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2023.03.20 16:47 Stryvec [For hire] Want some characters, scenery, creatures or moments painted? Prices from 40 usd and up! DMs open!
2023.03.20 16:47 catmoblu444 My (27F) autistic brother (25M) has crippling social anxiety that is ruining his quality of life and I’m getting frustrated with my parents for not tackling the issue.
I (27F) am one of four children (30M, 25M, and 20F). My 25M brother, John* is autistic and his primary struggle at this time is social anxiety. All four of us are quiet people and I struggled with shyness as a young child, so it definitely runs in the family independently of autism, but most of us grew out of it. John struggled with social anxiety throughout school and it seemed to get a lot worse from age 13-14 onward. Being only two grades ahead of John, I often had to meet him outside of the resource room after school to walk him through the crowded halls and out to my car. I was also responsible for driving him to and from school because his van (for special needs students) gave him too much anxiety. This became a little difficult with my schedule at times, but I was more than happy to help my brother and make sure he was okay while he was at school.
Fast forward ten years since I’ve been out of high school and I’ve watched John’s anxiety get so incredibly bad. He still lives at home with my parents and two other siblings. He can’t drive and has some cognitive struggles, as well. He has a case worker with state services who does check in visits periodically. This program helped him get a job as a housekeeper at a hotel before covid, and I think John grew so much during this time. His boss was an angel and he really enjoyed the work and feeling accomplished. He ended up getting laid off during covid and hasn’t been to work since. They offered him his job back recently, but my mother “had a talk” with John and they decided he wasn’t in a good place to return.
He was on one anxiety medication for a short period, but it apparently made him severely tired and my mother didn’t like how it made him seem sedated. I told her there were many other kinds available and it’s rare for people to have success with the first medication they try. She doesn’t agree with me on my stance regarding medication and has opted to try natural supplements for his anxiety - as far as I know, John has not started taking anything yet.
My mom told me that the last time John’s case worker was visiting, he brought another person (I think she was going to do a routine evaluation on John) and John couldn’t even speak, was shaking, etc. He shut down completely and nobody could calm him down. This is not the first time this has happened.
My boyfriend of 4+ years has laid eyes on John maybe 3 or 4 times. John refuses to speak to him and when we are both visiting my parents, he will stay locked away in his room. He actually almost had an accident because he needed to use the bathroom and we were in a communal room that he would’ve had to pass through. It broke my heart seeing just how bad he’s gotten. It makes me boyfriend feel absolutely horrible and it’s been so difficult trying to explain the situation to him, as understanding as he is.
My parents are nearing their sixties and won’t be around forever. My two other siblings have some issues of their own (30M has suspected Asperger’s and has been unemployed for 5+ years and 20F is dealing with severe depression, also unemployed and recently quit college), so I certainly understand that my parents are stretched pretty thin. But I have warned them that John is going to need help for the rest of his life and that they need to set up a plan now, as well as actively work on his social anxiety and get him back into the workforce. I have offered to step in once my parents are unable to assist with him, but they have said it’s not my job and basically to stay out of it.
I’m terrified for John’s future, but I’m getting exhausted from arguing with my parents. Sometimes I wish I could cut ties with my family, but I would never forgive myself if something happened to John after my parents are gone. Is there anything I can do now to either help John directly or push my parents in the right direction?
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2023.03.20 16:46 Cynnabelle Happy Birthday wishes
It just occurred to me my birthday is around the corner. It's funny how they come and go, and another successful rotation around the sun becomes less and less meaningful. My life has always been about my cats and video games. When my oldest kitty was diagnosed with FKD, I stopped buying anything that didn't improve his quality of life. His numbers have dropped some, so most of my spare monies will go to him.
I take pet ownership seriously and if I can't provide the quality of life my cats deserve, than I have failed. This means going without things so be it. Even my wishlist I couldn't help but add things for my cats. I moved away from everyone and thing I knew over 10 yrs ago, so if anyone would like to look at my list and celebrate my birthday with me, I think I'd die of shock lol.
Some things are wants, some things are pipe dreams, some things would make my life easy, some things are needs, and some things would just make me smile. I'd also accept any donation to a local animal shelter (not in my name or anything just in general).
If you made it this far, thank you and I hope you have an awesome day.
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2023.03.20 16:46 Desperate-Fuel7182 My brother let my daughter watch a horror movie and it upset her :(
Every Friday, my daughter (4) stays over at my parents house, just to give me a break being a young (22) single dad and all that. It’s a good situation for everyone, since I get to catch up on a bunch of stuff and my parents recently became empty nesters so they enjoy having their granddaughter around. Last week, my brother (19) was at my parents house as well and was keeping an eye on my girl while they watched TV.
He decided for some reason to watch the newest Scream movie and just told my daughter to look away. Obviously she didn’t, and she’s been having nightmares every night since and seems very distraught by the whole thing. She’s asked me if the movie was real about 100 times since it happened. I’m usually okay with my brother watching her for a bit since he’s pretty responsible, so I don’t know what was going through his head. I asked him why on earth he decided to put that on and he claimed that he saw one of the Chucky movies when he was little and was totally fine. He does not seem to care at all the effect that it had on her.
I’m very new to reddit and just seeking some advice on how to move forward with both my kid and my brother. Thank you everyone in advance
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2023.03.20 16:46 Short-Page-327 To speak or not to speak ?
So we moved across country to help my dad his health is failing and he had an injury that put him in a wheelchair. Myself and my dad have never had a super close relationship and I always wanted a better so when he asked us to move out here I was excited to build a relationship with him and my teenagers to get to know him as well. So the last year has been very bumpy so many little things that have drove a wedge with us, my daughter (16) stays inside the house in a bedroom that did belong to my dads girlfriend her stuff is still in there. She came to me a few weeks ago and asked me if my daughter is the type to use drugs, I told her absolutely not she hates pills or anything like that she’s a good student track star, she has a job, she does very good. Well she went into my daughters room and confronted her about these pills but doesn’t actually have them she claims she took them to the pharmacy and they kept them they were supposedly Xanax pills and valum she herself is a drinker, bipolar that is very unsteady she can’t work she can’t do really anything and I just think she is trying to get the bedroom back she claims the pills were in a baggy in her drawer that my daughter doesn’t use. My daughter doesn’t want me to say anything bc she has to see her everyday but I feel as a momma bear I should say something to her but tactfully. My dad is completely blind when it comes to his girlfriend she can treat him like dirt and has and he does nothing bc he is dependable on her to help care for him even though I’ve told him several times I would gladly take care of him k know it runs deeper than that they’ve been together 10 yrs and they have a weird bond. I just want to handle this situation gracefully yet firmly so she stops asking my kid uncomfortable questions.
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2023.03.20 16:46 -Silent_Lullaby- Atrare Auroral Academia [Part 10.6 l The End]
The previous part of the chapter -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"AHHHHHHHHHHH. NOT THIS AGAIN!" You scream yourself awake.
Looking around, you scared everybody up in the teacher's office.
"What's wrong, Mr Nestor?" Someone asks you.
"A rough job being a new head teacher, huh?" They chuckle.
"Yeah. Hahaha- Huh?" You stare at them in confusion. "What do you mean?"
"After Mr Mortimer left, you got the position."
"Ohh yeah, I remember that. Silly me." You laugh.
Mr Mortimer left a long time ago to return to his wife. How can you forget that? Probably from a lot of work.
"Oh, It's time for Class 8E." You walk along that hallway thinking about life.
You still remember the first time you are here. You were a crumbling mess but now? You become a part of the academy, a part of the family.
"A part of our family." Quinn's voice blooms from behind.
"Good day Quinn."
"Yeah. Good day." You can see her smirking beneath the mask.
"Nothing, It’s just surprising to see."
“See what? Don’t leave me hanging.” You chuckle.
“Why don’t we talk while walking to class?”
You two walk along the hallway, echoing footsteps following from behind. Somehow you feel uneasy when being near her. Fear in your mind
“To see that mortal can just... forget something... What's your opinion, Aid? I mean Nestor.”
“Aids? You keep calling me by that old name.” You laugh.
“Alright, we are here.” You walk up to the door and knock. “Pardon me. Hello class!”
Some students look at you surprised but most of them look normal.
"What's with the silence?" You chuckle while taking out the attendance list. "Alright! Miss Déchu?"
"IS THIS CLASS 8-" A student screamed while entering the classroom.
The student's head slowly drops to the ground. Blood is gushing out like a poked water balloon. Isn't it a familiar sight to see?
"Oh, Hades! Not again." You put down the clipboard and stop the head that rolls toward you with your foot. "Quinn! Can you call the janitor? Please?"
“Sure.” Quinn got up and walked out of the classroom.
Some students scream in shock, others puke out the window and the remaining students turn pale.
"Come on kids. It's just a dead body. Don't puke out the window, we are on the first floor, not the ground floor." You sigh while returning to the whiteboard.
When you turn your back against the board, you are met with a strange stare from the students.
“What’s wrong?” You speak.
“Who are you?” Elio’s amber eyes filled with concern.
“I’m… your teacher?”
“No. No, you’re not. Aid won’t act like this.”
“I've always been like this.” You smile softly.
“Aid would scream.” Ubel shares her opinion.
“Well, it's been a long time. People change." You sense the feeling of uneasiness filling the room.
"It's- only been a week...since you been here and then you went missing for 2 days ." Cedric stands up and walks toward you. "Who are you?"
"What? You're kidding." You laugh awkwardly.
"I knew it." A cold voice breaks the silence, it's Quinn. "Well, today's classes are cancelled then."
No one dares to move a muscle as she stares into the class and everyone's souls. The sharp sound of her footsteps echoing make you flinch while the janitor mops up the floor and collects the body.
"I thought you done the job I gave you..." Quinn stares at Pattinson who has been quiet.
"I'll do it myself then." Quinn smiles and claps her hands. "Let's do it by numbers."
"Block the door." The room turns dim. Dark cloudy figures surround the room.
"What was that!" Elna's body trembles.
"A magic trick," Quinn replies sarcastically.
"Angelica! My sweet fallen angel. Let's get your memories fixed." She takes off her mask.
Angelica slowly gets up and walks toward Quinn, her eyes filling with fear.
"P...please don't hurt me." Tears roll down her face.
"Awww. Don't cry, sweetheart. You won't be like Marakira." Quinn strokes her cheek and whips her tears.
She kisses Angelica's forehead tenderly before giving Angelica the pill to swallow. She falls to the ground.
