Rachel zoe ghost blanket
[The Primeval Apocalypse] - Chapter Seventy-Seven (collaboration with u/hydrael)
2023.06.04 16:30 RobertSKeene [The Primeval Apocalypse] - Chapter Seventy-Seven (collaboration with u/hydrael)
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The Primeval Apocalypse by Robert Keene and Alex Raizman Start here (Prologue) Previous
THIS IS THE END. DO NOT PANIC. WE WILL RETURN.
Real talk, this book was an experiment for Hyd and I to see if we could do the whole co-writing thing, and also to just play around in the Apocalyptic LitRPG space.
This was a success. Not everyone thinks so, and there's been some really firm pushback on core mechanics (not from y'all - you're great. RR has been chewing on our collective asses, though) that make me wonder if we messed up by trying to bring a little change.
However, the majority of people seem to like things, and honestly, that's pretty awesome.
So, what's next?
Hyd and I have other projects we have to clear off the board. I've got Book 9 of Echoes of Rundan cooking for RR, and Sylvia's got some other stuff going (I don't want to put words in her mouth, so vague comments ftw!). We will be publishing TPA to see how it fairs on Amazon, and as soon as I'm done the next book of Rundan, I'll be coming back to TPA... either to close it out, or open it up.
Y'all have been warned - there's a lot of cool stuff in our brains. I'd love to have us write it, too.
All right. I've talked long enough. Please enjoy this chapter. I'm sorry for the end. It was too good of an opportunity to not.
Despite our best efforts, the return to Rachel’s camp was uneventful. Having broken the Mandrills’ morale, scattered their forces, destroyed their secret weapon, and obliterated their ability to fight back, spirits were too high to be stealthy.
But despite how members of the group crowed their victory to the forest canopy, we didn’t run into any trouble. Rachel led us wide of the Mandrill camp, and we were in too big of a group to be enticing prey for anything that saw us out in the wild.
There were a few minor injuries that had people reporting to Jennifer in the infirmary, but with the system’s aid, everyone was more than ready to celebrate their victory within a few minutes.
I’d tried not to be disappointed in the previous celebration after our victory over the cerebtyrannus. It was the post-apocalypse, after all, and I believed that there wasn’t the resources for a proper party.
It turned out I was wrong.
With this victory, and nightfall at hand, the camp went to great lengths to celebrate properly. Cookie’s cookfire was replaced with a giant bonfire. Primitive instruments were either fetched or made on the spot. Food items that had been saved for a special occasion were brought around and shared.
Even I got into the spirit, sharing the last of the smoked fish I’d stolen all those nights ago.
To say that spirits were high was an understatement. People were trying to figure out how to play their favorite pre-apocalypse songs with instruments made from plant fibers, animal skin, and carved wood. Whenever a song started, there was dancing, and when it grew darker as night fell, shadows cast by the bonfire light danced with us.
The only person who didn’t seem happy was Cookie, who was trying to cook meals for everyone with a fire that was too big and hot to do so normally.
I did my part to participate. I danced. I ate. I tried to play instrumental videogame soundtracks on an untuned approximation of a guitar. I made celebratory small talk and accepted what pats on the back were offered to me. With the tight web of friendships already present in the camp, I found myself feeling like an outsider.
“I hate to say it,” I said at last when I had a moment alone with my companion, “but I think we need to start planning to move along.” Why?
Noaich asked. Nice people. Nice place. And we made them safe.
“It’s more complicated than that,” I warned. “There’s more kinds of danger than Mandrills.”
As if on cue, Rachel returned from whatever chore she was doing, joining the festivities. Though she was clearly angling towards me as she made her way through the crowd. I didn’t think I stood out that much, but I guess I was the only one with a pet crocodile.
“Get something to eat,” I said, pointing towards Cookie. “I’ll let you know if we’re staying or not.”
Noaich clearly wanted to discuss the matter further, but he could always be trusted to pursue food when available. It wasn’t until he was already gone that I realized that I shouldn’t have bothered. After all, he would only understand my half of the conversation, and Rachel wouldn’t understand anything he added, either.
It took her a minute or so to sidle up beside me. Everyone wanted to talk to her about something on her way, offering congratulations, thanks, and compliments on her leadership. She made a good show of acknowledging everyone by name, shaking hands and hugging where appropriate, and extracting herself from each conversation quickly. With all the dancing and the proximity to the bonfire, her cheeks were flushed red by the time she got to me.
“We might have a complication,” she warned. “I had people gathering cheap wood to get a makeshift shelter slapped together for you tonight, but, uh…” she pointed to the bonfire.
“I appreciate the gesture,” I said, offering a grin. “Even if the plan seems to have gone up in smoke.”
She let out a snort of a laugh, the sudden shake of her shoulders sending her armor tinkling.
“Spoke with Jennifer, though,” she continued, “You can crash with us for the night. She said she’ll be spending some time taking care of business in the infirmary tonight. Restocking and cleaning up. So it won’t be too crowded.”
There was a clear coyness in her voice. An obvious suggestion. She had the same capacity for subtlety that I did, and honestly I found that more endearing than if she’d actually been able to disguise her intentions.
I’d have been lying if I’d said I wasn’t interested, either. Not that I could have with whatever magnetic effect she had on the truth. But even when she wasn’t asking questions, I owed her honesty.
“I’d be honored to stay the night,” I said at last, “but I’m not sure how much longer than that I’ll be around.”
“What?” she demanded, her attitude quickly shifting. “You’re leaving? Why?”
“Because you think you can pretend this is normal,” I said, not even bothering to fight against her supernatural charisma. “I can’t lie to you. And I find myself almost compelled by your sister’s orders.” I shook my head. “I don’t even care how it’s happening. It bothers me that you think I’m stupid enough to just ignore it.”
Rachel pressed her lips into a thin line. I could clearly see the gears turning in her mind as she weighed how to approach the problem I’d just presented.
I wanted to press the confrontation at that. Point out that her first reaction was to try and come up with another lie. But half the reason I couldn’t ignore this was that I didn’t have all the information. Perhaps it was a system thing. Perhaps if anybody knew the truth, there would be a terrible price for her and her sister to pay.
I could respect Rachel’s secrets. I could give her that space. If she didn’t want to tell me, she didn’t have to.
But I wouldn’t stick around to play an idiot for her.
“I wish I could convince you to stay,” she said at last. Her face contorted into a grimace for a moment as she struggled with whatever decision I’d forced her into making. “But I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
I nodded. That felt like as much confirmation as I could expect that she was somehow forced to keep this a secret. Even backing her into a corner so hard that she couldn’t avoid the fact of the matter, she had to keep her lips sealed.
Either that, or she was struggling to avoid phrasing her comment as a question I would be forced to answer.
“Don’t worry,” I said after a moment. “It’s nothing personal. And I don’t want to rock the boat around here. You have a good thing going here, and you struck a pretty major blow today on keeping it going.” I hooked my thumb east, vaguely in the direction of the Mandrill camp. “I’m afraid if I stay, I’m going to be a wrench in your cleanly-oiled gears.”
“I didn’t do anything,” she said, reaching out and tentatively putting a hand on my shoulder. She chanced a smile when I didn’t pull away. “You did this. I can’t even guess at what you’ve saved us all from. Move on if you have to, but I’m not going to forget what you did.”
I returned her smile. Even though this wasn’t going to work out long-term—her hands were tied by unseen forces, and I was too bullheaded to swallow my pride—I was still happy with what I’d accomplished. The space I’d bought them from the Mandrills’ retaliation would give them the time to level up and become too strong to be scoured from their spot without a fight. And destroying the herbs and slaying the entelodont had removed the biggest threats to human life in the region.
“Don’t try and pass this off on me,” I said, letting my smile become a smirk. “I don’t want to take your victory from you when I leave. Keep it to remember me by.”
“If you insist,” she said with a shrug that sent her armor tinkling. “We’ll always have the Siege of Mandrillville.”
“I like the sound of that,” I said, stepping a little closer to swing my arm around her shoulders.
Before she could either lean in or lean away, there was a shout of alarm from the bonfire that drew both of our attention away.
Something was happening to Noaich.
I didn’t remember crossing the intervening space.
The next thing I knew I was beside him. His muscles were spasming and his scaled hide was turning ghostly pale.
“What happened?” I demanded, looking around. “What happened?”
There was concern in the eyes of those around, with one exception. Cookie. He didn’t look worried. He looked afraid. Panicked, even.
“What did you do?” I asked in a tone of voice that was definitely calm and even and not at all dripping with threats of violence.
“I fed him!” Cookie blurted out. The previously reserved and laconic cook was clearly caught off-guard by what was going on and just started rambling. “Jennifer had the peppers I needed. I had the meat. So when he came over looking for food, I made him a peppered steak just like you said! I’m so sorry I never wanted to hurt anybody I just—"
I held up a hand and stopped him. I consulted my character sheet, looking to confirm the answer that I had already expected. Noaich (Baby Baurusuchus) Level 8 Pet (Beastmaster) HP: 580/600 MP: 400/400 SP: 100/100 Attitude: Best Friends Growth: 100/100 Apprentice Baurusuchus Magical Path Requirements: Achievement “Best Friends”, Pet consumes 1x Peppered Steak, Growth > 100 Requirements met. Growth underway. Dismiss pet to the stable to interrupt.
“He’s not in danger,” I said quickly to put everyone at ease. “He’s evolving!”
2023.06.04 13:29 Zeplight [H] 500+ Games, Absolver, Zombie Army 4, Deathloop, Crusader King 3, Dark Wood etc. [W] Paypal Only.
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2023.06.04 07:01 an1m0s1ty The Icarus Journey: A zero training half marathon dilemma (Warning: long read)
- Name: Great Ocean Road Running Festival - Half Marathon
- Date: May 21, 2023
- Distance: 21km / 23km
- Location: Apollo Bay, Australia
- Website: https://greatoceanroadrunfest.com.au/
- Time: 2:53 (21.1km) / 3:09(23km)
|Goal ||Description ||Completed? |
|A ||Finish? ||Yes |
|B ||Sub 3h ||Yes |
|Mile ||Time |
|1 ||I am a moron. Didnt even know this was a thing. |
A group of friends take part in the Great Ocean Road running festival each year. A few opted for the 6km or 14 but most chose the 23km. As a spry 31-year-old, I was brimming with an audacious belief in my own invincibility, a sentiment fueled by an intoxicating cocktail of youthful arrogance and a naively optimistic faith in my dormant athletic abilities. Flashback to that one glorious day I decided to sign up for a half marathon without having ever subjected myself to any form of formal training. Oh, the folly of it all! The idea seemed as bright as a neon sign in a dingy dive bar, lighting up my brain with the thought that surely, the regular trek between my couch and fridge would have prepped me sufficiently for the 21.1 kilometers of asphalt that lay ahead. Little did I know, I was about to embark on a punishing odyssey of sweat, tears, and perplexing questions about why all these people had camel-like humps on their backs.
Reality, that formidable party crasher, finally made its grand entrance two weeks before the event. It dawned on me that perhaps the herculean task of conquering a half marathon required a bit more preparation than a daily sojourn around my workplace. So, laced up and full of fiery resolve, I set out on my maiden voyage - my first run in nine years
. There I was, huffing and puffing through a modest 3km, my lungs shrieking out in protest, and my mind coming to the frightening realisation of the task that lay ahead. With the tenacity of a stubborn mule, I persevered, collecting a grand total of 27 kilometers over a grueling fortnight. It wasn't the recommended half marathon training plan by any means, and the gap between my actual preparation and the upcoming event yawned wider than the Grand Canyon. But, true to my initial hubris, I was undeterred, believing that sheer willpower and my incredible talent of cramming at the eleventh hour would somehow translate to running prowess. It was a leap of faith that would have made Evel Knievel wince.
My final run, a modest but ambitious 6.5km, commenced with a spring in my step but ended with a mysterious sensation in my hip flexors that could only be described as a warning from my body. It was as if my muscles were murmuring in some cryptic biological Morse code, "Buddy, we didn't sign up for this." Over the following days, the cryptic murmurs evolved into a persistent nagging ache, like a petulant toddler pulling at my pant leg, making each step feel like I was wading through a quagmire of discomfort. My running aspirations were suddenly replaced with a simpler, more primitive goal - walking without grimacing. It became apparent that even a jovial trot to catch the bus was a mission impossible soundtrack away from a full-blown hip rebellion. Thus, the cruel joke was on me: instead of a rigorous last-minute training regime, I found myself in an unintended taper, hobbling around and fervently hoping that rest, ice, and sheer denial would heal me in time for the impending race. The irony was thicker than a bowl of oatmeal, and significantly less appetizing.
Despite my misadventures, I was nothing if not relentless. Waving the white flag just wasn't my style. The prospect of backing down felt akin to conceding defeat, and so, like a cowboy stubbornly mounting a bucking bronco, I decided to ride out the storm. At the unholy hour of 3:30am, I stirred from my uneasy sleep, my resolve as ironclad as my hip flexors were questionable. Driving to meet my friends, I was greeted by the inky black pre-dawn and a collection of unspoken questions, "Was I a fool for pressing on? Did I have what it took?" Yet the quiet camaraderie and the electric anticipation in the air quelled my doubts. There, amongst the quietly crashing waves on the rock face, decked out in my running gear that felt more like a warrior's armour at this point, I was ready. Ready to face the daunting half marathon, ready to test the limits of my resilience, and more than anything, ready to prove that my audacious endeavor was not the lunacy that, on multiple occasions, it appeared to be.
Pre-race preparation involved 6 weetbix, a gummy worm, and some ibuprofen to take the edge off. Knowing the pain that lay ahead, I simply tried to work out a gait that would allow me to finish and tried not to exacerbate the pain.
Look, it was dreadful. With the starting pistol's blast, the collective rush of adrenaline, and the sea of determined faces all around me, I put my best foot forward into the ocean of asphalt. The race was on! My hips, however, were less enthusiastic about the ordeal. From the get-go, they delivered their protestations in no uncertain terms, like disgruntled tenants raising a ruckus. Each stride felt like an uphill battle, my muscles screaming louder with every kilometer. By the time I had hit the 5km mark, my body was staging a full-on revolt. The persistent sting had escalated into a searing hot protest, like fireworks going off in my hip flexors. Grudgingly, I conceded to my body's pleas for mercy, slowing my pace to a walk. The pride of the warrior within me crumbled a bit, but I wasn't ready to throw in the towel just yet. The race was far from over, and if I had to walk, limp, or even crawl to that finish line, I was going to get there, come hell or high water.
As I trudged along the breathtakingly beautiful Great Ocean Road, my appreciation for the scenery was tempered by the symphony of discomfort my body was orchestrating. Majestic cliffs and rolling waves framed my torturous journey, their beauty a stark contrast to the sheer physical adversity I was enduring. The azure expanse of the ocean matched only by the limitless pain that held me in its unyielding grip. Every single step sent a jolt of agony through my protesting hips, each stride akin to walking barefoot on a path of hot coals. To add to this, a wicked stitch wove itself into my side, a cruel embroidery of distress. My knees, too, joined the chorus of complaints, throbbing with a rhythmic intensity that could have kept time for a marching band. As the kilometers dragged on, exhaustion cloaked me like a heavy, wet blanket, making every step feel like I was fighting against a strong undertow. The crisp sea air and the stunning tableau of the Australian coast were marred by the storm of pain brewing within me, a tumultuous tempest that I was determined to weather.
In the throes of this epic saga of endurance, I was not alone. My comrades-in-arms, two stalwart friends, shared in the agony of the quest, their trials and tribulations echoing my own, albeit to a far lesser extent. We trudged on, bound by the shared misery of our circumstance and the collective strength of our determination. Our conversation, typically rife with jovial banter and witticisms, had now taken on a new cadence: the cadence of survivors. We talked less, saved our breath, and let the simple act of being there for one another speak volumes. The synchrony of our suffering became a strange source of comfort, a reminder that we were in this together, come what may. Counting down the remaining kilometers became our mantra, the numbers a lifeline that tethered us to the ultimate goal. Every time we announced a kilometer conquered, it was a small victory snatched from the jaws of the Herculean beast that was the half marathon. Our journey was one of grit, grimace, and grunts of effort, an odyssey punctuated by the enduring power of friendship and the human spirit's unwavering resolve.
Like Icarus who dared to flirt with the sun, I had challenged the impossible and, in doing so, singed my metaphorical wings. Yet, unlike the tragic Greek hero, my tumble was met not with a fatal end but with the sweet taste of victory, albeit laced with the bitter tang of exertion and pain. My strides, whether they were apprehensive trots at the start or the painstaking shuffles towards the end, all culminated in the glorious moment of crossing the finish line. The official timer sneered a final verdict of 2 hours and 53 minutes for the half marathon, and 3 hours and 9 minutes for the added punitive kilometers - a time that made me slower than 92% of the pack. That statistic did little to dampen my triumph. For it was not in comparison to others that my victory lay, but in the audacity of taking on a task so monumental, in the defiance of pain and odds, and in the resilience to keep going when every fiber of my being screamed to stop. I had run a race that was so much more than just a half marathon. I had run a race against myself, against my limitations, and came out on the other side battered, bruised, but oh so gloriously alive.
The race's aftermath found me in a two-week waltz with a limp, my body a living testament to the fierce battle fought and won. I weathered a sea of concerned inquiries from friends, family, and co-workers who had the combined look of awe and 'I told you so' in their eyes. But underneath the lingering aches and shared commiseration was a newfound spark of determination. My body may have been temporarily out of commission, but my spirit was invincible.
Far from being a deterrent, the ordeal has ignited a fire within me, as if the grueling half marathon was merely the spark needed to set ablaze my dormant potential. I find myself not cowed by the experience, but eager, excited even, to push my boundaries further. With the ghost of the race looming behind me, a quiet echo of my past recklessness and current grit, I am ready to throw myself into the fray once more. But this time, with wisdom on my side and a resolve forged in the crucible of the Great Ocean Road, I stand ready to see what feats I can truly achieve when I properly set my mind, body, and spirit to the task.
It was the beginning of a new chapter, one that was filled with promise, potential, and an utter absence of preparation. Next up: Melbourne Marathon. See you mongrels there!
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2023.06.04 05:27 richpeoplearenice calm amidst hysteria
One common trait of primary psychopaths is calm under conditions that the general public believes should make everyone hysterical.
I am not a primary psychopath, though my parents both were. I do, however, exhibit many primary-psychopathic traits.
I am including some personal anecdotes, slightly colorful to be sure, to encourage discussion.
Primary psychopaths are basically anhedonic, mistrustful, and often apathetic. Their sensation-seeking, rule-breaking, attention-seeking, paraphilias, criminal versatility, etc. stem largely from just being bored and depressed.
I seldom seek sensation and seek attention or break rules only when I want to learn (as now) or to solve a problem. I prefer not to use mind-altering substances. I avoid entertainment, nightlife, vacations, and work. I dislike being close to people. Like most psychopaths, I tend to notice more about strangers than others do and have been asked to help friendly acquaintances by reading their significant others.
Unlike psychopaths, however, I do not usually feel a rush from manipulating people. Manipulation is like wiping my ass: not a hobby and to be avoided unless necessary. I seldom deal with people in daily life without being somewhat manipulative, which is why I seldom enjoy extended contact: I have to be vigilant to prevent hostility.
I am most comfortable with people who need stuff done: transactional and instrumental. I will give people money for drugs and not ask for it back. I will buy them food or cigarettes and not ask to be reimbursed. I will let them use my phone. I will make referrals to organizations I find helpful.
I feel superior for not needing much, so I like to see how dependent they are on their creature comforts. It's not about gratitude. It's about my needing less than they do. This kept me alive in extremely violent environments: psychopaths are intrigued that I share their responses to danger, death, pain, and violence but am happy to live, essentially, in a sensory deprivation tank with information.
The reason I am not sure if I wish to continue my life is that processing information accurately and efficiently is the province of joiners and party animals. Anything I produce leads to punishment from the herd, just to remind me I have been excluded. It's like a nerd being grounded in a dumpster for life, so it may be best just to die. I would consider options that provide protection, if there are any. One idea is to fill in the gaps in my math, learn some programming and work on some software development, learn whatever physics I may need, and try to develop patents. Not being sensation-seeking is a real problem in terms of herd exclusion.
When, as I do, one laughs at death and torture, seems largely indifferent to pain and brushes with death, is comfortable in a tee shirt in 100 F 37.8 C and 9 F/-13 C, and not only avoids films but finds horror films to be bad comedies, complains of being terrible at committing suicide and needing practice to get it right, and enjoys offering advice to criminals who are having interpersonal difficulties, one will be ostracized.
I was never wiling to take herd members on "dates" so I could pay to work the plumbing of strangers who claim to "care about" me and catch their diseases. Females who ruin males' lives because they refuse to buy batteries deserve to be deprived of dopamine and oxytocin. Batteries are a girl's best friend. For everything else, there's MasterCard (or slide rules). Toys work better than any tongue, hand, or cock, which means females are attention-whoring and engaging in psyops by demanding attention that provides inferior results. It's like going to a restaurant to demand food inferior to what one cooks at home.
Females' punishing themselves for being horny by paying fabulous sums to aestheticians so said females can lie back with earphones and pretend their crotches are not being scalded with boiling wax, which then dries so their androgenic hairs can be ripped out, leaving the follicles pustulent, eventually necessitating laser treatments to burn away pits and scars so after having drunken sex with strangers -- painful, since they will not feel comfortable and their reproductive organs will not lift out of harm's way -- they will receive cunnilingus, accompanied by the stench of rotting fish and the triumphant squirting of boiling liquid in the strange man's face always struck me as a great reason to avoid suggesting any sexual interest in them, which I do not feel, simply because they are dangerously unstable. I had many female so-called friends and they all dropped me like a log for denial of sexual services they considered due.
Meanwhile, my male friends' problems were mine and mine theirs, so they blamed me for their supposed anguish at my problems. When I solved problems in my life, everyone whose unwanted advice had not solved it blamed me for disrespecting him. Meanwhile, I was supposed to be concerned about their problems. I noticed that happy, stable people generally do not associate with miserable people, whether stable or not, and that people who are hardworking are generally acquisitive and aggressive, meaning they are incapable of spending time around the unambitious. Laziness, often conflated with unambition, denotes failure to invest adequate effort in achieving goals, whereas unambition denotes the modesty or absence of one's goals, irrespective of work ethic.
Psychopaths are often very ambitious and successful because of their heightened need for sensation. I find this really interesting, because I find the distinct responses to be insulation from external annoyances. I am always baffled that normal people feel so much and welcome it and that psychopaths wish to do so, despite having a golden opportunity to live lives of tranquility.
As you will see below, I was recently stalked and nearly murdered for refusing castration and sexual enslavement and have decided that maintaining myself physically puts me at risk of being not only bothered but subjugated. If I were older, I would have no hesitation about taking care of myself, but connected, demanding females can be dangerously dissatisfied customers, even though I am not on the meat market. Volcels are regarded by the authorities as life unworthy of life and poor, unconnected male volcel really has no political traction to deny a connected white female sex.
I used to enrage my mother, who idolized Jozef Fritzl, by refusing to leave our apartment except to run errands: how can you trap someone in the apartment who sees no reason to leave? She could not deprive me of sex because I didn't find it to be important, although I hate her every day for ruining a young man who not only fell head-over-heels but surveilled me for years without bothering me. He couldn't have me around him due to the company he keeps but issued a blanket death threat against any perceived rival. There was never any potential rival, nor was he a potential lover.That years of agonizing surveillance did not produce that realization means my mother was right to say he was vulnerable. I would never have reason to reconnect with him, except if there were some way to prevent my mother's ghost from getting her jollies.
Sullen indifference is not lost on any reasonably intelligent person and repels them even when masked, leading to attention-seeking tantrums. Two friends who were firestarters as children grew up to set themselves on fire for the same reason: boredom and numbness.
Primary psychopaths are characterized by enlarged striata, visible on MRI, which leads to increased need for stimulation, and by the Warrior Gene. Warriors are routinely called upon not only to take lives but to sacrifice their own.
Intelligence is essential in any great warrior, so it makes sense that a warrior caste would be suspicious, bored and indifferent (callous), and more interested in ends than means (duplicity, lying, manipulation, ruthlessness, violence): if you enjoy life, how will you take pleasure in being a shadow on the battlefield, knowing that you may not survive the engagement?
