Five letter word beginning with lee


2017.04.20 21:06 Andy_B_Goode rollsomememes

Martial Arts memes

2011.09.02 03:56 Forthewolfx Reddit Improv!


2016.05.20 03:09 invaderzz Temporary official fnaf sub

Thanks to everyone who helped out and cooperated while we really needed it! Without your help and cooperation we would have been in big trouble. This sub will remain private, in the event that it is ever needed for some reason (which is extremely unlikely) it will be opened back up. Thanks for participating!

2023.03.20 17:58 gilhaus Joe's naming choices

I've been trying to get a fantasy-loving nerd friend of mine to read TBI for many years and he recently said he couldn't get into it because Joe's character names seem "lazy."
"It's like he takes an ordinary name, changes a letter or two and calls it good."
This is apparently such an impediment to nerd-friend that it prevents him from diving into some of my favorite fantasy novels of all time.
BUT ... after he said this to me I cannot unsee it. The names don't bother me or stop me from enjoying the works, but I can see how they could be off-putting.
I always thought Logen did seem somewhat inspired by Logan the Wolverine: berzerker rage, etc.
Names I think are weird, like he went with the first sound that popped into his head, or strung syllables together until hit on something that didn't sound too ridiculous, or (like nerd-friend says) changed a letter or two from a name or word:
Bayaz, Glama, Euz, Juvens, Broad Bull, Black Dow, Bedesh, Glustrod, Jezal dan Luthar, Cathil, Orso, Yolk, Jurand, Antaup, Severard, Frost, Tallow, Gurkish, Ferro, Shickel, Styria, Shenkt, Gobba, Shy, Temple, Dab Sweet, Burr, Rikke, Stour
Names I think are awesome:
Sand dan Glokta, Monzcarro Murcatto, Nicomo Cosca, The Bloody Nine, Dogman, Friendly,Caul Shivers, Castor Morveer, Stranger-Come-Knocking, Whirrun, Savine,
Don't take this the wrong way - I'm a longtime fan of Lord Grimdark and all his stories. I have read everything except Sharp Ends, and I'm partly through my first read of the Wisdom of Crowds.
submitted by gilhaus to TheFirstLaw [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 17:57 WhatTreeSaid My Core Self Spread

My Core Self Spread
I took this from The Tarot Diagnosis on Insta, I really like their spreads. Since today is the Equinox and the Sun is now transiting my Sun, Venus, and Chiron, I thought this would be a good spread to start. Aries rules our sense of self, lending confidence and initiative.

Aries Core Self Spread
Bottom Center card, "The Root of my Identity" - Page of Air (Swords) - I am always at the beginning of something, and although I think I am a good writer, I am currently working with an editor who is teaching me new things about writing. I feel certain I have much that is of value to share, I am enthusiastic about this, but if I show uncertainty it's because writing for publication is brand new for me, and I know I still have some things to learn.
Top Center card, "Who I am Striving to Become" - Five of Air (Swords) - I often see the negativity of this card in that someone discounts the input of others to come out on top. But I think in this context I perceive it as a desire to exercise power with my voice. To know my message so well that it would be hard to call that power into question.
(Several people have told me I should run for office at some point, though I would rather not have to do that.)
Top Left card, "The Shame I need to Heal" - The Hermit in reverse - The fact that I spent decades not learning what I need to know. The shame of not having done my homework, which is a real thing. Learning has often come so easily to me that I tend to think I can skip steps and come to the right conclusion without making sure I have all the information. But what you don't know, you simply don't know. It's important to be exposed to all the basics before trying to advance.
Top Right card, An Area Worth Exploring" - Ten of Air (Swords) - Yikes. So much swords. This is where I'm drawing a blank. It could be like I can find a way to do my endings in a way that isn't so painful. Am I avoiding the pain of separation or isolation? Hrmmm....
This deck is called "Forhaxa" and it was created by M.J. Cullinane.
submitted by WhatTreeSaid to tarot [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 17:56 koberulz_24 I cannot for the life of me grasp German grammar.

I keep burning through all five hearts in quick succession on some lessons. Usually a "personalised practice" round. Last time I mentioned this, I got the "well you can practise to earn hearts, sounds like you need it" speech. But it doesn't help, because it doesn't cover what I'm getting wrong.
Just now, I burned through five hearts super quick. Every single error was gendegrammar-related: using the wrong one of die/dedas, mein/meine/meinen, kein/keine/keinen, welche/welches/welchen, etc.
Having burned through all my hearts because I couldn't gender those words correctly, I did a heart-earning practice and it covered completely different words. This doesn't help reinforce anything about the things I'd just screwed up. I ripped through that practice in no time at all. That said, the alternative sometimes is it'll bring back a word I haven't heard in months and I'll have long since forgotten it, so reinforcing old units doesn't seem a strong suit either.
But my biggest issue is the grammar, and I have no idea how to figure it out. I came across "nouns ending in e are usually feminine", which has been helpful, but I still don't have the faintest idea between masculine and neuter, and there are still some feminine I miss and masc/neuter I wrongly pick as feminine.
And then there's the meinen/keinen thing, and whatever the hell welches is, and if it was ever explained in the tips I've long since forgotten it and probably didn't understand it at the time. I know meinen/keinen is something to do with things happening to things, but I have no innate sense of when it applies and it still requires knowing the thing is masculine in the first place, which circles back to the previous paragraph. "Welches" has me completely flummoxed.
Is this a Duolingo blindspot? Am I a dumbass? Is there a better resource for nailing this stuff down?
submitted by koberulz_24 to duolingo [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 17:55 xcatbutts Looking for Twitch VODs to Edit

New but experienced Video Editing Business Offering free editing services to a few streamers in exchange to be able to add it to my online portfolio. I frequently edit for a specific client, taking on up to 5 hours of raw gaming footage and cutting it down to a funny and enjoyable 8-16 minute Highlight Video. I also offer to pull a few Shorts from the Highlight Video, reformatted for your favorite platform (YT Reels, IG Reels, TikTok if it doesn't get banned haha)
-I will censor curse words, but keep the beginning, so it sounds like: "Sh-BLEEP!" or "F-BLEEP!"
-As of right now, I will caption the Shorts ONLY (you can outsource or have subs autogenerated by YouTube for full highlight video)
-Crop/Zoom/FX/and Memes applied where relevant
Please message me, ready with a link to the specific VOD you wish to be edited, and I will deliver the final product via a private DropBox link (no login required) where you can View and Download all of your files.
submitted by xcatbutts to CreatorServices [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 17:54 abdeomar425 Dad Calls me Stupid for HIS OWN Tax Mistake

For context: I'm 18 years old, male. I made most of my income through a company that paid me via Venmo (friends & family) therefore I did not technically have to pay taxes on this income. I did however, work at a fast food restaurant for a month or two at the beginning of 2022 therefore I received a W-2. Also, I've never had a relationship with my dad. I can be riding with him in the car and not a single word will be said. I don't plan on trying to fix this relationship.
My dad wanted me to file my taxes as a "Independent" this year. Not sure why, but he did. He told me multiple times within the span of last month and this month that I NEED to file as a independent. Got it. I went through TurboTax to do my taxes and filed myself as a independent, EXACTLY like he said. The process was very smooth (thank you TurboTax) and my taxes were accepted. Great.
Come this morning at around 6 am, my Mom storms into my room, abruptly waking me up asking me if I had filed as "Single" on my taxes. I told her that I did and asked why he was inquiring. She told me that my Dad's taxes ended up getting rejected. My Mom walks back to their room and my Dad is yelling at the top of his lungs, at 6 o'clock IN THE MORNING, calling me stupid, dumb, and that I have no clue what I'm doing and that I need to stop thinking for myself. He also yelled at me from his room, telling me that I was WRONG for filing as "Single" despite my taxes being looked over professionally by a TurboTax agent. I found this quite odd as my 2021 tax return that was prepared by HIS OWN tax attorney, had me file as "Single".
Moving on, the whole issue basically arose because I did not select the "Someone can claim me as a dependent" option under "Standard Deduction" on my taxes. Prior to this, I talked with an agent from TurboTax and they told me ONLY to select this option if my parents have claimed me as a dependent on THEIR taxes. Like I stated earlier, my dad made it very clear that he wanted me to file as "Independent" this year, so why would he claim me as a dependent?
Long story short, he called me stupid, dumb, & worthless because I followed EXACTLY what he told me.
For those that care enough, I ended up submitting a Form 1040-X just now amending my previous tax return and fixed the problem. I'm really angry and upset because I'm tired of being treated like this despite me not doing anything wrong. This has constantly been a problem my entire life growing up. I will be the one to admit there have been times I have done things wrong and have given him a reason to be angry and upset, but there have also been times my Mom has FORCED ME TO APOLOGIZE to him DESPITE me not doing anything wrong and him perceiving it the wrong way.
Knowing my dad, I will NOT be getting any sort of apology and instead he will continue to think that this was all because of me.
submitted by abdeomar425 to raisedbynarcissists [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 17:53 CosmosInBloom Excerpts from William Faulkner's book 'The Sound and the Fury' in the extra lyrics from The Background World. Themes linked to the trilogy?

Add Violence is going to be 6 years old soon! It doesn't feel like it. It's been a while, but it seems that there were maybe things about the Trilogy that we haven't properly unearthed, as if there's still more we can analyse. Even if there isn't, it's a bit of fun! This turned into a bit of an essay I'm afraid, but I wanted to look into what the themes of the book were rather than just putting the shared phrases here.
I noticed that a few of the extra lyrics from The Background World appear in one chapter of the 1929 book 'The Sound and the Fury' by William Faulkner. I haven't read the book myself, but I thought it would be interesting to see if anyone who has can discuss whether the book aligns with the possible theme(s) of the Trilogy. (I remember seeing someone mention the book either on here or on the ETS forum, but I can't find it anymore, so apologies if none of this is new.)

The phrases in the book that appear in the extra lyrics all seem to come from the chapter of the book called 'June Second, 1910'. This chapter is in the stream of consciousness style, written by a character named Quentin. It's a speech of his that becomes increasingly disjointed, leading up to his suicide. Quentin’s character appears to be obsessed with time and clocks. He switches between present time and memories. On the Sparknotes for this chapter is the following comment:
“Quentin’s memory is complicated because it is largely intertwined with his fantasies. Sometimes it is difficult to tell which of his memories are based on events that actually occurred and which are based on fantasy or wishful thinking.”
Not the Actual Events!

Here are the phrases from the chapter which appear in (or are close to) the extra lyrics of The Background World:
The Sound & the Fury: "...that vivid dead smell of perfume that Benjy hated so."
Background World: all The Dead smell of perfume

The Sound & the Fury: " seemed to me that I could hear whispers secret surges"
The Background World: whispers... secrets surges

The Sound & the Fury: "...against red eyelids the swine"
The Background World: Red swine eyelids

The Sound & the Fury: "...we must just stay awake"
The Background World: maybe I will just stay awake

It's not AS strong as the Branches/Bones & Wordpress link, but given that all of the above feature in one chapter of the book and all within the extra lyrics of The Background World, it could be intentional. Some of those word sequences aren't common.

