Benjamin moore blue gray paint colors
Advice for a bedroom refresh, please!
2023.06.09 20:22 Regular_Green Advice for a bedroom refresh, please!
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Hi! I would love any suggestions or advice on my bedroom refresh. The curtains behind the window are obscuring a window, the bed really just has to be there. There's no other place for it to go. submitted by Regular_Green to HomeDecorating [link] [comments]
I'm looking to update everything hanging on the walls either with frames or canvas art. I'd also like to lighten some of the accents. I am not looking to change the bedroom furniture. Thoughts on these ideas?
1) Create mini photo galleries on either side of the bed. I'm using the two included screen shots as inspiration. I think I'd use a similar combination of frames as what I've done with picture shelves located right outside the bedroom (dark wood, light wood, and white)(picture included). Move everything currently on other walls to that wall and leave the others empty. 2) if I don't do gallery frames, maybe matching canvases on either side of the bed? 3) lamps in a lighter color 4) new mirror with either a light wood frame or chrome 5) new overhead lamp with sleeker lights. chrome with wood blades. Paint the ceiling white.
The the rest of my home has a lot of greens and blues, wood tones, simple simple furniture style. Boho mcm if I had to describe it. This does need to coordinate with the attached bathroom, also pictured.
Thank you thank you thank you
2023.06.09 20:14 ScaredCombination212 The Secret Lives of Color - Kassia St. Clair
2023.06.09 19:19 Morgellons-Live "Oysters - Special Food In Our Toxic World" article by Aajonus Vonderplanitz
"Oysters - Special Food In Our Toxic World
Is there something oysters are especially good for?
There are two reasons to eat oysters: First but not ultimately, is to stimulate sexual prowess. Secondly and ultimately in our toxic world, oysters supply nutrients to help our bodies remove heavy metals quicker than anything else and usually with significantly reduced symptoms. Cilantro and berries will help our bodies remove heavy metals both deep and already loosened, respectively. Cilantro helps remove heavy metals but does not contain all of the animal fats that soothe and protect our cells, so there are side effects such as, nausea, graying of skin and hair, diarrhea and vomit. When we eat oysters in abundance to remove metals, there are little or no side effects.
I've had about 12 people over the past 5 years eat large quantities of oysters and it has been successful in every case. The first person that experimented with me was a woman born and raised in the heart of London. She had airplanes from 4 airports flying over her constantly so she was living in and breathing all the jet and diesel exhaust and particles of those planes as well as from heavy street traffic. Anyone in the aerospace industry knows how bad those particles are, especially in jet and diesel fuels. From that metallically toxic environment, her irises looked very similar to irises of lathe operators, showing an abundance of black, charcoal and grayish coloration throughout her entire irises that should be blue. Even her skin had a grayish cast.
The condition caused her a lot of physical problems, and resultantly emotional problems. She was usually fatigued and suffered chronic Fibromyalgia. Because of her emotional fluctuations, she was on and off the diet for about 1 1/2 years. Finally I said, "Let's try something more radical. I suggest that you do this religiously, so we can make a difference with your health. I suggest that you eat a half to a whole cup of red meat with three oysters twice daily, 6 days weekly with one day off, replacing oysters with whatever other meats you want." She did the regime for a year. In one year, she removed as much metallic poisons as most people remove in 3 to 5 years on my Primal Diet (PD). Her life changed. Her suffering Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia reduced to the extent that she enjoyed and pursued life and experience.
I suggest that no one eat oysters from Florida or the Gulf of Mexico. U.S. military regularly dump vast amounts of radioactive waste and freight ships passing through Panama Canal discharge and dump petroleum chemicals and waste hourly. Farmed oysters, clams, muscles and scallops because, unlike non-ocean-based farmed creatures, they cannot survive eating processed food. Farmed oysters, clams, muscles and scallops are grown in the ocean normally on ocean waters. The thing that makes them farmed is that people fence off an area of the ocean where they grown and break off clusters and move them to other rocks where they can grow larger."
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2023.06.09 18:49 notquiterandomdude trying to identify this single magazine page about Maxfield Parrish
2023.06.09 18:24 othermegan Groom won't tell me what color his suit is going to be.
Ok to get the basics over with: my engagement is really short. There's been a lot of drama but I'm officially having a large wedding on October 1st this year.
Picked out my dress this week so now I'm working on getting bridesmaid dresses done in case they need alterations. My fiance is adamant about Tiffany Blue
being one of our colors. I got him to agree to it being an accent and so now I'm working on finding a color that will work with that. He said he wants it to be the color of his bow tie too. I asked if he wants it to be the groomsmen tie color and that's still up in the air.
The part that is giving me MASSIVE anxiety is he says he wants the color of his suit to be a surprise. I don't know if he's looking at something traditional like gray/black or something lighter like tan. I don't know if the groomsmen will wear the same color. I don't know if that color will work with Tiffany Blue let alone the color I pick for the bridesmaid dresses.
I have no idea how to even begin building a color palette with this information. I don't want to take his fun away but I have dresses, flowers, decorations, and (lets be honest) probably groomsmen ties to figure out. I don't even know if this is something people can give advice on. It's become a huge point of stress for me as I try to help my girls narrow down dress parameters.
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2023.06.09 17:44 Mission-Raccoon9432 Character Study: "The Picture of Aqua Gray" . Extra Edition . PART VIII
Today we will do things veeeryyy different than during the main character study of Gorou Amamiya or Aqua Hoshino but I assure you it won't be less interesting. It was by pure accident that I stumbled over an old book I haven't touched for a long time, a book that goes by the title "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde. It's from the late 19th century.
The story revolves around the rich and handsome Dorian Gray and a portrait of him painted by Basil Hallward, a friend of Dorian's and an artist infatuated with Dorian's beauty. Through Basil, Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton and is soon enthralled by the aristocrat's cynical hedonistic worldview: that beauty and ruthless self-centered sensual fulfillment are the only things worth pursuing in life while ethics and morals are the natural enemy to this philosophy. Newly understanding that his beauty will fade, Dorian expresses the desire to sell his soul
to ensure that the picture, rather than he, will age and fade. The wish is granted by some supernatural force and Dorian pursues a libertine life of varied amoral experiences while staying young and beautiful; all the while, his portrait ages and visually records every one of Dorian's sins in grotesque expressions.
Now what I discovered during my excursion of a book that I actually didn't really enjoy at all to be quite frank, were similarities in both conception but also psychological realities for both Gorou/Aqua and his father Hikaru Kamiki. From time to time his monologues would sound like commentary to understand what is going on in Hikaru's mind, while the mystic circumstances of Dorian Gray's picture and his eternal youth have strong links between Aqua and Hikaru who indeed are lookalikes. Aqua by that is Hikaru's portrait which will age and visually record every of Hikaru's sins while Hikaru pursues a libertine life of varied amoral experiences while staying young and beautiful. It all culminates to Aqua's movie role of the culprit in which Aqua will be the living proof of Hikaru's sinful life and eventually lead to his downfall. This is also Dorian's fate with his potrait.
I know, this sounds so unbelievably far stretched but believe me I'm thrilled about the actual similarities and the integretiy of the psychological templates that found their way into Oshi No Ko
. I firmly believe it's not accidental. And since I enjoy ONK but not so much Oscar Wilde's novel I'm glad those in itself truely interesting psychological types found their way into Aka's work.
AQUA HOSHINO AKA DORIAN GRAY
- In Greek the name Dorian means "child of the sea" or "gift of the sea". The name aquamarine comes from aqua (Latin for 'water'), and marine, deriving from marina (Latin for 'of the sea')
- Dorian is described to have gold hair, blue eyes (and rose-red lip)
In Chapter III of the book we get to hear about Dorian Gray's tragic family background and this is already the first strong indication that 1. the similarities are real 2. what we discovered about Gorou's grandfather / family background
could have been more right than wrong.
Now, the story behind the birth of Dorian is slightly so different then Gorou's but the general notion in a short poetic summary within the novel sounds pretty familiar:
"So that was the story of Dorian Gray’s parentage. Crudely as it had been told to him, it had yet stirred him by its suggestion of a strange, almost modern romance. A beautiful woman risking everything for a mad passion. A few wild weeks of happiness cut short by a hideous, treacherous crime [NOTE: HER FATHER, DORIAN'S GRANDFATHER KILLs HER LOVER, DORIAN'S FATHER]. Months of voiceless agony, and then a child born in pain. The mother snatched away by death, the boy left to solitude and the tyranny of an old and loveless man [NOTE: HIS GRANDFATHER]. Yes; it was an interesting background. It posed the lad, made him more perfect, as it were. Behind every exquisite thing that existed, there was something tragic. Worlds had to be in travail, that the meanest flower might blow.... " (Chapter III)
Isn't this interesting? And there is another very cool symbol. Dorian - after he witnessed the first changed in his potrait - had to hide the picture in a diferent room of his mansion where nobody could find it and witness "his soul" which is captivated in that portrait that gets uglier and uglier with each day of his sinful life. About that room:
"He had not entered the place for more than four years—not, indeed, since he had used it first as a play-room when he was a child, and then as a study when he grew somewhat older. It was a large, well-proportioned room, which had been specially built by the last Lord Kelso for the use of the little grandson whom, for his strange likeness to his mother, and also for other reasons, he had always hated and desired to keep at a distance." (Chapter X)
So we have: A drama between mother and father, child born in pain, mother dies after giving birth, boy left to soltitude and tyranny of his grandfather who hates him for physical likeness to his mother (in PART II we wrote: Gorou would remind his grandfather every day of his own failure and guilt for losing his daughter), always hated his grandson. This is just literally everything we found out in PART II of our character study!
And the man with this background gets reincarnated in the body of a human being which looks exactly like his father Kamiki, thus is his "portrait" or "The Picture of Hikaru Kamiki"! But this portray inherited Gorou's trauma which is expressed by the symbol that the portray lives in the "trauma room" which had been specially built by his grandfather.
Also the metaphor's of "play-room when he was a child and then as a study when he grew somewhat older" goes hand in hand with what we figured out in the "THE RIGHT TO DREAM"
essay about how Gorou's childhood-trauma and the guilt-complex provoked through his grandfather's abuse induced him to study medicine instead of striving for his own dreams as a result of him living in this "study trauma room".
Additionally "He had not entered the place for more than four years" - like Aqua who hasn't entered his trauma room for 4-5 years after reincarnation until Ai was murdered in front of his eyes! This reenactment placed him back into this room of guilt.
Another interesting story revolves around Dorian's first love with the actress Sibyl Vane
. While we can look at this "Arc" from the perspective of Dorian as represented by Hikaru and Sibyl represented by Ai - and we certainly will because actually looking at Dorian as the representation of Hikaru will be even more intereting then the things we have to say about Aqua right now - we can also look at it from the perspective of Aqua and Ai/Akane, which we'll do now.
Dorian loves theater and one night his curiosity leads him into a shappy filthy working-class theater, one with lousy actors and a lousy orchestra. It's essentially the last place a delicate creature would expect greatness. However there at a performance of Shakespears "Romeo and Juliett" he witnesses Sibyl playing and falls for "her" instantly.
"But Juliet! Harry, imagine a girl, hardly seventeen years of age, with a little, flowerlike face, a small Greek head with plaited coils of dark-brown hair, eyes that were violet wells of passion, lips that were like the petals of a rose. She was the loveliest thing I had ever seen in my life. You said to me once that pathos left you unmoved, but that beauty, mere beauty, could fill your eyes with tears. I tell you, Harry, I could hardly see this girl for the mist of tears that came across me. And her voice—I never heard such a voice. It was very low at first, with deep mellow notes that seemed to fall singly upon one’s ear. Then it became a little louder, and sounded like a flute or a distant hautboy. In the garden-scene it had all the tremulous ecstasy that one hears just before dawn when nightingales are singing. There were moments, later on, when it had the wild passion of violins. You know how a voice can stir one. [...] Harry, I do love her. She is everything to me in life. Night after night I go to see her play. One evening she is Rosalind, and the next evening she is Imogen. I have seen her die in the gloom of an Italian tomb, sucking the poison from her lover’s lips. [...] I have seen her in every age and in every costume."
Aqua's similar rememberance of Ai in a sigfnificantly less pathos drivin manner.
Sibyl Vane is Dorian's ultimate ido. She can perform any of Dorian's romantic ideal heroines from the most captivating drama's written, in utter artistic perfection. He is "her" ultimate fan:
"Lips that Shakespeare taught to speak have whispered their secret in my ear. I have had the arms of Rosalind around me, and kissed Juliet on the mouth.”
“Well, I can’t help going to see Sibyl play,” he cried, “even if it is only for a single act. I get hungry for her presence; and when I think of the wonderful soul that is hidden away in that little ivory body, I am filled with awe.”
“You can dine with me tonight, Dorian, can’t you?”
He shook his head. “Tonight she is Imogen,” he answered, “and tomorrow night she will be Juliet.”
“When is she Sibyl Vane?”
“I congratulate you.”
"My God, Harry, how I worship her!”
“Harry! Sibyl Vane is sacred!”
To put it into Kindaichi's words in ONK C97:
"You'll find people with those eyes ... once in a while. Deceptive eyes that have the power to make lies look like truths. It's the best quality for an actor"
The concept of great acting is basically reduced in the symbol of eyes for the sake of keeping the lore a little bit simpler in ONK, but essentially he just means that sometimes there are special actors who can just perform like if they are literally what they perform.
Dorian approaches and courts Sibyl, and soon proposes marriage. They love each other. Dorian invites Basil and Lord Henry to see Sibyl perform in Romeo and Juliet
. Sibyl, too enamoured with Dorian to act, performs poorly - also to the anger of the theater audience which left early because of that-, which makes both Basil and Lord Henry think Dorian has fallen in love with Sibyl because of her beauty instead of her acting talent. Embarrassed, Dorian rejects Sibyl, telling her that acting was her beauty; without that, she no longer interests him. The heartbroken Sibyl eventually commits suicide on this very night.
Now, we find every element of that story in the history between Aqua and Akane but in a reversed construction. Akane joins LoveNow but because of her personality she fails her role in this reality tv setting. She gets rejected by the audience and the audience is even angry with her. Under that pressure she attempts suicide. However after she studied Aqua's ideal role she becomes of great interest for both him and the audience. This is essentially like Vane performing Juliett or Imogen or what not but with the difference that Aqua just loves one Idol: Ai. Structurally it is similar though and Aqua falls for her role. During LoveNow we have the same realization inside Aqua and Dorian, so the plot reverses back but without tragedy: Aqua rejects Akane as serious love interest between her real self and him, telling her that hei's only interesting in her as an actor, just like Dorian rejects Sibyl by telling her that acting was her only beauty.
Dorian to Harry:
"Ordinary women never appeal to one’s imagination. They are limited to their century. No glamour ever transfigures them. One knows their minds as easily as one knows their bonnets. One can always find them. There is no mystery in any of them. They ride in the park in the morning and chatter at tea-parties in the afternoon. They have their stereotyped smile and their fashionable manner. They are quite obvious. But an actress! How different an actress is! Harry! why didn’t you tell me that the only thing worth loving is an actress?"
Well, in a screwed way this is also applicable to Ryosuke's issue, who loved Ai for her role but hated her for her real self and eventually kills her for it, as her real self not only is different but essentially is in total opposition to her role as an idol. Dorian describes a similar screwed misogynistic view on women: The actress is mystery and the only thing worth to love, the ordinary woman is the absolute opposite of it, disappointing and unworthy to be loved.