If a normal person is threatened by Medicaid fraudsters, he will probably just take the medical care and hope the goons won't hurt him. In such a situation, I knew their goal was life insurance, not Medicaid fraud, so I tried to kill myself in ways that would have killed most people (attempted drowning in extremely polluted water, marked as a drowning risk due to strong currents, then drank my own urine for 3 days while stopping antibiotics midcourse, hoping to develop a superbug to thank my friends and neighbors) but barely hurt me: I am the son of an unrelentingly brutal special forces commander, who raped his own soldiers, castrated Blacks for sport, prided himself on devising new methods of killing with his bare hands, and lamented the unscrupulousness of people selected to provide information under torture. He and my mother -- a pedophile, castration fetishist, FGM fetishist, rape fetishist, trafficker (cocaine, children, slaves), arranger of murders for hire, money launderer, and many other interests -- conceived me with inconceivable impulsivity while cash-strapped, then took out a life insurance policy on me, circumcised me instead of reassigning me at birth as indicated, and waited for me to die. They threw in some fake psychiatric diagnoses, medications with disfiguring side effects, many medical rapes, substandard education, time in GULAG...
Daddy's second wife, who did her family of guards at GULAG in Siberia proud by getting a promotion to surveil rich people and push them out windows, stalked me for years, then decided to castrate and enslave me. I wish I had been reassigned at birth, but being 40-year-old nutless Lurch just doesn't seem like fun.
I refused slavery, so she robbed my friends to make me disappear into GULAG ( State psych). I let my friends know, so they demanded the money from the life insurance policy. Failing that, extirpation of everyone who robbed my friends. It'll happen.
Instead of killing myself, it may be advantageous to move somewhere other than a kleptopsychocracy. I have earned respect from homicidal psychopaths for staying cool when beaten bloody.
I was struck by a speeding Jeep when celebrating my 26th birthday and Thanksgiving in 2010..
I was strolling across 3rd Avenue and paused to let the speeding Jeep, two blocks ahead of the other traffic, go by, figuring I would then just stroll to the curb.
My best friend at the time had a fight-or-flight reaction and risked his life to pull me into the path of the Jeep, himself falling down and being grazed in the process.
I was slammed directly in my left side, then grew giddy as I bounced of the hood, then the windshield, then the roof, which gave me a really beautifully blurred view of the white Christmas lights on the trees. I thought of the 1995 season finale of Law and Order, in which Claire Kincaid, played by Jill Hennessy (a then-famous Cover Girl model), was distracted by her conversation with her boss, Jack McCoy (played by Sam Waterston), and was killed in a driver's side crash. The lights in that episode were just like what I was seeing. How the hell did the producers know how it should look? I thought of asking a childhood acquaintance whose dad worked on the show to tell his dad, then lamented they would never know because I would be dead. I hit the pavement, landing on my back. The tires touched my left hip. I thought having crushed c&b in the middle of 3rd Avenue would be really gross, so I was relieved when the Jeep didn't run over me. I wiggled my toes and figured everything would be a stupid formality, which was true.
My friend stood over me, screaming. His hair looked so thick, he looked so beautiful, and so... bothered... I was thinking of how unfair it was that my birthday was being ruined by ordinary people with their procedures.
I was lying in the middle of 3rd Avenue, staring up at this amazing specimen, only for him to scream hysterically instead of helping me up so we could continue celebrating at the nearest motel.
They would inevitably call an ambulance and blame me for waiting for the speeding Jeep to pass, which indeed happened. Then tragedy struck: the ambulance crew had the unmitigated gall to tell me not to sit up and take off my shirt.
That was a vintage Brooks Brothers navy blue Golden Fleece tennis shirt. I was scarred for life as they cut the shirt, the scissors moving menacingly toward my face, just to remind me that I would be a miserable failure (true, but not because of the shirt).
I had struck my head on the pavement and could not urinate. I stayed on a Foley catheter for a while and walked out of the hospital the next evening.
My only injuries were bruising, a scrape on my right hand, and a hairline fracture, barely perceptible on x-ray, in my lumbar spine.
My mother insisted I have physical therapy. I pointed out that there was nothing to do but wait for my body to heal. I knew she just wanted to play the hysterical mother, worried about her adult son who didn't know how to cross the street by himself. Yup...
When my mother was dying, I was livid that people were upset: I was the person closest to her. If I don't mind, how dare they encroach on my indifference?! I remarked around that time, quite sincerely and incessantly, that people who mourn the dead should be killed: not only for coveting the dead but for pretending they feel sorry for the dead instead of admitting they feel sorry for themselves.
I really enjoyed exposing my crooked family to my former friends they robbed: they fucked up their payment plan and now they and their American friends, to whom they spread around my friends' money, cannot be saved.
I really hope they really, really spread it around, because then there will be mass casualties. If good Russians won't starve Europe, can they at least liquidate New York? It's like blowing up Syria: someone has to do it.
It would really work out well for me: I live in New York and my life sucks, so that way I shouldn't have to keep sleeping and metabolizing and would die knowing that the people I see every miserable day would never make trouble again. I could just die instead of making more decisions.
I always regretted not having killed my parents before I turned 12. Mommy got away scot free, but Daddy and his nearest and dearest fucked themselves.
I actually asked if I could help out with the torture, but no one needs me for anything. I'm always ready to roll up my sleeves to help a friend. If you can't kill your family, how are you supposed to kill strangers?
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2023.06.04 04:01 CornerCornea Wedding Nightmares. Night Wedding.
I'm recently engaged to a beautiful woman named Larissa who makes my head swirl. Looks, personality, and a similar taste in food, I mean she had it all. For my birthday last year I got to drive one of those Lamborghinis across the track, and fire a round out of an Abram tank. A tank round! I'm not much of a gun aficionado, but a tank round!
Which was all the worst, when 3 weeks before the wedding I had to tell my drop dead gorgeous fiancée that I needed to leave for a couple of days.
It's not an easy thing for a bride to swallow: juggling food prep, alterations, cancellations, seating arrangements, two sides of the family, busy bodies, food allergies, one aunt that won't stop calling, and another one that keeps asking if her wearing white to our wedding as she's sort of the matriarch of the family was going to be a problem (side note: we told her multiple times that it was not okay). The list goes on, trust me.
So when my fiancee asked for an explanation. I had to tell her the truth no matter how terrible it sounded. It wouldn't feel right knowing that the precursor to our marriage was a lie.
"Is it kids? Oh God, do you have a little Jimmy running around somewhere? No, Jim. I can't handle this right now."
"Lars, what? No. It's not a kid."
She was peeling and stamping invitations in our tiny 625 square foot apartment. "Well then what is it? I thought we agreed to no bachelor parties. I thought. We agreed that those were for people who were ready for a wedding but not the marriage. I don't care if it's tradition." She stamped the envelop extra hard.
"No, it's nothing like that. Trust me." I shuddered just thinking about it. "It's not any kind of thing I would be doing if I didn't have to."
She glared at me, "But you have to."
The table shook again. "Okay. So spit it out." She handed me a few envelopes. "If it's not a kid. And it's not a bachelor party. Then what is it?" She scoffed, "It's not like you're married right?" Her smile slowly started leaving her face, "Oh my God." She crumpled an envelop against her forehead. "You've got to be kidding me."
"Don't you Larissa me!" She looked me right in the eye, "Tell me I'm not the other woman Jim!"
"Well not technically."
"What does that even mean," she exasperated. "Go on, tell me how it's not technically."
So several years ago I was straight out of college. I could have worked some menial desk job and climbed the corporate ladder. But the idea of never leaving my home town ate me up.
So when an ad for native English speakers to come teach on some remote island presented itself to me. I jumped at the opportunity. Next thing I know I was booking a one way ticket to begin my new life as an expat.
In my head, I thought I was going to land, check into my hotel, enjoy the sights, and come the first Monday walk to the nearest English Cram school and get a job on my good looks alone.
On Monday, the school I went to, the hallways were packed with other Americans, British, Australians, and I think some Canadian was squishing himself into one of the tiny student chairs. All waiting for a job interview.
The next place was like that as well.
So was the next.
By the end of the first week I was beat. Tired and defeated, I thought my luck had run out. So I did what any 20 something would in a brand new city. I hit the bars. I hit them hard.
After the last place kicked me out as they closed I was stumbling around trying to make my way back to the hotel. Grumbling, groggy eyed and trying not to vomit all over the street. When something shiny caught my eye.
It was a silk red purse with gold embroidery tied with a thick yarn. There weren't many people out this late. But everyone who passed by it acted as if it wasn't even there. Like they didn't see it or something.
The bag alone looked like it was worth something. At the time all I was thinking was that, maybe someone would trade a drink for it, as my pockets were empty and all I wanted was for my head to be the same way.
I stumbled as inconspicuously as possible, or as much a drunk guy could finesse and made my way toward the bag. Looking around the entire time, making sure no one was running up claiming that it was theirs, or worse calling me a thief and have me thrown in jail in a different country.
And when no one did, I finally scooped it up and untied it. To my surprise, the bag was filled with money. Bright colorful bills with huge figures even at the current exchange rate. And there was even gold. Some rubies. I took one out and bit into it, almost breaking my tooth.
I couldn't believe how my luck had changed. I flipped through the cash and realized that there was enough to fund my trip for a few extra weeks. AND get me a plane ticket back home. The jewelry even, seemed sizeable.
There I was in one of the lowest, darkest moments. And a pot of gold seemingly dropped out of the sky for me. Thoughts of finding its real owner never even occurred to me.
I was quickly pocketing the thing and planning to high tail it out of there when a frail old man approached me from the shadows. Now I had learned some of the language before hand, but I couldn't understand what he was saying.
He kept smiling though and patting my shoulder, spouting words so quickly that if they weren't already gibberish to me, they would still make no sense in my drunken state.
I fumbled the bag around before juggling it into the crook of my arm, in order to reach my phone to help translate what the hell the old guy was trying to tell me.
The translation caught him mid sentence but all I needed was to hear one word back then and I regurgitated the last couple of hours all over the sidewalk and blacked out.
When I came to, I was back at the hotel with a killer hang over. I was wondering how I made it back when I remembered faintly of the old man helping me. That's when I remembered the pouch and my eyes darted around the room and to my relief, "It wasn't just a dream." The pouch was there, full and plump with a few bills sticking out from the throat.
Next to it was a note, that I would later translate to read about a woman who had turned 18 that year. The numbers 3 and 13 were inscribed as well. Her approximate height, which seemed weird. I mean, why would they go through all this trouble and not just tell me her actual height? Her name, her sign, and her address.
I was completely fucking baffled at all of this information, when I suddenly remembered my phone. I pulled it out and looked up the last thing still on my screen, which was a translation from Google. It read: my future son-in-law. I am so happy you've agreed to marry my daughter. Don't forget to come to the wedding.
No wonder I passed the fuck out.
I shook my head and checked the purse again. Yeah there must have been close to 5 grand in there. Not including the gold, the rubies, or a jade piece I found at the bottom.
Whatever was going on. I had no clue. But I sure as hell wasn't about to get married to some girl I didn't know. Even if I did need the money.
So I used a bit of the cash to get a taxi to the address. When I arrived, the old man saw me from his courtyard. He was smiling and happy, pointing and calling for someone inside the house. A few seconds later a short lively woman appeared. And she was just as happy to see me.
I didn't know what was happening but next thing I do know was they surrounded me in a hug. Happy and joyous, bouncing and wobbling, enough for me to almost hurl again, which I did, except this time I swallowed it.
"Hey, I'm sorry. I don't know what's going on. But the note says something about marriage."
The pair looked at each other and exchanged a series of phrases. "Marriage," the old man finally enunciated.
I nodded. Then shook my head. "No, not marriage."
We went back and forth in a similar manner for awhile before the woman ran off to get someone. When she returned with a young man about 14 or 15, wearing glasses and sporting a bowl cut, he explained to me about the pouch.
"It's a tradition in this area for a ghost dowry. I think that is how you say it."
"A ghost dowry?"
"Yeah. In our area. When a daughter dies really young, especially as an infant. THe parents will start saving money for her ghost dowry. Because we believe that when she turns 18, she'll return and ask to be married off."
"You've got to be kidding me."
"No, it's quite common. Mostly everyone knows about it. Which is why they don't pick up the pouch. Not unless they're really in need of money."
"I'm really in need of cash kid, but I'm not about to get married. I'm especially not getting married to some...girl that passed away." I handed him the money but he wouldn't even touch it. Avoiding it like some kind of plague. I even tried handing it back to the old man but he kept pushing the pouch back at me and shaking his head.
The kid shrugged, "You can't give it back. Those are the rules. Once you've picked it up, you've accepted the dowry and MUST get married."
"Why me," I asked rhetorically.
"She chose you."
"What? Okay. Listen kid. What if I don't get married? Are they going to report me to the cops or sue me?"
"So I can just walk away?"
The kid shrugged again, "You'll be back."
"I'm not sure. But from the stories I've heard. The groom to be always comes back. It might take awhile, but he does. Sometimes it's because he's traditional himself and his family tells him he must do the right thing. Other times he comes back because the girl won't leave him alone."
"Won't leave him alone?"
"Yeah. They say that the bride will come find the man at the hour of her birth, haunting him until he returns and agrees to fulfill his end of the bargain."
I rolled my eyes. "Yeah. Sure. I'm sure that's it kid. Either way. I can't take this money knowing what it's for." I put it on the table. "Please tell him that I wish their family luck in fulfilling their tradition. Also, tell them that I'm sorry for using some of the money for the cab fare. I had no other choice to return what is theirs."
The boy shrugged a third time, "It's yours now. You should take it. What are you going to do? Walk all the way back?"
"That's exactly what I'm going to do."
"It'll be dark by then," he added. "She could come find you."
"I'll be fine. And plus what if she was born in the day time?"
"They only come at the dark time of her birth hour. If she was born in the afternoon. She'll come at midnight," he shouted after me as I left.
I tried not to think about everything that's happened to me this past week as I walked back. But it wasn't a rocks throw by any stretch. Which gave me plenty of time to think. About my maxed out credit cards, the hotel stay winding out by the end of the week, and of course the wedding.
By the time that I got back to the hotel I was a tired, hot mess. I was also hungry and my feet were swollen as they were unused to the tropical heat. But I was sure glad that the showers were already paid up. I took an extra long one before crashing into my bed. Snacking on a candy bar I had brought from back home.
I turned on some tv and tried not to let the impending doom of being kicked out on the streets bother me too much. As a plan began brewing in my head on who I'd call in a few hours when it was morning stateside. A few people still owed me favors back home, which I hoped they would be good for, which I hoped was good enough to get me back home.
Several times I dozed off as the tv buzzed in the background. Each time I woke up staring at the bright red alarm clock blaring its red angry dashes at me. By the third or fourth time my head jerked me awake as it fell to my chest. I looked up to see the time on the clock. It was 3:12. When something clicked in my head and I fished for the note still in my back pocket.
18 this year.
I stopped reading and glanced back up at the clock. The little kids words reaing in my ear. "She comes at her death hour."
I waited, not realizing that I was holding my breath until I felt my lungs start to burn.
In a blink the clock changed and I glanced around as if waiting for something to happen. But nothing happened. My stomach suddenly growled, echoing in the empty room and I laughed, "Maybe I should have just taken the money."
Came a knock from the motel door.
My heart was caught in my chest. The main artery was constricted and wouldn't let go.
I was shaking in my bed, too afraid to move or answer the door.
*dak dak* *dak dak* *dak*
It went on like this a full 4 minutes before it stopped. WHen it had finally stopped I tried getting out of bed, but I couldn't. For a second I was afraid to look down, afraid that her hand would be there holding me in place so that we could elope.
But it was just my hand clenching the bed sheets so tightly that I couldn't budge. I had to use my other hand to pry my own fingers off in order to creep slowly to the door and look into the eyehole.
It felt blurry as I blinked my eye, trying to clear it. Tears had welled at the corners without me realizing it. I wiped them away and slowly, reluctantly bent down and stared into the peephole.
No one was there.
But for the next 3 days. My door would knock. It didn't matter if I was on the bed, or in the bathroom. The closet was the worst as the knocking felt like it was right against my face. It didn't even matter if I ran outside, as no one would be around within eyesight. The knocking would always find me.
On the fourth and last day of my stay. The door knocked right on time.
*dak dak* *dak dak* *dak*
I felt the familiar twinge in my chest and my body was numb all over. But this time I was determined to take a look. And finally catch whoever or whatever it was that was playing this cruel joke on me.
*dak dak* *dak dak* *dak*
I tried gettoung out of bed but I couldn't. I was too scared. Several times I glanced from the clock to the door. Afraid to take my eyes off the door for too long, afraid that she would come through it if I did. Afraid that I would miss her and she would haunt me forever. And as the clock started ticking down. I kept whsipering myself. "She's only here for four minutes. She's only here for four minutes." And it was almost 3:17.
Seconds before the clock changed I jumped out of bed. Determined to end this thing once and for all.
*dak dak* *dak dak* *dak*
I didn't have time to look through the door. Even if I did I was afraid if I saw something there. I'd be too chicken to open the door. So I tore the band aid right off and swung the door open wide.
There was no one there.
But then from my corner cornea, something caught my eyes. A trail of something translucent was dragging away. I tried to take a step after it but my first step out of the door stopped me dead. My foot was drenched wet and it felt sticky beneath my sock. The coldness of it traveled up my spine, and to this day I can only describe it as the feeling of something metal scraping across my vertebrate. By the time I looked up, the wisps were gone. ANd the trail it left behind was already drying.
That night I couldn't sleep a wink. I waited until morning came and took to the streets. Desperate to find the old couple's house. Stopping several times to ask for directions and circling around streets and street signs that I couldn't read until I heard a familiar voice.
"I told you you'd be back."
"Kid," I grabbed him.
"Whoa. You look like you've seen a ghost." His eyes grew wide as he looked me over. "So the stories are true!" He didn't waste any more time. "Come on," he called after me. Leading me down the street and to the old couples courtyard. The pouch was still on the table outside where I had left it days ago.
The kid knocked on the door and shouted until the old man answered. He was still in his sleeping clothes when he saw my face, and his demeanor completely changed. He was so happy to see me. Opening the door wider and ushering us inside.
"Tell him I want it to stop," I told the kid. "Tell him I want her to leave me alone."
The kid translated but the old man shook his head before speaking. The kid looked at me and said, "He says then 'Marry her'."
"I can't do that!"
"Then she'll never leave you alone."
"She just going to keep knocking on my door? Forever?"
The kid turned to the old man and told him in their language what I said. The old man gripped his cane and tapped it once lightly on the ground, almost as if he were proud, before he told the boy who then told me, "She's a kind and gentle soul. He knew she would be. If she's only knocking on your door so far."
"So far? So far? Okay. What? Fuck. So then what? What happens if I marry her?"
The kid asks the old man and after a few words were exchanged he turned to me, "Then you will be wed."
"yeah. I get that. But what does that really mean?"
The kid clicks his tongue, "From what I understand. I think it means you'll have to honor her every month."
"Honor her? How? Like make a sacrifice? A blood sacrifice or something?"
The kid laughed, "No. Just Bai Bai. I don't know how to say it. Pray?".
"Pray to her?"
"Acknowledge her. Talk to her wooden nameplate. It's what serves as a gravestone for our dead."
"So just pray to her once a month, and that's it?"
The kid talks to the old man for awhile before turning back to me. "Yeah. That, and you'll be blessed."
"Yeah. Not sure about that one."
"Okay. Fine. What else. Like what if I want a girlfriend someday. Or get married. Have kids. Can I not do that? Will she haunt me? Haunt them?"
The kid asks the old man before turning to me, "Not if you ask for her permission. In a ghost dowry, you're allowed to have concubines. As long as she is consulted first and agrees."
I shake my head, "This is fucking crazy."
The kid shrugs. I seem to get the feeling he likes to shrug. "It's either that or she keeps haunting you."
I mulled that over in my head. "Shit." I stomped around the courtyard. "Okay. Fine. Fine! What do I need to do?"
The kid looks up at the sky. "We'll have to prepare."
"What? But it's already late. I want to get it over with as soon as possible. I don't want to wait another night of her coming to my door."
The kid smiles, "Don't worry. You won't. This kind of wedding can only happen at night."
For the next several hours I waited. Watched as neighbors and family. Cousins. Came to help. Food was brought in. Large round tables were set outside the courtyard. A tailor came and measured me up, twice. Decorations were strung and the sun began to fall.
When night came, the people who had gathered were tired but pleased with themselves that they had finished. I was asked to change into my wedding clothes and to wait outside the door of the couple's house until called. The lanterns behind me burning and the smell of food wafted in the air.
I waited until the doors finally opened.
Inside I saw the old man and the old woman start constructing something before a traditional wooden shrine at the back of the room.
They started with the legs. Sewn pieces of white cloth. The torso. The arms. And finally the head. When it was put together, the couple slipped on a white dress over the effigy they had constructed. Then the old woman went off through one of the side doors and returned with a box. From inside the box she withdrew a folded blanket. It looked faded but the edges were crisp and completely clean. The old man reach into the box and removed a sickly green thread that seemed to stick to his fingers, from it hung tiny strands of black hair, which he stuck gently to the back of the effigy's head.
The woman threw the blanket over its face, covering it.
Then the old couple turned to me and beckoned me forward. I looked behind me and none of the other guests moved.
Even the kid stood next to the door, unwilling to step inside as I entered.
I walked slowly up, next to the effigy until we stood side by side.
The old woman turned toward the shrine where a wooden plaque stood at the table. On it were three character words that I couldn't read. And she began to speak, the kid behind us translated in suit.
"Dear daughter. Mother is glad that you're finally being wed off. Though Mother will miss you as a girl. I am so glad of the woman that you have become. I am so proud of you. Please, continue to make me proud." She sighed. "When you were born I was so happy. Even if you only lived for a few short minutes. And I am sorry that the fates have been cruel to you. But I am thankful that they at least showed mercy enough to give you a husband. Take care my sweet girl."
"We love you," the father finished.
The old couple hands me a bowl. Inside are small boba looking balls swimming in a clear soup.
The kid behind me, "It's tradition to take a bite, and then feed your bride."
I looked at the old couple and they nodded at me, motioning for me to eat. I dipped my spoon in and took a mouthful. Chewing slowly. And swallowing.
Then they motioned for me to feed her.
I dipped my spoon again. And awkwardly raised it towards her. Slipping it under her veil to where her lips would be. Pretending to feed her.
Now I watched them put this thing together. Besides the creepy hair and the swaddling cloth for a veil. It was nothing more than cloth and stuff. I knew this.
At least that was what I thought until I heard it chew.
I could hear her jaws sticking as they moved up and down. The room was dark but signs of the veil moving completely terrified me. I couldn't even hear the people breathing behind me or the lanterns burning. All I could hear was her chewing.
When she finished. There was silence. Then everyone cheered.
After that, it was like any normal wedding I had attended. The guests poured in and I shook just about everyone's hand. Hugging complete strangers. My new parents. And even the kid.
Then we ate and drank, for almost a week. Someone was sent to get my things from the hotel and I stayed with my in-laws for the remainder of my stay. Which turned out to be several years. Because the following week I was offered as job as an English instructor at a nearby school.
I was told the principal owed the old couple a favor, but something told me that it wasn't the whole story.
I enjoyed my work at the school but didn't stay for long. As I started traveling to film a documentary about the local cuisine after a few of my YouTube videos mysteriously went viral as an expat who tried weird but delicious treats.
Eventually, my in-laws passed away. First it was mom. And four days later dad followed suit. I lived alone in the house for awhile, before I hit the jackpot at the weekly supermarket draw from one of my receipts. That, along with selling the house, was enough for me to go back to America and start a brand new life. Where I opened several shabu shabu restaurants that were met with great success.
"Eventually meeting you during one of my rounds."
My fiancée who had been listening to my story slack jawed the entire time couldn't believe what she was hearing. "Bull-fucking-shit!" She slapped me playfully across the arm. "You are such a good fucking liar!" She laughed. "I've always heard about guys not wanting to help out about the wedding arrangements. But this one takes the fucking cake. I'm going to post this in the group chat tomorrow. Bra-vo."
I laughed with her. "Yeah. That's it. It's just a great story."
"Now finish this up and let's go upstairs," she commanded. We stamped the last envelopes and went to bed. She was still laughing sporadically as I closed the door to our bedroom. "Knock knock," she joked.
I humored her, "Knock knock."
And we watched tv until she fell asleep.
I made sure she was sound asleep, before I gently crawled out of bed and put on my slippers. Softly opening the door and closing it behind me as I walked through the house. Down to the first floor. Then to the basement. Where I pulled the key I kept around my neck and slipped it into the lock.
Inside the basement was bare, except for two chairs and some boxes that I had taken from the old house, and the table, and the small wooden plaque that had my first wife's name inscribed on it in her native language.
"I'm going to get married soon," I told her. "She's a great person. Funny. Beautiful. And devoted. Kind of like you." I held the wood plaque in my hands. "I hope you approve." I waited as if she would answer. But she didn't. Never in all the years we've been married. "I can't go back home to ask for your permission. But I hope that this is enough." I looked at her name, almost longingly. As I had grown quite attached to our time together. "And I hope that this will be the last time we talk as I move on with my life. Thank you so much," I told her as I put her away."
