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How I Made My First Big Breakthrough in Life Through a Platform
2023.06.08 10:22 Leah_Nini How I Made My First Big Breakthrough in Life Through a Platform
Hey everyone! I wanted to share an incredible milestone in my life. At the age of 24, I finally struck gold through a platform that allowed me to engage in dropshipping and direct sales. It's been an exhilarating journey, especially considering my previous attempts with Shopify and TikTok affiliate marketing didn't yield the desired results.
Hello, fellow entrepreneurs and dream chasers! Today, I want to tell you about a remarkable experience that has completely transformed my life. At the young age of 24, I discovered a platform that enabled me to dive into the world of dropshipping and direct sales, leading to my very first taste of success.
Prior to this breakthrough, I had ventured into different avenues, such as setting up my own Shopify store and exploring the TikTok affiliate marketing space. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, these endeavors didn't pan out as I had hoped. However, they served as valuable learning experiences and prepared me for what was to come.
It was during this process of trial and error that I stumbled upon this game-changing platform. With a combination of determination, resilience, and a willingness to adapt, I finally found the right path to embark on my entrepreneurial journey.
Through this platform, I discovered the power of dropshipping and direct sales. It opened up a world of opportunities and allowed me to tap into a wider audience than I could have ever imagined. The platform provided the necessary tools, resources, and support to help me thrive in this highly competitive industry.
Over time, I honed my skills, leveraging the platform's features and implementing effective marketing strategies. The platform's user-friendly interface and comprehensive analytics allowed me to track my progress, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions. I learned the importance of building relationships with customers, offering exceptional customer service, and continuously refining my product selection.
Today, I am proud to say that my efforts have paid off. The platform has not only helped me achieve financial success, but it has also instilled a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment within me. It has shown me that with dedication and the right platform, anyone can overcome obstacles and achieve their goals.
I share this story not to boast but to inspire others who may have faced setbacks on their own entrepreneurial journeys. Don't be disheartened by past failures; instead, embrace them as stepping stones towards future success. Keep exploring, learning, and adapting, and remember that opportunities are always waiting just around the corner.
In conclusion, I am immensely grateful for the platform that allowed me to make my first significant breakthrough in life. It has given me the confidence to pursue my dreams with renewed vigor. I hope my story serves as a beacon of hope and encouragement for those who are still searching for their own golden opportunity.
Remember, success is not defined by how many times we fall but by how many times we rise. Together, let's forge ahead, seize every opportunity, and make our dreams a reality.
Thank you all for taking the time to read my story. Feel free to share your own experiences and let's inspire each other on this incredible journey!
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2023.06.08 08:28 Intelligent_Living23 is it OK for me (35f) to date one of my ex's good friends (37m) almost 10yrs after our breakup?
I (35f) recently started chatting again with an old friend (37m, let's call him Sir) after moving back to NY. He was really good friends with my ex (36m, let's call him Messy) and they do still hang out occasionally, but they had a small falling out about a year ago.
For some context, my ex is currently married, but we had a very messy relationship and the break up was pretty shitty. We started dating the summer before I turned 20, and broke up a month after I turned 26. There was a lot of lying, manipulation, and cheating on his end, and after 6 years I got an out and zoomed the eff outta there.
So...About 2 years into my relationship with Messy I met Sir, and I immediately clicked. We had a lot of the same interests, our personalities meshed well, and our banter was A++. I think Messey was jealous, who knows, but he was most definitely controlling. He quickly started spreading rumors about Sir within our friend groups, unbeknownst to me. He told some that Sir was trying to sleep with me, others were told that Sir sent me nudes, and a few people got the rumor that Sir and I were sleeeping with each other. I just found out about these rumors 2 months ago and apparently Sir was bullied on FB and IG. And everyone knew about all of this madness except for me,p so...yeah. For clarity, the most Sir and I ever did was hug when we saw each other, but because of these rumors Sir began distancing himself to the point he would sit on the opposite end of the room from me.
Another thing about Messy is he would talk to me about which of my friends he'd sleep with, why, and what positions he'd do. Idk why, but that's something he seriously enjoyed talking about almost the entirety of the relationship. In response, I only mentioned that if we weren't dating I would like to date (not sleep with) Sir. Mind you, this would've been about 1 1/2 years after Messey had been telling me his fantasies about my friends.
Fast forward to the break up...about a week later I asked Sir out to Taco Bell for a little chat. He didn't talk much in the store, but once we got in the car he explained why we couldn't date. It boiled down to his loyalty to Messy and his friendship with him. Even tho he knew how Messy treated me, he still chose his long time friendship and cut me off.
He tried to, at least. I said some reckless shit (basically that I was gonna go sleep with a bunch of guys cause I'm single af), and Sir actually called me the next day to make sure I was OK. I essentially yelled at him, angry, telling him that we weren't friends and there was no reason to call me anymore. I hung up, cried, and that was the last time we spoke.
I thought about him on and off throughout the past almost 10 years. Most of time I'd be upset about losing a potential life partner and also an amazing friend all because of the timing. And of course I also blame my ex for basically cockblocking (love-blocking?) our connection.
Now to present day...I have been reconnecting with Sir for the past 2 months or so. We talk practically everyday, and text several times a day. We click, we're on the same page with almost everything, werr in sync with each other's emotions and banter, we just...fit. It's a much better and more mature feeling than in our 20s, and we are free to explore as single adults.
We have danced around the topic of dating these past 2 weeks, and he's driving me crazy with not clarifying his intent. Although I'm also to blame as I go with the flow a lot, and I also trust his judgment. I just need him to define the relationship lol.
My dilemma comes down to me possibly putting him in a tight spot yet again. On the one hand I feel like Sir is perfect for me and I for him, and this would be an amazing opportunity to explore this connection as adults. My close friends and family all think we should get together already because "we clearly are in love with each other." On the other hand, Sir is still in contact with Messy and I do not want to be in the same vicinity as that manipulative asshole, and I may need to be present at certain events.
How can I make a relationship with Sir work this time around?
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2023.06.08 04:26 Yarbles The Official Report of the May RVA Reddit (no we haven't) Bookclub
It was a fine day in May and we pulled up and talked about some books. We covered Blitz by Daniel O'Malley
and, because it was recently Mother's Day, I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy
. And we spent way more time on them than we usually do, so we must have liked them. Quite a few people read the Blitz. Incorrigible_muffin had previously covered it, but was disappointed in the a payoff, and said the two story lines didn't really resolve. Aurora_the_Off-White said that she liked it, but agreed that it wasn't on the same level as the first two.
She said that Blitz could have a strong philosophical payoff even if the storylines didn't have an strong resolution. If someone read Blitz by itself without the first two novels, they might enjoy it more. Carbonjen thought there was a lot to like about the writer, saying he writes women well. Muffin said there were a lot of interesting possibilities in the world he created. The author covers the British and American versions of supernatural bureaus, but there were many of these throughout the world.
We talked about the story's structure. The main character's lost memory lets the author explain the supernatural elements in detail and do the worldbuilding without any distracting exposition. Munsontime had a thought, asking if it was technically the same person in the body or a completely new personality that developed after the wiped memory. If a personality is a product of the experiences and memories the person accumulates, then it's probably a different person.
Munson blitzed through the first two and is currently on the third. He was surprised at the spelling of the main character's name, Myfanwy Thomas, having listened to the audiobook. I was surprised and a little disappointed that the pronunciation is just "Miffany". Princess_MoNaanKay stopped by to return the first book int the The Checquy Files, The Rook
that I had lent out. I thought she was returning it specifically because we were reading The Blitz, but she said she's decided to see other bookclubs. So we just need to move on and live our best bookclub life and hope she finds happiness.
Jennette McCurdy was apparently in a show called iCarly
. I had never seen it or heard of it, so I think I missed a lot of context from the book. Everyone else in our group really liked the book - finding it insightful and funny. Most people agreed that the things the author's mom did stood out, and so did the actions of Dan Schneider
, who was the creator of iCarly. But she didn't go into that in depth. Muffin said the system that pipelines kids into the entertainment business is fundamentally responsible for many of these abusive situations, and the actions of the mom are a product of that. Aurora thought that the author used humor to cope with loss and grief.
We talked about long wait times for getting books from the library. Carbonjen actually bought Tender Is the Flesh
by Agustina Bazterrica because she was not optimistic about it becoming available through the library. She didn't have as many spicy romance recommendations as last time, but did have a couple. She thought Pestilence by Laura Thalassa
was good and a fun concept. It's the first of The Four Horsemen series; a romance involving the four horseman of the apocalypse.
She liked The Siren
a lot less. I think this was the one by Kiera Cass. Apparently the characters said the word "fishcunt" too many times and it became grating. She also didn't like how a lot of the characters in A Court of Thorns and Roses
were developed in the story. She mentioned Brutal Prince only to say it was brutally bad, and is reading Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
and liking. And that makes Muffin happy.
Sassypapaya recently read Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
, which is very popular around these parts. I think she said she read The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
, and may have had good things to say about Lightlark by Alex Aster
, or that may have been someone else. She was too far away from me for me to follow the conversation from that side of the circle very well. She asked about Verity by Colleen Hoover
and Muffin said that Colleen Hoover was a step up from Stephanie Meyer.
Munson and his friends have a rule for their bookclub: you can't use the term "Beautiful Prose". But if
he was forced to provide an example of beautiful prose, then he might
use it when talking about Another Country by James Baldwin
. He described it as "Kerouacky" - intimate and sexual especially for 1961. It's about the Jazz scene in NY in the 60s, with themes of race, gender, and sexual orientation in its cultural context. A slice of life story in the gay, black, jazz scene in New York. The Trial of Henry Kissinger by Christopher Hitchens
is next for his other bookclub, Apparently Hank is bumping up against age 100. It was estimated that his cold-blooded policy directives are responsible for 4 or 5 million deaths. We talked briefly about Red Rising by Pierce Brown
, which was the biggest book in the world for a minute. Munson said that, as a sci fi guy, he had already read many similar stories before and it just wasn't a big deal for him.
Assaulty recently read American War by Omar Al Akkad
, and talked about how people end up on different sides of a conflict. Many times people don't have a choice about which side they end up on, and American War addresses some of these themes. She asked for more like this book. Asterion7 suggested Paolo Bacigulupi works such as The Water Knife
, which are near future works with major themes of climate catastrophe. For this kind of thing I always recommend Afterwar by Lilith Saintcrow
. Saintcrow a romance writer and I was really surprised by this book. It's gritty and hard, and a little spicy but not romantic.
Assaulty also read Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
and likes reading about creative partnerships like this. She told us about Nevada by Imogen Binnie
, which is one of the inspirations for Detransition Baby by Torrey Peters
; This Is How You Lose the Time War
by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone; and The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks
, the first book of the Night Angel trilogy.
Muffin told us about The House of Eve by Sadeqa Johnson
, the next book after the The Yellow Wife
, which features Lumpkin's Jail. The House of Eve takes place in DC and Philly and ties in with the events of the first boo., The author will be giving a talk on June 8th at the Library of Virginia
, and Muffin wanted to read this before seeing the author.
Please join us for a talk by award-winning author Sadeqa Johnson on her new novel, The House of Eve, the follow-up to her book Yellow Wife, which won the Library’s 2022 People’s Choice Award for Fiction. In this moving work of historical fiction set in 1950s Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., the stories of two women collide in unexpected ways as they both make decisions that shape the trajectory of their lives. The House of Eve was an instant New York Times best seller and was selected by Reese’s Book Club as the February 2023 pick. A book signing will follow the talk.
The Carole Weinstein Author Series supports the literary arts by bringing both new and well-known authors to the Library of Virginia through online or in-person events. Free and open to the public, the series focuses on Virginia.
Coconut read the second book in the Great Cities series by N.K. Jemisin called the The World We Make
. Asterion7 picked up Trust by Herman Diaz
, a Pulitzer prize winner. He also read We Are All the Same in the Dark
by Julia Heaberlin and liked it enough to finish it, but not much more than that.
assaulty is looking for a gateway to Sci Fi, and asked about the distinction between Sci Fi and Fantasy. However many people there are in the room, that's the number of different opinions you're likely to hear at any given time. Some say it's magic versus technology. If Sci Fi doesn't have magic, what about Star Wars and force lightning from those Sith guys? So maybe Star Wars is actually Fantasy and Star Trek is Sci Fi. But what about wormholes and different dimensions and the super annoying character Q? It's a subject worth exploring, but there might not be an answer. To me those are just two different themes with strong aesthetic styling.
Assaulty may have read Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
or it might have just been recommended to her because she is interested in Sci Fi and liked The American War. Skyvrbyvr loved Octavia Butler's Kindred
giving it 5 stars. She says it's not just beautiful prose: she respects that Butler is not afraid to create gruff and real people - characters that are somewhat unlikable but somehow still relatable.
Aurora had a huge list of completions and I have no idea if these are all hers or not. But this month she read a bunch of first books across several series. I think heard Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
; Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn by Tad Williams
the first of the The Dragonbone Chair series (I think she deemed it meh); Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
also caught a meh; and Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
, the first of the Gentleman Bastards series.
The last one generated a lot of interest as a lot of us have read it and really liked it. Like The Checquy Files, the first book is fantastic and there are diminishing returns after that, though I haven't read the last two: The Republic of Thieves and The Thorn of Emberlain. Munson says that if you read Sanderson, then The Stormlight Archive
series is the way to go. Aurora also has Circe by Madeline Miller
on hold at the library.
We talked about a few books about music, I think all of these are from Munson, including Meet Me in the Bathroom by Lizzy Goodman
: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001-2011; Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk
by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain; and Sing Backwards and Weep
, a memoir by the singer Mark Lanegan. We also talked a little about Nardwuar
, a music interviewer who is amazingly in-depth but often described as offputting.
Munson says he can sometimes be invasive and not enjoyable but agrees that he is talented. Nardwuar is likely autistic and we were informed that "neurospicy" is no longer acceptable. Obviously, I'm cool with someone else deciding what they find offensive and following their recommendations, but I wish we had something to pivot to. We talked about how the line between normies and nerurodivergents can be pretty thin and while gatekeeping mental health can be frustrating, it's also infuriating that people resist any accommodation for neurodivergent people.
I knocked off a few books, including On a Night of A Thousand Stars by Andrea Yaryura Clark
; Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
, and Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins
. The last was comparable to Station Eleven in terms of quality and themes. The story wasn't as good, but the prose was pretty exceptional. The author was able to do some things I hadn't seen before. I'm reading The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
, The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
, and listening to a couple courses about Human Pre History, First Civilizations, and pre-Alexandrian Empires.
Apparently George RR Martin joined the writer's strike and is not writing anything, not that you could really tell. We talked about the 8th season of Game of Thrones, and how those two producers just ruined at least hundreds of millions of dollars in sales of DVDs, downloads, books, and comics. One of the most disastrous effects of incompetence on a brand I've ever seen.
We talked about Patrick Rothfus's Name of the Wind
and how the main character was a bit of a Mary Sue, but the narrator might have intentionally been portrayed as unreliable. Someone brought up Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits by Laila Lalami
, and we added The Moor's Account
as August's non-dorky read. Some of the guys don't want to me call it a Muggle book anymore, and would rather call it a regular book. Maybe we need to keep looking for the right term.
We talked about books with actual paper pages versus reading on a device or listening to audiobooks. Carbonjen says she prefers the Kindle Paperweight because her dogs chews up actual books. I read paper, epub, and listen in about equal proportions. I was listening to Dodge, or Fall in Hell and was not liking it, but started liking it better when I flipped to the epub version. Munson says he uses safari reader on his laptop and will set it to autoscroll. We also compared strategies for downsizing our libraries. Very few people keep every book they buy anymore, especially if you have moved your collection a couple times.
We talked about the St. James Muse, trails on the James, the resurgence in skating, and art classes at the VMFA and Visual Arts Studio. We also talked about all the pedestrians being hit by cars and how squaring street corners can slow cars down. Right now corners are rounded, encouraging cars to take them at speed. And how dash cams are an essential equipment for cars now. Chop Suey is now Shelf Life and Wonton is now "Wonny". But has retired and been replaced by two new cats, presumably who are earning much lower, entry-level wages.
Someone brought up BookTalk.org, saying they mostly got ass recommendations out of it. I've used https://www.whatshouldireadnext.com
and it isn't so
bad, but really isn't any better than Goodreads. I've used Shepherd
a couple of times, which can be really good if you're looking for exactly the type of book that has been covered in one of their lists, but it seems to only accept general categories. Coming Up on June 18 Coming Up on July 23
Coming Up on August 20
- Just pick a book in your To Be Read pile and tell us about it. We were lamenting the large backlog that each of each is carrying around and decided to just knock some of them out.
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2023.06.08 00:44 SnooMuffins3836 Dear Future Girlfriend,
I know. I should have written before. Forgive me. But I got the feeling that you were beginning to think I didn't exist. But I do. And I wanted to let you know that while I might be as elusive as a unicorn grazing in a field of four-leaf clovers, I'm close.
I'm around the corner, down the street, on Reddit 😉, a complete stranger. Perhaps I made eyes at you once at the grocery store. Or maybe I saw you across the park as I walked my little dog.
It's really not fair to either of us that we've had to wait this long, or go on blind dates, settle for "meh" relationships, feel misunderstood, cry from loneliness, wrap our arms around a pillow as we fall asleep separately at night. I'm so sorry, my love.
Be patient with me, darling heart. Know that I'm working my way toward you. Just keep making your life exciting and full, so when we do finally come together, we can bring each other joy, because we are already happy.
I know it's taken longer than you'd like. It's a hell of a lot slower than I could have ever imagined, believe me. But I'm here. This is me talking to you. And I'm not going anywhere.
Don't give up... I'll always be your girl.
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2023.06.07 23:34 Future_Ad_3485 The Night Squad Files Case One: Murder Pays
Waking up next to Stanton, our clothes were all over the floor. Blushing at last night’s activity, I checked the time. A loud scream burst from my lips, the book club was in ten minutes. Crashing to the floor, Stanton stirred awake. Panicking at the time, the floor shook as he crashed to the floor. Searching for anything to wear, he was already tugging on a black band t-shirt and ripped jeans. Fixing his hair, my hand settled on a black and white striped swing dress. Slipping my feet into my boots, he brushed my wild hair into a simple side bun. Kissing me on the forehead, he dropped a random book into my palm.
“I will hang out with the husbands to analyze their behavior. Get those hens talking about their men.” He said simply, ignoring what we did last night. “Try and drink some coffee with them. Tell them that you have a stomach sensitivity.” Focusing on the book, scarlet colored my cheeks. It was one I had written and published fifty years ago, his brows furrowing.
“You’re telling me that I have to go and sit with a bunch of women while they misinterpret what I wrote.” I groaned bitterly, wishing that he would acknowledge last night. “Whatever. At least I know the plot.” Hooking his elbow into mine, we walked across the street. The husbands welcomed him with open arms, Susie yanking me in. Pulling me into the kitchen, she slid me a cup of coffee, my stomach churning. While most vampires enjoyed it, I despised it with a burning passion. Taking a sip, the pungent taste reminded me of a bunch of pennies.
“Tell me about sleeping with him. Was it fun? My husband is so boring.” She pleaded desperately, pressing her palms together. “I also asked for you to come because you look a lot like my favorite author.” Hitting the wall, a secret shelf with every single book I wrote covered every inch of the damn space. Think of an excuse, you idiot. Stanton looked up from his own conversation outside, my lips pressing into a thin line.
“My mother wrote them.” I lied seamlessly, Susie buying into it. “She was a lovely woman.” Lie, that was a lie. My mother was a poor Irish vampire who ditched me at the ripe age of three, her next question causing me to spit my coffee out.
“When is the sound of tiny feet entering your home?” She trilled sweetly, cupping my hands. “You are the first to know that I am pregnant now. I have been trying for years. Maybe you can get pregnant soon and we can have them be best friends.” Horror hid behind my polite smile, a long squeal escaping my lips. Like hell I would go along with her sick little plan. Something felt off, my vision blurred. A purple liquid swirled on top of the coffee, my body hitting the floor. A rough darkness devoured me as coffee pooled around my head.
A yellow light swung over my head, something else feeling off. Clammy sweat drenched my skin, a fever burning my cheeks. Susie towered over me, a spike spinning in her palm. Attempting to crawl away, her heel dug into my back. Unable to move, this felt like something else. The desire to take Stanton nearly controlled my mind, the claws extended from my fingernails. Spinning another needle of the liquid in her palm, she jammed it into my leg. Extreme nausea wracked my body, the beginning of a heat cycle disabling me. Parting my lips to speak, I needed his blood to survive or that was what it felt like. Only wheezes poured from my lips, she jammed another needle into my leg. Sending me into the next stage, every touch raised an incredible amount of goosebumps. Shivering in my spot, the last time I felt this was one hundred years ago when a handsome stranger caught my eye.
“I used to be a hunter.” She bragged gleefully, sitting down on top of me. “We have to finish before the book club arrives, you fucking idiot. I meant what I said about you getting pregnant around the same time. I know the serial killer lives among us. You have to trust me with that.” My eyebrow twitched with a mixture of bewilderment and irritation, a snarl curling on my lips. All of this was too much, my knee meeting her face. Crawling onto the living room floor, my legs felt like rubber. If she hit me with another needle of that liquid I would be pregnant within the next few days. At the current level in mine, three months remained before anything had to be done about that. Stumbling out, blood poured from her nose. Struggling to my feet, my shaking fingers opened her fridge to see what I needed. The process had already begun but I could delay it for a while. Pulling out a needle full of a milky liquid, she cried out as I jammed it into my thigh.
“I am not ready for that quite yet, Miss hunter!” I shouted vehemently, fuming darkly on the stool. “How can I know that you aren’t the serial killer?” Pausing in her spot, her slender hands jammed her nose back into place. Wiping the blood out from underneath her nose, she sat down across from me. Chuckling softly to herself, her fingers drummed on the stainless steel counter top.
“They killed my sister and her family a couple of weeks ago. I have nothing to gain from this.” She informed me briskly, holding her stomach. “I am the neighborhood watch and I can’t stand that someone is slicing their way through our little piece of paradise. Revenge is in my plan but now I have to be careful.” Seeing things through her point of view, the fact that she sped up my natural reproductive cycle ticked me off.
“I figured I might kick start things for your body. The sooner you get pregnant the happier Stanley will be. I always catch him watching the families walking by with a longing look. I am only doing it because he doesn’t suck up to me which makes him my favorite stranger.” She expressed with her real smile, pointing to me. “You are a purebred vampire. Such luck should be blessed in your eyes. You can give birth without dying. I met you once when my old man came to talk to you in your jail cell. I don’t know if you don’t remember him but his name is Father Rowell.” All of my breath escaped my lungs at the mention of his name, my mind flicking through the memories of every person who had visited me. Come to think of it, a redheaded woman did accompany a priest that one time. How did I not make the connection? Laying my head on the table, several women ran in. My eyebrow twitched, the perfectly dressed woman interrupted our conversation. A sea of blonde haired women shoved me aside, a couple of them shooting daggers from their eyes. Stepping back, Susie tugged me close to her. A bout of nausea wracked me, the combination of the potion she had injected with me mixed poorly with my sudden social anxiety. Dropping a tray into my palm, her gentle touch dragged me to the four ivory walls she called her living room. A brown leather set reminded me of my cell, the tray crashing to the floor. Glass shattered everywhere, my immediate response was to run. Apologizing profusely, I bolted out the door. Ignoring their looks, I ripped off my boots. Sprinting down the street, a masked individual slammed into me. Crashing to the ground, the pavement felt cool against my face. Still weak from earlier, I couldn’t just fight them off like normal. Quivering on the pavement, a disguised voice sent chills up my spine.
“Goodnight, my dear!” The robotic voice laughed evilly, a knife slamming into my body repeatedly.” Copper poisoned my taste buds, the person whistling. A rusting van pulled up, the license plate number 568 4325 stuck into my memory while my blood pooled underneath me. Tossing me into the van, Stanton barely made it onto the street. Locking the door behind me, I leaned against the wall. Pulling out my silenced phone, my vision blurred as I turned on my location. Hiding my phone behind a dusty box, a darkness swallowed me alive.
Jerking awake once more, this trend had to stop. Groaning in pain, a yellow light swung over my head, a rough rope cut into my wrists. Struggling only made the knot tighter, the killers having to be boat owners, hunters or some sort of boy scout. Glancing around, no weapons lay around. Talk about being professional. Muffled yelling stole my attention, a filthy redhead tugged on chains against the wall. Two small children hugged her side tightly, silent tears staining their cheeks. One, a pair of worn steel toe boots came into view. Two, the other shoe appeared. Three, his masked face poked around the corner. Four, Five, Six, one of the killers were at the bottom of the stairs. Seven, he towered over me at six foot seven. Lifting up his mask, relief crashed over me at the sight of an anxious Stanton. Seconds from cutting her rope, the boss stomped down the stairs. Pulling his mask down, the boss cleared his throat.
