You have the strange one-of-a-kind ability to know, just by looking at a sheet of paper, what is meant to be written on it. Growing up this helped you ace every school exam with no one the wiser, but as an adult you’ve found it has other advantages – and disadvantages.

I was Anne, once. Anne with an e, like in the old book. 

No-one here knows my name. Here, I am Rosetta. 

It seemed so harmless when I was younger. When I looked at a paper, any paper, I knew what should be written on it. It started with my diary, when I was very young. Then quizzes and tests at school, essays and reports and so on. 

It doesn’t work on blank paper. Blank paper is neutral. Uncommitted. It needs to be committed to something. A title or heading is often enough. Sometimes I need more specifics to get me started, maybe a short precis or something. Translation and code-breaking are easy – they put them on a form, with spaces for the translated words, and those come through very clearly. 

When the war started, I volunteered. Many of us, the ones with gifts, did. Our duty, we thought. For our people, for our country. So we came forward and admitted to our gifts, and put them at our country’s service. 

That was about sixteen years ago. I have not left this facility since. 

They don’t tell me much, but I don’t know why. It’s not as if they don’t give me every coded message to decode. I know more about the war – the current one – than most of them do. 

This is the second, or maybe the third. There was a break, but so short that it might just have been a cease-fire, or a temporary truce. They made an effort to pretend to me that the same war had lasted, but after a while I tactfully pointed out to one of my handlers that I spend more time reading top-secret communiques than they do. His angry embarrassment was very amusing. 

My days are monotonous, but not altogether unpleasant. I eat well – not fancy food, but wholesome, tasty food. Every day, I spend half an hour doing exercises, to keep my body in good condition.  I spend my evenings reading, watching movies, listening to music, whatever I feel like. If I’m unwell, a doctor attends me.

It took me some time to make it clear to my handlers that they would have to make me comfortable. That wasn’t a pleasant time, and I still have some scars. But eventually I was able to talk to someone capable of reason, not just obedience. My work takes concentration. It’s hard to concentrate if you’re uncomfortable. If I’m hungry, I can’t concentrate. If I’m in pain, I can’t concentrate. If I’m tired, I can’t concentrate. If I’m uncomfortable – too cold, bad chair, all the little discomforts they tried to use to break my will – I can’t concentrate. 

If I can’t concentrate, I can’t work fast… and I make mistakes.

I am very cooperative, if I’m comfortable.

Keep reading


#storytime #abuse cw #kidnapping cw #prison cw #war cw?

The Gate



When I was a child
I found a gate.

I was a bullied child, and solitary.
(Isn’t that always the way?)
It was a winter day, impossibly bright
As only winter days can be.
I was out behind the school.
(It was Saturday. That was why, really.
No other kid would be there to bother me.
On weekdays there might be other kids here
Who would bully me
If I tried to play here.)

There was snow on the ground.
The puddles of slush on the parking lot
Looked like deep, cavernous lakes of ice.
There was a mulberry bush
I called a blackberry bush
That gave up sweet fruit in the late spring
And a rock
As tall as I was
That we made believe was a mountain.

Between them there were trees
And bushes
A woods too small to be called a forest.
And today
Unlike yesterday
The bushes bent into an arch
And the arch stretched into a tunnel of branches.

Through the arch I smelled spring.
Flowers, and grass.
Anything really – in the cold you can’t smell.
Warm air wafted on my face
And I knew what this was.

Keep reading

I was reading the latest one of Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children series, and I got to the point where the child goes through the gate, and I realized… that could never have been me.

My mother really was disabled – she had fainting spells, and then she had hypoglycemia, and then she had diabetes – and I’d felt it was my responsibility to take care of her since I was four and she was crying because my grandfather was in the hospital. She also probably suffered from anxiety and was known to flip out from terror because I got on the wrong train.

For obvious reasons, no one tells the story of the child who doesn’t have the adventure because they have responsibilities at home. So I decided to. It’s a lot shorter than the story of the child who had the adventure.

It’s interesting that the protagonist assumes the portal is something *good*.

