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2023.06.05 05:49 JLGoodwin1990 We broke into the Egyptian Theatre in Coos Bay to go ghost hunting. I wish we never had.
“I just had an idea pop into my head about something to do this coming weekend, and I wanted to bounce it off you two before it slips my mind” My friend Natasha said those words as the three of us sat on my couch one afternoon. I found myself sitting up slightly. Normally, Natasha was the last of our group to suggest things to do, letting Vinny, the third member of our group, or I come up with the plans to keep our free time occupied. The fact she was about to suggest something intrigued me. “What have you got in mind?” I asked her. A smile played over her face as her brown eyes seemed to flash. “How about a little ghost hunting?”
I felt Vinny sit straight up beside me. She had clearly grabbed both our attention now. The three of us were what you might call amateur ghost hunters, using very basic items we bought offline to visit some of the spookier places in the area and posting our adventures on YouTube, sort of like a crappier version of Ghost Adventures. “Now that’s one hell of a good idea” Vinny said, before a puzzled expression spread over his face. “But, I mean, where? We’ve already done most of the places around town. The Tioga building won’t let us in after that…well, what that one resident claims we stirred up in the old ballroom, and I’m not about to make the hours long drive to the Wolf Creek Inn” Natasha’s smile grew wider. “No, we don’t have to even go out of town for this one” she said, her voice dropping low, “What I’m suggesting, is we check out…” her voice trailed off, letting the suspense grow for a few seconds before finishing, “The Egyptian Theatre”
Instantly, Vinny let out a harsh bark of laughter. “HA! Now that’s a good one. You know damn good and well that the society that runs the theater won’t allow us in after hours to ghost hunt. As far as I know, they’ve never allowed any paranormal teams into the place” He pulled a face. “So, how exactly do you propose we get in there? You flutter your eyelashes for the night janitor and use your feminine charms to get us in?” Natasha still grinned, but rolled her eyes at our friend’s quip. “No, actually, I was thinking about using my lock picking skills to get us in” she declared. It was my turn to give her an incredulous look. “You’re joking, right?” I asked. She shook her head. “Nope, I’m dead serious” I let out an incredulous, almost baffled snort of laughter and pulled my glasses off my face, rubbing my eyes.
The country, and, to a large extent, the entire world, became gripped in an interest, sometimes bordering on obsession with all things Egyptian when King Tut’s tomb was discovered over a century ago. Many things came out of this, including the classic 1932 monster movie The Mummy. But, one thing that also came of this fever gripping the country was a desire to build many Egyptian style buildings. And one of the buildings which took this design and ran with it, were the movie theatres. A decade after the legendary discovery, over a hundred theatres had gone up all around the country, their interiors clad with fake temple columns, paintings of sphinxes and Egyptian gods such as Anubis decorating the walls, and hieroglyphs adorning the archways. People flocked in droves to them, both to watch movies, and live performances. But, like all trends, eventually, the interest began to wane, and as the late 20th Century approached, many began to shut down and be either remodeled, or straight up demolished. Today, there’s only between five and eight Egyptian style theatres left in the entire country.
And one just so happens to be right in the town I live in.
When I moved to Coos Bay, Oregon nine years ago, I immediately fell in love with the place. Even though it’s the largest coastal town on the Oregon coast, it’s a place which is more or less perpetually frozen in time, still looking pretty much as it did between thirty and seventy years ago. And, as someone who is not exactly into the modern world, it made a perfect place for me to live and escape away from the 21st Century. I began exploring right away, driving every street of it and the town neighboring it, North Bend, along with walking every alley and back road I could to learn the layout. That’s how I learned about the supernatural element to the town.
There are many places in town which people claim supernatural occurrences take place. From the remains of the old logging buildings on the estuary, to the old Tioga Hotel which has been remodeled into apartments, there is no shortage of ghostly tales. There was even the old McCauley Hospital, which had once been the focal point of the town’s annual ghost walks until it was demolished in 2018. As a side note, I heard a rumor that a couple people broke into that place right before it got torn down. Something sure spooked them, because a friend of mine on the police force told me they gave him a fright, bursting in the night before Easter and rambling about something. I always wondered what they saw in there.
But, for me, the place in town I always loved the most, and enjoyed the most hearing about the ghostly accounts told, was the Egyptian Theatre.
Originally built as a garage in 1922, it was renovated by a man named Charles Noble into a movie theatre in 1925, where it drew in droves of people from around the area to watch films, and enjoy live vaudeville performances. It continued to operate almost to the end of the 20th Century, when other theatres began to attract younger moviegoers, and for a while, it almost seemed as though the historic building might even be closed for good and gutted. But, thanks to the efforts of local preservation societies, it was saved, and now operates as a theatre once again. They mostly play only older movies, along with live performances.
And, of course, it draws curious people for the paranormal rumors surrounding it.
For years, people have reported strange occurrences happening inside the building, both when it’s open, and after hours. Patrons and employees alike have spoken about a pervasive feeling of being watched inside the building, but finding no one there when the place was searched. There have been reports of being touched by invisible hands, a few even pushed slightly. Beyond physical interaction, employees have reported the sounds of old film projectors playing and unseen audiences laughing after hours, along with the eerie playing of the theatre’s Wurlitzer pipe organ, along with a host of other occurrences. No ghost hunting team has ever gone in to try and document these events. And to Natasha, that was too good of an opportunity to pass up. Legal, or not.
“Are you freaking nuts?!” Vinny exclaimed, “Do you have any idea how much trouble we’d be in if we got caught breaking and entering? The cops around here are already a bit twitchy with the druggies and the homeless. You wanna give them a reason to throw us into jail alongside them?” Natasha held up a finger, flipping her black hair over her shoulder. “They won’t find out, because I have not one, but two aces in the hole here. The first is that thanks to being friends with Scott, I know the nighttime police sweeps, where they’re going to be and everything. There’ll be an hour long window where they’re not anywhere near the alley where the back door to the theatre is. We can get in and out with no threat of being spotted at all. And the second is, did you forget I’m dating Dylan now?” The realization washed over me like a wave; she had started dating the man who helped the preservation society run the theatre a month or so ago. Damn, she’s been planning this one for a while, I thought.
Vinny had a thoughtful look on his face, his green eyes darting around rapidly, but not seeing. “Hmm” he muttered, then looked at Natasha. “And you’re sure that there’s no chance of us getting caught?” he asked slowly. “Absolutely none” she said, then looked at both of us. “So, how about it?” For a few moments, there was silence, and then Vinny let out a chuckle. “What the hell, why not? The most exciting thing we’ve done the last few weeks is go down to the farmer’s market. This could shake things up a bit” I suddenly became aware that the two of them were looking at me, waiting for me to make my decision. I was always the most sensible of the three of us, doing all I could to keep us out of trouble with others as well as the law. But, I always had one nasty Achilles Heel ever since I had been a child, and that was peer pressure. So, despite the overwhelming feeling that I should tell them no, that I should say we should just find something else to do, I nodded. “Alright, let’s do it” I said simply, causing grins to break out on both of my friend’s faces.
I wish to God in retrospect that I’d just had the damn spine to stand up and say “No”
The rest of the week seemed to pass by faster than usual. Before I knew it, the weekend had arrived. We’d decided that late Saturday night would be the best time to do this, as most places downtown closed up between eleven and midnight, aside from the bars and strip club. To say I felt anxious about breaking the law, something I wasn’t used to doing at all, would be like calling a Megalodon a goldfish, but my worries about disappointing my friends ended up outweighing it. And so, at eleven-thirty, the three of us piled into my beat up Chevy Tahoe, and made our way towards downtown. As I drove us down Ocean Boulevard, which connected the two sides of town, something settled over me. I can’t exactly place it, even to this day. But it was the most uneasy feeling I’ve ever experienced. But I did my best to push it away. It’s nothing, Troy. It’s just because you’re, understandably, worried about this. Plus, the road being deserted isn’t helping much.
My mental chiding seemed to help center me a bit, which was a good thing. The road was now angling downward, and a moment later, we drove into downtown. The darkened shapes of the closed stores seemed to rise up higher on either side of us than they looked during the daytime. We’d decided to cruise by the front entrance first, just to see if anyone were still inside. As I turned the truck onto the main drag, the sign for the theatre rose high above us, a depiction of an Egyptian pharaoh next to the yellow and white letters which proclaimed its name to everyone who drove through town. I spared a glance as we passed it. The lit up marquee windows showed that The Blues Brothers and Jaws would be shown soon. For whatever reason, though, I couldn’t bring myself to look through the glass doors that showed the building’s darkened interior. The uneasy feeling had returned, and, for a moment, it felt as though if I did look, I would see someone, or something staring back out at me. And then we passed it, taking the next right and looping back around to Anderson Ave.
I turned the truck into the narrow alley drive which ran along the back of the theatre and neighboring buildings. Parking right next to the rear doors would be extremely conspicuous, so I pulled up a bit further and parked in a carport like area. Shutting off the engine, I turned to my two friends. “Well, this is it” I said, “Last chance to turn back if anyone’s having second thoughts” I’d hoped that either Vinny or Natasha would’ve gotten cold feet in the last few minutes, allowing us to go do something else. But there was no such luck. “Are you kidding me?” Natasha said from the passenger seat, “We are far too close to back out now!” Vinny grunted from behind me. Well, shit. Resigning myself to the fact they were determined to go through with this, I let a deep breath out through my nose and nodded. The others opened their doors and hopped out. A moment later, I followed.
The night air was cool and crisp on my skin as we slowly walked back down the alley to the rear of the yellow-ish, tan building. Three different sets of red double doors were built into the back of the theatre. Natasha pulled something out of her coat pocket, and I realized, with a small pang of surprise, that it was a lock pick set. A legitimate lock pick set. “Where the hell did you get that?” I whispered to her. She shrugged and smiled. “I have my ways of getting things” she said simply, then pointed to the far right set of doors. “We’ll have a bit of cover from that electrical box. You two keep an eye out while I deal with the lock” And with that, she scurried forward, bending down in front of the door handles. Vinny and I stood guard, each of us looking down both ends of the alley. As the soft sound of Natasha messing with the lock filtered over to me, I realized just how quiet it was. And how eerie hearing downtown so quiet was. Aside from a few distant booms and bangs, and the far off sound of a dog barking, all I could hear was the whistle of the wind as it whipped between the old buildings.
An involuntary shiver cascaded up my spine, and I tried again to reason myself back to a relative sense of calm. “Get a grip, dude, you’re gonna be fine” I whispered under my breath. But this time, it felt as though I weren’t able to entirely convince myself. I suddenly became aware of a creeping sensation, one which made me shoot a look around. Nothing moved in the stillness, no indication of anyone besides us being in the alley. And, yet…I was overcome with the distinct feeling of being watched. Not by either of my friends. But…by someone else. Before I had a chance to even think about it, I heard a rather loud click, and Natasha let out a soft laugh of triumph. “We’re in, ladies and gentleman!” she declared, standing up and pulling on the door. It opened silently, the streetlight in the alley casting a small shaft of light into the darkness beyond. Turning, she waved an arm at Vinny and I. “Come on, let’s get inside”
Before either of us could say anything, she turned and disappeared into the dark. I shot a look at Vinny, who simply shrugged. “After you, my man” he whispered. I let out a deep sigh, and then moved to the door. Reaching into my pocket, I pulled out the small flashlight, and then pulled on the heavy metal, slipping inside, Vinny right behind me. The darkness swallowed us as the door closed. For a moment, a small rush of panic from not being able to see flashed through me, before a light appeared beside me. It wasn’t from a flashlight, though; instead, a small, orange flame flickered beside me. “Don’t turn on your flashlights yet, just follow me” Natasha said, the flame making her face seem to dance and move behind it. She turned and headed away, leaving us no choice but to follow. I listened to her and didn’t turn on my flashlight. But every fiber of my being was screaming at me to. Because the feeling of being watched out in the alleyway? Had quintupled in here. The best way to describe it, was that we were angrily being stared at. And I didn’t like the sensation one bit.
Natasha led us up a flight of steps and pushed open another door. “We’re here” she said, still keeping her voice low, “You can turn on your flashlights now” Thank you, God, I silently said, snapping mine on and casting a bright white light into the room we’d entered. A moment later, so did my two friends’ lights. The beams played around, and I heard Vinny let out a bit of a gasp. “Ho-lyyyy shit” he muttered.
Natasha had guided us into the main theatre. The ceiling rose high above our heads, almost out of sight of even the flashlights. Rows upon rows of red movie seats stretched out and away from us, seeming almost unending in the shadows. The walls were all covered in hieroglyphs, all still original from the 1920s. To our left, the second story, which housed a smaller row of seats, along with the projection room rose about twenty feet above us. And to the right, was the stage itself. It was flanked by two huge columns, the screen rolled up and revealing a mosaic of an Egyptian building on the back wall, with two men clutching staffs sitting on either side. Directly in front of the stage sat the organ, its seating bench tucked beneath it.
“Okay, this is a trip to be in at night!” Natasha exclaimed excitedly, then pulled the backpack she’d been wearing off her shoulders. Dropping it into a seat, she unzipped it and began pulling items from it. “Guys, here” she said, holding them out. Vinny stepped forward and grabbed the camcorder from her; as someone who’d had a lifelong dream of being a filmmaker, he was our resident cameraman. I stepped forward and took two items from her: an infrared thermometer and an EVP recorder. The rest, she placed on the ground, and then faced Vinny. “Alright, tell me when you’re recording” He fumbled with the camcorder for a second, then shot her a thumbs up. Instantly, she took on a somber, eerie expression, giving an admittedly creepy look at the camera. “Well, well, welcome back to The Three Ghostkuteers, everyone. I hope you all have been well since our last trip. Tonight, you join us in a very, very special place, and one close to home for us. We are currently in the Egyptian Theatre in Coos Bay, Oregon, one of the last remaining in the country. It was built in the 1920s by a man named Charles Noble-“
I turned away, tuning her out as I did. The woman really, really enjoys being in front of the camera. Better her than me. Shining my light around, I looked up at the balcony. I could see the small hole in the projection booth where the movie projector would shine out onto the screen. Something caught the beam’s light, reflecting off it slightly, and I aimed the light at the wall. It was a wrought iron light fixture, one which had been shaped into the figure of a King Cobra, poised to strike. Gazing around, I saw they adorned much of the walls. I let out a small shudder at it. God, do I hate snakes. Thankfully, though, the feeling of being watched I’d had in the alley and the darkened back of the theatre had seemingly disappeared. Yeah, see, what’d I tell you, Troy? Nothing but your nerves.
Natasha had finished her opening monologue and moved to the edge of the stage, on which she placed the small, square spirit box. “And now, let’s see if anyone would like to speak with us” she said, flicking it on. Instantly, the silence of the theatre was shattered by the sound of static, intermittently interrupted by quick snippets of radio shows being picked up. “Is there anyone here who’d like to talk to us?” she called out into the huge room. The static and snippets were the only sound to answer her. After a minute, she tried again. “Are there any spirits who’d like to communicate with us?” There was still nothing. Vinny panned the camera from the box to Natasha as she paced back and forth for a few minutes. A small look of disappointment flooded over her face, but she instantly plastered it over with the same look she’d given the camera before. “Well, it looks like the spirit box isn’t gonna work tonight, so we’re gonna have to try something else” She pulled out an EVP recorder identical to mine and switched it on. “Let’s try this instead, shall we? Remember, by the way guys, if you’re new here and want to see more, to like and subscribe-“
I turned away again, feeling a small pang of irritation flow through me. This is freakin’ ridiculous, man. The longer we stay in here, the more chance we have of getting caught. Truth be told, as much as I enjoyed ghost hunting, I didn’t even really believe in the paranormal. In all the years the three of us had filmed together, not once had we caught anything, on tape or otherwise. In fact, many times we’d had to fake spooky occurrences in order to make sure our videos got any views at all. This is your own fault, man, I silently chided myself, you’re the one who couldn’t stand up to them and say no. You really, seriously need to grown a spine and learn how to say no. The mental self lecture was furthering my rotten mood, and I began to feel a wave of anger at my two friends, as well as myself boil up.
“Hell with this” I finally muttered, then turned and began walking up the aisle. “Troy, where the hell are you going?” I heard Natasha call out behind me. I stopped, not looking over my shoulder, but quietly aiming my voice behind me and allowing a hint of irritation to seep into it. “I’m gonna go check out the second floor balcony, okay? I don’t exactly like just standing here” For a moment, there was silence, and then her voice came, soft and almost apologetic. “Okay, go ahead” Before she could say anything more, I strode away, walking to the open doorway which led out of the theater and into the concession area. I hooded my flashlight beam with one hand to make sure it wouldn’t accidentally shine out of the glass entrance doors into the street and looked around. The lobby and concession stand took up most of the front area, the darkened shape of it stretching along the far wall.
Taking a few steps ahead, I turned and looked up at the wall above me. Large, blue letters stretched out from one side of it to the other. Through these doors pass the most wonderful people. I snorted softly. “Yeah, unfortunately, not tonight” I shook my head, then looked around. And nearly jumped out of my skin. Something also seemed to jump back. I felt my heartbeat begin to race in my chest and my breath quickened. “Shit…” I let out weakly, then slowly moved forward. After a few steps, I suddenly realized what I’d seen and let out a soft laugh of relief.
“Your own damn reflection, you fucking pussy” Shaking my head, I turned away from the glass wall and headed for the stairs to the second floor. At the base of them, I stopped and shone my flashlight up. “Ooh, boy” I said quietly. Sitting next to the stairway like a sentry, was a huge, golden statue of a pharaoh. It towered over me, and I estimated that, were it be standing straight up, it’d easily be between eight and ten feet tall. It stared straight ahead at the wall ahead of it, and I couldn’t help but let out a small shiver as I stared at it. It just seemed so damn eerie in the dark, and I quickly moved past it, heading up the stairs and stepping out onto the second story balcony.
I shone my light around. Red seats again surrounded me, though this time far fewer. Ahead of me, I could see the balcony’s edge and the hulking shape of the main stage beyond. I could also see the beams of my friends’ flashlights playing over it, and hear both of their voices speaking softly. Deciding while I was up here to at least check out the projection booth, I strode over to the door and tried to turn the handle. It was locked. Feeling my irritation bubble over into exasperation, I jiggled the handle in some stupid attempt to open it. But the door stayed shut. I turned away and rubbed my eyes, again hearing the voices of my friends softly filtering up to me from down below.
“Hey, if there really are any ghosts, or spooks, or specters, or whatever in here? If you’re actually real, could you appear to us, please?” I whispered to no one, “That way my friends can get what they want and I can go home” I received only silence in reply. I hadn’t really expected anything, anyways. You know what? Screw this, I’m going back down there and telling them I’m going home, with or without them. This is beyond stupid, I just broke the law for what? For nothing! For something dumb as hell. And with that, I turned to walk away. But I hadn’t even taken a single step when something crashed into me like a wave. The breath was driven from my lungs as I felt a massive chill shoot through me, as though I’d been doused with ice water. “What the fuck?!” I hissed through gritted teeth, then froze, my eyes going wide. The feeling of being watched had returned with a vengeance, and it had seemingly been ramped up in its intensity. I shot a look around, but saw nobody.
Still, the feeling remained, and with each passing second, it almost seemed to grow stronger. Chill after chill rolled up my spine, and even though I didn’t really believe, something deep inside me told me that it was time to get out. Okay, time to leave, I said in my head, and headed quickly for the stairs. As I reached the head, I turned to look back one final time. That’s when I saw something. It disappeared when I aimed my flashlight at it, but I swear a second earlier it had been the outline of a person, standing in the shadows and watching me. The split second sight catapulted me into motion, and I hurried down the steps, shining my light every which way but loose. Believer or not, I knew something wanted us out. I’d planned on jumping off the second to last stair and running for the main theatre floor. But as I reached the bottom, I froze.
For a moment, I couldn’t place why. And then, the realization fell over me like a tsunami. I let out an involuntary gasp, and fear like I’d never felt before surged through me. I didn’t want to turn around and look. I wanted to pretend I hadn’t seen it. I desperately wanted to. But, like a dumbass character in a horror movie, I couldn’t help it. I needed to look. I slowly turned, aiming my flashlight back up. And I couldn’t help but let out a strangled scream, falling backwards over my own feet as I began to backpedal rapidly.
The statue of the pharaoh still sat where it had. It still towered over me, looking as imposing and eerie as ever. But it’s carved and painted eyes were no longer staring straight ahead at the wall. Instead, they had somehow moved. And when I’d turned, I’d come to find they were staring directly at me.
I scrambled to my feet, snatching the flashlight from the floor where I’d dropped it and aiming it at the statue again. It stared straight out at nothing again. But I knew what I’d seen. It hadn’t been a trick of my mind, or the light. The freaking thing’s eyes had moved to watch me as I passed down by it. I began to stammer out as I backed away from it. “Okay, that’s it, no no no no, we’re done here, fuck this shit, I’m officially a believer, we’re leaving, right now” I kept backing towards the doorway to the theatre, never taking my eyes off the statue. I was terrified I’d seen it suddenly stand up and turn to lumber after me like Boris Karloff or something.
