucky or Karli but she surely heals way faster. And most importantly he wakes up wanting a rematch with the Hulk. Because you see being a fighter is literally his whole deal and now that he found the strongest person on the planet he won't stop untill he beats said person. Oh my god I love him so much!!!!!!!!
Anyways Bruce and Betty (zZzZzZ) are running around to find a cure. This leads them to NYC where Tim Blake Nelson works as a biology professor (or something like that, they don't explain much real science in this movie). Before going there Emil looks himself in the mirror and we see this disguising things coming out of his back. He's also sweating a lot like in a fever. The serum has some weird side effects.
It's not clear if Email was destined to become the Abomination and the second shot just rushed the process. Oh haven't I mention? Yeah after Bruce is finally caught and taken to a helicopter Emil gets sad because it was way too easy. He wants a real fight, he wants the Hulk.
Now you know when you're in love and do stupid shit to get your crush's attention? Well that's literally what Emil does. He points a gun at Tim Blake Nelson's head and asks the professor to give him whatever is in Bruce's blood. He agrees and Emil finally looks like the monster from the poster.
I mean I'm not a slut but who knows...
Anyways he and the Hulk finally fight as Emil wanted them to. He's defeated at the end and the movie ends. According to the MCU wiki they put him to sleep in a frozen prison in Alaska. I don't know where that information comes from but I believe it.
Emil Blonsky is a really simple villain with no backstory or relatives and a single goal: be as strong as you can be. Yet he's super effective as an antagonist. Allegedly he's been sleeping for fifteen years but he's credited in the She Hulk series coming up so we might see him a round once again ^^
Will he be a thunderbolt? Will he get back into human form and go through a redemption arc? Will he be outshined by Tatiana Maslany's talent? Well that's obvious of course he will lol.
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Scream Queens VH1 recap - Season 1 Episode 1
Hey what’s up so because I’m bored as hell I’ve decided I’m going to recap the short-lived reality series Scream Queens (not the horror series with Emma Roberts) because it’s absolute top notch reality TV trash. Yes you can still watch the whole thing on YouTube here but I’ve decided to recap it for you in case you’d prefer to read about the trash and drama I guess lol
Anyway Scream Queens was a reality series on VH1 back in 2008-2010 where 10 “up and coming” (generous) actresses would compete for a “breakout role” (also generous) in the next Saw film. They’d do dumb challenges that were vaguely related to acting and of course bitch about each other behind the scenes. Season 1 was judged by Shawnee Smith (post-Saw fame), James Gunn (pre-Guardians of the Galaxy fame), and John Homa (apparently a big-time acting coach??). Season 2 switched out Shawnee Smith for Jaime King and James Gunn for Tim Sullivan. No idea how the show got two seasons but I fucking love it and I’ve watched it countless times over so let’s do a recap!
Here’s your key players, folks.
The first episode opens with all the girls walking in wearing their ~finest~ mid-2000′s fashion and talking about how “omg I should be the next scream queen cuz I’m attractive / talented” etc. Jo-Anne in particular (who is 26 btw) claims she’s “getting old” and that she’s “ready for something to happen”. lol okay girl. They’re introduced to the three judges and whoo boy, Shawnee may be a decent actress but she should not be a host; her droning nasally voice is torture. We’re introduced to a few more girls including Lindsay who was a child star, and had a Nickelodeon show called Caitlin’s Way, but has since lost her way to her anxiety, and it’s just like holy shit I relate to you so hard though. There’s also Lina who thinks she’s top shit because she had one line in an Adam Sandler movie woohoo.
The judges introduce the first challenge and a pseudo-Jason Voorhees literally BUSTS THROUGH THE FUCKING WALL and sends the girls running and screaming, followed by laughing because omg what a funny prank haha. So basically the girls have to take turns begging this guy not to kill them, with the best performance getting a “guaranteed callback” aka. immunity from elimination. Most of the girls do the typical screaming and/or crying schtick. Michelle literally claims she’s pregnant and then screams “KILL ME WHY DONT’CHA” which is a choice. Kylah tries to seduce him and the other girls are torn between “she should be a porn star” and “holy shit I’m aroused”. Lina literally puts on a stereotypical Asian accent and FLOPS AROUND ON THE FLOOR SCREAMING like what the actual fuck. Jessica gets up and does the “you’re not psycho I’M PSYCHO” thing and the girls are (probably rightfully) scared of her.
But then Tanedra gets up and tells us she has ZERO acting experience and then proceeds to KILL. IT. Watch out for Tanedra cuz you know she’s coming for that crown. Obviously she gets the guaranteed callback. Shawnee announces the girls are competing for a role in Saw 6 and they FLIP. THEIR. SHIT. While at the same time you can tell none of them actually like or care about the Saw series and just want to be famous, but whatever get those dollars I guess.
So they head into the house and start drinking champagne, getting to know each other etc. Of course they all end up in their bikinis in the hot tub and start talking about their training. Cue all of the girls COMPLETELY underestimating Tanedra (despite the fact that she already beat all their asses) when she tells them she has no experience.
The next day the girls go to their first class with John Homa. Right off the bat he’s like, “Welcome to your first acting class, we’re gonna need it.” Like, true but also, rude. He gets out a tray of fruit and tells each girl to take a piece and eat it “as seductively as possible”. Cue several girls giving blowjobs to bananas and the rest basically dry humping the floor while they eat this damn fruit. Homa sighs like his instructions were SO CLEAR even though there weren’t any. He explains how he actually wants them to be subtle and seductive rather than outright sexy/slutty and has the girls sit in a chair while eating their fruit and being all cute and seductive. Great. Then he changes it up so the girls have been poisoned halfway through eating. Everyone does pretty well except Jo-Anne who very clearly buckles under the pressure. Back at the house, Sarah straight up tells the others that the class made her horny.
The following day a surprise picnic appears in the house but when the lid is taken off one of the dishes, a bunch of snakes come out because omg what a funny prank haha. There’s a note telling them where to meet Shawnee where she tells them their first “director’s challenge” (main challenge) is an adaptation of the bath scene from James Gunn’s movie Slither, and guess what, they gotta be naked! Or very nearly naked, at least. All of the girls get working on their scripts and discussing whether they’re going to go with nude underwear, pasties, or au naturale. Did you forget about Crazy Jessica? Well she has a FULL ON CRYING MELTDOWN about having to do a nude scene, complete with mocking the other girls just for talking about it. Like seriously this is day 2 and she’s FREAKING OUT. Sarah specifically says in her talking head, “Jessica is fucking psycho.”
They get to the director’s challenge, Sarah goes first and does really well, so the other girls are intimidated from the start. Jo-Anne once again buckles under the pressure, it’s like her spark literally goes away as soon as the cameras start rolling, it’s honestly baffling to watch. Tanedra and Michelle also do really well, although Michelle gets criticised by some of the others for her over acting. Kylah literally sounds like she’s in a cross between a pantomime and a musical and the other girls flat-out laugh at her behind the scenes. Finally it’s Jessica’s turn, and little miss freak out is just like BA-DING HERE ARE MY TITTIES. Like seriously, after all that, she goes buck naked. WTF. Her performance is still meh though.
Back at the house, Michelle is confident she won’t be on the list and that Kylah will be. Tanedra reads the list which “summons” Michelle, Jo-Anne, Kylah, Sarah, and Jessica to the “grand ballroom”. Cue Michelle’s FULL BLOWN TANTRUM because she was SO SURE she wasn’t going to be on the list and “THEY’RE GONNA THROW THIS FUCKING TALENT AWAY??” You seriously can barely hear her dialogue in this part because there is so much swearing getting bleeped out. Aside from this everyone generally agrees that Kylah should go home because she has no acting talent (lol) and that there’s no way Jo-Anne is going because they all love her.
The girls go to the grand ballroom and honestly if looks could kill, all three judges would be dead because Michelle is fucking letting them KNOW she’s pissed hahaha. They pull Michelle and Sarah forward together and tell them they were the top 2 (so much for your tantrum Michelle) with Sarah getting leading lady (winning the main challenge). Jessica gets pulled forward on her own and basically just gets read for being crazy and told to calm down. Kylah and Jo-Anne are last and are the bottom 2; Jo-Anne basically for shutting down and Kylah for just being shit. In a controversial decision, however, Jo-Anne gets the axe while Kylah lives another week.
Stay tuned for Season 1 Episode 2!
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His blond hair caught the eyes, his blue eyes caught their hearts and his noble heart caught their lost dreams.
He was their hero, the one that would change their lives. He would rid the world of this evil and he would set them free.
This he had been told and why would they lie? He was the chosen one, that once in a lifetime hero whose name would live forever.
His name was John Salvo. Decked out in his silver armor, he was the most eye catching sight on the battlefield. He swung his sword and minions fell,
inconsequential as they were, they should be honored to even die by his blade.
Standing in their midst, he felt no fear at all. He raised his head and looked in the direction of his ultimate goal- The Usurper, the man responsible for this terrible situation that the entire Kingdom found themselves.
The throne room was not too far from him now. He would truly slaughter his way from the Castle gates to the throne room and kill the Usurper.
The Usurper had killed millions of young men just like him but none had his talent nor were they chosen.
He would avenge their deaths.
He roared, his voice at its highest just like his courage, This battle cry signified the start of the massacre for him.
He recalled shouting that once as he was forced to kneel in front of the Usurper. His ribs were a bloody mess and his left eye was half closed and blood flowed down from his head to coat that same area of his face.
How did this happen?
"You seem surprised..."
The voice sounded somber, almost sad.
"Did you think that you could storm a castle and fight your way to the throne room alone?"
John looked up at the owner of the voice to find the Usurper with a sad expression on his face. His anger flared.
