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2023.03.28 20:24 SquishyCabbage I've gone deep into the rainforests of Borneo. There is something very evil out here - Part 1

I’m finally here!
This has been a trip that I’ve been planning for years.
Firstly, a bit of background. My name is Caleb, I’m 19 years old, and I’m originally from Canada, but have grown up my whole life in Melbourne, Australia. That’s because my parents are crazy about nature and moved to Australia when I was young in an effort to save the Great White Shark population. Now, whilst they’ve established themselves as well-respected shark conservationists, I’m wanting to start my own legacy to help the planet. So, I’ve found myself, finally, in Malaysia, the Sabah region to be exact, on the island of Borneo, to start my efforts in helping save the rainforest.
The planning from this trip began years ago, in 2019, when I was reading forums about families being affected by the tearing down of the rainforest in these regions. On one of these forums, I met a man called Ketill, who lives in Iceland. He shares the same passion as me and we often talked about going to South East Asia and helping to find ways to sustain these beautiful rainforests. However, we both agreed that we’d first like to experience living off of the rainforest first-hand, to fully understand its importance. So, we’d posted online countless times seeking this experience, and that’s when, just last year, we were contacted by Asri, a man who lives deep within the rainforest with his wife, Siti, and their young child, Haziq. Asri told us that he would be happy for myself and Ketill to stay with him and his family for as long as we wanted, that he would be happy to show us the importance of the rainforest and how to live off of it.
Which brings me to the present day - myself and Ketill are eagerly waiting for the water taxi to pick us up. Ketill and I have travelled together for the past 2 weeks and were already good friends. His long blond hair provides a contrast to my short brown cut, and his blue eyes are always wide with excitement from the minute he wakes up right up until he falls asleep. He clings onto his blue rucksack and he paces, waiting for the boat to come and pick us up. Asri had said that the water taxi only makes this journey once a fortnight, so to be prepared for that. He also said there is very little to no phone signal where he stays. I was surprised there was any at all to be honest.
Ketill and I wait by a little fishing village that we had to take multiple buses to reach. Along the village runs a river; dark brown water rushes by, leading into a gap in the trees that flows deep into the surrounding rainforest. The tall green trees act as a shelter to the river, towering over it, protecting it from the sun and the rain. I look downstream along the river and see something approaching.
“The taxi is here!”, Ketill excitedly exclaims as a little speed boat comes trudging up the river toward us. I notice the frail man driving the boat appear surprised as we waved him down. He must not come across many tourists out here.
“Hello”, I speak as the boat pulls up beside us, “we are looking to go to the house of Asri Fadilah?”, I ask. Asri assured us that the boat driver would know what we mean.
“Ah!” the boat driver exclaims, “Asri?”
“Yes”, I reply, “Asri.”
The driver ushers us in and we begin the long journey up the water, going ever deeper into the rainforest.
Two hours have passed.
We have driven by a number of small, riverside villages. Local Malaysians were washing themselves in the river, fishing, harvesting leaves from nearby trees, and cutting fruit from their branches. The importance of the rainforest has already shown itself to me. The locals all wave at us as we pass them; they appear to be a very kind and welcoming people.
The sounds of the rainforest are constant, but ever-changing. Crickets chirp in harmony with the songs of a thousand birds, wind rustles through the trees, to our hair and back again, and the call of monkeys ring from the distance on repeat. It is calming, beautiful, comforting.
The river is winding, never-ending. It’s astounding how deep into the rainforest we have travelled. After a while, it has become extremely clear how people get lost in places like this; it all looks so similar, and just keeps on going and going. It’s getting dark now, and just as I start to build up the courage to ask the quiet driver how much further we have to travel, he points to a clearing in the trees that’s nestled alongside the river. Banana trees sit either side of the clearing providing a picturesque change in the ever-stretching wall of trees and brushes that line the rest of the river.
As he pulls up beside the clearing, he ushers us off of the boat and says, “This is Asri here”.
We thank the driver and pay him what he asks. No sooner than we pay him, does he drive off at speed.
Ketill and I turn around and see a man walking down a small muddy slope behind us. He is frail, similarly built to the boat driver, however hosts a large smile on his face. He is tanned, with short dark hair. He wears a raggedy red t-shirt with the faded words ‘OHIO’ on the front of it, black shorts, and white slippers. He swats a fly away from his face as he reaches his hand out toward us, shaking both of our hands.
“My friends!” he exclaims, “Welcome!”
He glances over to the banana trees beside us, putting his hand on my back and guiding me up the small mound of mud he had just traversed down. He eagerly leads the way and within minutes we reach a small, stilted wooden house. The house towers over us, around 10 feet high, its stilts bearing its weight well. As difficult as it is to explain this, the house appears run down but also very sturdy; as if it has faced a thousand storms, but still stands strong. It is in a small clearing surrounded by rain forest, with a washing line beside it strewn with clothes, and a small outhouse beside that. There are also cages of chickens nestled by a nearby tree.
As we climb the thin rickety staircase up toward the veranda of the house, a woman appears. She is smiling and holding a glass plate of assorted fruit toward us. She is petite, and wears her dark hair tied up in a bun. She wears clothes similar to Asri, although her flip flops appear far more worn down than his.
“Hello, welcome”, she smiles, offering us the fruit, “I am Siti. Welcome to our home”
Siti asks us to take our shoes off on the small terrace, which we do, before showing us inside.
The house inside consists of four rooms; a main living area, a kitchen area, and Siti and Asri’s bedroom. The fourth room, I am unsure of what it’s for, as the door is partially blocked by a small cabinet and table. Siti shows us where we will sleep, two small mattresses in the main room of the house.
Ketill and I place our bags down and I wipe the sweat from my brow as my eyes scan the wooden walls of the room. Small shutters cover the windows, a strange mask hangs from one of the walls, and a series of spears sit beside the front door which I assume are used for fishing.
Siti soon comes out of the kitchen area - “Makanan”, she smiles, which I know means it’s time for food.
As I lay on my mattress, I think back to the delicious meal Siti had made us – fresh fish, rice, and a spicy sambal sauce. Asri and Siti had spoken about their day-to-day life out here, about what’s important to them, and about how they have learned to speak English so well. They are both very kind. But now, it is dark and Ketill and I lay beside each other trying to get some sleep, listening to the constant noise of the rainforest.
“Ketill”, I whisper, not wanting to wake our hosts, “where is their son, Haziq?”
“I was thinking that,” Ketill replies, “Not really something we can easily ask. Maybe we’ll see him tomorrow. Maybe he’s asleep in that room.”
I look over to the door that's blocked. Strange. Why would they block up that room with furniture if he was just sleeping?
“Hm,” I say, “maybe. I suppose we should try and get some sleep, I imagine we’ll be up pretty early”
Ketill murmurs incoherently; he’s fallen asleep already. How does he do that?
I wake to the sound of distant laughter.
My eyes creep awake. It takes a second to establish my bearings in this new environment. I check my watch.
My eyes begin to shut, and then I hear it once more.
A laugh, a woman’s laugh. It’s quick, and quiet. It sounds as if it’s very far away, that I am only just on the cusp of hearing it. I groggily sit up and walk over to one of the window shutters and peek through it. I see nothing but dark trees and now hear nothing but –
Wait. I can’t hear anything.
No crickets, no sound. In most places, at this hour that’s normal, but out in the rainforest that doesn’t sit right with me. Why is it so silent?
I hear the same woman’s laugh again; this time, ever so slightly louder.
Ever so slightly closer.
My eyes are wide now and have adjusted to the darkness within the trees. Shadows stretch toward the house, casting themselves along the grass below, lit by an almost full moon. As my vision improves, I should feel less scared. However, the longer I stare, the more I feel like…
The more I feel like someone is watching me.
The more I feel like something is watching me.
The more I feel that something is very, very wrong.
I turn back, scurrying to Ketill over the floorboards the creak beneath my feet.
“Ketill”, I hiss, “Wake up”.
Just as I say that, the laughter quietly drifts through the air once more. It is a soft, calm laughter; almost as if it were a song. A sweet smell fills the air, becoming stronger by the second.
"Ketill!", I whisper harshly.
Please wake up. The feeling of dread grows.
“What?” Ketill sluggishly asks.
As soon as Ketill speaks, the smell is gone.
As soon as Ketill speaks, the crickets chirp once more, the sounds of the rainforest return like a roaring chorus.
As soon as Ketill speaks, the feeling of dread leaves my body, the feeling of being watched subsides.
“What?” Ketill repeats himself.
“N-nothing”, I begin, “I – I think I just had the creeps for a second, I thought – It’s nothing…”
I crawl back onto my mattress, wiping sweat from above my lip.
I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get to sleep tonight.
My eyes dart to the door which is blocked by the furniture.
submitted by SquishyCabbage to nosleep [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 20:15 StrivingJarl The Sins Of Our Fathers - Chapter 1

If you want to read the entire chapter, please check it out on AO3!

Chapter 1: Who's...Missing?

