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2023.06.05 16:01 xXKikitoXx My brother can have the castle, I need to sleep. [BK3 - 6.3]
In the following week there was much work to be done. I left Eric in bed most mornings and had breakfast sent to my room for him. He needed time to recharge the energy in his leg so that he could walk properly again. That was never a specific limitation I imposed, it was simply that no magic is without limitations. Nothing is endlessly powerful, although some creatures come close.
It was the day after Eric returned that I received a letter from the enforcers and I opened it with trepidation. Only twice before had such a letter ever arrived, and neither of those times had I been the one to deal with it. Unfortunately for me, it stated that I was to meet with one of them in a very short time.
“Of course.” I muttered to myself. They’re an impatient species. When fae make plans it can take months, years or decades before we follow through with them, afterall time moves differently for us than most. But when the enforcers decide on something, it must happen immediately. I would hardly have the time to dress appropriately.
As it was I was still buttoning my vest as I left the castle grounds. Rarely do we permit other species to enter the castle, especially not when we are not familiar. Because of this there is a temple in the woods, just beyond the castle shield, that is a traditional place of negotiation.
I arrived shortly and trotted up the marble steps making no effort to conceal my presence. The temple was clean and well maintained, human monks are responsible for its upkeep. They are not more than a small group, but they understand well that we exist.
“You’re late.” an unfamiliar voice chastised me the moment I entered.
“I was given unreasonably short notice. It’s fortunate I saw fit to come at all.” I replied dryly. I hadn’t even told anyone where I was going, perhaps that wasn’t wise.
“Watch your mouth, Faeling. Where is Lazarus?” Ahead I could hardly make him out from the darkness of the temple. He was a dark, feathered creature hiding in the shadows with an array of glistening eyes and mass enough that the tips of his wings touched the ceiling.
“My father is no longer responsible for these territories.”
He paused for a moment, as if contemplating, “...Very well. Then you are the one responsible for maintaining discretion within your territory. As such, you should be aware of an incident on your northern boundary?”
“I’m afraid you will have to be more specific, the northern boundary is extensive.”
“Two from your castle attended the scene. A small town was decimated.”
My heart began to race, I hadn’t sent anyone out, so he must be referring to Eric and Charles. “Yes. I sent peacekeepers out to investigate, as per treaty laws; all instances of mass human interaction must be investigated and settled. There were no witnesses, and I have already begun implementing cover up steps.” I lied calmly.
“Are you aware of its cause?”
“...No.” I admitted reluctantly. If I were to lie in that instance, it would be easily disproved.
“So then it would seem you don’t know everything.”
“I have never claimed omniscience.”
He chuckled, it was a deep reverberation that rattled my vertebrae. “It seems the old ones have returned to the area. Ensure all matters regarding species confidentiality are handled appropriately, failure to do so will result in unpleasantries.”
“That is inequitable. We cannot be held responsible for the actions of another species.” I argued firmly.
“If they are on your lands, it is in your best interest to do so. Otherwise, we may have to investigate further into your operations, there’s no telling what we may find then.”
“All of Dunkel’s activities are within treaty terms. You are welcome to review the paperwork yourself, if you wish.”
“That won’t be necessary at this stage.” he replied calmly, “Keep a handle on your territory, little fae, or else.”
He vanished without allowing me the opportunity to respond. ‘Or else
’, if I didn’t understand that it was a genuine threat I could have laughed at the irony of it. Gradually I realized I had been holding my breath, and I let it out slowly. It’s not often that I’m reminded how little my power is compared to ancient beings. The last time they were near was in 1926.
I only remember it because it happened close to the borders of Dunkel, and our father was concerned enough to visit. It seemed the old ones had been destroying towns haphazardly across the north, until they reached a mining town. For whatever reason they left a single witness alive, an elderly blind woman, and that broke treaty laws.
From what I was told, the family responsible was eliminated entirely in a single night. No man, woman or child was left. They were used to set an example. Before that the last time the enforcers needed to step in was the witch trials.
I returned to the castle quickly and began making arrangements immediately. The first step was to understand what human authorities knew of the matter and compulsion would grant me the records easily. Second, I needed to ensure the narrative of what happened was ‘nothing unusual’ as far as humans were concerned. That was easy enough, I sent out a small publicist team. They had handled such things before.
After that I sent word to all alliances, and more reluctantly a letter to my mother at Leúchtend. It was not because I wanted to speak with her. Rather that despite my personal grievances, she was still the current leader of our sister castle and needed to be informed regardless.
Next I needed to secure the borders of our lands better. We needed to know the moment something crossed the boundary, and for that I would need to coordinate with the spell writers. Although I was sure Tóru would be more than happy to express her skills, she almost never let it rest that she wished to do more.
Of course the additional work this incident created was only compounded onto my usual responsibilities. Infirmary reports, construction progress check in’s and permissions, maintenance and repair requests, deliveries and orders. I was grateful when my brother took care of the interpersonal requests, contracts, marriages and so forth.
However when the human interaction documents came in I was ready to quit. Reports from law cases, correspondence from the publicity team - Achaicus could have the castle. I almost didn’t care.
Admittedly most of it is as simple as signing it. Still it all at least needed to be read. It’s important that I know about everything that’s going on both inside and outside of the castle. Unfortunately, when I at last remembered the time I realized I had missed dinner, again.
I sighed, rubbing my eyes, the paperwork was never ending
. I would have to come up with a better way of handling it. Achaicus had arranged all the documents so neatly that I couldn’t find anything anymore and I was sure I was going to be the first fae to need glasses at this point. Our eyes aren't designed to focus so close for so long.
“You missed dinner.” my brother commented as he came to stand in the doorway.
“I had realized as much.” I replied bitterly without looking over to him. So when he pushed aside the paperwork and set a plate down in front of me I was caught off guard. “Oh… Thank you.”
“Of course, if you starve, that means I have to take up all the paperwork again.”
“You don’t have to do anything, assign it to someone else, abandon the castle. You’ve got options.”
He ignored me, commenting instead. “You know you missed your appointment with Markos as well. And Jórn has been requesting and audience with you.”
“I’ll see Jórn tomorrow, that matter is unimportant.” I muttered, Markos was going to be pissed with me though.
“And your appointment?”
“I’m fine. I don’t even need it.”
Achaicus sighed exasperated, “Fine. What of your pet then?”
“What of him?”
“He didn’t make any appearances today, is he away?”
“No. He’s probably just still in my room.”
“Yes, he sleeps there and he needs time to recover from his work.”
He was quiet for a moment, as if deciding something before he spoke more gently. “Brother-..” he began but I cut him off.
“Not you as well.” I groaned.
“Are you and he…?” he continued regardless of my objections.
“What does it matter?”
“If you prefer men-”
“I don’t prefer men.”
He rolled his eyes and I could tell he didn’t believe me. “Whatever, I don’t care what you prefer. However, you could have anyone you wished. Choose someone else, anyone
else, choose a thousand others, Nathaniel, just not him.”
“What is it that you have against him? There was a time where you rather enjoyed his company.”
“I only enjoyed his company because he would drink with me without chastising me for it. But that doesn’t mean he’s a good person.”
“Tell me then, which one of us are ‘good’?”
“He will hurt you, and I cannot bear to see it.”
“Eric has never hurt me.”
“He will betray you.”
It was difficult to place the feelings of simultaneous irritation and pure astonishment that he would even dare speak to me about this. “He won’t.”
“How can you be certain? I implore you please, listen to reason. He has a thousand reasons to hate you and he is not the type to forgive.”
