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phantomemes: starters  /  prompts taken from f. d. soul’s work ,  between you and these bones .  feel free to change pronouns  /  tenses as necessary . ‘  the problem is you keep trying to use your eyes  ’ ‘  how i soften when you pull me against you  ’ ‘  you are teaching me to love  ’ ‘  i will pretend that i have not already heard the question in your eyes  ’ ‘  you perhaps will become my swan song  ’ ‘  it is a very human thing to love  ’ ‘  you are my good days  ’ ‘  i have been loved dearly  ’ ‘  i promise you will not always be this war  ’ ‘  thank god for the stubbornness of organs  ’ ‘  it takes me seven days to stop being in love with you  ’ ‘  there will always be another day  ’ ‘  there will always be another mercy  ’ ‘  perhaps i will take up dancing again  ’ ‘  what a pretty little disaster you will be  ’ ‘  i am terrified for you  ’ ‘  i will fold inside of myself  ’ ‘  today i am thankful  ’ ‘  i didn’t want to sleep because i didn’t want to wake  ’ ‘  come and get me  ’ ‘  i tell myself i do not need you  ’ ‘  i think i broke again last night  ’ ‘  i’m just trying to connect with you  ’ ‘  you are an ocean that will perhaps never stop crashing  ’ ‘  burn the house down in search of yourself  ’ ‘  don’t you dare ever stop looking  ’ ‘  i struggle not to feel guilty  ’ ‘  you are a wild  ,  unkempt thing  ’ ‘  sometimes it is a very sad thing to be human and longing  ’ ‘  find that you are made of russian nesting dolls  ’ ‘  the trees are always kindest with spring comes  ’ ‘  teach yourself the hymns again  ’ ‘  he is every amen i have ever laid down on lips  ’ ‘  this life is an altar  ’ ‘  i am sorry i do not have more time  ’ ‘  there is a mountain in me  ’ ‘  by the morning i am a triumph  ’ ‘  there are words playing hooky in the back of your throat  ’ ‘  today is by far the most beautiful creature i have ever come across  ’ ‘  there are many things that will fit beneath your skin  ’ ‘  forgiveness does not take up much room  ’ ‘  some days you will breathe and it will be enough  ’ ‘  you do not have to hold it quite so tightly  ’ ‘  there is a prayer in me  ,  still  ’ ‘  you scare me a little  ’ ‘  you can be a good thing and not a whole thing  ’ ‘  there are flowers in my chest again  ’ ‘  the rain comes and sounds like you  ’ ‘  i cannot tell you why i still trust god  ’ ‘  find peace and build a home out of it  ’ ‘  there is never an end  ’ : phantomemes: starters  /  prompts taken from f. d. soul’s work ,  between you and these bones .  feel free to change pronouns  /  tenses as necessary . ‘  the problem is you keep trying to use your eyes  ’ ‘  how i soften when you pull me against you  ’ ‘  you are teaching me to love  ’ ‘  i will pretend that i have not already heard the question in your eyes  ’ ‘  you perhaps will become my swan song  ’ ‘  it is a very human thing to love  ’ ‘  you are my good days  ’ ‘  i have been loved dearly  ’ ‘  i promise you will not always be this war  ’ ‘  thank god for the stubbornness of organs  ’ ‘  it takes me seven days to stop being in love with you  ’ ‘  there will always be another day  ’ ‘  there will always be another mercy  ’ ‘  perhaps i will take up dancing again  ’ ‘  what a pretty little disaster you will be  ’ ‘  i am terrified for you  ’ ‘  i will fold inside of myself  ’ ‘  today i am thankful  ’ ‘  i didn’t want to sleep because i didn’t want to wake  ’ ‘  come and get me  ’ ‘  i tell myself i do not need you  ’ ‘  i think i broke again last night  ’ ‘  i’m just trying to connect with you  ’ ‘  you are an ocean that will perhaps never stop crashing  ’ ‘  burn the house down in search of yourself  ’ ‘  don’t you dare ever stop looking  ’ ‘  i struggle not to feel guilty  ’ ‘  you are a wild  ,  unkempt thing  ’ ‘  sometimes it is a very sad thing to be human and longing  ’ ‘  find that you are made of russian nesting dolls  ’ ‘  the trees are always kindest with spring comes  ’ ‘  teach yourself the hymns again  ’ ‘  he is every amen i have ever laid down on lips  ’ ‘  this life is an altar  ’ ‘  i am sorry i do not have more time  ’ ‘  there is a mountain in me  ’ ‘  by the morning i am a triumph  ’ ‘  there are words playing hooky in the back of your throat  ’ ‘  today is by far the most beautiful creature i have ever come across  ’ ‘  there are many things that will fit beneath your skin  ’ ‘  forgiveness does not take up much room  ’ ‘  some days you will breathe and it will be enough  ’ ‘  you do not have to hold it quite so tightly  ’ ‘  there is a prayer in me  ,  still  ’ ‘  you scare me a little  ’ ‘  you can be a good thing and not a whole thing  ’ ‘  there are flowers in my chest again  ’ ‘  the rain comes and sounds like you  ’ ‘  i cannot tell you why i still trust god  ’ ‘  find peace and build a home out of it  ’ ‘  there is never an end  ’

