Summer infant right height bath tub

22 [M4F] UK - Online, Hoping I Can Find That Special Someone One Day 🙏🏻

2023.05.28 14:56 Curious-Month7727 22 [M4F] UK - Online, Hoping I Can Find That Special Someone One Day 🙏🏻

Intro and what I'm looking for

Idek where to start tbh. I wanna make a post that isn't too boring, long / short, or irritating to read as I have a habit of talking about my emotions + feelings and unnecessary venting about my life in several setences when it comes to this sort of thing, that's mostly what I talked about in my last post... I'm hoping I can get at least someone's attention by writing the right and necessary words on this subreddit... So, where to begin?
I guess I'll start with what I'm looking for in terms of dating. A fresh, warm, healthy and positive long-term relationship is what I've been craving for the last 4¼ years, not as in desperate or obsessed with it, more as in yearning for that right person to come along and bring sunshine to my life for the first time in a very long time. I'm sorry if that sounds a little cheesy but it's true. Someone who'll accept me for who I am and not care about what I have / don't have, someone who'll understand and accept my insecurities and flaws, not to mention me doing the same for her too. I wanna have that happy and bright future with that special someone, similar to all the couples I see on Instagram, laughing, joking, teasing each other, flirting, doing fun activities together both indoors and outdoors, purchasing matching items for them to wear and hold dear, holding hands... the list goes on.
Come and stop by so we can get to know each other first and see what happens if you're fascinated in this post enough, and if you think I'll be that sort of person you want in your life.

Personality (100% the truth)

As you might have guessed, I am a hard core introvert. Although I get along well with people irl; I briefly chat to them by saying the usual "hello" or "alright?", I then usually keep to myself from them most times to avoid feeling ignored / unimportant / irrelevant in their eyes. This is because I'm not that great at socialising in public places like the club or in the street, and also due to the fact that I feel extremely shy whilst meeting new people. All I feel, every single day, is irrelevant to everybody I come across on a day to day basis and tbh, I've gotten used to it over the years. However, if others ARE willing to get to know me and want me in their presence, I will perk up and be quite the confident individual once enough time passes :)
Other things you should know about me is that I'm extremely loyal and will never hurt the people I love and hold dear, no matter what. I care too much about the people in my life, including family, and I also will never let them down or disappoint them in any way.
Just a little fun fact about me, my zodiac sign is Cancer ♋️🦀 for those of you who are interested and if that matters to you at all. This is related to what I've just written above in the second paragraph.
[This is me pretty much nearing the end of this seemingly never ending post now]
Now that all the soppy stuff is out of the way, I will now talk about what I like doing on a day to day basis :D:

I'm an indoor type of person. I like:

•Watching TV shows like Doctor Who when new episodes come out, The Simpsons and Hollyoaks 5 days a week, and binging on a ton of movies.
•Listening to music pretty much every single day as I'm a huge HUGE fan of it.
•Gaming on PC games such as GTA, Red Dead, and Minecraft.
•I may stay indoors most of the time, but I DO also enjoy doing outdoor activities like spending my days out in places in the UK like Scarborough, Blackpool, Hornsea and Withernsea.
•I'm also interested in Photography, taking stunning photos both indoors and outdoors to store and save for later. Wildlife, sea life and everything else in between is what I'm most interested in :)
•Playing different sports such as Badminton, Bowling, Cricket, Dodgeball, Tennis and Volleyball on the beach are activities I really enjoy doing, but I haven't played them recently thanks to a lack of others playing them with me.
•Gardening and working with plants is something that really fascinates me, planting and watching plants of all shapes and sizes grow is everything I've wanted to do since my late high school days. Also getting a bit of sunshine on my neck in the summer does me some good lol.
•I occasionally like doing artistic activities like card making, paper crafting, drawing and painting, but only on special occasions.
•I also like to read from time to time.

Physical Appearance

My appearance is quite normal:
•I'm 5'8 in height
•I've got quite the decent body shape
•I have no tattoos but I'm considering getting a few in the future
•I've got a small amount of facial hair (but I've shaved recently so I'm not quite as hairy on the face as I used to be)
•I've got quite a lot of hair on the top of my head but keep it in control most times with hairspray
•I've got an average to slightly above average face imo (pics can be exchanged if you're interested in knowing what I look like)
•I'm healthy with no health conditions or concerns
•I wear normal clothes such as buttoned t-shirts, hoodies / denim jackets, jeans / tracksuit bottoms, and leather jackets in colder weather.

You

I'm not too bothered what kind of women I talk to / get with tbh. Just as long as you:
•Live in the UK, or at least in different countries that are close to the UK like Norway, Ireland, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, France, or perhaps even The Netherlands, since all have shorter time-zone differences to the ones in the UK, (but you can message me wherever you are on the globe)
•Don't smoke or do drugs
•My age limit is between 18-23, but people that are past that age range can also message me.
•I'm not religious, by any means, but I don't mind dating people who are.
•Come as you are, no sugar coating, be real, be genuine. 🚫No NSFW content please🚫, that's all I ask.

Outro

Welp, this is me finally signing off and seeing what happens. If you've read this far, then I appreciate you for taking the time out of your schedule to read my post all the way through :) I hope you have a nice rest of your day 🙏🏻👋🏻 Come say Hi if you're feeling up to it! 🙂
submitted by Curious-Month7727 to cf4cf [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 14:41 Curious-Month7727 22 [M4F] UK - Online, Hoping I Can Find That Special Someone One Day 🙏🏻

Intro and what I'm looking for

Idek where to start tbh. I wanna make a post that isn't too boring, long / short, or irritating to read as I have a habit of talking about my emotions + feelings and unnecessary venting about my life in several setences when it comes to this sort of thing, that's mostly what I talked about in my last post... I'm hoping I can get at least someone's attention by writing the right and necessary words on this subreddit... So, where to begin?
I guess I'll start with what I'm looking for in terms of dating. A fresh, warm, healthy and positive long-term relationship is what I've been craving for the last 4¼ years, not as in desperate or obsessed with it, more as in yearning for that right person to come along and bring sunshine to my life for the first time in a very long time. I'm sorry if that sounds a little cheesy but it's true. Someone who'll accept me for who I am and not care about what I have / don't have, someone who'll understand and accept my insecurities and flaws, not to mention me doing the same for her too. I wanna have that happy and bright future with that special someone, similar to all the couples I see on Instagram, laughing, joking, teasing each other, flirting, doing fun activities together both indoors and outdoors, purchasing matching items for them to wear and hold dear, holding hands... the list goes on.
Come and stop by so we can get to know each other first and see what happens if you're fascinated in this post enough, and if you think I'll be that sort of person you want in your life.

Personality (100% the truth)

As you might have guessed, I am a hard core introvert. Although I get along well with people irl; I briefly chat to them by saying the usual "hello" or "alright?", I then usually keep to myself from them most times to avoid feeling ignored / unimportant / irrelevant in their eyes. This is because I'm not that great at socialising in public places like the club or in the street, and also due to the fact that I feel extremely shy whilst meeting new people. All I feel, every single day, is irrelevant to everybody I come across on a day to day basis and tbh, I've gotten used to it over the years. However, if others ARE willing to get to know me and want me in their presence, I will perk up and be quite the confident individual once enough time passes :)
Other things you should know about me is that I'm extremely loyal and will never hurt the people I love and hold dear, no matter what. I care too much about the people in my life, including family, and I also will never let them down or disappoint them in any way.
Just a little fun fact about me, my zodiac sign is Cancer ♋️🦀 for those of you who are interested and if that matters to you at all. This is related to what I've just written above in the second paragraph.
[This is me pretty much nearing the end of this seemingly never ending post now]
Now that all the soppy stuff is out of the way, I will now talk about what I like doing on a day to day basis :D:

I'm an indoor type of person. I like:

•Watching TV shows like Doctor Who when new episodes come out, The Simpsons and Hollyoaks 5 days a week, and binging on a ton of movies.
•Listening to music pretty much every single day as I'm a huge HUGE fan of it.
•Gaming on PC games such as GTA, Red Dead, and Minecraft.
•I may stay indoors most of the time, but I DO also enjoy doing outdoor activities like spending my days out in places in the UK like Scarborough, Blackpool, Hornsea and Withernsea.
•I'm also interested in Photography, taking stunning photos both indoors and outdoors to store and save for later. Wildlife, sea life and everything else in between is what I'm most interested in :)
•Playing different sports such as Badminton, Bowling, Cricket, Dodgeball, Tennis and Volleyball on the beach are activities I really enjoy doing, but I haven't played them recently thanks to a lack of others playing them with me.
•Gardening and working with plants is something that really fascinates me, planting and watching plants of all shapes and sizes grow is everything I've wanted to do since my late high school days. Also getting a bit of sunshine on my neck in the summer does me some good lol.
•I occasionally like doing artistic activities like card making, paper crafting, drawing and painting, but only on special occasions.
•I also like to read from time to time.

Physical Appearance

My appearance is quite normal:
•I'm 5'8 in height
•I've got quite the decent body shape
•I have no tattoos but I'm considering getting a few in the future
•I've got a small amount of facial hair (but I've shaved recently so I'm not quite as hairy on the face as I used to be)
•I've got quite a lot of hair on the top of my head but keep it in control most times with hairspray
•I've got an average to slightly above average face imo (pics can be exchanged if you're interested in knowing what I look like)
•I'm healthy with no health conditions or concerns
•I wear normal clothes such as buttoned t-shirts, hoodies / denim jackets, jeans / tracksuit bottoms, and leather jackets in colder weather.

You

I'm not too bothered what kind of women I talk to / get with tbh. Just as long as you:
•Live in the UK, or at least in different countries that are close to the UK like Norway, Ireland, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, France, or perhaps even The Netherlands, since all have shorter time-zone differences to the ones in the UK, (but you can message me wherever you are on the globe)
•Don't smoke or do drugs
•My age limit is between 18-23, but people that are past that age range can also message me.
•I'm not religious, by any means, but I don't mind dating people who are.
•Come as you are, no sugar coating, be real, be genuine. 🚫No NSFW content please🚫, that's all I ask.

Outro

Welp, this is me finally signing off and seeing what happens. If you've read this far, then I appreciate you for taking the time out of your schedule to read my post all the way through :) I hope you have a nice rest of your day 🙏🏻👋🏻 Come say Hi if you're feeling up to it! 🙂
submitted by Curious-Month7727 to ForeverAloneDating [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 14:31 AnderLouis_ Hail and Farewell (George Moore) - Book 3: Vale, Chapter 11.2

PODCAST: https://ayearofwarandpeace.podbean.com/e/ep1572-hail-and-farewell-george-moore-vale-chapter-112/
PROMPTS: George does not care about you, whatsoever.
Today's Reading, via Project Gutenberg:
Borde could not enlighten him on that point, and I suggested that he should make application to the publisher of his Prayer-Book and get his money back. There is nobody. I said, like him. He is more wonderful than anything in literature. I prefer him to Sancho who was untroubled with a conscience and never thought of running to the Bishop of Toledo. All the same he is not without the shrewdness of his ancestors, and got the better of Archbishop Walsh, and for the last five years Vincent O'Brien has been beating time, and will beat it till the end of his life; and he will be succeeded by others, for Edward has, by deed, saved the Italian contrapuntalists till time everlasting from competition with modern composers. He certainly has gotten the better of Walsh. And I thought of a picture-gallery in Dublin with nothing in it but Botticelli and his school, and myself declaring that all painting that had been done since had no interest for me.... A smile began to spread over my face, for the story that was coming into my mind seemed oh! so humorous, so like Ireland, so like Edward, that I began to tell myself again the delightful story of the unrefined ears that, weary of erudite music, had left the cathedral and sought instinctively modern tunes and women's voices, and as these were to be found in Westland Row the church was soon overflowing with a happy congregation. But in a little while the collections grew scantier. This time it couldn't be Palestrina, and all kinds of reasons were adduced. At last the truth could no longer be denied—the professional Catholics of Merrion Square had been driven out of Westland Row by the searching smells of dirty clothes, and had gone away to the University Church in Stephen's Green. So if it weren't Palestrina directly it was Palestrina indirectly, and the brows of the priests began to knit when Edward Martyn's name was mentioned. Them fal-de-dals is well enough on the Continent, in Paris, where there is no faith, was the opinion of an important ecclesiastic. But we don't want them here, murmured a second ecclesiastic. All this counterpoint may make a very pretty background for Mr Martyn's prayers, but what about the poor people's? Good composer or bad composer, there is no congregation in him, said a third. There's too much congregation, put in the first, but not the kind we want! The second ecclesiastic took snuff, and the group were of opinion that steps should be taken to persuade dear Edward to make good their losses. The priests in Marlborough Street sympathised with the priests of Westland Row, and told them that they were so heavily out of pocket that Mr Martyn had agreed to do something for them. It seemed to the Westland Row priests that if Mr Martyn were making good the losses of the priests of the pro-Cathedral, he should make good their losses. It was natural that they should think so, and to acquit himself of all responsibility Edward no doubt consulted the best theologians on the subject, and I think that they assured him that he is not responsible for indirect losses. If he were, his whole fortune would not suffice. He was, of course, very sorry if a sudden influx of poor people had caused a falling-off in the collections of Westland Row, for he knew that the priests needed the money very much to pay for the new decorations, and to help them he wrote an article in the Independent praising the new blue ceiling, which seemed, so he wrote, a worthy canopy for the soaring strains of Palestrina.
Unfortunately rubbing salt into the wound, I said. A story that will amuse Dujardin and it will be great fun telling him in the shady garden at Fontainebleau how Edward, anxious to do something for his church, had succeeded in emptying two. All the way down the alleys he will wonder how Edward could have ever looked upon Palestrina's masses as religious music. The only music he will say, in which religious emotion transpires is plain-chant. Huysmans says that the Tantum Ergo or the Dies Irae, one or the other, reminds him of a soul being dragged out of purgatory, and it is possible that it does; but a plain-chant tune arranged in eight-part counterpoint cannot remind one of anything very terrible. Dujardin knows that Palestrina was a priest, and he will say: That fact deceived your friend, just as the fact of finding the Adeste Fideles among the plain-chant tunes deceived him. For of course I shall tell Dujardin that story too. It is too good to be missed. He is wonderful, Dujardin! I shall cry out in one of the sinuous alleys. There never was anybody like him! And I will tell him more soul-revealing anecdotes. I will say: Dujardin, listen. One evening he contended that the great duet at the end of Siegfried reminded him of mass by Palestrina. Dujardin will laugh, and, excited by his laughter, I will try to explain to him that what Edward sees is that Palestrina took a plain chant tune and gave fragments of it to the different voices, and in his mind these become confused with the motives of The Ring. You see, Dujardin, the essential always escapes him—the intention of the writer is hidden from him. I am beginning to understand your friend. He has, let us suppose, a musical ear that allows him to take pleasure in the music; but a musical ear will not help him to follow Wagner's idea—how, in a transport of sexual emotion, a young man and a young woman on a mountain-side awaken to the beauty of the life of the world. Dujardin's appreciations will provoke me, and I will say: Dujardin, you shouldn't be so appreciative. If I were telling you of a play I had written, it would be delightful to watch my idea dawning upon your consciousness; but I am telling you of a real man, and one that I shall never to able to get into literature. He will answer: We invent nothing; we can but perceive. And then, exhilarated, carried beyond myself, I will say: Dujardin, I will tell you something still more wonderful than the last gaffe. II gaffe dans les Quat'z Arts. He admires Ibsen, but you'd never guess the reason why—because he is very like Racine; both of them, he says, are classical writers. And do you know how he arrived at that point? Because nobody is killed on the stage in Racine or in Ibsen. He does not see that the intention of Racine is to represent men and women out of time and out of space, unconditioned by environment, and that the very first principle of Ibsen's art is the relation of his characters to their environment. In many passages he merely dramatises Darwin. There never was anybody so interesting as dear Edward, and there never will be anybody like him in literature ... I will explain why presently, but I must first tell you another anecdote. I went to see him one night, and he told me that the theme of the play he was writing was a man who had married a woman because he had lost faith in himself; the man did not know, however, that the woman had married him for the same reason, and the two of them were thinking—I have forgotten what they were thinking, but I remember Edward saying: I should like to suggest hopelessness. I urged many phrases, but he said: It isn't a phrase I want, but an actual thing. I was thinking of a broken anchor—that surely is a symbol of hopelessness. Yes, I said, no doubt, but how are you going to get a broken anchor into a drawing-room? I don't write about drawing-rooms. Well, living-rooms. It isn't likely that they would buy a broken anchor and put it up by the coal-scuttle.
There's that against it, he answered. If you could suggest anything better—What do you think of a library in which there is nothing but unacted plays? The characters could say, when there was nothing for them to do on the stage, that they were going to the library to read, and the library would have the advantage of reminding everybody of the garret in the Wild Duck. A very cruel answer, my friend, Dujardin will say, and I will tell him that I can't help seeing in Edward something beyond Shakespeare or Balzac. Now, tell me, which of these anecdotes I have told you is the most humorous? He will not answer my question, but a certain thoughtfulness will begin to settle in his face, and he will say: Everything with him is accidental, and when his memory fails him he falls into another mistake, and he amuses you because it is impossible for you to anticipate his next mistake. You know there is going to be one; there must be one, for he sees things separately rather than relatively. I am beginning to understand your friend.
You are, you are; you are doing splendidly. But you haven't told me, Dujardin, which anecdote you prefer. Stay, there is another one. Perhaps this one will help you to a still better understanding. When he brought The Heather Field and Yeats's play The Countess Cathleen to Dublin for performance, a great trouble of conscience awakened suddenly in him, and a few days before the performance he went to a theologian to ask him if The Countess Cathleen were a heretical work, and, if it were would Almighty God hold him responsible for the performance? But he couldn't withdraw Yeats's play without withdrawing his own, and it appears that he breathed a sigh of relief when a common friend referred the whole matter to two other theologians, and as these gave their consent Edward allowed the plays to go on; but Cardinal Logue intervened, and wrote a letter to the papers to say that the play seemed to him unfit for Catholic ears, and Edward would have withdrawn the plays if the Cardinal hadn't admitted in his letter that he had judged the play by certain extracts only.
He wishes to act rightly, but has little faith in himself; and what makes him so amusing is that he needs advice in aesthetics as well as in morals. We are, I said, Dujardin, at the roots of conscience. And I began to ponder the question what would happen to Edward if we lived in a world in which aesthetics ruled: I should be where Bishop Healy is, and he would be a thin, small voice crying in the wilderness—an amusing subject of meditation, from which I awoke suddenly.
I wonder how Dujardin is getting on with his Biblical studies? Last year he was calling into question the authorship of the Romans—a most eccentric view; and, remembering how weakly I had answered him, I took the Bible from the table and began to read the Epistle with a view to furnishing myself with arguments wherewith to confute him. My Bible opened at the ninth chapter, and I said: Why, here is the authority for the Countess Cathleen's sacrifice which Edward's theologian deemed untheological. It will be great fun to poke Edward up with St Paul, and on my way to Lincoln Place I thought how I might lead the conversation to The Countess Cathleen.
📷
A few minutes afterwards a light appeared on the staircase and the door slowly opened.
Come in, Siegfried, though you were off the key.
Well, my dear friend, it is a difficult matter to whistle above two trams passing simultaneously and six people jabbering round a public-house, to say nothing of a jarvey or two, and you perhaps dozing in your armchair, as your habit often is. You won't open to anything else except a motive from The Ring; and I stumbled up the stairs in front of Edward, who followed with a candle.
Wait a moment; let me go first and I'll turn up the gas.
You aren't sitting in the dark, are you?
No, but I read better by candle-light, and he blew out the candles in the tin candelabrum that he had made for himself. He is original even in his candelabrum; no one before him had ever thought of a caridelabrum in tin, and I fell to admiring his appearance more carefully than perhaps I had ever done before, so monumental did he seem lying on the little sofa sheltered from daughts by a screen, a shawl about his shoulders. His churchwarden was drawing famously, and I noticed his great square hands with strong fingers and square nails pared closely away, and as heretofore I admired the curve of the great belly, the thickness of the thighs, the length and breadth and the width of his foot hanging over the edge of the sofa, the apoplectic neck falling into great rolls of flesh, the humid eyes, the skull covered with short stubbly hair. I looked round the rooms and they seemed part of himself: the old green wallpaper on which he pins reproductions of the Italian masters. And I longed to peep once more into the bare bedroom into which he goes to fetch bottles of Apollinaris. Always original! Is there another man in this world whose income is two thousand a year, and who sleeps in a bare bedroom, without dressing-room, or bathroom, or servant in the house to brush his clothes, and who has to go to the baker's for his breakfast?
We had been talking for some time of the Gaelic League, and from Hyde it was easy to pass to Yeats and his plays.
His best play is The Countess Cathleen.
The Countess Cathleen is only a sketch.
But what I never could understand, Edward, was why you and the Cardinal could have had any doubts as to the orthodoxy of The Countess Cathleen.
What, a woman that sells her own soul in order to save the souls of others!
I suppose your theologian objected—
Of course he objected.
He cannot have read St Paul.
What do you mean?
He can't have read St Paul, or else he is prepared to throw over St Paul.
Mon ami Moore, mon ami Moore.
The supernatural idealism of a man who would sell his soul to save the souls of others fills me with awe.
But it wasn't a man; it was the Countess Cathleen, and women are never idealists.
Not the saints?
His face grew solemn at once.
If you give me the Epistles I will read the passage to you. And it was great fun to go to the bookshelves and read: I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, that I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.
Edward's face grew more and more solemn, and I wondered of what he was thinking.
Paul is a very difficult and a very obscure writer, and I think the Church is quite right not to encourage the reading of the Epistles, especially without comments.
Then you do think there is something in the passage I have read?
After looking down his dignified nose for a long time, he said:
Of course, the Church has an explanation. All the same, it's very odd that St Paul should have said such a thing—very odd.
There is no doubt that I owe a great deal of my happiness to Edward; all my life long he has been exquisite entertainment. And I fell to thinking that Nature was very cruel to have led me, like Moses, within sight of the Promised Land. A story would be necessary to bring Edward into literature, and it would be impossible to devise an action of which he should be a part. The sex of a woman is odious to him, and a man with two thousand a year does not rob nor steal, and he is so uninterested in his fellow-men that he has never an ill word to say about anybody. John Eglinton is a little thing; AE is a soul that few will understand; but Edward is universal—more universal than Yeats, than myself, than any of us, but for lack of a story I shall not be able to give him the immortality in literature which he seeks in sacraments. Shakespeare always took his stories from some other people. Turgenev's portrait of him would be thin, poor, and evasive, and Balzac would give us the portrait of a mere fool. And Edward is not a fool. As I understand him he is a temperament without a rudder; all he has to rely upon is his memory, which isn't a very good one, and so he tumbles from one mistake into another. My God! it is a terrible thing to happen to one, to understand a man better than he understands himself, and to be powerless to help him. If I had been able to undo his faith I should have raised him to the level of Sir Horace Plunkett, but he resisted me; and perhaps he did well, for he came into the world seeing things separately rather than relatively, and had to be a Catholic. He is a born Catholic, and I remembered one of his confessions—a partial confession, but a confession: If you had been brought up as strictly as I have been—I don't think he ever finished the sentence; he often leaves sentences unfinished, as if he fears to think things out. The end of the sentence should run: You would not dare to think independently. He thinks that his severe bringing-up has robbed him of something. But the prisoner ends by liking his prison-house, and on another occasion he said: If it hadn't been for the Church, I don't know what would have happened to me.
My thoughts stopped, and when I awoke I was thinking of Hughes. Perhaps the link between Hughes and Edward was Loughrea Cathedral. He had shown me a photograph of some saints modelled by Hughes. Hughes is away in Paris, I said, modelling saints for Loughrea Cathedral. The last time I saw him was at Walter Osborne's funeral, and Walter's death set me thinking of the woman I had lost, and little by little all she had told me about herself floated up in my mind like something that I had read. I had never seen her father nor the Putney villa in which she had been brought up, but she had made me familiar with both through her pleasant mode of conversation, which was never to describe anything, but just to talk about things, dropping phrases here and there, and the phrases she dropped were so well chosen that the comfort of the villa, its pompous meals and numerous servants, its gardens and greenhouses, with stables and coach-house just behind, are as well known to me as the house that I am living in, better known in a way, for I see it through the eyes of the imagination ... clearer eyes than the physical eyes.
It does not seem to me that any one was ever more conscious of whence she had come and of what she had been; she seemed to be able to see herself as a child again, and to describe her childhood with her brother (they were nearly the same age) in the villa and in the villa's garden. I seemed to see them always as two rather staid children who were being constantly dressed by diligent nurses and taken out for long drives in the family carriage. They did not like these drives and used to hide in the garden; but their governess was sent to fetch them, and they were brought back. Her father did not like to have the horses kept waiting, and one day as Stella stood with him in the passage, she saw her mother come out of her bedroom beautifully dressed. Her father whispered something in his wife's ear, and he followed her into her bedroom. Stella remembered how the door closed behind them. In my telling, the incident seems to lose some of its point, but in Stella's relation it seemed to put her father and his wife before me and so clearly that I could not help asking her what answer her father would make were she to tell him that she had a lover. A smile hovered in her grave face. He would look embarrassed, she said, and wonder why I should have told him such a thing, and then I think he would go to the greenhouse, and when he returned he would talk to me about something quite different. I don't think that Stella ever told me about the people that came to their house, but people must have come to it, and as an example of how a few words can convey an environment I will quote her: I always wanted to talk about Rossetti, she said, and these seven words seem to me to tell better than any description the life of a girl living with a formal father in a Putney villa, longing for something, not knowing exactly what, and anxious to get away from home.... I think she told me she was eighteen or nineteen and had started painting before she met Florence at the house of one of her father's friends; a somewhat sore point this meeting was, for Florence was looked upon by Stella's father as something of a Bohemian. She was a painter, and knew all the Art classes and the fees that had to be paid, and led Stella into the world of studios and models and girl friends. She knew how to find studios and could plan out a journey abroad. Stella's imagination was captured, and even if her father had tried to offer opposition to her leaving home he could not have prevented her, for she was an heiress (her mother was dead and had left her a considerable income); but he did not try, and the two girls set up house together in Chelsea; they travelled in Italy and Spain; they had a cottage in the country; they painted pictures and exhibited their pictures in the same exhibitions; they gave dances in their studios and were attracted by this young man and the other; but Stella did not give herself to any one, because, as she admitted to me, she was afraid that a lover would interrupt the devotion which she intended to give to Art. But life is forever casting itself into new shapes and forms, and no sooner had she begun to express herself in Art than she met me. I was about to go to Ireland to preach a new gospel, and must have seemed a very impulsive and fantastic person to her, but were not impulsiveness and fantasy just the qualities that would appeal to her? And were not gravity and good sense the qualities that would appeal to me, determined as I was then to indulge myself in a little madness?
I could not have chosen a saner companion than Stella; my instinct had led me to her; but because one man's instinct is a little more clear than another's, it does not follow that he has called reason to his aid. It must be remembered always that the art of painting is as inveterate in me as the art of writing, and that I am never altogether myself when far away from the smell of oil paint. Stella could talk to one about painting, and all through that wonderful summer described in Salve our talk flowed on as delightfully as a breeze in Maytime, and as irresponsible, flashing thoughts going by and avowals perfumed with memories. Only in her garden did conversation fail us, for in her garden Stella could think only of her flowers, and it seemed an indiscretion to follow her as she went through the twilight gathering dead blooms or freeing plants from noxious insects. But she would have had me follow her, and I think was always a little grieved that I wasn't as interested in her garden as I was in her painting; and my absent-mindedness when I followed her often vexed her and my mistakes distressed her.
You are interested, she said, only in what I say about flowers and not in the flowers themselves. You like to hear me tell about Miss —— whose business in life is to grow carnations, because you already see her, dimly, perhaps, but still you see her in a story. Forget her and look at this Miss Shifner!
Yes, it is beautiful, but we can only admire the flowers that we notice when we are children, I answered. Dahlias, china roses, red and yellow tulips, tawny wallflowers, purple pansies, are never long out of my thoughts, and all the wonderful varieties of the iris, the beautiful blue satin and the cream, some shining like porcelain, even the common iris that grows about the moat.
But there were carnations in your mother's garden?
Yes, and I remember seeing them being tied with bass. But what did you say yesterday about carnations? That they were the—
She laughed and would not tell me, and when the twilight stooped over the high trees and the bats flitted and the garden was silent except when a fish leaped, I begged her to come away to the wild growths that I loved better than the flowers.
But the mallow and willow-weed are the only two that you recognise. How many times have I told you the difference between self-heal and tufted vetch?
I like cow parsley and wild hyacinths and—
You have forgotten the name. As well speak of a woman that you loved but whose name you had forgotten.
Well, if I have, I love trees better than you do, Stella. You pass under a fir unstirred by the mystery of its branches, and I wonder at you, for I am a tree worshipper, even as my ancestors, and am moved as they were by the dizzy height of a great silver fir. You like to paint trees, and I should like to paint flowers if I could paint; there we are set forth, you and I.
I have told in Salve that in Rathfarnham she found many motives for painting; the shape of the land and the spire above the straggling village appealed to me, but she was not altogether herself in these pictures. She would have liked the village away, for man and his dwellings did not form part of her conception of a landscape; large trees and a flight of clouds above the trees were her selection, and the almost unconscious life of kine wandering or sheep seeking the shelter of a tree.
Stella was a good walker, and we followed the long road leading from Rathfarnham up the hills, stopping to admire the long plain which we could see through the comely trees shooting out of the shelving hillside.
If I have beguiled you into a country where there are no artists and few men of letters, you can't say that I have not shown you comely trees. And now if you can walk two miles farther up this steep road I will show you a lovely prospect.
And I enjoyed her grave admiration of the old Queen Anne dwelling-house, its rough masonry, the yew hedges, the path along the hillside leading to the Druid altar and the coast-line sweeping in beautiful curves, but she did not like to hear me say that the drawing of the shore reminded her of Corot.
It is a sad affectation, she said, to speak of Nature reminding one of pictures.
Well, the outlines of Howth are beautiful, I answered, and the haze is incomparable. I should like to have spoken about a piece of sculpture, but for your sake, Stella, I refrain.
She was interested in things rather than ideas, and I remember her saying to me that things interest us only because we know that they are always slipping from us. A strange thing for a woman to say to her lover. She noticed all the changes of the seasons and loved them, and taught me to love them. She brought a lamb back from Rathfarnham, a poor forlorn thing that had run bleating so pitifully across the windy field that she had asked the shepherd where the ewe was, and he had answered that she had been killed overnight by a golf-ball. The lamb will be dead before morning, he added. And it was that March that the donkey produced a foal, a poor ragged thing that did not look as if it ever could be larger than a goat, but the donkey loved her foal.
Do you know the names of those two birds flying up and down the river?
They look to me like two large wrens with white waistcoats.
They are water-ouzels, she said.
The birds flew with rapid strokes of the wings, like kingfishers, alighting constantly on the river, on large mossy stones, and though we saw them plunge into the water, it was not to swim, but to run along the bottom in search of worms.
But do worms live under water?
The rooks were building, and a little while after a great scuffling was heard in one of the chimneys and a young jackdaw came down and soon became tamer than any bird I had ever seen, tamer than a parrot, and at the end of May the corncrake called from the meadow that summer had come again, and the kine wandered in deeper and deeper and deeper herbage. The days seemed never to end, and looking through the branches of the chestnut in which the fruit had not begun to show, we caught sight of a strange spectacle. Stella said, A lunar rainbow, and I wondered, never having heard of or seen such a thing before.
I shall never forget that rainbow, Stella, and am glad that we saw it together.
In every love story lovers reprove each other for lack of affection, and Stella had often sent me angry letters which caused me many heart-burnings and brought me out to her; in the garden there were reconciliations, we picked up the thread again, and the summer had passed before the reason of these quarrels became clear to me. One September evening Stella said she would accompany me to the gate, and we had not gone very far before I began to notice that she was quarrelling with me. She spoke of the loneliness of the Moat House, and I had answered that she had not been alone two evenings that week. She admitted my devotion. And if you admit that there has been no neglect—
She would not tell me, but there was something she was not satisfied with, and before we reached the end of the avenue she said, I don't think I can tell you. But on being pressed she said:
Well, you don't make love to me often enough.
And full of apologies I answered, Let me go back.
No, I can't have you back now, not after having spoken like that.
But she yielded to my invitation, and we returned to the house, and next morning I went back to Dublin a little dazed, a little shaken.
A few days after she went away to Italy to spend the winter and wrote me long letters, interesting me in herself, in the villagers, in the walks and the things that she saw in her walks, setting me sighing that she was away from me, or that I was not with her. And going to the window I would stand for a long time watching the hawthorns in their bleak wintry discontent, thinking how the sunlight fell into the Italian gardens, and caught the corner of the ruin she was sketching; and I let my fancy stray for a time unchecked. It would be wonderful to be in Italy with her, but—
I turned from the window suspicious, for there was a feeling at the back of my mind that with her return an anxiety would come into my life that I would willingly be without. She had told me she had refrained from a lover because she wished to keep all herself for her painting, and now she had taken to herself a lover. She was twenty years younger than I was, and at forty-six or thereabouts one begins to feel that one's time for love is over; one is consultant rather than practitioner. But it was impossible to dismiss the subject with a jest, and I found myself face to face with the question—If these twenty years were removed, would things be different? It seemed to me that the difficulty that had arisen would have been the same earlier in my life as it was now, and returning to the window I watched the hawthorns blowing under the cold grey Dublin sky.
The problem is set, I said, for the married, and every couple has to solve it in one way or another, but they have to solve it; they have to come to terms with love, especially the man, for whom it is a question of life and death. But how do they come to terms? And I thought of the different married people I knew. Which would be most likely to advise me—the man or the woman? It would be no use to seek advice; every case is different, I said. If anybody were to advise me it would be the man, for the problem is not so difficult for a woman. She can escape from love more easily than her lover or her husband; she can plead, and her many pleadings were considered, one by one, and how in married life the solution that seems to lovers so difficult is solved by marriage itself, by propinquity. But not always, not always. The question is one of extraordinary interest and importance; more marriages come to shipwreck, I am convinced, on this very question than upon any other. In the divorce cases published we read of incompatibility of temper and lack of mutual tastes, mere euphemisms that deceive nobody. The image of a shipwreck rose up in me naturally. She will return, and like a ship our love for each other will be beaten on these rocks and broken. We shall not be able to get out to sea. She will return, and when she returns her temperament will have to be adjusted to mine, else she will lose me altogether, for men have died of love, though Shakespeare says they haven't. Manet and Daudet—both died of love; and the somewhat absurd spectacle of a lover waiting for his mistress to return, and yet dreading her returning, was constantly before me.
It often seemed to me that it was my own weakness that created our embarrassment. A stronger man would have been able to find a way out, but I am not one that can shape and mould another according to my desire; and when she returned from Italy I found myself more helpless than ever, and I remember, and with shame, how, to avoid being alone with her, I would run down the entire length of a train, avoiding the empty carriages, crying Not here, not here! at last opening the door of one occupied by three or four people, who all looked as if they were bound for a long journey. I remember, too, how about this time I came with friends to see Stella, whether by accident or design, frankly I know not; I only know that I brought many friends to see her, thinking they would interest her.
If you don't care to come to see me without a chaperon, I would rather you didn't come at all, she said, humiliating me very deeply.
It seemed to me, I answered, blushing, that you would like to see ——, and I mentioned the name of the man who had accompanied me.
If I am cross sometimes it is because I don't see enough of you.
It seems to me that it was then that the resolve hardened in my heart to become her friend ... if she would allow me to become her friend. But in what words should I frame my request and my apology? All the time our life was becoming less amiable, until one evening I nipped the quarrel that was beginning, stopping suddenly at the end of the avenue.
It is better that we should understand each other. The plain truth is that I must cease to be your lover unless my life is to be sacrificed.
Cease to be my lover!
That is impossible, but a change comes into every love story.
The explanation stuttered on. I remember her saying: I don't wish you to sacrifice your life. I have forgotten the end of her sentence. She drew her hand suddenly across her eyes. I will conquer this obsession.
A man would have whined and cried and besought and worried his mistress out of her wits. Women behave better than we; only once did her feelings overcome her. She spoke to me of the deception that life is. Again we were standing by the gate at the end of the chestnut avenue, and I remembered her telling me how a few years ago life had seemed to hold out its hands to her; her painting and her youth created her enjoyment.
But now life seems to have shrivelled up, she said; only a little dust is left.
Nothing is changed, so far as you and I are concerned. We see each other just the same.
I am no more to you than any other woman.
She went away again to Italy to paint and returned to Ireland, and one day she came to see me, and remained talking for an hour. I have no memory of what we said to each other, but a very clear memory of our walk through Dublin over Carlisle Bridge and along the quays. I had accompanied her as far as the Phoenix Park gates, and at the corner of the Conyngham Road, just as I was bidding her goodbye, she said:
I want to ask your advice on a matter of importance to me.
And to me, for what is important to you is equally important to me.
I am thinking, she said, of being married.
At the news it seems to me that I was unduly elated and tried to assume the interest that a friend should.
submitted by AnderLouis_ to thehemingwaylist [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 11:36 Teffycom Last week in codomomental (May 22 - May 28)

