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About Varied / Hobbyist Core Member Madeline StillwaterFemale/United States Group :iconcontortionclub: ContortionClub
 
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Deviant for 14 Years
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Parade Day by SparklinBurgndy Parade Day :iconsparklinburgndy:SparklinBurgndy 3 1 Miss Hissy by SparklinBurgndy Miss Hissy :iconsparklinburgndy:SparklinBurgndy 7 5
Literature
Finfolk IV
The storm screamed around the wounded ship, ramming her against the rocks again and again.  The hull of the Nimbus finally stove in, sending men scrambling into the water in a desperate effort not to be dragged down with it.  In the cabins of the officers, young Lieutenant Claiborne was hurled about like a ragdoll.  The captain sent him to retrieve the charts so that they could abandon ship with the slightest idea where they were.  Unfortunately, the actions of the wind and waves drove the ship onto a reef, where it was battered relentlessly.  Julian was thrown against the wall, cracking his head sharply.  The precious charts scattered around him like fallen leaves.
The young officer woke with a start at the feel of water against his hand.  He could feel pressure.  The cabin seemed strangely still.  Julian looked down and discovered a wall of water where the forward cabins had been.  He shook his abused head. The Nimbus had broke
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I haven't been on here much. I have been busy with other stuff that will hopefully culminate in a wonderful new opportunity.  But to keep this place from being totally vacant, 

:icondarkling28: has asked who would make a good voice actor for Phooka?

Throw out your suggestions!
  • Listening to: Word Crimes - Weird Al
  • Reading: Beyond the Woods
  • Watching: Horns
  • Playing: With my pets
  • Eating: Pizza
  • Drinking: Redd's Wicked Watermelon
Parade Day
Parade Day roses smell like citrus.  They smell really strongly of citrus. It seems wrong to me, somehow.  But they're really beautiful.
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Miss Hissy
This particular kitten's approach to anything new or scary is to hiss at it.  Camera clicking?  Hiss. Groceries on the living room floor?  Hiss.  Thunderstorm?  Hiss in all directions!

They're getting big!
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I have discovered why I suffered from seasonal depression.  Apparently since returning to the Midwest, Demeter has set her hooks into me. I'm not upset by this, as the skills gained this winter have garnered the interest of a multinational startup. The startup itself is named after the Japanese god of the harvest, so at first I thought maybe offer to him for a good result.

(I've had one phone interview that went very well, now I have to more to get through ) 

I promptly got a metaphysical thwack on the head and a 'You said Demeter, right?!'

So I bought a climbing rose from work and devoted it to Demeter today.  She was very demanding about what she wanted: there should be laundry hanging on the line and a candle burning when I planted her rose!  

Me: Okay, that's doable.

Demeter: No your hands are all muddy and you aren't allowed to wash them until you finish . . . MOWING YOUR YARD!

Me: Okay, I was going to do that anyway.

Mower: Runs out of gas

Demeter: Now you have to go get more gas!  With dirty hands!  Mwahahaha!  What will the neighbors say?!

Me: Dirty hands in the middle of yard work?  They probably won't say a whole lot.  You've already set your hooks into me, haven't you?

Demeter: . . . . maybe.

Me: There's worse gods to have on my side.  I could do with being really good at growing things.
  • Listening to: Word Crimes - Weird Al
  • Reading: Beyond the Woods
  • Watching: Horns
  • Playing: With my pets
  • Eating: Pizza
  • Drinking: Redd's Wicked Watermelon
The storm screamed around the wounded ship, ramming her against the rocks again and again.  The hull of the Nimbus finally stove in, sending men scrambling into the water in a desperate effort not to be dragged down with it.  In the cabins of the officers, young Lieutenant Claiborne was hurled about like a ragdoll.  The captain sent him to retrieve the charts so that they could abandon ship with the slightest idea where they were.  Unfortunately, the actions of the wind and waves drove the ship onto a reef, where it was battered relentlessly.  Julian was thrown against the wall, cracking his head sharply.  The precious charts scattered around him like fallen leaves.

The young officer woke with a start at the feel of water against his hand.  He could feel pressure.  The cabin seemed strangely still.  Julian looked down and discovered a wall of water where the forward cabins had been.  He shook his abused head. The Nimbus had broken in half; somehow his half landed stern up.  Julian was trapped in an air pocket.  This was a precarious position to be in.  The seal could be broken and water could come rushing in at any moment. Could he swim for it? How far down was he? Was it still storming?

