sotto_voce: Joshua Chamberlain staring into the distance, with caption "brains are sexy" ([community] shoot to kill)
Lexie ([personal profile] sotto_voce) wrote2010-12-28 11:02 pm

leave a message at the tone

One-player mode.

Final round of [livejournal.com profile] yuletide fic recs: FIGHT!!! \o/

Fandoms are: Figure skating RPF, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Feminist Hulk Twitter account, Encyclopedia Brown books - Donald J. Sobol, Community RPF, Community, Clue, The Chronicles of Prydain - Lloyd Alexander, Burn Notice, Bourne trilogy (movies), Blazing Saddles, Betsy-Tacy series - Maud Hart Lovelace, Bend It Like Beckham, Batwoman, Arrested Development, Anne of Green Gables, "A Study in Emerald" - Neil Gaiman.

FIGURE SKATING RPF

Steps & Turns
(At some point during the last few years, I discovered and devoured a whole bunch of Johnny Weir/Stéphane Lambiel fics. I strongly suspect that it was at four in the morning while I was supposed to be writing a chapter of my thesis. At any rate, I completely forgot about it until I discovered the figure skating RPF section in Yuletide this year; this fic made me wish I hadn't forgotten! Stéphane is a darling and I love Johnny's wary responses to him.)
Johnny stared at him, completely confused. "Stéphane! What--I thought you were about to get on a plane home when I left you at the airport!"

"Yes, I was. But my plane was delayed, and then delayed again, and then canceled. Everything was canceled, haven't you seen what it's like outside? So..." he paused and picked up the shopping bags. "I knew that you were alone for Christmas, and since now I cannot go home either, I am too. I thought we could spend it together. I even stopped to buy some things so I could make us a Christmas dinner. Sort of. Do you have a fondue set?"

Johnny didn't quite know how to respond. He couldn't quite wrap his head around the fact that Stéphane had showed up on his doorstep bearing bags full of treats like some sort of vaguely misguided but hopelessly sincere version of Santa Claus.


FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF

Moonlight
(This is a really lovely take on Cameron having unrequited feelings for Ferris; it's a really believable inner monologue voice for Cameron.)
Ferris knows, but they don’t talk about it. That’s fine by Cameron, who would have no idea what to say. He thinks Ferris wouldn’t know what to say either, and that scares him a little. This thing, it’s not… it’s not a big deal, really. He doesn’t think about it that much, it’s just there sometimes. When Ferris is telling him about his next mad scheme, or dragging him out of bed at 7 o’clock on a Sunday, or throwing paper planes at him from the other side of the classroom without getting caught, and Cameron just looks at him and thinks, huh. This is nothing like he was taught to expect.

Love’s not like this, Cameron thinks. Love is whispers and starlight, useless declarations of eternity. Love is fetching the moon for someone on a whim. Cameron won’t even fetch Ferris a salt shaker without half an hour of wheedling – not when Ferris always asks with that glint in his eyes.


FEMINIST HULK (TWITTER ACCOUNT)

A Day In The Life of Feminist Hulk, or Feminist Hulk: Origins
(A blogger writes a profile of Feminist Hulk, who has to come to terms with the fact that he wasn't always Feminist Hulk. All of the details about various fabulous-but-seriously-crunchy things that Feminist Hulk is into -- I am allowed to say that because I went to hippie school and Feminist Hulk's activity list read like a delightful primer of things that could have happened on our campus -- made me howl.)
"During the collapse of The Hulk Project, the containment procedures failed and the Hulks, now thirteen years old, all escaped. The group quickly splintered due to personality differences, and most of the Hulks were eventually found by the government, but not before their existence had become quite well known. It's hard not to notice angry adolescent Hulks when they are smashing. Most of them were placed in what was basically a cross between a halfway house and a foster home, where the staff did their best to educate them, both in traditional topics and in human society and socialization. It was a difficult transition for all of them. They never attended high school full time, but did take some classes, receiving most of their education at home. Most of them eventually enrolled in college, with varying levels of success. Feminist Hulk, then still ‘Hulk 1-6’, was by his own admission ‘THE WORST KIND OF FRAT BOY’ in college, and ‘A TERRIBLE PERSON’."


ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN BOOKS - DONALD J. SOBEL

Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Equitable Agency
(Oh. Oh oh oh, this is so wonderful, I cannot even! Reading this brought me right back to childhood, reading gentle mystery after gentle mystery, under the covers with a flashlight and a stack of musty books. It's Encyclopedia Brown but all grown up and going to college at MIT, working for the FBI, starting his own detective agency; it follows the same format as the kids' books, with the "can you solve the mystery?" sort of section with the reveal coming after the jump. It contains quite a few mysteries over the course of years. It's so, so awesome. I wiggled with happiness reading this. Sally! Bugs Meany! SO HAPPY. And as for the excerpt: I am a Mainer who went to school in Massachusetts and spent my entire college career being just this obnoxious; I couldn't not quote this section.)
October in Massachusetts was cold. Encyclopedia Brown supposed he should have known to expect this, but he was surprised each morning when he left his dorm room. He had had to buy another sweater and his first pair of gloves.

His roommate—a huge, hulking redhead who had grown up in Maine and towered over him by five inches—laughed at him every morning when he mentioned how cold it was. "You southerners," was one of his favorite taunts, which he alternated indiscriminately with, "You sound like a little old lady."

Buck Boorington would not have been his first choice for a roommate.


COMMUNITY RPF

Somewhere Inside (I cannot hide the feeling I got from you)
(Man, Yuletide is just stomping all over my usual squeamishness-with-RPF this year. IT'S ALL SO GOOD. I CAN'T HELP MYSELF. This is another fabulous RPF fic! It's written as the tweets of Donald Glover, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Brown, Dan Harmon, and maybe somebody else who I'm forgetting, and it is awesome. The graphics to make it look like real Twitter look great, and each person's tweets actually sound like the person's real tweets! Yvette's hash tag cracked me up. I'm not sure if this will be as entertaining if you don't follow them all on Twitter -- there are definitely jokes you won't get -- but I think it's worth a read even if you don't!)
DanHarmon: @MrDonaldGlover @GillianJacobs Now, now, children. Stop acting like poopyfaces. #ActualDan


COMMUNITY
(Prepare to be deluged with Community fic, y'all. There was so much good stuff. I am rolling in delight.)

Three Men and a Baby Minus a Man
(Oh my God, Abed and Troy! With a baby! Abed names it! It's incredibly adorable, funny gen-fic.)
"Did you call the police and tell them that you found a baby?" Troy asks as soon as Abed stops singing to the baby in Polish.

"Yes, and they'll be here soon." Abed hands the baby off to Troy. "So do you want to have a three men and a baby montage with one less man while we wait? Or we can call Jeff, your choice."

The idea of Jeff and a baby is even more ridiculous than Abed with one. "Let's do this alone."

"Awesome. I'd high five you, but my hands are kind of full."

A Visit From Whitman (Or, 'Twas the Day After Christmas Vacation)
(Troy and Abed go missing/can't find the group! The voices for the entire cast are thoroughly delightful.)
“Okay, something's wrong,” Troy declared immediately. “We're here before Annie. That's just not right.”

Abed checked his watch. “We're actually three minutes late. It usually goes Annie, who's five minutes early, then Shirley because it's polite to be punctual, then us, then Pierce if he doesn't stop to go to the bathroom, then Britta so she can say something snarky to Jeff as he comes in later than her, then Jeff. And then Pierce last if he stops to go to the bathroom. Annie and Shirley should both be here by now. And either Pierce or Britta should be coming in...”

They looked up at the door. Nothing happened.

Abed cocked his head to the side. “Something's definitely wrong.”

History of Film
(This fic's title isn't kidding. It runs through film noir, space opera, western, action/adventure, and screwball comedy; it's all handled really deftly, and it's really funny. I especially enjoyed Abed's dad's cameo!)
"Abed." The other door – the one he'd conveniently forgotten to lock for narrative purposes – swings open, and in walks Jeff Winger, his hat pulled low over his eyes. "I'm afraid I have some – bad news." He pauses for a beat. "It's about your partner, Troy Barnes."

"That's not right," Abed says. As much as he hates to break character— "We haven't met Troy yet, so you can't have bad news about him until later."

Jeff folds his arms. "If there's a script, I quit."

"Wait, what?" Britta swings around to glare at Jeff. "You mean you're playing along with this?"

"All it actually requires is that I look hot in a fedora and occasionally say intensely dramatic things," Jeff points out. "That's me, but in a fedora."

"Yeah, I kind of just wanted the hat," Troy says, walking in behind Jeff and pointing up at his own fedora.

Here I Come to Save the Day!
(Abed unexpectedly finds that he has superpowers. The entire gang fights back after the Chuck Wagon Gang [aka Leonard, Starburns, and Garrett] hijack the cafeteria.)
"So," Abed said, "what you would do if you had superpowers?"

