Stone house clove lakes
The Girl Who Joined The Thunders
2023.06.02 11:37 JoshAsdvgi The Girl Who Joined The Thunders
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The Girl Who Joined The Thunders
One time there was a young girl who was very good-looking, yet years passed and she never married.
But at last a handsome young man, a stranger, began to come around and talk to her, and at last she began to like him, and finally she went away with him.
They traveled a long time until they came to a big lake.
And here, to her surprise, the man went down into the water, and she was obliged to follow.
But once she was beneath the water it did not trouble her at all, it was just like air.
Traveling on, a long way, they at length arrived at a little house where an old woman lived, who scolded the young man, saying, "I told you not to bring her here! She cannot live with us."
But the young man insisted.
And they began to live together.
Every morning he would start out to hunt, and return in the evening with a deer on his back.
And so things went, for a long time.
But one time the girl woke up at night thinking she saw a great snake in the house.
Frightened, she ran out and away.
But the young man follwed and caught her.
"Why did you run away?" he asked.
"I saw a big snake in the house," was the answer.
"No. That was no snake," he told her.
"That was only my clothes."
The same thing happened several times, until the girl made up her mind to escape.
And so, on her trips for firewood, she would wander away as far as possible, so as to learn the country in order to get away when the time came.
One day she started soon after the young man had set out for the day's hunt, and went a long way before she was discovered.
But at last she heard a hissing and a noise like a snake coming.
And then the young man appeared.
She told him that she was merely going over to "that hill, to look around," and she went back with him.
The next time she tried it, when she began to hear the hissing noise of the snake coming, she thought of her dream helper, the weasel, and called upon him to save her.
The weasel ran into the snake's mouth and down into his body, where he cut out his heart.
So the girl was able to reach the shore of the water.
And when she emerged, the Thunders were waiting for her and carried her up into the air.
She never realized, until then, that she had been underwater all this time.
When the Thunders took her up, they rubbed her body.
And at every rub, many little snakes dropped from her into the water.
By and by, no more snakes dropped, and she was clean and human again.
The Thunders took her back to her home, and she told the people there what had happened, but she said that she could not stay with them but must live with the Thunders.
"I will tell you how you can tell when I am coming," she said. "When a cloud comes up making a continual rolling or rumbling sound, that is the noise made by my garments."
From The White Deer and Other Stories Told by the Lenape
2023.06.02 11:36 midmarket_lampshade Two steps forward, four back
I might be that bastard that has it all and doesn't know it, and you'd think so from how my family and friends reacted to me speaking up about my not exactly depressed period.
So. I got out of an industry I hated, retrained at zero income and used up all my savings and then secured a good job. I now have the opportunity to move departments for more cash and more opportunity up the line. Yay me.
Spoke to my boss about it and she's supportive and has given me the steps I need to take to do it. Long story short I know I can achieve it in half the time she's set so away I go, right?
Not right. Since the world got back to normal I've been sick about once a month. All different shit. Lung infection, minor surgery, more minor surgery, flu (yes I had my vaccine), kidney stones.
Then interspersed with this I had 4 friends and relatives die. I live a few states away but I'm expected to fly in for this plus contribute to funerals.
I'm trying my hardest to save for a house and getting the better job was part of that. Now I feel I'm on the back foot, have got minus sick leave and the internship I was going to complete to get this new job isn't open to me. Next one in 4 months.
I have been trying to improve my overall health as well so I stop getting so sick (autoimmune disorders so not all is under my control) but the frequency of surgery and the flu etc have meant no gym time. No heavy lifting. Working immediately after semi recovery keeps me slow so I go in early as I know I can't finish in time otherwise which means not even a nice walk.
I feel defeated. I know it's not going to happen forever but man. Just lying here doing nothing atm as if I sit in any other position than leaning forward I start coughing. (Suspected pneumonia).
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2023.06.02 11:23 Faithhal Essential Of Home Appliances And Their Utilization
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2023.06.02 10:50 ruddsix Does anybody know what to do with these 10 coin ads? This and another one of the same style never produce an x to return to the game
2023.06.02 10:30 AutoModerator India tour
Destination Covered New Delhi – Agra – Jaipur – Goa
TOUR ITINERARY DETAILS
Day 01: Arrive New Delhi On arrival Incredible Tour To India representative shall meet you at the airport to welcome you and transfer you to hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 02: Delhi Enjoy full day city tour covering Laxmi Narayan Temple – The Place of Gods, India Gate – The memorial of martyrs, Parliament House – The Government Headquarters, Jama Masjid – The largest mosque in Asia, Red Fort – The red stone magic, Gandhi memorial – The memoir of father of the nation beside these some other places to visit are – Qutub Minar Complex and Humayun’s Tomb. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 03: Delhi to Agra Today we shall drive you to Agra. Agra is 205 kilometers away from Delhi and take 5 hours drive to reach. Arrive in Agra and check in into hotel. Later, we shall take you for a city tour covering -Taj Mahal – a poem written in white marble, the most extravagant monument ever built for love, Red Fort – a visit to the fort in ‘Agra’ is a must since so many of the events which lead to the construction of the Taj took place here, Itmad-ud-Daula’s Tomb – The tomb is of particular interest since many of its design elephants overshadow the Taj. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 04: Agra to Jaipur Early morning, drive to Jaipur. The city is 235 kilometers away from Agra and take 5 hours drive to reach. En route visit Fatehpur Sikri (Old Deserted town of Mughal Dynasty) and its monuments which include Jama Masjid, The Buland Darwaza, Palace of Jodha Bai, Birbal Bhawan & Panch Mahal. Arrive in Jaipur and check into the hotel. Later relax in the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 05: Jaipur Today morning we shall take you for a tour to Amer Fort. Take joy ride on Elephant (presently Elephant Ride closed at Amber Fort for the time being). Afternoon enjoy city tour covering City Palace – occupies a large area divided into a series of courtyards, gardens & buildings and a perfect blend of Rajasthani & Mughal architecture, Royal Observatory – An observatory with some rare qualities to its credit, Nawab Sahab Ki Haveli, and the Bazaar etc. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 06: Jaipur to Goa In the morning, you’ll be transferred to airport to board connecting flight for Goa. On arrival in Goa met our representative and get transferred to your Hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 07: Goa In the morning, enjoy half day sightseeing tour of Old Goa. Evening is at leisure. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 08: Goa Full day relax by the poolside/Beach. Overnight stay.
Day 09: Goa Departure Morning is at leisure. In the evening, you’ll be transferred to the airport to board connecting flight for your onward destination.
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2023.06.02 10:22 Plushytoonz There is a town called Necro town
An old friend of mine once told me never to go to Necro town. I asked him why but he just never gave me the answer. Looking far from my home town, Necro town looked abandoned and was never owned by anybody nearby. Whenever I look out into that town, I wonder about it. The unknown and its many mysteries.
My old friend seems to have lived in that place but he never did. It's as if he was making up a horror story about Necro town. But, I did what he told me to. Never go there. Ever.
I asked my parents about that place. They never knew anything about it except it's just a wasteland. Grandpa never knew about it either. Such a mystery as to why would my old friend prohibit me from entering but my dad said otherwise. "If you want to go there and explore the place, I guess you can. But you better be careful from strangers alright kid."
By the time I turned 14, the bully in my school keeps getting worse on me. I get slammed into a locker, get my head knocked out, and even beaten up. I really don't want to go back to school but how am I supposed to convince my parents that?
The reason I don't have any friends at school was mostly because they don't like me as a person. I expressed myself for who I am and yet I get mocked by them all the time. calling me many names like freak, loser, norm, or even Melvin the idiot. Was it because I'm different? I have no clue about them at all.
I tried to fight back but they just keep winning every time. So then, I run away from school in the middle of classes, lunch breaks, and activities but every time I do, a teacher always caught me down and send me to the principles office. I lied to them and said "Because I wanna get candy." Or "I forgot my books back home.". I don't want to tell them the truth because I knew how much big trouble I'm going to have if I do.
I tried escaping all over again and finally I made it one day. And whenever I escaped, I always go to my old friends house. We go into the woods to go fishing in the pond. I love seeing those shiny blue fishes in the waters because they're just so beautiful when I look at them in the afternoon.
My old friend's name is Brandon West. He's of course much older than me because he's about 64 years old and for some reason he got so much energy to keep himself moving. He always have his brown firm cane with him everywhere he goes. He tells me tales of ancient beings, heavens and hells, the Sturgeon, and the blue turbo.
I've asked about the blue turbo and all he said was. "He's a sad man." Sad man sounds like he's been through a lot.
The blue turbo was born in a world where flame people live. They all have special powers depending on their shape and colors of their bodies. Green flame, blue flame, red flame, etc. He grew up with lovely parents who have similar powers to his. His power is both his parents powers. In his childhood, he grew fond of his friends and family that he devoted his life to protect the good in life.
In his teenage years, he became an officer. Protecting the people who are in danger. It was starting to get dangerous for him, but that never means he won't give up.
In his late 20s, he became a well devoted guardian, fighting against the evil dark powers from beneath the world's surface. He loved everything that is good in life. He had a wife and son while being a guardian. Their relationship was strong and they did whatever it takes to enjoy life. But then one day, the world around them turned into a warfare. The evil dark powers are killing people whilst they fight back. He fought hard and won. But it was at a huge cost. He lost his wife and child right in front of his eyes. Lost what's left in the world. He fell to a deep depression, which he quit being a guardian and was never to be seen again.
Brandon always looked sad whenever he told me the blue turbo. It's as if that felt real and it did happen. But, it is compelling. I asked him about where did the blue turbo go. He said. "Don't know. But wherever he is, he'll still devote himself in life."
One day when I was 16, I escaped school again and this time it didn't go well. By the time I walked behind the basketball court, I was caught by the bully and his gang. "Well oh well. Looks like Melvin the idiot is trying to leave the school all by himself. You're really going to leave again just so that you'll get away from us? That ain't happening norm." They were going to beat me up badly, so I didn't waste anymore time as I ran away from them. I didn't know how fast I was at this point.
They kept following me as I ran on the sidewalk. I didn't want to look back because I knew very well that if I did, I'll slow down. The running footsteps behind me kept pacing towards me. I can hear the loud steps as if they're like the golem's foot. My breath is getting shallow the more I keep running and my legs began to grow numb and sore. But I never slowed down nor stop. I just kept running until I finally lost them.
"Get back here you freak!!"
"We're going to kill you loser!!"
Then, a road towards Necro Town appeared before me. The words from Brandon echoed inside my mind not to go in there. My heart beats in fear. The bully and his gang chasing behind me like I'm their food to eat. My legs are about to surrender to my exhaustion and I can feel every pain coming from my muscles.
I can hear the footsteps behind me as I think of any other options. There are no other ways to go except into Necro town. I don't want to be beaten up or killed. Then, every memory of myself being bullied by them flashes into my mind, making me very angry. I'm sick and tired of being their punching bag. It's time for me to fight back!
I stopped at my tracks and turned to face them. Face to face. They stood on their grounds before me. Laughing at me with mockery. I stood my grounds and prepared myself for the worst. "I'm tired of being your punching bag! It's time for me to stand up for myself! I'm not afraid of you!!" But I lied. I'm still scared of getting beaten up. All I want is for them to stop bullying me forever.
The bully rushes towards me and I was ready to punch him at any moment given. By the time he's in front of me, I missed my shot. The punishment for my failed attempt to punch him was getting knocked out by getting punched in the face. I fell to the ground, knocking my head against it. My body passed through the limits of entering Necro town. My head and shoulders lay on the Necro town grounds.
I was then slowly dragged into Necro town by the bully's gang. I can feel the painful sting on my back as I get dragged. Suddenly, before I went to sleep mode, I heard screams. The bully's scream fades far away and his gang gets slowly decreasing. My arms are dropped down. The hands that held me tight are loosened from my arms so fast. I can hear each of them screaming in fear as piece by piece they disappear. Then I blacked out.
I woke up to find myself in an empty dark room. While my vision was getting clear, I slowly stand back up. When I got back my conscious, I gagged from the awful stench that just came from inside this room. I looked around to see where's the door for my escape and there, I see the shining golden knob reflecting my sight. I ran and grab hold of it, then twist it to open the door. To my very eyes, I've witnessed the most insane horror I've ever had in my life.
The sources aren't just in the room I was in. It was also in the living room because there are 5 dead bodies hanging like pig meat. Their flesh cut and sliced so disgustingly brutal that I can see their organs and tissues beginning to slip out of the sockets. Blood and bones are spread around the floor, shining the cold light that shines through the curtains of the outside. When I look at the top of their corpses, there are eyes looking directly at me with fear. Then I realize that they're still alive.
They suddenly screamed everywhere with the pain they share. I blocked my ears with my palm as I felt the twist in my stomach getting worse. Tears rapidly escapes out of my eyes that I shut my eyes tight. I quickly ran out of there and arrived to a room that is full of random colors. The colors are wrong. They're all wrong in many different ways that I can't describe so well about it. The screams and the colors made me vomit all over the floor. I nearly fell to the ground but I kept myself back up in hopes of leaving this place. I want to go home. I want to see Brandon again. I wished I'd rather get beaten up in the basketball court than coming here to lead my bully and his crew to their unholy demise.
I spun around in a frenzy and saw the bright and weird door before me. I quickly opened it and I was met with a freezing atmosphere. The world turned into some sort of hell. There are large stone spikes all over Necro town, crushing through the houses. The sky all grey and the sun is smiling at me with an empty mouth. Its eyes glaring at me in those sockets. The Sockets are too big for the eye balls that I thought it'll fall to the ground but it didn't.
I don't see anybody else outside. There's only the deformed flesh like trees and broken homes. My heart begins to panic. The world is making me crazy and horrified at the same time that I froze in place.
Something was walking behind me. They felt wrong, all wrong like it's not human. I turned around to see nothing. Literally nothing. There's no room filled with colors and the screaming stopped. Far away from myself is the darkest room I've ever seen. All dark. No light. Nothing.
I closed the door behind me and checked the room that was hanging my bully and his colleagues but they're all gone and the wall is stained with blood. The writing gave me enough chills and fear that drives me mad. There is no god to save you, Hermit
I spun around in a frenzy as if someones looking at me. I can feel the eyes are at me and I don't know where it is until a stomp noise can be heard right in the room I woke up in. At first, there were loud footsteps, and now it's banging on the door like a maniac. I didn't wait for it to come out of course. So I ran away, outside in the hellish Necro town.