“I am certain because I know what betrayal looks like.” I stated coldly and my brother paused. I could see him connecting the meaning behind my words as I continued. “You betrayed me to father, several times. Do you not remember holding a blade to my throat? You wanted to kill me so badly I could see it in your eyes. I loved you most of anyone. When Father sent you away it hurt me so deeply most days I could hardly breathe, and when you returned all you felt for me was hatred. If you believe that didn’t break something in me you’re mistaken.”
“You know how deeply I regret that… You’re my brother, I could never hurt you.”
“That didn’t stop you from trying.”
I held up a hand to silence him, “It’s fine, it’s in the past. Which is entirely my point. I trust you regardless of your actions and your intent. It’s not men I like, it’s only him.”
“It’s not real, it’s a trickery.” he insisted, “Believe me, he can make you feel any way he wishes you to feel about him.”
“He’s just a man, how exactly do you believe he has any way of compelling me to feel anything about him?”
“Because I know it!” he exclaimed exasperated, “Because he has used the same charms on me.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Do you remember the night you came to find him drinking with me?”
“Yes.” I answered simply. That had been the night Eric had kissed the palm of my hand.
“It was as if I were under a spell. I told him a great many things that not anyone but you or I knew. I told him how I had tried to kill you, and that we had switched. I told him how father killed Raisa and your manticore… I told him everything. I wanted
to tell him. There is no natural reason for that, and before I knew it I was on the floor with him.”
“You and he slept together?”
“...No. He left before it got that far… I don’t know where he went from there.”
“Why did you not tell me of this before?” I muttered annoyed.
“Because he was not my property to be doing such things with… I feared you would be mad.”
“I am mad. You were so drunk you couldn’t keep from telling him secrets others were not meant to hear! What else did you tell him!?”
I felt ill. Those were things I never wished for anyone to know, especially not for Eric to know. “Get out.” I warned coldly. I was just like our father. When I was upset I wanted to hurt something and my temper was rising. As if I hadn’t dealt with enough things that day.
He left as requested and I chose to sleep in my office. Partly because I didn’t want to see Eric knowing what he knew about me, and secondarily because I didn't want to take my anger out on him. The amount of times I had almost hurt him previously were too numerous, how could I claim to have changed only to revert to the same behaviors?
In the time that followed I did my best to maintain a certain level of composure. Our mother, sister and two of our nieces arrived with their escorts not all that long after I had sent the letter. With them they brought word of more attacks near to their borders and with that information we were able to track a path downward from Leúchtend toward us.
“It’s almost as if they’re testing the line.” Alvíss commented looking over the map.
We had gathered in the war chambers to discuss the matter and had been doing so for some time. My brother and I sat across from one another while Markos, Alviss, Baltzar and Killian sat down the length of the table.
“Or they could just be traveling in that direction.” Baltzar countered. They had been politely disagreeing for hours, it was clear they didn’t like each other all that much.
“All this speculation is useless.” Markos spoke up at last. “If they are testing the borders, they would strike next beside the lake, if they are simply traveling south they should cut the corner toward the west boundary.”
“If I send guards toward the lake townships, and station look outs near the west border, would that be advisable?” I asked, trying not to sound as tired as I was.
“Yes, I believe that would be wise.” Alvíss agreed and Baltzar nodded. If they were in agreement, that was wonderful. Now this dreadful meeting could end.
Each day had been just as exhausting as the day the enforcer visited. My brother still treated me with unnecessarily apologetic behavior, though I had tried to assure him that it was days ago and I had already resolved it. There’s no point harboring unpleasant feelings and quite frankly, no time for it.
In the early mornings I trained with Charles, and in the afternoon I handled the paperwork. I received notification that Tougo wished to investigate the matter independently from us and I granted the request. While Sofie from the fae to the south replied with a curt letter stating that whatever our troubles she wished no part in our affairs. It was thankful that I heard nothing more from the enforcers at least.
Eric was still unable to find his cane and, after seeing how much distress it caused him to be unable to walk, I had Jórn make a simple wooden cane for him. It was not as fine as his original, nor did it hide a sword within it, but it was enough to settle his complaints.
Unfortunately that did not settle his mood of late. Since returning he had been particularly on edge. He woke in the night more than once sitting straight up in a cold sweat and instinctively reaching for his sword.
“Eric.” I complained groggily as he disturbed me. That was another reason I hardly slept, he could not make it through the night without waking and I had half a mind to order that he leave to his own room.
“Go back to sleep.” he muttered, pushing the hair back from his face as he gradually calmed.
“This happens too often.”
“It’s not like I’m doing it on purpose.” he snapped back, irritated. Exhaustion was getting the better of him as well and it took everything in me not to give in to anger. Yet still he refused to tell me what was causing him such distress.
I allowed myself a moment to breathe out slowly before I pulled him closer to me, wrapping my forearm across his eyes as I did. “Nathaniel..” he complained half-heartedly trying to push my arm off before settling.
“Relax… nothing will harm you right now.”
“…You can’t know that..”
“But I do.” I assured, he was so warm against me and I was almost asleep again.
I couldn’t say how much time passed before he spoke again, “…Are you still awake?” He asked quietly. I thought I answered, however I must not have for he continued, “Do you think you could ever forgive me..?”
I didn’t know what he was talking about, or what he meant. I wasn’t even sure I had heard him speak, or if it was nothing more than a dream. However in the morning he was still beside me, and I assumed I must have misheard.
During the day he no longer attended training with Calla and Charles, instead he disappeared each morning until evening. I hadn’t asked him where he was as I was doing my best not to be so controlling, however, as far as I was aware, no one knew where he went.
Still he was in attendance at dinner each day, so I supposed he wasn’t going too far. Perhaps the most disturbing thing I noticed was that he didn’t speak to Calla, and she didn’t look in his direction. After dinner they went their separate ways and Eric no longer secretly took any additional sugar cubes from the table.
Of course I approached Calla about it. By this time it was clear something was wrong with Eric and it had gone on long enough that I needed to know, “Calla, might we have a word?”
“Yes.” She answered with a small curtsy, “How may I be of service?”
“What's going on between you and Eric?”
“Nothing.” That was a frustrating answer.
“Why are you not speaking to each other?”
“Because there is nothing to say.”
I got the feeling she was being purposefully blunt with me. It was almost rude, and it’s not often that Markos’s well trained doll acts out. “Is there nothing to say, or is it that you don’t want to talk to him?”
“It is both.”
“He’s not who I thought he was. He cannot be trusted.” she stated simply. For Markos or Achaicus to say it was one thing, but for her to say it gave me pause.
“Did Markos ask you to say that to me?”
“No. May I be excused?” Her eyes met mine and I felt uncomfortable. I recognised the expression, pure deep anger, covered over by a complete lack of caring.
“Yes…” I agreed more softly and she left without another word.
I had enough on my plate, Eric somehow pissing Calla off wasn’t what I needed. Perhaps Charles would know better what was going on. Naturally he was the next person I tried to speak with. However I was interrupted as Jórn approached.
“Lord Nathaniel!” He greeted me in a jovial manner and far too loudly. He is slightly shorter than I, and well built from centuries of forgework. His hair is a long tangle of braids woven into one single larger braid down the length of his back. His eyes are deep purple, and he is older than most, perhaps my fathers age.
“That’s unnecessary.” I complained and he smiled
“I have completed the task you assigned me.”
“It was a request, not a task-”
He hardly allowed me the time to correct him before he presented two velvet boxes to me. I will admit the rings in them were beautiful. Rather traditional upon first glance they appeared to have a simple elegance, but as Jòrn insisted I look closer I noticed fine details.
