Cheap bed frames twin
2015.08.15 02:43 doug3465 Philadelphia
News from in and around Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
2023.06.06 05:29 Traditional_Brief269 UCR Off Campus Housing
Hi! I'm looking for someone to take over my lease in September this fall. The apartment is at University Crest Apartments, and is a 2 bedroom 1.5 bath. You will have 3 other roommates and will be sharing a room and bathroom with 1 of them. The rent is $638 including utilities. The room is unfurnished but I am selling my twin sized bed frame for $30 (price negotiable). There is a sofa, coffee table, tv stand, table, and chair in the living room. The kitchen has a stove, oven, microwave, dishwasher, and fridge. The apartment complex has an onsite laundry room and pool as well. It is a 15-20 minute walk from UCR and is a gated community. DM me if interested :)
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2023.06.06 05:28 No_Midnight_9101 I bought this painting and I can't Find more information about it
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I bought this painting last winter because I love the face and how she is painted thinking I would be able to find out more about her as a soon to be "professional" art historian, I am in school now.
Once I got her home I found she was in a cheap Macy's frame and had been relined with beeswax which was common in the early 1800's-1900's which according to my sister (Smithsonian trained) is still being done by old timers but seems to have been done around the same time as the frame was purchased. No stickers or information was on the back from the original painting due to this relining. There is a tape label saying France, though I don't put much stock in this. I have taken her out of the frame and found nothing. There is also no signature but I would not have suspected there to be one as she is unfinished.
I know she is probably from the later half of the 1800's, my sister and I believe around 1860-1880. I think based on the look and style of clothing she is either Roma (Gypsy to use the historical term) or Native as both were painted in rather the same way. I found paintings of the era which have very similar striped shawls from Roma women in Italy and France as well as Native women in the Southwest and Plains. She also wears no jewelry or any kind so that can help me narrow down this.
In art of this era Roma and Mixed race/Native women were usually portrayed as whiter and with more elaborate "Western" clothing to fit in the general social constraints if it was a commission so I am guessing it was one of those period "Exotic Women" paintings. I go back and forth slightly on the people I believe she is from due to how many did portray both peoples similarly in the period. I lean 51/49 towards Roma despite my ancestry being Native/1st Nations.
She is in oil and done according to the academic training of the period we think she is from, ground then underpainting then the overpainting. I do not see any underdrawing though there seems to be two layers of underpainting one which is very sketchy and the other is more solid and more so defined the figure.
I also have not had her cleaned, I probably will in the future but I spent a lot of money on her and she is 2nd in line after the 1850's/1860's oil painting my Great Great Aunt bought for my Great Grandma in the 1940's.
Provenance is from a collection in Long Island according to a question I asked the auction house. I bought her out of Capsule Auctions in NYC.
This is a link to the auction site: https://www.capsuleauctions.com/auction/lots/artist_unknown__portrait_of_a_young_woman_JAFA_14306
(Yes I am aware I probably overpaid but I love her)
The first picture is the one I saw and bought her by. The second picture is a color corrected to correct my horrible bedroom lighting the rest are more yellow due to the lighting.
I have hit a wall in my research. This is the image I bought her off of.
Close up and Color corrected of Face.
Shawl close up and some underpainting.
2023.06.06 05:15 Username01007 What We Lost: Nightmares Pt. 2.5: A Darktide Inspired Short Story
Link to Part 1
Link to Part 1.5
Link to Part 2
He wasn’t going to lose anyone again.
At least, that what he told himself.
Candorick sat at his bed, hands planted firmly on his face.
They reminded him too much them.
As he watched Cadia explode, he made a promise to himself.
He was done with caring.
He joined the Imperial Guard because he wanted to protect those he cared about.
All that brought was sadness and depression and betrayal.
He would kill every last one of them.
They took everything from him.
And now he was going to take everything from them.
The heretics used their suffering as an excuse to put suffering on others, and he would not allow that to continue.
But isn’t that what Candorick fought for?
Candorick looked at his hands.
Tears streamed down his face.
“No you’re not…” an slow, deep echoey voice said from a small closet hidden in the corner of the room.
“What? Who was that?” Candorick said, wiping away the tears on his face, and then looking at the closet’s door.
“They deserve it…” The echoey voice whispered.
“Whoever that karking is, come out right now!” Candorick said, shouting at the door. He stood up, and began to slowly head towards the closet.
“You must show them… show them all…” the echoey voice whispered.
“They will not trample on you, like they did to your family…” the voice said.
Candorick approached the door.
“Open the door Candorick. Open the door! OPEN THE DOOR!” The voice now screamed, the door began to shake, red light emanating from the cracks in the door frame.
Candorick stared at the door. He had to open it. He had to.
“What are yee doing Templar?” Candorick turned around. Narvast stood there, glaring at Candorick.
“Nothing, priest.” Candorick said, letting go of the door handle.
“I havith been looking for thou all day!” Narvast said. “Yee haven’t been conversing with that freak, have yee?”
“No… No I haven’t.” Candorick replied.
“Good Templar! The freak will only bring wreck and ruin to yee faith! He is an abomination who deserves nothing but hate!” Narvast said, her voice echoing through the halls of the Mourningstar.
“Have yee seen the slab anywhere, Templar?” Narvast asked.
“No… try looking in mission control, maybe he got lost again admiring all the colorful screens…” Candorick knew that was a lie. Bogra was probably still with Keating enjoying his rations. But he just wanted to be alone.
Narvast turned around around and headed out of the bunk-room, towards the center hall.
Candorick looked back to the closet. The door was gone. Candorick examined the room, no door like the one he saw was anywhere in sight.
“What in the karking hel…” It must have been nothing, maybe it was just his head tricking him, maybe someone had stuck something in his rations. It must have been his imagination. Candorick walked back to his bed, scanning the room for any signs of the door.
“How are you doing Candorick?” Candorick turned around. It was Keating. Bogra followed close behind.
“Will you karking just leave me alone Keating! You’re not helping!” Candorick yelled.
“Candorick, we’ve all lost someone important to us.” Keating said.
Bogra sat next to Candorick, his bed creaking and snapping due to Bogra’s massive frame.
Bogra pulled out the large mining helmet he always kept on the side of his pack.
“I spent my years as a baby Ogryn on Morlax… Mortac… Mornax, it was mining planet, yes? Me papa worked in the mines, mining ores for the Emprah’. One day I felt big earthquake, like when big Ogryn step. That night me papa didn’t come home. Papa never came home. He was jolly fellow, always tell funny jokes. Big beard, it pretty gray. He look like he eat lot’s a sweets. Mama give me helmet. Said it belonged to papa. Told me to take it with me for the good luck. I miss mama and papa…”
“But I move on.” Bogra placed the helmet back on the side of his pack. “It what mama and papa would have wanted.”
Keating sat next to Candorick.
“You’re not alone Candorick. Remember that.” Keating threw a small bottle at Candorick. “Catch!”
Candorick caught the bottle. It had no discernible markings on it, and it looked like the cap had been tied on by hand. A green liquid rested inside.
“What’s this?” Candorick asked.
“Little thing my mom taught me to make. Told me it would help me if my nightmares ever got to bad. Thought it might help you.” Keating said.
“So you are asking me to just drink this random liquid you just gave me? You think I’m karking stupid?” Candorick replied, attempting to hand the bottle back to Keating.
“I don’t, that’s why I asked Bogra to come with me. He is watching me give it to you. He promised to tell anyone if that you did this.” Keating said, calling Bogra over. “Tell him what you’ll do if something happens to you.”
Bogra walked over. “I’ll tell the important people the sparkhead’ gave vial of poison to the boss.”
“Nobodies forcing you to take it. It’s just, food for thought.” Keating said as he pushed the vial back into Candorick’s chest.
“How does it work?” Candorick asked.
“Hel if I know.” Keating replied. “From my personal experience, it stops a lot of the ‘creative liberties’ your brain makes when dreaming, meaning your nightmares should be a lot less potent.”
“If you are
planning on taking it, do it right before bed, to ensure it doesn’t wear off before you wake up.”
Candorick looked at the vial. Surely it wouldn’t work, how could a drink do that?
But he couldn’t take it anymore. The lack of the sleep, the horrible nightmares, he was willing to do anything to make them stop. Even if it was drink a vial full of suspicious liquid given to him by a witch.
He had better not have been lying.
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2023.06.06 05:05 carole724 Top 10 attractions in Hangzhou （part I）
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Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang Province, is famous for many places of interest. Coming to Hangzhou, China, you will be attracted by her quiet and elegant temperament. Every time I am here, I will unconsciously slow down and go through the streets, see the scenery, eat food, and live in small shops. Just returned from Hangzhou, immediately summarize the top ten check-in places that Hangzhou must go ~~ Hangzhou
01 West Lake
Hangzhou West Lake has become famous in China and abroad for its beautiful lakes and mountains and many scenic spots, and it has been given the reputation of "paradise on earth" by the world. There are ten scenes in West Lake: Sudi Spring Dawn, Quyuan Wind Lotus, Ping Lake Autumn Moon, Broken Bridge Remnant Snow, Flower Harbor Fish Watching, Willow Wave Warbler, Three Pools Seal Moon, Twin Peaks Inserting Clouds, Leifeng Sunset Illumination, and Nanping Evening Bell. To be honest, it is difficult to visit all ten attractions at once, if you are short on time, it is recommended to choose 2-3. https://preview.redd.it/zc7bsaz2cb4b1.jpg?width=1280&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=b8887d3e9363af532a2046d62c8cafe4a7589b88 https://preview.redd.it/q7nb5gpmcb4b1.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=b0c080e0379538499a1f8241e3762cd2d589d86b
02 Leifeng Tower
Leifeng Pagoda is the first colored bronze carved pagoda in China. When the sun sets, the tower shadows across the sky, and there is a special view. The construction of Leifeng Pagoda has left four "firsts in the world" in the annals of China's landscape protection and construction: the tower building uses steel frame as the building support and load-bearing main body. The tower building uses the most copper parts and the largest copper decoration area in the world. The tower building has the most spacious activity space in the world. The tower building has the richest cultural furnishings in the world. https://preview.redd.it/35wepzokcb4b1.jpg?width=980&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=d97da6aa636d695206c9bff0611c07a679a60df4 https://preview.redd.it/rynnspmbcb4b1.jpg?width=960&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=a269e409276ead18090a0f270e2d9ba5debe8c68
03 Broken bridge
The broken bridge is located at the east end of the White Causeway, the bridge where the white lady and Xu Xian met in the beautiful mythological story "The Legend of the White Snake". Facing Lixi Lake, opposite the Jewel Mountain and Baochu Pagoda across the lake, the mountain, tower, lake, pavilion, bridge and lake form a picturesque scenery with the peach and willow by the lake, which is very charming. The broken bridge is the only way to the lonely mountain, and whenever people go to the broken bridge to enjoy the snow scenery of West Lake after the snow, the lonely mountain and Lixi Lake are covered in silver, which is particularly moving, because it is called "broken bridge and residual snow". https://preview.redd.it/myimdaejcb4b1.jpg?width=862&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=49f7c024640d8729912ed82482cab70484bbf55e
04 Lingyin Temple
Lingyin Temple is a famous temple of Chinese Buddhism, hidden in the mountains and forests, with a quiet environment. With a history of about 1,700 years, it is the earliest famous temple in Hangzhou and one of the ten ancient temples of Zen Buddhism in China. The temple halls are stacked on top of each other and are spectacular, with constant smoke and incense. Walking by the spring, the scenery is deep and fascinating. https://preview.redd.it/7byfa3y0db4b1.jpg?width=1068&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=fe4e49e000449735d1d6c92d36a5502b958f32fe
05 Qiandao Lake
Qiandao Lake, with its beautiful scenery, is located in the hinterland of the Yangtze River Delta, and is the "back garden" of the Shanghai Economic Zone and Hangzhou. Due to the focus on environmental protection, Qiandao Lake ranks first among the high-quality waters in China, and the name of "the world's first beautiful water" is worthy of the name. Whether you want to take a boat ride between the islands, enjoy the breeze on the shores of the lake, play with the animals, explore the surrounding ancient villages, go rafting in mountain streams, and ride a bicycle along the lake. On the shores of the beautiful Qiandao Lake, you can get close to nature and let go of your mood. https://preview.redd.it/wtikalv3db4b1.jpg?width=1620&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=26a5b0781996762538268253f4fcd2e5ad2831a4
To be continued...
2023.06.06 05:00 luckytron New Terran Refugee (Pt - 20) : An NOP fanfic
- [[Next]] New Terran Refugee (Pt - 20) : An NOP fanfic
Thanks to u/SpacePaladin15 for letting people write fanfics.
This is just a fanfic of course.
