tumblr_m98mholwrj1qm2i8co1_500

elsajeni:

thesanityclause:

Day 25 Favorite Monster Girl.

Nagas. Who knew they’d be so fun to draw? Especially with their colors. Also I really like doing the henna designs.

This is so cute and the pose is so deeply relatable that I immediately said, out loud, “They’re NOT FOR YOU, they’re for the PTA meeting!” and my husband nodded sagely and said “That stands for People That are Anacondas” and now I can’t stop laughing.


Tags:

#…huh‚ apparently I’ve never actually reblogged this #snakes #nagas #art #adorable #my past self has good taste

homunculus-argument:

[footage of the inside of an ordinary Eastern-European home, taken with a handheld phone camera, the man filming is walking from the living room to the back door of the house]

man, narrating in russian: Every fucking year, this time of the year, the pond at my backyard gets infested. What do ponds get infested with? Frogs? Poisonous weeds? Geese? No. Not my pond.

[The man opens the back door, stepping out into a garden. Three or four nude, human-like figures dash from the borders of a pond back into the water.]

man: Rusalki! I don’t know where they come from or how they get here, and I can’t afford to hire an exterminator every year. I can’t let my cat outside anymore. Last year a rusalka managed to drown a whole deer in my pond, the stench was unbearable.

[He walks as he speaks, approaching the pond. There are several eerily beautiful female beings peering at him from under the surface, their long hair floating in the murky water. Their eyes are gleaming in an unhuman way. The man holding the camera stops to film them.]

man, calm and deadpan: What the fuck are all of you staring at. Get jobs or something.

[One of the rusalki, smaller than the others and clearly not a fully matured adult, slowly reaches out of the water with her white, thin hand, grasping his ankle. He appears unconcerned.]

man: You can’t drown me, you little idiot. You’re too small. Shoo!

[A loud thud startles the rusalki, making them scatter. A second thud makes it clear these are the approaching footsteps of something massive. The man turns around and points the camera at what appears to be a house, walking past above the treeline with chicken-like legs]

man, now yelling: IF YOUR HOUSE SHITS ON MY YARD AGAIN I SWEAR TO FUCKING GOD-

 

typhoidmeri:

f3214a0613edc74e8151aa856e3bf77e95794d1d

 

gothiccharmschool:

This post is a joy and a delight.

 

icedsilver:

94aec7eb6cb66534571c0beba7b00c356ec7972a

 

deadpanwalking:

this is the energy

c34cd1a9d9c19cc1991df279d6e9bf6ae2fbf5d2

 

esrah-rah-rasputin:

484ad5a6412e5ed2a81c846fe1b2d54765447405

Okay I HAD to do this was just perfect

 

justafterjericho:

@neoncl0ckwork​ xD

 

gothiccharmschool:

Oh my G-D the post got better.


Tags:

#storytime #my past self has good taste #it got better #drowning cw #anything that makes me laugh this much deserves a reblog #mythology

slumbermancer:

basically, i think the general rule of thumb is: if someone REALLY wants the blood that’s inside of your body, and they’re like… a vampire, or a dracula, or some sort of mansquito, then that’s probably okay. a dracula and a mansquito are made for removing things like blood and swords from inside your body. that’s basically fine.

if something wants to get at your blood, and they’re, say, some kind of murdersaurus, or maybe a really big frog, that’s where the problems start to arise. a really frog is not made for removing blood, and your blood knows this, which is why it is so vehement about wanting to stay IN your body instead of coming out. 

unfortunately this will not deter a really big frog, because a really big frog is full of things like prizes, and value, and quite a lot of hatred, and it would REALLY rather like to replace any and all of those things with your blood, and basically by any means possible.