By the way the director of that working-class theater is described as a stereotypical jew and while I of course do not endorse antisemitism or racism it still is kinda funny that Kindaichi, the director of Lalalie Theater Company and Akane's boss is always depicted with a pretty unusual big and oddly shaped nose while the name Toshirou
that means "quick, clever, sharp" and Toshirou's surname Kindaichi
that means "gold/metal, money/cash, currency". Pretty stereotypical if you link it to Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray"...But the theater itself also has some working-class vibes to it, since it's implied that back then they opened workshop classes for orphans and probably generally troubled kids without real guardians. Addiotionally he gave Akane the smallest bouquet at the Japan Actor's Award with the explanation that theaters are financially not doing great. Well if it's a reflection of theaters in general, his theater in particular or his personal greed I can't tell. His name implies the latter and the cost of a bouquet surely doesn't ruin a theater. But probably it's still a general observation because theaters are indeed a dying genre.
Some quotes about the "Jew" in the novel:
"A hideous Jew, in the most amazing waistcoat I ever beheld in my life, was standing at the entrance, smoking a vile cigar. He had greasy ringlets, and an enormous diamond blazed in the centre of a soiled shirt. ‘Have a box, my Lord?’ he said, when he saw me, and he took off his hat with an air of gorgeous servility. There was something about him, Harry, that amused me. He was such a monster."
"On the first night I was at the theatre, the horrid old Jew came round to the box after the performance was over and offered to take me behind the scenes and introduce me to her. I was furious with him, and told him that Juliet had been dead for hundreds of years and that her body was lying in a marble tomb in Verona. I think, from his blank look of amazement, that he was under the impression that I had taken too much champagne, or something.”
“I am not surprised” replied Harry.
This is just a little odd observation, in the epilog we'll find a more cheerful representation of Kindaichi (well, cheerfulness is of course a limited ressource when it comes down to that man :))
While most of the time the monologues and thought processes of Dorian mainly concern Dorian as the representative of Hikaru, we have here and there sober reflections on what his soul - which is trapped in the potray - would probably experience, thus what he would experience if he'd have his soul inside his own body. Thus we can read this at the same time as a comment on what is going on in Gorou's / Aqua's soul, which is quite interesting. In the following quote for example it's about the nightmare of having a phantom of your guilt following you everywhere you go, essentially a description of Aqua's delusional vision of Gorou who blames him for Ai's death:
"And yet if it had been merely an illusion, how terrible it was to think that conscience could raise such fearful phantoms, and give them visible form, and make them move before one! What sort of life would his be if, day and night, shadows of his crime were to peer at him from silent corners, to mock him from secret places, to whisper in his ear as he sat at the feast, to wake him with icy fingers as he lay asleep! As the thought crept through his brain, he grew pale with terror, and the air seemed to him to have become suddenly colder. Oh! in what a wild hour of madness he had killed his friend! How ghastly the mere memory of the scene! He saw it all again. Each hideous detail came back to him with added horror. Out of the black cave of time, terrible and swathed in scarlet, rose the image of his sin. "
18 years after Sibyl's suicide her brother James Vane found out Dorian's identity and swore to kill him. He saw Vane lurking for him and panicked, feared for his life. But later he'd reflect that this must've been just a phantom. That's the story behind that quote in that novel. However he would calm after some days and think that he's out of danger.
It was not till the third day that he ventured to go out. There was something in the clear, pine-scented air of that winter morning that seemed to bring him back his joyousness and his ardour for life. But it was not merely the physical conditions of environment that had caused the change. His own nature had revolted against the excess of anguish that had sought to maim and mar the perfection of its calm. With subtle and finely wrought temperaments it is always so. Their strong passions must either bruise or bend. They either slay the man, or themselves die. Shallow sorrows and shallow loves live on. The loves and sorrows that are great are destroyed by their own plenitude. Besides, he had convinced himself that he had been the victim of a terror-stricken imagination, and looked back now on his fears with something of pity and not a little of contempt.
We ultimately experience a similar transformation in Aqua's temper after he learns about the apparent death of his father from Taiki. He was away all night (the "night" is a symbol here) but finally came back "in the clear, pine-scented air of that winter morning that seemed to bring him back his joyousness and his ardour for life" He steps to the window and gives Ruby an reliefed smile for the first time since Ai's death:
It's not directly "winter" although Ruby's wearing a pyjama which indicate that it's also not summer, but the symbol contracts with the Takachiho arc which we can't spare for Aqua's transformation. What for Dorian was a mere material process of healing his tension and therefore would go away after 3 days of bedriddenness is for Aqua a inmaterial soul-process and he has to put a meaningful end to the phantom of Gorou in his head. And their stay in Takachiho surely appears to be in a winterly setting. This novel must've been of great inspiration for Aka and so he honors it by reimagination of the mental images Oscar Wilde created.
"Our father died long ago. There's no way left to avenge Ai. So what should I do? My... revenge..." (C 68)
Aqua is finally free and live normaly but when the news about Takachiho appeared he knew he has to somehow find his corpse so that he can "burry his phantom'" so to speak. The corpse of Gorou would be his symbolic proof that it's over, that he has nothing to fear anymore. Eventually Akane and Ruby find it.
\"Keep out\" meaning keep this rotten and grotesque thing out of his mind. It's over.
Correspondingly Dorian would soon after his "winter-morning" go on a hare shooting in some rural countryside (=Takachiho) where they would by accident shoot James Vane who still was following Dorian. James was finally dead and Dorian could finally close that chapter.
This is everything I could for now link to Aqua without talking about Hikaru's links to Dorian. So for now we have to stop the analysis and call it a day.
So I hope I could convince you to look at ONK from this perspective. This is just the beginning though, the actually interesting part we will only tackle in the next essay Because I believe we can learn a lot of Hikaru's ideology through the character of Dorian, his hobbies, his views, his extreme hedonistic sensualism, perhaps even his relation to his portrait.... It actually concerns me: My very first essay on ONK like a month ago was a half serious schizo theory about Hikaru's involvement in the plot so far where I made the assumption that he probably constantly observes Aqua from far away for years but now - if we apply "The Picture of Dorian Gray" to his personality then this in fact is real.
Dorian would in fact over the years go into his secret room and look at his portrait with a weird for us the next time to explore interest and strange reflections. Maybe there is really more to it...
Lets end for now with a somewhat luckier characterization of Toshirou Kindaichi. Because he actually looks a lot like the author Oscar Wilde
And to quote Wilde - which could also be just Kindaichi's own words :
“All charming people are spoiled. It is the secret of their attraction.”
As always: Thanks for reading!
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2023.06.09 17:29 DRmanhattanJR [For Sale] Chat Pile, John Frusciante, Manchester Orchestra, Fugazi, Tyler The Creator, Westside Gunn, Curren$y, Harry Styles, Idles, Slift, Sault, and several items $18 and below
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2023.06.09 17:22 potatohutjr Flex Bits [fs]
Can get you as many pictures as you want via PM, these just show what I’ve got
All prices shipped in the US. Make offers if you think my price is wrong. F+F or add fees.
NIB amber lens. Small hole in packaging, also small hole in protective film. Lens looks fine. $100
Full IZE build good overall condition. Strap is on its last legs and I wouldn’t use the lens. $180
Thin/thick frames with bad lens, ok foam and ok strap -$60
Rubber ears - $10 SOLD
Black hard ears (no foam) - $20
Green/gray Ize hard ears with some paint spots -$35
Visors - $20 each - SLOTTED ONE SOLD
Gray? Ize bottoms, slightly deformed, repaired tear, no chin strap -$50
Black shield bottoms very good condition - $55
Black OG bottoms no chin strap - $100 each
Dyed blue camo F8 bottoms with chin strap - $60 https://imgur.com/a/llXjk2R
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2023.06.09 16:57 maryPinkBush The Secret Lives of Color - Kassia St. Clair
2023.06.09 16:46 OlayErrryDay Thoughts on James Hardie type siding?
Hello fellow old home enthusiasts!
I live in a part of a major metropolitan area where all the houses are large and built from 1910-1925.
Many beautiful homes and some really well done renovations.
One thing that has been throwing me for a complete loop are the house renovations that include this siding type. The houses no longer look like they are from 1915, they look like they belong in a modern cookie cutter upper middle class suburb.
I'm not entitled to tell anyone what to do with their house, but this siding complete transforms the home from a 100 year old beauty into something that belongs next to a modern high school and it drives me nuts.
Am I the only one that sees it this way? Am I too old and too ornery and need to shut up? What do folks think of this new trend?
In particular, the type that my eyes are going bonkers over is this dark blue or blue+grey with fake wood pattern.
The product might actually be a great fit and it might just be this particular color and style that makes it look like it belongs in a new build subdivision. Some posters really hit what it is; It's not just the siding, it's the trim and the siding that combine to shutter (pun intended) the features of the home. Thin trim, white trim, blue or blue gray siding all combine to make a new build house.
I have old ass steel siding that I need to replace and may even go with this siding but do a more "fitting" trim and colors that accent the house and pay homage to the original vision. Thanks all. I tried to be as polite as possible while bringing up concerns as I knew some folks might feel targeted, not my intent but a discussion I felt was worth having.
In the end, you pay for your house and you choose what you want. I'm probably going to nearly gut my old home myself, not because I want to but simply because I can't live where I want and build new as there are no lots, choices are limited, do what you like.
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2023.06.09 16:38 Nodicwallartcanvas How to Decorate a Large Wall Art in The Living Room
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Decorating a large wall art
in the living room can be both exciting and challenging. It presents an opportunity to create a stunning focal point that sets the tone for the entire space. One option is to use oversized artwork or a large tapestry that commands attention. This can be a striking painting, a scenic photograph, or a vibrant abstract piece. Another idea is to create a wall of mirrors in different shapes and sizes. https://nordicwallcanvas.com/koi-fish-painting-original-feng-shui-framed-wall-art-red-orange-koi-light-blue-abstract-art-river-painting-large-textured-art/
For those who prefer a minimalist approach, consider a single, large-scale statement piece that captures the essence of your style. This could be a metal wall sculpture, a carved wooden panel, or even a decorative textile. Don’t forget the power of greenery. Install floating shelves or wall-mounted planters to bring nature indoors and add a touch of freshness to the space.
We’ve found great images to illustrate these ideas. Take a look and see if something sparks your interior imagination.
Decorating Your Large Living Room Wall
If you’re fortunate enough to have a living room that’s larger than 15′ x 20′, then chances are you’ve got at least one big wall. But what should you do with a large living room wall? We’ve brought together a whole bunch of ideas for you to consider as you plan your wall decor.
A Giant Painting
One thing about a large wall is it gives you the ability to showcase one fantastic painting. Whatever your style, whether it be abstract or representational, a large wall is almost like a blank canvas for the perfect large-scale art. https://nordicwallcanvas.com/retro-classic-abstract-town-canvas-poster-and-prints-painting-sea-adventure-giant-shark-picture-wall-art-living-room-home-deco
You may even choose to hang a large-scale painting that perfectly goes with all of the color tones you’ve selected for your interior. In this case, a large abstract in shades of sage and white is the perfect complement to this natural-toned room’s decor.
A giant painting serves as an awe-inspiring centerpiece for any living room. Its grand scale captivates the attention and adds a dramatic focal point to the space. Whether it’s an abstract masterpiece, a breathtaking landscape, or a vibrant contemporary piece, a giant painting injects personality and artistic flair into your living room. It commands attention and sparks conversation, creating a visually stunning atmosphere.
A Collection Of Plants
If you love indoor plants, why not hang a series of floating shelves on your wall and fill them with gorgeous succulents or tropical plants. Match your planters to your furniture decor for a truly cohesive look.
A set of floating shelves, like this one, bought in multiples will enable the perfect plant arrangement for the large living room wall.
Don’t limit vertical gardens to outdoors. This super cool vertically grown grass hangs in frames above the living room sofa.
An Eclectic Collection
An eclectic collection in your living room is an opportunity to showcase your unique style and personality. Curate a mix of art, decor, and personal mementos that speak to your interests and experiences. From vintage finds to modern accents, an eclectic collection adds visual interest and tells a story. Combine different textures, colors, and patterns to create a dynamic and vibrant display.
One way to showcase your style is to hang an assortment of items you love. Here two prints and a shelf arrangement with plants show off the homeowner’s natural vibe.
This urban space combines the use of bold graphics, and useful items turned art. Like the bicycle hanging in front of a large propped painting.
Mirrors On A Large Living Room Wall
Mirrors are a gorgeous way to reflect the room around you. This decadent, luxurious living room in sultry greys, silvers, and black utilizes a large-scale mirror above the mantel as decor. Matching trim on the wall repeats the mirror’s pattern as a design element. This creates comfort in such a large room. https://nordicwallcanvas.com/10w-12w-18w-indoor-wall-lamp-simple-modern-style-home-decoration-led-for-bedroom-living-room-sconces-mirror-light/
This room, with its extraordinarily high vaulted ceiling, uses a sizeable black-framed mirror above the fireplace to draw the eye up while reflecting the nature outdoors. The mirror is a natural choice for this space.
Additionally, mirrors can visually expand the dimensions of a room, making it appear larger than it actually is. By selecting mirrors in different shapes and sizes, you can create a visually interesting arrangement that adds depth and dimension to the living room. Mirrors on a large living room wall are a stylish and practical choice that enhances the aesthetics and functionality of the space.
Get A Giant-Sized Television
If you love watching the game or your favorite movies on a larger-than-life screen, why not use your living room wall? This beautiful space fills an entire wall for entertainment. Large loft windows take up the adjacent wall.
Getting a giant-sized television is an exhilarating way to elevate your living room entertainment experience. With advancements in technology, larger televisions offer immersive visuals and a cinematic feel. Enjoy your favorite movies, TV shows, and sports events with exceptional clarity and vibrant colors. The expansive display creates a focal point, transforming your living room into a home theater. Gather friends and family for an unforgettable viewing experience. With a giant-sized television, you can bring the excitement of the big screen right into your living room, making it the ultimate entertainment hub.
Another super interesting idea utilizes the beauty of the tree branch as wall art. This piece is 80″ x 80,” which means it has the heft to command an entire wall.
Tree branches used as wall decor bring a touch of nature and rustic charm to any living space. These organic elements can be displayed as standalone pieces or creatively arranged to form unique wall installations. With their intricate patterns and natural textures, tree branches add visual interest and create a sense of connection with the outdoors. https://nordicwallcanvas.com/ashou-anime-scenery-tapestry-wall-hanging-aesthetic-tapestry-decoration-home-bedroom-wall-cloth-college-dorm-tapestry-wall-deco
They can be painted, adorned with fairy lights, or combined with other decorative items to create a personalized and whimsical display. Tree branches as wall decor offer an eco-friendly and budget-friendly option to infuse your living room with a natural and artistic vibe.
We hope these ideas have given you food for thought. Whether you want to buy something off the shelf, or cast about for something uniquely you, decorating a large wall is lucky. There are fun options. Decide on the style or vibe you want, then pick the right choice for that, and your budget. But most of all, have fun on the journey.
2023.06.09 16:34 BlendedElementsArt My newest landscape pour! I love how color shifting paints change from purple to blue under different light :)
2023.06.09 16:12 Michael_AN_Creech The Chronicles of Marcus Hellyrr - Prologue
I'd like to start by letting everyone know that the genre is Fantasy Epic, and that this is a long prologue at 6,414 words. This prologue serves a purpose as it takes care of a lot of my setting and plot setup. It also gives the reader a fair bit of worldbuilding without making it too much of an info dump (talking to you Robert Jordan ;P).