I went down a path once. Like yours, it wasn’t *quite* a forest, but the path was lined with trees and smaller plants. At the end of the paved path, what looked like a desire-path bike trail stretched off into the distant fields, leading who-knows-where.

It was…*peaceful*. Incredibly so. The trees shook in the breeze, and the leaves fluttered across my vision with different shades of green on each side, and the sound of their rustling brushed against my mind.

There was power there. It hummed in my bones, resonated through my soul.

I did linger. I let the power flow through me. Once.

And then I left, and I swore never to return. Because I know how that story ends, and it ends with me getting kidnapped by the Fair Folk. I’d walk out onto that narrow path, called by some ineffable compulsion, and never be seen again.

That’s not how I want my story to go.


#*knocks on wood* #in which Brin tries not to become an erotic-horror protagonist #(…I never quite make that explicit up there in the main post‚ do I) #(I guess I can’t think of a good way of doing it) #(probably an important part of the context though) #reply via reblog #storytime #fae #sexuality and lack thereof #abuse cw #kidnapping cw #this probably deserves some other warning tag but I am not sure what #[epistemic status: Pascal’s Wager]


i would never work as a gothic heroine which is a shame because i’ve got the looks for it but the firm presence of mind to gtfo from anything unpleasant



The Phantom: I have heard you sing. I have heard you, my child. I am the A—

me as Christine Daaé: [under my breath as I gather my things hurriedly] Our Father, Who art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name



rogue master of the manor: [begins making flirtatious veiled threats towards me]

me, a poor governess: [immediately makes plans to get a different job]



ruined aristocrat who has a dark reputation spoken about only in whispers: May we speak alone for a moment?

me, Aware of things: No thank you, we’ve only just met. My aunt is my chaperone and a lovely conversationalist. Please do come and discuss her seventeen dogs



dark brooding guardian: [makes borderline asinine comments about my blossoming beauty]

me, packing my bags: Time for finishing school!



passionate possessive lover: You shall be mine! [yanks on my arm]

me: [immediately lays down heavily like a corpse]

passionate possessive lover: I am very strong, I can still ca—stop it with the noodle arms!!

me: [slunks down further]



he keeps trying to grab my waist but everytime he leans over me my enormous hat knocks him right in the jaw

he keeps struggling to pull me up but he steps on my dress every two seconds

he lifts my arms over my head and tries to jiggle me into sitting up on my knees but i just looked like a squashed horse stuffed into a dress like :p

he tries to take me by my leg but i just flop back down and my petticoats are silk and therefore very slippery

eventually he gets fed up and calls a stableboy over and the stableboy tries to take me up by my head, yanking at me at the neck, and then my passionate possessive lover is like “no you little idiot! here take one of her feet” and dashes over to take me by the arms but as he leans over my enormous hat knocks him in the jaw

they’re trying to slowly drag me over to his carriage but all of the townspeople have stepped out of their houses and shops

people are slowly looking out of their carriages like “what the fuck?”

meanwhile the stableboy has his grip on my leg and the passionate possessive lover is carrying me by my arms like a ragdoll with his head thrown back so he doesn’t get knocked in the jaw again by my enormous hat and my derrière is skidding against the dirt making a lady-shaped line from one end of the street to the next



“Kidnapping. This is literally kidnapping.”

“Well, yes, but… yes.”

“Someone should do something, right?”

“Oh, only if they manage to actually get her in the carriage. I want to see how long it takes for him to give up.”


“Son, she could decapitate him with that hat.”

“How do you know?”

“That’s what happened to the last ass who actually got her in the carriage.”



“This is not very elegant,” my possessive ex-lover pants. With his head tilted back, I can’t see his face, but I can see the bead of sweat rolling its way down his jaw.

“If you sweat on me,” I say. pointing my toe so that my foot runs the risk of slipping out of the shoe the stable boy is clinging to, “I’ll use the hat.”

My possessive ex-lover swears and digs his nails into my arm when my derriere catches on a cobblestone. “Aren’t you already using the hat?”