I'm running on the road now and something is coming for me. Thoughts popping inside my head about whatever is coming for me, it won't lose my tracks as it can smell my very soul. Until I was very far away from the house I was in, a loud scream booms from that house. The scream is like the thousand souls tormented in hell for all eternity. I can feel its gaze at me with its hellish intentions.
I didn't stop to look back. I just kept running until I get into my home. How far is this town? Because I've been running for much longer and the town shouldn't be so far. The footsteps are getting closer as my heart beats faster with every second of its footsteps getting closer.
My legs became so sore and numb, and my lungs became so shallow from the burning air. I suddenly coughed so much that I fell to the ground, hitting my elbow. I tried to crawl away but it was already too late as the thing behind me has already come to get me. I rolled on my back and looked forward to see a tall hideous figure.
It was a tall humanoid with coal like skin. Its skin tightens its bones and I can see its red blood veins pulse around its deflated muscles. Its legs are of a goat's legs, resembling the creature to be something demonic like the devil. The arms are so long that its length is from shoulder to feet. Snd its fingers are way too long that it's like a monstrous claw. Its head is not human, more like a hood connecting to its shoulders. It's not the long and impossible stretched jaw that made me scream. The eyes are because there's nothing in them. Nothing but darkness of Sheol.
It's reaching me with those hideous claws while screaming like a wild demonic animal ready to pounce on their prey. Is this really how I was going to die. To be brutally mauled by its claws and jaw. Will I share the same fate as the bully and his comrades? I don't want to know and I never want to live like this. I'm scared. I don't want to die.
By the time it reaches me, something bright hits it. It's like I'm looking at a fireball? It was big. Bigger than my torso. I looked upwards to see a bright blue figure approaching me. It's like I'm looking at someone from the afterlife because its whole body is in flames except for a recognizable coat, pants, and a cane.
"It's been so long since I've fought these creatures." It was a voice of an old man I recognize clearly. But this doesn't make any sense at all. It's so strange for this guy to sound like Brandon but his voice matches him.
The creature growled at him like a dog and I didn't waste anytime to get away from it. But the smoking smell in my lungs prohibit me to get away. It's like I was dying. But my eyes are alright.
The creature jumps over me, attacking the savior of my life. He shot another fire ball at it and that makes the creature soar back. The creature stands back up wildly before the stranger appeared before it as if he teleported in a blink of an eye. He wack his cane at its head which rips off from its neck. This stranger killed that creature like its nothing but when he turned around I can see fear on his face.
His face, I can see his eyes and mouth. There's also 2 triangular scar at the sides of his chin and they're not burning in flames. "Melvin. I can explain later but right now we have to leave." He said my name just like Brandon does. This is insane, I don't know if I was dreaming or it's real because everything is going mad.
"Let me help you up." He held me by the arm, pulling me up from the ground as I tried to take a breath. My legs are too tired for me to walk. But when he pulled me from the ground, I felt a great sensation of cleansing in my lungs and my legs and muscles began to relax. His hands doesn't hurt nor burn me as if it's a regular hand with no effect on me. I look at him and still he's in fear. Why would he be scared too?
"Brandon?" I said with fear and question in my voice. He looked at me with defeat as if he can't hide that away anymore. That's how I knew he's Brandon. "Well. Looks like you figured it out. But come on. Lets move now. You don't want the fish and chips cold." As he ran, I followed in pursuit. My legs felt reborn and my lungs have increased somehow. This felt so real. Everything does. I'm not dreaming at all. It's really happening. I kept asking Brandon with many questions from my head. "You're the blue turbo?"
"Yes. I am."
"Where were you after you quit being a -"
"Melvin. Now is not the time. We have to go. I'll answer them until we reach home ok."
We were suddenly blocked by 5 more of these creatures. They're just like the one I met before when I was being chased. I hid behind Brandon for safety as the creatures screams. I stepped far back from them, not wanting to turn into their puppet or something worse. I looked around to see more of them approaching us with hungry mouths. We're surrounded.
We stand with our backs facing each other. I'm horrified to see more of these demonic creatures all around us, ready to pounce at any moment. When I turn to see Brandon I thought he would be scared but he looks like he knew this would happen. "Melvin, when I say go, run away and don't look back. Keep running no matter what."
"What? But I don't want to leave you."
"I know. But this is the least I can do for you to live. You know my story Melvin. You know why."
My heart sank from the message. Leaving him here with all these creatures, I don't even know if he'll live on after this. But what can I do against these creatures. I'm just a human. I felt so much fear and guilt. After for what I've done to myself and Brandon. I wished I never had run away.
The monsters are creeping in. I can hear the chatters from their jaws and the footsteps around us. The creatures are ready to kill us because their backs are lifting up as a sign of predatory nature. Then suddenly when Brandon pierces his cane to the ground a loud boom vibrated around us as blue circular waves from the cane emerges out. The waves created a gravitational force that the creatures started floating in the air. Except we weren't floating. "GO!!"
And with that, I ran away as fast as I can, far away from this hell, far away from the only friend I have in my life. I can hear the sounds of vibration turned shut quiet and the screams of the demonic creatures so loud I ran even more faster. Tears are falling from my cheek with the guilt squeezing my heart with pain.
When I finally escaped and was on the clear road, I cried. I cried so much that I can feel everything around me started to fall. I've lost my best friend in Necro town and it's all my fault. If I hadn’t ran away, none of this would’ve happened. I've lost him. I was lying on the ground with the deepest depression in my soul hurting me. I can't bare to lose my friend. I just can't. What am I even supposed to do? I can't save him. I'm not strong enough. I'm just scared.
I'm now sitting at the front porch of Brandon's home. Waiting for him to come back for days. I haven't eaten anything nor come back home or school. I just stayed there waiting for him to come back. I'm alone and scared.
I kept being bothered by random people. They ask why I'm still outside. I never did answer until they called the hospital or the cops. I told them there's nothing to worry about but they don't believe me. If I tell them the truth, they'll die in Necro town and I don't want that for them. I don't believe the cops would understand.
From every hospital or cops I went through, I just kept coming back. Even my parents told me to stay home, I snuck out in the night waiting for my old friend. I did eat sometimes but not really much. I just went to my room until night time arrives.
Then, one day, at midnight, he's back. He's really back. I was so happy and glad he's alive just the way he is. But when I approached to hug him, he collapsed down to his knees. I was exploded with fear and worry. I helped him up and asked him what just happened. "I don't have much time Melvin. Lets go inside, we have a visitor I think you would like to meet. Meet Judith Wednesday." Behind him was a girl who's the same age as me. Her hair is black and she wore a grey hoodie with a logo I've never seen in my whole life. She was covered in dark red blood. The blood that is definitely from the creatures in Necro town.
We all went in and I gave Brandon a seat on the couch. Judith sat next to his left. And me, I sat next to his right. "Brandon, what happened?"
He looked at me with a smile on his face as he begins to change form in front of my eyes. His body changed like he was glowing and the flames form around him. His form now just like the form I saw while at Necro city. "Well. With the help of this young lady, we've defeated all the monsters. But, for me, it didn't go well for me. I'm slowly dying you see. I'm not going to have much time in this world."
"But you can't die. You're like spiritual aren't you?"
"Yes. But that doesn't mean death can't happen to me. I don't know where people like me go when they die. Nobody does."
I can feel my heart race as the tears slides on my face. I can't help myself but to cry before him.
"I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry. I shouldn't have ran away. I shouldn't have."
"Melvin. It's not your fault. I saved you because I wanted you to live a life I protected. It's my choice. And I'm glad I did. And you didn’t do anything to get there on purpose. I would’ve done the same thing by running if I were you. Now. Lets go fishing together. One last time."
I wiped my tears away, trying my best not to ruin this very moment but I just couldn't help myself. He reached out his arms and I took it. I hugged him tightly whilst crying so deeply that I don't want to let go. We've stayed like this for couple of minutes until I finally let go with my soul finally relaxing but with small sadness. My guilt is free.
We grabbed our fishing equipment and went to the river in the forest. Judith follows us with a fishing rod in hand. I don't feel anything like talking to her but at least we both have company. To share the moment together I guess. But this is for Brandon and I hope she knew that too.
When we arrived at the jetty and started placing worm food at the hooks. Brandon was the first to throw his fishing hook. The fishing hook was glowing blue, just like his flames. The pond glowed so bright like a lantern. It was beautiful. The fishes shine so bright from the light. It's as if the world around us is gone and all that matters was this very moment before death.
Judith was struggling to put the worm food at the hook. I went to help her but she said. "It's ok. I got it." By the time her finger was nearly stabbed by the hook, the tip of her finger turned into metal. But that didn't bother me because at this moment, it felt like home. We just laughed. I don't know why we were laughing and it's like being a kid again.
We threw our fishing hooks in the pond, waiting for a fish to bite. The shiny blue fishes. They're more beautiful than I'd remembered. The stains of my tears fades away. "Melvin. You promise me that you'll stay strong?"
I heard Brandon said and I didn't believe it at first. How can I be strong for those that really need help or even myself? "I'm not strong."
"You are. You're strong the way you are. It's ok to be scared because that's a part of how we live. You're a good man Melvin. You just got to believe in yourself."
With a smile on his face, he replied. "You find ways to make yourself better. Achieve your goals. And enjoy life." His words are so convincing that I begin to believe that. My eyes caught my attention to Judith with a warm and sad smile on her face. For some reason, that helped me believe too. I think I can be strong if that's what he said. "Ok. I'll be strong."
"Good. Remember Melvin, you're not alone." And with a sad and free smile on his face, he faded away before my very eyes. His body evaporated into nothing as the last bits of his flames disappear. The tears in my eyes slowly fell as I look into the the pond and the sun beginning to rise.
"I know how it feels." I heard Judith said.
"I've lost my mom and dad to cancer. My mom died when I turned 8. My dad died when I'm at the age of 16. I felt so depressed when my parents die right in front of me. I can't do anything except watch."
"I guess we both got the same moment then. I wish I could just get him back." She looked at me with sad eyes. This very moment makes us feel so calmly sad like its a funeral or somewhere quiet.
"I know. But there's nothing we can do. We just have to move forward with the memories."
It was nice to have someone with me who had similar stories like mine. She was right, we can't do anything about it. We can't get them back. It was hard for me, I know well. Like she said, I had to move forward and keep the memories I had with Brandon. I looked at the sky and prayed that wherever Brandon is now, he's at peace with his wife and son. In a good life he deserved.
It's been a few weeks. I stopped trying to escape school because my bully's are gone. But that didn't make me feel better at all nor felt good. Their parents looked everywhere for them, even the cops but they're not found. Some of the cops went into Necro town and was never heard of again. I wished I could warn them but they don't believe me when I did.
Judith came to visit me every now and then whenever I left school. We exchange stories of our past lives and other stories shared by others. We became close as friends as we kept hanging out with each other. I'm very glad and happy to have a new friend. She's not like any other teenager I've ever met. She's really good with cutting wood. She even shot an arrow directly at the fish in the river.
She's really cool but also depressing. She doesn't have any other friends and doesn't even go to school. Her mom died first, which is the reason she stopped going to school. So that she'll spend more time with her dad just like with her mom. She didn't want any friends. She only wanted her mom and dad and they're enough for her. Until she lost them. They were everything to her. But as time goes, she moved on and came here.
I knew how she fought the creatures with Brandon. At first I thought she was lost like me too but she's much stronger than I'd think. She told me she got a robot spirit within her spirit. A fusion. She can form into the form of her spiritual companion. Her name was Athena and in every single dream she kept coming over in her dreams, babbling random stuff. She's inside of her head, which means she's the everyday annoying voice in her mind that she cannot get away from. I felt bad for her at first but she shrugged it off, saying. "But hey, we got along with each other. Even that I don't like her at first, she's a person too."
One day, we went to the woods at night with our flash lights. It was horrifying for me because we could get lost so easily here. Sweat poured down on my forehead as we kept walking into the woods. Until suddenly, a bright blue light in front of us glows in the night. When we approached the light, it was the pond.
The pond was glowing the same light as Brandon's. This never happened ever in every night or day. Unless he did something or he somehow resides there. But I don't feel like he's there. But I can feel something else.
We walked to the jetty until we stopped near the edge. The pond is as beautiful as I remember with the blue shiny fishes swimming around it. I wonder what happens if I put my hand in the pond. Will I feel something warm or something else. Maybe my arm will glow. I don't know. But then something grew within my soul. A connection. As if the pond wants me to put my hand in. It felt amusing.
So I did it without hesitation. It felt warm as I swim my right hand in the water. The water suddenly jumped on my arm. I thought I was going to panic but I didn't flinch. Instead I let it do what it does. Judith tried to pull me away but I told her not to. She then watched as the glow of the pond gathered around the water that is holding my arm. I felt a great sensation of warmth and heat. I felt a stinging pain all over my arm but it quickly turned into a cold feeling.
All of the glow of the blue flame from the pond is now on my arm, glowing as small flames flew up from my arm, just like Brandon's head of flames. As the glow fades away, I can see clearly that my arm is stained with bright blue.
The pond is now empty of normal water and the fish swims peacefully. We were both shocked as to what happened. Did the glow of Brandon's flames just fused with my arm? I can definitely feel the power from my arm coursing with my soul. "How did it feel?"
"It felt like, painful at first but went normal. I don't know." A realization hit me that I forgot where my flashlight was. I looked to find nothing. Judith helped me out by lighting around the place but it wasn't enough. Suddenly, I felt something in my arm. I lift my hand up and gripped tight, making a bold fist. When I opened my hand, a bright blue flame appeared before me. A bright orb of blue flame glowing our surroundings.
It's as if I knew what I was doing. It's like my soul is connected to this power. When I looked at Judith, her face was a surprised look. I'm surprised as well. So I think I have Brandons powers now. I think I know the reason the glow came tonight. Brandon gave me his powers because what's the point in keeping them when he's living in a peaceful life. I understand now.
I looked around and found my flashlight dropped in the pond. I was frightened that it could've electrocuted the fishes but it didn't. I wasn't paying any attention to it. Accidentally dropping my flashlight. But it looked to be drained off somehow. When I was grabbing in for it, the pond created a vortex beneath the touch of my right palm.