“Cut off her fingers until she talks about how she found us.” He demanded via a thick distorted voice. “Never mind, give me the knife.” Snatching it from Stanton, he could only watch with horror as the man held my finger straight. Three red dots blinked in the corner of my eyes, the operation making sense. This asshole was running a torture to murder show, a lump forming in my throat.
“Thank you for your payment of a million dollars. We shall gut her like a deer.” He mused darkly, tracing the knife along my flat stomach. “Then I will play with the guts to please you.” A scream burst from my lips the moment the blade glided across my stomach. Fighting the urge to vomit, my steaming guts poured out onto my lap. Playing with my intestines, the money began to pour in. Choking on the blood building up in my throat, a hack sent it all over his mask. The questions were sick, a clammy sweat drenching my skin.
“We have a vampire.” He announced with wicked laughter, my heart sinking in my chest. “This is going to be fun.” Stanton held his composure, the back of the metal chair bending underneath his grip. The heat potion kicked in, one accidental touch clouding up my mind for a moment. Bending down to my level, his next words sent chills up my spine.
“The boys are coming. We have to keep him occupied for about thirty minutes.” He growled through gritted teeth, the man asking him to run the computers. Touching my shoulder one last time, the chair squealed the moment he sank down into the chair. Shoving a slender flash drive into the USB hole, he was gathering the IP addresses. Shoving my guts back in, childlike wonder brightened the killer’s tone at my wound sealing shut. Susie’s sister held her hands over her kid’s eyes, the knife sliding in and out of me. The wet noise did little to help me, the potion making my stomach churn worse than normal. The money kept pouring in, the welcome sound of chaos woke me up from my sickly state. The agents from before piled down the stairs, Stanton ripping off his mask. Cutting the rope, his touch made me jump a couple of feet into the air. Popping to my feet, every footfall echoed in the concrete cell. Assisting Susie’s sister, her arms embraced me desperately. Every emotion soaked my shoulder, another touch from Stanton resulted in a tender blush on my cheeks. Shooting me a thumbs up, his lips brushed against the top of my head. Helping the woman to her feet, Stanton scooped up the children. Bright flashes blinded me, the news crew attempting to speak to us. Climbing into a tinted SUV, the children bounced into their mother’s arm. Fishing around a bag, he held out packages of cheddar crackers. The boys accepted them graciously, the car heading towards the hospital. The door ripped open, nurses ushering the family inside. Scanning me up and down, Stanton held me by my hips. Sniffing me real quick, fear flashed on his face. Not having time, Susie smashed into me. Desperate tears flooded from her cheeks, her quaking hands cupping my face. A deep crimson painted my cheeks, a newfound respect for me glowed in her eyes.
“Thank you so much for saving them. I don’t know how I could ever thank y-” She blubbered uncontrollably, my hand raising to stop her. Smiling brightly in her direction, this reaction made it all worth it. My lips parted to speak, a nurse dragging her off before I could explain myself. Stanton dragged me back to the car, a snarl twitching on his lips. Slamming me down into my seat, the partition hummed its way up.
“Your heat is supposed to be for another year! Why do you smell like you are three months away?” He demanded hotly, the crack of my hand meeting his cheeks stunning the both of us. How dare he ask after not talking about last night! Clenching my fists into a ball, I turned my back.
“You haven’t talked about last night. We had fun and you acted like nothing happened!” I blurted out venomously, happy to have it off of my chest. “You already forced me into a marriage, and now you want me to ignore what happened last night. Fuck you. I had fun but here you are. Was it that bad? Susie sped me up so we could be pregnant around the same fucking time. Did you know she used to be a hunter? She opened right up to me. In fact she knew me.” Spinning me around to face him, an apologetic smile dimmed his features. A piece of hair fell in front of his left eye, his hands rubbing my shoulder.
“I can’t tell you why that all scares me.” He mumbled under his breath, sliding me a large emerald box. “You need to get changed into your uniform to enter the facility.” Peeling off my destroyed dress, his eyes couldn’t leave the angry scars covering my body. Flipping the box open, I pulled out a lightly armored leather number. Tugging it over my head, the onyx leather covered my arms. Hiding my bloody hands underneath the bell sleeves, the deep v-neck showed off my ample breasts. Sitting back in the seat, the A-line skirt floated away from my body. Scooting closer to me, he offered me his neck. Sinking my fangs into his tender flesh, every gulp revived my health. Curling my arms around his neck, he drank away. This time a wave of euphoria crashed over me, a long sigh pouring from my lips. Unable to stop, fright rounded my eyes the moment his hand curled around my neck. A muffled protest stopped him, an oppressive silence hung between us. The car skidded to a halt, an impressive navy marble building towered over us. Helping me out, the numb look on his face scared the shit out of me. Marching in aggressively, the way he was acting reminded me of the first time I met Father Powell. Hugging him from behind, his muscles relaxed.
“We all lose control at times.” I assured him lovingly, the tone taking over my voice for the first time. “If I can gain control, you can do it.” Cupping my trembling hands, an agent was attempting to remember the plate number. Typing it in for them with my free hand, a grateful expression met my exhausted face. My legs gave out, Stanton placing me on his back. Ignoring the jeering whispers, the rumors spread within minutes. Bursting into the interrogation room, a shaggy haired man with angry dark eyes watched him set me down in the chair across from him. An unkempt beard danced with every growl in his throat, his scarred face informing me of a rough life.
“I am not the only one in this plot. Do you remember that serial killer club on the news a couple of years ago? I am the bottom tier.” He bragged gleefully, the sweet smell of poison wafting from his mouth. “We must all die with honor.” His heart beat one last time, Stanton calling for help. Help wouldn’t come soon enough, this was a magical poison. Dragging him out of the room, I climbed into the driver’s seat. A skill I had learned the moment cars had been invented, the modern car proving far easier to drive than those things. Stanton hopped into the passenger seat, my fingers typing in an address into the GPS. Driving for too long, the brakes squealed to a halt in front of a bustling night club. Taking off his tie, the poor thing floated to the back. Roughing up his suit, he protested as I messed up his hair. Letting my hair down, a familiar face had to be spoken to. Sauntering up the door, the bouncer let us both in. Loud music worsened my migraine, a scantily clad blond guided us up to the office. Opening the door, my fingers curled around the neck of my old friend. Pinning him to the wall, his scarlet curls bounced around. Ruby eyes glowered back at me, his garish velvet suit irritating me further.
“Who are you selling your poison to, you fucking idiot?” I interrogated him intensely, Stanton yelling at me to calm down. “I know what you sold to Susie. That I can let go but sell some sort of poison to a serial killer after school club! You are playing with fire.” Cocking his brows, he slammed his knee into my chest. Every rib shattered upon impact, all the breath leaving my body. Coughing on the floor, he picked me up by my hair.
“I refuse to let a runt like you run my life. I sell my magical drugs and that is that.” He snapped hotly, my bones fusing back together. “I don’t know or care what they do with them.” Wicked laughter rumbled in my throat, the heel of my bare feet slamming into his jaw. Raw energy built around my fist, his bones shattered upon the impact of my fist. Sliding down the wall, my bruising fingers picked him up by his collar.
“I don’t care that you make drugs. That isn’t my department but when they are used for suicide I have an issue. Who ordered it!” I screamed furiously, a glob of spit landing on my face. “Just answer the fucking question. I will break every bone in your body. You still owe me for you selling me out. I fucking let you keep the reward money.” Clicking his bones back into place, he struggled to his feet. Unlocking his cabinet, he pulled out an ancient ledger. Dropping it into my palms, he sulked to his desk.
“Take it. I have to start another one anyway. I will call you if somebody uber weird pops up.” He commented kindly, pulling out a new one. “Don’t charge me, ‘kay. I provide loads of hunger suppressants for the monsters in the area. I also help monsters get pregnant faster. The poison was only meant to be sold for someone who was going to die. You know that I can see reapers as well as you can. Watch your temper with that heat potion coursing through you. Your powers are going to be a little wacky for a bit.” Mouthing a silent thanks, a triumphant grin spread cheek to cheek. Walking through the club, another discussion had to be had once we got into the car. Climbing in, dread bubbled in my gut.
“Give up why you were in prison.” I demanded sternly, leaning on the steering wheel. “Don’t lie. I can sniff that shit out.” Tears welled up in his eyes, a lump forming in his throat. Storm clouds rumbled to life, heavy raindrops crashed to the top of the vehicle.
“You weren’t my first partner.” He uttered bitterly, chewing on his lips. “I had a romantic relationship with her and she turned out to be the serial killer. The bodies piled up behind me, and I didn’t even know. We were incredibly intimate. She lied with the biggest smile on her face. I enjoyed our evening together and that you only drank from the serial killers to survive. She was what the agency calls a binge eater. Devouring person after person and I was the one to put her down. The difference was that I didn’t love her like I love you.” Covering his mouth, a further explanation needed to be heard.
“What do you mean by love me?” I asked politely, attempting not to lose my cool while pulling into a Cally’s. “Don’t lie to me. I have been through enough hell today.” Refusing to look in my direction, my hands cupped his face. Gritting his teeth, his hands cupped mine.
“I observed you for months and fell in love with the way you helped the prison when you could. I loved it when you would spend weeks buried into an inhumanly huge pile of books.” He choked out awkwardly, fresh tears flowing from his eyes. “I sound like a creepy stalker but I needed to make you my mate from the instant you met me.” Nodding my head, my lips kissed his hungrily. Scarlet colored his cheeks, his hands falling to my flat stomach.
“I love you too.” I choked out just as awkwardly, hoping not to upset him further. “Watch this book, I will be right back.” Swiping his wallet, I ran into the department store. Ignoring the bright lights and horrid smells, I paused in the baby section. Closing my eyes, the sweet sound of my mother singing an Irish lullaby soothed my nerves. Snapping awake, a tiny girl had crashed into my legs. Instead of crying out in fear, she began to giggle.
“You are so pretty.” She sang adorably, her horrified mother scooping her up and running away. Getting a couple of packages of toy cars and a beautiful bouquet of white roses, hurt dimmed my eyes at the cashier watching me in pure terror. Paying for the items, silent tears stained my cheeks. Not saying a word, I punched in the address for the hospital. Cursing to myself, we were four hours away. Setting the stuff in the back, I chose to turn on the radio to drown out the chaos in my mind. Sobbing the whole way back, this world was no different. The only thing missing was the torches that had hunted my mother down. Getting there in record time, I ditched my partner to catch up to me later. Stopping at the desk, the nurse didn’t show the same fear as the people in the store. Tucking a loose piece of caramel hair behind her ears, her gray eyes twinkling with joy.
“Thank you for bringing them in.” She returned with a genuine smile, pointing to the last room down the hall. “Visiting hours are over. Surely, they want to see their hero. I will pretend I looked the other way.” Winking in my direction, she turned her back to me. Running to their room, an exhausted Susie lay on her sister’s bed. The children perked up at me, smashing into my legs. Crouching down at their level, I presented the packages of cars. Pecking my cheeks, they ran off to go play with them. Rising to my feet, I presented her with the flowers.
“How does your sister like her coffee?” I inquired with my genuine smile, the mother’s expression softening into a gracious smile. My lips parted to speak, the woman’s head shaking. Coughing a bit, blood covered her hand. Seconds from pushing the nurse button, her raspy voice stole my attention. Stanton hovered in the door, the mother’s heart monitor going nuts. Looking closer, a bony hand rested on her shoulder. Following the arm, a reaper held her shoulder. Death had come to her, the option not working for me.
“Is there anything I can give you in return?” I begged with my palms pressed together, knowing that those kiddos needed their mother. “How about this?” Snapping my fingers, my stolen reaper’s scythe rested in my palms. Snatching it from me, the cold hand curled around my neck. Gasping for air, his yellowed skull hovered inches from my face. Biting down on my arm, he gulped down enough to figure out who I was.
“I recognize your stupid face.” A chilly voice thundered evilly, the other finger playing with my hair. “You vampires are the bane of my existence. I can’t take your souls when there's none to take. I will spare her this one time but she will have to go next time regardless of what you have.” Dropping me to the floor, he was gone. Coughing up a storm, one of the kids hit the button. A look of horror dawned on his face, his tiny body smashing into my legs. Crouching down to his level, he shivered in my arms.
“Was that a reaper?” He stuttered brokenly, my head nodding. “Will they ever hurt me?” His tight red curls tickled my face, the other twin watching from a distance. Their emerald green eyes watched me as the nurse brushed past me.
“No, they won’t.” I promised them warmly, taking him to the waiting room. “Let’s go play while they take care of your mom, ‘kay.” Susie snapped awake, picking up her other nephew. Crashing into the nearest chairs, they played with their cars. Susie rested her head on my shoulder, snores echoing in my ear. Letting her sleep, I was thankful for my current life.
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2023.06.07 22:53 Monkeydp81 The Ruins of Mingyun Village Part 1
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This project is a multi-part project due to the number of images required to provide proper context for descriptions. This first part is mostly background and only contains the analysis of one set of ruins. But due to the aforementioned picture requirement, adding the next set wouldn't work with reddits image limit on posts. Also apologies if some of the transitions feel a bit rough, I had to change to formatting on this a lot because I kept realizing it didn't actually make sense for what I was trying to say, and as this isn't some official paper or something I'm not going to try and make it all flow perfectly.
The area around Mingyun Village has four separate ruin complexes. To the south you’ll find a complex that bears a striking similarity to the entrance of Liyue Harbor. To the west a fallen dome lies amongst the grass next to some stairs that lead to nowhere. Swing north from that and you’ll find the ruins of some outer walls as well as another, albeit slightly less grand, entranceway. Finally, a small island to the southeast contains the ruins of a large tower of some description. The first three all seem to point towards the area occupied by the now abandoned village. But the boundaries of the village contain no structures older than a few dozen years at best. So what happened to the rest of it? What were each of the ruins used for? Who made them and why? Well that’s what this analysis is here to answer. But as always, we have to start with some background.
The Local Geography Over Time:
Geography around ruins will always change, it’s an inevitability concerning the passage of time. This in turn can skew the people's perceptions on how structures were used. Thus when studying a ruin it’s always
important to remember that how the area around it looks at the present is not representative of how it was in the past. The ruins around Mingyun Village however, I believe to be a step beyond that.
It’s a well known fact that one of the ways Morax defeated his enemies in the Archon War was through the use of giant stone spears. The existence of Guyun Stone Forest is a testament to this fact. However it stands as odd that he would only use these for one battle. But contemporary records make no other mention of their use at any other time. But this doesn’t mean that they were never used again. In fact I believe it to be highly likely that the bluffs surrounding Mingyun Village are not natural formations, but instead more of those great stone spears. To back this theory I have a few key points that I have explained below.
The Stone Itself (Guyun Stone Forest):
The stone spears of Guyun Stone Forest have 2 distinct features that set them apart from natural rock formations in Liyue. First of all, they have the appearance of dozens of long and roughly hexagonal rods. A look that bears a distinct difference from the natural rock formation of Liyue. Top down view of two spears
Secondly, almost every single spear rests at an angle, and though exceptions do exist, they do not represent the vast majority. Same spears as seen from the side
With the establishment of these two distinguishing features, we can take a closer look at the Mingyun Bluffs. Which with even the quickest of glances shows an astounding abundance of both features. Making a coincidence basically impossible. Southern Bluff interior as seen from the south east
(For a look at what natural stone looks like in Liyue I’d suggest Huaguang Stone forest)
The Rock and Ruins:
Another sign indicating that these bluffs are younger than the ruins around them can be seen in the southern and western ruins. Both of these complexes have crumbled in ways not consistent with natural decay, but could be expected if a large piece of stone were dropped on them at high speeds.
Compare these two sides of the southern ruins tunnel Top Photo Bottom Photo
Assuming both sides were symmetrical when first built, (they probably were based on the symmetry found in this whole section) we can draw a number of discrepancies between the two sides.
- In the upper left of the top photo there's a gap that leads outside near the dome support. Other than the common sense that says this would be weird as is, this section is totally hidden by bluff stone in the same spot on the bottom photo.
- The left side of the bottom picture shows that this section of the tunnel widened a bit to accommodate two highly decorated pillars. However on the top photo that widened section doesn’t exist, having been replaced by bluff stone. Even more damning is that only one of the pillars can be seen having likely been forcibly moved from its original position
- Finally, both sides have a spot (top pic left side, bottom pic right side) where a platform once existed. This platform may have been used for lights or to store/show off important items. Whatever the case, they look remarkably different from each other. The bottom one has crumbled away slightly, but this looks like natural decay due to time. The top one on the other hand, while not crumbled, has lost almost all of this space to bluff rock. This is a difference that cannot be attributed to natural decay like the collapse of a wall. If this were the case, we’d see evidence of deterioration on the tops photos section similar to that of the bottoms.
Heading to the western ruins, we can garner a little bit more proof towards this theory. While less direct than the southern ruins, you can still pick up a few things that don’t quite match up. https://preview.redd.it/vgcrnpkyon4b1.png?width=512&format=png&auto=webp&s=0036b3f7e324fb3a44ebc59db06e87352727f993
Starting from the left side we have,
- A stairway that goes to nowhere. Now assuming something goes nowhere is a ruin complex would normally be pretty stupid. However if you inspect closer you can see that this was probably a path, not an entrance. You can tell because it stays the same width throughout and there are no extra bits like pillars nearby. Which makes it a path that heads straight into a rock wall. Not exactly something most people would take the time to cobble and make look nice.
- Moving to the center we have a fallen dome. Most probably wouldn’t consider it too special to still be intact after having fallen. But that’s exactly what makes it special. While not visible in this image, you can see in the hole on its right side that this dome didn’t fall, it was buried. In fact the whole area around it sits at an angle. Nobody would ever build a structure made of stone on such angled and potentially unstable ground. Meaning that it was likely buried, and done so very very quickly.
- Finally, and probably least interesting but I wanted to have something for it, we have the wall on the right. The only real show for this is that its rightmost side has been partially swallowed by rock. You can even see the corners of the bottom of the pillar sticking out from the rock. Something that would be pretty stupid to bother to do if it was built like that. As it would be a huge amount of effort for something very small.
With the evidence I’ve just presented, I say with near perfect confidence that the bluffs around Mingyun Village are not natural formations, but instead Morax’s stone spears.
The Village Itself:
Next we have to talk about the area where the village itself is located. If so many of these ruins point towards this area, why are there no ruins there? Luckily there’s a simple explanation that doesn’t require looking at it from several theoretical angles. Put simply, it’s a mining village. The ruins were cleared out ages ago to allow people to properly quarry the area. Even looking at a map you can see that the geography is similar to the descending tiers of a quarry. It simply comes down to the people of the present needing the resources of the area more than its history.
Which Civilization Was This a Part Of?: A Map of the area being discussed
Finally, have you ever looked at the Entombed City names on the map and thought that it was kind of missing the whole city part? I know I have on many occasions. But no matter where you look there really isn’t any part of the Dragonspine ruins that could be described as city-like. But what if extended beyond the currently defined Dragonspine region. I mean it’s not as if states were confined to only naturally created borders. With this in mind, I believe it likely that the ruins present around the bluffs of Mingyun Village are the outer edges of this Entombed City. First of all, it’s highly unlikely that this city's actual name was “Entombed City”. Instead this moniker may have come as a result of its fate. Which is that it was buried, or entombed, under rock from Morax’s stone spears. As time passed, this was the only name that survived, and thus the Dragonspine palace and outskirts were named accordingly. But this isn’t anywhere near enough to make this a solid theory. So for that we head back to geography and the Archon War. A look at a map shows that Dragonspine has two pathed entranceways. One travels along the snow-covered path. The other, the one we’re interested in, is around the teleport point north east of the Lianshan Formula Domain. However if you look at a map you can see that this would have been a very very impractical entrance as only sheer cliffs await on all sides not facing back towards the mountain. However, the topography on the map shows a very gradual decline before arriving at the cliffs. It’s probable that this was the terrain's original layout on this slope. A possible sliver of which can be seen in the bottom right of the above image. Add the fact that the makeup of these cliffs match that of the stone spears, it is likely that the terrain in this area was originally a gradual slope without cliffs. If this is the case, then it means that these ruins and those in Sal Vindagnyr would share a direct connection. Likely making them one and the same.
The first set of ruins bring us to a small island south east of Yaoguang Shoal. Those of you who’ve played this for a while probably know it better as the friendship island because of the heart with the chest you can only get in co-op.
These ruins consist of a very short stone path with the remains of a collapsed building or wall leading up to a large and mostly collapsed stone tower. The column is in an incomplete state as only a lower section remains. The column sits atop a decorated stone platform that has been mostly buried. Leaning against the column are several square stone columns that don’t match up with any of the remaining parts of said column. Indicating that it may have had additional structures attached to it in that past.
The Small Path: https://preview.redd.it/6b2i3fw7rn4b1.png?width=512&format=png&auto=webp&s=9e87adf5d3f9a033aa4a4d36ef273d34f1ef43de
Starting us off we have the remains of a very small path intersected by the ruins of an unknown structure. I know this is a path as it lines up with a bit of path coming off of the stone tower's base (which will be visible when we get to said tower). I suspect this path was quite simply just a path. Being that an island as small as this would likely be quite hard to traverse if say the weather got really bad. As for what’s intersecting it, I can’t really be sure. My best guess is the very top of an archway as it is slightly wider than the pathway and sits directly over it. This doesn’t really give an explanation for the small pile of rubble on the left side of the image. But that section isn’t really the important part of what’s on this island.
The Column: https://preview.redd.it/ko06pmavrn4b1.png?width=512&format=png&auto=webp&s=baeca4dee45a25979a594a4355c9f82a156ecd39 https://preview.redd.it/vwoinw7zrn4b1.png?width=512&format=png&auto=webp&s=b32a481fc08814155201a1c634744d0532e631fd
The most important part of the ruins on this island is of course the remains of this column. It’s honestly the strangest ruin I’ve looked at so far in any of my posts. It wasn’t a tower because it has neither an entrance or a hollow center. Nor was it part of some larger structure as there is nothing else of this size anywhere nearby. It seems to have literally just been a pillar on a small island. The longer stone bricks on the northern side are different from the stone present in the remains, but without anything else it’s impossible to derive a possible purpose. The more you look the less sense it makes.
Possible Purpose and Ties:
The only possible purpose I could think of was that this marked the border of territory controlled by a state. This state was likely Sal Vindagnyr as the island lines up nicely with Dragonspine’s southern peninsula. This would make it easier for them to claim areas of the sea they saw as theirs. Reasons for doing this could come from either their own isolationist tendencies or continued issues with other peoples/states. But in the end this thing just presents more mysteries and questions than it does answers.
Well that's the first part. I really really wanted to make it longer but it just wasn't going to work. I know its been far longer than it normally is for me between posts, but Tears of the Kingdom. I do hope this is enough to satiate you people until I finish enough for the next section. I do again want to say sorry this feels a little all over the place, but having to reformat like 4 times makes that happen. Posts are also going to be slowed down by college stuff ramping up again for me. This of course takes a far higher priority than anything to do with video games.
Hope your looking forward for what's to come.
2023.06.07 22:41 Future_Ad_3485 The Night Squad Files Case Zero: The Meeting of Partners
My fingers drummed on the cold steel table in my specialized prison cell, my daily dose of blood having not been sent to me. A dry thirst burned in my throat, my ruby eyes dilating at the vampire in a cheap business suit plopping down across from me. Playing with my amethyst waves, he traced his slender finger along the nape of his neck. His ruby eyes glistened with excitement, his slicked back ivory hair reminded me of everything I hated about the government.
“Pretty hungry, Morticia Deathbite?” He taunted cruelly, hatred burning in my eyes. “I have a deal for you. The government will exonerate you of all your charges if you agree to become my wife for a mission. There is one catch, you have to let me bite you. Oh forgive my manners. I am Agent Stanton Lifewick, a member of Night Squad. The vampires in the program work to hunt down serial killers that the police can’t seem to get. Will you join me?” Growling through gritted teeth, my inky lips curled into a defiant snarl. Spitting in his face, wicked laughter rumbled in his throat.
“You can rot in hell. You guys put me in this jail cell for only drinking the blood of serial killers. Fuck you.” I retorted venomously, his hands wiping away the spit. “You can leave now, you rotten bastard!” Snatching the collar of my orange jumpsuit, he yanked me close to his face. The corner of his lips twitched with fury, a raw tension thickening between us. Shooting daggers into each other's eyes, my elbow slammed into his face. Crashing back, I sprinted out the door. Red light bathed the concrete halls, a shrill alarm blaring in my ears. Unlocking the other criminals on my way out, the distraction would be my way out. Security guards attempted to stop me, one punch smashing them into the wall. A Cheshire Cat grin spread cheek to cheek at the open gate, my bare feet smashing through. Feeling the pale moonlight on my skin pleased me, Stanton called for me to stop. Flipping him off, I leapt into the trees. Hopping from branch to branch, my heart stopped at him blocking my path. Straightening up, claws extended from my black fingernails. Cracking my neck, he pulled out a gun with holy water soaked wooden bullets.