Months flew by, and I never revisited the basement. Knowing full well that I had missed our visiting days. Though I'd often catch myself talking to her on some tough days. But nothing bad happened, by not seeing her plaque. Nothing bad at all.
Soon the wedding day was upon us. And it was a great party, as great as the best there ever was. Great good. Great company. And tons and tons of alcohol.
Larissa and I were giggling at the end of it, drunk as we stumbled upstairs from the venue to the presidential suite. Laughing all the way, kissing, barely able to keep our hands off each other as we got into our room.
My new bride pushed herself off me as we entered the threshold, and sprawled herself on the bed. Her legs rubbing against each other as her eyes invited me to come closer. I propped a knee on the bed to join her.
We both shot our eyes to the door and then at the table side where the clock blared at us an angry red of 3:13.
Larissa looked up at me with a horrified look. I could see her bottom lip quivering.
"Hello," I called out. With my back to the door. "Sam? Bobby?" But no one answered. "Room service?"
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2023.06.04 03:21 TheBookhuntress Book Club Discussion - I'll give you the sun by Jandy Nelson
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I don't know where to start. Maybe by just telling you that I love, LOVE this book. I brought deep dive synopsis if you want to get the general idea of what this is about but you don't have time to read the book.
May's book pick BOOK: I’ll give you the sun by Jandy Nelson PITCH: https://www.reddit.com/GMMTV/comments/13b5l2h/book_club_may_book_pick/ TW:
Sexual assault, character death, mentions of drug abuse, under-age drinking. Characters: Noah Sweetwine:
introvert, is close to his mother, his passion is painting. Twin brother to Jude. Jude Sweetwine:
extrovert, is close to his father, clashes with her mother, is more inclined to sculpting than any other art form. Twin sister to Noah. Brian Connelly:
one year older than Noah, has a scholarship playing baseball, likes to collect meteorites, only comes to the Cove during school breaks. Oscar:
British, photographer and model, has scars on his face, tattoos and heterochromia. Three or four years older than the twins. Dianna Sweetwine:
Jude and Noah’s mom, she writes for an art magazine. Free spirited. Benjamin Sweetwine:
Jude and Noah’s dad, he’s a doctor. Grandma Sweetwine:
Benjamin’s mother. She’s dead. Guillermo García:
sculptor, was once interviewed by Dianna for her magazine. He’s considered a Rockstar among his peers. Zephyr:
bullies Noah in highschool, likes Jude. Fry:
friend of Zephyr’s, also bullies Noah. Heather:
friend of Noah, has a crush on him Sandy:
Jude’s teacher at CSA (California School of the Arts) The Cove:
where Noah and Jude live. CSA:
California School of the Arts, prestigious art school. Noah dreams to attend here.
Plot summary from Super summary: https://www.supersummary.com/ill-give-you-the-sun/summary/ The story opens as Noah is being chased by two older neighborhood boys who regularly bully him. He manages to escape and make his way home. At dinner, Dianna, his mother, announces that she has a message from his dead grandmother, Grandma Sweetwine. She thinks that Noah and his twin sister Jude should apply to California School of the Arts. Noah is thrilled, though Jude and Benjamin, their father, are not. Dianna and Benjamin argue as the twins discuss Grandma’s message in the adjoining room. Noah tries to cheer her up, suggesting that Grandma thought of CSA because of the beautiful sand sculptures of flying women that Jude has been making down at the beach. In preparation for the CSA application, Dianna begins to take the twins to art museums. She announces a drawing contest between the two, but is so awed by Noah’s work, she calls off the contest even before looking at Jude’s art. Jealous of Noah’s talent and the attention it draws from their mother, Jude’s relationship with Noah begins to sour. She stops going to museums and begins to hang out at the beach instead. Noah believes that if Dianna ever saw Jude’s sand sculptures, everything would change; although he has taken pictures of Jude’s sculptures, he does not show them to anyone. Over the summer, Noah begins to visit the CSA campus to watch a live drawing class conducted there. During one of the sessions, the model, Oscar, catches Noah practicing sketches outside the window of the class. Oscar is dismissed later that session for being under the influence and he stops modeling at CSA. When Jude sees Noah’s drawing of Oscar, she is so taken by it, that she trades Noah the sun, stars, trees, and the ocean in exchange for it, as part of a game they have played since childhood in which they divvy up the universe. Noah also meets and befriends Brian, a new boy who has moved in next door. Brian is the star pitcher on his boarding school team and is also deeply interested in science and astronomy. Noah is immediately attracted to him, and the boys begin taking rock collecting walks together. Brian becomes popular with the neighborhood girls, and for the first time in Noah’s life, he is cool by association. Noah blows off Jude when she attempts to reconcile with him and starts spending all his time with Brian and others. Jude is furious at Noah for stealing her friends, and at a party, she manipulates a game of Seven Minutes in Heaven so that she and Brian go into the closet together. A distraught Noah leaves the party and tears up every single sketch he has made of Brian, as well as the one of Oscar which he gave to Jude, before deleting every picture he has taken of Jude’s sand sculptures. One afternoon, Noah makes his way over to Guillermo Garcia’s studio, a famous sculptor whom Oscar once told Noah about. He watches Guillermo and his work from afar, and on his way back, runs into Dianna parked surprisingly close to the studio. Over the next couple of months, Dianna begins to act strangely, always absent-minded and lost in thought. She even forgets Benjamin’s birthday. Dianna and Benjamin eventually tell the twins that Benjamin is moving out for a while. The twins watch Benjamin leave and confide their fears and worries in each other; Jude also assures Noah that nothing happened between her and Brian, and they reconcile. Brian comes back to visit over Christmas break, and Noah goes for a walk with him where they finally kiss. Brian wants to keep their relationship a secret, as he worries it will end his baseball career. He has been harassed for his sexual orientation in the past. However, Dianna walks in on the boys masturbating together one day, and a terrified Brian immediately ends things with Noah. Not wanting Dianna to tell anyone else, Noah follows her out of the house believing that she is going to meet Benjamin. Instead, he sees Dianna meeting and kissing Guillermo. Distraught and heartbroken, when Noah runs into Brian with one of the girls on the way home, he reveals Brian’s secret to her. Back home, Dianna tells Noah that she is going to marry Guillermo; as she leaves, Noah yells at her that he hates her. Dianna’s car veers off a cliff, and she dies in the resulting crash, and a guilt-ridden Noah lies to Benjamin and Jude that Dianna was on her way to reconcile with Benjamin. Noah also visits Guillermo and repeats the same lie, blaming Guillermo for Dianna’s death. Two weeks after Dianna’s death, Noah jumps off Devil’s Drop, a high cliff overlooking the beach and almost drowns. Jude pulls him out and revives him. Upset and furious with her brother for almost abandoning her, Jude does not mail Noah’s CSA application along with hers. Two years later, Jude is a student at CSA; when Noah didn’t get an acceptance, he destroyed all his work and stopped making art completely. Jude was pressured into losing her virginity to an older boy the night Dianna died and believes that this invited bad luck and led to Dianna’s death. Following this, Jude cuts off all her hair and exclusively dresses in drab clothing, in a self-inflicted “boy boycott.” She also obsessively follows the dictates of Grandma Sweetwine’s “Bible,” a handwritten collections of beliefs and superstitions about luck. Jude is regularly visited by Grandma Sweetwine’s ghost; while Dianna does not appear to her, Jude believes that Dianna is responsible for the fact that all of Jude’s clay work at CSA ends up mysteriously shattered. Jude’s mentor, Sandy, tells her that she was accepted at CSA because of the pictures of the sand sculptures that came in with her application. Jude is confused, as she had not sent in any pictures and didn’t even know any existed. Now, however, she is in danger of losing her spot at CSA, because of all the breakage in the kiln. Jude decides to work in stone so that Dianna cannot shatter her art; she plans on creating a sculpture that will impress Dianna and force her to forgive Jude. Sandy directs her to Guillermo but warns her that Guillermo has not mentored or taught in over two years after something tragic happened to him. On her way to meet and convince Guillermo, Jude stops by a church where she runs into Oscar. He seems strangely familiar, but she can’t quite place him. Oscar flirts with Jude and takes pictures of her before leaving. At Guillermo’s studio, Jude encounters a haggard and drunk Guillermo who asks her to go away; upon repeated knocking, Jude is surprised to see Oscar open the door, but he, too, turns her away. On her way home Jude receives a message from one of Noah’s friends that he plans to cliff-dive off Devil’s Drop. Jude hides and waits for him, planning to save him if necessary, but as has been happening recently, when Noah jumps, he miraculously slows down before hitting the water. Noah and Benjamin find Jude looking up Guillermo and his work on the internet, and both seem shaken. Jude later finds that all her bookmarks about Guillermo have been deleted from her laptop. Jude goes to Guillermo’s studio again, watching him work through a window. Guillermo catches her watching him and apprehends her while she tries to run away. He invites Jude in, and seeing her desperation to work in stone, agrees to mentor her. Jude begins to work with Guillermo; before the sculpture of Dianna, however, she realizes that she wants to make one of her and Noah instead. During her time with Guillermo, Jude also grows closer to Oscar. She learns that Guillermo saved Oscar’s life, taking him in and helping him get clean some years ago. Oscar confesses his attraction to Jude; however, the intensity of his own feelings scares him, and he begins to retreat from Jude, going on to kiss another girl. Jude decides to try and make things right with Noah. She Googles Brian and finds that he is now mildly famous for being a high-performing, openly-gay baseball player. Jude emails Brian a link to a message Noah consistently posts on a website called Lost Connections, asking Brian to forgive him and meet him again. Jude also emails her mentor at CSA asking for a meeting with her and Noah; she decides to give up her spot for Noah. Before she can confess the truth to Noah, however, she finds out that he is on the verge of jumping off the highest, most dangerous cliff on the beach. Jude arrives in time and manages to save Noah along with Oscar’s help. A drunk Noah explains whenever he jumps, Dianna always saves him at the end, slowing his fall. Oscar helps Jude get Noah home; he visits her in her room later that night, apologizing for his earlier behavior before kissing her. Jude finally recognizes him as the face in Noah’s painting. However, Oscar catches a glimpse of a family picture on Jude’s dresser, and leaves abruptly when he realizes that Jude is Dianna’s daughter. When Jude shows Guillermo the sketches of Dianna she has made for the sculpture, he comes to the same realization and tells her he cannot mentor her anymore. Noah and Oscar arrive at the studio as well, and the truth about Dianna is revealed. An overwhelmed Jude leaves along with Noah. Noah apologizes to Jude for having lied to her and Benjamin, and the two grieve Dianna together. Jude also confesses to what she did about Noah’s CSA application, and Noah is elated that he was not actually rejected. Noah shows Jude a wall he has been secretly painting at an abandoned construction site; he does not care about art school anymore, having recently rediscovered the magic in art for its own sake. Noah and Jude tell Benjamin the truths about Dianna and CSA, and he forgives them both graciously. They also discover that Guillermo is the one who sent the pictures of Jude’s sand sculptures to CSA. Jude believes that they are all destined to be in each other’s lives and wants to continue working with Guillermo. Noah reaches out to Brian directly, and the two reconcile. The book ends with Benjamin realizing and accepting Noah’s sexuality when he sees the boys holding hands together.
You can also check LitCharts: https://www.litcharts.com/lit/i-ll-give-you-the-sun/summary
Quotes: About the invisible museum (the invisible museum is how Noah envisions the paintings he wants to bring to life, some do and some don’t, but it describes his thought process which I find super cool):
- One of his arms is choked around my neck, the other braced across my torso like a seat belt. He’s bare-chested, straight off the beach, and the heat of him is seeping through my T-shirt. His coconut suntan lotion’s filling my nose, my whole head—the strong smell of the ocean too, like he’s carrying it on his back . . . Zephyr dragging the tide along like a blanket behind him . . . That would be good, that would be it (PORTRAIT: The Boy Who Walked Off with the Sea)—but not now, Noah, so not the time to mind-paint this cretin. I snap back, taste the salt on my lips, remind myself I’m about to die—
- Because I can see people’s souls sometimes when I draw them, I know the following: Mom has a massive sunflower for a soul so big there’s hardly any room in her for organs. Jude and me have one soul between us that we have to share: a tree with its leaves on fire. And Dad has a plate of maggots for his.
- His soul might be a sun. I’ve never met anyone who had the sun for a soul.
- “I paint in my head,” I tell him. “I was the whole time.” I’ve never told anyone I do this, not even Jude, and I have no idea why I’m telling him. I’ve never let anyone into the invisible museum before. “What were you painting?”“You.”
- In my mind, I can draw Brian with lightning.
- I watch him as he razors through the crowd, nodding his head to guys, returning the smiles of girls, like he belongs. How is it he belongs everywhere? (PORTRAIT: The Boy with All the Keys in the World with All the Locks)
- I close my eyes and drown in color, open them and drown in light because billions and billions of buckets of light are being emptied on our heads from above. This is it. This is freaking everything. This is the painting painting itself.
About Jude and Noah:
- I don’t know how this can be but it can : A painting is both exactly the same and entirely different every single time you look at it. That’s the way it is between Jude and me now.
- I remember how Jude gave up the sun and stars and oceans for my drawing of him. I’m going to steal it back from her. I’m going to take everything from her. If she were drowning, I’d hold her head under.
- And most important, I don’t worry when I come home one day and find a note on the kitchen table written by Jude asking Mom to come down to the beach to see a sculpture she’s building out of sand. I don’t worry that I take the note and bury it at the bottom of the garbage can. I don’t worry, not really, even though it makes my stomach hurt to do it, no not my stomach, it makes my soul hurt that I could do it, that I actually did it. I should’ve been worrying. I should’ve been worrying a lot.
- [...]and when he revived, the second I knew he was okay, I slapped him as hard as I could across the face. Because how could he have done this? How could he have chosen to leave me here all alone?
- Noah had stopped breathing. So there were these moments when I was in life without him. For the first time. Not even in the womb were we apart. Terror doesn’t come close to describing it. Fury doesn’t come close. Heartbreak, no. There is no way to describe it. He wasn’t there. He wasn’t with me anymore.
- I took from my brother the thing he wanted most in the world. What kind of person does that?
- That’s when it occurs to me that maybe the rocks are weighing him down so he doesn’t rise into the air . . .
- I try to prick the balloon that’s lifting me into the air by telling myself I shouldn’t be this excited to see a guy I only met a day ago. Even if that guy carries the galaxy around in a bag!
- I’m thinking the reason I’ve been so quiet all these years is only because Brian wasn’t around yet for me to tell everything to.
- I don’t worry that when Brian and I are alone in the woods or up on his roof or in his living room watching baseball (whatever), he puts up an electrical fence between us, and never once do I risk death by brushing against it, but when we’re in public, like at The Spot, the fence vanishes, and we become clumsy magnets, bumping and knocking into each other, grazing hands, arms, legs, shoulders, tapping the other on the back, even occasionally the leg, for no good reason except that it’s like swallowing lightning.
- I don’t worry that when I get back to my seat, it all starts again, but this time our legs find each other immediately and he grabs my hand beneath the armrest and squeezes it and we electrocute and die.
- “I love you,” I say to him, only it comes out, “Hey.”“So damn much,” he says back, only it comes out, “Dude.”
Grandma Sweetwine’s bible:
- “You have to see the miracles for there to be miracles, Jude.” She used to say this a lot. It’s the very first passage she wrote in the bible. I’m not a miracle-seer. The very last passage she wrote in the bible was: A broken heart is an open heart.
- “I will bathe in vinegar, down some raw eggs, and start looking for a wasp nest ASAP to put on my head.”“I do not understand this,”he says. “To reverse the leanings of the heart. Ancient family wisdom.”He laughs. “Ah. Very good. In my family, we just suffer.”
- I went to Grandma’s bible, desperate, but it didn’t matter how many rosehips I put in my tea, how much lapis lazuli I hid under my pillow, I couldn’t get rid of the rage.
- Hot guys should be forced into footie pajamas.
- No woman can resist a man who has tidal waves and earthquakes beneath the skin.
- “When I want to ask you to abandoned buildings or kiss those lips of yours or stare into your otherworldly eyes or imagine what you look like under all those baggy drab clothes you’re always hiding in or ravish you on some grimy floor like I’m desperate to this very minute, I’ll just bugger off on my Hippity Hop. Deal?” He holds out his hand. “Friends. Just friends.” Talk about mixed signals; he’s like a roller coaster that talks.
- I’m filled with something I can only describe as recognition. Not because he looks familiar on the outside this time, but because he feels familiar on the inside.
- I blew it. I did. I should’ve kissed him. One kiss, then I could die. Well, wait, no freaking way, if I’m going to die, I want to do more than kiss. Way way more.
- Because that’s what all this is about. Nothing else. We wish with our hands, that’s what we do as artists.
- Is there something you need in the world that only your two hands can create?
- “It’s okay to be addicted to beauty,” Mom says, all dreamy . “Emerson said ‘Beauty is God’s handwriting.’”
- What slumbers in the heart, slumbers in the stone.
- “If only the heart listen to reason, right?” He puts an arm around me. “C’mon, what is bad for the heart is good for art. The terrible irony of our lives as artists.” Our lives as artists.
- “I don’t think you are okay,”he says. “Sometimes you work the stone, sometimes the stone works you. I think today the rock win.”
PREVIOUS BOOK CLUB DISCUSSION: PS I spook you by SE Harmon.
2023.06.04 02:59 PinkFrogT-T Haunted dolls
When I was around 8 years old I purchased a few dolls from my school gala. I want to say I got 3, I swear I had 3 but when we moved houses and had to clean out and we found the dolls (we hid them after strange things started happening) there were only 2. They were old school ceramic dolls, I'd have to do some research to find any exact details about them.
They came with spare clothes and accessories like hats, socks and shoes. There was a female doll- very pretty with pale skin, fluffy eyelashes, long, curly, blonde hair, blue eyes, red lips and she was wearing a velvety deep blue dress and blue boots. She was also wearing a matching hat, I think they are called bonnet hats, very old school style. The other, I think it was supposed to be a male one, had short brown hair, brown eyes, eyelashes aswell and was wearing a faded brown and green plaid long sleeve collared shirt topped with brown overalls and brown boots.
At home, my dad told me not to actually play with them as they were fragile and made more for display (they also came with a stand each). Despite that, I played some sort of 'house' game with them as kids do. Randomly I got a sore throat and was no longer motivated to play with them so I put them away. The sore throat went away and after awhile I returned to them, only to get another sore throat. We stored them in a cupboard by the front door and barely touched them. (They were eventually moved to the garage)
1). Afterwards my parents would always hear a little girl either screaming or giggling. They thought it was my sister and I but we would either be playing outside, sleeping or quietly playing in our rooms whenever it happened. One time it was around 7-9am and my sister and I had changed the TV to one of the channels that streamed music. We danced in the lounge while my mum was in the kitchen doing dishes. She had placed her coffee on the other side of the bench from her while she washed the dishes but all of a sudden the cup fell over and the coffee went everywhere. My mum turned around ready to tell me off (I was the naughty kid always getting told off lol) but not one was there. She looked around but there was no sign of us, we were still in the lounge singing, dancing and laughing. We told her we hadn't been in there so it wasn't us but the cup was no where near the edge, nor were we dancing hard enough to knock over a cup and there was no wind strong enough to push over a full cup of coffee.
This is in chronological order and from between all these event we would all see dark figures floating or just randomly go by but never in too much detail, just like a blob and I would hear my name being called. Once I heard my dad shout out one of my nicknames from the forest that surrounded our house but my dad was in front of me. There was also 4 small holes in the wall next to a power outlet in my room, perfectly fitting a fork.
2.) My mum saw a little girl in a white dress, very similar to one that I owned at that time. She was home alone and had gotten up from the couch to go to her room and she saw a little girl move from the lounge doorway to down the hall somewhere.
3.) Maybe a few months later, my mum and my sister went down the driveway (we lived out in the country and the driveway was very long) to lock the gate while my dad and I stayed in the lounge. My dad sat on the couch adjacent to the TV as he watched rugby or smth and I sat on a couch that faced the lounge doorway and into the kitchen. After a little while I see, what I thought was my sister, walk into the kitchen turn around and walk back out to the hallway. She had brown hair and wore a deep blue skirt. I was confused as I hadn't seen my mum and sister come back yet but I happily shouted my sisters name "Brianna!" and went to go to her but the figure just disappeared (almost dissolved) in the hallway. My dad look over to me weirdly and said "Brianna's down the driveway?".
4.) Some time after, my mum was just chilling with my sister, minding her own business when she starts feeling a burning sensation on her wrist. She looks down and theres fresh red cuts spelling out "1 7 1". Now there could be a rational explanation to this, maybe she brushed past something sharp but the scratches didn't show up immediately. 1 and 7 is only really made up of lines, so it could be possible that it just coincidentally made the number "1 1 7" but based off the pervious events we believed it was a grave number, maybe the little girls grave number. There is 2 cemeteries outside the house, 1 one on a mountain that can be seen outside my (at the time) room window and 1 that is about a 2 minute drive away. Believe whatever you want here, I just thought I should mention it as it creeped us out.
By now we are convinced there's a little girl haunting our house, we would speak of it like it's just a fact and we just carry on with our lives. Items would randomly disappear, even if u placed smth down then left for 1 minute, it would be gone by the time u go back. We all blamed the ghost and eventually I got mad at as a bag of photos I had went missing after I had left it on my bed while I went to go do smth else for 5 minutes and then came back to it missing. I searched everywhere but gave up and got mad and decided to try my luck at threatening the ghost? My mum had told me u can get a "blessing" on a house and it will get rid of the ghosts so I started saying things like "if u don't return that bag, I'm gonna get a blessing on the house and u will be gone" blah blah. I come back into my room defeated after chanting it down the hall. I look at my bed and there it is, the pink bag containing the photos. The bag I had lost and searched everywhere for for 5 minutes was just sitting in plain sight on my bed.
4.) A few months or so later, I was awake at midnight not able to sleep. My bed was in a place where I could directly see out my door. I was just absent mindedly looking around my room and tryna fall asleep when I see a dark figure on all 4's quickly crawl past my door and into my sisters room. I was horrified and hid under the covers for hours until I fell asleep.
I don't remember anything really happening afterwards. Those events all took place over the span of 1-2 years when I was 8-10.
5.) When I was around 11 or 12, I went to bed one night at around 8 or 9. After getting into bed I realised I had forgotten to push my desk chair in but I couldn't be bothered so I just left it and went on my phone. At around 10 I put my phone down and and tried to sleep but there were weird sounds coming from the corner of my room. I was too tired to check at first but after awhile it became really annoying so I grabbed my phone to use the light and pointed in that corner. It was the corner my chair was in. My chair had spun around. It was now facing me when it was facing the opposite way before. There was absolutely no wind, all the doors and windows shut and everyone else was alseep. I had read online that spirits like to sit in unoccupied chairs at night so I was terrified. From then on, I would always tuck my chair in before bed and I sometimes put a pillow or smth on it.
In the morning I was in the car with my mum, I think she was dropping me off at school maybe? And I told her what had happened that night. She replied saying "That's funny, cause around 2am last night I felt my bed and blanket down by my feet go down as if someone was sitting there".
Later on the day, my mum and sister had gone to the Supermarket or smth and my dad and I were home alone. Around this time we we were planning on subdividing our property so we were started getting set up down the opposite end of the current house. My dad told me to get ready, change to clothes that can get dirty, get gunboots on and my water bottle so we could go do some work down there. My dad was already ready and left while I was still in the house. I finished eating something in the kitchen then went down to my room to grab my drink bottle. As I was just about to turn into my room, my t-shirt gets pulled back as if someone tugged on it and then I get these really cold chills. There was no wind and it was a fairly warm day, nor were there any door knobs for my shirt to get caught on. I panicked and leapt forwards to grab my drink bottle then sprinted put of the house as fast as I could. I slammed the door shut snd ended up filling my drink bottle with the hose outside cause I was too scared to go back in.
When my mum got back I told her about it as she walked from the car to the house. She was spooked and decided it would be funny if we used a ghost app on our phone to see if there was someone there. We opened the ghost app and it picks up "hello" and then the 2nd thing it says was "chair". I was so scared as the my chair had moved by itself that night. My mum and I looked at each other blankly.
After that, not much happened, my sister heard weird things in her room, my friend and I took the ghost app out on a dinghy with us and we paddled out around the river by our house and it said a girl drowned there, I had a dream of this elderly lady warning me that there were 2 little ghost girls across the river (that's where the cemetery is) is coming for my mum and I.