I've had several people beta read this for me and gotten a lot of positive feedback. The prolbem for me is that these were all people I know very well on a personal level. Several have made comparisons to Chronicles of Narnia or Lord of the Rings as far as how well the full book is written. The problem is, friends and family can often have a bias and make things seem better than they really are. So, now I want to do a test run in the real world and see what people who don't know me think. Is it as engaging and compelling as they have made me hope that it is?
I'm basically wanting to take a page from a couple authors I admire and follow the ABC rule for critiquing. Please let me know of any point where you thought it was Awesome, Boring or Confusing. I know prologues aren't everyone's favorite thing, but this has basically been written like a novella for the main story as it foreshadows a lot of things leading all the way into book four.
October 14, 844 (Alt-Future)
"Welcome back to the Archive, Master Jonathan."
"Thank you, Charles. It's good to be back. Have you noticed anything interesting in the Physical Realm?"
"I have not, sir. Do you require any assistance today?"
"Thank you, but no. I'm only here to revisit a passage within the history of the Order. Shortly after, I'll depart for the reunion at the Tower."
"Excellent, sir. I'll leave you to it."
Jonathan emerged from the ether and walked through the Archive doors. Inhaling deeply, he breathed in the familiar scents of dusty cleanliness that can only truly be found in a place of learning. The lights reflected off the floor's white marble surface, casting a glow that evenly lit every corner of the large chamber. Even so, the room still felt cavernous to him, as if he were a galleon amidst the vastness of the ocean.
Jonathan appeared to be in his early to mid forties. Though, with the way he carried himself and the spring in his step, he seemed closer to his late twenties. His hair was shoulder length and dark gray. He wore bifocals though he hadn't needed them since his ascension, and dressed with a refined sense of style.
His gray eyes were by far his most interesting feature, though. They were the only hint of how old he truly was and the many adventures and travesties he'd witnessed. Regardless, how old he was didn't matter as age had long since lost its meaning for him. After all, being an immortal tended to give a man new priorities in life.
As he strolled across the room, a lift descended from the tower's heights. The square platform had waist high rails around its perimeter. It floated through the air showing no sign of a suspension system to raise or lower it. This was accomplished by a magical enchantment that allowed it to levitate and dart about the room at mind numbing speeds. As he stepped up onto the platform's dais, it landed on the floor in front of him. He took a position at its center, then, after folding his arms behind his back, mentally willed it to take him to floor eight hundred forty four.
It rose off the ground, gradually gaining speed until it was a hundred or so feet in the air. At that point, the platform took off like a rocket. The thought of what these speeds would do to him if this were outside the Realm of Intellect crossed his mind, making him chuckle nervously. He knew he had to be moving close to six hundred miles per hour.
Now, let me tell you a bit about Jonathan's pet project, The Archive Infinitum. The Archive is a magical structure he'd designed shortly after the cataclysm that nearly wiped out the human race. An event most of you now refer to as the Night of Burning Skies. That same event is also what gave us the powers we now refer to as magic.
Shortly after obtaining his ascension, he learned that science's multiverse theories were close to how reality really worked. There are an infinite number of parallel universes, or branching timelines, that coexist simultaneously. What was different is that each universe shared a common six realm structure. The Physical Realm, the Realm of Intellect, the Dominion of Shadows, the Plane of Enlightenment, the Land of the Forgotten, and the Ether.
He built the Archive within the Realm of Intellect so it wouldn't be bound by the laws of physics or time as we know them. Once the structure was anchored in place, he could set most of those parameters himself. What he didn't realize was that making it here would have an unintended, though not unwelcome, side effect. The structure's size, shape, and architectural style could change by anyone who entered it.
When someone enters the Archive, it ascertains their strength of mind and will. Suppose the individual's mental fortitude is deemed stronger than that of the other occupants. In that case, the appearance will adjust to one that best serves and appeals to that individual. This could become unsettling for the occupants already inside the first few times it happened. That being said, it has no effect on the contents atop the shelves or where you're located within the structure. For Jonathan, it shared an uncanny resemblance to the George Peabody Library, though on a much grander scale.
The lift stopped after a brief ride, and Jonathan stepped off. He resumed his stride, passing row after row of the cherry wood bookcases. There were hundreds of rows and thousands of tomes and scrolls in each. As a scholar, he'd spent most of his existence here. But, even so, he knew there would always be something more to be gleaned from their pages.
Today was a day of remembrance. Of celebration. Of mourning. It was the anniversary of the end of a war that had lasted ten thousand years. With the death of one individual, a light of hope was given to many. For others, it was a bittersweet victory that left a void in their hearts. He'd come here today to revisit a passage that would return him to that fateful day. Reliving the event which granted them this peace, and once again, paying his respects to a dear friend.
"Ah, yes, yes, yes. Here we go."
The plaque on the side of the bookcase read, Row DD, Column 15. Now that he'd found the right one, he began scanning the shelves. It wasn't long before his hand landed on the tome he sought.
"Here it is." He pulled it down from the shelf. "My word. Has it truly been fifteen hundred years since I glanced through these pages?"
Looking at the cover, he chuckled. The combined magic of the Archive and the Realm had created a thin layer of dust. Giving it the feeling of something ancient and lost to time. Raising it to his lips, he blew the dust away, causing the magic to dissipate as it fell to the floor. He pulled open the cover and rifled through the pages. The section he stopped at contained the account of Rexinon the Prophet's final words.
Summoning his divine magics, he channeled a spell into the tome. The words that once filled the passages began to fade away, leaving only the blank pages, which now bled a blueish gray smoke. The soft glow of the lights against the floor diminished as the smoke spread. As the darkness grew more substantial, luminescent spheres and arcs of brilliant blues and crimson could be seen dancing about its surface like lightning.
The ground trembled beneath his feet, and the smokey haze took on a more stormlike appearance. All around him, the air started to feel heavy, and the taste of dust and sea salt filled his mouth. A gentle rain began to fall, and the room's remaining lights winked out. If not for the increasing flashes of lightning, he would've been left in total darkness. But even this was not a comfort, as those flashes cast shadows against the storm's ever swirling walls. Many of which appeared to be dark things that should never be seen in the light.
The storm's intensity grew, bringing disorienting cracks of thunder and wind whipping around him. It assaulted his senses and seemed to have an almost vengeful purpose. That meant he had to constantly focus on the spell, bracing himself against the onslaught. If he failed, it would kill him without question.
Some of the shadows began to take on a physical form with details beyond what the walls could offer them. He watched as an hourglass tumbled end over end, circling him before it returned to the storm. A moment later, a blazing fireplace and mantle emerged but produced neither light nor heat. Finally, a door engraved with the crest of the Order appeared. These images were ones he'd expected to see for this particular passage, and so came as no surprise. However, when a fourth image appeared, he was caught off guard.
Although it was normal for three images to accompany this spell, an occasional fourth spoke of prophecy. He focused intently on this final image. It showed twelve people standing in a circle; one of them was coated in blood. Two others were bound by chains. One a man, the other a woman.
He looked closer at the man and realized it was Godric. His eyes opened wide as he tried to decipher the meaning behind the image. Only a few moments passed while he speculated, but it was a few moments too many. Disaster struck, and too late, he realized his mistake. He'd lost focus, and now the storm would surely take him.
Hurricane force winds and debris tore at his clothes, quickly turning them into rags. One powerful gust slammed into his side as if he'd been struck by a car, knocking him off his feet. The storm swelled with even greater ferocity. It threatened to consume him this time, and he wondered if it would finally cost him.
Rain and hail pelted his face and body, while dust and sand stung his eyes. As he wiped away the grit, a bolt of lightning struck before him, temporarily blinding him. He got to his hands and knees, gasping for breath as the storm continued to beat him relentlessly.
Steeling himself against the pain, he rose to his feet. As fast as he could manage, he began casting mental defenses and barriers to protect his mind from the horrific assault. He bellowed in defiance of the storm, "I will not let it end this way! I refuse!" One defense after another was laid upon his person, until finally, he succeeded. The winds died to a breeze as the rain became little more than a summer misting.
He heard the sound of a quill scratching against paper over the storm's remnants, and the air behind his back grew hot as a crackling fire joined the room's ambiance. The sickly sweet smell of incense filled his nostrils, reminding him of days spent in his master's study. Another fond memory.
The storm wall vanished as the tremors subsided, making the room visible through a misty haze. The light of the fireplace cast his shadow across the now rough cut gray stone floor. Half a dozen tapestries hung around the room, and a liquor cabinet stood at the room's far corner. The main entry door remained closed to his left, and the doorway to the study's balcony lay to his right. At the room's center sat Rexinon at his desk, writing furiously on a piece of parchment.
Wiping the sweat from his brow, he breathed a sigh of relief. Although he'd done this countless times, the journey into the pages of history was always filled with peril. But, blessedly, the most intense part of the spell was complete. And while he could now relax in that fact, that fourth image still concerned him.
He stood in the familiar square room, clothing restored to its original state. The evening's air flowed through the open windows, making the ambient temperature quite cozy. Crossing the room, he paused at the desk and listened as Rexinon started muttering. "What I wouldn't give for a typewriter, much less a computer. Would make this so much faster."
Jonathan couldn't help but crack a smile. "Oh, but how many times have I thought the same thing, old friend?" He remarked, though he knew Rexinon couldn't hear him.
He stepped up to the desk and leaned over it. Looking down at the paper Rexinon was writing on, he frowned. Like so many times before, it appeared as little more than black scribbles on a page. Those words had to be important, but there was no way to know.
This was one of the spell's critical weaknesses. The details within the vision were only as precise as what was written in the tome. Most of the books in the Archive were magically transcribed. The benefits of this were completed histories free of victor and writer biases. Although, it wasn't flawless.
Throughout history, there have been individuals or events that the spell couldn't see. The most well known examples of these blips in time were the United States presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1933 to 1945 and the United Kingdom's Prime Minister, Michael Durham, from 2063 to 2065. All that is known about them was their lives before office and the accounts written by those around them. These gaps in history were generally the result of one of two things. In these two cases, a place or individual with a strong connection to the Dominion of Shadows.
Sighing, he pushed off the desk and crossed the room to the liquor cabinet. He opened the glass doors, pulling several bottles and a glass from the shelves. He made a drink consisting of three parts Red Adders Bite and one part Dry Amorian Blood Wine, then added a lime wedge to the rim of the glass. The others wouldn't arrive for another half hour, leaving him time to kill.
He walked around the room with his drink in hand and studied the various tapestries, several of which he'd been a part of. Each one depicted an accomplishment or tragedy facilitated by the Order. All save one, which showed a scene from the event that started it all.
The one to the left of the cabinet showed the Order's founding. In the background stood a grand tower of black and white marble. Its four sides were engraved with the Mark of Hellyrr, which glowed with a magical light. In front of it stood a man facing a gathered crowd, his arms swept wide in triumph. They looked up at him and the structure with reverence and awe.
He continued to move in a counterclockwise manner around the room. Above the main entry door hung another tapestry. One he was even depicted in. It showed the aftermath of a massacre. Six figures stood amidst the bodies of hundreds. The earth around them was scorched by flame, and the blood of the fallen had stained it red. The cloud covered sky glowed a deep crimson with gold outlines from the fires below. It had come to be known as the Cleansing of Elysian, in which the entirety of the planet's second continent had been annihilated to preserve the world.
"I wish it had never come to this. Why can't we all just get along? Instead of thriving in the prosperity of our two lands, they plotted and began planning to bring war to our own people. To rape, pillage, and enslave them. Even with all my vast knowledge and wisdom, I can't understand why they felt the need to dominate and control the world." He looked back up at the tapestry. "Even now, most of the land is still uninhabitable."
He turned around and looked at the tapestry above the balcony door. This one would appear out of place with the others to all but a few handfuls of people. Even for those who learned the truth behind it, it looked like little more than an artist's vision of what a beautiful landscape at sunset should look like. The sky is dotted with hundreds of stars as shades of red, orange, and yellow dance across the land's horizon. The artist's point of view appears to be looking down from a hillside. Down the hill's slope, you can see a pond teaming with wildlife along its edge. The remaining landscape is filled with miles of forest stretching toward the horizon.
For the few who survived this event and still remained, they knew it depicted the final moments of their world before all of humanity was nearly lost.
Jonathan fixated on this tapestry more than he had on the others. The longer he stared, the more distant his expression grew. Over time, his breathing quickened, and his grip on the glass slipped. It shattered as it hit the floor, causing the rug to stain from the liquid. The sound jerked him out of the trance like state, making him feel ill.
He could still recall the memory of that long ago day like it were yesterday. The thought of how close humanity had come to extinction made his legs weak, and he stumbled back against the wall behind him. He slid down the stones' cool surface and noticed his hands were now trembling. Through shuddering breaths, he uttered the words of a broken man. "So much death. So many lives were lost that day. So many. Oh, Sonia. Even after all this time, I still miss you."
The main entry door slammed open, crashing against the wall with a loud bang. Jonathan jerked as one of them collided mere inches from where he sat. The startling sound had been enough to pull him from his stupor, but it still took a moment for him to gather himself. A man in the doorway lowered his foot from where he'd obviously kicked the unlocked door in.
"Knock, knock, Rex. Seems you've done it now."
"Seth. I'll never understand the animosity you held for Rexinon," Jonathan said wearily as he got to his feet.
Seth stood just shy of five foot eight inches and had slick black hair that he kept combed back. He wore black jeans and a beige dress shirt with mother of pearl buttons, which had seen far too much polish in recent days. A malevolent grin displayed his perfect teeth and careless eyes. He strode into the room, dragging a chair behind him, and placed it on the rug by the fireplace.
"Was kicking the door in really necessary, Seth?"
A second man stepped into the room, obviously annoyed by the unnecessary use of force. He wore a navy blue business suit and towered over everyone else in the room, and that was saying something considering Jonathan was six foot. As he still held to the standards of a marine, he kept his hair high and tight and his face clean shaven. He stood at the rug's edge out of respect for the Order so as not to mar the embroidered Mark of Hellyrr. A respect Seth clearly lacked.
"Godric Gibbs. This day changed you. Hell, it changed all of us, but few as much as you," Jonathan said. He looked back at the door as the third and final man entered. "Assassin."
This man was of a height with Jonathan and wore all black from head to toe. His outfit looked like something out of a TV show. Almost like a cross between Gi Joe's Snake Eyes, and CW Arrow's League of Assassins. After ten thousand years, all they knew about him was his previous occupation as a contract killer. It wasn't long before they'd taken to calling him Assassin, as they had no other name to go by. Any time he was asked a question regarding his past, he either remained silent or dodged it outright. He took a position to Godric's left and, like Godric, took care of where he stood on the rug.
The three men stood in silence and watched as Rexinon continued to write. Godric and Assassin seemed content to wait until he addressed them. On the other hand, Seth seemed to grow more agitated as the minutes passed. Jonathan chuckled in spite of himself.
About twenty minutes later, Rexinon spoke, "Reverend Seth Jones, Colonel Godric Gibbs, and Assassin. To what do I owe the pleasure?" His tone plainly indicated that he already knew.
Seth spoke first. "Oh, cut the crap, Rex. You already know why we're here. This cult thing of yours has gone on long enough."