"Alright, Merkel!" She calls out.
“No!” He yells.
“Come here or the porcupine die.” Quinn said coldly.
Merkel runs toward her trying to bite off her hand with rage. Quinn smacks him, sending Merkel to the wall. Your student groans before Quinn shoves the pill down his throat.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?" Blerim screamed while trying to get up from his seat.
"Shut up." Quinn turns her head toward the remaining students.
Blerim's mouth was sealed shut, unable to speak.
One by one, your students walk up to eat the pills and they fall to the ground.
"Take them to their room."
The dark figures start lifting the students' bodies out of the classroom.
Only Pattinson, the Scholar students and you remain in the class.
“Quinn. What is all of this?” You break the silence.
“Nothing, Nestor. Everything is fine. Someone just doesn’t do their job.”
"Quinn, I'm sorry but I couldn't do it." Pattinson tries to speak.
"I know. I'll let this slide. Now, mortals. Eat it." Quinn throws the pills onto their tables.
"I can't force you to eat it." Quinn sits on one of the tables. "You will die in my hands."
"What is it?" Geun Hyun-Shik grabs the pill in front of him calmly.
"Well, thanks to my lovely 'aunt', Mnemosyne. I can fix all of your memories." Quinn chuckle.
"What will I forget!? What will it do to my head? " Geun In-Su shouted.
"Not forget, just bend the mind.” Quinn chuckle. “I suggest you take it. Better for you and better for me.”
“No.” Geun In-Su throws it away.
“Fine.” Quinn snaps her fingers.
“AHHHHHHHHHHH!” Geun Hyun-Shik fell out of his chair and scream on the ground.
“STOP IT!” Geun In-Su cry while leaping toward his brother.
“Well, would you eat the pill now?”
You stare at them dumbfounded, deep down something makes you fear her. Pattinson looks at the ground timidly.
“MAKE IT STOP! I’M SORRY! I’M SORRY! I’M SORRY! DAD! DON’T HIT ME” Geun Hyun-Shik continue to scream, pulling his hair, and scratching his arms.
“FINE!” Geun In-Su grabs the pill and makes his brother swallows it then does the same to himself.
“Good boy. Take them to their room. Now you.” Quinn point to Elna.
“S…sure.” She holds the pill with her trembling hand.
“Stop it!” Cedric pulls out his ring and turns it into a golden knuckle duster. “What are you?”
“A god.” She laughs. “Pin him down.”
The dark figures appear again. Now trying to pin Cedric down.
“Get away from me!” Cedric punches the figures.
“Eat it, Elna.” Quinn walks toward her.
“I said NO!” Elna whipped out her necklace changing it to a baton with a silver handle and try to hit Quinn with it.
“Oh. So you chose death? Interesting. How about some nightmares?” Again, she snaps her fingers and the two students scream in pain.
“How about now?”
“N…NO!” Cedric scream. “TELL ME. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO OUR CLASS AND OUR TEACHER?” He points toward you.
“Maybe you shouldn’t do it.” Pattinson grabs Quinn’s shoulder.
“Get out.” Her void-like eyes filled with anger.
"Yes, Ma'am." Pattinson slowly walks toward the door and leaves the class. "I'm sorry."
“P..please help us.” Elna crawls toward your feet.
You don't understand what is going on. Looking at Elna, you take a step backwards.
"Maybe if you listen to her, you won't have to suffer." You can't believe what you just said.
"Mortals can't win. We can just follow." You smile while picking up the pill and force Elna to eat it.
"It's for the greater good." Your broken smile makes her go quiet. "Come on. Don't be difficult."
"Please, Aid. H...help me." Tears roll down her cheeks.
"My name is Nestor."
"N..no. No. No. You let us call you Aid because you want to help us! You're not Nestor!"
Her scream wakes something in you. Does Mr Mortimer leave to go back to his wife? Have You been here for only a week? And is your name really Nestor?
"W..who am I?" The pill drop from your hand rolling away.
Elna tries to crawl her way toward the door.
"Don't you dare." You plug your dagger into her ankles out of instinct.
"AHHHHHHH." She let out an agonising cry.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ELNA?" Cedric whose been fighting the figures rushed toward Elna but got stopped by Quinn.
"Rule number 1. Don't turn away from the hunter." She snaps his legs.
"Now that you two are unable to fight. Stay!" Quinn turns her attention toward you again.
"No. No. No. I didn't mean to. I didn't" You balled up against the wall.
"Nestor? Are you alright? You did a great job." Quinn reaches her hand toward you.
"My name is Aid!" You shriek as the broken memories start to piece together.
"So, it came back." Quinn stares at your face so close that you can see the crop's skin on the left face fall off.
"What have you done to me?" Your senses start to come back. Seeing your students injured hurts you to your very core.
You hold your dagger tightly before stabbing it into Quinn's eyes.
"If you remember everything then you should know that you can't kill me." She pulls the dagger out of her eyes and breaks it in her hand again.
"You won't escape me. You can't." She grabs your face. "I won't let you go, my lovely nourishment. You're suffering and pain is the sweetest."
"h..help." You can see Elna bleeding out.
"Save them! Please! I beg you." You start to wail.
"That's so adorable. You're making me cry." Quinn whips blood off her cheek.
"Eat it." She grabs the pills that roll around when they were fighting and drop them in their grasp.
The two students grab them with the little power they have left before eating them.l
"Now it's just you and me." She grabs your face again.
"P..Please don't." You crawl away from her.
"I won't kill you. Just going to fix you again." She smirks while the room turns to pitch dark like the void.
"No. No. Not this again."
"Look into my eyes. Just a little fix and you will become a part of the family. Our family" Quinn's eyes begin to glow.
"A...a part of the family. Our family"
…Beep beep beep... The annoying sound of the alarm clock wakes you up as always, you have fallen asleep while planning your lessons and being the headteacher is not an easy role to fill. You stretch your back and start to get ready.
While you walk to class, you see many students running around, and some teachers grabbing coffee and talking.
"Pardon me." You knock 3 times and walk into the room. "Good morning Class 8E!"
"Good morning Mr Nestor!" The class replied.
Cedric and Elna beam with joy while you teach. You never feel this alive in a long time, you felt as if you are a part of this school.
After the bell rings dismiss the class. Quinn walks up to you and whispers. "Grata Revenite, Nestor."
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
"Now. Are you interested in making deal with us?" -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Writer's note: This is the end of the Atrare Auroral Academia. Thank you so much for following this series and being patient. Again, thank you. All of the Atrare Auroral Academia chapters' links
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2023.03.20 16:46 No-Residentcurrently ..
I was born and raised in a country other than my nationality because of a contract my dad had that alowed him to live in another country, at that time i was cheerful and talkative and could make friends with anyone to the point where i was friends with an entire grade, but then my dads contract span ended and we had to go back to our home country, at the time ive only ever visited there as a kid so i didnt know how the people their were like,and i only had one friend here but we couldnt hang out because we were too busy skrting our lives out, and at the same time the pandemic started and school was suspended, and when i finally went to school the class was basicaly if you put all the meangirls in a class, after i was done with that school year we transferred to yet another school and tried to make friends like i did before but i ended up being overly soially anxious and it didnt help that everyone knew eachother except me, i made friends with a girl that was sitting next to me until i realized that she had a bad personality and that she was toxic, the next day fater i relized that i moved seats from her and was seated between two childhood friends and we became really good friends, all the while my friend that came here from the other country and me were slowly drifting away because we were so far apart that we couldnt find common ground and now im scared that the two friends i made are going to abandon me because i feel like im butting inbetween them even though they did nothing to make me think so, i feel like a hypocrite thats just a shell of what she was before and my graded and social skills are both slipping away from me, and i feel like i will never become the honor student that i was before
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2023.03.20 16:46 DarkAdalia The Lockwood House
I'm not particularly a religious person. I never really connected with the idea of believing in a God or a Devil; something like religion never really resonated with me until the night a few of my friends and I explored the Lockwood house.
My mother gave me a laptop this morning; she thought that it might help me cope or whatever so here I am, typing what I remember. I haven't been able to sleep; there's a shadow that stands in the corner of my hospital room at night, and sometimes I hear voices inside my head telling me to do things, and I'm terrified.
No one believes me. They keep stating that my traumatizing experience must have triggered my anxiety. They called it a dissociation or detachment from reality, I think. Whatever. I know that what I saw in that house was real, and what had happened to my friends actually did happen. We just wanted an experience. We never really stopped to evaluate the risks that might come with it.
I guess I'll start from the beginning.
It was Friday morning, and I decided to kill some time in the library across from my high school. The greatest thing about being in a library was the calming atmosphere. I leaned forward on the worn sofa and rolled my eyes as I turned the page.
What? I scoffed. Why is this even a thing someone would think is even remotely attractive?
[ I am a lot to handle, but I can assure you that you'll have fun handling me, love ]
Seriously? I've met drunk perverts hanging outside of bars with better pick up lines than that I thought to myself. I didn't think it could get any cringier until I read the next line.
[ My heart did an unexpected flip, startled by his bizarrely attractive smile ]
I frowned inwardly. You know what you really need instead of a creepy-ass stalker boyfriend? A cardiology consult
"So annoying," I sighed. How is this tripe a best seller?
"Oh, shit." I squeaked. I sat upright and turned around, instinctively about to clog the person when I realized who it was. Harlen leaned up against the wall with a tilted smirk on his face. He stood between me and the fluorescents.
Harlen was a fellow classmate and a friend of Mark's, who was an older guy Albie, and I guess Harlen hung out with. Harlen was a tall, attractive guy with an athletic build, short obsidian hair, and grey eyes. To quote the main character in the novel, Harlen was the kind of trouble smarter girls than I had fallen into with disastrous results and a few regrets.
My cheeks flushed and I closed the book as he cocked his head at me. "Did I seriously scare you?" He joked, but his smile faltered slightly as I glared up at him.
"Dude," I groaned. "Don't sneak up on me like that,"
"What? I didn't sneak," He crossed his arms over his chest in protest. "No sneaking was involved. I just walked over here. And to be fair, this is a library-silence is sacred in a library so technically we're supposed to sneak. We're also the only ones in here right now anyway, so who cares."
My eyes did a pointed sweep of the decidedly empty area before settling back on Harlen's with an unamused glower. "Yeah," I said. "I'm pretty sure the zero other people in here appreciate the deceptive aura of calm. What are you doing here?"
"Well, actually I was doing some research for a paper I'm writing for English." He tightened his grip on his bookbag. "I was told I'd find you here," He explained.
