A Guide to Dark Places

Discussion in 'Make It So' started by Jove, Dec 4, 2016.

  1. Jove

    Jove [ destination defenestration ]

    Context: After much nagging encouragement from people around me and my wife mentioning that my social media status updates often read like things straight out of Welcome to Night Vale (without my meaning for them to) for weeks before I actually went and listened to WTNV, I hit across the idea of starting up a project I want to call A Guide to Dark Places. Which is a recent thing from my accounts inspired by my ups and downs through struggling with BPD.

    Right now, the idea in my head is that it would be about a lesbian couple, the paranormal, mental/physical health, comedy, love, spiders, puns, adventure, and actual dark places. I want to do small comic-like strips of it as well as actual short stories. Particularly since I feel like if I got myself into and organized, I could use the idea to help me pay for things like, oh, groceries and bills, considering my wife and I are currently living extremely hand-to-mouth right now. That and I've been really inspired by this idea when nothing else has gotten me moving; a journey that I visualize in my head that I really want to share with other people. I want to make all of my status updates about it titles, too-- I feel like that would be neat, personally.

    Thing is, even while I still plan to do it anyways as a cathartic release for myself: I'm wondering how interesting this idea sounds to other people and what they might have to say about it.

    So I guess consider this is a thread for feedback/chronicling/whatever for A Guide to Dark Places.
    • Like x 9
  2. Jove

    Jove [ destination defenestration ]

    Decided to do a short bit of brain storming to help myself chill before this chem final and so far:


    Accidentally made myself homesick for Austin in the process, though. ;;
    • Like x 3
  3. Jove

    Jove [ destination defenestration ]

    Mood music:

  4. Jove

    Jove [ destination defenestration ]

    I have no idea what I'm even doing good lord. First attempt to draw a black woman pretty much ever. Have a doodle of what I sorta picture for Jack, so far.



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  5. Jove

    Jove [ destination defenestration ]

    So I was in a BPD swing and to get it all out I ended up doing this:


    Mostly, I just ended up imagining all of my intrusive, "bad" thoughts as shadows that liked to sneak up, and this was the result. Kind of like things that like to crawl out from under your bed at night, or just when you're in the dark. Not my best work, but considering I was in a tizzy at the time, it's not bad for a rough draft.
    • Like x 1
  6. Jove

    Jove [ destination defenestration ]

    Still working on this, slowly
    but surely. May actually have some character stuff to put up later. :|a As soon as I flesh out a few more things. The story has kind of morphed so far into two different protags so far.
  7. Jove

    Jove [ destination defenestration ]

    A Guide to Dark Places: An Anthology

    (a.k.a. A compilation of volume titles as they come.)
    A Guide to Dark Places, Vol I, Issue I: Back to Where It All Began ; What to Expect ; Why You Can't Leave

    A Guide to Dark Places, Vol. I, Issue VIII: Oh, the Places You Will Go ; Descriptions of Various Doors, Pt. 1 ; Where Did Everyone Else Go? NEW!

    A Guide to Dark Places, Vol I, Issue IX: It Follows ; Descriptions of Various Doors, Pt 2 ; What to Whisper

    A Guide to Dark Places, Vol I, Issue XII: Unexplained Images ; Descriptions of Various Doors, Pt 5 ; The Screaming Begins

    A Guide to Dark Places, Vol I, Issue XVI: Black Bells: More Rot & Rust ; Profile: The Man Who Wants to Find You

    A Guide to Dark Places, Vol I, Issue XX: Our Year in Review ; The Tower Sightings ; Letters to the Editor

    A Guide to Dark Places, Vol II, Issue I: Our Mission Statement ; The Anatomy of a Swarm ; Crawling Hands Explained

    A Guide to Dark Places, Vol II, Issue II: Traveling Markets ; The Gathering Storm ; A Distant Screaming

    A Guide to Dark Places, Vol II, Issue IV: Blights and Barrows ; The Crawl ; A Glossary of Candlespeak

    A Guide to Dark Places, Vol. II, Issue VIII: Good Manners in the Gloaming ; Dreadful Lurking Horrors ; Health and Beauty Tips

    A Guide to Dark Places, Vol. II, Issue IX: A Life in a Smoke Tunnel ; A Confederacy of Worms ; Choking Dust Cloud Fashion Guide

    A Guide to Dark Places, Vol. II, Issue XII: The Smiling Dark ; Your Friend, the Spider ; "Was That Window Open Before?"

