In which I found the one thing scarier than interviews

Standard

Filling out forms. Have you ever noticed how scary these things are? Passive aggressive language, legal jargon, pretty big consequences if you make a mistake, (in my case) tight submission deadlines….-shudder- It’s an anxiety attack waiting to happen. Of course all this not-so-internalised drama could be just me craving chips and being too busy to pop by the kitchen and heat some on the microwave… Or me being new to the whole “adult” scene (which is rather sad coming from a freshly-minted 23-year old…).

Regardless! Remember how I used to moan and gripe about my dissertation? I’d like to humbly apologise for that. Compare to my day today, the dissertation is more than relaxing, it’s soothing! And I am at the re-drafting stage! Also affectionately called the bizarro stage where I need to be my own hardest critic if I’m to get any editing done BUT I also need to be my number one fan in order to not convince myself that my baby isn’t going anywhere. Still! With this fine gentleman as my main topic it’s so worth it!

Alright, hold your horses, I’m not just doing Marvel Comics, I do have a degree in Viking (and other stuff) studies to prove my competence on. But modern adaptations play an important role to the overall result.

I’ve also discovered that I can make some damn fine connections and arguments between midnight and 4, dosed up on coffee and chewing dried prunes. If your stomach just rolled a little at the prospect, good! Your lifestyle is probably much healthier than mine. I don’t get it. I’m not a night owl, not by choice. There was this one very memorable instance when I was awake for close to 48 hours, but it was a special case. Maybe my mind goes to sleep and I write whatever my subconscious fancies? It would certainly explain some of my more bizarre grammar choices. Apparently I don’t like the definite article when I’m sleepy. Go figure.

Anyway, I am seriously getting hungry for those cheeps now, so I’ll leave y’all to your own devices.

Peace out-

Oh, Technology why do you vex me so?

Standard

I’m no computer whiz. Heck! If I had superpowers one of them would probably be frying electronic devices just by looking at them! Alright, maybe I exaggerate a little, but the truth of the matter is that if it has electronic components it will probably die in my hands. Whatever it is. And the funniest part? I don’t do it on purpose! I even try to be considerate, I cover my touchscreen with that protective film-thingy, I do a regular anti-virus scan on my laptop, I even take care not to bang it around when I’m on the bus! Really, on the surface there is no explanation as to why my gadgets tend to revolt against me. But they do. And seeing as I do not have the technical know-how to fix them myself I end up  running around like a headless chicken, looking for someone who does know what to do.

Case in point, since the latest Facebook app update my phone has been going bananas. Other than Facebook not working (Messenger too, since it updated too yesterday), some of the apps that include an optional Facebook log in are getting stuck on their opening screen and the phone looses signal without warning (and apparently for no reason). But all this I could deal with. They are frustrating yes, but I just have to force the apps closed (or restart the device) and problem temporarily solved. No! The fun times truly start when the entire phone get stuck. Like I’ll just freeze your screen with no warning, no apparent reason and no easy solution. Normally I’d go for the shut-down-and-restart route but unfortunately my model has no manual option for this. Most forums I scanned through advice to take out the battery and put it back. -sigh- This would probably work on older models but mine is one of those thin ones that seem impossible to take apart without breaking something vital. I’ll take to tech support once I’m done here, see what they have to say.

It’s not as much the inconvenience that bugs me (okay that alone pisses me off big time), it’s that there is no apparent reason for my phone to be acting up. I’m sure someone more tech-savvy would be able to give me a more extensive explanation other than “It just happened” and part of me hopes that the phone doctor will have a lecture in store for me on how to avoid something like this happening again. Gotta congratulate the Powers That Be for their impeccable timing however! They chose to pull this whammy on me just when I’m expecting a slew of Really Important E-mails (capitalisation intended) before they went after my electronics. You know, guys, there are other ways to draw my attention. Just saying…

In which I made an ill-adviced bet

Standard

With none other than myself at that! What new madness did I talk myself into this time you ask? Nothing much. Just writing my entire thesis in a week. All 14,000 words of it. Yes, yes, how silly of me! The line to slap some sense into me is to the left. 