It was shockingly beautiful to watch. The vortex flows so smoothly. I then put my foot on the ground and the pond made space for me to be able to move around. The fish swims all around the pond as I stepped on the ground of the pond beneath me. It was dry. All dry. I grabbed my flashlight and looked up to the jetty. To Judith. With a smile on her face, she said. "This is so cool."
I smiled back as the pond begins to glow and my right hand glows with blue the blue flames. I stand on the ground of the pond my old friend and I loved going to. I have the gift from Brandon and now, I think I'll use this power for good.
I looked up into the night sky, watching the stars shine above whilst a shooting star appeared with them.
I'll be strong Brandon. I'll overcome every obstacle I come across and overcome the suffering. I'll be strong for who I am. And no one is going to stand in my way of doing that.
submitted by Plushytoonz
to nosleep [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 10:13 Huongcaobeo Khám phá những trải nghiệm độc đáo tại vườn quốc gia Lake District
| || | submitted by Huongcaobeo to u/Huongcaobeo [link] [comments]
Trong cuộc sống ngổn ngang, xu hướng tour du lịch chữa lành ngày càng trở nên phổ biến. Người ta tìm đến những ngôi đền chùa linh thiêng yên bình, bờ biển vắng vẻ người và nơi có thật nhiều cây xanh để được hòa mình với thiên nhiên cho cơ thể và tâm hồn được “thả trôi”. Được mệnh danh là viên ngọc quý của chấu Âu, Vườn quốc gia Lake District nhiều người biết đến Vương quốc Anh sẽ là nơi dừng chân hoàn hảo tiếp theo trong hành trình “chữa lành” của bạn! Tham khảo giá vé máy bay từ việt nam sang Anh
và khách du lịch sẽ có tour du lịch hấp dẫn cùng nhiều trải nghiệm độc đáo.
https://preview.redd.it/mc0e01tack3b1.jpg?width=750&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=25b80c462c40e6d28ce91d780342c4c67fb95d4f 1. Vườn quốc gia Lake District ở đâu?
Công viên quốc gia Lake District tọa lạc ở trung tâm của Cumbria, phía tây Bắc nước Anh, sát với biên giới Scotland. Đây là một trong những điểm đến thiên nhiên nổi tiếng nhất châu Âu, được UNESCO công nhận là Di sản thế giới với khung cảnh ngoạn mục, hùng vĩ đến choáng ngợp.
Lake District (Quận Hồ) tọa lạc ở độ cao 1.000 mét so với mực nước biển, bao gồm 16 hồ nước và 150 dãy núi cao thấp khác nhau, hơn 50 thung lũng với nhiều đường mòn trekking được yêu mến và hàng trăm thị trấn cổ nằm rải rác. Với vị trí hoàn hảo giữa vùng nông thôn xinh đẹp, không khó để du khách di chuyển đến Vườn quốc gia Lake District.
Công viên tự nhiên này gần Sân bay Quốc tế Manchester ở phía Nam và Sân bay Glasgow ở phía Bắc nước Anh, du khách chỉ cần mất khoảng 2 tiếng để di chuyên. Dường như còn có một tuyến tàu chạy thẳng giữa Manchester và Hồ Windermere, đưa khách tham quan đến Lake District lập cập.
Để đi lại bên trong Công viên đất nước Lake District khám phá danh lam thắng cảnh và làng mạc gần đó, hành khách có thể sử dụng phương tiện công cộng như xe buýt địa phương, tàu hỏa, du thuyền hoặc thuê xe đạp để tiện di chuyển.
Tham khảo vé máy bay từ huế ra hà nội
đến với thủ đô của VN để khám phá những điều hấp dẫn 2. Điểm đến du lịch bên trong Vườn quốc gia Lake District 2.1. Chiêm ngưỡng khung cảnh thiên nhiên tuyệt đẹp
Vẻ đẹp công viên quốc gia Lake District bộc lộ qua những dãy núi chập chùng, con đường mòn trải dài len lỏi qua rừng cây, thác nước hùng vĩ và hơn thế nữa. Đây là nơi nằm của đỉnh núi cao nhất nước Anh Scarfell Pike – ước mơ của những người mê tìm hiểu, và Wasdale Head là lựa chọn phổ biến nhất với hành trình mất khoảng 6 tiếng.
nổi tiếng không kém là Langdale Pikes với tầm nhìn ngoạn mục nhìn ra Thung lũng Great Langdale và hồ Stickle Tarn nép mình dưới vách đá Pavey Ark. Chinh phục đỉnh núi này cũng là một chặng đường leo dốc đầy thử thách, thích hợp với dân trekking chuyên nghiệp.
Nếu đang tìm kiếm một trải nghiệm nhẹ nhàng hơn để tìm hiểu Vườn quốc gia Lake District, khách tham quan có thể tham gia chuyến đi bộ quanh Tarn Hows. Sau khi xong xuôi hành trình, phần thưởng dành cho hành khách là view nhìn ra Lakeland Fells của Quận Hồ đẹp như tranh vẽ, tha hồ hít thở không khí trong lành, check in chụp ảnh.
Là một trong những điểm hấp dẫn ngắm bầu trời tối của Vương quốc Anh, có rất nhiều địa danh hoàn hảo trên khắp Quận Hồ để chiêm ngưỡng trời sao lung linh. Trải nghiệm ngắm sao ở Công viên đất nước Lake District tại Rừng Grizedale, Ennerdale, Wasdale và Thung lũng Borrowdale.
Ngoài ra, hãy du lịch Rừng Grizedale để được chiêm ngưỡng tận mắt “phòng trưng bày nghệ thuật ngoài trời” độc đáo, hoặc ngắm nhìn vẻ hùng vĩ của thác Aira Force.
https://preview.redd.it/pea350jeck3b1.jpg?width=750&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=04266208abd543dd1161377f87cb44badfbea066 gia ve may bay ha noi phu quoc
để có tham quan đến đảo ngọc xinh đẹp 2.2. Thăm làng mạc và các thị trấn cổ
Thị trấn cổ Bowness 500 năm tuổi bên hồ Windermere - cảm hứng cho nhiều tác phẩm văn học kinh điển của nước Anh, là một trong những điểm đến ở Lake District thú vị nhiều hành khách. Tại đây, du khách có thể đi thuyền buồm dọc hồ nước trong vắt để thưởng ngoạn phong cảnh đẹp như tranh vẽ, phóng tầm mắt ra xa để chiêm ngưỡng tòa lâu đài uy nghi, khu rừng xanh mướt ẩn hiện dưới nền trời xanh.
Vườn quốc gia Lake District vốn là nơi dành cho những tâm hồn cần chữa lành bởi tại đây các bạn còn được trải nghiệm cuộc sống yên bình tại làng cổ. Grasmere hiện lên y sao như tưởng tượng của hành khách về hình ảnh thường thấy về những ngôi làng trong truyện cổ Grim, với lối vào phủ đầy hoa cỏ đặc sắc, hồ nước trong veo có cá bơi tung tăng, đi sâu vào trong là mái nhà cổ san sát nhau thật ấm cúng. Bên cạnh đó đó, làng Ambleside với con đường dọc 2 bên là những cửa hiệu xinh xắn, phía xa là đồi núi xanh mướt, mang lại cảm giác thanh bình mà một khi đã bước chân đến là không muốn rời đi.
https://preview.redd.it/sn3hapnfck3b1.jpg?width=750&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=181c137fe73c07f6c7b4599c99789928f328680b ve may bay tphcm di nha trang
để có chuyến tham quan cùng nhiều trải nghiệm đặc biệt lôi cuốn 2.3. Khám phá lịch sử, nghệ thuật, ẩm thực
Ngoài những cuộc dạo chơi Công viên Lake District ở Anh mang đến cho các bạn rất nhiều trải nghiệm thú vị, từ lịch sử, nghệ thuật cho đến ẩm thực. Với khung cảnh ven hồ tuyệt đẹp, xem tác phẩm mới nhất tại Nhà hát bên hồ ở Keswick là cách “giết thời gian” hiệu quả nếu khách du lịch chưa biết làm gì ở đây vào buổi tối. Quay ngược thời gian trở về thế kỷ 17 khi ghé thăm những khu vườn ở Hill Top - quê hương của tác giả Beatrix Potter, nhiều người biết đến với tác phẩm "The Tale of Peter Rabbit". Điểm đến này chỉ mở cửa từ tháng 2 đến tháng 10 và đóng cửa vào mùa đông.
Là một trang trại cũ thời Victoria đã được tân trang lại ở rìa Hồ Bassenthwaite, The Lakes Distillery tổ chức các du lịch và buổi nếm thử rượu thú vị. Nơi đây, khách nhập cuộc chuyến du lịch Anh được tìm hiểu về quy trình sản xuất rượu whisky, rượu gin và rượu vodka trong khung cảnh vườn nho tuyệt đẹp.
Tham khảo giá vé đi đà nẵng
để có du lịch tiết kiệm tìm hiểu TP đại dương xinh đẹp 2.4. Lưu trú và cắm trại ở Lake District
Vườn đất nước Lake District có một hoạt động cực kỳ lôi cuốn mà du khách không nên bỏ lỡ, đó là cắm trại giữa thiên nhiên. Nếu muốn trải nghiệm cắm trại hoang dã thì Khu cắm trại Syke Farm ở Buttermere với địa hình nhấp nhô và góc nhìn ấn tượng sẽ là sự lựa chọn hợp lý.
Gần Bowness-on-Windermere và nhìn ra Hồ Windermere, khu cắm trại Park Cliffe Camping and Caravan Estate có cho thuê lều từ thanh lịch đến dân gian với vừa đủ tiện lợi như phòng tắm, wifi, sân chơi cho trẻ nhỏ, cửa hàng tiện ích và thân thiện với thú cưng.
khách tham quan có thể lựa chọn lưu trú tại The Quiet Site, Ullswater với nhiều lựa chọn như nhà hobbit, nhà bánh gừng, nhà cabin, nhà gỗ,… vừa đủ tiện nghie. Địa danh lưu trú này có vị trí tuyệt vời để đi bộ trên đường mòn Ullswater Way hoặc leo lên Núi Helvellyn.
Một số khách sạn gần Vườn đất nước Lake District bạn có thể đặt trước cho chuyến đi của mình như The Ro Hotel ở Bowness-on-Windermere, The Wordsworth Hotel ở Grasmere, Brook House ở Windermere,… 3. Chú ý khi chuyến tham quan Vườn quốc gia Lake District
- Khu vực này thường có mưa nhiều, khách tham quan hãy sẵn sàng áo mưa, ủng chống nước chống trơn và áo khoác nhẹ.
- Nếu chuyến du lịch theo gia đình hoặc nhóm nhỏ, thuê ô tô tự lái là cách dễ dàng nhất để di chuyển quanh Vườn đất nước Lake District trong ngày, du lịch các hồ nước, làng cổ, điểm đến lịch sử,…
Mua vé máy bay đi Mỹ khứ hồi
và khách tham quan sẽ có chuyến du lịch lôi cuốn cùng nhiều trải nghiệm hấp dẫn xứ cờ hoa.
2023.06.02 10:10 GNAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA Dream about 6 secret colossi
| || |
So I know this isn't original and that this game is so special that many people dream of it, but this was my first instance that actually meant something to me, because I think I dreamt about the game once or twice but it was nothing out of the ordinary. But this one happened last night and it was different ( although the colossi seemed familiar like I've seen them / dreamt of them before ). So I remember there was like a second trophy category ( like in many games where you have dlc, the dlc trophies aren't in the same group like the regular ones ). And there were six trophies, and the 7th was like defeat all 6 mystical colossi or something like that. These colossi were bigger and more mysterious looking. Unfortunately I only remember like two, and I remember three areas. The first one was like a hydra ( basically a dragon with multiple heads ) but it was built like a fist ( it's body, the head and the necks were like fingers, really skinny and fast, and the rest of the body looked like a palm, but ofc it was only shape wise, it didn't have fingernails on it's face ). I remember a cave like area ( most similiar to Dirge's area, ninth colossus ) but it was darker, not orange and sandy, but more like the little island that you have to swim accros to get to Cenobia ( 14th colossus ). Sadly I don't remember the fight, just the look of it standing there, staring across the cave from the darkness. The second one was a lot more colorful. It looked like a mix of Valus ( first colossus ) with it's "fur" being green and colorful, having the same eyes as him but the body was a lot bigger, closest to that of Argus ( but it was a lot bigger ). It's area was like Avion's ( fifth colossus ) area ( lake, but with much taller structures, collums maybe ), but the "entrance" that of Pelagia's (twelwth colossus) area ( the three collums where the waterfall flows ). The fight I don't remember, but I think you would need to stay at the entrance and shoot it with arrows, while it swings from collum to collum ( movement was similiar to that of monkey's ). When it comes to the entrance you would climb on the entrance collums and drop onto it. It had a deep tight hole somewhere on it's back, you would drop into it and fight the colossus from it's inside ( which was like a grassy field, but I think there was a stone / crystal like heart ). And there was one more colossus I recall but I don't remember him, I just know his area was like a temple / colosseum, being the most similiar to Celosia's ( eleventh colossus ) area / arena. I know this is a lengthy post, and I am sorry I only remember one third of the colossi but this dream was so interesting and I love these concepts and the connection I have with this game. I hope I will dream of them again. I also remember needing to use a stronger weapon. The POV in my dream was like I was Wander ( I was in third person and literally was Wander's model but I knew I was in a game ). The graphics were that of the PS4 remake. submitted by GNAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA to ShadowoftheColossus [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 10:03 Swimming_Good_8507 Vreal - of my Fateless story project
| || | submitted by Swimming_Good_8507 to worldbuilding [link] [comments]
First time posting here - although I have a bit of a bit of experience in worldbuilding here and there.
I hope you enjoy what you see. Welcome to Vreal
Fantasy-Dieselpunk world of steel, steam and bones of fallen titans.