This chapter went through several iterations, I might have let myself think I could release it 1 week late (and failed). Also, I might have gotten sidetracked with other non-writing thing, oops.
“OOPS! All Rewrites! And side projects!” – Me
In any case, here’s the chapter:
Memory transcription subject: Tayla, Venlil Widow
Date [standardized human time]: October 18, 2136
The first thing I became aware of was that I had awoken enveloping a richly warm pillow with a soft surface from above, and that not only was it hot but that it was also soft and squishy but without too much give, in fact it was somehow firmer below the surface, I snuggled closer to the material that was emanating heat below me and drove off my mind’s attempts at waking me up, this was too blissful an experience to stop suddenly.
The second thing I became aware of was that I didn’t remember replacing my heated pillow as the cold wind season was still expected to be a good deal of time away and that I had much more important things to spend my limited budget on.
The third thing I became aware of was that I wasn’t hugging a pillow, this only happened when I noticed that it wasn’t moving because I was snuggling into it, but rather moving in a steady motion against me, like when someone breathes while asleep.
The fourth thing I became aware of, were the memories of what led me into this situation ‘Just gonna close my eyes for a moment’; Why did I lie to myself like that?
The final thing I became aware of snapped me out of my musings, it was the reason I woke up, and the reason I had crashed so hard into sleepiness.
The consequence of drinking copious amounts of [shade root] tea to keep watch over Jorge until I could call the number in the email during the schedule it had included beneath itself, this was made worse by the cans of ‘Twilight Energy’ I had drank at the end when more drastic measures had to be taken.
I couldn’t ignore it I couldn’t help but feel the pressure mounting inside my bladder as I peeled myself off from on top of Jorge.
Why did I move so much while asleep?
Oh Protector, I missed his warmth already…
I made a mental note to look into repairing my heated pillow for cheap due to a sudden urge to sleep with something warm more frequently, the abrupt thought jogging loose some memories about contact information of some local repairvenlil I’d called before for one reason or another, along with the memory of the number I called before… napping with Jorge…
A great feeling of chagrin manifested along with my bloom while closing Jorge’s bathroom door behind me as I remembered the text beneath the schedule, ‘Extended working hours during emergency situations’, the aftermath of antimatter bombing definitely applied… especially since that Mrs. Bennet sounded so exhausted so soon after the supposed start of her work claw.
I decided to chalk up my lapse in judgement to have been due to how Jorge’s expression before he sealed himself in had left my thoughts racing and heart pounding in worry over him.
With my thoughts somewhat settled, I examined the strange toilet that had been installed, before throwing caution to the winds when the urgency I felt reasserted itself with force.
After closing the lid and washing my paws, I finally found what had to be the equivalent of the pulley and chain, a small, recessed button parted into 2 asymmetric parts on the top middle part behind the seat.
I pressed both parts at the same time just in case.
A small eep escaped me but was drowned out by the noises that were still coming from the strange toilet!
Finally, the ruckus ended, letting me calm down from the unexpected loudness. Wait, did that noise wak-
THUNK THUNK THUNK
A bigger eep escaped me as I jumped a little into the air; However this time it wasn’t drowned out by another noise.
“¿you ok in there?” I could barely make out Jorge’s voice through the door, like he was putting in the barest effort needed to speak.
“Y-yeah, j-just startled…” I opened the door as I trailed off, a sudden realization had me asking him a question, “I guess I know how It felt w-when I s-startled you h-huh?”
His normally expressive face remained still, the only reaction to my attempt at lightening the mood a brief exhale from his nose; He simply slipped past me as I left the bathroom and muttered something I didn’t quite hear just before shutting the door softly.
I went back to the bed and turned on his pad, after a few seconds of waiting for it to turn on, and a few more waiting for my translator to parse the strange [date and time] format the humans used (Honestly, who separated the [hours] and the [days/months] like that?) I felt a bit of relief as I sank a bit into the still warm bed.
According to the pad, I’d just taken a short nap, I still had plenty of time until my children came back home, hopefully I had enough time to actually have some kind of talk with Jorge.
I’d have to somehow get him to talk about last Paw’s… reaction of his, and find a way to convince him to talk about his family, It’d be good for him to recognize that pain, maybe he’d even hold onto it like me…
That thing that the humans called a toilet interrupted my train of thought before I could do more than think of the barest of ways I could breeze into such heavy topics, the small delay between the toilet’s sound, the groaning of water travelling to the faucet, and the door opening wasn’t even enough to get back on my mind’s [zephyr].
A quick focus on Jorge’s face made my determination start to breeze away a bit, it was much easier to think of how to talk to him when I couldn’t see just how heavily everything [to wear down like a long strong gale would] on him.
Jorge deflated slightly but visibly at how I apparently froze up at the sight of him.
“well, thanks, i… feel better, you can just… leave me be for now”
Jorge stood still, averting his eyes from me until he shrugged strangely after turning to look at the barricade, he then shuffled over and started to shift it to the side a bit, evidently wishing to put it back in place after I left.
“ah” he cleared his throat, “sorry, you can leave now” he returned to averting his eyes from looking at me and awkwardly motioned towards the wide opening he had made after dragging the barricade as he stepped away morosely.
“Jorge.” I paused to breathe; I’d managed to huff out his name just as I needed to exhale.
Jorge stood still for a moment before tentatively focusing on me, a strangely vulnerable expression sat on his face.
I patted the bed (an appropriate and proper distance away from me) with my tail before curling it away from the spot, he seemed to get the message and soon he had sat down beside me, brief moment of hesitation notwithstanding.
I turned my head towards him as I’d seen him do when talking, he flinched a little when his eyes met mine, closing them and averting his face, I reached out for his nearby claw with my tail and put it down gently on top.
I waited patiently for him to start talking; Thankfully the wait was short.
“this… ¿is this about… my reaction yesterday?”
“Yes,” I squeezed down on his claw softly with my tail in a comforting gesture, “I wanted to speak with you about that sooner, but for now…” another gentle squeeze, “I’m just glad you seem to be doing a little bit better.”
Silence enveloped us as Jorge seemed to mull over what I’d just said.
A small hint of a hunch had me examining him more closely, it seemed he was anxiously waiting for me to talk some more.
I chastised myself internally, ‘Of course he wasn’t going to be feeling very talkative…’, how could someone jump straight into talking about such a topic? It’d probably be better to start with other stuff and gauge things from there; With that my mind sifted through possible topics until one stood out.
“S-so, I kind of… used up a lot of your powdered ingredients… heh…” I took in his features, he seemed halfway here and halfway far away.
Maybe… Maybe if I somehow mentioned the call to remind him that there were more humans he could try talking to? Just in case he was getting tired of my clumsy attempts at talking with him…
“I, uh, didn’t think of asking Mrs. Bennet about their availability when I called her this Paw, s-sorry about that… b-but I’m sure they’ll get some more that you can use soon, right?”
That got a reaction, a small one, out of him; His eyes widened. It… felt wrong.
“o-oh, well, i’d better get started packing then…”
An impossibly heavy weight settled deep inside my stomach as he moved his claw out from under my frozen tail tip, my throat clenched up as Jorge got up and limply started wading to his bag.
I stared in mute horror as he dumped his clean body coverings into it, trying to communicate anything to him, and failing miserably as the sheer disbelief of just how horribly I had miscommunicated kept me frozen, while the pain and betrayal I could imagine him feeling kept my mind reeling.
He stopped just as he reached his bag, his claws clenched for a moment before he unclenched them slowly and turned around to look directly at me.
He’d shed more tears, his eyes were an ugly and fresher shade of red.
“y-you were waiting down here for me to wake up again just to have this conversation as soon as possible. ¿am i right?”
Th-this wasn’t supposed to go like this!
“I… I was-”
“I!” interrupted Jorge with an elevated tone of voice, “…Earlier, I woke up and went back to sleep a few times, I could see you sitting on the stairs, sometimes you and your pad would be missing, I kept thinking that maybe you were worried about me ¿you know?”
“I-” An intense look from him kept the rest of my response in my head; ‘I was!’ I wanted to plead.
“I guess you didn’t plan for me falling asleep after crying…” He trailed off and seemed to go into deep thought for a moment, before his eyes narrowed dangerously. “¿Did you just bring me that Atole to soften the blow?” He held up one of his claws towards me while making a stabbing motion with it, his voice came out as a much lower growl than normal from him. “¿Or was putting me to sleep part of the plan?”
My face felt as if I’d been hit by an icy gale. ‘Did he just insinua-?’
“You’re fucking heartless.” That last sentence from him was punctuated by a fresh set of tears from his eyes, though no sobbing came from him as he let himself fall backwards down onto the floor, like a puppet with its strings suddenly cut.
My heart was beating wildly, and my eyes stung from the horrible accusations that he was making, and from how I’d probably be doing just what he had said if this had happened a few days ago…
I gave myself a moment to recollect myself, I’d thought similar enough things when I was alone in the hospital after losing my family, not nearly as extreme but… my circumstances back then and his right now weren’t comparable.
I shuddered internally at how much worse I’d have fared if it had been Venlil Prime that had been attacked; I’d probably… I’d have tried to do what he tried last night…
With a sigh I focused consciously on Jorge, who was breathing a bit more steadily now, as I picked up the bottle and moved steadily towards his alert gaze.
I sat down in front of him and opened the bottle, he narrowed his eyes even further in response, making the redness and glistening more pronounced, the patches of fur above his eyes changed position as well; I didn’t quite know what it meant, but it couldn’t possibly have been from him feeling happy or at peace.
I pushed through the sense of fear that was starting to form from being under his stare and took in the rest of his body language… I readjusted my position and observed as he flinched away from me…
I slowly raised the bottle and drank; The patches of fur over his eyes returned to their normal position, overshot and stayed raised while the intensity of his stare diminished. Finally, he tilted his head ever so slightly.
After a few gulps more I stopped drinking and offered him the bottle, he still wasn’t accepting it; I wiped my lips and prepared to speak.
“…I wouldn’t do that to you…” A small quiver at the end made me trail off until I was certain my voice wouldn’t fail me. I wouldn’t do that now. “None of those things, I mean… Even after all I did… You gave me a chance…”
“When you put it like that…” Jorge wiped his eyes. “I mean, I don’t know what came over me…” He looked to the side and deflated a little.
“I understand… I was like this too…” A small shiver traveled through my spine, thinking about it always did… I ignored the shiver by standing up and offering him the bottle again, this time he grabbed it and drank deeply.
He trailed behind me, we sat down on opposite sides of the bed, him hugging his legs as he sat against the wall, and me with one leg over the edge of the bed with the other one crossed over it.
Dozens of starting points were flurrying in my head, I couldn’t decide on one, so I cleared my throat and let myself say whatever came out first.
“I’m married.” Jorge became extremely visibly confused. “I-I’m a Widow, I meant to say…” The familiar sting of pain grounded me as his expression changed into one I could recognize even from him, pity.
died “…It happened 11 years ago, I… I lost my family at the same time…”
Jorge’s expression softened even more, no longer out of pity, but out of understanding… of the pain we shared…
“It was my dad’s idea, he’s always wanted to have a big family homestead… when the latest batch of colonies were finally cleared for habitation he bought a plot immediately, my sister and her husband went with them first, then my brother and his wife, and finally me and…”
This whole talking thing was much harder than I thought… I cleared my throat; I couldn’t go on just omitting any names in my retelling…
“Krayla, that’s my mother’s name.” I paused, waiting for his reaction, he ‘nodded’ slowly, solemnly. “Tavk’io, my dad; Talnum, my b-brother; Tahyiya, m-my sister; …a-and Glim, m-my husband…”
I buried my head in my paws, this was too much…
A moment passed, I felt something brush against my tail; Opening my eyes I saw that it was Jorge’s claw, he patted the tip gently until his eyes met mine.
“Emiliano José Cauich Ayala, t-that’s my father’s name.” He paused to breathe and wiped his eyes. “Ixchel Paola Rojas Canul, that’s my mother’s name.”
We stayed in silence for a while longer, at least in my case recovering from the emotional toll that I had just gone through.
“S-shortly after we arrived at the colony,” I began. “I l-learned I was p-pregnant, G-Glim and I celebrated it with my family, we were going to name our baby after my brother and his wife, Kiyomi. It… It was something we had all come up with [years] before, everything was going just like we had dreamed and talked so much about…”
I squeezed my tail against myself, all those nights at the colony laughing and joking with each other about increasingly outlandish names (ones that we’d never use of course), gone just like that…
“G-Glim and Talnum were busy helping the colony expand by clearing new plots for development and as buffer zones, I helped around with Taylee and Talim when needed but I helped dad with the house most of the time; There were always things that needed to be taken care of after all. Th-then one day in the colony, I f-fainted while picking up Taylee and Talim from school, a f-few [weeks] after that… I had to be sent back here since the colony’s hospital had lost their last equipment shipment to an Arxur raid.” I paused and lowered my voice. “G-Glim stayed behind to take extra assignments, t-to cover expenses, h-he… he was… he was on his last pawful of shifts b-before leave wh-when…”
I took a deep breath and let it out slowly.