"Well, there's the pot calling the kettle black," Jonathan muttered sarcastically.
Godric rolled his eyes. Everyone in the room knew about Seth's past as a cult leader. They also knew his anger was more at being forced to wait in silence than anything to do with Rexinon or the Order.
"Calm yourself, Seth. There's no need for such hostilities." Godric looked at Rexinon apologetically. "I'm sorry to have to do this, old friend, but my hands are tied. Rexinon the Prophet, Headmaster of the Hellyrrian Order, you've been charged with conspiracy to overthrow the governments of Aurelia and seize control for the Order.
"As we speak, the leaders of the Hellyrrian Order are being gathered for execution. Furthermore, your towers and all their artifacts will be destroyed, and any remnants of the Order's existence is to be wiped from the face of history. As of 0813 this morning, you have been sentenced to death. How do you plead?"
Rexinon continued to write at an incredible rate. He knew why they'd come. He'd known this was coming for months. After all, his gift was the gift of prophecy. The evidence for the charges against him was both substantial and ethereal, depending on what light was shown on it.
Two centuries ago, the Order had tracked the activities of an unknown number of individuals who'd been subtly manipulating several of the Aurelian governing bodies. They'd spread like a poison, corrupting them and turning once prosperous kingdoms which knew few hardships, into lands where the people had to fight just to survive. The problem was that whoever that force had been, always seemed to be just one step ahead of them. Now, not only was it check, but checkmate. The Order had lost.
"I believe the Righteous Twelve to be ill advised. I believe you've been manipulated by the same corrupted governing body which we've spent so long trying to purify—." Seth grunted. "—But," he said at length, "I accept all charges against me, save one. Neither myself nor anyone else of the Order has ever sought to rule Aurelia, as the charges would imply. The Cleansing of Elysian should've been proof enough to show that to be true."
Rexinon penned the final words of his letter and placed the pen back in its stand. Pulling the top off a jar, he dusted the page with a thin layer of sand to soak up any excess ink. After dumping the sand back into another jar to be cleaned, he pushed away from his desk and stood to look at his guests for the first time. After nudging his stool back under, he addressed Godric directly.
"Will you join me on the balcony one last time?"
Godric nodded his head and gestured towards the balcony doorway. As they stepped outside, Jonathan followed.
Rexinon leaned against the railing and looked out over the city, his gaze fixed on the setting sun. Godric joined him and looked down to the tower's base, some five hundred feet below. Although he was not afraid of heights, it gave him respect for the sturdily mounted railing at the balcony's edge.
"It's beautiful, isn't it?" Rexinon said. Godric looked at him, confused. "The way the world has turned out since that day? Ten thousand years of watching as civilization was rebuilt and destroyed time and time again by a senseless war. Watching them evolve into something more as they learned how to use these gifts we were given. In some ways, we're greater than we ever were. In other ways, we're inferior. If I have any regrets, it's that I couldn't do more to leave the people better prepared for this new age."
"Well spoken. If it's any consolation, I believe this is wrong. I even spoke out against the council for a different outcome. For my efforts, though, I was threatened with execution if I didn't cease my objections."
Rexinon's tone grew heated after hearing of the council's reaction. "You should know better than anyone why I fought so hard against them, then. I'm not against governance. I'm against corrupt governance. We had far too many corrupt politicians and warlords in our own time for me to ever want to allow it again."
Godric nodded his head. "Yes. The problem is you played too heavy a hand too quickly. Instead of accepting that they'd been beaten, they cheated by playing with an ace they had hidden up their collective sleeves."
Rexinon sighed, knowing his words were true. "Indeed. I've accepted my fate. I won't run. Won't even make it difficult for y'all. I have no need to. I would like to make one final request to ease your conscience, though."
Rexinon leaned toward Godric conspiratorially. As he did this, the world around them began to shimmer and distort. Almost like the motion blurring you'd see on a TV. Likewise, their conversation was masked by the sound of white noise and the sound of hushed incoherent whispers.
This was the second hurdle the scrying spells had to deal with. Individuals with divine magic could conceal their conversations or even the events they were a part of. Rexinon had concealed this conversation, and to this day, Godric has never spoken of what was said.
Jonathan returned to the study with a resigned sigh. There was nothing more he could learn from their conversation. Assassin stood in the same spot he'd been when he first entered the room and looked as if he hadn't so much as twitched. Seth, however, was rummaging through the desk's drawers. He'd tried to figure out what he was looking for in the past, but nothing seemed obvious.
The shards of glass from when he'd dropped his cup earlier had vanished, along with the stain on the rug from the liquor. As expected, the glass had returned to the cabinet, and the bottles had refilled to where they were before he'd arrived. This was yet another reminder that this was a magically induced vision of an event that had long since passed. It could be too easy to forget that this wasn't real and that if he spent too much time here, it would have consequences in the real world for him.
He knew they'd be out there a while. In previous visits, he'd occasionally spent this time combing through the room, similar to what Seth was doing. Having cataloged everything centuries ago, there was nothing left to do but wait. So, he walked around the desk and sat squarely within the Mark of Hellyrr embroidered on the rug. There, for the next hour or so, he would remain, arms folded, legs crossed, and eyes shut. Freeing his mind of all unnecessary thoughts and emotions. At least, that was the plan.
About forty minutes in, Seth started to grumble and complain, forcing Jonathan to give up on his meditation. "… I know he's one of the humblest among our kind, but lord, does he have to be so dull? I can't find anything interesting anywhere. Even his liquor cabinet is dull." Seth walked from behind the desk to the liquor cabinet, pulled a few bottles out at random, and read the labels aloud. "Red Adders Bite, Amorian Blood Wine. Christ, he's even got Athester's Sweet Malt. This crap might as well be water." He pulled another bottle down and said, "At least he's got the taste to have at least one bottle of Nordic Berserker."
"Some of us prefer the simpler things in life. You might find life more enjoyable when you aren't always looking for the rare and exotic," Assassin said with a disinterested, almost dismissive tone.
Seth clicked his tongue. "Hell, even this letter he was so focused on when we arrived makes no sense." Seth thrust the letter towards Assassin, who took it nonchalantly. "Look at this."
Jonathan studied Assassin intently, hoping for any sign that would reveal the letter's contents. It was no use, though; for all the emotion he showed, Jonathan would've thought it no more important than a grocery list. But, if that were the case, why obscure it from the eyes of the scrying spell? The frustration caused by such a simple sheet of paper was baffling.
Jonathan got to his feet as Rexinon and Godric returned. As Rexinon walked to stand at the center of the rug, Jonathan moved behind the desk. Godric walked toward Assassin and conversed with him for a few minutes. Once again, the sound of white noise shrouded what was said. This time, it was Godric who masked his words from the spell. When Assassin nodded, Godric moved beside him and faced Rexinon.
Rexinon looked at each tapestry and seemed to relive each as he did so. They all knew those accomplishments and tragedies would stand the test of time. Any efforts to change that would fall flat. The Order had played too significant a role in shaping this new world. Finally, he turned to Godric, kneeling as he met his regret filled eyes.
Assassin pulled an infamous rod from his side, dubbed the Executioner's Handle. Forged in the Dominion of Shadow by Assassin some three thousand years ago. It was one and a half feet long of shadow infused steel and bound with his own divine essence. Ominous black tendrils crawled along Assassin's hand like something alive and flowed into the handle. The shaft elongated, and an axe head formed at its end.
Though he had accepted his fate, seeing that axe form made Rexinon's heart stop momentarily. He looked at Godric questioningly. Godric knew what that look meant and nodded his head in assent. Agreeing to this had allowed them both to right several wrongs this night by asking one simple question. "Do you have any final words or requests?"
"I have two, if you'll grant them. The first, allow me to disband the Order formally as my final act as headmaster."
Seth started to protest, but Assassin lowered the axehead in his direction as a silent threat. Seth glared at Assassin with seething hatred. Godric nodded to Rexinon. "Proceed."
As the headmaster of the Hellyrrian Order, he had a mental connection with every member. Without hesitation, Rexinon's eyes began to glow with a brilliant purple hue. This would be Rexinon's final order, and Godric knew it would save thousands.
"My brothers and sisters, hear me now and heed my words. Abandon the Order and save yourselves. Flee to the hills and never look back to what we once were. With my dying breath, the Hellyrrian Order is no more. The governments of Aurelia have played a hand we can't stand against. Anyone who disregards this command will be hunted down and executed without mercy. To the leaders and guild masters of the Order, I charge you with dismantling everything relating to the Order and turning over every artifact and document you can to Godric the Just, Jonathan the Wise, or Assassin the Watcher. I also ask that you help calm those who feel outraged and betrayed by this night. Do not blame the Twelve, as they were little more than pawns in this corrupt game of politics. Farewell, my friends. My family. May the peace we have fought for be found in the coming days."
The glow faded, and he slumped forward onto his hands, his breathing labored. A few moments passed, and he managed to catch his breath but still looked towards the ground.
"The second request I have is that anyone who would heed that warning be spared. The ruling factions wanted me. As long as no one else causes trouble, we know they won't cause too much fuss over it."
His voice took on a much sharper edge as he looked back up. "You call us a cult, though you know we are nothing of the sort. On the contrary, our Order has stood for nearly five thousand years for the betterment of the entire world. How they treated you should tell you that what I said and what we were doing was justified."
"Shut your mouth, Rex!" Seth spat venomously.
Godric glared at Seth. His own anger with this situation was at the point of breaking free. "Be silent! I don't know what kind of grudge you have, but I, for one, don't give a damn what the council said. Rexinon doesn't deserve death for the crimes he's being accused of. Unfortunately, the ruling factions in almost every nation are corrupted and working towards being as corrupt as they were back in our day." Godric sighed. "Regrettably, my hands are tied, though. The law is the law, and I have been overruled on this matter. Regardless of what my conscience thinks, I will abide by the rules of the land."
Rexinon nodded, understanding Godric's situation perfectly. Godric had become the divine embodiment of law and justice at his ascension. While those two things work hand in hand, they are far from the same, and one must often walk a fine line to serve them both. In this case, the choices were clear. In the end, it didn't matter what he chose; he would inevitably betray one virtue or the other. Unfortunately, there was no good way for him to handle this, and Rexinon could see how this was affecting him.
"The majority of the Order will heed my warning. As for the leaders, if any are still alive, they will follow that command to the letter. They'll even aid you in handling any hotheads who resist," Rexinon said.
"The good news is that no one has yet been executed this evening. I'll personally see to it that those who abide by that order are given a chance to live long, productive lives within society. If all goes well, you will be the only casualty of this idiocy."
Rexinon gave the faintest sign of a smile with a halfhearted chuckle as he said, "Godric, one thing I'll not allow is any of the Order's work ending up in the hands of one of those tyrants. Therefore, I demand that Jonathan be given every document, scroll, and tome held within our strongholds for safekeeping." Rexinon felt exhausted. The spell to warn his Order took more out of him than anticipated.
"You're in no position to be making demands of us," Seth said. Godric finally snapped and struck him so hard that he slammed back into the wall beside the fireplace, cracking it. He got back to his feet a moment later, fixed his shirt, and looked down at the blood he'd wiped from his lip. Godric looked back at Rexinon.
"As you were saying."
"Assassin, I'd ask that you secure all our relics and artifacts, regardless of their magical significance. I don't need to tell you what all we have housed around Aurelia."
"No, you don't. The nukes of our time were nothing compared to some of those items," Assassin replied.
"We'll see to it that it's done. There are things within these walls that were never meant for untrained mortal hands," Godric added.
"As for the texts, Jonathan will have a field day going through everything. There is far too much the council doesn't understand within these walls that we can't afford to lose."
"Godric was right, Rex. I still have everything. Much of which has been quite useful over the centuries,"
Godric turned his head away, no longer able to look Rexinon in the eye. "I no longer deserve the right to call you a friend, but is there anything else you would ask of me?"
Rexinon looked at Godric for a long time and couldn't help but smile. Not at his pain or suffering in following the orders given to him, but knowing that if anyone here had ever been a friend to him, Godric certainly was. With his final words, he left Godric with a warning.
"No, but I'll leave you with this. Be wary of those among you, for one will betray you all. My friend."
Godric nodded, accepting these as Rexinon's final words as a tear ran down his cheek. Rexinon lowered his head, and Assassin enveloped his axe's blade in a purple aura.
"Woah, Assassin, what's with the new color? Never seen that before," Seth asked.
Ignoring the question, Assassin swung the axe, severing Rexinon's head cleanly.
That night, the cries of the Order were heard in every city across Aurelia. All mourning the death of the Order's first, and last, headmaster.
Jonathan fought back tears of his own as he watched the axe's head vanish. Assassin secured the handle on his belt as he walked towards the desk. Godric looked as though he was going to be sick.
"Did you do as I asked?" Godric asked shakily.
"Of course. I may be a trained killer, but even I know this was bullshit, mate."
Seth walked over and picked up Rexinon's severed head by the hair. He held it up before him, a mischievous grin on his face. Then he whispered something into Rexinon's ear.
Assassin's eyes locked on Seth. As he let go of the head, he used one of his abilities, known as shadow step, to cross the distance to where Seth stood. Before Rexinon's head hit the ground, Assassin snatched it out of the air and punched Seth so hard that it sent him flying into the same section of the wall he'd hit earlier. He bounced off it, but the force of the impact sent several of the stones flying into the next room. Seth crumpled to the floor, where he lay unmoving for several seconds. After a while, his head snapped upright, and he began to laugh. He stood up as if nothing had happened and headed out the door. Godric, now seething with anger, watched as Assassin started to go after him. "Leave him. He's not worth your time."
Jonathan paced around the room, waiting for the spell to wear off. His heart ached, and his own anger toward Seth at that moment made him wish he could destroy the man. But that was Seth's way, and they'd all learned to let it go in time. The world began to blur and vanish, reverting to the Archive once again.
He closed the cover, placing the tome back on the shelf with a heavy sigh. His fingers lingered on the binding as he read the inscription, A Complete History of the Hellyrrian Order, Volume 666. Finally, Jonathan let his hand fall to the side as he walked away with his shoulders slumped.
As if speaking to an old friend, he lamented, "Damn you, Rex. Why couldn't you have just left well enough alone?"
As Jonathan walked away, he shed a tear at the loss of one of his closest friends.
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2023.06.09 16:11 DexDexDexina Here's a few of my Ersatz Mobile Suits when I'm not just giving them a variation of the generic blue titans color scheme I love putting on everything. What kind of suits do you use with confusing paint schemes?
2023.06.09 15:51 Erratic_a_bee I picked Bazlebub up a week ago tomorrow. Here’s different photos, no filter, all with the same camera, different days…
2023.06.09 15:32 Ilikewineandpopcorn How long after bleaching should I wait to lighten some more to avoid damage?) (4C hair)
Incoming storytime for context/venting purposes. Feel free to skip to the last paragraph. No pics because I am too shy but I will try to be as descriptive as possible.
Late last year I had my short, virgin, dark brown, 4C (afro-textured) hair to be bleached. My goal originally was platinum blonde, (#9-10) but I was really inspired by Solange Knowles warm blonde hair, so I went for that instead. My stylist (I will call them stylist “A”) delivered this in one process. I was pleased but decided it was TOO warm for me personally, (it was literally just like Solange so more “yellowy” than I felt suited me). I decided to tell her I wanted to go lighter when I came back for a root touch up.