The groom's ring was traditional; a single ring, with engravings on the inside and subtle textures across the surface. While the bride’s rings were a set of two intended to interconnect and had the same inscriptions.
“The diamond is natural, almost flawless, and all rings are made from the same gold nugget.” He began explaining eagerly, “You can see here, the tiniest inscription for the spell. So long as there is love in their hearts for the other the rings will remain a comfortable warmth and if there is deceit in the union the rings will turn ice cold. Are they to your liking?”
“You’ve outdone yourself.” I assured, of course I realized by now he wanted praise.
“I’m sure your lady will be very pleased. I’ll admit I had heard no word that you were with anyone. Can we expect a wedding? Children?”
I couldn’t help but smile tightly. He was fishing for information, I knew it well and it was exactly why I disliked speaking to others. “They are in fact not for me. But I appreciate the time and effort you put into them nonetheless.”
“Who are they for then?” He demanded more irritably.
“A close friend of mine. I’m sure you will learn who in a short time.”
He folded his arms unhappily. Jórn values tradition and has worked at Dunkel for several centuries. Like many of the older generation he is irritatingly nosy and dislikes being incorrect in his assumptions.
“Fine. They had better admire my work.” he grumbled disapprovingly.
“I’m certain they will be able to appreciate it even better than I. Thank you.”
Jórn nodded gruffly before allowing me peace. Claire was going to owe me doubly for that. I found the time to give the rings to Miss Walsh shortly after receiving them and did so by dropping the boxes on the table beside her. Just as she had dumped herself on me when she asked I have them made. Initially she looked up from her sewing confused, then seemed to understand and a broad smile spread across her face.
“Thank you! Thank you thank you thank you!” she half stood, reaching up without hesitation to wrap her arms around my neck and pull me into an uncomfortable hug.
I suppose I should have expected as much by now as I struggled to push her off. “Claire-” I began disgruntled but when she kissed my cheek I froze.
“Thank you so much Nathaniel, you’re a gem.”
“Please control yourself.” I muttered in response and she gradually let go of me.
“I’m not sorry, oh, and I haven't forgotten I know I owe you one now. Ahhh just nothing, like, horrible yeah?”
“I never agreed to that.”
“Well, if it’s horrible I’ll defer your favor.”
“That’s not permitted.”
“Did you put it in writing?” she countered and I clicked my tongue in annoyance. She’d spent far too much time with Markos it seemed. However, with my silence she continued. “Do you think he’ll say yes?”
“How should I know?”
“You’re friends aren’t you? You talk? Does he ever say anything about me?”
“No, usually he prefers to scold me instead.”
“That’s just because he loves you.”
“Yeah, alright. Don't lose your rings.” I muttered dismissively. Her endless cheer was simultaneously irritating and becoming. Whatever she thought, whatever emotion she felt it all poured out of her without any filter. I supposed she was good for Markos in that way, no way he could mistake anything she wanted or needed with his overthinking.
I'm waayyyy too nice this week.
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2023.06.05 15:37 Sad_Ad_2615 1-Year experience with Malibu, Things to know if looking to purchase a new Malibu/Axis boat
The 1-year mark of the beginning of my problems with my first new Malibu boat has recently passed to no resolution of my problems. Therefore, I figured it's time to share my experience with anyone who may be considering a Malibu/Axis product.
In April 2022, I purchased a new Axis t250 off the showroom floor at Lake Norman Marina and it was great for the first few weeks, but on Memorial Day weekend of 2022 after a rider had fallen, the boat would no longer start. After about a week of the boat being at the dealership, they decided it wasn't just the starter and for some reason the transmission needed to be changed. About 2 weeks later I got the boat back, went out 3 times, and the transmission actually blew. They changed it again, and on my 3rd time out again the transmission blew. They changed it yet again and on my first day out the engine temp was skyrocketing and fluid spilling out, turned out a hose had not been secured properly and was spilling into the engine bay, but on the 4th time out, the transmission blew once again.
At this point, the entire month of June had passed, I had multiple issues with their maintenance practices and communication and had not received any offer of compensation for tows, no paperwork for warrant work performed, no contact from Malibu, or even an apology from the dealership. The boat had under 40hrs on it, and I had spent probably 15hrs on the water waiting for tows and being towed in. But the dealership and malibu decided to change the entire engine. 3 weeks in and I decide to call Malibu's engine department and ask how long, an engine change takes. (As an aircraft mechanic myself, changing giant turbine engines on Airbus fleets can be done in under 32 hours). The engine tech informed me it was a 5hr job and they also did not know why my transmission was changed in the first place since I had never received a transmission overheat message. However, I received my boat back about a week later and hoped that was the end, I could finally use my boat. About a week in, some wires to the screen came loose and I lost all my gauges on the opposite end of my home lake and at this point I was fed up. I told the dealership to take the boat back and I never wanted to see it again. I had been paying for a boat for 3 months and only had access to it for under 1 month.
This is when Malibu finally decided to get involved and Robert C. contacted me and admitted that the boat was a lemon. I informed him how I was displeased with the company, product, and the dealership and had never received a single piece of warranty paperwork, not even for the engine so that I could have the serial numbers switched on my insurance. He sounded surprised but ultimately didn't do anything regarding that issue but did offer to build me a new 2023 model year boat to replace my lemon if I just road that one out for the season because "Malibu wanted to earn my trust back as a customer". I expressed my concerns with product quality, the fact I'd be paying for a boat I hate for months, and new loan rates but after Robert adamantly assured me over 10 times that I would 100% be able to keep my same loan, and that my new boat would be put through a more in depth inspection process he called their "dock inspection" I decided to take the deal because pursuing the Magnussen Moss Warranty Act in court could have just yielded the same end result after much more time. Also, for 2 months straight I continued to ask Lake Norman Marina for warranty work paperwork in order to document my experience and the only thing I ever received was a screenshot of the hours of manpower assigned to my boat on one day.
In October of 2022 I submitted my new build and was told the new one would be completed in early spring/March. However, just after Christmas I received a call from the dealership that my boat was ready, and I need to submit for a new loan. I raised hell, right after Christmas when my credit cards were near capacity, 3 months early on completion, after a ton of reassurances that there was no way I would need a new loan at these higher rates, and after I have continued to make payments on the existing crap boat, I was told to get a new loan. I reached out to Robert because he was so adamant about the fact I would not have to, and he proceeded to make a bunch of excuses for the dealership and say it's out of his hands. Where I then responded, why would you make promises you can't keep, about something you have no control over? This was the most important stipulation of the deal to me. That is when I first realized Malibu cannot be trusted. They ran my credit and as I expected my 4.5% interest would now be 9-10%, but luckily, I contacted my loan officer and detailed the entire situation to him. There was no way I was going to pay more money for a boat from a company that had shitted me. I told him, you either keep this loan and continue to make the money off of me you already are, or I am getting a boat from another company with another bank, and you make none. He agreed with my position and after a couple days managed to convince his higher ups to do a collateral swap on my current loan. No thanks to the dealership or Malibu.