I do have some rational reasons behind it though. For one I needed something to distract me from another source of stress that was, at the time, hovering over me like a stormcloud. Nothing distracts quite like speed reading the Best of Karl Jung. For another, I need short term deadlines if I’m to get anything done. The ones my supervisor gave me are way lenient! Also that means I have the entirety to August to redraft and make my writing all pretty-like.🙂

As I’m sure you can imagine this has resulted in late nights and hard-to-get-out-of-bed mornings. Still worth it. As of right now I’m two and a half chapters away from a complete first draft (and a conclusion but who wants to think about that!)

So there you have it. Hopefully I will be much closer to the finish line next time I ramble here, but until then,

Peace out!

Sands of Time chapter 12

Standard

Author’s note: Bit of a flashback today, mostly because I’m full-time writing my dissertation and I needed something cute to tide me over. It’s probably cliche and toot-rottingly fluffy and I hope you enjoy it!😉

Oh! About that thing Akefia says about hieroglyphics: from what I could find out there were two or three different ways you could write using them, Hieratic being (obviously) the most complex. I figured, what with all the tomb robbing, he’d at least know enough to figure out hints about the traps inside the pyramids/tombs…

And no lyrics on the title. This one came completely out of nowhere…

***Chapter 12***

Akefia was woken by the sound of coughing, coughing loud enough to make his ears ring (no thanks to his soulroom’s acoustics) and the Millennium Ring tremble. Confused he materialised outside the Ring, hovering in his host’s bedroom. The sun was peeking through the curtains, signifying mid-morning, but other than the hum of the several appliances the house was silent. So the Caretaker had taken the day off again…

 

Another round of coughing drew the Thief’s attention from faulty parenting models to the child still wrapped up in bed. Ryou’s face was flushed and his breath came out wheezing as the coughing subsided. Still, he seemed to sense the Spirit because his eyes cracked open and he tried to say something around his sore throat. It came out garbled and Ryou winced. Akefia rolled his eyes, because he was not concerned, and tapped in their mindlink.

Are you…he paused, searching for the right word, ill? Ryou nodded, before adding silently:

I think it’s the flu. It hurts! he added, in a tone just shy of whining.

 

Akefia was not sure how serious a “floo” is but he remembered the box that Ryou had explained contained medicine. For a moment he toyed with the idea of taking over their shared body and fetching it, but if his Landlord was truly sick that might make him worse. Their link wavered slightly, breaking Akefia from his thoughts, and he turned his attention to the boy in alarm before breathing a sigh of relief. Ryou had simply fallen asleep again.

 

With nothing better to do the Spirit wandered the apartment, entering the bathroom and glaring at one of the closed cabinets. Sure his non-corporeal form could phase through anything blocking his way, but that was of little help when he actually needed to interact with his surroundings. Still glaring he placed a careful hand on the cabinet door, willing it to not phase through. He needed to open it, dammit! Ryou needed medicine and he was not about to let something as trivial as his lack of a corporeal body stop him from doing right by his Landlord!

 

Let it not be said that the Millennium Items didn’t do their best to obey his wishes. The irate thought had just enough time to form when he felt a strange weight surrounded him, starting from the centre of his chest and moving outward. Surprised by the sensation he stumbled and braced himself against the offending cabinet…and did not fall through. Akefia blinked in confusion, looking at his suddenly-corporeal hand, still clutching the cabinet’s doorknob. Carefully he moved his arm and the cabinet opened, revealing the coveted medicine box. Still not sure how it happened, and worrying it might have been a fluke, he slowly reached for the box and brought it to the counter next to the sink. His eyes moved absently to the mirror hanging above, and he nearly fell over his own two feet at the sight that greeted him. It wasn’t as much that he looked like Ryou’s older brother (though that was still something he was getting used to). It was that, for whatever reason, he seemed to be wearing a larger version of the boy’s pyjamas.

 

That wouldn’t do at all. Allowing himself a moment of vanity Akefia focused his attention on his appearance. He could feel the Shadow Magic thrumming around him, allowing him to remain corporeal and he let his thoughts drift to what he had seen adults wear at this time and place. He opened his eyes to find that his outfit had shifted to a blood-red T-shirt and dark jeans. Much more satisfied with his looks, Akefia turned his attention to the box, looking for anything with the word “flu” on it. Ten minutes later he marched out of the bathroom, a bottle clutched in his hand. Entering the kitchen he paused hesitantly. Medicine was not supposed to be taken on an empty stomach; that much he had understood from the tiny print on the instructions (and part of him was thanking the gods for the Ring’s ability to at least transfer to him his host’s language skills if nothing else…). But while Ryou had no problem letting him take over his body every now and then, neither of them had done much in terms of cooking. Well, Akefia reasoned uneasily, bread was bread no matter the century, right?