Themes of the book as a whole
The book is written in a 'stream of consciousness' style, and according to an analysis of the book on this site:
The Sound and the Fury’ interweaves themes of the nonlinearity of time...
Also from the same site:
...In ‘The Sound and the Fury’, time permeates everything, yet it also confuses readers as well as characters. Benjy’s story abruptly transitions from the past to the present and back again. Since time means nothing to him, it will be difficult for readers to follow his mental ramblings and decipher what initially appears to be his jumbled thoughts. Since the narrators are all inconsistent in some way, their stories are not always truthful, and any accurate analysis of the story is made challenging by its interweaving and nonlinear structure.
I've added the bold above as I thought that these themes link slightly to the Trilogy as a whole. The Trilogy has several references to NIN's past, while seemingly being set in the present.
There's jumbled thoughts in the extra lyrics of Branches/Bones, and several lyrics from that song (sung & unsung) appear to be taken from a Wordpress belonging to a schizophrenic person who wrote the blog's words while they were unmedicated - Again, jumbled thoughts. (Here's a link to the ETS thread on that Wordpress blog. It's still unknown whether the blog has anything to do with Trent/NIN or whether it was used as inspiration, but it's very intriguing either way, and there's too many direct phrases from it appearing in Branches/Bones for it to be a coincidence.)
The theme of narratives not always being truthful sort of ties into 'Not the Actual Events' itself!
There are other themes in the book which don't seem to relate to the Trilogy, such as racism, classism, family values, incest... I assume these aren't themes in the Trilogy but that's just my interpretation!
'Time' is mentioned a few times in the Trilogy, most directly in Over and Out.

Here's the official blurb that's on the NIN site relating to Add Violence: “The sonic palette expands significantly from Not the Actual Events, incorporating elements of beauty into the dark dissonance. The narrative arc linking the three records begins to emerge through the disassociated lyrics and the provocative and clue-filed cover artwork and accompanying physical component.”
By 'disassociated lyrics', does it mean that the lyrics as a whole have a feel of disassociation to them, or does it mean that the unsung/extra lyrics ('disassociated' from the actual music) are carrying the narrative more-so than the sung lyrics? I don't know. Trent loves adding these extra lyrics, and those for Branches/Bones led to the Wordpress I mentioned above being discovered, which certainly adds questions as to what the narrative is. Could the Sound and the Fury being referenced mean its themes are part of the narrative? Is time an important theme? An obsession with time, controlling time, finding order? Putting this together with the Wordpress there seems to be jumbled thoughts as a theme for sure, disjointed thoughts, stream of consciousness and descriptive phrases.
I'm pretty sure that it's not a coincidence and that these phrases were taken in inspiration from the book. I can't find reference that Trent is a fan of Faulkner's, but I think those words are too specific to be a coincidence.

Has anyone read the book? Can anyone give a more rounded view of whether the themes in the book tie into the narrative in the Trilogy/The Background World? Or just any thoughts about these lyrics even if you haven't read the book!
submitted by CosmosInBloom to nin [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 17:48 AlbaneseGummies327 Let's talk about Luther's Antisemitism

At the beginning of his career, Martin Luther was apparently sympathetic to Jewish resistance to the Catholic Church. However, he expected the Jews to convert to protestant Christianity; when they did not, he turned violently against them.
It's true that Luther often used strong language throughout his career. While we do not expect religious figures to use this sort of language in the modern world, it was not uncommon in the early 16th century.
The following are excerpts from Luther’s work entitled The Jews & their Lies:
"I had made up my mind to write no more either about the Jews or against them. But since I learned that these miserable and accursed people do not cease to lure to themselves even us, that is, the Christians, I have published this little book (The Jews & their Lies), so that I might be found among those who opposed such poisonous activities of the Jews who warned the Christians to be on their guard against them. I would not have believed that a Christian could be duped by the Jews into taking their exile and wretchedness upon himself. However, the devil is the god of the world, and wherever God’s word is absent he has an easy task, not only with the weak but also with the strong. May God help us. Amen."
"He did not call them Abraham’s children, but a “brood of vipers” [Matt. 3:7]. Oh, that was too insulting for the noble blood and race of Israel, and they declared, “He has a demon’ [Matt 11:18]. Our Lord also calls them a “brood of vipers”; furthermore, in John 8 [:39,44] he states: “If you were Abraham’s children ye would do what Abraham did.... You are of your father the devil. It was intolerable to them to hear that they were not Abraham’s but the devil’s children, nor can they bear to hear this today."
"Therefore, the blind Jews are truly stupid fools..."
"Now just behold these miserable, blind, and senseless people ... their blindness and arrogance are as solid as an iron mountain."
"Learn from this, dear Christian, what you are doing if you permit the blind Jews to mislead you. Then the saying will truly apply, “When a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into the pit” [cf. Luke 6:39]. You cannot learn anything from them except how to misunderstand the divine commandments..."
"Therefore be on your guard against the Jews, knowing that wherever they have their synagogues, nothing is found but a den of devils in which sheer self-glory, conceit, lies, blasphemy, and defaming of God and men are practiced most maliciously and veheming his eyes on them."
"Moreover, they are nothing but thieves and robbers who daily eat no morsel and wear no thread of clothing which they have not stolen and pilfered from us by means of their accursed usury. Thus, they live from day to day, together with wife and child, by theft and robbery, as arch thieves and robbers, in the most impenitent security."
"However, they have not acquired a perfect mastery of the art of lying; they lie so clumsily and ineptly that anyone who is just a little observant can easily detect it. But for us Christians they stand as a terrifying example of God’s wrath."
"If I had to refute all the other articles of the Jewish faith, I should be obliged to write against them as much and for as long a time as they have used for inventing their lies­­ that is, longer than two thousand years."
"...Christ and his word can hardly be recognized because of the great vermin of human ordinances. However, let this suffice for the time being on their lies against doctrine or faith."
"Did I not tell you earlier that a Jew is such a noble, precious jewel that God and all the angels dance when he farts?"
"...but then eject them forever from this country. For, as we have heard, God’s anger with them is so intense that gentle mercy will only tend to make them worse and worse, while sharp mercy will reform them but little. Therefore, in any case, away with them!"
"But what will happen even if we do burn down the Jews’ synagogues and forbid them publicly to praise God, to pray, to teach, to utter God’s name? They will still keep doing it in secret. If we know that they are doing this in secret, it is the same as if they were doing it publicly. for our knowledge of their secret doings and our toleration of them implies that they are not secret after all and thus our conscience is encumbered with it before God."
"First, that their synagogues be burned down, and that all who are able toss in sulfur and pitch; it would be good if someone could also throw in some hellfire. That would demonstrate to God our serious resolve and be evidence to all the world that it was in ignorance that we tolerated such houses, in which the Jews have reviled God, our dear Creator and Father, and his Son most shamefully up till now but that we have now given them their due reward."
This is unfortunately just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more examples of antisemitism from Martin Luther's written works.
submitted by AlbaneseGummies327 to Lutheranism [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 17:45 Loud_Flow_7029 How to come to terms with being intellectually disabled?

I always knew I was different, but somehow I never thought I would ever have to confront it directly. It’s becoming more and more unavoidable as I progress through life and see my limitations. I think I’m intellectually disabled for the following reasons: 1. I have zero social skills. 2. I’ve worked at a grocery store since graduating high school five years ago. I never had the self esteem to attempt college and I don’t think I would be able to intellectually handle it. 3. Everywhere I work I struggle to gain the required skills. People inevitable start calling me a “retard “. my uselessness combined with my complete lack of social interaction gives me away every time. I’ve been bullied out of jobs because people can’t be bothered to admit that the developmentally disabled make them uncomfortable and make a little effort to have some understanding. 4. I don’t care about movies, video games, books or tv shows. I just don’t get any enjoyment out of it. I think so much of it goes over my head. 5. I don’t care what happens in my life. I’d rather be dead anyway but I’m stuck here until my mother dies.
I look at what my future holds and it just doesn’t seem worth it. Fifty plus years of stocking shelves at the grocery store, being pitied by people, and living in a share house all while feeling constant humiliation and dejection every second of the day. I’ll never be able to get over the self hatred. This just ain’t worth it. Every time I hear the word “retard” directed at me at work the cycle of anger and self harm starts all over again.
I’ve made several posts about this in the last couple days because I feel like I’m going insane. Am I fucking retarded? Why did no one give me any help as a kid?
If I don’t sound intellectually disabled to you, wait until you meet me and see what you think.
submitted by Loud_Flow_7029 to Advice [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 17:45 fruitdestroyer66 Selling Roblox account with Headless, Korblox, and the Extreme headphones and a five letter username for: $165 (DM me or email me at: [email protected]) feel free to ask questions.

Selling Roblox account with Headless, Korblox, and the Extreme headphones and a five letter username for: $165 (DM me or email me at: feel free to ask questions. submitted by fruitdestroyer66 to crosstradingroblox [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 17:44 Shin-kun1997 [In Progress] [4,227] [Science Fiction] Epsilons Trial