Last week in codomomental (May 22 - May 28)
On May 21st there was a livestream with Ama Mauru, where she talked about the progress of the creation of her new group St.404. I have compiled the most interesting news and facts for you:
  • The lineup of the group is already set.
  • Just one day before the livestream, all the important aspects - including the direction of the music, the visual style, etc. - have also been decided.
  • Mauru is eager to launch the group as soon as possible. They plan to start shooting the visuals in early June, and the debut is expected to be this summer (but keep in mind that in Mauru's view, "summer" includes September).
  • She emphasized that from now on she will present herself in a completely different way, not like in "Seireki". She joked that she might even do harsh vocals, and at the same time, she seriously didn't rule it out.
  • Apparently, the new group will be the opposite of "Seireki". However, Mauru says that she has absorbed the identity of "Seireki" through all these years, so there will be some continuity, even though the concept is completely opposite. Namely, St.404 will also be based on a fantasy concept - apparently it will be a dark fantasy.
  • On the previous livestream, Mauru said that after meeting with the applicants for the group, she reconsidered some of her ideas about how it should be. In particular, she had wanted to have 5 or 7 members, but as a result, she realized that the formation of the lineup depends first and foremost on the people she meets, as it is they who create the unique look of the group. As a result, she was satisfied with the lineup with a small number of members. But Mauru emphasizes that this is not a compromise, on the contrary - the girl is convinced that this way they will be able to realize the style and music that can only be realized with this lineup.
  • Despite her shyness, Mauru has already managed to make good friends with the new members.
  • Being directly involved in the work on the group, Mauru has once again realized her own incompetence in many aspects. However, she doesn't want to lose to herself and is eager to fill those gaps and grow as a producer, writer and performer by working on her own shortcomings.
  • Mauru wants to create something that can capture people's hearts, and she intends to test herself in different kinds of music to create a world that only she can create.
Meanwhile, Seireki13ya have announced their next single, "Kuchibue", which will be released on June 14. In addition to the title song, the single will also include the song "Pastelphose". Interestingly, both of these songs are strongly associated with the past "Seireki", even though they have never officially been released yet. "Pastelphose", with vocals by Nene Komochi, Ama Mauru and Shiki Towa, was already available as part of a two-hour preview in late July 2021. Around the same time, a vote was held to decide which lyrics would get another new song of the group. And that song was the one that ended up being "Kuchibue". The choice was made of two variants, and at the time of voting the authors of the lyrics were unknown, and the instrumental of the song could be listened freely. In the end of the voting, the lyrics titled "Hi, cute knight" were chosen, the author of which turned out to be Shiki Towa. Then it became known that lyrics titled "Kuchibue" was written by GESSHIRUI. But shortly thereafter, Towa suddenly left the group and Seireki13ya went on an indefinite hiatus. Nevertheless, Komochi wanted to continue performing, and she had small solo performances during codomomental events, where this song (which became "Kuchibue" due to these circumstances) was performed live for the first time. This period when Komochi was left alone was very difficult for her, she even began to think about leaving "Seireki", and so, in her own words at a recent livestream, "Kuchibue" was a very painful song for her, but when it was reborn with the new lineup, it revealed itself to Komochi in a cheerful way for the first time.
It's a song that had so many of my feelings in it and that I went through a lot together. And when it sounded with the voices of the four of us, I was glad to the point of tears🌟
It's a very important song to me, listen to it🤍
From Nene Komochi's Twitter.
The cover art of the single was also revealed:
https://preview.redd.it/9mlel1bukj2b1.jpg?width=1500&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=6d13725ff23390e280b5db9deeb8aacaff95d9d6
And a few days later, "Kuchibue" became available for a limited two-hour preview where fans could experience what Seireki13ya's new lineup studio recording sounds like for the first time.
I've included a translation of the song's lyrics below:
"Kuchibue" ("Whistling") "Ouch!" - A prickling pain in the depths of my chest. My bangs fluttered and the wind was slightly bitter. I wonder since when I don't look for a reason why my heart is beating hard. Pretending to be insensitive was already something commonplace. The dance of a fairy who can't dance, hoping for a fairy tale. A moment of star divination. The excitement of the heart. Let's chat all night and forget tomorrow. Let's leave sadness and sorrow behind, let's ride freely on the moon slide. This feeling is special. I don't care if I get hurt. Rainbow jitterbug. Raspberry blend. And you're getting so close. The first and last mysterious night for both of us. Only an imitation echoes, the standard bitter smile. It seems to me that things are actually different. But still, like the others, I want peace. I admire you and, clumsily and proudly, I want to be just like you, I'm still afraid, but, you know, I clutch my amulet tightly and hum a melody, do you hear? What may look like junk isn't perfect. And that's why I want to love myself. Hey, let's chat and forget tomorrow forever. Joy and pain will be gently wrapped by a medicine the color of tears. This feeling is special. I don't care if I get hurt. Flowers are singing. Please, Maestro. And you're getting so close. That mysterious night when I promised myself I'd never be wrong again. "Let us begin, concertmaster." Let's play some stellar music! Let's take this new ship for a ride, a blooming tulip. A concert of the overflowing night, a time of fantastic illusions that play feelings. Happily in private. What do you think? A smile spread over my face. Ha-ha, he-he. Because I've decided. That this is more important to me than anything else. No one can stop us. I love you more than anything else in the world. Let's chat all night and forget about tomorrow. Let's leave sadness and sorrow behind, let's ride freely on the moon slide. This feeling is special. I don't care if I get hurt. Rainbow rumba. Raspberry blend. And you're getting so close. The first and last "Let's be together forever".

I still don't understand what music is, but one element we should never forget but tend to do is the concept of 'fun'. I'm late with all this again, but I'm the one responsible for the lyrics of "Kuchibue," the song from Seireki13ya's seventh single. It's coming out a little later, but for me, it's the work where I thought the most about the majority opinion. This song was a never-ending challenge for me as I tried to figure out how to express what could be said about as "Seireki13ya and the music market" by collecting such hackneyed words and images as "junk" and interpreting their arrangement and context. However, when I entered the lyrics contest, that lyrics was rejected... And I was a little sad (the winner lyrics were great), but I'm really glad that they still could start their journey around the world. (Oops, it got too long again... I didn't even get a third of what I wanted to say).

If you're not insensitive, you should be able to say 'let's chat' in this painful world. If you're not painfully aware that there are clear moments when you can't say it, there's not a bit of conviction in those words. But these girls have it. "Romantic Escape" was written as an homage to Shonen ga Milc's songs, and at the same time based on the images of Mauru-chan and the other members, and as a result it unwittingly turns out to be much more emotional than I could have imagined. And since "Kuchibue" is a continuation of that work, the "fun" in it came to the fore. I desperately tried not to rely too much on the overflowing emotions and played "Rhapsody in Blues" and "Symphony No. 7 in A Major" in my head. I was very happy that the tiny but great artist Nene Komochi and the new stars Yui Urari, Who Runo and Yowa Minai really tried to convey that to the listeners. There was something about it that went beyond "skillful" and "unskillful". I'll be glad if you look forward to June 14th. May this 13th night, which shouldn't have happened according to the Star Calendar, be a good one.
From GESSHIRUI's Twitter.
It's a cute song, but not only that, it makes me remember important things🎶
I'll be happy if it becomes something important for you too.

I try my best for the present, but when I look back, it all becomes my precious treasures💭✨
Let's continue to create irreplaceable treasures with us, together with our 'night minions'!!!🤍🌟
From Nene Komochi's Twitter.
On a recent livestream, the members of Seireki13ya shared what they would wish for if they had the opportunity to grant a wish through magic. Runo would like to be able to magically visit all the places on earth and see all the interesting sights (because even if she could, it would be impossible to do so to the fullest), Komochi would like to have endless stamina so that she could give an endless concert, Urari would like to be able to speak all languages (including animal languages) so that Seireki13ya can communicate with their fans all over the world (and also perform in zoos), and Minai dreams that in her next life she will be reborn as something other than a human - like a cat or a stuffed toy (the other members rightly pointed out that in the second case, Minai would not be able to move, but she replied that she would move anyway, and the other members were horrified to imagine this).
Speaking of Minai, her height has definitely become something of a meme. Especially after the incident that happened on a recent Seireki13ya livesteam, the translation of which you can check out here:
https://www.reddit.com/AlternativeIdol/comments/13tw1nh/seireki13ya_minai_height_incident_eng_sub/
You can also check out another funny moment that happened last week on a TOKYO TEFUTEFU livestream. The girls decided to play a word association game, but no one thought the game could end with such an epic moment... The video is here:
https://www.reddit.com/AlternativeIdol/comments/13tw30w/tokyo_tefutefu_magical_tangerine_incident_eng_sub/
When I heard that ZKS was going on an indefinite hiatus, I thought, "I'm not going to accept this, shitty Imamura!" and sent him this song (TOKYO TEFUTEFU - "houyou") as a kind of taunt: "This is the border between the ZKS and TTFTF worlds!", but he didn't get angry, but said: "Awesome!" which made me angry again, but that's just between you and me.
From GESSHIRUI's Twitter.
submitted by Teffycom to AlternativeIdol [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 06:55 psyopticnerve Nothing Grows Here [Part 1}

"Nothing ever grows here."
This was a sentiment my father expressed often, referring to a particular plot on the east side of our property, murmuring the words bitterly. No matter what crops he planted there, no matter the attention he gave them, they would either wither and die or grow in a sickly, twisted fashion.
When I was young I watched him work the land and brought him food and water as the sun beat down upon us, dreading the day that he often told me would come- the day I was old enough to toil alongside him.
My interests were books, knowledge, the arts. Things they taught at school, and the more interesting topics I could learn about from Thomas, our neighbor who lived a mile down the road from us. Though he was several grades above me, Thomas was always kind, treating me as one would a younger sibling and entertaining my curiosities. It was from him that I found myself immersed in works of fiction and fantasy, things that my father would glance at and grimace.
"These things aren't meant for people like us, Leroy. No, we weren't dealt a hand to indulge ourselves in the luxury of idle pleasures for men who do not work with their hands."
He never said these things with a tone of anger or resentment, but rather in a measured way, meant to let me understand that he would derive no pleasure in keeping me from my interests or from walking to the school in a few short months. No, he said these things regretfully, wearily. He too, had once dreamed of a life away from his family's struggling farm. The only of his three siblings to survive adolescence, he chose to stay and aid my grandfather after my grandmother passed and he began succumbing to the bottle.
While my father never gave in to such vices, seeing him grow stiffer and harder of breath each day, I knew that I soon would assume the role he had once played for his father. And so I clung to my remaining days of freedom with a feverish fervor.

"...and it's entirely made of ice?" I asked, insistent and intrusive at Thomas's side.
"No, it's a continent covered by and surrounded by ice…" he replied distractedly, keeping his eyes on his book as we walked, "The, uh, Vikings found it I think… maybe the Spaniards. It's interesting though, no one owns Antarctica… Besides maybe the penguins."
"The Spanish find everything.”
“Mm. The Nazis went there too. My father told me.”
“Does he ever talk about the war?”
Thomas raised an eyebrow but didn’t look up from the page. His father, Sheriff Russell, patrolled Mt.Harmon with an efficiency that could only have been instilled by combat. Nothing ever happened in our sleepy little town, and he often seemed disappointed by this.
“Does yours?” Thomas replied.
“No. Mostly worries about the Russians these days. ”
“You’d think we’d be tired of war by now, wouldn’t you? And yet we continue to find new and horrifying ways to kill one another. Seems if we invent the weapons we’ll invent a reason to point them at someone.”
“Why do we keep making them then?”
“It’s profitable.”
There was a long pause between us. I decided to change the subject.
"What are you reading?"
"Frankenstein, or; The Modern Prometheus. It's by a woman named Mary Shelley. Gruesome throughout, it's about a monster created by a man who becomes a monster himself… You'd like it, I think. You can borrow it when I'm finished."
“How does one become a monster?”
“Inwardly. You’ll see when you read it. Conversely, the monster begins to appear more human.”
I pondered the meaning of what he had said and we neared a bend in the road. Thomas suddenly stopped in his tracks and dropped Frankenstein to his side. He stared straight ahead, eyes squinting at something through thick coniferous branches. I followed his gaze, finding nothing.
"Do you see that?"
"No…" I whispered. I followed his finger until I was able to see the camouflaged Great Horned Owl roosting there. Its sharp eyes were trained on us.
“How bizarre,” Thomas remarked.
“Not really. That’s one of the most common species of owl in this region.”
“It’s not bizarre that it’s here. It’s bizarre that it’s awake in daylight and that there are so many in one place.”
Taken aback, I realized the forest we were staring into was staring right back at us. Dozens of these owls were scattered throughout the trees.
“Incredible… Enjoy this moment, Leroy. We’ll never see anything like this again.”
We lingered for a while, soaking it in. After a silent agreement was reached that we had appreciated them sufficiently we turned away and journeyed on.