 

To his relief bread was indeed recognisable and soon he was walking back to Ryou’s room not only with the medicine, but also some bread slathered with honey and a glass of water. If whatever was in the bottle tasted even half as sickly sweet as it smelled the boy would definitely need it… Resting everything on the bedside table, Akefia sat next to the still-snoozing Ryou. As gently as he could, his host looked so much smaller now, he shook the boy awake.

Akefia? Even his mental voice sounded sleepy. Akefia smirked.

“Right here Landlord,” he said out loud and waited for the moment that the monumental change would register. It took less time than he expected. Ryou’s mind caught up with his body and he realised that there was an extra weight on the bed next to him. His eyes opened and he nearly flew to a sitting position, looking at his other self in surprise. Akefia got to enjoy Ryou’s astonished expression even less as the boy’s face lost all colour and his consciousness nearly followed.

“Hey, hey!” Akefia snapped, grasping Ryou and pulling him against him in a half-sitting, half-lying position. “Keh! You’re still burning up,” he mumbled, placing a cool hand on the boy’s forehead. “Where did you even get sick anyway?”

Ryou shrugged awkwardly but didn’t answer.

 

“Here,” Akefia passed him the bottle. “That’s medicine, right?” Ryou checked the label and nodded sluggishly before pushing himself to sit up –more carefully this time– and downed a dose, scrunching his face at the taste. Akefia wordlessly took the bottle back and handed him the glass. A few sips and a short bout of coughing later Ryou turned to him smiling.

“Thanks,” he said, his voice still a little scratchy but at least audible. Akefia shrugged and handed him the plate.

“You can go back to sleep if you want,” he said, “but first eat something.”

“Ok!” the boy said happily, munching on the sweet slices and looking curiously at the Thief who, now that he had done all that he felt he could for his host, started pacing around the room, running his hands over things and pausing to examine the half-full bookcase next to the door. His eyes fell on a collection of stories from the Egyptian mythology and after a small hesitation he eased the book carefully from the shelf and returned to his previous place on the bed.

 

By then Ryou had finished his food and, not feeling sleepy for the moment, entertained himself with observing Akefia. When the Thief sat next to him on the bed, his eyes glued on the picture of hieroglyphics on the cover, Ryou leaned up against him again.

“Can you read it?” he asked hesitantly, noticing that the Spirit seemed to be silently mouthing words. Akefia startled, having not realised that he had an audience.

“It’s Hieratic,” he said disappointed. “I can tell it’s some sort of prayer but for what…” he trailed off.

“Oh,” Ryou said quietly. He had really hoped to hear what Ancient Egyptian sounded like. Forcing himself to perk up he took the book in his own hands and opened it. “The stories inside are in English. Do you want to read some? Together?” He didn’t dare to get his hopes up. After all, Father never seemed to want to read with him these days… Akefia caught the stray thought and took the book back, pulling the boy closer to him in the process. Just to make sure his fever doesn’t spike again, he told himself, as Ryou all but snuggled against him.

“Alright kid, let’s see how much these people messed up the stories they’re telling.”

In which I debate house and home

Standard

Synonyms are such a bizarre thing, wouldn’t you say? “House”…”Home”… They’re usually used interchangeably even though their connotation is rather different. I say this as a person whose first language uses the same word for both concepts (and then some). I do find myself leaning towards “home” in preference though. “House” feels so impersonal, a word that should be used to describe a building instead of the (hopefully) warm and fuzzy feeling that is “home”. Yes, I think “home” is a feeling, a state of being if you will, instead of a particular place. It’s being safe and comfortable and familiar with all the quirks that come with it.