“…D-dad was at home looking after the kids, he’d sprained his leg while doing some maintenance, he called me early in the morning there, Talnum and Glim were in some kind of assignment together, and my mother had taken everyone else to get stuff from the market to prepare a farewell meal f-for Glim…” And after that… “The call disconnected abruptly, it had happened before so I… I j-joked to m-myself a-and the nurse that it was p-probably j-just the signal failing because I wasn’t there to maintain things p-properly…”
Tears started forming in my eyes again, Jorge shuffled closer, put his soft claw on my shoulder and gave a light squeeze, his warmth spread throughout me.
“…A few claws later I learnt the truth, that the colony had been raided and that the shelter had been breached, shortly after that, I… I lost my…” I did my best to look him directly in his eyes. “After that… I started planning how to get to the hospital’s roof…” There, a glint of recognition and pain in his eyes. “I was just waiting for the rescue fleet to finish up there, just in case, thankfully… my dad hid Taylee and Talim in one of the [Kitchen] cabinets after taking down the family pictures, since he couldn’t take them to the shelter, he… Taylee told me that he… he begged her to keep quiet before closing the cabinet. She stayed in there with Talim for I don’t even know how long… She… She hasn’t talked about it ever again.”
Another squeeze, then silence and cold as he retracted his claw back towards him, his face turning to another side while taking on some kind of thoughtful intensity.
“S-So… What I’ve been trying to say was… I kind of understand what you’re going through… A-and if you want to talk… I-I’m here?”
A small ‘nod’, and more silence. My eyes were beginning to feel heavy again, that nap hadn’t been enough it seemed.
Jorge harrumphed, causing a bolt of wakefulness to course through me as he began speaking, filling in the silence that had fallen on the room.
“…I don’t think I’m ready yet…” His face turned towards me once more. “But… thank you, for sharing, and for worrying about me, I… If you hadn’t been there when I drifted into and out of sleep…” His eyes widened in a flash. “Wait. ¿You haven’t slept right? ¿Are you feeling OK?”
“I-I t-took a nap after you f-fell asleep…” B-beneath him… “Y-you left a lot of space…” He did, but I couldn’t get to it from under his legs…
“Good, good…” His eyes flicked between me and the door. “Well… I suppose you’ve got stuff to do now. ¿Am I right?” Somehow, the expression that sat now on his face felt forced in a way. I kept quiet as I rummaged through my memories of The Aftermath.
Of course, he was trying to get me out to wallow in peace, just as I did…
That was the last thing he needed right now.
I needed to find a way to get him out of this room…
“Actually… I’m free until my kids get back, I’m used to taking care of chores quickly.”
“Right…” Jorge seemed to slowly steel himself, if I didn’t interrupt me, he’d just ask me to leave directly…
I tried to think faster, but the drowsiness was returning in force, it was no use… Unless…
“H-Hey!” My exclamation startled him, I pressed on to keep the momentum strong. “I uh, I kind of went through my whole supply of [shade root] tea to stay awake…” I didn’t. “And… I don’t really want to drink more energy drinks this Paw, I don’t suppose you have something to stay awake with you?”
Jorge blinked, again, once more, and again one last time before responding.
“¿I… think I have some coffee I could make?” He tilted his head
adorably to one side as he scratched his head with one claw.
“Sounds perfect! Would you please make me some?” I stood up before he could even answer, reached for his idle claw and tugged at it towards me; He stood up in what seemed like a daze out of reflex.
We spent the next few [minutes] browsing the intact shelf, whatever this coffee was, it wasn’t there, the tentatively positive mood that had formed cracked a little as Jorge looked at the shelf barricade before he trudged over to it, stopping beside it where he gestured at vaguely with his claw.
We stepped past the barricade, tried not to look at each other, failed, shuffled in place for a moment and began sifting through the items strewn about the floor in an unspoken agreement.
It wasn’t long until I found myself holding a container that my translator insisted was labeled ‘Instant Coffee’. “Hey,” I started while turning, “is this the ri-” Jorge was looking intensely at something on the floor, I followed his gaze and saw it, the broken remains of the flame projector.
“J-Jorge?” I extended my tail cautiously towards his arm, his claws ceased to strain against themselves following the subtle flinch he had when the tip of my tail made contact with him.
I gave him the ‘Instant Coffee’ I was holding and scooped up the remains to dispose of them properly this time; Jorge held up the container and murmured an affirmation at me, I gestured for him to lead the way and proceeded to follow him to the [kitchen].
I raced my way directly to the trash container, separated the single-use fuel cannister from the remains I was holding, and dumped the inert bits inside; I’d have to take this last part to a proper disposal collection point in town some other time. For now, I glanced at Jorge and tucked it into a discreet spot in the cabinets when he wasn’t looking. Only after that did I notice what a mess I’d made up here despite my best efforts at cleaning up…
Jorge’s eyes were scanning all over the [kitchen], taking in every splotch, every spill and every crusted over utensil I’d used, he lingered noticeably longer on the open and haphazardly arranged containers of his that I had used, finally he stared at the Vanilla Extract bottle with a soft expression, it was the only container that had remained completely spotless and didn’t have a significant amount of its contents drained.
Yet another unreadable expression had settled on his face as he took a big pot and barely put any water in it, the other more reasonably sized ones just too dirty to deal with quickly, before putting it to boil on the [stove top].
“Uh…” He shifted his weight from one leg to the other a few times. “I… never did thank you for the drink earlier ¿Didn’t I?”
“N-no but there’s no ne-”
The patches of fur above his eyes furrowed together.
“You… mentioned before that you entered the program for money…” He looked confused. “¿Why didn’t you just… ask for me to be picked up? You’d have gotten someone else in no time… Hell, I’d still understand if you did it now. You don’t have to go through all this trouble for me.” The confused expression deepened as he gestured at the messy remains around us.
He was waiting for an answer.
“I… w-well I d-did enter for the money… b-but… I don’t want to just replace you… I like being around you. I d-don’t know if we’re there yet… But I’d like to be… f-friends! W-with you someday…” Oh Protector, I couldn’t be more obvious unless I just came out and said it…
“Well for what it’s worth… Thank you Tayla, you don’t know what that means to me right now.” He was looking directly at me, with raw emotion and palpable aliveness, my face started to feel as if I was standing under sunlight…
“I-It was the l-least I could d-do…” It was worth it even though he didn’t seem to understand quite what I accidentally meant before…
I was spared from further embarrassment by the pot of water sizzling violently behind Jorge who turned around in a blur to turn the heat off, while he did that I grabbed two (clean) mugs and set them down near him, though I didn’t move my paws quite fast enough as his claw brushed against me while he moved the mugs closer to him to pour the water on them.
He let the water cool down a little as he put his sugar and ‘Instant Coffee’ containers close to the mugs; He poured the less-than-boiling water into the mugs, stirred in a measure of ‘Instant Coffee’ and a measure of sugar as well.
He passed me a mug with a cryptic warning. “If it’s not to your taste, let me know.” Then he grabbed the other one, sipped a little and waited.
The mischievous glint in his eyes left me no choice, I’d have to play along for now; I raised the mug and sipped…
WHY WAS EVERYTHING THESE HUMANS HAD SO BITTER?
I futilely attempted to remove the grimace from my face; Strangely, the roar of laughter I expected was nowhere to be heard, I found myself looking at Jorge with some amount of concern, though the clear, if understated, smile he sported calmed me down somewhat.
Wordlessly, Jorge reached for my mug and the can of powdered coconut milk, he then proceeded to mix in a little of it in both mugs, turning the liquid from a dark oily brown to a much lighter tone. Finally he mixed in a single drop of his Vanilla Extract in each mug and gave me back mine.
I gave him the best glare I could manage as I pouted at him, he took a deep drink from his own mug and held it up for me to examine.
With a sigh I tried mine again.
Warm. Flowery. Smooth. Bitter but not too much, like a perfectly harvested root. But most importantly of all, I could feel myself waking slightly more already, whether it was just self-suggestion or the drink having an effect so soon I couldn’t tell.
Once more, the reaction I expected from Jorge was missing, this time he seemed to be lost in thought, staring at a distant point in the air.
I took a moment to examine him, whatever he was thinking, it was starting to fester. It’d be better to get him talking “What’s wrong?” I asked.
“It’s no-” He shook his head. “It’s just… I… my dad… he liked to drink his without adding anything, no sugar, no… coconut milk…, and… me and mom used to tease him about it…” He was retreating into himself once more.
I kept drinking my coffee; There had to be something else I could talk with him about…
Jorge straightened up, something about his posture, about the way he held himself had changed.
“Say… Tayla… ¿Can I ask you for a favor?” Despite the confidence he exuded he was running one of his claws over the back of his mug repeatedly.
“W-what kind of favor?”
“There’s something I want, no, something I need to make for the end of the [month], and… I’m going to need your help getting the stuff, I’d just ask you to get it all for me, but honestly that wouldn’t be right.”
“O-ok, but you still haven’t told me what the favor is?”
“I need to buy flowers, candles, a good tablecloth, and see what dishes I can actually make here that’d be good enough.”
“W-What for?” W-Was he? My heart was beating wildly in a peculiar mix of elation, nervousness and apprehension.
“I’m going to make an Altar for Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos), it’s the least I can do for my family all the way over here.”
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2023.06.06 04:57 Trolly4 Should I quit?
My workplace is highly unethical in his business transections, and it bothers me. beside that's my manager is an asshole who bothers to call me out of working hours, just to notify me of a "mistake" I did, which wasn't a mistake but something out of my responsibility.
I will now elaborate on everything: I work at a hostel, as a clerk who does mostly check ins. I'm responsible of taking the money and adjusting the right room for the guest. The unethical thing results in one and one thing only, we take 500 hundred shekel deposit (I'm from Israel) = 150$, in credit card, in order to make sure the credit card works and has money in it. The problem with it is that its anti customer, in my opinion. as the money comes back only after 7 days.
We do that only to Israeli costumers, as for tourist the money might not come back.
I believe this is highly stupid, some people only live by cash, it is probably illegal for a business to discriminate people of that. Also some people just don't want to pay by credit, or don't have enough in there credit card frame.
Now why this bothers me so much? because I'm the one who has to say no to those kind of people, which most of them are simple folk, who just want a place to stay and sleep. I just had a woman and two of her workers come by, the lady wanted to rent a room for her workers to sleep at, as they worked all night maintaining some event close by.
I always start with the deposit first, as I know many people will start arguing about that . the fact that almost every Israeli individual starts arguing about it makes it so angrily injustice. I'm tired of it, and I'm tired of this shithole hostel in general. I like the people very much , the other workers are great, but the management is terrible, the main boss is just an asshole shithead who somehow came to manage such big place (100 beds hostel), the place surely losses money.
I have such resentment to my boss which I never had before, sure I had terrible bosses but not as much as this one, this guy is just an abuser, I see how he treats other workers and I feel how he treats me. I want to actually cause him trouble , as I hate him so much. And I believe I can, I know so much illegal stuff he does, starting from hiring illegal workers, to abusing them , to the things I said in this post already. I'm sure I can cause harm to him and honestly I feel like he deserve it.
Anyway, I'm thinking of quitting very soon , do you guys think such resentment is unhealthy? My gut says so.
submitted by Trolly4
to retailhell [link] [comments]
2023.06.06 04:50 augustoersonage Car living and privacy
I'm seeing a metric ass ton of posts about people feeling harried, hassled, hindered, ogled, viewed, judged, scorned, tsked, spied upon, looked down on, asked to move on, etc., all because they live in their car. It's all very stressful, and I get that.
I've been living in my vehicle full-time for the past 9 months, part-time before that, and I have to say this sentiment is 180 degrees counter to my experience. I've never before had the pleasure of as much privacy or anonymity, if I choose it. The US is still mostly open space; second to that, it's places for cars to park. In a parking lot full of cars, no one cares or notices me or mine.
The country is lousy with places to sleep in your vehicle. Last night I drifted off dreamfully at the back of a deserted Cracker Barrel, lulled by the din of the interstate. There was a Microtel next door whose own parking lot was my backup plan. The night before, I parked for the night in front of a stranger's house in a leafy mid century subdivision, right across the street from the gym where I showered the next morning. I've slept in neighborhoods, industrial quarters, next to parks, along the beach, cheap campgrounds, BLM land, unmarked turnouts, Walmarts, hotel lots, hospitals.
I do everything in my vehicle that I would do anywhere else. I crouch, whip out the piss jug, and have a slash. I don't even bother putting up shades. No one sees, and no one cares. I change clothes, I meditate, I read, I wank, I sleep.
