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My ranking of all 72 new era contestants

2023.06.04 21:38 Fancy_Tea_6182 My ranking of all 72 new era contestants

This is based on how "strong" of casting choices I thought they were:
  1. Carolyn: Great person, sweet backstory, entertaining at ALMOST all times, and fairly good at the game. Can you get any better?
  2. Cody: Another A+ casting choice, good at the game, entertaining, sweet person and backstory, and hot. One of the few redeeming qualities of 43.
  3. Sydney: The reason I put Carolyn as entertaining at ALMOST all times is because Sydney literally was entertaining at ALL times.
  4. Maryanne: Probably my favorite female winner ever. Hilarious, sweet, good at the game, just amazing.
  5. Yam Yam: We really got spoiled by Maryanne and him winning. What's not to love about Yam Yam?
  6. Xander: Another contestant you just can't help but absolutely love
  7. Ricard: Fun villain with a heart type character
  8. Carson: The last of the A+ casting choices. Hot nerd who's good at the game. Him, Yam Yam, and Carolyn truly were a wet dream.
  9. Elie: She was kind of annoying at times but she always pretty much managed to be entertaining.
  10. Tori: Same as Elie
  11. Josh: Probably an unpopular opinion but I thought he was amazing. The dialogue between him, Carolyn, and Yam Yam was hilarious and just in general he was such a fun character IMO.
  12. Mike: Fun, nice guy, who was good at the game. Very solid casting choice.
  13. Tiffany: Really the only "older woman" to not be shafted in the edit so far in the new era. She was no nonsense and not afraid to play the game hard. She was great!
  14. Danny (44): Funny guy and decent enough gameplayer
  15. Zach: Ugh, so much potential as a character in just one episode!
  16. Shan: I personally never thought she was as great as others did but she was still pretty solid.
  17. Jonathan: He was a bit mixed in the post-merge but pre-merge he was absolutely amazing. Truly a Goliath if there ever was one.
  18. Frannie: It took me a while to warm up to her because she looked so much like Kellyn. Eventually I realized though how great she was. Very sweet person and fun showmance with Matt.
  19. Matt: Same as Frannie, just a fun couple in general
  20. Gabler: He was a great, fun character in the pre-merge. He faded a bit in the post-merge but he was alright than also I suppose. A decently fun winner overall.
  21. Heather: So robbed with the edit. She was hilarious and a fairly good gameplayer it sounds like also.
  22. Naseer: A very fun, likeable guy
  23. Evvie: A bit gamebotty at times but something so likeable about her despite that
  24. Jenny: Just a really fun, sweet, likeable person. Always smiley and happy
  25. Owen: He had his moments
  26. Jesse: Another one who I think is very overrated. Yeah, he knew how to play the game but he was like watching paint dry with how boring he was
  27. Brad: Fun, chaotic character the short time he was there but it was bound to lead to an early boot and/or get old soon if I had to guess.
  28. Omar: Surprsingly I don't find anything he did super memorable even though he seemed like he was always relevant
  29. Ryan: Fun comic relief type character
  30. Daniel: Sweet backstory and appreciate him trying to play the game hard but he just was not good at it at all and was bound to have it all backfire sooner rather than later.
  31. Rocksroy: A bit of a "guilty pleasure" I suppose. No clue how he even got close to being cast but he had some really funny moments out there for sure
  32. Sami: Meh, he was okay I guess
  33. Noelle: Liked her backstory a lot but otherwise didn't get a ton from her
  34. Matthew: Very undecided on him, his edit was kind of all over the place
  35. Geo: An underrated character IMO. Not a good player but he was a decently fun character
  36. Voce: Showed promise his short time there
  37. Lindsay (42): She seemed to develop a bit of a "Kelly Goldsmith" persona in confessionals at time but overall I think was just too "normal" for Survivor
  38. Cassidy: Some of her snarky moments were kind of fun but she just didn't really connect with me, others of her snarky moments just were kind of annoying IMO
  39. Karla: Boring gamebot, at least she had some success
  40. Hai: He just wasn't likeable at all, and not even in a "love to hate" kind of way. Just in kind of an annoying, bratty kind of way
  41. Drea: Same as Hai, which is too bad as she seemed fairly good at the game and nice backstory. She was just so unnecessarily nasty out there though.
  42. Jaime: Her sweet personality was great but I'm not sure we saw her really "play the game" really at all
  43. Bruce: I feel I can't rank him higher given how little we saw of him. From what we saw he seemed really sweet and likeable. Look forward to seeing him again in 45.
  44. Morriah: Again, I wish so much wae could have seen more from her. But from what we saw we didn't get a ton
  45. Romeo: Nice guy
  46. Danny (41): Also, a nice guy
  47. Chanelle: Seemed to be willing to play the game decently hard but just was kind of boring/not super likeable overall for me
  48. Liana: Same as Chanelle, I just didn't find her very entertaining/likeable despite her clearly being willing to play the game.
  49. Genie: Sweet backstory and loved her as a person/how nice she was out there. But she clearly had no clue how the game worked sadly.
  50. Nneka: Same as Genie, nice person and it was hilarious how little she seemed to care about losing challenges. But she just had no clue in the slightest how the game worked
  51. Heidi: Showed some fun energy in the finale but otherwise was completely unremarkable the rest of her time tehere
  52. Lauren: She had an occasional fun moment but never seemed in the loop strategically and just didn't provide much at all to the season
  53. Marya: LOVED her backstory with her brother. Other than that though, she just was not a fun character at all and not really a gameplayer at all either
  54. Jackson: Sweet backstory and seemed likeable enough his short time there but he was hardly there
  55. JD: He was alright but not a good player and his constant overplaying was sure to make him an early boot
  56. Deshawn: I could just never really "connect" with him in any way. IDK
  57. James: Probably the most boring villain the show has had
  58. Lydia: Great opening conessional and her being the caller was funny. Other than that, nada.
  59. Maddy: Irrelevant female pre-merge gamebot of 44 #1
  60. Claire: Irrelevant female pre-merge gamebot of 44 #2
  61. Helen: Irrelevant female pre-merge gamebot of 44 #3
  62. Sarah: Irrelevant female pre-merge gamebot of 44 #4
  63. Sara: Sweet backstory but overall not super interesting/didn't seem to really be a big gameplayer
  64. Erika: Possibly an unpopular opinion but I thought she was a terrible casting choice. Her only real "redeeming" moment was her getting emtotional and sharing her backstory when exiled. Other than that, she was so boring and IMO quite cold. Not a very good player eithegot lucky with her win I feel like.
  65. Kane: Him playing with the sword was cute but other than that he really didn't give anything
  66. Justine: Ehh, she showed some spice at times but otherwise was completely forgettable sadly
  67. Jeanine: She played the game but was so boring/unremarkable as a character
  68. Dwight: His pants were AMAZING!!! Yeah, that's about all I can remember about him
  69. Brandon: Maybe the hottest guy of the new era. And....... well.... umm.....
  70. Abraham: Very satisfying first boot. Jsut didn't seem interesting at all
  71. Swati: Poster child for why 19 is too young to be cast on the show
  72. Lindsay (43): Who?
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2023.06.04 12:28 ReplyInteresting1304 [WP] You awake suspended above your bed. Unable to move, unable to cry out. The room is filled with a bright light, and you can make out faint silhouettes. An alien abduction? Tears in your eyes, you almost give up hope when a scaly hand pulls you to safety. The monster under your bed is not happy.

I sat there a while, neatly cushioned under a barely levitating bed. The wooden feet lifted no more than a half inch from the yellow-white carpet I had burrowed into. That was our foxhole, and it was a dingy and lightly damp hidey-hole, too. Wettened, I imagine, from the who-knows-what drip funneling off of ITs back.
I had known IT for years, these spectral bastards for minutes. And I can't describe either set of creatures very well. IT was dipped in some sort of dry ick, and ITs hand was closer to scaly in texture than any other adjectives I can imagine. Trains of thought would run trackless in a gaudy mind trying to wrap 'round what IT was.
There was something really arid about it, like a drought come to life in the shape of a toad. A toad with an ugly laugh and a finnicky knack for limericks.
I didn't answer. From a peripheral view I spied IT "pick ITs nose" with a tusk-like tooth, though I'm not sure that's a fair description of the biological butchery then-stumped beside me. I slipped over my hunched arms, peeking from the bottom of the coverlet curtains at our intrusive guests. I reckoned to myself a phrase like "Where the hell did they come from?"
"Ease up and shut up," I retorted. "Don't let 'em hear us. I don't know what they want." I studied their shadow-dance. Though a midnight flashbang did bring me to my waking senses, the room swelled only with a total darkness, wholly absent of light; save for the gliding of their pitch tendril-limbs through the air.
They floated across my room, casting luminous gleam on this shelf, an inverted afterimage on that desk -- even now, I'm not sure how I knew there were multiple. They shimmered and swooned in a circle around a single glowing red dot, grounded in the center of the room. As they did, an air of acceptance filled my chest.
My curiosity nosedived into my subconscious. It took my situational judgment with it. I felt my body drain of emotional ego, and I became only a spectator. My sense about me distilled into a simple act of witnessing. ITs ugly shape molded towards me, groaning and croaking as an old wooden hatch. IT leaned near my ear, and I felt the puff of ITs rank breath.
"You sure? Why you?"
By then, my room was no longer my own. My lungs constricted a bit more with each breath, as blasts of warmth permeated the space to every corner. It was growing very hot, in very little time, as gracefully as cooked air might.
Nothing happened to my eye. And yet, I had the sense that my cornea shattered, and a billion little dotty pieces galivanted across my iris. All at sudden once, a million floaters trudged over my sight like a school of ocular fish.
"I get it now."
"...It's been real."
IT gave me a final proverb.
And at the last, a needle popped my bubble, and everything backtracked from that silent business into a state of being like a blown-out candle. A single whistle beat out the river of quiet, and my monster and I were gone.
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2023.06.04 04:54 ImThatWrestlingGuy FBE P.U.R.E - Book Forbidden Door II - Exeunt

Orange Cassidy vs Minoru Suzuki
To open the long-awaited sequel to the highly successful Forbidden Door, Sir Freshly Squeezed takes on Murder Grandpa in arguably the most anticipated dream match on the card. Introducing Suzuki to his apathetic style, Cassidy immediately attracted violence from the unimpressed Minoru, yet as the bout progressed, Cassidy started to come into his own, bringing some true offence of his own, only for Suzuki to inevitably put him away with a brutal Piledriver.

Hiromu Takahashi (c) vs Darby Allin – IWGP Jr Heavyweight Championship
Running at 100mph and never slowing down, Takahashi and Allin started the match with a bang, immediately trading fast-paced offence with a distinct disregard for their wellbeing. Their high-octane bout continued to amaze the audience with twists and turns as both men wrestled for the upper hand, but ultimately Hiromu was able to stop Darby dead in his tracks to retain.

Main Card

Bryan Danielson vs Kota Ibushi
To open the main card, Kota Ibushi and Bryan Danielson prepared to go to war in a continuation of The Golden Elite’s feud with the BCC. The pair tested the waters to begin, trading reversals and submission attempts before both men gave up and resorted to violent strikes, a brutal encounter ensuing after. Following a 30-minute clinic with Kota and Bryan pulling out all the stops, Ibushi was able to counter a Busaiku and land a Kamigoye to silence Danielson.

Toni Storm vs Mayu Iwatani – Champion vs Champion
With The Outsiders ruling over AEW with an iron fist ever since Toni Storm’s title win at Double or Nothing, her dominance was about to be challenged by the top champion in Japan, Mayu Iwatani. Mixing their different styles together in a fluid clash of techniques, Storm and Iwatani proved why they’re the ace of their respective brands, with Storm asserting herself as the superior champion over Mayu to stand tall.

The House of Black (c) vs Los Ingobernables De Japon – AEW Trios Championship
On one side: the unstoppable force of Malakai Black, Brody King, and Buddy Matthews. On the other: the legendary NJPW faction represented tonight by Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi, and BUSHI. Clashing in a flurry of styles, the two trios went all out with rarely any tags and non-stop action, and despite their best attempts, LIJ was unable to put away the undisputed top trio in the world, a Dante’s Inferno signalling the end for them.

Jay White vs KENTA
With tensions within Bullet Club rising as its supposed leader abandoned their Japanese unit to start his own subgroup, the upcoming cross-promotional super card acted as an opportunity for KENTA to confront Jay White, Jay leaving KENTA laying after a Blade Runner as his response. And at the show, KENTA fell to a similar fate after a gruelling bout between them, White standing tall over his former stablemate.

Thunder Rosa vs Mercedes Mone
Returning after a short hiatus from injury, Mercedes Mone wanted a certain Thunder Rosa for Forbidden Door, and they made sure to live up to the expectations of their dream clash, having a fiery encounter complete with close submission finishes and near falls. Yet with both of her recent championship failures fresh in her memory, Mercedes went all in to get a win here, beating Thunder Rosa after a red-hot match.

Jon Moxley vs Katsuyori Shibata
Because we all need this in our life. The two hardest-hitting fighters in the business going fist to fist. Shibata’s technical prowess and sharp strike combinations melded beautifully with Jon’s brutal offence and brawler-esque style, the two having a real fight feel to their encounter. And after near fall after near fall, Mox was forced to resort to submissions in order to put away Shibata, choking him out with a Bulldog Choke in an impressive victory for The Death Rider.

Aussie Open (c) vs FTR vs The Young Bucks – IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
The hottest tag team in the world currently in Aussie Open called out the best AEW has to offer and were met by two former opponents: FTR and The Young Bucks, the two AEW teams already having a rivalry of their own. All 6 men involved took advantage of the Triple Threat rules, with 3 men always competing in fast-paced and dynamic action. And with crazy spots keeping the crowd on the edge of their seats the whole time, one final Coriolis saw Aussie Open retain over the two legendary tag teams.

MJF (c) vs Hiroshi Tanahashi – AEW World Championship
Wanting to add to his already extensive list of former challengers, MJF called out the Ace of NJPW, knowing a win over Horseshoe would cement him as a true force to be feared. Putting his title on the line, the extremes of light and dark; good and evil; Tanahashi and MJF had a tense and dramatic back-and-forth encounter, with MJF using any opportunity he got to try to cheat a win, but Tanahashi countered his attempts, getting insanely close call after insanely close call. Yet it wouldn’t be enough, with MJF low-blowing Tanahashi out of the ref’s sight and stealing a win over the Ace.

CM Punk vs Kazuchika Okada
With a certain rematch going on last, this huge dream bout was forced to be the penultimate clash of the night as CM Punk took on Kazuchika Okada in a match that fans had been wanting for decades. Punk’s new heel alignment was reflected in his offence, juxtaposed against Okada’s pure excellence, and the two legendary figures traded big moves after big moves with their finishers being hyped up throughout the match, ending in a singular GTS putting away Okada.