"Why?" I asked. "I didn't tell anyone that I was here."
"I've got my ways of tracking people down."
When he saw my expression, Harlen rolled his eyes. "Oh, come on Kaya. I'm just kidding! Is it really that weird that I happen to be in here the same time as you?"
"I guess not."
"I'll let you get back to reading, then. Oh," He started. "I almost forgot. Meet us down at the Love Triangle for lunch. I found a cool place for us to urbex."
My friends and I loved urban exploring. Most of the time it was exciting and exhilarating. Sometimes it was a challenge; some places were remote enough that you could simply walk in through the front door like a welcomed visitor. Other times we would be forced to climb up over fences or crawl through windows.
There was this one time we decided to check out a drainage tunnel because a few people have sworn they heard ominous laughter coming from it. Water seeped into our clothes and we shivered at the coldness. I remember that I cracked a joke about the movie "IT" when we suddenly heard a loud BOOM right next to our heads. I have no idea what caused the sound, but I doubt that it was anything paranormal.
I was in the middle of stabbing at a large crouton with my fork when Harlen, Albie, and Jessica took their seats at the table.
"Hey, Kaya," Albie said as he sat down beside me. Albie and I have been friends since we were little. He was a skinny black guy with a box fade haircut and light brown eyes. We were neither popular nor unpopular. We were what some people called, "drifters" and, according to Albie, those whose social standings meant that if he made random eye contact with someone in the halls he would probably get a nod back, and maybe even a quick "Hey" or "What's up" If you didn't know us personally you'd likely assume that we were siblings, especially with the way we acted around each other most of the time.
"What took you guys so long?" I asked, pointing my fork in his direction.
"It was my fault. I'm sorry." He grumbled, as he unzipped his lunch bag. "Mr. Wizzner chastised me for like, ten minutes."
"To be fair, You were looking at your phone in class." Jessica said. Jessica was Albie's girlfriend, a petite girl with long blond hair, and hazel eyes. "And that wasn't the only thing,"
Albie sighed. "You're not wrong, but he's kind of an asshat."
"You should use that filter once in a while," Jessica said.
"Oh baby, since when have you known me to have such a filter?"
"Oh please," I scoffed. "You just choose not to use it."
Albie gave me a frown and tossed a baby carrot my way, which I was able to dodge easily.
Harlen cleared his throat as he pulled out his phone. "So, shall we get to it, then?"
The Lockwood house had been abandoned for years now, but a few people who have walked the trail close to the place have claimed they could see the spirits of the family walking around inside, and others had even heard music coming from the house. When they went to investigate, there was no one inside.
In 2010 Ethan Lockwood brutally murdered his wife, Anna Lockwood, and her parents Steven and Isabelle Thompson in the middle of the night. Authorities found Anna's parents dead in their bedroom; both of their bodies were in pieces, and their daughter's body was found in the basement. Anna had multiple blunt force head injuries and what's worse, her eyes and tongue were missing. Ethan's body was found in the living room with a shotgun beside him, and a deep laceration on his neck. People have compared this to the Amityville horror - which was a huge reason we were doing this.
"Get this," Harlen said, as he scrolled down. "There was a survivor - a ten year old boy. He also had a twin brother, but he was never found."
Some have assumed the father killed him and buried his body somewhere on the property, and others have assumed the boy escaped and is probably alive under a new identity. I guess we'll never know.
"Holy crap. What happened to the boy who survived?" I asked.
"I don't know. I guess that part was kept confidential," Albie said. "For the boy's protection I guess."
"Poor baby," Jessica frowned.
"So," Harlen said. "Are you guys up for it?"
We all crawled into Harlen's truck around 6pm and headed to the Lockwood house. Albie took his video recorder and held it in front of his face. "Hey, what's up guys, gals, and nonbinary folks!" Albie spoke with conviction as he stared wide-eyed in the video recorder. "We're going to prove that ghosts are real!"
I rolled down the window and glanced out at the scenery. I laughed to myself when we passed a large cornfield. "Guys, this seriously looks like we're going straight into a modern day horror film."
"It really does," Jessica agreed.
"I can already feel this place, I'm beginning to sweat all over." Albie exclaimed as he turned his camera to the window then back on himself.
"Like something about this place isn't right at all? That's pretty understandable, considering." Harlen said, turning down a gravel road.
"We're gonna recieve a ton of views for this!" Albie smiled. He turned the camera toward Harlen who waved back from the review mirror.
"Dude," Harlen chuckled. "I bet some of these viewers are going to think you're crazy because you're willing to allow something to throw you across the room and-possibly-murder you for content."
We pulled up to the gate in front of the two - story colonial home. There was already a green van parked outside the gate to the property. Mark greeted us at the gate with a colorful bottle of vodka. Mark was an average looking guy in his early 20s with shaggy brown hair and brown eyes. He raised the bottle in his right hand with shot glasses in the other.
"Hey, guys," Mark handed each of us a shot glass. "Did you get here alright?"
"Oh yeah. I've driven passed this place a couple of times, I didn't even need the GPS" Harlen said.
"This definitely screams illegal." I commented, pointedly toward the large house.
"Only if we get caught, but this place is abandoned so I doubt we'll get into any trouble with the law." Harlen said.
"I'm giving you alcohol, and you're more worried about "breaking and entering"? Mark laughed.
Albie took his shot of the Three Olives Loopy vodka and made a face. "This tastes like Tucan Sam fucked me."
"Ew," Jessica grimaced.
Harlen and I laughed. Mark only snorted.
After we each had several shots of vodka, we got ready. We each grabbed a headlight in order to keep our hands free, gloves, and disposable face masks and placed them into our backpacks, along with first aid (just in case). Mark had been urbexing for a while, and he was always prepared with supplies just in case anyone forgot to bring something.
"So, what happens if we're not alone in the house?" Jessica asked.
Even though urbex sites are technically "abandoned" that didn't mean you wouldn't run into other people inside like squatters or addicts, and they may not react well to seeing a stranger in their space.
"It's a good thing I brought this along," Mark said. He pushed his jacket aside and revealed a hand gun tucked inside its holster.
"Holy crap, man." Harlen said.
"I can't believe you brought a gun." Albie said.
Jessica and I were speechless. It's a good idea to bring some sort of self defense tool just in case your physical safety is threatened, but bringing something like a gun raises the risk of you accidentally injuring yourself.
"Of course I did. It's always good to carry protection." Mark explained.
A few minutes after, the five of us walked up to the large rusted gate. With a little bit of work, we each slipped through the bars and headed up to the house.
"You know those haunted attractions where people dress up in order to scare the shit out of you, except it's actual demons and they're going to steal your soul!" Jessica smiled beside Albie who threaded his fingers through hers. "It's actually kinda thrilling."
"Awesome," Harlen smirked. "I'm glad you sound so optimistic about it."
"I try to be!"
We stepped up onto the porch, which wrapped around the front of the house. The paint on the door was chipped with age in places. "Are you guys ready?" Harlen asked. "Once we enter this house, we will possibly become vulnerable to any demonic presence that might reside here."
I rolled my eyes. "If I'm in serious danger, I'm getting out. I'll throw myself out the window if I have to."
"I'm on Kaya's team," Jessica agreed. "Team rational."
"What, and risk getting a broken leg?" Albie asked.
"Better a broken leg than having your soul taken by some kind of entity." I replied.
"Alright, guys let's do this." Harlen said. He opened the door and the five of us headed inside.
The front door opened up into a foyer. Straight ahead of us was a staircase that led up to the second floor. There was a spacious living room to our right and a dining room to our left, and from there, an alcove enterance that led into the kitchen. I could tell that this place had been abandoned for years; there was cobwebs and peeled paint on the walls. There were remnants of furniture left ripped, dismantled, and stained which laid disorderly on the floor of the living room, reminding me of death.
This had once been the home of a happy upper-class family, full of life. Now it was replaced by ghosts of the past, vermin, spiders, dirt, and trash. The smell of rot and the taste of regurgitated food made me grimace in disgust.
"Why hasn't anyone fix this place up and put it back on the market?" Jessica asked.
"Who really knows," Albie replied.
"Hello!" Harlen announced as he twirled on his heels. "Are there any spirits here?" I glanced over at Harlen with a look and he shrugged.
"Is this what you guys imagined?" Mark queried.
"Sure, minus the dead bodies," I walked into the living room and spotted a mid century record player console propped up against the wall next to a grand piano. There was a record still on the turntable, "Tonight You Belong To Me" by "Patience and Prudence"
"Hey, come check this out." Out of curiosity I placed the stylus and tried turning it on, not really expecting anything to happen. I jerked my hand away when it began to play.
I quickly took the needle off, a little creeped out. "Holy crap, that scared me."
"That thing still works?" Albie asked, as he inspected the record player. "That song is kinda sweet,"
"No it isn't," Jessica frowned. "It's the kind of song you would hear while being tortured to death."
After we goofed around a little bit, we all decided to begin exploring around the house. Mark started up the stairs and asked if anyone would like to join him.
"I'll join you, man." Harlen said. He gave me a wink before heading towards the stairs with Mark, and I glanced over at Albie and Jessica as they disappeared down the hall.
I was alone.
I walked over to the piano, and carefully lifted the lid up and over to reveal its keys. My fingers traced the lines in between them and pushed down lightly on a few. The deep sounds reverberated around the room.
My eyes drifted up to the small picture frame sitting on top of the piano. I absent-mindedly bit my bottom lip and reached up to grab the frame. My fingers trailed across the picture, leaving an oily impression against the glass that held the picture in place. A family of four stared back at me and I realized that it was Ethan, Anna, and their twin boys. I was so focused on the twins that I almost didn't hear my phone alerting me that I had a new text message.
It was a text from Albie.
From "Albie" at 6:45pm: Meet us down in the basement. I want to show u something.
To "Albie" at 6:46pm: What is it?
From "Albie" at 6:46pm: There's some cool shit down here. Hurry up.
I rolled my eyes and placed my phone in my pocket as I made my way down the hall. I paused at the top of the basement stairs. I could hear Jessica and Albie, the beems from their headlights bouncing around.
"Albie?" I called out.
"Yeah, Kaya, we're down here." He replied. "Come on down. We have something to show you."
"Alright, I'm coming down hold on." I carefully descended the stairs and turned the corner. "So, what did you want to show me-"
My voice died in my throat. It was dark down here, and my friends were nowhere to be seen. I was gripped by a sudden sense of unnease. I stood near the stairs and turned on my headlamp. "Hello? Albie, this isn't funny, dude."