The blaring sound of the theatre’s organ slashed through the silence, causing me to let out another strangled scream and jump almost a foot off the ground. I whipped around, thinking I would see my moronic friends tinkering with the instrument. Instead, I froze again. The theatre was no longer dark. Both of my friends had seemingly vanished from the room, as I could no longer see them. The movie screen had somehow been pulled down, and above me, I heard the whir of the movie projector playing. An old, black and white movie, one which had no sound, played on the screen, occasionally changing to show dialogue being displayed in white letters.
It was also no longer empty.
The entire theatre was packed. I saw people sitting at almost every single seat in the huge room. I could only see the backs of their heads as they watched the movie playing. At the edge of the stage, what looked like a man now sat at the organ, playing it in time with the film. A slapstick moment came across the screen, and the audience began laughing. In any other situation, it would’ve been a comforting sound. But at that moment, it was the most spine chilling sound I’d ever heard. Especially as another wave of realization crashed into me. From the little I could see, everyone in the theatre looked to be dressed in long passed fashions.
That’s when the voice, low and quiet, came from behind me. “Good evening, sir” it said. It sounded like a man’s voice, one rather low and deep pitched, but something about it paralyzed me on the spot. The voice continued, putting on an air of pleasant politeness. “We’re so glad you could make it, it’s been so long since we’ve had new patrons arrive at a showing. If I could just see your ticket, please?”
For a moment, I couldn’t speak. Then, I managed to squeak out two words. “Uh, ticket?” The tone of the voice seemed to change somewhat. “Yes, your ticket. That’s the only way you could’ve gotten in. Please, let me verify it and show you to your seat” Ohhh, shit. Whoever, or whatever the voice belonged to, thought I had shown up like a regular moviegoer. The voice’s tone became less polite. “You do have a ticket, right, sir?” I was beyond terrified to answer, but I was more terrified to remain silent. For a moment, I considered lying. But I feared what might happen if I did. So I told the truth.
“I….uh, I, uh….I don’t have a ticket, sir” I stammered out, my voice barely above a whisper. Instantly, all sound stopped in the room like someone had flipped a switch. “You…don’t have a ticket?” the voice said, all pretense of manners vanishing from it, “Then how did you get in here for the late night showing?” Oh, god. I forced myself to speak, still unable to say anything except the truth. “My…my friends and I….broke in…through the back door…to…ghost hunt…” There was silence for a few moments, and then a heavy hand dropped onto my shoulder. My head swiveled to look at it. Oh, fuck me sideways. It wasn’t a regular hand. It was a fucking claw. One with black skin, tipped with what looked like razor sharp nails. It sat there for a moment, then tightened; almost painfully so, making me let out a small whimper of pain.
That’s when I looked up. Everyone in the theatre had turned to look at me. My initial thought had been correct; they all wore clothing from almost a century ago, and not the stuff cosplayers wear, either. They also had very angry expressions on their faces, as if they’d just noticed the intruder among their midst. The voice finally came again, almost directly behind me. Its tone lowered, almost sounding guttural and animal, making my legs almost melt into jelly from the fear. “Then, might I make a suggestion to you and your trespassing little friends?” My breath came in rapid, ragged gasps, and I barely managed to force out the one word. “Yes?”
At the single word reply, which now more closely resembled a growl than a word, I did something I will forever wish I hadn’t. I finally turned and looked up at who was addressing me. The only way I can describe what happened is, my mind shattered. The next thing I remember, I was crashing into the back doors of the theatre into the night.
And I was screaming.
That was a month or so ago. When I’d stumbled back into the alley, I’d turned and, in what I can only call blind fear and panic, bolted for my truck. I hadn’t even heard my friends chasing after me. Not until Vinny caught up to me as I scrambled with my keys, grabbing me from behind and turning me to face him. He said the look I’d had on my face scared him and Natasha more than anything ever had before. I’d been pale as a sheet, my eyes wider than they ever thought a human’s could be. I'd been babbling softly. I’d been saying the words “They want us to leave” over and over. They didn’t ask me what had happened. They just pushed me into the backseat of my truck and drove away from there. It was clear, as I found out later on, that both of them hadn’t seen anything. As far as they were concerned before seeing me dash to the rear doors, it was just an empty theatre. Neither one of them ever asked me what I saw that night. And for that, I’m thankful. Because I could never utter from my lips what I did see.
But I’ve had nightmares since then. Horrible ones. Ones that’ve been so bad, I had to let out what happened to me, deciding to just post it here, regardless of whether people believe me or not.
Nightmares about being back in that theatre after hours. About seeing that pharaoh statue’s eyes flick in its painted sockets to look at me. About seeing all those people, people long since dead, sitting and watching the films they did when they were alive. About seeing that hand fall on my shoulder, hearing that voice, telling me not to come back until I have a ticket.
And about turning to see who the hand and voice belonged to.
The Egyptian Theatre will be celebrating its centennial this year. People are planning to show up in 1920s cars, dressed in period clothing. They’re even going to show an old, silent film as part of the festivities. But I won’t be attending it. I won’t ever go anywhere near it again. The one time I tried, a week or so ago, I started trembling with fear. And the mental image played over and over in my head.
The image of turning to see that horrible canine head attached to the human-like body, red, glowing eyes glaring down at me as it’s sharp teeth glinted in the light.
I pray to god I never will end up with a ticket to one of its late night showings.
But I can't help but fear that, like those packed into the theatre, sooner or later, we all will.
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2023.06.05 05:49 Ford9863 [Asteria] Part 27
The gas poured from the hole and hung in the air, falling slightly as more poured through behind it. Thomas had no guesses as to what the substance could be. Chemistry was never his strong suit. But he knew enough to be afraid of it.
He was the first to spring forward, cutting the corner and turning left at the first junction before reaching the gas. His foot slid as he turned, moving a small piece of paper on the ground beneath him. That wasn’t important. What mattered most was getting to the end of the chem lab and to the shaft that would take them where they needed to go.
With a quick turn of his head, he confirmed the others followed behind. He could almost hear his own feet slapping against the floor, though the ringing was still far too loud in his ears to attempt communication. He knew he’d have to try and keep track of their whereabouts on his own. They’d turned left; the gaseous room was now on the right, and they needed to get past it.
He tried to envision the room from above. It wasn’t a perfect grid, which made things difficult—but if he could keep the relative location of the gas in his mind, they might be able to take a wide path around it and pass on the other side. Or so he hoped, anyway.
They approached another junction and he stopped for a brief second, shining his light to the right. The path in that direction appeared straight, and he saw no sign of the gas reaching this far as of yet—so that’s where he went. Again, he craned his neck and confirmed Layna and Mark were close behind. Neither made any attempt at objecting to his path.
Straight ahead they went. Thomas counted his steps as he ran—at twenty paces, he figured they must be about even with the toxic room. Both paths thus far had been straight, so the danger remained to his right. The next junction was only twenty more strides ahead; a junction which had one single sheet of paper, pointing to the right. That must have been the way they went the first time. If they went that way now, they’d run right back into the room.
So he passed it and continued straight. Ten paces, twenty, thirty. He cursed whoever designed this section of the ship for making this stretch of rooms so oblong.
Another junction finally arrived after nearly eighty steps. By that time his pace had slowed; he wondered if his stride had shortened now that his run had become more of a jog. He leaned against a glass wall and took a couple of long, deep breaths, shining his light down the three paths in front of him.
The goal was to the right. He knew that. They hadn’t strayed so far that he’d lost his way already. So he turned to look at the others and gestured in that direction while lifting his brow. Layna and Mark both nodded in agreement.
After twenty or so paces, the hall began to curve to the left. Thomas once again tried to picture the room’s layout. From that point, the gaseous room would be to the right and a bit ahead of them. If the hall had just continued straight, they would have moved past the danger with ease. The curve complicated things.
He tried to keep a clear picture in his mind of the curve, tried to account for exactly how much it moved them away from their path. When they hit the next junction, he expected the proper path to be to the right—but a single sheet of paper on the ground showed that they’d previously gone that direction.
“Is that right?” he called out, pointing to the paper. He could hear his voice now; the ringing had calmed to a dull, persistent tone.
“I don’t remember,” Layna said, her voice muffled by his damaged ears. Still, he could hear her, and that was enough.
Mark shook his head. “That’s got to be the right way. Maybe we just did something else wrong the first time.” His words were clear—his neck strained with each one he spoke, clearly forcing his voice louder than Layna had.
“Right it is, then,” Thomas said and started in that direction.
The hall curved again, this time back to the right. Thomas was certain this was still the right way; the curve had to have been just enough to counteract the other. If he was right, this would put them back on track to avoid the cloud and get them to the safety of the maintenance shaft.
But he was wrong. After following the curve for quite some time, they ran into a dark green cloud floating over the next junction. He had no idea how far it had spread in the time since they’d run, or how close they were to being able to sneak past it—but running into it now meant they were going to lose even more ground.
They turned back and chose another path at the junction. Whereas they’d turned right the first time, they now chose the straight path. Thomas tried to picture it in his head, but it came out as a jumbled mess. He wasn’t sure he could even backtrack to where they’d started at this point.
Once again, they moved through a gently curving corridor. The next split was left without one of their paper arrows; Thomas hoped it was a good sign, but didn’t voice that to the others. Right seemed like the logical way to go, so that’s where they went. After that, the rooms became smaller and the junctions more frequent.
After the third intersection, they stopped. Each path looked the same: dark. They didn’t see any toxic cloud of chemicals in their way, but they didn’t see any sign of their destination, either. Thomas pulled the pad of paper from his pocket and opened it to one of the few remaining pages. Then he drew an ‘X’ in the middle, and held the pad where the others could see.
Layna shined her light on it. “What’s that?”
“This is the gas,” Thomas said. “We started here”—he drew a line down from the ‘X’—“and moved this way. Then this way at the first split. The hall curved here—”
“That’s too much,” Mark said. “It was less of a curve than that.”
Thomas lifted his gaze to Mark, then flicked to Layna. “Do you agree?”
She pressed her lips tight. “I’m… not sure. It’s hard to gauge.”
“Alright,” Thomas said, drawing over the line with a less curvy one. “We’ll say it was less. Then we turned right, and that hall curved—”
“No, that one was straight,” Mark said. “It was the one after that curved.”
Layna shook her head. “No, I think we were straight for a while and turned a couple of times before—”
Thomas flipped the book shut. They were getting nowhere. Somewhere around them the cloud was creeping through the halls, slowly whittling down their options, and he wasn’t about to sit in one spot and wait for it to reach them.
“We need to just pick a direction,” he said. “I don’t care which. Let’s just keep moving.”
Layna nodded, then gestured to their left. “I vote this way.”
Mark pointed to the right. “I say there.”
Thomas turned to the right and said, “I’m with Layna.”
Mark grumbled something under his breath but followed all the same.
They made a few turns as they moved deeper through the halls, eventually finding a wall that wasn’t made of the lab’s familiar glass. Thomas wasn’t sure which side they’d popped out on, but it certainly wasn’t where they’d expected to be. A single airtight door with a circular handle stood in front of them. In bright yellow letters across its face, it said, ‘Cloning Room’.
“Didn’t know this was back here,” Mark said. Thomas thought he heard a hint of shakiness in the man’s tone. It could have still been the shock from the gunshot wearing off, but he couldn’t be sure.
Layna pulled the radio from her hip. “Neyland, come in.”
It crackled to life without hesitation. “Yes?”
“Chem lab is fucked. Something is leaking and we got turned around. Not sure if we can get back through to the shaft we were heading toward. Is there a way through the cloning room?”
The line remained silent for a moment. “You should find another way to reach the maintenance shaft, as planned.”
She shook her head. “You didn’t answer my question. Is there a way through there or not? Time is short here, so if you want us to help you out instead of suffocating in some sort of toxic cloud, you might want to give a damned answer.”
He answered with a short, “Yes.” The line was silent for a moment, so Layna returned the radio to her hip.
“In we go,” she said. As she reached for the handle, Neyland’s voice sounded once more.
“Be sure to move quickly through the area, you don’t want to—”
Layna clicked the knob of the radio off. “Don’t give a shit,” she said. Then she turned to glance at the others. “Do you?”
Mark and Thomas both shook their heads. At least they could agree on something.
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2023.06.05 05:49 Ford9863 Horrors of the Asteria - Part 26
As they exited the elevator shaft into the chem labs, a strong metallic scent filled the air. Thomas instinctively held his breath but couldn’t keep it in for long.
“Probably best not to touch anything while we’re here,” Layna said, waving a hand in front of her nose. “We don’t know what kind of nasty stuff has been spilled all over the place with these shifts.”
Thomas nodded, scanning the landing with his flashlight. On the wall opposite the elevator was a painting of Earth’s silhouette. The Asteria’s insignia was painted within that, reversed as white. At the top were the words, “Taking Humanity to the Next Level”.
Below those words was one word: ‘Lies’. Written in red, the substance had dried as it dripped down the rest of the wall. It made it look like the surface itself was bleeding. Thomas questioned if it was blood but wasn’t sure he wanted to know for sure. It wouldn’t have surprised him at this point.
“What do you suppose that’s about?” He asked, his light lingering on the image.
Mark shrugged, turning his attention to the hall on the right. “This mission was always full of shit,” he said. “Probably about that.”
“Just because things went sideways doesn’t mean the mission was shit,” Layna said.
He turned to face her with a skeptical look on his face. “Oh, come on. Don’t tell me you believed their over-the-top slogans and propaganda.”
She shook her head. “No, I don’t mean that. I just—” she pressed her lips together, considering her words. “I think most of the people on board had good intentions. They really wanted to believe in this thing.”
“Well, it doesn’t matter much now, does it,” Mark said, stepping down the hall.
“No, I guess not,” Layna said, following behind.
Thomas lingered at the wall for a moment, feeling a strange sensation in his gut. It had never been about the mission for him, either. In truth, he never took the time to fully understand what the ship set out to do. He just knew how it would help the people he wanted to help. That was enough.
He wondered what became of them after he left.
“Tommy boy, you coming or what?” Mark called back, shining his light in Thomas’s eyes.
Thomas nodded and moved to catch up with them.
The chem labs were set up similarly to the bio labs on the opposite side of the deck. Each room was made of glass, though it appeared a bit thicker on this side. Cabinets lined most rooms, each with various symbols. Many of them held plain warnings about the caustic chemicals held within. Most appeared to be fully intact—they were properly secured for the event of turbulence.
One room they passed looked like it had been abandoned mid-experiment. Glass littered the tile floor, no doubt the remnants of beakers that once stood on the black table in the center. The floor itself was streaked with deep, slashing burns—whatever chemical had spilled during the shifts had tried to eat its way right through the floor. Beneath the tile was a layer of some dull gray, pitted substance. The chemicals didn’t penetrate it.
A dense green fog filled another small room. Thomas stepped close and pressed his light against the glass, trying to see through. But the fog was too thick. Even at ground level, he couldn’t see more than an inch of the floor. The toxic cloud moved slowly, almost swirling.
“Are these things airtight?” Layna asked, shining her light on the door’s edge.
“Well it’s not leaking out anywhere that I can see,” Mark said. He scanned the ceiling where it met the glass wall. The cloud moved slowly against the corner but appeared contained.
“What about vents?” Layna asked. “They had to be able to breathe working in there.”
“I’m sure there are safeguards,” Mark said. “Things like this usually have their own ventilation systems, and beyond that, if something like this happens there are sensors to detect and seal it off.”
Thomas nodded. “Yeah, but I’m not sure I trust the safeguards on this ship,” he said, taking a step back. “Best not to push out luck and linger around this thing, I think.”
They turned and continued working their way through the lab, finding the path harder to follow than expected. Unlike the bio labs, the chem labs were not laid out in a perfect grid. Some rooms were much larger than others, some were oddly shaped. The result was a mix of long and short corridors, some curving, some ending abruptly. If they had the ship’s lights, they’d probably be able to see through enough rooms to keep their bearings. But with the dim light of their flashlights, the space was a maze.
“That’s the way we came,” Mark said, stopping as Layna tried to turn left at a junction.
She shook her head. “No, we came from that way. See? There’s that orange box in the corner of the room.” Her light settled on a bright orange case inside the nearest room, a black biohazard symbol painted on its lid.
“That’s a different box,” Mark said. “The other one was open.”
Layna furrowed her brow. “Was it?” She looked to Thomas for confirmation, but he only shrugged. Keeping track was becoming a bit of a nightmare.
“Alright, maybe we should find a way to mark our paths,” Layna said. “Leave something behind at these junctions.”
Thomas felt at his pockets. After a moment, he found the pencil and notepad he’d had earlier.
“How about this?” he said, showing it to the others. He scratched a large, bold arrow into one of the pages and tore it from the book. “We can mark down which way we went.”
“Perfect,” Layna said. “Let’s go right. If we end up circling back around, we’ll know we were wrong.”
Thomas knelt and placed the paper on the ground pointing to the right. He returned the pad and pencil to his pocket. As long as they didn’t experience another shift, the paper arrows would work.
They found themselves walking in circles a few times before they’d laid enough arrows to feel like they were finally progressing. Thomas had torn at least a dozen pages from the book before they reached consecutive junctions without markings. It was working, though. That was all that mattered.
As they worked their way forward, a faint sound became audible. At first Thomas dismissed it as one of the other’s breathing, but as they moved forward, it became clear that wasn’t the case. With the power out, he knew it wasn’t anything the ship itself was doing. It was something in the labs.
It grew louder as they moved deeper through the corridors. It was rhythmic and soft, almost like a wheeze or a growl. They all exchanged a glance, understanding it was likely they were about to find another infected crew member.
They turned a corner and finally saw it. The man stood in the center of a nearby lab, facing the opposite direction. Bone stuck through the flesh of his right arm, no doubt broken during one of the gravity shifts. Blood streaked across the glass windows.
Their silence wasn’t enough to keep from drawing the thing’s attention. When the light from all three flashlights fell on it, it turned. Blood ran down the man’s face, a large gash running across his forehead. He let out a long, piercing shriek, and then ran for the door or the lab.
It wasn’t locked.
The trio turned to run, knowing they had to be close to the next elevator shaft. Thomas imagined how it might go—they make it to the shaft, tear open the latch, and shove the infected man through. It wouldn’t be the prettiest way to deal with it, but it would work.
They turned a corner, a loose notebook paper crunching beneath Thomas’s feet. With each stride, he felt a sharp stab in his side. He couldn’t keep this up for long. As it was, just catching his breath was going to be immeasurably painful.
Then they found themselves approaching a dead end, having not paid enough attention to the arrows they’d left along the ground. The infected barreled toward them, his broken arm swinging at his side. He growled and wheezed as he ran.
“Fuck this,” Mark said, pulling his pistol from his belt.
Thomas’s eyes went wide. “No, Mark, you can’t—”
The first shot rang out. Thomas clenched his eyes and raised his palms to the sides of his head. The sound alone felt like someone had clapped their hands against his ears. He no longer heard the man’s wheezing or uneven steps—just a loud, persistent ringing.
Another shot rang out, this one muffled by his already wounded hearing. He felt the force of it in his chest, though, and hoped Mark had at least hit his target. Thomas opened his eyes and looked forward, eyeing the man twitching on the ground.
He retrieved the flashlight he’d dropped when Mark first fired, then flicked his eyes between Mark and Layna. They appeared to be yelling at each other, but their voices were nothing but subtle tones hidden behind the screeching in Thomas’s head.
Then he saw something much more worrisome. He opened his mouth to speak. He could feel his vocal cords vibrate as he tried to make the words, but that screeching in his head was too much. The others must have been experiencing the same because neither turned to look at him. But he needed to get their attention.
So he shoved both of them on the shoulder. They turned and glared at him, confused and angry, waiting for some sort of explanation.
He simply pointed down the hall in the direction Mark had shot. To the glass room at the far end. And to the thin stream of green gas pouring through a neat little hole near the top.