Id appreciate some feedback as I plan to self publish this at some point in a larger book.
Epsilon’s Trial
With heavy shoulders slumped, Sebastian Pasquet walked through the door of his house and kicked off his shoes, dropping the suitcase and hanging up his jacket. The turtleneck shirt he wore was covered in specs of dust and dirt, all of which emerged from today's earlier events.
“Ugh. I swear this position is gonna drive me into the bloody ground.” he grunted in a thick English accent. “I’m home.”
His voice caught the attention of a woman dressed in a blue shirt and apron, her hair was a dark silver and her eyes were violet, but her most defining features were a pair of cat-like ears protruding from her head, as well as a tail that stretched down to her feet. 
She walked towards him and instantly embraced him in a hug, causing him to drop the suitcase. He didn’t care and simply returned the love, pushing his lips against hers as he smirked. Greeting him was his wife, Alvia. A Felis from the planet Eria some 230,000,000 kilometers from Fiore.
A world with the lowest population in Eridani at 2.5 billion inhabited by a shy, peaceful race that, while possessing spaceflight and the ability to travel through jump space, had no off world settlements apart from their moon.
“Welcome back.” she said as her tail curved around his leg. “I missed you so much. It’s five thirty by the way, don’t you usually get out by four?”
“There was an accident on one of the launch pads that needed attention.”
“Oh my, I hope no one was hurt.”
“Don’t worry, it was an unmanned test. No crew on board.”
“Ah, great. Well my love, your hard day's work is over for the time being.” She pecked his cheek once more. “Come on, dinner’s almost finished.”
He stepped into the living room where a young boy was sitting on the floor reading a children's book. The area was designed with a modern and cozy aesthetic with the TV embedded in the wall, an L-shaped couch at the center, and family portraits stacked across a nearby table. One of them depicted Sebastian five years ago in his EVA suit, taken just before launch. 
His seven year old son, Jeremy, greeted him with a hug. While he resembled a younger version of himself, he’d been born a Felis just like Alvia, inheriting his mothers ears and tail.
“Hey kiddo.” Sebastian said, picking him up and scratching behind his ears. “What’d you do all day?”
“I got to help mom with dinner.” he replied, in a cheery voice. “Oh, Dad, are we still gonna go to the expo? Mari said she’s going with her parents.”
Jeremy had been referring to the Interstellar Aerospace Expo of 2273, which was to be held on the planet Vandam in two months. The annual thirteen day long convention where space companies, private initiatives, and anti-gravity racers from all across Eridani gathered to celebrate the one thing they all shared in common; flying.
“Of course we are.” Sebastian replied. “But were you good in school today?”
His son nodded.
“Then, I’ll be sure to take you to the anti-gravity race when we go.”
Jeremy cheered at his reply. Upon putting him down, Alvia directed him to wash his hands before dinner. He watched Jeremy head up the stairs towards the bathroom as his wife placed her head against his shoulder. 
“I swear, he can’t stop talking about that event.” she said.
Changing into a t-shirt he plopped onto the couch and turned the TV on just in time to witness a news report taking place. A story discussing a recent development regarding an unknown object floating within space, specifically the Strain Belt, the massive asteroid belt that separated Fiore from Eris. The screen then switched to a photograph taken within the belt via a satellite, depicting a violet light within a field of asteroids. As his wife sat beside him Sebastian became puzzled at the story, his mind curious as to what the supposed entity could be. 
“I read this somewhere earlier. Some are just saying it could be a comet.” Alvia said.
“But what kind of comet stays in the exact same place?” he replied. “It’s probably a defunct probe that’s reached its end.”
Alvia shrugged her shoulders as Sebastian began to massage her ears, which she loved a lot. “Maybe. So, how was today apart from the accident you mentioned?”
“Sorting through paperwork. Supersiving vehicle operation. In short, horrifying.”
“Aw, my peach sounds like he’s been through too much. It’s been two years now since you’ve had this position, director of the astronaut corps.”
“It has its perks. I get to fly in those fancy spaceliners for business trips across the planet or to the moon.”
“Oh? Then maybe you can book us a nice getaway towards those fancy beach hotels.” Sebastian rolled his eyes and smiled at her answer. Alvia slowly raised her head and pressed her lips against his once more, giving Sebastian the go ahead to massage her tail.
“Ew, yuck!”
The two ceased their advances immediately upon hearing the voice of their son in front of them. There, Jeremy stood, mocking his parents' act of love causing the two of them to laugh. When all was said and done they walked towards the kitchen where dinner was served, the entire time Sebastian was subjected to Jeremy’s rambling about the exposition. 
The next day Sebastian found himself quickly jogging through the halls of Ophir Space Complex, the campus-sized facility that managed all launches and missions of the company. He arrived at the designated meeting room and was greeted by the sight of James sitting at the head of an oval-shaped mahogany table. Beside him were Romero and Alex as well, all dressed in matching suit attire. 
Sebastian noticed at the table center a hologram of the planet Fiore, which was odd because this room didn’t have that feature the previous day.
“Sorry if I’m late. Had to drop my son off at school and traffic was impatient on the way back.” Sebastian said, taking his seat.
“Not at all mate. We’re waiting on a few more actually.” Romero replied, shaking Sebastian's hand. “How is your boy anyway?”
“Excited for the expo, that’s for sure. Says some of his friends are going too.”
“Same for me and my little girl.” Alex added. “I hear that there’s going to be a Human vs. Astrean anti-gravity prix.”
“How much do you want to bet they’ll kick our arses?”
Eventually several other suited men stepped into the room and upon closing the door, took their seats and greeted Sebastian and his colleagues. 
“Good. Now that everyone’s here, let's get this meeting started.” Romero proclaimed. “To begin, what is on the schedule for this month in terms of the new models?”
“Fortunately the accident yesterday was only minor and the damage was menial, the engineers over at our plant in Harriet are repairing it as we speak.” Alex replied. “Construction on two other prototypes are underway as we speak.”
“Will it be ready in time for the exposition?” another man asked.
“We believe so. With a little more time.”
“More time? The event is in two months and we have yet to present anything to the board and CEO. If we don’t procure results fast we’ll be coming in fifth place for the fourth year in a row.”
“Easy now, I’m sure our engineers here are on the case. Yesterday’s mishap has not slowed us down before, and it will not slow us down again.”
The hologram at the center suddenly switched to a star map of Eridani, displaying all barren and inhabited worlds within the star system, including the eight planets humanity resided on. Their names were shown just below the tiny sphere they represented. 
Daphne. Rhea. Nova. Antari. Freya. Cascade. . And his own planet, Fiore.
Soon after, a hologram of the spacecraft in question appeared at the center of the map as well. Sebastian was silent for the most part, somewhat annoyed at the constant bickering between the old men. 
“The model comes in one and two seater variants we’ve labeled as the Ichinose-class. Its nickname is Epsilon.” Alex spoke. “We were implementing a two engine propulsion system that not only propels the ship forward, but provides power for the rest of the ship. Sebastian, wanna give the rundown?”
He nodded, shifting everyone's attention to the TV display on the wall which now showed a diagram of the ship.
“Our spacecraft compared to Astreans, while advanced, are relatively primitive in their eyes. Well at least in terms of design and architecture. Astreans ships use deuterium and tritium to power their reactors while we use deuterium and helium-3, with liquid hydrogen remaining as the primary fuel source. But what makes Epsilon different is its engines.”
“Oh?” another man said.
“Typically, our vehicles employ chemically fueled aerospike plasma engines, the newer engines you’re seeing here are fusion powered and designed to not only provide direct thrust, but power to the spacecraft altogether.”
Each of the men’s eyes widened at Sebastians response. Such a design for a spacecraft was unproven on Fiore, but the concept and practicality was very much real. In fact most companies and organizations on other human worlds had recently fielded such designs. Sebastian continued. 
“Speed is also another factor we’ve looked over. A typical trip from Fiore to Eris in this planetary system will take around 7 hours. These engines can cut that flight down to just 2.5 hours of non-stop travel. Especially when you consider that it takes 5 hours to get to the Strain Belt.”
The men then began conversing amongst themselves at Sebastians statement. While some of them were supportive of the concept of lower trips across the interplanetary medium, others were skeptical. When asked if the engines were tested with astronauts Sebastian shook his head. 
“I haven’t assigned anyone to fly it as of yet, but rest assured the tests are coming back with many positive results.”
“Positive, but unmanned,” he replied. “If this were to fail, the amount of bad publicity would damage our reputation for years to come. We cannot proceed further without human ratings.”
Sebastian sighed to himself as he grunted, the men of the table chatting back and forth about the safety and possible outcomes the fusion engines would provide. He tried to find the words to say to appease the table but their corporate tone, mildly annoying political voices hindered that effort. For the past several minutes the meeting continued, with two sides discussing both the pros and cons of having such a design. Finally, after seemingly an eternity of old men debating over coffee as his wife put it, he slammed a hand on the table causing Alex to flinch. Standing from his seat, all eyes were now trained on him. 
“Enough. All this bickering is not getting us anywhere. If you want results, I’ll fly the damn ship myself.”
As if coming to some horrendous realization the table's members simply stared at Sebastian upon his closing statement. For his part, Sebastian was set on fulfilling the test operation. Further explaining that he would assign himself to a manned test of the vehicle as soon as possible. 
“I’m not so sure that would be an appropriate move, as the astronaut office head you’re responsible for ensuring launch vehicles are up to company standards.”
“And what better way to do that than from inside the said vehicle?” Sebastian replied. “Look, everyone in both corporate and engineering is under a lot of stress and worrying about our place at the exposition. I can put all those to rest with a simple interplanetary flight to Eria.”
“I agree.” Alex added. “Sebastian is one of the more experienced pilots in the program as well, especially when you look at his resume.”
Silence filled the room. The diagram of the engine disappeared from the screen as Sebastian took his seat once more, their eyes wandering back and forth as if lost in thought and trying to find counter arguments. As it became evident that there were no further words to say, one of the men had taken a piece of paper and began writing. 
“I will take it to the board then,” he said. “If we’re talking about a spaceflight, then might we add an extra task?”
When Sebastian arrived at the Strain Belt he was fast at work, enjoying the wilderness of space that he’d spent so long away from. A week had passed and he was installing one of many beacons along a column of asteroids, his EVA circulating oxygen and maintaining a stable body temperature. He had departed Fiore a few hours earlier after taking Jeremy to school and kissing his wife goodbye, now conducting a mission which included not only working out any of Epsilon’s bugs, but locating an interstellar object which had been spotted by a company space probe. 
Sebastian jumped from the asteroid and floated back towards Epsilon where the airlock was still open. Pressurizing the interior he assumed control of the vehicle and used the thrusters to gently move into more open space. The thick concentration of asteroids surrounding him resembled a field of death, something no human without the proper experience should be able to survive.
While the ship's hull was sturdy, Sebastian had to maintain constant caution. His senses were on full alert even from inside the safety of the ship. The occasional bumps along the exterior would cause any inexperienced pilot to flinch, but Epsilon was made of some of the best titanium Fiore had. As he arrived at the signal's location Sebastian found himself cast into a sea of dark, the sun barely shining through the asteroids that circled him. 
“I can’t see it yet.” he said to himself. “The news showed that thing to be a bright violet light, but where would it be?”
After floating through the belt for several minutes he was caught by the flash of a bright light, the familiar violet color from the news made its appearance known again. Activating Epsilon’s fusion engines Sebastian sped towards the light as it began to vanish as quickly as it came. He turned on the spacecraft's exterior lights to get a full view of what was before him. 
“Holy crap…”
His eyes took a moment to register what everyone at the space center assumed it to be. A large horizontal object with a shape almost like an oversized satellite with a rod attached to the end, two flat extensions resembling solar panels, and a round dome that covered its opposite end. In fact its shape and various extensions gave it the appearance of a small space station. 
“Control, I think I’ve found it.” Sebastian said through comms. “These markings along the side, those definitely aren’t human made.”
“We read you Epsilon. Are you saying what we’re all thinking?”
“Yeah. This thing is definitely of Xanadu origin.”
The sound of applause could be heard at the end of the radio. Sebastian smirked as he leaned back in his seat upon discovering one of thousands, if not millions of different advanced ancient technologies spread throughout the Milky Way. After relaying the artifact’s location and back to Fiore, his celebration abruptly ended when an alarm began to sound. Glancing at the radar beneath him he spotted two red dots, each representing ships, heading for his position. Sensing something was wrong Sebastian quickly displayed an enhanced frame of the space before him, what he could see were two low grade spacecraft flying towards his position. 
“Aw crap.” Sebastian said, activating the engines. “Control, we’ve got a problem. I’ve got a band of Outcast pirates on my plate now.”
“Well would you look at that.” one of them spoke through comms. “Looks like we’ve got ourselves a butterfly trapped in a thorn bush. No biggie, you hand over that structure there and things don’t have to go south.”
Sebastian sighed. “It was hard enough having to navigate through this freaking death field. Now I have scumbags like you in my schedule? Geeze it just ain’t my day.”
“What was that?!” One of the ships activated their weapons systems.
“Did I stutter? I called you a bunch of low life trash bags who’re probably too stupid to know how a coffee maker works.”
Before he knew it, a concentrated beam of energy came flying through the asteroid field. Using Epsilon’s powerful thrusters Sebastian was only barely able to dodge it. He gripped the stick and began to fly forwards into the fray. To maintain his stability Sebastian had to keep the fusion engine's velocity at a minimum so as to not crash into any asteroids, or worse, the pirates spacecraft. 
“Looks like this butterfly’s been reading too many fantasies. Let’s show em who’s in charge around here!”
He soon found one of the ships now tailing him. Another stream of energy zipped past his ship and grazed the side of the hull plating, setting off another alarm Sebastian quickly silenced. Activating Epsilon's energy shields he quickly formulated a plan in order to gain the upper hand. Despite being a prototype, Epsilon was equipped with defenses including a directed energy weapon and four missiles stored in a lower chamber. 
“Damn. If this keeps up I’ll run out of fuel before I can even plan for the expo’s entrance.” he said to himself, scoffing. “No matter, I’ve got a few tricks of my own.”
As he piloted Epsilon through the dense field he remained calm and collected, knowing that fear and panic would only make the situation much more dire. A common aspect all astronauts followed when venturing in or far from Eridani. Paranoia would only spell certain demise. Sebastian circled another set of rocks before raising his altitude, catching the tailing ship off guard. The ship slammed into the side of the asteroid at an intense velocity. Engulfing the ship in a silent explosion as the flames vanished. 
“One down, one more to go.” Sebastian said. “Hm?”
He stabilized his altitude and ceased all movement to find the last remaining pirate ship before him; it was a few thousand feet away but close enough for Sebaatian to see. Strangely it made no attempts to move, no communication from its crew, all he could see was the low-budget ship flash a red light from its bridge area occasionally. 
“What the heck are they doing…?”
Sebastian realized too late. Within several seconds his spacecraft's systems suddenly began to go haywire, the electricity malfunctioning and life support beginning to fail. Putting on his helmet Sebastian quickly maneuvered Epsilon out of view from the Outcasts using what little power from the spacecraft's backup systems he had. He’d been hit with an EMP. 
“We’ve got him. Finish him off so we can claim our prize.”
Sebastian began to assess the situation as the pirate's spacecraft hovered towards him, the Outcast fired another stream of energy towards Epsilon causing the ship's hull to deteriorate. Using the thrusters Sebastian shifted behind an asteroid to avoid another oncoming stream of energy. Several minutes had passed with Epsilon sneaking around the Outcast ship and avoiding whatever attacks it could. Eventually the two ships found themselves coming within range of a pocket of controlled space within the Strain Belt, Sebastian could spot the orbital infrastructure that made up Ophir Strait. One of only two clear paths of the Strain Belt that served as a trade route between Fiore and Eria. 
“Damn it.” he grunted, hitting the dashboard. “If I don’t end this quickly then we’re both gonna be fired on by the security bots.”
Separated by fifty miles, Sebastian was well outside the exclusion zone of the trade route, and with Epsilon's systems finally back online he ran another scan for the remaining Outcast ship. He spotted him several thousand kilometers in front of him once more, only this time he couldn't see him out the canopy window.
Sebastian squinted his eyes as he looked out the window, his grip firm on the stick as he came to realize that he had to. He thought of Alvia and Jeremy back on Fiore, both of them waiting for his safe return and comforting presence once more. Taking in a breath, he gradually began to speed towards the craft.
“Alright…we got one shot at this.” Sebastian said. “This doesn’t work, then Ophir Strait falls apart.”
Sebastian locked onto the Outcast ahead of him and fired one of the missiles beneath the spacecraft, but not before slightly altering its trajectory. Epsilon increased its speed enough causing the interior to shake and vibrate, the energy shields surrounding the outside were activated once again, as asteroids flew past the canopy glass at a high velocity. Within just a few minutes the Outcast ship came within sight. It fired its directed energy once again straight towards Epsilon which made contact with the energy shield. However Sebastian continued to fly straight towards the craft, ignoring the reducing shield's power. The Outcast panicked, as it appeared that Sebastian would crash Epsilon straight into his ship. 
“Are you crazy?!” the pirate shouted.
Sebastian was unfazed. “Maybe.”
Before he knew it the Outcast was closer than ever, within a split second Sebastian's spacecraft zipped by the pirate in a swift clean motion. Epsilon then used its thrusters to reduce its velocity once more, the pirate beginning to laugh. 
“What the hell was that? No guts to finish it huh?” His ship's energy weapon began to charge. “Looks like this is it then, butterfly.”
“Yeah. For you at least.”
Confused, the Outcast demanded to know what he meant. Sebastian for his part, chuckled as he directed the pirate to look behind him. The two missiles Epsilon fired earlier had reemerged and, with brute force, smashed into the pirates ship from both port and starboard side. A ball of fire engulfed the surrounding space followed by a brief blinding light. All of which could be seen, but not heard. The flames vanished. Filling the space with debris from the destroyed ship that floated off into various directions. Sebastian let out a breath of relief as Epsilon, damaged but still alive, gently raised its altitude to be above the Strain Belt. The sun’s light shone through the glass as he took off his helmet and accepted the light.’ 
“Epsilon, this is Fiore! Epsilon, do you read?” a voice spoke through comms.
“Fiore this is Epsilon, good to hear your voice.”
“Sebastian? Thank God. What’s happening up there? The signal cut out and we’ve been trying to reach you!”
Looking around the interior of the cabin he shrugged his shoulders, taking off his communications cap he responded. 
“Well Fiore, I don’t know how to quite say this….”
Two months had passed since the incident in the Strain Belt, the Xanadu artifact had been secured by the company and taken to an orbital research station on one of Fiore’s moons.
The stadium had been packed to the rim with civilians from all across Eridani filling the twenty thousand seats that surrounded the massive holographic screen at the center of the ring. Fireworks lit the dim sky accompanied by confetti raining from passing overhead ships, and the cheers of all resonated throughout the air. Flags of the various inhabited worlds throughout Eridani flew along the center. 
Among the thousands of civilians, Sebastian sat beside his wife with their son between them.
“Hey, look.” Alvia said, pointing upward. “They’re starting.”
Sebastian glanced towards the sky and his eyes were as wide as dinner plates, as five spacecraft conducting a flyover soared over the stadium in formation. Leaving behind trails blue and white smoke that casted the air in a striped pattern. They were Epsilon spacecraft, the very type that saved his life in a far, dangerous region of space. It was the second day of the 2273 Interstellar Aerospace Expo, hosted by the Astreans that lived on the planet Seira, the day that would kick off with a traditional anti-gravity race between the humans teams from Fiore, and the Jurahan teams from Eden. 
“Dad, are we gonna win?” Jeremy asked.
Sebastian smiled and ruffled his hair. “I sure as hell hope so kid. That way Alex will be getting me lunch when we head back.”
Alvia covered Jeremy’s ears. “Sebastian, language. Not in front of Jeremy.”
“What? If I remember correctly you did the same before we left.”
Alvia playfully punched his arm before placing Jeremy on her lap.
Within moments of the racers being introduced the host of the show gave a brief speech to the people, welcoming all in attendance to both the race and the exposition. Upon finishing the anti-gravity timer began its countdown from ten, with the people all counting in unison as per tradition. Sebastian was happy. Happy that everything in the end worked out, from getting Epsilon approved in time for the exposition, to satisfying his son’s thirst for adventure. As the race began he pulled his wife closer and stroked the tip of her tail as they watched. 
“You know you still owe me an explanation about what happened.” she said. “I want to know all about your first time back up in space.”
“Yeah. Well I’ll tell you…most of what happened.”
Sebastian pecked Alvia’s cheek, as the romanticized scale of the race continued.
submitted by Shin-kun1997 to BetaReaders [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 17:43 chandra_haasitha Human Nature: An analysis of Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Human Nature: An analysis of Lord of the Flies by William Golding
A good piece of fiction suspends reality and draws readers into a make-believe world where they play an integral role in the plot and is powerful in influencing social understanding. Many such novels changed how people think about the world, one such novel is William Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies’. It is a captivating depiction of human nature and the frailty of civilization.
Why one should read this novel?
The novel, which was released in 1954, immediately following World War II, captures the worries and concerns of the time. It can be interpreted as a criticism on human civilization's shortcomings and the risks of dictatorship.
Through the means of his flowery language, Golding gives a colourful and accurate account of the boys’ lives on the island and it is because of this vividness that the events of The Lord of the Flies touch readers so deeply. The novel tells a story about a group of British schoolboys stranded on an island in the Pacific Ocean during wartime evacuation without any adult supervision.
Lord of the Flies is frequently studied in schools and universities since it is largely considered a classic of contemporary literature. It has received countless honours and has been made into a number of plays and movies. The story is well-written and captivating with a fast-paced plot that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. It is an adventurous story that has deeper philosophical and psychological themes.
Overall, "Lord of the Flies" is a well-written, thought-provoking book with enduring literary and cultural value. Everyone who wants to learn more about the intricacies of human nature and the difficulties of residing in a civilized society should read it.
The novel begins with a group of boys being stranded on an island after their plane crashes. They are left to fend for themselves without adult supervision. On the island, the boys make an effort to establish a society by choosing Ralph as their leader and establishing ground rules. But as time passes the boys began to turn on one another. Our antagonist, Jack rebels against Ralph’s leadership and creates his own tribe, one that values hunting and violence over the common good. The boys under Jack’s leadership become more uncivilized, killing animals for amusement before eventually turning against one another.
This novel can be interpreted from many perspectives psychological, Sociological, Political, and even historical. It explores the psychological development of the characters and their reactions to different situations they find themselves in. it also raises questions about the dynamics of power and leadership, institutions that maintain order, and socialization on individual behaviour. And then coming to the historical perspective as it is written just after World War II it reflects the anxieties and concerns of the time.
Analysis based on themes
The themes like power, control, and mortality are explored in this novel. the boys’ struggle for dominance and control causes their society to crumble and the island to be destroyed. Many of their actions are motivated by fear as they grow more savage in their defence against the feared “beast” they think is residing on the island. The novel is a powerful interpretation of mortality and ethics as the boy’s struggle with right and wrong issues in their quest to survive.
Symbolism is a significant aspect of the novel. The boys call meetings and keep order using a conch shell, which stands for law and civilization. The conch shell, which they use to call gatherings and keep the peace. The shell is ultimately demolished by Jack's tribe, signifying the total collapse of civilization. Because it brings the boys together and aids in their collaboration, the shell is also a representation of unity. Jack's tribe presents the titular "Lord of the Flies" a decomposing pig's head on a stick as an offering to the "beast" they think is living on the island. The image of the head covered in flies represents the boys' own inner demons and the corruption of their humanity.
While Jack and several of the other boys are slaughtering the first pig, Golding uses this as one of his many examples of the struggle between savagery and civilization. "Kill the pig, slit her throat, pour the blood," Jack yells. The lads' violent and aggressive behaviour while murdering the pig and their lack of concern for it show barbarism. This is especially evident in Golding's word choice. Jack makes reference to savagely slashing the pig's throat and spilling her blood, which further emphasises the lack of consideration and emotion shown for the pug's carcass. This demonstrates that the guys are no longer repentant for their actions, demonstrating their descent into savagery.
In conclusion, Lord of the Flies is an influential and thought-provoking book that examines the darker sides of human nature. It serves as a warning about the inherent darkness in human nature and the potential for evil that resides in each of us. The novel/book is studied in many colleges and universities around the world and is regarded as a classic work of literature.
IvyPanda. (2020, July 6). Literature Studies: "Lord of the Flies" by W. Golding.
IvyPanda. (2021, July 12). Human Nature in "Lord of the Flies" by Golding.
submitted by chandra_haasitha to u/chandra_haasitha [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 17:38 PMouldo Guilt living abroad