November 3rd, 2017…the day of the Culture Festival. An event where the children of Japan can put their motivation and skills into creating incredible artistic achievements. From music, to paintings, physical abilities, and so much more. For many, it’s a chance to show to the world what they’re capable of, or to just take a break from tedious school subjects and have some fun.
However, it’s also a chance for people to entice others into checking out something they have a lot of passion or interest in. And in Salvato City, 8 members of a High School Literature Club have been working hard on their preparations for their event, in order to get some new recruits, and show off just how amazing Literature can be when you look past the surface.
In particular, an 18 year old boy lies down in bed, already wide-awake and eager to get up and prepare for this important day. Though, he ends up waiting under his red bed sheet, which is covered with 3 different types of blankets in order to keep him warm during the Fall season. As he waits, he stares at his phone, laying down on his desk and charger plugged into it. In a way, it was like his red eyes were staring daggers into it, as if he was some kind of animal stalking its prey.
However, due to his impatience, he decides to just get up, groaning a bit as he moves the sheets off and sits up, stretching for a moment. Then, he stands on the floor, with an eager smile on his face.
???: “Okay! Festival time!”
Without another moment to spare, the boy takes his phone and turns off his 6:30 alarm, before taking his school uniform off his computer chair (Which he put there ahead of time) and changing out of his Dragon Ball-themed pajamas, complete with fuzzy Christmas socks. And after getting dressed, the boy takes a moment to inspect himself in the mirror.
Immediately, he takes notice of his long, messy red hair, and tries to comb it back a bit with his hands. Normally, he prefers to have shorter hair, since it’s easier to manage, but he decided to change it up during the Summer Break in order to see what it was like. Admittedly, he found that it wasn’t too bad, but he still preferred it shorter.
As for his uniform, it…wasn’t exactly too proper. When he first started at Salvato High, he did wear the entire thing. The gray jacket, orange vest, white button shirt, etc. However, after a couple of months, he tried to figure out what he could get away with when it came to the dress code. And despite the trouble it gave him at times, he found a way to make the attire less stuffy.
He wore the white-button shirt (Since you obviously couldn’t go around topless in High School), but he rolled the sleeves up, and didn’t bother to button the two buttons around the collar of the shirt, which exposed a bit of his chest area. Plus, he didn’t bother with putting on the red tie either. But he did wear the orange vest. The gray jacket, however? No thanks.
As for the blue jeans, he didn’t make any adjustments to those. But he did have a belt, which was covered by a black jacket with red accents tied around his waist. The boy always wanted to be prepared in case rain ever starts, and to have some extra pockets to store items he felt he needed. And in terms of his feet, he wore some blue-colored socks with a ring pattern on them, alongside a standard pair of black sneakers with red accents.
After making sure he was properly dressed, the boy grabbed his phone, put it in his pocket, and walked out of his room, where he went through the hallway of the house, past the bathroom, a supply closet, his mother’s room, and his older sister’s room, who wasn’t present due to being busy with College in Osaka.
Quickly, he ends up in the living room of the house, where a couch placed in front of the window that showed the front lawn was present, which faced a shelf with a flat-screen TV, different game consoles, a disc player, and more. However, he didn’t pay it any mind as he speed-walked towards the kitchen, where he came across a familiar woman waiting for her coffee to brew from the coffee machine on the counter.
The woman was around her late 40s, but had a somewhat youthful vibe to her thanks to her make-up. It also helped that she had red hair as well, but a lighter shade. And she was dressed up in black dress with red accents, alongside black leggings, and had a pair of glasses covering her white eyes. Once the boy rushes in, preparing himself a bowl of cereal, the woman takes notice and smiles.
???: “Good morning, Itsuki.”
Itsuki: “Morning, Mom.”
Narumi: “Hehe. Already excited for the Festival, huh?”
Itsuki: “Yep! I didn’t even bother to wait for my alarm clock!”
Narumi: “Lucky you. I never had that kind of luck when I was your age.”
Narumi: “In fact, I had to get up around 6:00 AM in order to prepare for the Orchestra Club’s band recitals!”
Narumi: “Good thing Coffee has always had my back!”
As if to confirm that claim, the Coffee Maker on the counter finishes brewing the Coffee in Narumi's MCR cup, leading to her grabbing it and blowing at it in order to cool it down. Meanwhile, Itsuki pours milk into his bowl of cereal, as he continues the conversation.
Itsuki: “Eh. Personally, a bit of milk or water will do the trick for me.”
Narumi: “For a while, sure. But once you start reaching my age, you’re gonna need something STRONG to get you going.”
Itsuki just shrugs his shoulders, not caring too much about his mother’s comment, and then heads to the kitchen table nearby, taking a seat and munching down on his cereal. However, he takes a moment to look at the batch of cupcakes (decorated to look like cats) set in metallic trays on the counter, smiling with anticipation and pride, remembering his contributions to his club’s Culture Festival Event.
Joining him at the table, Narumi sits down next to Itsuki with the coffee in hand, as she stares out at the full-screened doors, showing the backyard of the house. Complete with a tool shed, bench, and a swing-set with two seats. It may not have been as big as the backyard from their previous house, but she still found it intimate and pleasing to the eye.
Narumi: “So? Any big plans for today, other than the Literature Club, the Macbeth play, and your class event?”
Itsuki: “Not particularly. I was just gonna check out the other stalls and what-not during my free time.”
Itsuki: “I’m really eager to eat some Takoyaki!”
Narumi: “Mmm. And you’re sure there’s nothing else of importance?”
Narumi gives a bit of a sly smile when she says this, which makes Itsuki turn his eyes to the cupcakes in the kitchen as he gives an awkward smile. After that response, she realizes she may have touched a bit of a sensitive subject, and tries to figure out what’s bugging him.
Narumi: “Hey…why the long face?”
Itsuki: “You know exactly why. I’ve told you what’s been going on with her lately.”
Narumi: “Sure, but I wasn’t expecting that kind of look, considering the way you think of her.”
Itsuki: “...Guess that’s not inaccurate…”
Itsuki: “But at the same time, you’ve seen first-hand the way Natsuki can be at times.”
Narumi: “Indeed…and I can’t say I don’t get some kind of weird feeling from it, either…”
Ever since Narumi was told of this short, pink-haired girl by her son, she grew a great amount of interest in the subject. Not just because it was something her kid cared about, and she felt it was her duty as his mother to listen. But because this could be the first time Itsuki has ever felt a spark with another person. A first love.
Needless to say, any parent who cares about their child would keep their eyes and ears peeled for any sort of information on a possible partner for them. And as she heard more and more about her, Narumi was both happy…and a bit concerned. Particularly the feisty attitude and how she interacts with other people. Granted, Itsuki’s never really gotten close with anyone that could have been a problem past Middle School, so…maybe it’s just a case of “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover?”
And when she finally got to see Natsuki for the first time, she was relieved to know that was exactly it. However…there was something nagging at her in the back of her brain every time they were in the same room. Specifically, her short and skinny body, and the way she interacted with her. It was almost like…there was something…’off’ about her.
However, Narumi felt it wasn’t her place to do anything about it, as while she definitely was on good terms with Natsuki and they talk a bit when they’re around each other, she wasn’t too close with her and thought that whatever it is that’s beneath the surface, Itsuki could handle it well enough. Assuming he doesn’t lose his temper, which would be unlikely at this point.
But…she knew her son had feelings for this girl. And she could tell Natsuki felt similarly, too. But strangely, the two have never sealed the deal. Despite greatly supporting the two of them to go through with it…nothing ever comes out of it. At least…not on Itsuki’s end. From what he’s told her, Narumi believes that the pink-haired girl might be intentionally avoiding her feelings for some unknown reason.
And if you think Narumi found this annoying, then Itsuki found this infuriating at times. Despite his many attempts to figure out her feelings, or to express his own, Natsuki always tries to weasel her way out of it. In particular, when making cupcakes for the Festival, the two started to throw frosting at each other out of fun, which led to the redhead pinning the pink girl down on the ground.
During this moment…the two looked at each other with this…”longing” in their eyes. However, after a few seconds, Natsuki awkwardly tried to get out of his grasp and wave it off as if it never happened. To Itsuki, it almost feels like she wants nothing to do with him nowadays, even though they still spend plenty of time together, in and out of school.
So…what’s her deal? Why can’t she tell him anything? This question has been bothering the young boy for these past couple of months, and he’s sick of it. But back to the present, Narumi does her best to reassure her son of this troubling relationship.
Narumi: “I…will admit that her being all secretive and crap is irritating.”
Narumi: “However, she must have a good reason for doing so. You don’t just ignore your feelings so easily.”
Itsuki: “Sure…but at this point, I figured we’re on good enough terms that she could just…say whatever to me.”
Itsuki: “And you know better than anyone that I hate it when people hide stuff from me.”
Narumi: “Of course…it’s the same case for me, too.”
Narumi: “But that doesn’t mean she can keep it up forever. Sooner or later, she’ll have to tell the truth.”
Narumi: “So, you must be patient until that happens.”
Itsuki: “Pretty sure I’ve already been patient! I’ve been dealing with this for 5 months!”
Itsuki: “Like, okay, I get it can be intimidating to open your heart to someone, but it wouldn’t hurt to say SOMETHING!”
Itsuki: “At times, I doubt she even likes me all that much!”
Narumi: “If that was the case, then she wouldn’t spend so much time around you.”
Itsuki: “Exactly! Give me a clear answer, oh my god!”
Now irritated, Itsuki goes back to eating his cereal, and manages to finish it. He even drinks all the milk from the bowl, too. And as he puts the bowl and spoon he used into the dish-washer to get it cleaned, Narumi speaks to him from the kitchen table.
Narumi: “Itsuki...I don’t want you to give up on her yet.”
Itsuki: “I didn’t say anything about doing so.”
Narumi: “But I could tell it was crossing your mind. And I suggest you ignore that thought.”
Narumi: “Natsuki may not be fully honest with you, but it’s clear to me she needs someone like you.”
Narumi: “From what I’ve seen of her, she’s had it rough when it comes to company.”
Narumi: “And you’re one of the few people who makes her feel special.”
Itsuki: “...I know.”
Itsuki: “I just wish she could say that to me already.”
Narumi: “She will. Don’t rush things.”
Narumi: “Once she’s ready, I’m certain it’ll all make sense, and we can all laugh about it later.”
Itsuki: “Hm…maybe…”
Finally getting a somewhat genuine smile back, Itsuki walks back to the kitchen table and gives her a short hug, before going to the bathroom to brush his teeth, clean up his hair, etc. But as he does so, he keeps thinking back to his mother’s words. A part of him feels it’s just empty promises, but…he knows she has a point about Natsuki.
Sure…he doesn’t tolerate lying in any way. Especially when it makes him or other people suffer in some manner. But that doesn’t change the fact that Natsuki Gushiken…is an amazing person. Snarky, cute, fun to be around, and overall, a kind soul that just has a hard time expressing it, and feels the need to guard herself from anyone that might hurt her.
From their first encounter on the rooftop during lunch to making cupcakes for the festival, Itsuki has known she was a much different person compared to anyone he’s met before and after. Someone that, even on a crappy day, can make him smile and forget that something’s going wrong for a while. Sure, it may sound corny. But in the Mirai Family? Corniness is a part of the bloodline.
Read the rest of the chapter on AO3!

Next: Stolen Opportunity
TSOOF Archives
submitted by StrivingJarl to DDLC [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 20:10 IllustratorBrave3777 Strange experience—I don’t know if I was dreaming or sleeping

Lately I’ve been thinking about an experience I had a few years ago when I first got into shifting. I didn’t have any solid methods and I wasn’t entirely 100% convinced or motivated, but I wanted to give it a shot. I had nothing to lose.
I don’t remember exactly what I did, but I remember being lazy that night and I just listened to a guided meditation, said some affirmations and at some point I fell asleep. When I “came to” (idk if that’s the correct word) I was in a completely different place. I’ve had my fair share of lucid dreams in the past but this felt surprisingly real.
I was in what looked like a bathroom. It was laid out almost exactly like the bathroom in my home. The toilet, shower, sink etc we’re all in the same place. But the decor of the bathroom was completely different and the room seemed to be a bit larger. I remember the walls being an emerald green, I remember seeing paintings on the walls in gold frames and the decor was just overall high class and fancy.
At this point I start to get a little concerned. I try and ground myself, I count my fingers. I touch the walls and I can feel the textures. I wasn’t sure where I was exactly, since this wasn’t a reality I had been trying to go to. Everything felt super vivid and real and I noticed this large mirror above the sink. Me knowing how dreams work, I was scared to look at my reflection. Our brains can’t process reflections in dreams so when you look in a mirror, it will most likely look distorted and scary.
So I hesitantly walked over to the mirror and peered over. I saw myself, but I looked different. I knew it was me, the reflection was solid. It looked like me but with a different style of clothing, different hair cut, and I looked slimmer. Seeing this I think shocked me back and I woke up.
I don’t know what that was. Maybe it was just a very vivid dream. But usually I can tell when I’m dreaming. I can usually hear things going on in my room, and I can even feel myself breathing in my sleep. But I didn’t feel any of that. It was slightly foggy like I had just woken up from a nap, but it was so overwhelmingly real.
Any thoughts?
submitted by IllustratorBrave3777 to shiftingrealities [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 19:50 Difficult-Hair-1032 Trip report(s) - the greatest experience of my life