Kenny Omega (c) vs Will Ospreay – IWGP United States Championship
You all know how this one goes. Going to war a second time, Ospreay refused to be brutalised like last time, fighting with a violent burning passion against the final boss Omega, and after another high-octane classic, Will landed a One-Winged Angel and Stormbreaker to finally win!
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2023.06.04 04:38 lionthunder89 An Unlimited Love Retrospective, part 10: Whatchu Thinkin'

Part 1 (Black Summer) with song tiers explained at the bottom
Part 2 (Here Ever After)
Part 3 (Aquatic Mouth Dance)
Part 4 (Not The One)
Part 5 (Poster Child)
Part 6 (The Great Apes)
Part 7 (It's Only Natural)
Part 8 (She's A Lover)
Part 9 (These Are The Ways)
Another of the best songs of the album. Whatchu Thinkin’ sounds like it could’ve come straight off Stadium Arcadium, as it leans heavily into the rock direction of RHCP’s sound, managing to capture the essence of both SA and UL’s moods simultaneously. Flea’s bass pounds hard, almost sounding like bongos as he pops the strings in an infectiously funky pattern, Chad keeping perfect time with it as always. John’s guitar provides an amazingly resonant chorus riff in the form of echoing arpeggiated chords. The ending solo rivals the one on Wet Sand in terms of raw, melancholy emotion, sounding like a tortured soul crying out in despair. But despite beauty of the instrumentals, the true MVP of this song is Anthony, whose vocals ride up and down on Flea’s bass line like an expert parkourist, and rock back and forth “over and over again” over John’s chords with some of the most desperately emotional sounding tones on the whole album. All four chilis are at the top of their game here, but Anthony’s the one who makes this song.
Despite the frivolous-sounding title, Whatchu Thinkin’ is one of the deepest songs of UL in terms of subject matter. It follows in the footsteps of American Ghost Dance and Johnny Kick a Hole in the Sky as a lament over the mistreatment of Native Americans throughout history, making it the only song on UL with a clear socio-political message. Both in terms of the imagery the music evokes and the message, this song is DARK. The minimal instrumentation on the verses feels like a blackness, punctuated by deep, blood-red hues. Yet its melodies are still oddly happy-sounding, and the chorus is a straight-up banger, giving the whole thing a deeply sarcastic tone. Anthony’s lyrics sound like a nervous wreck of a native trying to reason with people who have no interest in pitching a fair deal with him. I never would have expected a song called Whatchu Thinkin’ to hit so hard both lyrically and musically, but it works and it stands opposite of It’s Only Natural as the best song of the latter part of the album.
Favorite Verse Lyric: “In the Black Hills you could find it all/blood runs thick like from a waterfall”
Mental Music Video: A surreal neon light show depicting a lone native american in a dark landscape, all in red light. He witnesses the coming of the settlers, the slaughtering of the buffalo and his people, the forced relocation of the tribes, and the desecration of the land as the trees are felled and buildings are erected. The ending solo plays over the image of the statue of a sioux chief, weeping from his eyes golden coins that pour out as though from a slot machine over the desolation.
Rating: S-Tier
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2023.06.04 01:54 jklmcc56 My Rankings of PoV Characters [SPOILERS EXTENDED]

The following is my ranking of the PoV characters in ASOIAF from worst to best, including the prologue and epilogue characters. I encourage you all to list your rankings (or perhaps just your top 10) below. I'm not strictly listing these in terms of inherent likability, but rather how interesting the character is and how interesting the plot is in their chapters (but also how much I like these characters).
  1. Areo Hotah: There is absolutely no need for this character. We could have had his chapters given to Arianne.
  2. Arys: Once again, his solo chapter could have been given to Arianne. I don't know why George wanted to deprive Arianne of her story. At least his chapter involves him banging the hottest character in the series.
  3. Pate: I believe Pate is the least interesting of the prologue and epilogue chapters, and I have no idea how the Faceless Man will become relevant to the overarching story.
  4. Merrett Frey: While the ending is interesting, I do think this chapter could have not been included, and the reveal could have been given in Brienne's final chapter in AFFC, with clues of Catelyn's resurrection throughout ASOS and AFFC.
  5. Will: The first chapter and introduction to the White Walkers. I think it perfectly captures this mystery and dread, while also hinting at the horror elements of ASOIAF. However, Will is not interesting at all as a character.
  6. Cressen: What a sweet old man that really hates hot magical women. He provides a lot of background on new characters while also setting up how powerful and mysterious Melisandre is.
  7. Varamyr: As a character he's only mildly interesting, but the delving into skinchanging/warging his cool.
  8. Kevan: When I saw his name for the epilogue, it blew my mind. I for sure thought Kevan would be making it out alive for a while. This chapter more than most makes me incredibly excited for TWOW.
  9. Melisandre: This is a weird one, since we're given this chapter many books after this character has been introduced, so it's difficult to rank. The obvious foreshadowing of Jon's death is cool. I suspect after TWOW my ranking of her will be higher.
  10. Chett: The three horn blasts is one of my favorite moments of the series. I can really feel Chett's anger towards Sam and Jeor, and then suddenly it is all undercut by the White Walkers, and now everything is left out on the table.
  11. Quentyn: I hate this character but the stakes of Dorne and Daenerys are interesting, so I had a tough time ranking him.
  12. Aeron: For some weird reason, I actually quite enjoy the Greyjoy characters. It is actually really strange we get four entire PoVs from this family. Aeron's chapter where he calls the Kingsmoot is one of my favorite non climatic chapters, and the presence of Euron as a character is quite huge.
  13. Arianne: George robbed Arianne of her plot and I feel bad, since Areo and Arys did not need PoVs. I can't wait for her story in TWOW.
  14. Asha: I enjoy understanding Asha's complicated relationship with her family, despite having all the time to connect with them.
  15. Victarian: He's an idiot, but a lovable one at that.
  16. Barristan: His chapters are... sturdy? When I read his PoV, I feel almost safe? Like I know everything will eventually be all right. He has this very naive but straightforward approach to solving problems, but he does it with honor and integrity, so I can forgive him.
  17. Bran: I don't like reading his PoV, but I enjoy his plot, if that makes sense. Bran by far was the hardest character to rank.
  18. Jon Connington: This is the plot of the story I am the most excited about. I cannot wait for the Dance of Dragons Part 2.
  19. Brienne: Her story feels like a side quest, but even then I really enjoy it, plus she's filled with this inherent goodness and honor, so it's easy to root for her. Plus, the Broken Man monologue is one of the best passages in the series.
  20. Catelyn: I despise Catelyn, but her plot is interesting. She pretty much loses the war for the Starks (Jaime was their get out of jail free card), and she continuously gives bad advice to Robb. Glory to the Red Wedding and those who notoriously thunder without mercy.
  21. Samwell: His first chapter escaping the White Walkers is one of my favorites, plus I really enjoy the perspective of a coward in a world filled with bravery and heroes. It really counteracts the tone with a more relatable character.
  22. Cersei: Gods I hate her, but I love hating her. She is so stupid, but at least the only people she screws over are people I don't like.
  23. Sansa: I did not like her in the first two books, but as her fairy tale views begin to break by the end of ACOK, I really begin to enjoy this mature version. Her PoV in AFFC was one of my favorites, but due to me not liking her in the beginning, she has to be ranked lower.
  24. Daenerys: Her story is really good in the first and third book, but boring in the second and confusing in the fifth. She is perhaps my fourth favorite character in terms of likability, but her plot sometimes gets in the way.
  25. Arya: I really enjoy her as a character, offering this childlike view but also obsessive hatred towards certain people, and her training as an assassin his awesome. However, her chapters don't contain any big plot.
  26. Eddard: Even though he is in one book, Ned has one of the strongest presences in the entire series. His honor and goodness carry themselves in other characters constantly asking themselves "What would Ned do?" Ironically, his honor is what gets him killed and starts a civil war.
  27. Theon: Oh I really hated his character, but since he was taken from his family as a kid, and his father doesn't ever give him the chance to prove himself, I can forgive him. His chapters in ADWD are my favorite, and because of that, he gets bumped up this high.
  28. Davos: Though he is rich, Davos still provides the perspective of a more "common" man. He often isn't the big leader in plot, but an observer who sometimes gives good advice. I really enjoy his sense of morality and duty, while also holding convictions and loyalty. Plus his chapters include the Manderly speech.
  29. Jaime: I hated this man, and now I love him. Screw you George, because I know he is going to die at some point. I quite enjoy that he is actually quite clever, but he just keeps it all internal. You can definitely tell the effect of Tywin had on him, and how much he only does things because he thinks he should and not because he wants to, which is where we get the love/hate relationship from.
  30. Jon: My favorite character in terms of likability. He is someone that everyone in his chapters, except Thorne, eventually grows to liking, which says a lot. Him being a bastard but also being part of a Great House gives him the opportunity to connect with everyone. Jon has the privilege of growing up learned and wealthy, but he has the humbleness and grit of someone who wasn't handed everything in life. He is the one true Stark of Ned's "kids".
  31. Tyrion: Not one of the characters I like, especially on rereads, but he gets a lot of the big plot, but his cleverness and jokes really make reading him enjoyable. Even when he is doing nothing, reading his thoughts makes the story (I'm looking at you first Tyrion PoV of ADWD.)
If there's any thoughts you completely disagree with, let me know.
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2023.06.03 21:17 yournailsupplier The year 2023's 7 Best Nail Trends

The year 2023's 7 Best Nail Trends
Your go-to Ft. Myers nail salon is prepared to assist you in rocking some new and continuing nail styles that have been having a great year. Now let's examine them!


Though pastel nails will never, ever, ever go out of style, spring is the ideal season to wear these lovely mild colours. At your neighborhood Ft. acrylic nail supply store Myers nail salon, you can get fingers that are topped with stylish cuteness.

Nail Jewels

No matter what, this fashion that was inspired by Cardi B looks hot and elegant. Jewel nails draw attention like no other style, whether you're meeting hundreds of admirers or simply going to the grocery store. Prepare for a more prolonged session.

French manicure with color blocks

This beautiful mani features turns the conventional French manicure on its head by using a lighter base color and a darker tip. You can also flip it for a unique interpretation of this lovely alternative for a French manicure that is all about the color. Use complementary or even unrelated colors, or keep the tone range consistent. You may wear this style however you like; use the same two colors all over, alternate one set of colors on each hand, or change them up on each nail.


Zoological prints

Although animal designs are always in style, the creatures that are most popular in 2021 are the ones that will have you saying "moo!" Move forward, leopard, that's right. The cow is currently the hottest print for your digits, beating the cheetah and other designs. Ariana Grande and Kendall Jenner are just a couple celebrities who are sporting this sassy look, so if you want to join them, make an appointment with your Ft. Myers nail salon tech right away.

The Zigzag Nails

It's surprisingly easy to make chevron nails at home, commonly referred to as zigzag nails. But if you want to be sure they're finished perfectly, go to the Ft. Myers nail salon of your choosing and have this striking and bright print expertly applied. In order to look polished and finished, this magnificent trend incorporates elements from several previous trends while maintaining a single color scheme. It's a piece of art that you can create at home, but for trickier designs, schedule an appointment with your favorite Ft. Myers nail technician and get creative!

Green Fingernails

Green is this season's favorite manicure color, perfect for the minimalist who wants just one chic shade! A 2021 manicure will look great with green nails in any shade or tone, from mint to olive to wintry pine. If you're not entirely sold on nail wholesale supply near me the green trend, try this with just an emerald tip and a generally bare foundation before going all-in.
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2023.06.03 15:38 obeliskposture Short story about bad times & bad jobs