Tags:

#a classic work of surrealism that I have apparently never actually reblogged before #fixing that #blood #this probably deserves some other warning tag but I am not sure what

evikholin:

toolmutual:

toolmutual:

rxplxcxng xll vxwxls wxþ x’s tx bx xnclxsxxxnxst whxlx xlsx rxplxcxng xll þ wxþ þx þxrn bxcxxxsx xts mxrx cxnvxnxxnt

xm gxxng tx sxccxßfxlly fxck þx xnglxßh lxngxxgx bxyxnd sxlvxtxxn

jxkxes xn yxx x rxxd hxmxstxck


Tags:

#language #Homestuck #anything that makes me laugh this much deserves a reblog #my past self has good taste #(I don’t think all of these have the right number of x’s though) #(having three straight vowels in ”inclusionist” could be explained by having guessed that word wrong) #(but what could ”bxcxxxsx” be in that context but ”because”?)

fanfic

seacreaturefeature:

poison ivy wearing muddy overalls n rubber gloves on the set of a gardening show w the hosts tied up n gagged behind her stroking a genetically modified carnivorous plant like a lapdog: hello fume-spewers of gotham city. its your hostess with the most…the mostess…its me, poison ivy. sorry to interrupt your resource-guzzling evening’s entertainment by taking over every channel of your worthless old-media network. oh wait. i’m not. at this very moment the bouquet of roses i sent to strangle the mayor will be

heavy static followed by sudden cut 2 the penguin, drinking straight vodka and crunching icecubes wearing a feather boa and a velvet dressing gown covered in grease-strains and reclining in the hosts chair on a talk show set, which is being visibly smashed by themed muscleboys in th background: GOTHAM CITY YOU FUCKERS, YOU ABSOLUTE SWINE, HERES THE DEAL I WANT (crunch) A BILLION DOLLARS LEGAL TENDER TRANSFERRED TO MY PAYPAL AT vintage_cloaca_1937@icberglounge.com.org OR YOU CAN (slurp) SAY GOODBYE TO-

sudden cut back 2 poison ivy, furiously gesturing to the hypnotised crew to do whatever damnable technological things they do to unfuck the broadcast: (high pitched screeching)

sudden cut to the penguin: -YOUR PRECIOUS “SUN”. I-

the penguin: (hears phone ringing) OH WAIT UH HOLD ON A SECOND

the penguin: (pullS a gold rotary telephone out of his purse) HWEH?

poison ivy, shreiking thru reciever: fuck off oswald im doing a Bit!!

the penguin: TO FUCK WITH YOUR BIT I BOUGHT OUT ALL THE NETWORKS FOR 1 HALF HOUR SLOT AND NOW I HAVE MINUS A BILLION DOLLARS AND I NEED A BILLION DOLLARS

poison ivy: these airwaves arent big enough for the both of us you horrendous little animal. i swear to piss i will

sudden cut to the riddler, sitting atop a giant rubix cube w the squares flashing neon at intervals wearing 2 pairs of 3D glasses and a coquettish mod ensemble w so many sequins on it that the studio lights reflecting off it cause at least 3 lens flares a second: GREEEEEEEETINGS CITIZENS OF GOTHAM CITTTYYYYYY! i, the RIDDLER, have interrupted your intellectually unstimulating broadcast to bring you some entertainment you’ll hopefully find a little more…challenging. a new game show….with a DEADLY TWIST. for you see

the riddler: (hears his 2001 nokia beeping) uh…well, it seems we have our FIRST CALLER of the evening

the riddler: …and our SECOND CALLER. um

poison ivy: (garbled screaming)

the penguin: (choking on an ice cube in pure rage)

the riddler: woah now hey now hey there woah there just a second

the penguin:-THE SUN

poison ivy:-THE MAYOR-

the penguin: -A BILLION DOLLARS

poison ivy: -A TRILLION DOLLARS-

sudden cut to harley quinn, sitting at home on the couch in front of her webcam wearing a sweaty sports bra and loony toons pajama pants and eating a hotdog: whats up folks! just wanted to hang out


Tags:

#Batman #fanfic #anything that makes me laugh this much deserves a reblog #my past self has good taste #this probably deserves some warning tag but I am not sure what #death tw?

aenramsden:

I want to see a fanfic where Harry hatches a basilisk.