Hi there
I have recently had two mescaline experiences separated by two weeks, with very different effects / experiences and post trip effects. These are my first experiences with any psychedelic drugs and my first experience with any drugs other than some weed gummies in canada a few years ago (and of course alcohol, my nemesis).
The first trip I had the top half of my cactus (slightly less than an arms length) which tapered towards the top i.e. maybe as thick as my wrist at the top and thicker at the base. I made a tea using a method described online with about four hours of boiling. Dosing was done by drinking half at 9AM, 1/4 at 930, and 1/4 at 1030
During the trip I felt at 30 minutes a perception shift (I stood outside my house and suddenly noticed an over-perception of birds flying out of nearby trees and an intense focus on them), and a steadily building body high from about the 30-45 minute mark. This continued until about 2 hours when I started having sort of clairvoyant questions and answers (I had gone into the trip intending to try and heal / change my mind about certains quitting alcohol, why do I drink, changing habits, and some other things). From the 2 hour mark I started having alot of intense clairvoyant insight; I recorded myself extensively during this period and was able to write many things down (albeit often in very large writing - body high made it hard to write).
I had alot of insights about alcohol, why I drink, how to stop, habits, some personal aspects of my past (death in the family) and various other things. The answers seemed to me to be coming from 'the cactus' but I suppose they came from different parts of my mind. This period was also intermittent with laying on the grass outside - I had an intense urge to lay on the grass in the sun. I had prepared an area outside with a blanket on the ground and pillows because I had heard this might happen; it turned out to be quite hot (trip started at 9am and it was around 11 when I wanted to lay down). Anyway I went back and forth between the blanket and inside every 15-20 minutes. Hallucinogenic effects seemed to be relatively mild during this period - some multiple imagery of objects in my house and kaleidoscoping of birds (not sure how to describe it - sort of like being hyper-able to see and hear birds in slow motion but also see them at 3 different places at once as they flew across the sky).
From around the 4 hour mark I was overcome by an intense urge to lay in the grass and be in the sun - going as far as taking the blanket away so I could touch the grass. This was the most intense portion of the trip and lasted about 2 hours. I felt myself melting away into the grass and hte urge to ask questions went away. I felt an intense connection to mother earth and felt that all things are connected - people, places, mother earth. I felt myself zooming out of my home in New Zealand to the world and seeing the connections on my street, town, and the world. I also seemed to come up with the words earth mother, sky mother, and volcano mother (I live on a volcano). The body high was less but i felt and intense feeling of love and connection. At this stage I also felt that my brother (deceased) was with me and that because he is part of the earth and sky and I am part of the earth and sky that we are all still connected and he is gone but still here (this point will become important when I describe the second trip). After the peak I came inside best described as goopy, but still with an intense urge to lay down.
Spent alot of time laying down on a long, gradual comedown, still feeling mild hallucinogenic effects and happiness. There was at this stage the first ' sad ' parts of the trip - some crying about my brother and being alone which lasted maybe 10-15 minutes. This was followed by the only 'dark' part of the trip. I had read some flight instructions about essentially facing fear / leaning into it rather than turning away. I saw a demonic, metallic face with my eyes closed - red lights in the shape of the face, and I could read the emotion of the face although it didn't seem to have a face. It alternated between threatening me and threatening people I care about. When it threatened me I did nothing, turned away, did not react, but when it threatened others, I started getting angry and wanting to fight it. As it alternated back and forth it started threatening people I cared about more and more, until eventually it threatened my five year old niece and in my rage I felt myself reaching into the volcano beneath me and sucking the lava out and pouring it into the demon face until it dissolved. I then had the thought that the cactus was trying to show me the difference between how I reacted when it threatened me and how I reacted when it threatened others. The demon face returned, and this time when it threatened me I started it down and told it to leave; it again alternated to threatening my neice; and as I felt the rage building within me again the face developed a look of fear and dissolved. I recorded myself after this saying that I thought it was trying to show me that I don't defend myself or stand up for myself because as a kid I couldn't, but now I can - as demonstrated by the fact that I defeated the demon when it threatened my neice.
The trip gradually faded and around 6pm I started feeling the effects were really wearing off although sunset (around 7:30) was still supersaturated and beautiful. I was finally able to sleep around 9.
The next day I woke up at 6am - one of the things I had asked in my q&a period - and went for a run; something I have been trying to do for a decade with no success (get up and exercise). I then went about my day quite productively. In the evening I went to the store (I habitually drink around 1L of 7% beer a day) but felt no urge to drink; instead I felt drawn to some mandarin oranges. For the next two weeks more or less this carried on (I drank socially at work a few times but that's it) along with an elevated mood and morning running.
Trip number 2 was 2 weeks after the first one (on this past saturday). This time there were some differences in the cactus that are important; the bottom half of the cactus was much thicker, and the full length of my arm rather than just short. It had also been stressed longer (two weeks inside my house mostly in the dark, followed by a few days in the fridge). I also brewed the cactus longer - about 8 hours this time, and made a slight change to the brewing process - the first time I just drained the cactus cuttings to get the water, this time i also put the cuttings of the cactus in a shirt and squeezed all the liquid out.
I have lots of questions again - about 20 of them that I've written down over the past weeks; the most important ones are that I want to be healed and I want to change my habits (there are lots more).
I started earlier, at 6:30 AM. Dosing was done as 3/8ths at 630AM, 3/8s at 7AM, and 2/8ths at 7:15AM (faster dosing than the first time). Felt alot queasier than the first time but not vomming.
Effects came on significantly faster. 10 minutes after the first 3/8ths, I felt a tingling sensation in my legs that was quite significant. I figured this one was alot stronger. By the time I took the second 3/8ths the body high was kicking in massively and a perceptual shift at started - again the hyper-perception of the birds including noticing birds flying out of trees several houses down and suddenly being aware of the noise of and being able to see the birds in the trees in my yard.
Around 7:45 the hallucinogenic effects seemed to start - I wrote and talked in the records about additional colour in the clouds, a hyper-white colour of the clouds, deeper blue around the clouds, clouds appearing purple. I wrote at this time that I felt that the gates were opening.
Around 8:30 I started wanting to lay in the grass outside, it wanted me to lay on the grass, even though the grass was wet from overnight rain and it was cold outside. I put on sweatpants / hoodie and a coat and layed under a blanket (seriously it was cold). Hallucinogenic effects at this stage included seeing shifting patterns in the cloud, faces in the clouds, deeper colours, hyper-perception of the dew on the grass. In all the time after this I am mostly laying on the grass ( on the grass predominantly until 6-7pm except when coming inside to pee / drink water / make my recordings and notes every half hour to hour or soish)
I read my second list of questions but I didn't feel the same clairvoyant question and answer effect that I did. Instead, what I got seemed to be Gaia saying hush boy, you don't always get answers. Lay down and let me show you.
I also wrote 'the meaning of life - just be' in gigantic letters on my notebook at this stage.
Around 9: starting seeing colour between and around the clouds (eg. purple lines around the clouds), cat faces in the clouds; a lion face far away in the clouds; and then the clouds dissolved into fractal pattern of fluffy white kitties (in the audio recording I describe them as being like doctor evils cat before it got shaved). I could also hear a cat meowing a few doors down (alot of outdoor cats on my street). Still a massive body high. Also noticing extra texture to everything.
Shortly after at 9:10 - numbers started appearing inside out and backwards. Birds again - seeing the wings flapping in slow motion and also hearing the sound of the flapping and seeing the birds in multiple places as they flew across the sky.
Around 10AM: Smaller-bigger hallucinogenic effects; my hands started feeling tiny and then larger and my arms stretching. When watching my face in the selfie video it seemed to be curving and distorting. Kitties in the clouds still; started feeling that the earth was spinning the opposite way as normal and that it was because the kitties in the clouds were using the earth as a ball to play with / paw at. At some point the clouds dissolved into a triangular fractal pattern.
Wrote down: She (earth mother or gaia or the cactus?) telling me to Let it be, don't have to aks questions all the time. The purpose of life is to just be and to just play. It was showing me.
10:30 - laying outside listening to the beatles instrumental (no singing); clouds started dancing intenstly to the beetles. In the audio and recordings I start losing what the concept of time means. Laughing and extremely happy. Feel that she is showing me to just play and have a good time. In the videos I am struggling intensly to keep my head up; I can only hold my head up for 3-4 seconds at a time then down for 10 seconds - in the video I'm mostly face planting trying to pull my head back up to talk. A
Went back outside. AT the time it felt like I was outside for eternity between 10:30 and the recording at 11:30 although I guess it was an hour.
I went back outside and I recall laying there asking my brother to walk with me, walk with me, walk with. Be with me. Over and over. He answered back 'how can I walk with you, you are laying in the grass.'.Laying in the grass I had closed my eyes and saw blacker than black, and around hte edges of the black were lines surrounded by pearly black balls flowing away - it was me, I was dissolving and disintegrating.
11:30 - in the video I made at 11:30 I immediately say that i have just had the greatest experience of my entire life. I am smiling. I was back in Canada after my brother died and in Europe when I found out my brother died, but also in Europe before i found out my brother died (the morning I found out he died but before I found at I recall feeling a presence in my room watching me even though it was just me in the room, and the night before I had become fixated on a huge raven that seemed to be following me) - I experienced being the raven and being the presence in the room. But I was also in New Zealand laying on the grass in my yard. But I was also in Canada. But time and space meant nothing but I was in the past and the present...and I was time. And I was the earth. And I was with my brother but I was also my brother, and I was my father, and I felt myself merge into everyone. I recall a zooming in and out scene from the sky where I zoomed in close up on my laying on the grass (out of body) then higher up, then higher up and further away still. I felt an overwhelming sense of love and unity; I can only describe it like everything in my mind and the world being pressed into a ball that was one interconnected thing. At the depth of the experience there was a metallic voice repeating in a wave-like fashion (something to do with our brain waves I guess?) "He's gone but he's still here he's gone but he's still here he's gone but he's still here he's gone but he's still here". As I came out of I heard, he walks with you. You walk together.
After this I had 2-3 more hours of laying outside watching the clouds, hallucinogenic effects - colours etc. I listened to music alot and I saw the music with my eyes closed dancing as colours and at times I could taste the music or taste things like flowers (and also hear them?). Sound also seemed to be 4-dimensional as did images on the computer. I have a boom 3 speaker and when it played I felt like I was being teleported and streteched - as if I was standing beside the speaker across the room but also sitting in my chair. Images on the computer also seemed to be four dimensional, or maybe just 3d out of 2d (basically, I could percieve and see the 3d distance between the layers in the images even though it's 2d - had the same effect looking at the clouds with clouds at different elevations. Like I was looking at the image from below but also I was up in the sky looking at it from the side at the same time).
Around 2-3 in the afternoon it seemed to be wearing off a bit and as before the trip started taking a bit sadder turn. The faces in the clouds stopping being cats and started being different not so nice faces - two-faced faces (happy / sad, or evil / nice), skull faces, the occasional demon, mean witch looking old ladies. I stared them all down and said I wasn't afraid of them and one by one they would go away. In between mean faces there were still some nice ones - a lion that had a four-dimensional mouth with a 3d box inside covered in insideout and backwards numbers and symbols. A long white cloud that became a huge fish eating plankton. Lots of fun effects with the music (dancing colorful closed eye visuals).
The comedown was (and still is) looong. Around 6 the closed eye visuals turned 'grey' for a period. Like, instead of seeing closed eye visuals or normal eye-closed, with my eyes shut everything was just solid grey.
Later in the evening after sunset (around 7-8) it still hadn't fully worn off, and I started getting nervous - it had been over 14 hours. Laying indoors the yellow light I had placed across the room and the heat pump started seeming demonic, like hell. The 1975 live at maddison square garden music video I had watched many times (I'm in love with you) instead of seeming 4d and happy, the singer started seeming like satan and the yellow like hell. I turned it off. I stared down the yellow light. Laying on my futon I started to hear a noise beside the bed where there was no sound source...the sound of the void, sucking in. Like sound hollow inside out sucking into an infinitely deep hole. In the video I say tha there are hands coming out of it. I reach out and hold them. I don't like it. Eventually I decide that the solution is to stuff the fluffy cloud kitties into the hole and let it close. I say I'm not afraid of it. Eventually it closes. At some point after this I lay outside on the deck under the stars - there are still effects. Some of the stars seem to supernova and then come back, others flick in and out. Orion and orions belt stretches and eventually shifts so that it seems to be pointing at something (milky way?). The stars also spread out in a way that they don't normally and I can see all kinds of random and new connections between the stars. Not sure how to describe it.
Later I am in bed. Still, she wont let me go. I feel mildly anxious and energetic and am not able to sleep until 1am. Right up until I fall asleep I am still getting mild effects when looking at my phone screen - the green light in the top right corner getting bigger and other effects, and mild closed eye visuals. When I wakeup, the effects don't seem to have fully worn off - in the morning I have brief closed eye visuals of a fractal pattern of cactuses.
The interesting part, and the part that I'm concerned about with the second trip, is that it's now 2 days later and I still feel a mild paranoia and maybe like mild psychosis. Not full on but I feel unusually jumpy and on edge. Other effects are the same - I feel the deep feeling of love and closure and I've also been getting up at 6am and going for runs. Will this wear off? I also still have verrry mild effects like over-perception of patterns in my coffee, or the bubble animation on my phone screen when I dial the pin in although that is fading.
An aspect of the second trip seems to have been duality (actually both trips, although the first was milder) - the two faced faces, the experience of sadness after intense happiness. I'm wondering if because the second trip seems to have been much stronger and deeper that is why the comedown has been longer.
So, that's all. Well - there's really more than this (I have 10 pages of during and post notes and drawings from each one and probably ~2 hours of audio and vide from each one).
submitted by Difficult-Hair-1032 to Psychonaut [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 19:45 houndoom92 What do you remember from the US expansion era?

The American expansion phase the CFL went through in the 90's is probably the weirdest period in the history of the league.
For those that don't know anything about that era, a little background

The early 90's were a very tense time in the league. They were down to eight teams after the Montreal Alouettes folded at the start of the 1987 season and it seemed like almost anyone could be next. BC had a lot of instability in their ownership at that time, Calgary's community ownership was barely scraping by until Larry Ryckman bought the team in 1991, Saskatchewan had to have telethons to raise money and keep them afloat, Hamilton had some bad teams and attendance problems having to compete with both the Argos and the Bills in the NFL, Toronto's ownership group fell apart after Bruce McNall had his legal troubles, and the Gliebermans were causing all sorts of problems in Ottawa.
Larry Smith became the commissioner of the CFL in 1992 and while he's often viewed the main driver of the US expansion, the reality was that Ryckman, McNall and the Gliebermans were really calling the shots. The experiment started in January of 1993 when Sacramento and San Antonio were awarded expansion teams. The owners of the teams, Fred Anderson in Sacramento and Larry Benson in San Antonio both owned teams in the recently suspended World League of American Football. Shortly after that announcement, the first problem emerged. It turns out that Benson didn't have as much money as he claimed to have and tried to borrow some from his brother Tom Benson, the owner of the New Orleans Saints of the NFL. That didn't go over well and San Antonio had to abruptly bail. (this should've been an ominous sign of how this experiment would go) Anderson was willing to bite the bullet as the only US based team and thus the Sacramento Gold Miners were a CFL team during the 1993 season. Most of their players were transplanted from Sacramento's WLAF club and the team of mostly CFL newbies struggled early on with a 2-8 record by Labour Day but played .500 ball after that to finish with a somewhat respectable 6-12 record. (of course they missed the playoffs in the West while a 4-14 Ottawa team made the playoffs in the East, screwy playoff formats in the CFL aren't a recent development)
1994 would see Las Vegas, Shreveport and Baltimore added to the mix. The Shreveport case was interesting as the Pirates were owned by the Gliebermans who sold the Ottawa Rough Riders to Bruce Firestone and got the expansion team in Shreveport. The Pirates were awful losing 14 straight games and ending up with a 3-15 record. Despite that awful record, they managed to have some decent community support and attendance numbers. Las Vegas saw the Posse get off to a 2-0 start but the wheels came flying off at ludicrous speed. They ended up at 5-13 and their attendance numbers were abysmal. An October 15 game against Winnipeg saw only 2350 show up at Sam Boyd Stadium and the last week of season saw a home game against the Eskimos get moved to Edmonton. Sacramento in their second season saw them improve their record to 9-8-1 but were having attendance problems. (they also missed the playoffs in a very competitive West Division while 7-11 Toronto and 4-14 Ottawa made the playoffs in the East)
Baltimore proved to be the most successful of the US clubs, but maybe a little too successful (more on that later). They made headlines early on when they named themselves the Baltimore CFL Colts, an obvious reference to the NFL team that have moved out in the middle of the night a decade earlier. People in Baltimore were also a little cheesed with the NFL at that time having lost out to Carolina and Jacksonville in the bids for expansion teams. The locals viewed the name as a nice little shot at the NFL, but the NFL didn't find it all that funny and right before the season started hit them with a court injunction which prevented them from using that name. Despite the off-field legal issues, the team on the field was pretty damn good. Unlike the other US owners, Baltimore's Jim Speros knew the CFL was a very different animal than the American game and got some proven CFL names for his team. A hall of fame coach in Don Matthews, a hall of fame QB in Tracy Ham, and a hall of fame defensive lineman in Elfrid Payton lead Baltimore to a 12-6 record and second place in the East. The first playoff game on US soil saw Baltimore get a 34-15 win over the Argos in the East Semi-Final, then one week later they went into Winnipeg and beat the Bombers 14-12 to advance to the Grey Cup. The title game in Vancouver was a close battle between BC and Baltimore that was decided on a last second field goal by Lui Passaglia giving the Grey Cup to the Lions with a 26-23 victory.
Things got very weird in the offseason between '94 and '95. It looked like the Las Vegas Posse would be moved to Jackson, Mississippi but that deal blew up in the league's face and they ultimately pulled the plug on that franchise. One relocation did take place as Fred Anderson moved the Sacramento Gold Miners to San Antonio to become the Texans. He did that so he could get a better stadium with the Texans playing in the Alamodome and to reduce their travel costs since they'd be closer to the other US based teams. Two more entered they fray in 1995 with the Memphis Mad Dogs and Birmingham Barracudas joining the ranks while Shreveport and Baltimore returned for another year. The Baltimore club also gave up their legal battle with the NFL and dubbed themselves the Stallions. The 1995 season saw the league realign its divisions placing the eight Canadian clubs were in the North Division with the five US teams were in the South Division. The playoff format would see five teams from the North and three from the South getting into the post-season.
The 1995 season was either the high point or the low point for the expansion experiment depending on how you want to look at things. Shreveport still wasn't very good finishing with a 5-13 record and the dumb crap the Gliebermans did in Ottawa happened again in Shreveport which annoyed many of the locals there. Memphis did ok with a 9-9 record but had some attendance issues and the Liberty Bowl really couldn't handle a CFL sized field. Turf sections had to be added to the grass field, the yard makers were 33 inches apart instead of 36 and the endzones were this really weird pentagon shape that was seven yards deep in the corners and fourteen yards behind the uprights. They also got screwed over by the playoff format as they missed at 9-9 with 8-10 Hamilton and 7-11 Winnipeg got in. Birmingham got some solid attendance numbers early on, but they fell off a cliff once the college football season started. They finished 10-8 and played a 12-6 San Antonio team in the first round of the playoffs and the Barracudas got demolished by a score of 51-9.
That brings us back to Baltimore where the Stallions dominated with a 15-3 record. The post-season started well as they got a 36-21 victory over Winnipeg, but their long term future took a massive hit just days after that game. The strong support that Baltimore gave to the Canadian game caught the attention of Art Modell who that week announced his plan to relocate the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore. Fan and corporate for the Stallions dried up almost instantly now that the NFL would be returning to town. They still got over 30,000 people to Memorial Stadium in their 21-11 win over the Texans that sent them back to the Grey Cup, but most of those tickets were freebie giveaways. Despite all that, the Stallions went into Regina and got a 37-20 win over Calgary to make them the only US based team to win the Grey Cup.
While the expansion experiment brought in some much needed cash to the CFL and improved the player pool a bit, the league ended up dumping all the US based teams in 1996. To make up for their departure, they returned to Montreal with a revived version of the Alouettes. Former Stallions owner Jim Speros and GM Jim Popp were put in charge of the Als. This is sometimes labeled as a relocation of the former Baltimore team but that's not 100% accurate. All the US based teams were exempt from the import ratio quotas that the Canadian teams have had for a long time and still have to this day. The Stallions players were all declared free agents and the Alouettes managed to sign about half of them, including Ham, Payton and running back Mike Pringle (although they had to wait a bit on him since he had an NFL tryout with the Denver Broncos) while a makeshift expansion draft was done to supply Montreal with some Canadian content.
Even with that over with, the CFL still had problems. The Ottawa Rough Riders could barely make payroll thanks to their constant string of ownership and management problems and they folded after the 1996 season. The BC Lions went broke for the second time in less than five years and would've folded as well had David Braley not stepped up to buy the team. Stampeders owner Larry Ryckman had legal issues when he was found guilty in a stock manipulation scheme. The Stamps were put into receivership where Sig Gutsche bought the team and fixed their financials issues (until he sold them to Michael Feterik in 2001 which led to a massive gong show of problems in Calgary. I don't want to go back down that road right now, thank god John Forzani came to the rescue in 2005). Saskatchewan had to go down the telethons road again, Hamilton was still on unstable ground until Bob Young bought the TiCats in 2003, Toronto's ownership remained a revolving door until MLSE bought them in the 2010's and Ottawa's return to the CFL with the Renegades in 2002 was plagued with the same problems that killed the Rough Riders (with the Gliebermans making another appearance) until the CFL pulled the plug on them in 2006. (thankfully the RedBlacks have been run fairly well since their debut in 2014)
Even the return of Montreal had some turbulence in the beginning. The Alouettes were a good team but couldn't draw any good crowds at Olympic Stadium. Speros sold them to Bob Wettenhall in 1997 but the attendance issues got even worse and they would've bit the dust if not for a strange scheduling conflict. They were set to face to face the BC Lions in the East Semi-Final (thanks to the league putting in the cross-over rule) but a U2 concert was scheduled for the Big O that weekend and the Als had to find a different place to play. Molson Stadium on the campus of McGill University (where the first version of the Als played from 1954 to 1967) would be the site and drew a bigger crowd for game that then they had all season. This was due to the fact that it was closer to downtown and the Big O has a well earned reputation of being a dump. Molson Stadium remains the home of the Alouettes to this day although Olympic Stadium got some limited use for playoff games and Grey Cups from 2001 to 2012.
submitted by houndoom92 to CFL [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 19:28 Jazzlike-Promotion70 BMPCC 6k left on for 12 days straight

