Lavender fields orange county

Los Angeles, California Snapshot: Finding Internship, Practicum, and Clinical Supervision in Mental Health and Counseling in Los Angeles, California

2023.05.29 03:00 Mojozy Los Angeles, California Snapshot: Finding Internship, Practicum, and Clinical Supervision in Mental Health and Counseling in Los Angeles, California

The City of Angels offers incredible prospects and opportunities for mental health and counseling trainees, interns, practicum students, and clinical supervisees. According to the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, Los Angeles County is home to over 10 million people and has the second highest population density in the United States. This means that there are plenty of mental health and counseling sites available in the greater Los Angeles area. Additionally, the state of California is a leader in mental health and counseling training and clinical supervision placement. The California Board of Behavioral Sciences reports that in 2019 there were over 50,000 licensed mental health professionals in the state of California and over 3,000 mental health and counseling sites providing internships, practicum placements, and clinical supervision in the Los Angeles area.\n\nMental health and counseling trainees, interns, practicum students, and clinical supervisees can find a wealth of resources to help them search for internships, clinical supervision, and practicum opportunities in Los Angeles. Three such resources include:\n\n1. The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health: This department provides information and resources on mental health and counseling training, internship, practicum, and clinical supervision placement prospects and sites in Los Angeles County.\n\n2. The California Board of Behavioral Sciences: This board provides information and resources to help mental health and counseling trainees, interns, practicum students, and clinical supervisees find internships, clinical supervision, and practicum opportunities in the state of California.\n\n3. Mojozy.org: This website is a comprehensive resource for mental health and counseling interns, supervisees, and practicum candidates in Los Angeles. It provides access to a searchable database of mental health and counseling training, internship, practicum, and clinical supervision placement prospects and sites in Los Angeles, as well as helpful advice and tips from experienced professionals in the field.--- VISIT WWW.MOJOZY.ORG FOR MORE DETAILS AND INFORMATION
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2023.05.29 02:57 QuietLingonberry [US/US] [SELL] [PERFUME] Osmofolia Black Walnut/Waxing Crescent, Arcana Love/Paddling Pink Canoe/Spark, Kyse Macarons, Stereoplasm Comet Corn + mainstream/niche (samples)

[US/US] [SELL] [PERFUME]

INDIE
• Arcana Love, PBM, ~1.25ml (vanilla accord, fresh cream, sugarcane, soft musk, a pinch of tea leaves) $5
• Arcana Paddling the Pink Canoe, PBM, ~1.25ml, label a little stained (dragonsblood, vintage patchouli, citron, pink salt, pink musk, amber) $5
• Arcana Spark, PBM, ~1.25ml (Regina cherries, roasted coffee beans, Mexican vanilla, rich black earth, sweet smoke) $5
• Kyse Macarons, RIS, 1ml, label ruined/illegible (heliotrope, marzipan, hint of cherry, caramelized sugar, velvety vanilla custard, a soft smooth myrrh) $1
• Osmofolia Black Walnut, PBM, 1ml (bergamot, cardamom, black walnut husks, walnuts, dead leaves) $2.50
• Osmofolia Waxing Crescent, PBM, 1ml (gardenia, cold night air, tuberose, Bulgarian lavender, lavender maillette, lavender absolute, white musk, vanilla bean, spice) $2.50
• Stereoplasm Comet Corn, RIS, 1.8ml rollerball (crunchy clods of caramel corn with coconut-cream chocolate, jet puffed marshmallow, Europa sea salt) $2.50

LESS INDIE
• Anna Sui Sky, RIS, 2ml spray (pear, bergamot, pink pepper, Lily-of-the-Valley, lotus, rose, popcorn, vanilla, musk) $2
• Carolina Herrera Good Girl, RIS, 1.5ml spray (almond, coffee, bergamot, lemon, tuberose, jasmine sambac, orange blossom, orris, Bulgarian rose, tonka bean, cacao, vanilla, praline, sandalwood, musk, amber, cashmere wood, cinnamon, patchouli, cedar) $2
• Clean Reserve Skin, RIS, 1.5ml spray (praline, musk, salt, tonka bean, leather) $2
• Francesca Bianchi Angel's Dust, PBM, slink (black pepper, mimosa, rose, iris, musk, sandalwood, tolu balsam, benjoin, vanilla) $3
• MMM Beach Walk, RIS, 1.2ml spray, never tested (lemon, bergamot, pink pepper, coconut milk, ylang-ylang, heliotrope, musk, benzoin, cedar) $2
• MMM By The Fireplace, RIS, 1.2ml spray (cloves, pink pepper, orange blossom, chestnut, guaiac wood, juniper, vanilla, peru balsam, cashmeran) $2
• Monyette Coquette Tropique oil, PBM, 3.75ml rollerball (hibiscus, gardenia, plumeria, French Anjou pear, Madagascar vanilla) $8
• Parfums De Nicolai Cologne Cedrat, PBM, slink (cedrat (citron), bergamot, black pepper, patchouli) $3
• Parfums De Nicolai Kiss Me Intense, PBM, slink (heliotrope, vanilla, aniseed, almond, fresh cut hay) $3
• Parfums De Nicolai Violette in Love, PBM, slink (Italian lemon, blackcurrant bud absolute, raspberry, essence of Turkish rose, a violet-iris accord, coriander essence, pink pepper, black pepper and musk) $3
• Sarah Baker Jungle Jezebel hand sanitizer, PBM, 50ml, ~98% full (orange, banana, grape, peach, bubble gum, rose, tuberose, ylang-ylang, amber, sandalwood, civet, vetiver, vanilla, tonka bean) $5
• Strangers Chokedee, PBM, slink (pandan leaf, rice, jasmine sambac, coconut, neroli, sandalwood, cashew nut, chommanard, frangipani, vetiver, musk) $3
• Strangers Sweet Farewell, PBM, slink (coconut milk, Nipa palm leaves, vanilla, palm sugar, cedar, rice powder, sandalwood, musk, pandan leaves, tonka bean, cashmeran, ebony) $3
• Universal Flowering Daddy, PBM, slink (black pepper, guaiacwood, hinoki, porcini, oakmoss, vetiver, benzoin) $3
• Universal Flowering Lilac No. 4, PBM, slink (lilac) $3
• Universal Flowering Poems One Through Twelve, PBM, slink (ginger, condensed milk, vetiver, opoponax) $3
• V&F Flowerbomb Ruby Orchid, RIS, 1.2ml (peach, vine, orchid, vanilla bean)* **$2
submitted by QuietLingonberry to IndieExchange [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 02:53 rain1922 [US-CA][H]Paypal/Local Cash [W] GMK Frost Witch, GMK Oni, GMK Foundation, Aleekeycaps Artisans, Monokei Kaban Case

Mr. Suit r2
For GMK Keycaps preferred if its BNIB Sealed
GMK Bushido - Base, Novelties
GMK Frost Witch - Base, Novelties, Deskmat
GMK Oni - Base, Hiragana, Novelties, UwU, Deskmat (can buy bundle even though its strike through)
GMK Foundation - Deskmat Artist
GMK Monarch - Base, Novelties
Aleekeycaps Artisan - Chika(OE & CE), Yor(OE & CE), Emilia(OG, Lilac), Ram, Zerotwo(OE & CE), Mai-Bunny Senpai(OE & CE)
Monokei Kaban Case Medium Size(75% & TKL) - I know there is one on their website but the shipping cost more than the case. I'm hoping to get a cheaper one.
LA area or Orange County or Riverside County
submitted by rain1922 to mechmarket [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 02:50 cyzebra Friendship ended with inner critic. Now inner protector is my best friend 🤝

Friendship ended with inner critic. Now inner protector is my best friend 🤝 submitted by cyzebra to CPTSDmemes [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 02:28 blinddateoc Hello. Looking to be the small spoon for someone who wants to cuddle 🥰 In Orange County (M4F) Thank you

submitted by blinddateoc to cuddlebuddies [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 02:17 Aesthetic_FuckerOwO (Rhys' backstory) "Love can make people Crazy"

(You read from Rhys' POV :D)
Rhys' past self
⚠️TW: OBSESSIVE BEHAVIOR + MURDER + STALKING⚠️
{P.S: I tried to make this as Mythologically and Biblically accurate as possible so please correct me if I got anything wrong please and thank you 🙏 }
---------------------------
[3087 BCE]
~~~~~~~~~
"Awaken..."
You slowly opened your eyes upon hearing a soft voice fill your ears, your vision becoming blurry for a brief moment before become stable. You gazed up at the face of the voice; a rather young looking face with strawberry blonde curly hair and soft almond brown eyes and rose beige skin with rosy cheeks.
The figure smiled warmly at you as you reached out your small hand to them, smiling back at them as you cooed happily.
"I haveth the sensation that thou shalt be a great apprentice for me!" said Cupid.
.
.
.
[3097 BCE]
~~~~~~~~~
"Does thy see those two mortals down there?" Cupid asked as he pointed to a man and woman sitting in a field of flowers.
You nodded as you steadied your bow and arrow and aimed it towards the woman as Cupid aimed his arrow toward the man.
"On my cue, thou shalt unleash their arrow towards the respective target." Cupid instructed as you nodded.
"Yes, master!" You said enthusiastically
"Alright...1..."
You fixed your posture and stretched the arrow back.
"2..."
You paused and lifted your head, something else capturing your eye...
A small girl who looked around your age, with semi-short brunette curly hair and wearing a daisy flower crown with a white tunic to match. She was happily dancing within the field, her movements graceful and carefully practiced.
"3!! Rhys?"
You continued to stare at the girl in awe...she looked so...beautiful...
"Rhys...?"
You felt your heart begin to hammer in and out of your chest, what was this feeling...?
"AMADEUS!!" Cupid's yelling snapped you out of your thoughts.
"Hah?? Oh sorry, master..." You said apologetically as you aimed your bow once again and shot it at the woman. Cupid watched with satisfactory as the man and woman walked away together hand in hand. Meanwhile you? You were still fixated on that girl.
She was just so mesmerizing, gorgeous...cute...
You felt your face heat up as you continued to watch her dance from a distance...
Where you...
In love...?
.
.
.
[3102 BCE]
~~~~~~~~~
This feeling....
This addicting sensation of being in love...
You've grown to obsess over it with no remorse at all...
You never forgot about that girl you saw when you were 10, in fact you've approached her after you saw her and have become friends with her since then. Secretly following her everywhere she went when you two weren't hanging out.
You learned all kinds of things about her; Her hobbies, her interests, and that her name was Calliope...
But it wasn't enough...
You wanted to be more than just a friend to her...
You wanted to hold her in your arms and call her your lover...
You wanted to one day get on one knee and officially make her yours forever...
You wanted more....
M̴̥̀O̷̫͠R̷̜̉E̵̩͉̿!̵̠͓̏̑!̷͑̆͜!̷̜͓͝!̵̼̤̏!̶̘͐!̵͎̇!̸͕͋̐
.
.
.
[3112 BCE]
~~~~~~~~
You're definitely going crazy now...
The only thing on your mind now is Calliope...
And you were perfectly ok with that being the case...
Right now, crimson red blood dripped from your dagger as you stood over the newly deceased bodies of Calliope's best friend, all while she stood behind you; terrified of what you have become...
Then again..you honestly didn't mind this feeling...in fact; it felt nice actually...
"Myne darling Calliope...~" You purred as you turned to look at her, a psychotic expression painting your face with eyes filled with lovesickness. "What hath made thou believe they could betray me so easily...? Doth art thou not love me...?"
Calliope backed away terrified as she looked at you with fear and anger in her eyes, she then shook her head. "No!! I will never love someone like you!!! You're a monster!!! A murderer!!!" She yelled.
You frowned at this...
She hated you...?
But...
But...You did everything for her!!!
YOU GAVE HER EVERYTHING YOU COULD OFFER HER AND THIS IS HOW SHE REPAYS YOU?!?!?!
No.....
No!!!!
N̷̰̺̐O̵̮̘̽!̸͚̓́!̴͇̯̏!̶̧̼͂!̵̢̎̌!̸͇̲̊̈́͠!̷̠̹͕̕!̸̪͔͚̍̏!̴͍̪̥́̌̇!̷̭̣̃̉!̵̨͚́͗
Your left eye twitched as you approached her slowly, twirling the dagger in between your fingers...
You crouched down in front of her as she looked at you with the same fear in her eyes and you looked back at her with eyes filled with anger...
"If I can not have thy..."
You pinned Calliope to the ground and raised the dagger over your head.
"̵̍͜͠N̴̻̦̽ỏ̶̰͠b̵̥̐͑̓ơ̸͎̠ḑ̴̣̫̋y̴̯̬̔̇ ̴͚̍̅͜c̷̳̻̹̆â̶̲͈̈́̚ͅǹ̵̝͈͖.̷̻͙́̏̌.̴̞̖̆.̶̺̱̒͝.̵̡̳̍̇̄"̸͕̗̊
And just like that....Calliope was dead...
You stared blankly at her as a pool of red formed underneath her, a sinister curl creeping onto your lips...
Just then...
"AMADEUS!!! WHAT HATH THYNE DONE?!?!?!"
You whipped your head around to see Aphrodite and Cupid standing behind you with Zeus, all three of them staring with horror at the scene...
Oh no...
.
.
.
"THROW THEM DOWN!! THROW THEM DOWN!! THROW THEM DOWN!!"
The crowd chanted as two guards hauled you off towards the edge of the mountain...
You struggles immensely against the strong grip of the the two soldiers, trying to break free, but to no avail
"UNHAND ME AT ONCE, YOU PATHETIC BASTARDS!!" You yelled at the guards as they ignored you and brought you closer to the edge.
The very edge that led down to Hell...Where once you entered...there was no return...
"Demigod Amadeus, doth thyne have any final words before their eviction?"
You huffed and whipped your head around to look over at Cupid...your mentor...who was doing nothing but just standing there and watching this happen to you...He backed away nervously as you glared at him with fury.
"I wish that thy is to burn in Hell...." You spat at him...
And with that...You found yourself being thrown off the edge of the mountain...
You watched mindlessly as the peak of Olympus became smaller...and smaller...and smaller...
Until you eventually disappeared into the depths of the Earth...
.
.
.
.
.
Ugh...my head...
You slowly lifted your weak and aching body up once you began to regain your vision and the world around you stopped spinning...
You looked around and saw you were no longer in the glorious fields of Mount Olympus...but you were in an area surrounded by crimson red mist and bright orange flames, both big and small, everywhere.
Where am I...?
You staggered to your feet just as someone walked up to you. A man with short wavy black hair, pale ivory skin, and fierce red eyes wearing nothing but a grey silk robe.
You looked up at the stranger with curious eyes as he stared coldly at you, soon grinning.
"Greetings, newcomer. What brings you here?" He asked you as he tilted his head.
"Errr...I am Rhys...or Amadeus as they call me...I am the former apprentice of Cupid!" You said as you bowed nervously.
The man chuckled. "There is no need to bow. I insist. Do tell me, what is the reason you are here?"
You looked off to the side nervously. "I hath committed two persecutions on two different mortals..."
The man looked at you with amazement. "Really?"
You nodded.
The man studied you for a moment before motioning with his hand to follow him.
"I'm Beelzebub, by the way~" He purred.
You made a face at that, feeling rather uncomfortable by his tone choice...
You both walked for awhile before eventually you came up to a large staircase with two shadowy figures guarding each side. They moved out of the way and you stood with Beelzebub at the final step of the staircase...at the top of the stairs was a large black throne, and sitting on that throne was a man with red brown curly hair, rose beige skin, and cold and hard black eyes, wearing a black tunic on his lower half.
He lifted his head that was resting on his hand as the two of you bowed at him.
"And just who have you brought to me this time, Beelzebub...?" The man said coldly as you fidgeted with your fingers.
"With all due respect, my Lord; I have found him in the far fields underneath Mount Olympus!" Beelzebub explained as he bowed.
You waved at him as he stood up from his throne and walked down the stairs and towards you, grabbing your face as if to examine it further, to which you winced at how strong his grip was.
"Look at me..." He demanded, to which you opened your eyes and stared directly at him.
He let go of your face and held out the back of his hand towards you, keeping one hand behind his back.
You looked at him with confusion before eventually you got the idea of what he wanted.
You took his hand and placed a gentle kiss onto it.
When you did however, a sudden wave of pain washed over you as you dropped to your knees and held your head in pain as you felt something sprout from your backside and forehead...
"With this, consider yourself as one of my loyal acquaintances..."
.
.
.
.
.
[2/14/2011]
~~~~~~~~~~
"Yes of course...I'll see you soon, farwell."
Edward ended the call with his boss as he walked down the street to his apartment complex.
Today had been a long day, and he was looking forward to getting back home and relaxing.
As he walked, he couldn't help but get a strange sensation that he was being followed...watched even...
He looked behind him...there was nobody...
"Tsk...probably just someone messing with me..." Edward muttered as he kept walking...
....
You stared from a distance with a hood over your face as you watched your future lover walk away, not having a clue you were following him...
You didn't know why, but for some reason you've been feeling this way for this male mortal for awhile now, but you've decided to just accept it, not thinking much of it.
A lovesick smile crept onto your face as you came out of hiding and continued to follow your beloved...
"̵̳̐̀M̵̤͓̔̈y̸̪̬͑̕n̴̘͝e̷̬̐ ̶̨̛̯̋l̸͈̄o̵̢̠͂̐ṿ̴́e̴͓̼̅t̷̠̑̂ḥ̴̐̀.̵͎̃͠.̷͍̭͋.̵̘̭́Ẇ̸̡͚ē̸̬ ̵̞̽̌ş̸͐̄h̸͈̉a̵̩͚̒͠l̵̨̾̈́l̴̤̔͋ ̷̘̳̆b̷̪͕̓̚ȩ̸͔͌̎ ̶͉̀t̵̻̯̀ö̸̭͕́̎g̵̲̿e̵͉̓́ͅt̷̜͆͋h̵̯͋e̷̝̎ȓ̴̥̺͛ ̸̩͖̽͛f̵͖̣̔̚o̶͎̼͊̇ŗ̷̛̯͝e̴̾̚͜v̶̜͂̏ế̸̮ȑ̵͈̌.̸̣̳͌.̸͇̗̀.̷̡̥̐~̵̗̈́̓"̷̛̘̠͋
.
.
.
[The End]
submitted by Aesthetic_FuckerOwO to GachaClubPOV [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 02:10 snipersgethead What's Happening in Vegas this Week/Weekend!

Hello friends!