A boy standing just outside his front door, close enough to have heard my threat, whoops. “She says she’s going to use the hat!”

The ensuing cheer from our onlookers puts the first hint of unease in my ex-lover’s eyes. 



The crowd begins to chant. “Use the hat!” they cry in unison, “use the hat!” I grin wickedly, looking my possessive ex-lover dead in the eyes. “Whatever the people want.” His eyes are huge with panic now. I only grin wider, glare more fiercely. I am going to use the hat. This is a grand spectacle now, and he will not see the finale.



#this went places and I’m here for them all  (via @stiltfox)


#storytime #anything that makes me laugh this much deserves a reblog #rape tw? #kidnapping cw #murder cw


shoutout to the time the Maps app directed me to an abandoned sawmill on an isolated and very foggy mountain down a long winding road far from help in the Radio Quiet Zone while my gas was running low instead of the little motel on Route 66 I was trying to get to

good times







I did but I got better





#anything that makes me laugh this much deserves a reblog #unreality cw #kidnapping cw

How the Yeerks Got a Sam’s Club Membership


           Oh, God. It was time to go down to the Yeerk pool again. They had really beefed up security lately, and I hadn’t been able to sneak out of a cage in weeks. A Taxxon stood constant guard at the door of each cage, and those are not easy fellows to sneak past.

           But I had been ‘upgraded’ with a universal translator, so I was able to understand and communicate with any alien now. Occasionally Hork-Bajir were mixed in the cages with humans, and I found it nice to chat with them. I found out that they’re actually herbivores, and that the pool complex housed an enormous greenhouse in order to supply them with the necessary supply of tree bark that made up the majority of their diet. The amount of money, energy, and man hours that this must consume were unfathomable.

           But today I found no one interesting to talk to inside the cage, and instead resorted to eavesdropping on the Taxxon who was guarding us. He was complaining to another Taxxon about the water quality in their barracks.

           “Every time I go in there the whole place smells like hessstle meat. Drives my host crazy,” the first Taxxon was saying. I should clarify that the universal translator doesn’t always translate every word. It usually leaves out the more colorful language.

           “It’s that ssshestisss filter. Never gets changed,” his companion replied.

           “It’s not like it’s hard to do,” the first one complained. “It’s just that you have to get a human host to pick it up the replacement from the store. Everyone gets a human and suddenly they’re too good to run errands for the lowly Taxxon controllers.”

           “I could help,” I piped up. I don’t know why I say these things. They just come out of my mouth faster than I can stop them. Both Taxxons turned to me.


Keep reading


#Animorphs #fanfic #anything that makes me laugh this much deserves a reblog #kidnapping cw #this probably deserves some other warning tag but I am not sure what


my best OC is Brad Wayne, Bruce’s illegitimate biological child via a totally normal woman he had a fling with when he was younger and didn’t stay in touch with

Brad grew up a totally normal kid, went to college, joined a frat, and decided to get in touch with Bruce, who now has an awkward situation on his hands

now the other Batkids have to deal with fucking Brad Wayne, whose normalacy is absolutely insufferable… he tells Dick to try yoga and suggests that Tim will sleep better if he gets more exercise… Bruce goes out of town and Brad decides it’s time to throw a house party with his frat friends

he’s so good



All of Brad’s Bat-siblings are absolutely unprepared to deal with him. They can’t handle it. They can’t even hate him properly, even Damien, because he’s just… he’s not even… he’s just Some Guy™️!

They’re all braced for the inevitable reveal that he’s a villain, an imposter, or an interloper there to usurp the Wayne fortune or spy on Batman. They have all sorts of plans to foil his schemes and the only thing they’re not able to prepare for is the fact that he’s just. Brad. He’s not a bad guy, but he’s not a saint, either—his problems are just so mundane, so ordinary.

They TRY to understand what his life is like, but how are they supposed to relate to someone who doesn’t text back because he’s hungover or his phone died, not because he’s tied up in a death trap somewhere being menaced by someone in a Halloween costume?