We subdivided our property and moved out to the opposite end. We took the dolls with us but nothing else has happned since. What do you think about it? Are the dolls haunted or is there a little girl attached to that house? I can also get pictures of the dolls since we still own them if anyone would like to see.
submitted by PinkFrogT-T
to Ghoststories [link] [comments]
2023.06.04 02:47 timetravelingdino_37 Here's a list of everything one of my "friends" spoiled for me. spoilers for PJO, HOO, & TOA (so you don't end up like me) [all]
- Luke's betrayal
- Luke's Death
- Bianca's death
- Zoe's death
- Percy giving up immortality for annabeth
- Annabeth taking a knife for percy
- Rachel being an oracle
- Percy and annabeth falling into tartarus
- Leo's "Death"
- Nico being gay
- Nico liking percy
- Jason's Death (when I was reading the DAM lighting theif)
- Nico and will dating
- Jason and piper breaking up
- Percy having a little sister
submitted by timetravelingdino_37
to camphalfblood [link] [comments]
2023.06.03 23:50 Rednidedni A complete breakdown of spellcasters and why they're fantastic
| || | submitted by Rednidedni to Pathfinder2e [link] [comments]
There's been this looming ghost of martial classes and spellcasters being compared to eachother, and the repeated quiet sentiments that the latter are just... sub-par. So, in a vain attempt to end the doubt for at least some people, I've decided to hop right into the ring and lay out in detail how exactly this part of the game has been carefully designed, how the math behind it ticks, what the little quirks and asterisks are, and why spellcasters are ultimately powerhouses and in an overall fantastic spot right now. On Martials
You always need two points to make a comparison, so we've got to talk about martial characters for a moment. Martial characters have some defining features throughout:
- They don't have many abilities, but those are very strong abilities, and they can be used infinitely. Fighter has the classic +2 accuracy, and starts with Attack of Opportunity. Inventor has a cool invention with special unstable abilities and consistent damage boosts.
- They do a lot of damage. Like, a lot lot. Most of their abilities enhance the already high output of Strikes with magical martial weapons, and those that don't (such as Champion's Reaction, Monk's high speed and action economy or Outwit Ranger) offer very strong other benefits.
- Their defenses are superior.
- Getting additional abilities (f.e. Athletics maneuvers, Demoralize, Medic Dedication) for them is pricey in terms of feats, ability boosts, and/or skill increases.
They are specialists at their things - they do a low amount of things really
well, and going beyond that is tied to opportunity costs. That low amount of things also includes one of the most important things in a game like this: Single target damage. They can focus fire to knock out weak targets quickly and very effectively apply themselves to kill enemies, which is how fights are won.
So if martials win fights... what is the point of spellcasters? On Spell effects
Well, what is it spellcasters get? Various degrees of average-to-poor defenses, cantrips, and limited spell slots to cast things with. Let's pick four popular good spells to keep an eye on thoughout this analysis:
- Fireball. Lv3 spell, 6d6 damage in a 20ft burst on a basic save, with an extremely high range.
- Heal. Lv1 spell, 1d8+8 healing at 30ft range or other more niche but occasionally more useful applications.
- Slow. Lv3 spell, slowed 1 at 30ft range. Lasts a minute on failed save, or a round on passed save.
- Air Walk. Lv4 spell, allows you to walk through the air for 5 minutes.
Right off the bat, it can be noted that none of these effects are things martial characters can achieve, or at the very least not at those levels.
- Fireball's 6d6 is quite high by even by the standards of a full turn of single-target ranged martial attacks, and has far more range, area and damage than any analogues like Inventor's Explode. It also covers a HUGE area.
- Heal allows for explosive ranged healing numbers beyond what even a Medic Archetype can do, and it doesn't even need a roll to get there.
- Slow inflicts a significant debuff to the action economy of a foe that can only be approximated with things such as stunning strike, everyone stepping away from a melee foe, or a Trip that wants the foe to stand back up again - while all of those have their own advantages, Slow can do this for a whole minute instead of once, and - again - from range.
- Air Walk gives something that's usually akin to better flight, granting pseudo-melee-immunity and allowing you to basically just ignore terrain without lingering action costs, earlier than a martial character could - even later, outside of a very select few ancestry feats and costly and limited magic items, it's extremely difficult to gain that inferior flight otherwise.
Wow, those are some incredibly
good effects! That could become pretty busted. So what's the catch? On one hand it's limited spell slots, and... On Enemy Saving Throws
Enemies have good saving throws. Saving throws vary a lot between different stats and enemies, but if you're forcing an enemy of equal level (which is likely stronger than the average!) with a perfectly average saving throw ("Moderate" save in Monster Building Guidelines) to save against your spells, they only have between a 35% and 45% chance to fail it, depending on your level (Odds increase at lv19+). Similarly, martial characters enjoy a 55 to 65% chance to hit with their attacks against the average tough foe ("High" AC in Monster Building Guidelines"). That is a... sizeable difference. How come?
A big part of it is: Spells very rarely actually miss. Most do something even on a successful save, where an attack just completely whiffs - in the white room above, the spell has a 15-5% chance of doing nothing, where the attack has 45-35%. And those save effects are often no jokes either - Fireball still does 3d6 (which is comparable to a longbow fighter hitting
), Slow still saps an action. Not big and impressive, but far better than nothing. It really adds up over time.
So much so infact, that the aforementioned fireball - at level 5, where the gap huge at 40% fail chance vs. 75% hit chance - can very nearly match the damage of that longbow fighter in single target damage.
The one thing that fighter is meant to be really good at. That's how strong 6d6 basic save is. Fireball is most certainly not
meant to be a single target spell. Blasting is good
, folks. On Versatility of Defenses
That whiteroom math just now was probably inaccurate.
It helps to give a rough frame of reference, but the world is not made out of High AC and Moderate Saves - it's made out of all kinds of statistics. Here comes another facet of the discussion: Martials can only use a few skill actions to target things other than AC. Almost all of their main prowess - Strikes - goes into specifically AC. Casters get to target three different saves and also still AC if they feel like it. It can go either way for any given defense, but if you know where to aim for, you get an immediate significant boon to your accuracy on basically any given creature. But how can you do that?
Well, here's a bit of an asterisk: Recall Knowledge or guessing based on descriptions. One is unreliable based on how the table runs it (at least until it gets Remastered in november), one is unreliable based on intuition and curveballs. However, I believe most tables run RK in a way that lets you gather some clues here (and the rest should!) - the high mental stats of spellcasters often also give an advantage in using just that. That action can also be beneficial for martials deciding maneuvers, or can be just as beneficial if they take the action and share their findings. Use it!
(And if you're a charisma caster instead, you're in turn uniquely able to lower those saves yourself via Demoralize and Bon Mot!) On Versatility of Effects
But that's not all! Not only do different spells target different defenses, but they also do vastly different things. This right here is the true crux of spellcaster power, the rest is just setup. Remember Martials at the beginning: Specialized in hitting things. Really bloody good at hitting things.
Solid at some other things if built for it. What can casters do?
Fireball blows up groups of foes. Slow partially disables a single foe for a longer time and makes their life suck with some teamwork to waste more actions. Pirouette into Heal next round to retcon the enemy attempt to focus fire with no check, Air Walk after the fight to ignore a stupidly slippery cliff or gain blanket melee near-immunity! And that's just four spells. There are so
many good effects among them that I couldn't possibly list them all. Yeah, your best tools run out fast and you just don't really have anything that matches the raw power of martial strikes - but depending on your spell list you can make damn near anything else. Walls, forced movement, an incredible array of utility magic that I don't have space to detail more in this post beyond saying it's really
helpful, auto-hit magic missiles that outdamage melee fighters against bosses, twenty types of controls and debuffs, a rainbow of damage types for weaknesses, loads of buffs, spells with long durations that you can just cast before facing danger so you get free action buffs,
naturally including many, many ways to make said martials much better at using that great raw power they have. Remember kids, if your +1 made the ranger hit
, that's your
damage! On Incapacitation
Ah, the dreaded spell trait. Good spells, until a certain enemy level is hit, then they fall off a cliff. A rough solution of wanting "Spells should be awesome and be able to annihilate a foe with horrible conditions" and "Spells should not be able to wreck bosses" in the same game. Many are also single-target, meaning they would be the best in fights against single foes... but that's exactly where they're often useless! Why take something like this over something like Slow, that always works?
Because Incapacitation spells have more powerful effects than those other spells. Doesn't work against the lone boss, no, but might well work against the boss who brought their friends to the party. The conditions these spells inflict are truly horrible and can set foes back so badly. Blindness often more than halves a foe's effectiveness. Impending Doom may be delayed, but comes with -4 AC
one round in. Calm Emotions is way up there, taking enemies out the fight like we're playing D&D 5e. Baleful Polymorph actually just a stunlock, Color Spray pretends a Blind and minute-long Dazzle in a cone pretends it's anywhere near putting Frightened 2 on one guy... and remember, if you use top-level slots (as you should), that level limit is not half bad. You can hit APL+0 and on uneven levels even APL+1 foes - you can debilitate foes utterly when they're still just as strong as your entire character combined, or perhaps stronger. In one go.
No crits needed. Try them sometime. On Spell Attacks
So if casters can do anything, what if they pretended to be a Martial? Similarly to how save spells are less accurate, spell attacks are infamous for lacking half damage on miss while still having the reduced accuracy of a spellcaster. They don't even get potency runes! What gives? Short answer, three things:
- These Spell Attacks tend to hit unusually hard, making up for poor accuracy
- Like all spells, they're designed to be situational and only used in paticularly appropiate situations (see above), making up for resource drain
- True Strike
Martials are superior at single target damage, but Casters can spend resources with certain single target spells like most of these to keep up and exceed them briefly with this. Remember - versatility is strength. Copying martials all day is no bueno. But copying martials just a little, for when you could really use another martial specifically right now... that's something that calls for good single target damage, and these might just be what you need. It's not the biggest niche to fill, but it's certainly not one to be completely ignored either!
Here's a graph for one such situation, comparing a few different attacks to a Flurry Longbow Ranger taking (only?) three shots. Target is an equal-level foe with High AC. No Spell Attack Potency runes required!
The numbers are in direct comparison to the Ranger's damage output - so f.e. the basic Hydraulic Push at level 5 does about -20% average damage compared to the ranger, while the true strike'd version is at +20%. Crits and accuracy are accounted for, so are all the various stat and rune increases (including two elemental damage runes for the ranger at 9 and 15!). However, the ranger arguably doesn't need three actions to pull their shots off, unlike True Striked spells - and all spells here are cast at their maximum available level, so they're more expensive than you might want. But Hydraulic Push is also not the hardest hitting attack around (I picked it to keep things smooth from 1-20). Curiously, some of the spell attacks do much better
in comparison against those hard-to-hit higher level foes - True Strike scales better than MAP attacks, it turns out. Is this situationalness worth it, when an AoE spell can dish out much higher raw numbers? How many Rangers do you need in your magic beam for it to be worth it? Ultimately, that's up for you to decide. If you don't like the prospects of only out-martialing the martial slightly and temporarily, you have many
other great options after the first levels - but they're probably no good match for when you need to hit that one guy over there really bloody hard, right now. (Oh, and a Psychic taking True Strike on an Amp blows past all but one of these curves!) Wait, you keep comparing to bows. What about melee?
Well, if spells are largely ranged, it makes sense to compare them to other ranged options, right? If you don't agree, things turn out similarly if we replace things with melee martials, except those martials have less actions to spend on attacking, are in more risky positions, and hit significantly harder with the actions they do have. On Low Levels
All of these things cost spell slots - something that low level casters severely lack. The gap between level 1 and 2 spells is often huge, and where high level casters struggle to earnestly run out of spell slots, low level casters can burn out in just a few combats - early on, even a few turns!
Turns out, cantrips are actually really bloody potent at those. A telekinetic projectile doing 1d6 plus 4 damage isn't impressive, but when the ranged martials don't even get to have damage modifiers, the melee folks have to melee at a level where one lucky crit can be all it takes, and where the martials have no runes yet for superior accuracy... there's suprisingly good utility to that. Especially if you - you guessed it - picked electric arc. Not all cantrips are created equal, and... well, it is what it is, and that is not very well balanced. Healing spells are super good here and Magic Weapon is probably more than a little bit overpowered, and every tradition can access two out of three between these, so casters are definetely able to give impressive contributions even here. Conclusion
Despite the accuracy and limitations, between all of these explanations, there is one core truth to why spellcasting is good: Having just the right spell, at just the right time, is the single most powerful thing you can possibly do in this game.
A fireball doing more raw damage than the fighter will do this entire fight. A Heal coming just in time to save a life, or just a turn of unconciousness, or frying an undead horde. A Slow keeping a boss in perpetual lockdown because they got somewhat unlucky once. An Air Walk that the enemies just... can't respond to. (This is also why the Flexible Spellcaster archetype is actually pretty nifty - you're so much more likely to have just that right spell prepared somewhere.) Keep many tools around and keep your options open. The martials bring home most of the damage to progress those enemy health bars to zero... but when they miss and the enemy crits, when the terrain is screwy, when the dragon has wings and just keeps burning everything down, that's when "I am REALLY good at attacking" shows a distinct lack of plan Bs. Martials do not win fights. Martials progress
fights. This is a team game, and if you don't work together, the dragon wins. Casters are the ones that pull the strings in the back and make sure the fight actually progresses in your favor.
And sometimes the boss Nat 1s against Slow. Then yeah, they definetely just win that fight.
"Okay, I get that spellcasters are useful, but I don't feel useful. They're boring to play!"
Okay, but... how much would you need to feel useful, when you're already being
useful? As in, what should the game give you beyond making you actually be
Taste is highly subjective and you're of course not wrong
for feeling like that. Nothing is for everyone. But is the problem here within the game, or within perspective? Perhaps the best fix here is shifting the perspective a little - how much did I achieve through my martials or protect them from? How would things have turned out if I wasn't there to make life hard for the foes?
And to everyone else, thank your supports! You've got plenty reason to. "Okay, but I don't want versatility. I don't want a bag of tricks, I just want to be really good at blowing stuff up and not deal with all of this!"
That I can entirely get behind. PF2e did a great job at making d20-style do-anything magic balanced and mechanically reasonable, but it indeed is built to discourage preparing only fireballs. Perhaps Psychic being more geared towards this kind of thing will help, or Kineticist can fill that niche as a magic-user who's built on a martial chassis, or maybe we'll even get an Elementalist rework in august that makes that useful. Until then, we can only hope.
2023.06.03 21:27 Metpirate My Ghost vinyl collection so far. Really want to get all the picture discs from over the years.
2023.06.03 21:16 BunsMunchHay Fall Survey Spoilers 2023
Here is my best guess for the Fall Survey spoilers. As I’ve mentioned in past posts, these tend to be about 80%-90% accurate depending on the season. Often my favorite item is removed from a couple of categories so do not sign up based on these. This time the survey text was blurry so I had to guess a few words, and some brands are missing. If you have a better version of the survey or the missing info please drop a comment below and I will update the main text. This season I could only find one survey and also no official spoilers so this is still up in the air.
This is quick and dirty as always, I’ll clean it up as I’m able.
Murad Hydro Dynamic Moisturizer
Living Proof Triple Bond Complex
Throw Blanket in Mauve and Taupe
Alice and Olivia Duffel Bag in black and white stripe or ‘blue floral’. The blue floral looks more like a Mediterranean tile design than floral to me, but it is blurry
Our Place wine glasses (set of 2) in rose or one rose and one tan
Fenty DropLit All Over Glow Enhancer
Spice jars, Set of 2, rosy brown, looks like recycled plastic composite
Timberland Buffalo check plaid scarf
Alice and Ani Emerald Cuff Bracelet
Reebok Smart Jumprope
Glow Recipe Plum Hyaluronic Acid Serum
Pleather Fanny pack in very dark olive green
Youth foria color changing blush. Light green formula in clear bottle with pink top. This had a lot of press last year.
Living proof boar bristle brush (paddle shape, not round)
Free people candle
Fekkai Super Strength mist
Summer Fridays buffer lip balm
KVD liquid liner in black
Over the knee socks
African Botanicals muscle relief gel
Grown Alchemist body polish
Cuccio Hand and body wash in Sandalwood and Sage
Frank Body Coffee scrub
Salt and pepper shakers in pea green and cream composite
Lugobar shower steamers in eucalyptus
Goli vitamins in red bottle (vinegar flavor?)
VERB ghost prep heat protectant
Brass ring box
Luxie makeup brushes, set of three, maybe a highlight and two shadows
Balance Me wonder eye cream
Cover FX enhancer palette
YSL lipstick in very light pink and two summery orangey pinks
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2023.06.03 21:13 newmusicrls Beatport Melodic House and Techno Top 100 June 2023
- Samantha Loveridge, Treetalk – Losing My Religion (Extended Mix) 07:21 122bpm Dm
- Meduza – Friends (Extended Mix) 06:24 125bpm Abm
- Delerium, Sarah McLachlan – Silence feat. Sarah McLachlan (Stereo Express Remix) 07:16 94bpm A
- Anyma (ofc) – Explore Your Future (Extended Version) 05:09 124bpm E
- Future, Swedish House Mafia, Fred again.. – Turn On The Lights again.. (feat. Future) [Anyma Remix] (Extended) 05:01 126bpm Gbm
- Meduza, Poppy Baskcomb – Upside Down (feat. Poppy Baskcomb) (Extended Mix) 06:24 128bpm Bb
- Jimi Jules – My City’s On Fire (Anyma & Cassian Extended Remix) (Original Mix) 05:12 126bpm B
- Chris Avantgarde, Anyma (ofc) – Eternity (Extended Mix) 05:20 125bpm Cm
- Depeche Mode – Ghosts Again (Massano Remix) 06:42 124bpm Gbm
- Delerium, Sarah McLachlan – Silence feat. Sarah McLachlan (Kryder Extended Remix) 06:32 125bpm Am
- Monolink, Stephan Jolk – The Silence (Original Mix) 06:58 124bpm Am
- Adriatique, Eynka – Beyond Us (Hatshepsut Extended Version) 05:23 126bpm Fm
- Supermode – Tell Me Why (MEDUZA Extended Remix) 08:28 126bpm B
- Troels Abrahamsen, Kolsch, ARTBAT – All That Matters (feat. Troels Abrahamsen) (Artbat Remix) 08:49 125bpm Dm
- HunteGame, Hollt – Closure (Original Mix) 05:58 124bpm Fm
- Sevenn, Silver Panda – Deep Space (Extended Mix) 05:47 124bpm Dbm
- Airsand, TuraniQa – 7 Days (Original Mix) 07:00 125bpm A
- Argy, Goom Gum – Pantheon (Extended Mix) 06:22 120bpm D
- Khainz – The Drift (Original Mix) 05:44 124bpm E
- Jerome Isma-Ae, Weekend Heroes – In The Dark (Extended Mix) 06:05 123bpm D
- Agents Of Time – Zodiac (Original Mix) 07:14 126bpm Bbm
- Adriatique, Marino Canal – Desire (Original Mix) 04:54 120bpm Abm
- Elderbrook – I Need You (Adriatique Extended Remix) 05:52 125bpm Am
- Stereo Express – Rise Of The 2nd Sun (Original Mix) 07:06 124bpm C
- CamelPhat, Josh Gigante – Your Mind (Original Mix) 05:54 127bpm D
- Rebuke – Glow (Original Mix) 05:31 127bpm D
- Nora En Pure – Prophets of Hope (Extended Mix) 06:10 125bpm Fm
- Fideles, CamelPhat, Be No Rain – Night After Night (CamelPhat Remix) 06:58 124bpm A
- Tinlicker – All That I Lost (Extended Version) 06:13 124bpm Gm
- CamelPhat, Anyma (ofc) – The Sign (Extended Mix) 06:27 122bpm G
- Azzecca – Mantra (Extended Mix) 07:19 127bpm Fm
- Vintage Culture, Franky Wah – Alive (Extended Mix) 06:45 123bpm Dm
- Fatum, biskuwi – Descending (Original Mix) 05:10 123bpm A
- Victor Garde – Aylyak (Extended Mix) 06:20 124bpm D
- Adam Port, Monolink – Point Of No Return (Extended Mix) 06:34 122bpm Am
- Kevin de Vries – Dance With Me (Original Mix) 06:31 124bpm Gb
- Woo York – Samum (8Kays Remix) 06:27 91bpm D
- Miss Monique – Rebirth (Extended Mix) 06:54 125bpm B
- Awen, Caiiro – Your Voice (Adam Port Remix) 07:14 122bpm Gbm
- Joplyn – Speak To Me (Original Mix) 06:42 125bpm Bm
- &ME, Rampa, Adam Port, Keinemusik, Cubicolor – Before The Flood (feat. Cubicolor) (Ankhoï Remix) 07:25 121bpm Gm
- Dosem, My Friend – Blue Marble (Extended Mix) 05:41 125bpm F
- Made By Pete, Zoe Kypri – Horizon Red (Original Mix) 07:07 122bpm G
- Eli & Fur, Meduza – Pegasus (Extended Mix) 06:06 125bpm Cm
- Eelke Kleijn – Transmission (Joris Voorn Extended Remix) 06:10 124bpm D
- Emanuel Satie, Tim Engelhardt, Maga, Sean Doron – All The Time (Original Mix) 06:14 123bpm Dm
- Lunar Plane – Waiting (Original Mix) 06:55 123bpm Dbm
- Ae:ther – Merlino (Original Mix) 06:49 127bpm Bm
- Anyma (ofc) – The Answer (Extended Version) 06:27 125bpm Gm
- Azzecca – Other Side (Extended) 06:46 125bpm E
- Tiesto – Lay Low (Argy Remix) (Extended Mix) 05:18 122bpm Db
- Grigoré – Strange World (Original Mix) 06:42 124bpm Bm
- Adam Ten, Yamagucci – The Girl Next Door (Original Mix) 05:48 124bpm F
- Goom Gum – Chant (Original Mix) 07:20 122bpm A
- Guy Gerber – Leave It On (Original Mix) 06:21 122bpm C
- Th;en – Shine (Extended Mix) 07:01 123bpm Fm
- Andhim, Carlita – Nation (Extended Mix) 06:07 124bpm Fm
- Rauschhaus, Peer Kusiv – King Kong (Original Mix) 06:58 124bpm Gbm
- Chris Avantgarde, Anyma (ofc) – Consciousness (Extended) 05:48 126bpm Gm
- Jonas Saalbach, Korolova, SBSTN – Traces (Original Mix) 05:52 124bpm D
- Skatman – Oldskool (Original Mix) 05:47 123bpm Am
- Nora En Pure – Wholehearted (Extended Mix) 05:42 93bpm Abm
- Fur Coat, Lexer – Far Away (Original Mix) 06:08 125bpm C
- Eric Prydz, Chris Avantgarde, Anyma (ofc) – Consciousness (Eric Prydz Extended Remix) 07:58 95bpm G
- Skatman – I Used To (Hiphop Rewarp) 05:30 124bpm Ebm
- Vintage Culture, Coach Harrison – Hear You Calling (Extended Mix) 06:05 125bpm Db
- Argy, ARTBAT, Zafrir – Tibet (Original Mix) 06:43 124bpm E
- BONDI – Stay Runaway (Ivory Rework) 06:21 122bpm D
- RÜFÜS DU SOL – On My Knees (Cassian Remix) 06:35 122bpm Fm
- Dosem, My Friend – Door To Door (Extended Mix) 05:13 135bpm E
- CamelPhat, Josh Gigante – Lost in a Moment (Original Mix) 05:47 124bpm Dbm
- Lehar – Let People Know (Original Mix) 06:38 125bpm A
- Adam Ten, Yamagucci – The K Dance (Original Mix) 05:34 124bpm Fm
- Made By Pete, Zoe Kypri – Horizon Red (Black Coffee Remix) 09:25 120bpm G
- Marsh – Little Darling (Joris Voorn Remix) 06:13 126bpm Abm
- Monolink – Return to Oz (ARTBAT Remix) 08:00 124bpm Dm
- Guy Gerber – What To Do (&ME Remix) 08:24 122bpm Cm
- Stereo Express – Reboot (Original Mix) 06:58 123bpm C
- Magnus, Angel Sanchez, Space Motion – Moonlight feat. MAGNUS (Original Mix) 06:46 123bpm C
- Township Rebellion, Victor Pilava – Bohemia (Original Mix) 06:37 122bpm G
- Einmusik, Solee – Mariposa (Original Mix) 07:17 124bpm Bbm
- Fur Coat, Lexer – Celestial Realm (Original Mix) 07:14 124bpm Gbm
- M.A.N.D.Y., Booka Shade – Body Language (Patrice Bäumel Remix) 08:23 126bpm Gbm
- Massano – The Feeling (2022 Remaster) 06:08 124bpm Em
- Miss Monique – Concorde (Original Version) 06:52 124bpm G
- Tube & Berger, Blake Light – Data Compromised (Extended Mix) 04:28 125bpm D
- Olivier Giacomotto – The Unknown (Original Mix) 06:52 123bpm C
- Royksopp, Alison Goldfrapp – Impossible (feat. Alison Goldfrapp) (&ME Remix) 09:15 121bpm Fm
- Quivver – The Dark Side of Pleasure (Original Mix) 07:12 124bpm Gm
- Dee Montero – Freedom (Original Mix) 06:46 123bpm D
- Bedouin – Tijuana (Original Mix) 04:32 120bpm E
- Silver Panda – Soul Connection (Original Mix) 05:30 124bpm B
- Solee – Our Lives (Original Mix) 06:35 124bpm F
- Faithless, Maceo Plex – Insomnia 2021 (Epic Mix) 07:45 126bpm A
- Lampe – Joy (Original Mix) 05:49 127bpm G
- Buraki – C4 (Original Mix) 06:12 126bpm Em
- Toto Chiavetta – Random Tools Generator (Denis Horvat Remix) 06:48 123bpm F
- RÜFÜS DU SOL – Make It Happen (Dom Dolla Remix) 06:04 128bpm Am
- Aera – Bliss Point (Original Mix) 05:34 120bpm Bbm
- Thodoris Triantafillou – The Sun the Stars (Original Mix) 06:38 123bpm Gb
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2023.06.03 21:06 Trash_Tia Camp Redwood are running out of counselors! These children ARE NOT CHILDREN. Update: our counsellors are not who they say they are.