This was the man that caused the deaths of the all the previous warriors before him and made the lives of the common folk a living hell.
"I will kill you for your misdeeds and you will beg for mercy. I, the Chosen one, John Salvo swear this on my life."
His declaration caused turmoil in the throne room and the murmurs spread like waves in a restless sea.
This reaction was what he wanted to see the most. Yes, he was still capable of this and all he needed was a little time to recover. He could still win, after all he was the chosen one.
"Chosen one.... yes, the others all said the same thing." the Usurper said in a low tone that was barely audible but John still heard it.
Seeing the puzzled look on the boy's face, the Usurper sighed deeply and got up from his throne.
"Did you assume you were the first? The only one perhaps? A special existence chosen by the heavens?"
The every word of this cruel Usurper was like a small dagger stabbing at his convictions until it was full of holes.
"Before you there were others. One named Arthur, a good swordsman with a mother waiting at home; fooled into believing these same lies. Then there was Nicolas, his archery skills were outstanding but wasted on me and he was by far the smartest of your bunch but he was still foolish enough to believe their lies."
"There was also Tasha.... Natasha Coleman: aged 16 and a truly talented girl for her age. She reminded me of my daughter: resilient and tenacious, strong willed and determined. Yet they overlooked her age like the rest, built up her hatred and sent her in to die."
John listened attentively but his brain failed to truly understand the words that the man spoke. Still it registered the bitter tone in which he spoke, it registered the pain and anger on his face.
Recalling these details brought him pain as well. Why would he feel pain for his victims, people he killed? And what was this nonsense about him not being Chosen?
Yes, they must be lies.
John refused to believe it. He had been chosen, this was a certainty!
"After that came dozens of you, children barely through their teens, talented every one of them but they all bore the same hatred and delusion: they were Chosen and they would bring my reign of tyranny to an end. I remember all their names."
By this point, he was at the end of the staircase that led down from the throne to where John was kneeling.
"I will ask you the same question I asked them- Who chose you? Was it not men? Was it not the foolish brother of mine clinging to the throne he convinced himself was his? What makes you special except for the fact that out of the many youths, you were singled out to die?"
The Usurper's voice kept slowly rising like his anger but John wasn't listening anymore. He was trying to figure out how to break out.
The villain had finally started his monologue. This was his chance!
"They gave you an impossible task and provided you with nothing but hate and delusions of grandeur and you took it gingerly and ran to my doorstep asking to be killed."
"Why must you all be so hopelessly stupid?! Can you not see the truth?!"
The scream jolted John back to his senses and he realized how close the Usurper was to him.
He twisted his way out of the guards hands like a viper, his actions quick and lithe. In one fluid movement, he had disarmed the a guard and sent him flying with a kick- this was what it meant to be Chosen!
Before the Usurper could react, he had stabbed out and his sword was buried in his chest.
John grinned. He had done it. He had fulfilled his mission. He was truly the Chosen One that would bring an end to the Usurper King.
"You teenagers are all truly impulsive..."
The words shocked him beyond despair and into panic. This was the Usurper's voice and it didn't sound in the least bit strained.
"Did you even listen to the words I spoke or were your ears stuffed with your hatred?" the Usurper asked rhetorically.
John looked at the man he stabbed pull the sword out of his chest like it was nothing and his mind shook.
What was this???
The Usurper sighed.
"Even fate chooses its favorites and you are not one of them. This is the sad truth. You are talented, yes, but you needed time to grow into that talent. Sadly though, you were dealt a bad hand and played it instead of folding."
John struggled to speak but couldn't find any words. He just couldn't understand. The Usurper could not be killed?
"I cannot die. My brother, knowing that still sent you here to torment me for this is all he can do to retaliate. I have taken his kingdom and he has vowed to take my conscience. You were but a pawn."
"In consolation, you were Chosen- sadly you were chosen to die. It was an unfair and unnecessary choice."
John didn't know what was happening but he couldn't accept it. There must be a way to kill the Usurper and stop him from spewing this nonsense.
He sent out a kick hoping to use it to create some distance between him and the Usurper King but the reverse happened. His kick was blocked and his leg was used to pull him closer as the same sword he stole from the guard was plunged into his heart.
He felt the cold steel in him. Being this close to the Usurper King, he saw the tears in his eyes as well.
He could also feel his breathing slowing down and his thoughts slowly becoming muddled.
How did it end up like this?
He was Chosen...
"I will remember you, John Salvo, Chosen One. This much I can promise you, sadly."
This was the last thing he heard.
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Andy's Read Pile: Avengers/Invaders
Welcome back, Low Cut Connies. I'm Andy Larson, host of the 9,999th most popular comic podcast in America, The Last Comic Shop, back once again astonish you with tales that aren't my own, written by people that are for the most part, more talented than my half assed ramblings.
As some of those that have been following this blog for a bit, I recently took some time to highlight a series of books featuring super powers folks duking it out for supremacy. In other words: Versus! Yep, Nothing gets a nerd’s blood pumping more than waxing the pros and cons of whether the Amadeus Chou version of Hulk could put a whooping on Devil Dinosaur.
However, one book I didn’t cover was Alex Ross's "Avengers/Invaders" multi issue crossover done between the comic companies of Marvel and Dynamite Comics.
That actually got some readers panties in somewhat of a knot, as several on Twitter especially cried foul over the fact that this was one of those classic multi company crossover events which usually really bring out the big guns when it comes to marquee battles.
In any case, Avengers/Invaders as a series had a couple things in the positive column and a couple things in the negative column, from even before I picked up the book to read a page.
It's an Invaders Book! I mentioned this during the blog where I first suggested reading this. I've been a pretty big fan of the Invaders since I first picked up tons of back issues of the original Roy Thomas run from the 70s for 50 cents a piece at my local comic shop. So a book promising me not only the return of this team but also all the super-villains and miscellaneous characters from that run is intriguing. Like who doesn't want to see Master Man? Or Iron Cross? Or Spitfire and Union Jack?
It's got these gorgeous covers by Alex Ross. Man, you gotta love when Mr. Ross gets to ape Norman Rockwell, and with all these golden age characters, its like begging him to do it.
It's a team up between Marvel and Dynamite Comics. In recent years, I've bought more of these two comic companies titles than any other, so it seems like a dream team to deliver golden age goodness on the surface.
It takes place directly after one of the worst crossovers in my opinion, Civil War. Although I might be in the minority given it's cultural impact and intense popularity in a lot of circles, I pretty much hated everything about Civil War. It was watching all my favorite characters from my childhood get a divorce, and as a result, like a real divorce on the kids involved, it can permanently scar them. For example, I have yet to look at Iron Man the same since. Even with the Robert Downy Jr. renaissance, I still view this character with profound suspicion and distrust, to the point where I automatically question his motives for everything and sincerely think he's the biggest colossal douchebag on the face of the planet. And that's all from Civil War! Ugggh...no wonder Mark Millar was the architect of all that. He revels in crushing your memories of a simpler time when you could just read comic characters and believe they had our best interests at heart. Plus the killed CAP! Nasty business that. Should have never happened.
Despite having Alex Ross covers, they pull the old switcharoo with you with the interior art and give you Steve Sadowski instead. Not to say Steve's stuff is bad. It's just I've always hated that part of comics. The cover sets a certain tone for the story and when the rest of the art doesn't match that, well, it's like seeing a PB&J sandwich, taking a bite, and finding it's mostly pickles in between the bread. It's not that pickles are bad, it's just not what the outer appearance had promised.
It's a team up of Marvel and Dynamite comics. Although I have purchased more comics from Marvel and Dynamite than any other, that doesn't mean all of them have been all that great. In fact, especially with Dynamite, the hits are often outweighed by the misses. Flash Gordon Zeitgeist, Masks, Everything after issue 25 of the Lone Ranger. Yeah, they at times don't inspire confidence in delivering the goods.
But that being said, initial thoughts can often be deceiving so it's always best to have the actual contents of the comic speak for themselves. So without further a do, here's my review of Jim Kruger, Alex Ross, and Steve Sadowski's 12 issue mini series about those nutty Invaders and those kooky Avengers getting together for a big dance number.
Story wise, it's pretty simple: The Invaders are brought forward in time through the power of the Cosmic Cube, are obviously confused, fight the Avengers thinking they are Nazis, and the Avengers try to stop them without butterfly effecting the past by giving away too many spoilers.
For anyone that's read comics, these time travel shenanigans are pretty common place, however the additional wrinkle in this one is that it happens shortly after the modern day Captain America was killed in an assassination, so people are still grieving over that. Plus, its in the aftermath of Civil War, so you got those anti registration heroes like Luke Cage, Dr. Strange, Ronin, Spidey and the like hiding in the shadows as the "Secret Avengers" still trying to muck up things for Iron Man's pro registration goon squad. So those two things a lot seem like they would be enough to propel this story beyond mediocrity.
However, for the first 4 or 5 issues, it definitely does not. Sure, there's some drama with the displaced heroes trying to escape the Shield Helicarrier, Iron Man's guilt over the death of Cap, and more Civil war hijinx in terms of the two squads of Avengers fighting over custody of the Invaders .
There's also some ideas thrown around about Namor and Toro coming to terms with their futures, especially Toro, who realizes he died in his future without Torch or any of his friends there to help prevent it. Finally, a random solider is also pulled into the present and meets up with future self, and has to go through the grief of knowing he's the only one of his company that survived WWII among other realizations that any war, even the "good" ones, rarely have happy endings for anyone involved.
And you'd think that would be enough to sustain things, but more often than not, it does so barely, as I just felt like I had seen and heard these same stories before, told better, with more emotional impact that in these issues.