No one’s ever tried to ritually sacrifice him before and it shows.



Does he know they are the batfam? Or does he just think it is so cool that his dad has adopted all these kids that needed a home?



Oh he has no idea. Brad didn’t grow up in Gotham and isn’t really familiar with its culture, so he thinks it’s an ordinary city with ordinary problems (presumably there’s still a concept of ‘ordinary’ in the DCU).

When someone tries to tell him he laughs it off. Maybe one of his friends asks him about the popular rumor that Bruce Wayne is Batman, but he’s never even contemplated the possibility. Later he’s trying to coax Dick into playing beer pong and loudly tells the story to party guests as a funny anecdote. He thinks the whole concept of Batman is hilarious. Maybe he makes up stories about seeing Batman to impress his family and make himself sound cool.



Eventually though some bad guy who wants a huge ransom is going to kidnap Brad. What happens then? Does Batman call in a favor to one of the other members of the Justice League or does Damien go out and rescue his brother and tell him he’s the most useless of all his brothers because he’s so ordinary? Because you know if anyone is going to blab it’s going to be Damien.



Brad gets kidnapped and Steph and/or Cass rescue him in costume.

Later, in Wayne Manor, he tells his family all about how the Batgirls were totally flirting with him and how he managed to take out a few of the bad guys all by himself.



Brad Wayne: “Hey, do you guys think Batman fucks? Like, you think he has ever gotten laid?”

Dick, stiffly: “Um. Yes. I think so.”

Brad: “Really? Guy sounds like a turbo-virgin to me. I mean, he fights crime in a fursuit! Come on!”

Tim: “I have it on reasonable authority that Batman fucks. Unfortunately.”

Steph: “Hey, Damian. Penny for your thoughts?”


#Batman #fanfic #story ideas I will never write #kidnapping cw #this probably deserves some other warning tag but I am not sure what #embarrassment squick?

{{next post in sequence}}


The Bureau of Ridiculously Unethical Human EXperimentation (or “BRUHEX”) was founded in late 20XX in response to a crisis. Medical discovery had hit something of a brick wall, and everyone knew it. 

The human body was just too much of a mess to map. Evolution had been working for millennia upon millennia to obfuscate its source code- after all, for all those years, anything trying to force changes to the human body was reliably not the sort of thing that had the human body’s best interests at heart. Advanced machine learning algorithms made a few discoveries here and there, but those “discoveries” were themselves too opaque for humans to understand except as black boxes. The field was stagnating.

One major reason for this was that medicine was unlike engineering. You could take apart a machine, hypothesize about how it worked, and put it back together again, no problem. If you broke the machine by testing your hypotheses, you could always get a new one. Couldn’t do that with people- breaking a person was a very serious problem that you couldn’t risk. It severely limited what would-be human engineers could do to investigate the workings of their subjects.

You couldn’t really justify it. There was no way you could put a positive spin on it. If you wanted to get anything done, you couldn’t be the good guy. So, acknowledging this, they named themselves the Bureau of Ridiculously Unethical Human Experimentation.

No one knows exactly how BRUHEX started. If we did, they’d have been easier to stamp out. But this underground organization appeared, and began kidnapping the homeless and mentally ill and experimenting on them, and of course world governments did their best to bring these criminals to justice.

They proved to be like cockroaches.

It’s often hypothesized they had some kind of official backing, or a technological head start- anything to explain how difficult they were to wipe out. A BRUHEX cell would be wiped out, all the signs would point to them having been the ringleaders, and then a week later they’d surface again. It started with police raids, then army response, then bombings, then finally an incident with a nuclear strike which marked the end of that phase of history. 

After ten years of escalating warfare that took a substantial civilian toll, governments found being tough-on-BRUHEX to be decreasingly popular. The public was split- both because of the destruction caused by the crackdowns, and because of the life-saving medical advances released to the public by BRUHEX operatives.