I've shared fiction here before and it didn't go altogether too poorly, so I'm going to press my luck and do it again. This was written about a year ago, and I'm tired of trying to peddle it to lit magazines. Might as well share it here, know that it met a few eyeballs, and have done with it.
It's relevant to the sub insofar as it's about urban alienation and the working conditions at a small business run by IN THIS HOUSE WE BELIEVE people. (I tried to pitch it as a story of the great resignation with a momentary flicker of cosmic horror.) It's based on a similar job I took on after getting laid off during the lockdown, and the circumstances of the main character's breakup are faintly similar to one I went through several years back (her job sucked the life out of her).
Without further ado:
* * *
It was getting close to midnight, and the temperature outside was still above 80 degrees. We’d locked up the shop at 10:15 and walked over to Twenty, the dive bar on Poplar Street, where a single wall-mounted air conditioner and four wobbly ceiling fans weren’t putting up much resistance against the July heat baking the place from the outside and the dense mass of bodies giving it a stifling fever from within.
Just now I came close to saying it was a Wednesday night, because that was usually when the cyclists descended upon Avenue Brew, the gritty-but-bougie craft beer and sandwich shop I was working at back then. Every Wednesday between March and November, about fifteen to twenty-five Gen Xers dressed in skintight polyester, all packages and camel toes and fanny packs, locked up their thousand-dollar bikes on the sidewalk and lined up for IPAs and paninis. They reliably arrived around 8:00, an hour before we closed, making it impossible to get started on the closing checklist and leave on time at 10:00. The worst of them were demanding and rude, and even the best got raucous and stubborn after a couple drinks. There were nights when bringing in the sidewalk tables couldn’t be done without arguing with them. Most were sub-par tippers, to boot.
After Wednesday came and went that week without so much as a single 40-something in Ray Bans and padded shorts stopping in to double-fist two cans of Jai Alai, we dared to hope the cyclists had chosen another spot to be their finish line from there on out. But no—they’d only postponed their weekly ride, and swarmed us on Friday night instead.
I was the last person to find out; I was clocked in as purchaser that evening. The position was something like a promotion I'd received a year earlier: for twenty hours a week, I got to retreat from the public and sit in the back room with the store laptop, reviewing sales and inventory, answering emails from brewery reps, and ordering beer, beverages, and assorted paper goods. When I put in hours as purchaser, my wage went up from $11 to $15 an hour, but I was removed from the tip pool. On most days, tips amounted to an extra two or three dollars an hour, so I usually came out ahead.
This was back in 2021. I don't know what Avenue Brew pays these days.
Anyway, at about 8:15, I stepped out to say goodbye to everyone and found the shop in chaos. Friday nights were generally pretty active, the cyclists' arrival had turned the place into a mob scene. The line extended to the front door. The phone was ringing. The Grubhub tablet dinged like an alarm clock without a snooze button. Danny was on the sandwich line and on the verge of losing his temper. Oliver was working up a sweat running food, bussing tables, and replenishing ingredients from the walk-in. The unflappable Marina was on register, and even she seemed like she was about to snap at somebody.
What else could I do? I stayed until closing to answer the phone, process Grubhub orders, hop on and off the second register, and help Danny with sandwich prep. After the tills were counted out, I stayed another hour to take care of the dishes, since nobody had a chance to do a first load. Oliver was grateful, even though he grumbled about having to make some calls and rearrange Sunday's schedule so I could come in a couple hours late. Irene and Jeremy, Avenue Brew's owners, would kick his ass if he let me go into overtime.
Danny suggested that we deserved a few drinks ourselves after managing to get through the shift without killing anyone. Not even Marina could find a reason to disagree with him.
The neighborhood had undergone enough gentrification to support an upscale brunch spot, an ice cream parlor, a gourmet burger restaurant, a coffee and bahn mi shop, and Avenue Brew (to name a few examples), but not yet quite enough that the people who staffed them couldn’t afford to live within a ten-minute walk from the main avenue where all these hep eateries stood between 24-hour corner stores with slot machines in back, late-night Chinese and Mexico-Italian takeout joints with bulletproof glass at the counters, and long-shuttered delis and shoe stores. Twenty on Poplar was the watering hole set aside for people like us. It was dim, a bit dilapidated, and inexpensive, and usually avoided by denizens of the condos popping up on the vacant lots and replacing clusters of abandoned row houses.
When we arrived, Kyle waved us over. He didn’t work at Avenue Brew anymore, but still kept up with a few of us. He was at Twenty at least four nights out of the week.
So there we all were. I sat with a brooding stranger freestyling to himself in a low mumble on the stool to my left and Oliver on my right, who tapped at his phone and nursed a bottle of Twisted Tea. To Oliver’s right sat Marina, staring at nothing in particular and trying to ignore Danny, who stood behind her, closer than she would have liked, listening to Kyle explain the crucial differences between the Invincible comic book and the Invincible web series.
I recall being startled back to something like wakefulness when it seemed to me that the ceiling had sprouted a new fan. I blinked my eyes, and it wasn’t there anymore. It reminded me of an incident from when I was still living with my folks in South Jersey and still had a car, and was driving home from a friend’s house party up in Bergen County. It was 6:30 AM, I hadn’t slept all night, and needed to get home so I could get at least little shuteye before heading to Whole Foods for my 11:00 AM shift. I imagined I passed beneath the shadows of overpasses I knew weren’t there, and realized I was dreaming at the wheel.
I was pretty thoroughly zombified at that point. Heather and I had broken up for good the night before, and I hadn't gotten even a minute of sleep. Calling out at Avenue Brew was tough. Unless you found someone willing to cover your shift on like six hours' notice, you were liable to get a writeup, a demotion, or your hours cut if you couldn't produce a doctor's note. So I loaded up on caffeine pills and Five-Hour Energy bottles at the corner store, and powered through as best I could.
I finished the last thimbleful of Blue Moon in my glass. Oliver wiped the sweat from the back of his neck with a napkin and covered his mouth to stifle a laugh at the KiwiFarms thread he was scrolling through. Pool balls clacked; somebody swore and somebody laughed. The TouchTunes box was playing Bob Dylan’s “Rain Day Woman #12 & 35,” and enough bleary 40-something men around the bar were bobbing their heads and mouthing the words to make it impossible to determine which one of them paid two bucks to hear it. A guy by the cigarette machine who looked like a caricature of Art Carney in flannel and an old Pixies T-shirt was accosting a woman who must have been a toddler when he hit drinking age, and she momentarily made eye contact with me as she scanned the area for a way out. Danny was shouting over the bartender’s head, carrying on a conversation with the Hot Guy from Pizza Stan’s, who was sitting on the horseshoe’s opposite arm.
I never got his name, but when Oliver first referred to him as the Hot Guy from Pizza Stan’s, I knew exactly who he meant. Philly scene kid par excellence. Mid-20s, washed-out black denim, dyed black hair, thick bangs, and dark, gentle eyes. He was only truly alluring when he was on the job, because he seldom smiled then—and when he smiled, he broke the spell by exposing his teeth, stained a gnarly shade of mahogany from too much smoking and not enough brushing.
“How’s Best? Marcus still a joker?” Danny asked him.
“Yeah, you know Marcus. You know how he is.”
So the Hot Guy had been working at Best Burger (directly across the street from Avenue Brew) ever since Pizza Stan’s owners mismanaged the place unto insolvency. (Afterwards it was renovated and reopened as a vegan bakery—which incidentally closed down about a month ago.) Danny used to work at Best Burger, but that ended after he got into a shouting match with the owner. I happened to overhear it while I was dragging in the tables and collecting the chairs from the sidewalk the night it happened. It wasn’t any of my business, and I tried not to pay attention, but they were really tearing into each other. A month later, Oliver welcomed Danny aboard at Avenue Brew. I hadn’t known he’d been interviewed, and by then it was too late to mention the incident. But I’d have been a hypocrite to call it a red flag after the way I resigned from my position as Café Chakra's assistant manager two years earlier—not that we need to go dredging that up right now. Let's say there was some bad blood and leave it at that.
Anyway, I was thinking about giving in and buying a pack of cigarettes from the machine—and then remembered that Twenty didn’t have a cigarette machine. I looked again. The Art Carney-lookalike was still there, fingering his phone with a frown, but the girl was gone—and so was the cigarette machine.
I had only a moment to puzzle over this before Danny clapped me on the shoulder and thrust a shot glass in front of me.
“Starfish!” he said. (Danny called me Starfish. Everybody else called me Pat.) “You look like you need some juice.”
He distributed shots to everyone else. Marina declined hers, but changed her mind when Kyle offered to take it instead.
She and Kyle had stopped sleeping together after Kyle left Avenue Brew to work at the Victory taproom on the Parkway, but Marina was still concerned about his bad habits, which Danny delighted in encouraging.
We all leaned in to clink our glasses. Before I could find an appropriate moment to ask Marina if I could bum a cigarette, she got up to visit the bathroom. Danny took her seat and bowed his head for a conspiratorial word with Kyle.
I watched from the corner of my eye and tried to listen in. Like Marina, I was a little worried about Kyle. He got hired at Avenue Brew around the same time I did, just before the pandemic temporarily turned us into a takeout joint. He was a senior at Drexel then, an English major, and sometimes talked about wanting to either find work in publishing or carve out a career as a freelance writer after graduating. But first he intended to spend a year getting some life in before submitting himself to the forever grind.
He read a lot of Charles Bukowski and Hunter Thompson. He relished the gritty and sordid, and had already been good at sniffing it out around the neighborhood and in West Philly before Danny introduced him to cocaine, casinos, strip clubs, and a rogue’s gallery of shady but fascinating people. (None were really Danny’s friends; just fellow passengers who intersected with the part of his life where he sometimes went to Parx, sometimes came out ahead, sometimes spent his winnings on coke, and sometimes did bumps at titty bars.) Kyle recounted these adventures with a boyish enthusiasm for the naked reality of sleaze, like a middle schooler telling his locker room buddies about catching his older brother in flagrante and seeing so-and-so body parts doing such-and-such things.
Marina hated it. She never said as much to me, but she was afraid that the template Kyle set for his life during his “year off” was in danger of becoming locked in. The anniversary of his graduation had already passed, and now here he was trying to convince Danny to contribute a couple hundred dollars toward a sheet of acid his guy had for sale. He wasn't doing much writing lately.
I was the oldest employee at Avenue Brew (as I write this I’m 37, but fortunately I don’t look it), and when Kyle still worked with us I felt like it was my prerogative to give him some advice. The longer he waited to make inroads, I once told him, the more likely he’d be seen as damaged goods by the publishing world. He needed to jam his foot in the door while he was still young.
I could tell the conversation bored him, and didn’t bring up the subject again.
The bartender took my glass and curtly asked if I’d like another drink.
“No thanks, not yet,” I answered.
She slid me my bill.
I missed the old bartender, the one she’d replaced. I forget her name, but she was ingenuous and energetic and sweet. Pretty much everyone had some sort of crush on her. Sometimes she came into Avenue Brew for lunch, and tipped us as well as we tipped her. Maybe three months before that night—Danny witnessed it—she suddenly started crying and rushed out the door. Everyone at the bar mutely looked to each other for an explanation. (Fortunately for Twenty, the kitchen manager hadn’t left yet, and picked up the rest of her shift.)
She never came back. None of us had seen her since. But drafts still had to be poured and bottlecaps pulled off, and now here was another white woman in her mid-twenties wearing a black tank top, a pushup bra, and a scrunchie, same as before. Twenty’s regulars grew accustomed to not expecting to see the person she’d replaced, and life went on.
“How’re you doing?” I asked Oliver, just to say something to somebody, and to keep my thoughts from wandering back to Heather.
“Just kind of existing right now,” he answered. His phone lay face-up on the counter. He was swiping through Instagram, and I recognized the avatar of the user whose album he hate-browsed.
“And how’s Austin been?” I asked.
“Oh, you know. Not even three weeks after getting over the jetlag from his trip back from the Cascades, he’s off touring Ireland.” He shook his head. “Living his best life.”
He’d hired Austin on a part-time basis in September. We needed a new associate when Emma was promoted to replace a supervisor who'd quit without even giving his two weeks. There was a whole thing. I'm having a hard time recalling the guy's name, but I liked him well enough. He was a good worker and he seemed like a bright kid, but he was—well, he was young. Naïve. One day he found Jeremy sitting in the back room with his laptop, and took advantage of the open-door policy to ask why the store manager and supervisors didn’t get health benefits or paid time off. Jeremy told him it "was being worked on," and that he couldn’t discuss it any further at that time. I understand the kid got argumentative, though I never knew precisely what was said.
Irene started visiting the shop a lot more often after that, almost always arriving when the kid was working. No matter what he was doing, she’d find a reason to intervene, to micromanage and harangue him, and effectively make his job impossible. A coincidence, surely.
It’s something I still think about. By any metric, Jeremy and Irene have done very well for themselves. They’re both a little over 40 years old. I remember hearing they met at law school. In addition to Avenue Brew, they own a bistro in Francisville and an ice cream parlor in Point Breeze. They have a house on the Blue Line, send their son to a Montessori school, and pull up to their businesses in a white Volkswagen ID.4. But whenever the subject of benefits, wages, or even free shift meals came up, they pled poverty. It simply couldn’t be done. But they liked to remind us about all they did to make Avenue Brew a fun place to work, like let the staff pick the music and allow Oliver and me to conduct a beer tasting once a day. They stuck Black Lives Matter, Believe Women, and Progress flag decals on the front door and windows, and I remember Irene wearing a Black Trans Lives Matter shirt once or twice when covering a supervisor's shift. None of the college students or recent graduates who composed most of Avenue Brew's staff could say the bosses weren't on the right team. And yet...
I'm sorry—I was talking about Austin. He was maybe 30 and already had another job, a “real” job, some sort of remote gig lucrative enough for him to make rent on a studio in the picturesque Episcopal church down the street that had been converted into upscale apartments some years back. Austin wasn’t looking for extra cash. He wanted to socialize. To have something to do and people to talk to in the outside world. He wanted to make friends, and all of us could appreciate that—but it’s hard to be fond of a coworker who irredeemably sucks at his job. Austin never acted with any urgency, was inattentive to detail, and even after repeated interventions from Oliver and the supervisors, he continued to perform basic tasks in bafflingly inefficient ways. Having Austin on your shift meant carrying his slack, and everyone was fed up after a few months. Oliver sat him down, told him he was on thin ice, and gave him a list of the areas in which he needed to improve if he didn’t want to be let go.
When Austin gave Oliver the indignant “I don’t need this job” speech, it was different from those times Danny or I told a boss to go to hell and walked out. Austin truly didn’t need it. He basically said the job was beneath him, and so was Oliver.
It got deep under Oliver’s skin. He did need the job and had to take it seriously, even when it meant being the dipshit manager chewing out a man four or five years his senior. He earned $18 an hour (plus tips when he wasn’t doing admin work), had debts to pay off, and couldn't expect to get any help from his family.
The important thing, though, the part I distinctly remember, was that Oliver was looking at a video of a wading bird Austin had recorded. An egret, maybe. White feathers, long black legs, pointy black beak. Austin must have been standing on a ledge above a creek, because he had an overhead view of the bird as it stood in the water, slowly and deliberately stretching and retracting its neck, eyeing the wriggling little shadows below. As far as the fish could know, they were swimming around a pair of reeds growing out of the silt. The predator from which they extended was of a world beyond their understanding and out of their reach.
The video ended. Oliver moved on to the next item: a photograph of the bird from the same perspective, with a fish clamped in its beak. Water droplets flung from the victim's thrashing tail caught the sunlight. And I remember now, I clearly remember, the shapes of like twelve other fish stupidly milling about the bird's feet, unperturbed and unpanicked.
Danny peered at Oliver’s phone and observed a resemblance between the bird—its shape and bearing, and the composition of the photograph—and a POV porn video shot from behind and above, and he told us so. Elaborately. He made squawking noises.
“And mom says I’m a degenerate,” Oliver sighed. “Can you practice your interspecies pickup artist shit somewhere else?” Oliver flicked his wrist, shooing Danny off, and held his phone in front of his face to signal that he was done talking.
Danny sagged a little on his stool and turned away. I sometimes felt bad for him. For all his faults, he had the heart of a puppy dog. He really did think of us as his tribe. There was nobody else who’d only ever answer “yes” when you asked him to pick up a shift, and he did it completely out of loyalty.
He was turning 29 in a week. I wondered how many people would actually turn out to celebrate with him at the Black Taxi. Kyle probably would—but even he regarded Danny more as a source of vulgar entertainment than a friend.
Then it happened again. When I turned to speak to Oliver, there’d been a pair of pool cues leaning side-by-side against the wall a few stools down. Now they were gone.
This time it might have been my imagination. Somebody passing by could have casually snatched them up and kept walking.
But a moment later I seemed to notice a second TouchTunes box protruding from the wall directly behind me. I let it be.
Marina returned from the bathroom. Danny rose and offered her back her seat with an exaggerated bow. Before she got settled, I asked if she’d like to step outside with me. She withdrew her pack of Marlboro Menthols from her canvas bag, which she left sitting on the stool to deter Danny from sitting back down.
Marina never minded letting me bum cigarettes from time to time. I couldn’t buy them for myself anymore; it’s a habit I could never keep under control, and was only getting more expensive. Like everything else in the world. About once a month I reimbursed her by buying her a pack.
The air out on the sidewalk was as hot as the air inside Twenty, but easier to breathe. After lighting up, Marina leaned against the bricks and sighed.
“I wish Oliver would fire Danny already and get it over with.”
I nodded. Marina rarely talked about anything but work.
“He sneaks drinks and doesn't think anyone notices he's buzzed,” she went on. “He steals so much shit and isn’t even a little subtle about it. He’s going to get Oliver in trouble. And he’s a creep.”
“Yeah,” I said. These were her usual complaints about Danny, and they were all true. “At least he’s better than Austin.”
“That’s a low bar.”
Three dirt bikes and an ATV roared down the lonely street, charging through stop sign after stop sign, putting our talk on hold.
“Remind me. You’ve got one semester left, right?” I asked after the noise ebbed.
Marina was a marketing major at Temple. She’d had an internship during the spring semester, and her boss told her to give her a call the very minute she graduated. Her parents in central Pennsylvania couldn’t pay her rent or tuition for her, so she was a full-time student and a full-time employee at Avenue Brew. Her emotional spectrum ranged from "tired" to "over it." She’d been waiting tables and working at coffee shops since she was seventeen, had no intention of continuing for even a day longer than she had to, and feared the escape hatch would slam shut if she dallied too long after prying it open.
She’d considered majoring in English, like Kyle. She went for marketing instead. I couldn’t blame her.
“Are you okay?” she asked. “You’ve been kind of off all day.”
“I’m terrible.”
I gave dodgy answers, but she asked precisely the right follow-up questions to get me going about what happened with Heather the night before.
It was the new job. Before the pandemic, Heather worked as a server at a Center City bar and grill. (That's where I met her; we were coworkers for about a year, and then I left to work Café Chakra because it was quieter and closer to where I lived.) When the place closed its doors and laid everyone off during the lockdown, she got a stopgap job at the Acme on Passyunk, and hated it. Then in March, she found a bar-and-lounge gig in a ritzy hotel on Broad Street. Very corporate. Excellent pay, great benefits. Definitely a step up. But her new employers made Irene and Jeremy look like Bob and Linda Belcher by comparison. It was the kind of place where someone had recently gotten herself fired for leaving work to rush to the hospital after getting the news that her grandmother was about to be taken off life support, and not finding someone to come in and cover the last two hours of her shift.
Heather seldom worked fewer than fifty-five hours a week, and her schedule was even more erratic than mine. At least once a week she left the hotel at 1:00 or 2:00 AM and returned at 9:00 the next morning. Neither of us could remember the last time she’d had two consecutive days off, and it had been over a month since one of mine overlapped with one of hers. She’d spent it drinking alone at home. All she wanted was some privacy.
I’d biked to South Philly to meet her when she got home at 1:30. The argument that killed our relationship for good began around 2:30, when I complained that we never had sex anymore. Heather accused me of only caring about that, when she was so exhausted and stressed that her hair was falling out in the shower. Quit the job? She couldn’t quit. The money was too good. She had student loans, medical bills, and credit card debt, and for the first time in her life she could imagine paying it all off before hitting menopause.
So, yeah, I was cranky about our sex life being dead in the water. Say whatever you like. But at that point, what were we to each other? We did nothing together anymore but complain about work before one or both of us fell asleep. That isn’t a relationship.
She said my hair always smelled like sandwiches, even after bathing, and she was done pretending it didn’t turn her off. I told her she was one to talk—she always reeked of liquor. As things escalated, we stopped caring if her roommates heard us. “You want to be a father?” she shouted around 4:00 AM. “Making what you make? That poor fucking kid.”
We fought until sunrise, and I left her apartment with the understanding that I wouldn’t be coming back, wouldn’t be calling her ever again. I biked home and sat on the steps facing the cement panel that was my house’s backyard. After my phone died and I couldn’t anaesthetize myself with dumb YouTube videos or make myself feel crazy staring at the download button for the Tinder app, I watched the sparrows hopping on and off the utility lines for a while.
At 11:40 I went inside. One of my roommates was already in the shower, so the best I could do was put on a clean Avenue Brew T-shirt before walking to the shop and clocking in at noon to help deal with the lunch rush.
“That’s a lot,” Marina finally said. “Sorry.”
I don’t know what I was expecting her to say. She was sixteen years my junior, after all, and just a coworker. She didn’t need to hear any of this, and I definitely didn't need to be telling her. But who else was there to tell?
She’d already finished her cigarette. I still had a few puffs left. She went inside.
I decided to call it a night.
The second TouchTunes box was gone—naturally. Danny had taken my stool, and regarded my approach with a puckish you snooze you lose grin. I wasn’t going to say anything. I’d just pay my bill, give everyone a nod goodnight, and walk the five blocks back home.
And then Danny disappeared.
One second, he was there. The next—gone.
Danny didn’t just instantaneously vanish. Even when something happens in the blink of an eye, you can still put together something of a sequence. I saw him—I seemed to see him—falling into himself, collapsing to a point, and then to nothing.
You know how sometimes a sound is altogether inaudible unless you’re looking at the source—like when you don’t realize somebody’s whispering at you, and can then hear and understand them after they get your attention? I think that was the case here. I wouldn't have known to listen if I hadn't seen it happen. What I heard lingered for two, maybe three seconds, and wasn't any louder than a fly buzzing inside a lampshade. A tiny and impossibly distant scream, pitchshifted like a receding ambulance siren into a basso drone...
I don’t know. I don’t know for sure. I’m certain I remember a flash of red, and I have the idea of Danny’s trunk expanding, opening up as it imploded. A crimson flower, flecked white, with spooling pink stalks—and Danny’s wide-eyed face above it, drawn twisting and shrinking into its petals.
For an instant, Twenty’s interior shimmered. Not shimmered, exactly—glitched would be a better word. If you’re old enough to remember the fragmented graphics that sometimes flashed onscreen when you turned on the Nintendo without blowing on the cartridge, you’ll have an idea of what I mean. It happened much too fast, and there was too much of it to absorb. The one clear impression I could parse was the mirage of a cash register flickering upside-down above the pool table.
Not a cash register. The shape was familiar, but the texture was wrong. I think it was ribbed, sort of like a maggot. I think it glistened. Like—camo doesn’t work anymore when the wearer stops crouching behind a bush and breaks into a run. Do you get what I’m saying?
Nobody else seemed to notice. The pool balls clacked. A New Order track was playing on the TouchTunes box. A nearby argument about about Nick Sirianni continued unabated.
Finally, there was a downward rush of air—and this at least elicited a reaction from the bartender, who slapped my bill to keep it from sailing off the counter.
“Danny,” I said.
“Danny?” Kyle asked me quietly. His face had gone pale.
“Danny?” Oliver repeated in a faraway voice.
After a pause, Kyle blinked a few times. “You heard from him?”
“God forbid,” said Marina. “When he quit I was like, great, I can keep working here after all.”
“Oh, come on—”
“Kyle. Did I ever show you those texts he sent me once at three in the morning?” The color had returned to Oliver’s face.
“No, what did he say?”
Oliver tapped at his phone and turned the screen toward Kyle.
“Oh. Oh, jeez.”
“Right? Like—if you want to ask me something, ask me. You know? Don’t be weirdly accusatory about it…”
I pulled a wad of fives and ones from my pocket, threw it all onto the counter, and beelined for the exit without consideration for the people I squeezed through and shoved past on the way.
I heard Marina saying “let him go.”
I went a second consecutive night without sleep. Fortunately I wasn’t scheduled to come in the next day.
The schedule. It’s funny. Oliver was generally great at his job, and even when he wasn’t, I cut him a lot of slack because I knew Irene and Jeremy never gave him a moment’s peace. But I could never forgive him those times he waited until the weekend to make up and distribute the schedule. This was one of those weeks he didn’t get around to it until Saturday afternoon. When I found it in my inbox, Danny’s name wasn’t anywhere on it.
As far as I know, nobody who hadn’t been at Twenty that night asked what happened to him. We were a bit overstaffed as it was, and everyone probably assumed Danny was slated for the chopping block. The part-timers were, for the most part, happy to get a few additional hours.
Oliver abruptly quit around Labor Day after a final acrimonious clash with the owners. I never found out the details, and I never saw him again. Jeremy and Irene took turns minding the store while a replacement manager was sought. None of the supervisors would be pressured into taking the job; they knew from Oliver what they could expect.
About three weeks after Oliver left, I came in for my purchasing shift and found Jeremy waiting for me in the back room. I knew it was serious when he didn’t greet me with the awkward fist-bump he ordinarily required of his male employees.
“You’ve seen the numbers,” he said. Business for the summer had fallen short of expectations, it was true, and he and Irene had decided to rein in payroll expenses. My purchaser position was being eliminated. Its responsibilities would be redistributed among the supervisors and the new manager, when one was found. In the meantime, I'd be going back to the regular $11 an hour (plus tips of course) associate position full-time.
Jeremy assured me I'd be first in the running for supervisor the next time there was an opening.
I told him it was fine, I was done, and if he’d expected the courtesy of two weeks’ notice, he shouldn’t have blindsided me like that.
“Well, that’s your choice,” he answered, trying not to look pleased. His payroll problem was solving itself.
I racked up credit card debt for a few months. Applied for entry-level museum jobs that might appreciate my art history degree. Aimed for some purchasing and administrative assistant gigs, and just for the hell of it, turned in a resume for a facilitator position at an after-school art program. Got a few interviews. All of them eventually told me they’d decided to go in a different direction. I finally got hired to bartend at Hops from Underground, a microbrewery on Fairmount.
I’m still there. The money’s okay, but it fluctuates. Hours are reasonable. I’m on their high-deductible health plan. There’s a coworker I’ve been dating. Sort of dating. You know how it goes. In this line of work you get so used to people coming and going that you learn not to get too attached. I walk past Avenue Brew a few times a week, but stopped peering in through the window when I didn't recognize the people behind the counter anymore.
submitted by obeliskposture to stupidpol [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 09:25 CRZlazy What’s going on with my baby :(