I want to see a fanfic where he looks up “magical snakes” as soon as he gets to Hogwarts because that thing at the zoo always bugged him, and so the Trio works out that it’s a basilisk immediately after the first petrification in Second Year. But they don’t know how it’s getting around or where it is or anything, so Harry is just like WELP SET A BASILISK TO FIND A BASILISK while Hermione and Ron are like HARRY NO.

I want to see a fanfic where Harry sticks a chicken egg under a toad and makes all these plans about how he’ll talk to his huge deadly snake and get it eye-blinkers and shit so it doesn’t kill people and make sure it’s not too aggressive, and somehow it never occurs to his twelve-year old brain that the chicken egg has a total volume of about four tablespoons and he is not going to get the giant King of Serpents he is expecting.

I want to see a fanfic where it finally breaks out of the shell and Harry finds himself with a bb!basilisk too smol to even have the murder-eyes yet, who can only petrify someone for about half an hour before the effect wears off. She eats spiders and gets tired very easily and demands that he wear a hood she can curl up in and sleep.

(She is also the same vivid green as his eyes and already hideously venomous, but doesn’t like using her fangs because she says they get cold and give her brain freeze when she unsheathes them.)

I just… I really want Harry with a haughty, demanding, arrogant danger noodle who has an overinflated sense of her own importance, views Hedwig as a TERRIFYING MENACE because she isn’t big enough to eat owls yet and keeps up a steady stream of insults hissed in Harry’s ear whenever she’s near someone who has a Dark Mark (which she can sense at close range). And who is basically useless as a familiar because she refuses to slither across anything other than sun-warmed stones or Harry, hasn’t got a very powerful gaze yet and doesn’t like biting people.

(Except snake-arm-people. She finds snake-arm-people confusing and annoying, and would probably make an exception on the no-biting thing where they’re concerned.)

 

thepioden:

I mean there are obviously a lot of factors influencing snake growth rate but if we assume basilisks just get stupidhuge because they grow their whole lives and are immortal, this snake is probably going to be at least 8 feet long by Deathly Hallows, which is a significant and intimidating chunk of scaly muscle that is intelligent enough to do what it is told. Like, you know, hey, bite this necklace.  

So I mean by like his fourth year it’s going to be pretty hard to hide this snake that is nearly as long as he is tall and it’s not going to do much for his reputation that the Boy Who Lived has a pet fucking basilisk but holy damn does it make book seven a whole hell of a lot shorter. 

 

frosttrix:

I feel like I should write this

 

twinkie13:

can you just imagine him ron and hermione coming up with increasingly ridiculous excuses trying to hide their pet baby basilisk in the dorms (hagrid would be so proud). how long do you think it’d take before harry’s pet basilisk is just a really badly hidden secret between all of gryffindor? and the ensuring antics of the entire house as they try to keep mcgonagall from finding out? (she knows something is up, but even just thinking of what could be big enough the entire house is trying to keep it from her makes her want to break out the firewhiskey)

ron gets the idea to try and practices parseltongue with baby basilisk since he hears harry talking in his sleep with it all the time anyway (and ngl, baby basilisk is kind of adorable and eats all the spiders in the dorm so he doesn’t have to deal with them, he’s pretty smitten once she hatches), and as soon as hermione overhears him trying it, she’s dragging him and harry to the library because, well, parseltongue is a language, why can’t they learn it? so it’s the two of them alternating between hissing at harry and hissing at the basilisk and harry is trying so hard not to laugh because 90% of what they’re saying is utter nonsense and the basilisk doesn’t even bother, because she likes these two humans but wow are they dumb, that’s not how words work.

 

mzminola:

 

amloveabledeathmo:

I love parseltongue and Hermione like welp it’s a language and then most everyone in their year ends up learning it even the other houses just like the horrible scary snake language ends up being the secret language between the kids so they can gossip and the teachers are like what. Also Hagrid would love the baby basilisk.