Again, they aren't bad by any means, but they are more typical than anything. I wish there was something that jumped off the page and grabbed me, but I gotta say I just spent those first 5 issues flipping through looking for it in between all these fight sequences.
Around issue 6 though, an interesting subplot starts building with the original Human Torch drawing parallels between the way the Nazis treated the Jews in WWII and the way Shield treats their LMDs (Life Model Decoys). It is somewhat original seeing the Torch being one of the more famous androids in the Marvel Universe other than Vision , taking a stand and leading a robot revolution, and I wish I could have seen a bit more of that.
However, that subplot quickly devolves into just another Avengers vs. Ultron fight, after it's explained that Ultron had infiltrated the Helicarrier and was giving the false impression to the Torch that the LMDs were sentient just like him. Again, it's too bad this ending up being somewhat of a dead end, red herring of a story, as it was definitely more original than everything that had come before, and it would have added some much needed meat on the bones of Marvel's original super hero in terms of character development.
Luckily for this grader, it's about issue 8 that things start getting much more interesting. First, we find out the main bad guy using the Cosmic Cube is the "D" list Claremont villain D'Spayre , who in using the Cube to pump up his tires as a threat, accidentally brought the Invaders into the future, not through his wish but the wish of the general public who wanted Captain America back after his recent untimely death. He is dispatched by the New Avenger, Echo, who was immune to his powers due to being deaf, and things seem to be looking up for the heroes.
That's when things really start cooking in Issue 9 as that random solider that was also brought into the future decides to use the Cubes power to bring back all the buddies he lost in the war, which has a massive butterfly effect in that the time stream starts changing for the worse. Before they can be wiped from existence though, Dr. Strange uses his magical abilities to transport some of the Avengers back into the past, Voyagers style, to see if they can help the Invaders put history back on track.
This is by far the best part of this series, and one I really wish had been the focal point the entire time. Everything before this was a rehash of a repeat served with a side of "been there, done that". But this idea of modern day Avengers having to go back in time, hiding their real superhero identities to protect the time stream by adopting the identities of obscure superheroes from that era is masterful. It really is a truly awesome concept and some of the match ups between modern day and golden age counterparts is superb. From
Iron Man becoming the original Electro (the robot superhero that many forget also debuted in Marvel Comics #1), to Wolverine being Captain Terror, Spiderman being the Challenger, to Luke Cage becoming the pitch perfect Black Avenger , this portion of the story really allows us to embrace the rich history of the Marvel universe in a way that is fun and digestible for even newer fans that might not have ever heard of these characters before.
Just incredible stuff and I wish the full 12 issues had just been about this concept instead of just the final 4. It actually makes the first 8 issues even look worse in comparison, as this was the nugget of goodness. The kernel of originality that this series should have embraced from the start, instead of waiting a majority of the series to get to this point.
It turns out that it wasn't the solider that caused the time stream to go haywire. Like the monkey's paw though, his noble wish had unforeseen dire consequences in that he gets shot and the WWII version of the Red Skull gets possession of the Cube and immediately changes the world into a Nazi dictatorship.
So from that perspective, it's a rehash of the old Cap vs. Skull Cosmic Cube dance we've seen so many times. But again, with the addition of those time traveling Avengers in those golden age threads and incursion of all the golden age villains like the aforementioned Master Man and Warrior Woman etc, it's just a hell of a lot of fun! In closing, like a lot of series I feel I reviewed on this blog, this is a story of two different books.
The first 7 to 8 issues are pretty bland and forgettable, while the last 4 are a fantastic thrilling romp through Marvel's early days. In fact, for those of you that are reading this, I can almost recommend that you use this blog to get a brief synopsis of those first 8 issues and skip ahead right to issue 9 for all that sweet retro time traveling goodness. Trust me, you aren't going to miss much and in doing so, you save yourself a lot of unnecessary backstory and more importantly: Time! That's what it's all about right?
Andy's Read Pile Rating (First 8 issues): 2
Andy's Read Pile Rating (Last 4 issues): 3.75
INTRODUCING... DAWN HARDIN
stitch by stitch, i tear apart
if brokenness is a form of art
i must be a poster child prodigy
Name: Dawn Hardin
Gender: cis woman
Home District: capitol
TW FOR FULL BIO: infertility, loss of body autonomy, hospital mention, mention of bugs.
i. of growing up
The mystery that has plagued her entire life is this: Dawn doesn't know her beginning. She knows all about the day she was adopted, oh, that's the part her parents boast about; her entire childhood, all she heard about was how she was saved. Only a toddler when she was plucked from District Nine, with nothing but scraps for clothes and a small pendant on a necklace with Nine's symbol, she doesn't remember much. She doesn't know where her story begins, nothing before that fateful day when she stumbled into her new parents' arms, kicking and crying, a child begging to be loved. Sometimes, when it's really quiet at night, she thinks she can still hear the wheat rustling with the gentle wind.
They were fine folk, her parents, but they had a hard time differentiating between love and possession. She grew up having everything she could ever want when it came to money; the prettiest dresses, the accessories, the hairs, the coolest toys and all the books her arms could carry. And they gave her attention, too. They gave her tenderness, sometimes. They loved her, but in their own way. She always needed to prove herself to them, she was always scrambling for their acceptance. She was their shiny trophy, the poor girl who had to be grateful to be living such a luxurious life, the lucky one, out of so many other less fortunate orphans. They never let her forget that, and despite loving them, too, she was always aching for something more.
When she's young and they push her to work in the Games, she obliges, like she always does. The yearly horror show often makes her avert her eyes from the television, sure, but she can pull her lips back and offer a smile and lie her way through this. Styling was the easiest option to stay far enough away from the carnage, and although it protected her from having to consider some of the more dreadful aspects of the Game, it didn't keep her from mourning every single loss. Every kid that wore her creations was held so dearly to her heart, even when she was just starting. The motherly instinct she felt towards them was something she couldn't hold it in if she tried. The pain of loss never gets easier to face, no matter how much the pile of bodies under her grows.
ii. of loving
She grew up thinking love was a fighting game, one step out of line and you lost it. She thought love meant buying shiny things, and parading around parties, and choking back tears. She had partners in her teenage years, silly flings here and there that never went anywhere, and she thought that was it. Love wasn't unconditional, love wasn't for everyone.
Like a moth who couldn't find a flame, by her young adult years Dawn had accepted that she was destined to flap her wings around the darkness aimlessly until she tired herself out. And despite all this emptiness, she still carried her heart in her sleeve, a safety hazard as much as it was her biggest strength. Her hands always ready to help someone in need, she was always scrambling to give out the kind of unconditional love she never got from her parents, an empty cup pouring itself to fill others.
Then, she met Aeron. He was kind, and gentle, and he might as well be the Sun itself for the way he warmed up every room he walked into. The connection between them felt immediate, something sharp and undeniable, like the stars had always known their names. Dawn feels as if she can breathe for the first time in years.
She was born to be a mother, she knows this now. She'd grown up mothering every living thing that passed her way, and for a while there, she thought that would be enough; taking care of tributes, taking care of friends, taking care of fleeting lovers. But once she meets Aeron, she realizes the itch runs much deeper. It's a consuming desire, electric all through her body, how badly she wants to have children running around their house. Little ones to climb up the tree in their backyard, and draw on walls, and fill up the house with laughter. Aeron wants to be a father, too. Everything works out perfectly in her life, until it doesn't.
iii. of fighting
She can't dedicate herself to a family while she's still overworked by the Capitol, so when she puts in the request to retire, it's only because it feels fitting. She has an excuse to be let go, and they have an excuse to find a better stylist to put in her place. Someone more passionate, someone with more drive. She's already twenty-eight, she's sure there are handfuls of much younger, much more talented people out there they can choose from.
They don't let her retire. While at first, she thought she was offering them a perfectly balanced way out, now she realizes she was begging. And they hadn't obliged. She'll never forget the way Aeron's face fell when she told him the news, and the way he'd marched out of their house the very next morning, to fight for their future. To fight for her.
The next day, when she comes back home, exhausted and longing for her partner, she notices his coat isn't hanging by the door. There aren't any pots on the stovetop with dinner ready, waiting for her. There aren't extra shoes by the door, no notes on the fridge. She rushes to their bedroom to find none of his clothes in their closet, his toothbrush, his medicine, everything he ever touched, gone. Wiped from existence. She would've thought herself completely insane if it wasn't for the ring still on her finger, his initials written into it.
That's the message they send, to warn her never to stand up again. They send silence. No matter how many times she asks, they never tell her what they did to him. She can be on her knees, she can be pulling her hair out; she has barged into offices screaming until she had to be dragged away by security, and they still never give her anything. Nothing except a few more threats to remind her of the leash they have around her neck. They tug, and she follows.
iv. of giving up
There's no way around it, she knows, and once she understands that, something in her dies. She settles for the reality of never having her loved one back, and it kills her, too. If before she was a searching moth, now she has been caught by the capitol, her delicate wings pinned to an exhibitional board and drying out.
She continues working for them, and with every passing year, she's less and less inspired. The critics drive into her, looking to sink their teeth into easy prey, reminding her she's doing a terrible job any chance that they can. These jabs never work their way under her skin, because there's a state of numbness after she accepts the loss of Aeron in her life. Her dreams, her love, her everything, gone so quickly, ripped from her arms without notice. She has no hopes of him even being alive.
There's numbness, and it's almost uneventful because of it. She feels like she's barely living anymore, simply surviving to get by, pushing one foot after the other to keep moving. There's a spark of wrath somewhere, a flicker of red in the darkness of her chest that leaps around every once in a while, but her own dullness doesn't let it thrive. Another year passes, another Games she works on. That year, when she's sending her kids off to battle, her vision fails her.