What’s going on with my baby :(
Not sure what’s going on. I’m very knowledgeable about beardies but I’ve never come across this. I was able to clean a lot of it off with water and a q tip but I did have to be a little aggressive to get it to come off. It’s almost like crust, it’s more brown but photos make it look red. The two tendons that make his beard puff, the scales on the tendons are turning black in color, and almost side ways like not lining up as the normally would. Here’s some info that may help: He’s spoiled, he’s not in his cage often but lately has been rubbing his face on the acrylic to get out when I’m not home-I see it on the camera I have set up I can post footage if needed. I even tried to block him from doing it with blankets, pillows, etc but he just climbs ontop of them. It’s not glass surfing because he’d do that on all of the walls when he used too. It’s only on the acrylic, with his nose, to try and get out. I feed him Dubias, horn worms as treats once a week. He got bored of Dubias and will literally spit them out when I trick him to eat one (spoiled lol). So I have been giving him 3-5 super worms a day the past week-the discoloring has been going on before giving him these. He eats red bell peppers-only red for some reason. He used to love greens but the past month has refused them. He eats a lot of dried bsfl this past month due to refusing Dubias. I always dust them. His set up is perfect, uvb t5, temp 85-90 hot side, 75-70 cool side dropping about 10 degrees at night. This has happened before but I used a “cell protection balm” on him and it cleared up but now it’s back a month later and worse. I wish I would’ve got photos before I cleaned it up but I was trying to figure it out myself first and I’m stumped. Google hasn’t helped.
submitted by CRZlazy to BeardedDragons [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 08:22 Drifting-aimlessly [Favorite Drunk Snack] Takis Hot Nuts, Xtra Flaming Hot cheetos, Lucas Mexican Candies, and Chamoy/Tajin mix. Voodoo Ranger session.

submitted by Drifting-aimlessly to drunk [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 06:56 lungsliu The Meatsiah

The Meatsiah

Assembly I
Assembly II
The Meatsiah
The Meatsiah is the most difficult burger known to man. It has only been made successfully once, by Bobby Belcher. It consists of a beef tartare rare inside a burger medium-well inside a burger wellington.
Mr. Fischoeder, whose opinion only matters due to his exceedingly large wealth, says the Meatsiah is "complicated, mystical, barbaric" and he's never tasted a burger half as delicious.
Jordan Teves and myself have given it a shot and kind of recreated the Meatsiah, along with less difficult variants.
It is served with a mango, grape tomato, and fire charred peppers pico de gallo mildly pickled in salt and meyer lemons. The sauce is a homemade mango habanero hot sauce made by Jordan Teves. Purple cabbage slaw rounds it out.
The Meatsiah Recipe:
Hand grind prime rib (don't buy ground beef, you have to grind it yourself because it will be served from rare to medium-well).
Set aside 1/5 of prime rib and make tartare.
Tartare is prime rib, egg yolks, pinch of salt, dijon, meyer lemon zest and juice, and chopped capers.
roll in tube and put in freezer.
Chill remaining 4/5 prime rib.
Make duxelle by frying bacon, chop up bacon and set aside, pan fry chopped shallots and mushrooms of your choice in baconed pan with a dash of balsamic, then add bacon back into it.
Lay out puff pastry, line with prosciutto, layer duxelle on top of prosciutto, lay out chilled ground beef.
Lay out tartare, half frozen.
Lay out another layer of ground beef.
Fold puff pastry so that it is encased completely.
Brush with egg yolk.
Oven at 425 F for about 12-13 minutes, but it will vary.
Instead of tartare, we have added apple maple Boursin cheese. We have also tried Balderson aged cheddar and pickles.
submitted by lungsliu to eatsandwiches [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 04:41 SaxyCookies (toaster) Oven Roasted Kroger Wings

(toaster) Oven Roasted Kroger Wings
The cooking process in order of application Pam (butter flavor) Wings Salt Crushed Black pepper Avocado Oil squirted on top of each wing (2/3 squirts per wing) 15min in toaster oven Flipped Salt Crushed black pepper Avocado Oil (one squirt per wing) 15min in toaster oven Taken out Onion powder (a couple of shakes over each group of wings) Garlic powder (a couple of shakes over each group of wings) Lemon pepper (a couple of shakes over each group of wings) (it was a little too much) Chili powder (a few shakes total over all wings) A couple of drops of black label Texas Pete Hot Sauce per wing. Crushed red pepper flakes (several shakes over all wings)
They were definitely tasty for a party wing. I like really hot, hot sauces which this black label Texas Pete delivered, but not without that watery vinegary taste, and if you're accustomed to really hot, hot sauces it definitely won't be the hottest, but it'll definitely get a little sweat rolling.
I hope y'all enjoyed the post (it's my first one here) ✌🏽&🐔
submitted by SaxyCookies to Wings [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 01:24 Fabiann_02 can you possibly solve this or provide insight? (Long) (Very interesting case)

First and last post here!
This may be a long read, but I truly, truly appreciate it if everyone would stick around and add their insight to this.
Background: 21 male, 5'10, Caucasian (Scottish, Slovakian, French) Location: Canada
I have 2 sisters, 2 nephews, and 1 niece, which is important to factor in, and I'll explain why briefly.
When I was just little used to light up bright red only on my face and neck typically only in stressful or public situations (terrible social anxiety), it wasn't itchy, just hot and red and I would sweat a lot. According to my mom (54), she used to get the same thing in front of people but eventually grew out of it.
Now regarding my niece and nephews, they also get red in the face and have trouble regulating body temperature but not due to any type of anxiety, as it stands we could call it idiopathic and it resembles Lupus or maybe rosacea however - my oldest nephew also has some skin problems and my youngest often gets fevers and hives from many things but treats it with things like advil.
The above is important in MY case I believe because when I was around 13 I was put on 20mg of cipralex (2014), in October 2019 (17) I went into anaphylaxis for the first time due to amoxicillin which I took due to sinus congestion (mom also has chronically) and I had it lying around from a previous infection, the anaphylaxis scared me into not taking any medication so I abruptly cut down my cipralex and for some reason believed I wouldn't need them anymore.
After doing this, I one day woke up with the most severe depersonalisation and derealisation anyone could ever have alongside a gross number of other discontinuation symptoms which lasted over 3 months and eventually subsided after reinstating 10-15mg of the same medication, the most IMPORTANT part of this is I had developed Tinnitus and anisacoria after this AND I couldn't take the meds anymore because I developed symptoms of seratonin toxicity so I had to get off all together and just deal with it.
Fast forward to 2021-2022 and now things are serious, my body is behaving terribly since I've changed things up and it's worth mentioning that the rash / redness I used to only get on my face and neck had began to progress down to my chest and eventually to my legs but it's not itchy and only happens in the sun, in stressful situations/ conditions. That's the least of it, I began getting constipated by almost ALL foods and chicken and rice were my only tolerable foods (until they weren't), I wasn't getting rashes but it's like I developed this hypersensitivity in the signals from my stomach, it began feeling tight and caused me to be severely constipated for over 33 days (not exaggerated), my blood sugar was 1.3, you could say I was intolerant to almost everything but not allergic.
This is where things got weird, at this point I've seen almost all of the BEST specialists in Canada and been to the best hospitals which costed me a lot of money that I just happened to coincidentally have (now I don't) and a lot of time, as I mentioned I had been extremely constipated UNTIL I received saline solution VIA IV injection overnight, I got home a day later and had the most excruciatingly painful poop ever and it was disgusting - I know it was from the saline IV because this happened more than once and that was the only thing I was issued other than the mix of vitamins (Please explain this if possible!)
Now, I got the blockage out and still continued to have serious issues and kept myself near the hospitals (in Toronto), I had more needle holse in my arm than any addict ever (painful) due to the amount of blood work done but now I was down to 98 lbs from 184 (I was kind of overweight prior to all of this) and I had given up so I decided (f it, I'll have what I want) and started to intake calories again by what I thought was healthier (Boba, cauliflower bites etc) than what I used to have thankfully toronto had these options.
Anyway, this is what leads us to the most current circumstances/ situation - everything I ate / eat lots of carbs, sugar or fibre my body temperature increases and I get really gassy, my veins dilate massively, I become lethargic, low blood pressure and I have a red face BUT when I take things like vitamin C, D, Zinc, Dandelion, Burdock Root, Reishi (yes I taught myself natural medicine because I had to), the symptoms reverse BUT I get this 'tight' feeling in my stomach which is why I describe the whole hypersensitivity thing because I can feel almost everything. I get the tightness, the gas gets trapped, and my body temp decreases.
Now I'll give a brief on the important tests I've done due to suspicions I and few doctors had about specific diseases: HATS(tryptase and genes), MASTOCYTOSIS(c-kit), POLYCYTHEMIA VERA (jak 2), LEUKEMIA (bcr-abl), MYELOPROLIFERATIVE NEOPLASMS(calr), PORPHYRIA, ANEMIA (MANY TYPES), C3, C4, CRP, INR, ANTI DNA, LEUKOCYTES, PROTEIN (urine), IMMUNOGLOBULINS, THYROID ANTIBODIES AND FUNCTION, DOUBLE STRAND ANTIBODIES, RHUMATOID FACTOR (10 >14), VITAMIN D,MRI'S, CT'S(brain amd stomach), ECHO'S, ULTRASOUNDS (of everything), ALLERGY SKIN TESTING, SERATONIN(urine) and maybe more that I didn't see.
The results that were 'positive' and stood out + dates discovered:
•Thyroglobulin antibodies >184 (2023) •Thyroperoxidase antibodies >135 (2023) •C3 >89 (2021) •Bilirubin >30 (2021) •Albumin >53 (2021) •Urate >192 (2021) •Between 2021-2022, at my worst, I had consistently low wbc and neutrophils, whether from malnutrition or something else. I'm unsure •Sinus arythmia (2021) •Slight pericardial effusion (2022) •Head CT w/o contrast >scattered bilateral white matter lesions on brain? (2021) •Renal / Abdominal ultrasound >Mild hydronephrosis (2021) •Cardiac / Abdominal ultrasound >Trace right pluerual effusion, pericardial effusion, hydronephrosis (2021) •Spinal x-rays and mri's >consistent disc degeneration (2019-2023) and idiopathic thoracic scoliosis. •Endoscopy and colonoscopy >Clear (2022-2023) •Abdominal CT with contrast >jujenum distention and embelical hernia (2023) •Swollen lymph nodes in my neck simultaneously to rash (2023) •Idiopathic scoliosis (2014) •Undigested food in stool (2020-2023) •Heat rash from the sun (2020-2023) •Dermatographism (Childhood - now)
Very few food allergies or allergies all together. Dad had Graves disease Mom's mom has hashimotos Mom gets bumps from the sun Nephews get frequent fevers and hives (unexplained currently) Other nephews have red cheeks and nosebleeds frequently Niece has red cheeks frequently and is insensitive to extreme cold or heat My oldest sister has non celiac gluten intolerance Younger sister has bipolar and systemic Cystitis No other info
Test I've NOT had: TNF-A plasma levels Il-1 through il-6 Skin biopsy Bone marrow biopsy
I've ran my own dna test from 23 and me through several third party companies and didn't find anything serious or relating other than what I've already been diagnosed with (ectodermal dysplasia) which Noone else in my immediate family seems to have - I've been over my family history as much as possible and nothing alike OTHER THAN my mom, sister, niece and nephews have somewhat similar symptoms EXCEPT FOR the odd stomach sensations like the tightness or the joint problems.
For context, the ONLY drug use history: Smoked Marijuana when I was 13 a few times Drank hard liquor a few times between the ages 13-16 (bad, I know) and regularly drank red wine for a while when I was 17 prior to the reactions. I also want to mention that I had some very, very hard environmental circumstances during my childhood years that were out of my control as well, which contributed to the 'anxiety'.
Through all of this, I had many doctors blaming anxiety, even sending me to see psychiatrist when in reality I was a scared kid - this started when I was 18 (mostly) and I have no reason to make anything up AT ALL, this has been a long, uncomfortable, near death for a while, isolating situation. I'm dying to know what's going on and I haven't given up, I've had one person be there with me through the entirety of this and they know good and well it's not like me, all of that just made things worse but I understand.
I used to be into modifying cars (i had 4 already), boxing, weight lifting, bmxing, jogging, etc.
Yet people still thought I simply went mad.
The ONLY relief I've had through this is when I did strict carnivore diet, had the sedation for my colonoscopy AND when I ate a Scotch bonnet pepper - it relived everything for about 30 seconds (oddly) and I kid you not, I'm not sure the mechanism behind these things but they're which makes me think it's neurological? Nothing has remissed me to my old self completely.
I've also taken several different medications, including (mostly under the suspicions of mast cell disease) •Prednisone •Diphenhydramine •Famitodine •Ceterizine •Compounded cromolyn Sodium •Compounded hydroxyzine •Aspirin •Alka seltzer A few more I can't remember None of which provided relief and had rather strange side effects such as clicking in my jaw and tight stomach. +Meditation, Chiropractors, Accupresure etc.
Main symptoms: •Gassy 24/7 no matter what! •On empty stomach (after colonoscopy prep, for example). My stomach was burning but no gas. •Increased body temp on an empty stomach (100+) •Increased body temp (external), lethargy, shortness of breath, diarrhoea(at worst) typically from carbs even healthy ones, caffeine (dark chocolate & green tea), empty colon, external heat and now from almost everything. •'Tight' stomach sensation or squeezing from specific substances / supplements and decreased external body temperature. •Bones or joints popping / cracking too much •Tinnitus •Unequal pupils size (anisacoria)
NOTE: I become lethargic / fatigued and weak when my body temperature increases and my veins get larger.
When I take/ took said supplements (vitamin D, C, Zinc , Reishi, Turkey tail) My finger nails actually used to go purple at the same time my stomach felt tight and my body temp decreased and gave me some energy.
NOTE: My joints have been consistently popping and cracking more frequently than before, too, regardless of my nutrition or supplements.
As you can probably tell, I'm pretty desperate for ideas, I am / was supposed to have my whole genome sequenced and be reffered to a geneticist weather or not that's actually happening but until then, I need to hear from the community what I can do, I don't think I can get to the U.S either if that's even necessary.
I'm not here pity, I'm just messed up from all of this and appreciate any ideas from any individuals.
My ideas (neurological / hypothalamic disorder? thyroid disorder? Increased TNF? Metabolic acidosis?)
Thank you very much for reading this far and taking the time to think over this if you have! I really appreciate it!.
The only 'good' that has come from this from my perspective is that I learned an abundance about body functions, natural health, psychology, and I was capable of making a few books out of it. None of it has been easy and I wish I could feel 'normal' again, I don't care if some doctors disbelieve me anymore, I know it's hard to figure out due to clean looking tests but I couldn't be more serious.
submitted by Fabiann_02 to AskDocs [link] [comments]