I will give a bit of overview of the world (All maps were made by me - I'm not a professional, but I think they are relatively good)
First picture is how Vreal and her two moons: The Great Eye
and The Little Eye Vreal and her two moons
Vreal is Terran like world - altho with much greater number of tectonics plates and with that: more vulcanos, mountains and vulcanos. She is surrounded by 2 moons and ring of asteroids. The Big Eye
- is a closer, bigger - stone moon and reflects classical, silver light at night. The Little Eye
- is smaller and further - but
- it's a metal moon. Little eye shines brightly and colourfully in the sky, like a rainbow - sunlight reflected from the surface shining in all colours. Moon is not only massive metal structure, but it also has lakes of mercury on the surface, which causes it to shine as bright if not brighter than her big brother.
Both moons - despite difference in size - have similar mass - and thanks to that they keep the Sky Ring
stable. Sky Ring
- is always visible from the surface - it's a clean white line in the sky. Rings have a great meaning for many religions in my world.
Ancient tales - well over 10 000 years - speak that once there was only 1 moon once - great and timing with life - but during The First Catastrophe
- it was ripped apart. The surface transformed into the Big Eye, it's heart (core) transformed into the Big Eye - and what was left, formed the Sky Ring
Although validity of those claim is questioned by modern scholars.
As everyone can suspect: sea tides - are very strong on this world. In fact - each moon has strong enough gravity to create it's own tide. So there can be "small tide" - if moons are on opposite sides of the world - or "great tide" - if both moons are on the same side of the world.
Now - let's get the world itself Geographical map of Veral Political map of Veral
It's year 1907 of the Imperial Callendar at the start of my story.
And as everyone can see - world is very much divided.
500 Years have passed since The IV Catastrophe -
When all magic in the world DIED
. All political and social structure, built upon authority of those with magical powers broke apart. Even gods fell silent. To this day, no one knows how, or why, magic which was present for over ten millennia, suddenly disappeared in a single day, without a warning or much of a trace.
Once world of fantastical powers - fell silent. It was the start of the Age of Silence.
After century of darkness the world was reborn - just to go back into struggle of influence and power.
New powers rose from the ashes of the old world - and grew with their desires. Colonialism, Imperialism - everything you could expect from the world, in which ambitious rulers wanted to rebuild empires of Old, would do.
Humans took over control over most of the world - pushing other races into lower classes.
Elves, dwarfs, cyclops and more races that once had greater connection to the magical world, now grew weak and found themselves under the boots of Humanity, just as Humanity was under their boots for most of the known history.
New empires rebuilt and exploited the world in the name of their ambitions for centuries. It was age of wonders, power, war and slave trade.
- When The Shattering
- shook the world
Fuelled by poverty, anger and new ideologies - Revolutionaries arose all around the world. Workers rose up in southern Zatrolia, overthrowing puppet kingdoms of the Northern Empires. Colonized people of Perra - rose up in the name of liberty. The First Revolutionary War
of 1848-1857, broke the status quo
Many kingdoms fell, many empires almost broke - but world revolution was incomplete. Revolution started to eat it's own children and internal conflicts halted the expansion of Revolutionary Order.
Old World empires rebuilt and re-organised, joining together in Great Coalition
and starting Second Revolutionary War
of 1867-1871 - when Old World Empires managed to reconquer much of their colonies in Perra - using division between Revolutionaries, to focus their attack on limited number of enemies.
The Success of the Second War would be however - short lived - as the same divisions used by the Old Empires against Revolutionaries, fractured their own Coalition. Third Revolutionary War
of 1885 - 1889 is for many a most defining event of the XIX century and the reason: Little Catastrophe
It was true World War. Old Empires, young republics, revolutionary states, old and new rivals, friends who became enemies - everyone went after each other. It was total chaos and deaths were in the tens of millions.
Empires that stood even before the Great Catastrophe
were about to fall, when far greater dealer of Death Would fall upon the entire world as a punishing blade from the heavens: The White Death
- a disease that spread through battlefields and logistics chains would bring death tall greater than the greatest of wars in modern history and stop the war at the same time.
- were found dead in their trenches - killed not by bullets, but by White Death. A virus that corrupted bone marrow and caused abnormal production of white blood cells, that then started to attack it's host: Autoimmune disease
- that world didn't know how to cure for two years since it's start in 1889
But it was enough - White Death killed enough to stop the war - units sent into the battle zone, simply fell over and died on the march. Third Revolutionary War took around 71 Million people White Death took around 114 Million
Adding the breaking of logistic chains, famine and chaos - Around 200 million people died
in what became to be known as: The Doom War Which constituted around 13% of the total world population
No continent was spared - usually at least 10% of total population of each region was lost due to White Death.
Most of the world had access to vaccine in 1893, but some hot spots survived all the way to the start of the XXth century.
18 years have passed since the "end" of the Third Revolutionary War and over a decade since the end of the pandemic.
The World still licks it's wounds... but there is no doubt among everyone, that another war will come sooner or later. The First War was a victory for Revolutionaries, the Second was victory of the Old World - the Third ended with a stalemate and devastation on the scale unimaginable in the past ages.
Even after all those years - there are still ghost towns and cities - spread around the world, left in ruin - as monuments to the Goddess of Death Herself.
Already new plans are being drawn, new alliances struck and new weapons created.
Some of those weapons might even try to find their soul...
All of this is observed by the Being of Laughter - who sees how all those plans might be for nothing if that which is dead - will be reborn once more.
Welcome to Vreal
World Shattered by Death of Magic and her own children both.
Welcome to the ending Of Age of Silence
[I hope you enjoyed this introduction - if you wish to ask a question about any subject regarding my world, please ask them in the comments bellow :)]
2023.06.02 09:35 InsertNoCoin House carved into a stone by a 15th-century Romanian monk.
2023.06.02 09:24 iGlutton Am.. am I the bad guy?
2023.06.02 09:15 Bubblegum_everywhere Should I blackmail my grandfather who SAed me as a minor?
Hey, before I start I want to let the mods know I did read the rules and I’m not looking for revenge or legal advice, but if this content does break those rules I will be happy to take it down.
Long story short, my grandfather (GF), who is not biologically related to me groomed me and sexually assaulted me as a minor (16,17). It started with trips to sports games and little gifts (GF is loaded) and escalated to the point where he taught me to drive stick in his Corvette. I loved (and still love) a good ride, so he would let me drive his four-wheelers and motorbikes, often letting me drive so he could sit behind me and caress my legs. It was weird, but I was finally becoming alright with physical touch, something I had been trained out of my childhood, so I guess I thought it was normal. I had an inkling in the back of my mind that it wasn’t okay, but I never acted on it.
It all converged into a final moment I couldn’t ignore. We were on his boat in the middle of a huge lake, and smoking my weed pen, when he grabbed my arms and tried to kiss me. I pulled away and smiled in a very uncomfortable way, because I was terrified of conflict, and hey, maybe that wasn’t what was happening, right? He asked what was wrong and I lied and said I had hit a squirrel on the drive to the lake last time and felt bad. He said he had a secret to tell me, which of course, was that he wanted to kiss me.
It was like a switch flicked and I realized the power I had. I demanded he take me home, and for some reason I got in his car and let him drive me home. Nothing more happened, thank god, but why I let him drive me down twisty and deserted roads high as a kite and obviously sexually attracted to me I still don’t know. He claimed he had never cheated on his wife or ever done something to a child. I don’t know whether I believe the former, but for some reason I believe the latter. He asked me not to tell, and said if I did he would tell that I had been smoking weed and vapes underage.
He drove me to my aunts house, where I proceeded to tell her what had happened. To this day she is the only family member who knows. I asked her not to tell anyone else for a few reasons: 1. My aunt’s husband, my uncle (through law), is one of my favorite people, and GF is his step-father. My uncle recently lost his biological father, and has never quite been the same since. At the time the SA occurred the death was almost brand new, and I couldn’t bear to hurt my uncle like that. I know if I tell him what happened he would take my side, and maybe even kill GF himself, but I can’t do that to him. 2. I wasn’t really sure what had happened, and truth be told, while I know in concept it was an unforgivable thing to do, it wasn’t really that bad. It’s not like I’m traumatized or anything. I just don’t like classic rock now, since that is what we always listened to, but that’s the only real “trauma” that stems from those days. 3. Why ruin his life? Because honestly, why? I have no desire to tear his family apart when he didn’t really do anything that bad. I was basically an adult, and not even remotely blood related to him, so it’s not like he was grooming real children. I hate him, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t harbor the malice needed to enact revenge. Besides, I only see him on thanksgiving and I can ignore him completely besides the required “hello, how are you?” To avoid suspicion. 4. I was in fact smoking and vaping underage with him. 5. I have no desire to go to court, especially since he is rich and connected and I am not. But also that is so much time and effort I don’t have for absolutely no gain except knowing I tore his family apart, which again, I don’t have any desire to do.
The reason I’m making this post is because it’s finally time for me to go to college, and as all college students, I’m poor beyond words. Maybe I’ve been listening to too many villain era songs, but I’m wondering if I should try blackmailing him for money. He’s fucking loaded anyways. I would send a text along the lines of “heyyyy, miss me? I’m about to start college, and I was wondering if you would be able to send a graduation gift since we used to be so close.” Or something like that. Can I pull that off? Do you think he would call my bluff? Is it worth the risks? I just want him to quietly transfer me a few thousand bucks and I want anyone else’s opinion before I fuck myself or anyone else over.
TLDR; My grandfather (GF), who is not biologically related to me groomed me and sexually assaulted me as a minor (16,17). I am wondering if I should blackmail him for money for college.
Sorry for the formatting. Wrote this on mobile.
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2023.06.02 09:02 MickIsShort4Michael Durham: Where History and Natural Beauty Converge
Welcome to Durham, an English county that seamlessly blends a rich historical tapestry with stunning natural landscapes. Nestled in the northeast of England, Durham invites you to embark on a captivating journey through its ancient heritage, picturesque countryside, and welcoming communities. In this article, we will delve into the enchanting wonders of this county, exploring its historic landmarks, breathtaking landscapes, and hidden gems. Get ready to immerse yourself in the allure and charm of Durham, where each corner holds a treasure waiting to be discovered.
- Discovering Timeless History:
- Step into the remarkable past of Durham Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Europe's most magnificent examples of Norman architecture. Marvel at its towering spires, intricate stone carvings, and awe-inspiring interior.
- Explore the iconic Durham Castle, perched proudly atop a hill overlooking the city. Delve into its storied history as you wander through its grand halls, medieval chambers, and picturesque gardens.
- Uncover the secrets of Beamish, the Living Museum of the North. Step back in time as you roam the recreated streets of a 19th-century town, experience life on a traditional farm, and ride vintage trams through a bygone era.
- Visit the captivating ruins of Finchale Priory, nestled on the banks of the River Wear. Discover the tranquil beauty of this medieval monastery and soak in the peaceful atmosphere of its picturesque surroundings.
- Embracing Natural Splendor:
- Immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscapes of the Durham Dales, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Explore the rugged beauty of High Force, one of England's most spectacular waterfalls, cascading into a deep gorge.
- Take a leisurely stroll along the banks of the River Wear, where you can admire the scenic beauty of Durham's riverside walks and picturesque bridges.
- Venture into the expansive beauty of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with its rolling hills, heather moorland, and charming villages. Discover hidden trails, ancient stone circles, and abundant wildlife.
- Indulge in outdoor activities at Hamsterley Forest, a sprawling woodland offering picturesque walking and cycling trails, enchanting picnic spots, and a treetop adventure course.
- Exploring Charming Towns and Villages:
- Wander through the winding streets of Durham City, with its cobbled alleys, independent shops, and charming cafes. Admire the riverside views and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of this historic city.
- Discover the medieval market town of Barnard Castle, home to a magnificent fortress perched above the River Tees. Explore its quaint streets, antique shops, and visit the Bowes Museum, housing a remarkable collection of art and artifacts.
- Experience the idyllic village of Blanchland, nestled within the North Pennines. Admire its picturesque stone buildings, cozy pubs, and enjoy peaceful walks amidst its scenic surroundings.
- Immerse yourself in the cultural ambiance of Bishop Auckland, a vibrant town with a rich heritage. Visit the majestic Auckland Castle, discover local art at The Mining Art Gallery, and explore the wonders of the Kynren outdoor live show.