phantomemes: starters  /  prompts taken from f. d. soul’s work ,  between you and these bones .  feel free to change pronouns  /  tenses...

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my-discourse-blog: ryrythescienceguy: Children being naturally exposed to a variety of germs from a very young age (from dirt, pets, playplaces, sandboxes, other kids, etc) is actually really good for the immune system and can even prevent the development of allergies. The reason food allergies are so common these days is precisely because parents are avoiding exposing their kids to possible trigger foods and not letting them get dirty (also the overuse of antibacterial soaps/hand santitizers and antibiotics!). Source: grew up on a farm, played in the dirt and with germy animals and germy siblings/cousins/friends all the time, and very rarely took antibiotics… today I’m 24, have zero allergies, and a great immune system (even my little sister is the same, and she wasn’t vaccinated until she was a teenager). This is also why oldest siblings and only children tend to have more allergies in my anecdotal experience; the parents often get overprepared and don’t let their kid get exposed to ANY germs/allergens—by the time other children come along the parents are jaded enough to not care about it as much, and thus the kids afterwards are exposed to more germs from birth! If this sounds weird and backwards, it’s because for a long time doctors used to teach the exact opposite. Keep your child clean and away from germs and potenial allergy triggers. Until they saw the long-term side effects of this and are now starting to tell new parents how to do it better. NOTE: I AM EXTREMELY PRO-VAX! DO NOT MISTAKE THIS COMMENT AS ANTI-VAX. VACCINATE YOUR FUCKING CHILDREN AND EXPOSE THEM TO GERMS IN A CONTROLLED WAY. THE HUMAN IMMUNE SYSTEM IS CAPABLE OF MANY THINGS BUT IT’S NOT A MIRACLE WORKER AND IT NEEDS HELP!!! Can confirm this is true. I’ve studied food science for 5 years and have 3 qualifications in food safety. : my-discourse-blog: ryrythescienceguy: Children being naturally exposed to a variety of germs from a very young age (from dirt, pets, playplaces, sandboxes, other kids, etc) is actually really good for the immune system and can even prevent the development of allergies. The reason food allergies are so common these days is precisely because parents are avoiding exposing their kids to possible trigger foods and not letting them get dirty (also the overuse of antibacterial soaps/hand santitizers and antibiotics!). Source: grew up on a farm, played in the dirt and with germy animals and germy siblings/cousins/friends all the time, and very rarely took antibiotics… today I’m 24, have zero allergies, and a great immune system (even my little sister is the same, and she wasn’t vaccinated until she was a teenager). This is also why oldest siblings and only children tend to have more allergies in my anecdotal experience; the parents often get overprepared and don’t let their kid get exposed to ANY germs/allergens—by the time other children come along the parents are jaded enough to not care about it as much, and thus the kids afterwards are exposed to more germs from birth! If this sounds weird and backwards, it’s because for a long time doctors used to teach the exact opposite. Keep your child clean and away from germs and potenial allergy triggers. Until they saw the long-term side effects of this and are now starting to tell new parents how to do it better. NOTE: I AM EXTREMELY PRO-VAX! DO NOT MISTAKE THIS COMMENT AS ANTI-VAX. VACCINATE YOUR FUCKING CHILDREN AND EXPOSE THEM TO GERMS IN A CONTROLLED WAY. THE HUMAN IMMUNE SYSTEM IS CAPABLE OF MANY THINGS BUT IT’S NOT A MIRACLE WORKER AND IT NEEDS HELP!!! Can confirm this is true. I’ve studied food science for 5 years and have 3 qualifications in food safety.