What answered me was silence. Absolute silence. I was alone, or I thought I was until my light fell onto something moving a few feet in front of me. It was an androgynous looking kid around my age with pale skin, shoulder-length black hair, and violet eyes. They wore a long sleeve gothic cloak poncho, over thin black leggings. Their lips pulled back into a malicious grin as they came closer to me. I watched in horror as their eyes rolled to the back of their head and their mouth split open wide, revealing sharp teeth.
They reached out for me and I screamed in terror, my instincs finally kicked in. I bolted up the steps, and stumbled into the hallway. I ran for the front door and tried to leave, but it wouldn't open. What the hell?! that made no damn sense! My heart sank into the pit of my stomach. Suddenly I felt something touch my shoulder. I screamed, ready to defend myself.
"Hey. Hey! Kaya, stop it's me, Albie."
I stopped struggling as my eyes refocused on the familiar faces in front of me. Albie, Jessica, and Harlen stared back at me with confused alarm.
"Are you alright?" Harlen asked. "What happened?"
I shook my head and quickly glanced behind them at the basement door, but there was nothing there. I know I hadn't imagined it! I turned my attention back to my friends. "I saw something down in the basement! I want to leave. Now."
"What are you talking about, Kaya? Hold up, did you see something down there? Holy shit. The ghosts didn't think one of us would see them, but we did. Can you-"
Before Albie can finish his sentence, I roughly pushed him away from me and turned back to the door. "Damnit, Albie! I don't want to be in this fucking house anymore! It won't open! Why won't it open!"
"Seriously, Kaya what the hell?" Albie asked, almost annoyed.
"Just relax, Kaya. Let me give it a try, alright?" Harlen offered, calmly. He grabbed the knob, but it stayed shut. "What the hell?"
"See? I told you it won't open!" I hissed.
"What do you mean, "it won't open" let me give it a try." Albie shoved his way passed us. He motioned for all of us to stand back and we watched as he tried to use his whole body against it.
"M-maybe the door's jammed." Jessica exclaimed. "Let's chill out. The front door isn't the only exit out of this place."
"Jessica's right. Let's try the door in the kitchen." Harlen said. We entered the kitchen and Harlen quickly made his way over to the screen door that faced the forest. He cursed under his breath. "Damnit. Nothing."
"Hold up, guys. Where's Mark?" Albie asked.
Harlen quickly pulled his phone out to call Mark when we all collectively got a text from him. Reminding us that we had set up a group chat for easy contact. Harlen glanced back at me with an odd expression I couldn't name. I opened my texts and a sharp stab of dread settled in my stomach.
From "Mark" at 7:05pm: I'm down in the basement, Harlen. Where r u?
From "Mark" at 7:06pm: Harlen is that u? It's not funny, man.
Harlen texted Mark that we were all in the kitchen. I watched as the three small dots in a text bubble pending before it disappeared and Harlen's cell phone rang. He answered and placed Mark on speaker phone.
"What the hell do you mean you're in the kitchen? I definitely heard your voice down here."
Harlen cursed, and told Mark to make his way to the kitchen. Harlen started toward the basement and we all followed right behind him. Before we could reach the stairs to the basement, however, the door swung shut, the force of it knocked us backwards. We heard Mark's gun go off several times followed by his peircing screams of terror before they were abruptly cut short. In our inebriated panic, I failed at the last second to realize we were all running in different directions.
I remember running up the stairs and locking the bathroom door behind me. My heart pounded painfully against my ribcage as I fumbled for my phone, thankful that it hadn't fallen out of my pocket. I willed myself to control my sobs and called 911, but for some reason my call wouldn't go through.
"Nononono! Fuck, please no." I collapsed against the bathtub and cried into my sleeves. Paranoia nearly consumed me once I thought of my friends and every horrible scenario when I received a text from Albie. I looked at it confused.
I wiped the snot from my face and quickly texted him back. How in the hell was I able to receive his texts when I couldn't get ahold of the cops?
From "Albie" at 7:20pm: Apparently we can contact each other in this house, but our phone's service seems to be cut off from the outside world. Where r u?
What the hell is going on in this place??
To "Albie" at 7:21pm: I'm in the upstairs bathroom. Do u know where Harlen and Jess are?
From "Albie" at 7:25pm: Jess is with me. I don't know where Harlen is.
My stomach dropped, but before I could reply Albie sent another text, and what I read made my blood run cold.
From "Albie" at 7:25pm: There is smthing moving in the hallway outside the room we r in. Stay quiet and keep ur phone on silent. If we need to contact each other use text.
It was around thirty minutes after when Albie replied with another text updating me with their situation. The thing stalking outside their room a while ago was gone now, and it hadn't come back.
From "Albie" at 8:00pm: We're going to make our way to you. Stay where u r
To "Albie" at 8:02pm: Ok. Be careful.
I slowly got to my feet and set my phone down beside the sink and took a deep breath to level my breathing. Suddenly, I heard something pound against the door. I screamed and stumbled backward. "Holy shit!"
"Kaya?" It was Harlen. "Kaya, is that you?"
"H-Harlen?" I collected myself and made my way over to the bathroom door. I walked into the hallway, relieved that I wasn't alone anymore. Harlen was safe, thank God. "Oh my god, Harlen I'm so glad you're-"
I gasped, and I stumbled forward as the door behind me slammed shut. I felt a sudden wave of dread wash over me as my eyes swept up and down the vacant hallway. Whatever was keeping us here tricked me. I quickly tried going back into the bathroom, but it wouldn't open, not only that but I left my phone by the sink. "No! Damnit!" I needed my phone, it was my only way to stay in contact with my friends, and how was Albie going to know where I was? I had two options, I could try and make my way to Albie or find another place to hide.
My heart thudded loudly in my ears as my headlamp bounced off the walls, chasing nothing more than shadows. I stuck close to the wall as I made my way down the hall. From somewhere down the hall, I heard a voice call out. It was Albie's voice telling me to come over to him. I hesitated for a moment. What if it was another trick? It definitely could be since whatever is toying with us was capable of mimicking voices. What if it really was Albie? Regardless, I had to go passed the room if I wanted to find Albie or another place to hide.
"Kaya, we're in here," Albie whispered to me as I got closer to one of the bedrooms. I hesitated before I stepped inside. The bedroom smelled awful, like rotten meat hung out in the sun for too long. My headlamp's light swept the room until it landed on a lone figure lying face-up on the bed.
"...Albie?" I whispered, tentatively. My voice sounded thin, like old paper. The figure on the bed didn't answer, but when I crept closer, I slipped on something wet. I glanced down at the floor. It was blood; a trail of blood led in from the doorway all the way to the bed. "Oh my god!" I screamed. My stomach rebelled and I heaved out my lunch until I couldn't expel anything else.
My throat burned as I wiped my mouth, and my chest hurt from sobbing out his name. Mark laid sprawled on the bed, his abdomen was ripped open and what remained of his entrails spilled over his body like a gory blanket. I stumbled backward, I fell against the door closing it shut. I was about to leave when I spotted the gun tucked under Mark's jacket.
Oh god, this was probably the worst decision ever and the likelihood that this was yet another trick was high, but I needed something to protect myself with. I've watched Mark use it before when we all went camping a year ago, so I kind of knew how to use it. I steeled myself and started toward the bed.
The closer I got the more I can see the damage done to his body; his abdomen and chest cavity were open and hollowed out. The skin looked like it was rolled back, torn and ragged. His sternum was completely gone, a few of his ribs were cracked so they protruded from either side of his body like fangs. Half of his bottom lip looked like it was chewed off and his left ear was missing. I shook my head and tentatively reached out for the gun. Just as I grabbed it, I felt something gooey covered on the grip of the gun.
I yelped and dropped it on the floor. I cursed and bent down to pick it up. Once I did I wiped the substance off with my sleeve with a grimace and made sure the safety was on. I was tucking it into my jacket pocket when something dripped onto my hand. I looked up and saw Mark or what used to be Mark looming over me from the ceiling like Spiderman. His eyes were oily black, his face twisted in an agonized and vengeful expression. Before I could move, he threw himself at me.
Somehow, I managed to dodge him and wrench the door open, hitting Mark as he lunged at me. The blow was hard enough that it sent Mark sprawling across the floor. I rushed out of the room and back into the empty hallway. I took a chance and looked back, but Mark wasn't there.
When I reached the end of the hallway, I felt hands grab me and pull me around the corner. I opened my mouth to scream, but a hand clamped over my mouth, silencing me. Panic cut through my body like a hot blade, and new found adrenaline flooded my system as I twisted and shoved at the person holding me immobile.
"Kaya, stop," Albie hissed. "It's me."
I turned around and my eyes widened with tears as Albie released his hand from my mouth, and Jessica pulled me into a hug as I told them what happened. Albie pointed towards the stairs and motioned for us to follow. Albie led us into the foyer. We heard movement in the basement so as quickly and quietly as we could, we crawled inside a closet across from the living room.
"What are we going to do?" Jessica asked. "We have no weapons!"
"I found this on Mark's body." I exclaimed as I showed them the hand gun.
Albie got to his feet. "ah, crap...I'm going to be right back. I left my camera in the kitchen."
"What? Hell no." I hissed. Splitting up is a terrible Idea! Risking his life for that damn camera? Was he an idiot?
"Just stay here, alright? Kaya, keep that gun out." He said, with no room for an argument. "Whatever this thing is, it can mimic our voices so we'll need a password to distinguish them from us." He took out his phone and typed Last Alliance
After he left, I crawled over to the door and locked it. I sat down next to Jessica who was sobbing. I turned to her and placed my palms to her tear stained face. "Hey, Jess. We'll make it out of here alright? I promise-"
Jessica shook her head and pushed my hands away from her face. "Don't say that shit to me. We're going to die here, Kaya!" She hissed. "Why is this happening? I wanna go home!"
I sat back against the wall and sighed.
Ten minutes later I heard movement coming from outside the room. I quickly got to my feet and placed my hands on the door.
"Last Alliance," Albie whispered, rather quickly. "Hurry up and let me in."
I hadn't even released the door knob when Albie pushed passed me and helped Jessica to her feet without much protest on her end. "Shit, it was him all along."
"What are you talking about?" I asked.