It wasn’t the sort of controversy a politician could use to rile up their base. It cut across party lines. Surely, it was for the greater good, right? But they called themselves the Bureau of Ridiculously Unethical Human Experimentation! So clearly they had to know the ends weren’t justifying the means! But was it worth it to shut them down? Clearly not, because it hadn’t worked! But clearly it must be, because of the horrors they perpetrated! And shouldn’t their discoveries be banned, suppressed, removing their incentive to make them? Or would that be condemning poor little Sally McRaredisease to a painful death that could’ve been avoided?

Politicians learned to avoid discussing the subject. 

Governments would still fund occasional rescue missions (small things, organized by volunteers, cheap enough to put in the budget without raising hackles), because it was generally agreed that Something Should Be Done, but no one was going to risk their career Doing Something, not after how disastrously it’d gone for everyone else who’d tried Doing Something.

So you’re a good citizen, of course. Your [family member] has been kidnapped off the streets by men in black lab coats, naturally. You have a small endowment to by supplies to rescue her, and a few friends willing to help. BRUHEX isn’t going to miss one measly test subject, so they’re not going to do anything too drastic to stop you- but y’know, you’ll need to get past a few enhanced supersoldiers and biohazard traps and locked doors and the like.

What? No, yeah, this was totally a setup for a cyberpunk dungeon crawl; I don’t know where else you thought I was going with this.


#story ideas I will never write #murder cw #torture cw #medical cw #kidnapping cw #(I *think* the thing the last sentence is getting at is that it *seems* as if this post is leading up to a pun?) #(writing this as one long excuse for a pun is the sort of thing Benedict would do) #(but this is good too!)

What Universal Human Experiences Are You Missing Without Realizing It?

{{previous post in sequence}}

{{Title link: http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/03/17/what-universal-human-experiences-are-you-missing-without-realizing-it/ }}




It took me approximately forever to find out I was faceblind.
In retrospect, the incident with telling someone she looked like Evil Galadriel from the FotR movie and having everyone including her deny it…makes a lot more sense.

#prosopagnosia  #that is such a boring tag; does anyone have more interesting suggestions?



“You humans all look alike to me”?

(I was thirteen myself. Since autism and prosopagnosia are often found together, when I started reading autism neurodiversity blogs it came up early and often. I was occasionally confused as a kid when others could not only tell people with the same hair colour and style apart, but expected me to do the same.)

As for the article, I do wonder what experiences I might be missing. I have gradually figured out over the course of my life that my emotional range is non-standard: I appear to be missing awe entirely, I don’t feel limerence but I do feel perseveration* (which I’m told is both a similar feeling and one that most people lack), I have most** of the sex-related emotions but in such a way as to make them nearly unrecognisable (so I’m missing out on other people’s experiences of them, but everyone else is missing out on mine), my mother says that she experiences frustration as an emotion all its own rather than a sub-type of anger so apparently that’s a thing. (There might still be other emotional divergences I don’t know about yet.) I don’t know what thorns sound like (though I do know what eths sound like). I’m not entirely convinced that sour and bitter are actually separate flavours to me; I’ve been meaning to investigate that further. There’s probably others I don’t even suspect.

*Well, I did, and I still could if I allowed myself. The beginning stages are so unpleasant that once I figured out how to nip it in the bud (also age thirteen, as it happens), the temptation to do so was overwhelming.

**I don’t seem to have anything even resembling “looking at someone and wanting to fuck them”, not counting extenuating circumstances like the person being in a sexually suggestive pose.