 

yamihiei:

You know most would just pick up a few curse words and insults.

what is everyone else is thinking when the Gryffindors start hissing under their breath? Their table sounds like a snake pit and it’s eerie af. The Slytherins are pissed cause surely this is a joke at their expense. And obviously everyone turns to Harry because he’s the ONLY ONE who could have stared this.

And can you imagine someone flubbing a scentence and activating a parseltounge feature of the castle? A small group of Gryffindors are complaining about astronomy and suddenly the stairs turn into a super slide. Discovering Salazar’s secret liquor cubbord. Secret passage ways being stumbled into left right and center because no one can pronounce ‘greasy git’ in parseltoung(besides Harry) but they’re sure as hell gonna try

 

thetwentycommittee:

What if parseltongue isn’t in any books so Hermione just gets gets harry to say stuff and then she writes it down like

‘Harry I’m tearing my hair out please conjugate “to want” in the present continuous’

‘Hermione it is three in the morning’

 

thesmolandangryfriend:

*five minutes later*

“HERMIONE I DONT EVEN KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS IN ENGLISH STOP”

 

zorilleerrant:

You know that thing where really big dogs listen to really little dogs because they’re like someone that confident obviously knows what they’re doing?

Well, here we have Hermione treating this baby basilisk like a person because Harry keeps having actual conversations with it, so obviously it’s got a personality and capable of thought and such, and she doesn’t want to set a precedent of treating it like a lesser creature or especially not like a servant the way the big basilisk has been treated. Everyone follows her lead, because Hermione probably knows what she’s doing, she’s read books.

Now this other basilisk has been following commands only, some of them very old and some of them from the more recent master (the diary), having been carefully trained to Just Do What I Say from a young age. It’s not really making its own decisions, but trying to do its best the way it was trained.

But Harry’s bb basilisk has other ideas, and who is it really going to trust, some creepy smelling wizard, or another basilisk, which it probably never even met before, but instinctually recognizes as Like Me. Especially since that baby (”excuse me but what do you think you’re doing!! how dare you scare my friends!!”) is alternating between threats (the big basilisk has never met another basilisk and doesn’t know they’re not credible) and telling all about walkies and the nice warm rocks they could go lie on if it would just stop fighting.

Hermione, once she learns parseltongue, starts teaching the large basilisk all about morality and how to make its own decisions.


Tags:

#Harry Potter #story ideas I will never write #fanfic #snake #my past self has good taste #anything that makes me laugh this much deserves a reblog

inqwatch asked: How did the sharing ever explain all their people getting horrific scars from hawks, losing limbs, and the general destruction tied to their efforts? I can accept that a lot of losses were Hork-Bajir and Taxxons, but we get a lot of descriptions of Tobias going for the eyes.

thejakeformerlyknownasprince:

Look.  Meetings of the Sharing apparently involve a lot of volleyball, as we know from mentions in #1, #10, Visser, and #31.

Volleyball is a dangerous sport.  Volleyball injuries happen.  Volleyball accidents frequently result in severed limbs.  We know this from the dozens — no, hundreds — of recorded cases of this exact phenomenon occurring, almost all of them in one town in Southern California.  Statisticians have hypothesized that this may have to do with the extent to which one particular local organization uses regional variations on the standard rules of volleyball, but all attempts at participant observation have resulted in the social scientists who joined the Sharing abruptly dropping the project and going in new directions with their lives.

Currently, warning labels on volleyball equipment indicate that its use has a 15% chance of resulting in serious injury and/or death.  Factoid is actually a statistical error.  The Sharing’s inter-chapter volleyball league, which loses an average of 41.7% of its members per month to volleyball-related amputations and murders, is an outlier and should not have been counted.

 

zarohk:

“social scientists who joined the Sharing”

That sounds like an excellent way to live in a constant state of terror and fascination; being a human social scientist who is infested and watching the mess that is the Visserarchy from terrifyingly close, and thinking that that either you’ll either never be able to share your findings (if you die or the Yeerks win), or be at the edge of any entirely new edge of social science.

 

thejakeformerlyknownasprince:

This is basically my entire life.  Too accurate.  Make it stop.