She can't remember collapsing, but it must've been what happened. One minute she's within the Game headquarters feeling dizzy, the next minute she's waking up in a doctor's office. Her body shakes with shivers, her hands are as pale as the gown they have her wearing. The staff looks at her with pity, their eyes avoiding hers like they're hiding something. They speak in terms she's never heard of, and they're not direct when she demands to know what happened, but the gist of it is this -- there's more pain for her to carry in her life. She's been poisoned -- they don't tell her how --, and the substance has rotten her insides. She's pushed out of the hospital with the diagnosis of a lifetime of migraines, occasional shaky hands, and the inability to ever have children. That's when she understands the message they're sending.
And she feeds the spark in her chest until it turns into a forest fire.
v. of loving ii
When she loves these kids, now, it's almost out of spite. That's the one thing the Capitol can't take from her, the one thing they've tried beating out of her when they killed her spirits. They almost succeeded, too. They made her feel weak, hopeless, nothing more than an undead carcass dragging herself around without a goal. She won't let them do it, ever again.
So she loves the kids. She doesn't turn away from the screens anymore, she feels every splatter of blood, she cries for every death. She loves them endlessly, and without reservation, and without fear. She offers warm arms they can run into, and a shoulder to cry on, and a caring hand to push their hairs back. If the Capitol wants to kill her for this, then so be it.
She'll accept death knowing she went down with a goddamn fight.
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Watch the world burn
“We were programmed to be loyal dogs, people with no real meaning. True talent and hard work is utterly meaningless in the end, and there’s no way for normal people to fix it. It’s why I’m here. I’m beyond that, the diamond in the rough, the one to rewrite our system. I was made to be this, and I have no regrets in doing so. I will create my own society with the hope I created. Despair is nothing but a mandatory step in the equation, because the only way to get people to listen to you is with violence.”
Little by little, things add up. One bad thing after another, your world slowly shatters. From a young age, we were taught to listen to the mindless lies that adults tell us. We were taught to be loyal and follow the commands of a ruthless society, that stepping out of line will be severly punished, and by the end banishment is something you’ll be begging for. Ruthless punishments in the name of justice is glorified, because it’s what they deserve, it’s what the public wants. It’s always what the public wants, but what the public doesn’t know is that one day they’ll get the same treatment. What’s the point of pushing someone to the edge over practically nothing if everyone won’t get the same? Why does one get to suffer while the rest sits and watchs? At that point, we don’t know the real monsters.
Kiyotaka Ishimaru was born in a unfortunate family, after Grandpa Prime Minister’s scandal, their family name was ruined for good. Rumours spread like wildfire, and the Ishimaru’s were known for being liars, cheats. A family that wasn’t meant to be trusted, no matter who was in it. This mentality followed Ishimaru throughout his childhood, childhood bullies taunted him daily because they considered it payback for what his grandpa did, despite the fact it was completely out of his control.And the adults who were supposed to protect him? Well, they only made his life even worse. The adults who are supposed to teach young kids good morals decided to ignore his pleas, and ignore the kids who relentlessely beat him. He didn’t live a good life, they moved to a shady part of town when he was young, he was subjected to the horros of real life when he was supposed to be loved. No one was there for him, no one wanted to be there for him. His mother died during childbirth and his father was distant due to how hard he was working, and his grandfather only hurted him in the end. He blindly trusted a few adults and all they did was use him. Day by day, year by year, he grasped at the hope he believed that would save them all. He truly believed that if he worked hard enough things will finally go right, that all this pressure will finally release from his shoulders, and that he could relax. That day never came, and it took the hard way for him to realize that.
It was a particularly bad day at Hopes Peak, no one was listening to him and some openly mocked him. Ishimaru was being targeted by this group of people, they were worse than anyone he’s encountered, and thats saying a lot. He doesn’t know how many people were actually in on it, but it was a big group. He thought that maybe now that he’s at Hopes Peak teachers would help even a little bit, but he was wrong. Ishimaru is alone, after all. They had him backed into a corner, he had no choice but to retaliate. He fought back, but that action only caused the others to get angrier. He tried his best, he really tried, but he was no match for them. He begged and begged, he bargained and cried, he just wanted to go home. In the end, they left him in the back of a ally bleeding out from the arm. He thought that surely, if he screamed enough someone would save him, right?
He dragged himself home, he had to fix himself, he had to live through the trauma of that incident alone, and that was the day he swore that one day, he would get his revenge. He would make himself known, it doesn’t matter how anymore. The “ultimate moral compass” was a lie, it was all a lie. It doesn’t matter, none of it, in the end we’ll all be punished, in the end, the world only wants to hurt you.
It’s a sentiment that stuck with him throughout his second year at Hopes Peak. He tried to keep up the hall moniter act, but he just dropped it a few weeks later. He loved seeing the strange reactions, he loved seeing them so confused. Ishimaru did a whole 180 with his personality, he decided to be unapologetic, rude, angry, distubing. And when he got tired of that, he wanted to be energetic and loud. He just switched from two personalities when he got bored. He loved the rush he got when he broke the rules, everyday he pushed it more and more, seeing how far it would bend until it broke. He sure did give his classmates a show, just until the main course arrived.
Kiyotaka Ishimaru, a name that will be known for generations to come. The name of the man who started it all, the man who started the biggest, baddest, most despair-inducing event in all of history. Ishimaru was a man who was destined to start it all, with his fate written among the stars, we was meant to stand out above all the rest. And finally, after all those years of torment, his moment is finally about to shine. Just a flick of a switch, and everything will be his.
“Everything is so clear now!” Ishimaru finds himself at the top of a tall building. He watches the sun go down, creating and destroying worlds inside his own head. He looks at the people below, taking notice of how unoticable they all are. They won’t get anywhere, he’s above all the rest. He laughs to himself, “Finally, after all these years I’ll take whats truly mine. I’ll be the best, I’ll be a god to the mortals that dare come in my path, and for once I’ll be the one in control! No one else can do this, I need to, it’s written in the stars! I’m meant to be a immortal being, living my life amongst the folk, blending in until I can finally reveal my true colours.” He sighs, daydreaming of that day. He often escapes to the roof to reflect on his day, and to avoid bullies manning the hallways. For someone who’s the leader of the morals committee, he’s pretty dense. “I have always waited for this day, I knew since I was a young child this day will come, even if i have to take it by force. I am a entity, I am someone who should be feared, respected, hated. I should have the power I deserve, I am standing tall while the others sit on their knees and beg. They’re weak, every single one of them.”
He’s dead. The one person in Kiyotaka’s life is dead. Killed by his sons own hands, it truly is a tragedy. Ishimaru stares down at the corpse, and feels intense despair. Despair, love, ecstasy, it’s all too much for him. His heart aches, begging for this to not be real, all a bad dream, but it’s not. It’s all too real.
Hope and despair, it’s the best way to describe the situation. Layers upon layers of despair doubling over each other, leaving no room for hope. Takaaki’s lifeless eyes bore into Ishimaru’s big and vibrant against his cold, pale skin. Years of the same treatment, the same torture, the same punishment, Takaaki kept on. He was strong, kind, unique. He was a soft creature, not getting in anyones way, not taking back what was his. At that point, are you weak or strong? Are you strong for sitting back, letting people hit and kick you, just letting the abuse go? Where are you in life’s system, where are you on the scale of hope and despair? Ishimaru hates that about his father, he never felt resentment, fear, anger. If anything, he was just another loyal dog, just another obstacle getting in his way, holding him back and begging him to stay. He feels anger, hot and cold, blinding him, controlling his emotions and stablility. He picks up a crowbar and hits his father square in the face. And then again, and again. He doesn’t stop, hitting his father until the face is beyond recognition, until the fear and saddness kicks in.
It’s a familiar feeling, not a big deal, he can ignore it. He doesn’t let himself grieve, instead he lets the emotions boil, hiding it deep down in his heart. Ishimaru turns around, and walks away. Outside, the world is ending, he has better things to focus on.
Makoto Naegi is a smart man, in every trial he figured out who the real blackened was, keeping himself and the others alive long enough to grow attatched. It’s all so disgusing, they’re like a little family, keeping each other in check, they even tamed the serial killer! They grasp onto hope, rejecting the idea of despair entirely. Ishimaru feels like they’re just doing it out of spite. He took everything away from them, their hope is unbreakable, it’s everything Ishimaru wanted. Hope, true hope. Willing or unwilling participants of his game, of his new society. A new society of hope, a total rewrite of what the world once was. A world that will be a lot better, no judgement or hate, just hope and despair. He couldn’t just start his plan while the world was still corrupt, this was a necessary step in the equation.
Everyone stands in the last trial room, the real mastermind will soon be revealed. Ishimaru’s excited, esctatic. He just wants to get over it already, he just wants that same excitement he’s been chasing all these years. The stuck up hall monitor ending the world? God, it’s fun to see all their worried, scared, or angry faces. He loves it, he loves the hatred or admiration, he loves it all.
Makoto yells out his name, with varied results. Kirigiri agrees, but it’s not a surprise, she probably knew who it was from the very beginning. It’s finally his time to shine, finally his time to take it all back.
“My name is Kiyotaka Ishimaru, I am the ultimate despair!”
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FIC: Snowdrifts ch.7 (spicyhoney)
Summary: Uncle Red is always up for babysitting, but is pitting Red against baby Snow the wisest choice?
Tags: Spicyhoney, Rescued Child, Babybones, First Time Parenthood, Idiots to Lovers
Read it on AO3
Read it here!