A sleek shape moved in the water. A moment later it was joined by another, then another.  Perhaps a dozen shadows curled through the dark sea.

'Sharks,' he thought.  

But they weren't sharks.  They didn't move properly, for one thing. They moved their tails more like dolphins, but stopped to inspect every nook and cranny of the broken ship.  

'I must have hit my head quite hard,' Julian mused. 'They almost look like merfolk.'

Doubts about the sight were understandable to a skeptic, what with the darkness and the water and the head injury.  It wasn't until a pale arm reached out of the water to grasp a shiny gold pocket watch from the deck did Julian realize he wasn't imagining things.  He tried to leap up and grab the captain's saber, but his battered head cut him off at the knees and he went down in an ungainly heap.  When the room stopped spinning, he looked up to lock eyes with the new owner of the shiny gold pocket watch.

It was a mermaid.  

She bobbed in the air pocket, studying Julian.  Her hair was gleaming black and studded with pearls and gold trinkets.  Anything gold would do, apparently; there were a pair of cufflinks decorating a braid and a bent candle snuffer curved around her neck like a torque.  She seemed a lot less surprised to see Julian than he was to see her.

"How do you do?" he asked for lack of something better to say.

She didn't reply, but dove under the water, flashing a pink tail.  

"I don't suppose you could help me?" He asked the rippling water.  The whole situation struck him as ludicrous. He giggled.  "Ah, no, Leiutenant Claiborne, no time for hysterics."

The water heaved again.  The gold-loving mermaid was back, this time with a friend.  The second mermaid was fair haired and skinned, her pearls and baubles intercut with shark's teeth and anemone spines.  There was a certain hardness about her eyes that suggested she was the one who dealt with threats.  After a moment, the rest of the pod surfaced, staring at him with wide eyes.  Every single one of them was a maid; not a male to be seen.  The staring continued a bit longer, then they huddled in a group.  They made no sound, but gestured continually with their hands.  

"Can you ladies help me, please?"  He tried again.  

The pod stared at him in silence.  The first mermaid exchanged looks with the rest, then treated him to a brilliant smile.  She held out her hand in a beckoning manner.  

"You will help me? Thank you," he said, reaching for her.  

Afterwards, Julian couldn't remember if she pulled him off his feet or if he slipped on the wet, broken boards.  The next thing he knew, he was engulfed in water. Dozens of hands grabbed him and dragged him deeper.  Claws scratched his skin.  Tails pounded his legs.  Something cold, wet, and slimy was forced into his mouth.  His throat burned, water rushed up his nostrils and for the second time that day he lost consciousness.


~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Daylight.

He could see daylight.  It warmed his limbs and soaked into his chilled skin.  Julian stretched his hands over his head, elongated his spine, went to point his toes and realized something was terribly wrong.  Nothing felt as it should from the waist down.   He sat up and looked down the long silver-blue length of his new tail.  

How? Why had this happened? Did he die and this was some twisted poetic punishment for eating too much fish?  What on earth?!

He was so focused on on his new appendage it took him a bit to realize he was stretched out on a large rock just a few inches above the waves.  Behind him, a small island rose out of the sea.  More mermaids were relaxing in the shallows, tending their hair, eating, and socializing.  There were about thirty of them all told, all women.  Their ages ranged from mid-teens to middle age.

There were no children.  

The fair-haired mermaid with the hard eyes saw him sitting up and slid off her own rock.  In what seemed like seconds, she launched herself up to sit beside him.  She looked him over critically, studying his scales, webbing and size of his flukes.  She nodded in approval.

"How did you do this to me?" Julian asked.  

She didn't seem to hear him.  More likely she just didn't care.  Either way, she continued to poke and prod like an over enthusiastic physician.  Julian tolerated it until she tried to delve her fingers into the slit that he could feel housed his genitals. Then he squealed like an offended horse and - quite without meaning to - smacked her in the face with his tail.  The hard eyed mermaid reeled from the blow, but managed to stay on the rock.  Julian was less coordinated and flopped over his own shoulder as if he were tumbling.  He tumbled straight into the sea.  He encountered another rock with his shoulder about a foot down. Then he was floating free in crystal blue tropical waters.

He surfaced to the sound of laughter.  

The rest of the pod was laughing uproariously.  At first Julian felt the sting of being laughed at, but the hard-eyed mermaid - still holding her face - whirled on them.  Most of the laughter stopped instantly.  Oh, they weren't laughing at him, they were laughing at their leader for getting hit with a tail.  Most of the laughter stopped.  Not all. Another mermaid with ragged scars from multiple shark bites draped over her shoulder like a tartan was laughing shamelessly.  