"You mean since the last time we had this conversation about the last time we had this conversation?"

"Ye—"

"Does butt stuff count yet?"

Abed shook his head.

Creative (Non)Fiction
(Abed has to write a story for his writing class. He decides to write fan fiction. TV tropes references! SO MUCH META. SO FUNNY.)
Abed shrugs. "I decided to base it on actual events."

"In what alternate universe has any of this ever happened?"

"Alternate universe was the last one. Pierce had amnesia, but he thought I'd given him Alzheimer's. This is from yesterday, in the lab. With the sex pollen."

"In the..." Jeff groans, slumping down the back of his seat. "That wasn't sex pollen. That was Starburns' secret stash, which turned out to be poison oak."

"We had to strip for the emergency shower," Annie adds helpfully.

"A plant made you get naked," Abed says, undaunted. "Sex pollen."

automated daydreaming
(Professor Duncan makes the class adopt eggs. Troy and Abed are the best egg-parents ever; Abed knows that if this were a TV show, it would be obvious that they'd have to give it a shot, and if the viewers are/aren't into it, "they would have one solid season before things would get awful, and then better, and then awful." Great Abed voice; I like that the TV comparisons are being made even while it's clear that Abed knows the difference between TV and real life. This one is Abed/Troy, but, again, the voices for everyone are awesome.)
The following week brought Professor Duncan striding into the classroom with an obnoxiously colored sombrero and a dozen eggs clutched under one arm. "Time to choose your fellow comrade in parenting," he said cheerily. "Let us see who will be first, shall we?" He set down the carton of eggs, and brandished the sombrero with unholy glee.

"Our first parent is...Britta!" He tossed the piece of paper he had plucked out of the hat down, and reached in for another. "Her partner is...Pierce! Wow. Wow, that is special. What a lovely couple. Everyone say congratulations. Pierce and Britta. Wow. All right, all right. Let's keep this special day moving for everyone. Next is, ugh, Chang. Who would let that guy father their child, am I right? Hah! Well let's see, and his partner is...Oh Annie. Annie, I am sorry. What a blow. Terrible, just terrible. Well alright, chins up. Next is Jeffrey! Jeffrey, your partner will be...Starburns! Wow, unconventional but adoption is definitely a way of humanity!"

Mandatory Futures in Make Believe
(I love that the characters having to parent for a class showed up in more than one fic! In this one, they have to parent each other. Jeff and Britta have Pierce; Annie is Shirley's single mother. Troy and Abed rap their vows, adopt a Dalmatian, and name him Chewbacca Cornelius Brando. The focus in this one is on Jeff/Britta, who are wonderfully bickery and brittle and fond of each other, but all of the voices are genius. Britta's in particular is awesome; the whole fic is from her point of view.)
The next day in class, Shirley is assigned to be Annie's daughter. You can't be a single mom without a kid. Abed and Troy get a dog and a stack of fake paperwork to begin the process of adopting a child.

Britta tries to pawn Pierce off as an emancipated minor, but Dean Pelton isn't having it.

"Why are you even teaching this class? Where's the professor?"

Dean Pelton smiles and it's super creepy. "After last year's teacher forced a group of students into a polyamorous relationship with him as part of the lab, we needed someone to fill in."

He opens his hands and brings them up to frame his face, "Here I am!"

Psychological Factors in Costume Design
(Abed and Troy manage to drag Jeff into something really embarrassing. Very funny! Great voices! I feel like a parrot, but it's true of pretty much all of the delightful Community fic in the archive this year, including this one! Which also has bonus Abed/Troy.)
"Hi Jeff," Abed says. "We're playing strip poker. I'm winning."

Jeff only has time to think, of course they are before Troy says, "That's because all you have is a poker face! It's your only face!" He looks up at Jeff, eyes wide. "How am I supposed to tell if he's bluffing when he doesn't even blink. It's like playing poker with a robot. A robot with eyes like a sad puppy."

"I blink. If I didn't, my eyes would dry out." Abed points at Troy like he's just remembered something. "Tomorrow we should build a robot dog."

"Can it be a wiener robot dog?"

"Of course," answers Abed. They bump fists.

pretty cool
(Are you sensing a pattern yet?? [I really like Abed/Troy. Thankfully, Yuletide seems to, as well!] Troy and Abed have hermit crabs for a science project. This is both funny and criminally adorable.)
“We can decide over pizza tonight,” Troy says, already turning towards the door, “and popcorn and chips and chocolate covered everything and --” he stops, visualizing it all, the funny way Abed dips chips into chocolate and then licks his fingers after, awkward and weird. Who dips their chips, anyway?