I was filming an event on the 17th at work and had the camera and tripod on a table in the corner. The camera was plugged in obvi and I recorded for about 4 hours. After the event I stopped the recording and grabbed the SD card but since it was up so high and up against a wall I didn’t see the display or the green light on top. So ig it was just out of sight out of mind. 🤦‍♂️ Well today is the first day since then that I’ve needed my camera and that’s when I noticed it was still on… it was not hot anywhere other than the screen which was just slightly warm. The room was air conditioned and it was probably about 7ft of the ground. It was on from about 10 am on the 17th to about 11 am today.
Any thoughts or advice on my dumb ass? Is my camera ok?
submitted by Jazzlike-Promotion70 to bmpcc [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 19:25 JulianofAmber Savory oatmeal has been a breakfast game changer

Savory oatmeal has been a breakfast game changer
For my fellow savory breakfast lovers that may have struggled with oatmeal: I just started trying it out over the past few weeks and I’ve been loving it!
This bowl has leeks, garlic, mushrooms, potatoes and some cashew cheese, but you can really put any veggies and greens you want in and it tastes pretty good. Miso is also a great addition to any savory oat bowl. I usually toss in a bunch of hemp and chia seeds while it’s cooking for a little extra nutritional umph
submitted by JulianofAmber to veganfitness [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 19:24 tenthandrose Thank you for the encouragement

I’m still an anxious mess giving my baby actual food but he’s doing great. He had toast strips last night and bit off a huge piece, chewed and swallowed with no issues (all while my heart rate skyrocketed wondering if I should pull the piece out of his mouth). Today at daycare he started on all the foods with the other babies and so far had a mandarin orange morning snack, and reportedly did really well eating a baby version of the lunch they served at school—a Mediterranean bowl with rice, chicken, cucumber, chickpeas, strawberries, and carrots. He’s had eggs, green beans, tofu, strawberries and cheese this week too.
My first kid had oral motor issues and feeding difficulties from birth, choked on liquids all the time and went at a much slower pace getting to bigger food, and at 4yo still doesn’t each crunchy things or raw veggies. So trusting this little guy, who has excellent oral motor skills and a desire to eat, is certainly an exercise in staying calm for me. I realize I have a lot of feeding baggage and trauma from baby #1 that constantly makes me feel like he’s “not ready” or too young for textures and sizes that he really is ready for. And he’s doing great and oh so happy.
Anyway I am glad to have this group as I help my baby fill his little belly! It’s nice seeing the inspiration of everyone’s meals especially with the age tags.
submitted by tenthandrose to BabyLedWeaning [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 19:24 EudorosLOL Loot filter bug not showing items

When using the loot filter, I was hiding white and blue items. However, every now and then when a bunch of loot drops, a few yellow items will be hidden even though I have "show all yellow" in the filter. Even the green eneracts sometimes don't show, I noticed this because I can see their glow on the ground. I have to open the filter, and toggle the 'show all/hide all' for them to appear properly again
submitted by EudorosLOL to Wolcen [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 19:21 anustart69 Voices Rising: The Music of Wakanda Forever

I’m mostly gonna use this as an opportunity to talk about how great the 2018 Black Panther soundtrack was -
In order for Black Panther to have authenticity exciting rap music made for the film, they’d have to hand it off to a label or conglomerate who could actually use their connections to create something impressive; picture like Jay-Z or even fucking Chance getting ahold of this, would’ve been very different but the links the artists have and their ability to pull in the actual stars of the moment instead of whatever Disney was willing to put into contracts. Instead, a certain Kendrick Lamar was fresh off his biggest album (still) and Marvel chose TDE to go global.
All the Stars was nominated for an Oscar & Grammy for Best Song, Kings Dead was a bonafide radio hit and when the album DID drop, it turned out it was less of a straightforward soundtrack (unconnected songs dragged along by the film’s plot) and more of Kendrick concept album. Each song had outstanding features that with rap names that were ripped from the charts and lesser known or the African artists themselves were aided by Kendrick’s constant presence throughout the album. By the time the two clicked upon release, and each ”needle drop” was already seeped in popular culture, the film’s presence picks up an almost legendary or prescient status - like Prince at the Super Bowl.
Beyond that, these were just seriously great songs. SOB x RXE got their 15 minutes with Paramedic, but being the hardest rap song on such an album is a helluva moment. Pray For Me had The Weeknd’s signature driving drums post-Starboy that still permeate his more commercially successful style, and R&B artists like Jorja Smith, Zacari, Khalid overall give credence to the more sing song-y hooks, carving a vast sonic landscape that still felt modern and exciting to contemporary music.
Now enter Wakanda Forever -
A film marred by difficulty, even before the passing of an icon and a global pandemic, there was no way making a sequel to this billion dollar film (which is to this day the only Marvel movie to be nominated for Best Picture) was going to be a slam dunk. Expectations tend to run high with superhero films but a more recent trend is in the form of the studios. Almost as if they’re wishing for each film to build off each consecutive one in the cinematic universe, as a sequel to Black Panther alone it is simply not. Themes are discarded, and unfortunately that’s done for the soundtrack as well. I love me some Ludwig, but in the opening minutes of this documentary he spoke about how he felt he had to start from scratch after Chadwick’s death and the music he won an Oscar for is largely absent here replaced by an even further weaving tapestry. Mayan mixes with Xhosa and afrobeats and reggaetron share a marquee, because hey, if it works for the characters why wouldn’t it with the music? The problem with the Inspired By soundtrack for Wakanda Forever is similar to the problem with the film in general, these “technically inevitable” chronological beats don’t play nearly as well when all jammed together. I didn’t need the character of Ironheart stuffed into Namor’s introduction to the world, and something that convenient for the studio’s grand plans for global character domination had better have a slam bang finish. However just like the movie’s lack of payoff, there’s not a single crossover hit to be found here. The closest is of course Rihanna’s Lift Me Up (which is not featured within the documentary oddly) but even that is an admittedly forgettable ballad that holds more water as a tribute to the man of Chadwick and not the character of T’Challa.
Idk overall the doc was fine, but the fact that the soundtrack didn’t touch the ground floor of Kendrick’s behemothlly successful project is just lame
submitted by anustart69 to marvelstudios [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 19:00 FrioBeer Cooking With Beer and Crawfish

Cooking With Beer and Crawfish
It’s officially crawfish season, so grab your Frio Beer and let’s get to cooking!
When it comes to cooking with beer and crawfish, there are endless possibilities for creating delicious and unique dishes. The combination of beer and crawfish is a match made in heaven, as beer adds depth and complexity to the flavor of crawfish. Whether you are looking to make a classic crawfish boil or a creative crawfish pie, we’ve gathered plenty of recipes you can try that incorporate beer into crawfish dishes.
Beer-Boiled Crawfish
One of the most popular ways to cook crawfish with beer is by making a beer-boiled crawfish dish. To prepare this dish, you will need a large pot and a selection of spices and aromatics, such as garlic, lemons, and onions. To start, fill the pot with water and add your chosen spices and aromatics. Then, bring the mixture to a boil and add in your live crawfish. Once the crawfish turn a bright red color, they are ready to serve.
For an extra depth of flavor, you can add a Frio Light beer to the pot instead of water. The light beer will infuse the crawfish with a unique flavor and give them an extra level of complexity.
Crawfish Etouffée
Another popular way to incorporate beer into crawfish dishes is by making a crawfish étouffée. This classic Cajun dish is typically made with a roux, onions, peppers, and seafood, but adding beer to the mix takes it to a whole new level. To start, make a roux with butter and flour and then add chopped onions, bell peppers, and celery. Cook the vegetables until they are soft and then add in minced garlic, diced tomatoes, and Cajun seasoning. Finally, stir in a Frio Light beer and let the mixture simmer until the crawfish are cooked. Serve the étouffée over a bed of steamed rice and garnish with chopped green onions.
For those looking for a unique twist on traditional crawfish boils, adding beer to the seasoning mix can create a truly memorable dish. To make beer-infused crawfish boil seasoning, combine Cajun seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika in a large mixing bowl. Then, add a can of Frio Light beer and stir until the mixture forms a thick paste. Rub the seasoning mix all over the crawfish and let them marinate for at least 30 minutes before boiling them. The beer-infused seasoning adds an extra layer of flavor to the crawfish and makes them even more delicious!
Beer and Crawfish Pie
Another great way to incorporate beer into crawfish dishes is by making a beer and crawfish pie. To make this dish, start by sautéing chopped onions, celery, and bell peppers in butter. Add minced garlic and a can of Frio Light beer and simmer until the vegetables are soft. Next, add peeled and deveined crawfish tails, diced tomatoes, and Cajun seasoning. Let the mixture simmer for 10-15 minutes. Then, pour the crawfish mixture into a pie crust and top with another layer of pie crust. Bake the pie in the oven until the crust is golden brown. The light beer adds a unique depth of flavor to the crawfish filling and makes the pie even more delicious.
Beer Battered Crawfish
Finally, for a decadent and indulgent crawfish dish, try making beer-battered crawfish. To make this dish, start by preparing a beer batter with flour, Cajun seasoning, and a light beer, such as our Frio Light. Dip the crawfish in the batter and deep fry them until they are crispy and golden brown. Serve the beer-battered crawfish with a side of remoulade sauce for dipping. The beer batter adds a light and crispy texture to the crawfish and makes them a perfect appetizer or snack.
Frio Light Beer: The Official Light Beer This New Crawfish Season
Frio Light Beer has a crisp, clean taste. At only 92 calories and 2.8g carbs, Frio Light is the perfect beer to pair with your crawfish dishes this season because it’s a low calorie brew and feels light on the stomach. That means you get the same great beer drinking experience while still saving room for some delicious crawfish dishes. We call that a win-win.
Whether you’re hosting a crawfish boil with friends and family, or just enjoying the warm, sunny spring days, Frio Beer comes highly-rated, in both Pilsner and Light offerings, ensuring you’ll have the perfect beer to pair in and alongside these tasty recipes.To find your nearest Frio Beer retailer learn more about us, click here.
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2023.03.28 18:59 fifteen15fiveten kobenhi

Whys see scremain she need s anap and new outlook on life on thi temporal plain we are living I hate the fucking cia they killed jfk man hes dead in the ground.No one understabts my ideals not even fyck8ng kentru mauri.This googled the imperial system of governmental ideals created by the alien soace command on uup mars (sister to little mars and green mars and normsl nars).Im govered my slef in fucking ham eat my flesh for it is yours.We will kill them all and by we u mean meeeee.i love chainsaw maaaaaaaaaaaan.Pooooower baby hahhahahahahahshsha powers a thiught prosses baby yep mhn where am I?Whos trunk am i un hehehehehehehe they interviewed a bear in the show im watching
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2023.03.28 18:50 Anonymously_M3 I'm on day 2 of no kratom after almost 2 years of daily use. I'm extremely forgetful and it almost just cost me my job

Long story short I drive for Fedex. The route I run is right next to my apartment, so I like to stop by most mornings and grab a bite to eat and relax for second before I start my day. Well .... today I'm feeling like absolute garbage and I can't think straight, I lost my company truck keys while at my apartment and just spent the past hour looking for them. It was brutal, I was straight up about to have a panic attack.
If my boss finds out I've been stopping by my apartment everyday he would be very pissed off. He would have easily punished me or even fired me if he found out. Not to mention how pissed off he would have been if he had to drive all the way out to my apartment and give me a set of spare keys.
After nearly an hour of looking for the truck keys I almost called him to tell him I lost the keys. That would not have gone over well with him. I decided to hold off on calling him and spent some more time looking ... and as I'm walking around looking I step on the keys. They were on the ground the entire time! I fucking swear I fell to my knees in the most dramatic fashion and just felt so thankful I didn't have to call my boss. I really just dodged a bullet. Saved myself alot of drama.
This sucks. Kratom withdrawal is super shitty. My body aches and I'm extremely forgetful today. My brain just feels like it's on low battery. But I'm going to make it through to the other end. I can't let this plant control me anymore. I want to feel good again without any substance. Thanks for reading.
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2023.03.28 18:50 tomorrowshipster Ideas for backyard privacy landscaping

Ideas for backyard privacy landscaping
I'm based in Kansas City, MO, and am looking to add some kinds of evergreen trees / shrubs to the border of my backyard, to grow and bring some privacy.
-Panorama shot of backyard attached - I have very little back there now, other than grass and the fence.
-My backyard slopes down toward the fence, and the ground back there can stay soggy for awhile after a rain.
-Kansas City, MO is the climate
-There is a decent amount of sunlight
... So, I'm curious to hear from the experts what might look good, would grow tall and thick and stay green all year round?
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2023.03.28 18:49 dementiadaddy This flyer for an Easter Egg hunt at the Church of Scientology

This flyer for an Easter Egg hunt at the Church of Scientology submitted by dementiadaddy to mildlyinteresting [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 18:47 Sorry-Conclusion1658 Won 3 Sim games in a row!