Here we are in 2023, new year, new me, new boat, lets fucking see. I take delivery of my new 2023 Axis t235, and she looks beautiful. I take her right to the shop to get some tint thrown on. That evening I take the boat to the marina and hop in to see if they put any fuel in. 88% full, ok well they did the 10hr break in so that could be why. The next morning, I have it fueled up by the marina, still 88%. Some, "dock inspection" and more so how did the dealership not notice this during the break in period? But whatever I am ready to surf and will wait until my first service to have it addressed. Granted, I surf 3-4 times a week and fill it before every outing for weight. Then I recieved notice of the recall on the steering cable block and called my dealer but they had not recieved any tooling to complete it yet. But he told me it wasnt like the boat was gonna blow up, just dont go full power and I should be fine, at most I'd need a tow and I was used to that after the previous year. The boats running great, all sorts of squeaks and dry pump noises I had mentioned on the previous boat to the dealer, and told were normal, didn't exist on this one. Amazing. But one saturday after a rider had fell, and 2 jet skis were coming straight at im I start tapping my horn and it gets stuck wide open. We shut the boat off and on several times but as soon as the battery is set to on the horn sounds, so we decided to get under the dash, mid-lake, and disconnect the button. While this is happening I just so happen to get an e-mail from axis to submit a review on my boat and experience. Which I answered honestly; boat runs good, salesman good, not too impressed with company, dealership bad. Within minutes Logan K. sales manager, and son of the dealership owner e-mails me, 6pm on a Saturday, and says, "I cannot believe you bashed us yet again. Actually, I can." and proceeds to tell me they will no longer work on my boat, also that he has CC'd his entire service department to let them know. I respond telling him how all I did was answer the questions honestly based on my experience, and that him unprofessionally e-mailing me with a refusal to work my boat because of that, with the several existing issues is not in line with Malibu's statement of wanting to earn my trust back. He stands by his statement and says that they will not work the boat, and that I need to reach out to one of 2 other dealers farther away to have them correct the problems. The following Wednesday I go to surf and my marina manager tells me Lake Norman Marina was here earlier that day and had pulled my boat out to do some recall. I immediately e-mail Logan, informing him that I would like to know where we stand because if Lake Norman Marina is no longer working my boat, then they should not be touching my property, and regardless I should be informed before they have it pulled out for any work. He claims it was an oversight and will not apologize for the mechanic, even though ya' know, he CC'd his entire service department. From where I am standing, I have no idea if this tech came out to sabotage my boat or God knows what. Now since that initial interaction that previous Saturday, I called Malibu and left voicemails on 3 different phone numbers Mon-Fri of the next week. 15 voicemails and not a single response. So, the next week I go to my local Supra dealership, who is amazing by the way, shout out to Southtown Watersports!
The guys at SW are familiar with my story because every time I have come for boards, jackets, or lead bags etc. I have given them the latest and greatest in my ridiculous experience. They told me dealers have a direct line to the manufacturer and I should go ahead and reach out to the next closest dealer, give them my story and see what happens. Thats what I decided to do, Captain's Choice is 2 hours from me and when I spoke with them, they were just mind blown by my experience. Told me in 20 years he hadn't heard a story like mine. But they were very helpful and said they were going to look up parts and work on my boat and get them ordered so I could get it all fixed without wasting time. Big upgrade there. about an hour later I get an e-mail from Mr. Logan again. "Malibu sent us the parts to fix your horn but I told Robert you said we were not allowed on your property so let me know how you would like to proceed." This ding-dong sends me this, twisting my words, in the same e-mail chain where he is the one refusing to service my boat and I stated that if you are going to refuse service then you shouldn't be on my property. I replied telling him that I had reached out to the other dealer as he forced me to but that I would rather them come fix it, than have to trailer my boat 2 hours each way for something small. The following morning, he replies that he thinks I should just move forward with the other marina, and he would send them the parts. What? After 10 or so days he emailed me about fixing it with absolutely no intention to fix the boat? fuck off. I sent him a strongly worded response signed, "Sincerely, Eat Shit." and forwarded the interaction to Robert, detailing that in the same chain Logan proves he is a liar and twisted my words. I didn't expect a response at this point, but 3 min later Robert finally replied asking to speak on the phone later that day. When I talked to Robert, he once again made a bunch of excuses defending the dealerships behavior while stating he was not taking sides...makes sense. Told me they could do what they wanted and that me trailering by boat 2 hours each way to Captains Choice was a reasonable thing, knowing that the previous boat literally broke every week for 2 months. He informed me that ignoring my 15 voicemails was his call, in order to not escalate the situation, REALLY makes sense. Also, states that he told the mechanic to access my boat for the recall, which is not what ol' ding-dong had said. All trust in the company and especially Robert is lost at this point, so the conversation is useless.
About 2 weeks later I finally have the appointment to get the issues at my boat fixed 2 hours away. A spot in the flooring had bubbled at this point so it was that the horn, the fuel gauge, and possibly the recall. I leave at 530am with my boat to make sure I am at Captains Choice by 8am. Everyone was great there and were just as mind blown as myself that traveling that far for maintenance was considered reasonable by Robert and Malibu as far as "earning my trust as a customer." I was there for about 4 hours, napping in my truck when they took me back to my boat and said they stuck a needle in the bubble and smoothed it flat as directed by malibu, but it could bubble again, and they would then replace the piece. They reconnected the horn and it worked but in case it got stuck again they would send me a new horn unit to my house, seeing as ol ding-dong logan never sent them the parts. I have yet to receive the parts. They said the recall had been completed but was never put into the system which is no suprise seeing as Lake Norman Marina obviously does not believe in paperwork. Then theres the fuel gauge, he showed me that the float will not reach 100% ever, that it was poor design and nothing they could do. I mean, if thats the case I figure the rep for Malibu, Robert should have heard this complaint by every person who purchased a t235 at this point and not sent me 2 hours away for nothing. Anyways, they buttoned her up, and I headed home. Captain's Choice was great and a much better experience than I had previously had at the other dealership but, in total, I spent 9 hours that day and a full tank in my truck to return home with a boat in pretty much the same condition I left with. A needle poke to the floor and recconnected horn that both may fault again, a paperwork update of work performed by someone else, and being told that my 2nd brand new $140,000 boat in a year does not work right straight from the factory.
When I returned home I e-mailed Robert and told him that Malibu can either take this boat back, I keep my experience to myself, and we part ways. Or I will sell it on my own and relay my experience. As expected, no reply, so here we are. During this time I have also made small comments to other Malibu owners posts and been contacted by multiple people sharing their stories with me about the companies poor treatment of customers, and as one 20yr Malibu owner told me, it seems to only have gotten really bad since about 2020. I know some people have had wonderful experiences but this is the honest recollection of my 1yr experience with this company and I think its best for anyone looking to purchase a new boat to know what they may be getting themselves into with this company.
Also, if any other t235 owners read this let me know if your fuel gauge only reads 88% full.
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2023.06.05 15:11 haroldkebba I Think My Village Was Haunted By God... [Part 1]
I hope this is the right place and someone can tell me what may have been going on in my village. I moved here a few weeks ago. It's a small village in the heart of Russia and my parents and I came here because things start to get really bad in Moscow and my father lost his job. I don't know why we had to move to this isolated village, so far away from civilization. Maybe my parents wanted peace and quiet? To escape the things in that city, the poisoned minds?
The houses here had all been far below average in price. Almost everyone who lives here has moved here recently.
But, there are crazy rumors about this village that people tell each other. It was found abandoned in the mid-nineties. Where everyone went, no one knows. They say that no signs of people were found at all, nothing. But... everywhere in and around the village… strange patches of earth had been discovered, circular and smooth. Not only in the forest or on the road, but also in the dilapidated wooden houses. At our new neighbors' house, one of the mysterious spots had supposedly been found right in the living room floor, where the floorboards had been just cut away.
These rumors scare me. I am afraid of this village. But yesterday... I was redoing the floor in my room with my father and there... I found a notebook under the old boards. I hid it from my father, I don't know why... Someone must have left it there.
Last night... that's when I read it. I read it and now I'm incredibly afraid of this house and this village. Of the fields and the woods that surround me. The notebook apparently belonged to someone called Ilya Vasiliev. I have tried to translate what he wrote, hoping that someone here can help me find an explanation for the rumors. For this uneasy feeling that I have since I moved here...