Durham awaits your exploration, offering a harmonious blend of history and natural beauty. Whether you're captivated by the awe-inspiring Durham Cathedral, enchanted by the tranquil landscapes of the Durham Dales, or charmed by the picturesque towns and villages, Durham promises a journey filled with wonder and discovery. Unveil its treasures, immerse yourself in its stories, and create memories that will last a lifetime in this captivating English county. UPCOMING POSTS:
- Wrexham: Discover the Beauty of Wales' Historic Border County
- Enchanting Kent: Heritage and Natural Splendor
- Unveiling West Lothian
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2023.06.02 08:53 WonderWomanPhi Summer To Do List
Here’s a list I’ve compiled of all the major summer events, thought it would be helpful:
Taste of Syracuse • June 2-3 11am-10pm • Clinton Square
Syracuse Bike Party • Last Saturday of each month, 6:45 meet time • Clinton Square (or alternative site)
Fayetteville Farmers Market CNY • Every Thursday, 12-6pm • Fayetteville Town Center
Syracuse Downtown Farmers Market • Every Tuesday, 8am-2pm • Clinton Square
Cazenovia Farmers' Market • Every Saturday, 9am-2pm • Memorial Park on Albany Street
Bank Alley Urban Market • June 11, July 16, August 13 • 11am-4pm • Bank Allley Downtown Syracuse
Bank Alley Social Club • Shop Small Sundays • June 18, July 23 • 11am-5pm • Located at Salt City Market
Syracuse Shakespeare In The Park • June 2-11 • Thornden Park Amphitheater
St. Sophia’s Greek Cultural Festival • June 8-10 • 325 Waring Road
CNY Pride Festival & Parade • June 10, 11am parade, 12-5pm festival • Inner Harbor
2023 New York State Blues Festival • June 15-17 • Chevy Court
Westcott Art Trail • June 17, 10am-6pm • Westcott Community Center
Polish Days in Syracuse • June 9-11 • Clinton Square
Syracuse Jazz Fest • June 21-25 • Hanover and Clinton Square
St. Elias Middle Eastern Festival • July 13-16, various times • 4988 Onondaga Road
Syracuse Nationals • July 20-22 • NYS Fairgrounds
M&T Bank Syracuse Arts & Crafts Festival • July 28-30 • Columbus Circle
Skaneateles Antique and Classic Boat Show • July 28-30 • Skaneateles, NY
Visit Syracuse Hanover Square Thursdays • Live music every Thursday in August • Hanover Square Downtown
Madison Bouckville Antique Week • August 14-20 • Rt 20 Bouckville, NY
The Skaneateles Festival • Live music events • July-August, various dates • Downtown Skaneateles
St. George Macedonian Festival • August 4-6 • 5083 Onondaga Road
CNY Scottish Games • August 12, 9am-8pm • Long Branch Park, Liverpool
Syracuse Irish Festival • September 8-9 • Clinton Square
Strathmore Art on the Porches • September 9, 11am-5pm • Ruskin Ave
Golden Harvest Festival • September 9-10, 10am-5pm • Beaver Lake Nature Center
Festa Italiana Syracuse • September 15-17 • Corner of Montgomery and Washington Streets (in front of city hall)
Westcott Street Cultural Fair • October 1, 12-6:30pm • Westcott Neighborhood
LaFayette Apple Festival • October 7-8 • 5330 Rowland Road, LaFayette
Syracuse Mets Home Games June: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 28, 29, 30 July: 1, 2, 3, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 August: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 September: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Rosamond Gifford Zoo • Open every sinlge day • 10:00am - 4:30pm
Museums: • Skä•noñh - Great Law of Peace Center • Everson Museum of Art • Museum of Science & Technology - MOST • Erie Canal Museum • Salt Museum • Onondaga Historical Association
Theaters and stages: • The Palace Theatre Syracuse • Landmark Theatre • The Westcott Theater • The Oncenter • Syracuse Stage • Redhouse Theater
Some parks and beaches, more below: • Beaver Lake Nature Center (has lots of activities and programs!) • Clark Reservation • Green Lakes State Park • Sylvan Beach Amusement Park • Thornden Park
Onondaga County Parks • Find parks, beaches, and activities here: https://onondagacountyparks.com
Syracuse Parks & Rec • Find parks and activities here: https://www.syr.gov/Departments/Parks-Recreation
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation • Find parks, beaches, activities, and historic sites here: https://parks.ny.gov
The Great New York State Fair Free/reduced price/theme days: ⭐️Thursday, August 24, 2023 Student Youth Day Youth and Students under 18 years of age are admitted free on this day. ID showing date of birth may be requested.
⭐️Friday, August 25, 2023 Pride Day The first state fair in America to host an official Pride Day to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community.
New Americans Day Witness approximately 100 people as they complete a long and challenging process to pledge their allegiance to the United States and become Americans. Ceremony will be held at Daniella’s Seafood & Pasta House in the Art & Home Center.
⭐️Monday, August 28, 2023 Law Enforcement Day We honor the men and women of law enforcement in New York State with free admission to any active or retired law enforcement or corrections personnel who presents a badge or picture ID from the department from which they are or were employed.
⭐️Tuesday, August 29, 2023 Fire & Rescue Day We honor the brave men and women of fire and emergency services agencies with free admission to any active or retired member of a fire department or emergency services organization who has a picture ID from that department or organization.
⭐️Wednesday, August 30, 2023 Women's Day A mini-fair will be held from 10:00am to 4:00pm at the Chevy Court Pavilion featuring many advocacy groups for women… feel free to stop by to get information, learn, and ask any questions.
⭐️Thursday, August 31, 2023 Armed Forces Day We celebrate all members of the military with free admission to any active duty or veteran with military identification (Military ID Card, form DD-214 or NYS Driver License, Learner Permit or non-driver ID card with a veteran designation).
⭐️Friday, September 1, 2023 Native Americans Day We honor all members of Native American tribes with free admission on this day. ID is not required. Make sure to visit the Indian Village throughout the day for cultural performances and crafts.
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2023.06.02 08:52 nauticalTiltyard This stone house has a map on the USA built into the wall
2023.06.02 08:10 ANewbornSun Frynne I - Donning the Visage
"I... would like to start over, for what little time we have left. Hello, my lady. My name is Garin."
"And it only took you most of our lives for you to tell me. Yet... I prefer Akir better."
"...So do I."
--- The Red Mountains, Dorne, 200 AC Ambience
The site of Garin's grave was quiet, and awash with the smell of flowers.
When she had led her people back home, those who had stayed behind had emerged with a great joy. Kin reunited with kin, friends held hands with friends, lovers embraced for the first time in moons. It was cleberation, yet, at the same time, it was not.
A mournful cheer had fallen upon her people. All who had sworn to the cause felt it, newcomers and old alike.
None felt it more than her.
For, there were no friends awaiting her upon her return. No familty to welcome her home. No lover to hold close.
All that was left to her was a simply grave, erected in a grassy grove.
There was no body beneath the plain, stone heading. From what she had been told, Garin's corpse's had been defiled and hidden away by the host that had made battle with them so many moons ago. Her people, those who had not descended down into Dorne proper, had searched for his corpse, but... He could not even receive his burial rites.
She'd nearly wept, when the realization hit her. Instead, she had taken to sparring with Ser Gerold. Frynne had found it much easier to vent her frustrations on the world with her sword, rather than breaking down before the people she had claimed leadership of.
Though, with each passing day, her fighting abilities dwindled. Her child was seeing to that.
Frynne found that she did not mind, that much. What was her martial prowress, in the face of giving her child life?
There were very, very
few things she would not give, to see this child grow healthily. And even fewer people she would not kill to keep her child safe.
Arthur Dayne, for one.
A blze of fury overtook her for a moment, at the thought of the boy. She had been a fool to trust the words of a Dayne
, asking for peace. After what his father had done to them, both during the Last Crusade and the Battle on the Mount, it was clear where House Dayne's priorities lay, when it came to her people.
She had trusted that boy's word, and the boy had kept it. She had arrived unharmed, and had left unharmed.
But, she would not trust it again.
From where she knelt, before Akir's tomb, Frynne whispered a goodbye, then stood.
She mourned. She always would
mourn. But, her people needed her. Her child needed her.
(And, if donning the mask her beloved had left behind was the price she had to pay, to keep all she had left to herself? If it meant she had to play the part of the Vessal? If all of Dorne marched against her?)
The woman took one more moment to look at the grave, then turned away. heart heavy, but face still.
(It was a sacrifice she was more than willing to make.)
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2023.06.02 07:58 VeeMeeVee House carved into a stone by a 15th-century Romanian monk.
2023.06.02 07:49 JJW2795 Land of the North Wind: Chapter 8
Yay, new chapter is (finally) out! Only took a damn month. Why must May be so busy? At least I've managed to get chapter 9 mostly done as well, so that will be locked and loaded soon. Then I'm hoping to pick up the pace a bit.
Anyways, in this chapter both the snow wolves and Tostig plan their next moves, and the decisions made will affect the Ulstads.
As always, this story can be read up to the current chapter in both fanfiction and AO3 if you'd prefer those sites to reading all the text on reddit.
AO3: https://archiveofourown.org/works/45067345/chapters/119955676 Banishment
Tostig looked out at this city under siege. Part of him felt for his people, but at the same time they could not be allowed to bow to wolves. He
would not bow to wolves and their demands. They were lesser, and they were rivals who were only useful for labor and trade in times of peace. And yet, the situation they were in now was not sustainable and everyone knew it. Just then, the door to his chamber was opened and his lead counselor, his right hand, stepped into the room.
“You wished to see me, my lord?”
Tostig took a sip from his wine chalice before turning away from his window and walking over to his desk with slow, deliberate steps. Upon locking eyes with his trusted advisor, the lord gave a small smile.
“Yes. I was hoping you’d have an inventory of our supplies ready to discuss.”
The counselor stepped forward, producing a stack of documents that had been written up by scribes. “Of course, my lord. Here are the inventory lists on the items you requested. Firewood, coal, wine, ale, spirits, bread, and meat are all right here.”
The counselor then placed the lists in his lord’s outstretched hands.
Tostig then got to the point of their meeting, “but all of these lists are to answer a single question. Do we have enough supplies to make it until spring?”
His counselor lowered his head and shook it slowly, “No sir. We’ll be out two months before the first ships can make safe harbor at the coast.”
Tostig sighed. “Then it’ll have to be done.”
“Are you sure, my Lord?”
“What choice do I have? We tried leaving, we tried getting necessary supplies, and even rations won’t carry us through the entire winter.”
“Those poor souls…”
“The keidran, overall, are tough beasts. And if you ask me, some of them played a hand in this whole mess, I just know it.”
“In what way could they be responsible, sir?” The counselor asked, confused.
“You really think every keidran in this town wants to be serving humans in some way or another? Their brethren are outside the walls, likely promising them a place of refuge for themselves and their slave relatives back east if they help the snow wolves kick us out.”
“That seems unlikely, my Lord.”
“Even if I’m wrong about their loyalties, the fact is keidran are more disposable than men. I can do without all these extra servants and menial laborers, but I’m going to need my miners and loggers when the snow clears, and the crown sends the best troops in Mekkan to our aid.”
“Your will is my command, sir. I’ll have Gerrick gather all his guardsmen in the great hall this evening. We’ll need every able-bodied member of the garrison.”
“Very good. Also, please send for the healer. These headaches… that medicine hasn’t been working.”
“Of course, my lord. Right away.”
The sun was setting on another day of the town under siege. The wolves had not made any moves to attack the walls, but why would they? They controlled the land and sea for hundreds of miles in every direction. A counsel of the elders was called in the camp overlooking the settlement. In the middle of the camp was a large, portable lodge made from thick timbers cut in the Snowy Pines. The frame was bound tightly by many hides, proving insulation and blocking the fierce winds that would often sweep across the tundra. Normally, settlements were permanent, but some wolves that had ventured into human territory took notes on how their rivals conducted war, and moveable houses were the answer to navigating across harsh country that was so brutal even the ever-adaptable humans had yet to conquer.
Outside the lodge entrance waited a tall, young snow wolf. Icy-white hair was bound tightly into a knot under a hat of seal fur. Extra layers of fur helped to protect the wolf from the elements, as even in winter the temperatures were colder than any canine could safely withstand. Blue eyes pierced through the growing darkness, a slight glow from his mana crystal necklace giving his face some soft illumination. He was waiting, watching for someone. Others came into the lodge one and two at a time. After a while, the young wolf was beginning to worry. “Where could he be?” The thought.
Just then a lone figure hobbled into view. A snow wolf much like him seemed to materialize out of the blowing snow that cut the visibility down significantly. Now only the glow of Callow could be seen in the distance. The old wolf, walking with a cane, finally found his way to the entrance.
“Grandfather, I was getting worried about you. You know I could help you up the hill, right?”
“Oh, don’t trouble yourself Bjorn. I might be almost as old as the wood holding that lodge together, but I can still find my way around camp. Now, let’s get inside, shall we?”
“Of course grandpa…” Bjorn then held the entrance to the lodge open so his frail kin could make his way inside where it was warm.
Following his grandfather inside, Bjorn was hit immediately with the warmth of a fire, fueled by wood brought in from the forest by sled, most of it cut down courtesy of the logging teams they had chased out a month earlier. The glow from his mana crystals was quickly overtaken by the bright, orange light of the fire. The young wolf removed most of his outer garments, placing them on the ground to use as a seat. He sat down behind where his grandfather had made himself comfortable. As an elder, the old wolf held one of the seats in the clans moot, the council of elders that had assembled to deal with the human problem.
All inside the lodge waited silently as their shaman conjured magical light structures from her crystal necklace in a ceremony to purify the air. The lights were dazzling. Bjorn’s favorite was seeing a replication of the night sky, a spell which was meticulously maintained through the generations showing each visible star as well as the moon. Another spell finished the ceremony, seemingly purging the air from the lodge, the fire reducing to embers, only to roar back to life as new, fresh air came in to fill the vacuum. It was then that the shaman gave a special blessing and prayer to each of the council members before taking her seat in the back as an observer. The five wolves then allowed for a silent pause to pass over all in attendance before beginning.
The designated leader of the council, tasked with mediating the clans moot, broke the silence, “my friends, our actions this winter may ensure the survival of our people and way of life, but one misstep and we will surely suffer greatly for our actions against the humans.”
A graying elder from the clan west of Widow Lake then saw fit to add in his thoughts. “Indeed, Bragi, but I believe our actions so far have been successful. The humans and their keidran servants have been completely cut off from their homeland and their king. No one will be able to help them until the snow leaves.”
Frey, the elder representing the clan at the split between the Widow and Pines rivers then spoke, “My warriors were successful in destroying any attempts by the humans to reach the sea. I’ve seen some of the bodies from their first attempt, and I believe that many of their most capable are dead. We ought to press an attack while we still have an advantage in the snow.”
Garth, Bjorn’s grandfather, and widely held to be one of the wisest elders in the North, urged caution. “It is true, Frey, that your warriors have slain many humans who could defend the walls, but many more are still inside. We’ve all seen the patrols along the top of the wall. Besides that, your warriors let one boat get away in the humans’ first attempt to summon help, didn’t they?”
Frey was forced to admit the mistake. “You are right, Garth, one did manage to slip away in the night. My warriors say they followed a light they thought was a lantern from the boat, but it was something else. It was alive, but they could not get a good look at it, and the light they followed led them into a sand bank. But a large storm hit shortly after. Surely, none survived.”
Garth had a different thought. “I would not so easily discredit these humans. Sure, they lack our fur, but they are adaptable creatures. I’ve seen with my own eyes the mines they’ve built. If they can bring the heart of Mekkan to the surface, their best may be able to survive winter.”
Bragi, always one to listen to a wolf with so much experience, wanted to know how this would affect their plans. “Garth, do you think the humans would bring reinforcements?”
“Assuming they survived, it could happen.”
Frey wasn’t as convinced. “Even if that one crew did manage to make it to the coast, it would still be months before the humans could bring an army to our shores. But that is all the more reason to find a way into the city.”
The last wolf in the council had been silent up until then. He was the youngest, though his offspring were still well into adulthood. He had earned a reputation as one of the best strategists among the snow wolves, having to regularly repel attempts by the forest wolves to gain more territory along the southern border. “An attack on the walls would be a failure. One does not kill a bear by fighting it on its terms. To kill a bear, one must outsmart it, and force the creature to fight in a way it is not used to.”