Welcome to Camp Redwood! The feel-good camp for ALL AGES.
We toast marshmallows around the fire, tell spooky ghost stories, and hide in random secret military bunkers under the campgrounds! Because SOMETHING IS HERE WITH US.
Camp Redwood is the PERFECT PLACE for a summer getaway where we start EVERY DAY with a CAMP REDWOOD SMILE. Where our counselors disappear every five minutes, and our campers disembowel us for funsies! Did I forget to mention our littles aren’t actually eight years old, but fully grown adults?
We hope you enjoy your fucking stay!
We are also not responsible for any counselors revealing they are not who they said they are—and not who they appear to be.
So. There’s a LOT to tell you and not a lot of time to tell it.
Right now, I suppose you could say we are under lockdown—if that is the word. I want to go over the last several days to get you up to date. That’s all I can do right now. I can hope and pray the thing with Teddy’s voice does not get in here, and once again cry out for help—that I know is not coming. Not from the authorities, at least. But hey, if any of you fancy coming to rescue us, we’re in the middle of the Canadian wilderness. The closest rest-stop is maybe three fucking hours away. So have fun. Has it really almost been a week since I posted? Well, we’re still here!
And surprise, surprise, help is not coming. So, please excuse the salt. I am seventeen years old and I have been abandoned by the adults who were supposed to be looking after us.
Who were supposed to act under protocol if something like this happened. I know they were waiting for it—there are specific fucking guidelines on an emergency evacuation for counselors if this ever happened. But then the little shits took over before we could do anything. I guess I’ll start by letting you know that there are two of us left. (three, if we count Rowan, but I’m not). What I thought was going to be a quiet summer getaway with kids my age has turned into a nightmare.
For one, we have been cornered inside the head counselor’s underground secret bunker. If you want to know why she has a secret military bunker, I guess you should keep reading.
Because shit gets weirder than animal crackers having the power to turn adults into kids, and vice versa. When I made my first post, I thought that was it for us. I thought for sure there must have been a self-destruct somewhere—which meant whoever was running this camp was waiting for something like this. I was sure we were going to die, so after making the post, I have to admit with ya’ll—I just slept. I curled up, tried to ignore Harry and Carmel calling our names through childish laugher, and went to sleep with the thought in my head that I was completely at peace with what I had done with my life.
Sure, I was young. Seventeen years old is too young to be ripped apart by littles who are in fact grown adults. But as I was falling into slumber and allowing myself to fall, with my head resting in my lap, my head turned towards a separate pile of files on the other side of the room—I realized I really wanted to know how this was possible. There was so much I needed to know. Why did eight-year-old Eleanor Summers have a file where here birthday dated back to 1979? Why had supposedly innocent sugary snacks turned our adorable littles into mini psychopaths?
These kids were not kids, somehow. But how? How was that even possible? Could it be that the files were wrong?
1979 was definitely 45.
But Eleanor Summers couldn’t be 45 years old. I knew what 45 looked like. I knew that they thought like. They spent half of their time on Facebook laughing at outdated memes, and the other half… I don’t know, working? They have job’s! They’re happily married with kids, maybe soon grandkids! That was not Eleanor Summers. Because Eleanor Summers was most definitely eight years old. I had played several rounds of teddy-bears picnic, and spent hours reassuring her that Harry's ghost stories were in fact not real, enough times for me to know that this little kid was little—and a kid.
But something was bothering me. More than the secret military bunker, and magic age-regressing animal crackers. When I first signed up to Camp Redwood, one of the tag-lines to gain attraction had been, “Solve mysteries in the woods in the dead of night, with nothing but a flashlight and your fellow campers!” I had no idea I would be solving this thing on my own, trapped inside a bunker.
“What are you doing?” Rowan, who was still looking through Allison’s dinosaur laptop, turned to me with half lidded eyes, when I slowly got to my feet, careful not to make too much noise, and crept over to the pile of separate files which seemed to be crumbling apart from age. He kept his voice low, but it sounded almost like a whine. He could have been scared, but from the way he was sitting, cross-legged with a frowny face, I figured something must have been going on with him. The guy looked tired. More tired than normal.
The bags under his eyes were practically shadowing his face, and were an odd contrast to unusually ashy colored cheeks and slightly dilated eyes. Still though, Rowan refused to look vulnerable. I caught glimpse of Harry’s raybans sitting on his head, pinning back thick dark brown curls from falling in front of sleepy eyes. Maybe he was finally losing his cool and breaking out of the well-constructed façade he had been hiding behind since Teddy disappeared.
We had just narrowly escaped a crowd of psycho littles high on age-regressing sugary snacks who were doing who-the-fuck knows to the other counselors who had been captured, so I didn’t blame him looking like that. I guess he couldn’t look me in the eye, because in Rowan’s mind, he was the reason why this happened. He was the leader, and the camp had fallen to psychopathic little eight year olds who had taken half of the counselors hostage, and the other half—most likely taken apart in the physical sense, after what we had witnessed in Cassie’s cabin. Still though, it wasn’t Rowan’s fault. He could sit there and pull a face all he wanted, it’s not like I was going to blow up at him for getting us stuck down here. He actually saved us.
And trapped us, judging from the footsteps upstairs, Carmel and Harry still bouncing around looking for us.
It was a game in their heads. The little’s thought it was cat and mouse. Harry and Carmel were the oblivious cats prowling, while we were the mice, hoping to fucking GOD we weren’t caught and eaten. Ignoring Rowan, I glimpsed what looked like a box full of DVD’S—all of which were labelled with dates and names. I saw familiar ones, my heart racing into my throat. Phoebe. Eli. Cassandra.
Each DVD had one of the kid’s names scribbled on the front, as well as a date.
I found Eleanor’s right at the back of the box.
Before I could hesitate and think what I was doing, I slid the DVD into the portable player attached to the MacBook. Rowan, to my surprise, didn’t move. But he did make an acknowledging noise when the screen flickered to what looked like video footage. Peering at the screen, I found myself staring at a small white room. There was no door. Only a wooden desk and a chair, and sitting on it was a middle aged woman with dark blonde curls tied into a strict ponytail. She was wearing what looked like a prison jumpsuit.
Her eyes were eerily glued to the camera, unblinking. Her wrists were cuffed in front of her. Though from the look on her face, she saw the restraints as a game. Her eyes lit up with intrigue and I could practically see the cogs in her mind starting to turn as she struggled with them.
As soon as I saw this woman, I felt all of my nerve endings set alight. I wanted to turn the screen off, or look away. But once I was looking at the screen, I couldn’t bring myself to tear my eyes away. “Let’s try this again.” There was a woman offscreen. She sounded young. Too young to be in that kind of authority. I figured there was no way teenagers were being hired as special ops agents, but I guessed I was wrong. She cleared her throat. “It is 4:35 exactly. August 5th 2021. My name is Agent Lemrac,” she stated. “I am asking once again for you to comply with us. As I have said several times, the court are willing to lessen your sentence if you plead guilty with insanity.”
The woman surprised me with a snorting laugh. She seemed to come alive, leaning forward with animated features, her brow reaching her hairline. She was acting like a child, bouncing up and down in the seat, her lips stretching into a wider grin. “What did you just say?”
There was a pause. I could tell the woman was intentionally antagonising the interviewer.
“It means you have been legally declared insane,” the interviewer stumbled over her words slightly. “Mrs Summers, it would be in your best interest to work with us to lessen your current sentence which at the moment is standing at,” the sounds of shuffling paper crackled through the speakers. The interviewer cleared her throat again rustling paper. “Thirty six years. Without parole.”
The woman didn’t speak, only continued to smile—and the interviewer delved further into the sentence. “If you do in fact plead guilty with declared insanity, you will be sentenced to a program which is in the process of supporting and rehabilitating people with your…” she caught herself for a moment. I could tell this interviewer had a biased opinion and it was definitely showing through her interviewing style. I could hear the rapid intakes of her breath as she hurried through what seemed to be a script she was reading from. “Conditions.” She finished. “The Redwood program aims to help people exactly like you.”
Redwood? I thought.
Like… Camp Redwood?
Rowan whistled behind me. I guess I could call that a reaction. The guy was probably still in shock after seeing Café de Teddy splattered all over little Cassie’s cabin floor. I should have fucking know those little bitches weren’t playing Operation for eight hours straight. Turning my attention from Rowan and back to the screen, the woman in the jumpsuit appeared to have changed tactics. Her expression twisted into nonchalance. She leaned back in her chair. “I am not pleading insane because I am not insane.”
The woman cut her off. “I am not crazy.” She raised her hands “I am doing what needs to be done.” She leaned forward. “Humanity suffers in the skin. We age and die— and how is that fair? What if we want to see the next millennium? And the next two millennia after that? Why should our bodies dictate our lifespan? Why should we sit here and wait to rot and wither and die when we have the intelligence and mindset to do it? If nobody else is willing to throw ethics aside to take a step forwards in human evolution, I should do it myself.” She folded her arms across her chest, again, like a child. “I did what was to be done.”
“Dr. Summers.” The interviewer’s tone grew stiff. “You and your colleagues conducted illegal and unethical procedures on your family and friends—as well as four other victims.”
The woman inclined her head. “You have a daughter, am I correct? I have a son.”
“A child you killed, Dr Summers.” The interviewer retorted in a hiss which was definitely expressing emotion. She ignored the mention of her daughter, but I could tell it had rattled her to her core. Her voice had cracked. This case was close to her.
That was obvious. Without seeing the interviewer herself, I could sense how uncomfortable she was, shuffling in the chair. Every so often I would hear the sound of her rubbing her hands on her knees and tapping her shoe against the chair leg. She oozed anxiety, not just from her tone of voice, but the way the frame seemed to move with her. “Dr. Summers, you used your son in your research, along with several of his friends. This was not science.” Her voice shook. I heard her sharp inhale. Unprofessional, but very human. Instead of staying stoic and keeping to script, this agent was cracking apart. “It was murder.”
“Agent Lemrac, concentrate on the interview only.” An official voice crackled through what sounded like an intercom on screen.
“Got it.” She spoke through her teeth.
The woman was finding wounds and pressing on them. She was scanning the interviewer for vulnerabilities and preying on every insecurity. She leaned back speaking through a sigh. “Without my son’s sacrifice we wouldn’t have created an answer to death. To growing old and dying, and leaving loved ones behind.” Her voice softened into a murmur, but I didn’t trust it.
After identifying the shattering pieces of this interviewer which were very clear visible in her view, the woman was taking advantage.
“Agent Lemrac, you have a daughter. Am I correct in saying her name is Mari?
“That… that is not relevant.”
“Glioblastoma.” Dr. Summers lips curved into a sickening smile hidden behind mocking sympathy. “A sickness of the brain--which, unfortunately, I cannot fix. If your daughter’s brain was in my hands, I would try. However, not even a brand new body would help her. One which would never age or grow sick. And for that, I am deeply, deeply sorry.” She reached her cuffed hands forwards. “My condolences, Agent Lemrac. Honestly. I have to hand it to you. You are incredibly brave for coming here today and talking to me while abandoning your sick child.” She shook her head.
“Your daughter is dying of an incurable illness, suffering inside fragile skin which will break and fall apart and be unable to keep her standing for much longer. While my son will live on forever. He will see every millennia, a planet which will crumble and build itself back together. And maybe the end of the universe itself.” There was a twitch in her expression and a glitter in her eye I did not recognise. Insanity.
She was fucking insane. I was seeing the pure of it, the depraved and disgusting gleam in eyes empty of remorse and regret. This woman did not care what she had done. I could tell from the look on her face. If she had the chance, she would do this again.
But there was no way they were trying to say her cruelty and complete disregard for her son’s life was due to insanity.
“You are sick, Dr. Summers.” The interviewer said after a moment of gathering herself.
The woman shook her head with a chuckle. “I told you. I am not sick--”
“Sick in the head!” The interviewer’s voice exploded through the speakers in a shriek—a terrified cry she had been trying to hold in. I finally saw her—or at least the back of her. She was a young woman with light blonde hair falling loose on her shoulders. She was trembling. Slamming her hands down on the table, she screamed at the orange jumpsuit woman.
“You are psychologically fucked in the head! You psycho bitch! That is my sister!” She spoke through strangled sobs rattling her whole body. “Mari is my little sister. She is not my child.”
Her breaths were strangled and harboured. I noticed figures looming in the background, but she was continuing. “You killed your own fucking son,” she spat. “You are not legally insane, you are sick!” she shrieked. “You planned and put this together! You sit there and you talk about your son like he’s a… like he’s a tool! You deserve to rot. Do you hear me?” I noticed the orange jumpsuit woman was still smiling, satisfied with the interview’s reaction. Her words were spoken in a vicious poison as she leaned forward and spat directly in orange jumpsuit’s face.
“Agent Lemrac!” Whoever her superiors were—were panicking. “I told you not to turn it off. I knew this was going to happen. Can we stop the demonstration, please? Human emotions present inside an Aceville soldier are too powerful—"
Voices were murmuring in the background, and Agent Lemrac raised her hands. “I want to stop.” She choked out, her hands trembling. She spoke like she still had control over the situation and wasn’t being apprehended. “I want to stop. Do you hear me?” The interviewer was crying, I realized. “Stop the recording! I can’t do this. Oh god, I think I’m going to be sick—”
When the footage ended in a burst of static, I found myself backing away, something slimy creeping its way up my throat.
The woman in the orange jumpsuit who had murdered her son and countless others in what sounded like an attempt at playing god, was Eleanor Summers. I thought back to Teddy’s corpse, and the surgical precision of every organ’s removal. The young interviewer had mentioned colleagues of Eleanor.
Was it possible that Camp Redwood was in fact nothing more than a rehabilitation camp for murderous criminals? There was a loud bang from above, and I was torn from my thoughts.
I turned to Rowan, who had been unusually quiet. And I realized why, when I twisted around to find him three inches from my face, his laboured breath tickling my cheek.
The boy jumped back with a chuckle—like me noticing him was some kind of game, before diving back into the chair. I did notice something odd, as my thoughts spiralled. Rowan couldn’t sit still. Slumped in the leather spinning chair, he fingers tapped a rhythm on the armrests while his feet jumped up and down. In the dim light of the bunker, I glimpsed a sheen of sweat glistening on his forehead and the flesh of his neck. He looked to be… feverish—and now that I was looking at him properly, all of my attention on the boy, I noticed small things which seemed… off about him.
For one, he wasn’t coming up with a plan. Rowan always had a plan. Even if he wasn’t completely sure of it, or was completely winging it. This time though, he was strangely quiet. I found my voice when he stuck out his tongue at me. “What are you looking at?”
“Rowan.” I spoke softly, careful not to garner attention from above us where Harry and Carmel were still clamouring around, playing games. “Are you… feeling okay?” I asked, when he turned back to the laptop, manically biting his fingernails.
“I dunnnooooo, Josie! Am I feeeeeeling okaaaaaayyyyy?” He surprised me with an uncharacteristic laugh.
But I did know it.
I knew it from earlier when he reacted to Allison’s bunker and I had been too freaked out to realize that I was dragging along the enemy with me.
Because the fucking idiot had consumed animal crackers. I had seen him for myself earlier, pouring a pack into his mouth for a snack. Which meant either the ‘kids’ had intentionally dosed him with mind altering sugary snacks, or the more likely, he could not resist those preservatives which was the equivalent of caffeine. It’s not like I could blame him when he harboured the weight of an entire camp, but come on, did he really have to sacrifice his own fucking mind to keep himself awake?
Rowan wasn’t just biting. His nails. He was gnawing. Which he previously thought was a filthy habit. He had yelled at a camper for chewing on her nails a few days earlier.
Now that I was noticing it, I couldn’t… stop noticing it. The boy’s whole demeanour had changed; the way he was sinking into the chair, instead of sitting up straight like usual—- I used to call it having a stick up his ass. The boy started typing on the laptop, ignoring me. But when I watched the pattern of his fingers, he was just typing gibberish. Footsteps pounded above us, Harry and Carmel acting as the kid’s’ brainwashed foot-soldiers. Or, more likely somehow, if the animal crackers had caused the littles, or I guess, the fully grown forty year old criminals, to relapse in age-- then maybe it was possible for the same thing to happen to us. To Rowan.
I could feel myself starting to back away, but there was nowhere to run. I just slammed into a cupboard. My gaze flicked to Rowan again, who was tapping a beat on the laptop tracking pad, swaying back and forth, his eyes elsewhere before his gaze found mine. “Marcoooooo!” Harry shouted from above, giggling with Carmel.
I had to guess their mental age had to be at least 8-10 years old. Which meant I wasn’t just dealing with a camp full of forty-year-old psycho’s, I was also dealing with mentally relapsed counselors acting like toddlers.
Rowan seemed to jolt in the chair, twisting his head around, his eyes suddenly incredibly childlike and playful, and very Un-Rowan, were finding the ceiling, his mouth stretching into a smile, like he was seeing butterflies. His eyes flashed to me, and I caught a twitch in his lip. I knew that look. It was the look on my seven year old sister, who knew mom was mad at me, and wanted to make it even worse.
His cheeks were starting to blossom scarlet from what must have been the overwhelming urge to laugh. Rowan pressed his lips together and held in a breath like a hamster, and the asshole was fucking with me. Waiting for me to beat him to it by accident. Kids were fucking ruthless, but there was something terrifying about an 18 year old with a little kid’s mind.
I lifted my index to my lips, miming for him not to even try, but the boy just mimicked me, bugging out his eyes and pressing his finger to his grinning mouth. “Don’t you fucking dare.” I managed to whisper. The boy was definitely playing his own game, moving in twitching movements, baiting me. When he cupped his mouth, I almost let out a cry, but then he dropped his arms with a giggle, as if to say, “I’m just kidding!”
Slowly, I turned around, grabbed the salt I’d found in Allison’s cupboard, and a flat can of soda. Without making too much movement, I poured a handful of salt into the can. But Rowan seemed to know exactly what I was doing. Because in the time it was taking me to advance towards him with the can of salty soda, one arm shakily ready to grab hold of him, and put him into a headlock, he was cupping his mouth, all logic and everything adult, everything he had been as our leader, igniting in playful eyes, leaving me the last one standing.
By the time Rowan had managed to reveal our hiding place in a spluttered laugh, I had hold of the squirming boy, one arm wrapped around his neck, my other forcing the can of soda into his mouth. I had definitely miscalculated his strength. During camp Redwood activities, he was always the last one to come back from the trail, holding his knees and panting. I figured he was unfit. However, I was wrong. Underneath his shirt, the guy had some serious muscles.
It was like attacking a brick wall. However, Rowan was mentally a kid. So, I had my intelligence and logic on my side. When it became obvious I wasn’t going to get anywhere with brute strength, I resorted to tickling him, which made him squirm, squeaking out a laugh. When he opened his mouth to yell at me to stop, I took my chance, thrusting the can into his lips and holding his nose so he swallowed it down.
“No!” His laughter turned into muffled yelling, as he batted his fists at my chest. “No, no, no! Get off, get off!”
His body convulsed as the salt did its job, causing the boy to lurch to his knees and choke up forbidden animal crackers in a gooish sludge which turned my stomach. By the time Rowan seemed half himself and half not, still kneeling, his head pressed against the floor, Harry was poking his head through the door with a goonish grin. “Found you!” He giggled, before forcing the door open, allowing Carmel and Callen, freshly caught and mentally turned into littles, to advance down the stairs with equally terrifying grins. There was something wrong with Harry’s face, and I only realized it when the guy himself was hauling me from the bunker, Carmel dragging a barely responsive Rowan. There was nothing in Harry’s expression, only blind childish excitement at winning the game. When he dragged me out of Allison’s cabin and threw me to the ground, I realized he too had insane strength I had not been expecting. But that thought quickly retracted when I was seeing his face in the light of a crescent moon lighting up the sky an eerie glow. Harry’s cheeks were puffy and swollen, his right eye way bigger than it should have been.
When he spoke, his voice was more of a lisp. This was something far more realistic than magical animal crackers fucking with his brain.
“He needs help!” I managed to choke out when Carmel wrapped jump-rope around my wrists. Next to me, Rowan was refusing to get up, still choking up salty soda, groaning into his hands. Every time Callen tried to restrain him, he hissed out like an animal.
“Do you hear me?!” I struggled violently. “Harry needs—”
Is what it felt like. The feeling of something—what felt and sounded like a toy car—colliding with my temples, sent me onto the ground, my head spinning itself off of its axis. I remember lying on my back and frowning at the moon which almost looked like it was getting closer to me, blurring into a white ball of light—before reality sunk in, and it was in fact Carmel’s converse coming down to finish me off. I didn’t stay knocked out for long. But I did dream.
I think you can call it a dream? I was lying in bed at home; my room drowned in the dark. I was cosy, curled up in my blankets, when a clammy hand slammed over my mouth, rousing me from slumber. There were two figures in my room. They didn’t have faces. They just existed as shadows, silhouettes. Before one of them raised something above their head, and… impact.
It was the same impact as the toy car hitting me, snapping me back to that night. It wasn’t a dream. Because I remembered his clammy fingers over my mouth, and his hisses for me to shut up as he dragged me from my room.
My parents stood in front of me with expressions of sympathy. Basked in warm light, my mom and dad looked almost otherworldly. “For the best.” Was what they mouthed when my own phantom screams slammed into me. I asked them why, and they didn’t reply, allowing him to pull me further and further from what I knew, from my life as I knew it. But.. that couldn’t be real. I had memories of getting on the bus to camp Redwood. I could recall the whole journey. So, why… why was my tangled mind saying otherwise?
When I gathered myself, the first thing I realized was I was sitting down. I was outside, cool night air grazing my bare arms. There was something attached to me, jerking violently, And it took me several disorientating blinks to understand that I was tied back to back with Rowan. My head pounded, and something wet and warm dripped down my temple. Great. I could add head injury to the long list of things to worry about.
“Let me go you little fucking witch.”
Rowan was back to himself, though from the muffled hissing and the sound of choking—I had to guess he was being force-fed animal crackers.
“Let me—mpphmmm. little…. fucking… mphmmphhmhppmm!”
“Rowan.” I managed to get out in a croak. Through flickering eyes, I caught glimpse of a familiar figure dancing around us. Shivers rocketed down my spine, and I wrenched at the jump-rope restraints, but they did a surprisingly job of restraining my arms behind my back.
Eleanor was with Rowan, while Eli was knelt in front of me. Looking at him, the boy had definitely aged in the face—and I couldn’t help wondering what exactly he had done as a forty something year old to be sent to this place.
“Josie!” Rowan responded in a wail. “Josie. Wake the FUCK up.”
Eleanor spoke with the cold tone of her actual age.
“Oh, yeah?” Rowan spluttered. “Fuck you.” The boy’s laugh was still rough from almost vomiting his insides out from too much salt intake. “I’m sorry, you were a fucking boomer all along?!” He wriggled in the restraints, lunging forwards, which sent me backwards.
“Stop swearing, Rowan.” Was all the girl responded with calmly.
“Like I’m going to listen to you!” He sneered. “Fuck, fuck, fuckity, fucking fuck!” What are you going to do, huh? Bite me with your false teeth?” The sound of saliva hitting skin made me wince. He was pissed. I had no doubt his completely rational anger was going to get us killed. Rowan was also somehow getting mixed up between forty and eighty. Though he was unwillingly snacking on mind bending sugary goodness.
“Fudge, Rowan.” Eleanor spoke in a giggle.
“Say fudge. Not fuck.”
His hiss of pain caught me off guard. I don’t know what she was doing to him, but it was hurting him.