I only waited 1 month before I went back for root touch up. I will call this fact Possible Mistake #1. I only had about a quarter inch of new growth at the time. Stylist A (to my surprise) was not the person there to do my touch up, it was her apprentice (Stylist B.) I feel several more Possible Mistakes were made during this second visit. First of Stylist B did not seem to even know what the hell I had scheduled for that day because they f’ed up by immediately washing my hair first thing. (I was so green I didn’t even know this was a bad thing. Possible Mistake #2.) when I told her what I was getting done (root touch up and overall lightening) she panicked because she had washed my hair and called Stylist A for advice. She put me under the hair dryer to dry me out before processing me. I am very sorry now that I was not paying more attention to what was going on. I believe I was processed and washed 3 times, I believe it went Bleach, Wash, Bleach, Wash, Tone. But it may have been just 1 bleach and 2 Tones. Afterwards my hair was certainly color I wanted, platinum-white blonde, like #10, maybe 9 but I think it was 10. However I noticed (after I got home, I didn’t get a good look at my hair at the salon) there were 2-3 large patches of grayish blue near my temple, other side of my head, and in the back. I was upset about this because I had to idea this could even happen, and Stylist B told me it would fade in a week. I frankly had lost a lot of trust in her at this point and went to Google to see what the actual f was up with my hair. Google said clarifying shampoo would fix the problem, so I did this 1 time that day and 1 time the next couple days. (I followed up with Olaplex shampoo hoping to not dry my hair out too much. Also I wore head wraps during this week, another Possible Mistake because I now know that put tension on my hair.) About a week later is when I started noticing significant hair loss, but just in those places that I mentioned were blueish gray before. The rest of my hair looked and felt lovely. Because 4C hair is so shrinky/stretchy I was able to disguise the hair loss at first. I was really enjoying it but the patches of hair loss just got to be tooo noticeable (all the blonde in those spots fell out so I only had my [brown!!] new growth underneath. It looked so bad and to’ up finally in I just shaved off 95% of the blonde to make it even with the new growth patches. But I was determined not to give up on my blonde dream and to try again as soon as I had enough hair to sacrifice to the bleach gods.
So fast forward to Now I have grown my hair out just enough, I found a new stylist (C) who ~purports~ to care a great deal about hair health. We discussed my goals and she suggested starting at a darker blonde (honey blonde, a number 7 I would call it) and working my way up to a 10 over time. So now for 2 days I am a happy #7 with an appointment to lighten in 1 month. But after making that appt (at stylist C’s suggestion!!) I am wracked with fear at the thought of processing my hair again. I just have no idea how long to wait, let alone the reasons or science behind waiting. Because girl if I need to I will wait 6 months to avoid losing my hair again!! I just need someone knowledge to please tell me what is up. Thanks so much for reading and for any advice you may have!!
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2023.06.09 14:55 kiplet1 [City of Roses] no. 27.3: “Quite distressing” – well as She might – taking Any hand – Something falls
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“Quite distressing,” says the older man, there in the wingback chair. “Though one does not wish to play the churl. A certain degree of disarray must certainly be allowed, given the shocks – the challenge, the duel – ”
“Allowed?” says Agravante, there by the yellow stone fireplace, an elbow up on the mantel, and the older man takes a sip of milky tea from a thin bone china cup. “How is the King’s champion, by the way?” he says.
“Death’s door,” says Agravante. There on the mantel by his elbow a fiendish little basket-box, carved from a chunk of dark red wood. “Shame,” says the older man, shaking his head, stiff grey curls swept back, and the collar of his shirt undone, a blue scarf knotted tidily about his throat. “Though it is distasteful, how they might linger, on that threshold? Neither here, nor there,” and another sip of tea.
“What is it that distresses you, Medardus,” says Agravante. White-gold locks tied neatly black, his grey suit shot with blue.
“It’s a delicate question I’d have answered, Pinabel,” says the older man, setting the cup in the saucer on his lap, clink. “Does the King yet mean to pursue his bold vision?”
Agravante’s brow pinches. “Of course,” he says. “Insofar as I know.”
Medardus smiles. “Delicately put,” he says. “It’s been two days.”
“These things take time.”
“Two days,” says Medardus, “since he took from me mine offer,” knobbled fingers closing in a fist, drawn up by his yet-mild smile. “And not a word said since.”
“There’s much to be considered,” says Agravante. “Four of you do vie for her hand.”
“Please, Pinabel,” says Medardus, dropping his hand, and a clatter of cup and saucer. “It’s an indulgence to pretend the choice isn’t manifestly clear – that mine is not the best offering.”
“The best, perhaps,” says Agravante. “But sufficient?” A slatey shoulder shrugs.
“The King would demand more?”
“How can I answer that,” says Agravante, “when I know nothing of what you’ve promised, or he might require.”
“Nothing,” says Medardus, still smiling. “Such a delicate word.” Setting cup and saucer on the low table between them. “I would hope,” he says, “it could always be said that the Hound has done well by Medardus,” and he knots those knobby fingers in his lap. “Much as it can be said, to a surety, that Medardus has done well by the Hound.”
Rather carefully, Agravante does not smile at that, or nod, his shoulders do not move, nor does his arm, there by the basket-box. “Of course,” he says.
“But it’s also said,” says Medardus, “that a fear grips your court: that the line is not unbroken. That the Queen, despite her, prodigious recovery, has no Bride of her own. That your King’s hand, howsomever reluctantly, is forced. That he means,” and here Medardus leans forward, elbows on knees, “to take the Princess for himself, and that is why our offers go unanswered.” Sitting back, a dismissive fillip of his fingers. “Or so it’s said.”
“By some,” says Agravante.
“Indeed,” says Medardus.
“But not to me,” says Agravante.
“Ah.” Medardus pushes himself to his feet. “Tell me,” he says, as Agravante leads him out of the little drawing room, “how fares the Count?”
“Grandfather?” says Agravante, pushing open the sliding wood-paneled door. “He sleeps.” Beyond, a narrow hall, in the shadow of a long straight staircase.
“Oh,” he says. “It’s you.” A glass of wine in his hand, something dark. “She isn’t here.”
“She will be, soon enough,” says Marfisa, muddy boot up on the side porch step. “Jason, can I just, wait inside?” The collar of her sheepskin coat turned up, loose white hair stirred by a gust. He steps back, the door held open, his lips a sour purse between his mustache and his dull red beard.
Up the steps into a mud room, painted blue, forgotten coats and a tangle of umbrellas, a scooter, a chalkboard palimpsested with to-dos and shopping lists, “Ah ah,” he’s saying, pointing, thick-lensed glasses blanked out by the ceiling light, and she scrubs her boots against a mat before stepping up into a kitchen to the left there, ruddy stove and a steaming pot of something, stainless steel refrigerator hung about with coupons and note cards, a calendar, a math test festooned with red checks and gold stars, past a breakfast bar sloppily piled with newspapers and a box of soda cans, into a narrow sitting room, a low brown couch, a girl tucked at one end of it, under a red and yellow blanket, and pink headphones startling against her dark hair, watching something on the tablet on her lap. “Grace,” says Jason, still in the kitchen, but she’s already snatching off the headphones, a burst of chirpy music, as Marfisa steps about the low coffee table. “Hey, Mar,” says the girl on the couch, and “Grace,” says Jason again, “upstairs,” as Marfisa sits herself at the other end. Something bulky’s tucked in her coat, she leans over the table, pulling it out, a flat paper sack that spills out a sheaf of handbills, goldenrod pages splashed with black lines, a dancer rendered in calligraphy, and each marked by the green dot of an eye. “Oh, hey,” says the girl, springing from under the blanket, all elbows and knees and clattering headphones, “is that,” says Jason says “Grace!” again, but she’s already scooped up a handbill, turning it over and back again, nothing else to it but little pull-tabs at the bottom, each printed with an elaborately arabesqued question mark. “You’re
putting these up?”
Marfisa shrugs. “You’ve seen them?”
“Yesterday, at Mississippi Pizza?” says Grace. “Did you hang ’em there?” Marfisa shrugs again. “The Mercury just had a thing about these things, like how nobody knows what they are, or who’s, it’s, it’s you! You’re doing it! Is it like, are you putting the band back together?” “Grace,”
says Jason. “What,”
snaps Grace, rolling her eyes away.
“Upstairs,” he says, “now. Flashcards till dinner.” “Jason,”
she says, but she’s kicking off the couch, scooping up the tablet, stomping around the table when back that way there’s a clatter and a squeak of hinges from that side porch, “I’m home!” cries someone, and “Carol!” cries Grace, turning on a dime, scampering off past Jason, through the kitchen, “Guess who’s here!”
Marfisa leans forward, slipping the handbills back in the sack, not looking up at Jason looking down at her.
And there’s Carol, by the breakfast bar, setting a brown leather book bag on the carpet. Draped in a brown and yellow striped serape, her dark hair neatly short. “Mar,” she says. “How are you.”
“Well as I might,” says Marfisa, looking up, pushing back a wave of white-gold hair. “What would you say to a chance to sing again, together?”
A hallway narrow, dim, dark doors to either side, silvery numerals set in the walls by each, slender 1s, a wiry 7, great round-bellied 6es, an 8, a 9. Iona in her yellow track suit leads the way around a corner, stops before the door at the end of the hall. 620, the numerals beside it. She plucks a white card from a pocket, holds it up before slipping it into the slot above the knob. “I miss keys,” she says, as the lock chunks, a green light flicking on. “These may be better, but not in any way that matters.” She opens the door. “Go on,” she says.
Within brown walls and gold, bathed in daylight hazed by yellow curtains drawn over corner windows. A comfortable yellow chair, a reading table and a lamp, unlit. A wide bed draped in blue and brown and at the foot of it, sat tailor-fashion, Ysabel, in a white chemise, and soft white leg-warmers thickly rumpled. “Starling,” she says, with a smile.
“My Queen,” says the Starling, a shadow there by yellow Iona, black jeans, black sweatshirt, the hood of it up. “This is not our usual Thursday,” she says, in not much more than a whisper.
“This isn’t a Thursday,” says Ysabel, nodding to Iona, who steps out, closing the door behind her. “This is a whole weekend, if you’d like.”
“But I must dance, ma’am,” says the Starling. “Today and tonight, at the club, and Saturday – ”
“It has been cleared, with your, manager,” says Ysabel. “You’re free, till Monday.”
“Free to be here, with you,” says the Starling. And then, “If it’s just to be the two of us?” Her words worn thin.
“If you’d like,” says Ysabel. “Or, step back through that door. The Chariot will happily take you anywhere in the city you may wish to go.”
The Starling reaches for the strap of the black gym bag slung from her shoulder. “I don’t mind,” she says, “being with you. I’ll just go change,” but “No,” says Ysabel, quickly, “Starling, no. Put that down. Sit with me.”
“My Queen,” says the Starling. “I am not who I am, when I’m with you.”
“Please,” says Ysabel. “Sit.”
The gym bag slumps to the speckled brown carpet. Stepping over, the Starling stands a moment before the foot of that bed, and Ysabel sat there, smiling up, but then she turns, the Starling, and finds the yellow chair behind her, and sits, a darkness in that weak light.
“I’m glad you came,” says Ysabel.
“My Queen desired it,” says the Starling.
“I thought,” says Ysabel, looking away. “I’d thought today that I might dance for you. I have danced, you know. At a party. She said I was quite good.”
“Of course,” says the Starling.
“I settled on an outfit,” says Ysabel, looking down at herself, “nothing too elaborate,” and “Good,” says the Starling, “but,” says Ysabel, “I’ve been flummoxed by my lips. What should the color be?” A hand, lifted to her mouth, her hair, “White?” she says. “To go with the ensemble? Or would that be too much? Would a simple red be enough?”
“No one pays attention to the lipstick,” says the Starling.
“You do,” says Ysabel, quickly, even sharply, and then, “You take such care, with yours.”
That hood shifts, down, to one side, dim light passing over her chin, the tip of her nose. “White’s better for the stage,” she says. “Too bold for such close quarters.”
“A simple red it is.”
“Your majesty is sad,” says the Starling, then. “Why should that be?”
“I,” says Ysabel, shoulders lifting, and her chin, a retort swelling but then suddenly pricked, deflating, and she looks away. “Affairs of the city,” she says.
“Not the heart, then?” says the Starling. “Nor the hips?”
Ysabel untucks herself, a bare foot lowered to the carpet, and her hands on the edge of the bed. “Tell me,” she says. “Do you know the smell, of blood?”
That shadow sits up. “I do, ma’am,” says the Starling.
“She sleeps,” Ysabel’s saying. “Peacefully. Her wound is poulticed with a fief’s portion. The bleeding’s long since stopped, but,” and she takes in a deep breath, shivering at the top of it, a sigh, “wherever I go in those rooms I still can smell
it, that – tang,
like an armor hot from the sun, and I,” but the Starling’s standing, stepping over, she kneels at the foot of the bed, reaches for a hand that Ysabel lifts away, “here I am,” she says, “holed up in a hotel across town.”
The Starling sits back on her heels. “Would you rather go to her?” but Ysabel’s shaking her head, “The Mason,” she says, “watches over her. She wants for nothing. I am,” but then she stops, and the Starling catches her hand, draws it down, covers it with her own. Ysabel says, “My brother once told me,” but then she stops again, blinking rapidly, looking down at the Starling looking up from under her black hood. “He was once a little boy,” says Ysabel. “Did you know that?”
“The King,” says the Starling, “yes, ma’am, of course. I remember those days.”
“Not even a Prince, just an infant, he came to me, in the little garden, and took my hand, and asked me, sister, why are you crying?” Turning her hand in the Starling’s hand, taking hold of it, squeezing. “And I said, because I do not wish to wed. But I am the Bride, I said, and one day a King will come, and I must take his hand. Whether I will or no, I must, but he,” looking away, “he swore to me, then and there, most earnestly, that he
would one day be the King, that I might never need take anyone’s hand.”
The Starling says, “And he did just that.”
“My brother,” says Ysabel, “the King, this,” and her eyes close, the lashes of them shining, “city,” she says, and her mouth closes about another, unsaid word, she swallows, and a lick at her lips. “Jo,” she says.
“My Queen,” says the Starling. “I will go, and change, and dance for you, to take your mind,” but “No,” says Ysabel, leaning forward, her hands on the Starling’s shoulders, “do not change, do not dress, do not perform,” lifting a hand, right to the very hem of that hood, but then pulled back, withdrawn. “I would see you just as you are,” she says, her hands once more in her lap.
“But, my lady,” says the Starling, and she reaches up to draw back that hood. “I am always as I am.” Black hair uncurled, slicked back, clipped down to stubble along her temples, about those ears. Her cheeks, the line of that jaw. The nose. Those eyes, only a hazeled hint of green. Thin lips unpainted, upturned, parting as Ysabel leans close to say, “And you are with me,” and then a feathery kiss, tugging at the Starling’s hands, lifting, the Starling who stands up before her, and her hands fall to the Starling’s hips, rough black denim, the belt loops, her thumb, the wide leather belt, looking up, those green eyes. She yanks at the bulky black sweatshirt, “Get this off,” she says, and the Starling lifts it up and off and tosses it aside. Bare now from the waist up, and the torso of her lean and long, and her long arms sinewy lowering, curling, Ysabel’s darkly hands caught up against the smooth pale chest of her by those wide white hands, and the backs of them snarled with thick blue veins.
“Now would you have me go and change?” murmurs the Starling.