“You’re getting better with that,” I noted, watching my father adjust the radio’s dial to his favorite station. He often asked me to tune it for him.
“There is a part of me that still dislikes it greatly. Yet I find myself compelled. It doesn’t do us well to be uninformed.”
The broadcast spoke of the weather. The next week was to be warm, uncharacteristically so for this time of year. To this he grunted, “Figures.”
“How does that figure?”
“Maybe it doesn’t. But it gives me something to blame. Might as well be the weather.”
“And what do you blame on the weather?”
“Whatever you want. It’s the perfect scapegoat.”
“I’ll keep it in mind.”
“Let the cat out.”
I journeyed to the porch with the orange creature weaving itself between my feet. It wasn’t our cat, but it was here often enough for us to feel responsible for it. We weren’t sure who it belonged to, if anyone. It scampered out into the night, where a thick fog had settled over the grass. I listened to the chirping of crickets mingle with the muffled chatter of the radio while settling into a creaking rocking chair. The glow from the lamp inside gave off just enough light as I examined the cover before opening Frankenstein, flipping through to see what annotations Thomas had made in his scribbled, slanted way of expressing his thoughts between the printed lines. They always intrigued me as much as the original work. I smiled, returning to the first page.
It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils…

“...Well, what did you think of Duck and Cover?”
Thomas was clearly excited to discuss the schoolwide atomic weapon safety protocol video we had been shown that morning. I was less than eager to reply. Practicing the drill had left me feeling ill.
“A desk would never save us from an explosion of that magnitude.”
“Clearly.”
“Why not build a bunker?”
Thomas laughed, “It costs money. Besides, would you want to be trapped in a bunker for years until the radiation decays? I’d rather die, frankly, than become a human sardine.”
“Valid…”
“If the government really wanted to make dealing with the aftermath convenient, they’d have us each dig our own grave beforehand. When the alarms blare we would simply lie down in them, and wait.” Thomas crossed his arms over his chest and mimed falling backwards.
I forced the resemblance of a chuckle out of a throat that had constricted.
“You don’t look well.”
“Why should I?” I turned to him, exasperated, “I don’t have a desk at home. Even the illusion of shelter might be nice.”
Thomas softened his voice, “I’m sorry, I was trying to make light of the absurdity of it all… I try not to mention that you’re leaving school. I force it from my mind so often that it sometimes slips away completely.”
“It’s not just that.”
“Then what?”
“...Doesn’t it bother you? To know that there are decisions being made for us? Ones that we do not get a say in- like who to bomb, or being forced to hide under a desk in the face of certain death?” I could feel my eyes beginning to water.
“...Of course it does.”
“And yet you laugh about it?”
Thomas shrugged, “I try to. Sometimes that’s the only option left.”

“What was your reasoning in choosing a Chevrolet over a Ford?”
My father was patching a tire, I was pestering him while he worked in the barn.
“Truth be told, I could give a damn about brands, makes or models. They all drive, they all break down, they all require special attention to certain faulty components… I simply needed a truck, and this is the one I could afford the day I was buying.”
“So you don’t ever find yourself admiring a Ford?”
“Sure. The grass is always greener, as they say...”
“And as you say. That's an idiom you use often.”
“Perhaps. I’m a practicing pragmatist.”
“You consider yourself to be a pragmatist?”
“...Should I surmise from your tone that you disagree?"
“I… didn’t say that.”
“Not in so many words.”
A pair of owls hooted rhythmically from somewhere to the east. He placed the tire back on the hub, giving me a stern look before winking at me as he began tightening the bolts to the rim. His point was made and my tongue was tied. He gave a curt nod at my concession and lowered the jack, running his hands across the repaired tread to make certain that no air was escaping. Once he was satisfied that it had been patched successfully he wiped them on his coveralls and stood up, grunting and groaning as his tired limbs protested just as loudly.
When he spoke again his voice had lost some of the sharpness it typically held, “There was another matter I wished to discuss with you before this task took precedence this evening”
“I’m all ears.”
“Tell that to the mouth you’re always running…” he chuckled softly, his usual gruff timbre still absent from this remark, “Leroy, I’ve decided to hire some help around here.”
I stared at him, sizing up the implication of what he’d said.
“Do you forget who manages your finances?” I asked, incredulous, knowing that we didn’t have a quarter to spare.
“That only adds to my point. You are a child, yet you understand these things as well, or perhaps even better, than I.”
“Indeed, which makes your statement even more foolish.”
The gruffness came back to his voice with his response.
“Not at all. There is hope for you yet. You haven’t made the poor decisions I have and tied yourself to this cursed piece of land… Nothing grows here. And what does is meager…”
“...Meaning that you will need my help to succeed.”
“Nonsense. You will be at school for the spring and the fall, and in the summer you will have chores. But I cannot bear keeping you here with me. I will hire help.”
There was a finality to what he had said. A weight had been simultaneously lifted from my shoulders and placed firmly in the air between us. Impenetrable and inarguable. I found my lips trembling.
“Were you ever happy here?”
My question took him aback. He regarded me for a while before he spoke, his voice once again lowered to a softer cadence and volume.
“...I suppose I was for a time. We told ourselves we would return home to a hero's welcome… To parades and medals and our loved ones. And we did… To all the fanfare and the admiration… For what we had done. Who we had killed. The enemy- young men just like us. Scared, tired, hungry, sick men that we were told to kill with distorted reasoning, manipulation, for fear of being called a coward or a traitor… Through similar methods they were coerced to do the same to us. At the end of the day, we were only ever trying to survive, no matter which uniform we wore.”
He leaned against the frame of the Chevy.
“So I was happy to survive… I was happy to return to my infant, my wife…” he sighed heavily, staring down at the ground, “And then she left us... She was not happy here.”
“We… Couldn’t we have gone with her?”
“No,” he shook his head, “No, it wasn’t like that, Leroy… She was- is- a spirit meant to be free. She would have never been happy with us. Perhaps I was a fool for ever thinking that she could be…”
I had never heard him speak of her this frankly. I could see his eyes sadden as memories of their time together flashed through his mind. I nearly regretted broaching the subject.
“She was- she is- a good woman, in her own way,” he concluded, looking back at me.
“...And you are a great man,” I told him.
He rubbed his face with his sleeve, quickly concealing the mist forming in his eyes from my sight. When he lowered his arm he was once again composed.
“And you are a great son, Leroy.”

The next morning Thomas was not waiting on the porch for me on the way to school as usual. Instead I was greeted by Sheriff Russell after I knocked on the screen door. Seeing him dressed in a robe and slippers instead of his uniform was oddly disorienting.
"Good morning, Leroy. I'm afraid Thomas has had a fever through the night. His mother believes it best for him to stay in bed for the day. Just getting over mine," he added, seeming to feel the need to justify his attire.
"Oh, well pass it along to him that I hope he feels better soon."
"I'll do that, I'll do just that..." Russell yawned, coffee mug in hand. The sound of bare feet bounding down the steps came from inside and Thomas appeared, looking pale and tired.
“Young man, you ought to be resting!” Darcy poked her head around the corner to half-heartedly scold him.
“I’ll go back up in a minute, Ma, relax!”
Russell scowled at him.
“Did Pop show you this?” he asked, grabbing something off of the kitchen table and pressing it against the screen for me to see.
"Is that what I think it is?"
"Only if you believe it to be a Geiger counter."
“I figured we ought to have a few at the station in case we… Well, you never know these days,” Russell said grimly, “They’ve been giving off odd readings though.”
“Have they been calibrated?”
“Do you really think I didn’t zero them in?” Thomas answered before his father could speak.
“It’s just a question… Were they stored with packets of desiccant? Have you made certain that the ionization chambers have not rusted? That the welds are intact? They will be useless if any air gets inside.”
Thomas looked toward Russell to reply.
“I… don’t know. Well, Leroy, Thomas always told me you were sharp,” Russell said, seeming to have gone from seeing me as a child to an equal in that moment. Darcy reappeared around the corner.
“Thomas, get back in your room and rest!”
He grimaced at her.
“I’ll be better in a day or two,” he grumbled, “I’ll see you then.”
“Feel better. Good to see you, Sheriff,” I said, turning to depart.
“One moment, Leroy,” he called, and I returned to the porch, “Have you ever been to the library in Augusta?”
“No, sir. I’ve never been to Augusta at all.”
“You don’t say? Well, with as much as the two of you read, it occurs to me that it would be a worthy pilgrimage to make. What do you say we all take a trip down once we’ve recovered? I imagine they have a few books in the capitol library that you could never find in our little town.”
“I… I’d love to, Sheriff,” I murmured, flustered by this act of kindness, “I’ll… I’ll ask my father.”
“Good man. And Leroy, you may call me Russell,” he smiled.

This was the night that the monster visited me.
It waited until my sheets were soaked in cold sweat and my teeth chattered uncontrollably to make itself known.
It rose out of the darkness, a form that slowly took shape out of billowing shadow. And then it was before me. Massive. Cadaverous. Its suppurating flesh crudely sewn together in multicolored patches.
But worse was its grin. Something so hideous was not meant to express the joy it conveyed from the cruelty of its intentions. Blackened teeth and bloodshot eyes bore into my very essence as the form of Mary Shelley's literary creation was brought to fruition before me. The scream in my lungs would not release itself. It felt as if a great weight had settled over my throat and ribs.
But no, it was the screaming in my ears that made the tapestry of my nightmare begin to fray.
My eyes shot open and the tethers of sleep paralysis released their grip on my limbs.
There it was once more, shrill and agonized, the sound of something suffering in the throes of its final moments before death.
I was on my feet. My door slammed against the wall. My father's door was already open. As I careened down the hallway I was just able to make out his silhouette, a shotgun in his hands.
"Stay here, Leroy," he barked.
A change had come over him. He was no longer the stiff-limbed, patient father I knew. His posture straightened, his voice was callous. He burst into the night, once more a soldier storming into battle. Even in my panic I could not help being awed by the transformation I had witnessed.
A shot fired…
And another.
Then a complete and deafening silence.
I crept to the door, pushing it open just enough to peer out. An impermeable fog clung to the air, making it impossible to make out anything past the porch.
"F-father?"
My toes were on the top step now, slowly inching their way to the damp grass.
Still. Silent.
"Dad?!"
The owls began hooting and the crickets started up their chatter once more. Altogether, the creatures around seemed to release a breath they had held collectively. Even the fog relinquished its grip on my vision.
I could just make out his slumped form. My feet slapped against the cold earth as I sprinted my way toward him, anticipating the worst.
"Dad, are you okay? Dad!"
Then he was on his feet once more, gripping me by the waist and hoisting me up.
"There is nothing for you to see, Leroy... Nothing at all. Close your eyes, son. Please, close your eyes…"
Despite the desperation and sincerity in his voice my curiosity got the better of me. I squinted through my eyelids, just able to make out the pile of scattered limbs through my lashes. I forced bile back down my throat and clenched my eyes tightly, shocked to find myself wishing to return to the nightmare that had awoke me.
submitted by psyopticnerve to TheCrypticCompendium [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 06:05 Toolb0xExtraordinary Title

Title
Derrick White (born July 2, 1994)[1] is an American professional basketball player for the Boston Celtics of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He played three years of college basketball in Division II for the UCCS Mountain Lions before transferring to the Division I Colorado Buffaloes for his final season.
White was selected 29th overall by the San Antonio Spurs in the 2017 NBA draft. In February 2022, he was traded to the Celtics & became a key contributor for the team when they reached the NBA Finals.
White was the first graduating class of his high school, as it was brand new. As a result, there were no upper classmen on the basketball team when he was a freshman.[3] A 2012 graduate of Legend High School in Parker, Colorado, White was a six-foot combo guard at the time of his graduation. On 2/17/2023 Legend High School retired Derrick White's High School Number
White was lightly recruited out of high school, receiving no scholarship offers from any four-year institutions. At the time of his high school graduation, which fell about two months before his 18th birthday, he was barely 6 feet tall—after growing two inches during his senior year.[4] The only head coach at a four-year school who showed sustained interest in White was Jeff Culver, then the head coach at the Denver campus of Johnson & Wales University, a non-scholarship NAIA member better known for its culinary program. By the time White was preparing to make his college decision, Culver was hired as head coach at NCAA Division II UCCS, and offered White a room and board stipend for his freshman season.[5] Culver was only expecting White to become a starter late in his college career. He was aware that White's father had a late growth spurt in college, and also knew that doctors had projected White to potentially reach 6'5".[5] As it turned out, White reached that potential height by the time he enrolled at Colorado–Colorado Springs.[4] With his newfound size and athleticism, White became a star at UCCS, starting every game of his three-year career and left as the school's career leader in points (1,912) and assists (343). In his junior season, he averaged 25.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 5.2 assists for the Mountain Lions, leading the team to the 2015 NCAA tournament.[6] He was named an All-American.
Following this season, White opted to transfer to Division I Colorado to play for Tad Boyle and to test his skills in the Pac-12 Conference, one of the top college leagues in the country.[7] After sitting out the 2015–16 season per NCAA rules, White excelled in his lone season with the Buffaloes, averaging 18.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. He was named first-team All-Pac-12 and a member of the five-man All-Defensive team.[8]
White was one of 60 NBA prospects invited to the 2017 NBA Draft Combine.[9] He was one of only 15 combine invitees who had not been Rivals top-150 prospects in high school, and one of only three who did not sign with Division I programs out of high school. In addition, according to Yahoo! Sports writer Jeff Eisenberg, he was also "the only one who will use part of his first NBA contract to pay off student loans he accumulated paying for tuition at UCCS as a freshman."[5]
The San Antonio Spurs drafted White with the 29th pick of the 2017 NBA draft.[10] White was later included in the Spurs' 2017 NBA Summer League roster.[11] On July 6, White signed with the Spurs.[12]
On October 18, 2017, White made his NBA debut, coming off the bench in a 107–99 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.[13] On October 31, 2017, he was sent along with Dāvis Bertāns to the Austin Spurs of the NBA G League.[14] White suffered a fractured right wrist during a G League game against the Texas Legends. He was then recalled to San Antonio several days later.[15][16] On March 12, 2018, White scored a career-high 14 points along with four rebounds, one assist, and a block in a 93-109 loss to the Houston Rockets.[17]
On April 14, 2018, White made his NBA playoffs debut, coming off the bench with seven points, an assist, a steal, and a block in a 92–113 loss to the Golden State Warriors in game 1 of the series.[18]
On October 12, 2018, White was revealed to have a left plantar fascia tear.[19] On November 7, White made his season debut recording one rebound and three assists in a 95–88 loss to the Miami Heat.[20] On December 31, White scored his career-high 22 points with three rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal in a 120–111 win over the Boston Celtics.[21] On January 10, 2019, White scored another career-high 23 points with eight assists, five rebounds, two steals and a block in a double-overtime 154–147 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.[22] On January 30, 2019 against the Brooklyn Nets, White then recorded a then career-high 26 points.[23] On April 18, 2019 against the Denver Nuggets, White recorded another career-high of 36 points to give San Antonio a 2–1 lead in the first round of the 2019 playoffs.
On December 21, 2020, the Spurs announced that they had signed White to a reported four-year, $73 million rookie scale extension.[24][25] On April 1, 2021, White hit a career-high 7 three-pointers in a 129–134 double overtime loss to the Atlanta Hawks.[26]
Boston Celtics: Flourishing off-the-bench role (2022–present) Edit On February 10, 2022, White was traded to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford, a 2022 first-round pick and the rights to swap 2028 first-round picks.[27] White played his first game with the Celtics a day later and finished with 15 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists.
In Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat, White scored 22 points on 7-for-14 shooting, alongside 5 assists and 3 steals, in a 111–103 loss.[28] The Celtics would go on to eliminate the Heat, earning White his first Finals appearance in his career.[29] In Game 1 of the Finals, he logged 21 points and three assists in a 120–108 win over the Golden State Warriors.[30] The Celtics went on to lose the series in six games.
On February 13, 2023, White was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week, after averaging 24.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 7.5 assists as a starter in place of the injured Marcus Smart.[31] At the end of the season, White was named for the first time to the NBA All-Defensive Second team.[32]
On May 27, 2023, in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals, White made a buzzer-beating tip-in shot as time expired to beat the Miami Heat 104–103 to force a Game 7, saving the Celtics from elimination.[33][34]
On August 24, 2019, White was included in the US national team's final roster for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup.[35]
submitted by Toolb0xExtraordinary to nbacirclejerk [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 05:16 fuzzyone06 I feel like such an asshole today

I’m a dad to twin boy 19MO toddlers. I love the two of them to death. They literally give me life and joy, but today, was just so fucking hard.
I have ADHD and can get sensory overload as a fun side effect. And today my kids were just so damn loud. My wife and I both work, but I was off today and she wasn’t, so it was a fathesons day. It wasn’t super bad until the last two hours before bedtime. Started with the usual routine of them throwing the dinner I made them on the floor and fighting with them to try and get them to eat something that wasn’t goldfish or apple sauce. Then bath time happened, and they just kept yelling and screaming loudly in a small, very echoey room, all while grabbing my shirt constantly getting me soaked and progressively more irritated. It wasn’t even panicked or angry screaming, just them being happy, having loud fun with their bath toys and their dad trying his best to play along while getting progressively more and more irritated. I pulled them out of the tub, and got them diapered and lotioned all the while they’re still yelling and grabbing and wrestling me to not put their PJs on. I snapped. Sensory overload and my frustration just got the best of me. I got so mad. I put the one I was dressing down on the floor, walked out of the room and slammed their bedroom door really hard. I scared my sons. So much so that they both started bawling. I know I didn’t hurt them physically but they were actually scared of me. For the first time in their lives they cried at the sight of me. I couldn’t help it. Between my own anger at myself and them I just broke down and cried along with them. We all calmed down after about 15 minutes and they were back to normal after that. Lots of hugs and silliness afterward and now a few hours later I’m still not ok.
I don’t know why I’m posting other than to vent. I can’t tell my wife about this. She’d either freak out or feel guilty. I can’t take that right now. I’m just feeling really guilty and like a terrible father. I love my boys so much and I rarely let my temper get to me like this. Before whenever I got mad I could just take a deep breath, pop o some music and let my brain just go on autopilot for a few mins while I got recentered but I didn’t have my headphones with me. This time I lost it and I hate myself for it.
submitted by fuzzyone06 to daddit [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 05:10 Mother_Chipmunk_700 27 [M4F] TN/US/CST-Is it too soon to start our journey?

Hi,
I am a work in progress. But I still think I’m ready for a loving relationship. I want to start the journey with my person.
I’m 27 years old and I have a fairly significant physical disability, cerebral palsy. That basically means that I need help with almost everything, from bathing, dressing, all that good stuff like that. I’ve had a couple other setbacks as well that have prevented me from really pursuing independence, but I’m starting that journey now in earnest. This might be TMI but I’m setting up a meeting with my parents so we can discuss a roadmap to maximum independence.
Having a disability has made it hard to “find myself.”I have a few major interests, namely politics, geography, and history. But I’m looking for more hobbies. I’ll be completely honest. It’s tough to develop your own identity when you rely someone else’s help That said, I do have a great passion for learning. Wikipedia is my favorite website in the world and I just love knowing a little bit about a lot of things.
As for TV, I like stand-up comedy, Saturday Night Live, Futurama, Ted Lasso. On the dramatic side, I like Breaking Bad Better Call Saul, Severance, stuff like that.
And I absolutely love music. I know that sounds generic but I literally have my headphones on for the majority of my date. It’s hard to talk about favorite artist or genres because I’m the type of person to find a song on spotify and play it over and over and over. Sometimes it is here a certain song, no matter the genre, and it just grabs me. In fact, I find it easier to communicate my feelings through song lyrics most of the time.
Now, for what I’m really passionate about, politics. I am a committed progressive/social democrat. Basically, I believe every human should be free to live how they wish, so long as they don’t harm others or themselves. This means I believe deeply in women’s rights and LGBTQ+ rights. I also believe that America, as a wealthy nation, has the resources to take care of its citizens. I believe in free enterprise, but I also believe that the government should create conditions which allow people to pursue full and fulfilling lives. This means support for a living wage, healthcare as a right, paid time off as a guarantee for every worker.
I’ve always felt this way but my philosophy really came together this past summer. My family and I were lucky enough to go on a trip to Ireland last July. We got to stay in a really nice hotel. Pretty much every room in the hotel had a view of this small lake. I don’t know what it was about that particular lake, but I couldn’t stop looking at it. I felt a sense of calm and contentment that I had never really felt before. And that's when I knew that everyone should be able to have the same feeling I had. At least a couple days a year where people can just relax, relatively free of worry. That’s what I want to fight for
Getting back to personal stuff. I also like to meet a girl and take her back to that hotel and share that sense of calm with her. Now, I am 5’7” tall and I am relatively heavy. I have a plan to lose some weight but it is difficult as someone who is relatively sedentary.
I am looking for a close and affectionate relationship. My disability has meant that I have had very little intimate contact of any kind. So I would like someone who is open-minded with a relatively high sex drive. I should say though. Due to disability reasons I may need a little blue pill. We can cross that bridge when we come to it though. I haven’t really experimented with it, but I am kink inclined. What that exactly means, I’m not sure yet.
I don’t really have any strict standards. All I ask is that you are between 20 and 35, single and willing to meet me relatively soon in Nashville, Tennessee.. I know I’m a work in progress. It’s going to take a where I’m going but I have a lot of love to give and I feel like I’m ready to give that to someone, at least.
Apologies for typos. They are pretty hard to avoid when using a dictation software.
As long as this is up, I am open to replies.
Face pic available upon request.
submitted by Mother_Chipmunk_700 to r4r [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 04:25 Dull_Scallion7875 Anyone ever feel this?

Age 19
Sex female
Height 5’2
Weight 94
Race white/ Latina
Duration of complaint 2 months
Location right side of head.
Any existing relevant medical issues. Nothing yet. Beside and x ray for my neck pains showed neck spasms. I have been recommended and have referal. To se neurologist. Convince parent is hard though.
Current medications
I don’t know what cause my head pain. But over the past two month I have been feeling this weirds squeezing pain on the right side of my head. Near temple area. It in’t really painful like the head pains I get. Feel weird. The closest I can describe it to is like a squeezing pain on your vein. On my other posts of mine I have described my head pains.
Here is a description from one of my older posts: I started a log to track the amount of migraine or whatever pain this is and the last day of logging will be tomorrow. I have had 19 days of migraines in January. Then past months have been averaging 14 to 15. These pains started in the summer of 2021 and got a lot worse by may 2022. My mom took me to see a physical therapist cause she was convinced it was just neck pain and posture and the x ray showed that I have neck spasms. I did 2 months of physical therapy and went back and extra two weeks In hopes it would get better but it hasn’t only worse. I have worked on my posture and made an effort the past month to consistently do excerise and take all my vitamins. I did physical therapy October and November and a little bit of December in 2022. In the summer of 2022 I made an appointment myself with a nurse at my campus and she did tests and after me following her recommendations and not improving she gave a referral to get a scan at a neurologist which ended up getting thrown away. The physical therapist said if the pain doesn’t improve I need to make follow up appointment and get mri. That never got made. I finally took it into my own hands and got an appointment at cleavland clinic with a neurologist in December and my mom decided to not take me. I have tried different over the counter medicines which don’t work. I switch between advil liquid gels and excedrin. My family recently got sick with Covid and I am sick also but I haven’t done a test yet so that doesn’t help me either. I had a call with my physician and she told me to try migrelief and it gave me bad side effects and only made it worse. I tried this cefaly and it also made it worse. This pain is around the base of my skull, neck, ear, also where the varix of the angular vein is. And I get random pain on other parts of my skull and face. I have been really trying to improve my self care of taking vitamins daily; having water, exercise, eat healthy enough, sleep in a bit more. I started chiro two weeks ago. First appointment went well second did not.
I really need advice on the squeezing pain but also the main head pain. Anyone experience this? I will try anything at this point. Any ideas?
submitted by Dull_Scallion7875 to migraine [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 01:39 houlanta [LISTING] 1 room w/ private bathroom in a 4 bed 2 bath in Crown Heights (near Franklin ave)

My roomate and I (both female) have a 4br, 2b in crown heights right off the shuttle and ~8 mins walk to the franklin ave. (2,3,4,5) stop. It is a 4th floor walk up, but you get used to it IMO!
We are looking to rent the room June 1 to August 1 for $1100/month, utilities included. Likely ideal for someone who is interning for the summer. You would get... + your own bathroom + queen sized bed + desk/chaimonitor to use in the room if you work from home or are in school + a/c unit installed and ready to use + washedryer in unit you can obviously use as well + Verizon fios gigabet, so super fast wifi :)
Please msg if interested!
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2023.05.28 01:14 Crynosaur NO HAVING FUN AT THE POOL 😡

NO HAVING FUN AT THE POOL 😡 submitted by Crynosaur to LandlordLove [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 01:02 JoshAsdvgi THE WAYS OF THE PEOPLE

THE WAYS OF THE PEOPLE

THE WAYS OF THE PEOPLE

From Ohiyesa (Charles Alexander Eastman)

THE TEACHING OF CHILDREN
… It is commonly supposed that there was no systematic means of education for Indian children.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
All the customs of our people were held to be divinely instituted, and customs involving the training of children were scrupulously adhered to and transmitted from one generation to another…
It is true that we had no schoolhouses, no books, no regular school hours.
Our children were trained in the natural way — they kept in close contact with the natural world.
In this way, they found themselves and became conscious of their relationship to all of life…
We taught our children by both example and instruction, but with the emphasis on example, because all learning is a dead language to one who gets it secondhand.
Our physical training was thorough and intelligent, while as to the moral and spiritual side of our teaching.
I am not afraid to compare it with that of any race...
We conceived the art of teaching as, first and foremost, the development of personality; and we considered the fundamentals of education to be love of the Great Mystery, love of nature, and love of people and country...