I know there is wide disparity in circumstances among urban car dwellers. I am probably better off than most for living this way by choice and not necessity. I work remotely, and as an independent contractor. Still I think what I've experienced is attainable for almost anyone living like this. The number one thing that makes this possible, in my opinion and experience, is that my vehicle is a minivan and not a sedan. Even a crossover, SUV, wagon would work the same. Any vehicle you can take the back or middle seats out of or fold down to make a bed and have a place to sit. Having a place to sit and lie down unseen is the entirety of the game. Without that, you're exposed. With it, you're golden.
I fully appreciate that not everyone has access to a van or similar vehicle. I would just like to point out that you can likely get one for not much more than what a sedan costs; and the benefits of having "living space" in your "car home" are well worth an extra $1-2k. I bought mine, a 15-year-old minivan in good shape, for under $5k. I paid some out of pocket and took out a small loan with my credit union for the rest.
Shit. I'm not trying to gloat. This is just what's worked for me, and I encourage anyone else who wants to car-dwell to van-dwell -- specifically in a minivan, the proper balance of stealth, space, and MPGs
Now I'm off to get all my spots rumbled and my personal space violated, for having written this.
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2023.06.06 04:41 1cecream4breakfast How would you arrange these small and awkwardly sized bedrooms?
In the process of buying this house (my 6th attempt in this crazy market!). The floor with the bedrooms has an obvious choice for my room (I am sole occupant). 2 small bedrooms remain at the bottom of the floor plan; there’s also a similarly sized bonus room downstairs that can be used as an office.
I need to have at least one guest bedroom and prefer to put a queen size bed in it for if my friend and her husband stay—plus queen beds are more roomy for even one person who likes to sprawl out. Thankfully the closet doors are sliders so they don’t cut into the space.
I already have a queen box spring and full-to-queen frame. The frame is one of the metal ones that doesn’t add any substantial width or length. Need to buy a new mattress as I ran out of room for the guest mattress in my moving truck 😅
So how would you arrange either or both of the 2 smaller rooms with a queen bed? (I am open to having two guest rooms and using the bonus room downstairs for my home office) but that is not at all necessary.
For the guest room(s) I am okay with tiny nightstands and no dresser. I can put a small dresser in the closet. I DO need nightstands though. I am a firm believer that a bedroom should have lamps at the bedside so you can turn off the overhead light before getting into bed. Also a place to plug in your phone! But I digress.
I am okay with them being a little slimmer on walking space. Would prefer to be able to access both sides of the bed.
TIA for the help!
submitted by 1cecream4breakfast
to interiordecorating [link] [comments]
2023.06.06 04:35 Duel_Daddy For Sale - Blue Velvet Queen Size Bed Frame $250 (One King’s Lane), Mirrored Nightstand $50 (CB2), Black Leather Salon Chair $100
2023.06.06 04:24 thatoneguynine05 Single bedroom apartment for summer: sublease
Hello, I am looking to sublease my apartment room at University Village Towers. This room comes fully furnished with a bed, bed frame, clothing cabinet, nightstand with extra drawers, and a desk with a chair, and you also have your own restroom. This is an apartment shared with 3 other males. I am subleasing it for the summer so the lease would end at the end of August. I could move out as soon as June 17th meaning you’d be able to move in the next day if you’d like.
Rent is 930$ per month and you’d only be responsible for paying July and August since I’ve already paid for June.
Message me for any questions you may have! (:
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2023.06.06 04:03 Nomyad777 [PI] The Monster Kingdom (1/2)
If you travel far enough North on the map, well above where the Civilized Nations stop because no crops grow, you'll find a mountain range. Crossing this range leads to the Monster Kingdom, though for some reason they prefer the name 'TFSU.' Yes, they prefer. The literal forces of anarchy and chaos in the universe have a government. However, ignoring that whole thing, the Monster Kingdom is fine. No armies march on them, mostly because of supply and logistical issues. The Monsters never say how they grow their own food, but given that they don't trade and millions of kobolds worth of food don't go missing every day, it's safe to say they make their own. Now, that doesn't stop the Civilized Nations to send one hero a decade to 'keep them in check.' Four decades ago, the hero closed off a mountain pass, which was supposed to cause a massive flood. Four days later, it was cleared, and the only thing to show for it were the cities that glow like the sun at night. However, yesterday, the Hero returned having burnt one of the bigger cities down. It was empty of all monsters, but the act was the first real damage they had taken in seven hundred years, since their founding. For seven hundred years, the TFSU have taken the beating of seventy heroes and simply moved on. But now. Now, millions of kobolds make up heavy 'machinery' units that march in armored, self-moving caridges that spit fire and metal. Thousands of beastpeople make up scouting and light infantry ranks. The TFSU use hellish 'guns' that hit harder than a catapult from kilometers away, all in a single 'bullet' not the size of a human's thumb. Metal birds and dragonflies join dragons as they assault cities. We poke the very literal sleeping dragon in the eye. Yet the armies don't do much. They march for our capitals and leaders, but on the way our civilians live. Surendees live. People go about their daily lives without too much change. Of course, that fact didn't stop the front line from finally crashing over my small village, located so close to the pass for a while we thought they the monsters had bypassed us entirely. The Civilized Nations had decided to send an entire legion to prevent the Monsters from getting across a nearby canyon pass. We were hit with an air-based assault with only dragons and metal dragonflies, our balista uselessly demolished by pillars of metal and flame thrown out of the metal dragonflies. I blacked out when the legion managed to shoot enough arrows to take down one of the dragonflies. I remember it crashing down onto my house... and then nothing.
The elf stirred as they woke up. I'd been raised in the Terra Firma Sapience Union, so I was... less than familiar with the clothing and lifestyle the Southerners used. The elf groaned again, before their eyes shot open and they looked around, quickly settling on my frame. "A-Are you going to kill me now?" They asked, their voice shaken with fear. I let out a laugh. "If I wanted you dead, you'd already be dead." I decided to transmorph into my secondary form - a cat - to help the conversation go better. In a land where humans lived to forty, elves only lived to a hundred, and that meant that even I was older than this elf, and they were no older than thirty. The elf, to their credit, quickly figured out I wasn't pulling any mindgames. I'd heard tales from my relatives before the Kobolds founded the TFSU. People, especially when panicked, usual acted with more than enough stupidity to make the situation worse. "Where am I?" The elf asked. Their tone told me that they were still suspicious, but it wasn't outright denial of the situation. "My home," I answered bluntly. "Your village tried to fight our ground forces when they moved in, so most of them are currently under house arrest." Still in my cat form, I created a portal into my storage cavern and reached my arm through, while summoning a lab coat around my shoulders and glasses. It was a trick I had only learned to do recently. "Let's see..." I found the clipboard and brought it out, flipping to the elft's page and taping the pen against the paper. "You suffered a collapsed lung, severe burns on the right side of your body, three broken ribs and two fractured ones, shattered three wrist bones, three breaks in your right upper arm and another two in your lower arm, and on the left side you have another fractured rib and three broken fingers. Your left leg was shattered and your left foot was completely torn up. Healing magic stabilized you and surgery did the rest. You've been comatose for the past three days, and was brought to my home yesterday due to a surge in hospital patients from the seige of Trembolorne. "In terms of organ damage, that was also severe. A busted kidney, I already mentioned a collapsed lung, and your entire digestive system was... well, pulverized would be putting it lightly. Also, unrelated to the incident with the helicopter, you had cancer in your liver and kidney. "In terms of medical treatment, you've been given an IV line for the past couple days and several painkillers, and you underwent four separate surgeries. We reconstructed your organs, welded your bones to metal plates, and used a genetic printer to replace your skin. You're lucky to have gotten time with the genetic printer in the first place, you know; those things are expensive, and I mean expensive to run. Though it's all billed on the government anyway, but that just means that they'll only run it if they have to." The elf sat up in bed looking at me as I just stood on two paws on the cave floor. "Right, sorry, you wouldn't understand most of that." I sheepishly scratched the back of my head with my right paw. "Um... put this way, you were crushed by debris and we basically reconstructed your body before you died. So not necromancy, though you did get close to needing more advanced magical treatment." "Oh," The elf replied. The cat thing seemed to have helped, because they were no longer stuttering with their single word response. "Um... do you want anything to drink?" I tried to kickstart a conversation. "Where am I?" The elf asked again. I was silent for a second. "My home? It's right on the edge of TFSU territory, one of the southernmost places you can be while still being with the recognized borders. I chose this place because I like to fly out in the summer over the flowers in the forest at the foot of the mountains. Your village is a couple hour dragon-flight time away." "Mmmhm." The elf commented halfheartedly. "OK, um... who are you?" "My dragonic name isn't something most can pronounce, so my public name is just Vixie Remminie." I answered. "What's yours?"
The elf's eyes narrowed. "Why do you want to know my name." I blinked. "Because... It's a name? I'm not a Fey, you know, it's not like I can tie ancient demons to your soul and call it a prank or something ridiculous like that. Besides, you asked for mine; now I get to ask for yours." "And who says you won't just burn my village to the ground and eat me right now!?!" The elf suddenly burst out. "You monsters ruin everything! You trespass on our land, take our resources, and kill our people! All we did was try to defend ourselv-" I cut him off, and poured just a bit of attention in giving myself an aura. Blue fire licked the bottom of my vision as I rebuttaled his point. "Don't forget, you stole the land from us. We were the ones living in the wild when you razed our forests and grew crops. We couldn't even purchase land to live on! So yes, we stole what we could to survive and those who didn't starved and died! And when all was said and done, you tried to kill us and turned it into a war, one where we had no choice but to kill you back. And when we found someplace to run, a spot to hide and do our own thing with our own land? You blistering idiots sent you 'courageous heroes' to try and kill us! What for? Nothing! Just your stupid, moronic fear making, forcing you to decide to 'kill the big thing over there!' We can't even have freaking farmland, we have to grow it all in hydroponic farms and harvest thousand-year-old vines out of caves because this is all we have!" I realized that my aura was burning fully and scorching the ground around me. I let out a long sigh, and it died down. Several memories flashed through my head, but I pushed them away. "Apologies, my parents are still a... sensitive topic for me. It would be best if we just stayed away from talking about the war until the hospital has room for more patients again." "Yeah?" The elf was still enraged. Even sitting down, they were still trying to construct an argument. "You parents who killed how many? Your family killed how many more? You dragons, you monsters are nothing more than one large grouping of murders that deserve to die! As the gods will!" The elf was spitting in rage, but I recognized his determination to hold onto his worldview. It was the one thing I needed to pry away before it got out of hand. "And you elves killed how many more?" I asked in a low voice. "Can you tell me the number of kobold dens exterminated in caves, the number of beastpeople sent to an early grave in slave camps? Because I can tell you ours. My father's was two, my mother's four, and my extended family including deceased relatives is one hundred and thirty seven. "You declared war against monsters, you child of an elf," I growled. "And death the reality of war. We know. The Unification Wars weren't fought with swords and honor. They were fought with artillery barrages and death. They were fought with miniature suns and political backstabbing, with tanks and guns and submarines and warships and all the more death. "You say the gods don't like us! That's put lightly. They forsook us! Abandoned us in our hour of need. So we learned to live without them. There are no gods we pray to anymore, elfling. Only each other, our creations, and the universe itself. They don't want us, we don't need them. It's more than they deserve." My aura was once again charring the floor and I had transformed back into my dragon form, but this time I refused to cool it down. "You call us creations of death, the primal forces of anarchy? We are you. You are us. We are sapient, we are all mortals, no matter our advantages. We are bound to this dimensional plane, forced to serve our betters, and live out our lives not with earnest but with trepredition for when it ends. We are all death incarnate, because we can all die. That is just the way it is. Besides, you've wondered about my kill count; tell me, can you tell me the gods'? Can you tell me how many souls they have cut from fate for their own entertainment? No? I can tell you." I growled, moving closer until the blue flames enveloping my body threatened to light the elf's cot on fire. "More people than are alive on this planet right now." I pulled back, bottling up my aura and reverting to my cat form. "We can talk all we want about death and destruction, and I won't lie and say you aren't victims of the war; pre-unification dragons we're exactly kind and merciful to those with treasure hoards. But perhaps, I implore you to consider that maybe we both are victims of the war, and maybe we can one day work together instead of fighting each other. "Maybe, one day, we can fight for our rights against the gods." I moved into my dragon form and darted deeper into my cave, moving so fast I could hear the howl of the wind against my ears. Only when I had reached my memorial wall for my parents did I stop and take a breath and think over my conversation with the elf. We had a long way to go, but I hoped I had put a little bit of sense into him. I hoped that the world could change.
When the dragon cat thing sped away, I took a moment to survey my surroundings. Only now did the effects of my first question hit my formerly-groggy head. "My home." He said. Dragons live in caves. Oooooh. I'm screwed.