Happy to have you here and back! Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Anyone else's A/C bill hurting? I guess I'm going to have to rely on my Only Fan. It's got 3 wind speeds. Okay, I'll keep my day job.
As always, feel free to comment with anything I missed or with any suggestions!
Club Events
Sporting Events
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Thursday – Saturday
Thursday – Sunday
Thursday – Monday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Sunday – Next Week
submitted by snipersgethead to vegas [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 01:58 buhhhhh_guhhhhh Resume Advice (4 years experience)

Howdy!
Making my first reddit account ever to ask for some pointers on my resume. I'm coming to reddit because I work in a relatively rural place where everybody working in the industry knows everyone else, and I can't ask for this type of advice from anyone here without my boss catching wind of it. I have worked at the same (very small) consulting firm in the Central Valley of California since I graduated, but am looking to relocate across the state to be closer to family.
I received my PE just a few months ago and have four years and change of work experience, including plenty of field experience, which makes up about half of my work hours. If you have any pointers, I'm happy to hear them! Thank you in advance.
https://preview.redd.it/osgwdd98vn2b1.png?width=654&format=png&auto=webp&s=bb64664d4cf356f20164a875ddadc0454f9fc275
submitted by buhhhhh_guhhhhh to civilengineering [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 01:56 KnightBreeze What I've Become: Chapter X

First Previous
The first thing that Si’feri became aware of was the gentle rocking motions. She hadn’t been held like this since she was a chick, and while it was incredibly soothing, it was still somewhat demeaning. “I’m awake, you can set me down, now,” she said as she opened her eyes to look at whomever was carrying her.
She had to push down a wave of terror when she saw that it was Al’ecs. As much as she knew that the alien would never hurt her, his face was still something that had been dredged up from the deepest of nightmares, and really wasn’t something anyone wanted to wake up to. “I’m up… I’m up…” she said, gently tapping the alien on the shoulder, trying to make it clear that she didn’t want to be held any more.
Al’ecs stopped immediately before he set down the groggy hen. Sir Kev, who had apparently been walking next to Al’ecs, drew closer with a concerned look on his face. “Are you well, M’lady?” Kev asked, holding out a hand to help steady her.
“I’m fine, this has been known to happen from time to time,” she said, before taking stock of their surroundings. They were still in the forest, though they were nowhere near the clearing anymore. She also noticed that Al’ecs still carried her basket, though she had no idea why. “Were we on our way back?”
“I believe so, M’lady. You passed out not long after completing your vision, and Al’ecs picked you up and began taking you towards town. I have merely been following,” Sir Kev said, bowing respectfully. “I hope we did not disturb any after visions or effects you might have been experiencing.”
“You did not. In fact, thank you for doing just that, as we have very little time to waste, and staying where we were would have just delayed us. I need to speak with Tor and Ja’vail as soon as possible, preferable the second we get out, though I already know that that is not going to happen,” Si’feri said before she turned back towards Al’ecs. As she studied the expressionless alien, the warning from the vision seemed to echo in her ears, reminding her of the possible doom that she might have to place on him. With a chipperness she did not feel, her crest perked back up to its original bounciness as she placed a hand on the creature’s upper arm. “Don’t worry, we’ll work through this, okay?”
The creature clearly didn’t understand her, but he seemed to appreciate the sentiment all the same, as evidenced by the way the creature gently placed a hand on her head. Al’ecs tried to say something, but whatever came out of his maw was both far too garbled, and in a completely unrecognizable tongue. Si’feri really had no chance of understanding the creature, but somehow that didn’t matter to her. It was clear to her that Al’ecs was just happy to have someone to interact with, regardless of any actual understanding.
That realization alone was enough to bring the baker to tears. How long have you been alone like this? she thought as the creature slowly removed his hand. He turned around, clearly intent on making his way back to his cave, but stopped when Si’feri reached out and touched his back. He turned back to her, his face as expressionless as the first time she had seen him in her dreams, but that didn’t stop her from seeing past all of that, and into the being that lay underneath the monster.
The face looked far fuller, with an odd set of lips, like those on a dragon or a pig, though neither of those comparisons did them justice. Their corners were turned upwards somewhat, in an expression that, on anything else, would have made the creature more menacing as it bared its teeth. On Al’ecs, however, it was a warm expression, made even friendlier by how the corners of his eyes changed to match. On the top of his head was a shock of reddish orange fur, a small, button-like nose sat in the center of his face, and right above them was a pair of gray eyes that shone with intelligence.
The vision only lasted a second, but in that instance she truly understood just how much Al’ecs had lost. Without even thinking about it, she threw her arms around the alien’s neck, pulling him into a tight hug, though she was mindful not to stick herself on the spikes on the creature’s back. “Don’t worry. We’ll get you home, I promise.”
The creature seemed stunned at this, completely unsure of what to do with his hands. After a few seconds of this, and when nothing terrible happened, he finally seemed to realize that this was very real. He then gently wrapped his arms around the hen, before a shuddering sob racked his body as tears began to flow freely from his eyes again. It didn’t take Si’feri long to realize that the feathers on the top of her head were quickly becoming soaked, but she didn’t care. It was a small price to pay when she considered the fact that the promise she had made was most likely a lie.
After what felt like an eternity of this, the two finally separated, and Si’feri could only watch as Al’ecs awkwardly tried to dry his face with his hands. Not knowing what else to do, Si’feri reached out and took the blanket from the basket the creature was holding before she offered it to him. He took it, but not before letting out a grateful sort of sound. “We’ve got to get going. We’ll be back tomorrow, though, okay?” Si’feri told him as he began patting his face dry with the blanket in his hands.
Despite him not understanding a single word she said, Al’ecs nodded, then proceeded to return the blanket to the basket before he held it out to her. Si’feri gently pushed it back, shaking her head as her crest bobbed in a happy manner. “It’s yours, as well as everything in it.”
Al’ecs just looked down at it, before he turned it upside-down, revealing that he had already eaten everything she had brought him as only the blanket fell out of it.
“I’m thinking that he really enjoyed your cooking, M’lady! So much so, that I think he’s trying to ask for seconds!” Sir Kev said with a laugh.
Si’feri’s crest perked up even higher as she took back the basket, but she still pushed the blanket into his open hands. “Well, why don’t I bring this back to you tomorrow? Filled to the brim, of course. But this is still yours.”
Al’ecs didn’t try to say anything in his garbled tongue, choosing to instead give them one last nod in gratitude before he turned back towards the forest, putting the blanket over his shoulders like a mantle as he walked away.
Si’feri was briefly tempted to bring the alien back to town, but quickly dismissed the idea. Despite night quickly coming, the Town of Jov was still quite alive. Getting the alien anywhere comfortable would require more magic and drake power than they currently had available, not to mention that Al’ecs would most likely spook and run in the event that someone started screaming.
No, it’s better this way, she thought as she watched the alien disappear into the forest.
It wasn’t even ten seconds later when she started having second thoughts. This was further compounded when several knights fluttered from the trees above and landed in front of her, their heads bowed low in respect.
“How long were you up there watching?” she asked them curiously.
“For quite some time, Ma’am. Sir Kev instructed us to stay hidden while the creature was still around,” the knight in front said, not rising from his bow. “I must say, it is an honor to-”
“Leave the formalities for someone who cares,” Si’feri said as she reached out to raise the knight from his bow. “We do not have time for ceremony, nor will such things save us from what is to come.”
“M’lady Siv?”
“Si’feri will do fine, for the time being,” Si’feri said before she turned back to town. She stopped, however, as a thought occurred to her. “How many knights are stationed at the creature’s cave?”
“Four, M’lady.”
She thought about this for a few seconds, before shaking her head. “Better increase it. Two of you should head to the clearing, and provide additional protection. The creature is to survive the night, am I clear?”
“As the rising sun, M’lady,” the leading knight said, rising from his bow. He then turned to his subordinates and clapped his hands together. “Tilvan, Mor, you two provide additional protection. We’ll send more once we get back to town, but in the meantime you and the others are to defend the creature with your lives, understood?”
The two soldiers quickly cut sharp salutes, then took off into the skies. The sight of the two valiant knights disappearing into the night sky did much to relieve the worry that had been building in Si’feri’s heart, but that relief was a fleeting thing. As Si’feri and her escorts traveled back towards town, she couldn’t help but feel her heart fall further and further, and she found herself wondering if it would be enough. * * * “Hey, Genpi, take a look at this, will you?”
Genpi released his magic, deactivating the heat wand in his hand that he had been using to cut through the alien ship. The vessel was made of some kind of metal the dakri had never seen before, and the team in charge of investigating the craft had found it extremely difficult to cut or pull apart the vessel through conventional methods, hence the reason why Genpi was painstakingly cutting into the metal siding of the ship with a heat wand. He had been making good progress, too, or rather, he would have been making progress, if it wasn’t for his colleague’s constant interruptions.
With a disgruntled sigh, Genpi pushed up his black tinted goggles and looked up at the excitable drake, his expression telling the whole world that this had better be worth his attention. “What is it now Penirl?”
Penirl stood about three meters away, in his hands an oddly shaped piece of metal. It was long and staff-like, but had what looked like a stock at one end.
It also looked like it had survived the crash reasonably intact.
“I’m thinking it’s some kind of weapon, but I already ran a detection spell to look for any enchantments, and I didn’t find anything,” Penirl said as he held up the thing for Genpi’s inspection. Penirl then grabbed the weapon by its grip, and held it in front of him like he would a Lightning Rod.
Thankfully, the drake had enough sense not to point it at anyone, otherwise Genpi would have smacked him upside the head right then and there. “Well, don’t just play with it, the higher ups will want to have a look at it,” Genpi said, waving the excitable young drake away.
“What do you think it does, though?” Penirl asked, ignoring Genpi’s instructions. “I’ve already tried the triggering mechanism, but nothing happened.” As if to demonstrate this, Penirl stuck his finger into the hole near the grip and squeezed the rather obvious trigger.
Nothing happened, but that did nothing to lighten Genpi’s mood about the drake playing around with something he didn’t understand. “Stop messing around and get that thing logged and put with the other artifacts,” Genpi said, shooing the drake away.
Penirl looked a little downcast at this, but quickly perked up. “Come on, Genpi! Aren’t you even the slightest bit excited?”
Genpi looked up at the drake before slowly returning his goggles to their old position. “I'll be ‘excited’ when I find out whether or not friends of these things are going to come looking for their lost ship. More importantly than that, though, is if they find the inhabitants of this planet in any way delicious.”
“Oh poo, you really need to lighten up,” Penirl said, sticking out his tongue at the older drake.
If Genpi saw this, he didn't show it, choosing to instead reignite his wand and get back to cutting.
Penirl shook his head in disapproval before he turned and carefully picked his way out of the wreckage of the ship. It didn't take him long to log and store the new discovery, during which he started having the oddest feeling that he was being watched. He looked up and around for a little bit, drawing a confused stare from the hen in charge of the recovered artifacts, but that didn’t matter to him as much. He would never admit it to Genpi, but what the older drake had said earlier had shaken him to the core.
“Are you okay?” the hen with the clipboard asked, her crest lowered ever so slightly in worry.
“Yeah… yeah, I’m fine…” Penirl said before he tried to shake off the feeling.
“Well, if you’re sure, then you probably should be getting back to work,” the hen reminded him.
Penirl nodded, but didn’t say anything as his eyes searched the edges of the crater for a few more seconds, before they moved to the skies above. After a few seconds of finding nothing, he turned and made his way back to the ship and into the depths below.
The hen’s eyes followed him until he disappeared, before she shrugged to herself and muttered about the strangeness of drakes, completely ignorant of the strange area of warped air that hovered just above the wreckage as it silently recorded the activity below. * * * Tor was in a bit of a panic. Lady Siv was one of his closest friends, but that relationship was somewhat marred by the fact that she never came to him with good news. When one coupled this with the fact that Siv had apparently had a vision specifically about the alien survivor, one could understandably see why the small king was distraught.
Nightmarish scenes began playing through his head; vastly superior forces invading his planet, insect-like creatures that could shape-shift infiltrating his forces, and his people rounded up like cattle, being used as weapons like the unfortunate survivor, or even as a source of food.
All of this and more danced through his mind and kept him at his desk as he desperately tried to think of some way out of this hellish scenario. Plan after plan was drawn up, considered, then ultimately thrown away, as he had no way to gauge the strength of his opponents with the information he currently had, but even with his limited understanding, he knew that he and his people would be conquered within a week should the aliens come. If they had the power to send a ship across the vast distance of space, what stopped them from hurling a meteor the size of Tor’s castle at his tiny Diarchy? What about several meteors? What about their own moon?
None of this sat well with the small king. If their enemy wanted, they could annihilate Tor’s little world before the planet’s inhabitants even knew what had hit them.
Unbidden, the king felt his eyes drawn to a particular book on his shelf. It was one he had read before, quite extensively for that matter, since it had been penned by one of his previous students. The concepts inside were just that, though: concepts. Nothing more than pipe dreams that the imaginative young drake had drawn up during his free time.
With a small grunt, the king held out his hand, while his beak glowed a brilliant golden color. Almost immediately, the book on the shelf took on a similar hue, and flew from its place on the shelf and into the king’s outstretched hand. He didn’t know why the book caught his eye, but something about the problems he faced reminded him of his long dead student. Maybe something about the way the curious drake saw the world would help me. At the very least, it would be a welcome diversion, the king thought to himself as he began to flip through the pages.
It wasn’t long before one of his student’s scrawls caught his eye, and he had to suppress a chuckle at the strange invention the drake had penned. “A wooden, flying golem. I remember that one,” Tor said fondly to himself. “Was supposed to be able to ferry weapons and equipment to soldiers in the field. If I remember correctly, Jovask even made a land-based version for transporting foodstuff. Pity, he never did get the instructions on his golems to work right…”
The king continued to idly flip through his apprentice’s notes and designs, stopping every so often to laugh fondly at what the drake had thought up, and the memories they conjured. There was an automatic arrow golem, a creation designed to do the washing up, and something that would gather flowers for some reason. Each and every creation brilliantly designed, but flawed by the creator’s inability to overcome the inherent weaknesses found in golemmancy.
With a shrug, Tor flipped through the remaining pages, fully intent on putting the book back once he reached the end, but stopped at the final page. On the page was a very strange device indeed. It looked like a random assortment of items, all tied to a central statue made to look like a Nightmare Falcon’s head. Tor remembered this particular invention: it was supposed to be the ultimate telescope, capable of not only gaining information on distant objects, but also able to track them for the benefit of the user. It could even locate invisible objects, if enough information for basic scrying was available.
The only problem was, again, the inherent problem with the school of golemmancy: The more complex the task, the more arcanite was required for the golem to perform said task. In order to get this thing to work, Jovask would have needed a hunk of arcanite the size of a large mountain.
Tor let out a weary sigh as he snapped the book shut. Shame, too. If we had Jovask’s Omniscope, we would at least be able to determine if there were any alien ships in orbit about to destroy us, maybe take a few with us using the sun and moon, but… golemmancy, of all things… he thought as his beak began to glow again. With no small amount of nostalgia, the King of the Dawn returned his former student’s work to its resting place.
“What’s wrong, Tory?”
Tor looked towards the open door of his study, his heart falling at the sight of the Lady Siv. Her crest was just as bouncy as he remembered it, though her dress and occupation seemed to have changed since the last time he saw her. “I see you’ve decided to take up baking,” Tor said as he stood to greet her.
“It was either that or basket weaving, and I felt that the people of Jov needed a baker more,” Siv said as she approached her old friend. “I see that Javy’s been rubbing off on you, as you seem to have grown mopey in your old age.”
Tor felt his crest perk up ever so slightly at that jab. “Hey, if I remember, wasn’t it you who told me that I should start acting my age?” he asked, placing his hands on his hips in mock anger.
“Yes, but I never expected you to take my advice!” Siv said as she rolled her eyes at the king. “It was just one of those things you say to a friend. ‘Act your age.’ ‘Don’t date your mortal enemy.’ ‘Don’t eat all the karro berry pockets.’ Never expected you to actually listen, though…”
They both stared at each other for some time until Tor couldn’t take it anymore and broke down in a fit of laughter. “Oh Siv, it’s been far too long…”
The Lady let out a few chuckles of her own, but the laughter never reached her eyes. Instead, there lurked a profound sadness there, one that made Tor’s laughter disappear as quickly as it had appeared.
“So, my friend, what doom have the spirits pronounced upon us?” Tor asked, his crest falling ever so slightly.
Siv let out a sigh, before slowly walking over to the king’s desk and taking a seat. “It’s bad. Really bad. Before, I’ve given you many ways to avoid fate’s decrees. Until this morning, I had never once seen a doom that had but one escape.”
Despite the hen’s gloomy demeanor, the king’s crest rose as he felt his heart leap in hope. “You mean there’s still a way out?”
Siv let out a weary sigh. “Yes, but it may involve the sacrifice of an innocent, and even then I cannot guarantee that your people will come out completely unscathed.” Siv fixed Tor with a stare that seemed to pierce straight through to his soul. “Are you prepared to hear the doom I would announce against you? Are you prepared for the doom that would swallow your people?”
“I am always prepared for this burden. You know that better than anyone, M’lady,” Tor said as he slowly circled his desk, then sat back down in his chair.
Siv reached into the pouch at her belt and pulled out a single memory crystal. “Then, O King of the Dawn, receive this doom, and turn it away for the sake of the living, and the sake of those yet to live,” she said as she placed the glowing red crystal on the desk.
Without hesitation, Tor reached out and took the crystal and gently prodded it with his power. His mind instantly became scorched with images of depravity and violence: Monsters and fire rained from the sky, and his people were turned into cold, unfeeling machines. Anguish washed over all of his senses, and it felt like he was being turned inside out.
Just as quickly as it had come, however, the feeling vanished. Tor now knew everything Siv had placed inside the crystal. Every torment she had experience now scarred his mind, including the way to annul the whole ghastly future.
“No… You cannot be serious…” Tor said, his voice shaking somewhat as he stared down at the crystal in disbelief.
“I am completely serious, King of the Dawn,” the Lady Siv said as she rose from her chair, stretched out her wings, and cast her gaze straight towards the heavens. “His fate is now in your hands. I pray for his sake and for ours that you will continue to be the wise king you have proven yourself to be.”
With those final words, the Lady Siv disappeared in a flash of fire, leaving behind a whiff of smoke, and a single, green feather.