I am fine. I want that to be clear from the beginning. My story is strange and in huge parts troubling, but I am still in the best state of mental health.
I am fine!
My story begins seven months ago, in December 1979, when deep winter was upon our village. We were preparing for Christmas, the first Christmas to be celebrated publicly throughout the village, after years of having to practice our faith in secret because the Soviet government did not allow religions. Only in the last few years did the Reds' view loosen and they allowed small islands of faith. One of them was my village, which finally dared to celebrate and praise the Lord.
I have been a believer all twenty years of my life, an exemplary Christian, just like my parents. Faith had kept our family line alive in times of terror and misery. Death had always been close to us, as the fields where most of the population of our village had worked for generations had once brought the end of hundreds of people. Many years ago, on those fields, atrocities had occurred that had finally given them their present name: The Fields of Death.
I myself had not been born back then, not by a long shot, but my grandparents had spent their childhood there, a childhood full of hunger and depravity. My grandfather Fomenko often told me and my sister the stories he had experienced and how faith had saved everyone. There had been a long, cold winter and the grain had been confiscated by the government to be taken to the cities for distribution. After all, the grain belonged to all the people, not just those on the farms who planted it, tended to it, and harvested it. And so, the only food of that time left my grandfather's village and never came back. Some of his neighbors had once tried to hold back some grain, to hide some sacks, but when they were caught, a hail of bullets determined their fate. People lived in fear, not daring to stop working, not daring to keep for themselves the food that was destined for the common good. In those days, horrors happened in my village that I cannot truly picture today, not even when I hear my grandfather's usually clear voice begin to tremble. When I see in his eyes that he would rather forget, in order to experience a peaceful sleep once again… someday.
He told us about those horrors to warn us of how quickly life can plunge from safety into infinite terror. Winter had reigned. The grain was being hauled away. They still shot all those who tried to keep back pieces of it, be it a sack or some husks that had fallen from a cart. In time, hunger began to drive people in our village insane. Parents locked up their children so they wouldn't be taken by neighbors to feed their hunger. Friends turned their backs on each other and killed each other in fights for the last livestock that was still breathing. The streets reeked of decay and death, of misery and suffering. One day, my grandfather told us, he had hidden in the back room of his house while his parents dragged themselves, emaciated, to the fields to pick the last scraps of grain from the furrows with their dirty, half-frozen fingers. He had come across a book there, a book that had saved his life.
The word of God. An old Bible.
My grandfather had learned to read at an early age, one of the sad advantages of living in the Soviet Union.
It was in the room I now live in that Grandfather Fomenko had found the dusty book. Actually, he had been looking for something to eat, the days before he had found some sawdust. But despite his hunger and the grumbling in his stomach, eating the book was out of the question. Books were sacred, and no book as sacred as this one. He had begun to read and learned about the greatness of the Lord. Of the miracles his Son had performed. And of the magic of faith. His stomach had growled, but he had ignored it. The words gave him comfort.
The next day he immersed himself in the book again, disappearing into better worlds and times, hearing wisdom and encouragement. But around noon there was a knock at the door. My grandfather emphasized each time that he had not been afraid, that he had known that the Lord would protect him, when the old neighbor gained entrance to our house armed with a cleaver. It was clear what he wanted: Meat. My grandfather told us each time about how the neighbor had looked more undead than human, stinking and with sunken eyes, smelling like death from his mouth, the cleaver trembling in his hand.
"I'm sorry, boy," was all the man could get out.
My grandfather tried to mimic this poor man’s voice at the end of his wits, to express his pain through words so that we understood that poor fellow a little.
The Lord's words had given courage to my grandfather in his most terrible moments. He had stood up and firmly said:
"Away with you, the Lord protects the inhabitants of this house!"
But the intruder did not care, coming closer. And so, my grandfather again sought comfort and prayed. He prayed for mercy and peace and for his life. He would serve the Lord for the rest of his days. Trust Him blindly.
Suddenly, like a gruesome miracle, the famished intruder let out an inhuman groan and collapsed, lifeless and debilitated. There had been no hunger for my grandfather and his family for a week after that. My grandfather had been praying to the Lord since that day, thanking Him for His mercy. The story spread around the village and out of desperation or hope, in the next few days everyone secretly knelt in front of small wooden crosses they had made themselves and prayed to the Lord. A week later, like a miracle, the long-awaited delivery of grain arrived, along with spring. There had not been another bad time since then.
These events are the reason for the faith in our village... and our family. The psalm my grandfather had prayed as the hungry neighbor attacked had become the guiding psalm of our faith. All these years we had not been able to celebrate Christmas with the other families, but since the restrictions on faith communities had been relaxed, we had all finally decided to celebrate the holy festival in the village square. And so, we started the preparations.
There, in those evening hours, my part of the story begins. I and my younger sister Zarina, together with other youths and young adults, were fetching wood for the fire that was to burn in the center of our village. So, we went out into the night, dressed with thick pelts, to fetch logs from the edge of the fields that some men had prepared.
My breath could be seen as an icy breeze in the dawning darkness and I was already looking forward to dancing around the fire with everyone later, drinking good drinks and eating sumptuously. I was glad that we didn't have to walk across the fields themselves, but could stroll along their edge to get the logs.
You can feel death when it has hit a place. I was glad that I didn't have to work the fields myself, and had learned the carpentry trade. Therefore, I was spared from having to wander around there every day, among the echoes of past atrocities and sadness.
We were all in good spirits, strolling over the muddy ground, when all at once Zarina pointed up and into the clear night sky.
"Look, an angel is descending!" she exclaimed excitedly.
We all looked to where her outstretched hand pointed. A round light glowed in the night sky, glaring yellowish and shining strangely cold.
"It's singing! At Christmas! The Lord puts our feast under his sign!" Zarina cried.
We stopped and listened into the silence of the night. At first, I could hear nothing, at first, everything remained quiet, and only the distant beating of axes and the rustling of the wind in the treetops were audible.
But then, there in the wind, I could hear it, briefly but clearly. It was a kind of melodic whisper, joyful, yet also strange and otherworldly. It was heard only very briefly, and soon died away as the glow flew out of sight and disappeared somewhere far away.
"Let's go find the angel! Let's..." Zarina cried, continuing excitedly, but I interrupted her.
"We have to get the wood. We can report back to the village later, if it hasn't already been noticed there too," I said.
"You heard the singing! Surely that was an angel. Shall we leave it there? It may have gotten hurt, it must have hit something!" Sasha murmured.
Sasha was my oldest friend and one of the boys who worked on the fields. He had always been very caring and had always tried to help where he could. His parents were long dead and the old lady who had raised him was no longer around, either. So, he struggled along, working the fields, but the rest of us looked out for him.
"Shouldn't we go and look for it, Ilya?", Sasha continued to urge me anxiously.
We thought about it for a long time but decided to leave the decision to the others in the village. Trusting the Lord to guide our actions, we quickly moved on in the direction of the woodcutters to complete our task.
We were not the only ones who had seen the glow. When we returned to the village square loaded with logs, everyone was in great excitement and full of joy that the Lord had sent us this sign of His greatness. Not everyone agreed whether it was an angel or a return of the poinsettia that had been witnessed, but everyone was sure that the Lord had sent us encouragement. So, we celebrated our first Christmas full of joy and pleasure, with good food, dancing and singing, full of happiness and under the protection of the Almighty Lord. I will always think back to those days, always keep in my heart how I glimpsed a part of the Lord in the sky.