Hey all, I'm from Peterborough, UK and live in Berlin, Germany. I have been living in Berlin with my wife (Hungarian) now mostly from late 2015. I'm 29. Honestly, the life we live here is brilliant. We love the city, we have lots of friends who are like family, we both have decent jobs, our rental apartment is secure and stable, albeit on the pricey side, and we both speak German. We love life in this city, the ability to ride bikes everywhere, the holidays in Brandenburg, the cultural opportunities etc etc. We're also close to starting a family, maybe in the next year or two. However, I especially "suffer" from quite bad homesickness whenever I am actually visiting the UK, which is usually around 3 to 4 times a year. When I visit, I am lucky to WFH at either of my parents' places, which means I can stay for longer than a weekend. The journey to and from UK-Germany is not bad. I usually set aside half a day in total whether its train or plane, depending what's more comfortable and the price etc. But, as I said, I suffer pretty badly from homesickness. When I'm in the UK, I usually see all the positives and imagine a parallel life there. I then begin looking at jobs in the UK, and places to live etc. It's always the same. I then feel terribly guilty about living abroad and I think about all I am missing out on: the closeness to family, the overly friendly people :D, and also some kind of "normal" life that I could be leading. I end up in a right state. When I'm back in Berlin, it usually takes me a week to recover and then I'm loving life there again and not thinking so much about living in the UK. Honestly, I'm not sure why I posted all this. I would love to hear other people's experiences and if anybody feels anything similar, and how they manage it or what decisions they made. Lastly, I totally understand the privileged situation I'm in, and I understand the point that all things are relative. Nevertheless, feelings are real and I would love some support and words of wisdom.
submitted by PMouldo to expats [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 17:37 Verrgasm The Circus