Won 3 Sim games in a row! submitted by Sorry-Conclusion1658 to RetroBowl [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 18:44 Olivesplace Bubble and Squeak Cakes

Bubble and Squeak Cakes
makes 16 cakes
1/2 green cabbage - (half of one 2-lb cabbage), thinly sliced (or use one 14-16 oz bag of coleslaw mix)
1 onion - roughly chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil - divided
2 teaspoon salt - divided, or more or less to taste
1/4 cup parsley leaves - finely diced
3 cups leftover mashed potatoes
1 cup flour - plus extra for dredging
2 eggs
black pepper - to taste
Optional for serving: fried egg, or a dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add the chopped onion. Saute for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion starts to soften and turn golden brown. sauteed onion for bubble and squeak
  2. Add the sliced cabbage, 1 teaspoon salt, and diced parsley. Cover with a lid and saute for 10-15 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. sauteed cabbage for bubble and squeak
  3. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl - sauteed cabbage, mashed potato, eggs, 1 cup flour, the remaining teaspoon salt, and pepper.
  4. Mix the ingredients. Add more flour if the mixture is not a thick paste (see notes). Use an ice cream scoop to scoop out about 1/4 cup of the potato cabbage mixture. forming bubble and squeak patties
  5. Place the scoop of potato cabbage mixture on a plate with flour for dredging. Roll the mixture around in the flour, then press down gently to form a patty. forming bubble and squeak patties
  6. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Carefully place the bubble and squeak patties on the hot oiled skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes over medium heat, or until golden brown. Flip carefully and cook on the other side for 3-4 minutes.
  7. Repeat step 6 until all the bubble and squeak cakes are cooked.
Serve warm with a fried egg and a dollop of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt.
bubble and squeak cakes on a plate with a fried egg
The potato and cabbage mixture should be the consistency of paste.
It should be able to be formed into a soft patty without falling apart.
If your patties are falling apart, stir in more flour. Try not to overdo it on the flour or the bubble and squeak cakes will be tough
You can use the same skillet for cooking the cabbage and frying the bubble and squeak cakes. Just wipe it down with a paper towel after the cabbage
Other additions to try:
Shredded cheese (cheddar, Parmesan, etc)
More fresh herbs (parsley, tarragon, scallions, chives)
Crumbled bacon (cook it first, then saute the onion and cabbage in bacon grease)
Diced ham
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2023.03.28 18:34 Illustrious-War-6501 [A4A] Who Let The Final Girl Chug A Molotov Cocktail?! [Reverse-Yandere] [Yandere(?)] [WARNING: THIS IS A CHONKER] [READ DESCRIPTION: V IMPORTANT] [Part 1 (I Had to Split it)]