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2023.06.05 05:47 EzekialX Vulturebeard: Bad Roomies Part 3
Part 1: https://www.reddit.com/ReddXReads/comments/13lfqkw/vulturebeard_the_legbeard_that_ruined_roomies_fo Part 2: https://www.reddit.com/ReddXReads/comments/13u79ht/vulturebeard_bad_roomies_part_2/ Hi again, it’s the bunny. I’ve just barely stepped into Reddx’s discord, but Ezekial is still posting this saga for me so thank you, Z. Trigger warning: This will deal with a lot of aspects relating to child neglect (and possible abuse) and Kid being ignored or taking the brunt of Vulture’s anger. Sorry for the spoiler as well, but I think we saw this coming, too (especially if you’ve seen Z talk in the discord). Don’t push yourself to read if you’re not okay with these concepts. The Cast List Bunny (author)
: 33, female. Recovering lifelong doormat slowly building a spine. Neuro spicy gym rat with major depressive disorder, general anxiety disorder, and most recently diagnosed with ADHD. Unfortunately, very familiar with surviving trauma. Z (poster)
: My partner. 31, nonbinary (they/them), also neuro spicy with depression, anxiety, OCD, BPD, autism, and also familiar with lifelong trauma. One Liner Beard (OLB)
: 33, male, neuro spicy with ADHD and depression. His nickname here comes from the fact that in messenger, he usually has one-word replies like “oof” or “mmm” as an acknowledgement he had seen the message but has nothing further to contribute. VultureBeard (Vulture)
: 30, female, neuro spicy and disabled with multiple conditions. She has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, POTs (postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome), autism, depression, anxiety, chronic migraines, but also possibly a list of things that may or may not be real. The star of this unfortunate circus. Her name comes from how she always pops up when I’m cooking food, complaining about how hungry is and how she’s unable to cook. Kid
: 3. Female. OLB and Vulture’s child. Likely neuro spicy like we all are, but she’s also only 3 years old. Slightly speech delayed and not potty trained yet. Take a deep breath. Now take another one. This chapter will likely make you mad.
Chapter Three: “Do You Want Bologna?” Or, Vulture as a Parent Imagine this
: it’s eight in the morning and you’re cozy in bed. The blankets are warm, and you hit snooze on your early alarm so you can sleep in before you have to get up.
Your peace is shattered by a toddler crying, followed by the screech of, “WHAT!”
or “GET DOWN FROM THERE!”
Yeah, welcome to The Life
Vulture has a messed-up sleep schedule. It’s partially because Kid doesn’t sleep soundly through the night, but it’s also because Vulture’s sleep schedule is essentially flipped backwards to where she stays up all night and wants to sleep during the day. Vulture says it’s “insomnia” but sometimes she’s up late gaming with Discord friends or watching anime. I couldn’t tell you which issue it was day by day. Sometimes if I go to sleep late, I hear Kid crying from her room because she had night terrors or had potty troubles. Sometimes I hear OLB and Vulture awake shuffling between rooms in the hallway.
Because of this, Vulture and mornings don’t mesh well. Kid is usually put in her room for bedtime around 7 PM, usually with her tablet to keep her company and either give her something to watch, or to play white noises for sleeping. Kid does not have a real sleep routine as well. She’s just kind of shut in her room. Sometimes there’s a bit of a routine like winding her down with chocolate milk and giving her a countdown of “okay, ten more minutes and then bedtime,” but for the most part she just does not want to go to bed. Bedtimes are met with a lot of crying, and the beardy parents telling us that she will be upset for a bit.
Kid has an attempted daily schedule, if Vulture is awake enough. Theoretically
- 9 AM: Awake and watching TV while Vulture is on her computer in the same room
- 1 PM: In the room for naptime (but it’s usually play time)
- 4 PM: Free to run around while dad is home
- 7 PM: Bedtime (but she’s usually playing then too)
But a lot of times, that schedule gets thrown out of whack depending on if Vulture gets up on time. When she sleeps in, Kid is in her room from 7 PM to 1 PM. Sometimes Kid will make a fuss to make Vulture get up earlier than 1 PM, and Vulture will be grouchy because she “went to bed at four in the morning” because she either had “insomnia” (read: gaming or watching anime) or because Kid wouldn’t sleep. Or Vulture will be up to take care of Kid and make sure she is in a clean pull up and has eaten. Then she shuts her into her room and goes back to sleep. Sometimes if Kid is too much of a handful, Vulture will say, “It’s 12:45. That’s close enough to 1.” And put Kid in the room because that’s close enough to nap time.
Sometimes because Kid won’t go to sleep, she’ll still be up at 9 PM and that breaks her schedule too. A lot of times, it works out that OLB is the “fun” parent while he’s home, because he’s up at 4 AM to leave for work by 6 and doesn’t come home until between 4 or 5 PM. Then she spends time with him while he’s home.
There’s also a child lock on the inside of Kid’s bedroom door, those doorknob covers that you have to push and turn, so she can’t open the door and wander around unsupervised. I was originally the one who suggested the child lock, back when she was younger, and they didn’t have the secondary child gate they currently do now that’s stored in the garage. Since then, with her potty training and Vulture’s likewise awful sleep schedule, I’ve suggested more than once that they take the door handle blocker off and put up the second kiddy gate they have to block the living room and kitchen off, so she can get up if she needs to, but the child lock still remains. At most, she would have access to their room, since it doesn’t have a kiddy lock on it. Me and Z’s bedroom has a child lock on it, as well as the bathroom door. She could freely wander between her room and her parents’ room that way.
I hear Kid playing in her room by herself a lot
, squealing and having fun and playing pretend. Or moving her furniture around. And no, the furniture is not secured to the wall, so she can move her bed around the room. I’ve also told OLB and Vulture they needed to make sure she can’t topple it and chain it to the wall but, yeah, that hasn’t been dealt with.
When Kid really needs attention, she will cry and wail. And I mean wail
. The two beardy parents don’t have baby monitors or anything that can hear into her bedroom, so she has to wail loudly enough to be heard through the walls. Luckily, the house has thin walls. Because of her early bedtime, she’s often awake early in the morning. Sometimes Vulture will respond, sometimes Vulture won’t wake up until around noon. Yes, that means Kid is by herself a lot.
Kid is a bubbly three-year-old. She loves it when Z and I give her attention, which admittingly isn’t as often as I would like to give her. With my own Depression™
, I spend so much time fighting to just gather enough mental energy to be a productive human. Despite me wandering in a mental fog, Kid remains a bright spot in my day. I met her when she was a fresh baby bean just barely out of the hospital, and I immediately fell in love. Since then, I’ve seen her grow almost her whole life, except for when they were all in north Texas. She has blue eyes and brown hair that will curl on its own. She loves dinosaurs, Baby Shark, Octonauts, and occasionally whatever anime the parents are watching. Don’t ask me how many times I’ve heard the Baby Shark song. I don’t want it stuck in my head for another solid week.
She used to watch a lot of Ms. Rachel’s Songs For Little videos, because originally Vulture wanted Kid to learn sign language to help communicate. I’ve rarely seen Vulture attempt to upkeep the sign language lessons. She did at one point. I think after Kid started becoming more vocal, the idea was dropped. I have heard some of the familiar videos so often that even I learned the kid’s songs, but I guess that’s also part of the collateral when dealing with kid’s media.
Kid usually exists in a half-dressed state, usually just wearing a pull up and that’s it. Unfortunately, because Vulture is so hard on her tangles when she tries to brush her hair, Kid doesn’t like hair care and will fight being brushed. Her hair used to exist in a perpetual state of being matted with at least one major knot, until Vulture’s mom ended up giving her a bath and getting her to stay still enough to endure the brushing, even with the wailing of a protesting Kid going strong. Her hair was then cut to make it more manageable, and strangely, that fixed a lot of the matting problems.
Kid is let out of her room when Vulture wakes up, usually needing a diaper change. At three years old, Kid is not potty trained yet. Just from what I’ve heard from my bedroom, it sounds like OLB and Vulture are finally starting to step up on potty training, but it’s been an uphill fight. I know a few of my other parent friends have had an extremely hard time potty training their kid. I’m not a parent, so I don’t actually know how challenging it can be. I do know though that it shouldn’t sound like the toilet is some kind of punishment for peeing in her cloth panties that they’re trying to switch her to. Or, that they try to get her to sit on the toilet when she has no interest in it and she ends up throwing a tantrum. Unfortunately, without much context, that’s how some bathroom trips sound.
Kid wears pull-ups to bed and the cloth underwear during the day, or sometimes just pull-ups. They’re trying to teach her how to recognize when her body has the potty urge, which she still doesn’t quite get right now. She has literally peed on the tile floor through her cloth undies. Vulture messaged the house chat once saying, “Kid just lifted her leg while in the rolling chair and peed all over the floor.
You know. Like a dog
With the potty-training trouble and Kid only sometimes in pull-ups that can contain her mess, Z and I don’t let her into our room as often as we’d like to, because she doesn’t recognize when she has to go. It sucks, because Kid adores spending time with us and our room has cool animals, like my retired psychiatric service dog and our three ferrets. She loves the ferrets. But if we spend time out in the living room with everyone, Z’s patience tends to have a shorter fuse because they can’t stand Vulture (that’s also another tale I have
). We’re also stuck out in the general mess of the living room if we are out there with her. It’s either the general mess that toddlers make, spilled food, and general filth. The best times we’ve had spending time with Kid is just chilling in our room as she ooh’s and ahh’s
over the ferrets or watches TV with us. Z and I quote SpongeBob line by line daily, and she has watched some of the show with us.
I feel awful about shutting Kid out so much, when I see the way Vulture interacts with her. On Vulture’s bad days (if you read the previous post, that’s almost every day), she acts like Kid is a chore. She will snap at Kid, act like Kid is choosing to act out of maliciousness and make “tired mom” jokes that sound like she just flat out doesn’t like Kid. When I had liquor in the fridge, Vulture would ask if she could take a shot because, “I need it. She’s trying me today.
Some choice quotes talking down about the kid:
“I’m being hard on her because she’s not using her words. Like I know she can. She just doesn’t want to.
” This was what Vulture said to me after Kid kept trying to get her attention and wouldn’t explain what she wanted. Kid was just making noises at her and getting frustrated. Vulture full on shouted, “WHAT!
” at her, then turned to me to try and explain why she shouted.
“This is the bad part about being a mom. She’s not letting me do anything right now.
” This was said after Vulture cleaned her desk and was attempting to watch YouTube videos and play her Switch.
On her good days, Vulture will be that kind of smiling parent that does some art activities and engages with Kid in a way that’s more than just screaming. They color together. She offers Kid choices so Kid can have some control over what happens in her day, like, “Do you want bologna or fruit?
” It has helped Kid become more vocal and even though she’s still speech delayed, she talks more and has a bigger vocabulary.
The house has a different atmosphere when OLB is home, compared to when Vulture is just watching Kid by herself. I’ve told OLB that I think Vulture is burned out. Her entire life is her disabilities and being a mom. She only has friends on Discord really, and OLB had to push her to start talking to them again just so she had someone to socialize with.
Old Doormat me pitied her at the beginning of our friendship. I tried being her friend. I tried to include her and Kid in a lot of things. My own mental health, my daily obligations, my gym schedule, and just me changing rapidly since 2020 altered my life, exhausted me, and left me unable to deal with Vulture talking a million miles a minute, info dumping about whatever she’s currently doing every single time I run into her. And as I shed my doormat self, I started seeing her clearly.
I told OLB once that if Vulture is truly burned out or if her health problems are causing that much trouble, Kid might need daycare or another caregiver to help. OLB is aware but can’t afford other care. He’s working for bottom of the barrel pay at a full-time job. Most days after work, he just wants to zone out to his own games in front of his computer but has to step in and parent both Vulture and Kid, because Vulture often needs help organizing through executive dysfunction to do something. Or, because she will call for his help.
There was one time where Kid climbed on top of her, and Vulture called for OLB – who was in the same room – to pull Kid off her. There are quite a few times where Vulture calls for OLB for help with Kid, and I’ve heard him say that he’s also busy too. One time he asked, “Why are you asking for my help when you’re closer?
Z has offered to look after Kid at times because they don’t mind Kid being in our room or just hanging out. She has hung out with us when I also have the mental energy and the room is clean enough to accommodate a toddler crawling on everything. The problem that we both see is that our stepping in isn’t a full solution. She can spend a few hours with us, but ultimately after, she goes right back to Vulture and OLB. Vulture is the one who acts like being a parent is a chore.
There are times that OLB has snapped at Vulture for the way she gets on to Kid, emphasizing, “She’s just a child.
” Their parenting styles are like looking at two entirely different planets and trying to find similarities. OLB is very much into the gentle parenting side of Tik Tok. He talks about breaking generational trauma. He’s usually gentle with Kid, explaining why she’s not allowed to do things like stand on top of her highchair or why I’m too busy to play with her as I’m zooming around the house in and out repeatedly some days. He has talked her down from meltdowns and keeps his voice even to where she can’t bounce off him to amplify her tantrums. He spanks her, but as a last resort, and then also talks to her about why the punishment happened. She will wail through everything and likely isn’t fully listening, but ultimately, I see him trying to work with her. He very rarely loses his actual temper with her.
Vulture is the total opposite. She yells at Kid, spanks with no hesitation and doesn’t explain why. One of Kid’s favorite games to play is “Block the door
” when I’m trying to get through the house. She will block my bedroom door, cling to me, then circle around me as Vulture or OLB tries to distract her or lure her away by asking “do you want chocolate
” or some other treat. Sometimes Kid just likes to play ring-around-the-rosie around my legs, as her parents try to grab her. I try to make it fun and seem like I’m not mad at her, because I’m never actually mad at her for blocking my way. Usually, I’m just in the middle of some arbitrary task or running an errand or coming back from the gym with my one remaining brain cell barely hanging on for dear life. I try to engage with her and play it off as a game because she’s not actually doing anything wrong.
Vulture has lured her away with chocolate and treats, with offers of food, with trying to get her to pick a show to watch. If that fails, she will come and fetch Kid by hand. One time involved yanking her physically off me and spanking her on the bare bottom because Kid was happy playing a game instead of listening.
The bare bottom is a thing, too. Because Kid used to live in soiled diapers for much longer than she was supposed to, she had constant diaper rash that she had to see the doctor for sometimes. She also didn’t want OLB or Vulture to change her diapers and would scream when it was diaper change time. I don’t blame her. The diaper rash hurt, and Vulture wasn’t exactly gentle with changing. Kid bled sometimes with the changings. So now, sometimes Kid will be dressed like Donald Duck in only a top to air out her bottom. Or because now, with the cloth undies, she will pee straight through them, and they just let her air out after.
Kid always smells a bit like pee. So does her room. And her bedding. After I pointed out that her bedding straight out of the dryer smelled like urine, OLB went about cleaning the washing machine with a machine cleaner, and bought scent beads to help cut the smell, after I told him that a little vinegar in the wash load will cut the smells down. Now her bedding doesn’t smell so much like urine, but it’s still there.
Her bedroom frequently smells like a public bathroom. It always looks like her bedroom has been turned upside down, with toys everywhere, her bed pushed to the middle of the room, the mattress on the floor. Books she was given were shredded, even the cardboard ones. There was straight up garbage left in her room because she was given food to eat there that had wrappers. It usually takes Vulture a full day of cleaning to get the room organized when she had the energy to do it, but she usually sanitizes with just a baby wipe, if she does at all. Maybe a pet cleaner sometimes.
There was one time where I was letting the dogs outside and I stepped in a puddle on the tile floor. That was when I realized that it was a pee puddle and Kid’s cloth underwear was dripping. I asked Vulture to clean the puddle up. When she asked to use my steam mop, she didn’t clean the cloth pad after, so when I turned the mop on next, it smelled like hot, steamed urine. I had to clean the mop pad off myself and rinse the pee out of it. When Kid again peed in front of the TV in her cloth undies, I told OLB that if they’re going to use my steam mop to make sure that the mop pad is rinsed off or it will smell like pee the next time it’s used, but he said he was just going to use his mop and bucket. Thankfully.
Because of the diet that OLB and Vulture has, Kid also eats like them. She gets a lot of macaroni, a lot of random odds and ends like pieces of bread, baggies of cheerios, sometimes fruit and vegetables. Lots of chicken nuggets and frozen instant food. Occasionally, Kid will have an interest in vegetables she sees us cook with or that she’s never had. Like once she insisted that she wanted to eat canned peas, until she tasted them. She chewed on a lettuce leaf and put it down, then asked for another one because she wanted to eat something, and it looked tasty to her.
The two halves of the household make separate foods now and keep out of each other’s food, but sometimes Vulture will give Kid some of the food I cooked because Kid saw my spaghetti noodles in a bowl and insisted on having them by way of tantrum. Instead of asking me if it’s okay (which obviously, I’d say yes, Kid can have some), Vulture just gave her my food and then told me after. Maybe I’m just projecting my own frustration, but it feels like Vulture uses Kid as a shield sometimes, to get food. Unless I have a specific purpose for food like what I put in my meal prep containers, I wouldn’t say no to Kid.
Kid’s diet makes me worried for her as she grows up. OLB is big and tall, over 6 feet tall and over 300lbs. They aren’t an active family at all. Kid drinks soda when they get fast food. She eats as much processed food as Vulture. Right now, she’s growing like a weed and is tall and actually has some power in her tiny limbs, which is most noticeable when she climbs you like a ladder, but her parents are gamers that just sit around. Her own screen time is almost as lengthy as theirs is.
I worry about Kid, constantly. Z does too. We have theorized calling CPS, or trying to adopt her, or just getting her away from Vulture. We have thrown around ideas about talking to OLB and convincing him that Vulture isn’t a good person for Kid. A lot of it has stayed in theory because the anxious part of me is still afraid to make life-altering waves like that. I second-guess and gaslight myself into realizing how bad things are, but then telling myself, maybe I’m just blowing it out of proportion. Maybe it's just something they have to handle. Maybe it’s something a first-time parent needs to learn. Maybe Vulture just isn’t feeling good that day. Maybe, maybe, maybe
It’s a leftover of the doormat I used to be, and I know that. The tiny fragment of anxiety that tells me I’m blowing things up into too big a deal. The tiny fragment that escaped a toxic marriage and just wants peace after arguing every single day. The side that hates confrontation.
Maybe I’m just a plain ol’ coward. I don’t know yet. I just know my patience is running thinner with every passing day
I don’t think I could convince OLB to dump Vulture. From what I’ve seen on the surface, they’re not openly affectionate. Vulture complains all the time that OLB doesn’t give her any physical affection, and she (unfortunately
) tells me when they’re intimate, which doesn’t sound often. They almost look like they could be friends that are co-parenting. She calls him her husband when they’re out in public, and OLB has stated that he doesn’t want anything to happen to her, because he doesn’t want a single parent. I assume at the very least that he does love her, even though he sounds exhausted all the time. Z and I wonder if maybe he feels trapped.
OLB is good at asking for help if he needs it, although he hates being a burden to others. He will speak up if Vulture needs a ride to a doctor’s office, and he forgot to leave the car seat at home. I’ve driven to his work to pick it up after he messaged me asking if I could. They ask his family to babysit Kid if they want to go out and just have a good date or see a movie together. They are clearly capable of asking for help.
This is just an acceptable standard for both, or at least that’s the way it seems to me. Sometimes, I don’t truly know if OLB is aware of what Vulture does while he’s at work. He didn’t know that she used his 11-year-old dog as a vacuum cleaner to clean up spilled table scraps until I pointed it out and then he pieced together why his dog wasn’t losing weight on a reduced kibble diet. Sometimes I have pointed out things to him that he might not notice in the house chat.
I started keeping a log in Google Docs about things I notice, and Z and I talk about it in discord, so it’s not heard by ears that are too close to our bedroom. The log started helping me see that I’m not just blowing out of proportion and that in turn helped me come here to reddit. As a former doormat in recovery, I still have to tell myself that it’s okay to realize that something is wrong, and that I may need help getting my voice to speak up.
I haven’t worked since 2017, when my mental health took a sharp nosedive. Z is currently looking for work. Both of us are home all day exposed to Vulture and how she treats Kid. With my own daily tasks, errands, struggling with mental health, there’s still a side of me that berates me that I need to be taking care of Kid. Getting her up, making sure she eats. Pestering Vulture to get up. This is also where I tangle with the former doormat that still lives in me, because one, I don’t want to enable Vulture to get even worse. With someone taking the burden off of her, that gives her more free time to just sit back and game. It isn’t my job to make sure that Vulture is a good parent, yet somehow, I feel like it’s also my fault that she’s as bad as she is while I sit by the wayside and just talk about her behind her back. There are times where I have pestered OLB through discord about Kid crying, or how Kid is trying to beat the door down, or asking if Vulture is up for the day because I haven’t seen her up at three in the afternoon.
I started speaking up when I noticed something that’s off. I call this the “cheese incident
.” We had a block of cheese that was cut in the wrapper and not in anything else, so the exposed end got all hard and inedible. I cut it off and threw it away. Vulture made her way into the kitchen because Kid saw me cutting cheese and wanted some. Vulture
: Who threw away that cheese? (SHE PICKS IT UP OUT OF THE TRASH CAN) Me
: Yeah, it’s got that hard bit Vulture
: So? I know someone who will eat it. (She calls Kid over) Me
: But it was in the trash. Vulture
: It’s okay, I cut off the part that was touching the trash. Me
: Dude, that’s fucked up. Vulture
: (hesitating now) Should I not? Me
: That’s probably going to make her sick again. (Kid has been sick back-to-back at this point) Vulture
: Okay, then I won’t. (To this day, I don’t know if she threw the cheese away or ate it herself, and I’m afraid to ask)
That was the point where I started pointing out that what she’s doing is problematic. It’s a slow process, but it’s helped me put the doormat side of me away again. I’ve explained to Vulture that Kid isn’t crying to be malicious, she just can’t express what she wants. Especially with Kid’s speech delay!