Tor reached out and caught the feather in his magic before it had touched the ground, his eyes narrowed as he stared at the memento left behind. “Easy for you to say, old friend. You’re not the one who’s going to have to explain this to Ja’vail…” * * * Sir Viar looked up at the sound of flapping wings, his crest perking up ever so slightly as he recognized Tilvan and Mor. “Ho, what are you two doing back here?”
Tilvan, the superior of the two, cut a quick salute the moment he landed. “New orders, sir. We’re to reinforce you and protect the creature with our lives.”
Viar looked at the two, somewhat troubled. “Then shouldn’t you two have stayed with it? We only stayed here because The Lady wished it!”
“We did stay with it, sir,” Mor said, pointing to a particular patch of forest. A few seconds after he spoke, the bushes shook and parted to reveal the monster. It immediately spotted the group of dakri knights at the top of the cliff and gave them a short wave before approaching the ladder to its lair. “It seems to have incredibly accurate senses, and even slowed down for us once it knew that we were following it.”
Viar let out a sigh of relief before fixing the two with a searching stare. “Did either of you happen to hear Lady Siv’s vision?”
Both of them shook their heads, their crests lowering ever so slightly. “No sir. Whatever it was was pretty bad, though,” Tilvan said, watching carefully as the creature climbed its ladder to enter its cave. “I’m not an expert on the mood of The Lady, but I’d say that whatever she saw frightened her.”
Viar folded his wings as he thought about that. It wasn’t a good sign, and it made him wonder just what sort of doom was about to befall their planet. As he pondered the future, one of his drakes, Sir Isal, looked over the edge at the ladder below. “Anybody else wonder why this thing is completely okay with the fact that it’s basically under armed guard? I mean, we tried to stay hidden at first, and you remember how quickly it spotted us.”
“I do,” Viar said with a nod, but seemed to be completely unconcerned about this. “I also know that this thing is extremely intelligent, and we left plenty of clues that we were the ones that pulled it out of the river, including a note.”
Isal looked a little confused. “But if this thing isn’t even from this planet, how would it read it? I don’t think it speaks Midlander.”
Viar shook his head. “No, it doesn’t. Which was why the note was only pictures, not Midlander, Sunrise, or Nightmare. We’re trying to talk with it, not confuse it.”
“But how can we be certain that it understands pictures the same way we do? How can you be sure that it can even see in the same spectrum of light?” Isal asked, his skepticism clear on his face. “For all we know, this thing can’t see the charcoal marks on the paper, or even at all. I mean, it doesn’t exactly have irises.”
Mor looked a little confused. “If it can’t see, then how is it able to navigate so easily? I mean, it never got hit once by the undergrowth of the forest.”
“I’m thinking it probably uses echolocation, like how the Nightmare tribe would conduct their ceremonial hunts!” Isal said, his crest rising with excitement. “I’ve been reading up on them, and apparently-”
Before the excited knight could build up any steam, however, Viar cut him off with a single, light thwap to the back of Isal’s head. “Stow it, Isal. It can see, the queen was quite certain of that. In fact, from what I’ve heard from Her Majesty, it’s actually quite remarkable how similar we are on the inside.”
Isal and the other drakes that had been sent to relieve Dorn and his team all perked up at this. “The queen told you that?” they asked in unison.
“Of course she told him that,” Tilvan said, folding his wings. “She also told Dorn the same thing. We’re supposed to be guarding this thing, and how can we do that without a basic knowledge of how its mind works?”
Viar nodded in agreement. “That’s the first thing you need to know when guarding someone. The next one is their habits, but since this thing is still pretty new to all of us, we’re kind of in the dark on that one.”
The other knights all looked to him, as if expecting him to go on, though Viar didn’t look like he wanted to continue this conversation at all. He instead chose to walk back to the fire pit to inspect his gear. Finally, after a few moments of Sir Viar being completely closed-beaked, Isal’s curiosity got the better of him. “Well? How is it like us?”
Viar looked surprised at that. “It what?”
“The creature! We were just talking about it, and you suddenly started doing your best Solar Slave impression!” Isal snapped at him.
Viar shook his head before he drew his sword and began to carefully inspect the edge for any nicks. “It’s not my place to gossip,” he said, as if that ended that.
It didn’t, naturally. If anything, it made the other drakes all the more curious. “You can’t honestly just leave it at that,” Isal said, tapping his claw on the ground.
Viar took a look around at the assembled drakes, before he sighed in defeat. With one quick motion, he sheathed his blade, then reached into his belt pouch and pulled out a folded square of paper. The others all moved behind the senior knight and watched him unfold it to reveal an old-fashioned, black and white photo of a group of dakri, all gathered around the carcass of a dead boar. Isal quickly recognized a much younger Viar in the photo, and by extension, guessed at who the others were. “Your family, I gather? Was that taken during your first boar hunt?”
Viar just looked at it for a while before he folded it and took out his blade and whetstone again. “Yeah, but that’s not important. What’s important is that this thing had its own family and its own life. The queen made it clear that she didn’t understand half of what she saw in the creature’s head, but she did gather this much: It’s incredibly homesick.” The others were quiet as Viar slowly began running the whetstone over the edge of his blade, his hands as steady as a mountain, even as his voice began to crack. “She didn’t tell me much, but from what I’ve heard, I can easily guess why it doesn’t care that it’s under armed guard. It most likely only cares about one thing at this point, seeing as how everything it loves and cares about is forever out of reach.”
Sir Mor looked towards the cliff’s edge, before giving his superior officer a questioning look. “And what’s that, Sir?”
Viar looked up, before he looked back down at his blade, his stare boring into his reflection as he thought about what he had guessed. “It’s an alien, so it’s entirely possible it thinks in a completely different way than us, but I know what I would want, if our places were reversed,” he said, his eyes finally leaving his reflection as he went back to sharpening. “If I were the creature, I would want revenge.”
First Previous
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Hey, sorry about missing yesterday. My babies kept me up all night, and I turned off my alarms to get some sleep during the day, including the one that told me to post a new chapter. What's worse is that I woke up sick, so that's me with egg on my face!
Anyway, here's the links for my books, in case you want to skip the drip-feed and just get right into the meat and potatoes of my story. Thanks for reading, and any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated! I love to hear how I can improve!
Amazon:
What I've Become
Nightmare of the Past
Google:
What I've Become
Nightmare of the Past
submitted by KnightBreeze to HFY [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 01:36 TonarinoTotoro1719 Private Property Vandalism - Whom to Contact

Hey OC Fam,
We have had issues with a neighbor of late. We live in a condo property in Orange County, with houses sharing both walls.
One of our younger neighbors seems to have taken some dislike with us, and has started throwing stuff at our front door. We have found empty cans, blocks of wood, plastic bottles and today, something gooey and black/brown. Looks like mud, could have been shit. We have some footage which could be proof and a neighbor with a Ring Cam who may help.
Is there anyone we can contact other than the HOA? We have a camera, but we had to switch it off because of Wi-Fi issues. Will contacting the City (Lake Forest) do any good?
Thanks!
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2023.05.29 01:35 After-Night1070 26 [M4F] #Orange/ LA County- Make every day a Baja Blast because you never know when it'll be your Baja Last

Hi there! I'm a 26 year old clean and respectful 6 ft tall blue collar hispanic male looking for FWB/ ANR. I live in Downtown Long Beach but can travel and meet you anywhere you'd like. My kink is that I love to suckle on breasts and eating out my partner. What can I say? I love being a giver, nothing turns me on more than hearing a satisfied woman plead for more. I have a great track record and would love put these words into action. I could do it for hours and treat you to dinner like the gentleman that I am afterwards.
If breast play isn't you're thing that's perfectly okay, I got other talents too. I'm experienced at eating pussy/ ass, kissing, massaging, affirmations, breeding, being dominant/submissive, playing rough or making slow passionate love. I'm fun guy looking for a fun time 😏. Open to all body types and ages. Whether you're jessie's girl or Mrs. Robinson, Big or small, I love them all.
I'm someone that that doesn't mind getting to know each other first so if you're a little shy and if the mood's right we can go further on YOUR terms. I'm all about consent, boundaries and practicing safe sex. Send me a dm if you're interested or tired of being lonely and unsatisfied, maybe I'll be your guy😉
submitted by After-Night1070 to RandomActsOfSex [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 01:33 After-Night1070 26 [M4F] #Orange/ LA County- Make every day a Baja Blast because you never know when it'll be your Baja Last

Hi there! I'm a 26 year old clean and respectful 6 ft tall blue collar hispanic male looking for FWB/ ANR. I live in Downtown Long Beach but can travel and meet you anywhere you'd like. My kink is that I love to suckle on breasts and eating out my partner. What can I say? I love being a giver, nothing turns me on more than hearing a satisfied woman plead for more. I have a great track record and would love put these words into action. I could do it for hours and treat you to dinner like the gentleman that I am afterwards.
If breast play isn't you're thing that's perfectly okay, I got other talents too. I'm experienced at eating pussy/ ass, kissing, massaging, affirmations, breeding, being dominant/submissive, playing rough or making slow passionate love. I'm fun guy looking for a fun time 😏. Open to all body types and ages. Whether you're jessie's girl or Mrs. Robinson, Big or small, I love them all.
I'm someone that that doesn't mind getting to know each other first so if you're a little shy and if the mood's right we can go further on YOUR terms. I'm all about consent, boundaries and practicing safe sex. Send me a dm if you're interested or tired of being lonely and unsatisfied, maybe I'll be your guy😉
submitted by After-Night1070 to AgeGapPersonals [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 01:24 Styx_713 Erie skeleton women(long-ish)

About a year ago, I had this dream that has stuck with me vividly and gives me an weird feeling when ever I think about it.
I was in a field on top of a hill, behind me there was a house and lots of people talking and it seemed like it was a party or gathering of some kinda. In front of me at the bottom of the hill there was about 5 little kids that I somehow knew it was my job to watch. I turned behind me because of someone calling my name to ask me something, when I turned back towards the kids they had started running towards a small shed on the border of the field and the forest next to it. I started running toward the shed but only made a few yards/meters before accidentally running in to a tall and thin woman who had long black hair, a button like nose, a big white sun hat, a white sun dress, pale skin, and small lips. I cant not remember what her face shape or eyes looked like. I apologized and she said that it was okay and I distinctly remember her soft calming voice. I continued running towards the shed and once I got in a feeling of dread washed over me, the shed was much larger inside with 3 doors on each wall and a couch in the middle of the room. The couch was facing the wall the to my right and on the wall directly in ground of me the middle door was wide open and inside you could see an ink black sky with a forest of dead trees and a dirt path that could only be seen for about 3 feet/90 centimeters. I could hear children laughing and playing, the sound was coming from inside the door. I called the kids asking if they where in there after I asked all the kids came running out. I spun around to watch all the kids go out into the field. I turned around to close the door to the forest so no one else would end up in there when I say the door I froze because standing inside the door was the woman in the sun dress but she wasn’t a human, she was a walking skeleton with long black hair still in her white sun dress and hat. I was frozen in place and said the only thing I could think of, “I’m sorry about them…” She smiled and let out a small laugh. “It’s okay darling… you shouldn’t leave them alone for to long dear.” She reached out of the door and grabbed the doorknob and closed the door with her still inside the door. I spun around and ran out of the shed.
I don’t remember if anything else happened or if I woke up after that but I know that I have no clue what any of it means or if it means anything at all. Honestly I just wanted to get this of my chest, I’ve only told this to a few other people one of whom told me she had two dreams that had the skeleton women in them, in both dreams she was cold and cruel to her and kind to me even giving me a flower after shorting her in the leg. I don’t know if anything she said was or is true at all.
The flower was an orange ranunculus which represents positive energy, joy, and happiness. I named the skeleton women skel to try not to dehumanize her because she did seem to have good intentions at least in my dream. I can add her dream if y’all want.
submitted by Styx_713 to Dream [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 01:19 eagles_jesse Double or Nothing Drinking Game I’m playing tonight if anyone else wants to play 🍻

1 Drink:
• Every time they say the full name of the PPV. • Every time someone curses audibly • Every “Holy Shit” Chant • Any time there’s cheating in a match
2 Drinks: • Every time someone gets busted open. • Every time you don’t predict the winner of the match correctly. (For the Battle Royal, do Orange Cassidy v The Field) • If a “Fight Forever” chant breaks out • Every time a true finishing move is kicked out of • Any ref bumps
1 Shot or finish your Entire Drink:
• Any very noticeable/major botch. • Any surprise returns • Any moment you are legitimately shocked at at something. Something like a shocking finish, or left speechless by a moment. (Assuming at least 1 during Anarchy in the Arena)
submitted by eagles_jesse to SquaredCircle [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 01:14 eagles_jesse DoN Drinking Game I’m playing tonight if anyone would like to join:

1 Drink:
• Every time they say the full name of the PPV. • Every time someone curses audibly • Every “Holy Shit” Chant • Any time there’s cheating in a match
2 Drinks. • Every time someone gets busted open. • Every time you don’t predict the winner of the match correctly. (For the Battle Royal, do Orange Cassidy v The Field) • If a “Fight Forever” chant breaks out • Every time a true finishing move is kicked out of • Any ref bumps
1 Shot or finish your Entire Drink:
• Any very noticeable/major botch. • Any surprise returns • Any moment you are legitimately shocked at at something. Something like a shocking finish, or left speechless by a moment. (Assuming at least 1 during Anarchy in the Arena)
submitted by eagles_jesse to AEWOfficial [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 01:08 _Triple_ [STORE] 900+ KNIVES/GLOVES/SKINS, 50.000$+ INVENTORY. M9 Fade, M4 Poseidon, BFK Freehand, Crimson Kimono, Nomad Fade, Skeleton, Kara Lore, Bayo Autotronic, AWP Fade, Kara Damas, BFK Ultra, Kara Freehand, Kara Bright, M9 Damas, Omega, Tiger Strike, Flip MF, Bayo Tiger, Deagle Blaze, Talon & More

Everything in my inventory is up for trade. The most valuable items are listed here, the rest you can find in My Inventory

Feel free to Add Me or even better send a Trade Offer. Open for any suggestions: upgrades, downgrades / knives, gloves, skins / stickers, patterns, floats.

All Buyouts are listed in cash value.