“I can’t let you escape.” He snapped hotly, a bead of sweat dripping off of his brow. “Join me now or I’ll shoot you.” Putting my hands up in the air as a dare, maniacal laughter burst from my lips. Shrugging my shoulders, he watched me crack my fingers one by one. Leaning forward, something was stopping him. My face fell at the sound of guns clicking underneath me, the sheer amount of agents scaring me. Placing my hands behind my back, my claws receded back into their place.
“Just take me back so I can fucking die.” I grumbled under my breath, Stanton putting his gun away. Leaping closer to me, even my speed wouldn’t allow me to dodge all of their bullets. Standing behind me, his fangs grazed the nape of my neck. His hot breath bathed my neck, the agents’ fingers all ready to shoot me. Too many black suits, I thought irritably to myself. Freedom and blood was all I desired, the bastards stripping both from me.
“Just fucking say yes, you idiot!” He growled huskily in my ear, his hand sliding down the small of my waist. “You get freedom and all the blood you need from me.” His invisible strength threatened to break my back, my body trembling in his hold. Something about it dulled my hatred for him. Concern flashed in his eyes for a moment, tears welling up in my eyes. Peeking into his soul, a white aura surrounded him. Bowing my head in shame, my bangs hid my eyes. Live a life alone in prison or experience life again? Did the world hate me as much as I hated it?
“Fine.” I uttered in with defeat, a sickening dread bubbling in my gut. “You win but you better treat me like one of you. I refuse to be a slave and a prisoner.” Sinking his fangs into my neck, the disgusting sound of him drinking my blood drowned out the agents putting their guns back. Inky bats flew across my breasts, a solid black band forming on his finger. An indescribable bond formed between us, silent tears streaming down my cheeks. This contract reminded me of how my first master used me to kill innocent people for defying the church, his gentle touch scaring me out of my trance.
“Are you okay?” He whispered kindly in my ear, the sudden shift in his personality ringing the alarm bells. “I am going to get you to the car and we will sign a marriage contract to get our license. I don’t bite. Well, unless I have to. I am aware you have been alive since medieval times so the concept of living off your mate’s blood is new. It actually makes you ten times stronger. Imagine that power coursing through you.” Tossing me over his shoulder, he jumped off the branch.
“Operation Get Hitched is a success!” He announced with a warm smile, a tender blush rising to my cheeks. “Go home to your families.” Carrying me to the car, my waves bounced up and down with every step. Sitting me down in the passenger seat of a generic black armored SUV, my hair blew back as he slammed the door shut. Sliding into his seat, he pulled out a pile of papers from the center console. Passing me the pile, I knew the drill. Signing on the dotted lines, a knock stole his breath away. Rolling down the window, a fellow agent stamped the paper. Dropping two velvet boxes into my lap, the papers fluttered in the other agent’s hands. Closing his window, he held my hand up. Opening up the closest box to him, he slid on an onyx band of twisted branches. Grasping the remaining box, my jaw dropped at the matching band. Sliding on his finger shakily, surprise rounded his eyes. Thorns dug into my fingers, his face showing the same fate for him. Sniffing the ring, it reeked of an eternal curse. Fantastic, we were bound together forever.
“Can I ask you a question?” I choked out awkwardly, a warm gaze falling on me. “Why me? I am not the only vampire there. I can think of s-” Putting his finger up in the air, the ring glittered in the pale moonlight. Grabbing my shoulder, any cockiness he had was gone. It almost seemed to be a mask in front of the boys, his private personality seeming naturally sweet.
“I picked you because I saw your beautiful face in a pile of files. Also you are the oldest vampire alive, so that helped. I find you rather amazing. I don’t agree with you killing all those serial killers but you had to eat. Am I right?” He mused tenderly, is crooked grin stopped time as the urge to kiss him dominated my mind. “How about you drink something? I had them starve you for a couple of days. I am sorry about that.” Guiding my head to the nape of his neck, his vein throbbed violently. Biting him now would seal the deal from my side, the scent of a summer day wafted up my nose. Piercing his tender flesh, my pupils enlarged at the first sip, the sweet taste of lemonade coated my throat. Wrapping my arms around his neck, short gasps poured from his lips. Drinking my fill, a satisfied sigh flowed freely from me. He was right, your mate’s blood tasted like nothing else. Scarlet blood stained the corner of his lips, my hands cupping his face. Pressing my lips against his sensually, his arm slid down to the small of my waist. Refusing to let me go, his tongue danced in my mouth. Time stopped, our heartbeats were all I could hear. Releasing him from the spell, he sat back in a daze with a goofy grin. Scarlet burned his cheeks, my impulsive behavior having landed me in some hot water for sure.
“Sorry for that.” I apologized profusely, hoping that he wouldn’t hate me for acting on my inner thoughts. “I get a little impu-” Kissing me back with twice as much passion, my body arched towards him. The seat belt was the only thing that held me back, his heart beating faster than mine. Another knock interrupted him, a flustered Stanton rolled the window down.
“What!” He yelled sharply, the ivory haired female’s ruby eyes flitting between me and him. “Selena, you need to give your older brother privacy.” Her petite five two figure didn’t scream power but boy did her intense color changing aura. Sticking out her tongue, a deeper scarlet colored his cheeks. Blinking a couple of times, she leaned into the car.
“I am Selena Dogood, his baby sister. You must be the infamous Morticia he never stopped talking about. Honestly, he never shut up.” She teased lightly, her short leather dress fluttering in the breeze. “Would you like to h-” Covering her mouth with his hand, a stern gaze shut her offer down.
“I would but I need to get to the hell I am calling suburbia. You know the reason I married her in the first place. They suspect the serial killer is living in that godforsaken town.” He informed her briskly, cursing under his breath. “I might like her a bit. Do you have her clothes? People are going to stare if I bring her out in a prison jumpsuit.” Dropping a silky emerald dress into his lap, a horrendous flashback of the church dressing me in lingerie for special guests to view haunted me. Horrendous slurs had been carved into my skin, the people throwing rotten tomatoes at me. Clutching my chest, a tight embrace snapped me back to reality. Selena put her hands up into the air, walking back to her own SUV. Kissing the top of my head, the nature of our bond made this moment unbearably sweet. His slender six foot seven frame towered over me by a good foot, thus his embrace felt like Heaven. Shaking my head, I shoved him off. Undoing my seat belt, he turned his back as I peeled off the jumpsuit. Tossing it into the back, I tugged on the sweetheart neckline dress. The silk felt soft against my skin, the material a far better cry from the rough cotton of my previous outfit. The straps failed to cover the number the prison had branded me with, my fingers tracing the faint numbers. Not seeing what I did wrong, the people should have applauded me. Furthermore, I needed to eat.
“You look beautiful.” He commented pleasantly, his eyes falling on the numbers branded on my chest. “They didn’t tell me that they did that to the first vampires in prison. I promise to make your life better. Can you cook?” His question threw me off as the engine roared to life, the trees turning into a sea of houses. Rolling my eyes, most of them were close enough to pass a damn cup of sugar through the bathroom window. The ranches nauseated me further, my heart sinking at the car pulling up to a flamingo pink ranch. My face scrunched in disgust, my eyes falling on a red headed woman with piercing blue eyes. Her curls bounced around her shoulders, her ample cleavage hanging out of a tight tank top. Pouting in my direction, something seemed off about her. Perhaps it was because her aura was darker than the bottom of the ocean. Hopping out to the car, his hand ripped open the car door. Sliding on the shoes, a scowl planted itself on her lips.
“Who’s Shirley Temple across the street?” I inquired softly, his eyes rolling. “She seems to like you.” Rolling his eyes, a wicked grin spread cheek to cheek as he rose to his feet. Pinning me to the car, his lips kissed mine hungrily. Time stopped, the sound of the night fading to the background. Releasing me from his spell, her death glare sent chills up my spine. Lifting my finger, he purposely showed off our wedding rings. Glee glittered in his eyes at her obvious bewilderment, he flipped her off on the way into the house. The outside must have been deceptive because all sorts of taxidermy lined the Victorian style wallpaper, the dark wooden bookshelves were lined with first editions of books. Sitting me down on what was his original emerald velvet couch, my hands rubbing the carved bats on the armrest. Crossing my legs, my eyes fell on the coffin coffee table. Laying down, sweet slumber stole me away.
Snapping awake, a flurry of impatient knocks frightened the shit out of me. The bright sunshine blinded me, a fluke in my DNA allowing me not to burn in the sun. Rushing to the door, the redhead from the night before knocked once more. Opening the door, I leaned on the door frame. Horror rounded her eyes at my porcelain skin and black lips, her perfect ass shoving her way in. Following her into an all black kitchen, she called out Stanley. Cocking my brow in response, a messy haired Stanton wandered into the hall. Defiance glittered in his eyes, my eyes taking in the same emerald wallpaper from the living room now lining the hall.
“You are a cockadoody for your disrespectful behavior from last night.” She complained bitterly, her eyes snapping back to me. “Did you find her on an albino dating site? Why haven’t I seen her?” Rubbing his bare muscular chest, he examined her pristine white dress and black sun hat. My heart fluttered at the sight of him, part of me wishing he wouldn’t slick his hair back anymore. A matching branded set of numbers sat on his chest, curiosity twinkling in my eyes.
“Why don’t you leave, Susie?” He asked politely, popping a white tablet into his mouth. “I need you and your husband to leave me alone today.” Narrowing her eyes in his direction, he motioned towards the door. Something seemed off with her, her aura sickening me. Cupping my mouth, he noticed my reaction to her presence. Not only that, the scent of her blood reminded me of a corpse. Walking up next to her, I pushed Stanton out of the way.
“What is your name?” I demanded viciously, folding my arms across my chest. True love lit up in his eyes for the first time, the crack of her slap stunning me into a temporary silence. Her chest huffed up and down, my crazed grin infuriating her further. Pinning me to the wall, I stole the opportunity to peek into her soul. A shadow blocked me from seeing into it, my face falling.
“I am Susan Smith, the leader of the neighborhood watch. I am watching you. I am a black belt by the way.” She warned icily, my unimpressed expression peeving her off further. “What is so funny?” Knowing that she would charge me if I touched her, I cleared my throat.
“Hello to you then.” I chirped cheerfully, turning on my people-friendly smile. “I think you should go now. I work the night shift and you and your creepy neighborhood watch can go fuck yourself. You can keep your hungry eyes off my husband.” Raising her hand to strike me, I caught it mid slap. Lowering it to her side, my grip on her wrist refused to let her go.
“Whatever. My husband is hotter than yours and the mayor of the town. I wouldn’t touch him with a ten foot pole.” She returned haughtily, my fingers letting her go. “We don’t want you Gothic freaks in this perfect little slice of Heaven.” Cocking my brow at her words, it was obvious she liked my husband. A slightly overweight bald man in a pair of khakis and a blue button up shirt stepped out to search for his wife, his chocolate brown eyes falling on us. The name Richard stood out to me, a defiant glow coming over my face.
“He’s hot if slightly overweight and bald with a side of khaki’s is in fashion.” I taunted cruelly, watching her face grow red as the fire hydrant outside. Stomping off, she slammed the door behind her. Dusting off my dress, he pulled me in for a warm embrace. The foot difference made me feel pleasantly small, the feeling of his muscles against my face causing a tender blush to rise to my cheeks. This was an emotion that I haven’t felt in a while, the desire to give in to my nightly urges raged. Pushing him away, I folded my arms across my chest. Hurt dimmed his eyes, his hands running through his hair.
“We don’t have to do any of that until you are ready. We do have to get ready to go to the grocery. I just took my sunblock pill.” He explained happily, turning to walk back into his room. Hugging him from behind, my outcome was to alleviate his hurt. Freezing in his tracks, he spun on his heels. Hiding his wet eyes underneath his hair, he barely responded as I wiped away his tears. Pushing me away, a glass shattered on the worn wooden floor the moment I hit it. Shivering on the floor, I had tried too hard. Rushing into his room, I chased after him.
Fighting the tears, his years in prison had done a number on him. Sliding into the room in the nick of time, he shoved an onyx lace baby doll dress into my arms with a pair of chunky heeled boots. Stomping into the bathroom, he had his outfit hanging off of his arm. Changing quickly, he needed something to cheer him up. Crashing into the kitchen, the bottom of my dress fluttered with each step. Noting the dark roast coffee beans, coffee was the only thing vampires could taste beside blood. Humming to myself, I began the process of making him a latte. Smoothing out my bell sleeves, it was time to add the milk. Pouring the foaming milk into his coffee, he wandered in with a grumpy look on his face. My breath hitched at his black and white striped button up shirt over a pair of black shorts, his worn converses bringing him down to what age we looked like. A silver cross dangled from his left ear, his eyes falling on the apology coffee.
“I am sorry. It has been a long time since someone touched me. It is a tale I will tell you another time. Did you make that for me?” He queried with a tired smile, taking the clear cup in his trembling hands. “Did they teach you how to make this in jail?” Nodding silently, he took a sip. His eyes widened at how tasty it was, the cup was empty in a couple of minutes.
“Are we watching the people at the grocery store?” I questioned shakily, afraid to speak. “Won’t we stand out?” Shaking his head, he ruffled the top of my head. Kissing the top of my head, he offered me his elbow. Hooking mine around his, he guided me out to the car. Helping me in, we were soon heading to the local grocery store. The worn sign flickered against a faded tan facade, the housewives streamed in and out. An irritated Susan rushed past his car.
“We do but I have lived here for months, so they are used to it. If you wore pink it would be more alarming.” He whispered gruffly into my ears, those damn urges coming up again. “Trust me. We are the town freaks anyway with being “albinos”. The air quotes added a sense of humor to the moment, his soft chuckle telling me that he was fine. Helping me out, the wives all waved at him. Jealousy flashed in my eyes, his fingers intertwined with mine. While he received a bunch of smiles, I received death glare after death glare. Bright lights blinded me, the constant conversations caused my ears to pin back. The serial killer could be among these people, the very thought exhilarating.
“This can be a bit much for your first day out of jail. I would have left you at home but our bond won’t allow it.” He assured me sweetly, placing my hands on the cart. Holding me from behind, he rested his chin on my head. Talking for a minute to the butcher, a special symbol on his neck informed me that he was an ally. Susan rolled up next to me, one of her lackeys boxing me in. Leaning on the end of my cart, she cast insult after insult at me. Ignoring her words, a familiar face stole my attention. His wrinkles matched the father’s from back in the medieval times, a pair of sage eyes meeting mine. He smelled human, a Celtic symbol glowed on his neck. Susan waved her hands in front of me, a strained huh escaping my lips. His black priest’s uniform sickened me, clammy sweat soaking my skin.
“Did you hear me!” Susan demanded childishly, holding out an invitation. “This is something we call a book club.” Seconds from crumbling it up, Stanton snatched it from her fingers. Pecking me on the lips, she rolled her eyes in a huff. Father Rowell had disappeared into the crowd, my husband carrying on the conversation for me.
“I have to go to the bathroom!” I blurted out awkwardly, leaping over the carts. Crashing through the people, I skidded to a stop in front of Rowell. Reaching his hand out to me, a bolt of lightning zapped him the moment our skin touched. Clearing his throat, he pointed to the automatic doors.
“Shall we go outside?” He suggested with a sly grin, my ankle failing me at the wrong time. Crashing onto my ass, he snapped his finger. A rotting church towered over us, so many questions rested on the tip of my tongue. One pew remained, the wood groaning as we sat down on it. Why did this feel warmer than before?
“Are you the serial killer, you old man?” I interrogated intensely, his head shaking. Sliding me a Celtic spell book with the proper page open, the spell he was using only required the sacrifice of a lamb. Leaning back, he touched the glowing symbol on his neck. I guess it all added up.
“It’s not me. This damn thing prevents me from killing anyone. I turned it around, I swear. “ He attempted to assure me, my look of disbelief not pleasing him. “I am sorry for using you. You seemed so lost and I was lost by the propaganda they were spreading. The church today is much more honest. I can be a pair of ears for you. Will that help you out?” The church bell rang, the wood quaking underneath my boots, his eyes allowing me to peer into his soul. The white aura was enough to convince me, my hand touching his.
“Besides the killing, you did everything right.” I admitted sheepishly, allowing him to smile subtly. “You found me after one of my bloody massacres and still hid me from the church.” Snow drifted aimlessly, his palm catching a couple of snowflakes. Watching them melt in his palms, he turned to me.
“Do you remember when I found you? Ruby painted the snow but you looked at me with the biggest plea for help. You were but a ten year old child with fangs in my eyes.” He commented in a fatherly tone, both us leaning back to watch the snow fall. Resting our hands on our flat stomachs, he let out a soft chuckle
“I am surprised you helped me after finding out I was the daughter of the first vampire.” I laughed gently, his hand reaching for mine. “I got married yesterday. I am sorry that I went to prison. I must have disappointed you with that tidbit.” Taking my hand, he examined the ring. Snapping his fingers, we were back at the grocery store. Dropping a card into my palm, he shoved his hands into his pocket.
“I came to seek you out. The killer is among your little area I call Hell. Good luck with that marriage.” He called out as he walked to a waiting car, Stanton coming out with a bag of groceries. Peeking into the bag, it was two bags of coffee. Providing the perfect distraction, the contacts amusing me.
“It really looks like we eat.” I joked tenderly, nudging his shoulder. “Can we go home now?” Winking in my direction, his arm curled around my waist. Flipping me the invitation, his next words pissed me off.
“You are going to that book club tomorrow. Play nice and try not to stand out too much. The trick to winning Susie over is through the love of reading. As I recall, you had a cell full of the latest books.” He ordered sharply, rubbing his chin. “I know you read them all. Can you handle that tomorrow?” Whispering something in his ears, a devilish grin spread cheek to cheek.
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2023.06.07 20:45 thrownawaz092 I don't THINK I'm an assassin? - Chapter 3 - Stalking the streets
As day turned to dusk, the reality of the situation Mike had found himself in was starting to dawn on him. It was already established he was in monster central, and in another world, and alone, and had no idea what was going on around him, but after the initial need of not getting spotted and probably mauled was satisfied, a whole new slew of problems were arrayed before him. Where would he eat? Drink? Sleep? If he injured himself, where could he get medical supplies? Where was he going? How could he get back home?
Could he get back home?
A stiff wind blew around him and stole the heat from his body, leaving him cold in an encroaching dark. 'How do I know I can even get back?'
besides knowing it existed, Mike knew nothing about magic. He was fairly certain that kobold had sent him back the first time, but by the looks of it they had also summoned him in the first place. Something else pulled him in the second time, so there was a very real chance that he wouldn't be able to do anything. 'and of course, that all comes before the fact I have no idea how to find the little lizard.'
Mike ducked into an alley to avoid some kind of flying fish as he considered his situation. Hopeless as it was, finding a needle in a haystack was the only option to present itself, so he reluctantly chose his only option.
Things hit an all time low as Michael sat under a bridge that would serve as his shelter for the night. Sure, there were plenty of haunted houses to choose from, but they all ran the risk of him being found by the monsters that lived in monster city. The bridge was a solid piece of work, being composed mostly of concrete and some kind of wood, and it passed over a wide river that was pretty turbulent for its size. Mike was suprised by the lack of metal, but it seemed to be holding up well enough so he let it go.
Slinging off his backpack, Michael decided to occupy himself by taking stock of his inventory and situation. Laying everything out, he had:
The gym clothes he was wearing, just a tee shirt and shorts. They were sweaty, dirty and didn't cover much
His regular clothes, thick jeans, another tee shirt and an over shirt
His phone, which had no service and 67% battery life. 'yeah, let's turn on airplane mode and the battery saver.'
it wouldn't last long, but the calculator, flashlight, stopwatch, notepad and compass tools could all be useful.
Earphones, 'ha! I downloaded all my songs and can listen to them forever if I find a charger! Suck on that Spotify elitists!'
Shoes, nothing special about them
A bag of chocolates that monsters think they're too good for
An almost empty water bottle. 'pro tip, if you're lost in the desert, conserve sweat, not water.'
Remembering that bit of survival trivia, he downed the last few gulps.
His pocket knife, score! The salesman had told him this thing could withstand his own weight on the blade, and Mike had really put it through its paces to confirm that claim. It was also a swiss army knife and had several tools in it, even a firestarter! That alone tripled his chances out here.
His wallet, full of useless bills, coins and cards
A gym membership, also useless
Ankle and wrist weights, with detachable pieces of metal to change the weight. 'Should I keep these on or off?'
On one hand, he would like to be as physically capable as possible for whatever was coming, and the constant work out would only help with that, but on the other, they would slow him down and tire him out. Not good without a food source. He took them off for now.
And a gym bag, which is always good to have.
The first thing Mike did was change back onto his normal clothes. They would keep him a little warmer and weren't so smelly, which would be good for werewolves that might sniff him out. Walking down to the river, it seemed clear, so he filled his bottle - he could always not drink it later - and began washing the gym clothes.
As he scrubbed his mind moved onto the situation he was in. Another world, monsters, magic and local superpowers are all established. Judging by the state of things, that being the ruins and monsters, this was probably once a thriving nation that had since been overrun and was now populated with the monsters that did so. The biggest concern that came out of that was that this clearly hadn't been a medieval society. True, just about everything was alien to him but he could recognize a TV screen or a car, this place was just as if not more advanced than earth, and they still got wiped out by monsters.
As Mike started wringing out his shorts, his introspection was interrupted when he heard voices overhead. He immediately stopped and turned his head up. It was getting dark by now and whatever was above him had a light, he couldn't understand what the two, no three voices were saying, but he didn't like the tone or the fact that the light source seemed to be getting closer to the side of the bridge. He tensed, and slowly put his sopping clothes into his bag as quietly as he could.
With a loud grunt, whoever has the light jumped over the edge of the bridge, still out of view behind a support but that was as close as he was willing to get. Mike took off as fast as he could in the opposite direction of the ravine the bridge crossed. The ones still on the bridge pulled out another light and called out to the one on the ground, who growled a response back. 'crap, crap, crap!'
rang through Mike's head as he put on more speed, the sounds of pursuit not far behind. Between the weights and wet clothes, Michael was worried he might have to ditch his bag again, but it wasn't weighing him down nearly as much as the thought it should. 'just wish adrenaline would come this easy at the gym!'
he was making good speed all things considered and was glad to hear his pursuer falling behind.
His hopes of escape were shattered however as one of them proved able to fly, because he heard a screech overhead and saw a silhouette giving away his position! Come on, that's not fair! He had to lose the little cheater and soon, otherwise the others could just run him down at their leisure! Mike turned, slipping on the grassy turf as he aimed to go back in the city. If the universe would just throw him a bone for once, there wouldn't be many other monsters, and he could shake these jerks.
He ducked into an alley, left onto a street before swinging behind some buildings again. Looking up he could still see that cheeky little spy plane was still on him, and from the sounds of the voices, the ones on foot were taking a direct route instead of weaving around, they were closing in. Thanking the universe for actually not putting other monsters in his way, Mike ducked into another alley and saw what he was looking for; a dumpster (he assumed) right under an open window. The only issue was the chain link fence between him and it. 'Really though, who sets up a fence right in an alley like this?
' another call from above reminded him of his situation. 'right, deal with it now, ponder neighbors who probably hated each other later.'
despite his dismay at the obstacle, he practically leapt over the fence, which was at least 6 feet tall. Adrenaline was one hell of a drug, but there was no way he could do that!
He mentally stored that away as well as he hopped on the dumpster and into the window, waited a couple seconds and hopped back out. He couldn't see the spy anymore which meant they couldn't see him either. He just managed to crawl down a basement window of a building on the other side of the alley before his pursuers burst into the alley as well.
Watching through the window, Michael finally got a good look at the one on foot. That was a big
guy, like 8 feet tall and built like a truck kind of big. He was the one with the light in his hand, a glowing ball that floated in his palm, and it cast a rather terrifying shadow over his crocodilian face. He was a crocodile man, no other way about it. Thick tail, heavy green scales that are more yellow on the underside, whatever you're imagining is probably right. The teeth didn't look too sharp but they made up for that in size and number. Besides, if he was anything like earth crocs he had enough bite force to make gums probably work.
Mike was thanking his lucky stars he hadn't been caught when suddenly a second head popped out from behind the first, and he realized the croc had a bucket strapped to his back with something poking out of it. After a bit of chatter, a second creature slithered out of the bucket and onto the ground. It was... Strange to say the least.
The creature stood at four feet tall, and was clearly an aquatic being, being covered in fins from head to toe to tail, along with burgundy scales so small he might've mistaken them for skin. Looking at its head it was decidedly a moray, with a mouth full of sharp teeth and an eels... Tail? Body? Let's say tail, coming out of the back of its head. Or would it be a humanoid body coming out of the moray's neck? 'This thing is weird to look at! Why do you need two bodies!?'
Michael mentally screamed at the merfolk. He was just getting a grip on his mental image of it when the merfolk threw a wrench into his poor brains attempt to understand it, by flying. Well ok it wasn't flying
flying, but with a little hop and spreading its wing-like fins it was able to glide along while hardly touching the ground. 'well this just keeps getting less and less fair.'