“Bye, crabs,” Abed says, halfway out the door with Troy.

“Sleep tight!” Troy calls to them, wondering briefly if Superman and Batman fall asleep next to each other and wake up overheated and tangled the next morning.

On a Steel Horse I Ride
(I have totally been wanting to read Annie/Troy/Abed ever since the episode where they kept chloroforming the security guard, and the fact that this is lovely [misunderstandings! I eat them like candy!] and funny and a ROAD TRIP FIC to boot are all icing on the cake! The tasty, tasty cake.)
Troy opens the sliding van door and gets out. He doesn't look back, just wanders through the grassy field, past families laying out picnic blankets and news stations setting up their cameras, amateur enthusiasts with clipboards and radios tuned to a live broadcast of the shuttle launch.

He walks for a long time without turning back. He walks until there's no one around him and then he just flops down on the grass, perfectly cross-legged and staring at the beacon of light and the mistake of a road trip (high five? No one to high five.)

"Troy," Annie says gently.

Troy stares ahead. "You fried my brains."

"Oh, Troy –"

"My brains are fried," Troy says.

"I didn't know you two – I thought you were talking about me –"

"You jumped on my face," Troy says blankly. "My face felt weird."


CLUE

The $64 Question
(Yessss! Mr. Green and the reality of being a gay FBI agent in the 1960s, and how it all fits into the blackmail plot that places him at Mr. Boddy's house.)
"What the hell are you doing here?" Alan stood in the door of his apartment wearing only his underwear and a bleary look on his face. The revolver in his hand pointed at the floor and Green stepped inside, carefully taking hold of Alan's wrist before shoving the other man against the wall and kissing him until they were both breathless.

"I told someone I was coming home to sleep with my wife," Green said when he broke the kiss.


THE CHRONICLES OF PRYDAIN - LLOYD ALEXANDER

By Firelight
(Eilonwy, between The Black Cauldron and The Castle of Llyr. This is so, so Eilonwy; it's a great character study.)
After Dallben closed The Book of Three and set it carefully on one of the chamber’s sturdier shelves, Eilonwy rose with Taran and Gurgi and went off to her straw pallet to sleep and dream. She slept so much better at Caer Dallben than she ever had at Spiral Castle, perhaps because there were no armed guards clanking about in the corridors below her chamber, perhaps because she spent the day working hard in the scullery and the orchards. Or perhaps, she sometimes thought fancifully, straw and a woolen blanket really were more comfortable than feather-stuffed mattresses – though neither suited her half so well as roots and rocks.

Maybe it was just as well her kinfolk never sought her out, she thought as she curled onto her side, drawing the blanket up to her shoulder. She wasn’t much of a princess. Nor, she thought, as she drew the bauble from her pocket and set it beside her on the straw, was she much of an enchantress.


BURN NOTICE

Cheap Shots, Hot Guns, and a Serious Lack of Mojitos
(This is backstory for the argument [from the episode "Identity"] between Sam and Fiona about what happened in Libya, and it is delightful; both of them sound exactly right, and I have to admit that it was bizarre and strangely enjoyable to see Kofi Annan pop up. You don't usually see former U.N. secretary generals in fan fiction, you know?)
Sam is never coming back to Libya.

Not only is the heat worse than anything he's ever endured (including a stint in Tirat Tavi, liasing with Mossad, and training in Death Valley for this mission), there are people trying to kill the Secretary-General almost every moment of every day. He and the boys have a pot going on when and where the next attempt will take place, and he's already won lottery tickets off Brunsman and four cups of coffee off Andrews for getting the last attempt right.

And the cherry atop the sundae of awful? He can't drink.

Notes from the Frontlines (Sidelines)
(It's right on the edge of gen and Michael/Sam; it's got killer voices for both of them. I can hear all of the narrative in Jeffrey Donovan's deadpan.)
Michael was in trouble. The field hospital had sixty beds, and every one of them was full, which meant that his bandages—heavy and dark with blood again, already—would be changed between When I Get a Minute o’clock and You Have All Your Limbs So Shut Up thirty. Of course, being stabbed in the gut was a problem in and of itself, but it was an occupational hazard and certainly not his first time.

No, the real trouble was his mother. You could leave the hemisphere; you could become another person. You could kill people and destroy places. You could turn your mind and body into weapons. And yet somehow there was no transfiguration that could completely sever your ties to family.