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chongthenomad: al-the-stuff-i-like: slightly-fanatic: guardgenie: charlesoberonn: 01101111-01101111-01100100: sanjista: bbanditt: chongthenomad: so my family went to the tulip fields and my little sister didn’t have a good time at all WHY IS THAT ONE FUCKING TULIP A DIFFERENT COLOR I WOULD BE UPSET TOO it is the chosen one it must be the main character in the anime It got funnier when I realized just how many tulips are in this picture. “In a world where tulips were yellow, one dared to be different…” Every spring this picture comes back around and every spring I crack up at first you just see the row of tulips in the foreground, and it’s funny then you see the rows stretching back for yards and yards, and it’s even funnier Heyo so I’m throwing a big ol party after quarantine if this hits 1 mill so uh if anyone’s out there pls help embarrass my sister even more 7 years later : chongthenomad: al-the-stuff-i-like: slightly-fanatic: guardgenie: charlesoberonn: 01101111-01101111-01100100: sanjista: bbanditt: chongthenomad: so my family went to the tulip fields and my little sister didn’t have a good time at all WHY IS THAT ONE FUCKING TULIP A DIFFERENT COLOR I WOULD BE UPSET TOO it is the chosen one it must be the main character in the anime It got funnier when I realized just how many tulips are in this picture. “In a world where tulips were yellow, one dared to be different…” Every spring this picture comes back around and every spring I crack up at first you just see the row of tulips in the foreground, and it’s funny then you see the rows stretching back for yards and yards, and it’s even funnier Heyo so I’m throwing a big ol party after quarantine if this hits 1 mill so uh if anyone’s out there pls help embarrass my sister even more 7 years later
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joekerspades: elitigre: frender: deadfoxforcutie: trashgender-neurotica: blueeyeddl: tikkunolamorgtfo: trashgender-neurotica: When you’re an adult man and you try to troll a little girl but instead she drags you straight to hell. (source) “I’m down with white nationalism but I will clutch my pearls if I hear an F-bomb.” White people in a nutshell. Is he calling her “young man” or “young ma'am”? I can’t tell. Considering it’s infowars, may be relevant either way….. He said “young man”, no doubt in an attempt to launch into anti-trans rhetoric with her as a prop. This is a good way to handle that. why is it that every reactionary white dude talks like this. “oh wow, oh my gosh!! oh golly!! oh jeepers!!” it’s actually a little bit horrifying that he would try to expose a child to the lion den of internet white nationalism by making her a prop to make fun of. but yeah, the little girl is “scandalous” because she rightfully called this grown man a fucking idiot Fun trivia fact: this single clip entirely ended this dumbass dude’s career in Infowars and alt right publication, because no one took him seriously anymore after a “little girl” called him a fucking idiot to his face and all he could do was say wow and oh my gosh. : joekerspades: elitigre: frender: deadfoxforcutie: trashgender-neurotica: blueeyeddl: tikkunolamorgtfo: trashgender-neurotica: When you’re an adult man and you try to troll a little girl but instead she drags you straight to hell. (source) “I’m down with white nationalism but I will clutch my pearls if I hear an F-bomb.” White people in a nutshell. Is he calling her “young man” or “young ma'am”? I can’t tell. Considering it’s infowars, may be relevant either way….. He said “young man”, no doubt in an attempt to launch into anti-trans rhetoric with her as a prop. This is a good way to handle that. why is it that every reactionary white dude talks like this. “oh wow, oh my gosh!! oh golly!! oh jeepers!!” it’s actually a little bit horrifying that he would try to expose a child to the lion den of internet white nationalism by making her a prop to make fun of. but yeah, the little girl is “scandalous” because she rightfully called this grown man a fucking idiot Fun trivia fact: this single clip entirely ended this dumbass dude’s career in Infowars and alt right publication, because no one took him seriously anymore after a “little girl” called him a fucking idiot to his face and all he could do was say wow and oh my gosh.