KNIVES

★ Butterfly Knife Freehand FN #1, B/O: $2500

★ Butterfly Knife Ultraviolet FT, B/O: $822

★ Butterfly Knife Scorched FT, B/O: $616


★ Bayonet Tiger Tooth MW #1, B/O: $1300

★ Bayonet Autotronic FN, B/O: $1050

★ Bayonet Tiger Tooth MW, B/O: $629

★ Bayonet Bright Water FT, B/O: $326

★ Bayonet Safari Mesh BS, B/O: $233


★ Karambit Lore FT, B/O: $1110

★ Karambit Damascus Steel FT, B/O: $840

★ Karambit Freehand MW, B/O: $784

★ Karambit Bright Water MW, B/O: $759


★ M9 Bayonet Fade FN, B/O: $1801

★ M9 Bayonet Fade FN, B/O: $1801

★ M9 Bayonet Damascus Steel FN, B/O: $751


★ Nomad Knife Fade FN, B/O: $1156

★ Nomad Knife Slaughter MW, B/O: $544

★ Nomad Knife Blue Steel WW, B/O: $318


★ Flip Knife Marble Fade FN, B/O: $646

★ Flip Knife Doppler (Phase 4) FN, B/O: $574

★ Flip Knife Gamma Doppler (Phase 1) MW, B/O: $552

★ Flip Knife Case Hardened FT, B/O: $257

★ Flip Knife Freehand FT, B/O: $255

★ StatTrak™ Flip Knife Bright Water FN, B/O: $287


★ Huntsman Knife Lore FN, B/O: $461

★ Huntsman Knife Gamma Doppler (Phase 4) FN, B/O: $436

★ Huntsman Knife Doppler (Phase 3) FN, B/O: $353

★ Huntsman Knife Autotronic FT, B/O: $212

★ Huntsman Knife Bright Water FT, B/O: $129

★ Huntsman Knife Forest DDPAT MW, B/O: $129

★ Huntsman Knife Forest DDPAT BS, B/O: $123

★ StatTrak™ Huntsman Knife Rust Coat BS, B/O: $127


★ Bowie Knife Gamma Doppler (Phase 2) FN, B/O: $375

★ Bowie Knife Gamma Doppler (Phase 1) FN, B/O: $363

★ Bowie Knife Tiger Tooth FN, B/O: $269

★ Bowie Knife Crimson Web WW, B/O: $192

★ Bowie Knife Bright Water FN, B/O: $159

★ Bowie Knife Ultraviolet FT, B/O: $126


★ Stiletto Knife Slaughter FN, B/O: $616

★ Stiletto Knife Crimson Web FT, B/O: $412

★ StatTrak™ Stiletto Knife Night Stripe FT, B/O: $227


★ Falchion Knife Lore FT, B/O: $214

★ Falchion Knife Autotronic FT, B/O: $192

★ Falchion Knife Scorched WW, B/O: $105


★ Survival Knife Crimson Web BS, B/O: $216

★ Survival Knife Case Hardened FT, B/O: $198

★ Survival Knife Scorched FT, B/O: $111


★ Shadow Daggers Fade FN, B/O: $368

★ Shadow Daggers Doppler (Phase 3) FN, B/O: $228

★ Shadow Daggers, B/O: $201

★ Shadow Daggers Damascus Steel FT, B/O: $108

★ Shadow Daggers Ultraviolet FT, B/O: $105

★ Shadow Daggers Black Laminate FT, B/O: $99

★ Shadow Daggers Forest DDPAT FT, B/O: $85


★ Gut Knife Doppler (Sapphire) MW #1, B/O: $1700

★ Gut Knife Gamma Doppler (Phase 1) FN, B/O: $223

★ Gut Knife Marble Fade FN, B/O: $203

★ Gut Knife Doppler (Phase 2) FN, B/O: $191

★ Gut Knife Case Hardened BS, B/O: $127


★ Navaja Knife Doppler (Phase 4) FN, B/O: $199

★ Navaja Knife Doppler (Phase 4) FN, B/O: $199

★ Navaja Knife, B/O: $138

★ Navaja Knife Damascus Steel FN, B/O: $111


★ Classic Knife Urban Masked FT, B/O: $146

★ StatTrak™ Classic Knife Stained BS, B/O: $168


★ Ursus Knife Doppler (Phase 3) FN, B/O: $476

★ Ursus Knife, B/O: $375


★ Skeleton Knife, B/O: $1137

★ Talon Knife, B/O: $608

★ Paracord Knife, B/O: $305

★ Survival Knife Forest DDPAT FT, B/O: $97

GLOVES

★ Moto Gloves Transport MW, B/O: $204

★ Moto Gloves Polygon BS, B/O: $142

★ Moto Gloves Blood Pressure BS, B/O: $84

★ Moto Gloves Blood Pressure BS, B/O: $84

★ Moto Gloves 3rd Commando Company BS, B/O: $63

★ Moto Gloves 3rd Commando Company BS, B/O: $63


★ Specialist Gloves Crimson Kimono WW, B/O: $1215

★ Specialist Gloves Tiger Strike FT, B/O: $672

★ Specialist Gloves Lt. Commander FT, B/O: $305

★ Specialist Gloves Lt. Commander BS, B/O: $140

★ Specialist Gloves Crimson Web BS, B/O: $137

★ Specialist Gloves Buckshot FT, B/O: $75


★ Driver Gloves Crimson Weave FT, B/O: $359

★ Driver Gloves Imperial Plaid BS, B/O: $229

★ Driver Gloves Overtake BS, B/O: $77

★ Driver Gloves Racing Green FT, B/O: $48


★ Sport Gloves Omega FT, B/O: $739

★ Sport Gloves Amphibious BS #2, B/O: $733

★ Sport Gloves Arid BS, B/O: $292


★ Hand Wraps Giraffe MW, B/O: $212

★ Hand Wraps Leather FT, B/O: $160

★ Hand Wraps Desert Shamagh MW, B/O: $101


★ Broken Fang Gloves Yellow-banded MW, B/O: $185

★ Broken Fang Gloves Needle Point FT, B/O: $67

★ Broken Fang Gloves Needle Point WW, B/O: $59


★ Hydra Gloves Case Hardened BS, B/O: $65

★ Hydra Gloves Emerald FT, B/O: $65

★ Hydra Gloves Emerald BS, B/O: $62

WEAPONS

AK-47 Case Hardened BS, B/O: $130

AK-47 Bloodsport MW, B/O: $79

AK-47 Fuel Injector BS, B/O: $76

AK-47 Fuel Injector BS, B/O: $76

AK-47 Bloodsport FT, B/O: $70

AK-47 Neon Rider MW, B/O: $60

StatTrak™ AK-47 Aquamarine Revenge FT, B/O: $72


AWP Fade FN, B/O: $1039

AWP Asiimov FT, B/O: $139

AWP Asiimov FT, B/O: $139

AWP Wildfire MW, B/O: $95

AWP BOOM MW, B/O: $93

AWP BOOM MW, B/O: $93

AWP Duality FN, B/O: $81

AWP Asiimov BS, B/O: $79

AWP Asiimov BS, B/O: $79

AWP Chromatic Aberration FN, B/O: $60

StatTrak™ AWP Hyper Beast FT, B/O: $68

StatTrak™ AWP Hyper Beast FT, B/O: $68

StatTrak™ AWP Electric Hive FT, B/O: $55


Desert Eagle Blaze FN, B/O: $623

Desert Eagle Emerald Jörmungandr FN, B/O: $241

Desert Eagle Cobalt Disruption FN, B/O: $81

Desert Eagle Cobalt Disruption FN, B/O: $81

Desert Eagle Cobalt Disruption FN, B/O: $81

Desert Eagle Printstream FT, B/O: $54


M4A1-S Blue Phosphor FN, B/O: $434

StatTrak™ M4A1-S Bright Water MW, B/O: $55


M4A4 Poseidon FN, B/O: $1465

M4A4 Asiimov BS, B/O: $55

M4A4 Hellfire MW, B/O: $50


USP-S Kill Confirmed MW, B/O: $72

USP-S Printstream FT, B/O: $69

StatTrak™ USP-S Kill Confirmed FT, B/O: $139


AUG Flame Jörmungandr FN, B/O: $234

P90 Run and Hide FT, B/O: $147

Five-SeveN Candy Apple FN, B/O: $61

Trade Offer Link - Steam Profile Link - My Inventory

Knives - Bowie Knife, Butterfly Knife, Falchion Knife, Flip Knife, Gut Knife, Huntsman Knife, M9 Bayonet, Bayonet, Karambit, Shadow Daggers, Stiletto Knife, Ursus Knife, Navaja Knife, Talon Knife, Classic Knife, Paracord Knife, Survival Knife, Nomad Knife, Skeleton Knife, Patterns - Gamma Doppler, Doppler (Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3, Phase 4, Black Pearl, Sapphire, Ruby, Emerald), Crimson Web, Lore, Fade, Ultraviolet, Night, Marble Fade (Fire & Ice, Fake FI), Case Hardened (Blue Gem), Autotronic, Slaughter, Black Laminate, Tiger Tooth, Boreal Forest, Scorched, Blue Steel, Vanilla, Damascus Steel, Forest DDPAT, Urban Masked, Freehand, Stained, Bright Water, Safari Mesh, Rust Coat, Gloves - Bloodhound Gloves (Charred, Snakebite, Guerrilla, Bronzed), Driver Gloves (Snow Leopard, King Snake, Crimson Weave, Imperial Plaid, Black Tie, Lunar Weave, Diamondback, Rezan the Red, Overtake, Queen Jaguar, Convoy, Racing Green), Hand Wraps (Cobalt Skulls, CAUTION!, Overprint, Slaughter, Leather, Giraffe, Badlands, Spruce DDPAT, Arboreal, Constrictor, Desert Shamagh, Duct Tape), Moto Gloves (Spearmint, POW!, Cool Mint, Smoke Out, Finish Line, Polygon, Blood Pressure, Turtle, Boom!, Eclipse, 3rd Commando Company, Transport), Specialist Gloves (Crimson Kimono, Tiger Strike, Emerald Web, Field Agent, Marble Fade, Fade, Foundation, Lt. Commander, Crimson Web, Mogul, Forest DDPAT, Buckshot), Sport Gloves (Pandora's Box, Superconductor, Hedge Maze, Vice, Amphibious, Slingshot, Omega, Arid, Big Game, Nocts, Scarlet Shamagh, Bronze Morph), Hydra Gloves (Case Hardened, Emerald, Rattler, Mangrove), Broken Fang Gloves (Jade, Yellow-banded, Unhinged, Needle Point), Pistols - P2000 (Wicked Sick, Ocean Foam, Fire Element, Amber Fade, Corticera, Chainmail, Imperial Dragon, Obsidian, Scorpion, Handgun, Acid Etched), USP-S (Printstream, Kill Confirmed, Whiteout, Road Rash, Owergrowth, The Traitor, Neo-Noir, Dark Water, Orion, Blueprint, Stainless, Caiman, Serum, Monster Mashup, Royal Blue, Ancient Visions, Cortex, Orange Anolis, Ticket To Hell, Black Lotus, Cyrex, Check Engine, Guardian, Purple DDPAT, Torque, Blood Tiger, Flashback, Business Class, Pathfinder, Para Green), Lead Conduit, Glock-18 (Umbral Rabbit, Fade, Candy Apple, Bullet Queen, Synth Leaf, Neo-Noir, Nuclear Garden, Dragon Tatto, Reactor, Pink DDPAT, Twilight Galaxy, Sand Dune, Groundwater, Blue Fissure, Snack Attack, Water Elemental, Brass, Wasteland Rebel, Vogue, Franklin, Royal Legion, Gamma Doppler, Weasel, Steel Disruption, Ironwork, Grinder, High Beam, Moonrise, Oxide Blaze, Bunsen Burner, Clear Polymer, Bunsen Burner, Night), P250 (Re.built, Nuclear Threat, Modern Hunter, Splash, Whiteout, Vino Primo, Mehndi, Asiimov, Visions, Undertow, Cartel, See Ya Later, Gunsmoke, Splash, Digital Architect, Muertos, Red Rock, Bengal Tiger, Crimson Kimono, Wingshot, Metallic DDPAT, Hive, Dark Filigree, Mint Kimono), Five-Seven (Neon Kimono, Berries And Cherries, Fall Hazard, Crimson Blossom, Hyper Beast, Nitro, Fairy Tale, Case Hardened, Copper Galaxy, Angry Mob, Monkey Business, Fowl Play, Anodized Gunmetal, Hot Shot, Retrobution, Boost Protocol), CZ75-Auto (Chalice, Crimson Web, Emerald Quartz, The Fuschia is Now, Nitro, Xiangliu, Yellow Jacket, Victoria, Poison Dart, Syndicate, Eco, Hexane, Pole, Tigris), Tec-9 (Rebel, Terrace, Nuclear Threat, Hades, Rust Leaf, Decimator, Blast From, Orange Murano, Toxic, Fuel Injector, Remote Control, Bamboo Forest, Isaac, Avalanche, Brother, Re-Entry, Blue Titanium, Bamboozle), R8 Revolver (Banana Cannon, Fade, Blaze, Crimson Web, Liama Cannon, Crazy 8, Reboot, Canal Spray, Night, Amber Fade), Desert Eagle (Blaze, Hand Cannon, Fennec Fox, Sunset Storm, Emerald Jörmungandr, Pilot, Hypnotic, Golden Koi, Printstream, Cobalt Disruption, Code Red, Ocean Drive, Midnight Storm, Kumicho Dragon, Crimson Web, Heirloom, Night Heist, Mecha Industries, Night, Conspiracy, Trigger Discipline, Naga, Directive, Light Rail), Dual Berettas (Flora Carnivora, Duelist, Cobra Strike, Black Limba, Emerald, Hemoglobin, Twin Turbo, Marina, Melondrama, Pyre, Retribution, Briar, Dezastre, Royal Consorts, Urban Shock, Dualing Dragons, Panther, Balance), Rifles - Galil (Aqua Terrace, Winter Forest, Chatterbox, Sugar Rush, Pheonix Blacklight, CAUTION!, Orange DDPAT, Cerberus, Dusk Ruins, Eco, Chromatic Aberration, Stone Cold, Tuxedo, Sandstorm, Shattered, Urban Rubble, Rocket Pop, Kami, Crimson Tsunami, Connexion), SCAR-20 (Fragments, Brass, Cyrex, Palm, Splash Jam, Cardiac, Emerald, Crimson Web, Magna Carta, Stone Mosaico, Bloodsport, Enforcer), AWP (Duality, Gungnir, Dragon Lore, Prince, Medusa, Desert Hydra, Fade, Lightning Strike, Oni Taiji, Silk Tiger, Graphite, Chromatic Aberration, Asiimov, Snake Camo, Boom, Containment Breach, Wildfire, Redline, Electric Hive, Hyper Beast, Neo-Noir, Man-o'-war, Pink DDPAT, Corticera, Sun in Leo, Elite Build, Fever Dream, Atheris, Mortis, PAW, Exoskeleton, Worm God, POP AWP, Phobos, Acheron, Pit Viper, Capillary, Safari Mesh), AK-47 (Head Shot, Wild Lotus, Gold Arabesque, X-Ray, Fire Serpent, Hydroponic, Panthera Onca, Case Hardened, Vulcan, Jet Set, Fuel Injector, Bloodsport, Nightwish, First Class, Neon Rider, Asiimov, Red Laminate, Aquamarine Revenge, The Empress, Wasteland Rebel, Jaguar, Black Laminate, Leet Museo, Neon Revolution, Redline, Frontside Misty, Predator, Legion of Anubis, Point Disarray, Orbit Mk01, Blue Laminate, Green Laminate, Emerald Pinstripe, Cartel, Phantom Disruptor, Jungle Spray, Safety Net, Rat Rod, Baroque Purple, Slate, Elite Build, Uncharted, Safari Mesh), FAMAS (Sundown, Prime Conspiracy, Afterimage, Commemoration, Dark Water, Spitfire, Pulse, Eye of Athena, Meltdown, Rapid Eye Move, Roll Cage, Styx, Mecha Industrie, Djinn, ZX Spectron, Valence, Neural Net, Night Borre, Hexne), M4A4 (Temukau, Howl, Poseidon, Asiimov, Daybreak, Hellfire, Zirka, Red DDPAT, Radiation Hazard, Modern Hunter, The Emperor, The Coalition, Bullet Rain, Cyber Security, X-Ray, Dark Blossom, Buzz Kill, In Living Color, Neo-Noir, Desolate Space, 龍王 (Dragon King), Royal Paladin, The Battlestar, Global Offensive, Tooth Fairy, Desert-Strike, Griffin, Evil Daimyo, Spider Lily, Converter), M4A1-S (Emphorosaur-S, Welcome to the Jungle, Imminent Danger, Knight, Hot Rod, Icarus Fell, Blue Phosphor, Printstream, Master Piece, Dark Water, Golden Coil, Bright Water, Player Two, Atomic Alloy, Guardian, Chantico's Fire, Hyper Beast, Mecha Industries, Cyrex, Control Panel, Moss Quartz, Nightmare, Decimator, Leaded Glass, Basilisk, Blood Tiger, Briefing, Night Terror, Nitro, VariCamo, Flashback), SG 553 (Cyberforce, Hazard Pay, Bulldozer, Integrale, Dragon Tech, Ultraviolet, Colony IV, Hypnotic, Cyrex, Candy Apple, Barricade, Pulse), SSG 08 (Death Strike, Sea Calico, Blood in the Water, Orange Filigree, Dragonfire, Big Iron, Bloodshot, Detour, Turbo Peek, Red Stone), AUG (Akihabara Accept, Flame Jörmungandr, Hot Rod, Midnight Lily, Sand Storm, Carved Jade, Wings, Anodized Navy, Death by Puppy, Torque, Bengal Tiger, Chameleon, Fleet Flock, Random Access, Momentum, Syd Mead, Stymphalian, Arctic Wolf, Aristocrat, Navy Murano), G3SG1 (Chronos, Violet Murano, Flux, Demeter, Orange Kimono, The Executioner, Green Apple, Arctic Polar Camo, Contractor), SMGs - P90 (Neoqueen, Astral Jörmungandr, Run and Hide, Emerald Dragon, Cold Blooded, Death by Kitty, Baroque Red, Vent Rush, Blind Spot, Asiimov, Trigon, Sunset Lily, Death Grip, Leather, Nostalgia, Fallout Warning, Tiger Pit, Schermatic, Virus, Shapewood, Glacier Mesh, Shallow Grave, Chopper, Desert Warfare), MAC-10 (Sakkaku, Hot Snakes, Copper Borre, Red Filigree, Gold Brick, Graven, Case Hardened, Stalker, Amber Fade, Neon Rider, Tatter, Curse, Propaganda, Nuclear Garden, Disco Tech, Toybox, Heat, Indigo), UMP-45 (Wild Child, Fade, Blaze, Day Lily, Minotaur's Labyrinth, Crime Scene, Caramel, Bone Pile, Momentum, Primal Saber), MP7 (Teal Blossom, Fade, Nemesis, Whiteout, Asterion, Bloosport, Abyssal Apparition, Full Stop, Special Delivery, Neon Ply, Asterion, Ocean Foam, Powercore, Scorched, Impire), PP-Bizon (Modern Hunter, Rust Coat, Forest Leaves, Antique, High Roller, Blue Streak, Seabird, Judgement of Anubis, Bamboo Print, Embargo, Chemical Green, Coblat Halftone, Fuel Rod, Photic Zone, Irradiated Alert, Carbon Fiber), MP9 (Featherweight, Wild Lily, Pandora's Box, Stained Glass, Bulldozer, Dark Age, Hot Rod, Hypnotic, Hydra, Rose Iron, Music Box, Setting Sun, Food Chain, Airlock, Mount Fuji, Starlight Protector, Ruby Poison Dart, Deadly Poison), MP5-SD (Liquidation, Oxide Oasis, Phosphor, Nitro, Agent, Autumn Twilly), Shotguns, Machineguns - Sawed-Off (Kiss♥Love, First Class, Orange DDPAT, Rust Coat, The Kraken, Devourer, Mosaico, Wasteland Princess, Bamboo Shadow, Copper, Serenity, Limelight, Apocalypto), XM1014 (Frost Borre, Ancient Lore, Red Leather, Elegant Vines, Banana Leaf, Jungle, Urban Perforated, Grassland, Blaze Orange, Heaven Guard, VariCamo Blue, Entombed, XOXO, Seasons, Tranquility, Bone Machine, Incinegator, Teclu Burner, Black Tie, Zombie Offensive, Watchdog), Nova (Baroque Orange, Hyper Beast, Green Apple, Antique, Modern Hunter, Walnut, Forest Leaves, Graphite, Blaze Orange, Rising Skull, Tempest, Bloomstick, Interlock, Quick Sand, Moon in Libra, Clean Polymer, Red Quartz, Toy Soldier), MAG-7 (Insomnia, Cinqueda, Counter Terrace, Prism Terrace, Memento, Chainmail, Hazard, Justice, Bulldozer, Silver, Core Breach, Firestarter, Praetorian, Heat, Hard Water, Monster Call, BI83 Spectrum, SWAG-7), M249 (Humidor, Shipping Forecast, Blizzard Marbleized, Downtown, Jungle DDPAT, Nebula Crusader, Impact Drill, Emerald Poison Dart), Negev (Mjölnir, Anodized Navy, Palm, Power Loader, Bratatat, CaliCamo, Phoenix Stencil, Infrastructure, Boroque Sand), Wear - Factory New (FN), Minimal Wear (MW), Field-Tested (FT), Well-Worn (WW), Battle-Scarred (BS), Stickers Holo/Foil/Gold - Katowice 2014, Krakow 2017, Howling Dawn, Katowice 2015, Crown, London 2018, Cologne 2014, Boston 2018, Atlanta 2017, Cluj-Napoca 2015, DreamHack 2014, King on the Field, Harp of War, Winged Difuser, Cologne 2016, Cologne 2015, MLG Columbus 2016, Katowice 2019, Berlin 2019, RMR 2020, Stockholm 2021, Antwerp 2022, Swag Foil, Flammable foil, Others - Souvenirs, Agents, Pins, Passes, Gifts, Music Kits, Cases, Keys, Capsules, Packages, Patches

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submitted by _Triple_ to Csgotrading [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 01:03 Trash_Tia Camp Redwood is running out of counsellors! These children... THEY'RE NOT CHILDREN.