For me home is Athens (some parts of it more than others), Paros, Norwich, heck! at a stretch I’d add Nottingham. Goodness knows I’ve grown at least used to this confused whirlwind of a city. But home for me is also fire crackling, swimming surrounded by waves, getting lost in a library, walking in the countryside or a very select playlist on my mp3 (no, you don’t get to learn what songs). I’ve travelled, not nearly as much as I wish, and there have been places that felt welcoming, like almost-homes or potential homes, and places I couldn’t wait to get out of. As much trouble as I have reading (real) people, places and atmospheres are open books. Don’t know why. Must be the story-teller in me. If a place has potential for stories to be told in the years to come, you can bet your glossy pages I’ll want to be there!

What has onset my latest bout of philosophical rambling, you ask? My ever-un-pleasant, ever-stressful job hunting. Word to the un-wise: your chances to get that dream job you’re sighing longingly over are probably higher if you stay positive about it, no matter how farfetched. And what better way to do that than to indulge in some daydreaming of walking around the place you’d be living in (if you’re like me and likely to move), find your dream house (never mind your paycheck, this is a daydream after all!)? I didn’t even realise it at first, but one of the most recurring questions running through my head while I was going through Zoopla ads (after “How far from the rail station is it?” and “How do they get away with charging this much for a hole in the wall?”) was “Could I make a home out of this house?”

There’s a question that’s loaded, terrifying and exhilarating at the same time! Especially in the few cases when, while going through apartment pictures, I found myself mentally assigning places for my stuff or imagining what kind of posters I would put on which walls… I mean, I have no concept how far out of my budget I’d be in the places I was looking (probably less than I fear). I suppose that’s the nice thing about dreams. Unless you’re desperate to make them your reality, you are allowed to be as grandiose as you wish…

 

 

 

But what does it say for me, that my idea of grandiose is a successful job interview, an decent apartment with a kitchen I can cook in (and bake, and have a fridge all on my own) and not having to worry about money by the end of the month or whenever bills show up? Welcome to the 21st century, I suppose….

Sands of Time chapter 11

Standard

Author’s note: Hey friends! Bit of a rarity this one. I actually wrote it while playing the proper episode on my laptop. I know a few things are off (obviously, AU and all that) but what can you do. Not sure who the title refers to. Could be Yami Bakura, could be Kaiba… I’m actually thinking of writing a few chapters of other pairing in-universe. Thoughts?

***And I think you should know this/You deserve much better than me***

Travelling through Noah’s virtual world on a van was one of the most bizarre and at the same time dull experiences in Yugi’s life. He took a moment to look at his company, all of them wary of their latest encounter with the Big Five. Ryou was comforting Serenity. The poor girl had been the most shaken from all these life-or-death situations they had been put through the last few days, especially after the loss of Tristan. Yami Bakura was sitting next to his hikari with Elena on his side, facing the road they were leaving behind. Duke and Joey were riding at the front. In fact, the only one missing was Tea. After they had tried –and failed– to convince Kaiba to stay with them instead of going after Mokuba on his own, the dancer of the group had ran after him.

 

“Diabound!” the sudden cry tore everyone out of their thoughts. They turned to see Yami Bakura standing, effortlessly balancing on the still moving car. His monster was charging in battle, against four of the Big Five who seemed to have appeared out of nowhere. Joey hit the brakes and jumped out of his seat, already drawing a monster of his own from his Duel Disk, followed by the rest of the duelists on the group. Soon Dark Magician, Flame Swordsman and Dark Necrofear (courtesy of Ryou) joined him.

“This won’t hold them for long,” Duke said, frowning at his lack of a duel disk. “We need to get out of here.”

“I second that,” Joey winced as his Flame Swordsman was punched out by the Judgeman. “Everyone, back in the car!” The others climbed hurriedly back in the truck, as Dark Magician and Dark Necrofear were also taken out.

“Hurry it up mortal,” Bakura grunted as Diabound also disappeared. “Monster Reborn!” he snarled and Diabound reappeared growing a little bigger in response to its master’s rage. Just as it went berserk on the four monsters facing them, Joey got the car running and slammed the gas pedal, causing everyone to topple over and Bakura to let out a rather impressive litany of curse words in English and Ancient Egyptian.

 

The Big Five, now Big Four surrounded the speeding car, and Lector used Jinjo’s laser to topple it over, sending everyone flying. Ryou felt a familiar ghost pain flare in his arm and turned worriedly at his Yami. Akefia’s face was blank, but the bandage in his arm was soaking red and more blood was trailing down from under it.