“So we should do nothing then?” Frey surmised, but the younger wolf shook his head.
“No, the wall is a bear. If we simply run up to it, our warriors will all die. But if we can find a weakness or fight the humans in a way they are not used to, then we will have the advantage.”
Garth then added is trademark advice of caution. “Though we must be patient, my friends. There will be an opportunity before spring arrives. As the weather gets colder and the snow gets deeper, our advantages will grow.”
Bragi then came to a possible plan of action. “I know Tostig. Once desperate enough, he will want an open battle where his trained guards can win, even in the snow. It would be too great of a risk to meet him in such a battle, but we could bait him to it.”
The wolf from Widow Lake then had an idea of his own. “My warriors could conduct raids on the humans’ stashes of firewood and supplies. There are some close enough to the walls that they can be reached. Once the humans start getting cold, they will be forced to either submit or do battle.”
Bragi nodded in agreement. “Do we have a plan then?”
All nodded and prepared to cast their vote when a shout from outside the lodge alerted the gathered snow wolves. A guard rushed in to deliver the news. The Shaman stood up upon this intrusion. “A clans moot is a sacred gathering, outsiders are not permitted unless invited. Child, why have you trespassed?”
The guard was gasping for air after running for a couple of miles to the main camp. “Apologies… humans… outside the wall.”
Perhaps the battle was coming after all? Bragi then stood. “Garth, have your grandson take your best warriors to trap these humans. This may be the beginning of the very battle Tostig would try to arrange.”
Garth then looked behind him at his nephew and nodded. “Go, Bjorn, I’ll find my way back. Be safe.”
Garth bowed his head slightly in respect of the others. “Thank you all for permitting me to the clans moot. I will track down and subdue these humans before they can cause trouble.”
With a wave of Bragi’s hand, Garth then exited the lodge with the guard and ran toward the main camp to find as many warriors as he could at a moment’s notice.
The Ulstads were preparing a dinner of rations in the empty tavern when a knock came from the front door. Anna Marie, who was closest, stopped sweeping to open the door. She was surprised by the evening visitor. “Sam, whatchya doin’ here at such an hour? We’re ya joinin’ fer dinner?”
Sam didn’t answer as he came into the foyer, but the look on his face told everyone that something was wrong. Liz stood up and quickly made her way to Sam, with Shadow and Asher close behind. Ivan leaned his head out from the kitchen. Liz took Sam’s hand in hers and looked him in the eyes. “Sam, what is it? News from Connor?”
Sam just shook his head. “I’m sorry Liz, I wish it was.”
Shadow then asked in a more direct voice. “Then what is it? You look pale.”
“It’s Tostig. He’s… well, he’s given the guard an order.”
“Come on, Sam, out with it?” Shadow said, worry seeping into her words. Sam took a deep breath to collect himself. They needed to know.
“Tostig has ordered every non-human in Callow… he’s banished them from the town.”
A thick, baritone voice boomed from the kitchen. “What?” A look of horror came across Asher’s face. Shadow too was shocked.
“Like Ivan said, ‘what?’” The leopard could hardly believe what she had heard.
“Liz, Miss Marie, you are both allowed to stay. But guards are going door to door right now and rounding up all the keidran. Shadow and Asher, you had better collect what you can before they arrive. I’ll escort you both personally so that neither of you have a hand laid on you.”
Anna wouldn’t have it. “They’s just as much people as us, Sam. Shadow, you and the boy should hide in the cellar. Ivan, get the darn hammer.”
“No Anna.” Shadow replied, letting it sink in. “We can’t just hide in the tavern all winter. Besides, what happens when you get caught?”
Sam had the unfortunate answer to that one. “Tostig has also ordered that anyone caught hiding keidran will be burned at the stake.”
That caused Anna and Liz to recoil at the thought of their own fate. It was more than enough for Shadow to make up her mind. “Come on Asher, we had better put on whatever clothes we can before— “just then, another knock came from the door, this one far more stern than before.
“Shit, they’re here already. I thought there’d be more time. Shadow, you can Asher meet Ivan in the back, I’ll get you three to the eastern gate.” Sam said before going to answer the door with Anna Marie. Asher didn’t quite understand all that was happening. He knew human well enough now, but things were progressing quickly for a seven-year-old. But Shadow quickly grabbed his hand and led them both into the room with Liz close behind. Once inside the room, Liz, locked the door to buy them at least a few more seconds.
Shadow, having been trained by assassins in the guild, wasn’t terribly concerned for herself. But being forced to leave Liz? She hoped that Anna Marie would keep the girl safe. Asher though was in trouble if they were being forced into the tundra. Her first thought then was to make sure the boy had as many warm clothes on as she could find.
“Here Asher, put this on, quickly.”
“I don’t want to leave, Shadow!”
“I don’t either, but we don’t have a choice. Sooner or later we’d be caught and thrown outside the walls anyway. Now bundle up as best you can be—”
Loud knocking came from the bedroom wall. “We know there are keidran in here! Open the door and come with us.”
Liz went up to the door to buy as much time as she could. “Just a minute!”
“Open it now woman!” Was the reply, but that was closely followed by Sam’s voice. “Hey, I’m highest rank here and I happen to know the two you’re after. Let me handle this and you two should continue down the stre—”
“Not a chance Sam, we’ve got orders from your father.”
“Then at least go get Ivan. Shadow and Asher aren’t going to put up a fight.”
Two more guards could be heard struggling to push the big wolf out into the street, and the intensity of the struggle caused the two guards standing near the room door to reconsider pushing their luck with someone who outranks them.
“Very well, they’ve got two minutes. If they aren’t out by then, we’re going to break the door down.”
Sam then moved to the side to let the two guards pass by.
Liz’s muffled voice came from behind the door “Are they gone?”
“Yeah, for the moment.”
A minute later, the door’s latch was undone, and it creaked open. Shadow and Asher had their wool jumpers on, along with whatever clothes they could find. Shadow was even wearing a pair of Connor’s pants. They were a bit tight but provided some extra insulation. Liz then followed the two, closing the door behind them.
“Why is this happening, Sam?” Liz asked.
“Apparently, we don’t have enough supplies to last the winter. So either everyone starves…”
“…Or the keidran freeze to death.” Shadow finished for Sam.
“Basically, yes. But you don’t have to freeze to death, there’s shelter that you can use, as well as food stores.”
“Where?” Shadow interrogated. Asher’s life as well as her own was on the line.”
“You’ll have to slip passed the wolves, but there are food stores and shelters in the new mining district across the river. It’s on the other side of Ditter’s Ridge.”
“Wolves?!” Shadow exclaimed. “How am I and the kid going to slip passed an army of wolves? They’d see us miles away!”
“I don’t know. I suggest hiding until the wind kicks up, the blowing snow will provide you with cover.”
The three stressed faces, Shadow’s looking like she was ready to murder, all stared at Sam.
“Look, this is a bad situation. I wish there was more I could do, but there isn’t. Tostig is Jarl, and his word is the law. If he says you must go, then you must go. If you try to stay, he could have us all executed.”
“Would your father allow that?”
“Tostig would execute my father too if that’s what it took to keep order in this town. I’m sorry, I really am, but—”
“But you’re doing whatever you can…” Liz grabbed and held Sam’s hand. “Is there a path or a tunnel or something that they can use to get around the wolves?”
“No, there isn’t. Look, you’ll have to move as quickly as you can. I’ll send help as soon as I’m able to, but right now this is your best chance of surviving.”
“Fine…” Shadow said, defeated and out of options. “Come on Asher, we had better go.”
The boy had other ideas “I don’t want to leave Liz! I want to wait here for Connor!”
“Connor…” Shadow thought. She tried to put it past her mind, but Liz knelt down in front of the boy.
“Asher, Connor isn’t coming back.” She said, tears forming in her eyes. “It’s been a month, and as much as I wish he’d bust into the tavern right now like he did with both of you back in the spring, it’s not going to happen. You need to leave with Shadow, she’ll keep you safe.”
“What about you?” Asher said, sniffling.
“I’ve got Anna Marie and Sam here to help. But you can’t stay here or Tostig would—”
“Kill us…” Asher said.
“I know we aren’t the closest, but Connor called you his brother, so I do too. Go, while you still can.” She then stood up. Before she could say anything else, Shadow embraced the girl.
“I’m sorry that I won’t be there to keep you safe.” Shadow said.
“It’s okay. But if you two stick together, we’ll all look back at this like a bad memory.”
“One of many bad memories.”
Sam knew time was up. “We better leave before those two assholes return. I’ll show you out a side entrance.”
Shadow and Liz let go of each other, and Shadow grabbed Asher’s hand before they both fled into the back alley behind Sam. The winding pathways between buildings eventually led them to a small door near the east gate. Shadow could see around the side of a building all the keidran being pushed out through the main gate. After looking around to make sure no one was watching, Sam produced a key, which began to glow as he recited an incantation. A hidden door nested into the wall glowed around the seal before opening, revealing a short tunnel to the outside.
“It’s one of the many emergency doorways out of the town. Only the guards have access, and most don’t know about them.”
Shadow, though impressed by the trickery, was hardly thrilled to be forced out of the walls. “If Connor ever comes back…”
“I hope he does, but for right now, you’re better off outside than inside.” Sam finished for Shadow, gesturing outside the wall.”
“Make sure nothing happens to Liz. Or I’ll find my way back,” Shadow lifted Sam off his feet and pinned him to the wall, “and burn this town to the ground with you in it.”
“I’ll protect her with my life if I must. You have my word. Now please, get out of here before someone sees me helping you.”
Shadow dropped Sam back to his feet, took Asher’s hand, and ducked through the hole in the wall. Once through, Sam closed the magic door with his key before slipping through an alley and joining the rest of the guards. Young ones were crying, old ones were being forcefully pushed, and at least one who tried to resist was savagely beaten. The guard was there to maintain order no matter the cost. After several minutes and much effort, the last keidran was shoved past the threshold. As the iron gate lowered from the ceiling, a couple of keidran made an attempt to get back into the town. But just as they were about to get through the inner gate, out of the crowd came several guards with crossbows. Without hesitation, their lieutenant gave the order to fire. In front of both humans and keidran, all those who tried to get through were cut down and left to die in the zwinger between the two gates. Their intentions made clear, the remaining keidran quickly fled from the walls just as guards took their positions along the walkway at the top.
Shadow couldn’t see what happened, but she could certainly hear it. Keeping Asher close, she used her skills at stealth to skirt along the bottom of the wall undetected. Asher at one point tried to say something but she quickly hushed him before continuing. Finding and avenue out in a blind spot from the guards, Shadow quickly moved past the ground torches could illuminate, finding safety in the darkness. Luckily, it was a clear night and Shadow could easily make out where the keidran had stopped. They looked to be in the process of scattering as keidran tended to do. They weren’t a clan or a tribe, instead they were in groups of individuals who knew each other. Shadow a year ago would have left them all to their fate, content to find the shelter she was informed of and waiting until spring. But now… now she could see scared children, elderly who wouldn’t make it two days in the winter snow, and many who were scared and confused, all in need of help.
“What are we going to do?” Asher asked, clutching onto her leg and looking up to her for guidance. He too was quite scared.
Shadow sighed, collecting herself. “We’re going to help them, Asher, and we’re going to survive.”
Just as the keidran were about to venture off in every direction imaginable, Shadow climbed up onto a rock and, illuminated by the moon, called for everyone’s attention. No one really seemed to care, at least until a loud, baritone voice cut through the air. Shadow looked to her side only to find a beaten and bloody Ivan standing near the rock, apparently having seen the pair in the cold. At once, everyone looked back toward the three figures next to and on top of the large glacial boulder.
“Good. Now everyone listen up! I’ve been told that there are stores of food and supplies as well as shelter across the river to the East. If we move now, we can be there by dawn, but we have to stick together, or we’ll all die.”
While some seemed ready to go, others weren’t sure. Arguing began between different individuals. Some wanted to make for the Snowy Pines, mostly the wolves. A few wanted to try and get over the mountain pass and into warmer country. Still others were talking about forcing their way back into Callow. None were, realistically, good options. But before consensus could be reached, or a complete breakdown in the large group of at least four hundred keidran, snow wolves approached from all sides, weapons at the ready. Out from the darkness emerged a big wolf, nearly as big as Ivan, wearing polar bear fur and brandishing a long spear.
Keidran tried to run but were quickly cut off. The group of exiles was completely encircled by several hundred strong warriors from the different clans. Bjorn then noticed something odd in the moonlight. Between all the people that they captured, only a handful had anything more than a knife. Certainly no weapons of war, and plenty were half-naked and freezing.
“Where are your weapons?”
“What do you mean?” A tigress asked. “We have none.”
“Then what is this? Are you all trying to run away or something? You’ll freeze out here.” Bjorn bellowed. A young child then pushed his way to the front. It was Asher, the only basitin in the group. “W-we were kicked out, sir.”
Ivan and Shadow came out from the crowd, quickly finding Asher. Shadow grabbed the boy and held onto him tight in case things went south. Ivan tried to reason with Bjorn, who was a bit intimidated by the wolf that was bigger than even him.
“Da. Jarl Tostig pushed us into the snow.”
“Explain.” Bjorn said, spear tip not lowering even slightly.
“What the big guy is trying to say is that Tostig found out there wasn’t enough supplies for everyone to last the winter, so he decided to get rid of every keidran in Callow. We’re exiles.”
This shocked Bjorn. He didn’t think anyone, not even a human, would do something so cutthroat. “Well, if you were hoping for our help, I’m sorry. But we don’t have supplies for everyone here. I can talk to my grandfather and perhaps the council will—”
“There are supplies across the river, if you’d let us go to Ditter’s Ridge we’ll stay out of the way of your siege. We certainly aren’t going to help Tostig after this.
“The big hill near Widow Lake? I thought that was just a bunch of mines.”
“It is, but apparently there are stores of supplies and shelter there.”
Ditter’s Ridge was still technically snow wolf lands, and the recent mining activity was part of why this whole situation was happening now. But these weren’t humans, clearly weren’t loyal to Tostig, and had no means to defending themselves anyway. After taking in the sight, he knew that they were speaking the truth, and that many wouldn’t make it more than a few days even in thick winter fur.