THE ROLE OF THE ELDERS
… The distinctive work of the grandparents is that of acquainting the children with the traditions and beliefs of the nation. The grandparents are old and wise. They have lived and achieved. They are dedicated to the service of the young, as their teachers and advisers, and the young in turn regard them with love and reverence. In them the Indian recognizes the natural and truest teachers of the child…

A LIFE OF SERVICE
… The public position of the Indian has always been entirely dependent upon our private virtue. We are never permitted to forget that we do not live to ourselves alone, but to our tribe and clan. Every child, from the first days of learning, is a public servant in training… The young boy was encouraged to enlist early in the public service, and to develop a wholesome ambition for the honors of a leader and feastmaker, which could never be his unless he proved truthful and generous, a well as brave, and ever mindful of his personal chastity and honor…

THE beauty of generosity
… It has always been our belief that the love of possessions is a weakness to be overcome… Therefore we must early learn the beauty of generosity.
As children we are taught to give what we prize most, that we may taste the happiness of giving; at an early age we are made the family giver of alms…
Pubic giving is a part of every important ceremony.
It properly belongs to the celebration of birth, marriage, and death, and is observed whenever it is desired to do special honor to any person or event…
Upon such occasion it is common to literally give away all that one has to relatives, to guests of another tribe or clan, but above all to the poor and the aged, from whom we can hope for no return…

Order, etiquette, and decorum
… No one who is at all acquainted with us in our homes can deny that we Indians are a polite people… a low soft voice has always been considered an excellent thing…
Even the warrior who inspired the greatest terror in the hearts of his enemies was, as a rule, a man of the most exemplary gentleness...
In the presence of a guest, promiscuous laughing or a careless attitude are not permitted. Rigid decorum and respectful silence are observed...
The serving of food is always orderly and polite.
Guests are offered food at whatever hour of the day they may appear...

THE MORAL STRENGTH OF WOMAN
… In the woman is vested the standard of morals of our people. She is the silent but telling power behind all of life’s activities… She rules undisputed in her own domain. The children belong to her clan… she holds all the family property, and the honor of the house… Possessed of true feminine dignity and modesty, she is expected to be the equal of her mate in physical endurance and skill, and to share equally in the arduous duties of daily life. But she is expected to be superior in spiritual insight…. There is nothing artificial about her person, and very little insincerity in her character… her profoundly religious attitude gives her a strength and poise than cannot be overcome by ordinary misfortune.

Sacredness of Honor
… A sense of honor pervades all aspects of Indian life. Orphans and the aged are cared for… He sets no price upon either his property or his labor. His generosity is limited only by his strength. He considers it as an honor to be selected for a difficult or dangerous service, and would think it a shame to ask for any other reward… He is always ready to undertake the impossible, or to impoverish himself for the sake of a friend… Where the other person is regarded more than the self, duty is sweeter and more inspiring, patriotism more sacred, and friendship is a pure and eternal bond.

RESPECT FOR JUSTICE
… Before there were any cities on this continent… Indian people had councils which gave their decisions in accordance with the highest ideal of human justice… the [Indian] made no attempt to escape or evade justice… and hence did not hesitate to give himself up…

FRIENDSHIP
… Among our people, friendship is held to be the severest test of character… to have a friend, and to be true under any and all trials, is the truest mark of a man!… the highest type of friendship is the relation of "brother-friend"… It is the essence of comradeship and fraternal love without thought of pleasure or gain, but rather moral support and inspiration.

Bravery and courage
… As to our personal bravery and courage, no race can outdo us… Even our worst enemies, those who accuse us of treachery, blood-thirstiness, cruelty, and lust have not denied our courage… Our conception of bravery makes of it a high moral virtue… his courage rises to the heights of chivalry, patriotism, and real heroism.

THE MEANING OF DEATH
… Our attitude toward death… is entirely consistent with our character and philosophy… We never doubt the immortal nature of the human soul or spirit, but neither do we care to speculate upon its probable state or condition in a future life… we were content to believe that the spirit which the Great Mystery breathed into us returns to the Creator who gave it and, and that after it is freed from the body it is everywhere and pervades all nature. Thus, death holds no terrors for us… The idea of a "happy hunting ground" is… invented by the white man…

Happy Earth Day
"We are part of the earth and it is part of us. The perfumed flowers are our sisters; the deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers.
The rocky crests, the juices of the meadows, the body heat of the pony, and human beings all belong to the same family... The shining water that moves in the streams and rivers is not just water but the blood of our ancestors...
The rivers are our brothers, they quench our thirst. . . The air is precious to the red man, for all things share the same breath--the beast, the tree, the man, they all share the same breath. . The air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.
The wind that gave our grandfather his first breath also receives his last sigh... What are human beings without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, human beings would die from a great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts soon happens to all human beings. All things are connected. This we know.
The earth does not belong to human beings; human beings belong to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the children of the earth. We do not weave the web of life, we are merely a strand in it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves."

WORDS OF OUR GRANDFATHERS

I was born in Nature’s wide domain! The trees were all that sheltered my infant limbs, the blue heavens all that covered me. I am one of Nature’s children. I have always admired her. She shall be my glory: her features, her robes, and the wreath about her brow, the seasons, her stately oaks, and the evergreen — her hair, ringlets over the earth — all contribute to my enduring love of her.

George Copway (Kahgegagahbowh), Ojibwe

The old Indian stills sits upon the earth instead of propping himself up and away from its life giving forces. For him, to sit or lie upon the ground is to be able to think more deeply and to feel more keenly; he can see more clearly into the mysteries of life and come closer in kinship to other lives about him.

- Chief Luther Standing Bear, Teton Sioux

Great Spirit – I want no blood upon my land to stain the grass. I want it all clear and pure, and I wish it so, that all who go through among my people may find it peaceful when they come, and leave peacefully when they go.

- Ten Bears, Yamparika Comanche

You ask me to plow the ground. Shall I take a knife and tear my mother’s bosom? Then when I die she will not take me to her bosom to rest. You ask me to dig for stones! Shall I dig under her skin for her bones? Then when I die I cannot enter her body to be born again. You ask me to cut grass and make hay and sell it, and be rich like white men, how dare I cut my mother’s hair? I want my people to stay with me here. Their spirits will come to their bodies again. We must wait here in the homes of our fathers and be ready to meet them in the bosom of our mother.

- Wovoka, Paiute

You must speak straight so that your words may go as sunlight into our hearts.

Cochise ("Like Ironweed") Chericahau Chief

Silence was meaningful with the Lakota, and his granting a space of silence before talking was done in the practice of true politeness and regardful of the rule that "thought comes before speech."

And in the midst of sorrow, sickness, death, or misfortune of any kind, and in the presence of the notable and great, silence was the mark of respect. More powerful than words was silence with the Lakota.

His strict observance of this tenet of good behavior was the reason, no doubt, for his being given the false characterization by the white man of being a stoic. He has been judged to be dumb, stupid, indifferent, and unfeeling.

As a matter of truth, he was the most sympathetic of men, but his emotions of depth and sincerity were tempered with control. Silence meant to the Lakota what it meant to Disraeli when he said, "Silence is the mother of truth," for the silent man was ever to be trusted, while the man every ready with speech was never taken seriously.

Chief Luther Standing Bear, Teton Sioux

How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right.

- Black Hawk, Sauk

A treaty, in the minds of our people, is an eternal word. Events often make it seem expedient to depart from the pledged word, but we are conscious that the first departure creates logic for the second departure, until there is nothing left of the word.

- Declaration of Indian Purpose,

American Indian Chicago Conference

Why should you take by force from us that which you can obtain by love? Why should you destroy us who have provided you with food? What can you get by war?

It is better to eat good meat, be well, and sleep quietly with my woman and children; to laugh and be merry with the English, and be their friend; to have cooper hatchets and whatever else I want.

- King Wahunsonacook, Powhatan

No person among us desires any other reward for performing a brave and worthy action, but the consciousness of having served his nation.

- Joseph Brant (Thayendanegea), Mowhawk

We have men among us, like the whites, who pretend to know the right path, but will not consent to show it without pay! I have no faith in their paths, but believe that every man must make his own path!

- Black Hawk, Sauk

We do not want churches because they will teach us to quarrel about God, as the Catholics and Protestants do. We do not want to learn that. We may quarrel with men sometimes about things on this earth. But we never quarrel about God. We do not want to learn that.

- Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

No tribe has the right to sell, even to each other, much less to strangers… Sell a country! Why not sell the air, the great sea, as well as the earth?

- Tecumseh, Shawnee

Some of our chiefs make the claim that the land belongs to us. It is not what the Great Spirit told me. He told me that the land belong to Him, that no people owns the land; that I was not to forget to tell this to the white people when I met them in council.

- Kanekuk, Kickapoo prophet

Suppose a white man should come to me and say, "Joseph, I like your horses. I want to buy them." I say to him, "No, my horses suit me; I will not sell them." Then he goes to my neighbor and says to him, "Joseph has some good horses. I want to buy them, but he refuses to sell." My neighbors answers, "Pay me the money and I will sell you Joseph’s horses." The white man returns to me and says, "Joseph, I have bought your horses and you must let me have them." If we sold our lands to the government, this is the way they bought them.

- Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

We know that the white man does not understand our ways. One portion of the land is the same to him as the next, for he is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he needs. The earth is not his brother, but his enemy — and when he has conquered it, he moves on. He leaves his father’s graves, and his children’s birthright is forgotten.

- Chief Seattle, Suqwamish and Duwamish

Tell your people that since the Great Father promised that we should never be removed we have been moved five times. I think you had better put the Indians on wheels so you can run them about wherever you wish.

- Anonymous Chief (1876)

Civilization has been thrust upon me… and it has not added one whit to my love for truth, honesty, and generosity…

- Chief Luther Standing Bear, Oglala Sioux

The more I consider the condition of the white men, the more fixed becomes my opinion that, instead of gaining, they have lost much by subjecting themselves to what they call the laws and regulations of civilized societies.
submitted by JoshAsdvgi to Native_Stories [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 00:36 JoshAsdvgi STONE BOY

STONE BOY

STONE BOY


[BRULE SIOUX)
Depending on the individual storyteller, the Sioux legend of Stone Boy takes many different forms.
The following version from the Cheyenne River Reservation was heard by Henry Crow Dog around 1910, when he was a child listening to the storytellers at the campfire.


Back in the great days of the Indians, a maiden and her five brothers lived together.
People in those times had to look for food; it was their main occupation.
So while the sister cooked and made clothes, the brothers spent their days hunting.
It happened once that this family moved their tipi to the bottom of a canyon.
It was a strange, silent place, but there was water in a creek and the hunting was good.
The canyon was cool in the summer and shielded from wind in the winter.
Still, when the brothers went out hunting, the girl was always waiting for them.
Waiting and listening, she heard noises.
Often she thought they were footsteps, but when she looked outside, no one was there.
Then one evening, only four of the five brothers came back from hunting.
They and the sister stayed awake all night, wondering what could have happened to the other.
The next day when the men went hunting, only three returned.
Again they and the sister stayed awake wondering.
The next evening only two came home, and they and the girl were afraid.
In those early days the Indians had no sacred ceremonies or prayers to guide them, so it was hard for the maiden and her two brothers to watch through the night in that ghostly place.
Again the brothers went out in the morning, and only a single one returned at night.
Now the girl cried and begged him to stay home.
But they had to eat, and so in the morning her last and youngest brother, whom she loved best of all, went out to hunt.
Like the others, he did not come back.
Now no one would bring the maiden food or water, or protect her.
Weepmg, the girl left the canyon and climbed to the top of a hill.
She wanted to die, but did not know how to.
Then she saw a round pebble lying on the ground.
Thinking that it would kill her, she picked it up and swallowed it.
With peace in her heart the maiden went back to the tipi.
She drank some water and felt a stirring inside her, as if the rock were telling her not to worry.
She was comforted, though she could not sleep for missing her brothers.
The next day she had nothing left to eat except some pemmican and berries.
She meant to eat them and drink water from the creek, but she found she wasn't hungry. She felt as if she had been to a feast, and walked around singing to herself.
The following day she was happy in a way she had never been before.
On the fourth day that the girl had been alone, she felt pain.
"Now the end comes," she thought.
"Now I die." She didn't mind; but instead of dying, she gave birth to a little boy.
"What will I do with this child?" she wondered. "How did it come?
It must be that stone I swallowed."
The child was strong, with shining eyes.
Though the girl felt weak for a while, she had to keep going to care for the new life, her son.
She named him Iyan Hokshi, Stone Boy, and wrapped him in her brothers' clothes.
Day after day he grew, ten times faster than ordinary infants, and with a more perfect body.
The mother knew that her baby had great powers.
One day when he was playing outside the tipi, he made a bow and arrows, all on his own.
Looking at his Rint arrowhead, the mother wondered how he had done it.
"Maybe he knows that he was a stone and I swallowed him," she thought.
"He must have a rock nature,"
The baby grew so fast that he was soon walking.
His hair became long, and as he matured his mother became afraid that she would lose him as she had lost her brothers.
She cried often, and though he did not ask why, he seemed to know.
Very soon he was big enough to go hunting, and when she saw this, his mother wept more than ever.
Stone Boy come into the tipi.
"Mother, don't cry," he said.
"You used to have five uncles," she said.
"But they went out hunting.
One after another, they did not come back."
And she told him about his birth, how she had gone to the top of the hill and swallowed a stone, and how she had felt something moving inside her.
"I know," he said. "And I am going to look for your brothers, my uncles."
"But if you don't return," she sobbed, "what will I do?"
"I will come back," he told her.
"I will come back with my uncles.
Stay in the tipi until I do."
So the next morning Iyan Hokshi started walking and watching.
He kept on till dusk, when he found a good place to sleep.
He wandered for four days, and on the evening of the fourth day he smelled smoke.
Iyan Hokshi, this Stone Boy, he followed the smell.
It led him to a tipi with smoke coming from its smoke hole.
This tipi was ugly and ramshackle.
Inside Iyan Hokshi could see an old woman who was ugly too.
She watched him pass and, calling him over, invited him to eat and, stay the night.
Stone Boy went into the tipi, though he was uneasy in his mind, and a little timid.
He looked around and saw nve big bundles, propped up on end, leaning against the tipi wall.
And he wondered.
The old woman was cooking some meat.
When it was done he ate it, though it didn't taste good.
Later she fixed a dirty old buffalo robe for him to sleep on, but he sensed danger and felt wide awake.
"I have a backache," the woman said. "Before you go to sleep, I wish you would rub it for me by walking up and down my back.
I am old and alone, and I have nobody to help with my pain."
She lay down, and Stone Boy began walking on her back.
As he did, he felt something sticking up under her buckskin robe, something sharp
like a knife or a needle or the point of a spear.
"Maybe she used this sharp tool to kill my uncles," he thought.
"Maybe she put poison from a snake on its point.
Yes, that must be so."
Iyan Hokshi, having pondered, jumped high in the air, as high as he could, and came down on that old woman's back with a crash.
He jumped and jumped until he was exhausted and the hag was lying dead with a broken back.
Then Iyan Hokshi walked over to the big bundles, which were wrapped in animal hides and lashed together with rawhide thongs.
He unwrapped them and found some men, dead and dried like jerked meat, hardly human-looking.
"These must be my uncles," he thought, but he didn't know how to bring them back to life.
Outside the ugly tipi was a heap of rocks, round gray stones.
He found that they were talking and that he could understand them.
"Iyan Hokshi, Stone Boy, you are one of us, you come from us, you come from Tunka, you come from Iyan.
Listen; pay attention." Following their instructions, he built a little dome-like hut out of bent willow sticks.
He covered it with the old woman's buffalo robes and put the dead, dried-up humans inside. Out in the open he built a big fire.
He set the rocks right in the Bames, picked up the old woman, and threw her in to burn up.
After the rocks glowed red-hot, Stone Boy found a deer antler and used it to carry them one by one into the little hut he had made.
He picked up the old woman's water bag, a buffalo bladder decorated with quillwork, and filled it with water.
He drew its rawhide tie tight and took it inside too.
Then he placed the dried humans around him in a circle.
Iyan Hokshi dosed the entrance of his little lodge with a Hap of buffalo robe, so that no air could escape or enter.
Pouring water from the bag over them, he thanked the rocks, saying, "You brought me here."
Four times he poured the water; four times he opened the Hap and closed it.
Always he spoke to the rocks and they to him.
As he poured, the little lodge filled with steam so that he could see nothing but the white mist in the darkness.
Then he poured water a second time, he sensed a stirring.
When he poured the third time, he began to sing.
And when he poured the fourth time, those dead, dried-up things also began to sing and talk.
"I believe they have come to life," thought Iyan Hokshi, the Stone Boy.
"Now I want to see my uncles."
He opened the Hap for the last time, watching the steam How out and rise into the sky as a feathery cloud.
The bonfire and the moonlight both shone into the little sweat lodge, and by their light he saw five goodlooking young men sitting inside.
He said, "Hou, lekshi, you must be my uncles."
They smiled and laughed, happy to be alive again.
Iyan Hokshi said, "This is what my mother-your sister-wanted.
This is what she wished for."
He also told them: "The rock saved me, and now it has saved you.
Iyan, Tunka-rock-Tunka, Iyan.
Tunkashila, the Grandfather Spirit, we will learn to worship.
This little lodge, these rocks, the water, the fire-these are sacred, these we will use from now on as we have done here for the first time: for purification, for life, for wichosani, for health.
All this has been given to us so that we may live.
We shall be a tribe."

-Told by Henry Crow Dog, February 26, 1968, at Rosebud,

-------Note -------
Henry Crow Dog is a full-blooded Sioux elder with a majestic face, craggy as the Black Hills themselves.
He is the grandson of the famous Crow Dog, a chief, warrior, and leader of the Ghost Dancers.
The first Crow Dog once voluntarily drove 150 miles to his own hanging for killing his rival, Chief Spotted Tail, only to be freed on orders of the Supreme Court, which ruled that federal law had no jurisdiction on an Indian reservation.
submitted by JoshAsdvgi to Native_Stories [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 00:25 PhesteringSoars [SF] Paige & Caroline (3,622 Words; 20,273 Characters)