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followthebluebell: roane72: mapelie: everythingfox: Mission failed Ummm. Abort. The yawn is what kills me. “Oh. Yeah, i was gonna take a nap. So sleepy honkshoo.” This is a really good example of appeasement behavior in cats.  The kitten wants to play, but stops because the older cat has their ears back.  Kitten backs down to show a loss of interest— at that point, you can see the older cat blink slowly.  This is one of the ways cats demonstrate trust and understanding.   The kitten turns away, to further cement a lack of interest in playtime at the moment.  The kitten lies down slowly, occasionally looking to the older cat for more approval.  Finally, the little yawn at the end isn’t to go ‘i’m sleepy’, but rather as a calming signal.  Cats consider sleeping to be a communal activity.  By settling down and imitating the older cat, the younger cat is displaying ‘yes, I understand Now Is Not Playtime, we’re cool, right?’ : followthebluebell: roane72: mapelie: everythingfox: Mission failed Ummm. Abort. The yawn is what kills me. “Oh. Yeah, i was gonna take a nap. So sleepy honkshoo.” This is a really good example of appeasement behavior in cats.  The kitten wants to play, but stops because the older cat has their ears back.  Kitten backs down to show a loss of interest— at that point, you can see the older cat blink slowly.  This is one of the ways cats demonstrate trust and understanding.   The kitten turns away, to further cement a lack of interest in playtime at the moment.  The kitten lies down slowly, occasionally looking to the older cat for more approval.  Finally, the little yawn at the end isn’t to go ‘i’m sleepy’, but rather as a calming signal.  Cats consider sleeping to be a communal activity.  By settling down and imitating the older cat, the younger cat is displaying ‘yes, I understand Now Is Not Playtime, we’re cool, right?’
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angelfire115: zetarays: angeredthoughts: nobodybetterhavethisoneoriswear: polyglotplatypus: polyglotplatypus: im very grateful for the lessons in photography i was taught in stop motion class because just now they made it possible to photograph the stars with my phone in spite of the camera usually not detecting the light of stars because theyre so dim,,,, enjoy these shiny motherfuckers ok so if everythings normal, your phone camera should have a manual mode (sometimes called pro mode). in it, change the settings of the shutter lag to 20 seconds, then put the phone down on some stable, plane surface and press the photo button (usually when using your camera, the volume buttons can be used as photo button) and let the phone still for the whole 20 seconds.  (basically the problem with most cameras is that they dont have a very good light sensitivity in the dark, however that doesnt mean they cant detect it at all. the longer the shutter is open, the more light your camera takes in and the more burnt/light your pic will be, so in (literally) dark situations, make the shutter lag longer to get all that light you need! also i said 20 seconds but really you can make it shorter or longer depending on what kinda stuff you want for your stars) Yes this! Additionally, adjust your ISO to the highest number (mimics the film used for very low light and low speed images) And set your shutter speed to the longest time possible (on my phone it’s 10 seconds). Leave your focus settings on Auto, and if your phone camera has a timer option, turn that on (five seconds is generally enough). Plan your shot first, then find a place to set your phone down so you can get the image you want. The less light pollution, the better; you’ll pick up FAR more stars in your picture. Once you know what you want to shoot, tap your screen to “focus” it, then hit the button to take the picture, set your phone down, and back away from the “tripod”. Don’t touch your phone for a good 15 seconds, just to be sure. You will not be disappointed in the results, let me assure you. Not even a little bit. @tamberland THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING I’VE EVER LEARNED : angelfire115: zetarays: angeredthoughts: nobodybetterhavethisoneoriswear: polyglotplatypus: polyglotplatypus: im very grateful for the lessons in photography i was taught in stop motion class because just now they made it possible to photograph the stars with my phone in spite of the camera usually not detecting the light of stars because theyre so dim,,,, enjoy these shiny motherfuckers ok so if everythings normal, your phone camera should have a manual mode (sometimes called pro mode). in it, change the settings of the shutter lag to 20 seconds, then put the phone down on some stable, plane surface and press the photo button (usually when using your camera, the volume buttons can be used as photo button) and let the phone still for the whole 20 seconds.  (basically the problem with most cameras is that they dont have a very good light sensitivity in the dark, however that doesnt mean they cant detect it at all. the longer the shutter is open, the more light your camera takes in and the more burnt/light your pic will be, so in (literally) dark situations, make the shutter lag longer to get all that light you need! also i said 20 seconds but really you can make it shorter or longer depending on what kinda stuff you want for your stars) Yes this! Additionally, adjust your ISO to the highest number (mimics the film used for very low light and low speed images) And set your shutter speed to the longest time possible (on my phone it’s 10 seconds). Leave your focus settings on Auto, and if your phone camera has a timer option, turn that on (five seconds is generally enough). Plan your shot first, then find a place to set your phone down so you can get the image you want. The less light pollution, the better; you’ll pick up FAR more stars in your picture. Once you know what you want to shoot, tap your screen to “focus” it, then hit the button to take the picture, set your phone down, and back away from the “tripod”. Don’t touch your phone for a good 15 seconds, just to be sure. You will not be disappointed in the results, let me assure you. Not even a little bit. @tamberland THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING I’VE EVER LEARNED
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cereusblue: unnameablethings: dragonsateyourtoast: redporkpadthai: dragonsateyourtoast: otherwindow: otherwindow: This is how the golden age of piracy ended. The first mermaid to get tattoos :) “we didn’t know any better,” the crewman says, and swallows, presenting the chest to the captain. “what do we do now?” “kill it,” the captain says, but the ice is melting in his eyes. “we can’t,” the first mate says desperately, praying she won’t have to fight her captain on this. “we can’t. we - i won’t. we won’t.” “i know.” x “daddy,” she says, floating in a tub of seawater in the hold, “daddy, la-la, la-la-la.” her voice rings like bells. her accent is strange; her mouth isn’t made for human words. it mesmerises even the hardiest amongst them and she wasn’t even trying. the crew has taken to diving for shellfish near the shorelines for her; she loves them, splitting the shells apart with strength seen in no human toddler, slurping down the slimy molluscs inside and laughing, all plump brown cheeks and needle-sharp teeth. she sometimes splashes them for fun with her smooth, rubbery brown tail. even when they get soaked they laugh. they love her. “daddy,” she calls again, and he can hear the worry in her voice. the storm rocking the ship is harsh and uncaring, and if they go down, she would be the only survivor. “don’t worry,” he says, and goes over, sitting next to the tub. the first mate, leaning against the wall, pretends not to notice as he quietly begins to sing. x “father,” she says, one day, as she leans on the edge of the dock and the captain sits next to her, “why am I here?” “your mother abandoned you,” he says, as he always has. “we found you adrift, and couldn’t bear to leave you there.” she picks at the salt-soaked boards, uncertain. her hair is pulled back in a fluffy black puff, the white linen holding it slipping almost over one of her dark eyes. one of her first tattoos, a many-limbed kraken, curls over her right shoulder and down her arm, delicate tendrils wrapped around her calloused fingertips. “alright,” she says. x “why am I really here?” she asks the first mate, watching the sun set over the water in streaks of liquid metal that pooled in the troughs of the waves and glittered on the seafoam. “we didn’t know any better,” the first mate says, staring into the water. “we didn’t know- we didn’t know anything. we didn’t understand why she fought so viciously to guard her treasure. we could not know she protected something a thousand times more precious than the purest gold.” she wants to be furious, but she can’t. she already knew the answer, from reading the guilt in her father’s eyes and the empty space in her own history. and she can’t hate her family. “it’s alright,” she says. “i do have a family, anyways. i don’t think i would have liked my other life near as much.” x her