In hindsight, I should have listened to the kill-bill alarm bells in my head when eight-year-old Cassie announced she and her cabin mates were going to skip out on camp activities and play Operation instead.
Though it’s not like I didn’t have things on my mind. Seven counsellors had gone missing—along with our head counsellor who was supposed to be taking care of us.
It started out fairly normal. I mean, one or two counselors wasn’t bad, right?
Lily and Joey had been drowning in sexual tension for a while, so nobody was surprised when they sneaked into the woods for what I could only guess was the most uncomfortable sex ever. But then they didn’t come back.
Teddy and Yuri went to look for them, and then they too also disappeared. It was almost like a wild animal was lying in wait for another unsuspecting teenager to cross its path.
With six of us left, I was definitely freaking out.
I wasn’t expecting summer camp to be like this. I did consider working in my local Sephora, but mom had a preference—and whether I was eighteen years old or not, she was getting her way. So, it was goodbye civilization, and hello Canadian wilderness.
There were fifteen kids queued up in front of me for lunch, and I was having a hard time keeping that optimistic Camp Redwood smile.
I couldn’t help constantly counting how many hours it had been since the latest disappearance, Connor.
He was supposed to be helping with getting the emergency generator going, after the electricity sizzled out.
The boy was gone an hour later. This was happening fast. Whatever was going on with the counsellors was burning through all of us. Would it happen to me?
I had seen so many TV shows and movies set in a summer camp where every camper and counsellor was doomed to die in the grossest way possible. Was that going to happen to us?
I tightened my grip around the stupid ladle I had found myself stirring, a giant pot of chocolate syrup. Watching watery chocolate drip from the edge, I felt nauseous. Of all the summer camp’s mom had to send me to, it had to be the one with vanishing counsellors and zero adult authority. Which meant we were the authority. Twelve teenagers who came to relax and babysit a bunch of little kids before college.
We had to put on brave faces and pretend everything was absolutely fine—and we weren’t all terrified out of our fucking minds.
At the corner of my eye, I glimpsed Harry offering piggybacks to a bunch of little kids, with one of the littles, Eleanor, wrapping her arms around his neck and squealing.
From the look on the boy’s face, he wanted to stop. It was hard to keep a façade when reality was becoming harder and harder to bear. Abandoning his hat completely, Harry was dripping with sweat, trying to twist his lips into the Camp Redwood grin. But looking closer, as he galloped across the cabin with Eleanor holding on for dear life, the guy was ready to collapse. I didn’t blame him.
Entertaining the kids was supposed to be Teddy’s assignment—and he was who knows where. I had taken over lunch duties for Lily, who had joined the long list of the missing.
Harry was supposed to be joining the search party for the missing councellors, but had ended up becoming the little’s personal punching bag.
When I first met him, Harry Carlisle had been the kid who sat on the side-lines and offered sarcastic remarks and crude jokes. Now, he had been reduced to a playground ride the kids pretended didn’t have an off switch.
He had enjoyed maybe the first two rides to raise morale, but now I could see the strain in his eyes. “Ow!” Harry winced when the little girl’s fingers prodded at his eyes. “Hey! Eleanor, not my eyes!” He was dangerously close to toppling over, though managed to catch his footing, ordering all of them off of his back. “Horse Rides are over!” He cupped his mouth, shouting across the cabin when a group of kids surrounded him with equally terrifying faces. Harry backed away and threw his hands up. “Come on, guys, my back isn’t built for all of you!”
“Horsey!” The kids shouted back in a cacophony of giggles.
It was 10 against one.
Against two, if I got involved. Which wasn’t going to happen. There was no way I was putting effort into play-fighting a bunch of eight-year-olds. Harry shot me a hopeful look, though I pretended not to see, busying myself with slightly burned nuggets.
Running his fingers through thick strands of sandy colored hair, Harry pulled a face when a little girl, Phoebe, was brave enough to step forward.
“No.” Harry shook his head, squeezing the front of his counsellor shirt practically glued to him. The temperature still hadn’t let up, and it was heading towards 8PM. Night-time, I thought dizzily. It was almost bedtime, and still no adults. “I refuse to surrender,” He told her. “Phoebe, I am not joking around when I’m saying my back is hurting. We’ve been playing horsey’s for two hours.”
“So?”
“So!” Harry couldn’t yell or hiss, or swear at them. That was a big no-no with kids.
However, I could see he was coming close to breaking that rule. “Because I’m tired,” he said through a Camp Redwood grin, which was quickly twitching into a grimace.
I think all of us had given up with the fake enthusiasm when our colleagues started to vanish. Now, we were just shells of our former happy selves. “And… uh… did you know that if you ride a horsey at this time, the ghosts will come and get you?”
When a boy opened his mouth, his eyes widening with fright, Harry realized his mistake.
“I mean the nice ghosts! Yeah! The uh, the nice ghosts who haunt..I mean play in these woods? It’s a well-known Camp Redwood legend that ghosts don’t like horse rides. In fact,” his lips curved into a devilish smile now he had several faces staring at him. The kids dropped onto the ground to listen, their hands clasped in their laps. This was the quietest they had been all day. I could understand though. Harry had taken the reins around the campfire telling ghost stories for three nights in a row, and the guy was a damn good storyteller.
With every eye on him, Harry lowered his voice into a whisper. “Do you guys want to know what they do?”
The kids nodded with wide eyes.
“They sneak into unsuspecting cabin’s…”
“Harry.”
Rowan’s voice came from outside in a warning. The window was open, and the guy was standing watch to see if any counsellors came back. Since the only adult had disappeared, he had been appointed leader—and the guy was taking himself a little too seriously.
His warning was valid though. Sometimes Harry’s ghost stories were a little too scary for little kids, who’s Imaginations tended to run wild—especially at night. Olive, my cabin-mate, had to give up her bed for a little girl who was convinced Harry’s depiction of Slenderman, “The tree boy” was going to sneak into her bed and turn her into an apple seed.
“Did I say sneak into cabin’s? I meant dance around the woods…” Harry corrected himself. “And they look for their next unsuspecting victim…”
“Harry!”
“Friend.” Harry swallowed his words when a little boy’s eyes went wide. “I mean they are looking for a friend! So, the point of my story is…”
“Horsey rides get us new friends?” Phoebe wasn’t buying it. I could tell from the slight arch of her brow and her widening smile.
The girl shook dark curls out of her face, smirking. I think it was her pleading eyes which won him over. Because, with a sigh which definitely wasn’t joking around, the guy dropped onto his knees and practically spat at her to climb on his back—and she did, plonking one sparkling shoe on top of the boy’s spine with enough force to send him onto his stomach. I might have been imagining it, but since when were these littles so outlandishly spiteful?
The little girl was grinning. Not because she could ride her “horsey” but because Harry looked like he was going to either wring her neck, or wring his own. Mom had a “talk” before I started here, and she made sure to tell me that if adult authority is nowhere to be seen, little kids will start to act out.
I could definitely call it acting out, but I had spent all day with her several days earlier playing with dolls and having a teddy bear picnic when she admitted she didn’t want to swim in the lake with the other kids. Phoebe had been shy and only spoke to me through her teddy bear, so what had changed?
Could the lack of adults really be scaring the kids that much?
“Miss Josie?”
I wasn’t paying attention, half noticing some kids had just helped themselves, piling chicken nuggets and cookies on plastic plates and hurrying to their seats like I couldn’t see them.
Blinking away brain fog, I found myself face to face with Eli, who was probably my favorite camper.
You’re not supposed to have personal preferences when working with little kids, because your opinions could upset them.
However, it was incredibly hard not to like Eli.
Hiding behind a mop of brown curls, the boy was one of the more vocal kids in the group. Eli said he wanted to be an inventor when he was older, and he wanted to make robots. The kid had asked me if I wanted to see his robot collection, but I was too busy with setting up camp activities. Standing in front of me and clutching his tray, the boy was frowning.
“Josie, I just saw some kids steal chicken nuggets.”
I shrugged, shovelling a large portion on his tray. “Well, you can have some extra too.”
Eli’s smile wasn’t as big as usual. “Where’s Teddy?”
I pretended to be oblivious, hastily adding more nuggets to his tray as if I could keep his mouth shut with extra food. “He’ll be back soon! Teddy is just playing in the woods.”
“No, he’s not.”
At first, I thought I’d heard the boy wrong. The kid wasn’t looking at me, counting his nuggets as usual with the prongs of his plastic fork.
I leaned forward with my best smile. “I’m sorry, what was that, Eli?”
The kid lifted his head with a wide grin. “Can I borrow a knife, Josie?”
“Why do you need a knife?”
Leaning forward, the boy shrugged. “There’s a squirrel caught in a trap,” he said. “I want to put it out of its misery, Miss Josie. It’s in a lot of pain.”
That was… dark.
“Well, I can’t give you a knife…” I trailed off, my gaze finding Harry and the growing line of kids awaiting a horse-ride. “But! How about you go and ask Harry for a piggy-back ride?” I pointed to myself with a forced grin. “I’ll save the squirrel!” And when the boy’s eyes filled with tears and he shook his head, I reached out, grasped his hand, and squeezed it as tight as I could. “Eli, we don’t need to do that, okay? I’m sure the squirrel can be saved and I’ll make sure to take it to the vet, okay?”
“But what if it doesn’t need saving?”
I squeezed tighter. “I’ll save it, Eli. I promise.”
Eli didn’t look convinced, but he nodded with a grumble. “Okay.” He said, before twisting around and joining the other kids torturing Harry. Immediately, I left my station—whether Rowan liked it or not—and headed outside to look for this supposedly dying squirrel. That was something we didn’t need. The sky was darkening when I made it into the woods, cotton candy clouds blurring through the thick canopy of trees. Eli said it was near the sign pointing towards the lake. Though I couldn’t see anything. Odd. That thought retracted in my head, however, when I stepped forward, and a squelching sound cut through the silence of my own heavy breaths mixing with insect chitters and nightlife buzzing above me and beneath me. The wet sounding squelch twisted my gut, and when I stared down at the ground, I didn't know what I was expecting.
A squashed squirrel, perhaps? In Eli’s words, the poor thing had been on the edge of death. Though, when I was thinking about it, there were no animal traps around camp. That was basic health and safety. So, what the fuck was I looking at? The bottom of my shoe was caked in dried blood, but it was the thing which was stamped into the dirt which sent my heart into my throat. It looked like an eye.
But looking closer as I lowered myself to the ground, I glimpsed something metallic, something glistening around the pupil. I picked up a stick and prodded it, though the thing didn’t move. It was definitely an eye—the eye of some kind of animal, judging from the pigmentation and the color of the iris.
But it was the metallic pieces around the eye which was throwing me off. Part of a trap, maybe? It wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that a poor critter had been ripped apart, and a wild bear had dropped its dinner near the camp—and the metal encasing its eye was most likely pieces of trap.
Peering closer, though, I glimpsed silver slithers in what appeared to be the destroyed nerve caked to my shoe. After scraping most of it off, I caught glistening pieces of blood stained metal catching the late-setting sun. This time, I pinched a piece between my forefinger and thumb. It didn’t look like a bear-trap. The metal itself wasn’t serrated or old. In fact, it was new.
Which begged the question: What was this thing?
Whatever it was, it had started converting what looked like a critter’s eye, before stopping. Was it a virus? When that thought slammed into me, I fell back with a hiss, swiping my hands on my shirt.
“What are you doing?”
I almost jumped out of my skin, diving to my feet.
Carmel was standing behind me, grasping what looked like her sixth or seventh coffee. The girl had been running to and from the coffee machine all day, and I had been silently counting how much caffeine she was consuming. Carmel had been a well put together and fairly popular girl when camp started. She immediately had everyone following her beck and call, all of the boy’s (and girl’s) following her around.
Carmel wasn't straight. She made that clear on the bus to camp, announcing she wasn’t interested in guy’s, and that she had a girlfriend back home. Still though, the guy’s still followed her because... well, she was pretty.
Carmel was my bunk-mate and had woken me up on three separate occasions at 6am to go through the exact same hair and makeup routine. Now though, there was no sign of makeup or even that she had brushed her hair.
Instead of its usual tidy blonde ponytail, Carmel’s curls were tied into raggedy pigtails with ribbons I was sure she had stolen from a camper’s doll. I think what was keeping her going was coffee.
Carmel regarded me with too-wide eyes and a Camp Redwood smile we all knew was fake. She was grasping onto her coffee cup for dear life. “Josie!” she jumped when I jumped, which almost made me laugh. “Rowan’s having an emergency meeting in his cabin,” she said.
“So, whatever you’re doing can wait.”
Her gaze flicked to the ground. “What… are you doing?”
For a brief moment, I considered telling Carmel I may have found what looked like a virus which turned flesh and blood to metal—before I remembered her reaction when a spider had crept into our cabin.
Whatever this thing was, keeping it a secret for now was probably what was best. Making sure I was standing on the thing, I shrugged. “I was looking for the others.”
Carmel cocked her head, before resting her coffee on the ground. “In the dirt?”
“Footprints, Carmel.”
The girl looked confused before shaking her head. “Okay, whatever. Tell the others I’ll be there in a sec, I just need to make sure the kids are okay. We’re putting a movie on for them in the lunch hall, so that will hopefully distract them for maybe two hours.”
I nodded. “Did anyone find a phone?”
“Not with signal.”
“Carmel.” I had to fight back the urge to yell at her to keep her voice down. Kids were curious, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we had some littles peeking into our conversation. “You’re okay.” I said softly.
“I mean, we’re not okay, because yes, things are very.. screwed up right now, but we need to be… optimistic.” I exhaled out a breath, searching for eyes in the dark. I tried to smile, tried to keep up that Camp Redwood façade we were all held hostage by until the last day of camp (According to rule 5 in the Camp Redwood counsellor handbook, all counsellors must retain a smile and a positive attitude. If any counselor is caught making a frowny face, or spreading what we call “unhappiness” we will be forced to send the counselor home).
At this point, I didn’t give a fuck—but part of me didn’t want to scare the little kids.
“No, Josie.” The girl grasped hold of my shoulders with a grin rivalling the joker. “I am so sick of being told to keep smiling, because what is that doing? Three of my cabin-mates are missing! I’m the one left, and Rowan and co expect me to keep up this act? We are fucked!"
She cupped her mouth. “F. U. C. K. E. D. We have zero adults, an unexplainable loss of power every few hours which makes no sense in the middle of nowhere—I mean what the fuck is out there which is sucking that much power, huh? There is no explanation! There should be an explanation. I should be able to think, “oh, yeah! That’s why! But no. Things are happening, and I don’t know why they’re happening. Rowan is trying to force us to act like things are okay —but in reality? He is shitting himself, Josie! We are ALL shitting ourselves!”
I took a step back, keeping hold of her hand. Carmel was trembling, her hands clammy and slimy entangled in mine. “He's just trying to keep the kids from freaking out."
She groaned, tears glistening in her eyes. “Okay, yeah! I’m blaming them because they keep acting like everything is okay—”
“Everything IS okay.” I turned to her with what I hoped was a reassuring smile—knowing damn well about the thing I’d found in the dirt. If that thing could spread, it would have a field day in an enclosed space like a summer camp.
I noticed my own hands which had been touching the thing making contact with Carmel, and dropped my hands, inwardly squirming.
If that thing was a virus, I was already fucked.
Maybe Carmel too.
If it was fast acting, it could explain the counsellor disappearances. I was already putting together a plan in my head as we headed back to the main cabin. We had to put together a search party. Some of us would stay with the kids, while a small group would venture into the woods to try and look for traces of the missing. If I was right, we would find a horror scene in the woods, and yes, that would be the time to panic.
If I was wrong, however, there was still hope.
“Are we going to be okay?”
Carmel’s voice sliced into my thoughts, and I took a moment to drink in the camp around us.
Usually, when the sky was turning twilight, it would be bustling with campers and counselors toasting marshmallows on the fire and gathering around to fall asleep to Harry’s ghost stories. Carmel would be knelt with a bunch of kids, watching a YouTube video they had all insisted on her watching, while Rowan would be hiding behind his book with his knees to his chest, his gaze glued to every page he flicked through, ignoring everyone.
Teddy, making funny faces for kids who were scared, and Connor, handing out plates of burgers and hot dogs. I remembered feeling safe and at home, cosy around the flickering orange of the fire as chatter turned to laughter and white-noise in my head. After the kids went back to their cabins, the group of us would resume positions around the fire, but this time it was more… intimate. With Allison in her cabin, we kind of ignored her rules all together.
Making out happened, because of course it did. Beers stolen from Allison’s mini fridge and raging hormones, as well as late-night skinny dipping in the lake did that. Couples went off into the woods, and we all felt completely comfortable and at home with each other.
Looking around at that moment, I felt sick to my stomach. That feeling was gone.
The feeling of family and familiarity and friendship. What I was looking at now was that same log we had all sat on, now turned on its side—hot dog buns and candy wrappers littering the ground. It was a ghost camp.
I could still see Connor’s jacket slung on the ground, and Lili’s bright pink ray bans sitting on a beer can. Because there were no adults to yell at us to clean up after ourselves. I was frowning at the skeleton of the fire when Carmel nudged me. “Hey.” Her voice was shaking slightly. “Josie? You didn’t answer my question.” Carmel wanted me to be the voice of reason, and I wasn’t that. I was just as scared as her.
There was only so much I could sugar-coat, and I gave up doing that after the third counsellor disappeared. All I could offer her was forced optimism.
“Yes.” I said. “Just keep the kids busy, alright?”
“Right.”
When I was twisting around and power-walking to Rowan’s cabin, I shouted over my shoulder, “Give them some of those animal crackers!”
“What animal crackers?”
I turned to elaborate, but Carmel was gone.
When I finally got to Rowan’s cabin, I was sweating through my shirt, and had an idea of what I was going to tell the others. It was… a thing. Which could be considered a disease or a virus—so it was vital that we split into two groups; half of us would search for the others, while the others would look for anything to get in contact with the outside world. An emergency landline, laptop, or cell phone.
I did have one problem, which was lack of evidence. All which was left from the thing I’d found was stuck to my foot. The rest of it was buried in the dirt. It was too dark to search for it, and we would be wasting time doing so.
All of that was in my mind and tangled on my tongue, one single string of incomprehensible gibberish I wasn’t even sure was English, when I stepped into Rowan’s cabin, where four sets of eyes met mine. Olive, cross legged on the floor with her arms folded, Harry, pacing up and down with a brand new bruise blooming under his eye, courtesy of Eleanor almost poking his eyes out—and Rowan himself sitting on top bunk, his legs swinging off of the side.
