Monday, August 10, 2015

(1) tourist

Kiran was used to falling.  Her heart still rattled and electricity still danced under her skin, charged by adrenalin and endorphins and god-knows-what-else, but it was all familiar. A survival response, Em called it when Kiran had asked - purely biologic.  She understood that.  There was something innately, primally terrifying about the slow tumble through the void, the distant stars and planets spinning slowly around her as whichever astronomical mass with the greatest gravity in the vicinity dragged her to its core.  Kiran used to look for it as she fell, trying to identify what was pulling her along through space, but she didn’t, anymore.  There wasn’t any point; she could never find it anyway.

Debris knocked into her, little palm sized bits of planet and starship leftover from an ancient war.  Kiran tried to remember the details of it that Inna had told her over dinner yesterday, but they were washed out by the events that had just transpired.  They broke across her consciousness in disjointed flashes - the landing, the separation, the explosion, the rescue, and now, the falling.

She spent so much of her time falling.

Kiran twisted out of the way out of a drifting piece of metal twice her size, flicking the thrusters on her elbows on for the briefest of moments to aid in the maneuver.  Something flashed orange in the corner of her vision and she hastily brought her wrist up, faltering when she saw how low the levels on the power gauge had dropped.  The metal caught her hard on the shoulder but the pain barely registered, drowned out by the panic blossoming behind her ribcage and crawling up her throat.  The thrusters had drained more power than Kiran had expected, her suit too damaged to function at its normal efficiency.  She wasn’t going to make it.

“No.”  Kiran was surprised at the strength with which she said it - it was her commander voice, the one she only used when training new knights or arguing with nobles.  Or, apparently, when arguing with herself.

She took a deep breath.  The clinical, dry scent of recycled air filled her mouth as she wiped away the dust that had built up on her helmet’s viewing window.  Kiran paused, held the breath for a five count, and then let it out.  She glanced at the power gauge again.  It wasn’t as bad as she had first thought.  They would be coming soon, and she had enough power to last her until then if she didn’t touch the thrusters again.

Power.  Energy.  That was what the war had been about.  Inna’s words filtered back to the forefront of her mind.  One empire had drained all its natural resources, sucked its planets dry of oil and gas and struck out at its prosperous neighbor in an attempt to get more.  The borderlands of each civilization were entirely wiped out before a ceasefire was called to preserve the lives of those who remained.

The empires were completely gone now, though.  Inna hadn’t even blinked, had simply brushed her curtain of long white hair behind her ear as she told Kiran, conversationally and with all the casualness in the universe, that the two interstellar powers had burnt each other to dust long before humans had even come up with a word for the stars.

Kiran was falling through all that was left of them.

Something else beeped and flashed, this time a soft pink on her right wrist.  A message.  She tapped it, then grinned broadly when the holographic screen popped up.

LILIYA: coming 2 get u!!! :-)


SOOOO i'm revisiting this universe, except in a slightly more serious manner and with new characters. everything's a bit rough at this point, so some characters names might change - i'll update the posts if they do. i'm not going to be writing consecutive parts for a while, until i can flesh out a plot, so i'll sort of be posting nonlinear bits and pieces, like mar's been doing with her story (which you should read).

idk!!!! we'll see how this goes. arthurian legend will still tie into this story/universe, it's just not featured in this part.

OH also: fer, liliya, and inna all use she/her pronouns. fer and liliya are girls. inna is NOT a girl - she doesn't have a gender. em uses they/them pronouns and is nonbinary. whenever i introduce a new character, if i don't mention their gender/pronouns in the story part, i'll note them at the bottom.

umm also i guess b/c they might be hard to pronounce: fer is pronounced like fair, liliya is pronounced like lily-ah, and inna is pronounced like ee-nuh.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Riverside - A Shades of London Fanfiction

ohhhhh my god i need to be writing my dang essay but instead i'm posting this rip

this is a short fic based on maureen johnson's shades of london series. it's set in an AU where [the madness underneath and the boy in the smoke spoilers!!!!!] stephen doesn't use the terminus on peter and shows up at the eton boathouse when he dies for some reason. [end spoilers!!!!] it doesn't make much sense (i haven't read the third book yet so i don't actually know what happens to stephen) but i reaaaaally just wanted more stephen & peter interaction haha. it's probably really ooc but who cares! not me! maybe i'll write a second part to this but honestly i churned this out over like 2 days at the end of spring break a few weeks ago and i'm still burnt out.

warnings for mentions of past suicide attempts and also murder!!! it's not that dark though.

this is dedicated to mar for supporting me through ghost teen hell.