“Now Paige, you’re sure there isn’t anything for me to sign?”, my mother asked.
“No mom. It’s ‘Bring your sibling to work day’. Caroline is 10 and old enough for the summer training, even though she can’t officially serve as an Imperial Page for two more years.”, I reply.
At 14 myself, I’ve been an Imperial Page for 2 years now. “I did the summer training.”, a month each, for two summers starting at 10, “I wanted to see if she might be interested serving as well.”
“I just don’t want her getting in someone important’s way.”, mother continues.
“She’ll be fine. The shuttle flights in/out off-world will be the most exciting part. ‘Court’ is currently in session on Tau Ceti 9a, with the Emperor himself at one of the orbital Space Stations. He’s overseeing rescue, recovery, and restoration operations dealing with the aftermath of the two recent super-typhoons on the planet. We’ll mostly be delivering snacks & meals and hand delivering documents and supplies all day. Routine stuff.”
“I just don’t want her to do something to upset the Emperor.”, mother said.
I reply, “He’s trying to help people in distress mom. People left with next to nothing. He’s just a man.”
Mother shakes her head and mumbles, “I worry about that too.”
I snort, “He wouldn’t do anything to us and the Sezrakeen (the Imperial Guard) wouldn’t allow it anyway.”
I remember something they told us in training . . . “Even if you see the Emperor in a room, seemingly by himself, two of the Sezrakeen are always there. Though they can be invisible, and you may not see them. One to protect him from evil in the world and one to protect the world from any evil in him.” No one in the Imperial Court has treated me badly.
Mother finally relents, cleans up after breakfast, and sees us off. We catch the community transit to the city-center, then on to Lacross Spaceport. One shuttle to the regional military base, then a shuttle combining many groups to go to / from wherever Court is in session at the current time.
With 7,645 inhabited worlds in the known multiverse, “Imperial Court” moves around every few months trying to spread the attention around. Currently there are 74 regional centers large enough to house the staff of the traveling court. 17 of which could be classified as “Palaces”. (Including “The Winter Palace” the Emperor build by himself, by hand on Beatrice Nine. It’s beautiful and one of my favorites to visit and serve in, though knowing he was abandoned alone on the planet for almost 40,000 years, time enough to build the central structures by himself . . . sort of brings a melancholy air to the place.)
Caroline and I arrive at R44 (the closest Regional Center), and I take her to Security while we wait for the morning shuttle. I scan my left forearm under the ID scanner. You can wear a ring, bracelet, pendent, or carry a card or pen-sized wand for ID . . . But I opted for the radial (bone) implant. It’s much harder to forget and leave your left arm at home. And since it registers body heat and blood flow, it can’t practically be taken from you and used by someone else. (I did “neglect” to tell my parents I opted for the implant 18 months ago.)
Caroline gets her biometrics recorded. (Photographs, walking gait, finger-hand prints. Reads a sample text for voice capture and a pinprick for DNA.) She opts for a subtle ring ID and asks me, “Why does it look like I’m the only sister or brother here?”
I respond, “It’s only you today. I just wanted you to see what a day was like in the Imperial Court.”
“What do you mean ‘only you’? Is it really ‘Bring your sibling to work day?’”
“As far as I know there is no such thing. I just wanted you to come and see the Emperor and the Court.”
“You’re just bringing someone to see the Emperor of the Known Multiverse and the Imperial Court? Who approved it?”
“I did.”
“You can do that?”
“An Imperial Page can do what they need to.”, I say as we finish her setup. Most of the biographical info (date of birth, relatives, placed lived) I entered to her personnel record weeks ago. I scan my ID and vouch for her to match the biometrics to the central data personnel record.
“Let’s go, the Shuttle will be ready for boarding about the time we get there.”, I put my left arm around Caroline’s shoulders and nudge her in the right direction.
Feeling the tenseness in her shoulders I ask, “Are you worried?”
“A little bit.”, she says with a bit shaky voice.
“Don’t. Just keep your ears open. Follow me and help me whatever I’m doing. Unless someone there directly addresses you, try not to interfere. You’ll hear things meant to be kept private. Try and let it flow in one ear and out the other without thinking about it or remembering it. Normally its boring procedural matters running the Empire. But for the past few weeks at this odd location there has been a lot of ‘sad news’ from the deaths, injuries, from the storms. It’s been turning around a bit. Back to more rebuilding hospitals, schools, city halls, and some factories. You can whisper me questions but try not to bother the others there. You’ll do fine.”
The morning shuttle we are on (of 6 per day cycling in/out wherever court is) arrives and docks with the station. The contents depart and scan past security checkpoints. Caroline her ring and me my forearm. Which leaves Caroline with a perplexed look. (I didn’t explain yet that the implant was an option, and she sees no ring on my hand.)
I lead Caroline past stationed guards, secretaries and administrators, dignitaries, and court personnel to one of the inner facility rooms. One of the court cooks sees me, points to a cart loaded with coffee and tea Thermos’s, water pitchers, cups, and an assortment of donuts, sweets, ‘breakfast things’, and says “Conference L2 Room 6a.”
I begin pushing the cart to the Lift for Level 2, room 6a. Caroline stays almost glued to my left hip. She’s being inordinately quiet. But then I remember what it was like for myself, only a few years ago.
More guards at the conference room recognize me and one holds the door as I push the cart in. One points at Caroline. I simply say, “Sister.” The guard nods.
Caroline and I spend the next 10 minutes distributing drinks and retrieving used cups/plates, and occasionally pulling my sister gently along by her arm. With over 7,000 inhabited planets and an average population of 2 billion, a good 80% of the 14 trillion in the known multiverse have seen images/video of the Emperor. But it’s quite another thing to pass by him close enough to touch for the first time. Not to mention Admirals, Generals, and dignitaries of all sorts around the conference table and outer ring chairs many with a dizzying array of medals, epaulets, and such.
She hands me things as I place them on the table. (So, if she spills anything, it’ll only get me, not a General) and I place them on the table.
I half listen as Admiral Burns shows video on the large screen at the end of the room and describes the current situation on the planet below.
“. . . Rescue operations have officially completed everywhere. Recovery (of human/animal remains) and final demolition of dangerous structures continue in the Rangor and Balok districts.
Next, I’ll go over how we plan to deploy Military-Imperial construction teams to begin assisting with infrastructure repair and restoration . . .”, as the Admiral’s aide works on a laptop on the conference table to bring up the next presentation.
An imperial aide I recognized pops their head in the end door and says, “Sire, message on F23.” The emperor says, “One second Admiral.”, and taps some keys on a tablet at his right hand.
The presentation clears on the end video screen and a woman dressed in what I’ll say is a doctor's white cloak appears on screen. Momentarily fazed upon seeing the Emperor himself, she stutters, “I uhh,”
The Emperor said, “Its fine Doctor. How can we help you?”
The woman tries to continue, “I, uhh. I’m sorry, I . . .”, closing her eyes for a second and opening, “I’m Doctor Akins on Brandenburg 2, Jellico City Memorial Hospital. I have a patient, Angela Graham. I’m afraid she’s had a heart attack and at her age of 97, I fear she won’t last more than a day or two, despite our best efforts. Her son a . . .”, looking down at a tablet she was holding, “. . . Captain Angus Graham was listed as family-emergency contact with instructions to call the Regional Base and explain any issues. I vid-called and two people later and I’ve somehow ended up with you.”, she adds hesitantly, “Sire”, not quite sure the proper form of address for the Emperor.
The Emperor responded, “He’s on station here with his Star Carrier the Perecles so they bounced you through to us. I’ll find him and let him know to go home. Thank you, Doctor Akins.”
The Doctor nods and the screen returns to the aide’s presentation slide.
Caroline and I had been clearing coffee cups and snack dishes from afternoon tea away from the conference table and were pushing the tray to the door to leave when the Emperor held up a hand towards us.
The Emperor asked aloud “Donna? (The computers name) Locate Captain Angus Graham”.
Donna: “Captain Angus Graham has just entered the Officers Lounge on Deck 23, at Bulkhead 41.”
The Emperor hand wrote a note on a sheet of paper, folded it in half, looked my way and said “Paige”.
Paige was an inconvenient name to have in my position, I was never quite sure if he knew my name and was saying Paige or just Page.
“You heard the location?”, the Emperor asked
Paige, “Yes sire.”
“Directly to Gus.”, the Emperor said, handing me the folded note.
I nodded.
Pushing the tray on through the door, I saw another page standing nearby and said, “Please.”, pointing to the tray and nodding to the closest kitchen. Thomas nodded and began pushing the tray in that direction.
We, Caroline and I, headed for the nearest Lift. (The multi-axis elevators that span the height and breadth of the station.) And I spoke tilting my head up a bit, “Deck 23, closest Bulkhead 41.”
“Deck 23, Bulkhead 42.”, the Lift responded.
The station bulkheads are about 50ft apart, so not that far to walk.
I opened the folded note and read it silently.
Caroline, still at my side and mostly silent since a flurry of questions when we stopped to have lunch, finally spoke inside the Lift, “Can you read the note?”
I responded, “An Imperial Page can do what they need to.”
We reached the Lift destination. I spoke to a nearby common terminal and said “Officers Lounge Deck 23, Bulkhead 41.”.
The terminal responded back, “The Mango Room. Light Blue”, simultaneously a Light Blue courtesy light appeared on the wall-track and began moving at a walking pace to the right.
Caroline and I followed the dot as it matched pace to lead us.
We reached The Mango Room double doors.
I tried the door handle but while it turned, the door didn’t unlatch. I tapped the “knock” button on the rightmost door.
A few seconds later a man about 40, with slicked back black hair and a pencil thin mustache appeared on the screen above the knock button. Seeing me, he only said, “Beat it kid. This is the Officers Lounge.”, and the screen went blank again.
I pressed the button again.
This time when he appeared, I spoke before the man could, “I am an Imperial Page with a message to be hand delivered to Captain Graham. I believe him to be inside.”
“I don’t give a fuck who you are ‘Little Girl’. Children aren’t allowed in here to bother the patrons. Get lost.”, the man sneers and clicks off again.
I turn and retrace steps to the Lift, Caroline following.
I tell the Lift, “Armory”.
Scanning arm ID at the doorway, we enter and I approach the wire cage behind which stands a man I have never seen before. I fill out a “request form” on the tablet nearby, tap it to and scan my ID to the nearby sensor.
The man looks at the list popping up on the screen on his side of the cage, “A bit young, aren’t you? Why don’t you try back in a couple years.”, snickering and turning back to his desk behind him.
Back out the Armory door, to the Lift and back to the conference room with the Emperor.
I enter, holding one palm back, indicating for Caroline to stay in the doorway of the room.
Saying nothing to anyone, I walked around to the left of the Emperor and pulled the Imperial Signet off the little finger of the Emperor’s left hand and placing it onto my right index finger, while he continued to ask questions about Engineering Group deployments on the planet below.
Outside the conference room, I pointed my index/middle finger in the direction of two Imperial Marine Guards on the distant side of the room, in self-contained fully body armor then motioned with a cupping hand a ‘follow me’ hand signal.
Four of us in the Lift this time.
Back at the armory. I held my right hand up in a fist, index finger with signet facing the clerk, then swept the signet over the ID reader and entered the Emperor’s personal 18 character passcode.
The display lit up on the clerk’s side of the cage . . .
Things moved much faster this time.
The Armory attendants fitted us both with PDS’s (Personal Defense Shields), I pointed at Caroline and said “Openers”.
One Armory tech clipped two breaching charges on Caroline's belt, as I reached for the thermal viewers and mid-sized carbine the other tech held.
Facing the two Marines that had accompanied us, I waved my left hand in their direction and said, “Released.” They turned and left.
The tech previously holding the carbine asked, “You know . . .”
I turned the side of the weapon towards him and said, “Kill/Stun”, clicking that lever to Stun pointed at a 2nd switch “Rate of Fire, Single, 3 shot burst, Full Auto”, and pointing to the last, “Power Setting”.
I turned to leave with Caroline in perpetual tow.
Caroline asked, “A gun?”
I responded, “The Power settings for Stun go from level 1 to 5. One would sting. Two feels like a dozen angry bees stung you with the pain fading over the next hour. Three might knock out a child. Four would definitely knock out ANY ordinary man/woman, unconscious for an hour or so. Five would stop a charging elephant and bring it to the ground for three or four hours.”
I click the carbine settings to Level Two . . . Full Auto.
Back at “The Mango Room” doors, I swatted Caroline with the back of my hand to see our PDS fields light up and confirm it on like mine, flipped down the thermal viewer over my eyes and look to see if anyone is standing directly behind the doors.
“Take one of the breaching pucks off your belt.”, holding my hand up as if I was carrying one on my fingertips, “Set the dial on the side to 2.”
I look down the hallways to the left and right. No one on the left. I hold up one flat palm and stop a group to the right in their tracks about 20 yards away.
Speaking to Caroline again, mimicking the motion I say, “Fling it towards the center-line between the two doors.”
She flings the puck, it self-orients to flat-on face the two doors.
A half inch from the doors it discharges. The central 90% of the doors vaporize and blow back past Caroline and me in a plume of smoke and wood-metal shards. Harmlessly skittering off and around our PDS’s.
Mustache man steps out from beside the doors and seeing me begins to approach. I aim the carbine at him and hold the trigger down moving the impact point around his body.
They shoot you once during page training at settings two and three. A single shot at level two hurt worse than anything I’d felt to that point in my life for the next hour. A week later when they did Three . . . I was out for an hour.
I can’t imagine 2 seconds of Full Auto felt pleasant as mustache man crumpled to the floor.
Officers and Civilian Dignitaries around the room stood up from their tables upon seeing/hearing the door breach.
I took the opportunity to step up from one of their chairs to a nearby table, trying to dodge drink glasses.
Addressing the room with a firm voice, “I am an Imperial Page. With a message from the Emperor for Captain Angus Graham. Captain Graham present yourself.”
The crowd somewhat parted as a man in his late 60’s answered, “Here Miss.”
Stepping down from the table/chair, slinging the rifle, and approaching Captain Graham, I didn’t remove the note, but chose simply to speak directly to the Captain.
“Gus”, (the Captain understood it was the Emperor speaking), “Word just came through and it seemed better to deliver it in person. Your mother has suffered a heart attack and we fear her time is near. If your responsibilities allow it, take my shuttle and go home while you still can. Spend what time you need with her. I’m very sorry old friend.”
The Captain responded softly to me, “Thank you John.”
I stepped back and to the side, using my right hand to wave Caroline back out of the way.
Captain Graham passed through the crowd, presumably to gather personal items and head home.
I, with Caroline following, turned to follow Captain Graham out.
The “very angry” bouncer was just getting up on one hip, trying to push himself up on one hand and yelled through clenched teeth, “Why you little Bit. . . ”
He didn’t finish the sentence. I clicked the gun up to level 4, single shot, pushing him back 3 feet, and pinning him to the wall. Unconscious for at least a couple hours this time.
Caroline and I returned to the armory, dropping off the Carbine, Thermals, PDSs, and one un-expended breaching puck. Signing them back in. Logging one puck as “expended”, and 0.2% down on the carbine charge.
Back in the Lift to return to the conference room, I notice out the corner of my eye, a still silent Caroline, looks over and up at me with a thousand questions on her face.
I continued looking forward at the Lift doors and said, “An Imperial Page can do what they need to.”
I reentered the conference room, Caroline still in tow. Walked around the Emperor to his left, lifting his left hand and placing the signet back on his little finger and whispered, “Thank you John.”
As a video of reconstruction projections continued on the vid-screen at the end of the room, the Emperor nodded to me, understanding the message was from Gus and after I had crossed around behind him, looked to his right and said, “Thank you Paige.”, nodding to my sister, “Caroline.”
Caroline, her eyes as big as dinner plates, half bowed, half curtsied, and we left the conference room.
I looked over at Caroline, “It’s been a long day for you. We can just catch the next shuttle back to R44 and home if we leave now.”
Off the local transport, our parents were just stepping out of their personal car. Dad had two grocery bags in each hand, mother had two in one hand and was reaching for the last one in the open trunk-hatch.
“You survived!”, she said teasingly, looking our direction.
“Yes mother.”, I said.
“Did anything interesting happen?”, she asked.
“No mother. It was just another ordinary day. Passing out coffee, meals, and delivering notes.”, I replied
Caroline picked up the last of the grocery bags from the car while mother closed the hatch.
“How about you nibblet?”, Father asked, stopping to look at Caroline, “Were you bored to tears? Do you think you might like to be a Page in two more years when you’re old enough? You’d have to go through the training classes for the next two summers like your sister did.”
“Yes father. I think I’d like that.”, and lead the way into the house.
Caroline sets the grocery bag on the kitchen table and moves into the living room to sit down on the sofa. She faced the vid-screen and clicks it on. One of the weekly shows is on about one or another of the nation’s larger zoo’s. But she’s got that “glazed over” thousand yard stare . . . That I probably had after my first day after seeing the Imperial Court.
I wonder to myself if she’ll follow in my footsteps. Someone, from somewhere will need to replace me in about two years. In theory you can stay an entire career as a page. Some do.
But in two years I’ll be sixteen. And with four years’ experience as an Imperial Page, I can begin training for a range of other jobs in the Imperial administration.
“Combat Courier” sounds interesting.
submitted by PhesteringSoars to shortstories [link] [comments]


2023.05.28 00:04 Live-Gas7999 My life sucks and I not even an adult yet.

Edit: ok, so i am not mad anymore, so I will just say the bad things I have dealt and deal with. First off the possibly worst thing in my life is the fact that I have to deal with is my father telling me about how the world is going to shit and how this gen is the worst and are "sissy lalas". Secondly, my closest older brother is the worst, and I mean worst, he tells me to off myself, bullys me constantly and only stops when told or if he gets bored, he beats me up to the point where I have very bad thoughts and i have to kick him the balls so he will stop. Thirdly I was supposed to get a therapist for a while, but my mom keeps forgetting to call them for a appointment, I was supposed to get one this month but she lied and is playing dumb.
I am typing this in a bath, and this is possibly the worst day I have ever experienced.
Today me and my family and I were supposed to go to a pool but it was closed so I was in a bad mood now. I look forward to the pool since we go every week during the summers, and it helps me feel happy since my keeps forgetting to call a therapist to help.
We get to a water park, and we start waiting for the rest of the family to show up. But I wait for my baby nephew to show up since he is my favorite family member next to my older brother.
My closest older brother started fighting, and I said a bad thing to which my dad pinches me.
Me and my sister start fighting, to which I get mad and go into the car we rode here.
Later, my dad and sister come in, and dad starts talking, saying that he is tired and I need to start being better.
We go home and what do we see? The pool with people inside it.
I am mad and in the bath right now. Sorry for the bad writing, I am mad and will fix this later and will go in depth on why my life is not good. Ask questions if you want.
submitted by Live-Gas7999 to TrueOffMyChest [link] [comments]


2023.05.27 23:23 BBradley1982 New Build Idea - Yubilae Krex - The Sins of the Father

I got this idea while taking my Shadowscale through the Dark Brotherhood questline.
In speaking with Festus Krex, everyone's favorite creepy uncle, he'll tell a story about once being married...briefly. Apparently he melted her face after the bath she drew for Festus wasn't quite the right temperature. What ol' Festus didn't mention was that, before his wife met her untimely demise, she bore him a daughter. Having no interest in fatherhood, Festus sent his infant daughter to the orphanage. Thus begins the fateful life of Yubilae Krex.
("Festus" meaning "festive" in Latin, Yubilae is a slight bastardization of "jubilee.")
The Build
Walking in her father's footsteps, Yubilae is a pure mage assassin, dedicating her young life to the mastery of silent murder.
Primary Skills: Destruction, Illusion, Sneak
Secondary Skills: Conjuration, Alchemy, Enchanting, Archery
First priority will be mastering sneak, conjuration and archery. Fort Amol's bound bow tome will help to level those skills quickly, especially after learning Muffle, which will get you to Quiet Casting in no time. Once you know quiet casting and your sneak is sufficient, you can begin mastering destruction. Runes are the best way to go until you get the stronger projectile spells, like incinerate and thunderbolt.
Yubilae will conquer the thieves guild and DB first...how she feels about the end of that story is up to you. Thriving on power, she will love discovering that she's the Dragonborn, and also enjoy collecting the Daedric artifacts.
As far as alchemy, we want potions that fortify destruction and conjuration. Fortify destruction potions will make your destruction spells, especially cloaks, incredibly strong.
I'll update this post as I come up with more ideas. I can't seem to find my old trusty Skyrim perk calculator, so as soon as I find a new one, I'll put those down. Let me know if y'all have suggestions or ideas.
submitted by BBradley1982 to SkyrimBuilds [link] [comments]


2023.05.27 21:52 Sunnivaz9314 【EVERYONE MUST READ】Received extraterrestrial messages through channelling: Regarding open contact and the future of humanity.

【EVERYONE MUST READ】Received extraterrestrial messages through channelling: Regarding open contact and the future of humanity.

https://preview.redd.it/nxzybqz5if2b1.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=5ca604f4b221047df1646a6a252353eef57fbe12
The following information is presented as a direct transmission without any personal subjective elements. Its authenticity is subjective and open to individual interpretation**.**
It is important to approach the content with an open mind, suspending conventional three-dimensional perspectives.
You are welcome to question, disagree, and inquire while maintaining respect for others. The information provided is based on my compilation of diary entries from the past two years, during which I have also received guidance from extraterrestrial visitors. Thus, the following content represents their intended message for humanity on Earth.
In the past two years, I have had experiences where I encountered beings that I believe to be extraterrestrials. If we classify them based on physical appearance, I have come across more than 50 distinct types, with the majority resembling the commonly known "Grey aliens." Although their colors varied slightly, they shared common traits such as slender limbs and large heads. Notably, all the extraterrestrial beings I encountered were devoid of hair. The height of these beings ranged from approximately 15cm (infant stage) to around 3 meters (adult stage).
In these encounters, I found myself often alone in a room, and they would approach me or transport my consciousness to another dimensional space for communication. On some occasions, these encounters took place in public settings such as airplanes, libraries, parks, and other crowded areas. However, I must emphasize that during these moments, I was the sole witness and participant in the interactions with these beings.
During encounters with certain alien species, I have noticed unusual physical reactions. For some of them, my eyelids would involuntarily twitch regardless of whether my eyes were open or closed. In the presence of highly energetic beings, I experienced involuntary movements in my limbs as well. Subsequently, their images would manifest in my mind, as if a vast mural was being projected before me.
However, I have also encountered extraterrestrial beings that closely resembled ordinary humans, though I could sense their true essence within. Some of these beings wore glass helmets, possibly to accommodate Earth's atmospheric conditions or magnetic fields (vibrational frequencies).
In addition to encountering extraterrestrial beings commonly depicted in media, literature, and online sources, I have come across entities whose existence has no recorded precedent in human accounts. Remarkably, I even find myself using terms like "beautiful" to describe certain female-like extraterrestrial beings due to their unique physical characteristics.
I have primarily encountered civilizations within our own Milky Way galaxy. During these encounters, I have observed certain civilizations whose attire suggests the presence of social hierarchies. However, it remains uncertain whether these hierarchies are based on an "elder system," "mentor system," or "monarchical system."
The information they transmit to me will not surpass my cognitive range. If there is a need for me to explore unfamiliar areas of knowledge, even beyond the existing knowledge on Earth, they will "arrange" opportunities for me to learn about them in advance.
Our communication takes place using telepathy or pure consciousness exchange. In this mode of communication, they utilize my native language, which is Cantonese.
In my experience, most of the information I have received has been through passive means, as I have been approached by these beings rather than actively seeking out encounters or information.
The information provided is as follows: We are currently existing in the 363rd universe, which is the fifth Earth, and it represents the eighth civilization. Starting from the latter half of 2019, there has been a notable shift in the vibrational frequency of Earth, leading to the occurrence of various extreme climatic events. Simultaneously, this shift has brought about a change in the frequency of consciousness for many individuals, resulting in a spiritual awakening. It is my understanding that these individuals have discovered a deeper sense of purpose in life, transcending materialistic pursuits.
Based on the information provided by extraterrestrial beings from the constellation of Andromeda , it is said that there will be a series of collective and open contact events between alien civilizations and humanity before the year 2025. During one such encounter, I encountered an extraterrestrial being who emitted a luminous white glow and possessed elongated limbs. Interestingly, they wore a glass-like covering around their neck. The spacecraft I observed differed significantly from what I had previously encountered or seen in popular depictions. Its surface had a dark metallic appearance, composed of overlapping three-dimensional geometric shapes such as irregular polygons, cubes, and flattened geometrical forms.
On March 12, 2023, it was conveyed to me that the first public contact would take place on May 30 of the same year.
On March 30, 2023, the spacecraft entered the solar system.
On May 12, 2023, at 1:00 AM, during my daily Zhan Zhuang(站桩) session, I had a visit from a pale gray extraterrestrial being.
This time, I took the initiative to ask questions.
Me: What is the significance of open contact?
ET: It is intended to assist individuals/souls on Earth in gaining a deeper understanding of themselves.
Me: What about the Creator?
ET: The Creator is the inherent existence itself, implying that every conscious being is an aspect of the Creator.
I further inquired about the concept of Earth's ascension, and the extraterrestrial explained that ascension involves returning to the past. If one does not ascend, they continue to exist in the present, but there is no conventional notion of a "future."
It is speculated that in the year 2030, Earth will experience a significant shift known as the singularity point. During this time, awakened individuals will transcend to a higher frequency, entering a dimension separate from the physical world. This event is often referred to as Earth's ascension. The process of ascension requires the collective power of awakened souls as well as the assistance of certain structures scattered across the planet, such as ancient pyramid-like monuments. These structures are believed to have served as energy amplifiers or charging stations for extraterrestrial craft in ancient civilizations.
After 2030, the frequency and intensity of both natural and human-induced disasters are expected to increase. As Earth undergoes profound changes, including extreme weather events, the fate of humanity becomes uncertain. The exact timeline or duration of these transformations leading to the eventual disappearance of human presence is unknown.
It is believed by some individuals who have awakened to their higher consciousness on Earth that they may be experiencing their final incarnation within the cycle of reincarnation on this planet. As a result, there may be a decrease in the number of souls choosing to incarnate here. Personally, I have noticed a noticeable decrease in the number of individuals since November 2022.
In my clairvoyant visions of the future, I witnessed a final scene of Earth where all surface water rapidly returned to the planet's core, leaving behind a desiccated terrain. The Earth's atmosphere vanished, and the protective energetic boundaries surrounding the planet dissipated. There is no specific timeframe for these events, but when I witnessed them, I was astonished for about 30 seconds.
On June 3, 2021, during my time in Toronto, I encountered an extraterrestrial being who claimed to be from the most advanced civilization in the Milky Way galaxy. This being had a head resembling that of an octopus and spoke with a masculine voice. Unlike previous extraterrestrial encounters, this being had human-like eyes and emitted a subtle blue and white light. He had a humanoid form.
Using blackboard-like equipment, he wrote a series of symbols and mathematical equations, some of which involved the use of π in different orientations. However, I couldn't comprehend whether these symbols represented text or formulas.
Given my limited knowledge of physics, I asked him to provide a simple and easily understandable example to explain the concept of a singularity. He responded by saying, "A singularity is like a fully ripe watermelon." From my understanding, he meant that a singularity represents a transformative point where a significant qualitative change occurs.

The following is a personal account and viewpoint.
Extraterrestrial Technology
I can only say that the technological advancements of extraterrestrial beings surpass our current level of Earthly technology by a significant margin. It is important to note that the depictions of alien technology in science fiction movies cannot truly capture the full extent of their capabilities. At present, our ability to "detect" or "discover" extraterrestrial life is limited. Therefore, relying solely on visual evidence captured by human senses, optical instruments, such as photographs and videos, or even advanced military radar tracking technology, may not be sufficient to prove the existence of extraterrestrial beings. It is possible that these observations only provide glimpses into their plans and intentions.
During my personal encounters, I witnessed their spacecraft, which seemed to be powered by crystals that resemble those found on Earth. Therefore, when I tried remote viewing the base of the Egyptian pyramids, I observed the presence of enormous crystal formations. I have contemplated whether the ancient extraterrestrial beings, such as the Anunnaki, were interested in mining not for gold, as commonly believed by humans, but for the seemingly undervalued resource of crystals.
Aliens on the moon
The extraterrestrial beings I observed on the Moon resemble the appearance of small greys, but their skin is not smooth and instead has numerous wrinkles. Whenever they are outside their spacecraft, these beings always wear spacesuits, with their heads exposed and not requiring a helmet. I saw this through my clairvoyant abilities, but as soon as they became aware of my presence, I stopped RV them after a few seconds. I gathered that these particular extraterrestrial beings have some connection to Russia and the United States, with a closer affiliation to Russia.
On January 23, 2023, at 3:00 AM, I used remote viewing of the Moon again and discovered that all of them had evacuated from the lunar surface, still wearing their spacesuits. This leads me to speculate that there will no longer be any human lunar exploration missions in the future.
The pyramids on Mars
March 25, 2023 -The following information was conveyed to me by my ancestral spirit guide: There are currently two pyramids on Mars, similar in size to the one in Mexico. They have been buried underground by orange-red sand. Some interstellar extraterrestrials are still exploring the interior of the pyramids.
Interstellar extraterrestrials are a group of beings from outside our universe who explore other celestial bodies. They cannot breathe in space or environments with oxygen and require special gases. They wear suits similar to spacesuits on Earth, but their structures and functionalities are more advanced. Their bodies emit a faint glow.
Earth Ascension
APR 12, 2023 - Over the past couple of years, I have been gradually glimpsing fragments of my existence before reincarnating on Earth, leading me to speculate about Earth's previous civilization. It appears that Earth was once a highly advanced civilization existing in higher dimensions, and the occurrence of the great flood undoubtedly caused a significant dimensional decline. As a result, the tales of advanced civilizations such as Mu, Atlantis, and the mythological stories passed down across the world, which I initially believed to be true stories of divine encounters, now seem to be events involving ancient higher-dimensional human civilizations. The ascension of Earth does not involve a transition from three dimensions to four or higher dimensions, but rather a restoration of Earth to its original trajectory and vibrational frequency.
ET Wars
During the summer of 2021, I had my first encounter with two distinct large spacecraft engaged in a "war" in the skies above Vancouver. However, from my perspective, the "warfare" amounted to the two ships closely approaching each other for a brief moment before one of them vanished entirely. For the average person looking up at the sky, they would likely see nothing more than a peaceful day with blue skies and the sun. It seems that there are factions of extraterrestrial beings on Earth representing different groups or alliances.
Thiaoouba Prophecy
It is a book that gives me the impression of an attempt by an extraterrestrial to write in a human-like manner. Many people consider it to be a pseudo book, as it contains elements that come across as rigidly presented, and the author's thinking appears quite different.
North Korea
This country is associated with an extraterrestrial race of insect type, of which I am very certain, that the highest leader Kim Jong-un appearing publicly inside and outside the DPRK is not himself.