Are you alright? He asked through their link, knowing how much Akefia hated people fussing over him.

Fine, came the curt answer, even as Diabound disappeared with a pained moan.

“Alright,” Tristan said nervously from his perch on Serenity’s arms. “Who has a plan B?”

“I am afraid there will be no loopholes this time,” Johnson said smugly. “Your bodies belong to us.”

“Oh yeah?” Joey retorted. “I’d like to see you try!”

 

The four businessmen/Duel Monsters took a few steps forward. Elena grabbed Akefia’s deck, the man’s indignant shout swallowed by Joey’s panicky yelp.

“Please tell me you have a light monster somewhere in there,” she told her lover, hurriedly going through the cards. He shook his head.

“You know they don’t really work for me,” he answered. “Now give my cards back.”

“As if you are in any condition to fight,” she snorted but nevertheless slid the cards back in place.

“What are we going to do?” Serenity asked scared.

“How about we make a run for it while they’re fighting?” Ryou offered, gesturing at the squabbling foursome and quickly shut his mouth when they turned to glare at him as one.

“You and your big mouth Landlord,” Bakura rolled his eyes, pushing the boy behind him and gesturing to Elena to stay close as well. The rest of the group crowded around them, too scared to make a move, though Yugi’s fingers twitched towards his deck.

“Attention fools!” A voice announced suddenly. “This game is over!”  Out of a bright light Noah appeared in the sky, looking annoyed beyond belief. He began berating the four men, ignoring their frantic excuses with impatience. “Gentlemen you are all dismissed!” he declared, conjuring a sand-twister and wiping them away. “No one breaks my rules and gets away with it!”

 

The stunned silence that followed was broken by Bakura as he sat heavily against the toppled over truck, light-headed from the blood loss and the double summoning of Diabound.

“Yami!” Ryou exclaimed as he sat next to him, trying to grab a hold of the Thief’s arm and wincing when a jolt of pain ran through both of them when Akefia jerked away.

“I’m fine!” he snapped.

“Not for much longer,” Joey raised an eyebrow, pointing at the amount of red staining both his arm and the ground next to him.

“Joey’s right,” Yugi nodded. “We need to treat this quickly.”

“Let me have a look.” Elena gently took Akefia’s arm and unraveled to soaked bandage. With a huff he relaxed in her hold.

“Just get it over with,” he grunted, closing his eyes. Elena smiled at him, even though he couldn’t see it and summoned her Ka. A shimmering gold aura surrounded her hand and she gently touched the wound, healing it instantly. The gang watched amazed as the color returned to Akefia’s face and he opened his eyes to inspect his arm.

“Heh!” he raised an eyebrow at her. “You’re getting better and better at this. Not even a scar.”

“Yeah,” Elena answered crossing her arms. “I wonder where all the practice came from.”

“How did you do that?” Duke exclaimed stunned. Elena opened her mouth to explain, but Akefia cut her off.

“We’ve got company,” he said, rising to his feet in one fluid motion and pointing at the two figures approaching them.

“It’s Tea!” Yugi said relieved to see his friend.

“And Rich-Boy,” Joey mumbled frowning.

 

Tea ran towards her friends, relieved to find everyone still in one piece after the snapshot of battle she had seen in Noah’s office.

“I guess the action never stops,” she chuckled as she exchanged a hug with Serenity.

“You can say that again!” the younger girl laughed back. Tea surveyed the group one last time before turning her attention to Kaiba. She had ran after him without a second thought and now she couldn’t deny her worry as he stared at the picture they had found at the abandoned mansion.

“Kaiba,” she said, approaching him hesitantly. “Do you think what Noah said might be true?”

“Noah’s story is nothing but a big lie,” Kaiba scoffed. “This picture and the supposed conversation he showed us should have taken place six years ago.” Tea’s eyes widened in realization as the rest of the group crowed around them to look at the picture.

“I don’t get it,” Ryou said frowning. “You mean Noah hasn’t aged in six years?”

 

That moment when Taylor Swift sums up your thoughts

Standard

Sue me, I like her stuff! And I had her playing in the background while doing some work and some of her older songs started playing so yeah. If I had to pick two songs to sum up the Pandemonium (I do so love this word!) that is my mind right now it’d be these two. I think I’m somewhere between them in the the-heck-I’m-doing scale.