A call from above, undoubtedly from their flier, probably told Mr. Crocodile that Mike was in the building that he double backed out of, because his made some growling sounds of their own before he and the merfolk entered in through the window. Mike released a breath he hadn't even realized he was holding and took a look around the room he was in. It was dark in here, with only a bit of light coming from the twilight of a single window, but he could see place was almost empty, with little more than the occasional rug or bit of furniture that had been strewn about and a bit of debris by the stairs.
Seeing his way out, he ran to the stairs before noticing that there was more debris in the way than he saw in the dark. Turning on the flashlight on his phone, his hopes were dashed as he saw that the upper floor had caved in, blocking his access out. He hadn't seen the flier come down to enter the other building, so they were most likely keeping overwatch in case he tried to give them the slip, which he already kinda had, but he needed to make the same trick to work twice, and that always goes well.
Peeking out the window, Mike caught sight of what he assumed to be the flier making rounds overhead. There were only a few seconds on the far side that line of sight was broken, not enough time to run, but there were
other hiding spots. Taking a chance, Mike crawled back out of the window as soon as the flier was out of sight and hopped into the confirmed dumpster. It was around now that he realized he didn't exactly have a plan, and his situation wasn't exactly improved either. 'I'm just making sure that I'm not cornered in case they find me. Yeah that's it!'
now he had a plan, and his situation had improved too! Sort of, stop asking questions. A few seconds later he was out and under a shutter, and on the next loop he was out of the alley.
Turns out, it's not that easy. Mike had thought he was safe, after rounding a corner he ran until he was sure he'd lost them, only to hear more footsteps from behind. The flier must have seen him and Mr Croc was in pursuit again, at least Mike had enough of a lead he couldn't see them yet. Testing a theory, Mike found a balcony and jumped for it. Yep! Lower gravity was confirmed as he made it nearly two meters off the ground! He also undershot it and smacked his head on the underside of the balcony, eliciting a (hopefully) dignified shriek, ruining the momentous occasion. Still, he was able to hit the ground running and made for another escape.
It had not taken long for a pattern to establish, Mike would hide and lose pursuit only to be spotted by the flier as soon as he got any distance. His best bet was, somehow, to stay close, under the radar so to speak and lead them away. He wasn't sure how they always knew what direction he was in, considering how well he kept out of sight, until he saw Mr. Croc kneel down and sniff a footprint. Ahh, they were tracking him.
That might actually be a blessing in disguise, because they were moving from an abandoned looking residential area to an industrial complex that was more populated, seeing a bit of foot traffic and lights in windows. He just might be able to lose them in there. Mike had a bit of a laugh at the fact that monsters were living on a jobsite when there were some perfectly fine - ok dilapidated, but so is everything else - houses a few streets over. He snapped his attention back to the situation at hand, he was still being chased after all, and now he planned on escaping by walking through Monster City night life. 'how did I let this become my best option?'
there was nothing for it though, he just had to hope he could still keep out of sight.
After a couple close calls where Mike had turned a corner only to see a wall or monsters that somehow hadn't noticed him, he got enough of a lead that he could try hiding. Finding a road with hundreds of footprints up and down it, he backtracked a few meters before diving behind a couple pipes that were sticking out of a building.
Mr. Croc showed up not long after with the eel in tow, and signed the flier to come down. He could finally see that dirty little spy plane! It was a... Moth! 3 feet tall with big black eyes, droopy antennae and some soft looking fluff on its head and body, Mike would have thought it adorable if it hadn't been snitching on him!
Being unfamiliar with monsterese, Mike had no idea what was being said, but the body language made it clear they were arguing. It actually looked like a parent scolding their children, with Mr. Croc being 8 feet tall while the others were in the 3-4 foot range. That didn't stop fire being flung both ways as the small pair clearly gave the kind of back talk that would have gotten the taste slapped out of Michael's mouth if he tried it on his dad. With someone saying something the conversation suddenly came to an end with Mr. Croc spitting on the ground and turning away. He fiddled with a latch on his chest and the bucket on his back came loose, hitting the eel on the head and soaking it, undoubtedly on purpose. With a few snide remarks the three went their ways, leaving Mike gracefully alone.
...In the middle of monster city.
Why did the universe insist on not improving the situation? 'Ok that wasn't fair universe, you're trying very hard, and I appreciate you getting me out of that.'
Karmatic retribution for his insolent thoughts hopefully averted, Mike got moving again.
Much to his own chagrin and with a hint of irony, Mike found himself tailing Mr Croc. Looking back it was ridiculous that nobody had noticed him running through the streets but he was found squatting under a bridge. Mr. Croc clearly had a reputation of some kind, because people seemed to avoid him like the plague. When Mike tried to backtrack he found himself relatively surrounded by monsters compared to the empty streets he was chased through, and he ended up finding sanctuary in the invisible bubble of Mr. Croc's presence, causing no end of irritation on Mike's end.
After nearly an hour of following, Michael's blood was boiling. Maybe because it was due to the lack of sleep, maybe it was due to being chased for hours for no reason, maybe it was due to being forced to hang around his least favourite semi-aquatic reptile. Or maybe it was because he was witnessing a mugging.
While sneaking along behind his quary, Mike did his best to hang back aways and keep an eye out for an escape route. They were still in the industrial complex, but must have been leaving the populated area, judging by the fact that fewer and fewer monsters were coming out after the crocodile had passed. Michael was just about ready to finally get away from him when he spotted someone walking in their direction, clearly having missed the memo to stay away.
The Croc was on them in a flash and the old bird -that's not an insult, she had feathers and a beak- tried to run but didn't get more than a couple steps away before the Croc had gotten a hold of her. Michael watched from the shadows as the bird lady was shaken, growled at and nearly had her head taken off by the snapping maw of an Egyptian god who had a chip on his shoulder. She was panicked, trying to run and begging, but the actual monster had her arm in a firm grip, and with his other hand he grabbed a pouch of some kind of the lady before shoving her onto the ground and walking away like nothing happened.
Michael was fuming. All that just to snatch a purse!? This thug who had chased him all throughout town, acted like he owned the place, who could probably rip Mike in half, did all that over a freaking handbag! His anger froze cold as the victim slowly picked herself up. Now that she wasn't being actively assaulted he could see she really was an old bird, with patches of feathers, wrinkles, generally frail looking, he was looking at someone's grandmother! And that crocodile... No, he would not
get away with this!
Michael's anger had been subdued by the realization of what he was doing, now tailing the 8-foot lizard man a lot closer than before and armed with a pocket knife, one that felt a lot smaller in his hand as he realized what he was doing, he wasn't sure how to actually do this. The bastard deserved what was coming, but after cooling off Mike knew rushing in was a bad idea. Luckily this industrial complex, or whatever it was, was packed with rails, pipes, and other things so tightly there was practically a second road overhead. Mike's plan, if you could call it that, was to jump down onto the guy and take him out before he even knew what was happening.
Michael barely made a sound as he went up and over, stopping only when his target looked around. It seemed he could tell something was off, but wasn't ready to act on the feeling just yet, which wasn't the kind of opportunity that Mike was one to waste. He dropped, silent as a shadow.
The crocodile may have been 8 feet tall, built like a brick and was in a lower gravity setting, but the simple fact was that he wasn't ready for someone to suddenly land on his neck. He went down like a sack of potatoes with Mike clinging on, the tumble having left him momentarily disoriented. Still, he quickly righted himself, this needed to end fast, or it would turn into an actual fight where he would have the disadvantage. Wrapped around the monster's head Michael brought the knife to its neck and... Hesitated. Mike had been in fights before, but those were scuffles in the school yard, now he was about to kill.
He knew his opponent deserved nothing less, but that seemed to fade in the face of taking a life. It was enough to take the fire out of him.
And so, instead of pushing the blade into his windpipe he only pressed it to the Crocs neck instead. "Alright listen up you big bastard," but the big bastard did not listen up, a fact made clear when a large hand grabbed and threw him off. Mike rolled as he landed and quickly got his feet back under him, knife luckily still in hand. The croc slowly stood up, cracking his neck as he did so before speaking. "Ev'uoy tsuj edam ym yad."
It said with a toothy grin. Mike just glared from his crouched position. 'different language, nice to know I wasted my time!'
kind of obvious in retrospect, but there's nothing for it now. Mike kept low to the ground, with a two foot difference in height he wouldn't even try to match his opponent in strength or reach, so he opted to keep low.
The Croc tensed for a moment before lunging at Mike, maw open and ready to swallow him whole. Mike lunged himself, keeping low to the ground and barely ducked under the attack and swiped at the exposed neck. He didn't expect to land the hit, but his opponent was taken off guard by his offence and didn't quite pull back fast enough, taking a superficial cut below the chin. Shock flashed in the croc's eyes and he lept back, lashing out with claws to keep Mike at bay. Unfortunately for him, Michael knew that playing fair was for suckers, and that you kick opponents when they're down, so he didn't let up. He was moving forward before the Croc had even landed, stayed below the counter and was in his guard again.
This time he didn't hesitate, and plunged his knife in the croc's side eliciting a shocked gasp from the titan and, keeping his momentum, moved just beside his opponent's shoulder before jumping just a little higher than intended and striking again. Still reeling from the first stab, the croc had only managed to make eye contact as Michael's knife sought his throat again, and this time did not stop. Michael landed on his feet as the croc sunk to his knees, blood leaking freely from his neck as he tried to stop the bleeding with his bare hands but it was already done. The crocodile was dead before he hit the ground, and Michael breathed a sigh of relief.
That purse wasn't the only property Mr. Croc had appropriated, as Michael found plenty of interesting things on his person. His things now, as he had no way of returning them. Despite the haul, his mind was elsewhere as he walked.
That guy did not
know how to fight, probably used to just intimidating people around him. When an actual fight came he was honestly kinda sluggish, and didn't even think to use magic or the shiv that was in his pocket. Even so, that was a dumb thing to do. What was he thinking, attacking someone like that? What if he had known what he was doing!? Mike could not afford these kinds of mistakes in a survival situation, even if he did get lucky, even if he somehow got out unscathed! You just don't rely on that happening, and Michael resolved to remember that in the future.
Finding a good spot, he set the purse down in the middle of a road and retreated to a hiding place. Soon enough the bird lady passed by even slower than before, the only reason Mike got ahead of her was because she was slowly limping along. Seeing that made his hatred flare up again, but his anger faded away as with a shocked look, the bird lady found the purse, looked inside and sagged with visible relief before looking around suspiciously and continuing with just a bit more pep in her step. 'Well,'
Mike thought, 'maybe that wasn't such a dumb move after all.'
Alright part 3 is out! Hope y'all enjoy.
In case anyone had missed it, large portions of Reddit will be going dark in protest of the removal of third party software on June 12th. I had originally planned to join the protest, but then I read the HFY
's official take on the matter (remaining neutral to act as an escape from stressful situations like this) and decided that's worthwhile. As such I will continue posting but otherwise will be off of Reddit in protest.
shall be previous
and the next shall be in a week or so.
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2023.06.07 07:00 nickferran [FOR SALE] Last Chance! Avett Bros, All Get Out, Bleachers, Blink, FOB, Foxy Shazam, FOB, Jacks Mannequin, Say Anything, Spanish Love Songs, Tokyo Police Club, Weezer, Twin Peaks, Vinyl Moon, YMAEWK
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2023.06.07 06:46 CornerCornea Old Traditions for a Night Wedding
I had been contacted by the magistrate to investigate a night wedding in the countryside that had involved the loss of human life. There seemed to be a recent rise in tourists involved in ghost dowries
over the years. However, from my research I believe it was a man in search of night weddings for personal gain that was the cause of so many deaths.
When I received the request, I was nearby on Green Island, and addressing a rather unique matter even in my line of work. A little girl from the mainland had arrived two weeks prior and claimed to be the recently deceased husband of the grieving widow.
The child claimed to have woken up in a hospital where the doctors informed them that they had drowned and was clinically dead for 4 minutes when the body inexplicably sat upright in the gurney. This would have seemed to be great news, except when the child looked into the mirror, it was not their face staring back at them.
In old Taoist texts I have read of such events, where the bodies of the recently deceased are not put to ground quickly enough, and their souls are left to wander. They could get carried away by the Northeast or Southwest wind. Depending on the location from where they died. And possibly attach to an empty host.
This seemed to be the case, as the wife acknowledged that due to the wet season, they did not bury her husband's body right away. Because the grounds were so wet, that any graves would wash away, leaving corpses laying in the street. Still, I had the responsibility of testing the child. Whom passed a simple test of naming names. Where they used to live. The wife's habits. A conversation they recently had, and even childhood memories. All were confirmed by friends and family. But it would be the child's handwriting that ultimately convinced me. They were a perfect match, down to the signature.
Upon my approval, the villagers had no choice but to accept that this child was indeed the man come back to life. And when I left, he was sitting outside of his house cleaning fish as he had always done for 32 years, except now in the body of a 10 year old girl.
I didn't have much time to dwell on this case as I was needed at the aftermath of the failed night wedding. Ghost dowries have been in use for thousands of years, and traces of it can be found in many different cultures. From the Aztec to the Egyptians, and more recently from old Spain to the streets of Southeast Asia. Though in recent times, only a few remote places continued the practice, and there are a limited number of priests today who are qualified enough to handle such a case. Luckily, I had plenty of experience in this matter.
In my early years, I had married many ghost brides.
And was often asked, "But you're a priest, how can you get married?"
"Zhengyi Taoist priests can choose to take a wife or not. In fact, in order to pass on my Celestial title, I must have an heir."
The man looked distraught, "And you're sure this will stop her from whispering into my ear every night?" He clutched the bag rather tightly.
"Don't you worry," I took the bag from his hands. "Everything will be fine."
We would perform the customary vows and the following night the man reported no more whisperings from his daughter, yet a week later, the police raided my hotel in a different district. The man had claimed that I had swindled him. That his daughter had returned and continued her whispering of terrible, horrible things that he dare not listen. Clanking and banging away in the walls as he covered his ears in fear until sunrise.
Fortunately, I was allowed to prove my innocence.
I returned and stayed in the man's room, waiting with him for signs of his daughter. And surely enough, late in the hour, I heard the wretched scraping and dragging in the walls. The man stopped breathing in his bed and laid perfectly still. Even I was afraid to move as the most dangerous aspects of my practice are in the unknown. My mind began racing, wondering if I had somehow botched the night wedding. Or worse, that the ghost bride wasn't his daughter at all, and I had inadvertently given this mysterious entity a special anchor to this world, a holy man.
The walls shook without reason. And a tiny noise could be heard near the man's bedside. He jumped off his mattress and ran to my side. The two of us watched as the noise traveled back and forth against the back wall like wooden clogs.
"My daughter did always carry around a rattle drum when she was little," the man whispered.
"Hush, don't let it capture your breath," I warned him. "Whatever this is, I don't believe it is your daughter. And because of the ritual, we may have increased its hold on this realm."
He whimpered, "Not my daughter?"
I held up my finger and traced the noise as it traveled in an odd form. I began to wonder if the entity was creating some sort of symbol.
"What are you drawing," the man cried.
"It may be creating a portal," I told him. "Now hush before it turns its attention toward us."
"Please, there must be something you can do?"
I reached into my bag and pulled out some incense. I lit the ends and began chanting. From my waist I pulled out a long yellow parchment. And drew on it a sealing spell. "Spirit," I called as I stepped forward. "I am a guiding light." The noise rattled with conviction as I drew closer. "Let me lead you to peace!" And with one quick motion I punched my hand through the wall, clutching the sealing spell in my palm, at the last place I heard the noise. To my displeasure I felt something wriggling in my grasp as something long and thin wrapped itself around my wrist, its end clawing at my forearm. I screamed when I felt its teeth sink between the soft flesh of my thumb and index finger. But I did not let go. Instead I pulled out this demon from the wall and threw it roughly to the ground.
The man screamed as he jumped onto a chair and screamed, "Rat!"
Yes. A simple field rat. That had a trap stuck on its tail which caused its movements to rattle in the wall. That had been rummaging near the man's nightstand because in one of the drawers he had left a bag of watermelon seeds.
Not all cases are this simple, and plenty are true to life supernatural encounters. Over the years my experience has taught me to be more cautious in my evaluations. Which was why when I finally arrived at the house of the massacre due to a failed night wedding. Every hair on my neck stood on end as I tried to be objective as possible.
But there was no denying that something heinous had occurred here. Bodies were still laying on the floor. Some with their faces in the dirt. Some missing their heads completely. And those with their faces up, were unrecognizable. I felt the cold presence of my first wife as she leaned into my ear and whispered to me, "This is the work of a ghost bride."
"How do you know?"
"I recognize her anger. It was mine before we were married."
"How do I know what?" A man walking toward me asked. "Are you the priest they called out here?"
He was average built, and in plain clothes, "Detective, why yes. I am here to assist you in anyway that I can."
The detective spitted on the ground, "Assist me? As far as I'm concerned we're wasting valuable time carrying on with this hocus pocus bullshit. The killer's trail will be cold by the time we get through all this religious tape." He wafted the air in front of his face, "And the dead bodies boiling out here. This is all your fault as well, as far as I'm concerned. Assist me," he snorted.
"Are there any eyewitnesses, Detective?"
"Several. But they are all saying the same damn thing. Spouting a bunch of nonsense. Which is why those religious nuts down at the town hall dredged you up."
"All non-relatives to the home owners?"
He snorted again, "Coincidence."
"Let us hope so," I told him. "Because the alternative is much worse." I walked the scene, going around the upturned tables, tracing the steps of carnage in the courtyard, to the main living room. There I saw the body of an old man, both hands clutching his chest, his face was completely missing. "Any surviving family members?"
"Some are still left," he grunted. "But we've gathered most of them under police protection."
"Have you located the husband?"
"Yeah, we're extraditing him as we speak."
"The foreigner took off in the middle of all the commotion. Boarded a flight back home according to our investigation. We've contacted the airline, and the airport security in America will hold him when he lands. As he is currently my number one suspect."
I circled the area in front of the shrine. Noting the spilled bowl and its contents on the ground. The position of the spoon next to it. Before standing in the spot on the left side where the effigy would have stood. "What about the bride?"
The detective shook his head, "What bride?"
"It was a night wedding," I told him. "There must have been a physical object acting as a stand in for the daughter's soul."
"Nothing more than bags of cotton usually," he paused. "But they did report that the stand-in this time was some sort of department figurine. A mannequin of some sort."
"Have you looked into that?"
"Why would I look into that. Are you crazy?"
"Right, you're right of course. You'd have to wait until after sunset to be able to figure out which mannequin serves as the ghost bride's earthly form."
The detective stormed off as if I had said something outlandish. Leaving me to my own devices, I interviewed a few of the neighbors who attended the night wedding, gathered some evidence and logged it with the other officers at the site, and then left for the nearest hotel in the city.
It had been a long month for me and I couldn't think of anything that I would enjoy more than a cold beer. So after checking in I went down to the bar, where an ethereal creature sat alone. She was beautiful to say the least and I had to strike up a conversation lest I live a life of regret, "S'il te plaît ma chérie, dis-moi comment on t'appelle pour que quand je sois perdu dans les ténèbres. Puis-je demander la lumière."
"Oh, American. I apologize. I thought you were French."
"On my mother's side," she brushed away her hair.
I noticed the ring, "Ah, you are married. My sincerest apologies miss. I didn't know you were with someone."
"Newly married," she commented. "My husband is speaking with the concierge."
"Activities on vacation," I mused. "How wonderful."
"It's nothing like that. It seems someone has left him a note. And we're technically on our honeymoon." She paused, "Though this isn't where we're supposed to be. We're supposed to be in Hawaii."
I ordered a beer with the bartender and sipped my drink, "Hawaii is wonderful, but this is also a beautiful island. In fact, when the Portuguese came here, they named it Formosa. Which translates to beautiful island. It may not be where you're supposed to be, but perhaps you'll find that this is exactly where you need to be."
The woman sighed, "I don't even know anymore."
"Ah, I know what this is. I've great experience in these matters. Having been married many times. You feel doubt."
She laughed, "How many times have you gotten a divorce?"
"Divorce?" I laughed. "I never leave a woman after we have been wed."
She looked taken aback, "Oh. I didn't know polygamy was so common in these parts." She glanced behind her to where a tall man was standing with what looked to be the hotel's concierge. "I guess we're in the same boat."
"It's not what you think," I told her.
"Where have I heard that one before," she rolled her eyes.
"Larissa!" The man called for her.
She stood up, "Well, it was nice meeting you. Tell your wives I said hello."
I smiled as she left, glancing at my sides. "If only you knew," I said while sipping my beer.
Now in hindsight, if I were not so fatigued after nearly a month of hard work and constant traveling. I would have perhaps picked up on the fact that she too was familiar with the concubine lifestyle. Which was unusual in itself for an American. Or perhaps I would have picked up on the fact that Larissa was an uncommon name. As I had read Jim's article. But there was no such luck, which is why, when I say that I am deeply regretful of what I read on the news later about the couple, I am truly at a loss for what I could have prevented. But that is not my story to tell.
After I finished drinking at the bar I made my way to the elevator and got in. When a man coming towards me waved as a sign to hold the door, I called out, "It's full." He looked at me bewildered as I was the only person he could see in the elevator, before sticking his hand out to stop the elevator from ascending. Huffing and puffing, he glared at me angrily before pressing his floor number for the door to close. Except the elevator pinged. The weight capacity light had turned on above our heads. "Like I said, it's full." The man shook his head in amazement. Pressing his floor number again. The elevator pinged again. Unwilling to budge, the man kept pressing the button. I sighed and got out, "I'll wait for the next one."
And wait I did, even in my room I waited for night fall instead of resting. The thoughts of a botched night wedding swirling in my head. For the many things that could go wrong. Because even though I had much practice in these matters, I was still always nervous before a fight. So when night fell, I was red eyed and exhausted, but better mentally prepared than before.
But when I arrived back at the scene of the crime, I was not prepared for all of the commotion.
"Ka-kin-eh Ka-kin-eh," a man shouted as the fire blazed.
I grabbed one of the men running by with an empty bucket, "What happened here?"
"T-the villagers, they set the p-place on fire. Trying to rid the evil demon."
I let him go and shook my head. The fools! I made my way toward the courtyard where I saw the detective from earlier moping his forehead as he was helping put out the fire. "Detective! This is terrible," I yelled as the flames licked the night.
"No shit dumbass, it's a fire."
"You don't understand," I told him. "Now the entity has nowhere to return. We may never find it."
He threw the bucket to the floor and whirled around, "Enough! I've had enough! Listen here, there is a fire. F-I-R-E. This a real problem. If it catches to the fields, it could light the newly laid fertilizer on fire and catch the entire mountain!"
That was the only word I had to say before he punched me. It was a dark night out, but stars had suddenly appeared. He hovered over me and I thought he would strike me again but then suddenly he froze. "What is that?"
I turned my head and looked out into the field. The heat of the fire burning the back of my head as I tried to stop my nose from bleeding. "Where?"
Neither one of us moved as we watched the tall field.
"Right there." He pointed.
I reached up and threw his hand down, "No! You never point at entities," I told him. "Now you could be marked!"
He ignored me and reached for his gun, "Stop! Hey you! I order you to stop or I'll shoot!"
I looked into the field, scanning the endless rows before my eyes stopped and froze in horror. At one point in time the thing must have been a simple plastic mannequin. Standing in a department store perhaps. But now, it was twisted and gnarled. Its face beading and unrecognizable. The thing stood on all fours sometimes threes as it swayed slowly back and forth. It moved without form because it didn't have the constraint of joints as normal people as it was still objectively, plastic. It swung its arms behind it and used that as leverage to run, turning its head completely around - cracking the seams that had somehow still held and took off.
The detective rung a shot out at it. I think it struck but it didn't matter as the mannequin disappeared in the field. The detective must have lost his mind because he gave chase.
I couldn't let him go alone so I followed. Pulling out my long yellow parchment as I wrote on it the symbols for sealing, hoping the simple spell would work. As we entered the tall field.
It was chaos. The ground was mushy beneath my feet, and the smell of fecal matter assaulted my senses further. In the brush I had lost the detective, so I was forced to tell my wives to help me locate his whereabouts. They didn't often leave my side, and some were reluctant but ultimately agreed.
I stood in the field, waiting with bated breath as I heard further gunshots in the distance. I couldn't wait for my wives to gather as I tore after the detective. And just in time as I saw him standing, looking absolutely terrified as he shot blindly into the fauna until his pistol clicked. The mannequin lunged for him. But I got there first. Pushing him to the ground, causing both of us to tumble.
He was eating a mouth of dirt as I pulled him to his feet. "We have to get out of this field! The ghost bride will pick us off in this thicket!"
Stumbling, and running, the two of us were covered in more than dirt. Several times we heard rustling nearby as if something were running alongside us. But eventually we made it out into the open plain. The detective trying to catch his breath as he reloaded his pistol.
"Shooting it doesn't work," he panted. "But maybe I can disable it from moving."
"Shut up," I told him. "Listen."
He stopped for a moment and we waited. Then all of the stalks before us shook wildly as if a hundred people were running through them. The detective raised his arm but I stopped him as my wives ran out of the field.
They were terrified as they ran right through us.