“But you are beautiful,” says Ysabel, slipping her hands free, reaching for the tongue of the belt. The buckle jangles. “Majesty,” says the Starling, “I am many things, but,” and a gasp, at the kiss pressed there below her shadowed navel, as those black jeans loosen, lop, as Ysabel’s fingers dip within to uncurl a palely slender cock, and a stroke for the lengthening lift of it, “oh,” says the Starling, “my Queen, you needn’t,” as her hand cups Ysabel’s face.
“But do you want me to,” says Ysabel, and the Starling, shivering, nods. “The principles, I should think,” says Ysabel, “are essentially the same?” And a lick of a kiss for the tip of it, there on her palm.
Pinned to the pole a mulching bark of posters, flyers, handbills, postcards, lapped and shingled one over another, rain-dimpled, sun-faded, twisted, torn, defaced, Thrash or Die, April Showers Burlesque, Snap! at the Holocene, Anodyne Presents, Missing Dog, Laughing Horse, Drum Circle Saturday Rain or Shine, Cinco de Mayo on the Waterfront, big black letters on an enormous sheet, Grupo Samurjay, Grupo Maravilla, Los Supremos de Los Hermanos Flores, Woodburn Rocks. As the bus pulls away she’s pushing back her black hair looking up toward the top of that slithery bristling treeline, there where handfuls of old notices have been ripped away leaving crowded dozens of denuded staples, glinting, by a metal sign that says No Parking This Block, a relatively fresh sheet of goldenrod paper, mad black scribbles limning a dancer, a single eye of bright green ink. She reaches up, to the pull-tabs fluttering the bottom of it, each printed with only an elaborately arabesqued question mark. Her other hand holds fast a black leather knapsack slung from the shoulder of her slick black jacket. Her glasses with thick black frames. With a sudden yank she rips the handbill down.
A broad porch with four front doors set one right next to another, and she unlocks, slips through the third of them, and up an immediate steep staircase, narrow between dark walls, unlit, that yellow page bright in her hand. Around the wall at the top of the stairs through an open room a couch the floor before it piled with cardboard boxes into a long hall once painted white, some time ago, lit by daylight seeping in from somewhere else. At the end of it a dark room, curtains drawn, and she closes the door behind her, a shadow in the shadows. Flump of the knapsack, dropped to the floor, creaking footstep, the thick click of a switch. Light blares from naked bulbs in the fixture in the middle of the ceiling, pink springs from the walls all whorled curlicues and faded bouquets, the bed there, skewed bedclothes striped dull brown and beige, and on the floor at the foot of it a great conical pile knee-high or more of gleaming golden dust.
She steps around it, jacket half-unzipped. A ridge of the pile has settled, slumped, dust trailed over the floor away from it, and the goldenrod poster drops, crumpled, from the hand she’s lifting to her throat, to the bit of black lace tied there. Steps back, around the bed. She grabs a little hand broom from the nightstand. Kneels down by the pile. Begins to sweep up the goldstuff, careful with each thread and grain.
Eyelids a-twitch, lips parting just to say not even a whisper, maybe a number, counting, nine or ten, eleven, those lids blink open over mud-colored eyes that swivel, narrow, try to focus, a gleaming edge there, mirror-bright, shifting as she blinks the length of it flat and smooth and slender, somehow deep within it coiling whorls of light and dark chased up and down a shallow groove that cleanly stretches up and up to a glittering net there on the pillow, wiry strands that knot a cage about a simple hilt she jerks away, kicks back sitting up, “Shit,” she says, as the sword’s tangled in the sheets, teetering at the edge of the futon. She’s bent over, thin white T-shirt, wine-red hair, rubbing her shin, a thin dark line of blood beading down by her ankle, “Shit,” she says, again. Snatching the hilt she whips the blade free from the sheets, “this fucking,” but it turns in her hand, a wrench and away it flies across the room to crack and a wibble it’s stabbed the white wall there by the plain black scabbard, hung from a nail, and the painted skull-mask also, the mane of it stirred by that thrust. Jo blinks. “Okay,” she says, to herself.
Without, the hallway’s dark, the little lights strung along the ceiling unlit. The kitchen beyond is empty, only glancing daylight and shadows. Jo leans over to knock at the door across the hall, “Ysabel?” she says, turning the knob. The room within all yellow and white, gauzy curtains, big bed neatly made, the armoire shut, and nothing draped over the dressing screen in the corner. “Ysabel?” says Jo again, but something, she looks down. Something lightly, barely there, faintly wisps, like down, like ash, falling from, brushing her foot, past her knee, caught there in the hem of her T-shirt, falling from, she lifts it, peering down at her belly beneath, and the line that climbs it packed with an ashen crust and a last few spangles of gold and, she touches it crumbling, flaking away, the pink skin taut beneath.
Back against the jamb. Dropping the hem of the shirt her hand to her breast, and quick wincing shallow breaths. Lurching up across and over to the dresser, a bouquet of heavy-headed peonies pink and yellow, she grabs a small brass box and pries it open, frees a cigarette, and a ragged book of matches.
The hall, the back room, dark, the back door and out, outside, out in the grass, under the sky, sunlight and blue sky, and glowering clouds behind, white and blue and grey and blue and greenly black, swollen with the coming rain. Fitting the cigarette to her lips but even as she opens the matchbook she’s falling to her knees in the lushly green, soft grass out to the parapets to either side, and she coughs up a sob, another, doubled over on her shaking shuddering self, her hand a fist to her chest.
The cigarette falls white to the grass before her. Feathers of grey-white ash caught about it, and sparks of gold.
A call behind her, muffled by walls and doors. Sitting up she catches, holds her breath. Swallows. A slam back there, distant, bump of a footfall, she wipes her eyes with the back of her hand and leans forward getting her feet under herself but the back door bangs open boot-thump someone shouting and she springs up turns her arm flung out the sword
The sword in her hand –
Her hand, her arm extended shoulder dropped her torso sidelong and her front foot planted, off leg leaned back straight and true, off hand slung back to balance the thrust that’s ended sword-tip snagged in a corner of his unzipped shortwaisted jacket yanked up one side he’s twisted, turned away from it, both arms flung up and alarm gently folding his face.
“Oh God,” says Jo, dropping the blade, the ring of it soft on the grass.
“You’re awake,” says Luys, lowering his arms. Brushing the front of his soft brown jacket, his finger finding the hole punched there. “Your coat,” says Jo, “I’m so, sorry,” but “No sin espinas,” he’s saying, almost to himself, holding out a hand, “You are awake,” he says, but she rushes past that hand to crash into him tumbling her arms about him there on the rooftop under the clouds, she’s kissing his throat and then as he lowers his head she looks up to kiss his mouth, his mouth. https://preview.redd.it/31cs43s4pz4b1.png?width=35&format=png&auto=webp&s=5c5c990a3790e89b4ddcf70973bc9b387bf57179 previous Table of Contents Patreon
2023.06.09 14:46 rabbitsintheyard What color should I paint my door?
I’m hoping somebody with a great eye for color can help me! Our house is a brown brick (almost like a glazed cinderblock, not sure what this type of brick is called) and it has been challenging to find colors that complement it.
We recently had our shutters painted Greenblack and our deck painted Ponderosa Green and Roman Plaster (all Behr colors). In the process of slowly restoring our 100 year old windows and painting them Roman Plaster, as well.
I want to paint a light blue ceiling on our porch (I know, super original lol) and will paint our shed the same colors as the deck.
I want to avoid a super deep color so it can be seen from the street and want something that will compliment our unique brick! I’ve considered some burnt oranges and some sapphire blues and even some mauves but not feeling in love with anything! I know I could always use the same green from the deck but I already have a lot of green in my home and was trying to branch out.
Thanks in advance!!
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2023.06.09 14:45 girl_from_the_crypt Stuck on earth and looking for a job: Fog dimension
So I guess newsreaders can hide their emotions really well on TV. I’ve never seen Mary Markov in any state of heightened temper. The time she came down to help after I’d burned down the FunFlair building with Frankie was definitely a first in that regard. Then again, I’d never committed arson before either, so there were a lot of firsts that night. It’s been two days, but I can still see her angry face before me when I close my eyes. It frightened me a little.
After the fire had been doused by her staff, she gave Fran and me a look unlike anything I’d ever seen before. There was a homicidal rage in her eyes, her mouth had turned into a thin, steely line and the vein on her forehead threatened to pop. To my surprise (and admittedly relief), she turned the entirety of that wrath against Frankie Preston. “What in the world were you thinking?” she thundered, looming dangerously over the shorter man. “You committed a goddamn crime! If you were a normal person, I’d have to get you behind bars now!”
“Wait, I’m the privileged one here?” he snapped. “That woman tortured me! She brought me into this world by fault
and proceeded to make me wish I’d never been born! And there was nothing I could ever do about it, because, oh, that’s right, I’m not a normal person!
As you so endearingly put it. No one has a fucking clue what I am, so it’s okay for me to suffer, isn’t it?”
Mary opened her mouth to respond, but only ended up shutting it again. Then she focused her scrutiny onto me. “I thought you’d have known better.”
“I’m sorry for the inconvenience, but I knew what I was getting myself into. This was a contemplated decision.”
“Was it ever.”
I motioned for her to step aside with me, bringing a bit of distance between ourselves and my waiter. “I’ll make it up to you,” I began. “I will, but please, please
“Did he force you to come?”
“You don’t actually believe he could force me into anything, do you?”
Mary Markov sighed. “I guess not. Look, it’s not like I don’t understand his grudge. And from what I know of Ms Wallis, she won’t be missed by many. I just wish it didn’t have to come to this. This means a ton of work for me.”
“It means so much more to him.”
Another sorrowful moan. Then, “Alright. I have your back. But don’t, um… encourage
this kind of behavior in him, please.”
“I won’t,” I promised. “What are you going to do about the other doll?”
“She’s in bad shape—”
“Trash shape,” Fran chimed in from behind, having inconspicuously strayed closer.
“She’s in bad shape,” Mary repeated, pointedly ignoring him, “and currently unresponsive, but since you said she’s shown signs of sentience, I guess we’ll have to look into her. It prompts a very interesting question, after all.”
“Being?” I offered.
“Think about it. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the other two living dolls, Zion Boyd and Bunny Martell, but they came alive after Frank tinkered with them. And now there’s this one. Maybe your little boyfriend has some kind of yet to be explored ability, seeing as he was the first to gain awareness.” She fell silent for a pregnant pause, glancing between the two of us. “Something to ponder on your drive home. Which you will be starting now.” She made a shooing motion with both her hands.
The message being quite clear, Frankie and I got back into his car. The ride was quiet at first, but it wasn’t an uncomfortable stillness. It felt like a weight I didn’t know I’d been carrying had been lifted. I stared at the server’s profile, alternately framed by nightly darkness and moonlight, drinking in every little detail about it. It was hard to believe that someone as cruel as Philomena Wallis had created something this breathtaking.
“So you’ll probably wanna talk about all of this, huh. About what I am, I mean.” Frankie’s voice was light and relaxed with only a hint of uncertainty gnawing at it.
“What’s there to talk about?”
“Aren’t you surprised? A little… disgusted, maybe?”
“I always knew you weren’t human. Beyond that, it doesn’t really matter to me what you are.” I shrugged. “I mean, I’d be fine if you were human, too. I’d be fine if you were a squonk.”
“What’s a squonk?”
“I don’t know, I just made that up. Anyways, did you actually think I would be grossed out? Did you?”
He smiled. “I guess not. This’ll sound crazy, and it’s hard to explain, but it’s like I got a voice in the back of my head constantly telling me that… that I should wash myself again or that I ought not to touch you. I suppose it’s not really a voice; it’s only these thoughts that kind of keep pushing into my mind even though I should know better. And I do know better. But that doesn’t stop the thoughts.”
I nodded slowly. “I think I understand. I can’t tell you how much I disagree with that voice, though. You’re the cleanest person I’ve ever met and if I could, I’d live in your hair like a cootie."
"That's how close you want me?"
He let out a soft laugh. “I’m really, really glad you came with me. If there’s ever anything you need, I’ll do it. No matter what. If you want to bury a body, I’ll dig the hole.” He paused. “Actually, we should sell any corpses you might have. It’s wonderfully lucrative.”
I shot him a quick smile before turning to stare out the window with knitted brows. “What do you think about what Mary Markov said? About you being able to make the dolls come alive somehow.”
“I don’t know if there’s anything to it. I don’t remember doing anything special with them. Zion and Bunny were just standing around when I turned them on, and they came to within minutes. I figured they were sentient before, and it was simply repressed. I woke up randomly, too, after all.”
I hummed pensively. “I wouldn’t be so sure.”
“Well, if you’re implying it’s some kinda superpower, then that’s probably the most useless one ever.”
“We don’t have to talk about this now,” I told him, to which he gave me a grateful half-grin.
Per my request, he dropped me off at Nettie’s place. I kissed him goodbye on the crown of his head and told him we’d text the following day. He thanked me again and I watched him drive off before going up to ring the doorbell, mentally preparing an apology for showing up at five-thirty in the morning. My savior human was surprisingly quick to answer, giving me an indulgent wave as soon as I stumbled over my first “I’m sorry”.
“It’s fine,” she muttered. “I hadn’t gone to bed yet.”
I gave her an incredulous look and she sighed, crossing her arms in front of her chest. Her normally soft, rounded cheeks were sunken, her eyes oddly dull. Judging from the angry red marks, she’d apparently been chewing on her lower lip with some force. It was only then that I took note of the sweater she was wearing. A faded, shaggy piece of fabric that clearly hadn’t been washed since Kit Sutton had given it to her on the cliff that day. I felt a sharp pang in my chest and pulled her into a hug as soon as I’d stepped inside with her.
She stifled a sob when she wrapped her arms around me in return. “It’s hit or miss with me when it comes to sleep lately,” she confessed in a brittle voice.
I swallowed. “I’m working on it. I’ll get her back for you, I have a lead. Is there anything I can do in the meantime?”
“Not really. I just gotta distract myself ‘til the morning comes, I’ll be fine then.”
“Then I’ll stay up with you.”
It was thus decided. We sat down in the living room for a while, then went out into the garden to watch the sunrise. My savior human had taken her place in her mother’s chair while I whipped up some chocolate chip pancakes (one of her favorites) for her for breakfast. I carried them out to her on a little plate with a cup of tea, and for a moment, her expression cleared up for a beam of happiness to shine through. “We should do something productive,” she remarked, and I gave her a questioning tilt of the head. “I’ve been thinking,” she went on. “Isn’t it weird how all these years, you didn’t hop dimensions once, and now all of a sudden it keeps happening?”
“Don’t worry about that right now.”
“I always worry, baby girl. It’s my natural state of being.”
“It shouldn’t be,” I insisted. “It feels wrong. You have your own problems, I don’t want to add to that.”
“Seriously, that’s not what’s happening here. This is just how I keep my mind off… things.”
I rolled my lips together. Blue-haired things, probably.
“You deserve so much better. You deserve this to be way, way easier,” I stated.
“That’s a nice thought. But it doesn’t change anything right now. You can control your body, can’t you? Your teeth and tentacles?”
“Yes. It happens automatically when I get scared sometimes, but for the most part, I’m actively doing it.”