2023.06.03 01:02 Yohnser [SELL] [US to US] Brand New NAVA, BPAL, Possets Added! Alpha Musk, BPAL, Damask Haus, Haus of Gloi, Imaginary Authors, Moonalisa, NAVA, Poesie, Possets, Pylies, Sorcellarie, Solstice Scents, Sugar and Spite, Whisper Sisters

[SELL] [US TO US] [PERFUME] [Bath & Body]New Possets and NAVA Added! Hi all! Selling samples that didn’t work out for me.
Shipping is $5 for perfume and I’ll quote for bath & body. Please don’t ghost, if you change your mind please just let me know!
**Alpha Musk**
Hard Luck - Not notes: Slink - 3.00Lies & Lace - No notes: 5mL rollerball used 2x - 13.00
Blood - A vital, bold scent, throbbing with sensuality. Essence of dragon's blood resin, thickened with myrrh and cherry, with a trickle of clove: Imp - 4.00
Bobbing for Ball Gags - Black leather, honeyed amber, and a bite of apple: Ajevie Slink - 5.00
Bobbing for Blood Kisses - Gleaming red apples sloshing through lush, creamy vanilla and the honey of the sweetest kiss smeared with the vital throb of husky clove, swollen red cherries, but darkened with the vampiric sensuality of vetiver, soporific poppy and blood red wine, and a skin-light pulse of feral musk: Ajevie Slink - 5.00
Burial - The dark side of Earth: deep, brooding forest scents, including juniper and patchouli. The scent of upturned cemetery loam mingling with floral offerings to the dead: Imp - 4.00
Calico Jack - Sea air, driftwood, waterlogged kelp, and the memory of plundered spices sprayed over worn leathers, rough musk, and the salty wooden floorboards of revenge: Imp - 4.00
Dead Leaves, Praline, & Sheer Vanilla - Dead leaves, praline, and sheer vanilla: Ajevie Slink - 5.00
Djinn - The scent of black smoke, of crackling flames, and smoldering ashes: Imp - 4.00
Elegba - Coconut, tobacco and sweet, sugared rum: BPAL Imp - 4.00
Every Sweet Thing - Honey-dripping plakous, rose petals, caramelized hazelnut, and goat's milk: Ajevie Slink - 3.00
Highest Quality Vagina - Golden amber and vanilla milk, sweet almond, honey, and soft incense: Ajevie Slink - 5.00
An Introduction to Illustrious Kabuki Actors - White sandalwood, vanilla bean, fig froth, and buttercream: Ajevie Slink - 5.00
Kiseru - Red sandalwood, vanilla husk, and tobacco smoke: Ajevie Slink - 5.00
Lawful - Rigid oak, blue chamomile, rhubarb, and fig leaf: Imp - 4.00
Luceat - Wispy cashmere musk, sweet amber, iris butter, heliotrope, and tolu balsam: Ajevie Slink - 5.00
A Medley of Vulvas - Bourbon vanilla, pink labdanum, pink pepper, honey, and Bushman's candle absolute: Ajevie Slink - 5.00
Night-Gaunt - The scent of their thick, rubbery hides is bittersweet, ticklish, and skin-creeping: something akin to yuzu, white grapefruit, and kumquat mixed with the snow-dusted flowers of Mount Ngranek: Imp - 4.00
Obatala - Obatala's ofrenda is soft, white, and pure: milk, coconut meat, shea butter and cool, refreshing water: Imp - 4.00
Oda a La Luz Encantada - Moroccan amber, sweet cream, lavender mist, Roman chamomile, golden musk, and pear blossoms: Ajevie Slink - 5.00
Othello - Arabian musk with two roses and a bevy of Middle Eastern and Indian spices: Imp - 4.00
The Small Brown Cat - Warm brown fur, cardamom-infused bourbon vanilla, and a touch of cedarwood: 5mL used 2x - 25.00
Santa Doesn't Need Your Help - Sugar plum, lavender, marshmallows: Ajevie Slink - 5.00
In Silvery Accents, Whispering Low - Cardamom-infused coffee bean, myrrh smoke, vanilla bean, fir needle, and warm, velvet spices: Ajevie Slink - 5.00
Snow White Rider - White leather, vanilla ice, and frosted sandalwood: Ajevie Slink - 5.00
Still Life With Dooting Skull - Bourbon vanilla with wildflower honey, licorice root, coconut milk, and nutmeg: Ajevie Slink - 5.00
Tavern of Hell - White gardenia, ambergris bouquet, lavender fougere, orange blossom, melissa, tobacco flower, coriander, ebony wood, ylang ylang, absinthe and aged whiskey: Imp - 4.00
Tiefling Therapist - A soothing, centering blend of white and red sandalwood, champaca attar, frankincense, and brimstone: Imp - 4.00
This More Than Bloody Deed - Wildflower honey, bourbon vanilla, and lush red labdanum: Ajevie Slink - 5.00
And I Wede My Corne Well I-Now - The scent of the hay harvest suffused with golden amber sunbeams, green cardamom, a handful of hazelnuts, and a bit of clove husk - 5.00Unarmed and Laughing - Sugared vanilla amber with a pop of champagne grape: Ajevie Slink - 5.00
Velvet Snow - Frosted sandalwood, vanilla slush, cacao, and myrrh: Ajevie Slink - 5.00
Young Corn - Corn Husks and upturned soil, haystacks and spicy late summer breezes: Ajevie Slink - 5.00
Young Pilgrim Girl - Black silk and crisp line, polished abalone, wildflower honey, jasmine milk, and rose-touched sweet cream: Ajevie Slink - 5.00
Wicked - A sophisticated, womanly scent: rich myrrh and jasmine draped in the subtlest rose: Imp - 4.00
**Damask Haus**
Damasco - A sultry fusion of spice and sweet, this scent features sweet spiced amardine, warm spicy cardamom, balsamic-spicy elemi, dark creamy vanilla custard balanced by a whisper of grounding patchouli: 2mL roller - 6.50
Fairy Dust - Fairies are not the cute little tinker bells as they are often depicted. Their magic is powerful and fluid with their emotional states. A festive fairy's dust can lull you into bliss whereas a foul mooded fae can dust your ass into utter chaos. Thank god you brought her an offering.. Notes: midnight air in the fae realm where sandalwood trees bloom spun sugar puffs, a wreath of subtle jasmine and sweets sets atop an old stump adorned with a cotton tablecloth that sways in the wind as an offering: 2mL - 6.50
La Petite Mort au Chocolat - Rich cocoa absolute unites simple creamy vanilla and the complex (tobacco vanilla almond) gourmand essence of tonka with a slide of silk across hard aromatic cedar, warm moss, and resinous honey-rich wood amber: 2mL roller - 6.50
Lavender Lace - Lavender, honey, sugar crusted lilacs, vetiver: 2mL roller - 6.50
Pumpkin Monkey - A combination of two comfort food desserts! Who doesn't love pulling apart monkey bread, sticky and sweet? Add pumpkin and it's just too much to resist, at least for us! Notes: pumpkin puree, fresh baked sweetbread, sticky sweet syrup icing, pinch of cinnamon and spices: 2mL roller - 6.50
**Haus of Gloi**
Plotter's Breakfast - Oaty porridge, stove smoke, kindling wood, a hint of gunpowder and pinch of sweet pipe tobacco: Slink - 2.00
Winter Divinity - Sugary white vanilla divinity with a surprising jolt of peppermint: Slink - 1.00
**Imaginary Authors**
The Cobra and the Canary - Lemon, orris, tobacco flowers, leather, hay fields, asphalt: 2mL sprayer used 4x - 3.50
Moonlight Tuberose - No notes - 2.00
**Nocturne Alchemy**
Be My Valentine '23 - Toasted coconut, coconut cake accord, warm caramel accord, Bastet's Ice Cream, caramelized cinnamon accord, and vanilla creme: Crypta Slink - 6.00
Bois de Santal Rouge Vanille - NA Red Sandalwood (nine sandalwood blend) Bastet's Musk absolute, vanilla bean cordial, Bourbon accord infused with Madagascar vanilla beans, Ugandan vanilla bean essence, Moonstone Vanilla absolute (Studio Limited), Bourbon Vanilla absolute (SL), brown sugar and Tahitian Vanilla creme: CO Slink - 7.00
C.C. Caramel Apple Chai Marshmallow Musk - Cotton candy accord, caramelized apple skin, caramel apple accord, vanilla bean, toasted mallow root essential oil and accord, chai black tea (spices of cardamom, star anise, ginger, nutmeg, clove, Cinnamon), Bastet's ice cream confection and aged Bastet's Musk: Crypta Slink - 5.50
C.C Pumpkin Spice Marshmallow Musk - Cotton candy accord, vanilla bean, mallow root, pumpkin puree accord, pumpkin spices of nutmeg, butter-cinnamon and blended into Bastet's Musk: white floral blends of tuberose, mallow, angelica, musk flower, and white lily: Crypta Slink - 5.50
Cotton Candy Vanilla Marshmallow Musk - Crystalline absolute, vanilla bean liquer, Bastet's Musk, marshmallow creme, vanilla, mallow root, vanilla cotton candy accord: CO Slink - 6.00
Crystalline #4 - French lavender, Tahitian lavender, Pink Lily of the Valley enfleurage, pink sugar accord, Kashmir Red Musk absolute Studio Limited, Bastet's Amber, and Crystalline (Studio Limited): 7.75
Crystalline #9 - Vanilla incense accord, myrrh incense, vanilla pod, white cardamom essence, white amber, myrrh wood, Amber accord, sandalwood, and Crystalline (SL): CO Slink - 7.75
Eclipse Alnaeim - Pink vanilla accord, labdanum and pink patchouli accord, eNVie saphir, tonka bean, Moonstone Vanilla absolute (Studio Limited), amber (ozymandias) absolute and vanilla bean husk: Crypta Slink - 7.50
Eclipse Rakkaus - Tonka bean, Kashmir red musk absolute (Studio Limited), black patchouli, baked sugar cookie accord, brown sugar, Bastet's Amber absolute, Moonstone vanilla absolute (Studio Limited), and butter cream frosting essence: Crypta Slink - 7.50
Eclipse Tesoro - Sweet tobacco, pink peppercorn, orange blossom honey accord, Bourbon Vanille absolute, Kobalt Vanilla, Labdanum, and Madagascar Vanilla: CO Slink - 8.00
Encens Bois - Japanese cedar incense accord, Atlas cedar absolute, santalum absolute, Japanese hinoki wood incense, Roman frankincense, frankincense resin tears, and musk: Crypta Slink - 6.50
Encens Vanille - Vanilla bean cordial, labdanum resin, benzoin resin, incense accord, Arabian myrrh wood, Moonstone absolute (Studio Limited), and black vanilla bean infused Ponderosa pine: Crypta Slink - 6.50
Googly Cat - Candied peppermint accord, Egyptian sugar, dark chocolate accord, cacao absolute, Bastet's Musk enhanced with cacao and chocolate accords, and Crystalline Vanilla absolute (Studio Limited): Crypta Slink - 6.00
Halloween 2016 Anubis - Burning patchouli, incense and black honey beneath the darkening skyline. A touch of bergamot and grapefruit essential oil: 2mL - 8.50
Halloween 2022 - Caramel apple accord, green apple skin, marshmallows on an open flame, sweet vanilla caramel, Bastet's Ice Cream absolute accord, light pumpkin spices of nutmeg, white cinnamon and a light firewood and ember rounded out with vanilla bean extracts: Ajevie Slink - 5.50
Llama Llama 2 - Bourbon vanilla absolute (Studio Limited), vanilla bean liqueur, cream soda accord, caramelized patchouli essence and Bastet's Ice Cream: Crypta Slink - 6.00
Sorry I am a Monster - Cinnamon sugar, fried vanilla pastry with powdered sugar accord, sugar, mallow root, toasted marshmallow accord, Bourbon Vanille absolute (Studio Limited) and musk: Crypta Slink - 6.00
Neon Wolf - Vegan leather accord, Studio Limited santalum absolute, vanilla bean, Russian pine with vanilla laced pine needles and Canadian red pine - Crypta Slink - 4.00
V2023 - Pink sugar cube accord, vanilla bean cordial, caramelized brown sugar, caramel butter white chocolate accord, limestone amber, lemon cotton candy accord, and Bastet's Musk - CO Slink - 6.00
Zeus Vanilla Pound Cake - Vanilla, pound cake accord, vanilla bean, vanilla pod, vanilla icing, Bastet's Musk, and creamed (vegan) butter accord: CO Slink - 6.75
Bijou - Ruby red grapefruit, cardamom, a gin-inspired blend of botanicals including cucumber, rose, juniper, lemon + orange peel, coriander, caraway, pink + black peppercorns, angelica + orris root: 1.15mL - 3.50
Sleepy Ghost - Marshmallow pillows sprinkled with natural lavender essential oil and absolute for sweet dreams: 1.15mL with damaged label - 3.00
Sucre Vanilla - Sparkling white sugar laced with vanilla bean: 2mL with dip - 6.00
Spellbound and Snug - Fizzy cream soda, butterscotch ribbons, marshmallow whipped cream, rosewood desks and squashy armchairs, a cheerful fire: 2mL and 1.15mL with damaged label - 6.50 or 3.00
The Arrow of Love - Sandalwood, sweet oude, golden amber, a touch of mint leaves: Ajevie Slink - 3.00
Bolero - Lilac and crystal musk. Floral but very modern: Slink with label taped - 2.00
Cupid and Psyche - Sweet black and Mexican vanilla dance with patchouli on a bed of incense: Ajevie Slink - 3.00
Guinevere - Crystalline and yet warming, sandalwood is the precious main component of the blend: Ajevie Slink - 3.00
Henry VIII and Jane Seymour - Red musk, hawthorne, golden honey, fine fat vanilla, and sweetest amber: Ajevie Slink - 3.00
Judith - Dark Haitian vetiver, cardamom, 'white' sandalwood, tears of frankincense, a very light waft of Madagascar vanilla and a goodly portion of rosewood: Ajevie Slink - 3.00
Min Min - Sandalwoods, three of them, combined with the rich enticing scent of leather, a strong and classic patchouli rounds out the central trio. However, there manages to be a soft center to the group, thanks to a slight infusion of rose (and it is not a strong rose scent but one which blended into the mix to be a sent "emollient" to the mix. Resinous, spicy, leathery, assertive: Slink with label taped - 2.00
Perpetual Motion Heart - An infusion of luan wood extract, a small amount of copra, dry vanilla liquor, a white agar note, and hellebore: Ajevie Slink - 3.00
Plenary Indulgence - Strong and sweet, the ineffable scent of lilacs combined with a whiff of smoke, knit together with a shot of resin: Slink with handwritten label - 1.00
Ready to Wear Pink Corset - Musk, vanilla bean liquor, a slight tang of steel, and a mist of pink lily: Ajevie Slink - 3.00
Reason - Five vanillas and three toffees and a big glop of butter and cream on it all: 6mL used 5x - 17.00
Riding St. George - A very nice bit of leather bounces off a bouquet of black vanilla, iris, and chypre: Ajevie Slink - 3.00
Salome - Black and African myrrh, frankincense, cedar, ivory musk, green coffee pulp extract, and a very light misting of black Mexican vanilla: Ajevie Slink - 3.00
Silver Leather - Possets' silver base meets up with strong leather and the two live happily ever after: Ajevie Slink - 4.00
Zombie - You really need a big dose of toasted marshmallow and oude, a bit of burnt stick, and the unmistakable fragrance of the crisp autumn air. Resinous and goody at the same time. Smoky sticky fun: Slink with label taped - 2.00
Is It Fall Yet? - Pumpkin incense, stale gingerbread, a drop of honey: Pylie Slink - 2.50
**Sorcellarie Apothecary**
Frostbitten - Juniper leaf, douglas fir, fir balsam absolute, white amber, golden amber, cardamom, Himalayan cedar, sandalwood, caramelized sugar, and a hint of maraschino cherry: 1ml sample: 3.50
**Solstice Scents**
Black Leather, Red Lace - Amber, vanilla, & leather: Slink RIS - 2.00
Loggia - Mahogany, amber, musk, vanilla bean, all-spice, cardamom, black pepper, cognac, & sandalwood: Slink x2 - 3.00
**Sugar and Spite**
Bugs n Hisses - Candied apple, coconut shreds, Egyptian and white musks, red currant, vanilla and cashmere: Slink (label is damaged but readable) - 2.00
**Whisper Sisters**
Ghosts of Christmas Past - No notes. 10.00
submitted by Yohnser to IndieExchange [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 22:08 melonadon What is your favorite Red Velvet song that starts with H?