Five Things Madeleine Knows
(Madeleine Westen is one perceptive lady. This is some seriously awesome character introspection. We see her all-too-shrewd observations about Nate, Sam, Fi, and Jesse, and, through all of them, Michael. I love how it starts with one younger dude who looks up to Michael and ends with the other. It's really well done.)
Michael stole cars, and Michael won fights, and Michael kept the bullies off Nate’s back and their father from looking twice. And then all of a sudden Michael was gone and Nate, for the first time since the day he was born, was finally learning what it was like to have to fend for himself. Learning, because he’d never had to know before. Never had a reason. Probably never even thought he’d ever have a reason, because he probably never even thought that Michael would ever not be there.

And learning is a messy process.

And really, of the two male role-models in his life, it wasn’t at all surprising that Nate was trying (trial and error) to be just like his big brother.


BOURNE TRILOGY (MOVIES)

Galatea, Shaped By His Hand
(This one follows Nicky and Pam Landy in the aftermath of the last movie, and how Jason Bourne does and doesn't intersect with their lives. I love Bourne's chosen method of communication, and the ways in which Pam and Nicky's lives are fleshed out.)
It’s a ridiculously bright and tawdry thing: red glitter sparkling over a bunch of cartoonish flowers and a champagne bottle. One word is written in blocky capitals above the greeting: Pam. The postmark’s readable: New York City, 10021, May 8. She doesn’t recognise the handwriting on the card or envelope, but she doesn’t really expect to.

A check of the post office number shows it to be in the Upper East Side. Servicing from East 61st to East 80th.

415 East 71st. Birthplace of Jason Bourne. Rebirth place of David Webb?

Happy Mother's Day, Pam.


BLAZING SADDLES

Nowhere Special
(It's Bart/Jim while riding off into the sunset in a limo and it's awesome. The voices are spot-on, all good-natured ease, and so is the sly sense of humor.)
He held his hand out and Jim took it, and they shook once. Bart's hand was somehow elegantly callused. “Glad to have you aboard. Now, since we're partners, what would you like to do?”

“I believe you're already acquainted with any and all of my hobbies.” Jim resettled his hat and spread out a little, his knee bumping Bart's companionably. He considered his friend's noble profile, his ready smile, his easy charm. What's a dazzling urbanite like you doing in a rustic setting like this? “Unfortunately, I left my chess set back in Rock Ridge.”

One Night Only: Lili Von Shtupp!
(Bart and Jim go to Lili's show! Good lord, did I guffaw at both Lili's performance and at the back-and-forth in the crowd between Bart-and-Jim and the other audience members.)
“I'm going to tell you a story, darlings. You like bedtime stories, don't you?” She tried her best sweet, innocent smile at the audience. Bart gave it maybe a 4 on a sweet scale of 1-10. She was improving, but she still looked like a man-eating shark in fishnets.

“Well, this isn't the kind of stories you tell babies who are still sucking on their mommies' bazoombas, if you know what I mean.” She thrust out her perfectly round titties for the slower ones in the crowd. If looks were any indication, that was all of them.

“Atta girl,” Jim applauded. “Play to the lowest common denominator. In this case, that might actually be a negative number.”


BETSY-TACY SERIES - MAUD HART LOVELACE

In the golden world
(Joe is gone to war but Betsy isn't alone. Sweet and gentle; a perfect code for these books.)
The late September sun glinted high in the sky one week later as Betsy climbed up the Big Hill behind her old house. Her arms were linked with Tacy on one side and Tib on the other, much like they had done as children.

The three climbed the hill together in silence. At the top, they turned around to glance down Hill Street. Betsy studied the houses the spread out before them. From the small yellow cottage where Betsy herself had grown up to the soft light coming from the windows of the Kelly house across the street, the home where Tacy’s mother still lived with her brother Paul, how grand Hill Street had seemed when they were younger. Ahead in the distance, they could see Tib’s chocolate-colored house.

How strange it would be, Betsy thought to herself, if we had never been friends.


BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM

Five Times Jess and Jules Kissed in Public
(Oh, my heart! This follows the trajectory of Jess and Jules's relationship while they're at college in the U.S. together, and it's really, really charming; they're so warm and funny and delightfully shrieky together!)
“Ever since I put up my Mia Hamm poster! Every time she meets one of my friends! She thinks football training is slang for rampant lesbian shagging session, I swear!”

“I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,” Jess gasped between giggles. Jules pounded her back. Jess giggled and giggled, throat raw from laughing, gasping and clutching her aching stomach as her laughter subsided. She gulped from her water bottle.

