Or maybe you’re Pompeii, a dead city trapped in time that will only ever be known for the one horrible tragedy that snuffed it out, leaving behind the shells of human beings preserved in their final death throes. Maybe you’re nothing but a ghost town, a reminder of what once was, what has been lost, what can never last. Maybe you’re a reminder that disaster can turn even the rich and beautiful into a wasteland of hardened ash, into hollow cavities where flesh and bone once huddled in fear. People are drawn to your beauty but it’s the beauty born of haunted places, death on display to entertain the living, and they can’t really imagine you ever actually breathed or moved or loved. All they see is what the devastation left behind.


this is a forbidden love
a sinister love
a cold, cruel, beautiful love
a love that worships with knives
a love that demands sacrifice
a love that covets
a love that crafts
a love that hunts
a love that hurts
an unwilling love
an unwanted love
an unthinkable love
a love that forgives
and twists the blade
a love that mourns
and revels in blood
a love with no name
a love with no rules
a love with no place
but the cell, the basement, the casket

(major spoilers for season 2 in the video)


this lacy tank top and matching cardigan, this semi-punk yet office-safe hair, my inkless skin and unpierced ears, this isn’t a lifestyle, this isn’t fashion sense or preference, this is camouflage, this is me hiding in plain sight, this is a cloak of femininity, now you see me now you don’t, and only when you get too close will you learn that underneath that cloak is rage and wreckage, my beautiful beastly self, only then will you learn that I’m patterned to blend into my surroundings yet I still have claws and teeth and a predator’s mind when threatened, don’t be fooled by the pretty tiger stripes, I just wear them to hunt and hide


It’s your usual fairytale. There’s the prince, beautiful and rich, who loves to be bound and bruised. There’s the stranger at the ball with whom he dances, who sleeps each night in the ashes of the fireplace with a blade in his hand. They fall in love and live happily ever after, until that knife bleeds red as blood on skin white as snow. Then there aren’t enough glass coffins in the world to contain his grief and the prince willingly embraces the needle that will let him sleep, sleep, sleep.


roses are red
Daren’s disdain is black
perhaps we should go now
I don’t need a knife in my back

[ My favorite webcomic artist, Kathleen Jacques, held a Kickstarter last year to fund publishing her webcomic Band vs Band as a book (IT’S SO GOOD AND CUTE AND QUEER GO READ IT). One of the Kickstarter levels was a custom picture, which I snapped up. I based the picture on this semi-roleplay where my girlfriend and I talked about how incredibly uncomfortable it would be to have dinner with my characters Tanim and Daren. I think the resulting picture captures the awkwardness perfectly. Happy Valentines Day! ]


[ My arch nemesis and I provided each other with some writing prompts. This is the third she gave me. The limitations are it must be silly and non-canon to the story in which both our characters appear. Her prompt is below:

It’s Mage’s birthday. She’s getting a surprise party from the islanders. Even if it’s not her actual birthday. ]

It was a comment made in passing: “If you were to burn a candle on a birthday cake for every year I’ve lived, it would light the night sky. That’s why my kind don’t celebrate birthdays.” Little did Mage know the comment would lead to one fairy’s frowned, “but everyone celebrates birthdays!” and one Pan’s thoughtful, “the night sky, huh…?” And so it began.

Several weeks of whispered planning, muffled giggles, invitations written with invisible ink, baking disasters, baking successes, excessive amounts of glitter, Lord of the Rings references, and midnight field trips later, they were ready. All they needed was some way to lure Mage to the right spot at the right moment without her suspecting anything. Of course, being an elf, she was hyper-aware of her surroundings at all times. And of course, being Mage, she was naturally suspicious and tended to stab first and ask questions later. Since neither Alice nor Muffy wanted especially to be stabbed in reward for their hard work, this final aspect of the plan required the most forethought.

In the end, they chose to drug her.

It wasn’t an easy decision. They debated long and hard over the best method, but both agreed that a surprise party must, first and foremost, remain a surprise – and the only way to ensure that was to drug the hell out of the most paranoid inhabitant on the island. They slipped various potions and spells into her food and drink, rubbed them on her clothing, dusted them on her blankets, sprinkled them on her books and charts… and none of it worked. Each morning found the elf hale and hearty, unfazed by anything she might have ingested. Her well-meaning assailants were frustrated, albeit impressed with Mage’s Dread-Pirate-Roberts-style immunity.

Alice and Muffy regrouped and initiated Plan B: copy something they saw on TV. It required great stealth and was a once in a lifetime chance, yet they had no other choice. That final night they tiptoed up to her door, Muffy hiding to one side while Alice took a deep breath and knocked rapidly. “Mage,” she yelled through the door, “come quick, someone is attacking the island!”

“Go away,” a bored voice responded from inside. Alice had expected this answer. She pounded harder, adding, “but the cats are in danger!” The door flew open so fast it nearly slammed her in the face. Before Mage could utter the blistering obscenity obviously poised on her lips, Muffy slid up behind her and sank a hypodermic needle full of something pink and sparkly into her neck. The elf slumped bonelessly into their arms, already asleep.

~ * ~

When Mage awoke, groggy and grouchy, she first noticed she was in a field and while the night was cloudless, no moon hung in the sky to offer its light. She then noticed, quite quickly after that, that she was tied with colorful ribbons to a chair. As her lip curled into a growl which would rip forth and demand explanation, several things happened at once:

1) A thousand candles of all sizes and colors burst into glittering flame, revealing their presence upon every available surface for a hundred yards in all directions;
2) A shrieking cry filled the sky, followed by the concussive and likewise glittery explosion of fireworks that seemed to stretch from one end of the horizon to the other;
3) Dozens of shadowy shapes leaped into the light and shouted in one joyful chorus above the thunder of the fireworks, “SURPRISE!!!”;
4) Mage uttered many words in many languages which it would be best to not translate.

Before anyone else could approach the elf and perhaps accidentally get their fingers or other body parts too close to her teeth, Alice and Muffy skipped forward. The fairy darted in and managed to set a pointed party hat on the captive’s dark head without harm, though just barely.

“Explain yourselves,” Mage hissed as all around her the Lost began to dance and sing and produce party food seemingly out of nowhere – including a gigantic black cake covered in glitter and paste gems. Alice gestured to the candles and fireworks still bursting in the night sky, grinning with mischievous pride. “You said if we were to burn a candle on a birthday cake for every year you’ve lived, it would light the night sky. So we figured, why not light the night sky, and celebrate all the years you’ve missed at once? Happy birthday, whenever the hell it actually is!” She winked. “And if you promise not to murder anyone, I’ll untie you so you can actually enjoy your party.”

Mage scowled at them both for a solid minute before finally sighing and slumping down in the chair. “Fine, fine,” she muttered, because even the coldest-hearted elf cannot resist a fairy cake. Alice and Muffy cautiously untied the guest of honor, who held to her word and only retaliated by smearing both of their faces with cake later in the night. She even allowed the party hat to remain on her head, though anyone who tried to snap a photo of her wearing it regretted the decision instantly. And that is the story of how the Lost Boys held a surprise birthday party for the cantankerous elven mage and managed to not incur too much of her wrath, comparatively speaking, which is pretty damn impressive and also why the feat has never been attempted again.