I hadn't experienced the feeling in awhile but the coldness as their ghostly forms went through our bodies like ice was enough to bring us both to our knees, clutching our chests as we struggled to breathe. I had passed through one or two in a row before. But never 10 or 20 at a time.
"What was that," the detective managed to gasp, his fingers in a death grip around his gun.
"A blue procession," I told him. "Something caused all of my dead wives to flee."
We looked up as the leaves in front of us rustled.
I shook my head, running forward to catch her. My 13th wife, Ah-ren. Her arm was missing, and a part of her shoulder. She was an innocent girl that had drowned when she was alive. Her innocence carried on with her to the afterlife where many souls generally grew up embittered. But never her, always sweet my girl, just weary of water.
"I didn't want to go," she told me.
"I know," I held her. "I'm sorry."
"It got some of the others too. But Meita got in its way and told me to run." She cried.
"Don't cry I told her. You know how you hate getting wet."
"I don't want to go. I wanted to stay with you. All of us together."
I didn't even have the chance to say goodbye as her soul splintered and disappeared forever.
I had never felt such fury. In all my years, a womanizer, a liar, a cheat at cards, a scoundrel, a bastard even. But an undutiful husband? Never.
Without thinking I approached the field and cast a spell that was forbidden.
"What are you doing?"
"I'm cursing the field. All beings alive or dead will forever feel displaced when they enter here. A feeling of unending dread and doom will overcome them, causing madness if they do not leave or are unable to." I reached into my side and threw a handful of salt. It landed on the ground as I chanted. The winds carrying it into the field, the small white morsels rolling obediently into the darkness.
"Nothings happening," the detective's word stuck in his mouth as a horrible scream echoed into the night. It sounded like two pieces of steel being twisted together.
"There," I took off after it. The jumbled figure of the mannequin charged out of the field and fled toward the village.
We followed it through the streets and between alleyways; the villagers screamed and hid when they saw it. We barged through home after home as we chased it. Until we cornered it at an abandoned building on the edge of town.
"It was supposed to be a mall," the detective told me. "But the developers ran out of money."
We walked quietly into the empty building. Shells of stores stood in various degrees of construction. We checked a few of the empty fronts before venturing deeper inside.
"You've got to be kidding me," the detective said as we came near the center of the complex. There next to the escalators and the fountains was an army of mannequins of all shapes and sizes lined up like terracotta warriors. "They must have stashed them all here when the place was being built, and forgot about them when it closed."
"There are hundreds."
"We'll go through together. Quickly and quietly." He added, "Stay alert."
We moved through the rows, staring at all of the stuck faces, searching for one covered in grime and bullet holes. But it was more difficult than it sounded. Many of the mannequins were in bad shape, weathered, broken, laying in pieces on the ground. It was hard to tell if a pile of parts was indeed our culprit.
Slowly we began to clear the rows and I could see the other side in sight.
"There!" The detective shot his gun. The surrounding mannequins dropped like dominoes when the entity scattered. Falling down all around us, drowning in a sea of plastic arms and smiling faces, I struggled to breathe. "I think I'm stuck," I told the detective. But he wasn't listening, his eyes were concentrating on the entity as it came rushing toward us. He fired his gun blowing out one of the mannequin's knee caps. I hurriedly reached for my parchment nearby but could not find my pen. Another shot, another hit, but the scorned bride kept on charging unable to feel pain.
It jumped into the air and the detective blew the rest of its face away before he started screaming as the bride began to eat him. Pieces of his sinew was launched into the air as he was torn apart. I freed myself and rushed forward trying to help but the creature grabbed me by the throat and lifted me into the air. My feet scratching the ground as my lungs folded trying to breathe. The thing turned its head toward me and said, "Will you marry me?" As the darkness closed into the corners of my eyes.
The fight was leaving my body as I saw several of my wives rushing forward. Their ghostly forms bloodlusted as they began tearing at the mannequin, slowly pulling out pieces of her soul, causing the mannequin's arms and legs to go limp as they dragged her out of the corporeal form.
I hit the ground and scrambled the floor blindly with my fingers searching for my sacred parchment but could not find it amongst the rubble. I had no time to look further as the ghost bride was fleeing, leaving the shell of her mannequin in a heap on the floor. My wives chasing after her, screaming their fury for her killing the others. For destroying their souls.
I chased after them outside into the open air, where she had been cornered. She was crying as I approached, trying to escape into the Southwest wind. Begging for forgiveness. I knew what I should have done, but could not bring myself to do the right thing. Instead I bit my finger and drew symbols on my forearms with my own blood. Approaching the bride that never was and tore her soul into pieces.
When I was done my wives sat down around me before slowly dispersing as the sun began to rise.
A familiar voice came, "We did it huh?"
I continued staring at the sun, "Yeah."
"Well then," the detective said before disappearing. "Maybe in the next life I'll be sooner to trust you."
Later they would find his body in the abandoned mall. Still clutching his gun. The department gave him a 21 gun salute at his funeral and a medal as commemoration. I was just glad that his soul had not been eaten.
I, on the other hand, went back to the hotel. To the bar and ordered a well deserved drink. Where I saw a pretty woman sitting alone, "Did you know that in order for me to pass on my Celestial title, I must bear an heir?"
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2023.06.07 03:06 TheCurserHasntMoved The Curb Did It
"It was a sweltering December day in the city of Los Angeles Do-Over, which was a consequence of the original colony ship landing in the wrong spot after California Retry had been terraformed-"
"What's terraforming, Dad?"
"Oh, that's what the Terrans call planet editing. Anyway, like I was saying, it was hot."
"I thought you said it was sweltering, Dear."
"Stop interrupting the story, and stop making fun of me. I can talk poetical sometimes. Just let me tell this story," the greywhiskers said as he laid his ears back and thwapped his thick rudder tail against the floor in irritation.
"Please Father, I'm sorry. Please keep going."
"Where was I?..."
"Yes. It was hot out, and from the movies I had thought that December was supposed to be the winter period in their territories. Which was silly of me because of course it would depend on where on that planet I was, but the music playing over the speakers in the downtown streets were often about snow. Which was annoying since it was so Ancestors taken hot out, and we were in our duty uniforms. It was me, Armstrong, Kamien, and Corporal Iwasaki. We called the Corporal Doc. Oh, Doc was a Bigkitty, but the other two were Humans, the Terrans don't seem to really notice what race you are, but it helps you picture it in your mind. So why were we walking around in the heat downtown with irritating songs about snow playing over public speakers? Well, there is a tradition that goes a long, long way back, back to before the Humans left Terra.
"So they have a religious festival they hold every year, but a lot of people who aren't a part of the religion have adopted some of the festivities. There are songs, decorations, feasting, and gift giving, so not too different from Tib's Day, but a lot, lot more… intense. Because Terrans. So the relevant part to why we were suffering in a city-sized sauna, is the giving of gifts. Amongst adults, the tradition is to give each other something thoughtful, if you can afford, or even a small gesture as a sign of friendship or familial love, but for pups, there is a tradition of attributing the gifts to magic. I don't know why, but that's just the way it is. Now, as wealthy as the Republic is, that doesn't mean that there aren't people there going through hard times, which is where another tradition came in. There is a tradition there of the RNI running donation drives for toys to then give to the pups of people on hard times so that they don't miss out on the magic.
"Apparently, this tradition goes back to one of their on-planet nation-states. Something about a ship soldier's wife ordering her husband to deliver some toys to a charitable organization, and then further ordering to make such an organization when he reported back to her that there was not one already. I'm a bit fuzzy on the details, but the tradition has persisted officially and unofficially ever since, even after that nation collapsed. Or was it split? Again, I'm fuzzy on the details.
"So that's what we were up to, collecting toys to be the magic to the Terran pups for their winter religious festival. And it was hot. And the bags of toys were heavy. And we had been ordered by the LT to be cheerful. So naturally, we really, really, really just wished somebody would start something."
"But they're so friendly, Father!"
"They think we're adorable you know," the old man said with a disgruntled huff, "Now like I was saying, we were just waiting to burst the dam and flood right over someone who had it coming. Little known to us, there was someone who had it coming.
"This parched-brain gene-jack of a Jecau had gotten himself a heavyworld adaption package, and for some reason thought that it would be a good idea to rob Terran convenience stores. Ancestors' wisdom, I don't know why, after what The Report did on that one planet that one time, but maybe this one got dropped on his head as a hatchling. It did not go well for him, but we didn't know that. All we knew was there was a Jecau running out of a corner store, and the shopkeeper came out seconds later with a gash on her arm yelling for someone to 'stop that thief!'
"Well, we were moving to intercept, except for Doc, who was talking to a Human pup about the festival, when the genius decided he'd run through us and plant his knife in Doc's shoulder. Which was a very bad idea, because that caused the thief to lose his balance and fall off of the curb and into the street. Now, I'm not saying that stabbing the team leader, who is also doc, is a really great way to get RNI to forget any and all regs about excessive force, but I am saying that he hit that pavement so hard he broke both kneecaps, ankles, elbows, and all of his fingers, several broken ribs and somehow lost his tail and got a collection of contusions."
"Do you really expect us to believe that it was the curb that did all that, Father?"
"Well, the police sure did, and wouldn't you know it, the surveillance camera for all of the stores had a malfunction for the five minutes it took for him to fall on the pavement."
"Why were you telling this story?"
"Because I saw your application to go study in the Republic, and I have some advice. Make friends with at least one RNI vet. If anyone messes with you, the curb will do them too."
submitted by TheCurserHasntMoved
to HFY [link] [comments]
2023.06.07 01:42 Fabulous-Letter-5649 Engineer retires, and is replaced with a Human. (Pt 4)
If you haven't read it.
If you haven't read it.
If you haven't read it.
Hope you enjoy Pt 4 and happy reading!
*Flick* "Aligning descent profile for re-entry." I had made all the final preparations
*Flick* "Prepare for comms black out in 10" William began the countdown.
"5- when you get back I absolutely *have* to show you this really old movie, interstellar, its a classic" Will interjected.
"4-Oh my stars we're about to enter the atmosphere of Ix-5 at 7km/s and all you can think about is showing me some old movie when we get back?!"
The plasma had begun to lick around the edges of the heat shield and up onto the windows.
The comms began to make a static hissing sound.
"Just breathe." Will muttered to himself.
The whole shuttle began to shake violently.
"PASSING MAX-Q" Will had to shout to be heard over all the rattling.
Just like that, it began to quiet down, the fiery inferno of re-entry plasma died down and we began our coast down to find a suitable landing spot. Comms had also returned.
*Click* "I'd just like to let everyone know that we made it through re-entry just fine." Will had radioed back to the ship.
The sound of faint cheers from bridge could be heard.
"Engaging cloaking device" *Flick*
A loud hum could be heard as the cloaking device not only prevented us from being seen by eyes, but also seen by any radar, sonar, or other means of detection spun to life.
"So where should we land?"
"Oh just a few more kilometers to shore, then I'll just find a nice, secluded spot and we'll spend the next couple of days getting to know the locals!" I responded gleefully, as this was my first time with a civilization that didn't just learn how to farm.
After carefully gliding down we landed in a patch of grass-like vegetation. Will pointed out all the leaves were all black, to which I responded by telling him that the vegetation had to adapt to capture more of the light spectrum than the vegetation on Earth, because of the dimmer, red dwarf this planet orbited.
We had set up the basics, communications equipment, synthesizers, and a variety of other scientific tools.
"Hey, remember when you said you wanted to see an example of human food! Because I do!" Will exclaimed giddily.
After plugging in a drive and pressing a few buttons, the machine whirred to action, printing out a most unusual dish.
"So keep in mind this is just one dish out of... out of well I don't really know how many different kinds of dishes we have, all you need to know is that it's a very large number... But here's too hoping you enjoy it!"
What came out were this white, almost sphere like but more so a squat raindrop shaped... things. Will called them "Dumplings", and they smelled delicious, though he had dipped them in this brown liquid he called "Soy Sauce" that I really did not care for as far as smell goes.
I carefully picked one of these dumplings and bit into it.
"Oh my" I said, albeit muffled by the food.
"It's good isn't it! I told you!" Will grinned.
"That's quite the... texture. I don't really know how to process this. It's so soft and yet firm. Nutrient packs are so much easier, they don't make a mess and they're just so efficient, I mean, you could probably play around with the recipe, make them tastier. Right?"
"You just don't get it do you." Will said, shaking his head.
"Oh well, more for me." He grabbed at my half eaten dumpling.
"Hey! That's mine!"
"So you DO like it then!"
"No, just, ugh, leave me and my dumpling alone, I've already had my Nutrient Pack for the day I'm going to hibernate now."
Will rolled his eyes at my response.
"Fine." He said in that same begrudging manner as before.
I walked on over to the hibernation chamber, a circular area just big enough for me with a warm, gentle breeze flowing over. As I was going inside I heard Will behind me closing up the door after bringing everything inside.
"Wait... you were going to tell me about.... sleep..." I muttered out.
"Oh yes so hold one, could you just fully wake up for a little bit so I can explain, so your species, and for that matter every other alien species I've met, sleeps one hemisphere or one part of their brain at a time, but humans sleep the whole brain all at once."
"What's that like?" I replied, still in the grip of hibernation.
"So for starters we are like, FULLY unconscious the whole time, we can be woken up but we have a very, VERY limited understanding of what's going on around us. We also go limp so we don't move around accidentally, we still do. It's not perfect but it works enough to where I can say, "yeah we go limp"."
"But aren't you... what happens... if... someone ambushes you at night?"
"In all likelihood unless we happen to be right next to a weapon or something good enough, we die."
"Oh my. How... how did this not drive your species extinct?"
"I'm left wondering that same question too Tomō."
This might be the first time I've heard about a human ever being truly defenseless. Will had disappeared off into another room to change, returning in only a pair of shorts. Which left me examining his exposed torso. Human skin is wrapped quite tightly around the internal structure, and there seems to be very little, if any, loose skin, it also seemed to only be composed of one layer, most others I've meet without loose skin have special layers that can break off. Perhaps humans might be less sturdy than I had come to expect. No no that can't possibly be true
I thought to myself, or as much as I could with half a brain working.
The morning was punctured by this infernal clattering from Will's bed, his arm swung up and smashed down on a small table next to him, causing the sound to stop.
"What was that?! Did someone find us?!"
"No... it was just my [Yawns] Alarm, we need to be startled to wake up and that [Will yawned again] was the startling noise."
Will climbed out of bed, shuffled over to another table (Those humans have a lot of tables) grabbed a fresh change of clothes and made his way over to the bathroom to change.
That's when I heard it, a loud SHHHHH sound from the bathroom, I made my way over to the locked door and shouted:
"EVERYTHING OKAY IN THERE WILL?"
"YEAH, JUST TAKING A SHOWER."
"I DON'T CARE FOR THIS CONVERSATION RIGHT NOW."
I shuffled back over to my hibernation chamber, pulling the divider closed I took in a bath of UV sterilizing light and changed out of yesterday's uniform, and into todays, which on scout missions is always a set of cloths made to imitate the look of whatever cloths are common on whatever world we're scouting. In this case it was a brown turtleneck sweater, some black pants, 6 pairs of gloves as the basic orbital scan of their unencrypted communications revealed they obsess over cleanliness, often sporting multiple pairs of gloves for specific tasks, kept in separate pockets, land lastly, a sort of shawl like piece of fabric, apparently used to protect yourself from the midday dust and wind storms.
The disguise of our more... alien features was provided by some makeup, changing our skin to a sort of pale grey. We also made use of some printed prosthetic noses, wigs, and ears, which made our faces impossible to distinguish from the local inhabitants.
Once I had finished applying all my disguises, I exited my chamber and walked over to where Will was, standing by the synthesizer watching it print up a breakfast.
Will, who hadn't even donned the appropriate clothing at this point (he was wearing a simple outfit of black shorts and a grey t-shirt), was oddly enough, sopping wet. His hair had turned a jet black color due to its saturation of water, releasing its store down his face and his neck, resulting in the back of his shirt, and the front collar turning a visibly darker shade and sticking to his body, at this point I also noticed that his skin was covered in beads of moisture glinting in the sun.
"Why are you so wet?" I asked him.
"It has to do with a shower, I get myself under this sort of, simulated rainfall, only the temperature is nice and hot, and use soap, not the same kind you use to clean your hands, but the function is still the same, I then put some stuff in my hair which gets rid of oily build up, the water rinses everything off, but by the end I'm soaking wet, I will need to dry off properly though before I put on all the disguises."
As he grabbed his tray with his hands, still damp from the shower, and the skin around his fingers was all shriveled up.
"Your fingers look like mine now! See!" I asked, moving right up next to him to better show him my fingers.
"It just increases the surface area so I can grip things better underwater, only happens if they get wet."
"Why wouldn't they be like that all the time?"
"Once again I'm left wondering that question myself."
"So what's on the menu for "break-fast"?" I asked
"Well for starters, it's just one word, breakfast, and secondly, I'm having two slices of buttered toast, an egg, and a black tea. Standard human breakfast, though Coffee is more popular."
"Black tea...?" I had heard of Coffee before and its danger to other species, and was hoping that this tea drink lacked any of this substance known as Caffeine.
"Yeah just a little caffeine to wake me up."
"CAFFEINE?! That's... that's a.... that's a Class IV chemical weapon! They banned that centuries ago! How?! What?! Oh my... Oh my..." I began to hyperventilate.
"Relax! There's only what... 50 milligrams in a cup."
"FIFTY?! FIFTY!?! ONLY FIFTY?!? THAT'S TEN TIMES THE DEADLY DOSE! WHAT ARE YOUR THINKING!" I shrieked, though deep down I did take note of how that was less than that of Coffee.
"Shhh, you'll risk us getting caught, calm down, don't worry I'll have the cup disposed of properly, I've done this every day and so far, no one's gotten hurt." Will said in his standard, nonchalant attitude that has become so typical of him, a tone which did not seem anywhere near appropriate for the situation.
"SO FAR?!" I was not heeding his instructions to calm down, it's typically very hard to do so when faced with something that could lead to a violent death.
"Look, look, it's totally harmless for us humans, besides, the Federation strictly manages our recreational use of substances highly dangerous to other species, such as but not limited too: Caffeine, Capsaicin, and Cocoa. I make one wrong move and my ass is sent to jail."
I was shocked, frozen with shock, at least I wasn't screaming but I felt like I couldn't move a muscle. Capsaicin was last used by the Rx'lac to murder billions, Cocoa I hadn't heard of before so it must have been something unique to Earth, but it terrified me still. In my frozen state I waited for the cup he drank from to be destroyed, and at this moment I began to regain my motor functions.
After rigorously drying himself off with a towel and this awfully loud machine he pointed at his hair, Will began to
"Now, could you help me apply the makeup?"
Human hands, while much sturdier than what most of us use, in the case of Captain Reloxyn, she has 6 tentacles which can vary their diameter, and in the case of Zorxians like myself, we have the two hands attached to their respective arm much like a human, but the geometry of the fingers themselves are different, each finger is made up of 3 fluid filled sacs, attached one after another in segments, each sack is attached to the previous with a variety of muscles, which gives each joint the ability to make movements with a full 120 degree range of motion, in any direction. While this makes them far more fragile, due to the lack of skeletal structure, this makes us quite dextrous.
But yet, I noticed that Will's right hand, arm, and ankle were already painted, which puzzled me, if he could paint his right side, then why couldn't he paint his left?
"Do you really need my help? You did just fine painting the right side of your body."
"Tomō, do you really know so little about humans?"
"You know you're the first human I've met!"
"Humans tend to have what's called a dominant hand, what it means is that there's one hand I am really good at using, and another that I'm not so great at using, I *could* train myself to use both hands equally well, but I never really had a need, and even when it would've come in handy, there's always been someone else who can help me. Like you!"
"Aww, thanks!" I responded.
"In my case, my dominant hand is my left one, fairly uncommon. Only about 10% of people are like that, the rest are right handed, and a very small number are born with both hands being of equal capability."
"But you really should get on it with the whole training your right hand. There won't always be someone to help you."
"And yet there always has." Will responded jokingly.
"We ready?" I asked.
"Just have to get some things ready, hold on, if this society is so obsessed with cleanliness, how come they don't wear face masks? I doubt they've gotten to a point where they've already eradicated all diseases. That should take them at least another century."
"Oh, this is the really cool thing about this planet! So basically, airborne diseases never evolved! They just... don't exist here!"
"Absolutely fascinating." Will responded.
"Everything we need is now in the bag." He pointed to the black bag slung over his shoulder made from the local flora.
"And we should be ready to go!" Will enthusiastically marched over to the shuttle door, opening it at saying;
"After you!" With a look of pride on his face, odd, if anyone should be proud, it should be me, after all, this mission is already off to a good start considering he's a rookie.
The red light of Ix bathed the planet in this warm glow, Ix was rare for a red-dwarf system, as most habitable planets are tidally locked, but we marched through the woods, noting observations of the local ecosystem that we stopped periodically to jot down in our notepad.
About halfway through the forest Will stopped suddenly, turning back to face me.
"You forgot to tell me what bridge came up with for our secret identities? Oh stars, saying it like that makes me feel like some kind of super-spy!"
"Oh yes, I must have gotten distracted..." I reached for my communicator.
"Okay, so we're two hikers, you named Po'ol and I named Gra'aul, and we just finished up a nice long hike and so we're off back to Hl'Ix, population 12.8 million, and about a 2 hour train ride. Oh by the way, I have to share the language file hold on... yup that should do it! Congratulations you are now fluent in Ix!"
A requirement of working for any Federation job was the implantation of a language chip which allowed the user to become fluent in all 608 languages and, what they called "Significant Dialects" spoken in the Federation, though for people working on exploration vessels like me and Will, we had access to a file sharing system so we could download new languages for the planets we visited after the central computer processed them.
"Thanks!" Will responded from a meter or so ahead of me.
We continued our march down to the road, where we walked parallel to it as cars zipped by. Eventually the forest we had landed in cleared way for farmland, which after about 5 kilometers or so more walking, started to turn to houses with expansive yards, which gradually became smaller and smaller as we neared the center of town.
"You getting tired yet?" Will asked me, we had decided it was best for him to walk behind me, so we could make sure we stayed together.
"Yeah, but just a bit longer until we make it into... whatever the name of this town is."
We continued to make our way into the town, named Urup and with a population of about 3 thousand. When we got there it was almost devoid of any activity, and the wind had started to pick up, which carried in dust. Thankfully we anticipated this, having donned contact lenses to keep debris out of our eyes, and using the shawl to cover up our mouth and nose. At this point will stopped to pull out a small, and very thin, weather sheet, which he released into the wind. This device would record the weather conditions as it gets carried by the wind. Just after doing this, he turned to me and said,
"Weather at time of release: Temperature: 10 degrees Celsius. Wind speed: 56 Kph, rising. Feels like: 5.2 Degrees Celsius, falling. It wasn't able to get a good reading on dust concentration because it's rising too fast so that should tell you everything you need to know."
The wind nearly blew Will's shawl off, but he grabbed it just in time, and me, being too focused on Will, had let my own shawl blow away in the wind, and while Will had tried to reach for it, the wind carried it away far too quickly for him to get it in time, only missing his fingers by a handful of centimeters. I quickly covered my mouth with my sweater, though this did leave part of my midsection exposed to the elements, a suboptimal position to be in during a dust storm of this magnitude.
"Dammit! Almost had the blasted thing!" Will shouted, the rush of the wind was beginning to drown out our voices.
He put his hand in one of the many pockets on his pants, that's something everyone can appreciate about Ix fashion, anything below 10 pockets is simply unacceptable. Anyways, Will pulled out a small pair of scissors, and quickly removed his shawl.
"What are you doing you can't remove your shawl in these conditions!" I shouted back at him.
"I'll be quick, don't worry!" Will responded as he cut his cloth in two.
"Here!" He said handing me the now removed half of his shawl, and quickly covering his face with the remaining half.
We continued on, though this time much slower than before, as we didn't want to loose our balance and be toppled by the wind. Never before had I ever had to deal with wind this intense, no wonder they assigned the human.
"Squat down! Boundary layer winds should be slower!" He shouted to me while bending down to waddle his way across the street to the hotel.
Squatting down only provided minimal relief, as I suppose one would have to crawl to truly take advantage of this effect. Slowly but surely we made our way across the road, over to the hotel. Opening the first set of doors we were met with a powerful blast of air, which prevented any dust from getting in. Only until after the doors had closed, and our clothes were sufficiently purged of any particulates that had somehow lodged their way into the remarkably dense fabrics. Eventually though, the blast died down, and the second doors opened automatically.
The doors opened to reveal an interior with a largely brown, beige, and black color pattern. The whole lobby was lit with a quite warm color tone, with the lightbulbs occasionally flickering and all the windows had been sealed off behind steel plates. Eventually Will turned his head to face a desk spanning quite a large distance, located just in front of a large board with all the room numbers located next to a light.
We could vaguely hear someone talking to another person, emanating from behind a door marked "Employees Only", Will glanced at me, pulling my attention to his gloves, which he began to swap out for a new pair. I quickly followed suit. Eventually, just moments after I finished putting on a new pair of gloves, one of the people from behind the door exited.