We all talked about the event and even the older people were fascinated and inspired. Even my grandfather and the others who had witnessed the worst death and misery in the world seemed to slowly find a spiritual peace they would never have dreamed of otherwise. They were happy and strengthened in their faith. However, we were not sure if it had really been an angel who had come down and so we hesitated to go and look for the creature of God.
But in the night, after the light had shone in the sky, I was awakened by Zarina crying in her sleep. I straightened up and slowly paced over to her bed, where in the semi-darkness she began to squirm, shaken by spasms.
"No, no, no..." she moaned painfully.
I began to shake her to wake her up. Zarina did not respond to me. Her face was like a distorted mask hiding something bad underneath. Her breathing became shallow, and she began to whimper. I was terrified and began to pray. The Lord had to save her, He just had to save her!
Zarina twitched more and more, started coughing and whimpering louder and louder. Slowly, the rest of the family woke up and my parents and grandfather huddled tightly around her, praying for her to open her eyes.
"Please, don't take our child! She has only been in your world for fourteen years..." my father cried, as panicked and desperate as I had ever seen before.
His thick, black mustache trembled with fear.
Then, abruptly, Zarina stopped convulsing.
For a terrible moment she just lay there, her hair disheveled, her face pale in the glow of the candle my mother held over her.
"Mom, Dad, Ilya, Grandpa... what's wrong?" she suddenly asked sleepily.
For a moment it was as if nothing had happened, as if I hadn't just seen my sister almost die, but then she began to cry.
"What's wrong, dear?" my father asked, just as pale in the face as Zarina.
It took a while before she found some calm and was able to talk to us.
Finally, she croaked:
"I saw the angel. I was with him."
A revelation? Had the Lord touched my sister?
We all said another prayer and finally, filled with awe, I asked:
"Where did you see the angel? Is it here? With us?"
She looked at me briefly, seemed to hesitate for a little moment, and then reported:
"I was with it… in a dream. It was in a white village, a village made of angel dust. I saw it. It didn't have wings and that's why at first I wasn't sure if it was an angel. However, soon it spoke to me."
"What did it say, Zarina?", I asked tensely.
"It said it was not God, but 'the Witness'. It sounded like a man and a woman and a child and a baby and... It felt peaceful. Calm and carefree. Then I woke up."
"An angel. Angels are the witnesses of God, that's how it must be!" my father said enthusiastically.
Suddenly, everyone seemed to be talking at once.
No one knew what Zarina's words meant, but we were sure that they contained something incomprehensible that we, as ordinary people, could not understand. But everyone was delighted. Everyone was caught in a beautiful dream.
The next day, the adults sat together in the large barn near the edge of the village, which was used for community events. Most of them found seats on the lined up wooden benches and the rest stood crowded against the old walls, some of which were already rotten. Dimitri, probably the closest thing to a mayor, sat at a heavy pine table at the end of the room, staring at the crowd, while my parents and Zarina sat on old chairs in front of him. Tensely, the crowd looked at them, waiting for someone to say something. Finally, Dimitri cleared his throat thoughtfully.
"You... all saw or heard about the falling star. It was brighter than the others that keep crossing our sky and much more... melodic. Some even heard the singing. Whoever still doubted that the Lord sent us his messenger... doubts are now useless. Zarina has received a vision. She has seen how the angel, who was sent by God, walked on our earth, and visited a village and consecrated it with its grace. She has seen the angel marching to spread holiness in these lands..."
"Are we sure?"
Mary, the dressmaker, had stood up. She was still young, my age and Sasha's, and she always wore her blond hair carefully braided, her dresses self-made, blood red and flashy, with silver embroidery. As always, she wore makeup - a luxury not many could afford. In other places she would have been considered a lady, but she was also a skeptical person, and I had not liked her very much since childhood, because she often made insinuations that seemed to go against the Lord. Also, she had never played with us outside and had always thought of herself as someone… better. I was shocked that she now so obviously doubted the Lord's actions.
"Mary. Zarina has seen a vision. The Lord spoke to her through her dreams! An angel has joined us. How can you deny it?" my father asked coldly.
"I'm not denying it, I'm just saying, what if there is something dark that the angel was sent to fight? What if it is going into battle against some unknown evil? The angel may be spreading sanctities, but we have no idea if it is trying to redeem us or defend us..."
"It said it was a witness of God," I noted.
"That's what Zarina said when she woke up."
"Then it is benevolent to us! We must find it!" someone shouted from one of the back rows.
An excited murmur began to spread through the room.
"Silence!" Dimitri thundered.
His face looked hard but determined.
"We have to get to it! If it is a message from heaven that the angel wants to bring us, we must hear it! How many can we spare? Who would even want to voluntarily leave the village? We don't know how long the journey will be, and you yourselves know how dangerous this area can be..."
A loud commotion broke out. Everyone shouted at once and volunteered. I also jumped up and loudly offered to go out to look for it.
The angel. The Witness of the Lord.
I imagined meeting it in a clearing, under a full moon. Hearing its bright voice, gaze in awe at its graceful form, and fall to my knees in prayer before it.
"SILENCE!" Dimitri shouted.
"You can't all go. The kids wouldn't make it in the deadly cold out there. Let seven go. Seven is the Lord's number, there must be seven! Seven workers from the fields! We can't spare any more!"
"You can't be serious!" I cried out.
Cold anger boiled up inside me.
"I want to go, too. We all want to. You can't just stand there and make a decision like that!"
Others joined in.
"SILENCE," Alexeij now thundered, the master blacksmith.
"We need you! Daniil, Ilya, Nikita, you have a job to do! We can't get by without you! You can't go, be reasonable!"
"But if the Lord wills it, he will make sure that everything here will work out. That nothing will happen!", I tried to argue, still boiling with anger.
"No. Winter is tugging at our huts, we need you," my father said slowly.
"So do the others. Without you, it's going to be tight. The fields lie under the snow, but everything else will be weakened by time and storms. We can only spare the field hands. Besides, they're the ones most likely to withstand the cold and the wilderness; after all, they're constantly out on the Fields of Death, toiling in the wind and rain. They'll all make the trip!"
I tried to change his mind, and several came to my aid, all those who were also forced to stay.
"You can manage without a dressmaker! I want to go too!" Mary cried defiantly, her cheeks red with anger, her nose wrinkled.
This young woman really believed she deserved the sight of the angel! She really believed her hypocrisies would deceive the Lord, despite her obvious doubts about His divinity!
Others also complained, young and old, many who didn't deserve to go and even those who did.
But it didn't help.
Dimitri was in charge. Everyone knew that. If we started to contradict him, our village would soon end up in chaos. And deep down I knew that I had to stay. That I had to take care of my sister, who would not survive a trip in the snow. That I had to repair the huts that the storms would eat away at.
Sasha was a field worker, he was allowed to go. Sasha and Sofia, Anatoly and old Igor, Ivan and Yulia and Mikhail. When the decision was made, a decision many of us accepted only with heavy hearts and which brought out deep envy in several faces, some of the chosen ones began to cry. They were happy, fulfilled... satisfied. They would see the messenger of the Lord, hear its melodious voice, sing its hymns.
Why wasn't I allowed to go? Why was the world so unfair? I had always believed in the Lord, prayed to Him, been subject to Him and lived according to His will. Why hadn't he chosen me to see his messenger? I had been so proud back when I had been allowed to learn the carpenter's trade and thus had not to go to the Fields of Death to toil there. At that time, I had felt like someone better when I saw Sasha and Sofia setting out early in the morning with all the other workers, with their old-fashioned plows and thick, shabby clothes.
Was this the punishment for my arrogance?