No matter what the boss thought, Red couldn't actually read anybody's mind. Not that he minded keeping up the illusion, nah, that was pretty fucking useful and back in Underfell, his bro wasn't the only person mostly convinced that Red was able to look right into the dirtiest corners of their mind and see what dust bunnies were lying around.
It was a perk he was gonna miss, at least for a little while. Shouldn’t be hard to get reestablished around these parts, hell, prolly a lot easier. His bro might be having some regrets about abandoning the old place, but Red was more’n happy to set up as a cuckoo in their shiny new nest. The rubes in this ‘verse were ripe for a little mystery and already the gossip was flying about the kid, where she was from and who played incubator. Smart money was on his bro as mama; word around town was that Stretch’s slutty ways took a downward trend a few months back and everyone was real damn interested in seeing who the local bird went cold turkey for.
Red gave ‘em a week before the locals started showing up with casseroles and curiosity. Never underestimate boredom and a hearty rumor mill when making plans. Red never did and he would bet good money he’d have the folks in this Snowdin watching him with awe and suspicion in no time.
Well, more than they already were.
Except Muffet but that didn't surprise him none. Multiverse theory could go hang, he figured she was gonna be a sharp slice of cheddar no matter what world she was from. ‘Least if this one was gonna suck you dry it only meant your wallet. Gal had an eye for talent, he’d give her that, hired him on right away, and Red was looking forward to a long, mutually benefitting relationship.
Anyway, mind reading, eh, not so much. What Red had was a carefully cultivated skill in knowing when people were carrying around a steaming load of bullshit. He'd been learning that knack since he was in short pants even if his pants only got wider over the years, not longer, and right now, there was a week-old baby bones trying to convince him her little soul was gonna break if she didn’t have her daddy close by to lug her around.
Kid was putting on a hell of a show. Lying on her back in a pile of blankets on the living room floor that was also Red’s part-time bedroom, feet kicking up a storm and her little hands clenched in fists that she waved like a prizefighter. Fat tears were rolling down her chunker cheekbones as she howled, awful loud for someone without a set of lungs. Kid was pissed, sure, but pissed ain’t hurt and Red might’ve been kinda impressed by her tenacity if it weren’t for the simple fact that his bro needed some rest. Here they were in marshmallow world with two extra bods helping foot the bill and his bro was still exhausting himself trying to do everything. Difference was, here Red had Stretch running interference and between the two of them, they’d shake the ants out of his brother’s pants.
‘Course, Stretch had a different way of doing it and there was a thought Red wasn’t gonna examine too close. His baby bro’s pants and Stretch could do whatever they wanted out of his line of sight.
Only problem was, the two of them were only upstairs. Kid was getting pretty loud and Red scooped her up into his lap, giving her a gentle bounce. “gonna have to do better than that, snowmonster,” Red told her. “i survived my bro and he’s an expert pain in the ass.”
The wails paused as his voice caught the baby’s attention. Snow goggled at him her mouth still open, and after a moment the cries began again, this time with an uncertain waver.
“nope, try again.” He propped his chin in his hand. "you got my bro fooled, but i ain't the gullible type. might try a little sweettalking, sweetheart.”
A short, shrill cry only got her a chuckle. "sorry, honey, it ain't gonna work on me."
The tears dried up pretty damn fast without someone to break down the dam. Kid hadn’t quite given up yet, Underfell tenacity must be built-in from creation. She gurgled out a pleading cry, her tiny hands reaching for Red’s face. He let her pat his cheekbones, wincing at a particularly firm little slap.
He took the offending hand and gave it a loud kiss, earning a smile for his troubles. "nah, your daddy bears are tired, kiddo, they need a nap. you got 'em both dancing like popcorn on a hot plate, not bad for your first trick."
Hm, daddy? Paps hadn't been too clear on that yet, and fuck them all anyway for renaming his little brother Edge, keerist, might as well name him Gloomy Ass Kissy Pants. Already took himself too fucking serious as it was.
Eh, that probably wasn’t gonna change, Red didn’t need to be a mind reader to know that; he’d been that way since he was about the size of this one, and someday he was gonna show Stretch the pics that were saved on his phone of his lil bro back when he was little. Might have to wait until they were more settled in for that, though.
He’d give it a week.
Red looked down at the baby in his arms, her wide, pale eye lights gazing back up at him. Always watching, this one, learning, figuring things out. When she learned how to crawl, she was gonna be an ever-fucking nightmare for his bro, exactly how Paps had been ever since the very instant he got mobile. Kid hadn’t stopped since.
Red couldn’t wait. Payback really was a bitch and this bitch was gonna slap it right on his little brother’s ass.
“tell you what,” Red told her, “let’s get you a snack, kiddo, and see what other toys the mutts brought over for you, how about that?”
Kid was clearly disgruntled, but she accepted the bottle when Red handed it over, suckling noisily. Red dug into the bag that was still in the corner. Blocks were well and good, but he’d bet there was something in all this junk that made some real noise.
Despite his brother's innuendo when he’d shooed the two of them upstairs for a nap before another night of baby-watching began, there was nothing sexual going on in the bedroom and for that, Edge was guiltily grateful. He would admit to being exhausted, his first day as a caretaker left him as weary as if he’d spent a day running the traplines, and if Stretch had given any indication at all that he was interested in sex, Edge would have been torn over his response.
The answer was a difficult one. On one hand, Stretch had been utterly appalled even a hint of the idea that Edge might pay some of the debt he owed the Swap brothers in that fashion, but on the other, Edge did feel some sense of obligation to Stretch that made him reluctant to beg off. Best not to say that aloud, it wasn't a difficult guess that the very notion would upset Stretch a great deal.
There was also the fact that they'd been sleeping together for some months now, anything at this point would have a diminished value.
Not that it mattered in this situation. Stretch didn’t give any indication that he was hoping for anything past a solid eight hours of putting the mattress to its more traditional use and barring that, at least a couple hours of decent rest.
Still, Edge couldn’t help teasing, “Are you sure you want to use our time to sleep? My brother seemed to think we could make other use of it.”
There was a tiny sprinkle of bright freckles across Stretch’s nasal nodule and Edge could privately admit that the way they scrunched together when his face twisted was rather adorable.
"baby, you know i'm always up for it," Stretch grimaced. "but i don't think i can get it up right now. unless you want to drive…?"
Tempting as the idea of being inside Stretch was, whatever desire the image managed to rouse was closer to a wet firecracker than a spark. "To be honest, I think I'd rather nap," Edge confessed. If he even could, through the closed door he could hear Snow’s wails and it was only his brother’s firm edict that they were not to come back downstairs for at least two hours that was keeping him in this room at all. The penalty for disobeying a direct order from Red was not usually a subtle revenge and Edge didn’t care to see what sort of creativity his brother might come up with in new surroundings.
"nap it is then." Stretch scrambled into the bed, sprawling across the mattress. He turned back to Edge, both arms spread wide, "since we ain’t taking off, you may as well come on in for a landing!"
Edge rolled his eye lights but crawled in with him. Stretch squawked as Edge firmly rolled him over on his side and snugged up behind him. He murmured against the smooth, sensitive bone at the base of Stretch’s skull. "I believe it's my turn to be the big spoon."
The way Stretch shifted against him nearly made him rethink his urge for sleep. Stretch laughed, a touch unsteadily, "sweetheart, you can handle my silverware anytime you like. after a nap."
After a nap, yes. The crying from downstairs had petered out and Edge pulled the blankets over them both and settled in. Napping was still unfamiliar to him and he didn't sleep so much as drift, resting in the fog of exhaustion. That alone was an unaccustomed pleasure and there was no telling how long he drifted before he resurfaced to unexpected movement.
The faint shudder of Stretch in his arms didn't wake him so much as nudge him from that fog and the loss left him disoriented and surly. Edge pushed up on an elbow, frowning down at the other skeleton and his irritation faded as he caught his breath at what he saw.
Stretch was crying. He was curled up on the mattress, still sleeping while tears seeped from his closed sockets and left wet trails down his cheekbones. His breath was clotted with the quiet sobs racking him and without the pressure of Edge’s arm holding him down, he curled up tighter into a fetal ball, his long legs drawn up against his skinny ribcage as he wept at whatever his dreams were showing him.
No amount of rest was worth this kind of pain and Edge gave him a gentle shake, saying softly, "Stretch? Stretch, wake up."
He did not anticipate Stretch lurching up and scrambling away from him, his joints lit with magic and his eye lights flaring wildly as he flung both hands out as if to ward him away, brilliant orange engulfing his fingertips like candle flames.
Edge kept still, waiting for the dregs of sleep to clear away. Long experience with his brother’s occasional bad turns at night had taught him that while his HP could easily survive an attack, the guilt that followed was always so much worse.
Sure enough, recognition slowly filled Stretch’s gaze, followed almost immediately by horror. Stretch sank back against the wall with a heartfelt groan, the flames of his magic extinguishing as he buried his face into his hands. "fuck, i am so sorry."
"If I don't need to thank you for all you’ve done, then you don't owe me any apologies for this. Come here?" Edge held his arms open in gentle offering and after a moment, Stretch did, crawling back into his arms. His bones were chilled, clacking against Edge's as he shivered, and Edge tucked the blankets back around them both.
"There we are," Edge said, as softly as he would have to Snow. He set his chin on the top of Stretch’s skull, careful not to let it dig in painfully. "Was it a bad dream?"
"more like a memory." Stretch shifted against him, his cheekbone pressed to Edge's sternum. He did not look up as he asked softly. "do you remember anything about the lab?"
"Only from recently,” Edge admitted, “not as a child. My brother doesn't talk about it much, but I do know I wasn't there for more than a couple days before he fled with me in tow."