"Why on Ix would there ever be customers walking in during the middle of the storm! We issued the alert 2 hours ago!" The woman said to the man who stayed in the room as the door closed behind her.
Turning around to face the two of us, and walking over to the main part of the check in desk, she began to speak to us.
"Hi my name us Za'ul!" She said, showing us her name tag.
"Now what can I do for the two of you! Must've been miserable trapped out there in the storm!"
Will began to approach the desk, seeing this I decided to sit down and catch my breath, the 10 kilometer walk had exhausted me, it was remarkable to see Will barley fazed by it.
"Hi my name is Po'ol and this is my hiking buddy Gra'aul, we just finished up the most beautiful of hikes through that nearby forest, so we're on our way back to Hl'ix! I was wondering if you could get us a room please and thank you ma'am." He said in a sort of folksy manner, not too dissimilar from the way Za'ul spoke.
"Alright you want one bed or two?" She responded.
"-Two please." He said, almost cutting Za'ul off.
"All right! You want first floor or second floor?"
"Oh second floor would be lovely."
"Well here's your key and have a lovely stay!"
Will walked over to me.
"Got us a key for room 203, here's your key" Will had switched from his folksy mannerisms to a soft whisper, but I just let the key hit me, I was far to tired to catch it.
"Well I see our hike took quite a bit out of you, so just come up when your ready, I got the bags don't worry."
I nodded my head in silent agreement, I was exhausted, but I knew I should probably go upstairs to the room with him.
"Hold on.." I said, slowly lifting myself up onto my feet and carefully making my way over to the elevator.
Standing in the cramped elevator I noticed Will suddenly had this terrible and persistent oder.
"You okay?" I asked him
"Yeah... why do you ask?"
"It's just... you smell kind of... bad."
"Oh!" He chuckled with that same old chuckle I had heard a million times before.
"Yeah, uh, I'm sure after I explained to you what a shower was you were probably perplexed as to why we don't do the standard UV bath, but basically humans smell bad after a long day, or after a long enough, or intense enough period of physical exertion. Showering gets rid of the smell. I did notice the Ix had only a single layer of skin, and hopefully this means they too have the scent issues that humans have, and thus also make use of showering."
"I see. Can you take another shower when we get to the hotel?"
"Tomō! That's... don't say that to other humans okay, you can be direct with me like that but... a lot of other humans will not
take that kindly. Just letting you know that." ding
The elevator had made its way up to the second floor.
"Let's see, 203... 203... here it is!"
Will unlocked the door and opened it.
"Oh thank the stars they have actual beds and it wasn't just a translational error!" He cried out in relief.
Will ran over to the bathroom.
"And they have showers too! Just Wonderful! Don't worry a shower should adequately clean you too."
"Oh I brought my own portable UV sterilizer, I'll be fine."
"You just relax down I'll take care of the report back to bridge."
I made my way over to the beds and just collapsed into it. Hibernating while laying down was not ideal, but at this point I'd do anything not to be on my feet anymore. Eventually I decided that I didn't care for lying face down, and instead rolled over to face Will, just to make sure he didn't botch the report.
Eventually once he finished his report, he walked over to the rooms corners and placed the sound barriers, which would cancel out our voices making sure nobody heard us. Which he, well, I was supposed to do first thing upon entering, though I was far to tired, and Will must've only just noticed. You know, when he first got here he really just annoyed me to no end, but now, he's really settled in and has gotten really into the hang of things, and sure, he's weird, but you know what, he's a human, he's not weird, just... different.
Hope you enjoyed reading and here's Pt 5
submitted by Fabulous-Letter-5649
to humansarespaceorcs [link] [comments]
2023.06.06 23:17 Jgrupe I'm the New Sheriff in Hollow's End. Monsters are Invading from Another Dimension
Part 1 Part 2
We were driving rapidly down Main Street as a horrible creature from another dimension followed behind us, its long strides keeping pace and making the car shake with each step it took. The engine roared as we sped away from the butcher shop. Randy was sitting in the seat next to me and it took me a minute to realize he was eating something.
It was a bucket of KFC.
"Seriously!? How can you be hungry at a time like this?? We're about to die, Randy!"
"We got bigger problems than that right now," he said, patting down his pockets with greasy fingers and leaving stains as he searched for something. "We're all out of booze! We need to make a pit stop as soon as you get a chance."
Normally this would be an absurd statement. But unfortunately the lack of alcohol was a bit of an issue, since there were plenty more monsters ready to come through into our world, and the only thing keeping them out was our ability to stay intoxicated so we didn’t see them. I had kept my percentage down below the legal driving limit, but I was starting to feel like that wasn't cutting it anymore.
"You need to start drinking more," Randy explained. "You're the one who saw it first, remember? If anything, this is kinda your fault."
I gripped the steering wheel with white knuckled rage and continued driving.
Regardless of what he said, I want to make sure it's on the record that this was all Randy's fault. He had admitted to making at least one wish using a cursed magic monkey paw - and we all know how that usually plays out.
I saw a convenience store and immediately slammed on the brakes. Reaching over Randy, I threw open his door and kicked him out. It was easy since he wasn't wearing a seatbelt and was already beginning to fall asleep.
"What the fuck, dude?" He yelled as I pulled away.
"Get us more booze! I'm gonna circle the block," I shouted at him out the window, picking up speed.
Then I took out my gun and aimed at the monster which was getting closer by the second. I took three shots at it over my shoulder and missed two of them. But the third caught it squarely in the neck and it began to howl a guttural cry, dripping black blood all over the street from its fresh wound. It slowed down momentarily, but then picked up its pace again, coming after me with renewed rage.
My goal had been accomplished, though. I’d been trying to keep it away from Randy, since he was on foot and more vulnerable. We would need to abandon the car, though, I realized. If I was going to start drinking more I wouldn’t be able to drive safely. As bad as things were getting, I wasn’t about to start breaking the law - especially that particular one. I’d seen enough death and destruction caused by drunk drivers over my years on the force. I wasn’t going to go down that road.
I looked back to see the creature still gaining on me.
My mind was racing trying to think of a way to evade it, to outwit it. I needed to do something to kill it. But what?
Suddenly my cell phone was ringing. I picked it up and looked at the caller ID. It was Jay, the delivery driver. He was in the car ahead of me and I had kind of forgotten he was there.
“Listen,” he said quickly. “I got a plan. We need to lure that thing to the swamp. Just follow me and keep up the pace.”
“It’s a cop car,” I said dryly. “I’m pretty sure I can keep up with your piece of shit-”
My words were cut short as the line went dead and the car ahead of me began to accelerate rapidly. I floored it but found the guy was still gaining distance between the two of us.
Whatever he had under the hood was making that little car go a lot faster than I would have thought possible.
My phone dinged and I looked down to see a text from Jay. It was an eggplant with a water spray emoji.
This fucking town…
We reached the edge of the city limits of Hollow’s End to find a parking lot which sloped at an unnatural angle downwards. At the bottom of this strange gravel lot was a murky-looking swamp full of brackish green water. A small copse of trees stood to one side near the shore.
No other cars were parked there which was good, since the creature was still close behind us.
I was following Jay as closely as I could and imitating his car’s movements, although my vehicle was sluggish and clumsy by comparison. He was still driving at top speed, and I figured it was important that I keep up with him for whatever he planned to do.
When we reached the edge of the water, near that little grouping of trees, he hit the brakes and swerved to the right. His tires stayed on the gravel, but just barely. The entire parking lot was sloped so severely towards the water that the force of gravity was insisting on taking us into the swamp.
Realizing that my bigger vehicle wouldn’t make the turn in time, I hit the brakes early and tried to slow down, knowing that otherwise I would crash right into a tree or go into the water trying to make the move.
As soon as I slowed down I could hear the creature’s breath and its movements just behind the car. I avoided the temptation to look back, since I knew it would be my death if I did. Instead, I yanked hard on the wheel and turned it to the right, skidding to a stop on the grass, my fender just inches away from a large pine tree.
The creature’s brakes were not quite as good as mine, since it was desperate to kill me and hadn’t really slowed down. Instead, it went skidding into the green water, coated with algae and looking much thicker than was normal. It was like a giant bowl of pea soup. The creature was thrashing around, looking as if it were in pain, and then I noticed the tendrils of swamp water moving on its skin, pulling it in deeper, like an enormous squid wrestling with a shark.
My phone rang again and I picked it up, my eyes still focused on the creature trying to get out of the swamp. It looked like it would not be able to escape from whatever was holding it there, and I breathed a sigh of relief that I hadn’t gone in with that wild last minute maneuver.
Then it was as if an enormous hand reached up from below and pulled the creature under. Despite the fact that there were only dark empty sockets where eyes should have been, I could have sworn I saw them widen as it was dragged under, and then was gone.
“Problem solved,” Jay said when I answered the phone. “You can thank me later. And we’ll definitely owe Swampy a favor. Now let’s get back into town and grab Randy. Maybe the three of us can figure out a solution to this whole mess.”
I managed to convince Jay to let me ride shotgun in his car, telling him that mine was having engine trouble. This was partly as a ploy to make him our designated driver, but also to cover for the fact that he was clearly the superior driver of a far better automobile than my cruiser. And who knew when we’d have to outrun one of those monsters again?
After applying copious amounts of duct tape to all of the mirrors on the vehicle, we were off, heading back towards the convenience store where I’d left Randy.
We found him out front with a large paper bag full of bottles in his arms, sleeping in the grassy ditch near the road. There were several children taking turns at poking him with a stick.
“Okay, beat it, kids!” I yelled at them as we approached.
The children ran off and out of the corner of my eye I noticed a few of them looked very odd. One had a furry face and ears like a dog, while another had red eyes, and yet another was running on all fours. They scattered in every direction, making it difficult to pinpoint any other discrepancies.
“What’s the deal with this town?” I muttered to nobody in particular.
“How much time do you have?” Jay asked, laughing. “This place is weirder than you could possibly imagine. There’s a lot of history here. Sorry to say, you didn’t really know what you were getting into when you moved to this place.”
“Can you give me a quick summary?” I asked, kicking Randy gently in the ribs. He snored and swatted the air like an annoyed cat, then rolled over on his other side. His right leg began to pump up and down as if he were chasing a rabbit in his dreams.
“I’m not really at liberty to discuss all of it. People in Hollow’s End prefer to keep their secrets to themselves. But if you get to know them, you’ll find most folks are nice enough. As long as you live here, anyways. Tourists do tend to occasionally go missing if they stay out past sunrise. And if you meet anyone wearing a hooded robe your best bet is to avoid them. Oh, and there’s this guy named Frank who-”
Randy sat bolt upright, screaming at the top of his lungs, clutching the bag of liquor bottles so tightly against his chest that I thought they would shatter.
“It’s okay, man,” I said, leaning down to pat his shoulder in what I hoped was a comforting gesture. “It was just a nightmare.”
He was breathing heavily for a few moments and didn’t respond. But then finally he unscrewed the cap of one of the liquor bottles and took a long gulp.
“Right. A nightmare. That’s all it was.”
He didn’t seem entirely convinced.
“Alright, what’s the plan, guys?” Jay asked. “I’m happy to help out if you need me to.”
I took one of the liquor bottles from Randy and took a long drink from it. After wiping my mouth, I screwed the cap back on and stuffed the bottle in my pocket. Thinking hard about the next lead to follow up on, I came up short. We didn’t really have anything.
“Do you know anyone who would be interested in buying a monkey paw?” I asked. “Is there anyone in town dumb enough or reckless enough to take ownership of it? Because I feel like that fucking thing is at the center of all of this. It’s like a murder investigation - if we can find the weapon used to commit the crime, we might be able to solve it.”
Jay looked at me and Randy looked at the ground between his legs.
“I know just the guy,” Jay answered. “You know how I was telling you to stay away from Frank? Well, we might need to disregard that advice, just temporarily.”
The three of us pulled up outside a house a short while later, now with Jay behind the wheel, chauffeuring us around town.
We went up to the front door and he continued explaining the protocol for how to deal with this Frank individual.
“Remember, whatever you do, don’t stare. And don’t go inside his house - whatever he wants to tell us he can tell us outside. People who go in there are usually tourists, and they’re never, ever seen again. That’s like guaranteed death just stepping into that place.”
I tried not to think about how many rules I was breaking, how many vows in my oath as a Sheriff were completely null and void now.
“You know I’m a police officer, right? Most people don’t speak so freely about the kidnapping and murder of tourists.”
Randy slapped my arm.
“Come on, man. Just when we’re starting to think you’re cool, you go and say something like that. Killing tourists is a proud tradition in Hollow’s End. If you don’t like it then you shouldn’t have moved here.”
I didn’t have time to debate the subject anymore, as Jay was now knocking on the front door of the house.
The door swung open on the first knock, as if it had been slightly ajar.
“Hello,” Jay called into the darkness. “Frank? Are you there? I need to talk to you about something.”
He stuck his head into the dark gap afforded by the open door. For a moment I had a horrible mental image of it slamming shut on his neck, squeezing and choking him as blood poured from wounds created by the pressure of sharp wood on his flesh.
But instead, something worse happened.
Jay let out a gasp and then disappeared through the gap. As if he had been picked up by his hair and was dragged inside by a hungry bear.
My heart was pounding fast as I realized I was going to have to ignore all of Jay's warnings if I was going to save him and the town. Despite the dangers, we were going to have to go inside after all. YT TCC
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2023.06.06 21:28 JoshAsdvgi The Origin of the Iroquois Nations
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The Origin of the Iroquois Nations
About 1390, today's State of New York became the stronghold of five powerful Indian tribes.
They were later joined by another great tribe, the Tuscaroras from the south.
Eventually the Iroquois, Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, and Cayugas joined together to form the great Iroquois Nation.
In 1715, the Tuscaroras were accepted into the Iroquois Nation.
The Five Nations
Long, long ago, one of the Spirits of the Sky World came down and looked at the earth.
As he travelled over it, he found it beautiful, and so he created people to live on it.
Before returning to the sky, he gave them names, called the people all together, and spoke his parting words:
"To the Mohawks, I give corn," he said. "
To the patient Oneidas, I give the nuts and the fruit of many trees.
To the industrious Senecas, I give beans.
To the friendly Cayugas, I give the roots of plants to be eaten.
To the wise and eloquent Onondagas, I give grapes and squashes to eat and tobacco to smoke at the camp fires."
Many other things he told the new people.
Then he wrapped himself in a bright cloud and went like a swift arrow to the Sun.
There his return caused his Brother Sky Spirits to rejoice.
The Six Nations
Long, long ago, in the great past, there were no people on the earth.
All of it was covered by deep water.
Birds, flying, filled the air, and many huge monsters possessed the waters.
One day the birds saw a beautiful woman falling from the sky.
Immediately the huge ducks held a council.
"How can we prevent her from falling into the water?" they asked.
After some discussion, they decided to spread out their wings and thus break the force of her fall.
Each duck spread out its wings until it touched the wings of other ducks.
So the beautiful woman reached them safely.
Then the monsters of the deep held a council, to decide how they could protect the beautiful being from the terror of the waters.
One after another, the monsters decided that they were not able to protect her, that only Giant Tortoise was big enough to bear her weight.
He volunteered, and she was gently placed upon his back.
Giant Tortoise magically increased in size and soon became a large island.
After a time, the Celestial Woman gave birth to twin boys.
One of them was the Spirit of Good.
He made all the good things on the earth and caused the corn, the fruits, and the tobacco to grow.
The other twin was the Spirit of Evil.
He created the weeds and also the worms and the bugs and all the other creatures that do evil to the good animals and birds.
All the time, Giant Tortoise continued to stretch himself.
And so the world became larger and larger.
Sometimes Giant Tortoise moved himself in such a way as to make the earth quake.
After many, many years had passed by, the Sky-Holder, whom Indians called Ta-rhu-hia-wah-ku, decided to create some people.
He wanted them to surpass all others in beauty, strength, and bravery.
So from the bosom of the island where they had been living on moles, the Sky-Holder brought forth six pairs of people.
The first pair were left near a great river, now called the Mohawk.
So they are called the Mohawk Indians.
The second pair were told to move their home beside a large stone.
Their descendants have been called the Oneidas.
Many of them lived on the south side of Oneida Lake and others in the valleys of Oneida Creek.
A third pair were left on a high hill and have always been called the Onondagas.
The fourth pair became the parents of the Cayugas, and the fifth pair the parents of the Senecas.
Both were placed in some part of what is now known as the State of New York.
But the Tuscaroras were taken up the Roanoke River into what is now known as North Carolina.
There the Sky-Holder made his home while he taught these people and their descendants many useful arts and crafts.
The Tuscaroras claim that his presence with them made them superior to the other Iroquois nations.
But each of the other five will tell you,
"Ours was the favoured tribe with whom Sky- Holder made his home while he was on the earth."
The Onondagas say, "We have the council fire.
That means that we are the chosen people."
As the years passed by, the numerous Iroquois families became scattered over the state, and also in what is now Pennsylvania, the Middle West and southeastern Canada.
Some lived in areas where bear was their principal game.
So these people were called the Bear Clan.
Others lived where beavers were plentiful.
So they were called the Beaver Clan.
For similar reasons, the Deer, Wolf, Snipe and Tortoise clans
received their names.
2023.06.06 21:22 Firm-Praline-2468 My grandfather was a crewmember on a cargo ship and saw what terrible secret the ocean was hiding all this time.
What do you think of when you hear the term ocean? Do you think of sitting on the beach, watching the waves hit the land and just feeling good? How you stand in the water and the tides gently enclose your feet and the sunlight reflects on the wide water surface?
Or are you thinking further ahead? Are you thinking about what is really beyond the shore? Are you thinking about what you can't see? Of what lurks deep in the absolute darkness of the sea?
I thought until recently that the ocean was a fascinating place. The sheer size made it, in my eyes, a wonderful place for sea creatures and a whole other world is down there that we can't see with the naked eye.
Originally, I was also planning on doing a job that had to do with the ocean. Not boring jobs like fisherman or captain of a cargo ship, but much more something along the lines of marine biology. After all, I wanted to explore things myself and not just swim around bored on them. I don't have to have a profession for that. I could do it that way, too. However, this desire disappeared long ago after I found the message of my recently deceased grandfather.
He was also a "sailor". At least that's what my parents always called his profession. At some point, he had suddenly stopped doing that and seemed extremely afraid of the sea. We suspected that his long working hours on the high seas simply had a negative effect on his psyche and caused an actually unfounded fear in him. He had also never explained to us why he was so afraid of the sea.
You must know that the house I live in is not a new house. It is the house of my great-grandparents. They built it and we have lived in it ever since. My mother, my father, my little brother and me. The original plan was that the house would be passed down from generation to generation. And we still had tons of old junk lying around in the attic that had probably already taken root there.
Anyway. My mother had persuaded my father to move out of this house. I didn't care if we moved out of that house, because our new house is closer to my friends and to my school. It would only make things easier for me but otherwise not change anything.
On the day of the move, I entered the attic and we moved some of the stuff stored there into the moving truck. My brother had just put away a bag of weird stuff and a small inconspicuous box caught my eye. Since I needed to know if the box and its contents were relevant to our move and should be saved, I opened it and looked to see what was inside. However, I could not find more than a dusty envelope.
Without giving it much thought, I opened it. When I read the first line, I was puzzled.
"My dear family, if you are reading this letter, either I have died or you have actually gone through with leaving this house..."
I didn't read any further, as the "dear family" confused me a bit. My eyes wandered to the foot of the letter. Signed by my grandfather was "Love, your grandfather."
I started to grin and looked behind me to make sure no one saw me. I suspected they were just my grandfather's farewell words prepared long before and wanted to be the first to read them. I folded the paper and put it in my pocket. I brought the rest of the things from the attic downstairs and we drove off to our new home. In the evening I fell into the bed that was in my new freshly decorated room, completely exhausted.
As I threw myself on the bed, I noticed the folded paper in my pocket. I pulled it out and noticed that it had become somewhat crumpled in my pants pocket over the course of the day. Fortunately, it was still easy to read everything. So no big deal. I rubbed my eyes again, yawned, and then turned my gaze to the unfolded page.
"My dear family, if you are reading this letter, either I have died or you have actually managed to leave this house. Or both.
I have left it up to fate when this information reaches the light of day. Once the information reaches the light of day, it should be ready to be received. I want to emphasize at the outset that none of what I am telling you here are figments of my imagination. I am tired of these confused looks from my children and I just need to somehow get rid of what happened to me. Writing this down currently feels like the only solution.
Where do I start? I was the assistant officer of a large transport ship in 1957. Our goal was to transport toxic substances such as sulfuric acid, cyanide, nitroglycerin and many other substances. We stored these substances in a special storage room on the ship, which could only be entered with protective suits. The cargo was very dangerous, so three times a day someone had to check the situation in this room. It had to be ensured that the substances did not come into contact with each other and that no substance escaped uncontrolled.
Although I was second officer, my help was seldom called upon because the chief officer always emphasized that he had everything under control. This did not bother me. On the contrary! It gave me the opportunity to perceive this transport as a real vacation. I could lean back and let the first officer do his job. And yet I still had authority over the rest of the crew. No, not that I would ever abuse the power I had. But I felt powerful nonetheless.
I spent most of my time in my cabin, attending to isolated crew matters, but otherwise didn't have much to do. I finished my daily work so early that I could relax early in the afternoon, and even before the night when everything went downhill, I went to bed early. I only got rid of my shoes. I left the rest of my uniform on. I closed my eyes and shortly thereafter sank into the realm of dreams.
I was rudely awakened by a member of the deck crew. He was visibly in stress. Bathed in sweat and with a worried expression on his face, he shook me awake.
"Wake up! There's an emergency!" he stuttered. I exhaled a little annoyed.
"How can I help you?" I said in a slightly annoyed voice.
"We're not alone on the ship. I went down earlier to check on the cargo. There I found that it had disappeared!" he explained in a somewhat shaky voice.
"When I tried to find a lead for the disappearance, I found a body in the canteen."
I looked at him in disbelief.
"You what? Show me that body immediately!"
I straightened up, put on my shoes and asked him to take me to the corpse in the canteen. Once there, I saw the body of one of the security men. His limbs were stretched out. He was lying on his back. His eyes were staring at the ceiling and his mouth was painfully wide open. It looked so unnatural. I checked the pulse and found that the sailor was right. He was dead. I tried to gather my thoughts and instructed him to sound the alarm.
After he disappeared, I checked the rest of the body. I saw deep scratches on the chest and a black liquid oozing from the body openings caused by the scratches. I did not dare to touch the liquid. Shortly after, the deck crew member came back, breathing heavily. He told me that he found the body of the chief officer on the command bridge when he tried to sound the alarm. Furthermore, he said, something had devastated the command bridge and disabled the alarm.
I asked him if he had sent out a distress call to surrounding ships while he was on the bridge. He replied in the negative. I got angry and yelled at him why he didn't do it right away when he was already there.
"Where is everyone else anyway?" I asked him as I grew louder, visibly overwhelmed with the situation.
"I'm sorry, officer. I was already on the lookout for other members of the crew. The doors of all the cabins were open as I made my way through the sleeping quarters. But nowhere could I spot anyone on the way to the bridge," the frightened young man said in a shaky voice.
"What's going on sailor! I demand answers!" I shouted at him.
"I'm sorry, I don't know what happened either. When everyone was already asleep I was simply completing my patrol when I noticed the missing cargo and the body. And then I immediately came to you because your cabin was the closest. I don't know what happened either." he answered me intimidated.
"Then we must assume that we are not alone. Someone must have stolen the cargo and caused the death of our comrades" I said while pulling my pistol from the holster on my belt.
"We go to the command center and send out a call for help. After that, we'll go to a lifeboat until we know what's going on."
The young sailor nodded, slightly uncertain. We walked toward the top deck and finally arrived at the hatch. I lifted the hatch a bit and peered outside. It was pitch black and extremely quiet. The lights on the deck were off. I heard nothing except for the restless waves of the ocean crashing against the wall of our ship. I squinted my eyes, hoping to make out anything, and I could dimly make out a human-looking figure that seemed to have its back turned to us.
Relieved, I was about to open the flap when the figure turned its head to the side and I noticed the extremely wide open mouth of the creature, which was equipped with strange protuberances, one of which I thought was the tongue. At that moment, I can tell it like it is, I almost shit my pants. I was shaking all over and felt like my heart was stopping.
"What's going on officer?" asked the sailor.
"There's something out there!" I whispered in a frantic voice and immediately closed the hatch again.
"We don't enter the command bridge through the main entrance by the top deck, but through the stairs behind the cabins. There's something up there and I'm not going out there under any circumstances," I explained to the sailor.
"What's out there, officer?" the sailor asked in an anxious voice.
"I'll explain as soon as we're safe," I replied, stuttering slightly.
We were making our way to the command bridge when we heard footsteps in the immediate vicinity. And they were getting closer. I wanted to be careful after seeing that thing on the top deck and peeked cautiously around a corner. My breath caught in my throat when I saw what was below deck with us. A strange creature that had taken over the human body of a comrade was walking in this guise towards the canteen and thus, fortunately, past us.