The Lord knew everything. He had seen what repulsive thoughts I had had, how superior I had felt to the others. Perhaps it was my punishment that I was not allowed to go. Perhaps the Lord was no longer favorable to me and I would have to prove myself to Him.
The next day, the seven set out north. They were seen off with singing and dancing; they were the center of the village’s attention. Envy threatened to drown me.
Why not me? Why wasn't I allowed to go? Why did I have to stay here?
And I knew: it was because of these thoughts. I wasn't pure enough. I had to get better, work on myself.
As the others disappeared from sight, as the small group seemed to be swallowed up by a patch of forest between distant trees, an icy chill ran down my spine.
What if they really did encounter evil? What if Mary had been right?
I prayed to the Lord that they would return home safely: Even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
He would bring them home safely, our pilgrims. I did not begrudge them their happiness. I was not a selfish person, was not complacent like Mary or some others in the village. I lived by the word of the Lord and I would not begrudge them.
They would all return home safely.
I continued to stare into the distance for a long time as my suppressed envy sought to consume me. But I was winning.
For darkness is as light to you.
Even though the days and weeks passed, I never forgot to think of all those who had set out to witness the glory of the Lord. The cold winter had passed and frost and cold left the land, so that soon we could begin to prepare the fields for sowing. Since the sighting of the angel had caused us to let some of the farm workers leave, and they stayed away longer than we had expected, I had to join others in helping to plow the Fields of Death. The work was exhausting and made me physically very tired, since I still had to work in the carpenter's shop as well. We could not afford tractors, so we still had to resort to older tools. So, it happened that one day I was driving one of the hand plows through the dirty ground and was lost in my thoughts and full of sweat.
I was quite far away from the village, as the nearby surroundings had been worked shortly after the beginning of the thaw. The fields were extensive, partly reaching further than the eye could see. Only in one direction the dense forest extended, which introduced the beginning of a dark hilly landscape, that finally merged northward into high, alien mountains, whose white peaks rose high into the sky and, like once the tower of Babel, blasphemously tried to penetrate the heavens. But next to these distant giants there was only the plain, the vast plain that had to be tilled.
I hated the field work. And I hated the fields.
Every time I even thought about this piece of hell that had become reality long ago, my stomach turned. All the events that clung to this dark place, all the human lives and suffering that had sown the ground with death and blood here many years ago....
It was even worse when you stood in the fields yourself, truly being there on your own. It was as if I could smell it in the air, the rot of the starving and the hot blood that had watered the soil. It was as if I could still hear in the air the cries and wailing of the people who had met their end here, who had pleaded for their lives and the lives of their children and friends. It was as if I could see them in the early morning fog banks that lay on the Fields of Death, the shadows of people past, crawling and cowering, weak and starved. I had to pull myself together and look away, into the forest. A place does not forget, a place always remembers the days gone by and the cries that had been.
The plow pulled through the ground, ripping a furrow behind it. It was almost a bit comforting to imagine I was gutting this place of horror with my labor, inflicting deep wounds. Hypnotized, I stared down over and over again, watching the ground swirl to one side, smelling the fresh earth being pushed to the surface. But never could I escape my terrible feelings and the forebodings, never could I forget what kind of place I was at.
The few times I looked to the forest beside me, my thoughts wandered enviously to all those who had set out to find the angel. Had they reached it yet? Had they already learned from it what needed to be done for God's power on earth to be strengthened so that false prophets and promises could be swept away? How to drown the selfishness of the state? What needed to be done to serve the Lord?
Oh, how I would have loved to be there! How I would have loved to go with them, but I also understood the decision not to send everyone, and I understood my family's objections. I was needed here. I could serve the Lord here by tilling the fields and taking care of the soil and the sowing. I had to care for my sister.
I had already made several furrows when noon came. The sun was almost not visible, just a murky spot behind the clouds, and the fog had not lifted either. The world looked pale and apathetic. But amongst all the desolation I could suddenly hear something, something that seemed to come out of the forest.
It was at first just like a rustling in the wind that sounded a bit too regular, such that it triggered a natural uneasiness in me. I looked into the forest, but could hardly make out anything through the dense plants and the still lingering fog. That is why it was left to my own thoughts to imagine what was there, what was producing this strange noise.
I could not remember any animal that made similar sounds, was at a loss.
Suddenly, a bang echoed through the forest, accompanied by a panicked scream that broke inhumanly from the trees and spread across the fields.
Then, something new joined the sounds in the air.
The trees and bushes rustled, almost seemed to be torn apart.
Something was running through the forest, something seemed to be... coming right at me.
Was it perhaps a startled bear, an elk, or a wild boar?
Had one of the hunters from the village accidentally startled an animal, scared it in the wrong direction and now wanted to warn us with their cry? But then, why this panicked sound...?
I paused, took my hands off the rusty handles of the plow, and turned toward the forest. Still, I could only see fog, I could only hear rustling, but slowly I could also make out grunts and groans coming to me from the fog. It sounded heavy and panic-stricken.
Was I in danger? I began to pray to the Lord and ask him for assistance. I was not a fighter and so I had to hope that nothing would reach me from the depths between the trees that could easily tear me apart.
Even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
My baptismal motto gave me courage. The Lord saw me, even in my darkness, and would be with me.
For darkness is as light to you.
Then, someone burst out of the bushes and the fog and rushed toward me.
It was Sasha.
I almost didn't recognize him. His skin was pale, almost snow-white. His black hair stuck to his sweaty face. His pants and jacket were almost completely torn, so I could see his dirty shirt and his cut and bruised legs through the holes. There were also some small cuts on his face that worried me. Sasha's eyes twitched searchingly, panicked, and in his hand, he held the rifle that he had taken with him when he had once set out. Apparently, he had run through brush and thorns, had gotten scrapes and wounds from stones and branches.
When he saw me and looked at me with his big, panic-filled eyes, I became horridly afraid.
It was as if… behind his eyes there was no Sasha anymore, but only an animal. As if instinct had taken over his thoughts when an unnamable terror had entered his world. An animal inside him, which had enabled him to escape from... something.
Sasha staggered out of the forest, it was almost as if all strength left him now that he was back home. The rifle fell from his hand and dug into the mud beneath his feet. He limped slowly toward me, not taking his eyes off me. Then, suddenly, he wheeled around and looked back into the forest and the mist.
Only for a moment.
Again, he let out a shrill scream and sprinted the last few meters. When I looked into the forest myself, I saw nothing, only the fog.
But, didn't I feel a presence there, in the bushes? Between the trees?
I didn't see anything.
Sasha had reached me and collapsed. I quickly knelt down next to him and called for help. But the other field workers had already rushed over, obviously attracted by the rifle shot. I was in a trance, seeing only Sasha lying there, supporting his head. His eyes were still twitching around and despite my proximity he didn't seem to recognize me. He looked at me, confused.
"Sasha, what happened?", I asked, feeling his forehead.
Despite his paleness, he was uncomfortably hot.
A fever raged in his body. Who knew how long he had been running around there among the trees, his protective, warming jacket torn? With wounds that had not been tended and some of which were still bleeding?
Then another horrible thought occurred to me.
"Sasha, where are the others? Sasha, where are the others?"
This question apparently brought back some clarity that his gaze had not possessed before.
"They... they took them. Took all of them... All of them. All our brothers, all our sisters... all of them," he gurgled.
So, this is the first part of what I found. I will hurry to translate the rest! But I will definitely stay out of the woods for now... They are still as creepy as described by Ilya in this document and fog ist still around every morning... Also, I don't know what to make of Ilya himself as well, is he just a religious nut and that is the explanation? I just don't know...