"I caught it on camera!" He whispered frantically. "The reason he brought us out here wasn't to-shit-" he was breathing hard. He moved toward me and shoved the camera in my direction. "Here, hold onto it for-" His sentence was cut off abruptly as the thing that used to be Mark drilled his fist into Albie's chest from behind. Albie's eyes widened as his mind had come to the realization at what happened.
Mark dropped Albie's body on the ground and his lips twisted into a manic grin as he examined his blood-covered arm. "He was spying on us," Mark said, but it didn't sound like Mark anymore. His voice sounded like several voices overlapping, fighting for center stage. "He didn't think that we would notice, but we did."
We screamed, and holding onto the camera with one hand I pulled her toward me with the other, quickly. We couldn't save him, and I knew that if we didn't move now we would end up just like him.
Jessica and I bolted down the hallway and back up the stairs. We found an empty room that must have been a personal office at one point, and barricaded ourselves inside. I cursed when I noticed the room we were in didn't have a window wide enough for us to escape through. I sat against the wall beside Jessica who sobbed into her sleeves.
I glanced down at the camcorder which felt heavy in my hand. What did Albie capture on camera that had him so upset? I turned it on and what I saw on the screen made my blood run cold. It was Harlen, the kid from the basement who stood beside Harlen, and the thing that used to be Mark; Harlen was speaking to him, but it was in a strange language that I couldn't understand. After he was finished, the thing that used to be Mark knelt down as if Harlen was some kind of royalty, and that was where the video stopped.
I heard that thing right outside the room we were in. He was telling us that no matter what we did, we were not leaving this place. A few seconds later, he broke through the door, pushing the desk and chairs out of the way with ease. With the force, one of the chairs knocked me to the floor.
He released a sick and twisted laughter, and stalked toward me, eyes filled with malice. Jessica grabbed something heavy from the floor and chucked it at Mark. Mark was startled for a second, and then slowly turned his attention to her. She yelped and frantically swept her eyes around the room for anything she could use as a weapon. He lunged for her and they collided to the floor.
I fumbled for my jacket's zipper for the gun, but I was too late. I watched in utter horror as he ripped into my friend; her screams of terror and agony will haunt my nightmares for the rest of my life. I pulled myself to my feet, my back bumped into something hard. A metal filing cabinet. Mark turned his attention back on me, but before he could reach me, he tripped over something and he fell to the floor. I shifted, and using my whole body weight, I managed to tip it over. It landed on top of Mark with a sickening crunch of bone and viscera.
I slowly made my way to Jessica's body and collapsed to my knees. I clutched at my own head and screamed until it hurt. At that moment, all I wanted to do was crumble in defeat. My voice had broken into heavy sobs so loud and ugly that I almost didn't hear Harlen's footsteps behind me.
"Kaya, is that you?" He called out to me, his voice full of worry. I was hardly listening to him. This was his fault! Rage spiked through me like a knife to my gut, it twisted and turned until I was all ground beef inside; I had the sudden urge to pull the gun from my jacket and-no, I had to calm down. Maybe if I feigned ignorance, I might still have a chance to escape, however slim that was. He bent down, and I let him pull me along with him without protest. With his eyes forward, I slowly put my hand on the gun.
We were almost to the kitchen when Harlen turned around, and leaned against the wall. "So, you know, don't you."
It wasn't a question. I slowly pulled out the gun, unlocked it, and trained it on him. He stared at me with an unsettling expression, and I could have sworn his eyes were black. I suddenly felt an intense pressure pour down on me. I could feel a miasma of something intense as his eyes bore into mine; my arms trembled with the effort of keeping them aloft. The gun clenched tightly in my hands like a life line. I couldn't faulter. I knew that if I did, even for an instant, Harlen would undoubtedly kill me.
"Oh, don't be like that, Kaya. You're not getting out of this house unless I say so, so let's just chat, hm?"
I shook my head and raised the gun to his chest, and for a brief moment I caught a glimpse of a surprised expression on his face when I pulled the trigger. The sound of the gunshot reverberated around me. I pulled the trigger again and again, but the gun was empty. I dropped it to the floor, my hands shaking. He glanced down at himself. "Huh. Well, would ya look at that, you managed to get me through the ribs, good job."
I was running before Harlen finished his sentence. However, he wasn't coming after me-at least not yet. Figures. I couldn't leave this place so he had no reason to put much effort into the chase. I stumbled through the house, catching myself on overturned furniture in order to keep my balance as I made my way towards the stairs.
I tripped over something and I caught myself against the wall across from the stairs. I paused for a moment to catch my breath. The house seemed to resonate with his manic laughter. I glanced behind me, and I felt a wave of cold dread as he sauntered toward me down the hall. Hands in his pockets, with an almost amused expression.
"Where do you think you're going, Kaya?" He asked. "Didn't I tell you before?"
The words, "There is no escape" suddenly appeared all over the walls in blood. I cursed, and pushed myself off the wall and bolted up the steps, down the hall, and into one of the bedrooms and quickly closed the door. I looked around at what was once a child's room. There was a twin sized bed in the center of the room, a nightstand across from the closet, and a bathroom.
I spotted a decent sized window and I ran over to it, but it wouldn't open and I cursed when there was nothing around me to break it with. Without any time to come up with a plan, I quickly slid underneath the bed and turned off my headlamp. I immediately cursed at myself again, of all the places to hide I chose the first place any one would look!
I contemplated whether or not to find another hiding place, but before I could move I heard him make his way down the hall singing that creepy ass song. "My honey I know with the dawn that you will be gone, but tonight you belong to me, just little 'ol me~"
The bedroom door opened. I covered my mouth and tried to silence my breathing, hoping to God that he wouldn't find me under the bed. I watched in fear as he closed the door behind him and made his way over to the bed. The bed dipped slightly as Harlen's weight sank onto it. He told me things I didn't want to hear and more. This monster-this demon-slithered into our lives just for all of this to happen.
My eyes widened and I tucked my arms to my sides, the wooden bed frame gave a protest above me as Harlen laid down on top of it. Then he sighed, almost forlorn. "This was my brother's room, you know. Coming back here brings back so many memories,"
Right after he said that I felt something prickle behind my eyelids. I shut my eyes tightly as gruesome scenes appeared inside my head. There was so much blood, and images shown of a young boy in pajamas stalking through the house with an ax in his hands picking off his family members one by one-doing things a normal child his size wouldn't be able to do, but Harlen was anything but normal. I felt bile rise in my throat but I managed to keep it down.
"The final stage of grief is acceptance, Kaya." He said. His cruel voice brought me back to the present. "You have a lot of spirit, I like that. I'm also in a good mood so I'll give you two options: you can either die here or you can come with me. You should be grateful that I'm even giving you an option. So, what's it going to be?"
I opened my mouth and closed it again; what was I supposed to say to something like that? What was going to happen to me if I said yes? If I said no...
A low growl -yes, a growl- rumbled above me and I felt something snag my ankle. I panicked, my fingers tore into the wooden floor as I was dragged out from underneath the bed. I was thrown across the room, pain shot up my back as something bit into my spine. Harlen straightened up and started toward me. I quickly averted my gaze, the panic swarmed all over me like a hive of angry bees.
"Wh-why are you d-doing this?" I asked, my breath hitched between sobs.
Harlen knelt down in front of me. "Hey...hey look at me, Kaya."
Absolute terror gripped me as he forced me to look at him. His features weren't human; the light of the moon highlighted the inhuman planes of his face. Black, spidery thread-like lines creeped around his forehead and right beneath his oily black eyes. His mouth had split open, wider than any human mouth was capable of.
His nails grew long and sharp against my chin. It was mesmerizing, fascinating almost, like watching a lion's face before it tears yours off. Suddenly, I couldn't breathe; my lungs felt swollen and inflamed, my hands came up to my throat as I coughed and wheezed. Was this an asthma attack? No, it was Harlen.
"When I ask you a question, do not answer it with another question do you understand?" He snarled. "You will understand why when you arrive. Now, will it be a yes or a no?"
His features calmed and he looked human again, and whatever power on me broke, it allowed me to inhale sharply. I gasped. I wanted to scream at him, I wanted to rage. Instead, I dropped my hands on my thighs. I wanted to live.
"Kaya, honey" My mom said, as she came into my hospital room, "You've got someone to see you this morning! One of your friends from school, I think."
I placed my book down on the table beside me. She bent down and gave me a kiss on the forehead. "And he's very attractive," She whispered, "It's not every day a tall handsome boy comes to sit by your bedside."
I nodded and gave her a small smile as my chest filled with dread. The doctor informed my mom that I was found in the middle of the woods, unconcious by a young man. She had no idea what really happened to me or what happened to my friends'. Harlen told me that he had ways of covering his tracks so there was no use in telling anyone what really happened. It didn't matter if I did or not because no one would believe me anyway.
Harlen came around the corner with a bouquet of flowers. My mom smiled at him and walked toward the door, "I'll just leave you two alone. What did you say your name was again?"
"My name is Harlen," He said, as he stepped forward. "Harlen Lockwood."
"Nice to meet you, Harlen," She said, smiling back at him before exiting the room.
Harlen placed the flowers on the table and sat down next to the hospital bed, he placed a hand on my thigh. "I'm so glad you're feeling better, Kaya." He said. He gently pushed a loose strand of my hair out of my face and gently tucked it behind my ear. "Remember what we talked about. You will come to me after you are discharged from the hospital,"
I shivered at his touch, and out of curiosity I asked, "What happens if I don't?"
Harlen let loose a dark chuckle. His head dips until his lips skate by the curve of my ear. "Then I'll hunt you down." He whispered to me like it's obvious. "I'll kill you and everyone you care about. I'm capable of all sorts of horrors; things you can't even imagine." I watched as Harlen stood up from the seat.
"Now, I've got a few things to do before you arrive," Harlen said, smiling down at me. He paused by the room's door. "I'll see you soon."
His visit was a few days ago. I've made up my mind; all of those lives are dependent on me. Everything that happened that night was real. I know that most people won't believe me, but to be quite honest I don't care anymore.
[Update] I just got the news I'll be discharged tomorrow.
submitted by DarkAdalia
to CreepyPastas [link] [comments]
2023.03.20 16:46 vester71 First ever glitch while driving with daughter.
I find these fascinating, but have never, ever had anything weird happen to me. I probably wouldn’t believe it happened if I was alone.
I was with my daughter this past Saturday looking at cars for her (suburbs of Chicago). I was not 100% familiar with the area, but had been through many times in my life. We exited the highway at an exit I had driven by dozens of times, and had to take a frontage road about 1.9 miles to the first car dealer we wanted to see. It was down the frontage road about 1.9 miles from the exit, then a right hand turn, then about .25 miles to that first dealer.