Kid gets frustrated fast when adults don’t understand her, and the wailing begins. There’s no maliciousness behind it, just frustration. Or how Kid doesn’t like being told “no” because she doesn’t always understand why. Strangely, every time I call something out, she doesn’t really have much of a fight against it. But why am I having to say it in the first place?
There’s little things that just rub me the wrong way in how they interact. Sometimes Vulture will call Kid over in the same way you’d call a dog. Repeatedly
. Sometimes Vulture, in a state of migraine or other illness-related grouchiness will scream at her “Leave me alone!
” and OLB will have to fetch Kid. One time, Z told me that Vulture outright mocked her crying by making her own crying noise.
What’s awful to watch in person is that when Vulture’s mom or siblings are over, Vulture is suddenly a doting mom who isn’t perpetually exhausted or loudly complaining about how her “everything
” hurts. She talks in an overly sweet voice to Kid. It unsettles me with how two-faced it seems. OLB, Vulture, and Kid go have dinner with OLB’s family every Sunday evening, and I can’t help but wonder how two-faced she is there, as well. Some of OLB’s family doesn’t like Vulture to begin with.
Slowly, I am losing patience at how Vulture behaves, especially with the Kid. I had to un-gaslight myself, start logging her behavior, and talk to other people to really see it for what it was. I told multiple friends about it and we all generally have the same consensus that Vulture is just an unfit parent. If her chronic illnesses are truly interfering with her life that much, she shouldn’t be the majority caregiver through the day. But it’s not like OLB would be able to work from home or be the stay-at-home parent. In a perfect world, I would be able to help more as well, but I’m barely the “fun
” aunt. I’m barely equipped to help care for a three-year-old. Hell, most days I’m barely an actual person. Kid deserves better.
Bottom line, Kid deserves better than what this house can give. I am upset with myself over my lack of action, but the logs have only been growing bigger. Every day, the doormat dies a little more.
Vulture herself though, will likely always be a side show. One thing that Z pointed out to me was that, as the doormat I used to be, I would give everything to help someone even when I was mentally exhausted. I enmeshed myself too much into the lives of my friends because I loved making them happy and making their lives easier. It’s gotten me into some awkward territory with Vulture, because some things were interpreted as more than friendship.
You ready to cringe more? Because the next part is going to deal with polyamory, the desire for open relationships, and the main reason why Z despises her – and that’s putting it mildly. Take a moment to un-cringe yourself. It ain’t over yet.
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2023.06.05 05:46 patisseriepresents Update to "stuck in a short term relationship", now dynamics have changed for the even worse, need advice
So I made a post on here about how my bf and I have been in a relationship that we basically decided to have just to have somebody, even though he wanted more with me, and since I knew he wanted a ltr with me but that I didn't see the compatibility, he was willing to do at least short term with me and take me on dates and all that, and about how now he's living with me and it's a tough situation to get out of as we are not financially equipped to have one or both of us move out so we are stuck with each other. Well, now it's gotten even MORE weird-- 2 days after I posted my last post, I found a tinder verification code text on his phone. When I asked him why, he said, "because you're abusive"-- which is true, I've been very emotionally abusive because he is very much a passive type and I am very much pro-communication in a relationship so even if I WAS a lot more patient, its always hard to tell him ANYTHING without him being sensitive, but I admit I've let myself go on and on far too much. Do you think finding him on Tinder is a forgivable offense? If you were in this situation, would you stay with him? I know it probably wouldn't be your situation because you probably would not be bitching at him constantly like I have, but IF this was your situation, and you bitched at him every day for 10-11 months, and then found out he had made a tinder, would you stay with him? He also made it clear he didn't regret it, not in a dickish way, but by the way he shut down and didnt wanna talk about it the multiple times I asked him if he regret it and would respond with things like, "I know I shouldn't have done it" instead, to spare my feelings. This is why I didn't respond to the last commenter like I wanted to, because I simply didn't have the energy for it after all of this. I also want to out others, I guess, now because I want to be with someone who wouldn't go on tinder when times get rough.. he said he only went out for validation which idk if it's true or not, and when we had the whole talk where he was like, "because you're abusive", he also said, "i wanted to see" and then, he went "if anyone else would like me" through tears, like he started crying in the middle of that sentence and it hurt to see. If I do date other people, is it WRONG of me to? I mean I'm still asking him to remain loyal to me since we're still in a relationship-thingy now, I mean we're practically stuck together, we're living together, and when financial times aren't as strained it would be dumb not to go on dates again to kill time. I've had permission to date from him for a while, though whenever I mention possibly doing it (I reiterate my interest to make sure I am not accidentally leading him on, and when I do this I try to be as gentle as possible, because it TRULY isn't personal to him, it's just lack of compatability) he gets sad but always gives me permission. So, since we're stuck living together for God knows how long, would it be RUDE of me to date others? What about having dates pick me up at the house, is that a no-go? Since right now things happened with the car as of 2 days ago, so idk how long that will take to situate. What should I tell my dates- I mean, I have this guy I'm LIVING with, that's a pretty huge deal, how should I tell my dates this? I know I shouldn't keep it from them long, but should I keep it from them for a VERY SHORT time, since it's not inherently deceitful/disrespectfu or immorall to be DATING (as in dating, not in a relationship) multiple men at once, it's completely normal to be dating multiple men so the guy I'm posting about just happens to be one man I'd be "dating", differences are just that I don't have long term compatibility with this man, and we're also stuck to our "relationship" just because we live together and it'd be kinda hard to not consider ourselves together. I'm really stuck and need advice
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2023.06.05 05:44 cherrytreehoneybees I turned my 3 year old into a domestic terrorist
Bromos, I’m in desperate need of help with my toddlers behavioral problems.
Before I start, you are probably gonna read this and be like “damn this kid needs to see a professional.” ….Duh. Currently in the process of applying for Medicaid + being connected with child psychologist and early interventionists who take Medicaid but this shit is complicated and they all have absolutely insane waiting lists so. My baby will see a specialist but it won’t happen tomorrow. And this problem needed to be addressed like.. yesterday.
Anyways on to the issue. My 3 year old is an absolute nightmare. I know most toddlers tend to be pretty hard to deal with but I am certain this goes past the normal scope. If you have read any of my previous posts you know I just left an extremely abusive relationship. Well any day where both me and my ex were at home consisted of me acting as a buffer between my children and him. He had virtually no patience for them and was very quick to anger. Judging by the injuries he inflicted upon me I knew how violent he could get very quickly and I needed to keep him from ever putting his hands on one of my girls.
What would end up happening is he would very rarely engage with my toddler so he had no idea how to handle her. His fuse was short and I would see him grow impatient at any sort of normal toddlerhood defiance and immediately remove her from the situation. He was extremely irritated at the sound of her crying so usually this resulted in me sticking her in front of a screen and giving into her demands. Whatever she wanted she got. I needed to keep her in a good mood at all times because I knew what might happen if my husband even overheard a meltdown. When he was away, I was so exhausted and beat down physically and emotionally that I couldn’t handle any type of boundary setting and the tantrums that would ensue. Seriously I don’t think this kid has ever heard the word no in her life until quite recently. Long story short, I let her run the house and walk all over me to keep her safe.
But now we are out and day by day I slowly but surely find my way out of survival mode and into real parenting. My daughter is really struggling. She has been having meltdowns every couple hours. She will refuse to do any and everything I ask of her even if it’s something that she wouldn’t have had an issue with before. She is screaming and crying all the time. Every time we get in the car she will scream te entire ride. It’s exhausting and I don’t know how much more of this I can take. Constant negotiations. She won’t sleep at all/ will barely eat and nothing has worked. I try to stand my ground and remain firm on my boundaries but I honestly don’t think she takes me serious at all. She knows that if she puts up enough of a fight she gets what she wants. She’s right, that’s how it’s always been. Why would things be different now?
Arguably the most concerning is her acts of violence (physical and verbal) towards me and others. I worry that her little brain picked up on her dads behavior. He would often yell obscenities and berate me in front of her. Recently when she gets upset of disregulated she will lash out and say very hurtful things to me (ex: fucking bitch, useless slut, annoying bitch, I wish you would die, threatening to hurt/punish me, etc) that she could have only heard from him. She will also throw things, hit, and bite herself and others when she is upset with the goal of injury.
It’s gotten to the point where I do not feel comfortable letting her play with the other toddlers (my friends kids) in the home because she has such a short temper and I am scared she will harm them. I also don’t even want to take her out in public because I am embarrassed of her huge meltdowns and she gets so overstimulated. Not to mention hearing her call me those things and try to physically harm me has been extremely triggering for me.
I am also in the middle of a custody legal pursuit with the girls father and caring for my colicky infant. I am so exhausted and i don’t know how much longer I can go on like this. Getting her professional help is my number 1 top priority, but I need to know what I can do. How do I start?? She’s not going to be permanently like this right?? I didn’t raise a tiny version of my ex, did I..?
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to breakingmom [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 05:42 FlamingDogIsHere Activating a function via tap action
I'll apologize in advance if this is a "no $hit, dumb a**" question, I'm buried in work and I don't have a lot of time to do a proper search and I need to figure this out.
I would like to be able to rotate the watch hands to a fixed spot when a spot on the display is tapped. Doing a quick search has been frustratingly fruitless, I feel like I could do it with Tasker as a middle-man but my programming etiquette finds that, well, vulgar? I mean, Pujie Black is such a detailed and elegant construct (that's a compliment, btw) I'm having a hard time believing that I can't activate a function to move the hands by tapping a spot on the screen. If Tasker is the solution, so be it but it strikes me as like using duct tape to seal a wedding invitation.
As a side question, again sorry if K-school basic, is there any form of tween functions (as in Android or Watchmaker app)?
Anyway, thanks to anyone who can point me in the right direction, once I get the mountain of paper on my desk eliminated, I want to get this solution figured out purely for selfish, vainglorious and financially beneficial (wishful thinking) reasons: it'll make me look like "that guy" to my boss, and no one else wants to take a crack at it, lol
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to PujieBlack [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 05:40 AutoModerator [Download Course] Brett Kitchen & Ethan Kap – P2 Virtual Selling Accelerator (Genkicourses.site)
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2023.06.05 05:38 Onetimeguy8 Why is language taken so seriously in this country?
I’m going to be ranting/venting about my experiences as a banana (Ethically Chinese). My malay, mandarin, and mandarin dialect skills are nearly nonexistent. I only speak fluent english.
When my parents found out about me they made a plan. My mom would speak to me in english and my dad would speak to me in mandarin in order for me to learn both languages. It was a great plan, if and only if my dad followed through and actually spoke to me in mandarin (He didn’t, he only spoke to me in english. He didn’t even speak to me in hokkiean like he does with my mom all the time). So off to a great start. For my school life my parents never ever sent me to a chinese or gov school, they sent me to international schools which didn’t allow other languages than english to be spoken (exceptions are for language classes of course). Growing up with astro I watched all the english movie channels (21st Century Fox, AXN, HBO, Cinemax, Disney XD, Cartoon Network, Nikolodiean) and listened to HITZ FM every car ride to school.
My parents and my extended family then started to catch on to the fact that I did not know how to speak any other language other than english (They were more concerned about me not knowing any sort of mandarin). They were more surprised that I didn’t know any hokkiean because they thought I would passively or sub consciously pick it up just by hearing my parents speak it to each other without ever directly speaking to me in hokkiean (Guess how that worked out). My parent’s solution was to send me to Mandarin tuition every Saturday morning when I was always half asleep. I went to the same Mandarin tuition for 4 years and during that time I was relentlessly shamed by parents, tuition teachers, and extended family for not knowing any malay, mandarin, and mandarin dialects for years.
Every CNY I go to my Ah Ma’s house and it’s always the same questions and insults thrown at me:
“Can you speak chinese?”
“How come you don’t know chinese!?”
“You are chinese, you must also know chinese.”
“If you go overseas to find job and cannot speak chinese you cannot find a job, you see how!” (They think you got to know mandarin in-order to get employed any where in the world because the rise of china and all that)
When my older cousins try to teach me a mandarin phrase and I mispronounce just a little bit the whole room would erupt in laughter. My own dad yells at me for not knowing how to speak mandarin while still knowing he didn’t teach me when I was young like he said he would to my mom. Once after coming back from mandarin tuition my dad and I had some argument, I can’t remember how it started, and when we got home he threatened and motioned to hit me and yelled at me saying that I wasn’t chinese. (I notice this pattern in other banana related posts where a lot of people consider not speaking mandarin is a shame to the chinese race. Like okay are we trying be build some pure ethno-state or some shit?)
As for not speaking malay, my parents also thought that I would learn malay if I were surrounded by people who spoke malay even if those people never talked to me directly in malay. I guess they thought that since I grew up in a malay speaking country I would naturally know how to speak malay, even without having an environment/routine that would involve the malay language. I did take mandatory malay classes in school but they were half assed and once per week after school.
Safe to say that all of this has damaged me to a degree, to the point where I don’t even feel comfortable being close to someone with the same race/ethnicity as me because now I have this constant fear that they would eventually find out I don’t know mandarin and they would shame me for it. Whenever I hear a non-chinese person speak mandarin (even if it’s not completely fluent) I get MASSIVELY insecure and I try to stay as far away from them as possible. I now yearn for the day I leave this country and go to the UK or AUS where speaking english is the norm.
So why is language is extremely important in this country? How has it gotten to this point? I’d love to see your answers 😊
submitted by Onetimeguy8
to malaysia [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 05:37 YuppieAshTray 2 days in and this is the best driving experience I've ever had.
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I already posted the "new car photo" but man, I'm just so excited! I was back and forth between keeping my Bolt and upgrading to this and I finally went for it. Absolutely no regrets ! I've never driven anything so FUN and comfortable. It's hard to explain just how amazing it feels to be behind the wheel of this car. I'm excited just to see it when I drive by big windows! In the span of a year I've had the Kona Electric, Bolt EUV Premier, and now the Ioniq 5 AWD SEL. I'm glad I didn't start here because of the price changes, but DAMN I'm stoked to be here now! Are there any tips and tricks a new owner should know about this bad boy ? submitted by YuppieAshTray to Ioniq5 [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 05:37 BlazerYanko Potential New Tenant Insisted on Paying 6 Months Up Front
Searched the sub and only found the opposite situation (being asked by landlord to pay many months up from). This happened almost a year ago and I shut down contact with the because it didn't smell right. Curious whether it was a scam attempt or not. Long story because I think the details adding up are important.
Partner and I were moving out of our owned house and wanted to rent it out, so first time looking for tenants. Listed on Facebook and Zillow. One person, jerry contacted me via phone. Basically he said that he lives in Atlanta (we are about 1,000 miles away in the US midwest) and that he is looking for a place for his mother, who lives in our town. He sounded 30s to 40s. Okay. The weirdness detector first went off because he elaborated that he is a very successful owner of Mutiple businesses in that he has multiple millions of dollars. This is why he wanted to get a place for his mom. Okay...maybe true but I would expect someone like that would look to buy rather than rent, and our house was like a typical midwest starter house. Probably on the nicer end of that class of house, but not millionaire renting a house for mom from across the country. And in particular the neighborhood is right on the edge of a rougher part of town. This is not a tucked away subdivision, it's an old part of town, a loud street. Still, fine, maybe. He says in that initial phone call that he wants to set a time for mom to come tour it, and also that he will be looking to pay 6 months of front. I was already feeling off about it so I did say we probably wouldn't be interested in that. He ignored that. We set up a time for mom. We were going to be there cleaning anyway. Robbery scam crossed my mind but we had already moved out and the house was empty and I made sure to mention that offhand in the call.
So mom does show and is the age expected. However she's also with a man that age, which wasn't mentioned. Fair enough maybe. Women are unfortunately not safe by themselves. But it's the many small things adding up the suspicion. They were also in an awful beater car. Idk, you're going to rent mom a house but you have her car-less and being around by this type of guy? This guy was also just very odd as they toured the house. Comically gravelly voice. Him and mom moved fast. It's far less than what you would expect from someone trying to pick out a place to live. Barely asked any questions and didn't seem interested in any of the facts I told them. So maybe she just could tell right away it wasn't for her? Nah, at the end they both definitely yet unenthusiastically said it was perfect for her. She would be contacting her son to set up the payment and sign the lease. I mention I'll still need her to fill out the little free background check thing on the Zillow listing since she'll be living there.
Maybe a day later i get an email from supposedly Jerry's secretary or assistant or something. Says they want to sign and again pay 6 months up front. I say in the email that both mom as tenant and Jerry as the person signing the lease need to do the background check thing. Again, very easy. There might have been a couple emails after of him/her saying something like he is paying 6 months up front, that's more valuable that a credit score check anyway. He absolutely refused to do the background check or have his mom do it. Or that might have been something he said on the call. Because soon enough he called me, not quite angry, but close, saying stuff to the tune of that. Reiterating that he is a multi millionaire and very successful. Here's where he got very angry and was yelling at me on the phone.
I essentially told him it's my first time doing this, we're just trying to be smart and we aren't anywhere near desperate to get the lease signed right now, plus we have other tour requests. I said from my perspective and in my experience (I work in a finance related field), a person or company would nearly always rather pay later than now, assuming no interest on paying later. It's cash flow. I know there are plenty of examples of the opposite, but I said this and some of the other things adding up are why it smells off (and that he is getting very mad). He said it's just convenient to pay and then not think about it, because such small amounts of money to him are rounding errors and not worth his time to think about every month. I did mention we could set up an auto-pay. He rambled loudly for an impressive amount of time, I wish i remember everything he said. But it was truly not believable at this point and was pretty funny - He kept just talking about how successful he was but the specific things he said sounded like things that someone very not successful (or a 12 year old) would think a very successful person would say. Hopefully this makes sense and you would be sketched out too. I think at this point I shut it down.
I couldn't quite figure out what scam this could be but I just didn't like it and we had other good prospects and no time crunch. Similar-ish things I found online weren't quite this situation. Most assumed scouting for burglary. Closest hits had that upfront payment not going through. Then either 1 they live there a few months free before we notice and evict or 2 something about they would change their mind, ask for a refund, we send the refund, but in reality what they initially sent bounces so they just got wired money form me worth 6 months rent. But we wouldn't have let them move in before the payment cleared nor would we have sent a refund if they signed a lease. Super curious.
So tl;dr someone cross country with a story that didn't smell right about his wealth and success wanted to rent our house for his mom. He refused to do the Zillow background check or have his mom do it, and he insisted on paying 6 months up front. He got very angry on the phone when I pushed back on those points and explained I believe politely why those points made me uncomfortable. Was this a scam and if so what was it?
submitted by BlazerYanko
to Scams [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 05:35 CatchComprehensive98 Spiritual warfare
I have a unique situation. A few years ago at the age of 30 I met my biological father. I moved across country from Michigan to Arizona to help him with his business and lived on the same property as him. Everything was going really good for about a year and a half until I started noticing someone was coming in my house and I started to put things together. I didn’t know anything about crafting or black magic or cults or anything like that before this but I came into my house one day and noticed the grate at the bottom of my fridge wasn’t on properly so when I went to put it on the right way and it fell off completely I noticed there was a thick layer of dust but there was very fresh drawings and markings written in the dust. I asked a friend if it was Mexican gang shit not knowing what was going on lol he immediately told me it was black magic and said someone was messing with my food. Its a really story to have to text but I’ll list some other things that happened and I’d like to know if anyone has any insight . I’ve done a lot of research since then and still can’t figure out what the intentions were. So for starters it was a little town about 30 minutes from the Mexican border south of Tucson . My “dad” had several people my age working for him and I believe now they were all in on whatever they were doing to me. At first I thought he wasn’t a part of it and his workers just wanted me gone but I’ll explain why I know he was definitely in on it. Some of the things I noticed are
-They used a wood burner tool or engraved symbols and faces and letters into basically everything wood in my house and around the property like on wood posts and stuff. The letters would be large and stand out by theirselves it would be L,B, and I think R. - would make a almost evil smiley face and I would take my pants off at night and lay them in my bed and noticed the face on my ass in gel pen. They were putting it on my chairs. - switched a black and white candle with one of their own. -the wiring under my fridge was in Arabic or reverse Arabic so I think -under my front porch I found a canoe made out of a large dead frog body. It looked like it was to resemble a boat at least -also under porch found a cutout or some type of homemade rabbit made out of plastic or paper and it had half of one of those plastic Easter eggs in its mouth like a rabbit eating it’s own child or egg or whatever . -dead cat in my car - dead cat in my house - I always slept on my couch but on my bed I noticed a very thin layer of candle wax had been poured on every crease in the mattress . If you look at a mattress you’ll know that had to take a lot of time and effort. -my dad insisted we didn’t need tack strips when we laid the carpet in the trailer and in the room I later found a blue steel razor blade and next to it the word MAD in pen or marker. -the only friend that kept assuring me I wasn’t crazy had a nice 2020 truck and text me one day and said there was blood all over his back seat . I doubt he did that to his nice truck . It looked like a murder scene and when I saw it I noticed the same markings and faces on the car seat and doors . Looked like it was with a pencil eraser . - there was a panel loose in my jeep by my left foot where a hood release is . I pulled it back a little and saw something . When I loosened the panel even more it was a Lego figure and his head rolled off . I know I didn’t put that there lol. - different color dirt than usual and pebbles under carpet in front of door and rubbed all over my jeep tire. Probably cemetery dirt I think .