The guy wasn’t built to be our leader, originally being the laziest of our group, opting for sitting in a tree with a book, rather than helping set up camp activities. Yet he had become our default guy in charge because he so happened to be wearing the head counsellor hat when Allison disappeared. Admittedly, it suited him, the bright red of the cap contrasted his dark curls under a late setting sun through the back window, setting strands of straying hair on fire.
The hat was a little too big for his head, though, slipping over his eyes.
Rowan looked like a divorced father of two, dark circles bruising his eyes, and a very “dad-like” scowl curling on his lips.
With a clipboard pressed to his chest, and a pen he was chewing on, the boy resembled a grown man who had just caught his daughter coming in after curfew. “Josie.” Spitting the pen’s lid out of his mouth, he scribbled something down. I had no doubt he was tracking my attendance for these stupid crisis meetings. His eyes were wild, scanning me for answers. “Where the fuck is Carmel?”
I shut the door behind me, leaning against it with my arms folded. “So, we can swear now?”
“Yes.” Rowan rolled his eyes. “There are no kids here, so go crazy,” he pointed at me with the pen. “Carmel. Where is she?”
“Keeping the kids busy,” Callan’s muffled voice came from the bottom bunk. I could barely see the guy lying on his stomach, his face stuffed into a pillow. “It was my idea to play Shrek for them, but the little shits said they haven’t seen it,” the boy lifted his head, his lips carved into a scowl. “I’m sorry, am I tripping? Everyone’s seen Shrek! Do these kids expect the Minecraft movie?”
“They don’t like that, either,” Harry stopped pacing the cabin. “Eleanor looked at me like I was crazy when I asked if she liked it."
“Fortnite, too.” Olive said, a cushion pressed to her chest. “I suggested playing it a few days ago, and like, zero kids knew what it was.”
“Six counsellors are missing,” Rowan raised his voice over the other’s chatter. “And you’re questioning what games they like?” His eyes found mine once more. “So, Carmel is with the kids? You’re absolutely sure of it?”
I nodded. “Yeah. I mean, I just saw her five minutes ago.”
“Great.” Rowan said, sarcastically. “I’m sure she won’t go missing under mysterious circumstances.”
“Stop.” Olive shot him a glare, throwing a cushion in his face. “I told you. They’re probably lost—- or maybe they went to get help?”
“We’ve all been trained to know every inch of these woods,” Rowan catapulted the cushion right back at her. “They’re not lost.”
“Well, where are they?!” Callan sat up, bringing his knees to his chest. I had never seen the guy looked this vulnerable. “Allison made sense. She probably had other duties, and left us to look after the kids. But six counselors? All of them disappearing—- our phone signal completely cutting out, electricity cutting off, not once, but twice? What is even sucking all of our power?”
“I got the emergency generator working,” Olive raised her arm. “Connor and I managed it before…” she trailed off.
“Before Connor disappeared.” Callan finished for her. “And before him, it was Joey, Lily, Mira, Yuri, Noah, and Teddy. Which isn’t a fucking coincidence,” he shot Rowan a look, who glared down at his lap. I could tell the boy didn’t want to lead all of us, come up with plans and answer questions we desperately needed answering. His job was to look after us, as well as the littles, and so far, he was doing a pretty good job. I could tell by his expression that he thought the opposite, but he had managed to keep the kids from finding out about something as sinister as someone actively kidnapping counsellors.
He made sure they were fed, entertained, and safe watching a movie—while we were scared for our lives. Rowan was keeping up the façade no matter how scared he was. The boy dropped his head into his lap with a sigh. It looked like he might fall asleep before he slammed the clipboard into his face to wake himself up.
Nobody wanted to admit what Callan was saying, but we were all definitely thinking it. “This was planned.” Callan continued.
“Someone out here is fucking with us, very clearly trying to freak us out. Now they've got six of us. ” He spread out his arms. “How long until one of the littles gets taken, huh? A bunch of 18 year olds aren’t going to satisfy them, so what about when they start taking campers? We are in the middle of fuckin’ nowhere with a serial kidnapper on the loose, and did we really just leave fifteen kids in the care of a girl who thought Australia was in England?”
“In Carmel’s defence, she was black-out drunk when she said that,” Olive murmured.
“Voice down!” Rowan hissed. “Do you want to scare them?!” His gaze flicked to me. “Did you do a headcount during dinner?”
I nodded. “Fifteen kids all accounted for. Ten are in the lunch hall, and five girls are in Cassie’s cabin playing Operation.”
“All day?” Olive spoke up. “Weren’t they playing that this morning? I tried to get into their cabin to give them breakfast, but they just shooed me away and locked the door.”
“Fuck.” Rowan ran his fingers down his face. “Alright, I’ll go and see what’s going on with them. Knowing Cassie and her friends, they’re probably zonked out on stolen candy. When all of the kids are accounted for in the lunch cabin, we gather outside.”
I swallowed, speaking up. “I actually wanted to talk to you guys about something.”
Rowan lifted his head, jutting the edge of the clipboard into his chin. “Go on…”
“I found something?” I pulled a face. “I mean, think I’ve found something?”
I wasn't sure how to explain to a dwindling group of exhausted teenagers that there may be something even more terrifying than potential kidnappers out there. Four blank faces started back at me, and Rowan leaned forward with a frown. “Like, in general? Josie, we don’t have time to go foraging.”
“You could call it a lead,” I said. “But I need your eyes to find it.”
“Uh-huh. But what is it?”
Thinking back to what exactly I had seen, I had no idea how to describe it. “It’s better if I just… showed you.”
Rowan looked sceptical, but nodded. “Alright. Josie comes with me. We’ll check out Allison’s cabin again to look for an emergency line, and you can show me whatever this ‘thing’ is you’ve found. Then we’ll escort Cassie and the other girl’s to the lunch cabin. Every camper needs an escort from now on. The rest of you? Act normal. If the kids see you freaking out, they will also freak out—and we need to keep up morale.” The boy pointed to Olive. “Olive, you sit in with the kids and look after them. Callan, check out the emergency generator. Harry, the kids see you as a playground ride, so use that to your advantage. Offer them horse rides if they’re scared. And with the ghost stories, it’s making it worse. Give them piggybacks.”
Harry rolled his eyes. “Do I have a choice?”
“No.”
Rowan cleared his throat. “We all keep up appearances. If the others turn up, after getting high or… I don’t know, having an orgy in the woods—- I will fucking kill them.” The way he smiled through his teeth, jumping off the bunk, his toes primed like a wild animal, I knew he wasn’t joking. If this was a well-constructed prank the other counselors were playing, I had no doubt Rowan would rip them apart for leaving him as a reluctant leader. To my surprise, the others wandered off with their tasks.
I watched Rowan lift up his pillow and pull out a pack of animal crackers, ripping open the bag and pouring the contents into his mouth. He caught my eye, crunching through mini animal crackers. “I didn’t have lunch,” he said through a mouthful.
I couldn’t help feeling a sense of relief as we headed across camp, Rowan in front of me, while I lagged behind.
“So, what’s the plan?” I caught up to him, almost tripping over a log.
The guy didn’t turn around. “I am completely winging it,” he said through a choked laugh. “I have no idea what I’m doing, and if I’m honest? I just want to go home, dude. I haven’t looked after this many kids in my life, and if I have to smile one more time as a little brat, I am going to fucking lose my mind.” He heaved out a breath. “I am making this up as I go along.”
I laughed that time. “That’s… comforting.”
“Yeah?” He turned to shoot me a grin. “Well, rest assured I am just about as scared—if not more scared than you,” as we stopped in front of Cassie’s cabin, his gaze found mine. “Is it me…” he said softly, “Or does the lunch cabin seem quiet.”
He was right. The windows were dark when they should have been illuminated by the TV screen. Instead of answering, I stepped in front of him, grasping hold of the cabin door. “Cassie?” I knocked three times. “Girl’s, are you okay in there? It’s Josie and Rowan.” I tried the door, and it slid open. Shooting a look at the boy behind me, I turned back to the door. “We’re coming in, okay?”
“Wait!”
Cassie squeaked from inside. “But he’s not finished!”
Ignoring the coil of dread unravelling in my gut, I forced the door open and stepped into unusually milky white light which flooded the cabin. The first thing I saw was eight-year-old Cassie, sitting cross legged with her back to me. She was sitting in a circle with the other girls, no doubt playing their game.
When I stepped closer, however, I noticed something pooling across the wooden floor. It must have been juice or water that they had spilled. I took another step, but this time, clammy fingers wrapped around my wrist and yanked me back. Rowan didn't speak, but his eyes were elsewhere. Initially, they had been drinking in the cabin before they found oblivion entirely. I heard his breath start to accelerate, his grip tightening on my wrist.
I had half a mind to pull away, before I saw the body shaped carcass the girls were sitting around. In the dim light of the cabin, it used to be a person. Teddy. I could still see parts of an identity, freckled cheeks and eyes which were still open, still staring at the sky.
But that was where the similarities to the missing counsellor ended. The thing which used to be Teddy was more of a shell, a scooped out thing resembling a human body. What sent me stumbling backwards, my mouth open in a silent scream, was the almost surgical efficiency of each organ's removal, like it really was a game of operation. His heart, lungs, and intestines were in one pile-- while his brain was cupped between little Cassie's bloody hands— and when my gaze found the little girl, Nina, hiding behind dark curly hair, I was seeing what looked like a toy robot’s head in her hands. In my head, I was thinking about the eye with the metallic pieces glittering around its pupil, and something turned in my gut.
Did I find a human eye?
I was staring at the crevice inside the boy's skull, and the boxes of surgical equipment piled on the girl's bunks, when Rowan finally pulled me back, and I was stumbling straight onto my ass. "We need to go." Rowan spoke through a croak. Cassie’s words rattled in my head. Teddy, I thought.
Teddy wasn’t finished.
"Josie. Get up. Now!" My head was spinning, and I was sure I'd thrown up. I didn’t even realize we had managed to stumble from the girl’s cabin before cool air grazed my face, tickling my cheeks. Something wet and warm, and lumpy was spattering the front of my shirt.
Before I could coerce words, the boy was pulling me to my feet, and I was seeing stars in my eyes, blinking brightly. When the two of us started forwards in a run, Rowan stopped abruptly. I followed his gaze to find several kids surrounding his cabin, where Harry, Olive and Callan were. Maybe I was hallucinating, but Eleanor and Phoebe, both of whom wielding weapons where I had no idea where they had gotten them—looked… taller? Rowan didn’t waste time, dragging me back. “Allison’s cabin.” He spoke in cry which became a sob, pulling me across camp, stumbling over rocky ground.
“We need a phone. Fuck, we need a phone. We need a phone.” Rowan was struggling to stand, occasionally bending over and choking up dust.
“They were playing Operation."
Literal operation.
“But they’re just kids!” I choked out.
Little kids, who had surgically removed every organ inside Teddy’s body.
Little kids, who were hunting the other counsellors down, and would surely be coming for us.
Allison’s cabin was thankfully further into the woods. When we were safe inside and Rowan was locking the door, I dry heaved several times, unable to get the sight of glistening gore splattering the cabin floor from my mind. “Josie.” Rowan was already tearing apart the cabin. “Work with me here, okay? We don’t… we don’t have fucking time to freak out, or to barf—we need to help. Now.” Rowan was almost in tears, and when he hit the ground on his knees, I took over. I searched Allison’s desk first. Nothing of importance, just documents and invoices. Digging through her draw, there was still nothing. We were running out of time.
Abandoning the desk, I went through her suitcase and bags. When I was crawling under her bed to try and find a weapon, Rowan hissed out. “Wait.” When I turned to him, he was still kneeling, but his foot was clamping down on a loose plank. The guy didn’t hesitate, pulling at the loose plank, which, to my confusion, revealed what looked to me like a trap door.
Rowan turned to me. “You’re kidding.”
I could only stare at the trap door revealing stone steps. He peered down, his voice echoing. “Allison has a fucking secret bunker?”
His lips curved into a surprisingly childish grin which took me off guard. “Oh, wow, that’s so cooooool!”
Lifting my head at the sound of loud squealing, I glimpsed a group of littles led by Eleanor stalking towards us. Eleanor had a hostage. Harry. And with the way she was sticking the blade of a scary looking knife to his throat, I figured she meant business.
Their height difference was almost comical. The eighteen year old guy had to hunch over so the little girl could successfully keep him prisoner. Behind them in the trees, I could see something illuminating the dark, an electric blue light bathing their faces.
So, that was there the power was going.
But what the fuck were these eight-year-old’s doing?
“Josie!” Rowan hissed from down below. He had already climbed down.
I joined him, struggling down the stone steps, before replacing the loose plank. If these kids were as smart as I thought, it wouldn’t take them long to realize the loose plank—also a trap door. Allison’s bunker was more of a control room. There were multiple screens lit up, a chair in front of a working MacBook. The phone-line was cut. But that didn’t make sense.
The kids were unaware of the bunker, so who cut the phone lines? Rowan was on the laptop, struggling to get through the password protection, so I turned my attention to piles of cardboard boxes.
When I opened them, I found myself staring at animal crackers.
There were hundreds of them, packed on top of each other. Looking further, digging through the boxes, I found a piece of old crumpled paper which looked ancient.
REGARDING PROJECT SPEARHEAD SUBJECTS:
PLEASE DO NOT INGEST UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. IF MULTIPLE SUBJECTS INGEST, PLEASE USE SELF DESTRUCT.
ONLY USE IN CASES SUCH AS IMMINENT DESTRUCTION TO THE PLANET/THREAT OF NUCLEAR WAR.
(PLEASE CONTACT FAMILIES IN ADVANCE. MAKE SURE TO INGEST WITH WATER TO AVOID NEUROLOGICAL SYMPTOMS SUCH AS PSYCHOSIS, EXTREME VIOLENCE. PLEASE APPROACH SUBJECTS WITH CAUTION.
Something ice cold slithered down my spine.
Abandoning the boxes, I searched through a cabinet filled with files which were crumbling apart from age. I picked one at random and flicked through it.
Eleanor Summer’s.
Sex: Female.
DOB: 08/05/1977.
Initially, I thought I was reading the dates wrong. But then, with my heart in my throat, I was grasping for other files.
Eli Evermore.
Sex: Male.
'DOB: 08/03/1979.
“Rowan.” I managed to get out through a breath.
“Mm?”
“They’re not children.”
The boy rubbed his eyes, frowning. His eyes were half lidded, almost confused. “Huh?”
“Eleanor.” I whispered. “Is forty five years old.”
He nodded slowly, turning back to the laptop. “How do you spell… documents? I’m looking for digital versions but I can’t find any.”
“You don’t know how to spell documents?”
“It’s been a hard day.” The boy whined, tipping his head back and blowing a raspberry.
Whatever I was going to say was choked in the back of my throat, when a loud bang sounded from above, the sounds of childish giggling coming through the floorboards. But the laughter didn’t sound like little kids. No, it sounded like teenager’s who were acting like little kids. I stared at the boxes of animal crackers, and then at the file confirming Eleanor’s real age.
My own words shuddered through me, and I remembered finding Teddy’s dismembered carcass in Cassie’s cabin. When I had caught her gaze, the little girl didn’t look scared, and somehow, her fingers wrapped around the scalpel looked just right.
Like the little bitch knew exactly what she was doing.
“Helloooo?” Harry’s voice was a hysterical giggle. “Olly, Olly, Oxen freeee!”
“Are you in heeeeeeere?” Carmel joined in. I could hear their footsteps above, dancing across the room.
Clamping my hand over my mouth, I dragged my knees to my chest and prayed they weren’t smart enough to figure out we were right underneath them.
Knowing the truth about them, though? I wasn’t counting on it.
….
That was an hour ago.
We’re still stuck down here, and I can get a connection here—thank god. For some reason, Alison has blocked all social media. We need help. We’re at Camp Redwood, and these kids ARE NOT KIDS.
Whatever Project Spearhead is was designed to keep them here.
The phone-line is cut so we can’t get help from whoever was helping Allison. I am counting on you guys.
Get us out of here!
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2023.05.29 00:56 ZappyDuck My experience with VectorMarketing

My experience with VectorMarketing
Being in this subreddit for a few years, I never expected myself to be part of an MLM scam (well, they're all scams lol).
Several days ago I received this letter in the mail.

https://preview.redd.it/9snfmjvqvo2b1.jpg?width=1574&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=a5d5c730a0bdf64b32b334b99393eb60e49ee83e
I'll admit, at first I didn't think about it much. I just saw the base pay and realized how high it was. That's $57.2K a year if you work full-time! That's more than what most teachers make! Yes, I was gullible enough to believe that. I really though it was that per hour. And even though the paper was vague, I only did basic, 5-minute research on VectorMarketing on glassdoor.
I decided to apply and it was very simple. Just put in your basic contact information and bam. Wait for an interview! I'm laughing right now thinking about how stupid I was to believe that this was legitimate. No company would pay this much and have such a basic information.
Less than 10 minutes later, I immediately got a text setting up for an interview. Once again, no serious company does that. Even Fortunte 500 companies take like for-fucking ever to respond.

This was 8 PM, by the way. I don't think any company responds this late.
As you can see, they tried to be very vague. They never mentioned that they sell knives through appointments. At first glance, I thought this was simply you calling people on the phone asking questions, like customer service. So, it didn't sound bad. Also, if you look back on the letter, they didn't even have VectorMarketing as the title of the letter, or even their purpose! It was just "Orange County Headquarters" making me think that it's from the office of the Orange County government. In that letter they just mention "customer service" which made me think of a regular, online customer service job, like if you call Best Buy if you have any issues with your product. Also, the fact that they signed off as the Orange County Management Team instead of Vector is even more suspicious.
Eventually I signed up for the interview at 11:10 AM PDT, Sunday, which was today! I didn't take any photos of the interview as I thought it was legitimate. I even combed my hair and wore a collar shirt to look professional.
It was a group interview. There were 20 of us. There was this one guy who claimed he was from UCI, and how he was a division manager. We spent 50 minutes learning about how the company works, from its history to what our job is. It's like how y'all claim Vector is. They have you participate in appointments, you sell really good knives, and the pay is amazing! They mostly talked about how great the company is, how great the pay is, and how you can use that marketing experience to become crazy good in your future lifetime career. Honestly, there was sooo much promoting how popular the company is and the pay. I gotta say, I was intriguied. They mentioned how VectorMarketing is ranked highly for diversity, opportunities for college students, pay, etc. They talked about how training works, and they did mention it's unpaid. Sure. It was odd, but I still wanted to be a part of the company.