The creature had a human body, but its eyes were blacker than night, on the neck of the human body it had gills, and on its hands it had webbed fingers and regular claws. The mouth also had these disgusting protuberances and the tongue was considerably long. The skin was chalky pale and this strange black liquid was dripping from this thing onto the floor. Along with the footsteps, the thing was making sounds that sounded like a cat hissing. I tried to stay calm and we stayed still and quiet until we couldn't hear the thing anymore.
We then crept to the command bridge and carefully locked the door behind us so that the thing could not follow us. I immediately went to the radio to send a call for help. I paid no major attention to the officer's body.
"Hello? This is Deputy Officer Harper reporting, we need assistance immediately. We found bodies aboard the ship. One in the mess hall and one here on the command bridge. We..."
But at that moment, the lights went out, as did the radio, and my heart began to beat faster. Something had cut the power. My eyes wandered to the sailor who was looking at me worried and scared.
"It's all right sailor, they've probably still heard the most important part. We'll just get to the lifeboats and then everything will be fine," I said in a calm voice, even though I was freaking out inside. I took a deep breath, knowing that we would now have to go outside to get to the lifeboats. We suddenly heard a bloodcurdling scream that I guessed was coming from the lower levels of the ship, and it was clear to me that whatever was on the ship could not have been human.
I opened the door a crack and peered out. I couldn't see anyone. Presumably the things had mostly retreated inside the ship. I made my way outside and pointed my pistol in all directions. Nothing.
I instructed the sailor with a wave of my hand to come out and follow me. He followed my instruction and we tiptoed to one of the lifeboats. But there I remembered that lowering the lifeboats makes a big noise. I instructed him to get into the boat and when he had both feet in the boat, I lowered the boat down. As the boat approached the surface of the water, I heard the screaming again. This time louder and closer and I realized that they had noticed us.
Without hesitation I jumped over the railing into the lifeboat which was about halfway to the surface. Just as I landed on the boat I heard the screaming from above and the windows as well. It was a miracle that my landing in the lowered lifeboat did not seem to have any serious consequences for the boat. The sailor helped me up and we saw the creatures pressing their ghastly grimaces against the window panes and trying to break the glass with their bare hands. When I looked up, where the screaming was also going on, I saw two of the things climbing on the railing and getting ready to jump.
I raised my pistol and fired a few shots at the creatures. The first shot hit one of the creatures in the head, whose lifeless body detached itself from the railing and fell next to us. At that moment our boat reached the surface of the water and we immediately loosened the chains that lowered it and began rowing for our lives. A few of the creatures broke through the glass and crawled through the broken windows.
But we had already been able to put distance between us and the ship as the waves came to our aid somewhat. I breathed a sigh of relief in the hope of having escaped, but when I turned around the sailor looked at me with a broad smile. His eyes were black and gills had formed on his neck. I backed away, startled. He jumped at me and we started a scuffle on the small lifeboat. I tried to grab my gun, but the thing had learned and tried to snatch it from me. A few scratches it landed on me. Thanks to my martial arts training, I managed to overpower the thing, level my weapon, and kill it with a well-aimed shot to the head. Shaking and exhausted, I fell to the ground as the shot cleared and the thing tumbled over the edge of the boat into the sea.
I felt a nauseous feeling come up inside me. I threw up into the ocean and I could feel myself slowly going black. I was about to lose consciousness. I can't quite describe what happened next. It may have been my imagination, because I was about to faint. But shortly before I lost consciousness, I could see two huge white eyes in the water, which opened under the water surface and looked directly at me. Those eyes were gigantic and looked somewhat reptilian. My eyes went black.
I awoke on another ship and received medical attention. When I regained consciousness, the officer of the ship asked me what had happened. I tried to explain it to them. But he just looked at me in confusion and explained that his crew had already searched the ship and they didn't find anyone there. I know I didn't imagine any of this. The scratches I still had were real.
I made this clear to the officer, who looked at me with a very serious look.
"Whatever you saw on the ship. You will tell no one about it. Do I make myself clear Officer Harper?!"
I just nodded. I realized that the officer on the other ship knew something I didn't. I was taken home and made to understand once again that I was not to tell anyone about this incident. This time when I asked why not, the officer stopped, turned his head to me and said in a calm voice, "You saw it yourself."
After that, two of the men took me off the ship. Since the time I am writing all this down, it has been many years and by the time anyone reads this I will probably be dead and then it won't matter if anyone reads this.
So dear family. I know Anthony likes to deal with the ocean, but if you find this letter before he does, which I assume you will, try to talk him out of it. The ocean is an evil place we know too little about.
And I myself would call myself a strong man. And yet it took me years to come to terms with what I saw.
You are now warned. With love, your grandfather."
Thereupon his letter ended. An extreme uneasiness spread through me and I could not believe what I was reading. I think it is unnecessary to mention that I did not sleep that night and also the following nights it was difficult for me to fall asleep. I decided to keep the letter a secret and not show it to my parents. I didn't want to scare them. The dream job of a marine biologist was also out of the question.
Even though what my grandfather experienced at that time seems surreal to me, I see no reason not to believe him. The ocean is a place that is extremely little explored, so I do not think something like this is unthinkable. I believe that my grandfather was telling the truth here and therefore I would like to publish his letter to warn all people about the depths of the ocean.
You never know what might lurk beneath the surface of the water.
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2023.06.06 19:36 RowBowBooty Someone keeps airdropping me photos of myself.
My nightmare started when I woke up on a park bench in Omaha, Nebraska. My original travel plans were much more adventurous, but most of the vacation fund dried up after the company’s CFO found me in his car…with his wife. Turns out she wanted to get caught, to make him jealous or something.
That is how, for reasons not totally beyond my control, I ended up summering in Omaha instead of Oahu. But hey, at least they have great fried pickles. I spent most of my time their napping, and that was what brought me to the park bench.
I woke up to a bird on my shoe. He was pecking away at the residual crumbs of what may or may not have been fried pickles.
“Hey little guy,” I said, smiling down at my visitor. He wasn’t a bird of paradise, but at least he liked me. Then the crumbs ran out, and he didn’t like me so much anymore. “Fuck you, too!” I shouted as he flew away, off to go play with some other man’s heart no doubt. Just as I was about to settle back in to my midday nap, I felt my phone buzz.
Finally, I thought. Someone to talk to. I was getting sick of just swiping through my home screen pages every time I wanted to look busy, but when I pulled my iPhone out, I found something even more surprisingly than a text from a friend or loved one. It was an airdrop:
ANONYMOUS would like to share some photos.
I looked around. There were people near me, but most of them weren’t young enough to know how to airdrop something, and no one was using their phone. I accepted.
“What the hellll?” I let out before a chuckle. The first picture was of me, slumped over on the park bench, sleeping with my mouth open. I was instantly filled with embarrassment and wonder. On the one hand, it’s pretty depressing to see yourself sleeping in an unflattering position and I had a triple chin thing going in the photo. On the other hand, I couldn’t deny that it was pretty funny.
I looked up, hoping to catch someone giggling or at least staring in my direction, but I couldn’t see anyone who gave the slightest indication that it was them. In fact, by the time I looked up, I was alone.
The second picture wasn’t funny at all. It was all black, with a bunch of characters in what looked like Mandarin or some other Eastern language drawn on with the digital marker. A message from the sender. But I couldn’t read whatever language it was, and I didn’t know how I would go about translating it, seeing as I couldn’t just copy and paste the text, so I chose to just ignore the message, telling myself I would go to the trouble of translating it later. God, do I wish I wasn’t such a procrastinator.
The sun was setting so I stood up, took one last glance around for any hidden airdroppers, and walked back to my motel.
Later that night, I found myself hopelessly scrolling through Tinder. I realized long ago that dating apps can tell you a lot about the place you’re visiting, and I considered it part of my cultural experience to judge strangers behind a screen in my pajamas. Mostly I would just swipe my way through and laugh at the weird corn people without even considering a meet up, but every once in a while I would swipe right if I felt something. I never imagined that I would get anywhere.
Then I got another notification, and this time from someone I actually wanted to talk to. It was a girl (who looked waay out of my league) named Cristina.
“Hey, Greg. If you were on a lifeboat with me, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and the Queen (who was already dead at this point), who would you eat first?” I stared at her message. It was kind of quirky, but I liked it so I texted back.
“Obviously you, because I need the Rock to do all the rowing, the Queen is dead, and you’re quite the snack…” I smiled, proud of my work. The CFO’s wife didn’t know what she walked out on. Luckily, Cristina liked my reply as much as I did, and we struck up a nice conversation that had me copying the address to a local karaoke bar into my phone an hour later. It was only then that I began to regret my choice in vacation attire, and noticed that the bird had shat on my loafers. I ironed the only Polo I brought, threw on my sneakers and sped out.
On the way I stopped to fill up at a Chevron and went in to grab some mints (I thought about buying some banana sleeves, but that seemed a little too boastful.) When I went to pay, I dropped some change out of my wallet. Shit. The cashier, some kind of wannabe cowboy like everyone else in that city, smirked. I took a penny from the little plastic dish out of spite before leaving the store. While I was in my car, my phone buzzed. I snatched it up with excitement, assuming it was Cristina, but saw a different yet familiar name.
ANONYMOUS would like to share a photo.
What the fuck? I looked around at the cars in the lot. Two others were filling up, and about four more were parked in front of the convenience store. I wondered whether someone inside the store would still be close enough to airdrop. Cautiously, I accepted.
The photo was of me bending over to pick up the change I had spilt, taken from the parking lot. I stared at it for a little while. It was funny and embarrassing just like the first one, my butt crack was even showing a little, but for some reason this photo made me uneasy. Is someone following me? I wondered. Had some influencer punk started a one-man hidden camera show where he just waited for you to do something embarrassing? I stared at the other cars.. Some of the windows were too tinted to see in. After a minute or two, I rolled out of there and drove off.
At the bar, I was relieved and elated to find that Cristina looked as good, nay, better than she did in her photos. “Wow,” I stuttered. “You’re beautiful.” She also said the same about me, which I chalked up to having ironed the polo. Things were off to a good start.
Throughout the date, Cristina was bubbly and adorable. She told me all about her life in rural Nebraska and what brought her to the “big city”, but I couldn’t pay attention to any of it. I really wish I could have, but I just couldn’t get those damn airdropped photos out of my head.
Cristina left to go to the bathroom, and I took the opportunity to look around the bar, scanning the room for any familiar faces. Everyone looked engrossed in their own evenings and dates and cringy singing, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was being watched.
“Hey, your profile says you really like to sing,” Cristina began with a smile. That was a fast bathroom break. “But you never said what type of music!” I stared at her, still a bit lost in thought, and it took a couple seconds to register what she was saying.
“Oh, well I like simple boring things, really. Commercial jingles, recycling PSA’s, communist propaganda, that kind of stuff.” Cristina smiled.
“You’re…you’re not a communist, right?”
“Of course not!” I laughed. “Let’s go sing something,” I got up from our table and offered her my hand.
“Good, because my parents always said that if I moved to the big city I’d end up marrying a commie, and I hate to prove them right about anything.” She giggled.
“Hey, baby, I’m so capitalist I changed my birthplace to the Cayman islands.” Cristina giggled even more. Damn were we getting along well. I got up onto the little square stage they had for karaoke singers and looked out at the crowd. Then I got a notification. You can probably already guess how it read.
ANONYMOUS would like to share a photo.
I looked out across the room, dumb founded that ANONYMOUS had followed me here. I thought about showing Cristina but decided it would just worry her, and, even worse, prove her parents were right about the “big city”. I accepted the photo and startled backwards. My phone nearly fell to the floor. It was a photo of me at the bar, but not up on stage where it would have been easy for anyone to sneak a photo. It was from before, at our table, when I had turned to check out the other people. The worst part was that I was looking right at the mutherfucking camera!
My hand trembled. I tried to calm down. For some reason I didn’t want whoever sent the photo to know I was nervous. And I did NOT want Cristina to think that I was scared to sing Ring of Fire in front of a couple dozen famer hicks. But it was obvious from this picture that the photos weren’t just to be funny. This time, I wasn’t making any faces and my ass wasn’t showing. My face in the photo was one of concern.
How did I look right at the camera without realizing it? It struck me that the person sending these photos was going to extra lengths to remain hidden, maybe even as far as to camouflage themselves. They could be anyone, anywhere, with any sort of goal in mind. I shuttered.
The music started up and Cristina began to sing. I whipped around and looked at her. She was smiling, oblivious to the whole thing. And she looked happy. I didn’t want to spoil this moment, which was probably the only truly fun one of my vacation and the first time in a while that I was feeling some self-confidence. I began interchanging lines with her.
“I went down, down, down and the flames went higher.” I baritoned into the mic. She winked at me. I made it through the song and asked her to get the hell out of there, to which she excitedly said yes.
On the way back to my place, I thought about telling her about the photos but didn’t want to kill the mood. Still, I couldn’t help but look through the windows of every car that we passed.
I checked the rear view mirror for the umpteenth time, and a blue pickup truck was tailing close behind us. I made a right turn, then another, and the truck stayed close behind. After a while I made two more right turns and the headlights disappeared from my rearview mirror. Phew.
“What are you doing?” Cristina asked.
“You just made four right turns. You went in a circle.”
“Oh, yeah haha. I was hoping you wouldn’t notice, I wanted to be smooth. Just made a wrong turn back there.” Cristina nodded and reached out for my hand. I checked the rearview mirror. More headlights. Another pickup.
When we rolled into the parking lot of the motel, the truck behind us continued down the road, and I noticed it was red. I felt relieved until I pulled into my parking spot and hopped out of the car. Behind us to the right, the same blue truck from before was parked. Shit, he must have taken a quicker way over here.
How did he know where I was staying?
I put my arm over Cristina’s shoulder and rushed her into my room.
After the deed was done, Cristina promptly fell asleep (which I hoped was the sign of a job well done) and I decided to go for a walk in the parking lot. I wanted to figure out what the fuck was going on, but I didn’t want to call the police before there were any real threats or anything.
So, like every dumbass horror film victim, I went alone into the dark to investigate. I stepped out into the dark motel parking lot and eyed the truck sitting across the lot. Its headlights and grill formed an angry face that stared at me. I felt like it could read my thoughts. Leave, it said to me. Get out of here, you’ll only get into trouble. The headlight eyes bore into my brain. Don’t be dumb and you won’t get hurt-
A loud BANG came from behind me. I spun around to see a dark figure turn the corner and disappear around the back of the motel. My heart started to pound, urging me to move my legs in either a flight or fight direction.
I sprinted off towards the figure, and in moments I was turning the corner. Behind the motel, there were only tall thin trees and a formidable darkness that shielded whatever had run away from me. I paused, searching through the trees for my stalker. I squinted but couldn’t quite make anything out in the dark.
Then I heard something. Behind me. Something was...coughing.
Slowly, with my eyes first, I turned around and what I saw made my heart flutter. The sounds were coming from a dumpster, the kind usually left behind restaurants or apartment complexes that can only be moved by big semi garbage trucks. From within the dark dumpster, the head of a terrible beast with a black mask rose up. Its mouth, full of razor sharp, enamel covered fangs, clamped down onto a chicken bone with a hiss. It was a raccoon.
I laughed. There was so much pent up adrenaline in my body that I couldn’t help but convulse with the giggles. Soon tears were spilling out of my eyes and I had to lean on my knees to keep from passing out.
“You scared the shit out of me,” I told the raccoon, and it scampered off into the shadows. I remained there until my laughter subsided, and when it was gone I decided to stay a little while longer. It was a beautiful spot. Nebraska wasn’t that bad when you got to know it.
After a few more minutes spent collecting my thoughts and calming my nerves, I went back around the bend of my motel. I strode with new confidence towards my room, but still couldn’t resist looking over my shoulder at the blue truck in the parking lot. Is there someone in the driver’s seat? I didn’t want to be paranoid, but there was no way to deny that I felt like eyes were burning into my back. I walked more quickly until I reached my door, unlocked it and slipped inside.
Acting quickly, I shut the door behind me and put in the chain lock. I felt safer in my room. That is, until I lied back down onto the bed next to Cristina.
The instant my sweaty ass made contact with the crusty bed sheets, I got a notification. A lump formed in my throat and I grabbed my phone, but paused and said a silent prayer that it would just be a message of support from my mom, or a campaign donation request, or any other useless shit besides an airdrop before checking it. But I knew what it was, and looking at the screen only confirmed it.
ANONYMOUS would like to share a video.
I gasped for oxygen. The humid air around me suddenly felt too thick to breath. I accepted the air drop and the video downloaded. It showed the door of my motel room. As I stared at the still frame, a new sense of anger rose up within me. Who the fuck was this Anonymous guy, anyway? Did he think he was scaring me? I mean, was he hoping that after seeing a few photos of myself I would send him my bank information? It was pathetic. I decided that I had done enough cowering and whimpering. I didn’t even play the video, but went to frantically jotting down a strongly worded letter in my Notes app threatening to call the police if he didn’t stop stalking me and at least tell me what he wanted. I signed off by writing;
Wishing you the best,
Pissed off Guy
I took a screenshot. “Pissed off guy” wasn’t my best work, creatively speaking, but I couldn’t think of any better names. I was too pissed off.
I opened the airdrop recipients in the vicinity. Despite my newfound courage, I trembled as the airdrop recipients in my area registered on my phone. For some reason, I was afraid that ANONYMOUS would pop up. Proving he was at the motel would make the situation feel more…real. Up until that point, all he had done was send me some pictures. If I sent something back to him, would he get more…aggressive?
I stared at the screen, my heart beating faster than a Browning automatic could shoot hollow-point bullets into a cheap motel room. One named appeared: ANONYMOUS’s iPhone. I swallowed a heavy breath. Was the air getting thicker? Slugs of sweat rolled down my face. I exhaled and sent my note to ANONYMOUS.
Shit, I thought to myself. What am I doing? I wanted to unsend it. For some reason this suddenly felt like the dumbest thing I’d ever done. I watched my screen intently. The tension was so high my heart almost sprung a leak, and I was afraid my bladder just might. Thankfully, it didn’t take very long to get a response.
ANONYMOUS would like to share some photos.
I hit “accept” the instant I got his request.
It was a collection of photos. All the same photos he had sent me before. My blood boiled, and my face heated up. I work up the courage to talk to him and he just ignores me? I was starting to grow less concerned and more irritated by Anonymous’s antics, but then I noticed something.
The first picture of the most recent airdrop, the one where I’m asleep on a park bench and sporting a triple chin, had a red circle on it. The kind that you draw on a picture when you want to draw attention to something, except there didn’t seem to be anything particular inside the circle. I zoomed in, and my heart dropped into my stomach. Far off in the background, in the middle of the circle, was a man’s face hidden between the bushes.
He was wearing a dark hoodie that cast a shadow over his face, but zoomed in I could make out the details. He was bald, and most of his features were normal and indistinct, but his lips were curled up into an enormous hungry smile, with too many crooked yellow teeth crammed into his mouth for him to be a normal human.
His nostrils were flared, like he was breathing heavily. It gave the impression that he was almost lusting after me, like a beast stalking its prey. My blood pressure fell through the floor as I realized that he was looking straight at me. His ravenous chops wet with saliva, itching to sink his teeth into my plump, dormant flesh.
I nervously swiped to the next photo. Me in the gas station bending over to pick up my change. There was a red circle around someone standing a few yards behind me in line. It was the same man. He stared at me intently with eyes that were opened impossibly wide, and drool dripping from the corner of his mouth.
I nearly threw my phone in shock. He had been so close to me, and yet I didn’t remember seeing him. If you weren’t paying close attention, it would be easy to miss his inhuman features. I had probably been too distracted and embarrassment at having dropped my change on the floor to notice him. Damn my social anxiety.
The next photo was from the karaoke bar, the one where I was looking directly into the camera. Seeing me stare directly at the photographer without recognizing him or her made me queasy the first time I saw it, but now I was more worried about what was in the background. There was another red circle, in the dark hallway that led to the bathroom behind the bar to the left, but it was too dark to see anything in the shadows. I zoomed in and turned the brightness all the way up, and then I could just make out one thing.
A crooked, yellowed smile pointed in my direction.
Whoever or whatever he was, he had followed me for the whole day.
The last photo was all black except for something Anonymous had written, also in red. It said:
I AM NOT STALKER.
Goosebumps popped up behind my neck and down my shoulders. That’s when I remembered the video of me walking back to the motel room, the one I hadn’t watched.
With shaky fingers I opened the video. It was centered on the door of my motel room. For the first few seconds nothing happened. I thoroughly scanned the backgrounds and corners, making sure to search extra hard in the shadowy areas, but I couldn’t see the man anywhere.
Then he walked into center frame. This time he wasn’t hidden. He crept towards the door, his arms remaining eerily immobile as he walked, and when he got to the door, pulled a key card out and slipped inside. I gasped. When was this recorded?
That question was answered for me when a moment later I walked into frame, unlocked the door, and went in. It was from when I came back after finding the raccoon in the dumpster, less than two minutes ago.
I shivered. Suddenly, it was dawning on me that Cristina’s breathing sounded…different. It was just a little heavier and deeper than I remembered it being. Very slowly, I turned my head to look over at the other side of the bed and noticed that the lump under the covers seemed larger than it had before. I felt the air; it was thicker and wetter than I remembered it being and had a warm, almost metallic smell.
The body lying next to me wasn’t Cristina’s. I froze. What do I do? Dear God, what should I do now? Slowly, I sat up and pulled my legs over the side of the bed. I thought about turning the lights on, shouting for Cristina, trying to fight the stalker, but I had the gut feeling that she was beyond saving. Even if she was still alive, there was no way I could last more than a few seconds against this thing in bed with me. Whatever it was, it was built for hunting down humans and tearing them apart.
I casually mumbled “better take a shower” and crept over to the hall. Luckily the bathroom was right next to the front door.
Once I got in front of the bathroom door, I silently lunged for the front door, turned the lock as quietly as I could and tried to open it without making a sound. CLANG.
I stared in horror at the chain lock I had set when I came in. Idiot! I heard a rustle from the bed. The time for stealth was gone.
I yanked the chain out and swung the door open. In less than a second I was outside closing the door behind me and then bounding towards my car. I turned it on and peeled out without even checking to see whether my visitor had followed me.
I sped away from the motel towards the city and dialed 911.
At the police station, I waited for the cops to check out my room. When they came back, they asked to talk with me. I was led into the interrogation room, and they started to hit me with some accusatory questions. They said her body was ripped into pieces and strewn across the room, everywhere except the bed. Imagining myself in that room, totally oblivious to Cristina’s organs and tissue around me made me sick.
It soon became obvious that the police believed I killed her. I tried to convince them that there was someone else in my room, and told them there was video proof on my phone. I showed them the video that ANONYMOUS had sent me. They were intrigued, but still skeptical.
I was starting to get nervous that I wouldn’t return from my lame ass vacation for 10-30 years when something amazing happened.
Still in the officer’s hand, my phone got a notification.
ANONYMOUS would like to share a video.
“That’s him, that’s the guy who’s been airdropping me stuff!” I said frantically. The officer raised an eyebrow. He hesitated, looked around, and after an agonizing pause accepted the video. They hid the screen from my face, but from his expression I could tell the video was something violent. All I could hear was an animal-like growl, heavy panting and a guttural human yell.
It wasn’t until after being cleared to leave and given my phone back that I watched the video. ANONYMOUS had filmed me leaving the parking lot of the motel, and then gone into the room and turned the lights on. The ‘thing’ was standing in the middle of the room, only a few feet from the camera. It stared at the camera and gave it a slow wave. Its slender fingers seemed to pulse with excitement, and the creature wiggled them elatedly. It smiled and its lips peeled back to reveal blood soaked teeth.
The room was covered in blood and body parts. There were intestines hanging off the lamp, what looked like a half-eaten liver soaking the office chair, teeth laid on the t.v. stand close enough to the camera to see that they were neat and white. I pictured him sucking them clean like cherry pits.
The most disturbing part of all was a big piece of skin that had been ripped off like a sheet and laid on the bed post by my side of the bed. In the middle of the skin was what looked like a belly button. I had been lying with my head right underneath Cristina’s drying stomach leather and never had a clue.
After the camera panned around the room, it focused back on the man. He stood there for a moment, his chest rising and falling rapidly, eyes wide and hungry. Then he took a lighting quick stride forward, and the camera turned toward the door. That is where the video ends. Watching it made me fear for ANONYMOUS’s safety, but I knew that he at least made it out healthy enough to make it to the police station.
Sometimes, when I’m alone and get the feeling I’m being watched, I open my airdrop options to see if ANONYMOUS is somewhere near me. I haven’t ever found him.
Earlier this morning while on the subway, I looked up and had a heart stopping shock. I was sitting at the end of one car and just happened to look through the window into the car behind us. There he was; the same creature that killed Cristina. The doors were still open and I almost took off running but… he wasn’t looking at me.
He was staring intently and smiling at a woman on the opposite row. Every few seconds he would lick his lips hungrily. I shuddered looking at his teeth because I couldn’t help but imagine them cutting into Cristina’s flesh, piercing through her skull and ripping her teeth out of their gums down to the root.