There’s more but you get the picture. So also in my Jeep I had a tool box and in every drawer there was 6 small twigs in the shape of a U or 6 pieces of plants or flowers. On the outside the drew a few things but one was a stick figure being attacked by wolves . When I came back to Michigan I was attacked by two dogs and had to get 69 stitches . The wound and scar is in the shape of a weird smiley face.
I refused to drive the Jeep and had a rental car and some how fell asleep and was in a head on collision with a family of 5 . Everyone was okay some how. I was going 60 and didn’t have a seatbelt on . Woke up in the passenger seat and the door just opened up for me to get out. Not knowing anyone else I called father of the year to come get me. When we got in his truck he said oh if you were in your Jeep you would have died for sure.
We get back to the house and he wanted me to stay there instead of sleeping at my place next door. He had a 80 inch tv that was turned off so it was basically like a mirror. I’m watching him and his gf lay a mattress on the floor and putting sheets and blankets on it then I see his gf pull something out of a clothes hamper . I can’t even make this shit up . I saw a 2 foot doll wearing one of my shirts. And had strews all over the head . Attached to the screws was some type of string to resemble hair with ties or bows half way down the length . I know they were screws because he twisted a couple of them . Then he put it in a type of dresser thing with a glass door and rolled a rolling closet with clothes in front of it . I could have shit my pants . That was the last time I was there. I immediately told him I had to get my son something from Walmart and needed to go now so I can send it first thing in the morning. He took me to Walmart and I ordered a Uber . He was right next to me and wouldn’t leave my side so I made up the only thing I thought of and said I think his phone was making me sick , something about electronics and said give me 5 feet and walked outside. I get in the Uber and he almost didn’t see me but came up to the car hands cupped around his eyes looking in the windows and saw me. He told the driver I was mentally unstable, on drugs and if he left with me he’s calling the cops. I told the guy I just met this man that’s my dad,showed him my license and explained I ordered the ride I offered him more money and asked him to please go. He said he didn’t want any trouble and cancelled the ride. So now I’m outside of Walmart with the crazy person I call dad and he’s like wtf man you’re just gonna bail on me lol. So I just told him I saw the voodoo doll. He started going nuts denying it and making a huge scene. He never did admit it but he said whatever I think he was doing he was trying to help me. I called the kid Colton they had the blood in his truck and he came and got me.
After 4 years I still don’t know exactly what was going on. If anyone knows what might have been going on I’d like some opinions. Do you think they were trying to sacrifice me or initiate me or what?
One of his workers did drop hints or warnings when I would bing stuff up. He told me “your dad doesn’t work me alit around Christmas time” I was like uh ok and said yeah it’s orders from higher up . Then told me there was like 5 or 6 satanic cults right around there. I’ve came to find out he was telling the truth more than likely.
Thanks for reading. Love and light
submitted by CatchComprehensive98
to SpiritualAwakening [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 05:33 moishepesach [HR] [MS] For Whom The Willow Weeps
Question: If April flowers bring May showers, what do May flowers bring? Answer: Puritans and misery. Part 1 - May Flower Moon
I'm no expert but I'm pretty sure this is a ghost story. It all started in early May under the, "Flower Moon".
In the still of the night, I awoke from a deep sleep to witness a moonlight so spectacular it hurt my eyes.
Fumbling for my glasses, I found them, dropped them, cursed, then almost stepped on them. I finally got them where they belonged thinking I needed to use the bathroom. I glanced at the digital clock on my desk. 3:33 am. Again. Willow weep for me Bend your branches down along the ground and cover me -Ann Ronell as sung by Billie Holiday
The birds were chirping loudly. I shuffled to the window. I looked up wide-eyed at the sky. There was the moon; big, round and golden like it didn't mind a big electricity bill. As I used the bathroom, I remember thinking that I didn't ever remember a full moon so bright it could light up my apartment.
I washed my hands then splashed warm water on my face. I cracked my neck. I dried my hands and face with a towel. I remember thinking if I didn't get back to sleep the day was going to suck.
Shuffling back into my bedroom I thought to look for my ski hat. I figured I could pull it over my eyes and escape the light under the blanket. Flower Moon was beautiful but so too is sleep. If I could just hide under the blanket perhaps it wasn't too late for sleep to creep up on me.
I have been renting the same sunny shoebox in old Brooklyn for more than 20 years. It's a corner apartment on the second floor of a 19th century walkup. Across the street, diagonally resides a community garden fronted by a very tall and expansive weeping willow tree that won't let me move away. I didn't know it's age until recently. But it's younger than me. Most things are these days.
I shuffled to the corner window to squeeze the blinds tight and that's when I felt grateful, grateful I had decided to use the bathroom first.
There, at the base of the hundred-foot-tall willow, behind the wrought iron fence, illuminated beneath the moon's glow, I witnessed something that froze my blood and tested my aging bladder. Standing beneath the moonlight, I saw, clear as day, a little boy in footed pajamas with a trap door. The little boy was holding a blue stuffed Grover Muppet in one hand and crying.
Trying to get a good look at the boy was like trying to look at something from behind a campfire. There was a shimmering distortion. What I could clearly see was that he was pointing down at the ground in front of his feet with the non-Grover hand. Suddenly, the little boy spun his head up and around looking directly at me. Eye contact occurred and then too, something I can't explain.
First, a truck transporting fuel broke loudly for the red light at the corner. Through the open windows I smelled what seemed like diesel. I grew light-headed. The room spun around. I remember thinking this feeling smelled both nauseating as well as timeless.
I reached down to try and pick up the floor and that's when it hit me in the face. A sharp pain across my cheek like I had been slapped in a 3 Stooges short. I felt icy fingers grab the hair I had not had in over 30 years and jerk my head back. I smelled more diesel. I grabbed the edge of the desk to keep from losing my balance.
Holding on to the desk, I noticed my mind's eye was playing the little boy's face like a movie. The camera panned in. His little boy face filled my consciousness like I was watching from the front row. He was about four or five years old with long dirty blonde hair. His face looked familiar from a dream.
Then, another slapping pain turned my last good cheek. Losing my balance, I fell ass first to the floor.
Out the window, from on my ass, I watched the traffic light turn green. I heard the truck lurch into gear, rev it's engine then drive away. As it rumbled off into the distance my equilibrium returned.
Muttering my life sucked I gently shook my head and felt for damage. Just my non-existent pride. I got myself vertical, yet once again; feeling a distinct twinge of anxiety.
I looked out the window but the little boy was gone. An FDNY ambulance took his place, it's siren jarring me back to reality. I closed the blinds and got under the blanket. I never did really get back to sleep that night. Or ever since. Part II - Unhappily Ever Since Sad as I can be Hear me willow and weep for me... -Billie I keep seeing a little boy under the tree... - me
The first thing I want to say is that I keep waking up for decades at exactly 3:33 am.
It's the exact time my decrepit birth certificate claims I was introduced to this world. Can't say why, but ever since digital clocks became a thing, I'm up more often than not to witness 3:33 am transpire. Never remember it happening before digital.
One of my friends recently told me it was an angel number. I don't know anything about angels. Never met one. But I for sure have met some demons in my day. In fact. you might say I was born of demon mother, and I might not be offended. Back to my birth certificate. I was born and yes, still live in Brooklyn, New York. There were gaps but it's my home.
I moved to this particular apartment building a few months after 9/11. I had moved in with a woman at the tail end of doing a romantic nickel, but that fell apart like Madoff, Abramoff or Fuckoff, and she married another dude a year later. So, there in 2002, I and my faithful golden retriever, Spenser, found ourselves, for the very first time, on our own. And, we liked it.
Like I mentioned, Spenser and I lived diagonal to a community garden that fronts a big and beautiful weeping willow tree. I felt an immediate kinship as my favorite book as a child had been, "The Giving Tree" and that's what she reminded me of; only more beautiful.
There will be more about the tree. Anyway, the tree and I dwell in an old part of south Brooklyn called Park Slope, infamous for being the stomping grounds of a young Al Capone, and, believe it or not, young me.
That was a long time ago. Things have changed a lot since Al and I, were separately roaming the streets of Park Slope, looking for adventure and whatever came our way. I came up in the day when if you cried your mother would give you something to cry about. And, not going to lie, I cried a lot. I don't remember my dad that much.
I remember he was a hippie. I remember he had a big beard and moustache and long hair. I remember his denim jacket was always cold, smelling like weed and cigarettes. I remember he gave me, "The Giving Tree" and taught me how to read it. And then, I remember he was; gone. Just. Gone.
I also remember my mother. I remember her never talking much. I remember her just smelling like hair spray, cigarettes and instant coffee with sour milk. I never was able to drink milk, not even as a child, and to this very day just the sight of a milk carton turns my stomach to acid.
I lived alone with the old lady about half a mile from where I live now. Yeah, in over thirty years I made it a whole thirteen blocks. Like I said, my pride was non-existent these days unless I was sitting on it. Another, weird thing besides waking up at 3:33 am is I have a lot of memory lapses. It has been getting worse the last few years. Especially, since old Spenser had a seizure in my arms back on the 9/11 of '09. He was fifteen and my best friend. I'd always loved dogs. But after losing Spenser, I couldn't quite remember things right all the time.
Sometimes, it was little things. Like did I turn off the stove or lock the front door. Other times, it was deep things, like did the telephone repair man try to do something to me when I was five and left home alone. Like did I pull a kitchen knife on him before he scampered out like a thief in the night; scared he'd be caught by my screams for Batman? Did I remember my mother having strange guests over late at night? Did I remember being locked in my room? I just couldn't remember anymore.
I had taken to obsessively keeping lists. But you can't put ghost-busting on a list, can you? And that was my real problem. Ever since, the May Flower Moon the haunting just kept rinsing and repeating. Eat edibles, Nyquil, and Advil PM and still wake up at 3:33am. Smell diesel. Wave of nausea. Little boy in garden. Little boy crying. Little boy pointing at something. Little boy looking up at me. Little boy. Little boy. Little boy.
By last Friday, I was a mess.
My work is suffering. I am too embarrassed to tell my aunt or besties I see a little boy. They already think I am weird enough and last thing I need is a wellness check.
To remain scientific, I have continued my daytime visits to the garden whenever it is open. Everything seems so lovely in the day. I even brought the new woman I am seeing. She fell in love with the tree at first sight. The flowers are gorgeous. And the roses; so mesmerizing. Even the fish in the koi pond are happy. But at night. Something isn't right. ...Weeping willow tree Weeping sympathy Bend your branches down along the ground and cover me Listen to me plead Hear me willow and weep for me...
My new friend at work I mentioned, who told me about angel numbers, asked me recently if something was bothering me. She told me when we met, she is in the midst of a spiritual awakening.
Part of it includes awakening every morning to read the Tarot cards and commune with who, or what, she calls, "spirit".
I cracked and told her about the little boy under the tree. She didn't bat an eye. She told me spirit wants something from me. I didn't know what to say to that so I just left it alone. I guess I'm afraid what if she's right. And what if I don't like what, "spirit" wants?
Last night was Saturday. I had a dream.
That night I dreamed about a collie I had when I was a very young boy right after my dad split. Her name was Pearl. I had found her on the street on my block and for some inexplicable reason had been allowed to keep her.
Not long after, one hot summer day in Prospect Park, when my mother was going to give me something to cry about, Pearl suddenly ran down the hill she was frolicking on, making a wide sweeping arc that screamed, "ride or die, full throttle, and damn the fucking torpedoes," it's trajectory directly between my mother's legs. Fur overcame flesh just in the nick before I was given something to cry about.
Instead, I laughed.
I laughed so fucking hysterically at the sight of her on the grass, on her ass; smug look gone with the wind; replaced by an expression seething red menace that would have been McCarthy's wet dream.
And, like the little boy at 3:33 am, Pearl's eyes met mine. She seemed to nod her collie head, as if she were acknowledging that, yes, she was the best dog and don't you forget it. I didn't cry much for a while after that till I came home from school and Pearl was gone. Just gone. To some farm I was told. Where she could be happier. So, I guess I did get something to cry about after all.
And then last night I had a dream.
Part III - It weeps for me?
I dreamed of Peter Pan and buried treasure. I dreamed of Stove Stop stuffing and commercials loud enough to drown out a breech birth. I dreamed of Spider-Man letting Uncle Ben's killer go free. I dreamed of being American. I dreamed of Watergate, the fall of the Berlin wall, 9/11 and watching people jump out windows to avoid burning to death out the window of my office.
I dreamed of Iraq and Afghanistan and George Floyd and Covid and never-ending cycles of boom and bust. I dreamed of a golden carrot on what started out as a stick but soon morphed into what I realized was a branch. A long flowing beautiful branch covered in red. A branch that hung low. It swayed along the ground, swayed above my head and there I was.
I was in the garden. Under the tree. I felt drops of warm dew caressing my face. I was about to reach up to caress the tree. My tree. I noticed I was wearing pajamas. Not the black satin jammies I had been wearing for decades but old footie pajamas. They were Star Trek pajamas. With three golden rings on the cuffs and a trap door.
A drop of dew fell in my eye. I wiped it away and looked at my hand. It was red. Red with blood. My Mickey Mouse watch involuntarily color-coordinated with the blood. It appeared to be just after 3:30 am.
Suddenly, a dog appeared. It was Pearl. Then another, it was Spenser. They jammed their snouts into my flannel covered crotch. I pet them both and noticed my tears mixing with the dewy blood drops turning them a soft pink under the moonlight.
"Good boy. Good girl." I said.
"Hi," a voice I recognized but couldn't place said.
I looked around. And there, was, the little boy. And, in his hand was Grover.
"Hi," I heard myself say.
"Who's the dog?" he said.
"That's Pearl. And this is Spenser." I answered.
"I know Pearl, silly. She's my dog," then, "Hi, Spenser."
Spenser left my crotch for the little boy's. They went together like peanut butter and sandwiches.
"Where are your parents?" I heard myself ask.
"Dad left. Mom told me to stay here until she comes back."
"When was that?" I asked.
The little boy shrugged then, "Been a while I guess," and he started to cry. Spenser got agitated and started to whine. I approached. I went to put my hand on the boy's shoulder and he jumped.
"Hey, it's okay." I took my hand back.
He looked up at me. Then he said, "You want to see something?
I said, "Yes."
The little boy fished around in his pajamas and pulled out something, it looked like a piece of rolled up construction paper secured with a red ribbon that matched the bloody dew drops.
He un-scrolled it then solemnly showed it to me.
It appeared to be a child's treasure map. That ended in the garden. Only it wasn't a garden. It said, "JUNK YARD" and there was a big X next to the corner of the rectangle the words were written in. I looked down at him.
"There's no junk yard here, son," I said.
The little boy looked away from Spenser and up at me. Pearl ran to his side. I felt six eyes on me.
"That's what you think," he said
A moment later there was the loud cracking of fireworks being detonated. I awoke in my bed. Fumbling for my glasses, I found them, dropped them, cursed, then almost stepped on them. I finally got them where they belonged thinking I needed to use the bathroom. I glanced at the digital clock on my desk. 3:33 am. Again.
I ran to the window to look out. But, unlike every other time for the past month, the boy was not in residence. He was gone. Just. Gone.
Part IV - The is The End Gone my lovely dreams To weep my tears along the stream Sad as I can be Hear me willow and weep for me
This was fucking ridiculous. I am sane. I am not mad. I'd been reading, "The Giving Tree," too much. Spending too much time alone working from home. Maybe I just needed to get away. Take a trip somewhere.
I realized getting back to sleep was going to be impossible. So, I went into the kitchen and made a pot of tea. No milk.
Back at my desk, my "SHIT. FUCK. DAMN." glass mug of tea firmly in hand, I took a deep breath. There was no point in giving myself a heart attack. Maybe it was just anxiety. Maybe panic attacks. I had dated lots of neurotic women. That could be it. Maybe some Lexapro and I'd be good as new. I decided to check my email.
A woman I used to date from Queens and stayed friends with had sent me a link entitled, "Birth of a community garden." It was video to my garden. Before it was a garden. Over forty years ago. It was a decrepit vacant lot filled with dead cars and refuse and apparently had been a neighborhood drug bazaar. Like I said, things have changed a lot since Al and I were young as springtime.
By the time I moved back you would have never known what things had used to look like. Spray painted signs that read, "NO DRUGS SOLD HERE!
" and the like. Just like the Batman, Dark Knight, the 80s were a time when Urban Renewal was striking back. And before you could say, "corruption at City Hall," there was fecund soil where once had stood God knows what.
It gave me hope that humanity wasn't so bad. Maybe I had just been going through a tough time. Maybe I should quit while I am ahead and get a good night's rest. So, I closed the blinds and went to bed. Why I am never sleeping again
That night I dreamed I was part of the junk yard's saviors. Hauling out decades of festering trash and replacing it with good old Mother Earth. A whole community coming together to commune with nature. I felt myself smile.
All day we hoed the rows. The fecundity of the soil filling my nostrils. There was food and laughter and soon day turned to night. One by one all the gardeners left into the dusk. Soon I stood alone next to a young woman. She held a green army duffle bag. And two shovels.
"You look like a big, strong man. They're going to be planting a weeping willow tree here soon. But first, I wanted to leave the earth a special gift to grow up with the tree. This time I think we should give to the tree. Won't you help me?"
I felt a passing twinge of disgust. I rubbed my upper lip with the back of my hand and thought I smelled the faint smell of diesel. I heard myself say, "Hand me a shovel."
An hour later I had fulfilled the lady's request to deposit the duffel bag deep within the new garden's soil. She lit a cigarette I recognized. She blew some smoke in my face and it smelled like sour milk.
"Ever read a boy and his dog?" she asked.
"This is the opposite," she said. I smelled the diesel again and then remembered no more.
This morning I awoke feeling none too swell. I got my glasses on without dropping them for a change then sort of hobbled to the kitchen area to make some tea. I opened the blinds and there was my weeping willow tree. Swaying gently in the Sunday early June overcast chill.
Implacable. Inscrutable. True to it's nature. The day was gray as a widow's anniversary.
Well, there's always tea, I thought, ever the optimist. And then I dropped my, "SHIT. FUCK. DAMN." mug on my foot, simultaneously battering and scalding it. I let out a yelp.
Then, mouth agape, I smelled the diesel waft in the window by the fire escape. The window, where, leaning against the fire escape's stairs I witnessed something that froze my blood and tested my aging bladder.
I spied two shovels and an empty duffle bag.
I wonder what spirit will have to say about that? Gone my lovely dreams To weep my tears along the stream Sad as I can be Hear me willow and weep for me Willow Weep For Me?
submitted by moishepesach
to shortstories [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 05:33 Kodiak01 Likely saying goodbye to my little Tank tomorrow
2013 1.8 LT Sedan. Bought in 2016 with 8k on clock, now 147k.
Was really hoping it would last another year or two, but appears to be entering money sink territory.
Always meticulously maintained. You could eat off the underside of the valve cover. Driven softly enough that I could squeeze 40mpg out of in on my morning commute and didn't need brake pads until 125k. Except for the galvanized exhaust, not a spec of rust underneath thanks to regular undercarriage washes, especially in winter. Has never been garaged despite being in New England and still looks beautiful.
Saturday night, heard a new intermittent squeal. Figured it was the serpentine belt on it's way out. 9am this morning, I'm at the shop having it replaced. Did not fix the problem. They started it with the belt removed and it still made the sound which means it's likely the crank pulley. Also have a fresh P0171, but that could be related to the pulley; if it actually is an emissions thing, there is still about 2500 miles left on the extended exhaust warranty they can fix it under after I trade it in.
Being that I commute 22k mi/yr, if this is the start of the more expensive breakdowns then it's time to cut my losses. I'm going to miss this car, it's been a rock of reliability for me over the years; inexpensive to fix most things, a lot just doesn't break.
Local dealer has a 2023 Trailblazer base model for $23k and change. I'm probably going to switch to that in the morning. Was really hoping the car would last long enough for the new Trax to hit close by, but no such luck. This is one of those times where a car will be needed TODAY as opposed to ordering.