"yeah." Stretch said nothing else, no commiseration, and Edge did not ask it of him. He didn't need to press for an unneeded explanation, not when the answer was so obvious. Memory dredged up by those numbers on one of Snow's fragile ribs, engraved too deeply to easily heal. He only held Stretch close, petting from the back of his skull down his cervical vertebra with gentle fingertips as those bone-deep shudders slowly eased.
Petting shifted to a careful massage, rubbing at the delicate cartilage between the spinal joints until all the tension wound through Stretch faded, leaving him as boneless against Edge as a skeleton could manage. He sighed, his warm breath gusting humidly over Edge’s collarbone, and his long limbs wound around Edge in a bony sort of cage, loosely holding on.
Edge was drowsing himself, his stroking gone idle, when Stretch spoke again in a low, barely audible mumble that Edge nevertheless heard very clearly, snapping awake as his soul began to pound in his ribcage. Couched on an exhale, three words that were so complex in their very simplicity.
“hnnnn,” Stretch sighed out, “i love you.”
There in the darkness, Edge lay with wide sockets staring up at the ceiling as every thought of sleep fled to the corners of his mind, leaving it utterly empty. Obviously, such a declaration required a response, and yet his thoughts were a panicked blank, his hands still on Stretch and surely he was already regretting saying such a thing, surely he was rethinking his choice as Edge only lay here like a useless fool, unable to reply.
“Stretch,” Edge choked out, faltering, and before he could manage to unstick his tongue from the roof of his mouth came an unexpected reply. A faint snore that rumbled through them both as Stretch snuggled in closer, his sockets closed in sleep.
Edge almost sagged in relief, letting out a slow, shaky breath. But he knew the reprieve was a brief one. That declaration would come again, he should have already been expecting it, and he would need a ready reply.
He wasn’t fool enough not to know what reply Stretch wanted. He just wasn’t sure it was one he was able to give and what consequences would come if he couldn’t? Their place here was so precarious despite what the Swap brothers said, they couldn’t be expected to stay here if there was resentment between them. Snow needed a safe home, free of arguments and snide verbal attacks and Edge meant to see she had one. No matter what it cost him.
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DAILY SCRIPTURE READINGS, Wed Mar 24th, 2021...Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent, Year B
Dn 3:14-20, 91-92, 95
King Nebuchadnezzar said:
“Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
that you will not serve my god,
or worship the golden statue that I set up?
Be ready now to fall down and worship the statue I had made,
whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet,
flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe,
and all the other musical instruments;
otherwise, you shall be instantly cast into the white-hot furnace;
and who is the God who can deliver you out of my hands?”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar,
“There is no need for us to defend ourselves before you
in this matter.
If our God, whom we serve,
can save us from the white-hot furnace
and from your hands, O king, may he save us!
But even if he will not, know, O king,
that we will not serve your god
or worship the golden statue that you set up.”
King Nebuchadnezzar’s face became livid with utter rage
against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times more than usual
and had some of the strongest men in his army
bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
and cast them into the white-hot furnace.
Nebuchadnezzar rose in haste and asked his nobles,
“Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?”
“Assuredly, O king,” they answered.
“But,” he replied, “I see four men unfettered and unhurt,
walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God.”
“Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
who sent his angel to deliver the servants who trusted in him;
they disobeyed the royal command and yielded their bodies
rather than serve or worship any god
except their own God.”
Dn 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56
R. (52b) Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever;
And blessed is your holy and glorious name,
praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages.”
R. Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.
R. Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom,
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.”
R. Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you who look into the depths
from your throne upon the cherubim;
praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.”
R. Glory and praise for ever!
“Blessed are you in the firmament of heaven,
praiseworthy and glorious forever.”
R. Glory and praise for ever!
Verse before the Gospel
See Lk 8:15
Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart
and yield a harvest through perseverance.
Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him,
“If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham
and have never been enslaved to anyone.
How can you say, ‘You will become free’?”
Jesus answered them, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.
A slave does not remain in a household forever,
but a son always remains.
So if the Son frees you, then you will truly be free.
I know that you are descendants of Abraham.
But you are trying to kill me,
because my word has no room among you.
I tell you what I have seen in the Father’s presence;
then do what you have heard from the Father.”
They answered and said to him, “Our father is Abraham.”
Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children,
you would be doing the works of Abraham.
But now you are trying to kill me,
a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God;
Abraham did not do this.
You are doing the works of your father!”
So they said to him, “We were not born of fornication.
We have one Father, God.”
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me,
for I came from God and am here;
I did not come on my own, but he sent me.”
DAILY SCRIPTURE READINGS, Wed Mar 24th, 2021...Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent, Year B
FOCUS AND LITURGY OF THE WORD
Today’s readings begin with an encounter between the faithful Hebrews -- Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego -- and King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. After the king summoned his royal administrators to a desert convocation, they were asked to worship a golden idol. Most of them were fine with this -- whatever the king demands, they would do. Except some of them noted that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not show up at the convocation. “Who do these dissenters think they are! Let’s tell on them!” The king felt affronted, likely prompted by these tattletales. He then called the three dissenters to account.
Their response to the king is calm, measured, and clear: “If our God, whom we serve, can save us from the white-hot furnace and from your hands, O king, may he save us! But even if he will not, know, O King, that we will not serve your god or worship the golden statue that you set up.” No fear or compromise -- just plainspoken commitment to follow the truth. They were not eager to become martyrs, but they had chosen to follow God wherever he would lead them.
This enraged the king, but his evil response produced a miracle that later caused him to repent. That was not his first repentance, of course. But for many of us, sometimes it takes more than one miracle!
This story about faithfulness reminds me of these verses: “Study the generations long past and understand; has anyone hoped in the Lord and been disappointed? Has anyone persevered in his fear and been forsaken? Has anyone called upon him and been rebuffed?” (Sirach 2:10) Sirach also writes this warning: “Woe to craven hearts and drooping hands, to the sinner who treads a double path!” (v. 12). Dissonance between the truth and our willingness to live by it eventually gets sorted out. Let us resolve the dissonance before woe comes to us!
We may not face a fiery furnace, but we have similar tensions caused by demands to conform to the world rather than to conform to the truth of our faith. Like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, let us follow their example not to compromise but instead to persevere. Their witness caused the king to repent! If you need musical accompaniment for additional inspiration, I suggest that you try the late Johnny Cash, who along with his wife June Carter, sings through the story with enthusiasm here. “They held on to the will of God so we are told. They would not bow before the idols made of gold. They were protected by the Fourth Man in the fire. They wouldn’t bend, they wouldn’t bow, they wouldn’t burn.” I have always loved that music, which has stayed with me from my youth.
Today’s gospel presents tough words by our Lord to some good folks who, according to the text, had “believed in him” already. Perhaps they believed, but that belief did not produce understanding. I also get that feeling sometimes, don’t you? But Jesus did not mince words about the dissonance between how they thought of themselves and the reality of their condition. I sometimes hear people say, “I’d like to think that….” Of course, we would like to think many things, but that does not make them so! I am also one of those people. It is hard to see ourselves as we are, particularly when we need mercy and forgiveness for our faults and flaws.
Lord, help us see ourselves as we are, but also to see your offer of mercy just as clearly. Help us to run toward you while we have the ability to do so. Give us courage to live truly and not by lies, knowing that you are near us, even in the fire. Deliver us especially from droopy hands and double paths, which lead us away from the good we desire and so desperately need. Thanks be to God.
DAILY SCRIPTURE READINGS, Wed Mar 24th, 2021...SAINT OF THE DAY
Saint Oscar Arnulfo Romero
Saint of the Day for March 24
(August 15, 1917 – March 24, 1980)
Saint Oscar Romero’s Story
The night before he was murdered while celebrating Mass, Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador said on the radio: “I would like to appeal in a special way to the men of the army, and in particular to the troops of the National Guard, the police, and the garrisons. Brothers, you belong to our own people. You kill your own brother peasants; and in the face of an order to kill that is given by a man, the law of God that says ‘Do not kill!’ should prevail.
“No soldier is obliged to obey an order counter to the law of God. No one has to comply with an immoral law. It is the time now that you recover your conscience and obey its dictates rather than the command of sin. . . . Therefore, in the name of God, and in the name of this long-suffering people, whose laments rise to heaven every day more tumultuous, I beseech you, I beg you, I command you! In the name of God: ‘Cease the repression!’”
Simultaneously, Romero had eloquently upheld the gospel and effectively signed his own death warrant.
When he was appointed archbishop of San Salvador in 1977, Bishop Romero was considered a very “safe” choice. He had served as auxiliary bishop there for four years before his three years as bishop of Santiago de Maria.
Oscar’s father wanted him to be a carpenter—a trade for which he demonstrated some talent. Seminary classes in El Salvador preceded his studies at Rome’s Gregorian University and his ordination in 1942. After earning a doctorate in ascetical theology, he returned home and became a parish priest and later rector of an interdiocesan seminary.
Three weeks after his appointment as archbishop, Romero was shaken by the murder of his good friend Jesuit Father Rutilio Grande, a vigorous defender of the rights of the poor. Five more priests were assassinated in the Archdiocese of San Salvador during Romero’s years as its shepherd.
When a military junta seized control of the national government in 1979, Archbishop Romero publicly criticized the US government for backing the junta. His weekly radio sermons, broadcast throughout the country, were regarded by many as the most trustworthy source of news available.
Romero’s funeral was celebrated in the plaza outside the cathedral and drew an estimated 250,000 mourners.
His tomb in the cathedral crypt soon drew thousands of visitors each year. On February 3, 2015, Pope Francis authorized a decree recognizing Oscar Romero as a martyr for the faith. His beatification took place in San Salvador on May 23, 2015. He was canonized on October 14, 2018.