They said that within 4 hours (12 PM - 4 PM), we will get a call for a phone interview. This is the actual one-on-one interview where the interviewer decides if we get the job or not. I got my call at 1:44 PM. Funny enough, the phone number that called me is traced to the San Francisco Bay Area. If the interviewer works and lives in Orange County, why are they from SF?
Anyways, the phone interview was 10 minutes long. The guy who interviewed me was the 'district manager' who hosted the group interview. The questions were odd. He mostly talked about what I love most about the company and how excited I am to work for Vector. Very manipulative. Most businesses interview you about your skills, strengths, weaknesses, and daily life. This was more on what I love about Vector. He seemed to ignore most of my previous job experiences. Tbf, he did ask how I overcome challenges, but that was the only question related to me and my expertise.
Anyways, he offered me the job on the spot. HOWEVER, this was when things got interesting. My older sister was texting me about how shady Vector is WHILE I was on the interview, so I decided to actually look up the fucking company like a sane person. I went to Wikipedia and saw all the accusations that VectorMarketing has. Why didn't I do this earlier?!
Manipulating college students. Selling knives. Witholding information. Countless lawsuits for breaking labor laws.
I decided to question the interviewer on this. He seemed to be caught off-guard when I interrogated him on Vector's shady practices. He definitely knew that Vector is manipulative. He sai that it should be fine because every corporation has lawsuits. When I went further explaning that the lawsuits are for breaking labor laws, that is when he said that if I was too hesitant to IMMEDIATELY make a decision, then the job is not for me. Not because I don't have the right skills (mind you, he said I did), but because I was hesistant to accept the job offer. He wanted an immediate response. Like, he was so fucking adamant. He rescinded the offer, even after I said if I could get 24 hours to make my decision. That was the end of the line for me and Vector. Would have never happend if I read the Wikipedia article, huh?
There's lots of Youtube videos of teens sharing their negative experiences with Vector. Honestly, I wish I said yes so I could be in the room where it happens. I wanted to see the actual training to see how truly manipulative they are. I also heard that a district manager sued Vector for being an independent contractor despite their high-rank. I wouldn't be surprised if a 'division manager' is a guy who gets paid for how many people he hires, like a regular MLM. Maybe that is why the interviewer was so adamant on me saying yes, because he was gonna get paid for it. I wonder what other information they were witholding. I heard that appointments take an hour, so you basically get paid per hour. However, they didn't say how easy it would be to make an appointment, or if you were on your own like a regular MLM. They said even if the customer says no, you still get paid, but maybe there are pre-reqs like having minimum requirements to be considered an appointment. And what if the 'division manager' was reading a script?
I guess I didn't first consider it an MLM because of how vague they were at the beginning, and because I orginally considered MLMs to be about selling perfume using middle-aged white women. Well, that was 1.5 hours of my life I'm not getting back. Oh well! Even being a STEM major taking a research class doesn't stop me from being gullible lol.
submitted by ZappyDuck to antiMLM [link] [comments]


2023.05.29 00:40 RandomAppalachian468 Don't fly over Barron County Ohio.

The whirring blades of my MD-902 throbbed against the warm evening air, and I smiled.
From 5,000 feet, the ground flew by in a carpet of dark forests and kelly-green fields. The sun hung low on the horizon in a picturesque array of dazzling orange and gold, and I could make out the narrow strip of the Ohio River to my left, glistening in the fading daylight. This time of year, the trees would be full of the sweet aroma of fresh blossoms, and the frequent rains kept small pockets of fluffy white mist hanging in the treetops. It was a beautiful view, one that reminded me of why being a helicopter pilot trumped flying in a jumbo jet far above the clouds every day of the week.
Fourteen more days, and I’m debt free.
That made me grin even more. I’d been working as a charter pilot ever since I obtained my license at age 19, and after years of keeping my nose to the grindstone, I was closing on the final payment for real-estate in western Pennsylvania. With no debt, a fixer-upper house on 30 rural acres all to myself, and a respectable wage for a 26-year-old pilot, I looked forward to the financial freedom I could now enjoy. Maybe I’d take a vacation, somewhere exotic like Venice Italy, or the Dominican Republic. Or perhaps I’d sock the money back for the day I started a family.
“Remember kleineun, a real man looks after his own.”
My elderly ouma’s voice came back from the depths of my memories, her proud, sun-tanned face rising from the darkness. She and my Rhodesian grandfather had emigrated to the US when they were newlyweds, as the violence against white Boer descendants in South Africa spiraled out of control. My mother and father both died in a car crash when I was six, and it had been my grandparents who raised me. Due to this, I’d grown up with a slight accent that many of my classmates found amusing, and I could speak both English, and Afrikaans, the Boer tongue of our former home.
I shifted in my seat, stretched my back muscles, and glanced at the picture taped to my console. Both my parents flanked a grinning, gap-toothed six-year-old me, at the last Christmas we’d spent together. My mother beamed, her dark hair and Italian features a sharp contrast to my father’s sandy blonde hair and blue eyes. Sometimes, I liked to imagine they were smiling at me with pride at how well I flew the old silver-colored bird my company had assigned to me, and that made the long, lonely flights easier to bear.
A flicker caught my eye, and I broke my gaze away from the photograph.
Perched in its small cradle above the controls, my little black Garmin fuzzed over for a few seconds, its screen shifting from brightly colored maps to a barrage of grey static.
Did the power chord come loose?
I checked, ensuring the power-cable for the unit’s battery was plugged into the port on the control panel. It was a brand-new GPS unit, and I’d used it a few times already, so I knew it wasn’t defective. Granted, I could fly and navigate without it, but the Garmin made my time as a pilot so much easier that the thought of going blind was dreadful.
My fuel gauge danced, clicked to empty, then to full, in a bizarre jolt.
More of the gauges began to stutter, the entire panel seeming to develop terrets all at once, and my pulse began to race. Something was wrong, very wrong, and the sludge inside my bowels churned with sour fear.
“Come on, come on.” I flicked switches, turned dials, punched buttons, but nothing seemed to fix the spasming electronics. Every gauge failed, and without warning, I found myself plunged into inky darkness.
Outside, the sun surrendered to the pull of night, the sky darker than usual. A distant rumble of thunder reverberated above the roar of my helicopter’s engine, and I thought I glimpsed a streak of yellowish lightning on the far horizon to my left.
Calm down Chris. We’re still flying, so it must just be a blown fuse. Stay in control and find a place to set her down.
My sweaty palm slid on the cyclic stick, and both feet weighed heavy on the yaw pedals. The collective stuck to my other hand with a nervous vibration, and I squinted against the abyss outside.
Beep.
I jumped despite myself, as the little Garmin on my panel flared back to life, the static pulling aside to reveal a twitching display. Each time the screen glitched, it showed the colorful map detailing my flight path over the ground below, but I noticed that some of the lines changed, the names shifting, as if the device couldn’t decide between two different versions of the world.
One name jutted out at me, slate gray like most of the major county names, appearing with ghostly flickers from between two neighboring ones.
Barron County.
I stared, confused. I’d flown over this section of southeastern Ohio plenty of times, and I knew the counties by heart. At this point, I should have been over the southern end of Noble County, and maybe dipping lower into Washington. There was no Barron County in Ohio. I was sure of it.
And yet it shown back at me from the digital landscape, a strange, almost cigar-shaped chunk of terrain carved from the surrounding counties like a tumor, sometimes there, sometimes not, as my little Garmin struggled to find the correct map. Rain began to patter against my cockpit window, and the entire aircraft rattled from a strong gust of wind. Thick clouds closed over my field of vision like a sea of gray cotton.
The blood in my veins turned to ice, and I sucked in a nervous breath.
Land. I had to land. There was nothing else to do, my flight controls weren’t responding, and only my Garmin had managed to come back to life. Perhaps I’d been hit by lightning, and the electronics had been fried? Either way, it was too dark to tell, but a storm seemed to be brewing, and if I didn’t get my feet on the ground soon, I could be in real trouble.
“Better safe than sorry.” I pushed down on the collective to start my slow descent and clicked the talking button for my headset. “Any station, this is Douglass Three-One-Four-Foxtrot, over.”
Nothing.
“Any station, this is Douglass Three-One-Four-Foxtrot, requesting emergency assistance, over.”
Still nothing.
If the radio’s dead, I’m really up a creek.
With my hand shaking, I clicked on the mic one more time. “Any station, this is—”
Like a curtain pulling back, the fog cleared from around my window, and the words stuck in my throat.
Without my gauges, I couldn’t tell just how far I’d descended, but I was definitely very low. Thick trees poked up from the ground, and the hills rolled into high ridges with flat valley floors, fields and pastures pockmarking them. Rain fell all around in cold, silvery sheets, a normal feature for the mid spring in this part of Ohio.
What wasn’t normal, were the fires.
At first, I thought they were forest fires for the amount of smoke and flames that bellowed from each spot, but as I swooped lower, my eyes widened in horror.
They were houses.
Farms, cottages, little clusters that barely constituted villages, all of them belched orange flames and black pillars of sooty smoke. I couldn’t hear above the helicopter blades, but I could see the flashes on the ground, along the road, in between the trees, and even coming from the burning buildings, little jets of golden light that spat into the darkness with anger.
Gunfire. That’s rifle fire, a whole lot of it.
Tiny black figures darted through the shadows, barely discernable from where I sat, several hundred feet up. I couldn’t see much, but some were definitely running away, the streaks of yellow gunfire chasing them. A few dark gray vehicles rumbled down one of the gravel roads, and sprayed fire into the houses as it went. They were fighting, I realized, the people in the trucks and the locals. It was horrific, like something out of war-torn Afghanistan, but worse.
Then, I caught a glimpse of the others.
They didn’t move like the rest, who either fled from the dark vehicles, or fired back from behind cover. These skinny figures loped along with haphazard gaits, many running on all fours like animals, swarming from the trees by the dozens. They threw themselves into the gales of bullets without flinching, attacking anyone within range, and something about the way they moved, so fluid, so fearless, made my heart skip a beat.
What is that?
“Echo Four Actual to unknown caller, please respond, over.”
Choking back a cry of shock, I fumbled at the control panel with clumsy fingers, the man’s voice sharp and stern. I hadn’t realized that I’d let go of the talking button and clicked it down again. “Hello? Hello, this is Douglass Three-One-Four-Foxtrot out of Pittsburgh, over.”
An excruciating moment passed, and I continued to zoom over the trees, the fires falling away behind me as more silent forest took over.
“Roger that Douglass Three-One-Four-Foxtrot, we read you loud and clear. Please identify yourself and any passengers or cargo you might be carrying, over.”
Swallowing hard, I eyed the treetops, which looked much closer than they should have been. How far had I descended? “Echo Four Actual, my name is Christopher Dekker, and I am alone. I’m a charter flight from PA, carrying medical equipment for OSU in Columbus. My controls have been damaged, and I am unable to safely carry on due to the storm. Requesting permission to land, over.”
I watched the landscape slide by underneath me, once catching sight of what looked like a little white church surrounded by smaller huts, dozens of figures in the yard staring up at me as I flew over a nearby ridgeline.
“Solid copy on that Douglass Three-One-Four-Foxtrot. Be advised, your transponder shows you to be inside a restricted zone. Please cease all radio traffic, reduce your speed, climb to 3,000 feet and proceed north. We’ll talk you in from there. How copy, over?”
My heart jumped, and I let out a sigh of relief. “Roger that Echo Four Actual, my altimeter is down, but I’ll do my best to eyeball the altitude, over.”
With that, I pulled the collective upward, and tried my best to gauge how far I was by eyesight in the gathering night, rain still coming down all around me. This had to be some kind of disaster or riot, I decided. After all, the voice over the radio sounded like military, and those vehicles seemed to have heavy weapons. Maybe there was some kind of unrest going on here that I hadn’t heard about yet?
Kind of weird for it to happen in rural areas though. Spoiled college kids I get, but never saw farmers get so worked up before. They usually love the military.
Something moved in the corner of my eye, and I turned out of reflex.
My mouth fell open, and I froze, unable to scream.
In the sky beside me, a huge shadow glided along, and its leathery wings effortlessly carved through the gloom, flapping only on occasion to keep it aloft. It was too dark for me to see what color it was, but from the way it moved, I knew it wasn’t another helicopter. No, this thing was alive, easily the size of a small plane, and more than twice the length of my little McDonald Douglass. A long tail trailed behind it, and bore a distinct arrow-shaped snout, with twig-like spines fanned out around the back of its head. Whatever legs it had were drawn up under it like a bird, yet its skin appeared rough and knobby, almost resembling tree bark. Without pause, the gigantic bat-winged entity flew along beside me, as if my presence was on par with an annoying fly buzzing about its head.
Gripping the microphone switch so tight, I thought I’d crack the plastic, I whispered into my headset, forgetting all radio protocol. “T-There’s something up here.”
Static crackled.
“Douglas Three-One-Four-Foxtrot, say again your last, you’re coming in weak and unreadable, over.”
“There’s something up here.” I snarled into the headset, still glued to the controls of the helicopter, afraid to deviate even an inch from my course in case the monstrosity decided to turn on me. “A freaking huge thing, right beside me. I swear, it looks like a bat or . . . I don’t know.”
“Calm down.” The man on the other end of the radio broke his rigorous discipline as well, his voice deep, but level. “It won’t attack if you don’t move too fast. Slowly ease away from it and follow that course until you’re out of sight.”
I didn’t have time to think about how wrong that sounded, how the man’s strict tone had changed to one of knowledge, how he hadn’t been the least surprised by what I’d said. Instead, I slowly turned the helicopter away from the huge menace and edged the speed higher in tiny increments.
As soon as I was roughly two football fields away, I let myself relax, and clicked the mic switch. “It’s not following.”
“You’re sure?”
Eyeing the huge flapping wings, I nodded, then remembered he couldn’t see me. “Yeah, I’m well clear.”
“Good. Thank you, Mr. Dekker.”
Then, the radio went dead.
Something in my chest dropped, a weight that made my stomach roil. This wasn’t right, none of it. Who was that man? Why did he know about the thing I’d just seen? What was I supposed to—
A flash of light exploded from the trees to my right and shot into the air with a long finger of smoke.
What the . . .
On instinct, I jerked the cyclic stick to one side, and the helicopter swung to avoid the rocket.
Boom.
My world shook, metal screeched, and a dozen alarms began to go off inside the cockpit in a cacophony of beeps and sirens. Orange and red flames lit up the night sky just behind me, and the horizon started to spin wildly outside. Heat gushed from the cockpit door, and I smelled the greasy stench of burning oil. The safety belts dug into my shoulders, and with a final slip, the radio headset ripped free from my scalp.
I’m hit.
Desperate, I yanked on the controls, fought the bird even as she spun toward the ground in a wreath of flames, the inky black trees hurtling up to meet me. The helicopter went into full auto-rotation, the sky blurring past outside, and the alarms blared in a screech of doom. Panic slammed through my temples, I screamed at the top of my lungs, and for one brief second, my eyes locked on the little black Garmin still perched atop my control panel.
Its screen stopped twitching and settled on a map of the mysterious Barron County, with a little red arrow at the center of the screen, a few words popping up underneath it.
You are here.
Trees stabbed up into the sky, the belts crushed at my torso, glass shattered all around me, and the world went dark.
Copper, thick, warm, and tangy.
It filled my mouth, stank metallic in my nose, clogged my throat, choking me. In the murkiness, I fought for a surface, for a way out, blind and numb in the dark.
This way, kleineun.
My ouma’s voice echoed from somewhere in the shadows.
This way.
Both eyes flew open, and I gagged, spitting out a stream of red.
Pain throbbed in my ribs, and a heavy pressure sent a tingling numbness through my shoulders. Blood roared inside my temples, and stars danced before my eyes with a dizzying array. Humid night air kissed my skin, and something sticky coated my face, neck, and arms that hung straight up toward the ceiling.
Wait. Not up. Down.
I blinked at the wrinkled, torn ceiling of the cockpit, the glass all gone, the gray aluminum shredded like tissue paper. Just outside the broken windows, thick Appalachian bluegrass and stemmy underbrush swished in a feeble breeze, backlit by flashes of lightning from the thunderstorm overhead. Green and brown leaves covered everything in a wet carpet of triangles, and somewhere nearby, a cricket chirped.
Turning my head from side to side, I realized that I hung upside down inside the ruined helicopter, the top half burrowed into the mud. I could hear the hissing and crackling of flames, the pattering of rain falling on the hot aluminum, and the smaller brush fires around the downed aircraft sizzling out in the damp long grass. Charred steel and burning oil tainted the air, almost as strong as the metallic, coppery stench in my aching nose.
They shot me down. That military dude shot me out of the sky.
It didn’t make sense. I’d followed their orders, done everything they’d said, and yet the instant I veered safely away from whatever that thing in the sky had been, they’d fired, not at it, but at me.
Looking down (or rather, up) at my chest, I sucked in a gasp, which was harder to do that before.
The navy-blue shirt stuck to my torso with several big splotches of dark, rusty red. Most were clean slashes, but two held bits of glass sticking out of them, one alarmingly bigger than the other. They dripped cherry red blood onto my upturned face, and a wave of nausea hit me.
I gotta get down.
I flexed my arms to try and work some feeling back into them, praying nothing was broken. Half-numb from hanging so long, I palmed along my aching body until I felt the buckled for the seat belts.
“Okay.” I hissed between gritted teeth, in an effort to stave off my panic. “You can do this. Just hold on tight. Nice and tight. Here we go . . .”
Click.
Everything seemed to lurch, and I slid off the seat to plummet towards the muck-filled hole in the cockpit ceiling. My fingers were slick with blood and slipped over the smooth faux-leather pilot’s seat with ease. The shoulder belt snagged on the bits of glass that lay just under the left lowest rib, and a flare of white-hot pain ripped through me.
Wham.
I screamed, my right knee caught the edge of the aluminum ceiling, and both hands dove into a mound of leaf-covered glass shards on the opposite side of the hole. My head swam, being right-side-up again enough to make shadows gnaw at the corner of my eyes.
Forcing myself to breath slowly, I fought the urge to faint and slid back to sit on the smooth ceiling. I turned my hands over to see half a dozen bits of clear glass burrowed into my skin like greedy parasites, red blood weeping around the new cuts.
“Screw you.” I spat at the rubbish with angry tears in my eyes. “Screw you, screw you, screw you.”