“Then how about if we could somehow start getting you on top of your dimension jumping, too? It would be a tad risky and I’m not sure how to go about it exactly, but it would be far better if you could toggle it. You’d be able to stop yourself from hopping when you don’t want to, but maybe you could venture into these other spaces for exploration purposes, too.” The words spilled out of her like a babbling little waterfall as she plucked apart one of her pancakes and stuffed them into her mouth. “Because there has to be more to this. I just have that feeling. So I reckon we try and find a way to work with this. What do you think?”
“Sure. I guess I’d be… open to that.”
“Really? I-I don’t want to pressure you…”
“No, no, it sounds fine! I wanna try!”
“Okay!” She set aside her plate, rubbing her hands in blatant excitement. “So it happens when your flight instinct kicks in, correct? How about we get you in that headspace on purpose?”
“How would we do that?” I asked cautiously.
When I was sitting cross-legged on the ground among my savior human’s countless flowers with my eyes closed and her hand in mine, that question had pretty much answered itself. Nettie Peterson was leading me in a “guided meditation” consisting of several intrusive queries about my first ever jump—the most terrifying moment of my entire life.
“The thing, that floating maw, what did it look like?” she began, referring to the creature that had ended it all.
I furrowed my brows. “It didn’t look like
anything,” I replied meekly. “Mostly, it was just… really big and dark.”
“Dark? What color dark?”
“Black, I guess. It swallowed the light.” A pulsating pain began to flare up behind my forehead. “It was nothing. It was like a giant ball of nothing.”
“You told me once that it made a noise,” my best friend went on, her fingers grasping mine a little tighter. “Do you remember that sound?”
I winced. “Yes.”
“It was more like a vibration that went through everything,” I mumbled. “The ground was shaking. And then we all screamed.”
“Did you see inside its mouth?”
“No. There was nothing inside of its mouth. There was nothing inside of it
. Just emptiness.” I shifted my weight. Images were flashing in front of my inner eye, filling the darkness behind my closed lids. My breath had caught in my throat and it felt like ants were crawling beneath my skin. “And then all of us were suddenly… nothing
, everything was gone and at that last moment, everyone was so terrified. They all knew it was over. All of them.”
At first, I thought Nettie Peterson’s hand was trembling. Then I realized it was my own, shaking hers through the contact. For a moment, my body felt feather-light, but not in a relaxing or comfortable way. It was as though I was afloat, out of control and weightless. I didn’t like it. “Can we stop?” I choked out.
“Of course,” my best friend replied, gently squeezing my fingers.
I let go of a deep breath, blinking my eyes open. Across from me, Nettie was giving me a soft but deeply apologetic smile. “Did I push you too far?”
“It’s not your fault. I think I simply wasn’t ready for this.”
“I understand. Let’s go inside and make some more of those—” She stopped mid-sentence. She’d been pointing her chin at the plate of pancakes resting on her chair, only to see that it had changed
The food I had just served her half an hour ago had turned into a moldy, rotten mess. A couple flies were circling it, emitting a low, almost melodic buzz. My savior human and I traded wide-eyed glances, disbelief, fear and excitement mirrored in our eyes. We then got up to take in our surroundings. The flowers surrounding us weren’t the same anymore. They were either withered or deathly pale; formerly pink, yellow and red petals had become either light gray or iridescently white. Thick, soupy fog was hanging over everything, it was denser and heavier than any we’d ever had in town before. The mist seemed to have consumed all the noise and color in the world, leaving only cold, oppressive silence.
Nettie was the first to regain speech. “It worked! Oh my Lord, it actually worked.”
I clasped her arm and she immediately fell silent. Wordlessly, I pointed at the rolling fog on the other side of the garden fence. There was something moving
within. An enormous, caterpillar-like shape soundlessly dragged itself through the air, its long body slowly moving along across the street. My savior human’s jaw had dropped, her mouth wide open as she followed my gaze. Neither of us moved a muscle as we waited for the creature to pass by. Thankfully, it didn’t seem to take note of us at all. I didn’t want to imagine what could happen if one were to draw its attention.
“This is… I don’t believe this,” Nettie breathed, running a hand over her mussed coils. “You did it. We’re not home anymore.”
“What do you propose to do now?”
“Keep our heads low and try to find out anything useful, I’d say.”
I nodded and she folded her hand into the crook of my arm. Together, we proceeded through the open door back into the house. Wammawink and Nettie’s old convertible were standing in their garage, a pool of motor fluid surrounding each vehicle. The paint was peeling from the car doors, matching the way the pictures and photographs around her house had faded.
The food in her kitchen had morphed into a self-contained ecosystem. Bugs were crawling up and down the walls and ghostly white mice scuttled across the floor with shocking brazenness. There was no trace of human life anywhere in sight. We stepped out the front door and into the street only for Nettie to grab me and fling me to the ground next to her. We flattened ourselves against the curb as another one of the gigantic caterpillar-figures snaked its way along just a couple feet above our heads. I craned my neck to give my best friend a sidelong glance out of terrified, saucer-sized eyes. I could see my reflection in hers as she pressed a finger to her lips. I gave her a tiny nod.
Finally, it was gone again and we helped each other to our feet. Nettie brushed down her sweater with great care before tilting her head at me as though asking if I was alright. I gave a reassuring, albeit wavering smile which she returned with a slight strain to her brow. We linked arms again and started walking down the street. The whole dimension seemed to be a mirror image of our hometown, only deader. Aside from the flies and vermin, there seemed to be very little life. All of the houses we were so familiar with looked decrepit, old and empty. Walls were crumbling down, roofs looked to be seconds away from caving in and most windows were shattered. It was impossible to see ahead through the mist, but we managed to hide from the flying worm-things everytime they came up.
We were starting to become a little frustrated seeing as our exploration yielded nothing of note. There was hardly anything to be seen safe from the depressing alternate version of our neighborhood. On top of that, the clammy chill that hung in the air along with the fog was making us increasingly uncomfortable. Finally, we decided we should try and get back home. We returned to Nettie’s garden where we crouched down once again, hand in hand. Before my savior human could begin her questioning though, the ground beneath us suddenly began to shudder, heaving as if moved by some kind of subterranean pulse.
Nettie Peterson and I snapped our eyes open at the exact same time, mouths agape in bewilderment. And then we saw it. It was in the sky, partially veiled by the thick fog yet impossible to overlook. It became darker and darker as it neared, its indescribably large form seemed to envelop the entirety of the heavens. It had been five years since I had last seen it, but I recognized it immediately. Not that it had any features I could have recognized. I remembered though, and in that moment, it all came flooding back to me. The breeders that threw themselves in front of their young, the cries that echoed across the plains together with the stones and soil sent rolling by the earthquake. I caught my best friend’s gaze, read the terror in it and knew that it was just as immense as my own. Her lips were parted in an ear-piercing scream that ended up being drowned out by the hovering roar of the Devourer Of Worlds.
I squeezed her hand so tightly I feared I’d snap her fingers. And suddenly, before I knew it, all was silent again. The air was warmer, filled with the fragrances of countless different flowers. The early morning sun was shining down on us, and it felt like it was heating up my very core. We were back. In the blink of an eye, Nettie had thrown her arms around me, pulling me close to her chest.
“Baby girl,” she whispered.
“That was it,” I rasped out. “That was it.”
“I know.” Withdrawing just an inch, she wiped a thumb over my eye, careful not to scrape me with her nail. It was only then that I realized I was crying. Tears were streaming down my cheeks, noiseless and hot, dripping from my chin and wetting my chest.
"You're not hurt, are you? Look, it's going to be alright. You just take it easy now. We'll go inside, have some tea or coffee or whatever and calm down, a-and then we can figure this all out. Come on. Get up. Easy, easy now." She hugged me even as she pulled me to my feet and into the house alongside her. "So tea. How about strawberry? Or Turkish apple? Or classic chamomile? Something for the nerves, at any rate."
"Wait," I stammered, interrupting her monologue. "What about you? Are you okay?"
"Oh, no. No, no, no, far from it. I'll sign us both up for therapy once I find the time, but for now, tea! Tea."
"Nettie, please don't strain yourse—"
"Listen here, I'm gonna make you some goddamn tea and we'll sit down with it and it's gonna be warm and nice and we'll forget all about this. I'm here. I can take care of you. You do not
need to be scared." She pressed her face close up to mine, her voice sharp and a mite threatening.
"I'm sort of scared of you
"Oh." She drew back. "Pardon. I'll put on the tea." A forced, crooked tune tumbled from her lips as she went ahead into the kitchen.
We've both simmered down a little since the incident. It's been two days now. I used most of that time to unwind and recover from what had to be the single most eventful night of my time here on earth. Keep in mind, this happened the morning after the fire. The calm is not going to last much longer, though. I don't mind that, I just need to brace myself.
Rhonda's been in touch. X 1 2: deadbeat roommate 3: creepy crush 4: relocation 5: beach concert 6: First date 7: Temp work 8: roommate talk 9: a dismal worldview 10: warehouse 11: staircase 12: explanation 13: hurt 14: hospital 15: ocean 16: diner 17: government work 18: something in the caves 19: shopping cart 20: olms and Jewels 21: long hair 22: recruitment 23: waitresses 24: dollhouse 25: burning plastic
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2023.06.09 14:42 Adamsm83 Dry brushing help
Total noob, if I want purple highlights over a blue base color, should I dry brush with white first? and to hit the same areas, should I dry brush with purple or just paint like regular over the white areas? and lastly, when dry brushing do I use a thicker paint or use the same viscosity i would use for everything else? Thanks
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2023.06.09 14:39 cardinalsquirrel Is this better?
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I posted here the other day asking for rug advice, and you were all so helpful! You said my current rug (second pic) is beautiful but too small, and maybe too colorful for the space, so I ordered a new big one with lighter colors but from the same Rifle Paper Loloi collection (rendering in first pic — and you can also spot my tape measure from choosing a size lol). What are your thoughts? Does this one work here? I also added a third pic so you can see the rest of the room — we currently have a blue accent wall and a painting with lots of blue in it, so I’m trying to tie that in with the chaisofa through the rug. The old rug will find a new home somewhere, maybe in my office. Here’s a link to the new rug.
Thanks so much!
2023.06.09 14:01 Liberty-Prime76 Letter of Marque - A NoP Fanfic 12
As always, thank you to u/SpacePaladin15
for the wonderful universe that is NoP
Thank you to u/cruisingNW
for proof reading and helping me out of some hang ups, you're the man! Honestly LoM wouldn't have gone very far without him! If you haven't you should absolutely go read Foundations of Humanity
! It's very
good. First Prev.
--- Memory Transcription Subject: Christopher A. Dewey, Human Merchant Sailor, Venlil-Human Exchange Participant
Date [Standardized Human Time]: August 29th, 2136, Very Early Morning.
We got a message an hour ago from Videk, ordering us to report to Hangar-08 to start On-Stick training; and to bring our bags! I guess the guy had wanted to get as much out of the day as he could. That or he wanted to get this over with as soon as possible.
Videk met us at the doors to the hangar, a small travel bag sitting on the floor by his side, tail swaying slowly as he watched us approach. “Good Waking, Taisa. Good Waking… Christopher.” An improvement, I’ll have to ask Taisa about that talk they had.
“This,” He continued, motioning to the shuttle parked in the hangar behind him with his tail. “Is your training shuttle: registration C1-0V3R-HR-EX.Your first On-Stick training assignment will be to follow appropriate lift off and departure procedures, plot and follow a course to The Capitol on Venlil Prime, seek permission to land from the proper authorities, and land safely and legally following those permissions. All of this, while following proper procedure and regulations. All of this will be graded.
As he speaks the door behind him slides open, revealing a broad hangar bay, heavy clamshell doors dominate the far wall. At the center of the bay sits a stout craft painted white and black, a pair of stubby wings jutting from its sides flowing into a pair of engines flanking a singular tail. Venlil script is painted at the root of the tail and on the top of the rear ramp.
“Upon arrival in the Capitol you will have some paperwork to do at the U.N. offices with regards to your habitation. I will need to pick up some equipment from the training facility at the landing fields. After our respective errands, let’s say half a claw, we will meet up back at the shuttle and from there you will be plotting an in-atmosphere route to Shadetree, Sunward of the Capitol, to drop me off and wait for me to install and calibrate the remote instructing equipment. Once that is completed, you will plot another in-atmosphere course to Heartwood River, concluding this paws evaluations. Do you have any questions?”
I shook my head, and Taisa flicked her ears, in what I believed was a negative. “Very good, load your stuff and we’ll begin immediately.”
After a few minutes of finding places to tie off our belongings and get everything situated, I sat in the pilot’s seat and ran through the pre-flight check with Taisa. We caught a pair of faults in the starboard fuel delivery units. Videk seemed pleased we had caught them, and that he hadn’t had to tell us they were there. I could feel a slight smile tug at the corner of my mouth. Devious little bastard makes for a damn good instructor.
Once the preflight was complete I closed the rear ramp and hailed the flight control tower. “Tower this is shuttle C1-0V3R-HR-EX requesting clearance for departure, place us enroute to Venlil Prime with planned landing zone of Capitol Shuttle Field 13-Bravo.” A Human voice came back over the line, a bit of mirth in their voice. “Shuttle, Tower, you are clear for departure, opening bay doors now. Good luck and Godspeed.”
The doors to the station hangar yawned open, filling the viewport with the void and all its stars beyond as I slowly brought the shuttle off the hangar floor, easing it out through the opening. I reached over to the nearest display and opened the Nav-computer interface, plotting our course to VP, and then on to the Capitol landing fields. Once I was confident I had the proper navigation commands and sequences set I called over Videk to have him review my work.
He gave me a quick flick of his tail before saying “Looks good, Christopher. Feel free to spool and jump when you’re ready.”
Videk’s approval given, I reached over and pushed forward on the throttles, engaging the drive and hurtling the shuttle into subspace.
It. Was. Beautiful. Everything seemed to stretch, stars in the distance turning from pinpricks of light into brilliant colorful streaks, lengthening as we bounded through the void. Lines of light far off in my periphery zip past like tracers as the ones before me feel as if they’re pulling me in with their kaleidoscope of color. The hum of the shuttle fell into the background while I became entranced by the light show in front me, picturing myself on the set of one of those old sci-fi shows I would watch with Pa on the weekends. The Future my ancestors had imagined was Here, right before my eyes and at the tips of my fingers! This view was… Hypnotic.
The simulator couldn’t hope to do it justice.
Two hours. That was it.
Two hours to travel what, until very
recently, would have been considered an insurmountable distance for Humanity. Dropping from Sub-space into the proximity of Venlil Prime was another astoundingly brilliant view. Scorched white deserts flowing into massive swathes of golden sands cut by the occasional streak of blue before blending into a beautiful verdant mix of turquoise and green fields, with vast lakes and rivers dotting the forests, flowing into wide marshy wetlands. Before finally, the curve of the planet fell away from its star, allowing the fading sunlight to showcase glittering city lights dotting the countryside.
The thrusters burn to life, crackling and thrumming with power as they drive us forward through the void to the beautiful marble before us. I flip two switches on the overhead, tapping the leftmost display to call up the local channel list and place a hail to the Capitol’s landing fields to request clearance and pad assignment. A quick ping, signifying my hail had been acknowledged, chimed over the console speaker.
“Capitol Shuttle Field 13-Bravo this is Shuttle C1-0V3R-HR-EX requesting clearance for landing at an available pad of convenience.” “C1-0V3R-HR-EX, you are cleared for landing, 13-Bravo, direct to pad Charlie-5.”