I would like to briefly share my background. I was born in a small tea plantation in Guangdong, China. From an early age, I frequently encountered extraterrestrial beings or had experiences where they sought me out. Although I didn't know who they were during my childhood, I was certain that they did not originate from Earth. For me, extraterrestrial beings/civilizations have always been present on Earth, and they are ubiquitous. It was not until I reached middle school that I realized their existence in this world was either unknown or denied.
In my perspective, extraterrestrial beings have not openly interacted with humans due to our overwhelming fear of the unknown and our inherent resistance to anything different or dissenting. Humans often approach unfamiliar things and differing opinions with hostility.
In a dream I had in February 2023: Many extraterrestrial beings descended from the sky wearing silver-white protective suits made of metallic material. Their spacecraft resembled our helicopters to some extent. However, at that time, humans were still unable to visually perceive their presence. It required a large screen device, larger than our current smartphones, measuring approximately 20cm x 15cm x 2cm, to detect them. The extraterrestrial beings did not engage in any actions that would harm humans physically or mentally. Some curious individuals were solely focused on capturing photos and videos using this device, while others were filled with panic and fled the scene.
On March 5, 2023, for the first time, I had contact with extraterrestrial beings through a dream. This dream occurred when I fell back asleep after waking up in the morning. In the dream, I temporarily stayed at a guesthouse near an airport as I needed to go somewhere. One day, I took a ride in a seven-seater business vehicle rented by the hotel to visit a nearby commercial area. Suddenly, during the journey, I fell into a drowsy state. Just as I was about to rest my eyes in the car, a long, soft tentacle-like appendage coiled around my right index finger, making two loops. I immediately opened my eyes, and the tentacle disappeared.
At that moment, I had a realization that I needed to close my eyes to establish a connection with the entity. I closed my eyes once again, and a sense of its presence enveloped me. It stood approximately 20 to 30 centimetres tall. As I touched its body with my left hand, I noticed its skin was remarkably smooth, akin to the delicate skin of a human baby. There were no hairs, and its form lacked excess fat. Its head resembled that of a human, measuring around 8 to 10 centimetres in diameter. It felt considerably softer than a human head, and on the left side of its head, there was a protrusion resembling a fan-shaped structure, somewhat reminiscent of tendrils. Throughout the entire encounter, I kept my eyes closed, yet I could sense the overwhelming sense of joy and serenity emanating from the being. After approximately ten seconds of contact, it disappeared.
Upon waking up, I experienced a faint electric sensation coursing through my body. Every pore seemed to be wide open, creating a peculiar sensation similar to a slight chill, yet different from the usual experience of feeling cold.
Based on these two dreams, I speculate that in future encounters between extraterrestrial beings and human beings, we may not be able to observe their existence with our naked eyes. Instead, we will have to perceive them through our senses.
The Flat Earth Theory
The Earth is flat, not just based on online opinions, but because I saw it with remote viewing as a flat surface when I was young, and it remains the same now. Based on this fact, the scientific understanding of the planetary orbits in the solar system is entirely wrong. At the very least, the Earth should be stationary, with the Moon and the Sun revolving around it. This aligns with Buddhist cosmology, where the world is described as a space illuminated by the presence of the sun and moon.
Feb 28, 2023: Utilizing remote viewing, I intended to project my consciousness beyond the boundaries of the solar system to observe the trajectories of the planets. However, to my astonishment, what I witnessed was that all celestial bodies within the solar system appeared to be motionless when viewed from outside.
It seems that the concept of time may not exist in a high-dimensional world, but rather in our three-dimensional reality. Another point to consider is that the Earth's ascension would require an acceleration of space-time. From the perspective of the universe, the solar system appears to be stationary due to its overall low vibration frequency.
When I came across Elon Musk's Mars program in the news, I posed a question to my guiding spirit.
Me: Will humans relocate to Mars or the Moon in a thousand years?
Spirit: I am uncertain whether you (humans) will be able to embark on the journey to the next civilization.
Therefore, I have always believed that the preservation of the world's diversity and the continuity of human civilization depend on human inclusivity.
Posted on May 26, 2023 in Toronto
submitted by Sunnivaz9314 to u/Sunnivaz9314 [link] [comments]


2023.05.27 21:47 stagehand1029 63M (M4F) My Cousin Barb

63M (M4F) MY COUSIN
kiss her lips, like gentle rain ferocity the storm, passion unleashed *Johnny Oneball
When I was ? I had been sniffing my mother's underwear for several years, she knew it, I knew my mother was literally giving me free access to her underwear, and I was the happiest kid on the block. Apart from one woman who I babysat for her son, Annie taught me to lick her pussy, I was still a virgin.
That changed the summer of my ?th year. My incredibly beautiful cousin, Barbara, had lost her husband. He, unfortunately, drowned in a fishing accident. A shock to all, my cousin was alone with three young son's, the oldest being 5, followed by twins, just 3 years old.
Barb called my mom and asked if she could take me up north, where we grew up, alongside the river. Her parents, my parents, took us every summer. Barbara was trying to heal. Make better memories for her boys, I'm sure. My mom, of course, said "sure, as long as he wants to". And I did. I love going to the Au Sable river to this very day!
I'm 63… reflecting on something that sparked a memory, today at a family funeral, and Barb was in attendance. We hugged, with the knowledge of our past. She always has that special smile, reserved for me, we hug tightly, closer with meaningful adoration.
The weekend arrived and my cousin picked me up, and we headed north. A two hour drive, the family retreat is waiting. As we headed north, her boys fell asleep and we chatted. I asked Barb, why don't we stay at your dad's cabin, located just less than 2 miles from the river? ( my uncle had a few bucks) Barbara said that she wanted her sons to have her memories of growing up, taking a holiday by the river, and camping.
My cousin at that time, is the apple of my extremely large family's eye. She's a strikingly beautiful brunette, tall and slim, gorgeous, and recently widowed. Me, I'm thinking about the opportunity to sniff her panties. I'm (young). I know my place, I'm going to babysit, let Barb get away, my job is to help her have a good time, set up camp, do the menial tasks, and allow her to relax. In the process, helping her heal. My instructions were clear, my mom made them very clear, whatever Barbie wanted, I was to "make it happen"
We arrived up north early Friday afternoon, set up camp and went to the beach. A lagoon on the backwaters of one of the many dams on the river, surrounded by highlands. Barb was wearing a black one piece bathing suit. She hadn't trimmed her thick black bush, I couldn't stop staring! I tried, but I just couldn't. The boys played in the shallows, I noticed she was crying, not outright blabbing but quietly struggling with the fact that her husband drowned in water. We were at the beach… her first encounter with life after the fact. I really didn't know what to do, so I touched her shoulders and said "I'm sorry".
We returned to camp, ate dinner and had a bonfire. Roasted marshmallows, the boys fell asleep. We called it a night.
In the morning, Barb had her clothes already on the clothes line… a pair of white underwear (oh fuck) hanging, blowing gently in the breeze. I'm making plans to do what I do best, smell them bad boys, properly! Rinsed out, they were not that… they smelled of river water. White granny undies hanging on a clothes line, how could I get her panties alone? I couldn't! What do I do? Improvise you perverted fools…. I would walk around camp, always going under the clothes line, letting her panties rub over my face, I did this several times.
As night fell, the boys went to sleep and eventually Barb said, hey John, I need to shave my legs, could you hold the flashlight? (yessss) "I sure can Barb" I exclaimed! I knew I was about to get a show, we went into her tent… "Don't look John". Now, of course I was "not looking" she stripped to her underwear, it's sorta dark, she was beautiful standing there in just her underwear, "oh dear, I left my bathing suit on the clothesline John, could you go get it please?" My mom was great at forgetting her whatever, ( know what's going on)… "of course Barb" I fetched her garment. When I returned, she was completely naked, so I walked in. The most beautiful woman, I held out my hand, her eyes were staring at my wandering eyes
John, have you ever seen a woman? she asked… I replied " I have Barbie, I've seen my mom, and my sister." I didn't tell her I already knew how to please a woman (Anne taught me) "but never this close up" she giggled. I need to trim my public hairs John, I need you to hold the flashlight, can you do that? (yes, she said public hairs) Barbara put on her bathing suit, her nipples were hard, like my young dick! She took the old school razor and dipped it in the washbowl, lathered her pubic area, legs, and began shaving… I made damn sure the flashlight was on her pussy!
Barbara began to talk. I'm just, I'm lonely John, since my husband died (she said his name but screw yall, too personal) I'm sorry I replied. "I get so lonely" I reached out, touching her shoulder, Barbara literally flinched at my touch, honestly, I was ahhh, I wasn't (as I reflect) I really didn't know what to do… then she said, "I saw you today Johnny, smelling my underwear, on the clothesline"… I uhhh… I'm sorry Barbie… I uhhh… "no John, it's OK, I just, I…" what? Barb, I said, " It made me horny John, do you understand?" " "I saw you, and I'm lonely…. Im… do you like me johnny?"
Guys… I'm (legal)at the time, and as today sparked this memory, I really didn't know empathy, I didn't understand women, I basically didn't know jack shit! What I DID know was, I loved sniffing panties, and jacking off, I licked one gal, Annie, who taught me how, but by no means did I have the knowledge I possess today…
I answered yes, of course I like you, again she was,her eyes were wet (her pussy was glistening) yes Barbie, I think your so pretty, she grabbed me and hugged me… she kissed me! Now, I'm (legal), inexperienced and not really scared, but surely I remembered what my mom said " make sure you take care of you cousin, son"... what I never expected was about to happen.
I was really close to her, she turned and said, " I need this, Johnny, do you understand?" yes Barb, I understand. "nobody can ever know" , she pulled me in and began kissing me… I didn't really know how… I was learning on the fly… Mmmmmmñnn she moaned, I wanted to cum right then…. Barbie grabbed my hand and took it straight to her crotch, mmmmmnnmmmnn… ohhh.. john…. she convulsed…. Ohhhhb Johnny im…. ahhh i…i…..I'm gonna. Cummmmmm!!!! I've never cum in my shorts… not that quick.
My cousin Barb was breathing so heavily, she was crying, "I'm so disgusting johnny" I heard her say, NO Barb, you're not at all disgusting I said. "Ohhh, thank you ohhh Johnny…" we lay in her tent. Barb fell asleep, cold ass water underneath us, I just took her underwear, put them to my nose and jacked off… blowing a massive load onto my belly quickly falling asleep next to my cousin. In the morning, (if you have never) breakfast was the best, the smell of fresh brewed coffee, eggs, bacon and taters, Barbra was glowing, her boys eating, I said "it's a great morning", she smiled…
Today's funeral reminded me of something I have forgotten… I wasn't supposed to tell. When I saw my cousin across the room, and we smiled at each other…
How could I not remember? *he smiles
As always, give it the love it deserves people can't say the truth… ages… but yeah, this happened, edited by mods… shhhhhh…
submitted by stagehand1029 to eroticstories1029 [link] [comments]


2023.05.27 21:06 Trash_Tia Camp Redwood are running out of counsellors! These children ARE NOT CHILDREN.