The shards came out easy enough, and the cuts weren’t that deep, but that wasn’t what worried me. On my chest, the single piece of cockpit glass that remined was almost as big as my palm, and it really hurt. Just touching it felt like self-inflicted torture, but I knew it had to come out sooner or later.
Please don’t nick a vein.
Wiping my hands dry on my jeans, I gripped the shard with both hands, and jerked.
Fire roared over my ribs, and hot blood tickled my already grimy pale skin. I clapped a hand over the wound, pressing down hard, and grunted out a string of hateful expletives that my ouma would have slapped me for.
Lying on my back, I stared around me at the messy cargo compartment of the MD-902. Most of the medical supplies had been in cardboard boxes strapped down with heavy nylon tow-straps, but several cases had ruptured with the force of the impact, spraying bandages, syringes, and pill bottles all over the cluttered interior. Orange flames chewed at the crate furthest to the rear, the tail section long gone, but the foremost part of the hold was intact. Easily a million-dollar mess, it would have made me faint on any other trip, but today it was a godsend.
Half-blind in the darkness, I crawled along with only the firelight and lightning bolts to guide me, my right knee aching. Like a crippled raccoon, I collected things as I went, conscious of the two pallets of intact supplies weighing right over my head. I’d taken several different first-aid courses with some hunting buddies of mine, and the mental reflexes kicked in to help soothe my frazzled mind.
Check for bleeds, stop the worst, then move on.
Aside from my battered chest and stomach, the rest of me remained mostly unharmed. I had nasty bruises from the seatbelts, my right knee swelled, my nose slightly crooked and crusted in blood, but otherwise I was intact. Dowsing every scratch and cut with a bottle of isopropyl alcohol I found, I used butterfly closures on the smaller lacerations that peppered my skin. I wrapped soft white gauze over my abused palms and probed at the big cut where the last shard had been, only stopping when I was sure there were no pieces of glass wedged inside my flesh.
“Not too bad.” I grunted to myself, trying to sound impassive like a doctor might. “Rib must have stopped it. Gonna need stitches though. That’ll be fun.”
Pawing through the broken cases, I couldn’t find any suture chord, but just as I was about to give up, I noticed a small box that read ‘medical skin stapler’.
Bingo.
I tore the small white plastic stapler free from its packaging and eyeballed the device. I’d never done this before, only seen it in movies, and even though the cut in my skin hurt, I wondered if this wouldn’t be worse.
You’ve gotta do it. That bleeding needs to stop. Besides, no one’s coming to rescue you, not with those rocket-launching psychos out there.
Taking a deep breath, I pinched the skin around the gash together, and pressed the mouth of the stapler to it.
Click.
A sharp sting, like that of a needle bit at the skin, but it didn’t hurt nearly as bad as the cut itself. I worked my way across the two-inch laceration and gave out a sigh of relief when it was done.
“Not going to bleed to death today.” I daubed ointment around the staples before winding more bandages over the wound.
Popping a few low-grade painkillers that tumbled from the cargo, I crawled wriggled through the nearest shattered window into the wet grass.
Raindrops kissed my face, clean and cool on my sweaty skin. Despite the thick cloud cover, there was enough constant lightning strikes within the storm to let me get glimpses of the world around me. My helicopter lay on its back, the blades snapped like pencils, with bits and pieces of it burning in chunks all around the small break in the trees. Chest-high scrub brush grew all around the low-lying ground, with pockets of standing water in places. My ears still rang from the impact of the crash, but I could start to pick up more crickets, frogs, and even some nocturnal birds singing into the darkness, like they didn’t notice the huge the hulk of flaming metal that had fallen from the sky. Overhead, the thunder rumbled onward, the feeble wind whistling, and there were other flashes on the horizon, orange and red ones, with crackles that didn’t sound quite like lightning.
The guns. They’re still fighting.
Instinctively, I pulled out my cellphone, and tapped the screen.
It fluttered to life, but no matter how I tried, I couldn’t get through to anyone, not even with the emergency function designed to work around having no service. The complicated wonder of our modern world was little better than a glorified paperweight.
Stunned, I sat down with my back to the helicopter and rested my head against the aluminum skin of the craft. How I’d gone from a regular medical supply run to being marooned in this hellish parody of rural America, I didn’t know, but one thig was certain; I needed a plan. Whoever fired the missile could have already contacted my charter company and made up some excuse to keep them from coming to look for me. No one else knew I was here, and even though I now had six staples holding the worst of my injuries shut, I knew I needed proper medical attention. If I wanted to live, I’d have to rescue myself.
My bag. I need to get my go-bag, grab some gear and then . . . head somewhere else.
It took me a while to gather my green canvas paratrooper bag from its place behind the pilot’s seat and fill it with whatever supplies I could scrounge. My knee didn’t seem to be broken, but man did it hurt, and I dreaded the thought of walking on it for miles on end. I focused instead on inventorying my gear and trying to come up with a halfway intelligent plan of action.
I had a stainless-steel canteen with one of those detachable cups on the bottom, a little fishing kit, some duct tape, a lighter, a black LED flashlight with three spare batteries, a few tattered road maps with a compass, a spare pair of socks, medical supplies from the cargo, and a simple forest green plastic rain poncho. I also managed to unearth a functioning digital camcorder my ouma had gotten me for Christmas a few years back, though I wasn’t sure I wanted to do any filming in such a miserable state. Lastly, since it was a private supply run from a warehouse area near Pittsburgh to a direct hospital pad in Ohio, I’d been able to bring my K-Bar, a sturdy, and brutally simple knife designed for the Marine Corps that I used every time I went camping. It was pitiful in comparison to the rifle I wished I had with me, but that didn’t matter now. I had what I had, and I doubted my trusty Armalite would have alleviated my sore knee anyway.
Clicking on my flashlight, I huddled with the poncho around my shoulders inside the wreck of the chopper and peered at the dusty roadmaps. A small part of me hoped that a solution would jump out from the faded paper, but none came. These were all maps of western PA and eastern Ohio. None of them had a Barron County on them anywhere.
The man on the radio said to head north, right before they shot me down. That means they must be camped out to the north of here. South had that convoy and those burning houses, so that’s a no-go. Maybe I can backtrack eastward the way I came.
As if on cue, a soft pop echoed from over the eastern horizon, and I craned to look out the helicopter window, spotting more man-made flashes over the tree tops.
“Great.” I hissed between clenched teeth, aware of how the temperature dipped to a chilly 60 degrees, and how despite the conditions, my stomach had begun to growl. “Not going that way, are we? Westward it is.”
Walking away from my poor 902 proved to be harder than I’d anticipated. Despite the glass, the fizzling fires, and the darkness, it still held a familiar, human essence to it. Sitting inside it made me feel secure, safe, even calm about the situation. In any other circumstance, I would have just stayed with the downed aircraft to wait for help, but I knew the men who shot me down would likely find my crash site, and I didn’t want to be around when they did.
Unlike much of central and western Ohio, southeastern Ohio is hilly, brushy, and clogged with thick forests. Thorns snagged at my thin poncho and sliced at my pant legs. My knee throbbed, every step a form of self-inflicted torture. The rain never stopped, a steady drizzle from above just cold enough to be problematic as time went on, making me shiver. Mud slid under my tennis shoes, and every tree looked ten times bigger in the flickering beam of my cheap flashlight. Icy fear prickled at the back of my neck at some of the sounds that greeted me through the gloom. I’d been camping loads of times, both in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, but these noises were something otherworldly to me.
Strange howls, screeches, and calls permeated the rain-soaked sky, some almost roars, while others bordered on human in their intonation. The more I walked, the softer the distant gunfire became, and the more prevalent the odd sounds, until the shadows seemed to fill with them. I didn’t dare turn off my flashlight, or I’d been completely blind in the dark, but a little voice in the back of my head screamed that I was too visible, crunching through the gloomy forest with my long beam of light stabbing into the abyss. It felt as though a million eyes were on me, studying me, hunting me from the surrounding brush, and I bitterly recalled how much I’d loved the old Survivor Man TV series as a kid.
Not so fun being out in the woods at night. Especially alone.
A twig snapped somewhere behind me, and I whirled on the spot, one trembling hand resting on the hilt of my K-Bar.
Nothing. Nothing but trees, bushes, and rain dripping down in the darkness.
“This is stupid.” I whispered to myself to keep my nerves in check as I slowly spun on the spot. “I should have went eastward anyway. God knows how long I’m going to have to—”
Creak.
A groan of metal-on-metal echoed from somewhere to my right, and I spun to face it, yanking the knife on my belt free from its scabbard. It felt so small and useless in my hand, and I choked down a wave of nauseas fear.
Ka-whump. Creak. K-whump. Creak.
Underbrush cracked and crunched, a few smaller saplings thrashed, and from deep within the gloom, two yellow orbs flared to life. They poked through the mist in the trees, forming into slender fingers of golden light that swept back and forth in the dark.
The soldiers . . . they must be looking for me.
I swallowed hard and turned to slink away.
Ice jammed through my blood, and I froze on the spot, biting my tongue to stop the scream.
It stood not yards away, a huge form that towered a good twelve feet tall in the swirling shadows. Unpolished chrome blended with flash-rusted spots in the faded red paint, and grime-smeared glass shone with dull hues in the flashes of lightning. Where the wheels should have been, the rounded steel axels curved like some enormous hand had bent them, and the tires lay face-down on the muddy ground like big round feet, their hubcaps buried in the dirt. Dents, scrapes, and chips covered the battered thing, and its crooked little radio antenna pointed straight up from the old metal fender like a mast. I could barely make out the mud-coated VW on the rounded hood, and my mind reeled in shock.
Is . . . is that a car?
Both yellow headlights bathed me in a circle of bright, blinding light, and neither I nor the strange vehicle moved.
Seconds ticked by, the screech-thumping in the background only growing closer. I realized that I couldn’t hear any engine noises and had yet to see any soldiers or guns pointed my way. This car looked old, really old, like one of those classic Volkswagen Beetles that collectors fought over at auctions. Try as I might, I couldn’t see a driver inside the murky, mold-smeared windows.
Because there wasn’t one.
Lightning arched across the sky overhead, and the car standing in front of me blinked.
Its headlights slid shut, as if little metal shades had crawled over the bulbs for a moment and flicked open again. Something about that movement was so primal, so real, so lifelike, that every ounce of self-control I had melted in an instant.
Cursing under my breath, I lunged into the shrubs, and the world erupted around me.
Under my shoes, the ground shook, and the car surged after me in a cacophony of ka-thumps that made my already racing heart skip several beats. A weather-beaten brown tow truck from the 50’s charged through the thorns to my left, it’s headlights ablaze, and a dilapidated yellow school bus rose from its hiding place in the weeds to stand tall on four down-turned axel-legs. They all flicked their headlights on like giants waking from their slumber, and as I dodged past them, they each blared their horn into the night in alarm.
My breaths came short and tight, my knee burned, and I crashed through thorns and briars without thought to how badly I was getting cut up.
The cheap poncho tore, and I ripped it away as it caught on a tree branch.
A purple 70’s Mustang shook off its blanket of creeping vines and bounded from a stand of trees just ahead, forcing me to swerve to avoid being run over, my adrenaline at all-time highs.
This can’t be happening, this can’t be happening, this can’t be happening.
Slipping and sliding, I pushed through a stand of multiflora rose, and stumbled out into a flat, dark expanse.
I almost skidded to a stop.
What had once been a rather large field stood no taller than my shoestrings, the grass charred, and burnt. The storm above illuminated huge pieces of wreckage that lay scattered over the nearly 40-acre plot, and I could just make out the fire-blackened hulk of a fuselage resting a hundred yards away. The plane had been brought down a while ago it seemed, as there weren’t any flames left burning, and I threw myself toward it in frenzied desperation.
Burned grass and greasy brown topsoil slushed underfoot, and I could hear the squelching of the cars pursing me. Rain soaked me to the bone, and my lungs ached from sucking down the damp night air. A painful stich crept into my side, and I cursed myself for not putting in more time for cardio at the gym.
Something caught my left shoelace, and I hurtled to the ground, tasting mud and blood in between my teeth.
They’ve got me now.
I clawed at the mud, rolled, and watched a tire slam down mere inches from where my head had been. The Mustang loomed over me and jostled for position with the red Volkswagen and brown tow truck, the school bus still a few yards behind them. They couldn’t seem to decide who would get the pleasure of stomping me to death, and like a herd of stampeding wildebeest, they locked bumpers in an epic shoving match.
On all fours, I scampered out from under the sparring brutes, and dashed for the crumpled airplane, a white-painted DC-3 that looked like it had been cut in half by a gargantuan knife blade. I passed a snapped wing section, the oily remains of a turbo-prop engine, and a mutilated wheel from the landing gear. Climbing over a heap of mud, I squeezed into the back of the ruined flight cabin and dropped down into the dark cargo hold.
Wham.
No sooner had my sneakers hit the cold metal floor, and the entire plane rocked from the impact of something heavy ramming it just outside. I tumbled to my knees, screaming in pain as, once again, I managed to bash the sore one off a bracket in the wall.
My hand smeared in something gooey, and I scrabbled for my flashlight.
It clicked on, a wavering ball of white light in the pitch darkness, and I fought the urge to gag. “Oh man . . .”
Three people, or what was left of them, lay strewn over the narrow cargo area. Claret red blood coated the walls, caked on the floor, and clotted under my mud-spattered shoes. Bits of flesh and viscera were stuck to everything, and tatters of cloth hung from exposed sections of broken bone. An eerie set of bloody handprints adorned the walls, and the only reason I could tell it had been three people were the shoes; all of them bore anklebones sticking out above blood-soaked socks. It smelled sickly sweet, a strange, nauseas odor that crept into my nose and settled on the back of my tongue like an alien parasite.
Something glinted in the beam of my flashlight, and my pulse quickened as I pried the object loose from the severed arm that still clung to it.
“Hail Mary full of Grace.” I would have grinned if it weren’t for the fact that the plane continued to buck and roll under the assault from the cars outside.
The pistol looked old, but well-maintained, aside from the light coating of dark blood that stained its round wooden handle. It felt heavy, but good in my hand, and I turned it over to read the words, Waffenfabrik Mauser stenciled into the frame, with a large red 9 carved into the grip. For some reason, it vaguely reminded me of the blasters from Star Wars.
I fumbled with a little switch that looked like a safety on the back of the gun and stumbled toward a gap in the plane’s dented fuselage to aim out at the surrounding headlights.
Bang.
The old gun bucked reliably in my hand, its long barrel spitting a little jet of flame into the night. I had no idea if I hit anything, but the attacking cars recoiled, their horns blaring in confusion.
They turned, and scuttled for the tree line as fast as their mechanical legs could go, the entire ordeal over as fast as it had begun.
Did I do that?
Perplexed, I stared down at the pistol in my hand.
Whoosh.
A large, inky black shadow glided down from the clouds, and the yellow school bus moved too slow to react in time.
With a crash, the kicking nightmarish vehicle was thrown onto its side, spraying glass and chrome trim across the muddy field. Its electro-synth horn blared with wails of mechanical agony, as two huge talon-like feet clamped down on it, and the enormous head of the flying creature lowered to rip open its engine compartment.
The horn cut out, and the enormous flying entity jerked its head back to gulp down a mass of what looked like sticky black vines from the interior of the shattered bus.
At this range, I could see now that the flying creature bore two legs and had its wings half-tucked like a vulture that had descended to feed on roadkill. Its head turned slightly, and in the glow of another lightning bolt, my jaw went slack at the realization of what it was.
A tree trunk. It’s a rotted tree trunk.
I couldn’t tell where the reptilian beast began, and where the organic tree components ended, the upper part of the head shaped like a log, while the lower jaw resembled something out of a dinosaur movie. Its skin looked identical to the outside of a shagbark hickory but flexed with a supple featheriness that denoted something closer to skin. Sharp branch-like spines ranged down its back, and out to the end of its tail, which bore a massive round club shaped like a diseased tree-knot. Crouched on both hind legs, it braced the hooked ends of its folded wings against the ground like a bat, towering higher than a semi-truck. Under the folds of its armored head, a bulging pair of chameleon-like eyes constantly spun in their sockets, probing the dark for threats while it ate.
One black pupil locked onto the window I peered through, and my heart stopped.
The beast regarded me for a moment, making a curious, sideways sniff.
With a proud, contemptful head-toss, the shadow from the sky parted rows of razor-sharp teeth to let out a roar that shook the earth beneath my feet. It was the triumphant war cry of a creature that sat at the very top of the food chain, one that felt no threat from the fragile two-legged beings that walked the earth all around it. It hunted whenever it wanted, ate whatever it wanted, and flew wherever it wanted. It didn’t need to rip the plane apart to devour me.
Like my hunter-gatherer ancestors from thousands of years ago, I wasn’t even worth the energy it would take to pounce.
I’m hiding in the remains of the cockpit now, which is half-buried under the mud of the field, enough to shield the light from my screen so that thing doesn’t see it. My service only now came back, and it’s been over an hour since the winged beast started in on the dead bus. I don’t know when, or how I’m going to get out of here. I don’t know when anyone will even see this post, or if it will upload at all. My phone battery is almost dead, and at this point, I’m probably going to have to sleep among the corpses until daylight comes.
A dead man sleeping amongst friends.
If you live in the Noble County area in southeastern Ohio, be careful where you drive, fly, and boat. I don’t know if it’s possible to stumble into this strange place by ground, but if so, then these things are definitely headed your way.
If that happens . . . pray that they don’t find you.
submitted by RandomAppalachian468 to nosleep [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 23:47 w1ldtype Recommendations for clinic that does facelyft/fillers/botox in Orange County, CA

I am new to OC and I don't know anyone whatsoever who has done any kind of cosmetic procedures. Late 30s and I am interested in consulation for minor signs of aging on the face - I've never had any procedure ever before. There are clinics left and right in the area, but Yelp is full of fake comments and I don't trust anything I read there.
I was wondering there are clinics/doctors with excellent "reputation" in the area that someone might know of? Thanks!
submitted by w1ldtype to PlasticSurgery [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 23:44 Madam_Monarch Vector just sent me this

Vector just sent me this submitted by Madam_Monarch to antiMLM [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 23:40 pedalingsquares Frontrunner rack and GX rails for sale (SoCal-OC pickup)

Sold my 2016 GX earlier this month. I have a frontrunner roof rack in very good shape (was mounted but barely used except a RTT for about 6 months), along with the rails to fit the GX.
Local pickup required in South Orange County.
$1000 OBO, cash or Venmo
submitted by pedalingsquares to GXOR [link] [comments]