Hi, I just want to include a disclaimer here: this script is NOT for the faint of heart. This shit gets dark, as both the speaker and listener characters are real sick, sadistic pieces of shit. Please proceed with caution or click off if you’re uncomfortable with any of the themes mentioned.
I’ve included a full list of tags here: [AFA] [M4A] [F4A] [Reverse-Yandere] [Yandere(?)] [Sadistic Speaker] [Not in the 'Fun' Way] [Private Eye] [Mystery] [Horror] [Thriller] [Stalking] [Betrayal] [Listener's Plan Backfiring] [Drugging and Mentions of Drugging] [Lots of Swearing] [Bad Jokes] [Coffee Shop AU Gone Wrong] [Being Tied Up and Gagged] [Speaker Character: So, Anyway, I Started Monologuing; As a Treat :)))] [Bad Policing] [Possible Nepotism] [Breaking and Entering] [Mentions of Murder] [Mentions of Torture] [Some Psychological Torture Elements] [Threats of Bodily Harm] [Death Threats] [Stress Positions at the End]
I am a keen fan of horror and it definitely shows. If you’re not a fan of the horror and/or thriller genres, this probably isn’t for you.
This is not and should not be interpreted as a kink/fetish thing. I am Ace and, consequently, I am very uncomfortable with my work being sexualised. That being said, while I do not approve of any of the genders in the script being changed (especially that of the listener, as I want to keep this open to everyone), I am more understanding towards rewording and/or leaving some of the more uncomfortable parts or trigger words out.
None of what’s mentioned here is meant to, in anyway, mock or glorify their real world equivalents. I just like writing evil characters who deserve everything that’s coming to them. They’re fun to hate and rip apart :)
Personally, I would be reluctant to classify this as ASMR. I feel that Audio Roleplay would a better title, simply because this is anything but relaxing.
If you want to monetise this mess, by all means feel free, aside from places with paywalls like Patreon, and give me credit. Please just send a link in the comments, so I can see it :)
Also, please don’t use stolen art in your thumbnails. Credit the artists. Thanks :)
(Wow, I have spent way too long on this lol; the brain worms demanded a sacrifice and they are finally satiated)
(For Speaker)
This past year had easily been the most terrifying in your life. It had taken an honestly embarrassingly long time to put the pieces together but you finally had the full picture. And it was a hideous, monstrous thing.
No-one was coming to save you. You’d learnt that lesson the hard way. You were alone, forced to placate and humour a monster that was drawing closer and closer, toying with its food. It wanted to hurt you. It would hurt you if you didn’t do anything.
So, how to you hurt a monster? You become one yourself.
And if you happen to get a little carried away? Oh, well. You’ve always been a strong believer in karma anyway…
(For Listener)
Finally, after years of waiting, this was it. It had taken so long and so much effort but it was finally going to pay off. That cute little barista (with a certainly interesting side-gig) was inviting you over to their house. It would just be the two of you. No friends. No family. No distractions or witnesses. You’d made sure of that.
They were finally within your grasp. They were finally going to be yours. To have. To love. To ruin.
It’s going to be exhilarating finally being able to watch their sweet face morph in pain, knowing you were the only thing on their mind.
Finally, you’ll be alone with them. Nothing can go wrong…
(Use general sound effects and background music to make scenes more immersive)
(Sound of knocking, followed by front door opening)
Heyyyyyyy! Good see you!
(Sound of hugging. Speaker then pulls back and claps listener on the back)
Come in, come in! Welcome to my humble abode!
(Sound of door shutting)
Shoe rack is over here and coat hooks are at the end of the hall.
Would you like anything to drink? Tea? Coffee?
(Customer service voice) And do you want any milk or sugar with that? I have soya or oat milk, if you’d prefer (a laugh).
Cool. I’ll be back in a moment. Make yourself at home.
(Sound of two pairs of footsteps and then listener sitting down on the sofa)
(Distant sound of kettle boiling and speaker humming)
(A few moments later the sound of footsteps and a couple of mugs being set on a table)
Theeeere we go. The green mug is yours.
It‘s not as nice as the stuff I make back at the shop. But I’m sure you can forgive me for the ‘egregious sin’ of not having an industrial coffee grinder.
Do you want to listen to some music?
(Sound of footsteps)
(Sound of radio switching various stations and loud static)
(Annoyed tone) Ah, it’s acting up again, stupid thing. Damnit.
(Sound of radio being turned off)
(Voice apologetic) Never mind. Sorry.
(Footsteps, followed by sound of speaker sitting down on sofa)
(Sound of listener picking up the mug and taking a swig)
Damn, already? That must be scalding!
Whatever you say. Weirdo. So, how have you been?
Yeah, I’ve been good, thanks. Working costumer service has been as much of a blessing as ever! (Short laugh)
[.] (Sound of listener taking a sip)
(Joking tone/banter) Oh, don’t you dare give me that ‘tHe CuStoMeR iS aLwiSe rIgHt’ crap! Do you have any idea how many lectures I get from my boss? All I do is reflect particularly rude customers’ energy back at them. With the way she goes on, you’d think I murdered babies for a living and drank their parents’ tears. Honestly, I’m surprised she hasn’t fired me already. It would be a blessing by this point. But I’m pretty sure she can’t afford to.
Oh, yeah. That reminds me. Get this, right? I swear to God, just the other day, there was a lady who came in and demanded so many shots of espresso I was worried her heart was going to give out there and then. I asked if she was sure and she just looked me dead in the eye, eye bags plain as day, and said: ‘Straight caffeine powder isn’t legal anymore; so, this’ll have to do.’ Honestly, main character energy.
Exactly. It’s her world. We’re just living in it.
She’s come in a few times but I wouldn’t call her a regular. I think I saw her wearing a lanyard with the name of the local secondary school on it. So, I’m pretty sure she works there. ‘Can’t really blame her if that’s the case, can I? (A laugh).
[.] (Sound of listener taking a sip)
I’m mean, I probably should’ve refused to serve her. But I couldn’t bring myself to. She looked so dead inside and I’m not that cruel.
Besides, it’s not my responsibility if something happened, you know? It was her decision.
Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. Especially if you get caught out being an idiot.
No, I don’t think anything happened. I didn’t hear anything, at least.
Admittedly, I haven’t seen her at the shop since. But I also haven’t seen any new job listings at said school. So, you never know… (A laugh).
Maybe I’m being haunted by her eternally-caffeinated spirit for my coffee-related crimes against humanity (speaker makes sillyOoOoOoOo’ sound).
(Sound of mug falling over and tea spilling)
Oh, fuck!
(Sound of both speaker and listener getting up)
(Voice sound exasperated) Fucking Hell!
(Voice gentler) Did any spill on you?
Good. You wait here. I’ll go grab some paper towels.
(Sound of speaker walking away and coming back a few moments later)
(Sound of speaker wiping up the spill)
Hey, don’t apologise. I was the one who knocked it over because I was being a dumbarse.
Maybe that was Espresso Lady’s revenge! Forever dooming me to spill hot drinks to protect future victims from my wrath.
(Sound of heart beat suddenly thundering in the listener’s ears)
Shit are you okay? You look faint.
I’ll go grab you some water, hold on.
(Sounds of hurried footsteps, as speaker walks away)
(Sound of hurried footsteps approaching a few moments later)
Bloody Hell, my life is turning into a fetch quest. Okay, maybe not the time for jokes.
(Sound of water being drunk from a plastic cup)(Continuous throughout section)
(Placating tone) Thaaaaaat’s it. Small sips. Don’t want you vomiting.
Thaaaaaat’s it. Don’t fight it. You’ll only give yourself a headache. Shshshshsh…
Thaaaaaaaaat’s it. You’re doing so well.
A little more to fully wash it down and… theeeere we go…
(Sound fades out)
(Sound fades back in and speaker is humming ‘Final Girl’ by Graveyardguy)(Ignore if not safe for copyright. Replace with general sounds of busywork)
Ah, back with me? Well, at the risk of sounding like a Skyrim NPC, you’re finally awake. You took your sweet time.
Too bad for you Espresso Lady spilled the wrong one, huh? … Nevermind, that was terrible anyway.
Don’t struggle, don’t struggle. Well, I mean, you can if you want. I doubt the circulation to your hands and feet would appreciate it though. Just take a second to get your bearings.
Also, don’t mind the gag. I’m just not in the mood for your screaming.
I know it must be torture, not being able to run your mouth for once in your life. But, honestly… seeing you like this is (tone slightly breathless) so cathartic. Look at you.
To be honest, I was worried that seeing you like this would make me chicken out. It’s one thing to fantasise about something; it’s another thing entirely to see it in front of you.
That wide-eyed expression. ‘Surprisingly cute and innocuous for a creature so vile. You should make it more often. And I’m more than willing to help.
(A laugh) It’s funny: before all this, the last thing I would’ve regarded myself as was a sadist. A strong believer in karma, yes, but not a sadist. But, then again, I’d never despised anyone so entirely before either. I’ve never wanted hurt someone so badly before. You really do bring out the worst in me.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Sooo, let’s address the elephant in the room: I know you’ve been stalking me. It’s why I brought you here, actually. I’ve been investigating you for a while.
I know! The resident private eye decided to do a background check. Shocker(!)
Turns out I can do a little more than just latte art, huh?
(Tone mocking) Awww, poor thing. How does it feel to be outplayed, for once?
Does it hurt? Does it scare you? Not knowing what was happening just under your nose? Thinking that you could trust someone, only to find out they had their own ulterior motives?
It scared me. More than you know. But I’m sure you’re going to become very familiar with that feeling. Very soon. Just like I did.
But I’m sure if you could talk, besides the screaming for help, you’d be asking a lot of questions. Like why I’m doing this? Or how I found you out?
I owe you nothing. I really don’t. But because I’m nice, I’ll tell you a little story. A truly ‘captivating’ tale. I know, I know, bad joke.
I have a lot I want to say. Self-indulgent, sure, but I think I more than deserve it, given all the shit I’ve been through. Consider this my ‘villain’ speech. Doomsday weapon not included.
It all started when I was realised I was being followed home. I won’t lie, I was embarrassingly slow on the uptake. Ironic, given my job but what can you do?
It had been late at night, having just closed up, and I was headed to the bus station. The streets were almost entirely deserted, aside from the occasional night owl or drunk. It was peaceful.
And then I saw a figure, with their hood drawn up, out of the corner of my eye. I didn’t think anything of it. Why would I? So, together we walked down to the bus stop, not saying a word, and got on a bus. So far, so normal.
When we got to my stop, I got off. And I noticed that that same person had gotten off with me. Again nothing really unusual. Except we were taking the exact same route. Both at the same even pace, except that the mystery figure followed from just further down the road. Just far down enough that, if I hadn’t seen them get off at the same stop, I honestly wouldn’t have thought anything of it. We matched each other perfectly, road for road, turn for turn.
I’ve always been mildly paranoid. Kinda need to be, for the type of work I do. So, as we got closer and closer to my neighbourhood, I started to get anxious. We’d been taking the same route for a good half hour and I still hadn’t seen their face.
So, I decided to test my hypothesis. I took a left. They took a left. I took another left. They took another left. I took yet another left. They look that same left. I went straight. They went straight. I took a right. They took a right. I took another right. They did too.
By that point I was certain, so I crossed as many random roads as I could, provided they were well lit, until I was satisfied that I’d lost my pursuer. And then I headed home.
I would’ve forgotten about it, written it off as just a random mugger. But I couldn’t. Not given the then-recent disappearance. Disappearances happen all the time. It’s a big city, with plenty of shady alleys and shadier people. The world isn’t going to stop turning just because one poor soul vanished off the face of it. But this one stood out. It was an old classmate of mine, I believe, back in college. The guy was an arsehole; nobody liked him. Least of all myself, given how he used to torment me. But, still, the effect was the same. It just… stuck with me.
I wasn’t exactly fond of the idea of travelling via public transport. But I didn’t have a choice. My car had failed its MOT spectacularly. So, I was in the middle of the long, painful process of finding another.
It set me on edge and I started to feel like I was being watched every time I headed home. Did you know there’s a word for that? The sensation of being watched. Scopaesthesia. For some reason, I’ve never thought that sounded right.
But regardless of whatever it’s called or should be called, it started to freak me out, the longer it went on. I kept seeing that same hooded figure, out the corner of my eye.
I stuck to the lit streets, even if it took me a good 15 minutes longer. None of my co-workers could walk me home, as they lived on the other side of town.
Maybe that’s why I noticed the pattern. Because I was already on-guard.
I enjoyed your company. I’d even argue that I looked forward to it. I started working at that café when I was strapped for cash and it was the only place that would take me. ‘Not exactly my first choice and I wasn’t exactly thrilled about having to get a second job, in the first place. But you made it bearable.
You were nice. Maybe a little overly flirty but nice. You were the type of person to chat at the counter, while I made your drink, and just ask how I was doing. Who I told which drinks to try and which tasted foul. Who I gave occasional discounts to, just for the sake of it.
You treated me like an actual person. Not dirt under your shoes or a convenience to be tolerated. (Voice sounding mildly hurt) Perhaps I would’ve even gone as far as to call us friends.
I kept seeing you outside of work, from time to time. At first I thought nothing of it. Given how frequently you visited the shop, it wasn’t hard to imagine that you lived or worked locally. But then I kept seeing you. And kept seeing you. And kept seeing you.
I saw the way you side-eyed me. The way you often had your phone angled at me, like you were taking a photo.
It didn’t take long to guess that I was being tailed. Given my line of work, it’s not rare for PIs to be followed by other PIs. Das ist the beauty of counter-surveillance. And it’s not like you were being very subtle. That’s what I thought at first. So, I did some digging.
It would take way too long to describe everything that I did. So, I’ll give you the cliff notes version.
During one of your visits, I said that there was an issue regarding your membership and that I’d need your details, including your full name and email. That’s how I got hold of your surname.
Using that, I looked on various public databases and found your address. And, sure enough, you lived maybe 5, 10 minutes away from my place of work.
Moreover, your license plate matched that of a car that had been parking outside my house for weeks.
Googling your name, I found your LinkedIn. No mention of any affiliation with any kind of PI agency, law firm or police department. Nothing that seemed to suggest any training either. You were in a completely different field. That set off immediate red flags.
If you weren’t a PI then why were you following me?
At that point, I tried to report my findings to the police. Multiple times. Even if you lacked a criminal record, beyond a couple of speeding tickets, it was obvious I was being stalked. But everything that I had gathered was circumstantial. Even the photographic evidence of you following me was apparently questionable, as it could’ve been just a bad case of wrong place, wrong time. So they did nothing.
They just… brushed me off.
(Sarcasm) Which was extremely helpful.
Can you imagine that for a moment? Assuming you’re even capable of empathy. The very people who had hired you in the past, who understood your capabilities and trusted you because of them, suddenly dismissing you? Despite how many times they’d relied on you gathering evidence? …Despite how much time you’d spent with them?
If I’m being honest, it stung. But fine.
If they weren’t going to do anything because of a lack of poof, then I would find proof.
So I kept digging.
I looked at your social media and searched for who was most frequently tagged or mentioned. From there, I approached those that I could and struck up casual conversation. Most of it was superficial fluff. Nothing of substance, even when I mentioned being a loose friend of yours. After the sixth attempt that had gone absolutely fucking nowhere, I was tempted to call it a dead end. But I decided to head down to the local pub and try again anyway.
Admittedly, it was probably because he already had a few drinks in him, but your friend Jake was most forthcoming. Very friendly bloke. When I mentioned you, he was more than happy to talk about your relationship. Ranging from what the pair of you did at work. To the fact you didn’t like inviting others over. To your little ‘thing’ for a quote unquote ‘cute local barista’.
As you can imagine, that latter part peaked my interest.
Apparently, you’d been meaning to ask for their number, for who knows how long. That’s what you told him, at least.
So, you were so very lucky when that same barista offered you a wink and their number a few days later! The look on your little face… honestly, precious…
(Tone sour) It was a little less ‘precious’ when I started to notice my possessions going ‘missing’.
It was mostly small things, at first. Things that, if I hadn’t been looking for them, I probably wouldn’t have noticed.
But as the months went by and we talked more and more, you got bolder.
It was becoming increasingly impossible to ignore and I knew if I didn’t say anything it would start to look suspicious. Who wouldn’t start getting pissed off and ranting at not being able to find whatever they were looking for? Especially to their friends?
So, I complained to you about it. Ranting on and on about how I’d put something down and it’d ‘magically disappear’. It’s not like I wasn’t frustrated. And every time I mentioned it, all you did was laugh and say that I was ‘scatter-brained’ and ‘it would probably turn up eventually’.
You were toying with me. I could see it in the way you looked at me, that glimmer of possessiveness in your eye. I could feel it in the way you stalked me, like a predator circling prey, drawing ever closer but not willing to end the chase just yet. I wasn’t a person to you. I was a prize, a thing to be won.
Hell, at one point, you even had the audacity to mention that one of your hobbies was lock-picking.
You were so sure you were pulling one over on me. (Voice full of vitriol) It was disgusting.
(A pause for a few seconds)
I got a home alarm soon after that little chat. I’d been meaning to for months. But you mentioning that particular little detail made it apparent that I couldn’t put it off any longer. It was only a small thing. ‘All I could afford at the time. (Voice sounding defeated) It never worked.
Hell, I don’t think it even worked as a deterrent.
(Half-muttered to self) Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure my radio started acting on the fritz around the same time. ‘Thought that was probably only coincidence. I can’t blame you for everything that’s gone wrong in my life. Only most of it.
Knowing that started making me even more paranoid. Sometimes, I’d swear that I saw movement in the corner of my eye. Or heard footsteps down the hall. I would look around but never found anything. I wasn’t sleeping well, as you can imagine, so my first impulse was to blame that. Surely you wouldn’t be so brazen or stupid as to break in when you knew I would be home… would you?
That didn’t stop me from keeping 999 on speed dial though.
Sometimes, I’d even call you, just to keep account of where you were or what you were doing. Sometimes you picked up. Sometimes you didn’t. The times you didn’t scared me.
You loved it. I could hear the smug smile in your voice whenever I called you. Knowing that you got off to it, that you though I was weak and just that desperate for your company… It was humiliating.
If I couldn’t get through to you, I called my friends. I always made sure that I had at least one person on the line, at any point that I felt eyes burning into the back of my head. So that if anything ever happened to me, someone would know.
Even as some of them grew increasingly distant or stopped responding all together, I kept calling. If my old friends refused to pick up, I made new ones at work or online. Co-workers, patrons. Anyone that was practically chatty, really. It wasn’t the best solution and I’m pretty sure that my calls at three in the morning weren’t best appreciated but it was the best I could do.
I’ve always been good at saying what people want to hear.
As time went on, things started to slow until they just kinda… plateaued. I couldn’t find anything else. Sure you had a life online but nothing that I could use to incriminate you. Using open-source intelligence was proving painfully fruitless. Brute-forcing your credentials wasn’t working. At least you weren’t enough of a ‘lovesick’ fool to use my name as a password.
I even managed to find out your Wi-Fi password. Only for my moment of triumph to be crushed by finding out you used a VPN on all your devices. There was nothing Wireshark could do about that. I considered slamming my head into a wall, after that little discovery.
But beyond that, the constant dread became almost routine. When I closed my eyes, I could almost pretend it was like before. That I was just laughing and joking with my friend, rather than teasing a bear trap, hoping to God that it wouldn’t spring on me.
(Deep breath)
Of course, after I’d been talking, hanging out in public and following you for a while, I had a pretty good idea of your general schedule.
So, I decided to pay your home a visit while you were out.
Now, normally, I wouldn’t do anything so blatantly illegal. It’s a major risk to my credibility. But I was getting desperate… and off the clock, sooo…
(More serious tone) Despite everything, I wanted to be proven wrong, you know. That I was just being paranoid. It wouldn’t be the first time.
Maybe you were just someone with a crush, who was visiting a friend or family member in my neighbourhood. Even though I knew none of them lived nearby.
Maybe I really was just an idiot losing their shit and you just had poor timing and some unfortunate hobbies.
Maybe you were just socially awkward and I was seeing things that weren’t there.
I got inside and the first thing that struck me was the smell. The place reeked of rot and cleaner, sharp and acrid, making my stomach churn.
I crept through the darkness, despite myself. I knew you weren’t home. I had watched you leave and had meticulously checked your schedule for hours beforehand. I know I should’ve turned on my torch sooner. But I couldn’t help it. It felt wrong, even when I was trampling paper underfoot. I strayed deeper and deeper into the darkness, until I found what I assumed would be your bedroom, if the single lit window at night was anything to go by.
Finally, I turned on my torch and…
(Horrified tone) The walls were covered in hundreds, upon hundreds of pictures of me. Some at my places of work, some while I was asleep, some from inside my own home.
I barely suppressed a wave of bile and a horse cry died in my suddenly-too-dry throat, giving way to a low moan of terror.
All I could do was stare, unable to tear my eyes away. Scanning over row after row after row of photographs.
(Incredulous laugh) I still don’t know how you took some of them. I pretty much always keep my curtains and blinds shut.
All those private little moments. Rereading an old favourite. Singing along to a shitty pop song on Heart with a little too much enthusiasm. Just taking a nice hot shower for a little longer than strictly necessary. Violated.
There was even a fucking shrine.
You had stolen so much. Including stuff that I hadn’t even noticed, despite actively being on-guard. Clothes, the contents of my bins, post that had never arrived… (Tone of revulsion) underwear… And that’s just stuff off the top of my head.
There were pieces of paper and notebooks everywhere. Some were filled with nothing but my name, over and over and over again. Others were filled with declarations of ‘love’. And some were filled with fantasies about what you’d do to me. Many of which were… violent.
I rifled through your drawers and found everything, ranging from ropes to what looked like possible roofies to copies of my work diary
I kept looking around. I couldn’t stop myself.
I thought this had been going on for a few months, outside. But I was wrong. This had been going on for years. I’d been watched for years and had never realised.
Eventually it reached a point that there were so many pictures and pages and papers that they almost became mundane. Almost.
I don’t know how long I wandered there. Minutes? Hours? It was like time itself understood the horror of what I’d found and stood still in shock. For such a moderately-sized home, the corridors were strangely endless. Like they wanted to entomb me. That’s obviously what their owner wanted.
Finally, on the ground floor, I saw the door to your cellar. It was white. Simple. Non-descript. And, yet, it felt… off. It was weirdly compelling. Like I needed to go down there. Like I needed to know what was down there.
The closer I drew, the more magnetic it became, emanating this strange ‘aura’, for lack of a better term.
Of course, I realised how stupid it was. Everyone knows that the idiot who wanders down into the murder basement in a horror movie doesn’t make it out alive.
But you were gone and I was already snooping, so what was a little more?
It was locked but only with a simple padlock. Nothing too difficult.
I picked it with little resistance and started to walk down the stairs. They were unlit. And kept going down and down and down, deeper and deeper. It felt far too deep for a normal basement. Like the earth itself was trying to swallow me whole.
When I reached the bottom, it was pitch-black, with only the torchlight to illuminate my surroundings, barely piercing the darkness.
The air was thick with dust and bleach. So much bleach it made my eyes water and my head spin.
Eventually, I managed to find the light switch. I pawed at it and a single, naked bulb spluttered into life, momentarily blinding me. When my sight finally cleared, I peered around the room now cast in a sickly-yellow hue.
It was… small. No, not small. Small is the wrong word. Cramped. Suffocating. The walls felt close and oppressive. The wall closest to me was covered in shelving, littered with various boxes, tools and general DIY stuff, like paints and solvents.
But that wasn’t what drew my eye.
No, what filled me with abject horror was on the other side of the room.
It was a cell, made up of floor to ceiling bars. Each black pillar easily as thick as my forearm. With just enough room to fit an arm through but nothing more. The door was open.
In front of it was an old, wooden table. It was worn but clearly still sturdy, with various objects scattered across it.
I drew closer. I wish I hadn’t.
On the table was a box and a few small black things. At first I thought they were wing nuts. But as I got closer and my eyes adjusted to the low light, I realised they were part of larger mechanisms. I picked up one of the strange objects to get a better look and something black flaked off in my hand. It was too course and gritty to be paint.
It took me a few moments to recognise it but as soon as I did I felt my stomach drop.
It was a thumbscrew. A fucking thumbscrew that had been used.
I put it back on the table and immediately tried to rub off the sensation of brittle rust. I rubbed and rubbed until my skin felt raw, a dull sting drowning it out.
I turned my attention back to the table. The box sat there, innocently.
I had to open it. I knew I did. I was in too deep now.
So, I watched, numb, as my hands reached towards it. As they unhooked the simple latch, the only thing keeping it closed. As they took out piece after piece of paper.
It felt like my mind was underwater and, for a moment, the only coherent thought that filtered through was that the paper felt weirdly tacky against my glove. Like photo paper.
I looked and, sure enough, that’s what they were. Each picture perfectly glossy without a single finger print in sight. Each A5 piece depicted a close up of single person looking straight at the camera, expression blank.
Something about them struck me as odd and, as I peered closer, I realised their hair was wrong. Instead of fully falling down, like hair normally does, it instead seemed to slightly splay out to the sides. Like the people being photographed were lying down at the time.
I looked closer and felt my blood turn to ice.
These weren’t normal pictures or selfies.
No, these were different.
The subjects’ eyes were cold and glassy. Unseeing.
They were the eyes of corpses.
The photos were… trophies. Each commemorating a different person.
And I realised I recognised some of them. Each having harassed me at some point in my life. At school, at my work… I wasn’t exactly ‘normal’ growing up. I attracted bullies like moths to flame. And you knew it.
I don’t know how long I stared at them before having the common-sense to flip one over.
There was writing on the back, something in red pen. It was completely illegible.
I flipped over another. The same. I flipped over a couple more until I found one that had something actually readable on the back: ‘They’re mine to ruin’.
I didn’t understand at the time, still don’t, but if I had to hazard a guess as to why, I’d say that this wasn’t some attempt to protect me or my honour. This wasn’t you ‘eliminating any possible competition’. It was because you were jealous. You were jealous that they got to hurt me first, instead of you. You wanted and still want to ‘ruin’ me. To tear me down, bit by bit.
I counted 8 total. Only 5 were official missing persons’ cases.
Once my hands stopped shaking, I put the photos back in the box and redirected my attention to the cell, the door still open, as if beckoning me. The shadows were thicker inside.
I turned on my torch and entered. The stench of bleach and ammonia was almost unbearable. And for a moment, I was inexplicably convinced that the door would swing shut, trapping me inside. It didn’t.
Instead, I was stuck by how cold it was and, looking up, I could see a small vent directly above me. I was so distracted that I didn’t look where I was going until – clunk.
My foot hit something thick and heavy, like metal.
I looked down and saw a long cast iron chain, snaking across the floor. What the fuck?
I followed it, torchlight tracing it back to its source at the wall. It connected just shy of head height, doing nothing but leading me to further puzzlement.
I traced it back to the other end.
And then I saw it. At the other end was a large hoop of wrought black metal, with a piece that seemed to swing on a hinge. I couldn’t be…
I picked it up. I had to be sure.
I examined it closer. It was.
It was a fucking collar.
I ran. I barely remembered to turn off the light and lock the door behind me, before I was running out of that house like a bat out of Hell.
I ran all the way home, buses or taxis be damned.
I won’t lie, the first thing I did when I got home was have a panic attack. I didn’t fully calm down for another two and a half hours.
I know because every tick of my watch grated against my ears, causing fresh waves of hysteria to wash over me. Eventually, I ended up lobbing the damn thing across the room. It didn’t break. It was damaged, sure, but it still worked. I’m not sure I would’ve been able to cope if it had.
I didn’t sleep that night.
The next day, I called in to give an anonymous tip that you were potentially in possession of narcotics. It’s not like I could say: ‘Hey! I broke into this creep’s home and the walls were plastered with pictures of my face! I wasn’t trying to steal anything! Promise!’
I just had been so… dumbstruck… that I had forgotten to record, to take photos, to steal proof. To do anything. I’d found a goldmine of evidence. And yet, I’d squandered it completely.
I beat myself up for weeks, afterwards.
I couldn’t bring myself to go back though… not for a good few months.
You were never charged. To be honest, I don’t think they even searched your house. And I’m sure that had nothing to do with your finances. Or the fact that one of your close friends from university was on the local police force.
It didn’t matter anyway.
When I eventually did manage to force myself to go back, I took hundreds of photos, hours of video footage, documenting everything and sent them to the police via an anonymous email account.
I kept my ear to the ground for weeks and there was nothing. Just… dead silence. It was like I had never bothered in the first place.
I would say more on the matter but there’s really nothing else to say.
I sent more emails, all including detailed accounts of my experiences, photos, videos, everything that could be used to detain you. And nothing.
Not even a scolding for breaking and entering.
I didn’t know how you did it. Didn’t care, frankly. But I knew that it was your fault.
With every email, with nothing to show for it, I felt myself losing more and more hope.
Eventually, I just… stopped sending them. I felt entirely hopeless and alone. No-one was coming to save me. I wanted to give up.
You hadn’t hurt me. Maybe you wouldn’t. That’s what I tried to tell myself, at least. I knew I was lying. That cell was more than enough proof.
(Thoughtful tone) But then I had a thought… If no-one was coming to help then I was going to have to resolve things myself. My own way.
(Determined tone) And I’d make you pay when I did.
(A pause)
I don’t think I’d ever felt rage like that, before that day. Such visceral hatred. It felt so strange and horrible and weirdly violating. I felt dirty. And I hated it. But it wouldn’t stop. No amount of guilt would drown it out.
And I started to wonder what it would feel like to wrap my hands around your neck… and just squeeze.
(A pause)
Something changed in me that day. Permanently.
(Deep inhale and exhale)
So, I started to plan. I went back to that wretched house and took everything I needed. Called in a few favours with a couple old friends. Pulled more shifts at the café. Covered more cases. Cheating spouses, mostly. Not exactly the most riveting stuff. There are only so many telenovelas you can watch before they all blend together. But the important thing is that I saved like Hell. And I watched. And I waited. And I listened.
Drawing you in, closer and closer. But not like before. That was like trying to lure a stray mutt into a kennel. This was like luring a wolf into a slaughterhouse.
And after months of preparation and casual hangouts, I finally decided to bite the bullet and invite you over.
And here we are. With you right where I want you.
It wasn’t fun using myself as live bait. But, hey! You can’t deny it worked.
Besides, it’s not like you were thinking any differently. You thought this was your chance, didn’t you? You though ‘Finally, I’m alone with them. Nothing can go wrong.’
I knew full well what you were planning on doing to me. Do you really think I spilled my tea by accident? That I would be stupid enough to invite you into my home, without some kind of plan?
We both had the same idea. After all, great minds think alike. But this is a monster eat monster world. And I was the hungrier monster.
Because this isn’t what good people do or even just what normal people do. This is what monsters do. You made me a monster.
(Introspective tone) … And I’m not as repulsed by that idea as I should be.
After all, it takes a monster to hurt a monster.
I wouldn’t say I’m worse, though. You know, considering (whispered in listener’s ear) I’m not a sick fuck like you.
I’m pretty sure anything I’ve done pales in comparison to the shit you’ve pulled.
Had things gone your way, you had some real twisted shit in store for me. The kind of shit that, once you know, you can’t unknow.
… I can’t even bring myself to say half of it.
And that’s exactly why I’m keeping you here. I follow the personal philosophy of: an eye for an eye. You fuck over me, I fuck over you. I think that’s fair.
Karma’s a bitch, huh?
(To be continued in Part 2 because Reddit was being a bitch)
submitted by Illustrious-War-6501 to ASMRScriptHaven [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 18:33 DistinguishedSloth [Complete] [1139] [Superhero Fiction] Supervillain Dad