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2023.06.05 14:28 Routine_Compote3238 Rewarded with fruit after helping delivery guy navigate language barrier
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So last night I worked a double, split into two 8hr shifts (1500-0700). The first 8 hours was at my regular weekend site, and second 8 hours being at this new site I was flexing for. They’re both within 3 minutes of each other submitted by Routine_Compote3238 to securityguards [link] [comments]
I had an uneventful night- always a good thing. In the last 10 minutes of my shift, some random delivery driver comes in all frantic-like. He didn’t speak English so he pulled out his phone and explained to me via Google translate that he needed help delivering some pallets to the warehouse we were at, and he handed me a delivery sheet
No biggie, I just called the point-of-contact for the delivery and explained the situation. He redirected me to another employee who was on-site
Anyways, after 15 or so minutes, we get it figured out and I clock out & get ready to go home
I was already in my car & about to leave when the delivery guy was knocking on my car window. He gave me some fruit and a fist bump to express his appreciation for helping him out. This was such an awesome interaction, really made my day
2023.06.05 14:24 SettingMedical4635 Sending Care Anywhere: Send Flowers to Pakistan
Flowers are a timeless expression of love, care, and appreciation. They have the power to brighten someone's day and bring a smile to their face. If you're looking to send flowers to Pakistan
and show your loved ones that you're thinking of them, you're in the right place. In this guide, we'll explore how you can send flowers to Pakistan from anywhere in the world, ensuring a seamless and heartfelt gesture that will be cherished by the recipient. Let's dive in and discover the joy of sending care through flowers.
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2023.06.05 14:04 Artistic-Repair-1828 David 1:1 of the highest quality CUCCI. I have the best shoes, handbags, clothes, belts, watches, the fastest express and free delivery
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2023.06.05 14:04 Artistic-Repair-1828 David 1:1 of the highest quality CUCCI. I have the best shoes, handbags, clothes, belts, watches, the fastest express and free delivery
2023.06.05 14:03 QuiscoverFontaine A Place More Dead Than This
Unofficially, we weren’t supposed to look at the customer’s photos, but no one had ever explicitly told me not to, and, anyway, there was precious little else to do in the Fotomat booth. The events of the Saltsboro Lakes Mall parking lot offered little in the way of an alternative distraction. At least, not during the late shift, anyway.
It was a slow evening. That said, it’s never exactly busy. I settled into the reassuring closeness of the booth as the grey twilight sank into full darkness, the night punctuated by the orange glow of the streetlights and the blur of passing cars on the highway. I spent most of the time fiddling with the radio trying to tune into a station playing anything other than country. Occasionally, a customer would come along to break the monotony, although not as many as there used to be. Most people these days went to the new 1-Hour Photo service at CVS. No loyalty.
That evening’s delivery of photographs was much the same as always. Holiday snapshots and children’s birthday parties. Awkward family gatherings and blurry photos of pets. Sometimes I would end up seeing more of the customers than they would have liked—gag me with a spoon!—but not that night.
One envelope of photographs caught my attention among the rabble. Not because they were good or anything—they were worse than most—but there was something off about them. Each picture was a candid snapshot of a single person, the subject’s features stark from the flash. Some smiling, most not. All of them, as far as I could tell, had been taken at night.
One was different. A picture of nothing at all. Aside from a small patch of grass illuminated in the foreground, the rest was empty, grainy darkness.
Probably just a misfire, I told myself. Nothing strange about that.
I tidied them away just as a beat-up brown Buick drew up to the booth. The customer wound their window down, the churning synth music on their radio jarring with the staticky bluegrass song playing on mine.
‘Hey. I’m just picking up some photos,’ she said, holding out her paper slip.
She had a smile like Chrissie Hynde, hair like Robert Smith and the sort of unstudied poise that made me want to curl up and die right there inside my blue polyester uniform. I didn’t think people like that existed in this nowhere town.
I realised too late that her photos were the same ones I’d just been looking at. I’d handed them over and she’d driven away before I had the time to think of something to say, let alone think better of it.
I saw her fairly regularly after that. A similar collection of photos turned up in the pile once or twice a week, and silent, electric cheers rose inside me when I found them. A new parade of faces in her artless style. And every once in a while, there would be another empty picture.
It took me months to work up the nerve to say more than the usual transactional exchange to her.
‘Hey, you come by quite a lot. You take a lot of photos, huh?’ Heinous, but it’s all I had.
‘I guess so.’
‘So, uh, what’s there worth the price of film around here?’
‘Vampires,’ she said like it was nothing.
She shrugged. ‘Life moves pretty fast; if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. There could be whole dynasties of them out there for all you know.’
‘In Saltsboro?’ This must be some sort of prank.
‘Of course. You ever seen a place more dead than this?’
Couldn’t argue with that.
‘So where are you seeing vampires I’m not? Unless everyones vampires and no-one told me.’
‘Maybe. They look just like anyone else,’ she said, honesty behind her dark eyes. ‘That’s why I take so many photos. Vampires don’t have reflections, right, so you can’t take a picture of one. If I get an empty photo back, then I know I’ve got one.’
A chill climbed up the back of my neck.
‘Oh. Bodacious,’ I replied, regretting it immediately. When did I forget how to talk to people? ‘You found any yet?’ I asked quickly, pretending I didn’t know the answer.
Her expression hardened. ‘What’s it to you?’
‘Nothing! I’m just interested. And, hey, if you ever need someone to keep you company on your stakeouts, haha
, I could always…’
She tilted her head as if studying me, then reached over into the passenger seat of her car, held up a battered Minolta, and snapped a picture of me.
‘We’ll see, won’t we?’ she said shooting me that broad smile of hers then drove away while the light from the flash danced in my vision.
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2023.06.05 14:03 Artistic-Repair-1828 David 1:1 of the highest quality CUCCI. I have the best shoes, handbags, clothes, belts, watches, the fastest express and free delivery
2023.06.05 14:03 Artistic-Repair-1828 David 1:1 of the highest quality CUCCI. I have the best shoes, handbags, clothes, belts, watches, the fastest express and free delivery
2023.06.05 14:02 Artistic-Repair-1828 David 1:1 of the highest quality CUCCI. I have the best shoes, handbags, clothes, belts, watches, the fastest express and free delivery
2023.06.05 13:59 Abject_Ad_6129 Angel Fashion, Amy recommends the highest quality products for you, with 1:1 highest quality. It is a representative of fashion, providing free global express delivery and fast transportation. We look forward to your contact.
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2023.06.05 13:56 Specialist_One5061 Roy's private collection, 1:1 highest quality handbags, shoes, watches, belts, clothing, glasses, global free express delivery, integrity is my purpose, looking forward to your contact.
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2023.06.05 13:50 Ilefttherightturn I got scammed!
I received a Walgreens batch with a nice fat tip. The location was closed, so I even drove 20 minutes away to another Walgreens, just so I could complete the order.
The order included a $150 gift card. The customer expressed some concerns about porch theft. They then claimed their last grocery order was stolen, causing them to loose a lot of money. Well.. my dumbass agreed to open the gift card, and send a pic of the front and back through chat. They said they wanted to give the information to their grandson right away, just to be safe and avoid theft. Lo and behold, the order was canceled before I could complete the delivery.
I contacted care, and they instructed me to return the items. Walgreens policy won’t accept gift card returns. 😭 Thankfully, the manager took pity on me after explaining my situation. She somehow hard voided the transaction without actually processing it as a return. The manager was surprised it even worked, so I consider myself very lucky.
Now I’m worried I’ll get deleted off the app for being an idiot. Don’t get duped guys! I can’t believe I fell for it!
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