In hindsight, I should have listened to the kill-bill alarm bells in my head when eight-year-old Cassie announced she and her cabin mates were going to skip out on camp activities and play Operation instead.
Though it’s not like I didn’t have things on my mind. Seven counsellors had gone missing—along with our head counsellor who was supposed to be taking care of us.
It started out fairly normal. I mean, one or two counselors wasn’t bad, right?
Lily and Joey had been drowning in sexual tension for a while, so nobody was surprised when they sneaked into the woods for what I could only guess was the most uncomfortable sex ever. But then they didn’t come back.
Teddy and Yuri went to look for them, and then they too also disappeared. It was almost like a wild animal was lying in wait for another unsuspecting teenager to cross its path.
With six of us left, I was definitely freaking out.
I wasn’t expecting summer camp to be like this. I did consider working in my local Sephora, but mom had a preference—and whether I was eighteen years old or not, she was getting her way. So, it was goodbye civilization, and hello Canadian wilderness.
There were fifteen kids queued up in front of me for lunch, and I was having a hard time keeping that optimistic Camp Redwood smile.
I couldn’t help constantly counting how many hours it had been since the latest disappearance, Connor.
He was supposed to be helping with getting the emergency generator going, after the electricity sizzled out.
The boy was gone an hour later. This was happening fast. Whatever was going on with the counsellors was burning through all of us. Would it happen to me?
I had seen so many TV shows and movies set in a summer camp where every camper and counsellor was doomed to die in the grossest way possible. Was that going to happen to us?
I tightened my grip around the stupid ladle I had found myself stirring, a giant pot of chocolate syrup. Watching watery chocolate drip from the edge, I felt nauseous. Of all the summer camp’s mom had to send me to, it had to be the one with vanishing counsellors and zero adult authority. Which meant we were the authority. Twelve teenagers who came to relax and babysit a bunch of little kids before college.
We had to put on brave faces and pretend everything was absolutely fine—and we weren’t all terrified out of our fucking minds.
At the corner of my eye, I glimpsed Harry offering piggybacks to a bunch of little kids, with one of the littles, Eleanor, wrapping her arms around his neck and squealing.
From the look on the boy’s face, he wanted to stop. It was hard to keep a façade when reality was becoming harder and harder to bear. Abandoning his hat completely, Harry was dripping with sweat, trying to twist his lips into the Camp Redwood grin. But looking closer, as he galloped across the cabin with Eleanor holding on for dear life, the guy was ready to collapse. I didn’t blame him.
Entertaining the kids was supposed to be Teddy’s assignment—and he was who knows where. I had taken over lunch duties for Lily, who had joined the long list of the missing.
Harry was supposed to be joining the search party for the missing councellors, but had ended up becoming the little’s personal punching bag.
When I first met him, Harry Carlisle had been the kid who sat on the side-lines and offered sarcastic remarks and crude jokes. Now, he had been reduced to a playground ride the kids pretended didn’t have an off switch.
He had enjoyed maybe the first two rides to raise morale, but now I could see the strain in his eyes. “Ow!” Harry winced when the little girl’s fingers prodded at his eyes. “Hey! Eleanor, not my eyes!” He was dangerously close to toppling over, though managed to catch his footing, ordering all of them off of his back. “Horse Rides are over!” He cupped his mouth, shouting across the cabin when a group of kids surrounded him with equally terrifying faces. Harry backed away and threw his hands up. “Come on, guys, my back isn’t built for all of you!”
“Horsey!” The kids shouted back in a cacophony of giggles.
It was 10 against one.
Against two, if I got involved. Which wasn’t going to happen. There was no way I was putting effort into play-fighting a bunch of eight-year-olds. Harry shot me a hopeful look, though I pretended not to see, busying myself with slightly burned nuggets.
Running his fingers through thick strands of sandy colored hair, Harry pulled a face when a little girl, Phoebe, was brave enough to step forward.
“No.” Harry shook his head, squeezing the front of his counsellor shirt practically glued to him. The temperature still hadn’t let up, and it was heading towards 8PM. Night-time, I thought dizzily. It was almost bedtime, and still no adults. “I refuse to surrender,” He told her. “Phoebe, I am not joking around when I’m saying my back is hurting. We’ve been playing horsey’s for two hours.”
“So?”
“So!” Harry couldn’t yell or hiss, or swear at them. That was a big no-no with kids.
However, I could see he was coming close to breaking that rule. “Because I’m tired,” he said through a Camp Redwood grin, which was quickly twitching into a grimace.
I think all of us had given up with the fake enthusiasm when our colleagues started to vanish. Now, we were just shells of our former happy selves. “And… uh… did you know that if you ride a horsey at this time, the ghosts will come and get you?”
When a boy opened his mouth, his eyes widening with fright, Harry realized his mistake.
“I mean the nice ghosts! Yeah! The uh, the nice ghosts who haunt..I mean play in these woods? It’s a well-known Camp Redwood legend that ghosts don’t like horse rides. In fact,” his lips curved into a devilish smile now he had several faces staring at him. The kids dropped onto the ground to listen, their hands clasped in their laps. This was the quietest they had been all day. I could understand though. Harry had taken the reins around the campfire telling ghost stories for three nights in a row, and the guy was a damn good storyteller.
With every eye on him, Harry lowered his voice into a whisper. “Do you guys want to know what they do?”
The kids nodded with wide eyes.
“They sneak into unsuspecting cabin’s…”
“Harry.”
Rowan’s voice came from outside in a warning. The window was open, and the guy was standing watch to see if any counsellors came back. Since the only adult had disappeared, he had been appointed leader—and the guy was taking himself a little too seriously.
His warning was valid though. Sometimes Harry’s ghost stories were a little too scary for little kids, who’s Imaginations tended to run wild—especially at night. Olive, my cabin-mate, had to give up her bed for a little girl who was convinced Harry’s depiction of Slenderman, “The tree boy” was going to sneak into her bed and turn her into an apple seed.
“Did I say sneak into cabin’s? I meant dance around the woods…” Harry corrected himself. “And they look for their next unsuspecting victim…”
“Harry!”
“Friend.” Harry swallowed his words when a little boy’s eyes went wide. “I mean they are looking for a friend! So, the point of my story is…”
“Horsey rides get us new friends?” Phoebe wasn’t buying it. I could tell from the slight arch of her brow and her widening smile.
The girl shook dark curls out of her face, smirking. I think it was her pleading eyes which won him over. Because, with a sigh which definitely wasn’t joking around, the guy dropped onto his knees and practically spat at her to climb on his back—and she did, plonking one sparkling shoe on top of the boy’s spine with enough force to send him onto his stomach. I might have been imagining it, but since when were these littles so outlandishly spiteful?
The little girl was grinning. Not because she could ride her “horsey” but because Harry looked like he was going to either wring her neck, or wring his own. Mom had a “talk” before I started here, and she made sure to tell me that if adult authority is nowhere to be seen, little kids will start to act out.
I could definitely call it acting out, but I had spent all day with her several days earlier playing with dolls and having a teddy bear picnic when she admitted she didn’t want to swim in the lake with the other kids. Phoebe had been shy and only spoke to me through her teddy bear, so what had changed?
Could the lack of adults really be scaring the kids that much?
“Miss Josie?”
I wasn’t paying attention, half noticing some kids had just helped themselves, piling chicken nuggets and cookies on plastic plates and hurrying to their seats like I couldn’t see them.
Blinking away brain fog, I found myself face to face with Eli, who was probably my favorite camper.
You’re not supposed to have personal preferences when working with little kids, because your opinions could upset them.
However, it was incredibly hard not to like Eli.
Hiding behind a mop of brown curls, the boy was one of the more vocal kids in the group. Eli said he wanted to be an inventor when he was older, and he wanted to make robots. The kid had asked me if I wanted to see his robot collection, but I was too busy with setting up camp activities. Standing in front of me and clutching his tray, the boy was frowning.
“Josie, I just saw some kids steal chicken nuggets.”
I shrugged, shovelling a large portion on his tray. “Well, you can have some extra too.”
Eli’s smile wasn’t as big as usual. “Where’s Teddy?”
I pretended to be oblivious, hastily adding more nuggets to his tray as if I could keep his mouth shut with extra food. “He’ll be back soon! Teddy is just playing in the woods.”
“No, he’s not.”
At first, I thought I’d heard the boy wrong. The kid wasn’t looking at me, counting his nuggets as usual with the prongs of his plastic fork.
I leaned forward with my best smile. “I’m sorry, what was that, Eli?”
The kid lifted his head with a wide grin. “Can I borrow a knife, Josie?”
“Why do you need a knife?”
Leaning forward, the boy shrugged. “There’s a squirrel caught in a trap,” he said. “I want to put it out of its misery, Miss Josie. It’s in a lot of pain.”
That was… dark.
“Well, I can’t give you a knife…” I trailed off, my gaze finding Harry and the growing line of kids awaiting a horse-ride. “But! How about you go and ask Harry for a piggy-back ride?” I pointed to myself with a forced grin. “I’ll save the squirrel!” And when the boy’s eyes filled with tears and he shook his head, I reached out, grasped his hand, and squeezed it as tight as I could. “Eli, we don’t need to do that, okay? I’m sure the squirrel can be saved and I’ll make sure to take it to the vet, okay?”
“But what if it doesn’t need saving?”
I squeezed tighter. “I’ll save it, Eli. I promise.”
Eli didn’t look convinced, but he nodded with a grumble. “Okay.” He said, before twisting around and joining the other kids torturing Harry. Immediately, I left my station—whether Rowan liked it or not—and headed outside to look for this supposedly dying squirrel. That was something we didn’t need. The sky was darkening when I made it into the woods, cotton candy clouds blurring through the thick canopy of trees. Eli said it was near the sign pointing towards the lake. Though I couldn’t see anything. Odd. That thought retracted in my head, however, when I stepped forward, and a squelching sound cut through the silence of my own heavy breaths mixing with insect chitters and nightlife buzzing above me and beneath me. The wet sounding squelch twisted my gut, and when I stared down at the ground, I didn't know what I was expecting.
A squashed squirrel, perhaps? In Eli’s words, the poor thing had been on the edge of death. Though, when I was thinking about it, there were no animal traps around camp. That was basic health and safety. So, what the fuck was I looking at? The bottom of my shoe was caked in dried blood, but it was the thing which was stamped into the dirt which sent my heart into my throat. It looked like an eye.
But looking closer as I lowered myself to the ground, I glimpsed something metallic, something glistening around the pupil. I picked up a stick and prodded it, though the thing didn’t move. It was definitely an eye—the eye of some kind of animal, judging from the pigmentation and the color of the iris.
But it was the metallic pieces around the eye which was throwing me off. Part of a trap, maybe? It wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that a poor critter had been ripped apart, and a wild bear had dropped its dinner near the camp—and the metal encasing its eye was most likely pieces of trap.
Peering closer, though, I glimpsed silver slithers in what appeared to be the destroyed nerve caked to my shoe. After scraping most of it off, I caught glistening pieces of blood stained metal catching the late-setting sun. This time, I pinched a piece between my forefinger and thumb. It didn’t look like a bear-trap. The metal itself wasn’t serrated or old. In fact, it was new.
Which begged the question: What was this thing?
Whatever it was, it had started converting what looked like a critter’s eye, before stopping. Was it a virus? When that thought slammed into me, I fell back with a hiss, swiping my hands on my shirt.
“What are you doing?”
I almost jumped out of my skin, diving to my feet.
Carmel was standing behind me, grasping what looked like her sixth or seventh coffee. The girl had been running to and from the coffee machine all day, and I had been silently counting how much caffeine she was consuming. Carmel had been a well put together and fairly popular girl when camp started. She immediately had everyone following her beck and call, all of the boy’s (and girl’s) following her around.
Carmel wasn't straight. She made that clear on the bus to camp, announcing she wasn’t interested in guy’s, and that she had a girlfriend back home. Still though, the guy’s still followed her because... well, she was pretty.
Carmel was my bunk-mate and had woken me up on three separate occasions at 6am to go through the exact same hair and makeup routine. Now though, there was no sign of makeup or even that she had brushed her hair.
Instead of its usual tidy blonde ponytail, Carmel’s curls were tied into raggedy pigtails with ribbons I was sure she had stolen from a camper’s doll. I think what was keeping her going was coffee.
Carmel regarded me with too-wide eyes and a Camp Redwood smile we all knew was fake. She was grasping onto her coffee cup for dear life. “Josie!” she jumped when I jumped, which almost made me laugh. “Rowan’s having an emergency meeting in his cabin,” she said.
“So, whatever you’re doing can wait.”
Her gaze flicked to the ground. “What… are you doing?”
For a brief moment, I considered telling Carmel I may have found what looked like a virus which turned flesh and blood to metal—before I remembered her reaction when a spider had crept into our cabin.
Whatever this thing was, keeping it a secret for now was probably what was best. Making sure I was standing on the thing, I shrugged. “I was looking for the others.”
Carmel cocked her head, before resting her coffee on the ground. “In the dirt?”
“Footprints, Carmel.”
The girl looked confused before shaking her head. “Okay, whatever. Tell the others I’ll be there in a sec, I just need to make sure the kids are okay. We’re putting a movie on for them in the lunch hall, so that will hopefully distract them for maybe two hours.”
I nodded. “Did anyone find a phone?”
“Not with signal.”
“Carmel.” I had to fight back the urge to yell at her to keep her voice down. Kids were curious, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we had some littles peeking into our conversation. “You’re okay.” I said softly.
“I mean, we’re not okay, because yes, things are very.. screwed up right now, but we need to be… optimistic.” I exhaled out a breath, searching for eyes in the dark. I tried to smile, tried to keep up that Camp Redwood façade we were all held hostage by until the last day of camp (According to rule 5 in the Camp Redwood counsellor handbook, all counsellors must retain a smile and a positive attitude. If any counselor is caught making a frowny face, or spreading what we call “unhappiness” we will be forced to send the counselor home).
At this point, I didn’t give a fuck—but part of me didn’t want to scare the little kids.
“No, Josie.” The girl grasped hold of my shoulders with a grin rivalling the joker. “I am so sick of being told to keep smiling, because what is that doing? Three of my cabin-mates are missing! I’m the one left, and Rowan and co expect me to keep up this act? We are fucked!"
She cupped her mouth. “F. U. C. K. E. D. We have zero adults, an unexplainable loss of power every few hours which makes no sense in the middle of nowhere—I mean what the fuck is out there which is sucking that much power, huh? There is no explanation! There should be an explanation. I should be able to think, “oh, yeah! That’s why! But no. Things are happening, and I don’t know why they’re happening. Rowan is trying to force us to act like things are okay —but in reality? He is shitting himself, Josie! We are ALL shitting ourselves!”
I took a step back, keeping hold of her hand. Carmel was trembling, her hands clammy and slimy entangled in mine. “He's just trying to keep the kids from freaking out."
She groaned, tears glistening in her eyes. “Okay, yeah! I’m blaming them because they keep acting like everything is okay—”
“Everything IS okay.” I turned to her with what I hoped was a reassuring smile—knowing damn well about the thing I’d found in the dirt. If that thing could spread, it would have a field day in an enclosed space like a summer camp.
I noticed my own hands which had been touching the thing making contact with Carmel, and dropped my hands, inwardly squirming.
If that thing was a virus, I was already fucked.
Maybe Carmel too.
If it was fast acting, it could explain the counsellor disappearances. I was already putting together a plan in my head as we headed back to the main cabin. We had to put together a search party. Some of us would stay with the kids, while a small group would venture into the woods to try and look for traces of the missing. If I was right, we would find a horror scene in the woods, and yes, that would be the time to panic.
If I was wrong, however, there was still hope.
“Are we going to be okay?”
Carmel’s voice sliced into my thoughts, and I took a moment to drink in the camp around us.
Usually, when the sky was turning twilight, it would be bustling with campers and counselors toasting marshmallows on the fire and gathering around to fall asleep to Harry’s ghost stories. Carmel would be knelt with a bunch of kids, watching a YouTube video they had all insisted on her watching, while Rowan would be hiding behind his book with his knees to his chest, his gaze glued to every page he flicked through, ignoring everyone.
Teddy, making funny faces for kids who were scared, and Connor, handing out plates of burgers and hot dogs. I remembered feeling safe and at home, cosy around the flickering orange of the fire as chatter turned to laughter and white-noise in my head. After the kids went back to their cabins, the group of us would resume positions around the fire, but this time it was more… intimate. With Allison in her cabin, we kind of ignored her rules all together.
Making out happened, because of course it did. Beers stolen from Allison’s mini fridge and raging hormones, as well as late-night skinny dipping in the lake did that. Couples went off into the woods, and we all felt completely comfortable and at home with each other.
Looking around at that moment, I felt sick to my stomach. That feeling was gone.
The feeling of family and familiarity and friendship. What I was looking at now was that same log we had all sat on, now turned on its side—hot dog buns and candy wrappers littering the ground. It was a ghost camp.
I could still see Connor’s jacket slung on the ground, and Lili’s bright pink ray bans sitting on a beer can. Because there were no adults to yell at us to clean up after ourselves. I was frowning at the skeleton of the fire when Carmel nudged me. “Hey.” Her voice was shaking slightly. “Josie? You didn’t answer my question.” Carmel wanted me to be the voice of reason, and I wasn’t that. I was just as scared as her.
There was only so much I could sugar-coat, and I gave up doing that after the third counsellor disappeared. All I could offer her was forced optimism.
“Yes.” I said. “Just keep the kids busy, alright?”
“Right.”
When I was twisting around and power-walking to Rowan’s cabin, I shouted over my shoulder, “Give them some of those animal crackers!”
“What animal crackers?”
I turned to elaborate, but Carmel was gone.
When I finally got to Rowan’s cabin, I was sweating through my shirt, and had an idea of what I was going to tell the others. It was… a thing. Which could be considered a disease or a virus—so it was vital that we split into two groups; half of us would search for the others, while the others would look for anything to get in contact with the outside world. An emergency landline, laptop, or cell phone.
I did have one problem, which was lack of evidence. All which was left from the thing I’d found was stuck to my foot. The rest of it was buried in the dirt. It was too dark to search for it, and we would be wasting time doing so.
All of that was in my mind and tangled on my tongue, one single string of incomprehensible gibberish I wasn’t even sure was English, when I stepped into Rowan’s cabin, where four sets of eyes met mine. Olive, cross legged on the floor with her arms folded, Harry, pacing up and down with a brand new bruise blooming under his eye, courtesy of Eleanor almost poking his eyes out—and Rowan himself sitting on top bunk, his legs swinging off of the side.
The guy wasn’t built to be our leader, originally being the laziest of our group, opting for sitting in a tree with a book, rather than helping set up camp activities. Yet he had become our default guy in charge because he so happened to be wearing the head counsellor hat when Allison disappeared. Admittedly, it suited him, the bright red of the cap contrasted his dark curls under a late setting sun through the back window, setting strands of straying hair on fire.
The hat was a little too big for his head, though, slipping over his eyes.
Rowan looked like a divorced father of two, dark circles bruising his eyes, and a very “dad-like” scowl curling on his lips.
With a clipboard pressed to his chest, and a pen he was chewing on, the boy resembled a grown man who had just caught his daughter coming in after curfew. “Josie.” Spitting the pen’s lid out of his mouth, he scribbled something down. I had no doubt he was tracking my attendance for these stupid crisis meetings. His eyes were wild, scanning me for answers. “Where the fuck is Carmel?”
I shut the door behind me, leaning against it with my arms folded. “So, we can swear now?”
“Yes.” Rowan rolled his eyes. “There are no kids here, so go crazy,” he pointed at me with the pen. “Carmel. Where is she?”
“Keeping the kids busy,” Callan’s muffled voice came from the bottom bunk. I could barely see the guy lying on his stomach, his face stuffed into a pillow. “It was my idea to play Shrek for them, but the little shits said they haven’t seen it,” the boy lifted his head, his lips carved into a scowl. “I’m sorry, am I tripping? Everyone’s seen Shrek! Do these kids expect the Minecraft movie?”
“They don’t like that, either,” Harry stopped pacing the cabin. “Eleanor looked at me like I was crazy when I asked if she liked it."
“Fortnite, too.” Olive said, a cushion pressed to her chest. “I suggested playing it a few days ago, and like, zero kids knew what it was.”
“Six counsellors are missing,” Rowan raised his voice over the other’s chatter. “And you’re questioning what games they like?” His eyes found mine once more. “So, Carmel is with the kids? You’re absolutely sure of it?”
I nodded. “Yeah. I mean, I just saw her five minutes ago.”
“Great.” Rowan said, sarcastically. “I’m sure she won’t go missing under mysterious circumstances.”
“Stop.” Olive shot him a glare, throwing a cushion in his face. “I told you. They’re probably lost—- or maybe they went to get help?”
“We’ve all been trained to know every inch of these woods,” Rowan catapulted the cushion right back at her. “They’re not lost.”
“Well, where are they?!” Callan sat up, bringing his knees to his chest. I had never seen the guy looked this vulnerable. “Allison made sense. She probably had other duties, and left us to look after the kids. But six counselors? All of them disappearing—- our phone signal completely cutting out, electricity cutting off, not once, but twice? What is even sucking all of our power?”
“I got the emergency generator working,” Olive raised her arm. “Connor and I managed it before…” she trailed off.
“Before Connor disappeared.” Callan finished for her. “And before him, it was Joey, Lily, Mira, Yuri, Noah, and Teddy. Which isn’t a fucking coincidence,” he shot Rowan a look, who glared down at his lap. I could tell the boy didn’t want to lead all of us, come up with plans and answer questions we desperately needed answering. His job was to look after us, as well as the littles, and so far, he was doing a pretty good job. I could tell by his expression that he thought the opposite, but he had managed to keep the kids from finding out about something as sinister as someone actively kidnapping counsellors.
He made sure they were fed, entertained, and safe watching a movie—while we were scared for our lives. Rowan was keeping up the façade no matter how scared he was. The boy dropped his head into his lap with a sigh. It looked like he might fall asleep before he slammed the clipboard into his face to wake himself up.
Nobody wanted to admit what Callan was saying, but we were all definitely thinking it. “This was planned.” Callan continued.
“Someone out here is fucking with us, very clearly trying to freak us out. Now they've got six of us. ” He spread out his arms. “How long until one of the littles gets taken, huh? A bunch of 18 year olds aren’t going to satisfy them, so what about when they start taking campers? We are in the middle of fuckin’ nowhere with a serial kidnapper on the loose, and did we really just leave fifteen kids in the care of a girl who thought Australia was in England?”
“In Carmel’s defence, she was black-out drunk when she said that,” Olive murmured.
“Voice down!” Rowan hissed. “Do you want to scare them?!” His gaze flicked to me. “Did you do a headcount during dinner?”
I nodded. “Fifteen kids all accounted for. Ten are in the lunch hall, and five girls are in Cassie’s cabin playing Operation.”
“All day?” Olive spoke up. “Weren’t they playing that this morning? I tried to get into their cabin to give them breakfast, but they just shooed me away and locked the door.”
“Fuck.” Rowan ran his fingers down his face. “Alright, I’ll go and see what’s going on with them. Knowing Cassie and her friends, they’re probably zonked out on stolen candy. When all of the kids are accounted for in the lunch cabin, we gather outside.”
I swallowed, speaking up. “I actually wanted to talk to you guys about something.”
Rowan lifted his head, jutting the edge of the clipboard into his chin. “Go on…”
“I found something?” I pulled a face. “I mean, think I’ve found something?”
I wasn't sure how to explain to a dwindling group of exhausted teenagers that there may be something even more terrifying than potential kidnappers out there. Four blank faces started back at me, and Rowan leaned forward with a frown. “Like, in general? Josie, we don’t have time to go foraging.”
“You could call it a lead,” I said. “But I need your eyes to find it.”
“Uh-huh. But what is it?”
Thinking back to what exactly I had seen, I had no idea how to describe it. “It’s better if I just… showed you.”
Rowan looked sceptical, but nodded. “Alright. Josie comes with me. We’ll check out Allison’s cabin again to look for an emergency line, and you can show me whatever this ‘thing’ is you’ve found. Then we’ll escort Cassie and the other girl’s to the lunch cabin. Every camper needs an escort from now on. The rest of you? Act normal. If the kids see you freaking out, they will also freak out—and we need to keep up morale.” The boy pointed to Olive. “Olive, you sit in with the kids and look after them. Callan, check out the emergency generator. Harry, the kids see you as a playground ride, so use that to your advantage. Offer them horse rides if they’re scared. And with the ghost stories, it’s making it worse. Give them piggybacks.”
Harry rolled his eyes. “Do I have a choice?”
“No.”
Rowan cleared his throat. “We all keep up appearances. If the others turn up, after getting high or… I don’t know, having an orgy in the woods—- I will fucking kill them.” The way he smiled through his teeth, jumping off the bunk, his toes primed like a wild animal, I knew he wasn’t joking. If this was a well-constructed prank the other counselors were playing, I had no doubt Rowan would rip them apart for leaving him as a reluctant leader. To my surprise, the others wandered off with their tasks.
I watched Rowan lift up his pillow and pull out a pack of animal crackers, ripping open the bag and pouring the contents into his mouth. He caught my eye, crunching through mini animal crackers. “I didn’t have lunch,” he said through a mouthful.
I couldn’t help feeling a sense of relief as we headed across camp, Rowan in front of me, while I lagged behind.
“So, what’s the plan?” I caught up to him, almost tripping over a log.
The guy didn’t turn around. “I am completely winging it,” he said through a choked laugh. “I have no idea what I’m doing, and if I’m honest? I just want to go home, dude. I haven’t looked after this many kids in my life, and if I have to smile one more time as a little brat, I am going to fucking lose my mind.” He heaved out a breath. “I am making this up as I go along.”
I laughed that time. “That’s… comforting.”
“Yeah?” He turned to shoot me a grin. “Well, rest assured I am just about as scared—if not more scared than you,” as we stopped in front of Cassie’s cabin, his gaze found mine. “Is it me…” he said softly, “Or does the lunch cabin seem quiet.”
He was right. The windows were dark when they should have been illuminated by the TV screen. Instead of answering, I stepped in front of him, grasping hold of the cabin door. “Cassie?” I knocked three times. “Girl’s, are you okay in there? It’s Josie and Rowan.” I tried the door, and it slid open. Shooting a look at the boy behind me, I turned back to the door. “We’re coming in, okay?”
“Wait!”
Cassie squeaked from inside. “But he’s not finished!”
Ignoring the coil of dread unravelling in my gut, I forced the door open and stepped into unusually milky white light which flooded the cabin. The first thing I saw was eight-year-old Cassie, sitting cross legged with her back to me. She was sitting in a circle with the other girls, no doubt playing their game.
When I stepped closer, however, I noticed something pooling across the wooden floor. It must have been juice or water that they had spilled. I took another step, but this time, clammy fingers wrapped around my wrist and yanked me back. Rowan didn't speak, but his eyes were elsewhere. Initially, they had been drinking in the cabin before they found oblivion entirely. I heard his breath start to accelerate, his grip tightening on my wrist.
I had half a mind to pull away, before I saw the body shaped carcass the girls were sitting around. In the dim light of the cabin, it used to be a person. Teddy. I could still see parts of an identity, freckled cheeks and eyes which were still open, still staring at the sky.
But that was where the similarities to the missing counsellor ended. The thing which used to be Teddy was more of a shell, a scooped out thing resembling a human body. What sent me stumbling backwards, my mouth open in a silent scream, was the almost surgical efficiency of each organ's removal, like it really was a game of operation. His heart, lungs, and intestines were in one pile-- while his brain was cupped between little Cassie's bloody hands— and when my gaze found the little girl, Nina, hiding behind dark curly hair, I was seeing what looked like a toy robot’s head in her hands. In my head, I was thinking about the eye with the metallic pieces glittering around its pupil, and something turned in my gut.
Did I find a human eye?
I was staring at the crevice inside the boy's skull, and the boxes of surgical equipment piled on the girl's bunks, when Rowan finally pulled me back, and I was stumbling straight onto my ass. "We need to go." Rowan spoke through a croak. Cassie’s words rattled in my head. Teddy, I thought.
Teddy wasn’t finished.
"Josie. Get up. Now!" My head was spinning, and I was sure I'd thrown up. I didn’t even realize we had managed to stumble from the girl’s cabin before cool air grazed my face, tickling my cheeks. Something wet and warm, and lumpy was spattering the front of my shirt.
Before I could coerce words, the boy was pulling me to my feet, and I was seeing stars in my eyes, blinking brightly. When the two of us started forwards in a run, Rowan stopped abruptly. I followed his gaze to find several kids surrounding his cabin, where Harry, Olive and Callan were. Maybe I was hallucinating, but Eleanor and Phoebe, both of whom wielding weapons where I had no idea where they had gotten them—looked… taller? Rowan didn’t waste time, dragging me back. “Allison’s cabin.” He spoke in cry which became a sob, pulling me across camp, stumbling over rocky ground.
“We need a phone. Fuck, we need a phone. We need a phone.” Rowan was struggling to stand, occasionally bending over and choking up dust.
“They were playing Operation."
Literal operation.
“But they’re just kids!” I choked out.
Little kids, who had surgically removed every organ inside Teddy’s body.
Little kids, who were hunting the other counsellors down, and would surely be coming for us.
Allison’s cabin was thankfully further into the woods. When we were safe inside and Rowan was locking the door, I dry heaved several times, unable to get the sight of glistening gore splattering the cabin floor from my mind. “Josie.” Rowan was already tearing apart the cabin. “Work with me here, okay? We don’t… we don’t have fucking time to freak out, or to barf—we need to help. Now.” Rowan was almost in tears, and when he hit the ground on his knees, I took over. I searched Allison’s desk first. Nothing of importance, just documents and invoices. Digging through her draw, there was still nothing. We were running out of time.
Abandoning the desk, I went through her suitcase and bags. When I was crawling under her bed to try and find a weapon, Rowan hissed out. “Wait.” When I turned to him, he was still kneeling, but his foot was clamping down on a loose plank. The guy didn’t hesitate, pulling at the loose plank, which, to my confusion, revealed what looked to me like a trap door.
Rowan turned to me. “You’re kidding.”
I could only stare at the trap door revealing stone steps. He peered down, his voice echoing. “Allison has a fucking secret bunker?”
His lips curved into a surprisingly childish grin which took me off guard. “Oh, wow, that’s so cooooool!”
Lifting my head at the sound of loud squealing, I glimpsed a group of littles led by Eleanor stalking towards us. Eleanor had a hostage. Harry. And with the way she was sticking the blade of a scary looking knife to his throat, I figured she meant business.
Their height difference was almost comical. The eighteen year old guy had to hunch over so the little girl could successfully keep him prisoner. Behind them in the trees, I could see something illuminating the dark, an electric blue light bathing their faces.
So, that was there the power was going.
But what the fuck were these eight-year-old’s doing?
“Josie!” Rowan hissed from down below. He had already climbed down.
I joined him, struggling down the stone steps, before replacing the loose plank. If these kids were as smart as I thought, it wouldn’t take them long to realize the loose plank—also a trap door. Allison’s bunker was more of a control room. There were multiple screens lit up, a chair in front of a working MacBook. The phone-line was cut. But that didn’t make sense.
The kids were unaware of the bunker, so who cut the phone lines? Rowan was on the laptop, struggling to get through the password protection, so I turned my attention to piles of cardboard boxes.
When I opened them, I found myself staring at animal crackers.
There were hundreds of them, packed on top of each other. Looking further, digging through the boxes, I found a piece of old crumpled paper which looked ancient.
REGARDING PROJECT SPEARHEAD SUBJECTS:
PLEASE DO NOT INGEST UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. IF MULTIPLE SUBJECTS INGEST, PLEASE USE SELF DESTRUCT.
ONLY USE IN CASES SUCH AS IMMINENT DESTRUCTION TO THE PLANET/THREAT OF NUCLEAR WAR.
(PLEASE CONTACT FAMILIES IN ADVANCE. MAKE SURE TO INGEST WITH WATER TO AVOID NEUROLOGICAL SYMPTOMS SUCH AS PSYCHOSIS, EXTREME VIOLENCE. PLEASE APPROACH SUBJECTS WITH CAUTION.
Something ice cold slithered down my spine.
Abandoning the boxes, I searched through a cabinet filled with files which were crumbling apart from age. I picked one at random and flicked through it.
Eleanor Summer’s.
Sex: Female.
DOB: 08/05/1977.
Initially, I thought I was reading the dates wrong. But then, with my heart in my throat, I was grasping for other files.
Eli Evermore.
Sex: Male.
'DOB: 08/03/1979.
“Rowan.” I managed to get out through a breath.
“Mm?”
“They’re not children.”
The boy rubbed his eyes, frowning. His eyes were half lidded, almost confused. “Huh?”
“Eleanor.” I whispered. “Is forty five years old.”
He nodded slowly, turning back to the laptop. “How do you spell… documents? I’m looking for digital versions but I can’t find any.”
“You don’t know how to spell documents?”
“It’s been a hard day.” The boy whined, tipping his head back and blowing a raspberry.
Whatever I was going to say was choked in the back of my throat, when a loud bang sounded from above, the sounds of childish giggling coming through the floorboards. But the laughter didn’t sound like little kids. No, it sounded like teenager’s who were acting like little kids. I stared at the boxes of animal crackers, and then at the file confirming Eleanor’s real age.
My own words shuddered through me, and I remembered finding Teddy’s dismembered carcass in Cassie’s cabin. When I had caught her gaze, the little girl didn’t look scared, and somehow, her fingers wrapped around the scalpel looked just right.
Like the little bitch knew exactly what she was doing.
“Helloooo?” Harry’s voice was a hysterical giggle. “Olly, Olly, Oxen freeee!”
“Are you in heeeeeeere?” Carmel joined in. I could hear their footsteps above, dancing across the room.
Clamping my hand over my mouth, I dragged my knees to my chest and prayed they weren’t smart enough to figure out we were right underneath them.
Knowing the truth about them, though? I wasn’t counting on it.
….
That was an hour ago.
We’re still stuck down here, and I can get a connection here—thank god. For some reason, Alison has blocked all social media. We need help. We’re at Camp Redwood, and these kids ARE NOT KIDS.
Whatever Project Spearhead is was designed to keep them here.
The phone-line is cut so we can’t get help from whoever was helping Allison. I am counting on you guys.
Get us out of here!
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2023.05.27 20:17 shaubin Summer Sublease (June - Aug 2023)

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2023.05.27 20:06 Frank_Leroux Molossus, Chapter Thirteen