The hard eyed mermaid snarled, dove into the water and surfaced before the scarred mermaid, glaring at her fiercely.

New male forgotten, the rest of pod watched in silence.

The mermaid with a scar like a tartan, who had been busy shucking and eating oysters . . . continued to shuck and eat oysters.  However, now she did it in a very deliberate manner without ever breaking eye contact.  Julian was suddenly reminded of a rank new captain butting heads with an old bosun. The captain had the title and money and shiny pips, but the bosun had circled the globe three times before the captain was even toilet trained and he had forgotten more about sailing than the captain ever knew.  The bosun was happy to let the captain be captain as long as he didn't get a swelled head about it.  A wise captain would take heed of the bosun's experience.      

It looked as though Hard Eyes realized this in a very general way, but was fighting the urge to prove her dominance. Tartan Scar raised her eyebrows a fraction.  Most of the pod was behind, so very few people saw this aside from Julian.  Hard Eyes snarled and dove back into the water, splashing the scarred mermaid.  Tartan Scar looked back towards the rest of the finfolk and rolled her eyes.  

Such snickers were muffled behind hands and tails.  

Julian swam up to her, feeling like a child clinging to the one adult who noticed they existed.  Tartan Scar looked at him sideways for a long moment, then handed him a freshly shucked oyster.

"Thank you," Julian said, sucking it down gratefully.

Tartan Scar gave him a small smile and gestured; touching her flattened hand to her chin, palm inwards.  Was that . . . was that 'you're welcome?'  Is that how they communicated?  Like deaf mutes! That made sense; it's not as though you could speak underwater!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

"So you don't know what they did to you?!"

Julian paused in his tale and looked over his shoulder.  Queen Evelyn Marie Grace of the House of Matin was standing behind her, her expensive silk and cloth-of-gold dress ruined by the saltwater.  

Evidently Julian had grown quite close to Tartan Scar, for he now employed the 'very deliberate bite of spice cake and withering stare' on Queen of Pelagia.  

"I don't know the exact spell that was used to transform me," Julian finally said.  "It's a closely guarded secret."

A footman hurried up behind her, dragging a chair.  The former Lieutenant Julian Cuthbert Bluefin nee Claiborne and the most powerful woman on the planet continued to study each other.

"Why haven't you spoken before?" She finally asked as a footman pushed a chair under her padded bum.  

"No one addressed me," Julian answered.  "I supposed breeding doesn't guarantee manners."

Reginald and Amanda's jaws dropped.   Jules transforming into a merman they could handle, though not without a bit of shock.  Jules sassing the queen was too shocking.  Queen Evelyn blinked quickly, as if she couldn't quite believe what had just occurred.

"Is - is it reversible?" she finally asked.

"I don't know of any merman who wished it reversed," Jules returned.

"What about yourself?!"

"No."

The Queen all but reeled.  

"You wish to stay as you are?!"

"Well, I wish to go home," Julian stressed.  "But I am quite quite happy as a merman." There was a moment of hesitation, then: "I'm sure my wives are missing me."

"You have many?!" For the first time since anyone could remember, the Queen was at a loss.

"I suppose it depends on your point of view," Jules said coolly, pouring himself another cup of tea.  "I have two, which is excessive by human standards, but extremely reserved by the standards of finfolk." Something caught the merman's eye and he gestured with his head towards the nearest wall. "He has eight.  But most have five."

The Queen, Reginald and Amanda all followed Julian's gesture.  There was line of portraits against the wall - every one of a Naval officer that fell in the line of duty. More than a few had been lost to the sea - who evidently kept what she took.

"W-which gentleman are you referring to, Lieutenant Bluefin?"  Amanda asked.

"Sixth from the left.  I don't know his name, but in the sea, he's known as Silvermane."

The footman who had brought the chair heard this exchange, waded out of the pool and fetched the portrait.  A dark haired captain of very average looks stared back at them.

"'The Honorable Captain Thomas Washington Booker, master of the Crimson Opal, lost in the year 1762 when his ship went down in a hurricane.'" Reginald read the name plate.

"Around Zamib, I'd wager," Amanda offered.
Finfolk IV
I've actually had this written for about a year. No idea why I didn't post it.