I wrote this short story in response to a writing prompt. [WP] You, a supervillain, are very confused as to why your superhero-nemesis is rampaging through your lair screaming something about you kidnapping their girlfriend. Meanwhile your daughter, who has come to visit you, seems very nervous and is anxious to leave your lair.
She should be here any minute now. I sat, tapping my foot restlessly against the smooth, natural oak planks that covered the living room floor. Who would have thought that landing on your feet from a 73-story building could cause some long-term nerve damage? Or could it be something else? Nope, definitely the nerves—The door-bell chimed, echoing and bouncing against the white walls that formed the four-bed suburban house.
It felt like I had been swept by a tsunami of emotion. Standing there, in the open doorway, was my whole world. A world which I had left behind.
“Hello, Bubs”, I said, unable to contain my smile.
“Don’t call me that.”
Refusing to make eye-contact, Andrea strode inside and perched herself on the edge of the cream sofa, folding her arms tightly against her chest as if creating an invisible forcefield. It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. Understandable, considering how long it had been since we last saw each other. Her hazel-green eyes had become more weathered, icy even.
“How’s University?”
Painful silence. Nothing I don’t deserve and exactly what I should have expected.
“Fine”, muttered Andrea quietly, scowling at me.
At least she glanced toward my general vicinity. I guess that could be considered progress.
“Look, Andrea, I understand how difficult this must be for you to—"
“Understand”, Andrea scoffed.
She’s right. I don’t understand, how could I – we haven’t spoken in so long. She’s come here for a reason, it’s important she says what’s on her mind. I slowly walked over and occupied a seat across from her, separated by the mahogany coffee table her mother had gifted me years ago. Each second felt like an hour, transporting me to a world I had long locked away. Andrea looked up as if to speak, then taped her mouth shut and turned her gaze to the floor. We continued to sit in silence.
“You left me. Mum died… and you left me”, she let out a sniffle as the sentence cut its way through the icy atmosphere. The truth I had turned my back to penetrated my heart like a dagger.
“I know. I’m sorry”, barely audible above my growing guilt. The guilt that had been sealed off in the deepest chasm of my soul.
“I was angry Andrea, I wanted revenge, it…”, my throat thickened.
“It consumed me and I didn’t care who or what got in my way… I would have burned the world… and I couldn’t let you near me – you’d only end up like your mother.”
“You left me all alone dad”, a single tear appeared, clouding the edge of her black eyeliner.
True, nothing will change that.
Against the deafening silence, I heard it. A low whistling in the distance; probably a few miles away. I stood up.
“Andrea, stand behind me”, voice hoarse with sorrow as I ushered her up off the sofa.
“No. What are you talking about?” Andrea replied in a puzzled tone.
The whistling had grown louder now, the noise definitely seemed to be travelling toward us. I thought I left this life behind. Tied up any loose ends. No-one knows I’m here. I thought it was safe to invite you over, to try and rebuild our broken bond, Andrea.
My blood began to boil, I tensed and flared each and every muscle fibre throughout my body.
“Andrea, get behind me now!”, I said in a breathy, panicked yell.
The whistling was almost deafening now, as if it was hovering right above us. She darted a pair of sceptical eyes towards me, but followed.
“Where is she?!” Boomed an orotund voice from above.
My thoughts started to race. She? Andrea…? No, surely not. What could you possibly want from my daughter…?
Across the room collapsed a large part of ceiling. I pushed Andrea to the floor as she let out a yelp and shielded her against the ricocheting chunks of metal, wood and plasterboard. If only she’d inherited my crystalline skin.
“Are you hurt?” I whispered to her, scanning the room.
She shook her head from side-to-side, face pale with shock.
My attention switched to the young man slowly levitating down through the gaping hole in the ceiling. He had long blonde hair, with streaks of silver. His lean, oval face was lined with fury. A long, faded scar followed his hollow cheeks. I’d recognise that face anywhere. Roland ‘Valiant’ Ross, the nation’s crown jewel.
“I see that scar has healed up nice—” In a split second I was thrown and pinned against the wall, Valiant’s arm pressed tightly against my shoulder.
“No thanks to you… Executioner”, Valiant spat out in guttural voice.
My stomach felt like it had caved in, the force of Valiant’s punch knocked all the air out of my lungs. Had he gotten stronger? Or have I become weak?
“What… do you… want with my daughter?”, I managed to cough out.
Valiant’s grip loosened so slightly, his thin eyebrows raised as a look of confusion crept over his face. This was my chance.
I smashed my forehead against his nose, right in between his wide turquoise eyes. Valiant staggered back, letting go of my shoulder. My feet dropped to the floor, I pushed off and tackled him around the waist, slamming him down to the floor. I unleashed a barrage of roundhouse punches, swinging with both my right and left hook. Valiant was nimble, although my weight pinned him to the ground, he still managed to evade most of my hits. Just keep targeting the head, make sure he can’t focus on flying away. I grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and threw his head down hard against the golden oak floor. I heard a faint crack, hopefully a fractured skull, not that it would affect Valiant much. Wait. This seems too easy. Why isn’t he fighting back?
“Stop! Stop! Please dad! Stop!” Andrea cried out.
“No Andrea. You don’t understand how powerful this man is.”
I drew back my shoulder charging up another shower of hits. Just as I was about to release, I felt two arms wrap against my back – trying pulling me away.
“Please… I love him, stop.”
You love him? Those words washed through my entire body, extinguishing my frenzy of anger.
I slumped over, facing up toward the hole in the ceiling.
Quietly, I said, “He broke through your mother’s ceiling, the debris almost hurt you”
“He can be… a bit extra at times, but he cares about me, a lot. And I care about him. Ross has been there for me these last few years. He helped when I was at my lowest”, she said in a tight voice.
Silence ensued, only to be broken by Ross, who let out in a croaky voice, “Andrea… Your father is The Executioner?”