We looked at a car at that first dealer, then left to look at a second car at another car dealer a few minutes away that we wanted to compare the first car with.
We left dealer 1, and I took one right hand turn out of their parking lot, and went about .5 miles in the opposite direction of the frontage road we came from, then a second right hand turn, and went about 2.3 miles to the second dealer. All of this travel was in towns, and the 2.3 miles was on a country roads/highways in an upscale, developed area with subdivisions and houses scattered about. There were no weird turns or angles, pretty much straight shot from one to another.
After we left the second dealer, we realized the car we saw at the first dealer was the one we wanted, so we left the second dealer and turned down the exact same road we came down, I know this with 100% certainty, as in zero doubt - it would have been virtually impossible to screw that turn up.
We start driving and I plugged in the address of the first dealer to make certain I don’t miss it - it’s on a busy road with quite a few dealers and didn't want to drive by.
We drive for a couple minutes, and I notice it says almost 7 miles back to the first dealer, and was like WTF is happening, I stopped and checked that I plugged in the address properly - it was accurate. I asked my daughter if she noticed anything or if I was zoned out and did something weird and turned the wrong way. She was also 100% certain we left the exact same way we came and was freaked out that we were so far away. There was literally only one other way to go, and we 100% did not take that wrong way out of the second dealer.
It gets even weirder, the GPS has us tracking toward that same frontage road we exited the highway onto, but about 5.7 miles farther back, like we somehow ended up on that same frontage road, only somewhere near an exit that was before the original one we exited from.
Somehow we ended up almost 4 miles farther down this frontage road than we were when we left the highway to see dealer #1. We kept driving and then saw our original exit, passed it, and drove back to dealer #1 and got her car.
We didn't notice any time loss, weird landscape or anything out of the ordinary, except for somehow being turned around completely and sent back several miles without even noticing. I do not have history saved ion Google Maps so I cannot see if I did something weird, or if there was some anomaly.
After we went left the first dealer with her car, she followed me home and everything was perfectly normal. Could I have been stressed or zoned out and made a wrong turn along the way? Possible, but based on the route I cannot figure out how I could have even done that, and I thought my daughter would have been able to notice if I did that too, but I obviously cannot rule that out 100%.
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to Glitch_in_the_Matrix [link] [comments]
2023.03.20 16:46 CaterpillarParty7952 31 F with 36 M for over 2.5 years, is this porn addiction?
y partner has a large collection of porn previously. Like hundreds upon hundreds of pictures from online over the years. He has deleted most because he knows it makes me uncomfortable. We have talked about healthy use and how I worry about how it can be addiction and alter the brains reward system etc... We definitely clash on the views on porn use. I have tried to accept it but its really irking me. I know I cannot control what someone else does and nor would I want to. I am worried it is a porn addiction.
I went out for a few hours and came home early. I noticed the other day he had like 15 torrent porn videos being downloaded on his laptop that he tried to hide by dimming the screen brightness. Im assuming he moves them into a folder once they are downloaded. He also told me that he was doing a month of no masterbating and said porn was useless without masterbation, so I am very disheartened. I wouldn't have as much as a problem if it was openly talked about but he hides it and does it in secrecy.
Do most couples openly talk about what their porn habits are? Is watching porn at any chance he's alone (we live in a studio suite) normal? Has anyone ever had the experience of compromising on this topic when the two of you disagree?
Like when I'm in the bath...at work late and such. We have what I thought was a healthy sex life, it has decreased a bit since living together and have been committed for over 2 years. I know everyone needs their alone time but it feels secretive and off-putting. I noticed he has been watching it occasionally before he initiates sex with me. He even put me in the same position as the woman in the video.
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to relationship_advice [link] [comments]
2023.03.20 16:45 Cloud7050 [Recruiting] [Code: WMW8Q875] 💎✨
Hi there fellow sprout! Welcome to Eorzea o/
Using a friend code gives us both cool stuff for free
:) Read on to see what you can get & how
! What You Get
How To Get Them IMPORTANT
- +20% XP till level 26 across all 19 classes (equip your exclusive «Friendship Circlet» head gear)
- 10 Silver Chocobo Feathers (pick from a selection of great gear to get a headstart, via each city's «Calamity Salvager» NPC)
- 99 free teleports (prompt to use your «Aetheryte Tickets» to waive fees)
- Exclusive /fistbump emote (redeem via your «Ballroom Etiquette - Improper Greetings» book)
You must enter the friend code before
having bought subscription days for the first time!
- Have registered your account and bought the game
- Log in to the FFXIV Mog Station site
- Click the "Enter Recruitment Code" panel under the "Registration Codes" section (image)
- Paste in & confirm my code: WMW8Q875
- And done! Once you buy your first subscription days, the hardworking Postmoogles will deliver all your free bonus rewards to your mailbox :)
Thanks in advance! I'm still relatively early in progression too, and hope to get my first ever multi-seater mount
with your help. If you've used my code, please reach out to me! Especially if you're on the NA data centre, we can play together!
~ Snowcloud Sevf
@ Sophia (Materia
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to ffxivraf [link] [comments]
2023.03.20 16:45 Advanced_Yak3479 Am I the asshole for still resenting my friend
I 17(F) met my friend 18(F) last school school year. I met her through my crush. We all became one big friend group because he(my crush) had quite a bit of friends already (majority males). We’re gonna call my friend Abby. I didn’t like Abby at first because I thought she was trying to make moves on my crush. I was very possessive over this crush because we had a sexual relationship but we weren’t dating it was like a friends with benefits kind of thing. Over time though I did start to like and get close with Abby. The closer we got the more we would talk of course, so we would tell each other sex stories and things of that nature but we never said the persons name of that we were telling the story about, but I always had a feeling she was talking about my crush and I feel like she had a feeling I was talking about him too. One day that we telling stories I said his name and I guess that made her comfortable enough for her to start saying names, so now at this point we both know we both had sex with him and messed with him at one point. Most girls would’ve fell out with each other after they figured out that they had been fucking the same nigga but this brought us closer together, after that we were the closest we could ever be, we were almost inseparable. I had a bf at the time this was going on so it was obvious that all the stories I was telling was from the past and I assumed the same for her and the way she told her stories she made it seem like he stories were from the past. Actually once she told me that she had at the time recently tried participate in some sexual act with him (I didn’t care at the time because I was no longer messing with him and I had a bf) and she told me that she was so disgusted that she couldn’t and that she no longer wanted to do anything with him anymore, so I was under the impression that she was no longer having sex with him. Btw the reason she was “disgusted” is because also while she would tell me about their relations she also told me things he was doing with other girls (and he got around quite a bit). Looking back I’m not completely sure if all that she told me was true but Ik some of it was because he told me himself. So at this point I was pretty turned off of him he was just my friend and nothing more.
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to AITAH [link] [comments]
2023.03.20 16:45 MniTain38 After ~20 years of mental abuse, I'm done with my BPD friend.
Done with my former bpd (borderline personality disorder) friend.
I'd been "friends" (kinda hate using that word, given how she treated me for decades) with a 38 year old woman since our teens. I am 41 and also a woman.
This friendship was one of the worst friendships I have ever had. It sounds lengthy (approximately 20 years) but it was 20 years of on again, off again bouts of being.... "friends".
The sheer amount of mental abuse she has put me through. I can only summarize it in this post to the best of my ability and ask you folks if what she has is BPD.
Things she did to me during our friendship:
- treated me like I was the most amazing friend in the world one day, then the next day I would be shit on a stick.
- constantly insulted me to make herself feel superior. This was a combination of subtle passive aggressive comments and outright, belligerent namecalling that was completely unprompted.
- figured out my password to online social media and logged in to read all of my private messages
- once, behind my back while I was taking a shower, she logged in as me on a social media chat platform (on MY computer!) and messaged her boyfriend (pretending to be me) and started a fight with him. He was pissed off at me for months and I couldn't figure out why until all the pieces fell together one day.
- extremely jealous whenever I made a new friend, and yet when I tried to make time for her she would suddenly ignore me for months without any provocation on my end
- passive aggressively posts vague "rants" on her social media, with just enough details that only I would know in order to realize that the post was aimed at me. Also makes sure her profiles are public enough for everyone to see it, especially me.
- gaslights me when I tell her she's treating me like crap. She will somehow twist everything around to make it look like I was this awful monster. And then I would feel guilty and apologize. Then later I would feel angry for being duped.
- purposefully goes out of her way to destroy my self esteem by (metaphoricay) tearing me down just so she can stand on top of me to make herself feel a little taller. She gets angry if I so much as "move" because then she will fall down off her sadistic platform.
- accuses me of things I did not do
- figures out my anxiety triggers and purposefully bombards me with them, pretending to be aloof about it.
- uses personal, confidential information (e.g. those anxiety triggers, but also other similar things) against me, whether in a one on one disagreement or public displays of shaming (usually her social media)
- extremely vain/uppity on the outside but also secretly hates and judges herself to a sick, maladjusted level. She also is paranoid and thinks everyone else is judging her just as harshly, not realizing most people aren't that sick in the head, which is why she employs mean, nasty digs at people like me in casual conversation.
- has a history of violence, particularly against her boyfriends and her parents. I know that when she was teen and even well into her early 20's, her parents would have to restrain her when she flipped out on them. And her other go-to was picking up household things and throwing/smashing them.
- frequently accuses people, including me, of "invalidating" and "triggering" her when the bulk of us are actually feeling like she is doing that to us. (Lots of projecting.)
- All or none attitude. She wants me to have the exact same opinions as her or just be silent. This can be on ANY topic.
- Contrarian just to be contrary. It doesn't matter what I say, even if I'm echoing a sentiment she has expressed recently, she will say the opposite in that moment.
- Once when she was 22, I went with her and her dad to a cell phone store. He was buying his family a cell phone plan and he picked out some reasonably lower priced phones for everyone. She started crying and throwing a fit in the middle of the cell phone store until he caved and bought her the expensive one she wanted. Again... 22 years old.
- She has a 2 year old with a guy that she baby trapped. She is very obsessed with this guy. She has also accused him of abuse but she goes out of her way to stalk him. She baby trapped him by pretending to be on birth control. They are not together -- he visits the child on occasion because he moved many states away from her.