kraken grows, spreading its tendrils over her torso and arms. she grows too, too large to come on board the ship without being hauled up in a boat from the water. she sings when the storms come and swims before the ship to guide it to safety. she fights off more than one beast of the seas, and gathers a set of scars across her back that she bears with pride. “i don’t mind,” she says, when the captain fusses over her, “now i match all of you.” the first time their ship is threatened, really threatened, is by another fleet. a friend turned enemy of the first mate. “we shouldn’t fight him,” she says, peering through the spyglass. “why not?” the mermaid asks. “he’ll win,” the first mate says. the mermaid tips her head sideways. Her eyes, dark as the deep waters, gleam in the noon light. “are you sure?” she asks. x the enemy fleet surrenders after the flagship is sunk in the night, the anchor ripped off the ship and the planks torn off the hull. the surviving crew, wild-eyed and delirious, whimper and say a sea serpent came from the water and attacked them, say it was longer than the boat and crushed it in its coils. the first mate hears this and has to hide her laughter. the captain apologizes to his daughter for doubting her. “don’t worry,” she says, with a bright laugh, “it was fun.” x the second time, they are pushed by a storm into a royal fleet. they can’t possibly fight them, and they don’t have the time to escape. “let me up,” the mermaid urges, surfacing starboard and shouting to the crew. “bring me up, quickly, quickly.” they lower the boat and she piles her sinous form into it, and uses her claws to help the crew pull her up. once on the deck she flops out of the boat and makes her way over to the bow. the crew tries to help but she’s so heavy they can barely lift parts of her. she crawls up out in front of the rail and wraps her long webbed tail around the prow. the figurehead has served them well so far but they need more right now. she wraps herself around the figurehead and raises her body up into the wind takes a breath of the stinging salt air and sings. the storm carries her voice on its front to the royal navy. they are enchanted, so stunned by her song that they drop the rigging ropes and let the tillers drift. the pirates sail through the center of the fleet, trailing the storm behind them, and by the time the fleet has managed to regain its senses they are buried in wind and rain and the pirates are gone. x she declines guns. instead she carries a harpoon and its launcher, and uses them to board enemy ships, hauling her massive form out of the water to coil on the deck and dispatch enemies with ruthless efficiency. her family is feared across all the sea. x “you know we are dying,” the captain says, looking down at her. she floats next to the ship, so massive she could hold it in her arms. her eyes are wise. “i know,” she says, “i can feel it coming.” the first mate stands next to the captain. she never had a lover or a child, and neither did he, but to the mermaid they are her parents. she will always love her daughter. the tattoos are graven in dark swirls across the mermaid’s deep brown skin and the flesh of her tail, even spiraling onto the spiked webbing on her spine and face. her hair is still tied back, this time with a sail that could not be patched one last time. “we love you,” the first mate says simply, looking down. her own tightly coiled black hair falls in to her face; she shakes the locs out of the way and smiles through her tears. the captain pretends he isnt crying either. “i love you too,” the mermaid says, and reached up to pull the ship down just a bit, just to hold them one last time. “guard the ship,” the captain says. “you always have but you know they’re lost without you.” “without you,” the mermaid corrects, with a shrug that makes waves. “what will we do?” “i don’t know,” the captain says. “but you’ll help them, won’t you?” “of course i will,” she scoffs, rolling her eyes. “i will always protect my family.” x the captain and the first mate are gone. the ship has a new captain, young and fearless - of the things she can afford to disregard. she fears and loves the ocean, as all captains do. she does not fear the royal fleet. and she does not fear the mermaid. “you know, i heard stories about you when i was a little girl,” she says, trailing her fingers in the water next to the dock. the mermaid stares at her with one eye the size of a dinner table. “is that so?” she hums, smirking with teeth sharper than the swords of the entire navy. “they said you could sink an entire fleet and that you