FinfolkThis was an historic day.
Her Royal Majesty, Queen Evelyn Marie Grace of the house of Matin, was opening a ridiculously extravagant aquarium for the keeping and display of the first merman captured alive.  The creature had been fished out of a net off of the rocky reefs of the island Zamib.  Those reefs had claimed many a ship over the years.  With proof of finfolk in the area, perhaps there was more to the danger than reefs and currents.
Her Majesty's new aquarium featured a large pool that stretched thirty yards across with shallow areas for the merman to rest.  The bottom of the pool was glass and steel for better viewing pleasure.  Pumps carried fresh water from the ocean while ingenious heaters kept the temperature at something close to the merman's native tropical ocean.  For the grand opening, the Royal retinue and assorted hangers-on had claimed the lower chambers in case the merman decided not to surface.  All of the officers of Her Majesty's


Finfolk IIAfterwards, all Reginald felt like doing was going home to a stiff drink and the loving arms of his wife of three years, Amanda.  But somehow he didn’t think such a request would please Queen Evelyn Marie Grace of the house of Matin.  The hubbub on the viewing platform had not gone unnoticed and now Reginald stood before her Royal Highness.  Queen Evelyn was a tiny woman, thin and birdlike.  Where most women would make such a build seem childlike, Evelyn gave the impression of being built out of diamond and razors.  She was sharp in every sense of the word; sharp of mind, sharp of eye, and sharp of body.
She paced back and forth between Captain Bight and the glass of the underwater viewing station. There was no real sense of rush to her pacing, it was just as if she were plotting out her interrogation.  
“They say it spoke to you,” she announced. Unlike her sharp appearance, her voice was actually quite soft and pleasant.
“Yes, Your


Finfolk IIIReginald wondered what on earth they were telling Amanda.  The officers’ wives were allowed viewing among the lesser nobles.  He wondered if word had trickled down to them yet or if the Royal Guard were going to shock her with an invitation to tea with a creature of legend.  Other servants were setting up a metal table in the shallows of the aquarium, the seats just above the water level.  He and Amanda were going home with wet clothes, Reginald realized.  He could take off his boots and stockings, but his trousers would still be soaked.  Ah well; there were graver things to consider.  
Out in the deep, Julian surfaced just enough that his eyes were visible.  The merman watched the tea set up warily.  Places were set for three.  Footmen brought out little cakes and delicate sandwiches, wading awkwardly into the water in their shiny buckled shoes and coming out slipping and squelching.
“Captain Bight, what mischief have you g
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I haven't been on here much. I have been busy with other stuff that will hopefully culminate in a wonderful new opportunity.  But to keep this place from being totally vacant, 

:icondarkling28: has asked who would make a good voice actor for Phooka?

Throw out your suggestions!
  • Listening to: Word Crimes - Weird Al
  • Reading: Beyond the Woods
  • Watching: Horns
  • Playing: With my pets
  • Eating: Pizza
  • Drinking: Redd's Wicked Watermelon

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:icontribble-industries:
Tribble-Industries Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2019  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy Birthday, sorry about the clone trooper birthday cake, the fangirls hijacked it. 
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:iconsparklinburgndy:
SparklinBurgndy Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2019  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks!  It's fine! XD
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:icontribble-industries:
Tribble-Industries Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2019  Hobbyist General Artist
Your welcome,

One question what is your favorite color?
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:iconsparklinburgndy:
SparklinBurgndy Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2019  Hobbyist General Artist
Green or purple.
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:iconlonewolfd:
LonewolfD Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2019
Happy Birthday to you.
I hope you have a wonderful day
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:iconsparklinburgndy:
SparklinBurgndy Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2019  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you, I did!
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:iconmensjedezeemeermin:
MensjeDeZeemeermin Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2019
Today is a special day worthy of celebration--because you are a special person worthy of celebration, and it is your birthday.  You in all the universe are a unique product of unique experience that have shaped a unique and compelling perspective. You merit interest and attention; you merit praise.  Your presence in this shared reality makes that reality a better place.  For that, and your brave and generous sharing of the products of your experiences and creativity, I pause to note that I rejoice in you, and wish you a truly HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
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:iconsparklinburgndy:
SparklinBurgndy Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2019  Hobbyist General Artist
You always give the best birthday wishes!
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:iconmensjedezeemeermin:
MensjeDeZeemeermin Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2019
I so hope you had a lovely birthday.
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:iconal-818:
AL-818 Featured By Owner Apr 10, 2019  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Happy Bday!
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