- Delusional. She has strange delusions. Like she has told me she doesn't "believe" in evolution theory. (Her actual words were, "I don't believe I descended from apes." I tried to correct her misconception about what evolution actually is but...) She told me she believes she is a walking god. She also told me she can actively communicate with the dead. She has many less extreme examples of delusions... like thinking people are judging her, but you get the idea.
- extremely high IQ, very skilled at manipulation, coercion, and gaslighting. Not a rookie. She has a phd with fucking with your mind. I used to secretly call her Hannibal Lecter.
- In our youth, when we were not on friendly terms, she went off to Chicago with her then boyfriend to comic con and kept a running update of her "fun times" there in an online blog. She described these new friends she had made in intricate detail. She gave them names and personalities and even quoted them at length, in detail. She knew I could see her online blog. Anyway, when she returned home and begged me to be her friend again (via the friendship equivalent of love bombing), I asked her if I could meet her new friends. Her boyfriend overheard and confided that she made every single one of them up.
- she gets into fights with every friend she makes. She cannot keep a friendship. Her online social media is littered with screenshots of her arguments with friends, coupled with her proudly boasting that she told them off in order to get likes and "💯" in her comments from folks who don't know her very well. Most of her friends on her social media are strangers.
- She is 38 and alone. Though she lives with a 2 year old. She has said she hates being a mom. She will go out of her way to not be around her kid. She always asked me if she can do a sleep over at my house as if we're still 16 and I don't have a packed schedule. She knows that her parents will watch the kid if she's busy staying over at someone's house or apartment. It's bizarre and they enable her.
- she will make fun of things that are completely inappropriate to make fun of. I had a 21 year old brother who died of cancer when I was only 15. She used to make fun of how "awkward" it must be to tell people that I have a dead brother. And once, when she was really mad at me for hanging out with a mutual friend that she secretly hated, she told me off and concluded her rant with, "Why don't you go cry to your dead brother?"
- Whenever I thought I was done being her friend, there would be some silence for a time and then she would appear outta nowhere (back in the day she'd even come find me at my work like when I worked in a mall store) and she always did this metaphorical "I'm on my knees begging" for me to be her friend again. I was so stupid and would fall for it!
I'm done with her for good as of last week.
submitted by MniTain38
to TrueOffMyChest [link] [comments]
2023.03.20 16:45 maxoflagos Allyrealty?
I've been apartment hunting and a bit part of the process for me is looking in here for any existing discussions about neighborhoods, real estate companies, etc. Making this post because I can't seem to find anything about these guys. Does anyone know who they are? Any feedback to share?
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to Calgary [link] [comments]
2023.03.20 16:45 guestuser696969 My (26f) bfs (28M) sexual criticism is ruining my libido
Me (26F) and my boyfriend (28M) have been together for about 6 years. I used to love having sex with him, and would look forward to and have a real desire for it. Over the past few months something has changed. It started off with him asking me to initiate more, which was fair enough. Then it was asking me to be more “enthusiastic”, take more control, critique how I move in positions, etc. To be fair I do prefer to be dominated, but I do occasionally get on top and I give oral very often. I am open to constructive criticism but lately it’s really felt like a negative job performance review, and he’s even gone to commenting on things about my body. I really don’t want to even do it anymore. So at this point it’s a cycle of me not being aroused and too self conscious about the whole act to get into it, and neither of us even finishing at times. I know he can’t be satisfied either. I’ve tried to talk to him about it. I asked what’s changed and he said “nothings changed and that’s the problem. I should be able to give feedback”. And then I said that most times we have sex lately it makes me feel terrible about myself (I’ve sobbed afterwards) and he said I should try being more confident and that I’m hot. This doesn’t have anything to do with my physical self image, it’s that I now feel like I’m terrible at sex.
Overall he is the perfect guy. I love him so much and he is very kind and loving. I really don’t know how to fix this situation. I know I’m a sensitive person so maybe that’s it but either way I don’t know how to get over the anxiety I feel about having sex with him and actually enjoy it again.
TLDR: I have performance anxiety and don’t enjoy sex anymore due to frequent sexual criticism from my bf. I want to overcome this but don’t know how.
submitted by guestuser696969
to relationship_advice [link] [comments]
2023.03.20 16:44 Murraculous1 Galactic Renaissance Preview: Should You Back this Spiritual Cousin to Inis? — Bitewing Games
| || | submitted by Murraculous1 to boardgames [link] [comments]
https://preview.redd.it/kz4up4z8zwoa1.png?width=1024&format=png&auto=webp&s=6fd37e8b53169fc64034fbd3d6442542d51159ff Note: This blog post also exists in podcast form, if you prefer to listen. A preview copy was provided by the publisher. I have 4 Total Plays at 2, 3, and 4 Players. This is a prototype, meaning the rules and components are not final. For example, the score track has changed since this prototype was printed and the basic wood pieces will be replaced by lavish minis.
Recently, I shared my 1st impressions of Galactic Renaissance
where I mostly compared it to Inis
, the other design in this Political Trilogy from designer Christian Martinez and publisher Matagot. In this preview, I intend to spend less time comparing to the two games and more time focusing on Galactic Renaissance
itself. Let’s see where this takes us…
Long ago, the galactic empire fell into ruin. Peoples and their planets lost contact with each other, and the galaxy entered a period not unlike the dark ages. Intergalactic progress and cooperation was stymied and, for better or worse, aliens were no longer able to meddle in each other’s business. But from the ashes of a space dynasty eventually arises a renaissance. Portals are rediscovered. Secrets and knowledge are uncovered. Political relationships are reforged. And a new Galactic Senate is born — not one of compulsory conquest, but of peaceful and voluntary coalition.
Each player represents a unique planet and controls aspirational emissaries. These emissaries are sent throughout the galaxy to gain allies, establish institutes, discover foundations, and reawaken specialists — the ancient ones from the now dead empire who remain frozen in stasis to preserve wisdom and knowledge. While the shared vision is to peacefully rebuild an interstellar civilization, each player wants to come out as top dog in the Senate, and sometimes you need to step on some alien toes to get there.
Players are racing to 30 points by striving to fulfill the Senate Policies (scoring objective cards), which notably expand and change a bit during the game. The deck of these cards is fairly large (16 total) and you only ever play with a combination of 5, so you’ll encounter a fair amount of variety here from one play to the next. It’s not too unpredictable, though, as these cards generally encourage you to spread out across more planets with your emissaries and institutes. Sometimes your mere presence on a planet will suffice, other times the scoring requirements get more specific (e.g. have majority or minority on a planet, build an institute on a planet, be on planets with specific features like foundations or portals, etc.). https://preview.redd.it/0bue7l8izwoa1.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=f8c42a334100ee36962c9685f5294bf427dcd8b0
The manner in which you score points and win the game is refreshingly unique on multiple facets:
- You not only need to reach 30 points first to win, but you also need to score 10 points in a single final turn to seal the deal. So although you may have a lead on everyone else on the score track, they can catch up by weakening your single turn scoring potential. It’s a bit reminiscent of Inis’s pretender token, but notably much more mild in its king making / bash-the-leader potential.
- As the leading player races up the score track, they will unlock or transform the scoring objective cards for everyone. At 6 points, the third scoring card is revealed. At 13 points, the first scoring card is swapped out for a new one. At 20 points, the second scoring card is swapped out for a new one. Until they are revealed, nobody knows what objective cards will come out next, so it helps to put yourself in a flexible position during these transitions.
- The main way you trigger scoring is by playing your Senator card, and each time you play it you’ll have to cycle through your entire deck to reach it again. So players who can manage to accelerate their deck cycling while adapting to the scoring cards will have the best chance of crossing the finish line.
Your turns start out quite simple:
- Play a card and perform one of its actions
- Resolve any disorder
- Discard your played card to the bottom of your draw pile (plus one more from your hand, if you wish)
- Draw back up to your hand limit
That said, early decisions can have a huge impact on your strategy. The game actually starts with an interesting draft where you lay out a bunch of unique home worlds, powerful specialist cards, and starting emissary quantities. Players take turns claiming an option until they possess one of each category. If my two opponents lunge for home worlds before me (thanks to some tempting planet abilities), I can now ignore that category until the end because the remaining two options are exclusively for me to choose from. If I can manage to select a specialist card that combos well with one of those planets (or strengthens my ability to milk a score card on display), then that’ll be my first choice. This starting phase certainly favors more experienced players who understand the hidden nuances, but it absolutely doesn’t determine the winner.
Play begins with your most basic single-action turns: recruit more emissaries from your supply, explore a new planet, spread your emissaries around, claim planet ability tokens by having majority pieces there, build an institute, gain another specialist card into your deck… those kinds of things. Emissaries and institutes give you vital presence throughout the galaxy, which is what you’ll need to earn points from the objective cards. While emissaries are mobile and flexible, institutes are stationary buildings which increase your hand size and allow you to recruit directly to more planets than your home world. Gaining allies (claiming planet ability tiles) will open up your options (assuming you have a card to play that lets you activate a planet ability). And awakening specialists is like injecting alien steroids into your deck. To be honest, all of these actions feel satisfyingly powerful — that of gaining specialists, increasing your hand size, and growing your planet tableau. https://preview.redd.it/8leuh0tlzwoa1.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=00a64cc9d7e56dde5d74d067f2caacd42e2dcd98
Those who enjoy a meaty engine builder or snowballing combotastic turns will find much to love here. Where early turns often see players throwing down one card for a single action and an occasional handful of pitiful points, late turns will see them executing a half dozen actions across multiple cards and planet tiles as they rocket up the score track. That’s because some actions, if chosen, will grant you the ability to take another action (I.e. play another card). These are mainly found across the specialist cards and planet tokens, which players gain more of over time. You’ll get a taste of the vastness of outer space as growing planet tiles consume your table and single turn combos stretch on into eternity.