I'll still be around for a bit to share my experiences with this car, at least until the suits finish gutting all of Reddit for IPO money via API price gouging.
submitted by Kodiak01
to ChevySonic [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 05:33 Naturallyjifted AITA for being annoyed with my friends?
I(29F) recently went on a hiking trip with two of my girlfriends (27F) and our two guy friends (30M). My girl friends are absolutely lovely people but they’re extremely hands off when it comes to making plans and paying attention to the “responsibilities” of the trip. For instance, they won’t keep track of where the car is parked or look up restaurants to go eat at. They’re also not super interested in worrying about the timing of activities. They want to hit gift shops, hikes, hot springs and get food but don’t like paying attention when I tell them things close at this time so we’d have to leave this place by this certain time. They also both look to me to have answers in situations where everyone has the same information, like exactly how long a hike will take us when none of us had done it before.
None of that is an issue EXCEPT: I did the majority of planning with one of the guys. We would look up options, give pros and cons of each option and ask everyone what they thought and we’d often receive an answer of “I don’t care” or “whatever”. Then: when we’d get somewhere and would be TRYING to stick to a schedule, one of the girls would complain and be like “can’t we do a hike like we did yesterday?” Without offering any options like “hey, let’s do this hike (give us a name!) because it’s this long, has this feature and is this far away so it works with the schedule.” The other guy helping plan and I would sometimes deliberate the pros and cons of certain hikes and I guess they thought it was us “arguing” so they would both be like “Naturallyjifted it’s fine stop freaking out.” And act like I was being combative somehow. But like? We weren’t arguing we were trying to make plans and we both had opinions and were hearing each other out. The guys kept approaching me to discuss plans but I think the girls wanted me to just take a backseat with them which just isn’t my style. I started getting snippy with them about them not helping plan activities and yet complaining about everything. Idk it bothered me that the guys got respect automatically but I was somehow being a bitch for having an opinion.
submitted by Naturallyjifted
to AmItheAsshole [link] [comments]
2023.06.05 05:26 moshpitrocker FEMA Update
FEMA Inspections Launched: The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) inspections have begun for those that applied for disaster assistance for damages caused by Typhoon Mawar.
FEMA inspections will help determine whether a home is safe, sanitary and livable. To determine whether an applicant is eligible for assistance, FEMA considers the home’s interior and exterior structural soundness; whether the electrical, gas, heat, plumbing and sewer or septic systems are functional; and whether the home is livable and can be entered and exited safely. FEMA inspections will also consider damages to personal property.
If you need accommodations for language translations or a disability, call 1-800-621-3362 in advance of the inspection and let FEMA know your needs.
The first step for a FEMA inspection starts with a phone call, text message or email from a FEMA inspector to the applicant to schedule an appointment. Be aware that phone calls from FEMA may come from an unknown number. The inspector will try to make contact up to three times over three days. The case will be locked if the inspector cannot reach you after three attempts.
The inspection process usually takes 30 to 40 minutes. If you were able to take photos or video of interior or exterior damage to the home, show them to the inspector.
Those who are unable to meet with the FEMA inspector for an inspection can have a friend or relative act on their behalf to meet with the inspector. But first they must submit to FEMA a written and signed request for third-party involvement, which is a legal document, authorizing another person who is at least 18 years of age to meet with the inspector and to provide and receive information from FEMA on their behalf.
Important to Know: The inspector will not be collecting any documentation and will never ask for personal information like a Social Security number. FEMA never charges for an inspection. If a FEMA inspector comes to your home and you did not submit a FEMA application, your information may have been used without your knowledge to create a FEMA application. If so, please inform the inspector that you did not apply for FEMA assistance so they can submit a request to stop all further processing on the application. A fraudulent application could be a sign of identity theft. For information on what to do if you suspect identity theft, please visit identitytheft.gov. If you wish to apply for FEMA assistance after stopping an application made in your name without your knowledge, the FEMA Helpline will need to assist you in creating a new application. Call 1-800-621-3362.
FEMA May Be Able to Help with Transportation Repairs: FEMA’s Other Needs Assistance (ONA) provides financial help after a disaster to cover necessary expenses and serious needs not paid by insurance or other sources. This may include repair or replacement of a vehicle. You must first apply to FEMA (disasterassistance.gov, FEMA mobile app, 1-800-621-3362), then submit an application for a disaster loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). If you are denied a loan, or if the loan does not cover all expenses, you may be referred to FEMA for ONA consideration.
For assistance to repair or replace a vehicle, the damage must have been caused by the disaster and the vehicle must no longer be operable or safe to drive. Cosmetic repairs will not be covered. Other conditions include: The vehicle must have been damaged by Typhoon Mawar. Assistance is usually limited to one vehicle. If there is a second functional vehicle in the household, the applicant must certify in writing that the damaged vehicle is essential for the household’s daily use. The vehicle must be in compliance with motor vehicle division’s registration and insurance requirements. The vehicle must be owned or leased (not a rental) by the applicant, co-applicant, or household member. The damaged vehicle must be an approved vehicle type, such as a car, truck, SUV or van. The amount provided for repair or replacement is based on the degree of damage and the amount the motor vehicle division has determined for the maximum repair and replacement value.
Documentation required for consideration, includes, but is not limited to: Proof of insurance policy showing the type of coverage or proof of vehicle meets the territory’s requirement. Insurance provider settlement or statement that insurance coverage does not exists, for vehicle repair. A verifiable estimate, bill, or receipt confirming the damage was caused by the disaster, with labor and parts/replacement costs. For vehicle replacement, additional documentation is necessary from the motor vehicle division confirming the vehicle was salvaged due to the disaster.
Guam homeowners and renters who were affected by Typhoon Mawar can also register with FEMA by calling 1-800-621-3362, visiting disasterassistance.gov or downloading the application on the FEMA App. For more information about registration, processing and FEMA’s Individual Assistance Programs, visit fema.gov.
When you apply for assistance, have the following information ready: A current phone number Address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying Social Security number List of damage and losses Banking information if you choose direct deposit If insured, the policy number or the agent and/or the company name
Survivors may be eligible to receive assistance for uninsured and underinsured damage and losses resulting from Typhoon Mawar. If you have homeowners, renters or flood insurance, you should file a claim as soon as possible. FEMA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance. If your policy does not cover all your disaster expenses, you may be eligible for federal assistance.
Disaster assistance may include financial help with temporary lodging and home repairs, as well as other disaster-related expenses.
To date, over 10,000 Guam residents have applied for disaster assistance.
Disaster Recovery Centers: FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers (DRC) are open at the Guam Community College, Building E and the Dededo Sports Complex, seven days a week from 7 a.m. - 7 p.m. The DRCs are open to assist island residents impacted by Typhoon Mawar with disaster relief programs.
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2023.06.05 05:26 EmmarJay My great grandfather has been missing for over a century. I know what happened to him.
The day seemed like it would be ordinary until the aeronautical community’s most sought after document showed up on my doorstep.
It came wrapped in brown kraft paper tied off with twine, and the exterior packaging had no return address nor any indication of a postage stamp. It was as though it had been simply bundled up and dropped into my wall-mounted mailbox by a random passerby.
No part of me was willing to surrender the strange parcel without opening it first. Regardless of who its contents truly belonged to, my eyes would be the first to see it. I removed the twine and then dug a thumb under a fold in the packaging paper before clawing it away to expose a brown tan notebook circa 1900. It was full grain buffalo leather with a crisscross of cord for the spine and a thick hand cut string keeping it sealed shut.
When I undid the string, the pages that had been gripped tight by the leather fanned out gently then returned to their original position, my eyes landing on the front page. It was without a printer’s mark and read in big handwritten type: “THE DIARY AND RECORD OF HENRY H. HELGELAND.”
I knew in that instant the package was in the hands of who it was rightfully sent out for. Not just because I’d recently lost my job as an associate at our city’s art museum but because of a separate, much deeper connection to the diary’s author.
Perhaps it’s in my best interests to turn it over to the National Archives, or the US Arctic Research Commission, or maybe even the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, but at the risk of seeing it blue-penciled to death, I’ve elected to instead share it here and now.
The world needs to know what happened.
Henry H. Helgeland — my great grandfather — was a severe looking man with a walrus mustache and a bone to pick with anyone who ever doubted him. He was born in Oakland, California in 1871 and was, by all available accounts relayed to me, well-behaved and well-liked. His father worked a lucrative job in the shipping industry, transporting timber between San Francisco and the Central Valley. Two years into Henry’s life, his mother would contract a fatal case of diphtheria and die shortly thereafter; when he was old enough to understand what had happened, Henry “yearn[ed] fervently for a reunion to mend [his] great anguish and sorrow.”
Near the turn of the 20th century, Henry attended Stanford University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, where he learned everything from thermodynamics to machine design. But it was a lecture about polar transportation that would ultimately kindle his interest in a separate enterprise: arctic exploration. Indeed, the race to the North Pole was well underway, with naval officers, geologists, and aeronauts around the globe vying for the chance to make history. My great grandfather, like many of his peers, propounded the theory that he, and he alone, would be the first to reach the Great White North.
In 1895, Henry graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and sought to expand the member list of the so called Ascension Society, a student organization he’d assembled to aid engineering graduates with materials science. Many of its constituents had engaged in research projects and experimental setups to hone their craft of mechanical systems, but in time, however, the venture would instead prove a hotspot for investors and philanthropists. Donations averaging up to $5,000 helped fund and promote the fantastic ambitions of my great grandfather. So long as the Ascension Society was gracing him with their support, he’d be the first to reach the North Pole.
In early 1898, armed with enough capital, Henry used the proceeds to purchase the materials required for the balloon.
A notable circus at the forefront of traveling attractions in the early twentieth century was The Fielding Troupe. With its impressive lineup of talent — from fire eaters and aerialists to equestrians and strongmen — the ensemble drew crowds from nearly every town in western America during its historic run. Its wide reach would ultimately reel in many notable faces, including my great grandfather.
Prior to a performance in Oakland, the Fielding Troupe led a procession through the town around Stanford University, announcing their arrival with a parade of wagons, floats, and animals. The strategy, as it were, was to drum up as much publicity and fanfare as possible. Evidently it worked, as a healthy fraction of the faculty and student body at Stanford made the trip over to Oakland in order to see the troupe in action.
Surrounding their arena with two hundred feet of heavy duty tent canvas, the troupe put on a show for the ages the night Henry was in attendance, with extravagant acrobatics, trained animal performances, and a special appearance from Curtis the Clown. Following a skillful display of juggling and good natured audience ribbing, Curtis’s master stroke was an intricate stunt involving balloons and wire flying. Firstly, he would inflate several multi-colored balloons and tie them off with string, securing them firmly in his grip. They served as a flashy distraction from the piece of flexible metal snaking out from the harness he had concealed under his equally flashy costume. Then, with a whisper of strength, a couple stagehands hoisted the balloon-carrying clown thirty feet into the air to make it appear as though he was levitating by virtue of the balloons alone. A separate performer — a marksman — showed off his sharpshooting skills with a Winchester model rifle and gunned down the balloons, exploding each one as the stagehands loosened their hold on Curtis’s harness until he was eased to the ground.
Henry watched the routine with eager delight. Seeing Curtis the Clown float above a hundred or so onlookers helped stir within him a plan. The ceiling of the Big Top Tent where Curtis had concluded his ascent represented more than the centerpiece of a traveling circus.
“Ascendancy,” Henry muttered to his wife Ruth. “This is how we get to the top of the world.”
The spherical vessel measured sixty-five feet in diameter, with a capacity of over 200,000 cubic feet. Its construction was overseen by Henry and a couple french engineers who installed in its gondola three berths and ample ballast to keep it stable. The gondola, a carefully constructed assemblage of wicker and chestnut wood, was built as such to bar any interference to the magnetic instruments of the explorers. Keeping it shielded against severe weather conditions was a varnished silk calotte and a vaselined net composed of over four-hundred hemp cords. A bamboo pole was attached bellow the carrying ring to attach the side sails and, perhaps most notably, the balloon was fitted with hemp and cocoa nut fiber guide ropes to help steer and maintain a consistent altitude.
After two years of exhaustive construction, work on the balloon was completed in 1900. Henry named it Ascension, after the society that funded its creation.
What follows are several selected passages lifted directly from Henry’s memorandum, transcribed by me. The first entry reads:
“At nine o'clock on the forenoon, May 5, 1900, under the auspices of the Ascension Society, we embarked from the 71st parallel on our quest of the Pole. Our great journey sets off from Point Barrow, Alaska following a grueling adventure aboard the steamer Sursum. I, Henry Helgeland, travel forth, accompanied by Charles Ringvold, esteemed navigator, and Edward Meyer, long celebrated physician, into the arctic wilderness. Together, our efforts will generate a most formidable team and an unwavering spirit. We will ascend.”
Indeed, the SS Sursum disembarked from a port in San Francisco in mid May of that year; it offered easy access to the Pacific Ocean and sailed through the Bering Strait, covering over 3,000 nautical miles before reaching Point Barrow on July 2.
When the balloon took off, carried by a fierce north east wind, it was to a thunderous applause from those that had come to bear witness to the bold endeavor. Among them were crew members of the SS Sursum, high ranking associates of the Ascension Society, and carpenters tasked with helping the balloon reach its initial phase of liftoff.
As it elevated to 300 hundred feet and passed around an onlooking whaler, Henry was reported to have shouted: “To the top of the world, hurrah!”
36 hours would elapse before a second entry was made.
“July 4, 1900, Lat. 77° 48' N, Long. 143° 4' W. We are soaring at a height of 600 feet above the Earth's surface, traveling at a speed of approximately seven kilometers per hour. Our morale remains similarly aloft. Charles relayed to me that, God willing, we anticipate reaching the pole in roughly 800 miles. Beyond the drag ropes lending their ballast to our journey, optimism is our guiding force. We will ascend.”
Turbulent air currents had a different plan in mind, however.
“July 5, 1900, Lat. 80° 8' N, Long. 138° 37' W. Alas! Our aerial journey came to an abrupt halt yestereve on the 80th parallel. We voyaged as many as 500 miles before a forceful downdraft spun our vehicle on its vertical axle and compelled it into a sharp descent; we had lost what we estimate to be just over 100 cubic feet of gas.
“Edward suffered severe injuries during the initial impact and claims his vertebrae have been shattered, leaving him immobile. We’re at the mercy of the floe on which we now rest, at the mercy of the Polar Sea. Should we face the specter of death, we shall meet it with unwavering honor. We will ascend.”
“July 6, 1900. We find ourselves solitary in the barren expanse, accompanied only by bergs, ice-fields, and majestic glaciers. Our rations encompass a container’s worth of hardtack, enough salted beef for approximately one week, canned stew, dried apricots, some chocolate bars, and seven bottles of ale.
“Edward’s outlook remains grim; he suspects he’ll never walk again. In witness of his current state, I’m beginning to share in such apprehensions. Edward, whom we have reposed on on of our sledges, fears that the opportunity to make known the great love he holds for his mistress Rebecca is one he’ll never be granted. ‘You shall be reunited at once,’ I assured him. ‘Our journey to triumph will not be thwarted by minor inconveniences.’
“We’ve plotted the course to our next destination: that being Herschel Island, located off the coast of Canada in the Beaufort Sea. Charles — who shares in Edward’s dismay — estimates a three month footslog spanning just under one thousand miles is in store for us, perhaps more given Edward’s ailment. I am determined to see this mission to its completion, yet survival remains a paramount desire. Who’s to recount our extraordinary journey should we fail?
“While establishing our encampment and scouting the local flora of the area for additional sources of sustenance, I happened upon a plant of an unknown species. Half a meter tall, bulbous tubers, and thin roots terminating in clusters of white flowers; intuition suggests this is a water hemlock, which precludes it from edibility. Nevertheless, I shall regard this finding as one of great fortune. A portent of divine value. We will ascend.”
Two days later, gold prospectors off the Alaskan coast at Nome beach were in the process of emptying their sluice boxes when from the sky flew a carrier pigeon directly to their mining site. It bore a label with the inscription “Helgeland” and contained the following dispatch:
“July 7, 1900. First dog watch. Three southerly traveling carrier-pigeons were sent off at approximately 7 h. 40 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, the following among them. This is Rear Admiral Charles Ringvold of the United States Navy and the Helgeland Balloon Expedition of 1900. Our hopes of reaching the pole have been reduced to naught. Assistance urgently needed. Our destinies have hitherto been unknown, and now my fears have been actualized. GO IN TERROR OF HENRY HELGELAND. He is not who he proclaims to be. I volunteered for a man of honorable stature and venturesome drive. The man before me betrays neither.”
The remainder of the message was a hasty scrawl, decrypted only by the best in linguistics and modern codebreaking.
“UNASSISTED WE WILL PERISH HELPED WE WILL PERSEVERE PLEASE GOD HELP US HENRY WILL KILL US ALL DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT HE PROCLAIMS.”
The communication was immediately passed off to the Smithsonian Institution, where word fell within the earshot of Ascension Society proponents and additional members of the US Navy. A follow-up expedition — a rescue team led by Captain S. P. Matthews — was put together at once with the authorization of the Secretary of War.
Months later, after a congressional bill introduced to secure grant funding for arctic exploration — and thereby a rescue mission for Helgeland’s lost expedition — was successfully passed, the USS Greenwich departed from the San Francisco Naval Shipyard with a crew of thirty boatswains, medics, and deck officers among others.
What they would ultimately uncover puzzled them all.
“July 7, 1900. The team has fractured. We are without our provisions and without the morale that has served us thusly.
“Charles and I set upon the pursuit and capture of a walrus, a most strenuous task in the Arctic Circle. Furnished with a Winchester model .40-82, the sport skews in our favor but we are in no short supply of peril. These are one ton beasts with the strength of a hundred strongmen as they stave the ice, and yet it is not them I should have feared.
“’I can’t allow you to proceed further.’ I heard the click clack racket of the Winchester as Charles chambered a round and raised the rifle, training its twenty inch barrel toward my back after I had volunteered — quite ignorantly — to take the vanguard.
“’Charles?’ I managed between clattering teeth.
“’You’re a man of bold stature. An honorable man at that. But not honorable enough to die for. And that’s it, Henry. I will not die for you.’
“’You speak out of distress, not rationality.’
“’I’m as rational as one permits when I say we won’t all make it to Canada. You can’t expect us to sledge Edward for the next month and retain our strength. Our sanities.” I could hear him gulp, ‘our lives.’
“’You’re not who you say you are.’ I realized in that moment. ‘Not even an ensign would renounce his own crew. Who are you really, Charles?’
“His credentials were a farce; a clever scheme to scrape through the expedition’s vetting process. He was no navy-man nor expert nor navigator and if you piled his life’s accomplishments on top of one another, they’d be equal to that of a cretin.
“’Doesn’t matter any more, Henry.’
“’Then why haven’t you shot me?’
“I sensed beyond his terror a hint of reluctance and felt within him the trepidation of an amateur. The man had never wielded a firearm in his life and wouldn’t start hence.
“’In Your infinite mercy, hear my prayer. In Your boundless grace, grant me Your forgiveness,’ he muttered below his breath. I could’ve believed he’d have squeezed the trigger if not for the unexpected convulsion that suddenly brought him to his knees. Befallen by the strange attack, Charles unhanded the Winchester and collapsed to the ice in the midst of a crippling seizure. And in a matter of moments, he had succumbed to death.
“With some activated charcoal or perhaps an emetic, he could have eluded such a painful demise. I stepped over to look upon his body, his pupils dilated to the size of dimes. Reviewing the immediate symptoms, intuition tells me he’s become the latest victim of hemlock poisoning, the kind of amateur mistake I’d expect from someone such as Charles. Ideal timing, if I may speak candidly.
“Hope remains alive. I will ascend.”
Investigators with the crew of S. P. Matthews found everything except answers.
It took them all of three months to zero in on the campsite left behind by Helgeland’s expedition. Any prospect of finding the balloon itself was dropped by the wayside to preserve manpower and time.
The camp was discovered on the 79th parallel, not in any particular state of disarray but with enough evidence to suggest conflict had broken out between the members. Edward was discovered in a tent with the rest of the rations and a bullet hole stamped in the side of his head. There was no telling how long he’d been dead for.
Forty-five meters away from the camp, buried under a stalagmitic gathering of ice and snow, was the body of Charles Ringvold. A followup inquiry would prove my great grandfather’s claims that he was a fraud, but like Charles himself, the truth is buried deep under the surface. Edward and Charles are commemorated for their failed — albeit honorable — efforts in the face of great opposition.
The body of my great grandfather, however, was never found. Theories thus abound in the saga of Henry H. Helgeland and we are no more the wiser now than we were a century ago. He is remembered for murdering his men in cold blood, deserting them, and then yielding to the elements somewhere in the frozen hell of the arctic. The carrier-pigeon message sent by Charles corroborated the apparent facts.