“You fudging fudge! I’m going to fudging kill you when I get out of these fudging ropes—“ his manic cursing became a muffled yell.
“Say fudge,” Eleanor hummed, followed by his hiss when the palm of her hand skinned his cheek. “Fuck is a bad word. You even said so yourself and you’re my favourite counselor.”
He heaved out a breath.
“You fudge,” Rowan spat. “When I get out of this, I am going to fudging kill you, you fudging—” His manic ranting morphed, once again, into muffled yelling, after another fistful of animal crackers were forced into his mouth. When I risked twisting around, I could see his rebellion slowly starting to simmer out as he relaxed slightly. I wanted to yell at him to keep a clear head before cold fingers were dipping under my chin and forcing my head around where I found myself face to face with Eli.
“I like you, Josie,” he said, before untying me and pulling me to my feet. Now at the age of nine or ten, he was a lot stronger. When I tried to pull away, the cruel blade of a knife grazed my gut. I caught his grin. “But we don’t need you.” Eli pointed to Rowan.
“We just want them.”
I followed his pointer finger which went from Rowan to Harry and Carmel, who were just standing there like fucking idiots, probably awaiting the next game. Harry’s face was getting redder. It looked like he was suffocating, and yet his grin was growing wider and wider, splitting his lips apart. “Rowan Atlas.” Eleanor said, dragging him to his feet. Something was stapled to his forehead head, which caused him to howl in pain, hissing another strangled line of “Fudge”. but I couldn’t read what it was.
“Camp leader. Intelligent, and problem solving skills.”
“Harry Carlisle.” Eli nodded his head with a smile. “Quick thinker. Strong minded.”
“Carmel Locke.” Cassie spoke behind me. She had her arms folded, a wry smile on her lips. “Smarter than she makes out—- an independent learner, and can work well under pressure.”
Looking at these kids, I felt sick to my stomach. They were planning something—and had the intelligence of renowned scientists, which was what I gathered from the footage on the MacBook. “What?” was all I could hiss out, as Eli prodded the blade of the knife into my back, ushering me to walk. “What are you talking about?”
“Duh.” He spoke in a more tweeny giggle. “Like I said, Miss Josie. You’re my favorite counselor but we don’t need you, so I’m going to use you for parts.” He laughed when a shiver spiderwebbed down my spine. “See! I told you I was going to show you my collection!”
“But… what do you need them for?”
Eli pressed his index finger to his lips with a laugh before forcing me to face forwards. “That’s a secret!”
When I didn’t, or couldn’t move, he shoved me into a stumbling power-walk, and I managed to turn my head quickly, making feverish eye contact with Rowan.
“Rowan.” I said calmly through the gutter in my throat. “Get…. Get help.”
If I was going to die, I needed him to get a hold of himself and somehow alert the outside world what was going on.
“From whom, Josie?!” He wailed back—and as I was dragged away, I could once again sense the childish undertones in his voice.
I had no choice but to obey Eli’s orders. If I didn’t want a knife in my back. He took me to the main lunch cabin, which, when I set foot inside, almost sent me to my knees.
Something lurched inside me, and I was screaming with no voice, staggering backwards, only to be shoved onto my face. In front of me was what had been the lunch hall, fully converted into the beginning of a laboratory.
What had been cafeteria tables were fashioned into makeshift gurney’s and beds, and I was looking at all of the missing counselors. Yuri and Noah had been skinned completely, their faces laid out on a makeshift surgical table. Joey had been ripped open, his heart and brain removed, a glittering metallic substance creeping its way across his forehead. It was then when I remembered Eleanor Summers words.
She wanted to prevent death and preserve the human mind. Looking at what was in front of me, this was the start of it. There was equipment I had never seen before. Lily’s body was empty, carved out completely, tubes forced inside her. When I glimpsed her fingers move and begin to ball into a fist, I saw red. I saw fucking red. The exit was so close and yet Eli, fucking Eli, wielded his knife. I think that is when part of me gave up. My brain just stopped. It short circuited. Seeing my friends murdered and yet somehow being kept alive through playing god, my body slumped to the ground. I was numb. Completely numb.
I’m not sure what would have happened if those bloody saws and instruments which had been used on my friends were used on me too.
Luckily, that did not happen. Before Eli could get his slimy hands on me, he crumpled to the ground in an almost cartoon-like fashion, and standing over me was Harry. Who was looking better. When he grasped hold of me and helped me up, I only had one word. “Out.” And he was nodding, his eyes glistening as he drunk in our friends’ fate.
“How?” I managed to sputter out, when we made it out of the cabin, ducking behind a tree. Harry turned to me, motioning for me to shut up. There was a group of now ten to eleven year olds already running around, searching for what I guessed was him.
“I’m allergic to peanut butter,” Harry murmured, his grasp tightening on my wrist as he led me across the camp, the two of us stumbling.
“What, and you just magically healed?”
He didn’t respond to that, which bothered me.
“The bunker is our best shot,” I hissed out. “I think we can get in contact with someone down there.” I paused, unable to stop myself. “What makes you so important?”
“Dunno. Maybe I’m their favorite.”
When we found Allison’s cabin, which was more of a safehouse (an exposed safehouse) I found Rowan sitting on the wooden porch with his legs swinging over the side. “Rowan!” Harry groaned. I found it hard to believe their roles had been switched. Now he was the one yelling at the camp-leader. “I told you to stay inside!”
He ushered the boy inside, before barricading the door with some hefty looking equipment. I could tell from the grin on his face that our so-called leader was once again no longer himself.
I had to bite back a groan. “You’re kidding.” I said, pointing to Rowan, who buried his head in his knees and blew a raspberry. “Does he look and act like our leader right now?!”
“It’s Rowan, Josie.”
“He’s a liability.”
“He’s our friend! Wouldn’t Rowan do the same?”
Yes, he would. But. He would also realize we’re lost causes.
“Gag him with something.” I said. “If he makes any more noise, we’re dumping him.”
“He’s a kid!”
“Just the mind of one.”
I don’t know how animal crackers worked, but his age seemed to be progressively younger. This time he just sat with wide eyes watching us.
Harry almost tore apart the place looking for means of communication, before an old fashioned ringing sound made me jump.
“What was that?” Harry turned to me with his lip curled.
“How am I supposed to know?!” I hissed. “Keep looking!” But when I ducked under the table, my hands crawled under the desk, finding a wire—and attached to that, an ancient looking phone which looked straight out of a 1940’s movie, a bright green rotary phone.
Hesitantly, I answered it, lifting the phone to my ear. “Hello?”
“Did you awaken the subjects, Agent Salta?"
The voice on the other end was a woman, an oldish sounding woman with the tinge of a British accent.
“What?” I shot a look at Harry before shaking my head. “No. My name is Josie Greenfield. We’re at Camp Redwood, and we need help.”
The woman paused.
“Where is Agent Salta?” She cleared her throat. “This line is reserved for communication with agents only.”
“I don’t know who the fuck you’re talking about!" I squeaked out. “My name is Josie, and whatever is happening here, we need help!”
“Josie. Did you awaken the subjects?”
I paused after a moment, shooting Harry a look when he tried to take the phone off of me. “Yes.”
“And… are our agents unavailable?”
“I don’t understand.”
“When a health and safety breach is activated, our agents are awakened to deal with the Project Spearhead subjects if they were to ever go rogue, or become conscious enough to think. Josie, can you tell me what is in front of you? Describe it to me.”
I held my breath. Next to the hidden phone under the desk was what looked like mismatched wires, all of which had been severed. I lowered myself slowly, poking at mess. “Wires. I see… cut up wires.” I whispered. “Does this mean they know about you?”
She hummed. “Ah…That makes sense. The only way to activate our sleeper handlers would be to send out the signal. You appear to have been sabotaged. Unless activated manually, our agents cannot help you. I am sorry. They are your problem now.” The woman paused.
“If I were you, I would hope and pray they have not sabotaged the self-destruct. If you find that, then you may be able to save yourselves and find peace.” She cleared her throat. “Thank you for your service, Josie Greenfield.”
“Wait.” I managed to get out. “Wait, no! You can’t just… you can’t leave us! We need help!”
I found myself yelling at nothing when the phone went dead. The dull tone of the dead ringtone was clanging in my ears before footsteps from up above. “Fuck this.” Harry picked up a lead pipe. “They’re still little kids, right? I mean, their head must still be partly kids—- so let’s fucking beat their heads in.”
He noticed something, then, starting forwards towards the mess of files I had left earlier. Harry knelt on the ground and picked up Eli’s file, his eyes wide. But he wasn’t staring at the dates confirming the little boy’s age.
Instead, Harry pointed at the bottom of the file. “I don’t want to freak you out, Josie,” he whispered. Initially, I didn’t know what he was trying to show before I glimpsed notes scrawled at the bottom of the file, followed by a signature. “But I’m pretty sure that is my fucking writing.”
Harry was right.
I pulled the paperwork off of him, flicking through each file before turning my eyes to him. “Who the fuck are you?”
A clanging sound from above broke the tension, and whatever Harry was about to reply with was strangled in his throat. He slammed a hand over his mouth.
The voice twisted me up inside, threatening to release a shriek from my mouth I had managed to clamp shut.
“Are you down here?” His voice was strained, and had an odd tone to it. “I can’t… I can’t see you.”
Can someone please tell me what the fuck is going on?! It’s been a blur of a week. We’ve managed to stay down here, surviving off of Allison’s rations. Rowan isn’t getting any better. He seems to have stopped mentally de-ageing at the age of maybe six. Harry has spent the last few days trying to get in contact with anyone, but it’s like they are IGNORING US.
I’ve been looking through everything I can find on Project Spearhead, but nothing points to Harry being involved. So. How is his signature all over the files? How is it possible that two friends I thought I knew several days ago, are now complete strangers?
Teddy keeps coming back.
He’s crying out to us.
I think he’s… in pain.
My god, I can’t stand this anymore. Please. CAMP REDWOOD NEEDS HELP.
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2023.06.03 20:59 M_Tootles What's In The Names? Maester "Tothmure" and Pretty "Pia"
Maester "Tothmure" is a maester at Harrenhal who is punished for doing what duty compelled him to do, and Pretty "Pia" is a servant at Harrenhal, a "slut" later raped and degraded, with broken teeth. They're linked in a paragraph as fellow victims of brutal punishment:
Once she even overheard Maester Tothmure's serving girl confiding to her brother about some message that said Joffrey was a bastard and not the rightful king at all. "Lord Tywin told him to burn the letter and never speak such filth again," the girl whispered. (ACOK Arya VII)
Pretty Pia from the buttery was a slut who was working her way through every knight in the castle. (ACOK Arya VII)
Do the ravens remember Maester Tothmure? Arya wondered. Are they sad for him? When they quork at him, do they wonder why he doesn't answer? Perhaps the dead could speak to them in some secret tongue the living could not hear.
Tothmure had been sent to the axe for dispatching birds to Casterly Rock and King's Landing the night Harrenhal had fallen, Lucan the armorer for making weapons for the Lannisters, Goodwife Harra for telling Lady Whent's household to serve them, the steward for giving Lord Tywin the keys to the treasure vault. The cook was spared (some said because he'd made the weasel soup), but stocks were hammered together for pretty Pia and the other women who'd shared their favors with Lannister soldiers. Stripped and shaved, they were left in the middle ward beside the bear pit, free for the use of any man who wanted them.
Three Frey men-at-arms were using them that morning as Arya went to the well. She tried not to look, but she could hear the men laughing. (ACOK Arya X)
Of Lady Whent's people, only three remained—the cook who had opened the postern gate for Ser Gregor, a bent-back armorer called Ben Blackthumb, and a girl named Pia, who was not near as pretty as she had been when Jaime saw her last. Someone had broken her nose and knocked out half her teeth. (AFFC Jaime III)
But the Pia they had brought up from the dungeons was a different creature from the sweet, simple, giggly creature who'd crawled beneath his blankets. She had made the mistake of speaking when Ser Gregor wanted quiet, so the Mountain had smashed her teeth to splinters with a mailed fist and broken her pretty little nose as well. (AFFC Jaime III)
Note that Pia sometimes sees things that might not be there:
"There's ghosts, I know there is." Hot Pie was kneading bread, his arms floured up to his elbows. "Pia saw something in the buttery last night."
Arya made a rude noise. Pia was always seeing things in the buttery. Usually they were men. "Can I have a tart?" she asked. (ACOK Arya IX)
She not only loses her teeth, but is threatened with the loss of her feet:
"Wake up Pia and tell her she'd best be nimble for once, if she wants to keep both of her feet." (ACOK Arya IX)
She has a whiff of holiness about her, and despite her new 'flaws', is still pretty:
Pia listened as solemnly as a girl of five being lessoned by her septa. That's all she is, a little girl in a woman's body, scarred and scared. Peck was taken with her, though. Jaime suspected that the boy had never known a woman, and Pia was still pretty enough, so long as she kept her mouth closed. (AFFC Jaime IV)
Finally, she clutches a bundle of clothing "to her breasts":
Pia clutched the clothing to her breasts. (AFFC Jaime IV) So what?
So, I was wondering about the name Tothmure. I think it likely has two referents. (Like so so many names — and other things — in ASOIAF,
First, it may reference Alex Toth. Toth is in the comic book industry's Jack Kirby Hall of Fame. He drew for DC Comics from 1947 to 1952, then worked for Dell. He continued to periodically work in comics over the years, writing a Batman story in 1974, but mostly working on non-superhero titles. But he's better known for his work for Hanna-Barbera, where he created Space Ghost and Sealab 2020. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_Toth
While I think GRRM may have been happy to nod to Toth, I think he did while drawing on something else while naming (and characterizing) Maester Toth
mure and his partner in punishement, Pia
: the story of [Laszlo Toth and Michelangelo's Pietà
], a sculpture of the Virgin Mary holding Jesus's dead body:
Toth achieved worldwide notoriety when he vandalised Michelangelo's Pietà statue on 21 May 1972. He was not charged with a criminal offence after the incident, but was hospitalized in Italy for two years. On his release, he was immediately deported to Australia. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laszlo_Toth)
Note that Toth was a geologist and, prior to the incident, a prolific letter writer:
After graduating in geology, in 1965 he moved to Australia. As his English was poor and his geology diploma was not recognized, he initially worked at a soap factory. In June 1971 he moved to Rome, Italy, knowing no Italian, intending to become recognized as Christ. He sent letters to Pope Paul VI and unsuccessfully attempted to meet him.
Maesters like Tothmure are the scientists and letter-writers of ASOIAF,
and Tothmure was punished for a crime involving letterwriting.
Laszlo Toth's crime was to use a geologist's hammer (used to break rocks, presumably) to chip away at a statute of the Virgin Mary (the anti-"slut", so to speak) holding the body of Jesus. (See: "Pia" the "slut" who gets her teeth and nose broken by "the Mountain" and who later appears pious clutching the bundle to her breast.)
On 21 May 1972, at 33 years of age (Jesus's traditional age at death), on the Feast of Pentecost, Toth, wielding a geologist's hammer and shouting, "I am Jesus Christ—risen from the dead", attacked Michelangelo's Pietà statue in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City. With fifteen blows he removed Mary's arm at the elbow [recall the threat to cut off Pia's feet!!!], knocked off a chunk of her nose [recall Pia's broken nose!!!], and chipped one of her eyelids [recall Pia's broken — i.e. badly chipped? — teeth!!!]. He was subdued by bystanders, including American sculptor Bob Cassilly, who struck Toth several times before pulling him away from the Pietà. In view of his apparent mental instability, Toth was never charged with the crime. On 29 January 1973, he was committed to an Italian psychiatric hospital. He was released on 9 February 1975 and immediately deported back to Australia, where authorities did not detain him.
It's not just that the statue is physically damaged like Pia, it's also that the statue that was damaged a la Pia is one of Mary holding the body of Jesus, who was tortured and degraded, like Pia.
Regarding Toth's mental illness, see Pia seeing things that aren't there in the buttery.
Regarding Toth being punished for doing what it was evidently determined he felt inexorably compelled to do (and later de facto exiled), see Tothmure sending off the letters that saw him executed because duty compelled him.
Regarding Toth (who breaks Pieta's face) shouting that he's "risen from the dead", see the Mountain (who breaks Pia's face) apparently being raised from the dead by a "Necromancer" and remaining pointedly silent.
(For more on the Pieta statue: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piet%C3%A0_(Michelangelo).
Interestingly (in view of the potential Tothmure-Alex Toth connection), the Toth/Pieta incident apparently inspired a comic book:
Comic book artist Steve Ditko used Toth's actions as the central metaphor in his 1992 examination of issues concerning creation and destruction, Lazlo's Hammer (corrected to "Laszlo's Hammer" in subsequent reprints and revisions). Anyway, that's it. Just wanted to point out the likely origins of the names and stories of Tothmure and Pia.
I continue to believe that ASOIAF is riddled with — to the point that it practically consists largely of — references of this kind to real world culture, in keeping with the Mark Twain line which I believe is one of GRRM's guiding touchstones in crafting ASOIAF:
History never repeats itself, but the Kaleidoscopic combinations of the pictured present often seem to be constructed out of the broken fragments of antique legends. I mostly talk about that quote as guiding the internal recursion/'rhyming' within ASOIAF, per which storylines quasi-repeat and characters experience rejiggered versions of the same things over and over, and per which the fake history books are not world-building so much as bags of breadcrumbs retroactively designed such that they can be seen as seemingly providing the "broken fragments" out of which the "present" of ASOIAF-proper is kaleidoscopically formed, per the Twain quote.
But I also think that ASOIAF is, to a far more significant degree than I suspect some may be comfortable with, a project of breaking apart and kaelidoscopically recombining the broken fragments of real world cultural artifacts and history.
Who knows how much more shit like the Toth/Pieta incident in 'contained' in ASOIAF.
PS: On a totally different note, this line made me lol:
Jaime thought back on the head he'd given to Pia. (AFFC Jaime IV) Good boy Jaime. I guess Cersei taught him well.
submitted by M_Tootles
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2023.06.03 19:25 weluvmusic Beatport Top 100 Melodic House & Techno June 2023
Artist: VA Title: Beatport Top 100 Melodic House & Techno May 2023 Genre: Melodic House & Techno Release Date: 2023-06-02 Quality: FLAC
Tracklist: 1. Samantha Loveridge, Treetalk – Losing My Religion (Extended Mix) (7:21) 2. Meduza – Friends (Extended Mix) (6:24) 3. Anyma (ofc) – Explore Your Future (Extended Version) (5:09) 4. Delerium, Sarah McLachlan – Silence feat. Sarah McLachlan (Stereo Express Remix) (7:16) 5. Future, Swedish House Mafia, Fred again.. – Turn On The Lights again.. (feat. Future) [Anyma Remix] (Extended) (5:01) 6. Jimi Jules – My City’s On Fire (Anyma & Cassian Extended Remix) (Original Mix) (5:12) 7. Chris Avantgarde, Anyma (ofc) – Eternity (Extended Mix) (5:20) 8. Meduza, Poppy Baskcomb – Upside Down (feat. Poppy Baskcomb) (Extended Mix) (6:24) 9. Depeche Mode – Ghosts Again (Massano Remix) (6:42) 10. Delerium, Sarah McLachlan – Silence (Kryder Extended Remix) (6:31) 11. Monolink, Stephan Jolk – The Silence (Extended) (6:57) 12. Adriatique, Eynka – Beyond Us (Hatshepsut Extended Version) (5:23) 13. Supermode – Tell Me Why (MEDUZA Extended Remix) (8:28) 14. Adriatique, Marino Canal – Desire (Original Mix) (4:54) 15. HunteGame, Hollt – Closure (Original Mix) (5:58) 16. Khainz – The Drift (Original Mix) (5:44) 17. Kölsch, Troels Abrahamsen – All That Matters (ARTBAT Remix) (8:49) 18. Airsand, TuraniQa – 7 Days (Original Mix) (7:00) 19. biskuwi, Fatum – Descending (Original Mix) (5:10) 20. Sevenn, Silver Panda – Deep Space (Extended Mix) (5:47) 21. Argy, Goom Gum – Pantheon (Extended Mix) (6:22) 22. Agents of Time – Zodiac (Original Mix) (5:42) 23. Jerome Isma-Ae, Weekend Heroes – In The Dark (Extended Mix) (6:05) 24. Victor Garde – Aylyak (Extended Mix) (6:20) 25. Stereo Express – Rise Of The 2nd Sun (Original Mix) (7:05) 26. Elderbrook – I Need You (Adriatique Extended Remix) (5:52) 27. Rebuke – Glow (Original Mix) (5:31) 28. CamelPhat, Josh Gigante – Your Mind (Original Mix) (5:54) 29. Nora En Pure – Prophets of Hope (Extended Mix) (6:10) 30. Tinlicker – All That I Lost (Extended Version) (6:13) 31. CamelPhat, Anyma (ofc) – The Sign (Extended Mix) (6:27) 32. Adam Port, Monolink – Point Of No Return (Extended Mix) (6:34) 33. Awen, Caiiro – Your Voice (Adam Port Remix) (7:14) 34. Lunar Plane – Waiting (Original Mix) (6:55) 35. Azzecca – Mantra (Extended Mix) (7:19) 36. Miss Monique – Rebirth (Extended Mix) (6:54) 37. Fideles, CamelPhat, Be No Rain – Night After Night (CamelPhat Remix) (6:58) 38. Vintage Culture, Franky Wah – Alive (Extended Mix) (6:45) 39. Kevin de Vries – Dance With Me (Original Mix) (6:31) 40. Emanuel Satie, Maga, Sean Doron, Tim Engelhardt – All The Time (Original Mix) (6:13) 41. &ME, Rampa, Adam Port, Keinemusik, Cubicolor – Before The Flood (feat. Cubicolor) (Ankhoï Remix) (7:25) 42. Woo York – Samum (8Kays Remix) (6:27) 43. Azzecca – Other Side (Extended) (6:46) 44. MEDUZA, Eli & Fur – Pegasus (Extended Mix) (6:06) 45. Made By Pete, Zoe Kypri – Horizon Red (Original Mix) (7:07) 46. Eelke Kleijn – Transmission (Joris Voorn Extended Remix) (6:09) 47. Joplyn – Speak To Me (Original Mix) (6:42) 48. Tiesto – Lay Low (Argy Remix) (Extended Mix) (5:18) 49. Korolova, Jonas Saalbach, Sbstn – Traces (Original Mix) (5:52) 50. Dosem, My Friend – Blue Marble (Extended Mix) (5:41) 51. Aether – Merlino (Original Mix) (6:49) 52. Bondi, Charlotte Colace – Stay Runaway (Ivory Rework) (6:20) 53. Anyma (ofc) – The Answer (Extended Version) (6:27) 54. Goom Gum – Chant (Original Mix) (7:20) 55. Vintage Culture, Coach Harrison – Hear You Calling (Extended Mix) (6:05) 56. Artbat, Argy, Zafrir – Tibet (Original Mix) (6:43) 57. Adam Ten, Yamagucci – The Girl Next Door (Original Mix) (5:48) 58. Grigoré – Strange World (Original Mix) (6:42) 59. RÜFÜS DU SOL – On My Knees (Cassian Remix) (5:48) 60. Chris Avantgarde, Anyma (ofc) – Consciousness (Extended) (5:48) 61. Eric Prydz, Chris Avantgarde, Anyma (ofc) – Consciousness (Eric Prydz Extended Remix) (7:58) 62. th;en – Shine (Extended Mix) (7:01) 63. Miss Monique – Concorde (Original Version) (6:52) 64. Fur Coat, Lexer – Far Away (Original Mix) (6:08) 65. Peer Kusiv, Rauschhaus – King Kong (Original Mix) (6:58) 66. Skatman – Oldskool (Original Mix) (5:31) 67. Einmusik, Solee – Mariposa (Original Mix) (7:17) 68. Solee – Our Lives (Original Mix) (6:35) 69. Massano – The Feeling (2022 Remaster) (6:08) 70. Skatman – I Used To (Hiphop Rewarp) (5:30) 71. Guy Gerber – What To Do (&ME Remix) (8:24) 72. Royksopp, Alison Goldfrapp – Impossible (feat. Alison Goldfrapp) (&ME Remix) (9:15) 73. Dosem, My Friend – Door To Door (Extended Mix) (5:13) 74. Olivier Giacomotto – The Unknown (Original Mix) (6:51) 75. Buraki – C4 (Original Mix) (6:12) 76. CamelPhat, Josh Gigante – Lost in a Moment (Original Mix) (5:47) 77. Monolink – Return to Oz (ARTBAT Remix) (8:00) 78. Carlita, Andhim – Nation (Extended Mix) (6:07) 79. Township Rebellion, Victor Pilava – Bohemia (Original Mix) (6:37) 80. Guy Gerber – Leave It On (Original Mix) (6:21) 81. Nora En Pure – Wholehearted (Extended Mix) (5:42) 82. Magnus, Angel Sanchez, Space Motion – Moonlight feat. MAGNUS (Original Mix) (6:46) 83. Silver Panda – Soul Connection (Original Mix) (5:30) 84. RÜFÜS DU SOL – Make It Happen (Dom Dolla Remix) (6:04) 85. Marsh – Little Darling (Joris Voorn Remix) (6:13) 86. M.A.N.D.Y., Booka Shade – Body Language (Patrice Bäumel Remix) (8:23) 87. Lehár – Let People Know (Original Mix) (6:38) 88. Stereo Express – Reboot (Original Mix) (6:58) 89. Made By Pete, Zoe Kypri – Horizon Red (Black Coffee Remix) (9:25) 90. Red Axes – Relax Shiva (Instrumental) (6:13) 91. Fur Coat, Lexer – Celestial Realm (Original Mix) (7:14) 92. Maxi Vega, Emiliano Demarco – Sombras (Original Mix) (6:30) 93. Blake Light, Tube & Berger – Data Compromised (Extended Mix) (4:28) 94. Adam Ten, Yamagucci – The K Dance (Original Mix) (5:34) 95. Quivver – The Dark Side of Pleasure (Original Mix) (7:12) 96. Maceo Plex, Faithless – Insomnia 2021 (Epic Mix) (7:45) 97. RÜFÜS DU SOL – On My Knees (Adriatique Remix) (7:32) 98. Lunar Plane, Sezer Uysal – Je Danse (Original Mix) (6:37) 99. Bedouin – Tijuana (Original Mix) (4:32) 100. Thodoris Triantafillou – The Sun the Stars (Original Mix) (6:38)
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2023.06.03 18:44 CIAHerpes The Leatherman building has something strange in the basement
The building had a reputation for being haunted. Kids would dare each other to go inside, but unlike other places around town, they would actually see something- or at least claim that they did.
