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The Atlas Six and The Atlas Paradox by Olivie Blake in front of a colorful heart collage made of monster emojis

Halloween Activities & Romance Tropes: Hits Different When It’s SFF

The Atlas Paradox by Olivie Blake

Is Halloween your favorite holiday? How do you feel about tricks? And treats?

Olivie Blake returns to our blog to deliver both in the conclusion to her series of features on complimentary Romance Tropes and Halloween Activities: Hits Different When It’s SFF 🎃❤️👽

And what an auspicious day to engage in such holiday-ful delights: The Atlas Paradox is now on sale, freshly released into stores yesterday! If you vibe with any of the tropes from this series (including previous articles: Conspiring Fates and So Wrong It’s Right), then have we got a dark academia, will-they-won’t-they-oh-my-god-WHO-they-really-did series for you!

(We do. It’s the Atlas Series)

And on with the article! Here’s Olivie!


By Olivie Blake

Soulmates

Sometimes I don’t understand the appeal of surrendering my free will to the whims of a universe that probably doesn’t know that I exist (and not in like, a cute way, where we fall in love when I take my glasses off), and other times I think wow, it would be really cool if the exact right person just fell into my lap. I get it, soulmates enthusiasts! It’s a trap, but a sexy one, and furthermore, one that ensures your anxiety/flaws/fear of failure can’t get in the way. Because what could be luckier than the universe conspiring to reward you with everlasting love, even if the person bearing your mark/scar/tattoo happens to be someone you’d rather set on fire? The universe knows what it’s doing and that’s what matters, so this Halloween, why don’t you make things easier on fate by repeating the events of your luckiest day? Sure, it might sound unrealistic—how often does lightning strike twice?—but I would argue it’s merely practical. You know how they say when you’re lost just stay put? My theory is: go right back to the scene of the luck and inevitably the luck (and your soulmate) will find you. Oh god, don’t look now, but the eldest descendent of your rival bloodline/the criminal profiler currently hunting you is here. It’s probably nothing though, I wouldn’t read into that.

━━ ˖°˖ ☾☆☽ ˖°˖ ━━━━━━━

Marriage of Convenience

This one may have its roots in a slightly archaic class-driven economic partnership view of marriage, but is ultimately very wholesome when done right (e.g., with lingering hand touches and/or eviscerating banter). After all, what you really love is people who fall for each other slowly and gain each other’s respect over time! You appreciate a long game, so for you, I recommend competing in a chess tournament this Halloween. Every piece is meaningful, every move requires strategy, and you can also take the opportunity to hold your coworker/diplomatic nemesis’s smoldering gaze for a pulse too long just before destroying them on the board. Checkmate, motherfucker!

━━ ˖°˖ ☾☆☽ ˖°˖ ━━━━━━━

Love Triangle

Admit it—you just love being desired. You can say it, we’re all friends here! You don’t just want everlasting devotion, you want choices, and that’s okay. (Relatedly, I read that single straight men are having a harder time finding a partner because women are raising their standards for emotional availability and commitment and honey, that’s called #growth.) But I do feel I should point out that while it’s very sexy to be thus pinned between a rock and a hard place, it’s also a high ask in terms of normal day-to-day life. So this Halloween, while you’re out on the town, why not try being desirable in the form of the mom friend? Nobody will ever love you more than the girl crying in the bathroom over some guy named Kevin. Nobody will ever be more devoted to you than the one you have a spare tampon for. Do you happen to have gum in your purse, or a hair tie? Baby, when you’ve got everything, you’re the hottest club in town. 

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Fairytale Retelling

The most important aspect of a fairytale retelling in my view is the deadline. Narratively speaking: the stakes! Of course, they’re also very gory, which makes this perfect for Halloween, a celebration of death and resurrection, and also costumes, e.g. a gown conjured by your fairy godmother or a disguise made from the hide of your talking donkey. Whatever activity you choose, you only have until midnight or the consequences will be dire. Somebody will die. Of fun! Or murder. The choice is yours, but the deadline looms. Might you dance your slippers to pieces? Perhaps inherit a colonizing throne? Mayhap the Unseelie Court will find themselves in need of a new bard! Whatever the outcome, the sense of urgency is what matters, and you simply cannot waste time with the demon hunter/witch hunter/vampire hunter who is currently out for your blood—

Or perhaps. Could it be? 

Has it been them all along? 

Yes, it’s clear now. 

Only one of you can come out of this alive. 

━━ ˖°˖ ☾☆☽ ˖°˖ ━━━━━━━

Enemies to Lovers 

It’s a duel at dawn. They’re coming to end you, and you’ve arrived to destroy them, just as you both swore you someday would. You see them approaching and from a distance, you can see they’re… oh. Oh, they’re hurt. What happened? Who did this to them? Only you were ever supposed to hurt them. Look them in the eye and make them tell you everything that happened. 

Oh.

Oh.

Now, of course, too late, you’re discovering that you’d die for them. No—you’d kill for them. Both are true, or neither. Perhaps all you want is to live!, to be with them!, though of course it can never be that way between you. Can it? Too much stands in the way, and yet the two of you lock eyes and understand implicitly, without a word, that they are, and have always been, yours. 

And I am… also here, so, uh… okay! Well anyway, I guess it’s been a productive Halloween. I’m just going to… I’m just going to go, then, shall I? Ha ha ha, don’t mind me, you guys keep doing what you’re doing, it’s very disturbing and sexy… Ahaha nooooo don’t… don’t kiss… 

━━ ˖°˖ ☾☆☽ ˖°˖ ━━━━━━━

Olivie Blake is the pseudonym of Alexene Farol Follmuth, a lover and writer of stories. She has penned several indie SFF projects, including the webtoon Clara and the Devil with illustrator Little Chmura and the BookTok-viral Atlas series. As Alexene, she has written a young adult rom-com, My Mechanical Romance. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, new baby, and rescue pit bull.

Purchase The Atlas Paradox Here:

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