Oscar Romero and many other Latin American martyrs for the faith were falsely accused of advocating a Marxist-inspired “theology of liberation.” Following Jesus always requires choices. Romero’s fiercest critics conveniently dismissed his choices as politically inspired. An incarnational faith must be expressed publicly.
Perfect Harmony (Three Summers AU)
Summer 1 - Day 1
Warning: strong language, alcohol.
(Perfect Harmony Masterlist)
"Westival?" I read the sign as my mom drove by. "Where the fuck are we? I've never heard of this festival before..."
"Your aunt Gina came last year and she couldn't stop talking about it. I thought it would be nice to bring you, sweetheart, since we couldn't get tickets for Lollapalooza."
"So, this is like the Lollapalooza?"
"Well what, mom? Well what?" I turned to her exasperated.
"You'll see, it's different, but I'm sure you'll like it."
When she parked the car, I hopped down to unload my electric drum set, and let me tell you... When my ears were assaulted by the crap everyone was playing around that hellhole, I was ready to walk back to Chicago if necessary.
"What the fuck am I doing here? I feel like I just entered a folk version of Midsommar!"
"It's a folk music festival, honey."
"Mom! Why would you bring me to a folk music festival? What did I ever do to you?"
"Because you're a musician and I thought it would be nice for you to meet other musicians..."
"I play punk rock, not folk!"
"It's music... Plus look around, look at all the nice people, look how beautiful it is! I got us two rooms in this cute little lodge, we're gonna have fun!"
My mom always had a talent to drag me into these traps, but this time she had truly outdone herself... At least ten people waved at me on the way to the lodge. What type of fucked up place was that where you just randomly wave at strangers? What happened to just ignoring everyone and living your life?
"Hey, Vee," mom came into my room where I was laying down with a pillow over my face.
"I will never forgive you."
"If you give it a chance you might end up liking it, why don't you come outside? Talk to some people, look at the schedule... There might be a performance or a workshop you're interested in."
"I highly doubt it."
"Well, why don't you find somewhere to play? Maybe they will like your music."
I walked around that campsite for almost an hour until I found an empty hut. I quickly set everything up and pulled the guitar track my bandmate recorded.
As I was playing, a young blonde girl stopped to watch through the window. She seemed mesmerized and that made me feel slightly better.
"Can I get another amen?
There's a flag wrapped around a score of men.
A gag, a plastic bag on a monument.
I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies,
This is the dawning of the rest of our lives on holiday..."
"That guitar is out of tune, y'know?" a voice interrupted my flow and I immediately stopped.
"Excuse me?" I paused the track.
In front of me stood this man, he was dressed like that one nerd who always overdresses for school: black trousers, a black shirt, and a ridiculous pinstriped suede blazer.
His hair on the other hand... His curls were beautiful and his face wasn't too bad either. Nice eyes, nice lips, thick sexy eyebrows.
"The A and the D string."
"Oh, so you're an expert..."
"Just a sensitive ear, that's all," he put his equipment down.
"If that's all, will you piss off and let me play?"
"Actually no, this room is mine. I'm givin' a workshop here."
"I don't see your name on it..."
He pressed his lips together, grabbing a piece of paper from his pocket and handing it to me.
"Leave the drum set, when it's over you can keep playin'. I won't bother you again 'til tomorrow, I have a gig at 4."
"What do you play?" I unplugged my stuff and pushed it over to the corner.
"The theremin," he started organizing his setup.
"Isn't that the instrument from Good Vibrations?"
"No," he sighed heavily, sounding extremely annoyed. "That was a tannarin."
"Oh, the more you know..." I chuckled, grabbing one of the chairs.
"Are you... Are you gonna stay?"
"Don't see why not. This has to be more interesting than that idyllic shitshow going on out there."
He smiled to himself, but quickly went back to his default expression when he noticed my eyes on him. He turned on that weird box-looking thing with two antennae and moved his hands around like a lunatic to test if it was working correctly, producing a weirdly interesting sound.
"You look like a complete dumbass, but it does sound cool..."
"Y’like my music?"
"Yeah, it's different and it's the only thing I found around here that isn't this disgusting folk garbage."
"You do know this is a folk festival right?" he laughed.
"I didn't until I arrived."
"Ouch... You really don't look like the type of person that attends the Westival."
"You think? I'm a drummer in an indie punk rock band."
"This must be your personal hell."
"You have no idea..." I wet my lips, taking a good look at him. Without the clothes and the annoying smartass attitude, he was kinda hot. "So what's your name, complete dumbass?"
"Roland," he muttered awkwardly.
"Well, it's nice to meet you, Roland..." I crossed my legs, hoping to give him a good view. "Venus."
"My name, I'm Venus."
"Like the planet?"
"Like the Roman goddess of love, beauty, and sex."
"Yeah, that makes more sense..."
"Really?" I grinned.
He turned red in the face and turned around probably beating himself up, but I'm not gonna lie... I do have a thing for the awkward ones, they always make me feel so praised.
Back home I have my list of contacts, people I usually hook up or go on a date with if I'm feeling lonely. They know I don't do relationships, but they seem happy with the deal. Maybe I should add this little Irish geek to my phone book.
Only a couple more people joined for the so-called Theremin Revolution, but Roland didn't seem to care, in fact, he seemed pleased to have an 'elite' audience.
The way he spoke about the theremin was both fascinating and ridiculous, he knew a lot about it and it was quite interesting, but the tone he used was so pretentious that it made me want to punch him in the face... God, he's lucky to be so cute.
After it was over and everyone left, Roland started to put his stuff away while I plugged mine back on. I noticed he would open his mouth sometimes like he wanted to say something, but would give up halfway there.
"What d'you think?" he finally asked.
"Honestly, I like your sound, it's cool, but you should lose the attitude."
"Attitude? What are you talkin' about?"
"You know, that stick up your ass that makes you think you're the only one who understands music."
He turned around agape, I doubt this was the first time someone was telling him off, but he acted like it was.
"That's not true..."
"When you walked in here the first thing you noticed was the guitar out of tune, you didn't comment on my singing or my playing... You are the guy who looks at a Christmas tree and only sees the one broken light."
"It's not my fault that I have a good ear and that most people don't understand my music..."
"You're a gatekeeper and a contrarian. You want to be quirky so bad that you just look stupid"
"We're not that different, y'know?" he sneered. "All you did so far was shit on folk music instead of givin' it a chance. You're already here, why not enjoy it?"
"Oh, we are so different... You're a hipster who likes to think he's better because he plays an instrument no one knows, I'm a punk musician. You think you're cool, I'm actually cool. You're the guy no one sat with at lunch because you smelled weird, I'm that girl no one sat with at lunch because I reject social hierarchy."
"Are you sayin' I smell weird?"
"You kinda smell like wet dog."
"You're such a bitch... Maybe that's why your band flaked on ya."
"Excuse me?" I scoffed. "They didn't flake on me, my mom dragged me to this stupid ass festival without them. Now how am I supposed to perform as a solo drummer?"
"If you were nicer, I'd offer to play guitar with you, but I wouldn't wanna bother you with my weird wet dog smell."
"Good! You're probably shit anyway..."
"I might not be the best, but I'm definitely not shit," he said smugly. "I was the youngest member in the Irish youth orchestra."
"Oh, were you? Playing guitar?" I raised my brows in disbelief.
"I played some other things as well..." he countered with a shit-eating grin. "Mandolin, harpsichord, double bass, piccolo, and bassoon."
"Alright, Mr. One Man Band, show me," I handed him an acoustic guitar that was hanging on the wall.
"Why d'you care? I'm not playin' with you."
"I don't want you to, I just wanna see what you got."
"I imagine you know The Eagles..." Rolland huffed and picked the guitar from my hand, quickly checking if it was tuned.
He sat down and placed his fingers graciously on the strings. I was ready to roll my eyes and tell him how unimpressive that was, but he started playing the Hotel California solo and I'm not gonna lie... I think I had a tiny orgasm with how awesome that was.
"Good enough for ya?"
"Fine! I was wrong... I'm sorry."
"What was that?" he tilted his head.
"I'm sorry!" I shouted. "Now do you wanna take me for a coffee or not?"
"Oh God, ukeleles..." Roland groaned as we passed a group playing next to a tree.
"You don't like ukeleles?"
"I love them, it's the people playin’ them I can't stand."
"Yeah, I understand..."
"Thank you! It's always the middle-aged divorcees who made the ukelele their lifestyle."
"Or those teenage girls who like to sing cursive and play shitty covers of '90s rock bands."
"I told you we're not that different..."
I sighed heavily, was that the way I sounded to other people? A conceited know-it-all who judges people's musical choices?
"Oh my God! What the fuck is this?" my ears were invaded by a hell-like bang.
"It's drumming!" a cheerful lady in a weird costume smashed the drum in front of her.
"Bangin' is not drummin'," Roland practically took the words from my mouth, it was a little worrying how similar we were turning out to be, not that I would admit it.
"Yes, it is. What's this?" the lady hit the drum once again, making my head throb.
"Well, in the absence of fills, flams, ghosts, polyrhythm, paradiddle, quarter notes, rolls, shuffles, triplets, quads, backbeat, drags, descendos, bembe, and bossa nova... I'd say it was just bangin'. My friend here is a drummer, Venus, would you mind showin’ them what drummin' is?"
"Not at all," I smiled pulling my sticks from my boot.
I played a quick solo on a wooden table, quite a simple one, but I really enjoyed watching Roland's face, covering his mouth trying not to laugh.
"See? That's music... You should try it sometime," he locked arms with me as we made our way to one of the food trucks.
I was giggling at how absurd that whole thing just was when I accidentally bumped into my mom. She looked at me like I was some sort of alien or something.