The large tent-like structure undulated in the distance. It pulsed and waved and almost seemed to be alive like a great red and white monolith breathing in the march breeze, calling to me. Drawing me closer. The sign came into view and I pulled off and into the makeshift dirt lot, looming over the entrance as two cracked wooden hands painted a sickly ivory yellow draped underneath the bold lettering. Caressing it. Presenting it like some macabre gift between friendly strangers. Bony fingers ending in jagged jet black nails stabbed into the air around it, pointing towards the sky as if to mock creation itself.
'The Circus of Suffering'
It all came back to me only very recently. Something in a dream, a snapshot of a memory. I remembered rolling down that desolate country road, huddled in the backseat, dozing off with my brother and sister on either side snoring blissfully through the long trip home. Dad was messing with the radio, only getting static. Moments from sleep, there it appeared off on the horizon. Great and billowy, the red and white pinstripe of the tent flapped around its many poles driven deep into the earth and I could only imagine what secrets might lie within.
"Look! A circus!" I yelled excitedly, rousing my siblings. Dad told me to be quiet, and the huge tent dwindled in the rear view mirror as we passed it by and continued down the road. I watched it intently as it gradually grew smaller, and then, suddenly, it slowly fizzled away. Top to bottom, the big top disappeared as if being transported somewhere else by some miraculous unknown means. "It's gone! It's gone!"
We turned a corner and the road went out of view and a few hours later we were home and I was grounded for waking my sister in the car, who cried the rest of the way; which really meant annoying my father, a grumpy bastard if ever there was one. Nobody ever acknowledged the Circus.
Dad told me I was just dreaming, but I know I saw it. As I grew older however, I forgot all about it. That big top tent rising from the earth just off the long road, there one moment and gone the next. As I grew older, much later, I began to see it at night, every night, as I slept.
The dreams were always the same. The countryside was in darkness and all was completely black. I only knew that I was in the car, nestled in the backseat alone while my dad drove on silently up front. That's when I'd notice that there was no sound, as if there wasn't any road beneath us and no engine moving us forward, and then the music would begin to emanate in the distance. Warm and inviting, asking me to 'come see a show' without words. I'd push my face up against the window and watch the miasmic light radiating from the enticing music, then, the tent. It towered twisting into the air as far as I could see with its round base extending impossibly deep into the darkness behind the searing skylights which punched through the fog like walls of white glass.
I'd whisper to my dad, putting my hand on his shoulder, "Can we go?"
Then it'd just be me, standing in the pitch blackness facing the big top. So I ran, I always ran, because I knew it was behind me tearing through the grass in pursuit. It snarled and pounded with lumbering footfalls that were so clear even though the music was growing louder and louder because I was getting closer. I sprinted into the light, gasping for air like I was on the moon, tumbling onto a rainbow valley of broken glass that stung as it dug into me. I was compelled to look up at the sign overhead, ignoring my profusely bleeding hands and bare feet.
Two huge splintering white hands would come down and stab into me and raise me up high above the tent and into the air where I'd fall into the red and white glowing stripes beneath and it'd consume me in its warm gelatinous mass, and I'd become one with it.
I became one with the circus, everytime.
One day, when I awoke all sweaty and aching, it's as if I just knew where to go. Innately knew, like a thin branding iron marked with the ethereal coordinates had scorched itself into the deepest recesses of my brain, inviting me to come see a show unlike any other.
Locking the car and pocketing the keys, I gazed at the green-brown nothingness for miles around in every other direction and I felt alone like I'd never been before. I may as well have been in space. The air felt fresh, but it was tinged with something bittersweet that I couldn't quite recognise. An alluring aroma of burnt popcorn, except meaty somehow.
I began to make my way towards the tent opening, into its dark, gaping maw. Whatever was waiting for me inside, it was hungry.
But so was I.
submitted by Verrgasm to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 17:36 LyAkolon Is this possible? Set of Distribution lists into a Shared MailBox?

Hello All,
TLDR; (Hit wall with developing superior workflow for our department task intake. Need help identifying/overcoming issues with plan that should help my department be more productive. I'm being told by corporate that Exchange will not allow/is unable to do this.)
PLAN TLDR; (Part 1: Have a Shared Mailbox for my team members to leverage the mail item properties for communicating things like status and assigned team member. Part 2: Have this shared mail box be the only member of a set of distribution lists(dist1, dist2, ..., distn) so when someone emails one of these distribution lists, the mail item arrives in the shared mailbox, but retains which distribution list it was sent from. We will use a rule to then sort it into a subfolder in our mailbox for regional team members clarity)
Note: so long as the same effects are achieved, I don't care how we do it.
Sub, is this possible?
Further detal:
My department lead and I have been discussing our workflow recently and we came up with a good idea, in theory to become dramatically more efficent, but I'm getting told from corporate, that our plan is not possible. I've done my best to familiarize myself with the types of instances being utilized by Exchange, but I am beginning to suspect that my back and forths with corporate are confusing me more than helping. Certain words are being used when discussing capabilities of instances, but when I interact with our system here through outlook, they behave differently. For example, I'm being told that we are using an alias, that is associated with a group. After looking up what a group is wrt exchange, it appears they come equipped with a shared mailbox? They way our alias works, appears to behave like a distribution list, where emails sent to the alias are sent as separate mail items to each member of the alias. I have not seen any mention of "Alias" in the exchange documentation, although admittedly, I have not been very thorough. I am unsure of the Alias actual definition, but its behavior is such that a user can begin typing the address of an alias and then a suggestion box and auto complete feature will guide the user. The Alias does not have a exstension and appears more like a written name.
I've been told that Exchange does not permit a shared mailbox as a member of the groups associated with our alias. We have a set of these alias which we use to help sort the contextual physical region that the request applies to. My Boss has told me that our alias system is something he does not want to give up, and I believe in particular he is interested in maintaining the property that an uninformed user can provide direction with their request by choosing a specific alias.
We are primarily interested in a shared mailbox because the mail item properties can be used to cut down on repeated information being passed around on my team. I am also looking into a VSTO plugin to expose the mail item custom properties to allow for inter communication with a few of our other Microsoft applications. Instances I'm looking to correct happen daily, an example being that my Boss handled a Task sent to our team, and I had no idea and spent about 20 minutes working on the same task before realizing it was completed. Under our new shared mailbox, he would be able to assign a "Task Status: Completed" category to the mail item, and I would have known instantly.
I am open to suggestion on changing the parameters of this plan! Thank you for your time sub!
submitted by LyAkolon to exchangeserver [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 17:30 avetree420 YA Dystopian Knockoff Prologue

Just some knockoff I'm making, feel free to give criticism or ideas <3
“Dude, are you seriously doing this at this time?” he asks, annoyed. She rolls her eyes and glances at him.
“Yeah, dude,” she takes a puff. “we’re under a bomb threat and you’re worried about me smoking a joint?” she retorts as the smoke bellows out of her mouth.
“How do you even have that anyways, we’re not allowed to have drugs on campus and we’re going through a genetic war, do you not care about your health? ”
“Bro, not to sound like a bitch, but I’m just trying to enjoy getting high on campus without getting in trouble, we’ll be fine and everything will blow over, literally. Either way, what the fuck am I going to do about the world’s problems? I have my own shit to figure out so I’m just going to enjoy the time I have before the world goes to absolute chaos.”
“Ok, whatever, edge lord,” he says astonished, “people like you are the reason the world’s gotten as bad as it has.” She merely just rolled her eyes and took another puff, she then looks over to her left and nudges the person next to her, “you wanna hit?”
He watches as the person next to her takes it and thanks her, she then pulls something out of her pocket.
“Now what are you taking to escape reality?” he questions her snarkily. She gives him a side eye and looks him up and down.
“Maybe I’ll show you if we ever get to leave here.” she winks, at least he thought it was a wink.
After a couple of hours of anticipation, and a few thousand deaths later, he was finally allowed to leave school property. Leaning against the wall waiting for his bus to arrive, which always arrives ten minutes after all of the others have already left, the girl from earlier bumps into him.
“Oh. My. God. I am so sorry,” she says, overexaggerating each word. “I am really, just such a clumsy, quirky, silly, little girl.”
He tries his best to bite his tongue and not acknowledge the girl and her stupid antics, but he couldn’t help himself.
“Can you get away from me?” he asks, even though he meant it more as a demand. He deems the girl not worth his time, just seeking attention.
“Well, it’s nice to see you too, what’s up your ass?” she questions nonchalantly, “I’m joking. Anyways, I’m Sylvia, and who may I have the honor of meeting?” gesturing towards him.
“My name is Kai.” He retorts, slightly pissed at this girl butting into his business.
“That’s nice, we’re on the same bus route, by the way,” she says, “Meaning, if I were to ride the bus I’d be waiting for the blind bitch to figure out how to put the keys into the ignition as well, meaning I walk home and I always see you getting off the bus, meaning if you walk with me you’ll get home sooner than if you wait for the bus.” she finally breathes, “So, walk with me?”
He contemplates for a moment, a peaceful bus ride home with no chatter but he gets home at dark or a long, grueling walk with Ms. Knowitall, but he gets home an hour before dark, and for some reason, he feels compelled to walk with her. He sighs deeply. “Ok, fine, only if you shut up when I tell you.”
The walk was a silent, beautiful stroll through the woods, at least for the first five minutes until Kai puts two and two together.
“Wait,” he stops walking. “How the hell did you know that was my bus route if you don’t take the bus, in fact, I’ve never seen you ever at our school before today, and how the fuck do you see me when I get off the bus? What the fuck are you like some government spy psycho stalker bitch?”
“Nah, but I do know that the government would have a pretty penny for your father’s life which is why you only live with your mom and two sisters, and that also explains you and your sister's very obvious knocking code.” Sylvia blurts out. “I’d be wary of the new police at school by the way -” she starts.
“Ok, shut the fuck up, you’re done talking besides answering my questions,” Kai says aggressively. He takes a deep inhale of air that could possibly be polluted with bio-genetic weapons and glances at her. “I’m going to try my best to stay calm and collected, so I will be asking my questions slowly,” he exhales finally. “First, how do you know all of that?”
“This is going to sound super bizarre and if we were in a different time you would probably send me to a psychiatrist, at least I think that’s what they called them,” she explains. “Besides the point, I can see things,” Sylvia says.
“What do you mean by ‘see things?’” Kai imitates, using finger air quotes.
“Look man, I don’t know whether I should describe it as ‘see’ or ‘hallucinate’ or ‘experience’ because it falls under all of the above,” she says, exasperated at herself.
“Okay, so what does that have to do with me? And can we keep walking so we’re not standing in the middle of the sketchy woods?” he asks.
“No, we cannot keep walking because the closer we are to people, the closer we are to cameras,” she says bluntly, “and what your role in all of this is, I don’t know,” she inhales sharply, “all I know is that the moment we got lined up next to each other today during the warning, it felt different. I wasn’t overwhelmed with memories of everyone around me I usually would be, instead, I felt myself either consuming you or vice versa, almost in a molecular way. I got to see everything about you, experiences, thoughts, even your genes.” she says. Sylvia turns her head and looks at him as he’s processing what she just said.
“Ok, I think that’s enough questions for today, let’s keep walking.” she finally says after five minutes of Kai standing there looking at a tree contemplating his life.
submitted by avetree420 to creativewriting [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 17:30 ThrowRA_cassian I (22F) feel lonely in my relationship with boyfriend (23M) and I don't know what to do.