Little Jamie Curry, 9-years-old, went into the basement of the abandoned Leatherman’s complex on a dare and saw a zombie. He said he knew it wasn’t just some guy in an outfit because the zombie had a grapefruit-sized hole in its chest, and he could actually see right through the middle of the thing. He had run right past his group of friends who were patiently waiting outside, screaming and wetting himself as he went.
Another young kid from my town, Alicia DeSilva, 11-years-old, said it was all a bunch of garbage, that she wasn’t afraid of a run-down factory building, except for maybe the asbestos which her uncle told her “rots your lungs from the inside”. She had said she would even go inside it at night. Why not? After all, there were no such things as ghosts or boogeymen.
One of her friends told Alicia that if she went inside Leatherman’s main building at night, grabbed something from the basement and brought it back out for their mutual inspection, the friend would pay Alicia five dollars. Alicia had gasped. Five bucks was a good amount to someone like her. With five dollars, she could even get a kit so that she could finally fix her bike tire. They all met in front of the building, and Alicia disappeared into the dark fire doors on the side of the building, full of bravado and still laughing as she went inside.
Except unlike Jamie Curry, Alicia never came back out screaming and wetting herself, never had a chance to tell some unbelievable story about what she encountered in the fetid basement of that place. Her body was never found. The police were called after a few hours, and they searched the entire building from top to bottom. They were able to follow some fresh footprints in the dust that might have been Alicia’s, but when they got to the basement, the prints just disappeared- as if the person making them had simply gotten sucked up into the ceiling. And yet they did find one thing, the only real evidence left in the entire building that night. What they found still gives me nightmares sometimes.
One of her eyeballs was inside a snowglobe. The glass and foundation of the snowglobe were all intact, and there were no signs of foul play anywhere on the decoration. It was as if it had been manufactured that way- with that blue, staring eye floating lazily next to plastic mountains and white glitter snowflakes.
In my nightmares, I often see an old woman shaking that snowglobe, an old hag who cackles and whose split lips form into a dreadful smile as she stares directly at me. The eye and the glitter all hang suspended in the water for a moment, then begin to fall slowly, the eye spinning rapidly as it drifts down the front of the globe. And when it’s stopped, I see it is looking directly at me, and it still looks frightened.
OK, so that last paragraph was pretty dark. But what I’m trying to communicate is just how terrifying that place is. The kids in school know what’s going on, though, at least in a general way. After all, Alicia and Jamie came from among them, and they’re not the only ones. Others have gone into the building before. And Matt wants me to go with him tomorrow to look at it.
Maybe that’s why the dreams are getting worse. Maybe that’s why I’ve woken up screaming twice in the last few hours. Because there was something else, too, something else I saw in my nightmares. In that building, around the back walls, there were dozens of kids. Their skin was chalk-white, their hair and eyes all pure black. They were dead. And then thousands of “Missing” posters started to fly down, all of them of smiling children. I looked between the ones surrounding me and the posters and noticed that some of them showed these same kids. I turned to run but little rotted hands started pulling me down and then, I was sitting straight up in bed, yelling and pleading.
I really don’t want to go in that building tomorrow.
OK, so Matt and I went inside the doorway. No way was I going in the basement. But just the front doorway… well, that wasn’t too bad. I even stuck my head in and looked around inside.
Matt didn’t see it, but I did. There was something huge in the front hall. It wasn’t much more than a silhouette. It looked like a very tall, very thin man in a suit whose neck was all twisted and strange. It came off his chest like a snake’s, turning and curling back on itself, and at the end it had this reptilian face. Everything about the man was hairless and slimy. I could smell the strange stuff on his skin.
But by the time I had gotten Matt’s attention and pointed it out to him, the guy was gone. I don’t know how he disappeared so fast.
Matt was making fun of me as we walked home afterwards, pointing at random alleyways and asking, “Do you see him there, too?” and then laughing. It wasn’t that funny. I’ll prove to him there was someone in there.
I convinced Matt to come back with me. I need to see what’s in there. He wasn’t thrilled about it, but I told him an older kid offered to pay $10 for a souvenir from the place, and that I’d split it with him if he went with me. All of this was total crap, of course. But I want to see what was in there, and I definitely want these dreams to stop.
“You know, you’re lucky you have a friend as brave and manly as me,” Matt said, puffing up his little bird-chest. “After what happened to those other schmucks, everyone has been avoiding this place like the plague.”
“Yeah, but unlike all of them, you know it’s just a building,” I said. He gave me a funny look then.
“It’s just a building, but you know something actually happened,” he said. “I was talking to my dad about it, and he said maybe a homeless guy was living there, totally deranged, and maybe he cut out Alicia’s eye and kidnapped her.” He stated this was the seriousness of a news anchor recounting bits of total bullshit for the audience. I smiled at his grave expression, repressing an urge to laugh. He looked over at me disapprovingly. “It could have happened, you know. Homeless people are homeless because they’re crazy. My dad says so. Maybe one of them just went really crazy and started taking souvenirs off of people’s bodies.”
“I guess,” I said. We were most of the way through the old industrial part of town now. Shuttered factories and condemned buildings stretched out on both sides of the street. A fat, limping raccoon walked lazily out of a nearby alleyway. He gave us a sideways glance, stopping for a moment, then kept on maneuvering his round frame forward. Something that Matt had said had given me pause.
“You know,” I said, “it’s kinda weird that we don’t have homeless people out here. We have all these empty buildings, yet most of them camp out on the sidewalks on Main Street. I’ve never seen a single homeless person sleeping in one of these buildings, and I’ve never seen one even close to the Leatherman building. It’s like they have some sort of sixth sense to avoid the place.”
“Clearly they’re smarter than you and me,” Matt muttered. We were walking past the rusty metal chain link fence around the property. He looked pale and his eyes were wide. “Are you sure you want to do this?” Right then, my instincts screamed at me to run.
“Yes,” I said simply, walking in first, taking the flashlight out of my pocket. “I need to know. For sure. Either way, I’d like evidence. Either it is my imagination, or something supernatural actually exists within and around this building.” An old, musty smell permeated the huge hallway. I looked up and down it, wondering what was missing. Then I realized- it had no graffiti. It had to be the only abandoned building I’d ever been in without tons of graffiti scrawled on the inside.
In some places, the walls had begun to buckle, and whole sections were crumbling and coming down. Farther ahead, the ceiling had collapsed inwards, blocking half of the main hallway off. Downstairs, lights started turning on, and the entire building started to come to life. I looked at Matt, who was looking dazed.
“Bro, what the hell is that?” he asked. I had no idea.
“Someone’s in here with us,” I said. “Let’s go check it out.” He looked at me like I was insane.
“Are you mad? What if it’s cops? What if it’s tweakers pulling out all the metal?”
“We’ll be quiet, and just peek around the corner,” I said. “I think we’re meant to see this. Don’t you want to know what’s going on here?” He scowled.
“I’d much rather get home alive,” he said, but he followed me reluctantly. There was a rhythmic hum coming from the floors now, as if machinery were coming to life. A sign, dirty and covered in spiderwebs, pointed to a staircase on the right. I looked down it, seeing bright light flood into the stairwell corridor, despite the fact that there was no electricity running to this building. We started down the staircase to the basement level. There was a smell of ozone in the air, a cyclical rhythmic humming that popped and buzzed. I took a deep breath, wondering what I would see down here. Then I poked my head around the corner.
There were conveyor belts stretching against the basement, their legs embedded into the cracked concrete floors. Beams and pillars ran up from the floor to the ceiling every ten feet or so. And it looked like there were countless workers just sitting on each side of the conveyor belts, sitting in crooked wooden chairs with splintering legs and backs. But it was the workers who caught my attention most of all. They looked… strange.
“Does something look off to you?” I whispered to Matt, who had been standing behind me only a moment earlier. But I got no reply. I figured he was too engrossed in the bizarre nature of what we were seeing to respond.
The workers, if that’s what they were, looked blurred, as if in an overexposed picture with a long shutter speed. Their skin appeared to writhe and crackle, some of their heads constantly turned from side to side, and their limbs… all of them appeared to be missing limbs. I saw pale, white bodies without arms, without legs, even without heads, but they all still continued working in unison, moving in that jerky, blurred way.
“Jesus, Matt, do you see?” I asked suddenly, my eyes widening. “Do you see what they’re doing?” I looked forward in horror as I saw human bodies rolled down the conveyor belts. The people were still alive. They were naked, many of them crying and covered in blood. As they passed by the workers, the blurred hands quickly took pieces of their skin off. Glistening sheets of it were raised by other workers walking along between the lines, and they would give an admiring look at the large pieces of skin, smiling eerily as their heads writhed from side to side and blurred in my vision.
And I saw the kids from my dream, the kids from the missing persons posters, all in the corner. They were huddled, emaciated, with wide, staring eyes. They trembled and cowered as some of the workers came over to grab them and throw them on the belts.
I turned to get the hell out of there, and that was when I realized Matt was no longer behind me. I caught a glimpse of something dark and massive moving at the top of the stairs, disappearing around the corner. I was alone. I know I should have stayed and looked for Matt, but instead, I ran. I got out of that place and went home and hid under my blankets.
I thought 13 was old enough to deal with this, but it has gone way beyond what I thought.
Matt’s parents are calling. My parents stand at the bottom of the stairs, my mother holding the landline in her thin hand, my father looking disturbed. They tell me that Matt is missing, that he never came home last night. What should I tell them? Certainly not the truth. If I started talking about the things in that building, I would be forced into a psychiatric ward before the week was up.
The police stopped by and asked me a few questions. I told them all straight-up lies. “No sir, I haven’t seen him, and I have no idea what happened to him.” But what else could I say? That he was taken by something from a nightmare?
I have to go back. I have to try to rescue Matt. I shouldn’t have ran like I did, but seeing those things cutting up people like that… it scared the shit out of me. Tonight, once my parents go to sleep, I’m going to sneak out, and everyone will think I’m a hero if I bring him back. If I don’t, I’ll probably end up as just another stupid missing kid who ended up way over his head.
I went back. I made it out, but I think they’re coming for me. There was something in the basement.
All of the conveyor belts were gone, the lights were off, the rhythmic hum had disappeared. It was as if the other night was all a hallucination- except for, of course, Matt is still missing. His parents are freaking out, and I can’t even tell them I know what happened to him, kinda.
Going into the building alone was terrifying. My legs felt like wood, and I kept glancing behind me every second as if I were hearing imaginary pursuers. But I walked through to the staircase, and I saw nothing.
I went down to the basement, peeking my head around the corner. It was just a mostly empty basement, some broken furniture and old boxes stacked in one corner. I shone my light all over and saw no one. But there was a light coming from the far corner, a faint, glowing, orange light. A feeling of dread came over me.
I crept slowly forward, trying to find the source of that light. A faint smell of smoke and roasting meat seemed to creep through the air. Off past the last line of boxes, I saw what looked like a small crater on the floor. There was a hole there with glowing fire underneath. Cracks spiderwebbed out from it in all directions for a few feet. More curious than afraid now, I peered forward and looked down.
Beneath the abandoned building, there was another world. It had fire licking the walls and ground, and in the middle of this inferno, I saw Matt. His face was a map of blackish-purple bruises, his head was cocked at an unnatural angle, and I saw blood pouring out of his ears and nose. He looked up at me, and the bones in his neck grated together. I saw his spine was broken and his entire throat was crushed inwards.
“Help me,” he croaked. “You brought me here, now help me. You can’t leave me. They’ll come for you next…” All around him, I saw hands reaching up- the pale, jerky hands of those strange workers. They grabbed Matt and dragged him back down to the fire. I saw other horrid creatures in the flames, some laughing and insane, others shrieking in agony. Large, black insectile silhouettes moved through the smoke and flames. And then, like one, they started coming up towards the hole, coming up to the building where they would be free.
I ran then, and I never went back. I know now that Matt is dead. I can’t sleep. Every time I look out the window, I see shapes in the front yard- blurred humanoids with missing limbs, hiding in the bushes and trees, and constantly inching closer.
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2023.06.03 16:31 sianoftheisland Download 20 blanket
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I finally finished the album cover blanket for my husband to take to Download with a couple of days to spare. I used a mixture of Women's Institute double knit yarn (only available at Hobbycraft), Hayfield Soft Twist double knit yarn and some left over yarn from other projects. The patterns were created by uploading the images to The Knitting Site and converting to a pattern using their converter submitted by sianoftheisland to knitting [link] [comments]
Left to right top to bottom: End of Suffering; Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, AM; Artic Monkeys, Opus Eponymous; Ghost Made an America; The Fever 333, Slipknot, Runes; Bury Tomorrow Grey Britain; Gallows, Download Dog, Liebe Ist Für Alle Da; Rammstein Architects, Sundowning; Sleep Token, While She Sleeps Black Flame (Deluxe); Bury Tomorrow, That's The Spirit; Bring Me The Horizon, The Spark; Enter Shikari
2023.06.03 04:57 nimmoisa000 Open world crime game idea Cartel: Palm City.
Developed by Hangar 13, DICE, Ripple Effect Studios, EA Gothenburg, and Criterion Games and published by EA.
Additionally former EA Black Box and Ghost Games employees who would help access game assets and code from previous NFS titles to streamline the development)
Cartel (or alternatively as “Cartel: Palm City” or "Cartel: Miami" ) would be an open world title based on the Mafia Games, the GTA games and the Saints Row games, with elements of Battlefield: Hardline thrown in with an array of weapons and vehicles based on their real life counterparts.
Gameplay wise the driving would be like Need for Speed titles, and on foot and shooting mechanics like BF: Hardline and Saints Row. Plus you can customize your cars and weapons to the same extent in BF: 2042 and some cars would allow for mounted weapons,on foot you can execute people with your equipped weapon like in The Godfather games. On foot would be an FPS view (you can change to a third person view as well) same with having an FPS view in your car.
There would an single player experience point system (like in BF Hardline single player) you gain XP from killing gangsters, and cops blowing up or capturing enemy vehicles and completing main missions, side missions and activities also there will be 15 levels to achieve with each level up unlocking new weapons, vehicles and customization for your weapons and vehicles. As well as a New Game Plus (NG+) where everything you unlocked is carried over and you can also play on the higher difficulties through NG+.
Also there would be five wanted levels for police and five vendetta levels for the gangs should you reach level five gang vendetta you start a Gang War there are three ways to stop a Gang War either bribe the feds, blow up a gang stronghold, or hide out in a safe house. Police wanted levels one and two local units would come after the player, at police wanted level two or three the state police would come after the player. At wanted level four and five the feds would come after the player. The military will only come after the player if they trespass in Fort Rockport or the Palmount Naval Shipyard
In Cartel: Palm City; in a different universe and timeline where there's a total prohibition of all narcotics in the United States in 2010; tells the story of Jack Rourke (the player character) a hardworking rideshare driver at day and a street racer at night who's scraping by in Palm City circa 2019. One fateful night, Jack Rourke has an inadvertent brush with the Blackwell Syndicate (mainly Carl Stoddard and that showcases a life of reward too big to ignore. As he joins the Blackwell Syndicate who are fighting for control of Palm City against five other criminal groups and take the city for the Blackwell Syndicate including recovering evidence that could not only convict the Blackwell Syndicate, as well as a network of crime lords in many countries, (including the other gang’s backers) including the Blackwell Syndicate's backers the Mob and it would also directly implicate the CIA in Palm City’s drug trade with Jack Rourke earning the nickname “El Sicario” for his efforts in driving the other gangs out of Palm City. When he learns how much the drugs were hurting the people of Palm City and all over the country as well as learning that the Blackwell Syndicate had gotten into the drug trade themselves, he contacts FBI agent Chase Linh who relays the story to her and offers the evidence and his testimony in exchange for full immunity for him and his associates, and the evidence on the computer was enough to convict everyone form all the five gangs, but also their crime lord backers from at least half a dozen countries, as well implicating the CIA in this as well as lobbying efforts to keep all narcotics prohibited, leading to a new administration repealing the Narcotics Prohibition law and legalizing low level cannabis. However six months later after the repeal of the Narcotics Prohibition Jack Rourke would be gunned down by Russian Mafia hitmen, Dimitri "Dima '' Mayakovsky and Henry "Black" Blackburn.
- Sean Faris - Jack Rourke
- Erik Armando Alvarez - Marcus Blackwell
- Kieth David - Julian “Julius” Little
- Philip Anthony-Rodriguez - Nick Mendoza
- Kelly Hu - Khai Minh Dao
- Travis Willingham - Carl Stoddard
- Eugene Byrd - Marcus “Boomer” Boone
- Adam J. Harrington - Tyson Latchford
- Jack Derges - Tyler "Ty" Morgan
- David Ajala - Sean "Mac" McAlister
- Jessica Madsen - Jessica "Jess" Miller
- Ramon Tikaram - Ravindra "Rav" Chaudhry
- Brooke Burke - Rachel Teller
- Josie Maran - Mia Townsend
- Jonny Cruz - Lucas Rivera
- Ana Marte - Ana Rivera
- Maggie Q - FBI Agent Chase Linh
- Bentino Martinez - CIA Agent Julian Dawes
- Coolie Ranx - Benny King
- Jason Michael Zumwalt - Roman Barkov
- Michael Andrew Hollick - Niko Barkov
- Fred Tatasciore - Tony Alpert
- Josh Coxx - Frank Mercer
- Shontae Saldana - Eva Torres
- Josh Collins - Danny Shaw
- Moti Margolin - Dimitri Glebov
- Jack Yang - Chan Wu
- Graham Shiels - Leo Ray
- Mark Rolston - Neil Roark
- Dean McKenzie - Jonathan Cross
- David Rees Snell - Gregory "GMAC" MacDonald
- Heather Fox - Rose Largo
- Joshua Alba - Zack Maio
- Kurt Caceres - Hector Maio
- Lawrence B. Adisa - Brad Rogers
- Dominique Tipper - Lina Navarro
- David Palffy - Caleb Reece
- David Menkin - Hector "Ming" Domingo
- Bruce Johnson - Wes "Webster" Allen
- William Roberts - Joe "JV" Vega
- Jun-Yamazaki - Toru "Bull" Sato
- Derek Hamilton - Clarence "Razor" Callahan
- Chuck Norris - Chief Norris
- Paul Pape - Jack Keller
- Christina Hendricks - Sam Harper
List of activities
- Story Mission: Missions that advance the plot
- Side Mission: Missions that do not advance the plot but earns extra experience/money
- Street Race: Just like it is in Need for Speed, finish first.
- Combat Race: Just like Street Race, but weapon use is allowed.
- Mayhem: Cause as much destruction as possible and get the highest Cost to State score.
- Car Snatch: Steal a car from the cops or one of the four gangs and bring it to a chop shop and also unlock the car you stole for free.
- Drug/CigaWeapon Trafficking: Deliver drugs/military-grade weapons/Cuban cigars to dealers and avoid the cops and rival gangs.
- Car Delivery: Deliver a load of high-end cars to car dealers.
- Assassination: Find and kill a named character, bonus if you fulfill a special condition
- Acura NSX '17, Acura RSX-S '04,
- Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio '16,
- Aston Martin DB5 '64, Aston Martin DB11 '17, Aston Martin DB11 Volante '19, Aston Martin Vulcan '16,
- Audi R8 V10 Performance '19, Audi S5 Sportback '17,
- BMW i8 Coupé '18, BMW i8 Coupé K.S. '18, BMW i8 Roadster '18, BMW M2 Competition '19, BMW M3 '06, BMW M3 '10, BMW M3 Evolution II '88, BMW M3 GTR L.E. '06, BMW M4 '18, BMW M4 Convertible '17, BMW M4 GTS '16, BMW M5 '18, BMW X6 M '16, BMW Z4 M40i '19,
- Buick Grand National '87, Buick Cascada '16
- Chevrolet Bel Air '55, Chevrolet C10 Sidestep Pickup '65, Chevrolet Camaro SS '67, Chevrolet Camaro Z28 '14, Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 '17, Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport '17, Chevrolet Corvette Z06 '13, Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 '19, Chevrolet Corvette Stingray (2020), Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible (2020), Chevrolet Corvette ZO6 (Cross’ ZO6)
- Dodge Challenger SRT8 '14, Dodge Charger '69, Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat ‘18
- Ferrari 458 Italia '09, Ferrari 458 Spider '11, Ferrari 488 GTB '15, Ferrari 488 Pista '19, Ferrari F40 '87, Ferrari FXX-K Evo '18, Ferrari LaFerrari '13, Ferrari Testarossa Coupé '84,
- Ford F-150 Raptor '17, Ford F-150 SVT Raptor L.E. '17, Ford Focus RS '16, Ford GT '17, Ford Mustang '65, Ford Mustang BOSS 302 '69, Ford Mustang Foxbody '90, Ford Mustang GT '15, Ford Crown Victoria ‘08
- Honda Civic Type-R '00, Honda Civic Type-R '15, Honda NSX Type-R '92, Honda S2000 '09,
- Infiniti Q60 S '17,
- Jaguar F-Type R Convertible '19, Jaguar F-Type R Coupé '16,
- Koenigsegg Regera '16 (Roman’s Regera)
- Lamborghini Aventador S '18, Lamborghini Aventador S Roadster '17, Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Coupe '19, Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Roadster '19, Lamborghini Countach '89, Lamborghini Diablo SV '95, Lamborghini Huracán '18, Lamborghini Huracán Performante '18, Lamborghini Huracán Performante Spyder '18, Lamborghini Huracán Spyder '18, Lamborghini Murciélago SV '10, Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 '08
- Land Rover Defender 110 '15, Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR '15,
- Lotus Exige S '06,
- Mazda MX-5 '15, Mazda MX-5 '96, Mazda RX-7 Spirit R '02,
- McLaren 570S '15, McLaren 570S Spider '18, McLaren 600LT '18, McLaren F1 '93, McLaren P1 '14, McLaren P1 GTR '15
- Mercedes-AMG A 45 '16, Mercedes-AMG C 63 Coupé '18, Unlocked at REP LVL 18, Mercedes-AMG C 63 Coupé K.S. '18, Mercedes-AMG G 63 '17, Mercedes-AMG GT '15, Mercedes-AMG GT R '17, Mercedes-AMG GT S Roadster '19
- Mercury Cougar '67
- Mini JCW Countryman '17
- Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX '07, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X '08, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X K.S. '08
- Nissan 180SX Type X '96, Nissan 240SX '98, Nissan 350Z ‘03, Nissan 370Z ‘09, Nissan GT-R ‘07, Nissan Fairlady 240ZG '71, Nissan GT-R '17, Nissan Silvia Spec-R Aero '02, Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-R '71, Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec '93, Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec '99, Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec '02,
- Opel Astra '09
- Pagani Huayra BC '17
- Plymouth Barracuda '70
- Polestar 1 '20
- Pontiac Firebird '77, Pontiac Firebird '99, Pontiac GTO '05, Pontiac G8 '08
- Porsche 718 Cayman GTS '18, Porsche 911 Carrera GTS '18, Porsche 911 Carrera GTS Cabriolet '18, Porsche 911 Carrera RSR 2.8 '73, Porsche 911 Carrera S '97, Porsche 911 GT2 RS '18, Porsche 911 GT3 RS '19, Porsche 911 Targa 4 GTS '18, Porsche 911 Turbo S Cabriolet Ex '18, Porsche 911 Turbo S Exclusive '18, Porsche 918 Spyder '15, Porsche Cayman GT4 '15, Porsche Panamera Turbo '17, Porsche 911 Carrera S (991) '12
- SRT Viper GTS '14
- Subaru BRZ Premium '14, Subaru Impreza WRX STI '06, Subaru Impreza WRX STI '10,
- Volkswagen Beetle '63, Volkswagen Golf GTI '76, Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport '16,
- Volvo 242 DL '75, Volvo Amazon P130 '70
- Light Vehicles: M1161 ITV, VDV Buggy, LYT2021, MRAP, SPM-3, ZFB-05, Quad Bike, Dirt Bike. Desert Patrol Vehicle. Skid Loader
- Infantry Fighting Vehicles: LAV-25, BTR-90, ZBD-09, AAV-7A1. AMTRAC
- Main Battle Tanks: M1 Abrams, T-90A, Type 99 MBT, HT-95 Levkov
- Anti-Aircraft Vehicles: LAV-AD, 9K22 Tunguska-M, Type 95 AA
- Mobile Artillery: HIMARS
- Helicopters: AH-1Z Viper, Mi-28 Havoc, Z-10W, AH-6 Little Bird, Z-11W, KA-60 Kasatka, UH-1Y Venom, Z-9 Haitun
- Naval Craft: DV-15 Interceptor, RCB-90, RHIB Boat, PWC, ACV
- Emplacements: .50 Cal, M220 TOW Launcher, 9M133 Kornet Launcher, HJ-8 Launcher, Centurion C-RAM, Pantsir-S1, LD-2000 AA, Schipunov 42. Launch Pod
- Optics (Pistols): Iron Sights, Improved Iron Sights, Ghost Ring, Mini (RDS), Deltapoint (RDS), Comp M4S (1X) Magnum Scope (2x)
- Optics (Rifles): Short Range; Barska Reflex (RDS), Kobra (RDS), Coyote (RDS), EOTech Sight (1x), PKA-S (1x), HD-33 (1x), F2000 (1.6x) (F2000 only). Medium Range; M145 (3.4x), PK-A (3.4x), PRISMA (3.4x), Mark 4 HAMR (3.5x) ACOG (4x), PSO-1 (4x), JGM-4 (4x). Long Range: CL6x (6x), PKS-07 (7x), Rifle Scope (8x), Hunter (20x), Ballistic (40x), IRNV (1x), FLIR (2x)
- Accessories: Canted Iron Sights, Magnifier (2x), Variable Zoom (2x-14x), Flash Light, Tactical Light, Laser Sight, Tri Beam Laser, Green Laser Sight, LaseLight Combo, Range Finder, Target Detector, Stabilizer.