I didn’t know prosopagnosia by that name, but I read “Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass” around age three and Humpty Dumpty’s “your faces are all the same, now if the mouth was at the top or both eyes on the same side I might be able to recognize you again” clicked with me really hard. (I didn’t realize the experience I wasn’t having was supposed to be a universal one for a lot longer – I’d try to explain that I’d been late to swimming class because I couldn’t figure out which instructor around the pool was mine, for instance, and people didn’t argue, they just didn’t seem to pay any attention to me, so I stopped mentioning it, and instead focused on learning to read enough body language to tell when somebody thought they recognized me and was expecting me to come over and say hi or be in their class or whatever. I suppose it makes me extremely vulnerable to con artists pretending to be an old friend – I did very nearly get kidnapped at age five by some people in a car who said they were friends of my mother’s, which I had no reason to doubt, except that I was wearing a thrift-store t-shirt and they called me by the name on it, which was nothing like my name, so I backed away slowly and then ran in the house. But nothing like that’s happened since then, because people expect me to have enough facial recognition to know that they are not actually a long-lost friend etc. So I guess it works out. ^_^)

Like Brin, I don’t experience limerence – thank god, it sounds really unpleasant – although around puberty I managed to sort of mishmash-mangle the experiences of finding a guy hot and having my bio-incubator (who is massively romo and cannot comprehend that anyone could be otherwise) aggressively ship me with him at the same time, into something that seems in retrospect more like limerence than like anything else, except that it was on my part very much deliberate – Dorothy Sayers has a bit where Harriet Vane muses on “persuading oneself into appropriate feelings” for somebody one is dating, which clicked with me re this – and that it lasted for about fourteen years give or take, which I am fairly certain limerence on the same person is not supposed to do.

(I was extreeeemely sexually repressed and for several years also had nonexistent libido as a side effect of severe depression, all of which made the “I find him hot so I am trying to read romo feelings into this” thing even more confusing… ^_^)

Like Brin, also, I do experience perseveration, although I don’t find it particularly unpleasant. I did get teased/bullied about it a lot as a kid, so I developed the habit of keeping absolutely quiet about the objects of my perseverations until they’d faded down to the point where I could talk about ‘em without going constantly on and on; I’m trying to work on being more open now about when I’m having a new perseveration (it’s almost always something fannish, a character or fandom or whatnot), while hitting a balance where I don’t bore everyone to death or drag too many conversations off-topic because I’m so obsessed with this one thing. Perseveration has produced most of my fanfic, though – I’d be perseverating on one character and become able to write their voice really accurately, so I’d churn out a few fics centered on them and then move on – so I feel like it’s been, y’know, overall a net positive in my life, and while I can’t figure out how to turn it off, I don’t know that I’d want to, either. :-)

I know I can only smell certain specific things (I can tell wood smoke from charcoal smoke from various kinds of tobacco smoke, but apparently can’t smell pot), and my sense of taste varies according to how depressed I am – after I started meds at age 26, I went through a brief stage of being really startled that e.g. peanut butter had a flavor. Most of my perception of food is texture; I still don’t pay a lot of attention to flavor unless it’s really strong, although I do find myself enjoying the sweet-and-salty thing you get in a lot of peanut-caramel-chocolate desserts. I don’t tend to like spicy food; I don’t like sushi because the raw-fish texture throws me, but I love most breaded things because the breading texture gives me something familiar to focus on and then the texture of the thing underneath doesn’t bother me as much. (I won’t eat shrimp unless it’s breaded popcorn shrimp, for example.)

…I don’t know, I’ve probably wandered way off the topic here. It’s an interesting topic, though. :D

(see also this other branch I was in)


#(June 2015) #conversational aglets #long post #is the blue I see the same as the blue you see #kidnapping cw #food #(I am in fact eating peanut butter right now) #(and even though I have a cold I can still tell it has a flavour) #illness mention

{{previous post in sequence}}





If I suddenly drop off the face of the Internet after tomorrow, it’s probably because @sinesalvatorem kidnapped me.

(or, to use a positive phrasing:)

I’m meeting Alison tomorrow! Eeeeee *bounces with nervous excitement*

Indeed, this is probably about to happen! :D

…wait, the meeting or the kidnapping?

(You see why I’ve been trying to limit my use of relative pronouns, especially when talking to you. They can get confusing.)

The meeting, of course. I just got to Toronto and am living in someone else’s house. If I were kidnapping you, where would I even put you?

Good point.


#no seriously that is genuinely somewhat reassuring #mine is a paranoid people #reply via reblog #eeeeee

{{next post in sequence}}