had skin tougher than dragon scales,” the new captain says, grinning right back at the monster who could eat her without a moment’s hesitation. “i always thought they were telling tall tales.” “and now?” “they were right,” the new captain says. “how did they ever befriend you?” the mermaid smiles, fully this time, her dark eyes gleaming under the white linen sail. “they didn’t know any better.” She protects her family. Hi everybody! Guess what’s being posted on AO3 now at the following link! https://archiveofourown.org/works/22498384/chapters/53760817 That’s right! Here you go. I’ll be uploading it in some chunks, because I want to make sure I have everything I wanted edited cleanly finished, but follow the story there! HEY GUYS GUESS WHATS BACK ON THE DASHBOARD AND BETTER THAN EVER : cereusblue: unnameablethings: dragonsateyourtoast: redporkpadthai: dragonsateyourtoast: otherwindow: otherwindow: This is how the golden age of piracy ended. The first mermaid to get tattoos :) “we didn’t know any better,” the crewman says, and swallows, presenting the chest to the captain. “what do we do now?” “kill it,” the captain says, but the ice is melting in his eyes. “we can’t,” the first mate says desperately, praying she won’t have to fight her captain on this. “we can’t. we - i won’t. we won’t.” “i know.” x “daddy,” she says, floating in a tub of seawater in the hold, “daddy, la-la, la-la-la.” her voice rings like bells. her accent is strange; her mouth isn’t made for human words. it mesmerises even the hardiest amongst them and she wasn’t even trying. the crew has taken to diving for shellfish near the shorelines for her; she loves them, splitting the shells apart with strength seen in no human toddler, slurping down the slimy molluscs inside and laughing, all plump brown cheeks and needle-sharp teeth. she sometimes splashes them for fun with her smooth, rubbery brown tail. even when they get soaked they laugh. they love her. “daddy,” she calls again, and he can hear the worry in her voice. the storm rocking the ship is harsh and uncaring, and if they go down, she would be the only survivor. “don’t worry,” he says, and goes over, sitting next to the tub. the first mate, leaning against the wall, pretends not to notice as he quietly begins to sing. x “father,” she says, one day, as she leans on the edge of the dock and the captain sits next to her, “why am I here?” “your mother abandoned you,” he says, as he always has. “we found you adrift, and couldn’t bear to leave you there.” she picks at the salt-soaked boards, uncertain. her hair is pulled back in a fluffy black puff, the white linen holding it slipping almost over one of her dark eyes. one of her first tattoos, a many-limbed kraken, curls over her right shoulder and down her arm, delicate tendrils wrapped around her calloused fingertips. “alright,” she says. x “why am I really here?” she asks the first mate, watching the sun set over the water in streaks of liquid metal that pooled in the troughs of the waves and glittered on the seafoam. “we didn’t know any better,” the first mate says, staring into the water. “we didn’t know- we didn’t know anything. we didn’t understand why she fought so viciously to guard her treasure. we could not know she protected something a thousand times more precious than the purest gold.” she wants to be furious, but she can’t. she already knew the answer, from reading the guilt in her father’s eyes and the empty space in her own history. and she can’t hate her family. “it’s alright,” she says. “i do have a family, anyways. i don’t think i would have liked my other life near as much.” x her kraken grows, spreading its tendrils over her torso and arms. she grows too, too large to come on board the ship without being hauled up in a boat from the water. she sings when the storms come and swims before the ship to guide it to safety. she fights off more than one beast of the seas, and gathers a set of scars across her back that she bears with pride. “i don’t mind,” she says, when the captain fusses over her, “now i match all of you.” the first time their ship is threatened, really threatened, is by another fleet. a friend turned enemy of the first mate. “we shouldn’t fight him,” she says, peering through the spyglass. “why not?” the mermaid asks. “he’ll win,” the first mate says. the mermaid tips her head sideways. Her eyes, dark as the deep waters, gleam in the noon light. “are you sure?” she asks. x the enemy fleet surrenders after the flagship is sunk in the night, the anchor ripped off the ship and the planks torn off the hull. the surviving crew, wild-eyed