Inevitably, downtime noticeably increases as the game nears its completion or when more players are at the table. Where two experienced players can certainly knock a game out in roughly 90 minutes, at three and four players it seems more likely that you’ll cross two hours and even approach three. Where many games can buckle under the weight of slow downtimes or long play sessions, Galactic Renaissance handles it fairly well. I believe I prefer it most at 3 players, which strikes a nice balance between player competition and game length, but I certainly enjoyed it at 2 and 4 as well. Those who want to bask in maximum conflict will surely find it in the epic 4 player game. https://preview.redd.it/stytjnmmzwoa1.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=6a54f864904d3cacc955d76fa7f3a1f5f57d250b
Conflict itself is another standout feature of the Galactic Renaissance experience. Each planet displays a stability threshold represented by a number of spaces. These spaces do not limit how many emissaries, institutes, and foundations are allowed on a planet; rather, they simply indicate the planet’s tolerance for interstellar interlopers. If you ever end your turn with a planet’s stability threshold exceeded, then a disorder phase is triggered. Starting with the active player, every player must take a disorder action (even if the planet becomes stable again during the disorder phase). That means that somebody (usually multiple somebodies) is getting kicked off the planet, unless you happen to have a disorder card in your hand to play and avoid your mandatory evacuation. Usually, you’ll either have to remove an emissary, remove an institute, or retreat to an allied planet. If a player only has one piece on a planet, you can do a lot of damage by getting them kicked off (often costing them the chance to score 1-3 points from that planet). What’s even crazier is that you can retreat to an allied planet with too many emissaries and cause that
planet to become unstable. It’s possible to trigger a cascade of disorder if you are so inclined for such chaos.
Notably, disorder is not only more common
with more players, but it is also more worthwhile
. Where many of the scoring objective cards require you to be on a shared
planet (meaning more than one player has pieces on it), it often feels like a waste to crowd out an opponent if their departure means the planet is no longer shared. The only reason to do something like that is if this rival could potentially win the game on their next turn and you are forced to sacrifice your own scoring potential to keep your hope of a comeback alive. In a 3 or 4 player game, you are more frequently incentivized to sow chaos across the galaxy because planets often possess 3 or more player colors, and nobody cares if that 3rd or 4th player gets booted (except for them, of course ;).
Even after spending many hours with the game across several plays, I’m still finding myself learning and improving. There are plenty of strategies and tactics to dig up in this galactic sandbox. You’ll discover and gleefully spam tricks that allow you to cycle through your deck faster to get back to that Senator card ASAP. You’ll meddle in the business of others and spread disorder across planets where opponents are weakly clinging on in desperation. You’ll seek to undermine their scoring potential while carefully planting seeds for your next scoring harvest. It’s not as blatant or brutal as Inis, but the interaction here can still be very effective. https://preview.redd.it/lb2aoqknzwoa1.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=1ddf253d7e30bc0e1cceab43ea7d4670d7a761bf
While Galactic Renaissance preserves much of the political and positional spirit of Inis, it manages to carve out its own legacy. If Inis is a knife fight in a Celtic phone booth between prospective kings atop a hill, Galactic Renaissance is a space race between growing snowballs as they roll down that hill. Both games serve as loud and clear evidence that Christian Martinez is a designer to keep an eye on and that Matagot knows how to make an epic board game. I, for one, am excited to see and experience this game further, especially in its final form.
Galactic Renaissance launches on Kickstarter on March 21st. Check it out here
. Article written by Nick of Bitewing Games. Outside of practicing dentistry part-time, Nick has devoted his remaining work-time to collaborating with the world’s best designers, illustrators, and creators in producing excellent board games, including the upcoming Zoo Vadis by Reiner Knizia. He hopes you’ll follow Bitewing Games in their quest to create and share classy board games that bite.
2023.03.20 16:44 Apprehensive-Sun1215 7TH CIRCUIT ISSUES DOUBLE-BARRELED COMPASSIONATE RELEASE DENIALS
Nuthin Times Nuthin May Be More Than Nuthin’
: Stevie Ray Vaughn, who is doing consecutive 240- and 262-month sentences, moved for compassionate release because of COVID-19 and his record of programming. He also argued that due to decisions issued since his conviction, he could not receive nearly as high a sentence if he was convicted today.
Last week, the 7th Circuit affirmed a district court denial of his CR motion. Holding that “COVID-19 has been a fact of life for more than three years,” the 7th observed that “for prisoners who have received a vaccine, the risk of serious complications should they develop a breakthrough infection is modest. Vaughn has not provided or pointed to any medical data suggesting that his combination of conditions puts him at serious risk should he develop a breakthrough infection.”
Stevie’s argument about completing classes left the appeals court unimpressed: “Taking classes while incarcerated is common rather than extraordinary. If data showed that completion of particular classes reliably put prisoners on the path to a law-abiding life, that might satisfy the statutory requirement, but Vaughn has not supplied any information along these lines.”
As for his long sentence, the Circuit ruled that Stevie’s career offender classification, not a statutory minimum, drove the 262-month sentence and US v Ruth, the case he cited, does not affect the career-offender calculation. “At all events,” the 7th noted, “we have held that Ruth does not justify compassionate release as an indirect means to achieve retroactive application of that decision.”
An interesting aspect of the ruling is the Circuit’s endorsement that individual reasons may be aggregated to meet the “extraordinary and compelling” standard for CR: “If we conceive of ‘extraordinary and compelling reasons’ as those differentiating one prisoner’s situation from 99% of other prisoners, it is easy to see how Circumstance X could be true of only 10% of prisoners, Circumstance Y of 10%, and Circumstance Z of 10% – each insufficient to meet the threshold, but if they are independent then collectively enough to place the applicant among only 0.1% of all federal prisoners… Our point… is that no matter how the threshold is defined, a combination of factors may move any given prisoner past it, even if one factor alone does not.” Legal Error Is Neither Extraordinary Nor Compelling:
Ted Williams filed for CR because a district court treated him as having a prior conviction for unlawful drug delivery, which increased his minimum sentence to 10 years. But US v Ruth held that his conviction for delivery of cocaine in Illinois does not satisfy the criteria of a “serious drug felony” under 21 USC 841(b)(1)(B), meaning his sentence was longer than the law required.
Last week, the 7th Circuit said ‘so what?’
“As we put it in Von Vader,” the 7th said, “the sort of ‘extraordinary and compelling’ circumstance that §3582(c)(1) addresses is some new fact about an inmate’s health or family status, or an equivalent post-conviction development, not a purely legal contention for which statutes specify other avenues of relief—avenues with distinct requirements, such as the time limits in §2255(f) or the need for a declaration by the Sentencing Commission that a revision to a Guideline applies retroactively… There’s nothing ‘extraordinary’ about a legal error by a district court (or a court of appeals), and the law provides methods other than compassionate release for dealing with claims of legal error.” US v Vaughn
, Case No 22-2427, 2023 USApp LEXIS 6171 (7th Cir. Mar 15, 2023) US v Williams
, Case No 22-1981, 2023 USAppLEXIS 5877 (7th Cir. Mar 13, 2023)
The LISA Newsletter is copyright 2023, LISA Foundation.
For privacy, we use pseudonyms for people who are still incarcerated.
Your family may read our newsletter online at www.lisa-legalinfo.com
. If you want to receive the newsletter, send a Corrlinks invitation to [email protected]
If you have a question, please send a new email to [email protected]
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2023.03.20 16:44 theactionisthejuicee Rewatchables Choices
I know there are a ton of movies that are prime Rewatchables that haven’t had their time on the pod yet. Maybe some never will.
But to me it’s really not about the movie itself, it’s about how enthusiastic the hosts are about it. I love hearing the trio talk about movies we all adore. But at this point, personally, I’m just entertained by their mix of personalities. I don’t think there is another movie podcast that captures what they do. Sean Fennessey with the film nerd trivia and insight. BS with the classic Dad takes and absolutely ludicrous opinions. But who could forget our boy, CR, who can meet them both in the middle. Yes, there are other members of the Ringer who are fine. No, I don’t enjoy them as much as these three.
The “one for them” pods are some of my favorites. Sure, sometimes they might not be the most “rewatchable” movies in their purest sense. But more often than not, they are still great films and hearing 2-3 people get super excited over it makes my commute every morning. I’m glad they don’t always listen to the people. It opens me up to so many new movies. I would’ve never have watched Sideways, Bad Boys (1983), Collateral, Blow Out, etc.. if it wasn’t for this pod. Of course, the classics are what keep this pod alive. But the hidden gems - the diversity - is what makes it special.
Just my 2 cents. I know everyone feels differently. Keep zagging BS
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to billsimmons [link] [comments]
2023.03.20 16:44 Classic-Plantain-767 lookin for friends in VA
exactly what it says. i follow a lot of trans folx on instagram etc but a lot of them don’t live in my area. i just moved to VA last year and really interested in getting some trans friends near me. maybe to hang every once in a while or so. really looking for maybe a gym partner??? or someone to keep me on it too. things are easier together.
Been on T for 1 year in 2 weeks. Married to my wife(she/they) for 2 years but been together for 4. We enjoy adventuring out in the state and finding cool places. We end up in DC a lot too.
if you’ve read this far, thank you and i hope you guys have a good one💙
submitted by Classic-Plantain-767
to ftm [link] [comments]
2023.03.20 16:44 Perfect_Scream I wish you… an ounce of luck.
2023.03.20 16:44 riyvaens52 3 orphan teams in sleeper SF league
As title says have 3 orphan teams in a 2nd year sleeper SF league. We use discord for chat, moved over from fantrax and have a healthy, friendly core. Could possibly do dispersal draft of the 3 teams but need owners first. Standard scoring, with a 1st down premium and .25 ppr. $50 yearly buy. Message me for more information if youre interested.
submitted by riyvaens52
to findaleague [link] [comments]
2023.03.20 16:44 Simple_Tank_3684 Can someone please help me understand if my student loan entitlement is correct?
I'm in my final year at university.
I am usually entitled to the maximum maintenance loan. This year I was entitled to £9,179, which I think is slightly less than normal because it was my final year.
However, my final in person lecture is on March 31st, so I decided to give my landlord notice and move back to my mum's flat in London as I'd rather be there than my university city. I was aware that changing my address would mean I was entitled to less money if I was living with a parent, but I received the new figure and I'm not sure it is accurate and am struggling to double check.
I sent SFE my C01 change of details form and also added an extra note basically explaining that I had been living at my university address for the entire first two terms, but that for my final term I intended to move back home and be with a parent.. I made it. clear it was only effective for the 3rd and final term only as I had no in person teaching.
My new entitlement says that I am getting £7,689.00 in total, so £1,490 less. I'm just wondering if a mistake has been made, as I think that £1490 is the difference if you're living at home, but I think they've done it assuming that I am going to be / was at home for the entire year when it's actually just my 3rd and final term.
Can anyone please guide me as to whether this is a mistake or not? I was expecting it to be £500 less, not 1500 less. I am also paying my mum the same amount of rent as my student flat so I am not any better off personally (well worse off!). Also I can afford this / it isn't the end of the world but I'm just not entirely convinced that it is correct, and would really appreciate some guidance. Thank you!
submitted by Simple_Tank_3684
to UKPersonalFinance [link] [comments]