"I thought you were gonna jump on the first plane back to Chicago..."
"Change of plans," I shrugged. "Mom, this is Roland. Roland, this is my mom, Kristin."
"Hello, ma'am," he shook her hand awkwardly.
"Hey, Roland," mom snickered. "A bit young for you, isn't he?"
"Young?" he asked, confused.
"I don't talk to anyone under 35, you're an exception," I explained.
"Oh, lucky me then..."
"Well, I'm going to this native dance thing, so I'll see you around," mom nodded.
"See you," I waved.
Roland and I ordered our drinks and found a table, he was awfully quiet and looking at me with the weirdest face.
"What's up with you?"
"Someone has daddy issues."
"If you really wanna know, my dad left when I was a baby, so yeah..."
"I'm sorry, but maybe this isn't the healthiest way to deal with it?"
"Haven't had any complaints... The only problem is that they have to get me booze, but next year I turn 21."
"Wow, sounds perfect... Are any o'these guys married by chance?"
"What kind of girl do you think I am? Of course not!" I couldn't believe he actually asked that.
"Sorry, sorry! I didn't mean it like that, I was just curious."
"You can be such an asshole..."
"I didn't mean to offend ya," he took a long sip. "I just think most o’these guys might not exactly be interested in formin' emotional connections with you."
"I don't want emotional connections... You're pretty good at lecturing people, are you a music teacher?"
"Oh, no," he chuckled. "I have a small dog washin' business."
"You? You wash dogs?"
"Hence the wet dog smell."
"I'm sorry about that... Sometimes I say shit without thinking first. I never imagined you'd be into dogs."
"D'you like dogs?"
"I love them... I have three back home."
"Really? What breed?"
"Mutts, I don't support breeders, it's cruel and inhumane."
"Wow..." he mused in admiration. "So what else you do besides playin', fightin' for animal rights, and goin' out with middle-aged men?"
"Nothing. I do a few gigs with my band, but I wanted to study music, learn other instruments and perfect my singing."
"Why don't you?"
"To be honest... I don't know. I just always have the band in the way and I end up not having time for anything else."
"Have you heard of the Academie Conservatoire?"
"The fancy schmancy school?"
"Precisely, they have a wondeful program and they would kill t'have you."
"Me? I'm the definition of unpolished, I was kicked out of ballet for being too sloppy. They would never want me."
"You have raw talent, it's what every teacher wants," there was a spark in Roland's eyes. "I saw you today at the workshop, you're eager, interested..."
"You seem quite passionate yourself, about teaching."
"This is not about me, Venus, this is about you. You wastin’ your talent with some garage band."
"Wasting talent? Says the guy who plays a dozen instruments and chose to stick with the theremin," I mocked.
"I don't have this... Thing, this thing you have, this weird inspiration. I'm a good technician, I understand the instruments, but I don't feel them the way you do. So I chose a technical instrument."
"I think you do have it, you're just too scared to access it and find something you don't really understand... I'll tell you what, let me go find an electric guitar and I'll meet you at the hut so we can jam a bit."
"Yeah, just play what we feel," I got up.
"I don't know if it's a good..."
"Sorry, can't hear you!" I shouted, without looking back.
I was truly excited to be there. Maybe, just maybe, mom was right about this festival. I found a guitar and a pick and went back to the workshop hut, but before I could enter, a voice behind me made me stop:
"The song you were playing... It was really nice."
When I turned around I saw the young girl who was watching me earlier, the shy blonde one.
"Thanks, do you play?"
"No, I come every year because of my grandparents. Well... My grandma died, so now it's just my grandpa."
"And you like folk music?"
"I don't dislike it..."
"You can tell me the truth, you like the shit I was playing a lot more, don't you?" I whispered.
"Yeah..." she looked down.
"I can teach you a few things if you like."
"You really think I could learn?"
"Anyone can learn. I'm Venus, what's your name?"
"Alright, Ruby, I'm going to jam with my friend, would you like to come?"
"Okay!" she nodded excitedly.
I walked into the hut followed closely by her, and handed Roland the guitar.
"Hey, I hope you don't mind, my friend Ruby would like to watch us and maybe catch on some tricks."
"No problem! I'm Roland."
"Nice to meet you," she shook his hand.
"So..." he turned to me. "How do we even start?"
"First unplug that thing you call an amplifier and use that one, this little thing would explode before we get to the end of the song."
"Alright, then what?"
"Then you just play whatever is in your mind, and I'll give you a beat."
Roland took a deep breath and plucked a few strings clumsily, the notes became chords, the chords became a melody.
"I know this song," I twirled the sticks in my hands. "It's Bonzo Goes to Bitburg, isn't it?"
"Oh, I guess it is... I used to listen to it as a kid."
"A Ramones fan... Alright then, start again, I'll follow you."
As we played Ruby's eyes grew wide, I knew that feeling, that freedom, that rush that only rock can bring you. Roland was feeling it too, I could tell.
"So, how was it for you?" I panted as the song ended.
"It-it was pretty good," Roland gaped.
"Don't have 'that thing' my ass, you're a great artist."
"No, I just know how to..."
"What did you think, Ruby?" I leaned over the drums.
"That was mind-blowing!" she giggled. "Can you play some more?"
"Roland?" I looked at him for an answer.
"Yeah, sure... You pick the song this time."
"Come here, come watch up close."
We played a few more songs before it started to get late and Ruby had to go back to her family's tent. I was unplugging my stuff while Roland watched me in awe.
"Why don't you take a picture? It will last longer..." I joked.
"I haven't done this in so long! Actually, I don't think I've ever done this, it felt great."
"Yeah, rock does that."
"You do that," he said and immediately covered his mouth as if he regretted the word choice. "I mean... You're great at rock."
"Thank you, you're not so bad yourself."
"Would you like to... I don't know..." he fumbled with the buttons on his blazer. "Watch a gig? There's a band playin' later on the main stage."
"Sure, let's go."
"What exactly are we watching?" I asked.
"I think those are the West Australian Rikins."
"Oh, God," I shut my eyes. "Why don't you kill me? It'll be less painful."
"They are shit, but anything is bearable with the right company."
"And you think you're the right company for me?" I teased.
"We’ve spent a majority of the day together, so... I take that you don't hate me completely."
"No, but I don't like you enough to go through whatever this shit is!"
"C'mon... This is not my scene either, but I wanted to take you out. D'you have a better idea?"
"Yeah, actually," I pulled him by the hand. "Let's get a drink."
"But the bar is that way," he pointed.
"Who said anything about the bar?"
Roland and I went back to my room and I searched in my bag for a second before finding the gin I was looking for.
"Ta-da!" I handed him the bottle as we sat down. "Much better... That music was giving the wrong vibe."
"The wrong vibe?" he laughed before taking a swig. "You sound like one o'those people who collect crystals."
"First of all, crystals are great. Second of all, I mean literally, it was making me see bad lights."
"Bad lights... What the fuck?"
"I have severe Synesthesia."
"Oh, is it serious? Is there a cure?" Roland widened his eyes and I snorted with laughter.
"It means my senses can turn one stimulus into another. Some people smell colors, some people hear textures... I see lights when I hear a song. The lights make me feel certain things very intensely, songs can make me euphoric, make me cry, turn me on..."
"Turn you on?" he choked, his cheeks burning red. "Which ones?"
"Just Like Heaven by The Cure, or I Just Died in Your Arms Tonight by Cutting Crew," I shrugged. "To list a couple."
"Really?" he grimaced.
"Yeah, the song doesn't have to be sexy, it just has to make me feel that way."
"What lights did you see tonight?"
"Hospital lights... God, I hope I don't end up like that one day."
"Like what?" Roland's body tensed up when I let my head fall on his shoulder.
"Did you see their lead singer? The girl with the fiddle? She is talented, but instead of doing something great, she's playing in a shitty band, in some shitty folk festival."
"She seemed happy."
"She seemed conformed. I guess my biggest fear is that all these dreams I have for myself are just that... Dreams. And one day when I'm older I'll look back and think of how silly I was for thinking I was special."
"Venus," Roland frowned. "You are special. You have that spark that everybody wants."
"I think it's already happening, you know?" my eyes filled with tears. "I thought by now I'd be this badass punk princess like Avril Lavigne, but I'm just a loser in a folk festival and my only friends are a 12-year-old girl, a 30-year-old theremin weirdo..."
"I'm not 30, I'm 29."
I looked deep into his eyes, the way he looked at me, like I was some masterpiece... Like he could see in me something no one else could.
"I love how that's the part you take issue with..." I laughed.
"No, I also take issue with you thinkin' you're a loser, you're not. You're a terrific drummer, I've never seen anyone with such rythm, not to mention your singin'!"
"Would you still say that if I were ugly?"
"You know what? Yeah," he snapped. "Cause when you're playin' and I close my eyes, you sound just as good. Your looks have nothin’ to do with it, though it does make for a nice view."
"I don't wanna get to my late 20s like you, no offense."
"None taken, I also didn't wanna get to my late 20s like me... But you won't. I don't mind bein' your cautionary tale."
When he smiled, I couldn't fight it anymore... Yeah, Roland is a geeky pretentious jerk who plays the least sexy-looking instrument in the world, but he treats me like a person, he cares about my feelings.
I always told myself that I didn't mind being a one-night stand, but it felt good to be seen for once, to be appreciated. It might've been the gin, but I couldn't stop myself. I pressed my lips to his, running my fingers through his hair.
"Thank you, that was... So nice, I-I Don't know what to say," he mumbled.
"Don't say anything, or you'll ruin it," I whispered. "Just kiss me again, will you?"
"As you wish."
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