However, there were no treasure hoards visible from my perspective; then again, while the Monsters were stupid, they still had brains to them, and carrying me into a treasure room would probably be something they'd be able to tell was a bad idea. Pops said never underestimate you foe, A voice in the back of my head said, and the dragon even launched in a full conversation with you. You're selling the dragon very, very shor- Shut up
I growled internally to the treacherous voice in my head. The cave itself was... a cave. There was a metal slab on one end, it went deeper in the other, and that was that. In a 'corner' of the jagged room there were a number of red, glowing rods attached to some kind of giant mechanism three elfs wide and six deep, but the rods glowed against the cave's light- What light source?
My eyes darted around looking for one. Only now was I aware of how unnatural each shadow was, how awkward each shining rock looked, how each stalagmite could hide an entire dragon, and that was before they started transfiguring into cats. How bright the ceiling- I looked up. The bright light burned my eyes, but I needed to know what fiendish magic was in play so I could counter it. But the light didn't flicker like fire - they were far too bright for that anyway - but they also didn't have the magical circles surrounding each spell. They were... lights. As if the universe simply willed brightness into existence. Each far-too-bright-hurts-to-look-ats was placed along a main hallway clear of stalagmites running from the metal slab deeper and around a corner where I couldn't see. The lights were only poised above this one hall, and they just... shone one the rest of the cave. Looking closer, I could see thin black lines, too thin to be mana feeds, running along the walls to both the glowing red rods and to the so-shiny-the-lit-up-the-cave. And... that was that. There was no massive pile of treasure in the hall, though I suspected the dragon kept their hoard deeper than... wherever I was. There was no pile of skull trophies or the banner of cities and armies slain, and I noted that while he had told me his parents', the dragon had never told me his own. Then again, the cat thing could be lying. Dragon transfigured into a cat. Probably has Circle Of Truth around his entire den. Nonsense, dragons can only do elemental magic. Evidently not. Would you just shut up already? No-
I moved my attention back to the metal slab, cutting off whatever the voice in my head had to say about my current situation; it wasn't every day one just got kidnapped by a nation of monsters, after all. The slab was truly elegant. It was painted with the monster language, and then was painted with some kind of mural. I could barely make out a blue circle with green splotches on it surrounded by twelve rings in the bottom corner because most of the door was taken up by a ice-blue cat with lighter strips engulfed in blue fire. It was a mural of the dragon cat thing. That didn't stop it from being pretty, and someone had obviously put a lot of effort into it. The flames looked realistic from what I had seen minutes ago, and the cat's details were perfectly engraved. It was... acurrate. Yeah, because I think Vixie was just trying to tell you that they built their civilization for a reason, and it wasn't carnage. You don't know what you're talking about. We both know I do. How else to you think- Listen to me, you treasonous voice of a- No, you listen to me, you pathetic excuse for a brain. The dragon was able to hold and win an argument with you, fixed your wounds that would've been a dead write-off for any other hospital, and then you think SHE barely meets the threshold for sapient? THE ABSOLUTE MORON I'M ARGUING WITH IS THE ONE YOU BARELY MEETS IT!!! You moved to your frontier village because the world was changing, Lazerot the Sixth. Congrats, you were right. It did change. Now shut your OVERSIZED EGO up at being bested by a creature ten times older than you, and go appologies before they decide that saving your life wasn't worth it. I... I... OK- No. I'm in control now. Shut up. I....... yes, sir. Good.
With new resolve, I stood up. My head throbbed, and the next thing I knew was my face hitting my cot again.
When I heard the thud of something falling in the entrance cave, I carefully moved back into the entrance cave. The elf was face-down in their cot, unconscious again. It looked like they had tried to stand and just.... fallen over. I sighed and used a claw to nudge the elf back onto his pillow, and then covered him with a blanket. I watched him for a minute, and then returned to the deeper parts of my home. The TFSU was completely overloaded with the number of patients needing treatment. Apparently, the Southener's hospitals just... didn't do anything, so in addition to soldiers, there was a massive influx of civilians to our hospitals too. Of course, this meant that they were absolutely overloaded, and the Civilized Nations strategy of fighting to near-death and then surrendering wasn't helping. So, stable recovering civilians like the elf were just... shipped out. When shelters filled up because the Civilized Nations overpopulation crisis was too bad to do anything, people just had to take them into their homes. Long story short, the government was in way over their head attempting upgrade the standard of care in the Civilized Nations while occupying their territory. My job so close to the border was remote infrastructure maintenance, and my ability to change size while not dissolving made me an expert at it - and that was before my two hundred years of experience. And then I didn't need a vehicle to get on-site, and was fast. The alarm pinging me that one of the space radars was down again gave me an excuse to avoid the elf and do some work. I grabbed a pack of supplies, put on my shapeshift-compatible uniform, and wrote down a note on a piece of paper. On my out past the sleeping elf, I dropped it for him.
Space radar system needs repair, as it's returning a false positive. It's my job to repair all the infrastructure around here, so I need to go fix it. I'll be back soon. If you're hungry, my pantry is the first cave on the right. You can just eat anything that's easily open-able in there. If it has a lock or airtight opening mechanism (anything more than a clip, really) then don't eat it. If your thirsty, there's a stream in the entrance cave near the heaters. When the door mechanism beeps, step back. Sometimes pressure in the cave can get a bit wonky, and I don't want you to get hurt. Other than that, feel free to explore. I've locked all the doors to the rooms I don't want you to enter. For toilet necessities, the second cave on the left has a properly-sized toilet. And running water, but stuff I can explain later means don't drink it. See you soon! - Vixie.
Satisfied, I left opened the door. There was a puff as the air from inside flowed out to the lower-pressure atmosphere. I could spot a snow squall to the north, and the pressure meant that it was probably coming my way. I moved out onto the ledge and closed the door behind me. At high altitudes this far north, the air was already near-zero and it was still five in the afternoon. I took just a second to confirm with the weather report that the snowstorm was in fact going to arrive on my doorledge using a smartwatch I had strapped around my wrist. When I found that the storm was coming, I opened my wings and flew. Being an Ice Dragon had its advantages, but being a Water-Ice Combined Dragon was much better. The frosty air curled around my wings as the freedom of ignoring gravity filled my brain. Ice and Water dragons both had large wings to deal with the cold air (and lower pressure leading to the requirement for more surface area to achieve the same amount of lift) and incompressable water physics (to let the wings act like a one-way fan blade as they move back and forth, increasing efficient). Dragons might be magestic creatures, but we were still bound to the physics of the mortal plane, after all. Being part of both, my wings were even bigger, making me one of the best high-altitude fliers on the planet. The ability to use both gills and lungs at said altitudes helped with oxygen also helped. Air Dragons were better at flying in normal air, but I liked to think of it like stats from a video game. Air Dragons min-maxed their stats for low-altitude, but I could go anywhere - even underwater - can keep my speed relatively high. I took full advantage of this on my way to the space radar, soaring well above the cloud ceiling and to the point where I could make out the curvature of the planet below me. The ocean spread out to my west, while more land was to my east. Snow covered the north as to the south was the telltale splotchy color of industrialism. My smartwatch beeped, as I crossed the normal altitude limit. I hadn't realized I'd gone so high; I had a radar to repair, after all. I dove down towards the surface, ignoring more beeps as I crossed half the way to the speed of sound. The wind howled angrily in my ears, but I flattened those (thank you, streamlined water genetics) and came out of my death dive right over the radar. The repair itself went relativity smoothly, though I couldn't find a broken component and chalked it up to more space anomalies. They weren't infrequent, and usually marked where the gods decided to look over the planet. For my radars, anyway. Further north, ignoring the north pole, almost no gods came out and wanted to deal with us. Our unspoken agreement was held that way. I flew straight back for my return journey. The storm was definitely closer, but fifteen minutes of flying later and I was entering the opening mechanism for my door. As it swung inwards, I heard the high-pitched scream of an elf.
When I awoke, I found myself tucked into some covers. It took all of seven seconds for reality to catch up with me. Right. I got into a heated argument with a dragon. I instinctively touched the part of my face that had been closest to the dragon's flame. I'd read about Auras in books, but never thought I'd get to see one. They were only ever found in the most powerful and competent individuals of a race in an entire plan of existence. I wondered which skill gave the dragon hers - Vixie, I reminded myself. Either way, given that Auras are technically illusions, I wasn't hurt. The flames didn't get close enough to hurt anyway, but that didn't stop me from checking. This time, I was much more careful when I stood up. I sat up first, then started to kick my legs back and forth. That's when I spotted a paper on the other side of my cot. I stood up without thinking, but managed to keep my consciousness this time and moved towards the note. It was handwritten and contained a lot of jargon that I wasn't familiar with. Space. Radar. False positive. Airtight opening mechanism. Heater. Beep. Pressure. Toilet. Running water. I could deduce some of it. A message had come in requesting the services of the local dragon to repair a thing that has an issue, and that she would return shortly. I could wander around as I pleased, besides eating food that wasn't open or contained in a clip bag. From the tone of the message, I could deduce what a 'toilet' was. The heaters would logically be things that produced heat, so all I had to do was look for those. I wasn't able to tell time, but I supposed at this point it didn't matter. I moved over deeper into the cave, and quickly heard the sound of a stream. It led directly into a forest of stalagmites. After clambering over those, the temperature started to increase, which was all I needed to know that I was getting a drink of water. I was only now catching up to the fact that I had been out for three days, and that meant that I was extremely thirsty. I wasn't sure how I wasn't dead of dehydration at this point. I found the stream next to the glowing metal rods, and with it a clear path to my location. Sighing slightly at the wasted effort on climbing through Rock Forest, I snatched an undersized cup off a rack built into a nearby jut in the cave wall and filled it, before entering the bliss of fresh water. Back in the village, we had some of the best and cleanest water in all the land thanks to snow melt, but this took that to a new level. Cold, crisp water melted in the sun only minutes ago. It was... pure. I spent the next couple minutes simply drinking and processing everything over in my mind. The gods might have willed the monster dead, but if even the monster gods had abandoned them and survived... then how come the Pantheon never told us? Religious issues aside, there were more practical issues regarding my own survival. How did I get out. There was a thud at the metal slab, and I moved back towards it, leaving my cup to dry on the rack I pulled it from. The engraving of the cat on the metal slab was- BEEEP!
What was that sound? There was a hiss, and the slab started to peel away. A gust of frigid cold air washed over me as a mage Ice-Water hybrid Aura-capable dragon that I had argued with stared me down. I did the instinctive thing and let out the scream of a human three year old, squeezing my eyes shut and waiting for the final blow. When the end of my life didn't arrive, I reopened my eyes to find the sky-blue cat standing in the hole where the metal slab was supposed to be. Then there was another... sound, and the metal slab started to move back into position. The cat was surprised for a single moment before simply charging the door and jumping through, skidding to a halt right in front of me. Which meant that I got a closer look at her. Ocean-blue strips crossed an ice-blue body fur in a fifty-fifty ratio. Small crystals of ice twinkled, floating here her wings would be. One tail was accompanied by two more made of pure blue-white energy, and the cat even had a halo. Six orbs of blue-white light hovered in lazy circles around her back, and even in a diminutive form the size of a cat the being radiated the power of an aura-capable creature. "Oh, right, sorry," Vixie said, and all the ethirial energy disappeared. Now that I knew what I was looking for, however, I could just barely tell, using my power as a mage, that Vixie was using illusion magic to hide her true energy. "You don't need to hide your reserves," I said. "Though if you're shapeshifting into forms so small that you need to expose yours, then you should just burn yours instead. It's not worth the trouble of people bottling yours." Vixie gave some kind of half-shrug. "They're not reserves, no." She said, emphasizing the word. I looked at Vixie with a sharp look, and for a second I forgot I was talking to a dragon. "Then what are they?" "They're..." The cat blushed, something I wasn't even aware was possible. She let the illusion fall away, and the tails, crystals, orbs and halo returned. "They're my regenerative baseline minimum." I looked her up and down for a second, dumbstruck. She really is a creature of power, huh? "Um.... uh..." I stuttered. "Is... that where you get your aura from?" I asked. Vixie closed her eyes with an expression on her face, and this time green flame started to peel off her. "Part of it, yeah." To control an aura like that... two auras. Just how powerful is she? I was so deep in thought that I didn't realize that the expression on her face was pain. "I... uh... what happened?" I asked, shellshocked. "Why aren't you fighting in the war?" The worldwide-powerful dragon masquerading as a cat sighed. "I... haven't told anyone. It's... personal." "I..." Only now did it hit me that I was talking with a dragon, not another person. Not just a monster, but a... creature with emotions. "You don't have to tell me." I quickly backtracked. "No, no, it's a fair question. It..." The cat let out a chuckle, and it filled the cave with a beautiful sound. "I suppose it's kind of ironic... but it starts with a kobold and a god, back when the Firma kobold tribe decided to travel north to escape the civilized nations, shortly before the amassing of all creatures in these same northern mountains and the Unification War. "Back before the gods forsook us." Original Prompt: [WP] For as long as all the races have known, Dragons have been seen as violent, destructive creatures. After an attack on your village, you black out and find yourself in the den of a dragon. It's rather annoyed that that is how they're seen, and wants to prove that isn't the case. u/Lycan_Jedi
thank you for the prompt! Part 2
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2023.06.06 03:55 CedarWolf Large capacity bicycles or trikes/rickshaws for adults?