One nice side-effect of the lifting of secrecy was that the entire team (human and alien) could now be reassigned to somewhere more palatial than a sealed-off side-entrance into a hollowed-out mountain. But where, oh where, to put them? What was needed was someplace A) which was much nicer than a tunnel (humanity must treat our alien guests properly, after all) and B) was already set up with the necessary security precautions and secure communications in and out.
In the end, there was, really, only one choice of location…at least if they wanted to stay in the United States proper.
Camp David.
Corporal McCoy spread her arms out along the back of a very nice red-leather sofa, in the middle of a room dominated by a red-brick fireplace in one corner. Along the two far walls from the fireplace stretched multiple windows which showed, at the moment, the denuded stick-like forms of leafless trees. She knew that in the spring and summer they’d be a veritable explosion of green; somehow, she didn’t mind that she wasn’t able to see leaves at the moment. Off in a far corner of the room sat a wet bar that she also eyed with quite evident lust. There was at least one nice single-malt scotch there that she wanted to get ahold of. Just for a taste, mind you.
Not everyone was there; Chao and Grakosh were off in the midst of some giant nerd mind-meld with some Lockheed Martin Skunk-Works types, trying to figure out how to lift what materials were needed into orbit so that humans could help fix the Rithro and show the Coalition that we are very good and oh so helpful little sapients, yes indeed we are, please help us out just in case we get discovered by some genocidal robots who want to do a little bit of trolling.
Moquon, the knuall-toua who was the ship’s lifesystem engineer, coiled around her shoulder as the latter looked with interest at the wood paneling which made up the rafters and roof.
“Now this is more like it!” McCoy exclaimed to all and sundry.
“Yes, indeed! It does seem much nicer than our previous lodgings,” said Mouquon.
“This is not a vacation, corporal.” Sergeant Shaw stood next to one of the nearly floor-to ceiling windows, looking out over the grounds below with a practiced eye.
“You need to relax, Sarge,” said Martinez. “We got something like a million Secret Service agents prowling around here. I went shooting with one of ‘em once, trust me when I say those people are no joke.” He chuckled. “First time I got my ass kicked in a shooting contest by a woman.”
Shaw let out a grunt. “We are the last layer of the onion.”
“Sir?” asked McCoy.
“Someone can figure out we’re here pretty easily.” Shaw pointed out into the wintry woods. “If they send a determined and well-armed force, they might just make through those million agents to here.” He turned away from the window and stared at his team, who, at the moment, sprawled or sat with evident relief on the furniture within the room. “The OPFOR might get taken down. But then again, they might not. What do we do then?”
McCoy felt Mouqon coil herself tighter around her shoulder. Almost on instinct, she reached up and patted the snake-like alien’s head. “Don’t you worry. I’m here.”
Shaw pointed at the corporal. “Exactly. We are the last, and I do mean the last, line of defense. We are gonna run some drills at a time and place of my choosing. We are going to protect our esteemed guests to the very last…and yes, I do mean the very last. Make sure your gear is ready and that you are ready, or I will give y’all an ass-chewing they’ll feel clear out to the Coalition.”
Agent Milton Vila strolled into the lounge at that particular moment with a grin on his broad face. “Sounds like we’re getting an upgrade to our security, Mack.”
“Aw hell, you know how it is. I gotta keep these assholes on their toes or everything breaks down into chaos.”
The Secret Service agent grinned. “Anyways…we now have a new member of our merry band of misfits.”
“Misfits?” Martinez looked appropriately indignant. “I’ll have you know I am a perfectly normal functioning member of society!”
The agent and soldier held each other’s gaze for a few moments before they both busted out in laughter. “Anyways,” continued Vila, “He’s the medical expert that the general requested.” He turned to one of the entrances to the lounge. “Come on in, sir.”
A dark-skinned, lean man with an uncertain air entered. “Zawahir Ibn Harith,” he said by way of greeting. His eyes widened upon viewing the various alien forms now stretched out in various relaxed postures before him.
McCoy decided to throw him a bone. “Welcome!” She gave a wave of her arm…the arm around whose shoulder Mouquon was currently coiled. “Welcome to our…merry band of misfits!”
“Thank you!” The newcomer still looked a bit at sea.
“Hey, Dhuz?” McCoy called out.
The auhn turned from her gazing out the windows. “Yes?”
“I figure you and this guy got a lot to talk about.”
Dhuz met Zawahir’s eyes and smiled. McCoy was still getting used to that; it was a gesture of happiness just as with humans, but auhn teeth were very numerous and very sharp. “I imagine so. Mutual exchange of medical data, yes?”
Now that he had a task before him, Zawahir looked a lot more focused. “Of course! I mean, from what I’ve read thus far all of your species use some method of metal-oxygen bonding to deliver the necessary oxygen to your tissues, but not everyone uses hemoglobin!”
Dhuz lit up. “Exactly!” She touched her forearm and a big old wall of text and diagrams formed above it. “Here, let me show you…”
McCoy chuckled as the pair moved off into a far corner to continue their conversation. “Another nerd mind-meld,” she said to no one in particular.
“Pardon?” asked Mouquon.
“Oh, sorry. Just…Chao and your engineer are now off doing a big old nerd mind-meld with our best and brightest. The last time we had that much talent in one place, we wound up dropping the sun on some people.” The corporal regarded the pair now in the midst of an animated conversation. “I hope this particular nerd-gasm results in something more constructive.”
“Oh!” Mouquon perked up. “I should be a part of this ‘nerd-gasm’. At least, if they start talking about what foodstuffs are viable for the various species.”
McCoy sighed. This was a very comfortable couch, after all. “You’re right, Mouquon.” She hauled herself up and off of the furniture with a bit of reluctance. “Let’s get you involved.” She walked towards the pair, who were both still gesticulating at the display over Dhuz’s forearm.
__________
Milton Vila had, much to his annoyance, been pulled off of President Correa’s detail and assigned to a new one…one to protect the alien captain. Sure, Agent Keynes had taken his place…and if he was forced to admit it, the guy was as good of a shot as he was…but Keynes wasn’t him, and that knowledge ate at him.
Still, he supposed that at least he wasn’t alone in his misery. Sergeant Shaw (who had finally admitted to Milton he was a Green Beret, which helped nail down exactly which branch of the armed forces his team worked for) was also pulled into the task of guarding Sadaf…upon Milton’s request. Not that he would tell the Green Beret that. The sergeant had also gotten the tailoring treatment from Milton’s wife, and now he wore a navy-blue suit which complimented his red hair quite nicely. But the Secret Service agent could tell that the man still wanted to be clad in full battle-rattle and toting a rifle instead of a mere hidden handgun.
“I still say I should be able to wear my normal shit,” said Shaw, not for the first time. At the moment, the three rode in a limousine, on their way to some gala luncheon event held by some upper-crust DC types who wanted to get a speech by one of the brand-new alien celebrities. Milton hoped that they’d also decide to open their damn pocketbooks to help fund the repairs needed for the alien’s ship; in the short time he’d known her, the agent had become won over by Sadaf’s no-nonsense and in-charge attitude.
“We’re trying to not scare the normies, Mack,” replied Milton.
Sadaf, who sat next to the hulking red-bearded man, looked over at him in curiosity. “You want to wear your usual fecal matter?”
“Frinxing translators,” muttered Shaw. As was usual, the various profanities of alien language were the first things to percolate into human speech. “Sorry, ma’am, I meant my normal gear. Yeah, I’m wearing body armor but this stuff is class two at best.” He plucked at his jacket. “Plus I’m not used to moving in this monkey suit.”
Milton grinned. “You’ll get used to it soon enough, Mack. Hey, my people have cleared the place beforehand. Our job is just to stand there behind the good captain and look menacing. And then when she’s doing the meet-and-greet afterwards we need to look extra menacing…and, of course, keep an eye out just in case someone makes a false move.”
“I don’t want to get used to this,” grumped Shaw. “I don’t want to get used to any of this. I want some proper goddamn body armor and a proper goddamn rifle with some goddamn extra magazines. A rifle with an M203 launcher, just in case someone gets really squirrelly.”
The agent winced. “Um, Mack, we civvies do have to worry about things like ‘collateral damage’ and such.”
Shaw’s normally cheerful demeanor fell into a somber look towards the agent, one that brought Milton up short. “Agent Milton, have you ever fallen victim to an RPG attack?”
“Um, no?”
“I have. Trust me, there is never such a thing as overkill.”
Milton sighed. He reached into a jacket pocket and pulled out a city map. “Okay, I suppose that’s as good an excuse to go over everything again. This is the courtyard for the shindig.”
“Shindig!” exclaimed Sadaf in pleasure. “I don’t know why, but that word brings me joy.”
The agent smiled at her. “You’re gonna get used to it, believe me. So, we’ve got the whole area blocked off here, here, and here. Full-body scans for everyone going in, and believe me they’d better have the proper ticket to be there or they’re in for some looong questioning in a little dark room somewhere. No outside translator beads allowed, we issue ‘em after they get through the perimeter. We have snipers located here, here, here, and here. Each one has their own designated field of fire, the four of ‘em cover all angles. Anyone who pops their head up on any of the surrounding roofs will get a fifty-cal bullet right through their noggin before they can even blink.”
“What about the courtyard itself?” asked Shaw. “Before you set up the perimeter, I mean.”
Milton grinned. The sergeant had the makings of a first-class agent. “A very good question. We swept the area prior, using metal detectors and dogs. Especially for the dais and podium where Captain Sadaf is going to make her speech. If I was gonna try for a hit, that’s how I’d do it. Plant some explosives in the podium and trigger it remotely. But we didn’t find anything.”
The sergeant smoothed his beard in a nervous tic. “Drones?”
“Jammers for a thousand-yard radius around the podium. Anything remotely piloted into that space will just fall to the ground. As a bonus, just in case someone decides to try something cute using their cell phone, those won’t work either.”
Shaw grunted in grudging approval. “Sounds good.”
“This is how I earn a living, Mack. Relax.”
Sadaf rubbed a hand on her forehead. She was now clad back in her black-and-silver uniform; somehow the powers that be had determined that it was now okay for her to wear the supposed ‘militaristic’ uniform in public. “Is all this security strictly necessary? I mean, thus far most of your world’s nations seem to be behaving rationally.”
“Oh, we’re not worried about state actors, ma’am,” said Milton. “Well, except for a few. There’s always North Korea, after all.”
“Frinx, don’t get me started on those assholes,” muttered Shaw.
Milton continued, in what he hoped came across as a soothing tone. “Look at it this way. Does your kind suffer from mental disease?”
“Originally, yes. But thanks to medical intervention we can catch almost all of them. At present, we suffer from less than one in three hundred million who have an incurable derangement of the brain…” Sadaf’s eyes widened as she trailed off. “Oh. I forgot, you don’t have access to our level of medical technology.”
Shaw sighed. “No, ma’am, we don’t. Not to mention there’s almost eight billion of us on this here planet. Even assuming only one-hundredth-of-a-percent of those people wish you harm, that’s far too big of a population for us to relax.”
Sadaf seemed to shrink into the cushions of the limousine. “But we come in peace. We don’t mean you any harm.”
Milton knew that it was a breach of protocol, but he reached across and patted her knee. “I know that, ma’am, and almost everyone on the planet knows that. But there are some…well, there are some you just can’t reach.”
Shaw rubbed his jaw as he regarded the map again. “Damn. Wish I had Toke here. That guy could sniff out something hinky like nobody’s business. Plus if something did kick off, he could sort it out no problem.”
“He’s the skinny, taller guy, right?” asked Milton. “Marine Force Recon, I do believe. I know they are double-tough. Yeah, I admit he’d be good for something like this. But the powers that be want to keep him back at Camp David.”
The sergeant grunted in annoyance and looked out the window of the limousine. Then he looked up with a quirky smile. “I guess so. Look at it this way, if something does kick off, then having him at Camp David means that whoms’tsoever tries an assault there is gonna die.”
Milton replied to Shaw with a raised eyebrow. “All right, Shaw. Just between you and me, we deal with very dangerous people by being very dangerous people ourselves. Don’t try to feed me a line of dramatic bullshit.”
For once, Shaw looked flustered. “No, you don’t understand! Toke was the guy you’d drop into the shit, into the middle of any utter hell on Earth, and he’d get you your grid coordinates for arty or drone strikes while escorting two other guys and, oh yeah, he’d kill ten enemies at long range while doing all of that. And not just long-range. He once took out five guys in ten seconds with a knife…and he’s supposed to be a fucking sniper!” The sergeant shuddered. “I can’t tell you about the mission where he got his knee messed up, but let’s just say…he earned every single one of his medals during that action. He’s a throwback.”
Milton tilted his head, as did Sadaf. “Explain,” said the Captain, and not as a question.
“I mean, mentally, in some ways, he’s kinda from way back when we humans were all ooga-booga and lived in caves and smacked each other over the head with clubs. Toke just…ends things. Nice guy, hell if I had kids I’d let him watch ‘em with nary a care in the world. But you press one particular button and he…well, he reverts. He reverts to what we used to be.”
__________
Most of Camp David’s staff was still in bed; Matt had to admit that they’d adapted with admirable speed to having a motley crew of human knuckle-draggers and literal fucking aliens plonked down amongst them. But now it was early morning and Toke was hungry. If he was an asshole, he’d rouse one of the staff to assist in that but he’d rather slice off a toe rather than bother some hard-working person just to make him something to eat. Thus he headed for the kitchen to rustle up some grub for himself.
As he walked through the lounge, which was fast becoming the go-to point for everyone, he saw Kexal, the other udhyr, standing in front of the windows looking out over the wintry scene outside. The massive alien’s head just brushed against the auburn-colored wooden rafters that stretched upwards to form the roof overhead.
“Morning,” said Matt, trying to keep it casual. He’d never spoken much with the planetologist.
“Good morning, Matt!” replied the big alien, with enthusiasm. “I was just in the midst of getting my feel.”
The statement brought the Marine up short. “Feel?”
In response Kexal motioned him over with one of his lower arms. Matt had picked up enough alien social cues to know that such a gesture was intended as something more intimate. He stepped up beside the udhyr, who then proceeded to steer him around in front of him using his big upper arms.
He looked out over the wintry scene. Dawn was just starting, and the sun was beginning to peek over the leafless trees. “Okay, what am I looking or, should I say, feeling for?” he asked.
“The voice of your planet,” replied Kexal. “Being a planetologist is indeed a matter of knowing about weather patterns, about how the types of water, methane, and carbon dioxide ice react under various temperatures and pressures, of how a planet’s entire atmosphere changes when life is present. But there is also this.” He pointed with one big, three-fingered mitt out the windows in front of them both. “If you simply allow it, this planet can speak to you. Those in my profession call it getting the ‘feel’ of a planet. It may sound strange and mystic, but…I am getting my feel.”
That made Matt ruminate on his own view of his planet. Up until now, as far as he was concerned, it was just…there. “So, what kind of ‘feel’ are you getting thus far?”
“This place is wonderful, a lovely oasis. It welcomes me and my colleagues. This is a bastion of life in the midst of an unfeeling dark, much like other life-bearing worlds we’ve encountered…all too infrequently, sad to say.”
“So you’re saying we should treasure this planet?” Matt smiled. “I sure can’t argue with you there. We are trying to be more appreciative of it.”
“Indeed.”
The pair watched the sunrise in pleasant silence for a few minutes, until Matt’s stomach growled again. “All right,” he said. “This is nice getting our feel and all, but I gotta eat something. You hungry?”
“I could consume something.”
“Good, because I’m fuckin’ starving. Follow me.”
He led the big alien through to the kitchen. Thanks to heroic efforts by Dhuz and Mouquon back when they were sequestered in Cheyenne Mountain and then by efforts by those two and Zawahir in the last few days, all possible poisonous or allergic foods had been removed from the premises. That did limit the meals available, but as long as he didn’t have to eat it out of a pouch Matt was content.
He opened the fridge, surveying the contents. “I was just gonna do a sandwich. You want one?”
The udhyr sat at the nearby table; both of the big aliens had long ago forsaken chairs and simply sat on the floor. They claimed it was just as comfortable, and Matt for one was not going to press them on the matter. “Yes, I would like a ‘sandwich’. If it’s not too much trouble.”
Matt scanned the fridge interior. “No trouble at all. Okay, bread, we got.” He pulled a loaf out of the fridge; it had confused him the first time he’d seen it stored like that, since he’d grown up in northern, drier climes. But even in mid-winter this was a humid climate and it was way too easy for bread to go all moldy far too quickly. “Now all we need is filling…” His eyes lit on a big tub and he let out a little ‘ah!’ of pleasure. “Pimento.”
“Pimento?”
With reverence, Matt removed the tub from the fridge and set it on the counter next to the bread. “It’s a cheese-and-pepper spread. They call it the caviar of the South. I got addicted to this stuff back during my basic training days.” He shut the fridge, opened the upper cabinets, and was again pleased to see plates right where he expected them. He took down two.
Martinez strolled into the kitchen as he stretched his arms over his head. He was clad in sweatpants and a hoodie. “Morning, folks. Nothing like a nice little 5k to get the blood flowing in the morning.”
Kexal clicked his mandibles in puzzlement. “Five Kay?”
“Five-kilometer jog. Gotta keep fit, my man. Otherwise Sarge is gonna come back from his deployment and kick our asses.” The corporal’s eyes lit upon the foodstuffs laid out on the counter next to the fridge. “Hmm, breakfast?”
“Just pimento sandwiches,” said Matt as he took out another plate. “You want one?” It was a bit of a trick question; if you ask a soldier if he wants something to eat, the answer was always ‘yes’.
Martinez did not disappoint. “Oh hell yes. Not quite breakfast food, but I’ve for sure eaten way worse way earlier in the morning.”
“Vomlet?”
The corporal shuddered. “Shit man, I somehow wound up with one of those once in spite of it being way out of date. Nothing but a solid orange brick of nastiness, even with the salsa added to it. Are you tryin’ to give me PTSD?”
Matt pulled out a drawer and found a convenient knife. He began laying out the sandwich makings on each plate. “Could be worse. Could be the dreaded Four Fingers of Death.”
“Oof, I only heard about those. Were they bad as they say?”
“Oh, yes, they were,” replied Matt.
“Four Fingers of Death?” asked Kexal.
“Hot dogs,” replied Matt. “Um…little sausages. Ground-up meat, put it in a long casing, boil it or steam it or smoke it. It’ll last for a long time.”
“Ah!” The giant alien looked pleased…at least, Matt was pretty sure he looked pleased. “We have a similar cuisine involving smoked fish, ground up and molded into cakes.”
“Interesting. Then you should know that it should be a no-brainer to make good hot dogs. I mean, go to any ball game and you’ll see ‘em getting wolfed down by the ton. And yet, somehow, someway, Uncle Sam figured out how to screw up damn hot dogs. Four to a pack, and it was the nastiest shit you’ve ever ate.” He held up a hand, showing his fingers held together. “Hence the Four Fingers of Death.”
Kexal let out a pleased click as Matt continued assembling the sandwiches. “I really do feel like I’m getting a better feeling for human society.”
“It’s a very weird and small cross-section of human society,” said Martinez as he seated himself at the table. “We need to get this guy out to Yosemite or, or even better Yellowstone. I was out in Yellowstone once as a kid, it’s really damn cool. He needs to see some proper scenery. Or hell, just drop him into Times Square to chat with the locals.”
“We will do so, once we’re sure that the rest of humanity hasn’t lost its collective shit,” Matt replied. He finished putting the top slice of bread on each sandwich, then turned and fixed the two at the table with a gimlet eye. “Now. We have two important questions to answer. Crusts on or off?”
Martinez blinked, then responded. “Crusts on! Hell, I would always make sure to get the heel when I was a kid.”
“You’re a man after my own heart, Martinez. Kexal?”
“Um, as long as there are no allergens, then I will also go crust on?”
“Good. Next important question. Horizontal or diagonal cut?” Matt hovered the knife over one sandwich, showing each potential slice.
Martinez opted for horizontal, while Kexal requested diagonal. Matt cut each sandwich as requested, then placed each one in front of its recipient with the appropriate regal air. He then took his own, uncut sandwich and sat at the table.
“You don’t cut yours?” asked Martinez.
“Nope. That’s because I’m a savage.” Matt held the corporal’s eyes while he took a big bite out of his own uncut sandwich.
They all munched happily for a few minutes…right up until the alarm went off.
__________
“…and so I am humbly thankful to receive this honorarium on behalf of my crew and all of the Coalition…”
Milton figured that he had the easier job; just stand there and get across the message of ‘if you bum-rush this little blue-scaled person, you will die, and it will hurt the entire time’. He didn’t envy Captain Sadaf her newfound position as Representative Of All Of Alien-Kind, but then again he’d always been more of a wallflower-type anyway in spite of his impressive size. How he’d landed a dreamboat like Teresa was still a mystery for the ages. Although, if he was honest, she had approached him rather than the other way around.
He smiled internally at the memory of her walking up to him at the Sadie Hawkins’ dance and asking if he wanted to go for a spin on the dance floor. Something in her smile and direct gaze had awakened a more confident version of himself, and he’d accepted her request with the requisite gravity.
However it had happened, he now had a family. A wonderful wife and a son, the apple of his eye. But that wasn’t enough. He and Teresa were working hard on adding a daughter to the mix. If it turned out to be another son he wouldn’t be put out, but in his heart of hearts he wanted it to be a daughter. Just so he could spoil her rotten. But then again, if the Breakers arrived, whatever sex his next child turned out to be might be irrelevant.
Milton stopped his woolgathering and focused back on his job. Thus far his earpiece was silent save for periodic check-ins, which was good. No news was good news, after all.
Beside him, Sergeant Shaw constantly scanned the skies. That was fine, since Milton was busy scanning the people arrayed before him. Most of them were older blue-hairs who he could take with a pinky finger, but you never knew. Even an old person could wield a knife with deadly intent.
“…you must understand, we never intended to be here. It was sheer dumb fate that landed us in your, if I’m honest, quite generous lap. I understand that there is, amongst you humans, a lot of concern that we did not approach you directly. But I would invite you to look at it from our point of view. We had fragments, a few little transmissions and video images without context. We had no idea if you would respond to our presence with reflexive hostility. We were only here to gather data, to determine if a follow-up First Contact fleet would be welcomed.”
Sadaf paused and shook her head, a gesture she’d picked up from her time amongst humans. “As you well know, we were not given such a chance. But thankfully things have worked out well in spite of those circumstances…”
Milton’s forehead wrinkled as he heard a weird noise. It sounded a bit like ripping cloth, descending in tone. He reached up towards his ear to ask his team if they heard it as well…
Shaw straightened up, looking like a navy-blue wall of flesh. “INCOMING!” he bawled, just before lunging towards Sadaf at the podium.
The agent suddenly realized the source of that noise. “EVERYBODY DOWN!” he yelled in return as he threw himself at a few VIPs seated near him on the dais.
The huge sergeant simply yeeted the diminutive captain off towards the far end of the dais, before throwing his own considerable bulk at the other VIPs off to the other side.
Then the entire world seemed to explode. Milton’s ears just shut down at the resulting noise. After a moment, he picked himself up and looked over towards his principal, his ears ringing. He knew people were shouting, but he couldn’t make out what they were saying.
The small alien was out at the perimeter of the blast, and as she got to her feet she patted herself down in an automatic maneuver that Milton knew very well. She looked up, met his eyes, and gave him a thumbs-up.
“One thing gone right, at least,” he muttered to himself as he hauled himself upright. Okay, damage check…legs okay, feet fine…get moving, you asshole, get to your principal, keep her safe. As he lurched forward, he realized his right arm wasn’t moving properly.
He looked down.
Oh.
His right arm was gone below the elbow.
“Fuck,” he muttered. “Am I supposed to learn to shoot left-handed now?”
Then he realized there was quite a bit of blood streaming out of his new stump…maybe he should sit this one out?
No.
Fuck that.
He was going to reach his principal, if nothing else he’d act as a meat shield. As he continued his determined lurching, in some distant corner of Milton’s mind he wished he could have given his beloved Johnny a little sister to torment.
Someone tackled him to the ground, and he performed an automatic hip-throw before jamming his still-existing left forearm across the throat of a terrified…wait, this was just a kid.
“MEDIC!” screamed the kid. “I’m a MEDIC!”
“What…oh.” Milton looked up into the astonished face of Captain Sadaf; he’d managed to made it all the way to her. “She okay?”
“SHE’S FINE!” yelled someone else.
Then another thought came into his adrenaline-fueled brain. “SHAW!” he all but screamed, looking back towards where the sergeant had been before this whole horrible business had kicked off.
What he saw was a big man, clad in navy blue, sprawled over several blue-haired gentry who looked appropriately terrified. And that big man’s leg ended just below his left knee, with blood streaming out of it.
submitted by Frank_Leroux to HFY [link] [comments]


2023.05.27 18:17 Summonerissa I'm struggling...

I have an 8 month old boy. I love him to pieces ,and cannot imagine life without him. But I'm struggling right now.
I have a really supporting husband and MIL. We have some minor disagreements, but not real troubles.
My baby was EBF and we started solids at 6 months. He has 5 teeth, with more coming soon.
He used to be a really chill newborn. So happy and easy going. Then 4 month sleep regression hit. We made it through. Then he would only contact nap. We made it through that, too.
Now, I believe there was an other sleep regression a couple of weeks ago. It lasted 2 weeks. Waking every hour, going back to sleep only on the boob, so hubby couldn't really help, since he is the only one with a job right now. He is an electrician, we cannot afford life threatening accidents, so I try to let him sleep.
My issue is that it seems he is getting more difficult by the month. He hates getting dressed, having his diaper changed, taking a bath, being dried after the bath, being rocked, having his face cleaned after a meal... the list keeps getting longer.
All the above, plus the 3 to 7 night wakings are pushing me to my limits. On several occasions I had to put him in his crib and let him cry while I went outside for a breather. I am ashamed to say I yelled at him twice.
I feel like a horrible mother. I keep telling my husband there is no chance we are having an other one. If he wants more babies, he needs to get a girlfriend, because I am done.
Just when I thought we had naps and bedtime set and easy, it falls apart. Suddenly the sleep routine isn't working. All he wants to do is nurse and then play in his crib. But if I dare leave the room he cries. Then he is overtired and the nap schedule is shit.
His bedtime is 7:30 with 2 naps. It is summer and being locked in so early is a nightmare. Today he wanted to sleep at 6:30!!! Of course he did, because he woke up at 5am and wouldn't sleep till noon.
Later bedtime isn't working. Neither do more naps. I've come to hate putting him to sleep. It's so darn hard now.
I am so tired I can't sleep. I can hardly type and form a full sentence. I feel like I'm failing my boy, because I'm so angry all the time.
submitted by Summonerissa to NewParents [link] [comments]