The Flight through the Void may have had some feeling of familiarity and nostalgia to the old Sci-fi shows at home; but in-atmo had the far
better view! Rolling turquoise fields and towering thick trees, with their canopies tilted greedily towards that unmoving sun, falling away to a gargantuan metropolitan area, its architecture entirely alien yet still somehow familiar. Massive skyscrapers soar to touch the sky, reflecting light in brilliant angles and colors, the space below them populated by squat sturdy buildings and deep black roads. The Venlil going about their lives below look like ants as I ease off the throttle, taking the speed down to prepare for the final approach. The display on the viewport flags my landing area with a small pip guiding me in, slow and easy.
The cabin jostles slightly as the ship settles onto its landing gear. Videk seemed impressed; his ears up as he tapped away at his data pad! Taisa’s tail sways happily back and forth as she runs through the diagnostics of the landing, checking system status reports.
“Looks like we’re all clear. Videk do you have a time we should try and be back by?” Taisa beeps, showing the flight instructor the console in front of her.
“I just need to pick up the equipment and get it linked up, that should only take about a half a claw. Walking to and from the landing field and the U.N. Offices should put you at about the right time.” Videk turned away and made for the ramp; Taisa’s talk helped, and he was clearly trying, but he was still a bundle of nerves around me. His fur was so puffed out it looked like he was holding more static than a thunderhead.
As we stepped out of the artificial gravity of the shuttle I felt like I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. My first step faltered making me stumble down the ramp and bounce off the… soft pavement? “Oh, forgot about that.” Videk winced sympathetically, “Our gravity is about twenty percent more than earth’s, so be careful. Falls are likely to hurt a little bit more here.”
“Would’ve been nice to know first
, Videk.” I groaned, rolling myself over and sitting up, luckily the visor hadn’t fallen off; I would need to add one of those new back braces and some knee compressors to that order of stuff from home. “Do you know where the U.N. Offices are? Or should we just ask around to find our way there?”
“I do not, but you should be able to get directions on your pad. I trust the two of you can figure it out, so I’m going to go get the equipment I need. I will wait for the two of you with the shuttle once I am ready.” With a parting flap of his ears, Videk turned and walked away; flicking the tip of his tail back and forth as he did.
“Alright then,” I grumbled, forcing myself up off the pavement, swaying as I found my new equilibrium. “let’s get going. Can you pull up those directions?” She nodded slightly, flicking her ears forward. “Got them up already! You alright there?”
“I’m fine.” I grunted, rolling out my shoulder a little. “Feels like I weigh a quarter ton, but I’ll get over it with time. Lead the way.”
After a few minutes of walking we were off the landing fields and into the streets of the city. My boots sinking into the pavement a little with each step, just like on the landing field. “Taisa, what is this stuff? I figured it was just to make landings a little softer on shuttles but it’s everywhere! Looks like pavement but it gives like rubber; why are your roads like this?” “Anti-stampede concrete.” She stated, matter of factly, like that meant literally anything to me. My silence must have tipped her off that I wasn’t getting it as she focused one eye on my visor. “Oh… I guess Humans wouldn’t need that. It’s to help reduce stampede fatalities, it’s the same reason the roads and buildings have gentle curves, no sharp angles.” Looking around at the way the groups of Venlil flowed through the streets I realized she was right, what I had thought was a futuristic aesthetic design was just to keep people from killing each other against walls or trampling them into the ground when they got scared. How strange… and slightly worrying.
“Weird, that sounds like some crazy wonder material. Bet we’d have a bunch of uses for it back on earth.” My eyes watched the tips of skyscrapers towering above us, “How far out does it say we are?”
“Only a little further, about one and a half kilometers.” She responded, a slight pant in her voice. I wasn’t in the best shape, cardio wise, but I couldn’t imagine getting winded after 10 minutes of walking; guess all that talk about the Venlil having less stamina than us was right.
The U.N. Office complex was a series of giant flowing buildings built on a large park area. It wasn’t any design I had ever seen so I figured it had to have been an existing complex that just got turned over to the U.N. for their uses.
Passing through the heavy glass front doors we found a wide receptionist's desk, with several Humans sitting behind it, answering questions and directing people where they needed to go. One of the receptionists, a short dark haired woman with a visor obscuring her face, beckons us over. “Hello! How can I help you today?” “H-Hi!” Taisa beeps excitedly, her tail swaying behind her confidently as she takes a deep breath and straightens her back. “We’re part of the ‘integration’ experiments, we were told we need to fill out some forms for habitation. Where do we go to do that?” “Oh! Congratulations! That would be Suite 216-B” The receptionist answered, excitement in her voice as she pointed to a room on the map infront of her.
“Thank you!” Taisa responded, turning to head up the stairs behind the receptionist's desk. Halfway up the stairs she swiveled her ears over to me before saying. “Sorry, I figure if I’m probably going to have to work with Humans other than you for this I should try and at least work on being able to talk to them.” “It’s alright,” I chuckle, patting her shoulder. “That’s a great idea and you’re doing alright!” Walking down the hallways we saw prints of landscapes from Earth, Machu Picchu, the Uyuni Salt Flats, The Grand Canyon, YellowStone, Hạ Long Bay, The Zhangye Mountains and Plitvice Lakes. I pointed out the places I had been to as we walked past them, finally stopping at suite 216-B.
The door was open so we knocked, getting a quick ‘enter’, before stepping in. A man sits behind a desk, the top covered in organized files and folders, a placard on his desk declares his name as ‘Obediah Kamara’ with a small Liberian flag stamped beside it.
His visor obscures his face as he looks between the two of us before beginning. “I presume you are…” He sorts through a couple of the files and folders before stopping on one and opening it, pulling out a document packet. “Christopher Dewey and Taisa. Correct?”
We both respond in the affirmative as he gestures for us to take the seats across from him, sliding the documents across the table as Taisa’s pad pings on her belt. “These are agreements to ensure that you,” He starts, looking at me. “Understand the rules in regards to your habitation here on Venlil Prime. I understand that part of your integration will be taking you off world to and from Earth, these rules primarily apply to your time here. We ask that you remain considerate of the provided rules and guidelines on the ship if you are carrying Venlil passengers. Taisa, those are the terms, conditions, compensations and requirements for your family to house a human when the two of you are present. Virtual signature of that document is required within the next 3 of your ‘paws’.” Taisa stiffened a little bit, likely thinking about her Mother’s response to my arrival; that was something we were probably going to have to have a talk about later. I had an idea for the short term, at least. I ran through the paperwork real quick and it was all pretty simple: don’t be without the visor or some kind of face covering in settings where you couldn’t guarantee that an unprepared Venlil wouldn’t see you, avoid aggression, speak quietly, no eating meat, animal products or byproducts, no hunting local wildlife; bit odd considering I didn’t even have a bow or a gun but rules are rules, I suppose.
“Sounds good to me,” I said, signing the indicated portions of the document. “When are my items supposed to get here?”
“We don’t expect your requested items to arrive for another week or so, for now you’ll have to make do with what you brought with you.” Obediah responded, shuffling the packet of papers back into the folder they had come from. “With that complete you are free to go. I understand you have training to complete, so I wish you good luck with your endeavor. If you have any questions or needs with regards to your habitation you can contact Sam, their details will be forwarded to your communication devices.”
I caught Taisa’s tail twitching as her ears swiveled nervously out of the corner of my eye; even with her attempts to push through it I think the amount of Humans around was starting to get to her. Still, she was doing better than I think a lot of Venlil would be able to manage. I reached over, gently tapping my hand against her paw, trying to ground her a little before motioning to go, she nodded slightly as she flicked her ears.
“Thank you, Obediah, we’ll be sure to get into touch with them once we get their contact. Have a good day!”
Taisa and I stood, exiting the room and making our way out of the building, stopping to look at another picture or two along the way. Something needed to be done about possibly not having a place to stay to put my, and more so Taisa’s,
mind at ease. I figured I could sleep in the shuttle, if I had to. It wouldn’t be particularly comfortable but I could certainly do it; I’d need a mat, maybe a sleeping bag or some blankets and a pillow.
I had no clue where I was going to get my hands on those, or at least a set of them big enough for me to actually use.
Then I saw the temporary units in the field near the offices. Men and Women in U.N. fatigues were milling about the area. Barracks? That could solve the problem, if they’re willing to help out a man in need, of course.
“Hey, Taisa, I need to make a stop real quick.” I state, walking briskly towards the largest of the buildings. “What’s up?” She asks, ears focused on me as she tilts her head a little.
“Well, I was thinking, I don’t think your parents, your Mom especially, won’t, uh… won’t want me around
. At least not for a little while until she gets to know me better.”
“I think you can get past it, she’s not that
bad… It’ll just be tough.”
“Oh I’m sure I can get past it, but I’d rather not just sleep in the grass in the meantime.” “I don’t think she’d make you sleep in the grass…” “I like being prepared, if she doesn’t want me in her house I’m not going to push the issue.”
“I just… I hope it doesn’t come to that, I’m not going to let her toss you outside like an animal.” She sighs quietly as we push through the front door of the barrack building.
A desk manned by a napping U.N. Marine with Private ranks stuck to his shoulders filled the space beyond the doors. He stirs as the doors clank shut behind us before scrambling to throw on his Visor as he notices Taisa.
“Hello, Uh… Can I help you? This area is for active U.N. personnel only.” He starts, his voice finding its authority only about halfway through the statement.
I stand straight, trying to muster the stern demeanor I’d found in my father and his friends so often when they tried to get something on base after their retirements. “Easy, Private. It has come to my attention that my accommodations lack proper bedding.” “O-Oh, uh, I apologize…” He stammers out, searching for something to say, likely looking to find a way out of trouble for sleeping on duty.
“Sir.” I state. “What’s your name, Private?”
“Alvarez. I’ll remember that, Alvarez, how about we make this quick, you get me a wrap of blankets, 3 pillows and a bedroll and I don’t find your commander to report your… lack of enthusiasm
The private snaps to attention before firmly stating. “Yes Sir! I’ll be right back, Sir!”
As the private turns and walks away crisply I hear Taisa whistle with laughter a little beside me. “I’m surprised that worked.”
“You’d be surprised what a hard voice, straight back and the right slacking Private can get you if you just don’t go pushin' it too far in your story.” I whispered with a wink.
After a few minutes of waiting Private Alvarez returned with a duffle bag, stuffed full with blankets and pillows, as well as an inflatable bedroll under the other arm. “Here you go, Sir. Will this be ok?” He asked, passing the items over to me.
“Perfect, thank you Private.” I took the bundle of bedding and turned to the door, before turning my head back over my shoulder, “Oh, and Private? Do try and get proper rest before duty.”
A shaking “Y-Yes, Sir.” followed Taisa and I out of the door.
The first half of the walk back to the landing field was quiet, I was scanning the skyline again, I just couldn’t get over the fact that I was on another planet
. Taisa however had her ears pinned back, her paws lightly holding her tail tuft as we walked.
“What’s got ya down?” I asked, watching the herd of Venlil glide around us as we came, trying their best not to get too close to me.
“I’m… concerned.” She sighed, the tip of her tail twitching between her paws.
“My mother, what she’ll say… What she’ll do.
“I can’t exactly say I know what her reaction’ll be… But, whatever it is we’ll just have to deal with it. It’ll probably take time, but we’ll get by.” I soothed. She let go of her tail, placing the tip of it on my back, but her ears didn’t let up at all.
The rest of the walk to the shuttle was quiet as she fidgeted with her paws, trying to take her mind off of the subject. Videk was there waiting for us, a few crates secured to the cargo area of the shuttle that weren’t present before.
“You two ready?” He asked, flicking his tail at us.
“I think so.” I responded, stowing the bedding in an empty compartment as Taisa flicked her ears.
We ran through our preflight checklist again, finding another pre-placed failure from Videk waiting for us, this time in the starboard control surfaces. Once the check was done we radioed the tower for clearance to take off and set an in-atmo course for Shadetree to drop off Videk. It was a short hop, about a half hour of flying or so before I had to call ahead for clearance to land again.
Most of the flight from the Capitol to Shadetree had been rolling turquoise and green hills or open fields of produce growing in the everpresent light. A sudden dense forest rose from the fields, thick dark brown trees with fluttering golden leaves stretched as far as the eye could see in every direction. A sudden break in the forest revealed a clearing for the Landing field, much smaller than the one at the Capitol. The city was built under the canopy of the trees, giving it a constant filtered light casting down through the shifting leaves. It was certainly a beautiful town, I’d have to come back to visit some day. Maybe once Videk had warmed up to me a little bit more.
As the ramp fell ,a small cargo truck arrived alongside the shuttle to collect Videk and his equipment. I offered to help but the Venlil driver just about ran when I started talking so I figured it was probably best to just keep out of it. Once the cargo truck departed, Taisa came back up to the cockpit, plopping down in her seat, and looked through the viewscreen at the trees beyond. The soft hiss of the ramp closing marked the finality of Videk’s departure.
“So, how are you feeling about Venlil Prime so far?” She asked, one eye on my face as I finally slipped the visor off.
“I like it! Between the beautiful scenery, interesting architecture and hanging out with you and Shamrock, here I’m having a great time!” I responded, rubbing my hand on what amounted to the shuttle's dashboard.
” She asked, her tail swaying in what I figured for amusement.
“Yea! Remember how I told you Humans like looking for patterns? Well it works on words and numbers as well. The tail number for the shuttle could be taken to spell ‘Clover-HR-EX’, or just clover for short. Clovers are a type of plant on earth that a few cultures believed to be lucky, one way or another. One of the nicknames for them was a Shamrock!”
She laughed at me.
“You are such
a dork.” She said, wiping a tear from her eye as her tail whipped back and forth. “It’s a good name, usually shuttles don’t get one. I think it fits.”
I chuckled, a thought crossing my mind. “Think we could get any shuttle-grade paint? Preferably green, yellow and black?” She raised an eyebrow at me as her ears cocked at different elevations. “Oh? Someone feeling a little artistic?”
“Well, I could always paint a Shamro-” I was interrupted as the ping signifying we were being hailed sounded off. “We’ll finish this later.” I said, pointing at her as I accepted the hail.
Videk’s voice bled through the speakers. “Ok, looks like the connection is secure. Let’s go ahead and run through getting you familiar with the software, it should be quick and easy.”
It was not.
It took two hours. After a lot of trial and error, stop and go flights to test the connection and a few near misses with an especially tall tree we had gotten the system setup such that Videk was confident it would work in an emergency if he needed to step in. With that all squared away Taisa and I settled in to get on our way to Heartwood River. Sleeping on the blow up mattress or on a real bed hardly mattered at this point, I just wanted to sleep
The overall flight time was set to be about an hour and a half, not too bad and man
was the view beautiful: rolling fields, roaring rivers, pristine skies and alien forests abounded across the countryside. We had just passed over Hidden Plains when Taisa and I were just settling back into talking about her parents and our best route to try and handle them, when the hail system chimed and immediately spat out a harsh tone without acknowledgement, the same one the simulator used for distress calls.
“Mayday Mayday Mayday. Report of shots fired at residence housing humans. Need immediate medical evac at The Berrypatch Farm in The Grove, 11 minutes Night-ward from Hidden Plains. Hailing all airborn craft, we need a medical evac immediately!”
I immediately returned the hail. “This is cargo shuttle C1-0V3R-HR-EX. Responding to Mayday from the Grove. We are en-route to render aid. Hold tight, we’ll be there.”
Out of the corner of my eye I saw Taisa tighten her flight harness as I reached for the throttle.
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