and delirious, whimper and say a sea serpent came from the water and attacked them, say it was longer than the boat and crushed it in its coils. the first mate hears this and has to hide her laughter. the captain apologizes to his daughter for doubting her. “don’t worry,” she says, with a bright laugh, “it was fun.” x the second time, they are pushed by a storm into a royal fleet. they can’t possibly fight them, and they don’t have the time to escape. “let me up,” the mermaid urges, surfacing starboard and shouting to the crew. “bring me up, quickly, quickly.” they lower the boat and she piles her sinous form into it, and uses her claws to help the crew pull her up. once on the deck she flops out of the boat and makes her way over to the bow. the crew tries to help but she’s so heavy they can barely lift parts of her. she crawls up out in front of the rail and wraps her long webbed tail around the prow. the figurehead has served them well so far but they need more right now. she wraps herself around the figurehead and raises her body up into the wind takes a breath of the stinging salt air and sings. the storm carries her voice on its front to the royal navy. they are enchanted, so stunned by her song that they drop the rigging ropes and let the tillers drift. the pirates sail through the center of the fleet, trailing the storm behind them, and by the time the fleet has managed to regain its senses they are buried in wind and rain and the pirates are gone. x she declines guns. instead she carries a harpoon and its launcher, and uses them to board enemy ships, hauling her massive form out of the water to coil on the deck and dispatch enemies with ruthless efficiency. her family is feared across all the sea. x “you know we are dying,” the captain says, looking down at her. she floats next to the ship, so massive she could hold it in her arms. her eyes are wise. “i know,” she says, “i can feel it coming.” the first mate stands next to the captain. she never had a lover or a child, and neither did he, but to the mermaid they are her parents. she will always love her daughter. the tattoos are graven in dark swirls across the mermaid’s deep brown skin and the flesh of her tail, even spiraling onto the spiked webbing on her spine and face. her hair is still tied back, this time with a sail that could not be patched one last time. “we love you,” the first mate says simply, looking down. her own tightly coiled black hair falls in to her face; she shakes the locs out of the way and smiles through her tears. the captain pretends he isnt crying either. “i love you too,” the mermaid says, and reached up to pull the ship down just a bit, just to hold them one last time. “guard the ship,” the captain says. “you always have but you know they’re lost without you.” “without you,” the mermaid corrects, with a shrug that makes waves. “what will we do?” “i don’t know,” the captain says. “but you’ll help them, won’t you?” “of course i will,” she scoffs, rolling her eyes. “i will always protect my family.” x the captain and the first mate are gone. the ship has a new captain, young and fearless - of the things she can afford to disregard. she fears and loves the ocean, as all captains do. she does not fear the royal fleet. and she does not fear the mermaid. “you know, i heard stories about you when i was a little girl,” she says, trailing her fingers in the water next to the dock. the mermaid stares at her with one eye the size of a dinner table. “is that so?” she hums, smirking with teeth sharper than the swords of the entire navy. “they said you could sink an entire fleet and that you had skin tougher than dragon scales,” the new captain says, grinning right back at the monster who could eat her without a moment’s hesitation. “i always thought they were telling tall tales.” “and now?” “they were right,” the new captain says. “how did they ever befriend you?” the mermaid smiles, fully this time, her dark eyes gleaming under the white linen sail. “they didn’t know any better.” She protects her family. Hi everybody! Guess what’s being posted on AO3 now at the following link! https://archiveofourown.org/works/22498384/chapters/53760817 That’s right! Here you go. I’ll be uploading it in some chunks, because I want to make sure I have everything I wanted edited cleanly finished, but follow the story there! HEY GUYS GUESS WHATS BACK ON THE DASHBOARD AND BETTER THAN EVER

cereusblue: unnameablethings: dragonsateyourtoast: redporkpadthai: dragonsateyourtoast: otherwindow: otherwindow: This is how the g...

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