Jules leaned over, making her eyes wide and wild. “Lesbians,” she hissed, and Jess spit out her water and collapsed shrieking against the back of the seat.


BATWOMAN

The Weight of Unsteady Things
(It's Kate and Renee running into each other on a patrol and then the aftermath of that patrol, and it's really quietly lovely. Plus, the fight scene is seriously kick-ass; I love the way it was written.)
"Do you ever wonder how there always manages to be someone wandering an alleyway just waiting to be mugged even at three in the morning?" Renee asks.

"I've found vigilante life is simpler once you give up questioning the survival instinct of Gotham's citizenry," Kate replies dryly.

Renee's response is a low chuckle as she wets a cloth with antiseptic and raises her hand to Kate's face, allowing her other hand to rest lightly on Kate's knee. Renee's movements aren't gentle as she cleans Kate's cut, but Kate finds them comforting nonetheless. There's something about the sureness of Renee's movements, the steadiness of her hands that Kate's always admired. Renee never hesitates.


ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT

Love is Strange, or: How George Michael Learned to Stop Worrying and Love His Cousin
(I really enjoyed this, both for the George Michael/Maeby aspect and for the aspect of getting to see what all of the Bluths are up to post-series. I think that Tobias's is my favorite! Along with Maeby; I love how self-possessed and confident and businessy and yet also Maeby she is.)
George Michael wasn't known for his ability to live in the moment, but it felt like he'd been thinking and overthinking his feelings for Maeby for years, and now, he realized, none of it really mattered to him anymore. His dad was in Cabo, having a blast playing in the sun with tourists in bikinis. His aunt, who wasn't one hundred percent his aunt, was flinging herself from audition to photoshoot to charity gala all over L.A. trying to make it half as big as her daughter had. Tobias, who definitely didn't count as his uncle anymore, was up in San Francisco giving walking tours of the Castro while dressed as a drag queen version of Little Orphan Annie. Really, who was going to say a thing about him and Maeby, if they got together? It might be a little messed up to be in love with your cousin, even if they weren't entirely your cousin, but he and Maeby were still probably the most normal people in their family.


ANNE OF GREEN GABLES BOOKS - L.M. MONTGOMERY

Star of Morning
(Anne and Diana on Anne's wedding day; this is so gentle and warm and quiet. It feels like a missing scene from one of Montgomery's books.)
Anne Shirley looked wonderingly in the mirror, for the girl who looked back was so familiar but for once otherworldly, striking, and, indeed, beautiful. The curled and artfully pinned hair captured the dozen shades of sunrise, the face recalled Rosetti in its light cosmetic dusting, and the bridal raiment of tiny pink roses against white was truly fairy-made. Anne smiled at the girl, and girl smiled back. The glow in her cheeks and perennial sparkle in her eyes were well-known indeed, and comforting on this most singular and wonderful of mornings.

A dark-haired face propped itself on her shoulder, while an arm came around her waist, and Diana Wright sighed. “Anne, I don’t believe anyone was more meant to be a bride than you.”


A STUDY IN EMERALD - NEIL GAIMAN

Black Shuck
(I read this right before bed. What a mistake! Don't do as I did! It's a re-telling of The Hound of the Baskervilles but placed in Gaiman's Cthulu-cross universe, and it is so fucking scary.)
The party dispersed, each man going his separate way, yet only one reached his destination. The colour had fled from his hair and skin, and he died of starvation a month later, for he refused all food. Before he died, however, he told his story in fragments, punctuated by screams in a language that made his mouth bleed. He had passed the girl as she fled, he said, and shortly thereafter he had seen Sir Hugo whipping his horse into a frenzy. But Sir Hugo looked not ahead but behind, and a curious thunder rumbled from somewhere behind him. The thunder built, and a great black creature, shaped like a hound but larger than any mortal hound he had known, flung itself onto Sir Hugo and dragged him from his horse. His companion fled at the sight. The last image he would relate was of the two of them locked in a strange embrace, with fog streaming from Sir Hugo's eyes and mouth and rippling beneath his skin.

The girl was never seen again, and Sir Hugo retreated from all company after that night. His descendants followed his example, and the residents of Dartmoor shunned Baskerville Hall for the cursed place it was. No matter how far they kept from it, however, they could not ignore the cries rising from the hall, the clamor of a thousand hounds howling in concert. Nor could they ignore the black shape stalking through the mist, with eyes and mouth aflame.


And now: I wait impatiently for reveals.

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