He hadn’t expected to be anywhere in particular - especially given that until a moment ago he had been unable to expect anything, due to being dead - but in retrospect, there were a number of places Stephen could think of that would have made more sense.  He had gone unconscious in the flat, but he could have died in a hospital room, or in a car between the two places; he didn’t know where, exactly, but he had died in London.  All the ghosts he had encountered had appeared near their death places.

Rory’s voice was still ringing in his head.  ‘You are not going anywhere.’  But he had gone somewhere, because Stephen was not in London.  Stephen was in the Eton boathouse.

He felt his eyes being drawn to the ceiling.  It was an unconscious action, trance-like.  He was still processing the fact that he was dead now, and a ghost, and not in London, and the combined weight of those three things was enough to keep him from tearing his eyes away.  The third beam from front of the building.  Halfway between the center and the left wall.  The noose had been gone for a long time now, but Stephen remembered the feeling of it around his neck.  Of suffocating.  Of the relief when the chair had been shoved back under his feet.


The thought of the other boy was enough to jolt Stephen out of his trance.  Find Peter.  That seemed like a reasonable goal.  He needed a goal, right then, some task he could focus on to channel some of the manic energy that would undeniably be otherwise put into some sort of breakdown.  And finding Peter would be both comforting and productive - he was someone Stephen knew, and also someone who could tell him how to deal with being dead.

Stephen shook his head to clear it.  This was going to take some getting used to.

God, Callum was going to be so mad.

He looked around the room.  Peter wasn’t there, which meant that he was probably outside, but nearby.  Stephen decided to check the old dock where he had last seen Peter, back when he was alive, where Peter had kissed his cheek and thanked him for the offer, but ultimately decided that no, he did not want Stephen to use the terminus on him.

Stephen turned the doorknob and slipped carefully out of the boathouse.  He briefly wondered if he could have passed through the door, but he decided not to test it.  He felt reasonably solid.  Jo had been much less so, and she had frequently mentioned how awful going through solid objects was.  It was not something that Stephen was itching to try.

It was weird now, walking.  He could feel the ground, still, but it was different from how he remembered.  His steps felt lighter than they ever had before.

He turned the corner and Peter was there, walking back from the end of the dock.  They locked eyes.  Stephen went through the reflexive motions of inhalation, but no air moved.  A grin broke out across Peter’s face.

“Stephen!” he called out, joy and surprise evident in his tone.  He rushed forward, more confident now than he had been last time.  Stephen smiled softly and managed a few more steps forward before Peter was there, taking Stephen’s hands in his.

Stephen had approximately half a moment to register how much more solid the other boy felt now (maybe it was a ghost thing, he realized, something to do with the fact that they were both stuck in this strange limbo) before Peter’s face crumpled into an express of mixed terror and sadness.  Stephen frowned and tilted his head, concerned.  “Peter?”

Peter’s sad eyes widened and a soft whimper escaped him.  He seemed to be unable to speak.  But then his grip tightened on Stephen’s wrists, and Stephen breathed out a small ‘oh’ of understanding.  Two of Peter’s fingers were resting where Stephen’s pulse point should have been.

Stephen was overcome with the urge to comfort him, despite the fact that he was the one who had just died.  “Peter,” he tried, “it’s--”

He was cut off by Peter grabbing his face and shouting “Are you okay?!” in far too loud a voice to be necessary.  Peter didn’t give him a chance to respond and kept babbling.

“Oh God, I’m so sorry, what a stupid question, of course you’re not okay, Stephen, oh my god you’re dead.  No.  No no no no no I’m so sorry why are you dead, Stephen you’re not supposed to be dead, you didn’t deserve this.  Oh my god.  Stephen oh my god.  What even happened?  No no please please tell me it was an accident, please don’t tell me--”

“Peter!” It was the third time Stephen had said his name in as many minutes, but this time it was forceful.  Peter shut up immediately and continued to stare at Stephen, wide-eyed.

“I’m okay,” Stephen told him.

“You’re dead.”


Peter shook his head.  He broke eye contact and stared blankly at the ground between them.  “You’re not okay.”

Instead of responding, Stephen lifted his hands to cover Peter’s, guiding them gently away from his face.  Peter let him, but then twisted his hands free, curling them against Stephen’s shoulders.  Stephen blinked, unsure of where his hands should go.  He left them hovering in the air between them.

Peter lifted his eyes again.  “Stephen.”

“I didn’t do this.”