I have a friend who is on disability and has limited mobility. He can't really get around very well, but he can support and scoot himself about with a little cart. The problem is that he can't balance himself on a scooter or a traditional bike, and he can't afford one of those powered chairs. A little powered bike or trike would be perfect for him, but he's heavier than the weight limit on most of them.
I gather he doesn't want to be in a wheelchair because he finds it insulting, and I can definitely understand that. I think if he had a bike that would work for him, he would have a lot more freedom and he wouldn't have to be cooped up in the house so much. We've both considered a cheap motorcycle and he likes the little Vespa scooters, but neither of us can afford one and he'd probably hurt himself on a motorcycle. He's a nice guy, but he's a big guy, and that presents some difficulties.
Similarly, my partner has limited mobility due to a different set of health concerns, and that limits how far she can go when we're out doing stuff. We'd like to go see the National Mall some day, but that's a lot of walking and a lot of stress on her joints.
I looked at tandem bikes, but most of them seem to top out at around 300-400 lbs, which seems a bit light for two adults. What happens if we clip a curb? Would the frame bend or break? Or worse, what happens if we fall and she gets hurt?
If I could find something like a trike or a rickshaw which is rated for adults, then my friend could pedal himself to his mailbox or around his neighborhood, and I'd be able to pedal my partner around the National Mall. It wouldn't be a perfect fix, but it would extend both of their ranges considerably.
Most of the rickshaws and such that I've seen online seem to be rated for an adult with child passengers. They're not rated to carry 450 lbs of two adults, and I have no idea where I'd be able to find a bike or trike that's capable of carrying a 300+ lb person.
submitted by CedarWolf
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2023.06.06 03:54 Alert-Tough1203 Set up for the floor
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I just started an internship and had to move my ~32 inch TV (used as a second monitor and tv for switch and ps5) to another spot to make room for my work setup. I thought I could put it on the ground of my bedroom (same room as work setup) and create a little space on the ground, about 5 feet from wall to bed frame, where i could set up my personal things for the summer. Is this a good idea? I would want to get a chaibean bag to sit in, any recommendations? submitted by Alert-Tough1203 to malelivingspace [link] [comments]
2023.06.06 03:47 theresasarrow Found on my bed frame, what is this?
2023.06.06 03:46 ShySnowWolf I accidentally caused a huge fire at my own place today
So it's past 3 am as I (F26) write this, so technically, it is already the next day, but I think I still need to vent, because honestly, I still can't believe this actually happened and I might still be half in shock.
At around 4 pm yesterday, I accidentally caused a huge fire in my garden. Just for context, I rent a house where I have the whole ground floor to myself and someone else lives on the upper floor, with a seperate door and entrance, so we don't share a hallway or anything. So the entire ground floor is mine, including the garden and my bedroom is directly adjacent to this garden. I had a large lounge set (a bench, 2 chairs and a table), made of plastic (fake reed) in the color black, which was located at the part of my garden closest to my bedroom.
I smoke, so there was an ashtray on top of the table of my loungeset and I promise, I am usually so careful with putting out my cigarettes and I never had accidents before. So a little before 4 PM, me and my best friend (M24), who was chilling at my place today, had a cigarette on the loungeset, then pressed out our cigarettes and put them in the ashtray and went back inside to the living room (front of the house, furthest away from the garden) to continue gaming.
Around 4 PM, I heard a crackling sound, like someone was crinkling a plastic/paper bag and at first thought it was coming from the kitchen (kitchen is next to the bedroom, also next to the garden, but further away from the loungeset area, if that makes sense), so I walked to my kitchen and there is a window in my kitchen, looking over my garden and I already saw the orange light coming out of it, so I ran over to the window, looked outside and that's when I saw that my entire loungeset was up in flames, reaching as high as the balcony from the person who lives above me. Part of my wooden backyard fence, seperating my garden from my downstairs neigbor on my left also was on fire and my window frame of my bedroom window was also on fire.
I always judged people a little for not being able to keep a rational head in an emergency situation and I'd like to formally apologize to every single one of you who wasn't able to, because my mind totally blanked and I just froze. All I could do was scream and I started to hyperventilate and I only could scream " [Friend's name], my backyard is on fire!" before mentally shutting down. I felt so much adrenaline and panic and my friend yelled at me to call my country's 9-1-1, so I did, but I had so much trouble staying calm. Eventually, the fire department came and also the police and so many people of my neighbourhood came to my street, because of the commotion and it stressed me out so bad, because all I could think about is how I was today's sensation and I didn't wanna be and I was so so so scared what my neighbours would think of me and if they were mad at me. Only my upstairs neighbour is mad at me and keeps sending me passive-agressive messages. All the other neighbours have been nice to me, which I am very relieved about.
But this feeling of guilty and paranoia won't go away. I just feel really responsible for what happened and I can't shake off this feeling of guilt. The fire department said I could stay in my house and I am in my bed now in my bedroom, but there is still a feint smell of smoke and I keep thinking it's happening all over again and I can't stop crying. I just feel so stressed and guilty. There is a lot of damage to my house. Every single window has cracked and my whole loungeset is now a pile of melted plastic. I can't stop thinking about those flames I saw. I was so freaking scared. I caused that. It was my fault. I even saw my house on the online news. And it freaks me out. I made a mistake and I feel so guilty about it. And I never ever want to experience a fire again.
Sorry for venting. I still can't really believe this actually happened...
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2023.06.06 03:43 ShadowDragon88 I've Been Reincarnated as a Bunny Girl?! Ch. 5
Hey there, readers! Here's chapter five for your reading pleasure! Please consider leaving a comment or review as those really do just pick me right up!
I've Been Reincarnated as a Bunny Girl?! (Chapter 5)
A fine drizzle was coming down on the town of Starlight Rose. A familiar wolf-kin beasta in red robes that appeared to be shimmering despite the cloudy gloom of the day was walking along the main road. In his right hand, he held a long polished oak staff, topped with a red glowing gemstone the size of his fist. In his left hand, held away from his body, was a tan leather satchel, the drawstring tied in a knot. It appeared full, and seemed to shudder and wriggle. Felixin smiled and nodded to passing villagers.
"Hey there, Felixin," came the rumbling voice of Earl Shatterknuckle. The blonde dwarf, presently wearing just simple brown leather trousers, fell in step beside his taller friend. Felixin looked down at the dwarf, whose smaller frame was bulging with muscles, with blue and gold glowing tattoos tracing intricate spider-web-like symbols across his chest and arms, smiling back.
"Good day to you, Earl," the wolf said. There was a spitting-chittering sound coming from the bag, making Felixin pause and frown before giving the satchel a good whack with his magical staff. "Quiet, you!" he hissed at it.
"Caught yourself another evil spirit, eh?" Earl said with a smirk.
"Oh yes, and this one was quite the nasty piece of work. I'm on my way back to my lab to properly dispose of it. I think it's from some destroyed remnant of Eld technology, one of the ones that gained sentience, or at least some spiritual semblance to it," Felixin said as he gave the bag another whack when it started to make some electronic beeping sounds.
"Oh?" Earl asked, curious. "I remember more than once we had some nasty run-ins with Eld-tech back when we were adventurers."
"I remember you and Melthi being the ones to turn the blasted machines on, both times when cautioned not to," Felixin said pointedly, making the dwarf chuckle.
"What can I say? We're both curious by nature!"
"Yes, that's one word for it," Felixin said with a smile, remembering his adventuring days and the party of friends he would regularly travel with. "Anyways. For some reason, about six years ago, they suddenly became much more prevalent. Thankfully, their numbers have been dropping back down over the years."
"What makes you think this one is from Eld tech?"
"It kept saying 'Does not compute!' over and over again, while also identifying some kind of rabbit threat." Felixin's mood seemed to shift and his ears laid back on his head, while his tail dipped, almost long enough to drag on the ground behind him. "And when it mentioned rabbits, it made me think of my little princess."
Earl rolled his eyes as he reached up and clapped the town wizard on the back. "Ah, Kiana'll be back to visit before you know it."
"I know... it's just, one minute she was this little delicate baby girl, and the next minute, she was this amazing young woman, all ready to up and go out."
"Didn't Kiana kick down a couple of brick walls when she was a baby?" Earl asked, scratching his head. Felixin waved a dismissive paw at that.
"Pure coincidences. Those walls were clearly unsound and improperly constructed, so much so that when she was having one of her tantrums just a little punch or kick was enough to send them tumbling down. We're lucky she wasn't hurt or scared, just confused and curious more than anything. Anyways, I just get so worried when I think of her, out there on the open road. Just so... vulnerable. Thankfully I made sure to instill in her a proper sense of caution." Earl snorted at that.
Kiana let out a roar of fury as her trusted tetsubo connected with the raised steel shield of the bandit before her. The metal dented and warped just as the bandit, shield and all, became airborne. They traveled in an arc straight towards a stone tower connected to an old run-down fort the bandits had holed up in. The screaming man smashed into the top of the tower, crumbling it, his screams instantly going silent.
"Fire!" Kiana heard a deep voice shout. There were several blasts and, thanks to Kiana's speed, she watched as five cannonballs headed in her direction. To the ordinary person, the black metallic spheres were probably nearly impossible to follow. To Kiana, it looked as though they were moving incredibly slow. She simply stepped aside from four of them, letting them explode into the nearby hillside. As the fifth one hurtled her way, she crouched slightly, raising her tetsubo like a baseball bat. She swung and smacked the cannonball, her tetsubo making a loud DING, and sent it flying right back where it had come from. The two bandits manning the cannon were obliterated along with the weapon itself, as well as a good chunk of the fort wall.
"She's some kind of demon!" one of the bandits cried. The man, really more of a boy, no older than Kiana, leapt down from the fort wall onto a carriage they had recently stolen from some traveling aristocrats. He then leapt onto the ground and sprinted out into the forest, stripping off the black cloak with the red eye in the center.
"DAMMIT!" the bandit leader cursed, pulling off his tricorn hat and dabbing his bald sweaty head with a handkerchief. While the remaining men were busy barring the windows or reloading and firing the cannons, he was gnashing his teeth. After a moment's hesitation, he pointed to a nearby subordinate. "You! Follow me. We'll unleash the troll on her."
The other bandit paled, audibly gulping. "Th-the troll? Are you sure th-that's wise?" Just as he finished asking that, another cannonball destroyed another cannon, making the entire structure shudder.
"We don't have any other options. Hopefully, after it kills her, it'll be injured enough for us to finish it off... or the other way around if she kills it." The other bandit grimaced at the options laid before them, but nodded solemnly. Outside, Kiana smacked another cannonball back at the cannon that fired it, being careful not to send it flying towards the base of the tower. According to one of the kidnapped merchants that had managed to escape and make it all the way to town, the cells where the bandits were holding their ransom victims were all on the ground floor. Kiana stopped when she heard a loud guttural roar, followed by a rapid series of loud BOOMs. Bandits ran by the windows and open holes of the fort, while the front gate slowly opened.
Out stumbled a massive creature. Its flesh was a dark brown, and had a texture not unlike tree bark. Its long arms and legs were thicker than the old oak trees in the forest near Starlight Rose. Its gnarled hands, with thick thorn-like protrusions sticking from the knuckles, balled into fists, fists that were as big as Kiana was tall. Its barrel-chest heaved, with white criss-crossing scars in its bark-flesh. It didn't have much in the way of a neck, and its head looked just like a tree stump, complete with root-like tendrils wriggling back and forth. It's mouth was partially concealed by the tendrils, until it reared back and opened its gaping maw, revealing rows of broken yellow teeth, to let out a bellow that shook the ground. From the top of its head grew two slightly spiraling branch-like horns.
"These idiots somehow managed to get a forest troll?" Kiana asked out loud, a smirk appearing on her face. "And this was only a gold-ranked quest? Something tells me I'm in for a sweet bonus."
The beast stopped as its knot-like eyes, of which there were at least seven, caught sight of the bunny girl. Up above from the second story windows and holes and from on the roof, the remaining bandits, many of them injured, looked down. Most were smirking, some of the more foolish ones shouted out taunts. The bandit leader stood there, looking grim-faced, but taking some satisfaction in knowing that despite their losses today, the annoying source of their problems was about to end, one way or another.