It's time to vote for your favorite Red Velvet song starting with H! We're skipping over 'G' since there is only one song.
How it works: I'll post comments with every song for that particular letter. Upvote the song(s) you like the most. The song with the most upvotes wins!
Leaving a comment with the song will not count as a vote! Only upvotes to my original comments will count!
I've tried to include group, unit and solo songs (excluding featuring, OSTs and collabs). Let me know if I've missed anything!
Your options this time:
  1. Happiness
  2. Huff n Puff
  3. Happily Ever After
  4. Hear The Sea
  5. Hit That Drum
  6. Hello, Sunset
  7. Hello (JOY)
  8. Happy Birthday To You (JOY)
Previous Winners A - Automatic B - Bad Boy C - Cool Hot Sweet Love D - Dumb Dumb E - Eyes Locked, Hands Locked* F - Feel My Rhythm G - Good, Bad, Ugly*
*automatic winner since there is no other songs with this letter
submitted by melonadon to red_velvet [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 18:41 robotortoise [999 Spoilers] Lotus zero escape made me into older women

Kotaro Uchikoshi has permanently altered my brain chemistry by designing one of the hottest milfs ever. almost every woman I'm interested in nowadays is older than me, sometimes by ten years or more.
Make it stop. I know I'm gay but I didn't know I was THIS gay. fuck why is Lotus so hot fuck fuck fuck fuck
submitted by robotortoise to ZeroEscape [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 17:00 _call-me-al_ [Fri, Jun 02 2023] TL;DR — This is what you missed in the last 24 hours on Reddit

If you want to receive this as a daily email in your inbox, you can now join at this link


5,000 New Species Identified at Site of Planned Deep-Sea Mine
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Japan vending machines to automatically offer free food if earthquake hits
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Seven of the nine thresholds that allow for human life on earth have already been crossed: A new report quantifies the climatic, natural and pollutant limits that ensure the safe and orderly maintenance of civilization
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Georgia gun shop owner shutters store after mass shootings targeting children
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Florida man points gun at woman, threatens to kill her after friend backs into wrong driveway
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Biden falls at US Air Force Academy graduation ceremony - ABC News
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Makers of PFAS ‘Forever Chemicals’ Covered up the Dangers
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Astrophysicists confirm the faintest galaxy ever seen in the early universe
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Coral reefs host millions of bacteria, revealing Earth’s hidden biodiversity
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Pentagon awards SpaceX with Ukraine contract for Starlink satellite internet
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Russians claimed they were not trying to reach the Moon first, but in 1989 a group of American aerospace engineers went to Moscow and finally saw the Soviets’ failed lunar-landing craft for themselves
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Boeing finds two serious problems with Starliner just weeks before launch. Launch delayed indefinitely.
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A catatonic woman 'awakened' after 20 years. Her story may change psychiatry. (No Paywall)
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US births in 2022 didn't return to pre-pandemic levels
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North America is now the growth leader for new battery factories. Incentives offered by the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) are the catalyst for the surge. China is still the leading battery cell manufacturing hub, but its share will decline in “coming years.”
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[NSFW] People who have found a dead body, what's the story?
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What is something that blew your mind once you realized it?
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What’s better than sex?
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TIL The Navy contacted the Village People to use "In the Navy" in an advertising campaign for television and radio. They gave the rights to the song for free on the condition that the Navy help them shoot the music video. The Navy provided them with a warship, several aircraft, and plenty of seamen
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TIL A Dominican man survived nearly a month at sea with nothing but ketchup and seasonings.
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TIL: The snack Pringles can't legally call themselves "chips" because they're not made by slicing a potato. (They're made from the same powder as instant mashed potatoes.)
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[OC] Trust in Media 2023: What news outlets do Americans trust most for information?
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[OC] Population size comparison between nations with and without nuclear weapons (reposted because it was taken down)
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[OC] The Carbon Footprint Of Nearly Everything
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If onion, bell pepper and celery is the holy trinity of Louisiana cuisine, what are some other trinities you can think of for other cuisines?
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What food safety knowledge did you learn late in life?
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Favorite dish to cook and drop off for others (besides lasagna)?
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[Homemade] Ramen w/ Leftover Char Siu Pork
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[homemade] Italian hero
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[homemade] lasagna and garlic bread
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Oppenheimer gets surprising R rating
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'Bullet Train' (2022) is an extremely entertaining and the cast shines, led by Brad Pitt at his magnetic best.
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Official Discussion - Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse [SPOILERS]
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The Great Sound Wave Off Kanagawa, Claydoh/Me, woodburning and stain, 2023
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Public Figure! Influencer #verified, Raoof Haghighi, Graphite on paper, 2021
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Girl with a pearl earring, Loren Miller, oil, 2023
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Netflix Shareholders Reject Executive Pay Packages, Days After Writers Guild Urged “No” Vote
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‘The Umbrella Academy’ Season 4 (Final Season) Wraps Filming
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CNN Is Shedding Anchors, Producers. Rivals Keep Picking Them Up
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During my first spacewalk, a colleague took a photo of me photographing him!
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My 91 year old mother's apartment is just 200 meters away from Rammsteins main stage. 😬
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The Face of the Statue of Liberty - 1800’s; Before Being Attached to Body
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2 big koi?
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14th Century bridge construction in Prague
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Chickens come running to greet their human when she returns home
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Making of Vennetta
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This book titled Uncle Willys Tickles
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These birds used a ribbon for their nest
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A number 1 license plate
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UK double-decker bus racing
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Leaked audio of what an ejection looks like in MLB
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1970 hot dog cooker
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*It's never a veterinarian that they are looking for *
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Dads can’t seem to remember how to skip
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I get it now
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Cat loves being buried in sand
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Contagious red fox laughter which will make your day.
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Kitty provides complimentary massages to her owner’s clients as they receive eyelash services.
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submitted by _call-me-al_ to RedditTLDR [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 15:55 noriiuwu chrysalide des cieux

nopony asked for this but i remastered an old story to be in equestria!!! starring my OCs ofc 🤭🤭
It was a cold January day, and the clocks were striking twelve. Victor Arsenault, his dewy, juniper eyes drifting to the emerald chrysalis, washed with the soft winter light. The reflecting colours of the junebug green cocoon danced joyfully as if yearning for all the pleasures of Spring. Its divine yet modest glow pined for the fresh strawberries, tea sandwiches, and cakes of afternoon teas enveloped in the warm April air.
“Chrysalide Des Cieux, huh…” he mumbled to himself.
As his rough hooves stroked through his grizzled mane and he gazed deeply into his green visage, he let out a bitter sigh. A chrysalis from the heavens… it has brought me nothing but prosperity yet guilt plagues my heart when I lose myself in its celestial charms. Though the verdant cocoon’s ethereal radiance rivalled the garden of Eden, traces of villainy slithered under each layer. As Victor levitated the pupa and tucked it in his vest, he heaved himself from his bureau and drifted his attention to the snow-covered garth outside his lunette window. The sky donned her crystal-white gown that morning, the drapes kissing the grounds of Equestria. He ambled to the door, the withered wooden planks creaked under each trot he took and as he set hoof outside, the brisk air caressed his cheeks. Meek blackcaps serenaded the delights of Winter as they rested on mistletoe branches, the berries bunched like drops of ruby. The newly clothed trees rose like white fairy tails in that wintry scenery, for the grey clouds had bequeathed a bounty of snow.
As the snow crunched under his hooves, a choreographed ballet conducted by the light blew over the opal clearing danced under the light. Soft soughs of the wind mingled with the distant cries of torment. As Victor toiled onward, the cries grew louder and the billows of snow drenched in carnelian and the scent of iron became increasingly apparent. Right as he had intended to turn his head away, the familiarity of the scene gravitated him. Unease and terror brewed and churned in the pits of his stomach as dread swept him off his hooves. A disfigured crown, embellished with mutilated cuprite stained the marble coat garnet. “Velebeth…” Victor stifled as his husky voice trembled.
His thoughts spiralled out of control, desperately trying to uncover the cause of her passing. The mare’s delicate, porcelain coat plastered by her once opaque white nightgown, now permeated with her blood, her stiff, lifeless body strung out as if she was a lamb to the slaughter. He shook his head. She’s gone. She’s really gone… His clouded eyes darted desperately with the metronome in his chest growing faster.
The distortion of reality made anything and everything in-cohesive. The tracks of sanity have been mangled beyond recognition, littered with industrial movements and peppered with echoes of what used to be instruments. Fragments of melodies overlapped one another, fighting for the limelight which often made him ponder whether either one of those tunes really ever existed at all.
Though his heart was still beating, the essence of what made him, him, had decayed, his mind wilted and withered, leaving only a hollow husk of a stallion he once was. His eyes melted into the pool of malachite, drops of pearls welled. “What is there to live for in life? For all the respect and charity of others purely because of the occupation you fill? These professions determine lives, granting us happiness yet never fulfillment. I am guilty of the fruits they bear though, I feel no remorse or sympathy for lives lost yet when you, Velebeth…” Victor breathed. “What has become of us? How were we so blind to this? Velebeth, my love, you won’t need to wait any longer, for I shall embark on a journey to resurrect you, even if the lives of other ponies must trot to the other side in exchange.” His coarse hooves clutched the chrysalis, ripping it from its nest and shattering it. Puffs of smoke envelop his flushed face as he drags the disfigured gem through the snow.
As the clouds of smoke washed over the late unicorn, her sides began rising and falling. Though a pulse was present, her mind and motion did not return. Before anypony else had stumbled upon such a crime against nature, the stallion unicorn mustered the last sliver of magic and teleported both him and the mare back to his store. As he hurriedly shut every window and closed every blind, he set Velebeth into a spare mattress, tucking her under a thick, padded quilt. While carefully kindling some firewood and piped the dwindling embers with his bellows, his sullen malachite drifted back to the mare in slumber.
submitted by noriiuwu to mylittlepony [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 14:47 jowowey A brief review of LIBAD: first listen

Obviously spoilers lie ahead for those who have not yet had a chance to listen to LIBAD.
  1. Game Over: the album starts out almost as a classic A7X album - much in the vein of Critical Acclaim - but obviously from here it only spirals deeper into chaos and madness. To be honest I didn't think much of this song, but that's okay as it serves its purpose as an intentionally misleading opener.
  2. Mattel: This song is stylistically similar to the first in that it has elements of the more classic A7X sound, though I personally preferred this one. It has a nice mix of heaviness and harmonic interest, in some ways reminding me of old Opeth but with a modern twist on it. Once again not the greatest track, though it does a good job of setting up the expectation for the remainder of the album, which will be absolutely knocked down and shattered (trashed, perchance?)
  3. Nobody: I had heard this song already in March, but it still holds up as a very fine piece of music. The rondo-like form of it carries interest with it and I much appreciate the little episodes between the otherwise repetitive main theme. The outro section is absolutely beautiful, featuring arguably the band's best guitar solo to date.
  4. We Love You: This is potentially my least favourite song on the album, and that's saying a lot. There's nothing inherently wrong with it but I think it will just take a few more listens to grow on me. I first heard it a few weeks ago and didn't really enjoy it that much then, either. However the album only gets better from here.
  5. Cosmic: Absolutely wonderful - I understand now why the band had previously said that they were influenced by Kanye West, and while the influence is fairly subtle, it definitely shows in the last section of this song which is fairly reminiscent of songs from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, like Runaway for example.
  6. Beautiful Morning: This was quite a fun one I thought. The musical material was interesting and the development of ideas was nice. I believe it was this song in which I remembered hearing a quotation from a much earlier song by the band, but I would need to give it another listen to verify this.
  7. Easier: Initially this one felt like a continuation of Cosmic, which I am certainly in favour of, although quickly it grew heavier and heavier while still making evident that Kanye West influence. I rather enjoyed this one and can understand why many stated it as their favourite of the album.
  8. G: This was my favourite. Presumably the first of some kind of 'GOD Trilogy,' it did a fantastic job at absolutely everything it tried. In some ways it reminded me of Dream Theater, but also Rush and Frank Zappa besides many simpler pop artists while still retaining the signature A7X flair. Truly a wonderful piece of music and I can see myself coming back to this many times.
  9. (O)rdinary: This one caught me completely off guard but once I had regained my footing I was very pleasantly surprised by this track. Initially it reminded me most of Red Hot Chilli Peppers, but once the vocals entered I was reminded more of Daft Punk and Kanye West. This is the first song that I sent to my sister, who first introduced me to this band many years ago, stating that nothing could prepare anyone for what they're about to hear in this song.
  10. (D)eath: In a way this felt like a perfect complement to the previous two songs in the 'GOD Trilogy;' while the first was eclectic and the second was very rigid, this one is a loose, free and beautifully lyrical exploration of melody to its innermost depths. The way that this followed from the abrupt ending of (O)rdinary was a most wonderful resolution to the contrast that we had just experienced, uniting these three songs into one piece where just one or two movements would be incomplete without the other. Only Avenged Sevenfold could ever take me, in a second, from a club in the city to a musical theatre production and I salute that.
  11. Life is but a Dream: The finale of this album is truly something special, about as far away stylistically as we could possibly get from the first couple of tracks. The evolution in the sound throughout the album takes us on an existential journey through what feels like hundreds of lifetimes, from the human to the ethereal. The composition is this wondrous blend of classical with jazz, and the piece sits perfectly at the end of this long but fruitful journey. Reaching this point makes you feel a changed man, like you've learned something deep about yourself while in reality you've just spent about 50 minutes listening to a 'heavy metal' album. Or whatever kind of genre you want to incorrectly apply to this experience. That is the power of the band, and of the album.
Obviously this is entirely my opinion and no one is going to totally relate. I'd be really interested to hear all of your thoughts though, so please do comment with anything you want to add!
submitted by jowowey to avengedsevenfold [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 13:46 maximusaemilius Empyrean Iris: 2-13: Size Six (by Charlie Star)