    A Guide to Dark Places, Vol. II, Issue XIII: The Suffocating Mud ; A Book of Paper Mouths ; A “Who’s Who” of Who’s at the Window NEW!

    A Guide to Dark Places, Vol. II, Issue XV: Riddles in Dead Tongues ; Cold, Grasping Water ; When to Worry NEW!

    A Guide to Dark Places, Vol. II, Issue XVI: Your Bones: Unclaimed Trophies, All ; A Land of Living Fog ; Slow, Uncontrollable Laughter NEW!

    A Guide to Dark Places, Vol. II, Issue XVII: Long, Creaking Limbs ; The Stranger in the Rain ; Dolls Where There Should Not Be Dolls NEW!

    A Guide to Dark Places, Vol. II, Issue XIX: A Trail of Black Twine ; The Shivers ; “Is This a Bonewarren?” -- A Helpful Checklist NEW!

    A Guide to Dark Places, Vol. III, Issue III: The Wolves Are Smiling ; Worms in the Stone ; “I Don’t Understand Why Any of This is Happening” NEW!

    A Guide to Dark Places, Vol. III, Issue V: Sewers Full of Hands ; A Forest of Writhing Shadows ; Carefree and Terrified NEW!

    A Guide To Dark Places, Vol III, Issue X: Simple Sounds & Warnings ; We've Made So Many Mistakes, Such Critical Mistakes ; Is Somebody There?

    A Guide to Dark Places, Vol. III, Issue IX: A Gold and Boiling Heart ; “Inhale to Destroy” ; Market Finds NEW!

    A Guide to Dark Places, Vol. III, Issue XIV: Laughter in the Well ; Orb Watch ; Where to Find Me NEW!

    A Guide to Dark Places, Vol. III, Issue XXVI: Our Year in Review ; A Handprint Where He Knows You’ll Find It ; Mouths Full of Stars NEW!

    (When I have more, they’ll be marked with NEW!, so check back often!)
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
    • Like x 2
  8. Jove

    Jove [ destination defenestration ]

    As I’ve been working with this idea some more, it’s really expanded to a larger cast that intended. For example, this following bit of rough writing-for-my-own-self-indulgence. Please enjoy this short thing about a dude and his half-monster boyfriend.

    CW: sharp teeth— just. A lot of teeth. No violence. Nothing NSFW, but certainly suggestive.

    Konstantin's teeth shed once a season. Spring. Summer. Winter. Autumn.


    In Spring, they shed like little white petals, creamy drops like white clover in tall grass. Konstantin notices when they brush their teeth together in the morning, his brush raking back and forth, back and forth, the little plnk plnk plnk of three teeth down into the sink, the stubborn pull and ache of two more as they are pushed and lifted, but not loose enough to fall on their own yet.

    "Ah," he mumbles, mouth open, drooling a little toothpaste and blood all at once. Wēi stares at the sink and then stares at Konstantin, and he can smell his alarm before he can show it outwardly. "That happens," he adds, glancing to the side as Wēi is about to stand on tip toe to jerk his face forward. He lets him anyways, feeling the motion of the muscles thrum in the air before they happen, already leaning down so that Wēi can pry open his jaw and look at the new, teeth coming in where the old ones have left their mark, bloody and sharp.

    "It just... happens?" Wēi repeats, voice skeptically flat. "You're sure."

    "Sharks," Konstantin says. He pulls back and rinses out his mouth, collecting the teeth in the cup of his palms. He rinses them with a little hand soap and water and takes Wēi's wrist with his still damp hand, depositing the teeth like coins into Wēi's grasp. Dull, creamy little petals in Wēi's palm and Konstantin smiles at them. "They shed all the time."

    Konstantin sheds seventy-two teeth over the course of three weeks. Some come out easy, others need some ouzo and a little elbow grease.

    He's fairly certain four days in that Wēi will want to drop it all and leave. It's not pretty and Konstantin is irate sometimes when a tooth gets stuck or grows in painfully (near the back, bright and sharp, near the front, behind the primaries, menacing and hungry. He whimpers at night, but clutches his mouth shut with his fingers, curls up on the couch at three in the morning to avoid it, like maybe the moon shining on his back will help.

    By the fifth evening, Wēi is sitting on the couch, pillowing Konstantin's head on his thighs, fingers in his mouth, slick with clove oil, rubbing softly into his aching gums, pressing cold packs to his jaw, smoothing his hair away from his eyes, letting him sleep.

    Konstantin is fairly certain he's never had a more easy shedding.