But I know the truth. Because only I have the answers.
“July 8, 1900. All that remains is me, for everyone else has vanished. Edward and I regaled each other with stories of our mistresses as night fell upon our place in the arctic wasteland. Rebecca, Edward’s beloved, works as an expert seamstress in San Francisco and will no doubt be devastated when news of his fate reaches her. But the great memories they shared together, I assured him, will serve her well in the years to come.
“‘You shall be reunited at once,’ I whispered to him once more before executing the dying man with the Winchester. It is my turn to face whatever awaits me on the ice.
“My great anguish and sorrow have been mended.
“Ruth is calling to me now. Our son promptly requires our presence.
“I shall go to them."
The fruitless search for my great grandfather peaked at last with the unearthing of a path of footprints snaking away from the tent where Edward’s body lay. Investigators followed them for approximately ten meters before they abruptly ceased. Captain Matthews is quoted as saying: “it was as though the walker had simply floated away.”
And indeed, it was our family that won in the end, for my great grandfather received exactly what he wanted. The final, undated entry of his diary is comprised of but three simple words:
“I have ascended.”
submitted by EmmarJay
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2023.06.05 05:25 CornerCornea Magic Traditions. Night Wedding.
I recently came across a post about an expat who participated in a night wedding.
After reading the accounts I began to do research on my own. Not because I believe in any of that stuff. I'm a magician after all. Illusion is my bread and butter. And I can detect trickery better than most. Which in my line of work has its benefits. But old traditions are the best places to pick up new techniques. Old ways that are new to others that delight and even scare people. Because, if I can make them afraid. Make them look away. For even a second. I can pull off some astounding magic.
My gig at the cruise line was coming to an end as we neared the port of Shanghai. And for my last several shows, where I'd normally start to include my greatest tricks in order to leave a lasting impression. I developed a new act that I called "The Sneaky Bride", it involved a mannequin in a wedding dress, a beautiful train, veil, flowers on the ground - the whole nine yards some would say. The trick was that the bride would sneak bites as my assistants who are dressed as servers pass by with their trays.
I begin the trick by placing a mannequin center stage for all to see so that they know it's a dummy. I show them there are no holes, and the entire thing is solid. Then we dress it up and set the stage for a wedding. And with a bit of lighting, another assistant switches places with the mannequin and is being fed under the veil. We later changed it to more slight of hand techniques as the assistant complained she wasn't able to chew fast enough as the items of course have to get larger and larger for comedic effect as the guests were wowed by the disappearing act as the fake wedding progressed.
At the end we even invited the unmarried men up to the stage and then threw out a fake bouquet, and watched them clamber over each other in good fun to catch it. The act was an instant hit and had the crowd roaring every night. Which was why I decided to take a firsthand look at the original, and see if there were any other staging techniques I could learn from this old tradition.
With some help from Bing and its ChatGPT features I was able to get a relatively good idea of where it was practiced. So I booked the next flight out to begin my quest for a real night wedding.
Upon arrival at my hotel, I asked the concierge for information about the local practice.
"Yes. I know of this one. We practice it often for children who were taken too early."
"But they are all scams?"
The concierge smiled, "In most cases the pouches mean no harm, and they're simply for families who want to provide peace for themselves and to complete a lasting tradition. Sometimes the dowries are quite lucrative as well, and it is the families who are scammed by those who go and collect these ghost wives as concubines. We call it a blue procession for the trail of ghosts the husband leaves behind wherever he goes." He leans in, "But between you and me? They're mostly all scams."
I laughed, and I can't stress this next part enough, tip your concierge! Which I did. "Thank you, and also. Do you know where I could get a good start on finding more information about these ghost dowries? Or even find one of these pouches myself?"
"The temple down this first street to the left, about half a kilometer, would be a good place to start. But finding a pouch is a bit more difficult as they pop up sporadically. However, if traditions are to be believed it is the pouch who chooses the spouse."
I thanked him again and began to make my way through the early morning rush toward the temple. The streets were lined with open markets full of food from local farmers, which were common in the morning in this part of the world. They would disappear before the afternoon and then return again to sell wares at night when it was cooler. It made the city feel as if it were breathing as the locals rose and ebbed outside with day and night.
On my way, I searched the ground and around alleys for loose pouches. But I had no such luck by the time I arrived at the temple. Large red pillars that were thicker than any tree I've personally had the pleasure of meeting held up the high ceiling. Inside, the locals were already starting to disperse as the work hours were amongst us. Which left me nearly alone in this temple at about 8:00 in the morning.
A monk or priest was kneeling on a mat in front of a wooden shrine, throwing pieces of wood in the shape of dumplings on the floor. I waited patiently for him to finish. Taking in the sights and the delicate features of the temple. When he rose I approached him.
"You don't speak English by any chance do you?"
"What about the middle tongue?" I asked in Mandarin.
"Oh," he seemed surprised. "Yes. How may I be of assistance?"
"What were you doing just now?"
He held out his hand and showed me two red wooden pieces that were, with closer inspection, in the shape of moons. "Jiaobei," he told me. "We use these to seek divine guidance."
"How does it work?"
The monk shows me the two sides, one was smooth and flat, the other side rounded. "You ask a question and then throw it on the ground. One block flat and one block round, means yes. Both blocks showing round means no. Or depending on the question. Anger from the Gods. Or crying in sadness as it is commonly known. And finally, both blocks showing flat means laughter. Which could mean a number of things." He hands them to me, "You throw it three times to get a better answer."
"I'm guessing if it's the same all three times, the answer is definitive?"
The monk nodded.
"Ah ah ah, in silence."
I didn't want my first question to be too convoluted or difficult. So I kept it simple and asked if I was a good magician. Then I threw the Jiaobei on the floor. It clattered and rolled on its rounded back, showing two flat sides.
The monk smiled.
"That usually happens the first time anyone tries Jiaobei. But in my experience, it generally means you asked a pure question."
"What happens if I didn't ask a pure question and it came back as angry?"
"The gods will remember it. They will remember you."
"No bad first impression then huh," I whispered under my breath. "Okay. Do I need to throw it two more times or can I ask a different question?"
"You may ask a different question or throw it twice more."
"What is my name?" I threw it on the floor. And to my surprise, as the ends are pointed and difficult to balance, one of the damn things stood tall and erect.
The monk bowed to the pieces. "Truly you have been picked by the gods to be answered. Lijiao or a standing answer like this is uncommonly rare. The gods generally choose to laugh at a nonsensical question. And often get angry if you throw it two more times. And rarely do they ever answer ones asked aloud."
I bent forward, skeptical, though a temple this was, at how the thing worked. In my head I could only think that the switchboard guy was quick on his feet. But looking around I couldn't find any cameras. Though in this day an age, they're made smaller than a fly. So it was difficult to tell. I picked up the pieces, feeling for any sense of magnetism, but there were none.
I asked one last question before I left that day. I asked their gods, would I find the real deal? And I threw it on the ground three times. All three times it came up yes. But for two months I scoured the city, and the country side. And I did chance upon several pouches. Some were obviously scams as I watched each bag carefully before approaching. Especially noticeable are the ones in the city which would be laying on the sidewalk, filled with bills for people passing by. But I observed that if a local went to go pick it up, two or three men from around the corner would come and threaten him to put it back. But if a foreigner picked it up, an old man or woman would come and start calling them son before leading them away.
There were of course others that were genuinely following tradition. I chanced upon several of them and was married several times. But each one was playful almost. And performed by their parents in the day. Leaving me with several small bags of pocket change, a good dinner, as I went on my way.
During one of these fake night weddings I even saw a child playfully munching on a corn cob in the corner under one of the tables as I fed the effigy they constructed of my fake bride. Which was when I think I decided to call it quits. Believing that I'd never find the real deal. Although I did learn a lot as tradition can be translated by me into performance. Which helped me ground 'The Sneaky Bride' act further. All in all, this was time well spent.
My visa was coming to an end and I had mostly been enjoying the sights, the city, and their way of life. When on one the last day, as I was leaving from a faraway eatery that the concierge had recommended, that I saw a red pouch made of silk with a thick yarn around its throat, stuffed full of money. I looked around and didn't see a single person there, nothing except flat farmland and water gullies for miles.
Odd, I thought to myself, as it looked truly abandoned.
For a second I played with the idea of picking it up. Wondering if somehow a relative of the deceased would pop up magically next to me and I could change the world of magic by studying their technique. But I didn't want to spend my few hours chasing ghosts. I wanted to enjoy my time. So I kept walking.
I got back to the city and spent the remainder of my day eating and drinking, meeting new friends at the bar, newfound lads who I invited a hundred times to visit me in Melbourne one day. Who all agreed that if fate ever brought us back together we would drink until the sun rose. So yeah, I was fairly drunk when I got back to my hotel room, and didn't believe what I saw when I opened the door. It was a red pouch sitting on my coffee table.
"Someone's trying to play a trick on me," I mused. "They must have heard me talking at the bar." I circled the table studying the pouch. Any magician worth his smoke, likes a good bag. So there was no doubt to me that this was the same one I saw earlier. Which made me start putting two and two together. "It must be the concierge. He's the one who sent me out that far." I laughed and picked up the bag, even though I knew the rules. I opened it and thumbed through the bills. "It's much more than what I tipped him. Much more." Curious, I wondered what he would have done if I didn't return this to him. It must have been quite a few months worth of wages. I threw the bag up in the air and caught it as if I were juggling before I tossed it on my nightstand. "I'm going to let him sweat for a little bit and pretend I didn't find it tomorrow as I check out," I mused as I went to go take a shower.
I opened the door and felt the words stick to the roof of my mouth as the bag appeared on the counter next to the sink. I shot a glance back to the nightstand and indeed the bag I had just thrown on there was missing.
"This is a good fucking trick. That, or I'm drunker than I thought." I started questioning did I somehow fall asleep beforehand? Or walked into the bathroom and put it there as I mused my little scheme of making the concierge nervous at the lost pouch? Had I somehow in my drunken state done something without realizing it? No. That couldn't be it. I touched my chest to check my heart rate and put my fingers on my face. A bit flushed, but heart rate adequate. I was fine for the most part. Just drunk.
I looked at the pouch on the counter, and peered gingerly into the bathroom as if I've never stepped foot in one, before deciding to grab the bag and close the door. "Okay," I said loudly. "Whoever's doing this. Come on out." Of course no one appeared, not that I expected them to because the credo I lived by is that a good magician never reveals his trick.
"Okay, let's see how good you guys really are," I mused. Going over to my closet and placed the pouch on the shelf. Closing the door. Then I went back to the bathroom and opened the door. It was empty. I checked the nightstand drawer, mpty. I looked all over, and it was still mty. I breathed a sigh and went over to the closet door, "I guess you're just a bag after all." Except when I looked inside. MT. I couldn't find the bag behind any other nook or cranny. I know, I checked them all. And they were all .
I stumbled backwards and looked around, glancing at the ceiling corners in case someone had crawled up there. And even looked under the bed. But there was no one else here. I felt my chest tighten as I tried to make sense of what was happening. "Its got to be the walls I reasoned." And so for the next half hour I scoured the entire room with my hands, pushing, pressing, pulling anywhere and everywhere I could. Using all my years of experience to figure out what was going on. But there was nothing.
I couldn't stay in that room another minute so I rushed outside and nearly stepped on it! The bag! It was right at the foot of my doorstep.
My mind tried to wrap around how that was possible, "It's got to be a dupe. They've got more than one bag. I've been had, that has to be it. And the furniture inside, they have secret compartments. God, they really put a lot of effort into this," I laughed. "I have to know how this trick is done." So I opened the pouch and pulled out the note inside.
The notes generally contained their name, their current would-be age (she was 20 this year, older than most), what time they were born (8:07), a picture if they had one (she did), and how old they when they died (5). If the deceased were a bit older, perhaps a tidbit from their family is included about their personality. But most importantly, it always contained their address.
I looked at my watch, it was late and my flight was in the morning but perhaps I could still make it. So I gathered the rest of my things, my luggage, the mannequin for my act, and other bag of tricks in case I needed to go to the airport right after. "Come on," I yelled out loud to my pranksters. "Let's go see what other tricks you have up your sleeve."
I went down to the lobby and had the front desk call me a cab. I looked around for the concierge but he was nowhere to be found. So I left a note for him. And then left.
The cab drove until the city faded away. We were practically on the other side of the island by the time its tires skipped to a stop. I got out and knocked on the giant half circle doors of the address. I noticed that we were deep in the countryside. There were hardly any lights dotting the night.
I knocked several more times before I heard shuffling behind the door. And then it opened. An old man stood in front of me in his drawers.
"What do you want," he asked angrily. "Do you know what time it is?"
"I'm sorry for disturbing you at such a late hour. But," I pulled out the pouch. And his eyes widened up.
"Meju-eh. You're back." He looked at me up and down. "What are you supposed to be," he asked but then shook his head. "No, no. Come in. Come in, please."
"I don't have much time," I told him. "I have to leave in the morning."
"Sit, sit." He ushered me to a chair in the courtyard.
I placed the bag on the table next to it, "I have a flight in the morning, so if we're going to do this. We have to do it now."
Instead of fighting me, he nodded, "Yes. I agree. I don't have much time either. And Meju-eh is older than most ghost brides. The bull demon might not let her through his gets if she gets any older. And then she'll be a husbandless spinster for eternity." He ushered around, "We don't have many living relatives either. So it shouldn't be too troublesome to hurry this along." He called into the house and a young woman came out, "This is my granddaughter. Ah-ahn. Meju-eh's older sister. They were close as children."
Ah-ahn was quite beautiful. I almost couldn't take my eyes off of her.
"Go and start preparations and rouse anyone you can get a hold of. We must have the wedding tonight. Even if it isn't grand as I would like."
"Will we make it in time," I asked. "It's a lot of work for one person. Perhaps I could help?"
The old man nodded, "That's a good idea. But forgive me, I must retire for now. Or else have no energy for the wedding." He turned to his granddaughter, "Fetch me when the preparations are ready." As he left us alone in the courtyard.
"What can I do," I asked her.
"We're going to need flowers for decoration."
I pulled a rose out from behind her ear, "I happen to have a case of these on hand at all times." I put the flower in her hair.
She smiled, "Thank you."
"Um, we already have tables for family gatherings. There should be enough food in the freezers that we can just heat up. I need to call my aunt to come help. And wake up some of the kids. Also...we kind of need a statue of some sort, as a stand-in for my sister."
"Statue? I think I have just the thing."
Hours went by and it was the dead of the night, but watching all the people bustling around the courtyard, the kids in excited whispers, you'd never guess that all of us should have been sleeping. Soon the tables were set, the food was hot, even the decorations were strung, and I had procured my mannequin from my luggage and a few of the menfolk were putting it together inside the main living room.
Several times I found myself laughing and having a good time with the others, although chasing that hen made me look quite ridiculous, and several times I bumped into Ah-ahn and we would talk and exchange a few words. In the beginning she talked mostly about her sister. How she was troublesome as a child. Always hiding things. I told her about the pouch appearing and disappearing in my hotel. And we both had a good laugh. Eventually we talked about ourselves. I learned she wanted to get away from here, "To see the world," she told me. The more we talked the closer we got. I could feel it. Soon we were bumping into each other just to feel our bodies touch. But before anything else transpired the wedding preparations were complete.
The old man was retrieved from his bedroom and everyone gathered outside in the courtyard, looking into the main living room. There was a wooden shrine in the back of the room and the mannequin had been traditionally dressed. From an old box the grandfather retrieved several personal items that belonged to Meju. And I was then asked to enter the living room.
The grandfather said a few words, and then gave us his blessing. Ah-ahn handed me a bowl of sticky rice ball soup. I had been through this process before and knew what to do. I ate one of the pink balls and then went to go feed my new bride.
Now I've traveled with this mannequin for some time. Seen it at a dozen of my own shows. Slept with it in the room. Knew that it was in fact a dummy for all intents and purposes. However, as I started moving my spoon toward it. I swear I saw it's chest rise as if it were breathing.
I couldn't tell if it was from the alcohol ebbing away from earlier or a trick of the light. But even its shoulders looked softer than usual. My hand started shaking as it got closer to her mouth. It was like watching an out of body experience as the spoon inched under her veil. And then the CRUNCH. It scared the fucking shit out of me. I looked around hoping to see some kid in the corner playing a dumb joke. But there were none. And I didn't believe what I was seeing even as the veil started moving as her jaws chewed the sticky material back and forth.
"No way," I shook. "There's just no way." My hand was so close to the veil. "Oh God. Please. I have to know how this is done." I ripped off the veil.
Meju looked very much like her picture. But older. And then older. And older. As if her face was starting to rot away as it contorted. People behind me screamed. The lightbulbs we had strung popped. Kids were running around and the grandfather fell to the floor clutching his heart.
I backed away, the spoon clattering to the ground as I watched the mannequin crick and crack as its arms and legs bent in a tangled mess until it was walking on all fours!
The thing grabbed the bent down to the grandfather and started chewing!
I turned around and saw the other guests were piling out of the courtyard. The tables were upturned and only the dim crescent light of the moon bore down on us. Everyone was screaming trying to get out. I ran and bumped into Ah-ahn. She whirled terrified and then realized it was me. She yelled, "You never! Look at the bride before it's time!"
"I'm so sorry! I didn't know. I thought it was a trick!"
She grabbed her face, her nails leaving streaks behind as she clawed at her skin, "Now she's going to kill every living blood relative. And then you." Ah-ahn laughed manically. "She's going to torture you!"
The people kept pushing around us until we got separated. Her final words still ringing in my ears as I took to the dirt road outside and started running. I ran for nearly a mile before I spotted a cab sitting outside of someone's house. I banged on their door and then begged them to take me to the airport. Throwing at them all the money from the dowry.
When I arrived at the airport I hurried through the TSA. Relieved at the lights and normal looking people. I boarded my flight. Tapping my foot nervously the entire time, staring out the small squarish window as we prepared to take off. The sun was starting to rise as the engine roared. I took one last look at the island as we flew away. Still trying to catch my breath at what I had just caused.
My mind was reeling as I heard two knocking noises, they sounded oddly familiar, and for a second I thought that Meju had finished with her family and had somehow come boarded. But then I realized the noise was coming from my carry-on. I reached inside and pulled out two red shaped crescents that the Monk at the temple had given to me. And I realized that if I ever needed any form of divine guidance this was it.
So right there in the tiny aisle. I asked the gods if I had escaped and threw the Jiaobei.
I asked the gods if I would be safe.
I asked them would Meju kill me.
Both flat. s
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2023.06.05 05:19 Interesting_Fun28 Man goes flying after hitting car
2023.06.05 05:15 Historical_Maize3857 I’m alone and I lost that feeling of peace when alone.
First off this is gonna be a little long, it’s kind of my way venting…
I’m 19(M) and I’ve reached the breaking point of pretending to be fine being alone
Ever since middle school I rarely talked to friends outside of school. I would maybe sometimes play some basketball with people but they weren’t necessarily looking to hang out with me. Same thing happened in high school. And y’all know that adult saying “your not gonna be talking to all those friends after high school, but you’ll have a couple real friends”. Well I ain’t have any.
But for a good amount of time I was having that mindset of “I don’t need anybody else, I’m chillin alone, working out, and getting money”. I was starting to gain muscle, was dressing up better, and my confidence was at an all time high. I legit ain’t give af in a good way, I was truly at peace.
Well I have no real friends, the one person I do talk to(We’ve known each other since we were little because of our moms) always makes excuses when I try to hang out. And just yesterday he said he was going to the lake and I was like “that’s great, maybe I’ll try to go” and he said he would lmk which lake. So today I called and I said “yo Watcha doin” and he said he was going to the lake and I asked which one and he said “idk” so at point I was a really bummed out, and tbh a little pissed off. I really wanted to hang out with him because he’s moving to the other side of the country so I was trying to have that last hoorah.
I got pissed off to the point that I’m thinking about cutting him off because he’s never really invited me anywhere, I’ve even once told him that if he’s ever hanging out with his other friends that it would be awesome if he invited me, because than I could make more friends. But everytime I ask if he wants to hang out he says “ahh nah sorry man, imma be hanging out with some other people”. So I’m just thinking in my head “well damn I can’t hang out with y’all”
Ok now is the thing that really f*cked me up
Just a month ago I met a girl online and we started hanging out on a couple of dates. And it was my first time going on a date so I was really nervous. The first two dates went well, we even cuddled on the 2nd one at the movies. She was even sending me snaps without me having to initiate the convo. So I felt good.