His prey had headphones in and was flipping through a magazine, totally oblivious to the terrible monster sitting just a few yards away from her. I took a picture through the foggy glass.
You can’t see the creature very well in the photo. But I can always circle him. Maybe she’ll have to zoom in, and she just might need to turn her brightness up all the way, but I’ll make sure she gets the message. I have no idea how to get the photo to her without drawing the attention of the creature, but I’ll figure it out. We’ll both figure it out. Wish us luck.
submitted by RowBowBooty
to nosleep [link] [comments]
2023.06.06 19:16 Brahms12 I am new to this group. I would like to share a prologue and welcome! Any helpful critiques. And thank you for reading.
Lightning split the heavens exposing the night sky in a collage of crimson and lavender. The stunning and instantaneous color-scope illuminated the shadowy darkness and revealed a glimpse of the looming storm in the distance.
How beautiful, she thought as she stood, gazing out of the front window in her evening gown. The air was perfect and, for the moment, was calm and still. But when she looked down her hand was shaking. Images and thoughts flashed through her mind: her future, their new house, motherhood… her mind drifted. She thought about how lonely another night alone was going to be; how much she missed him when he was away.
Isotta tried her best to keep herself occupied during the long weekends when he was gone, mostly by gardening through the Spring and Summer, but she also read a lot. She’d already gone through the stack of novels in her husband’s study: The Godfather, Papillon, The Chosen, Fahrenheit 451, to name a few - It was a pleasure to burn, she thought.
They were just diversions though, the reading and the gardening. She used them to sideline the unpleasant feelings that crept in now and again. It was important to keep them away; to never let them take hold of her or her feelings. But she knew it was coming. She knew it was just a matter of time. She could sense it. Maybe I should start knitting baby clothes, she thought. And she sighed deeply and smiled.
Her parents and sister were not in the country and other than a brief visit a while back, she hasn't seen or spoken to them in almost a year. In this new life, this new neighborhood, she had no close friends other than the kind woman she met a few weekends back at the grocery store. A woman who was also pregnant with her first.
Looking across the house, through the living room and over the dining room table, she saw that the TV was still on. The Dick Cavett show. She had forgotten that she left it on. He had a lot of famous American guests on. Some of them she knew but most she didn’t. She liked his show, the few times she watched it, though she never paid too much attention to it. Plus, on this night the volume was turned way down allowing the sounds of the weather, the distant rumble of thunder and the building gusts of wind, to hold her allure for the evening. It kept her company.
The damp air crept in through the screen door on the porch and she felt its humid touch on her skin as the rain began falling, a drizzle at first. She relaxed to the sound of the popping droplets on the asphalt.
Isotta James, who came over from Italy and had been on her own since she was sixteen, was a very intuitive and free-spirited young woman. She loved the adventure she was on and enjoyed her new surroundings; the cool climate of Long Island in the Autumn.
It excited her to be married to an officer and live in a foreign country. She always dreamed of living in America and now it was a reality. And, she was looking forward to his return after the weekend so they could go out on more adventures together: hiking up Bear mountain or visiting fort Ticonderoga upstate, taking a day trip up to Woodstock for a romantic weekend. But she especially loved visiting New York City. That was the place where she felt the freest. Especially with him. It was so new to her and the energy was tangible . She could spend all day with Thomas in the city, holding hands, visiting museums and strolling down the sidewalks. She loved the food too, eating dinner at one place and dessert at another. It was like being back home in Barri but different. She felt so special when they were together.
As the night descended further and the sounds of the storm became spectral, a touch of late night tedium and discomfort snuck into her mood. Isotta, spending much of the evening downstairs trying to keep herself engaged, finally admitted to herself that she was tired and there was nothing more to keep her interest so she christened it a good time to head upstairs for the night.
She seemed to float in her blue sleeveless nightdress as she reached to shut the blinds. Then she turned off the T.V. and the light in the living room and walked through the house towards the stairs, turning the upstairs light on first. One step at a time, she told herself as she carefully walked up, suddenly aware of how tender her feet felt. Going up and down the stairs each day was taking its toll and she avoided it as often as she could. Subtle pings of pain began pulsing through her hips that she continued up the flight. Only one more month to go, she thought while she labored up the remaining steps, her expectant belly competing with her tiny frame. Groucho Marx, she mumbled. Yes, it came to her in a flash. Groucho Marx. That’s who was on the Dick Cavett show, she remembered him now. You Bet Your Life, she thought. And she did.
Once atop the last step and slightly out of breath, Isotta paused to collect herself. She took another few steps but then abruptly stopped. A faint dizziness came over her. She tried to wish it away but instead lost her balance for a brief second and braced herself, one hand reaching out to the wall. She glanced around as if forgetting where she was. Looking down she could see that her hand was shaking again. Harder this time.. She became light-headed and her vision blurred. The room began spinning and a lurching sensation grew from inside her belly. Something, she murmured aloud as she caught breath, something isn’t right.
She was telling herself to lie down, thinking she was going to pass out but instead she forced herself down the length of the hallway toward the bedroom, thinking that getting into bed would bring the most satisfying relief. It’s amazing how just walking up a flight of stairs can be so exhausting when you're 8 months pregnant.
But before she reached the bedroom, the cramps came back with an unforgiving determination and, with a sharp grimace, she clutched her belly and dashed into the bedroom, almost tripping over her own feet as she half stumbled toward the end table. She exerted herself as she reached for the side of the bed and with a flick, turned on the table lamp. She pulled out the drawer and rummaged around until her hand found the Rx bottle she was looking for. She twisted it open and promptly downed two pills and then hiked herself up onto the bed with a grunt.
During the pregnancy, Isotta was treated for eclampsia and the magnesium pills were the only safe thing that eased the woozy symptoms which came on frequently and were sometimes severe.
There's a heavenly feeling, though, in that first moment when you lie down in bed. First it's the feet and then the knees, the shoulders, the neck and eventually an awareness of your entire body sinking into the mattress.
She pulled the covers up to her neck and turned over on her side, maneuvered an extra pillow between her legs and then reached out to turn off the light. Isotta lied as still as she could enduring the queasy discomfort, knowing that it would take a few minutes to kick in. She took a deep breath to calm her nerves and after a few patient minutes the nausea and spinning began to dissipate. Her head felt cool from the perspiration and her nightgown clinged uncomfortably to her back. But it didn't matter. Everything felt calm again even with the rumblings of the storm and the great flashes of light. With a gentle sigh, she closed her eyes and slowly drifted off to sleep.
Isotta woke up a few hours later. It was normal for her to wake up in the middle of the night but this time it was different. She had been having that dream again, the one where she was drowning in the bathtub with her baby in her arms. She could still feel the water filling her lungs and the anxiety rising in her chest. She sat up in bed abruptly and looked around the dark and silent room.
The dream had always been a terrifying one, but tonight it had been even worse. She could still see the look of confusion in her baby's eyes as the water rose around them. She could still feel the desperation as she struggled to keep them both afloat.
Isotta believed that if you need to get your mind off of something, the best thing was a change of scenery. So, she got out of bed to use the bathroom and on her way back stopped to peer out the bedroom window. The rain was still coming down and the wind was whistling around the corner of the house. She could barely see anything outside when she gazed into the darkness, but she thought she heard something. Movement in the bushes? Isotta held her breath so she could hear over din of the storm and, after a moment, the sound came again. Shh-Shh-Shh. It was hard to tell if it was the weather or if there really was something making that noise.
It crossed her mind to put her slippers on and go downstairs to see what was causing it but she was sure that it was the wind or the cover of the trash can dangling in the bushes. Thomas forgot to tie the lid down again, she thought. How was I going to sleep now? But then it stopped. Isotta waited for a bit, just to be sure. But it never came back. After a pause she decided it must have been nothing and returned to bed. It wasn't the first time she was alone in the house and it certainly wouldn't be the last.
She relaxed again into a fetal position, tucked the pillow between her legs and pulled the covers back up.
The more she thought about it, the less sure she was that she heard anything at all. It could have just been street noise coming through the rain, she thought. Who knows?
She lied in bed and thought about what to do the rest of the weekend. She really wanted to spend time in the garden. It was the perfect month to plant the Aronias and the Dahlias. The soil will be moist and easy to move around, especially after a hard rain. It wasn't going to be easy, being 8 months pregnant, but she was going to do her best.
The laundry definitely needed to get done too. She needed her gardening pants and knee pads and she had asked Thomas a thousand times to move the rocking chair to the other corner in the nursery. I should probably do it myself, she thought.
Just as she was falling back into sleep, she heard it again. Shh-Shh-Shh. But it was louder and bigger now. Something was definitely moving and it was closer, a lot closer. What?, she whispered in disbelief. It sounded like someone dragging a rake across cement in short powerful heaves. Her arm started to hurt again.
There was a soft grunt like a man's voice and what sounded like a knock on the window. Just as she was about to get up and turn the light on she felt Thomas getting into bed next to her. It was dark and, although she was facing the other way, she could feel his weight easing down into the mattress beside her. That's odd, she thought. What's he doing home?
"Hi honey," she whispered in a half-woken voice.
A few seconds went by but there was no response. Maybe he was too tired to speak or maybe he didn't want to wake me up? Finally she could relax and drift off to sleep again but she caught herself.
"Honey?" she said again, this time with more curiosity.
But there was only Silence. And then she remembered, as clarity replaced drowsiness, Thom was supposed to be gone all weekend. He would have called if he was coming home.
She searched for his mannerisms: the way he shuffled his legs in the sheets, the heat of his body, his smell, the way he reached for her hand under the covers… only there was no heat, and no legs shuffling. Instead, what she noticed was how still he was. She could feel the chill radiating off his skin and there was a smell that was growing more and more bitter by the second.
“Who’s here? Thom? Is that you?” she asked in a nervous whisper.
There was more movement in the bed, rolling and shifting. The darkness was heavy, pressing Isotta down. Thomas shouldn't be home for two days, she thought.
submitted by Brahms12
to WritersGroup [link] [comments]
2023.06.06 18:34 Putrid-Maximum1569 Vent: Dealing with my daughters stepmom abusing her, started a custody case, while being a SAHM and managing everything else with no help
I honestly just need to vent because I feel like my head is going to explode.
Since the fall, there have been multiple incidences where my daughter comes home from her dads (50/50) telling me her stepmom (let’s call her Mary) has abused her either physically, emotionally or both - as well as her mom and grandmother.
Multiple reports were filed, it made coparenting a hostile almost non existent thing.
I tried speaking to her dad about my concerns but they were just met with gaslighting and more hostility. So I retained a lawyer.
Since then, her dad has not even managed to meet me at exchange (he has me going to the corner store between our houses, we live a street away from each other) and instead has sent Mary. There has been no coparenting, no communication at all, which is fine considering the alternative wasn’t great either.
My daughter told me that Mary has now resorted to talking badly about me to her, saying “I tell her to misbehave when she goes there,” and “I make her have trauma responses when she’s there” (impossible). Mary and dad are also trying to get information from my daughter.
I’m a SAHM with my 8 year old daughter, 2 year old and 15 month old sons. I manage the entire household, groceries, meal plans, my daughters school life, our animals, everyone’s appointments etc. my husband works until 5pm and so when my daughter has a therapy appointment I need to seek out someone to be here with our boys, and we only have two people who can do that.
On Sunday I ask my sister if she will, she says yes, and then the next day asks me to ask my mother in law because “it’s in the middle of the day and she has stuff around the yard she would like to do.”
Which is annoying because she already said yes, she lives closer and she knows I don’t overly prefer when my mother in law watches them. It’s also annoying because we have little to no support system and now half of it is seemingly unreliable.
It pisses me off because I am carrying the weight of all of this. When I tell my sister about what they’re doing to her, she says she’s “so mad and upset,” and encouraged me to take it to court and that “she’d be here for me for whatever I need.”
Although my husband is in the same house and involved in this legal situation, Mary and dads attacks are only toward me and I’m hearing from my daughter what she’s going through every Sunday when she comes home - which is heartbreaking and then obviously causes me to fill with anger and sadness. So the emotional weight is on me alone.
Everyone is apparently so upset by it all, yet I’m dealing with this specifically while trying to manage everything else in our lives. Everyone is so upset but no one asks me if I need anything, and when I do they’re unreliable, no one is checking in with me to see how I’m doing when I’m here alone with the kids for 9 hours (my kids scream, a lot and are very high needs).
I’m just so drained and really envy those who have a village.
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2023.06.06 17:39 Mr_Binghamton Air Quality Alert - recommended to limit strenuous outdoor physical activity.
2023.06.06 17:15 Skinoob38 Russian invaders' latest war crime: blowing up a hydroelectric dam, flooding at least 80 villages and creating humanitarian disaster
Villagers flee floods as huge Kakhovka dam destroyed in Ukraine war zone
KHERSON, Ukraine, June 6 (Reuters) - A torrent of water burst through a massive dam on the Dnipro River that separates Russian and Ukrainian forces in southern Ukraine on Tuesday, flooding a swathe of the war zone and forcing villagers to flee.
Ukraine accused Russia of blowing up the Nova Kakhovka dam in a deliberate war crime. The Kremlin said it was Ukraine that had sabotaged the dam, to distract attention from the launch of a major counteroffensive Moscow says is faltering. Some Russian-installed officials said the dam had burst on its own.
Neither side offered immediate public evidence of who was to blame. The Geneva Conventions explicitly ban targeting dams in war, because of the danger to civilians.
By mid-morning in the city of Kherson in Ukrainian government-controlled territory downstream from the dam, a pier on a tributary of the Dnipro had already been submerged.
Lidia Zubova, 67, waiting for a train out of the city after abandoning her inundated village of Antonivka, told Reuters: "Our local school and stadium downtown were flooded... The road was completely flooded, our bus got stuck."
Ukrainian police released video of an officer carrying an elderly woman to safety and others rescuing dogs in villages being evacuated as the waters rose. Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko accused Russia of shelling areas from where people were being evacuated and said two police officers were wounded.
On the Russian-controlled bank of the Dnipro, the Moscow-installed mayor of Nova Kakhovka said water levels had risen to 11 metres (36 feet). Residents reached by telephone there told Reuters that some had decided to stay despite being ordered out by occupying Russians.
"They say they are ready to shoot without warning," said one local man, Hlib, describing encounters with Russian troops. "If you come a metre closer than allowed, they immediately start yelling obscenities. We're still allowed to go to the store, but we don't know what orders will be given next."
Yevheniya, a female resident, said the water was up to the knees of the Russian soldiers walking the main street in high rubber boots. "If you try to go somewhere they don't allow, they immediately point their machine guns at you," she said. "More and more water is coming every hour. It's very dirty."
The Kazkova Dibrova zoo on the Russian-held riverbank was completely flooded and all 300 animals were dead, a representative said via the zoo's Facebook account.
The dam supplies water to a wide area of southern Ukrainian farmland, including the Russian-occupied Crimean peninsula, as well as cooling the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.
The vast reservoir behind the dam is one of the main geographic features of southern Ukraine, 240 km (150 miles) long and up to 23 km (14 miles) wide.
An expanse of countryside lies in the flood plain below, with low-lying villages on the Russian-held southern bank particularly vulnerable. 'TERRORISTS'
The dam's destruction raised fears of a new humanitarian disaster in the centre of the war zone and transformed front lines just as Ukraine prepared to launch a long-awaited counteroffensive to drive Russian troops from its territory.
Russia has controlled the dam since early in its 15-month-old invasion, although Ukrainian forces recaptured the Dnipro's northern bank last year. Both sides had long accused the other of plotting to destroy the dam.
"Russian terrorists. The destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant dam only confirms for the whole world that they must be expelled from every corner of Ukrainian land," President Volodymyr Zelenskiy wrote on the Telegram messaging app.
Russians had "carried out an internal detonation of the structures" of the dam, Zelenskiy said. "About 80 settlements are in the zone of flooding."
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called it "an outrageous act, which demonstrates once again the brutality of Russia's war in Ukraine".
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov blamed "deliberate sabotage by the Ukrainian side".
"Apparently, this sabotage is also connected with the fact that having started large-scale offensive actions two days ago, now the Ukrainian armed forces are not achieving their goals."
Earlier, Russian-installed officials had given conflicting accounts, some saying the dam had been hit by Ukrainian missiles overnight, others saying it had burst on its own due to earlier damage. ZAPORIZHZHIA NUCLEAR PLANT
The U.N. nuclear watchdog said the Zaporizhzhia power plant, upriver on the reservoir's Russian-held bank, should have enough water to cool its reactors for "some months" from a separate pond, even as the huge reservoir drains out.
Video showed water surging through the remains of the dam - which is 30 metres (yards) tall and 3.2 km (2 miles) long.
Some 22,000 people living across 14 settlements in the Kherson region are at risk of flooding, Russia's RIA news agency quoted the Moscow-installed head of the region as saying.
The Russian-installed governor of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, said there was a risk that water levels in the canal that carries fresh water to the Black Sea peninsula could fall. Crimea, which Russia has held since 2014, had sufficient water reserves for now and the risk would become clear in coming days.
Zelenskiy said in an interview published on Saturday that Ukraine was poised to unleash its much-heralded major counteroffensive, using newly supplied Western battle tanks and armoured vehicles.
Moscow has said the Ukrainian offensive began on Sunday and claimed to have repulsed a third day of Ukrainian advances.
Kyiv has maintained deliberate ambiguity about it though Zelenskiy hinted at successes. In an evening address before the dam broke, he hailed "the news we have been waiting for" claiming forward moves around Bakhmut, a ruined city Russia captured earlier this month.
Russia also carried out a fresh wave of overnight air strikes on Kyiv. Ukraine said its air defence systems had downed more than 20 cruise missiles on their approach to the capital.
The Shebekino district of Russia's Belgorod region near the Ukrainian border came under renewed shelling, local authorities said. Anti-government Russian fighters based in Ukraine claim to have captured villages there.
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2023.06.06 16:16 JoseTheSlime Bad Batches
The front doorbell chimed as the first customer in hours came in. Tim was one of the few people at Smart Pets who actually cared for the animals and watching people mistreat them all day infuriated him. As the customer rounded the corner, Tim recognized his face. Almost every other day, this man came in and purchased a hamster; on his next visit, he would return it dead. The man clearly lied about each method of death and the poor creature’s bodies were always mangled. When Tim reported this to his manager, he ignored the concern because he believed this behavior was good for business. As he approached the counter, the middle-aged man had a phony frown, trying to play up the death. Tim glared at him and without saying a single word, the customer spoke to him: “This is killing me…Tim” he said, looking at the worker’s name tag, “Another bad batch”. Tim breathed in deeply before reaching out his hand to collect the plastic bag that the hamster would be in. Rather than placing it gently in his hand, the customer tossed the bag onto the counter, causing a loud THUMP. Tim balled his fist and squeezed hard, trying to keep the anger inside. The customer must have noticed the anger somehow and decided to say something. “Hey, I really AM sorry bud. You guys gotta source your hamsters from somewhere else or something. These bad batches are getting out of hand.” “I’ll be right back,” Tim said, leaving the counter suddenly and walking to the back of the shop. The customer sat there waiting at the register for a few minutes before he became annoyed. Five more minutes went by, and the customer rested his elbows on the counter. He noticed a quarantine room behind the check-out counters and began to wonder what could be hidden within. A little bit more time went by before a loud bang on the other side of the door startled the customer, causing him to stand back up and take a few steps back. He bumped into something that wasn’t there before but before he could turn around and see what it was, a plastic bag slipped over his head. He struggled to breathe before finally falling onto the floor, unconscious. The customer slowly woke up, limbs tied down to a metal table, the room enveloped in complete darkness. “How does it feel?” A sudden voice said from within the darkness. “What the fuck is this?” He responded, scared. The lights switched on and Tim stood there holding a hammer, eyes red with anger. The room was filled with empty cages and human corpses with their faces covered in plastic wrap, and bodies mangled and beaten. The customer noticed one human that looked to still be alive in one of the cages; they were wearing a SmartPets manager shirt covered with fresh blood. “We at SmartPets will do our best to rid our store of bad batches”
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2023.06.06 14:58 Divest0911 Little less fat, little further along. Montreal today! Update
Quick who I am and what im doing for any new readers.
I am a 44m, who was 320lbs with type 2 diabetes, apnea, bad knees, bad back, smoker. I also suffer from chemically Induced anxiety disorder, bipolar 2 and a wicked case of depression.
I was raised a ward of the court in my home province of BC and they recently passed Into law funding for school for former wards regardless of age.
A month ago I decided to quit my job and bike from Moncton NB to Vancouver Island BC to take advantage of this law change. The thought being, the goal/hope is to end up in BC a better man, both physically and mentally. A week later I left.
The message, the conversation I'm trying to share is that former Wards of the Court require continued support well past their age out dates. Mental health support, addiction support, education and general health support should be provided to all wards after the age of 18. We are broken and forgotten. We need help.
My socials which have almost daily updates are in my profile.
WARNING My social updates are both high energy with enthusiasm and also dark sometimes emotional updates. These are raw, real and the thougts and feelings of someone who struggles with mental health.
I'm just outside of Montreal, typing this in my tent which is set up on the lawn of some random person whom I asked if I could borrow a corner of their lawn. He didn't speak a word of English, or I a word of French. Pointing to my tent and miming myself sleeping then pointing to his lawn he understood lol.
It feels like I'm making progress, Edmunston to Montreal in 8 days of riding feels like a tremendous success. There have been a couple of proper rest days and ive learned how important they are. However I have a hard time taking them, emotionally. I find it easier to just go each day. Even if it's a short day, that progress makes me feel good.
The body continues to go through changes. It feels like the fat in my belly isn't going away anymore, but my bitch tits are smaller, which is amazing. I've also noticed that I've lost a lot of the roundness to my face. It's starting to thin out and my third chin is going away.
When I started this my back would get spasms just setting up my tent. That's how bad my core/back was. Now? Nothing. Zero spasms. As I type this I'm sitting up on my ass in my tent, which I couldn't do before without pain in my back and core. So major progress here.
My knees still feel weak, however I do notice some additional flexibility in my hips and knees.
I continue to walk taller. I notice it every time I walk past someone in a store. I'd usually be hunched over, that could have been a physical thing or a mental (hiding) thing, or both. But god damn I feel tall. Holding my head higher, shoulders are back, chest is out. In a natural "strong" way not a forced "are my lats big?" Kinda way.
Mentally, it's still really tough. I'm honestly not seeing any real change in the ups or downs. The crashes still come, they still effect me the same way, I still obsessively think about the same dark dangerous things on an almost daily basis. If anything, the last week has been worse and it doesn't feel like Cycling is healing anything mentally. I'm still hopeful and to be fair I am doing a tremendous amount of self evaluation daily, which is the first step in healing. Confronting my fears and failures each day is still some amount of success. I'm big on accountability and the last few years I've put so much into other people and my work I've neglected the self evaluation and self accountability that is so important. The world is dark and dangerous and hard. But the only way out of that darkness is being accountable for myself. So in some ways no progress but in others progress.
Progress is a slow process.
I've dramatically under estimated the costs of doing this. As someone who is diabetic and has had a very unhealthy diet for years I'm struggling to find the right balance of feeling full and also having the foods that give me the energy required. Stopping at every gas station and or eating as much as I can once I get to a town has to stop, I cannot afford it. I also cannot continue with canned spam and crackers.
The Diabetes however, what a dramatic change. The first week or so I was still getting dizzy spells and have not have any until today. So this is a huge change and I'm really happy about this.
I could really use some advice on cheap meals that I can have packed in my bags that can give the full feeling while also giving me the energy I need for a full day of riding.
Ooooh shoes. Omg shoes. Okay, so I bought some cheap ass Walmart shoes the day I left. In two weeks I had worn through the bottoms. My feet were sliding off the pedals and was thinking I needed bigger pedals.
I went and bought a good $200 pair of shoes and sized down from a 13 to a 12. What a fucking difference. First and foremost my feet stay on the pedals, they stick to them, it's amazing. I feel like I can pedal harder and longer. This was a great investment.
My chain is slipping, gears are jumping, chain falling off and rear brakes I have to squeeze all the way down to get anything anymore. So hopefully these aren't expensive fixes. But I gotta get them fixed before I start Ont.
Finally, and most importantly I have to give special attention and appreciation to everyone who continues to message, cheer me on, support my videos, donated, ect. Truly, from my deepest core I appreciate you.
The hardest part of this for me is being alone with nothing but my thoughts. And each time I stop and see that you've liked, messaged, supported me in anyway it honestly and truly stops the darkness for a moment. It gives me hope and trust in the process.
So thank you.
I have written a sponsor letter and am going to start reaching out to people/companies in the hopes of getting some sponsorship and additional eyes on what im doing. BC Mental Health is working through some internal stuff but will become my first sponsor which is amazing.
If anyone has any suggestions for other people/places that would be worth speaking with id appreciate some suggestions. Those that are supporters of mental health recovery, addiction recovery, aged out, foster homes, wards. Also any biking companies or health food/drinks/gels that may have even a passing interest in a fat man biking across Canada.
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