    Summer is easy. The salt water from the ocean takes the pain away. Konstantin sheds his teeth and loses his scales in equal amounts. They flake and peel in little dull tiles from his cheeks and his neck, his fingers and toes, knees, hips, collarbones. He lets the ocean water embrace him for great lengths of time (the coffee shop's hours are limited just for this in the summertime), soaking into hard scale that has turned brittle with time, letting it slough off easily.

    Wēi wades into the sea with him and takes handfuls of coarse sand, scrubbing away the hard to reach spots until he bleeds.

    "Is that--?"

    "Keep going."

    By July, his scales are new and brilliant, ranging from a blushing pink to a deep teal all over.


    Autumn comes and Konstantin's teeth finish shedding by October. White and a little tender, but sharp and mean-looking.

    He pins Wēi's arms over his head and presses his mouth to the delicate line of his throat. He opens wide and bites down tenderly on his pulse. His teeth are still far too immature to bear down fully, but it's enough hearing the trembling little sound from Wēi's lips as he bears in over him, smiling all the way. Wēi is soft here, soft at his throat, soft on his belly, on the inside of each thigh, where he leaves a mark and a kiss and another mark, all the way to his kneecaps.

    Wēi is soft between his legs, warm. He makes Konstantin hungry for him in the Autumn, so he takes him up in a mouth full of fresh, new teeth and makes him sing.


    Winter comes and goes and shedding is painful, teeth sensitive to the chill of the weather, bones aching from the cold. He is a man of the sun, of the sea, of warmer climate, but winter still bites. It dries his scales out and makes him irate and hungry and tired all at once. The coffee shop's hours wane as they do in the Winter and Konstantin is found buried most of the time underneath a mountain of comforters and fleece, dozing in and out of existence.

    Konstantin leaves teeth on his pillow case, teeth in his hand, teeth in Wēi's soft palms as he strokes his face and rubs clove into his gums and makes Konstantin drink cup full after cup full of ginger and green tea, tumeric for inflammation, willow bark in small, testing doses until the ache in his joints ceases, the pain in his mouth subsides, and all his teeth are shiny— new, like the petals of white clover again.

    "Who said monsters were scary?" Wēi whispers behind him, chin perched on his shoulder. He smooths a balm into Konstantin's elbow slowly, smooths it into his scales bit by bit until he feels calm and sleepy again, but a good sleepy. Content. He doesn't itch, he doesn't ache. His new teeth click softly, content, and while Konstantin’s too tired for words, he isn't too tired for a soft song, one that croons out of his throat as Wēi slides a hand over his ribs and begins the same process with the balm over every, Winter-dry patch of scales.

    Konstantin sings and it's soft and loving and by the time he's through, he's crushed Wēi under the weight of him.
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  9. Jove

    Jove [ destination defenestration ]

  10. ZeroEsper

    ZeroEsper Well-Known Member

    I think this all sounds really cool! Your statuses always catch my eye :)
    • Like x 1
  11. Jove

    Jove [ destination defenestration ]

    Thank you! And I’m glad. I really appreciate the kind words.
    • Like x 1
  12. Jove

    Jove [ destination defenestration ]

    Made a huge update to the volume titles for A Guide to Dark Places! It'll probably be the only update to the list for a long while, as I'm shifting my focus to scrapping some things that I'm not pleased with and starting over from the beginning. (Sort of.)
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  13. Jove

    Jove [ destination defenestration ]

    More mood music:

    • Like x 1
  14. Jove

    Jove [ destination defenestration ]

    Welp, I did a no-where-near-my-two-terabytes-of-music mood playlist.

    Have at it, my friends.

    If there isn't at least four or five Silversun Pickups tracks in every playlist I make, assume I've been replaced with a pod person.
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  15. Jove

    Jove [ destination defenestration ]

    Added more mood music!

    (It'll get more eclectic from here because now I'm just adding it as I come across it.)
  16. Jove

    Jove [ destination defenestration ]


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  17. Jove

    Jove [ destination defenestration ]

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  18. Jove

    Jove [ destination defenestration ]

    I've had such a massive writer's/art block, but at least there's always music...?

  19. Jove

    Jove [ destination defenestration ]

    It'll be under a spoiler cut, but y'all best get ready for some visual spam tomorrow-- and there will be content warnings, because negl, there will probably be a few somewhat squicky ones.
    • Like x 1
  20. Jove

    Jove [ destination defenestration ]

    I lied here a preview. Nothing that needs content warnings.

    image.jpeg image.jpeg image.png
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