I want to start off by saying I love my boyfriend very much, I have no intention to ever break up with him and he is the greatest guy in the world. Our relationship has always been great, no large arguments, we get along so well, have the same sense of humor, same friends. We have known each other for well over 10 years but didn't date till later on. So already going into the relationship I was basically dating one of my best friends, a total dream come true.
Recently however, I noticed I've been feeling sad in our relationship. I feel as though he never has time for me anymore. He works an 8-5 (customer service oriented) job five days out of the week and I am a full-time student but only attend three days out of the week. I don't work since my major is very work heavy but since I'm graduating this semester I intend to start right after I finish. This mean I do spend a lot of time at home. I am constantly waiting for him to come from work everyday so we can finally spend time together. We make plans of what we will do when he gets home but usually after we eat he falls asleep immediately. And then once again I feel like he isn't there. I understand that he is tired, I really do. I don't get upset, I just feel sad. The one day he has off in the middle of the week is when I am at school, after he picks me up we get back home and he falls asleep early because he is either tired of work from the day before or has work the next day and wants sleep. Then comes the weekends, he works a short shift Saturday and is back home by One. Once he gets home he sleeps for a couple hours because he is tired. By the time he is awake we are finally able to do things. Whether it be random target runs to check out the newest lego sets or just order food to watch movies or shows, it is amazing. I appreciate any time I get to spend with him. Sundays come around and I usually spend that time doing homework and he is right next to me filling out new job applications (he constantly complains about how he hates his job). We then end the night early because he is tired and has work the next day.
As you can tell. He doesn't have much time for me and when he does, I feel like he isn't really there. I feel lonely. I want someone to talk to at random times of the day or to watch a show with me without falling asleep. There is my bestest friend (part of the same friend group), he works all the time but still sometimes after he gets off his shift and my boyfriend is asleep he will keep me company by talking to me on the phone or playing video games with me. I don't like bugging him all the time to talk or play because I know he is tired, he has a heavy labor job and works six days out of the week. Though he is my best friend, I know he has a life and even when he tells me otherwise, I feel like I bother him. I have other friends too but by the time they can hang out my boyfriend is off of work. He doesn't like if I'm out when he is coming home because he wants to come home to me and spend time together.
I recently broke down crying because I was so sad, my boyfriend was confused and was comforting me. Then when he asked what was wrong it came out of mouth "I feel so lonely all the time". When he heard those words his face looked broken. He asked me what I meant and I told him everything I felt about him not having any real time for me. He looked so sad, he was apologizing saying he had no idea I felt that way and how he thought he was doing a good job but after hearing what I said he realized he wasn't. I said that wasn't true, he is a great boyfriend, I just wished we could spend more time together. He then went of to tell me that I know he needs to work to pay for taxes. I always offer to help him pay but he refuses. I asked if he felt he had to work more because of our relationship. He said no( I honestly felt relieved because even though I don't work, I have a lot of money saved up from when I did work or from scholarships. When it comes to money our relationship is pretty 50/50, we buy each other gifts or treat each other with food/dinners). Afterword I said maybe I just need to make more friends, people I can talk to and hang out with. He didn't like that idea, he doesn't see a reason of why I would need to seek out other people when I have him. Once again I felt sad. He said he would try and stay up a bit longer but it's still the same. I don't know what to do anymore. I don't like feeling this way. What steps should I take to deal with this?
TLDR: My boyfriend doesn't have a lot of time for me and I feel lonely because of it.
submitted by ThrowRA_cassian to relationships [link] [comments]

2023.03.20 17:28 beardify My Friends And I Took A Vacation To A Place Called "Death Ridge Lodge..."