“Alright. We have no quarrel with you. I and a few others will lead you across the river. There’s a ford at Ridge Gate that’s shallow enough you all can cross without getting wet above the knees. We had better hurry though; another storm is coming.”
Shadow then walked up to Bjorn, noting that she was barely taller than his shoulder. “Thank you.” She said gratefully, extending a hand.
Bjorn looked down and felt his heart skip a beat. In a land of ice and snow, before him was a black-furred leopard, a keidran he had never seen before. He immediately reached out to shake her hand. “I am happy to help. Now, we had better get a move on.”
“Lead the way...” Shadow gestured as she grabbed Asher once again and made sure he walked closely beside her through the snow.
It was tough walking through the drifts. At one point, Shadow broke through a layer of hard snow into soft powder below. She sank up to her chest and was struggling to get out when a pair of snow shoes appeared in front of her. Looking up, she saw Bjorn extending his hand. In one swift motion, he lifted the leopard clean out of the snow and onto his snow shoes.
“Thank you.” Shadow said, stunned at how easy it was for the wolf.
“It was nothing.” He said, smile on his face.
In the early hours of dawn, the group of keidran spotted the Ridge Gate, a pair of towering bluffs the river cut through in order to make it to the sea. Soon, Shadow and Asher were some of the first to reach the shore of the river. Shadow picked up Asher and held him as she tried to cross, but the icy water stung on her skin. Bjorn then offered his help once again.
“Please, allow me.” He said as he picked Asher up and placed the boy on his shoulders. Before Shadow could continue into the river, he picked her up as well and held her under her back and knees.
“Oh... my…” Shadow said, looking up at Bjorn. “You really don’t have to.”
“I assume you aren’t from around these parts, considering the black fur.”
“No, I’m not.”
“Well, the river water is cold enough that you really don’t want to get wet if you can help it. So hold on tight, I’ll walk you across.”
It took a few minutes, but Shadow and Asher found themselves on dry ground. Without a word, Bjorn turned around and waded across the river again. It felt… odd… to be carried like that. But apparently the snow wolves were doing this for many of the keidran, especially the children. It took close to a half an hour before everyone was across, but by then it was a simple matter of climbing the ridge. At the top, Shadow and Asher felt the first rays of sun peaking above the horizon. It would fill the valley below for only a couple of hours before setting again.
“We’re getting close to the equinox.” Bjorn explained. “The sun will only break the horizon for an hour then, and it will get really cold.”
“Thank you again.” Shadow replied. “But I didn’t catch your name.”
“It’s Bjorn, ma’am.”
“Well, thank you Bjorn. I am Shadow and this here is Asher.”
“Glad to know you, Shadow. Now, where are these supplies you were talking about?”
“I’m guessing they are down there.” Shadow said as she pointed at what looked to be an abandoned mining camp. Once at the bottom of the ridge, the state of the camp was sad. Tents were blown down by the wind, a couple of the makeshift shacks were caved in from the heavy snow. But one large structure was locked up tight. Busting in the door with a log for a battering ram, the keidran found the first of many supplies. While the food was mostly for humans, and thus was a lot of flour and coffee, there was plenty of dried and salted meats. It wouldn’t be much, but with some careful rationing they’d all be able to make it through the winter.
submitted by JJW2795
to Twokinds [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 07:45 the-frog-monarch Not enough stones for a glass house (vent)
I wish I didn't grow up in that stupid little city
In that stupid fucking apartment
I want to throw stones at it
I hate I hate I hate
Like bludgeoning with a hammer
I hate I hate I hate
Choked and beaten
We cried out
For a mother that was not there
The monster took her place
A kick to the face and a slap
Thumb pressed to my esophagus
I see her committing suicide
I am running away from her
Where my mother should be
submitted by the-frog-monarch
to CPTSD [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 07:39 girl_from_the_crypt Stuck on earth and looking for a job: My indie artist roommate appears to have grown her hair out
When you don’t see someone for a while, they tend to look kind of different the next time you meet. That’s not because they’ve actually changed, but rather due to your memory being inaccurate. Still, I don’t think my roommate has always had barnacles growing on her.
Kit Sutton did indeed look different. Beautiful, but different.
In the short time we’d been apart, her hair had grown to an impressive length. It trailed after her through the water as she effortlessly hopped from rock to rock before landing in front of us. She was even more scantily clad than usual; in fact, she wasn’t wearing anything at all. Her normally olive skin had adopted a pearlescent sheen, interrupted by the algae, starfish and seashells clinging to her body. Her eyes shone in the light of our torch and she regarded us with an unreadable expression, putting a hand to her hip.
"I can't believe you're actually here." She shook her head, sounding like she wasn't even sure herself what tone to strike. "You… you'd better leave. And fast. I-it's nice to see you, though."
I took a step forward and hugged her. She felt slippery. "I've missed you."
"Yeah. Me too. You should still go now."
"You need to come back," I said. "I'm sorry I ever gave up on you. There has to be a way for you to come back."
She shook her head. "Eva, you saw what my father can do. You saw the wave and you just saw his grotto guard. There's, like, a thousand more where that one came from."
"What are you doing here anyways? Isn't this a kinda way too lonely spot for you to hang out?" Elijah asked. "Doesn't seem very you
"Yeah. It's… not." She rolled her eyes. "I'm basically grounded. My Dad's gonna keep me here for the next two hundred years or so. I'm not allowed to leave until he trusts me again."
"Two hundred years?" Eli echoed.
Kit massaged her temples. "I don't like it either, believe me." Looking up, a hopeful expression crossed her face. "How's Nettie?"
"She misses you," I told her.
"She does? That's, um… nice."
"It's cool, I know about you two."
"Oh. Well. I'm really glad she's thinking about me. Is that mean? Because I don't want her to be unhappy, it just feels good, you know?"
"I can imagine," I answered. "And it only proves my point. We have to get you out of here."
"Dude, I said no. You actually can't beat my father. I wish that was an option, but it's simply not
"It's Chandra." She raised her head to fix me with a stern gaze. So empty, so joyless, so… unlike her. "It was nice being Kit and running around up top and living with you. Those were a good few years, and now here I am, paying the price. There is nothing you can do against my Dad."
Silence descended upon us for a sober couple seconds. I studied her expression, her set jaw and taut shoulders. "And what about you?" I asked. "Can you
Kit snorted. "You've never even seen me use any sort of powers."
"But you have them, don't you?"
"Actually, I do." She casually raised a hand, her wrist slowly describing a circle. Eli and I watched in astonished silence as a trail of water snaked its way up from the lake, arching above her head and trickling back down on the other side of the stepstone. Kit Sutton looked after it disinterestedly, then turned to us with a bored shrug. "I guess I can sorta control water."
Elijah was gaping at her. "Could you do this the whole time?"
"Nope. Only when I'm in my natural habitat. I'm the crown princess
—" she spat out the words in discontent, forming air-quotes around them— "and the heiress to the throne, so I'm, like, ultra connected to my element or whatever. Not like my siblings."
"But as of now, you are
stronger than them?" I queried. "Is there any possibility you could become stronger than your father, too?"
For a moment, she stared at me, her bottom lip caught between her teeth. "Actually, let me show you something." Her naked feet never once slipping on the wet stone, she proceeded towards the nearest platform rock, jumping off with ease and landing gracefully. After trading shrugs with Elijah Carter, we scrambled after her. She led us back a little ways and then down one of the other passages we'd glimpsed before, barely losing a word the whole time. I stopped trying to strike up a conversation, focusing solely on keeping up with her unnaturally sleek, swift steps.
"The olm you saw before was one of my father's guardians," she called out sharply over her shoulder. "The sea breeds giants, as they say. Or rather, Dad does. He keeps creating abominations like that, and he uses them to ward off outsiders in places where they don't belong. They're obviously not stopping me from running away again—you've seen that they'll obey me. But his Majesty has made it quite clear that if I break out, he's going to turn the town into a swamp. I'm not going to be responsible for people's deaths, or the loss of their homes. Especially not… not hers."
She came to a halt, squaring her shoulders. Above her head, I could make out the silhouette of an opening in the tunnel. "We're here. This… this should be enough proof that he'll make good on any threat he's ever uttered." She stepped aside to make way for us.
We hesitantly pushed past her and into the room that lay before us. It was different from all the others we'd seen thus far—it didn't lure one into a false sense of security with its descriptive beauty. In fact, the second the beam of our flashlight illuminated its interior, every last fiber of my being started to cry out to me, telling me to run. My flight instinct kicking in, I tried desperately to stay grounded somehow, to keep control. I couldn't allow myself to panic. This was a horrible time to end up going dimensions. I had to remain in this reality, no matter how difficult the sight before me was rendering the task.
I heard Elijah Carter gag beside me, his stomach revolting at what he saw. His hand abruptly flew to my shoulder, cold, sweat-slick fingers clamping down on my skin, hard enough to bruise. With my own stomach doing kick-flips inside my body, I could understand his reaction far too well. Instead of shrinking away, I reached up to graze his knuckles with my own, a fleeting touch I couldn't find the strength to hold. It was hard to be reassuring given the circumstances.
We were looking at a gallery
of corpses. They lined the walls, the floor, the ceiling, all in different states of wholeness and decay. A viscous, transparent fluid was gluing them to the stone, fixing them in their respective places. In some spots, it looked quite shiny and fresh, while in others, it had hardened, encasing the dead bodies like clear, pale amber. It was an unorganized chaos, the carcasses strewn practically everywhere, some overlapping, some upside down. Some had their eyes still open, their faces eternally frozen in void, empty expressions of terror. Most bodies weren't even complete—arms, legs or heads were missing, pronounced bitemarks marring the aged yet well-preserved flesh.
Elijah and I found ourselves standing rooted to the ground, too terrified to move, too dazed to speak. My friend's dark gaze frantically raced over the walls, flickering across the horrid display, taking in the carnage. My own eyes seemed to be burning. My head was spinning, and I had to hold onto his arm to support myself—it felt as though my legs were about to give way beneath me.
A shimmering light at the center of the room caught my attention. Somehow finding it within me to steady myself, I took a couple faltering steps towards it. Elijah Carter followed suit and Kit Sutton wordlessly trailed after us. Stepping over the dozens and dozens of corpses in my way, I tried hard to keep my wits about me. When I finally reached its source, I was surprised to find it to be a pond, or rather a bottomless hole of water. Another connection to the sea, no doubt. The shine however seemed fine from within it, from down below where there would normally be just darkness. Looking in, the breath was once again stolen from my lungs. It felt rather like peering through a small window into a very large hall. I could only see a fracture of what lay beneath.
Hovering within the endless masses of water was the enormous statue of a woman. Her stony pale arms were raised, her hands reaching out almost pleadingly, as if she was hoping for someone to pull her up from her cold, abyssal grave. Her eyes, one of which was about the size of my head, were wide open, her colorless stare holding a wild, unreadable mix of emotions. Her lips were parted in a silent scream. An unearthly, bright glow surrounded her; it seemed to come from within her body rather than anywhere else. It was disturbingly beautiful.
"Her name was Calypso."
Kit's voice pulled me from my trance. When I turned to face her, she pointedly avoided my gaze. An idea took shape in my mind, created by the faint, wavery undertone of mourning in her words. "She was someone special, wasn't she?"
I swallowed, my pulse still thrumming in my ears. Stepping forward, I tentatively grasped my roommate's hand. She let go of a soft breath, the corner of her mouth twitching. "These people here have been rotting away for centuries. It's the worst punishment imaginable, isn't it. The lucky ones are dead before they get glued down, but the ones he's really angry at, he covers in that goo when they're, like, lethally injured. I don't quite know what
this stuff is, but it slows down all those organic processes, the death, the decomposition…" She paused. "With Mom, it was different. He turned her to stone. The same kind that grows from the ground here, you know; that smooth, shiny kinda rock that looks real pretty."
"What did she do to piss off your Dad?"
"What did any of these poor fuckers do? Most of these are failed cult leaders, actually. You'd never guess how many cults the deep ones have dedicated to them. As for my mother, I don't know. I can't even remember her, to be honest." She shrugged with affected carelessness. "You see it now? My father is… just beyond comprehension."
"So are you, though, aren't you? If you think about it."
"Eva, I know
you're trying to boost morale here, but it's not working. Please let me get you out of here. And for heaven's sake, don't come back."
She led us back through the labyrinth of tunnels and corridors, staying well behind when we caught the first glimpse of daylight.
"I promise I'll think of something," I told her. "I'll find a way to get you out."
She merely shook her head. "No, you won't. Just go home and look for a new roommate. Or move back in with Nettie. She'll be glad."
I clenched my teeth, but allowed Eli to press his palm to my back, guiding me towards the exit.
"Actually, just… just wait. Could you tell her I, like, miss her? A lot?" Kit shouted after us, a sudden note of warmth softening her voice.
Elijah turned back to her with a sad smile. "Of course."
We didn't return to the car straight away, instead walking along the shore for a little while. My extra limbs having retracted and Eli's face having returned to a less nauseous color, we didn't bear any outward traces of our experience in the cave. We didn’t talk much, but we almost leaned onto one other with how closely we stuck to each other’s side. Eventually, I gathered the strength to break the silence. “This can’t stand, obviously.”
“You still want to get her out?” He gave me a sidelong glance. “This is more for Nettie’s sake than anything else, isn’t it?”
“I do like Kit Sutton, and I miss her tremendously,” I stated. “But largely, it is.”
Elijah, having nothing else to add, gave a noncommittal grunt.
“Would you mind if I asked you something personal?” I asked.
“Try it and find out.”
“I was wondering about what Mary Markov said about you earlier,” I began. “An incident at a highschool.”
He sighed. Silence fell, and for a minute I thought he wouldn’t respond at all. Then, he slowed down, coming to a halt and turning to look out at the horizon. “So how do we do this, Shirley? You really want me to pour my heart out to you and let you in on my tragic past as we stare at the tossing waves? That’s a bit too romantic for the two of us, if you ask me.”
“But you’d let me in on your tragic past in a less romantic setting?”
“Oh sure, anytime,” he said lightly. “Well, not any
time. I’d be okay talking to you about it, though. See, it doesn’t matter to me if you know or not, the problem is kinda the headspace and getting the words out of my mouth in the first place.”
“I’m glad you feel like you could do that with me.” I regarded his profile, noting how he swallowed and shut his eyes for a moment.
“Let’s go back to the car.”