Kiana stuck the end of her tetsubo into the dirt, large and surprisingly quick thudding steps shaking the ground. The beast was lumbering towards Kiana, who didn't look the least bit afraid. While not intelligent enough to be truly sentient, the troll did have enough sense to know that its prey should be running. And the fact that it was just calmly standing there, staring at it, only angered it further. With a final roar, the forest troll charged forward. It balled up a massive fist, and swung straight for Kiana. Kiana swung her own fist, the two colliding.
There was a very loud, sickening crunch and pop. The bandits looked down in shock and horror as where the now screaming troll's fist and forearm had been, there was a bloody and jagged stump that ended just above the right elbow. The troll screeched and lunged at Kiana, hoping to impale her on its horns. But the bunny girl simply kicked, knocking the head clean off the rest of its body. The head bounced off a tree and rolled for a bit, settling in the dirt, a look of surprise on the stump-like face. The rest of the body tumbled over three times before coming to a rest near the make-shift stables, where the carriages and horses of the abducted nobles were kept. Kiana looked back up at the fort, making the majority of the bandits shrink back and shudder. A few of them began to wave white tablecloths hastily tied to sticks and tree branches.
A short time later the bandits, now in shackles, were being marched to the mechanical cart as the local sheriff and his deputies led them. Except for the severely injured ones, who were shackled to stretchers and loaded up into a seperate mechanical carriage. Kiana looked on as bodies were checked for possible survivors, there being very few to find, as the merchants and a few nobles were led by deputies out from the fort. Kiana smiled at them and nodded to their looks of awe, some of them having gotten a good look at the show of force the petite bunny girl had demonstrated. Ignoring the ones who shrank back away from her in fright, Kiana spotted the sheriff, a large older man in his mid-fifties with salt and pepper close-cropped hair and a matching mustache. He was wearing the classic green cloak, directing his deputies. He turned to face her as she approached.
"I think that's all cleared up," Kiana said, her voice chipper, belaying the fact she had a smattering of blood and gore staining her fur.
"I'd have to agree with you, young lady," Sheriff Tonsol said, his voice even. In truth, he had tried to avoid enlisting the aid of any adventurers until pressure from various merchants and nobility forced his hand. And even then he had expected it to involve a large party and, more than likely, some lives lost from the hostages. He was a little surprised when the girl reached into her satchel to produce a clipboard with a form on it, as well as an ink pen.
"In that case, would you mind signing this form indicating that I completed the job satisfactorily?" Tonsol looked at the form for a minute, and then his mouth curved upwards. He let out a chuckle and signed his name on the indicated line, writing in the date as well.
"Satisfactorily is putting it lightly, miss," he said, handing the clipboard and pen back to the bunny girl. "I had no idea that they had a forest troll in their possession. I went ahead and bumped up the reward."
"Oh wow, thank you, sir!" Kiana said, looking excited.
Tonsol smiled, something his deputies claimed to be a rare sight to behold. "Well, you earned it. I'm just glad you were able to get them to surrender without harming any hostages. Well, without them harming any more than the ones they did last time someone came out here to free them."
"I'm glad I could help!" Kiana said, bowing a little. "Now, I'm going to head back into town." She spread her arms wide and indicated to herself. "I'm really in need of a bath at this point."
"If you don't mind waiting a minute, you can ride back to town with us. It's faster than walking."
"Oh, thanks for the offer, but I'm good." Kiana waved, before jogging back to where she'd left her tetsubo and pack, Mirabelle coiled around it protectively. She grabbed the items up, quickly looking through the travel pack to make sure she still had everything, and nodded to herself, satisfied. She slipped the pack onto her back, then scooped her pet snake into her arms, and started to jog down the road in the direction of the town of Hengecliffe. Picking up speed, she rapidly became a blur, and in just a few seconds she was coming to a sliding stop in front of the town gates, startling a couple of bored-looking guards.
She greeted them and let Mirabelle down before they let her inside. They stared at the snake with the big pink ribbon around its neck slithering obediently behind the bunny girl. She stopped off at the local guild hall to drop off the signed paperwork and collect her now even heftier reward. She noticed a few stares in her general direction, and some unhappy grumbling from some fellow adventurers, but otherwise no one said anything.
Kiana then headed to the town inn where she still had a room for another night. Thankful again that this world had indoor plumbing, with hot water to boot, Kiana wasted no time in stripping off her gore-coated clothes, which she would wash in the laundry room down the hall, and enjoyed a nice steamy shower. She didn't have to worry about possible intruders, as Mirabelle sat coiled on the bed, ever vigilant.
"Today was a good day," Kiana said, stepping out of the shower and drying herself off, a feat that took several minutes with a towel. This left her gray and white fur all fluffed-out, which led to her brushing it out. Kiana had grown accustomed to the care and maintenance of her fur, taking pride in keeping it clean. She then donned her underwear and a cream-colored sundress from her pack, carefully putting her dirty clothes in the laundry sack in her pack. She smiled and stroked Mirabelle's head, the snake letting out a contented purr-like hiss.
"I'm going to go out and enjoy the rest of the afternoon in town. You stay here and guard the pack, okay?" she asked, slipping her mithril knuckles into her dress pockets, along with a small money pouch. Mirabelle hissed, thumping her tail on the bed in response, curling up tighter around Kiana's belongings.
"Good girl," she praised, before heading out, locking the door behind herself for good measure. Kiana smiled as she stepped out onto the paved sidewalk, carriages passing by on the street. Hengecliffe was much larger than Starlight Rose, with paved streets and even streetlights. Centrally located in a region of plains, it served as a trading hub. Kiana walked along, noticing a few men and women looking her over. Some seemed to do so with distaste, more than likely not enjoying the sight of a beasta. But most seemed to be pleasant people observing a new face.
"Well now, if my eyes are not deceiving me, it seems that an angel from the heavens has decided to grace us mere mortals with her presence." Kiana's ears twitched at the sound of the male voice. She paused and turned, looking down an alley, where a man leaning up against the side of a building stood, looking her over. He was wearing brown leather trousers, a white linen shirt, and a belt with a large buckle which, matching the large buckles on his boots, made him look a bit like a pirate. The goatee and the cutlass sheathed at his side were also not helping.
"Hello, beautiful," he said, giving Kiana a wink. Kiana rolled her eyes, and moved to keep walking, only to find a squat bald man standing in her way, grinning sinisterly. Kiana checked behind herself and saw another man, a larger one with a completely shaved head, arms crossed with a club under one arm. "Now, how about we all go somewhere more... private," the pirate-looking moron asked, giving Kiana a smug wink.
"Wow, you idiots have no idea just how badly you messed up," Kiana said, walking into the alley, the two guys following right behind her. The men chuckled. Passersby stopped when they heard three loud thuds coming from the alley, all of which made the nearby buildings shudder. They saw a bunny beasta girl walking out, brushing some dust off her sundress. She smiled and waved and continued on her way, leaving behind three broken figures. Two were lying in craters in the pavement of the alley, while the third, this one with a cutlass laying at his booted feet, was standing... his head laying all the way back in a hole in the brick wall right behind him.
Later that evening...
Kiana was sitting just outside the town walls on a hill, watching the stars come out. After sixteen years, it still mystified her to look up at the night sky, and not see any of the old constellations. She smiled as a shooting star streaked its way across the sky. Suddenly, Kiana felt a surge of energy just course through her. Her eyes faintly started to glow with the blue light, and she felt a strange pulsing in her chest. Looking around, she felt a strange magnetic pull coming from the south.
Starting as a jog, Kiana soon found herself sprinting outright across the countryside. She ran, as a blur, following the pull, her eyes gradually glowing brighter and brighter, shining with the crackling blue energy. Then, she came to a stop. She stood at the foot of a mountain, itself part of a larger range. Looking up at the mass of rock and ice, she could see broiling clouds up over it, flashes of lightning briefly illuminating the rocky and snowy peaks. With one such flash, Kiana saw something move. Something big. Kiana's glowing eyes went wide.
"Oh wooooooooow," she said, her jaw hanging open. There were rumbles as the giant coiled mass shifted. Several avalanches were caused by the serpentine body, buried under tons and tons of snow. At the very peak of the mountain, a gargantuan head rose.
"Is that a giant... cobra?" Kiana asked under her breath. Indeed, that was what the creature that seemed to dwarf the Spire appeared to be. In the light of the lightning, she saw that its scales were a deep blue, almost purple. There were stripes running down its back, but they were glowing a bright bioluminescent blue. That same glow radiated from the creature's reptilian eyes, and the inside of its hood. The same glowing blue as Kiana's eyes.
"What... are you?" Kiana asked, quietly.
I can ask the same of you, little one,
a deep female voice hissed in Kiana's head. She winced and looked around. She then looked back up at the creature, her veins flooded with adrenaline. There was another flash of lightning, and in that very instant, the creature's head was bent down low, right in front of her. Kiana almost jumped back, but stopped herself. As the snake-entity looked her over with an eye that was twice as tall as she was, Kiana felt a sense of calm overtake her.
"Are you... a storm dragon? A real storm dragon?" Kiana asked, reaching out and touching the creature's cheek with her hand. It flicked out a blood red tongue, its mouth curling up a little at the corners.
That is something that little ones like to call my kind,
she said. Kiana figured right then and there that this was a female.
"A monk said that... my spirit is like one of yours," Kiana said, breathlessly.
Your soulsong feels similar to one of our kind, little one,
she said, turning her head and gently nuzzling the top of Kiana's head, making her ears lay flat. The storm dragon's head was almost as large as the entirety of her hometown.
"My... soulsong?" Kiana asked. The monk she had met hadn't said anything about them.
The song of your innermost being. It stands out from the loud and noisy cacophony that happens when most little ones gather together in large groups. Yours is beautiful, and a little... fluttery.
The dragon gave her a wink. She reared up and opened her mouth. Electricity danced between the dragon's fangs, before she shot out a sonic boom. The raging storm above abated, the clouds dispersing, leaving only a crystal clear night sky for miles and miles around. She then turned and looked down at Kiana. The bunny girl felt the storm dragon's gaze. She felt a radiating warmth coming from her. It reminded Kiana of her mother.
It was so nice to meet you, little one. It was quite the pleasant surprise to awaken to.
She let out a proud roar, and her body began to undulate. Sections of the mountain range began to crumble as large sections of mountain were crushed and smashed by the body slamming into them. The body of the dragon rose into the air, beginning to gracefully slither about. Levitating there, partially coiled, the sheer size of the storm dragon just boggled the bunny girl's mind.
"Will I see you again?" Kiana asked, feeling a little sad. She had just met this beautiful and amazing being, and already they were leaving.
Of course, little one,
the mental voice in her mind chuckled warmly. I have listened to your beautiful soulsong, and I have shared my soulsong with you.
"I... I don't understand what that means," Kiana said, confused.
You will, little one,
she said, you are still young, but my soulsong has resonated within you. When you stop and listen, it will become easier and easier to hear it. And thus, the bond has begun to form. In time, you shall understand.
With a flick of the creature's tail, there was a flash of lightning that radiated from within the hood, and she was gone. Kiana stood there, her eyes readjusting to the dark.
"This world is so awesome," she said, a smile on her face, as she began to job back towards town. She figured that if the town gates were closed and locked, she could just jump over the wall.
The lone figure stood in the dark, staring at where the great serpent had been levitating. They were sitting on a log in a small clearing, where they had set up camp. The individual in question was polishing their armor when a gray blur had shot right past them. And then, where it had been heading, the giant serpent, an actual storm dragon, arose. They sat there in stunned silence. They knew right then and there, that it had been a sign from the gods. As they unsheathed their katana, it began to thrum with magical energy, the blade becoming engulfed in bright purple flames.
The light of the purple flames illuminated his green face, glinting off his polished tusks. "Soon, the war shall begin," said the orc, sheathing the blade and cutting off its purple light. The same purple light shone from his eyes.
Species: Beasta (Rabbit-Kin)
Skills: Sibling Wrangler, Babysitter, Puppy-Dog Eyes, Master Martial Arts, Brawling, Heavy Weapon Proficiency, Sarcasm Mastery, Eyerolling Mastery, Beast Taming Level 3
Class: (Official) Master-Level Dragon Monk: Storm Dragon School, Storm Dragon Hatchling.
Languages: Common, Draconic
Equipment: Adventurer's Pack, Steelwood Tetsubo, Mastercraft Mithril Knuckles (x2), Rope (25 Ft.), Canteen (Full), Road Rations, Spare Clothes, Bedroll, Health Potion (x2), Books (x3) I really hope that you enjoyed the new chapter! Thank you for reading so far! Prev - First -
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2023.06.06 03:33 1DunnoYet STAP GROWING UP!