My friends weren’t exactly enthusiastic about meeting me at a place called the “Death Ridge Lodge,” even after I told them that “Dethritch” was just the name of the shepherd who used to own the land. Truth was, I was more than a little nervous myself. I’d been out of the country for five years; there had been calls and letters, but my friends and I hadn’t seen each other in all that time…would we still have the connection that we once did?
Some of the changes that time had wrought were surprising; others, less so. We’d all expected my stubborn, brilliant friend Jennifer to be an attorney like her father–but in a story straight out of a cheesy Hallmark movie, she’d married a guy from a tiny town in Kentucky and had two kids. Meanwhile, Ned–a loudmouthed, extroverted redhead–had somehow ended up working from a lonely home office as a computer programmer.
And then there was Zoe.
She’d been my crush since our sophomore year of college. It wasn’t just her auburn hair or piercing green eyes; it was the care and honesty she showed in everything she did. Before her, I’d never met someone who really listened, who really cared about other people without working their own angle. We’d all expected great things for her…but in the end, she’d wound up like me. Back in our hometown. Unsure about the future.
But now that so much time had passed, would we even have anything in common anymore?
As it turned out, I needn’t have worried. Not even the wailing winter storm and unexpected power outages could dampen our good time. Ned, Zoe, Jennifer, and I gathered around a roaring flagstone fireplace, sharing our favorite scary stories and urban legends. It didn’t matter that the howling wind made going outside deadly, or that snow had cut off the forest road to the outside world: we had warmth, food, booze–and our rediscovered friendship. We also had Lee.
When we arrived, Lee explained to us that he was the off-season caretaker of Dethritch Lodge and the surrounding cabins. During tourist season in summer, the place swarmed with hospitality workers, but from fall to spring Lee mostly had the place to himself. When the blizzard hit, he made a point of checking in on us.
“Temperature's goin’ down out there,” he warned us that fateful night. “Visibility Is almost zero. You kids wouldn’t wanna get lost out there tonight…or any other night.”
“Don’t worry,” Zoe smiled. “We have no intention of going outside in that.” She pointed to the wind-driven snow that was rattling against the window panes.
“It can’t be that easy to get lost though, can it?” Ned–always the contrarian–asked. “I mean, we’re on the side of a mountain. To go one way you just go down, and to go the other way you just go back up, right?”
“Not that simple.” Lee grunted, pulling up a stool. “We’re a hundred miles from civilization out here, and if you can’t recognize any landmarks, all them pine trees out there look the same. Even if you think you know where you’re goin,’ this mountain likes to play tricks. The gentle slope you walk down in fall might be dangerously steep in spring; boulders tumble, streams change course, and paths disappear from one season to the next. There’s dozens of trails criss-crossin’ this ol’ mountain: 1800’s logging roads, game trails, other paths so old it’s impossible to tell who made’em. Trust me, you lose your way out there, all you’re gonna get is more an’ more lost..and then you’ll start to panic. An’ at that point, if hypothermia an’ hunger an’ the bears don’t getcha, ol’ man Dethritch and his dogs will.”
“Dethritch?” “Dogs?” Zoe and Jennifer asked at once.
“Just how much do you four know about Dethritch Lodge?”
“Not much,” I admitted. “I was looking for a place where my old friends and I could meet up over the holidays, the place looked cozy, had hiking and skiing and good reviews…besides, back then, the weather forecast said we’d have a clear weekend...”
Lee nodded, as if that was about what he expected. “It’s an odd place…with an odd history. Just after the Revolutionary War, a man named Jebediah Dethritch showed up here and started construction on a cabin. He said that the mountain had called to him, that he’d seen it in a dream, an’ that Patrick Henry had gifted him the entire mountainside in exchange for services rendered during the war. There was plenty of land back then, and grants were being handed out like candy, so no one called him on it. Besides, folks wanted farmland, not the slope of a damn mountain. They all thought Jeb Dethritch was crazy, but he carved a life outta these hills, swearing that he and the land were one flesh. Jeb and his sons felled forests, dragged out the stumps, and planted orchards; they set up secret garden patches back in the woods; raised chickens, cows, and a flock of sheep. For a while, things were good.” The old man stared into the fire. “If you young people get bored with all this history, just say so…”
“Well, it’s not like we’ve got anything better to do, do we?” Ned scoffed.
“No, please go on. It’s interesting.” Zoe reassured Lee; Ned rolled his eyes.
“Well, the years rolled by. Jeb died and passed his land on to his son and grandson, who went on livin’ the same way he had. Meanwhile, towns were buildin’ up around the mountain. The more they expanded, the more folks demanded proof that the mountain really belonged to the Dethritches. By the end of the Civil War–that’s to say, Jeb’s great-grandson’s time–nobody cared about yellowed papers and ancient claims. Folks wanted the mountain developed, and kept suin’ ‘til they found a judge who agreed with’em. Amos Dethritch got a few acres and the rest went to minin’ and loggin’ companies. But takin’ advantage of the Dethritchs’ land was no easy task. See, the Dethritches refused to accept the court’s decision. They kept livin’ in their hidden shacks on the mountainside, and made life hell for the companies who, from their point of view, were trespassing’ on their property. Every day there were downed trees on the road, supplies burnt, animals missin’ went on for decades, all the way into the 1900’s. And while nobody had been hurt in Amos Dethritch’s little guerrilla war, it was costin’ those companies more than the mountain was worth. They had to put a stop to it. The first sign of trouble was when Alice Dethritch–Amos’ wife from back east–stopped comin’ into town to sell her honey an’ fruit preserves.. A few days later, Amos was found in the middle of a dirt loggin’ road, surrounded by his three mastiffs. They’d all been shot to pieces. Ten years later, some trappers found Alice and the kids in a shallow grave. They said it looked like they’d died…badly.”
“So who did it?” Jennifer asked.
“Well, nobody can prove nothin’ about nothin,’ but a group of flashy out-of-towners rode in on the last train from Chicago that night, an’ left in the mornin.’ Folks in town said they saw lantern lights goin’ up the loggin’ road, and gunfire in the hollers…” Lee stared thoughtfully into the fireplace. “In a way, though, I guess you could say the Dethritches won out in the end. The mountain never yielded enough timber or coal to justify the expense. The companies that had fought so hard over the mountain–and even killed to keep it–all went bankrupt a few years later. This place was practically abandoned ‘til the national parks craze took off in the 1950’s. Some clever investors bought it off the bank for pennies…they built the cabins and lodge that we’re sittin’ in today.”
“But what does all that have to do with ‘old man Dethritch’ and his ‘dogs’?”
“Well, the mountain wasn’t completely left alone after all them companies closed down. The local men came up here to hunt, grandmothers collected fruit from the Dethritchs’ woodland orchards, and the teenagers…well, they came up here to do what teenagers do. But over the years, rumors began to trickle down about strange sightings in these woods. Some folks got to thinkin’ that maybe Amos Dethritch wasn’t really dead…or if he was, he was still around somehow.”
“You mean like a ghost?” I ventured.
“You call it what you want!” Lee prodded the dying embers. “I’m just tellin’ it how I heard it–and you wouldn’t believe some’a the tales the folks in town have about this mountain. Like ol’ Bruce Higgins, who came back from deer huntin’ all bitten an’ tore up, with his rifle missin.’ He said he’d been chased down the mountain by three snarlin’ shepherd dogs…just like those huge mastiffs found shot to death beside Amos. Miss Nellie Price said she saw the ol’ man himself, stalkin’ through the trees with a hundred-year-old hunting rifle an’ a sack of dead rabbits slung over his shoulder…” Lee rambled on; Jennifer tried to hide a smile.
“I’m sorry…” she chuckled. “It’s just…my dad was a hunter, and he used to see things in the woods too. Usually after his fifth beer. And my Great-Aunt Mildred was convinced she was hearing whispers in her walls…until my mother got rid of the bird’s nest in her chimney. The birdsong had been echoing in the pipes–it sounded like real human voices. My point is, there’s a snowball effect with stories like these. They live rent-free in the back of people’s minds, and when they see something they can’t explain, they just keep adding to them…”
“I’m not sayin’ you're wrong,” Lee grumbled. “I’ve never seen ol’ man Amos myself, an’ I’ve lived up here all my life. But I will say that there’s somethin’ off about this mountain. Maybe it goes all the way back to Jeb Dethritch, or even before that. Otherwise, how can you account for all the disappearances? Like the four high schoolers who went camping up here on a dare back in the 1970’s. Nothin’ was left of them but a trampled down tent an’ the soggy ashes of their fire…”
“Wasn’t there an investigation?” Zoe asked.
“Oh, sure there was. The police concluded that the girls had run away from home. Then when Terry Bannister an’ his nine-year-old son didn’t come back from their hikin’ trip, they blamed wolves. When a local artist’s car was found along a loggin’ road with spikes in the tires and the driver’s-side door hanging off of its hinges, they called it an ‘abandoned vehicle.’ They jus’ towed it back into town an’ didn’t even look for her. Don’tcha see where I’m goin’ with this? Ever since the loggin’ and minin’ dried up, tourism is the only thing keepin’ those little towns afloat. ‘The Ghost of Amos Dethritch and his Three Hell-Hounds’ makes for a fine local legend, but if the summer crowd ever found out about the real, horrible crimes that happen up on this mountain every year…it’d be the death of the whole industry.”
“I call bullshit!” Ned laughed. “This sounds an awful lot like a scary story that locals use to scare us wide-eyed out-of-towners with, am I right?”
“Call it what you want.” Lee shrugged again. “But I wouldn’t go outside ‘til the storm passes, if I were you.” He pulled on his boots and wrapped himself in his winter gear, so weathered and worn that it was all the same uniform tone of grayish-brown. “You kids got everything you need?” We nodded; he waved to us as he trudged out the door.
“Stay safe out there!” I called out too late. The only response was the rattling of the screen door and the howling of the wind–if it was the wind. I thought of the savage jaws of enormous mastiffs and shuddered.
We all slept beside the fireplace that night. Everyone had their own excuse: Ned claimed the rooms were too cold; Zoe said she wanted to have a slumber party; Jennifer had already fallen asleep in her chair. But I knew our real reason for keeping close to each other was that Lee’s tale had unnerved all of us more than we would have liked to admit. We craved the primal comforts of fire, warmth, and companionship. Before going to sleep, I dared to take a look out the frozen window, but all I could see was blackness. Too cold even for a ghost, I told myself with a chuckle, before stirring the fire and curling up in one of the lodge’s thick blankets. My dreams were haunted by worm-eaten faces in shallow graves and shadowy figures on desolate mountain paths; I woke before anyone else in the morning.
I’d always loved the peace of being awake while others slept; I took my time making my coffee and examining what the storm had done to the mountainside. The trees were bent, icy spikes stabbing into an ominous gray sky; at least a foot of snow covered the lodge patio. Frigid air blasted my face as I heaved open the sliding glass door and stepped out into the winter wonderland. Beautiful as it was, something more than the cold was bothering me; it took me a moment to fully realize what it was:
There were no footprints leading to the cabin where Lee was staying.
True, maybe the snow had filled them in–but no smoke rose from the chimney, either. Where had Lee gone? I was leaning out over the railing for a better view when I heard a low growl behind me.
I wasn’t alone on the patio.
Half-frozen drool hung from the mastiff’s gaping jaws; its hazel eyes burned with fury. Another, identical dog growled behind me–they were trying to cut off my escape! I bolted for the door and slid it shut just before a mouth as large as my face smashed into the glass, cracking it. The enormous dog lunged again, widening the spiderweb pattern on the glass. Barks and howls chilled my blood; my friends were waking, but not fast enough:
"Just a few more minutes…" Zoe mumbled while I shook her.
"Holy shit!" Ned screamed, pointing at the mastiff slamming itself into the glass.
"Get to the kitchen!" Jennifer grabbed the fire poker and waved us through before slamming the kitchen’s heavy wooden door. From outside, barks, snarls, shattering glass–
Heavy canine steps across the hardwood.
A long, mournful howl echoed through the cabin…and three sets of paws began scratching at the door. I wondered if the enormous dogs outside were calling to their master.
"Oh my god, oh my god…what the fuck is going on?!" Ned jabbed his finger at my chest like all this was all my fault.
"Is this some kind of sick joke?" Jennifer demanded.
“How should I know?!” I shouted back at Ned.
“I know what’s going on…” Zoe murmured. “Amos Dethritch. We’re on his mountain…and those are his dogs, just how Lee described them…”
Ghost dogs?!” Ned rolled his eyes, “come on.”
“That mastiff out there just smashed its head against a sliding glass door until it broke! Would you call that ‘normal’ dog behavior?! Listen!” Jennifer put her ear to the wooden door as it shook beneath the dogs’ attack. “They’re not just scratching the door…they’re gnawing on it. Those aren’t ordinary dogs. And speaking of Lee–where is he?”
“I…I don’t think he made it back last night.” I thought of the smokeless chimney and the untrammeled snow. The kindly old caretaker was probably lying beneath it with his throat ripped out. Amos had come for him at last. The door rattled on its hinges.
“We gotta find a way out of here. That door’s not gonna last much longer…” Jennifer whispered, unlatching the small window above the sink.
“Oh, sure! Great plan!” Ned rolled his eyes. “Let’s run through the woods in subzero temperatures in our pajamas! What could possibly go wrong?”
“What do you suggest, then?” Jennifer challenged. As much as I hated to admit it, Ned was right. Last night’s fire was dead, and its warmth was fading fast. If Amos and his dogs didn’t kill us, the cold would. Zoe was already struggling to keep herself from trembling. While the rest of us argued, she had been scrounging for supplies. She’d found a few cobwebby soup cans, three dull kitchen knives, an almost-empty box of matches…and a trapdoor.
It took all our strength to heave it open, and even then the light didn’t reach whatever waited at the bottom. One thing, however, was clear: we were running out of time. The timbers of the kitchen door splintered, treating us to a view of slobbering fangs. The rusty window frame screeched as Jennifer flung it open. I looked down at her bare feet.
“Jen, going out there is suicide!”
“I WILL NOT wait to die in some dark…fucking…HOLE! We gotta make a run for it!” Of course, I suddenly remembered, Jennifer had claustrophobia. That cellar must’ve looked like her worst nightmare.
“I know you’re scared–we all are! But–”
“But NOTHING! I’m going!” Jennifer wiped away her tears with her pajama sleeve and leapt down into the snow. Behind us, the dogs had almost broken through. Ned, Zoe, and I sprinted for the trapdoor and slammed it shut behind us. The mastiffs sniffed around and dug at the floor over our heads–
But only for a moment. A horrifically human whistle split the silent winter air outside, followed by a cruel command–
First came barks, then snarls–and Jennifer began to scream.
Maybe it was a blessing that we couldn’t see what was happening out among the frozen trees, but just hearing it was bad enough. I pressed my fists against my ears and shut my eyes tight against the awful ripping and gnawing, barely audible over Jennifer’s screams. When it was finally over, the chattering of our teeth felt like the only noise left in the world. I had forgotten how much the cold could physically hurt. With trembling fingers, Zoe struck a match.
We were in a low-ceilinged dirt cellar. Decades of cobwebs hung like hideous curtains above us, and generations of junk had been scattered carelessly across the uneven ground. We rummaged through it by matchlight, looking for something, anything, that we could use.
“Paydirt!” Ned shouted. He’d found a canvas sack full of moth-eaten wool blankets, leather boots, and parkas beneath a heap of snowshoes. We bundled up immediately, grateful for the warmth, but there was little else of value in the heaped rubbish around us…and we were running out of matches.
“This is weird…” Zoe nudged me. She’d found an old wooden chest full of century-old dresses, leather bags and belts, and a tiny silver locket. The cellar ceiling groaned with heavy footsteps; Zoe instinctively pocketed the locket and grabbed my arm.
“Now where’d the rest of you run off to…?” The voice above us was the same one that had sicced the mastiffs on Jennifer. There was something antiquated, gravelly, and wild about it–something that made me think of the unsettling tale of the Dethritch clan.
“Amos…” Zoe mouthed, pointing to the far side of the cellar. The crumbling stone wall faded into blackness, but as I crawled silently closer I could see what lay above: a coal chute. An escape. The footsteps overhead left the kitchen–I imagined they were heading upstairs to check the bedrooms. We had shoes and a way of keeping warm–even if they were filthy and fit badly. If we were going to try to slip out through the coal chute, it was now or never. Ned’s hand shot out and grabbed my wrist as I struggled to push open the rusted chute cover.
“Are you crazy?!” he hissed. “Did you not hear what happened to Jen out there?!”
“Jen had a point, too…” I whispered. “Whoever…or whatever…is up there is bound to check down here eventually. Do you wanna be down here when that happens?”
“I’ll take my fucking chances!” Ned had found an ice ax in the heaps of junk, and held it with a white-knuckle grip. I realized that my loud-mouthed childhood friend was even more frightened than Zoe and I. To my surprise, Zoe’s cold hand slid into mine.
“Are you ready?” she asked. I nodded. “Come on, Ned…come with us. There won’t be another chance!”
“No way. I’m staying right here!” Ned shook his head. The last I saw of him was his pale, stunned face watching us scramble out into the winter sun. Zoe and I trudged through the snow, afraid to look back…afraid of what might be following. We kept our eyes away from the red patches in the white where Jennifer had met her end, aiming instead for a suspicious trail of footprints that led from the woods up to Dethritch Lodge: one large human and three dogs.
“Ghosts don’t leave footprints, do they?” Zoe murmured. I shook my head, wondering where this insane day would lead us. Zoe and I had barely entered the silence of the pine forest when we heard the gunshot: the BOOM of a shotgun blast.
Ned had been found.
Zoe grabbed my arm; I could feel her warmth through our improvised blanket-coats. It was what I’d dreamed of when I’d planned this vacation: alone with Zoe, holding her close in the winter woods…but my dream had turned into a nightmare. The triumphant baying of the dogs and a man’s maniac laughter carried to us by the wind confirmed what we already feared: our friend was dead. For a long minute we just held each other, listening to our thundering heartbeats: a reminder that we were still alive.
But for how long? The footprints in the snow seemed to follow a sort of game trail…just like the ones Lee said the Dethritches had used. A small creek ran alongside it. My feet were exhausted from slogging through the high snow, but we had to put more distance between us and pursuit. Right around the time I lost sensation in my feet, we rounded a corner and saw a slumped-over hut up ahead.
The footprints we’d been following seemed to originate there. I swallowed hard and looked back at the boulder-strewn mountainside behind us.
“Hide up there.” I told Zoe. “I’ll see if it’s safe.”
“I’ll come with you, this is no time to be a he–” she began.
“Listen. If it’s not safe, we’re both dead. This way, at least one of us makes it.”
“Are…are you sure?”
“If we don’t find warmth, food, and shelter, we’re dead anyway. I’ve got to see what’s in there, and if you–” Zoe shut me up with a strong hug.
“Let me go instead. I want you to keep watch for me.”
I didn’t like the idea at all, but I could see in Zoe’s eyes that her mind was made up. She left me with an extra blanket and the other supplies she’d dug out of the cellar; I set up a vantage point behind a boulder where I could see without being seen…or so I hoped. Now that the sun was setting and my sweat began to cool, I found myself rethinking what I’d said to Zoe. I’d intentionally exaggerated when I’d told her we’d die without shelter–or at least I’d thought so at the time. But as the pine tree shadows reached out for us like long fingers and the temperature dropped, I wasn’t so sure. I wondered if covering ourselves with dirt would keep us warm enough, or if I’d even be able to light a fire with my shaking hands. I fiddled nervously with the first thing I grabbed out of Zoe’s blanket: that weird silver locket. I realized it had a clasp: it was probably one of those necklaces that held pictures inside…
Down below, Zoe was a tiny black shape on the sagging steps of the hut. She pushed open the creaking door–
I was so concerned about what might come out of it that I’d forgotten to pay attention to the path below. I suddenly sensed a presence just a few feet away.
“You alright, son?” A voice muttered behind me. I nearly jumped out of my skin before I recognized it: Lee! I could have laughed for joy. If anyone knew a safe way off of this mountain, it was him.
“We were attacked!” I gasped. “I know it sounds crazy, but I think Amos and his three dogs–”
“Shhh!” Lee rasped. “I seen’em on my way down here, but don’t you worry. Everythin’s gonna be alright now. Where’s the girl? Is she…?”
“You mean Zoe? She’s down there by the hut.”
“Good.” Lee whistled...and his voice changed. “SIC HER, BOYS!”
Three huge mastiffs bounded down the path toward the hut, barking loudly, and Lee stepped backward. He held an ancient shotgun in his hands. Only then did I look down at the open heart-shaped locket I held in my hands. The black-and-white photo on the right showed a kindly-looking woman named ALICE DETHRITCH, but the photo on the left was captioned AMOS DETHRITCH…and the face it showed was a familiar one indeed. It was staring back at me from behind the barrel of a gun.
“Amos…?” I gasped. The dogs circled the hut below, howling. Any minute now, they’d corner Zoe…
“Don’t tell me you believe in ghosts? I thought you city folk were supposed to be smart. Try this on for size: maybe Alice Dethritch survived the awful things those flashy out-of-towners did to her. Maybe she had a baby a few months later, a feral kid who raised himself after she died from her lingering injuries ten years later. Otherwise, who woulda buried her for those trappers to find? And maybe later, that kid grew up and decided he didn’t want the family name to die with him. Maybe he kidnapped one’a them high school girls who came up here in the 1970’s and used to her get himself an heir. Maybe that heir is standin’ here right now, pointin’ ol’ Amos’ rifle in the face of yet another trespasser…”
I lifted my hands slowly.
“Just…just don’t hurt Zoe…”
“Hurt her? No, I need her. I'm gonna breed myself an heir, the same way my father did, and raise him to carry on the fight 'til this mountain is ours again. After you four go missin,' even the tourism people won't be able to cover it up anymore–"
Lee Dethritch’s speech was cut short by the half rotten log that slammed into the side of his head. Zoe hit him two or three more times, but I doubt the blows were necessary. Lee Dethritch had met the fate of his ancestors, but I could hear his dogs baying below…from inside the hut.
“You alright?” Zoe asked.
“How did you–?” I wondered.
“That hut must be where he’s been living. It was dim…and filthy…but I saw a pile of rope right around the time I heard those dogs charging down the trail. I tied it to the front door knob and left it open just a crack, while I stood by the back door and waited for my moment. When those dogs charged in, I tugged the front door shut and slipped out the back. Dethritch’s dogs are trapped in there…for now.”
I remembered how quickly the three mastiffs had gnawed their way through the lodge’s kitchen door and shuddered. But would they even pursue us without Lee Dethritch urging them on?
We didn’t wait around to find out.
Night had fallen by the time we reached Dethritch Lodge; it felt like years had passed since we had fled the cellar that morning. Too emotionally and physically exhausted to talk much, Zoe and I distracted ourselves with simple tasks of survival: building a fire, heating water, gathering blankets, reinforcing the doors in case the dogs (or anything else) came back. It had been the longest day of my life, and I ended it curled up with Zoe in front of the Dethritch lodge fireplace.
By morning, the snow had melted; the unpaved, switchbacking road off of the Dethritchs’ mountain seemed just barely passable. Once we started driving, I realized just how much danger we were in: the back of my Corolla fishtailed around every turn, and twice the tires stuck in slushy mud and began to slide…toward the cliffs beside us.
When Zoe got out of the car to help me free it, I saw something that I still can’t explain. Maybe it was just a hallucination brought on by stress, but…
I’d swear I saw another Amos Dethritch look-alike watching us from the woods.
Was the mountain really haunted? Even worse, did Lee Dethritch have a brother?
When I looked again, they were gone.
I didn’t have any answer then, and I still don’t.
But I suggest you stay away from Dethritch Lodge.
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2023.03.20 17:28 DrScotRocks Houston verse