So we did. Only that it wasn’t quite how we left it. Elijah noticed it first—a low, hissed curse escaped him as he bent down to inspect the damage. The back window had been smashed in. The brown folder Mary Markov had given me was gone. X 1 2: deadbeat roommate 3: creepy crush 4: relocation 5: beach concert 6: First date 7: Temp work 8: roommate talk 9: a dismal worldview 10: warehouse 11: staircase 12: explanation 13: hurt 14: hospital 15: ocean 16: diner 17: government work 18: something in the caves 19: shopping cart 20: olms and Jewels
submitted by girl_from_the_crypt
to nosleep [link] [comments]
2023.06.02 07:34 FPB270 Bit of an odd lost I suppose. Pic for reference. Mike, are you here?
| || |
From Oct 1995 to Oct 1997 I lived and worked in New Lexington Ohio. I came to need some body work on my car. This guy, out in the country, did the work. Good work. He lived in an old house, built partly into a hill. He had a nice shop out back. In the tiny stone garage under his house, was one of these 40th Anniversary models. In his body shop, 2 Panteras. submitted by FPB270 to Corvette [link] [comments]
Mike, are you here?
2023.06.02 07:20 Liath-Luachra [Discussion] Ducks – ONE MONTH LATER through end
Hello lovely readers,
Welcome to the second and final discussion of Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands
by Kate Beaton. This autobiographical comic was Canada Reads
(an annual "battle of the books") winner for 2023. You can read the first discussion here
The story picks up one month after that horrible party. Kate sleeps with Mike. She continues to get weird sexual comments from the men she works with, but she has started to laugh the comments off. Many of the men seem to have problems with her giving them orders, and her superiors get pissy with her for minor things or for wanting ‘special treatment’. Joe, a fellow Nova Scotian, overhears her swearing in frustration and tells her that everyone at the mine is just yelling at the guy next to them for work they’re not doing themselves, but that people tend to be friendlier to people from their own region of Canada. Kate wonders aloud to Doug whether the oil sands make people better or worse.
The men at the mine have heard that Kate’s ‘little friends’ (her sister Becky and friend Lindsay) are going to be joining them, and she warns them to leave them alone. When Becky and Lindsay arrive, they are wearing skirts and they quickly notice the staring and weird behaviour from the men on site. Kate apologises for it, and they wonder why she is saying sorry.
Kate tells Becky and Lindsay that the other men have been leaving her alone since most people know about her and Mike, and they tell her it’s because in their eyes she’s ‘claimed’.
They take a trip to Gregoire Beach
, but Kate doesn’t wear a swimsuit or go swimming. Becky asks her what’s up with her, as she’s noticed something is wrong. Kate talks about how everything at the beach seems so normal, but that she isn’t. However, she doesn’t explain further.
Kate looks for other jobs online, and sees a post for a job at the Maritime Museum of British Columbia
in Victoria, the capital of British Columbia.
Not long afterwards, she sees the man who forced himself on her at that party. He and the group of men he’s with see her and they start laughing.
Kate hears a man playing Peter’s Dream
on his guitar, and joins in singing the song.
She goes to Becky’s room and tells her that she needs to leave the oil sands for a while, even though she and Lindsay have just arrived. She asks her to promise that she and Lindsay will look out for each other, and finally tells her about the assaults. Becky tells her that it wasn’t her fault, and wishes she had been there sooner to protect her as that’s her job as the big sister. She tells Kate that it happened to her too, at her university dorm. She tells Kate she should go.
We leave the oil sands, for a year in Victoria. Kate gets the museum job but it’s no more than 21 hours per week, so she gets a second job. In a coffee shop, she hears the song An Innis Aigh
playing, and tells a woman who was wondering aloud about the language that it’s Gaelic
Victoria seems like a nicer place than the oil sands, but it isn’t perfect – the city big problems with homelessness and mental health, but none of the old, rich people living there care [read runner note – according to Victoria’s Wikipedia page
, the city is known for its disproportionately large retiree population. Some 23.4% of the population of Victoria and its surrounding area are over 65 years of age, which is higher than the overall Canadian distribution of over 65 year-olds in the population (19%). A historically popular cliché refers to Victoria as the home of "the newly wed and nearly dead"]. Kate is fired from her job for not taking American money and not wanting to sell the merchandise badly enough. One of her colleagues (I think?) sees her drawing a comic, and suggests that she should make a website
Kate tells her parents that on her days off she works at a grocery store, and her father wonders what her degree was for. Shortly afterwards, she is fired from the grocery store for yawning and ‘being surly’. She goes on a date, but panics when the guy tries to kiss her at the end.
Kate can’t get a reprieve from her student loan payments, even though she paid half of it off the previous year with her oil sands earnings. She decides to go back to the oil sands to pay the rest off, and says goodbye to the museum.
After that brief reprieve, we’re back in the oil sands, this time at Shell Albian Sands. Kate has taken a job in the warehouse office, and her living quarters are a bit fancier than at the previous sites. The site also has a Tim Hortons
, Wi-Fi and a gym, even yoga classes. Lindsay tells her that a lot of the warehouse crew from Long Lake have moved up there too. One of her new colleagues is Hatim, who is creepy in a new way, plaguing her with messages despite having a wife and children.
The team get a congratulations message with a gif for achieving three million man hours without a lost time incident (LTI). Kate’s boss, Ryan, tells her that they don’t have LTIs at the site because they look bad for the company, I guess implying that they cover them up.
She sees Doug again, who seems to feel that she’s all high and mighty now with her office job, and struggles with her ‘bossing him’ since she’s younger than him (and presumably because she’s female). When she has to cover a warehouse shift, Doug laughs about how she’s down from on high and has gone soft. He tells her that he sang with The Men of the Deeps
and even sang for the queen, which she doubts because he has a terrible voice. She sings a bit of Coal Town Road
(which I’m kind of disappointed doesn’t sound like Old Town Road) and asks if she could be in the choir too, but he seems annoyed about her singing a mining song when she’s not a miner.
Kate’s sister Becky is still working at Long Lake, but lives in Fort McMurray, and Kate goes to meet her there; she says it’s much better than living in the camp. She tells Kate, that one time a guy jumped out of the closet in her room, but she was able to kick him out. She always locked her door, but often heard the handle jiggling at night. She even had a stalker, who managed to get into her room with a bottle of alcohol and suggested doing body shots – she didn’t report it, but when he got fired everyone thought she had.
Kate struggles to read some of the order sheets because many of the workers are bad spellers or have unclear handwriting; many of the older men at the mine left school in grade six. Lindsay tells her about one of the lead hands from Newfoundland, who can’t read, and was humiliated by the other workers when they tried to make him read the safety memo aloud so they could laugh at him. Lindsay says she’s never seen a grown man ashamed like that, and they discuss how he’s one of the nicest guys there.
A group from the Calgary office visits the mine site, and Kate has to find the nice hard hats and safety vests for the visitors, the ones the actual workers can’t have because they’re too fancy. Basically, they have to put on a show for the head office people – everyone has to look sharp, make things tidier than normal etc. One of the visitors takes a photo of Kate. After they leave, Damian asks if he can have one of the fancy new vests, but they were taken back to Calgary even though they don’t need them at head office.
Kate continues doing her comics, and her colleagues occasionally read them. Ryan finds some of them in the scanner, which she had used to upload them to her website, and tells her not to leave her stuff lying around at work.
Becky and Kate discuss what it would have been like if their father had gone out to the oil sands to work when they were children, as many people did. They wonder if he would have been like the other men they work with, and how they must all be normal at home. Kate says she tries to remember that there are a lot of men who don’t bother her, but she doesn’t remember them because they’re not the ones in her face.
Their safety lectures tell them basic information about how ice is slippery and is all over the ground, which presumably every Canadian already knows. One of the men remarks that it’s not about safety, but an arse-covering exercise so that a worker can’t sue them if they fall. Kate doodles a pony
in her notebook (thank you u/Amanda39
for linking to this comic in last week’s discussion!).
Many of the staff have families that they don’t see very often. One of the men gets a phonecall from his wife’s phone, which he answers thinking it’s an emergency as she never calls during the day; it turns out to be his young son, who is calling to see when he’s coming home next.
Brian asks Kate if she heard about the ducks (TITLE DROP!!); three hundred of them got stuck in a tailings pond
at another oil sands site [read runner note – two years later, Syncrude was actually found guilty of the death of 1,600 ducks
]. The site begins installing anti-waterfowl devices, and the staff are reminded that they have to wear PPE at all times. They’re also told about the death Gerald Snopes, another worker; some of the men talking amongst themselves, and Ryan tells them to have some respect. He had a heart attack while operating a crane, and threw himself out of the cab so that he wouldn’t land on the controls and cause an accident.
Kate hears about a road accident involving some men from Cape Breton. She asks Davy about it to see if she knows them, but neither of them do. Kate finds the news articles and feels annoyed that they were misidentified as Calgary men.
Kate notices some welts on her back; Lindsay has them too but doesn’t know what it is. Kate mentions all the dust they have to wipe off everything, and how there’s so much crap in the air. Lindsay wonders what kind of cancer they’ll have in 20 years.
Kate finds Doug building a scarecrow for the tailings pond, which is meant to scare off the ducks. Probably another arse-covering exercise.
Activists from Greenpeace try to block an oil sands pipeline, and 11 people are arrested. One of the workers gets angry about it, asking who will put their life on the line to unclog the pipe Greenpeace has blocked, and that it sure as hell won’t be the president of Shell. Kate hears about another death – a contractor was in his trucks, and one of the heavy haulers drove over it, crushing him.
Lindsay writes an article
for a grassroots paper, giving the inside perspective on working at the oil sands. Kate considers doing a comic about it for them. Lindsay later wonders if she made a mistake writing her article, as many of the comments are critical, including many from women which Lindsay did not expect.
Kate sees a video on YouTube
of Celina Harpe, an elder in the Cree community of Fort McKay
, talking about the effect of the oil sands on the First Nation. Kate had not realised when she arrived there that Fort McKay was a First Nation, nor that it was so close to Syncrude. She thinks about how she’s not the president of Shell, but she’s still working there, and she can’t extract herself from having come.
At another safety meeting, the staff are down the safety pyramid, which has different levels: at the base it has at-risk behaviours, then near misses, then minor incidents, and it all leads to a major incident or a fatality.
Kate receives a phone call from a reporter at the Globe and Mail who had seen her comics about the oil sands. She asks several leading questions about her experience as a woman at the remote sites and the harassment, but Kate feels uncomfortable giving her examples. She later tells Lindsay that she couldn’t talk to the reporter as she felt like she just wanted gossip, and that the story was already written before she called.
The leering of one of the other workers bothers Kate in the lunchroom, and she tells Lindsay about her assaults. Lindsay is horrified that Mike and Brian laughed at her when she told them about it. Lindsay tells her that it happened to her in university as well.
Kate calls her parents to tell them that she’s finally paid off her student loan, but she needs to keep working at the site because now she has no money. She’s going to try making it as a cartoonist, and her parents are unimpressed.
Kate notices that Ryan is acting strangely, being absent a lot and not doing his work, and it can’t fully be explained by his recent divorce. She hears about other workers who are taking cocaine and behaving strangely too. She asks Ryan if he’s ok and he brushes it off. Kate contemplates the safety pyramid again. She finds a piece of paper on Ryan’s desk with an appointment for the employee assistance program. Emily later tells her that Ryan has left suddenly, and that they need to figure things out until a replacement is found.
Kate wonders why there are so many safety meetings but none have ever talked about drugs or alcohol. Her coworkers say that everyone knows why there is so much of both, and that the company can’t have safety meetings about illegal activities anyway.
Kate finally gets to leave the oil sands and go home. Her colleague Norman gives her prints of some of his photos of the northern lights as a leaving present, including one of a rainbow. Before she leaves, the company organises a staff photograph with all the workers on the site. Kate sees the man who assaulted her the second time, and he recognises her but can’t remember her name or who she is, and asks her how it’s going.
Kate trains her replacement, and finds out that she’s earning more than her despite not having any experience in tools. She complains to John about it, and finally rants about all her shitty treatment in the oil sands. She goes to see Gary in the head office, and demands her full bonus, which was going to be docked because she was leaving. Gary tells her it’s company policy. She tells him about the harassment, and he claims she could have come to them about it, but she fires back that he knows she couldn’t have. Gary agrees to give her the bonus. Her colleagues organise a going-away barbecue, and even Mike attends.
Back in Nova Scotia, Kate is reunited with her family. While out enjoying the seaside air, she chats to a farmer who tells her he’s keeping a field for his son who is working out west in case he ever comes back and wants to build a house. A man called Lauchie visits the house before moving west himself, and tells them there’s something for everyone out there and that the young people have everything they want. Out in Halifax with friends, she and Becky see a man from one of the camps, who tells Becky that they had a bet on who would sleep with her first. Their friends who haven’t worked in the oil sands can’t believe they’d let a man talk to them like that.
In the book’s afterword, Kate talks about how the book chronicles her specific experience at a specific time. She is wary of sensationalism of her story, especially because sexual assault is so common that it’s not actually sensational. She notes that neither of the men who raped her probably consider it to have been rape. She is also critical of the treatment of Indigenous people, and says the YouTube video of Celina Harpe was a “sword that cut through my ignorance”. We also find out that Becky died of cancer, and that her former coworkers pooled money together to send to her. Bookclub Bingo 2023 categories
: Non-Fiction, Graphic Novel (grey), Mod Pick (grey) Other links
- The first discussion
- Canada Reads page about Ducks [I hadn’t realised that Station Eleven, another recent bookclub read, was the runner up]
- Kate Beaton on Wikipedia
- Hark! A Vagrant, the archive of Kate Beaton’s comics website
- The original Hark! A Vagrant sketch comic about the oil sands (links to all five parts; I’ve posted the parts individually below this in case that’s easier)
- Original Ducks Part 1
- Original Ducks Part 2
- Original Ducks Part 3
- Original Ducks Part 4
- Original Ducks Part 5
- Lindsay Bird was one of the people in the book whose name wasn’t changed, and in 2019 she published a poetry collection about working in the oil sands called Boom Time. There’s a CBC article about the book here.
The questions are in the comments below. Thank you for joining me and u/fixtheblue
in reading this book!
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