- Barrel: Standard Barrel, Heavy Barrel, Light Barrel
- Muzzle (ARs/Carbines, DMRs, LMGs, PDWs, and Sidearms): Muzzle Brake, Compensator, Suppressor, Flash Hider, Flash Enhancer.
- Muzzle (shotgun): Duckbill, Full Choke, Modified Choke
- Underbarrel: Underslung Rail (M320, GP-30, M26 MASS), Bipod, Ergo Grip, Angled Grip, Stubby Grip, Vertical Grip, Folding Grip, Potato Grip
- Auxiliary: Straight Pull Bolt, Bipod
- Ammunition: Shotshells, 12 Gauge Buckshot, 12 Gauge Dart, 12 Gauge Frag, 12 Gauge Slug
40mm Grenades, 40mm HE, 40mm Incendiary, 40mm CS, 40mm Dart, 40mm Flashbang, 40mm LVG, 40mm Smoke, 40mm 3GL.
- 25mm Grenades - 25mm Airburst, 25mm Dart, 25mm Smoke.
- Arrows - Broadhead Arrow, Bullet Point Arrow, Explosive Tipped Arrow (Tek Arrows), Poison Arrow
Key: Base weapon (special variant)
- Melee Weapons: Blunt Weapons, Knives, Collapsible Baton, Machete (L.S 16 Machete), Breaching Hammer, Sledge Hammer, Axe, Inquisition Sword, Shovel, Bayonet, ACB-90, Shank, Machete, Bowie, Carbon Fiber, Scout, Survival, Trench, Boot, SEAL, Dive, Tactical, BJ-2, Precision, Baseball Bat, 2x4, Lead Pipe
- Light Pistols; P226, M9, QSZ-92, MP443, G17 (Street Racer Special), FN57. Machine Pistols; CZ-75. G18, TEC-9, MAC-10, MP9, 93R.
- Heavy Pistols: M1911, Compact 45, SW40, DEagle .38, DEagle .357, DEagle .44, DEagle .50, DEagle .501, DEagle .700, 45T (Mercer’s 45T), .40
- Revolvers; Unica 6 .38, Unica 6 .357, Unica 6 .44, Unica 6 .50, Unica 6 .501, Unica 6 .700, .38 Snub, .38 Special, .357 RS, MP412 REX, .44 Magnum (.44 Magnum Force), .501 Magnum Enforcer, .700 Magnum
- Short Rifles/Shotguns; Mare's Leg, Lupara, Shorty 12G (Modern Lupara)
- Personal Defense Weapons/SMGs: MP5, MX4, PP-2000, UMP-45, CBJ-MS, PDW-R, CZ-3A1, JS2, P90, UMP-9, MP7 (Combine MP7) , AS VAL, SR-2, MPX, Groza-4, K10 (Dillinger II), M1A1, M1928 (Dillinger), MP5SD
- Shotguns: QBS-09, 870 MCS, M1014, Hawk 12G, Saiga 12K, SPAS-12, UTS-15, DBV-12, DAO-12, USAS-12, AA-12, 870P Magnum, 37 Stakeout (Cross’ 37 Stakeout), Double-Barrel Shotgun, KSG12, M26 MASS
- Carbines: AK5C, ACW-R, SG553, AKU-12, A-91, ACE 52 CQB, G36C, M4, ACE 21 CQB, Type-95B-1, MTAR-21, Phantom, Groza-1, RO933, AKS-74U, CAR-556, ACWR.
- Assault Rifles: AK-12 (Shovak AK-12), SCAR-L, SCAR-H, M416, SAR-21, AEK-971 (Russian Dillinger), FAMAS, AUG A3, CZ-805, QBZ-95-1, ACE 23, L85A2, F2000 (SC-20K), ARX-160, Bulldog, AN-94, M16A3, M16A4, AKM, L85A2, ARM, MDC, SAR-21, AUG A3, HCAR, SA-58 OSW, HK51, FN FAL, SG510.
- Light Machine Guns: U-100 MK5 (Modern Dillinger), Type 88 LMG, LSAT, PKP Pecheneg, QBB-95-1, M240B, MG4, M249, M60-E4 (M60-ULT), AWS, L86A2, RPK, RPK-74, RPK-12,
- Designated Marksman Rifles: RFB, Mk11 Mod 0, SKS, SVD-12, QBU-88, M39 EMR, ACE 53 SV, SCAR-H SV, M39 EMR
- Sniper Rifles: R700PPS, TRG-42P, CS-LR4, M40A5, Scout Elite, SV-98, JNG-90, 338-Recon, M98B, SRR-61, FY-JS, Dragunov SVD, L115, GOL Magnum, SR338, CS5, .300 Knockout, M200 Intervention, M82A3 .416, M82A3 .50, M82A3 .501, M82A3 .700, M82A3 .900, M82A3 20mm Vulcan, AMR-2 .416, AMR-2 .50, AMR-2 .501, AMR-2 .700, AMR-2 .900 AMR-2 20mm Vulcan, HVM-II, M136 CS, Vidhwansak, Rorsch Mk-1, Rorsch Mk-4, 20mm Vulcan Grenares: M67 Frag, V40 Mini, RGO Impact, M34 Incendiary, M18 Smoke, M84 Flashbang, Hand Flare, CS Gas Grenade, Molotov, AA Mine, AT Mine, SLAM, C4 Explosive, M18 Claymore
- Launchers: M32 MGL, M203, M320, GP-30, M26 MASS, RPG,MBT LAW, FIM-92 Stinger, RPG-7V2, SA-18 Igla, Mk153 SMAW, FGM-148 Javelin, FGM-172 SRAW, XM-25
- Gadgets: Defibrillator, First Aid Pack, Medic Bag, Repair Tool, Ammo Box, Ammo Pack, M224 Mortar, MP-APS, XM25, UCAV, Ballistic Shield, MAV, Motion Sensor, PLD, Radio Beacon, SOFLAM, T-UGS, SUAV, RAWR M240B, RAWR M203, XD-1 Accipiter
Other: Nail Gun
- The Birth of Art - After winning a big race, Jack Rourke collects the winnings at the Palm City Historical Museum
- An Offer you Can't Refuse - Jack Rourke must evade Volk sicarios with Tyson Lachford and Carl Stoddard members of the Blackwell Syndicate
- Race Day - After the events of the last mission, Jack Rourke partakes in a race day event and wins three events with his Porsche 911 Carrera S (991) '12
- Running Man - Volk sicarios Niko and Dimitri crashes the race day and Jack must get to the Blackwell Garage
Chapter 1 (2019-2021)
- M34 Party - Jack Rourke joins the Blackwell Syndicate and gets acquainted with everyone before going with Tyson in a Pontiac GTO '05 to burn the Volk's cars with M34 Incendiary Grenades as well as stealing GMAC's Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4
- Standard Routine - Jack Rourke rolls with Tyson, Stoddard and Jonathan Cross to collect protection money but things go south when they collect from a hotel out of town and Jack Rourke chases after the hotel owner in Cross' car.
- Fair Play - Jack Rourke is tasked with stealing Ryan Cooper's Nissan 240SX and sabotaging it on the eve of the biggest Speedhunter race of the year, the SpeedHunter Championship Finals and in a last minute swap Jack Rourke has to race in place of Tyler Morgan
- Mia Townsend - Jack Rourke is tasked with taking Mia Townsend out for a night at the city... until a gang of Wraith street racers led by Caleb Reece hassles her and Jack Rourke takes them on in a fight
- Get Used To It - After the events of the previous mission Jack Rourke and Tyson Latchford are sent to teach the Wraiths a lesson But Caleb Reece makes it serious and Caleb Reece is wound up being killed by Tyson after a chase around the city alongside Danny Shaw.
- The Saint and The Sinner - It's revealed thtat Caleb Reece was Chief Norris' best friend, and Danny Shaw survives the crash however Stoddard would handle Shaw as Jack Rourke is tasked with infiltrating the Elmore Plaza Hotel and has to kill the manager, Nikki Morris and bomb the hotel before escaping to a funeral and confronts, Danny Shaw and Frank Mercer who are also in attendance. Jack Rourke kills Shaw and nearly kills Frank as well. But Frank tasers Rourke and escapes. It would be revealed that some of the Volk sicarios recognized Sotddard and had to deal with them, then the two escaped in a hearse.
Chapter 2 (2021)
- A Trip to the Countryside - In order to get a large supply of cannabis from Mexico, Jack Rourke takes a team to retrieve the Mexican from Mexican smugglers only to be ambushed by Los Zetas L.S 16 and Volk sicarios, then it's revealed that Roman had paid off the FBI to go after Rourke and his teammates then they came off with the cannabis killing their pursuers in the process.
- Code of Silence - The evidence that Tyson and Stoddard had ripped from the Volk had fallen in the hands of Hector Maio who cut a deal with the FBI, total immunity for the evidence and Jack Rouke is tasked with killing him and retrieving the evidence
- Visiting Rich People - Jack Rourke is tasked with sabotaging a federal proscutor's case against The Mob, the Blackwell Syndicate's backers as well as killing the federal prosecutor in charge of the case.
- Visiting Powerful People - Jack Rourke is tasked with meeting and protecting a powerful member of Palm City's elite, the owner of Prefered Outcomes Julian Daws... though he more than meets the eyes of Jack Rourke
- Agent Dawes - Julian Daws is revealed to be a CIA agent who is tasked with keeping the flow of drugs to Jack's surprise and that he is backing the Blackwell Syndicate through Prefered Outcomes.
- The Drug Trade - Julian Daws walks Jack Rourke through Palm City's drug trade and how the illicit street racing scene is used as a cover to smuggle drugs.
- Great Deal - Tyson Lachford scores a major deal with a drug farm in Georgia who promises to supply them with large amounts of drugs in exchange for access to databases concerning highway patrol routes; however when the deal goes down at a parking garage, the Volk and L.S 16 ambush them.
- Bon Appetit - Jack Rourke drives Eva Torrez, Marcus Blackwell and Julian Daws to the rebuilt Elmore Plaza Hotel for brunch only for Niko and Dimirti with a Volk hit squad to blast the entire lobby with gunfire and C4 explosives, Jack Rourke vaults over with Eva Torrez, Marcus Blackwell and Julian Daws, there Jack Rourke and Eva Torrez rush out through the side entrance and confronts the hit squad with Jack Rourke killing both Niko and Dimirti. However Blackwell wants Jack to confront Jonathan Cross at a doughnut store and reveals that the Volk threatened to turn him over to IAD and is chased throughout the city with Marcus Blackwell putting Cross on permanent retirement by killing him with a Lupara.
Chapter 3 (Finishing the other gangs and downfall of Jack Rourke) (late 2021)
- Happy Anniversary - Jack Rourke is tasked with completing a contract hit against Frank Mercer at the fifth anniversary of the formation of the High-Speed Task Force by firing a sniper rifle stashed in a bathroom
- You Lucky Bastard - After a failed attempt to kill Razor; Roman's personal driver and #2 of the Volk, Jack Rourke is given the contract to kill Razor, first by car bomb but ends up killing Deputy Chief Jack Keller. instead of Razor. Jack Rourke, Tyson and Stoddard would later find Razer at a Burger King. In this Rourke can choose to kill or spare Razor. Rourke would spare him after he tells him that the CIA is deeper in Palm City's drug trade than Jack Rourke is led to believe
- Creme de la Creme - Marcus Blackwell plans to kill Roman, Niko, Demintri and Chan Wu in front of the city's Creme de la Creme, the mayor, the police chief, the FBI director and even the city's richest elite. However things go south and Jack Rourke chases Roman and Niko at the airport where they get to a private jet but is shot down and crash lands on the Cross Mermeroral Bridge Chan Wu is still alive and Jack Rourke executes him and leaves before the cops show up.
- Plugging the Chief - After the events of Creme de la Creme; Chief Norris places to take on the Blackwell Syndicate and to dismantle them, and a contract hit is placed on him where Jack Rourke accepts the contract and kills Chief Norris.
- Election Campaign - The State Governor had launched his reelection bid with the promise get tough on the cartels that had plagued Palm City and like Chief Norris has a contract hit out on him which Jack Rourke is tasked with taking, using a sniper rifle
- Just for Relaxation - Marcus Blackwell tells Jack Rourke about a shipment of Cuban cigars as well as a hidden shipment of diamonds (hot ice) straight from Africa however and Jack Rourke takes a crew to retrieve the shipment from federal customs however it's revealed that instead of diamonds it's Cold Shot... the same drug being pushed by the other gangs.
- The Truth - Jack Rourke and Kahi Minh Dao eavesdrop on Marcus Blackwell and Julain Daws and they learn the truth.
- Moonlighting - Jack Rourke after knowing about the truth takes Tyson to rob the Palm CIty First National in order to retire from the sicario lifestyle and gets into a massive shootout with the PCPD Heat-style.
- The Death of Art - After the heist of Palm City First National Jack Rourke finds Tyson dead and meets Stoddard at the museum only to find out that Stoddard knew about the heist, and used his share of the drug money and clout at Prefered Outcomes to buy out The7 as his personal hit squad, however Jack Rourke manages to kill every member of The7 but spares Stoddard (the player can also kill him but canonically Jack Rourke spares him)
After the trial and the repeal of the Jack Rurke is placed in the Witness Protection Program in Lakeshore City but six months later after the repeal of the Narcotics Prohibition Jack Rourke would be gunned down by members of the West Side Club, Dimitri "Dima" Mayakovsky and Henry "Black" Blackburn.
The Gangs of Palm City
L.S 16 (Los Salmos 16) - Also known as The Salmos. Backed by the most powerful Mexican drug lords and the most powerful arms traffickers in the world, L.S 16 once ruled all of Palm City In fear until The House stepped in. They’re also the strongest gang in the game with access to military grade weapons and vehicles and each gang kill from them awards 500-1,500 XP depending on the enemy type. They are led by Neil Roark.
The House - The House is a gambling gang with strong ties and backed by the Sicilian Mafia; they run the street scene and the casinos in Palm City. They’re pretty strong but weaker than L.S 16, and they have access to military grade weapons and vehicles each gang kills from them awards 250-800 XP depending on the enemy type. Headed by Lina Navarro.
The Volk - The Volk is a Chinese-Russian gang led by Roman Barkov with Niko Barkov as their enforcer backed by the Triads (Chan Wu), the Russian Mob (Dimitri Glebov), and GMAC's crew (Gregory "GMAC" MacDonald, Rose Largo) for cars who control the weapon smuggling and arms dealing in Palm City. With this backing and access to military grade weapons. They are a mid tier gang and each gang kill from them awards 200-600 XP depending on the enemy type. They are also the ones who go after the Blackwell Syndicate the most.
Palm Kings - The Palm Kings (PKs) is a Black gang made up of Black nationalists who controls Palm Harbor’s rackets and extorts store owners. Led by Benny King, they’re equipped with police-grade weaponry and has strong ties with the PCPD despite this, they are the second weakest gang in the game and each gang kill from them awards 150-500 XP depending if it's a regular to elite
Dixie Paladins - The Dixie Paladins are a white supremacy gang and a militarized version of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) who controls the Gold Coast Mountains in the mountainous regions of Palm City. they’re the weakest gang in the game and each gang kill from them awards 100-250 XP from regular to elite members. They are led by Tony Alpert
Blackwell Syndicate - The Blackwell Syndicate is a underground criminal organization based in Palm City and is led by Marcus Blackwell with Julian “Julius” Little as underboss, Hector Maio before "Code of Silence" and Zack Maio after "Code of Silence". Nick Mendoza. Khai Minh Dao and Carl Stoddard are caporegimes and Tyson Latchford, Tyler "Ty" Morgan, Sean "Mac" McAlister, Jessica "Jess" Miller as soldiers. Other members include Ravindra "Rav" Chaudhry as the gang's car expert Rachel Teller as the gang's customization expert, Marcus “Boomer” Boone as the gang's weapon experts. The Blackwell Syndicate would be the gang that the player would join. In Act 1, they're an outside and fast tracked to soldier, but in Act 2 the player would be a capo until the end of the game. They are secretly backed by both The Mob and the CIA through Agent Dawes. Jonathan Cross and Mia Townsend are also on the gang's payroll until "Bon Appetit" where Marcus Blackwell executes him with a 870P Magnum to the head. Also Mia would also go with Jack Rourke as well
The police/military force
PCPD - the police force of Palm City/Miami if the player does hostile acts (killing civilians, firing unsuppressed weapons in public, etc) will attract police attention and each kill from them awards 50 XP for regular members and 100 XP for armored members, However the player can bribe the PCPD to look the other way or will even help the player fight the other gangs but would be the target of higher level police forces. (Sort of like it was in The Godfather game) The player can also buy favors from them as well. Also they’ll deploy stronger units at higher heat level alongside the FBI. The cars PCPD drives are the Ford Crown Victoria, Dodge Challenger, Pontiac GTO, and the Chevy Grand Sport
Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) - The state police force and Only appears in wanted levels 3 and above, Each kill from them awards 75 XP for regular state troopers and 150 XP for tactical state troopers. Regular state troopers drives Ford Mustang GTs tactical state troopers drives Nissan GT-R
FBI - Only appears in wanted level 5 the FBI will be called in if the player continues to retaliate against the PCPD. Each kill from them awards 125 XP for regular agents, 250 XP for FBI SWAT and 375 XP for FBI HRT, Like the PCPD the player can bribe the FBI to look the other way, or even help the player fight gangs, or the PCPD but at the second highest price. The FBI also has the second widest array of favors the player can buy. regular agents drives the Nissan 350Z or Porsche 911 GT3 RS, FBI SWAT drives the - Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Roadster or Ford F-150 SVT Raptor L.E. and FBI HRT drives the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X or Land Rover Range Rover Sport SVR
Military - Only goes after the player if they trespass in Fort Rockport or the Palmount Naval Shipyard. Each kill from them awards 200 XP for regs, 400 XP for experienced troops and 600 XP for elite troops. Like the PCPD, State Police and the FBI, the player can bribe the military to look the other way, or even help the player fight gangs, the PCPD, State Police or even the FBI but at the highest price and The military also has the widest array of favors the player can buy in large part due to Agent Dawes’ connections in Washington.
Multiplayer portion of the game would take place during the five cartels war where the Blackwell Syndicate, The Volk, Palm Kings, Dixie Paldines, Los Salmos 16, and The House (basically where Jack Rourke glosses over saying "It was non-stop chaos for weeks")
Also there would be a free ride mode where the player can explore the city at their leisure or pick a fight with either other cartels or the cops.
submitted by nimmoisa000
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2023.06.03 01:36 Formal-Protection687 Hunted Apartment
This is my first time sharing this as an adult (33) I never considered sharing this story because it happened so many years ago.
My family used to live in a apartment complex as a child. We moved out when I was 7 because that was when my parents bought their first house.
I must have been 5 or 6 at the time. I can back date it to those years because before that. I used to sleep in my parents bed with them. Then one day my parents decided to buy a bed separate from their's and placed it next to their bed.
The apartment was on the lower floor. It had four rooms, it had a kitchen and a living room. We had 8 people living there. My mom, dad, grandma, and 4 brothers. Two brothers would sleep in two of the rooms each. My brothers are alot older than me. The youngest one next to me was 7 years older. My oldest brother is 10 years older. Every brother is one year apart (I know right? Lol.) My grandma had her own room. My parents had their own room.
My parents room was south right of the door which was in the north left. Of this room, my parents bed faced the door which faces a hallway. Down the hallway at toward the front of the apartment on the left and right were the rooms my brothers stayed.
When my parents bought the separate bed, my bed faced a bathroom. Behind my bed and my parents bed there's a thin rectangle slit window towards the top of the wall. The details are important I'll explain later.
One night, I couldn't sleep. My parents are sleeping already. The room was dark but, the window of the room, ambient light from the moon shined through. I see a figure with a blueish glow. It was a women in a long white dress and long black hair, the face wasn't visible. She didn't look at me. She was floating and in front of my bed and hung a left to the bathroom that faced my bed. I remember covering my head with the blanket and breathed, it was hot. And I fell asleep. I always told myself until adulthood that it was a nightmare and it was pushed out of my memory.
After we moved out of the apartment to our house. I never really thought about it for years until I was an adult. Maybe in my twenties.
My brothers (2nd and 4th) one day some how talked about the apartment (my family kind of split up because two brothers were out of state.). My 2nd oldest brother who slept down the hall. He used to get bad grades and had focus issues and coming from an Asian immigrant family that was a no no. My dad used to make him stay up till late at night to study to improve his grades. He said that late at night, he heard foot steps on the walls of the hallway as if someone was walking on it. Next mornings he would have scratches on his back. My brothers were saying how some lady committed suicide in that apartment
I've only confirmed it months ago with my mom. We chatted about purchasing a home. Then I asked out of curiosity. She said yeah a lady committed suicide in that apartment before we moved in. That's when I told her the story.
Side note, this apartment complex faces a middle school. My brothers used to go there and said that one of the school bathroom is hunted because a girl committed suicide there or something. The students would avoid that bathroom.
Also my 1st brother could see spirits/ghosts. He was talking to my other there and he just tells them to leave him the fuck alone now. We never really sit down to talk about ghosts. Like it's not a thing, only if it comes up.
This story has always lingered with me. Even for most of my adult life I don't really believe in or am interested in ghost stories. I don't think it's believable but, it don't really like scary/horror stories even if it is.
submitted by Formal-Protection687
to Paranormal [link] [comments]
2023.06.03 01:06 MutedHornet87 I never expected to be doing so well, especially since I finally read IT
2023.06.02 19:04 See-Photos Rachel Zoe Palisades Village Holiday Celebration, Los Angeles 28.11.2018
2023.06.02 14:01 StathisStGr Mega DHGATE BEST FINDS LIST - MANY CATEGORIES INCLUDED!
submitted by StathisStGr
to CoutureReps [link] [comments]