“...You mean you didn’t kill yourself.”  There was a touch of relief in Peter’s voice, a slight relaxation of his face.

“Yes,” Stephen affirmed.  Then he paused, thinking back on what had happened.  “Well.  Not intentionally.”

“Not intentionally?” Peter squeaked, alarm rushing back into his features.  “What the hell does that mean?”

“I…”  How was he going to explain the past few months in a quick way that made sense and managed to calm Peter down?  “It’s...complicated.”


“A lot has happened.  I think I probably caused my death, but--”


Stephen scowled.  He was still in too much shock over being dead to be dealing with this.  “I was not trying to off myself!”

All of a sudden Peter sagged, eyes softening, the fight draining out of him.  He slipped his arms around Stephen’s neck and tugged gently as he lifted himself onto his toes.  Stephen let himself be pulled forward.  His hands came to rest on the middle of Peter’s back, his face pressed into the junction of his neck and shoulder.  It was a hug.  Peter was trying to comfort him, and they were hugging.

Peter was not warm - it was a side effect of being dead.  He wasn’t particularly soft.  He didn’t smell like anything.  But Stephen was okay with this.  The physical closeness - the being held by someone he trusted, the hand rubbing a small circle at the base of his neck in a comforting gesture - made up for it.  It was a good thing ghosts couldn’t cry, Stephen thought, or else he might have broken down.

The river sloshed gently.  Stephen gripped Peter tighter.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Resown - A Poem

*writes shitty poetry and posts it immediately without revision* aesthetic


I am waiting
for the stones in my muscles to grow moss -
let its softness cushion the weight,
let its spores dance through my bloodstream,

let them settle
in my fingers and my toes and my tongue
with the other unsprouted things.

I am pulling
out the dandelion roots in my chest
despite the shivers of ancient pain and
despite the warmth of the blood -

despite the deep hold
of the rot and the weeds in my bones
and the conviction in my brain.

I am rejecting
the salvation laid out before me
as the hymns bleed out of my lips, and
as my heels grow calloused from walking, and

as my closet grows full
of broken flower pots and canvas frames
and bones I have outgrown.

I am drumming
on my bruised kneecaps and dented shins
with dry knuckles and weeping palms,
with live wires and bird bones,

with dark roots weaving out of my scalp
that serve as a reminder that my body
is not yet dying.

I am burning
with snow and ice and light,
clearing the hall of dust,
clearing the void for stars,

clearing out the underbrush
so the serotinous cones can be opened
and planted.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Troy - A Story

Hmmm well I wrote this for school as an entry to a competition back in...early November?  It involved taking medical research done by high school interns at a hospital and incorporating it into a story.  The research I chose had to do with kidney transplants.  But anyway, we got the competition results back today so I figured I would post it.  I didn't win anything but I didn't really care much about that so it's chill.

This is fairly dark and full of heavy-handed allusions to Greek myths, but I hope you enjoy it nonetheless :-)

UPDATE: the formatting on this got majorly messed up and blogger won't let me fix it so just pretend it looks good.

You don’t hold hands with corpses.


Kathleen Bayer, four years old.  Missing for two days.  Found, 1:45 p.m., October seventeenth, 2011, at home - back office, sitting next to a gun and her mom.  Dead mom.  Bits of brain in Kathleen’s hair - not hers.  Lump of flesh cradled between her palms; limp, hand shaped, but Kathleen’s fingers were digging into it with an animal determination and the face it was attached to didn’t even flinch.

Cooper says it’s not unusual for your memories to sew themselves into the case notes as you read - editing and rephrasing and stitching back in all the brutal details that were cut out by cold analysis.  He says it will stop, that I’ll eventually see so much that I’ll learn to detach from it.  It has to be true, but I’m not untethered enough.  Cooper lets the blood and the crimes wash over him without stain, but there are still some things I can’t bleach out.

But I have to be learning something, because it’s not the new blood that sticks to me the most.  It’s the blood I dipped into before I knew how to wash it out, before I even knew what it was.  There’s a long scar on my right side as proof, and twelve years later I’m still scrubbing the red out from under my fingernails.


If I had picked paper, I’d be dead right now.

The thing was, Helen always picked scissors.  I got bored of rigging the matches by the time we turned eight, and it seemed like I stopped registering what I was going to throw out.  That should have made it fair, but the way I carefully hid my knowledge of her tick skewed the odds permanently in my favor - I was always subconsciously comparing the odds.  I ignored it back then, but now the knowledge clings to me like cobwebs - soft, ghostly, but menacing.  Most days the wisps of guilt just trail after me like tired but loyal hounds.  But then there are the days when I can feel the spiders skirting across my skin, and the scar that keeps someone else’s flesh bound within my body burns, and every cell that’s mine screams for me to have picked paper.