Today’s milestones: 1. Day 2 of potty training: 7x peed in the potty, 1x poop.
- Day 3 of sleeping in a big boy (twin) bed, no disruption.
- Forced his dad to read “Whiskey 101” as his bedtime book. He now understands the difference between new age barrels and used barrels and how different countries use them
I’m thinking tomorrow he’s going to demand to try to do a tasting, and I’m not sure I’m strong enough to say no. Year 2 is a strange time.
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2023.06.06 03:21 That_Trapper_guy Question about the Idanäs bed
We're thinking about getting the Idanäs king bed frame, but the issue is we've got a king size Purple mattress, which is 200 pounds on it's own. Is this a bad idea lol
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2023.06.06 03:20 Fearless-Watch3623 AITA for not paying my sick friend who canceled the event?
I have become friends with these two girls Ashley and Jessica recently. These two girls have been friends for a longer time. Anyway recently Ashely suggested going on a festival. I hesitated due to work (I do work overtime on the weekends). It seemed like she really wanted to go so I agreed and the three of us bought our own tickets. And mind you the ticket was not cheap.
On the day of the event, I woke up at 6am and went to work so that I could make it on time. Ashely 4 hours before the event said that she could not go because she was sick. I was upset but at the same time was worried and asked if she was okay then texted Jessica what time we were gonna meet up. She told me that she was tired and rather not go to the event. Remind you at this point the ticket was obviously not refundable. I was upset but Jessica offered to lend her ticket for free. I texted few of my friends and luckily two responded. Since two ppl responded i asked Ashley if she could lend her ticket. Obviously i told her that I was so sorry to bother her while she was sick. She did reply yes without any comment and sent her ticket number.
I arrived at the event and me and my friends tried to get in but since the ticket was an e-ticket the staff told me that i need a picture of their ID and the QR code. Jessica did send all the info but Ashely had only sent her ID and was not responding. I told Ashely that i was so sorry to bother her but that I need a QR. She didn't respond and at this point the staff just let me and my friends go in. I told Ashely that I was able to go in and that I was sorry to bother her. She didn't respond to the message after reading it.
Two days later Ashely messaged me if I was going to pay for her ticket. I immediately called her. She said she was upset that I didn't even check on her and ask if she was okay or thank her for the ticket after all 'the help' she offered while despite being 'so' sick on bed but taking photos of her ID and all. I got furious but just said sorry if she felt that way but that she didn't respond to my previous message and that I didn't say anything because she seemed bothered. Plus during the time she was 'sick' she was on instagram. I told her that obviously I thought the ticket was free because she did not mention anything about getting payed. I said I had to go and told her to rest then hung up.
Later this day, I sent Ashely a get well gift and a long message explaining that I was going to thank her later few days later. She just responded thanks!. I asked Jessica about the situation and she thinks i should pay her because i didn't ask her if it was free (they obviously talked to each other). I could technically pay Ashely but she never said sorry. I asked my other friends about this issue and they all told me not to pay or pay half of full price.
What should I do? AITA for not paying a sick friend for her ticket that she was going to throw away anyway?
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2023.06.06 03:07 Atxpoodlegirl ISO Twin bed frames and/or mattresses.
submitted by Atxpoodlegirl
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2023.06.06 03:06 cbvv1992 🔥Walmart - $90.00 Your Zone Twin-Over-Twin Metal Frame Bunk Bed with Ladder and Safety Guardrail!!
2023.06.06 03:00 carlos-roca- Joel’s basement Pt.1
Joel wasn't an uncommon kind of man. He would occasionally immerse himself in conspiracy theories, driven by his insatiable curiosity about past events. However, there came a time when he delved a little too deeply, causing a profound shift in our world that can never be reversed.
(3 weeks prior)
"Hey kid. Have you heard of something called the Minor Awareness?" Joel asked.
"No, I haven't come across anything remotely similar to that. What kind of conspiracy theory have you stumbled upon, sir?" I questioned.
"Well, to put it simply, there's a belief that there are individuals in our world who are born with knowledge encompassing all of human existence, yet they never feel compelled to share this information with others."
"Well, that's quite an outlandish notion. It's hard to believe that people with such profound knowledge would keep it to themselves. Are you suggesting that these individuals are somehow controlled from birth, manipulated by a higher power?"
"I don't have all the details, just the overarching concept. It's said that those born with this knowledge possess the ability to tap into supernatural forces that can manipulate our reality, for better or worse."
"I'm not sure how to react to this. You usually present logical theories, but this one seems to lack a clear purpose or significance. Even if it were somehow true, how would it negatively impact my life?"
“You clearly didn’t understand the magnitude of what I’ve said, I hope one day you do before it’s all too late.”
I never really understood what he meant until it was all too late just as he once said it would be. Joel was a choir teacher at my high school, he was driven by a passion to teach others, wether it was through music, theories, or established science articles.
Occasionally, he would invite me over for weekends to hang out and discuss life. In a way, I felt like the grandchild he never had, and our dynamic worked perfectly. However, one particular night, his mood took an uneasy turn. I could sense the unease radiating from him, which in turn made me feel unsettled.
After some trial and error, he finally opened up to me about a secret he had been keeping from me for a while.
"Look, Adrian, I haven't been completely honest with you about the extent of my involvement in the world of conspiracies and ancient history. Why don't you take a look in my basement? It's on the far left side of my house."
Taking a deep breath, I walked down the staircase. The basement appeared to be like any other until I turned the corner and discovered a vast collection of ancient texts, artifacts, and even jewels. Most of them seemed to be related to the Amazonian culture. I was in awe. I couldn't believe Joel had amassed such a significant collection that correlated with all of his theories. Before I could delve into the details, I heard a voice behind me.
"Isn't it fascinating? I had intended to show you all of this after you graduated, but it seems time is running short for us."
"I have so many questions, but my first one is, how did you manage to acquire all of these things?"
"With time, dedication, and, most importantly, curiosity, you can achieve a lot. I know you have many questions, but I encourage you to read through this journey tonight. Everything will become much clearer."
That night, filled with anticipation, I hurried home and delved into the pages of that aged and worn journey. It quickly became evident that Joel had been faithfully documenting his experiences in this journal for a significant period of time. The entries contained vivid descriptions of numerous expeditions he undertook, including visits to exotic locations like the Amazon rainforest, Egypt, and remote tribal areas across the globe.
I understand if you approach this with skepticism, but let me assure you that the precise dates, specific times, and intricate details portrayed in the journal appeared unquestionably authentic, leaving little room to doubt their veracity.
Just as I was about to delve deeper into the journal, a bird suddenly crashed into my window with a force that startled me. Filled with a mix of curiosity and unease, I cautiously ventured outside to investigate the commotion. What I encountered was a distressing scene—a lifeless pigeon, its head twisted and matted with blood.
The sight of this gruesome spectacle overwhelmed me, causing a surge of discomfort and disgust that nearly made me retch. However, amidst this unsettling sight, something caught my attention: there, fastened to the pigeon's leg, was a note.
"Your eyes have become vessels for darkness; I shall reclaim you once more, mortal."
These haunting words were ominously inscribed on the note, which was eerily affixed to the mangled leg of the lifeless pigeon. An overwhelming surge of the most dreadful emotions consumed me, causing my legs to give way beneath me, leaving me kneeling in a state of speechlessness and confusion. I was utterly clueless about the next course of action.
Doubts began to assail my mind. Had I unwittingly fallen victim to a cruel prank? Or had I stumbled upon something that was meant to remain hidden? Countless thoughts swirled through my consciousness, each one more unsettling than the last. Eventually, I resolved to meticulously analyze every page of the journal, determined to uncover the truth behind these disconcerting events.
I got back to my room and fast forwarded to the back in hopes that I’d find the knowledge necessary to understand this whole situation. And there it was, “the minor awareness”, titled on the top on the last page of this journal.
A brief summary of my findings reveals the existence of a phenomenon called the "minor awareness." It suggests that at any given moment, there are at least seven individuals in the world who possess the entirety of human history within their consciousness. These individuals have no inclination to share or disclose these details for others to discover. However, the reasons why others are aware of the "minor awareness" remain unknown.
As I delved further into my research, I uncovered the remarkable ability of these individuals to tap into supernatural forces. According to the information I came across, there are parallel worlds coexisting with our own, existing in a separate realm.
While we remain oblivious to their existence, those who possess the minor awareness are fully conscious of both our reality and these hidden realms. They possess the unique ability to perceive these realms continuously and even establish contact with beings capable of manipulating our world in various ways.
For a brief moment, I managed to momentarily set aside my fear and the unsettling events that had just occurred—the pigeon's untimely demise, which seemed to carry an ominous warning. However, my nerves quickly resurfaced, overpowering any sense of calm.
In this state, I realized my only recourse was to reach out to Joel, but my attempts to contact him proved futile as he failed to answer. Faced with this situation, I hastily gathered a pocket knife and some pepper spray, hastily preparing myself for a journey to his house.
As I arrived at Joel's house, my hands trembled uncontrollably, engulfed by fear that left me in a state of shock. Doubts plagued my mind, questioning the reality of it all. Had the theories that had long fascinated me, hidden within the depths of my heart, now resurfaced as undeniable truths?
Gathering my courage, I stepped out of the car and pounded on his door with all my might. His car sat parked in the driveway, and all his belongings remained inside.
I continued to knock relentlessly for at least ten minutes until I decided to check under his doormat for a spare key. Although I didn't find a key, I discovered a note scattered with numbers, which I immediately recognized as a simple riddle he had once taught me. It involved matching the numbers to corresponding letters of the alphabet to reveal words. Within a few minutes, I managed to decipher his message.
The note read, "window in the backyard is open."
I cautiously crawled into the house, only to find no sign of Joel's presence. There were no notes, no lights on—nothing. Even his phone rested on the counter, displaying my missed calls. It suddenly struck me that I should check the basement. Perhaps he was there or had left some clue to his whereabouts. However, as I descended the steps, a wave of regret washed over me.
I realized I shouldn't have entangled myself in a world I was never meant to be a part of. I yearned to remain ignorant of all these revelations. But my thoughts were abruptly interrupted by commotion coming from the left corner of the basement. I crouched down stealthily, trying to catch a glimpse of who was there. To my surprise, four individuals in purple robes were thoroughly examining Joel's discoveries.
Feeling a sense of danger, I slowly retreated, making my way back to the safety of my vehicle. As I drove away, a peculiar sight unfolded before me—countless neighborhood pets, cats and dogs alike, gathered in front of my car, fixating their gaze upon me. It was clear that the unusual experiences I had encountered would not leave me unscathed.
I failed to mention earlier that I had kept the journal with me at all times, fearing that someone might come after it. Shortly after my departure from the basement, I arrived home only to discover that my front door was wide open, indicating a break-in. Anger surged through me, and with desperation, I shouted at the top of my lungs, "What the fuck do you want from me?!" I repeated this plea several times, and then proceeded to search every room of my house, meticulously examining every minor detail.
As I moved through the rooms, a trickle of blood caught my attention, seeping through the crack under my bedroom door. My heart raced with anxiety as I anxiously swung the door open, only to collapse in shock and heartbreak. There, lying before me, were the lifeless bodies of both my parents. In my father's hand, he clutched a vial of an unfamiliar drug, while my mother lay beside him, whispering her final words in a pained whimper.
"They made me do it," she cried, her voice barely audible.
"Mom! Everything will be okay. I'm going to call an ambulance! Please don't worry, Mom!" I sobbed uncontrollably, trying to console her.
"I love you, son. Leave. They'll frame you for our deaths. There's a suitcase filled with money under our bed frame. Run, my baby. Everything will be okay. I promise." Her tear-filled eyes expressed her love for me as she slowly slipped into unconsciousness and passed away in my arms.
Overwhelmed with hatred and heartbreak, my spirit engulfed, I made a solemn vow to survive—for the sake of my mother, even if my own will had waned.
I sped down the state highway, my belongings in tow, heading towards a camping site where my friends and I had always found solace. Throughout the journey, I couldn't help but unleash a torrent of curses directed at Joel, blaming him for entangling me in a world that had shattered my own. Emotions of various shades overwhelmed me, but above all, a thread of intense hatred consumed me for whatever forces were responsible for my parents' deaths.
Upon reaching the camping site, I secured my German Shepherd, using him as an alert system to ward off any unwanted guests. As a sense of safety gradually seeped back into my veins, my dog locked eyes with me, his gaze penetrating deep within, leaving me with an unsettling mix of confusion, fear, and hatred—a conscience devoid of clarity.
In a sudden turn of events, my dog's gaze broke, and once again, a pigeon descended, delivering a note. It read, "In the shadows, they sleep. In the darkness, they keep. In my view, you will sleep."
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