But than we had the 3rd date and I asked if she wanted to watch the sunset, and tbh I fucked up with that decision because I suck at talking a lot, and that requires a lot of talking. And I didn’t make a move because I didn’t want it to feel forced. So the next day I asked if he wanted to hang out and she said she’s busy the rest of the week and she would let me know at the end of the week. Now I wasn’t mad at her for saying she’s busy, but it was just because of how the 3rd date ended. So those next couple days I just couldn’t sleep because the whole time I was thinking “what did I do wrong? Did I seem like a creep? I shoulda just made a move”. The days went so slow. I stopped going to the gym, I lost 10 lbs because I wasn’t eating. I wasn’t eating, and I couldn’t think straight when I was at work.
So than came Sunday and she texted me saying she was able to hang out, so I was thinking “SWEET”. So I set up the date and we were gonna go Tuesday. So the whole time before I was still a little nervous but I promised myself that I was gonna make a move. Than came the next day and she sent me a snap, now don’t think I’m weird for saying this… but she sent me a pic of her wearing a swimsuit. So I was thinking “holy sh*t she’s definitely interested”.
So the next I picked her up and we just went for a quick bite at some ice cream place. But man the date was a little awkward. I ruined it because the whole time I was thinking about making a move so there would be moments of silence. We were maybe at the ice cream place for like 15 min. Than we left and I finally decided to make a move in the car and we held hands. Than that feeling of peace finally came back and the the pain in my chest went away. We were even singing “Don’t go breaking my heart” my Elton John together 😅. Than we got to her house and I gave her a hug and a kiss on the forehead. Than I left and she sent me a “:)” text and man was I hyped up. I was yelling in the car like Ric Flair yelling “WOOOOO”. So I’m just thinking that I’m about to have the most fun summer ever.
Than the next day came and I asked if she wanted to hang out on the weekend, she didn’t respond right away. But than during the night time I was just having a normal convo with my dad and than I got a notification saying “____ is typing” so I was thinking “YAY she’s texting” but than 20 seconds went by and I was like “oh no she’s still typing”. And she said that it wasn’t gonna work out and that she’s not ready for something serious and that deserve somebody that puts the same amount of effort, and that I’m super sweet and that I did nothing wrong. She also said that she was gonna be busy with family and friends. And I quickly agreed with her, because I didn’t want to beg for her to hang out. But it was still tough. And after that text I just left home and started balling my eyes out. I cried like an infant, and I don’t think I’ve ever cried like that before.
Ever since that day I’ve been feeling so alone. And it sucks because I experienced for the first time that somebody was actually interested in hanging with me. And holding her hand made me the happiest guy on earth, but just a day later and I was the saddest guy on earth.
I just wish I could rewind so than we could just become friends. Because tbh, I’m not looking for just a girlfriend, I rather just find a really good friend. And I feel like that was the best opportunity to make one without having to force it. And I sometimes wish that I never met her because I woulda been vibin if we didn’t meet.
So yea that’s pretty much it… I wish I could find that peace of being alone. But it doesn’t feel peaceful anymore, it straight up feels lonely.
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2023.06.05 05:13 asslickersquarterly I need to purge about my job and life
I impulsively took a used-car sales job. I fucking HATE it! I fucking hate it. I made a massive mistake. There’s hella money to be made but the fucking hours are GODAWFUL!!!
I stepped into the GM’s office and rose my hand to knock on the open door. In the second before I hit the door I see him, his back to me. He is HOUSING a salad. His fork sounds like a sword fight. I’m about to interrupt minute 4 of his seven minutes of free time. I just backed out and left.
This job has made me realize I want to be tested for bipolar disorder. I sold one car last month. I can’t even bring myself to answer the goddamn phone and I’m about to be 33 fuckin years old. I have no direction in life and have thusfar been averse to approaching lot customers, averse to taking walk ins, and basically any fucking responsibility above letting the dog out. I’m so fucking disappointed in myself.
The only things that make me happy are my dog and playing hockey and reading. But I never read and I’m so fucked mentally I’m afraid to ride my bike for exercise because I might get hit by a car and killed and my dog would have no one.
I miss being 24, delivering pizza, and having fun. Why does fun become so rare so fast? Why do I feel like everything is about to become extremely painful? What if it’s really easy? OH FUCK! I wish I could find a fulfilling job so badly. I want to work with my hands where I’m not ruining my body. Seems impossible to do that and make a living.
Everything seems impossible; above all else, asking for help. Oh FUCK!
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2023.06.05 05:09 notlikethatglue What do I know about glue
Yo glue. You don't use this place so you'll never hear this but I got to tell someone and I'm not going to send it to you and sound even crazier I don't want you thinking I'm some kind of psychopathic stalker and I want you to feel comfortable and respected with your boundaries. So let's get down to brass tacks.
Girl when I think about you and all this s*** that went on and I think about me. It reminds me of when in pulp fiction Bruce Willis is popping Marcellus Wallace (Ving rhames) in the face saying "you feel that?" That's your pride f****** with you or some s*** like that.
Man glue how the hell are my feelings going to be hurt and how can I be so selfish as to even think that I deserve to be respected or put any expectations on you I'm not going to go into huge detail. Reason being is because the rest of the world will hear it but you probably won't but at least out there in the void I'm going to make it to where the respect you deserve this voiced from me and that you're honored for the things that you've done selflessly. Being thet our sister birthday was yesterday and she's no longer with us I think she would smile from above knowing that I finally said something like this.
Hey let me say thank you for real. Thank you for shutting my ass down and thank you for this list I'm about to go through which I will go into detail at a later time.
I'm going to write a story about our lives. I'm telling you it's going to happen. I started three separate writings and I'm ready to scrap them all to tell our story. I'm going to focus on that in my writings anyways on to the summary of what glue means to me or what I acknowledge about glue.
What you were up against.
When we met. You a teenage girl. Abandoned by one parent in a very vile way. The other parent was raising you. We were running around, you got sick, and you were in the hospital for weeks with some very serious troubles. Towards the end of the hospital stay cuz I was in there with you the whole time. The other parent came said that they won't going to deal with you and for you to figure it out a young girl in the hospital. The crazy part is you had done nothing wrong. That was my first real dose of surrealism in people next to some childhood stuff from one of my mother's boyfriends. And shortly after you were told you didn't have a home to come back to as a teenage girl in the hospital the doctors came in and said you would never be able to get pregnant or bare children. You moved in with us me my mom and my sister. And after all that you have been through you would think that you'll be nervous or anxious or things will be awkward. No. You stepped into the home and you immediately brought light into it that it was missing. You immediately were a part of the family and you were a part that was missing the whole time that no one ever knew about. You became a daughter to my mother a sister to my sister and more important things than my words can express right now to me. You kept a strong mentality and glue you were always the caretaker. You dealt with me a young pig-headed man very much in love with you with the drug addiction you catered to me. But not like a slave you catered to my soul there is never someone that I can ever dream of to treat me the way you did. You were loyal man you were my everything. I was yours. None of this is going to be an order but I've traveled with you across the country. We moved to Louisiana. I got a job on the tugboats. You were in the middle of a new scary town. And here I was gone 30 days at a time. But you held on. That was a really stressful time when I look back and that was a time when even though it was an experience I regret that decision because being gone that long from you at that young seemed okay then but even though my buddy's family was around I should have been there. But we did it the best we could. Eventually that didn't work out I'll never forget two cats in a 1984 Ford escort and all our s*** driving all the way to the East Coast. That escort could do some runs now. Anyways we moved to the beach. Being close to home my drug addiction was still an active Factor at all times you held on every time you could. When we move to the beach we decided we were going to do other things we came back to the city. That's what my sister move to the beach with her friend and we were in the city and got to call she had been in a car wreck.
We fly down to the beach before that even cut my sister out of the car we made a 2-hour drive in about 45 minutes. They will my sister in you were right by her side by my side you were there fam you were going through it with me, with her, with the parents. The wheel her in she said she couldn't feel her legs. Boom paralyzed never going to walk again. Thank God she lived and thank God she has such an amazing sister beside her during it all.
After rehabilitation the situation that it happened put my mom into a absolute mental tailspin. So we stuck around as my mother could barely function to tend to my sister.. to your sister. So you a young young woman who had been s*** on by her family. Took over my mother's role and began caretaking for my sister, all the while taking care of my mom with her mental episodes and and down time, and taking care of a loving man with an addiction that had selfish tendencies and you filled the role of all three caretakers and still manage to love me and show me affection with a smile on your face. You took care of the whole house. You took care of the animals. I'm not talking about any of the good really that I did or anybody else did I just want you to be recognized here.
We decided to move to Florida after a long time of you taking care of my paralyzed sister and helping her acclimate until she started lighting it up. What she took off and became president the Honor society went back to school started doing fundraisers was in the Miss wheelchair state runnings eyeballing Ms wheelchair America..once she got in her groove... We went on to Florida.
In Florida you dealt with a man that had just found the purest cocaine he had done in a long time for dirt cheap prices. Through pretty much the whole stay we were there the years we were there. But I wasn't completely a lost cause so in Florida you became a business partner, an entrepreneur, an inventor, a teammate, a valuable asset, Chief cornerstone that all things business relied on between us and my buddy that we went into business with. Your pragmatic approach and abilities dominated with mine. The things I fell short in you could put into place... I don't want to say my inventiveness and idealism was the exact complimentary opposite to that where you lacked. But I'm going to be straight up with you you were just as inventive, sellable, full of ideas, practical enough to make it happen, and able to execute. So you were still at a young age early twenties the most amazing business partner I could ever ask for. Not to mention the fun in the sun the palm trees the tacky gold the new cars living on the beach man I was built for that s*** and I know you were. Eventually when the big collapse of the towers came, and us with our lack of savings which was a big part my fault. After September 11th the market just crashed and we didn't do business and s*** started going backwards and we sold our debt for what a couple thousand bucks? To watch my friend hold on to that business and buy us out of all that debt until it finally bankrupted was insane he really held on to that dream.
Anyways by the time we get back to our hometown not only is my sister been in a wheelchair now my sister develops a tumor on her pituitary gland Cushing's disease. My drug addiction is full force when we pull back into town. You jump right into action taking care of her everyone and by this time your family had got back in your life your parents. And you forgave them and let them in boy I'll never forget to work it took for you to get over that I remember the days that I sit with you and helped you work through that stuff. But you forgave you opened your heart and you opened your arms and embrace family. And you took care of everyone.
We get married. I get you pregnant the first child. I'm so far in addiction now that we're back home ground zero for those old habits. You're neglected, I'm high, selfish,I'm ashamed so basically I either don't come home because I've been up all night High s*** spending all of our money. And I mean all of it taking right out of my pregnant wife's and the baby's mouth to serve my f****** addiction. and you just held on. Remainder Rock still taking care of my sister. Still being there for my mom. And absolutely the polar opposite of what the doctor said when we first met about not being able to have kids. So after neglecting you constantly pawning off tons of responsibilities on you and spending every penny we had and expecting you to take care of the kids and never being home and being unavailable because I had a disgusting ratchet ass bottom of the barrel love affair that started with cocaine but once I tried to sling and learn how to cook cocaine became Crack to be exact. I traded you, businesses, vehicles, Mom Dad the kids, stability love, God, futures, anything everything I traded for that nasty b**** crack. Mind body Spirit trade it at all.
And what did you do you kept managing with what you we had you kept trying to hold it together and you held on for dear life.
Now you had already become a daughter to my mother and you were a sister to my sister so my part to play in that has nothing to do with y'all's relationship at this point. There's a very painful thing that I'm even scared to talk about maybe one day. Anyways finally you said you couldn't do it anymore I had driven us in the dirt I had literally turned us into basically homeless people with kids and I just could not stop when I would get to the bottom I'd bring a jackhammer and I'd find a new bottom. And you finally took your eyes off of me and you looked at what was the most important our child and you said it's time to separate you had to do it. Our separation you still tried to work with me as I got off the drug short-term and you came back and that's when I got you pregnant. That's what I want to talk to you about one day when we have time. But that has nothing to do with the honor you deserve because you are always were and not a doubt my mind always will be a loyal honorable commendable Royal woman a true virtuous woman.
Anyways when we started talking again during the separation I got you pregnant again. We got back together to try to make it work for both our kids now. But I wasn't going to give up crack for you all the families all the religion all the money and all the happiness in the world. I was that f****** stupid. God is good because I didn't 12 step my s*** out of there with that God come down and put a disgust and a chill in my bones about that s*** and made it disappear overnight. Maybe another time because it was way too late when it happened. Anyways I got you to raise two kids stole all of our money stole all of our food stole everything we didn't even have gas half the time. You hold on. You held one. I still have the claw marks in my soul from where you didn't want to let me go because you were that committed and that good of a woman. That in tune with family.
You went on to raise the kids by yourself you hooked up with another dude he got you pregnant then you dealt with him abusing you physically. Torturing that household. I know he's changed but I know some of this s*** that he did to my kids because I could see it in their eyes every time I would drop a fork. Thank God they healed from that. Whether they healed fully especially one of them I don't know. But then the question would have to be raised does the pain in the issues they go through revolve around him or revolve around the traumas from me. Cuz a dad supposed to be there. You basically dealt with him terrorizing y'all raising hell you've told me some of the things that he used to do to you I don't see how you can still talk to me like he needs you and you've got to be there for him but that's on you and I respect it but the way that you explain some of the things that he did to you to me it makes me sick to my stomach because I could just never see myself like harming you physically over and over and over again and doing things to you in other forms of physical abuse and getting pleasure or control out of it. But I can see taking you everything you ever owned and never given our kids a chance or anybody else and giving it all to crack can I so I don't know there. I just know it blows my mind. But I think it comes a lot from the fact I left us so bottom of the barrel out back from my addiction that as long as somebody was providing you felt some form of security over top of what I left you with which was complete insecurity. Maybe that's why you stuck around for the abuse and still justifiy it over top of the things I've done to this day.
You raised his kid, you raised my kids, you were the one true parent you were two dads you were one mom. You were a counselor, a provider a mediator a caretaker a teacher a protector a shelter a guide a mentor a motivator a problem solver you were a parent and you played the role of three parents. Plus you worked plus you were there for my family whenever they needed you. You were there for my sister all through her Cushing's disease. And there's so much more because you were building towards the future on your own establishing financial security vision for yourself holding the fort down getting damn near no financial help from me none 00.
I incurred 135,000 child support debt with you. How's that for deadbeat dead? See this isn't about the arrogant narcissistic guy you think I am this is about who you are. Let's just fast forward so we getting locked up for child support even though you had already told me you weren't working on getting all of that got rid of. And yes you may not believe this but my whole f****** inheritance is going to you not one red cent goes to me because you earned that. Yo you earned like 50,000 times that times a hundred times 50. All of the money in the world in my opinion is still not enough compensation if it was given all to you for the things you've done.
Now fast forward to my sister dying she's on her deathbed she's checking out. you stay and active part of her life and you check on her and you stay by her side and you are there with her as a friend you coming you become her caretaker in the end you help my mother you stand by my family side we see my sister into the Afterlife and we live the lives we live.
I come to the city out of the blue I'll come to find out there was a warrant out I get arrested. With some help from another family member if y'all bond me out with $13,000 cash. A week later I'm called by the courts they said we didn't have to show the decision could be made without us there and when we pop up they walk out and they say here here's your piece of paper sir. You owe $14.75. I'll look at the piece of paper it says Mr so and so your debt with child support enforcement has been cleared in full please pay us these $14 processing fees and your case is closed. You smiled me a smile at you.
And you said the most horrific thing I've ever heard in my life from someone. I'm being cynical here because it was really the most amazing thing but I hate the term because I'm a basket case. You looked at me and said be better do better.
Fast forward after that I started trying to get my s*** together started trying to help you with vehicles and stuff around the house and somehow... Some f****** way... I had the audacity to get offended by the way you were treating me. And I had a nervous breakdown. And I begin saying things to you the absolutely weren't true that I absolutely didn't mean and I f****** flaked.
You with no contact to protect yourself.
Look at what you have done how could I have done that?
Anyways I've seen my mom turn on you with her words. I've seen your parents turn on you, I've turned on you, seen your friends turn on you, I've seen a world I've seen your ex's turn on you, but you know what I've never seen you turn on the people that you give your ability and your honor to and your bonds to I've never seen you turn on them ever.
You didn't turn on me you were protecting yourself.
Glue you were the strongest f****** woman I've ever met and you are worthy of an award that his world renowned and recognized because there are so many things that I haven't said here.
You are The Rock, you are the glue, you are the ties that bind... You are the virtuous woman. Proverbs 31 versus 10 to 31 is the description of who You are. Even to the point of where our kids were raised by you to place the dwelling now that you're at. You have taken in so many other people's kids you're like a parent to everyone. You excel at every job that you do. Vital asset to every team that you join. Highly efficient highly intelligent. Insanely gorgeous. Smart funny. God your sense of humor is so f****** awesome.
I'll see things in pictures my brain sees things in pictures and I just see pictures of you sometimes where always if we were around somebody that was down you would do the goofiest s*** you had to do to get them to smile because that's what you do. Just like sis did and this is her birthday gift from me because she told me several times to think about how hard you have worked. And she begged me to draw that picture before she died I got it toward the day before she died it was so important to her that picture is me holding her hand and her grabbing a star and her feet rooted to the ground and the roots coming into my feet and it says my brother taught me to reach for the stars my sister taught me to remain grounded.
And it's weird because I look at that and I think about how much of a icon and how much of a aura and presence glue was see y'all were glue one and two. And I'll go get that picture that she had me draw and it brings these overwhelming senses of things because I miss her so much but it brings you into the picture too because you always kept me grounded and I could envision anything anything on vision and you could take it for what it was and you could be like okay it's not that practical but it can be done and you would make the systems that made it happen no matter what it was I could create anything with you. You are after all Earth. I'm air. Reach for the Stars grounded etc.
Do you have so many amazing qualities and you have done so many honorable things. And for my sister's birthday I honor you her sister because the things that she said really ring true now. If you never talk to me again I respect it, if you want us to try to have some kind of working amicable relation I respect it but I have to have communication, you are so much of everything good and honestly I still love you so much thatI fall apart in your presence. But forget me man for real f*** me. Glue I want you to be happy you deserve happiness and if I take away from that then I need to shut my f****** mouth and I need to take that s*** so I went down and I need to smile because I know that you're happier. I truly know what it's like to want something so bad because I have for years but I never got healthy I'm just now getting around to taking care of myself. But I have for years wanted you and when I couldn't have you that's when you became Bruce Willis and you was popping my ass in the face saying you feel that boy that's your pride f****** with you.
Will glue I'm swallowing my pride. I want you to be happy no matter what I want you to be honored. If you ever do decide you want me in your life in any form please give me the communication I need to approach it healthily if not I'll f*** it up. I'm not even going to ask you what you want I'm not going to bug you but if by some chance in hell you ever find this letter just know at any point anytime you can reach out to me and ask for anything. I have taken and taken and taken and you have given and given and given it's time for me to sit the f*** down shut the f****** and love you the way you're supposed to be loved. And that means unconditionally loving you for who you are not loving you for me loving you because I absolutely adore who You are and I want to see the best life you can have happen.
You probably can't see your value and priceless coming out of my mouth or anyone else still does not do it justice.
Going to write a story about us glue.
And I promise to never promise again and just show you by allowing you the power dynamic you deserve to make your own choices and get the happiest healthiest life you can without me interjecting you've done it well this far better than me. Have made myself look like a total helpless loser in this but we both know what I'm capable of and what I'm about. If you need a roll for me just communicate it. I'll give it my all even if giving it my all means standing outside the box looking in but never burdening you with the fact that I am anymore.
And I'm not going to bring it up. Man I hope one day you get all the things you deserve.
You're admired appreciated loved and honored. By many. You are the Chief cornerstone woman. You are woman all woman.
I love you always will. Have my power dynamics take what you need and should you ever need me to flex my power because we both know all you got to do is make the call and I'll flex on whatever the hell you need me to as hard as you need me to and I'll scoop my ass right on out the way if that's what you need after it's done
Thank you glue
Buy some odd chance should you ever want me to be the one to try to love you communicate with me and point me in the direction I'm so f***** up out here I need direction and I know that they could be poisonous to you so you being The logical thinker that you are take that for what you will.
I've never been able to fully give myself to anyone else because I truly feel that to this day I will take my love for you to the grave.
You're that special.
Should I ever get a chance to love you and stand by your side of your man again you're going to have to let me die and and come out of the death of at least once because I'll die of happiness and wake up I just I wouldn't know how to handle it.
To me it's like imagine somebody said hey here's this egg but it doesn't have a shell that's just made of the rubber stuff that holds the shell together and you've got to run this egg 3 MI of mountain terrain in 20 minutes or the whole world ends.
Well I would just take the f****** egg and throw it on the ground. That's how I've been treating things. That's what I'm relearning everything.
It could be a detriment to you you know the sign of this always protect yourself and do what's best for your happiness but if I could love you again and be your man the things I would do I can't tell you because that would be the same old same old and honestly I just don't know.
I just know I love you you've always been everything to me and there will never be anyone that compares and there never has been.
Thank you for who you are
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