I'm still pretty baffled by the verse. You can try crossword techniques, for example "In the center of four alike". In crosswords, you would take the center letters of "Four Alike", so OUR ALIK which will be an anagram. The following line tells you that: "Small, split." Again in crosswords this usually indicates not you are using all the letters for a small word. The most obvious one is "OAK", but you can also derive "LARK".
You can try others: "What we take to be Our strongest tower of delight."
"What we take" could be PATH, "strongest tower" would be a KEEP and replace "delight" with one of it's synonyms, say, FEAST, and you get
Yeah, OK, that one may be a bit weak.
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2023.03.20 17:27 bikingfencer Acts 22 - Paul rejected by Jewish Christians

Chapter Twenty-two  

-17. “As that I returned to Jerusalem [from Damascus] and prayed in [the] Sanctuary…”
Here is the curious spectacle of a man under the authority on Jesus praying at the Temple. An anti-Semitic Christian heretic (Marcion[1]) of the second century, during the period of the early church fathers, second generation, Pauline, Christians, produced a “New Testament” purged of all the gospels except Luke’s, precisely to suppress and eradicate the inconvenient fact that, literally, three quarters of the Gospels are Jewish, and leavened out of his quarter portion a Judenrein cult.
[1] “Marcion of Sinope: c. 150, was the first of record to propose a definitive, exclusive, unique canon of Christian scriptures. (Though Ignatius did address Christian scripture, before Marcion, against the heresies of the Judaizers and Dociests, he did not publish a canon.) Marcion rejected the theology of the Old Testament, which he claimed was incompatible with the teaching of Jesus regarding God and morality. The Gospel of Luke, which Marcion called simply the Gospel of the Lord, he edited to remove any passages that connected Jesus with the Old Testament. This was because he believed that the god of the Jews, YHWH, who gave them the Jewish Scriptures, was an entirely different god than the Supreme God who sent Jesus and inspired the New Testament. He used ten letters of Paul as well (excluding Hebrews and the Pastoral epistles) assuming his Epistle to the Laodiceans referred to canonical Ephesians and not the apocryphal Epistle to the Laodiceans or another text no longer extant. He also edited these in a similar way. To these, which he called the Gospel and the Apostolicon, he added his Antithesis which contrasted the New Testament view of God and morality with the Old Testament view of God and morality. By editing he thought he was removing judaizing corruptions and recovering the original inspired words of Jesus and Paul. Marcion harshly edited the ten epistles by Paul as well as the Gospel of Luke. However, he defends Luke as the only ‘worthy’ gospel, while putting aside Matthew, Mark, and John. Marcion's canon and theology were rejected as heretical by the early church …” Wikipedia
  1. “And I saw Him say unto me, ‘Hurry [הזדרז, HeeZDahRayZ], and go out quickly from Jerusalem, for they will not receive [את, ’ehTh] your testimony upon me.’
  2. And I said, ‘My Lord, lo [הרי, HahRaY], they know that I sent [את, ’ehTh] the believers in you to jail [לכלא, LahKehLeh’], and to floggings [והלקיתים, VeHeeLQaYTheeYM] in houses of the assembly.
Imagine corporal punishment during a worship service.
  1. “‘And as that was spilled blood [of] ÇTayPhahNOÇ, your witness [עדך, `ayDKhah] – even [אף, ’ahPh] I stood there in agreement to [the] deed, and guarded [את, ’ehTh] the garments of [את, ’ehTh] his killers’.
  2. But [אך, ’ahKh] he said unto me, ‘Go, for I send forth you afar [הרחק, HahRHayQ] – unto the nations.’”
Shah’OoL entered to stronghold [למצודה, LeMeTsOoDaH]
[verses 22-29]
  1. Until to word the this they were attentive unto him, and then they raised their voice and called out, “Be rid from upon the dirt [הסר, HahÇayR] from upon the dirt [האדמה, Ha’ahDahMaH], one as this!’
See, anything was permissible to Jews, but gentiles remained taboo (le seul mot juste תאמינו אותי). That is how the Christian community thrived within Judaism; it remained utterly and entirely Jewish. There were political enemies of Jesus as Messiah, but no religious ones. Religious leaders acting against Jesus and his followers did so for political reasons.
No sooner had I filled my plate than I was up and out, with a January ‘07 issue of Time for conversation, to the back porch of Sarah’s house. The greening trees all but obscuring slope-shouldered Ivy Mountain. It is easier to pick out important events from the vantage point of hindsight.
Shah’OoL before the council
[verses 30 to end of chapter]
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2023.03.20 17:26 jdarbuckle The secret to self improvement isn't willpower. It's kaizen.

Hey everyone. This received some great feedback on disciplined, so I am sharing this guide I wrote for my mental health side project about a concept called "kaizen."
In my 20s, I lost everything (my home, my job, my partner, and more) due to mental health issues and addiction.
But I made it through, and I got better using kaizen. Today I’m in excellent health. I have a great career, home, and community. My life is filled with positive relationships, strong habits, and a lot of joy. I owe a lot of it to this process.
What is kaizen?
Kaizen, directly translated from Japanese, means “good change.” But the deeper meaning is: “small daily improvements over time that lead to exponential results.” Kaizen isn’t just a philosophy. It has evolved into an extensive growth system used by top companies all over the world to make continual progress.
You can use the same kaizen principles for your self-improvement.
It can often seem like a monumental challenge to change your health or situation for the better. But, the strongest brick wall is still laid one brick at a time. Time is passing anyway, so why not use it to make even the smallest of adjustments? One day you will look back and wonder how you got so far, so fast.
Essentially, the kaizen method is this: Break down any task into an action step so small that you can complete it right away. Make each goal so simple that there is truly no excuse to put it off.
Perhaps you cannot clean your room, but you can put one piece of dirty laundry in the basket. That is kaizen. If you cannot vigorously exercise, but you can complete five squats–that is kaizen.
Perhaps you cannot meditate, but you can close your eyes and take three deep breaths. You may not be able to confront a problem in your family, but you can write down one sentence on what you want to say.
In each of these, you are taking back control and still moving toward positive change. Seriously, keep breaking down your longer goals until it clicks in your mind that "I could do this right now."
This is where the power of Kaizen lies. Instead of doing nothing, you’ve done something. Metaphorically, that is a 100% improvement from before. This is astounding progress!
Objects at rest always take more energy to move than objects already in motion. This simple law of physics applies to your brain and mental health as well.
After folding one piece of laundry, you might find yourself cleaning your entire room anyway, because the first step is always the hardest. But if you don’t, that’s okay too. You have made headway.
Great kaizen skills build upon each other.
If you haven’t written in your journal yet, write one word today. Write a sentence tomorrow. Write one word again the next day, because you aren’t feeling as well. Then, write two sentences. Then, write three.
Eventually, you won’t need kaizen because you’ve slowly developed a habit at a pace that was enjoyable and simple. You’ll start to automatically complete your daily routine with full workouts, longer reading sessions, and the intentional practice of new skills.
If you find yourself skipping an important habit for multiple days or weeks, start over with kaizen. Make it easy and exciting to bring simple habits back into your life.
Self-improvement programs fail when you start at level 10 instead of level one. You excel at it for a week, but then slip back to where you started (or even further if you burn out).
Successfully changing your health and position is a long-term game. You can, and will, create a better life.
In order to stay motivated and consistent, break long-term change down into multiple short-term wins. Keep making daily steps forward, and you’ll be surprised how far down the trail you can hike.
If you can’t, don’t, or won’t get started right away, the task is not small enough.
There’s only one more secret to transforming yourself: All you have to do to win is never quit. You can fail, make mistakes, leap ahead, or stop completely. But as long as you keep getting back up, you will find health.
Good luck out there.
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2023.03.20 17:22 IndependenceJolly468 Writing Partner for Contemporary Mystery?

Hi! I am working on an in-progress, female-led contemporary mystery with themes of friendship, tech and revenge (80k words). I am looking for a partner in the same or a similar genre to discuss general impressions. I also think having a partner will keep me motivated to write on a more specific cadence/deadline. Added bonus would be to discuss character development, plot development and organization. I'm a beginning fiction writer but experienced with writing otherwise.
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2023.03.20 17:18 highassfack IS YESHWANTPUR CAMPUS GOOD ENOUGH?

So i just received my offer letter for admission into Christ for MSc in Psychology (Clinical). My first preference was the Central campus obviously. However it was purely based on my assumption that it's the best. Yeshwantpur campus is more convenient in terms of commute and stuff personally. Now, Christ has offered me admission to the yeshwantpur campus. And I wanna know if it's on par with the Central uni in terms of the education quality. Any seniors who can give me a word of advice will be appreciated. Thanks!
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