some words are water rushing out,
eager to be heard,
other words are rocks colliding,
crashing on the tongue.
even more words are dripping gems,
glittering as they fall,
(more) and don't forget words made of wool,
new sounds that scratch the throat.
but some enjoy changing
the water and rocks and gems and wool
into the fourth dimension,
making others feel stupid
for not understanding
or 'hoi polli'
are for the show-offs.(less)
Feliciano thinks Ludwig is too strict, too rigid about everything. He tries to pull him away from work, slender fingers grabbing at the man’s shirt and lips against his ear. The only indication it’s had any effect is the slight blush across the blond’s cheeks, but Feliciano knows that(more) he gets red when he’s angry too, so he’s not sure what to think about it.
An exasperated sigh tells him the man isn’t blushing for the reasons he wants him to. Trying to seduce Ludwig was like trying to seduce a bag of rocks, and he almost lets out an exasperated sigh of his own.
He didn’t realize that he was going about it all wrong, that sharp tugs and some teeth would have done better than the soft caresses and romantic words he was trying to use. Instead he just gives up, falling into Ludwig’s lap and resting a head on his shoulder.
“I miss you…”
“You’ve been bothering me for the last thirty minutes. How can you possibly miss me?”
Feliciano just stays silent for once, and Ludwig removes his glasses and sighs again. “…Do you want to watch something?”
The Italian nods excitedly, it’s not what he’d been aiming for, but getting Ludwig away from work at all was an accomplishment in itself.
And when the blond leans in and gives him a chaste kiss, he wonders if he’s broken through the strict image more than he realized. (less)
Kendall learned the meaning of the word austere last year. Her mother had described the nuns that way and she asked her teacher, "What is austere?" The teacher said it meant plain, not fancy, like no smiling and lots of practice. Since then she dreamed of being austere. When(more) Kendall first wore her gray clothes to school everyday for a week, the teacher talked ot her and said she couldn't wear the same clothes everyday. Kendall wore the gray outfit again for another week and the teacher called her mom. "Its an issue of hygeine. Kendall is twenty-one now so there are a lot of issues with her wearing the same set of clothes everyday. I understand she want to wear all grey, but then she needs to have a different set for each day." Mom said she didn't have time for more clothes so she gave the money to the teachers and they bought her some clothes. Kendall also stopped eating foods with color. She refused to eat anything but "austere" food items. To Kendall that was mostly white rice. She was so proud of herself. After one month of this adherence to austerity passed, the teacher called Mom again. "I understand that you don't mind but her food issues are only exacerbated by this thing she's doing. We would like to incorporate some normal items into her diet and even into her clothing. She is obsessing about this in an unhealthy manner." Mom didn't have time to help. The teachers tried to make Kendall eat fries with ketchup. When they set it in front her, kendall threw the plate at Ms. Whitmay. They told here to take her break, but she refused. Instead she paced around the school muttering austere, austere, austere, austere, austere, austere, austere, austere, austere...(less)
She took a deep breath. Steady, steady. Then, before she could stop herself, she raised a fist to knock.
The great ironwood doors swung open with ease, revealing... darkness. Not a single lamp was lit, not a single window thrown open to the summer heat. But as her(more) eyes adjusted, the throne room revealed itself to her, bit by bit.
Finally, the throne itself appeared before her, topped by the customary crest of suns, the symbol of her family Borbón. And sitting upon that austere throne sat the austere queen herself.
She looked like a vulture. The beautiful façade that had kept for hundreds of years had been replaced by clouded-over, film-filled eyes and wrinkles that sagged and a hawk-like nose colored with age.
"Ah, mija," croaked the disillusioned queen. "Have you come to watch me die? This must be a pleasant sight for you."(less)
His office was austere. A lot of offices lack ornamentation; the place where one works sometimes needs to be plain or simple. Beautiful paintings or gran vistas over the city can distract you from what you came in to do. I get that. But this office had a puritanical air to it.(more) It wasn't just plain, it was stripped of anything non-functional and all of the round corners were sharpened. There was no wood grain or earth tones, just smooth glass and black metal arranged into different useful forms: a desk, a side table with paperwork and a printer, and couple of chairs that looked like they'd never been sat in and seemed to be insulted by the very notion. There wasn't even a bookcase; what would he have put on it?
His secretary stood right behind me and watched me look at the office. "Has anyone else come by?" I asked.
The secretary was a thin young man with a perfect haircut and a tie. "It's all as it was when he disappeared," he said. "I've had to come in to get some files during the last couple of days, but as far as I know I'm the only one who's been in here."
"I won't be long," I told him. "You can't wait outside if you want."
"I'll be in the next room if you need me."
I spent some time examining the office and its lack of anything human. I opened the drawers. More files, large envelopes... I was getting bored. The place screamed that it had nothing interesting to offer.
Until I opened the last drawer. It held a gold watch, with silver doves etched into the lid. Suddenly the austerity wasn't pointless; it was just a display case, and this was its object.(less)
The queen stepped away from the looking glass, her features tired and her dress a drab, depressing shade of grey. There was no color in the room: no royal purple draperies, no gilded furniture. Everything was the same shade as her gown.
(more) "The king is dead," she repeated quietly, her voice barely above a whisper. "The king ... " Her voice broke, and she trembled for a moment, leaning forward the grasp the back of her vanity chair for support. "Is ... dead." She squeezed her pale blue eyes shut and struggled to regain her composure. Sucking in a deep breath, she slowly turned to face the room, and made a sound of disgust beneath her breath. "He always hated when it looked so austere." The queen trembled again, suppressing the tears that threatened to stream down her waxen cheeks. "Hating the mourning period." She nodded to herself. "He preferred to celebrate with color and festivities ... not mourn losses with droll monochrome and grief."
It was too late, though, to call upon some festivities: the king's body was cold and rigid upon the burial dais, and no one in the entire kingdom was in the mood to dance and sing.