 

derinthemadscientist:

Imagine being a yeerk inside a newly captured social scientist watching them passively eviscerate every aspect of your primitive 30-year-old military culture down to its component parts, every conclusion basically being “these guys suck at everything they’re doing and are struggling desperately to make sure their underlings don’t realise that”

<Stop it! Stop thinking! Stop trying to shake my loyalty!>

<I can’t! This is what I was trained to do! You don’t like it, stop reading my mind!>

<I CAN’T!>

*Visser Three starts speaking*

<And this one’s intimidation tactics have gone far, far beyond useful and are greatly crippling his own forces; not sure yet whether it’s pure unchecked sadism or insecurity and distraction as a result of – >

<SHUT UP!!>

 

sarifel-corrisafid-ilxhel:

“VISSER I NEED A NEW HOST, THIS ONE IS BROKEN.”

<It sounds like you’re the broken one.>

“PUH-LEEEAAAASSSSEEEE, I’M BEGGING YOU! I’LL EVEN GO IN A TAXXON OR GEDD, JUST MAKE IT STOP!”

 

a-k-a-l–t-y-n:

post war someone is going to have an amazing dissertation “Perverse incentives in authoritarian systems, a first(ish) person case study”


Tags:

#Animorphs #fanfic #violence cw #death tw #anything that makes me laugh this much deserves a reblog #(the newly captured social scientist) #my past self has good taste

here’s a story about changelings

roach-works:

reposted from my old blog, which got deleted:  

Mary was a beautiful baby, sweet and affectionate, but by the time she’s three she’s turned difficult and strange, with fey moods and a stubborn mouth that screams and bites but never says mama. But her mother’s well-used to hard work with little thanks, and when the village gossips wag their tongues she just shrugs, and pulls her difficult child away from their precious, perfect blossoms, before the bites draw blood. Mary’s mother doesn’t drown her in a bucket of saltwater, and she doesn’t take up the silver knife the wife of the village priest leaves out for her one Sunday brunch.

She gives her daughter yarn, instead, and instead of a rowan stake through her inhuman heart she gives her a child’s first loom, oak and ash. She lets her vicious, uncooperative fairy daughter entertain herself with games of her own devising, in as much peace and comfort as either of them can manage.

Mary grows up strangely, as a strange child would, learning everything in all the wrong order, and biting a great deal more than she should. But she also learns to weave, and takes to it with a grand passion. Soon enough she knows more than her mother–which isn’t all that much–and is striking out into unknown territory, turning out odd new knots and weaves, patterns as complex as spiderwebs and spellrings.

“Aren’t you clever,” her mother says, of her work, and leaves her to her wool and flax and whatnot. Mary’s not biting anymore, and she smiles more than she frowns, and that’s about as much, her mother figures, as anyone should hope for from their child.

Mary still cries sometimes, when the other girls reject her for her strange graces, her odd slow way of talking, her restless reaching fluttering hands that have learned to spin but never to settle. The other girls call her freak, witchblood, hobgoblin.

“I don’t remember girls being quite so stupid when I was that age,” her mother says, brushing Mary’s hair smooth and steady like they’ve both learned to enjoy, smooth as a skein of silk. “Time was, you knew not to insult anyone you might need to flatter later. ‘Specially when you don’t know if they’re going to grow wings or horns or whatnot. Serve ‘em all right if you ever figure out curses.”

“I want to go back,” Mary says. “I want to go home, to where I came from, where there’s people like me. If I’m a fairy’s child I should be in fairyland, and no one would call me a freak.”

“Aye, well, I’d miss you though,” her mother says. “And I expect there’s stupid folk everywhere, even in fairyland. Cruel folk, too. You just have to make the best of things where you are, being my child instead.”

Mary learns to read well enough, in between the weaving, especially when her mother tracks down the traveling booktraders and comes home with slim, precious manuals on dyes and stains and mordants, on pigments and patterns, diagrams too arcane for her own eyes but which make her daughter’s eyes shine.