FYI, this is a story COLLECTION. Lots of standalones technically. So, you can basically start to read at any chapter, no pre-read of the other chapters needed technically (other than maybe getting better descriptions of characters than: Adam Vir=human, Krill=antlike alien, Sunny=tall alien, Conn=telepathic alien). The numbers are (mostly) only for organization of posts and continuity.
OC Written by Charlie Stastarrfallknightrise,
Typed up and then posted here by me.
Proofreading and language check for some chapters by u/Finbar9800
Future Lore and fact check done by me.
Okay this is weird. So, this story is a long time ago, like 6-7 years ago, but its also in the future for us…
German has a specific tense for this, but English has no tense for this…
So, I guess welcome to the close past of the far far future?
Previous First Next
Want to find a specific one, see the whole list or check fanart?
Here is the link to the master-post.
The bus bumped and jostled over the lumpy dirt road.
Inside bodies swayed and juggled back and forth, ramming into walls and steadying themselves against the antiquated seats before them. The bus was old, older than a large portion of dirt, old enough to have rubber tires, shitty suspension, and foam back seats, nothing like the sleek magno buses they used these days.
Clearly their program wasn't important enough to acquire a real transport vehicle.
Their ride from the airport had been nerve wracking to say the least, and only some of it had come from the imminent threat that the bus would disintegrate into its component parts, most of the rest of it had come from the slow building of nervous energy felt by all the young teens as they waited to begin their first day at training.
There were forty of them in all, though less than half of that was predicted to make it through the training and actually become pilots from the program at Trans Space Combative Aviation Academy. Of course, the Academy didn't have its own location, as new as it was and untested as it was, the burgeoning UNSC wasn't likely to spend a ton of funds on a group of untested children. So, they had been shipped onto Del Rio, Texas where the air force flight academy was located, and had been allocated space, some instructors, and a few classrooms to get started.
Adam had found the other recruits from the program nervously waiting outside with their duffel bags and clothing. None of them were over the age of fifteen, and they consisted almost equally of boys and girls.
Adam was displeased to find himself the shortest among the boys, and about mid pack among the girls, a good portion of them probably weighing a good ten pounds more than he did, though none of them were out of shape.
He tried to ignore that, doing his best to make friends with the other nervous recruits, determined not to be the loser this time. Just as long as he didn't show his weirdness to them straight off, maybe he was going to be fine.
It seemed to be working, at least until the bus pulled up, and the group of them stared on with shock and disappointment at the monstrosity before them.
A centuries old bus.
They sort of hoped it wasn't for them, but the ACU clad, army man stepping out of the door and onto the pavement dashed their hopes.
And soon they were on their way, jostling down the highway, eventually cutting through manned security gates, patrolled by armed guards, and finally onto the backroad that was taken around the airfield. Adam had his face pressed up against the window, watching as a set of jets took off, leaving trails of white behind them in the great blue sky above.
The implant in his arm buzzed, and he looked down to see a text from his mother asking if they had landed yet.
He had to apologize for forgetting and assured her that he was, indeed, landed and on his way.
The further they went onto the base, the more people they could see, large muscular men and women running in formation, wearing the same light grey T-shirts tucked into blue canvas shorts.
Voices roared past them as the men chanted in time with their cadence.
Low lying buildings pulled up on the horizon in front of them, crouched together in stumpy lines. Yelled commands wafted through open windows as more recruits rolled past kicking up dirt clouds as they went.
Adam grew nervous upon seeing them, big and adult.
He glanced down at himself and his baggy T-shirt, and jeans held up only by a belt, the cuffs folded up over his shoes.
They belonged to his brothers, but were still too big for him.
The bus rolled to a stop just then, jostling him forward so his face nearly rammed into the seat in front of him. A dust cloud billowed up around them obscuring his vision for a moment. At the front of the bus, the driver reached out and cranked the handle to the door, manually forcing it open.
"Wow, this thing is a real piece of shit."
Someone muttered, while boots thudded onto the stairs, and the entire bus went quiet as a man stepped onto the front of the bus. He was tall, and serious faced with thick eyebrows and what appeared to be a shaved head, though it was mostly covered by a wide brimmed dumbass hat in dark, clashing seriously with his patterned ACUs.
They all waited on the edge of their seats.
Adam shrunk down into his expecting to get yelled at.
That's what all the old army movies told him was going to happen.
Instead, however, the man smiled.
Adam didn't buy it for one second.
"Welcome recruits to the first TSCA Academy class of 4013. I am Master Sergeant Kimball, and I will be one of your MTI (military training instructor) during this program. If you need to address me at any time during this course, you will call me Sir or Master Sergeant Kimball. Now I understand that you may all be tired from your flight. We have recruits here from all across the world coming in right now, so hopefully, today will be easy and relaxing."
Adam eyed the group around him, watching as the others began to relax.
Maybe this wasn't going to be so bad after all?
Perhaps because they were kids, they had been given some leeway during the training process?
I mean, were they really going to yell at a group of kids barely out of their teenage years?
Surely, they wouldn’t…
"Alright everyone, Unload!"
There was a collective shuffling around the bus as the group of them took to their feet and began slowly shuffling towards the exit. Adam pulled his bag over his back, nearly tipping over backwards as the weight pulled his small frame off balance. Someone put a hand on his shoulder,
He glanced over and thanked the girl who had helped him, hurrying off the bus and down the stairs into the hot as hell Texas heat.
Stepping off the bus he found Master Sergeant Kimball standing next to two other MTIs, who were smiling at them, though their smiles seemed more wolfish than reassuring.
My what big teeth you have, he thought idly to himself, stepping to the side so the others could walk through.
One boy came trudging down the steps last, lugging an absolutely massive suitcase as a few of the others flopped to the ground, resting against their bags, eyes closed, basking like lizards in the sun.
Sgt. Kimball stepped forward towards the last young man.
"Here let me help you."
The boy seemed rather grateful, handing his bag down to the MTI, taking some weight off his shoulders.
That was until Sgt. Kimball grabbed the zipper, opened the bag and dumped the entire contents of the suitcase into the dirt. He then got right up in the boy's face and shouted.
The entire group jolted with surprise, all of them bolting upwards.
Even Adam was startled, and he had been expecting it. The poor kid was scrambling around in the dirt trying to collect his things,
The two other MTIs bore down on them, their charming smiles revealed for what they really were.
Wolf in sheep's clothing, snarling ravening beasts.
More bags were dumped on the ground, turned over, emptied until the contents mingled with the dust on the ground. The female MTI leaped over, ripping Adam's bag off the ground and tossing its contents into the dust. She reached down, picked up a book and chucked it at him, hitting him in the chest as he stumbled back.
She moved on to the next student.
One of the recruits had burst into tears, and the MTI's descended like vultures. One of them grabbed a water bottle from the ground and shoved it at the crying student.
Adam was scrambling to pick up his stuff and shove it back in his bag.
He bolted upright to find Sgt. Kimball in his face, or more looking down on him. His face was red and as he screamed, little droplets of spit flew from his tongue. He gave Adam one long look over.
He scrambled to put his things in his bag, the MTI's shouting at him the entire time. He nearly tripped over himself multiple times, falling flat on his face in the dirt much to the amusement of the MTIs.
He tripped and wobbled, running after the others as they ran towards the building that had been pointed out to them by the screaming MTIs. A few of the other recruits were crying, but Adam, well he had sort of expected it, and honestly, he would have been disappointed if they hadn't. In fact, he found himself grinning from ear to ear as he walked into the equipment room behind a line of other recruits.
The equipment officer turned around from his desk to glare at them. He was a heavy-set man in his late forties with biceps as big around as tree trunks.
He looked them over with a frown before jabbing his finger at Adam.
"You there, smiley. Small or extra small?”
He blushed,
"Errr... Extra... Small?”
"At least he's honest."
The man grouted, turning around to rifle through his equipment, coming back with two pairs of everything in stock. He stacked it on the counter in front of him.
"Two PT uniforms, Two ACUs, two shirts, sweatpants, jacket, gloves, hat, and…"
He pulled up a set of tan combat boots then glanced him up and down.
"What is your shoe size?"
More blushing,
The man grunted, ducked back behind the counter,
"We only carry eight plus in men’s, but a seven in women's should work."
He tried not to wilt at the reminder of how small he was.
The man turned away again and motioned him off. He clambered to pick up everything he needed and wobbled away, juggling the boots the pants and the jacket with some difficulty, dropping a glove on the floor and nearly dropping everything else when he went to pick it up.
Walking outside he was met by another MTI, who yelled at him to get his ass to the barracks to change and put all his shit away. He hurried to do as he was told, running and nearly dropping everything again as he made his way through the doors into a large room, lined along either side with beds, a single trunk at the base.
He ran to one of the beds at the far end, opened the crate and placed his things inside, struggling to pull on one of the PT uniforms as the others ran into the room to do the same, throwing their things in the lockers at the base of the beds, as the MTIs continued to scream at them.
It was only as he was running out of the room that he noticed the horrible terrible thing.
Oh no…
Please no…
The extra small pants...
They were too big.
He tried looking for a drawstring to make them tighter, but they were canvas with an elastic waist, and they did not go any tighter. He turned in his spot, trying to figure out what to do, but as soon as he slowed down, another MTI was screaming at him to get back onto the field and line up.
So, he chickened out, holding onto his pants for dear life, as he raced back to the training ground.
Upon making it there he helped the other students line up into evenly spaced rows, thinking that the MTIs might be impressed with them if they were to do that.
They did their best to stand like they were supposed to, though all of the instruction they had ever gotten was from old war movies, and they were all doing it horribly wrong, a fact for which the MTIs noticed and yelled at them for with great glee as soon as they noticed. Of course, they were eventually whipped into shape, standing in line in straight rows, heels together hands at sides, shoulders back.
He could feel his pants slipping, though he was too embarrassed to say anything.
Sgt Kimball stepped out in front of them, hands behind his back.
"What did I say!? Didn't I say we were going to have a fun relaxing day!? Are you having fun!?"
He was right in one of the recruits face, now bellowing almost at the top of his lungs. He moved onto the next student.
"Aren’t you relaxed!?”
Adam didn't think the kid looked particularly relaxed. In fact, he looked so tense, that if he squeezed any harder his spine was going to go shooting out of his ass.
There was silence on the grounds.
Adam scrambled his brain not entirely sure what to do before squeaking out.
"Yes sir."
The MTI leaned in.
"Why don't you try and communicate in normal ranges of human hearing, son. I am not a bat!"
He looked back up at the rest of the group.
"That's better."
He turned to stalk away from Adam, pacing up and down the line.
"I will be straight with you when I say that today IS going to be fun and relaxing compared to what you will be going through in the next few years. If you manage to make it into this program, I promise you we will destroy your social life, you will have time for nothing other than this program and sleeping, if I decide to allow you to sleep, that is."
Adam was grinning.
Unfortunately, that caught the Sgt's eye.
He waited.
Adam just stood there.
"Yes sir, sorry sir! I thought it was a rhetorical question."
His mouth opened then closed,
"Sweet Jehova did you come out this stupid or is it a family tradition, a side hobby?"
"I'm sorry sir, I forgot the question."
He lowered his head with an exaggerated sigh rubbing his temples,
He blushed,
"Oh... Um."
That seemed to take the man back, and he simply sat there, staring at Adam with a bemused expression.
*"If you were any more pathetic, smiley, I might just cry for you. Honest to god, if you get any more pathetic, I will cry real tears for your shame." *
He turned away.
"Now everyone get on the ground and give me FIFTY."
At least everyone seemed to know what that meant, though pathetically enough his arms were wobbling at twenty.
The Sergeant seemed to have a lot of disabled relatives.
A blind granny, an armless cousin, a nephew with a pole up his ass from a tragic fishing accident.
By the time they were done, Adam was quite nearly ready to throw up.
Oh no, anything but that!
He paused, but was almost immediately screamed at to get his ass in gear. He knew what was coming before it happened, but he couldn't stop it.
So he accepted his fate…
So long self worth!
As he jumped down into his first plank and then back up, he could feel the waist on his pants slipping, at first just a little, but then, as his feet left the ground there, they went right down around his ankles.
At first, he thought he was at least lucky to be in the back row, but then scrambling to pick his pants back up, he realized none of that was going to matter.
Sgt. Kimball was staring at him, cheek twitching.
He himself was blushing excessively.
He was quiet for a very long time before.
"CONTROL YOURSELF RECRUIT, THE LAST THING I NEED TO SEE IS YOUR CHICKEN LEG FLAT ASS KIDDIE JUNK ON MY TRAINING FIELD. Fuck, as small as you are I'll probably be indited for CP. Now go get some new fucking pants before you blind us all for a second time. And, since it seems you've never seen leg day, I want you to cluck like a chicken all the way there. Let everyone know the pantsless chicken boy is coming!”
He did as he was told, rose red the entire time and beat red on his way back, seeing as, they had given him the smallest size available in mens, so instead he had been given a pair of woman's shorts, which, due to the cut, tended to ride up in very uncomfortable places of his anatomy.
It was a very good thing he was used to embarrassment.
Or this was going to be a very long couple of years…
Hell even with being used to embarrassment this would probably be some interesting years..
Commander Adam Vir blinked and put a hand to his head, boots throwing up little puffs of dust in the Texas heat.
"You ok Commander?"
He sniffed at the air and took in a deep breath, hands on hips.
"Ah, the memories!"
”What are you remembering Sir?”
”Good times… good times…”
And with these words he stepped out of the hovercar, mumbling to himself.
”I wonder what’s up with Sgt. Kimball, is he still training new recruits? Maybe I’ll see him again…”
Previous First Next
Want to find a specific one, see the whole list or check fanart?
Here is the link to the master-post.
Intro post by me
OC-whole collection
Patreon of the author
Thanks for reading! As you saw in the title, this is a cross posted story written by starrfallknightrise and I'll just upload some of it here for you guys, if you are interested and want to read ahead, the original story-collection can be found on tumblr or wattpad to read for free. (link above this text under "OC:..." ) It is the Empyrean Iris story collection by starfallknightrise. Also, if you want to know more about the story collection i made an intro post about it, so feel free to check that out to see what other great characters to look forward to! (Link also above this text). I have no affiliations to the author; just thought I’d share some of the great stories you might enjoy a lot!
Obviously, I have Charlie’s permission to post this and for the people already knowing the stories, or starting to read them: If you follow the link and check out the story you will see some differences. I made some small (non-artistic) changes, mainly correcting writing mistakes, pronoun correction and some small additional info here and there of things which were not thought of/forgotten or even were added/changed in later stories (like the “USS->UNSC” prefix of Stabby, Chalar=/->Sunny etc). As well as some "biggemajor" changes in descriptions and info’s for the same stringency/continuity reason. That can be explained by the story collection being, well a story collection at the start with many standalone-stories just starring the same people, but later on it gets more to a stringent storyline with backstories and throwbacks. (For example Adam Vir has some HEAVY scars over his body, following his bones, which were not really talked about up till half the collection, where it says it covers his whole body and you find out via backflash that he had them the whole time and how he got them, they just weren't mentioned before. However, I would think a doctor would at least see these scars before that, especially since he gets analyzed, treated and goes shirtless/in T-shirts in some stories). So TLDR: Writing and some descriptions are slightly changed, with full OK from the author, since he himself did not bother to correct these things before.
submitted by maximusaemilius to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.06.02 00:44 Rrrobke Cheetos 8x13g was £1 last year, now 6×13g for £1.5. Used to be 12.5p per mini pack, now 25p, the price DOUBLED

Cheetos 8x13g was £1 last year, now 6×13g for £1.5. Used to be 12.5p per mini pack, now 25p, the price DOUBLED
Correct me if they were £1.50 before as well, I didn't buy them that often but I distinctly remember ASDA and Sainsbury's having them for exactly one pound. Was furious when I saw the new price, and then realised there was less packs per bag. There is no chance production price went up by that much..
submitted by Rrrobke to shrinkflation [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 21:24 RandomAppalachian468 Don't fly over Barron County Ohio. [Repost]