  Cyclosporine.  Prednisone.  Azathioprine.  The drugs change, the dosages change, but the purpose is always the same: keep me healthy, keep my borrowed kidney working, like Odysseus keeping Anticlus from revealing the Greek’s plan.

  Sirolimus.  OKT3.  Tacrolimus.  You have to take them, the doctors say, and I do.  Pills and water, every day with breakfast.


  Mom wanted to know who was going to have the surgery first.

  I think it was almost harder for her than it was for me and Helen.  She didn’t have chronic kidney disease, but she had to watch it take us both down - twin daughters, twin diagnoses, twin failing kidneys.

We were only eighteen.  I felt bad for us; I felt worse for her.

  One had to go first on the organ donation list.  We played rock-paper-scissors.  Helen threw scissors.  I threw rock.

Four months later we got the call.  Helen got hers six months after me.  New kidneys for both of us, gifts from people who did need them anymore.

The doctors chatted with us after.  Kidneys can only be held for a maximum of thirty hours.  Mine had been stored with warm machine perfusion, they told us, Helen’s with traditional cold storage.  The perfusion meant that my new kidney’s cells were kept active before they were given to me.  Helen’s weren’t.

But we didn’t think about the differences, didn’t bother with what happened during storage time until Helen was lying in a hospital bed again, heart beat stuttering out while I crouched beside her, clinging to her hand with shaky fingers and knowing I killed her.


  I measured Helen’s death by her hands.

  Before we realized what was happening, her hands began shaking.  Some days were worse than others, but she could never quite shake the tremors.

  At the hospital, when they told us what was wrong - disease in the remaining kidney, failure of the transplanted one, heart disease from the kidneys, a myriad of other branch-off health problems they should have identified earlier but didn’t, all stemming from the cold storage that had damaged her new organ - and gave us all the excuses for why they couldn’t fix it, Helen folded her hand into mine, steadier than it had been in months.

During her last few rattling breaths, as amber light filtered through the window to be sterilized by hospital fluorescents, I held Helen’s hand because she no longer had the strength to hold mine.  Her pulse fluttered weakly against my fingertips, and I thought of the Trojan gates.  If I had a Cassandra, I would have thrown paper, and I’d be the one in the bed with butterflies in my wrists.  But no one listened to Cassandra anyway.


Arthur Windsor, thirty-three years old.  Missing for five days.  Found, 6:14 a.m., May sixth, 2014, in two places; half behind an abandoned office building on the south side of town, half in someone’s boat parked in the harbor.  Most of his organs missing.  Not enough hand left to hold.

You think, when you go into this job, that you will stop death.  You think fewer people will die because of the work you do.  And you believe, quietly, that the lives you save will make up for the ones you take along the way.  It’s a lie.  Death isn’t a currency you can trade for your sins.  All you can do is chase after it, splashing through the blood and picking up the bodies, and you keep your nails painted red to cover up the crimes you can’t clean out.

Three days, seven hours of sleep, and endless coffee later and I had Windsor’s killer, blood on my Oxfords but no nails chipped.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

UPDATE kinda


So I know I have (HAD) a tradition of posting a part of Pushing Up Daisies on New Year's Eve but uh. Yeah obvs that didn't happen.  The reason why is threefold:

  1. Fall semester 2014 was very busy and very hard. Not a lot of writing, or any creative pursuits for that matter, were going on in the interest of devoting more time to school, sports (in the first part of the semester), clubs (Mock Trial sure is something else), and my job.
  2. I have finals very soon.
  3. I forgot I needed to write it (see reason #1) until 8:00 pm on New Year's Eve, at which time I was knee-deep in Fire Emblem fanfiction and wasn't going to be pulled out any time soon.

So, yeah. I did start it, though, and hopefully I will be able to get something done and posted once finals are over.  I've also started on a few other things (which, frankly, are holding my interest slightly more) which I should also have posted relatively soon-ish.

However, if you find you are lacking in Min Approved Content, I am fairly active on Tumblr.

This is my main blog:
I reblog mostly art, film, and fandom stuff there. It's also fairly social justice oriented.

This is my very carefully curated aesthetic blog:
I originally made it as a writing blog, which it why Planter is posted there, but for the most part it has been repurposed (mainly because I haven't been, y'know, writing).

And that's the update!! See ya later alligators