“We need an herb garden,” her daughter says, hands busy, flipping from page to page, pulling on her hair, twisting in her skirt, itching for a project. “Yarrow, and madder, and woad and weld…”

“Well, start digging,” her mother says. “Won’t do you a harm to get out of the house now’n then.”

Mary doesn’t like dirt but she’s learned determination well enough from her mother. She digs and digs, and plants what she’s given, and the first year doesn’t turn out so well but the second’s better, and by the third a cauldron’s always simmering something over the fire, and Mary’s taking in orders from girls five years older or more, turning out vivid bolts and spools and skeins of red and gold and blue, restless fingers dancing like they’ve summoned down the rainbow. Her mother figures she probably has.

“Just as well you never got the hang of curses,” she says, admiring her bright new skirts. “I like this sort of trick a lot better.”

Mary smiles, rocking back and forth on her heels, fingers already fluttering to find the next project.

She finally grows up tall and fair, if a bit stooped and squinty, and time and age seem to calm her unhappy mouth about as well as it does for human children. Word gets around she never lies or breaks a bargain, and if the first seems odd for a fairy’s child then the second one seems fit enough. The undyed stacks of taken orders grow taller, the dyed lots of filled orders grow brighter, the loom in the corner for Mary’s own creations grows stranger and more complex. Mary’s hands callus just like her mother’s, become as strong and tough and smooth as the oak and ash of her needles and frames, though they never fall still.

“Do you ever wonder what your real daughter would be like?” the priest’s wife asks, once.

Mary’s mother snorts. “She wouldn’t be worth a damn at weaving,” she says. “Lord knows I never was. No, I’ll keep what I’ve been given and thank the givers kindly. It was a fair enough trade for me. Good day, ma’am.”

Mary brings her mother sweet chamomile tea, that night, and a warm shawl in all the colors of a garden, and a hairbrush. In the morning, the priest’s son comes round, with payment for his mother’s pretty new dress and a shy smile just for Mary. He thinks her hair is nice, and her hands are even nicer, vibrant in their strength and skill and endless motion.  

They all live happily ever after.

*

Here’s another story:

Gregor grew fast, even for a boy, grew tall and big and healthy and began shoving his older siblings around early. He was blunt and strange and flew into rages over odd things, over the taste of his porridge or the scratch of his shirt, over the sound of rain hammering on the roof, over being touched when he didn’t expect it and sometimes even when he did. He never wore shoes if he could help it and he could tell you the number of nails in the floorboards without looking, and his favorite thing was to sit in the pantry and run his hands through the bags of dry barley and corn and oat. Considering as how he had fists like a young ox by the time he was five, his family left him to it.

“He’s a changeling,” his father said to his wife, expecting an argument, but men are often the last to know anything about their children, and his wife only shrugged and nodded, like the matter was already settled, and that was that.

They didn’t bind Gregor in iron and leave him in the woods for his own kind to take back. They didn’t dig him a grave and load him into it early. They worked out what made Gregor angry, in much the same way they figured out the personal constellations of emotion for each of their other sons, and when spring came, Gregor’s father taught him about sprouts, and when autumn came, Gregor’s father taught him about sheaves. Meanwhile his mother didn’t mind his quiet company around the house, the way he always knew where she’d left the kettle, or the mending, because she was forgetful and he never missed a detail.

“Pity you’re not a girl, you’d never drop a stitch of knitting,” she tells Gregor, in the winter, watching him shell peas. His brothers wrestle and yell before the hearth fire, but her fairy child just works quietly, turning peas by their threes and fours into the bowl.

“You know exactly how many you’ve got there, don’t you?” she says.

“Six hundred and thirteen,” he says, in his quiet, precise way.

His mother says “Very good,” and never says Pity you’re not human. He smiles just like one, if not for quite the same reasons.

The next autumn he’s seven, a lucky number that pleases him immensely, and his father takes him along to the mill with the grain.

“What you got there?” The miller asks them.