Thanks for reading!! Any feedback is greatly appreciated and I am available for a critique swap.
submitted by DistinguishedSloth to BetaReaders [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 18:30 2manyhounds Hunting North American Red Fox Tips

I recently discovered I have a year long red fox season in my area & I’ve decided to utilize it to keep my dogs in shape & maybe get a couple good pelts. Problem is; I’ve never seriously hunted fox a day in my life.
Circumstances over the last few years meant I had to take a break so all I have are some young green dogs, & I’m almost certain earthwork with terriers is not allowed here so I know I’ll be losing quite a few to ground but again it’s more for the dogs than to kill a bunch of foxes, although we have tons of foxes coyotes are by far the bigger nuisance lol.
I’m wondering if anyone in here has any experience or tips hunting North American reds? I figure the same general spots I find lots of rabbits & groundhogs are a good start but I’m open to any information like I said I’m a complete newbie.
submitted by 2manyhounds to Hunting [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 18:24 Royal-Hero Royala Death: The Beginning

12 o'clock and I found myself underneath a marvelous, giant tree, underneath its shade. The wind is breezy, and keeps me from overheating. The grass is that nice green, a bit tall, but not tall enough to be a bother. I'm sure there were some bugs around; they weren't on me, so they could stay hidden. From the distance, there was a beautiful sight of the ocean. If you were quiet enough, you could hear it cry out to you.
I kept my mouth stuffed with hamburger helper that was jazzed up with some cheddar. I put spoonful after spoonful until my cheeks were puffed, and only then, did I start to chew and swallow. I gasped afterwards, for I overestimated my abilities to how fast I could eat. After repeating the cycle a bit more, I grew thirsty. I had some type of water that was filled with flavor and vitamins... It was gross.
My bank account was negative 24 dollars and some change, but I had 30 in my pocket. It made me think about how a negative times a negative is a positive... that was the shit that confused me.
What does the world do with all that money? If we're an average person, then we work to pay bills, and then the person taking our money is working to pay bills, and then the next and the next until the fat greedy pig has money to own the world. I'm sure there is a word for this, but I'm not smart enough to know what it is.
1:04 in the afternoon. I closed my eyes and puffed out some air. I finished my meal and then- a tree branch snapped and a young boy came falling down, bursting his skill on a rock, and dislocated his shoulder. He didn't say anything, just was twitching in pain and wheezing. Next to him was a cat. As soon as it hit the ground, it took off without barely a scratch on him. I looked up to try and see how far he had climb just to fall. That's life in a nutshell... but I guess you can't pick yourself up when you're dead. And at what cost? All for a cat that didn't need you. There's a saying somewhere about this... but I'm not smart enough to know.
My eyes flash blue and the color of the scene changed to black and gray. Another blue light flashed and to my hands was a scythe. I went up to the boy and sliced his body, and out came a ball of energy, floating up to the sky.
My eyes flashed again and colors were restored. I took my fork and container that once had my poor man's food. That's all for today. Thank you for joining me.
Oh, by the way- my name is Royala, Royala Death, and I'm... The Grim Reaper.
submitted by Royal-Hero to scarystories [link] [comments]

2023.03.28 18:23 kayenano The Villainess Is An SS+ Rank Adventurer: Chapter 12

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Juliette Contzen is a lazy, good-for-nothing princess. Overshadowed by her siblings, she's left with little to do but nap, read … and occasionally cut the falling raindrops with her sword. Spotted one day by an astonished adventurer, he insists on grading Juliette's swordsmanship, then promptly has a mental breakdown at the result.
Soon after, Juliette is given the news that her kingdom is on the brink of bankruptcy. At threat of being married off, the lazy princess vows to do whatever it takes to maintain her current lifestyle, and taking matters into her own hands, escapes in the middle of the night in order to restore her kingdom's finances.
Tags: Comedy, Adventure, Action, Fantasy, Copious Ohohohohos.

Chapter 12: Incidental Damage
I stood rooted in shock at the trail of destruction.
Birds of all colours and species filled the sky. Pigeons, sparrows and crows. And also cyclops bats, will-o'-wisps and at least one cockatrice who was now spoiled for dinner. Their direction—away from here. And the line of trees that had flattened into the distance as far as the eye could see.
Before me, a newly constructed tunnel consisting of flattened tree bark and squashed mounds revealed itself to me. In the distant horizon, I could make out green fields and snow-capped mountains.
“What … How in goodness … ?”
I blinked as fresh sunlight streamed into the newly revealed tunnel like water pouring into an empty riverbed.
This was … This was clearly too much, was it not?!
All I wanted was to disperse the beetles! I had no intention of dispersing the woods, too! But how?!
My shocked eyes went between the flattened trees and Starlight Grace in my hand. In all my times punting the caterpillars away, I'd never once witnessed such devastation!
T-True, I'd swished a bit faster than normal, and, well, those sparks were slightly unusual, but even so!
That shouldn't have been enough to fell a line of trees as far as the edge of the woodlands itself!
Had Starlight Grace awoken in my hour of need and channelled some celestial strength to aid me in my defence? Certainly, if rumours about its origins are correct, then such a thing wasn't beyond the realms of possibility. It was an artifact of the kingdom, with enchantments beyond its honed edge. It'd make sense if it contained some hidden strength when called on by a member of the royal family …
But even so!
That doesn't explain why I could now see mountains!
I frowned in overwhelming puzzlement as I pieced together the facts. What had I done differently? I'd whisked up more wind, certainly, but even a stronger puff of wind was still merely a breeze.
I'd even named it as such!
Therefore, the only other variable was ...
I … I see!
It was the beetles!
Specifically, fire breathing beetles! Meaning they must contain flame sacs. Even my sparse knowledge of monster zoology knew that for a creature to expel flames, they had to store the means of their combustion in some natural repository in their anatomy.
Meaning … when my [Spring Breeze] lifted them from the ground, their vulnerable sacs must have been exposed and exploded as they were sent hurtling away!
No wonder there was so much destruction! Even me with my middling gardening techniques could become a danger if I was flinging fire breathing monsters off into the distance. Why, the blasts of flame must have compounded and sent one tree crashing down onto another, like a skipping stone mowing down a row of dominoes!
In short … this wasn't my fault at all!
“Ohhohoho!” I smiled in relief. “Why, to think I allowed such a silly worry to grace my mind! I definitely can't get in trouble for this! Nope. Not at all. Why, I was merely defending myself. The fact that giant man eating fire breathing death beetles were so volatile could never have been predicted. My … My mother surely won't scold me for this?”
I nodded, even if I was slightly less hopeful than I wanted to be.
I'd be due a stern chiding once I returned to the Royal Villa, but that would be tempered by my return signalling that I'd saved the kingdom's finances. Destroying our woodland areas in the process was an unfortunate blot, but this clearly was beyond my control.
Luckily, this was a one-off! A terrible mismatch of wind, fire and wood. An innocent mistake which I, as a person of overwhelming diligence, will surely never make again.
Suddenly, I remembered about the only witness to my not-a-crime.
Turning around, I looked up to see that the branch the girl was sitting on was now noticeably devoid of leaves. But more than that, I saw that all colour had drained from her cheeks.
Her smile was gone. Instead, a stunned look of amazement graced her face, her eyes wide as dessert plates as she took in the trail of carnage.
Then, she looked at me.
For a moment, I wondered what judgement she'd proclaim on me. Death beetles or not, I'd clearly been mildly complicit in the eradication of a substantial amount of the local ecosystem. And if she misunderstood me to be the culprit, then I'd be destined for a strongly worded reprimand from my mother if she chose to testify.
I … I may even have my books taken from me!
Then, as the worst fears came to mind—
She laughed.
For the second time in the same meeting, this strange girl, whose name I knew only to be Coppelia, had the nerve to laugh at me.
The ire I'd felt and forgotten now resurfaced. Sliding my sword back into its sheath, I stamped my foot on the ground and bent my brows.
“W-Why do you laugh?! This is no laughing matter! Are those peasants you see sprawled on the earth? No! They are beautiful trees, historic marvels as old as the kingdom itself! Do not … stop mocking their passing!”
The girl responded by laughing harder.
So hard, in fact, that tears began to form in the corner of her eyes.
She released her hands from around the branch to wipe them, swayed, then promptly fell backwards, somersaulting even as the hysterics continued to take her.
As I made absolutely no move towards catching her, I caught sight of her relaxed expression, and then the tail of her laughter as she landed effortlessly on a large root in front of me without so much as balancing out her arms. The sure-footedness of her landing would have earned applause from the harshest of crowds, followed by their adoration as she smiled sweetly towards the audience.
“Juliette, was it?” she said, skipping towards me—and then around me, round and round as she examined me from head to feet. “Hmm …”
“W-What are you doing?! Do not gawk at me like some curio!”
The bizarre girl circled behind me, then reappeared in the other direction as I turned to face her. She leaned in with an amused smile, then lightly tapped my nose.
“Mhm. You look really weak.”
She … touched my nose?!
I hurriedly backed away, my hands in the ready position of a martial art I'd never learned as I wondered whether I was truly safe.
Even so, I recalled enough dignity to scowl at this honest assessment of my capabilities and the clear assault against my person.
The only reason I wasn't already listing the number of years in prison that this constituted was because I'd never had to value my nose before. It was somewhere between six months and six life sentences. And I was leaning towards the latter.
“H-How dare you touch me! And my nose?! Also, I'm … I'm well aware of my physical inadequacies, thank you! Or rather, they can be considered a sign of good upbringing!”
Yes, indeed. I'd never before rued my lack of muscles for painting and poetry—
Until now, when I could very well have used some for keeping this highly unpredictable girl at arm's length. Even as I stepped away, she merely skipped closer, easily ignoring the flattened roots and weeds which conspired to trip me over.
“That was a nice technique,” she said, unveiling her fingers in a sudden, popping gesture. “Woosh! I've seen beetles fly before, but that's a new record. Do you think you can teach me that?”
“No,” I replied, taking great care not to look in the direction of said woosh. “That was very much a solitary affair, and quite beyond my intention.”
“Really? Shame. I think it'd be useful. So what are you doing in these parts? Like you said, shady individuals and all.”
Yes, I did.
And I am still very much correct.
I watched this odd girl with doubt brewing in my heart. She claimed to be a librarian. No, an assistant librarian. But as far as I was aware, librarians of any calibre rarely pursued the matter of lost books all the way into the depths of a forest colonised by outlaws and death beetles.
She was no simple librarian, certainly. And though I didn't necessarily view this girl as a danger to my person, I could not quite see her as harmless, either. There was a way in her poise which evoked certain warning bells. Only Roland spoke with so much confidence—to the point of disregard—when conversing with me. And that was when I was about to fall victim to one of his infamously juvenile pranks.
My eyes glanced down at my boots.
No laces tied together. So far, so good.
Regrettably, that instantly made this girl more trustworthy than my oldest brother.
“If you must know, I was waylaid by the ruffians which resided here. I was on my way to Rolstein to see to the matter of the crops failing in the region. I intend to avert a food crisis and save this kingdom from the threat of famine.”
“Eh. Sounds like a pain.”
I blinked, then tilted my head slightly to the side.
Odd. My ears must be playing up. It felt like I'd just heard something unfathomable.
“Excuse me?”
The girl suddenly beamed and clapped her hands together.
“I mean, it'd be a terrible pain to the innocent people of this fair kingdom if that were to happen to them. It's only right that every measure be taken to prevent such a precarious situation from arising.”
“Ah, of course … that's what you meant … yes, well, that's why I'm heading to the lowlands.”
“Got it. Do you know how to fix the failing crops?”
But I knew I'd know once I arrived.
My intelligence was far too precious a resource to be wasted on thinking ahead. Why be inefficient by considering issues which may never materialise? I'd handle my problems when the time came, at full power and full rest.
“W-Why, of course I do!” I said, smiling as I placed my hand to my chest. “I have a contact at the Adventurer's Guild. After liaising with the local good-for-noth … the local deadbea- … the local adventurers, I'll have an array of options to consider in regards to how best to approach this issue with the least disruption on the townspeople.”
The girl nodded enthusiastically. Her eyes, a pearly turquoise, shimmered like sunlight upon the ocean.
“That's great. Let's go.”
Now I knew my ears were defective.
“I apologise, but you must repeat that. I didn't quite hear … ?”
“Let's go. Time's a-wasting and I'm coming with you. Rolstein, right? That dreadfully dull town without any redeeming features? I've always wanted to go there.”
My mouth fell open.
Dealing with this girl's eccentricities in a one-off encounter? Tolerable. A day in the life of an overworked, popular princess. I'm sure that my sisters experienced it all the time.
Accompanying her to anywhere? Less tolerable.
“Truly … you've always wanted to visit Rolstein? A place so irrelevant that cartographers forget to place it on maps?”
“Yep. I have some investigating to do.”
“In regards to your … book?”
“The trail leads nearby, and the Adventurer's Guild keep good records. Or so I hear. There aren't any where I'm from.”
I looked at her in puzzlement. Not the dreadful confusion which hurts my head. But an acceptable amount.
There were few places on this continent where the bureaucracy and nosiness of the Adventurer's Guild had failed to make itself known. If that's the case, then this girl wasn't only not from here. She wasn't from anywhere close.
“Oh? Where are you from?”
Answering so, Coppelia skipped past me and towards the bundle of sacks lying as disparately on the cart as I'd left them.
Then, in a single motion, she leaned down and picked up every sack filled with heaps of crowns, trinkets, jewellery, weapons, tableware and at least several paintings in either hand. Without displaying the slightest hint of effort, this girl, no larger, older, and certainly no prettier than I, lifted the bags as easily as one might lift a set of feathery pillows.
But that wasn't what surprised me most.
It was that when this girl had skipped past me, I noticed for the first time the giant golden key sticking out of her back. And I realised that Coppelia wasn't just an assistant librarian.
No, not at all.
Because Coppelia … was also a clockwork doll.

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