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.
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 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.”
“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 towering 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.
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 . . .”
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.
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’.
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.
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—”
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.
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.
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.
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, with 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 u/RandomAppalachian468 [link] [comments]

2023.06.01 19:23 cal1994 long post -just wanna tell my story

Porn addiction. Where did it all go wrong it started when I was 12 and got introduced to porn by my brother, then I was hiding under my bed masterbaiting to pictures on my iPod of ,BEFORE I COULD EVEN CUM. That’s right . It wasn’t until like a year later that I actually came and thought something was wrong until it clicked that I maybe started to early. My mother was a nurse and promoted masterbation and even porn to an extent, if only she knew what it could do to a kid. So by 14 I was heavily addicted, probably 3 or more hours a day on average, nasterbaiting 5 times a day, staying up late. Actually wanting my friends to leave so I could watch porn by myself. I have a bad habit of trying to find the perfect video and take 2 hours to spend 1 minute touching my dick because I think a video looks good then fast forward to the good part then realize its not as good, acting sucks, girl not hot enough. Then resort back to the same few videos you know are the best. Making huge playlists of videos the never watching any of them until you think about deleting some then they are all the best videos and you couldn’t bear to part with them because what if you can’t find it again. So by 14 I had my first girlfriend ,she wanted me to not jerk off to porn so in my addict bring that meant to not cum, so yea I would watch porn for hours edging all night until cum was literally an inch from coming out then suppress it, then start again because I never got the release. i did that for almost a month and I feel like it might of damaged something down there because I could feel myself cumming but I would stop before I came like where tf did it go. So anyway I had trouble getting hard the first time with a girl and she called it her retarded member because I would be soft even if she gave me a bj. We broke up in a couple months For context I am I fairly good looking man with a nice body ( 6 pack ) getting girls never seemed to hard and some of them would literally throw themselves at me, but tell me why id rather jerk off to fucking pixels PIXELS! So sad. Around that time I went from watching like big booty teens and big natural tits to more taboo stuff. At first the family role-play was disgusting, because I knew I didn’t actually want any family member but eventually its what I craved, that and shemale porn. Around 16 is when I got my first dildo because I was interested in anal play and watching pron while riding a dildo was the fucking best. But I would still browse for the perfect video for far too long only this time with a didlo in my ass, for like hours,definitely not good. I would also want to cross dress and bought lingerie and thongs on amazon, even fake boobs, a squirting dildo because I wanted to give someone a bj but I wasn’t gay, porn made me want to be the woman almost. I also had severe penis size insecurities, starting with my first gf then my second who I didn’t want to cum quick so I would jerk it before she came over and then when we go to have sex it would go limp and shed have to suck me to get me hard, but the boner quality just wasn’t there. She was also 6’ 1’’ and I was like 5’9’’ I could tell her body could take way more dick then I had and it made me embarrassed. I would bring it up all the time like would you rather be with someone who isn’t as attractive but with a huge dick or someone who’s hot with a small dick, obviously she said the latter but I never believed her. We went on and off for years until college when we called it quits for good. During the times that we would date I would constantly compare her to people in porn, like yeah your alright but you tits are oddly shaped and your vagina hanging more than Ive seen in porn. For reference my dick is 6 inches or so and like 4.7 girth. Pretty much average and capable for most women but not to me, it was the smaller lamest dick ever and thought that if I went for the hot girls they wouldn’t be impressed by my dick so I never really tried for the girls I like. I got with the girls who came up to me first to talk and do stuff with because it was easier, I had no sex drive because at home I got all that I needed so I never chased a girl. This one girl was my friend and she wanted to hook up but I wasn’t attracted to her, long story but she ended up grabbing my dick in my sleep saying what do you want me to do, and I said nothin, then went back to bed. The next day she would say I had a small dick and talk about it infront of her friends, like it didn’t fuck me up or anything. i think she wanted me but because I didn’t want her she tried to hurt me is my guess. So one day she send me a picture of a Calvin Klein model saying this could be you but your a little too small down obviously that hurt like why tf would you say that. She was basically obese being only 5’5 probably like 250 or so. So sent a text back saying that’s like me saying well you could be a Victoria secret model but you can’t because your fat. In my mind they were that same, but let me tell you she lost her shit, had all of her friends texting me saying I’m a piece of shit, that’s she’s crying non stop, but like bitch I’m hurt too. Ive only had sex with like 4 girls pretty sad considering how many opportunities I could of had, not that I care about hookups, but if I wasn’t jerking it I would defiantly have more game than I do. I’ve been called awkward by a lot of people but its probably the porn that’s rewiring my brain because sometimes I don’t even know how to interact with people. Somewhere along age 16 or so in between shemale and step mom/sister porn I found jailbait on good ole reddit. And wow, at first I felt like a child molester but seeing this young girls with fat asses was the hottest thing I’ve ever seen. I got onto sites like primejb and teengallery, had huge favorite lists in the hundreds. Thats when I started viewing girls not as the sum of there parts, just there parts. If I saw a girl with a fat ass I literally couldn’t look away, fantasize about it all day, even if my gf was there and saw me and got mad. Id do my best not to get caught but always did. Id chalk it up to me being a perve. Even in college I still was on jb sites, literally jerking it to young teens right before class, even one time my gf at the time who rarely gave bjs wanted to give me one but I just jerked to the hottest young teen ass and couldn’t say that so I let her and boy did it take forever to cum. She hates bjs now because they take so long. Ive been disgusted with the habit since high school but always found a way to get back into it. It was ok I won’t watch porn just pictures, that’s better right, I would do that until I spent hours looking at pictures waiting to find a better one than the one before and would resort to looking up my favorite video just to cum and be able to go do something else. Or the old let me delete all my favorited videos so I won’t be tempted but what that really meant was instead of having your favorite video right there you spend twice the amount of time finding something just as hot. Ive contemplated becoming a highschool math teacher just so I could be around young girls, super fucked up, I’m a creep not a child molester but I know that I couldn’t do that to myself, especially since I hate kids and talking in public. I’ve always fantasized about giving into my addiction and living alone with a bunch of sex dolls so we could make all the fucked up shit I wanted as real as possible , but I know if I ever did that its over for me. So now I just turned 28 and had a gf for about 6 years but can’t tell if I want to be with her forever. I constantly look at her features and compare to other girls in a very non healthy way. I can’t tell if I don’t want to be with her or if I do but I’m just a porn addicted freak who doesn’t know how good I got it, because if I was alone porn would be way worse. Half the time I don’t watch porn because I know its been a couple days since sex and I don’t want it to be suspicious, so it helps but I would literally wait till she fell asleep at 11 and then go in the bathroom and watch porn and nut in the sink. Somehow I’ve never been caught and she doesn’t even know I’m addicted to porn. I feel like I can’t tell her because its been so long I just want to silently quit and no one has to know. So I spend my days waiting for a chance to be alone so I can put on my gfs underwear and ride a dildo for hours while video taping it all , just to look back at it in disgust. I used to have Fridays alone so every Friday I would basically all day be doing something fucked up, pretending I’m being blackmailed to put on a thong , give a lap dance, then a bj and then ride it for an hour while watching porn and videotaping with mirrors all over and my gfs underwear everywhere, it was a mess and after I never wanted to do anything after because I felt so fucked up. The government taking down those jb sites was a very good thing even though I was heart broken, I never saved any pictures for fear or someone finding them. but now with tik Tok its like a whole new jb problem, all the big bank challenges I got into it hard, literally downloading and deleting tik Tok everyday so I could look but not have it on my phone in case my gf saw it, the algorithm for my feed is straight slutty teens. I found motherless and found some old jb pictures there and broke and made a profile to save them. I was on for a couple days before I had like 3 pages of favorites, was gonna delete them all but found out you have to go one by one and besides I know that’s not the problem anyway. I also used to like to get on tinder just to look at slutty girls, even with a gf, I never messaged them just looked and swiped right for everyone. Until I matched with my girlfriends friend and it ended up being this big fight, but I played it off like it happened awhile ago and she just matched with me, I deleted it and never made that a habit again. Around age 18 I got genital warts somehow and to say that I thought no one wanted me made watching porn all the easier. I stopped trying to get girls even more because I didn’t want them to be like wtf is that wart on your dick. I eventually read that you can burn it off with garlic and did that and it actually worked but I think it came back. But every time I would go to the doctor they would say its nothing, even though I had a school doctor say I had GW before I used garlic. I also smoke pot have been pretty regularly since like 15 and the weed/porn combo is deadly. Every night I’m like why do I even smoke I hate the way it makes me feel when I’m high, but when I’m sober I’m like smoooooke. Over the years my porn has basically stayed at step fantasy on porn hub and the like, I’m not fucking with the dark web. i can’t help but find a girl with a nice ass that pretends to be my step sister amazingly hot, gia Paige anyone? Im a cross dresser I think because I love the way putting on a thong makes me feel, so sexy, and I think I have a nice bubbly butt for a guy so I love to wear thongs, twerk while I take videos, but then when I watch them later It doesn’t seem as sexy as it did before and end up deleting them. This has been going on from age 16-28 Porn has ruined the way I have sex, like I never speak during sex bc I don’t know what to say, and it feels awkward at times if we make eye contact. Also I’m starting to fantasize that my gf is my step sis, like ill give her a massage then go to her butt and pretend its my sis whose sore from working out or something and then have sex but in my head I’m like pretending its someone else. My sex life I think kinda sucks and I would never be confident plowing a one night stand, I talk to girls but when they open up about guys with big dicks or cumin 3 times from this guy it makes me feel so lame bc I know they wouldn’t say that about me and my dick I don’t think has made anyone cum. My gf that I have now for 6 years only had one other bf and of course he had ( the biggest fucking dick) when she told me we were only friends at the time but once we started dating I obessess over it. About how she couldn’t even fit her hands around it, how she could barely give him a bj or how sex was painful bc It was so big. But when I have sex with her its like I can go tip to balls and there a little moan but nothing crazy, never felt like I filled a woman up, and even though she said it sucked I can’t help but think that she’s lying somehow. It was a problem for months, I asked if he wore magnums and she said yeah and I was crushed. I wanted a girl who never had a bigger dick than me but on the flip side I find big dicks attractive, like porn with a pawg but the guy has a smaller dick kinda sucks. The actor on sislovesme has a nice one and it makes all the videos better. So I go from watching porn videos, to just pictures on reddit to ok ill jerk off but only to videos of myself, still porn but in my mind its not. But then nothing seems to be working, even when I’m watching my favorite videos now, a 10 minute video I find like 30 second to be the hottest keep going back to that little bit but can never coincide my orgasm to the best part. So I just deleted all my pornhub favorites, but they are still in the recently watched section and I cracked going there a few times, I don’t want to change I just want to be changed. Porn I think is the worst addiction bc it only harms yourself in a very abstract, harmless kind of way, no one is stealing money to buy porn because its free and available everywhere which makes it so dangerous.if cocaine was free and everywhere people would be od’ing all over the place because most people have no self control and being expensive is a good deterrant. I also go into Molly for a bit when I was like 15-17 and feel like it fucked up my brain a little bit, watching porn while riding a dildo high on Molly was probably the best feeling in the world. I also had a serious concussion when I was like 12 and seems like from then on my life took a turn for the worse, I feel like it damaged part of my brain for motivation but its actually just the pot and porn but I like to blame other things like my parents divorce. Also my mom died when I was 25 and at first I stopped watching step fantasy because it felt so fucked up like a big slap in the face, but eventually I caved and it became even hotter then before somehow. I believe in spirituality and can’t help but think she knows I’m a creep, like sometimes I’m in my gfs underwear and sucking on a dildo and my cat gives me this look like its a hundred ancestors communication through my cat saying stop this, its not the way. I never went to therapy because its too expensive and I know it all starts with me and my ability to control my emotions and desires. So here I am unemployed for 6 months , moved back in with my parents and just sit there and play xbox and master bait almost everyday. My stepmom works from home so its annoying always having her around but better because if she wasn’t I would be 10x worse. I think I have social anxiety, depression , a real inability to connect with anyone, or desire too nd procrastination off the charts. After watching a video on Netflix about how much information the internet had about you and how everything is tracking the sites you see and shit makes me realize that if I was ever profiled by the gov or something that its literally 10+ years of step fantasy young teen porn like how fucking sad that’s what the Internet know about me. I keep thinking its time to quit, late night thoughts of a better life turn to the morning reality of an addict. And the cycle repeats, why do I find this pixelated ass on a computer screen so attractive. I’ve never been to a strip club bc it seems stupid to pay for shit I can get for free. But I can say that going to the beach is the best bc there is so much ass there I can’t help myself, but in reality you can’t just stare at a screen so I have to be decorate, find a reason to walk behind a hot girl or find a way to turn around to look at this chicks ass without my gf knowing. I almost want to make an only fans bc I know personally a lot of gay guys that wanted me , and considering I’m twerking in thongs and fucking dildos on video anyway why not make money off it. But the thing stopping me is that if I start making money off it then ill just be this little gay but slut and eventually someone I know will find out considering you have to promote yourself a lot to get noticed. I have a fantasy of being with a sugar daddy and getting paid to get fucked by some rich guy. Over the years I think my genital health has declined due to having boners for hours and I can literally feel my balls contracting into me. sometimes when I cum if I’ve been edging awhile my right testicle will like pop inside and I have to push it back out, slightly painful but I feel like my pelvic floor is weak or my seminal vesicles are like twisted or something bc sometime I get random pain there. Also I think my dick is shrinking but its probably bc it never has time to fucking rest, I was thinking the other day my dick has been goin at least 3-14 times a week for like 14 years, never more than a week off. I want to take a break but when I do I feel my dick resent it and it gets harder to want to have sex and I cum quickly, so instead of suffering for probably like a month I just keep the cycle. Do I want to stop? Yes, then what’s bringing me back to it time and time again. Its that once its in my head its very hard to get rid off. For instance say a saw a hot girl in yoga pants at the mall I would think about it all day wishing I got a better look or somehow took a picture (I’m into candid ass shots but never have myself for fear or being caught) and it won’t go away untill I jerk off. Or if I’m trying to jerk off and something happens like my gf comes home early or the internet goes out, instead of just giving up and doing something else I dwell on it and check the internet every 10 minutes waiting or say to my gf that I’m not that horny (big ole lie) so I can wait till she falls asleep and jerk to porn. The fact that I haven’t been found out by now amazing me sometimes considering how many close calls there were of like the difference of 10 minutes of me riding a dildo in the living room to cleaning up in the shower and finding out my gf got home while I was showering. What I would do if she walked in on my wearing her thong sucking on a dildo trying to cum on my own face? She’s very understanding but damn id probably leave her because id be so emabrressd about how much of a fucking weirdo I am. I just can’t believe that I spend the best high school college years of my life not living just jerking off not trying to make more friends ( made stoner friends and called it good) id consider myself to have no real friends like I have people that I hangout with but over the years its like we do it out of habit and not for the fun times we have because even when I’m at my friends I’m like thinking of when to leave or what to say or why aren’t we having fun like friends do, its like awkward almost but if I give up in the few remaining friends I have then I wouldn’t know where to go to get more. Im grateful I never started smoking cigs or got addicted to hard drugs but when I think about how like stupid all this shit is that I’m doing it depresses me. I obviously know that the problem is me, not porn not weed not my mom dying not my parents getting divorced, me. Because all these things happened to my brother too and he’s a cpa making great money living on his own and I’m a college graduate who was working at Fedex because I don’t know what else to do. My mom always said out of my brother and sister I have the potential and that I was her last hope. To say that I let her down in her grave is an understatement, I’m the biggest fuck up out of all of them. I constantly psyche myself out of things like I want to be an PA but I could never do all those classes or I would hate to run around all day stressed, to working at Fedex knowing that I’m way smarter than what I’m doing and I have the capacity for great things but procrasterbation is a bitch. I also have this fear that if I have kids and ones a girl that I would be fantasizing about her friends she brings over if they are hot, and I would be like watching them swim in the pool while I’m in my bedroom jerking it or something. Or that I would install cameras to catch something, I never have and never plan on it but I’m sure those are the next steps in porn addiction.
submitted by cal1994 to pornfree [link] [comments]