“Sixty measures of Prince barley, thirty two measures of Hare’s Ear corn, and eighteen of Abernathy Blue Slate oats,” Gregor says. “Total weight is three hundred fifty pounds, or near enough. Our horse is named Madam. The wagon doesn’t have a name. I’m Gregor.”

“My son,” his father says. “The changeling one.”

“Bit sharper’n your others, ain’t he?” the miller says, and his father laughs.

Gregor feels proud and excited and shy, and it dries up all his words, sticks them in his throat. The mill is overwhelming, but the miller is kind, and tells him the name of each and every part when he points at it, and the names of all the grain in all the bags waiting for him to get to them.

“Didn’t know the fair folk were much for machinery,” the miller says.

Gregor shrugs. “I like seeds,” he says, each word shelled out with careful concentration. “And names. And numbers.”

“Aye, well. Suppose that’d do it. Want t’help me load up the grist?”

They leave the grain with the miller, who tells Gregor’s father to bring him back ‘round when he comes to pick up the cornflour and cracked barley and rolled oats. Gregor falls asleep in the nameless wagon on the way back, and when he wakes up he goes right back to the pantry, where the rest of the seeds are left, and he runs his hands through the shifting, soothing textures and thinks about turning wheels, about windspeed and counterweights.

When he’s twelve–another lucky number–he goes to live in the mill with the miller, and he never leaves, and he lives happily ever after.

*

Here’s another:

James is a small boy who likes animals much more than people, which doesn’t bother his parents overmuch, as someone needs to watch the sheep and make the sheepdogs mind. James learns the whistles and calls along with the lambs and puppies, and by the time he’s six he’s out all day, tending to the flock. His dad gives him a knife and his mom gives him a knapsack, and the sheepdogs give him doggy kisses and the sheep don’t give him too much trouble, considering.

“It’s not right for a boy to have so few complaints,” his mother says, once, when he’s about eight.

“Probably ain’t right for his parents to have so few complaints about their boy, neither,” his dad says.

That’s about the end of it. James’ parents aren’t very talkative, either. They live the routines of a farm, up at dawn and down by dusk, clucking softly to the chickens and calling harshly to the goats, and James grows up slow but happy.

When James is eleven, he’s sent to school, because he’s going to be a man and a man should know his numbers. He gets in fights for the first time in his life, unused to peers with two legs and loud mouths and quick fists. He doesn’t like the feel of slate and chalk against his fingers, or the harsh bite of a wooden bench against his legs. He doesn’t like the rules: rules for math, rules for meals, rules for sitting down and speaking when you’re spoken to and wearing shoes all day and sitting under a low ceiling in a crowded room with no sheep or sheepdogs. Not even a puppy.

But his teacher is a good woman, patient and experienced, and James isn’t the first miserable, rocking, kicking, crying lost lamb ever handed into her care. She herds the other boys away from him, when she can, and lets him sit in the corner by the door, and have a soft rag to hold his slate and chalk with, so they don’t gnaw so dryly at his fingers. James learns his numbers well enough, eventually, but he also learns with the abruptness of any lamb taking their first few steps–tottering straight into a gallop–to read.

Familiar with the sort of things a strange boy needs to know, his teacher gives him myths and legends and fairytales, and steps back. James reads about Arthur and Morgana, about Hercules and Odysseus, about djinni and banshee and brownies and bargains and quests and how sometimes, something that looks human is left to try and stumble along in the humans’ world, step by uncertain step, as best they can.

James never comes to enjoy writing. He learns to talk, instead, full tilt, a leaping joyous gambol, and after a time no one wants to hit him anymore. The other boys sit next to him, instead, with their mouths closed, and their hands quiet on their knees.  

“Let’s hear from James,” the men at the alehouse say, years later, when he’s become a man who still spends more time with sheep than anyone else, but who always comes back into town with something grand waiting for his friends on his tongue. “What’ve you got for us tonight, eh?”

James finishes his pint, and stands up, and says, “Here’s a story about changelings.”


Tags:

#storytime #autism #my past self has good taste #fae #violence cw